curling stone

But I’m Not a Baby (part 1)

Pairing: AmazingPhil & Daniel Howell

Genre: Fluff, light/smut, light/little!space

Word Count: 6000

Summary: After a visit to the dentist, Dan is prescribed a form of ‘medication’ he doesn’t necessarily agree with.

Author Note: Since all my past little!space fics have been fairly well received, I wanted to write another. However, I want this one, for sake of believability (used loosely), to be paced out better. So this will be a full series. This may not be packed with little!space but it will only get better from here!

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Kiss Me Not -Part 10-

Find Part One Here! 

tags: drarry, hogwarts eighth year, soulmates au



Harry stared down at his hands, “How’s your mother?”

“You’re asking me about my mother? Really, Potter?” Draco asked in dismay.

Harry glared at him, “I thought it might be a safe subject to talk about.”

“Between us?” Malfoy said, “Nothing is a safe subject.”

“Only because you won’t stop being a tit,” Harry snapped.

“Says the one who just called me a tit,” Draco sneered.

Harry returned the expression mockingly, “Says the one who won’t just tell me how his mum’s doing.”

Draco was looking tense as a puffed cat, torn between hexing Harry or just leaving altogether.

Harry leaned back and then took a step back, before looking away from Draco altogether. For a bit there, they had been close enough that Harry could feel that faint buzz skating across his skin that made him want to shiver. He sighed and looked up at the stars wondering if the original Princess had this much trouble, then mentally cursed himself for thinking of himself as the Princess.

“Mother is doing quite well, all things considered. She’s been re-doing the Manor,” Draco said begrudgingly.

Harry glanced over at him in surprise, quickly dragging his gaze back to the sky before attempting to keep the conversation going, “She’s redecorating?”

There was an interminable pause, which Harry was afraid wouldn’t be filled, before Draco answered, “No, re-doing. Moving the walls, replacing everything not nailed down, shoving heirlooms in the attic, all the furniture transfigured, new floors, new paint, wallpaper,” he said the last like a bad taste in his mouth. “As if the last few years are a stain she can scrub out if she just tries hard enough.”

“Well,” Harry hazarded, “if it helps then… no reason not to.”

Wallpaper,” Draco muttered then took a deep breath, “She asks after you in her letters. She won’t tell me why, just something about what happened in the forest and now she-” he stopped abruptly.

“Well, I’ve been alright. Certainly a lot better than-” he paused, uncertain about finishing his own sentence. “…Erm, before,” he finished lamely.

Draco said stiffly, “I would imagine that anything would be an improvement over being hunted by a mass-murdering megalomaniac.”

Harry looked over at Draco in surprise.

Draco rolled his eyes at Harry’s expression, “I’m not made of glass.”

“Alright,” Harry said and nodded, “Yeah, better than that.”

Draco’s brow furrowed faintly as he looked away from Harry and back at his hands, “What do you want, Potter?”

“What?” Harry asked in confusion.

“We’re not friends but this is the second time you’ve done-” Draco waved a hand absently, “-whatever it is you’re trying to do here. You either want something from me or it’s pity. I won’t be pitied, Potter.”

Harry snorted, ignoring Draco’s frown, “I can’t imagine pitying you.”

Draco’s eyes narrowed, “Bollocks. That’s utter fucking bollocks.”

Harry found himself looking at Draco’s hands, long elegant fingers as they gripped at the stone, slowly dragging into loose fists.

Harry said carefully,“…The way I look at it. I can’t imagine many people could survive what you went through.”

“What I-?!”

“Do you?” Harry interrupted to ask, “Do you think many people could survive having Voldemort in their home, holding their parents hostage, threatening to kill them?”

What little colour was left in Draco’s face disappeared and he swallowed hard, squeezing his eyes shut, “You could have. You could have done more than just survive,” he said bitterly.

“If I had my parents, if he had my parents-” Harry bit his bottom lip and shook his head, “I don’t know. I’m not sure I could.”

Draco took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Harry forced himself not to stare at Draco’s face, glancing sidelong at his hands again and feeling relieved when Draco relaxed them again. Harry could hear him breathing; he felt like his own breathing was far too loud.

Draco slid his hands over the stone, curling his finger over the edge, “So you don’t pity me. Fine. I still don’t understand what you want.”

Harry dropped his head, ruffling his hand through his hair as he mentally ran through possible answers, most of which were entirely certain to make Draco angry. He spoke slowly, making sure every word was in place before saying the next, “I want to get to know you.”

“Fuck off, does this look like sharing time to you?” Draco said with a sneer, whipping away from the parapet to leave.

Harry grabbed Draco’s arm, “Wait! I- um- please just-”

“Let go of me or I’ll hex your bollocks off!” Draco stepped back, jerking his arm free. His eyes blazed, looking about ready to do just that when he whirled away. The swirl of his cloak would have made Snape proud.

Harry leaned back against the parapet with a sigh.


Part 1 ~ Part 2 ~ Part 3 ~ Part 4 ~ Part 5 ~ Part 6 ~ Part 7 ~ Part 8 ~ Part 9 ~ Part 10 (you are here!)~ Part 11  ~  Part 12 ~

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Tyler Scheid x Reader (GenderNeutral) - Sweet Summer

Summer is always hot, especially in L.A. It’s like Satan’s armpit there in the summer, and nearly all year round, as well. How can anyone be blamed for going swimming in such terrible weather conditions? What’s even worse are watching the people who enjoy the heat sit out in the sun or under the shade and blister, for who knows what reason. Maybe they’re sadistic.

Maybe that life guard was sadistic, the one with the curls and the stone-face look every time a kid screamed. And then there was you, possibly also less sadistic and crazy as you sat on the edge of the pool, your feet dipped into the cold and chlorine-saturated water. You watched some of the kids push each other into the pool, the lifeguard glare at them. He was… interested to look at. But he was at the other side of the pool, so you couldn’t make out much of his features.

“GERONIMO!” your best friend screamed as she ran to the edge, jumping and landing in the water with a massive cannonball-made splash. Splashing you, you laughed and wiped the water from your face, pushing your hair back.

“Hey!” you shouted. She surfaced and waded in the water, looking at you with a stupid grin.

“What?” she asked.

“Alex you had to warn me. I don’t really want to get too wet.” You glanced at the lifeguard who was busy with looking up at the clouds. Oh, a jawline…
“I did warn you. It’s called a warrior cry, and mine is Geronimo.” Alex seemed very sure of herself, laughing as she dipped down and underneath the surface to swim towards the shallow-end. It was her idea to come to the pool, dragging you away from your YouTube videos and Pringles. You looked nice, though, in your black swimwear. It was nicely fitting and dark, just like your soul. There, that is the sadistic side.

But Alex has that side, too, because she appeared suddenly while you were drooling subconsciously at the lifeguard and pulled you by your arms into the pool. You screamed loudly, stopped short by the cold and salty water. Your body hit the water and you were gone under, the last thing you saw before the water stung your eyes was the lifeguard jolting in his seat.

Fighting with Alex, your arms battled the waves and you struggled to stay afloat, not that well of a swimmer by any means. Your face reached the surface and your gasped for air, kicking your legs furiously. You could hear Alex cackling beside you as you doggy-paddled to stay breathing. Every other second your head dipped underwater and you were fighting to yell at Alex, making everything a struggle in the end.

And then you heard it.

Alex stopped laughing as the splash of a very large and muscular man hit the water. You turned and saw the man right next to you, right as you dipped back under. He grabbed you by the waist, wrapping his arm eventually under your arms before lighting you out of the water and onto the concrete in a matter of seconds. You coughed and blinked, looking up and seeing the beautiful silhouette of the most handsome man you’d ever seen above you.

“Are you okay?” he asked, his voice lovely.

“What?”

“Are you okay?” he asked again. You nodded, his hand grabbing yours as he helped you to sit up. You coughed again and wiped your eyes, Alex losing her mind with laughter.

“You looked like you were drowning, so I saved you.”

You looked at him and blushed. “No, I just swim really weird,” you replied, laughter in your voice. He looked you over, slightly blushing himself, and then let out a sigh. He looked at Alex and smiled, then to you. He sat back on his bottom, possibly feeling like an idiot. He laughed, running his hand through his curls. You just stared, looking at the water drip down his muscular body. The way the sun glistened over his pecs and arms made your jaw drop a little. He looked back at you with the most amazing smile and you found yourself speechless, just in awe.

“Hey hot-stuff!” Alex yelled at you, making you snap back to reality. You shut your jaw and looked at her, glaring. “He’s drooling over you, too,” she said quietly, hoping he wouldn’t hear. You looked back and saw he was. He was staring at the all of you. Your face, chest, legs, everything.

“Tyler!” someone from afar yelled. “Get back to your post.” Tyler stood, helping you up.

“Gotta… go.. Um, I get off at 5. Mabe come back and we can get some ice cream?”

“Yeah, yeah I’d love that.”

“Same.”

He winked and walked away, leaving you standing there. His hands were so soft, you thought. And that was apparently aloud, because he turned around and smiled.

“Thanks!” he called. “Yours are, too!”

You covered your face and screamed, Alex laughing once more.

-

@smile-always-bitch @scarlet-says-hi

Part Two - Chapter One: Curls and Cotton.

You can find links to previous chapters here.

August 20th, 1948; Boston Common, Boston USA.
Claire.

“You gonna have baby?”

The question made me jump. I turned to see a little girl standing next to me, I swear she hadn’t been there a moment before.

“Ah,” I stammered, gripping the edge of the bench I was sitting on. “Yes, I am.”

She smiled at me, “My mama too.”

Nodding, I stared at her. My voice seemed to be having troubles working properly and the baby chose this moment to do an intricate gymnastics routine within me. The little girl didn’t seem to notice. She was looking past me, to a nearby fountain where a few birds were exploring the water.

Her skin was fair, almost translucent. The blue of her eyes so deep they were almost black. She had a smattering of freckles across her cheekbones that only increased her overwhelming aura of childlike innocence. Sticking out in every direction, her brilliant auburn curls danced in the late summer breeze. It looked as though she had had a ribbon tying them back from her face at one point, but the pale blue satin hung loose above her ear.

“My birthday tomorrow.” she informed me nonchalantly.

A shiver ran down my spine. Tomorrow would have been Julia’s third birthday.

“Is it?” I asked, trying to sound as normal as possible. An invisible band of sorrow tightened around my chest and I was finding it very hard to breathe.

“Mama maked me a cake! I share with Daddy. He like cake,” she supplied as she twirled around beside me, her flower-sprigged skirt puffing out around her.

I shifted on the park bench, hoping the movement would urge the baby to settle into a new position. It didn’t work and I placed a hand where a pointed foot was trying to impale me. The movement quieted slightly, but didn’t stop altogether.

“That sounds wonderful. Will you have candles to blow out?”

“Yes!” The little girl beamed up at me, holding up three pudgy fingers. “Mama say I big girl now!”

“You are indeed.” Tears filled my eyes without warning, threatening to pour free at any moment.

A voice called from somewhere behind me, “Julia!”

“Wait!” I cried as the little girl waved to me and turned to go.

She froze in place and tilted her head in question.

“Happy birthday, Julia.” I whispered.

Skipping towards me, she stood on tiptoe and gave me a kiss on the cheek. The touch tickled, almost like the brush of a butterfly’s wing. Another giggle escaped her rosebud lips as she left in a swirl of curls and cotton.

One hand covered my mouth, suppressing a sob, the other placed a hand on my now still womb.

You know her, don’t you, little one? That was your sister. Isn’t she beautiful?

You’re a Wizard, Neil

Part One: Neil finally discovers Harry Potter and he likes it Part Two: Part Three:

  • It started with Andrew reading a book
  • Neil wasn’t into reading, seeing as he had been on the run for a good portion of his teen years and never had the time to just sit and relax
  • And his parents weren’t the type to read him a bedtime story when he was little
  • But Andrew likes to read because books had always put him into another world where he could pretend to be the hero worshipped protagonist and didn’t have to actually worry about anything because it wasn’t real
  • So Neil finds Andrew reading all the time
    • Stuffed in a beanbag chair while Nicky and Aaron are playing some dumb video game in the living area, in the back of the bus to one of their away games, snuggled in bed waiting for Neil to be done arguing exy strategies with Kevin (and to come snuggle him to sleep)
  • This one book Neil has noticed Andrew reading lately is one that he’s seen him read before and the title looks familiar:
    • It’s Harry Potter

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3

Every Part of You 


Chapter 1

Her dark tangled hair was plastered to her face, sticking in strings to her damp skin as her barefeet smacked loudly against the wet pavement. The night was cold, frigid across her heavily exposed flesh as the rain seemingly pelted down harder the further she walked out of town. She almost couldn’t tell if the wetness streaming down her cheeks was the rain itself or the tears that she hadn’t stopped crying all night. Puffs of her warm breath billowed out past her lips and her arms were crossed tight over her chest as she struggled to keep her old worn handbag slung over her shoulder. The strap was ripped, the seams barely hanging on but it was the only one she owned and she carried it with her everywhere, never letting it out of her sight.

She could hear police sirens going off in the distance behind her, the sound making her eyes go wide with fear and her body tense between its constant shivers. Lifting her fingers, she went to wipe away at the few tears that were slipping down her cheek and a small hiss pushed from her tired lungs as her fingertips came in contact with a deep cut that laid across the apple of her cheek. She glanced down, her one eye overly swollen and struggling to focus on the tinge of red that covered the pads of her fingers before she burst out another low cry and desperately tried to unstick the hair from her slippery wet forehead.

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G R E E N  L I G H T is for the sacrificial party-goer, with neon in their veins and recklessness on their lips they surrender to the noise, heart/drum beat in time, with mascara smudged and fishnets already ripped, they are a chaotic twirling beacon of hope, pulsing with the glow that comes from transcending human emotion. here there is no pain, here is where the party begins.

S O B E R is the national anthem of a lost kingdom ruled by girls with confetti crowns and boys with lipstick smeared cheekbones, where it’s always midnight and laughter cracks like thunder, it’s chipped nail varnish and singing along to a song you’ve never heard, lit fireworks crackling in your ribcage and bathroom floors, the smell of tarmac and city lights blurring into blinding light and the closest you ever get to religion

H O M E M A D E  D Y N A M I T E  is for the revolutionaries, with glitter like war paint and leather battle gear, it’s someone else’s drink in your hair and on your lips, shooting stars and smoke on the horizon, its a mouth overflowing with unforgiving teeth and a girl who sways like a bonfire, anger to the point of apathy and laughing until you cry, throwing your arms wide and screaming at the stars to swallow you whole

T H E  L O U V R E  is a handful of blurry polaroids from a pink summer when you thought the sky stretched on forever, crumpled bed sheets and kitchen counters at 2am, it is drowning in a sea of strangers without putting up a fight, the rotting smell of dying flowers and handwritten love letters, the sound of violin and cracked stained glass panels, it is the golden artificial glow of a naked lightbulb and hands stitched into your hair, white on white on white and watercolour nostalgia in three shades of lilac

L I A B I L I T Y is like a bird with broken wings, staying awake until the sun starts to rise, all pale skies and the ground damp with dew, it’s the drop of your stomach just before a fall, thin cotton against your skin and warm hazy hours of almost-sleep that seep together into evenings in flickering television light, scratched records listened to anyway, and the ritualistic waltz of everyday life, beating on with or without you

H A R D  F E E L I N G S is an abandoned house, with the table still laid for a breakfast, the key in the lock, the portrait of two people immortally framed in a perfectly symmetrical pattern of every day objects and  L O V E L E S S is the bubblegum perfume spritz spirit who lives there, between her books and half-finished poetry and his now cold cup of coffee, dancing alone in the hallway, lips like petals and heart like marble

S O B E R I I ( M E L O D R A M A ) happens behind the closed doors of the church, exposed necks like altars, hips like pews, hundreds of sparkling stained glass eyes and teeth like tombstones, a whole generation brought to its knees with the weight of its future, its the vibration of discordant piano, the glint on rubies on necks, the promise of something bigger than all of this, a fleeting taste of forever 

W R I T E R  I N  T H E  D A R K  is the roses growing up a building, vines curling into stone, playing god for one moment, a full deck of tarot cards, inky starless skies and the inability to let go, it is the process of prying yourself apart from a lover, tearing skin from skin, rearranging bones, the interlocked cages of your ribs and his, it is performance with no audience, it’s ‘i can’t live without you’ and ‘but i will, i will, will’

S U P E R C U T is dangling your feet into nostalgia, the whole world through rose-tinted sunglasses or a camera lens and the sky melting into itself in reds and pinks and oranges - as if the horizon were on fire, its 5am rooftop conversations and scuffed trainers on dashboards and long train rides, tall grass and flavoured lipgloss, it’s seeing their face in every crowd, echoes of their voice in every song, swimming in your clothes and dripping wet hair, it is collecting every beautiful moment and decorating your mind with them until you can’t move in there, like a room full of antiques

L I A B I L I T Y  ( R E P R I S E ) is a turning point, a certain sunrise, a certain car ride, life in a beautiful light, it’s the moment you realise you are not a sad story, it is years ahead of you still unwritten, smiles on lips of people you haven’t even met yet, it is harmonies and abstract paintings with slashes of colour in the black and the crescendo of birdsong, it is glittering dustmotes in sunlight and watching the city from far away, it’s not today, but it is soon, a sunlight soaked summer afternoon years from now when all of this seems so small

P E R F E C T  P L A C E S is where time stands still, is how we keep the morning at bay, it’s an almost evangelic escapism, shedding skins like clothes, spilling feelings like drinks, it is a moment of quiet found between the clouds, it is the bass in the base of your spine, it’s terrifying and temporary and fragile and beautiful because it can never last, it’s the birth of a new world, it’s worship of potential, it is running, running, running into that sunrise with arms and eyes open wide

Always You- Kili (Part Three)

Pairing: Kili/OC

Prompt: sango-hentaitenshi asked:
Can I request a Kili x Reader where Kili thinks she’s into Fili and it takes someone pointing it out to him that it’s KILI the reader is really crazy for? Bonus points if Fili knows this and uses it to wind Kili up and flirts hella hard with Reader. Thank you!

A/N: Last part! Eek!

Part One  Part Two


I had known there was an entire world beyond my front door, but never had I imagined a place as beautiful as Rivendell. The word paradise had come to mind the moment we had stepped out from the cliffs to see the city waiting below us. Waterfalls, trees that twisted toward the sky, lush gardens, buildings beautifully crafted from stone. Almost as beautiful as the elves who resided there.

I sat curled up on the stone floor, my back resting against the wicker chair Kili was lounging on. The warg riders felt like a distant nightmare, now that I was safe and fed. 

“There’s part of me that wishes I could stay here forever.” I admitted, glancing up at Kili.

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Wings (p)

prologue; part one; part two;


WARNING! THIS SERIES WILL HAVE MATURE THEMES SUCH AS DEATH, SUICIDE AND DEPRESSION! DO NOT READ IF YOU FEEL LIKE THESE THEMES MAY TRIGGER YOU!


You knew you should have felt something but everything was just numb. Your brother was gone, your heart crushed but still you felt nothing: no anger that he had died, no sadness that you were all alone, just emptiness. There wasn’t even an ounce of fear as you stood on the edge of the roof of your twelve-story apartment building, staring down at the streets below with a blank gaze.

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Orders

Thomas Shelby x Reader

Summary: You disobeyed Thomas Shelby. He’s here to make sure you never do again.

Word Count: 1110

Warnings: N/A

A/N: I enjoy a slightly irritated Thomas Shelby bursting in.


It wasn’t the first time Thomas Shelby had called on you. You were, after all, a childhood friend. Though, by the looks of your very different upbringings, it was strange to some folks. It wasn’t until you’d blossomed into a young woman that things had changed for you and the leader of the Peaky Blinders.

Your parents made sure you were well educated, well versed, and well mannered. Your mother had given you little time to spend with the ambitious young Birmingham man. It was a few years before the two of you spotted each other at the Cheltenham races.

From there, you’d found yourself in an alliance with Thomas. You helped him train his racehorse and any other small side jobs that didn’t put you in much danger. Your most recent was persuading a certain Mr. Kimber. It had been a nasty job that had almost cost you your skirts and what innocence you maintained.

Your orders were to meet Thomas after the meeting, but you’d opted for a hot bath instead. Your legs were sore and your head throbbed. This was the first time you’d felt like the situation was out of your control. That scared you.

You leaned your head back against the brim of the tub. Your eyes closed in tranquility. You hadn’t been this sore in a while. You were lucky to have escaped Kimber’s without a mark, but he’d almost had you up against that billiard table.

You had left that nightmare behind. All was silent. The rose petals in the water were still except for those stuck to your legs acting like tugboats as the water pulled at them. You inhaled the fragrance and settled deeper into the warmth.

He entered with a crash and a silver plate of fresh soaps toppled over. All but your heart was still. It beat wildly like a cardinal fluttering in a brass cage. You didn’t open your eyes. You didn’t dare see his wrath.

“WHAT KIND OF FUCKING STUNT WAS THAT?”

You opened your eyes. Stoic and cool, you stared at the man in the ashen tweed three-piece. He was staring at you with flames in his eyes and his blade-ridden cap pointed toward your bedroom. You knew what he meant. Any other human would have feared for their life under that gaze, but you didn’t flinch.

“I wanted a bath.”

For just a moment, you thought that face made of stone would curl into a snarl, but nothing happened. He just stood there staring at you. This must have been the clam before the storm, but you were confident in your capabilities to withstand it.

“I told you to meet me at the Garrison. You had orders, (Y/N).” You crooked a brow. A smile twitched the corner of your lips. “You aren’t my goddamn boss, Thomas Shelby.” You stared up at him. “You don’t own me, Tommy!” Your voice gradually rising with the fire in your chest.

His eyes narrowed on you. He took a step toward you and took a hand out of his pocket. His finger pointing straight at you,” You’re bloody lucky I don’t own you. I’d have you strung up. I’d kill you!”

You laughed. You stood up, your arms held out, making yourself a target. “Well, come on Thomas fucking Shelby. I’m not scared of you. Try and intimidate me. Couldn’t do it before war and you certainly can’t do it now.” You were perhaps the only woman who wasn’t a Shelby that could stand up to an angry Thomas Shelby, and naked no less.

It took all of him not to look down at your body. You had been a tease and a temptress since you were twelve. It took all of him not to forgive you right there and ravish you. “Stop.” His voice was hard. You weren’t taking that for an answer.

You walked right up to him, rose petals stuck on your wet skin. You held his eyes,” Fucking make me.” Thomas abandoned his principles. He’d deny you broke him. He’d deny you caused him to abandon the plan to lecture you.

His rough, calloused hands took your soft cheeks and pulled you to him. His lips were softer than you’d imagined or remembered for that matter. This kiss was rougher that it had been so long ago, but there was a ravenous craving behind it.

It was a messy kiss, one that had your teeth clink together like celebratory glasses. It felt like being fourteen again. Your lungs burned and finally you pushed him back. “Fuck you, Tommy!” You feigned irritation.

His lips turned up into that smirk. He was lace trimmed danger and even you knew that. You swallowed the dryness in your threat. He brought his hand up to brush his thumbs across your lips. You swatted it away. “You would like to do that, wouldn’t you (Y/N)?”

You slapped him. He swiped a hand over his stinging jaw. There wasn’t a woman on earth who had the gull to hit a Shelby. The world held a shaky breath to see what Thomas would do next. He grabbed your wrist and pulled you back to his already wet suit.

He looked down at you,” I’ll take that as a yes.” You ripped your wrist away from his hand,” You’re daft Tommy. That’s a no if ever I saw one.” He smiled at you. It was one that you hadn’t seen Tommy wear in a long time. It was warm. “You can’t lie to me.”

You moved your eyes away from him. You focused yourself on the window. His thumb traced along your chin,” Do I need to say it first?” Your stomach tingled with curiosity. You looked back at him. “I want you, (Y/N). If any man ever puts his hands on you the way I want to, it’ll be the end of him.”

You laughed at the irony. “Are you going to kill Kimber then?” Tommy’s eyes hardened. His smile returned to that taught carved marble. “Did he fucking touch you?” You were surprised he hadn’t suspected. “He almost got what he wanted, but I’m not so easily won.” You could tell he wasn’t sure what to do with this information. A part of him wanted to skin Kimber alive right now, the other wanted to kiss every inch of skin on you.

“This is why we follow orders, (Y/N).” He pressed his lips to your forehead. You inhaled his scent of smoke and whisky. “When have I ever followed orders?” He smirked, his hands cupping your bare bottom and pulling you up. “Perhaps I’ll have to teach you why you should.”

Another ToG fic for my overwhelmingly ACOTAR blog! 

If you’d like to see more I have a masterlist you can check out! 

***

She was home.

She was still broken, still fighting, but at least she was home.

As she stood on the balcony of her childhood palace in Orynth, thin sheath swirling around her in the breeze and hair loose on her face, she didn’t know whether the snow and pine she could smell was from the mountains in the distance or her mate beside her.

“Fireheart,” He said soothingly.

“I know.” She choked. “I can’t, Rowan. I can’t think. I can’t do it, I can’t punish Aedion for this. He’s hurting. He didn’t mean to. Gods, why did Chaol demand this? What right does he have-”

“He is the Hand of the King, and although I disagree with his decision to call for a punishment, it is within his right to do so. If someone attacked you like that, I would have done the same.”

Aelin cringed at his words. Rowan claimed he would do the same, but Aelin knew he would not. No, Rowan would have justly dealt with the problem there, rather than inciting the fury of those around him. Now, not only where the people scared for the war, but they were scared that the Crown was too unstable to handle the aftermath.

Her mind kept replaying the scene in her head. The bustling crowd, the sound of Dorian’s nose as Aedion broke it, the screams as people ran from the blood, Chaol bellowing that Aedion needed to be reprimanded for touching the rightful King of Adarlan.

“If it is any consolation, I don’t believe Chaol was thinking straight when he called for the council to give a formal punishment.”

“But it’s not the council who has to decide,” she sobbed.

Aelin had scarcely been home. After Rowan and the others had saved her, and subsequently defeated Maeve, she had been welcomed into Orynth. After all, she gave them their army, and they never even knew she had been gone. That was a story she would share after the defeat of Erawan – right now she needed their full trust and revealing it had been a shapeshifter in her place for so long would definitely work against her.

It was so much so quickly. Aedion was not someone she could control her emotions around, and she suspected that if her mate hadn’t gathered her in his arms after her first sob, then she would be on her knees uncontrollably upset.

She clutched at Rowan’s shirt and pressed her face into his warm chest.

“Talk to Aedion, Fireheart. I can come with you, if that’s what you want. His punishment won’t be a grave one, it can’t be even if Chaol and Dorian wanted it with all their hearts.”

Aelin sniffled and rose her head. She was hit with the full gaze of his green eyes, and his look alone gave her the strength to stand on her two feet again. “I’ll deal with Aedion.” She breathed. “You should check on Gavriel. I don’t want any slit throats over this, and I worry for anyone who threatens his son.”

Rowan’s hands were tight around his waist, and before he let her go he pulled her in closer and kissed her. It wasn’t frantic, like their kisses had been when he’d found her, but they also weren’t the kisses a content husband and wife might have. It was the grey in between. Just enough for her to be satisfied for now, but never enough for long.

_____

Aelin dressed in clothes more appropriate for public, and wandered down to the cells where Aedion was being mandatorily kept. It had not been her choice, she had nearly rioted when they took her cousin from her, but it was decided by the lords.

It was cold in the tunnels. The cold of the night had infiltrated the space and left it so chill that every bone in her body was rattling. Aelin hated that she was cold. Hated that she couldn’t warm their home. But her magic was depleted and healing, and Rowan assured her that these things would take time, and she needed to be at her best for when they face Erawan. She knew he was correct, the buzzard usually is, but it still cut her when she saw Aedion curled on the gritty stone floor of his cell.

“Don’t look at me like that. I’ve survived much worse.” As Aedion spoke, Aelin could see the air turn frosty from his breath.

“You shouldn’t be here in the first place. None of this should have happened.”

Aedion smirked at his cousin, and sat up. He crossed his legs and leant back on his hands. “Tell me, Aelin, and what should have happened instead? The prince was out of line-”

King, Aedion. Dorian is a king and you should address him as so. I don’t agree with you being here, but your actions today were disrespectful and detrimental to our cause.”

“Pfft. Poor Dorian. Did he get some dirt on his precious hands? Maybe not having a hair stylist with him at all times is affecting him more than we originally thought.”

Aedion Ashryver!”

“Don’t use that tone with me, your majesty. This is all just a ruse anyway. Do you really think I believe there will be any sort of consequences for my actions? Hurting me would affect any Terrasian more than the precious prince. I was here, Aelin, all those years caring for our country, and not a single person here doesn’t know it. The Havilliards are pure evil. What they have done to us, to our family-”

“This needs to stop! You can’t keep taking your political frustrations out on Dorian when it was his father-”

“I know Dorian a hell of a lot better than you do, Aelin.” Aedion snarled.

“That is not at all true! If I didn’t think that he was different, that he was good, do you really think I would help him regain his throne in any way?”

“You seem to forget that I knew him for years before Celaena ever did. The only time you ever knew him was when he was either using you to regain his crown or when he was trying to get you into bed.”

Aelin banged her hands on the iron bars of his cell in frustration. “I thought we were past this Aedion! I thought after I was gone-”

“Gone? Gone?! You weren’t gone Aelin, you were taken. You sacrificed yourself, and didn’t even have the decency to tell us. Don’t you think I would have liked to have known that the only family I have left was going to do that to herself? Or that the only reason the woman I love would ever touch me is because you whored her out? What about Rowan? Do you really think that he would’ve ever recovered from losing you? Have you ever thought about someone other than yourself?” Aedion jumped up and met her at the bars. His lip was pulled back and teeth bared in an animalistic show of anger.

Looking at her cousin, at his obvious pain and suffering… Aelin understood now. Understood that his anger at Dorian wasn’t anger at the king at all. Her eyes stung, and she couldn’t help the tears that fell.

She reached a hand through the bars and soothed back his hair – tucking it behind his ears. His brows furrowed at her touch, and his mouth went slack.

“I’m sorry.” Aelin whispered. “I never wanted to hurt you. I love you so much.”

With one hand Aedion held the hand on his face, linking their fingers and squeezing. With his other, he, too, reached through the bars so he could wipe away her tears.

“Please don’t cry Aelin.” Her tears were making some of his own appear.

“This is all my fault, and I know that now. But Aedion, please, you must stop taking it out on the people around us. I know I’ve hurt you in irreconcilable ways, and I will never forgive myself for the pain I’ve caused you, but this is a time when we all need to come together. I know you and Dorian have had your differences in the past, and it needs to stop. He is a changed man,” a smile appeared on her face, “he’s no longer the fine lady we knew as a child.” She laughed lightly, but it was interrupted by a sob.

Aedion pulled her forward, as much as he could with the iron between them, and gave her the closest thing to a hug he could.

“Whatever happens tomorrow, my fiery cousin, I know that you are doing it for our people, and that your punishment will be just. I love you too. Even if you are stubborn as a mule.”

_____

Aelin stood on a podium in front of a crowd of hundreds, excluding the Bane that had also gathered. There were civilians and nobles making up the brunt of the crowd, all curious as to what the lost queen would do to Wolf of the North.

On her left was Rowan standing tall and proud. Now that she was here, actually her and not just Lysandra in her skin, they had announced their marriage properly, and much to the disdain of some of the lords of Terrasen. Aelin refused to hide her love for him, as she refused to hide her love for anybody. Not now. Not anymore. Not ever.

On her right was Dorian and Chaol. Somewhere, hidden among the crowd, Aelin was sure Manon and her Thirteen were stalking around. Where Dorian was, it seemed the witch always followed.  

Chaol had the nerve to look nervous. The night just passed Rowan had spent an hour convincing her as to why she shouldn’t be mad with him, and eventually she had let her anger at him go. Thank the Gods she had Rowan to keep her grounded.

She may not be mad at him, but she still didn’t think he had the right to be nervous about an event he orchestrated.

“After an incident yesterday involving the General and the rightful king to the throne of Adarlan, I am here to bestow his punishment.” Aelin started her speech.

The rustling crowd grew silent, all wide eyed and focused on their future queen.

“Aedion Ashryver is a hero to this country. Even in the direst of times, the darkest of our days, he did everything in his power to defend our people against the tyranny of the late king. Without his efforts in the rebellion, an unspeakable amount of lives would have been lost.”

There was confusion surrounding her speech. It did not sound like a declamation for a man who was going to be penalised.

“But.” Aelin turned towards Dorian and held out her hand. He took it unwaveringly and stepped closer to her side. “Dorian Havilliard deserves respect as much as Aedion does. His Majesty fights bravely not just for his own country but also for ours. He is not his father, and he will help us win this war.” Aelin bowed her head to Dorian and released his hand. “That is why there must be retribution for his actions.” It killed her to say it, but she also believed in her words. No more lying – not from her.

“For attacking the king of Adarlan unfairly, I hereby decree that Aedion Ashryver forfeit his landholdings in Adarlan to the king to use for whatever purposes he seems fit. That is all.”

Aelin spun on her heels, making her green dress flow around her elegantly as she strode away from the platform. Rowan was instantly at her side and offered his elbow as they went down the stairs that led to an entrance to the palace behind them.

The others quickly followed.

Once they entered the palace and no one was in hearing distance, Aedion grabbed Aelin’s elbow and spun her to look at him. “You do realise I don’t own any land in Adarlan, right?”

Aelin scoffed. “Of course I know that. Good thing is, they don’t. Problem solved.”

“Problem not solved!” Chaol shouted. He stormed up to the pair, red faced and seething. “How in any way does this fix anything? Gods Aelin!”

Before Aelin could reply, Dorian swaggered up to them with a wide smirk on his face. “I think it was quite genius.”

Chaol turned to his best friend, utter disbelief written on his face. Dorian’s smirk did not falter though. Looking at Dorian, you would never have known that the previous day he’d had his nose broken. Between Rowan’s healing magic and Dorian’s, the bone had healed and not even a bruise was left behind.

“This way the public knows that we stand as a united front, but also as people who do not see each other as being above the law. It humanises us. It also means that any internal conflicts we have with each other won’t fester as much as it would otherwise.” Dorian turned his blue gaze on Aedion. Surprisingly, the two did not glare at each other. “Past aside, you are my friend Aedion Ashryver. And I will prove to you that I’m not my father.”

Aedion hung his head and shook it. “You have. Many times over. It is I who needs to change my attitude.”

Rowan came up behind Aelin and wrapped his arms around her waist. He rested his chin on her head and she held onto his arms.

Progress. They would need to act as one to defeat Erawan, and it seemed they were heading in the right direction.

Years Lost

Just throwing this in here before someone beats me to it.


“One… two… three… four…”

He’d had a routine for the past thirteen years.

“Five… six… seven… eight…”

Get up, brush teeth, jog ten miles, do pull ups, sit ups, squats, curl the heaviest stone available, bench the heaviest log he could find, and wrestle the nearest monster. Repeat twice, and chase the nearest Heckapoo clone.

“Nine… ten… eleven… twe-twelve…”

It had been more difficult that he thought it’d be to keep up the routine.

“thirteen… four… teeeen…”

His body wasn’t what his mind told him it should be.

“Fif-hah-fifteen… sixteen…”

In an instant, he’d lost sixteen years of progress.

“Seventeen… eighteen…”

His beloved dragoncycle.

“Nine-! Nine-! Come on Diaz!”

All he had was his memories.

“Nine…. Teeeen…!”

And his dimensional scissors.

“Twenty!”

Marco Diaz let himself fall to the ground, glaring spitefully at the pull up bar before glancing at the clock.

“Twenty pull ups in five minutes.”

He’d lost a lot by returning to Earth, he’d be lying if he said he didn’t miss the adventure of it all. In those eight minutes he’d become everything he’d ever wanted to be and more.

But this time around, he was different.

He could still wield his sword, even if it felt heavier than it’d had in years. He remembered his skills in combat, even if he felt he was moving at a snail’s pace. At age fourteen, he had sixteen years of experience in war, espionage, swordplay, and, thanks to a certain candle-headed demon (?), flirting.

He’d made a lot of mistakes in his training he wouldn’t make this time around.

His glare turned into a confident smirk.

It’d taken him ten years to do two hundred pull ups in ten minutes.

This time next year, it’s be three hundred in five.

“Welp, time for the right arm! One… two… three…”


Omake

“… and so, yeah, Marco’s technically thirty now.”

Jackie Lynn Thomas and Janna stared at Star, gaping like fish out of water.

It was a full minute before Janna broke the silence.

“And you didn’t take pictures!?”

“Wha!? Janna! I had more pressing matters than pictures! Like, “who’s the guy with the eight pack that’s hugging me?”!”

“Eight pack?” squeaked Janna, practically burning through her beanie, “Pictures should have been the first thing on your mind!”

“Oh come on! Jackie, back me up here.”

She stayed silent.

“Jackie?”

“I’d have liked pictures.”

Artemis is strength.

She is muscles aching and feet rough with calluses hitting the ground. She is nimble fingers pulling brambles off clothing despite the sting. She is deep breaths, hands clasping branches, toes curling around riverbed stones, glares that say I don’t care, I’m doing it anyway. She is the untamed. The primal.

The hidden.

She is dirt under fingernails, blood under bandages, lips pressed against each other in defiance. She is clenched teeth and swallowed tears. She is knees curled up against guts, heart and lungs to stifle their aching. She is masks of bark and twigs, carefully sewed to hide the pounding veins within. She is steps in the darkness, ears that make every rustle into a predator, and legs that go on anyway. She is survival. She is roots gripping the earth, rabbits venturing from their burrows despite the rain. She is not fearless. But she is stubborn.

She is an overturned stomach, sweaty palms and the echo of a voice that says I don’t care, I’m doing it anyway.

Artemis is quiet strength, like a deer darting out of sight.