defense falls back

Requiem for a House Plant

Written for @leiascully‘s XFWritingChallenge: cultivation. 

She told him once that if house plants were members of the syndicate he could save them from colonization single-handedly. It’s true. He kills them with abandon, aloe vera, spider plants, rubber plants, you name it, they wilt and brown and fade.

           “I think you care too much,” she says, laughing as he bins the latest casualty. “Your empathy is overwhelming at times and these plants are sensitive.”

           He knows he’s pouting. “You said this one was impossible to kill. We were only away four days.”

           “Perhaps we should get you a high maintenance plant. Your perversity should provide it with amazingly high survival odds.”

           “You’re pretty smug for someone who let three of my fish die not so very long ago, Scully.”

“They were old. And the air in your apartment is always so…”

He looks up then, waiting for the word she’s going to choose. An earlier version of Scully wouldn’t have hesitated.

“Dry?” she says, trying it out on her tongue.

He can take that. “They were in the bloom of youth, Scully. You just forgot to feed them, and you didn’t even have the decency to admit it.”

She folds her arms. Her fall-back defensive posture. He’s waiting for the eyebrow and the lip pressing. And then he’ll lay himself open for her acerbic tongue.

“You did ditch me. Again,” she starts. She juts out her chin, licks her lips. Here we go, he thinks. He says, she says. He’s ready, though. Their banter has been freer recently, flirtier. She smiles more. He loves it.

But her shoulders drop and her hand falls to her hip. Her fingers squeeze the bone through her skirt. “You’re right, Mulder,” she says, her voice rasping. “I should have told you. And I am sorry about your plant.”

Her hair falls in front of her face and for a moment, Mulder is confused. Is she serious or is she playing him? He waits a beat. She lifts her head and sniffs. She’s crying. She pulls at the ends of her jacket and then rubs a finger under her nose.

“God, Mulder. I don’t know why I’m being so silly about this. It’s a plant.”

He moves towards her, grazing her shoulders and upper arms. “What’s wrong, Scully? You’re scaring me.”

“It’s nothing. Nothing, really. I just feel a bit down. It’s the travel, probably. Too much time cooped up in cars and airplane cabins. I’ll be fine.”

He nods and breathes out. In his chest, relief mixes with uncertainty. She has always been private; is still private now, even with the change in their lives. Their years together, the things that have happened to them, to her, he can’t help but fear she’s hiding something. Not just from him, but hiding the truth of a matter from herself. Not deliberately. He knows she likes to weigh and measure before drawing a conclusion.

He bends to kiss her cheek and she pulls him closer, pressing her mouth to his. The newness of their relationship makes moments like these, where she hasn’t been able to prepare, all the more special.

Intensity isn’t anywhere near close to describing what he feels when she opens herself up to him. Unlike his luck with plants, he likes to think that she has bloomed under his care. She is roots and leaves and buds and flowers.  

They deepen their kiss and when they pull apart, they are both breathless and flushed.

She smiles up at him, surprised perhaps by the ferocity of her need. She’s like that, Scully. She sometimes forgets that she is as human as the next woman. Perhaps she has spent too much time detecting, detaching and dissecting to remember.

She blows out a hoarse breath and wipes away the customary single tear with the heel of her hand. “I’m really out of sorts. I think it must be nearly that time of the month, Mulder. I’m sorry.”

He grips her shoulders. “Hey, never apologise for doing that, Scully. Kissing you, being with you like this, it’s like nothing I ever expected but everything I always knew.”

Fresh tears spill and she collapses against him. He rubs the back of her head.

“I…I’m not saying this right, but whatever this audit throws up tomorrow, I just want you to know that with or without the X-Files, we’ll go on. We’ve grown too much to waste it now.”

At The End of the Day (RebelCaptain Appreciation Week Day 2)

Happy RebelCaptain Appreciation Week! (Now I’m on the correct day.) Thank you again to @therebelcaptainnetwork and @rebelcaptainprompts for this :)

Day 2 Prompt: Comfort

Summary: The Battle of Endor is finished, and the Death Star II is destroyed; all Cassian Andor wants to do is find Jyn Erso among the chaos. 

Words: 1268

AO3 /  Below the Cut!

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Pure Laughter

flip flappers was hands down best anime of 2016

anyway tickle fight between girlfriends

Sniff sniff sniff.

Cocona sighs as her concentration is once again broken by Papika’s nose nuzzling her ear, and she looks up from her math worksheet to face the girl who’s been clinging to her all afternoon. Papika doesn’t even flinch back as her head turns, resulting in their noses practically touching as Cocona meets sparkling blue eyes with a stern glare.

“Seriously, Papika, stop that. I’m trying to focus.”

“But you smell so nice today!” Papika beams, and promptly begins rubbing her face in Cocona’s hair as if to prove it. She’s been in a cuddly mood all day, and while earlier, Cocona was more than happy to oblige her girlfriend, right now, she really just wants to catch up on her studies.

“Yes, so you’ve told me,” Cocona says, gently pushing Papika away. “And you can smell me all you want after I’ve finished my problem set, okay?”

Papika pouts slightly but nods, crawling backwards until she’s a good meter away. Cocona, satisfied, makes use of the new space to stretch her arms above her head and then return to her work. But before Cocona can so much as even grab her pencil again, she’s unceremoniously tackled from behind, strong arms curling around her waist as Papika’s telltale giggles resound in her ears.

Oh, forget the worksheet. Cocona wasn’t actually getting anywhere anyway.

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________Felucia- 1 month before order 66________

Padawan Commander Ahsoka Tano stared out from the gunship as it grazed past the exotic landscape of Felucia. It was a beautiful, but very dangerous planet. And the Republic needed to claim it as theirs once again. Anakin Skywalker, her master of now nearly three years stood off to her left, intently discussing the upcoming battle with his clone captain. Rex’s helmeted head bobbed up and down slightly as he talked with Anakin, and he swayed almost gracefully with the movements of the gunship as he held onto the grip above his head.

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part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4 | part 5

Imayoshi series and 2.5k collection
A/N: man this really put me in a good mood

If someone had told you months ago that you would be holding hands with Imayoshi Shoichi while he tried to avoid children climbing up his legs in a pumpkin patch, you would have blinked in disbelief and burst into laughter. 

Nevertheless, the said man was tugging you towards a stack of pumpkins in an attempt to hide from the preschoolers insisting that your boyfriend was a tree. 

“Are you laughing at me?”

“Yes. Who wouldn’t laugh at Imayoshi Shoichi being lessened to nothing more than part of a playground?” You smile at him as he growls, shaking strands of his hair away from his glasses. 

“Other people think I’m terrifying.” He huffs as he ducks behind a bale of hay heaped with a wide variety of pumpkins. Leaves crunch underfoot as the children run through the rows of vegetables, searching for both the perfect pumpkin to take home and Imayoshi to jump on. 

“I’m sure they do.” You tease. “I, on the other hand, have known you for far too long to be frightened.”

Imayoshi shoots you a grin that implies you should think otherwise right before a preschooler walks around the bale of hay, squeals gleefully, and jumps on him. Your boyfriend barely catches him before the kid nearly crashes on to his lap.

Soon enough, he’s being chased again until the group of parents call out to their kids, rounding them up and thanking Imayoshi for playing with them. You were sure that you saw his eyebrow twitch, giving away his annoyance, before he answered with a polite smile.

“You’re not too bad with kids,” You taunt with a grin. “I wonder what you’d be like if they were-”

You shut your mouth, realizing what was on the tip of your tongue. Imayoshi stops walking, turning his head towards you, eyes darkening.

“What were you about to say?”

Shaking your head, you tug on his arm and make sure that you’re looking at anything but his face. But in that special way of his, he draws your eyes back towards his masked ones.

“You’re Imayoshi Shoichi.” You mutter angrily, frustrated with yourself. “You probably already know what I was about to accidentally say.”

His eyes only gave away that yes, he did know the exact words that were about to tumble out of your mouth. And that you two weren’t ready for that conversation. But nevertheless, he sits down, leaning his back against a particularly large pumpkin and motioning for you to sit down.

The two of you sit in silence, before he cuts through the heavy air with “How long have we known each other?”

“More than ten years. For the majority of our lives.” Your fingers twitch as they automatically find his.

His eyes lower. Imayoshi’s defenses had always been high, and he rarely lowered them. And you weren’t sure why you were one of the only people who saw behind that tall wall of his.

“Why is it that I don’t care about people, but you’re an exception to that?”

“You’re the only one who can answer that, Shoichi.” You reply quietly, knowing that if you proceeded to make a jabbing comment, his defenses would raise in a flash.

He presses his lips against your temple, and you respond with a brush of your mouth against his. Fingers gingerly tangle themselves into hair as he allows himself a weak moment. Taking advantage of it, you straddle his lap as he pulls back for air.

“We’ve known each other so long,” He murmurs. “Maybe that’s why I can’t see a future without you.”

Your eyes widen as you comprehend the meaning of that statement. Imayoshi Shoichi, the one who was scared of love, was thinking of a future with someone. Heartbeats reverberate in your chest as your lips crash into his, hands locking around his neck. His fingers trace your spine, pulling you closer, encouraging you to grind against him, eliciting a moan from both of your mouths until-

“What are you doing?!” The farmer of the field yells out, spitting and looking furious. “Honestly, youth these days!”

Your mouth opens, trying to come with an excuse and realizing that the effort was futile. Imayoshi quickly apologizes before you pull him away from the field, fleeing.

“Told you that you should be scared of me.” His infamous grin flashes across his face as his normal defenses fall back into places.

“You idiot.” The nickname for his rolls off your tongue as he chuckles.