delicious fic


For @aibidil who asked for Draco in Vans and a transfigured Slytherin t-shirt to go with her deliciously wonderful fic, Moldova’s Magical Tea. And a little bit of something extra because the story completely lends itself to painting and I couldn’t help myself!

Read it read it!!


Shields of Distrust [Art Masterpost] 

Title: Shield of Distrust by @ihavetobenkyou
Series: Owari no Seraph
Characters: Hyakuya Mikaela, Hyakuya Yuuichirou, Hyakuya Michirou, minor appearances by others.
Rating: M (Disturbing themes, brief sexual scene, etc.)

Summary: Mikaela had always known to himself that their freedom came at a price.The birth of Michirou gives both Mika and Yuu a renewed chance at redemption and contentment, but as they soon find out, the cost of their cherished happiness might be too much for either of them to bear in the end.

Canon Divergence / Gyumiverse // Hyakuya Michirou, Hiiragi Gyurei, and Ichinose Shiren belong to @califlair and @evenica respectively.


Novel Length | Stony Fic Recs

Long chaptered fics with delicious slow burn and world building. 

Last updated 4/2/2017.

Fics over 50k words.

Just before the events of Iron Man, a baby is left on Tony’s doorstep. He wants nothing to do with it at first, but his time in Afghanistan changes his mind and Tony vows to become a better man for his son’s sake.

Six years ago, without the Avengers Initiative there to save the day, scientist Dr. Eric Selvig sacrificed himself to save the world, the almighty demi-god Thor was lost to a terrible storm, and vigilante Iron Man – spotted with a nuclear weapon trying to take advantage of the situation – was forever labelled an enemy of SHIELD.

This is a comic book office AU, where Steve is defrosted a year too late, Thor has forgotten who he is, and no one knows Tony is Iron Man.

Also includes: office pranks, inappropriate post-it notes, and superheroes who like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain

Steven Rogers never wanted to be king, but he knows his duty, and he does it well. Lord Tony Stark, the king’s appointed consort, does his duty as well, even though he’d enjoy his duty more if it actually involved sleeping with the king. As it doesn’t, he’s just resigned. The war that made Steve king and cost him nearly everything may be over, but a meeting of old enemies might stir up some ghosts none of them are prepared for.

Steve Rogers has plenty of friends. He just doesn’t know two of them are the same man.

That’s just how Tony Stark/Iron Man likes it. Until he comes to regret it.

And Tony realizes that working out who the Winter Soldier used to be and who he is now are two entirely different things.

Soulmates have their first words to each other written on their wrists. This should make it easy. For Steve and Tony, it is anything but. Steve’s problem is that the future he has awoken into is nothing he was ever expecting: he has a soulmate now. Who might be a robot. And if his soulmate is Iron Man, how can he be so attracted to Tony Stark? It should be impossible. Tony’s problem is that he is Iron Man, his soulmate is a man whom he in no way deserves, and he is going to fight everything in his heart and do his best to make sure Steve never, ever finds out the whole truth.

A visit from a Reed Richards from a parallel world convinces Tony and Steve that they must do whatever they can to prevent their world from falling into Civil War. They can save the world…but at what cost to themselves?

After a tragic accident, Steve is given a chance to go back in time and deliver a warning to Tony in the hope of avoiding their fate. Something’s gone wrong, though, because this is not his world he’s ended up in. And that is definitely not his Tony who’s planning to delete his own brain.

Sometimes your second chance isn’t at all what you were expecting.

Where Steve doesn’t quite die, ends up stranded in the multiverse and would quite like to know how the hell so many versions of himself ended up sleeping with Tony Stark. Well, that’s going to make things a tad awkward when he gets home.

Age of Ultron-based, but not entirely canon compliant. Written for the 2013 Cap-Iron Man Reverse Big Bang. Ultron has attacked, obliterating most of the world’s superheroes and resistance in a matter of hours. The remaining heroes band together and share what strength they have to get through it, to survive, and defeat Ultron once and for all. Steve Rogers grieves in the wake of the disaster and the heroes’ defeat, and no one knows if he will be able to provide the leadership they need–but Tony Stark isn’t about to let him slip away that easily.

When Tony and Steve’s son from the future, Jake Jensen, arrives at Avenger’s Tower, the two of them are forced to confront some hard truths: Tony that he might not actually become a horrible father, and Steve that he might not be able to set aside his discomfort with sharing a child with another man. When they both get a second chance at a first try at fatherhood, it’s up to the two of them to learn from their own future’s past.

Tony Stark spent his childhood making weapons, filling the hole his father left in the world when he succumbed to alcohol, grief, and his own demons. At the age of fifteen, he ran away from home, and made it as far as MIT before all of his responsibilities caught up to him. Now seventeen, he just wants to finish his degree and escape from everything connected to the Stark name.

Steve Rogers crashed into the icy North Atlantic in the 1940’s, sacrificing himself to save the world. He never expected to wake up, and now that he has, he’s not sure he’s glad. The US Army has other plans for him, but for now, Steve is slowly learning to live life in the 21st century, and taking classes at Boston College. He’s beginning to suspect that there is no escape.

Boston College is on the T’s Green Line. MIT is on the Red. The two lines meet at the Park Street Station, and so will Steve and Tony.

Tony goes to see Wanda, and suddenly Steve is alive and there are Skrulls! Or maybe Tony is just going crazy. Nothing happens in this fic, until the very end. Seriously. There’s a lot of talking, mostly at inopportune moments, Tony’s views on the acceptable gifts to give people are slightly different from everyone else’s and he spends more time than would seem necessary being (half-)naked. What else is new?

When Captain Steve Rogers wakes from an injury-induced coma, a lot has changed in the battle against the Kaiju. There are new Jaegers with new pilots, new advances in the study of the beasts, even new rules in the Shatterdome. It’s starting to seem like they’re finally ready to defeat the monsters once and for all, but first Steve must learn to get along with his new team of pilots. Especially the troublesome Tony Stark, who’s proving to be harder to deal with than the Kaiju problem itself.

A story of recovery. In a world without superheroes, Tony Stark, the disinherited son of a billionaire, goes to Afghanistan as an embedded media star, only to be held hostage for months until he’s rescued. During his recovery, his therapist Doctor Bruce Banner prescribes an unusual treatment; volunteer work at a rehab center. He meets an eclectic assembled group including a vet who thinks he’s Thor, a physical therapist who might be a spy, and an all American hero, Steve Rogers. It is Steve Rogers, the soldier in a coma, who captures his interest and, eventually, his heart.

Fics over 100k words

A series rewriting MCU verse, beginning with an alternate version of Iron Man 2, in which, instead of Natasha, Steve got assigned to help Tony while the genius was slowly dying of Palladium poisoning. Continues there in unfolding Steve’s and Tony’s journey through acceptance, trust, and eventually love.

Steve takes things like personal responsibility and respect seriously. Tony’s got people he pays to take care of that kind of thing, and anyway, he’s pretty sure that he’s going to die of some exotic disease in his workshop, because Dummy’s still a little spotty about what is ‘clean’ enough to put on an open wound. The rest of the Avengers are in this for personal gain, except for Clint, he just enjoys being a dick.And some things shouldn’t be a chore.

Tony Stark is Iron Man.

Before that, he was an man with bigger heart than brain. Before that, he was an asshole with a bigger mouth than sense. And before that, he was was a scared little boy. Not that it matters. Stark’s always have had iron in their backbone.

Tony has been held by Stane since his escape from Afghani terrorists, marked dead in the eyes of the world while Stane is free to use his mind, inventions, and company as he sees fit. Tony feels there’s nothing he can do and has resigned himself to death to save those he loves. That would be when JARVIS lets Captain America stumble into his old lab.

Steve has been wandering Avengers Mansion in the steps of a ghost, seeing empty spaces, and recurring oddities that mean nothing to anyone but him. He doesn’t know who left them, or why the ghost lingers. It isn’t even until he enters a dusty lab that things start to fall into place as he meets Anthony, a computer program named for its creator Anthony Stark.

There were days when the realization that he was someone’s father made Steve’s head hurt, but mostly he was grateful that he could trust his instincts, because apparently Peter was what had been missing from his life. Yes, he still had lingering, unresolved issues from his time in the Army, and sure, he had what Bucky annoyingly referred to as a criminally untapped ass, and no life outside of work and Peter, but Steve was okay with how his life had turned out because of trusting his instincts.

Unfortunately, those same instincts had straight up betrayed him by going absolutely haywire upon being exposed to Tony Stark.

Tony is a King with a surprising number of people out to kill him. Steve and the rest of the Avengers are fighting for Pierce’s rebellion and end up with Tony as their prisoner. Oops.

Basically one of those bodice-ripping romance novels I don’t read (ahem) but with far more gay.

A story of revolution.Captain Steve Rogers is just trying to pay off his debt to SHIELD, carting cargo from the Rim worlds to the Inner Belts in his bucket of bolts ship, the Howling Commando. He keeps a low profile and makes sure his crew is safe and happy. But the universe has a different plan for the once highly decorated Captain of the Honor Guard. The universe drops a Courtesan by the name of Tony Stark into his life. The Captain doesn’t like it, but Bucky convinces him that providing transport to the most elusive Courtesan in the Guild could be their ticket to freedom. His crew from the engineer with anger management issues to the pilot who may be a beautiful but deadly assassin wants him to take the commission. What ends up being a simple commission puts his crew in jeopardy and could change all of humanity, because the Courtesan is not really just a pretty face and the Captain of the Honor Guard can fall in love far too easily with a man of conviction - and Tony Stark is a man of conviction.

  • Newborn series by Ilerre | M | 109k | infidelity, body modification, read all warnings

It all started when they stopped trusting each other.

“Billionaire, genius, engineer, philanthropist, submissive.  Yeah, submissive.  Any questions?”


Yet another BDSM-AU.  

So Jarvis is the one who pulls her up onto her feet, presses a tool into one hand and a book into the other and tells her to create. Tells her that if the numbers and the shapes and images in her mind hurt so bad then she should build them, should give them form so that they can finally leave her alone.

Jarvis is the one who finally teaches her how to breathe.


Toni Stark grows up with the tale of Icarus swirling in the back of her mind. Instead of taking it as a precautionary tale about hubris and overreaching she decides it’s more about the limitations of wax.

Years later when she builds herself wings of her own she makes sure to build them out of better material.

He’s The Captain?

This was not good. This was so not good.

There were theories of course, of what The Captain would look like. Most followed the typical Hollywoodesque belief that he was some version of the Godfather, sitting in a dark room with a cigar, commanding his forces with a flick of his wrist. There were even some that even thought that The Captain was not one person, but a whole network of people with eyes and ears everywhere.

The blonde Adonis in front of him was definitely not what Tony was expecting.

Of course, in the end it didn’t matter.

There was a reason no one knew what The Captain looked like.

Because anyone who saw his face never lived to tell the tale.

  • Sins of Omission by Kiyaar | E | 155k - WIP | dark, torture, skrulls (be warned: this hasn’t been updated since 2013)

A Post-Civil War, Pre-Secret Invasion AU where Steve is dead, Tony’s a mess, and everything sucks.

In which Tony deals poorly with Steve’s death, falls off the wagon, sees ghosts, and misses a lot.

Oh, and the Skrulls are about to invade.

When an experiment goes awry, Tony thinks he may have found an answer to his problems and Steve faces something he’s been avoiding for a very long time.

Two men. Two worlds. Life during wartime. 

When Tony was a prince and Steve was his manservant, they were young and reckless and hopelessly in love. But an attack on Tony’s life convinces Steve that he can’t protect Tony, so he leaves in the dead of night to train until he can. Ten years later, Steve returns to the kingdom a strong and able knight, but his king is both furious and broken-hearted. 

Tony is no stranger to paternity claims from his female conquests, there’s a system in place for them. But when one of the tests actually comes back positive, he makes a rash decision to not tell anyone about it, not even Pepper Potts. All Mary Parker wants is for Tony to spend a little time with their son. Tony has a lot to think about in his life now, how he wants to run his company, how his life is going to change with the arc reactor, and what he’s going to do about his son, Peter. Then, the Avengers Initiative pops up, and in waltzes his childhood hero, and enemy, Captain America.

The adventures of Tony as a mutant; how he learned to accept himself and his subsequent growth into his own. Hijinks ensue.

Delicious Ambiguity

Rey and Kylo Ren repeatedly encounter each other in battle over the years, fighting desperately for the causes that they believe in even as they both grow in strength - and fight off growing curiosity. Yet when Kylo tells Rey that she’s pregnant via the Force, will that affect their interactions? And will it change Kylo irrevocably?

It’s back! Originally posted July 6th, 2016, I am now reposting the fic after my account was hacked and it was removed. 

The first chapter can be found here on FF, and here on AO3. I’ll be posting 1-2 times a week, I think, and there are eight chapters total. Warnings for pregnancy, labor, and a heck-ton of angst and damaged Reylo.

Fic Masterlist


  1. Neighbors/Roommates list
  2. Fake Dating
  3. Daddy!Killian 
  4. celebrity / sport / otherwise famous CS au fics
  5. actors 
  6. badass cop!Killian
  7. Best Friends to Lovers
  8. Soulmates
  9. history AUs 
  10. divorced list
  11. exes fics
  12. Angsty list
  13. Captain Duckling 
  14. High School AU
  15. Lyrics in fics
  16. Fluffy fics
  17. CS Hogwarts AU list 
  18. hurt/comfort fics
  19. Captain Wench list 
  20. wild west
  21. Liam, Killian, and Emma
  22. demon/devil!Killian
  23. saved from an abusive relationship
  24. (Post) Apocalypse AUs
  25. Tattoo AU 
  26. Pining
  27. Secret Dating 
  28. insecurities and reassurance
  29. Adorable fics with dogs 
  30. dancer/stripper
  31. Pregnancy
  32. teacher!killian
  33. matchmaker Henry
  34. cs + Jealous
  35. Adoption Fics
  36. Long Distance
  37. Lieutenant Duckling
  38. Babysitter!Killian
  39. Sci-fi 
  40. Deckhand!Hook
  41. College AU
  42. Vacation AU
  43. Priest Killian Masterlist made by @cslibrary
  44. swan lake aus 
  45. Emma x Neal for the majority of the fic 
  46. Cooking fics
  47. Killian is Emma’s boss
  48. Hades and Persephone au’s
  49. enemies to lovers

Smut *NEW*

Want to read something but you don’t know what?*NEW*

excellent, mostly long mcs, complete or active

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Canon & Canon Divergence

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Angst reviews

[Darkwing Duck] How we Roll

Apparently we needed 2,330 words of Darkwing Duck family feels fluff involving sushi today.

“Launchpad!” Drake grinned at his partner in delight. “I didn’t know you could use chopsticks!” 

“Oh yeah.” Launchpad deftly dropped a piece of crab sushi into his mouth with his chopsticks, taking a quick second to chew and swallow before speaking again. “Went around the world with Mr. McD and the kids, picked up a few things along the way. Kind of had to, Mr. McD is a stickler for table manners, especially when it comes to meal time negotiations.”

He went to grab another pieces and it slipped, falling out of his chopsticks. The chopsticks quickly followed, one falling off the table and rolling on to the floor. “Course, I tend to crash them too.” Launchpad chuckled ruefully, then picked up a piece of salmon nigiri. “To be honest, I’m better at eating sushi with my fingers.”

If that was the only thing Launchpad crashed tonight, Drake would count it as getting off lightly.

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Chapter 12:

On the North side of the Long Lake sat a tiny used-to-be tourist town named Erebor. The town was once a popular vacation spot with its many tourist attractions, chiefly, the myth about Smaug: the lake-dwelling sea monster that was rumored to live in the large lake. Now in the 21st Century, Erebor is struggling to survive with only a handful of people passing through during peak season. Management of Tourism for Erebor now lands in the lap of Thorin Durinson who’s inherited the business from his family.

Along with Bilbo Baggins, mythological fanatic and bookkeeper for Erebor’s current financial situation, Thorin’s determined to do something to drive people back to Erebor and the shores of the Long Lake. However, they quickly realize they may be in way over their head.

“Look, if you’re uncomfortable by Thorin’s…’proposal’, I won’t mention it again,” Dís told Bilbo. “Thorin probably doesn’t even remember it anyway.”

The Richonne Baker’s Dozen 3 Paragraph Challenge

Total Words: 2775

Rating: T+ (mostly)

A/N: I hope you enjoy the following Baker’s Dozen of Richonne Fics. I LOVED writing Richonne in all these different situations. Thanks @richonnejustdesserts for this awesome challenge!

1) Katana Lesson (First Time Fic)

“Here, try.”

Michonne gently urged him to take her most treasured weapon. Rick looked at her in amusement before biting his lip and nodding reluctantly.

She handed the sheathed sword to him with a smirk. He tentatively took it in his hands and weighed it, raising his eyebrows as if impressed before slowly unsheathing it.

She quietly studied his fascinated gaze, backing up next to his side, intently awaiting his next move.  

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First drawn on iPad, then at the halfway of the colouring process I moved to work on the computer. I’m a sucker for mermaid!aus, so of course I needed one for McLennon. I only used watercolour brushes + a crayon brush, and topped it with a watercolour texture in the background. Read more for the 2300 word story that I wrote to accompany this!

Paulos, the youngest son of King Triton, is forbidden from going on land. Ever since the kingdom of Atlantis lost its queen, Mary, to a mysterious disease, King Triton has strictly refused from letting anyone ashore. There is nothing else that Paulos wants, though, his curiosity too strong.

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anonymous asked:

what are you currently reading/on your to-read list? i feel like i read ao3 dry lately lol

Y’know, I’ve been meaning to write a rec list for the stuff I’ve been reading in the last few weeks.  Now is as good a time as any, so here you go!

Say Something by  JhanaMay - A kidfic with Teacher!Cas, Mechanic!Dean and his autistic son Ben.  This fic has it all, fluff and domesticity and angst and ugh, so good.

When I See You Again by @noxsoulmate - Doctor!Cas, and Singer!Dean, and a second chances story.  

looking for a rhythm like you by superhoney - Castiel is sweetly awkward, and Dean is happy and more confident than you’d think he’d be in a fic where he’s a stripper.  I love *gestures at all of it*

Tabula Rasa by  Dangerousnotbroken aka @shennanigoats - this one has a fun twist on the Supernatural universe while still being completely AU.  

I Can Make You Scared by  Dangerousnotbroken aka @shennanigoats - Dom!Cas and sub!Dean ftw!  This one left my brain kinda buzzy for a few days, in a very good way :)

Five Days in May by  Dangerousnotbroken aka @shennanigoats and @kreweofimp - lol Can you tell I went through someone’s fics?  Anyway, this was a really good one night stand turns into an adventure of love of a lifetime :D

Grown-Ups Making Grown-Up Choices by @carrieosity - OH MY GODS SO CUTE.  Alpha!Cas and Omega!Dean are gaga over each other, and watching Dean trying so hard to get Castiel’s approval by being a responsible adult warms my heart.

Passing Ships by quiettewandering aka @wanderingcas - I love Anti-Soulmate AUs so much.  Lots of angst in this one, but it was also very sweet.

A Marriage of Misadventure by  noxlee - I am such a sucker for woke up in Vegas married to a stranger fics.

With Sure Certainty by  andimeantittosting (Saylee) - another second chances fic, AND it’s a Historical AU.  Delicious!

zempasuchil  asked:

Yes hello!!! Tanner telling Kayden to slap himself in the face again and Kayden grinning and doing it and Tanner savoring it Is a kink I did not know I had But maybe it's just T and Matt making it so compelling *sweats* (Tanner should go over there and do it himself; I'm sure Kayden would look up at him and offer up his face with a sneer and a lick of his lips)

anonymous asked: talk to us about kayden being SO willing to slap himself for tanner that seems like a thing you’d enjoy :3

“You having fun now?” snapped Tanner, hands shoved deep in his pockets as he paced back and forth, jittery, trying to cover his nerves. This was- this was a lot. This was too much. He couldn’t admit it outloud, wouldn’t admit it outloud, but he couldn’t fucking cope with this. He was a kid, they were all just kids, and he could feel the panic trying to strangle him as the reality of their potentially-deadly situation abruptly asserted itself.

Worst of all, it was real. It was all real, and a year’s worth of denial, of hating Kayden for what he had supposedly done, had just vanished in a puff of smoke.

Tons.” Kayden bit out the end of the word, as though he was forcing it through his teeth, his jaw tight and eyes hard.

Tanner barely contained the laugh that twisted around his lungs like a thorny vine, a black, humourless thing. The reasoning behind the hatred may have collapsed, but that didn’t mean the hatred itself had – and right now, drowning in fear-anger-panic, it was the one thing he could actually cling to. “A lot of fun?” he asked, and even he could hear the poorly-suppressed hysteria in the words, beneath the fury of them. “Everything’s just so much fun, isn’t it?”

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Oh, Trickster

Gabriel x Reader

Word Count: 2.6k

Warnings: language, pranks, flirting, fluff, smut.

Author’s Note: This is a request from the amazing @gabe-crowley-trash! It’s just silly and fluffy. I laughed quite a bit writing this. Oh, and there are definitely some “happy fun times” *wiggles eyebrows back* Hope you all enjoy it!

Request: “Oh my chuck! That Gabe fic was delicious! Could you write one where the reader and Gabe play all sorts of tricks on the boys and it becomes a trick-off?! Lots of fluff and cuteness, and eventual happy fun times perhaps? *Wiggles eyebrows* If not just some casual hot make-out possessive!Gabe with some wing feeling? <3”

Originally posted by lucifersagents

A grin washed over your face as you watched Dean enter the room, armed with a freshly made cup of coffee. He slid into the chair across from you, nodding a silent “good morning”. You bit your lip as he brought his favorite mug up to his lips, taking a long sip. Every inch of you shook with anticipation as you watched your clever plan play out.

Dean suddenly launched from his seat, spraying the coffee all over the table in front of him. “God! Who the hell made this?” Dean cried out. He slid his mug onto the counter like it was going to bite him. “It tastes like—“

“Pickle juice?” You smirked at the older Winchester. “Yeah. Thought I’d change it up a bit.”

Dean scowled at you. “Why the fuck would you do something like that?” Dean stuck out his tongue in disgust.

“Like I said, thought we could use a change.” Your eyes traveled over to the laughing, whiskey eyed archangel to your left. His laugh sent a shockwave through your skin. But, you ignored it as you turned back to your latest victim. “So, that’s a ‘no’ on the new recipe?” Dean simply huffed as he walked out of the room, towing his mug full of pickled coffee with him.

Once Dean exited, you turned to Gabriel and grinned. The archangel chuckled as he nodded at you, silently approving of your little prank. You couldn’t help but fix your gaze on his golden eyes, getting lost in the intense swirls of honey. He winked, causing your heart to race. You didn’t even know what he was doing there, but you weren’t complaining.

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The Sun Stands Between Us Chapter Nine

Alex and Ryland sighed, Alex into his drink and Ryland into his arms. Their minds were muddy, unable to clearly process their emotions, or thoughts. Alex and Ryland just sat. Sat in hopeless situations. Sat in absolute loneliness. Sat in silence. Silence. That was all anyone ever heard. No one bothered to notice their screaming minds. They didn’t care. They couldn’t care. Nothing would change. Nothing would ever change. The silence surrounded them and they felt their eyes begin to close. The emptiness promised on the other side, embraced them and they were yanked from their lonely solitude into darkness.

Ryland groaned, squinting and attempting to move. A sharp pain shot through him. He couldn’t tell where the pain originated, probably everywhere, his nerves were on fire. “W-what..?” cracking his eyes open, he saw his ankle. It was tied to a rusty pipe with what looked to be the dirtiest rope Ryland had ever seen. “Fuckin’ come on…” he leaned forward, trying to untie the knot, but his entire body burned with each slight movement. Accidentally jerking his ankle, he hissed, squeezing his eyes shut and grinding his teeth together.

“Aww, crying like a little bitch? That’s about what I expected.” it was the boy, Kamal, “Are you retarded? Why the fuck are you still squirming?!”

“W-why do you need me?!” Ryland’s voice shook and the pit of self-hatred, that he always around carried with him, grew. “You’re like ten! Why would a fucking ten-year-old kid a-abduct someone?!”

“I am not ten.”

“I don’t care!” Ryland heard his voice. His own voice. He hadn’t heard himself sound so furious, and so deeply-upset in a long time. It was unsettling. It was familiar in the most unfamiliar way. Even Kamal was frozen, shock layering every feature. He didn’t even respond to Ryland’s outburst, he just turned and walked away. Ryland’s universe was once again bathed in darkness. He was alone again, but this time he wasn’t asleep. Ryland was alone. Alone, aware and afraid. He wrapped his arms around his own shivering body, and lie there. Bruised and bloody on the cold cement.

“Alex! Get the fuck up!” Ash’s command bounced around his mind for a second, before he groaned, and opened his eyes.

“Hey, Ash…” he smiled stupidly, looking up at her face without lifting his head, “What’s goin’ on, babe?” 

“What’s going on? Alex,” she inhaled and exhaled, calming herself before speaking again, “Alex, we need to go home now. I need to talk to you.” Ash’s smile was strained, and her face was stiff. “Now.” Ash growled, and Alex sat up immediately, and obediently stood, turning to the door.

The drive back to the apartment was tense. Alex kept fidgeting, and Ash glared every time he did. By the time they got to their apartment, the stressed energy surrounding them was nearly tangible. Ash was fuming and Alex was shrinking away from her at every slight movement. This was less than ideal. Once the front door was open, Alex was shoved inside, landing on the ground in an awkward heap. “Ash? Are y-you okay?” his face held nothing but fear as he looked up at her.

“Alex, what the fuck were you thinking?!” she screamed, pacing back and forth in front of him. Each echoing footstep caused him to jump, he was terrified. “This morning i woke up to a call from the bartender! He said, ‘Your boyfriend is here, he’s unconscious and reeks of booze and depression’, Alex! What a fuckin’ way to wake up!” Alex was blinking back tears. He should’ve stayed home. Now, Ash was screaming at him, all because he’d been selfish. 

“I-I’m sorry! I should’ve stayed here! I know! It was wrong! I was wrong!” Alex cried, desperately hoping she’d stop yelling. 

“You’re lucky I love you, Alex! No one else ever would!” 

“I know…” he whimpered, burying his face in his arms. Not even thirty seconds later, Ash was by his side.

“I love you, Alex.”

“…I love you too.”

“Did you eat anything today? Your stomach’s bulging a bit.”

“It is?” he looked down, “I don’t think it is…”

“Well I do, you’re gonna have to go on a diet.”

“…I… I guess I should lose a few pounds…” Alex said, staring at his stomach. “I’m sorry I’m like this.” he frowned, looking away with red blossoming on his cheeks. “You deserve better…”

“Don’t worry, Alex,” she said gently, “I can fix you.”

Ryland was drowning in pain. Every attempt to free himself had been fruitless. He was defeated. Hopeless. Nothing new. “How did this shit happen..?” he asked himself, despite knowing the answer. “Jesus fucking christ…” Ryland sighed. Everything was an ugly, complicated mess. He hated it. Hated all of it. The stupid dreams. The shitty house. Kamal. Alex. No, he didn’t hate Alex. Himself. Yes, that was it. He was the cause of everything. He was only here because he trusted an internet stranger. Ryland with his self-hatred and trust issues galore. How did that happen? Oh, right. He trusted Alex. He trusted Alex, a stranger, so he trusted another stranger. All his walls were back up now, but it was too late. 

Ryland didn’t believe in many things. He never believed in santa. He never believed in the tooth fairy. He never believed in himself, and he never believed in strangers. Alex had affected him. In the short period of time that he’d known Alex, he’d impacted him. “God, Alex is amazing.” he whispered, “I wish he knew that.” Ryland stared at his lap, thinking. Alex had made him, a complete failure, feel good about himself for a little while. It takes a special kind of crazy to do that. Alex was that special kind of crazy. Because of Alex, he’d trusted Kamal. Alex had been a stranger. Maybe he should only take a chance on some people.

“Hello!”  a very loud whisper yanked Ryland from his thoughts and he instantly bolted upright. “Yeah, you, the odd-looking fellow.” 

“I am the only one here.” Ryland deadpanned, trying to slow his breathing.

“Okay, do you want some help?” 

“That… that would be beneficial, yes.” met with no response, Ryland assumed he’d been imagining the voice, but another noise followed. The harsh screech of scraping metal sounded through the air, as a small knife found it’s way to Ryland. Without hesitation, Ryland grabbed the knife and began frantically cutting through the rope. Distant footsteps rang in his ears and each second felt like an hour. After finally cutting himself free, Ryland fell. His ankle was uncooperative, and every part of him was in agony. The footsteps grew closer.

Alex and Ash were cuddling on the sofa. The mood in the air was one of serenity, but Alex’s mind was a jittery wreck. He couldn’t get Ryland out of his head. He couldn’t get Ryland’s words out of his head. He needed to get out of this shitty relationship. When would be the right time? Would there ever be a right time? No. He just needed to do it when she wasn’t pissed. When she wasn’t violent. He needed to be safe. Alex looked at Ash’s face. She looked calm. Thinking it through in his head, Alex cleared his throat, “A-Ash?”

“What.” it wasn’t even a question.

“D-do you… think w-we should maybe… I dunno… take… take a break?” Ash’s body went rigid against his and Alex’s mind held nothing but fear and regret.

“You want to leave me?”

“… I…”

“You do!” Ash stood up, knocking him over in the process and towering above him, leaning over the couch to look him in the eyes. “You think you’d be anything without me?!” she was inches from his face, “You’re a worthless piece of trash, Alex!”

“I-I’m sorry… I’m sorry…” Alex whispered, looking into Ash’s rage-filled eyes, “I’m so sorry…”

“Tell me how you feel right now.”

“I’m sorry…” his mind was a broken record, repeating the same phrase infinitely.

“Don’t apologize, tell me how you feel.”

“… I’m… I-I’m… scared… I’m scared of you…” Alex’s voice shook, and his body trembled. Fear was all he could think of. Fear and the smile slowly spreading across Ash’s face.

“You’re afraid of me?”

“… yeah… fuck…I’m… I-I’m fucking terrified of you, Ash…” he cried, “I don’t wanna be, but… but… y-you hurt me… you hurt me all the time…” he avoided her steely gaze, and tried to ignore the tears burning his face, “A-Ash… I-I’m a… I’m a fuck… fucking mess all the time… you hit me… scream at me… and… I…” he trailed off, not quite sure what to say. Ash just watched him. Watched him cry. Watched him cry with a cruel smile on her face.

“Alex… I… I treat you the way I do because you don’t listen. Like this morning, if I didn’t make the rules clear, you’d just be at the bar every night.” her eyes never left the tears on his face, “Everyone treats you like garbage, Alex. Your parents, your old band, all of your old classmates, all of your old teachers, every boss you’ve ever had. Alex, I’ve been helping you for so long. No one else will ever accept you. You’ve known you’re worthless your entire life. Don’t try to end the one good thing that’s happened to you.” Alex was speechless. He couldn’t think of a response. She was right. It was Alex’s fault. It always was.

“I-I-I’m… I-I’m sorry…” Alex sobbed into his hands. Ash gathered Alex’s shuddering form in a gentle hug.

“I forgive you.” she whispered, “I know it won’t happen again.”