You rolled your eyes as you trudged through the forest, your backpack slung over your shoulders and your sleeping bag rolled up and tied to it. Of all the people you could be paired with, it had to be Stiles. The two of you were at each other’s throats constantly, and you had a feeling that this was Scott’s underhanded way of trying to get you to get along.
“Have you ever felt like the world is too loud sometimes?”
“No. For me it’s always quiet.”
The soft crackle of the fire is the only sound breaking the deep silence. It smoothly cuts through the murky atmosphere of the night, and the sight of its origins is just as mesmerizing: waves of blazing fire helplessly reach out towards the sky, weak and strong, the flames rising aimlessly as they sway amongst the smoke.
Sitting there, alone and surrounded by trees and the calming waves of the bonfire, is numbing enough to make time still. The temperatures are low enough for a crisp breeze to tickle your cheeks, seeping through the layers of your clothes as your hands seek for warmth against each other. You can almost pretend you’re completely on your own, that voices are not coming closer and that the sound of hearty laughter isn’t overpowering the eerie quietness of nature.
Bringing a service dog to EU is always a dangerous gamble. Things change here and dogs are no exception to this rule. The dogs bred for work, trained to protect, and love their humans never have an easy time at EU.
The first semester is always that most dangerous. Freshmen confused as to why their dogs are snapping at other students or ignoring how they snarl at offered food find their dogs gone in the dead of night. A collar with flecks of blood on it in their place.
If they last, they become….different. A second growth spurt, a glint in their eyes that shouldn’t be there, teeth that could barely rip jeans sharpen till they can puncture armor There are legends of what dogs can do. Of the battle wolves that slayed more monsters than their warriors, of guard dogs that protected castles and fair maidens, of search and rescue pets that found their owners in the middle of blizzards. Before coming to EU, most assume these tales are exaggerated. Those who go to EU know better.
To steal a student from their service dog is no easy task. It takes clever trickery and carefully used power. The Gentry rarely try. But every once in a while there is a music student too good, a Lit Major whose words are too pretty, or a theater student who preforms too well. The fights over Seniors are legendary. The stolen Freshmen are never spoken about.
A dog will go after them. It will travel through the forest, alone or with company. A rescuer with the lost’s service dog is most likely to succeed. As long as they listen to the animal and never treat it poorly. The Gentry can’t decide whether they dislike cats more than dogs.
Dogs are smart, strong, knowing but their humans aren’t. People use this to their advantage. Gentry, humans, Crows, and other things all nudge students with service dogs into giving the worst command: Stay.
You can see which dogs are bound by this because they sit at the edges of the forest. Staring out into the dense trees. They never move, never leave their post. They will wait for their human to come back no matter what. There is one greying labrador that has been sitting next to the great oak by the bleachers longer than any student can remember. Some of the Faculty know when it first took up it’s watch and the pretty little dancer it waits for.
Woe be it to any student who tries to harm them. You can tell which ones did by the pecked out eyes and talon marks on their faces. Dogs maybe man’s oldest friend, but their bond with the crows goes back farther than that. The crows will not protect the human, don’t make that mistake. If their owner dies, the dogs will often go to the crows. You can see some running through the edges of the forest, chasing prey you can’t see, a crow leading the way.
The hounds that join the Hunt aren’t former service dogs. Their people are the Gentry. Do not go looking for your missing dog in their numbers. You will never come back.
If you move into a dorm room and there is a dog by the door treat it well. Feed it your scraps and make sure it has a bed to lie down on. Never think it will protect you. You are not it’s human.
Above all else, treat them well. Give them collars of iron and meat for their meals. Put Rowan, Hazel, and Vervain into their beds. Pet them and get into the good graces of the veterinary students. Both your lives will depend on it.
Summary: Of a tower, a missing prince with the sun in his hair and the ability to heal with a touch, and a terrible-dangerous-very-bad bandit who’s never been altogether good at being very bad, dangerous, or terrible.
An AU based off of Disney’s Tangled.
Nico di Angelo grows up with stories of the prince lost to time.
It’s not because of the Beast. It’s because Lot C is in the
very back of campus, way too far from Everything of Importance. You’d have to
walk a quarter mile before you reached anywhere that sells coffee, almost a
mile to the library. The nearest structure is a low sprawl of administrative
buildings, but even they don’t park in Lot C after dark. They come to work early,
and leave before sunset.
It was a bitch to get my meal card replaced when I’d lost it.
They kept shutting down that stretch of slumped old admin offices before I’d
finished with my afternoon Physics Lab. My lab partner would laugh at me.
“You’ll have to eat out of the trash again. Poor Moonie.
Soon enough you’ll turn into a raccoon,” she would coo at me, an unattractive
smirk wrinkling her nose.
I didn’t like the way she said it. I didn’t like a lot of
things she said. Sometimes I felt like she wished bad things to happen to me,
just so she could snicker at my misfortune. I think it was her smile that did
it. Whenever she smiled, I got the feeling she knew something that I didn’t.
She liked it that way.
I didn’t mind it too much. The one thing she didn’t know was
The campus has always had places of in-between; between our world and theirs, between magic and mundane, Fae and human, and there are those of the Fae that treasure these places of in-between greatly. Their little… projects.
I9 was one such project, all the students were sure. The building had been on campus for as long as anyone could remember, it refused to show up on any map, and had withstood every try at getting it removed. It didn’t really ‘fit’ with the rest of the campus, although somehow, sometimes, it seemed to fit far too well. Sitting just beyond the dense tree line of the forest, I9 was a small, old, cottage with thatched roof, and a happily running stream the only thing between it and the trees.
No one had lived there since… well, no one could quite agree on the last person who had lived there, some remembered it being a girl from an arts major. Others argued it had been a boy from chemistry. Some others put in that maybe it hadn’t been a student at all. Whoever they were, they hadn’t lasted long, hardly a month before being taken.
The Fae were all unusual, unpredictable, unsettling, but the one that took an interest in this place had something most others did not, patience and persistence.
The girl had applied late, to only do one unit a term, and to live on campus. Her high school marks were nothing special, hardly enough to graduate let alone to be considered for somewhere as prestigious as Elsewhere University. The admin staff placed her immediately in the rejected pile, but every morning they would find the application back on their desk. After a week, one member of staff decided to just shred the damn thing, but sure enough, the next day there it was again. After that, they all agreed that the choice had been made for them. When the paperwork came through though, and I9 came out no matter what room anyone typed or even wrote on the forms, that’s when they started to worry. Someone had been chosen again.
Maybe some members of staff (those who knew the history of I9) tried to warn the girl, tried to change fate, but in the end the acceptance letter still went out, and the room number was still unchanged.
Ash was all anxiety, and depression, and layer upon layer of shaky coping mechanisms that she’d built up over the years. She didn’t know anyone at Elsewhere, and didn’t have any friends from anywhere else either. Her parents had moved away to start new lives, and after two painful years of self-doubt and second-guessing, she had finally decided to try for uni. It wasn’t that she wasn’t intelligent, just that she was… different. She never kept friends, always talked to herself or to animals rather than other people, she never seemed to fit in with anyone, and often got on teachers nerves for being too reserved, and so her schooling had suffered. She knew she could do well she just needed time.
Things were strange when Ash got to campus. She wasn’t in one of the communal dorms like she had expected, instead she found her room number carved on the door of an old cottage by the forest edge. She watched the other students for a while, all of them avoiding the path down to the little cottage, all of them taking care not to walk on the little flowers that grew out the front. It took her a good twenty minutes to convince herself to go knock on the door, after all it wouldn’t be the first time someone had tried to mess with the new kid.
She could hear other students whispering as they passed, their eyes boring into her back as she walked to the door. It made her skin crawl and her hairs stand on end, like something was about to attack. She fumbled for her keys and found they were no longer the generic store cut keys she had collected, but one heavy, black, old iron key, it fit the lock though and she took respite within the tiny cottage.
Inside it was small, dark, and smelled of old books and dust. Beyond the entrance was a small sitting room, its walls lined with bookshelves stuffed to the brim with books. A little kitchen with old-fashioned fittings was to the left, a brightly lit study nook to the right, its windows large and filled with overgrown potted herbs and plants. Just past the sitting room was a cosy bedroom with a little bathroom hidden behind one of the wardrobe doors, Ash wondered what else was hidden in here.
The trees outside rustled and birds began to caw as she set down her things and took in her new home. It was strange, and eerie, and her cheeks still burned with the students whispers, but it felt oddly safe within these walls, as if she truly had come home.
Students in class were nicer than she had experienced in high school, though some of them refused to meet her eyes. Others insisted on giving her handfuls of little diner salt packets, which was odd at first. It took some time for her to believe this wasn’t some kind of cruel joke at her expense, but after a while she recognised it as something good. One guy even came up to her and shoved a little hand full of nuts and bolts strung together on a thin chain into her hand and muttered a brief ‘hang in there’ before strolling off.
Well she had heard rumours about people at Elsewhere being superstitious, she just hadn’t quite expected it to be this full on. Some students even had their own small rituals they performed before entering certain classes. Even with all the odd around her though, she still felt that she wasn’t exactly part of it all, she was still an outsider, as she had always been, never quite fitting in anywhere.
The first week passed uneventfully. Though the students in class weren’t cruel, they didn’t sit with her if at all possible, politely making their excuses before moving away if she sat at their table. By the end of the week she felt as alone as she had ever been, something she had grown quite used to.
The weekend came quickly and soon enough second week began. Ash sat at the back of the lecture theatre expecting to again be surrounded by empty seats, but this time a boy sat beside her. He had the most amazing eyes all glitter and angles. He didn’t say a word to her but watched like a hawk when she scratched out a few lines of a small poem before the lecture began. He was… odd, but the company was comfortable.
After that lecture the whispering became worse. She would catch snippets of ‘did you see their eyes?’, ‘definitely one of them’, ‘she didn’t even notice’ as she walked passed. Her cheeks burning with embarrassment, she quickly headed back towards I9. Just outside I9 though she was stopped by the yowling of an animal in terrible pain. In the bushes was a small white cat tangled in some wires, everyone else was hurrying passed without even a glance its way. The thing was making such an awful noise she had half expected the bite of razorwire as she freed the creature, but it was just plain old wire. She could have sworn though, as the cat scampered off across the stream and into the forest, that as it turned away it suddenly had too many eyes, all glitter and angles, but she couldn’t be sure.
After that, things were… stranger. The shadows around the cottage felt deeper than was possible, wind chimes that had been taken down long before Ash had gotten there chimed happily in the dead still air, and there was a lingering smell of honey and wet fur.
She knew something was wrong when she woke the next morning. The feeling stole over her in cold waves of panic, something was different, something was wrong, something had happened. When she looked in the mirror she saw that the eyes staring back at her were wrong, they seemed to stare much much farther than a reflection should be able, and glinted with the colours of the aurora borealis. She heard the purring of a cat as tears welled in her beautiful, wrong, eyes.
It was late afternoon when she finally left I9 again, and slowly she realised her eyes weren’t the only things that had changed. She could see… things… playing in the trees just passed the stream. Things covered in fur and claws, and feathers, and bone. There was a lady at the other end of the path watching her closely, a small cat curled around her legs. Her eyes drifted past Ash, and Ash turned to see what had caught her gaze. It was a basket filled with… things. There was a bunch of rotten bananas, some plants that looked rather a lot like weeds still with their roots attached covered in dirt, a couple of lengths of string, a frayed bit of cloth, and a handful of stones and little bones. In a voice like dripping blood, and splintering bones the lady spoke to Ash ‘A small gift for my Girl Between. A basket of favours yet made, promises yet to come, use my gift well little one, I’ll know if you waste it’. When Ash blinked the lady was gone, and she was left alone with the basket of things, and a cat that definitely had too many eyes.
A/N: @read-a-hinny-fic pointed out that the hinny fandom is lacking bed share fics so I wrote one hehe. I hope it satisfies. It’s an AU where Harry and Ginny didn’t get together in HBP but everything else is the same…
It’s raining the day Harry realizes his
life has been devoured by work. Not that
rain in London is particularly novel, but it still feels more dramatic when
milestones in self-understanding occur with thunder in the background. And the real development is less about the
concept of being overworked – because Hermione’s been badgering him about the
very same for the last eight months – and more about the fact that he realizes why he’s been obsessively working.
Which doesn’t mean it’s her fault, just
that she was the catalyst that made an already work obsessed Harry ratchet up to
such a degree that Hermione Jean Granger said
he was working too hard. The Ginny
Prompt is really because he runs out of excuses for not asking her out – i.e.
Voldemort, mourning, Ginny’s return to Hogwarts for her Seventh Year – so he
apparently subconsciously created one.
The rainy day is a Saturday, and Ginny
has a game – the second of her rookie season with the Harpies – and Harry’s not
there because he’s a self-sabotaging git.
At least that’s what Ron grumbles at him when he gets dragged into
Harry’s voluntary overtime shifts. And
on this rainy Saturday, Harry decides he’s going to stop floundering and just ask Ginny out. His heart thuds at the thought, and now he
has to spend the next three hours of his shift mentally calculating the many
ways this plan could go sideways. Which
involves a lot of scenarios with angry, violent Ginny and a permanent end of
the Potter line.
So it’s a miracle that he’s still on
board with the plan when he clocks out for the evening, which was largely
boring aside from the two-hour call in Sheffield where they apprehended a small
band of smugglers bringing illegal potions into the country. By the time he finishes his paperwork he’s
stayed a half hour late, but he’s so revved up to see Ginny at this point that
his brain doesn’t even register the time until he’s mid knock on the door to
her flat in Holyhead.
He’s too committed now, to bag out, so
Harry spends the ensuing wait for an answer concocting various ends for this
scene, which largely entail muscular, faceless men answering the door in their
pants. So when the door cracks open just
enough to reveal one of Ginny’s squinting chocolate brown eyes and her sleep
mussed hair, Harry lets out his breath in a gush and blurts,
set up small birdbaths full of water for bees to land and drink! make sure that there are stones placed in the bath so that bees and wasps can land on their surfaces and wont drown in the water. if you live in humid/rainy climates, this usually isnt necessary because bugs will get their hydration from raindrops or gooey flowers! if you live in a dry climate like me, then you’ll want to set some baths up (and consider misting your flowers in the mornings to imitate humidity)
set up little dishes of sugar water for the lovely pollinators! if youre having a hard time maintaining one, or have nowhere to place one, try getting a hummingbird feeder instead, which you can hang it from a tree or rafter. it’d also reduce the amount of ground-dwellers seeking out your sugar water, if pests are an issue in your area.
DONT remove spiders or spiderwebs from your garden unless you think its putting bees or wasps in danger! there are some spiders that blend in and live directly inside flower blooms [http://www.localpestcontrolservices.com/pest_control_blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/flower-crab-spider.jpg] which pose as a threat to honeybees. if you have one of these spiders (and the guts to touch it) then i’d recommend moving it to a lower/smaller/minor pollen producing flower so that theres less of a chance for it to accidentally catch your bees. if need be, toss it some flies if you have any on your windowsill! give it mosquitos youve just killed! help it out!
same goes for webbing. is it in a major place where lots of pollinators are getting caught? consider moving it and the spider somewhere less densely packed with blooms. trees are good!
set up birdfeeders filled with the appropriate seed for your location, which will feed the most common birds around your home. (for me, that’s chickadees, robins and bluejays- i have a robin nest in my backyard! new babies every year :D)
Hi!!!! Don't know if you're still taking prompts but if you do, here is mine :) imagine an au where everything is different and Jamie has the chance to court Claire properly (in the 18th century) An au completely different from the show or a "what if Jack Randall never met Claire" kind of au. I can't wait to read your works as always, thank you ❤
Claire giggled as she ran through the thick grass that grew along the outskirts of the forest, ducking and diving under branches as she darted as far as she could from the ever watchful gaze of her protectors at Lallybroch.
“Claire Beauchamp…amongst the savages!” She could hear the mockery in their tone even now, her relatives aghast at the idea of Uncle Lamb bringing her to such a place, especially so close after the horrors of Culloden.
But Claire didn’t mind; in fact she prefered the vast Scottish landscapes to the dense cities of England. Here, people didn’t care as to her name, or her position. Here she was just allowed to be Claire.
Spared from the ravages of the British Army, Broch Tuarach lay hidden just a stones through from Bewley, and only a carriage ride from Inverness. The inhabitants, Clan Fraser, had escaped relatively unscathed during the conflict, having hovered only on the periphery for a time. Brian Fraser had steered his men well, keeping the majority of them on neutral ground during the conflict. Their direct relatives, Clan Mackenzie had not been so fortunate.
Still, Brian and Ellen had three young children to raise, and embedding themselves in a merciless bloody war wouldn’t have been wise.
At the thought of their wee brood, Claire’s cheeks flushed pink, the spread reaching the tips of her ears as she raised herself just high enough to see through the grass and down into the valley.
There, at the bottom of the hill with his hand shading his eyes from the sun was Jamie Fraser. The youngest of the Frasers.
Claire’s heart raced, the blood pumping thick through her veins as she slid closer to the ground, pulling her skirts around her as she tried to cover herself. Licking her lips, she could still recall the tingle she’d felt after their first stolen kiss.
Rolling onto her back, Claire gazed up at the sky, her eyes glazing over as the afternoon sun warmed every inch of her. Toeing off her ragged shoes, she slid her feet through the shorter grass beside her, enjoying the heat as it surged through her.
They had only been acquainted a month or so, him having been at school in Paris when Lamb and herself had arrived, but the moment he’d caught her eye she’d known. Smiling, she bit her lip, a strange sensation taking hold of her, making her breasts almost…ache. Clenching her thighs together, tight, she pushed herself from the ground and scuttled sideways into the dense tree line, abandoning her shawl completely as she sought refuse amongst the low boughs.
Finding a relatively safe spot, Claire leant against a tree and closed her eyes as she inhaled a rather large breath. Something about Jamie called to her. The soft swell of his boyish chest, the way certain curls flicked from the top of his head as he moved about the place, the carefree glint that lit his sea-blue irises. Everything about James Fraser called to her.
Suddenly, a strong pair of arms gripped her waist, turning and pinning her against the trunk of the tree, his hands wrapped solidly around her wrists as he ran his nose along the length of hers.
“Thought ye could outfox me, did ye, sassenach?” Jamie purred, his pet name for her warming the butterflies in her belly as they flip-flopped.
“Maybe I was luring you out here, did you ever think of that….” she cooed in return, a roll of her hips bringing their midsections in direct contact with one another.
Both of them knew that they were skirting a fine line.
Neither of them cared.
“Aye, I ken ye might do that…wee fairy temptress that you are.” He whispered, nipping the lobe of her ear with his teeth as he finished his teasing.
Taking his lips against hers, Claire ended their conversation, pulling Jamie to her with a passionate kiss that made her belly throb and her knees wobble.
His tongue probed at her lips, gently licking her sensitive skin as she tipped her head to the side and opened her mouth, answering his silent question.
“We ha’ to tell them, Claire,” Jamie murmured between caresses, his sweet breath fanning over Claire’s burning face as she bent forwards, trying desperately to bring him back to her, needing the contact, “I want to court ye properly, no’ in secret…please…”
Picking her foot off the floor, Claire wrapped her calf around Jamie’s bottom, driving him closer to her, as close as he could possibly get –for the moment.
“What will they say do you think?” Claire returned, worry niggling on the boundary of her happy place, locked together here –alone with Jamie.
“I dinna ken precise actions, Claire,” Jamie soothed, letting go of her still-restrained hands and running just the tips of his fingers over her damp brow, shifting the wisps of hair that clung to the skin there. “But I think they’ll be pleased.”
‘I think they already know,’ is what he didn’t say, unsure as to how perceptive Claire had been on the matter.
But Claire did know, her eyes holding his as they communicated silently.
“Pleased…” Claire whispered, her tongue peeking just between her lips as she spoke.
“Alright,” she declared, an assertiveness to her tone that Jamie knew all too well, “let’s tell them….” Pausing, Claire looked beyond the tree line and back again, her brows furrowing for just an instant as she processed Jamie’s request. “B-but –tell them what, exactly?”
Jamie smirked, his lips twitching and his eyes lightening as he dipped his head ever so slightly.
“That, Claire Beauchamp –Fraser–, ye are to be my wife.”
Hal paced the worn rug, his boots ruffling the loose hairs on the weave as he stomped up and down in front of the fireplace.
“What *is* Quentin thinking?!” He muttered, ill at ease with the thought of his niece and that…*Scot*. “I told you, John. Didn’t I say!” He spat, flicking the contents of his finished pipe into the roaring embers of the fire as he twisted to face his brother.
John sat rubbing his chin, gazing at his ill-tempered brother, watching as a stray bead of sweat slid down his forehead, across his temple and down his rosy-red cheek.
“Marriage?! Has he gone daft! They’re *farmers*, Scottish farmers at that. They’re probably still harbouring fugitives of the law! And our young Claire…”
Shuddering, Hal gave John a despairing looking. “Send for them!” He finished, sensing little to no cooperation from John. “Bring them both home. I won’t have them dishonouring us like this.”
John tried not to laugh, swilling the remaining contents of his brandy around the bottom of the crystal glass he held between his fingers.
“Quentin loves Claire like a daughter, Hal,” John appeased, finally breaking his silence, “he wouldn’t let her come to any harm. You know that–”
The door slammed open, the handle hitting the wall with a soft thud as Hal’s wife, Minnie, barged her way into the sitting area.
“Hal, could I have your opinion on something…please?” She asked, batting her eyelashes at Hal in a move far too feminine for her.
Winking secretively at John, she led Hal out into the hall and shook her head, closing the wood solidly behind her.
Sighing, John took a final swig of his drink, the cool liquid setting the back of his throat on fire as it ran down his oesophagus.
Claire was just like her mother, and Hal knew it well. He’d been just about ready to remind Hal of the fact when Minnie had, rather appropriately, interrupted.
He’d send the letter, as requested, but both he and Minnie knew what the result of that action would be. And it certainly wouldn’t be Claire and Quentin reunited with them on English soil.
The letter came soon enough.
Claire was excited, bouncing on her toes as uncle Lamb ran his finger under the seal, popping the wax, his eyes flitting across the page as he read Hal’s words carefully.
His smile dropped, his hands beginning to shake as he turned to Claire, a look of distress plastered over his usually jolly features.
“Claire, darling…” he cooed, trying to calm her before he’d even revealed the news.
“He said no –didn’t he?” She whispered, her voice breaking as her heart plummeted.
She hadn’t even considered that he’d turn her down.
“He did. I’m sorry, my beauty.” Sighing, Lamb re-folded the note and placed it carefully into his pocket. “But that’s not all, I’m afraid.”
Claire saw the truth in his eyes before he’d even voiced the words.
Backing up, she shook her head as she fled the living room, her sobs echoing through the empty corridors of the big house as she slammed the door to her rooms, cupping her hand over her mouth as she slid to the floor. Letting the agony consume her. Claire crawled towards the fire and curled up on the large rug. Wrapping her arms around her knees she cried, her tears dripping onto the thin fibres of the neatly woven carpet.
“You can’t make me leave,” she wept, her words only audible to herself, “I won’t let you take me back…I won’t!”
Sneaking into her room, Jamie carefully closed the door behind him as he crept over to the fireplace and wrapped himself around her. The embers had long since died out, leaving her in a tiny frozen ball.
“I had to wait, Claire, I’m sorry…” he spoke, his warm breath fanning over her chilled flesh as she linked her frigid fingers with his hot ones, “yer uncle has been packing for ye.”
Claire shook her head, fervently disagreeing with any idea of leaving Lallybroch and Jamie.
“Hush now, sassenach,” he soothed, feeling her distress as he tried to quash her fears. “Ye havena heard the story of my parents first meeting, have ye?” He continued, hope igniting his tone as a stray flame danced to life in time with his words.
“N-no.” Claire stuttered, her eyes suddenly blinking open at the hint of optimism in Jamie’s voice.
“Then let me tell ye now, aye? …and ye ken already that it has a happy ending.”
Locking her hands with his more solidly, Claire nodded, the lead weight lifting from her chest as he began to recount one night, long before his birth, where two lovers slipped away into the night, leaving behind the dark cloud of those who wished to keep them apart…
Description: Tonight, tomorrow night, and the night after, he’ll wait for you forever.
The faint crackle of the fireplace is the only sound drifting
afloat the peaceful atmosphere of the taciturn room, flames emanating from the pile
of logs mesmerizing the gazes of all those gathered around, growing and fading
like the waxing and waning of ocean tides pulled by the moon.
Sitting on a rocking chair in the comfort of the
old-fashioned living room, in the familiar company of your grandchildren, you
bask in the calming ambiance of the night, a tranquility numbing enough to lull
you into unadulterated slumber. But the bold voice of a small child pulls you away from your oncoming
“Grandmama, tell us a story” Your young granddaughter
eagerly requests, tugging at the hem of your blouse. Her clear doe-eyes were
dripping with enthusiasm as she peers at you gingerly, waiting for the response she hopes to receive.
You smile down endearingly at the youthfully innocent child,
brushing her silky hair tenderly with your trembling hand. “Oh alright, I guess I do have
one interesting story that has yet been told.”
It’s a story you should have long forgotten long ago, one that is
tucked away in the deepest layer of your vanishing memory. But there was
something about the way the moonlight was elegantly flowing through the glassy
panes of the open window that makes you take a deep, sedative breath, reminding
you of something that had long been lost to time and this mysterious universe.
Shifting your gaze toward the direction facing the dark forest outside, trees
densely packed only a few meters away from the quaint little cottage, you nostalgically
begin recalling the age-old tale.
“I was young like you when I moved to the forest covered
(Small segments of reader-inserts for the Darkiplier-Coraline crossover AU. I may come back and forth with this when I get other ideas. For now this is what I’ve got. :) )
Amy continued walking deeper into the woods that stretched out from the back of the house. Back at her real home these woods would continue on for a few miles downhill until they lead to a single winding road into town. Here the ground remained flat and the trees became less dense, less leafy, less… ‘tree’.
She heard a small yap from behind her and turned to see Chica bounding up to her. Amy had never been happier to see her. She was happy just to see something without those flat emotionless buttons for eyes. “Chica!” she called out as the golden dog walked alongside her. “You goin’ for a walk?” Chica asked happily, “Can I walk with you? You look lonely. No one should walk alone. It’s best to have a walk-buddy. It’s more fun.” Amy nodded. She was surprised how talkative Chica was now she could talk. Back home she would hardly bark. Although she supposed most dogs would be very talkative given the chance, they seemed like the kind of creatures that would have a lot to say about anything and nothing.
“Where have you been all night?” Amy asked. “Investigating. Investigating this, investigating that, just general much needed investigations.” “Nice. Find anything?” “Not much. This place is rather small. It’s not like home. Can we go back home soon?” “You mean real home?” “Yeah. I don’t like this place. I miss home. I miss Mork.” They kept walking, the colours of the forest around them seeming to faded away. “What do you mean you miss Mark? He’s back home. I mean, real home, back through the door.” “No he isn’t. Kat isn’t there either. Or… Tire. Or blue fuzzy Eth-ham.” Amy stopped and looked at Chica. “Wait, what?” “After you went off I went investigating- I found a ball! And the most perfect stick in the world! And a very very small box that tried to hop on my head for a ride! I had to run away from him!- But after that I got bored. So I went to real home. And no one was there. So I waited. But no one came back. So I got bored. So I came back here, where I knew you would be.” Amy felt a wash of cold dread come over her. She felt cold and vulnerable at the idea that all her friends had mysteriously disappeared. “And now I found you!” Chica continued, “And now we can go investigating together!” She bounded away further into the depleting forest. Amy ran to catch up with her, she couldn’t help the feeling that if she let Chica leave her sight she’d lose her forever.
Soon there were no trees at all. Or plants. Or muddy path. Or ground. Or sky. Just a white abyss and a mist that felt like lighter than the air itself. “Wait. What’s happened? Shouldn’t this lead down the hill to town?” Chica looked back at her, still with a face of careless happiness. “Nope. Nothin’ here. Just space!” She ran into the white and ran a mile circle before running back to Amy. “Space gets boring.” Amy looked behind her as they walked on as the crude sticks and squares of what were presumably trees disappeared in the white mist until there was nothing but her and Chica. “But why is it here? Or rather… why is nothing here?” “Because you like home more than town. He only made things you like. And made them better. He wanted to impress you.” “You mean Other Mark?” Chica’s ears flattened on her head and she seemed to stop smiling. “If that’s what you call him, then yes.” “He created all this himself? Why? What does he want with me?” “He loves you.” That statement sent an unpleasant pulse down Amy’s chest. As much as the Other Mark had shown her nothing but care and consideration to the point of making her feel like a divine deity, the notion of him ‘loving’ her made her feel uncomfortable. “Loves me?” “Yeah. He loves you, as much as I love Mork. And he hates Mork. He doesn’t like that he and Mork both love you, and that you love Mork, and you don’t love him. He wants to get rid of Mork. And Kat, and Tire, and Eth-ham.” Amy stopped walking and just stared at the ground, clutching her arms and shivering. She was scared. Scared and unsure of what to do. Chica walked up to her legs and looked up at her terrified face. She realised Amy wasn’t happy, and she thought what she said made her unhappy, which made Chica feel unhappy. So she tried to make her feel better. “Or maybe he doesn’t love you. Maybe he’s just pretending. Like he did with the old owners.” Amy looked at Chica very puzzled. “Old owners?” “Old owners of the house. They told me he tricked them by making them think he loved them. He then ate them.” “Ate them?!” “No, not like chomping them down. Just eating their lives.” This confused Amy further, but she didn’t bother asking for an explanation. Any kind of ‘eaten’ was bad. “How did they tell you this? Where did you find them?” “When investigating. They’re behind a mirror. They said they may see you soon.” Amy gulped. She continued walking herself and Chica into the white abyss. She partially hoped that there was some path somewhere in the nothingness that lead to her real home, with her real friends, with her real life.
Then in the nothingness she saw something. A building. She got closer to it and slowly things started appearing. The ground, the sky, the trees, the brick wall, the familiar colourful walls of the house, familiar windows and pathways around the house. Her heart sunk as she realised it was the house she just left a few minutes ago. “We walked in a big circle, didn’t we?” “You may have done. I didn’t. Just a straight line.” Amy scratched her head. “But how can you walk away from something and still come back to it?” “Easily, if you walk around the world.” Chica answered and she sat by Amy’s feet and stared at the house with her as the pieces of the world started to fall neatly into place. Amy hummed. “Small world.”
You heart was thumping against your chest; confused was an
understatement about how you were feeling in that precise moment in time. What
was happening? How could Reiji have been Yamada Yuta, in fact how could Minseok
have been Kim Xiumin? It didn’t make sense. You were shaken to the core as
Jongdae, Rozz, Sehun and yourself stared at each other wide eyed.
“Oh goodness we have to go after them otherwise Chanyeol
will kill him.” Rozz panicked as she began looking around the dense trees.
“We need a plan.” Jongdae mumbled as he slowly stood up
right from the tree he was leaning on.
“We don’t have time for a fucking plan.” Sehun hissed from
beside you. “In case you didn’t get the memo, Chanyeol is seconds away from killing
Minseok, I still don’t understand why but he can do the explaining after we find Minseok alive.”
“But we can’t just run out into these trees, it’s too dark
we can’t see a thing, they could be anywhere right now. We could easily get
lost.” Jongdae whined as he looked from Sehun to the dark woods in front of
him, the steady hum of the car still buzzing around you.
“Well then you had better get out your phone torch light and
hope for the best hadn’t you.” Sehun
frowned as he slipped his phone out of his pocket and switched the torchlight.
We’ll split up, it will speed things up. Let’s all meet back here if we can’t
find them. I’ve got one bar of signal left but I reckon by the time we step
into those trees then it will be gone.” He pointed ahead into the dark
nothingness. You felt an uneasiness creep up into the pit of your stomach, you
hated the dark. You always had and now you were being forced to venture out
into it. Alone.
His eyes fluttered open for the first time in a long while. He had not woken since she had left him.
His life for the past few weeks had been haze filled dreams in his constant state of unconsciousness. He relived the moments he had spent with her, it was the only thing keeping him from giving into the doom-filled depths of a god’s afterlife without her. He often dreamed of their future together, some dreams ending with little heirs running around his Kingdom, his beloved by his side.
On days where his injuries took more of a toll on his system, he dreamed of his life without her. Eros visited him in these dreams, with wise warnings of love and how his beloved would never return to his side unless he changed his possessive and unfair ways. He hated these days the most. He wanted to destroy Eros for ever saying such things.
It was then that he’d see how you looked at him, with eyes so saddened his heart felt like it was shattering. He couldn’t bare it. Then you’d leave him, following behind the God of love and into the arms of another. You were happy and free. Eros may have been a fool in most situations, but in love maybe he could be truly wise. Perhaps, he was right. The more he saw you vanish, the more he believed it. Nothing had truly worked on you so far. He’d do anything to be with you. He longed for you even if it was just a version of you he could only see in his mind. He hated when you went away, he needed to be with you again.
His mind often echoed whispers into his dreamlike state. He could recognise them easier this time, more clearly than usual. His last dream had sent waves throughout his body, awakening the weakened god slowly from his slumber. He had lost you again, but this was the very last time. He would not be without you unless you truly wished it this time.
His mind was dizzy and his senses weren’t fully in tact but his brothers next words rang crystal clear.
“Brother, I know you’re healing right now but I find talking to you helps for both my sanity and for your recovery.” Hakyeon sighed. “I’ve been watching your mortal, it seems her beauty has attracted another. She is to be married, brother. The time is coming you’ll be able to walk freely in the human world. But, she’ll be married if you don’t-”