Sorry it’s so short, but gosh darn do I love a bit of Langst…
Lance sprinted down the violet hallway, Galran footsteps pounding behind him. Desperately searching for a hiding spot, he veered into the nearest opening, only to realize a second later that he had trapped himself. He activated his bayard and turned to face the dozens of droids filing robotically to surround him.
The voices of his teammates shouted over the comms, but Lance muted them and focused, firing expertly. Galra after Galra fell with a metallic clunk to the floor, but they drew closer and closer until Lance had to alternate shooting and hitting with the barrel of his gun. Sweat dripped down his forehead and into his eyes, but he could only blink and push on.
One soldier raised his gun and shot from behind the paladin. Lance felt a searing pain in his shoulder and yelped, hesitating long enough for another to deliver a punch to the head that sent him reeling backwards. He jumped back up and jerked off his dented helmet, prepared to retaliate.
Lance’s eyes widened as a glowing bullet met them, sending him into the stars.
‘The mud of the trenches stains the bottom edges
of their overcoats, and their steel helmets are dented
and dull. There is something fine about the faces
collectively; a certain look of tried endurance and
perils bravely borne.’
Henry Beston, WW1 American ambulance driver & author of the book “A Volunteer Poilu” - Photo: Limey, France, during the exceptionally cold Winter of 1916-1917 poilus warming up with a bowl of soup.
The party, having finished essentially buying Phandalin, took the final days leading up to the excursion to The Under to try to restock what they could. One of the players unfortunately had to leave the party for personal reasons. She may come back, but until then the group is without her and with Zhong (their cleric.)
Johan Phaulkon, their current employer and arranger of the excursion, met the party to inform them on their mission (go to The Under and buy/steal as many slaves as possible with the express goal of freeing them afterwards) as well as present them with people who will be recognized as guards for the people they will be bringing back.
Some complications arose when the party got to the dock to find that a few members of Stormshield’s elite (the head of security for the city, a human by the name Naoki Ishida, as well as a few random people that just appeared to be book keepers.) Naoki explained that he wouldn’t interfere with whatever the party was doing as long as they left whatever it was that he and his people bring back alone. It was the party’s understanding that they were just there for rare goods. Basically, as long as any thieves in the party just didn’t mess with what they were bringing back, everything would be fine.
Upon arrival they were told that they had one week to do what they came to do. Slave auctions last a week (and, just to drive the whole evil wealth sort of thing, I made them silent auctions) and Nalu had a plan going into this mission of who she needed to kill. Basically this whole arc is devoted to her backstory. Anyway, the party found themselves in a tavern called The Broken Wheel where they met a contact of Phaulkon named Aeowyn Windlancer. Formerly a pirate captain, as the party found out, she was left in Rat’s Mouth Bay (the name of the little pirate town they’re in) by her former crew after she made the full transition to being a woman. Misogyny and all that. The party paid her to scout the market, to which she found that there was heavier guard than normal. Additional Mind Flayers and two of the three higher ups within the slavers ring were present. One, a duergar fighter named Seamus Ironjaw. The other a female drow priestess. Seamus had additional slaves with him for backup if a fight broke out.
Nalu, knowing her way around Rat’s Mouth Bay, also knew of a drug den/brothel nearby. She and Kya disguised themselves as pirates looking for pleasurable company. They ended up paying for a Tiefling woman who they promptly made go to sleep for the hour while they scouted the building. Nalu felt a strange presence and then heard footsteps coming up from downstairs. Upon trying to leave they were ambushed by the third member of the ring, a Mind Flayer named Mindbreaker Izzinoth, and his four crazed slaves. Kya and Nalu called for help as combat began.
I treated each slave as a level 3 Berserker Barbarian. They Frenzied immediately and used Reckless Attacks every turn. I also made them resistant to everything and immune to psychic damage (which the party never got around to finding out) because they were heavily drugged. Using tactics I had them all attempt to gang up on Barakiel (which the player did not like but eh.) Nalu really hurt Izzinoth with a combination of sharpshooter shots and the additional damage granted by my Monster Hunter class.
The fight ended with Crugar making a reckless attack which killed Izzinoth by denting a helmet he was wearing in such a way that it split the illithid’s skull. I pretty much ended the session there as it was getting late.
Next session (May 27th) is set to be probably the darkest of all the games as the group explores just how evil The Under truly is. There’s gonna be content warnings and some potentially triggering stuff. This is stuff that even I’m uncomfortable with. Keep in mind they’re still in the brothel so if anything along those lines is a problem I implore you to let me know. Heck, if this post itself needs content warning tags tell me. I want all of you to be comfortable and enjoy yourselves here.
Bk1 of Prophesized. Merlin and Arthur are faced by a new, powerful threat: the Gvarath. Merlin once again dons the guise of Dragoon the Great to save Arthur. But the question is: will he be able to convince Arthur to fight alongside him?
How does Morgana react when news reaches her of Arthur’s decision to lift the ban on magic and when she learns of Merlin’s identity? Part of my series. Bit of a prologue to Heart of Gold but CAN STAND ALONE.
Bk3 of Prophesized. Camelot has slowly adjusted to their new Court Sorcerer and the freedom of magic, but prejudice hides in the darkest shadows, with treason and betrayal at its side. However, when Dark magic gets thrown into the mix and when the witch comes out to play… prejudice really is the least of their worries. Merlin!whump/BAMF; Arthur!whump.
Because the story never really ends when the author writes “The End,” does it? All the unanswered questions, all the scenes yet to be written…A collection of oneshots and drabbles all connected to my Prophesized series.
After something terrible happens, Arthur, Gwen, Gwaine, and Lancelot take their turns in protecting their protector, watching over their watcher. Merlin’s the one in trouble, now, and it’s up to them to save him.
In which Merlin is bludgeoned, strangled, attacked, smothered, shot with glass, and tossed out a window, burned, whipped, stabbed, thrown down stairs, nearly drowned on dry land, and harpooned, and still manages to save Camelot from seven evil sorcerers.
Arthur is told a series of events that will occur over the space of a week. The seventh day will end with magic returning to Camelot, ushered in by the warlock Emrys, either to save the kingdom or destroy it. Arthur has a plan, though. Sort of.
Merlin couldn’t for the life of him remember at what point he’d heaved himself up onto the actual wall, standing with the wind ruffling his hair and the toes of his boots sticking out over the edge. But, he had.
Merlin was no stranger to being tormented by the knights of Camelot, but when one ups the ante he finds that while not all of them know where to draw the line, at least some will come to his aid when it is crossed. Set during S2.
A visiting lord comes to Camelot to do business with Uther. However, he has ill intent towards the prince and tries to use Merlin to get what he wants. But Merlin will protect Arthur no matter the cost to himself.
Morgana plans to enact complete revenge against Merlin, unknowingly setting off paths of destiny. Emrys will be the one needed to vanquish the evil she unleashes. Old enemies resurface and new ones emerge. And allies will be needed in Emrys’ dark hour.
Before they swore their allegiance to Prince Arthur at the Round Table, their loyalty had already been earned by the servant at his right hand. From the POV of Lancelot, Gwaine, Percival, Guinevere, Gaius, and finally Merlin himself.
Original prompt: Arthur/Merlin, Hurt/Comfort - effects of starvation on one of the boys, with the other nursing him back to health
Additional prompt: For whatever reason, Arthur doesn’t go to Ealdor in the “Moment of Truth”, and Merlin on his own can’t convince the villagers to stay and fight, so the harvest is stolen while the villagers hide. Merlin stays on to try to help the famine-stricken town, but feels so guilty for failing to save them that he takes almost no food for himself. When Arthur hears about how things have turned out, he comes as quickly as he can bringing whatever aid he can manage, enough to get the village through the winter. Merlin is in worse shape than most. Arthur, wracked with his own guilt for not helping earlier, cares for Merlin himself.
A powerful sorcerer named Emrys resides in Camelot, a silent guardian to Prince Arthur. But why would any sorcerer protect a Pendragon? Candun intends to find out, even if it means kidnapping the prince of Camelot as bait.
Sequel to Arthur’s Silent Guardian! With the unknown identity of his sorcerer-protector plaguing him, Arthur is unsure how to deal with this new knowledge. Meanwhile, a series of mysterious earthquakes is threatening the safety of Camelot.
Sequel to On Shaky Ground! As an army of sorcerers marches on Camelot, Merlin scrambles to come up with a defense strategy. In the meantime: Arthur, newly enlightened about the identity of the mysterious “Emrys,” finds hiding his knowledge a little more difficult than he originally anticipated.
Gwaine may be known for his tavern brawls and his willingness to prank his fellow knights, but he is nothing if not loyal. So when Merlin begins acting strangely, Gwaine goes to great lengths to figure out what’s wrong, unaware of just what he will uncover in the process: blackmail, plots, danger, and a dark secret hanging over the head of his best friend like an axe.
3x13 tag. Lancelot doesn’t understand Merlin. He saves all of Camelot, yet asks for no recognition. Well someone needs to thank him, and Lancelot decides to fulfill that roll. But what if someone else is within hearing distance when he does?
He couldn’t let Arthur do this. The old sorceress was not in her right mind. She deserved pity, not death. That is, until she mentions a young woman she once cursed. Merlin’s blood runs cold, and Arthur stares at him in confusion. Merlin/Freya, no slash.
Claude is new in Camelot and he doesn’t understand that Merlin and Arthur’s banter is normal. He wishes to teach Merlin a lesson. Will the other guards stop him in time? Will they have their own story of foolishness to tell? Whump, bromance, no slash.
Sequel to Why You Don’t Mess With Merlin. Claude is still confused about the servant Merlin. He just doesn’t understand him. But when something bad happens Claude sees the side of Merlin that is willing to do anything to protect even one person. No slash.
Tag to 404. The knights played a joke on Merlin and we see him not eating for two nights, but what if it’s been longer than that? Will Arthur and the knights realize something abut Merlin that they never knew before? Bromance, no slash, overworked Merlin.
Fans of A Question of Motives, this is officially a key part of my “A Question of…” Series. It tells past events for main characters, and reveals OCs that will be in Season 4 sub-eps and my planned fic “A Question of Destiny”
Destiny. For him it is both burden and blessing. How fair that fate lead to that friendship, how cruel that he must lie to protect it. The question being what more will destiny ask of him? What price to obey it? Prequel to A Question of Motives
As he lay there bearing witness to the battle before him, he could scarce believe what he saw. What was he to believe? What to do? How are you supposed to react when the man you saw as your closest friend turns out to be a sorcerer? *Spoilers for SE-3*
The Brotherhood of the Round Table has begun, leading the fight against darkness. The threads of destiny are weaving ever tighter, and the one question is if their trust will be enough. Spoilers Se4 Sequel to A Question of Motives
Magic has begun its slow return, beneath the illusion of indecision Arthur must wield. With the Brotherhood at his side, he knows that all lands now wait for him to reveal his ultimate choice. Spoilers for Se5 Sequel to A Question of Brotherhood
Shadows lurk beneath the golden glow of peace, and trouble stirs in the east of Albion. For when one foe ceases to cast their shadow, another will rise to take their place, and spur the call of Unity (Sequel to A Question of Decisions)#Season6#
Arthur is Assistant Director at a museum of medieval art. Morgana’s the senior curator. Lance is the armour specialist, Gwen works with tapestries and textiles. Merlin is a new employee with a reputation for quirky brilliance.
Sequel to “Inside the Pendragon Institute.” Arthur, Assistant Director of the well-known museum of medieval art, plans a summer visit to London with the Institute’s newest and most gifted conservator, Merlin Emrys. What could possibly go wrong? AU Merthur
Part 3 in the Pendragon Institute series. A 3-shot in which the museum staff celebrates the end of the year. Morgana’s mysterious, Uther looms on the horizon, Mordred approaches puberty, and visions of commitment are dancing in Arthur’s head. AU slash.
4th and final fic in the Pendragon Institute series. At the museum of medieval art, reactions to Arthur’s latest decision range from excitement to shock. Arthur and Merlin head to London to make things official, but will they have any time alone there? AU
At a museum exhibition opening and conference, Arthur Pendragon, Assistant Director of the Pendragon Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Art, and his junior conservator, Merlin Emrys, have a very unexpected encounter. And they only have 24 hours to figure out what to do about it. The 5th story in the Pendragon Institute series. One-shot. AU slash. References to episode dialogue.
“Arthur started it, he had practically dared him. Fine then. He would show them, he would show them all. They were about to get their socks blow off.” In which Merlin tells a tale, and Arthur pays attention. Story time has never been this complicated…
This is a story of scenarios…think of it as drabbles, but longer. I’m going to pretty much post all the one-shots I’ve written and also write more. Next Up: Comparing Scars in which Merlin gets drunk and takes off his shirt.
Part of the series I have planned for my team of runaway knights set after 'The Order Of Things’ while they are in exile. Merlin, Arthur and the others take refuge during a snow storm, and being at close quarters can get interesting.
The exiles rescue a group of druids from an attack and learn some disturbing news, some of which comes from Merlin. They are forced to risk everything as they return to Camelot, in an attempt to save the kingdom.
Post S3. When a patrol goes missing under strange circumstances, Arthur is determined to find out what happened, and no one can persuade him otherwise. With nothing to go on but a foreboding story, Merlin fears that their luck might finally run out.
It starts with a choice. After promising that when the time came he would choose wisely, Arthur never once thought that he would make the wrong choice, but the choices that matter most aren’t always what we think. *Post season 3* Oneshot, 2 parts.
After revealing his magic to Arthur due to life-threatening circumstances, Merlin decides it’s time he learned to heal. With Gaius off dealing with an illness in the outer villages, Merlin is left to his own methods, bearing some rather costly outcomes.
De-aged!Merlin, Caring!Arthur, Caring!Knights, Reveal!Fic. If that doesn’t say it all, Merlin is turned into a child by ex-druids bent on raising “Emrys” to be their weapon to free magic. Plot is actually just an excuse to write Merlin-as-a-kid fluff. SPOILERS for S4. Set during S4, after episode #whatever, when Elyan is … you know.
Merlin’s magic is revealed and Arthur struggles with his views on magic and the issue of trust. It takes talks with Gwen and Gaius, as well as a display of innocent magic viewed secretly from a bush, to make him realise that nothing which truly mattered has ever really changed. Post-S3, will now be considered AU.
Tag to 4x8, “Lamia.” When Arthur discovers what his knights did to his servant while under the creature’s influence, he and Merlin get into a bit of a row over what should be done about it. Chapter 5: Back in Camelot with Arthur and a visit from Gwaine.
“You have failed destiny Arthur. And the price you pay will be a heavy one.” When Arthur is told he will lose the one person who holds his and Camelot’s hopes and dreams, he rushes to protect Gwen. No-one notices the look of despair in Merlin’s eyes.
AU post season 3, slash, G/M, Gwaine watches silently as Merlin falls apart piece by piece as Arthur falls in love with Gwen and then marries her. Later, he will have to fix up the broken warlock as best he can.
Or “Why Arthur Should Stop Getting Knocked Unconscious at Strategic Moments Throughout the Show so that Merlin Can Do Magic Without Getting Caught” Arthur’s been hit on the head too many times, and isn’t quite himself on his coronation day. Chaos ensues.
Originally anthologized in “Sesquipedalian.” After an attempted assassination of Prince Arthur nearly costs Merlin his life, Arthur decides to have a little “talk” with Merlin about his apparent longing to die for him.
“Stay away from him!” The visiting prince snapped his eyes to meet Arthur’s challenge. “Why?” he sneered. “He’s just a mouthy servant. He needed to be taught a lesson.” An old acquaintance of Arthur’s is in Camelot and Merlin suffers because of it.
Tag to 'The Darkest Hour’. Merlin has always been there for Arthur, a constant companion that always seems to come out of any situation unscathed. But this time, Merlin doesn’t get up. And Arthur doesn’t know if he wants to stand up again, either. 4x01
Tag to 'The Darkest Hour Pt. 2’. Arthur and the knights take care of Merlin after the Dorocha attack and before they split up. Arthur struggles to say his goodbyes and Merlin is, of course, trying to protect Arthur, even while dying. 4x02
Tag to 'The Wicked Day’. Merlin had been closer to his destiny than he had ever been and it had blown up in his face. How can he pretend everything will be alright after destroying everything he’s ever worked for? 4x03
Tag to 'Aithusa’. On the ride back to Camelot, the king and his knights attempt to apologize to a distracted Merlin for treating him poorly on the way. Merlin’s shocked yet touched, Gwaine’s drunk, Elyan’s ashamed, and Arthur’s just plain awkward. 4x04
AU tag to 'Lamia’. Looking at the bloody, battered Merlin on the cold floor, with Lamia’s green eyes focused hungrily upon the weary men, the knights realized that this time, they might have crossed the line. Enchanted or not, they have gone too far. 4x08
Okay so, one of the main reasons I decided to try and make the Zora Armor costume from Twilight Princess was because of the helmet. It’s really cool looking!! I needed it! I had…no idea how to make it! So here’s what I did:
Paperclay - it’s my favorite type of clay; feel free to substitute in a moldable substance of your choice. Just make sure that it air-dries (don’t put foam in the oven), and can be adhered to foam with some sort of adhesive.
A heat gun/embossing gun
Optional: bowls/various shapes to help you mold the foam
Optional, but important: a Dremel, to smooth out the edges of your foam after you cut it. You can use a rough sandpaper, but it will take a bit more time and physical effort.
So, this update begins AFTER I cut out and sanded the edges of my helmet pieces. I was a bit too eager to work on things, and didn’t get great photos of that process (you can see some in Update #5).
I bet your box is filled with demands, but maybe you feel like writing one more jonsa prompt with #10 (and Sansa being the hero?). Thank you for sharing your talent with us!
“How’d you like your letters, Jon?” Jeyne asks, smiling over the lemonade Mrs. Stark has brought them on the porch.
It’s surreal, sitting here on the swing with Sansa Stark, while Jeyne prattles away and Mrs. Stark brings drinks and baked goods out to them on trays. Surreal not to be in a foxhole and surreal that Robb didn’t come home with him. Jon went off to war thinking he’d be a hero, and by the end of it, the only thing keeping him alive was a dented helmet and those letters he got from back home.
He didn’t have a sweetheart to write him the way the way most the fellas did. A sweetheart was a name to whisper, a picture to clutch, and letters full of warm promises. A letter could be a damn lifesaver, but he went the first few months with nothing but poorly penned reports from Arya about her job in the munitions factory that were half blacked out, because they contained things she wasn’t supposed to write about.
patrochilles fic preview outtake because i’m a cruel but generous bitch (reincarnation au) [okay so this was supposed to be part of a much longer fic but then it got really depressing and i wanted to write a happy college au where no one dies. so that’s what i’m working on now.]
Beaches of Normandy, 1944 AD
Itseems cruel that I should meet him here, of all places, on a beachunder siege. The vicious irony of it stings at the back of my throat
as I spot him in the crowd of British troops clamouring off their
boat. He moves, as ever, with the practiced ease of a soldier who has
spent lifetimes in battle, deft and quick on his feet as he’s always
been. I don’t consciously look for him – though, by now, I think
there’s some part of me that is always
looking, no matter which life I’m living, no matter the monotony of
the day – but as soon as I see the flash of blond hair under the
dented battle helmet, it all comes rioting back into my mind. It
feels as though I’ve spent the entirety of this lifetime and many
This got away from me. Inspired by the tumblr post talking about a world where tattoos randomly appear on people’s bodies. M Rated because of implied hanky-panky.
Clara got her first tattoo when her mother died.
She was expecting it. She had known, for what seemed like such a long and too terribly short time at once, that her mum didn’t have long. But she wasn’t prepared all the same for the pain. She was sobbing, holding her mother’s limp hand in her own. Her father had his face buried in the covers of the hospice bed as his own wailing grew louder, and this was agony enough.
Suddenly her back, near her shoulder blade, was burning white hot, like a branding iron had dug in there, marking the torture of that moment. She paid it no mind; she knew what it was. Her father was clutching his chest, where Clara knew a once green and thriving maple tree was shedding its leaves. It was bare now, they learned, many hours later. And across Clara’s back, caught in some invisible breeze, was a single leaf.
Her next tattoo, on the top of her foot, came soon after, when she decided to postpone getting a teaching job to help the Maitlands. It was an hourglass and the sands constantly moved, the top never emptying and the bottom never filling either. Clara understood what it meant. It was the same as her mother’s book, gathering dust, a reminder that her adventures, her dreams, were on hold. Someday time would run out.
And then the Doctor appeared in his Snog Box. The corresponding tattoo came when she was unconscious and he was fiddling around with the bits of junk in the garage. It wasn’t so much a new tattoo as a change. The sands of the hourglass had shifted. Now they were no longer white, but gold, and shone like stars. And the sands didn’t continue to flow down- they moved in loops and swirls amongst the glass, aimlessly, much like the Doctor’s own meanderings. She loved it.
After their first trip in the Tardis, she showed her tattoos to him. A new one had appeared, and she had hopped on one foot about the Tardis as the ring of asteroids appeared around her ankle even as the machine dematerialized from the originals. He was thrilled, of course, satisfied that he had indeed taken her somewhere “awesome”, that it should be so lasting on her little human life.
“And what about you?” She had asked, eyeing this man who was always dressed from bowtie to boots, showing no skin but his face and hands. “Do Time Lords get tattoos too?” His face had closed in then. He muttered something non-committal, then promptly dropped her back home, bidding her farewell till next Wednesday.
She feared he wouldn’t come back. But he did.
It wasn’t until after she saved the Doctor by throwing herself into his timestream that the new tattoo appeared. The pain was- well, it was like she was being ripped apart, which she was. The small of her back was shattering as she fell through The Doctor’s life, splitting into echoes, saving him time and again. Clara hurt so bad, she wanted to die.
But he came back for her, carried her out somehow. It took her several hours to reorient herself, to realize that the world around her belonged to the real Clara, herself, and not the echoes. They were all in her head now, clambering around. Some were more clear than others, but the resounding detail of each half-life was the tattoo that was now taking residence on her lower back.
Or rather, they all had pieces of it; pieces of China that, when assembled, formed a doll with her likeness. Back on the Tardis, the Doctor marveled over the little effigy, running his fingers over the little cracks etched onto the surface (and Clara tried very hard not to slap him for stroking her bare back).
“Amazing, truly incredible,” he murmured wistfully, and Clara wondered for what seemed like the hundredth time if aliens- specifically those from Gallifrey- received tattoos as well.
And then on Christmas she learned that yes, they did. He did.
She only caught a glance- made a point not to glance places- but she was stunned.
His skin was a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns, some delicate, some tribal, some bright blues and reds and some dull grey. It seemed that his face and hands were the only parts of him that had evaded the patterns and motifs.
There were three that stood out most to Clara.
Over his left heart there was a small lake- no, that wasn’t it. It was a little pond, a faded blue-grey, with a swan floating in it aimlessly. And right below that, a dented helmet with a feathery plume. Starting over his other heart, winding around his back, was a river, flowing waters of gold. She understood that one, and her heart ached for him. So many moments, so many losses, etched across his skin, and he bore that burden alone. All those memories.
He sorted out his clothes quickly, and when she turned back round, he was smiling that sad smile of his.
“Perhaps I’ll tell you about them later”, he intoned, fiddling with the console.
But later didn’t come. They were separated. Centuries for him, minutes for her, and she got him back, briefly, only to lose him in a burst of golden light. That was the moment that she realized she loved him, when she was faced with his loss. How typical of her.
The new man appeared, owl eyes and Scottish and cross.
And the spot over her heart burned.
This one was different, the way it appeared. Her mother’s scorched and felt like loss; the hourglass ached with the disappointment of dreams put on a shelf; the rings around her ankle were the hot rush of adventure. But this.
This radiated through her entire body, blazing through every fiber of her being straight to her soul. And the sensation never stopped; it only faded to a peculiar tingle, sometimes sending a warm shiver through her body.
For a while, she didn’t have time to check. They were crashing, then there were dinosaurs, and suddenly they were in Victorian London. With some effort, the Paternoster gang was able to transport him back to their home. With considerably more effort, Madame Vastra coerced the Doctor into the long nighty, allowing him to shoo the three women (and one Strax) out of the room in order for him to change.
Tall as he was, the night shirt only covered a portion of his arms and legs, and Clara was greeted with another surprise: the visible skin was completely unmarked. Where hours- eons- ago he had displayed a collage of images, there was now soft, flawless skin. His tattoos were gone.
It made sense of course. New body, new man. He was a clean slate, literally and figuratively.
But his change was so hard for her to overcome, and Vastra scolded her- to which she scolded right back. A T-rex was ablaze in the heart of London, and once again the Doctor was missing from her sight. When she was finally able to turn in for bed, she was so exhausted that she forgot to inspect her new mark. It wasn’t until the next morning that she finally discovered it.
Clara couldn’t understand how she missed it. It wasn’t just on her chest- it was everywhere. Her body had erupted into constellations. Most of them she recognized- she had seen or visited many of them. There was the Medusa Cascade, here was the moon (Earth’s Moon, that is), that planet there had to be Delphon. Stars and galaxies, planets and supernovas, were all drifting about her skin. The colors were amazing; not just silver and gold, but purple and fiery red, calm blue and vivid orange. Some places were brighter than others, particularly the ones where she had such fond memories. Her face was unmarked, and the stars faded off beyond her elbows.
It was like she and the Doctor- the other Doctor- had switched, blank skin for a masterpiece. It was breathtaking.
But all of this she admired later. It would strike her, much further in the future, how like her that was. All the wonders of this universe were open to her, but what truly captivated her, what always held her attention, was the Doctor.
Because at the epicenter of all of this beauty, directly over her heart, was a complex matrix of circles. They were the only inking on her body that remained still, but somehow were the most intriguing. She couldn’t read them, of course, but instantly Clara understood. Etched onto her heart in the same silver as his hair was the Doctor’s name.
And, once again, she had lost him.
Of course he had her back. Of course he found her. Because no matter whom the Doctor was now, he was her best friend. He was always that.
“I’m not your boyfriend.” Clara ached at those words. The tingling that was becoming familiar very quickly went just a little cold.
Yes. The Doctor was her friend. And she decided that moment not to tell him about the constellations dancing across her form.
In fact, Clara decided to hide her tattoos from everyone from that point. If the Doctor noticed that she stopped showing skin (even when they were trapped on a desert planet), he didn’t comment. Rightly so. They had been traveling with him in this body for a few months now, and surely he had acquired some new images. If he wouldn’t show his, well, she wouldn’t show him hers. New planets and stars appeared as they went along. The moon cracked, and another took its place. They fought, and once again, she was faced with his loss.
She went months without seeing him. Grew close to Danny. The first night they made love, the night he became the first person to see every inch of the cosmos on her skin, was the night she decided to have one last hurrah with the Doctor. She couldn’t let him go that easily.
It was Danny’s idea. He had been tracing her skin, after, occasionally asking a question. Have you seen this star burn? Did you walk on this planet? For some she would only smile. Others she described in detail, how the wind on this planet smelled strangely of strawberries even though the only fruit around was orange and quite deadly for humans, how the water of this ocean was so clear that you could see the homes of the amphibious people hundreds of feet below.
He didn’t believe most of them, Clara could tell. That was fine. She liked having those strange worlds to herself. But she described them all the same, slightly bemused, until-
“And what’s this?” Calloused fingers traced the circles just above her heart, and suddenly she pulled away, closed up.
She lied, of course. It’s nothing. Cosmic mumbo-jumbo, he wouldn’t understand. Danny had frowned at that. He had explained all of his tattoos to her, holding nothing back. He had so many, nearly as many as Clara herself. They were scars for him, battles long won. Fields on fire, men standing at attention. The silhouette of a weeping woman. But nothing would make her talk about them, and though he didn’t understand completely, he knew they were about her Doctor.
“You need to go to him. Give things a happy end.”
But she didn’t want it to end, and so lies, more lies, piling up and building until that terrible day.
Clara told Danny she loved him, and the spot over her other foot was on fire. And the saddest part was, at first she didn’t realize that it burned because of his loss. She wanted to believe it was a sign that maybe, just maybe, things would go right between them.
The little toy soldier marching over her foot mocked her. She was owed better.
She betrayed her Doctor, or intended to. Her face burned with shame, even when he forgave her, even though he tried so hard to give her what she wanted. Clara felt like she didn’t deserve him or his name, the one he kept hidden. She loved him. Hadn’t stopped, had she? From the moment he appeared before her in the aftermath of Trenzalore, he was what she wanted. But she let him down in the worst way. And so she lied again. Let him go home. Let him never know.
The stars faded and grew numb. The sands in her hourglass muddied into a sullen grey, crawling slowly downwards. That was her life for those lonely weeks. The taunting presence of what she once had and never would again kept her from the mirror. She dressed in the dark and dreamed of that which she lost.
In dreams he found her again. When he appeared on her roof she could feel the colors blaze to life across her body, nebulas bursting back into life. It felt so real; holding his hand, running for their lives (again). And she felt the weight of so many years without him, when she was old with countless regrets. It never happened, but she still felt as though she lived an entire life without him.
So when she woke up at last, for real this time, Clara didn’t hesitate to take his hand. Leaned in, kissed his cheek in her excitement and exuberance. He gaped back at her, all owl eyes, and Clara was struck by how similar and utterly different he looked in that moment to the moment she first saw him. The spot over her heart where his name rested tingled again as he smiled at her. There was no confusion, no regret in this moment, as they ran hand in hand to their Tardis, giggling like school children. Once inside he turned to her, looking happier than he had ever been in this form, and grasped her other hand.
“Clara, my Clara. How I missed you.” Her breath caught in her chest as he leaned down and pressed his lips to her forehead, returning that chaste kiss she had given him before. When he pulled back there was a question in his eyes. What are we now? Neither of them really had to ask. They had run away together, left everything else behind.
Clara broke his gaze after a long moment, looked down to the hands that were still entwined with his. A pleasant warmth was encircling her ring finger as a band of silver appeared before her eyes. When she looked back up at him, he was smiling again. The Doctor tilted his head down toward his own hand, which trembled slightly in her own.
Not her boyfriend indeed.
The Tardis had made a new bedroom for the two of them, perhaps as a sign to Clara that she approved, that their little feud had ended. Or maybe it was to keep them from snogging against the console, Clara never could tell with these things. They kissed, against the door, at the foot of the bed, between the removal of clothing. The Doctor’s eyes blazed when he pulled Clara’s nighty over her head, bright blue irises scanning over the stars and planets that he knew by name. For most of them, he had seen their birth and death, but never had they been so beautiful to him. His fingers lingered just above her navel, where she knew Gallifrey turned slowly amongst a sea of stars. His lips brushed across his own name as he whispered hers.
Clara divested him of his coat, then his hoody. He shivered when her hands slipped under his jumper; she could tell he was nervous, self-conscious even. So she kissed him again, reassuringly, since they both seemed to enjoy that so much. Told him they could go slow, if he was uncomfortable. Could even have the Tardis dim the lights, if he didn’t want to be seen just yet. He huffed at that.
“ I’m over 2000 years old, Clara, I’m okay with a little nudity.” Still, his movements were a little jerky as he turned his back to her and pulled the holey jumper off.
She was right; he had acquired some new tattoos during their travels. On his right shoulder was a little bow resting against a quiver of golden arrows; a glowing forest was blooming across his back. She tickled across his ribs, on which were the Tardis’ “round things” and he squirmed, frowning deeply though his eyes were still merry.
Her brow furrowed when she reached his front. It was mostly bare, save over his hearts, where there were two hand prints, solid black in ink. Noticing her confusion, the Doctor simply took his hand in hers.
Immediately, the black morphed into a collage of colors, swirling along the lines in warm reds and purples and blues. When he placed her hand over one, the other went bright gold. Oh. They were her hands, on his hearts. She remarked on how pretty the colors were, trying to keep the real emotion out of her voice. He wasn’t fooled, of course.
“The prints appeared the moment I regenerated,” he murmured gently, pulling her hand to his lips. It happened that way, sometimes. The first face his face saw, it could leave a mark, physically and also somewhere deeper. His previous body had that little pond as its first mark, right after he crashed his Tardis into a little girl’s backyard. The one before that, the “flirty one”, he said with an endearing snort, had a rose, always in bloom. He started to babble about other bodies, other tattoos, until she told him to shut up and pulled him onto the bed. For once he was happy to comply.
Much, much later, after whispered apologies and gentle touches and- as he so eloquently put it- “torrid hanky-panky”, they lay in bed together. Spooning, Clara called it, though the Doctor felt that was a ridiculous term, as they had met spoon-people and he doubted they participated in such activities. She had shushed him again, reaching a hand back to ruffle his hair in a way that both incensed and soothed. He had let it grow out again, and now it stuck out messily from their… vigorous activities, and Clara decided she quite liked this. Laying close in what could be considered a hug (he didn’t really mind, so long as it was with her and she didn’t just jump him, he had confessed), the patterns on their bodies blending together, their left hands entwined and touching where their matching bands were inked. It might be her favorite wonder in the universe, loving this man.
For a girl with galaxies to spare, that was saying a lot.
imagine bucky watching steve strip after a battle to shower and he stares at steve’s scarred and bruised back and just wants to take him in his arms and protects him from the world
“You want first shower or second?” Steve asks, tossing his dented helmet onto the floor beside the front door and kicking off one of his boots. It leaves a filthy, faintly red smudge on the floor, and he scuffs at it with one socked toe before the stain can set. The other boot ends up launched across the room when he shakes his foot too hard, trying to dislodge it, and bounces off of the hall-closet door. Steve opts to ignore it. They’ll clean up after themselves tomorrow… probably.
Bucky had shed several layers of body-armor in the elevator on the way up and flopped face-first onto the couch as soon as they were through the door. He barely lifts his head.
“Mphff,” Bucky mumbles eloquently, still half buried in the cushions. There’s a long smudge of soot that spreads between his cheek and the couch, as he lazily props his chin up on the metal knob of his elbow and blows a matted wisp of stray hair out of his eyes. It falls right back down and Bucky lets it go, with a faintly frustrated noise. “Ghh…”
“Right, I’ll let you know when I’m out then.” Steve agrees. He’s pretty used to this when Buck’s good and tired. Nothing is going to pry Bucky off of that couch for the next half an hour at least. Not even the promise of a hot shower and fresh clothes.
“Soun’s great.” There’s a vague, lazy thumbs-up over the arm of the couch before the dirty, bruised hand drops limp again, the effort to draw it back in apparently just too much work. It dangles over the edge of the couch, occasionally flexing stiff fingers and rolling the wrist that spent too long trying to steady a sniper-rifle earlier tonight. Trace of gun oil are smearing off on the stiff blue fabric, but that’s hardly new. They’ll deal with it later.
Steve leans against the kitchen counter and busies himself with slowly unbuckling what remains of his tac-suit. It’s not in good shape: shredded in a few spots and burned in a few others. His suit isn’t really salvageable, but he’s still careful as he tugs the material up over his head. He’s got plenty of tender spots that won’t be quite healed up for another couple of days, and he’d really rather not put any more pressure on them than he has to.
He doesn’t notice Bucky’s head very slowly surfacing over the arm of the couch and watching him in silence. He also doesn’t see the look on Bucky’s face, which is probably just as well, because he knows that face well and he’s never been happy to see it. Bucky has never been very good at watching Steve hurt.
Bucky Barnes has patched up Steve Rogers so many times, before and during the war, it isn’t even funny. From ill-advised fights in back alleys, to falling out of trees, to that time he had to carry the little punk home when Steve passed out sick on the street. Then it was shelling and Nazis and ridiculous blue-energy ray-guns. How either of them survived as long as they did is beyond him.
Bucky should really be used to Steve getting the shit beaten out of him by now. He isn’t.
Bucky’s had this strange idea in his head, since that first time he saw Steve, after the serum, that somehow Steve would always be ok. He knows firsthand that that’s not true, but somehow he just never managed to shake the idea. Not until the memory of putting his own bullets in Steve started haunting his dreams. Even so… sometimes he forgets.
Steve heals so fast. He never wheezes, never gets fevers or cold-sweats anymore. He’s healthy in a way Bucky hadn’t ever dared hope he would be when they were kids. It’s hard to remember sometimes that Steve’s just as stupid, just as reckless, and just as human as he’s ever been. He still pushes his limits, as absurd as they’ve become, every chance he gets. Steve will never stop tempting fate, no matter how many grey hairs Bucky complains that his best friend is giving him.
Steve doesn’t really scar anymore, not for longer than a couple of weeks anyway… but he’s not bullet, blade, or bomb proof. He still cuts open like anybody else. He still bruises up like old fruit if you hit him hard enough, just as colorful as he ever did. He still gets hurt, just as much as he ever did. Bucky can see the evidence all over Steve’s back as the top half of the uniform comes off, smudged with half-dried blood. There’s a mottled kaleidoscope of black and blue and angry red all over Steve’s sides and shoulders, a long gash running diagonally from the top of one shoulder-blade down to the barely visible point of one hip. A large angry-looking burn forms a fiery-red ring on both sides of Steve’s abdomen where an energy bolt knocked him on his ass earlier.
Steve, oblivious to his audience, runs a hand tentatively over his stomach, tracing the ragged edges of a shallow knife-wound. He flinches, and pulls them back when they hit a tender spot. They come away slightly rust-colored, but the bleeding has already stopped. He can almost hear Steve thinking good enough and moving on.
Bucky swallows hard and fights the overpowering instinct to defend that’s rising in him. There’s nobody here to protect Rogers from. The fight is over and the people that did this are either dead or in the new SHIELD’s custody. All he can do is what he has been doing: watch Steve’s back and keep him as safe as this crazy-ass lifestyle they’ve chosen will allow. He can’t protect Steve from everything, though he’s had to work hard to accept that, and he hates it. He can’t wrap the idiot in bubble-wrap, though god knows he’d do it if he thought it’d work.
“Hey Steve,” Bucky reluctantly hoists himself up on his elbows, hearing at least a dozen things in his human shoulder pop. He’ll probably be feeling that for a while… Steve turns around to look at him, and yeah, that’s definitely a spray of bullet-grazes on Rogers’ right arm. Steve doesn’t appear to be paying any attention to them. Guy never did have a single ounce of self-preservation, and that clearly hasn’t changed. “You alright?”
Steve looks down at himself, takes in the dirty, beat-up state of his body, and shrugs. “ ‘Bout normal.” He picks off the remains of a padded glove and tosses it towards the trash-can. He misses. Both of their eyes follow it, but neither moves. They’ll get it tomorrow. When moving isn’t so much damned effort. Steve hisses a little through his teeth as he works the other one off. Bucky had almost forgotten about the slash Steve took across his palm deflecting the knife that was trying to gut him. Wounds like those are always the worst. There’s no way not to aggravate them. “Nothing that won’t heal inside of a week.” Steve adds, dropping the ruined glove with distaste, not even trying for the trash this time, and picking a little scrap of debris out of his skin. There’s probably a lot more in the various cuts and scrapes he’s covered in, but the shower should take care of most of those.
“How’re you feeli- oof.” Steve cuts off, all the air squeezed out of him, when Bucky is abruptly on his feet and across the room, dragging him carefully into a tight, desperate hug. Steve goes loose and clings back, lets his head fall wearily onto Bucky’s shoulder.
“I’m glad you’re alive, idiot.” Bucky breathes, surprised at how sincerely he feels it. That relief. He gives Steve a gentle squeeze, avoiding his bruises and sore spots with practiced deftness, born from decades of Steve Rogers getting the daylights beaten out of him. He lets himself have this moment of we made it, then takes a breath and gives Steve a playful shove toward the hallway. “Now go wash up. You stink.”
“Jerk.” Steve smiles, breaking away and heading for the bathroom, as Bucky flops loosely back onto the couch with a theatrical groan and some creative muttered swearing. Steve can’t help chuckling under his breath at the stuff Bucky comes up with. Guy could’ve been a writer if things had gone differently. … A dirty one, but a writer all the same.
JARVIS has the hot water running and the drawer with their extensive first-aid kit nudged out for him by the time Steve opens the bathroom door.
I know what that smirky face is implying, and all I can say on that front is that when Hux and Kylo have sex, there’s nothing comforting about it. Sex for them is violent and all tongues and teeth.
Comfort for them is much more coveted – it’s quiet and gentle. Comfort for them is a blink and you’ll miss it type of deal.
~Hux’s hand, still gloved and cold, pressed to the back of Kylo’s neck in passing as he leaves for the bridge in the morning. Kylo leans into the touch, but it’s gone before either can truly capture the moment.
~Kylo’s nose pressed against Hux’s temple just long enough for a short exhale, his breath passing over Hux’s sharp cheekbone. Kylo’s lips hover over Hux’s cheek, but don’t quite kiss him. He pulls away, and the tingling on Hux’s skin lingers for the rest of the day, reminding him that Kylo loves him, even if he doesnt say it often.
~The sound of their footsteps as they walk along the bridge together, their strides in perfect sync, a subtle reminder that they are one in the same.
~A kiss, stolen, pressed to a dented helmet when the crew looks the other way. (Hux likes stolen moments – Kylo let’s him take them.)
This was the worst headache he’d ever experienced. Of course, as far as he knew, this was the only headache he’d ever experienced. Wait… that wasnt right, he would have had to have had a headache before. But when?
Why was he wearing armour? The man couldnt remember. He barely remembered sitting up to find a helmet a little bit away that matched the suit he was wearing, and a knot on the back of his head. How’d he hit his head? He must have wandered away from whatever it was that had happened. Hell, he was wandering around right now, scratched and dented helmet under one arm, and a hand on the back of his head.
It looked like he was heading towards some sort of city or base. There were people with suits that looked like his that way. Maybe someone could help him figure out what happened. Or who he was.