dr blink

‘Parks and Recreation’: Leslie Knope Writes Letter to America Following Donald Trump’s Victory

Dear America,

Amidst the confusion, and despair, and disbelief, it was suggested to me by a very close friend of mine (I won’t say her name, to protect her identity) (Ann. It was Ann) that perhaps a few people would enjoy hearing my thoughts on this election. So I sat down at my computer, cleared my head, and opened a document. Then I started crying. So I had some hot chocolate, and my close friend (Ann) rubbed my back for a while, and I got myself together, and sat down. And started crying. Then more Ann comforting me, and more hot chocolate, and back and forth like that for about six hours or so, the chain of hot-chocolate-and-back-rubs only interrupted briefly when I had to run to the store for more hot chocolate packets (“Just give me all of them, all the boxes,” I remember saying, through tears, to a very scared stockroom boy) and now I am ready to go.

When I was in fourth grade, my teacher Mrs. Kolphner taught us a social studies lesson. The seventeen students in our class were introduced to two fictional candidates: a smart if slightly bookish-looking cartoon tortoise named Greenie, and a cool-looking jaguar named Speedy. Rick Dissellio read a speech from Speedy, in which he promised that if elected he would end school early, have extra recess, and provide endless lunches of chocolate pizzandy. (A local Pawnee delicacy at the time — deep fried pizza where the crust was candy bars.) Then I read a speech from Greenie, who promised to go slow and steady, think about the problems of our school, and try her best to solve them in a way that would benefit the most people. Then Mrs. Kolphner had us vote on who should be Class President.

I think you know where this is going.

Except you don’t, because before we voted, Greg Laresque asked if he could nominate a third candidate, and Mrs. Kolphner said “Sure! The essence of democracy is that everyone—” and Greg cut her off and said “I nominate a T. rex named Dr. Farts who wears sunglasses and plays the saxophone, and his plan is to fart as much as possible and eat all the teachers,” and everyone laughed, and before Mrs. Kolphner could blink, Dr. Farts the T. rex had been elected President of Pawnee Elementary School in a 1984 Reagan-esque landslide, with my one vote for Greenie the Tortoise playing the role of “Minnesota.”

After class I was inconsolable. Once all the other kids left, Mrs. Kolphner came over and put her arm around me. She told me I had done a great job advocating for Greenie the Tortoise. Through tears I remember saying, “How good, exactly?” and she said “Very very good,” and I said, “Good enough to—?” and she sighed and went to her desk to get one of the silver stars she gave out to kids who did a good job on something, and as I tearfully added it to my Silver Star Diary she asked me what upset me the most.

“Greenie was the better candidate,” I said. “Greenie should have won.”

She nodded.

“I suppose that was the point of the lesson,” I said.

“Oh no,” she said. “The point of the lesson is: people are unpredictable, and democracy is insane.”

Winston Churchill once said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except all those other forms that have been tried.” That is perhaps a pithier and better way to get my point across, than that long anecdote about Mrs. Kolphner. Should I just erase all of that and start with this? Whatever. I’m pot-committed now, and is there extra caffeine in that hot chocolate? Because my head feels like a spaceship. The point is: people making their own decisions is, on balance, better than an autocrat making decisions for them. It’s just that sometimes those decisions are bad, or self-defeating, or maddening, and a day where you get dressed up in your best victory pantsuit and spend an ungodly amount of money decorating your house with American flags and custom-made cardboard-cutouts of suffragettes in anticipation of a glass-ceiling-shattering historical milestone ends with you getting (metaphorically) eaten by a giant farting T. rex.

Like most people, I deal with tragedy by processing the five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. My denial over the election results was intense. My anger was (in Ron’s words) “significant.” My bargaining was short, but creative — I offered my soul and the souls of all of my friends in exchange for 60,000 more votes in Milwaukee, to any demon who cared to accept. (Tom told me it was a terrible deal, but I didn’t care, in that moment.) My depression I have already mentioned. Which brings us to Acceptance.  And here’s what I stand on that:

No. I do not accept it.

I acknowledge that Donald Trump is the President. I understand, intellectually, that he won the election. But I do not accept that our country has descended into the hatred-swirled slop pile that he lives in. I reject out of hand the notion that we have thrown up our hands and succumbed to racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and crypto-fascism. I do not accept that. I reject that. I fight that. Today, and tomorrow, and every day until the next election, I reject and fight that story. I work hard and I form ideas and I meet and talk to other people who feel like me, and we sit down and drink hot chocolate (I have plenty) and we plan. We plan like mofos. We figure out how to fight back, and do good in this infuriating world that constantly wants to bend toward the bad. And we will be kind to each other, and supportive of each other’s ideas, and we will do literally anything but accept this as our fate.

And let me say something to the young girls who are reading this. Hi, girls. On behalf of the grown-ups of America who care about you and your futures, I am awfully sorry about how miserably we screwed this up. We elected a giant farting T. rex who does not like you, or care about you, or think about you, unless he is scanning your bodies with his creepy T. rex eyes, or trying to physically grab you like a toy his daddy got him (or would have, if his daddy had loved him). (Sorry, that was a low blow.) (Actually, not sorry, I’m pissed, and I’m on a roll, so zip it, super-ego!) Our President-Elect is everything you should abhor, and fear, in a male role model. He has spent his life telling you, and girls and women like you, that your lives are valueless except as sexual objects. He has demeaned you, and belittled you, and put you in a little box to be looked at and not heard. It is your job, and the job of girls and women like you, to bust out.

You are going to run this country, and this world, very soon. So you will not listen to this man, or the 75-year-old, doughy-faced, gray-haired nightmare men like him, when they try to tell you where to stand or how to behave or what you can and cannot do with your own bodies, or what you should or should not think with your own minds. You will not be cowed or discouraged by his stream of retrogressive babble. You won’t have time to be cowed, because you will be too busy working and learning and communing with other girls and women like you, and when the time comes you will effortlessly flick away his miserable, petty misogynistic worldview like a fly on your picnic potato salad.

He is the present, sadly, but he is not the future. You are the future. Your strength is a million times his. Your power is a billion times his. We will acknowledge this result, but we will not accept it. We will overcome it, and we will defeat it.

Now find your team, and get to work.

Love,

Leslie

Go put on your clothes, gotta look good while we decompose.

...Twister?...

Is this already an idea? Because I think it’s a terrible one at Black Hat Incorporation…

“Black Hat! Black Hat!” Demencia’s voice carried loudly through the halls.

How was Flug supposed to catch even an hour of sleep with her screaming and yelling like some crazy fangirl…?!

“Ugh. What is it, Demencia?!”

“Look what I found in Flug’s room!”

“Demencia, I’m busy.” The demon eldritch hissed, glancing for a split second to see a Twister mat, “What is that abomination?”

“I think it’s a thing humans like to play with.”

Black Hat stood, teleporting to Flug’s room and grabbing the scientist. He flinched in his grasp, “S-Sir?”

Demencia burst in just as he placed his goggles over his uncovered face. He winced as she squinted to see anything. With satisfaction that she couldn’t see, he stared at his boss’ quizzical glare.

“What is Twister, Doctor?”

Dr. Flug blinked in confusion, rubbing his cheek softly to wake himself up more. “You mean the game?”

“Is that what it is? A game?” Demencia asked, holding up the spinner.

“Let’s try this game, shall we Flug?”

“Uh….”

…..

The twister mat was placed in the large dining room hall. 5.0.5. holding the spinner with a grin. He was told to spin when told and to stand there quietly, to him it was easier than making breakfast for Black Hat.

“So how exactly do we play?” Demencia grinned.

“W-well… When 5.0.5. spins the arrow, i-it lands on a color a-and a limb. Left foot on red, right hand on yellow, er…right foot on blue, …something like that.”

Black Hat nodded, “Spin it.”

With a swipe of his soft, plushy paws, the arrow swirled fast. It didn’t come to a slowed stop until a minute passed. “Try not t-to spin i-it so hard…”

The color and limb it landed on popped up on a floating screen above 5.0.5., the color on one side while the limb’s name was on the other side. (It’s a magic screen. .-. I think…)

“Right foot red!” Demencia grinned, hopping on her foot immediately.

Flug sighed and watched BlackHat move. “Coming, Doctor? You ARE playing with us, correct?” His sinister grin sent  Flug moving.

“Y-Yes, sir…”

5.0.5. grinned and swiped his paw again when the command came. Within moments, the poor human was pressed against Black Hat, who simply shrugged off the burning sensations of the Doctor’s body heat.

Demencia created a very odd pretzel of herself, her eyes squeezed shut as she groaned. “THIS REALLY TESTS… YOUR… FLEXI…BILI….TYYYY!”

Flug tried his best not to giggle for fear of his boss over hearing him. He sucked in a deep breath and moved to red, his right hand landing softly on the mat while Black Hat twisted around and underneath Flug’s legs to reach the spot he desired.

“This is too easy…” Black Hat narrowed his eyes, watching Flug strain as he reached another spot with his foot.

“My muscles hurt…” Flug’s murmur was barely noted.

Black Hat smirked and strategized a way to get Flug into more pain. He moved his right hand over to yellow, the next desired spot. Flug’s let leg was now wrapped with Black Hat’s right hand, his other leg literally pinned beneath Black Hat lower regions and legs while his arms were the only free limbs.

As he moved to green with his right foot, he felt Flug flinch beneath him. “S-Sir….” Flug groaned, his body heat becoming intoxicating for Black Hat.

Demencia let out a huff of annoyance as she plopped over off the mat. She stalked off to her room, grumbling about losing and hating the game.

Flug swore up and down internally that he could feel something.. weird… pressed against his thigh and backside. He felt it wiggle against him and freaked, plopping to the matt with a yelp.

Black Hat smirked and stood tall, “I win.”

Dear America,

Amidst the confusion, and despair, and disbelief, it was suggested to me by a very close friend of mine (I won’t say her name, to protect her identity) (Ann. It was Ann) that perhaps a few people would enjoy hearing my thoughts on this election. So I sat down at my computer, cleared my head, and opened a document. Then I started crying. So I had some hot chocolate, and my close friend (Ann) rubbed my back for a while, and I got myself together, and sat down. And started crying. Then more Ann comforting me, and more hot chocolate, and back and forth like that for about six hours or so, the chain of hot-chocolate-and-back-rubs only interrupted briefly when I had to run to the store for more hot chocolate packets (“Just give me all of them, all the boxes,” I remember saying, through tears, to a very scared stockroom boy) and now I am ready to go.When I was in fourth grade, my teacher Mrs. Kolphner taught us a social studies lesson. The seventeen students in our class were introduced to two fictional candidates: a smart if slightly bookish-looking cartoon tortoise named Greenie, and a cool-looking jaguar named Speedy. Rick Dissellio read a speech from Speedy, in which he promised that if elected he would end school early, have extra recess, and provide endless lunches of chocolate pizzandy. (A local Pawnee delicacy at the time — deep fried pizza where the crust was candy bars.) Then I read a speech from Greenie, who promised to go slow and steady, think about the problems of our school, and try her best to solve them in a way that would benefit the most people. Then Mrs. Kolphner had us vote on who should be Class President.I think you know where this is going.Except you don’t, because before we voted, Greg Laresque asked if he could nominate a third candidate, and Mrs. Kolphner said “Sure! The essence of democracy is that everyone—” and Greg cut her off and said “I nominate a T. rex named Dr. Farts who wears sunglasses and plays the saxophone, and his plan is to fart as much as possible and eat all the teachers,” and everyone laughed, and before Mrs. Kolphner could blink, Dr. Farts the T. rex had been elected President of Pawnee Elementary School in a 1984 Reagan-esque landslide, with my one vote for Greenie the Tortoise playing the role of “Minnesota.”After class I was inconsolable. Once all the other kids left, Mrs. Kolphner came over and put her arm around me. She told me I had done a great job advocating for Greenie the Tortoise. Through tears I remember saying, “How good, exactly?” and she said “Very very good,” and I said, “Good enough to—?” and she sighed and went to her desk to get one of the silver stars she gave out to kids who did a good job on something, and as I tearfully added it to my Silver Star Diary she asked me what upset me the most.“Greenie was the better candidate,” I said. “Greenie should have won.”She nodded.“I suppose that was the point of the lesson,” I said.“Oh no,” she said. “The point of the lesson is: people are unpredictable, and democracy is insane.”Winston Churchill once said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except all those other forms that have been tried.” That is perhaps a pithier and better way to get my point across, than that long anecdote about Mrs. Kolphner. Should I just erase all of that and start with this? Whatever. I’m pot-committed now, and is there extra caffeine in that hot chocolate? Because my head feels like a spaceship. The point is: people making their own decisions is, on balance, better than an autocrat making decisions for them. It’s just that sometimes those decisions are bad, or self-defeating, or maddening, and a day where you get dressed up in your best victory pantsuit and spend an ungodly amount of money decorating your house with American flags and custom-made cardboard-cutouts of suffragettes in anticipation of a glass-ceiling-shattering historical milestone ends with you getting (metaphorically) eaten by a giant farting T. rex. Like most people, I deal with tragedy by processing the five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. My denial over the election results was intense. My anger was (in Ron’s words) “significant.” My bargaining was short, but creative — I offered my soul and the souls of all of my friends in exchange for 60,000 more votes in Milwaukee, to any demon who cared to accept. (Tom told me it was a terrible deal, but I didn’t care, in that moment.) My depression I have already mentioned. Which brings us to Acceptance.  And here’s what I stand on that:No. I do not accept it.I acknowledge that Donald Trump is the President. I understand, intellectually, that he won the election. But I do not accept that our country has descended into the hatred-swirled slop pile that he lives in. I reject out of hand the notion that we have thrown up our hands and succumbed to racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and crypto-fascism. I do not accept that. I reject that. I fight that. Today, and tomorrow, and every day until the next election, I reject and fight that story. I work hard and I form ideas and I meet and talk to other people who feel like me, and we sit down and drink hot chocolate (I have plenty) and we plan. We plan like mofos. We figure out how to fight back, and do good in this infuriating world that constantly wants to bend toward the bad. And we will be kind to each other, and supportive of each other’s ideas, and we will do literally anything but accept this as our fate.And let me say something to the young girls who are reading this. Hi, girls. On behalf of the grown-ups of America who care about you and your futures, I am awfully sorry about how miserably we screwed this up. We elected a giant farting T. rex who does not like you, or care about you, or think about you, unless he is scanning your bodies with his creepy T. rex eyes, or trying to physically grab you like a toy his daddy got him (or would have, if his daddy had loved him). (Sorry, that was a low blow.) (Actually, not sorry, I’m pissed, and I’m on a roll, so zip it, super-ego!) Our President-Elect is everything you should abhor, and fear, in a male role model. He has spent his life telling you, and girls and women like you, that your lives are valueless except as sexual objects. He has demeaned you, and belittled you, and put you in a little box to be looked at and not heard. It is your job, and the job of girls and women like you, to bust out.You are going to run this country, and this world, very soon. So you will not listen to this man, or the 75-year-old, doughy-faced, gray-haired nightmare men like him, when they try to tell you where to stand or how to behave or what you can and cannot do with your own bodies, or what you should or should not think with your own minds. You will not be cowed or discouraged by his stream of retrogressive babble. You won’t have time to be cowed, because you will be too busy working and learning and communing with other girls and women like you, and when the time comes you will effortlessly flick away his miserable, petty misogynistic worldview like a fly on your picnic potato salad.He is the present, sadly, but he is not the future. You are the future. Your strength is a million times his. Your power is a billion times his. We will acknowledge this result, but we will not accept it. We will overcome it, and we will defeat it.Now find your team, and get to work.

Love,Leslie

‘Parks and Recreation’: Leslie Knope Writes Letter to America Following Donald Trump’s Victory

Film, Lit, & TV References: Sherlock (Updated 6/29/17)

A Continuing Work In Progress - Most of this is relevant to S4, but it does go back into the previous seasons.

Related to Gatiss and Mycroft’s Love of Old Films (especially film noir)

The Woman From Shanghai & Swimming With Sharks ( x )

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Sherlock S2-S4 ( x )

Billy Wilder’s The Lost Weekend and John ( x )

Bank Holiday as a Sherlock Intertext ( x ) by @devoursjohnlock

Granada The Devil’s Foot, Sherlock S4 Imagery, and Moriarty or Mortimer ( x )

A Glimpse Into Granada’s Eligible Bachelor ( x ) by @ebaeschnbliah

The Woman in Green (x)

Terror By Night, Trains, and Sherlock ( x )

The Voice of Terror ( x ) by @finalproblem

The House of Fear ( x ) by @welovethebeekeeper

S4 and Casablanca Continues ( x )

Clue Umbrella and Cane ( x ) The Hat ( x )

Sherlock Holmes in New York ( x ) by @ebaeschnbliah

Faith Eurus & Culverton Smith as Keyser Söze from The Usual Suspects ( x )

Mycroft’s Umbrellagun ( x )

———————-

Related to Gatiss and John Watson’s Love of Horror & Bond Films

Take the Bloody Shot ( x ) by @devoursjohnlock

The Ring and TFP Part I ( x ) (I only added pieces to wonderful meta by @may-shepard

The Ring and TFP Part II ( x )

S4 Film References in One Video ( x ) by @goodmythicalmail

Horror Europa ( x ) by @isitandwonder

Argento’s Demons in HoB ( x ) by @isitandwonder​ and Suspiria as TFP ( x )

TRF, TEH, and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans ( x )

John Rug Pull, TFP, and Saw ( x )

The Ring, Inception, Silence of the Lambs, Saw, Orphan, Shutter Island, Paranormal Activity 2, It, Morgan, Yellowbeard, Skyfall, Spectre, Sinister, Neues Vom Wixxer ( x ) by @goodmythicalmail

Yellowbeard ( x ) @princess-of-fireflies

Parade Scene from Spectre and Gatiss/Abbington SDCC 2016 ( x )

———————-

Literary References (Not Shakespeare)

S4, Freud, and Vampires  ( x )

Goethe and Sherlock ( x ) (mini meta w/S4, Freud, and Vampires)

Why is John a Balloon? Because…Freud ( x )

TFP, The Uncanny, and Freud’s Influence ( x ) by @the-blue-carbuncle

The Scarlet Thread of Murder and Sherlock S4 ( x )

Garden of Paradise: Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tale ( x )

Entanglement Theory and My Cousin Rachel ( x )

Greek Myth and TLD ( x )

Sherlock’s Vow, Greek Oaths, Water, and Guardian of Ships ( x )

Paintings Used in TAB ( x ) by @sagestreet

———————–

Dr. Who/Torchwood/Sherlock/Dr. Strange Overlaps

Amy’s Choice ( x ) by @goodmythicalmail

Dr. Who and “Losing” Seasons of Sherlock ( x )

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Dr. Who, and Sherlock ( x ) by @isitandwonder @tjlcisthenewsexy and @devoursjohnlock

Knock Knock (Dr. Who) Season 10 & Sherlock Parallels ( x ) by @jenna221b

Torchwood S3 and Johnlock ( x )

Miss Evangelista and TAB Mary Watson ( x )

The Wedding of River Song & Sherlock: TFP ( x )

MHR and Dr. Who “Blink” ( x )

John’s Choice ( x ) by @tjlcisthenewsexy

Torchlock, TLD, Jonto/Johnlock ( x )

Torchwood ARG ( x )

In Case of Villain ( x )

Gaslight(ing), Dr. Who, and Sherlock ( x ) (Related to Mycroft’s love of old films.)

Dr. Who, Snowmen, and TAB ( x ) by @heartofdeduction

Dr. Who Dreamlord, TLD, and the Nyte Inspiration ( x ) (I added on.)

Dr. Who, Pilot Fish, and Sherlock ( x )

Dr. Strange Sherlock ( x )

Dr. Who “Tarmac” Conversation ( x ) by @a-candle-for-sherlock

Moffat 207 to 702 ( x ) (Two pre-existing metas about Moffat reusing these numbers.)

Miscellaneous

Why would Sherlock be close enough to hear John at the cemetery, yet not be visible to a Moriarty accomplice? ( x )

Meta Remaining…(May add to list, later)

AHS: Murder House, The Exorcist, The Omen, Rosemary’s Baby, The Amityville Horror (1979), The Shining, Carriers, The Devils, Hammer House versions of Child’s Play (1984) and The Two Faces of Evil, The Third Man (1949), The Stranger (1946)

Stay-The Naomi Watts Connection (goes with The Ring metas)

V For Vendetta: The Graphic Novel-Complete with pink elephant. (in progress)
If I had to explain fandoms.

If I had to explain fandoms to someone I’d say this.

In The Magic Faraway Tree, there is a group of fairies dancing in a circle. Thing is though once you enter you can’t leave unless someone gives you a special potion like thing. That group is fandoms, and the potion is growing up. Because not everyone grows up, nor does everyone leave. Some people will turn into adults while many of us fangirls will forever be stuck in that circle of fandoms.

for surgery anon (a little something to cheer you up and hold you over till you get to that gdau update) :

//

Lexa has always suspected, of course, but she never knew for sure that breaking an arm would hurt like a bitch.

“But, hey,” her sister Anya told her on their way to the hospital, eyes wide with barely concealed fear, “at least you have your broken foot to distract you from your broken arm.”

Lexa would’ve loved to be able to kick her in that moment if she weren’t already duped up on painkillers. Because breaking your foot and your arm hurt like a motherfucker.

“Dad is going to kill us,” Anya said in lieu of a farewell when Lexa was wheeled away to have her injuries properly looked at. The doctor’s tag read ‘Dr. Griffin’, and Lexa blinked before lifting her eyes and gulping.

Clarke’s mother stared back, concern evident on her face. “Lexa? I hoped it wasn’t you.” She tugged her chair closer before sitting in front of Lexa and wincing as she took a look at her injured limb. “What happened?”

“I – I fell,” Lexa tells her. Suddenly, it seemed much less horrible and much more funny. “For your daughter,” she added, before letting her chuckles take over. Technically, that wasn’t wrong. She really did fall from a tree for Clarke. Well, for Clarke’s fat, ungrateful cat, but the only reason she volunteered to save the fluffy bastard was so she could strike a conversation with the girl.

(Okay, and maybe she also kinda liked the cat despite him being a giant pain in her ass. He had some redeeming qualities. And, well, he was a living being, and she couldn’t just leave him up there. Not when he was mewling so tragically.)

Abby Griffin’s blue eyes twinkled with amusement. “Of course my daughter had something to do with it.” She proceeded to inspect Lexa’s arm, tsking as she went. “I’m sorry to say this, honey, but I think you need a surgery.”

That put a temporary stop on Lexa’s painkiller-induced laughter. “I can’t have surgery,” she protested. “We’re up against Sky Rat– er, Rangers next week.” They had to knock those self-entitled kids down a peg. The fact that Clarke was good friends with most of them didn’t mean shit, how Anya put it.

They sucked at hockey anyway.

“Are you serious right now?” A new voice asked from the door, incredulous. “Lexa, you have two broken limbs.”

Lexa stubbornly lifted her chin. “So?”

(She quickly deflated, however, when she realized it was none other than Clarke Griffin herself glaring at her, dressed in pajamas and a jacket hastily thrown over them.)

“So?” Her tone rose in volume and disbelief. “Your arm is snapped in half!”

“Girls,” Abby interfered. “Not now. Clarke, you shouldn’t be here. Did Wells let you in again?”

“No,” Clarke easily lied. And Lexa knew she lied because there’s no other way she’d be able to sneak into the room, and Wells’ crush on her was public knowledge. She kind of felt sympathetic towards the guy. She knew what it was like to pine after Clarke Griffin, with no hope of ever gaining her affections.

“I’ll deal with that boy later,” Abby muttered to herself before rising to her feet and walking to her daughter. “Clarke, you need to leave.”

“But – mom, she’s here because of me!” Clarke protested, throwing Lexa a helpless glance. She could only shrug in response, and – ouch. Should not have done that. She cradled her arm to her chest, trying not to wince. It was hard, but she powered through. She managed to stoically pretend it didn’t hurt while Clarke ran around her in circles, alternating between calling the hospital and tearfully asking her if she was okay.

Which she wasn’t, but Clarke was too adorable when all panicked and flustered, and so she dutifully replied “yes but I still need an ambulance” every time.

“I know, and now I need to put her back together,” so that was where Clarke got her stubbornness from. Abby Griffin was firm and resolute. “You’ll see her tomorrow.”

“That’s way too long!”

“Clarke.” The drugs began to wear off, and so did the numbness in her legs and arms, which so wasn’t a good thing. She just wanted to be done with it. “It’s fine. Please go.” Upon seeing the look of genuine distress and hurt on the girl’s face, she tried to soften her words. “I’m gonna be fine, Clarke. I’ll – I’ll call you as soon as I wake up tomorrow, okay?”

Clarke still didn’t look happy, but she nodded. “Okay. I will hold you to that.” She glanced at her mom, and Lexa wasn’t sure, but she thought she heard a very quiet ‘please take care of her’. Or not. Who knew. With the pain coming back in waves, she could’ve hallucinated it.

Abby sighed when her daughter finally left. “Okay, champ,” she said, tiredly but good-naturedly nonetheless. “Let’s get you ready.”

//

Raven was already waiting for Clarke in her car when she exited the hospital. “Well? Is she okay?” When blue eyes shot her a glare, she shrank into her seat. “Just asking,” she mumbled.

Clarke sighed, starting the engine. “She needs surgery. My mom’s going to perform it. And I’m never, ever listening to you again, you got it?”

“Hey, how was I supposed to know your damn cat would get so high up and Lexa would suck at climbing the trees?”

“Don’t – just, god, Raven, just don’t,” Clarke huffed, clutching at the wheel. “This was our dumbest idea yet. I’ll never forgive myself for it.” She glanced at her friend again. “Or you.”

“You didn’t have to go with it, you know,” Raven defended herself. “Not my fault you’re thirsting after Woods this hard.”

“I’m not – I’m not 'thirsting’! I just like her!”

“Sure. Tell that to the hundred of sketchbooks filled with her face.”

Clarke gritted her teeth. “It’s not a hundred,” she mumbled.

“Hey, at least you have an excuse to visit her every day now.”

“No,” Clarke said, her voice growing strong. “No more scheming and excuses. I’m gonna ask her out tomorrow, or we’ll accidentally put her in a coma next time.”

“Right. And we don’t want that.”

Clarke rolled her eyes. “You’re going to help me pick flowers for her tomorrow.”

Raven nodded. “Sure, as long as we know which ones she’s not deadly allergic to.”

“Oh, she’s not allergic to flowers. Only chocolate.”

“Man, that must suck.”

“Not really, she eats super healthy so it doesn’t bother her.”

Raven squinted at Clarke who was peacefully watching the road. “You scare me sometimes.”

“Two years,” Clarke said, without taking her eyes off the road. “I’ve been pining after her for two years, Raven, I picked up on some things.”

“Tomorrow can’t come fast enough, Griffin.”

Upgrade

Summary: Genos gets a minor upgrade, and Saitama is intrigued.

Words: ~1300

Rating/pairing: General. Saitama/Genos fluff, pre-relationship

Note: I wrote this mostly to try and get something written. It’s silly with just a touch of feels.

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“Dinner time” (Villainous drabbles)

“Dinner time” Drabble 3

There are rules to be followed in the Hat Manor. One of them being to never leave the toilet seat up. The other is when it’s time to eat, everyone has to come and sit at the dinner table. It does not matter what anyone is doing, Black Hat demands it and even he follows his own rules. Anyone who does not comply is sent to the basement to face the “Beast”. So far, Dr. Flug, Dementia and 5.0.5 have never seen the “Beast” but they remembered a time when Black Hat kicked a party clown down there. The poor entertainer knocked on his door and gave him a balloon animal, which made the demon grab him and toss him down the stairs. They never saw him come out.

One ring of the bell, ranged by Black Hat made the trio quickly rush to the dining table. Dr. Flug is the cook in the home and he was the one to pass out each plate of food. In a hierarchy, like in Black Hat’s home, Black Hat is the one who gets served first. The demon could eat anything that appears tasteful to him but his favorite will always be a rare steak, with a dash of salt and a glass of apple cider.

Dr. Flug, wearing a frilly apron, placed the bloody food down in front of Black Hat and nervously served his champagne glass with apple cider.

“E-enjoy, S-Sir.” Dr. Flug stuttered before going around him to serve Dementia next. Black Hat sat silently with a bored look as Dr. Flug slowly made his way around the table. Dementia’s taste buds usually consists of sugary candy and drinks. It is a hassle for Dr. Flug, who has to make baked goods along with what is called “a healthy meal”. Dementia was bouncing with excitement as Flug presented her with cupcakes, with green and pink frosting, drawn to look like her face.

“Wow, Flug, this is cute!” Dementia smiled widely while poking her finger into one of the cupcakes that had her eye drawn on it.

“Oh, uh thanks Dementia-” Dr. Flug said as he looped around to 5.0.5. “It took me all afternoon to make it just right.”

“Oh, really?” Dementia gave him a grin and slammed her hand onto the cupcakes. Dr. Flug’s shoulders slouched forward as he gave her an unimpressed gaze. He placed a bowl of salad in front of 5.0.5, who shook his head in disappointment towards Dementia, who batted her eyes innocently. Dr. Flug finally sat down in his own chair besides 5.0.5, with only a glass of water and a straw in front of him.

“Finally.” Black Hat muttered before picking up a fork and knife. “Now, everyone eat and everything better be off your plate before you even dream of leaving this table!” Black Hat growled, his sharp teeth protruding. He stabbed his steak viciously before tearing off a piece and placing it in his mouth.

Dr. Flug quickly picked up his drink and sipped quietly. Dementia is the loud eater in the house, devouring her meal with vigor, like a starving animal. 5.0.5 is more neat when it comes to his food. The loveable bear enjoyed each bite of his food and savoured it. Suddenly as they began, Dementia’s face quickly turned sour and a shade of green before spitting out her food.

“Oh yuk!”

Black Hat slammed his fists on the table, lifting from his seat. “Dementia! What have I said about your disgusting spit?!”

Dementia ducked in her seat, her tongue still out of her mouth. “B-but, Black Hat!” She whined. “My cupcakes taste gross!”

Dr. Flug blinked. “Oh, it must be the asparagus frosting.”

“Asparagus?!” Dementia shrieked.

“Yeah, I thought it will be a little bit more healthy for you.”

“Ew!” Dementia pushed her plate away and crossed her arms. “I’m not eatin’ it!”

Black Hat let out a snarl. “You will eat it Dementia, or did your forget about my warning?” His voice changed, making everyone at the table shake in their seat. When he switches into his intimidating voice, they all know when he is deathly serious. “No one leaves until everything is finished from their plate.”

Dementia whimpered. “B-but-”

“No buts! If you want to leave, you have to clean the litter box for my little pet downstairs…” Black Hat gave her a large grin when she shuddered. “Your choice.”

Dementia pouted and turned back at her plate. She shot a glare at Dr. Flug, who pretended to be looking off to the side to avoid her eyes. She sighed and wiped her finger on her plate. She stared at the dab of green frosting and with her stomach turning she put it in her mouth. She reeled and kicked but she forced herself to eat it.

Black Hat, feeling satisfied sat down in his chair and began to eat his own meal. Dr. Flug, having finished his drink, slowly turned to Black Hat who was quietly chewing. The young doctor slowly lifted up a shaking finger.

“Um Mister Black Hat, S-sir?”

“Hmm?” Black Hat muttered giving Flug an annoyed glare for having been disturbed.

“M-May I go and eat my meal in the lab now?”

Black Hat swallowed and scoffed. He lifted up his gloved hand and shooed him away. Dr. Flug immediately removed himself from the dinner table and ran out of the room towards the safety of his lab. Dementia pouted and grumbled.

“No fair…”She said, giving her food a glance. She wasn’t even halfway done. She was jealous that Dr. Flug didn’t need to actually “eat” with them, due to his “condition”. His paper bag mask hid his real face and he refused to lift it up and eat in front of them. Black Hat showed him mercy and recommended to sip his drink at the table before leaving to eat his own meal, in private.

Black Hat dabbed his mouth with a black napkin before tossing it aside. He lifted himself up and placed his hands behind his back.

“5.0.5, don’t forget to do the dishes.” Black Hat sternly said. 5.0.5 nodded, since he does not mind doing household chores. Black Hat shot a glare at Dementia, who chuckled nervously before glancing back at her food. “Don’t even think about throwing away your meal, Dementia, if there is one thing that irks me more than heroes, is people treating their meal like inedible garbage!”

 

“I-I wouldn’t dream of it.” Dementia forcefully smile, Black Hat shot her one last look, narrowing his eyes in suspicion before walking out of the room. Dementia sighed heavily and poked at her food. There was no getting around it, she would have to eat it. With a breath, she opened her mouth wide like a fish and gobble up the cupcakes. She chewed and gagged, and chewed again before finally she defeated her adversary.

5.0.5 happily clapped his paws for her accomplishment, which made her feel a little bit better. She got up and did a dramatic bow. Now, all there was left to do was distract Dr. Flug and ruin his inventions in revenge of what he put her through.

————————————————————————————–

I hope you all enjoyed! ^_^ 

The Forest Fic - ChanBaek Edit

Author’s Note: I’m the biggest top fan and I am in love with this story, but I also love ChanBaek. I m in no way claiming this story as my own, I literally just changed “Tyler and Josh” to “Baekhyun and Chanyeol” (and a few other things lol). Enjoy!!! 


Ship: Chanyeol and Baekhyun 

Word count: 9,049 

Warnings: Mental Instability, Past Patient Abuse, Past Child Abuse, Past Sexual Abuse, Sex, Suicide 

Original (Joshler): http://archiveofourown.org/works/1822504?view_adult=true




“The rain,” Baekhyun says.

Chanyeol nods, slowly.

“It’s like…” Baekhyn pauses, searching for the word.

“Crisper,” Chayeol says.

“Exactly,” Baekhyun says, nodding.

“Almost like…” Chanyeol frowns, “red? Maybe?”

“Mostly,” Baekhyun says. “With a hint of orange.”

“Orange, right.” Chanyeol points at Baekhyun. “That’s right. I keep forgetting that one.”

“A lot of things are orange, though,” Baekhyun says, frowning.

“Not where I’m from,” Chanyeol says darkly. “Everything’s just blue-black there.”

Baekhyun winces. “I can’t even imagine that.”

“Don’t,” Chanyeol says firmly. He shakes his head. “Don’t even try.”

Baekhyun shudders a little. “Believe me, I don’t want to.”

Chanyeol nods. “Good.” He sits up straighter suddenly, cocking his head.

“My mom coming?” Baekhyun asks. Chanyeol nods, standing up.

“Keep it short, yeah?” Chanyeol asks as he closes the closet door.

“Okay,” Baekhyun replies to the now-empty room.

There’s a soft tap on the door before his mom pokes her head in.

“What are you doing, Baekhyun?” Baekhyun’s mom asks, looking in.

“Talking to Chanyeol,” Baekhyun tells her. He immediately regrets saying anything.

“Baekhyun,” his mom says, sighing. “Chanyeol isn’t real, remember? We’ve been over this before.”

“Right, Mom,” Baekhyun says, nodding. “I’m sorry.”

“Baekhyun, I…” His mom pauses, looking unsure. “Don’t apologize, okay? It’s just that Chanyeol doesn’t exist.”

“Okay,” Baekhyun tells her, waiting for her to leave so Chanyeol can come back.

His mom looks at him, something yellow-blue-red in her eyes. He forgets what other people call it. Chanyeol would know.

“Baekhyun, you have an appointment tomorrow, remember?” Baekhyun’s mom says. “With Dr. Park.”

Dr. Park has lots of markers, a checkerboard, and a liberal use of a drawer full of candy so Baekhyun won’t tell anyone about the one time everything tasted like metal and soap and magenta dipped in candle wax.

“Okay,” Baekhyun says, nodding.

His mom bites her lip. “All right, Baekhyun,” she says. “Remember to eat, okay?”

“Okay,” Baekhyun echoes, and she closes the door.

Chanyeol immediately opens the closet door.

“Dr. Park,” he says with a tone of distaste.

“Why don’t you like him?” Baekhyun asks as he watches Chanyeol settle himself on Baekhyun’s bookshelf.

“He sounds so…” Chanyeol bites his lip, searching for the words. “I would say purple-green, but I’m missing something, aren’t I?”

“Pink,” Baekhyun says immediately.

“Right, right,” Chanyeol says. He makes a face. “I don’t like it when you go there.”

“Would you rather I go back to Dr. Kim?” Baekhyun offers.

Chanyeol recoils the best he can while perched precariously on a bookshelf.

“No!” Chanyeol exclaims. “No, no, never!”

“I was kidding,” Baekhyun says as he sprawls back onto his bed.

“Some joke,” Chanyeol mutters, sounding irritated. “Don’t kid about that, okay?”

“Okay,” Baekhyun says, suddenly reminded by his conversations with his mother. The sound of butter being spread on toast, bland, and purple-red acceptance.

“No, really,” Chanyeol says, hopping off the bookshelf so he can grab Baekhyun’s hand. “Don’t joke about that. That was… bad.”

“It was,” Baekhyun allows, and Chanyeol presses his lips to Baekhyun’s hand.

“Please don’t joke about that, Baekhyun,” Chanyeol murmurs.

And Baekhyun is so charmed by the way Chanyeol’s mouth forms his name that he agrees automatically.

Baekhyun can tell Dr. Park has had a long day.

“Everything all right with your wife, Doctor?” Baekhyun asks politely.

“Peachy,” Dr. Park huffs, flopping down onto his chair. “Chocolate or lollipop?”

“Lollipop,” Baekhyun answers. He likes to suck them as obscenely as possible once in a while, just to check Dr. Park’s priorities.

The lollipop is red, tasting green-red-yellow, like cherries. Baekhyun’s careful to rub it across his lips, making them as red as possible.

“Last session we discussed books,” Dr. Park says, not paying attention to Baekhyun’s treatment of his lollipop. “And headaches.”

“Those two may as well be synonymous,” Baekhyun says.

“Yes, you mentioned that many times,” Dr. Park says, sounding tired.

“And the Bible-”

“-has such small print you may as well be looking at a rainbow,” the doctor finishes.

“Although the first part-”

“-of Genesis is almost entirely green, so you can read it,” Dr. Park says. “I take very good notes, remember?”

“I remember,” Baekhyun says in the same tone he uses with his mother.

Dr. Park, who is entirely familiar with Baekhyun’s vocal tones, sighs.

“Baekhyun, I’m sorry I’m not at the top of my game today,” he says. He leans forward, and Baekhyun jerks back so quickly that the lollipop almost goes down his throat. “Sorry, sorry,” Dr. Park apologizes. He takes off his glasses so he can scrub his face with his hand. “I’m so sorry, Baekhyun.”

Baekhyun doesn’t say anything. He thinks that if he opens his mouth, nothing but the ’gibberish’ only Chanyeol seems to understand would fall out. His heart’s pounding in his chest, and he places his hand over it. Dr. Park follows his movements and winces.

“I’m so sorry, Baekhyun,” he repeats. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“I’m okay,” Baekhyun says, pleased when he hears them come out as ‘normal’ words.

“You’re not, Baekhyun,” Dr. Park says with a sigh. “You’re not okay.” He shakes his head slowly, as if to clear it. “What do you want to talk about today?”

Baekhyun shrugs. “I don’t know.”

“Have you been writing?” Dr. Park asks.

“A little,” Baekhyun mutters, picking a loose thread on his jeans.

“Have you written about anything particularly interesting?”

“The treehouse,” Baekhyun says, before wishing he didn’t say anything because Dr. Park’s eyes go blue-orange-green, all interested and almost hungry-looking.

“What treehouse?” Dr. Park asks, jotting something down in his notebook.

“We- I found a treehouse in the woods,” Baekhyun murmurs, scowling down at the carpet. He feels oddly exposed now.

“What was the treehouse like?” the doctor asks, not looking up from his notebook.

“I dunno. Woody.” Yellow-purple. The way wet chalk feels. The lowest B on his piano.

“Do your parents know about the treehouse?” Dr. Park asks.

“Does it matter?” Baekhyun says, a little more defensively than he intended.

Dr. Park blinks. “I suppose it doesn’t,” he says slowly. “I just wanted to know if you’ve been talking to them.”

“You could’ve just asked them that,” Baekhyun points out. “You could’ve just asked me that.”

“You’re right, Baekhyun. I’m sorry,” Dr. Park says, sounding genuinely apologetic. “Have you been talking to your parents?” Baekhyun snorts. “I thought so.” The doctor leans forward slowly, so Baekhyun has time to prepare for his presence. “I think you should talk to them, Baekhyun. They really care about you.”

“They don’t.” Baekhyun knows he sounds like a child, like the smell of orange peels, but he doesn’t care.

“They do, Baekhyun. And they were so, so upset when they found out what had happened to you.”

“They never believed me.”

“Baekhyun, you weren’t very easy to understand then,” Dr. Park says gently. “You still aren’t, honestly.”

“You seem to manage.”

“I’ve known you for a long time now, Baekhyun.”

“So have my parents.”

“Have they really?”

Baekhyun is silent for a moment. “No.” He pauses. “They don’t know me at all.”

“Baekhyun, have you ever thought about making peace with your parents?” Dr. Park asks.

Baekhyun scowls. “They should be the ones making peace with me.”

“They’re trying, Baekhyun, really,” the doctor says. “I guess you haven’t noticed, but they’re trying to make amends.”

“Well, they’re doing a heck of a job,” Baekhyun mutters.

Dr. Park ignores that comment. “They said they’ve been trying to take you out more and participate in family activities.”

“I hate crowds,” Baekhyun tells his doctor. “I hate board games. I hate TV.”

“They don’t know what you like, Baekhyun,” Dr. Park says. “But I’m sure they’ll be happy to do whatever you do like with you.”

“I…” Baekhyun pauses. “There’s nothing that I like to do.”

Dr. Park goes quiet for a moment. “You like Chanyeol.”

Baekhyun blinks. “What?” Dr. Park has never willingly brought up the topic of Chanyeol before.

“I’m not saying that Chanyeol is real, Baekhyun,” the doctor says quickly. “But maybe you could try telling someone in your family about him.”

“And what purpose would that serve, other then to cater my delusions?”

“It’ll help you open up,” Dr. Park says, ignoring his sarcasm. “You’re much easier to understand when you’re talking about something you’re passionate about.”

Baekhyun thinks about this. “You’ll have to tell my parents that it okay for me to talk about Chanyeol.”

Dr. Park sighs. “I didn’t mean for that to happen when I told them about Chanyeol, Baekhyun. I’m sorry.”

Baekhyun shrugs. “Whatever.”

Dr. Park nods slowly to himself, jotting something down in his notebook. “I’ll talk to them.”

“What are you going to say about me?” Chanyeol asks as he picks at a piece of splintering wood in their treehouse.

Baekhyun shrugs. “I dunno. There’s a lot to say.”

“You could tell them how pink-red-orange I am,” Chanyeol says, flashing Baekhyun one of those smiles that make Baekhyun melt. “How sexy I am, how I sound like melted marshmallows, how my lips are the key C major, how I can-”

“Oh, shut up,” Baekhyun says, pushing him playfully.

Chanyeol laughs, the corners of his eyes crinkling as he grins. Baekhyun looks away before Chanyeol can see him staring.

“My parents think I’m crazy,” Baekhyun says suddenly.

Chanyeol sobers immediately, frowning. “You’re not crazy.”

“I know,” Baekhyun says. “But telling them about you isn’t going to convince them of that.”

Chanyeol is silent for a moment. “What are you going to do?”

“Talk to them about you anyways,” Baekhyun says. “Fuck what they think.”

Chanyeol grins. “You’re really pink-red-orange when you swear.”

Baekhyun blushes. “No, I’m not.”

Chanyeol looks at him thoughtfully. “You’re pretty pretty, Baekhyun.”

“Pretty pretty?” Baekhyun says.

Chanyeol laughs. “Not my best word choice.”

“Why do we talk like this, anyways?” Baekhyun asks. “If we just used our words, nothing like that would happen.”

“You asked me to talk 'normally,’” Chanyeol says. “For practice.”

Baekhyun frowns. “Why did I do that?”

Chanyeol shrugs. “Something about better communication.”

Baekhyun nods slowly. “Sounds like something I’d do. Back, y'know.”

“Well, yeah,” Chanyeol says. “You were all-” he makes a few indiscernible hand motions, “blue-purple. Jumbled.”

“Mixed up,” Baekhyun says, nodding.

“Not exactly,” Chanyeol says. “Sort of… I can’t remember the word for it. Orange-green-purple.”

“Confused,” Baekhyun translates. Chanyeol nods.

“That’s it. I keep forgetting that one,” he says. “Confused. You were confused. And like the letter M. The way August smells.”

“Confused, maybe,” Baekhyun allows. “I don’t know about lost, though.”

“You were lost,” Chanyeol says, sounding certain.

“Maybe,” Baekhyun says again. He watches Chanyeol flick the lighter he always has on and off. “Why do you even have that? You don’t smoke.”

Chanyeol shrugs. “You never know when you’ll have to set everything on fire.”

Baekhyun furrows his eyebrows. “What? What are you talking about?”

Chanyeol just shrugs agains. “You’ll get it some day.”

“He dyed his hair the other day,” Baekhyun tells his mom.

They’re sitting on the steps outside, watching the wind blow through the trees in their backyard. It sounds like a cool pillow on Baekhyun’s skin, and he smiles.

“What color?” his mom asks.

“Blue. Bright blue,” Baekhyun says, grinning a little to himself. “It was red for a while before, actually.”

“That’s neat, Baekhyun,” his mom says, still looking rather uncomfortable.

“He has these really dark brown eyes,” Baekhyun says, choosing to ignore his mother’s discomfort. “Coffee eyes. That kind with coffee and hot chocolate. What’s that called again?”

“Mocha,” his mom supplies.

“Mocha eyes,” Baekhyun says, nodding.

“Baekhyun,” his mom says, biting her lip, “who is Chanyeol to you?”

“What do you mean?”

“Is he your friend?” his mom asks. “Boyfriend?”

Baekhyun splutters a little. “What? No!”

“It’s… y'know, okay if you want a boyfriend,” Baekhyun’s mom says. “Just so you know.”

“Great,” Baekhyun says, still wide-eyed. “What brought that on?”

“You always have this goofy look on when you talk about him, Baekhyun,” his mom tells him.

“Yeah, but that automatically made you think I’m gay?”

“Well,” his mom shrugs, “you’ve never seemed very straight, Baekhyun.”

Baekhyun blinks. “Thanks, Mom.”

“It wasn’t an insult!” his mom begins to protest, but pauses when she sees Baekhyun laughing.

“I’m gay,” Baekhyun assures her once he’s done giggling. “I just never expected you to notice.”

“I do occasionally notice something about you, Baekhyun,” his mom tells him.

Baekhyun immediately sobers. He frowns, and his mom sighs, carefully taking his hand.

“I’m sorry, Baekhyun,” she tells him. “I know that an apology won’t fix anything, that it won’t change anything, but I am still so sorry.”

“Why-” Baekhyun swallows hard, “why didn’t you believe me?”

“I-” His mom sighs. “Dr. Kim seemed very professional, Baekhyun. He was supposed to be top of the line. And he was very smooth, very reassuring that there was absolutely no misconduct.” She sighs again, squeezing Baekhyun’s hand gently. “I regret not listening to you more than anything, Baekhyun.”

“Don’t we all,” Baekhyun mutters. “Don’t we all.”

“How do you feel?” Chanyeol asks one day.

“Who are you, Dr. Park?”

Chanyeol rolls his eyes. “Come on, Baek,” he says, passing him his pocket knife. “Show me. In 'normal’ words.”

Baekhyun stares at the knife, warm and heavy in his palm, like silk on dewy grass.

“Show me,” Chanyeol repeats.

Baekhyun flips out the blade, pressing it to the wooden floor of their treehouse.

'Normal’ words,” he whispers to himself, trying to recall one for how he feels.

T-E-R-R-I-F-I-E-D

Terrified,” Chanyeol reads. “Why?”

Baekhyun shrugs, wiping the wood shavings off the knife before flicking it closed and handing it back to Chanyeol.

“I don’t know. Always am,” he says.

“Why?” Chanyeol repeats. “Of what?”

Baekhyun shrugs again. “Of what’s next, I guess,” he says.

Chanyeol frowns. “That’s nothing to be scared of,” he says.

“Why am I scared, then?”

Chanyeol smiles in that small, gentle way of his. “Orange-green-purple,” he says.

Baekhyun sighs, tracing his thumb over the carving in the wooden board.

“I’m not,” he murmurs. “Not really.”

“You are,” Chanyeol says. “Like stretched orange cotton. Not knowing what’s around the corner is one of the best things ever.”

“Terrifying,” Baekhyun says, shaking his head.

“Maybe a little,” Chanyeol allows. “But maybe what’s around the corner is the best thing you could possibly imagine.”

“What if it’s not, though?”

“What if it is?”

“What if it isn’t?”

Chanyeol leans forward, taking Baekhyun’s fingers away from the carving in the wood.

“But what if it is?” he whispers.

“How are things with you and your mother?” Dr. Park asks as Baekhyun slides a peanut butter cup into his pocket.

“Fine,” Baekhyun says.

“Fine?” Dr. Park repeats, eyebrow raised.

“Better,” Baekhyun amends.

Dr. Park nods slowly. “You talked to her about Chanyeol, then?”

Baekhyun nods. “She didn’t look too happy.”

“As expected, Baekhyun,” Dr. Park says, still looking down at her notes. “It can’t be comfortable for a woman to hear her seventeen-year-old son talk about his imaginary friend.”

“Who she thinks is imaginary,” Baekhyun corrects before he can stop himself.

Dr. Park pauses, finally looking up from his notes.

“Baekhyun,” he says softly, “Chanyeol is-”

Yes, okay, whatever,” Baekhyun says quickly.

The doctor sighs, running his hand through thinning hair absentmindedly.

“He’s not real, Baekhyun,” he says softly. “I’m sorry, but he just doesn’t exist.”

“Yes, fine, whatever you say.”

Dr. Park rubs his face with his hands. “Baekhyun…”

“Look,” Baekhyun says, suddenly feeling ready to fight, “I know you think I’m crazy because of this, but Chanyeol is real, okay? You’re not going to convince me otherwise.”

Dr. Park chuckles dryly. “I’m seeing that, yes.”

“It’s all blue-black,” Chanyeol says. “My home, I mean. That’s why I like it here better.”

“You’ve told me that,” Baekhyun says. “Lots.”

“That doesn’t make it any less true,” Chanyeol points out.

“I know,” Baekhyun says. “I’m just saying that I hear you whenever you tell me.”

“But I don’t want you to hear me,” Chanyeol says insistently. “I want you to listen.”

Baekhyun frowns. “What’s the difference?”

Chanyeol makes a frustrated noise. “Some people- philosophers, mainly- say other people never hear each other,” he says. “But I don’t think that’s true. I think everyone hears, but I don’t think most people listen.”

Baekhyun’s frown deepens. “I still don’t get it.”

“It’s like…” Chanyeol shifts, taking Baekhyun’s hand. “Okay, when I say 'take my hand,’ you think of holding hands, right? Not of taking my hand someplace with you. Unless we go somewhere hand-in-hand, but that’s a different story.” He shakes his head to clear it. “What I mean is, you hear 'take my hand’ but listen to 'hold my hand.’”

“Oh.” Baekhyun pauses, thinking. “I get it.” He frowns again. “I think.”

Chanyeol cracks a smile. “Well, at least you’re honest.”

“Baekhyun, your psychiatrist and I want to start you on a new kind of drug,” Dr. Park says as Baekhyun sits down.

“What?” Baekhyun asks as he picks out a purple lollipop. “Don’t you remember how it went last time?”

“Not antipsychotics,” Dr. Park says. “That was a mistake, I know.” He sighs, running a hand through his hair. “That was a mistake.”

“What kind of drug, then?” Baekhyun asks, unwrapping the lollipop and popping it in his mouth.

“Lorazepam,” Dr. Park says. He pauses. “Ativan.”

Baekhyun frowns. “Doesn’t that treat anxiety?” Am I anxious? he wonders to himself.

“It also treats insomnia,” Dr. Park says. “Frankly, Baekhyun, you’re starting to look like a skeleton. One in need of a good night’s sleep.”

Baekhyun shrugs. “I think I’m okay.”

Dr. Park sighs. “Your mother told me she can hear you talking to yourself at three in the morning. Every single night.”

Baekhyun opens his mouth to say that it’s not himself he’s talking to, but decides against it.

“I’m okay,” he says instead.

“Baekhyun, I really don’t think you’re getting enough sleep,” Dr. Park says softly. “You look exhausted all the time.”

“I’m fine.”

“Baekhyun, this is honestly what I think is best for you,” Dr. Park says gently.

Baekhyun glares at him. “And why do you care about what’s best for me?” He leans forward, undaunted. “I don’t think you do,” he says, placing his hand over his cheek deliberately.

Dr. Park’s expression drops. “Baekhyun,” he begins, stopping. “Baekhyun, I’m so, so sorry about that.”

Baekhyun rolls his eyes, leaning back. “Whatever.”

The doctor sighs, rubbing his eyes. “There’s no excuse for that,” he says. “But Baekhyun, this really is for your own good.” He pulls out another piece of paper and jots something down on it. “I’m going to talk to your parents, and once I have their approval, we’re going to start you on Ativan. Okay, Baekhyun?”

“Whatever,” Baekhyun says again.

Dr. Park sighs, rubbing the ring on his left finger. “Okay. Now, Baekhyun, I thought-”

"Stop that,” Baekhyun says, irritated.

Dr. Park pauses. “Stop what?”

“Stop putting my name in every other sentence you direct to me,” Baekhyun says. “I know my name now, okay?”

“Force of habit, Baek-“ he catches himself, “force of habit,”

Baekhyun chuckles dryly. "I hate my name,” he tells his doctor.

“And why’s that?” Dr. Park asks, scratching something down on his notepad.

“It’s just a reminder.”

Dr. Park pauses. “A reminder of what?”

“It’s just another reminder that no one’s actually unique,” Baekhyun says. “No one’s actually special.”

Dr. Park sets his notepad onto the desk, looking intrigued. “Elaborate?” he requests.

“Certainly,” Baekhyun says. “You know, there’s someone out there named Byun Baekhyun. Maybe not now, but there will be. Maybe even both, depending on how long I live.” He pauses, tapping his chin. “And if there really are infinite universes, there are an infinite number of Byun Baekhyuns, saying the exact same thing that I’m saying, thinking the exact same thing that I’m thinking. Yes, there are an infinite number of worlds where Byun Baekhyun is a plumber who crossdresses in his free time and has never once considered other universes, but that would mean there are also an infinite number of worlds that are an exact replica of this one. And if that’s true, there’s no reason for anyone to feel special.” Baekhyun hums thoughtfully. “You could always argue, of course, that there may be no such thing as parallel universes, but even so, there’s still going to be someone in this world with your name in your past, present, or future. And I read that everyone has a doppelgänger on this earth, although the two doppelgängers may not live at the same time.” Baekhyun sighs. “What’s the point in being unique?”

Dr. Park stares at him. “…and that’s why you don’t like your name?”

Baekhyun laughs a little. “A rather wordy version of why, yes.”

“It’s definitely interesting,” Dr. Park tells him. “I’m definitely going to think long and hard about it later.”

“Good,” Baekhyun tells him honestly. “I think everyone should think about it at least once in a while. Food for thought, you know.”

“Mom?” Baekhyun asks, walking into the kitchen.

“Baekhyun?” his mom responds, turning to him with an expression of mild surprise.

“I have something to tell you,” he says, cautiously taking her hand and leading her to sit at the kitchen table.

“What is it?” she asks.

“I…” am in love with the boy you think is imaginary what do I do, “…uh.” Baekhyun scratches the back of his neck. “Um.”

“Yes?” his mom says.

“What’s for dinner?” comes tumbling out.

His mother blinks in surprise. “Spaghetti and meatballs,” she says. “Why? Do you want to eat with us?”

And for some unknown reason, Baekhyun nods.

“So, let me get this straight:” Chanyeol begins, “you tried to eat the spaghetti with a spoon, called your brother a periwinkle dust mop when he tried to give you a fork, listened to your sister talk about her basketball tournament, fell off your chair when your other brother kicked you under the table, watched your dad drink a nonalcoholic beer, listened to your mom talk about your sister’s basketball tournament, and burst into tears when the brother who kicked you asked why you don’t go to school.”

“That just about sums it up,” Baekhyun says, nodding.

Chanyeol raises an eyebrow at him. “And why did you even go to dinner?”

Baekhyun blushes. “It was sort of an accident.”

Chanyeol raises the other eyebrow. “How do you accidentally wind up eating dinner with your family?”

“I- ah…” Baekhyun runs a hand through his hair. “Well, I was going to ask my mom something, but, uh, I ended up asking her what was for dinner.”

Chanyeol’s raised eyebrows lift even higher. “What were you going to ask her?”

Baekhyun feels his face flush even darker. “Nothing,” he says a little too quickly.

Chanyeol’s eyebrows rise so high that they almost disappear into his mop of deep, black hair. Before Baekhyun can stop himself, he’s reaching out and pushing Chanyeol’s eyebrows down himself.

They stare at each other for a moment before they both burst out laughing.

They end up with their foreheads pressed together and fingers intertwined, and they’re both still giggling as Baekhyun looks down at Chanyeol’s soft, C major lips. It would be so easy just to…

“Baekhyun?”

Baekhyun snaps out of it, looking back up into Chanyeol’s mocha eyes. Their foreheads are still pressed together.

“Can I, um…” Before Baekhyun can think about it, he’s shifting himself oh-so-slightly for their lips to touch. It’s brief, but Baekhyun can still feel those perfect, C major lips unresponsive on his when he pulls back.

“Oh,” Chanyeol says, looking startled.

“Oh,” Baekhyun echoes, standing up. “Oh, oh man, I’m so sorry, I- I’ll…” He practically slides down the ladder.

“No, wait, Baekhyun-” Chanyeol calls, but Baekhyun doesn’t look back.

“You seem gloomy today,” Baekhyun’s mom comments as Baekhyun pours milk into a bowl of cereal.

Baekhyun shrugs. “I’m all right.”

She frowns. “You haven’t gone outside at all today.”

Baekhyun shrugs again. “Not in the mood.”

“Do you mind if I join you?” his mom asks, gesturing to the seat across from Baekhyun. He shakes his head. “Thank you.”

They sit in silence for a moment.

“I didn’t know you like that kind of cereal,” Baekhyun’s mom comments.

“Hmm?” Baekhyun says, looking up. “Oh, yeah, it’s Chanyeol’s…” he cuts himself off when he looks down at the floating brown and tan corn puffs, “…favorite.”

Before he knows it, Baekhyun’s suddenly bawling into his bowl of Reese’s Puffs.

Baekhyun??” his mom says, sounding alarmed. “Hey, what’s wrong?”

“Sorry, sorry,” Baekhyun says through a small sob. "I- I don’t know, I-” Another sob cuts him off.

“Shh,” his mom says, suddenly kneeling next to his chair, hand on his shoulder. “Hey, it’s okay.”

Baekhyun wraps his arms around her, burying his head in her shoulder. He’s suddenly bombarded by memories of when he used to cling to her after his unending nightmares when he was little. He stopped asking for his mom when Chanyeol came into the picture, though. He’d cling to Chanyeol instead.

Baekhyun chuckles through a sob, wondering if he’ll have to go back to hugging his mother after nightmares.

“It’s okay,” Baekhyun’s mom says softly, patting his back. “Sweetheart, it’s all okay.”

“Mom?” he whispers into her neck.

“Yes, Baekhyun?” she replies.

“I’m in love with Chanyeol,” he says, voice cracking on ‘love.’

“Oh.” Baekhyun’s mom holds him even tighter. “Oh, Baekhyun.”

And I know-” Baekhyun pauses to take a deep breath, “I know that you think he’s not real, and everyone’s so vehement about it that sometimes I think he might not be too. And where would that leave me?” He’s starting to shake now. “Stuck in love with a ghost, that’s what.”

“Oh, baby,” his mom says softly. “I’m so sorry.”

The position they’re in isn’t very comfortable, and Baekhyun’s mom slowly helps them both stand before guiding their way to the sofa. Baekhyun immediately curls up, burying his head back into his mother’s shoulder.

“I messed up,” Baekhyun says, shuddering. “I kissed him and he didn’t kiss back and I want to die, Momma, he means so much and I messed it all up.”

“Oh, honey,” Baekhyun’s mom says softly, running her hand through his hair.

“I messed up,” Baekhyun says again. “I messed up bad.”

“Baekhyun,” his mom says carefully, “have you considered that this might be a good thing?”

What?” Baekhyun says, confused.

“It’s not healthy to rely on- on someone like you do,” his mom says gently. “Maybe take a break from Chanyeol?”

“A break?” Baekhyun says, so appalled that he’s stopped crying.

“A break, Baekhyun,” she echoes. “Just for a little while. Take up a new hobby or something.”

“Chanyeol isn’t a hobby, Mom,” Baekhyun says, indignant by her implications. “He’s a person. A person that I need to make amends with,” he says, springing up.

“Baekhyun, wait-”

But Baekhyun’s already dashing out the back door and running into the forest to find Chanyeol.

Baekhyun can hear Chanyeol humming mindlessly when he approaches the treehouse. He hears the faint sound of gnats buzzing in the distance and the stream a little ways away running peacefully as he cautiously climbs up the ladder, poking his head in.

Chanyeol is sitting there, flicking the lighter on and off as if in a trance.

“Hey,” Baekhyun says, and Chanyeol nearly drops the lighter in surprise.

“Hi,” he says, pocketing the lighter. “Come in.”

Baekhyun hesitantly clambers in. “So, I wanted to apol-”

He’s cut off when Chanyeol surges forward and presses C major lips to his.

The kiss last longer than the last one, and this time both of them are contributing. Chanyeol’s mouth is warm and sweet, and Baekhyun can feel his own heart thumping madly.

Chanyeol’s soft, blue-sky hands reach up. One cradles the back of his neck, and the other cups his jaw. Baekhyun’s hands hesitantly reach up as well, grasping Chanyeol’s shoulders.

They finally pull back, and Baekhyun slowly opens his eyes to see Chanyeol’s still closed, looking utterly contented.

They just sit there for a moment, catching their breaths.

“Why’d you run?” Chanyeol asks, breaking the silence.

“Why didn’t you kiss back?” Baekhyun answers.

There’s another moment of silence.

“I like you,” Chanyeol says suddenly. His voice sounds a little different. Like rain falling up. “I like you a lot.”

“I like you a lot too,” Baekhyun says, and Chanyeol beams at him, tiger-growl teeth peaking through C major lips.

Good,” he whispers, odic, and kisses him again.

“Oh,” Baekhyun gasps into Chanyeol’s mouth, “Chanyeol.”

 

“Good?” Chanyeol mumbles as he twists his fingers. Baekhyun yelps.

“Like- like-” Baekhyun throws his head back, hitting the wooden floor of the treehouse. “I can taste- ahh…”

Chanyeol swallows his groan, pressing perfect C major lips to his. Baekhyun whimpers again, bucking his hips up.

“Chanyeol,” he gasps.

“Baekhyun,” Chanyeol says, warm and low in his throat, honey and birdsong and dark, sweet orange.

Baekhyun’s a mess of gasps and moans as Chanyeol gently moves his fingers inside him. He can taste something, like metal but not quite, and he’s so so desperate for something, but he doesn’t know what.

“Please,” Baekhyun whispers, not even sure of what he’s pleading for. Chanyeol’s fingers press up, and the not-metal taste becomes so overwhelming that a sob is startled out of him.

“Hey,” Chanyeol says, pausing. He cups Baekhyun’s cheek with soft, blue-sky hands. “Are you alright?“

"Yeah,” Baekhyun says shakily. “Yeah, I’m okay.”

Chanyeol presses a gentle kiss to his forehead. “Tell me if it becomes too much, okay?”

“Okay,” Baekhyun murmurs. He presses himself against Chanyeol’s fingers, and Chanyeol smiles, all C major-sweet. “Come on,” Baekhyun says, throat suddenly dry, “you can- ah.”

Chanyeol goes back to slowly moving his fingers. Baekhyun isn’t exactly sure of what he’s doing, but it’s good.

He can feel something else in his veins, hot and desperate and red-black velvet. He groans, squeezing on Chanyeol’s fingers.

“So good,” Baekhyun grunts. “So, so… like- ah, not metal but almost, and velvet, and- ahh…”

“Shh,” Chanyeol says softly. “I know.”

Chanyeol slowly pulls his fingers out. Baekhyun frowns at the loss.

“What?” he starts to ask, but Chanyeol is suddenly shifting Baekhyun’s hips and pressing something warm and hard against him. “Oh.”

“Okay?” Chanyeol murmurs, looking down at him with wide, mocha eyes.

“Yes,” Baekhyun says, absolutely certain. “Yes.”

Chanyeol gently pushes in, lower C major lip tucked under tiger-growl top teeth.

Baekhyun’s eyes roll back as he’s slowly filled up. It burns, but it’s like creamer for coffee, like red robin feathers, and it’s okay.

“Okay?” Chanyeol whispers.

“Yeah,” Baekhyun confirms, closing his eyes. The not-metal in his mouth is building up again, and he gasps as Chanyeol shifts his hips oh-so slightly. “Oh! Oh, ahh…”

Chanyeol kisses him again, and Baekhyun kisses back as hard as he can.

“So, so, ahh,” Chanyeol moans into Baekhyun’s mouth. “You’re so, oh, oh…” Baekhyun kisses him, swallowing his groans.

Chanyeol is starting to move his hips in slow, steady motions, and Baekhyun finds himself moving his own hips to meet his motions. Chanyeol is hitting something inside Baekhyun every single time, and Baekhyun can’t help but whimper in a low, constant sound.

Tell me,” Chanyeol grunts, “tell me if it’s too much.”

It is,” Baekhyun murmurs back. “Keep going.”

Chanyeol laughs softly, startled, but obliges.

Baekhyun runs his hands through Chanyeol’s soft, dark hair, tugging gently. Chanyeol groans, fingers digging into Baekhyun’s shoulders, and Baekhyun wraps his legs around Chanyeol’s waist. His hips shift up slightly, and whimpers when Chanyeol starts to hit that place inside him even harder.

“Come on,” Chanyeol grunts into Baekhyun’s ear. “Can I...?”

Baekhyun doesn’t even know what Chanyeol is asking for, but he presses his hips even closer to Chanyeol’s, squeezing, and with a yelp, Chanyeol’s movements stutter and still.

“Um…are you all right?” Baekhyun asks.

Chanyeol is panting hard as he reaches down and wraps his hand around Baekhyun’s- whoa.

I’m great,” he says as he starts to move his hand.

Ack,” is Baekhyun’s reply.

He reaches up, wrapping his arms around Chanyeol’s back, clinging desperately. The not-metal taste is more intense than ever, and he sinks his teeth into Chanyeol’s collarbone with a groan.

“Oh gosh,” he gasps out. “Oh gosh.”

Baekhyun feels the velvet in his veins, tastes the not-metal in his mouth, and he can start to hear a low humming, a perfect G sharp.

He groans, high in his throat, and Chanyeol mouths along his jawbone down to his neck.

Come on,” Chanyeol murmurs. “You’re almost there.”

Baekhyun doesn’t have any clue what Chanyeol is even talking about- where he’s close to being-, but he’s too jumbled up and overwhelmed to ask.

Chanyeol twists his hand, rubbing his thumb over the top, and the not-metal in Baekhyun’s mouth suddenly becomes so much, too much, and he sobs hard into Chanyeol’s skin.

“It’s okay,” Chanyeol whispers. “Just let go. Let go.”

Baekhyun lets go.

He’s falling, sinking, and he can feel himself shaking. The not-metal in his mouth finally comes spilling out as a moan more expressive and emotion-filled than he ever thought he could make. He splays his arms out, one hitting the wooden wall, and he feels all of his muscles clench and unclench.

The G sharp grows louder and louder until he finally screams, groaning and whimpering. Chanyeol is murmuring soft, cloud-sweet words as Baekhyun finally quiets down.

Oh,” Baekhyun says once he can finally speak.

Hi,” Chanyeol says against Baekhyun’s neck.

Hi,” Baekhyun echoes, ears buzzing. “That was- that was…” For the first time ever, there’s something that Baekhyun can’t describe.

“Yeah,” Chanyeol says, kissing him chastely. “I know.”

 

“I know,” Baekhyun says, and immediately wishes he could shove those words back in his mouth because Chanyeol’s mocha eyes go dark.

What,” Chanyeol says softly, C major lips pulling back to bare tiger-growl teeth, “did you say?”

“I’m sorry, Chanyeol,” Baekhyun says immediately.

Chanyeol exhales in a way that Baekhyun can only describe as red-green-orange, like a stream over a bed of jagged crystal. Perfectly dangerous.

I’m sorry,” Baekhyun repeats.

You don’t-” Chanyeol takes a deep breath, “you can’t understand, okay?”

I-”

You have no idea what it’s like,” Chanyeol growls, “to be terrified of going home! No idea what it’s like to be frightened of your own parents!” He stands up, pacing the best he can in the cramped space of the treehouse. “You have no idea what it’s like to have to hide whenever your dad gets too drunk and destroys whatever he comes across, and your mother is too high to care. You have no idea what it’s like to use your body to protect your sisters, your little brother. You don’t know the fear that runs through you when your father pulls out his belt because he’s feeling pissed off and needs something to take it all out on. You have no idea what it’s like to be whipped as hard as a grown man drunk on cheap liquor and anger can manage. And let me tell you something, Baekhyun.” He stops pacing and turns to look Baekhyun in the eye. “It. Hurts.”

Baekhyun swallows hard. “I- I’m sorry-”

Sorry, sorry,” Chanyeol sneers. “Everybody’s fucking sorry.”

He resumes pacing. “Everything is blue-black,” he repeats. He pauses, frowning. “For me,” he adds, “not you.”

 

“What’s wrong, Baekhyun?” Baekhyun’s mom asks.

“Huh?” Baekhyun says, looking up.

“You’ve just been sitting there all day,” she says, sitting down next to him on the sofa. “Is there something wrong?”

“Well,” Baekhyun says. He tries to stop himself, but the words suddenly come pouring out. “Chanyeol and I had sex, okay? And ever since then he’s been extra moody and I don’t know what to do. And yesterday we had a fight because I agreed with him when he said that everything is blue-black and he got mad because I don’t know what it’s like. And he’s right, I don’t know what it’s like for everything to be blue-black. But he kept on yelling and yelling and Mom, he’s hurt so bad at home and I want to help him but I can’t and that hurts.”

You- you had sex with Chanyeol?”

Baekhyun looks up to see his mother’s face completely white.

“Yes,” he says slowly. “That’s what I said, right?”

Baekhyun,” his mom says urgently, squeezing his hand so hard it’s to the point of painful, “did it hurt?”

Baekhyun feels his face contort into a vaguely shocked and disgusted expression. “What?”

When you had sex with Chanyeol, did it hurt?” his mom says. “Did he hurt you?”

Baekhyun frowns. “Well, a little. But I didn’t really notice then.” He considers this thoughtfully. “It hurt to sit down the next day,” he says truthfully.

His mom looks absolutely horrified. “Oh, Baekhyun,” she whispers, wrapping him into a hug. “I’m so sorry.

“What?” Baekhyun says, confused. Why is she sorry? Wasn’t the sex a good thing? It felt so good…

It’s okay,” Baekhyun’s mom says, rocking him gently. “It’s okay. You’re safe here.”

Baekhyun sits there, utterly bewildered. Was he not supposed to have enjoyed it?

His mom runs a hand through his hair. “You’re all right. No one’s going to hurt you. Not anymore.”

Baekhyun’s mom hasn’t let him out of her sight since he told her he had sex with Chanyeol.

He hopes Chanyeol will understand why he hasn’t been out to make amends yet.

His mom has only left his side to call a few people and to talk to his dad.

“I’m just going to go say hi to your siblings, okay?” his mom says, when they hear the garage door open. “I’ll be right back.”

Baekhyun nods slowly.

He can hear his mom greeting his brother and sister when there’s a tap on the living room window. He looks out to see Chanyeol standing there, waving cautiously.

Baekhyun runs to the window, opening it.

Hi,” he says cautiously.

Come on,” Chanyeol says, gesturing out to the woods behind them.

Baekhyun bites his lip. “My mom’ll freak out if she comes back and I’m not here,” he says.

Chanyeol sighs. “Please?” he says. “I’m sorry, Baekhyun. I didn’t mean to yell. Please. I'm… I’m sorry.”

Baekhyun sighs, looking out. “Fine,” he murmurs, climbing out of the window.

“Hi,” Chanyeol says softly, cautiously taking his hand. “Can we talk?”

“Okay,” Baekhyun says, and they walk, hand-in-hand, into the forest.

“I’m sorry that I blew up at you like that,” Chanyeol apologizes once they’re safely hidden in the trees.

“I’m sorry I said I understood,” Baekhyun says. “I don’t understand. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

Chanyeol smiles, C major lips a little sad. “Everybody’s fucking sorry,” he whispers, and Baekhyun leans in and kisses him.

Chanyeol’s eyes are closed when he pulls back, and he looks peaceful.

“Sing,” he says, eyes still closed.

What?” Baekhyun asks, taken aback.

Sing,” Chanyeol repeats.

“What do you want me to sing?” Baekhyun says, bewildered.

Chanyeol shrugs. “Something everyone would know.”

“Um.” Baekhyun pauses. For some reason, all he can think of is “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

Chanyeol smiled goofily and in-love to himself, eyes still closed. “Okay.”

 

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star

How I wonder what you are

Up above the world so high

Like a diamond in the sky

Twinkle, twinkle little star

How I wonder what you are

 

When the blazing sun is gone

When he nothing shines upon

Then you show your little light

Twinkle, twinkle, all the night

Twinkle, twinkle, little star

How I wonder what you are”

Chanyeol finally opens his eyes when Baekhyun finishes. “Thank you,” he says.

“Sure,” Baekhyun says.

They walk deeper into the forest, hands still clasped together.

“Have you ever noticed,” Chanyeol begins, squinting up at the darkening sky, “that when you squeeze your eyes together, everything changes?”

“Yeah,” Baekhyun says. “Not dramatically, though. Just enough to be unnerving.”

“Yeah.” Chanyeol snaps his fingers. “Like that- that guy. With the covered faces. Red-August-L name.”

“Um,” Baekhyun says, thinking. “Uh, René Magritte?”

“Yel- yes, him,” Chanyeol says. “Everything’s not quite what it should be.”

Baekhyun nods slowly, squinting around the forest. Everything has a slightly eerie gloom to it, slightly off. He shivers, looking back at Chanyeol, who- who isn’t who he’s supposed to look like.

“You’re not quite what you should be,” Baekhyun says without thinking.

Chanyeol stiffens, and Baekhyun thinks he’s going to yell again, but Chanyeol just squeezes Baekhyun’s hand.

“That’s okay,” he whispers, “as long as you remember me.”

Baekhyun squeezes back.

They walk in thick silence, all green-orange. Baekhyun can sort of taste it.

“What if this isn’t real?” Baekhyun says suddenly.

Chanyeol frowns. “In what way?”

“In the way it’s all in my mind,” Baekhyun clarifies. Chanyeol cocks his head.

“Well, of course it’s all in your mind,” he says, and Baekhyun blinks.

“What?”

“This is all in your mind,” Chanyeol says, gesturing. “But that doesn’t mean it’s not real.”

Baekhyun sighs. “Yes, but what if all this-” he gestures around, “is only in my mind?”

Chanyeol shrugs. “Then it would still be real, wouldn’t it? If you can see it, if you can feel it, why wouldn’t it be real?”

“I- I don’t know,” Baekhyun says, frowning. “Maybe because it isn’t real for anyone else.”

So?”

So, maybe you’re not real.”

Chanyeol freezes, looking at Baekhyun. “What?

“Maybe you’re not real,” Baekhyun repeats.

Chanyeol is shaking his head. “No, don’t say that.”

“Everyone tells me you aren’t,” Baekhyun says. “My therapists, my psychologist, my parents-”

“Don’t listen to them,” Chanyeol says firmly, staring into Baekhyun’s eyes. “Don’t listen. You can see me, right? Hear me?” He squeezes Baekhyun’s hand. “Feel me?”

“Hallucination?” Baekhyun offers.

“One that kisses you?” Chanyeol retorts.

Baekhyun shakes Chanyeol’s hand off in favor of burying his head in his hands.

“Baekhyun, I’m real,” Chanyeol snaps. “Do you hear me?”

“Let me think!” Baekhyun yells back.

“I told you to remember me!” Chanyeol is upset now. “Did you think that up yourself? Am I really just your imagination?”

“Shut up!” Baekhyun screams, hands over his ears. “Shut up shut up shut up!”

“Listen to me!”

 

“You’re not real!”

 

“Yes I am!”

 

“You’re not real!”

 

“I am! Baekhyun, listen-”

 

“Not real, not real, not real-”

And then Chanyeol backhands him across the face.

They both freeze.

“Did- did you just-”

Baekhyun,” Chanyeol gasps out. His voice is crunchy and scared. “Baekhyun, I’m so sorry, I didn’t-”

“Get away from me.”

“Baekhyun, I-”

Leave me alone!” Baekhyun screams. “Get away from me!

Baekhyun, please, I’m sorry!”

Stay away!” he shrieks, running towards his home.

“Baekhyun!”

Baekhyun screams, tears running down his cheeks. He runs into the light of his house, bangs on the door, and his brother opens it.

Baekhyun! Mom’s been so-”

Baekhyun runs past him, sobbing as he dashes into his room. He collapses on his bed, not even bothering to lock the door.

He burrows under the blankets, curls up, and falls asleep.

Baekhyun wakes up to his mother lying on his bed next to him, rubbing his back.

“Hey,” she says softly as he sits up, rubbing his eyes.

“Hi,” he says, feeling hollow.

“Want to talk about it?” his mom asks gently.

Baekhyun starts to shake his head, but says, “Chanyeol hit me.”

His mom’s eyes widen. “He what?

“It was my fault,” Baekhyun says, running his fingers through his hair. “I kept screaming that he’s not real, he’s not real, and he was crying but I didn’t stop and finally he just hit me.”

His mom stares at him, looking horrified.

“He hit you…” she says slowly.

Baekhyun rubs his eyes, nodding. He’s suddenly wrapped into a fierce hug.

Mom?” he says uncertainly as he feels her shake as though she’s crying.

Baekhyun,” she says softly. “Oh, Baekhyun. I’m so sorry.

Why… why are you…?” Baekhyun begins but doesn’t finish, hesitantly patting his mother’s back.

My baby boy,” she whispers, hugging him to the point that it’s hard for him to breathe.

Mom?

Baekhyun looks up to see his youngest brother peeking into the room.

“Um, I don’t mean to bother you, but Dad’s on the phone,” the brother says, holding out the phone.

Reluctantly, Baekhyun’s mom releases Baekhyun and grabs the phone. Looking much relieved, his brother leaves immediately.

“Honey?” his mom says, holding the phone to her ear. She listens for a moment. “No, he just woke up.” She pauses again. “Yes, I did- no, I’ll tell you later.” Another pause. “Yeah, he is. See you soon.” She hangs up, setting the phone on Baekhyun’s dresser.

Baekhyun’s mom sits back down next to him on the bed.

“Are you hungry?” she asks.

Baekhyun shakes his head. “What time is it?”

His mom checks her watch. “3:50,” she says.

“In the afternoon, or-”

“In the morning,” she says.

Baekhyun frowns. “What’s Dad doing out? What’s my brother doing up?”

“Your dad went out to go pick up a few things,” his mom says. “And all of your siblings haven’t been able to sleep.”

“That’s my fault, I’m sure,” Baekhyun says, sounding perfectly apathetic.

His mom squeezes his hand. “It’s my fault, if anything,” she admits. “I’ve been a bit of a mess.”

“Oh,” Baekhyun says, unsure of what else to say.

“We’re going to see Dr. Park later, okay?” she says.

“Why?”

“We all need to talk together,” she tells him.

“About what?’

She shrugs. "Everything that’s been happening.”

Baekhyun sighs. “The sex,” he says, and his mom flinches.

“Yes, Baekhyun,” she says. “That’s part of it.”

Baekhyun nods slowly, lying back down. He buries his head in his pillow and pretends Chanyeol never hit him.

 

“I don’t get why we’re making such a big deal out of this,” Baekhyun says.

“Why do you think we shouldn’t be?” Dr. Park says.

Baekhyun shrugs. “It’s just sex,” he says. “plenty of kids do it.”

“Most kids do it because they like it,” Baekhyun’s mom says gently.

“But I liked it, Mom,” Baekhyun says, frowning. “I like it.”

His mom stares. “You- you liked it?”

“Yes,” he says. “Why? Should I not have?”

“Well, no, I- I mean…”

What?!” Baekhyun demands.

“We didn’t think you would ever be able to enjoy sex,” Dr. Park interjects. “Not after what happened with Dr. Kim.”

Baekhyun freezes.

But Dr. Kim,” he pauses, swallowing, “he just- he just hit me. Right?

“Oh, god,” his mom says, burying her head in her hands. “Oh, Baekhyun.”

Momma?” Baekhyun says softly, suddenly so so scared.

His mom just shakes her head, burying her face in Baekhyun’s father’s shoulder.

Dad?” Baekhyun asks softly, and his father swallows hard, intertwining his fingers with his wife’s.

“Baekhyun, Dr. Kim-” he pauses, taking a deep breath, “Dr. Kim…” He shakes his head, looking to Dr. Park.

“Baekhyun,” Dr. Park says, his normally calm expression looking troubled, “Dr. Kim would hit you, yes. But, ah…” He runs a hand through his thinning hair. “He would, well, hurt you. Sexually.”

Baekhyun sits back.

He’d- he’d rape me,” he says dully.

“Molest you, yes,” Dr. Park says softly, eyes full of rooster-crow sadness.

I remember now. I… How come I didn’t remember? How could I…” Baekhyun asks.

“That was a severe amount of trauma for a child that young, Baekhyun,” Dr. Park says. “It’s not surprising that you repressed those memories.”

“But no one ever told me?” Baekhyun questions, standing up and wiping the tears from his face away swiftly.

“We saw no need to upset you,” Dr. Park explains. “It would’ve only hurt you.”

We’re so sorry, Baekhyun,” his mom interject tearfully. “So sorry.”

Sorry, sorry,” Baekhyun mumbles to himself. “Everybody’s fucking sorry.

“And this is where Chanyeol comes in,” Dr. Park says. “You started talking about him not too long after Dr. Kim became your therapist.”

So?” Baekhyun asks.

“Baekhyun,” Dr. Park says softly, “Chanyeol is a coping mechanism. He’s not real.”

No,” Baekhyun tries to say, but things are starting to click into place. “Oh. Oh, no.”

“I’m sorry,” Dr. Park says, looking genuinely apologetic.

But… but we...” Kissed. Touched. Made love. It was real.

Was it?

Baekhyun buries his head in his hands. No one else has ever seen Chanyeol. No one else can prove he exists.

Hell, Baekhyun doesn’t even know Chanyeol’s last name.

Oh, god.

 

“Baekhyun,” his mom says, “do you want anything? Do you need anything?”

Baekhyun’s shaking his head slowly, digging ragged nails into his knees.

“No, no,” he says, squeezing his eyes shut. “No.”

“Baekhyun,” somebody says. He doesn’t know who, because everything is starting to blur in his ears.

The food is poisoned,” he whispers before everything goes dark.

Baekhyun wakes up in his bedroom, his mom asleep on the chair next to his bed and holding his hand in an nearly painful grasp.

He looks out the window, at the sinking sun, and squints his eyes.

Remember me,” he whispers. A tear quietly slips down his cheek- the check Chanyeol once held in his strong, fragile, blue-green hands.

His mom stirs next to him, her eyes fluttering open.

“Hey, baby,” she murmurs.

“Hi,” he says, still looking out the window.

“How do you feel?” his mom asks.

“Tired,” he says. “Could I, ah, maybe get some water?”

“Of course,” she says. “I’ll be right back. Don’t move, okay?”

“Okay,” he says, still looking out at the sun.

“Hey. Look at me.”

Baekhyun reluctantly looks away, looks at his mom.

Don’t go anywhere,” she orders.

“Okay,” he repeats, and she gives him a hug before leaving.

As soon as she closes the door, Baekhyun’s throwing open his window and clambering out the way Chanyeol used to all the time. He races out into the woods, skin suddenly too tight for his body.

Dirty. Dirty dirty dirty. The kind of dirty that Baekhyun can feel in his soul, the one place where he can’t scrub viciously with soap.

His feet are wet with blue-black water, and he looks up to see everything turning blue-black now. He wants to shout for Chanyeol, to tell him that he gets it now, he understands, but Chanyeol is gone and he’s never coming back and Baekhyun thinks his lungs are going to burst.

I’m sorry!” he screams. “I get it now! I promise!”

But everything’s becoming bluer and everything’s becoming blacker and Baekhyun can feel the cold in his bones. It’s seeping in through his eyes, and he closes them as tightly as he can but it still leaks through. He’s shivering, he’s shaking, and he’s so, so dirty.

Baekhyun slowly becomes aware that he’s pleading for Chanyeol to come back, come back to him, but Chanyeol is never coming back because he isn’t real, and Baekhyun is a crazy fucking idiot left with only his crazy fucking mind and he’s so so so dirty, he’s filthy, and he’s never going to be loved by anybody and he finally understand the phrase ignorance is bliss and he cannot breathe and he cannot stop running away from nothing.

Please!” he shrieks, harsh and guttural, like the word’s being torn away from his throat. “Oh, please!”

The word echoes around the forest, bouncing from tree to tree, and Baekhyun can feel the word sink through him, coating his bones, making them vibrate “pleasepleaseplease.”

 

“Where are you?!” he screams. “I need you! I fucking need you, oh please!”

His hands are on his head, pulling his hair, clawing his skin. His nails are tearing though the soft skin of his cheeks, ripping, and he thinks that the pain is the most real thing he’s ever felt. He claws desperately at his face, his neck, his arms. It hurts, it fucking hurts, and he’s sobbing but he’s laughing because isn’t this just the best thing ever?

I’m real!” Baekhyun screams. He points towards the sky accusingly. “I’m fucking real! Why aren’t you?!” He collapses onto the cold, cold ground. “Why aren’t you real?!” he shrieks. “Why- aren’t- you- real?!” he demands, slamming his head against the ground with every word.

He feels the skin of his forehead scratch and pop more and more with every blow to the ground. He’s screaming so much that he’s dry heaving and trying to taste all of the stickysweetChayeol’sfavoritecereal again. His brain and whole body is thriving and crashing around and he rips at the dirt beneath him.

Baekhyun goes still suddenly when he realizes that he’s sprawled out in front of the treehouse. Their treehouse. He closes his eyes and lets the memories play before them. Kissing, touching, whispering lullabies that were never real.

It was never real.

 

He was kissing himself, touching himself, whispering to himself.

With a struggling  groan of agony, Baekhyun pushes himself up off the ground, stumbling up the ladder into the treehouse.

It’s dark. Quiet. The air is heavy and thick. Baekhyun doesn’t speak. He sits and watches tears drip onto the T-E-R-R-I-F-I-E-D that’s carved into the wooden floor.

Chanyeol’s lighter is lying by Baekhyun’s shoe. He slowly picks it up, flicks it on. The flame glows in the darkness. Baekhyun watches himself touch the flame to the wall.

He holds it there, watching the wood grow darker as it chars. For a while nothing else happens, but Baekhyun suddenly sees the wood ignite. He flicks the lighter off and watches, completely transfixed, as the flame grows larger and larger, climbing up to the ceiling.

Baekhyun lies on his back and watches as fire slowly engulfs the roof. The treehouse is starting to fill with smoke.

Something inside him is pulling, insisting that he has to get out, get out before he suffocates or burns. He ignores it. He doesn’t care anymore.

Baekhyun shifts to his side and falls sound asleep as everything around him burns.

He doesn’t care.

“How do you feel?”

 

T-E-R-R-I-F-I-E-D

 

The funeral is a small, quiet ceremony.

The mother is crying softly, the father is purposefully silent, and the siblings are warily grieving the brother they never really knew.

The doctor is there too, rubbing the tan line on his left ring finger and breathing in, breathing out.

The priest conducting the ceremony asks if anyone would like to say a few words.

A boy with deep, black hair and mocha eyes (and C major lips and blue-sky hands and tiger-growl teeth) stands up.