dry curls

Domestic Garden Witch: Eternal Plants

So maybe you’re a college witch with limited space and money, limited to the one window in your dorm. Or, maybe you’re a witch without extensive backyard space who wants to start up a magical garden. Perhaps you’re a kitchen witch who wants the freshest herbs right at her fingertips.

For many witches, having a garden seems to be a bit of a no-brainer. After all, plants and magic go hand-in-hand. Plus, when thinking of a witch, it’s hard not to think of a cottage in the woods with a little vegetable garden out front. Unfortunately for the majority of us, our cottage in the woods is a tiny flat, and our garden out front is a windowsill with limited space.

This is when it comes time to embrace your craftiness and bring your garden indoors! Not only does it place your garden in a convenient location, it also allows you to freshen the air, recycle what would otherwise harm the earth, and embrace your witchy green thumb!

The Eternal Rose of Jericho

I have been writing and teaching on this blog for almost a year now, and it honestly surprises me that I haven’t yet written about this inexpensive, easy-to-grow, and magic-laden plant! At roughly $8 US, resurrection plants are virtually incapable of breaking the bank, and so long as there is access to a small amount of water, these plants can easily live forever.

They have earned their name from their ability to survive long droughts by drying out and curling up into tight balls, going into dormancy until their roots are moistened again. There are two species best known - the true rose of Jericho, and resurrection fern. The difference between the two is two-fold: true rose of Jericho is native to Western Asia and requires undisturbed root systems in order to revive itself, while the resurrection fern (pictured above) is native to Southwestern United States and Mexico and has the ability to revive even with disrupted root systems.

Despite being two different plants, they are frequently used interchangeably due to their similarities. Covering all of the lore related to resurrection plants would take quite a long time, as many cultures have developed myths, legends, spells, and rituals related to the plants over the many centuries. So, bear with me and consider this article to be more of a spring board to jump off of in your own exploration regarding these wonderful greens!

Easy Care, Holy Waters

Caring for a resurrection plant is extremely simple. Place the bulb in a shallow dish with water - don’t drown the plant; you only need enough water to cover the roots. Over a period of a few hours to a week, the plant will unfurl its leaves, regain its green color, and grow out to nearly a foot in diameter (depending on the size of the bulb). If the plant is forgotten for a while, and the water evaporates, it will return to its ruddy yellow-brown color and curl up again, to await the return of water.

Unsurprisingly, waters collected from the bowls of resurrection plants are often considered to be blessed simply by contact with the plant. These blessed waters can be used in the same function as holy water or other blessed waters, and some witches encourage using moon water to hydrate resurrection plants so as to have blessed moon water.

A Spirit in the Home, Protection For Rent

While this subtitle is somewhat in jest, it has merit. In some traditions, resurrection plants are believed to contain a spirit or fey. In these traditions, offering water is done as a petition and as a way of welcoming the spirit into your home. So long as the plant is hydrated and open, the spirit will invite prosperity and happiness into the home, while banishing negativity and protecting your space. As such, it acts as a natural, living space cleanser and ward. As with any other spirit, it’s recommended to provide offerings of fresh water regularly and to thank the spirit for its help and presence in your home.

Ongoing Money Spell

One of the more creative uses for resurrection plants is as a continuous money spell. Place silver coins either in the water being offered, or place coins in the center of the plant when it is open in order to invite money into the home. This type of spell can be done as needed, allowing the plant to dry when coffers are full, and rehydrating it and making offerings when funds are low.

Collecting some of the leaves or debris from the plant and using them in sachets or other money spells is not an uncommon practice, and is believed to add an extra punch to the spell!

Spiritual Meditations

Easily one of the best ways in which the Rose of Jericho can help in witchcraft is in reminding us of the cyclical nature of the world. Before our very eyes, a resurrection plant can grow, flourish, die, and be reborn again. For this reason, it is often associated with life and healing. However, it can also be meditated upon, helping us consider and discover ways in which we are also like the plant, experiencing our moments of growth and happiness before withering and going through our turmoils before being reborn stronger and more vibrant again.

Disposal of the Rose

Many witches abhor disposing of the resurrection plant for varying reasons. The first is that it is a self-reviving plant - disposing of it sometimes seems to be a bit of a disservice. Another is that, being a spirit helping in the home, disposing of it would seem ungrateful. However, not all traditions follow these viewpoints. In such cases, when a spell is done and the rose is no longer needed, it can either be saved or buried, where it can ground and decompose, nourishing the earth.

In conclusion, the resurrection plant is useful and beautiful. For the budding garden witch, it is an exceptionally easy plant to start with, and for those who are limited on space, they make a great addition to the home without taking up much space! In terms of magic, resurrection plants are versatile, their energies being great for cleansing space and being a natural and low-effort way of creating blessed waters. Whether a garden witch or not, consider the usefulness of having one of these plants in your home!

May all your harvests be bountiful! )O(

Hair Magic & the Moon Phases

*original content from my personal notes*

New Moon: for action and new beginnings- a new hair care regime, success in finding a new hairstyle or trying a different hair product, etc. It’s also a good time for any healing spells for your hair, especially if you’ve used a lot of heat on it recently, or if you’ve used harsh dyes, bleaches, etc.

Waxing Crescent: for growth and progress; any spells that involve growing hair out or helping hair grow to be more healthy.

First Quarter: for finding balance and troubleshooting hair issues; things like hair being too dry, oily, frizzy, taming curls, etc; trying little things to see if a minor change can help your hair problem.

Waxing Gibbous: is for attraction and drawing things in. For this moon phase, I find that it’s good for hair glamours and really any spells or rituals to enhance the natural beauty of your hair, or to help you draw more in.

Full Moon: I like to use for, pretty much anything, but full moons are useful if you want to give any of your hair magic a powerful boost of energy, for healing spells/rituals as well as protection spells for your hair. It’s also a great time for pampering you hair and giving it some extra positivity and love.

Waning Gibbous: similar to first quarter moons, are helpful for brainstorming about the problems or flaws you see with your hair (if you think there are any). If there’s something you don’t like about it (such as “it’s too frizzy”, “it’s not shiny enough”, etc) then this is a good time to spend some time thinking about that, why you think the problem is there and consider what you can do to change it. It’s also great for spells on boosting self-esteem and anything related to loving your hair DESPITE it’s flaws.

Third Quarter Moon: is when I like to perform magic revolving around planning things you want to let go of or change, whether that be a hair style, a certain product, or even possibly unhealthy habits you have when it comes to hair care (too much heat styling or washing your hair too frequently/not enough, etc).

Waning Crescent:  A time to cleanse my hair, scalp and sometimes even my hair products and styling tools, whether it’s literally, energetically, or magically. It’s a time for me to finally let go of anything I need to (like the examples mentioned above), and prepare for new, positive things to come my way for my hair.

Dark Moon: This moon is great for any magic directed specifically at your roots and where your hair grows, kind of like the seed in the ground that will eventually grow into a beautiful, vibrant plant. Also for coloring hair and intense transformation spells.


Characters: Dean Ambrose x Reader

Content: Sexual Content, NSFW, Daddy Kink, Choking. 

Summary: Dean storms backstage after WM32 enraged, finds You and drags you off to release some of his anger.

“Come with me. Now.” Dean barked at you while grabbing your arm. You’d been sitting backstage while the makeup girls finished off your look, getting ready to head up to Gorilla to go over your match plans again.

“W-w-what. Where are we going?”

He was dragging you down the aisle of the backstage area, fingers digging into your arm as he pulled you along. You wanted to protest but you weren’t sure how he was going to react.

Kicking open a few doors open he finally settled on an empty room, which was rare considering it was Wrestlemania. Locking eyes with him you could see his pale blue eyes were filled with rage. Dean was in one of those moods where he wanted to fight or fuck. He’d done one of those and that clearly hadn’t satisfied him.

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“Kiss Me” Dean Winchester x Reader

Word Count: 3,293

Dean Winchester x Reader

Request: Could you do one where you’re not super tomboy but you don’t usually wear “girly things” and to go undercover you have to wear a short black dress, basically what happens is a lot of tight spaces with you and dean and some accidental rubbing against each other here and there and it ends with some good smut where he basically just hikes up the skirt of your dress and you realize how convenient dresses can actually be 

Warnings: Smut, language, lots of sexual tension, unprotected sex

Originally posted by dean-sam-winchesterbros

“There’s no way in hell you’re going.” Dean shakes his head, not even considering the idea of you going on the case with them.

“Come on. You’ve been training me for months now, besides it’s not like we’ll be doing any actual fighting. It’s a goddamn dinner party. All we’ll be doing is socializing and stealing that dumb bracelet.” You argue.

You had been living with Sam and Dean for a few months now. They’ve been training you to be a hunter, but refuse to take you on any actual hunts yet. They keep saying that you just aren’t ready, despite kicking ass in training. Tonight they were supposed to be going to some fancy dinner party/auction at some fancy collector’s house, and you were desperate to go along.

“What if something goes wrong, huh? What are you going to do then?” Dean questions, obviously getting frustrated.

“Then I can be a helpful asset to the team! I know what I’m doing. I’m getting training from the best hunters in the country.” You beg.

“Dean, she has a good point. She’s going to have to start somewhere, and this is probably the best place to do that. The chances of anything going wrong are slim.” Sam defended you.

“What, both of you are going to gang up on me now?” Dean rolled his eyes. “Fine, you can go. But if you get hurt, I get to tell you that I told you so.”

“Ah!” You say in excitement. “Thank you!”

You’re not sure why Dean is so protective over you. You’re only a few years younger than Sam, not too big of a deal. You can take care of yourself. But ever since you moved in with them, Dean has been overly-protective of you, and honestly, it could be a bit much. You feel like he treats you like a little, helpless girl instead of the woman you are.

“But, those clothes are a no. You’re going to have to wear a dress.” Dean pointed to your outfit.

“I hate dresses. What’s wrong with my clothes?” You frown. You were wearing ripped skinny jeans and a flannel, nothing too fancy, but you wouldn’t consider it ugly. You like your clothing, even if it’s not the girliest.

“There’s nothing wrong with them,” Sam interjected, staring down Dean. “This event is just really fancy and we have to fit in.”

“I don’t even own a dress.” You realize. “Or heels. Or anything fancy, for that matter.”

“Guess you can’t go on the case then.” Dean sighed dramatically.

“You wish, Winchester.” You roll your eyes. “What time is the event?”


“I’ll be back later.” You glance at the clock, seeing that it was almost one in the afternoon. You definitely had time to run to the mall and grab some stuff before tonight.


A few hours later, you returned to the bunker with a few shopping bags in each hand. It had been a successful trip- you managed to find a relatively cute but not expensive dress that had matching heels, and also some earrings.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you carry shopping bags in your life.” Dean commented as you walked past them to go to your room.

“There’s a first for everything, right?” You shoved a couple bags in his arms, making him help you bring them to your room.

“You know, I’m not trying to be mean. I just don’t want to risk you getting hurt.”

“Dean.” You set the bags on your bed, turning around and looking at him in the eye. “You don’t have to act like my big brother. I’m okay. I can take care of myself.”

Dean looks at you, seeming like he wanted to say something, but he kept his mouth shut.

“I’ve got to start getting ready, so…” You trail off, implying that he needed to leave.

“It’s only four. It starts at seven.” He raises his eyebrows.

“Uh, trust me, girls take a long time to get ready. Now, get out.” You laugh, playfully shoving him out the door. He raises his hands in surrender, and closes the door behind him.

You are determined to look good tonight, to go all out. You rarely ever dressed up, hence why you didn’t have any nice clothing. This was probably the last time you’ll ever dress up as well, you hate dresses, so why not make the most of it?

You started out by taking a shower and making sure that you used your favorite body wash that left a good scent on you for hours. You normally only used it for when you were going on a date, but this is a special occasion.

You then blow-dryed your hair and curled it, which was a nice change from your usual ponytail you typically threw it in. Next you applied makeup, which was also a nice change from the bare face you normally sported. You have clear skin and decent eyelashes, so you didn’t think you needed makeup on a day to day basis. Tonight, you were rocking a smoky eye and red lip combo, thanks to the YouTube tutorials you had watched. You attempted to put on fake eyelashes, but they were a complete fail so you just went without them.

The last thing you did was put on your dress. You looked in the mirror and admired yourself once it was on. Man, is that dress sexy. It was a tight, bodycon style that stopped just below your butt, showing off all the right curves of your boy. Paired with the black heels, you looked good.

You were about to grab your purse when you hear a knocking on your door.

“Y/N? It’s almost seven, we’ve got to-“

You interrupt them by opening the door, revealing both Sam and Dean standing there. The reactions of both of their faces are priceless. Sam raised his eyebrows and glanced away, doing his signature nervous gulp. Dean, oh poor Dean, he didn’t know what had hit him. He couldn’t look away. He had never seen you look so… Good.

“You can take a picture if you want.” You tease, walking past them. They both cleared their throats and watched as you walked past them, not moving a muscle.

“You know, boys, we’re going to be late if you don’t get a move on it.” You say.

“Yeah yeah.” Dean mumbled, rushing to get to the impala.

The ride there was uncomfortable, to say the least. You couldn’t sit in the backseat since Dean hadn’t cleaned it, and you didn’t want to get anything on your dress. Sam was entirely too tall to sit back there, and there was no way in hell that Dean was letting either of you drive. So, that left you to be in your current predicament- squished between the both of them in the front seat.

Sam was polite enough to try and scoot over as far to the door as possible, which was nice. You had some room, but you were still basically attached to Dean on the hip. Your thighs were touching and your shoulders were bumping into each other, and no one said a word the entire ride there.

When you finally reached the house, you couldn’t be more happy to get out of that car. You stepped outside of the impala, enjoying the feeling of the warm summer air hitting your skin.

“How are we going to go about this?” You asked them, leaning against the impala. You couldn’t exactly go inside without a plan.

“The bracelet is inside one of the upstairs bedroom, inside the top drawer of one of the dressers. We’ll socialize for a little bit, whatever, and then I’ll excuse myself to the bathroom and go find the bracelet upstairs. You and Sam can keep watch downstairs.” Dean directed.

“Okay, sounds like a plan.” You say. You link arms with the both of them and walk inside the house, which was absolutely beautiful. You’re enchanted by architecture and all of the collections spread about the house. It was something out of a movie.

“Grab a glass of champagne. Fit in.” Dean whispered to you, not looking at you as he waved to a person across the room. You took a glass from the table behind you, taking a small sip as the person Dean waved to came over to the three of you.

“Hello! What brings you guests here today?” The man asks, all smiles. He must be the owner of the house.

“Just very interested in seeing what you have up for auction today, Sir. You have lovely collections.” You tell him, putting your charm on.

“Why, thank you!” He smiles.

“So, why don’t you tell me about some of these pieces? I’d love to know more.” You lie, hoping to keep the man’s interest long enough for Dean to sneak upstairs. It wasn’t exactly the plan, but it would work. You shoot Dean a look, and he gives you a thumbs up, and you can see him dash away upstairs.

“This piece of art work I got from Venice, isn’t it lovely?” He pointed to a painting.

“Yes, it certainly is.” You pretend to admire it.

He keeps on talking, and at some point you zone out. You look back over to where Sam was standing, hoping to see Dean standing there, but he wasn’t back yet. Odd.

You glance over to the other side of the room, and two men in bodyguard suits are talking, grabbing your attention. They keep glancing over to the stairs and over to Sam, and your heart drops. They must be suspicious.

“Excuse me, sir, but I am going to have to get back over to my friend. Thank you so much for telling me about the history of your painting.” You rushed. You didn’t wait for him to respond while you went over to Sam.

“Sam, those men are onto us. I have to go get Dean.” You say from a few feet away so the men don’t think you’re talking to him, so they think you’re just grabbing another glass of champagne.

“I’ll go.”

“No, they are already staring you down. You take one step and they will follow you up there. They haven’t noticed I’m with you yet. I have to go.” You turn around, taking a sip of the champagne.

“Be careful.” Sam whispered, not daring to look at you.

“I will.”

You walk upstairs, making sure the men don’t notice you. They’re still watching Sam, thankfully. When you get up to the top, you see Dean standing in the hallway, closing one of the doors to the rooms.

“Did you get it yet?” You asked, running over to him, which is difficult in heels.

“No, there are so many goddamn rooms in this house, I’ve still got like five more rooms to check.” He says. “Why are you up here?” He questions.

“People are onto us. You need to hurry.”

Just as you say that, you can hear people walking up the stairs. You grab Dean and pull him behind one of the columns, just to where you two were out of sight to anyone walking in the hallway. You admit, the two of you were in a compromising position. He was leaned up against the column and you were pressed up against him, your head against his chest.

He goes to say something, but you press you hand against his mouth and raise a finger to your lips, indicating that he needs to be quiet.

“I don’t see anybody up here. You’re just being paranoid, Seb.” You hear a man’s voice booming from down the hallway. The voices trail away as well as their footsteps, and you peek your head around the corner.

“We’re clear.” You whisper. Your bodies are still pressed together, and Dean looks down at you, you feeling his hot breath against your skin. His eyes are sparkling and his arms are wrapped your waist- you admit, he looked really good.

“We, uh, we need to find the bracelet.” You say nervously, pushing yourself away from him.

“Right. The bracelet.” He nods, following you back into the hallway.

“I haven’t checked this room yet.” Dean points to a door, and you follow him inside. Just like the rest of the house, the room is absolutely beautiful.

You walk over to the dresser, pulling open the top drawer. A shiny bracelet with a blue stone in the center of it was set on top of a pillow, almost begging to be taken.

“This it?” You hold it up to Dean.

“Yes, thank god.” Dean shoves it in his tuxedo pocket.

You footsteps approaching the room, along with the same man’s voice from earlier. Panic fills your chest and you freeze. How are you supposed to explain this if they walk in? You can’t exactly just be like, ‘Hey, yeah we were stealing your jewelry. Excuse us.’

“Dean, kiss me.” You say.

“Wh-“ He begins, but you cut him off by pressing your mouth to his. He kisses you back immediately, sneaking his arms around your waist and bringing you into the same position you were in at the column. The door to the room opens, and you and Dean pull apart.

“Oh, we’re terribly sorry-“ The man apologizes, blush filling his cheeks.

“Yeah, you should be.” Dean snaps, and the door closes. The two men outside start mumbling and then they walk away.

“That was-“ Dean looks at you, an expression you can’t quite read.

“Yeah, fuck, that was close. Good thing I was here to save the day.” You joke.

“Yeah. Close.” He breathes heavily.

“We should leave now. Before someone realizes its missing.” You start to walk out the door. Dean is silent as he follows you back downstairs. Sam has a relieved look on his face when he sees the two of you coming back unharmed.

“I thought you were both screwed when I saw them go upstairs.” Sam says, the three of you walking back to the impala.

“Yeah, we came close to getting caught. They opened the door while we were in the room grabbing it.” You slide into the car, back into your uncomfortable middle seat.

“How’d you manage to get out of that one?” Sam looks shocked. Dean grunts, and sits down to your left to start the car. His hand landing on your thigh doesn’t go unnoticed.

“Said we were looking for the bathroom.” You lie. You’re not sure why you just lied to Sam, but the feeling of Dean’s hand inching up your thigh was not a feeling you ever thought you’d get from Dean. Sure, he’s attractive, but you had never really thought of him that way before… Not until tonight.

The drive back to the bunker was ten times more uncomfortable than the drive there. Dean’s hand never left your thigh, but the minute it would get to the hem your dress, he would bring his hand back down to your knee, repeating the process. Your breath was hitching and you were sure that you were soaking through your underwear. If Sam noticed what was going on, he never said anything. He just kept his eyes focused on the window the entire time.

The minute you got to the bunker, Sam shot out of the car and went to his room, looking uncomfortable. Oh, he knew.

“Y/N, we have to talk…” Dean sets the keys down on the kitchen table.

“Look, it was just purely for business-“

“No, it wasn’t. You felt it, too. And I could tell how turned on you were in the car.” Dean walked up closer to you, pinning you up against the kitchen counter. “Remember earlier today when you told me that I think of you as a little sister?” He fiddled with the hem of your dress.

You nodded, unable to form any words.

“You couldn’t be any further from the truth.”

He smashed his lips against yours, his kiss full of lust and need. He lifts you onto the counter, not breaking the kiss as he lifts your dress up past your hips, revealing your black lace thong.

“This is pretty.” He says, and he brings his head down to your lower area. He takes your thong between his teeth, bringing the lacy material down your legs and onto the floor.

It was the most erotic thing you’d probably ever seen.

Dean starts planting kisses up your legs, starting from your calves and stopping right at your upper thigh.

“Dean, please, stop teasing.” You breathe out, desperate for more.

“Be patient, baby girl.” He mumbled against your skin, and finally his lips pressed to your clit. You moan, the feeling of his tongue on you radiating throughout your body. He enters a finger inside of you, making you moan even louder. You clamp your hand over your mouth, but Dean reached up and moved your hand.

“Don’t. I want to hear you.” He smirked, entering a second finger. With the rate he was going, you weren’t going to last very long.

“Fuck, Dean, I’m going to cum.” You’re a moaning mess, and he picks up his pace. You clench around his fingers, coming around him. Dean removes his fingers and puts them in his mouth, licking them clean.

“You taste so sweet.” He gets up, giving you a deep kiss. You’d never had a man kiss you after eating you out, but man, did it turn you on even more. Or maybe it was just Dean.

You brought your hand to his pants, palming his hard erection through the clothing. He groaned, and you started to fumble with his belt. Sliding it off, you pulled down his pants and his boxers in one motion, leaving his hard member in your hands.

“Damn, Dean.” You commented. He was perfect. He positioned himself with your entrance, and entered himself slowly.

“Fuck,” Dean hisses, throwing his head back in pleasure. He starts to move at a faster pace, the only sounds in the room being both of your moans and skin slapping together.

“I’m going to cum again,” You tell him, the pleasure you’re experiencing being more than any you ever had. The man knows what he’s doing.

“Cum, Y/N, cum on my cock.” Dean says, and this brings you to your second orgasm. The feeling of your walls clenching around him made Dean reach his orgasm as well, his warm spurts filling your insides.

“Holy fuck.” Dean breathes out, pulling out of you. He grabs a towel from the drawer beside you, wiping the two of you off.

“That was…” You trail off, unable to find words.

“You were great.” Dean tosses the towel across the room, it landing right in front of the laundry room. You hop off the kitchen counter, and Dean hands you your thong.

“Sam’s gonna be pissed you just used a nice towel.” You laugh. You slide your underwear back on, and you pull your dress back down your body.

“Worth it.” Dean smiles at you, kissing you once more.

“You know,” you pull away. “Dresses are way more convenient than I remember.”


Pairing: Mitch Rapp x Reader

Author: @ninja-stiles

Words: 5363

Author’s Note: So, this was supposed to be done a long time ago, but I couldn’t like, I didn’t feel like writing smut cause it always discourages me, but I finally finished it! Mitch was the result of the survey and someone had provided this idea, although it’s slightly different, so thank you! I hope you guys enjoy it! Thank you to my lovely best friend @mf-despair-queen for proofreading this for me!

Originally posted by dylanobrienbr

I’ve been working under Stan for a couple years now, even before he brought in new recruits. I’m the only women that he had taken under his wing and I couldn’t be anymore grateful. He took me away from my fucked up home life and made me feel loved again. I saw Stan as a father figure now since my actual father died in combat and my step father is a fucking piece of shit who beats his wife and daughter. While he was training the new recruits, he sent me out on many missions, not wanting me to meet them yet since he didn’t know how they’d feel about a women being in this profession.

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Bearded Pinnipeds-Bearded Seal

The bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus), also called the square flipper seal, is a medium-sized pinniped that is found in and near to the Arctic Ocean. It gets its scientific name from two Greek words (eri and gnathos) that refer to its heavy jaw. The other part of its scientific name means bearded and refers to its most characteristic feature, the conspicuous and very abundant whiskers. When dry, these whiskers curl very elegantly, giving the bearded seal a “raffish” look.

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Escape:  the residency years

Claire sat cross-legged on the bench outside of the hospital.  She was trying to decide if she should call Jamie or take the bus home after her appointment. Her OB-GYN had given her the all clear today.  

Six weeks.

Six weeks since she’d lost her daughter.  Six weeks since her body had survived a bloody nightmare.  

You can resume a normal life, her doctor had said.  

There was nothing normal about her life, except for the hospital.  Her life as a doctor was normal in that chaotic, hectic way.  

Her home life wasn’t normal.  Jamie was quiet, and distant.  Some nights she would see him at his drafting table gazing off, unfocused, his face a mix of sadness, and introspection.  Some nights she would get home from working late, and see him on the fire escape sipping from his tumbler of whisky.  He was a strong man, yet even he had his limits.  

She wasn’t normal.  She felt and looked different.  She was softer now.  Her mind, her body, her strength all so much softer than before.  Her stomach was far from the flat plane it once was.  Her mind was plagued by insecurities, what ifs and why me. 

You can resume a normal life.

It was time to reconnect.  Reconnect with her husband, with herself, and with her dreams.  

Claire unfolded herself from the bench, gathered her things, and began walking to the bus stop.  She was standing at the corner waiting for the light to change when the small shop caught her eye.  Normally she would walk past. That was for other women.  Life was no longer normal, so maybe a trip to that shop would be what she needed.  A suit of armor, so to speak.  

She crossed the street and pushed open the glass door.  

Jamie was waiting for her text.  He’d asked her to tell him what the doctor said, and she nodded absentmindedly.  He didn’t want to badger her, so he waited. He checked his phone obsessively, and fought against the impulse to call her and ask. By three o’clock he’d had enough of waiting.

“Gu ifrinn le e!” Jamie said, and started to pack up for the day.

 “Willie!” he shouted to the outer office.  

His assistant lifted his head.  “Aye, Jamie?”  

“We’re done for the day, mate.  Let’s go.  It’s Friday. We’re knocking off early.”

Jamie walked into the flat laden down with his computer bag, and two grocery sacks.  He bustled in banging into the door frame, his keys wound around a finger, and the post in his mouth.  

“Claire!” he said, and dropped the envelopes in surprise. He laboured over to the kitchen trying not to drop anything else.  “What are you doing home so early?”

“I could ask you the same thing?  And what’s all this?”  Claire got up from the sofa to check out what her husband had brought home. The floppy leaves of fresh leeks were sticking out from one of the brown bags, and in the other she could see the tiny spears from a bunch of asparagus peeking over its edge.

“Ach.  It’s been a long week.  Willie and I skived off early.  Also,” he said a little sheepishly, “I saw this dish on Instagram today and I wanted to try it.”  

“Jamie Oliver?” Claire laughed.  Ever since she started her residency Jamie had done the cooking, and once she got pregnant –

You can resume a normal life.

“Aye.”  Claire’s breath caught at his smile.  Jamie really did have the most beautiful smile.  “Risotto.”

“Oooooo!”  Claire started removing the foodstuffs.  

Jamie looked at this wife.  She was freshly showered, her curls drying around her face. She had on one of those wee dresses she found so comfortable, and that he found sexy.  He could see most of her legs, and the fabric clung to the curve of her bottom.

“Ye look beautiful, Claire.”  

She paused for a moment, and glanced up at her husband.  It was his voice that stopped her.  That mixture of wonder and awe that sometimes crept into it. She could see truth in his eyes.  After all he had witnessed, after all the ugliness, he still found her beautiful.  His compliment was a soothing balm to her mental wounds.  She walked around the counter, and placing her hands on the sides of his jaw, kissed him softly on the mouth.  

“Thank you.  Now go change.  I’m starving.”  

Dinner was amazing.  The risotto was delicious, and it did his heart good to hear Claire laugh as he tried to juggle the recipe on his phone and imitate Jamie Oliver while he cooked.  They’d had wine, and talked.  Claire told stories of people at the hospital that made him laugh until he ached.  He caught her up on the recent projects at the Distillery and showed her a couple of his newest designs.  

When he sat down on the couch with a beer and turned on one of his many recorded rugby games, she stole upstairs.

You can resume a normal life.

Jamie stretched his long legs out in front of him. He sipped from his beer, still content from dinner and the fact that Scotland was winning.  It took him a minute to register the shape at the top of the stairs.

“Jesus.  God.  Claire.”  He fumbled trying to put down the bottle without knocking it sideways.  He almost missed the table because he couldn’t tear his eyes away from her.

Her breasts were plump over the barest of lace cups.  He couldn’t tell from this distance but there was no way they covered her areolas.  The panties hugged her low on her hips.  Her hair was a riot of curls dancing over one shoulder, thick and full.  She smiled like the devil herself, twirling one curl around her index finger.  Well, if that wasn’t a damn metaphor for how he felt right now.      

Red.  She was wearing scarlet red lingerie.  

She set him afire.  

Mesmerized he walked slowly, one bare foot in front of the other, to the bottom of the stairs.  

“Holy Mother of God.”

Claire laughed out loud.

“What?  What did I say?  Are ye laughing at me?”  Jamie’s brain was completely addled.  

“Yes, I most certainly am!”  She couldn’t stop giggling.  

What had he said that was so funny?  

“You can call me Claire, darling,” she added, teasingly.

Jamie bit his lip.  Aye, she wasn’t exactly the image of an angel.  “Don’t make fun, Claire, or ye’ll get what ye deserve.”  

“Promise?”  The vixen turned, and walked away.  The scrap of lace from behind framed her bottom in such a way that her bare skin resembled the shape of a heart.  

He groaned and missed the first step, swearing as he stubbed a toe.  The sight of her bare arse swaying in front of him was too much.  He sprinted up the stairs two at a time.  

Their bedroom was dark, just the light from the hallway seeped through his first few steps into the room.  He moved to turn on a lamp but she stopped him.

“Please don’t.”  Claire stood by the foot of the bed, twisting her fingers.   She was nervous.  She had been offered so many opinions. Women telling her it would be different.  It would hurt.  Don’t expect too much.  

“What’s this, then?”  Jamie approached her cautiously.

She shrugged.  Her eyes begged him to acquiesce to her request.    

Jamie moved to the window and opened the curtains. The pale gray light of the streetlights coupled with the moon bathed her in a pearly glow.  She was luminescent.  Claire covered her tummy, just below her belly button.  Ah. So that’s how it is.  Jamie moved toward her slowly, linked his pinky fingers through hers and slowly drew her hands away from her body, and the flesh they covered.  One red striation snaked down the left side of her tummy.  Her belly button was droopy.  Jamie looked at his wife, and saw the insecurity in her eyes.  

“It’s ugly,” she whispered.  

You can resume a normal life.

“Aye,” Jamie whispered back.  “I ken a wee bit about scars, Sassenach.”  He let go of her hands, and pulled his shirt over his head, tossing it to the side.  “I ken how they make ye look at yerself.”  He turned his back to her, and spoke over his shoulder.  “Because I once looked at myself, and felt ugly, too.”  

Claire made a small noise that made him turn around and face her once more, fingers tapping nervously on his thigh.  Claire needed his reassurance.  He would give her the same gift she gave him years before.

“I remember every minute, every second of that first time we made love.  Ye walked around me, and ran yer hands over my back.  I waited to see revulsion in yer expression, and when I looked at ye, weel, I saw lust.”  Jamie chuckled. “Ye’ve no idea how relieved I was because by then I was so turned on I couldna bear it if ye walked away.”  

Claire smiled at the memory.

He ran his index finger lightly down her stretch mark, and hooked it under the lace edge of her panty.  He heard her breath hitch.  He tugged at the fabric, just enough to knock her off balance so she had to take a step toward him.  He placed his big hands on either side of her, and slowly ran them over her hips and down her backside.  He cupped her, lifting her slightly.  Her face was close to his, her mouth a fraction away.  “Now kiss me, mo neighean donn, and let me show ye how beautiful ye are to me.”

Claire grabbed her husband’s shoulders, and hung on. He kissed her, pouring all of his love into that first meeting of their mouths.  She ran her hands over him, feeling his familiar scars.  The scars that made him Jamie, and no one else. This big man who was the gentlest of lovers when she needed him to be. 

Tonight, she needed him to take the lead.  She surrendered herself to him, let him turn her around in his arms and hold her against his chest.  Let him run his hands over her body, feeling the weight of her breasts as he kissed the side of her neck.  Let him slide a hand down over her soft stomach, and find the heat between her legs, making her feel warm, and sexy while he nipped at her lobes.

Jamie led her by the hand to their bed.  He slid off her panties, murmuring in Gaelic, his eyes hooded.  He worshiped her body, kissed every inch of her skin.  He ran his tongue down her stretch mark, and kissed her misshapen belly button.  He took her slender legs and placed them over his shoulders, making her writhe and buck, and finally shatter.  

Then, he stood and shucked his jeans.  Climbing onto the bed, he nestled himself between Claire’s thighs before she could catch her breath.  He balanced on his elbows, and kissed her again.  

He felt her tense beneath him.

Jamie pulled back and looked at her.  “What’s wrong, mo graidh?”  

“I’m scared,” she breathed.  “I’m scared it will be different for you.”

You can resume a normal life.

“Och, aye.  After 2 months without my wife, it’ll feel different right enough.  It’ll feel like Heaven.”  He bumped his nose against hers, waggling his eyebrows.  

Claire did not smile.  “They say,” she swallowed, rubbing the back of his neck. “They say after you give birth that it’s….it feels….looser, down there.  To a man.”

A Dhia, she was struggling. Jamie had no idea that Claire had all of these thoughts battling inside her head.  While he appreciated her honesty, she picked a fine time to reveal her anxieties, when he was fit to bursting.  He took a deep breath, and brushed her hair away from her face.  Laughing through dinner relaxed her.  Their banter on the stairs relaxed her.  He’d carry on with the humour.  

“Is this yer way of saying size matters, Sassenach?”  He teased her with the tip of himself.  “Are ye afraid ye’ll find me lacking?”

Claire grinned, and slapped his bottom.  “That is not what I meant, and you know it!”

Jamie took that moment, when her legs relaxed, to enter her.  She arched her back, and gasped.

“Can ye feel that?” he asked, breath hot against her neck.  “For I surely can.” He kissed her, licking her bottom lip.  “And it feels like I’m home.”

You can resume a normal life.

It did feel like home.  Jamie was right.  He was in her arms, and in her body, and it felt like it had a hundred times before.  It didn’t matter what she looked like, how many stretch marks she had.  Even the damn lingerie didn’t matter. This was right.  This was perfect.

In response Claire locked her legs around his back.  She shifted and settled him deeper between her thighs. Reaching up, she brought his head down for a scorching kiss that had him rocking instinctively.  She gave him all of herself and took nothing in return.  When Jamie shouted and stiffened above her she felt the joy of loving him fill her heart.

Jamie’s head was pressed against her neck as he tried to catch his breath.

“So, where did ye find this?”  He pulled at the strap of her bra.  

“At that lingerie shop near the hospital bus stop.  The doctor said I could ‘resume a normal life’ and I wasn’t sure I could without a bit of help.  A suit of armor, so to speak.” She ran a hand over his bicep.

“Christ, Sassenach.  Dinna show up to battle like that again.”  He dropped a kiss on her shoulder, and mumbled sleepily.  “My heart canna take it.”  

Claire woke up some time later to the sound of cheering. Slipping out of bed she stole downstairs to find the television still on, and Jamie’s beer warm on the table. She hit the button on the remote, and silence fell. She took his bottle to the sink, and turned off the lights.  

Darkness in the flat allowed her to look out the window at the lights of Edinburgh.  She could see the fire escape that mirrored their stairs inside. She had taken those outside steps, cautiously, years ago, not knowing where it would lead her.  Now, she was on the inside, having taken those steps towards love, marriage, medical school, and a family.     

As she climbed up on her way back to bed she laughed softly thinking of how Jamie had bolted up these stairs tonight at the sight of her.  Honestly, why had she worried so much?  Scars be damned. They didn’t change how she looked at him, how could she have been so shallow as to think hers would have mattered to him?  Resuming a normal life had made her think that how they had been living for the past six weeks was somehow abnormal.  Wrong. Flawed.

It wasn’t.  

They would carry their scars together.  The ones on their bodies, and the scar of losing Faith on their hearts.  Together.  Forward in life.  

She crawled into bed next to her husband,and stroked the russet coloured curls back from his forehead.  He smiled briefly, and her heart melted. Jamie was still Jamie.  They still found pleasure in each other’s bodies.  They still had the same dreams.

Everything was normal.  

Two Strangers : Doubts

Genre: Fan Fiction (Vikings)
Pairing: Ivar/Reader
Warnings: N/A
Rating: G
Length: Drabble
Disclaimer: a strict work of fiction, I own nothing except the original characters and the plot line. In no way am I affiliated to any of it.  

A/N: More Modern!Ivar, because he is clearly a hit ;) 

Read:  Two Strangers , Two Strangers: Take You Home ,   Two Strangers : Coffee & Cuddles & Two Strangers : Movies & Marriage

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Tips I've learned from being a hairstylist that I'd like to share with you:

1. Don’t wear your ponytail, bun, or clip in the same spot everyday. This can cause friction that will eventually cause breakage. Instead, mix it up by wearing your ponytail higher or lower or to the side. You could even try a braid.

2. It’s healthier to NOT wash your hair everyday if you can. When you wash your hair, you strip the scalp of it’s natural oils that moisturize the hair. I know you can’t always skip shampooing, especially if you workout everyday or your hair gets greasy after one day of not washing. You don’t have to skip shampoo too many days in a row, just try every other day.

3. Static in the hair is caused by lack of moisture. Lack of moisture can be caused by washing your hair too much, using alcohol based products (such as hairspray or mousse), salt water, chlorine water, using too much or too high of heat on your hair, or simply by not conditioning enough.

4. When you condition your hair, don’t put it on the scalp. Only put in on the mid shaft and ends. Why not put it on the scalp? Because of those natural oils I mentioned earlier. They’ll moisturize the hair near the scalp.

5. You only need to condition Every other day or a few times a week. Make at least two of those times a deep conditioner.

6. Chlorine can dry and damage your hair. One way to help prevent this is to get your hair wet before going swimming. Your hair is like a sponge, it sucks up and holds water. If there’s already water in your hair when you go swimming, it makes it harder for chlorine water to get in and stay.

7. Please use a thermal protector when flat ironing, curling , and blow drying. It will not prevent damage altogether, but it will cut down on it. There are blow-dry cremes and sprays out there that are just for styling and not protecting. Make sure it actually says on the bottle ‘thermal protectant’. My favorite is Redken’s Iron Shape. Just about every salon sells it.

8. Acne: There are several causes, hormones, stress, bacteria, poor diet. Zits on the neck or jawline are usually caused by hormones (puberty, your period). Those you can’t really prevent/heal without acne cream. Acne on your cheeks is most likely cause by poor diet. Cut down on sugars, processed foods, and bad fats. Zits along the hairline at usually caused by stress. Another cause of zits may be from bacteria on your pillow case. Wash your pillow case every other day. On days you don’t wash it, flip over so you always have a clean side to sleep on. Another way to keep your face clean is to actually clean it with face wash. Make sure it isn’t one that is too abrasive. Also, avoid touching your face a lot. Oils from your hand can build up on your face and cause zits.

That’s all I can think of for now. I’ll try to add more later.

Early Bird

Group: BTS


Excerpt/summary: ‘ They were too different; an early bird and a night owl maybe it was doomed from just this small fact. ’

Genre: Angst, eventual fluff

Length: 3.1k

Warnings: mild swearing, sexual scene 

Inspired by: @artofennun (and her domesticau yoonmin )

A/N: I’ve always been pulled out of my writer’s block by looking at your art or watching your live streams and I hope I’ve done this piece justice!  

Originally posted by bellahasjams

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Four’s a Crowd (Park Jinyoung-Mark Tuan-Lim Jaebum Imagine)

A/N: Hey! So I want to make a quick apology to the anon who requested this. I’ve been extremely sick and because of it, I had no access to my phone or laptop but am now home and tried to get this done as fast as possible so it’s kinda messy which I’m sorry for. But hopefully you enjoy this. If it’s not what you wanted, I’ll rewrite it and try to not be days late xX

Anon asked: Hey can I have a smutty situation with Mark, Jinyoung and JB with overstimulation? You have tears in your eyes but they still keep going?

Originally posted by tuanisanangel

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anonymous asked:

Any youtuber aus?

Hello! Enjoy:

From Eight Until Late, I Think About You by supernope:

Summary: After finding out that his University of Brighton roommate has a YouTube channel, Harry starts up his own channel, on which he posts videos of himself doing weekly challenges. He strikes up a friendship with Louis, a popular youtuber in London, that starts in the comments on their videos and progresses to texting, skyping, and talking about each other in their own videos far too often. They fall for each other long-distance, but put off meeting face-to-face as long as possible, too nervous that they’ll screw it all up.

Involves a bunch of YouTube challenges (AKA excuses for Harry to get naked), some awkward snapchat mishaps, and a whole lot of pining.

Word count: 35,227

Everyone Can See (You’re Perfect for Me) by salutedeluxe:

Summary: Youtubers Au. Harry and Louis are best friends, roomates, and a duet. They might also be soulmates, they just have to figure it out.

Word count: 23,816

kiss me on the mouth and set me free by suspendrs:

Summary: He moves on to Twitter next, where things get marginally weirder. His newsfeed is full of tweets about someone called Larry, and that apparently everyone is trying to ship him somewhere. There are a good amount of people though, mostly his hardcore gamer fans and ones with little crushes on him, that are screaming about how this Larry guy is gross.

Fifteen minutes of scrolling tells Louis that Larry Stylinson isn’t a person, but instead a combination of his and Harry’s names. The people that are claiming to ‘ship it’ are apparently rooting for them to get together, which. Okay.

Or, Louis is a gamer and Harry is a beauty guru, and VidCon is a good place to fall in love.

Word count: 17,335

MARRIED FOR A WEEK?! by gravitycentered:

Summary: Hi guys :) You might recognize Harry from one or two of my old videos .. I was tagged in the Married for a week challenge so I asked him to be my husband ! We had to live together for a week and take each other out on a couple romantic dates and that, check out the video to see how it went :) Give it a like if you enjoyed and maybe subscribe if you haven’t already. Love you all- Louis x

Word count: 20,424

As if No One Knows Anything but Us by whathappenedinwellington:

Summary: YouTuber Louis watches Beauty Vlogger Harry’s coming out video.

Word count: 10,584

cause all i wanna be is somebody to you by nouiiam:

Summary: There’s things in life that look better when you see them up close and in person. The Eiffel Tower, the Big Ben, Disney World, a favorite band in concert, even. Louis’s seen all of those things and they were much, much better in person. But Harry Styles, he tops them all.

or– the one where Louis’s a YouTuber that gets to interview Pop Star Harry Styles

Word count: 14,442

can i be him? by amory:

Summary: Louis is twenty years old and has been waiting for his soulmate and true love to come along since the day he was born. Harry is an eighteen year old youtuber who is skeptical of soulmates and the pressure of being the person someone else has been dreaming of their entire lives.

They meet at Playlist Live

Word count: 29,215

You Always Seem To Bring Me Light. by sinisterist:

Summary: He jumps when he feels a hand stroking his hair lightly. “I love it like this,” Louis murmurs, reaching to tug a wayward curl.

“Love what like this?”

“Your hair.” Louis’ touch is hesitant, almost reverent, all trace of humour gone now. “When it’s still kind of damp but the ends are dry and curl up like corkscrews. It’s supposed to look gross but it doesn’t.” He pauses before continuing quietly. “Your curls are so lovely.”

Harry swallows. Louis is a hurricane, and amidst his whirlwind of emotions, he slowly says; deliberately says, “So are you.” 

In a world where YouTuber baker Harry pines for the (inconveniently taken) Louis. In other words, another YouTuber AU.

Word count: 18,604

Speechless by mewmewgodess:

Summary: It was due to unfortunate circumstances that Louis had to start doing Youtube videos, trying his best to make ends meet for a charity he wouldn’t have started if he’d had any other choice. It was by chance that he caught the attention of one Harry Styles, member of One Direction and the only boy in the world to ever make him speechless.

One awful knock knock joke and everything goes downhill from there.

Word count: 39,481

Kiss Me With Adventure (‘Til I Forget My Name) by Summer_roses:

Summary: Harry is the big new thing in the music industry and in a mad search to find a makeup artist before his first ever world tour kicks off. Louis is an internet famous beauty guru/YouTuber who drinks too much tea and a habit of cursing excessively. When a fan tweets Harry the link to Louis’ YouTuber channel it starts something neither of them could have ever imagined.

Word count: 31,910

and the rest of the world falls away

im such a wreck after the clip and i needed to make myself feel better so this happened. 

@badassandbeautiful wanted to be tagged, so here you go!!!

au in which sana goes to even and isak’s after the fight at the karaoke bar

Sana has nowhere to go.

She can’t go home, not when her mother is there. Her mother with her concerned looks and the ability to tell when something is wrong. 

Not when Elias is likely back there, licking his wounds and gathering his pride. Elias, her soft brother who erupted like a firecracker; Elias who wound up in a fight tonight.

She can’t go to Noora’s, either. Noora doesn’t want to talk to her, and it would be weird for Sana to just show up even if she did.

She can’t go to Chris or even Eva, as chances are both are out drinking the night away. 

Vilde isn’t an option; her name tastes like ash in Sana’s mouth.

She walks for a while, all the while subconsciously heading in one direction, not realizing where until she’s staring at the little plaque on the door that reads Valtersen + Bech Næsheim.

She knocks. 

She’s tired and she’s sad and she’s broken and she’s grasping for straws that have slipped too far out of reach. 

She knocks and she waits, and after a moment, the door opens.

Even’s brows pull together when he sees her, and he steps out of the way, a silent invitation to come inside.

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the art of balancing a light switch between on and off

Summers in Derry are always strange, but this one is the weirdest they’ve had for years. Leaves still line the streets, cold breezes brush peoples’ shoulders, and Jackie Russo is unnerved by the fact that her seven clients are closed off. She brings them together one day, and a beautiful relationship blossoms. 



RATING: M (due to later themes)

TRIGGER WARNINGS: cursing, abuse/mention, shitty parents

INSPIRED BY: this post by @trashmouthloser


  Richie took a deep breath and closed his eyes, trying to calm himself down. He could hear his parents shouting the floor below him, and they wouldn’t shut the fuck up, and he couldn’t breathe, and he wanted to die. His shirt was too scratchy, his mother’s shrill voice hurt, his socks were made of a fucking relentless fabric, his shoes were too tight, his shirt was too tight, it was all too fucking much.

  He ended up pulling his shirt off, kicking his shoes off (and hitting the wall, making a tiny dent in it) and ripping off his socks, then slipping down onto the floor and hugging his knees. He buried his face in his arms and took a deep, shaky breath. I have an hour. He let his fingers thread through his hair, tugging a bit before letting his hand fall limp next to him.

  Richie hauled himself up and slipped on a comfortable shirt and his good socks. He slipped his shoes back on, making sure to tie them enough so they wouldn’t fall off, but not tight to the point where it fucking hurt, like he did last time. He wanted to look nice, sure, but if that meant not being able to breathe, fuck that.

  He grabbed a pack of Marlboros and his lighter and shoved them in his pocket, grabbed his phone, and ran downstairs. He froze when his father shouted, “And where the fuck are you going?”


  “Oh, you little -”

  “Leave him alone, he’s obviously got more important things to do than spend time with his family,” Richie’s mother cut in harshly. He sighed softly and balled his fists, his entire body heating up with rage. Instead of replying, which he knew would warrant a slap and a grounding, he walked out.

  It was chilly outside. Of course Derry had to be fucking weird and have a cold day in the middle of summer, because why the fuck not? He shook his hair out of his eyes and started walking towards Jackie’s office. It was only a mile or so away, but it was irritating because he kept having to stop every five fucking seconds and look behind himself.

  He vowed that for every leaf he saw (seriously, Derry, what the fuck, why are there leaves on the ground during the summer?) he would stomp on it. Fulfilling his promise was extremely gratifying. He got to her office in a little under forty minutes. He sighed and sat on the pavement outside of it, deciding he needed a fucking smoke, because holy shit, he could barely feel his fingers. He spent about five minutes trying to get his lighter to work before he realised that it was dead.

  Richie wanted to fling himself into traffic a little bit.

  Just as he went to stand, he heard a light chuckle. “You need a light, babes?” He turned to look at the fucking angel who had offered him her lighter. She wore short hair and dungarees accompanied by an undershirt, and Richie swore he was in love.

  “I’m in love,” he said. She laughed at that, and he grinned a grin bigger than the solar system and nodded. “Yes, fucking… please.” A kid with curly hair that reminded him of spaghetti walked inside the building, but Richie didn’t pay any attention to him. The girl took her place next to him and handed him her later.


  “Richie.” Bev. Bev. Bev. That’s a good name. Short for…

  “So, you out here just wasting time or are you here for something?” she asked, pulling out her own pack of cigarettes. He realised what she was hinting at and he lit his, taking a drag before responding.

  “I’m here for… a group thing,” he said tentatively, afraid of oversharing. He handed Bev (that fucking name…) her lighter and he went quiet again, taking another drag.

  “Yeah, so am I. It’s kind of -” she was cut off by the screeeeeech! from a car hauling ass into the parking lot. In it was a woman smoothing down some kid’s hair, and talking what seemed to be sternly to them. Richie focused on a scratch on the door. What’s it from? Did someone hit it with their car door Weathering? “Hey. Hey, Earth to Richie. You good?”

  “Huh? Oh! Oh, yeah, sorry.” He shook his head and looked back at her. “What’re you here for?” No. Wrong question. Idiot.

  “A group therapy thing. Jackie, my therapist, thinks -”

  “You see Jackie?”

  “Oh, yeah, man. She’s always on my case about how -”

 “Smoking kills!” they said together in a mock, nasally voice. Richie heard the car door open and close, and then the heavy doors of the building open and close, but he paid no mind.

  Bill wiped his hands on his jeans and took a deep breath, trying to muster up the courage to actually fucking say something. He needed to say something, but he couldn’t think of anything to say, and he kind of wanted to die. He looked around the room, looking to see if he could fine Jackie anywhere. He saw a woman who kind of looked like her… if Jackie was a hooker with hair like straw.

  He wandered around the room a bit and looked at the table of goods. That’s… weird. She didn’t say anything about - “Hey. Kid,” a gruff voice interrupted his thoughts. “Ya mom here or somethin’? Carol, is this ya kid?” Bill frowned and looked around the room one last time before his eyes settled on the fucking banner. DERRY AA: 50 YEARS STRONG!

  He found himself wanting to jump off of a roof. He rushed away from the Carol dude and back into the hallway, wringing his hands together aggressively. “He th - thrusts his f - f - fuh - f - fuck!”

  He kept attempting to mumble it, not quite able to get past spitting out a couple Fs before giving up and starting over. When he finally found the right room, he entered it with his head low and his eyes trained on the floor. He heard a quiet conversation - something about keeping proper drawers instead of baskets, what the fuck - but kept to himself. He found himself taking the seat adjacent to hers, folding his arms against his chest, and staring at his worn sneakers.

  He finally looked up when she started to talk, but when his gaze landed on the boy to her right, his throat went dry. A mess of curls sat atop his head, and a blue button-up was tucked into dark jeans. A thin strip of pale skin showed where his jeans were rolled up just above the cuff of his sock. Bill’s eyes travelled back up to his face and he couldn’t stop staring. He had fairly neat eyebrows and his cheeks were turning red quickly - oh fuck.

  The boy caught Bill staring and was blushing, and Bill swore he was in love. A pink-faced, chubby boy walked into the room next, talking with a taller, muscular boy. He caught the end of their conversation; “Is this… it is! Thank you so much, man, I really appreciate it.” Did they get lost, too? Only a few moments after that pair, a final pair walks in. A short girl with dungarees and a (much) taller boy with long, curly hair came in talking loudly about some obscure band Bill had never heard of. Great. People know each other already. Am I the only one who doesn’t know anyone?

  The chubby boy who had walked in just minutes prior was staring at the girl, and Bill had to bite back a laugh.

  “Dude, Bear Hands is… fucking amazing. I’ve never met anyone else who knew them!” Richie said too quickly. Bev had made a reference to one of their songs, and Richie was fucking buzzing. He had run up the stairs two at a time and was breathing a little heavier than someone else his age probably should have been, but he blamed it on the smoking. Yeah. It was because he smoked.

  They made it to the room and Richie was still raving about Bear Hands. He waved at Jackie and found himself taking a seat next to a boy who was staring at the wall (or maybe at the boy with hair that reminded Richie of spaghetti that he had seen outside) and looked up, and he stopped talking. He was gawking at the tiny kid sitting next to Jackie, twiddling his thumbs and looking around the room nervously. He looked as if he was about to throw up, and Richie wanted to just hold him and never let go.

  “Hey, everyone. So… you are all my clients,” Jackie finally said, after everyone calmed down and settled in. “It isn’t… typical for therapists to do this, but I think… I think you’ll all find some comfort in this and in each other. I want us to go in a circle -”

  “Clockwise,” the tiny kid and the Spaghetti Kid said at the same time.

  Jackie chuckled and raised her eyebrows. “A… clockwise circle, I guess, and introduce ourselves. Keep it over, let’s say… fifteen seconds, and under forty. Sound good?”

  Everyone nodded, and Spaghetti Kid looked a bit sick. Is he sick? Does he not like talking in front of people? Does he not like anyone here? How can he not like Bev? I love Bev. Maybe he doesn’t know anyone. Is it me he doesn’t like? Richie found himself thinking a little too hard until he heard the tiny kid start talking.

  “I’m Eddie,” he said, with more confidence than Richie expected. “I, uh. I have mysophobia. That’s the fear of -” Germs. “- germs.” Called it. Richie couldn’t keep his eyes off of the kid. Eddie. Eddie. Eddison? No, no one’s called Eddison. Edmund? Edgar? Edwin? Edward? Edward seems the most likely. Does he know that I’m in love with him all ready? No, he can’t. I haven’t talked to him.

  “Richie?” Jackie rudely interrupted his thoughts, “It’s all you, Bub.” Bub.

  “I. Uh.” He found himself choking up a little bit because Eddie’s eyes met his. Fuck. Fuck. “I’m Richie, I have ADHD, and I am so fucking gay right now,” he blurted out. It was quiet for half a second and he wanted to run to the window and jump the fuck out, but then everyone started laughing, and he relaxed a bit.

  The stocky (and really fucking attractive) dude next to him introduced himself as Mike Who Has PTSD And Trouble Sleeping At Night. The chubby boy who had walked in with Mike Who Has PTSD And Trouble Sleeping At Night introduced himself as Ben Who Has A Fear Of Meeting New People And Going New Places.

  Spaghetti Kid just said he was called Stan (or Stanley, if they weren’t okay with informal names.) and had “minor” (Jackie rolled her eyes when he said minor, so Richie knew it was bullshit. Jackie was good people, and wouldn’t do something like that unless necessary.) OCD. When everyone was done, Jackie encouraged them to talk about their interests.

  Stanley really liked birds, Mike was into the town’s history, Ben was surprisingly into engineering, Bev liked gardening (Richie really didn’t expect that.) and music, Bill was into writing, and Eddie was into anything and everything, which Richie found so fucking cute. Richie himself said he was interested in cute boys with pink polos, which Bev chuckled at and Eddie went red at.

  Everyone talked about the shit they wanted to do when they were older at first. It was a way for everyone to get to know each other, and Richie… liked it. He liked being able to ramble on about not knowing exactly what he wanted to do, but he wanted it to be something with music, and he listened very, very closely to Eddie talking about maybe being a doctor if he was able to get over being around sick people.

  Jackie was ecstatic that by the end of the session, everyone was joking around and telling each other to shut the fuck up. Everyone dispersed at their leisure, Ben stayed behind to help Stan put away chairs and he left, then Stan stayed for a little bit to talk to Jackie about his next appointment and if he could move it. When he realised he’d have to walk home fucking alone, he wanted to die a little.

  Jackie put her hand on his shoulder and she smiled. “I’m proud of you,” she said softly. “Thank you for doing this. Promise me you’ll come next time?” He nodded and she smiled even wider. She gave him an encouraging thumbs up before leaving, leaving him alone. He walked out the door and down the stairs, counting them as he did, and jumped a little when a soft voice said, “H - Hey.” It’s the kid with the stutter.

  “I, uh… I s - suh - saw that you w - were the last p - person, and I w - w - wuh -”

  “Wanted to wait?” Stan tried, smiling a little. When Bill nodded and blushed a little, he told himself that he wasn’t tearing up at all. Nope. “Thank you, that… that really means a lot -” What was his fucking name? Ben? No, that’s the kid who was staring at Bev. Bill. He’s Bill. “- Bill.”

  Bill nodded and he held his own hand behind his back as they started to walk. “So, y - you have… OCD, right? Is… is th - the st - st - stuh -” Bill looked visibly strained. He spat out a couple more consonants before Stan cut him off.

  “No, it’s… it’s okay. I think it’s cute.”

  Bill’s face went red and he looked back at the ground, trying to hide a smile. “Thank you.” It was a little bit awkward until Bill broke the silence again with, “What’s your favourite b - bird?” Rather than properly stuttering (or, at least, what Stan assumed was “proper” stuttering) on ‘favourite’, he drug out the F a little. It was cute.

  “Kinglets, maybe? The fat ones are really cute and there are so many different ones! I saw one when I was passing the park the other day, and I got really happy because it looked so happy, and they’re usually only here in the winter, I don’t know what’s up with the leaves and winter birds in the summer or whatever, but I -” Stan realised how fast he was talking and how fucking stupid he sounded, raving about birds to some guy he just met. “I’m doing it again, aren’t I?”

  Bill chuckled and shook his head. “It’s ch - charming. I don’t know a lot ab - buh - about birds, b - but it’s nice to learn new things.”

  Stan sighed in relief and then sighed in despair when he realised that they were on his street. “This is my street. That’s… that’s my house.”

  “It was really nice m - meeting you,” Bill said softly. He looked up at Stan and blushed a little bit. “I’ll, um… I’ll see you next week.”

  Stan nodded and hesitantly started walking away from Bill. It felt as if anything more than three feet away from Bill was a negative pole, and Bill himself was the positive pole that Stan needed to stick to. When he got to his house, he turned around to see if Bill was still there. He had just started walking, so Stan called for him. When he turned around, Stan shouted, with as much confidence as he could muster, “Do you want to meet up before next week!?”

  Bill’s posture got straighter, his lips stretched into a grin, and he seemed to be fucking glowing. “Y - Yeah! Where?” he shouted back.

  “The drive-in! Wednesday! At six!”

  “Okay! I’ll see you then!”

  They parted again, and when Stan walked into his house, he pumped his fist into his air and danced all the way to his room.