Summary: You’ve been eighteen years old for ten years when Jungkook first moves in. Pairing: Jungkook | Reader Genre: Fluff/Angst; Roommate/Soulmate AU (In which you stop aging when you turn 18 until you meet your soulmate) Word Count: 12,038 Author’s Note: I was going to wait and upload the whole thing in one giant oneshot but for the stake of everyone’s sanity, it’ll be split into two parts. props to @minsvga for always being down to beta!
The morning comes like clockwork, obviously, but sometimes you wish it didn’t. Sometimes, the morning is like an unexpected gust of wind, blowing away the present and the comfort and leaving you alone with nothing but your thoughts and the disappointing feeling akin to the sensation of something missing from your life. Which, considering everything the world and the fates and the bonds that connect individuals together and all the shit like that, is not too far off from a relevant problem in your life.
The days seem to blend together, time slipping between your fingers but leaving you with no opportunity or way to stop it or prolong it. You certainly feel different, older somehow and probably wiser, and you’re sure it shows in your eyes, in the curl of your lips, in the longing touch of your smile.
But you crawl out of bed in the morning, feet landing like a gentle sigh on the carpet, following the hall down to your bathroom until you’re situated in front of the sink and taking a long glance at your reflection. You don’t know why you insist to yourself to always look at the mirror, because it’s not like anything would have changed overnight, nothing ever really does. You take in your expression, the skin of your face and the darkness of your eyes, a harsh contrast to the youth of your face, the curve of your nose and the sharpness of your jawline—you: fresh, and young and not a day over eighteen-years-old, just as you have been for ten years.
This has been the way of human life since its creation, a science with no explanation and a connection that cannot be seen or heard or even felt. It’s a different kind of connection, moreso the type of link that brings two people together, two people whoever has a hand in predetermination believe would be the best fit for each other. A soulmate, an individual meant to compliment you in every aspect, someone gifted to you from unidentifiable figures; figures you would not even believe existed if not for the world they created and built, a world you now inhabited.
In theory, the unspoken rules of the whole soulmate business seemed easy: a case in which the aging process stops at the eighteen until one’s soulmate came along, done so in order for the pair of them to gain the ability to grow old together, experience life together, be there for each other during the true ups and downs of college and jobs and family. Every single person you’ve ever stumbled upon each has their own story, their own tales of their relationship. You’ve met people in a relationship that never grew, friends who realized they were each other’s everything, individuals who went through years upon years upon years of life with a soulmate fresh out of the gate—always a variety, never a wrong answer or a right one. Yet, they all seem happy, no matter where the path of life seems to take them.
But now that you’ve been eighteen for a solid ten years, you’re ready to call major bullshit on every single individual who dared to look you in the eye and tell you that they don’t care about the unwinding of fate.
eight when he throws his arms around Dean’s neck and pecks him right on the mouth,
beaming up against his larger than life
sunshine bright big brother.
Sam by the T-shirt, pulls him away from Dean, and barks: “That’s not something
you do to your brother, Sam.”
at John, eyes wide, bottom lip trembling. “But I love him, daddy,” little Sammy
says quietly, trying to crawl back onto Dean’s lap.
them again, rougher this time. “Not like that, you don’t,” John snarls, before
he snatches a bottle of Jack from the table and storms off.
eighteen when John, after ten long years of Jack, denial and sorrowful rage,
drags Sam out to the parking lot. John shoves Sam’s acceptance letter against
his chest as he speaks, slowly and menacingly. “You’re going to California,
Sam. Go to California, or so help me I will find another way to keep you from
him. Youunderstand me, son?”
Sam’s eyes glitter
beneath fluorescent light with unshed, furious tears. He swallows, then he
says, “I love him,” and his voice breaks under John’s sickened glare. “Dad,”
Sam begs as his head drops. “Dad, please don’t make me leave him.”
John’s face turns ashen, bile rising in his
throat. “The way you love him ain’t right, Sammy. Never was.”
I know these days will not last
calendar pages flip quickly
while we near a day of blue robes,
hanging tassels, and neatly folded memories.
you are to me
a home cooked meal
to a to a university student
warm with love
made with care
with a succulent smile
and a satisfying snicker
the comforting feeling
of my mother’s call from the kitchen
becomes the beeping of an alarm clock
The glare of sun forces the ripping off of covers
a freezing snowfall and a cup of joe
accompanies the stroll
to this lecture and that lab
casual conversation of alcohol
drowns out the stresses of 8 AMs
the intimidation of leaving home
causes a pained independence
and a widely met confusion
They continue to utter the phrase
the fake reality takes over
an actual life experience is lost
because we remain trapped,
surrounded by four walls
in cold blue chairs and the piling up of assignments
there is not a moment left for good times to build
a mess of contradictions
leads us out
among an alphabetized line of acquaintances
a plague of promises
brings the sickening disease
of empty friendships
bright exit signs light the highway
and are passed carelessly
because the music is turned up
After a four year deadline,
and soft embraces follow
hope hugs the wishes that are released
with the smoke from 18 birthday candles
the second hand has several ticks
to go until we begin
and we turn textbook pages to
a brand new start
The latest documentary series by Ken Burns and
company begins Sunday on PBS, and runs Sunday through Thursday for two weeks.
It’s a ten-part, eighteen-hour series called “The Vietnam War,” and our TV
critic, David Bianculli, has seen every frame:
“No previous documentary has made such an effort to hear from — and listen to — all sides, including the American soldiers fighting in Vietnam, the Vietnamese, the Viet Cong, the doctors and nurses and the POWs. And back in the States, we hear from the parents and the siblings of the soldiers, as well as the anti-war protesters.
Through it all, at every point in this brilliantly structured documentary series, Burns, Novick and Ward select just the right music from the era, as emotional accompaniment to the frantic sounds and sights of war and to the somber tones of Coyote’s narration. In this Vietnam War series, for example, Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused” isn’t just a rock song. It’s a battlefield debriefing.
This TV production begins its narrative in 1858 — a few years before the start of our Civil War in America — so Burns and company are taking their time. And time is this show’s biggest asset.”
Uh... 3 Darcy/Steve? If you're still taking prompts?
Pairing: Darcy Lewis/Steve Rogers Word Count: 770 Prompt: #3 “I can hear your loud sex. Please stop."
The knock on her door surprised her. It was after ten pm, and her apartment building was pretty much dead by nine. No pun intended, given the sheer number of elderly residents who lived there. So when she heard a loud knock at ten-eighteen on the dot, Darcy wasn’t really expecting any visitors.
As evidenced by her choice to skulk around her apartment in a satin bathrobe and cat slippers. Well, she would have totally been in her more comfy and warm terrycloth bathrobe, but it was currently in the washing machine.
So she straight up answered the door in her sexy robe from Victoria’s Secret. No big.
"Hi?” she said, more of a question than a greeting.
“Hi…” said the guy on the other side. She knew of him. Knew enough to know his name was Steve. And that it should be illegal to be so hot and single and living in the apartment next to hers. But that was as far as her knowledge went, considering she’d only worked up the courage to speak to him a grand total of three times.
She pressed her lips together in the semblance of an awkward smile. "What can I do for you, Steve?“
"Uh…” he faltered, blushed. He blushed. Which made Darcy check really quick to make sure she wasn’t flashing him or anything. Not that she was embarrassed per se, she had really nice boobs. But, you know…sometimes people aren’t prepared for the awesomeness. And that’s totally fine.
However in this case, she totally wasn’t flashing him, and was therefore out of ideas pertaining to the nature and origin of Steve’s tomato-ey complexion.
“Well…this is kind of awkward…but…” He took a deep breath before continuing. "Icanhearyourloudsexthroughoursharedwallcanyoupleasekeepitdownthanks.“
Her eyebrows shot up. "My loud what?” she asked, sort of aghast in disbelief. "My loud sex?“
Steve’s gaze went immediately up to the ceiling. "Yes. I know it’s probably tacky of me to come point it out, but I have to be up really early tomorrow, and honestly, I forget you’re over here sometimes, but the bed’s knocking really loudly against our shared wall and–”
“Dude. I am not having sex. At least to my knowledge…” She made a big show of looking around her apartment. "There are no guys over here. No girls either. Not even any particularly fun sex toys. I am reading on my sofa. And it’s not even smut.“
He frowned and held his hand up to shush her, apparently listening really hard to something. "What’s that sound then?”
She paused, listening super hard as well and almost snort-laughed out loud when she heard the soft thumping he was referring to. "DUDE. Oh my blob. I am so sorry. That’s my washing machine. I’m washing my bathrobe and it must be loaded unevenly.“
He let out a sound of relief. Relieved laughter, if that was a thing. "Oh wow…Ms…Ms. Lewis, I am so sorry to–”
“Dude, first off, it’s Darcy. And second, don’t even apologize, it’s fine. I will go readjust the load and you should be off to dreamland soon enough.”
“Thank you so much…I –” he dropped off in mid sentence and quickly averted his gaze again, his face reddening well past tomato and onward to cherry. Which could only mean one thing.
Darcy glanced down to see one half of the Judds popping out to say hello. Wynonna, it looked like. "Oops, sorry about that…" She pulled the black satin back over her left breast with a nervous laugh. "I was actually…worried that was going to happen, but then forgot about it when you brought up the loud sex and…" She let out a high nervous laugh. “Sorry.”
Steve chuckled. "It’s…it’s okay, actually…if you’re not embarrassed, I’m not.“
"I’ve got no reason to be. I mean, they’re nice, right?”
“Well, I’ve only seen the one, but I can imagine they both look…” he paused and gulped. "Amazing.“
Darcy tightened her robe around her waist. "Well. I guess if you want to know that, you’d have to…I dunno. Buy me dinner sometime.”
He looked surprised. "I…you’d…you’d want me to after…“ He gestured around vaguely.
"After coming over here and accusing me of loud sexing and then ogling my boob when it flopped out to say hello? Of course. Steve, you seem like a really nice guy. I mean…you didn’t honk my breast, so you seem like a nice guy.”
“Bar’s set pretty low, then,” he said with a short laugh.
“Only until someone raises it.”
He jammed his hands in his pockets and stood up a little straighter. "Are you free this weekend?“
Summary: You’ve been eighteen years old for ten years when Jungkook first moves in. Pairing: Jungkook | Reader Genre: Fluff/Angst; Roommate/Soulmate AU (In which you stop aging when you turn 18 until you meet your soulmate) Word Count: 9,494
The next morning, you show up to work very early and very unannounced. Namjoon raises an eyebrow at your presence, having not expected you until later in the afternoon, but he must see a look in your eyes that you cannot figure out yourself, because he doesn’t speak about it. He simply lets you work, pretending as if the stress and anxiety isn’t threatening to eat you out alive as you shuffle back and forth across the floor.
You appreciate this, and are glad that Namjoon is selecting not to comment on your behavior, while it might be off-putting and slightly abnormal, it helps you stay distracted. In truth, leaving early for work had been a very conscious decision on your part, since it wasn’t necessarily putting a damper on your sleep schedule—you had only managed about an hour of proper before spending the rest of the evening just shifting about in your bed or pacing around the room.
Jungkook had still been sleeping around the 7:00 hour, which was perfectly fine with you. The conversation from the previous night plagues your mind if you let yourself stand still for too long, and you worry that if you were to look the boy in the eye right now while the feelings are still fresh, he would figure out what was on your mind immediately. You try to convince yourself that Jungkook doesn’t remember the conversation, that those things have just turned into faded and blurry specs in his memory, which helps in your distraction. It helps lessen your apprehension. With the potential of Jungkook pulling up a blank on his conversation with you, it leaves you believing that the simple factor of time was what you needed. It would give Jungkook the space to sleep off his hangover, as it would give you the space to sort through your own emotions and to train yourself into pretending that last night simply had not happened.
According to Hoseok, it’s not a very good plan. And he’s right. Your plans usually always have a way of coming back to bite you back on the ass. But you’re stubborn and afraid; the combination more than enough to control you into believing that this would be the best response to the situation.
Sometimes, I think it has to be more than just coincidence that my building is practically indistinguishable from the county prison. The first time I saw it all those years ago, back when I was a lowly intern with a five year plan, I thought it must be one of those concrete monstrosities left over from the ‘60s, when Communist chic was all the rage and minimalism was in with miniskirts. Nowadays, I’m not so sure.
No, I am sure. This is how it happened. Some bloke way up the foodchain in management – some guy named John or David, some guy with oily brown hair and a trophy wife and a nuclear family and a pedigree dog and an illegal nanny-cum-mistress – had a serious brainwave of design during a spontaneous session of corporate blue-sky thinking. He was sitting at his desk, one of those overwrought and over-designed glass ones with metal legs and curves in all the wrong places - you know the ones, where your whole office is all desk and no practicality. Yes, he was just sitting there, looking over important things like Annual Budgetary Reports and Capital Gains and saucy emails from his illegal nanny-cum-mistress when the idea came to him, like manna from Heaven.
This building, whether we like it or not; it’s a goddamn prison. It always has been. Ever since they hung that sign out the front, the one that says Napoleon Insurance in some generic Serif font next to a hideously stylised cartoon of an even more generic Colonial era admiral, this building has been a ball and chain around all of our feet. Every day, we trudge through those glass double doors under that omniscient sign, its goofy cartoon eyes watching us unrelentingly like the fucking Eye of Sauron - are you eating at your desk? I’m afraid we have a no food policy, you’ll have to finish it up later. No, I don’t care if you’re medically excused: do you want to pay to have the carpets cleaned? - and we don’t leave again until the requisite eight hours of community service have gone by and we’ve had enough of dealing with the dregs of humanity for the day. We eat lunch at our desks under the watchful Eye of Sauron, risking life and limb, because if we left to buy a sandwich, we probably wouldn’t come back.
The man at his overwrought desk would have steepled his fingers under his chin as he met the eye of the pudgy man two floors his junior, and told him about his plans. Make the place a prison, he’d have said. Make the fuckers think they can’t leave. And the pudgy man would have swallowed, eyes darting around a room full of desk, thinking am I one of them? Can I leave? Am I a prisoner too? before beaming and shaking the first guy’s hand, then taking the plans straight to the Architectural department, leaving Guy #1 to bask in his own glory at the comfort of his enormous fucking desk.
He probably got a promotion. Fuck him.
It goes like this: every day, the same slew of people, gushing through the doors like sewage from a burst pipe, stinking and reeking of ineptitude like they’ve smoked it all morning and it’s clung to their clothes, and we have to try and clear up their shit as best we can. People crying because they built their house on a sinkhole and their floors caved in. People ranting because they left the gate unlocked and someone stole their grandma. I don’t think we offer insurance policies on brains, but if we did, I don’t reckon the premiums would be too high for the people we see in here.
I used to want to be something. I used to think I’d travel the world, write a novel, fall in love with a bearded male model and fuck him self-awarely on bourgeois futons all over Europe, smoking clove cigarettes and arguing caustically about philosophy before making pretentious love for hours. That was before I realised that cigarettes didn’t agree with me and I didn’t want to sleep with men, self-awarely or otherwise. You can’t fuck women on futons across Europe. It’s too much like the plot of an indie film. It’s too close to the edge. I never wanted to be close to the edge; only as far from the centre as I could get, somewhere without a picket fence and not surrounded by retirement homes.
I live in the suburbs now, but I fucked a girl on my futon in Swindon last year. We fell off. You can’t win them all.
The chairs in the waiting area, where we let our esteemed clients sit for a few hours in the hope that they’ll fester and drop off like gangrenous limbs, are all steel and straight lines.
They’re so perfectly aligned that they remind me a little of soldiers at roll call, standing to attention and readying for battle. There’s always a battle to follow, although it’s usually between me and a white middle class, middle-aged woman called Linda, who wants to know why we won’t insure her toaster, and there’s not usually any bloodshed in these wars, as much as I wish there could be.
They’re parallel, those chairs, lined up in four rows of eleven and nailed to the floor. The prime number in each row annoys me sometimes, but there are forty-four chairs in total and that’s divisible by four, so I’ll take what I can get. You have to in this place.
I came here for the first time when I was eighteen, so it’s been ten years. I still remember the first time I darkened these doors. My mother wanted advice on renewing her car insurance, and we ended up sitting for half an hour with a guy called Barry, just chewing the fat. Barry wore a big red tie, like a tongue, and only had hair above his temples; thin little wisps like light brown cirrus clouds, only greasy and lank. When he turned around in his swivel chair to fetch a file from the cabinet behind him, I could see the rolls of his neck escaping his pinstripe shirt collar. It was all shiny, like lard melting in a pan, and I shuddered. I wondered why Barry didn’t seem to give a shit. I wondered how he could turn up to work every day with his cheap suit and his tongue-tie and his big fat neck, and just not give half a fuck about how he presented himself to the world.
Barry works on the sixth floor now, and I haven’t washed my hair in four days. There’s no point. Barry’s worked here for fifteen years and we serve the scourge of humanity every day, and Barry wanted to be a teacher once. But still, he’s on the sixth floor. In fifteen years, he’s moved up five floors. That’s three years per floor. If he keeps it up, he’ll be right at the pearly gates themselves by the time he’s ready to retire. I bet he’s excited.
We have a joke here – and it’s not a very funny joke, but everything becomes hysterical when you’ve spent all day clicking pens and pushing paper – that the floor you work on is directly linked to your salary. You work on the sixth floor, you get six figures. You work on the fifth, you get five figures. You work on the fourth, you get four, and so on. The joke, of course, is that most of us work on the first floor.
It’s funny, right?
I’ve worked on the first floor for five years. I’d probably be more pissed off about it if I had a mortgage, but I don’t. I don’t really have anything. Nothing I couldn’t live without, anyway. And nothing insurable. Fuck that. I’d rather lose everything I have than be forced to file a claim with people like me. Although even our lives are insurable these days, aren’t they? Slap a figure on an existence, measure it by the girth of its wallet and the fatness of its payslip, and that’s what it’s worth. That’s what other people get if it fucks up.
When I die, my mum’s going to get a mangy cat and a huge funeral bill. That’s the way it should be. Who knows what I’ll get when she goes? Some crockery, perhaps. Maybe her wedding china.
I don’t want to think about that.
There was a time when I would have thought about things like that – big things, things that stretch the threads of your imagination and stitch them to other things like a big patchwork tapestry of intangible things – but not any more. Sometimes, I think about whether or not I should move my stationery pot to the other side of my desk, so it’s not in the way of the keyboard. Sometimes, I think about whether I should walk to the other side of the communal office and get a Go Ahead bar from the vending machine, just for the hell of it. And sometimes, I think about whether or not I should go and visit Barry on the sixth floor, just for old time’s sake, and jump right out of his fucking window. But usually, it’s just the stationery pot and the vending machine.
I still remember all the big thoughts I’ve had, though. Sometimes, I think you don’t ever really meet people; just facets of them, and you never know any more than what they want to get across. That was one of mine. Copyright Me: My Diary, edition 1. One of the great philosophies of our time. And war is just big men with big guns and lots of shrapnel. That’s another one of mine. A regular Nietzsche, teenage me. Only more optimistic. Not that that’s hard.
I could leave, couldn’t I? Any day now, I could hand in my resignation, tip over my desk and scream a big fuck you to Debbie at the desk in front of me, who always scratches the back of her neck until it’s red and then acts irritated because it hurts. To Mick on the third floor, who’s technically my boss but has at least six bosses himself, and he gives Christmas cards to every single one of them. Even to Barry, just for being so high up when his ties are still so awful and he has even less hair than he did that first time I met him. Mostly, I think I want to scream a big fuck you to the guy at that first corporate blue-sky thinking meeting, the guy who made this building a prison and forgot to put the bars on the windows, so we can still see what we’re missing in the outside world as we sit here in our discount office wear and tap through our carpal tunnel on company issued keyboards.
But I won’t leave. I won’t. I won’t travel the world, won’t write a novel or fuck girls on futons across Europe, because leaving is too close to the edge. I’ve never been one for the precipice. Too scared of heights; not just of falling, but of looking down and feeling small, or perhaps feeling too big; staring down at the people below, like ants building castles.
No, I won’t leave. I’ll come in again tomorrow, look up at that great big sign with the jovial cartoon admiral, the words Napoleon Insurance, and I’ll talk to someone called John Smith, who wants to know why we won’t pay for him to get the carpets of his house replaced because he built his house on a floodplain and it rained a lot in January, and then I’ll eat my lunch at my desk while the Eye of Sauron roams, and I won’t even think about leaving, not once, and then I’ll ask Barry what he thinks I should do about John Smith, and I’ll do it, and I’ll go home. And I’ll come in the next day, and I still won’t leave, and John Smith might get his carpets replaced, or he might not, and Barry will still have a neck like lard, and Debbie will still pick her skin until it bleeds, and I will still look at that sign and rue it, fucking rue it, and I’ll stay. Chained to my desk by the need to pay my rent and not fail, because choosing to stay is better than failing to leave. Choosing to stand still in purgatory is better than jumping and ending up in Hell.
Napoleon Insurance: It’s a price and a promise. That’s the slogan. That’s the truth.
honestly i’m not sure where i got this idea but like what if nico and will were both parts of a bank robbery when they were, like, 7 and afterward at the station they refused to leave each other’s sides and like what if nico went to live with will or something afterward and now they’re virtually inseparable? so i decided to write it. 3732 words
I miss Hillary Clinton so much. She was my First Lady from the time I was ten to eighteen. Then she was a senator (not my senator, but she was there), then she was a candidate, and then Secretary of State. Then a candidate again. That’s almost my entire life.
I miss the dream of her. Of her presidency. And I miss her. I miss her like I knew her personally, which I don’t even if I did know her every move for twenty five years.
I’m very glad to see she’s okay, and I’m glad she’s out doing a book tour. But it’s also salt on a wound. Of course I can only imagine how she feels. I wonder if she knows that she’s bigger than herself.
A while ago, after learning that we shared a love for horses, we discussed an AU in which Cassian’s family owned a ranch that Jyn visited for the summer. As a birthday present, I did my best to expand our discussed headcanons into a full fic. I hope I did it justice, my dear, and I hope you enjoy!!
If Jyn gained nothing from these two weeks, at least she’d have the landscape to enjoy. An hour outside out of the city and into the Arizona wilderness had its perks; mountains dotted the landscape towards the West, the tallest peaks dusted with snow, and to the East ran the Little Colorado River, which pooled into a lake on the property where Jyn now stood. Thanks to lake, small clumps of trees – real trees, not the cacti they had in the southern half of the state – littered the grounds.
It was, without question, strikingly beautiful.
“It’s just for a few weeks, Stardust.” Her father closed his door of the car and stood in front of her, resting his hands on her shoulders. “And then I’ll be home and you’ll be right there with me.”
Jyn nodded, determined to keep all signs of dissatisfaction with this arrangement off her face. Her father had been offered a chance to continue his physics research with scientists at CERN, the largest facility for particle research in the world, outside of Geneva. It was an opportunity Galen would be hard pressed to deny – in fact, it was an honor he had been working towards for years – but, knowing how much time he would spend in the lab, he worried taking Jyn to a country whose language she didn’t speak and culture she didn’t know would be dangerous, especially considering Jyn’s knack for finding trouble wherever she went.
So Galen had found another alternative for Jyn’s summer vacation: a family-owned ranch designed to give city kids a way to experience life working off the land. Wake at 5:30 in the morning, pastures of horses surrounding the place, work so hard you fall into bed exhausted at the end of the day. Or, at least, that’s the image Jyn had of the place.
Jyn wasn’t opposed the idea. Jyn enjoyed the outdoors, hiking and stargazing and the like; she had even gone through a serious horse phase as a child, but for eight years now, ever since Jyn’s mother had died before Jyn’s eighth birthday, her life had been centered around her Papa: she’d spent her days after school alongside him in the lab and her evenings curled up near him as they both read, her whatever book was currently assigned by her English teacher and him the newest publications in physics research. They were each other’s rock, the most important part of their lives, but, as Jyn grew older (college was only a few years away now), Galen worried perhaps he was too much a part of his daughter’s life, that perhaps he was stunting her growth by keeping her drawn to his side.
Hence the summer of separation, him to flying off to his work and her exploring who she was without her father to define her.
“That’s something you’ll be able to see here, you know,” Galen noted when Jyn didn’t reply, his eyes scanning the clear sky.
“See what, Papa?”
“The stars. Real ones, whole galaxies covering the night skies.” He smiled down at her. “Not the few we can see in the city.”
“They’ll make me think of you,” she assured him with a smile. (It did not wobble. It did not.)
“Oh, Stardust,” Galen said with a sad smile, “everything will make me think of you.”
A lump in her throat choked her next words, so Jyn threw her arms around her father’s neck instead, burying her face into the collar of his shirt, inhaling the scent of coffee and old books that clung there. Hugging her back tightly, Galen kissed the top of her head.
Jyn pulled away as someone called a hello from the porch of the property’s main cabin. A woman, a few years older than Galen, approached them, a boy, clearly her son, following a few steps behind.
“I’m Renata Andor, the property’s manager,” the woman greeted, a little bit breathless, as she reached them, extending her hand. Indicating the boy who followed her, she said, “And this is my youngest son, Cassian.”
“Jyn Erso.” She tried to smile (she really did) as she shook the woman’s hand and nodded to the boy. Up close, Jyn determined he was about her age, perhaps a bit older.
“And I’m her father, Galen,” Papa said next as he too took her hand.
“A pleasure to meet you both,” she told them, her smile stretched just a little bit too tight. “Cassian, why don’t you help Jyn take her bags inside, show her the girl’s cabin? I’ll give Mr. Erso a quick tour of the land.”
Cassian nodded, pulling the first of Jyn’s bags out of the open trunk. She yanked the second one onto her shoulder before he could reach for it, determined to show him she did know how to work for herself. His hand hesitated midair for a moment before he chuckled. Jyn stayed quiet as they trekked to the first of two cabins past the main house.
Cassian broke the silence first. “City girl, huh?”
Jyn gave the boy what her mother would have called call “a look.” The sarcastic, eyebrows-to-the-sky, “Do I look like I care what you’re saying?” kind of look Jyn had perfected before she’d started kindergarten.
“Your boots are clean,” he shrugged, by way of explanation. They were, Jyn had to admit. The only form of boots she’d owned before this summer were wore out hiking boots that had covered the trails over South Mountain countless times over the years. Galen had bought new boots – real work boots, not the glittery kind of cowboy boots girls wore to country music festivals – for her a few weeks before. “I hope you didn’t spend too much money on them, because they won’t be clean by the end of the first week.”
“I’m not that delicate,” she shot at him. “I can handle a bit of mud.”
“Good.” As they neared the house, he asked, “Where are you from?”
“Also good,” he grinned. “You know how to survive the heat.”
“Yeah,” Jyn agreed as he opened the door to the cabin, wiping his shoes off (those, Jyn noted, were covered in mud and noticeably not new) and ushering her in before him. “It’s called air conditioning.”
“I hope you’ll settle for cold water and some shade,” he told her with a half a grin, “because that’s the best you’ll get out here.”
Cassian left her alone to unpack after leaving her with some basic instructions. A packet waited on the bed labeled with her name, he told her, with a schedule and a map of the grounds; other campers would be arriving within the next few hours; she was free to explore until dinner, which would be served up in the main house, but he warned her to be careful around the animals until she got to know them. Jyn gave a quick goodbye to her father – knowing him, he’d delayed packing for his trip to Switzerland, and his plane left in a little under twenty-four hours, so he needed to return home soon – and flopped back onto her bed. (She’d been assigned a top bunk but, given how many sore muscles she expected to nurse over her time here, Jyn had considered it ideal to swap her assignment before her bunkmate arrived. None of the other girls milling around noted the switch.)
She met the other Andors at dinner: Estrella, the oldest and the only daughter, had taken charge of the kitchen by ordering the next oldest, Lucas, to carry the trays of completed food to each of the three long tables that filled the dining room. Cassian and his closest brother, Carlos, stumbled in the doorway at exactly six P.M., pointing at the clock and insisting to their sister they were, in fact, on time. She’d merely rolled her eyes before reminding them if they smelled of the barn (and they did bear the unfortunate marks of spending the last few hours surrounded by the horses), they would eat in the barn.
A chaotic stream of bickering reigned over the siblings until their mother walked through the door. Instantly, as if Estrella had not been waving her finger in her Lucas’s face a moment before, all the Andor siblings fell into an efficient assembly line, producing trays of steamed vegetables and rice and various forms of meat to stack upon the tables.
Mrs. Andor, whose curly hair had slowly escaped its neat bun over the day, leaving wasps of hair hanging over her temples, let out a large exhale seeing dinner prepared. Estrella rubbed a hand over her mother’s back as Cassian pressed a kiss to her temple.
Jyn, who was sitting between the girls who slept in the bunks beside her, Leia from northern Colorado and Shara from southern California, seemed to be the only one who noticed the familial exchange, most of the other campers absorbed in creating tentative friendships with the people they’d be sharing their bunks with for the next few weeks. Jyn thought she gained an important insight from her observations, however: while the city kids came to the camp to experience a few weeks away and perhaps to show off the new, fancy shoes they would rarely ever wear again, the Andors lived this life day in and day out. They ran a business, balancing keeping a horde of teenagers safe from livestock and themselves, as well as kept a ranch operating. Neither of which were an easy feat, but, combined, Jyn imagined it gave birth to extreme stress levels for all members of the family.
Regardless, Mrs. Andor greeted the campers, about 50 in all, who ranged in age from ten to eighteen, with a warm smile on her face. Each of the Andor children introduced themselves as well, and explained which part of daily activities they would oversee. Estrella ensured the campers completed their daily shores; Lucas led treks down to the river or to the mountains; Carlos and Cassian were in charge of the animals on the ranch (horses and cattle and pigs, oh my, Jyn thought with a smirk) and teaching the campers the proper ways to interact and care for them.
The campers were sent back to their cabins after dinner, with a suggestion from the Andors to take advantage of the early night; wakeup call would be early for their stay and they should enjoy the rest while they could. And, indeed, as the first fingers of sunlight danced over the colorful landscape, Mrs. Andor flipped the overhead light on in the girl’s cabin, calling them all to breakfast.
Jyn groaned, stuffing her face further into the pillow. She was much more of a night owl by nature.
“Up, up!” Leia ordered, her ever present smile clear in her voice as she poked at Jyn’s shoulder. “We gotta go get breakfast!”
Apparently she had no problem with mornings.
Jyn had just rubbed the sleep out of her eyes as she and Leia headed for the stables and their first lesson with the horses. (The Andors didn’t serve coffee to the campers, Jyn discovered. Reasonable, considering how young some of the campers were, but Jyn inherited both her parents borderline addiction to the substance and the summer suddenly darkened without the presence of coffee in her mornings.)
Cassian stood by the fence of the paddock, rubbing the nose of a steel grey mustang as the group approached. He nodded to the group, still focused on the animal in front of him, until of the boys leaned towards the fence.
“Don’t touch it!” He warned, his voice sharp with urgency. The boy drew his hand back quickly, slightly abashed but confused. Cassian turned to the whole group. “The fences are all electrocuted to keep the animals in. Otherwise, the feisty ones like this one—“ he jerked his head to indicate the mustang “—would undoubtedly try to escape. Best to keep your fingers away from it.”
Beckoning them forward, he led them into the barn, pulling one of the older mares out of her stall and into the aisle.
“Before we can teach you to ride them, you have to learn to care for them. Here,” he pulled out a box of grooming supplies and showed the campers how to use the different brushes. After dividing them into groups of four and distributing brushes, Cassian walked three more horses into the crossties of the grooming stalls and had them copy what he’d just done.
“You’ve done this before,” he said over Jyn’s shoulder as he watched her rub a curling comb in small circles over the withers of a chestnut mare.
Jyn nodded. “My mother rode horses as a child and signed me up for lessons when I was younger. It’s been years, though.” She shrugged as the images of hours spent in a barn like this one filtered through her mind. Years had faded the memories, but the smile on her mother’s face as Jyn had warmed to the animals stood out to her.
Those memories, she thought, were half the reason her father had decided on sending Jyn here for the summer. A connection back to her mother, a gentle reminder that, though Lyra was gone from their lives, she stayed with them.
“Not bad for a city girl,” Cassian smiled. “But I’ll bet you road English, not Western.”
Jyn shrugged. “I had to leave something for you to teach me.”
The difference between the two disciplines, Jyn learned quickly, was vast. English saddles and bridles were more structured, built for elegance and show. Western tack was looser, designed by those who valued practicality and hours of hard labor. Jyn figured it wouldn’t be too difficult to transfer her knowledge of one to the other, but, with how Cassian teased her technique of tacking the horse, no such transfer was guaranteed.
Her riding lessons were years ago, she told Cassian the first time he assured her lessons would be a breeze for her, and she barely remembered anything she’d learned. Muscle memory, he assured her right back, was a powerful thing and she shouldn’t be so quick to doubt herself.
(When she was able to smoothly trot around the arena without nearly bouncing out of the saddle long before the other campers, he didn’t resist giving her an expression that read “I told you so.”)
Every day, Jyn found herself looking forward to her time in the barn with the horses. Call it nostalgia or perhaps her skill with the horses, but Jyn’s day brightened as she entered the barn and, on days when she didn’t have assigned tasks with the horses, found herself spending her free time with Cassian.
“How come you don’t share your gelding with the others?” Jyn asked him one day, leaning against the stall door as he groomed the steel grey mustang named Kay-too (a name a young Cassian had appointed for it, since the horse reminded him of Kay, his father’s mount with similar coloring).
“You’re more than welcome to try,” Cassian told her, “but even Carlos can’t ride this one. He’s too skittish around most people.” Cassian rubbed the horse’s neck, just behind his ear, and Kay relaxed under his touch. “We rescued him, so he probably had some bad experiences before he came here, isn’t very trusting now. My father was about ready to sell him when I started riding him.”
“Or you’ve specifically trained him to react that way to the strangers wandering around so you have one that’s all your own,” Jyn ventured, her tone teasing.
Cassian laughed in response, putting a finger to his lips. “Don’t tell my mother.”
The conversation descended into silence, Cassian’s brush and the other horses shuffling in their stalls the only sounds in the barn.
“My brother and I ride out to go check on the cattle at the end of the day,” Cassian blurted out after a minute. “You should join us.”
Jyn raised her eyebrows at him. “Is that allowed?”
“Not normally, but you ride better than the others,” Cassian shrugged, picking up one hoof to scrape out the dirt. “I’ll make an exception.”
“Hey, as long as it doesn’t interfere with dinner, I’m on board.” She and Cassian exchanged a smile and decided on a time to meet.
Carlos waved as she joined them that evening. “You’re finally joining us,” he remarked. “I mean, you’ve been here, what, two weeks already? I’m surprised it took my brother this long to scrape up the courage.”
Jyn was just about to ask what he meant – Cassian had no idea she could even ride when she’d arrived two weeks ago – but Cassian appeared then, insisting Jyn needed to tack her horse or they’d fall behind schedule. She didn’t miss the significant look passed between the two brothers as Cassian ushered her away.
“I bet this is beautiful as the sun sets,” Jyn said as they trotted towards the cattle. She pointed out towards the mountains, their snowy tips already glowing as the sun moved lower in the sky. “I can’t see them from my cabin.”
“Lucas will take you on a hike at sunset at some point,” Cassian assured her. “There’s a pit for a bonfire about there.” He pointed at a spot part way up one of the mountain trails. “It’s normally everyone’s favorite, seeing the entire ranch all lit up.” His voice sounded reverent, in awe of the beauty his home had.
“How long have you guys owned this place?” Jyn asked.
“Our parents bought it right after they got married,” Lucas said, “a million years ago or whenever that was.”
“We’ve only opened the camp a few years ago to bring in extra money after our dad died,” Cassian explained.
“Yeah, to keep that guy Krennic off or backs.” Lucas rolled his eyes.
“Krennic?” Jyn asked Cassian.
“Rich guy who bought the next property over. He really wanted this one, too.”
“Never understood why,” Lucas said, his voice distracted as he looked out over the herd. “Doesn’t do anything legitimate with his land. Just kinda keeps it for the hell of it.”
“Mom was tempted to sell this place for a bit,” Cassian told her. “It’s worth a lot more money now than when she and dad bought it. But we were all born and raised here and, well,” he shrugged as his voice got tighter, “it’s our last piece of dad. No one wanted to sell it, so Estrella came up with a plan to build this.”
Jyn hummed her understanding. That explained the kind of stress the Andors went through to keep this place alive and the guests returning. Jyn thought of the last piece she had of her mother – a crystal pendant she wore around her neck at all times – and then pictured selling it. She shivered at the thought.
“Must be weird, though, having stranger come and invade your family’s home.”
Cassian smiled at her. “I’ve enjoyed this summer.”
Jyn had the honor of meeting Orson Krennic herself a few days later when the man stopped by for what Cassian sarcastically referred to as a “neighborly chat.”
“All his visits do is stress out my mother,” Cassian complained when he appeared just after breakfast and Jyn could see why. The man was pompous, that much was clear, even from a distance. He held himself like he stood taller than he was and wore a loose, white shirt stolen directly from the set of an old western (“Who wears white to a ranch, anyway?” Cassian sneered, and Jyn couldn’t help up agree). His hair was too neatly combed and his hands too soft to have ever spent a day doing manual labor in his life. The entire Andor family was on edge while he was on the property.
“Come on,” Cassian suggested as the sun started to set over Krennic’s visit. “Let’s get out of here for a bit.”
Cassian led her along the river in a different direction than they traditionally hiked. A jagged rock formation jutted out from the shores of the river. Hidden in the middle was a flat rock surrounded by high sides, creating a natural seat the terrain.
“This was my spot when I was a kid,” Cassian told her. “Whenever I had a fight with one of my siblings, my parents knew to find me here.”
“It’s relaxing,” Jyn said, leaning back against the rock. The shaded air between the rocks was vastly cooler than the air outside and the bubbling river created wonderful background noise.
“I’m glad you think so,” Cassian said, settling next to Jyn. Their elbows knocked and their fingers brushed. For a moment, neither of them moved, before Jyn moved her hand over his, interlocking their fingers.
“You’re leaving soon,” Cassian noted, his thumb brushing over Jyn’s knuckles.
Jyn nodded. “Just a few days.”
“I’m glad you came this summer, but I’ll miss you when you leave.”
Glancing over at him, Jyn felt a tug on her heartstrings. Cassian had made the summer so much less lonely than she had imagined, given her someone to connect to while she was so far away from her father. “I’ll miss you too, Cassian.”
His eyes flickered between her eyes and her lips for a moment. He hesitated just a moment too long, because as soon as his head began to move in, a noise startled them backwards.
“Cassian!” Lucas shouted, his voice echoing between the rocks. Jyn and Cassian scrambling onto higher ground to find Lucas. “Come on,” he waved when they came into view, seeming unsurprised to find Jyn alongside his brother. “Mom’s going to notice if you’re missing from dinner.”
Three days later, Jyn’s bags were packed and sitting outside her cabin’s door, ready whenever Papa arrived to drive her back to Phoenix. She’d barely seen Cassian over the last few days, though whether that was because of any lingering awkwardness over their encounter – maybe he’d gone over all the reasons why kissing a girl who’d be leaving in the next few days was a bad idea and decided to let her down gently – or because he was busy with his duties on the ranch, Jyn wasn’t certain.
She’d resigned herself to never learning one way or the other as she spotted her father’s car driving along the long entrance road to the property when she heard her name called out. She turned and found Cassian, slightly breathless and still smelling of the barn, running her direction.
“I couldn’t let you leave just yet,” he told her, grabbing hold of her shoulders lightly.
“Oh really?” Jyn asked, her tone bordering on sarcastic. “And just when will I be free to go?”
“After I’ve done this,” he said and pressed his lips against hers, one hand coming up to frame her face. He pulled back after a moment, his eyes still closed, resting his forehead against hers. “But I’ll miss you.”
“If you ever miss me too much,” Jyn said, pulling a piece of paper out of her pocket and stuffing it into his hand. When she’d writing the note, Jyn worried she might have been following too much of the script of a romantic comedy, but she was glad she had it now. “Give me a call sometime.”
“I’ll do that,” he promised her, pocketing the paper. He glanced over her shoulder. “But, for now…”
“I suppose it’s goodbye for now, Cassian Andor.”
“Goodbye, Jyn Erso.”
She hefted her bag onto her shoulder, flashing back to when she’d been so reluctant to follow Cassian at the beginning of the summer. Who would have guessed she’d find it so difficult to walk away at the end of it?
“Hello, Papa,” she greeted, throwing her arms around his neck in a hug. “I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you too.” He held her close for a moment, before pulling back with a twinkle in his eye. He looked over to where Cassian stood waving before saying, “I take it that means you had a good summer, Stardust.” Galen barely contained the laughter in his voice as she dropped her bags in the trunk.
Gazing around at the beautiful landscape one last time, her eyes lingering on the boy leaning against the front porch railing a moment longer, she smiled. “You could say that.”
“Well, He is a murderer, But isn’t Zero in the same boat? He is a hunter after all. He, Like Kaname takes life to save others. His whole family were murderers.”
The fundamental difference being that Zero only hunts vampires who are a danger to humans and other vampires. He doesn’t act on his desire to kill those vampires who are still sane, functioning members of society. He is not a murderer.
Kaname attacks and kills purebloods because of his own preconceived notions. He is definitely not doing it for anyone else. If he cared about the humans or Yuuki at all, he would go straight for the dangerous vampires who are actually going to do them/her harm, not those who are sleeping. And I certainly don’t blame the purebloods who are fighting back against him, though their methods were despicable.
“Yet some like to put Kaname and Rido in the same boat and make Zero the pure hero of justice.”
That’s probably because they were in the same boat. Both were in love with women who didn’t return their feelings, and began to plunge the world into darkness because of it. Both were doing it for selfish reasons, not selfless ones.
Compared to Kaname and Rido, Zero is a far superior being in morals. There is a difference between thoughts and actions.
“I’m not being biased, But Kaname is more Selfless while Zero is a bit selfish.”
Kaname abusing Yuuki because she can’t love him the way he needs her to and starting a whole war that got many people killed over that is selfless now, you guys!
Seriously though. Zero’s selfishness didn’t cause untold death and destruction. Kaname’s did.
“Zero loves to blame Kaname for everything and was blinded by anger.”
Zero’s anger is justified because Kaname did cause everything. He was the reason Zero’s family died, he’s the reason for the increased hostility by vampires to humans and he’s the reason that Yuuki is as broken as she is. Plus he did overcome that anger in the end, which is a very selfless thing to do considering.
“I’m not saying Zero isn’t a knight, I’m just saying he is not as inoccent and pure as you think.”
But I digress. Of course Zero isn’t pure and innocent as you are saying. He has always had flaws. But those flaws are mild compared to Kaname’s. So, as far as “as innocent and pure as [I] think he is”, when put next to Kaname, he IS innocent and pure.
There is the whole “Zero is seventeen/ eighteen and Kaname is tens of thousands of years old” thing. Who should have known better?
It had been a week or so since the Peter fiasco. Cece had come and picked you up from his house and since then you had continued with your schooling and your search for a job, trying hard to put him behind you.
After hours upon hours of poring over job opportunities at the library, scouring the internet and the newspaper day after day, you had finally found something that seemed to work. An internship at a school, some high society private institution. You had contacted the head professor and in no time you had a job set up.
You stood at the street corner, a hot coffee clutched in one hand, a suitcase in the other and a backpack slung over your shoulder. The professor had suggested that you stay in the school dorms during the duration of your internship. Described over the phone, the dorms seemed respectable with a large king sized bed and separate washroom, so you had packed up to go.
You stuck your hand out, hailing the nearest taxi and hopping in.
Lily convinces James to pretend
to be engaged to her so they can go to a bakery and try wedding cake samples.
Perhaps pretending to be engaged to the person you’ve wanted to kiss for six
years isn’t the best way to continue denying your feelings. But then again,
maybe it’s the best way to finally let them surface.
yeah. I proposed to you on the playground where we met, the wedding is going to
be in June, we’re thinking the flowers will be red and yellow and we’re honey
mooning in Paris.”
have to say it with a little more excitement than that if it’s going to be
“Lily, dearest, I’m so excited to marry you and I can’t
wait for our trip to Paris!”
the hell up, James.”
I’m just mad that we can’t tell the truth. You
were the one who proposed to me after all,” he said smugly.
rolled her eyes and shoved her hands deep into her pockets. She supposed she
technically had been the one to propose, since this was her scheme after all.
It had started when she stormed into James’ flat two weeks ago, shouting about
wedding cake. He had thought she had finally gone mad and told her so. And
after a good hour arguing the pros and cons, she almost didn’t even go through
with the plan. But then a week later her sister started bragging about her
engagement again and Lily felt an urge to do something ridiculous.
don’t see why you couldn’t be fake engaged to Remus,” James mumbled. He was
acting like pretending to be engaged to her so they could try wedding cake
samples was the worst thing in the world but she knew his mischievous side was
getting quite a thrill. He would take great pride in himself if he was able to
be convincing enough to get away with this.