emergency boxe

Everyday is your birthday in the fifth house. It is a cosmic Disneyland that opens just for you.

Sun in the 5th house/Leo in the 5th house
The world is a stage and the performer is gracious, radiant, and absolutely transcendent. A Queen dancing on the rays of the Sun, the whole world is watching on

Moon in the 5th house/Cancer in the 5th house
A child walks under a white Moon spotlight, exquisite and enchanting, glowing with the sovereign of an heiress

Mercury in the 5th house/Gemini or Virgo in the 5th house
The word alchemist, wings made of sun, a painter of children’s fairytales with language, a pen that pops with confetti holding books full of colour and delight

Venus in the 5th house/Libra or Taurus in the 5th house
The lover dances on a stage, blowing kisses and swaying with the sun, releasing the bubbles of pleasure, music, and indulgence and seduction

Mars in the 5th house/Aries in the 5th house
A child emerges from a box of crayons ready to draw a world into this one, a woman flickers lights from her fingers, under a blaze she bedazzles with a fire twirling display

Jupiter in the 5th house/Sagittarius in the 5th house
Laughter radiates from the crackle of morning light, today is everybody’s birthday, it’s eating a marshmellow icecream cake for breakfast

Saturn in the 5th house/Capricorn in the 5th house
A guardian appears, one who swoops in to hold and love and protect those vulnerable children, a guardian emerges to soothe his own inner child

Uranus in the 5th house/Aquarius in the 5th house
A bizarre artist walks from his home, an abandoned church in the woods, eccentric portraits and paintings hang upside down

Neptune in the 5th house/Pisces in the 5th house
A circus performer walks and floats and contorts, every movement a display of bodily art and entrancing sensuality, she creates ambient music with her thoughts

Pluto in the 5th house/Scorpio in the 5th house
Beneath a pastel sea, swirling with hypnotic music and art, a spellcaster swims with a wand, every exertion of self is a creative display of godly magnificence

-C.

“How do you feel about getting a cat?”

“A cat?” Andrew knows his tone is incredulous but even before Neil answers, he’s second-guessing himself.

On one hand, a cat is difficult to train, difficult to set boundaries with, and could end up a disaster for someone like Andrew. On the other, cats are independent creatures, don’t demand attention as much as dogs do, and wouldn’t take up too much of their time.

“You don’t have to give me an answer now,” says Neil, holding out the leaflet he’d picked up from a shelter that afternoon. “I just thought it could be something to consider.”

Andrew hums, takes the leaflet, and retreats to the lounge to read it. “It’s not a no,” he says.


A month later, Andrew is still undecided. He’s visited multiple shelters and spent time with the feline residents, but nothing’s clicked yet. He scrolls through pictures of people’s cats on Instagram from time to time and wonders what it would be like to own one, but it seems superficial to go out and choose one like he would a book from a store.

He’s startled from his thoughts by the sound of the door latch clicking. Neil had gone out to pick up ice cream a while ago, and Andrew was beginning to worry about it melting. He wasn’t worried about Neil, of course. He can take care of himself.

Nevertheless, Andrew jumps up from the sofa to check on him and is surprised to find him struggling with a sodden cardboard box. In fact, Neil is soaked through himself, his usually bouncy auburn curls drooping sadly and plastered to his forehead. Andrew almost reaches out to brush them aside, but is distracted by a scraping noise emerging from the box.

He narrows his eyes as Neil sets the box onto the floor and opens it. Two bedraggled cats are huddled inside, mewling pitifully. They’re caked in mud, and Andrew’s first thought is to keep them away from the furniture.

“They were hiding under the car when I got out of the store,” explains Neil, a fond smile on his face. “I think they were trying to find some warmth. I was going to take them to the vets but they were closed. I didn’t want to drop them at the shelter in the state they’re in.”

Andrew heaves the box into his own arms without a word and sets off for the bathroom, trying not to jostle the animals too much.

“They’re staying in here tonight,” he says firmly, filling the sink with tepid water and grabbing a cloth. “I’m not letting them get fleas all over the furniture. We’ll take them to the vets tomorrow.”

“Okay,” agrees Neil easily, lifting one of the cats out of the box carefully so Andrew can begin cleaning it. “Is there still some leftover chicken in the fridge? I’ll fix something up for them to eat.”

Andrew nods, distracted by the already sopping wet cat trying to wriggle away from the clean, soapy water. He huffs in a mixture of exasperation and amusement.

By the time Neil comes back, both cats are clean and shivering in a corner while Andrew attempts to coax them onto a towel. He can tell that they’re nervous, not to mention shaken from their bathing experience, so he’s trying to be mindful, but he still scowls at the soft look Neil sends him.

“Stop it,” he says, but since he’s trying not to startle the cats further it comes out too gently to be an effective warning.

Neil kneels down next to Andrew and holds out a piece of poached chicken. It’s on their contractually-binding diet plan, but Andrew tends to dump most of it in the fridge after a meal. He looks at the cats thoughtfully as they edge forwards to chew on the meat scraps.

“What if we keep them?” he asks suddenly, ignoring the way Neil’s head whips around to look at him.

There’s silence for a minute, broken only by the soft purring now emanating from the cats. Now that they’re drying, Andrew can see that one of them is fuzzy and tortoiseshell and the other is fluffier and grey. He’s sure they must have been strays for a while because even the bulk of their fur can’t hide the sharpness of their shoulders and spines as they crouch on the floor.

“I wouldn’t object,” replies Neil finally, still staring at Andrew, who reaches out slowly to let one of the cats nudge its face against his hand.

“Okay,” he says, and that’s that.

(part two)

LBJ

Author: @peetabreadgirl

Rating:

Prompt 12:, Anonymous, Katniss is trying to study in the library, but she can’t keep her eyes from wandering over to Peeta, who’s reading a comic book a few tables over. 

I took some liberties here. No comic book, but he’s still distracting her. And I included a bit of jealousy. Because that’s one of my favorite tropes and I just can’t help myself. ;) Enjoy the short read!

Originally posted by such-vodka

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The Bookshop That Has (Almost) Everything

fun fact this is loosely based on a real bookshop I once found somewhere in greenwich idk exactly where it is but if ever find urself around the area look out for it its v cute and v tiny

summary: Phil works at a bookshop. Dan buys a book one day, and, in a ploy to see Phil, keeps returning with more and more obscure requests so Phil has to spend more time searching. After Dan leaves with ‘cactus maintenance: a memoir’, Phil starts to suspect something’s up.

words: 7.3k

-

“Look,” Phil sighs when he catches sight of the book Dan’s clutching today. “I know there’s a very good chance you keep cacti and you just wanna maintain them and it’s probably wrong of me to assume otherwise, but-…can I ask you something?”

Dan gulps, putting the book titled “Cactus Maintenance: A Memoir” down on the counter.

“Do you actually need half of the books you come in here for?” he asks softly. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, there’s a good chance you might actually ride motorcycles, study bricklaying, want to know more about frogspawn or- you know, wanna look after your cacti, but…” he shrugs. “I don’t know. It’s just- um, you’re the first person I’ve met that, you know, buys one book every single day. When do you get time to read them all?”

-

i.

Graveland’s Books is the kind of place you’d only come across if you were either very bored, very desperate, or very lost.

It hides on the tail end of an alleyway just behind the village market, and the gnarled wooden beams, the glass oil lanterns lining either side of the aged brickwork and the rusty bronze bell hanging above the door would fool anyone into thinking they’d just stepped out of 2016 and into the 18th century. If it wasn’t for the mobile phone shop sitting directly opposite, of course.

It’s not big in size, with a staff room and an office the size of a postage stamp upstairs and just about enough room to fit two free standing bookshelves in the middle of the shop, but books spill into every single crack. Stacks and stacks of fiction and history and travel and biographies narrow the aisles between the shelves, and it’s all too easy to trip over a random pile of books in the middle of the floor when you’re not concentrating properly.

But, for a job running along the sidelines of university, Phil enjoys it. He’d certainly rather spend his time flicking through a story about a cursed mushroom than stack supermarket shelves and deal with obnoxious co-workers, anyway.

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2

And then there was Merlin

Pairing: Eggsy x Reader

Requested: Yup!

Pronouns: She/Her

GIF: turonegerton

Song: ‘Raging’ by Kygo

Warnings: Swearing.

Reading time: 18 Min.

Notes: None

Summary: You’ve been working nights in the tech department of Kingsman and have a run in with Eggsy that could make things a little messy.

____________________  

“You invent some kinda way to write code with your eyeballs?”

A wisp of hot breath tickled her ear. Y/N whipped her head sideways to meet it. Her face collided with the brim of Eggsy’s hat. “Oww,” She exclaimed. Her eyes squinted shut as she rubbed the bridge of her nose.

“Sorry love.” Eggsy stood behind her chair, leaning over her shoulder, his face next to hers. “You’ve been staring at that screen for 10 minutes. I wasn’t sure you were even awake.”

“I wasn’t,” Y/N muttered. She turned back to the computer, slouched down in her chair and yawned.

It had been almost two months since she started working nights in the tech department of Kingsman. She had met all the agents her first day but only ever saw Trinity, the night watch, which usually meant she could get in a good nap during her shifts.

“Don’t see you around here much.” Eggsy stood up.

“Yea, Uni keeps me pretty busy during the day,” She spoke with her eyes closed, arms folded across her chest. “But Merlin needs my help here so I find the- SHIT!” She sat up fast, eyes gaping. “What time is it?” She frantically checked the desktop for her phone and retrieved it from under a pile of papers and a half eaten banana. It was dead.

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The Neighbors

Part One: The New Neighbors.

Summary: You’ve been in New York for about 3 years now moving here looking for a new experience. You grew up in a small town with you parents and siblings, so your new experience was city life. You began working at a hospital doing patient records and a moved into a cute little apartment in a mostly safe neighborhood in Brooklyn. After being at the hospital for a few months, you were presented with an amazing offer to switch from patient records to shadowing nurses, you just had to take a few classes outside of work while you worked with them. Since then, your life in New York has been great. But will it stay that way once you meet your new neighbors across the hall?

Warnings : swearing, bad flirting.

Pairings: Sam Wilson x Reader, Bucky Barnes x Reader, eventual Steve Rogers x Reader

  


     The shrill sound of your alarm clock wakes you from you well earned sleep. You roll yourself over, smacking the snooze button and peaking at the time. 2 pm. I swear I changed my alarm yesterday before work. You let out a loud yawn that could be confused as a moan while your stretch out in your bed. You flop back down onto the mattress, thinking about what you’re going to do today.

   Well, since I’m done with classes & my shift doesn’t start until 10 tonight, maybe I can find a new show on Netflix!  You amp yourself up for the day but your body is still feeling the exhaustion from your 12 hour shift at the hospital. You decide the best thing to cure the exhaustion is coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. You make your way to the kitchen, sporting your favorite pajamas: a long baggy band tee with boy short underwear.You skip around your kitchen while the coffee brews, tidying everything up. When you’re finally about to take a sip of your coffee, a loud boom sounds from the hall outside your apartment. You jump at the noise, successfully spilling your hot coffee down your chest and a little on your bare thighs.

    “Son of a bitch. What the hell is going on?” There are only two apartments on this floor of the building, yours, & one that’s been empty since you got here. Your landlord says it isn’t rented out like the others, it’s owned. The owners just come & go randomly, never staying too long. You’ve never seen your neighbors, but today is going to change that. You strip out of your shirt and throw on your black robe that lands about mid thigh on you. You slide on your slippers and go open your front door. You come face to face with stacks of cardboard boxes, and the sound of two male voices fills your ears.

   “What did I tell you? Keep your boxes in your fucking room! It’s already crammed in here enough, you asshole,” you hear the first voice yell.  All you hear in response from the second voice is a laugh ,and something hit a wall. You hear a curse from the first voice.  As you maneuver your way through the hall of boxes and to the opening for your neighbor’s apartment, you see that the door’s open, and like the first voice said, there’s boxes everywhere. Dear God, who has this much shit?

   You knock on the door frame and see a head pop up from behind the boxes. You let out a laugh and send a shy wave.

  “ Well hello there,” He smiles and makes his way around the boxes to you. He was several inches taller than you, with dark skin and a shining smile. You get the sense that you’ve seen him before, but shake it off and introduce yourself.

Originally posted by littlemisssyreid

  “Hey, I’m Y/n. I live across the hall.” You shake hands, before he says anything you hear the  other voice.

“I thought Stark said he bought this apartment because no one else lives on this level?” Stark? Tony Stark? Then it all clicks; the first man is Sam Wilson, the Falcon.  Another man emerges from the boxes and you have to stop your mouth from falling open. The Winter Soldier. Holy shit. The man had shoulder length brown hair. His jawline was perfectly sculpted and his eyes were a perfect shade of blue. He looks you up and down and a smile forms on his face.

  “Hi, I’m Bucky Barnes.” He waves, you send an awkward wave back.

Originally posted by sebastianobrien

“Hi, uhm I’m sorry I didn’t mean to interrupt your unpacking.” You slowly start backing away. The man who you recognize as Sam Wilson stops you.  

  “No no! It’s okay! I’m Sam, by the way. Sorry about all the boxes in the hall. Like you heard, we thought we were alone here.” He laughs and you follow suit.

   “Well I’ve been here for a couple years and haven’t seen you either of you here before.”

  “Well, Stark had bought this place for himself when he needed a break from things, but he sent us here to lay low for a while.”

  “Ahhh, I see. Is it just you two here?“ Way to be nosey…

  "Us & Steve. He should be home any minute if you want to wait & meet him too.” His voice is kind and you can see you getting along very well with him. Bucky’s been silent this entire time but his eyes haven’ left you.

  You smile and shake your head, “Nah, I should head back. I just wanted to stop and say hello. I’ll catch Steve another time!"You turn away, starting to leave.

   "Feel free to come say hello anytime Dollface, especially if you’re wearing that robe.”  The sound of Bucky’s voice surprises you. You feel the heat rise in your cheeks, but you turn and smile shyly at Bucky.

Originally posted by sophiabuzh


  “I’ll see you guys later!” You dart to your door, but you can still hear Sam & Bucky.

  “Dude , what the hell? You’re going to scare her off! Keep the creepiness inside, oldman,” you hear Sam say.

 "It didn’t seem like she minds all that much, maybe you’re just crabby that the ladies don’t want a bird boy, Wilson.“

"Man, shut the hell up.”

You shut your door while you let out a laugh at your new neighbors. This could be fun.

Secret Santa, LMM/Reader

Prompt: Lin is Reader’s secret Santa.

Words: 1176

Author’s Note: I’m back! Has it been a bit? Anyways, the holiday season has made me think about sappy shit so here you go.

Warnings: None.

Askbox | Masterlist


You were trying to precisely apply your eyeliner when your name was called, causing you to jolt and mark your cheek with prominent black ink.

“Whoops.” Lin muttered when you turned to him with a glare, “Secret Santa.” He said, pushing a Santa hat filled to the brim with papers in your direction.

“You’re lucky you’re the star of the show and I can’t technically murder you.” You told him, stuffing your hand into the hat and pulling out the first name you touched.

You unrolled the scroll.

Jasmine.

Easy.

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04 x 15 Preview - The Apothecary

Instead of doing an episode analysis of 04 x 14 this week (only one Red and Liz scene, Aram focused), I wanted to look more at next week’s episode 04 x 15 and discuss what is going on and what may happen. We don’t know the true order of the scenes so I am just using the order in the promo. They may be out of sequence when we see the show.

First in the scene below Dembe pours whiskey (or whatever) into the glass and Red drinks it. Oh oh…

Do any of you believe Dembe had intentions to poison Red? Or was he unknowing?

Next Red goes to the post office. He clearly needs help

From the promo pictures we see he is so weak he needs to sit on the stairs

And from the promo pictures we know Red met with his attorney Marvin Gerard:

I’m sure he is getting his affairs in order and you know a huge part of it is making sure Liz and Agnes are cared for the rest of their lives even after his death. They are all he cares about.  He has protocols in place for them.

Next is one of my favorite scenes. Liz breaking the law by smashing in the pharmacy window with a chair to help Red. Loyalty. Love. Caring. This is the Lizzy I adore. You go GIRL!!!

And did you notice how Red flinches when the chair hits the window? He must be in really bad shape to flinch. He normally never does.

Below Red is getting worse. And later he finally collapses - I think on the floor of the pharmacy. A fan who saw some of this footage being shot said it looked like Red was having a heart attack.

Finally we see Red in the mobile emergency unit inside a boxing gym. Red is really failing here - he can barely breathe:

And below he wants to stay alive as long as he can as I’m sure he wants to see Liz one last time. Maybe he is even thinking of finally telling her about her past - who her father really was, Red’s connection to her (and what happened during the fire), why she is so important, and what he did that he is was so scared to tell her for fear of losing her. There is just so much…..

And finally we see Liz looking panicked and really worried (and we see Red on the hospital bed in the background). 

She can really lose him this time. And maybe she is finally gaining clarity into what Red really means to her. What they mean to each other. And it may be too late….

What do you think will happen?

The more I look at this, the more fascinated I am. The Monkey Musical Box, Raoul emerging in the background. The Sphinx like foot of the candelabra. The Phantom sitting at his throne. A cool moment captured.

I suspect the photographer is Matthew Murphy (though note that this is a closeup from a larger photo)

5

To repeat what I said in an earlier post regarding my bedroom closet, I have been MIA on here for about a month now.  I was feeling really down on myself because I had gotten such a good start unfucking my life in January and then progress seemed to grind to a halt.  I’ve been working on the master bedroom and closet.  It is a HUGE job.  My teenage daughter decided to clean out her room by dumping all her stuff in my bedroom about a year ago.  I then didn’t get around to sorting through her stuff and added stuff of my own.  Then even stuff that had a storage place was left on the floor because I couldn’t get across the room to the location.  Then I did emergency box-ups from around the house when I was running short of time and people were coming over and those boxes of miscellaneous junk got added to the bedroom.  It was an overwhelming nightmare.  I’ve been chipping away since mid-January and was kicking myself for not being done.  I decided to take pictures of how much has been done so far and I suddenly feel better.  Above are photos of the bedroom.  The bed was literally surrounded by mounds of miscellaneous stuff that belonged all over the house.  It’s not finished yet, but the room is back to being mostly functional, meaning I can actually get across the floor without falling over stuff and breaking my face.  There were countless little thingies that needed to be put away or given away or thrown away – barrettes, dog toys, stuffed animals, jewelry, clothing, odd bits of Christmas wrapping paper, toiletries, craft supplies.  It seemed endless.  I still have some work to do, but this has taught me the power of taking photos.  I’d still be looking at the current state of the room and feeling bad.  But now that I can look at how far I’ve come and how much work I accomplished, my mood is much improved.

At the Edge of the Ocean (Olicity AU fic Part 1)

Hey guys, I’d been toying for weeks with the idea of doing a unique Olicity AU one-shot. I very rarely write fics with mystical elements but once this idea popped into my head, I couldn’t get it out. I also blame @agentsassydirewolf​ for letting me rant about it and adding fuel to the fire in my creative brain! Thank you, and I hate you (just kidding…kinda sorta)! ;)

Anyway, I’ve always loved mermaids. They are by far my favorite mythical creature. I recently re-watched Splash (a big, glorious mistake) and felt compelled to finally bring my Olicity mermaid AU obsession to life. This was originally going to be a one-shot but while writing yesterday, I realized there was too much to cram into a single post. I also wanted to have this posted in time for Valentine’s Day, so I’m splitting it up into two parts (I’m still working on the second one right now).  

I haven’t yet decided if this might turn into a short, mutli-chapter ficlet. But let me know if you guys want to read more, and I might add it to my list of future fics to work on. I’m not sure how the visual aspects and edits will format on AO3, so I’m posting strictly to Tumblr for now.

Thanks in advance for reading, everyone, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Originally posted by beautyisworthagif


Pairing: Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak

Rating: T

Summary: AU. Oliver almost drowns when the Queen’s Gambit sinks and is saved by a mysterious creature. When he learns that his savior is actually a beautiful mermaid named Felicity, Oliver can’t decided if he’s more shocked by her existence or the fact that he feels such a strong connection to her. Coming from two different worlds, Oliver and Felicity must decided if their love is true and what they’re willing to sacrifice to make it work.

Disclaimer: I don’t own Arrow or any of its characters. Except for the Olicity edits, the rest of the images and gifs aren’t mine.


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BatFam Week Day 1: Family

Its Batfam Week! Bats ahoy!

Day 1 Prompt: Family

————

Jason had barely been back in Gotham, wreaking havoc as the Red Hood before the Bats got wise to him. After his showdown with Bruce, Jason had overthrown the drug trade in Gotham, and had made a nice, cozy, place for himself as the young crime lord who occasionally bought the children in Crime Alley food and killed their oppressors. He was reasonably happy with his new reputation and life, but all looked to be lost when Dick Grayson entered the picture.

Nightwing had made it his personal mission to capture the Red Hood, and by capture, he meant fling himself at Jason and cling to his back while whining at him to “come hoooome, Jay, I miss yoooou”. Red Hood simply trudged on with his crusade, eliminating anyone who crossed his path, with Dick hanging off of his back. Nightwing occasionally helped in this respect, and was good for fleecing after patrol meals off of.

“You’re so thin, Jay!” was a constant worry of Nightwing’s, as he dragged his hulking, taller and broader than Batman, brother to a diner or ice cream parlour for an early, early morning snack.

Jason looked at Dick over his pancakes and one night and asked, “whatever happened to capturing me, huh?”

“I already have,” Nightwing replied earnestly, taking Jason’s hand. “I’ve captured your heart.”

Jason was stunned into silence for all of a minute before he burst out laughing, enjoying the pout on Dick’s face. “Sure, Dickface,” he muttered, eliciting a squeal and a hug from the older man. Jason pinched some of Dick’s bacon behind his back.

“Sure you have.”

————–

Tim was the worst.

Jason sped up while walking, acutely aware of Red Robin’s eyes on him. He couldn’t see the fucker, but somehow, somewhere, that creepy, little, stalker was watching his every move. This was going to be his eternal retribution for trying to kill that stupid kid, Jason knew it. He was going to be hounded for eternity by a spindly, little, grasshopper his entire life.

When he was eating dinner, Tim was watching. When he was fighting crime, Tim was watching. When he was trying to jack off - no, Jason didn’t do that anymore, because Tim was watching. Jason had a terrible case of blue balls that made itself known every minute of the day, and today was the day that he put an end to it. He suddenly turned around and looked up, spying Red Robin with a pair of binoculars, watching him from on top of a building. As Jason started to scale the building, the little bugger had the gall to wave.

Jason clambered onto the roof and snatched Tim’s binoculars out of his hands. “What do you think you’re doing, you creepy little prev?” He gritted out. “Are you looking for weaknesses so that you can capture me and bring me home to daddy, all trussed up like a turkey? Or is this you getting your freak on, so you can go and beat off to my image later?”

Tim stared at him blankly through his domino, and slowly pulled out his earpiece. “It was on speaker,” he said evenly, flicking a switch. “It’s off now, but just to let you know, B heard that bit about beating off.”

“Well, B can go and drink out of a septic tank-”

“Alfred too.”

Jason shriveled and died inside, thoroughly embarrassed at the thought of his grandfather hearing his language. It took a minute to compose himself, and he attacked Tim once more. “Why’re you following me, birdbrain? Are you looking to capture me?”

“I can’t capture you,” Tim said quietly. Jason grinned at Tim admitting his relative weakness. “Alfred says it’s not polite to capture your siblings.” Jason deflated. “And since I can’t bring you in physically, I just have to do it through my surveillance. It’s how we know that you’re safe, and it stops Alfred from worrying.”

Jason stared at the twitchy little bird in front of him in shock. After a while, he thumped Tim on the back and then broke his binoculars for good measure. “I can take care of myself, Little Red, but thanks for the thought. Don’t spy on me anymore. I’ll report to Alf myself, you hear me?” Tim nodded, frowning down at his broken binoculars.

Jason shot out a grappling line and turned back to Tim. “You’re not half bad, kid,” he said, before swinging away.

Tim watched Jason swing away, content with the knowledge that he hadn’t found the voice recorder in his bathroom yet.

Who would have guessed that Jason could sing so well?

————

Tim was not the worst, Jason silently amended himself. Damian was the worst.

Jason struggled against the bonds on his wrists as Damian tied up his ankles. “Mmmph!” Jason screamed against his gag, which could be translated loosely as what the fuck!?

“You are a vexing creature, Todd,” Damian remarked as he dragged Jason across Gotham towards Wayne Manor. “I can’t imagine why Grayson pines after you so much.” As an afterthought he added, “I am a good brother. He’d better be grateful for all the trouble I’m undertaking for his sake.” Jason stopped struggling as his five hit a Cobblestone. That’s right, it was Dick’s birthday today. “How tall are you? I need to find a large enough box.”

Jason screamed through the gag and began to fight his bonds in earnest, which sparked a thought in Damian. “Oh,” he said, turning around to pet Jason’s head like some overgrown puppy. “Not like a coffin. A gift box. You are to be Grayson’s gift this year. Why he asked for you, I don’t know. I should be an exemplary enough brother that he should not want for another. I keep wondering when he will cut Drake off. Oh well,” he sighed, shooting Jason with a tranquilizer.

“Sweet dreams, Todd.”

———–

“Happy Day of Emerging from the Birth Canal, Grayson,” Damian said as he led Dick over to a large, red, gift box and stood by, waiting for the cuddles and kisses that would no doubt follow.

“Oh, Dami!” Dick cried happily, administering the anticipated cuddles and kisses. Damian grinned, froglike, through the kissies and huggies, eyeing Tim triumphantly. Four kisses - that was one more than Drake had gotten. Content with his victory, Damian pushed open the lid to reveal his present.

The room was stunned into silence as Jason emerged from the box, kicking and screaming. “Where is that brat!? Where is he? I’ll rip him to pieces!”

Dick came over faint, as Damian ran to hide behind Alfred, leaving Bruce to attend to his bewildered eldest and Tim to restrain Jason. After recovering from the shock, Dick strode forward purposefully and pulled Jason into a Dickie HugTM and bounced around happily, squeaking incoherently.

Jason was shocked into stillness, and slowly began to accept his situation. An hour of Dick fawning over him like a baby and Alfred’s dinner? As far as abductions went, it wasn’t too bad. Nonetheless, Jason felt obligated to glare at Damian, who was basking in the glow of Dick’s affection, and felt his anger ebb away. The kid was so starved for affection that he was willing to go to the lengths of kidnapping to get some. Who was Jason to refuse him that?

In the end, Jason settled for taping Damian to the t-rex and gagging him, leaving him there until Bruce found him while investigating whether the skeleton had gained consciousness.

Jason was such a good brother.

And maybe, with time, Damian would be a decent brother too.

First Love -6- Suga AU

Originally posted by myloveseokjin

First love - Suga AU

Parts; Masterlist, One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine

Pairing; Min Yoongi x Reader

Genre; Romance, Angst

Word count; 3.938

Synopsis; Meeting the genius of the music class was something you looked forward to, that is until he opened his mouth but even though he treated you like crap, you couldn’t help but feel attracted to him when he was playing the piano, how could you fight against feelings like this and was it something you wanted to fight against in the first place.



The minute you opened the bathroom, you were shocked to see Yoongi lying on the floor, his hands were bleeding and he had bruises all over his beautiful face, never had you seen something like this, not even when Jin Soo’s father hit your mother. “Yoongi!” you know you sounded panicky but there was nothing you could do about it. “Jin call the emergency center!”

“No!” Yoongi tried to sit up and you could see the fear on his face, which wasn’t easy. “No Doctors!”

“But.” He shook his head and with that, he fainted. “Hoseok help me lift him,” you yelled and to your surprise, he listened and picked him up. “I don’t care if he wants this but we need to see a doctor.”

“He doesn’t want to,” Namjoon said and looking at his face, you knew he wasn’t going to cooperate, which annoyed you so much but you would have to yell at him later, the first priority was Yoongi, as you needed to help him. “Well don’t just stand there, go find the emergency box!” you commanded Namjoon and he hesitated a few seconds before he went to get the box, in the meantime Hoseok had put him on the bed. You finally could get a good look at his hands and you were happy that it was only cuts and nothing worse. “Hoseok please get me ice.” he nodded and left the room, leaving you with an unconscious Yoongi and an annoying Namjoon.

“Do you know what you are doing?”

“Of course I do, so shut up and give me the box.” you held out your hand but he placed it next to you on the bed. “Hurry up, we have to be gone before his parents come back.” you looked at him as if he had lost his mind, how in the world could we move Yoongi in this kind of state and where do we take him? You felt pressured, which made your hands tremble, you just had to focus on cleaning the wounds on his hands and you were shocked that someone deliberately cut his knuckles, which was the cruelest thing ever to Yoongi as his first love was the piano, there was no way he would ever recover if someone took that away from him.

“Will you please hurry?” Namjoon started to sound nervous, which made you nervous as well and when Hoseok finally returned with the ice, you were at a breaking point because Yoongi was in so much pain that even whilst being unconscious he was still moaning from the pain. “Hoseok please make him leave!”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

“You are distracting me, I can’t work like this!”

“I’m not even doing anything.”

“You are nervous and it’s something I feel so please leave the room and let me help Yoongi.” Hoseok didn’t hesitate and pushed Namjoon out of the room. “Can I do something?”

“Yes please fill that towel with the ice and put it gently on his bruises, it helps with the swelling.” he did exactly what you asked and as you both worked alongside each other you grew a certain amount of respect for him because he was genuinely worried about Yoongi. “Why is Namjoon so nervous about his parents coming home?”

“They did this to Yoongi and this isn’t the first time, his father beats him up regularly.”

“Why?” Hoseok shrugged and it was upsetting that Yoongi never had someone to really talk to, you had finally cleaned everything and put on a bandage on both hands and as the ice began to melt, you decided it was enough for now. “Do we really have to replace him?”

“We do, if his father comes home and see he got help, it will be much worse.

“Alright, get Namjoon. Do we know where to take him?”

“Ah that’s right, Can’t he stay with you?” You were going to say no to that but changed your mind because what could happen and maybe your mother could help out, so you nodded and told them your address, you in the meantime threw in some of his clothes and called your mother to let her know the situation and she sounded shocked and told you to hurry up. We had to take the bus but luckily no one was really looking at you and you had put a face mask on and a hat, his hands were hidden in his coat, so it was safe to move, without being stopped by people.

When you arrived home, your mother was already waiting anxiously and her eyes went big when she saw the state Yoongi was in, it was really bad and as you put him on your bed, your mother followed with painkillers and water. “What happened to him?”

“His father beat him up but we don’t know why.”

“Omo, poor boy.” she brushed his hair from his forehead and that made him cry unconsciously, this was tearing your heart, who would do something like this, yes Yoongi was annoying most times but if you got to know him, he was actually really sweet, so why would someone do this to him? “Mom could you stay with him because I really want to take shower.”

“Of course, take your time.” you quickly grabbed easy clothes and jumped in the shower, you just had to get rid of everything, you couldn’t stand the blood of others especially like this because the only reason you knew how to help Yoongi was because you had to do this often with your mother, as she had been in situations like this and you were always the one who had to clean up, so yes you could say it was a trauma thing but what could you do about it except for talking to a damn shrink. You couldn’t stop thinking about the state Yoongi was in when you found him and you knew that you couldn’t let him go back there, you had to find a way to protect him from ever getting hurt again.

When you were done showering you walked back into the room, letting your hair dry normally and a small smile appeared on your face when you saw how worried your mother was about him, she was talking softly to him and telling him it would be okay and that he could stay as long as he wanted. “Mom, I’m back, you can get some rest now.” you kissed her cheek when she got up. “Thank you.” she nodded and caressed your cheek for a second. Yoongi was still out of it so you decided to work on your music, it was a good thing you had a keyboard and you could practice without disturbing others and in the meantime, you could keep an eye on Yoongi, so that when he woke up you could help him immediately.

He didn’t wake up though and you were afraid that he had done something bad, but when you moved away from your keyboard you saw the sweat on his face, he was having a fever and he was trembling all over his body. You quickly got a damp towel and put it on his head, this is what you kept doing the entire night. You were startled when someone put his hand on your head and you shot upright, when you realized that it was Yoongi, you were a bit confused until you saw his bruised face but at least he was awake, this also snapped you right out of your drowsiness “How are you feeling?” you put your hand gently on his forehead and was happy to see that his fever was gone. “Why am I here?”

“You don’t remember?” he shook his head and you couldn’t hide the pity right now and when he saw this he knew that you found out about his parents. “We brought you here after we found you and you can stay as long as you want.”

“You’re pitying me, aren’t you? His face was sad, which was new as he had never ever sounded like this but you did understand why he was like he was. “I’m trying not to.” you smiled gently and called for your mother who came in with breakfast “Good Morning Yoongi-ah, how are you feeling?” she smiled her brightest smile and you could see Yoongi looking at her as if she was not real, which wasn’t crazy if you thought about the fact that he didn’t know this kind of behaviour.

“I’m okay, I guess.” He was pretending to be okay just for your mother, which melted you a bit but also made you angry because why would he diminish his injuries but he shook his head as he looked at you, so you just bit your tongue, not wanting to upset him. “Y/N, took care of you the entire night, isn’t she great.”

“She sure is.” he smiled and this was the first time you saw him smile genuinely, “I will leave you two alone for a bit, as I need to do some groceries, is there anything you would like to eat?”

“I’m fine with anything.” She smiled again and left us alone, you sat down on the bed and just looked at him. “You know she means it when she told you that you can stay as long as you want, so please just stay here until you’re better, don’t be stubborn like always.”

“I will stay, so please stop worrying.”

“That’s going to be hard because you make it so that I have to worry.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine.” You got up and walked to the bathroom only to return with the emergency kit and some towels. “Do you think you can take a shower by yourself?” He nodded but when he tried to get up he didn’t come far. “What did I say about being stubborn, just let me help.” You supported him from the bed and helped him out of his clothes until he was in his boxers. You checked him out and clicked your tongue because of the number of bruises on his body.

“I know it looks hideous, I’m sorry” you shook your head as you felt annoyed by his apology because he had done nothing to be sorry about. “Stop apologizing, you did nothing wrong.” This shut him right up, when you got him in the shower you made him wait as you needed to change into something else, you decided to put on shorts and a loose shirt with a bathing suit underneath it, this was going to be a new experience for sure.

You helped him stand under the shower after you got the right temperature, you let him stand for a few seconds as you reached for the shampoo, you used your own shampoo and you couldn’t help but smile at this because your shampoo smelt like strawberries. Lucky for you, you were just a few inches smaller than him so he didn’t have to bow and as you started to massage the shampoo he closed his eyes, you weren’t sure if he was enjoying it but he wasn’t complaining so that was good, right?

When the shampooing was done you had to wash his body and as you carefully put the body wash on him he started to tremble and it was upsetting to see but you had to do this and as you rinsed it off he suddenly pulled you against his body and buried his face in the crook of your neck, next thing you know he started to cry and the only thing you could do for him was to just hold him and that was exactly what you did.

His body stopped trembling after God knows how long and you felt his arms loosen their grip on you so you took a step back and looked at his face and decided that you were done, you dried his body as much as you could and left so that he could change his underwear, this way you could change as well but before you could pull a shirt over your head he came walking out but instead of feeling ashamed you quickly pulled the shirt over your head and grabbed him before he fell because you could definitely tell that he didn’t have any energy left.

The next few days went like this but you couldn’t be here all the time because of college but your mother took care of him whilst you were gone and he became better each day. At first, you were sleeping on the floor but now you slept in the same bed because he kept having nightmares and they stopped when you laid down next to him, the way he slept after you joined him was really adorable because he curled himself all around you. He didn’t say a lot but you still grew closer as you shared a lot of intimate moments and when he did talk, he told you about his childhood and you were surprised that he had a good childhood but it all stopped when his father decided to divorce his mother, that’s when everything changed and you couldn’t help but feel sad about it.

“Maybe I should go home” you were watching a movie after you returned from college and if anyone saw the two of you, you would think you were a couple that was dating for a long time, which wasn’t the case, you know he liked you but you were the one that was already in love with him and you really wished he was feeling the same way but you didn’t want to ask him, if he loved you, that would just be awkward..

“Why?”

“I’ve been here for almost two weeks, don’t you think I’ve stayed long enough?”

“No, you can stay here as long as you want, I don’t mind having you here.”

“Don’t you want your bed back?”

“No I don’t mind sharing it with you, I’m used to it by now.”

“Hmm, you know I love being here, your mother is so sweet.” You smiled at him and nodded “She is.”

“Then if you don’t mind, I will stay a bit longer.”

“Good.” you ruffled his hair, which made him chuckle and next thing you know he flipped you over and was hovering above you, not quite sure what to do you just looked away after a while when he suddenly pressed his lips against your cheek. “You don’t mind if I use your Piano right?” You shook your head because why in the world would you mind that?
“Good because I need to practice.” He sat up and walked over to the piano, you could see the fear when he sat down because his hands really were in a bad state when you found him but now it should be okay.

He took a deep breath and started playing and soon he was playing one of the most difficult pieces and he never made a mistake, you just sat there staring at him, you loved the way he played piano and to see the emotions change with every minute, it was something beautiful to see. “Play with me?” You got up and sat down next to you and you recognized the music when he started to play and you happened to know how to play it and together you lost track of time, you didn’t even notice your mother coming home with your little brother and they never once disturbed you two, they just sat down and watched you play, you stopped after a while as Yoongi got tired but you still wasn’t aware of your surroundings and as you turned to face Yoongi, he came closer and put his hand on your cheek. “Thank you for everything.” you just smiled and next thing you know he presses his lips against yours but this was short lived as you brother scraped his throat.

“Get a room will you?!” you almost fell from the bench as you sat back real fast and Yoongi was even chuckling “Welcome home bro.” he ruffled his hair as he walked back to the bedroom, giving us a bit of privacy. “My little dongsaeng.” you pulled him into a hug, which he absolutely hated but you just thought it was cute “Yah, let go Noona!” you laughed at this but did what he wanted and you took him to his bedroom, so he could get sorted. “Just let me know if you need something, okay?” he nodded and almost pushed you out of his room, this was too funny but you were happy he was finally home.

“Y/N, get in here!” you quickly walked into your room and closed the door and you couldn’t hide your smile when you saw Yoongi casually patting the empty space next to him so you did lay down next to him. “So where were we?” he got up and hovered over you and before you could do anything he had already pushed his lips against yours and this time there was no one stopping you. His one hand held onto your face and his other hand was gently caressing the side of your chest, which made your heart beat like crazy and he responded to this by deepening the kiss and his hand even went under your shirt and as he was caressing your stomach you couldn’t help but moan silently, this made him press his lower body against you and it was startling to feel him there but also really exciting but you knew you couldn’t let it go too far so when he slowly made his way up you stopped him but he didn’t remove his hand. “We can’t Yoongi,” you mumbled against his lips and you saw him nod slightly but he still didn’t move and you waited patiently for him to open his eyes and when he did, you almost forgot the reason why you said no. He kissed you again but this time you could tell he was holding back, probably for both our sakes.

“Just promise me, you will never leave me.” Which was stupid because how could you leave him, as your heart was already completely his. “I promise.” with that reassuring he got up to take a shower and you quickly messaged Jimin, as he asked you if you could come to the dance studio to practice one more time before the big show tomorrow, you hadn’t said anything to Yoongi about it because we hadn’t changed the dance much but now we did keep a bit of a distance especially after you told Jimin that you were dating Yoongi, you knew Yoongi would be angry but then again, this was your life so he should just respect it.

“Who are you texting?”

“Oh Jimin, he asked me something.” Yoongi narrowed his eyes but didn’t say anything because he knew you would completely ignore him if he said something bad about Jimin.

“So isn’t tomorrow the day of the showcase?” You nodded as you were going through your phone when he took it away from you. “Are you going to perform?”

“Of course I am, I’m playing the piano again.”

“Okay and nothing more.”

“Well I will be dancing but it’s nothing much.” you smiled at him and the scowl didn’t leave his face but again he said nothing and you were worried that he wouldn’t support you but he just took you in his arms. “Let’s sleep then, as you will have a big day tomorrow.” he kissed your temple and after a while, you fell asleep.

The next morning you left without waking Yoongi up because you were busy with rehearsals and as you walked into the dance studio Jimin was pacing through the room “You’re late!” you immediately checked your phone and it said 7 am, which we had agreed on through text. “I’m on time, stop being so nervous.”

“I’m not nervous.” you pulled up your eyebrow and just looked at him, this made him sigh deeply. “I’m sorry, let’s just start. Do you have to warm up first?”

“I do, I’m sorry just give me five minutes okay.” he waved you off and began stretching himself, you followed his example and after the five minutes were over Taehyung also entered the room and sat down to watch and film it, as Jimin liked to watch back rehearsals and it was fine for you, anything to help him out. “Let’s begin.” you nodded and took your place, this time Jimin started the dance and you joined him, the dance was still the same but not that intimate, which was fine but you weren’t sure about how it looked on stage and you were just hoping for the best.

“How did it look Tae?”

“Take a look for yourself, it looks good!” We both sat next to Taehyung as he replayed it again and it really did look good. “Y/N, I’m not sure about this version.”

“Why?”

“It’s missing something, don’t you think?” He was right, it lacked the usual chemistry that you shared but you couldn’t do that without hurting Yoongi but then again he wouldn’t be here right? “Jimin-sshi, if you are that worried let’s do the first version.”

“Are you sure about that?”

“No not really but it looked better, we just can’t kiss or anything.” he nodded understandingly and that’s when you rehearsed the first version one last time and it looked ten times better and after Jimin was satisfied, you quickly made your way into the music room and practiced the piece you would be playing on stage, this wasn’t really hard because you had learned a lot from Yoongi.

“It’s time.” your teacher knew how to make someone nervous, you had to start the show with your piano piece, so you didn’t have time to get mentally prepared and you just walked onto stage in a long black dress and as you cracked your fingers, you could hear the teacher cluck his tongue because he really didn’t like the way you prepared but you couldn’t play piano if you didn’t crack your fingers first.

It was completely silent in the hall as you played the beautiful piece and after you were done you got a standing ovation and with that the level was set for the entire evening and after you got dressed for the dance performance you suddenly felt nervous which Jimin saw, he quickly grabbed your hands “It will be fine, we have practiced so many times, so don’t worry.” you nodded and took a deep breath as you walked onto the stage and when the music started you fell in step with Jimin and you danced as if it was the last thing you would ever do, when the last part came you threw your all into it, so it got to the intimate point and as he held you close, Jimin actually crossed the line and tried to kiss you but you saw it coming and moved your head to the side which made him kiss your cheek, you heard the gasps but you couldn’t stop in the middle of the dance. When the dance ended people were giving you again a standing ovation and they were cheering loudly, which was always great to hear but this time you couldn’t enjoy it and the second the curtains were closed you slapped him and walked away but the minute you walked backstage you stopped and locked eyes with an angry Yoongi.




Previous <—————> Next

Rooftops: Mikey x Reader

WARNING: NONE

Requested by: Anonymous

Hello (⌒▽⌒) god I absolutely love you and your blog! Your an awesome writer! ♥‿♥ if it’s not to much trouble could you please write a Mikey x reader were the reader is on the roof playing video games on there laptop or something and he’s watching there cute reaction and then he trips and reveals himself but there super chill and invites him to play or chill with them please? Is this to pacific? I don’t want to pressure you I just thought this would be cute 😂

Keep reading

a necklace inspirated by SectoBoss’ widowtracer fanfiction London Calling

“I asked Winston to make this in case you decided to do a runner after all,” she said, her voice muffled. “But I think it’ll make a good welcoming gift too…” She re-emerged, holding a small box in one hand.

For one heart-stopping moment Widowmaker thought Tracer was about to ask her to marry her. Considering what had happened to her last partner, she was not completely on board with the idea.

But instead Tracer flipped the box open and produced a small necklace, a triangle of white metal with a small blue gem that glowed at its centre.

Widowmaker took it in her hands and was suddenly struck by how much it resembled the chronal accelerator humming on Tracer’s chest.

“It was supposed to be in memory of the machine that gave you so much bloody grief over the last few weeks,” Tracer said bashfully, tapping the housing of her accelerator. “But now it can be a reminder of your favourite Overwatch member!” she trilled with the cockiest grin Widowmaker thought she’d ever seen.

– SectoBoss, London Calling

Sick

I’m the worst person uploading things, I’m very sorry. This imagine hasn’t got any sense but hope you like it anyway!            


We were moving to Los Angeles, Shawn needed to stay in there for a few months and opportunely   I also had to, because of a film i will starting to shoot in a couple of weeks.

So apparently the best idea was moving together.

The bad thing is that I have been living in Europe for the past six months, and I have to pack everything I have in here plus the few things I had back in Toronto.

At first I felt sad because I already had a life in here but moving to Los Angeles would mean to see Shawn every single day. So when I realized I was actually moving with my boyfriend I felt nervous, but I also felt a tremendous amount of happiness because our long trips to see each other once a month were coming to an end.

The thing is that I have to go back to Toronto, pick everything that I have there in less than a day and then I have to catch a flight to Los Angeles, taking into account the time difference that I have to suffer.

So when I arrived to Toronto, I literally wanted to die, it was super cold and I didn’t even know what time was.

But I didn’t have enough time to go to sleep so I went to my parent’s house to collect my things in the quickest way possible and hoping that maybe I will have enough time for a little nap later.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time so when I finished packing my things I called a cab and I went directly to the airport.

I felt very tired, so when my throat began to hurt I instantly thought that the only thing I needed was to arrive home.

After the flight to Los Angeles I was even feeling worst and as soon as I land I called Shawn to let him know that he could come and pick me up from the airport.

He came in a cab and he helped me to put all of my luggages inside the trunk. Our new house was near the airport so we arrived in less than 20 minutes.

“Hey Y/N you haven’t say a word since we took the cab, are you okay?”

“ I think I’m getting sick so it will be better if you stay away from me”

“Are you kidding me? If you don’t feel well I will help you to feel better, that’s why I’m here “

“I don’t want to pass on you whatever thing I have” You say while Shawn opens the door of your new apartment.

You really feel bad for refusing his offer but it is for the best.

“Okay then, we can tidy everything up when you feel better”

“So go to change your clothes I will wait on the couch with maybe some pop corns and a marathon of The Walking Dead?” He said coming towards you.

“Can I kiss you Y/N?”

“Shawn, seriously I’ve already told you”

I felt bad refusing his kiss, I was aware that the only thing he wanted was for me to feel better but I couldn’t take the risk of him being sick, he need his voice. So I went upstairs and change into a Shawn’s sweatshirt. As soon as I was dress up I went downstairs. First to the kitchen to make me a tea, I needed something hot for my throat, and then I went to the living room where Shawn was already waiting for me with my favorite TWD episode on the TV.

“Shawn you made it on purpose right?”

“Wait, what, me? I don’t know what you’re talking about”

“I love you”

“Yeah, that’s what you say, but if you really love me you would let me kiss you”

“Are we gonna argue now? Cause that’s the last thing I can bare now. I love you and that’s why you have to keep yourself away from me”

“ It’s not like that Y/N, I’m worried about you and I want you to feel better, can we, at least, cuddle? Please”

“Okay Mendes, but only because you’re giving me that face”

“Whatever babe, but come here now, please”

“I might hate you now”


After doing the marathon you were very tired so you decided to go to bed without Shawn. After two hours trying to sleep you got up because you were feeling very cold so you decided to go back to the living room.

“Shawn, do we have a thermometer?”

“Yes, it’s inside the emergency box that is on the bathroom but wait, I will go with you”

Once you were on the bathroom you took your temperature and sadly you had fever.

“So here’s what we’re gonna do. You are going to take a paracetamol to control your temperature and some cough expectorant. If tomorrow you continue having fever we’ll go to the doctor. Maybe this is my fault after all. I’m sure you have tonsillitis”

“Shawn, we haven’t seen each other since last month. I think it has been because of all the traveling”  You stated

“I know, I was trying to persuade you so you let me take care of you”  

“ I really love you, Mendes”  

“I love you too, let’s try and  get some sleep”   

bedeliainwonderland  asked:

Are headcanons alright? If so, tell me your headcanon about Hannibal and Bedelia's first meeting (which I might steal :D)

Your request for a headcanon turned into a ficlet! I still like to believe they never officially met before he started therapy with her, but here’s another variation on that theme. 


He notices her just as the house lights begin to dim, a lightning flash of gold and silvery grey slicing through the darkness of the opera house. Her profile and the elegant posture of her shoulders would not have been out of place among the noblewomen Botticelli painted into immortality. Her cheekbones remind him of his favorite cleaver, sharp and deadly. He imagines caressing them with the palm of his hand.

For the next forty-five minutes, Hannibal’s sole attention is directed more toward the strange woman in the box opposite his than toward the prima donna on the stage. The latter is a little flat tonight anyway.

The seat beside her remains empty throughout the first act. Had she been waiting for someone—a lover—who stood her up? The idea is impossible. Hannibal concludes this rarified creature must be as lonely as he is. He spends the last fifteen minutes of the act calculating how best to approach her.

During the first few measures of the entr’acte, their eyes meet across the crowded opera house. Hers are a perfect ice water blue, the color of a forget-me-not blooming in early spring. She sees him.

Hannibal drifts to the bar, a lightness in his gait, blood pumping with a heat he had not felt in years. He orders two coupes of French 75 and waits for her to emerge from her box, so he may press the effervescent drink into her hand and whisper flirtations into her ear. He waits and waits, but the blonde woman is not among the crowd of patrons. The ushers flash the lights, signaling the start of the next act, but she is nowhere to be found. The bubbles of the cocktail have gone flat and the drink tastes bitter to his lips instead of sweet.

The woman’s box remains empty throughout the second act. And the third. It makes Hannibal’s heart feel empty in return. He feels this near-brush with destiny very keenly, a nearly physical thing, the teacup once again slipping his grasp and shattering on the floor.

*

Six months later, Hannibal holds a small rectangle in his hand, a woman’s name and telephone number embossed on heavy-weight linen paper. He had called the number and been impressed with the cultured vowels, the firm but gentle tone of the woman on the telephone. He had been assured that Dr. Du Maurier was the finest Baltimore had to offer, that she was to the mind what a bespoke tailor was to the body. He had become acquainted with her words on paper; her prose was robust, incisive, her deductions merciless. He had never seen her in the flesh, though he got the impression that many of his colleagues found her so beautiful as to be intimidating.

He would have nothing less for himself.

He rings the doorbell at 4:30PM on the dot. The heavy bronze door is whisked aside by a blonde woman; her stature is petite, but she projects an authority that makes her seem inches taller. Her lovely shoulders are covered by a moss and chocolate herringbone tweed, last season’s Chanel, he thinks, and her hair curls around her face in ribbons of spun gold. Blue eyes—that perfect forget-me-not blue—meet his and she says, “Please come in.”

Hannibal smiles, warm and broad. The teacup, for once, has again come together in his hands. He resolves to hold this one very carefully.