I write a bad pick up line on your cup every time I’m your barista’ Or ‘Should I be concerned about how much caffeine you’re taking in’ For Percabeth
“Coffee guy has a crush on you,” Piper says without preamble, flicking a page in her reading.
“Uh huh,” Annabeth mutters, dragging a highlighter over a line in her book. It’s only after she’s finished an irritated scribble in the margin that the words really penetrate. She glances up at her friend, who is leaning across the table looking amused. “What? No. Don’t be ridiculous.”
“I’m always ridiculous. And always right. He keeps refilling your coffee.”
Annabeth, who has been lost in a haze of architecture for longer than the hour Piper has been sitting in the cafe with her, has not really been aware of her drink being refilled. She’s reached for her mug when she wanted a drink, and the mug has always had coffee in it. The logical inconsistency between the amount of times she’d reached for the cup and the cup never being empty had not really jumped out at her until now.
“If he’s refilling my coffee and not yours, that just makes him rude.”
“Oh, no. He’s been refilling mine. When you started swearing at your book before, it nearly overflowed, and it wasn’t because he was scandalised.”
Annabeth sighs, refusing to glance over her shoulder at the coffee guy in question. It’s not like she doesn’t already know what he looks like, the guy is six foot tall with a build like an Olympian swimmer and a jawline that could cut glass. She manages to drag her brain to a halt before it starts listing things to compare his eye colour to: Piper is smirking at her reading in a way that suggests she’s learnt how to read minds.
“He was probably impressed with my command of the english language.”
“He was impressed with something, all right.” Piper shuts her folder with a snap. “Right, i’m done here.”
“That reading was fifty-one pages, you’re so full of shit.”
“The fact that you know how long my readings are is terrifying, you know that?”
“Do your homework!”
“Can’t hear you, running away to get a restraining order!” She’s halfway to the door by the time she sing-songs that, leaving Annabeth with her nearly empty coffee mug and a cafe full of people giving her the stink eye.
“If you need an alibi, I can testify that you’ve been here pretty much all day.”
Coffee guy has a nice voice. Warm, smooth, just this side of deep without sounding like the trailer guy. It takes Annabeth an embarrassing amount of time to register that she’s thinking this because he’s standing right next to her, holding a coffee pot. It’s a good thing her self control is world renowned, because she uses all of it to keep from jumping out of her skin.
“What? I - no, she’s joking. We’re friends. Really.”
His grin is distractingly crooked. “I’m convinced.”
“I’m gonna kill her,” Annabeth mutters, hoping against hope that she’s not blushing, or something equally ridiculous.
“That’s probably not going to help in court.”
Her brain is - slowly - retreating out of coffee-and-study survival mode. A joke, she realises belatedly, and the rueful laugh escapes her before she can think to bite it back. And - something in coffee guy’s shoulders relaxes, just a little bit. Nervous, she thinks, and finds herself predisposed to like him. Smart boys know to think very carefully before approaching Annabeth Chase, and that’s the way she likes it.
She tucks an errant curl behind her ear. “I’ll plea insanity. Over-caffeination.” She glances down at her cup. “Actually, would you mind–?”
His face scrunches up with something like concern. “That’ll be your sixth cup.”
“Aren’t you the guy who’s been topping me up?”
“Grover seemed to think you might, I dunno, eat us or something if you ran out. I was protecting the good people of the cafe, but apparently cutting you off means stopping a murder.”
A groan escapes her, something like shame crawling up the back of her throat. Annabeth knows she’s got a serious case of resting bitch face (and she’ll fight anyone who suggests that’s a problem),but she doesn’t want the entire campus to be terrified of her.
“I’m not…actually some hyper-violent lady with a hair-trigger, honestly.”
“Oh hey no, I didn’t mean to–” And he’s groaning? He rubs the back of his neck, which is slowly turning red, and Annabeth starts to feel less off-kilter. “I’m bad at flirting.”
She’s definitely going to murder Piper. This is her fault somehow, Annabeth’s sure.
“Same,” she rushes out, before over-thinking can make this even messier. Her whole body feels energised, jittery, and she doesn’t think it’s the coffee. “Um. Just one more refill? To get me through the last bit of this chapter?”
“Wh - uh, right. Sure!” He squints at her. “You don’t mind?”
Annabeth rocks her mug from side to side, watching the dregs of her drink slosh from side to side. Black, no sugar. It seems like the safer option right now.
She takes a breath.
“Haven’t decided yet,” she says. “I’ll let you know when i’m done with this chapter.”
She’s not looking at him directly, but his grin is wide enough to be seen from space, let alone the corner of her eye.
“You got it,” he says happily, topping her mug off. He’s on the verge of pulling away when he pauses, like he’s remembered something. “It’s Percy, by the way. So you don’t have to keep calling me coffee guy.”
And then he’s gone, leaving Annabeth to seriously reconsider committing that murder.
Drabble prompt: Where one of them has insomnia and can only sleep when they are cuddle up in the other ones arms (please please pretty pleaseeeee)
Awwww i love this prompt, anon!! And I had exactly half an hour to do it- so i apologize if it seems rushed! But this is the cutest prompt <3
Isak: Come over
Even: It’s 1:30am
Isak: …. and yet you are still awake :D :D
Even: sleep is the cousin to death. didn’t i tell you this?
Isak: I’m about to be the cousin to death if I don’t get some sleep
Even: then why are you texting me??
Isak: I can’t fall asleep. That’s why I need you here.
Even: insomnia again?
Isak: it’s a bitch
what does that mean
He really shouldn’t be surprised. Even is kind of fucking extra like this. But still, at the first sign of knocking at the front door, Isak sits up in bed, cocks his head, and curses; making his way down the hall.
And opens the door.
Even stands there half asleep, half leaning against the doorway, before moving to gesture to himself in some kind of a ‘ta da!!’ motion.
“Halla.” Isak says, stupidly gaping at Even (the shirtless fuck. Did he really go outside and walk to Isak’s in nothing but sleep pants?)
Even yawns and leans down to peck Isak’s forehead, “Halla.”
“I was kidding about you coming here.”
Even rolls his eyes and brushes past Isak, heading to his room, “Liar.”
(Okay, yeah, so Isak was 100% serious when he begged him to come over. But like- he didn’t think Even actually would. It’s a school night for fuck’s sake.)
Even collapses on Isak’s bed as he reached it, automatically crawling to his side and sliding under the covers. When Isak stares dumbly from the doorway, he opens his arms, “Come on. Let’s get some sleep.”
And this was- this was a lot.
Even got out of bed at in the morning for him. Because Isak couldn’t sleep. Who does that?
“Are you going to stand there all night?”
Isak blinks and shuffles to his side of the bed, climbing in and immediately burrowing into the arms that slid around his waist. Even looks half-gone already, eyes drooping and breaths coming slower but he smiles softly, brushing an errant curl from Isak’s face.
“I thought sleep was the cousin to death?”
Even makes some hybrid noise between a chuckle and a yawn and God Isak loves him. He hasn’t told Even yet, but the feeling is strong in his chest.
“Death seems much more appealing with you in my arms.”
“That’s so fucking morbid.”
Even pinches the sensitive skin of Isak’s hips, “You know what I mean.”
Isak does, because suddenly the warmth of Even is almost over shadowed by- or rather leads to- the feeling of exhaustion creeping in. Isak feels his lids shudder, so he burrows closer into the crook of Even’s arm, kissing his bicep.
“Thank you,” Isak whispers, knowing that Even is already sound asleep.
And he follows so quickly after him that the hours of tossing and turning without Even seem almost comical.
Warnings: Rough-ish semi public sex, alcohol, drunken confessions, praise kink, light choking, some angst.
It usually wasn’t like this.
Usually, it started with a few mugs and Gaston’s drunken confessions of love or lust for chaser women around town. After a couple years, it became Belle whom he continuously confessed his love for, and their nights in the tavern became even more painful for Lefou. But he just gave his advice, got himself drunk too, and pretended later that Gaston had taken him home, not Marie, in place of Belle, from down the road.
Tonight, it was different. Something felt out of sorts, as if Gaston’s laughs were a little weaker, as if his thoughts were elsewhere. Sometimes, he had nights like this, Lefou noticed- sobriety within the many glasses of alcohol pounded back. These were the nights Gaston thought of the war, and the nights where Lefou found it most appropriate to retell stories of his military chivalry to all the villagers who knew the stories well, yet enjoyed them more each time.
But tonight, Lefou’s praise wasn’t affecting his friend the way it usually did… it could be because Gaston had faced another scathing rejection that day, or it could be because he was loosening up more than he normally let himself.
“Lefou,” Gaston proclaimed, slapping his friend on the shoulder, “You’re the best.” Lefou’s spirits skyrocketed- they always did when Gaston actually complimented him back- rare occurrence. “How is it that no girl has snatched you up yet?”
Lefou paused, watching his best friend’s eyes… how his long eyelashes would flutter on eyelids that periodically drooped. He watched his pink lips curling around the mug as he took another swig, and wondered how one man could be so stupidly handsome. Lefou’s eyes fell to the stubble around his mouth, up his jaw, up to his perfectly coiffed hair that never seemed out of place. Then, he allowed himself to gaze down over Gaston’s heaving chest, as Gaston was probably too drunk by now to notice. His shirt was open tonight in the heat, and Lefou noticed the small scar over the top of his right pectoral- he remembered that scar from war.
“Hm?” the tall, brawny man reminded Lefou of his question, and Lefou sat forward a little. Was this the right time to tell him?
Would it ever be?
“I don’t know, they say I’m clingy, but I don’t get it,” Lefou went with, biting his lip.
“Clingy?” Gaston repeated, a slight slur in his voice, “Mmm… I suppose I can see that.”
Lefou frowned a little, but Gaston let out a laugh, row of white teeth on display.
“In a good way.”
“Good… good to know,” Lefou tried to smile, chuckling awkwardly. Gaston had his hand on Lefou’s shoulder still, and his hand was rubbing deep ministrations into the tense muscle there.
“Lefou…” Gaston started again, almost hesitant this time, but eventually chose to polish off his beer instead of finishing.
Lefou continued to watch him closely, then started to rise. “Well, it’s getting late-“
“I love you so much, you know.”
Lefou just about spit his drink, falling back into his seat.
“Are you all… alright, Lefou?” Gaston asked, barely able to coherently comfort his friend in his state.
“I’m,” Lefou mumbled, suppressing his noises of utter disbelief and joy as Gaston rested his head on Lefou’s shoulder, nuzzling in closer. Lefou almost felt dirty for enjoying this, as if he was taking advantage of his friend’s drunken stupor to fulfill his own fantasy… but then again, he wasn’t exactly forcing Gaston to play with his hair like a lovesick boy. If that physical contact wasn’t enough, the tall hunter began to stroke his fingers across Lefou’s cheek, and took to playing with another errant curl falling there.
“I really think we should…” Lefou breathed, looking at the door, but he didn’t quite know how he wanted to end that sentence.
“So do I,” Gaston nodded, and stood up, grabbing Lefou by the hand. Lefou stammered something, and almost tripped over his feet as he followed Gaston to the door. They weren’t even ten feet out before Gaston grabbed Lefou by the wrists and slammed him up against the wall of the tavern.
“H-here?” Lefou murmured, looking around. It was dark, but not dark enough to protect Gaston’s reputation, in his opinion.
“Can’t wait,” Gaston simply replied by way of breathless heave, and tucked Lefou’s hair back to mouth along his neck.
“Okay, wow,” Lefou said softly. It appeared that he hadn’t been the only one harbouring frustration, or so he could tell by the intimidating bulge in Gaston’s breeches.
“Turn around,” Gaston whispered, and Lefou quickly did as he asked, shoving down the slight twinge of disappointment. What, you expected him to want you facing each other? he taunted himself, staring into each other’s eyes like Romeo and Juliet? Lefou then sighed in bliss as he felt his friend’s hardness rub against his hip from behind.
“Gaston-” Lefou began to murmur, but Gaston silenced him with fingers wrapping around his neck.
Lefou swallowed, anticipation eating him up, and when he did finally get his breeches down, he was as hard as Gaston, even more desperate.
“So lovely,” Gaston mused, voice low and rough with arousal as he dragged a finger along Lefou’s skin, “Can’t believe I haven’t had you at least once before.”
I’ve been right here in front of you this whole time, yours for the taking, Lefou wanted to scream, but this simply came out as an effeminately gasped, “Take me, Gaston.”
Lefou was again silenced by the strong grip around his neck. He could hear the sounds of Gaston taking himself out of his pants and spitting in his hand, and craved to turn and look at what he imagined having nearly every night. But, he remained pressed against the wall, Gaston’s fingers slowly teasing him and-
“Ohhhh,” the smaller man managed, and Gaston smirked behind him, stretching his friend’s hole. He was tight, but not as tight as some of the virgins he had fucked… Gaston got the impression that Lefou must understand himself enough to know what he needed to do for pleasure.
The ex-captain let out a low hum, lining himself up as best he could with somewhat double vision. He then ripped open Lefou’s waistcoat hungrily and pulled down his shirt to reveal his bare shoulder, and sank his teeth into the soft flesh there. A couple of villagers came stumbling out of the tavern, so Gaston reached around to hold his hand over Lefou’s mouth. When they were gone, he let go, and Lefou arched his back as Gaston probed him further open.
“How am I doing?” Gaston slurred, and Lefou almost laughed. Even in the heat of the moment, the man needed praise and validation.
“So good,” he panted, and, confidence sufficiently bolstered, Gaston finally smirked and pushed in. Lefou shrieked a little, then remembered to keep his voice down.
“Is this what I’ve been missing?” Gaston murmured, moaning softly as his head rolled back, and Lefou squeezed his eyes shut, wanting so badly to believe this wasn’t the alcohol talking. Soon, the two had a rhythm going- Gaston pounded in full force, Lefou loving every minute of it. This was all he ever wanted…
This, possibly, and something a little more; something Lefou doubted Gaston could give, but after tonight’s miracle, he’d be willing to believe enchanted teapots really did exist.
“How about now?” Gaston asked, as Lefou was once again shoved against the stone wall with a thrust.
“Mmm, but what would you do if I did stop?” Gaston asked hazily, quirking a sexy brow, “If I left you like this, hard and begging for me?”
“I…” Lefou moaned, “Please don’t…“
"What would you do?”
“I'd… hit you.”
“You’d hit me?” Gaston asked, amused.
“Yes,” Lefou growled, pushing back into Gaston’s next thrust defiantly, and the tall man groaned at the flash of disobedience. “Please may I come now, sir?” Lefou asked, and Gaston’s jaw clenched in arousal at the title. After a minute, he spoke.
“Lefou, we’re dearest of friends,” Gaston smiled wickedly, “We confide in one another, have lived through hell together. Address me as you would. Say my name. I know you want to.”
“Oh, Gaston,” Lefou said desperately, gasping as he felt himself approach.
“Yes, that’s it,” Gaston coaxed, his brow furrowing as he felt himself begin to throb as well. Lefou felt Gaston’s cock pulsing inside of him, so he decided to finish the job with a bang.
“You are the greatest lover I’ve ever taken, Gaston. You’re huge, you’re fast, like a predator and I love it, I love you claiming me like I’m nothing but game.” His fists tightened as he slammed them into the wall. “And everyone knows who comes out on top when you accept a challenge.” Gaston’s thrusts were beginning to speed up, and Lefou grinned, knowing what it did to the man. “I’m so lucky to feel your big cock inside of me, filling me up like this. Anyone would be so lucky.”
Gaston let out a feral growl, and tugged Lefou’s hair back. Lefou let out his own shaky moan, and came against the wall in spurts. Gaston felt Lefou’s orgasm, how his friend shuddered under his touch like just another brothel maid but different, and that pushed him over the edge as well.
After they had come down, Gaston softened and pulled out. Lefou righted himself, wiping off the wall and pulling his ripped waistcoat back up over his shoulder to cover the bite marks and hickeys- he didn’t even want to think of the stitching nightmare this would be. Gaston buttoned up his breeches, taking a deep, satisfied breath, and ran a hand through his hair. He seemed to have sobered up much more now, and Lefou gazed into his eyes hopefully, offering a small smile. Gaston took his hands, and Lefou waited expectantly for the confession. They stared at each other, Gaston almost, almost leaning down to brush their lips together… then his grip tightened, a cold scowl developing on his lips.
“Let me get one thing straight,” he said quietly, “Belle is the woman I’m going to marry.”
With that, he looked around, and set off home. Left alone in the moonlight with Gaston’s markings all over his body and the evidence of their intimacy dripping out of him, Lefou watched him leave, and straightened his back.
“Belle is the woman he’s going to marry,” he told himself, “But I’m the man he’s going to fuck.”
Going his own way home, Lefou slicked his own hair back just as Gaston had, smiled assuredly, and convinced himself that’s truly all he wanted.
could you write a small snipet of how you think Bellarke's first makeout session would go, nothing too long.
Clarke moves first.
Everything is always on her terms with them, and that’s fine. He doesn’t mind. Wants her to be comfortable.
But when their lips touch for the first time, with her hands cupping his face and the tips of her fingers just brushing his errant curls, Bellamy recognizes his cue and takes something for himself.
He grabs her by the waist, pulling her closer. She exhales in surprise when their torsos line up flush against each others, her warm breath tickling his lips and chin. Now that he has a grip on her, he guides her backwards until she’s pressed against the wall.
His left hand leaves her waist, trailing down over the curve of her ass and the strong muscle of her thigh, curling around the back of her knee and hooking it up over his hip. The soft moan that leaves her is quite possible the best sound he’s ever heard.
“Bellamy,” she sighs, and it’s for no reason other than to say his name, to reinforce that he’s here with her.
“I know,” he murmurs back. He nips teasingly at her bottom lip, a question.
Clarke threads both hands through his hair, her nails scraping his scalp, an answer.
He licks into her mouth greedily, his hands tightening on her leg and waist at the sweet taste of her. She cants her hips up, grinding her center against his and smiling against his lips when he groans in response.
They make it to the bed, eventually, then the shower. They take advantage of every comfortable space that Becca’s mansion has to offer. The world is ending in twenty-four hours, but right now, it doesn’t matter.
It hadn’t been very difficult to spot Sherlock’s certain tastes in the bedroom, or elsewhere as a matter of fact. Simply having to take a look at his face when John took charge of a situation was telling enough. However, Sherlock’s face as John stepped into their bedroom in full uniform, was priceless. Sherlock sat bolt upright, the book he had been reading was left abandoned to slip onto the floor, watching John stride in with his hands tucked behind his back from the corner of Sherlock’s eyes his teeth resting on his bottom lip in a light bite. John hazarded a smirk as he stopped next to the bed, jutting his chin out as he stared down at Sherlock, “is that any way to greet your commanding officer?” he growled, “stand up.” he continued, a small smirk playing at the edge of his lips as he watched Sherlock swallow as he shifted off the bed.
John’s boots clunked along the wooden floor as he paced around Sherlock slowly, glancing him up and down before stopping in front of him “hm, straighten your back” he purred as he reached out and guided Sherlock’s body into the correct position, his roughened hands running along his sides before he stepped back and nodded as he studied him “better.” John took his cap off and tossed it to the side as he ran his fingers through his hair and smirked up at Sherlock as he studied his eyes “nothing to say?” he purred as he stalked towards him, running his hand back up his side.
“It is… a surprise” Sherlock replied slowly, and John gave him a grin before pushing him back down onto the bed “I suppose it is, but I’ve been aware of your… inclinations, for a short while” John hummed as he started to remove his uniform “how could I do anything but adhere to my subordinates wishes” he smirked as he slipped his shirt off, dog tags resting against his chest.
Sherlock shifted further back onto the bed and rested back on his elbows as he watched John shed his uniform and swallowed as he studied him “indeed, captain” he agreed as the bed shifted under John’s weight as he knelt down on the bed, his camouflage trousers still on as he moved closer to Sherlock, his hand slipping along his trouser clad thigh as he pressed closer. John squeezed as he brought Sherlock closer for a kiss, his other hand slipping around the back of his neck, playing with the curls at the nape of his neck, deepening the kiss slowly before tugging his hair sharply. Sherlock pulled back slightly as he let out a groan, sliding his hand down John’s chest and narrowed his eyes as he used the dog tags to pull him back close but there was a small smile on his lips as he met John’s eyes.
John hummed with a small smirk before shifting away, leaning back on his knees as he watched Sherlock for a moment “strip” he commanded and tilted his head to the side slightly as he smirked, Sherlock slipped his shirt down over his shoulders and let it slip off the side of his bed as he looked up to meet John’s eyes, a few errant curls falling into his eyes as he unbuckled his belt, shimmying his way out of his trousers. John smirked “that’s enough” he barked, leaving Sherlock in his pants.
John pushed Sherlock down and slipped between his legs, pressing hot open mouthed kisses along the column of his neck as he pushed his fingers under the elastic of his pants, smirking at the sound of Sherlock gasping out his name “call me captain” he purred as he shifted up enough to look down at his face. Watching on as the bright red flush appeared on the tips of Sherlock’s ears and he leant down to nip one as he squeezed at his member “c’mon, that’s an order” he growled against his ear as he squeezed, Sherlock’s breath hitching in his throat.
Sherlock twisted on the bed as his back arched up, trying to move as much as possible into John’s touch. Gripping at his own, sweat dampened, hair as he let out a low groan “captain” he muttered as he bore down onto John’s fingers. Tilting his head to the side as open mouthed kisses were placed along his neck, eyes rolling back a bit “you’ve been such a good boy” came the low purr, making Sherlock shudder slightly as John’s fingers suddenly pulled out of him and he shook his head lightly as he shifted against the pillows, looking down at John who had started to take his camouflage trousers off and he shook his head reaching out to place a hand on his hip and the other over the dog tags “leave them on” he whispered, his voice a little hoarse “captain.” He finished as he met John’s eyes.
John smirked to himself as he placed a hand over the one resting on his hip as slid his hand along his arm as he knelt over him “as you wish.” He purred, slipping his member out of his boxers and unzipped trousers. John squeezed at Sherlock’s hips and bit at his neck as he pushed in slowly, feeling Sherlock twisting underneath him. Running his hand along his thigh before lifting his leg up to get a better angle, bringing his hand down against his thigh hard enough to leave a bruise. Smirking as he listened to the breath hitching in Sherlock’s throat.
Sherlock dug his nails into John’s shoulders as he arched his hips up into the sensation, feeling the material of John’s trousers rubbing against his over sensitized skin with each thrust. The cool metal of the dog tags pressing against his chest as each movement got more desperate, the smell of sweat and sex strong in the air as Sherlock felt the urge to release starting to pool in his stomach. Sherlock pressed his face into the curve of John’s throat as he groaned out, come smattering across his stomach as he released, his nails dragging along John’s back.
Clarke looked around and smiled for it was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, it was a warm 30 degrees and seven inches of fresh powder fell overnight. She pulled her goggles down over her face and pointed her skis towards the bottom of the black diamond run and she was off. It was early morning and the slopes were all but deserted. It was quiet and peaceful, just the way she liked it. Memories of her father filled her mind while the swoosh of her skis cutting through the freshly groomed trail filled her ears. Her father Jake had put her on skis as soon as her chubby little legs were strong enough to walk. She often thought about him as she descended down the mountain. She knew her dad would be so proud of her. She was pre-med at the University of Colorado Boulder or CU as it was affectionately called. Jake putting her on skis and her sticking with it ensured that she would have a full ride scholarship. She was good, more than good and she knew it. Her coach even talked about a possible 2018 Olympic run. She was that good.
Clarke excelled at all of the downhill skiing events but her specialty was the Super G. She loved the speed, the danger and the thrill (but mostly the speed). The slalom was her dad’s event when he was a skier and he coached her youth team, fostering her love and appreciation for the slalom events. Clarke was lost deep in her happy memories when a red blur whizzed by her before stopping at the end of the trail with a spray of snow. Clarke knew that red blur; she could pick that red blur out of a crowd anywhere. Clarke came to a stop next to the blur, being sure to catch the skier with her own snow spray.
Lexa Woods. Of course Lexa Woods was here. She was only the University of Denver’s top ranked skier. DU and CU had long been divisional rivals and every record Clarke set in her college career was summarily smashed by Lexa Woods. Lexa Woods and her smug smirk and her beautiful green eyes. Wait? What? Who said that? Beautiful? Ok, so maybe she was beautiful, maybe she was the most beautiful woman Clarke had ever seen in her twenty-one years.
“Taking it easy on training today Griffin?” Beautiful until she opened her mouth that was plastered with a shit-eating grin.
“Its only my first run of the day, I’m just warming up.” Clarke answered sharply.
“First run? This is my fifth. I see someone likes to sleep in. That kind of work ethic isn’t going to help CU win the championship this year.” Ugh, she was the worst. Why did her eyes have to be such a pretty shade of green?
But, the gauntlet had been dropped. “I’ll have you know that we are more than ready to whip your collective asses this year Woods.”
“Whip my ass?” Lexa said with a sexy smirk. “I’m looking forward to it.”
“See ya later Griffin.” And with that Lexa skied off to the lift, clearly ready for her sixth run of the morning.
Clarke headed for the lodge, undoubtedly annoyed by her run-in with Lexa. Lexa and her pretty curly brown hair and sexy ass that looked incredible in her skin-tight spandex racing suit. Get your shit together Griffin! She needed a coffee or a whiskey or both. Something to take her mind off of the very infuriating Lexa Woods.
Clarke opted for only the coffee as she was in training and plopped down next to the team’s equipment manager and her bff Raven Reyes.
Raven looked up from the bindings she was adjusting and greeted her pal. “Sup Griff!”
Clarke could only grunt out a gruff response “Woods, that’s what’s up.”
Raven rolled her eyes “Ugh she’s the woooorst.”
Clarke appreciated the sentiment “I know right?”
“You’re gonna beat her this year Clarkey. You’ve been ripping it up lately. No way she’s gonna keep up with you this time.”
“Hey, I heard the opened the ungroomed forest trails, wanna get out the rock skis and hit them up?” Raven asked with a waggle of her eyebrows.
“Wanna get us kicked off the team when we get hurt because we were doing stupid shit?” Clarke responded.
“Griff you’re one of the best skiers in the country and I’m not even on the team, I manage the shit out of this equipment.” Raven added while pointing out the plethora of skis, bindings and boots that lay out in front of her.
Raven put on her best puppy dog eyes. “C’mon, you’ve been training like crazy and I’ve got cabin fever, a little fun is exactly what we need. Please????”
Clarke pinched the bridge of her nose in exasperation. “You’re a bad influence, you know that right?”
“Oh I’m a terrible influence, but you still love me.”
Clarke only smiled at her goofy friend. “Let’s go.”
Clarke and Raven arrived at the top of the mountain stopping only for a moment to appreciate the picturesque scenery before heading off to the forest trail. These were expert only, at your own risk trails, they weren’t groomed or patrolled and they were definitely not for the faint of heart, but Clarke secretly loved them. It was skiing as it was meant to be, just the skier, the snow, and the mountain. It was also incredibly perilous and deeply exhilarating, one slip or misplaced turn and you were headed face first into the nearest tree.
They were making their way through the trail at an easy pace, wanting to enjoy the day and the backdrop, neither ready to reach the bottom and jump back into their responsibilities. Then out of the corner of her eye she spotted the red blur as it flew by her again for the second time today. Lexa Woods was like a bad hangover she just couldn’t recover from. Leaving her with a pounding headache and an upset stomach, maybe those were butterflies, but whatever.
Then she saw it, the little brown bunny that sprung out from the tree line and hopped right in front of Lexa. The bunny just froze on the trail as Lexa tried to adjust and turn quickly to avoid squishing the poor thing under her skis. Clarke was a good thirty feet behind Lexa but she heard the crash as clear as if she was standing right next to her. She looked back at Raven who pulled up next to her and they both took off down the trail towards Lexa.
The bunny bounded away unharmed as Clarke popped out her bindings and Raven followed suit. Lexa was sprawled out motionless on her stomach, skis and poles strewn about the nearby forest. Clarke kneeled next to her head.
“Lexa?” Lexa didn’t move and Clarke was terrified that she was seriously injured. She turned to Raven, “Rae, go get the ski patrol and get them up here, I’ll stay with her.”
“Clarke.” Raven wanted to object but she could tell by Clarke’s tone that she was serious. “Ok, I’ll get them right up here.”
Clarke watched as Raven stepped back in her bindings and skied off down the trail. Her pre-med training kicked in and she made a visual evaluation of Lexa’s body. Nothing looked broken; she was wearing a helmet so hopefully no head injury, and Clarke couldn’t see any blood. All good signs so far.
Clarke let out the breath she didn’t even know she was holding. Lexa was conscious, that was a very good sign.
“I know you’re still here, but I am far too embarrassed to turn over and look at you. I’m fine, you can go down and catch your friend.”
Clarke shook her head at Lexa’s obvious stubbornness. “No, not until you let me look you over and make sure you’re ok.”
“Why would I let you look me over?”
Clarke let out an exasperated sigh. “Woods I’m pre-med, I am more than capable of administering simple first aid, now stop being a stubborn jackass and turn over so I can check you out.”
Lexa rolled over with a smug smile. “I always knew you wanted to check me out.”
Clarke could only roll her eyes at Lexa as she chuckled. Alright, maybe she was beautiful and a little bit charming, that didn’t mean anything.
Lexa held up her left arm that was previously trapped underneath her body “Um, Clarke, this probably isn’t good right?”
Clarke stopped laughing as soon as she saw the blood all over Lexa’s left forearm. She could tell by the amount of blood and the ragged tear in her jacket that Lexa had obviously cut herself on something sharp when she crashed. “Shit” Clarke muttered as she moved next to Lexa and immediately gripped her forearm, applying the proper amount of pressure to halt the blood flow.
She looked up at Lexa who had turned a much paler shade at the sight of the gash in her arm. Clarke needed to keep her calm so shock wouldn’t set in.
“Lexa, look at me.” Lexa complied and looked at Clarke. “Hold your arm just like this, ok?”
Lexa nodded as she replaced Clarke’s hand with her good one. Clarke quickly unwrapped the scarf from around her neck.
“Ok, you can let it go.” Lexa nodded again and released her hand as Clarke replaced it with her scarf, using it as a makeshift bandage. Clarke worked quickly and confidently, her years of training paying off in spades. She then took off her coat and rolled it up in a ball placing on the ground behind Lexa before reaching up and removing Lexa’s helmet. She encouraged Lexa to slowly lie back on the coat, now makeshift pillow, and moved her arm to elevate it above her heart.
“You’re pretty good at this Griffin.” Lexa spoke, the color in her face returning to its pink winter blush.
“Thanks. Not a big fan of blood are you Woods?” Clarke only chuckled at Lexa’s obvious discomfort.
“No, not so much.” Lexa answered honestly and without sarcasm. It was different to see her like this, big bad Lexa Woods, afraid of a little blood. Ok so it wasn’t a little bit of blood, it was actually a good amount. But here she was and something about her was softer, more vulnerable. Whatever it was Clarke liked it. She liked this Lexa Woods. Who was she kidding? She had liked Lexa Woods long before this.
Clarke looked down at her as Lexa fiddled with the fabric around her arm. She was trying to blow and errant curl away from her face and adjust her pushed up jacket sleeve at the same time, neither very successfully. Without even realizing what she was doing, Clarke reached down and grabbed the mischievous curl, tucking it gently behind Lexa’s tiny little ear.
Lexa stopped all of her movements and looked up at Clarke staring deeply into the blue eyes above her. Lexa mesmerized Clarke, her own gaze fixed on the emerald pools that were Lexa’s eyes before she dropped a quick glance down to her soft pouty lips. She saw Lexa’s gaze drop down to her own lips and she leaned down. Clarke paused for a second, giving Lexa the chance to stop her, but she didn’t. Lexa picked her head up and captured Clarke’s lips. Clarke felt a spark of electricity course through her entire body when their lips finally touched. She could feel Lexa’s plush lips moving skillfully against her own and she let out a soft sigh of delight in the feeling.
“Clarke! Clarke!” Fucking Raven and her perfect timing.
She pulled back from Lexa who only smiled sweetly up at her as Raven and the ski patrol arrived on the scene. They had hauled the orange medical sled over to them and had Lexa securely strapped inside of it in only a few short minutes. Clarke watched intently as the ski patrol picked up the handles of the sled as they maneuvered Lexa into place for the journey to the base of the mountain.
“Meet me at the bottom?” Lexa asked with a soft smile.
“I’ll be waiting.” Clarke answered with her own equally soft smile. “You owe me a drink for all this trouble Woods.”
Lexa only smiled again. “Yes I do Griffin, yes I do.”
The ski patrol skied off with Lexa in tow, slowly traversing the dangerous path. Raven sidled up next to Clarke and watched as they began their descent.
“What the fuck was that all about?” Raven asked with a smirk.
“Nothing.” Clarke answered brusquely. “Let’s go.”
“Yeah right, nothing.” Raven could only laugh at her love struck friend.
He knows his worst fears are confirmed when his heart dislodges from his chest and rushes headlong into the ground, splintering in tiny little shards. It will be the worst he has ever felt in a long time, having it confirmed that what he’s been seeing isn’t a dream or flights of fancy. The roar in his ears deafens him.
Saizo doesn’t immediately quip back either, and that’s how he’ll truly know. The ninja, so meticulous in each breath of his muscles, will still as if his whole body has been put momentarily on hold for his mind to catch up. In fact, he stills for so long, a second longer than necessary, Yukimura really won’t know how to breathe for the rush of panic that comes billowing through the hole in his chest.
“You’re going to have to repeat that, little lord.” And it comes out low, warningly, cautioning him to think through his thoughts carefully before uttering them into the space around them and making it real.
He soldiers on, because he’s a Sanada and he’s never stopped, not when it comes to fighting for his heart. “I asked you how do you seduce a woman, Saizo?”
Saizo looks at him then, his whole body twisting around like crooked bark. The gleam in his eyes won’t be unkind, but it won’t be compassionate either. He drops the arm halted midway on its path to his new cupboard, and Yukimara spies how his friend places an old, crumbling comb onto the floor, wrapping it in a kerchief before tucking it away from his prying eyes.
“And why are we asking this?”
He would have thought it obvious from the question, or at least obvious enough from the way the ninja looks him over. Nothing has ever escaped Saizo’s observations, so why bother asking? He can only conclude that his friend is being cruel, forcing him to confront what little pride he has left after having it chipped away piece by crumbling piece every day since—
He first notices it at dinner. The spark in the air crackles loud and tingles across his skin. It’s the strangest feeling, like trying to catch fireflies in moonlight, but nothing will come to him until his eyes settle on her, not too far away, and his entire body awakens at her smile. But she’s not smiling at him. That’s when his vision booms out and he notices his brother in frame, staring at her as if she alone possesses the moon and stars in her eyes. Their gazes lock too long on each other for it to seem appropriate.
It’s impossible, his mind shouts, so he leaves it be. Until he catches them again, this time in the hallway, and their palms brush softly underneath their sleeves, grasping each other’s fingers for the solitary second it takes for them to pass each other. The slide of skin is so quick and furtive his breath catches in his throat and something sharp oozes down to his toes. He almost wishes he hadn’t caught them, damning this strange prickle in the air whenever they’re together.
He gains a fierce awareness of their proximity soon after, a deep pooling suspicion that makes him want to rip his skin off and hack it to pieces. He sees them everywhere. Hiding in plain sight. So heavy will his heart weigh, it pulls him down and down and down until he chokes on the longing and sickness coming from a fear he knows is not his natural state. He’s forced to wear the rind of somebody he doesn’t recognise, and it makes him sick.
Is it any wonder why his heart crashes so quickly now?
“Dear, why are you asking me this?” Saizo will move from his spot on the floor, his breath close enough to hiss.
“Because I love her.”
And the confession destroys him. It bubbles so suddenly to the surface he has to spit it out, because what’s he to say under such scrutiny but the truth? A sharpness, bitter and biting, weaves itself around every muscle. He thinks it’s his heart, a new one, spawning in ugly spurts, that squeezes his breath in a chokehold, strangling him.
He hears a sigh rushing out not in irritation, but sympathy. He knows it’s a little pathetic, so he expects many things from Saizo in this moment. He expects the ninja to huff in amusement, the cruel jeer cutting at the skin he wears now until it peels off him in layers. He expects the ninja to offer advice, doled out sardonically, until his words shame him enough to crawl out of the pitiful wasteland that has become his heart. He expects the ninja to take out another lovers guide, and hopes that the salacious content will sizzle the fire lying dormant within so that it burns across his face, his chest, his soul, cleansing him.
He expects all of it. What he doesn’t expect, at all, is the softness cupping his cheeks, the nothingness before a heartbeat, and then, like a faint candle, the feel of Saizo himself. Lips on his nose. Gentle. Sweet.
It melts him.
Then Saizo pulls back, and everything is bright again. Sharp. “If you want to seduce a women, that’s how you do it,” he says, betraying nothing in his voice. “But I think it might be time to face the truth, dear.”
And Saizo turns him around, fingers clasped at his shoulders, so that his gaze faces towards the garden where he can see, in the little alcove hidden to most, the woman who takes his breath away together with his fierce, noble brother. She’s laughing though he won’t catch the sound, and he peeks Nobuyuki swaying ever closer, as if a force out of their control pushes them together until their bodies wilt into each other. They’re alive and so beautiful, silhouetted by the sun, that words dam up in his chest. Choking. He battles silently to drag them out.
It should be me, he screams. He should be the hero, not the one left behind. But silence is all he gets in this story.
They’re going to fall in love, he weeps. And the revelation exhausts what’s left of his strength.
Stop, he pleads. They won’t.
He stands there with the Lord Assassin holding him adrift, watching his brother curl errant fingers into her hair, and he will be too afraid to move for fear of the cut and burn and blinding pain caused by his broken heart strewn pitifully on the floor.
He wonders through the roaring waves what he’ll do with all these pieces.
After that day at the pool party, Laf hadn’t been able to get Peggy Schuyler off his mind. She had fit perfectly in his arms…
It had gotten progressively worse. At first, Laf attempted to be friendly with Peggy and maintain their association that way… then she had invited him over with promises of watching TV and staying cold.
- u know netflix and chill means fucking right?
Laf had sputtered at his phone and the message from Hercules, and quickly typed back while shaking his head,
- I do not think it means what you think it means.
Herc had come back with:
- don’t quote princess bride to me, you sassy french fuck, I actually know these things
- Oooh oui, Hercules, I forgot how many girls you’ve slept with. How silly of me.
- You’re excused, I lose track sometimes too ;)
Laf had just rolled his eyes, tossing his phone away. It couldn’t mean that… right?
Well, they were halfway through a random show Peggy had chosen on the tv streaming service, and they were getting cuddly. Fine. Cuddling was Lafayette’s favourite pass-time, with anyone.
“Hey,” Peggy grinned up at him.
“Hey,” he looked down at her summery yellow jumpsuit, lips never parting his smile to reveal cheery teeth.
“Angie’s gone out clubbing for the night with Thomas and whatever that poor sad little guy’s name is,” Peggy mumbled around a mouthful of strawberry poptart, “Eliza’s in New York for her cello workshop, so…” she grinned a little.
“So?” Laf smiled back, not wanting to presume anything. Peggy gave him a flat look, and scooched a little closer.
“Daddy said not to invite anyone over after sundown. I say, fuck that.”
“We’re in my bedroom, Laf.”
“Mmm, so we are. It is a very nice bedroom, Peggy- the pastel yellow and the white are very complimentary.”
“As complimentary as my bikini was?” Peggy began, biting her rosily painted bottom lip. Laf found himself thinking back, and suddenly, she was way too close for normal friendship stuff.
“Where are you going?” the youngest Schuyler sister pouted, and Laf already felt weak at the knees from the simple action.
“I am getting us some more popcorn.”
“We never had popcorn,” Peggy cocked her head.
“Ah, then I will make some!”
Peggy frowned as Laf bounced up and darted out of the room, clambering downstairs. He quickly messaged his group chat, looking for advice.
Laf: Peggy is making advances??? I think??
John: shit dude rip
Alex: Yeah when I got with Eliza, Angie gave me The Talk and then I died
Herc: Ayy go get ‘er tiger!
Alex: …. one of these replies is not like the others
Laf sighed at his phone, then stuffed it away again. He had no idea where the Schuyler family kept popcorn fixings, so he had that excuse. Instead, he grabbed a couple of Sam Adams from the fridge, and ran back upstairs.
“My apologies, cherie, I’m afraid I am rather helpless in navigating your pantry!”
“That’s fine,” Peggy quirked an eyebrow, and accepted the beer happily. They pressed play on their show, and Peggy rested against Laf’s shoulder. Lafayette had always been a touchy-feely person… hugs, kisses, caresses, they were not reserved for lovers only, they were for anyone he felt amiable with. But Laf actually had feelings for Peggy, and didn’t want this to implode.
“Laf?” Peggy asked suddenly, and Laf gazed down.
“You have nice shoulders.”
He chuckled. “Merci. I try to work on them at the gym a little bit,” he attempted to joke, making light of the situation with a little ridiculous flexing gag, but Peggy just licked her lips.
“Yeah, I can tell… do you mind if I lay on your lap?”
Oh merde, I had better not become hard, he thought to himself, but nodded silently with a gulp. About halfway through the episode they had thrown on, Laf began to get restless, Peggy too. The french student knew exactly what she wanted, and what he wanted too, but… it was complicated. The last girl Laf had loved, Adrienne, had said he moved far too fast, and when he asked her to make a commitment, she told him he was too clingy. He didn’t want to make the “too this, too that” mistake again.
All of this was slowly spiralling to hell, though, as Peggy began to climb him like a tree. Soon, she was in his lap, Laf’s view almost consumed by Peggy’s bared stomach in his face and her full, delectable breasts dangerously close to him… there was that damn sun belly ring again.
“You are going to miss the finale,” he tried weakly, feeling his cock begin to stir despite himself, but Peggy just stroked an errant curl from his face.
“Please,” she whispered, gently bunching the fabric of his long sleeved shirt in her hand and tugging. Laf felt himself drawn to her lips, unable to stop himself as he surged forward, lips capturing hers again and again until-
“Wait,” Laf said, gasping softly for air. Peggy stalled, eyes searching, and Lafayette tried to catch his breath.
“Sorry,” she whispered, “I don’t want to force you.”
“No!” Laf exclaimed suddenly, “P-Peggy, this is not about me! Is… is this not… too fast for you?”
“Is that what this is about?”
“Laf,” Peggy sighed, “I know everyone in this god damn world thinks I’m the sweetest little flower who can’t be touched or defiled, but-!”
“Aren’t you?” Laf squeaked, plastered back against the cushions.
“I lost my virginity when I was fourteen,” Peggy deadpanned back, and Laf’s eyes widened.
“Yeahhh, Angelica knows French, I don’t.”
“Then get her to give you some lessons, cherie,” Laf growled, the fire in him rising, “For the things I will be whispering to you tonight are too despicable for the English language.”
Peggy moaned a little, and Laf flipped them so that he was on top and Peggy had her back to the mattress. Her tightly pulled back hair provided Laf with a gorgeous view of her features, and with the early evening light streaming in, he was even more enamored with her.
“What?” she giggled.
“You,” he replied, kissing her nose, then brought his hands down to her shorts, undoing them quickly and hooking his fingers into her panties. He raised his eyebrows at her, but she quickly nodded, so he went on, pulling them down as well. Peggy kicked them off, beginning to grind up against Laf, and she made her pouty face again.
“I’m naked and wet, and you haven’t even taken your shirt off yet! Not fair.”
“I’m getting there, kitten,” Laf smiled, and pressed a kiss to her cheek, her lips, her neck, her chest, all the way down to her stomach. “Be patient.” Then, he reached her core.
“Ohhh my god,” she groaned, and Laf looked up, licking his lips and blinking his lustful eyes.
“What is it?”
“N-Nobody’s ever done that to me before…”
“Mmm,” Laf smirked, “I will set the bar then.”
With that, he delved back down, licking striped up her until he reached her clit, stroking the nub with the tip of his tongue until Peggy’s legs were shaking around his neck.
“Are you okay to take me now?” he asked nervously, and Peggy grabbed a condom from under her pillow. “Mon dieu!” Laf admonished, placing a hand over his chest. She just rolled her eyes.
“I knew you were coming, ass carriage.”
Laf grabbed it quickly, and Peggy watched with wide, pretty eyes as Laf slowly undid himself, unbuckling and discarding his pants, thumbing down his boxers and getting rid of them. She immediately looked hungry when she saw his dick, standing hard and aching, against his stomach.
“I knew you’d be big, but… damn,” she commented, “11/10, would suck.”
“Get to it, then,” Laf grinned, and Peggy’s eyes lit up like Christmas. She scrambled forward on the bed, immediately blinking down at it… there was some apprehension now. “Never sucked a dick before,” Laf nodded.
“Hey, I’ve practiced!”
“On what, a banana?” Laf chuckled, and when Peggy blushed, he shut his mouth. “Okay, well… let me guide you through it.” She leaned down, and Laf tapped her chin softly. “Open up your lips, and take the head gently between them first. Don’t suck too hard or go too deep… simply take me in your mouth. Good, ma cherie, that is…” he looked up to her ceiling, biting his lip hard to keep a steady voice for coaching, “Oui oui. So next, you begin to slowly drag the tip of your tongue across the- ohhh, yes, you have it, right there…” She was getting the hang of it, fast.
“How do you know how to give such good head?” she inquired with her lips still preoccupied, and Laf reached back to give her a playful tap on the ass.
“No talking with your mouth full, kitten… it is terrible manners.” He smiled. “Well, one… I am a man, so we know how we like it done. Two, I have sucked many dicks before,” he flashed her another grin, and Peggy moaned, rubbing her thighs together.
“That’s hot as fuck…”
“Suck a little harder now… ahhh, you are a natural, Peggy, ma chou…”
“As much I’d love a facial from you,” Peggy shrugged, popping off and sending Laf into a complete frenzy, “I want you in my pussy more.”
“Your wish is my command,” Laf’s voice was suddenly hoarse, and he used his strong, large hands to sweep her back again, to laying over the sheets. He liked his partners engaged, not pliant, and Peggy seemed every bit as passionate as he was. Arching her back a little, she provided him with easy access as he helped hold her ass up. In one slow push, he was in, and Peggy drew in a sharp breath, exhaling with a loud moan.
Their breath both became laboured, the only background noise the whirring of the TV box accompanied by the hilariously paused face on screen.
“You’re beautiful,” Laf murmured in her ear, leaning down to press his body weight against her, “So pretty… ma chaton is so pretty…”
“Laf, you’re…” Peggy sighed softly as Laf thrusted in again, “You’re really good, oh my god…”
“I want to make you come, ma cherie,” he confessed, “I want to see your face, your eyes when you do. I want you to scream my name.”
“Laf,” she whined, pushing down to meet him with every thrust. His fingers came down to work her bud slowly, until she was sweating and cursing, hands digging into Laf’s back.
“I am so close,” he told her, “Please say you are close, Peggy, I do not want to leave you unsatisfied…”
“Almost there,” she huffed, biting her lip. Laf looked down at this, and kissed her again, their moans swallowed up in each others mouths. Soon, both were close, hands roaming all over each other like they couldn’t get enough. Laf’s carefully administered pounding began to quicken into sharp, abnormal thrusts.
“I never want to feel anyone else.”
“Merde, vous êtes si incroyablement excitant, je ne veux rien de plus que de vous baiser jusqu'à ce que vous êtes douloureux, alors embrasse-le tout mieux!” (You are so incredibly arousing, I want nothing more than to fuck you until you are sore then kiss it all better.)
“Please, sir,” she whimpered, and Laf groaned.
“Yes, call me that again, chaton.”
“Sir, I need to come!”
“Come, right away, Peggy, as soon as you need,” Laf drawled in her ear, nipping at her lobe, and Laf could feel the abundance of wetness around his cock, her toes curling into his back. Her head was tossed back, neck exposed, breasts heaving up and down, and it was all too much for him- Laf released into the condom shortly after, chanting her name. As they slowly came down, Laf pulled out, and Peggy stroked him through the aftershocks until he was oversensitive. Laf pressed a kiss to her forehead, and she let out a hazy giggle.
“You smell like lavender.”
“You smell like cherry lip gloss, which is what I assume is all over my body now.”
“Guilty,” she shrugged, and sat back on her heels to fan herself.
“That was so fucking amaze-balls,” Peggy sighed, and Laf almost laughed at how messed up her carefully done hair had become.
“Your hair…” he snorted.
“What about it?” Peggy felt up, “Yours looks ratchet, so what the fuck’s up with mine?”
“It is perfect,” Laf whispered, kissing her rosy cheeks and wrapping his arms around her to slowly ease her under the covers. “Now nap with me.”
“Mmm,” Peggy smiled, “Uhhh… how you say, putain oui?”
“You are a fast learner, ma belle fleur,” Laf smiled back, joining their heads together and closing his eyes, “A fast learner, indeed.”
Olivie, my sweet little bunny, can I please have a Sirimione Breathtaking Kiss?
(doing these out of order because some of the prompts are repeats; will come back to them)
“How,” he begins, and stops, reconsidering. “Why,” he attempts a second time, but falters.
“How did I get here?” she prompts, tilting her head. “Why did I come after you?”
He grimaces. “Yeah,” he mutters. “Those.”
She reaches up, brushing an errant curl from his forehead and letting her hands slip along his cheeks, his nose, his jaw, his lips.
“You know why,” she says simply, and when her lips meet his, he can’t bring himself to feel anything but the curve of her waist, the warmth of her smile; the way she captivates him, unwisely and unerringly, despite his better judgment.
The patter of raindrops on the rusty
old fire-escape outside their third story window. The incessant dripping of the
leaky tap in the bathroom down the hall. Those were the usual sounds, the ones
that played on a loop day after day, year after year. But today, those sounds
the bowl to the brim. Work together before the light dims.” Her fingertips
lightly brushed the rim of the dish at the center of the table. It was empty,
save for five little, crystalized cubes that rolled to a stop at its center. This
was the start to a game they played every Monday morning after the groceries
for the week arrived. She dropped her grey wool coat onto the tabletop as she
slid into her seat.
Ping. Ping. Ping.
“Takin’ time off again today, Teen?”
Her tone was soft, her voice light but gravelly with sleep. She knew it was too
early for questions, but she couldn’t stop herself from asking. It had already
been three days.
“No. I’m goin’ in.” Tina winced. This
was the third time her favorite cup of black coffee tasted like grime. Glancing
at her watch, she noticed that she was an hour ahead of schedule. Again. “Madam…Madam
Picquery asked me to finalize the paperwork.”
Ping. Ping. Ping.
“That seems a bit cruel, don’cha
think?” Queenie stroked the handle of her coffee mug with her free hand. It was
once a brilliant, scintillating pink with tiny golden birds flitting along the
sides. Now, after many, many years of use, it was worn and pale. Still, it was
a keepsake. It wouldn’t do for the set to be incomplete.
“It’s protocol, Queenie.” She avoided
the obvious insinuation. With a sigh, she tucked an errant curl behind her ear.
“Besides, we all need to do things we wish we didn’t have to.” Another sip.
More wincing. More grime. More wishing that the time would pass quicker. Or,
better yet, stop altogether.
Ping. Ping. Ping.
“How many times are you gonna beat
around the bush?” She was irritated now. All the things her sister refused to
say bounced around in her head, taunting her. Her irritation turned to anger as
the ghost of bitter coffee graced her tongue. “Porpentina. Stop sipping that sludge. Drop a cube in your mug or
stick one in your mouth already! You know I hate the taste.”
“But we aren’t finished playing yet.” Tina’s
hand hovered over the open box labelled Chelsea
Market Sugar Company that lay between her plate of toast and her sister’s bowl
of oatmeal. She had to admit, she was tempted by the suggestion. To placate her
craving, she brought a crystal-coated finger to her lips and licked it clean. “Unless,
you wanna forfeit.”
“No, we aren’t. And no, I’m not
forfeiting.” Queenie reached into the box and gathered a handful of the
precious little cubes. “But the bowl’s filled, just like she’d want.” The
warmth of her palm melted some of the crystals, making them stick to one
another and her skin. “And you need a walk to clear your head, just like he’d say.”
“Queenie, I don’t—“ She balked as a
sticky, partially melted cube was tucked between her thumb and forefinger. Her eyes
watered as she rolled it around between her fingers. She could almost feel the
sweetness and the comfort. Her
sweetness. His comfort.
“You do.” She gestured to the cube in
her sister’s hand. “Now eat that and go down to the Park. It should still be pretty
She pouted like a petulant child
before grudgingly placing the sugar cube on her tongue. “Sometimes you sound
just like Pop when he caught us with the cocoa tin.” A shiver of delight raced
up her spine as the confection melted away.
Ping. Ping. Ping.
“And sometimes you’re just like Mama
when she’d bring these home.” She gave a little huff as she watched her sister
pop another sugar cube into her mouth. She brushed the remaining crystals from
her palm into her tea. Mornings like this called for something a little sweeter
to get by.
“That was the last one, I promise!”
Tina hastily jumped to her feet as Queenie swatted her hand away from the mouth
of the box. She grabbed her coat, swung it about her shoulders, and rushed to
the door. She reached for the handle and froze. What if this is it? My career is done.
Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping.
“How about one to go?” Queenie
appeared at her elbow holding up the pink sugar bowl. Just like the mug, faded
gold birds chased each other around the rim only to disappear beneath Queenie’s
Tina offered a small, hesitant smile
as she plucked two cubes from the bowl.
“It’s gonna be fine, honey. Just give
it time.” She smirked. “ ‘sides, you know it’ll be just the berries to work
Tina rolled her eyes and allowed her
sister to place a quick kiss on her cheek. As she pushed the door open, she
popped one of the cubes into her mouth and dropped the other back into the