this was… in it’s own way.. a hard fic to read (which makes it the best fic to read! pain! i love it! help me!) it’s very very very beautifully written and i hold it very close to my heart….how it portrays jack by himself and how hard it must’ve been…it also manages to weave in how mental illness plays its own role, even once you get together with the person you’re pretty sure is it for you. somewhat painful but cathartic and achingly tender.
BUT then there’s feelings! and angst! and misunderstanding! (the best type too! u know when one is like so crazily in love with the other and thinks its shockingly obvious but surprise, it’s not!) it’s just fantastic!
imagine a world where jack jumping over the snowbank, bringing bitty coffee, going on long walks classifies (in jack’s mind) as dating. so when bitty gets asked out, jack cannot believe the b e t r ay a l! we’re dating bitty! just read this and be happy :)
considering how popular this fic is it actually sat open in a tab for a looong loooooong time just bc…well… it’s 285,748 words. im an all or nothing girl as in i once read the entire maze runner trilogy in one night so i had to find the right time
first of all: angst. second of all: angst. third of all: ….. u guessed it… angst. BUT don’t worry, for every drop of angst there’s a metro-fucking-ton of smut and sweetness :)))) ;))) what this fic does brilliantly is create an OMC that is at the forefront of the story and do it seamlessly. this is a pretty iconic fic and tbh im definitely not one for fics longer than 100k but this was a fuckin’ beaut man
oh god this was P A I N F U L but in a very beautiful way??? (that’s how u know the writing was siCK) ambiguously happy ending but tbh in the end this fic is really just abt the unspoken quiet truth of being in love, of loving, of being human just lke Fffffffuck me up
not usually a big fan of soulmate aus but what i love about this fic is the pacing and even tho soulmate aus where seeing your soulmate = seeing color for the first time isn’t totally new this felt super fresh and original!
aw MAN this gave me the feeeeeels. established relationship but jack is not out, it’s a bit angsty but the jack perspective is just so gooood
EXTRA: It all started with a big Russian hockey player calling a small cat-loving hockey player a rat. You either h8 it or u luv it. In my case, I Love it, capital L, so enjoy: Alexei “Tater” Mashkov/Kent Parson
Kent has been telling himself a story, ever since the Q. It’s the epic story of Parse and Zimms, and he’s in love with it. // this fic is specifically meant for patater newbies and this fic does an amazing job of showing why kent and alexei just make sense. its honestly a Blessing.
lmao im gonna be 90 years old and still reccing Febricant’s fics…for real when i saw they wrote patater i was like…no..im dreaMing…or im dead? is . is heaven?? rlly unique approach to how she gets them together and gr8 build up :)))) Bless Febricant
Dex hated that voice. It was a voice he
hadn’t heard come out of his mouth in a long time, since before him
and Nursey got married, before they graduated, before he started
seeing a therapist. It was a voice that said, ’a no would break me’
underneath the real words of his question.
It was how he used to ask for hugs, and
how he asked, three months into their fuck-buddy relationship, for
Nusey to please stay the night, just once, nobody ever stays.
gave him a long, appraising look, but Dex knew he wouldn’t ask why,
all of a sudden, Dex sounded so unsure of himself. Just like Dex
knew, eventually, he’d tell Nursey why something so silly as a
headboard was so important to him.
gave a small smile instead, kissed Dex’s cheek, and said, “That’s
got out of their truck, a purchase that Nursey made without Dex
because he knew his husband could never justify the price to himself,
even though they could afford it a hundred times over. Between Dex’s
NHL salary and Nursey and Lardo’s line of children’s books, there
wasn’t really anything they couldn’t afford.
is why Dex hated how small and broken his voice sounded when he asked
if they could buy a headboard.
the new contract Dex signed, finally featuring a no trade clause,
they decided to buy a house. Nursey went all out; he spent weeks
touring places, picking out furniture, and giving Dex the silent
treatment (apparently ‘whatever you want’ isn’t the right answer).
The only thing left was a new mattress.
saved it specifically for a week when Dex didn’t have any scheduling
conflicts. He tried to tell Nursey that it was fine, he could go
ahead and buy one without Dex there, but he refused, insisting that a
mattress was an individual experience, both of them had to agree.
both knew that, in the end, Dex wouldn’t have an opinion. A bed was a
bed to him, and any bed was better than no bed. It felt nice to have
a full day with his husband, though.
stood in front of a huge mattress store, and for some reason, Dex
felt uncertain. There was something about this, buying a bed, that
made everything real to him. He was an adult. He was well off
financially. And he was about to walk into a store hand in hand with
his husband. And he was happy.
wasn’t the angry kid from Maine, anymore.
saleswoman nearly a foot shorter than the couple (call me
Cici!) dragged them all over the
store, practically pushing them down on mattresses and asking about
their firmness. She asked about hteir opinon on memory foam versus
tempurpedic, about fabrics and springs and coils and all sorts of
questions Nursey has answers for that Dex can’t make heads or tails
He zones out a bit, but jumps
back into the conversation when the topic of temperature comes up
(so, are you two warm blooded or do you use a lot of
blankets at night?). He had no
idea that they made some mattresses cooler than others, but yes they
wanted to try those out, because his husband is a furnace and the
three stupid cats Nursey snuck home were like little fuzzy ovens.
So, they go to the other side of
the store and try out hybrids (of what, Dex really couldn’t say).
Without even trying it out, Nursey pointed at one of the set-ups and
declared, “it’s going to be this one.” Dex had to admit that it
was pretty comfortable. He didn’t feel like he was sinking into the
mattress, which was nice.
Nursey clamored on top, cuddling
into Dex’s side with a smug grin. “Told you it was this one.”
Still grinning, Nursey asked
Cici, “Can you show us some headboard options?”
an entire room of them. Bed frames and headboards and footboards. Big
quilted ones that Dex thought would go great in his baby sister’s
princess room, studded leather ones, wrought iron frames that looked
a little too bondage for Dex’s comfort.
Dex wasn’t sure what his face was
doing, but Cici told them quietly that she would give them a few
minutes to look around, even though she had been attached at to their
side for the hour they had been in the store.
They wandered around, looking at
all the choices. Dex knew he held Nursey’s hand a little too hard,
but Nursey didn’t say anything. He let Dex take the lead, inputting
his opinion but never tryng to influence Dex, never pushing him to
talk about it.
They made two circuits of the room before
stopping (for the second time) in front of a simple padded headboard.
It wasn’t anything fancy, just smooth, cream colored fabric. Dex ran
a finger over the display. It was softer than it looked.
“I don’t understand headboards.
Or footboards. They’re totally pointless.”
In the past, that
may have been an invitation for Nursey to chirp Dex, to ask what the
hell they were doing buying one if Dex thought it was pointless. But
after so many years together, Nursey knew Dex needed to talk it out,
not have a conversation.
“Did you know that before I went to
Samwell, I never slept in a real bed?”
Dex never took his eyes off the headboard. “For a
while I had a matress thrown on the floor in me and Adam’s room, but
then I gave it to Hannah and I started sleeping on some sleeping bags
on the floor. I told myself it was like camping. Even when I imagined
my house, I never imagined a having a real bed. What’s the piont of
buying something that’s totally pointless? It’s just a waste of
Nursey ran a warm hand up and down Dex’s back. Dex
rarely talked about his childhood. It was one of the only things they
still faught about sometimes: Nursey taking their money for granted
and Dex not being able to accept that he can spend money when he
“But we can buy this. We can buy something that’s
totally pointless, just because I want it.”
It wouldn’t match the room, even
a little bit. The whole house was stark greys and bright whites,
accents of bright colors. The cream fabric would stick out like a
sore thumb. It was meant for a softer house. There was something about
it that Dex like, though. He couldn’t put his finger on what,
exactly, but he loved it.
“What do you think?”
Nursey didn’t bother to look away
from Dex when he answered. “I think it’s great, babe. It’ll look
good in the bedroom.”
Dex gave him a hard look.
“Okay, no. but if you like it, then I couldn’t
And just like that,they bought it. And later
that night, in their brand new bed, in their house (their
house, not a house they were renting), Dex slept better than he could
ever remember sleeping.
A slapstick comedy fic where Jack comes down to Georgia to visit and Suzanne overhears him tell Bitty that he’s glad he could come down to see his boyfriend and obviously he means Bitty, but Suzanne doesn’t know that.
She’s pretty sure Bitty is gay but is waiting for him to come to her and so she’s furious that this man is using her son, who clearly adores him, as a cover to come visit his boyfriend, who must live in the area, right?
And Jack for the life of him cannot figure out why Mrs. Bittle started hating him and THEN coach sees Jack kiss Bitty and tells Suzanne and they both think that not only is Jack cheating on his boyfriend, but that their son knowingly participates and they are ready to TAN THAT BOY’S HIDE and it all comes to a head in a farmer’s market with a shouting match that, so nobody gets publicly outed, is disguised as a continuation of the Bittle-Phelps jam wars [Mama, you mean that you already knew Jack and I both,,, like BOYSenberry jam? WAIT NO Coach, jack has never been using anybody’s recipe besides mine!!]
Sometimes Eric looks at Jack and there’s a deep, silly fear that sits in his stomach.
He’s not afraid of Jack, but he’s afraid of what Jack means to him. He’s afraid because Eric is 21 years old and he’s not even done with college and he is so sure about this man.
It’s crazy, and awful, and sometimes in the dark; with Jack’s hand loosely clasped in his, bedroom in Providence lit only by the sliver of light that slips through the dark curtains covering the window, his love for Jack makes him feel sick.
Eric is terrified.
He’s scared of how Jack makes him feel like everything makes sense. He’s scared of how he feels settled and calm around Jack. He’s scared of how many times he thinks to himself, I’m gonna marry this man.
He is so scared sometimes that it hurts to look at Jack.
Because Eric- Eric is twenty-one. He barely knows what he wants to do for the rest of his life, let alone who he wants to marry. He has no idea what love is. What if he’s wrong?
What if he’s just a fool, a damn twenty-one year old fool throwing himself full force at the first boy who shows any romantic interest in him? What if he ever said any of this to Jack and Jack laughed at him?
What if he-
“Bits? What’s up?” Jack’s voiced is quiet and rough in the silent room.
Eric’s eyes snap to his, and he feels himself blinking.
“What? Nothin’, Sweetheart. I’m fine.”
“Okay.” Jack says, slow, “Is your hand okay, then?”
Eric looks down and instantly becomes aware of how hard he’s squeezing Jack’s.
“Sorry.” Eric whispers.
Jack squints at him, his face barely visible in the dark. He pulls Eric’s hand up to his face and examines it.
“I don’t know what’s wrong,” Jack speaks directly into the skin of Eric’s knuckles, “but I can tell you from experience that things always seem a lot worse when it’s 3 in the morning and you haven’t slept.”
Eric breathes, watching.
“And I know,” Jack says, pressing a kiss to Eric’s fingernails, “that it might not get completely better in the morning, but it isn’t going to seem so big then.”
Eric feels his chest tighten rapidly, and he’s so afraid again.
“So maybe, if you stick with me,” Jack places Eric’s hand on his cheek, Jack’s lips brushing along his palm, “everything will be a little better when the sun rises.”
Eric loves him. He loves him, and he tells him much- a horse whisper all he can manage.
Jack smiles softly and tells Eric that he loves him too. His eyelids slowly slip shut.
Eric loves him, and Eric is so utterly terrified of him. But maybe it isn’t so bad. And maybe, in the light of the morning, Eric will see this man, feel him beneath his hand, and know that everything is alright.
idk where that post about casual magic is, but i wrote a little thing about it.
Nursey walked out of the kitchen, hanging up his phone and
slipping it into his back pocket. He was going crazy; he had about a million things
to do and not very long to do them.
Nursey was at the haus during a strategic window of time
time when Chowder, Ransom and Holster were all simultaneously in class for a
few hours, minimizing intrusive noises and distractions. Nursey threw himself
back on the couch with a huff. The only sounds to be heard were the furnace
kicking on, Bitty’s occasional soft humming from the kitchen. Lardo was
somewhere, probably in her bedroom. Dex was slouched on the couch opposite Nursey.
His socked feet were propped on the coffee table in front of him, his elbow on
the couch arm, head resting on his knuckles, reading a book. His sweater
sleeves were pulled over his hands. It was cute.
Pulling his laptop toward him on the table, Nursey shifted
his focus to his next task. He had two essays due tomorrow, only one of which
was started. The one he hadn’t touched yet was a creative writing assignment. There
was something repulsive about writing creatively when it was forced. He couldn’t
make inspiration strike. The writing Nursey lived for was the writing when the
premise came naturally, when he was compelled to write by the characters
speaking in his mind and an itching in his fingertips. It was as if Nursey could imagine
a cloud of words around his head, and all the right ones were in front of him,
ready to be plucked out and put on the page.
The times Nursey had tried to start this assignment, it was
nothing like that. It was as though he had to walk a mile to find each word. He’d
done it before of course; he was an English major, and he had to write all the
time, inspiration or no. He would just rather put off the assignment, leave
more time for an idea to come to him.
Distractedly, Nursey opened a word document and took a sip
of tea from the cup on the table. He wrote a sentence, then deleted it. He felt
eyes on him. He turned.
Dex was staring at Nursey, his book closed around a finger
to hold his place.
“Wuh,” Nursey asked.
“You were on the phone for like 40 minutes. How is that not
cold?” Dex asked, nodding at the tea.
They both looked at the cup a moment, watching steam curl up
from the liquid.
“I don’t know. It’s just a thing,” Nursey answered, shrugging.
He typed something else into his computer. Closer, but something was still off.
“What kind of thing?”
“Like I can just –“ Nursey waved his hand at the mug. The
steam followed his fingers.
“What does that even fucking mean, Nurse? What is this?” Dex
mimicked Nursey’s hand movements, his shoulders practically touching his ears.
“I don’t know! But I’ve never had a cold cup of tea.”
“Yeah. Never ever.”
“I don’t know.”
Dex looked at him, an eyebrow raised. Nursey opened his eyes
wide and pursed his lips, shaking his head minutely, looking exasperated. He
was secretly happy for the excuse to put off writing.
“Wait here.” Dex got up. Nursey had no idea where Dex
thought he would go. He waited there.
Dex came back with an ice cube. Without warning or ceremony,
he dropped it into Nursey’s tea. Nursey took a sip. It was warm.
“What the fuck.”
“You don’t have anything like that?” Nursey asked Dex.
“Like what? Impossible?”
“You know. Like, improbable things that happen a lot to you?
Like my mom is super terrible at taking care of plants, but she’s never had one
“Or Ransom says that everyone in his labs has him focus
their microscopes when they have trouble, because he never turns the knobs the
“When did you talk to Ransom about this?”
“I don’t know, man. Things come up. Or once Lardo told me
she always looks at the clock when the minutes are a multiple of 10.”
Nursey finished the tea, cracked the knuckles of his thumbs,
and wrote a paragraph. Three sentences. This time, he only deleted half of the
“I guess I’m good at finding things.”
Nursey stopped typing and looked at Dex.
“Like – “ Dex’s ears were pink. “I’ll forget where I put
something, but then as soon as I start looking for it I remember where it is.”
“Yeah, man. It’s all probability, I think. You know, like it’s
super probable that you’ll remember where something is, but then the
probability of you remembering where everything is when you need it your entire
life is super small. But just because it’s small doesn’t mean it can’t happen.”
“Huh,” Dex said, to himself this time. Then, louder, “Like
the probability of us being friends.” He smirked.
Nursey smiled back at him. “No. That was inevitable.”
VOMIT WARNING (I know some people don’t like that, so just a warning)
Because I’m spiraling into a Voltron writing obsession, here’s another college AU, based loosely on my own experiences ayyyyyy *finger guns*
(Also you should definitely send me some prompts because I want to write more Voltron but don’t know what else to write)
“So I was thinking we could-” Keith started, but was once again, for what must have been the hundredth time today, cut off by Lance.
“-Hey, have you guys seen that video?”
Keith and Hunk groaned in frustration.
Shiro sighed. “You did it again, Lance.”
Keith let out an exasperated sigh. “Lance! You can’t keep-Lance! I’m talking to you. Will you pay attention for like, FIVE minutes? Or even TWO?”
Lance snapped his attention back to Keith. “Hmm?”
Keith clenched his jaw, frustration bubbling in his chest. Lance was completely unable to focus. On ANYTHING. He had been distracted and disruptive all day, bouncing off the walls and going off on tangents that were completely unrelated to what anybody was talking about.
Keith was exhausted just trying to keep up with him. Even Shiro, ever patient Shiro, was growing frustrated with him.
“What’s WITH you today?”
“I…uh…too much coffee, I guess.” Lance said, glancing around uncomfortably before hopping out of his seat and grabbing all his stuff.
“Lance, what’s going o-”
“-I have to go do homework!”
Keith, Shiro and Hunk watched as Lance hurried off.
“What…was that?” Hunk asked. “I mean he’s always been…crazy but not like THIS.”
“Uh…coffee, apparently.” Shiro frowned.
Lance burst into his room, his heart pounding in his chest. He was just annoying everyone, but he couldn’t help it. He tried, he tried SO hard, but he was completely and totally unable to focus.
He had completely forgotten to take his medication this morning, and he didn’t realize it until nearly five PM, and by that time it was too late. If he took it now, he wouldn’t sleep that night, and he needed to sleep.
He knew it was a lost cause, but he was going to try and get some studying done.
Instead of studying, he found himself spinning in his desk chair, staring up at the ceiling to count the tiles.
While he was spinning, some Velcro from one of his projects caught his eye, and before he knew it, he was taping half of it to the wall, and half to his hands.
Keith walked in right as he was about to launch himself off the bed and onto the wall.
“Yes, roomie?” Lance asked, bouncing up and down on the bed lightly.
“What the hell are you doing? Get down!”
“I wanted to be SpiderMan.”
“You wanted to be spider-get down!” He cried, throwing his hands in the air. “I thought you were studying.”
“I was going to…but then I got sidetracked.” He said, slowly coming to a standstill.
“Okay, this,” Keith said, gesturing from the wall to Lance, “is NOT a good idea. Seriously.”
Lance sighed. “Yeah I guess you’re right - hey have you seen that video?”
Keith pinched the bridge of his nose. “I don’t…you need to be a bit more specific. What video are you talking about?”
“The…uh…guy who ate weed brownies and thought he was dead. Ooh! There’s this really good show on Netflix. The Flash, have you heard of it?Season one isn’t great, but it gets better. Have you watched it?”
Keith blinked. “No, I haven’t. Lance, are you alright?”
“You’re all over the place, man.”
Lance’s face hardened, and he got off the bed and went to sit at his desk. “I told you. I had too much coffee.”
Keith sat on his bed, facing Lance.
He watched as Lance struggled to calm himself enough to focus.
He watched as Lance tapped his pencil on the desk incessantly and rolled back and forth in his chair while he stared at his laptop. He must have gotten up fifteen times to go walk to their mini fridge and walk back to his seat.
Then, Lance straightened in his chair and pressed a hand to his stomach. A grimace crossed his face and he stood up.
“Lance? Are you okay?”
“Stomachache.” He bit out, gritting his teeth as he climbed into bed.
Keith frowned. “Are you going to be sick?”
“I don’t…maybe.” He groaned.
“What happened? You were fine literally a minute ago.”
“I’m fine. Leave me alone.” He groaned, curling into himself as tightly as possible.
“-I’m FINE. This happens a lot. Leave me alone.”
“What do you mean?” He demanded. “Do you need to see a doctor?”
Lance let out a heavy sigh. “I have…nnngh…I have ADHD.”
“That…what does that have to do with your stomach?”
“I forgot to take my meds. This is a side effect.”
“Oh shit.” Keith said, his eyebrows shooting up. “Do you need anything?”
“I just need to…r-ride it out.” He groaned, gripping the blankets and writhing in pain. Sharp, stabbing, cramping pains were shooting across his abdomen in waves.
“Are you sure?”
Lance just groaned in pain, pressing his face into the pillow.
“Okay, I’m calling Shiro.”
“-it’s not up for discussion, Lance.” He said firmly.
Lance whimpered in pain, squeezing his eyes shut.
Keith dialed Shiro’s number, keeping his eyes on Lance.
“Shiro, we need you over here.”
“What’s the matter?”
“What happened with Lance?”
“He has a really bad stomachache…he’s writhing in pain in bed and I don’t know what to do.”
“Does he have a fever?”
“I don’t-Lance, do you have a fever?”
“No, idiot. I don’t have a fever.” Lance spat. “I’m not SICK, you don’t need to call Sh-Shiro…I’m f-ngggh.”
Keith rolled his eyes. “He doesn’t have a fever.”
“Give him something for the pain, I’ll be there soon.”
A wave of nausea rolled over him, and he got out of bed and made a b-line for the bathroom.
Lance slammed the door shut, and leaned over the toilet to empty his stomach. When he emerged from the bathroom, pale and shaky, Shiro was there.
“Are you alright?” He asked, pressing his hand to Lance’s cheek.
Lance batted his hand away. “I’m fine.”
Throwing up almost always brought relief when this happened. He felt mostly better, his stomach still hurt but it was nowhere as bad as before.
“You’re not fine.” Shiro said, shaking his head. Lance groaned, thoroughly irritated at all the attention he was getting.
Keith pursed his lips. “He says it’s a side effect from not taking his medication.”
Shiro frowned. “What? What medication?”
Lance clenched his jaw. “I have ADHD. I forgot to take my medication and that’s why I was so unbearable today.”
“Lance, you weren’t-”
“I annoyed you…I know I was. I knew when I kept cutting you off. I know how annoying I get when I don’t take them…I tried really hard to stop…to be normal, but I couldn’t. I’m sorry.” Lance said, his eyes filling with tears.
“Look,” Shiro started. “I’ll admit…I was getting frustrated.”
“Me too, but dude, it wasn’t just that you were annoying. We knew something was up, you’re not usually this…uh…”
“All over the place.” Shiro supplied.
“Yeah, that. You’re not usually all over the place like this.”
After what Bitty has been referring to in his own head as “The Incident” (with capital letters and all), things between the lax team and the hockey team are… Better? Naturally, Bitty couldn’t tell his team about what had happened, and in fact hadn’t even been pressured to; the teammates who’d been in the house at the time hadn’t even realized he was gone until he was strolling back through the door. So much for having each other’s backs, Bitty had mumbled to himself as he rolled out his pie crust.
But that had been nearly a month ago, and since then, the hockey team hadn’t been over even once to bang at the door with complaints– not even when the house had hosted a party two weeks ago and their music had been loud enough for the bass to be felt a full block away. It’s unusual behavior, and Bitty would be lying if he ever tried to say he isn’t curious about it. The way he sees it, they’re probably just feeling guilty over the whole kidnapping thing. Which is probably fair, all things considered, and Bitty appreciates their consideration. For the most part.
Despite the hockey team’s apparent peace with the lacrosse team, they do still seem a little spiteful. Either that, or Bitty is projecting his own spite onto them; he’s been sitting at the house’s kitchen table for a full two hours now, picking at a now cold tray of bagel bites as he tries to finish an essay. It’s not due until the next Monday, a fact that has Bitty thanking any and all gods who may exist, because there is no way in hell he can finish it tonight with the loud music blaring from across the street. Bitty keeps finding himself bouncing a leg to the beat and staring blankly at his laptop instead of actually writing, and after the fourth time, he finally sighs and slams the thing shut, sliding it perhaps too roughly into his backpack. He deposits the entire bag safely by the stairs before he heads out.
A snippet of what might have happened the first night Jack spent in Madison in July 2015, bc I had an hour to kill and I was thinking about how Jack was Eric’s first everything.
He definitely liked kissing, Eric decided.
The way Jack’s lips were soft and firm at the same time, pressing and sliding against his. The way they moved, sucking just a little at his lower lip, then at his upper lip, not demanding, but so warm and inviting.
Jack’s breath on his face.
Jack’s lips parted, encouraging Eric’s to part. That was good. Very good. So was the sound Jack made when Eric followed his example and sucked Jack’s lower lip between his, just a little.
Jack’s tongue, touching the inside edge of Eric’s lips, then then licking further when Eric opened his mouth wider on a quiet moan.
Jack tasted good.
Eric experimented a bit more, letting his tongue push forward, feeling Jack’s teeth, tasting a hint of the bitterness of the beer he’d drunk after dinner. Then tasting something almost sweet. Jack.
Jack’s hands, cradling Eric’s head, supporting him but not controlling his movements. Jack’s fingers, brushing through the short hair at the nape of his neck.
Jack’s lips, moving to trail tiny kisses down the side of Eric’s neck. Jack’s smell, his soap and deodorant and Jack, in the air around Eric.
Eric knew the wooden slats of the back porch swing were digging into his hip where he was turned to face Jack as well he could. He knew it was uncomfortable. He didn’t care. He’d gladly stay here forever, wrapped in the warm summer darkness, shielded from his parents windows by the porch roof, well away from any curious neighbors.
Eric figured Jack liked kissing, if only from the way he had kissed Eric when he found Eric in Jack’s old room after graduation, then left with a promise to text.
Those brief kisses – just a few (three) presses of lips – those had been wonderful, and they gave Eric hope that when it came to it, he would like kissing. That he would like kissing Jack.
But he wasn’t entirely sure. The only other kiss he had – well, half a kiss, maybe – with the rugby player (Benjamin? Bradley?), hadn’t felt anything like this. When Benjamin (Eric was going to go with that, even if it wasn’t his name) had swooped over him in the booth at Annie’s, it had felt intrusive. His breath was hot, and Eric felt overheated and exposed as he twisted away, their mouths barely meeting as Eric moved to stand and flee. He felt equal parts guilty – most people would be OK with a kiss on a second date, right? – and angry, because Benjamin should have asked first. Maybe Eric would have said yes. Maybe if they weren’t in a crowded coffee shop.
This felt nothing like that. This was the silky texture of Jack’s hair in one hand, the solid muscles of his chest under the other. It was Jack’s lips exploring and asking, never demanding and taking. Although Eric was starting to expect that at some point, he would like that. This was Jack-110-percent-Zimmermann bringing all his focus to bear on making Eric feel amazing with just his mouth. This was safety and comfort and trust, and a frisson in Eric’s spine when he thought about taking it further. In a bed. Without wooden slats.
Eric dragged his lips to the corner of Jack’s jaw, feeling the stubble that had appeared there.
Kissing was definitely good, he decided.
“Hmmm?” Jack said. “Yes, kissing is good. Definitely.”
Lord, he hadn’t meant to say that out loud. No matter. It was true.
Eric leaned up to capture Jack’s mouth again.
1) The first Benvolio calls her beloved, its sarcastic, a sound with filled with heat, burning her veins, irritation lining her stomach. She doesn't act on it, merely throws him a smile that doesn't meet her eyes. Rosaline doesn't acknowledge the heat in her stomach, the soft fluttering of her heart at his proximity. He calls her beloved for the first time and Rosaline is too irritated to notice how much she likes it.
The second time he calls her beloved, it’s softer, but no less warm. They’d been arguing, words spewing out of their lips with rising ferocity. Rosaline can’t even remember what she’d said, what words came tumbling out of her lips that made him stride towards her, stopping a hairs breath away from her. Benvolio stares, eyes regarding hers with a ferocity she hadn’t yet seen from him. He calls her his beloved, the phrase still so very sarcastic but soft, no longer sharp like glass.
He calls her Beloved and Rosaline feels her anger slip away from her like water.
The third time he calls her beloved, it’s under the cover of darkness, the lack of light loosening their grips on their emotions, offering a sense of vulnerability, Rosaline had never thought she’d show. To him of all people. But she finds herself softening, words no longer tucked behind steel cages, and smiling at him more often then not. He calls her his beloved, so soft and quiet like he’s in awe.
As though he’s unsure of himself. He says it so quietly, so softly that the wind is what carries it to her ears. Rosaline finds herself smiling, small and bright, warm just like the feeling in her stomach and in her veins. Neither of them say anything, both caught up in the relative ease of their relationship for the first time. Benvolio calls her his beloved, in front of her home, under the night sky, so quiet, meant for her and her only. And Rosaline knew now how much she liked it.
The next time he calls her his beloved, it’s under the sheets of their new home. He mumbled it, still caught in the hold of sleep and Rosaline couldn’t help but admire the way the word hung from his lips. His hands find her own, warm and gentle and Rosaline can’t help but squeeze and press a feather light kiss to the knuckle. Benvolio chuckles once and Rosaline can’t help the answering smile that curls around her lips.
Bitty was toweling off his hair
when he heard his phone buzz. Resigned to the fact that the Georgia humidity
was going to ruin any careful sculpting he wanted to do, Bitty huffed a sigh
and went to check his phone.
J-Z: Thank you for the cookies, Bittle.
Bitty grinned at the text. He
paused before typing, wondering if he shouldn’t cover himself up before
responding to Jack. He gnawed his lip for a minute and smiled. Well, if he got
a little thrill out of texting his crush in the buff – that was between him and
the lord, no reason for Jack Zimmermann to worry his pretty little head over
Me: Anytime, honey.
Bitty sighed and flopped on his
bed, phone resting on his chest. Lord, just thinking about that boy made him
feel flushed. He gave a little yelp when the phone buzzed again, sending a
tingle through his body.
J-Z: What are you up to?
“This boy,” Bitty said to Señor Bun,
who offered Bitty a sympathetic look.
Me: Nothing much. Just working out and eating more protein!
“Lord, he puts a
period after everything,” Bitty showed the text to Bun.
am! I’ve been doing the chest press variations you showed me, I think it’s made
a big difference.
“Yeah?” Bitty looked at Bun. “What the hell does yeah mean?”
It sounded kind of like
flirting, but one never knew with Jack. He could just want Bitty’s new chest
measurements to mark off on some sort of Team Workout Progress chart he made in his
flirting, Jack isn’t programmed to flirt…right?”
Bun didn’t seem
to have a lot of thoughts on the subject. Bitty looked at the text one more
time and screwed up his mouth. Well, Jack wanted to know about his progress,
maybe Bitty should show him. Just because Jack was a hockey robot didn’t mean
Bitty couldn’t have a little harmless fun flirting.
“He’ll probably just
think it’s informative, right?”
Before Bun could talk him out of it, Bitty
hopped up. Running a hand through his hair, Bitty held out the camera, made his
signature selfie face, framed the shot to show off his chest and abs, and flexed his
heart was hammering, so he took one second to check his face in the picture and
then immediately sent it to Jack.
Bitty sat his phone down and shivered, the AC finally
driving him to put some clothes on. When he was decent, he checked his phone –
no new messages.
Not even a haha for his efforts? That
was disappointing. On a whim, he checked the conversation – maybe Jack had
responded and his phone had just failed to notify him? Bitty looked at the
texts, nothing since he sent the picture.
What was that in the background?
Bitty pulled up
the pic and promptly dropped his phone.
His mirror. The
full-length mirror that Moomaw had given to him on his 14th
birthday. Bitty hadn’t even noticed it behind him. Sadly the camera had,
offering the viewer a full-length view of Bitty’s completely naked backside.
“Oh God,” Bitty whispered,
wrapping Bun in a panicked hug. “I just sexted Jack Zimmermann.”
A/N: 3.1K of Sin Bin logistics, guys being dudes, and dudes being gross. I couldn’t stop laughing writing parts of this. It’s ridiculous. I’m sorry.
Dex cracked an eye open. He’d been asleep on the green
monstrosity, post-kegster. The light coming through the window was thin and
gray, and he could hear Bitty in the kitchen, humming softly as he washed
dishes. Ransom and Holster were not yet acting as cleanup crew, so they were
presumably still asleep. Nursey was across the room, curled in an armchair.
They’d rock-paper-scissored for the couch. The victor had surprised no one.
Standing over Dex was Chowder, his brows pinched and his
hands fidgeting at his sides. “Dex,” he whispered fiercely.
“Huh?” Dex asked, tucking a yawn into his elbow.
“Dex, the dryer’s broken again.”
Dex sighed and sat up. He ran a hand over his face, wiping
sleep away. “Sorry, Chow. It’s the best I can do.”
“It’s making… noises.”
“Yeah. It’ll work as long as you don’t put too much in it.”
“Dex, it sounds like it’s going to catch fire.”
“I know. We’re only $700 away from a new one. $400,
probably, after last night.” After much debate, it had been the first kegster
where they’d charged an entrance fee.
“This is the third day I’ve worn this pair of boxers.”
Yeah, they really needed that cash.
Dex blinked slowly, shook his head, breathed through his
nose. “Ok. First, gross. Second, I – gross. Third, the washer still works. Hang
up your laundry. I have a drying rack in my dorm. I don’t really need it, so
I’ll bring it over.”
Chowder looked about to cry. “Thank you, Dex.” He grabbed
the back of Dex’s head and rushed forward to kiss both his cheeks. By the time
Dex could protest, he was already bounding up the stairs, hopefully to get his
dirty laundry and fucking wash it. Dex personally hoped the others followed his
example. There’d been a certain ambiance around the haus the past week.
Dex would bring over the drying
rack, but a single drying rack could not handle the laundry of a haus full of
hockey players. It would be a temporary solution, a bandaid over a bullet
wound. He’d have to find a way to get the money soon.
(wowzaihavesomanyquestions) About deaf!Keith, is he still entirely vocal(still signs tho)? Or does he just stick to signing along with a few sounds for clarification? Also with Lance, is he an interpreter for Keith or another student just touring the school with Keith? Lastly, is Keith able to read lips? Thank you for taking time in reading this I adore your art as well as your au!!! 💞
oh gosh thank your for your interest in my AU anon!
here are my own headcanons:
- Keith was born with severe hearing loss, so he wears really strong hearing aids. He relies heavily on lip-reading, sign language and writing as communication. (He used a tablet but it broke so he uses the sketchbook now)
- He didn’t really do speech therapy so he can’t speak? He was orphaned and moved a lot so he didn’t get to stay at one place to learn. He probably squeaks sounds out without realizing it tbh (lance thinks it’s cute and illegal stop that)
- Lance is a student at the high school and is Keith’s classmate. Keith is enrolled in a special scholarship for deaf kids that the school offers!
everything is pretty much still in brainstorming stage, but those are what I think are solid for my headcanons of the AU ^o^
Derek Hale, Earl of Osterbrook, has inherited, following the death of Lord Montfort, a run down house in Yorkshire he neither needs nor wants, convinced his staff are robbing him, and with the mystery of a missing ward, he manages to get himself talked into a ridiculous bet, that he cannot pass as a steward until Midwinter, nearly two months away. So can he maintain the charade? Find the missing child? And manage to turn the shambles of a house around, or will he give up and let Peter take the thousand pounds he bet.
Derek is a simple horseman from the mountains, Stiles is an enthusiastic university graduate ready to make a name for himself. In any other situation, they would have gone their entire lives never having met. It’s probably a good thing then, that they both happened to be in the wrong place at the right time.
Stiles wakes up and suddenly the war is over, he’s no longer a penniless mage, and living in an exquisite manor married to the man he’s been in love with for far too long.
“It’ll be fine,” Stiles says gallantly. “I am certain I will just fall in love with my husband all over again, and I will find plenty of joy doing that.” He winks at Derek for good measure. Derek blinks.
Derek doesn’t expect much from his arranged marriage. When his inattentive husband, Lord Stiles Stilinski, tells him he’s free to look for a lover, he doesn’t know where to start, until a dashing bandit named the Red Fox catches his eye. ~ The Fox winks again. “Have a good night, Derek,” he purrs in a sultry tone, and then climbs back on the horse and disappears into the night. Derek walks up the path towards the manor in a daze, and it isn’t until he’s inside when he realizes he never told the Fox his name or where he lived.
Stiles was always a sick child. He was never supposed to live beyond his infancy—shocking many when he reaches adulthood. With his inevitable death looming over his country, Stiles chooses to accept a successor through marriage. His advisors commission a painter to capture the prince’s likeness in order to advertise him to potential candidates. Only, Derek Hale isn’t like most painters—or humans, for that matter.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single alpha in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a mate.
Whether or not Derek Hale felt that way was hardly a concern to the neighborhood — the very fact of his arrival was enough that the surrounding families seemed to consider him the rightful property of one or another of their eligible sons and daughters. That was, of course, before they met the man.
Stiles is an omega who is bullied by his beta stepmother into wearing a dress during the day, so when his new suitor turns out to be painfully shy around society he pretends to be a servant girl (a homely one) to get to know the real person, whilst his step mother tries to marry her alpha daughter to her omega ward despite neither of them want it, and the sheriff (called Josiah) tries to remain constantly drunk for the entire weekend.
Stiles Stilinski has lived 19 years without revealing his secret. He’s a fine gentleman, a stellar horseman, and a sassy addition to any conversation, but he keeps his true feelings to himself. When the Hale family moves into the county, the Stilinski’s throw a ball in their honor and Stiles in swept up into the gravity of the eldest son. Propriety tells him to keep his distance, but can he ignore the urges pulling them ever closer? At first sight, Stiles is already undone.
Bitty has never been the biggest fan of confrontation. On the contrary, he spends a great deal of time avoiding most conflict these days. Even on the field, confrontation is Bitty’s mortal enemy, a fact proven by the way he freezes up and nearly passes out every time someone threatens to check him.
There is one place Bitty accepts (if not exactly welcomes) confrontation, though, and that’s in the safety of the lax house. Or, more often, the safety of the front lawn of the lax house when the pesky hockey team across the street starts trouble. Realistically, he knows his own team contributes to some of the bickering and fighting that goes on on that lawn, but more often than not it’s the hockey team who barges over uninvited to complain about this or that.
Here you go, lovely! You’re beautiful and your hair looks especially good today. I hope you enjoy, and have a great day.
The best things about playing hockey
with your boyfriend:
1) the chemistry. Dex always knew where
Nursey was. Nursey always knew where Dex was. They had a bond that
2) all the time they got to spend
together. If Dex were dating anyone else, between classes and hockey,
he wouldn’t get to spend nearly as much time as he did with Nursey,
who he shared practices and roadies with.They understood the stresses
of each others’ schedules because they were the same.
3) having someone there when he got
hurt. Hockey was violent, injury was expected. That didn’t make it
any easier. Having someone there to help you did help, though.
At least, that was what Dex expected.
His concussion wasn’t bad. He didn’t necessarily need help, but that
little part inside of him who still begged for mommy when he got a
cold was happy with the idea of Nursey taking care of him through it.
As it turned out, though, Nursey’s
bedside manner left a lot to be desired, in the exact opposite way
Dex expected. If anything, Dex thought that Nursey would be too
aloof, dismissive of Dex’s requests. Maybe that Nursey would use them
as ammo for chirps.
But no. Nursey hovered. He was
constantly there, always looking for something else to do, some way
to ‘help’ Dex. And, yeah, one of the things Dex liked about playing
hockey with Nursey was the time they got to spend together, but there
was also such a thing as too much time together. For nearly a week
straight after his injury, they were practically attached at the hip.
The worst thing, though, wasn’t the
hovering. It wasn’t the weird pain diary Nursey was forcing him to
keep. It wasn’t even the constant arguments about whether or not Dex
could go to class by himself. No, the worst was Nursey’s obsession
with feeding Dex.
It made a sort of sense for Nursey to
feed him when Dex still saw fireworks behind his eyes anytime he
tried to push himself too hard. But that wasn’t long, a couple days,
at most. A week was pushing it, and driving Dex insane.
After a particularly tough day eight of
his concussion, he just wanted to cuddle his boyfriend and watch a
stupid movie without being force-fed whatever Nursey had in reach. He
didn’t care what he had eaten that day, he wasn’t counting his
calories, but apparently Nursey did and was. Nursey kept trying to
shove those disgusting gummy candies Nursey loved so much in his
The only response was another slice of
gummy pizza landing in his open mouth. Dex resisted the urge to spit
it back at Nursey, who took that as acceptance that he wanted
another. That one, Dex did spit out.
Nursey’s eyebrows shot up. “Eat the
Nursey rolled them so that he was
crouched over Dex on the small dorm bed. He put on his best hockey
face on, failing to look intimidating when his cheeks bulged a little
with candy. Dex clamped his mouth shut, trying to defend himself
against the gummies that Nursey was persistently trying to smoosh
“Eat. The. Candy. Dex.”
“Quit it or I’ll bite.” Before he
could respond, Dex added, “Not in the fun way. In the painful way.”
Dex snapped at his fingers to prove his
point. With a sigh, Nursey relented, but there was something more to
it. He seemed to wilt a little, resting back on his heels, though
careful not to settle too much weight on Dex’s thighs or knees.
Nursey dumped all the candies on Dex’s
bedside table. With his now free hand, he carefully cradled Dex’s
face, thumb brushing his cheekbones, the place Dex knew was a nasty
yellow color from where he hit the boards.
Dex realized that, for the first time,
Nursey was actually reacting to his injuries. He wasn’t focused on
how Dex was feeling, or what doctor’s orders were, or how to be the
best boyfriend cum nursemaid he could be. Just that the person he
loved was laying before him, injured.
His expression was heartbreaking.
That expression, the look in Nursey’s
eye, said more than the man would ever say by himself. All the
mothering Nursey was doing was just as much for his benefit, as
Dex’s. Nursey was terrified of Dex being hurt the way he was. He was
angry that he couldn’t have done anything on the ice to prevent it
from happening. He was upset that his attempts to help were more
annoyances than actual help.
With a sigh, Dex grabbed one of the
fallen candies from his sheets and popped it in his mouth. It tasted
plasticky and he hated it, just like he hated every other junk food
his boyfriend made him eat the past week, but. But he could deal with
it for a little while longer, if that’s what it took to make Nursey
so i wrote this for @capseycartwright and word on the dash is that she’s had some sort of day of birth?????????????? like celebrations and stuff?????????? and what better way to celebrate that than with a homage to the part of her that is bisexual and proud of it. so, without further adieu, i bring you: sugden bisexual adventures and protectiveness :)))
(notes; NO INCIDENT OR SUCH THINGS TAKE PLACE IN THIS FIC.
sacred trust (vic, robert, past vic/adam, aaron/robert)
They’re at Bar West.
Robert’s still not particularly fond of the place, but he’s warming to it. It’s the nearest gay bar, though it’s almost a gay pub, and Robert’s definitely not willing to go into Leeds or Manchester for more of nightlife that he’s not overly comfortably with.
“Counselling helps with that,” Aaron had told him, dryly, when Robert had mentioned it.
That’s for Wednesdays, though, when Robert’s stuck in a too-small room with someone far more invested in his history than he is. He wants to be well, though, so he goes.
Still. Bar West. Discomfort.
To be fair to himself, most of Robert’s discomfort comes from the fact that there’s a couple of women standing at the bar, one either side of Victoria, and they’re flirting.
As much as Robert likes to pretend that she is sometimes, Vic’s not innocent. There’s been Aaron (Robert is definitely not going there), Daz, Adam and he’s fairly sure there have been others, but he’s never had the inclination - or the want - to ask. She knows what flirting looks like, obviously, but either she’s being deliberately coy, or she’s unused to this particular brand of attention.
Robert’s still trying to get his around it.
“I’m bisexual,” Vic says, cheeks red and eyes downcast.
A myriad of emotions run through Robert lightning fast, a torrent of pain and fear and love. Before, when he was the asshole some people still assume he is, he’d have scoffed at her, made a joke, probably hurt her. Thankfully, he’s trying and instead of vitriol, he curls a hand around her elbow, squeezing gently.
“Hey,” he says, lifting her chin with his free hand. “I love ya, you know that?”
Vic nods, eyes wet, but she leans into his touch.
Robert tugs her in for a hug, rests his chin on his head. His heart hurts, the press of not good enough filling his chest like a curse. He’s not going to be that person; he’s not going to be responsible for Vic feeling like she’s not worth the best in life. It’s easy to think, maybe hard to do, but Robert bears the scars of what hatred and ignorance can do.
Vic wipes at her face. “You’re not mad?”
“Why?” Robert ask, genuinely bewildered.
“I thought you’d -” Vic pauses, pulls away from Robert a little. “I was worried you’d think I was copying ya. I’m not.”
“I know,” Robert says immediately, and he does. “Vic, I’m the last person who’s gonna hate ya for this.”
Robert looks up from his drink, eyebrows raised. There’s a good-looking guy stood at the table, cocktail in hand, and a smile that Robert recognises all too well. “Alright?”
“Is this seat taken?” The guy rests his free hand on the back of Vic’s chair, eyebrows raised.
“My sister,” Robert says, because he’s still an asshole, and he wants to watch the way the guy’s smile gets wider. Robert’s wedding ring is hidden from view and he runs his thumb over it.
The guy nods, though he doesn’t make a move either way. “You new around here?”
“Been here a couple of times,” Robert says nonchalantly, shrugging one shoulder. He lets his eyes run over some of the patrons, lingering a little on Vic - who’s finally looking startled at the attention she’s receiving - before resting on the guy’s face.
“See anything you like?”
Robert wants to laugh. As far as chat up lines go, it’s not the worst he’s heard, but it could use some work. “I did.”
The guy catches the tense, a flicker of a frown, before he considers whether that means he’s getting lucky or not. “So?”
“Not here,” Robert explains, putting the guy out of his misery. “I met a guy at home. Married him n’all.”
It only takes a second to sink in, and the guy’s expression flits between frustration and resignation. “See ya around.”
Robert doesn’t even bother to acknowledge the parting words. His face hurts with how much he’s grinning, the thought of Aaron back home, probably fighting Liv into bed, watching stupid reruns of Top Gear while pretending he’s not waiting for Robert to get home.
The Mill’s quiet, so Robert makes en effort not to slam the door; sometimes it means that Aaron’s napping, taking a few before Liv comes down for dinner. Dumping his bag in the hallway, Robert toes of his shoes and peers around the door.
Aaron’s sitting at the table, but he’s not alone. Vic’s there too, both of them with their backs to him. Robert doesn’t know what makes him stop and listen, but he leans against the wall, shoulder and hip to the solid surface.
“-worried about him.”
Vic’s nodding, tapping her fingers on the table. “He didn’t really talk about it with me. Just said he was proud of me.”
“He probably is,” Aaron says, his voice warm. Robert’s heart lurches. They’re talking about him. It would usually piss him off, can’t help it, but he knows it’s because he’s not used to people doing it and it not being a bad thing. Aaron sighs. “I don’t exactly help.”
Robert frowns, doesn’t know where they’re going, until Vic says, “why?”
Aaron sits back in his chair, thumb catching the rim of his mug. “I didn’t understand it. Said some things I wish I hadn’t.”
Immediately, Robert knows what he’s talking about; they’ve had the conversation plenty of times, usually when Aaron’s drunk and apologetic, and no matter how many, “it’s fine”’s Robert gives him, Aaron’ll still do it.
“He seems alright now?” Vic offers.
Robert wants to laugh; he’s spent most of his adult life pretending to be something he’s not - if he didn’t want Vic to know he was struggling, she wouldn’t know.
Aaron knows him, though. “He’s good at hiding it, Vic. He used to hate himself. I’ve met homophobes before, but this was different. He was so angry.”
“He was trying to hurt ya,” Vic says, because she gets him too.
“No.” Aaron’s tone is firm, and it surprises both Vic and Robert.
Robert’s almost positive he doesn’t want to hear what comes next, but he can’t make his feet work, can’t open his mouth to announce his presence.
“Robert has good reason to hate that part of himself,” Aaron says, and Robert closes his eyes, drops his head back against the wall. It hurts to hear, hurts to acknowledge but Robert’s self-aware now, more so than he really wants to be, but he knows Aaron’s right.
“Will he hate me?” Vic says, after a lengthy pause.
“No,” Robert says, at the same time as Aaron.
Both Vic and Aaron shove away from the table, surprised and startled, but Robert stands a little straighter, meets their eyes.
“I don’t hate ya,” Robert says again, firmer.
Finally extracting herself from the two women, Vic carries over fresh drinks to the table, a flush high on her face.
“Having fun?” Robert asks.
Vic gives him a look, but her blush doesn’t fade.
“It’s alright you know,” Robert adds, leaning his arms on the table. “You can flirt.”
“I know.” Vic nods, almost to herself, and gives him a bright smile. “It’s nice.”
Robert snorts, takes a long gulp of his drink. “Just nice?”
“Stop fishing,” Vic says, peering back over his shoulder. The two women are still at the bar, both of them occasionally giving Vic a nod and a smile.
“Going home with anyone?”
Vic throws a napkin at his face, and as Robert bats it away, laughing, she draws her legs up on the chair, feet tucked under her thighs. “I didn’t think it would be like this.”
“Like what?” Robert asks, sobering a little.
“Happy?” Vic shrugs, but there’s a smile on her face. “I thought I’d be scared and that it would be hard, but everyone here is so accepting.”
Not everyone is, Robert thinks, but doesn’t say.
Vic’s still talking, eyes roaming the bar. Robert’s not hearing the words though, stuck on the sight of how happy Vic looks, the ease with which she’s taken to Bar West. Unlike Robert, she’s outwardly proud of her sexual discovery.
It makes Robert want to protect that part of her, to never let anyone take the happiness from her.
He knows what the opposite looks like, has felt the wrath of ignorance and disappointment, and he doesn’t want that for Vic.
“I’m proud of ya,” Robert says, not for the first time.
“I know.” Vic’s smile is worth every unwanted come-on, every guy who thinks the wedding ring on Robert’s finger is worth nothing.
“I’m sorry,” Aaron says.
Vic’s gone, embarrassed and apprehensive. Robert’s gonna have to text her later, apologise, but right now he’s sat on the edge of the bed, staring at the tea stain on his dresser.
“Hey,” Aaron says gently, wrapping an arm around Robert’s neck, resting his chin on Robert’s shoulder. “Alright?”
“Yeah,” Robert says, surprised to discover he means it. Turning his face, he presses a kiss to Aaron’s cheek. “I don’t hate that part of myself.”
“Robert,” Aaron starts, but Robert pulls back, takes his hand.
“I did,” Robert allows, watches the flicker of confusion on Aaron’s face. “A year ago I’d have told ya that I did, that I wished I was anything but bisexual.”
Aaron’s face shifts, eyes wet, and Robert squeezes his hand.
“Not now,” Robert tells him, presses their foreheads together. “Not now with you and Liv and counselling.”
I could never hate the part of me that gave me you.
Robert can’t say it, it just isn’t him, but he hopes Aaron knows it anyway.
“I love ya,” Aaron says, fingers on the back of Robert’s neck, drawing him in for a kiss.
“I love you,” Robert echoes, curling around Aaron, resting his face in the crook of Aaron’s neck.
“Same time next week?” Vic asks, hopefully, though there’s a resignation to her expression.
It’s habit to want to say no. He always does to Aaron, but this is different; this is his little sister, and Robert’s trying to be a better person. Besides, it’s hilarious as fuck to brush of guys who think they have a shot.
As if Robert would ever pick anyone else when he has Aaron to go home to.
“Alright,” he says, tugging his phone out of his back pocket to text Aaron. “But you’re buying again.”
Vic scowls, slaps his arm, but as they tumble into a nearby taxi, she’s happy and proud, a combination Robert’s determined to keep for her.
“Maybe Aaron’ll come,” Robert adds, because he can’t help himself.
“And make me a third wheel?” Vic wrinkles her nose. “No thanks. Sugdens only.”
“Technically-,” Robert starts, laughing as Vic wallops him on the thigh. “I’m kidding. “Alright,” he acquiesces again. “Next week.”
“Good,” Vic says, looking out of the window.
Robert scrolls through his messages (four from Aaron - variations of derogatory remarks about cars that amount to I miss you and this show sucks, six from Liv - all emojis, and one from Chas - all emojis) and replies distractedly. He can’t stop looking over at Vic, at the shadows flickering over her face.
Sometimes he wonders what their dad would have done or said, whether he would have hurt her. The thought of it makes Robert sick and mad in equal measure. Resting his head against the headrest, he flicks Vic on the thigh, grins when she thumps him, smiling at him through the window.
Vic won’t ever have reason to hate this part of herself, Robert thinks, determined.
When he was little, Bitty snuck into the living room while his cousins were staying over and watched a scene in the horror movie they were watching where a young woman had her wings ripped from her back. It was the most terrifying thing he had ever seen in his young life and he cried so bad when he saw it his mother flew down the stairs to snatch him up and croon soothing words to him to calm him down. His cousins were so alarmed that they turned the movie off and promised to never play those specific horror movies again.
It took a few years before Bitty found out there were things worse than having your wings torn off. Being locked in that utility closet for hours, unable to get out, wings completely useless in the situation he was forced in, was worse. Getting held down and having your wings belted together to get them to heal was worse. If your wings weren’t there, you knew you couldn’t use them. But when they were still apart of you, still on your back and still functional and you could do nothing with them? That was worse.
Bitty didn’t have to wonder why he avoided team grooming.
The only people that ever touched his wings were his mother and father. They were the only ones that understood how delicate his wings were; how sensitive his secondaries were compared to others, how easy it was to rip out feathers with even the slightest of movements. He groomed his feathers on his own, even when he knew he would pull out his feathers on his own. Two or three feathers could be risked in the face of handfuls of them and bloody wings.
There was also the vulnerability. Being trapped beneath someone’s hands and completely at their mercy? It was horrifying. There was nothing Bitty hated more than being unable to use his wings in a situation. It reminded him of when he was trapped, unable to do anything with the appendages God gave him for flight.
He knew his friends were sometimes hurt when he dodged out of team grooming. He knew he needed to trust someone else, because in the real world, he couldn’t always groom his own wings and if he found a partner, they were going to want to do it for him.
Bitty wanted to try.
He wanted to try so bad. He wanted to trust someone, to let someone else’s fingers card through his feathers and soothe his soul. He wanted it so much, and there was only one person he was willing to open up to first.
The taller avian stepped forward, his own wings tucked against his back. They were so much different from Bitty’s own; large and arching, proportionate to Jack, and a deep brown on type of a lighter, softer brown with a slightly lighter, almost blonde, beneath that. They contrasted with Bitty’s; his were golden, like sunshine. He was easy to spot in a crowd.
His Captain deserved to be the first to touch his wings. He placed so much trust into Jack, who had invested time into helping Bitty get better about his checking, it just seemed fair.
“Could you help me?”
Bitty turned around and stretched his wings out, the line of his bare shoulders strong. Jack watched curiously.
“I’ll get cramps in my hands if I try, and I have class at four.”
“Sure, Bittle,” Jack agreed. Bitty heard him step forward and tensed just briefly, right before surprisingly soft hands began carding through his primaries. It was a shock that Jack understood immediately just from touching his primaries that Bitty was a tender bird.
And it was almost like he was back home, with his Daddy’s fingers gently working over his feathers, because if anyone knew what it meant to be a tender bird, it was Coach Bittle, who had to teach his own wife how to groom their son’s wings. It felt good to have someone else do it for the first time in such a long time.
Jack made quick work of straightening feathers and gently massaging the skin beneath them. He didn’t pull too hard. He didn’t make fun of Bitty when he flinched occasionally. He kept at it until Bitty’s feathers were perfectly groomed, and when he pulled away, Bitty missed his touch.
“There. Does this mean you’ll be involved in team grooming now?” Jack smiled.
“Hmm,” Bitty pretended to think. “Only if you groom my wings and teach everyone how to do it.”
“If it’ll get you involved, then deal.”
They sat in silence for a long while, comfortable.
Then, “Was that supposed to be a chirp?”
Jack chuckled and Bitty wondered who would be lucky enough to have someone like Jack Zimmermann in their life.