forty hundred

EULOGY FOR AMERICA

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to say our goodbyes to our dear friend America, who died recently after a brief, intense battle with fascism and a long, slow battle with carbs. Thank you all for coming out to help say farewell. It’s not easy. But at least America died doing what it loved most: deep-frying Halloween candy while white men tried to explain to women what jazz is.

America was sick for a really long time. In the early stages, I think we were all in denial. You could tell that America was unwell—public displays of brutality, deeply internalized prejudice, “Entourage”—but it seemed curable. Just a case of plain old electile dysfunction. We thought that we’d caught the fascism early, but, as we now know, it had metastasized. America was more Florida than country by the end.

America was born right here, in America, and lived here its entire life. America was always about family. It is survived by its similarly ill father, Britain, and its large brood of children: baseball, Google, fireworks, losing your fingers to fireworks, giving your Uber driver only four stars because he talked to you, thinking granola is healthy, Chicago (the place), “Chicago” (the musical), “Chicago” (the movie adaptation of the musical), Chicago (the band), “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Chicago Justice,” “Chicago ‘Chicago’ ” (a show about the Chicago production of the musical “Chicago,” coming to NBC this fall), and a bunch of wars.

I’d personally be nowhere without America. America was there when I was born, when I got married, when I saw Janet Jackson’s nipple at the Super Bowl. Remember that? After that happened, none of us slept for days, because we had never seen the pointy part of a boob on our TVs before, and it really upset us. America was really cool that way. It would always get mad when you’d see the pointy part of a boob on a TV. I’m gonna miss that.

However, we should not dwell on the loss of our dear country, friend, and place where all the Cheesecake Factories and Lids stores are. Today, let’s celebrate America’s life, and remember all of the remarkable things it accomplished and how many actors playing Spider-Man who keep getting cuter and younger were inside of it. America gave us so much. And, boy, did it look good for its age. America was two hundred and forty-one years old when it died, but it didn’t look a day over a hundred and sixty-four! It looked so young, it could’ve been the very same America that put its own citizens in internment camps!

America got a bunch of things really right. Mostly how to put food inside other food. Anyone can just eat a chicken. But in a duck?! In a turkey?! In a gun?! No one is going to forget the Turduckenun any time soon. America was so inventive that way. And, I mean, everyone does silly stuff when they’re young. America was beautiful, too. Sure, it was a little lumpy, and you could always see its Florida through its pants, but it just got hotter with age. So hot. It was so, so hot by the time it died. Almost too hot to live in.

If there’s anything we should take away from this tragedy, it’s that you should always check yourself for fascism, especially around your midsection. It’s easy enough to do in the shower. If you catch it early, it can be cleared up with a rigorous regimen of local elections and books and yoga. But America was cocky. Nothing bad had ever happened to it before! It assumed this fascism would pass, just like the Second World War and “Entourage” had.

What a shame. America was just the best damn country in the whole U.S.A. I’m sorry that I’m getting choked up. I get really emotional when I think of America, and also I took too big of a bite of Turduckenun and it got lodged in my windpipe. We will all miss America greatly. Every time I see an American flag or a gun, I’ll think of America. But we can all rest easy knowing America is in a better place now: Russia.

anonymous asked:

prompt: you meet an angel in a laundromat

the angel sits on top
of one of the washers, kicking
their not-feet in time
to the laundromat muzak,
humming along with
their guttural half-here
half-off in a distant
otherworld voice.

you’ve been watching
the angel for some time,
as they put their bloodied
robes & ragged sandals
on a spin cycle for delicates,
as they poured in soap
& counted out quarters,
but it’s only as you fold
your now dry duvet
that you realize their wings
are covered in a thousand
red eyes. you look at what
should be their face
& find the swirling
of the stars instead.

‘good morning,’ you say
as you pass them on your way
out. the angel grabs your arm.
their touch burns like ice
& makes you ache. ‘your son,’
the angel whispers, ‘tells me
that he is so so proud
of how you got sober. i placed
one hundred forty four
red roses in a vase
by your door. i will be back
next sunday should you need
to talk to someone.’

Six Years and Seven Days

This is pretending that Bellamy could hear Clarke talking all those years, she just can’t hear him responding, and that the ship at the end is them coming back to Earth. 

So…pain. 


Day Three

“Bellamy…are you up there? Are you alive? Is anyone alive?”

Static.

“I only woke up yesterday. At least, I think it was yesterday. I barely made it into the bunker in time, but I made it. And the computer says it’s been three days since the radiation hit, and I was so hungry I thought I might die. Please tell me you didn’t die.”

Silence.

“Bellamy, my mom was right. In a way. My face is disgusting, covered in boils. You’d be laughing at me…probably. Because she was right but so were you. I’m not dead Bellamy. I hope you aren’t either.”

His fingers slammed on the respond button, pushing it down to the point of it feeling like it would crack from the pressure.

“I’m not dead, Clarke. I’m not dead.”

Keep reading

sirius black is 145 days older than james potter and don’t think for a moment that he didn’t hold that over his head

sirius, inspecting his facial hair: don’t worry, prongs. you’re bound to hit puberty soon, i’m sure of it. 

respect your elders, prongs: dumbledore, mcgonagall, your mother, me.

what’s that? i’ve got a watch from your parents before you? 144 more days, prongs. hang in there. 

age before beauty, prongs. no wait, i’ve got that, too. 

as the fairest, tallest, and oldest marauder present, you ought to listen to me.

to lily, when she turns 20: i can’t believe you’re married to a teenager.

how am i one-hundred and forty five days older than you, and i look so young? one of life’s mysteries, i suppose.

to a hungover james: when you’re older, you’ll be able to hold your liquor properly, young buck.

3

books meme: [1/9] nine otps

jem carstairs and tessa gray (the infernal devices)

“Forty-nine thousand, two hundred and seventy-five days since I last kissed you,” he said. “And I thought of you every single one of them. You do not have to remind me of the Tessa I loved. You were my first love and you will be my last one. I have never forgotten you. I have never not thought of you.

10

Nearby is Valhalla, vast and gold-bright. And every day, Odin chooses slain men to join him. They arm themselves and fight in the courtyard. They kill one another; but every night they rise again, and ride back to the hall, and feast. The roof is made out of shields. The rafters are spears. Coats of mail litter the benches. A wolf stands at the Western door and an eagle hovers above it. It has five hundred and forty doors, and when Ragnarok comes, eight hundred warriors will march out of each door, shoulder to shoulder.

2

There were a hundred and forty-two staircases at Hogwarts: wide, sweeping ones; narrow, rickety ones; some that led somewhere different on a Friday; some with a vanishing step halfway up that you had to remember to jump. Then there were doors that wouldn’t open unless you asked politely, or tickled them in exactly the right place, and doors that weren’t really doors at all, but solid walls just pretending. It was also very hard to remember where anything was, because it all seemed to move around a lot. The people in the portraits kept going to visit each other, and Harry was sure the coats of armor could walk.

Beyonce is better than you.  Move on.

I am so tired of these Deep White Women using big words to dull Beyonce’s shine while paying the false coin of being introspective on behalf of all women.  

In doing so, she has created a new paradigm for what it means to be a pregnant woman in the public eye — one in which the very act of conceiving and carrying a child (or two children; she is having twins) becomes de facto proof of the power of femininity, doled out in carefully controlled and stage-managed moments. The message is positive: Pregnant is beautiful. It should be worshiped.

The problem is, for many women it is also messy, sometimes uncomfortable and just another fact of life. And in her extended fetishization of her own physical evolution, Beyoncé has not allowed for any of that. As a result, she hasn’t just raised the bar for fellow famous people. She may have raised it uncomfortably high for us all.

(cont.)

How is anything Beyonce does remotely relevant to your average, everyday, pedestrian existence?  She is Beyonce.  Everything she does, she probably does it better than you.  Why?  An innate talent coupled with an unparalleled work ethic that leads to way more money than you can ever imagine which can pretty much buy her way out of having to deal with normal people shit.

Was Beyonce raising the bar for secrecy when she released a whole ass album with six hundred forty-three videos under the cover of darkness?  No.  You just kept on with your average person ability to tell a lie.

Was Beyonce raising the bar for career achievement when she broke the record for the most number of Grammy nominations by a female artist?  No.  You continued to hope for a promotion from bra-fitter to Victoria’s Secret Cashwrap Supervisor and drowned your average person sorrows at happy hour in the meantime.

Was Beyonce raising the bar for marital discord when her sister went all Sharkeisha Nooooo on her husband in an elevator?  No.  You just left another passive aggressive note on the refrigerator about being out of milk and hoped your average person husband would pick up on the subtext and get his act together.

Was Beyonce raising the bar for upper thigh meat when she decided to stop wearing pants on stage in 2009?  No.  You are still spending your average person moneys on women’s fitness magazines featuring rail thin white women.

How is Beyonce now raising the bar for pregnancy because she is fat-faced, happy, and draped in expensive fashions?  You can still continue your average person pregnancy eating pickles & ice cream in your husband’s XL t-shirt watching reruns of Sex & The City because guess what – you are not Beyonce.

Nobody is watching your every move.  Nobody cares what you do.  Laugh too hard in the checkout line at Kroger and slip out a little pregnancy pee.  Wear mis-matched shoes because you haven’t seen your feet in 6 weeks.  Wear a ponytail with a damn scrunchie every single day of your third trimester because you can’t be arsed to fuss with your hair.  Nobody gives a shit.  You are not Beyonce.

Beyonce’s job is to be more glamorous than you regardless of her life stage.  If Beyonce broke every bone in her leg, guess what.  She would be on Instagram with the mother of all casts, some model only previously available to astronauts or some shit, and the Beyhive would find a new emoji to represent her high fashion medical device.  

Don’t compare yourself to any other pregnant woman.  Do you know how many variables there are in a pregnancy?  It’s a wonder any of us escape the uterus alive with all the things that can complicate gestation.  But it’s especially ridiculous to compare yourself to Beyonce for any reason whatsoever.  You are taking a woman who has built a fortune on one part talent, one part mystique, and one part glamour and expecting her to, what, look regular?  Give you the personal details of her morning sickness?  Do you also want her to write her next hit about pooping on the delivery table? Show you her afterbirth diaper?  She ain’t Karen from accounting.  This is BEYONCE and y'all need to find something else to be concerned about.

I just want to write more anxious!Tony and explore his mental illness more and I want to add sensory-overload and people actually fucking supporting him instead of the clusterfuck that is the MCU. I’m gonna throw this snippet at you and see what happens.

Edit: I just read up on Sensory Processing Disorder and EVERYTHING DESCRIBES TONY WHAT THE FUCK I’M CONSIDERING IT CANON.


“These are time-sensitive,” Pepper said, opening the folder so he could see the contracts inside. She watched Tony’s eyes track over the paper before she turned to the next page for him. “Can I leave these with you if I spread them out on the desk?”

“…Yes,” Tony decided.

“Alright.” She spread the pages out over his desk. “I need to go send some faxes. Will you be okay?”

Tony stared at the pages. “…Yes.”

Pepper turned to leave, pausing at the door. “If you have trouble, just call me.”

“I will,” Tony said, nodding. He waited for her to leave before he stuck his tongue out at the paperwork.

He read everything over and decided they were all worth signing. Unfortunate. He grabbed a pen, hand hovering over the first contract, then let out a frustrated sound and began pacing his office.

Pepper found him still pacing. “Do you need me to hold your hand?”

No,” Tony answered immediately. “I can do it!”

“I never said you couldn’t do it. I asked if you wanted me to hold your hand.”

“Well I don’t!” Tony snapped, turning, hand hovering over the contract. After a moment, he finally pressed pen to paper, carefully keeping his hand above it.

Pepper reached out to put a hand on the paper so it wouldn’t move when he signed it. “Where are your gloves?”

“They’re–I was using them–I don’t know,” he admitted, ashamed.

“That’s fine,” she said, not accusing. “I’ll make you another pair.”

“I’m sorry,” he said softly.

Pepper reached toward him, hand hovering over his shoulder for a moment before she actually set it down. “It’s fine. I just wish you’d told me.” She began collecting the contracts before he could say anything else. “It’s fine. I’ll make them while I catch up on Desperate Housewives.

Tony frowned, uncertain. “Okay.”

“Right? Okay.” She smiled at him. “I think we’re done here for the day.”

Tony blinked at her, then hesitantly walked around his desk, just waiting for her to say ‘oh, I forgot!’ When she didn’t, he managed an awkward but sincere smile and walked past her.

Pepper looked through the contracts one last time, frowning a little. She wished she could forge his signature.


Natalie tried to hand him a sheaf of papers.

Tony skittered away, tugging his pocket square from his jacket and beginning to rub it with his thumbs anxiously. “No thank you.”

Natalie stared at him, looking the closest to confused that he’d ever seen her. “That… that wasn’t a request.”

“I’ll take those,” Pepper said pleasantly, taking the sheaf of papers from her hands. She looked through them. “Patent paperwork.”

“Oh,” Tony said, still rubbing his pocket square.

“Not necessarily as time-sensitive, but you definitely need to sign them.”

“Oh.”

Pepper glanced up at him. “It’s not inappropriate to be startled, Tony.” She looked at Natasha. “Tony needs to know you’re there, and he doesn’t like to be handed things.” She gave Natalie a quietly dangerous look, daring her to say something.

“…I can do that,” Natalie said after a moment. She noticed Tony’s shoulders relaxing and didn’t raise an eyebrow, instead adding, “Is there anything else I need to know?”

“Don’t be afraid to tell Tony if he’s standing too close to you,” Pepper answered immediately, then turned to raise an eyebrow at Tony.

Tony flushed and looked down at his feet. “Don’t wear strong perfume. Or. Uh. Perfume at all? Um, and I don’t like to stand in large groups. And I–when I request a certain food, I’m not–I need that food. I’m not–I’m not picky. It’s the texture.”

“The… texture,” Natalie repeated slowly, eyes flicking down to the silk pocket square in his hands. “Okay. I can work with that.”

“And he has special gloves if you have any time-sensitive paperwork,” Pepper added.

“Okay,” Natalie said again, nodding. “I can make this work.” She couldn’t help but swallow thickly when Tony looked incredibly grateful, and she wondered how many times his needs had been ignored.

Natasha felt awful when she stuck him in the neck. She felt worse when he looked up at her, betrayed, and visibly closed off.


“You said I was a narcissist,” Tony said accusingly.

Natasha did not flinch, but only because she’d been trained not to. “How did you get in my room?”

“A textbook narcissist, even.”

“…I decided,” she said after a moment of thought. “That SHIELD didn’t need to know about your disorder.”

Tony stared at her for a long moment. “So you lied instead.”

“Yes.”

“I wouldn’t have been approved for this initiative anyway, would I? Because I’m–I’m a mess?”

Natasha opened her mouth, then shut it again, tilting her head thoughtfully. “…You function,” she finally decided on. “Better than most people in your position would. And you seem to do well in the suit when you’re not dying. I wrote that evaluation under certain circumstances, and I wrote it to say the things people wanted to hear. How much it is true or false now doesn’t matter.”

Tony fidgeted with his cuff links, swaying a little where he stood. “…I’m still mad,” he finally decided.

“That’s fair.”

“I’m leaving now.”

“Do you need me to walk you out of the building?”

Tony’s fidgeting grew. “…What’s the alarm for?”

Natasha could not hear an alarm, but she believed him. “I have no idea,” she admitted honestly. “I have earplugs. Would you like them?”

“…Yes,” he answered meekly.

Natasha didn’t say he was weak, because he wasn’t. And she didn’t say he could do better, because he was already doing his best. Instead she set the earplugs on her bedside table and let him pick them up, then waited for him to put them in before she led him out of her apartment, not saying a word when his arm occasionally brushed hers.


“I need,” Tony began, then stopped, clutching his sleeves.

Jim sat up with a snort, still somewhat bleary-eyed. “What? What do you need?”

“I didn’t mean to wake you,” Tony said guiltily.

“I was on the couch, it’s fine.” Jim rubbed his eyes before looking up at him. “What do you need?”

Tony looked down at his feet. “I’m tired. …’nd sad.”

“Aw, Tones,” Jim cooed, immediately holding his arms out. “C’mere.”

Tony shuffled around him, anxious, then held out a robe. “Here.”

Jim pulled the robe on over his arms, spreading the rest of it over his body, then held his arms out again. The brunet touched the robe cautiously, and only then crawled into his lap. “I’m glad you know you can come to me, Tones. Wanna sleep?”

“It’s too loud,” Tony admitted, curling his fingers in the soft material of the robe.

“In your head, or out?”

“Both.”

“Okay,” Jim said, because he could work with that. “You got your earplugs in?”

“Yeah.”

He began rubbing a soothing hand up and down Tony’s spine. “Great. I’m gonna recite pi as far as I can and if you’re not asleep by then I’m gonna start reciting every component of an F-16′s motor.”

Tony was asleep just after the one hundred and forty-third number of pi. Jim was glad, because he’d only memorized the first one hundred and fifty.

Poetry Riot Prompt (Week One Hundred Forty) 26 June - 2 July

We haven’t done an image prompt in a while and I think it’s high time to reintroduce it with an image from one of my favourite writers as well as a fantastic photographer, @aliveinsideink.

This piece is titled ‘The Abandoned’ and can be purchased on aliveinsideink‘s etsy shop along with many other of his wonderful pieces.

We are very grateful to @aliveinsideinkfor allowing us to use his artwork as a prompt. If you choose to incorporate the image itself in your post, please give proper credit to him or your piece will not be reblogged. Also, please do not use any other image in place of the one above as it would be discourteous to the artist.

As always, please tag your work with #poetryriotprompt. If you do not see your work reblogged within 72 hours, please send us a message with a link to it. If the tag is used but the idea or theme of the prompt isn’t, your piece will not be reblogged.

You may write as many pieces as you like for the prompt, only the first one you post will be reblogged.

If you haven’t already, please read our post  about the prompts and triggering topics. And please use the tag #poetryriot for pieces that are not prompt related and #riotprompts for past prompts. Thank you.

Ed Sheeran - ERASER (lyrics) Extended F64 Version

[Verse 1]
I was born inside a small town, I’ve lost that state of mind
Learned to sing inside the Lord’s house, but stopped at the age of nine
I forget when I get awards now the wave I had to ride
The paving stones I played upon, they kept me on the grind
So blame it on the pain that blessed me with the life
Friends and family filled with envy when they should be filled with pride
And when the world’s against me is when I really come alive
And everyday that Satan tempts me, I try to take it in my stride
You know that I’ve got whisky with white lines and smoke in my lungs
I think life has got to the point I know without it’s no fun
I need to get in the right mind and clear myself up
Instead, I look in the mirror questioning what I’ve become
I guess it’s a stereotypical day for someone like me
Without a nine-to-five job or an uni degree
To be caught up in the trappings of the industry
They showed me the locked doors I find another use of key
And you’ll see

[Chorus 1]
I’m well aware of certain things that will destroy a man like me
But with that said give me one more, higher
Another one to take the sting away
I am happy on my own, so here I’ll stay
Save your lovin’ arms for a rainy day
And I’ll find comfort in my pain
Eraser

[Verse 2]
I used to think that nothing could be better than touring the world with my songs
I chased the pictured perfect life, I think they painted it wrong
I think that money is the root of evil and fame is hell
Relationships and hearts you fixed, they break as well
And ain’t nobody wanna see you down in the dumps
Because you’re living your dream, man, this shit should be fun
Please know that I’m not trying to preach like I’m Reverend Run
I beg you, don’t be disappointed with the man I’ve become
Our conversations with my father on the A14
Age twelve telling me I’ve gotta chase those dreams
Now I’m playing for the people, dad, and they know me
With my beat and small guitar wearing the same old jeans
Wembley Stadium crowd two hundred and forty thou
I may have grown up but I hope that Damien’s proud
And to the next generation, inspiration’s allowed
The world may be filled with hate but keep erasing it now
Somehow

[Chorus 2]
I’m well aware of certain things that will befall a man like me
But with that said give me one more, higher
Another one to take the sting away
I am not beyond my own, so here I’ll stay
Save your lovin arms for a rainy day
And I’ll find comfort in my pain
Eraser
And I’ll find comfort in my pain
Eraser
And I’ll find comfort in my pain
Eraser

[Verse 3]
I woke up this morning lookin’ in the mirror
Thinkin’ to myself that I should probably be thinner
The industry told me to look like them
But I found my happiness in fried food for my dinner
I wish that she could have been my first time
And I wish that I’d never took that first line
And I wish that every word in this verse rhymed
But forgive me if it doesn’t
I wish that I could make peace with my older cousin
I wish he didn’t think that it was me when it wasn’t
I wish I didn’t love it when I’m high and my face feels buzzin’
And the taste stays underneath my tongue
Wish that I had known what to do as a youngling
Wish I hadn’t dropped out of school and missed every single party
With that hardly matters now, man, does it?
Wish I had an answer to everything, but fuck it
I wish creatin’ art didn’t come with a budget
But while we’re on the subject
I wish my private life would have never gone public
But that’s the sacrifice that we make
Spendin’ my whole time high livin’ life away

[Chorus 3]
Singin’ this is how we’re livin’ down here
Sittin’ on the edge, lookin’ out without fear
Yeah, we got drama but you know we don’t care
I wanna see you sing it, put your hands in the air, one wish
I’m singin’ this is how we’re livin’ down here
Sittin’ on the edge, lookin’ out without fear
Yeah, we got drama but you know we don’t care
I wanna see you sing it, put your hands in the air, one wish

[Verse 4]
I wish my family and friends they stay healthy
I wish that love was a currency and the whole world was wealthy
I found myself late night wishin’ on a star
Everyday I wish I’d never broken a heart, uh
And I wish I’d never run to
Every woman that I loved that kept my life and what it’s come to
I wish I was the role model you looked up to
If I told my fans the things I did they’d say, “Fuck you”
I wish I was home more
I wish my teens could see the kids on the birthdays, but yo, we’re on tour
And I wish I’d grow more, wish I told more
People that I love ‘em but it’s in the music that I’m known for
And I wish he never got cancer
And if I smoke a pack a day, well, does that make me a wanker?
Oh yes, I guess it does, and we’re still stressin’ 'cause
Every day this shit gets the best of us
Usin’ my balance on eraser blades
Spendin’ my whole time high wishing life would wait

[Chorus 3]
Singin’ this is how we’re livin’ down here
Sittin’ on the edge, lookin’ out without fear
Yeah, we got drama but you know we don’t care
I wanna see you sing it, put your hands in the air, one wish
I’m singin’ this is how we’re livin’ down here
Sittin’ on the edge, lookin’ out without fear
Yeah, we got drama but you know we don’t care
I wanna see you sing it, put your hands in the air, one wish

[Verse 5]
I’m using jumpers for goalposts, cigarettes for throat cold
Mum sayin’, “Don’t smoke,” no, I don’t listen, I got
Love for a ghost note, shows on the gold coast
People that I don’t know share the same vision
I find truth in the hard times and words that aren’t mine
Tryin’ to find a love with a compatible star sign
Sometimes I can’t write, sentences can’t rhyme
Starin’ at my notepad quick, I’m tryin’ to find mine
Shit, quick before I hit it again
Surrounded in the industry by all these ignorant men
And who knew that I’d be paid just to pick up a pen
Just let me hit the studio when we can rip it again
I’m a competitive dick, with an adrenaline kick
My daddy told me work hard and you can never be shit
I’ve seen all my heroes dethroned except my dad
Set back here reminiscing 'bout the times we had
One wish


(x)

4

Pairing: Jasper Hale x Reader

Characters: Jasper Hale

Warnings: None

Word Count: 1, 128

Note: Requested by a lovely person. Hope you like this!

Hey I was wondering if you could make a jasper hale x reader and the reader being really ticklish on her sides. She is also human and has been with jasper for a while but he some how just now finds out that she is ticklish by accident grabbing her side or something like that. She hate being ticked and tries to do anything to avoid it and doesn’t want anyone to know she is also super kind but can be super stubborn. Plz plz plz can you do this I would be extremely grateful


Resting my head upon Jasper’s lap, I slowly shut my eyes as his rough yet cool and soothing fingertips massaged my scalp. The thrilling book of Aeschylus’ Oresteia, had long been forgotten, laying closed on my stomach. To say I was as calm as the vast, midnight seas would be the most obvious statement of the century. Every minute I spent with Jasper rendered me calm and it was all thanks to the subtle ability he possessed after having become a vampire.

The scarcely, audible chatters of the Cullens in the living room that mingled with the soft, musical melodies of Beethoven’s Sonata made everything surrounding us even more heavenly. A few seconds passed by and I hummed contently as Jasper’s fingers moved behind my ear. I heard him chuckle as he leans to capture my lips with his, into a kiss. At the beginning it was firm till it grew soft, gentle, and slow.

“Are you enjoying this, darlin’?” Jasper questioned after we part our lips. In an arrogant-like triumph, he tilts his head to the side slightly while his lips tug into a  smirk.

“I am,” I admit, offering him a genuine smile, “Please continue. Just a few more minutes, at least.”

Jasper’s eyes gleam and from where I lay, they looked to be two worlds of their own. “Whatever my lady wishes.” He replies, this time in a more distinctive Texan drawl, which never seized to form wild fantasies in my mind. “I’ll be happy to comply with it.”

As Jasper continued caressing me, my thoughts wander elsewhere. Well, not too far away as they still consisted of my one-hundred-forty-four year old mate. I had started to recall the first day when I had seen Jasper in the cafeteria. I remember when his light amber eyes had focused on mine. It was not a friendly gaze but a rather intense one that rendered me to become uncomfortable and uneasy. As if at that particular moment, I had been wearing a tight corset that made my breathing to become shallow.

Another time, after school had been dismissed by the bell, I had bumped into him and it was as if he were made of stone. He towered over my small figure and he had said nothing, not even did he offer to help me with my books that were scattered on the floor. He only did what he had done many times before: he stared into my eyes. And it seemed as if I were looking into the stormy eyes of the Greek God, Ares, himself.

Before I knew it, days had turned to weeks, weeks turned to months, and I grew more and more irritated when I realized he was all I could think of. How cliché this matter had turned out to become. Though, it was true. I skipped on to life without giving a second thought of the red flags shown and the warnings revealed that Jasper was dangerous.

This was definitely not me and so out of my character. And if I was going to reveal the whole story…well, let’s just say that my feelings were not the only thing out of character. Once, I had astonishingly as well as embarrassingly failed my history exam, I knew who was to blame.

Of course, in the real sense, Jasper hadn’t done anything wrong. But because I had fallen madly in love with him, he had become a handsome distraction. And I was sure that if he weren’t in my classes or even in the school, I’d have aced the test.

“Hey! Can I talk to you?” I had said the next day, after having slammed my locker shut, completely vexed. Jasper had frowned deeply and slightly nodded to his adoptive sister, Alice as she had taken her leave but not before eyeing me suspiciously.

Unsurprisingly, without a word, Jasper had glanced down at me, waiting for me to speak. I did not know what came over me that day but all I knew was that my anger had completely taken over. “Listen here, you are the reason I have failed my history test and you will be the one to help me study for the retake. D’you understand?”

He had raised his eyebrows and regarded me with a hint of amusement which was also laced with confusion. And as I had waited for his response, I cross my arms.

“Well,” he began and I had suppressed the urge to widen my eyes at his attractive, velvety voice. “Hello to you as well, ma’am.”

“I’m serious!” I exclaimed as I earned a few stares from the students that stood nearby. “Are you even listening to what I’m saying?”

“Are you?” Jasper had said, taking a step forward and lowering his voice meaningfully. “Are you implying that you failed the exam because you were too busy thinking about me, when you should have been studying?”

At his unexpected question, my face turned bright red and I had looked at him, mouth agape. I had not known he would ask such a question, nor accurately guess as to why I had failed.

I snapped my eyes open as I feel that Jasper had stopped from massaging me. “What were you thinking about, sugar?” He questions, as he possibly could have felt the wave of my indescribable emotions.

I sigh and move to sit next to him, resting my head his shoulder. “Well, if you must know, I was thinking of the day I failed history and how it was all your fault.”

“You mean to say the day you embarrassed yourself as you confronted me…”

“Shut up.” I scoff as Jasper chuckles, wrapping his arm around my waist. As he did so, I wriggle under his touch. Suddenly, Jasper pulled away and regarded me with shock while his lips tugged into a lopsided grin. “What was that?”

“What was what?” I question innocently, darting my gaze away from his widened eyes.

“Don’t pretend as if you don’t know what I am talking about, doll.”

“I don’t.” I reply, tersely. I stand from my seated position as my book falls on the floor and my stomach knots in a nervousness. Using the vampire speed to his advantage, I gasp as I feel Jasper’s arms, firmly wrap around my waist, where he gives me a tight squeeze, earning a sudden jolt from my part.

My mate’s eyes twinkle mischievously as he made a vain attempt to keep his perking grin at bay. “You sure you don’t know what I’m talking about? ‘Cause to me it looks like I just found out that my doll’s ticklish.”

“I am but please, don’t start anything funny.” I say, somehow managing to escape from his grasp. Though, that doesn’t stop Jasper from advancing towards me as I slowly recede to head out of his room.

“No promises, sugar.”

anonymous asked:

Headcanon that the IGR agents are all raccoons. All of them.

You know, for that matter, given how little I describe appearances on this show, I’m not sure you could prove anyone is human. The characters can work computers and stuff but raccoons do have those little paws. How can we know that the “humans” of the future aren’t just a strain of highly developed raccoons who mastered speech, won a war against homo sapiens, and renamed themselves “humans” just to be funny? 

We can’t. We just can’t.

A Court of Ice and Deceit

This is something I wrote as a congratulations for my lovely friend @ignite-my-love for her first day at her new internship! I know she’ll do amazingly, and to show my support (because I can’t really do anything else) I wrote her this post-acowar fic about some characters we came up with a while ago. Hope you enjoy Nay (and everyone else who takes their time to read this) much love and congrats! 

***

Zaire watched as the Prince of Velaris waltzed around the ballroom, smiling at people, firmly shaking hands with men, bowing for ladies, kissing the cheeks of babies, glowing like the fucking sun, all that utter crap. He was an arrogant one, this Nikolai of the Night, and oh how he knew it. Zaire could admit that his tan skin and dark blue-purple eyes were really something, and his tousled blonde hair looked like it had just had a set of hands running through it and he was so tall and his shoulders broad and she really needed to stop thinking about him. It was just unfair, the way his dark suit hugged so closely to his body. Males in the Winter Court would never be so scandalous with their attire! He even had his top three buttons undone so the ladies could see the Illyrian tattoos on his chest!

Zaire rolled her eyes as he offered to dance with another lady – her childhood friend. Her friend was blushing like a fool, nearly tripping over her feet in her eagerness to dance with the Prince. Zaire was envious though – envious of the ease her friend could dance with men and let her hair down and wear loose clothes. Zaire had her hair so tight in a bun it made her scalp ache, and her dress was the perfect shade of white to match her skin and hair. She was the perfect image of a future Winter Queen. But image or not, all she wanted to do was flee this dastardly place. She did not care if it was a sacred holiday and that they had esteemed guests, she wanted to escape home and take a bath, and just spend some time with herself. Was that too much to ask? Maybe she would go to her parent’s home instead, pretend that she had been too tired to go to her own palace as to avoid awkward questions.

Zaire was done looking down on the people of her court. She was situated on a balcony that curved around the marble floor, high enough to see everyone but to remain hidden away. She stepped back from the edge, and sat on one of the many plush red chairs that were placed around for people’s convenience. She closed her eyes and listened to the music, letting the notes from the piano and whistles from the flutes carry her away like she was also that fleeting. Her heart was heavy, and her limbs were numb, and she couldn’t face another moment of it. She lied in on herself, resting her head against her folded arms.

“What are you doing up here, Lady Zaire? Last I saw the revelry was beneath us.”

Zaire flinched at the melodic voice from next to her, and peeked a single eye open to see who was bothering her in her private place. To her complete surprise, it was none other than Lord Nikolai.

“Prince Nikolai, welcome to the Winter Court.” The smile she gave him was small and unconvincing, and she didn’t even care at this point. “Last I saw you were having quite the time dancing, why not continue?” The dismissal was subtle, and he missed it.

“So you were watching me then. I had a feeling.” He smirked at her, and she gave him her full attention. “Why would I dance down there when the prettiest woman I’ve seen all night is up here?”

She sat up straight and cross one leg over the other. “You seem to be mistaken, prince, I-”

“Call me Nik, all my friends do.” He interrupted.

“But I am not your friend.”

His eyes twinkled, and he held out a hand. “Not yet.”

She looked at his outstretched hand once, and then turned away. He let his hand fall, but his enthusiasm was still in full throttle.

“I haven’t seen much of the Winter Court before.” He told her.

She hummed.  

“I heard a rumour that you have the second-best ice cream in all Prythian.”

She boggled at him. “Second best? You are wrong, we have the best as far as the wind can take you. Halana’s is unparalleled, especially the lavender and white chocolate the store offers.”

He put a hand on his chin, considering her words. “I don’t believe you.”

“I am daughter of High Lady Viviane and High Lord Kallias, you can trust my judgement.”

“I need proof.” He put simply.

“Then go try it.” She countered.

“If only I had an escort to show me where to go.” He smiled at her again, this time far more tenderly. She could see it in his eyes; he thought her to be skittish. Her persona may be, but in reality she was a force as strong as the tide, as ferocious as the snow, and she would not bend to the will of a male bored with what has already been offered to him.

“If only.” She said monotonously. She got up from her chair, and went to walk away, but he hooked his arms in hers before she could go anywhere.

“Hi.” He said.

“Hello?”

“My name is Nik, and my mother made me come to this alone because my twin sister’s cramps are too bad for her to leave the house. I’m two-hundred and five, and my favourite colour is blue. I love to paint, I did it with my grandmother at every opportunity before she passed, and my best friends are my cousin Dimitri and my buddy Isaac. I have an unnatural love for pizza, which I eat after every training session with my grandfather. I’m a veilsinger, and there can never be too many dogs in the world. You?”

She raised an eyebrow at his onslaught of information. His face became gentler at the mention of his family, and his elbow was no longer tight on hers. She kept it linked though, her curiosity for this male overpowering her resolve. “What?”

“I introduced myself, which is what someone should do when they meet a nice Lady for the first time. I misread you, and thought you would enjoy my sarcasm. I was wrong, and I apologize if I made you uncomfortable. If it pleases you, I would love to hear more about you.”

Zaire was unsure if he was being genuine, but decided it would not hurt for her to share a little bit. “My name is Zaire, and I’m three-hundred and forty-two. I have a pet fox named Peter, he was the runt of the litter and I couldn’t bear to see him put down so I stole him and kept him in my room and cared for him until my parents found out. By then, I was too attached and they let me keep him. My favourite colour is pink, and sometimes I sing. My best friends name is Aleanor, but she was courted by a Lord in the Summer Court so I barely see her anymore. I love ice-cream.”

Nik listened with rapt attention to her every word.

“In that case, Lady Zaire, would you like to accompany me away from this hellish ball to get some ice-cream? I have it on good authority that Halana’s is the best in Prythian.”

This male was too charming for his own good, but that didn’t stop Zaire from giving him a shy nod, and leading him away from the ball.

____

“That can’t possibly be true!” Zaire snorted, her ice-cream sitting melted and forgotten next to her.

“I swear on my soul it is. Dimka had been so busy trying to get the attention of this female that he didn’t notice his arm had been set on fire by his ex-lover. It wasn’t until I doused it that he did! And then he was just like, ‘was that a flame? Oh dear, I really should be more careful where I stick it, shouldn’t I?’”

Zaire roared with laughter, making a few fae around them give her strange looks. Ice-cream (that Nik agreed was the best he’d ever tasted) had turned into a four-hour conversation, that had led to her being wrapped in his jacked and her hair falling loose. He still looked as pristine as before, but now there was a fine blush colouring his cheeks and his sleeves had been rolled up to reveal more tattoos. Zaire covered her mouth to stifle her laughs, but that only led to a few joyful tears falling down her face.

“I wish I could say this was a single occurrence, but that man has a serious problem when it comes to choosing his lovers.” Nik chortled.

“This one time, Aleanor and I decided to skinny dip in the lake west of the palace, and it was a terrible idea. Not only was it freezing, but her brother, who rather fancied me, stole my clothes so I couldn’t leave. He left Al’s, so she had to get dressed and run to get me some more, but she took over an hour. There were people sailing that night and I had no clue beforehand! I had to hide between rocks, cover myself in algae and pretend I was an Ice Wraith so sailors wouldn’t come any closer. I was absolutely mortified.”

“He sounds dreadful.” Nik wrinkled his nose.

“He was young and stupid – as we all are at that age.”

“Not me. I was born fully formed and ready to charm my way around the world. It was rather miraculous.”

“Oh really? I can imagine how lanky you would’ve been coming into your height. Too much limb and not enough muscle.”

Nik placed a hand over his heart and feigned a sigh. “You’ve wounded me, Darlin’. How ever will I recover?”

They were sitting at one of the many quaint tables that lined the rushing river than ran through the capital of her court. They were there for weary people needing a rest, adventurous lovers who wanted to take a pause, and for budding friends who needed a break from pesky balls. It was well into the night, and the moon reflected light right onto the river next to him, lighting up their surroundings with a low, white glow.

“I’m sure you’ll find a way.” Zaire reached forward and dipped her finger in the gooey remnants of his banana and caramel ice-cream, popping her finger in her mouth and moaning at the taste. Stores should just sell melted ice-cream, she decided, in the morning she’ll make it a royal decree.

Nik didn’t reply, just rested his head on his hands and watched her. She winked at him jokingly, but all he did was to continue to gaze at her adoringly. She let him sit in silence, trying to contain a smile from being looked at like that, but she couldn’t.

“Why are you doing that?” She waved in the direction of his face.

“Because I think you’re wonderful.”

She opened her mouth to say something, but couldn’t find the words. Instead she inclined her head away, hoping to hide her spreading blush, and tapped her nails on the table.

“Would you sing for me, Zaire?” he asked earnestly.

Normally, she would say no to such a request. Her voice was one of the few things that belonged solely to her, and she didn’t like to share such an intimate part of herself with people. She would rather strip naked and yell from the top of a mountain than share her voice with a stranger, but Nik was nice, and he made her feel warm in a very cold life. She would only ever see him tonight, so why not live it to its fullest?

She sang for him a silly nursery rhyme meant for children, nothing too revealing, but still a taste of her capabilities. “All things bright and new, saved the day of girl gone blue, Lover gold and lover lest, bring the girl a hidden crest, Times are dark but oh have faith, the girl gone blue without a trace, the golden girl is cauldron blessed, to save the good and smite the rest.”

“I’ve heard that before, my father used to sing it to me before I went to sleep.” Nik said after a pause.

“Mine too.” She looked down, and felt fingers graze her cheek. When she blinked up, Nik had a hand out, his face searching.

“Can I kiss you, Lady Zaire?” He whispered.

She thought about it for a second. It would be a terrible sin to kiss him when she would only see him for the night, but oh she wanted to kiss him terribly. She had from the moment he’d scooped up his ice-cream and announced her a genius, and the thought of the kind male in front of her showing her just a tendril of love…

“You may, Lord Nikolas.”

He got up and came to stand in front of her, kneeling down so their eyes were level. With a shy hesitancy, he brought his lips to hers.

His kiss was as warm as his jokes, as embracing as his laughter, and as tender as his soul. She may only have known him for one night, but that was enough.

Her fingers slid into his wavy hair, and his went to lightly caress her waist.

Zaire had never been kissed like this in all her life, and she couldn’t help but pull him closer so she could deepen it, flicking her tongue against his and pushing her breasts to his chest. He quietly moaned, and the sound made a sensation latch into her lower half and rush to the rest of her body.

They both stood so they could be as close to one another as possible, Nik no longer restricting his kiss to just her mouth, but now lowering his full lips to her jaw and neck. Zaire wanted to enjoy the taste he’d left in her mouth, but she was becoming nervous that someone would see.

“Come home with me?” She blurted, not totally thinking of the consequences.

Nik brought himself back and nodded, pressing one more short kiss to her lips before she winnowed them away.

_____

Her room was as opulent as you’d expect for a lady of her stature. Walls of white marble slashed with gold made her surroundings, although not much was seen due to the heavy pink drapes that lined them. Her bed was large and circular, covered in an array of coloured cushions and a thick duvet. There was also a large fireplace that was constantly lit, magic used to keep it forever in control. To the left was her large ensuite, a bath big enough to fit two people, enchanted to always be at the ready if you needed it.

Nik and Zaire stood in front of the fireplace as he lovingly undressed her. He started with helping take the pins out of her hair, letting the long white waves fall to her waist. He then turned her, and let his deft fingers unbutton her dress, all the while letting his fingers graze over her pale skin. He started at her neck, and worked to where they ended just below the base of her spine. He let the dress fall, and Zaire shivered now that she was completely bare before him. She turned, and not nearly as gentle as he had been, ripped at his shirt until it was on the floor with her dress. He let out a low moan of pleasure at her actions, and undid his belt and let his pants fall to the ground. She grabbed his shoulders and pulled him towards her, jumping slighting to wrap her legs around his waist. He caught her thighs and held her up, kissing her languidly before walking them over to the bed.

As Nik laid her down, all thoughts left Zaire’s mind other than the ones about how much she wanted this male in front of her. How was it possible that in only one night she can feel more desire than she had accumulatively over the last twenty years? It had been decades since her body had soaked like this, since she’d needed to moan just to release some of the tension in her body.

Nik was holding himself up over her, nipping and licking at her neck. Her body jolted as he moved down her, briefly sucking on her nipples before moving to just below her navel. “Is this okay?” It was clear what he wanted to do, and she furiously nodded her approval.

With a cocky smirk on his face, he swiped up her centre with his tongue, moaning when he tasted how wet she was for him. Zaire let out a small gasp at the sensation, and gripped one of the pillows behind her head. He continued to work her with his tongue, focusing on just the right place to make her set on fire. Her legs shook, and her back arched, and she opened her thighs wider so he had all the access he would need. His hands wrapped around her thighs and squeezed, his eyes shut while he dived in and out of her.

Nikolas.” She hissed his name – the single thing she could remember while he was making her feel this way.

Her body convulsed as she neared the edge, and with one last lick, she was screaming his name as she came. Her legs stopped shaking, and her body was like jelly beneath him. It had far too many years since she’d left like that, and she was revelling not only in her orgasm but also because such a fine man gave it to her and how he did.

He kissed up her body, retracing the steps he’d taken to get down, and he put his elbows either side of her face so he could lean over her.

Zaire grazed her fingers over his face: across his brow, his lips, his cheekbones.

“All good, Darlin’?”

“Do that again, what you did to my body. Can you do that again?” She was utterly delirious from pleasure beneath him, and could no longer string together a truly coherent thought or sentence.

She choked on whatever words she would’ve said next as he slowly entered her, his generous length filling her to his base. She out her arms around him, beckoning him closer but also so she could drag her nails down his back. Her legs wrapped around him, just wanting as much of her skin to be pressed against him as possible. He was quietly groaning his name in her ear, and his thrusts became quicker and more passionate with every passing second.

Between her already recent orgasm, it wasn’t long until she was finishing again, this time growling his name as he went over the edge with her, riding her through it. He collapsed to the side after he was done, and once he made sure she was too, his breathing heavy. Zaire curled up next to him and laid her head on his chest and hooked her leg up on his, running a hand up and down his chiselled torso. His hair was dishevelled, at some point she had pulled at it, and his arm came to securely wrap around her.

“I can’t remember the last time a man made me feel like that.” She admitted to him. Maybe she shouldn’t, she acknowledged as an afterthought, it would seem desperate and might drive him away in the last few hours they could have together.

“A lady such as yourself deserves that anytime she wants.” He assured her.

She laughed lightly and pressed her face into him, closing her eyes and letting her body relax. “You going to be here when I wake up then?”

“Most definitely.”

He rolled them both so he was still holding her, but her back was to his chest. He had one arm resting under her head, and the other securely around her waist. It was the most comfortable position Zaire thought she had ever been in, and let her contented fatigue overcome her.  

____

The sun shone through Zaire’s wide window, and she stifled a groan as she realised she had to get up. She was still cuddled in Nik’s warm embrace, and she didn’t feel inclined to move. She had to though, before a maid came stumbling in wanting to clean the (now incredibly messy) sheets.

“Wake up.” She shook his arms. He made a non-committal hum and just pulled his arm tighter around her. She giggled lightly at his touch and turned her head kissing the underside of his jaw. “I can’t get us breakfast if you don’t let me go.”

“I’m happy just to taste you again, Darlin’.” He purred. His hand around her waist wandered south, and she jolted at his touch.

She smacked his hand away but laughed at his antics. Finally free from his grip, she got up and sauntered over to put her robe on, making sure he got a good look first. “I think that was the best winter solstice I’ve had in a while.”

She turned back to look at him, and her insides melted at the sight. He was propped lazily up on one elbow making his abdominal muscles even more defined. He was still reaching to where her body had just been, and a mischievous smile graced his handsome face.

“I’ll bring you back something to eat.” She left the room before she pounced on him – something that would have been rather unladylike.

She was walking down the spiral steps that went to her kitchen and reflected on the night before. She never could’ve guessed as she watched Nik dance at the ball that he would end up in her bed. Not just that though, he had also listened to her when she spoke, and laughed at her jokes, and made her feel alive again. It may only have been a one night affair, but it was enough to wake up her sleeping soul. She couldn’t contain the smile on her lips.

She sang lightly to herself as she skipped down, but stopped in a deathly instant when she heard people talking in the kitchen, and not just anyone.

She didn’t care about decency as she raced back to her room, running as fast as she could to get away from that voice. She whirled into her bedroom and slammed the door shut behind her, locking it as she did. Nik greeted her hello, but she didn’t respond.

The blonde male was in the process of getting dressed but he had yet to put on his jacket or shirt. She picked them up off the floor and shoved them at him, urging him to go towards the window.

“The royal children of the Night Court can fly, yes? You need to leave, now.”

“But Zaire-”

“I don’t care if this wounds your ego, you need to leave before they get here.”

“Is someone coming?” He smirked. “I can just hide under your bed, or get that bath ready for us.” He winked suggestively.

“Unfortunately, that’s not an option. I don’t care where you go as long as you are far away from this house.” She pushed him back again and he relinquished a step, a confused look on his face. She hated that she made him look like that, but it was for the best. Son of the most powerful High Lady to ever exist or not, the person coming would kill him if she found out what they had done.

She tried to push him again but he caught her wrists and brought them around his neck. He stepped into her, resting his forehead to hers. “If you are afraid of this person, I can help you Zaire. Say the word and it’s done.”

She considered lying to him, trying to salvage this as much as she could, but it would be too unfair to string Nik along like that. She bit her lip, hard enough to hurt, closed her eyes, and told him the truth.

“It’s my husband.”

She went cold as he broke all contact between them. She didn’t dare open her eyes, not wanting to see the look of betrayal on his face that was surely there.

“I wish you were just saying this to drive me away, but I can hear the honesty to your words.” Nik said.

“I’m sorry.” She hushed. “He was meant to be away on a hunting trip for the next four days, I had no idea he was going to come back early.”

Her pathetic excuse for an apology was met with silence, and she opened her eyes assuming he was gone.

He wasn’t, but he was standing in front of her window, one hand raised to the cold glass, lovely wings now extended on his back.

“Whatever has come of this night, at least I made a new friend. Good day to you, Lady Zaire. May I see you again one day.”

He vanished. 

Cocooned

CEC but only for minor details. I blame @cerusee for inadvertently inspiring this with a comment.

Gen/Fam
Jason Todd & Bruce Wayne
Rated T for Jason’s mouth

Bruce’s head hit his pillow and three seconds later he was almost completely asleep.

One second after that, the door to his bedroom was flung open and the dim light from the hallway flooded the room, seeming overbright when he snapped awake. He relaxed, just incrementally, when Jason stomped into the room and flung all six feet and two hundred-forty pounds of himself across the foot of the bed.

“I fucking hate everything,” Jason snapped, tugging a corner of the blanket over his head.

“Jay, it’s….” Bruce said wearily, sitting halfway up and glancing at the faint clock readout. “…four in the morning. What are you doing.”

“I hate you, too,” Jason said, though his heart didn’t seem to be in it. “Everything and everyone.”

Bruce was too tired and too seasoned, by now, to dramatics to let the words bite too deeply without more of an explanation. Even still, they stung a bit.

“Even Alfred?” he asked, aiming for distraction.

There was a long pause and from beneath the corner of the blanket, a muffled, “…no.”

“Well, go climb in his bed, then,” Bruce grumbled. “Let me sleep or tell me what’s wrong.”

“I don’t hate you,” Jason muttered a few seconds later. “I dozed off and spilled coffee on the book I was reading.”

“This seems like an excessive reaction,” Bruce said, falling back against the pillows. The thick blanket on top of him was edging away in jerks and he grabbed for it once but it was yanked out of his hand. He lifted his head enough to see Jason rolling himself in flopping turns, cocooning himself in the comforter.

When Jason stopped, he was thoroughly encased in the blanket and Bruce was left with the thin flat sheet. He sighed.

“It was Red Harvest,” Jason said. “The only one left from that set you got when–”

“I remember,” Bruce said, feeling suddenly helpless. “I’m sorry. We can find another set.”

“It’s not the same,” Jason said. “But whatever. I’m fucking overreacting, it’s not anything.”

Bruce sat up and yawned and reached down to tousle Jason’s hair, just barely visible through the slight air tunnel he’d left in the blanket.

“It’s something,” Bruce said, leaving his hand on Jason’s hair. “I’d be upset, too.”

“I’m sorry I threw The Maltese Falcon into the fireplace,” Jason said, turning his head so Bruce’s fingers brush the top of his ear. He doesn’t pull away. “It was stupid.”

“It was,” Bruce said, remembering tiny and defiant Jason’s face flickering over to panic the moment he realized what he’d done. He could still picture it with crystal clarity. “But I was more worried about your hands after you tried to pull it back out.”

“You kept trying to force painkillers into me,” Jason answered, a little wryly.

“I kept walking in on you crying,” Bruce protested, rubbing his eyes with his free hand. “Alfred had to tell me it was about the book. I thought you were in pain.”

“I was,” Jason mumbled. “But your repressed soul didn’t have the capacity to understand shit.”

Bruce chuckled and tugged on Jason’s ear.

“I’m working on it,” Bruce said.

“It’s only taken you a fricking decade or more,” Jason said. He exhaled noisily. “I’m so pissed at myself. I loved that book.”

Bruce caught himself right before offering to replace the set, again.

“I’m sorry,” he said instead.

“I’m gonna get up,” Jason said. “I’ll let you sleep.”

“You can stay,” Bruce said, glancing at the clock and dreading waking up in two hours. He was reluctant still to make Jason feel unwelcome. “But I’d like that comforter back.”

“Nuh-uh,” Jason mumbled. “Get your own.”

“It is my–” Bruce cut himself off.

Within the blanket, Jason gently snored. Bruce slowly pulled his hand away from Jason’s hair.

Bruce debated getting out of bed and rummaging in the linen closet for another blanket but he decided it was too much work, and pulled the sheet up around his shoulders and went back to sleep.