He was definitely a music major in college. There are few instruments he can’t play, but his main instrument was the trombone (for the memes).
After college he did orchestral work for several years, switching between instruments to avoid boredom. Eventually, he decides that what he wants to do is to teach. This was a mistake, dear god someone save him.
He always starts the first day of the new school year by announcing ‘Welcome to hell.’ (Seriously, why did he think teaching high school band was a good choice?)
Mephi does not know how to play any string instruments (besides guitars and the like), so Tom had to be hired to handle that section.
Unknown to his students, Mephi is just as skilled in playing more modern music. He once was part of a garage band that never really played anywhere, mostly because they kept changing their minds about what sort of music they would play.
Sock plays violin and is taught by Tom, but somehow has managed to get attached to Mephi and comes to bug Mephi during his free time. He’s the only one who knows the extent of how truly adverse Mephi is to playing/learning string instruments.
Jonathan sometimes hides out in the band room. Mephi can’t be bothered to kick him out and sometimes they talk music. Mostly its mutual ignoring of each other. Sometimes he takes off his headphones to listen to Mephi play and is the only one in school who knows about Mephi’s garage band days.
It’s because of the way they hang out around Mephi that Sock and Jonathan meet and eventually become friends. Mephi makes sly jokes about them being together and him being a third wheel when they hang out in the band room.
This is less of ‘Human Mephistopheles hc’ post and more of a Band A/U post, hahaha. Oops. Feel free to add to it if you have any ideas for any one else in this A/U.
I think we all remember that thread about Thomas being a sun nymph that fell out of Apollo’s court or something. Well… I don’t usually feel good about writing about real people so let’s just say this is a fictional character based on Thomas to make me feel better. Because that’s what it is. The real Thomas Sanders is probably not a sun nymph. Probably
Axel: In Loving Memory of a Guy Who Was One in a Billion — or 50 Billion
Each year, more than 50 billion chickens are slaughtered for food worldwide — a number that, if you attempt to break it down, seems impossible. Hundreds of millions of chickens in the meat industry perish even before they are sent out to slaughter — and they are still just babies.
Many of the birds above will have died before they even reached 2 months of age. An industry that bases its profits on fast growth and no individualized care is no place for any living being.
And like every cow, sheep, pig, dog, cat, or human, each of those billions of birds, when pulled out and met on their own terms, is an individual with their own personality, their own quirks, and their own needs.
Sweet baby Axel arrived sick, frightened, and injured — thankfully, fate brought him to Farm Sanctuary.
ahhhhh thanks so much for the Peter headcannons!!! they're so lovely honestly and I'd hate to ask for more but I am bc what you come up with is literally amazing. do you think you could do some about peters school life? thanks again! <3
Thank you, anon. Also, this got a little long again? Um. My bad. I just have too many of these headcanons and zero impulse control.
One of Peter’s first friends ever? Little Flash Thompson. I’ve seen my share of Flash Thompsons in Spidey media, but in a few they kind of imply that Flash and Peter were best friends at one point, and I love that. They lived nearby, Flash used to visit the Parkers after school and loved Peter’s kind Aunt and Uncle asking about his day and genuinely caring about the answer (since his home life is… not so good…), and he and Peter were the best at make believe. Peter never really wanted to be the main hero, so he’d let Flash be the superhero with a towel tied around his shoulders and underwear over his jeans, while Peter donned a costume lab coat and swimming googles and cackled and pretended to be his enemy, an evil mad scientist. Aunt May loved it. She has the photos.
Also: Peter wasn’t picked on that much in early school, because you bet your butt baby!Flash is protective as hell and will Fuck You Up if you touch his teeny tiny, less athletic friend
When they grow apart and adolescence turns Flash into an asshole, Peter will murmur childhood secrets into Flash’s ear when he passes them in the hall. Throw spitballs at his head in chemistry, and Peter will glide past Flash at his locker and whisper, “You may have gotten past my invisible pet dragons, but you’ll never stop my custard murder bomb in time, Captain Marvellous Underpants!” And Flash blanches and looks frantically around to make sure no one heard, because no one can know about Captain Marvellous Underpants and his arch nemesis, Doctor McBrain, Parker, you fucker.
Peter skips class. A lot. He never used to, but then he found his independence and began to treat the city as something to explore rather than something to struggle through. Rarely in middle school, but then later, when his Uncle dies and he takes on all these responsibilities, he constantly skips out during lunch breaks and doesn’t come back. Or comes late. His teachers have taken to looking surprised when they take attendance and he’s there, like, “Oh, Mr. Parker, you’ve actually decided to grace us with your presence?” And everyone snickers, and Peter siiiiighs, bc it’s not even like he misses that much, come on
Also: Peter’s grades slip post-Uncle Ben. He’s one of those assholes that doesn’t really need to study much to get an A+ but you do actually need to be in class and be paying attention and actively doing some homework to pass. He’s just. He’s just so distracted these days. His senses are dialled up too high, and he’s busy thinking about new suit improvements or ways to take down the latest villain on the block and how to avoid the police, and there’s this sucking, empty hole called grief in the pit of his stomach that takes his attention, and it’s really really difficult to think about history beneath all that. So. His grades slip. The school calls his Aunt, who is Not Happy. They let him go for a while, some leeway in the aftermath of his Uncle’s tragedy, but eventually the school and his Aunt starts cracking down on him. So Peter starts doing his homework by torchlight. He forces himself to pay attention in class. People start seeing Spider-Man crouched on building rooftops with a copy of the Great Gatsby and a fistful of highlighters.
Pre-Spider-Man Peter is a giant nerd. Like, hair combed back and clothes clean and science textbooks bundled under one arm. Post-Spider-Man is, if anything, even more of a nerd, but he doesn’t really look it. The thing is? Skipping class and letting your grades dip so dramatically and walking around with that distracted, faraway look in your eyes, wearing clothes that are rumpled at best (from being stuffed in his bag after quick changes in alleyways or rooftops) or that smell of smoke (from house fires) or have holes or blood stains he’s failed to notice at worst? Walking around with healing black eyes and bloodied knuckles from punching super-villains through walls? Yeah, people are going to take that badly. Peter does his best to clean up his act - wearing thick sweaters and fingerless gloves to cover up cuts and bringing a comb to school - but nonetheless, lots of younger students start being scared of him. His classmates know he’s the same embarrassing, harmless dweeb, but some middle schoolers think he’s ‘rebellious’ looking and the more timid ones flinch away from him. When Peter notices, it kills him inside. So he pulls out the soothing voice he takes to spooked civilians and the soft grin and the bad, Spidey-esque jokes and talks to them. Walks them to class. He’s only a sophmore himself, but he’ll be damned in he lets anyone hurt or tease the younger kids. Peter Parker, who stands up for the little guy even out of the mask, who’ll unflinchingly stand up to mean seniors who are picking on crying preteens even if it means getting beat up, because he’s gone up against super-villains, so do your worst, he dares you.Peter Parker, who the younger students stop being afraid of and start looking toward for help with bullies and homework and a kind, slightly distracted smile. Peter Parker being mistaken for a Dangerous and Rebellious Teen when he’s distracted with superhero business, but then being understood as a a protector, a big brother, a friend when he pulls out his personality and puts himself in the moment.
Zitao’s first experience with Sehun isn’t exactly enviable.
“HOLY SHIT ARE YOU OKAY?!”
“FUCK IT BURNS.”
Zitao bounces around the younger boy, flapping his hands furiously. The coffee spreads across his practice shirt and onto his bare skin. Zitao freezes for a second because wow, when’d he get ripped.
“Don’t just stand there!” Sehun gargles, pulling his shirt away from his body. “Help me!”
“Quick, kiss me.”
The Chinese boy trips over Sehun’s obnoxiously large feet in surprise, and they tumble down in a mess of limbs. “Can I help you in some other way?” he groans.
Later in the day, Zitao begrudgingly handing over one of his favourite Dolce and Gabbana shirts and then paying for an large chocolate bubble tea.
He supposes that that’s when their friendship started. Friendship.
“Smoking?” Zitao blinks, flicking the end of his cigarette. “No, I’m eating a lollipop.”
Sehun scoffs and sits himself next to his friend on the cold steps. “Why?”
“You have it easy don’t you? Family in walking distance, languages that you can understand and read, and you’re good at something. Hell, I don’t even know why I was recruited. I’m not even good at rapping.” He stresses the last sentence with a slap to Sehun’s thigh.
“Because you’re different. Refreshing.”
“Maybe I don’t want to be different,” Zitao scowls, stubbing his cancer stick out on the pavement. “Maybe I just want to be another Korean pretty boy.”
Sehun’s eyebrows furrow. “Trust me,” he mumbles. “You don’t.”
Zitao turns to look at the younger boy, and Sehun sneaks a kiss in on his forehead. “Stop smoking,” he sniggers. “I don’t want to kiss someone who tastes like death.”
“ASSHOLE!” Zitao screams when Sehun treks back into the building.
Later that night, he flushes his pack of cigarettes down the toilet.
The pipes nearly implode.
Sehun sniffles into Zitao’s shoulder as they stare in disbelief at the wall. “We’re in,” Zitao repeats, voice cracking in shock. “Holy shit.”
Joonmyeon, a dwarf of a boy comes to pat them on the back. “I’ll look forward to working with you. Well, one of you.”
The boy points at the board. “K and M,” he says dryly. “We’re splitting up.”
On one hand, Zitao is elated. He’s going back home, back to the familiar crunch of syllables and words. Back to choking pollution and street food, and his heart swells ten times bigger.
But he sees Sehun’s fallen face and it deflates quickly. “Don’t worry,” he reassures the younger boy as they walk back to their dorms. “We’ll still be in the same group.”
Sehun sniffs at him.
“We are one!” Zitao squeals, throwing his pillow at Luhan. “We finally have a slogan!”
“I know,” Luhan snorts. He catches the pillow and chucks it back across the room. “Get some sleep little panda, we’re filming tomorrow.”
When Luhan starts snoring though, Zitao tries to creep out the room, but ends up banging his head on the door frame. Koreans, he learns, are exceptionally short. Thank God Luhan is a deep sleeper.
Sehun is waiting for him outside the building. Only a few fans remain, all sleeping on the sidewalks. He doesn’t know if they’re devoted or just have no life.
“What took you so long?” Sehun huffs, breaking his train of thought.
“Luhan took forever to fall asleep,” Zitao grumbles back, shoving his hand in Sehun’s pocket.
Their fingers curl around each other’s, and Sehun sighs in comfort. “Whatever. Let’s go.”
The Han River is not much to see at night, but the Seoul skyline is. They sit on the benches near the bank and stare at the bright lights and advertisements. Zitao clears his throat. “My city,” he begins, “is so polluted, you wouldn’t even be able to see the skyline.”
“That’s a shame,” Sehun says.
“Not really. There’s nothing much to see.”
They sit in comfortable silence for the next ten minutes or so, Sehun’s thumb tracing soft circles on the back of Zitao’s hand. It is him that finally breaks the air. “You’re leaving me,” Sehun whispers.
“Just think of it like a long vacation. A very long vacation.”
Sehun snorts, but when Zitao turns, he can see him furiously blinking tears back. His hand instinctively shoots up to wipe his eyes, but Sehun’s free hand bats it down. “I am not crying,” he growls.
So the Chinese boy settles for pulling his best friend into the tightest hug he can muster, crushing Sehun’s thin frame against his. “Don’t worry,” Zitao croaks against his ear. “I’ll be back before you know it. But we still have two months together. Let’s enjoy it.”
He presses his lips into Sehun’s thick black hair and wonders if he even felt it.
The pale boy’s happy smile when they walk back home tells them that he did.
Filming the next day takes everything out of Zitao.
Luhan, Jongdae, Baekhyun, and Kyungsoo have it easy. Just sit around and look pretty, mouth the lyrics and stare into the camera and they’ll be fine. It’s Zitao that has it hard.
He feels sorry for the poor trainee that was pulled into the MV to be Zitao’s personal punching bag. He looks small and terrified, despite his impressive height. He can stare Zitao straight in the eye. They wrap him in as much padding as the can, throw bulky clothes over him, and push him towards intimidating Zitao. “Sorry,” he grins apologetically. “I’ll try not to hurt you.”
In the end, he doesn’t have to worry because they hook him on wires and lower his blows onto the boy in slow motion. He feels much better.
What is Love is a success. Sehun treats him to ddeukbokki, and the ahjumma gives them more food when she recognizes their faces. Zitao feels like he’s floating, and he hopes the feeling never ends.
Mama is when they really split. The MV debuts and EXO M is ushered onto a plane the next week, all belongings from their old trainee dorms packed. Chanyeol, embarrassingly, runs after Yifan in the departure gate and cries into his shoulder pitifully. Zitao’s heart aches watching their leader comb his giant fingers through his friend’s curly hair and assure him that he’ll Skype every night. When their manager has finally had enough, Chanyeol peels himself off Yifan and stumbles over to Zitao. “Sehun said you owe him a kiss when you come back,” he croaks, ambling back to his place beside Baekhyun.
Yixing blinks at him.
Zitao hisses back.
Across the airport, Sehun winks.
Promoting in China is tiring, but worth it. He likes hearing the familiar tune of his mother tongue, walking around in the streets he once knew well. When the arrive in Beijing, Luhan drags them everywhere, pointing out the candied fruit stands that he and his old friends use to eat at after school. He takes them to dirt cheap restaurants with food that could rival Zitao’s mother’s cooking. It’s a hard feat to do.
Every night, they return to their dorms, worn out by schedules but bellies full of whatever Luhan treated them to that night. He’s glowing in the light of his home town, and Zitao wishes that they could go back to Qingdao so he could point out all the places that he knew so well.
Yixing happily trails after his best friend every day, arms linked and chattering in Mandarin. Zitao can’t help but feel jealous that Sehun isn’t here too, here to taste the pastries and the baozis, and all the lavish desserts. He skypes him when time allows, even though the grainy camera image of Sehun is nothing like seeing him for real. Sometimes, Sehun makes kissing faces at the webcam, and Zitao blushes so hard it feels like his face is on fire. “Don’t forget,” the younger boy chuckles.
Zitao lets out a strangled you’re ridiculous, before returning back to whatever they were talking about.
The Hunan Province is next, and this time, it is Yixing that drags them around. They go to parks, coffee shops, anything that Yixing deemed important. When Zitao tells Sehun about his day, he huffs jealously. “We never do stuff like that. The farthest I’ve been is Jeju Island.”
But when Zitao lets it slip that he’s never been to Jeju, Sehun begins to talk his ear off about beaches and seafood, and how he’s going to take him there. “It’s a date,” he grins.
“Are you and Sehun dating?” Jongdae asks one night over hot pot.
Zitao inhales the mouthful of rice he’s been admiring, hacking loudly. Yifan pats him on the back sympathetically and Luhan and Yixing burst out laughing. Even Minseok breaks a smile.
“NO!” he wheezes, sipping on his iced tea furiously. “Why would you even think that?!”
“No, I do not.” Zitao is so red, he thinks he could rival the hot pot.
“Oh come on, you two are even more obvious then Luhan and Yixing and they’re actually dating!” Yifan practically shouts before clapping a hand over his mouth.
Luhan’s eyes steel and he lunges at Yifan from across the table. The younger boy scrambles back into a waitress who promptly spills cola all over his neat hair.
Minseok howls in laughter, clutching onto Jongdae who’s shaking with mirth. Yixing pulls Luhan back before he can fall into the hot pot, but his eyes are formed into little half moons, dimpling at Yifan.
Zitao turns around and bows to the waitress weakly. “Sorry,” he sighs.
Hopefully, it’s the last time they bring it up.
Ever since the great Luhan and Yixing thing was revealed, Zitao’s mood has dampened.
Yifan’s really not good company compared to the couple, but whenever he hangs out with them, he feels like the worst third wheel in the world. They don’t show it, but the way Yixing’s fingers curl around Luhan’s wrist is enough to tell him.
Sehun held his hand like that.
“Maybe Sehun likes me,” he wonders out loud.
Yifan swears loudly in English, throwing the ramen packet at him. “GEE WHIZ EINSTEIN,” he screeches. “NO WAY!”
Wolf is fresh breath of air for him, both literally and figuratively.
One, he doesn’t have to keep breathing the heavy fumes of car exhaust.
Two, he gets to see Sehun.
He looks forward to the latter more.
When they land back in Incheon, the first thing he sees is Chanyeol’s cropped black hair barreling at them at full speed. He opens his mouth to warn Yifan, but by the time he gets his first syllable out, he’s already on the ground, Chanyeol splayed on top of him. “YIFAN!” he shrieks. It looks like he’s trying to strangle him.
“Chanyeol,” Yifan croaks. “Get off me.”
Yifan manages to limp onto a chair, massaging his back furiously. Chanyeol skips by his side, apologizing profusely but with the biggest smile Zitao has ever seen.
And then he sees Sehun, and everything else slows down.
The boy is running a hand through his wiry pink hair before noticing Zitao’s glare. He smiles, opens his arms wide, and puckers his lips.
Zitao crosses over to him in five long strides, arms clasping around his waist and spinning him around. He lets out little gleeful giggles, thin arms locking around Zitao’s neck. “Hi,” he whispers into the Chinese boy’s shoulder when he comes back down. “I missed you.”
Something jolts in Zitao’s stomach when he looks down to his friend.
Maybe he does like him.
But just maybe.
The van ride home is terrible. Jongdae teases him about the hug, poking his cheek and imitating Sehun’s kissing face. “Did you miss your boyfriend?”
Luhan turns around from his seat with Yixing with a shit eating grin. “But now you get to see him again. Isn’t that just,” he pauses, smile spreading, “peachy?”
“GO HOME LUHAN!” he screams, diving at his friend from the back. Luckily for Luhan , the seat belt restrains him, and he flies back into his seat with a loud oomph.
Luhan’s jaw unhinges into his ugly chortle, and he goes back to laying his head in Yixing’s lap.
Zitao spends the rest of his more enjoyable night curled up next to Sehun in his bed, laptop burning his thighs through the sheets. They watch Happy Camp, and Sehun chuckles when he reads the subtitles. His head is pillowed on Zitao’s chest, legs tangled together, and Zitao thanks God that the lights are closed so he can’t see the growing blush. “You’d go walk on the beach with me though, right?” Sehun asks, nuzzling into Zitao’s warm neck.
“Huh? Yeah, of course.”
Sehun hasn’t moved from his position, and Zitao exhales slowly when he feels his hot breath hitting his neck. “Kind of,” he whispers.
“I believe you owe me something Huang Zitao.”
His heart stutters to a stop, and he looks down into the dark eyes of his best friend. “Uhhh,” he gargles.
Sehun’s lips are soft, despite how chapped they look. Zitao pins it to his lip licking habit and scrapes his teeth gently on Sehun’s bottom lip. He’s just beginning to enjoy himself when Sehun lets out a breathy moan and he shoves the younger boy off. “No,” he mumbles, head spinning. “No, nope.”
The Korean boy blinks at him, before huffing angrily. “Fine,” he snarls. “I got it.”
And with that, he stomps out of Zitao’s room, kicking his laptop’s charger as he slams the door. Zitao stares at the door, as if expecting him to come back. “What the fuck Huang Zitao,” he deadpans, wrapping a pillow around his head and shouting a loud shit!
Luhan comes back later that night, around three looking throughly kissed, lips swollen. Zitao doesn’t even want to count the amount of hickies that are sprinkled around his pale skin. “Had fun?” he says quietly, hitting the keys on his laptop rather furiously.
“Loads. How’d your little reunion go?”
He slams his laptop shut and huffs angrily. Luhan plops down by him and stares sympathetically. “Tell oppa about it.”
“He kissed me,” the younger boy blurts. “Because I owed him.”
Luhan tries to hold back his laugh before letting it fade at the crestfallen expression on Zitao’s face. “What happened?”
“I-uh, he made a sound and I pushed him off.”
“YOU FUCKING IDIOT!”
“OH MY GOD, GE, DON’T YELL!”
Yixing breaks into their room and squeaks at the sight of his boyfriend trying to strangle Zitao with his pillow. “LUHAN, OH MY GOD!”
Zitao makes it out alive, albeit ruffled and red. “Jesus,” he heaves. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t say that to me, say it to Sehun,” Luhan shoots back.
“What?” Yixing asks.
“Babe, he ki-“
“LUHAN, SHUT THE FUCK UP!”
“OH MY GOD, ZITAO!”
Yixing tries separating the tussle again, but ends up getting socked in the jaw for his efforts. He stomps away with Luhan at his heels. “We’ll talk about this later,” he warns. “Babe, I said I’m sorry!”
“THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE XI LUHAN!”
Zitao winces when Yixing’s door slams shut.
The next day, Sehun visibly avoids him, scampering around him in the kitchen and dodging his grab for his wrist. Zitao whines in frustration, stomping. “Totally your fault,” Yixing drawls, ambling over to grab the milk.
“Oh my God, ge, is that a hickey on your jaw?”
Yixing flushes, and Zitao squeals, running away.
He tries putting on an Disney movie in hopes of attracting Sehun, but to no avail. He watches The Little Mermaid by himself angrily, mumbling the words under his breath.
He realises that it was actually him that like the Disney movies, Sehun just happened to tag along every time.
Finally, he begrudgingly shrugged his coat on to make a trip to their Sehun’s favourite bubble tea store.
Which happens to be a mile away from the dorm.
His face is so swollen from lack of sleep that when he slips out the back door, the fans in front let him pass, unrecognizable. He walks for what seems like an eternity to the shop. The old ahjumma smiles at him. “Where’s Sehun?”
“Mad at me. One large chocolate bubble tea with extra tapioca and one small vanilla.”
“Done,” she smiles. “I’ll be out in a while. Warm yourself up.”
The journey Zitao makes home seems infinitely longer then the one that he took to get here. But when he gets back, Sehun is waiting for him inside the the hallway, arms crossed. “I saw you leave,” he grumbles.
“Thanks? Oh, uh, this is for you.”
And once again, they’re kissing, except this time Zitao initiates it and damn, it feels amazing. He regrets not doing this any earlier. Sehun is hanging onto him for dear life, thin fingers curled in the lapels of his coat. He pulls away first, forehead pressed delicately against Zitao. “Took you long enough.”
“You should be my boyfriend.”
Sehun smiles so big, the sides of his lips crinkle in effort. Zitao’s heart skips a beat, and goes back to pounding erratically when the younger boy presses a kiss against his lips again. “Okay,” he says against his mouth.
Zitao laughs in relief, squeezing his friend, no, his boyfriend, tight against his chest. “Good,” he smiles. “Because I don’t know what’d I do if you said no.”
In the distance, Kyuhyun’s camera goes off. He snickers. “Gold. Enough blackmail material for months.”
Wolf comes around, their hiatus ending quickly. Zitao actually has a part now, and he laughs excitedly. Sehun frowns at his three lines, and sneaks a glance at his boyfriend (his heart still flutters when he says it), who’s running over the slur of Chinese.
“When am I actually going to get a part?” he whines, throwing the paper across the room. “I already memorized all my lines. This is ridiculous.”
Zitao frowns and sweeps him into his lap, kissing his way up from the base of his neck to his sharp chin. “Don’t worry,” he says. “You have the biggest part in my heart.”
“Even more then your mom’s shuijiao?” Sehun teases.
Sehun bursts into laughter.
Practices are hard on all of them. They’re all tired by the end of the day, and Zitao feels sorry for Yixing who hobbles around the kitchen to cook for them. “You’re not eating Yifan’s disgusting food,” he explains, poking around the food for something edible.
Zitao notices Luhan peeking over his manhwa worriedly from time to time. If this was anytime before, he would’ve been next to Yixing, supporting the dancer around. He can see Luhan’s fingers twitching before he returns to the comic, shaking his head in resignation.
He remembers their explosive fight last week that came out of nowhere. One day they were the same gross, sappy couple. The next morning, Yixing avoided Luhan like the plague, holding onto Jongdae for support instead. Zitao remembers sitting next to Yifan as they listened to the yelling, both of their eyes wide. It reminded him of listening to his mother and father fight when he was younger, and Yifan rubs his back in comfort. Minseok and Jongdae stumble in after awhile, and Yifan translates the short snipes of Mandarin for them.
It started out with a comment on how Yixing was too tired to go out with Luhan for their routine walk, and then escalated into some full blown screaming match about how Yixing didn’t love Luhan anymore, and all this bullshit that has Zitao bristling. Luhan’s obviously wrong, and Yixing sits and takes it for around ten minutes before he begins jabbing back, hurtful comments on how Luhan spent no more time with him, and how he’s only hanging out with Jongin because he actually understands how much it hurts.
Luhan slams the door in the end, Yifan, Jongdae, and Minseok making an escape before he comes back in. Zitao is left to face the tired boy.
His eyes are rimmed red, and his hair is stuck up everywhere from his anger. “What are you looking at?” he snaps at Zitao.
“Just - go to sleep.”
He tries, but the walls are paper thin, and he can hear Yixing calling Jongin who stumbles over around three am.
Yixing’s cries hurt his heart, and he crawls over to Luhan who’s sniffling so loud, he’s sure EXO K can hear. “Don’t worry ge,” he soothes, combing his fingers through Luhan’s hair. “He’s just tired. We’re all tired.”
The next morning, Jongin is applying Yixing’s pain patch to his waist in the kitchen, golden fingers smoothing across the cloth. Luhan freezes by Zitao’s side. That’s his job. They know it all too well.
It’s been a week, and Yixing is still harsh and curt to Luhan. They’ve never seen him like this.
Zitao bites his lip and promises himself that he’ll never hurt Sehun.
Happy Camp runs around again, and Sehun, despite his language barrier, manages to make several sharp quips about Zitao. “He’s only pretty with makeup on,” Sehun snickers.
Zitao gapes at him and he winks, shaking his head slightly. He rolls his eyes in disbelief and turns back to the host.
Yixing looks uncomfortable in his spot next to Luhan, shifting when he whispers in his ears occasionally.
“You can’t pick me up,” Sehun jibes, jumping into his arm.
“Oh please,” he throws back, easily doing squats.
Sehun squeals in his arms, smiling at him. Zitao grins back, tempted to press a kiss onto his lips. If only they weren’t on national television, he sighs mentally. Backstage.
The show ends well, and Zitao corners Sehun for a kiss before the leave. Sehun kisses him, soft and slow, hands fisted in the soft tee shirt that Zitao has changed into. The smell of his cologne floods into Sehun’s nose, and he whines happily against his lips.
Growl is terrifying.
It isn’t like anything like Zitao expected.
EXO M is rocky as always, Luhan and Yixing’s breakup pushing them into a period where neither of them even talk at the dinner table.
“I’m so sick of them moping around,” Zitao complains one day to Sehun, who’s buried under all his covers. “I mean, Yixing ge obviously broke up with him because he hasn’t done anything since their fight. It’s ridiculous.”
Sehun lets out a cute snuffling noise, and Zitao resists the urge to tackle him and snuggle him into oblivion. He pops out of his pink comforter, narrowing his eyes at Zitao. “We won’t break up because of some silly fight, right?”
“No, of course not.”
“Pinky promise,” Sehun orders, sticking out his pale finger.
“So childish,” Zitao teases, but locks his pinky around Sehun’s anyways. “Now move over, I need some blanket too.”
“Can’t,” Sehun sighs, sliding back under the covers. “I’m nesting.”
“Move, you big lump.”
Sehun sniffs at him in response.
The MV is one shot, and Sehun is bouncing off the walls. “I actually have more then three words!” he yells, bouncing around the living room. “Oh my God, Zitao!”
The Chinese boy chuckles and pulls him into a bone crushing hug, rubbing his cheek against Sehun’s.
“Gross,” he grumbles. “You need to shave.”
“You need to stop being so picky,” Zitao smiles, pecking him on the lips quickly.
“No, give me a proper kiss.”
Zitao has never been one to refuse Sehun.
“Thank you for supporting us until the end!” Joonmyeon screams, waving his arms furiously.
Growl has won countless times now, and even Lee Soo Man came down to congratulate them. It’s his company after all.
And here they are again, smiling at their fans and crying silently. Zitao turns to wipe away Sehun’s tears, and the younger boy pushes in Zitao’s hand like an overgrown cat. “I love you,” he whispers.
Zitao’s heart freezes.
Sehun looks disappointed when he doesn’t respond and turns back to give the MC a winning smile.
When they walk back to the vans, Zitao yanks Sehun into a bathroom and kisses him senseless against the stall door, hands tight on Sehun’s cheeks. “I love you too,” he chokes out, rolling the skin above his collar bone gently between his teeth. “I love you so much, you don’t even know how much I love you.”
Sehun laughs in glee, pulling him back up for another kiss, tongue exploring Zitao’s mouth languidly.
They only leave when they hear Yifan’s bark of hurry the fuck up!
“Why is this MV so cheesy?”
“Because,” Luhan sighs, scrubbing his face furiously. It’s rare that the Showtime cameras aren’t filming them, and in the dim lighting, Luhan looks like he’s aged ten years. “It’s Christmas.”
Zitao shrugs and passes him a cookie, fresh from Kyungsoo’s oven. “Are you ever going to fix things with Yixing ge?”
Luhan looks up at him. “I’m trying.”
“I hope that it works out.”
The older man manages to muster a smile and ruffle Zitao’s fluffy blonde hair. “I hope so too Taozi.”
Zitao later sneaks down to EXO K’s dorm later that night, with an excuse that they’re returning Kyungsoo’s cookie tin when he spots Yixing seated tightly in Jongin’s lap, the younger boy’s lips pressed soothingly against his forehead. His eyes meet Sehun’s from across the room. He shakes his head. “Meet me outside in 10,” he motions, scurrying back up to his dorm to get his coat.
“Watch it,” Yifan growls when he runs into him.
“I am the boss.”
“Well cheer up,” Zitao grins. “It’s Christmas.”
“Stay warm!” Yifan shouts at him as he dashes out the door.
Sehun is already outside, shivering in his jacket. “What took you so long?”
The Korean shoves his his hand in Zitao’s pocket, and he’s hit by a thick wave of nostalgia. “I have a gift for you,” he says.
Zitao raises his eyebrows. “Your undying love for me is enough.”
Sehun chuckles, fingers tightening around his boyfriend’s. “Just in case one day it isn’t,” he reasons.
When they get to the bubble tea shop, the ahjumma smiles at them. “Christmas,” she says. “It’s on me tonight.”
Sehun has ginger milk tea, and Zitao tries cranberry hot chocolate, finding it pleasantly tart. The younger boy has snowflakes dusted across his cheeks like freckles. His hand raises to brush them off, but Sehun bats him off again. “Gift,” he grumbles. “Worry about my face later.”
He hands over a small yellow package. It’s soft under his hands, and he rips it open curiously. The scarf falls into his hands, red against gold. “It’s so soft,” he whispers, rubbing it between his hands.
“Yeah, well it better be,” Sehun grumbles. “My mom knitted it.”
“That’s so sweet.”
“She’s a sweet lady.” Sehun winks.
His hands trail over to fit the scarf around Zitao’s neck, fingers trailing lightly on Zitao’s jaw. “It looks good on you.”
Zitao, of course, has to wear it during the Miracles in December MV.
The next few days are just all promotion, stage to stage. They perform Christmas Day over and over again, and Baekhyun’s throat is raw from practicing Miracles in December.
But the Christmas spirit keeps them going.
Christmas Eve comes around, and someone (probably Baekhyun) ends up putting mistletoe above all of their dorms’ doorframes. It ends in hilarious moments of Yifan getting flustered when Chanyeol pecks his forehead, or Jongdae tripping over himself to catch Minseok underneath it.
But then Luhan and Yixing are caught underneath and everyone holds their breath. “Yixing,” Luhan whispers, voice breaking. “I miss you.”
Yixing lets out a choked sob and crushes his lips onto Luhan’s.
They erupt into cheers so loud that Taeyeon from a floor below uses a broom to bang the floor where Jongin is standing. He jumps and yells sorry noona!
And then Chanyeol pulls Sehun and Zitao underneath the cursed plant, pushing Luhan and Yixing away. “Kyuhyun sent me a picture,” he winks. “Go on.”
Sehun’s eyes scan his face before grabbing his jaw, teeth clicking together.
The rest of the group is shocked into silence, blinking at them. “Merry Christmas,” Sehun whispers against Zitao’s lips.
“ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!” Zitao yells at them, startling them back into reality.
Yifan clears his throat. “HELL YEAH!” he cheers, waving his obnoxiously long arms in the air.
The next morning, Taeyeon knocks sharply on their door and demands that Chanyeol or Yifan fix the whole she’s poked in their dorm ceiling for trying to shut them up.
They spend the next few months filming Showtime and other variety shows, barely a minute of privacy. Zitao misses being able to watch movies with Sehun on the weekends, and his mood plummets.
Most nights, Sehun crawls into Zitao’s bed, head nestled in his neck and fingers tangled together. Zitao relishes these moments, when it’s finally quiet and he has Sehun to himself.
“I love you,” Sehun says quietly.
Zitao, half on the edge of dreams and reality, lazily kisses the crown of Sehun’s head, still a dusty blonde. “I love you too,” he drawls. “Now sleep.”
Nowadays, Yifan likes to slide little packages of condoms and lube under their door with a note from Joonmyeon attached. Be careful! it says.
Sehun flushes as red as the Chinese flag.
“The fuck is this?” Sehun cries, reading over their new instructions. “They’re separating us! Again!”
“I can see that,” Zitao shoots back. His head is pounding.
The younger boy gargles elegantly, flopping against Zitao’s lap. “No,” he moans, kicking his feet childishly. “Skyping sucks.”
“Get a better webcam.”
“But where will my money come from, oh great Zitao?”
He’s silent for a moment. “Point taken.”
Zitao reassures him quickly. “Don’t worry. You know that they can’t separate us for long. You’ll see my ugly face before you know it.”
Sehun shoots up immediately, frowning widely. “You’re not ugly,” he says. “You’re anything but.”
“What did I do to deserve you?” Zitao asks, nuzzling his neck.
“Save a country. I’m worth a lot.”
“Shut up and let me enjoy the moment.”
“I’ll see you in a month then?” Sehun’s hands are shoved in his pocket, glaring at the floor furiously.
“Yeah, I guess so. Skype?”
Zitao glances around to make sure that no one’s looking before he tips Sehun’s chin up. “Hey, it’s going to be okay. I love you.”
Sehun is the one that closes the distance in between them, lips ghosting over his for a second before disappearing. “I know. I love you too.”
Chanyeol mimes throwing up beside them, hand still fastened onto Yifan’s. “You’re going to make us sick.”
“Go,” Sehun says, ignoring Chanyeol. “You’re going to be late.”
“Bye.” He kisses his forehead one last time before yanking Yifan away from Chanyeol and striding to their gate.
“Take care of my duizhang!” Chanyeol yells across the line.
Everything carries on as normal. Wake up, practice, eat, practice, eat, practice, eat, sleep. It’s tiring, but rewarding when they see all their fans.
Zitao seems to be slightly more irritable now, without Sehun by his side to mellow him out. Anything easily sets him off now, and the rest of them have learned that the only way to calm him down is to immediately Skype Sehun and pray it works.
It usually does.
But while Zitao is easily appeased, Yifan disappears more and more, always seen with a permanent frown on his face. He’s never happy with himself now, and he’s distant. Chanyeol can’t even cheer him up.
And then everything crashes all at once. Everything they built up plummets to the ground like an airplane who’s engines have given out.
Yifan files his lawsuit.
Zitao tries not to cry when he sees his friend packing up his bags, weighing each shirt quietly. “Don’t do this,” he whimpers.
Yifan jerks up to meet his eyes. “I’m sorry.” His voice is dry and cracking, and Zitao does the only thing that makes sense.
He never wants to break free of the hug, Yifan’s strong arms wrapped tightly around him. “I’m sorry,” he whispers, rocking them back and forth.
Luhan joins in after finding them, and then Yixing. They all collapse to the ground in a heap of tears and disjointed laughter. “Don’t worry,” Yifan says. “I’m always here if you need me.”
The night that Yifan leaves hits all of them like a slap in the face. He huddles with Luhan and Yixing on Luhan’s bed, limbs tangled with each other’s in a pitiful attempt to hide themselves from the harsh truth. Sehun calls, and Zitao picks up with shaky hands. Speaker, Luhan mouths.
The first thing they hear is his shaky breath, a hi, and then a wail in the background.
“Who,” Zitao swallows, “who is that?”
They all already know.
“Chanyeol won’t stop.”
And they hold their breath a listen to the loud sobs and broken hiccups.
Zitao wishes that Sehun were next to him, because he desperately needs to hold him, to make him promise that he’s never going to leave him like Yifan did, and that he’s always going to be there. His heart quivers from the pain, and it feels like all his organs are shattering, ripping him apart from inside out.
“It’s okay to cry,” Sehun sighs.
So they all do, Yixing crying softly into Luhan’s shoulder and Zitao sniffling loudly, wiping away his tears as fast as he can. “It’s okay,” Sehun assures. “We’re going to be okay.”
Sehun is the youngest out of all of them, but he remains the most mature in this night’s situation, murmuring comforting words to them as they try and flush out all the debris that Yifan has left behind.
He can’t even listen to the album at this point. When he voices over Yifan’s part, he feels a tiny part of his heart breaking, like he’s betraying his friend. Sehun helps him through it, mending his cracks with soft kisses and words of comfort. They don’t push anything, and slowly, Zitao comes through.
But still, at night, with Sehun curled up by his side, he can’t say that Chanyeol’s never ending sobs are a lullaby.
They get through it.
Even though they’re never the same, they tour Asia with excitement in their hearts, visiting all the Chinese cities that Zitao wanted to take Sehun to. Luhan takes them around Beijing again, and when they land in Qingdao, Zitao pulls his boyfriend through the city with so much happiness in his eyes, they almost forget about the past months.
Sehun sees Zitao’s family again, his mother welcoming him back with the warmest hug and so much food that Sehun is sure it could feed the entire company and YG. She says it’s necessary; it’s not common that her future son in law will visit.
Zitao blushes and yells ma! and Sehun laughs so much, he has to sit down.
That night, they sleep in Zitao’s old bed, so small that their feet hang off the edge. Sehun looks ethereal in the soft moonlight, caramel hair fanning across his white bed sheets. Zitao savours this moment, nosing along his jawline and catching his bottom lip between his teeth. “I love you,” he says, loving that it hasn’t lost any of it’s meaning even after he’s said it so much.
“Forever and ever?” Sehun chuckles.
“Forever and ever.”
They seal the deal with a kiss.
an: so this is FINALLY that 5k (well really 6K) giveaway one shot i was meant to post AGESSS ago, but i only finally got around to. most sincere apologies to our winner. also, sorry it seems a bit choppy, i haven’t written any other ship than sekai in what seems like years.
So the first Miraculous Tales of Ladybug and Chat Noir webisode is finally out! While the rest of the fandom is catching feels, I’m over here catching some serious ass kicks over the translations for the webisode
Marinette: ….But you know what ? I think he’s bit in love with me. But the thing is, the one I love is Adrien. Chat Noir is far from being as perfect as Adrien. Me:
Marinette. Poor, sweet, naive Marinette.
yes, this is probably what pure comedy
looks like. I’m sorry but I cannot help but laugh my butt off at this. The irony of those words is too funny. Truth be told, as a BIG Chat Noir fan, I honestly must admit
that Ladybug is way too hard on him sometimes. I mean I get it. I get that his
overconfidence can be exasperating, to Ladybug. But how can you not find him
adorable? Is your yandere showing here lil Miss
Ladybug? Call me biased but, Chat may be a flirt but he means well y’know
and who’s to say that the reason that he so flirtatious isn’t due mainly to his
lack of knowledge and inexperience because he’s never really had much
interaction with a girl his own age before. Friendships, bonds, boy-girl
relationships, love and the various hi-lows and heart fluttering moments that
come with it—-this is all a new experience for Chat mainly due to his
upbringing as I can probably guess. In his poor Chat Noir perception of the
world, he thinks that the only way to a woman’s heart is to be really
overconfident and boastful all the time.
mean can you imagine before this, little Adrien home alone in front of his giant
two dual screens, combing through Le Tube De You for videos on how to go about
picking up girls? Chat Noir is the way he is because…he really doesn’t know jack shit about how to behave himself in front
of a girl. And I doubt dear ole daddy wasn’t helpful either in teaching his son
the proper way to respect woman, besides the generic snooty rituals. The poor
baby may be a flirt but he’s an oblivious
Man I cannot wait for the episodes when Marinette starts to fall for Chat Noir.
I hope he shows a side of him that makes her think of Adrien (*snorts*). Shit,
I hope there is a scene where he’s SOOO ADRIEN that Ladybug can’t help but see
the boy that she loves in her partner (TEAMMATE MY ASS! Call him what he is
Marinette. He’s your PARTNER!). And I hope when moment comes, cupid better
whack her so hard that her heart becomes conflicted with whether she loves Chat
Noir or Adrien….who ironically are the same person.
Maaaaan maaaan MAN! I cannot WAIT til she realizes all of this. I cannot wait
for the moment of truth!
first I thought I was just gonna have feels when the big reveal happens. Now I’m
gonna have feels AND laugh my butt off because….mannnnnnn is SHE in for a
But ssssssshhhhh! No one tell her! Don’t wanna spoil les secret now, qui?
I love big fat roosters and round hens with beards and giant combs that flop over. I love bantams and their weird squeaks and frizzles and chickens who aren’t seen as “pretty” because they’re “ordinary” or because they’re missing lots of feathers. I love chickens who are perpetually broody or who just don’t lay anymore for whatever reason. I love hens with crooked tails or extrusions on their combs that make them unable to be shown. I love barnyard mixes who few people want because they’re not purebred or fancy. I love the chicks who are never helped when they have splayed legs but who grow up nonetheless with splayed legs and an odd gait. I love rescued battery hens and their strength and perseverance and how they never truly give up. I love elderly chickens who still make their ways around, who lay in the sun before roosting down on a fluffy towel. I love former fighter cocks who are covered in scars and jumpy and distrustful but still sweet when given a chance. I love the hens who are culled or neglected because of neurological issues, because “she’s kind of stupid” or “she can’t even balance right, I don’t want a disabled chicken.” I love blind hens and roosters missing limbs and chickens who are abandoned at vets and promptly forgotten because “I’m not paying that much for a chicken.”