So I had a dream last night. A dream that Ladybug and Chat Noir moved out of their homes into a studio apartment together so they could be around each other and get to akuma attacks quickly and always be alert.
But they never detransformed. They were always suited up and just lived together like two best friends and kept the city safe.
@philosophy-and-coffee said it’d make a neat fic idea and had a few cute ideas to add on to it, so…naturally, I wrote it.
A Simple Suggestion Summary: Breaks from patrol often allow time for Ladybug and Chat Noir to talk and be themselves. But when a silly joke starts to seem all that…well, not silly, the two find themselves considering something neither of them had ever before: moving in together. The tricky part is still keeping their identities a secret. Rated: G (might change to T later) Pairing(s): Ladybug/Chat Noir
Chat Noir had thrown the idea into the air one night when they’d taken a break from patrol. The city was quiet, the breeze that danced through the open sky was refreshing, and the laughter that had accompanied his voice had made Marinette smile all too wide.
“What if we moved in together?” he’d asked with a nervous twitch of his tail. “I’ve been preparing to move out for a while, but…I don’t know. Something about the thought of living alone makes me nervous.”
“You mean-” Marinette’s eyes widened. “Us? Move in together? Like, Ladybug and Chat Noir living together?”
“Yeah,” Chat laughed. “What if?”
At first, she’d given her partner nothing more than a chuckle and a dismissive pat on the shoulder, shaking her head at the simple notion. It had been such a funny thing for him to suggest that the giggles that rose from her throat had been all too hard to suppress. Even if she secretly didn’t despise the idea, she knew it would never work out.
“How would we even manage that?” she asked, swinging her legs over the ledge of the apartment complex they had paused upon and taking in a breath of the atmosphere. She could detect a small hint of food cooking somewhere, and in the distance music played, which added to the comforting ambiance of the city she adored so much. “We’d just walk around in our own home transformed, like it was a completely normal thing?”
Chat Noir offered a shrug, looking a tad sheepish. “Hah, yeah, I guess that does sound kind of stupid.”
A frown replaced Marinette’s smile, and she felt a small hint of guilt for her previous comment. “Well,” she said in an attempt to fix her blunder. “I don’t know about stupid…”
“It would probably be weird,” Chat continued, “and awkward at times…and it wouldn’t be easy…”
“…but I dunno,” he sighed, shifting his gaze. “Part of me thinks we’d be able to make it work.”
Allowing the thought to process, Marinette tapped her finger along the aged paneling of the roof they sat atop, teeth nibbling on her bottom lip as she sought for a reply.
Would they be able to make it work?
After all, she’d been thinking about moving out of the bakery soon due to space, and she didn’t like the idea of living alone either…and Alya was already sharing an apartment Nino…
“Maybe,” Marinette said, a hint of humor in her voice. “But we’d be together all the time, and I can’t exactly picture myself cooking dinner wearing a skin-tight suit. Even if it would protect me from burns.”
Chat supplied a small snort of laughter at her statement. “I guess that’s a bonus. Would living together be so weird, though?”
Marinette opened her mouth to answer with a “yes, of course!”, but paused as she couldn’t exactly find an explanation why it would be so odd for them to live together under those circumstances. Sure, it’d feel a bit off to walk around an apartment with her suit on, but by now Marinette was used to wearing polka-dots for long hours. She felt more natural in her transformation than she ever had five years prior when she was fourteen, freshly new to the world of superheroes and saving the city, and for a brief second the thought that maybe Chat’s idea wasn’t such a stupid one passed her mind.
It would be a hell of a lot more convenient for the both of them. They wouldn’t have to worry about when the other would show up during akuma attacks, or struggle going through a battle alone while one of them was on their way.
(Or, on the rare occurrence that a certain Ladybug slept in late during a rather difficult akuma attack, Chat Noir wouldn’t have to suffer through another hour of holding a violet butterfly within his paws and panicking over what he should do with it.)
A small grin twitched at the corner of Marinette’s mouth before a second thought passed her mind, causing the hint of a smile to fall.
She knew Chat Noir was dying to get out of his house. Nineteen years old and still suffocating under the watchful eye of his parents (parent?), Chat often expressed his sorrows about his home life with a forlorn sigh. Though he never delved too deeply into personal details, Marinette could tell just by the carefully worded sentences that he was having a difficult time staying happy in the house he’d lived in since he was a baby.
And, although she couldn’t relate, Marinette did feel for her friend. There were often times where she had considered begging Tikki to let them reveal their identities to each other just so she could take Chat Noir to the bakery and gift him a place to live that he looked forward to coming home to.
(Too many nights had she found Chat patrolling the city when there hadn’t been a scheduled patrol, after all.)
And now the words were on the tip of her tongue; the confirmation she knew her partner was secretly hoping for notwithstanding the fact that he was writing it off as a joke.
A joke that tugged at his lips in a sort of dejected smile that did not—would not—reach his eyes.
“I wonder how that would work,” Marinette whispered, eyes falling to the city streets below, where cars trailed lazily down the two-way street in a pale river of yellow lights. “Maybe we could make it work.”
One of Chat’s velvet ears twitched against his shaggy blond hair, and his eyes met hers for a fleeting moment. Even in the second of shared eye contact Marinette could see the tiny spark of hope that glowed within them, and she couldn’t stop the smile that began to spread across her face.
Maybe they could move in together. Sure, she’d have to talk to Tikki about it first, and they’d have to find an inconspicuous apartment in the middle of the city together, and it would wouldn’t be easy…
But…no. That was just silly.
A silly, silly idea. It wouldn’t work out. How would they keep their identities secret? How would they be able to live life as normal civilians and go about their daily duties—work, university, grocery shopping—without revealing themselves?
You’ll never know until you try, a little voice peeped in the back of Marinette’s mind. What could be so bad about it?
What could be so bad? Well, they could accidentally come home destransformed, or sleepwalk in their pajamas, or both walk up to the front door at the same time without their suits on, or, or-
All of those situations could easily be avoided. They could set rules. Marinette could make masks so they wouldn’t have to be transformed all of the time, or they could turn out the lights every now and then. Or maybe they could set certain days where they would stay transformed so they could hang out.
Huh…the whole idea was beginning to seem a lot simpler than it had been three minutes ago.
Yeah, Marinette replied to the earlier thought, what could be so bad?
She knew of plenty of things that could be bad, as her anxiety had ways of creating the most outlandish situations. For now, however, she ignored them.
Looking over to Chat Noir, Marinette smiled, giving his back (which was slumped over in a sad sort of way) a gentle pat. He responded by sitting up straight, a question on his lips and hope in his gaze, ears perked up in interest. They stared at each other for a breath or two before Marinette exploded into a fit of laughter, her stomach clenching with the force of of her chortle.
Chat flinched at first, obviously surprised by her sudden outburst, but a second later he joined her in the ocean of giggles that had flooded between them. His smile was so wide that Marinette could see the white glint of his teeth and lovely crinkles around his eyes, as well as the shake of his shoulders and a single tear—whether it be from laughter or relief—that slid down his cheek.
And that was how Marinette Dupain-Cheng, Ladybug, nineteen-year-old baker’s daughter found herself transformed and heaving box after box into a two-bedroom apartment smack dab in the middle of Paris a month later with a black cat trailing just a step behind her, placing a few of his own boxes on the wide, empty wooden floor.
It had been a crazy, crazy idea.
But sometimes, Marinette knew, the craziest of ideas were the best of all.
◇ pairing: taehyung | reader ◇ genre: fluff and soft angst ◇ word count: 20.409 ◇ warnings: none ◇ author’s note: thisstory involved a whole lot of research involving many topics (read on if you want to find out hehe). I tried to represent them in the best way I could, but there are probably a few inaccuracies, so I apologize in advance for that. anyway, this is just another long plot with a bit of cheese on the side. please enjoy :)
Once every five years, when the June solstice arrives and graces the sky with the midnight sun, a comet dashes by.
It is more than just a blinking light that moves at an unhinged speed. According to what you’ve heard, it looks like it stills in the middle of the vastness of space, and its tail flickers and shimmies in long tendrils of vibrant colors full of meaning — a subtle force that speaks to the humans who look up to the stars and set their eyes on the glowing meteorite, unique but just as intense for every single gaze. It speaks of soulmates and fate, of heavy truths and indelible bonds.
Each person sees a different pool of colors. You’ve heard more than a thousand stories, of people who saw the colors of the fireplace and others who were seized by the soothing hues of woodland during dawn. You’ve read about colors that go from the red blush of a beach beneath the sunset to the ivory traces of a wintry hill covered in thick snow. The colors do not give them the name of their soulmates, but once they find their other half, they will see those rich tones reflected in their lover’s eyes.
The sky is dark, but the bright autumn sun peaks just slightly over the London skyline, lighting Sherlock’s inky and errant curls seemingly from within. The glow is refractive, and makes the detective look tinged soft and otherworldly fire bright.
image: Sarira Reliquary, Daegu National Museum, Korea
Here is a collection of D&D 5e homebrew magic items designed with clerics in mind. Many can be used by non-clerics, especially the ones simply inspired by the core pantheon of Dungeons & Dragons deities. Hope you enjoy them!
+1 Holy Symbol
Wondrous Item, Rare,
Requires attunement by a cleric
A cleric attuned to this holy symbol that uses it as their spellcasting focus has +1 to their spell attacks and deals +1 damage with their damaging spells.
Goblet of Purity
Wondrous Item, Rare, Requires attunement by a cleric
A cleric attuned to the goblet can bless water poured into it. Water blessed in this way becomes free of disease and becomes crystal clear. Creatures drinking from the goblet are cured of all diseases ailing them.
Morningstar, Rare, Requires attunement by a cleric
This morningstar is coated in holy water, which flows constantly and magically from coral-like patterns in the head of the weapon down to the spiraling conical spikes adorning it. The holy water does not drip unless swung, and holy water spilled from it disappears where it lands. The weapon deals an additional 1d4 acid damage to undead and fiends, even ones that might be normally immune or resistant to acid damage.
Censor of Divinity
Wondrous Item, Uncommon, Requires attunement by a cleric
Once per day, when incense is burned in the censor and waved about, the cleric can increase the DC of one of their Channel Divinity abilities by 1.
Incense of Peaceful Rest
Wondrous Item, Common
Creatures resting within 60 ft. while this incense burns may heal one hit die in addition to any hit dice spent to heal themselves.
Prayer Beads of Recall
Wondrous Item, Uncommon,
Requires attunement by a cleric
As you pray to your deity and run these beads through your fingers, you can teleport yourself and up to 9 allies to the nearest temple of your deity over the course of 1 minute. This ability works once before the beads disappear in a silent flicker of light. A creature must attune to this item by praying in a temple of their deity over a long rest.
Wondrous Item, Varied Rarity, Requires attunement by a cleric
The forms of reliquaries vary greatly. They can be bones or clothes of saints or notable religious figures or pieces of history from your religion, and can be completely unadorned or within an intricate vessel or chest ranging in size but usually able to be carried on your person. A reliquary can have one or more abilities based on its rarity:
Rare: The reliquary can cast Lesser Restoration on a creature that touches it once per day. The object passively emits daylight out to 30 ft. and dim light for another 30 ft.
The reliquary has the abilities of a rare reliquary. In addition, the reliquary can grant a creature that touches it an effect similar to a Bless spell for 1 hour once per day. This ability does not stack with other Bless spells. Creatures within 30 ft. of the reliquary also cannot become frightened.
Legendary: The reliquary has the abilities of a rare and very rare reliquary. In addition, the reliquary can cast Heal on a creature that touches it once per day and creatures slain within 60 ft. of the reliquary cannot be turned into undead.
Book of Boccob
Wondrous Item, Rare, Requires attunement
Poring over this book grants the attuned user a +1 bonus on arcana and religion checks. The book can also be used once a week to cast a Commune spell.
Exquisite Mantle of Corellon Larethian
Wondrous Item, Rare, Requires attunement
This item cannot be attuned to a Drow, Orc, or Half-Orc; races despised by Corellon Larethian. The cloak can be used once per day to shroud the attuned creature in unearthly beauty. All creatures within 60 ft. that can see the creature must make a CHA saving throw with a DC of 13. Evil creatures that fail become frightened and blinded for 1d4+1 rounds. Nonevil, nongood creatures that fail become frightened and blinded for 1 round. Good creatures that fail suffer no ill effects.
Burrowing Arrow of Gruumsh
Any arrow or bolt, Uncommon, Requires attunement
Elves cannot attune to this item; a race despised by Gruumsh. This arrow is tipped with a red stone arrowhead with an eye carved into it. The shaft has a texture like that of a rat. When the arrow hits a creature with a discernible anatomy, it transforms into a rabid rat that gnaws deeper into the hit creature. The rat deals 1d6 damage on the start of each of the creature’s turns until they rip it out with a DC 11 STR check or by dealing 5 damage to it.
Claw of Nerull
Rod, Uncommon, Requires attunement
This disembodied skeletal forearm is tipped with a pointing finger and is covered with dried blood. When the command word is spoken and the rod is pointed at a living creature of Large size or smaller up to 30 ft. away, skeletal hands emerge from the ground and grasp at the creature, holding them in place for up to 1 minute. The creature must make a DC 15 DEX saving throw to evade the emerging hands or a DC 16 STR saving throw to break free of them. The rod can be used in this way once per day.
Hextor’s Gauntlet of Dominion
Wondrous Item, Rare, Requires attunement
A black iron spiked gauntlet that oils itself with blood and sweat. Once per day you may clench the gauntlet into a fist before you. You may cast Command as a bonus action targeting a creature that can hear and see you within 60 ft. Each round that you maintain concentration and keep your fist clenched for up to 1 minute, you can cast Command again as a bonus action, but you must target the same creature with it each round. While your fist is clenched in this way you cannot use it for other actions such as attacking or holding things.
Briarknot Armor of Obad-Hai
Armor, Rare, Requires attunement
A brooch that looks like a fetish of leaves, twigs, and flowers that can be affixed to your clothing. When the command word is spoken, it rapidly grows to cover your body in a form-fitting armor of thorny vines. The armor changes your base AC to 17 (no benefit from DEX bonus). Creatures that touch you or hit you with a natural or unarmed melee attack take 1d6 piercing damage. The armor wilts and dies when the command word is spoken once more, but the brooch remains intact to be called upon again.
Ruby Dagger of Wee Jas
Dagger, Very Rare, Requires attunement by a cleric
This +1 dagger is made from a shard of a large magical ruby and has an intricate golden hilt. When a creature is slain by this dagger their soul exits their body, ignites, and surges towards the nearest enemy within 30 ft., dealing 7d6 fire damage before leaving for the afterlife. A creature that makes a DC 15 DEX saving throw takes only half of this damage.
Vessel of Vecna
Wondrous Item, Uncommon
A skull of a humanoid that was missing their left eye. When a secret, thought, or memory is whispered to the skull’s face, it causes its good eye socket to glow with a tiny point of green light. The creature that whispered to the vessel completely forgets their thought, memory, or secret and cannot recall it even through magical means. It is as if they never knew it in the first place and are forbidden from thinking about it further. A creature that whispers a command word to a vessel with such a glow within it learns the secret held within, emptying the vessel once more. Destroying a Vessel of Vecna with a secret stored within it does not restore the memories of the initial creature.
Yondalla’s Blessed Seeds
Wondrous Item, Uncommon
These simple-looking seeds come in a pouch featuring Yondalla’s holy symbol on the side. A pouch typically contains 2d4+1 seeds when found. When one of the seeds is thrown onto a patch of dirt at least 5 ft. in diameter, it rapidly grows into a full-grown tree over the course of one round. The tree is about 4 feet in diameter and is 60 feet in height. Climbing such a tree requires a DC 12 Athletics or Acrobatics check.
Hammer of Moradin
Wondrous Item, Rare, Requires attunement
This item can be used as a warhammer. If attuned to a dwarf, it is instead treated as a +1 warhammer. Once per day, the hammer can be used to repair any item made of metal or stone up to a 10-ft. cube. Alternatively, it can be used to cast Fabricate but only on stone or metal material.
Dowsing Rod of Garl Glittergold
Rod, Uncommon, Requires attunement
This golden rod can be used once per day to point its wielder in the direction of the largest collection of wealth (in gems and/or minerals) within 500 ft.
Wondrous Item, Very Rare, Requires attunement by a non-evil cleric, druid, paladin, or ranger
This spiraling white horn can be blown to summon a Unicorn mount. The unicorn serves faithfully and will fight for the creature it is attuned to but if it is asked to perform an evil act then it will vanish and the horn will crumble into pieces. The unicorn cannot cast its Teleport spell and cannot use its Legendary Actions while summoned in this way. When the unicorn is slain it instead vanishes, returning to the place it was summoned from. The horn can only be used during a new moon (once a month) and only one unicorn can be summoned at a time.
Okay, so let’s get this out of the way first. Nobody knows when Tumblr was first invented. Don’t ask me why, just nobody ever bothered to record that it seems. Tumblr wasn’t invented by David Karp. Karp just happened to be some hapless twenty something that became irrevocably attached to it at some point in time. For the longest time, Karp was the only staff member at Tumblr HQ where he was commanded by what he described as a “formless and faceless entity” to do a number of trivial programming tasks in order to maintain the site which, in its earliest known form, was a social Networking website for priests but was actually primarily used by the Russian Mafia in order to deal drugs.
The Russian Mafia became more involved in the inner workings of the website, demanding that Karp - who, at the time, regularly dressed like this:
make major changes to the website in order for it to be more encrypted. Karp, lacking the coding prowess to do this, and perhaps intimidated by the formless and faceless entity that shouted orders at him, in a voice that was both oddly alien but uncomfortably familiar, from the dirty, unused, rat-infested bedroom of Tumblr HQ, which Karp began living at full time, completely failed to do this which lead to the Russian Mafia unleashing a costly, unceasing DDOS attack on the website for two years. During this time David Karp, believing he had escaped the formless and faceless entity that lived in the unused bedroom in Tumblr HQ, began to travel the world and thought that he might settle down with a pretty Scandinavian lady named Gennifer. This would not be, as Karp was still at Tumblr HQ but hallucinating the entirety of his freedom.
After the DDOS - which in reality was miserable failure - ended, the formless and faceless entity that lived in the unused bedroom in Tumblr HQ, attacked Karp, putting him into a deep coma, a state in which he still remains to this day.
It was during this time that Tumblr purchased Yahoo. That’s right TUMBLR purchased YAHOO. Tumblr, now free of any governing force, to the extent that Karp could be considered a governing force, began to run itself autonomously - perhaps due to its nature of being a sort of extension of the formless and faceless entity that lived in the unused bedroom in Tumblr HQ - an HQ, mind you, that is located in the basement of an abandoned Sheetz. Visiting this Sheetz, which some Tumblrinas wish to do, is highly unrecommended. This Tumblr Sheetz is superficially like any other Sheetz, it doesn’t even appear to be abandoned even though it actually is. Going to this seemingly normal Sheetz, located where one would expect the ritzy Silicon Valley offices of Tumblr HQ to be, is an incredibly bad idea. It’s not because of the “employees” that inhabit it and act much like you would expect employees of Sheetz to act. It’s also not because of the digital menus they provided there where you can customize any meal to your heart’s content and is very much like your regular Sheetz’s menu, though perhaps a bit more diverse. No, it’s because of the overwhelming urge you, as a Tumblr user yourself, may get to travel into that basement where, penetrating the space between the surface and subsurface of the building, you’ll the notice the building has been entirely abandoned with the exception of the basement where you’ll see the faint Tumblr Blue glow emanating from deep within. And you’ll be drawn ever closer to the source of that light to meet Tumblr Staff. The same staff, mind you, that never does their job or out right maligns their userbase. You’ll want to meet them, perhaps shake hands with the tie belt guy, and you’ll meet them. You’ll walk into that dirty, unused, rat-infested bedroom and you’ll never come back out again.
It had been a few days since the mutual breakup. It was hard, for both of you, to admit that maybe it wasn’t working out. With all the traveling Tom had to do to your busy schedule with school and a new job, you just didn’t have enough time to see each other, and it put a strain on your relationship.
The teary split was still prominent in your memory, you could remember it as clearly as if it just happened.
It wasn’t like you didn’t love each other. The feelings between you two were strong, the strongest you’d ever felt for someone else. Maybe some things are stronger.
“For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”
Love. What a childish thing to seek and yet, your heart yearns to have someone cherish you, to make you feel complete.
In the shadows of your soul lies the longing to love and be loved, to have a lover who would stay close and be your happy ending like in the fairy tales you heard as a child. Such a juvenile desire indeed, but you want it nonetheless.
Min Yoongi had gone through 34 secretaries in the past 24 months, and each one of them left in tears. This fact alone should have warned you against taking the job, but the pay was too good to pass up. Surely you could put up with a billionaires temper-tantrums, right?
Yoongi x Reader
Genre: Fluff, humor, probably some angst
Warnings: Strong language at times, maybe some slight smut eventually
You looked up from the files you were re-organizing for Yoongi to see Namjoon standing in front of you with a smile. He had been the one to hire you, but you hadn’t seen him since, and you had to admit it was good to see him. You hadn’t realized it when he interviewed you, but he seemed a lot more sane and normal than any of the other people there.
“Yeah, so far so good.” You returned his smile, bending the truth slightly. It wasn’t like you had expected this to be a dream-job, but also hadn’t realized what a pain everyone else who worked there would be.
“Yoongi hasn’t been too horrible, then?” Namjoon raised an eyebrow, sitting down across from you.
You shrugged. “I’m sure running such an important, large company puts a lot of stress on him.” You said rather than answer his question.
“In other words, he’s crazy, but you can handle him.” Namjoon laughed, and you couldn’t help but join in. Min Yoongi was crazy. Not even a half-hour ago, he had started screaming that someone stole his checkbook, only for you to walk in and tell him it was in the top right drawer of his desk (you had seen him put it there the previous day).
“Maybe a bit. But I can certainly handle him.” You agreed.
“I have a good feeling about you.” Namjoon said suddenly. “I’ve hired people from all over the place, from amazing schools or with years of experience… But there’s something about you. I really think this is going to work.” You were relieved for a moment, thankful that someone believed in you. But then Jimin wandered over, flicking Namjoons shoulder.
“You’ve said that shit before.” He said with a sigh.
“Have not.” Namjoon replied indignantly.
“Have too.” Jimin snorted. “Remember Mike? You were positive he was perfect for the job. And Melissa? You said there was no way for it to go wrong. And then there was Kevin…”
“Okay, stop.” Namjoon said, obviously flustered. You tried not to be disappointed. The only person who believed in you apparently believed in every other employee who had failed.
“Face it, Namjoon. You’re a terrible judge of character.” Jimin said, patting Namjoon shoulder sympathetically before walking away. Namjoon turned back to you looking rather guilty.
“I really do have a good feeling about you. And I talked to Yoongi yesterday, he doesn’t seem to mind you.” He was trying to make up for what Jimin had said, but you really wanted the conversation to end.
“Thanks, I appreciate it–really, I do. But is there something that I can help you with? If not, I really do need to get this done and I have some phone calls to make…”
“Right, yeah, of course you do.” Namjoon stood abruptly, still looking embarrassed. “I actually need to speak with Yoongi for a minute, so if you’ll excuse me…” He nearly ran into Yoongi’s office door in his haste to get away, and you shook your head as you returned to your work. Somehow, you didn’t think Namjoon was actually going to be any help to you while you worked there.
“Let me guess, you missed the bus again?” Kim Taehyung said through the phone. Your day had dragged on for what felt like forever, your lunch break practically non-existent because Yoongi had decided that all of his filing cabinets needed to be reorganized (which they did, they were a total mess, but it was still tedious work that took a while). You had missed the bus again, but at least this time you weren’t soaking wet with a broken heel. “I’m not far, I’ll be there in a few.”
You might have been able to leave earlier if you had really pushed for it, but you were still hoping to somehow get on your bosses good side–though, you were starting to wonder if he even had one. After Namjoon was done talking to him, Yoongi had been in a significantly worse mood. He had complained about everything–his schedule, his coffee, the fact that he thought your shoes were ugly–before dumping piles upon piles of paper on your desk.
Missing the bus was also a good excuse to call the strange taxi-driver you had met the day before.
“So tell me, how exactly does one barely miss the bus two days in a row?” Taehyung asked when he pulled up, rolling the window down and greeting you with a smile.
“It’s a long story, but it’s just as well. I have some shopping I need to do anyway.” You said, not sure why you were telling the driver this. “Apparently my shoes are ugly, so I’m going to get some new ones at the mall…”
Taehyung twisted around in his seat so he could see your shoes for himself before he started driving. “They don’t look so bad to me.” He said thoughtfully. “And what do you mean, ‘apparently’ they’re ugly? Don’t you like them?” He pulled away from the curb as he spoke, glancing at you briefly in the rear-view.
You shrugged, looking down at your flats. You didn’t think they were ugly, but you weren’t sure you wanted to put up with another day of Jimin and Yoongi both criticizing them.
“I wouldn’t have bought them in the first place if I didn’t like them.” You sighed. “It’s other people who have a problem with them.”
Taehyung raised an eyebrow. “And you care what they think?”
“I mean, no, but–”
“But you’re going to replace perfectly good shoes because someone whose opinion you don’t care about says they’re ugly?” You weren’t sure how you felt about Taehyung-the-taxi-driver hinting that you were conforming to other peoples standards, and shifted slightly in your seat. Taehyung didn’t wait for you to answer, simply continued with another question. “Are they against your companies dress code or something?” You assumed he was referring to your shoes.
Taehyung seemed to be personally insulted that someone had a problem with your shoes, which was very odd. “So what difference does it make to you what other people think about your shoes?”
You wanted to argue that you didn’t want to give Jimin a reason to bully you, or for Yoongi to have another reason to hate you, but it sounded childish in your own mind. What did you care if Jimin said rude things to you? And if Yoongi fired you over your shoes, then maybe working for him wasn’t worth it after all. “It doesn’t really matter…” You agreed slowly, and Taehyung pulled over.
“Good, so I’m not driving you to the mall, right?” He looked at you in the mirror again, grinning so hard that his smile looked more like a box than anything else.
“I… Guess not? But…”
Taehyung blinked, then laughed. “So are you free the rest of tonight?”
You couldn’t believe this. Was your taxi driver asking you out? That was ridiculous. “I don’t know…” You started. You really should catch up on sleep, this job was draining and you needed to be alert in the morning.
“Nothing weird, I promise. There’s just something I’d like you to see.”
The last part could be taken in a number of ways, but there was something about Taehyung that made you think he meant it in the most innocent way possible. “Okay.” You agreed, not entirely sure why. There was no reason for you to go anywhere with him, unless it was to drive you home.
“Fantastic. I promise you won’t regret it.” Taehyung pulled back into the street quickly, before making a U-turn and driving the other way. He didn’t tell you where you were going, and you didn’t ask.
Tell me, Shadowhunters: You enter a cave. Inside the cave is an egg, lit from within and glowing. You know that it beats with your dreams—not the ones you have during the day, but the ones you half-remember in the morning. It splits open. What emerges?
A baby, with carstairs-blond hair and blackthorn-blue eyes.
*clears throat* Oops! Hot issue, sorry.
He remembered it like a backstroke in a cool lake, with the water streaming all around his body; then - weightless floating in blackness, punctuated by pinpricks of white light. This light would drift across him now and again, pure and blinding, and each time it did, he’d remember more. He’d remember his existence, like a flickering of images running backwards, backwards, from the moment the angel blade bit through his spine and pierced his heart, backwards, backwards, away from his death and towards his birth, and still - always - there was that yelled word echoing.
The last thing he ever heard.
And there was no perception of time or of space or of longing or regret or peace: there was only the light and the memory and that word. Until, suddenly, there was pain. The pain was so great that he felt as though his entire being was made out of the embers of some ancient fire, glowing from deep within him, and it wasn’t until he drew his second breath that he realised what the pain was.
Seth Clearwater imagine requested by anon! “hello!! i was wondering if you were up for writing a seth clearwater smut? it would start off with him and y/n dating for a few months now, and seth finally tells her he loves her, and they make out and stuff in his house, then it builds into the sex? if you can, please make the beginning super fluff. thank you!!” Hope you like it!
You clung to Emily’s shoulders as she hugged you goodbye, the scent of her chamomile shampoo perfuming your senses as she repeated your plans for the next couple of days (lest you forget); you’d be staying with her and Kim while the wolves were off fighting the newborn army out for Bella Swan’s blood. It was the safest option for you; Emily’s house would be guarded by Colin and Brady in shifts (the other would be running border control to ensure the rest of La Push was safeguarded), which put you in the best possible position to avoid any stray vampires that might run through the Olympic Peninsula en route to tear at the Cullens… and your boyfriend. Sam, Jared, and Seth were aggressively on-board with the safehouse idea; not only would they worry less about their imprints being targets, but they would be able to keep a steady eye on you through the minds of their younger pack-mates. Also, they knew you’d all be well-fed, a perk none of the wolves thought lightly of. Seth’s hand closed around your own with a comfortable familiarity as Emily’s scarred lips pressed a parting kiss to your cheek, her slender fingers guiding you gently to Seth’s side as you both began your departure from the pack’s bonfire amidst a chorus of happy farewells. The heat of his fingers interlaced with your own, his temperature burning brighter than the fire sending amber sparks floating towards the night sky. His pace was shortened to match your own, his impossible growth spurt somehow still raging on, his warmth seeping from his uncovered skin to melt against your side. His eyes, so bright in such all-encompassing darkness, glowed from within as if they had harvested flames from the fire, his smile warm enough to match his overwhelming heat. His hand sent a happy pulse through to your palm, his fingers squeezing gently in the spaces between yours.
“You tired?” he inquired, his husky voice a mere whisper on the salted wind that blew in from the sea. You shook your head, focusing intently on the ground before you; you weren’t blessed with the supernatural grace your boyfriend possessed, and the darkness only made it more difficult to keep vertical… but more than your desperation in the department of remaining upright, you couldn’t bear to meet his eye for fear you would break down. Seth wiggled his fingers between yours, unbothered by the coming storm, leaning gently against your frame, his eyes all but begging for your attention. After finding you unresponsive, he quickened his pace, turning quickly before you, his hands smoothing over your shoulders. “Hey, what’s going on?” he breathed, his fingers delicately tilting your chin upward to meet his stare. “Y/n, talk to me,” he begged, an easy smile painting his features with a sense of ease you had to admire under such frightening circumstances. You sighed, expelling breath carelessly from your lungs, glancing behind you to ensure you were out of distance and far enough from the fire before you responded.
“I’m just… Seth, I’m just… worried about you, okay? And before you tell me it’s going to be an easy run and “you’ve done this before,” I have every right to be worried when you’re facing-off with a bunch of indestructible, immortal vampires while we’re all sat here with nothing better to do than make muffins.” Seth rolled his eyes, biting his lip to keep from smiling at your comical choice of words. Your hands smoothed over the planes of his chest, drawing his attention back to your face, his eyes alight beneath the electric touch of your skin on his. “Seth, I’m serious. I’m really, really scared. I don’t want to think about the possibility of you not coming back.” Seth’s grin was genuine and unhindered as it spread across his face, his eyes sparkling brightly as he brought his lips to your forehead, his arms winding around your body, holding you to the warmth of his chest. You sighed into his embrace, trying to memorize the scent that rose from his skin, the softness of his upper body beneath your fingertips, the rise and fall of his breathing against your cheek.
“Believe me, Y/n, I’ve got plenty of reasons to come home.” His palm smoothed over your hair once before shifting easily to your side, extending his hand for you to hold, winking when you accepted. “For example,” he began, stepping off the gravel of the road in favour of the street that lead to his home. “Those muffins you mentioned?” you rocked your body against his, stifling your laughter as he groaned with admiration. “Those alone would have me running back. My mom made me promise to come back in one piece, so I owe it to her,” he rambled, his thumb smoothing circles on the backside of your palm as you both approached the front door of Sue Clearwater’s single-story home. The weathered blue siding was visible only in the halo of light emanating from front porch’s lamp, the rest of the house melting to an inky black in the shadow of the night. He parted from your side, if only briefly, to swipe his hand beneath the welcome mat, returning with a key he used to unlock the deadbolt, holding the door open as his unoccupied hand ushered you inside. You stood in the darkness of his living room, your eyes searching blindly for evidence of the furniture you knew occupied the floorspace, kicking your shoes from your feet, hearing Seth do the same. Seth hit the lights, illuminating the vacant space, his hand snaking around your waist as he angled you in the direction of his bedroom. “Mom and Leah are coming back in an hour or two. She’s gotta talk with Billy, Sam, and Old Quil about the defense, and Leah said something about running perimeter with Colin, Brady, and Jared before she came back, but just in case that’s soon… I mean, every chance at privacy, right?” he laughed, watching your eyes roll as you recalled the many, many times Leah had complained about your “public displays of affection” in their shared family spaces. You waltzed forward, Seth’s hand extending to open his door before you could think to touch the doorknob, his laughter in your ear when he saw your surprise. You stepped into the familiar room, flicking on the light switch, Seth’s hand clapping over yours as you both raced to be the first to shed light on the minimal furnishings within. He backed you against the wall, kicking the door closed as he moved, his arm lingering by your face as your spine melted into the aged nay paint of his bedroom.
“You sure those are the only reasons you’re coming back? Muffins and your mom?” you breathed, Seth’s eyes burning intently on your own, his lips upturned in the corners to hear the sarcastic lilt in your voice. “Because if that’s the case I can head home right no-” his lips were on yours in an instant, his body inching towards your own until your chests were pressed together, you weight lifted onto your toes as his hands found your waist. He separated from you, too quickly for your liking, his exhale rushing over your face, his smile carrying the confident ease you’d come to recognize as a staple in the boy. His hands tangled in your hair, his forehead resting gently against your own, his eyes occupying every inch of your field of vision.
“You already know you’re the first and most important,” he emphasized, his eyes widening as he stressed his words, “reason I’m coming back. I thought that was a given,” he chuckled, his laughter increasing in volume to see your smile. “But since I see I need to remind the woman I love how important she is to me…” he separated from you, his forehead no longer spreading heat through yours, though still he moved closer, his lips hovering a breath away from your own, the both of you stalled in the aftermath of so simple a confession. Your hands stilled on his chest, his heart thrumming beneath the pads of your fingertips, his breath pushing and deflating against your palms. His eyes, so warm, so honest, bored into your very soul, your breath flowing as if between you was shared only a single pair of lungs. You breathed as one, neither one of you willing to break the silence, Seth’s heat flowing freely from the exposed skin of his chest to warm the limited space between you. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Seth shook his head a fraction of an inch, his eyes full of adoration. “I love you,” he whispered, an oath on his lips as they pressed to yours. Your fingertips lifted to graze the hardened line of his jaw, feeling him shudder beneath your touch as his hands dropped to spread along your waist. Though you had found yourself in many a similar situation within the same walls of Seth’s bedroom, you felt yourself alight with sensations foreign to you before this moment. Suddenly, Sue and Leah’s absence seemed more a gift than an inevitable interruption.
Your hands reached along the bare expanse of his back, your fingertips trailing over the even bands of his muscles, feeling his body tighten and relax beneath your silken touch. You ran your palms over the ridge of his spine before retracting your touch, Seth’s groan audible even when his lips were otherwise occupied against your mouth. His hands tightened on your waist as your fingers tangled in the short strands of his hair, tugging gently at the nape of his neck, his lips separating from yours, his eyes clouded, the heat fogging his vision somehow visible in the deep chocolate of his irises. His tongue darted over his lips, a hesitation your proximity could not bar from your notice, his eyelashes fluttering as his gaze devoured your face. You ran your fingertips through his hair like a ghost, stroking his neck where the smoothness of his skin met his hairline, his eyes rolling back as his body quivered.
“Hey,” you whispered, breathlessly forcing your whisper to life, Seth’s eyes opening to meet your own. You smiled easily, his lips mirroring your expression as you spoke, heat radiating from one body to the other, untethered and owned by neither of you… or perhaps by both of you. “I love you too.” His lips were on yours in an instant, his smile obvious even when his face was concealed from your view by the blank expanse of the inside of your eyelids. His mouth traveled to the corner of your lips, his hands roaming up along the sides of your rib cage, tickling as he went. You giggled openly, aware of the emptiness of the house around you, your laughter transitioning to gasps as his lips pressed against the underside of your jaw. You collapsed slightly into his arms, his hands on your waist holding you firmly to his chest, backing you against the wall once more. “Seth,” you breathed, feeling the heat of his hands traveling upward once more. He hummed his acknowledgment into the skin of your neck, your pulse racing under his touch. “Seth, I…” your voice trailed off rather pathetically as Seth’s hands ravished your waist, his lips at your ear, his chuckle a breath against your hair. “H-how long did you say we had before your mom comes home?” He paused then, his eyes wide on yours, his hands squeezing against your hips.
“You don’t mean…?” you returned his stare, your eyes burning through the modest space that separated you. “Don’t get me wrong, Y/n, I want to, but it’s… I mean, the pack will know as soon as I phase, and they’re not going to stop talking about it for…” He exhaled slowly, reading your unwavering expression, his eyes never once leaving your face. “Are you sure?” he inquired, his voice stronger now, his hands lighter against your skin. You nodded, your body pressing ever tighter against his.
“They’re going to have other things to worry about, right? As long as you want this…” he grinned, his eyes all but smoking with the intensity of his heated stare. You breathed steadily, though your heart was hammering wildly within the confines of your chest. “Good.”
“Good,” Seth mirrored, his hands on your waist tightening, his lips diving for yours once again, the tempo of his embrace somewhat altered, though it lost none of its former passion. You returned the quiet fervor of his lips, losing yourself in the thrill of his skin against yours, uninhibited for the first time in his arms. Your fingertips traced the curve of his shoulder, the plains of his chest, the smooth valleys of his abdomen… stalling at the waistband of his shorts. His breath hitched in your ear, his lips parting from yours momentarily, his hands looping beneath your legs as his body dipped. He lifted you effortlessly into his arms, your legs wrapping around his torso easily, your ankles locking behind his back, your lips crashing against his as if your time together were far more limited than your reality had graciously allowed. He turned, one hand molding to the curve of your bottom, the other feeling blindly along the wall until his fingers struck the light switch, enveloping your world in darkness. Seth walked almost aimlessly towards his bed, his hands winding up your back, his fingers tangling in your hair as his tongue darted over yours, the soft sounds of your kisses seeming to echo in the hazy air of his bedroom. Seth’s steps stopped abruptly as his knees struck the cushion of his mattress, his body bending slowly to rest you atop his bedspread, his lips ducking to your neck as he moved his body to hover over you. “Wait,” he breathed, his speech hindered by his lack of breath. He winced visibly, seeming to curse himself internally. “I don’t have any… I don’t have a-” he began, your thumb smoothing over his lower lip as his voice trailed off.
“It’s fine, Seth. I think it’s safe to say there hasn’t been anyone else, and there isn’t going to be anyone else for the both of us. Just… you know, when you’re done, just…” Seth chuckled breathlessly, his cheeks burning even in the darkness of his bedroom. He dipped his lips to yours, his body meeting yours in strange new ways, a hardness pressing against your center through your clothing. His hands inched towards the hem of your shirt, your back arching to allow Seth to remove your shirt with ease, slipping the garment over your head. You brought yourself up to meet his lips, pushing against the mattress until you were sat in his lap, your hands between your bodies untying the drawstring that held his shorts to his body, his breath hissing from between his lips as your fingers brushed against his growing erection. He unclipped your bra behind your back, your hands rushing the fabric from your shoulders. He slipped from beneath you to stand by the bed, removing his shorts and standing before you in his undergarments, his hands hovering by his hips, unsure what to do. You knelt atop the bedspread, your hands hovering beside his until he dropped his arms, your palms spreading over his waist. You ducked your fingers beneath his waistband and eased the fabric toward his knees, revealing the full sight of him. He sighed, the tenor of his breath an anxious note in the air as he stood, bare, beside his bed. He stepped free of his last remaining article of clothing, your fingers trailing along the sides of his thighs. His hands found your face, cradling your cheeks as his lips met yours, his body once more leaning over yours until the both of you were laying on the bed. His palms smoothed over your neck and stalled at your chest, his hands exploring the softness of your breasts, your breath releasing in quiet bursts of sound bearing striking resemblance to Seth’s name. He kissed further down your body, his mouth following his hands as he worked towards your underwear, his eyes lifting to yours as he slid the garment from your body, your hips lifting and falling as he removed your clothing. He swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing as his eyes raked over your body, his head shaking.
“You are so beautiful,” he whispered, his hands ghosting over your hips. You reached for his shoulders, pulling him over you, his erection prodding your entrance, your breathing hiking in time with his. “You’re sure?” he asked once more, your confirmation vocalized on a breathless whimper. His hand fell to the level of his waist, and suddenly the contact was so much more… secure. He lifted his eyes to yours, his bottom lip bitten mercilessly as he eased himself inside of you. Your breath rushed from your lungs, the tightness radiating throughout your entire body. You felt… almost claustrophobic, in a way, as if there weren’t enough space in the world to make you feel vacant again. Seth slowed, his movement stalled, his voice low and fragile. “Y/n,” he breathed, your eyes finding his again through the darkness. He moved once more, filling you with ease. You lifted your head from his pillows, your lips hungry for the taste of his mouth as he began to move within. His thrusts were slow to begin, setting a patient, steady pace. You couldn’t help but feel as though he were milking every moment in fear of never again finding so much time, the battle the morning would bring lingering on the horizon of your mind as he moved with you. His hands lifted you from the mattress, winding your legs around his waist, his palms aiding your rise and fall as his lips explored the edge of your collarbones. Your fingers ran gently through his hair, pulling his face from your chest and reassigning his lips to meet with yours. “Y/n…” he trembled, his brow knotted as he moved, his pace quickening, his hands guiding you with less and less intent. He bent forward, resting you against the mattress once more, his thrusts more erratic than before, your breathing hiking as the pleasure within your core grew.
You breathed his name, a low oath on your lips, your hands clasped tightly to his back as he thrust deep within you, holding onto his body for dear life lest a lack of contact send you hurtling off some great precipice. He slowed again, his breathing coarse in the space between you, his kisses becoming blissfully sloppier, the tension in your abdomen growing as heat spread throughout your limbs, your mind growing fuzzy. He rocked into you, his hips moving like liquid, his mouth pressing blindly into your neck as you felt your body begin to convulse around him. You exhaled lowly, your eyes painting the darkness with brilliant white you knew existed only in your mind, your mouth open over a breathless exclamation of Seth’s name. You were separated, suddenly and without warning, as Seth pulled himself away from your body, his head tilting backwards as he came undone before you, the evidence of his release unseen in the black of night. He collapsed beside you, your bodies tangling immediately, your leg slinging over his thigh to better cement yourself to his side. His fingers swept a strand of sweat-slick hair away from your forehead, the pad of his forefinger lingering against your temple. His smile was peaceful, easy, and warmer than you had ever seen it. His breath, still ragged, coursed over your face as he chuckled. You joined him, giddy in the aftermath of your intimate embrace, your hand smoothing over his chest as you settled against his pillows. You were quiet, then, the crickets beyond his walls singing sweetly into the crisp night air, the chill of which you were immune to with Seth by your side. You traced mindless patterns against his skin, watching goosebumps rise in the wake of your touch, your mind rallying back to the dangers that await the man you loved in the early hours of the morning.
“Promise me you’ll be safe,” you whispered, your words falling calmly against the heated skin of his chest, his breath rising and falling in steady swells, his arm pulling you closer to his side. Seth pressed his lips firmly to your hair, inhaling deeply before whispering his response into the darkness of the empty house.
a/n: hello, have a spoonful of my feelings and a dash of astronomy
Jeon Jungkook is undoubtedly the most complex of beings to have ever existed across the cosmos. With luminous, milky skin resembling the galaxy he resides in and gleaming blue eyes specked with stardust, he is most definitely the physical embodiment of timeless beauty. Jungkook is after all, guardian of the Pistol Star, a blue hyper-giant luminary that shone the brightest amongst the other lights in the night sky.
There is no greater duty than to be guardian to one of the greatest stars in the galaxy. It came with endless amounts of hard work and a near perfect record of task completions. The heavens had granted him with the abilities and intellect necessary to protect not only the massive star but also the Quintuplet cluster it belongs to. Needless to say, Jungkook has much to take care of.
So when he found himself weighed down by gravity on cool, wet blades of grass, and the inky curtain of the night stretching endlessly above him, Jungkook was confused beyond belief. He tried to move his limbs, sending as much energy as he could muster from the tips of his calloused and now muddied fingers to the very end of his bare feet, but to no avail. The only thing he registered before a blanket of darkness covered his eyes was a blurred figure clutching the back of his neck and the swirling and twirling of the stars that he was once amongst mocking him from above.
Peering into the spot-streaked (ugh, school bathrooms were the worst) mirror, Chloe frowned as she took stock of her mid-day makeup. Don’t ask her how she’d managed to leave her touch-up bag at home; She couldn’t begin to tell you why she’d suddenly decided to leave her fifth most prized possession sitting on her vanity, but at this point she would have honestly rather given up a kidneyinstead.
At least that way she would have looked glamorous as she died a slow, organ-failure-related death, instead of going out cakey in a dimly lit public restroom.
Sighing, she ran one manicured fingernail along the edge of her lips, hoping to salvage what was left of her icy pink lip stain, however it wasn’t looking promising. The color bunched unevenly to the small grooves of her lips, concentrated around the perimeter and nonexistent in the middle. And her foundation? In this August heat?
Oh that was a goner.
A splotchy, splotchy goner.
Chloe held in a groan, balling up a handful of paper towels before thrusting it beneath the faucet. Leaning towards the mirror once more, she dabbed furiously at the worst of the damage, and had just began contemplating whether the eye shadow was worth saving or not when-
Plot: The best part about being an assistant in a lab was watching all new inventions come to life, although sometimes some of them fail, leaving them away in a storage room, never to be bothered with; free for the taking.
Pairing: Kim Taehyung x Reader | (Eventual) other BTS member x Reader
Genre: Fluff, (eventual)Smut, Futuristic au!
Notes: My first actual series I have been planning for a few days now (still going through some planning, but I will eventually properly storyboard). I *hope* people would like this, and even though there is a lot of plagiarism going around, I’m still going ahead and doing it.
This is just the preview, and I shall only post if I get a good amount of support for it.
The technological evolution hit a full swing back in 2690, and it wasn’t slowing down. Almost 200 years later, and scientists were still creating new inventions. Every major city on the planet had become a Utopia; cars were flying; a few labs were even close to cracking the secrets of teleportation.
That was what inspired you to take your current profession. You wanted to make the world a better place; create something which would make people love and reward you.
You wanted to be like Kim Namjoon – who invented a quick-healing serum; or Kim Seokjin – who made advancements to cosmetic science with the help of Min Yoongi, who had invented something which used sound waves to change eye color.
All you needed was one chance.
Unfortunately, you were nothing but a helper, and you hated it. You loved that you were working in a lab; you loved that you got to stay there 24/7; but you didn’t like that the older scientists never trusted you with anything more complicated than a wrench. Sometimes – very rarely – they would let you program things, but that definitely wasn’t worth the four years of the technology course in MIT.
“Y/N, I need you to take experiment number 2390 to storage, then you are dismissed.”
“Alright, have a good evening.”
Yet another unproductive day. You couldn’t complain, though – you had been there for only 6 months. Having programmed the commands for the new speed train was a lot for someone who was just a rookie; but you practically burned with ambition to do more. You wanted to impress people, show your seniors that you were capable.
You let out a small huff of annoyance as you walked down the bright hall, the failed freeze gun in your grasp. The only reason it failed was because one of the lab techs managed to puncture the liquid nitrogen capsule which went into it – the object was almost like a block of ice, freezing from the inside out. You had rushed over to the very back of the room to keep it on one of the shelves; you certainly did not want to develop frostbite.
Letting out a satisfied huff, you rubbed your palms together to generate some heat. Finally, you day was done and you could go home – until a blue light flickered against your eye, distracting you from your plans. It wasn’t like the other lights – it was mysterious, and it intrigued you.
You know what they said – Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.
That was a quote you lived by as soon as you went into this field. You were like a bug attracted to a lightbulb, making a beeline towards the source, which was just around a corner. What you didn’t expect, was for your answer to be something you had practically deemed as impossible.
Your surprised hues ran over him – well – it. A physically beautiful male, facial features sculpted to perfection, neon blue circuit board traces running up his collar and down to his stomach from the left side of his chest. He looked so calm, like he was asleep.
No, it couldn’t be.. He looked too human.
“Woah..” You breathed, observing the creation harbored within the glowing blue capsule.
Only one thought ran through your mind the second you had realized that he was considered a failed experiment –
Fools. Every single one of my selfish brothers. Fools that let sin consume their hearts, taking each of them from me. Even Jackson succumbed to his Pride. He thought he knew better than Father.
He believed himself to be Jaebum’s savior, he always did have a soft spot for him. Jaebum was the hardest of us to love but that never stopped Jackson and his giant ego from trying to break down his hardened exterior. His arrogance is what landed him here. I felt it the moment he fell.
They can’t fend for themselves. That’s the job Father gave to me.
julian blackthorn // “i’ll be good” by jaymes young
“Tell me, Shadowhunters: you enter a cave. Inside the cave is and egg, lit from within and glowing. You know that it beats with your dreams - not the ones you have during the day, but the ones you half-remember in the morning. It splits open. What emerges?” “Bars,” Julian said quietly. “The bars of a prison cell.”
Wilford’s bright pink mustache fades like a dying flower,
and the cheerful light in his eyes turns into a blazing fire as he rises from
his seat, leaning over Amy as he begins to tell her the tale, “Years ago, so
many years now that we’ve lost count, Wonderland was ruled by the gracious
White King. Wonderland flourished, and creatures could roam the forest as they
pleased. There were even villages built beneath the forest’s great flowers.”
“Our village, for instance,” Bim says softly, tracing his
finger along the rim of his teacup. “There were few survivors.”
“On the darkest day Wonderland had ever seen, the Red King
stormed the White Castle,” the Host whispers. “No one knows what happened to
our beloved King, but from that day forward, Wonderland was a different place.
The forest became overrun with dark shadows that choke out anything living
except for the Red King’s Googles.”
Amy thinks back to the way that the path had slowly become
so dark that she could barely see where she was anymore. Was that what the Host
was speaking of? “But I made it through the forest.”
“Only because I found you.” Bim smiles at her, and she remembers that same smile shining like a beacon in the shadows. “For whatever reason, I can traverse
the forest with little difficulty, likely because of my evaporating skills.”
Bim dissipates and reappears in the chair next to Amy. She jumps a bit when he
does, but he continues smiling proudly. “When I found you, I knew I had to
bring you here before the shadows got you.”
Wilford sits back down and stabs his cake a few times. “But now
that you’re here, we’ve no way of getting you back home.”
Amy jumps to her feet. “What are you talking about? I got
here, didn’t I? So, there must be some way to get back!”
The Host gives her a sympathetic smile. “Miss Nelson likely
arrived here through one of the Red King’s rabbit holes. He likes to open them like
portals into this world, drawing in curious young souls. We’ve no idea what he
does with them, but when they go searching for a way back, they’re never heard
Amy backs away from the table. “No.” Her head starts to swim
with the thought of never getting back home, never seeing her family or friends
again. “There must be some way…”
Wilford pulls his hat down so that the brim of it hides his
eyes. “There used to be a way, at the White Castle there was said to be a door
that could lead back to your world, but when the Red King attacked, he likely
destroyed it.” Wilford looks up at the Host and Bim. “Though, there is the
Host slams his fists down on the table. “No, Wilford. You
say that every time!” Host covers his mouth as if he’s said something wrong.
“Every time what?” Amy asks. “What prophecy?”
Bim swallows hard and shakes his head. “Amy…”
“And how do you all know my name?” Amy feels her heart
slamming around in her chest like a bird trying to free itself from a cage. “I
want to go home!” She starts to run for the gate leading out of the Hatter’s
yard when she sees someone approaching from the woods. Four pairs of eyes begin
to glow from within the shadows. Red, yellow, green, and blue.
Wilford tips his hat back. “The Googles… Amy, quickly!” She
turns to him, and he tosses her a small cake. “Eat it, now!”
Amy, too afraid to question, stuffs half the cake into her
mouth at once. Bim races forward and catches her as she instantaneously shrinks
down to the size of one of his fingers, and he carries her over to Wilford who
slips her inside of one of his teapots, among a motley of hard candies where
Amy hides herself.
The Googles approach slowly on horseback lead by the worst
of them all, Anti. When they reach the edge of the Hater’s yard, Anti dismounts
his black horse and saunters up to the table. “Well, well, well, if it isn’t my
favorite trio of lunatics.”