gnarled roots

Wolf on a Leash

Hey all! This is the first little fic I’m writing in the GoT fandom and I’m super excited. Lemme know what you think pretty please? xxx

Pairing: Robb Stark x reader 

Summary: Robb mistakes the feeling he has for you as loathing. You mistake the returning feeling you have for Robb as disgust. After 16 some odd years of having to deal with the feuding that’s been going on between his eldest and you, Ned finally takes jurassic measures to put an end to it. 

Tags: AU where Jon Arryn doesn’t die and all of the Starks stay in Winterfell, Ned is a class A troll, Ayra’s a little shit, Stark family feels, fluff, humor, s l o w b u r n, angst at some point probably


Ned Stark is universally known for his wisdom and fair mind, his gentle but blunt ruling hand, his honorable intentions, his kind smile and sympathetic heart. But never in your entire time living with the Starks have you witnessed this level of fuckery.

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anonymous asked:

Hi! If you weren't busy can I request Damian x reader who ends up as a big sister figure and dick gets jealous with all the time they spend hanging out? Please and thank you!

omg I totally did not mean for this to be so LONG but my imagination was like “I got u anon” and I gotchu babe! 
I really like this! 

Title: Roots

Theme: brother sister bonding

“Damian, I thought you were going out with Dick?” You asked, pausing in the doorway to see the youngest Robin hard at work in his sketch pad. “What happened?”

Damian didn’t even pause, continuing his lines. From what you could deduce, it was a nature scene of some kind. “If you must know, Grayson cancelled. Said something came up.”

Scowling, you figured that that something was named Jessica, a girl your friend had been prattling on about for a week. Entering the room, you sat on the couch next to Damian, reaching down to pet Titus. You let the silence engulf you, looking out the window as the sound of Damian’s pencil angrily scratching against paper filled the room. As much as he hated to admit it, he really did look up to the first Robin quite a bit.

You took in Damian’s appearance; sneakers on, laces tied, coat on the edge of the table. Dick must have just cancelled on him, and you shook your head at his tastelessness. Attempting to be tactful, you turned to Damian and carefully proposed an idea. “It is a nice day out; what if we took Titus for a hike? Greenland park is only 15 minutes from the city, and fresh air will do Titus good.”

Proposing outings with Damian’s animal posse was always the best way to go; he loved them more than anything. You observed out of the corner of your eyes as the furious pencil slowed to a stop, Damian glancing out the window. You held your breath.

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The Robin Cave

It’s Batfam week! Here’s today’s fic, based on the prompt ‘family’!

Tagging: @speedypan @laundrymoney

(Let me know if you want to be added to the tag list for this week!)




    Damian sprints for the yard, the kitchen door slamming closed behind him, almost completely muffling Bruce’s shouts for him to come back here this instant. Barefoot he runs through the soft green grass until he passes into the cool shade of the woods, acorns and gnarled roots jabbing at his feet.

    He isn’t pursued, he knows, but he keeps running to escape the tight burning in his belly, the frustration at his father’s asinine ‘rules’ sizzling like acid in his lungs. There’s fire in his chest, like he’s a dragon barely containing a flame behind his back teeth. He wants to scream and fight and kick as if he’s trapped in a box, but lashing out at his family never ends well for anyone. And so, he runs.

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in. out. in. out.

She repeated the mantra over and over in an attempt to slow her labored breathing. Her face flushed, her knees skinned, her shirt sweaty, she lay flat on the concrete pathway in between the forest and the Elsewhere cafeteria. She wondered briefly where her heels had gone, but dismissed the thought.

“I made it. I actually made it. I outran them,” she muttered to herself in between gasps, “I’m safe now” She closed her eyes, trying to focus on the steadiness of the stone beneath her spine and the refreshingly still night air. Her feet ached, god how they ached, and between her ribs there was a sharp pain, but despite all odds she had made it. Faintly, she heard the thrum of drums and the ancient call of the hunting horn, and the steady beat of something not-quite-horse-hooves. She was dizzy, giddy with her victory. “I made it

she was struck with a white-hot fear as she heard the call, she ran, she ran so fast, she ran like she never had before

Not-Ellie, her current roommate, had warned her about the Hunt tonight. They were on well enough terms that Blossom considered herself vaguely Favored- not that Not-Ellie was a particularly powerful Fae, but she knew when the Hunts came to Elsewhere, and she knew when it was best for mortals to find shelter.

she could hear the slow peaceful breath of the not-horses, she felt sharp teeth around her ankles, and she kept running

Despite her words of warning, however, Blossom had found herself caught between a late-night writing class and the relative safety of her dorm. Stupidly, she figured she had enough time to make it back, but her shoes (comfortable as they are) were not made for sprinting, and before she reached the halfway mark she could hear the baying of the hounds. stupid stupid stupid. Laying there on the concrete, she hardly remembered how she got there. “Running, for sure,” she relayed to herself, “lots of running. Jumped over a river, maybe.”

she tripped over a gnarled root when the loop of it hooked the edge of her heel, she fell face-first into the freezing stream. the wind around her howled mournfully, as if it knew what fate was to befall her. her hands scrabbled for purchase on the riverbanks, but the tide was too swift and the current tore her away. a moment of blackness overtook her when the jagged rocks struck her forehead, and she came back to consciousness seconds later choking on the moldy water.

“Jeez, maybe I should try out for track or some shit. Never knew I could run like that before.” Her hand flopped up to her forehead of its own accord- she felt as if there should be something there, but nothing was felt except a thin sheen of sweat. She was still a bit dizzy, though, so she made no movement to get up.

her palms stung, her fingernails were in shards, but she found the strength to push herself out of the murky water. the stream widened here, and the current slowed, and she gave herself a moment to rest. perhaps, she thought, the flowing water was enough to stop them. her eyes drifted shut-so tired, so incredibly tired, she hardly noticed the not-hooves slowing as they approached.

Blossom coughed. She slowly sat up, noting the soreness of her feet. “I really got lucky. I didn’t think they’d ever let up.” She thought about Not-Ellie and her words of warning: 

“Once they get your scent, they never let go. It’s part of the thrill of the hunt, you see,” Not-Ellie’s eyes had flashed a dangerous violet for a moment, and her teeth looked too white. “What fun would it be if they just gave up!” Blossom had laughed nervously, while Not-Ellie threw her head back and let loose raucous peals of laughter. Blossom eyed the door, wondering if the other students were listening in. “No, Flower-girl, you don’t want to be out there on the night of the Hunt. Though it would be amusing to me!” 

“Pretty damn lucky, that’s for sure,“ Blossom said. 

she was barely awake. her lungs burned, her ribs were white-hot with pain, her feet were white and cold, she couldn’t move, her words stuttered in her mouth, she was being dragged (no, not dragged, she wasn’t touching the ground) the leaves shifted in the breeze beside her

Blossom coughed again, harder. There was something caught in her throat- it didn’t hurt, but it was a bit irritating. The spinning world slowed for a minute or so, and she took advantage of this fact to rise to her feet and survey her surroundings. The cafeteria was further than she had thought at first, the dim streetlights somehow distant (as if there was fog wrapped around the fluorescent bulbs) (or her)

she was delirious. she heard voices, or just one, or thousands of overlapping tones of the wind, and they were all calling her nickname.

“what would you give? what would you give?”

her lips were too cold and numb to move, she couldn’t form the words so she just thought.

“I would give anything, I would give anything to live”

the vines twisted lovingly around her wrist, a flower bloomed above her left ear.

“would you become one of us? would you join the forest? would you give your skin and your speech?”

her mind was fuzzy, the riverwater dripped from the tip of her nose, moss began to travel up the trees where she hovered.

“I would give anything” she repeated in her mind. “my skin, my life, my name, my speech”

“you will be safe,” the forest sang. “you will be loved.”

she felt safe. she felt loved.

the vines gently set her down on the moss. dazed, she stumbled barefoot onto the concrete path between the woods and the elsewhere cafeteria.

Blossom’s throat itched, it burned like hell. She doubled over, coughing, hacking, and it felt as though something was making its way out. With dawning alarm, she scratched her arm furiously, something itched, something burned, all over her body.

She coughed, she coughed again, harder, and a leaf drifted down from her mouth. Again and again, and more and more leaves cascaded down. She watched in horror as her nails strained against the swelling of her fingers, as they popped off one by one (it didn’t hurt, why didn’t it hurt), as her hands twisted and gnarled. Her hair was wet with riverwater, and then with sap, and then it fell down her shoulders and she looked and every strand was a string of willow leaves. She reached upwards to her cheek and felt the soft pillowy texture of moss, her lips grew hard and crackly like lichen, her breath caught in her chest and she tried to gasp but she couldn’t anymore.

The baying of the hounds grew closer again, it had never left completely. She tried to call out but her vocal chords had stretched into petals.

The baying of the hounds grew ever closer.

She felt the moss spread down, down, over her neck and her collarbone, down, down to her hips, down her legs.

 She felt the roughness travel up, up from her bare feet, up her legs, her hips, her ribs, her collarbone. Her facial muscles stiffened, the bark dug underneath her skin until it replaced it entirely.

 The baying of the hounds was loud in what used to be her ear. The Hunt had arrived for its quarry, but all that remained was a tall tree (some horrific combination of flowers and bark, with long willow-leaves oak-leaves and gnarled branches and bright red berries) blocking the concrete pathway between the woods and the Elsewhere Student Dining Hall. If what used to be Blossom still had ears, it would have heard the irritated snort of the horses, or the long, mournful howl that followed. But it didn’t have ears, and so it heard nothing.


Not-Ellie grinned as she watched from the nearby shadows. She had told Blossom not to go outside during the Hunt, but she wouldn’t be lying if she said she didn’t enjoy the show. Stupid mortals, she giggled to herself, one way or another, the Hunt will always get you. She waved jovially at the train of dogs and not-horses as they melted away, then peeled herself out of the darkness and leaned up against what used to be Blossom. 

“And to think, you really believed we were friends. It’s okay, I won’t blame you for not getting it." 

The tree leaves rustled, as if curious.

Not-Ellie shed her glamour like a snake sheds its skin, and rose a vine-arm to caress Blossom’s used-to-be-cheek. A flower bloomed in the center of the fae’s chest cavity. 

"Once we get your scent, we never let go. I won my quarry in tonight’s Hunt. And now, you belong to me.”

Used-To-Be-Blossom screamed inside its timber “You said i’d be safe, you said I’d be loved!" 

"Really, dear,” Not-Ellie responded, “of course you’ll be loved. Much like a hunter swells with pride at the sight of his first kill, so too do I love you, Emily. Now calm yourself, before the stress affects your branches.”

The tree, bound by the True Name it gave up so freely, shuddered once, then fell silent. 

It was calm now. It was loved. And it would never be Blossom again.

Another pseudo-horror Elsewhere drabble, I guess! This one is quite a bit longer, and probably doesn’t make much sense, but it’s 3:00 in the morning and I haven’t slept in 48 hours so I might as well submit it!


Falling Stars (1)

Originally posted by ladyoflaketownimagines

Pairing: none yet!
Word count: 1146                                                                                               Summary; You just wanted a normal day for once but turns out you just can’t and end falling into middle earth and accompanying Thorin’s epic quest          Warnings: Swearing                                                                                            A/N: Hey guys this is my first fanfic on here and I’m planning on making this a series I guess! I hope you like it, suggestions and requests are open too!

It really was just your luck to end up in the situation you were in now. All you wanted on this fateful day was a break from the endless piles of paper given to you from your professors and a cup of coffee. But no, ohhhh no, you just had to take an accidental dive down the stairs, drop your laptop into a muddy puddle and suffer from possible brain trauma caused by a certain professor of yours.

It really wasn’t his fault, you just had a bad habit of standing in the wrong place at the right time, and when he threw the football across the room to another student, well…It just so happened to collide with your temple.

And speaking of the situation you currently were in now, it involved a ridiculous amount of alcohol, shitty friends, and low spirits. You wanted to be in bed, safe and warm, not here in some stupid forest with a bunch of drunk students you barely knew.

Your so called “friend” who brought you here in the first place had disappeared a little over an hour ago and you suspected she had forgotten about you and left you stranded. Of course, the walk back to your dorm was only two miles away, but the forest was unfamiliar and dark. You’d rather be in a heated car than walk alone in a creepy old forest if you were being completely honest.

Yet, the world decided to dish out more bad luck today and gave you the opportunity to possibly get murdered by a psycho killer waiting in the woods for someone to walk by. And with your kind of luck, you’d be their victim. But what other choice did you have?

You sighed and grumbled under your breath and poured the rest of your beverage over gnarled tree roots and maneuvered towards the dirt path that led to town. You hoped dumping beer on a tree wasn’t considered littering…

Pulling your phone’s flashlight out after leaving the glare of strung up lanterns and headlights from cars, you focused on not tripping over your feet like you did this morning. At least if you did trip no one would see you this time. Though, it would still suck to land in the dirt and rip a hole in your leggings or shirt. Your occurring clumsiness probably increased your chances of tripping and impaling yourself on a stick or perhaps falling off a cliff anyways, so you weren’t too hopeful.

So, with thoughts of impeding doom and your eyes on the lookout for any roots or rocks that could of caught your foot, you continued on the pathway to civilization and safety. That is, until you picked your head up and realized you hadn’t been following the trail at all.

“Oh fuck me,” you growled, wildly spinning around. Your flashlight illuminated patches of the dark woods and cast shadows that vaguely reminded you of deformed creatures lurking in the trees.

“Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.” You hissed as an afterthought. Here you were lost in the woods, swearing like a sailor with no way out. Of course something like this would happen to you.  

An overwhelming wave of panic surged over you after spinning around in circles and doing nothing but curse and try remembering which way you had come before this happened. You took a deep breath, attempting to calm your fraying nerves and paused before a patch of the brooding forest. It really couldn’t get any worse than this.

You bit your lip, took a deep breath, and shuffled through the undergrowth praying to whatever god was out there you could somehow manage to find the path again and that this was the right direction.

It wasn’t, and you quickly found that out right after your foot caught on a twisting root and sent you sailing down the side of a hill you never knew existed until now. You cried out in shock and pain as sharp rocks and dirt scratched your skin as you fell.

I shouldn’t of poured beer on that poor tree was the last thing you thought before being enveloped into total darkness.


“Is she dead?”

“‘Course not ye fool! Tha’ lass is still breathin’!

"Aye, last time I checked corpses don’t breath.”

“Do you think she’s alright?”

“Where on Earth did the lass come from?”

Unfamiliar voices crowded around you when you drifted back into consciousness, unaware of where you were, what time it was, or how you got out of the forest. You groaned as the various tones of buzzing voices became louder and you became more aware of the pounding headache present behind your eyes and the throbbing pain on your scalp.

“Shush! She’s wakin’ up.”

You groaned again and placed a hand over your throbbing head before opening your eyes. Blurred faces gazed down at you with curious eyes and you had to blink a couple of times before registering what the actual fuck was going on. Last night you were lost in a forest and now you were circled by a ban of funny looking men with a whole lot of hair.

Your first instinct was to scream and the run and then maybe cry a little bit from the shock of falling down a hill and landing in who knows where, but the only thing you did was squeak in fear.

“Och, give 'er some room, lads!” An older looking man chided, his hand gripping a strange trumpet-like item as he shoved away some of your audience. Though, the longer you were sprawled out upon the ground, the longer you realized how short these men actually were. You were one to talk though, you had always been on the short side but seeing full grown men who were as tall as you were was a sight to behold.

“Why are you all so short…?”

You really hadn’t meant for it slip out, but a combination of your confusion and your throbbing head let it pass through your lips. A few guffaws and shaking heads made you groan inwardly at your stupidity.

Way to make a great first impression, (y/n)…

“Have ye never seen a dwarf?” One of them asked, a floppy hat resting atop his head.

“Dwarf?” You repeated, your eyebrows furrowing in confusion. “Like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs?”

“Who’s that?” Another asked. “And why do they have seven dwarves with them?”

A murmur of agreement swept through the group and left you in an even deeper state of confusion. Who didn’t know who Snow White was? The grey haired  so called 'dwarf’ with the strange trumpet thing must of noticed your puzzlement and bent down on one knee to help lift you into a sitting position.

“What’s your name, girl?”

“Erm, (y/n)…” You said. “And where the fuck am I and who the fuck are you?”


Part 1

Originally posted by juptern

Pairing: Jughead x Reader

Word Count: 2,134

Warnings: Reader has bruises, Panic attacks (It’s only a little one I swear)

Summary:  Reader is being chased through the woods but by who? And why? Jughead is determined to find out but all is not what it seems, what secrets will he uncover?

A/N: I have no idea what I'm doing, this just kinda happened. I’d appreciate the feedback but honestly, i’d be surprised if anyone actually reads this xD. it’ll be getting more parts whether people read it or not because this was so much fun to write!!

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ask if there is some mistake

This is the first part of a fic I tried to write for the omgcp big bang before I realized I’d never finish on time. It’s still not finished hahaha but I thought I’d just slowly upload it here. Please let me know if you have questions/concerns!

Content tags and warnings: magic, secretly a high school AU, offscreen minor character death, fake geography, some creepiness.

Derek isn’t lost, because in order to be lost you need to have wanted to be somewhere in the first place, and all he wants is to be anywhere but at school.

It’s been three weeks since he started at the academy, and he’s not sure he’ll ever like being in Andover. It’s different from home in all the wrong ways, and the same as home in all the other wrong ways, and he hates it. Everyone’s stuck up, or aloof, or doesn’t think Derek’s worth the time of day, and already he spends most of his days anxious and homesick. At least he kind of likes most of his classes, and there’s a reprieve in the form of hockey, which is the only bright spot in the whole mess of bad feelings that Andover represents. At least the team makes an effort to embrace and welcome their freshmen.

But today’s been nothing but hit after hit against Derek’s psyche, from a miserable time spent in math trying to catch up on a confusing problem, to being partnered with the most obnoxious douche in the whole class for physics, and almost ruining his whole English essay when he spilled milk all over his desk during breakfast. And he can’t even vent to anyone because he has no fucking friends at this terrible school, and none of his parents are available to skype. Mama is still overseas, dad’s in meetings all day, and mom is in the ER until who knows when.

Which is why he’s wandering through the woods on a Friday afternoon like the loser he is, trying and failing to commune with nature because he’s inescapably turned around after tumbling over a log and rolling down a small dip in the ground. There’s nothing worse than a few bruises on his legs and stray scratches on his palms, but even after climbing back over the ridge, he feels more confused than before. Were those flowers there originally? Did he turn left after that oak, or down a few yards farther, where those conifers are rotting away?

Was the sky always this hard to see through the leaves?

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Some Rain Must Fall

Alistair and his fellow warden end up caught out in the middle of a rather fierce rainstorm and must find shelter in the forest until it blows over.

Alistair x Surana (pre-relationship, fluff, pining, adorable)

Read here on AO3 instead.

The camp was a small, inconsequential journey away from the river.  They had learned early in their travels that setting up too close to a fast-moving river could disguise the sounds of anyone wishing to attack them in the darkness of night.  Thus, it was necessary to send a group to carry water back each night.  The two Wardens always seemed to volunteer when the job was proposed.

Alistair crested the hill, adjusting the skins full of water over his shoulder so they did not cut into his muscles as deep.  The younger Warden beside him was struggling with her own burden.  She had insisted on carrying her own fair share and was now finding the task more than she had fathomed.

He slowed his pace until he felt as if he were walking on top of his own feet.

A bag slipped and dropped off her shoulder again, tripping her up and almost sending her sprawling to the ground if he had not caught her by the arm.

She threw the rest to the ground with a scowl, kicking at the side of the one that had fallen first. It rolled over, bloated with water, but did not further protest her mistreatment of it.

He dropped his cache beside her own and flopped onto the ground, leaning back on his arms with a theatrical groan.  He stretched his legs out, imagining he was back at camp and could free his feet from the confines of his boots.

“I was hoping you’d call a break,” he remarked without preamble.

He kept his eyes fixed on the sky, watching his pouting companion from only from the corner of his vision.  It was best to let her be when she was frustrated like this.  She stared at him, the anger ebbing from her tense shoulders. Finally, she sat beside him, curling her legs beneath her with a hefty sigh.

Their reprieve was short. The wind picked up, kicking leaves and other detritus into their hair and eyes.  A bundle of somber grey clouds sailed over the horizon of trees like a fleet of dark ships.  The sun was hidden in their wake, casting unnatural shadows over the landscape below.

Alistair pointed out over the tree line, shielding his eyes with a forearm from the wind.  “Looks like a storm is coming in.  We’d better get back.”

He hopped to his feet and began gathering up their baggage, taking a few extra than before and hoping she would not chide him for it.

“It looks pretty wicked up there.”  He gave himself a little chuckle, crossing the straps so they would not slide off his back.  “I wonder if Morrigan is going to fly around inside of it?”

There was no reply. He glanced back over his shoulder. Astaria had not moved from the spot she had plopped down on earlier.  She was transfixed with the storm that was encroaching on them with frightening speed, her head turned up to the sky in wonder.

He called her name, drawing out some of the syllables to make it into a little song to gain her attention.

She looked up at him and stood, a little sheepish at her wool gathering, but hesitated in picking anything up.  The clouds distracted her again, drawing her gaze out over them as they boiled in the atmosphere above them.

“Could we stay, Alistair?” She gestured out with an open hand, as if trying to convince him of the majesty of the scene.  “I’d really like to see it.”

The wind whistled up the hill to them and the smallest spattering of drops fell against his forehead. He shifted, glancing from her to the storm and back.  He found himself with an agreeance on his tongue, even while his head warned that the clouds looked like the beginnings of something serious.

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The Little Girl with False Red Eyes

In the hustle and bustle of the local village the Little Girl did not have red eyes. The red tinted glasses her grandmother had gifted her did not fool the people of the village in the daylight, but this was okay, as it was not their purpose to fool the people of the village in the daylight.

The Little Girl who did not have red eyes would go to the bakery and buy a loaf of bread. The Little Girl who did not have red eyes would go to the butcher and buy a piece of meat. The Little Girl who did not have red eyes would tap her stick on the ground to see her way in and out of every stall at the marketplace, for the Little Girl who did not have red eyes, in fact, had no eyes at all.

In the dark tree tunnels of the forest the Little Girl had red eyes. The red tinted glasses her grandmother had gifted her did indeed fool the animals of the forest in the shadows of the foliage, this was fortunate, as it was their purpose to fool the animals of the forest in the shadows of the foliage.

The Little Girl who had red eyes would stumble across the bridge under which the Great Troll lived. The Little Girl who had red eyes would trip past the old oak in which the Elder Owl sat. The Little Girl who had red eyes would cautiously crawl atop the log through which the Dread Serpent slept. The Little Girl who had red eyes would pass each dangerous beast with ease through the twists of the forest path, for the Little Girl who had red eyes, in fact, had the eyes of the Red Eyed Wolf.

Of all the terrifying beasts in the forest, none were as feared as the Red Eyed Wolf, and it was the Red Eyed Wolf who was not fooled by the Little Girl with false red eyes. She saw the trickery for what it was and watched as she passed beast after beast without fear, and so the Red Eyed Wolf stood in the path of the Little Girl.

“Please allow me passage,” pleaded the Little Girl with false red eyes. “I do not walk your woods with arrogance Ms Wolf, I simply must deliver this food to my grandmother, she is old and frail you see.”

“There are safer paths around the woods child,” said the Red Eyed Wolf. “Why do you take the one known to be perilous, the one that causes you to trip and fall so?”

“The path around is too long,” said the Little Girl. “I am small and blind and cannot travel quickly, my grandmother’s food will spoil.”

“On the long path you risk spoiled food, on the short path you risk your life. I would consider your choice foolish.” The Red Eyed Wolf said after a moment of thought.

“Perhaps it is foolish Ms Wolf, but still I do it.” said the Little Girl. “I love my grandmother so and I will do you any favour you wish to have safe passage through your woods. I am not strong and I am not wise, I cannot even see, but any favour you ask of me, I will do it.”

The Red Eyed Wolf thought of the generous offer, for indeed it was generous. The Little Girl put a lot at risk for the sake of another and was willing to put herself in dept to a beast so as to continue her perilous task, and relied upon only a false pair of red eyes to protect her from all the other beasts that she passed on her journey.

The Red Eyed Wolf had watched and waited for the Great Troll to realised the trickery and leap at the Little Girl from under his bridge, but he never did. The Red Eyed Wolf had waited for the Elder Owl to grow wise to the illusion and snatch up the Little Girl in her sharp talons, but she never did. The Red Eyed Wolf had waited for the Dread Serpent to wake to the lie and gobble the Little Girl up in their large mouth, but they never did.

The Red Eyed Wolf realised that the Little Girl had most likely imagined each scenario herself, perhaps with even greater fear as she could not even see the great creatures of the forest that stories told of. The Little Girl with false red eyes was a creature of great generosity, the Red Eyed Wolf had decided, and great generosity was an invaluable treasure.

“Child, I will grant you the passage you seek,” decided the Red Eyed Wolf. “I will meet you at the forest mouth and guide you along your path that you may travel without fear of falling. I will ask one favour of you for each journey, if the favour is not paid by the journey’s end I will eat you.”

The Little Girl smiled. “I will grant you each favour without fail, I promise this.”

Each day the Little Girl with false red eyes would enter the woods, and each day the Red Eyed Wolf would guide her, a little hand nestled among soft fur as the Red Eyed Wolf warned of gnarled roots along the ground or large stones that laid in the path. As usual neither Troll nor Owl nor even Serpent bothered them on their journey, and it was as they crossed the bridge that the Red Eyed Wolf made her first request.

“Child I request you tell me, what does the Great Troll smell of?”

“The Great Troll smells of the pond Ms Wolf, of stagnant water and mossy stone.”

The Red Eyed Wolf was pleased by this. The second request of the Red Eyed Wolf on the second journey through the woods was asked as they passed the old oak.

“Child I request you tell me, what does the Elder Owl smell of?”

“The Elder Owl smells of the trees Ms Wolf, of woody bark and sweet sap.”

The Red Eyed Wolf was pleased by this. The third request of the Red Eyed Wolf on the third journey through the woods was asked as they walked along the Dread Serpent’s log.

“Child I request you tell me, what does the Dread Serpent smell of?”

“The Dread Serpent smells of the ground Ms Wolf, of long grass and fallen leaves.

The Red Eyed Wolf was pleased by this. The Red Eyed Wolf asked many more questions of the Little Girl, she asked the smell of the flowers along the end of the path, the smell of the rain on stormy days, the smell of the fungi that grew on the trees in the darkest parts of the woods.

The Little Girl with false red eyes answered every question, some with difficulty as she did not have the words, others with ease as the words came naturally off her tongue, without fail she would answer them all until she had described the scent of everything there was to smell in the woods. The Red Eyed Wolf was very impressed.

"You have the nose of a wolf.” she told her.

One day the Little Girl with the Wolf’s Nose had almost reached the end of the woods when she realised the Red Eyed Wolf had not made a single request that day, fearing some sort of trickery, the Little Girl told the Red Eyed Wolf of the smell of her home, of the smoke from the hearth and the flowers that sat outside the front window. The Red Eyed Wolf said nothing, so the Little Girl continued, describing the scents of the marketplace, she described the smells of the fresh meat and the warm bread, of the vegetables and fruits and even the people.

The end of the path was nearing and the Little Girl with the Wolf’s Nose did not stop. She described the smell of garlic on her fingers after cooking dinner and how it lingered no matter how much she scrubbed. She described the smell of her grandmother when she hugged her goodbye, the scent of barley sugar on her breath. The Little Girl talked of the scents of her past and the scents of the present and the scents she hoped to encounter in the future until she felt the sunlight on her skin and stopped, she had reached the end of the woods, and still the Red Eyed Wolf had said nothing.

“Why have you not made a request this journey? Do you intend to eat me after all?” the Little Girl with the Wolf’s Nose asked.

“I will not eat you this day,” said the Red Eyed Wolf. “Nor will I eat you any day to come, you have given me a great gift child, you have taken me on a journey through your home and your village. You have shared your life with me and shown me things I could never have imagined within and without my home in the woods.

"The truth is child I have only once left these woods and during that time I encountered a man who wished to take my fur. I escaped his trap with my life and with scars along my snout. I can hardly smell even the strongest of scents since that day, a world without smell to a wolf might as well be a world without sight to a human.”

The Little Girl understood.

The Red Eyed Wolf made no more requests of the Little Girl with the Wolf’s Nose, she had no need to as the Little Girl freely became the nose of her friend, sharing every scent she encountered with her companion who responded in kind, freely becoming the true red eyes of the Little Girl who had none.

At the mouth of the woods Sightless Girl leapt upon Scentless Wolf and two became one, one who traveled with ease and grace, one who knew the forest in every way it could be known, one who could touch and taste and hear and see and smell.

And where the path ended, so did they, once again becoming Sightless Girl and Scentless Wolf, but neither were sad at the departure.

Both Girl and Wolf had many many days to live, and they would join one another at the mouth of the woods for each and every one of them.


I drew a picture once of a blind Little Red Riding Hood with the Wolf as her guide dog so I felt like writing a story to go with it


Arya bit her lip. She remembered what Yoren had said, the day he had hacked off her hair. This lot, half o’ them would turn you over to the queen quick as spit for a pardon and maybe a few silvers. The other half’d do the same, only they’d rape you first. Only Gendry was different, the queen wanted him too. “I’ll tell you if you’ll tell me,” she said warily.
“I would if I knew, Arry… is that really what you’re called, or do you have some girl’s name?”   Arya glared at the gnarled root by her feet. She realized that the pretense was done. Gendry knew, and she had nothing in her pants to convince him otherwise. She could draw Needle and kill him where he stood, or else trust him. She wasn’t certain she’d be able to kill him, even if she tried; he had his own sword, and he was a lot stronger. All that was left was the truth. “Lommy and Hot Pie can’t know,” she said.
“They won’t,” he swore. “Not from me.”
“Arya.” She raised her eyes to his. “My name is Arya. Of House Stark.”


arya stark meme | five relationships ► arya and gendry

↳   Arya bit her lip. She remembered what Yoren had said, the day he had hacked off her hair. This lot, half o’ them would turn you over to the queen quick as spit for a pardon and maybe a few silvers. The other half’d do the same, only they’d rape you first. Only Gendry was different, the queen wanted him too. “I’ll tell you if you’ll tell me,” she said warily.
“I would if I knew, Arry… is that really what you’re called, or do you have some girl’s name?”   Arya glared at the gnarled root by her feet. She realized that the pretense was done. Gendry knew, and she had nothing in her pants to convince him otherwise. She could draw Needle and kill him where he stood, or else trust him. She wasn’t certain she’d be able to kill him, even if she tried; he had his own sword, and he was a lot stronger. All that was left was the truth. “Lommy and Hot Pie can’t know,” she said.
“They won’t,” he swore. “Not from me.”
“Arya.” She raised her eyes to his. “My name is Arya. Of House Stark.” 


Arya glared at the gnarled root by her feet. She realized that the pretense was done. Gendry knew, and she had nothing in her pants to convince him otherwise. She could draw Needle and kill him where he stood, or else trust him. She wasn’t certain she’d be able to kill him, even if she tried; he had his own sword, and he was a lot stronger. All that was left was the truth. “Lommy and Hot Pie can’t know,” she said.

“They won’t,” he swore. “Not from me.”

“Arya.” She raised her eyes to his. “My name is Arya. Of House Stark.”

“Of House …” It took him a moment before he said, “The King’s Hand was named Stark. The one they killed for a traitor.”

“He was never a traitor. He was my father.”

Gendry’s eyes widened. “So that’s why you thought …”

She nodded. “Yoren was taking me home to Winterfell.”

“I … you’re highborn then, a … you’ll be a lady …”

Arya looked down at her ragged clothes and bare feet, all cracked and callused. She saw the dirt under her nails, the scabs on her elbows, the scratches on her hands. Septa Mordane wouldn’t even know me, I bet. Sansa might, but she’d pretend not to. “My mother’s a lady, and my sister, but I never was.”

“Yes you were. You were a lord’s daughter and you lived in a castle, didn’t you? And you … gods be good, I never …” All of a sudden Gendry seemed uncertain, almost afraid. “All that about cocks, I never should have said that. And I been pissing in front of you and everything, I … I beg your pardon, m’lady.”

Stop that!” Arya hissed. Was he mocking her?

“I know my courtesies, m’lady,” Gendry said, stubborn as ever. “Whenever highborn girls came into the shop with their fathers, my master told me I was to bend the knee, and speak only when they spoke to me, and call them m’lady.”

“If you start calling me m’lady, even Hot Pie is going to notice. And you better keep on pissing the same way too.”

“As m’lady commands.”

Arya slammed his chest with both hands. He tripped over a stone and sat down with a thump. “What kind of lord’s daughter are you?” he said, laughing.

This kind.” She kicked him in the side, but it only made him laugh harder.

Arya V, A Clash of Kings.

The D Word (Part 2)

Summary: Tony Stark means the world to Peter Parker. So much, in fact, that Peter slips up and calls him ‘dad’ on more than one occasion. In other words, the two times Peter prays Tony doesn’t hear him say 'dad’ and the one time he wishes he did.

Characters: Tony Stark, Peter Parker, Aunt May, Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes

Warnings: none really

A/N: Hope you like this next part!

The D Word (Part 1)

Peter walked through the cemetery completely numb. He had no idea where he was going, but his feet kept propelling him forward. He scanned each cold, grey headstone, trying to make sense of the dull carvings.

A whimper stopped him in his tracks. Peter whirled around, trying to find its source. His eyes finally landed on a small boy standing in front of two headstones. The boy was dressed in a suit that was slightly too big, and his hands wiped angrily at his face. Peter walked over and knelt down next to the boy.

“You okay?” Peter asked, his voice cracking. Tears rolled down his own face, but he wasn’t exactly sure why he was crying.

The boy shook his head, but Peter still couldn’t see his face.

“Where are your parents?”

The boy pointed to the headstone, and Peter gasped.

Here lies Richard and Mary Parker

Beloved father and mother, husband and wife.

When the boy pointed to the second headstone, Peter was sure he was going to faint.

Here lies Tony Stark.

Peter couldn’t read anything after the first line. He collapsed to the ground, trying to blink away the black dots swarming in front of his eyes.

“Wh-wh-what?” he stuttered. “What is this?”

The boy turned and Peter was face-to-face with himself. The same wavy brown hair, the same long, awkward limbs, all of it was the same. Except his face. Little Peter’s face was completely blank, with small, puckered slits where the eyes, nose, and mouth should have been.

Peter screamed and stumbled backwards, trying to escape the child. It had to be a trick, it had to be a mind game.

“Peter…” A disembodied voice seemed to come out of Little Peter’s face. He held out an arm to Peter and stepped closer.

“Go away!” Peter exclaimed, falling over the cement path. Gnarled tree roots seemed to appear out of nowhere to trip Peter as he tried to escape.


“Stop it!” he begged. “Please just stop!” He covered his face with his arms and cowered down as he prepared for the worst.



Peter jolted up from the couch he was sleeping on, panting heavily. His heart thumped wildly as it got harder and harder to breathe. He shook as a pair of soft hands cupped his face and turned him to the right. Aunt May stared back at him, her brown eyes full of concern.


May nodded. She carefully reached out a hand and ran her fingers through Peter’s hair, just like she used to do when he was little. His resolve crumbled as he practically jumped into her lap, wrapping his arms around her in a vice-like grip.

“Shhh, baby, I’ve got you,” May whispered. “I’ve got you.” She cradled him in her arms as he sobbed.

“T-Tony…he’s, he’s…” Peter tried to form a complete sentence, but the words kept getting caught in his throat.

May pulled back and looked into his eyes. “Tony’s gonna be okay. Look.” She nodded her head to the side, and Peter followed her gaze.

Tony was lying in a hospital bed, with a thin sheet covering his lower body. Bruises covered his face, and their dark color contrasted the stark white gauze wrapped around his chest. Peter heard a faint beeping noise and realized a heart monitor was connected to his unconscious mentor.

“He’s alive?” Peter whispered, afraid to let himself be set up with false hope. “Really alive?”

May nodded and began to explain. “One of the people who came to get me, Barnes maybe? He said they were able to get him to some machine in time. He’s going to be fine. Everything’s going to be fine.”

Peter’s arms gave out and he clumsily laid back down on the couch. May somehow made a pillow appear and rested the soft material on her lap so it was resting under Peter’s head. She continued to play with his hair as he tried to truly comprehend that Tony was okay. Soon, his breathing evened out, and he turned to look up at his aunt, who was gazing down at him.

“You’re mad,” he said, swallowing thickly.

“Furious,” she replied immediately. “But we’ll talk about that later.” Peter sighed, relieved he wasn’t going to have to deal with May’s wrath right away.

“Can I ask you something?” Peter nodded. “Captain Rogers…god I can’t believe I can say I know him.“ She shook her head. "Anyway, he said he had to sedate you. That you were screaming and saying some things…” She trailed off, and Peter knew that she knew exactly what had happened in the jet.

He slowly sat up and couldn’t meet May’s eye anymore.

“Wanna talk about it?” she asked.

“No,” he replied softly.

“Then I’ll talk,” she said. She took a deep breath, and her eyes shone with tears. “You’ve lost way more people in your life than any kid should ever have to deal with. No one will ever replace your uncle. Or your mother. Or your father. No one.” She cleared her throat as she calmed her own emotions down.

Peter clenched his jaw and gripped the edge of the couch tightly. He knew she was right, and that he was stupid for thinking of Tony like that. Like…

“But,” May continued, “you are so lucky to have some great people in your life. People who are like fathers.” Peter turned his head. “Honey, it’s okay. What you said was okay.” She reached out and covered one of his hands with her own.

Peter’s breath came out in short spurts as his face heated up. Before he could stop it, a fresh batch of tears fell down his cheeks. He kept nodding his head as he tried to process everything. He was just tired, so, so tired.

The consistent beeping from the heart monitor suddenly spiked with rapid beeps. Peter and May looked over and saw Tony stir under the sheet. His eyes fluttered open and a shaky hand gripped the handrail of the hospital bed.

He groaned and tried to sit up.

“Tony!” Peter cried, standing up. “You’re awake!”

Tony’s gaze finally landed on the relieved teen. “Hey kid,” he coughed.

Peter thought his heart might burst at the sound of Tony’s voice. “I’ll go get someone!” he rambled. “I should get someone, right? Or do you want water? Water would help your voice. Not that it sounds bad! It’s just…I mean…I’ll-”

“I’ll get someone,” May cut in. She smirked at Peter. “You stay here.”

Tony gave May a weak grin. “Oh, I’m definitely dead,” he joked. “Only heaven would have a beautiful angel like you here.”

“Cut the crap, Stark,” May shot back, pointing a finger at him. “I’m glad you’re not dead because now I can kill you myself.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “What the hell were you thinking?! Bringing him on a mission?!”

Tony coughed and winced as pain shot through his chest. “Okay, first of all,” he replied, “I just got shot in the chest. Can we maybe do this later?”

May’s eyes softened, but not by much. “We are going to talk about this,” she said, pointing a finger at him.

“Maybe over dinner?” Tony asked, a familiar twinkle returning to his eyes. “I know a great place in Little Italy. Fantastic wine pairings.”

May merely scoffed and shook her head as she walked out of the room, leaving Tony and Peter alone.

Peter tipped back and forth on the balls of his feet. He weaved his hands together, trying to find a purpose for them. He held them behind his neck, around his shoulders, and even on his waist.

Tony’s rolled his eyes. “Kid, I can feel your antsiness from here. Relax a bit, would ya? Have a seat. Not like I’m dying or anything.”

“S-sorry,” Peter replied, sitting down on his hands. An odd silence filled the room as each one tried to figure out what to say to each other.

“She’s right, you know,” Tony finally said. “You shouldn’t have been there. I shouldn’t have let you come.”

“S’not your fault,” Peter mumbled. “I wanted to help.”

Tony sighed. “Maybe, but you’re young. You didn’t need to see all of…” He trailed off and waved his arm over his bandaged chest. “I shouldn’t have put you through that.”

Silence fell once more. Peter swallowed a few times, trying to get the courage to ask a question that had been bothering him since he had woken up.

“Can…can I ask you something?” he whispered quietly. “Why did you say that you were sorry?”

Tony’s head fell back against the pillows as he contemplated his answer.

“My dad was never around,” he started. “And he was a bit of an asshole. I know Cap has different feelings, but, in all fairness, he was a popsicle when my father raised me.” He cleared his throat and blinked a few times at the ceiling. “And,” he continued, “when I met you, I thought this was my chance to make up for all the ways he screwed up. A chance to really be there for you.”

Tony took a deep breath and frowned. “And I messed up. If I had been there for you the way I wanted my father to be there for me, you would have never been on that jet. I should have known the risks and that our intel could have been faulty. Instead, it went to hell and you got the brunt of it. I-”

“I called you ‘dad’!” Peter blurted out, unable to keep his secret any longer. His cheeks flushed, and he focused his gaze on the ground. Tony had no clue how to respond, so Peter kept talking. “When you passed out on the jet…I didn’t want to lose you. I…I was scared I was going to lose you.” His voice hushed to a whisper as he dared to look up at Tony.

To say Tony was shocked was an understatement. He tossed sentences around in his brain, but none of them seemed right for this situation. Peter looked so vulnerable sitting there on the couch, and his eyes were filled with fear at what Tony would say.

“L-listen, kid,” Tony began. “It w-was an…intense situation. We, uh, say things like that when…we’re, uh stressed.”

Peter shook his head. “N-N-No, you don’t g-get it,” Peter stuttered. “I, um…well I…it’s just that I…I’ve done it before.” He paused and took a deep breath. “And I meant it,” he said strongly. “And…And I liked that I meant it.” He sniffed and rubbed his face against his shirt sleeve. He scrunched his eyes and waited for rejection to come.

Tony’s heart filled with an indescribable joy. He had always seen himself as a screw up. He knew he was selfish. He did take after his father after all. He never expected in a million years for Peter to feel something like this for him. Maybe he wasn’t doing it all wrong. Maybe…

“Peter,” Tony said softly. “Look at me please.”

Peter slowly lifted his gaze and met Tony’s. The man he saw as a father looked back at him, his eyes warm and kind.

“I liked that you meant it too.”

TAGS: @buckyappreciationsociety @iamwarrenspeace @theassetseyeliner @yknott81 @4theluvofall@sammnipple @snapplejuice @fuckkoffcourtney @capttainamericaa @wificrazymisfit @ninetales144 @series-obsessed @coffeekeyboardsss @chemicallyginge

beyond repair

read on ao3

summary: robert reaches breaking point

based on a conversation with @sapphicsugden

content warnings: depression, implied accidental self-harm, disordered eating

Three weeks after Robert goes missing, Victoria finds him asleep in the back of his car, parked up on a verge just outside of Hotten. She just happens to be passing on her way back from a wedding reception. The van smells like cold hot dogs and she has the windows down to expel the smell. The stench will cling to her clothes and hair even after washing, so the smell of manure smeared fields is a welcome reprieve. She’s singing along to an Ed Sheeran song when she sees the car. She quietens immediately. The music seems to shoot up in volume as she tries to work out what this could mean.  

The van pulls up onto the verge with a shudder. Something in the back falls to the floor and shatters, but Victoria doesn’t go back to assess the damage. She shuts off the engine and opens the door, hopping down onto the soft grass. It’s a humid day. The grey clouds lie across the sky like a duvet and the air is a jumper that can’t be removed. Despite the heat, the windows in Robert’s car are opaque with condensation. Victoria’s mind begins to spin. A disaster movie plays on the backs of her eyelids and she wonders what she could find in that car. Unable to stand the apprehension any longer, she surges forward, quickly closing the distance between the van and the car. She pulls down the sleeve of her long-sleeved t-shirt over her hand and scrubs at the back window. Much to her frustration, this does nothing; the condensation is on the inside. Steeling herself for the worst, she takes a deep breath and raps a fist against the glass.


When no response comes, she knocks again. Harder this time. So hard that her knuckles glow red and sing with pain.


She keeps knocking, fighting against the urge to dislodge a brick from a crumbling wall nearby and put it through the window. She can hear herself shouting, her voice taking on panicked edge that she hardly recognises. She’s being ridiculous. Robert isn’t an old dog, he wouldn’t just slip away quietly to-

The lock clicks.

Victoria grabs the handle and wrenches the door open with such force that she almost knocks herself backwards. The smell of whisky and body odour rolls over her in a wave. Robert lies on his side, curled up on the rear seats with his face pressed into the backrest. Victoria stands over her brother, staring, trying make sense of what she’s seeing. It is Robert, she’s sure of it, but at the same time it’s barely him. His usually immaculate hair is matted against his skull and his cheeks are shadowed with blonde stubble. Robert is the kind of person that takes up space, who walks into a room and occupies every corner. This Robert isn’t him. This Robert is small.

Swallowing through the tightness in her throat, Victoria crouches down next to the car, placing a hand on her brother’s shoulder. He doesn’t so much as flinch.

‘Robert? It’s me. Are you okay?’  

He clearly isn’t, but what else can she ask?

‘Can you sit up, Robert?’

It takes a moment, but he does. The more he uncurls himself, the more apparent it is that something is very wrong. His face his drawn; his cheekbones hollowed out and his eyes sunken back into his skull. There’s blood on the collar of his shirt, purple against the blue material, and more unidentifiable stains down his front. Victoria clamps her hands over her mouth, breathing through her fingers and doing her best to fight back tears.

‘Oh God, Robert, what happened?

Robert doesn’t speak. While Victoria gets him something to eat, he watches the rain slide down the window pane, turning the village outside into a smeared canvas. He nibbles on the skin at the tip of his thumb, his nails bitten back to almost non-existent bloody slithers. Victoria watches him from the kitchen while she waits for the kettle to boil. She’s tried talking to him. All the way back she’d bombarded him with questions. Where had he been? Why hadn’t he called? Why was he living in his car? But he didn’t answer, just watched the world speed past the window of the van.  

As Victoria pours the tea she looks at the family photo that sits on the windowsill. Five smiling faces trapped behind a layer of glass. Her dad and her mum and her two brothers and her. Seeing them all together like that feels like the most impossible miracle. Victoria sees families all the time. Sees them sat together in the pub or walking to the shops. She wishes that she didn’t hate them, but it’s hard to look up into the lush branches of a great oak when her own family tree is withering. She tries to keep it alive, but no matter how often she waters the gnarled roots it keeps dying.

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Never Been Kissed

This is a drabble for Maplevogel because she likes to pull me into new fandoms and I haven’t written in awhile.  It’s not much.

Never Been Kissed

He should not have said that.

Oh, quiznak, he should not have said that.  

Lance slumped forward and wrapped his arms around his head in embarrassment.

He would never have even said it if he was not sure Voltron was going to explode into a hundred, thousand, million pieces of shrapnel.  He would have kept it to himself.  

He should have kept his freaking mouth shut!  

“At least then I could'a died with some dignity,” he mumbled into the sleeves of his sweater.  “I can’t believe I said that…”

“You know, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”

Lance glanced up to see Shiro leaning against the doorframe with an awkward smile on his lips.  He was flexing his cybernetic hand like he was in pain, open and closed, but his eyes were on Lance.


“That you’ve never been kissed,” Shiro clarified.  “It’s okay.  You have lots of time to figure it out.”

Lance groaned.

“But what if I die tomorrow?  Or the next day?  Or on a Tuesday? It’s not like I have a lot of options out in the middle of space. And, I mean, Voltron is really, really cool but defending the galaxy is a little, uhm, dangerous.  Or a lot.  Maybe a lot.”  

Shiro chuckled and stepped through the threshold.  

“You’ll figure it out,” he repeated, smoothing his hair back and kissing Lance on the forehead.  It was almost paternal.  Gentle.  “Sooner than you think.”

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Chariot/Croix - Piggyback Rides

Set while the two were still students, after Chariot got the shiny rod :O Totally inspired by fanart of the two :D

I really want to see more of the young Chariot and Croix dynamic. Particularly after their angst over the Shiny Rod choosing Chariot but before their falling out. Like this fragile relationship tinged with bitterness but the two still love each other, it’s just too good OTL


“Over here!

 Croix followed the familiar voice, eyes barely picking out the small hands that waved in the distance for her attention. It was a moonless night; the shrubbery and bushes only made her after-hours trek into the woods that much harder.

Squinting, she batted a stubborn group of bushes with her wand and stepped into a small clearing, where her friend was resting on a fallen, moss-eaten log.

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The Games Goddesses Play
Fandom: Samurai Jack
Pairing: Jack/Ashi 

(Notes: Guys…I really need to purge my heartbroken feelings in fic-form. I’m glad Jack/Ashi is canon…but goddamn did that finale still hurt. I can never accept the occasion they decided to drive a stake through his heart. I’m not entirely sure how long this will be. Two-part, three-part? I shall see. The italicized poems are from the Hundred Poems).


If I live on longer,

shall I again, I wonder,

yearn for these days?

The world that I once saw as

bitter, now, is dear to me.

The samurai heaved a sigh, his back leaning against the tree, the bark scraping him beneath his gi as he slid down to the gnarled roots. He remained under the canopy of leaves, arms around his knees, lost in thought. It had been weeks and the throbbing ache in his heart still continued to plague him. The beauty of Ashi and her love, forever out of reach, was a lodged dagger, twisting painfully, slowly, everyday…

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Before the Frost

This was just an idea I had, you know…lacking plot or anything essential. (Nervous laughter) Just a lot of fluff and some angst. This is set after the war, presuming Lucien’s brothers are dead and everyone we care about is alive (because if they aren’t I might as well be dead too).  Also, complete credit to chaol/highlordlucien for inspiring Lucien’s cute pet name for Elain. I tried thinking of some other ones but after reading Lauren’s stories, I just can’t see using any other terms of endearment with these two! Hope you enjoy!

Length: 4.5k+
Pairing: Elain x Lucien
Rating: M

“Are you nearly ready?”

Elain turned back to her sisters, both of whom looked at her as though waiting for a person to lunge off a cliff— anticipating the fall. “Of course.”

Nesta narrowed her eyes, about to say something presumably akin to more skepticism, but Feyre subtly elbowed her and glanced towards the opened window. Nesta’s lips thinned, but she stood with their sister to exit Elain’s bedchambers. A door of hemlock obscured her view, but Elain could see Cerridwen was waiting in the corridor, her twin likely close by. The wraith sisters had taken an instant liking to the middle Archeron, their patience and silent strength in the same vein as her quiet cunning. Mere hours after assessing one another, Azriel had mentioned in passing that the three women would work together wonderfully. Nesta, and surprisingly even Amren, had given the Shadowmaster a scathing look at the suggestion.

With a hand lingering on the wooden frame, Feyre turned back and said, “We know this must be difficult for you, but remember you will always have us to confide in. Just trust yourself to know what to do, and I promise things will get better.”

The door closed noiselessly.

Elain stared at her hands, her calm face at odds with the rabbit heart beneath her ribs.

It had been four months since the war. Four months from when they’d nearly all lost each other to the wrath of a mad king, to the plague of malicious court badgering that swamped Prythian, to the wretched Never Fading Flower, Amrantha, who had, indeed, not faded well enough to be then brought back by Jurian and the powers of the godforsaken cauldron. But they were all gone now. Bled from the realm as though wrought out from a drying cloth. Yet a faint stain persisted, always reminding her of those nefarious weeks. It couldn’t be washed away by soap, by rain, by blessed holy water, or by the tightening bond in her core that not a day went by could she ignore.

The war was over, yet she felt as though the same euphoria that cleansed her family of their anguish and heartache had somehow missed her where she lingered off to the side as per usual.

They didn’t know of her dreams, this court of dreamers. How each night she’d play out the same scenes over and over— horrified that she would wake one dawn and find them missing.

The first scene was always the haziest, muddled from her human mind. He’d been so gentle with her as he’d lifted her into his grasp and nestled her within the warmth of his body heat, away from the ice of the cauldron waters. He’d always been warm, a fire wrapped in Fae skins. The next memories were sharper, as was the pain they left in their path. A scarred face staring up at her as though a boy was looking up into the first turning leaves of an autumn tree. Hands that fit perfectly against her waist, hoisting her up so that her skirts wouldn’t get muddy as he walked them back to the manor. Laughter, devious and mischievous and so, so very free that it made her want to join in, no matter the occasion, and throw her head back like a fox cackling at the moon.

And then there was the last dream.

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The Signs as Gothic Literature
  • Aries: The old grandfather clock sitting in the window of your local antique store. It's covered in a thick layer of dust, its gears are swathed in a forest of cobwebs, yet it still keeps ticking. The store owner has attempted to take it apart several times, but every time he opens the back, his eyes glaze over, and he is filled with an indescribable dread. Its bell tolls exactly 2 minutes after sunset.
  • Taurus: The thick fog that blankets the graveyard on Wednesday evening. Regardless of the weather, it rolls in, steaming out from the gnarled roots of the weeping willow, filling the air with a syrupy moisture. Upon dissipation, all the offerings resting before the tombstones are gone. It descends quickly; your neighbor Alice got caught in it once, and didn't reemerge until next week. She said it smelled vaguely of olive oil, with just a splash of basil.
  • Gemini: Do not look behind you. It's following you, hiding in your shadow, lurking in the corner of your eye, slipping in through that door you always leave cracked open. It looms over you while you sleep, breathing in time with your snores, stretching its maw when you yawn. That flicker of light you see when you look in the mirror? That's it. That odd, dark lump in the frame of your selfies? That's it. No amount of filters will convince it to leave.
  • Cancer: The bits of sea glass that you stumble upon during your evening strolls. They started off typical; shades of aquamarine, indigo, and baby blue. Lately, they have been washing up on shore at an alarming rate, ranging from blood red, to obsidian black. You didn't even know glass could be so opaque. Your friend collects them, hoarding them in a mason jar, creating a wonderful collage of what nature has to offer. The jar should have been full months ago, but it never seems to run out of empty space.
  • Leo: The old record that has been hanging in your living room for as long as you can remember. The label is cream colored, and inscribed with lines of twisted symbols that give you migraines when you attempt to translate them. When you were in high school, you borrowed your music teacher's record player. As soon as the needle scraped against the vinyl, the world fell silent. You opened your mouth to scream, but your strained vocal chords could not produce a single sound. Your sister found you curled up on the carpet, lying next to an empty record player.
  • Virgo: The most reliable printer in the office. It can handle mass printing jobs without jamming, and never seems to run out of ink. Last week Jerry attempted to examine the cartridge. The black stains in between his fingers haven't washed out yet. There has been gossip that the printer might be replaced soon. Despite it's track-record, it has begun printing things without input. This morning the office floor was covered in high definition pictures of watermelons. During your lunch break, it produced a single, landscape image of a slaughterhouse. Your roast beef sandwich suddenly seemed much less appetizing.
  • Libra: The stray cat that roams the neighborhood at dusk. Its fur seems to vacillate between shades of brilliant orange and dull greys; it's probably just the lighting. You left a can of tuna on you porch for the stray. An hour later, the tuna had disappeared, and seemed to be replaced with an iridescent sort of jelly. You looked up to see a pair of green eyes staring at you from the bushes. You don't even like tuna anyway, where did that can come from? Where do all these cans keep coming from? Your fridge is full of tuna cans, leaking that substance all over the linoleum tiles. The fatter the cat grows, the more gaunt your own body becomes.
  • Scorpio: The little gray circle that appears on your phone screen when it is loading. It spins slowly, dragged down by the spotty wifi of the town. It is mesmerizing. You opened the internet to look up a brownie recipe, only to be met with the circle. Hours later, your pupils were still rolling around in your eyes, while your mother angrily sent you out to buy store bought sweets instead. If you stare at it long enough, the circle grows wider and wider, pushing past the bounds of your screen, slicing through your silicone case, and rotating around your wrists, like whirling handcuffs.
  • Sagittarius: The bouquet of roses your sister gave her fiance months ago. She put in a fake rose, saying that their love would die once the last rose did. Yet, they are all alive. You visit their apartment from time to time, and see the flowers sitting on the dining room table. You do not like eating dinner there. Your sister and her fiance prepare the food, ignoring the way the roses writhe and squirm in the vase, their thorns scratching deep lines into the table. When the meal begins, the petals start to quiver, sweating red droplets, making the entire room tremble. Your sister ends the meal by scraping the remains of her food into the vase.
  • Capricorn: The teddy bear you slept with back in the day. It's probably up in the attic somewhere, buried among piles of clothes that no longer fit and photos of people you no longer love. Its button eyes are not symmetrical; one is tiny and black, while the other is yellow and square-shaped; it vaguely resembles the button that popped off your jacket during graduation. The stuffing has gradually been leaking out the tiny rip over its stomach; now that you think about it, it's very similar to your own surgery scar. You've been having abdominal pains recently; maybe you should see your doctor.
  • Aquarius: The silver amulet on display in the jeweler's store. It is the center piece, resting safely behind a layer of freshly polished glass. When rays of sunlight pierce through the blinds, they are drawn to the magenta stone resting among the woven strands of metal. Many visitors have attempted to buy the amulet, but the jeweler refuses, not letting it out of its glass prison. And yet, everyday the store's window displays a sale, advertising the amulet at amazing prices. The jeweler insists that it is not for sale, shaking her head as her hands quiver wildly, gripping the case's keys until her knuckles turn white, her eyes filled with a primal sort of desperation.
  • Pisces: The aquarium. The billboards advertise dolphins, sharks, and seal shows. But every single tank contains the same animal. The aquarium is a room, with a ceiling that reaches 100 feet into the air, and walls made of endless rows of tanks. The water is a neon blue color; the single worker there explains that it's the result of microscopic plankton. His eyes are the same blue. Despite the endless signs warning against it, children tap at the glass, making the many-tentacled cephalopods open their beaks, and emit a bone-chilling cry. You're not sure how many there are; a closer look reveals that the tanks are all connected, with mile long tentacles wrapping around the entire aquarium.