he actually wrote that on top of the chair with sharpie

Sharpie Promises

Originally posted by escaped-ocelot

Raphael x Reader

Sharpie Promises

Note: I don’t know if I’ll publish this or not, but basically, I’m a ho for TMNT and soulmate AUs and I’ve never seen a TMNT Soulmate AU, so here you go. It’s the 2k14/2k16 turtles btw. Idk. I might do more of these if you guys like it.

Raphael wasn’t human. He had struggled with this, but had eventually come to terms with the fact. He didn’t have a soulmate and he wouldn’t ever find love. Not in a world full of humans. He tried to be all right with it. Keyword: tried.

It wasn’t until he was working out one day that he felt something cold and wet travelling across his left forearm. Just as quickly as it had started, it stopped. He removed his three-fingered hands from the weight he had been lifting and sat up to examine it.

Hi.

Messy black letters written in Sharpie. His green eyes narrowed. What was this? He had never felt or seen anything like this. But there it was, plain as day on his arm. He stared at it, afraid that the words would disappear, but no. They stayed right where they were. And then soon after, more appeared from nowhere, as though a ghost was writing on his arm with an invisible marker.

So, it’s like three in the morning here and I don’t know if I’m doing this right, but um, hi.

A long pause. Raph stared in amazement, too shocked to say anything.

You’re probably asleep, aren’t you? Dammit. Well, um…bye, I guess.

He had never run so fast in his life.

“Woah, woah, watch it!” Donnie raised his arms as Raph pushed his chair away from his station and grabbed a Sharpie, pulling off the cap between his teeth and scrawling in the empty space on his arm.

Wait.

***

Your heart raced as a response finally appeared.

Wait.

Big, messy letters that you could tell had been written in a rush.

I’m here. Who are you? What’s happening?

You stared at the letters, the handwriting. Your stomach dropped, the nerves kicking in. This was it. This was your soulmate. You had no idea how this worked. No one did, but it worked, and that was all that mattered. A magical pen-pal from far away, probably. Why anyone would be up at this ungodly hour besides you was beyond you. But now you had to reply. You turned over your arm to write back.

I’m (Y/N). Your soulmate, I think. I don’t know…this is what everyone else does, but I’ve always been too shy to try.

***

Soulmate.

Raph’s heart skipped a beat when the word was written on his arm. Soulmate. He had a soulmate. He actually had…Oh my God.

“Raph, are you crying?” Mikey asked, looking up at his older brother, whose eyes certainly looked a little misty.

“N-no. I just got dirt in my eye. Go away.” He sniffled and smiled.

“Whatcha doin’?” the youngest turtle looked over Raph’s shoulder and scanned a few words before he raised his arm far above Mikey’s head, but he had already seen it. Soulmate. “You…you have a soulmate?”

“I guess so.” Raph shrugged. By now, Donnie and Leo were paying attention to what was happening.

“You have a what?” Donnie’s head snapped around. He pulled down Raph’s arm to examine it. But there it was, plain as day. What the internet described as a ‘soulmate exchange’. “I didn’t think it was scientifically possible for you…for us to have…”

“Are you serious?” Leo came over to look.

“What do I look like? A freakin’ museum?” Raph snapped. “Now go away. I gotta write ‘er back.” The others gave him some space as he walked over to the couch and sat down, the tip of the Sharpie hovering over his green arm.

Soulmate, huh? Did think I had one of those. Name’s Raphael. Nice to meet ya.

***

What are you, a renaissance artist? Lol JK

Something like that.

So where are you from, Mr. Renaissance Artist?

New York, New York.

Seattle, Washington. Well, this might be a little complicated, huh?

Something like that…

***

You wrote to Raphael until the sun came up and then you crashed. You had thought it was a dream until you saw the words written there the next morning. You had a soulmate. His name was Raphael. He was from New York.

But at least he existed. It could be a lot worse.

It wasn’t until about noon, three o’clock there, that you wrote to him again, after having wiped your arm off to give you more room to write.

Good morning.

You wake up at noon?

Only when I’m up until sunrise talking to my soulmate.

Fair enough.

So how’s your day been?

Overwhelming.

Fair enough.

***

Leo, Donnie, and Mikey were all bunched behind Raphael to watch.

“Go away!”

“Dude, we just wanna watch.” Mikey whined.

“Go! Away!”

“All right, sheesh,” Donnie walked back to his lab, and Leo and Mikey reluctantly walked away.

So…

He wrote.

What’cha wanna talk about?

I don’t know.

What’s it like in Seattle?

Rainy. What’s it like in New York?

Noisy. He replied, a smirk spreading across his scarred lips. How old are you?

Seventeen.

Same.

Nice. How tall are you?

Like 6’5”-ish.

Holy shit! You’re gonna have to bend down to kiss me.

Kiss you. He was going to kiss you. Eventually. A new concept. Butterflies spread through his stomach, but he tried to play it off.

You a shorty?

Compared to you, yeah. Always had a thing, for tall guys, though. No worries. ;)

He smiled.

Got any hobbies? You asked.

Ninjitsu, bein’ a giant mutant turtle, etc…

Uh, I knit sometimes. And I work out. A lot.

Mr. Muscles the Knitting Renaissance Artist. You keep getting better and better.

So what do you do for fun, Shorty in Seattle?

Oh you know, read, write, spend ungodly amounts of time on the internet.

Sounds fun.

It is. So, anyways, I’ve been looking into New York travel recently (and by recently I mean right now immediately) for reasons, you know. Anyway, what area of New York should I travel to in…ten months when I go to college (that I’ve just applied to) there?

***

After a long day of talking to you and patrolling and trying to work out, Raph was exhausted. He laid in his top bunk, reading your ramble with a smile.

After replying, he knew it was time to go to sleep.

I’m wiped. I gotta sleep.

Oh, okay. Goodnight Raph.

Night, (nickname).

I love you.

His heart skipped a beat.

I love you too.

I can’t wait to meet you.

Already countin’ down the days, babe.

Me too.

***

Weeks later, you got an idea.

So, theoretically, if I were to Skype you, would you pick up?

I don’t have a Skype.

I want to hear your voice.

I can call you, if you want. I just don’t do video chats?

Why?

Because I’m a giant freaking mutant turtle and I don’t want my soulmate to hate and/or be afraid of me.

I want to see you for the first time in person.

All right then. Here’s my number.

You waited in bated breath for your phone to ring, and then suddenly it did. Your thumb hovered above the accept button. You felt like your whole body was trembling.

“Hey there.” You could hear the shaking in your voice. He chuckled, and already you loved the sound of his laugh.

“Hey yourself,”

“Oh my God, I love your voice.” You gushed.

“I love yours too, shorty.”

“Aaaaah! Your accent is so hot!”

“Heh, yeah.” He smiled.

“Ooh, are you talking to (Y/N)?” Mikey asked. “Can I say hi?”

“No, you can’t. Shoo.”

“Who’s that?” You asked.

“My little brother.” Mikey tried to reach up and grab Raph’s phone, but he squirmed away from him. “Mikey, go away!”

“But-!”

“Go away!”

“I wanna say hi to your girlfriend!!”

“Mikey, leave Raph alone.” Leo smirked from across the lair. The youngest brother left, deflated.

“Sorry ‘bout that. Where were we?”

“I was gushing over your very attractive voice, Mr. Muscles.”

“Ah. Right.” He tried not to blush and failed miserably. A slow smirk snuck across his lips. “I love you.”

“I love you too!”

***

“Did you get it yet?” Raph called you a few months before you were supposed to arrive. As the day approached, he got more and more anxious. You would be here in New York and he wouldn’t be able to skirt around the truth anymore. He was a giant turtle and you were a human girl. It wasn’t going to work out.

But nonetheless, he had sent you something. Something to remember him by if it didn’t work out, he supposed.

“It came in today! I haven’t opened it yet, though. I’m going to right now. Give me a sec, I’m gonna put you on speaker.”

“All right.” Raph listened as you set down your phone and put him on speaker. Then came the noise of you cutting the tape and opening the small cardboard box and sifting through the tissue paper.

“Oh my gosh! It’s amazing! I love it! You really made this?”

“I did.” He smirked. You held up the perfect little pendant. A polished wooden turtle that Raphael had carved himself. It hung from a simple twine string. You put it on immediately, tying the necklace around your neck. You let your fingers run over all of the intricate little grooves.

“I’m never taking it off, I hope you know that.”

“I’m flattered.” He chuckled. “I can’t wait to see how it looks on ya.”

“I can’t wait to see you.”

A nervous little laugh.

“Yeah. Pretty soon, now.”

“It couldn’t come soon enough.” You smiled warmly. “It’s late. I’m gonna get some sleep. Exams tomorrow and then I’m out of school for the summer. And then, only two months until I get to see you.”

“Well, you rest up, shorty. Get good grades. I don’t want ya to fail.”

“Good night. I love you.”

“I love ya too. Night.”

When he hung up, he stared at the ceiling. God, what was he gonna do?

***

You were full of jitters when you landed in New York two short months later. The time had crawled by so slow, but you passed the time. And now you were here, the center of the modern world.

“I’m here! I just landed! When do you want to meet up?”

“Um, how about you get settled? Go to your apartment or whatever. I’ll come over tonight.”

“Okay.” Your heart raced. “Okay. I’ll see you then. I’ll uh, get you the address once I find it.”

“Sounds like a plan. Stay safe. I’ll see ya tonight.”

“See you.” When you hung up, Raph started to pace through the lair.

“I’m going to see her tonight. Oh my God. She’s gonna find out I’m a giant turtle and she’s gonna hate me.”

“Statistically, after ten months of-”

“No more science bulllshit, Don! I’m a freak! She’s gonna run screamin’ and I’ll never see her again!”

“It’ll be fine, Raph. You’re over reacting. As usual.” Leo’s tone was cool, annoyed. “She loves you. We’d have to be blind not to see that.”

“I guess we’ll find out tonight, huh?” He slumped onto the couch, a deep dread setting in. Tonight was not going to be pretty. He knew it.

***

After you had unpacked and met your roommate, a very nice woman named April who had been searching for a roommate for some time now, you called Raph and gave him an address. He asked about how things were and so you told him about your roommate. He chuckled. Well, that might make things a little easier. He told you he wasn’t far and he would be over in a few.

“Who’s that?” April asked after you hung up.

“My soulmate. He’s the reason I moved here, actually. He’s coming here if that’s okay.”

“More than fine with me.” She smiled. “What’s his name?”

“Raphael.” You told her. Her face lit up in surprise. Now the turtle necklace she had complimented you on when you walked in made a whole lot of sense. She doubted that you knew why though.

So this was the (Y/N) he had talked about. His soulmate. Shorty from Seattle.

“Nice name.”

“I know, right?” Your phone buzzed. “Oh my God, it’s him.”

“Hey babe, come outside.” You stood there in confusion for a second. “Fire escape.”

“Oh, okay. I’ll be down in a sec.” You nodded, tucking the phone away. Your heart raced as you climbed out the window and down the metal fire escape to the alley below. There, in the shadows stood a very tall, very large silhouette.

“Hey there.” It was him. His voice. In person. “I uh, I need ya to promise me something, gorgeous.”

“What?”

“Just…p-promise you won’t scream.”

“Why would I-?”

“Promise.”

“I promise.” You stated certainly.

“I, uh, I ain’t exactly…normal.”

“I love you, Raph.”

“You won’t when you see me.” His voice was quiet as all of his insecurities came to the surface.

“Raphael,” You reached out for him, hand forward for a long few moments until his three-fingered green one met it, pressing against it like Tarzan and Jane. Something familiar and something foreign. You gasped quietly, but when he moved to pull away, you gripped one of his large fingers. “Please.”

He let out a long sigh, considering bolting then and there, but he gave in and took a few slow, heavy steps out of the dark to where you could see him. Your soulmate was a giant mutant turtle. He waited for the sting of rejection, for the tears of disappointment streaming down your cheeks, but they never came. Instead, you pulled his muscular arms around yourself, clinging to him as though this was your last chance. He held you tight against his plastron, his knees giving out in the wave of relief that washed over him. Raph buried his face in the crook of your neck, and you felt hot tears against your skin.

Thank you.” A broken whisper from his scarred lips. “Thank you.”

“I love you.” You kissed his cheek and then his forehead, and you lifted his face to look at the green face under the tattered red bandana.

“All ‘uh this don’t bug you?” He asked, tear-filled green eyes searching yours. “You don’t care that I’m a freak?”

“You’re not a freak, Raphael.” The feeling of your soft skin against his face drove him up the wall in the best possible way. “Not to me.”

“Are ya just sayin’ that because I’m your soulmate?”

“I mean it.” You locked eyes with him and he felt as though you were staring into his soul. His smile was the most gorgeous thing you had ever seen. Curiosity sparked behind your eyes as you examined every inch of him, taking him in. “What are you?”

There wasn’t hatred or fear in your voice, only awe.

“I’m a mutant. A turtle. Hence the uh-” he motioned to the necklace around your neck. “That.”

“I love turtles,” You whispered as you kissed his snout. You were so close. So close he could just about…

You closed the gap between you, pressing a soft kiss to his lips. He didn’t know how to respond, but followed his instincts and tried his hardest to kiss you back. His large hands held your hips and your small hands framed his jaw before moving to his shoulders, fingers gently searching the terrain of his shell.

When you finally pulled away from him, you looked at him for a long time.

“Hey do you wanna come up for pizza?” April called down from the apartment window.

“Yeah, sure April. Are the guys coming?”

“Just got off the phone with Leo. They’re on their way.”

“Wait, you two know eachother?” You asked. Raph smiled and shrugged, finally getting to his feet and taking you with him. God, he was so tall.

“We go way back.” April smiled. “I named him.”

“What?”

“Long story. Come on, shorty.” He picked you up off of the ground as if you weighed nothing and carried you on his hip, your feet dangling a foot in the air. “’Bout time you met my brothers, huh?”

***

After you had met his brothers and enjoyed some celebratory pizza, the six of you had settled down to watch a movie. At the moment, Raph was spread out on the couch with you laying on top of him and a cozy red blanket draped over both of you. He nuzzled into your neck as your hands traced gentle circles on his plastron.

“I love you, Raphael.” You kissed his jaw. He hummed contentedly.

“I love you too, soulmate.” The word had never sounded so right.

@turtllinis @turtimagines @turtlebaes @anetteshortie @imagineninjaturtles @imaginetmnt @totally-turtle-imagines @immortal-turtles

“Don't Worry Mom, My Boyfriend Isn't Give Me a Homemade Tattoo” Grayson Dolan

“Don’t Worry Mom, My Boyfriends Not Giving Me a Homemade Tattoo” Summary: Y/N gets a homemade tattoo by the lovely Grayson Dolan 

 Warnings: None, talk about needles but that’s really it 

 a/n: I wrote this because my dumb ass got myself a homemade tattoo and I was reminded of the Instagram photo he posted of Ethan giving him one so, here ya go. I feel like this might be kind of a weird plot but.. I mean.. 

“I can’t believe I’m letting you do this to me”, your forehead in your palm and your wrist in his hand.

Grayson smirked slightly and looked up at you through his long eyelashes.  “You are the one who wanted this”.

“Yeah I know”. You breathed heavily and leaned back in the chair that Grayson had instructed you to sit down in. Grayson was currently sterilizing your wrist, ready to give you the stick and poke tattoo that as of about 15 minutes ago, you didn’t even really want. You and Grayson were getting ready to go to bed when you started tracing the lines on his tattoos, when you got to the one that Ethan had given him a while back. “Did it hurt?”

“Hell yeah it did”, he chuckled a little bit on how dumb it was that he got it in the first place.

You continued going over it with your fingers, slowing putting Grayson to sleep.

“Give me one”.

His eyes shot open. “What?”

You looked at his now very alert face, “I want one”.

He sat up slightly, you following, leaving the place you had on his chest. “Are you sure? I mean it was really last minute and it really fucking hurts”.

You laughed slightly. “Yes I’m sure”. You moved yourself so you were straddling him, arms wrapped around his neck. “I’m a big girl”, you moved your face a little closer to his. “I’m sure I can handle the pain”

This calmed him down a bit and he chuckled and said, “Alright, if you insist. But if I hurt you, you’re not aloud to hurt me”

So here you were. In one of Grayson’s shirts, him still in his grey sweats, a needle only a few inches away from your skin, ready to ink a heart into your wrist that really had no meaning to you except for maybe the fact that Grayson was the one to give it to you. You couldn’t stand to look at it, so you focused on a picture that was hung on the wall. It’s not that you had a fear of needles, you just naturally prefered when one wasn’t in your skin.  “Please don’t fuck up”.

He was currently outlining where the heart would go in Sharpie. “Your lack of hope in me is insulting”, he was joking but you could tell from the tone in his voice that he was concentrated, on not doing just that. ‘How’s that?”

You looked at where Grayson had just been tracing, and there sat a small heart, nothing special, but you liked it. “Yeah that’s cute”.

“Okay”, he reached for the needle that was currently attached to a special and thread. “This is how much of the needle is going into your skin”, he put the needle closer to your face could see a good half an inch sticking out, you grimaced at the sight. “I haven’t started yet so if you are going to back out at anytime, it should be now”.

You looked at him directly in the eye, seriously thinking about backing out now that you’ve actually seen the needle and seen the mark that would permanently be on your skin. You took a deep breath and closed your eyes, “just kiss me first”.

Grayson laughed slightly and leaned over to kiss you, calming you almost immediately. “Ready”, he asked taking his spot back on the stool he was positioned at earlier, picking up

“No, but go anyways”, you now had your face in your palm, blocking your view of what was happening.

The first poke took you off guard, “ahh”. It wasn’t really a scream, more of a surprised release of breath. You pulled your face off of your palm and looked at Grayson with your mouth open.

“I told you”, he defended himself. “Do you want me to keep going”, he reached his hand over to put the needle on a nearby table, almost sure that you were going to say you didn’t want to do it anymore.

“No!” Grayson opened his mouth wide at your eagerness. You closed your eyes and let out a breath. “Just please go as fast as you can”.

Grayson kissed your wrist, “Alright”, he placed the needle right next to where he poked you earlier, “here we go”.

The pain hurt, but it was tolerable. You found that not looking at it caused it to hurt more, so you made sure to keep your eye on the needle and on Grayson. He got to a really sensitive part on the very top of your wrist and you couldn’t help but let out a whimper. Gryson looked up at you for a second and then back at your wrist, “I’m almost done baby girl”. It felt slower than it actually was, and by the time he was done you were nearly covered in sweat.

“Alright”, he said leaning back to examine his work. “Done”.

You breathed out through your mouth and brought your wrist closer to your face to look at it.

“Like it?” He looked hopeful and he pulled your wrist back down dragging a sanitary wipe over it, which didn’t sting as bad as you thought it would.

“Yeah, I love it”, you scooted forward so you were closer to his face and he wrapped his arms around your waist, smiling, relieved that you liked it. “I hate you for that though”.

He pulled back with his hands in the air, “hey, I warned you, this is all on you”.

You laughed and brought your hands to his face, his finding where they originally had been. “I know, I’m joking”. You finally kissed him, relieved to feel a sensation that was claiming instead of painful. You pulled back, “but I never want you to do it again”.

He laughed, “faire enough”.

After wiping your wrist again with a sanitary wipe and placing saran wrap over it, he took you back to bed. You laid down next to him, placing your head comfortably on his chest and placing your wrist above you head, staring at the ink shaped heart. “You did really good”.

He smiled and kissed the top of your head. “Thank you. You did too. You handled the pain really well”.

You scoffed. “Are you kidding me, I almost vomited”. He chuckled above you, causing you to smile.

“Well thank you for not doing that, I would have felt bad”.

You snuggled closer into his torso, intertwining your legs with his and snaking your arm around his waist. Slowing his fingers danced up and down your arm, calming you. “Thank you”, you murmured, eyes still closed and head still placed on his chest.

“Anytime, love. Go to sleep”. You let out a content sigh and snuggled closer once more. You slowly fell asleep to the sound of his heartbeat, leaving the mark on your wrist with some sort of meaning.

Epilogue: Funny Little Frog

I wrote an epilogue to Over the Garden Wall. 

Spoilers, of course.

(Title taken from this song, which I was listening to a lot the other day. It really makes me think of this show and of Wirt especially. :) )

Keep reading

7 Days -Niall

Niall lazily drew the tips of his fingers up and down my stomach, leaving a large amount of goose bumps all over my body. “What’s your wildest sexual fantasy?” I asked him, curious.
He smiled a boyish grin at me and shook his head, moving his hand from my stomach to my hip. “You don’t want to know.”
“But I do.” I paused, looking at his dancing eyes. “Tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine.”
“Fine, don’t laugh.” He laid his head on his free hand, all supported by his elbow. I looked at him longingly, waiting for him to tell me. I was genuinely curious, and you know, it could be quite a bit of fun. Hot sexy, fun. Unless he had a foot fetish, not fun. But, by judging by our previous experiences he didn’t show any signs of it.

Keep reading

Day 3: Building a Snowman

Hi guys! So I’m really sorry that this is so rushed, but I had some really important stuff to do today, and I still wanted to get this out because I really like it.   Thank you to @rainelily who (again) read through to make sure everything was alright with it.  I hope you enjoy THE SNOWMAN WAR. 

Day 2: Sleigh Rides 

Jack loved snow.  He loved the crunch of it, loved the way it could be easily shaped into whatever he wanted but also completely destroyed on a whim.  He loved fresh snow, undisturbed and thick beneath his feet.

While walking through the park that day, he kicked at it as he walked, making it spray everywhere in shimmering clouds.

Sighing, he stopped, looking around at the peace of the afternoon.  The park was mostly deserted when he walked home, so he wasn’t surprised to find only a single woman sitting on a bench several feet away, probably waiting for someone.  

He shifted his gaze to his right where a large portion of the snowy ground lie undisturbed.  He had the uncontrollable urge to fuck it up, to see the pristine beauty turned into manmade chaos.

Ignoring the woman on the bench who was giving him strange looks, he trudged into the open area.  He bent to scoop up a chunk of snow.  Packing it into a ball, he decided that it would be the perfect start to building a snowman.

An hour later, Jack took a step back to examine his handiwork.  His snowman had ridiculously short arms and his eyes and mouth were made of acorns because he couldn’t find anything else lying around, but he was quite proud of the little thing.

He smiled and patted the snowman’s head before dusting his clothes off and stepping back onto the path. He had a bounce in his step as he continued on his way home, but continued to kick snow into the air.

*

Jack took a different route home than he did to work, mainly because he liked to take his time and relax as he was walking home.  He generally chose to take a detour through the park in the afternoons and it was because of this that he did not see what had become of his snowman that morning.  

Strolling through the park again, Jack came across the same woman that had occupied the bench the day before.  He decided to be polite and smile at her and she returned that smile with a grin of her own. When he turned from the woman to look at his snowman, Jack froze in his tracks.  Irritation immediately surging through his chest.

The head of his snowman had been removed and placed at the base of a larger snowman someone had built right next to it.  The larger snowman had been formed with a scowl on its face and beside the head of Jack’s snowman was a cardboard sign with the words “Your snowman sucks, mine is better” scribbled in horrid handwriting.

Jack couldn’t believe his eyes.  How could someone be so childish as to destroy a stranger’s snowman?

He looked over at the woman, “Did you do this?”

She looked offended “Sir, I don’t have time for such childish things.” She sniffed and turned her head, set on ignoring Jack as he crossed his arms and looked back over at his destroyed work.

Huffing, Jack stomped over to the pile of snow shit and set about kicking holes into it.  He then wrote “RIP, Fucker” on the back of the cardboard the stranger had used with a pen he kept in his back pocket before propping it up where it had previously been.

Making sure the snowman was completely destroyed, he set about carefully dismantling his own and making three new ones.  He didn’t have another piece of cardboard or anything, so he gathered up as many sticks as he possibly could and broke them into tiny pieces.  

Each of his new snowmen would hold two words on the middle sections.  The first one held the words “EAT A” the second one “BIG BAG” and the third he finished off with “OF DICKS.”

Satisfied with his work and the appalled look on the woman’s face, he set off toward home again.  How dare someone fuck with his snowman?

*

He was almost eager to return to the park after work the next day.  He had come prepared with a sharpie and piece of cardboard to scribble crude writing across it if the need arose.

Jack wasn’t surprised to find that the stranger had gone to the trouble of actually splashing red liquid over the destroyed snow to make it look like an actual massacre.  He was on Jack’s mental child level, apparently.

Off to the side of the scene a bit was an arrow made out of some of the sticks he used the day before, guiding him away from the snowman battles to another area in which there were already four tiny snowmen set into a line.  The stranger decided to use the foreheads of the tiny snowmen to convey the message this time.  Each snowman held one word, “YOU WANNA GO BRUH?”

Jack kicked the face of each snowman off and set about building his own.  He created two, the one on the left contained a crude drawing of a hand flipping off the four fallen snowmen and the other held the cardboard sign with the words “COME AT ME SCRUBLORD, I’M RIPPED.”  

Smiling and laughing at his own work, Jack walked away, happily anticipating what the stranger would do next.  

*

The following day, Jack skipped to the spot of the war, but his shoulders slumped at the sight of only a single, simple snowman standing in the spot he had set his snowmen up yesterday. Where had all of this guy’s creativity gone?   Obviously, the fun was over.

Despite the guy being an ass, he had enjoyed the back and forth banter that he and this random person had been doing.  It brightened up his dull days.

At the base of the snowman was the cardboard that Jack had written on, but it was flipped to the other side.  The words “LET’S SETTLE THIS LIKE MEN” were scribbled in chicken scratch across the top with an address and time at the bottom.

Jack nodded and headed in the direction of the address. The asshole wanted to meet him? Fine.  Jack would just have to find entertainment elsewhere on his walks home.

The note had given the address to Jack’s favorite coffee shop.  The shop wasn’t his favorite because of the hot guy behind the counter, it just had amazing coffee and he would keep telling himself that until the day he was put into his grave.

When he pushed the doors open, he closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, causing the hot barista and the one other customer in the shop to give him odd looks.  Jack didn’t care, coffee sounded splendid at the moment.

He headed for his usual table, the one in the back behind the unnecessarily high-backed chair.  If he sat directly behind it, Jack could happily prop his feet up on the chair beside him and lean his back against the window behind him.  No one would even know he was there.

As he was sitting down, he expecting the hot guy to come and take his order like he usually did, but he didn’t and he happened to notice that the guy kept looking between him, the door, and the clock on the wall as he distractedly bustled about cleaning the counter.

Wait….no way.

Eventually, he tore the apron off of himself, calling out to his coworker, “Dan!  Time for shift change!  I gotta go, man.  Bye!” Grinning, he threw the apron at the face of his unsuspecting coworker who had come out of the back room at his call.

Jack sees him hesitate for a moment, obviously debating, before walking over to his table and bluntly asking, “Are you the snowman guy?”

In a bit of shock, Jack could only nod dumbly as the barista smiled at him and sat across from him in the chair that wasn’t occupied by Jack’s feet.

“I knew you would be hot.” He commented, inspecting Jack, “My name’s Mark and I destroyed your snowman because it sucked.”

“Jack, and I destroyed your snowman because you’re an ass.” He was blushing so furiously that he could feel a tingle in his ears.

“Look, I know we’ve been flirting back and forth for three days, but can I apologize profusely for being a dick by taking you out on a date?”

Jack shook his head to clear it but eventually found himself accepting the offer, “You realize you’re going to have to take me on a lot of dates for destroying all of my hard work?”

“That’s a chance I’m willing to take.  How about I start my apologies by teaching you how to make the best snowman ever? We can make it together.”

Jack rolled his eyes but smiled despite himself.  Asshole. “Throw in some coffee and you’ve got yourself a deal.”

Down for the Count - Chapter Five

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Lucy took another bite of her toast as she peered skeptically at the closed door to the mudroom. Someone was showering in there and that was odd, because the only reason anyone used the shower in there was to wash Petey, and Petey was sitting at her feet, thumping his long tail against the floor in hopes that the toast would somehow become bacon and that Lucy would then share the bacon. He was prepared to settle for a bite of toast, though, if that was all that was on offer. She lifted her hand to knock but then let it drop again. It could be one of her brothers in there, and she knew better than to interrupt either of them in the shower. They spent hours in there, even though they both denied it.

On the lookout for other unusual signs, she went back into the kitchen and dumped a scoop of dog food in Petey’s bowl before sitting at the table. Except for the unknown showerer, she was the first one up which wasn’t that odd for a Sunday morning. It was actually reassuring that everything was normal, after a week of definitely not normal. Petey nosed her leg and she gave him the last bite of her toast. That was normal too. He always could count on her for a treat.

The water shut off and Lucy leaned in her chair to see down the hall. A few minutes later, time spent petting the dog, her father walked out of the mudroom in a t-shirt and track pants.

That was definitely not normal.

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