“I miss you.” He
groaned down the phone, clearly half asleep.
“I miss you too.” I
snuggled a little further into my bed. “Time
you flying back?”
dunno. Whenever they wake me up. My heads gone, Lulu. Barely know where I am.”
in New York.” I
told him through a giggle.
Even though he was due back in London the next day, our work schedules weren’t allowing us to spend time together, even
had over a month without seeing each other, just texts and phone-calls whenever
he had the time.
It was what I’d
been expecting, but it definitely wasn’t
“Okay. Then London. London after that, yeah?”
“Gunna try my best to sneak off and come see you,
okay? I can’t
promise anything but I’ll
I knew he only had a day or so in London before he flew back out to the states,
so although he said he was going to try, I didn’t
even allow myself to get excited over the thought of seeing him. I knew it
wouldn’t happen, no matter how much we both wanted it
tried not to sound too disheartened. “Nearly
“Don’t.” He sighed.
The closer it got to his album being released, the more nervous he became. It
was just two short days away, and he pretty much refused to talk about it. The
had to the single was more than we’d
ever expected it to be, review after review pouring in praising the song to the
high heavens, but if anything, it had just made him worse.
He was feeling the pressure like a literal weight on his body.
gunna be great, Harry. Don’t
worry about it. Besides, the most important thing is that you love it, and you’re
proud of it. This is music is for you. No one else.”
“Sent you a copy.” He
yawned, eager to stay awake for as long as he could since we hadn’t spoken over the phone for days.
“Mm. The vinyl. You should get it tomorrow so… a day earlier than most.”
“Harry, you didn’t
have to do that.”
“I wanted to. I mean… it’s
possible you play a bit of a role in the album so…
you deserve it.”
Shock silenced me for a short while, bolting upright in bed, thinking he was
just joking with me and he was about to burst out laughing. I should have known
he’d was too tired to make any kind of joke, he
could barely speak! But Harry was good at cracking a joke at the most
inconvenient of times, I just figured this was another one.
“Harry, this is the point where you tell me you’re joking!”
fucking warning you!”
“Lulu, your voice is loud. Shush. My ears, they’re delicate. M’tired.”
pretty sure it’s
the afternoon where you are.”
“Been up since four though.”
STILL NOT TOLD ME YOU’RE
“Track one.” He
replied, unable to lift his tone to match mine. “It’s yours.”
“Meet Me in the Hallway?”
“Awh. You know the track-list! I fucking love
I could picture it perfectly, the dopey smile on his face as sleep crept closer
and closer. It somehow made me soften, becoming less agitated.
But not entirely.
“Harry, you must be bullshitting me.” I exhaled. “You
wrote the album after we’d
met once, for the first time in six
“But it wasn’t
just any old person, was it? It was you!”
“I told you you’d
always been on my mind.”
“Well, what are the lyrics?”
have to wait and see.”
about… if you had ever
turned around, and asked me to be there, I would have been. If you had ever… said you wanted me, I would have been yours.
Six years ago. Three years ago. Now. Never changed.”
I pretty much collapsed after that, falling back down onto my bed and slapping
my free hand against my forehead, wondering how it was possible that Harry had
felt so intensely for me all those years.
But what I had to understand was that we were in completely different
positions. For me, Harry gone off, practically forgotten about his old life and
his old friends, and was elevated to this level of fame where I felt like I had
to completely disassociate myself from him. He became like some kind of myth,
rather than someone I’d
once been close to.
But for Harry, he’d
been thrust into this completely different life so quickly, that I became a
representation of something he used to have, someone he used to like. I became
this almost shimmering memory to him, something he found himself longing for. I
guess maybe he felt like something that could have been was snatched from him
before he knew what was happening. Whilst I was trying to forget him, he was
Of course we’d
view things differently. That’s
what happens with two people who live completely separate lives. The world can
look completely different to two different people. Memories can be completely
different for two people.
I lay there for a while, trying to find the right words to say.
There were only three that made sense.
“I love you.”
I didn’t get a reply, which at first made me furrow my
brows, confused as to why I wasn’t
getting an answer from him.
I figured it out pretty quickly.
“Haz? You asleep?” I
heard him breathing, but nothing else. “Goodnight,
“What the hell has been going on with you?” Katherine asked, the rest of the girls all
leaning forward in eager anticipation to hear my answer. “Feels like we’ve
barely seen you.”
going on.” I
lied, terribly. “I’ve just been…
been going home more than usual.” I
thought on my feet. “Y’know what my mums like. She gets well lonely and
like… I just wanted to go and keep her company.”
“Maybe you should get her a dog or something.”
got three cats! That’ll
have to do.”
I knew they wouldn’t
quiz me for too long, because they knew full well that I was a bit of a closed
book. I barely ever opened up to them anyway, so it wasn’t like they could see any difference in how I
I was thankful for that, really. I loved and trusted my friends endlessly, but
I still didn’t
want to tell them what was going on between myself and Harry. It was still
early days really, no matter how intense it was, no matter how deep our
feelings. It wasn’t
something that could just be innocent gossip, there were bound to be repercussions
of people knowing. It felt best to just keep things quiet for as long as we
physically could. We were already facing enough challenges without other people
breathing down our necks.
But there were certain downsides to people not knowing, and I was about to
encounter one of them.
“Guys, I have some news.” Ella sighed.
It was me, Kat, Ella and Gabby. Or, the ‘core
four’ as we liked to call ourselves. I’d gone to uni with Gabby and Kat, and we’d picked up Ella at some point along the way
after bumping into her numerous times on various nights down the pub. They were
The three of us sat forward, eager for her to continue, but a little worried
thanks to the tone in her voice.
When I saw she had tears in her eyes, my worry turned to dread, my stomach fell
to the floor.
“Tom broke up with me.” She trembled.
“Fuck. Off.” I
gawped. “Fuck off. You’re
“He did it yesterday.”
having me on? There’s
no fucking way!”
She shrugged, the tears finally spilling and Kat pulled her under her wing
immediately, Ella hiding her face and sobbing uncontrollably.
The three of us looked at each other wide eyed, trying to grasp at what she’d just told us because it literally didn’t commute. Her and Tom had been together for
all been squealing about how we were expecting him to propose any day for months. I had always said, for as long
as I could remember, that my aim in life was to find a boy who looked at me the
way Tom looked at Ella.
I was utterly convinced they were perfect for each other.
It was kind of earth shattering for us, in that moment. We’d never known her without Tom. We never thought
we would. And if that’s
how we were feeling, I couldn’t
imagine what she was feeling.
It was a while before she calmed down enough to lift her head back up and face
our sad little faces again, and I was just waiting for Gabby to crack a joke,
because that was exactly what she was good at and it was exactly the right
thing to put a smile on Ella’s
face, no matter how inappropriate the joke.
fuming because I had money on you being the first one of us to get married. For
god sake. What a let-down.”
Me and Kat laughed awkwardly, whereas Ella laughed appreciatively, wiping away
her final few tears and trying to compose herself.
“Did he say why?” I
“I think this is the worst part.” She sighed.
“If he cheated on you, I will literally murder
him.” Kat scowled, and I wasn’t entirely convinced she was joking.
“No. He just…
fell out of love with me.” I
thought I could hear her heart breaking as she said that. “No real reason behind it. Nothing happened.
Nothing changed. He just…
stopped loving me. He seemed just as gutted about it as I am but… it just happens, doesn’t it?”
All I could think in that moment was that I was absolutely baffled that anyone,
in any situation, could manage to make a relationship work.
I think the only reason I wasn’t
completely cynical and against the entire idea of relationship was because my
parents had been so happy together before my father passed away. They loved
each other so much.
But I couldn’t
help but start thinking about how hard relationships were, even in really
normal situations. It takes work to be with someone, and Ella was sat there in
front of me telling us all that there was actually no good reason behind their
break up, no argument, no cheating. Their relationship hadn’t spiralled out of control or ended bitterly… it just faded,
disappeared in front of their eyes even though it was the last thing they
the kind of thing you can’t
fight. You can’t
work through something like that.
I felt sick. I felt so, so sick.
“That’s fucking horrible.” Kat shivered.
“I could tell that it killed him, telling me. It
was horrifying. I wish… he’d done something to me. I wish he’d cheated or…
just done something so I could be
angry at him, but he hasn’t.
He just doesn’t
love me anymore.”
so sorry, El.” I reached
out and took her hand in mine. “What
we can do to cheer you up?”
“Can we just get very drunk and talk to lots of
“You sure about that?” I cringed. “Most
men are awful. It’s
only going to make you feel worse.”
“I probably need reminding that men are awful, to
“Okay, well, good news,” Gabby grinned. “Those
lads at the bar look like absolute wankers, and there’s four of them, which gives us one each. Now we’re all single and lonely. Lulu, wave them over.”
go get them.”
Kat squealed, jumping up to her feet.
The girls would often try to pair me off with men we met on nights out, and
they failed miserably every single time. I was thankful for that, because it
meant that it wouldn’t
be irregular for me not to show any of them attention, but I still didn’t want to go through with it. I usually humoured
the girls a little by flirting, at least, even when I knew nothing would come
of it, but I knew I wasn’t
even going to do that. I couldn’t.
It just wouldn’t
I was praying they wouldn’t
pick up on it.
I watched awkwardly as Kat chatted to them briefly, pointing our way, and they
definitely looked intrigued by us.
“Fuck sake.” I
look that bad.” Gabby lied to herself. “The blonde one is kinda cute.”
shook my head.
“Why do you never go off with any of the boys we
pick for you? You’ve
never had a one night stand, Lulu, and you really should.”
“Because you all have terrible choice in men,
basically. And I don’t
want one, thanks!”
For a moment, I craved a regular relationship, one where I could openly tell my
friends what was happening without having to worry. I wished I could just tell
them that I wasn’t
interested because I was actually in love with someone.
But it was Harry who I was in love with, and Harry brought drama and attention,
two things I really didn’t
want to put up with. I got enough bother just by knowing him.
I wished for some normality, just for a moment.
Ella sulked, and it was clear that she was trying to convince herself that Tom
was awful when we all bloody knew he wasn’t.
It wasn’t long before Kat was walking back over with the
boys trailing quietly behind her, giving each other looks as if they thought
they were really in there with us.
I shuffled around to make room, for them, scraping my stool across the floor to
get as close to Ella and as far away from the boys as physically possible.
“Guys, this is Tom, Thomas and Tim.”
“You have to be fucking kidding me.” I mumbled to myself, as quietly as I could.
“All very similar names.” Gabby spoke loudly, not shying away like I was.
believe you. Are you fake naming us?”
They began chatting casual back and forth, adamant that they weren’t fake naming us and adamant that we got a
bottle of wine for the table.
Ella leaned in closer to me, speaking quietly so only I could take in what she
“You have to teach me how to flirt,” She whispered. “Because
I have no idea.”
“You think I do?” I
squealed as quietly as I could. “Do
you know me at all? I’m uselesss.
I have you even seen the colour my cheeks go when I’m even near to an attractive person?”
“Oh my god I’m
going to die alone. Oh my god.” She panicked. “Please
die alone with me.”
I nodded, and took her hand in mine beneath the table, slotting our fingers
together and squeezing her hand tightly, hoping the action with help her to
hold back tears, and it seemed to.
In my desperate crave for a little bit of normality, I took my eyes to look at
Ella, thinking of how much I trusted the girl and how that if I was going to
tell anyone, it would have to be her. All I could think about was that it would
be nice to speak with someone about my boyfriend, someone other than my bloody
mother who I knew wasn’t
100% on the idea of it anyway. I wanted to have even just one person who knew
about my relationship, just so I could talk about things and have someone there
who could understand the position I was in.
Besides, it felt like the drama of my announcement might be something that
could distract her from her current misery.
“You wanna go for lunch tomorrow?” I offered. “We
need a catch up.”
She smiled. “Let’s get through tonight first.”
I let out a big sigh and nodded, the two of us dreading the evening ahead but
not quite willing to admit it.
So we endured it. We endured the shit chat-up lines and we endured the mindless
conversations, and we both endured our whirring minds that kept returning to
boys who weren’t
by our sides, and weren’t
going to be by our sides any time soon.
The room was spinning when I landed on my bed and stared up to my ceiling,
hiccupping loudly and feeling a little bit sick.
It didn’t take me long to reach the conclusion that it
was a wonderful idea to give Harry a call, because of course he’d
want to speak to me at three o’clock
in the morning when his sleeping pattern was already in tatters and I wouldn’t even remember it the next day. Ideal time to
But all I knew was I wanted to hear his voice.
The glow of my phone somehow made me even dizzier as I scrolled through my
calls until I found his name, tapping and then putting him on speaker before
placing my phone on my chest, closing my eyes, and listening to the dial tone.
It didn’t last long.
“Mm’ello?” Harry groaned, and it was obvious I’d just woke him up.
“HI I LOVE YOU!”
I managed to get a laugh out of him instantly, when really, I’d just been expecting him to groan and ask me
why the hell I was calling him at such a ridiculous hour.
It was immediately noticeable that he wasn’t
mad at me, and I was immediately relieved.
“I love you too.” He
eventually giggled back. “What
bloody time is it?”
late. I’m sorry. I got a bit drunk.”
“Yeah? You okay? Not throwing up or anything?”
“Uhh, not yet but… I
might. I feel a bit sick. Got a kebab.”
“Was it nice? You had a nice night?”
“Nooooooo. No.” I
turned on my side, my phone slipping and hitting the bed as I hiccupped again. “The girls were trying to force lads on me.”
“Hope you told them to fuck off and that you had
“Yeah but none of my friends even know I have a
“Because you’re my
He didn’t say anything. The only noise I could hear was
a slight shuffling, like maybe he was repositioning himself, forcing himself to
wake up a bit and go through this conversation without the risk of falling back
to sleep at any moment, even though I couldn’t
guarantee that I wouldn’t just
start snoring whilst he was still chatting.
“Right. Shit. I didn’t really think about that.” He cleared his throat.
“So I went along with it a little bit but kept
you can tell anyone you want. I don’t
want you to feel like you can’t… talk about things with your mates. That’s not fair.”
I just want you to know that…
This is all on your terms, alright? You can tell anyone you want and talk about
us as much as you want. If you need this to be…
normal, then treat it like it is. If there are repercussions to that, it’s fine! We’ll
deal with it. I don’t
want you to think you have to hold back on how you feel. I think… Shit. Never mind.”
“Oh you can’t
do that!” I complained. “Tell
me what you were gunna say!”
He went quiet again, and the pounding in my head changed from the sign of a fun
night into something completely different. I picked my phone up and turned it
off speaker, trying to cover another hiccup as I sat upright and pressed my
phone against my ear, waiting for his answer.
sighed. “I just… I
think you went long enough choosing
to ignore your own emotions. I don’t
now want you to have to do that through force or fear. This is yours! They’re your feelings and it’s your situation and… you can do whatever the fuck you want with it.
I think I kind of sobered up a little, just hearing him say that. It may have
seemed small, and insignificant, but it really meant so much. Harry was a
private person, he didn’t
care to share too many aspects of his life no matter how many people were
interested to know. He kept quiet. It was an important part of how he dealt
with his life.
He was willing to put all that aside and throw caution to the wind in order to
help me feel like we could work together normally, and so I wouldn’t feel as though I had to purposefully hide
emotions that I’d
been subconsciously hiding for years. There was this obvious tone in his voice
that made it clear that he really didn’t
give a shit. It wasn’t
like it was a big deal for him, something he’d
given a lot of thought to and then reached this conclusion. It was simple. It
was the obvious answer. It was a given.
“I love you.” I
told him. “I’m still not gunna tell everyone but… Thank you. I’m
glad that I can talk about it. That’s
glad you think so.”
“I miss you so
“I miss you too.” I
heard him settling again. “It’s killing me. I’m
not used to missing anyone this much.”
“I love you and you love me and everything is
good.” I spoke absentmindedly as I slumped back down
on my bed.
“I know I know, but I miss you. I miss that… thing
“When… we’re together, fucking sparks fly, Lulu.” He sighed. “I
mean… I kinda thought it would fade away but, it
never has. It’s
like… one of my favourite feelings in the world. Just
being around you and…
seeing and feeling those sparks. I dunno. I’ve
never had anything like that before. I miss you so much and I just want you
here with me, but… I
miss those sparks too. I miss the feeling.”
“You get well deep when you’re tired.” I
smirked. “I’m too drunk for this.”
“Fuck off, you!” He
blurt out a heavy laugh. “You’re such a dick. Fuck off. Go to sleep.”
“I love you.” I
never sharing my feelings with you again,
Little Lulu Lamb.”
I wished that he could lull me to sleep with a soft song. I wished I had that
every night, his soothing voice quietly singing songs to me as I drifted into
another realm. I wondered briefly if we’d
ever be lucky enough to be in that position, where we weren’t in either his bed, or my bed, but we’d be in our
bed. He could be there night after night, and I wouldn’t have to miss him so much.
get chance to speak to you yesterday,” I
hiccupped for good measure. “But
I love the song.”
amazing. My favourite from the whole album.”
“Yeah, well, you’re
care. It’s blatantly the best one. But they’re all good. Well proud of you.”
“Thank you, Gorgeous. Now c’mon. Get some sleep.”
To say Harry loved praise so much, he actually couldn’t accept it that well. He’d just get all shy and struggle to think of the
best way to respond. He’d
just brush past it, place thanks on other people, ignore it, but he’d have this wonderful little smile on his face
that proved the words had gone in.
I wished I could see it then.
“Goodnight, Lamb. I promise I’ll see you soon, alright?”
But I couldn’t
even reply. My head was too heavy on the pillow, my mind slipping from one
state to another, and I fell asleep there and then, happy that his voice was
the last thing to bless my ringing ears.
I’d never woken up to so many texts in my damn
I knew it wasn’t a
I had texts from Harry, my mum, all my friends, even my boss had decided to
this was something worth texting me about even though we’d never exchanged a word via that medium before.
I should have predicted it wasn’t
good news, but my head was already pounding from the numerous pints I’d knocked back the night before. I kind of
just done something exceptionally humiliating and they were all just taking the
piss out of me for it.
That would have been a nicer thing to wake up to.
The text that really caught my attention, and stood out amongst the others, was
the one from Gabby.
Why the fuck didn’t you tell us you’re
shagging Harry Styles? That’s
very important information!
“You have to be kidding me? What the fuck?”
I then ignored everyone else and went straight to my messages from Harry,
hoping it was there that I’d
find some kind of explanation as to why it suddenly seemed like every single
person I knew was well aware of something we’d
tried to keep hidden.
His text was simple.
read the articles. Make all your social media private. Ignore everything. Just
let it pass.
“No no no no no.” I
finally sat upright, a curdling in my stomach.
Despite knowing better, the first thing I did was google Harry’s name and look at the most recent media
articles, even though it was utterly predictable what had happened and viewing
what they were saying word for word wouldn’t
do me any good. But I genuinely couldn’t
The headline that greeted me made me roll my eyes so fast I thought they’d never come back down.
The article that followed made me want to hurl, especially since the picture of
my face played such a big role.
the Daily Mail.”
Styles finally ties himself down with childhood sweetheart.
Of all the supermodels our favourite former boyband member has sitting in his
contacts waiting for that call back he promised them, it seems that heartthrob
Harry has settled on your average girl next door, sparking hope amongst fans
everywhere that they might one day be lucky enough to be a notch on his bedpost
Twenty Two year old, Tallulah Lambert-
all wrong. That’s
not even my fucking name oh my god!”
-and Harry are rumoured to have made
their relationship official after meeting again whilst the two of them were
filming Dunkirk, Harry’s acting debut.
in Dunkirk. Brilliant. Nice journalism, fuckwits.”
was a slow start, but Harry’s
really into her.”
Said a source close to the two of them. “They
grew up together so there are a lot of feelings there from when they were kids.
He thinks she might be the one.”
It’s rumoured that Harry even turned down his on-and-off again girlfriend,
Kendall Jenner, who wanted to give their relationship one last try, in the
hopes of really making things work with Tallulah, who recently quit her job to
spend more time on the road with her boyfriend as he pursues his solo career.
aware that if she’s
not around all the time, he could lose interest pretty quickly, so she’s made sure she will always be there. Harry
likes it, though. He likes being forced to commit or he just won’t.”
“Where the fuck
did they even find that?” I
gestured wildly at a picture of me and Harry from school, uniforms on and arms
around each other, before scoffing loudly. “Quit
my bloody job. Idiot. You should quit
your job since you’re bloody useless at it.”
There were so many pictures of us. There were even some that I was convinced I’d never seen before from when we were younger.
Then, of course, they brought up the pap pics that had been taken when I was
out in fucking LA, and I swear I’d
never regretted going somewhere so much before. The whole thing had been an
absolute shambles, and it was still cropping back up to bite me.
The two love birds are yet to make an
official statement and haven’t been seen together since February, but sources
say that the two of them are still going strong after almost a year of dating.
But these things always end in heartbreak, and we hope Tallulah can stand the
heat because the ovens about to get really hot.
“This is a joke.” I
mumbled to myself, kind of laughing. “This
is an absolute joke.”
I ignored all my unopened messages and went to call Harry instead, because he
was literally the only person I cared about hearing from. I didn’t give a fuck what my friends had to say or my
mum or my bloody boss and numerous other work colleagues who were once again
being intrusive about my personal life, all I cared about was talking to Harry.
He answered relatively quickly.
“Hi, Little Lulu Lamb.” He replied, and he sounded so miserable I
wanted to cry.
I hated the thought of him being sad. Of course it was frustrating, but all I
could think was that it was done. It was done and we’d have to deal with it and there was no point
beating ourselves up or feeling badly about it. We’d just have to deal with it. We didn’t have any other options.
I didn’t want to feel sad. It wouldn’t get us anywhere. And I really did not want
Harry to be sad, because I knew it would be on my behalf more than on his own.
So I decided the only way forward, was to prove that I was unfazed by the
bullshit the media had conjured up with little to no information.
“So, who the fuck is this Tallulah?” I smirked.
Hearing him burst out laughing was one of the nicest noises I’d ever heard, and I suddenly had this
overwhelming feeling that we’d
be okay, despite everyone knowing and despite the fact that we would have
distance between us for the foreseeable future, I had the strange moment of
Like maybe we could really make things work.
Like maybe our feelings really did put all those other trivial things to shame.
Real name? I once had a real name, so long ago… I don’t remember it.
That still kills me, because when Darth Vader chose to walk away from the Sith, he became Anakin Skywalker once more. “Vader” was the name of Sith Lord, a man who killed children, a man so distinct from Anakin that Obi-Wan blamed Vader for Anakin’s death.
But Maul is always Maul. He can discard the title “Darth” but the name Maul is all he’s ever known, all he’s ever been.
Even when Talzin remade his body and pulled his mind from the depths of darkness, he was still Maul. She could have given him any name, perhaps even the name she gave him in the womb, in his first yowling moments of infancy, but no, instead she christens him Maul, reborn Son of Dathomir. Perhaps she did it to spite Sidious, to reclaim the creature Maul in the name of Dathomir, and there’s a sort of poignancy to that, a certain strength that comes from taking back what was stolen, but still, it strikes me as incredibly sad that even in his second life, Maul is Maul, a weapon, an implement, a tool of vengeance.
And it’s even sadder that when Maul casts aside the ways of the Sith, there’s no piece of his old life for him to reclaim. His people are gone, his planet ruined, his family, slain. He can’t stop being Maul the way Anakin could stop being Vader; and there’s no one to lift him out of the darkness and remind him of who he once was.
I suppose what strikes me most of all, what has always struck me about Maul, is that he didn’t have a choice in becoming Sith, not like Vader or Tyranus; those were names given to fallen Jedi, but Maul was born to be Sith, not just once but twice.
I want to believe that he can choose to walk away from it. I want to believe that even though he will always be Maul, he can choose to define that name for himself. I want to believe that even someone who has always known darkness can choose to turn towards the light.
for the fluffy prompt, clint got stood up by his blind date and he just keeps walking aimlessly and ends up in a park. bucky, who is still adjusting to his new life and knowing his ‘old life’ is gone, goes to the park and there he sees the hawkguy who almost always smiles at him whenever they see each other in the tower”
“Pretty sure you’re not supposed to do that in public.”
The voice was low, amused, still not quite familiar, since Barnes tended to stay quiet unless he was quietly making asshole comments about practically everything Steve did. Clint liked him already.
“Pretty sure anyone out here this time of night is up to something that deserves an arrow in the ass.”
He pulled out another arrow, putty-tipped, and fired it into the darkness, not needing to see the tree to know it’d flown true. He’d been at the range until they’d chucked him out, and he hadn’t been ready to go back to the tower; Tony had set him up with Chloe, Clarissa, Chlamydia, whatever her name was, and admitting that he’d been stood up wasn’t something he was looking forward to.
“Including you?” Barnes asked.
“Including you,” Clint said, and released the tension on the string, putting his last putty arrow back in the quiver.
“Big words for a little dick,” Barnes said - fuck it, Bucky, no way Clint was being formal with a guy with that glint in his eye.
“Fuck you,” Clint said with a grin, “my dick is plenty adequate.”
“Ringing endorsement,” Bucky circled around from where he’d approached, coming into Clint’s sight line with an asshole smirk of his own.
“What, you want the Amazon reviews?”
“Dick adequate,” Bucky said, his eyes dropping, “but that ass gets two thumbs way up.”
“Always liked a man who knows his way around foreplay.”
Bucky was full on grinning now, hair tucked behind one ear so Clint could see the beautifully cut line of his jaw.
“Amazing what you learn in the army,” he said, and Clint turned to look at him, a slow up and down that didn’t even shoot for subtle.
“Wanna handle some privates?” he said, full beaming grin and waggling eyebrows for effect, and Bucky choked on a laugh, the permanent lines that were etched between his brows smoothing out for a moment.
Saeran had hoped that steam from a hot shower would alleviate the chill that ran through his veins ever since he woke that morning. But as he stared at his scarred hands, another shiver slid down his spine. He shut his eyes, cursing the ever present throbbing underneath his ribs.
He remained motionless on his bed until the smell of something sweet, though slightly burnt, reached his nostrils. Pancakes?
His stomach grumbled in response. He clutched it in discomfort. He wondered how long it would take until he could finally get used to actually having an appetite.
Ruffling the last bit of water out of his hair, he pulled a sweater over his head and dragged himself to the kitchen. He stopped in the doorway, taking in the sight of his older twin’s back and the small cartoon cats spotting his tank top. Saeyoung hummed softly, shifting on his feet in a little dance. He flipped a pancake into the plate beside him, still unaware of Saeran’s presence.
Not wanting to disturb…well, whatever he was doing, Saeran slid into the island chair. He reached across for an empty cup. It shook in his trembling hand before clattering across the counter. Saeran colored when Saeyoung turned, watching as the younger twin fumbled with lifting a simple glass.
A few choked swears slipped from his lips as he finally got it to stand upright. Saeyoung’s eyes softened. He pulled orange juice from the fridge and poured it into the glass. Saeran swallowed thickly, staring at the filled cup. Frustration simmered underneath his skin, debating whether he should he even try to lift the thing and risk spilling it everywhere.
Where is the horse? Where the young warrior? Where now the gift-giver?
Where are the feast-seats? Where all the hall-joys?
Alas for the bright cup! Alas byrnied warrior!
Alas the lord’s glory! How this time hastens,
grows dark under night-helm, as it were not!
Stands now behind the dear warband
a wondrous high wall, varied with snake-shapes,
warriors forsaken by might of the ash-spears,
corpse-hungry weapons–famous that fate–
and this stone-cliff storms dash on;
snowstorm, attacking, binds all the ground,
tumult of winter, when the dark one comes,
night-shadow blackens, sends from the north
rough hailstorm in anger toward men.
All is the earth-realm laden with hardship,
fate of creation turns world under heaven.
Here goldhoard passes, here friendship passes,
here mankind passes, here kinsman passes:
all does this earth-frame turn worthless!
So said the one wise in mind, at secret conclaves sat him apart.
Good, he who keeps faith, nor too quickly his grief
from his breast makes known, except he, noble, knows how beforehand to do cure with courage.
Emori shivered, folding her arms over her chest and hugging herself tightly. Beside her, Murphy immediately moved in closer, wrapping an arm around her shoulders as they continued to make their way down the corridor. “I didn’t realize it would be so cold up here,” she murmured, leaning gratefully into Murphy’s warmth. “Almost makes you miss the dead zone, huh?” he quipped, causing her to scoff. “Yeah, maybe not.” Ahead of them, the featureless grey corridor of the Ark’s ring stretched endlessly, the metal walls marked here and there by door to what Emori could only assume must have been former dwellings. “You never told me what it was like,” she said after awhile. “Growing up here.” “Pretty much the same as it is now,” Murphy responded, “just with more people and even less food.” “What about your parents?” Emori pressed him. “What were they like?” “I already told you,” Murphy snapped. “My dad was a thief and my mom was a drunk, there’s nothing more to say.” He relinquished his hold on Emori, turning his face away to stare resolutely ahead, his mouth pressed into a hard, thin line. Emori reached out for his hand, interlacing her fingers with his. “I’m sorry,” she said quietly. She was well aware by now that family was a touchy subject for Murphy. They continued walking in silence along the corridor, the only sound the ever-present hum of machinery that Emori was quite certain she would never get used to. The others were nowhere to be seen, most likely sound asleep at this late hour, or…well, Emori didn’t really want to think about what they might be doing besides sleeping, especially not since she’d caught Bellamy sneaking into Raven’s room after he’d supposedly gone to bed the previous night. They turned a corner and Emori suddenly felt Murphy’s hand slip from her grasp. She turned back to find him standing rooted to the spot behind her, his face drained of color. He looked as though he’d seen a ghost. “John…?” The sound of Emori’s voice brought Murphy sharply back to reality. He met her gaze just in time to catch the concerned expression that flashed across her features. Forcing a smile, he stepped forward, closing the gap between them and taking Emori’s hand once more. “Come on, let’s keep going.” Emori watched Murphy’s eyes darting from side to side as they made their way towards the end of the corridor which, although it looked exactly the same as all the others they had walked down that night to her, appeared all too familiar to Murphy. Then, out of the corner of her eye, she saw it, two words scrawled clumsily in black ink across a door to her right, the handwriting spidery and childlike. MURPHY FAMILY “Emori…” said Murphy, a warning note in his voice as she stopped in her tracks, reaching out to brush her fingers across the raised black lettering. “Emori, please don’t…” But Emori was already pushing open the door. Her heart suddenly racing, she took a deep, steadying breath, hesitating for a fraction of a second before slowly, cautiously stepping across the threshold. Once inside, she glanced around around the small, single room dwelling, taking in everything from the mattresses pushed against the far wall, to the tiny kitchen table, to the empty cabinets and drawers. She turned back to Murphy, who was hovering in the doorway, looking as though he’d rather be anywhere else. “This was your home,” she said. It wasn’t a question. Murphy snorted. “If you could call it that.” With a monumental effort, he finally crossed the threshold to stand beside Emori, casting a contemptuous look around the tiny space. But Emori wasn’t fooled, She could, beneath that carefully constructed mask of indifference that he always wore, the pain and sorrow he fought so hard to keep buried. His gaze fell upon the larger of the two mattresses that Emori had noticed. “That was where my parents slept,” he whispered, more to himself than to Emori. His eyes began to fill with tears as the memories he had hoped he’d finally escaped from came flooding back, as fresh and as raw as ever. His mother curled up on the left side of that old mattress, his father beside her, whispering to each other in the dark when they thought he was asleep and the times that he had awoken in the middle of the night to discover them swaying gently in each other’s arms to the strains of his father’s favorite song, completely unaware that he was watching them. “I was living a lonely life until I fell for you, I was living a lost boy’s life, it was all I ever knew.” His mother’s soft voice telling him made up stories about Earth on nights when the relentless hum of machinery refused to let him sleep. His father’s tear stained cheeks as he hugged his only son goodbye on the morning he was floated, his mother collapsing in a heap on the floor as she watched her husband walk out of the apartment for the last time, her sobs echoing off the metal walls until she finally fell silent. The nights she would spend slumped at the kitchen table, a bottle in her hand, quietly crying or worse still, when she would get drunk enough to start screaming at him, the back of her hand cracking him across the face if he dared to open his mouth. The evening he had returned home from work, relieved to find the apartment quiet and peaceful for a change and the sour smell that had assaulted his nostrils the moment he’d pushed open the door, seeing, not for the first time, his mother’s body lying prone on the floor in a pool of her own vomit. How he had walked over to kneel beside her, gently shaking her by the should in an attempt to wake her, but how she had remained limp and cold in her arms, no matter how many times he had screamed her name and the seemingly endless hours that had followed, lying beside her, not knowing what else to do. He sank to his knees as the weight of his guilt and shame finally became too much for him to bear, silent, uncontrollable tears rolling down his cheeks. Emori immediately moved to kneel before him, wrapping her arms around his neck and holding him tightly, while Murphy let his own arms slip around her waist as he buried his face in her shoulder. He wasn’t sure how long they stayed like that, clinging to each other, as though they could somehow hug away the past. Eventually, he lifted his face, releasing his hold on Emori as he looked around the spartan dwelling once more. “This was my home,” he murmured, his voice trembling. “But it’s gone now.” “Hey,” said Emori softly, cupping his cheek with her left hand and forcing him to meet her eyes. “Your home is with me.” Murphy took hold of Emori’s hand and brought it to his lips, kissing it gently, reverently, as he stared at her, the woman he loved more than anyone else, on the Ark or on the ground, the woman who had saved his life in more ways than one, the strongest person he had ever known. His old life was long gone, but maybe, just maybe, they could build a new one together. He might never be free of the pain and suffering of his past, but he felt certain that as long as he had Emori, the one truly good and pure thing that had ever been his, he could face whatever the future had in store for him in this shithole. For the first time in a long while, perhaps for the first time in all his seventeen years, he felt truly at peace. Smiling, he took Emori in his arms once more, pulling her against his chest and stroking her hair gently as he rested his cheek against the top of her head. “Welcome home,” he murmured softly.
I will probably never get over the thought of Mycroft Holmes standing back while John Watson was dating and marrying an assassin Mycroft not only knew about but even once “found reliable” while his brother was away, alone and in danger, destroying Moriarty’s network and returning home after two years only to find out that his old life was gone forever.
Team skull lunar eclipse ch 1 rest is good for ya boi
Team skull lunar eclipse ch 1 rest is good for ya boi
After being woken from a 10,000 year slumber Guzma, a once feared original vampire, emerges from Hanai desert with nothing but a knife and an mp3 player in his hands. With his clan and old life gone he sets out on Ula'ula island with only two things in mind: to rebuild his clan and reinstate fear into the heart of Alola.
…Teyla broke from his gaze—his questioning gaze—and looked
down as she took his right hand in both of her own. Tenderly, she traced the scars on the back of
his hand; but not like she had that day she had worked her pain-relieving spell. Her gentle touch was no healer’s touch this
time—though innocent, it felt as intimate as a lover’s touch. It was the touch he had been craving since
the day he’d been forced to accept that his old life was irrevocably
gone–although he hadn’t known until this moment, how badly he’d been missing
Stephen’s breath caught when she raised his hand to
gently brush her lips across the back, before laying a soft kiss upon it. Teyla
tilted her head so she could nestle her cheek against his scarred flesh,
eliciting a low moan of mixed surprise and delight from him.
She looked up at him, her dark eyes wise and solemn, a
small, soft smile playing at the corners of her mouth. “I’ve only ever found them beautiful,
Stephen. Your beautiful scarred
hands—they are part of what makes you…you,”
she told him, wonder in her voice and on her face, “Through pain and sorrow and
despair, they brought you to your destiny.”
Her smile spread, lovely as dawn after a stormy night, as she admitted
shamelessly, “They are the first thing that I came to love about you, on a list
that grows longer each day.”
With that, she laid his hand over her heart, and then
rose on her tiptoes to whisper against his ear, “And if you be moved to—one of
these nights–I would have your beautiful hands touch every part of me.” With a kiss on his cheek, Teyla withdrew,
turning away without looking back, closing her door, and leaving him standing
alone—wholly astonished, and dizzy with sudden joy, that so bright a soul could
find him worthy of her love…
I got a request for some more recent Steve/Bucky fic recs, so here’s a quick list of some I’ve enjoyed recently. (I haven’t found that many recently published fics I like, unfortunately.) I still plan on making a wartime + postwar rec list, and updating my prewar rec list too!
Cascades by orange_crushed - I am OBSESSED with this. Every time I get got a notification that a new chapter has been posted, I drop everything and devour it like the most delicious meal in the world. :D It’s a WIP, but there’s only one chapter left to go (sob).Edited to add thatIT’S FINISHED NOW GO READ IT WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING??? DO IT
Sing Me the Alphabet series by thesardine - Unusual and cute and funny and incredibly sad and SO GOOD. One of the only fics to make me cry. That said, I re-read passages from it all the time because it’s so enjoyable. This particular Bucky is so broken and heartrending and trying so hard it kind of kills me. One of my favorite portrayals of Steve/Bucky’s complicated relationship.
The Dead Forest by hansbekhart - Steve dwelling on how much time has passed and how his old life is irreparably gone and stewing in misery is basically my favorite thing. :D
Guide by sleepswithcoyotes - In present day, Steve visits the old apartment he and Bucky shared in the ‘40s, which has been converted into a museum, complete with actors playing the boys. Loved this concept! One of my other favorites in the “Steve mourns the past” genre.
Out of Time by ibroketuesday - Modern day Steve and Bucky get thrown back to 1937 by an enemy, and have to figure out how to get back.
Letters We Never Sent by newsbypostcard - Bucky finds the unsent letters Steve wrote to him back during the war.
A Contest of Stories by hansbekhart and Scappodaqui, with art by albymangroves - Great alternate universe fic where Steve doesn’t get the serum but he joins the war’s “ghost army”, and Bucky plays Captain America in the ruse. Features the Howling Commandos, particularly Gabe, a lot more than most fic!
Malibu by glitteratiglue - Steve and Bucky survive the war, and move to California together, and have to figure their civilian lives out.
Item One by cheesethesecond - Post-WS Bucky mistakenly thinks that he and Steve are dating, so he tries to figure out how to be a boyfriend.
1A by tinzelda - Together but not really together, even though Bucky wants to be, before and during the war.
Summary: When Simon needed someone, his old friend Y/N shows up and comforts him.
It’s been a while now since Simon turned into a vampire. But since Clary hangs out with the other Shadowhunters, she doesn’t have time for Simon anymore and that hurts him.
He never really talked about this with anyone besides other vampires. His old friends were gone and everything in his life changed somehow.
But he wasn’t alone. He thought that everyone he knew was gone. Y/N was there. She helped Simon through a lot of things. She would always listen to him about Clary. She would listen to him about his band. He would talk about comics, about TV shows and she still would listen.
They were close friends back then. Until Clary came. After that, he kind of started to give Clary his attention. He loved her. But Clary didn’t feel that way towards Simon. But he was too blind to see it.
They still would be in contact and meet up sometimes. After she heard that Simon went missing for a few days but then suddenly appeared again, she knew that something was up. She always knew that something was up. When he was sad or angry. She could just tell.
When they were younger, they had a special place, where they could escape reality for a few hours. That was a hidden spot in a small park. They didn’t go there for years. Well, Y/N still goes there. Because she always felt safe there. But Simon never really showed up anymore. She would sit there all alone by herself. But she didn’t mind.
Y/N was really smart. And she really hoped to become something big. She wanted to become a lawyer, just like her dad. Her father died when she was 7 and that’s why she wanted to pursuit her dream. Today was the 11th anniversary of her dad’s death. Normally Simon would be here with her. But he wasn’t.
She rather wanted to be alone, so she slowly walked to the old park, to her old spot. But she spotted someone sitting there. It was already dark outside and cold. But that person didn’t shiver at all. He just sat there in silence.
The closer Y/N got, the better she could see that it was Simon who sat there. She couldn’t believe her eyes at first. Was Simon there? Was he? As she stood next to him, she was 100% sure that it was him.
“ Simon? ”, Y/N slowly asked and sat down next to him.
“Y/N?”, Simon looks at her with wide eyes. “What are you doing here?”
Y/N studied his face. He looked different. He didn’t wear glasses anymore and he got paler as well. Something was off. She couldn’t tell what.
“Uh, I still come here if I want to be alone.”, Y/N answers truthfully. It was true. Back then, she came here to talk to him. But now, she comes here to be alone. “But what are you doing here? You never came.”
He shrugged. “I guess I needed a place, where I could escape reality for a few hours. And then I remembered this place. I really missed it. It’s a shame that I forgot about this place.”, Simon said quietly. His voice sounded sad.
“You are sad. Don’t say anything. Don’t try denying it. I know it and you know it as well. I want you to tell me, what’s wrong. Just like the old times.”, Y/N said and put her hand on his shoulder. “Please, trust me. We were best friends, Simon.”
Simon never stopped trusting her. He still trusted her with all his heart. But he didn’t want her to think that he was crazy. Because he wasn’t. He just needed a shoulder to lean on. And when he needed Clary most, she wasn’t there. He left multiple messages on her phone but there was never an answer.
Was it fate that brought them back together? Simon reached his deepest point and he was about to crack. He really needed someone. And that someone was Y/N. She was here to listen to him. She always listened. She was there for him in hard times and he really appreciated it. He saw his mistake. The mistake of letting her go.
“First of all, I want you to know that I still trust you. I never stopped. You’re still one of my best friends.”, Simon started. Those words made Y/N’s heart flutter. He didn’t forget about her.
“And before I tell you what was going on with me.. I want you to promise me one thing.”
“Of course, what is it?”, Y/N asked curiously.
“I really care about what you think about me. So please don’t think that I am crazy. Listen till the end and then judge me. Believe me or not. Just don’t laugh at me. Just listen.”, Simon said, his voice slightly shaking.
“Did I ever judge you, Simon? No. But I still promise you. Don’t worry about it.”, Y/N told him and smiled at him.
“Well.. Weird things have happened to me. I always thought creatures like werewolves or vampires weren’t real. But since Clary’s 18th birthday, things started to get weird. She got sucked into this world of supernatural things. She learned that she is a Shadowhunter. Someone who hunts demons. You might think that I am crazy but listen. I wanted to be there for her through the hard time she was having.”
“But somehow I was in trouble too. I died. Because of Vampires. I got buried and I woke up as.. As a monster. A bloodsucking monster. But I accept it now. It’s been a while now since that happened. Before and after that I really needed Clary’s support. But she had her own problems. She had no time to think about me. I kind of understand it, but after all things I’ve been through.. I expected her to be there for me too. Even if it’s a little bit.”
“Maybe you saw that something changed about me. I don’t need my glasses anymore and I am pale. Really pale. My teeth are sharp and I can’t even look at sunlight, since I would burn alive. I can’t even say g..You know the guy you pray for in a church. My life has been complicated. I really really needed sometime for myself. I can’t tell my family. But I tell you and I don’t know why. I guess because I know that you won’t judge me. I know that you will listen and that you will be there for me. Like when were kids.”
His whole speech left her speechless. So the supernatural was real. But he was one of them too? Wow, that was something she didn’t expect at all. They sat there in silence. She thought about the whole thing, while he was concerned about what she thinks about him.
“You know what? It’s okay. You’re a vampire? Cool. You’re still the Simon I know. You’re not a monster, you are you. I bet I can still talk about comics, mangas and TV shows with you. You have other eating and drinking habits now. That’s it for me. You are still my best friend even though we didn’t talk for a long time. I am here for you, whenever you need me. I’m just a phone call away, Simon.”, Y/N told him truthfully and hugged him. “You really mean a lot to me.”
“About the other thing.. I am really sorry. We didn’t talk anymore. I can’t even remember the last time I saw you. I was too occupied with Clary that I forgot about my first best friend. The one who invited me to play with her on the playground when no one else wanted to. The one who shared her food with me when I forgot mine at home. The one who fought with me about my comics. I missed you. And thank you for accepting me for the way I am.”, Simon finally said and pulled her in a hug. He really needed that hug and her.
He was cold. He had no warmth anymore. And as she put her head on his chest, she couldn’t hear a heartbeat. He was really dead. But she didn’t care. Simon was here now with her and everything was fine. As long as they were together, they could to anything.
“I will always accept you. No matter what happens.”
So this was my little Simon Imagine! I thought of a part 2, should I do it? Tell me! This imagine was the imagine of long talks :D I guess I got carried away. I really felt the chemistry between you and Simon😹 Well I hope you liked it! btw I didn’t read it so if you find grammar mistakes I’m sorry!
As expected there wasn’t many scenes between Steve x Nat but to expect a whole movie of them together would be unrealistic and would take away from the message of Civil War. (Could possibly work in a Black Widow movie?) The scenes with them together were all great as it was intimate and showed how much both of them progressed both together and as well as individuals. The church scene was short but also showed a level of understanding between them that you just don’t see between anybody else in the movie. When Steve stood in that church alone he was truly alone as everybody from his old life was basically gone. The one women he ever loved was gone. Steve didn’t say anything to anyone when he left but Natasha knew and she was the one with him at that church. I feel like she used the excuse of her coming to convince him one more time to sign the accords as a cover up to why she really came and in the end she admitted she was here to be there for him to remind him he wasn’t alone. It seems like a small scene but aside from Bucky Natasha may be the only one who truly understands Steve Rogers these days. Natasha choosing Tony’s side wasn’t as big a deal as everyone made it out to be as the movie itself blurs the line between both sides. Everybody has there motives but they’re not fully invested to completely destroy the other side. I like the fact that Natasha knew what Steve was going to do once Bucky was involved and she only warned him. Not once did she ever get in Steve’s way and throughout the whole movie I just knew she was never truly on Tony’s side and she even admits to playing by what she believes to be right. This of course showed during the end of the airport scene when she was the last one in front of the quinjet and Steve/Bucky were in between her and panther. The look Steve and Natasha gave each other as well as their interaction just showed how well they understood each other. Especially when she asked him “You’re not going to stop are you?” even though later on she repeats it with the answer she already knew to Tony as a statement. Every time she said that or something like that it was with a level of understanding of just who Steve Rogers was. She may not have fully believed in Steve’s Point of View on things but she believed in Steve Rogers. This is why she stopped Panther and let Steve and Bucky go and later on faced the consequences by disappearing again or maybe meeting up with Steve and T’challa in Wakanda? There wasn’t a lot of romance or anything in this film and there shouldn’t be. With so much story and characters in this movie there was just the right amount of everything as nothing was too forced. I loved the continuous character development of both Steve and Natasha and they’ve really come far since their first appearances. Steve Rogers understands the world he is now in as well as his purpose and Natasha is really coming into her own and accepting who she is as a person. I don’t think the kiss between Steve and Sharon was really anything serious as it seemed like Steve just did it to see if it’d work between them and the look they gave each other seemed like those situations where you kiss a friend but your both able to realize you’re better off as just friends. And it also provides some comedy as Steve Rogers has been know to be a mess around woman and the scene after with Bucky and Sam laughing at him shows that. Overall I loved this movie and I think Steve and Natasha have a real chance especially if there is a black widow movie as it could focus on the two of them as individuals but if not the best chance is in infinity war and this relationship won’t seem forced as they’ve slowly build it throughout various films and established a foundation. The only thing I feel like stopping this pairing is time constraints as infinity war is going to be a huge movie and there may not be time for romance. But then again it would be cool for them to finally end up together in what may be their last two movies together and it’d be another avengers movie just like when they first met in the original avengers.
“Jon,” she says, only his name, nearly as a question, and it breaks something loose inside of him, some crucial piece of his old life that’s gone forever now. I’ll never leave her side again, some small part of him thinks, and though he immediately tells himself it’s untrue, he fears that it’s not.