how do i write lol

Imagine a convo like this during the Orion Pax arc...
  • Orion: You... used Dark Energon? How?
  • Megatron: I... inserted it directly into my own spark, then I--
  • Orion: Hold on. Wait.
  • Orion (to Soundwave): Did he really...?
  • Soundwave: *nods*
  • Orion: Oh Primus, Creator of all, what THE FRAG were you thinking?!?
  • Megatron: *scoff* You don't think I could have handled the power?
  • Orion: YOU COULD HAVE DIED! I don't give a scrap heap about whether you could control it or not. Megatron, you placed the very essence of death and destruction into your spark chamber!
  • Orion: And what would have happened then? If you had ceased to function?
  • Orion: You constantly belittle Starscream's command-- publicly. It's clear to everyone who follows you-- and possibly our enemy-- that you don't want Starscream to lead! You waste his time and talents with the promise of leadership opportunities...
  • Megatron: *growls* I promise NOTHING.
  • Orion: ...Even when he performs his duties amicably and efficiently, you give him no reward. What message does that send to your troops?
  • Megatron: His reward is his life! The fact that I allow that traitorous mech to even function on my ship... he should be grateful.
  • Orion: ...So you don't actually trust him, or LIKE HIM enough to be a true heir to the Decepticons.
  • Megatron: No. I do not trust him.
  • Orion: Alright, then what about Soundwave?
  • Soundwave: *stops his work and quietly excuses himself. Nope, not doing this today.*
  • -- DOORS CLOSE --
  • Megatron: What about Soundwave? You know him too, he has been here since the beginning.
  • Orion: He may have been here the longest but he is not meant for as large a role as leader... and he knows it too.
  • Megatron: Soundwave is my most loyal. I trust him completely. The only reason I don't have him as my second is so that we can BOTH keep an optic on Starscream. Get to your POINT, Orion!
  • Orion: You disappeared for 3 years, leaving Starscream to care for and coordinate your armies.
  • Orion: He does a fine job continuing your expansion whether you like it or not, and even takes out a member of the primary Autobot squadron.
  • Orion: Energon production is not up significantly, but it's not down either-- likely the best anyone could have done in times like these.
  • Orion: But then you return, beating and tossing him this way and that, barely even acknowledging his work!
  • Orion: Your troops see this, and any respect Starscream has garnered during his time commanding has gone out the window.
  • Orion: And you MUST know this, somewhere in your processor. And I know you are also aware that Soundwave could not have filled your pedes in your absence, otherwise you would have specified as such.
  • Orion: If you had died, Starscream could not resume his command after you laid waste to everyone's opinion of him. Soundwave could not have taken over because he simply could not handle it.
  • Orion: There would be a power vacuum. Any and all strong Decepticons within a few stellar cycles journey from here would compete for dominance, dividing your forces. The message would be lost... your armies, scattered.
  • Orion: The Autobots... would WIN.
  • Megatron: ....
  • Megatron: *gets up to loom over Orion/Optimus*
  • Megatron: You seem to have a lot to say for someone who has essentially been in stasis for millions of vorns.
  • Orion: *huff* All I'm saying is that you aren't using your intellect and prospective reasoning! You keep acting on your first instinct instead of thinking things through. What happened to the strategist? The gladiator with a plan?
  • Megatron: ...
  • Orion: ... talk to me. What is it about the Autobots that make you lose your focus?
  • Megatron: ...
  • Megatron: *knocks hand away* We will discuss this later, Orion.
  • Orion: ... do you even know what it's doing to your spark now? I doubt you can fully purge Dark Energon, as energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
  • Orion: *reaches out* Please... as your friend, I am asking you to seek medical attention... if only so we can better understand what must happen now.
  • Megatron: ...
  • Megatron: ... I have things I must attend to.
  • -- DOORS CLOSE --
Me, an ace, trying to write sexual attraction
  • Me: okay, so how do I write this?
  • Brain: Idk figure it out yourself lol
  • Me: okay... so what about this
  • Brain: that's aesthetic attraction.
  • Me: oh okay. This?
  • Brain: Sensual attraction
Devil's Tempt Pt. 1

Genre: Devil Au, Soulmate au

Pairing: Reader x Devil!Taehyung

Warning: Mention of smut?

Soulmate au: Only the soulmate of a non human being can see the being. No other human can.

It was a simple day. You were just walking to your best friend’s house, a pair of headphone hanging on your neck, your hands stuck in the pocket of your hoodie as you ignored every other existence of others. That was the life of you, a middle school girl.

But one caught your eye. You always had kept your eyes on the ground as you walked, never letting anything grab your attention, but you smelled something really nice, a smell that you just could not describe, but it was intoxicating. You looked up, and your eyes widened, staring with shock at the man a few couple feet away from you.

The man was cloaked in a simple suit, an open blazer to show how tight the white dress shirt was against his hard chest. His face was sculpted to such perfection you almost believed that he was not human. You could catch his scent from this far, a gentle, subtle scent that seemed a little too addicting. His blonde hair tousled messily, brushing slightly against the wind, his dark eyes deep and mysterious. What was the most stunning was the large raven black wings tucked behind his back, still visible from the front, as the black feathers fluttered ever so slightly to the strong breeze.

You were speechless at the absolutely beautiful being in front of you, mentally engraving his perfection into your mind as you turned your glance to the ground again, not wanting to stare so boldly at the gorgeous stranger. As you brushed past him, you caught a strong whiff of his scent, your legs almost buckling beneath you as you struggled to continue walking normally.

You swallowed thickly, breathing in heavily as you quickly made your way to your best friend’s house to finish up on an assignment.

“Yah! (Y/N)! Why are you so disracted?!” Your best friend snapped at you, shaking you by the shoulder to get you out of your world. She was practically going insane, you were not answering her at all, barely paying a single attention, and the random mumbles of ‘gosh he’s so beautiful.’

You turned to look at her with a expression that showed that you were still in your on fantasy world. “(B/F/N)-ah…he’s such a drop-dead gorgeous…” You mumbled, a part of you not wanting to believe that you were so taken aback by this stranger. She rolled her eyes, letting out a sigh.

“Sure, (Y/N), tell me more.”

“He’s got that beautiful black wings, and his eyes are just-”

“Black wings?” Your friend interrupted you, her eyes showing disbelief. You did not want to believe that a human could have wings either, but then, there would not be a human as handsome as he is.

“Black wings are the wings of a devil, (Y/N)! There are devils on earth, fallen angels that commited a sin of a human’s, and only very, very selected few can see them.” She said very seriously. You thought she was kidding, but her tone and the look in her eyes told you otherwise.

“No wonder he was so devillishly handsome,” You joked, laughing slightly, watching as your best friend rolled her eyes again.

“(Y/N) I’m being serious now! Devils do exist!! And you better not go near them! They are extremely tempting, and you will be reliant to them for the rest of your life!!”

“Okay, okay.”

Years passed, and and you were at your wits’ end, fed up with your boss, scoffing at couples in love. You glared at the boy who just would not stop asking for your attention and you gave him your attention with your fist in his face. You were doing decent in your work, and with an innocent smile, you could get away with punching irritating males, but you felt as if something was missing.

You had quite a good memory, and yet, you felt as if you forgotten something important. Something that had impacted you greatly, left your heart pounding at light’s speed, but, what was it? You sighed, standing up from the bench as you started to walk to your favourite food store.

You walked down the noisy street, clammered with students, either hands on their lovers’ ass, or simply laughing at something idiotic. You clicked your tongue, your habit of staring at the ground as you walked kicked in.

And it was then, you caught a whiff of familiar smell that could make your legs go weak any moment. You glanced up, and you suddenly remembered. It was him. You could recognize him from the back because of his folded black wings, but then, you realized that there was a small blood trail behind him.

You rushed forward, only to see the familiar drop-dead gorgeous stranger whose white dress shirt seemed to stained with blood. “Oh my god! Are you okay?!” You gaped, staring at the blood in horror, wondering if it belonged to him or someone else.

The man tilted his head slightly, as if he did not expected anyone to speak to him, his eyes slightly wide as he spoke with a deep, thrilling voice, “How can you see me?” Your body jolted at his voice, your nerves shaking with excitment as you quickly tried to calm yourself.

“Uh, I just can? B-but are you okay? You seem pretty injured.” You stuttered, trying to keep your cool, barely able to keep your thoughts straight. The man looked at you with a curious expression, almost as if wondering what was wrong.

“I’m fine, the blood doesn’t belong to me. Who are you, if I may ask?” He asked, looking at you a little too intently. You almost let out a gasp from his dark eyes, his intense stare, as if you were the only thing in the world he would ever lay his eyes upon.

“I-I’m (Y/N), and y-you?” You spoke, swallowing quickly, breathing in deeply to try to calm your pounding heart. The man’s eyes widened, his soft pink lips slightly apart as he ran his hand through his messy blonde hair, almost as if he was lost in thought, his hand stretching out to grab your wrist, dragging you to somewhere quieter without a whole lot of noisy high school students.

Hey, you weren’t complaining. It was not like you could reject (or resist) someone like him.

“(Y/N)…God, how long has it been? 2 centuries?” You heard him mutter under his breath, closing his eyes slightly as if trying to recall something. You stared at his long eyelashes, jumping up a little as his eyes fluttered open to reveal his dark orbs. “I’m Taehyung. Good to see you again, kitten.” He said with a wide playful smile, completely different from the calm un-smiling man a few seconds ago.

“K-kitten?” You stuttered, your heart pounding against your chest painfully as you struggled to keep your cheeks from heating up.

His lips curled into a small smirk. “It’s hilarious to see how flustered you would always get everytime I call you that, kitten.” The man said, brushing his thumb against your cheek slightly, causing that area to heat up, a little too hot for your liking. You let out a small whimper, causing his smirk to grow even wider. “That’s right, kitty, let me hear that more. God, you’re even more beautiful than your previous life.” Taehyung purred, gazing at you with his half lidded eyes, dragging his tongue across his bottom lip slowly, almost as if to tease you.

“Previous l-life?” You questioned nervously. So, he really is a devil, huh? You swallowed nervously, all doubts and questions somehow leaving your mind. Your mind went blank, only able to focus on him, his teasing actions and that smirk, it was driving you crazy.

“That’s right, kitten. It was a pity that you died at a young age, I didn’t even had that chance to relish you yet, such a pity. And yet, here you are, such a beauty, my cute little kitten. I have to have a taste, in case you leave me again.” Taehyung muttered, his voice low and husky, and you were practically melting from his voice. A shiver went down your spine as you let out a small unintentional moan, too captivated by the addicting voice he had. Your eyes widened when you realized what kind of sound you just made as you covered your mouth in embarassement.

He raised a brow, leaning down to reach your height, his hand pulling yours away from your mouth as his thumb rubbed against your bottom lip. “No, no, kitty, don’t cover your voice. It’s so fucking sweet, let me hear it again.” Taehyung hissed against your ear, as you trembled, feeling his hot breath tickled your skin, dragging his lips down your jaw. Your mind practically went blank by now, and you would have completely succumb to his burning hot touches if not for your best friend.

“YAH! DEVIL! DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH (Y/N)!” You heard your best friend’s voice as your half lidded eyes snapped open, completely out of the trance as she grabbed you, pulling you behind her as she stood herself in between you and the devil. “(Y/N), what did I tell you?! Don’t go near the devil! He will tempt you!” She scolded angrily, glaring at Taehyung, who simply smiled at you.

“Tempt? That’s quite a negative word, I would never trick my little kitty, never.” Taehyung said on mock defense, smirking at you slightly, pleased at how overwhealmed you were when he barely even touched you. “Later, kitty-cat, make sure you don’t give those sweet lips of yours to anyone else~” His playful tone turned dark and authoritative. “Or else, bad kitties will have to be punished.”

Your friend simply glared at Taehyung as he walked off.

Your legs completely stopped working under you as you fell, but your best friend managed to catch you quickly. “(Y/N)?! What’s wrong? Are you okay? Did he hurt you?” She asked worriedly, but anything you were feeling right now was anything but pain. It was the pure, sweet pleasure, and it was driving you absolutely insane how a man’s voice filled with such authority can rile you up so much.

“Yeah…I’m fine…probably,” you mumbled, your voice cracked as you tried to stand up. She let out a sigh, allowing you to lean against her for support.

“That’s what happen when you play with risks. So stay away from the devils, (Y/N). You’ll regret it if you don’t.”

A/N i wanted this to be a fluffy soulmate au but my mind wondered away haha. Should I continue with fluff or with smut? Its been 2 years since I wrote smut 😅 So bear with me if the next few chaps are weird lol

Originally posted by cyyphr


i asked him to draw me a cactus BUT HE ALSO DREW ME A BIRTHDAY CAKE AND WROTE HBD since i told him it’s gonna be my birthday soon I LOVE THIS BOI

and can someone tell me what he wrote in korean plz coz i can never read his handwritings ;u; 

I don’t even need anyone to date me ever again, I just need teachers to keep saying I’m a joy to have in class

Noise (Part 1)

Summary: (Chris Evans x Reader for now) you’re moving into an apartment on your own, ready to start fresh in someplace new. However, your new neighbor upstairs seemingly isn’t the quietest person in the world.
Warnings: none
Word count: 1444
A/N: As I was spending Christmas Day moving into an apartment and I heard my neighbor upstairs make some ruckus, a fic idea came to mind. Original, I know. 

Originally posted by knowles-morgan

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OK we all know Whitebeard and his crew but now imagine a fallenangel!AU where Whitebeard is the leader of a bunch of fallen angels, who where sent down from heaven bc of their sins and instead of their white wings, they turn night black and are hated by absolutely everyone

Now imagine Ace being one of the strongest fallen angels and being the most brutal/heartless creature and there you come, a innocent white angel, white wings, eyes that burn with passion and a pure heart- one of the strongest angels that fight for heaven

So, now imagine a fight between the fallen angels and the angels of heaven- good against bad- and since you and ace are pretty much on the same level, it’s clear to say; you’re going against each other. It’s a bloodbath, you and him keep fighting and then he does it, in one quick moment, he opens his giant wings and surrounds you, the lights turning into darkness and the disgustingly pleasing smell of him in your senses. You feel numb for a few seconds, then a hand touches your face, a quiet laugh is heard and then everything turns bright again, but something is wrong; you feel something burn on your chest, cutting deeper into your skin and you groan in pain. You look down, trying to find the source of pain and what you see let’s the blood freeze in your veins; a black print of Ace’s wings is tattooed on your chest, a white print of yours on his chest.

He turned you into his soulmate; you lost the battle.

deancas au; 1,3k

Winter and glasses don’t mix. Unfortunately, it seems no one informed Cas’s ophthalmologist about it and she remains convinced that glasses and winter do, in fact, mix. More than that, in Cas’s case, they have to—unless he wants his sight to degrade even further than it already has due to two decades of neglect.

And so there he is now, freezing his nose off on the steel frames. He should have listened to Anna when she recommended the thick, plastic ones. They just didn’t seem very practical at the time, and now that’s just another regret.

At least, it stopped snowing.

The bright side of wearing glasses, of course—winter or not—is that Cas can now read the bus timetable without having to, figuratively, press his nose to it. He can even see the number of the incoming bus from the very crossroads and consequently spare himself the guessing and getting to the door last.

He really should have gotten glasses sooner.

Cas gathers his bags off the bench and moves towards the middle entrance. As soon as the door opens he steps into the warmth of the crowded vehicle. The puff of heated air envelops his face and—

The world goes white.

All of it.

Well, almost all of it; there are still colors and movement on the periphery of his vision. The entire center field is obscured by dense, white fog.

He stops in his tracks, shifts all heavy bags into one hand to free the other but the incoming passengers keep pushing him forward. Blinded, he attempts to move toward the rear end of the bus without stumbling. There’s too much hustle to try wiping the steam off the glasses now; with half a dozen shoulders pressing on him from all sides, he can’t even lift the freed hand.

The jam loosens, slightly, when the doors close and Cas manages to find a little safe footing. He reaches to the glasses but the tips of his fingers can barely brush the frames when the bus starts and the yank sends Cas tumbling forward.

He shoots his free hand up in a futile attempt to grab a strap and collides into someone’s chest. A strong scent of cologne fills him up as his nose sinks into the man’s collar. An arm wraps around Cas on instinct. The man stills them both easily.

“Got you,” a low voice purrs above his ear.

A hot blush creeps up Cas’s cheeks.

“I’m sorry,” he mumbles, trying to pull away.

The steam covering his glasses begins to recede around the edges, but still not enough to make out the face in front of him.

“S’fine,” the man says, loosening his hold, but doesn’t let go entirely until Cas finds the strap over his head. “Let me help ya, buddy.”

He gently pulls the glasses off Cas’s nose before Cas can protest. He starts wiping them with a handkerchief in his other hand, elbow locked around a pole. His eyes are trained on his own working fingers, the corners of his lips are raised in a tiny smirk. He must be around Cas’s age, maybe a couple years younger, and, Dear God, even without the glasses Cas can tell he’s beautiful.

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((based on this au bc i literally cannot stop screaming abt it, nsfw under the cut))

“Nice ass,” Levi blurts out without really even thinking, his eyes glued on to the ample curve of Eren’s ass. He just so happens to be laying on his stomach in such a position that causes his boxers to hitch up a little, exposing the lovely crease where his round buttocks meet the softness of his thighs. Honestly, he’s just lazing around in his sleepwear with a serious case of bedhead, definitely not trying to be so alluring on purpose, yet here Levi is, so entranced that all he can do is stare.

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Castiel WIP II~

Worked on it a bit more - for the short time I was home today :) @dragonpressgraphics (and incase you want a tag too @xbooksandtea ;) )

Sometimes I get requests like “hc for this character please” and sometimes I get requests like “I want this character!manga (not the anime version cause they are ooc) and I want a scenario where they are confessing to their s/o while riding a unicorn over the pacific coast at 7:54pm in the late 1850s but the s/o is in love with someone else who is actually dead but they don’t know that yet. Also please write it in the first person. Hope it’s not too confusing thanks” and I’m like … :’D ???


cute to the maaaxx

chessaschessboard  asked:

So what happens during Obi-Wan's first Senate session?

I’m combining this with:

Anonymous said:
With SupremeChancellor!OW, what would his first senate meeting be like? Are Bail and Padme internally smiling mouth dropped watching OW being a shit lord? Is he quiet until someone is being a Lil shit and goes ‘you sit the fuck down’ Qui-gon style??? 

Since they’re both on the same topic: Obi-Wan’s first Senate Session as Supreme Chancellor.

Also, I totally read “shit lord” as “sith lord” and was like “no, he’s not doing a Palpatine impression…” lol

The Senate tried to argue that Obi-Wan should stay in some special apartment close to the senate building. More of the whole “traditional” things that the Senate apparently thrives on.

Obi-Wan is having none of it. He is a Jedi, he will stay in his rooms in the Temple as long as he is on Coruscant (where he seems to be stranded for some time until this whole Supreme Chancellor appointment is over… Unless he can somehow convince the Council, and Cody, and the 212th, and Anakin, and the Senate… Okay, he’s most likely not leaving Coruscant in a long while. He’s mostly stuck as a General working from afar. It galls a bit, but it is his duty now.)

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fervidice-a-deactivated20170615  asked:

8!! Meredy and Lyon lol or just one of them ^.^

Color Palette Challenge. // Lyon Vastia & Meredy

Am I shipping it? There’s no way I’m shipping it, I’m not shipp– damn.

chocolatechipcookiesplease  asked:

"Tampons? You want me to buy tampons?" Okay so I'm thinking that Dan runs out of tampons and asks Matt to pick her up some more while he's out with Neil and they're both hilariously overwhelmed by the choices.

This is part of a challenge @leahlisabeth and I cooked up for ourselves with the help of @chocolatechipcookiesplease - we’ve both been given the same prompt and we’re super curious to see what each other has written and how differently we interpreted the same base idea. 

Read her version here!

Putting together a care package was really quite the novel experience for one Neil Josten.

A week and a half ago, Andrew had started wincing each time he put food in his mouth. Aaron noticed and asked him about it. It was only once Neil and Nicky added their own questions that Andrew grudgingly admitted he had a toothache. Kevin had spent the next 24 hours lording it over Andrew, sparing him no mercy as he launched into speeches and speeches of ‘I told you so’ and healthy diets and proper self-care.

When even Andrew’s knives hadn’t shut Kevin up, Andrew took Neil’s suggestion and talked to Abby about it. Abby set up an appointment for him with a dentist and then it was revealed that Andrew’s pain was actually being caused by a couple of wisdom teeth that no one had ever extracted. (His last x-rays were dated as the time he had spent living with the Spears.)

Some rushed calls and a handful of panic attacks concerning anesthesia later, Andrew was set to have surgery. Neil had seen him into the building just a few minutes ago, had met the surgeon and shook her hand, and promised Andrew that he would be the first thing Andrew saw upon waking. But then the door had closed behind Andrew and Neil hadn’t been able to handle pacing the length of the waiting room. So he called Matt to distract him.

Matt, in all his brilliance, had absconded Neil to the grocery store nearby and was helping Neil put together a cart of soft foods and other things that would make Andrew comfortable while he recovered. So far the cart was filled with soup, pudding, instant mashed potatoes, and some tubs of Andrew’s favourite ice creams.

“Eggs will work,” Matt assured him, placing a dozen in the cart. “You just gotta scramble ‘em for him. Ooh! You wanna add cheese to that?”

“I’m not sure Andrew likes cheese.”

Matt froze comically, one hand outstretched, holding a bag of shredded cheese on a precarious angle off the shelf. Matt was staring at Neil. He wasn’t blinking.

Neil was saved from his growing discomfort when Matt’s phone rang. He opened it without breaking his expression or his pose and answered, “Neil says Andrew doesn’t like cheese.”

There was telling silence on the other end.

Neil walked away to examine and pick up some fruit for himself. Matt dropped the cheese, scrambled to put it back when he realized it fell to the floor, and pushed the cart after Neil, absorbed in his phone call now. Neil tried not to listen, trying to remember how one gave the cold shoulder to one’s best friend, when he heard Matt say, “Tampons? You want me to buy you… tampons?”

And then, even more hilariously, “What kind of science experiment???”

Neil turned to give Matt his own incredulous stare of bizarre disbelief. Matt returned his look, shrugging his shoulders and shaking his head, then put his attention back to the call. “No, no, it’s not a problem. We’ll be a half hour or so… Love you too.”

Dan, then.

Neil continued looking at Matt, expecting an explanation. Matt gave the same shrugging and shaking motion, adding in a sigh, and turned the cart around towards the proper aisle. Neil followed, a bag of peaches and a pineapple in hand.

“So when you say ‘science experiment’–”

“I don’t know and I don’t want to know, Neil.”


Once they were faced with the wall of options though, it became difficult not to wish that Matt had at least some idea of what the intended usage was.

Did the tampons have to be slender? Built for maximum absorption? Scented? (Was that even a thing??) How important was it that the tampons be organic? Would Dan’s regular Tampax type be okay or would Renee’s preferred U by Kotex brand be better? Did Renee even know what was going on??

Presumably the factor of comfort or ‘sleek’ shape for ease of insertion wouldn’t be a problem, since these tampons were to be used for non-period purposes.

Then Matt’s imagination took him to a shadowy place of where else tampons might be inserted and decided not to rule anything out.

“What are those?” Neil asked when Matt picked up a box at random.

Matt looked at him, then the box of tampons, and then back and him. “You mean… tampons??”

“Yeah but why are they sticks?” Neil pointed out their conical shape, visible from the outside.

Matt was still visibly confused. Then he asked, “Do you know what a tampon is, Neil?”

Neil shrugged and was blushing, the smallest bit embarrassed to have exposed this gap in his knowledge. “The ones I’ve seen are just squares, that’s all. Like these,” he picked up a package of square products wrapped in green in demonstration.

Matt had to laugh but he had the grace to make it small and private, not like his usual booming burst of a laugh. “Same function, different product, Neil. Those are maxi pads. They stay… outside the body.”

Neil gave him a shrewd look, accusing eyes glancing down towards the box of ‘sticks’ in Matt’s hand, smart enough to hear the words Matt wasn’t saying. Then he grumbled something about why anyone would want any stick-shaped thing inside their body (and Matt had to Restrain Himself™) and replaced his package on the shelf, eyes wandering at all the different products the wall had to offer and glaring at those he thought most uncomfortable.

“I didn’t even know ‘maxi pads’” Neil emphasized, showing off his new vocabulary, “came in different colours.” His musing had him tap a finger on a package of pink sanitary pads branded ‘always’.

“What do you mean?” Matt asked, trying to get back to his task of comparing the backs of random boxes.

“My mom always had the green ones,” Neil explained, voice going lofty and distant. “I never knew there was this much selection to be honest.”

Matt shot him a brief look, then, quickly looking back at the boxes he had and lightly asking, “You never went with her to the store?”

Neil shook his head, gazing at the green-wrapped pads but not really seeing them. “We shopped at convenience stores mostly. She always made me fetch water.”

Matt hummed and then shuffled boxes around to offer a strong solitary pat to Neil’s farthest shoulder, a substitution for what Neil was sure Matt wanted to make a hug. He was grateful Matt had refrained. His skin was suddenly feeling raw and itchy.

“Alright,” Matt said, heaving his shoulders in a decision he didn’t seem to like, “one of each it is.” And he started swiping one of every box off the shelf and into the cart, like a bored cat.

Neil quirked an eyebrow at the haphazard mound of feminine hygiene products. “You know that’s bound to get you odd looks, right?”

“I’m more worried about the balance in my bank account,” Matt confessed, still tossing in boxes.

“You could just call Dan and ask which ones she wants.”

“Yeah,” Matt agreed, “but the less I know the better. I could hear Allison snickering in the background.”

Ah. Neil nodded in solemn understanding.

Then Matt got back his characteristic smile and smacked Neil on the shoulder again. “Besides,” he said, “no time to waste here when we’ve gotta get you back to Andrew.”

Andrew. Neil smiled just thinking about him, a spare hand going to his chest and rubbing at the warmth that had just brewed there.

It felt good to leave the store, and not care about the odd looks the cashier and other customers gave them. It felt so insanely good to remind himself that he didn’t need to worry that he and Matt were being remembered, being composed into a story that some of these people would tell their families when they got home that day.

It felt good to leave the past behind, packaged neatly into innocuous green squares.