Consider this a 3 am AU written entirely on mobile tumblr in which Neil is a runaway prince and Andrew is a bandit/thief/Robin Hood-esque whatever the fuck with his family + Kevin, and like most of the plot is over and done with.
“Abram.” The name rolls off of Andrew’s tongue, unfamiliar. “Abram,” he repeats. “Is that a truth?”
“It’s the only truth I know,” Neil responds. “But if ‘Neil’ is a lie, I’d like to keep it so for as long as possible.”
“You are Neil Josten,” Andrew says. His tone holds no room for arguments. Neil has never been good at listening to such things, though.
“I am Nathaniel Wesninski,” he says, barely forcing the words out. “I am Prince Nathaniel Wesninski and my father–”
“You are Neil Abram Josten.” Even if he had not spoken, the conviction behind Andrew’s eyes would have been enough to shut him up. He wonders, not for the first time, how anyone could believe him to be heartless. How anyone could believe him to be The Monster that they’ve all labeled him as. Perhaps Andrew is more human than all of them. Maybe he just knows the truth better than all of them. Maybe, perhaps. “You are Neil Abram Josten and you are one of us.”
It’s the last words that knock the air out of his chest. “I’m one of you?” Neil breathes, eyes wide.
“Don’t be an idiot.” Andrew leans forward to flick his forehead. “You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t.”
“I’m dangerous to you, and your family.”
“So is Kevin.”
“But you have a deal with Kevin.”
“I had a deal with you.”
There’s a silence. A bird chirps. The wind rustles through the trees. The moon just barely shines through the leaves above them.
Andrew lifts a hand and it hovers just beside Neil’s bandaged cheek. He’s giving him a choice. Neil leans to the side, letting him cup his cheek as he closes his eyes. He hasn’t touched Andrew since Riko took him. He is still warm, although the air is cool. He had thought Riko would bring him to is father, and he’d never feel him again. He’d been prepared for that. Now, he doesn’t know if he would ever be able to leave again.
“Your father still believes Riko to be alive and on his way to him,” Andrew murmurs lowly, stroking his thumb along the bandage. “All it would take is a worded letter to your uncle. He would be dealt with–him and his men.”
“And who will take over?” Neil asks. He opens his eyes. “I am not fit to be king.”
“You are a leader, Neil Josten. You will do fine. It is your birthright.”
“I have not been learning to be a leader in years. I am out of practice.”
“Your uncle can help you. You can build an alliance through your father’s death, and he can teach you to be king. He loves you enough to do so.”
“And what of you? And Nicky, and Aaron, and Kevin?”
Andrew is quiet while he ponders this. “What do you want? What is it that you wish for us to do?”
“I wish for you all to be able to find somewhere to rest.”
“…I suppose. He is your brother. I can retract your criminal status. You can have a place in the palace.”
“So you are planning on becoming king, then.”
“I–.” Neil blinks. He hadn’t realized. “I suppose so.”
Andrew nods. “We shall send a letter to your uncle, then?”
“I do not need him to fight my battles.”
“You will not fight your father.” It’s an ordwr, but it sounds like a plea. Neil is and likely always will be weak to Andrew. He cannot argue when he can hear that something behind his voice.
“Okay,” he murmurs, “we will send for my uncle.”
Andrew looks at him, looks into eyes that Neil hates because they are wholly his father’s. They are eyes that Andrew finds intriguing, he knows. “The era of Wesninski will soon be over,” he says. “You will be a king bearing the name Josten. You are not your father. You will be better than him.” You are better than him, he doesn’t say.
“Andrew…” His hand is still to his cheek. He isn’t inclined to remind him to remove it. “Yes or no?”
Neil has not kissed Andrew since the night before Riko had taken him all that time ago. The last time they kissed, Neil was aware of the time limit hanging above his head. He had wanted to know the feeling of being something to Andrew before he was forced to leave them.
There is still a limit, but he feels like they have all the time in the world. Nicky and Aaron and Kevin sleep, far enough away to not be heard but still be seen. In this moment, it is Andrew Doe and Neil Josten and no one else. This is the one thing Neil has ever truly wanted. Whatever ‘this’ may be.
It is Andrew who closes the gap. Andrew who presses his lips so, so softly to Neil’s in a way that is odd, but not unwelcome.
It is not a kiss in a haze of lust. It is not one of desperation. It is not one that speaks of a goodbye and the knowledge that ‘this’ will never be anything ever again.
It is a kiss that holds the promise they had made all those months ago, and the silent promise they made just then. It speaks of that 'something’ that Andrew refuses to acknowledge. It speaks of the things they will never tell each other, but know, deep down. It speaks of battles hard won and the freedom that is so, so close. It speaks of whatever Neil Abram Josten and Andrew Joseph Doe are.
yknow those friends/ppl who are always like “you’re not too much to handle!!! you’re not a burden at all!!!” and you want to believe them you really do
but how can i when i cant even handle myself, when my literal existence is a burden to myself. when eventually everyone just ignores most of the things i say and tbh it’d be better for everyone if they just forgot about me
Anyone else really good at acting neurotypical and has perfected ur facade and also has zero emotional permanence so u think you’re faking everything and even get irritated when other ppl can’t do things but then you feel like a piece of shit…Idek what im saying
one of my only real issues with studyblr is that it just ?? makes me want to study everything ?? like i’ll see a law student and be like,, damn I wanna learn law now !! or i’ll see a medicine student and decide I want to learn medicine or see a physics student and decide I want to be a physicist and I just ??? want to learn everything ever ??
prompt: au !highschool where you get cast as sandy and lin gets cast as danny and you guys have to kiss lol cooties
warnings: lots of fluff, i don’t think i swore ??
a/n: !!! i love drama kids so much and i’m sorry if this like offends any of you!! i really hope you like this one bc i’m super very really extra proud of this and idek why but okay i love u all pls lemme know what you think ok goodnight xo
You and Maria were standing up against you locker. Maria was telling you about some new jeans she had bought and you were “listening.” Honestly, you were just looking at him. Not creepily - just, you know. It was Lin.
Lin was talking to his friend Anthony, eyes flashing towards you every few moments. You blushed when your eyes made contact, looking down to your feet.
“Are you listening to me?” Maria sighed, her words drenched in sarcasm.
You scrambled for an excuse but sighed, “’M sorry. I just -”
“Hey, Y/N,” Lin said, interrupting you with easy grace.
You took a breath, Maria quickly filling your void, “Hey, Lin. Are you auditioning for the play?"
Lin smiled, nodding, "How about you?”
Maria put a sweet grin on her face, “Yeah. Y/N is going out for Sandy,” she put her hand to her mouth like she was telling a secret, “But she’ll deny it if you ask."
Lin laughed when you scoffed, "I’m sure you’ll get it, what about you Maria? Rizzo?”
“You you suggesting something, Mr. Miranda?” She teased easily.
Lin laughed and put his hands up in surrender, “I’ll see you ladies in there,” his eyes were bright, “Bye, Y/N.”
You forced a smile, groaning as he walked away.
“I’m such an idiot,” you sighed, banging your head on the locker next to yours.
“You’re not an idiot,” Maria said, pulling your shoulder back, “You just need a little more confidence around him.”
“And how does that happen?”
Maria giggled, “I don’t know! He’s a senior. In drama. It’s not like he’s that intimidating.”
“He’s popular,” you shrugged, slamming your locker and started walking to homeroom.
“See you for auditions!” Maria winked, tossing some hair over her shoulder before walking the other way.
What the hell did you get yourself into?
Auditions came quicker than you expected, and casting even sooner. So when Maria came over, eyes bright and smile big, you almost didn’t comprehend what she was saying.
“You got Sandy!”
Well, you understood that. What you missed was, “And Lin is Danny!”
You felt comfortable, excited even. Maybe a little guilty towards the few senior girls who didn’t get the lead. And here you were as a junior playing Sandy. Still, that guilt faded when Lin gave you a hug on the first day of rehearsals, telling you how proud he was of you.
The first day of practice was just a script run through. You hadn’t seen Grease in a while, so it was a much needed refresher.
However, you reached some of the last few pages, and you saw the words:
Then a few lines down?
Danny kisses Sandy more passionately.
You coughed awkwardly, blushing when Lin shot you a sheepish smile. In place of it for now, Lin blew you a kiss from three seats down.
You let out an airy laugh, embarrassed a little. You should be happy about this, right? You crush is going to kiss you - twice. You should be happy. You are happy. Right?
Rehearsals continued for about a month before Alex came up at the end of a Friday.
“Hey, Y/N, can you hold up a minute after?"
"Ugh, yeah,” you said, putting your bag down. You wrapped a gray sweater around your body.
“Hey,” a voice said, making you jump. Lin.
“Sorry,” he said, scratching the back of his neck, “I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“No it’s, it’s fine.” At the sight of him, a smile rose on your face without permission.
Lin opened his mouth to say something more, taking a step closer to you when he was interrupted.
“Good, both of you are here.” Alex said, clasping his hands together, “So, I want to run the kiss on Tuesday, okay?”
You and Lin exchanged a look, both of your cheeks tinted pink.
Lin raised his eyebrows at you, as if asking for permission.
“Sure,” you said as confidently as possible. Still, you’re nearly positive your voice broke.
Monday night, Maria came over. She had gotten Rizzo and told her mom she was “running lines” wth you. In reality, she was trying to calm your anxiety.
“Maria, I’ve never kissed a guy - what am I going to do? What if I’m a bad kisser? What if my breath smells bad? What if he never wants to kiss me again? Oh my gosh. I’m gonna kiss Lin - oh shit. Oh my gosh. I can’t kiss Lin! I - ”
“Y/N! Stop! You need to chill out. You’re making a track.”
You looked down to see where you were pacing, and sure enough, you had created a flat in the carpet. You sighed and flopped down on the bed.
“What am I going to do?”
Maria looked to you on her side, “Didn’t you kiss that guy Jack? Just do the same thing!”
You let out an exasperated sigh, “We were like, eleven. It doesn’t count.”
Maria shrugged, “You’re gonna be fine. You just have to chill out.”
Tuesday morning rolled around and you were a zombie through all of your classes. Maria was a little nervous, but she was nothing compared to you. You were constantly replaying all the times you had run this scene and Lin would dip you and Eskimo kiss you or raspberry your cheek and just make you laugh. And now the thought of being near him made you as sick as it did a month ago at your locker.
Lin came up to you before rehearsal, biting his lips and practically bouncing.
“You sure you’re okay with this? I can talk to Alex and see if -”
“Yeah, it’s totally cool.” No, I’m a mess, you thought. “It’s just acting, right?” Wrong, I’ve had a crush on your for three years, you thought.
Something flashed across Lin’s face at that, but it was gone before you could recognize it.
“Cool,” he nodded before skidding away.
The kiss wasn’t until the very end of rehearsal, and for a moment, you thought he was going to postpone it until tomorrow. You checked your watch: 4:09. Practice ended at 4:30, so all you had to do was stall for -
“Y/N! We’re gonna run the kiss scene dry first, okay?” Alex called over. You sighed but nodded feebly.
Lin was still bouncy, a little smirk on his lip though.
“Start at the beginning of Act II, scene four, okay?” Alex said, but words were mushed together at this point. Lin was looking at you with bright eyes. Still, you couldn’t avoid the snickers you heard from the senior girls across the room, watching you with beady eyes.
You felt Lin - well, Danny - put his arm around you, signally your cue.
“Is this okay?” You tried to sound innocent, like Sandy would.
You dialogue continued for a few more lines.
“I should’ve given this to you a long time ago,” Lin said.
Now, you thought. Lin took in a small breath and everything was suddenly in slow motion. His gaze flashed to your lips then back up to your eyes. You flushed your eyes shut, leaning ever so slightly to feel his lips graze yours. You could feel his smile ever so lightly on your mouth, pulling him closer by the back of his neck. It was short and sweet, how the script directed.
Danny fixes himself before saying, “I really like you Sandy.” Then, with more confidence this time, his lips found yours again. His lips moved like a melody over your own harmony. His hands were on your waist, pulling you closer to him in the prop car. You savored the kiss for a second longer before pulling away.
“Take it easy, Danny! What are you trying to -” you paused when you heard the giggles of the girls in the black box, your cheeks immediately flushing red. Lin took notice of this, picking up where you had left off.
“What’s the matter?” You couldn’t tell if it was Danny asking or Lin, so you rolled with the script despite the break in your heart.
Why would he ever like you? He’s a senior. A popular senior. Lin wants a girl like them - popular, pretty, good at acting. Not you. Besides, it’s not like this was anything more than acting.
So that night, before you left, when Lin asked if everything was alright?
You ignored him.
You only ran the kiss once more before the show during dress rehearsals. Lin was calm and collected through the entire thing, while you nearly got sick every time someone mentioned the show at all.
The girls had gotten worse. You could feel their glare during every scene you had onstage. Still, you tried to block it out. One more week, and then this is all over.
It was around seven o’clock the day before opening night, and you were the last one in the theater. You were walking yourself through some choreography that you already knew by heart - you practically did it in your sleep. Humming along to the songs, you marked your dance.
A crash made you stop. Turning to see who was there, Lin emerged slyly, a pint tint on his cheeks.
“Hey,” he started. You offered a small wave but went back to marking your choreography.
“Hey,” Lin said again, this time grabbing your arm gently to stop your movements.
“I’m practicing,” you tried.
“You’ve been practicing for two and a half months. You need to sleep now,” he tried.
You sighed, but nodded and started to pack your bag up.
Walking out of the theater, Lin ran to catch up to you. You were impatient, angry that you let your feelings get in the way and now you couldn’t focus and you were probably going to mess up the show and -
“Y/N?” Lin interrupted your thoughts, worry etched across his face.
You shook your head but started to walk away. Seamlessly, he grabbed your hand and pulled you back to him. You gasped when his hand went from his side to your cheek to push some hair behind your ear.
His eyes flashed to your lips, the same way they did over a month ago on that Friday. You shut your eyes when you felt him close the distance, his soft lips gracing easily over yours, burning like a flame before sharply pulling away. You pointed at him, frustrated.
“Y/N, I -” you held up a hand.
“Just,” you paused, “Ugh!”
You speed walked back to your car, not even turning on your lights as you skidded out of the parking lot.
It was going perfectly. You were beyond excited and even made small talk with a few of the senior girls. Lin tried to talk to you twice, but you would make up lame excuses as to why you had to go; each time leaving Lin sulking.
You had made it halfway through Act II, everything going off without a hitch, when it happened.
It was (obviously) the kiss scene, and Lin was an amazing performer. His lines were sharp and crisp, his attitude perfected, and his everything. He was ridiculously talented, and no one could take that away from him. So when he screwed up a line, you were not expecting it.
The first kiss was sweet, simple. And then it happened.
“I really like you, Y/N,” he said, kissing you before he realized what he said. His lips touched yours with the same passion he was directed to but this time with a fire so bright it could burn. This kiss was different; it didn’t feel staged. You pulled away breathless, almost forgetting your line.
“Take it easy, Danny! What are you trying to do?” You played, snapping him back into reality. Some of your lipstick had gotten on his mouth. You bit back a smile.
Your heart soared for another five minutes before you caught a senior glaring at you again. Annoyed, you fixed your lipstick and changed into your next costume.
The rest of the play continued, smooth sailing until the final bow.
Lin held your hand tightly, squeezing before giving leading you forward for one more bow.
You practically sprinted out of the theater, makeup half off and a pair of sweats thrown on with a teeshirt. You had nearly made it out of the school when he called out.
“Y/N, wait!” He was dressed similarly to you, wearing the Grease shirt you had gotten.
You turned on your heel to face him, brushing a stray curl off your forehead.
“You did really well out there,” he smiled.
“Thanks, you too.” You said as you pushed down any feelings you had for him, even ignoring his ‘I really like you, Y/N,’ slip. “See you tomorrow,” you tried, starting to leave.
“Wait!” Lin said, grabbing your hand like he had done just a day before.
“Lin,” you huffed, “I don’t know what you want me to tell you!”
“Tell me you felt something too,” he said immediately. “Tell me that, that - that wasn’t acting. That couldn’t be just acting, right?”
You took in a sharp breath, “But all the girls -”
“Y/N,” Lin laughed. His eyes were wide. He wet his lips before continuing, “You’re the only one I like.”
Your head shot up, “Wait, you like me?”
He took a step forward, a giggle bubbling out of him, “I’ve been flirting with your for months, but thanks for noticing.”
Your surprise was short lived when he took another step forward, lifting your chin with his finger before pressing his lips to yours.
ksoo is so reserved and we still don’t know many of his personal interests so any new ounce of info exo spills about him is still mind blowing to me like holy fuck he burned himself bro it’s good to know that he still cookin chef soo is re-confirmed and holy fucking fuck ksoo does pilates dude heathy af ksoo invented fitness