I Don't Wanna Live Forever [Connor Murphy x Reader]
Title: I Don’t Wanna Live Forever
Pairing: Connor Murphy x Reader
Fandom: Dear Evan Hansen
Summary: Your family takes an annual trip to the mountains with the Murphy family every year to unwind over the winter break–that being said, Connor Murphy isn’t the sweet kid he used to be, and you’d rather be anywhere else than sharing a room with him for two weeks. However, between your parents, a line of accidents, and a mapless trip in the woods seem determined to bring you together–if you can make it out alive.
Warnings: Connor’s potty mouth | Mentions of drugs, abuse, alcohol, panic attacks, sex trafficking, sex, blood, hospitals | First person reader | face paced/vignette style | not proof read | tenses may change
A/N: Here’s that long ass thing I’ve been working on for weeks and just finished a few minutes ago, ayy. Based entirely off the “Connor hated skiing” line. This is long af with no read more option, sorry :/ Here we go! (THANKS FOR 500+ FOLLOWERS ♡♡♡)
Connor Murphy was a lot of things.
He was stubborn–I’d never seen him admit he was wrong, but I’d definitely seen him throw scrabble pieces across the wooden floor of the cabin, leaving Zoe to scramble red-faced to collect them as he stomped up the oak steps to his room, echoing around the house.
He was annoying–I’d told him once I wasn’t crazy about Iron Maiden, which resulted in the album being on blast for the entirety of the time he drove Zoe and I around the mall in the family’s silver minivan.
He was stoic. He was impatient. He was angry.
I’d begged my parents not to go cabins for winter break. I’d begged them to pick a different mountain range if we were so dead set on skiing. But Mr. Murphy and my mother were business associates, and the last thing she wanted to do was make them feel like we were no longer on good terms–especially because of Connor.
“Larry’s been having an awfully hard time with Connor, sweetheart, you have to understand,” my mother crooned in our rental car, fixing her lip liner as she drove, my father keeping a white knuckled grip on the Jesus handle above his head. “He’s not doing very well in school and he’s been throwing tantrums at home. Poor Cynthia is at her wits end. They’re lucky to have that sweet Zoe, she’s so talented and smart. Poor Connor is jealous and acting out, just try not to rally him up, alright, dear?”
I didn’t dignify her with a response, mostly because I knew she wouldn’t like what I had to say anyway, but also because I knew she wouldn’t care to listen, either. I sighed loudly, watching the snow flurry softly outside the window. It wasn’t fair–here I was in the middle of something so remarkably beautiful, and I’d be shoved in a minivan with the Murphy kids and stuck in the valley town’s 1970s mall with crappy t-shirts and a vape store that Connor would spend all day in.
The cabin was huge, up with a view of the town below, nearly three stories made of solid, stripped oak, in the middle of a winding road with a four percent grade. Half the cabin was supported on beams which plummeted down the mountain face. I’d be lucky to stand on the deck without vomiting, let alone being able to venture into the hot tub.
The Murphy’s minivan was already in the drive, trunk shut, meaning they’d unpacked and I’d be left with whatever miniscule space they’d left for me in the loft area.
“Remember to be nice, sweetheart,” my mother crooned again, fluffing her hair in the mirror and giving me an enthusiastic smile in the rearview. “It’s important! They’re practically family.”
Geez, I was lucky to not have Connor Murphy for a cousin.
Slinging my backpack over my arm and exiting the rental car, I took the liberty to stretch, despite the cold air that stung my cheeks and the snow that fluttered down into my hair. This may very well be the last moment of solitude I had for the entirety of the week, and I was going to revel in it.
A movement caught my eye, suddenly, and I lowered myself off my tiptoes to glance up at the second story window–a curtain fluttered shut. It was most likely Zoe or Connor checking out the commotion that was my father and mother bickering over who carried what into the house, and shutting it once they’d realized I caught them. Feeling vaguely uneasy, I turned just as Larry Murphy, bundled in a parka, burst out of the house to take two suitcases from my father.
It was going to be a long two weeks.
Cynthia Murphy made me stand by the kitchen counter as she was stocking the cabinet with neon colored cardboard boxes containing various sugary, pink cereals with marshmallows and prizes inside. The Murphy kids were both picky eaters, I remembered quickly, Connor more so than Zoe.
Mrs. Murphy kept playing with my hair, crowing about how much longer it looked (despite the fact I’d cut it since the last time I’d seen her) and how pretty and grown up I’d become, asking me the usually annoying adult questions (“Any thoughts on schools yet? Oh, Connor can’t decide either! Do you know what you’re going to major in? That’s alright, you’ll figure it out soon!”) It would’ve been annoying, I decided, if and only if she didn’t look so sad all the time, the purple bruising under her eyes visible still underneath the layers of makeup. My mother could say whatever she liked about Cynthia Murphy where her wifely duties were concerned–Mrs. Murphy tried to be a good mother (re: tried, period), and that was more than enough to pass her in my book.
In the background, my parents were settling into the second master bedroom, Larry Murphy yelling at the bottom of the stairs to announce our arrival. I could do without the annual reunion, awkward questions about school. The Murphy kids were tolerable–Zoe definitely more so–but it didn’t mean they had to force us together so artificially.
Zoe skimpered down the stairs first, her soft moccasin boots barely making any sound on the stairs–I was surprised to find her long legs bare, her thighs peeking out beneath a pretty pink chiffon dress, covered by what I hoped to be a faux fur parka. Her pretty auburn hair was curled, pulled back with a polka dot headband I could recognize from her childhood. She was wearing eyeliner, and cotton candy flavored lip gloss I remembered sharing when we were thirteen.
It was such a stark contrast from how I remembered her before. The last I’d seen her she’d been gawky and fifteen with a mouth full of metal and a bra full of kleenex. She was practically grown now, and beautiful–it made me feel slightly subpar in my own blue jeans and blue sweater. Regardless, she smiled brightly and skipped over to me, opening her arms to wrap them around my neck.
“It’s so good to see you!” She exclaimed, pressing a quick kiss to my cheek that shocked me, as well as some others–Larry Murphy’s horrified expression was priceless, and I was convinced Connor put her up to it–but I just laughed and hugged her tightly before letting her go.
“You look so pretty,” I told her with a wry grin, and she just tossed the expression back, nodding with a, “So do you!”
“It’s so good to see you girls are still so close,” my mother tittered, beginning to uncork a glass of wine–we didn’t drink much at my house, but the Murphy’s, I knew, did, and my mother certainly wasn’t going to let that go to waste. “Where’s that sweet boy of yours?”
Larry Murphy at the bottom of the stairs, banging on the oak walls, yelling out, “Connor!” was enough to make both the Murphy women flinch visibly. Zoe still had her arm around my waist as we stared up at the ceiling above us, waiting for the squeak of sneakers on the polished wood.
Zoe jumped away from me as if she’d been burned, pressing herself against the countertop as if to make herself invisible. Mrs. Murphy, her hand clutched to her chest after the initial nose, fought hard to smile believably. I, myself, had jumped at the unexpected sound–Connor Murphy’s curt tenor clear across the room, no where near the stairs, instead standing the doorway were we had just come from. I couldn't quite make out his frame from here–there was a line of bodies blocking my view, my parents, Mrs. Murphy, and Zoe all formed a human barrier that constructed the divide between Connor and I. Fine by me.
“There you are!” Mrs. Murphy chirped, clearly still nervous, visibly by her shaking voice and hands, fluffing her hair to give her something to do. “You didn’t miss much, Connor, they’ve just arrived.”
My mother said something unintelligent in way of greeting, to which Conner didn’t reply, just shut the door carefully behind him to keep out the cold air. I couldn’t see his face from here, but I could make out that he was much too still for a teenage boy, much too quiet.
“–You remember her, don’t you, Connor?”
My throat closed up as the Red Sea parted, everyone’s heads turning to look between the two of us.
He didn’t move from the doormat–boots caked in snow, as if he’d gone for a walk, and the bottoms of his skinny jeans were muddy and slick looking. Still, he didn’t shiver, which was slightly unnerving. He was skinnier than I remembered, like he hadn’t been eating, and his face was all angles. He slouched, his pink mouth which was mottled red from the cold was set in a heavy frown. His eyes, which were scanning somewhere around my waist and hadn’t come anywhere near making eye contact since he’d seen me, had blown pupils. Drugs. He was doing drugs in the middle of the afternoon.
He hadn’t cut his hair since I’d seen him last, brown curls poking out of the bottom of a black sock toboggan with a soft pompom on top. It could’ve been funny, I supposed, his rough puberty finishing to leave him left over with this, something akin to a drugged out vogue model who listened to way too much 2008 Fall Out Boy, if he didn’t seem so…unnervingly somber for someone who clearly wasn’t sober. Geez, this kid was a school shooter in the making.
I glanced back up to find him finally staring at my face, shooting an uncomfortable alertness down my spine. His eyebrows were crooked in vague amusement that didn’t seem to reach his mouth, and I felt my face heat up under his scrutiny. If he was trying to intimidate me, it wouldn’t work. I wasn’t scared of boys like him.
“Yeah, I remember her,” he grinned mirthlessly, stuffing his hands into the gut pocket of his hoodie, giving me a nod that, while meant to appease our parents, also felt like a vague threat. I didn’t smile back.
“Great! Wanna show her the room?”
Connor grinned crookedly. “Follow me, kid.”
The upstairs layout was just like I remembered it–Two rooms, one main one in the first entrance with a king bed tucked in the corner, a TV and a few gaming systems with some furniture in the front, a bathroom with two doors which lead through to the other room, which held the fold out couch and television I was accustomed to using.
The Murphy kids already had their belongs strewn about the room–Zoe’s stuff animals and princess blankets eclipsing most of the bed and an ancient Nintendo DS on the table with SpongeBob stickers on the cover that I’m sure belonged to Connor–and it left me very little room to maneuver through.
Connor was silent as he lead me up, as if I didn’t know the way, but surprised me by stopping in front of the king bed, holding out his arms to signal me.
“Your room, my lady.”
I cocked an eyebrow. “This–this is your bed.”
“Not this year. Dad’s decided it’s a little too Flowers In the Attic for Zoe and I to share a bed this year–I’m on the pull out and you girls get to have your fun.” He shot me a bitter smile to let me know he wasn’t thrilled about having the pull-out–he shouldn’t be, the thing was total garbage–but surely he’d enjoy the privacy of it?
“I don’t care to take the pull-out,” I told him, keeping my bag on my shoulder despite the fact it was beginning to be painfully heavy. “If you wanna–”
“Don’t have a choice,” he said, already turning toward the bathroom to walk to his half of the loft. “The bed’s yours.”
So, Connor Murphy had turned out to be a total dick. It should’ve unsurprising information, I knew, but part of me still remembered him as a charismatic kid I was, at one point, friends with. Back when the three of us all slept in the king bed, before any of us ever had a zit, when we’d fall asleep in the floor watching early 1990s Pokémon episodes, because Larry Murphy didn’t like them watching it.
Even the Connor I remembered at fourteen, gangly and silent and shy with close-cropped hair felt better than this. I was past uncomfortable, sitting stiffly between he and Zoe on one of the couches in the living room. There was a faux fur blanket hanging behind us, shedding hairs onto Connor’s black jacket, which would’ve been funny if he wasn’t picking at his nails with a slightly rusted pocket knife–I notice he’d painted them, which I oddly admired. I’d kissed a boy earlier this year who painted his nails, and his palms were always soft when he’d reach up to cup my cheeks. It softened Connor in my head, just slightly.
He was careful, I saw, to stay on his side of the couch, leaning into the apex of the arm and the back of the couch rather than flush with me, his thin legs stretched out and crossed at the ankle to avoid me. I appreciated it, but it didn’t stop me from leaning forward, my elbows on my knees, sitting on the edge of the cushion. I could still feel warmth radiating from him–it was late, and I was tired with a full stomach. If I wasn’t careful, I’d fall right into him, and he’d never let me live that down.
Zoe practically was asleep, leaning forward as well with her head on my shoulder. Cynthia had let her have nearly two glasses of wine at dinner–not enough to get her drunk, but it didn’t change the fact Zoe was still lithe and young, and easily tipsy.
We’d all gone into town for a very awkward dinner–I was just thankful to be placed between my father and Zoe, in a position on the opposite end of the table from Connor, who was stuck in between Larry and Cynthia, looking as if he were in a permanent time out.
Now we were gathered around the coffee table in the cabin, the seven of us hunched over a tiny photo album that I couldn’t really make out from here. There were fuzzy polaroids of us as children, looking nothing like we did now. Connor and I at six, soaked from romping in a sprinkler. Zoe and Connor sharing a chocolate icecream cone, their faces covered in the brown spatter.
“You were all so small,” Mrs. Murphy crowed with a choked voice, covering half her face with her hand in a faux attempt to eclipse the emotion. “Oh, I miss it. You kids used to spend so much time together! Now we only get together for break, and Zoe is so busy there’s hardly enough time for her to spend quality time with her sweet brother.”
Zoe snorted loudly, earning a glare from Mr. Murphy I was positive I wasn’t supposed to see. I snuck a glance at Connor, whose face betrayed no emotion, just staring blankly ahead in the direction of the album. From his position, I was positive he couldn’t see more than the chipped leather cover of the book. Even if he leaned forward, he wouldn’t have been able to see much.
My mother and Mrs. Murphy went out in loud voices in a seamless attempt to pretend the seemingly secret interaction had taken place, so, while the focus was shifted, I turned my attention to Connor.
He didn’t cock an eyebrow this time when he caught me staring, instead just furrowed his eyebrows and looked at me, as if he expected me to speak.
“Can you see?” I asked, nodding my head in the direction of the book.
“I’m fine,” he said immediately–vaguely irritating, I’d admit, but nonetheless understandable. I was sure Cynthia Murphy had spent most of her life making sure Connor was comfortable at all times. Still, this was my olive branch, in an attempt to make this trip a little more tolerable, and Zoe seemed less than likely to console her brother at this point.
“We can change seats, I’m not really looking,” I promised, sitting forward more in my seat to show that I was ready to make the change.
Connor was cut off by a squeal from his mother, who had tossed the book into our laps. It had taken a great deal of squinting, letting my heartbeat slow before I realized she’d been showing us something and not trying to kill some giant bug between us.
The polaroid was grainy, an ivory hue that whitewashed the photo and the years of existence made the picture hard to decipher at first, especially when we were so tired. The time stamp was from the late nineties, glowing yellow in the corner of the frame. I recognized the gilded tub from upstairs that dominated half the bathroom, big enough for three adults easily.
Connor threw to book onto my lap first, like it had scalded him. I should’ve done the same, but it took me a moment. To see, to adjust, to read and understand what was so socially condemning about the photo.
It was Connor, I realized first, small and tanned with bony ribs and chunky fingers and the apples of his cheeks straining against his baby skin. His hair was cropped so short, it looked almost silly. Beside him was me, my hair wild and tangled, curled as if my mother had teased it for dinner. My wide eyes were blazing, much too big for my face, and I was grinning with wet lips at the camera.
We were in the tub, surrounded by big pink bubbles.
We were very, very naked.
It shouldn’t have been a big deal–not really, unless you counted the fact that if this had been printed, our parents would be arrested for child porn. I was mostly covered, sitting beside Connor, my shoulders hunched forward. But Connor was standing, meaning the camera got a very decent view of–
“What the fuck, Mom!” He screaming, standing and ripping the book off my lap. Cynthia’s tittering died immediately, the hands covering her laughed instead covered her horrified face.
This was how it started, I realized.
“It’s not fucking funny,” he growled, tossing the book across the room, banging against the wooden wall with a heavy whomp.
“That’s enough, Connor,” Larry Murphy growled low in his throat. Cynthia’s head was downcast, her eyes wide and wet. I recognized the emotion immediately–she shut down with conflict the same way Connor did.
“You don’t get to laugh at me for shits and giggles this whole trip,” Connor said, already lunging up the stairs, his hands shaking. “If I wanted to feel shitty, I’d have a conversation with you.”
So much for having a quiet trip.
Zoe wasn’t quiet in her gossip about Connor–his door was fashioned shut, I saw, and I doubt he’d come out for the rest of the night. I was positive he could hear his sister’s loud comments from our room.
“Sorry, he’s such an ass,” Zoe groaned, stretching on the bed, her little lilac nightgown shifting across her thighs. “I think his high is wearing off or something–don’t let it bug you. You don’t have to be nice to him, by the way. I’m not gonna let him hurt you.”
I shrugged, noncommittal. “We were friends once. I’m not gonna be mean, he’s never done anything to me.”
Zoe snorted. “You didn’t just see that? He’s a monster, and it gets worse.”
“He just has a temper. Everyone gets like that sometimes.”
I wasn’t sure why I was defending Connor–half because I didn’t want Zoe to tell Connor I disliked him, then he’d actively terrorize me–half because I had no idea why Connor Murphy was so pissed off. It was just a picture. Yeah, embarrassing, I’ll admit I wasn’t too thrilled about eighteen year old Connor Murphy seeing my nipples, and I’ll admit he definitely had the worst end of the stick.
“He loses his shit like that all the time,” Zoe said. “It’s not just a temper.”
“He’s your brother, Zoe,” I reminded gently, brushing out my hair in the bathroom mirror. “Can’t you give him the benefit of the doubt?”
“He’s no brother of mine,” she whispered, rolling over on the bed and clicking off the light.
The next few days passed as the usually did–the adults going places without us, albeit romantic and boring, and leaving the three of us to wander about the town below the mountain crests. It was Zoe’s turn to pick the day’s activity, and she’d chosen the mall.
The place was all dark oak, and hadn’t been remodeled since the late seventies at the earliest. Zoe was chipper, balancing a bag of organic soap and bath bombs on her lap that she’d bought at a local shop, pouring over the cheese fries between us on a plastic red tray.
Connor had also been well-behaved since his outburst several days ago, albeit quiet. He’d separated from us the second we’d arrived, holed out in some record store. Zoe was thrilled to be rid of him, and very vocal about it. I was bored out of my mind.
“Don’t look now,” Zoe said brightly, despite her face suddenly shifting into a mask of disinterest. She bit down on her lip, covered in a pink glitter lipgloss she’d applied much too liberally, and pulled on her pretty auburn braid. “There’s some boys two tables behind us checking you out.”
I felt my face get hot. “You’re lying.”
“Nuh-uh,” Zoe said, leaning into take a sip of her milkshake, biting down on the straw–the look on her face told me she’d got their attention.
“How old are they?” I hissed. The last thing we needed were some creeps following us around the mall–this was how sex trafficking started. Surely Zoe knew that this was a huge red flag.
It was clear from her overzealous wave she didn’t.
I felt a hand on the back of my chair before I saw them–to Zoe’s credit, they were pretty. Both in thick denim blue jeans, both in letterman jackets over white tee-shirts. One was tall, skinny, with pretty dark skin and hair cropped close to his head. The other was a little thicker, pale and short, in badly need from a shave. They were smiling brightly at the two of us in a way that was less awestruck and more closely resembled a triumphant conquest.
“Hello, ladies,” the shorter man greeted, grinning like a shark between Zoe and I. His hair was dark, curling around his temples–handsome, maybe my age, maybe ten years older. It was impossible to tell. There were lines around his eyes that either indicated he smiled too much or was simply older. “What are two cute girls like you doing inside on a day like this–the ski lift is just a walk down the road.”
“We’re here shopping with our brother,” I said immediately, giving a grin. The taller boy quirked his eyebrows at me–his eyes, I noticed, were dark with tawny flecks hidden in them.
“That’s cool,” he said to me, switching places so that the other boy could be closer to Zoe. They both pulled chairs up to our table, facing us. My stomach pinched uncomfortably. “Where’s he at?”
“Nike,” I lied, seeing the sign from the distance and knowing very well that Hot Topic, while probably true, didn’t exactly invoke fear.
“Ah,” he said with a grin, his eyes glancing down at my bare arm with a grin. With two slim fingers, he reached forward to pluck at my woven bracelet Zoe had made me a few nights ago, my name in block letter strung across the twine. His hands were uncomfortably hot, and I drew my arm back into my lap. “Aren’t you cold?” He nodded to my bare arms. I’d left my flannel with Connor, who was sitting on a bench at the time–I hoped he remembered to grab it. I was just wearing a striped cotton tee right now, and my arm had broken out in a case of goosebumps, though I wasn’t sure it was from the cold.
“I’m fine,” I said, careful not to meet his gaze. He was pretty, and if I wasn’t careful, I might end up going somewhere with this guy.
“You know,” he began, and I could hear his grin turn predatory. “You’re very pretty.”
A jolt shot down my spine–I wasn’t pretty, not really, which terrified me. I could hear what the other boy was whispering to Zoe, but I could tell that all the stars were gone from her eyes. She looked pale, panicked. These weren’t the kind of boys we needed to hanging around with.
“I know,” I said quickly. “We really need to call our brother–”
“I think he can wait long enough for me to get your number, right?”
Across the table Zoe laughed, too loudly, pushing back and standing from her chair. She was grinning at the dark haired boy, beckoning her to follow with a jerk of her chin.
“We’re gonna run to get some coffee, okay? Connor should be back soon, don’t wait up.”
She didn’t meet my heavy glare for long, and didn’t turn around when I yelled her name. I watched in silent horror as the boy put his hand flush with her lower back.
I was alone.
The panic crept onto the back of my neck long before his thin fingers did. He smelled like cinnamon, strongly, like he’d done one too many sprays with his cologne that morning. When I turned to face him, his tawny eyes were asking.
“Is this the part where you say you’ve got a boyfriend?” He grinned, his teeth blindingly bright in his tan face. He was so close I could see the threads on the collar of his letterman jacket–it looked soft.
There was a possibility, I realized, that they weren’t dangerous. That I was just being paranoid–Zoe wasn’t stupid, and she wouldn’t go off with a strange boy unless she was sure it was safe. Still, they were definitely in college.
And boy, were they pretty.
“I do have a boyfriend, actually,” I said, lifting my chin to meet his gaze so he wouldn’t think I was lying. There was a small voice in the back of my head, screaming, raised on her tip toes that I should just take this plunge–let him hold my hand or kiss him or whatever he wanted to do, because this was a shitty trip and I deserved to be as reckless as the Murphy kids were allowed. I didn’t see a reason why I shouldn’t.
Besides, you know, the obvious.
He quirked an eyebrow. “You have a boyfriend?” He asked, biting back a smirk. I felt the voice in the back of my head get sucker punched by my ego. So, he didn’t think I was pretty after all. Which meant he was dangerous.
Which meant Zoe was in trouble.
“Yes,” I growled, standing, yelping a bit when his hand snaked up to grab at my wrist, nearly breaking my bracelet and keeping me bent over the table.
“Let go,” I hissed–the food court was nearly deserted, and the family in the corner was carefully avoiding my eyes. I wasn’t sure I had the voice to scream.
“I don’t believe you have a boyfriend.”
“Let go, or I’ll scream,” I warned, yanking on my arm. He let go immediately, holding his hand high above his head, which I knew was meant as a gesture of calm, but instead looked an awful lot like he intended to strike me.
“Where’s your boyfriend, then?” He taunted loudly, thrilled to see no one in the court coming to my aid. I felt sick, the panic rising in my chest. Where was Zoe? She was in trouble. I was in trouble. I was going to have to scream–
“He’s right here.”
My arm flailed, immediately cocking back in an attempt to elbow in the stomach whoever had wrapped their arm around my neck, their other spidery hand snaking just slightly under the hem of my t-shirt to splay across my hip, finger tips barely brushing my skin above my jeans. The arms were strong, vice like, pressing me against a hard body, and suddenly I felt limp, panic leaving me as I realized whose familiar smell I was enveloped in.
Hair grazed across my cheekbone, and I could make out the dark locks if I looked out the corner of my eye, and I nearly yelped when I felt lips press chastely against my temple.
I couldn’t make out much of the boy anymore, my eyes level with Connor’s adams apple from where he was pressing me against him.
“Babe,” Connor said cooly, calmly, making my knees knock against his. “Who’s this?”
“H-he’s leaving,” I managed to stutter out, barely a whisper, my voice hoarse. I sounded terrified. No wonder this ass in the letterman jacket hadn’t be intimated by me, I sounded about as frightening as a kitten. Connor pressed his fingers against the nape of my neck, tilting my head against his jugular so that I couldn’t see anything but the pale column of his throat and his dark hair. It was getting difficult to breathe–I felt sick. He moved his hand to wrap around my waist, yanking me tightly to him.
“You heard her,” Connor said, again stoic–half of me wished I could see his face, but the other half knew it would be terrifying. Connor’s temper was legendary and destructive–to see him so angry wouldn’t make the fist in my gut unclench. “Go. Take your friend with you.”
There was a beat of silence. Then two. I couldn’t hear much but my own shaky breathing, warm and wet against Connor’s neck, his hair making the space much too hot. I wasn’t aware I had knotted my fingers into his shirt until he started walking, dragging my stumbling form forward with him. He was going fast, too fast for me to keep up, and my chest could only rise so far before deflating painfully.
“You gotta breathe,” he grunted, one of his arms still around me. His face felt hot against me.
“Z-zoe!” I choked out, realizing I had no idea where she was. She could still be with that boy, be in danger–
“Oh, Christ,” he exclaimed bitterly, letting go and beginning to trudge forward. I was terrified briefly, suddenly overwhelmed with the fact I didn’t know where I was. There was a Game Stop, and a Victoria’s secret, the neon lighting combined with the screaming toddlers and the kissing teens and Connor was leaving–
An arm swept up from behind me, leading me just as quickly, mumbling something I couldn’t make out into my ear.
“Zoe!” I grinned, immediately feeling safer, feeling my fear melt away just smidgen in my gut.
“I’m so so sorry I left,” she sobbed. “I went looking for a cop, but I found Connor first and I told him you were in trouble–”
“It’s fine,” I said immediately, surprised that my voice was no longer wet. “Thanks, Zoe.”
I was calm, or, at least calmer by the time we reached the van. Connor was waiting by the passenger side door, which was opened, leaning against a scratch in the silver paint. He wasn’t looking at us, instead appearing to observe the silver snowflakes as they fell.
My reflection in the side mirror revealed my face was red and blotchy, not just from the cold wind. I felt gross–guilty for the fact I hadn’t been able to defend myself and Zoe, guilty for the fact Connor Murphy was the one who had to come to my rescue, and guilty for the fact I’d cried all over him. His zipped up hoodie seemed to have escaped the mess, but that didn’t mean I didn’t feel awful.
He stepped out of the way when I made it close, gesturing for me to get in the passenger side door while glaring at the ground. I was only vaguely surprised, and followed along immediately. Zoe and I almost always rode together in the back. I let Connor shut the door, ignoring the disgusted look Zoe gave as she got into the back.
Connor hoisted himself into the driver’s seat, surprising me with a costume change, reappearing in only a forest green tee. He held out his hoodie to me, balled up in one of his fists without looking at me, before just tossing it into my lap.
“I left your flannel in the back. Put that on or you’ll freeze.”
He licked his lips, staring coldly out the front window, before starting the car. I swallowed. Yeah, he definitely hated me.
“You’re sure you’re alright, honey?” My mother asked for the third time. Her hair was tied up, her pink bathrobe covering little of her cleavage and bare legs. She was cradling a wine bottle in her hands, looking at me in faux concern.
I gave her a soft smile. “I’m fine,” I lied. I’d calmed considerately. Connor and Zoe had both agreed I needed to shower to wash off the panicked look on my face–I’d asked them to keep the days happenings a secret. They’d reluctantly agreed.
She gave me a clipped smile. “Maybe you should go to bed early, yeah? That’s what I plan to do.”
I nodded, scratching at my bare leg. I’d taken advantage of Zoe’s absense and changed into boxer shorts and an oversized tee with a kitten on the front–she and Cynthia had headed into town for the night, spending the night at a spa and would be gone for a few days, and my father had taken his annual ‘me time’ and booked a hotel downtown to do his own thing. I think Mr. Murphy went with him, but regardless, he was out of the house. It was just me and my mother.
And Connor. I tried not to think about it. I planned on offering him the big bed tonight, in way of thanking him for today, but we hadn’t spoken much since the incident and I felt…odd. Unsure how to thank him. Unsure why he helped.
I supposed the Murphy men were just gentlemen, even under all that teen angst.
“Yeah,” I agreed. “I’m probably gonna sit out on the balcony and then head to bed.”
She grinned. “Don’t stay out too late, it’s almost down to single digits, dear.”
I just nodded, sliding off the countertop, and slinking upstairs. I was surprised to see Connor sitting on the bed. I grinned.
He looked different, to say the least. He was still without his jacket, wearing only his tee and jeans, and little pair of socks with stars on them, which did seem a little out of character, but I assumed Cynthia bought them. His head perked when he saw me, simply craning his neck, keeping his shoulders bowed forward over his body.
He looked small, I realized. He didn’t look like a boy who punched holes in walls or scared off very big very scary men in shopping mall food courts. He looked like a vogue model with a little too much innocence.
He gave me a grin with no teeth, and it didn’t quite meet his eyes, but I gave him a sheepish smile back.
“Hey,” I greeted, tugging on my top to cover my shorts a little better–Connor Murphy didn’t have any interest in seeing my thighs. Despite all the panic, I’d been playing over and over in my head the comment the boy in the mall had made, incredulous that I had a boyfriend. It was silly to let it sting me, considering he probably wanted to stuff me in a van, but it crippled me nonetheless.
“Hey,” he greeted back, not rising from the bed. I waited for him to speak again, and when he said nothing, I continued.
“I, uh, meant to say, since Zoe’s gone, you can have the big bed like good old times.”
He frowned. “I don’t need the bed.”
“I don’t either,” I promised, leaning against the banister. “Plus,” I sighed, scratching at the back of my head. “I’m not entirely sure how to thank you for today. I’d probably be selling for a low ball price on the dark web right now, if it wasn’t for you. So, thanks.”
Connor was still frowning. “You’ve had a really rough day. You should take the bed.”
“No,” I insisted, beginning to get frustrated. “I’m really okay, I promise. I can’t give you anything else, take the bed.”
His dark eyebrows knit together quickly, licking his lips again nervously. “I don’t–”
“Plus,” I cut him off again with a curt laugh. “I owe you for your Oscar performance. That was crazy, you know. I can’t believe you fooled him into thinking a guy like you would be with a girl like me.”
His head snapped up. “A guy like me?” He reiterated coldly. I felt my face grow hot.
“You know,” I said quietly.
“That you’re cool,” I muttered. “And nice looking. And I’m not.”
I was thankful for the warm lighting in the room, concealing my red face. It was already dark out, the blinds drawn tightly. Connor’s fists clenched in the white lace comforter on the bed. I didn’t want him to feel bad for me, and I sort of regretted saying it. Connor had already seen me blubbering today and he didn’t need my shitty teen angst to deal with.
He bit down on his lower lip, staring coldly at the ground before murmuring, “I need a shower. Take the bed.”
I shook my head. “I’m gonna go for a walk.”
He just nodded, rising from the bed. “Don’t get too far. It’s cold out.”
Connor shut the bathroom door behind him, and I was left feeling like a total idiot. I could hear the shower running before I left, snagging Connor’s grey jacket from my bed post and sliding it on. I went down the stairs, sliding out the first door to the outside, stepping out onto the first floor balcony. I made a mental note to the shut the blinds later, before walking around to the front of the cabin.
I should’ve been thrilled to be alive, I realized, snorting at how melodramatic that sounded. Still, as I burrowed deeper into Connor’s jacket, watching my thighs turn red from the cold, I realized that I was shrouded in a veil of melancholy I wouldn’t be able to shake off.
I missed Connor. I missed being his friend. I missed him coming over for play dates when we were kids, gauzy fairy wings strapped to our backs, jumping on a trampoline when Zoe was still to young to participate. I missed writing him letters, like a pen pal, despite the fact he only lived on the opposite side of town. Going to different schools hadn’t deterred us, for a while, at least. We had sleepovers every birthday, and Zoe told the best scary stories. I remembered hiding under Connor’s bed with him, a hand clasped over my mouth so Zoe wouldn’t hear our breathing.
I remembered kissing him when we were in kindergarten, ridiculously late at night, a quick smack on the lips during a game of pretend. I’d kissed Zoe, too, when we were probably much too old for it, but thinking of Connor tugged on my chest.
It stopped as we turned twelve, I realized. I never saw him–he was still playing little league, and I stopped coming to his games to pick dandelions with Zoe. He was beginning to get teased. My parents insisted the slumber parties should stop, we were too old. Every time Connor and I were together at birthdays or Christmas parties, adults would joke about when we’d fall in love, how soon would it be before we got married. We avoided each other like the plague, unless we knew we could be alone. And we were never alone.
Connor hid inside himself. Zoe made fun of him at parties, loudly. I kept quiet.
He stopped calling during the summer months. He never rode his bike by my house. The only time I saw Connor Murphy was the annual ski trip.
I missed him. He’d been a childhood friend, and I’d let him go without a second thought to save myself some shred of dignity, like it wouldn’t be ripped away from me regardless.
Connor Murphy was nothing to be ashamed of.
And now it was too late to be his friend.
It had started to snow again, so I wiped my face and rose, walking the opposite way I had come, skirting the stairs–they led to the upstairs, but only to Connor’s room, and I didn’t plan to barge in uninvited, especially if he was still in the shower, two rooms blocked me from getting to the king bed, so I’d have to walk all the way around the house.
The lights were out, I saw, but again no one had bothered to close the blinds. The television might have been on, a dim blue glow resounding onto the leather couch–
As it turned out, my mother hadn’t gone to bed. The television was on, showing some late show with some old white man making cracks about some politician I didn’t care for, casting the blue haze onto the coffee table, revealing the wine bottle my mother had been cradling. Two empty glasses sat on the table–my mother’s bathrobe crinkled on the floor.
I was disgusted in a comedic way, just for a moment, to see my mother in her nightgown kissing my father, who my brain had filled in under the assumption he’d arrived back.
I’d begun backing up to the stairs, Connor Murphy’s naked body be damned, when I realized my father’s car had never pulled up, and I’d been on the front porch the whole time.
A better look in the window revealed a man a little older, a little more gray and a little more handsome than my father.
I was sprinting by the time Larry Murphy had begun to peel his shirt off his back.
I didn’t knock by the time I’d made it to Connor’s room, just threw open the door, struggling to get my breathing under control. I stumbled to the pull out couch, dragging the sheets up around my freezing legs. I was in shock, I knew, and I needed to calm down before Connor came in–the bathroom door was shut, but I couldn’t hear the shower anymore, despite the steady trickle of steam coming through the cracks. I was trapped in this room until Connor came out.
My mother was cheating on my father Larry Murphy. Larry Murphy was cheating on his wife with my mother. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t believe it, I had to have made it up, this had to be a dream–
“What are you doing in here?”
It was an exclamation, alarmed, grasping a towel tight with thin white knuckles.
Connor. Connor in a towel. Connor wet with slick hair and chest hair and navel and hip bones. Connor Murphy, son of Larry Murphy, who had his tongue down my mom’s throat–
“Hey, breathe, what’s going on? What’s wrong?”
By the time my eyes snapped back into focus, Connor was struggling to pull on grey basketball shorts without dropping his towel, and I dropped my gaze back to my shaking hands, almost startlingly red from the temperature change and what was most likely shock. I was hyperventilating, struggling to smother the sobs. I knew this deep in the house, they probably wouldn’t hear me–they were most definitely preoccupied anyway.
The bed dipped, and Connor’s bare side brushed my thigh. I didn’t mean to jerk back, but I did, clinging to the arm of the couch and staring horrified–Connor looked almost hurt, but mostly panicked. I tried to calm down, for his sake.
“S-sorry!” I sobbed. “Sorry! I-I-I didn’t mean–I didn’t mean–I didn’t–I–”
“Hey, stop, breathe. You gotta breathe. Go slow, okay? Stop tryna talk,” he commanded, holding up his hands to show he wasn’t gonna hurt me, readjusting so that he sat up on his knees, leaning over me to take my hands, rubbing them between his own despite the claminess.
I avoided his eyes, focusing instead on the dip of his collar bone, surprised to see thin lines of chest hair, wet and plastered to his chest. He was skinny, and I could see his ribs despite the tiny stomach roll from where he folded in the middle. His thumbs rubbed soothing circles across the backs of my hands, and for a moment, I didn’t think. I could’ve forgotten everything and fallen asleep right here with him.
He pulled my hands against his chest, cradling mine in his own, pulling me forward, asking with his slate eyes if it was alright.
I pretended we were friends.
“You wanna talk about that?” He asked very softly, looking down at where our hands were clasped against him–he was warm, his skin pink and hot from the shower. He’d combed his hair back out of his face, and it was almost cute like that. “If it’s about today, I promise you’re safe, alright? I wasn’t gonna let that guy hurt you.”
My heart sunk in my chest, nearly restarting my panic attack. I shook my head.
Connor deserved to know.
I was scared, briefly, that it would set him off. He might yell at me, throw things, kick me out of the room. He might hit me.
I didn’t care. He had a right to know.
I swallowed thickly, shaking my head. “N-no.”
“Did something happen on your walk? Are you okay?”
I shook my head.
“What? Trouble back home–your boyfriend break up with you or something?”
“My mom–” I started, voice breaking, feeling fresh tears of shock on my cheeks.
His eyebrows furrowed, tightening his grip on my hands. “Is she okay? She–”
I saw it in slow motion–his jaw unclenched, eyebrows relaxing from their set, pouted mouth turning down. It was calm. It was knowing.
“You saw them,” he said very softly, letting my hands fall back into his lap. I was too shocked to move them away from his thighs.
“You knew,” I spat–an accusation. I hadn’t meant to make it one.
Connor scrubbed at his eyes roughly, flopping onto his back against the bed. Frustrated.
“I was tired of my dad reading my fucking emails, so I hacked into his–I only saw a few. I didn’t want to see anymore.”
I paled, feeling nauseous. “So it’s happened before?” I choked.
He swallowed. “That was two summers ago.”
“Fuck,” I hissed uncharacteristically, surprised to find Connor stretching out an arm to me. I took his hand with a firm grip. “How long before then.”
He shrugged. “Maybe our whole lives. Maybe before. I’m not sure, angel.”
I nodded, secretly pleased that he was so calm. It kept me level, grounded, watching where our hands were linked.
“What do we do?” I choked. “I have to tell my dad. He deserves to know.”
Connor’s eyebrows furrowed. “Everything would change. He’d tell my mom.”
I bit down on my lip, folding down onto my back to lay down beside Connor. “I hadn’t considered that.”
Connor sighed, scratching at my hand tenderly with his black painted nails. “I’m not sure that my mom and Zoe could handle the news–it’s not like they’d turn to me. They’d be alone. Zoe might even take my dad’s side.”
I groaned, stealing my hands to scrub at my eyes. My wet hair was beginning to dry in a tangled mess.
“This is too much,” I mumbled, rolling onto my side to face Connor, staring at his bare, freckled shoulder. “I don’t know what to do. If I can do anything.”
I jumped a foot out of my skin when he placed a hand at the corner of my jaw, brushing the tangled hair back out of my face. “You don’t have to think about it right now. You’ve had a really long fucking day. You should sleep.”
I didn’t want to sleep–I didn’t want Connor to leave. I didn’t know how to say that.
I couldn’t believe that everyone had tried to desperately to convince me Connor Murphy was a bad boy–fuck them, Connor Murphy was good. He was better than everyone in this cabin combined.
He cared about me.
I caught his wrist, which froze in my grasp, but I just took his bony hand and cradled it between my hands the same way he’d done mine, tracing the lines across his palm. He sucked in a sharp breath.
“Okay,” I said, and he smiled, moving away. I let go of his hand.
“I just have to turn off the light. Get comfy.”
His retreating footsteps filled my stomach with dread, but nevertheless I unzipped his jacket and draped it on top of the blanket so that it would at least keep my feet warm. Pulling the pillow tight behind my head, I was pleased to find it sort of smelled like Connor’s shampoo as the light clicked off. It left me feeling a little more safe. Ironic, I realized. I was in the middle of a wilderness, I’d almost been abducted, my mother was downstairs ruining our family, and all I could find myself to be worried about was if Connor would be okay.
The bed dipped behind me, shocking me into stillness, surprising me even more when someone lifted the sheet and slid in behind me, a bony hand resting on my hip.
“This okay?” He asked, and I dared to open my eyes to meet his. They were unsure, nervous. He was scared I’d reject him. I nodded, scooting closer.
“It really will be okay, you know,” he assured. “Whatever you choose, I’m gonna be with you.”
“You’re amazing,” I said without thinking, but being entirely sincere. Even in the dark, I saw his eyes go wide and his cheeks tinge a deep magenta in his pale face.
“No, I’m not.”
“Yes, you are,” I assured with a laugh, reaching across the divide to poke at his side, slightly surprised to still find him shirtless. He’d withdrawn his hand almost immediately, keeping respectfully to his side of the bed. “I’d be dead without you. And you’ve supported me this whole way.”
His jaw clenched and unclenched, freeing one of his arms to pick at the wrinkled sheets between us. “I just, fuck, I knew you’d hear some shit, but I was hoping you’d be able to come out here and we could start over again, like before? Zoe started her smear campaign almost immediately. I just, fuck, nevermind.”
I watched him withdraw, turning over with his back to me, the pale plains of his back bared to me.
“Con,” I said very softly. “I don’t care what they say–fuck them,” I laughed, watching Connor’s shoulders shake. “I think you’re good, Connor, and I miss being your friend.”
I watched with bated breath as his back rose and fell with his steady breath in the cold room, his skin radiating heat. I shifted closer, crossing the divide between us. He didn’t respond.
I didn’t sleep.
I was alerted late in the day by a noise–it was daylight, I noted, the clock on the bedside table reading it was almost noon. I was groggy, still in the state between sleep and consciousness. The room was shrouded in a bright grey hue from the winter wonderland outside–it had snowed a significant amount, apparently, and the white fluff stuck hopelessly to the window.
At the foot of the bed, Connor was on his knees, pulling a navy sweater over his head. It was tight, with a stretched collar and holes at the hem, but he looked good in it. His hair was frizzed at the temples, and his eyes were wide when we saw me.
I just nodded, a little embarrassed. Part of me hoped Connor would just let last night drop, and we could continue our indifference toward each other, but most of me felt as if we had an unfinished conversation to attend to.
“Is anyone back yet?” I asked, surprised as Connor came to sit in front of me, legs crossed kindergarten style. He shook his head.
“No, actually. No one came back from their trip, and the lovebirds have miraculously vanished for a ski day. It’s just me and you.”
Connor seemed unsure for a moment, brushing his hands off on his pants. “I’m sorry, um, about last night? I should’ve asked first if it was okay to sleep next to you, I just–I know you said you missed being friends, so I thought–”
“It was nice,” I cut him off with a smile that was nearly all false bravado. “Warm. I really do miss hanging out with you.”
He pursed his lips in way of a smile. “Me too. Miss having friends, period, but you’re kinda great, so–I’ll shut up.”
Stretching, I groaned with the sensation and smiled widely at him. “We can be friends again, don’t you think?” I asked, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. When my vision cleared, he was sitting by my feet, eyes downcast.
“It’s kinda lame, isn’t it?” He asked, sending ice down my spine.
“What, I’m not cool enough for you?” I teased half heartedly, despite feeling slightly sick. If Connor left now, I’d be marooned on this island I’d made for myself, and it wasn’t ideal knowing I no longer had any allies.
“No! That’s not what I–no, fuck, I just meant. Don’t you like Zoe better?”
I shook my head. “I like Zoe–but I liked you first.”
“Yeah, I liked the Teletubbies first, doesn’t mean I prefer them to Death Cab for Cutie.”
I snorted. “Okay, I like you best. You’re both really similar, you know, but you’re kinder.”
He shot me a glare, which I supposed I’d earned. “Liar.”
“Can’t lie,” I protested. “And I like you better. Get used to it.”
He swallowed, shifting on the bed and looking at me again as if grappling to say something. His eyebrows were pinched in the middle, making him look slightly worried, small. I watched the way his mouth bowed as he opened and closed it, my eyes tracing over his soft lips.
He was pretty, I realized, in a way I wouldn’t have considered before.
“What about when you leave?” He asked softly, scratching his arm absently.
I frowned. “What about it?”
“We won’t see each other again.”
I smiled. “Connor, you just live on the other side of town. I do own a car.”
He frowned. “You’d come to see me?”
“If you wanted me to,” I answered honestly. “Or we could go do stuff. It doesn’t make me any difference–whatever you want, I’m game for.”
His eyebrows took a sharp hike into his hairline. “Whatever I want, huh?”
My stomach clenched nervously–decidedly a good kind of nervous. I didn’t realize it till he placed his hand on my ankle, grinning up at me with crooked teeth and pretty eyes, that I might’ve begun to develop a small crush on him.
Which wasn’t okay.
“This is such bullshit.”
I cackled as Connor continued to strap on his snow boots, repeatedly tripping and losing his balance in the snow.
“C'mon, it’s fun!” I protested, pulling my sock toboggan down tighter over my ears, trudging another few slow steps through the slush. Connor was frustrated, I could tell, seeing his pink nose and ears, his breaths coming out in angry puffs of smoke.
“No,” he grunted, dragging himself up the trail a few more steps. “Video games are fun. Cartoons are fun. Cheap Internet porn is fun. Dragging my frozen ass up a mountain covered in snow for ten miles is not my idea of fun, dude.”
“It’s not ten miles,” I protested, taking a seat on a mostly clean looking rock, patting the seat beside me in condolence to Connor, giving him a much needed break. He’d agreed to go outside with me at least once to take a hike, since the Murphy kids never ever wanted to do anything that didn’t involve fried food or touristy tie dye t-shirts. We’d been going for a few hours now, and the last bench had easily been miles ago. I wanted to see where the trail ended.
Part of me was scared he’d only agreed because he thought I would break. I’d surprised myself with how calm I’d been after, well, what a nightmare this trip had been. I supposed I’d be worse once my dad got back–but he wasn’t yet, so I was content to have my last moments with Connor.
“We’ve been out here for hours, man, don’t you think we should head back before it gets dark?” He whined, leaning forward on his elbows and rubbed his hands together–he had on mittens, which was probably the cutest thing I’d ever seen. Say what you want about Connor Murphy, his aesthetic was absolutely demolished once you put him in a fire engine red puffer coat.
I sighed, glancing wistfully up the trail. I’d like to finish, but Connor was right–it was getting dark, too dangerous out for us to be out here alone. He’d humored me enough for today.
Time to go back and face reality.
I just nodded, stuffing my hands in my pockets and rising from the rock, giving a decent stretch before moving forward back down the path, Connor scurrying along beside me.
“Thanks for coming,” I said again, nudging him with my shoulder. He stumbled gracefully, grinning with a subdued force that warmed me a little, before checking me back with his shoulder.
“Don’t tell anyone,” he warned, stuffing his hands in his pockets. “But it wasn’t totally awful.”
I snorted. “I won’t let anyone know Connor Murphy can feel fun.”
Biting back a smile, he nudged me again. “God, please don’t. Then they might bring me back here and I’ll have to spend another two weeks with you.”
“I’m sure I’m just killing you inside,” I teased. “How dare your parents give you unfiltered access to a teenage girl.”
“Who never wears pants around the house,” he added sagely.
“And sleeps in your bed!” I choked with laughter, the bird walking along the snow path in front of us clearing the way. “God, I can’t believe I did that. I’m sorry, I was probably awful. Did I snore?”
His mouth twisted, as if trying to look indifferent but instead just failed at smothering a smile, both corners of his lips turning in a different direction.
“Not awful,” he offered, earning an embarrassed groan from me. “No! It’s cute, like a kid, I promise. You kicked the shit out of me, though.”
“You’re kidding me,” I groaned. “I’m so so sorry! I didn’t hurt you, did I?”
“Might be some bruises,” he grinned, to my further mortification. “Hey, nah, I’m kidding. Any damage will heal. It’s kinda funny.”
I cocked an eyebrow from where I was hiding my face behind my gloves. “Seriously?”
“Yeah, don’t sweat it,” he said, reaching out to take my wrist, pulling one of my hands away from my face. He didn’t realize it, just held it, swinging stiffly between us as we walked. He held his breath for a moment before continuing, “I would’ve let you know if I didn’t like it.”
“Kinky,” I said upon reflex, earning a lazy kick to my ankle.
“You’re hilarious. I just meant you’re warm, maybe the bruises are worth it.”
I felt my face get hot, words forming in my belly, escaping before I could choke them back. “Yeah? Maybe I’ll kiss them better tonight, if Zoe isn’t back.”
He let go of my wrist like I’d burned him.
“Don’t,” he said quietly, stuffing his hands in his pockets, beginning to walk quickly ahead of me.
“What?” I screeched, frustrated.
“Don’t fake flirt with me. It’s not funny,” he spat, continuing walking too fast on his ridiculously long legs.
“Who said it was fake?” I grumbled. “I’m not making fun of you, Connor.”
There was a beat of silence, pulling at my heart with sharp claws, the dull ache starting in my chest and spreading. I’d messed up everything.
“It’s getting dark,” he growled. “And we don’t have a flashlight. Try and keep up.”
The panic set in at twilight.
We were running.
He was holding my hand again, dragging me roughly down the mountain, hoping desperately to see some kind of light pollution as the sun set, but there was nothing.
“We should see lights by now,” I told him. “We can see the lights from our cabin, we should see the lights now.”
“We went down the wrong side of the mountain,” he gasped, already out of breathe. I knew his lungs weren’t the best, and we’d been running for awhile now.
“There has to be something at the bottom,” I whispered hopelessly.
“There is,” he growled. “It’s called a gorge, then you climb the other mountain, and there’s the next state. Fuck, how did we get so turned around?”
“Doesn’t matter, Con,” I said hopelessly. “It’s gonna be dark soon.”
His dark eyes widened. “You aren’t sincerely suggesting we try to find shelter. In the middle of a national park.”
“I’ve got a flare gun and a flint,” I told him. “But we have to get back up out of the trees.”
“You want us to climb the mountain again?” He hissed, holding both my hands now. “Are you positive you don’t have signal?”
I nodded. “I’m really sorry, Connor.”
“Don’t be sorry. Start walking.”
It was an accident.
It was dark.
I had an analog watch, letting me know it was nearly nine pm. We’d found shelter just as it had started to snow–the ground here was wet, quickly freezing into ice, and we kept slipping up on the trail. I’d set off the flare an hour ago, and, so far, nothing. The snow had begun to pick up, and we’d found a alcove between two adjacent rocks–not big, about the size of a walk in closet, but enough space for us, our bags, and a pile of wood that refused to light. It kept the snow and wind off of us, and the alcove was high enough I felt safe, with a small mouth that made me feel as if at any instant we could be trapped.
It was an accident.
“The fire won’t light,” I said again, hopelessly, watching my now bloody fingers go numb from trying desperately to get the flint to do its job. I couldn’t feel them without my gloves on.
Connor, huddled in a corner, viciously rubbed his arms in an attempt to get warm. I knew the temperature would only drop from here. If someone hadn’t seen the flare….
“There’s no dry wood. I checked.”
“No, okay? Nothing. That’s it.”
I knew he was right–and searching now would only prove to be counter productive and dangerous. I moved our bags and the pile of firewood to the entrance, sealing us in.
“It’s gonna be pitch black soon,” I warned, watching Connor tap angrily at his phone. “You should probably save your battery. I don’t have a flashlight.”
He snorted. “You’ll bring sleeping bags and a flint, but not a flashlight?”
“It’s the emergency bag! I didn’t pack it, Connor. Make fun of it all you want, but it’s keeping us alive!”
There was a beat of silence, before he clicked his phone off, leaving us in darkness. “M sorry.”
I dragged out the single sleeping bag, stretching it out to him. “Don’t be sorry.” I felt guilty–it was my fault we were in this mess to begin with. “Wanna granola bar?”
“Save it,” he said in a clipped tone, unsure what to make of it since we were veiled in darkness. “We might need it later.” Then, softer: “What’s the plan?”
I heard him stand, and walk across the slick ice of the alcove, coming to stand beside me, his hand at my elbow.
“Well,” I said very slowly, feeling my throat get thick. “Survive the night, stay awake, and once dawn hits we head back to the other side of the mountain, if no one comes.”
“If no one comes,” he echoed, voice oddly hollow. I choked.
“It, erm, is very possible they think we just wandered off, you know? We’re teenagers,” I reminded gently. I left out the part the police would be less than willing to look–Connor had a history of running away after a bad binge.
“Fuck,” he growled.
It was an accident. It was quick, in the dark, we couldn’t see.
He reached our for me, his open palm colliding with the back of my head, yanking me tightly again his chest, my nose buried in his nylon puffer coat. I felt his other hand, too forcefully, at the small of my back, and I nearly screamed, terrified this was an episode I couldn’t control–
“We’re gonna make it outta here,” he breathed against my ear, his breath warm and humid against my freezing ears. It set off a light bulb in my brain. “We’re gonna go back home and–fucking shit, I’m gonna be a goddamn good friend to you and we’re gonna–fuck,” he hissed, his clipped voice breaking off. “I’m gonna take care of you, I’m not going anywhere.”
I let myself break open, collapsing against him, openly sobbing with regret. He stiffened, but just tightened his arms around me despite our bulky clothes.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered. “This is all my fault.”
“It is not,” he hissed, shaking me a little. “We had no way of knowing this would happen. The trail looked safe.”
I just nodded, knowing that arguing would tire me out. I felt the lethargy begin to creep in my bones–Connor was warm, and it was late, and we were tired. Falling asleep meant dying.
“Get out the sleeping bag,” he said, extracting himself from me, and I heard his hands scrape along the hard rock looking for the entrance. “And I’ll look for some more blankets in the bag, see if we can’t insulate–fuck!”
“What is it?” I screeched, turning, grabbing his hand to only find that my own was suddenly wet, almost sticky, and Connor pulled away with a howl. I smelled the metallic sting before I realized.
“Something cut my hand!”
“Stay away from the wall,” I warned. “Take your undershirt off, I’ll rip it up.” I felt around desperately for Connor’s phone, immediately illuminating our little cave with a blinding blue light.
The amount of blood smeared across the wall was nauseating. There was a sharp spot Connor must’ve grabbed too quickly.
He was crying, trying desperately to unzip his coat with one hand, the other dripping onto the floor.
“Fuck, I hope something doesn’t smell that,” I whispered, laying down the light and running to help him get undressed, careful of the open cut across his palm.
“I knew I was gonna get naked tonight,” he said with an unsure laugh, “I just didn’t realize it would be like this.”
My face flushed. “What, you thought I’d suck you off because we’re about to die?”
He shivered, accentuated by me ripping his white shirt down the front, exposing his blue, goosebumped skin.
“Fuck,” he hissed, and I was unsure if it was from the cold, the pain, or my foul language.
“Hope this is clean,” I muttered, wrapping a strip of his white shirt across his palm in a desperate attempt to stop the bleeding. It was a good way to get an infection, but I wasn’t sure what else to do.
“I didn’t–I wouldn’t ask you to–”
“I’m not sucking you off!”
“Fuck, I just meant–hypothermia, skin to skin, I saw it in a movie–”
The phone light clicked off. I sighed, tying off the cotton bandage.
“You wanna get naked in the sleeping bag,” I finished.
“I don’t want to!” He howled. “And not naked–just, enough to stay alive, shit. It’s gonna be negative ten out here soon, I just wanna stay alive.”
“We should hurry,” I said, surprising myself by reaching out to urge him to rub at his bare chest, earning a gasp from him. “You’re gonna freeze soon. Get your pants off.”
I handed him the sleeping bag, my breath catching as I heard his belt clink to the floor, trying very hard not to think about the implications of this. How far did he expect me to undress? And, if we did get in here, it would be ridiculously tight, we might fall asleep–
“Hurry up, this bag is an icicle with one person.”
Straightening out my bra and panties (even if we were going to die, Connor Murphy did not get to cop a feel) I felt my way to the sleeping bag.
My hand on his chest, he guided my legs one at time–one by his side, one between his knees–and gently folded me down against him, uncomfortably tight as his shaking fingers zipped the sleeping bag up.
He was breathing hard against my temple, and I immediately began to sweat–between the nylon bag and the fact I felt all of Connor Murphy pressed against my chest and stomach–it was nerve wracking.
“Don’t fall asleep,” he reminded in a hoarse voice, shaking a little. I couldn’t quite figure out where his hands were.
“Don’t get a boner,” I begged, earning a beat of silence before:
“I, uh, am–I’m really trying not to,” he groaned, and I could feel how hot his face was against my temple.
“If it helps,” I said, slightly disgusted. “You can imagine our parents kissing. That really kills my fire.”
“Ew,” he said. “Please don’t.”
I grinned. “What? You don’t want me to be your hot step sister?”
“Stop it,” he begged, making me laugh, pressing my face against the soft cushion of his hair, nosing at the column of his throat. He groaned a little, and I felt his fingers twitch beside my hips.
“I can’t believe their secret is going to die with us,” I sighed. “No one is ever going to know.”
“I can’t believe you’re lying on top of me in your spiderman panties, but that’s also happening, so you’d better believe it,” he sighed, hands twitching again.
“You can touch me, you know,” I breathed, a little embarrassed against his ear. “We’re gonna die anyway, might as well die comfy.”
“We won’t die,” he promised, his hands clasping over the small of my back regardless. “Hey,” he crooned, in a soft voice I hadn’t heard before. Encouraging. “Remember sharing a sleeping bag when we were kids?”
I laughed half heartedly, remembering fully. “The thing was always full of pixie stick wrappers.”
“It was an addiction, and I have quit,” he said sagely, earning another laugh from me. I almost joked about the pot, but part of me knew it wasn’t a funny joke. It didn’t have anything to do with him. He sighed, one finger trailing up my spine. “God, I was so in love with you.”
I froze against him, my body a live wire. His hand pulled back.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said tha–”
“Were you really?” I asked. I felt him smile, before leaning in to kiss my cheek, slowly, his dry lips lingering.
“Don’t tell me you didn’t know,” he groaned. “Zoe had me convinced you were just humoring me because you knew I’d do anything for you.”
I pulled up, as far as I could (which wasn’t much) squinting to make out his face in the dark. “That wasn’t true. You were my best friend.”
He nodded. “Yeah, I know. God, that time when you kissed me….I’m so sorry we stopped talking. I don’t think I’m ever gonna forgive myself for that.”
“Connor,” I said very softly, reaching up to tangle my hands lightly in his hair. “If we’re gonna die…can I just….”
He surged up before I could, the nylon around us snapping taunt, squeaking in protest. Up on his elbows, his bony hands found their purchase on my bare hips, and I felt the wetness through one of the bandages–his hand was still bleeding, the idiot.
His lips were dry, and he kissed much too roughly for someone who wasn’t holding my head in place, our teeth clinking together in a way that I knew was an accident, sending my skull ringing. His eyes were squeezed shut in the darkness.
I can’t believe it took us to the brink of death for him to admit this.
God, he’s an idiot.
I reached up, pulling at his hair, holding his head to mine, his tongue licking roughly up into my mouth before breaking away–
“Boner,” he warned in a squeak, earning a loud laugh from me, collapsing against his chest.
“Not even in death, Murphy, am I sucking you off on a first or last date,” I giggled against his neck, giving him a chaste kiss there, listening to him groan. His hips canted a little, scaring me, before taking a deep breath to calm himself.
“First date, huh?” I felt him grin, followed by a yawn.
“Stay awake, Connor,” I urged, smacking him hard. “Or I’m gonna twist your nipple.”
“Kinky,” he sighed lethargically. Shit, he was gonna sleep.
“Promise me this,” he sighed, nuzzling lightly against the side of my face. “If we survive the night by some miracle, and we don’t freeze to death or get eaten by bears or bleed out–you wanna kiss me again? With more clothes on? As my girlfriend?”
I leaned into his touch, tilting my head up to give him access to suck a hickey into my neck, groaning.
“Murphy, if we live, I will suck you off.”
That was the last thing I remembered.
Three days later, it’s still cold. I’m not wearing much–a blue gown with shitty pink flowers, it’s made of some kind of plasticy cotton material. There’s blood under my fingernails and bruises on my neck that are almost embarrassing when I remembered how I got them. My clothes were gone.
Connor was gone.
My mother and father were leaning over my bed, the Murphy's (minus Cynthia) are behind them. No Connor.
They explained it slowly, eyes wide. They found Connor and I nearly frozen, unconscious. Connor lost a lot of blood, they said, and he wasn’t do so well but he’d woken up several days before me.
He wouldn’t eat until they let him see me.
I’d nearly ripped out my IV to get to him.
He was wearing the same shitty hospital gown, his hair pulled back. He’s got hickies I don’t remember giving him across his collarbone that are ridiculously visible. There were purple bruises under his eyes, like he hadn’t been sleeping.
“They said you were still too sick to get out of bed,” he grinned, opening his arm, and I immediately stumbled over to the thin mattress, pressing myself tightly against him. His hand is thickly wrapped in cotton, a few tubes full of a yellow brown liquid in them. He was combing my hair–which I’m sure was a rats nest–out with his free hand.
“They said the same about you.”
“We’re really lucky, you know,” I said softly, tapping at his chest. “I almost lost you.”
“Almost lost you,” he choked out, pulling away to scan my face, before grinning. “Which would’ve sucked, because you’re my only friend right now.”
“Friend?” I said, trying hard not to sound disappointed. I supposed I shouldn’t have been–what we’d done in the heat of a moment hadn’t meant anything then. It had been a lie for my humor.
It wasn’t fair.
Connor’s eyebrows furrowed. “You, um–do you wanna be my girlfriend?”
I frowned. “I mean, only if you want me to.”
He grinned, the smile splitting across his face. “It’ll suck–your parents will hate me.”
“Right now, I kind of hate my parents, so.”
“I do a lot of pot.”
“We can do something else instead,” I grinned, nudging him, having the nerve to blush.
He licked his lips, looking down at where he’d intertwined our hands. “You–you can’t fix me, you know? I’m still gonna be, you know.”
I nodded, bring his hand up to kiss across the bloody knuckles of his good hand. “I know. I promised I’d be your girlfriend, though. A promise is a promise.”
He grinned. “I’m glad you say that–because you did promise something else.”
I shook my head, rising from the bed. “The kiss is for when we have clothes on, remember.”
Summary: The first snowfall of winter. The flurries comfort you in the midst of heartache. You love Chanyeol and Baekhyun, but they’re so happy in their newfound relationship. Baekhyun is so happy with Chanyeol, but he misses your touch on his skin. You would never think of getting in the middle of them, not two of your closest friends. Baekhyun thinks otherwise. (Baekhyun x Reader x Chanyeol) Warnings: Polyamory, Rough Sex, Cheating
Word Count: 2,427
Written by: Smutty Jaefairy
A/N: This is a personal fantsy of mines that I formatted into a reader story. I’m such a wet noodle for Baekhyun, I’m sorry I’m like this.
Said I wasn’t gonna post this till I’d written it all but hey I’m a big lying liar. This is a College AU inspired by a ridiculous prompt from @bugheadjonesiii which happens to be the title of this fic. So yeah, there’s that.
Betty drives almost four hours in a snowstorm to visit her best friend, Archie Andrews, at college, only to arrive and find out that Archie isn’t home, won’t be returning, and hadn’t even told his roommate she was coming. Snowed in and less than happy about it, Betty might come to learn that 48 hours trapped with Jughead Jones won’t be that bad after all.
Betty is out of breath by the time she makes it to the top of
the staircase, dragging her uncooperative suitcase behind her – it had gotten
stuck on every obstacle possible, flipping over more than once and nipping at
the backs of her heels the rest of the time. She’d stood outside the student apartment
building for a good ten minutes before someone had come by to let her in, her
persistent pressing of Archie’s buzzer going entirely unanswered.
“Oh, hey, hold the door please!” she’d yelled, hurrying to
catch it before it swung shut on her once again. She’d stepped away in the
hopes of reaching Archie on his cell phone instead, but had once again had no
luck. The disinterested student barely stopped to slide his hand across the
glass, pinning it open for a fraction of a second longer, Betty managing to
catch the heavy weight with the tips of her frostbitten fingers. “Thanks,” she
had huffed under her breath, sarcasm laced heavily in her tone.
To add to her plight the elevator had had a bright white sign
slapped across it that read ‘out of order’, forcing her to take the stairs.
Betty wasn’t unfit by any means, but right now she was tired, drained even, and
wanted nothing more than to get inside her best friend’s room and just collapse on
the nearest soft surface.
It wasn’t exactly how she’d wanted to arrive either. Bags
beneath her eyes, drenched from standing in the flurry of snow that had started
to come down mid-drive. The same snow that had already set her nerves on edge
as she felt the road slicken beneath her tires. She pauses, trying to catch her
breath and swipe some of the hair stuck to her damp skin away, before
continuing down the hallway in search of Archie’s room, hoping the flush in her
cheeks would fade by the time she found it.
The numbers 403 flash before her eyes and she knocks, fingers
of her free hand fiddling with the sleeve of her sweater while she waits.
The door swings open and the first thing Betty thinks is naked.
Her eyes widen comically as she is met with an expanse of
skin, wet and glistening slightly under the fluorescent lighting above. She
rakes her gaze over the hard planes of the stranger’s chest before she can stop
herself, noting the subtle ridges of abs – not nearly as defined as the ones
she was used to catching glimpses of out of her bedroom window, but definitely
still there – and a smattering of
dark hair trailing down below a soft, white towel…
Her head snaps up, all efforts to rid her cheeks of their
previous flush now in vein as she swallows nervously. The stranger is staring
back at her, face unnervingly guarded. Betty clears her throat, holding her
chin a fraction higher in an attempt to seem more put together than she is
feeling. The stranger runs a hand through his wet hair, pushing back the long,
ebony curls from in front of steady blue eyes. He has really long eyelashes, Betty thinks distractedly, before scrambling
to pull her mind back from the diversion it had decided to take.
“Um, hi. I’m looking for Archie Andrews? I’m…”
“Betty Cooper.” Betty’s head bounces back in surprise at the
sound of her name on his lips, snapping her mouth closed instantly. The corner
of his own mouth tilts upwards minutely into an upper-handed smirk. “The blonde
from the pictures,” he says by way of explanation, gesturing vaguely behind
Betty can’t stop the warmth that spreads throughout her chest
at this statement; the knowledge that Archie had pictures up of her in his
college room, had told people her name, settles comfortably in her stomach. The
vague recollection of a name in a phone call pokes around the edges of her
“And you’re… Jughead?” she asks warily, the nickname feeling
foreign on her tongue.
“The one and only,” Jughead replies. There is a beat of
silence as neither make a move to continue the conversation.
“Forgive my asking, but what exactly are you doing here?”
Jughead finally questions, tilting his head inquisitively. The warmth in Betty’s
chest turns to ice. His eyes feel intrusive as they stare back at her, making
her want to curl in on herself until she becomes invisible.
“I… Archie didn’t say anything?” she mumbles, willing the
prickle in the corner of her eyes not to turn to tears. Jughead shakes his head
slightly. Betty nods, fingernails slipping from the hem of her sweater to the
soft skin of her palm, poised just above the flesh. He’s just busy, it’s first semester after all, a reassuring voice
tries to tell her. “I’m visiting for the weekend,” she tells Jughead,
plastering an overly bright smile on her face. Jughead’s expression falters at
“Archie isn’t here,” he says slowly, eyes taking on a certain
wariness as he watches a range of emotions flit across Betty’s features. “He
took off with some girl a few days ago and hasn’t come back yet.”
Some girl. There was
always some girl, Betty thinks dejectedly, but that girl was never her. Embarrassment
strikes white hot down her spine, glazing her eyes over as her nails pierce the
skin of her palms. “Oh,” she whispers, unable to make her voice come out any
“Do you want to hit me?” The unusual question snaps Betty out
of her sudden spiral. Her brow furrows delicately and it’s her turn to regard
His eyes lower pointedly to her clenched fists. She follows
his gaze, immediately flexing her fingers. “Because, hey, I’d understand.”
Betty shuts her eyes briefly, exhaling slowly out of her nose before looking
back at the boy in the doorway.
“No, I don’t
want to hit you,” she says in a more even tone, hints of amusement creeping in
around the edges. He smiles at that, and Betty can’t help but note that the
simple action softens his whole demeanour. A lump catches in her throat. “I
just… I drove three and a half hours to see my best friend, who I haven’t seen
in months, and he isn’t even here. And it’s snowing, and I nearly crashed on
the way over here because some drivers are assholes,
and students are assholes, and so are professors for that matter; did you know
that one of mine sprung a surprise paper on us the other day and I had to
complete it early before leaving to come here? Only to find out, as I’ve said
before, Archie isn’t here and didn’t tell his roommate I was even coming,” she
exhales, feeling her body lighten with every word that passes her lips, sagging
against the handle of her suitcase.
eyes have crinkled around the corners as he regards her with mild enjoyment,
leaning nonchalantly against the doorframe. He looks as if he’s about to say
something before changing his mind and pulling his lower lip between his teeth.
Betty asks with a sigh, sensing his hesitation. She doesn’t even care that she’s
just unloaded her every frustration on this unsuspecting man, clad only in his
towel, in the doorway of his college residence.
when you say the word ‘asshole’,” he tells her, that devilish smirk slipping
back onto his face. Betty looks at him indignantly.
“No, I don’t,”
she retorts before even figuring out why she feels she should be offended by
his accusation. “I’m perfectly capable of saying ‘asshole’ without blinking.”
again.” She purses her lips together because damn it, he’s right. She did blink. She supposes it was many years
of Alice Cooper telling her that ladies didn’t use such foul language. She
scoffed internally – she’s certainly heard her mother using more than a few
choice words during the less than quiet arguments she had with Betty’s father,
silence again as both of them continue to stare, neither moving as Betty rocks
back on her heels. Eventually, she sighs, ready to admit defeat.
better be going; long drive back,” she murmurs as she grips the handle of her
suitcase more firmly and turns to head back towards the stairs. Jughead stares
at her retreating figure before his manners suddenly kick in.
Shit– Betty! Wait, you can’t drive all
the way back now,” Jughead calls after her, starting to step out into the
hallway, one hand clutching at the knot in his towel. She turns to face him,
teeth chewing on the plush skin of her lower lip. He flushes, looking up and
down the corridor before stepping out towards her.
mean to be an asshole,” he begins,
pointedly exaggerating the curse while he looks at her unblinkingly, garnering
a laugh. “But you look exhausted, and the weather is hell. You shouldn’t be out
driving. Just… come inside for a while, okay?” he asks, ducking his head to
meet her eyes better. The stray fly-aways framing her face are dampened with
melting snowflakes. Betty looks up at him from beneath her lashes, debating his
request. In all actuality there’s no real debate. She is exhausted and the thought of rolling her tires over the absolute
death trap once called roads outside sets her teeth on edge. She sighs again,
nodding quickly before following him back towards the room.
February comes donning every shade of
red. She breaks over the horizon, full
bloom. Drapes herself in silk like a pipe
dream. Calls herself highness, asks for
temples in her name. Donations of blood
and scarlet wine. Bright carnations and
crawling roses. Make everything into a
metaphor. Keep it short and sweet, let her
be the only thing of substance. She carried
herself like royalty, like the highest Goddess.
There is meaning in the madness. She
sacrifices. She seethes. She is a woman in
motion. A flurry of vermilion snow.
Bloodstained teeth. Says, I chewed up the
memories and spit them out. Stomped on
them. Doused them in water. Maybe now
everything will stop tasting of cherries.
author’s note: i’ve been trying to play around w/ more abstract writing lately, and i’m not gonna lie, this is probably the most abstract thing i’ve ever written, to the point i don’t even know what to make of this anymore. i can’t write lolol what is writing
Warning: Smut. Semi-not really-kind of infidelity.
“Absolutely not.” You said sternly, pulling the dishcloth that hung from the string of your apron and swiping the crumbs from the counter into your palm, tossing them mindlessly into the trash bin.
“Why not?” Taehyung whined, one cheek bulging with unchewed French toast.
You squinted at him, your elbows supporting you on the countertop when you leaned closer to him, “Because I don’t want to have sex with you, Taehyung.”
He swallowed the large bite of food with effort, “Do it for me,” he begged around the straw of his milk tea, “I am going on my third date with Yura this weekend and she’s been hinting at some stuff. I don’t wanna go in and make a fool of myself.”
“So, the only way to ensure that doesn’t happen is if I sleep with you, right?” You deadpanned.
“You’re one of my closest friends!”
“So?” You scoffed.
“So,” Taehyung continued, “You’re the only girl I’m close enough to that I would trust with something like this. And…” He started, but instantly clamped his mouth shut, looking away from you to focus on stirring his drink.
“And?” You pressed.
“And…” He trailed off, bringing the straw to his lips, but you reached out and snatched the glass from him, giving him an expectant glare.
“And Yoongi’s said some things…” He muttered in a rush.
“What things?” Your voice rose louder than you intended, earning you several glances from different patrons and a few of the waiting staff. You cleared your throat, ducking your head closer to Taehyung to try and hide the blush that no doubt coloured your cheeks.
Taehyung fidgeted in his seat, his fingers tapping the edge of the countertop, “Okay, don’t be mad.”
You just looked at him, and he nodded in understanding before continuing, “I was talking to him like a week ago, and I was asking him about what to do, you know, if things with Yura escalated. And he made references to when you two were together…”
“Oh my God.” You groaned, your hand coming up to cradle your face.
“It wasn’t anything bad!” He waved his arms frantically, as if to lessen the blow, “He just gave me some advice, and he said you were really, um, good?”
“Please stop talking.” You peeked at him through your fingers.
Taehyung nodded again, his lips pressing into a thin line and he watched his fingers. You admired him for a second, your smile hidden behind your hand because he looked positively dejected and completely adorable. You were almost contemplating agreeing with his proposal and you wanted to smack yourself to come back to your senses.
Seconds ticked by; Taehyung remaining silent as you just watched him. Your mind was teetering back and forth, arguing with yourself on whether this was a harmless request, or if it was just going too far. On the one hand, you didn’t want to create any awkwardness between the two of you, you valued your friendship with him too much. On the other hand, he was very obviously attractive, and he only made it sound like it was a one time thing. Another small part of you also may have been thinking about getting back at your ex-boyfriend for gossiping about something as personal as your sex life.
“Okay, I have some conditions,” You said finally, dropping your hand to the counter with a thud. Taehyung perked up instantly, his eyes wide with excitement. “This happens once, okay. That’s it. You don’t get to tell anyone about it. And lastly, after this happens, everything goes back to normal.”
“YesOkayWhatever!” Taehyung cheered in a rush, rising out of his seat so quickly that the stool skidded behind him. He threw his arms around you over the counter, peppering kisses to your cheek.
You struggled in his hold, trying to wedge your hands between your bodies to pry him off of you, but it was no use. Finally, with a particularly firm jab to his ribs with your two fingers, he released you with a grunt.
“So,” He started, his hand rubbing against his sore spot as he looked at any point in the restaurant that wasn’t your face, “When do we do this?”
You shrugged a shoulder, “When’s your date?”
“Tomorrow,” He blinked, eyes finally settling on you.
Your eyes narrowed before slipping closed, tipping your head back with a long sigh, “Then I guess it would have to be tonight.”
“Someone’s eager, hm?” He taunted, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.
You balled the dishcloth in your hand and flung it at him, hitting him square in the face. Taehyung swatted the cloth away, throwing it to the ground and almost knocking over his drink in the process. “Rude.” He grumbled.
You flashed a quick smile that didn’t meet your eyes, “I’ll be by your place at seven. Get out of here before I change my mind.”
It’s been weeks since Nesta was attacked by Tomas. And during that time Cassian has been visiting her until he finds the courage to ask her to go with him and the others to a place that he thinks will help her. Now Nesta is in the mountains struggling to find a way to tell Cassian how she feels. Even Cassian suffers from the same predicament. Then an unexpected turn of events will lead both of them in a situation where they can’t hide from each other anymore.
Nesta sat in a cushioned chair reading a book in front of the crackling fire within the fireplace of Rhysand’s cabin in the mountains. It had been a month since that dreadful night Tomas attacked her. And everyday since then Cassian stopped by her apartment each evening to check on her after he got off work.
At first Nesta didn’t know what to think of his daily visits. Cassian would stop by and cook dinner for her and Elain while making sure that they had everything they needed. He would even go out shopping to buy food so they wouldn’t have to live off take-out.
Despite this it was aggravating how Cassian thought Nesta wasn’t capable of taking care of herself or her sister. So she remained quiet during those times he entered their home. Only speaking when absolutely necessary or when Cassian baited her long enough that she lost patience and finally gave in to answering him.
Sadly it seemed as though Elain and Feyre thought their eldest sister needed coddled as well. Because before she knew it Cassian was asking her to take a “break” up to the mountains with him, Mor, Feyre and Rhysand.
Nesta was half-tempted to decline the offer, but she knew if she did that it would only make everyone else more worried. In the end she agreed to go much to Cassian’s pure relief and delight.
So here she was. Safely enclosed in the warm cabin while snow flurries drifted from the sky. Outside Nesta could hear Mor, Feyre and Rhysand talking about making a trip to the village further down the mountain.
Minutes later Feyre stuck her head inside the cabin.
“Rhysand, Mor and I are going to take the vehicle to the village,” Feyre announced.
“I thought Rhysand said we had enough supplies up here to last two weeks?” Nesta flicked a page over in her book.
“We do, but it’s been a while since we have met with the villagers and we would like to catch up with a few of them before our trip is over.”
That was right. In the morning they were all heading back to Prythian before a large snowstorm was supposed to hit later tomorrow night.
“Have fun while you’re out,” Nesta said. When silence met her response she glanced up to see Feyre’s face turn somber.
“You’re supposed to be having fun too Nesta. So why don’t you get out here and enjoy the snow while we’re gone.”
Nesta shrugged non-committedly. In the past she used to enjoy the snow. Her early years were filled with happy memories of sledding and running through the frozen trees until her mother died. That was when Nesta’s childhood came to an abrupt end as their family sunk into poverty and the winter months became a frightening time where survival became toughest.
A car horn honked from outside jarring Nesta from the past. She looked outside to see Rhysand and Mor waiting in the car.
“I better run before Mor decides to drag me away. Don’t forget what I said Nesta about enjoying your time here,” Feyre turned to leave, but paused as if deciding if she should speak her next words. “And be sure to talk with Cassian.” Feyre said. “He won’t admit it aloud, but he’s worried about you Nesta. I think you both should…talk it out.”
Nesta didn’t have the chance to respond as Feyre took off across the blanket of snow toward the parked vehicle. She watched as the SUV drove down the path back toward civilization. It would be hours before Feyre and the other returned.
Quietness settled over the cabin save for the crackling fire. Nesta could almost fall asleep right there in the cushioned chair, but knowing her luck Cassian would come barging in the door like a barbarian of sorts.
She blinked. Thinking it odd that she actually hadn’t heard much from Cassian today other than this morning when she was waking up in her bed and could hear Cassian and Mor laughing in one of the other guest bedrooms.
The thought of Cassian and Mor being together made Nesta’s stomach plummet.
She tried to read her book for the next couple of hours, but she couldn’t concentrate.
Nesta pushed her book aside. No longer fond of reading at the moment and instead she settled for watching the fire flicker brightly in the fireplace. A comforting sight that Nesta gladly welcomed though it did remind her the man who constantly occupied her mind.
Where was Cassian?
Nesta looked around the cabin searching for him, but he wasn’t in the kitchen or any other room. As she neared the backdoor Nesta heard a cracking noise from the backyard.
She peeked from a window curtain and the sight revealed left Nesta spellbound.
Cassian had removed his heavy red parka and was chopping wood in a white fitted sweater. Even through the thick material Nesta could see his muscles flex with each swing of his axe as he split pieces of wood in two.
Anytime he would bend down to toss a piece of wood into the growing pile Nesta would get the lovely sight of Cassian’s ass in form-fitted jeans. His dark hair was pulled back in a bun that did wonders for Nesta’s imagination.
What would it feel like to remove the hair tie and feel those thick strands through her fingers? Or to run her hands down his back and grip his firm cheeks?
Nesta wasn’t sure how much time had passed as she watched him. It could have been minutes or hours for all she knew as she was in the depths of her wild fantasy.
It wasn’t until Cassian wiped sweat off his brow and turned around did Nesta finally shake from her trance. Cassian blinked once in surprise and waved at Nesta with a smile on his face.
Nesta quickly dropped the curtain and touched her cheeks. They were warm. No doubt flushed in either desire or embarrassment. Probably both.
Here’s a fic based on the first part of this post w/ College AU klance, Lance sick and stranded at the airport, and Keith knowing what caretaking is.
For Lance, bad news comes in the form of a woman’s voice, calmly notifying the lobby full of passengers that their flight to Michigan has been delayed for five hours due to severe weather conditions. His stomach drops. Uncomfortable dread washes over him. He can’t take another five hours in the airport, he just can’t.
A/N: I got two requests from anons: “Anon:Pietro and reader are constantly arguing and the avengers go camping, decide reader and pietro need to admit feelings and basically put them in any awkward situation they possibly can. Smut pls xx” and “Anon:Pietro smut. Literally just anything.”
“What do you mean we have to share!?” Both you and Pietro shouted. Tony smirked, holding up his hands defensively.
“Hey, you two missed the sign ups.”
“What fucking sign ups!?” Pietro said, advancing closer. Tony took a step back, holding his arms out in front of him.
“They were on my office door, everyone knew about them.” You glared at Tony, tossing your bag in the tent. The Avengers thought that camping was a good idea. Steve said it was ‘well deserved r&r’. Easy for him to say, he doesn’t have to share a tent with someone that annoyed him to the point of anger.
You and Pietro were always arguing. He said you were too ‘stuck up’ and you think he’s too cocky and aggravating. On the surface, his attitude annoyed you, but really, you had woken up, panting and aching, after dreams of him so many times. It was embarrassing how much him smirking at you turned you on.
The first day went by as nicely as someone could hope in this situation. During that time, you came to realize something. Every single person on this trip was a couple. Tony and Pepper, Steve and Bucky, Nat and Bruce, Wanda and Vision, all sharing tents. Sleeping was hard. Not only was there barely enough room for Pietro to shove his over six foot frame into it, but it was not nearly wide enough for both of you to sleep in it. The entire time you had your back pressed against his and you hated how much you were enjoying the thick, hard muscles there. Despite the close proximity, he didn’t seem to completely hate it. Once you two were cramped in the tent, the arguments stopped and you guys just sat in sleepy silence. The one thing was, he snores. But it didn’t annoy you, on the contrary, you actually found it incredibly adorable. They were soft snores, not loud.
natgeotravel Video by @paulnicklen // A flurry of snow rapidly covers the seascape as a mother polar bear frolics with her young, four month old cubs. In order to feed herself and her two growing offspring, she must be an infallible hunter. After a successful hunt, the playful cubs nuzzle and play with their mother, and she, ever patient and tender, endures their affections. To see my favorite photograph from this moment, #follow me on @paulnicklen For @Sea_Legacy with @fredgranathMusic by @adamnriddle
can you do a tyler fic based on the song, "Oh Ms. Believer"? That would make my life, i love your writing and your blog so much :)
OH MS. BELIEVER
The snow listens to you. The snow listens to you like no one else does because you have no one to listen to you.
In your silent, shitty apartment on the bad side of town, you lay on a mattress, completely and truly alone, and still the ever present snow listens to you as you cry yourself dry again. It’s a bit of a promise - a thing you two have. You and the snow have a bond. The snow is your only friend.
But despite the snow’s company, you’re sad and you’re lonely and you have nothing. Nothing to live for.
Sometimes you think about what it would be like if you were capable of being normal. You think about your classmates who went on in school and you ask yourself why can’t you? Why can’t you attend university and why can’t you have friends and why can’t you go to parties like the other kids your age do?
And then you look out of the window and you see the snow falling and you remember that you can’t ever be normal. And you sit and think about the reason that you like the snow is because people don’t like its cold and bitterness, just like they don’t like yours.
You have a job on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at the music store, three five hour minimum wage shifts that barely pay for your rent and a few take out meals. It basically requires showing up and standing in front of a cash register for a few hours and interacting with like 3 or 4 customers. To be honest, it’s hardly worth turning up for. It’s a lazy and sad job for a lazy and sad person and you hate it, but then again, you hate almost everything. But it keeps you alive and it doesn’t require a degree and since you are incapable of getting off your ass and earning yourself one of those, it looks like the record store is your best bet for now.
Still, it wouldn’t surprise you if the place went under soon and perhaps you should be a little more worried about it, especially considering the money you earn there is all you’re living on. But since when did you worry or feel anything other than emptiness? You don’t. The snow knows it, too.
Outside of the record store, it’s snowing. It’s snowing and it’s Saturday night and there are people stumbling drunkenly through the slippery streets at 11 o'clock, probably already on their way to their second bar of the night. They’re all smiling and laughing and you are empty. You can’t help but crave their happiness.
Briefly, you consider closing early and going out for a drink yourself. But then you think about how much you’d close early and go home instead.
And you suppose you could close early and go home now, because you’re the only one left in the store and it’s the last Saturday of the month, your turn to work the awkward and pointless late night shift that your boss insists that the store keeps. Apparently Saturday night is the prime time for record sales, but then again your boss says a lot of things that make no sense. Really, you know that James wouldn’t care if you closed up early tonight and went home now, because who are they kidding, there’s not going to be a customer rush at 11 o'clock at night when everyone’s out having fun. Nobody in their right mind goes out clubbing and spontaneously decides to pick up an album on the way home.
So, decision made, you grab your bag, throwing it over your shoulder, and exit the building after turning off the lights. You carefully lock up the store before pocketing your set of keys and speed walking away from the run down record store without looking back.
The snow has reduced to flurries and you start to think that maybe even the weather is tired, just like you are.
When you come to the steps that lead up to your building, you can feel your eyes becoming heavy, drooping like they’d like nothing more than to close. However, despite their exhaustion, your heavy eyes still catch sight of the figure sitting on the steps. People always sit on the steps. But most of the time they’re in groups and most of the time they’re not hunched over, making them look incredibly fragile and sad.
You eye the figure cautiously. He’s got his head in his hands and you briefly consider asking the person if he’s ok because you suppose you’d like that if that was you and someone was acting like they cared. But you know nothing you could say would make a difference.
You take the steps 2 at a time and do your best to get past the person unnoticed. Usually you’re good at being unnoticed, usually you can just slip by and blend in with your surroundings and no one talks to you.
But this person obviously doesn’t know that you are the sad and broken weirdo from the fifth floor.
“You remind me of someone I used to know.” The boy says, voice choked but unmistakeable.
You freeze on the top step, blink twice and turn carefully to face the boy. He hasn’t moved his head from his hands.
“I used to know a girl named Anne in middle school who was sad and nobody but me spoke to her. You remind me of Anne.”
You don’t move.
“At first I thought that she was broken beyond repair. I just spoke to her and sat with her and I never asked her any questions about why she was so sad. I just kept her company until we left middle school and went to high school. She moved away though.”
The boy pauses to clear his throat before continuing.
“In November, they had an assembly for just our class. They said that Anne committed suicide the night before.”
You stare as the boy finally lifts his head from his hands and stands from his seat on the steps, turning to face you. He’s still too far away for you to see him properly and the darkness is making him a mere silhouette to your vision. But you still manage to stare at the boy with a clenched jaw.
You’re about to ask the boy why, why is he telling you this? But the boy speaks before you can say anything.
“That weekend I went to Toledo, where I knew she was from, and I met her mom who cried when I asked her about her daughter’s death. She cried and I told her I was sorry, but I just needed to know why. She showed me the note she left. It was just a list of names. One was mine. And I realized that Anne wasn’t completely broken. She could’ve been fixed, she just needed someone to be there for her.”
You want to turn and run because the snow isn’t around to comfort you anymore. Instead, it’s dark and your palms are sweating and you don’t know what to say to this stranger. You expect the boy to continue talking, but he doesn’t, he just walks towards you until you’re standing face to face.
Your eyes level with his and for the first time tonight, you can see the person who has been telling you the tragic story of Anne. Your eyes roam the unfamiliar face and you’re hit by the beauty of this boy, the perfect angular line of his jaw, the perfect shape and height of his cheekbones, and more evidently, his perfect eyes that are a shocking shade of brown, vibrant and lively, much unlike your sad ones. This boy’s eyes are shining with life and everything you’re lacking.
You wonder why he bothered to speak to someone like you, who’s sad and exhausted, wearing clothes that are too big for you and looking like a train wreck all of the time, feeling like a train wreck all of the time, is a train wreck all of the time.
A silence has fallen over you, one that remains present until you breaks it with “I don’t know why you told me that.”
To which the boy replies “I told you because you’re broken. Anybody can see that. But it’s not permanent.” Your eyes are locked on the boy’s pretty mouth as he talks, watching the way his lips form each word.
And you kind of want to chuckle at his words, you can’t be ‘fixed’; and you have no one there for you. So you look the boy in the eye and whisper just that.
“Well you have me.” The boy says, as if you’ve known each other for more than 5 minutes. “I’m Tyler, by the way.”
You rub your chapped lips together before saying, “And I’m Y/N.”
And so after exchanging numbers on the steps leading up to your apartment complex at almost midnight on a Saturday night, Tyler Joseph becomes your second snow. He calls you the following day and asks you how you’re doing, if you’re feeling alright today, and you tell Tyler that you feel like you always do. Tyler doesn’t question you. But it feels like a promise when just before Tyler hangs up, he says “I’ll talk to you soon. Probably tomorrow.” and you laugh dryly and say “If you say so.” because you’re not counting on Tyler to stick around.
But Tyler does call. He calls the next day and the day after that and even the day after that. They’re not long calls, just Tyler “checking in” mainly, but it’s so nice, it feels like all the support you’ve ever needed.
And Tyler doesn’t stop at daily calls, he even visits you that weekend. You sit together and don’t really say much. You just watch the TV in a comfortable silence, but it feels like so much more.
Somehow it turns into a weekly thing. Tyler comes over to your apartment out of the blue, constantly finding reasons to be there for you. Honestly, you’re so glad that you have someone around, someone who isn’t pressuring you into laughing or smiling or doing anything with your life.
Eventually the hour long visits turn into Tyler staying the night, arm wrapped casually around you as they lay on your mattress in the darkness and stillness of your room. He holds you when you cry and it means everything to you, absolutely everything.
And, as time goes on, you begin to find that waking up feels less and less painful every morning. It’s nice to not dread existing. It’s nice to feel wanted.
But of course, Tyler can’t be there 24/7. So when he isn’t around to listen to you cry and comfort you to sleep, you alway have the snow. It’s like Tyler and the snow are your sole support system, your anchors, the things that are keeping you alive. Like the list of names Anne made before she died. If you made a list, all it would say is “Tyler Joseph and The Snow.”
But you should have known that Tyler wasn’t just your best friend and your support system. You should have known that you were going to fall in love.
You realize it when you’re lying in bed a few months after you first met, Tyler’s arms holding you closer than they’d ever held you before, when Tyler tucks his nose behind your ear and whispers “This is the first time we’ve laid together at night when you aren’t crying.” and he’s right, you’re not crying, you’re not crying and you don’t feel sad and Tyler is the reason for that.
“It’s because you’re here.“ You whisper in disbelief. "You’re always here and I love you.”
And you do love Tyler. You love Tyler and you don’t realize it until you say it. But saying it makes you freeze, muscles locking up in Tyler’s embrace.
But Tyler doesn’t seem to notice. “I love you too.”
You spin around in the circle of his arms and look up into Tyler’s perfect eyes and you see the light inside them and you’re not sure what Tyler means by love, but you can tell he means it.
“Okay.” And Tyler leans over and kisses the top of your head for the first time that night, even if it feels familiar enough for it to have been the one thousandth.
“Honey, I’m home!” Tyler calls, smile evident in his voice as he swings the front door to your apartment open and enters, dumping his keys on the wall hook, slamming the door shut and bustling into the kitchen. “Y/N?“
She isn’t there; in her place is an unnerving silence, one that isn’t natural, one that sets a heavy feeling of dread at the bottom of Tyler’s stomach. His smile falls right off his face.
“Y/N?” he says into the silence. No response. Tyler shakes his head, she’s got to be here.
He ventures into the living room and finds that the arm chair is empty. He checks the bathroom and finds no beautiful eyes peeking out behind the shower curtain, ready to pounce on him and laugh at him for being so scared. He looks everywhere except her room, because he dreads what he may find in there.
But it’s inevitable, either Y/N is in her bedroom or she is out, and Tyler knows that she would have nowhere to go if she did leave the apartment.
So he opens to door slowly and looks in and the first thing he notices is that it’s snowing and the window is open and Y/N is laying curled in a ball on the mattress, phone discarded in front of her, in silence, crying. She’s a silent blubbering mess and Tyler is scared, but he still dives forward and envelopes her into a hug. He kisses her forehead and buries his face in her hair and whispers “Love, what happened?” because even when they first met, she never cried this much and there’s no way that this is Y/N just upset. This isn’t normal. This isn’t her.
She shakes her head against Tyler’s chest, leaning against him as he rocks them from side to side, mumbling “Shh, babe, tell me what’s wrong.” into her hair and waiting for her to be okay.
Slowly her sniffling seizes and she takes a deep breath, pulling her face out of Tyler’s chest and patting Tyler’s sweater where she’s gotten tears all over it. She smiles weakly but it doesn’t quite reach her eyes and she looks like she could start crying again. Before she does though, she shakes her head and says “My mom died. Car accident. Last night.”
Tyler has never asked Y/N about her parents. He doesn’t know why they never talked and he doesn’t have a clue where they are or why they left their daughter to become so broken like this. But he knows that despite the fact that she rarely spoke to them, the loss of this woman who was his mother must be hard on her. Tyler couldn’t even begin to imagine the pain she must be feeling right now.
So Tyler doesn’t say anything, just closes his eyes and pulls Y/N back into his arms so that her face is not entirely in his chest this time, just so they’re hugging and can lightly sway without toppling over. “We didn’t speak, me and my mom.” she mumbles. “I know I shouldn’t feel so regretful because after we stopped talking a few years back, I barely knew her anymore. We didn’t speak, I didn’t know her and she didn’t know me. But I feel like I’ve completely missed the chance I had to get to know her. She raised me and loved me as a kid. All I did was push her away. I was bitter and disrespectful and I blamed her for pushing me too hard when really it was just me not wanting to do what she and my dad expected me to do. I’m not surprised she left me.”
Tyler doesn’t have anything constructive to say. He just pushes his nose into your hair and says “I am so sorry. I love you.”
She shakes her head and says “Don’t be sorry.” and for the first time, she tilts her head up and plants her lips on his. Tyler sighs into her mouth, wondering if this was the time or place to be sharing their first kiss together. But he selfishly doesn’t want to pull away. He wraps an arm tightly around her waist and for a long while, all they do is kiss.
And after they do finally pull apart, they lay there together for hours in the darkness, silent and not speaking, until when she assumes that Tyler is asleep and she whispers “It’s all my fault.” into his ear.
You don’t know what to do with yourself.
You don’t know what to do with yourself now that your mother is dead, you don’t know how to fix it, so for the first time in 4 years, you call your dad. And now, laying in the darkness on a creaky mattress, curled up against the wall underneath the open window as the snow falls, you hold your phone in shaky hands.
It’s cold and Tyler left a few hours ago to go to work and you feel so tired. You feel numb. Only when your father picks up to you realize that it’s been such a long time and you don’t know if your dad will even want to speak to you. You consider hanging up, you consider clicking the end call button and putting your phone away, never thinking of it again.
His voice is deep and so familiar and it reminds you of your childhood, it reminds you of the memories he created with him. And you’re completely frozen, paralyzed with guilt. You can’t speak. It’s snowing, you remind himself. The snow is here.
“Hello? Is anybody there?”
You bite your lip, looking out at the snow as you say “Dad.”
And your dad exhales, like a breath of relief, “Y/N.” The sound is static in your ear through the bad connection of your phone. “I thought you’d never call.”
“Yeah,” he says, sighing heavily.
Silence. “I’m sorry.” your voice cracks audibly and your fist tightens as you cough in a feeble attempt to cover up your weakness. You’re not breaking, you’re not going to show your dad how broken you are. “I’m sorry for not being there.”
“I know you are. I know you’re sorry.” And now you don’t know what to say, but you can feel the tears coming, the ones you’d worked so hard to bury for the duration of this phone call.
“I suppose you want me to beg you to come home now?” he asks then, a hint of sarcasm in his voice. You shake your head, a method of calming only yourself down. But you don’t respond. Instead, you let the phone drop from your ear and you hang up, leaving you to sit, staring out at the snow.
In the end, you don’t end up crying. You don’t let any tears escape your eyes. You just sit, asking the snow why bad things happen to you.
And when Tyler finds you like this later, he knows what happened, he just knows, and he pulls you into his lap, stroking your hair and looking out at the snow, asking the snow why the world is has been so cruel to this beautiful and perfect girl. The snow doesn’t know the answer to that one.
Y/N/s sadness from the communication with her dad doesn’t fade; she refuses to eat anything, refuses to leave her room, hardly speaks and hardly interacts with Tyler at all. She doesn’t kiss him, doesn’t hug him. Instead, she pushes him away whenever he lays a hand on her and rejects his affection whenever he tries to put an arm around her shoulders.
It’s as if she’s not even inside her body at all, it’s as if she’s disappeared and truth be told, it’s beginning to worry Tyler, because she’s never been this bad before.
So he takes a week off from work to keep an eye on her, and he calls her in sick at the record store, telling her boss about what happened.
When he hangs up the phone, he returns to her bedroom. Tyler drops to the mattress at a somewhat respectable distance, crossing his legs as she angle herself away from him. Tyler tries not to take it to heart.
“James said that he hopes you feel better soon.” Tyler says to the back of her head.
“He also said that he’ll count the days that you’re not in as paid days off so you won’t be going poor or homeless this month.”
“James a nice guy, huh? Very southern.”
"I like southern accents.”
Tyler suddenly feels sick. Something inside of him snaps and it’s as if all of the days Tyler has spent by her side this week are coming back up his throat. “Oh come on, Y/N! Why?” Tyler says with a raised voice, frustrated. “What’s wrong?! Why are you so distant right now?! Did I do something wrong?!”
Her head lowers and she sighs, mumbling something that Tyler doesn’t quite catch.
He sits for a moment, trying to make sense of it, before he chews his lip and says “What?”
“I said get out.” She says, clearer now. It’s unmistakeable, impossible for Tyler to have misheard. Y/N is telling Tyler to get out. It doesn’t sound like a joke. It sounds like a break up. It sounds like she’s crushing Tyler’s heart with her bare hands, fingers constricting around it, breaking it to a million pieces. “I don’t think we can be together right now.”
Tyler swallows around the lump in his throat. He feels like he’s about to throw up. “What did I do?”
And so Tyler gets out. He stands up with tears running down his cheeks, filling his eyes and blocking his vision as he stumbles out of Y/N’s room, out of her apartment, out of her complex, out of her street, out of her town, but hopefully not out of her heart.
After Tyler leaves, you are left to complete silence. There are no more sounds of him moving around in the kitchen or watching TV in the living room or showering in the bathroom. There are no more sounds of Tyler around you at all to remind you that you’re not alone. So all you can think about is the fact that you are so alone, and it’s all your fault because you were the one who fucked everything up.
You miss him. Your heart feels heavier than it was when Tyler was here and your apartment is colder, sadder, lonelier and you feel like everything is back to the way it was before you met Tyler. You’re completely reliant on the snow to listen. Only now, it doesn’t seem to snow as much.
So now that Tyler is gone, and your mother is dead, and your father didn’t want you around, and the snow isn’t falling, you have no one to live for, nobody to rely on and nothing to cling onto. Just a lumpy mattress and a dark room.
You wonder if Tyler will ever come back.
Tyler tells himself that Y/N doesn’t want to see him. He tells himself that he can’t just go storming into her apartment, demanding to be taken back, because the reason why she told him to leave was because he was too invasive and wasn’t giving her the time and space she needed to think and heal.
He wanted to apologize. But, he also wanted to stay away, and give her the distance she wanted. Which is what he is doing.
Tyler hasn’t gone back to Y/N’s apartment for 5 days. Not like he’s been counting, but he’s been counting.
Tyler isn’t sure how long he can stay away. But on day 6, he decides to say fuck it to space, he needed to check on her. He’s going to go to her apartment and apologize to her and Y/N is going to love him again.
It had been 6 days since the last snowfall. You gazed out your open window into the clear night and let the cold air hit your face.
You tapped anxiously at the wood of your window frame, wondering how much longer you could go on like this, completely and utterly alone.
A soft knock coming from your bedroom door brings you back to reality. You immediately stir, turning around and looking over at your shut door.
You know who it is. Because who else would it be? You hesitate, feeling nervous about telling him to come in. What could Tyler want?
If it had been snowing, you would have told him to go away again. But it wasn’t. It was clear and you were so lonely. So instead you clear your throat and tell him to come in.
“Hi,” he says, anxiously lingering at the door frame even after he’s seen you.
You keep his gaze and smile as much as you could. “Hi.”
“Listen—“ he says, rubbing the hem of his shirt between his two fingers. “I just wanted to say, I’m sorry.”
You narrow your eyes at him, in shock.
“I was intrusive and I didn’t give you space, and I said I’d be here, but I was pushy and not what you needed, and I’m sorry.” He sighs out a heavy breath once he’s finished, like he’d just exhaled all the poison in his lungs.
You stare, partially stunned, but mostly ashamed with yourself, because standing in front of you was everything you’d ever wanted. It was love and support and compassion and you’d treated him like you’d treated everything else in your life; with apathy. You’d neglected Tyler and pushed him away and only focused on yourself. You hated yourself for it, because truth-be-told, Tyler deserved so much more.
Despite the distance you’d expressed the last time you’d been together, it’s you who closes the space between you and him. In three quick strides, you’re colliding with him, wrapping your arms around his torso and pressing your ear into his chest.
As you feel his arms wrap around you and his face nestle into the familiar spot on top of your head, you finally let yourself inhale properly. Air and Tyler’s scent all flood into your lungs, reminding you of what you’d let slip away before, reminding you of how crucial he was to your existence.
“I’m sorry I pushed you away,” you say. And then, “I love you.” The words come out louder than you’d ever said it before and you feel Tyler soften in your embrace, like he’s let out a breath of relief.
“I love you,” he says into your hair. “So much.”
In the coming days, evidence of spring appears. The snow begins melting from the banks, creating puddles in the road, and on the night when the clouds emerge, it’s rain that falls instead. You sit briefly on your bed and stare out into the dreary night, listening as the drops fall to the pavement below and you realize that you were okay without it. Because even without the company of the snow, you had Tyler. And somehow, he was infinitely better. You were still sad and afraid. You still cried some nights and felt like the world was closing in around you. But Tyler’s company gave you hope and something to live for.
I don’t know if anybody has noticed this yet, but in the beginning of Let It Go, you can see how the snow flurry around her is slowly going away. Once she sings Well now they know, all of it disappears completely. It isn’t obvious in this set, but if you rewatch the scene, it’s much more visible.
A/N: I fucking love slow mornings aaagggghhh. Thank you for this request!!
You could feel the brisk flow of air coming from the window, small flurries of snow melting against the black sheets that were wrapped tightly around your waist, trapping you in the warmth of the bed. Slowly opening your eyes, you made a soft groan, squinting against the white light.
You had forgotten to close the window before you went to bed, peering out into the mountain tops of the base, eyeing the forest that lined the horizon, you rubbed your face, moving your weight.
Kylo had been late, the night sky slowly developing and the remaining light that allowed for you to move about disappearing, only to have the artificial bulbs buzz in the background while you waited. You hated going to bed without him, but sometimes, it was necessary. He had a habit of not being able to contact you during the day, sometimes not coming back for a whole night only to walk heavily through the doorway around eleven am, then clunk his helmet onto the table and envelope you in a hug.
So you reluctantly obliged to the increasing droopiness of your eyelids, and loud yawns that escaped your mouth, crawling into the bed and falling asleep within ten minutes-sinking into the pillows.
When you turned your head, a piece of you expecting to only find the space opposite of your side empty, you were happy to see your broad-shouldered and muscular boyfriend laying stomach down, his face turned towards you, his black hair falling in front of his eyes and his mouth slightly agape. You heard his slow breaths and sighing, you moved closer to him. Lifting your hand to his shoulder blade, tracing the relaxed muscles on his back, his skin soft. Then, after a moment, Kylo furrowed his thick eyebrows, meeting your eyes with a small smile placed on his plump lips.
Without saying a word, he closed his eyes for a moment as he wrapped his arm around you, dragging you closer to him and allowing you to roll on top of him, laying your head against his collarbone. Lifting your chin so that your nose brushed against his jawline, Kylo exhaled deeply, rubbing your shoulder then looking down at you with a gentle gaze.
“You forgot to close the window… Again…” He muttered, pressing a firm kiss against the top of your head. You looked through the curtains, streams of sunlight contouring the shape of your bodies under the sheets.
“I know.” You had to admit that shivers ran up your spine and that goosebumps had begun to surface on your arms, yet the warmth of Kylo’s body pressed against yours kept you content, and you didn’t want to move. Not even to prevent the room from developing icicles against the mirror.
The two of you stayed there for a few more breaths, the world sinking deeper while sleep wrapped itself around you once again, your consciousness threatening to slip away.
You could hear the wind outside, picking up speed, the sunlight clouded by fog and gray. The usual, for the Starkiller Base. You shivered again, settling into Kylo. He began to move under you, pushing his hands into the mattress and moving up into a seated position, making you fall to the side, your head now resting on a pillow instead of his chest. You closed your eyes after opening for a second, taken aback by his motion and whimpering, Kylo then chuckled slightly, sliding his legs over the side of the bed and moving to the window, shutting it.
A few seconds passed without feeling the bed shift under his weight, making you sit up abruptly. Kylo was at where his clothes were, pulling over his top. You then gasped slightly, your heart missing a beat. “Come back.” You ordered. Kylo glanced over his shoulder.
“I have to go.” He responded.
“No. You have to come back.”
Kylo clenched his jaw, turning all the way around, his shirt fitted tightly around his chest, showing off his stomach through the sheen texture of his base layer. You couldn’t help back crack a smile, and Kylo stepped towards you.
When he reached your location, you moved to the edge of the bed, standing on your knees and pressing your hands into his chest, he leaned down, kissing you. You grasped the fabric of his top, sliding it back over his head before he crawled over you, wrapping one arm around your waist before pushing you to the top of the bed.
Your weight was no problem compared to his strength, the muscles that wrapped around his bulky arms and the ones that set against his chest, outlining his stomach making your frame the perfect size for him to swoop his arms around you and lift you up, which always made you giggle, the feeling of him being able to put you where he wanted, adding to the tight feeling of your chest bursting.
Kylo continued to kiss you until your lips were numb, and still ridden with sleep, you stretched your arms, giving a small yawn. Kylo stared down at you with his eyebrows stitched together and then kissed the corner of your mouth. Sucking in a breath, you opened your eyes and cupped his face. He then quickly kissed you again, swiftly moving over you, shifting his bulky shape against you so his head pressed on your stomach with his hands on your side.
You loved how careful he was towards you, resting his head under your breasts, squeezing the spot under your rib cage, content. You buried your fingers in his thick hair, massaging his head, running your hands through the locks until you became too tired and stopped moving. Kylo was already asleep, his breathing slowed and his face relaxed.
Moving your eyes to the window, you peered outside into the wasteland. The same wasteland that allowed you to love someone seen as unlovable, and share a slow morning filled with lazy kisses and soft touches. You knew that Kylo wouldn’t wake up for another couple of hours, but you also knew that Hux wouldn’t come unless absolutely necessary. So you allowed yourself to settle back, turning your head to the side, slumber sweeping over you.
so, thanks to @jakelovesamy for the prompt, and to her and @elsaclack for all of the help!! i’m only including the prompt because it seems important that y’all all know that this started as a creepy cabin drabble. (title is from “let it snow” bc yes i Obviously wrote a christmas fic in mid-june)
99. “We’re in an abandoned lodge in the middle of nowhere. Sure, you’re totally right, nothing bad could ever happen here.”
Jake Peralta has never enjoyed the outdoors. Sure, that one Cub Scouts camping trip in first grade was pretty fun, but that was mostly because his dad was Assistant Scoutmaster that year, and Jake got to stay up until the sun started to rise, making s’mores with Charlie Daniels and his brother. Adult Jake Peralta prefers snow plows, massage chairs, modern insulation, and easy-access delivery food.
Which makes the fact that he agreed to spend Christmas in a cabin in the middle of nowhere in upstate New York with his new wife’s family a remarkable testament to just how much he loves said new wife.
Of course, the Santiagos are a remarkably awesome bunch of people. Victor warmed up to him - finally - when Jake told the Santiagos about his intentions to marry Amy. He showed them the ring, and Victor decided that anyone who had managed to save up that much money with a credit score below 200 was plenty tenacious enough to be a Santiago. Her brothers, meanwhile, had warmed to him as soon as they learned how much he loved basketball and good cop movies (Luis once told him that there were so many Santiago brothers it wasn’t even that noticeable when they picked up a few extra along the way. Jake had never felt more thrilled to be so entirely a part of something).
Even with all that awesome, being snowed in with all of the Santiagos in an eight-bedroom “cabin” (it’s definitely way too large for that title, and yet still somehow too small for all seven brothers, their spouses, and the kids) for four days over Christmas was not his idea of a dream vacation. Jake has no idea exactly how many nieces and nephews he now has, but he knows that there are at least twenty children that made it to the cabin ranging from scarily-new infants to surly teenagers, and they all call him Tio Jake with an excitement that warms his heart.