when you know you should be doing work, but you physically are unable to do any because you no longer care, but not enough to actually not do it, so you just sit there calmly stressed out, thinking about how you should be doing work, but all you can do is overthink the situation instead of actually doing what you need to
coach approaches bitty the summer after year 3 and says they need to have a talk. in b’s mind, the best case scenario is that they’re finally discussing the birds and the bees, which they never actually did bc coach foolishly relied on b’s middle school, abstinence-only sex ed to do all the work for him.
worst case scenario though? coach found Bitty’s YouTube channel. coach knows about jack. coach is about to force a conversation b isn’t ready to have.
so b’s p anxious as he follows coach to the den and waits for his father to speak. to his surprise, coach pulls out two beers and an old notebook, brimming with loose sheets and red ink.
“even if it’s not a coaching position,” coach says gruffly, tossing b his football-shaped bottle opener. “being captain is an important job. you gotta be the heart of the team, son, and I don’t doubt your abilities for a second, but, well…I’ve been waiting awhile to give you this.”
and he hands the book over and b flips through it. partially it’s plays, not too relevant to hockey but with some interesting ideas. the rest, though, is messy scribbles, notes on how to approach closed-off teammates, ideas on nutrition and team bonding and rousing speeches. Bitty’s tearing up before he can help it.
“thanks, dad,” he says softly, thumbing mindlessly through the pages again and again. “i…hope I’ll make you proud.”
“‘Course you will,” coach says, clinking their bottles together. “You always do.”
now it’s 2:42 am and i’m taking a small break before diving into a 26-page article with an interaction sheet due tomorrow. i’ve been working since midnight reading 3 chapters of my old testament textbook and then making notes over them because i failed my quiz last week and i don’t want to feel that disappointed again.
i’m really, really tired but i’m working really, really hard.
ps i included a picture ft. my sleeping dog because he makes me smile when i look up from my notes so i hope he can make you smile too
CONCEPT: keith and lotor doing subtle - (but really not subtle things everyone around is just really exasperated bc please it’s very obvious) - things to try and impress each other with their skills to gain each other’s approval and attention. but then they act like it’s just normal stuff that they do it all the time.
spoiler: it isn’t.
“oh hey keith fancy seeing you here in the training room wow i never would have guessed you would be here too don’t mind me i’m just about to embark on the most performative workout of my entire life”
keith trying to show how agile and quick he is on his feet. so when lotor is in the room he constantly takes the most Extra way to the door to leave. he could just walk but no. that’s too easy why not use the furniture as some kind of fancy springboard instead now yes. that’s how you make a exit.
sometimes he doesn’t even take the door. if there’s a window he’ll hop onto the ledge and then leap through it trying to be all suave whilst never admitting that was the intention it was just honestly closer than the door so what’s the problem
lotor retaliates by needlessly turning everything into hurdles so he can elegantly glide over things in keith’s presence
keith “i don’t just fight with knives i also throw them with accurate precision here watch this”
Never Actually Saying It but always being like “yeah that actually was really cool what i did back there but that’s not important because how about you do you find me cool do you think im cool did you think that was cool too-”
lotor Literally Posing whenever he hears keith approaching so he can look his best but it’s done so well
keith doing tricks with his knife, just flipping it and twisting it at weird angles that have absolutely NO LOGICAL PURPOSE OR PLACE in a real fight but they look really cool when he’s leaning against the wall pretending that he isn’t aware lotor is looking over
lotor knows they serve no real function in a battle but he asks keith to explain the technicalities and names of each move with a coy smile and private amusement it’s just very endearing tbh
Plot: When you were bored in calculus, you thought an innocent ‘hello’ on the desk wouldn’t do anything. But little did you know it would open up a whole new aspect of college.
Word Count: 5533
AN: Hello!! I didn’t intend for this to take so long, and I’m sorry I suck at plot descriptions but I hope you like it and I apologize if it’s terrible
You wracked your brains, eyes darting between the clock, the professor’s death glare that swept the class, and the door. Only 42 seconds left. The calculus worksheet in front of you was almost completely filled, save for the challenge questions that almost everyone got wrong anyways. You had to at least look like you were jotting something, and felt the chills tingling down your spine as Professor Jung glanced at your idle hands. You instinctively twirled your pencil, before looking at the empty corner of the wooden desk you were seated at. The urge to write perhaps a small but forbidden message was overwhelming. You check the clock again. 5 seconds left. You scribble a small ‘hello’, positive that it would be left unread and undisturbed. The bell in the mathematics building rang, and before Professor Jung could dismiss the class formally, every student rose in a frantic wave to get to the door first.
As you left, the next class was already flooding in. A heavy backpack barrelled into your shoulder, and you stumbled briefly, before shooting a venomous look at the unaware boy. His hair was ever so slightly parted, his eyes radiating the apologetic message he could not verbally say as he was swept towards the desks by the stampede of students. Had your arm not been throbbing so painfully, you would have admitted begrudgingly that he was among the cuter population of the boys you had seen in your first few months of college. You tried to not let it bother you, especially when you hadn’t a clue who this boy was, but you decided it was more important to get to psychology on time than linger around.
‘Hey there.’ You read the message once, then twice. You were beyond stunned at the neat Hangul letters that answered you directly under your message. It was in an obscurely dark spot as well, making the writing less visible. You smile slightly at the reply, twirling your pen as you tackled the packet on the continuation of yesterday’s lesson, this time on inverse trigonometric functions. The packet wasn’t difficult but it was not a walk in the park as yesterday’s worksheet had been.
“Inverse Sin of….” your thoughts trailed off, your pencil retracing the reply. The letters were neat, in precise lines and curves. You wanted to reply, and you snuck a glance at Professor Jung. He was too busy scolding one student in the second row for dozing off to bat an eyelash in your direction. You think hard for an intelligent conversation starter. Would this anonymous writer sit here again, hoping for a reply? Or would it be some student who was oblivious to this?
‘How do you survive P.Jung’s boring lectures? I almost die.’ The bell rang, and you stood up dutifully with the rest of your class. You tucked your stuff away neatly, hoping to linger and at least read the expressions of the next class. You were aware that there were at least three or four other calculus classes after yours, but still the thought of possibly seeing your new friend excited you.
“H-Hey.” A timid voice caught your attention. It was the boy from yesterday, the one who had given you the ugly dark bruise that was currently throbbing on your shoulder. You straighten up, eyes meeting his own apologetic gaze. “I wanted to apologize for accidentally hitting you the other day.” He held out a small cardboard container, something reminiscent of Chinese take out. You nod, confused at the mysterious contents.
“____. Please be aware you are holding up my class and close to being tardy for you next one.” Professor Jung’s drawl caught your attention, and you flash a miserable smile at the boy before running out the doorway. Your cheeks were burning from humiliation, and you tried your best to not scowl at how obvious he had been in shaming you. You pause to look down at the box, opening the top flaps to peek inside ever so slightly. Cookies. He had baked you cookies.
You nibbled on one as you jogged lightly towards the psychology class. It wasn’t the best cookies you’ve had, but they weren’t the worst either. It made you smile at how warm and gooey the chocolate chips were, and you realized he must have at least taken the time to warm them up recently for you. What a weird boy, you think with a fond shake of your head, and march through the door for the next class, ignoring the curious glance of the teacher for your rather delayed entrance.
‘The bell revives me every day. Also, I swear the guy in front of me farted.’ You stifle a soft giggle that was threatening to bubble out from your lips, and instead thought of something to write back. The handwriting was the same as it had been the first day, the neat penmanship almost leaving you green with envy. You envisioned whoever this person was to have just as pretty hands. You threw a quick glance towards the clock. Four minutes left. You were proud of your ability to at least wait until after your daily workload was over with before paying attention to the messages, but you also had the suspicion that you finished quicker in efforts to read and reply faster.
‘I hope you didn’t die twice because of that fart. Are you a boy or a girl?’. The shrill of the fire alarm startled you, and you hit your knee hard against the desk’s bottom surface. Other students were throwing victorious looks as they shoved their belongings in their bags or tried to carry everything out in a cheerful early exit. 2 minutes and 9 seconds before class was officially over. Professor Jung was barking orders for everyone to exit in an efficient manner, but it was not working. You made your exit as quietly as possible, grateful it had begun ringing after your response was completed.
“This is awesome!” Said one boy, a student named Jung Sewoon. You had spoken to him a few times, and of the students in your class, you were probably the closest to him. Not that it was saying much; you were more of a wallflower, and he was more of an acquaintance than anything. He flashed an innocent and adorable smile to you, before moving onwards towards the sidewalks where all the students were trying to cram onto, excitement clearly written on their faces.
You fidget idly on your spot, trying to avoid having other peers trample on your feet as they squeezed through towards their friends. It was not that you had no friends; rather that you were quite superficial in the extent you would allow yourself to grow attached. There were nice people everywhere at university, and you were thankful for the smiles that would greet you at a lunch table, or the belongings that would be pushed aside for you to sit down at the library. Still, you had yet to find some group you wanted to wished to call yours, and drifted nomadically from group to group.
You found your gaze wander at the nearby faces, before a flicker of mild interest occurred. There was that boy again, the one with the cookies and apologetic smile, talking quite merrily with Sewoon. His eyes were in a crescent as he avidly discussed some topic, his hands moving rapidly as he tried to project his ideas. Sewoon was nodding, as if the information or whatever the other boy was saying made perfect sense. It was fascinating to see someone you had thought was more like a turtle be so animated. At a second thought, you could agree that the boy was indeed cute. He caught your lingering gaze, and sent a small smile. You felt a little awkward, almost conflicted. Your stomach had slight butterflies at his attention. You offered a pathetic half-hearted wave, which he returned with a broader grin, before motioning you to come over. Nervousness filled your veins as you stumbled towards them, Sewoon welcoming you with a friendly nod.
“Hi! I don’t think I ever introduced myself. I’m Kim Jaehwan– oh right, were the cookies okay? I was scared I underbaked them because I was in a rush trying to make sure it was made fresh.” You were stunned by his openness, and even more so at how Sewoon did not look surprised at Jaehwan’s little story.
“Oh. Uh. Hi.” You started stupidly, and then shook your head slightly. “I’m _____. And the cookies were great,” you noted how his lips quirked up a little more at this, and he stuck his hand out for a handshake. You took his hand. It was warm and rough at the same time, calluses scratching against your palm.
“So you were the girl he hit accidentally. He told me he thought you were going to kill him and that he needed to beg for forgiveness,” Sewoon followed his words with a gentle chuckle, and you were taken aback. You recalled vaguely shooting an angry look, but you were also quite tiny and had not suspected anyone to ever be afraid of you. Jaehwan sent an embarrassed look at you, before hitting Sewoon’s upper arm.
“Hey! You can’t say that to her! I’m supposed to be quite macho.” You almost snorted at the silliness between the two boys, but by then the students were all drifting away towards their next classes, which were almost halfway done, and you waved goodbye to the pair. For the first time since the semester had started, you felt excited at the thought of seeing specific people on campus. You glanced back once more, seeing the last bit of Jaehwan’s figure disappearing towards the calculus room in the crowds.
‘That’s for me to know and you to find out. Maybe. I’m hungry.’
The reply did not disappoint, and your lips slowly rose in the corners. You had little work, as your calculus class had ended up being too far in the curriculum compared to other classes, so the professor did not seem as grumpy. You had not felt as rejuvenated in a while. Sewoon was sitting the the desk beside you at your request. He appeared pleasantly surprised when you had asked him to sit next to you, and now he writing something furiously onto a blank sheek of paper. You had peeked over and seen musical notes, and decided to leave the Ponyo lookalike to his own business. It felt significantly less lonely with him a little nearer, and more like you had made a real friend.
‘I heard today’s cafeteria food is good. Can I at least ask what your favorite food is?’
Sewoon threw a small piece of crumpled paper onto your desk, and you unravelled it slightly. There was a message. You quietly opened it a little more, being careful to not make a sound and risk anything with Professor Jung’s hawk-like hearing. It was simply a smiley face, with the words, ‘don’t get caught’ on the bottom. You flashed a look at him, and he responded with a smile. You pretended to erase your words, hoping Sewoon would not attempt to read it later, and instead doodled until class was over.
Jaehwan was waiting outside of the door, smiling at seeing you and Sewoon.
“We should eat lunch later. Is 12:25 okay?” Sewoon nodded, before jerking a thumb at you. You were standing there awkwardly, trying to skirt your way around the two boys to not disturb. “____, you come too! We can be the Three Musketeers!” You nod hesitantly, and Jaehwan gave a satisfied smile at this. “See you guys later then!” He walked into class, wincing slightly as if already imagining the calculus that would dumped on them to make up for the fire drill. Sewoon waved as the two of you split directions as well, and you went on your merry way to psychology. It would be after this class. Then you could enjoy lunch.
You could hardly focus during psychology. It almost felt like there were fireworks exploding in your chest. You finally belonged somewhere. After months of just drifting from person to person, you finally found two people who you wanted to stay close to. You blushed a little at remembering how optimistic Jaehwan was. Three Musketeers…
By the time class was over, you could feel your stomach begging for food. You felt almost miserable at how hungry you were, but brightened at the thought of seeing Jaehwan and Sewoon. There was a spring in your steps as you made your way towards the cafeteria, and unbeknownst to you, a smile was forming on your lips as you saw Jaehwan in the distance. He was standing by himself, the first to arrive at the main entrance of the cafeteria. His eyes was pointed to the sidewalk, kicking a small rock between his feet as he waited idly. He finally looked up at the sound of approaching footsteps, and his gaze lit up.
“____!” His voice was joyous. He kicked the rock gently to you, a teasing glint in his eyes. “Think fast!” You tried stopped the rock with your foot, but you took a step too far. You let out a yelp as you felt your weight shift rapidly, your foot skidding across the gravel that had accumulated at the sidewalk. You screwed your eyes shut, willing the pain to erupt on your backside as you rocketed towards the ground, into gravity’s open arms. Instead, you could feel two arms catch you, and you hit Jaehwan’s chest with a solid thud.
“Oh my gosh! Are you okay?” You squeak, embarrassed at how clumsy you were. He peered down at your face, concern showing in his eyes.
“Shouldn’t I be asking you that? Your ankle is okay? No sprains?” You nod meekly, trying to ignore the burning sensation in your cheeks. He sighed in relief, the exhalation of his chest evident against you. Suddenly you were all too aware that you were still in his arms and that he was still supporting you. You stood up abruptly, staring at your feet.
“I guess this makes up for the book bag incident then,” he replied jovially, nudging you gently. “Don’t worry about it, you’re probably tired.” You nod, grateful for his words.
“You’re good at passing though. Did you play soccer?” You ask, trying to divert the topic. He grinned broadly at the compliment, puffing out his chest as if he were about to give a long, boastful speech.
“Every Sunday after church, my friends and I go. Sewoon joins in too sometimes. You should come!” You nod at the invitation, wondering if that was how Sewoon and Jaehwan had become friends in the first place.
“There you guys are!” Sewoon jogged over lightly, a smile on his face. Jaehwan opens the door for you, and you step inside, greeted with a blast of warm air from the heater. The scent of bean sprout soup, freshly cooked rice, and other side dishes wafted to you, and your stomach grumbled once again. Jaehwan laughed, a bright and high sound escaping him, and he poked your arm.
“For such a tiny girl you sure are noisy!” He said, passing a metal tray to you. He watched with amusement as you heaped on food, shaking his head in wonder at the mountain you were supposed to finish. As the three of you sat down, you grinned at Sewoon’s astonished face.
“____, are you sure you can eat that?” You nod furiously, digging into your food without another word. The boys were chattering about the upcoming open mic, trying to figure out if they should do two stages individually or do a duet. You listened, nodding every now and then, but mainly focusing on munching away. As you got your spoon ready for another mouthful, a pair of chopsticks dropped a sheet of salted seaweed on top of the rice. You looked up to see Jaehwan’s entertained face.
“Slow down before you choke,” he scolded gently, before watching you grin and finish the next mouthful. Sewoon chuckled softly at this, clearly enjoying your mukbang.
“Have you ever considered making your own eating videos?” He asked innocently, and you giggled at the thought, high fiving him. “You could probably make a lot of money like that.”
“I swear I don’t normally eat like that!” You said defiantly, laughing as Jaehwan rolled his eyes. “I was really hungry I swear.”
“Whatever you say. I haven’t ever seen Jaehwan eat like that, even when he’s eating lettuce.” Jaehwan chortled at the words, before hitting Sewoon away playfully.
“That was one time. I did it for fun!” Sewoon gave him a mocking side eye, and the two continued to bicker while you finished the last of your food. Sewoon messed your hair with his hand before picking up the tray for you.
“Well at least she finished food just in time for class. See you guys tomorrow?”
‘I like some veggies. I like eating in general. I also think it’s a shame that you can’t see the stars that well at night anymore. Light pollution sucks.’
“Ms._____, is there really no work for you to do?” Professor Jung’s sharp voice rattled you as you hastily covered the writing.
“I- I finished the worksheet of the day,” you mumble, and he muttered something about pretentious students taking courses too easy for them as he turned back to glowering at the other students. You covered your chest with your hands, trying to calm down the erratic beats. The thought of this little conversation getting caught scared you for some reason. This person was your friend, a secret pen pal. The only motivation you had to finish your daily workload in calculus was only to read the few words written down in pretty script. You sighed, while Sewoon gave you a sympathetic smile as he scribbled down the next few variables on problem 26 part c out of the 35 for the day.
‘The stars are pretty. Will I ever meet you?’ The words were cautiously written, and you could feel the weight of consequences that could arise. It could be a magnet that brings two forces together, or it could be the poison that pops this little bubble and keeps you from ever meeting this fascinating person. The desire to see this person had grown exponentially from the first day a few weeks back. Sometimes, to your disappointment, there would be no reply. To try to act your own part of nonchalance caused you to skip a few days as well, something that made you almost relish and despise your childish actions. If this were summed up into a more modern topic, you would certainly categorize it as online flirting in some chatroom, except there was no ability to know who this person was, and there were no feelings attached other than vague excitement that would flare in the bottom of your stomach to see the next reply.
Just the night before, you had a dream that you had met this person. You could not see the face clearly; there was a cap over the head, along with a baggy hoodie that was covering most of their body. A mask covered any distinct face features, and by the time you woke up, you were almost hysterical at how tauntingly close this all was. It had been bothering you since, and it probably showed as you sat in the soundproof practice room that Sewoon and Jaehwan were practicing in that evening.
“Are you okay? You’re awfully quiet for a girl who just downed a cup of coffee,” Jaehwan noted as he tuned his guitar, his elegant hands turning each knob until it matched his needs. You nodded, a little dazed, but smiled as Sewoon began to strum his guitar.
“____ is a weird girl. But Jaehwan is a weirder boy~” His voice was clear and strong, soothing even if the lyrics made you laugh. Jaehwan began to mimic Sewoon, and the two sent lines back and forth in song while you were struggling for air as your laughter consumed you. Your sides were in stitches, and there were tears in your eyes as they finished, standing up and bowing to their imaginary audience, satisfied smiles on their faces.
“What do you think? I think we can debut with that masterpiece.” Jaehwan prompted, his eyes turning into crescents as he grinned broadly at you. You affectionate cuffed his head.
“I don’t remember half of the nonsense you two spewed out!” The two boys erupted in laughter once more, Sewoon’s muted chuckle mixed with Jaehwan’s higher squawk. It was among the stranger mixtures of noises you had heard together, but somehow it was perfect, and you felt a rush of endearment for the two boys. How would you have managed the last few weeks if that fateful encounter did not happen? Undoubtedly, it would not have been as joyous and warming as it was.
“Well, I think we should practice if we are doing a duet, because I swear if you pull some lyric mistake on me I will die of embarrassment,” Sewoon said. Jaehwan smiled mischievously, setting his guitar down on his lap for a moment.
“Did I mention I was a talented rapper? I think I can be a large contribution to this duet stage if you let me-”
‘Come to the open mic at the school cafe and you can meet yours truly. I’ll throw a little surprise gift just for you.’ The scribble excited you, and you twitched in your seat. You would meet this anonymous person tonight. You were planning to go anyways, because of Sewoon and Jaehwan. The two boys had practiced hard in the past week, and you had spent more hours than imaginable in the music department’s building, going on hot tea and water errands and making sure to bring tissues and cough drops if the boys needed it in colder weather.
“____! Are you busy?” Jaehwan’s voice interrupted your thoughts. You were walking from your dorm to the library, about to make a study guide to preview the next chapter in psychology. You shake your head, curious about his inquiry. “Wanna hang out for a bit?” You follow him, walking towards the music department. By now, the two boys had their own practice rooms to themselves, and you were all too familiar with the cozy little space that Jaehwan had led you into. A warm mug of tea revealed that he had been there earlier as well. You sat side by side on the foldable chairs, facing one of the walls.
“Is something wrong?” You asked softly. His gaze was distracted, and he was fiddling with his hands. You loved his hands. They were beautiful, and they looked like he could be a hand model if he wanted to. You loved how they were rough from all his guitar playing, but how warm they were whenever your fingers would briefly graze his whenever you passed some item. You hesitantly reached out to grab it, preventing his fingers from suffocating one another.
“Nothing is wrong. I’m just… nervous.” He let out a long exhale, before lifting his gaze to look at you. “About the performance.” He wrapped his hand around your own, and you offered a comforting squeeze. What would you have done if he had not hit you with his backpack? You probably would not have ever met this wonderful boy!
“You sound great, and you’re going to do great,” you said firmly, and he smiled at your words, squeezing your hand back gently. A blush crept up to your cheeks. When was the last time you had held hands with a boy?
“What would I do without you?” He sighed, before leaning his head against your shoulder. You froze, uncertainty and panic rising in your chest. Your heart felt like it was beating too rapidly to be considered healthy, and you were almost scared to admit that the feeling and warmth was nice.
“Are you going to sleep?” You whisper, and he chuckled at your words, shaking his head to indicate he was not. His fluffy hair tickled your cheek, and you suppressed a smile.
“Sewoon told me something funny a few days ago…” Jaehwan’s voice trailed off. You glanced at him, intrigued. “He said you-”
“Is Jaehwan there? I’m opening the door- Oh. Am I interrupting something?” Sewoon stood awkwardly at the door, his gaze flicking between you and Jaehwan. Jaehwan sat up quickly, and took his hand away. You felt cold without him, but ignored it, instead smiling and waving Sewoon in. “I brought food.” He revealed, still awkward, and held out a grocery bag of chips. Jaehwan dove for the bag, and the two boys squabbled over it while you watched on fondly.
The day flew by in a whirl of faces and colors, and finally it was evening. You stood in front of your mirror, not minding your roommate’s sleeping figure on her bed as you shrugged on a thick cardigan over your simple black dress. You were aiming for a simple but nice look, something approachable. Your heart was nervous but excited to find your pen pal, but was also excited to see Jaehwan.
A few rapid knocks on your door notified you that it was time to leave as you walked through a puff of rosewater scented perfume as you moved towards the door. Jaehwan and Sewoon grinned at you, admiring your freshly curled hair.
“This is a new side of you,” Jaehwan said as he picked up a curl, letting it bounce back in place with a smile. You were about to shove him playfully until something in his hands caught your eyes. A pink and white rose. His gaze followed yours, and he gave an embarrassed smile. “Don’t mind this. It’s a gift.” Sewoon grinned teasingly at his words.
“He’s probably going to confess to some girl. He’s been so daydreamy these days.” The words gave your gut an uncomfortable shove, and you stifled it with a hopefully non-pained smile. You don’t have a right to be jealous, you chided to yourself. He didn’t deny Sewoon’s words, much to your disbelief.
“That’s cute.” Your voice was blander than you had hoped it to be, and you grabbed your tote before turning to lock the door. An awkward pressure was between you and Jaehwan, but Sewoon took little notice as he cheerfully chattered about how excited he was to perform again on stage and how he was going to get a part time job at a local cafe as the live singer. You laughed as you fixed his red tie for him, which made him beam at you.
“I should go grab a seat now. Good luck you two!” You said sincerely. Sewoon nodded, and turned to leave. It was just you and Jaehwan now.
“You should fix my tie for me too,” he said, a little grumpily. That’s cute. You comply, gently tugging and ensuring it was straightened out. He reaches out for a high five, which you slap gingerly until he encloses your hand in his own. You turned red at the prolonged contact, dropping your gaze. The rose came into view once more, and you bite your lower lip, trying to push away the jealousy.
“I should really go get a seat now. Don’t be late.” You pull away towards the audience. A few front row seats were thankfully open, and you scooted towards one as carefully as possible. The show was about to start, and you appreciated the dim lighting and minimalist decorations that did not deviate any attention from the performers. You listened to poems, stories, and songs. And finally, the third to last stage. Sewoon and Jaehwan.
The audience was already riled up, eager to listen to the two boys. They had quite a following at the university, and even professors were fans of their angelic voices.
“Hello! We’re going to perform Skyfall by Adele. We hope you enjoy.” Jaehwan cleared his throat a little, the sound echoing from the speakers. His gaze flitted around the crowd, restless like birds provoked by a leaping cat. He’s probably looking for that girl, you think sullenly. You felt a little sour at this, and turned your gaze to Sewoon, who was smiling angelically at you, his gaze lighting up as you gave him a thumbs up for encouragement.
Their voices were beautiful together, and you were in awe. You had heard their rehearsals, and watched just how much effort was put into this, but every time you just fell more and more in love with their voices. Jaehwan’s was rich and smooth, making every note effortless and breathless. Sewoon’s was sweet and soothing, something you swore you could fall asleep to like the gentlest lullaby. The room fell silent, ears straining to catch the slightest sound that poured out of the boys’ lips. As the song hit its climax, Jaehwan’s high notes filled your heart, and you were gasping at how beautiful he sounded. You could not believe the performance was over until the last strums of the guitars died down, and Jaehwan and Sewoon stood up to bow. Jaehwan’s hand reached below his stool, where the rose was tucked away from sight. A lump formed in your throat, and you forced your gaze downward.
How could you have been so stupid to not have realized earlier that you grown to like this boy? From the bruise that was long faded, to the endless meal time chats, and even making hideous faces across the table at the library while studying, this boy had crept slowly but surely into your heart. And now here he was, about to confess to some girl, and you would be forced to watch because you were one of his close friends and you were expected to be supportive of this clueless dork. The memory of earlier today flickered in your mind, and you wanted to run away and hide. If he was going to confess, then why did he rest his head against your shoulder? Why did he have to catch you when you were going to fall in front of the cafeteria that day?
He tapped the mic, grabbing everyone’s attention with a shy and boyish smile. The lump grew harder in your throat, lodging itself in such a way that it was almost painful to inhale. Your eyes fearfully looked up, waiting for his words as everyone quieted down.
“I hope that was a great performance that you guys enjoyed. I actually wanted to say it was somewhat of a confession.” The crowd cheered, cat calls sounding in the room as your eyes met his own. What was there left to say at this point? You were just the best friend, probably one of the ‘bros’ with Sewoon. You forced a meager smile, hoping it did not resemble the grimace you were trying to contain.
“There was a special present that would wait for me sometimes in my calculus class. I had a little friend who would write me messages on my desk. I didn’t know who this person was until a few days ago, when Sewoon over here mentioned it. And then I came early, just before my class started, and saw her reply to me. It was really a beautiful sight.” Your heart halted at his words, and his smile grew fondly as he stared down at you. He took a step closer to the edge of the stage, before bending over to get closer to your level. You turned into a deep shade of red, your mind forgetting how to function. What was breathing? What was this boy even saying? Your thoughts were jumbled in some chaos, unable to form proper ideas and grasp the situation.
“And she’s here today. And she’s a girl who’s very special to me, someone who encouraged me daily while I practiced, and someone I grew to love a lot as a friend and more.” This had to be a prank, a secret camera of some sort. You opened your mouth to say something, but the words flew past in your mind, unable to ever reach your lips. He knelt down, holding the rose out to you. The room exploded in applause and cheers, all eyes fixated on you two. “____? I’m glad to have formally met you. I am a boy, I love lettuce, and the stars are beautiful, but so are you. Here was the gift I promised.”
You reached out a shaking hand, grasping the flower. It felt surreal, like a dream. He took your hand, and warmth filled your whole body. The room fell into a hushed whisper, waiting. Sewoon was smiling proudly from the side, and nodded in approval when your eyes sought his reaction.
“And I know this is sudden, but I don’t think I can wait. ___, will you be my girlfriend?” You smile, nodded wordlessly, and allowed him to envelope you into a tight hug.
all of the nude models in our art school are such interesting people aside from just the nude model part like we have:
•a former NASA scientist for 20 years who seedily obtained a piece of the actual moon & brought it in to show us. he also wants to secure a piece of mars eventually I can’t believe he’s a space smuggler
•a male competitive roller-skater
•a burlesque dancer who auditioned for the rockettes & sings professional opera on the side
•a trapeze artist who used to train in Paris then became a French teacher in the states but gave up that to be a full-time circus performer & she’s the most Jacked™ woman I’ve ever seen
•a civil war reenacter. we have an actual fucking larper
•a guy who’s missing his left eye and nobody knows why but we have a theory that he’s an Italian mobster so it’s probably best not to ask
•a Chicago broadway actress who showed us her acting chops one day but she was naked at the time & reciting Shakespeare it was so intense
•a completely normal plain bagel dude but he can hold a 3hr standing pose without taking breaks so I’m convinced he’s not even alive and has no soul
so i hit 5k?? that’s honestly crazy and i’m so honoured that so many people feel i deserve to be followed??? to celebrate ive decided to finally do a tumblr awards! (but it’s my first so please be patient with me!) thank you all so much and i hope you have a good day ♥
Claire surreptitiously watched Jamie, his eyes guarded
– surrounded by deep dark circles born from sleepless nights –, as he pretended
to read a large book, written in Latin. She moved uncomfortably on the picnic
towel, battling the urge to say something. Tired of the confinement of the
library and wishing to speak to him alone – but not really knowing how to
introduce the subject – she had proposed for them to study outside and enjoy
the sunny day, laying on the grass of the nearby park.
She gulped and opened her mouth to speak, words
dying inside her throat like decaying flowers, too weak and soulless to thrive.
“What?” Jamie whispered, his eyes still fixed
on the book – they hadn’t moved an inch for the past minutes, his mind absorbed
in replaying the events of the last few days.
“You should talk to him.” Claire blurted out, finally
closing her own book with a slapping noise. “You should go to John.”
“I should not!” He furrowed his brows, silently
admonishing her to stay away from the topic. She blatantly ignored him.
“You should!” She insisted, nervously trapping
a curl behind her ear. “You’re hurting and the only way to solve it is to say
what’s on your mind!”
“I already did!” Jamie hissed, almost
projecting the paperback to the nearby pond, where ducks splashed and played,
hiding their faces bellow dark waters. “Loud and clear. I remember my fists
“That wasn’t talking.” Claire pointed, grasping
for patience. “You were angry – maybe rightfully so. But John is your friend
and you can’t have peace until you settle things with him.”
He growled, tilting his head to look away from her pressing eyes. “He was my friend – and it seems that
friendship was verra one-sided. John had other plans – like sticking his filthy
tongue inside my mouth.”
“You’re being unreasonable.” She said heatedly,
sliding to be within his eyesight. “John has feelings for you, Jamie. He is in love with you.” Jamie winced,
but Claire pressed on. “Is it easier for you to pretend it was just a whim? A
physical thing? To act like there wasn’t something much deeper there?”
“Claire.” He gave her a serious and warning
look. “Ye’re out of line. This has nothing to do with ye.”
“Am I?” She asked, her voice softer. “I’ve held
your soul between my own two hands, James Fraser. I have given you my body to
bring you back, to keep you here – with me. I wear the ring you offered me and
vowed to entwine my life with yours, for as long as we may live. I thought I
was carrying your child – I still carry them all with me, the children you may
one day give me. I have kissed you, loved you and fought you every day since
you told me you’d have me. So don’t talk to me about a bloodyline!” Claire
finished in a broken voice. “There is no
line between us. One soul, one heart – even when it hurts the most.”
They were silent for a moment – Jamie’s eyes
moist and troubled, Claire almost panting from the effort of excavating such
words, deep truths hidden in the vault of her chest. Eventually he sought her
hand – and she allowed him to find her. Right
there. Always within reach.
“What can I tell him, mo nighean donn?” He asked in a hoarse voice. “What words may I use
to take us back in time? What may I tell him that wouldna sound heartless,
diminishing to his feelings?”
“You’ll find the words.” She promised him,
lightly caressing his temple, admiring the way the light caught in his
eyelashes. “You always do.”
love ye.” Jamie whispered. “Such few words. And yet entire worlds are
crumbling, visions of a life never to exist disappearing like sand in an
hourglass. I’m sae angry still, mo
ghraidh. It simmers and coils inside me like a fire snake ready to pounce.”
He leaned over and rested his forehead against hers. “I fear I’d be crueller
than needed if I went to him in such spirits.”
“You need to tell him what you told me.” Claire
kissed the corner of his lips, slightly chapped from the sun exposure. “How
afraid you were for us. How heartbroken over the idea of losing his friendship.
And just how much it costed you to hurt him.”
“I never asked for any of it.” He sighed,
tugging her closer to hug her body with his powerful arms, hiding the pain in
his words inside the mass of her hair.
“No.” She whispered against the warm skin on
his neck. “But only you can make it
Jamie walked in long steps, his hands plunged inside
his pockets, his head slightly bent against the dusk’s strong wind. Claire had
texted him, asking him to meet her near the track and field. He didn’t like to
be so close to the rugby stadium, knowing the team would be training at that
time. After the fallout with John, both players had been punished and suspended
from the team, until they had put on an agreeable display of contrition. The
coach’s screams still echoed inside his ears – the wrath of losing both of his
best players because of their hot-headedness had been phenomenal.
A tall and lean figure became apparent in the
periphery of his visual field, equally busy battling the unpleasant weather.
“What are ye doing here?” Jamie snapped, biting
the inside of his cheek. John Grey looked distraught and positively mortified
to be unexpectedly face to face with the captain.
“Claire asked me to meet her here.” He said
haltingly, his usually fair cheeks flushed with crimson. “Said she needed my
help with an assignment.”
“Did she now?” Jamie said between teeth, half
irritated, half amused. “I think I ken exactly what assignment she needed help with.”
“Oh.” John looked around nervously. “Do you
mean - did she plan for us to meet, then?”
“Aye.” Jamie sighed and shook his head in disbelief.
“Claire is a healer – not just what she
does, but who she is deep down. She
is trying her hardest to fix us.”
– sorry,” He grimaced, remembering
the brutal way Jamie had demanded for him never to address him in such manner
again. “I want you to know that I am
sorry and I –“
“Don’t.” Jamie interrupted him, his jaw tense. “Maybe
someday I’ll be able to talk about it – to really
listen to whatever you have to say – but not now. Not yet, anyway.”
“Alright.” The blonde young man looked utterly
broken, forcing a good-humoured smile into his lips. “At least you didn’t punch
me this time around, so I call it an improvement. I should be on my way, then.”
They glared at each other – almost hearing the
distant echoes of their former selves, laughing and pushing each other in that
exact same place, just days before. Jamie finally looked away and slowly
walked, the rugby field coming within sight. When he talked, be didn’t look at
Grey, but his voice softened.
“Michael really needs to pass the ball to Glen,
if that play is going anywhere at all.” He waited, as a surprised John gathered
himself enough to mumble an agreement. “Watch Glen now. He is about to get
tackled and doesna have a clue about it.”
“That pass should have been longer.” Grey analysed
a bit later, as they sat on the grass watching the practice, a respectful
distance separating them. “Christ Gavin, move that shoulder son!”
It was a pale comparison with what they used to
have – the complicity, the easiness - but it was a truce. A kind of hesitant
companionship, every movement and word calculated. It was a start, nonetheless –
a fragile bridge they might cross, ignoring the haunting canyon bellow, to find
common ground. A safe haven.
“I should go.” John said, as night fell around
them. “I have an essay to finish. I – it was good seeing you, Jamie.”
“I’m sorry I hurt ye, John.” Jamie rushed
through the words, his voice almost lost in the howling wind. “Not that I
punched ye – just that ye were hurt.
But I wasna ready for any of it and I let my fear get the best of me.”
“I blindsided you.” He twiddled his thumbs. “I
just wish you could forget it all, to be honest.”
“Well, I canna do that.” Jamie got up and
brushed his jeans, getting rid of wet green leaves. “I still respect ye too
much to forget what ye feel, John. But maybe there is a way forward, if we are
given enough time and us being willing.”
Claire was waiting close to his dorm, an expectant
smile written on her lips. Jamie strode to meet her – his eyes and the lines of his face burning with a
fierceness that almost frightened her. She half-expected him to yell at her -
and maybe she deserved it for meddling.
When he finally reached her, his arms crushed her
against his body, and she relaxed feeling the waves of relief pouring from him.
“Thank ye, mo
nighean donn.” Jamie whispered against her mouth, as the tip of his tongue
slowly caressed her bottom lip. “For being not only my heart, but also my
“Did you find a bridge, then?” She leaned
against his body, melting with the hard slopes of him.
“Aye. My lass, my love.” He whispered almost breathless, right before he kissed
her deeply. “Ye are the bridge.”