Please note, this week has been heavy on the adulting and I don’t have much (any) free time. I’ve still only even skimmed through the last 8 pages; AND I haven’t/won’t really have time to go back and double check all the topic/subject messes I’m sure have been made on these 10.
summer sun, high even late into the evening, bathes the Inquisitor’s
quarters with light, giving Dorian a grand opportunity to indulge in one of his
simplest pleasures: merely watching his lover.
has closed his eyes but is not, Dorian judges, quite asleep, lying with one arm
thrown over his head and hair spread loose on the pillow. Against the crisp
white linen sheets, he’s richly colored, ruddy brown, dark and
solid. Splendidly rounded muscle, naturally, but today Dorian is a little
fascinated by the firmly shaped nose and chin, and how the last long days of
sunshine have put golden glints in his red-brown hair and darkened the spray of
freckles over his cheeks.
has taken ample opportunities to look at the man’s face,
naturally, ever since their first acquaintance. Sometimes surreptitiously,
gazing from afar, darting glances when he hopes no one else is looking. He
never was discreet enough to avoid starting rumors, but this bright, warm hour
is not the time for regrets. Better have been the times they talk, when Dorian
pays attention to all the subtle tricks of Simon’s smiles, and the movements of
his eyes. Quite a trick, really, to drink it all in while carrying on a witty
and pleasant conversation. Dorian should be congratulated for that.
is a comfortable peace to being able to gaze now, unobserved by anyone, taking
in every detail of that face and storing it away against future need.
“I can feel you staring,” Simon says
without opening his eyes. “What’s so engrossing?”
What isn’t? Dorian might ask. Instead he says, “Your
“Hm? I haven’t got freckles.”
“I assure you you do.” Dorian had first
noticed them quite some time ago, in fact, shortly after they came to Skyhold.
Simon had come up to the library for a chat, and the light through the window
had played across his face just so, leaving Dorian unexpectedly delighted by
the discovery. As if it were a secret he’d learned, or a rare spell he’d
“How odd I haven’t noticed.”
“They stand out more now.” Dorian reaches
out and sweeps his thumb across Simon’s cheekbone, tracing the curl of color. “Gifts
of the sun, I suppose.”
chuckles. “Now you’re getting poetic on me.”
“Shall I write you a sonnet? A bit of lyric?
cuts Dorian off by tugging him down, a hand on the back of his neck, for a
languid, drawn-out kiss, the kind a long summer evening deserves. “I
think there are rather enough songs about me.”
“But not like this,” says Dorian, whose
attempts at verse invariably veer toward the bawdy.
teasing gets the fitting reward of a scowl, mouth twisted and nose scrunched,
with the glitter of a glare from half-open eyes.
laughs, and kisses the freckles instead of indulging in poetry.
It had been a long night at the bar, rain was pouring down, and Bucky was at least eighty eight percent sure he’d heard a couple stones of hail coming down.
He wanted to go home. He wanted to walk right past whoever was groaning in that alleyway and go the fuck home.
But right about the time he was going to take a step past the entrance to the alley, right about the time he was thinking of all the ways he was going to make peace with how disappointed Steve would be in him right about now, a tiny piece of hail came down and punched right through his umbrella. Bucky stared up through the hole, thought about what kinda mark it would leave on a human skull, and sighed, turning around.
The groaning turned out to be a man, dark-haired, formerly well-dressed, and clutching a bottle of what looked like whiskey. Homeless, Bucky would have figured, if not for the quality of the suit and scarf he was wearing. “Hey,” he said gruffly, kicking at the man’s outstretched foot. “You okay?”
Dumb question. People in clothes like that didn’t generally tend to get themselves wasted in alleyways. Clearly the man had the same thought; he rolled his head up against the wall to stare at Bucky incredulously with eyes that were amazingly sharp for how much liquid in that bottle was gone.
The man looked vaguely familiar, and not in that ‘Oh it’s That Guy’ ways, because most guys didn’t come close to the level of ridiculousness this man’s facial hair was sitting at. At the moment, though, Bucky couldn’t place him.
“Can you walk?” he asked, and the man shrugged. “Only, I got an apartment ‘bout a block away and you’re gonna lose some brain cells if some of this hail finds you. At best.”
For some reason, the man started laughing; at least that’s what Bucky thought it was, the noises come out of that mouth weirdly choked. “Not really a joke,” he said flatly. He remembered Steve accusing him of not even being able to hear other people’s happiness and wondered, not for the first time, if Stevie wasn’t right about him. Who even gets irritated at a drunk guy’s hysterical laughter? “Look, you wanna come or you just a really big fan of brain damage and hypothermia?”
The man sobered - ha! - and looked up at him again, nodding and looking slightly expectant. Bucky sighed.
“Can you pick yourself up? See, I tend to run out of hands faster than most and I’m pretty attached to this umbrella right now.” He stepped forward, a little more in to the light, and saw the moment when the man saw his missing left arm.
For a long moment the man just stared at it, bringing a hand up to where the scarf was wrapped around his throat and rubbing, before he nodded again and began pushing himself up the wall, clumsily. “Leave the bottle,” Bucky said firmly, and the man just dropped it. “Alright, now c’mere.”
The man swayed into his left side, fitting neatly where his arm wasn’t. He was surprisingly warm, considering how soaked through his clothes were, but he was shaking.
“It’ll be alright,” Bucky found himself saying. Over and over. Like he did himself every night, lying in bed and staring up at the ceiling, praying this time he wouldn’t dream. “It’ll be alright.”
The sun shone brightly as Charlie fiercely fought to avoid it. Like, beaches were fine, the sea was fine, as long as it was night-time and she wasn’t in danger of having to forever fill out forms as ‘Charlie Bradbury, female lobster’. For the fiftieth time that day, she wondered why she’d let Tracy bully her into babysitting her twin brothers at the seaside when she was probably the most ginger ginger to ever ginger, thus required an Enterprise sun-shield to stop from burning up like crazy.
Slathering on heaps of sunscreen, she shucked off her towel and decided that she wasn’t going to be the boring one even if it killed her and started running around with Anton and Effie, squeezing their chubby cheeks and soaking up their delighted squeals when she helped them build sandcastles. The light was, thankfully, starting to fade, and Tracy was cuddled up with her brothers catching the last dying rays of the day. So, Charlie wrapped up her long red hair in a bun and slipped on her swimming goggles to jump into the sea.
It was frakkin’ heavenly, the water cool enough to stave off the heat of the day but warm enough to keep her content. She swam from the shore to the edge of the pier, watching the waves lap lazily at the rotting wooden poles. Not the first time dreaming about, she wished she had gills so she could swim forever. Why the hell wasn’t gillyweed a thing yet?
But the sea was clearly feeling capricious as it all turned around before Charlie could blink. The waves that had been unassuming and playful crashed around her, catching her under too quickly to get a turnaround, and she was being slammed repeatedly against a small protruding bed of coral, her stomach heaving and her lungs feeling on the brink of collapse. She couldn’t even scream for help.
Oh shit, this is the end, this is it, really? After all these years, I’m gonna die at the seaside. What a fucking cop-out.
As her vision started to darken, she felt a hand grasp around her wrist and wrench her from the water, the air sharp on her skin as it prickled. She distantly felt someone pressing her chest repeatedly, calling out for an ambulance, and Charlie was so scared, she could barely breathe-
Until she coughed up the Aegean sea in one go, coughing and wheezing in as much air as she could, letting the oxygen burn up her lungs in a delicious sensation of being alive. When she looked up, however, she nearly stopped breathing again.
The girl who had saved her was your typical goddamn pin-up lifeguard, long golden hair dripping wet, bright red swimsuit also dripping wet (she might’ve made a joke about her downstairs being wet, but she had nearly died, so maybe it was a tad inappropriate). She was breathing heavily and smiled as Charlie’s eyes flickered open.
“What’s happenin’, Little Mermaid? Forget your fins?” she quipped, and her sweet drawl was like music to Charlie’s ears. She held her hand up weakly and the lifeguard took it carefully.
“Name’s Bradbury, Charlie Bradbury.” she choked on a bit of seaweed and smiled faintly when she heard the whine of ambulance sirens, “Wanna go out sometime? As a- a thank you for savin’ my life?”
The lifeguard smirked, “Sure thing Bradbury, Charlie Bradbury. Though that’s a bit of a mouthful, can I call you Charlie?”
“Sure, but I can’t keep calling you ‘Baywatch’, so what’s your name?” she smirked as they covered her in foil. She didn’t care that she was looking like a Thanksgiving turkey when the girl’s smile beamed.
“Jo. Jo Harvelle.” she said, holding her hand and squeezing it lightly as she quickly wrote her number down on her palm, “Take care of yourself, ok?”
Charlie nodded as they hoisted her into the back, Tracy running over full-pelt with her arms full of her brothers. “Charlie what the fudge?!” she said, and Charlie laughed, pointing over at Jo who gave a little wave.
“Still got it, that’s what’s the fudge, Bell.” she smiled, fingers flexing around the number on her hand.
莫关山 / Mo Guan Shan = the Mò is pronounced as “Mwo”, Guān is pronounced as “Gwan”, and Shān’s a is pronounced with a longer ‘a’ just like lengthening the one in chandelier. You’ll first need to pause after the Mo when you say his name since that’s his last name.