A bandit gang preys on wounded and weary adventurers
as they straggle down the road from the dungeon
to the city.
A black cloak was stolen from the Burnt Bridge tavern
last night; sewn into the hem is a treasure map.
A gigantic egg appeared in the town square last night.
No one knows what might hatch out of it, but it’s
going to happen soon.
A deity walks the city streets disguised as a humble
A hot-tempered knight has promised all his lands to
his brother if he is bested at the upcoming jousting
A leading churchman has announced a heretical
doctrine; his fellow priests have demanded that he
recant, on pain of excommunication.
A wrestler named Drón Goldentress will perform
three great quests for anyone who can beat her in
Agitation grows in a neighboring land for a renewed
war against the kingdom.
An eerie dog with glowing eyes stalks the city at
night. The magnificent sorcerer Furioso was bitten by
it, and now he can barely remember his own name.
Ditchdiggers unearthed an ornate tin casket the other
day. They can’t figure out how to open it, but won’t
let anyone else try, either.
Drinking a poison surely meant for someone else,
the meek baker Oswald dropped dead in a tavern
During the day, the headsman’s daughter appears
rather homely, but under the moonlight, she is the
fairest young maiden in the realm.
Every hundred years or so, a black, venomous rain
falls on the city, killing hundreds of people. A recurrence
is months overdue.
The Superordinate Six, a band of famed adventurers,
have failed to return from an expedition to the Rat
Goblins tunneled a good distance under the city walls
last year, but the authorities covered it up.
Grave robbers have been digging up the bones of
slain adventurers. They must be working for a lich
or evil wizard.
Luriez the horse trader is auctioning off Bravo, a
clever and magnificent steed. His former owner,
a luckless mercenary, lost him in a dice game.
Magic items sold by Antesos Three-Beard have a
peculiar way of finding their way back to his shop
after the purchasers die.
Many of a famous knight’s heroic feats were in fact
performed by his squire, a young girl dressed as
Mercenaries have taken sanctuary in the temple; the
high priests want them out but are forbidden by the
tenets of their faith to expel them.
Pound for pound, the most valuable treasure in town
is not silver or gold, but the cache of saffron hidden
in the spice merchant’s shop.
Priestess Ciana has great healing powers, but those
she raises from the dead sometimes take on her
Pulsing green lights are frequently observed near the
abandoned mines south of the city.
Recent rains flooded the catacombs beneath the city;
strange things are floating to the surface.
Someone is stealing all of the town’s church bells.
Somewhere in the city, the priceless Altar of Kych is
hidden in plain sight.
The armorer Casabon just received a shipment of
Zhenish steel, which will make fine blades for those
who can afford them.
The astronomer Harun the Subtle reports sighting a
circle of new red stars in the sky. The Royal Astrological
Society has offered a reward to anyone who can
conclusively explain the meaning of this omen.
The beloved singer Dulari has fallen prey to a terrible
illness, one the healers can’t cure.
The bullying city watchman Moyalva has been extorting money from the weak and helpless.
The courtier Vivando has fallen out of favor with
the king, who suspects him of having eyes for the
The exiled prince of Cadis unwisely dismissed a
churlish servant who knows too much about his
The feathers that rained down on Beggar’s Alley last
night came from the wings of battling archons.
The floorboards beneath the Trembling Pig Inn are
hollow and full of stolen gold.
Pirates have disrupted grain shipments meant for the
kingdom; starvation looms if traders cannot resupply in time.
The high sheriff becomes violently enraged if anyone
accuses him of having orc blood.
The king is a usurper who has the real heir to the
throne chained up in his basement.
The king plans to build new watchtowers around the
city. Laborers, once desperate for work, will soon be
hard to hire.
The king’s chief minister plans to step down, making
way for his clever but abrasive protégé.
The philosopher Frabreck has released another
pamphlet arguing for the conquest of the orc lands,
so that its peoples can be liberated from evil and
placed under the king’s benevolent rule.
The rancher Septimus is raising a flock of strange
reptilian beasts on his farm.
The retainers of an unpopular knight quelled an
uprising on his lands by fi ring crossbows into an
The rich merchant Zaguant has learned that pirates
have sold his son into slavery.
The son and daughter of two rival merchant families
eloped a few weeks ago. Both fathers offer a reward
for the son: his father aims to protect him, but the
girl’s wants him dead.
Whenever a member of the murderous Lampedusa
clan is slain, the weapon used to deal the death blow
is permanently imbued with powerful magic.
The young adventurer Brialda carries a shield bearing
the crest of the Acatero family, even though, as an
illegitimate daughter of that clan, she is not entitled
An ancient throne lies buried in a field nearby.
Anyone who sits on the throne for an entire night
will rise from it a wise man or a lunatic.
They say that if you listen long enough to the water
lapping against the shore near the statue of King
Brand, you will hear the name of an innocent person
you are fated to kill.
They’re slaughtering more than just cows and sheep
at the old abattoir down by the piers.
Whenever ravens gather on the clock tower, a mighty
Lampades, the nymphs of the Underworld; these nymphs serve both Persephone and Hecate, powerful goddesses, as ladies in waiting and torchbearers. Their skin and eyes glimmer like a candle's flame, colored a brilliant, heady orange or as dark as coal; their smiles are blinding and their laugh is like the crackle of a flame.
Alseides, the nymphs of glens; Taurean nymphs reside in meadows and groves, basking in the sunshine, walking with the deer and caring for the plants and animals; their skin is always rosy and sun-kissed and it shimmers like gold and smattered with the same soft pattern as a doe, and eyes like a doe's as well, thick hair braided intricately and decorated with flowers.
Aurae, nymphs of the breeze; Gemini nymphs drift through the air, playing with human's hair and dancing through the leaves. Their skin is a soft, silvery blue, smooth as the sky, only broken by the small scales scattered across their cheeks and joints, all radiant blue; their hair floats around them and their voice is like chimes.
Limnades, nymphs of lakes; these quiet nymphs drift through the murky water of lakes, playing with the fish and basking with alligators and turtles, and seducing anyone who might pass by. Their skin shimmers dully, slightly green in tint and their faces are tattooed with dark green stripes that decorate their cheeks like a trail of tears.
Anthousai, nymphs of flowers; these playful nymphs play in the forests, fields and gardens, flirting with unwitting humans and decorating themselves with flowers and plants. They smell like lilies and jasmine so butterflies flutter around their heads; their skin is patterned like irises, brilliant purples, golds and pinks, delicate like a water painting.
Hydryades, nymphs of the trees; these quiet nymphs reside within trees and forests where they care for animals. Virgoan nymphs' skin is camouflaged so that they may blend in with the trees, dark and intricate patterns which stretch across their backs and decorate their faces, eyes slitted like a reptile's.
Nephelai, nymphs of the clouds; Libran nymphs are very rarely seen by humans as they reside in the clouds; they are dreamy, quiet and peaceful creatures who fly with the birds and provide the world with rain. Their skin is like pearl which varies from the softest white to the angry grey of a storm, their eyes are as pink as the sunrise and their hair floats around them in a haze.
Naiads, nymphs of freshwater; these nymphs can be found in rivers, lakes and springs where they hunt fish and anything else that wanders too close to the water's edge. They also seduce any humans who happen upon them. Their eyes are large and dark to see underwater, their hair a messy tangle and nails long and sharp; their skin is scaled like a koi's but a brilliant silver or bronze.
Epimeliad, nymphs of apple tress and flocks; Sagittarian nymphs follow flocks and explore the world around them, playing with horses and cows and goats and seducing their owners; when they sleep they return to their original state, an apple tree. Their eyes are bright like a spark, their hair white like apple blossoms and wool and their skin is patterned like the bark of a tree.
Oreiades, nymphs of the mountains; these nymphs are highly reclusive and quiet, they reside in the most remote mountains in the world and are very rarely seen by humans. They resemble the animal of their Sign, their pupils rectangular and their eyes a sharp gold, small horns curving from their foreheads; their hair is kept in tight pleats, their skin speckled softly to blend in with the jagged rocks.
Asteriai, nymphs of the stars; these nymphs live far away in the vast expanses of space where they drift and play in complete silence: constellations are their embrace, shooting stars their tears. Their skin is as brilliant as the sun, golden, red and even deep blue, and it shimmers in an unending pulse of light.
Haliae, nymphs of the sea; Piscean nymphs reside in the sea and can occasionally be spotted dancing on the seashore. Their hair reaches their ankles, strands of pearls and shells woven within it; their skin has a pearlescent sheen from years spent in the water and small scales, pink and pearl-like, decorate their webbed hands and creep up their legs.
Inspired by: So we all know from Dan’s latest video that he spent his early years of Uni travelling down to Phil’s flat to do ‘laundry’. Here’s that fic. (Despite the title, I promise it’s not one of those fics).
sorry in advance for any grammar/spelling mistakes
You could hear the bass from a block away. It was practically shaking the whole neighborhood. With every step you took, your heart beat harder and harder. You know you had nothing to be nervous about, but you couldn’t stop worrying. About what exactly? You had no idea. You wished that you were as excited about this party as your dad was when you asked for permission to go. He was practically pushing you out the door when it was time to leave. Good old dad. You knew he was only trying to help out, but you couldn’t help but wish he would stay out of your personal life from time to time.
The house slowly revealed itself as you turned a corner, if you could even call it a house. The place was huge! It was like a mansion was eaten by an even bigger mansion. Teenagers were sprawled across the front lawn, and even more could be heard from inside. Your insides churned at thought of being among all those people.
Midnight breakfast, waffles topped with ice cream and grapes and whatever candy they have lying around, eating until their stomachs ache, tossing the dishes in the sink with promises that we’ll wash them tomorrow even when they know they won’t. Morning wakeup calls with cups of tea and a cold nose pressed to the column of Harry’s throat, blinking awake to find Louis atop his hips and pinning his legs, smiling down at Harry and brandishing his cereal combination of the day that he’s willing to share for the price of a few kisses. Driving through the quiet streets of Manchester when they’ve got a few days off, sunglasses perched on his nose, Grimmy on the radio just so Harry can text Nick the jokes Louis makes about him, Louis pointing out every dog they pass because he knows Harry would want to see. Adventure, everyday adventures like grocery shopping or painting that bedroom they always meant to get to, and the kinds of adventures they have access to by being who they are: palatial resorts and pristine beaches and crowded city scenes. Loving each other in every corner of the world.
Laughter, wild, inescapable laughter. Laughter that makes Harry’s ribs sore, laughter that scratches at his throat, laughter that carves paths of tears down his face. There’s something about the look in Louis’ eye when he aims a joke specifically for Harry, a shine that makes Harry want to brace for impact; if they’re in public, he has to look away, to hide his wild grin behind his hands or a scrunched nose. But now Louis takes that as victory, too - he knows he’s won if Harry’s indifferently polite mask breaks. But, of course, the only thing better than Louis making him laugh is making Louis laugh. His uninhibited belly laugh when Harry throws him over his shoulder to carry him to their destination; his soft, sleepy chuckle when Harry gets back from a morning jog and worms his way back into bed for a cuddle; his delighted giggle when Harry brings home flowers or orders a pizza from that place he likes or unpacks his tour suitcase so he doesn’t have to. Laughter, bright and beautiful, when Harry lands a bad pun, laughter when Harry does his impression of Niall’s accent, laughter when they meet eyes across a party and can immediately tell what the other is thinking. Laughter through all their days, together or apart.
Moans and hiccups of breath in a night-silent bedroom. Keening cries, desperation laced through. Gasps when Harry’s fingers find the places, the ones that make him writhe, make him arch. Cries of ecstacy, shouts of right there, right there! Throat-wrenching pleasure. Or, sometimes, relative loudness: when they’ve snuck someplace they shouldn’t because their hands wouldn’t stay off each other, when the waiter says it’ll be another twenty minutes for their food and Louis’ been tracing his foot up Harry’s thigh, when the bar is hot and loud and Louis looks like everything Harry wants as he glitters under the pulsing lights, when the tour crew is trying to get them to stage but Louis has that look in his eye and so he steals Harry away to a cleaning cupboard - there, the loudness is muted, but potent. Soft hitches of breath, light intakes of air. Shh, they’ll hear. Whispers: Harry, please, Harry.
Louis is everything, he’s everything, he’s all Harry wants or needs or will ever wish for, but Harry can’t say that. There’s a camera crew waiting, they need an answer, something fun, something that won’t rip Harry’s heart open to say it, something that’ll rip him open anyway. How does he describe the other half of his soul? His reason for being, the better part of him in all he is? How could he sum up the man who has held his hand through the most turbulent years of his life, through the ups and downs of worldwide fame, who faced challenges and held on even tighter? They ask this as though words could describe what Louis is in Harry’s life, what he is in anyone’s life. He’s too much to be whittled down to characteristics. He’s too large a presence, he’s too important a soul. He’s too…
Da2 companions react to Hawke beating the arishok in lingerie because hawke
Varric: That’s… not going in the book. As hilarious as it is and as true to character, no one would ever believe him. Looking around at the crowd of watching nobles, he knows that none of them will ever admit that Hawke wasn’t in full armor for this fight. Still, though, did it have to be lace?
Sebastian: He tries really hard not to look, to respect the bounds of propriety, but he can’t keep his eyes off the battle. Despite how little Hawke has on, this battle is not something he can look away from. He’s going to need a lot of time in the Chantry later. If Romanced: Despite needing to look away for his sake as well as Hawke’s, his eyes are completely riveted to the battle. He couldn’t look away if his life depended on it. Each time Hawke narrowly dodges a blow his fists clench in fear. How can he keep his vows if this keeps up?
Isabela: She thinks it’s great! Justice and a show! What could be better? Hawke just spared her to fight a giant horned man in nothing but their smallclothes. She’s in bliss! If Romanced: This, right here, is why she came back. Even though all her instincts fight it, Hawke is the one for her. And they’ve just proven it yet again. She needs popcorn for this show!
Fenris: He rolls his eyes, but Hawke’s lack of clothing doesn’t really bother him. He’s used to these kinds of crazy shenanigans at this point. He watches the battle with great interest, unconcerned by the lacy undergarments that are all Hawke is wearing. If Romanced: It figures that Hawke would enter in such an important battle wearing nothing but their underwear. He can’t keep his lyrium from pulsing with light every time they dodge a blow, fear for his love coursing through his veins like the burning itch of magic.
Merrill: She tries not to look at Hawke too much. She wants to be respectful, but there’s no way she could ever look away from the battle. It’s so like Hawke to be so reckless. If Romanced: It’s all she can do to keep her magic to herself and not cast any protective spells. Her Hawke would be the one to engage in a duel to the death while almost naked, but she feels like she might faint. She also surprises herself by feeling somewhat proprietary about everyone seeing Hawke this way.
Anders: His healer’s instincts are screaming at him to protect Hawke, and he has to clench his hands together behind his back to stop himself. Hawke’s lack of clothing only bothers him because it means they’re not armored. If Romanced: Someone should probably hold him back. He vowed that he would cover them both in blood to keep Hawke safe, and damn it if he isn’t struggling with that promise now. He should be at Hawke’s side! At the very least, he should be able to provide the defense that Hawke’s nudity doesn’t give them.
Aveline: Hawke is getting a lecture later. She’s spent so long as Hawke’s friend that she knows that they can handle a battle even while mostly naked. She’s not nearly as worried for their safety as the others are, but she is concerned about their lack of propriety. This is just ridiculous.
Carver: When he gets the letter from Varric recounting the fight, no detail spared, he groans and hits his head on his desk repeatedly. His sibling seriously fought a duel to the death in their underwear? Thank the Maker he wasn’t there for that…
Bethany: She reads the letter through four times before it finally sinks in what her sibling did. Then she just starts laughing. She can’t help it. It was so like her sibling to do something that reckless. It was probably a good thing she hadn’t been there…
◦ a/n: Since my boys were eating well and taking beautiful pictures and finally resting on their “BTS Friendship Trip”, all my inspiration flowed in the direction of Got7 and BAP (mostly towards Jackson Wang cause wow do I wanna bang ;)). So here’s a really weird daydream I had in the middle of Econ (cause who cares about wealth inequality when you can get Wanged) I’m so sorry I hate myself for that too. Please don’t unfollow me.
“Fuck, baby,” Jackson moaned into you as he tugged you into his body by your clothes. You were taken aback by his suddenness; the bedroom door had just barely closed and the rest of the boys were still in the house. You shrugged the coat off your body promptly, hardly stopping to ask questions as you leaned into the warmth of your boyfriend’s body. “Watching you fight like that,” he breathed, his lips hovering over yours as he groped at your sides, grabbing every bit of flesh that he could through your clothes. “Might have been the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen,” he growled into your neck as his hands took handfuls of your ass, locking his lips into your sweet spot. You hummed with approval as your hands stroked the hair at the base of his neck, letting his breathing grow heavy against your skin as he pulled you in for more. He loved when you touched the back of his neck like that.
You were a stunt double and combat choreographer and Jackson had been on set to pick you up on the way home. He showed up a little early and figured that instead of waiting around in front of the building, he would come see what you did. He had never actually seen you in action; he only knew that you were good at fighting, and never to steal your phone from you or scare you unexpectedly– two mistakes he had made before. Then, he watched you strut around the studio in a sleek, leather one-piece outfit and order around the actress and cameraman to get the best shot. You had him turned on faster than you could pin a man twice your size to the ground– and seeing you do just that only turned him on all the more.
“Tell me what to do,” he blurted in the midst of his kisses before rolling the t-shirt up, off your body.
hi hello, I have a sinus infection and am suffering, so I tortured Keith and
wrote some college au pre-Klance stuff. Here they are, having a bonding moment.
(sorry I can’t help myself) (also sorry, I posted this earlier and then deleted
it and now I’m posting it again, anyway…)
“Have a good night,” Keith calls after a customer,
wincing at how his voice sputters away at the end of the sentence. With a
wobbly breath, he leans his hip against the counter and lets his throbbing head
droop. Everything hurts, and he just wants to go home, but he’s got three more
hours left in his shift. Not to mention the chemistry homework to do when he
gets back to his dorm.
He inhales stuffily and rubs his irritated nose. He’s
been fighting a nasty cold for a good two weeks now, and based on the pulsing
pressure in his face and the fact that his nose has been bothering him
incessantly all day, he’s guessing it’s in the process of turning into a sinus
Thankfully the number of customers in the store is
dwindling. Not only is it getting late, but the cold autumn wind combined with
the rain that’s been coming down since this morning is keeping most people
away. Still, Keith’s throat feels raw every time he swallows, and even though
he’s been trying to drink as much water as possible, he’s expecting it to be
gone by the end of his shift.
Footsteps draw Keith’s attention toward the nearby
dollar section. Coran, his supervisor, ambles down the aisle, his gaze darting
back and forth to the shelves of cheap earbuds and almost expired candy.
Keith gives a hoarse, nearly inaudible groan as the
older man heads toward him; Coran is a good boss, he guesses, but he’s very …
chatty. Not really what Keith wants to deal with right now.
“Keith, my good fellow,” Coran says, his chipper voice
grating against Keith’s ears. “How are things going up here?”
“Fine,” Keith says.
“It’s a very slow night, wouldn’t you say?”
A sharp prickle in Keith’s nose sends dread bubbling
up in his stomach. He’s been biting back sneezes all night while dealing with
customers and really doesn’t want to let one out now; he already feels like
shit and doesn’t exactly want the rest of the world to know. “I guess,” he
mutters, rubbing the bridge of his nose with a fingertip.
“Well, since you’re not too busy, try to straighten up
the dollar section a bit between customers? Some unruly children appear to have
been left … unsupervised in there.”
His breath stammers a little, but he manages to
sniffle back the itch enough that it’s no longer too much of a concern. “I
will,” he says quietly.
“Wonderful!” Coran exclaims, clasping his hands
together and aiming a bright smile at Keith. “I must check something in
Electronics, but I’ll be back up in a snap.”
Keith nods as Coran strides away. He glances up to
make sure there are no customers nearby, then props his elbows on the counter
and lets his head rest in his hands. His face pulses hot against his hand; he
can feel the headache in his forehead, behind his eyes, in his cheeks, his nose
… everywhere. And there’s a puffy,
swollen feeling to his face, too, reminding him a little of when he got his
wisdom teeth removed in high school.
The sound of shuffling feet makes Keith jerk back from
the counter and force his aching body to straighten up. Blinking tiredly, he
looks toward the front of the checkout line. His shoulders relax a little when
he sees it’s Lance, his arms loaded with boxes of Kleenex and about a dozen
kinds of cold and flu medicine.
“Hey, man,” Lance says. He dumps his supplies on the
counter, and the clatter makes Keith wince. “How are you feeling?”
Keith wants to say, but considering he woke Lance up blowing his nose this
morning, he knows his roommate will call his bullshit. He shrugs. “I’ve been
“You’ve also been better.” Lance frowns at him. “Do
you have a fever? You’re face looks red.”
“No, just a headache.” Keith swipes one of the Kleenex
boxes across his register, wincing again when the scanner beeps. “What’re you
buying all this stuff for?”
“You, ya dork.” Lance begins bagging his stuff as
Keith slides it away from the register (Keith would normally tell him that’s
unnecessary, but he’s too exhausted to argue right now). “Also I’m dragging
your sick butt to the health center tomorrow.”
“No, you’re not.” Keith shoves one of the tissue boxes
at him a little harder than necessary. “I told you, I’m fine.”
Lance gives him a look for a few seconds but then goes
back to bagging his stuff. Keith lets out a relieved sigh that makes him cough
a little; he really doesn’t feel up to arguing with Lance right now.
“When’s your break?” Lance asks.
“Half hour.” Keith’s eyes start to water as the
ever-present itch in his nose flares. He bites down on his lip hard, the same
way he’s been doing every time a sneeze has threatened to interrupt his
interaction with a customer, except this time it only halfway works. He shudders
with a stifled sneeze that sends pain bursting through his sinuses.
“Bless you?” Lance says, although it sounds more like
Keith wipes at his watery eyes and mumbles, “Thanks.”
He drags the sleeve of his jacket across his nose, holding his breath for a few
seconds. The itch is still there, and he’s just hoping if he doesn’t breathe
maybe it will die down a little.
“You shouldn’t buy all this,” he mutters after a
minute, gesturing vaguely to the tissues and medicine.
“Keith, buddy, you’ve had the plague for—”
“—for two weeks. You’re either going to die or give it
to me if you don’t get better soon.”
Keith rolls his eyes, then winces for what seems like
the hundredth time tonight as his headache throbs in protest. “I’m not dying.
And Hunk offered to let you stay with him.”
Lance scoffs. “Right, like I’m going to leave you to
your own devices while you’re sick. You’d probably be dead without me.”
He knows it’s going to hurt, but Keith can’t help rolling his eyes again.
Ignoring his roommate’s irritation, Lance gathers up
the last of his supplies, looping his arms through the handles of the bags.
“Well, text me when you’re on your break.”
Keith’s eyes water a little; he presses his wrist to
his nose to quell the itch and speaks around his jacket sleeve, his voice
coming out muffled. “Why?”
Lance’s thin shoulders jerk in a shrug. “I need help
Keith gives him a look but mutters a quiet, “Fine.”
The next half hour drags by. The store is nearly
empty, so Keith shifts over to the dollar section and begins trying to organize
it. Between the florescent lights overhead and the pulsing in his head, his
eyes are starting to ache so much he’s struggling to see clearly. And the
headache’s getting worse, too—it’s morphed from a dull throbbing to shooting
pains across his forehead and cheeks. When he touches the back of his hand to
his cheek, his skin burns unnaturally. He’s pretty sure he doesn’t have a fever
(he checked this morning), but his face is just so hot.
When he goes on break, he hunches deeper into his
jacket and sends Lance a text. Lance responds within seconds.
hey I’m in the parking lot, come meet me at the car?
Keith shivers as he looks outside. The sky is still
dumping buckets of rain, and it’s starting to fall in sideways sheets, the wind
whipping it off course.
He scowls. Leave it to Lance to want help with
homework when it’s pouring and Keith is already miserable.
He should have told Lance to wait until later.
He probably still could, but something stubborn makes
him stuff his phone in his pocket.
With a deep breath, Keith steps outside and dashes
through the parking lot. Up ahead he can see the lights of Lance’s car, and he
splashes toward them, his sneakers hitting puddles so hard they soak the bottom
third of his pants. Within seconds, his hair is clinging to his face, and he
can barely keep his eyes open against the stinging rain.
When he arrives at Lance’s car, he yanks the passenger
door open and throws himself inside.
Lance stares at him with wide eyes. “I thought you had
an umbrella!” he half-yells.
Keith shivers hard; his body has gone rigid with cold
and his voice comes out sharp. “I forgot it at home, which you would have
noticed if you’d paid any attention.” He glares at Lance, although it’s cut
short as his face crumples with a sneeze so forceful it makes his shoulders
ache. The pain in his face bursts in his sinuses, and a groan grates against
“Keith, buddy …” Lance cranks up the heat so high it
rumbles in the car. “Man, I’m so sorry.”
Keith lets out another sneeze, too exhausted and shivery
to hold them back anymore. He blindly fishes in the glove compartment for the
napkins Lance hoards from fast food restaurants as his breath continues
“Take your jacket off,” Lance says, reaching over to
help him find a wad of napkins. “And … I’ll set the air to hit your feet, so
maybe it’ll help dry out your shoes and pants a little.”
“Thanks,” Keith says weakly, his voice suddenly very
small and very hoarse. He inhales with a sharp gasp and curls into himself,
clutching a handful of napkins to his face as another sneeze rocks through him.
“Maybe you should call out,” Lance says. “You sound
“Can’t,” Keith mutters from behind the napkins. “Too
many people already called out.”
“But if you need to, I’m sure Coran will understand.
Plus there can’t be that many people coming in anyway with the rain.”
Keith blows his nose, muttering a quiet “ouch” into
the napkins. He stuffs the used napkins into his jacket pocket and then works
on pulling it off; it’s strangely a more complicated process than normal, his
arms somehow getting tangled in the soaked material. He isn’t sure if it’s
because the jacket is wet and sticking to his skin or if it’s because of the
fuzzy confusion settling in his head.
“I cand’t call out,” he says, congestion creeping into
his voice. He sniffles hard, grimacing at how his sinuses sting, and clears his
throat in an effort to make his voice sound more normal. “They’ll give me
Lance rolls his eyes. Keith’s work has a stupid system
where every time someone calls out on the day of their shift, they’re
penalized. If they get too many points, they’ll be fired. “Screw that, man.
You’re basically dying.”
Keith pushes his dripping hair out of his face, a
chill going through him. “I’m not dying, Lance.”
Lance frowns at him. “You will be if you don’t take a
“I can’t.” Keith slumps against the window, his eyes
slipping shut and cheek pressing against the glass. Even after running through
the rain, his face feels hot against the cold window. “I only have a couple
“Lance.” Keith’s voice is quiet but firm. “Just let me
finish. I’ll be fine. I just need to warm up.”
Lance lets out a soft sigh. “Okay, but when you get
home, you’re taking all this medicine I got you.”
“Fine.” Keith forces one eye open and peers at Lance
through the car’s dim light. “What homework did you want help with?”
“What do you—oh.” Lance grins. “I made that up so
you’d come out.”
Keith gives him a flat look.
“I figured you weren’t going to call out of work,”
Lance continues, “so I brought you some soup Hunk made.” He reaches into the
backseat and pulls out a thermos and a plastic spoon. “It’s probably still
Keith blinks slowly. It takes a few seconds too long
for Lance’s words to register. “Oh,” he mumbles. “I thought—okay.”
Lance bites his lip uncertainly. “I just kinda thought
you wouldn’t come out if I said I had soup.”
“Because … I don’t know … you try to do everything by
yourself.” A smile tugs at the corner of Lance’s mouth. “I mean, you barely
even let me buy you cold medicine.”
“Because we don’t need fifteen boxes of it.”
“I didn’t know what flavor you like! And some people
feel weird with certain medicine, and I wasn’t sure there was a certain kind
you didn’t like, so I just grabbed them all.” When Keith starts to smile a
little, Lance shoves the soup at him. “Just shut up for like five seconds and
eat this, mullet.”
Keith opens the thermos and stirs the spoon through
the soup. The light overhead barely illuminates the interior of the car, but he
can tell it’s chicken noodle. Hunk made
the same thing at the very beginning of the semester when Pidge, Lance, and
most of the school came down with colds.
He takes a bite of the soup; it’s salty and fills his
mouth and throat with soothing warmth. “Tell Hunk thanks,” he says.
“I will. He brought more; it’s in the fridge at home.”
Lance turns the heat down one notch. “Pidge brought a bunch of tea over, too.”
Keith wrinkles his nose slightly as he takes another
bite of soup. “I’m not really a tea person.”
“You will be if you want to not lose your voice,”
Lance says. “If you put enough honey in it, you’ll like it.”
Keith shrugs and goes back to eating his soup. He’s
only a few bites in when his nose starts bothering him again. The soup isn’t
even steaming, but the warmth is enough to make his nose tingle and run. He
shoves the thermos into the cupholder as his breath begins to falter, his
eyelashes fluttering and hand hovering by his mouth. A few seconds later, he
lurches forward with a sneeze that he feels all the way down in his ribs.
“Bless you,” Lance says, cringing. “That sounded like
“It did,” Keith admits. He hesitates for a second
before adding, “My … whole face kind of hurts.”
“Sounds like a sinus infection.”
“Keith, buddy, you need to go to the health center.”
Lance eyes him anxiously as Keith rubs a finger across the bridge of his nose.
“I don’t think you’re getting any better on your own.”
Keith pulls the thermos back into his lap and
sniffles. “I know,” he sighs. “I’ll … I’ll probably go tomorrow morning.” The
thought makes him shudder; he hates doctors’ offices and tends to avoid them
unless he’s actually dying.
“I can go with you if you want.” Lance adjusts one of
the heating vents so it’s pointed toward Keith’s damp shirt. “If we go early
enough, I’ll have time before my first class.”
Keith eyes him over his spoon. “I don’t need you to
babysit me, Lance.”
“I’d just be there for moral support.” Lance smirks.
“And to make sure you actually go.” When Keith gives him a look, he laughs.
“Only joking! I just thought it might make it easier if you didn’t have to go
“Maybe,” Keith concedes.
Lance smiles as if he’s won some sort of victory.
The two of them sit in relative silence while Keith eats
his soup; Lance tells him about some of his classes but keeps the talking to a
minimum since Keith keeps rubbing his forehead gingerly. The rain pounds on the
car roof, and the wind gusts across the deserted parking lot. Keith’s still
damp, but he’s starting to dry out some and the heater has chased away his
When he’s reached the bottom of the thermos, Keith
sets it and the spoon back in the cupholder. “I should probably head back
inside,” he says, although he doesn’t leave immediately. He sits there quietly
for a few seconds, chewing his lip and watching the rain through the
windshield. Finally, without shifting his gaze to Lance, he softly adds,
“Thanks for bringing the soup. Sorry if I’m …”
“A stubborn idiot?” Lance asks, and when Keith looks
at him, he’s smirking.
Keith narrows his eyes at Lance. “I was going to say
difficult, but sure.”
“No problem, man. I hope you feel better.”
“I do.” He’s far from one hundred percent and his head
is still throbbing angrily, but the shivery, achy feeling from standing behind
his register and running through the rain is gone.
Keith starts to open the car door when Lance says,
“Wait, wait, hold up a second!”
Keith turns to watch as Lance fishes around in the
backseat. After a moment he settles back into his seat, a folded, slightly damp
umbrella clutched in his hand. He holds it out to Keith. “Take this with you.”
“No,” Keith says, shaking his head. “You have a longer
way to walk from the parking lot to the dorms.”
“So I’ll call Hunk and have him come get me with an
umbrella.” Lance gives the umbrella a shake. “Come on. Take it.”
Keith’s mouth lifts in a small smile as he slips his
hand around it.