The sounds of the city have become a muted thing, all she can hear is the rushing of her heartbeat, a crazy lub dub that fills her sight with stars.
Or maybe that’s just because she’s forgetting to breathe again.
Even the buffeting wind that encircles them is oddly quiet, a blessedly cold caress against her flushed cheeks.
But he’s here. His eyes are wide and curious and the prettiest shade of green. Almost exactly the color of sunlight drifting through leaves.
And she’ll lose her focus if she thinks anymore, because in stark contrast to his eyes, his smile is comforting. It’s a soft, little thing of warmth and encouragement.
Her reality cements itself again when Chat Noir gives her the most earnest thumbs up, the material of his suit is so blatantly loud as he shifts awkwardly.
She gathers up all the courage settled into her dots, the thing that’s decidedly a part of Ladybug and not Marinette.
Her cheeks burn and the words fall out with a vague rush of relief. She shuts her eyes, lets her dry lips stretch and contort to shape what she needs to say.
“Sorry, I know it’s really sudden and all…but I…I really, really like you. For a long time…a-actually…oh god.”
Her eyes are still screwed shut, and this time the stars she sees are from that rather than lack of air. She wonders if she can make a wish on these ones, considering Paris is too bright to ever see real ones.
His soft laughter causes that same familiar pain to lance through her, she wrings her hands in agitation and irritation mixed with all her affection tinges her words.
“You promised you wouldn’t laugh.” She chides, closing the distance between them, and with a strangely Herculean effort, punches him casually on the shoulder.
He chuckles a bit more, rubbing at his arm.
“I’m not…not at you…not exactly, Ladybug. It’s just you always close your eyes. It looks really painful. But at least you didn’t call him ‘beautiful boy’ this time around.”
He seems to notice her underlying discomfort and thinks she’s genuinely still worried about this night’s rehearsal. He takes it in the way she wants him to.
(And in the way she really doesn’t.)
And like always, he makes her confidence a priority. His encouragement is the farthest thing from false.
(Even if it hurts…oh so much…that she’s practicing these confessions for some other person.)
He places his hands on her small shoulders, his smile is that a little more mellow, a whole lot more sweet as he looks down at her.
He thinks that she should really keep her eyes open during her confession. Because they’re such a starkly bluebell blue, that he thinks, no matter who she confesses to with those shining bright eyes, they’ll say yes.
He would in a heartbeat. Or less.
But her feelings aren’t for him. There for some mystery person. Someone who makes her stutter and devolve back into the adorable politeness that was his classmate…
“Marinette…you should really have more faith in yourself. Honestly, you’re ready. You’ve been ready to make that confession for a while now. I don’t think we need to practice every day now.”
She vehemently shakes her head, and her eyes are narrowed in dogged refusal to listen to him.
“I need more time. Maybe on…Christmas of next year.”
“You really…really need to see that you’re already there, Marinette…and that’s like,” He takes a moment to tally up the time, before humming in frustration. “That’s twenty months away. You can’t keep putting this off.”
But there’s this sick twisted part of him that wants her to feel just a little unsure. That wants her to keep fake confessing to him…just so he can pretend for a few more nights that the girl he loves, loves him too.
Still, her uncertainty runs deep. It seems to be a part of her own bones, lacing through her just as surely as her kindness does.
He can’t promise that the object of her affections will return her feelings…but he can promise her that she’ll be fine if they don’t. After all, he’s currently an expert on an unrequited love. Except she’s got a lot more gumption that he does and she’s been practicing.
She’s still shaking her head, although a bit dizzy by now and he sees the edge of mischief curling her lips.
He moves his hands to cradle her cheeks, thumbs laid just over the edge of her mask. It takes effort not to move his fingers, not to trace the planes of her precious face.
But he does it, and she’s still trying to shake her head in jest, straining gently against his careful hold.
“You’re the worst bobble head ever.” He snorts, and tries to catch her gaze with earnest joy. “But no matter what you want to do, you’ll be great. You can mess up. It’s totally fine. Whatever happens, it wasn’t you. That person just wasn’t…the right one at that time.”
She stops shaking her head long enough to catch the seriousness of his tone, and he has to look away before those pretty blues drown him in curiosity.
Because under no circumstances will he allow their friendship to be ruined because he couldn’t control his emotions.
His hands fall away quickly from her, fiddling with the trailing end of his tail as he finishes his point.
“You’ve…you got this, Marinette.” He says gently, and even beyond her Ladybug suit, he sees the way his encouragement helps. The way she stands a little bit taller. The way the energy of her hope seems to make even her ribbons perk up a bit.
“Thanks…Adrien. It really…it really means a lot. I’m so happy.” She answers back…and somehow she doesn’t sound entirely truthful.
She doesn’t sound happy, but Chat decides to attribute that to lingering uncertainty.
(And for once, she wishes her cat was more observant.)
But the night devolves into a gentle, easy conversation. Ending with him scribbling down the answers to the physics homework for her with a half hearted complaint.
“These only cover your butt for the homework. You’re actually going to have to learn the concepts for the test.”
She rolls her eyes good-naturedly.
“So what if I take the path of least resistance?” She remarks, picking her away from around the chimney stack and beginning to swing her yoyo to begin her journey home.
“Did you just make a joke about circuits? Ohm my god….” He deadpans, his grin turning into one that is absolutely shit-eating.
She laughs sweetly, and waves at him over her shoulder…eager to leave before he catches the harsh beating of her heart.
(And he watches her arc through the sky, a streak of red luck breaking through the winter haze with his heart in his throat. His fingers still tremble, regretting everything.)
She knows she’s being entirely selfish.
She knows she’s being entirely stupid.
But there was a culmination of circumstances that had lead to her current conundrum
And that word happened to start with a C too. Chat Noir..who was Adrien Agreste…who as Chat Noir..
The reveal is inconsequential. How it happened is anticlimactic at best and underwhelming at worst.
She had pieced it together before him. It had been an amalgamation of overly specific puns and a shared reference that only the two of them could have known.
He’d found her out after they’d both gone into the same broom closet to transform…the strangest of liminal spaces encasing two confused heroes and two giggling kwamis.
Another story for another time.
For now, what matters is that the reveals had lead to a better friendship. A relationship the spans both sides of their coins. A person with whom they could share everything.
Well, almost everything. She can’t very well tell Adrien that she’s loved him since day two. She can’t tell him that now her first love and her almost love have coalesced into one wonderfully flawed and dorky boy.
So she lies. Sort of.
She tells him that she likes someone in school.
He asks if he knows them.
She shrugs and says she thinks so.
He asks about their hobbies and what they look like.
She resorts to nauseating poetry to throw him off.
Eyes the color of la Seine in winter. Hair that is woven from ambrosia. A smile made of sunbeams.
He laughs it all off, in a way that’s too easy…to casual for her to even fathom that he feels anything other than amusement.
She’s noticed…a miniscule change…but after the reveal, he’s less flirtatious as Chat. A lot more laid back and maybe just the tiniest bit more sarcastic.
A mark of friendship…something blessed and cursed at the same time.
So when she confesses, she’s not lying. She tells him everyday in various iterations how much she loves him…and he still has no idea she’s confessing to him.
It’s painful, but it’s a hurt of her own making.
Except for now…today is the day. She won’t lie anymore, because unfortunately she’s noticed the growing numbers of Valentine’s he’d received last month.
Because she’s noticed how much more at ease he is with girls that fawn over him and how much more familiar he is with everyone in class.
Because one day they’ll graduate and one day Hawkmoth will be defeated and her pride is stubborn enough not to let her confession happen because a man with a butterfly obsession threatens to throw her life into chaos.
It’s the same scene. The same cloudy haze and the same bright city.
The same stars she sees in her sight because she’s not breathing right, but she’s got no more time.
She’s silent for a bit, and it’s enough to prompt the usual encouragement.
“Hey…I’m really cheering for you.” Tumbles from his mouth when she feels it break.
Despite her months of practice, she still screws her eyes shut and practically shoves out her confession.
“Sorry I know I lie all the time, but I’ve lo..liked you for a long time…and I don’t want to hide anymore. I know I’ve messed up everything…I know you might not like me back, but I really…I really needed to tell that to you, Adrien.”
It’s only now that the volume has returned. The loud rushing sounds of traffic float up from below, the wailing of a boat horn in the distance…the brief, choked laughing that comes from him.
Beyond her vulnerability, anger and hurt make her eyes fly open. Make her fingers curl into fists and make her open her mouth to tell him to please realize that she’s being serious, but…
He stands there with a giant smile, a boy made a little bit of laughter and a little bit of tears, as he says-
Summary: The reader and Bucky have been very close friends, best friends if you will, since they were young. Even now that they are finally in their last year of college, the two are still tied to the hip. When Bucky stops at her house after partying a little too much a secret is revealed. Will this secret bring them closer to tear their friendship apart?
Pairings: Bucky x Reader
Warnings: Drinking, slight language
Word Count: 601
A/N: This is my first drabble series so let’s try this out. As always feedback is welcome and I highly appreciate it! Anyways, enough talking. Let’s get on with it. Hope you guys like it!
You sat comfortably on you creme sofa in the living room of your apartment in Brooklyn, a book and cup of tea in hand. You were so focused on the plot of the book that you didn’t seem to realize how late already was. “Oh… shit. I have class early tomorrow.” You stood from where you were sprawled out on the sofa, closing your book, not before you marked what page you had left out on. You placed your book on the coffee table, reached for your phone, then looked at the time. A smile formed at the corners of your lips as a notification pinged in the quiet of your apartment.
Now it’s survival of the fittest: see who can make it through the San Francisco winter on a northeast facing ledge.
Variables in my favor:
they are covered from rain by my building’s cornice,
downtown San Francisco is a bit of a heat island and only rarely dips below 40f (5c),
the more typical winter lows are around 50f, and
the position gets 2 hours of direct sun each day, and several hours of bright reflected sun from the glass on the building across the street.
at least some of these plants are rather difficult to grow, specifically the mesembs and the Bulbine (5, top left). These are “schedule” plants that have very specific seasonal watering calendars.
All of them would probably love at least a little more light. Some really need significantly more. Again, I’m looking at the mesembs, the Bulbine and the Anacampseros rufescens.
I picked up most of these at the November meeting of the SF Succulent and Cactus Society from featured growers Dana Gardner and Russell Wagner. It always amazes me how generous the expert growers in the Society are when they sell plants.
I’ll do proper entries with species names later when I pot them up for presentation.
Every move holds purpose.
Every breath is perfectly timed.
Every spot on the floor filled for a reason.
Every member tells the story, whatever it may be.
You have purpose
You move the show forward.
Keep practicing, and dont doubt yourself
Good luck this season!💜