that video was so good! and so insightful! i feel like we could really take a lot on how they behave outside the cameras in certain situations. and it was so enjoyable and tense, probably one of my all time favourite videos (i can't believe i'm saying this after being so unhappy with the last videos). what did you think? any particular thoughts? i'd love to hear your opinion
yesssss. i loved this video so, so much. it was so consistently funny and so sweet in places and so refreshing to see them actually letting themselves occupy the more natural space of supporting each other and working together to complete a game as opposed to competing (which i’m sure they do as well from time to time, but whether it’s because they prefer collaborating or because they sense the audience presence more when they’re competing, the dan vs. phil videos always feel a bit more exaggerated to me, almost as though the urge to “perform” gets kicked up a notch.) there’s just absolutely no way i’m going to be able to write about every single moment that i loved in this video so instead i will attempt to just describe my biggest takeaways from it, because i really do feel the video gave us a good bit to think about in terms of the way that dnp approach problems and, most interestingly, the way that they approach problems together and deal with stress.
probably the most interesting thing to me was the discussion of phil and his ability (or lack thereof) to handle stressful and/or delicate situations. the notion that he cracks under pressure and is also very clumsy and therefore would somehow mess up regardless of which role he was playing (manual reader or actual bomb defuser) was something that both he and dan kept repeating in the start of the video. that’s interesting to me bc it means it’s something they both perceive phil as doing/being, and to me it felt like an authentic viewpoint from both of them rather than something that they were just saying for the bants. and yet, in my opinion, as the video progressed, phil was actually quite calm and orderly in his thinking, apart from a couple of moments where he got a bit flustered. i thought it was especially evident in the last round. there were double the modules and it was actually the most stressful one they did, but instead of spending any time freaking out about how complicated it looked or trying to be entertaining, phil immediately analyzed the bomb, summed up the modules they were dealing with and basically suggested they tackle it by type (wires first, then buttons, and so on.) in essence, he took control of the situation and guided both himself and dan through the most effective strategy to beat it. this reminded me a lot of the moment in the last impossible quiz video from 8:40-8:50, that i wrote about in this post, where dan is screaming about the fact they had to start over and phil waits for dan to calm down a bit, gently tries to reassure him through touch and words, and then pragmatically reiterates the strategy they should use the next time through the quiz to avoid losing. i’m not denying that there are moments of stress that may cause phil to panic or “crack,” as he put it, but if they exist, they’re definitely not in the form of these types of high-pressure games. there have been a fair number of these sorts of examples where we see that he keeps relatively calm and he finds it more important to temper dan’s moods (in that impossible quiz moment dan is screaming and like honestly possibly on the verge of a breakdown, whether real or staged. in this video dan’s a lot chiller but still had moments where he dealt w the pressure, especially of the countdown, by screaming or yelling, to which phil almost always responded by laughing, calmly reiterating what he was saying, or reminding him to focus.)
to be fair, dan was quite methodical in his thinking throughout most of the video as well, especially in the role of the manual reader. he kept a v level head for most of it. i thought one of the most interesting and noteworthy things from his end was the clear pride that he demonstrated both in phil and in the way they’re able to work together so well. the first time this stood out to me was after phil’s first go at reading the manual. dan completely turns in his seat to look at phil full on and tell him that he basically rescinds his criticisms/doubts from before and that he (phil) did a great job. it’s such a moment of genuine warmth between them, possibly not even meant to be included in the final cut of the video, where dan feels the need to point out to phil that both of them expected he would be bad at this but that, look, he’s smart and good and capable and did so, so well!! phil, for his part, looks genuinely thrilled at hearing that from dan. and then of course there’s the moment at the end that so many ppl have giffed and mentioned. dan doesn’t let them end the video without pointing out that much of the audience probably expected a lot of chaos and silliness from them when they tackled a more mentally challenging game like this, but that they defied those expectations because, hey, they are actually smart and also, too important for him to omit in that moment, they have a psychic connection. their success isn’t just a result of their individual cleverness or nerdy upbringings, but equally a result of the way in which they are so good at communicating and collaborating to tackle a problem together.
to that end, this game is fascinating in the way that it forces each person in the duo to limit their capacity, and completely trust their partner to compensate for it. if i’d had time to think about that before the video was underway i would’ve fully expected both of them, but dan especially, to maybe have issues with it. i would’ve expected dan to crack in frustration at not understanding what phil meant at first when describing a symbol and to then give up and turn to check the screen himself. i would’ve expected phil to maybe get annoyed at dan’s slow/methodical questioning and at the very least express frustration that he couldn’t read the manual himself. but instead they just completely trusted and leaned into each other (both figuratively and literally lol—i loved the bit when dan was like ‘they look like two k’s back to back’ and then literally leaned on phil to demonstrate). there was very little impatience between them (apart from some playful teasing) or criticism of the way they were doing their respective jobs. they just totally relied upon each other to take on their own set of responsibilities and communicated/listened to each other so well. even though overall i don’t think it was like the best demonstration of their so-called psychic connection that we’ve ever seen, it was perhaps one of the best examples of that connection being tested under pressure. under those circumstances it was lovely to see them go back to the basics of a strong partnership: solid communication and listening skills. i mean, we didn’t really need confirmation that they have those and that they comprise the foundation of their whole relationship, but it was lovely to see it play out this way.
the last thing i want to point out is that even when they’re facing stress and pressure their default is to try and bring out the humor in the situation and make each other laugh. i talk about this so much with them but like, idrc, bc to me it’s one of the best things about the way they interact and work with each other. they both find each other so endearing and hilarious and i was so happy about the number of times they’d make each other giggle and tease each other and wind each other up even in a scenario that was meant to be stressful. i just feel like it’s def representative of how they dilute actual stressful or anxiety-inducing situations in real life and act as each other’s safety nets/security blankets.
other great bits:
dan’s haru shirt. he’s so proud of it. phil definitely loves it too and loved pointing out that it’s ‘so inappropriate.’ he was barely containing a smile. bless. also phil looks amazing in black i’m going to faint.
dan bringing that bit of irl backstory with the lil detail about how they like to do puzzle rooms for birthdays. i know for the most dedicated of us viewers that’s a known thing bc they’ve talked about it in live shows frequently but it was lovely to see dan mention in it in front of the 2.6M+ dapg audience who probs do not know that, and acknowledge in such a casual way that he and phil share this tradition (just another way to show that they really do share a life outside of what they show on the gaming channel)
them taking a second to comment and weird out a bit about how different they look when they switch sides. it really was disorienting for a second.
it was immediately obvious to me that dan was stalling on purpose at the very end when he took so much time w that last set of symbols. but in the moment i assumed he was doing it to wind US up and make the video more dramatic. it was so funny to see that he was in actuality trying to wind phil up (though i’m almost certain phil must’ve assumed dan was stalling on purpose too which is why he immediately shoves dan and scolds him for being so slow).
maybe bc of all of this lovely teamwork and warmth between them, i mostly found this video a joy to watch and not in the least stressful or nerve-racking. it’s definitely one of my fav dapg videos ever and i really, really hope we get to see them do it again with even harder levels. their depth of knowledge of each other and trust in each other is just so amazing to watch and i love that they know that this is what this game is about and they not only want to share it with us but are also pretty openly celebrating it themselves :’)
Summer time has come to a close now, listeners. The leaves are falling, those cute little miniature pumpkins are on sale, and you’re itching to pry open that old, cob-webbed covered box of Halloween decorations. In the midst of this cool, autumn day, let’s all settle down and enjoy the some real candied apples I’ve bobbled from the podcast scene.
So let me tell you a grim tale or two in the comfort of my hotel room, all the while questioning the abstract horrors of time, space, and the multiple ways the world could come to a horrifying end. I have plenty of geeks and treats in store for you.
Looking for something fresh to please that sudden thirst for audio
storytelling? Look no further as PodCake has six more podcasts you’ll
1. Atheist Apocalypse
40% of the world’s population has disappeared. The people of the Tri-Counties have now been cut off and must rely on the only remaining radio news station as their goofy, ridiculous, offensive source for news about politics, sex, religion, the Grey Agenda, Hollywood and the latest policy failure of the Mysterious Government Entity which runs the region.
Welcome to the Tri-Counties, a land populated by a number of colorful characters, some of which run the last radio station in the world. Tune in for updates on a number of strange whereabouts reported on by the trustworthy cast of KUSA 9 News.
Fellow survivors, listen to Atheist Apocalypse if you’re looking for a quirky cast and comedy to get you through the day before the next annual podcast rapture.
2. The Cleansed: A Post-Apocalyptic Saga
Equal parts “Mad Max” and “The Sand”, this post apocalyptic saga is set in a world 15 years after the collapse of the world as we know it. A brother and sister grow up in rural Maine and unwittingly embark on a adventure to save the City from the religious zealots and ruthless military fight for control over the fallen world.
Don’t think we were done talking about the apocalypse just yet. In this series consisting of stellar acting chops and crisp sound design comes this adventurous sci-fi audio drama.
Follow along with this cast of survivors attempting to scrape by and thrive in a world growing increasingly more unstable and hostile. Danger and conflict lurk everywhere and this team of siblings take it upon themselves to save their town no matter the cost.
3. The Infinite Now
Transmissions from beyond Time. Hosted by the Timescanner.
Incoming transmission from the Timescanner, the host of the mind boggling science fiction podcast, The Infinite Now. In this combination of strange humor in a one of a kind abstract universe, this time spanning spectacle will have you chuckling and questioning your existence with each episode.
Take a long look until the void of time and space, savoring every precious second while our smooth talking Timescanner keeps us informed for the best of times and weirdest of times.
4. Once and Future Nerd
When three high school students from modern-day Pennsylvania find
themselves trapped in a world of wizards, Elves, and feudal intrigue,
they must learn to survive in their new surroundings, and undertake an
epic quest to save the world from the encroaching forces of chaos.
In this witty fantasy comedy, follow the journey of three teens as they’re thrown into the land of magic and mayhem far beyond their Pennsylvania hometown.
Listeners looking for something equal parts nerdy and imaginative, with a little extra help from an oh-so helpful narrator, need not look any further. Once and Future Nerd is bursting with plenty of surprises, charm, and character to keep you coming back for more.
Every week, Lane comes to you with another tale from the odd town of
Sable. Tune in to find out some of it’s deepest, darkest secrets as well
as some of it’s…well, rather odd figures.
An autumn pallet wouldn’t be complete without a fresh horror podcast. In this brutal and bloody collection of body horror and broken smiles, the town of Sable is always amidst with terror from the darkest recesses of your imagination.
Though not for the faint of heart, Sable is sure to both terrify and entertain those looking for something sinister to keep them up at night. Take a listen, if you dare…
6. The Penumbra Podcast
The Penumbra is all about stories you recognize told in ways you won’t expect. Your femme fatale might be an homme fatale; you might find that not every haunting needs a ghost. Your criminal underworld might advertise on billboards ten miles tall, and when push comes to shove your home might have a bit more heart than you’re comfortable with. It’s never just a height, a Western, an adventure. It’s the parts e think are still fresh about those genres-along with what we keep locked behind our doors.
Take a breather at the grand Penumbra hotel for a fresh audio drama exploration alongside private eye Juno Steel. A variety of tales varying from mysterious to mystical await you behind each door, beckoning for patient ears and broad imaginations from all around.
If your feed could use a little spice, zest, and all that mess, step inside and get comfortable. The Penumbra Podcast is sure to have just the right room for you.
“There is a Passion natural to the Mind of man, especially a free Man, which renders him impatient of Restraint.”- George Mason, Letter to the Committee of Merchants in London, June 6, 1766.
The days seemed to grow together, spanning out in the long doldrums of August. Lexa liked this time of year because of just that reason, the length of the days and the taste of the sunshine in the hazy humid heat. She liked seven pm games that she watched in front of the store with Bellamy and her friends from various places that all seemed to congregate there. She liked the way the day weighed heavy and stiff on her body when she walked on the sweating sidewalks.
When she was a kid, Lexa loved August because it was historically when her entire family was together. It was when her grandfather took her to games almost every day, and she was Nolan Ryan when he was a Met, and she pitched strikes to every kid that came around to play in the streets until it was too dark to see the ball. August was when she sat in the backyard with her friends and her mother cooked for them all night. It was the last sweet days before school started, when she rode the subway and spent the day in Central Park, when she walked the bridges, spit off of buildings, spent hours in the museums with little attempts to hurry home. August was rooftops and a city that was on fire with the ripples of heat escaping for the day.
After she moved to DC, Lexa spent August in a blur. It was a busy time for her with work, and when she wasn’t working, she was finding new rooftops and parks.
I find it interesting that on two different shows with entirely different premises have such similarities. It’s such a great thing to see on television. I just ship both so much and would hate to see anything happen to either of them. <3 <3
1. Both shows have out and proud lesbian characters who show up unexpectedly (Maggie and Nicole)
2. Both shows have main characters that are struggling internally with who they are as a person (Alex and Waverly)
3. Both shows have main characters who are confused about their feelings for the lesbian characters (Alex/Maggie and Waverly/Nicole)
4. Both shows have overprotected sisters who are extremely happy and supportive for their sisters’ newfound realization about their sexuality(Kara and Wynonna)
5. Both shows have lesbian characters wearing bulletproof vests (Maggie and Nicole)
6. Both shows have had the lesbian characters be shot and survive
7. Both shows have had a slowburn romance
8. Both shows have had the two couples get together (Wynonna Earp 1x09 and Supergirl 2x08)
9. The main characters are equally nerdy and adorable (Alex and Waverly)
10. The main characters also make the first move
11. Both the Sanvers and Wayhaught pairings between the actresses have amazing chemistry
12. Both lesbian characters understand the main character’s conflict with their feelings and gives them time and space for them to figure it out
13. Both couples aren’t afraid of exploring their new relationship with each other
Adam to strangers: Tall, mysterious, intimidating looking, wears all black, probably has a bad past, and broods alone in his apartment:
Actually Adam: Loves fashion but is terrible with colors which is why he usually wears mostly black, grey or white. Is naturally quiet, has a bad past-has privately addressed it, loves sitting alone on his couch binging the Harry Potter movies or probably something equally nerdy like Star Trek and eating cereal. Rarely broods but he has his moments
You guys might think I’m lame for this, but I only feel safe when I’m around my fellow nerds (years of bullying from peers contributed to that). I’m finally free to be my true self, which is especially the case around my equally nerdy boyfriend.
They’ve prolly been mentioned before somewhere else but meh i’m gonna do it anyway have some aus
“I’m a dancer and was trying out this new move in public but accidentally crashed into you and you got hurt so I brought you to a nearby clinic and I am so fucking sorry about that what can I do to make it up for you (also fuck I broke a hot person’s arm I am absolute trash)”
“I am legit the BEST fucking cheater in this classroom I have never been caught once but then YOU came along and found out that I had marked the windows with a special ink that is only visible through the type of material I made these glasses out of and I REFUSE to be beaten by you I’m gonna find a way to cheat successfully in your class I swear”
“I am a new teacher and I encourage all of my students to try and cheat through my class because the subject I’m teaching centers around problem-solving and critical thinking and if you ACTUALLY find a way to cheat without me knowing then you’re utilizing the knowledge properly”
“There’s a curse on this entire city and we literally cannot speak without it being a direct line from any song at all which is why I’m explaining it to you using this note also my singing voice is terrible”
“I accidentally wrote your last name instead of mine when I was writing my full name in the test and I totally forgot about it but then the teacher suddenly started giggling to herself in the middle of the class and I didn’t know until she called both of us to the front”
“My dog escaped last night and so did your dog but when my dog came back your dog followed her and is now trying to bang her and um this is kinda awkward”
“We accompanied both of our little siblings/cousins to this birthday party and now we’re handcuffed together because the shitty magician they hired fucked up his trick and is now trying to convince all the kids that the reason the cuffs wouldn’t come off is because destiny is binding us together do you wanna corner him later and beat the shit out of him”
“I just asked the most inane question in the entire world rhetorically but then you barged in and gave a legit response and I actually didn’t know that and now I am ashamed”
“My little siblings LOVE going to this trashy pizzeria so I pass the time by beating all the high scores on every single arcade game they have but then one day someone beat all of my high scores by exactly 100 points and I KNOW it’s the same person because they used the same fucking name on the scoreboards each time my pride is on the line who the hell did this I will fight them”
“So this couple just passed by and they’re singing to each other and all of a sudden the passerbys just joined in and it’s become one huge musical number and suddenly I know the song and start dancing along then started dancing with you and we had the same confused/horrified looks on our faces and then the music stopped and everyone went back to normal like nothing happened and we’re just looking at each other and we’re so confused are we in a Disney movie”
“The local government hired me to paint a mural on this extremely long and blank wall and I’m pretty sure I only started at end of the wall I didn’t do the stuff at the other end but somehow the entire thing is coming together as this panorama story thing and I NEED to know who that other artist is because really they’re making my job easier plus their work is beautiful”
“I’m the English lit teacher and no one must know that I write fanfiction of my own students and publish them online so I’m TERRIFIED when I learn that you - the art teacher - know about everything but turns out you make fanart for them and turns out we’re both fans of each other’s work online do you wanna work together and hook these guys up”
“This really fast paced song came on and I started dancing to it using these dance moves from this very specific video somewhere and it turns out you know the moves too so we end up dancing together and now everyone is staring at us I don’t even know you’re name”
“Am I cross-dressing at this costume party yes yes I am and it’s fantastic”
“We’re both at this costume party held by mutual friends and you’re dressed as the person I heavily ship with the person I’m dressed as also you’re cute can you pls make this ship come true for a while for me I’ll buy you a honey bagel”
“I just met you but I’m PRETTY sure you’re literally Captain America no really what is a perfect specimen you doing in this danky-ass coffee shop that I work at is that your drawing oh my gods you really ARE Steve Rogers aren’t youuuu”
“Did you actually fucking make a fully functional technological suit of armor for this cosplay competition- oh my gods you DID I’m gonna have to step up my game during the presentation. What the hell though you should be making a self-sustaining energy source or something not wasting your talents on a fucking cosplay convention”
“I animate a bunch of music vids on YouTube and decided I’d try out doing a cover for this one song so I go out of my way to use and actual recording studio because my mic is shit and I’m really flustered about singing this in front of a total stranger but you’re being really supportive and keep giving me tips for making my voice sound better and eventually we end up singing a duet and it sounds amazing and I am subjected to listening to it over and over again and I end up animating a love story using our vocals and it’s got so much positive feedback and they want us to do another duet? What? No, I didn’t make it a love story bec I fell for you at first sight what no”
“My jam went on while on the bus and it’s REALLY hard not to dance to it in my seat and you’re staring at me weirdly I apologize for being a strange creature but you don’t understand this song is perfection”
“We’re the only two people in the class who know how to sing this one Russian lullaby and the whole class goes totally silent while we do a duet and apparently it sounds REALLY creepy when we sing it wanna dress as dead Russian children and sing together in random dark alleyways”
“The teacher accidentally left his music playing on his laptop so when he opened it it started playing a Japanese song very loudly and we just start belting out the lyrics we’ve memorized by heart and I’ve never really talked to you but you seem like a cool person plus you’re singing voice is great why is the teacher looking at us with sparkly eyes”
“I make really cheesy/nerdy pick-up lines and usually when I tell them to people they groan at how terrible they are but then you overheard me telling one and cut in with an equally cheesy/nerdy pick-up line so now we’re just shooting each other pick-up lines back and forth”
“I play the cello really weirdly and you play the guitar really weirdly so our friends decide to hook us up and now we’re composing a hella good song it’s gonna be a huge hit”
“You are literally sparkling in the sunlight are you okay you’re not a Twilight vampire or a shoujo character are you?”
“I am a tech wizard and am so sorry for your loss, and I will do my best to try and restore your laptop to its former glory with minimal pay, also you should probably avoid looking at funny videos and drinking milk at the same time”
“What the hell kinda vine are you tryna make that involves me holding onto your legs as you dangle haphazardly out your apartment window that is on the eighteenth floor”
“That is the most neon shirt I have ever seen a person bear to wear pls burn it”
“As your doctor I would advise you to stop from using yourself as reference I don’t care if it’s for your novel you can’t just walk into a bar and ask the biggest guy you can find to punch you really hard in the shoulder my gods”
I’ll add more when I think of them if yer gonna use them tag me maybe idk
Sam was perceptive, focused, and alert. But more importantly, she was Lara Croft’s best friend. Put two and two together, and whammo! You got one confused Japanese-Portuguese-American twenty three-year-old wondering why the heckie heck her cute British best friend hadn’t yet snagged herself a hunky, intelligent, bookish, adventurous, sexy, etc, etc boyfriend.
Sam’s upset ‘cause Lara doesn’t have an awesome boyfriend yet, so she forces Lara to practice hitting on her. Cue the sparks and homosexuality.
so once upon a time I had a black tungsten ring that I got on sale from somewhere and wore because it’s a thing ace people do as a sort of subtle ‘hey I am ace’ signal to those familiar with the whole thing. buut I lost this ring somehow and was never able to find it again.
well I now have a replacement, which is also made of tungsten and not carved from stone [I tried one like that once and it actually broke pretty quickly; fortunately it didn’t cost too much so it wasn’t much of a loss].
but it’s not just any black ring.
[it came from this Etsy shop, which sells a lot of tungsten rings both in black and other metallic colors, available as plain bands or with other equally-nerdy symbols on them.]
Shy nerdy Cas being best friends with an equally nerdy Sam. It’s their final Spring Break as high school students and their parents let them use the Novak’s cabin by the lake. Sam is excited because this means he can invite Jess, but it’s only under the condition that Sam’s older brother Dean, who is in his senior year at the University of Kansas, has to supervise.
Sam loves his older brother so it’s a bonus that he gets to spend some time with him since he’s so busy with his classes. But Sam doesn’t know that his best friend Cas has had feelings for the older Winchester. When Cas hears the conditions set upon by their parents, he both loathes and loves the prospect of spending the week with him. Until he hears that Dean is bringing along his friends Charlie and Lisa.
After getting to the cabin they divide the many rooms amongst themselves: Sam and Jess in Gabriel’s room, Charlie in Lucifer’s, Lisa in Anna’s room, Dean using Michael’s, and finally Cas uses his own bedroom for the week. No one felt comfortable using the master bedroom, because that would be too weird. Luckily each room came with their own en-suite bathroom. When the Novak clan decides to do something they go all in.
The first couple of days are spent lounging around the lake. Lisa spends most of her time tanning in a small white two piece, watching Dean, Charlie, Sam, and Jess in the water or on her phone rapidly texting someone. The Winchester brothers, Charlie, and Jess use the various jet skis and kayaks that were stored in the shed. While Sam and Jess try to persuade Cas into joining the fun, he would rather spend his time under the tree that his mother planted when it was just his parents and Michael, reading some books he picked from his father’s study.
Castiel does most of the cooking with Jess and Charlie, as they wouldn’t eat anything edible if they left it to the boys, who are assigned clean up as a result. Lisa is almost as bad as the guys, only being able to cook breakfast, so that was her designated job. Luckily the kitchen was stocked with everything you could think of.
On the last night before their break is over the gang decided to have a camp fire in the pit that was installed after all of the Novak children were above a certain age. The whole shebang, with chocolate, grahams, and marshmallows. Sam and Jess are sharing the love seat, whispering into each others ears and sharing s'mores, being all types of adorable. Lisa was laying on the lounge chair and was on the phone again, with Tony, who turns out to be her long term boyfriend who got stuck spending time with family for the break. After discovering that, she and Cas got along much better, even if he didn’t have a claim on Dean to even be angry in the first place. Cas was seated in another love seat from the outdoor furniture, with a book in his hand, reading the same line for the eighth time. He was trying not to pay attention as Charlie, who was going through a nasty split with her ex-girlfriend Gilda, spilled her frustrations on Dean. She had her head in his lap, taking most of the seating, while Dean was sitting upright.
Cas couldn’t help but flick his eyes towards the elder Winchester, the sun sprouting more freckles on his nose and cheeks. His skin was slightly tanner from when they had arrived. He was so beautiful that Cas felt his chest hurt, he shouldn’t even be thinking of Dean in that form, he didn’t even stand a chance. Cas was an decent looking guy, with his blue eyes and black hair, but compared to Dean he was average.
Cas lost in his train of thought and didn’t notice that Dean was looking back at him, having been caught staring, Cas felt his cheeks flush and he immediately turned his eyes back to the book in front of him. But there was no way he was going to be able to get into it now. Cas chanced a look at Dean over his book and he saw that Dean was still looking at him, while Charlie kept going on with her rant, Cas didn’t move his eyes from Dean. After a few tense seconds that no one else seemed to notice, Dean turned his attention back to the now upset and angry Charlie, but not before Cas caught a hint of a smirk.
Cas stayed in his seat for a few more minutes, finally turning the page, even though he hadn’t read what it said. With Lisa on the phone and the rest of them in conversations that Cas didn’t want to intrude in, he closed his book before standing and walking back to the cabin to go to his room, not noticing that green eyes followed his movements until he couldn’t be seen anymore.
After spending twenty minutes in his room Cas determined that he was equally bored and distracted as he was outside, it seemed as if he couldn’t think of anything besides Dean. He never regretted not putting a television in his room as much as he has at this moment. But with everyone occupied outside, this gave Cas a prime opportunity. While spending time at the cabin has been great, a memory he will enjoy in the future, it didn’t leave as much personal time as he would like. Even though he wasn’t much for going out and having sex, since he was a virgin, Cas wasn’t adverse to using toys to stimuli himself on his own.
Even though Cas didn’t have any toys in his room in the cabin, he hadn’t brought any either, he kept some spare lube under his sink in his en-suite, his fingers would have to make do. With a quick glance outside the window near his bed, he saw everyone was still where he left them.
Cas started to strip off his clothes and threw them into the hamper near his closet, he would have to do laundry before they leave tomorrow. Walking into the bathroom, Cas looked towards the huge mirrors that lined the wall where the long double sink counter was located. The counter was long, extending from one end of the room to the other, rounding to about six feet of marble. Cas reached towards the cabinets under the sinks and grabbed his lube from behind the mountain of spare toilet paper.
Closing the cabinet door shut, Cas turned back to his room to make sure the door to his room was closed. But he didn’t move to lock it, he wasn’t worried about anyone coming into his room, he could hear everyone’s laughter from his window. Turning back to the white bathroom, he walked in pushing the door to close, but he didn’t put much force behind it as it was still open about a gap.
Turning back to the mirror, Cas looked at his reflection, olive-toned skin covering lean muscles that he gained when Sam made him go on his runs with him. He didn’t have defined abs, but stomach was toned and flat. The running left him with strong thighs and calves. As he said, he was decent looking guy. While Cas didn’t shave, he certainly trimmed his curls above his cock, but besides his armpits, he didn’t grow much hair.
Cas imagined slightly freckled hands running up the length of his arms, he could practically see Dean standing behind him, stroking his skin. Almost feeling the calloused hands reach his shoulder before following the path down his back towards the dip above the dimples he had on his back. Cas felt his cock twitch at the fantasy running through his mind.
Dean’s soft pink lips dragging along his neck, up and down, releasing little breaths by his ears. Cas could almost taste the chocolate on his breath. Dean in his fantasy, dipped his hands lower, along the curve of Cas’ ass. His own hands followed the movements, letting his fingertips drag over his soft skin. Reaching with his right hand to feel his small puckered hole. Glad he took a shower and thoroughly cleaned himself before the campfire had started. He let his finger circle the rim, before grabbing the lube in front of him with his left hand and pouring some onto his right hand’s fingers. He quickly warmed his fingers before placing them back, with his left hand braced against the white marble, he leaned forward so he can get into a better position.
Cas imagined Dean’s thicker fingers, teasing his rim, as his own fingers copied the movements. Spreading the lube around, he slowly began to toy with himself. His cock growing harder between his legs, a decent six inches in length and average in width, Cas left it to focus on his fingers movements.
Cas let his finger trail his rim once more, before pressing his pointer finger into himself. It had been a long time, being distracted with school and then Spring Break with his friends took up most of his time, Cas felt the slight burn at the intrusion, but he embraced the pain. With his finger fully inside him, he began to wiggle his finger to open himself up a bit so he could insert another finger. Cas pulled his finger out slightly before pushing is back in. His muscles clenching around the finger, he fucked himself on his finger before pulling it out and pouring a bit more lube onto his other fingers.
He reached back around himself, making sure the lube was warm before spreading some around the outside once more, before trying to push in his pointer and middle finger, it burned once again. But it felt much better with two. Cas let himself adjust for a few seconds before moving them slightly, pulling his fingers back and inserting them once again. The Dean in his fantasy, moving his thicker fingers inside of Cas, brushing his fingers over his prostate. Cas’ own fingers doing the same.
“Dean.” Cas moaned out softly into the quiet room. His muscles accommodating his two fingers now, he pushed and pulled his fingers in and out faster, brushing against his prostate every few times. With his body thrumming with heat and arousal, Cas pressed in his index finger with the other two. The pain mingling with the pleasure. Cas didn’t hear the knock on his bedroom door. To caught up on his own pleasure, he didn’t hear his name being called. Cas’ third finger helping him hit his prostate easier. He moaned out louder. “Dean, Dean, fuck, Dean.”
His bathroom door opened but with his eyes closed, Cas didn’t see it, but he did hear the quick draw a breath from the door that wasn’t his own. He opened his eyes, the mirror showing a shocked Dean standing at his bathroom door. Cas froze, he felt humiliation and dread fill him, even with his fingers still inside of him, he didn’t move.
He closed his eyes shut for a few seconds, before opening them and looking towards Dean, he started to pull his fingers out, straightening his body until he standing upright. But Dean was quicker than him, he began striding over to Cas. The black haired teen closed his eyes thinking he was going to punched in the face by his best friend’s brother, because he was caught finger fucking himself to his name, that was going to be an awful thing to explain to Sam. But he didn’t feel the hit he was expecting, he heard the clicking of a cap being flicked open a closed.
He opened his eyes to see Dean standing in front of him, without a shirt, lube slicked fingers rubbing together. Dean leaned forward and pressed his front against Cas’. The rough denim dragging along his still hard cock, Cas felt the hard length pressed against his own. He let out a gasp, looking up into Dean’s eyes, his eyes shining with arousal and happiness.
“Cas, fuck, do you know how fucking sexy you are?” Dean whispered into his ear, pulling the smaller body into his larger frame. He let his lubed fingers trail lightly over Cas’ spine, before reaching towards his hole. Pressing two of his fingers in, feeling the smooth and warm inside, compared to Cas’ this was so much better. “I’ve fucking wanted you forever, and to come up here to see you fuck yourself with your fingers, moaning my name. God, baby, you don’t even know what you do to me.”
Cas let out a moan, his mind trying to process everything Dean was saying, but with his fingers inside of him it was hard to think. How could he have known that Dean felt the same way? He didn’t even know that could have been a possibility, but here he is, in his family’s cabin, with Dean’s fingers inside of him, with Dean admitting to wanting him for as much time as Cas wanted him.
Dean pressed his third finger in, Cas almost didn’t feel the slight burn, the pleasure overriding most of his senses. Cas felt his mouth drop open slightly, he let out a whimper as Dean’s fingers brushed his prostate. Dean couldn’t resist pulling Cas’ plump bottom lip between his own, biting slightly, before licking it. Cas moaned louder at the feeling, pressing his lips firmly against Dean’s before opening his mouth and letting Dean’s tounge meet his own. He tasted like he thought, chocolate, with a hint of something he couldn’t decipher.
Dean his own length press into the zipper of his jeans, Cas’ lips were sweet, and were everything he imagined, slightly chapped but still soft. Cas’ arms reach up to Dean’s hair, letting his fingers pull at the strands somewhat roughly, Dean let out a groan of his own. Cas dragged his fingers from his hair, down the sides of his neck, down the length of his chest, fingers brushing the sensitive nipples. Dean stroked his tounge along Cas’, his fingers still moving in and out, before pulling his mouth away, sucking on his bottom lip.
Cas opened his eyes, his eyes locking with Dean’s before he looked towards his hands, they trailed lower, where there hips were rocking softly together. Cas’ finger lowered to the button of Dean’s jeans, pulling it open, and unzipping his pants. He reached inside of Dean’s boxer briefs, pulling out his hard cock. It was bigger and thicker than his own, but not by much. Cas licked his lips, before looking back up at Dean. “I want you to fuck me.”
“Are you sure baby?” Dean asked in response, he cock throbbing now, he couldn’t wait to feel Cas around him.
“Yes, I’ve wanted you for so long. Are you going to deny me now?” Cas whispered into his ear, moving his hand along his length. He didn’t know how he sounded so confident, but he was grateful he did.
“You got any condoms? I didn’t bring any with me. I wasn’t expecting to need for the trip.” Dean fingers pulling out of Cas, who groaned at the lost. Cas turned and bent toward the cabinet which he grabbed his lube from to grab his condoms, luckily they were close in size. He heard Dean groan behind him, then his jeans and underwear fall to the floor. Cas stood upright, condom in hand, but before he could turn around, he felt Dean’s hands stop him. “Oh baby, I wish I had a camera, I wish you could see how amazing you look right now.”
Cas leaned back down, and braced himself against the marble, arching his back, so his ass would stick out more towards Dean. “You are going to be the death of me, do you know that?” Dean muttered, sounding breathless. “Wait, I have to ask, have you done this before?”
Cas took a deep breath before responding, “No I haven’t, but I still want your cock inside me, so are you going to fuck me or not, Dean?”
Dean didn’t answer but he grabbed the condom out of Cas’ hand and opened it, rolling the condom onto his cock he grabbed some more lube to spread along the length and around Cas’ hole just for extra measure. He lined himself up, the head of his cock catching at Cas’ rim. He leaned over Cas and pressed a kiss in the center of his back for reassurance. Cas tried to relax and he felt Dean’s cock, the freckled hands grabbing at his hips, before pushing forward. Cas felt the sting more than ever before, he tried to relax his body, letting his eyes fall shut. Finally Dean bottomed out, his hands moving from his hips to run down his spine, he didn’t move, just trailed his back and arms.
Cas let his eyes open once he felt ready to move. Dean was watching him through the reflection of the mirror. He felt his muscles clench around Dean, emphasizing how big he felt inside of him, he took another deep breath before nodding his head. Dean pulled out slowly, until only his tip was left, then pushing back in at the same pace. It still burned a bit, but it was better. He repeated this action again, and again, and again. It felt better each time, Cas’ hands reached to grip at Dean’s wrists on his hips, before he felt a moan bubble up.
That sound was like music to Dean’s ears, he increased his speed slightly but not by much, he didn’t want to hurt Cas. But the tight, wet, warmth that was Cas was addictive. He had never felt anything better.
“Fa-Faster Dean…Fas-ter” Cas breath hitched, Dean’s cock reached placed he hadn’t felt before, he didn’t use toys that were much bigger than a certain size. Dean felt himself throb, Cas moaning his name has to be the best sound he has ever heard in his life. He followed through, increasing in speed once again. “Harder, please, ha-rder”
Dean’s thrust were gaining momentum, driving into Cas harder and deeper, Dean letting out grunts of his own. He looked down towards his cock, seeing Cas’ pink puffy rim clenching down on his cock, he reached with his right hand to stroke along it. It clenched around him again, he looked up towards the mirror, only to see Cas looking at him though it, his cheeks flushed and his hair disheveled. His lips raw and red from kissing and him biting them. When their eyes met, he felt Cas spasm around him, Dean’s grin grew. “You like that baby? You like watching me fuck you?”
Cas moaned louder, his fingers clawing at the grip they had on Dean’s wrists. His eyes falling shut, too overwhelmed by the onslaught of pleasure spiking his body.
“C'mon baby, don’t close your eyes. I want to see ‘em baby. Show me those blues.” Dean groaned out, his thrusts almost a maddening pace, driving in and out. Cas’ eyes opened and they looked dazed before they settled on Dean, Cas whimpers growing in volume.
“Dean, Dean. Fuck, stop, stop.” Cas said, trying to catch his breath. Dean stopped almost immediately, though it was torture, he would stop if Cas needed him too. “I want to see you. I want to see.”
Dean pulled out of Cas, and they both groaned at the loss, before Cas turned around towards Dean. Dean grabbed Cas by the hips and sat him onto the slightly warmed counter top. Cas opened his legs and pulled Dean forward, grabbing onto his cock, he lined him up to his hole, before Dean pushed back inside that wonderful heat. Cas mewled at the change of angle, Dean grabbing onto the backs of Cas’ knees, pushing his legs further back, Cas moved his hands towards Dean’s hair, pulling his face closer for a kiss. Dean started to get back into rhythm, pounding into Cas, whose lips were a breathe away from his own, but was too caught up in pleasure to reach out and kiss him fully. The hands in his hair pulling roughly, adding to his pleasure.
“Dean, oh my…fuck, Dean, I’m going- going to cum.” Cas moaned loudly, it echoing off the walls, Dean felt his own climax , but he wanted Cas to cum first. Cas feeling his climax, began to move his hips along with Dean’s his body naturally moving in tune. Like this, every time Dean thrusted in, it hit his prostate, and after a few more jabs at it, Cas cums on his stomach. His moan and the clench of his muscles dragging Dean’s own climax out of him and his own moan of Cas’ name echoed loudly. Cas’ gripping Dean’s cock spastically, and he pumped a few more times to ride out his orgasm, Cas milking his cock.
After a few moments, Dean pulled out, them both letting out a sigh, Cas felt the loss immediately. Dean pulled off the condom and tied it off before throwing it into the waste bin. Cas looked up at Dean, and didn’t know what would happen next. The blonde leaned towards Cas and placed a sweet kiss on his lips. “Just so you know, you’ll never get rid of me now.” He teased.
“Who said I was planning too?” Cas responded, smiling cheekily, before kissing him again.
“How about a shower?” Dean suggested, and Cas nodded his affirmative. “Let me just get some underwear from my bag.” He left the room after pulling on his jeans to cover his nudity. Cas hopped off the counter to turn on the water before Dean walked back in with his underwear and a note.
CLOSE ALL OF YOUR DOORS NEXT TIME. YOU GUYS ARE FREAKING LOUD. WE’LL BE BACK IN TWO HOURS, HOPEFULLY YOU GUYS WILL BE DONE. - SAM AND CO.
“Round two?” Cas suggested.
- I swear this wasn’t supposed to be this long sorry. I only planned for a couple of paragraphs, no judging, this was written in a sleepy haze and posted at 5:30 in the morning.
Do you have any fics where Dean get's jealous/possessive over Cas? And if possible no A/B/O. Sorry it's just not my cup of tea.
I’ve been dreading for this type of an ask to pop up on our ask box for while now. I mean, Dean’s always jealous and possessive. It’s his nature and it’s part of almost every fanfic out there (especially in ABO fics). But it’s so hard to pinpoint any specific fics where the jealousy would be a bigger theme than the occasional mention here and there. We are doing our best though to search through our lists and memories to come up at least a few fics that you might like. I’m so going to start tagging jealousy in every new fic that I read so I wouldn’t have to go through this type of a pain when the next ask comes up! -Admin A
Admin A’s notes: I love this story and it’s based on one of my favorite movies: The Philadelphia Story with Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn. I love the idea of second chances in love and how both Cas and Dean deal with their past heartbreaks and mistakes as they get to know each other again!
Summary: Four years ago Castiel Lord married local mechanic, Dean Winchester, and for two years their relationship flourished, until a decision made by Castiel sent Dean out the front door, and divorce papers were served. Now Castiel is two days from the alter with a new finace on his arm, and he’s over Dean, he really is, their relationship dissolved for completely valid reasons. Of course, that’s a lot easier to believe when Dean isn’t standing in his mother’s back yard, offering an olive branch in the form of a favor for the Lord household. Suddenly memories of their past are everywhere and Castiel is faced with a choice he never thought he’d get again.
Admin A’s notes: Stripper AU is the perfect brewing pot for jealousy and specifically jealous Dean. I love how Dean’s insecurities come across as jealousy towards Cas and how he’s always doubting Cas’s feelings for him.
Summary: Castiel Novak is a reclusive writer with a childhood so tragic it’s left him terrified to leave his home—until his overbearing brother, Gabriel, drags him out for a night on the town full of booze and strip clubs, and he encounters Dean Winchester, a mesmerizing and mysterious stripper with secrets of his own. Both men find themselves inexplicably drawn to each other, and soon Dean’s private dances for Castiel become much more, as both men confess their troubles and find solace in each other’s company. But neither can seem to find the courage to take their relationship further than the intimacy of the club’s VIP Room—and just when Dean’s own brother gives him the excuse he needs to finally admit his feelings, Dean discovers something that brings it all crumbling down. Will they find a way past their demons and their trust issues, and back to each other?
Admin A’s notes: I think the summary says it all. Dean’s going to get Cas back no matter what it takes!
Summary: When Dean Winchester gets out of prison, he immediately returns to working for his old boss, Crowley. He’s only a driver and enforcer, following Crowley to heel, but it means getting his foot back in the door.
What Dean doesn’t expect is that his childhood sweetheart, Castiel, is now married to Crowley.
Dean can’t stop thinking about Castiel and, when Crowley confides in him that he believes Castiel is having an affair, Dean finds himself increasingly jealous, imagining Castiel with another man.
He doesn’t realize that Castiel’s trapped in his marriage, unhappy and determined to escape from Crowley. Neither does he realize that there’s only ever been one man in Castiel’s heart - Dean himself.
Admin A’s notes: I’m only adding this fic because this rec needs more top Cas fics :’D It didn’t work for me but I’m team bottom Cas anyway…
Summary: It’s been weeks since the angels rained down from the skies, but sometimes it feels like a lifetime. It’s been weeks since Dean has held his brother in his arms, while Sam vomited blood up, and that familiar uncertainty curled in the pit of his stomach. Please be all right, he thought about Sam. Please be all right, he thought about Cas. Please be all right.
Well, look at them now! They’re more than all right, aren’t they? Dean frowns and drinks his beer angrily, his eyes locked on the corner of the room where Cas and Sam are leaning over Sam’s laptop, their foreheads practically touching. Sam has introduced Cas to iTunes, and Cas, in turn, that nerdy angel, has introduced his equally nerdy brother to Tchaikovsky. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Cas talks about the old, dead, Russian dude as if he had personally been acquainted with him. Perhaps he had been, Dean can’t rule that possibility out.
Admin A’s notes: Jealous Dean makes a few appearances here but not only that, this is a wonderful story that everyone should read.
Summary: When a handsome stranger wanders into his bar one warm fall night, Dean Winchester is charmed by the archaeology professor. As their friendship deepens, Dean will discover that there are a few simple truths about love: it can sneak up on you when you least expect it, and it will level you without warning. But it can also save you, when you’re lost.
In this au, Sam went back to purgatory and rescued Benny. They’d struck up an unexpected friendship the first time they were in purgatory together, and it only blossoms when they’re topside again. Then one time after Benny starts hunting with Sam and Dean, Benny risks himself to save Sam’s life during a hunt. That sparks their romance, then they fall in love, and eventually retire from hunting (along with Dean, although he takes some convincing). Sam becomes a professor of theology or folklore or something equally nerdy, and Benny runs his own diner ( ﾉ●˘◡˘●)ﾉ . • * ˚ ` ° ~ ♥
Imagine popular Gabriel Novak meeting the very nerdy and not very popular Sam Winchester one day when his friends are shoving him around. Gabriel puts a stop to it but Sam vows he hates him. The bullying Sam gets becomes worse after it gets around school that not only is he a geek, a bookworm, has very few equally nerdy friends, and has a dropout older brother, but he is also gay. Gabriel is furious when he sees Sam with a black eye one day and he nearly kills his friends. He apologizes to Sam saying he wishes they would leave him alone. He tells him he has been bisexual since he was fourteen and Sam just stares at him. Sam tells him he has had a small crush on him since he was a freshman and Gabriel kisses him, on the lips, in front of his friends the very next day, vowing murderous actions on the next person to touch his adorable little boyfriend. He doesn’t let go of Sam’s hand the whole day.
Hi! I was hoping you could write something along the lines of the reader and peter parker being recruited recently and peter is around 16 and the reader 18 and because they are both new and the youngest of them all, they spend a lot of time together and fall in love but they don’t want to admit it to each other, one being because the reader thinks he probably has a hs gf and two because peter thinks he’s too dorky (even though the reader loves that the most about him) happy ending pls :))
“Y/N,” Tony spoke your name and got your attention from your reading, “this is Peter. Peter, this is Y/N. Y/N, do me a favor and show him the ropes. Thanks,” Tony left Peter standing in the room with you.
“Peter, you’re SpiderMan, right? I remember you were on Tony’s side of the team feud.”
“Ugh, yeah,” he said awkwardly. “How about you?”
“I wasn’t recruited for the fight. I was actually the newest to join until today,” you gave a friendly smile.
“What do you do? Or, what can you do. Or..ugh…”
You chuckled, “What’s my power or ability?” He nodded shyly. “I can manipulate the elements.”
“Like the Avatar,” he grinned.
“Unfortunately yes. Tony likes to call me Last Airbender or Ang.” Peter finally relaxed and sat on the couch across from you.
“What are you reading?” The two of you started talking about books and school work and various other nerdy things and became close quickly.
“Is there something on your mind, Y/N,” Wanda finally asked. The two of you had been chilling out in your room and she noticed you weren’t your normal self.
“Ugh…kind of. But you can’t tell anyone.”
She sat up, “Of course, Y/N. What is it?”
“It’s Peter. We’ve been spending a lot of time together since he joined the team and…”
“And I think I might like him…a lot.”
“Like him or love him,” she grinned.
“Exactly my problem with the dorky little guy. But, I also don’t know if he thinks of me the same way. Knowing my luck he probably has some girlfriend from high school.”
*In a different part of the building*
“What are you working on, Spidey?”
“A new material for my suit,” he told Clint.
“You know what you should be working on? Asking Y/N out on a date.”
“I…I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Peter stuttered.
“I’m too dorky to date someone like her. And she’s a year and a half older than me.”
“Too dorky for her? You both had a twenty minute conversation on Star Trek last night at dinner. I think you’re both equally nerdy.”
You went up to the roof and saw Peter sitting at the table instead of Wanda. “Peter? What are you doing up here?”
“Clint told me to meet him up here,” he said. “What are you doing here?”
“Wanda told me to come up here.”
“For dinner and a movie?”
“Yup,” you agreed. “I think we were set up.”
“Well…do you wanna have dinner and watch a movie anyway,” Peter offered.
A/N: Overdue prompt for couragedontdesertme. Sorry it took so long! Hope this quenches your Elsashi thirst, junemermaid03. This is longer than expected, and I might’ve taken a different direction. Hope you guys enjoy it anyway. :) Sorry in advance if there are typos/errors, I’m really bad at proofreading.
“Tadashi, it’s three-thirty in the morning, you need to go to sleep.” Wasabi rubbed his eyes sluggishly with a fist, his frame leaning against the entrance of Tadashi’s lab. His dorm was a building away from their campus and he insisted on having Tadashi sleep over since it was already so late, and a morning lecture awaited them in a few hours. The two spent the day whole day working on their robotics projects together, but Tadashi was unusually too engrossed on his current task and missed out on lunch and dinner—much to Wasabi’s surprise. His friend had been working on his robot for hours without taking any breaks except for ones where he had to go use the bathroom.
“I have to finish this tonight,” Tadashi replied without looking up as he struggled to cut a stubborn wire with his bolt cutter. A firm and nimble hand pressed harder to disconnect the relentless piece of aluminum to no avail. “I just have to re-program this and I’m done.”
“You’re not gonna finish that in one sitting, bro. I promise I’ll help you code it after class,” Wasabi drawled before releasing a long and tired yawn. “Maybe you can even ask Callaghan for an extension. The man loves you,” he suggested, hoping to persuade his friend to leave with him so he can finally feel the warmth of his bed. Sleep, he needed to sleep.
“It’s not for Callaghan’s class, I already finished that project last week,” Tadashi mumbled, brows knitted in concentration. “This is for something else.”
Wasabi shot his friend a dubious look as he straightened his back. “What do you mean it’s for something else? What exactly are you working on?”
Tadashi sighed and finally looked up to face his friend, loosening his grip on the bolt cutter. “I’m making a minibot,” he said while fiddling with the tool in his hand. “It’s for Elsa.” He felt a flood of heat creep up from his cheeks to the tip of his ears at the mention of Elsa’s name. He immediately ducked down to avoid Wasabi’s reaction, trying to play it off as if what he just said was totally sensical and not unusual at all. He jammed the bolt cutter back inside the tiny robot’s chest, pretending to cut a nonexistent wire.
An awkward silence hung in the air as Tadashi tinkered with the inner structure of his robot’s little body, the sound of metal clashing against copper filling the room.
“You’re making a robot for Elsa. Elsa Arendelle?” Wasabi enunciated, disbelief furrowing his brows together. “Tadashi, brother, you’re seriously losing your mind.” Wasabi stomped into the room to take a closer look at the immobile machine laying flatly on Tadashi’s work table.
“Why didn’t you tell me that this is for her? And what for?”
Tadashi rubbed the back of his neck nervously. “I didn’t want the others to know and tell her,” he stammered, blanching at how asinine his reply sounded. “I want it to be a surprise.”
Wasabi rolled his eyes. “We’re not particularly chummy with Elsa to go around and tell her secrets, you know. GoGo and Honey tried to befriend her but it’s not particularly…easy. She’s just so quiet and a little bit on the very standoff-ish side.”
A soft sigh escaped Tadashi’s lips. “I know. But there’s more to her, I can see it. I just gotta keep trying. You can’t just give up on people so easily—I’ll find a way to get to know her better even if it means having to build a robot to do the talking for me since she doesn’t really like to…talk back,” he trailed off, realizing how crazy his idea sounded yet unable to free his mind of the image Elsa’s timid smile and the rare sound of her laughter. He shook his head before plunging his hand back into his robot in attempt to finally get it to work.
A thoughtful look flashed across Wasabi’s eyes as he placed a hand on Tadashi’s shoulder. “You really like this girl, huh?”
“Yeah, I do,” Tadashi admitted without a trace of hesitation, shoulders drooping in surrender—and surprise—by how he answered such an intimate question so quickly. He rested his palms on the edge of the table, trying to calm the sudden eruption of butterflies wrecking havoc inside his stomach.
The observant best friend was not at all fazed by this newfound revelation. Oh, he had seen it all: the way Tadashi transformed to a different person after meeting Elsa. Suddenly, there was always a spring in his step, an awful and drastic change in his musical taste that switched from epic superhero soundtracks to sappy love songs, that dopey and stupid smile plastered on his face whenever he talked about her, and that undeniable glow in his dilated pupils whenever he saw her. Wasabi was a science guy and knew little about infatuation except for what it emitted: endorphins, serotonin, and a very smitten and spellbound Tadashi Hamada. It’s just an innocent crush, he thought.
Wasabi shook his head. “Dude, you don’t even know her that much.”
“But I do. Well, not entirely—but I will!”
“Tadashi, brother, I need you to listen to me,“ Wasabi pinched the bridge of his nose; sleep deprivation overpowering him as he searched his brain for words to say. “You can’t build robots for people you just met. It’s not exactly norm—“
“I even have a list of the things she likes,” Tadashi cut him off, raising a paper he just pulled from his back pocket in front of Wasabi’s face with a smug grin. “I know a few things about her, Wasabi.” The rectangular object was clipped in between his fingers and he held it with reverence as if it was the most brilliant thing he had ever made.
“I have an Elsa list. A list of things she likes.”
“Here, go on. Read it.”
An exhausted grunt can be heard from Tadashi’s side. Wasabi extended his palm noncommittally and caved in. “Fine. Let’s see this magical list of yours, lover boy,” he deadpanned.
Tadashi handed it to him, and Wasabi unfolded the ink-stained and creased piece of paper, his head throbbing a little when his eyes were ambushed by Tadashi’s sloppy handwriting. It was almost impossible to read what was written on it, but working with Tadashi meant familiarizing himself with the other inventor’s quirks and eccentricity. He wished his friend typed up his list instead of attempting to write it down. But he continued to read on, scrutinizing the tiny paper and ignoring the poorly drawn heart next to Elsa’s name:
Elsa Arendelle <3 List:
1. She likes chocolates. Her face lit up like a light bulb when I offered her a Toblerone. 2. I think she ice skates…saw a pair of ice skates hanging from her back a while ago while she was heading to her car. 3. She tutors Fred in Geometry and Physics. I mean, yeah. She’s the one who does the coding for our project so she HAS to be a math genius. Get with the program, Hamada. 4. She’s left-handed. Too bad we don’t have left handed scissors back in the lab and she always seems to struggle whenever she tries to cut something…I should probably get her one. Or make her one. 5. Blue. Most of her stuff is blue. Favorite color? 6. She speaks French, Norwegian, Swedish, and Mandarin fluently. Currently learning Japanese. Maybe I should offer to tutor her? Not that she needs it because she’s so smart…but still…
Wasabi blinked before tilting his head up to meet an eager and excited Tadashi. “So whaddaya think?” Tadashi’s look mimicked a kid showing his dad a report card filled with outstanding grades. He was tapping his knuckles together, a hopeful grin plastered across his handsome face.
“Bro, don’t you think this is a little bit too much? What if she just gets freaked out?” Wasabi said in a soft, uncondescending tone. He fiddled with the paper in his hand and he glanced down at it and caught a glimpse of the little heart next to Elsa’s name. Arendelle really got him sprung.
“I know, I know,” Tadashi waved his hands in surrender, his grin faltering slowly. “But I saw how she is with the robots—with Baymax. It seems like she spent time interacting with robots more than humans.” He jammed his hands into his pockets and shrugged, saddened by his own observation and train of thoughts.
“You’re right, she’s not necessarily outgoing and cheerful like GoGo and Honey and Fred—but she’s just different. A good kind of different.” Wasabi noticed him placing his hand behind his neck again: a gesture he was all too familiar with whenever Tadashi was deep in thought or apprehensive. Or both.
“But what’s the deal? Why all this effort?” Wasabi probed gently, his arms crossing in front of his chest while he leaned his back against the wall. Nothing could have prepared him for what his best friend was about to say next.
The corner of Tadashi’s lips twitched and big brown eyes met Wasabi’s curious gaze. He couldn’t find a more cogent stream of words to say to explain his thoughts. He, too, was a science guy. He was trained to choose facts over fiction. Facts over feelings. Mind over heart. He knew from day one that Elsa Arendelle preferred to be by herself, to be left alone. He knew she only humored him whenever he would try to talk to her with replies so polite and never short of practical. She wasn’t fond of chitchats. She wasn’t fond of company.
And here he was anyway—building her a damn robot just to be closer to her somehow. Just to make her laugh even for a split second. He inhaled slowly before releasing a breath that was laced with a week’s worth of frustration—a whole week of denying the inevitable. The science guy, the leader of the nerd squad, was reduced to a puppy-eyed school boy who didn’t stand a chance against an attractive and equally nerdy school girl—a nerdy school girl who entranced him and made him forget how to spell his own name with just one glance.
He waited for his heart to slow its rapid pace before opening his mouth.
“I’m falling in love with her,” Tadashi confessed with clarity as clear as the skies and the stars twinkling outside the window of his lab—his secret place where his ideas and dreams came to life, concocted by the magic flowing from his dexterous hands—the very same hands that wished and yearned to hold those belonging to an enigmatic and blue-eyed goddess disguised as a college student.
“I’m falling in love with Elsa,” he repeated not because he thought Wasabi did not hear him the first time he said it, but because he liked the way Elsa’s name rolled out of his tongue and into space, imagining his confession could somehow float away like the molecules in the air and make their way to Elsa’s ears while she slept soundly in her bed.
“In love?” Wasabi screeched incredulously, his voice going an octave higher. “Tadashi, I know you’ve spent some time with her because you literally begged Callaghan to make her your lab partner without her knowledge—and this list—stalker-ish and borderline creepy, but I won’t judge—but in love? Don’t you think that’s a little bit too fast?” he spluttered, unable to contain himself.
Tadashi hummed his reply, his index finger touching the middle of his minibot’s chest, a little bit farther to the left where the activation button was screwed in. Brown eyes were placid and glossed over—focused on something that Wasabi could not see. He brows met halfway and he raised his head up to meet equally brown eyes filled with concern.
A faint smile slowly crept up on the corners of his mouth. “Wasabi, I love her. I just know I do. Call it crazy, call it naive…but I love her and I always want to make her smile,” he chuckled as a fresh paint of red tainted his cheeks.
“I know it’s weird and you’re right—I barely know her. But she’s important to me and I really want her to know that she’s special.” The undertone of seriousness in his voice caused Wasabi to soften as he registered Tadashi’s sincerity. He sighed and took a few steps to Tadashi’s workstation, cracking his knuckles before placing a hand on his friend’s shoulder and putting his beloved list next to the minibot.
With every bit of energy he had left in his body, Wasabi grabbed the drill that was laying limply next to Tadashi’s minibot and proceeded to zero in on his friend’s equally tired face with a newfound look of determination.
“I just want you to know that you owe me breakfast. You ready to finish this thing?”
****** The library was spacious and deprived of the usual students who usually stayed afterhours to study for their finals the last minute. Aside from the librarian and the muffled prattling of a few students on the other side of the room, Elsa sat alone in her usual spot in the corner of the Architecture section as she pored over her Advanced Geometry book with intense blue eyes absorbing the contents of the page in deep concentration. Every now and then, she would peel her eyes from the book to jot down a few notes on her notebook, her handwriting rivaling a computer font—graceful, regal, neat and cursive. She scribbled purposely, the tip of her tongue sticking out as dark brown brows mashed together.
Tadashi stood by the far-end side, arms crossed in front of him, grinning adoringly towards Elsa’s direction when he saw her scrunch up her nose and press her finger against the middle of her glasses to put it back in place as it started to slide down a little. There she was, her platinum blonde bangs framing the sides of her angelic face, looking effortlessly gorgeous in rare, casual attire. Today, she wasn’t wearing her usual ironed long-sleeved shirt and knee-length skirt. Elsa was wearing a green, oversized sports hoodie with an image of a triathlon bike in front of it and the name “ANNA” written on the back across her scapulae. A pair of blue jeans traced her perfectly toned shins and her slender form, making Tadashi blush and snap his gaze back to her face. He didn’t realize his eyes were wandering.
Elsa Arendelle was a sight to behold and he couldn’t help but admire the masterpiece in front of him.
She was now biting her lower lip, slight frustration creasing her forehead. Tadashi gulped and bit his tongue, his heart hammering against his chest and his toes tingled and curled inside his sneakers.
He sighed dreamily and felt powerless against the petite blonde who was sitting quietly and far away from him. Tadashi forced himself to look away and train his eyes on the little minibot standing next to him. He bent down and pressed the activation button sealed on its chest. The little machine whirred to life and laser blue eyes blinked as they tried to focus themselves on its surroundings. The first thing it saw was Tadashi’s face looking directly at it.
“Hello, Tadashi. My name is Max. What can I do for you today?” The robot’s voice was flat like those of other robots, but not hyper monotonous and void of emotion. There was a soothing touch to it; soft and serene like the pouring of rain on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
Tadashi tried really, really hard not to scream and dance with joy. It worked, it worked, it worked!
Max blinked against his glass-framed helmet, waiting for Tadashi’s reply. The little robot resembled Baymax, but was made out of leftover scraps and recycled metal—and was ten times smaller. Wasabi and Tadashi tried to cover up its little flaws here and there with paint, and they have succeeded in making him look brand new. Or so they thought. He looked perfect to Tadashi nonetheless.
Tadashi glanced at Elsa and then at Max. “Okay, buddy. Do you remember Elsa and what you’re supposed to do?”
Max wobbled a few steps forward and detected Elsa sitting approximately fifty-five feet away from him. “Commencing scan—Elsa Arendelle. Twenty years old. Height: 5’7. Eye color: blue. Weight: 125 lbs. Known allergies: allergens such as dust and pollen. IQ Score: 180. Current GPA: 4.0. Current place of residence: San Fransokyo Institute Of Technology Tower of Stark, Room 8. Current health status: suffering from mildnasopharyngitis and insomnia.
“That’s great, Max, but do you know what you’re here for?” Tadashi cut him off impatiently, ready to get on to the crucial part of his mission. He already knew all of those details about her anyway—except for the dust allergy part. So she does have a thing about dirt and maybe that’s how she got that cold because she’s been exposed to a lot of it lately since we started putting Baymax’ parts together, he thought. He looked around to make sure no one was watching him as he conspiringly conversed with a tiny robot.
Max rotated his form to face him and simply said: “I am here to make Elsa smile.”
“Good,” he said while nodding his head in approval. “Now, keep your voice low and make sure you only come up to her when you’re sure that she’s about to leave, okay? She’s studying right now and it’s not best to disturb her.”
Tadashi pressed his palms against his knees and raised himself up in a standing position. He hoisted his backpack across his shoulder and was readying himself to leave when he caught a glimpse of Elsa: elbows propped on the table and face covered with her hands. Tadashi frowned, jutting his lips and wondering what was wrong with her and if she was okay. She must be exhausted. He then lifted his eyes to the adjacent clock hanging by the wall and realized he had five minutes left before his lecture.
He took one last look at Elsa and forced himself to leave the library.
“Max, I want a full report later today,” he instructed his new friend. “I know you’ll be great and I’m so proud of you.” An encouraging smile emerged from his face as his eyes rested on Max, disqualifying the fact that he was talking to a nonhuman entity.
Max looked up at him and Tadashi swore the minibot smiled, too, against the hooded helmet covering its face. “Yes, Tadashi. I will do my best to make sure Elsa is satisfied with her care.”
****** It’s 7:30PM. I think I should go eat…I haven’t had lunch yet. I wonder if the cafeteria’s empty by now? I really don’t wanna go if there’s a lot of people there…
Elsa nibbled her thumb while she stared at her iPhone, contemplating whether she should take a minibreak from her studies. Before she can protest against her body’s needs and continue solving the next practice question on her textbook, a thunderous sound coming from her stomach interrupted her stupor and she felt the effects of hunger taking over her with in a vengeance.
Okay, minibreak it is. It’ll only take a few minutes.
She sighed and rubbed her temples before gathering her books to put them inside her bag. Unaware of the soft wobbling concealed by the carpeted floor, Elsa checked her phone again to text her Uncle Kai to inquire about her sister and if she had eaten lunch already. There was an eight-hour time difference between Arindal and San Fransokyo, and Elsa wanted to make sure her sister was not neglecting her meals—like she was.
I wonder if she’s eating chocolates more than necessary. She really needs to cut down on her sugar intake. Elsa frowned at the thought. Maybe I should call Aunt Gerda, too, and ask her to set-up a dental appointment for Anna? But Anna can do that for herself if she wishes to. I wonder if she’s okay? I miss her so much. I wonder if—
“Hello, Elsa. I am Max. Your personal, healthcare companion.”
Elsa jumped in her seat and let out a small squeak, the phone in her hand dropped on the table and made a soft thudding noise against the wood. She scrambled out of the chair, clutching at her chest as startled blue eyes darted back and forth around the room trying to identify the source of the sudden, invasive interruption.
“Hello, Elsa. I am right here.”
Max blinked beady, laser-like eyes and stared at the taller figure in front of him. Elsa took a step back, lowering her head ever so slowly and realizing she was greeted unannounced by—a robot. Her mouth gaped open, but words failed to come out. Bright blue eyes widened with surprise, registering the image of the mysterious machine in front of them.
“W-who are you? Who sent you?” she said in a sharp whisper, eyes roving around the room and back at Max, looking for the person trying to control it. But the only person left in the library was her and the librarian who was sitting far away from her, quietly reading today’s paper while eating a donut. The other students had left, much to Elsa’s relief.
“I am Max. Your personal, healthcare companion,” he repeated. “I will now scan you.”
Elsa flailed her arms uselessly in protest, eyebrows shooting up to her hairline and blue eyes widening like saucers once again.
“Wait what? No, wait—“
“Elsa Arendelle,” Max started and Elsa froze in place, crouching defensively, hands hovering against the red beam of light generated by Max’ retinal scanner. “Your nutritional levels are very low, Elsa. You have not been eating well. The side effects of hunger are: dizziness, nausea, constantly feeling cold, weakness of muscles. Would you like me to fetch you a sandwich to remedy your hunger?” Max tilted his head to the side, studying his patient. Elsa blinked furiously.
She took in a sharp intake of breath before relaxing her body. Her heart steadied its pace and she straightened her back, arms tightening around her sides. Relax, it’s just a robot.
“Max, I want to know who sent you,” she said cautiously, hands now clutching together. “Who sent you here and what for?”
“That information is not of relevance, Elsa. My maker sent me here on a mission. And that is to make you smile.” Max demonstrated what a smile meant by showcasing images of random people grinning from ear to ear from the screen on his chest. Elsa quirked a fascinated brow, impressed by the minibot’s intelligence. She fiddled with the tip of her braid, wondering if Max was a roaming prototype Callaghan had running around campus to check on his students.
Max’ mission is to “make me smile.” What. I don’t think Callaghan will waste his time building something like this specifically for me…and what for? Wait. Max. As in BAYmax?!
It was Elsa’s turn to scan her new companion. A lightbulb went off and Elsa realized this was all Tadashi’s doing. She felt quite foolish for not realizing this all before—Tadashi wanted to test their software and he sent Max to show her the progress they’ve been making.
But we work on Baymax together three times a week. Did he just build this out of scratch? And—to make me smile?…
She didn’t give it much thought. She refused to give it any thought. Elsa sighed exasperatedly and bent down to Max’ eye level.
What the heck. This is San Fransokyo Institute Of Technology. Of course this is a normal thing—robots roaming around. And Tadashi’s my project partner after all. I guess I’ll ask it to get me a sandwich. It’ll save me the trip.
Elsa coughed into her fist in an attempt to clear her throat. “So, Max. What else can you do?”
Max’ body screen roared to life and Elsa’s iPod playlist floated against the thin liquid crystal display panel. Elsa gasped, growing more and more amazed by Tadashi’s handiwork. She wondered if it was able to capture her iPod’s contents while he scanned her since it was on the table next to her. Did Tadashi upgrade this all on his own? She shook her head and saved the overanalyzing for later.
“I have a list of all your favorite songs in my program. I will gladly play them for you to help you relax. But you must plug your earphones into this socket in my helmet because we are in the library and I do not want to disturb the other patients—primarily the librarian. My research states that music is therapeutic and can be used to help you smile.”
Her lips curled into a barely-there grin. “What makes you think I need to smile, Max?”
Max paused before changing the images on his screen. Flashing before Elsa’s eyes were her own body chart showcasing her electrolytes intake, vitamin sufficiency and insufficiency, and current blood content percentage.
“According to my observations, you are currently taking 40 mg Citalopram per 24-hours due to low serotonin levels. Recent medical research states that serotonin imbalance leads to depression, anxiety, and panic. If there is also shortage in tryptophan, the chemical from which serotonin is produced from, you will still likely experience these side effects. I believe that you are experiencing them now and I am here to help you.”
Elsa was speechless. Her heart raced and her nerves started to spike as she heard all these things she has not disclosed with anyone in San Fransokyo besides the new therapist she’s been seeing a town away from campus. Apart from complete shock, Max undeniably engrossed her—-although she will have to later on hack his system to erase that bit about her medical history. She held her breath before exhaling in a slow, steady manner through her nose.
Calm down.You can decode him. Remember, he and Baymax have the same database. You basically created Baymax, too. Just play along with Tadashi. He’s worked really hard on this…for whatever purpose. Tadashi what on earth are you up to?
Elsa’s lips pressed into a thin line, her hunger had vanished and was replaced by a gnawing emptiness that cannot be satisfied by food consumption. But she had to put on a show.
“Okay, Max,” she started, “I’ll just finish my homework and we can go downstairs and get food. Deal?” A tentative smile—one that doesn’t reach her eyes—curved her lips. The images on Max’ chest slowly dissolved and the screen went blank. Elsa took this as a sign that he had understood her command, so she turned around and rummaged through her backpack for—oh, for something. Anything.
There was a shared silence between the two; Elsa proceeded to finalize her notes, her left-hand scribbling away complex equations furiously. There was no point of pretending she can focus on studying when her mind was overwhelmed by the mysterious robot standing beside her. Max quietly regarded her and observed her work station. The laptop sitting idly on Elsa’s right side grabbed Max’ attention and he wheeled himself towards it to take a better look. He zeroed in on Elsa’s wallpaper and discovered a way to complete his objective.
“Elsa Arendelle is smiling,” he stated quietly, transfixed on the image of Elsa grinning from ear to ear. Her eyes danced with delight, focused on the redheaded girl standing next to her whose mouth was wide open in obvious laughter.
“What’s that Max?” Elsa murmured absentmindedly, her eyes poring over the worksheet in front of her. She did not pause to ask Max again and continued to write instead. The faster she wrote, the faster she can get out of the library and lead Max back to Tadashi.
Without any warning, Max roared back to life and a soft beeping sound echoed through their small corner. The screen on Max’ chest uploaded new information, and Elsa whirled around, startled and slack-jawed.
“Max, what are you doing?” Elsa asked in an even voice, unaware of her fingers digging through her palm. When the robot didn’t answer, she followed its gaze and slowly unclenched her fist.
“Elsa Arendelle is smiling. Locate source: Four feet and twelve inches from patient’s proximity. Target found. Specifications: photographic image, 1024x768 pixels. Perform retinal scan on target: Anna Arendelle. Eighteen years old. Height: 5’5. Eye color: blue-green. Weight: 127 lbs. Known allergies: none. IQ score: 175. Current GPA: 3.75. Current place of residence: Arindal, Norway. Current health status: unknown.”
She felt her heart twist behind her rib cage. “That’s my sister, Anna,” she said while glancing out of the corner of her eye, suddenly growing a bit nervous by Max’ discovery.
“She’s…not here. And—we took this picture a long time ago.” She cast her eyes over the image and a faint lop-sided grin graced her downcast face.
“Analysis: lack of laughter. Recommended treatment: Anna Arendelle. I will find Anna Arendelle. Searching database—Anna Arendelle. North Mountain University. Phone number: (113) 214-30—“
“M-max? What are you doing?” Elsa stammered, unable to control her voice and the shaking of her hands. She clutched at her chest and stared at Max in horror, her already pale face draining itself of blood. Frantic blue eyes searched the room for any signs life and possible witnesses, but the only one present was the librarian who was fast asleep and snoring under the newspaper over his head.
“I am trying to call Anna Arendelle.”
Elsa could’ve sworn she felt her heart lurch to her throat. Her breathing quickened its pace in an erratic pattern and she felt beads of cold sweat dot her forehead and the back of her neck. Dread started to pool in her stomach as she gripped the edge of the table, her mouth open with a blank protest.
“—dialing: (113) 214-30”
“I AM SATISFIED WITH MY CARE.” Elsa blurted in a shrill voice as piercing as a jagged knife. Thought her intent was to sound firm, she couldn’t keep the tremor out of her voice.
But she was not satisfied with her care––no, not at all.
“If you say so, Elsa,” said Max as his eyes started to dim in surrender. His orders were clear: if Elsa is satisfied with her care and declares it, he has no choice but to deactivate.
Elsa watched the robot shut down completely before realizing she had stopped breathing. A puff of suppressed air escaped her mouth and she jerked her head to the librarian’s direction: the man was still snoring and oblivious of what just happened. Elsa dragged her hands down her face, feeling even more exhausted and drained.
With a blank expression, she stared at Max and turned her head to her laptop.
Glossy blues scrutinized the picture: the only evidence that she actually knew how to smile and even laugh. She blinked and grew confused by the sudden dampness staining her cheeks. Elsa touched her face and felt something wet against her skin.
Tears she didn’t know she had streaming down her face grazed her fingertips. She shut her eyes in resignation before folding her arms on top of her desk and rested her weary head over them.
I miss Anna.
****** “Okay, what about Wonderwall?”
“Ugh, boring. That’s so cliché, Wasabi. Play something else!”
“Can you play that first song in the Avengers soundtrack? Epic superhero entrance!”
“That’s a movie score, Fred. Instrumentals. Tadashi, I’m so proud of you! Guys, let him play what he wants! And can we let him finish this time?”
The exuberant chattering of Tadashi and his friends filled the robotics lab as they gathered around him to watch him play his guitar. They were sitting in a circle on the east side of the room apart from their workstations, relieved for the three-hour break bestowed on them by their professor who cancelled class due to a chemical explosion in his private laboratory at home. It was sunny and warm outside, but the group decided to stay indoors and lounge in the confines of their beloved laboratory. They had been working hard all week due to midterms and convinced each other that they needed a break. Tadashi brought his guitar with him to campus, Aunt Cass’ and Hiro’s Christmas present for him from the previous year, and served as a private performer for his friends who wouldn’t even let him finish a song because they were so busy clapping and screaming song titles for him to play instead of actually letting him sing.
“Guys, guys, Honey’s right. Can I finish one song? Just one?” Tadashi raised his hands in a placating manner, careful not to let the guitar topple over. “There’s this song I learned yesterday and I really want you all to hear it.”
GoGo rolled her eyes at him before taking another swig from her soda can. “Fine, after that song, can you play something from Arcade Fire?
Tadashi grinned and bowed his head a little. “I’ll try my very best,” he promised while placing a hand over his heart. “But first, I— ”
“Ooh! Can you play ‘Defying Gravity’ after GoGo’s song?” Honey Lemon chirped. “I really love that song! Guys! We should go to New York and watch the Broadway show, yeah?”
Wasabi shook his head and sighed. “Alright, kids. Let the man do his thing and you can bombard him with requests later.” He nodded at Tadashi, prompting him to begin. Tadashi shot him a grateful smile and positioned his fingers over the strings, ready to strum the notes to his song.
“Before I begin,” he started in a low voice, his expression suddenly serious, “I just want you guys to know that I normally don’t listen to songs like this—Wasabi can back me up on that—but this is a very special song and it’s really catchy.” A shade of pink bloomed from Tadashi’s cheeks and he ducked his head down, trying to conceal his face as he closed his eyes.
Tadashi’s voice, a rich and low baritone, flowed like a soothing river across the room and into his friend’s ears. His audience can only watch him admiringly while he hit each note effortlessly, the tapping of his foot synchronizing with his strumming. He flicked each string gently with expert fingers while he sang the words to the song with conviction, eyes closed and imagining a certain blonde smiling at him, his head swaying from side to side.
Sweet pea, apple of my eye Don’t know when and I don’t know why You’re the only reason I keep on coming home Sweet pea, what’s all this about? Don’t get your way all you do is fuss and pout You’re the only reason I keep on coming home
Unlike the Rock of Gibraltar, I always seem to falter And the words just get in the way Oh, I know I’m gonna crumble I’m trying to stay humble But I never think before I say—
But before he can continue with the remaining stanza of the song, the door to the lab creaked open and he froze in place, eyes snapping to the door. Fred, Wasabi, GoGo, and Honey Lemon turned their heads and followed Tadashi’s trail.
Elsa Arendelle stood by the entrance with a limp and lifeless Max in her arms.
GoGo stared at Honey and then back at Tadashi. Wasabi stared at Fred and then at Elsa. Fred rubbed his hands excitedly. Five pairs of eyes locked their gaze on the man with the guitar—including an expressionless set of blues. Tadashi’s mouth suddenly felt dry and the lump in his throat bobbed up and down. He opened his mouth, but nothing came out. All he could manage to do was grin sheepishly and wave at Elsa.
Elsa stood rigid and motionless, her expression unreadable. Her eyes bore into his, making Tadashi squirm in his seat, his grip tightening around the neck of the guitar. The atmosphere in the room was awfully heavy and awkward, and the circle they formed slowly disintegrated as they stood up from their sitting position to make way for Elsa. It was like seeing the Red Sea part: with Elsa being that brooding and lethal force whose cold stare sent shivers down Tadashi’s spine. Even GoGo knew better than to make witty and sarcastic comments to lighten the situation. The silence was painfully deafening.
Seconds seemed like hours, and the sound of GoGo popping her gum served as a distraction—and an escape. It was she who started first by excusing herself as the rest followed her lead.
“—Tadashi, I have to go—”
“—I haven’t done laundry in three months, I think I’m gonna start today— ”
“—Hi Elsa! Bye Elsa! Uhm—I have to get ready for tomorrow’s—meeting thing—”
Wasabi had a hand over his eyes; his head shaking as if he knew this was going to happen. He sighed and placed a sympathetic hand over Tadashi’s shoulder. “Good luck man,” he whispered. He followed the rest of the crew and gave Elsa a half-smile before shouldering past her. Elsa acknowledged him by giving him a small nod and proceeded to turn her attention back to Tadashi.
“Unbelievable,” Tadashi mumbled in disgust while he helplessly watched his friends walk out, unscathed. He bit the inside of his cheeks and ran a hand through his hair.
“So uh—you met Max!” Tadashi croaked. He felt a surge of heat travel from the back of his neck to the tip of tears. Elsa tilted her head curiously and studied him. She hasn’t said a word since she showed up inside the lab.
“That I did,” she said flatly, walking past him and positioning Max on top of a table. Tadashi flinched when he heard the echo of metal clinking against each other. For a second, he thought Elsa was going to hit him in the head when he strode toward him without so much as a sound.
Okay, she’s pissed. She’s really pissed. Tadashi rubbed his hands over his jeans nervously, pushing the disconcerting thoughts far and away to the back of his head. Elsa turned around to face him, her arms folded petulantly over her chest. Tadashi’s pupils dilated and he had to bite his tongue from saying, wow. An immaculate pout jutted Elsa’s soft and full lips, and the freckles peppered across her nose were visible against the film of sun ray shrouding her face from the window next to her. She was so enchanting and Tadashi, for a moment, wanted to touch her face and kiss those—
“It’s very impressive,” she exclaimed pragmatically, nudging Tadashi away from his train of thoughts. “I just want to know why you did it.”
Tadashi inhaled, his breath reaching the very bottom of his lungs. Breathe. Just…tell her the truth. He calmly grabbed the nearest chair and sat down, his blush growing darker by the minute. Elsa stood in front of him, blue eyes hardened, waiting for an answer.
“I just—I just want you to know that I care, okay? It’s just that, we barely talk. When we do, it’s all about Baymax. I want to be more than that,” his eyes widened at his choice of words and backtracked immediately. “What I mean is, I want to be your friend, too. Not just your lab partner. And it seems like you don’t like talking to me, so I made you a robot…someone that will keep you company somehow.” Tadashi did a quick side glance and saw Max’ still and lifeless form. Still and lifeless, like his hopes of being more than just a classmate to Elsa Arendelle.
Elsa blinked back in confusion. What did he just say? He cares? He cares for me? Why me? It was Elsa’s turn to blush now. “So you mean to tell me, you built a robot in hopes of being my friend?” she asked in a timid and feather-like voice, struggling hard to keep that undeterred effect in her tone but already failing miserably. A slight frown wrinkled her features, and she clutched the sleeve of her sweater protectively.
Tadashi chuckled ruefully. “Why not? I think you’re a great person, Elsa. I know it’s a bit too much and I didn’t really think things through and there’s this thing called privacy but—it was worth a shot,” he trailed off, feeling a little bit more pathetic. Tadashi hung his head low and sighed dejectedly, finally admitting defeat.
“I’m sorry, Elsa,” he lamented. “It was such a jerk thing to do and I didn’t mean to freak you out. I just know that you miss your home a lot…and I just wanted you to know that you can have a home here, too.” Tadashi tried for a small grin and Elsa felt something crumble within her. She wasn’t sure if it was her heart or the walls she had tried desperately to build to protect her from vulnerability.
Vulnerability caused by Tadashi’s kind words and the way her heart would skip a beat whenever he smiled at her.
He’s trying to be my friend. He’s trying to tell me he…cares for me. He wants me around.
Though it seemed impossible and impractical, Elsa found herself bubbling with excitement at the prospect of actually having a friend. She had one friend, her sister Anna, and she had to abandon her for her own safety. But it was different in San Fransokyo. She didn’t have to love Tadashi. It didn’t have to be hard. It didn’t need to be complicated.
Yes, she wanted a friend. She didn’t deserve one, but it couldn’t hurt to try just this once, right?
Tadashi was too busy wallowing in his pity party to notice Elsa walking a few steps away from him. His head was dipped low and he was staring at the ground, unable to look at her. This is a train wreck. This is embarrassing. I should’ve listened to Wasabi. I should’ve just left her alone. I’m not just compromising our robotics project, but she probably despises me for going out of bounds. This is—
“Tadashi, what was that song you were playing before?”
Tadashi slowly raised his head and his eyes flickered between Elsa and the guitar in her hands. “W-what?”
Elsa extended the guitar to him, a bare grin softening her face. “Will you play it for me?”
He stared at her in surprise, his mouth moving uselessly and showing incompetence in his failure to form words. He tried again, attempting to sound calm and collected.
A trembling hand reached for the guitar and Tadashi tuned the knobs clumsily. Elsa’s face reddened when her fingers brushed against Tadashi’s hand, and Tadashi tried to play it off by not reacting and through feigned nonchalance. But he felt it and he knows she felt it, too. There was something there. He didn’t want to push it. The girl he has fallen in love with just asked him to play a song—a song that he was playing for her long before she knew it. He knew she needed some space. He knew she needed time and that’s exactly what he wanted to give her. His heart could’ve soared with happiness, but he glanced at Elsa and was met by kind blue eyes that yearned for a friend.
He broke through her barriers—just a little bit—but he felt something crack.
Tadashi smiled at her before strumming his guitar, his quiet but melodious voice drowning the air and closing the chasm between them.
Sweet pea, keeper of my soul I know sometimes I’m out of control You’re the only reason I keep on coming— You’re the only reason I keep on coming— You’re the only reason I keep on coming home
When Tadashi finished his song, he looked up and their eyes met. Time had somehow slowed down and eternity seemed to have taken ground in that small laboratory. Elsa’s pulse quickened and a hand crept up to her chest where her heart pounded restlessly. Her lips were slightly parted, confounded and somewhat awestruck by Tadashi’s performance. Her flawed plan resounded in her head, mocking her: She didn’t have to love Tadashi. It didn’t have to be hard. It didn’t need to be complicated.