pangs of nostalgia


John Lennon and his girlfriend May Pang at the Opening of ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club’ at Beacon Theater in New York City on November 17, 1974. 

In 1973, when John Lennon and Yoko Ono separated, Pang and Lennon had a relationship lasting over 18 months, during a time which Lennon later referred to as his “Lost Weekend.” Pang had previously worked as a personal assistant and production coordinator for Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono.

Photos by Ron Galella

meabhd  asked:

Just something for your consideration because I have just thought of this and think it's adorable... Elain, giving Lucien flowers

It IS adorable aier;toienoac okay okay have some more thoughts in return that this Spawned: (listen i’m fully aware that u were probably just ‘wouldn’t it be nice if Elain handed Lucien a little bunch of flowers one day, that’d be sweet, but like GO BIG OR GO HOME MEABHD. and u sent this to me i honestly don’t know what else u were expecting…) 

Elain says at the end of ACOWAR that she wants to fill the world with more gardens. No doubt she makes the one she’s started in Velaris spread and enthusiastically throws herself into it after the war. It’s a place that she’s comfortable and a place that’s hers so Lucien, being tactful and polite, probably chooses to court her there more often. 

He lets her talk endlessly about the flowers that she’s growing there, all the different seeds, the things that will grow in Prythian that she’d never even heard of in the mortal realms (she scolds his people for that because dammit, if I’d known about this before I’d have come here much sooner. And Lucien offers her a very grave apology on behalf of all fae-dom which makes her giggle) 

Lucien literally lived in the Court of Flowers for the past 300 years or something, right, and he spent an inordinate amount of time riding the rails, on border patrol, etc, etc. The boy knows his plants, okay. And he’s probably delighted to have someone as enthusiastic as he is to share that with. (Listen, Lucien spent his free time in the Autumn Court camping out miles away from his home and learning how to catch trout with his bare hands - he loves the outdoors just as much as Elain, who spent all her time wherever they were carving out a garden, does. Elain spreads life wherever she goes and Lucien basks in it. This is a beautiful point of bonding for them). 

Lucien tells her all about the Spring Court. It was toxic and unhealthy for him in Tamlin’s court and Elain gets very grumpy about the abuse that he suffered at Tamlin’s hands (and starts to encourage Lucien to look and think about Tamlin’s treatment of him too) but the court itself was beautiful. He tells her about the deep forests. About the plants that would bloom all year round. The gardens of the manor and the wild, untamed beauty found in the heart of the court. 

Partly he talks to share this wonder with Elain the only way he knows how. He would take her there but with his relationship with Tamlin being what it is that isn’t possible…But he knows that he needs to tell her everything he can about it. Elain laps it all up and so he starts sharing things from the Autumn Court as well, diving into memories he thought he’d long forgotten because that court, too, had its beauty. 

As he talks Elain starts to realise that this is for her benefit that he’s sharing these things, to see her smile and light up in wonder imagining all of the things he’s telling her about…But she also starts to sense a pang of longing and nostalgia in him and she realises that a part of him is homesick for these parts of those courts he once called home. 

Elain hatches a cunning plan. 

Using that sweet, diplomatic charm she cultivated in human high society she charms merchants and vendors from other courts into getting her what she needs and sets to work. 

There’s a corner of her garden that she keeps fenced off and made such ferocious threats to Cassian when he tried to peek inside that he swears of all the Archeron sisters, he fears Elain the most. No-one is allowed to go to the part of the garden but especially not Lucien, it’s kept so secret from him that he doesn’t even know it exists. 

Not until Elain comes to him one day, bursting with excitement and glowing so brightly people start questioning which one of them, exactly, is the heir to Day. She takes Lucien by the hand and quite firmly ignores his baffled babbling as she ties a blindfold over his eyes and leads him outside. She just tells him to trust her and Lucien shuts his mouth and obeys and that’s that. 

She leads him out into the garden (Lucien stumbling a few times because, well, Elain is very excited and enthusiastic and that tends to dull her noticing things like loose stones and protruding roots, all of which poor Lucien trips over) but they manage to make it to this special little corner relatively intact. 

Quivering with anticipation Elain takes off Lucien’s blindfold (standing on her toes and having him bend down a little while she curses him for being so damn tall) and waits with baited breath for his reaction as she stares around at what she’s created for. A little part of her garden is a miniature Spring Court, with a small section of Autumn too, both of them filled with all of Lucien’s favourite plants and flowers, that she spent a great deal of time researching to make sure she got it just right. 

Lucien steps forwards on slightly trembling legs and moves deeper into the garden. It feels like he’s home, at last, like this strange, alien court that spent so long as the subject of his most twisted nightmares, could some day be his. Elain tentatively follows him and murmurs that she knew he was missing home and she thought this might help but if he doesn’t like it…

Never in all his many, many years of life has Lucien ever been this lost for words. After a very long moment and several tries, instinct and training kick in at last and he’s finally able to wheeze that he loves it, he loves it and that no-one…No-one has ever done anything like this for him before.

 That little line he’s learning to love creases between Elain’s brows at that and she says that they should have done…Then she softens and smiles and murmurs quietly that she supposes she just has a lot of making up to do, in that case. 

Lucien walks towards her and pulls her to him and tells her that he would very, very much like to kiss her right now, if that would be agreeable to her. Elain giggles and informs him that she didn’t very well go to all this effort for the simple pleasure of watching him gape at her like a fish, she thinks he should most definitely kiss her, after all her hard work. 

Lucien doesn’t need to be told twice. He laughs at her boldness, even as she blushes for him, and wonders if this woman, this soft heart who just might be the strongest person he’s ever known, will ever stop surprising him. 

He concludes, as she, impatient with his overly-polite dilly-dallying, takes his face firmly between her hands and draws him down to kiss her, that she most certainly will not. And he’s absolutely fine with that. 

Once he’s spent a good long time properly appreciating Elain and all her hard work and their lips are red and swollen from said appreciation, he lets her lead him around the garden. 

She shows him every single plant she’s brought here and lets him talk, tell her silly little facts about them, how that one is good to put on burns and that one should absolutely not, under any circumstances and no matter how much gold she’s offered, ever be drunk as a tea. 

She tells him how much trouble she had getting hold of that and he tells her he’s not surprised, that it almost died out a few decades ago and he can’t believe she managed to get it to grow at all. Elain swells with pride and Lucien appreciates her some more. 

He laughs and laughs and laughs over a small, insignificant looking little plant and tells her about the memories that it brings back from Spring, when things were better, a lifetime ago. Then he asks about her favourites, of the new ones that she’s found here and they bond and Lucien appreciates her a great deal. 

Lucien, ever the graceful courtier, plucks up a delicate blue rose and tucks it into her hair. And then nothing will do but that Elain has to weave an entire bouquet into Lucien’s hair. They lie in the shade of a tree while she does this, Elain’s legs folded into a (highly unladylike, as Lucien teasingly comments and gets a swat on the arm in return) basket, Lucien’s head in her lap. As she works she confesses, giggling and blushing, that she’s been wanting to play with his hair for a very long time. Lucien smiles and tells her she’s welcome to do this as often as she wishes. Elain leans down and kisses him upside down. 

Lucien refuses to take off his flower crown and proudly wears it to the family dinner the Circle have that night at the House of Wind. During which, Feyre smiles knowingly at them and just smiles some more when Elain sidles over to thank her for helping her find out what flowers Lucien likes. 

tygermama  asked:

Are there any fic out there where Baze Malbus is basically the Wolverine of the Star Wars universe and everywhere he goes, he ends up with a new young lady to teach the art of being grumpy and kicking ass too? Cause I think there should be

Oh god so I may… have started writing a thing?

Baze wakes up, which is the first surprise. The second comes at the feel of desert under him, similar but wholly different to the sands of Scarif. For an overwhelming second he thinks he’s back on Jedha, but he knows Jedha’s land in the very core of him, and this isn’t it. This is something very different.

It takes him the whole of the suns trek across the sky to learn just how much.

Niima Outpost is small, ragged, and untrusting. But it does have water. Foul, sour water, but water nonetheless. Baze has had worse. It also has information, which Base finds infinitely harder to stomach.

It takes him a while to understand what the wrinkled stall-holder is telling him—he’s somehow skipped not only years but an epoch—but in the end it’s clear. Or as clear as it can be. Because while almost three decades seem to have passed, they’ve also passed him by. The face looking back from the burnished metal plate behind the stall-holder is no older than the one that fled Jedha’s destruction. His knees certainly don’t feel the weight of his lost time.

That first night is spent mostly sleepless, his back to a wall and head spinning with his circumstance. His hands feel too empty in his lap, missing the reassuring weight of his repeater canon like a lost limb. He can’t help but curse whatever power—the Force, his head whispers traitorously even as he growls it into silence—transported him here for not bringing his firepower with him. It would have made earning passage off Jakku easier.

Which is what he must do. Because if he’s here, the burning sands of Scarif already fading into memory, he must believe that somewhere out in this future galaxy, Chirrut is as well. And if nothing else in this new time is familiar, the need to find his way back to his husband very much is.

- - -

He wakes to find a dusty, waif of a girl trying to pick his pockets. This goes about as well as expected. Even as he grabs her Baze feels a sharp pang of nostalgia for the streets of Jedha where the urchins knew well enough to avoid him, even if the worst they ever faced was a hot meal and Chirrut’s calm education on the difference between assassins and tourists. Not that he is much of either right now, out of time as he is.

The girl twists and hisses in his grip like a feral tooka and Baze has to work at making sure he doesn’t accidentally snap her toothpick of a wrist as he rises to his feet.

“Stop that,” he says mildly, not very surprised when that just gets him a feral growl and renewed thrashing. Baze rolls his eyes and lifts the girl into the air until she tires herself out. It doesn’t take long. The rags she’s wearing do nothing to hide the lack of meat on her bones.

“Are you finished?” he says after she goes limp, hanging like a particularly angular vine in his grip.

A second, and then finally a nod.

Baze lowers the creature to the ground and is unsurprised when she takes the opportunity to scarper. The kick to the groin however…

Baze groans as he slowly unfolds himself. The girl has disappeared into the growing rush of the early-morning market. Baze would curse her if he weren’t so very mildly impressed.

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Creatures | Prologue


Muses: Jeon Jungkook ft. Kim Taehyung & Park Jimin x Reader.
Genre: Fluff.
Words: 2.1k
Type: Hybrid AU / Watashi no Ookami-kun AU.

Description: In hopes of an invigorating change of scenery, you set out for a three hour drive to the small town outside of the city where your grandmother lives, thinking this is your escape from the ever evolving globalization and capitalism but little do you know what awaits within these forest bounds.

The universe must really hate you. 

First, the inconsistent reception in the area that hangs on a thin thread since you stepped out the yellow cab. Second is the arduous journey that is almost humanly impossible to accomplish ─ in heels. Third is said reception dying out from one bar to a big obese no service staring back at you in a face-rubbing mockery, you’re on your own, loser! as you ascend further away from civilization and into the ominous green and matted brown that lies ahead. And last, the scorching hot summer heat should be far cooler than away from the hustle and bustle of the city life and towering skyscraper, but no, it’s still 34567887654 degree out here. You’re basically melting.

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Spring Day pt 3

Pt. 1 || Pt. 2 || Pt. 3 || Pt. 4 || Pt. 5

Jimin x Reader

Series Genre: Angst/Fluff

Series Summary: You knew that married life with an idol would be challenging. You just didn’t know that it would be this challenging.

Word Count: 1779

Originally posted by bangtannoonas

For the entire night, you sat in your bedroom sulking not even getting a wink of sleep. 

Mentally you argued with yourself. One part of you said that this was Jimin’s dream, he wanted to sing, he wanted to do music and you wanted nothing more but for him to fulfill his every goal…but the other side of you…that side was selfish. That side didn’t like the idea of sharing your husband with the world let alone music because you knew that ultimately he’d have to choose between the two loves of his life. 

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bloomingcnidarians  asked:

2 and/or 19 for Gemma/Jaal, please!

19. kisses meant to distract the other person from whatever they were intently doing 

In which Gemma Ryder and Jaal have their first fight, and Cora does not want to deal with it. 


Ryder’s ongoing quest to climb every mountain on every planet vertically had finally broken the Nomad in ways even the combined efforts of Gil, Jaal, and Vetra couldn’t repair.

“Are you still on fire?” Cora asked, both horrified and impressed. “My God. You’re still on fire.”

Ryder, halfway out of her armor, and looking as close to murderous as Cora had ever seen her, crouched down to peer at the Nomad’s undercarriage. “Shit, we are. Liam — we’re in crisis, respond!”

“On it, boss!” A fire extinguisher arced through the air, barely missing Gil’s head, and landed in Ryder’s hand with a solid thwack. Five seconds later, the fire was out, but the cargo bay was covered in foam, and the Nomad wheezed and groaned as its axles cooled.

“Shit,” Ryder said again, scrubbing at her hair. “Good eye, Cora, thanks.”

“I take it your field trip with Reyes went well?” Cora asked.

Ryder bared her teeth — Cora thought of a mongoose, and took a step back — but before she could change the subject or Ryder could start swearing, Jaal spoke up from the other side of the Nomad.

“Kadara is a cesspool on the best of days,” he said, his mouth curled in a sneer as he wiped a few droplets of foam off his eyepiece. He muttered something under his breath, and Ryder’s shoulder went iron-hard. “And today,” he added, once all the foam was gone, “was not its best day.”

Ryder glared at Jaal — the planetkiller stare, her father had called it; Cora heard his voice, felt the accompanying pang of loss and nostalgia — and the cargo bay went silent. The lovebirds hadn’t so much as exchanged tense words since they paired off months ago, but watching Ryder, whose teeth were still very much bared, and whose Sidewinder was still very much in reach, Cora readied a barrier.

No harm in being prepared, lots of harm in letting the Pathfinder spatter her angaran boyfriend across the Tempest’s cargo bay.

Five seconds of absolute silence passed, then Ryder gave herself a shake and exhaled hard through her mouth. “It sure as hell wasn’t,” she said, tight and furious, then turned on her heel and stalked away, without a backwards look.

Cora chanced a look in Jaal’s direction — hell, just like everyone else in the cargo bay — and found him watching Ryder’s departure with a mix of dismay and annoyance. Dismay ended up winning by the time the door hissed closed behind Ryder.

Sure glad I wasn’t tapped for this run, Cora thought, then felt a surge of guilt as Jaal made his way — deliberately calm — toward the makeshift showers in the back of the bay.

Another ten seconds of silence went by before Drack’s head popped out of the Nomad.

“Next time,” he said to the room at large, “someone else can go to Kadara. I’m done.”


Between Jaal’s first and second emotional openness seminars, someone — Cora’s money was on Liam — had taken the guy aside and explained that sometimes it was totally okay, even preferred, to let humans stew for a while before trying to work things out. And Jaal, being pretty quick on the uptake, had taken that advice very much to heart — not that Jaal had any other setting, Cora mused — and let Ryder stew, and stew, and stew, all the way back to the Nexus, where the Nomad could get some TLC and the crew could stock up on rations that were older than everyone except Drack.

Ryder spent most of the trip in her quarters, and for the first time, Cora realized just how much of the crew’s strange cohesion came from the Pathfinder’s relentless, dogged optimism. Everyone stayed as efficient as ever, but without Ryder breezing through the ship, no one seemed inclined to talk, or joke, or even give each other shit.

“I hate this,” Peebee said, two hours out from the Nexus. “They need to get over it. Jaal had the right idea. Kadara sucks, even that time Drack drank the water.”

Lexi’s eyes flew wide, and Cora leapt in before the good doctor could turn herself inside-out over that one. “I’m pretty sure it’s more than Jaal’s feelings about Kadara getting on Ryder’s last nerve,” she said, as diplomatically as she could. Privately, she mostly agreed with Peebee, but a part of her kept whispering that Ryder had held herself together through her father’s death, two of her own deaths, and facing the kett time and again. This wasn’t just being pissed off with Jaal; this was everything on Ryder’s back coming out at once.

She wanted to say so, but Peebee had already checked out of the conversation and was talking to Lexi about the new upgrades to Poc, and Cora didn’t want to ruin the moment. She finished her breakfast in silence, and headed back to her plants. As de facto XO, maybe she should have stepped in, and nudged them toward a reconciliation, but that advice about stewing went for her, too.

If Ryder and Jaal weren’t back to their usual adoring selves by the time the Nomad was repaired, she’d say something. But not before.


Halfway through their first day docked at the Nexus, a swell of whoops and laughter interrupted Cora’s reading. She shoved her datapad away and followed the sound down to the cargo bay.

Gil and Peebee turned around as she walked in, each offering her a quick nod before going back to cheering on Liam and Ryder, who were both balancing on gymnastics rings, five feet above the floor.

Oh, good, Cora thought. We’re back to Tempest Olympics. She’d been roped into enough of Ryder’s challenges for a lifetime, but Liam could always be relied on to take one of Ryder’s dares, whether it was do you think I can throw you over that ravine with my biotics or how many cartwheels can we do in full armor?

At least this particular challenge wouldn’t leave Lexi crying in her sleep. The good doctor was cheering next to Drack, though Cora wasn’t exactly sure for whom.

“How long have they been at it?” she asked, taking up a spot on Peebee’s other side.

“About fifteen minutes,” Gil replied, Peebee being too busy throwing half a cookie at Liam’s head. “Nowhere near the record, but we’re allowed to distract them this time.”

“Bullseye!” Peebee yelled, nearly deafening them both, as the cookie bounced off Liam’s forehead. He wobbled, cursing under his breath, but regained his balance a second later.

Cora grinned, relief rising through her chest. If Ryder was cheerful enough to start demanding athletic competitions, the worst was behind them, without her having to lift a finger. A reconciliation with Jaal couldn’t be far behind — except for the fact that Jaal was nowhere to be seen.

A little of her relief faded away, but then Vetra flicked a bottle cap at Ryder, and she nearly lost her grip as she tried to shift away.

“Oh, you’re going down!” Liam said, grinning as a fine sheen of sweat broke out on his forehead.

“No way, Kosta.” Ryder pulled herself upright, and gave him a wicked grin. “I’m in the zone. Can’t knock me out, can’t bring me down, can’t —”

“Hey, Jaal!” Liam yelled toward the far corner of the cargo bay. “Give a friend a hand, yeah? Distract your girl!”

Ryder’s head twitched toward Jaal as he walked into view, but she clearly didn’t make eye contact. “Pretty low, Liam,” she said. “Must be getting desperate. No wonder I’m winning.”

Desperate your word for creative, huh?” Liam jerked his chin at Jaal, who hovered at the edge of the bay, just in Cora’s line of sight. “C'mon, I know you’ve got moves.”

Cora watched Jaal’s emotions cross his face: reluctance, amusement, and the strange blend of wistfulness and intensity that had marked how he looked at Ryder, almost from the beginning.

I don’t know if I should roll my eyes or applaud, she thought, as Jaal made his way toward Ryder. It’s like something out of Ryder’s vids.

Why she’d expected anything less, she’d never know.

“Hoo boy,” whispered Vetra, and leaned back with her arms folded. Drack groaned, despite Lexi nudging him. And Ryder watched Jaal, her grip on the rings not faltering, her legs pointed straight and true at the ground.

Jaal wrapped his hand around her bare ankle. He didn’t squeeze, or stroke, just held on as he looked up at Ryder’s face.

“Come on,” Liam hissed, smirking. “You’ve got this.”

Ryder tossed her hair out of her eyes, the first trace of a smile curving her lips.

Jaal’s hand tightened on Ryder’s ankle. He lifted her leg — slowly, and Ryder’s smile widened — and kissed the inside of her calf.

Good lord, Cora thought, shaking her head.

“Ah!” Ryder dropped, laughing, into Jaal’s waiting arms. Cora saw his answering smile as he turned, not letting Ryder go.

Liam whooped and let go of the rings, darting forward to slap Jaal and Ryder on the shoulder. “And the champion is…the Kosta!”

Oh, Liam might have been the champion, but Ryder certainly didn’t look like a woman who had lost anything as Jaal lowered her gently to the floor. She kept smiling as she said something to Jaal, too quietly for anyone to hear over Liam’s crowing, and then they both laughed.

“Quite a show,” Gil said, pushing away from the railing. “Guess the kids are back to normal now.”

Cora hummed in agreement as she watched Ryder and Jaal slip toward the exit, hand in hand. “Guess so.”

|Long-Awaited Savior: Part Five|

I’m not kidding, so much for this being a one-shot. I have a feeling there’s a lot more to come. This is a long ass chapter

Check out previous chapters and the Masterlist

Characters: Negan (JDM) x female reader

Words: 3,809 (WTF)

Heads up: hefty amount of swearing, vivid walker violence, verbal altercations, no smut this time (lo siento, my smut-loving beauties)

Initial Setup: Negan & the Saviors overrun your community and dole out some long overdue justice, changing your life in the process.

Chapter Summary: Negan unexpectedly invites you on a supply run, and it completely backfires.

Part Five: Backfire of Arrogance

The morning bell rang promptly at 6am. The booming clang of the metal monstrosity quickly jolted you from your slumber, and you had to fight against the overwhelming desire to stay in bed. 

He’ll kill you if you miss another day of work.

Rolling your eyes to yourself, you stretched your legs out slowly beneath your sheets. After a few seconds and a deep breath in, your threw the blankets off in one quick motion, promptly squealing as the air hit your skin. You reluctantly jumped from the bed and hastily grabbed your jeans, tugging them on as you decided the shirt you slept in still had another day of wear before the scent became too noticeable. To be safe - and not freezing - you pulled a worn, heavy sweatshirt on over it.

For a split second, the feeling of donning the cozy garment flashed memories of the old world  through your mind. You remembered curling up on a couch, a mug of hot tea in one hand and a romance novel in the other. The memory almost seemed like a fantasy - couches, tea, and books? You hadn’t had time for any of those since everything changed.

It wasn’t just the world that had changed… you had changed, too.

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Love and Let Love (Part 4)

Love and Let Love Masterlist 

Warning/s: Angst (?), Mentions of Death, Language

A/N: (Y/N = Your Name; L/N = Your Last Name) My favorite part so far. I won’t say much. I just want you all to enjoy this. <3 The shortest part  so far, but most probably the ‘heaviest’.

Number of Words:  1, 388

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Myself In You

Fandom: Cars
Rating: K+
Length: 6,851 words
Summary: Doc has spent decades building a life for himself after the crushing rejection from the racing world. He’s happy in Radiator Springs. He’s peaceful. But everything gets thrown into chaos once Lightning McQueen charges into town. The reminders of his old life that McQueen unintentionally brings are strong, and Doc wants the kid away from him as fast as possible. Because he knows if he’s willing, if he lets himself forget, he’ll let racing back into his heart, and McQueen along with it.

Doc Hudson had known exactly who Lightning McQueen was the second he laid eyes on him. Not by name, he wouldn’t know just how famous this kid was until a few days later. But he did know instantly that this kid was a racecar. It was easy to tell by the flashy colour of his paintjob and the sponsor stickers that plastered his body.  Or at least it was easy for him—the others didn’t catch on right away. But he’d spent a good portion of his life racing and studying racecars. He knew one when he saw one.

Which was why all thoughts of a harsh intense punishment flew from his mind. The young car flashed him a smile, which even beneath the nervousness was an easy charm that Doc had once been told he had. It had been exactly five seconds and already one similarity made itself known.

He made the order to get Lightning out of his courtroom, out of his town, and he did his best to ignore the confused murmuring of his friends. He did not need this racecar to stick around, to be a stark reminder of his past, and he already knew by the triumphant grin flashing across Lightning’s face that he was arrogant.

He wasn’t surprised Sally was upset with his decision. He also wasn’t surprised when she made a passionate speech to the others gathered in the courtroom. He didn’t interrupt her, listening with fond exasperation, and when the cheers came for Lightning to fix the road as punishment for his reckless driving, he found he couldn’t argue.

It would only be for three days. He could tolerate that. And the utter indigence that Lightning exhibited when his sentence was changed caused Doc to smirk. He figured the kid wasn’t used to not getting what he wanted. He was content to be the first not to give in to his whims.

“Who’s Bessie?” spat out Lightning, bitterness on his features.

“Since you’re in such a rush to meet her, we’ll go now,” said Doc. “Mater, take him outside, will you?”

“Sure thing Doc,” Mater said cheerfully and Lightning reluctantly followed the tow truck from the courtroom, muttering under his breath.

As most of the others talked amongst themselves and started to trickle out, Doc turned towards Sheriff. “I don’t suppose you could do me a favour?”

Sheriff regarded him, curious. “Of course. What is it?”

“Would you mind waitin’ where you usually camp out, lookin’ out for speeders?” When Sheriff glanced at in confusion, Doc continued, “I’m goin’ to get Mater to hook McQueen up to Bessie.”

It took a second for understanding to set in and Sheriff smiled. “I don’t suppose you’ll tell him to hook him up before taking off the parking boot?”

“I think he’ll figure it out. Afterwards.”

“Ooh, can I come with you?” Sally, who had lingered near the exit to eavesdrop, unashamedly came up next to the pair with a grin. “I want to see the look on his face.”

Sheriff chuckled. “Come along, then. We better get settled.”

With a mischievous grin, Sally turned to Doc and declared, “Good thinking. I’ll let you know every detail of his expression. It’s going to be priceless.”

The pair left and when Doc was sure enough time had passed he got Red to bring Bessie over to join Mater and Lightning. He explained to the racecar exactly what it was he would be doing and then asked Mater to hook him up to Bessie. He didn’t offer any protest when Mater started working on getting the parking boot off. He didn’t miss the flash of possibility in Lightning’s eyes, could see his mind seizing on this chance of escape.

He didn’t bat an eye when Lightning took off like a bullet. He did however smirk when Mater towed Lightning all the way back to town, the racecar shooting him a narrow-eyed glare.

To say he was stunned when Mater burst into his office, declaring Lightning to be finished his task, was an understatement. He knew for a fact that the job couldn’t have been done well, not in an hour. But nevertheless, Lightning had managed to lug Bessie, a hulking piece of heavy machinery, down the stretch of broken asphalt in an hour and that was impressive. Most racecars didn’t have the kind of strength.

But the feeling didn’t last long and he shook himself sharply. No, there was nothing impressive about a half-done job, with clear disrespect and inconsideration. And when he drove to confront Lightning, he paused when he heard Sally say, “It looks awful!”

Without missing a beat, Lightning returned callously, “Well, it matches the rest of the town.”

Red took off in tears and Sally gasped in horror. Infuriated, Doc pulled up in front of Lightning. The kid was not fazed by his anger. Rather, defiance sparked in his eyes and he stubbornly insisted that he had done his part. And when Doc demanded he tear up the road and start over, Lightning scoffed.

“Hey, look grandpa, I’m not a bulldozer, I’m a racecar.”

An idea surged in Doc’s mind then and he smiled. He offered the kid a deal. A race, and if he won he could go free. The others who were observing stared at him with wide eyes. But Doc knew, knew that this hot rod had spent hours training on asphalt racetracks. He was clueless as to how to race on dirt.

And Lightning, blinded by his arrogance, saw nothing suspicious about Doc’s proposition. They set themselves up at Willy’s Butte and staring down the long stretch of dirt he felt a pang of nostalgia. How many times had he raced down such tracks and how many times had he won?

No. He was not here to race. He was here to teach this kid a lesson, to knock him down a few pegs. Lightning revved his engine and took off once the flag was waved. Doc followed leisurely, instructing Mater to come with him. On the first turn, Lightning did exactly as he expected. He spun out of control, unable to keep his traction and delved down a hill and into the cactuses.

“Was that floatin’ like a Cadillac?” he called down the slope, mocking the racecar’s mantra at the start. “Or was it stingin’ like a Beemer? I’m confused. You drive like you fix roads. Lousy.”

A frustrated growl was his only response. Satisfied, he left Mater to the task of towing him out and drove away, perhaps faster than normal. The call of the dirt track was tempting, to feel the wind and the grit in his tires.

He would not go back. He would not let Lightning drag him back to the world that hurt him so.

The following morning, he ventured out to find the others testing out a portion of smooth tar, spinning in circles and laughing in delight. He paused for a moment, unable to deny that the kid did a good job. But when he looked around, he didn’t see Lightning anywhere in sight, or the Sheriff, for that matter.

For some reason, his instinct guided him towards Willy’s Butte. He had seen Lightning’s confusion, his inability to understand how he had messed up that turn. And if Lightning was a proper racecar, he would want to get to the bottom of the problem.

He hoped it was as simple as Lightning making a break for it. But it was as he suspected and he watched Lightning race down the dirt, kicking up clouds behind and around him, eyes searing into focus on the first turn. He experimented with his tires, turning them slightly at first, but it didn’t make a difference. He let out a shout of anger as he spun out, but he determinedly went right back to the starting point.

Doc saw a flash of himself, training for hours on whatever track he could find. Dirt, sand, anything that would improve his skills. The determined glint in Lightning’s eyes was one he once held and he couldn’t stop the smile from spreading.

Don’t do it, his mind warned him. Leave it alone.

But he ventured towards the panting, slightly exhausted kid anyway. He told him what he needed to do to accomplish the turn, but Lightning gave him a flat, bored expression and dismissed him. The disappointment flared, followed by anger. No, he shouldn’t feel disappointment. Not over a cocky young racer who clearly didn’t care about anyone. He should have expected as much and it was his fault.

He forgot himself for a moment. It wouldn’t happen again.

Doc was not at all happy when Lightning burst into his workspace as he doing a check-up on Sheriff. “He’ll meet you at Flo’s, now get outta here,” he snapped.

Anyone else would have been cowed and slunk away. But Lightning met his glare, eyes hardening with that infuriating defiance and retorted, “I’ve been trying to get outta here for three days!” before storming out.

Sheriff was more amused than Doc. “Kid’s got quite the mouth on him, doesn’t he?”

“Anyone ever tell you you got a smart mouth, Hud?”

Smokey’s voice came unbidden into his mind and his heart gave a painful wrench. Keeping his expression neutral, Doc grumbled, “You’re telling me.”

When he finished up, he found himself staring at his garage, where the door was open. Eyes narrowing into slits and knowing exactly who was inside, he went to the doorway. “I knew you couldn’t race,” he said tightly, gaining a startled Lightning’s attention. “I didn’t know you couldn’t read.”

Lightning only stared in awed amazement. “You have three Piston Cups.”

Doc didn’t need to hear this. He didn’t someone to remind him of his accomplishments and he only tensed more when Lightning continued to talk excitedly. He kicked him out of his garage and went to the window, watching as he sped right for Flo’s.

He shouldn’t have worried about him breaking the news of who he used to be. The others clearly didn’t believe Lightning and Flo asked in bemusement, “Have you ever seen him race?”

What Doc didn’t expect was Lightning’s eyes to light up and a wistful sigh to escape him. “No, but I wish I could have. They say he was amazing.”

There was a stirring of gratitude and Doc closed his eyes, fighting against it. No. He was disrespectful when he thought you were nothing more than an elderly doctor. He’s only changing his tune because he thinks you might be of use to him now.

But when Sally gave Lightning a full tank of gas, the racecar did not take off. He stared down the stretch of road that would lead to his freedom thoughtfully. Then he gave a sincere smile and followed after Sally.

Maybe you’re only seeing him as you want to see him.

Doc ignored his thoughts. Arrogance, cockiness and overconfidence was all there was to Lightning McQueen. He would not let himself be fooled.

“He actually thought Doc was a famous race car,” laughed Ramone, his voice filtering past the thin, grimy glass of the garage window. “That’s so too much.”

A surge of pain went through Doc’s very core. He let himself feel it. And for the first time in decades, he decided to do something about it.

The scent of soil, the film of dust in the air, the seemingly endless track that smoothed out before him. Doc sat still, taking it in, feeling the sensations he long since abandoned. He revved his engine, feeling his body hum and he took off.

It was the fastest he’d driven in years.

The wind rushed past him, whistling a high-pitched melody. His old racing tires, still fitting snugly after all this time, crunched against the dirt. A smile stretched wide across his features and he hit his first turn with such fluidness it was if he’d never stopped doing it.

He came to a stop, breathing heavily and enjoying the almost-forgotten feeling of adrenaline. Then the clouds of dust dispersed and his eyes locked with a broadly grinning Lightning.

Doc stared. And horror washed through him, the realization that he had given into the temptation, that he had let this rookie pull him into the world he vowed never to go back to. He spun on his tires and tore off without a word.

It was frustrating when Lightning followed after him, persistent and stubborn. Doc refused to listen to his questions, demanding he get out. But Lightning would have none of it.

“Come on. I’m a racecar, you’re a…much older race car, but under the hood you and I are the same.”

“We are not the same!” snapped Doc, because he refused to believe it, refused to acknowledge the similarities between them. “Understand? Now get out.”

“How could a car like you quit at the top of your game?”

Doc froze, eyes slowly locking onto Lightning. Rage built within him, but he kept it contained. “You think I quit?” he asked quietly.

Lightning realized by his reaction that he said something wrong and his expression turned into puzzlement. Silently Doc moved over to a corner of his garage and turned on a light, which illuminated a yellowed newspaper article. Lightning stared at it, eyes widening.

“Right. Your big crash of ’54,” he whispered.

“They quit on me,” said Doc hotly, feeling the buried grief rise up with a vengeance. “When I finally got put together I went back expectin’ a big welcome. You know what they said? You’re history. Moved right on to the next rookie in line. There was a lot left in me. I never got the chance to show ‘em. I keep that to remind me never to go back. I just never expected that that world would find me here.”

Lightning, who had listened to him intently, immediately said, “Look Doc, I’m not them.”

“Oh yeah?”

“No,” said Lightning firmly. “I’m not.”

“When is the last time you cared about something except yourself, hot rod? You name me one time and I will take it all back.”

Lightning went stricken, sudden realization crushing down on him and bringing with it sadness and misery. Doc saw it, but his anger would not allow him to register it. Not allow him to see that Lightning wasn’t what he was making him out to be. Cars that didn’t care about anyone wouldn’t be upset by being told such.

“I didn’t think so. These are good folk around here, who care about one another. I don’t want ‘em dependin’ on someone they can’t count on.”

Lightning snapped back to life, a fire appearing in his eyes. “Oh, like you? You’ve been here how long and your friends don’t even know who you are? Who’s caring about only himself?”

Doc bristled. “Just finish that road and get outta here!” He sped off, leaving Lightning in his garage, with the physical reminders of his past life.

When he woke up the next morning, he wasn’t expecting for the road to be completely finished or for Lightning to actually be gone. Doc sat at the edge, the front of his tires resting against the fresh asphalt, watching as the others gleefully travelled down their new road.

“He’s done,” said Mater despondently. “He must’ve finished it while we was all sleepin’.”

“Good riddance,” said Doc curtly.

He returned to his office, trying to banish the tow truck’s saddened voice from his mind, trying to ignore the irrational confliction that was beginning to develop. This was what he wanted. He wanted McQueen out of his town. All the kid had done was fight and backtalk and be disrespectful.

No one ever fought him before, on anything really. They had their disagreements but they were friendly. The cars in the town were respectful, to each other and to him. Lightning was the first one to argue with him, to scowl at him and fight with him and insult him. It had been a change of pace, having someone to trade barbs with, and he looked forward to the moments where he could out-sass the rookie.

Smokey always did say he had a smart mouth.

But above all, he couldn’t forget the sensations he experienced on the dirt track of Willy’s Butte. He thought he’d been content, to spend his days as a doctor and nothing more. Then Lightning burst onto the scene and brought him back into the world of racing with an abruptness he wasn’t prepared for. Lightning was a constant reminder of who he used to be, of what he used to do and what he left behind.

Maybe that’s why, when he discovered Lightning in Luigi’s and Guido’s shop, trying on tires and laughing along with everyone else, the anger resurged and he forgot his conflicted feelings. He stormed off in a huff, resolving to get back to his peaceful life once and for all.

“You called them?”

Sally’s voice contained heartbreak, eyes glittering with betrayal and devastation. Doc wavered for a moment, unable to stand to see her so sad, but he steeled himself. “It’s best for everyone, Sally.”

But he couldn’t fool her. Never could. Her eyes hardened with disappointment and she retorted, “Best for everyone or best for you?”

She took off then, tires squealing and Doc felt a heavy weight develop in his gut. He slowly moved to where the others where gathered, watching the horde of reporters follow Lightning’s trailer, their headlights sparkling in the distance.

“I didn’t get to say goodbye to him.”

Mater glumly set off and so did everyone else. Doc stared, seeing clearly for the first time their disappointment, their sadness. Soon he was left alone, beneath the faulty traffic light, as the neon lights surrounding him were turned off.

“You can be as hard-headed as a tractor.”

Smokey’s voice sounded in his memory, the rebuke not losing its sharpness even in his mind. Doc closed his eyes, realizing in that instant what he had done.

He was so focussed on keeping his past a secret, on keeping it where it belonged, that he did not see what was occurring before him. He ignored Lightning’s sincere smiles, his laughter with Mater as they joked around, the delighted smiles on Luigi and Guido when Lightning came to them for tires, and the fond laughter of everyone else that was watching.

Lightning had gone to great pains to get the others to fix their neon. As a gift for Sally, as a gift for them. As a gift to him. He didn’t have to do it. It wasn’t about putting on an act or getting a girl. Lightning had wanted to, because he cared.

And he had known. He had known Lightning wasn’t all cockiness and disrespect, not just because he was a good judge of character. He had been the same, once. Perhaps still was, in a way.

That was what frightened him the most. So quickly he had seen himself in Lightning, saw that the kid was so much more than he presented himself to be. He didn’t want to believe it. He ignored it. He didn’t want any more reminders of the pain and his grief. He needed the kid gone so he could return to the life he had built for himself.

He knew now he was wrong. Lightning had brought joy to his friends and he had forcibly taken it away from them. He could only imagine how Lightning was feeling now, alone in his trailer, taken away abruptly without proper goodbyes and he felt a surge of anger towards himself.

Lightning had, for a moment, made him feel true joy, one he hadn’t felt for a long time. He had been content, he had been happy, he had been peaceful. But joy…the joy of racing down the track, of seeing another racing down a track…

And he rejected it.

He would fix this. He would fix his relationships, see if Lightning would be willing to give him a second chance. He would have to act quickly.

The race in California wouldn’t wait.

 “Hey guys, what’s going on?”

Sally drove up into the lot of Flo’s café, tired and confused. She had been roused by Mater shouting outside her door, saying that Doc wanted them all to meet him at Flo’s. So here they all were, in the early hours of dawn, waiting.

“I don’t know, sug,” answered Flo. She glanced at Mater and asked, “Did Doc tell you why he wanted to see us?”

“Nope,” said Mater. “He jus’ told me to git everyone as fast as I could. I think my diet’s working, ‘cause I’m speedier and more aeronamical than before!”

“Probably came to confront someone about the tractor invasion the other day,” said Sheriff with a sniff.

Mater’s eyes darted about. “Uh, ya know what, I got some stuff I gotta do—”

“He’s just joking, man,” said Ramone, looking at Sheriff in amusement.

They all quieted when they spotted Doc coming from down the road. The elderly car approached them, a serious expression on his features. “I know it’s early, but I appreciate you all comin’ here.”

“What’s wrong, Doc?” asked Luigi in concern.

“I owe you all an apology. I was the one who called those reporters to town.”

There was a shocked silence for a second, with the exception of Sally, who only looked away. “But…why?” asked Flo in bewilderment.

“When the kid told you I used to be a racecar, he wasn’t wrong,” said Doc quietly. “He was right, about all of it. I used to be a champion. But then I had a nasty crash…and the racing world wouldn’t take me back. Everything I loved was gone in an instant. I vowed to forget about racing and never have anything to do with it ever again. The pain was still too great and I suppose I never got over it.”

“Lightning’s a racecar,” said Lizzie cheerfully. “You’re just like him.”

Doc thought of Lightning’s determination and his spirit. He thought of his stubborn streak, of his heart and of his eagerness to learn something he did not know before. “Yes,” he said, admitting it for the first time out loud. “Just like him.” He then stared directly at Sally, eyes remorseful. “I did what was best for me. You were right. I was selfish.”

“No,” said Sally automatically, feeling a crushing wave of guilt and regret, for she hadn’t ever stopped to think why Doc was keeping Lightning at a distance. “No, I shouldn’t have said that. I was angry—”

“You had every right to be. You don’t need to apologize.” Doc then looked at Mater. “I’m sorry I took away your chance to say goodbye.”

“S’okay!” said Mater, hating to see Doc sad. “I mean, we’re best buds, so I’ll see him again!”

This brought a sincere smile to Doc. “Sooner than you may think. There’s quite a bit I have to say to Lightning and it’s a trek to the Los Angeles International Speedway.”

Sally’s eyes widened. “You’re going to see him race?”

“I am. Thought maybe I’d have some company with me. Sure he’d be more happy to see you lot than me.”

“Woo-wee!” whooped Mater. “Hang on buddy, here I come!”

“All right, road trip!” said Ramone with a wide grin. “What do you say, baby?”

“You know it,” said Flo.

“You’ll need to get there as fast as you can, so I’ll come with you,” said Sheriff, trying and failing to hide his happiness at the prospect of seeing Lightning again.

“Guido, we will get to see Lightning race!” exclaimed Luigi.

“You might to get to do more than that,” spoke Doc. “Heard on the radio that the kid’s previous pit crew quit on him. He could probably use your help. I doubt he’s goin’ to have a team waiting for him when he gets to the track.”

Sally eyed him knowingly. “You want to fix that.”

“There’s no fun racin’ alone,” said Doc wisely. “What do you say, boys?”

“Pit stop!” said Guido eagerly, nudging Luigi insistently.

“Yes, Guido, you will finally get your chance!”

“Ah, guess I might as well come along,” sniffed Sarge. “Sheriff’s gonna need help keepin’ you all in line.”

“Lightning’s going to need good, organic fuel,” said Fillmore. “None of that other poisonous junk.”

“These old tires aren’t what they used to be,” said Lizzie wistfully. “I’ll stay here. Who knows, we might get some customers who need bumper stickers.”

“I’ll stay here, too.”

Doc looked at Sally in surprise. “Are you sure?”

“Yes,” said Sally. “Can’t leave the town empty. We’ll watch it on television.” She then smiled and gave Doc a sweet, affectionate kiss. “Besides, this way you’ll have no choice to bring him back. C’mon, Lizzie, let’s see if we can hook up the television.”

“I have one on my porch.”

“That’s a record player.”

The two drove off, and Red gave a honk, indicating he would also stay to watch the town and the girls. He followed after them and Doc let out a quiet, fond sigh. Turning to the others, he said, “We better get going. But before we leave…think you have time for a paintjob, Ramone?”

“Anything for you, Doc,” said Ramone, eyes sparking with curiosity. “What do you want?”

“It’s been a while since I wore my old racing colours. I’d like to see how they fit after all these years.”

And after Ramone finished, Doc looked in the mirror, staring at the bright words flaring across his sides, ‘Fabulous Hudson Hornet’. It was familiar and he felt a wave of emotion overcome him. They didn’t look odd or out of place. In fact, they looked as if they should have never left. It felt right. It was right.

Ramone smiled at him. “You look smokin’ Doc. I’d say they still fit.”

When they arrived at the Los Angeles International Speedway, they had little difficulty getting into the pit area. The security vehicles nearly fell over themselves at the sight of the Hudson Hornet and were more than happy to let them all pass through.

Doc’s grill curved into a frown at the sight of the lone figure in Lightning’s pit. The transport truck was by himself, headset attached securely. He jolted in surprise at the sight of them. “Hey, this is a private area, how did you–?” He cut himself off when he zeroed in on Doc’s racing colours. “Oh,” he uttered. “Mr. Hudson Hornet, what I do owe the honour?”

“No need for that,” he dismissed. “Call me Doc. I’m here to see how the rookie’s doing.”

At his confused look, Flo piped up helpfully, “We’re from Radiator Springs. Where you found Lightning.”

Immediately the transport truck’s features transformed into guilt. “I’m so sorry, it was a circus show. The reporters knew before I did and when I found out I had to get there as fast as I could or else the media would get their fangs in him. I just hustled him out of there, I didn’t even think—he didn’t get to say goodbye or anything, did he?”

“It’s my fault all that happened, not yours. We came here to correct that. It’s a big race and he’s done a lot for our town, for us, so we figured we should be here to see it.” Doc turned to look at the track, watching the red car trail just behind the other two. “How’s he doin’?”

“Not good,” he muttered. “He’s not really into it today.”

“Also my fault,” said Doc quietly, mostly under his breath.

“Does he have a pit crew?” asked Luigi anxiously. “If not, we would be more than happy to be his pit crew! Guido is very good.”

Guido nodded vigorously. Fillmore added, “I brought some organic fuel. It’ll make him feel way better. Trust me.”

“It’s hippie juice, you’ll contaminate him,” countered Sarge.

For a moment, the transport truck seemed lost. Then his eyes brightened with relief and he said, “I could use all the help I can get! I don’t know what I’m doing, honestly.”

Doc eyed him. “What’s your name?”

“Oh—excuse my rudeness! I’m Mack.”

A round of introductions passed and their attention was immediately brought to the racetrack by a swell of gasps from the audience. Lightning narrowly missed hitting the wall and Doc felt a lurch. But he settled in the infield, dazed and confused. With a shake of his head, Lightning got back onto the track and tried to catch up.

“Mind if I use that headset?” asked Doc.

Mack gave a nod and handed it over. Doc went onto the crew chief stand, and when he hovered just above everyone else, with a clear view of the racetrack, he felt his breath leave him. His eyes zeroed in on Lightning, who was struggling, and he indicated for Mack to come closer.

“Say somethin’,” he whispered.

Though puzzled, Mack complied. “Hey, you all right kid?” he asked, sincere concern in his voice.

“I don’t know, Mack. I…I…I don’t think—”

His misery and self-doubt caused Doc to frown and he said sharply, “I didn’t come all this way to see you quit.”

“Doc?” Lightning asked, stunned and hopeful.

And as he rounded the track, he shifted his eyes, and at the sight of his friends a wide grin stretched across his features.

“Guys, you’re here! I can’t believe this!”

“I knew you needed a crew chief, but I didn’t know it was this bad,” said Doc lightly.

“I thought you said you’d never come back.”

“Well, I really didn’t have a choice. Mater didn’t get to say goodbye.”

Perking up at that, Mater shouted, “Goodbye! Okay, I’m good.”

Lightning pulled into the pits, grin only growing when he came close to his friends. As Sarge and Fillmore resupplied his gas, Doc said, “All right, if you can drive as good as you can fix a road, then you can win this race with your eyes shut. Now get back out there!”

Determination flared in Lightning’s eyes and he picked up his speed, getting back onto the track. The way he caught up to The King and Chick with grace sent pride through Doc.

“Hot snot, we are back in business!” he declared. He then directed at Guido and Luigi, “You’re goin’ up against professional pit crews boys, you’re gonna have to be fast.” But he had no worries, because he knew they were skilled and their enthusiasm would only serve them, not hinder. “Kid, you can beat these guys. Find a groove that works for you and get that lap back.”

Lightning quickly found his pace and went with it, charging forwards. It was then the announcement came, crackling over the stadium speakers. “Darrell, it appears McQueen has got himself a pit crew. And look who he has for a crew chief! Wow, this is history in the making. Nobody has seen the racing legend in over 50 years!”

There was a roar from the crowd, thousands of cars cheering not for the racers, but for him. His friends looked at him with wide grins. Doc kept his eyes on Lightning, his emotions surging. All these years, he had thought he had been forgotten, only to find out he had been wrong.

But he didn’t focus on it for long. He would enjoy the reaction of his appearance later. Now was all about Lightning. He watched as McQueen passed Chick and The King on the inside. “You’re doin’ great, kid. Just keep your head on.”

Lightning made up his lap, on route to pass by Chick Hicks. The stock car nudged Lightning’s side, sending him spinning. Doc watched as Lightning steadied himself and drove backwards, casting a flummoxed Chick a cocky grin and wink before swinging around.

Good job, kiddo.

Chick did not give up and his next interaction with Lightning left him with a flat tire. “Doc! I’m flat, I’m flat!” he cried, panicked.

Doc too felt that panic, because a flat tire could lead to a more disastrous result. “Can you get to the pits?” he demanded.

“Yeah, yeah, I think so.”

Doc’s eyes caught the yellow flag being waved. “Hey, got a yellow. Bring it in. Don’t tear yourself up, kid.”

“We gotta get him back out there fast or we’re gonna be a lap down, and we’ll never win this race!” said Mack anxiously.

“Guido! It’s time,” instructed Doc.

Lightning made his way into the pits and Guido replaced all four tires in mere seconds. Lightning immediately charged out, making back for the track. Doc watched intently, as Lightning’s eyes locked onto the pace car, as his speed adjusted so he could make it in the nick of time.

Doc grinned. Show ‘em how it’s done, rookie.

The three cars stuck close together and soon it was a three-way lead with only one lap to go. “This is it, kiddo. You’ve got four turns left. One at a time. Drive it in deep and hope it sticks. Go!” instructed Doc, feeling his own heartrate pick up with excitement.

Lightning charged forwards and managed to thread his away around Chick. But the stock car darted forwards and slammed into him, sending him into the infield and accidentally causing himself and the The King to lose their groove.

“I think McQueen is out of the race!”

And Doc watched as Lightning turned his tires hard, sending dirt spraying in all directions. He smiled widely as Lightning successfully aimed himself off of the dirt and onto the asphalt, using the advice Doc had given him back at Willy’s Butte.

“Float like a Cadallic,” began Doc.

“…sting like Beemer,” crooned Lightning, sliding ahead of The King and Chick.

The rookie was going to win the Piston Cup and Doc refused to even blink, not wanting to miss the moment where the kid crossed the finish line. But the horrified gasp automatically snapped his attention away, and he froze at the sight of The King spiralling in the air, before striking the ground hard and rolling several times before coming to a smoking halt.

Grief and a horrible understanding charged through Doc. He knew all too well what a crash could do, how dismissive the racing world could be to the older cars that wrecked.

The screeching of brakes filled the silent air and he turned, eyes widening at the sight of Lightning stopping dead before the finish line. His eyes were hard, expression set in a determined line. He let Chick pass the finish line before him, and still did not move.

“What’s he up to, Doc?” asked Flo

Doc only smiled, because if he spoke there was a good chance he would choke on his pride, on his emotions. Lightning reversed all the way back to The King.

“What are you doin’, kid?”  The King’s voice filtered through Doc’s headset, passing through the communicator Lightning wore.

“I think The King should finish his last race.”

Lightning began to push the veteran racer towards the finish line. “You just gave up the Piston Cup, you know that?”

“Ahhh. This grumpy old racecar I know once told me something. It’s just an empty cup.”

Doc’s heart surged, with warmth and affection, and he knew that his worst fear had come true. He had feared getting attached to Lightning if he stayed in Radiator Springs, getting permanently fixed to racing and the world that wronged him. He had felt himself starting to soften, during the race at Willy’s Butte, when he saw Lightning training to overcome the dirt turn. He tried to fight it.

He wasn’t going to fight it anymore.

Lightning brought The King back to his sponsor and his wife before joining his own team. He smiled softly at the praises of his sponsors before setting eyes on Doc. Regarding the racecar, Doc said warmly, “You got a lotta stuff, kid.”

He beamed, eyes lighting up with delight and pride. “Thanks, Doc.”

Tex called Lightning over for a quick chat and, when it was over, he rejoined his friends and Doc asked casually, “What was that about?”

Lightning smirked. “What’s the matter? Worried I might take an offer with Dinoco?”

“Well, you have fired three crew chiefs in one season, which doesn’t surprise me. What’s a fourth?”

It was meant to be a joke, but Lightning’s expression fell. “You read up, huh?”

“To satisfy my own curiosity. I didn’t mean anythin’ by it, son.”

“No. You’re right. I only cared about myself.”

“You were a brat. Happens in this business. But I was wrong.” Doc shifted a glance towards Rusty, Dusty and Mack, who were laughing with the others. “You cared, you just weren’t very good at showin’ it. Probably thought there were other things more important, like status. But they saw somethin’ in you. That’s why they kept you, why Mack stuck around.”

Lightning perked up at this and he smiled happily. “Yeah. I guess.” He then grew serious. “But listen…I’m sorry. I was rude. I was disrespectful. You tried to give me advice and I just brushed you off. Thank you for coming today. It means a lot.”

“I have to apologize too. I was the one who called those reporters in. Sorry, kid.”

Lightning laughed. “It’s okay. Actually, you lasted a lot longer than I thought you would. I was hoping you’d kick me out of the town the first day.” He paused and then said hastily, “I don’t think that anymore, of course.”

“You thought backtalk and disrespect would do the job?” asked Doc in amusement. “Gonna take more than that if you want to get rid of me.”

Lightning eyed him hesitantly. “Um…I know it’s not really an excuse or anything for how I treated them, but I never really found a crew chief that I clicked with. But today…today was amazing. You really helped me out. I know you said you wouldn’t come back, but you did, and since you’re already here…would you maybe consider being my crew chief?”

Doc glanced at him. The rookie he butted heads with for the past few days, the kid who made him revisit the racing that he loved, who made him feel true joy again.

“Thought I already was, kiddo.”

Lightning’s smile was brighter than the sun in the sky.

“All right, I’m here, where’s the fire?”

Lightning paused in front of the new Radiator Springs museum, it’s fresh paint glossy in the light of the afternoon. “There’s no fire,” he said in bemusement.

“Well, by the way you pestered me to hurry up and get here, I figured there was a fire or some other catastrophe.” He then frowned. “You and Mater didn’t break anything, did you?”

“No!” Rolling his eyes, Lightning led the way into the museum. “I wanted to show you the new wing. It just got finished.”

He led Doc through the exhibits, which showed pieces of Route 66’s rich history. They eventually came upon the wing Lightning was talking about and Doc stilled. There were newspaper cut-outs of his racing days blown up and hung on walls and canvases. His Piston Cups were polished and they glimmered under the artificial lighting.

“…you said this was going showcase racing history,” said Doc at last.

Lightning’s eyes shifted. “Yeah. Your history, specifically, but I left that out. I wanted it to be a surprise.”

Doc slowly rolled across the floor, staring at the physical timeline of his career, depicted in admiring, loving words and accompanied by his keepsakes. “Was this your idea?”

“No,” began Lightning, but he was interrupted by his girlfriend, who passed through with a cleaning rag.

“Yes!” Sally called. “He spent weeks working this out. I thought it was an amazing idea.”

Doc stared at Lightning, who grinned sheepishly. “Well, you’re one of the greats. You deserve a museum wing. I’m not taking any of it down, by the way. You aren’t either.”

“I think you’re overestimatin’ the amount of folks who want to know about my dusty racin’ days,” said Doc.

“I do,” said Lightning instantly. “I like hearing your stories of your dusty days. I bet other people will too. In fact, on opening day, there’s gonna be a line-up for this wing.”

Doc laughed. “You’ve got an imagination, rookie.”

“Fine then. If I’m right, you gotta race me.”

“All right then. If you’re not, you gotta race me.” At Lightning’s confused expression, Doc smirked. “About time someone put you in your place.”

Lightning scoffed. “Oh sure, look who’s talking. You’re on. Don’t be too disappointed when you lose.”

When the museum finally opened a flood of cars came to see it and there was indeed a line-up to see Doc’s wing. Doc was touched and Lightning was smug and boastful. Doc let it go, because he would show the rookie soon enough that he didn’t know most of his tricks yet.

But he couldn’t wait to teach Lightning all of them.

anonymous asked:

Helloooo. Jikook, I can't stop thinking about you? Kisses!

a/n: hmu w some short prompts and i’ll write you smt

the feeling is high. the feeling is low.

when jimin calls, jungkook picks up the phone with a heavy heart and a torn up bottom lip, worse for wear from jungkook’s constant lip biting. he knows it to be something he shouldn’t do, because yoongi himself said he should move on and try new people and live for himself instead of wallowing in a pit of post-breakup depression, but jungkook’s gears have been rusting for so long that he thinks to himself that it wouldn’t hurt.

he’ll be fine, he assures himself.

jungkook finds jimin collapsed against the bar, drink abandoned before him, phone dangling from his hand, and eyes barely still open. the place stinks of whiskey and vodka and forgotten broken hearts, music pounding thrills of the moment into the air, and jungkook supposes he sees the appeal in his place. for a second he wonders, as jimin sways and mouths along emptily to the song, if jimin came here to fix his heart like everyone else. like jungkook has been doing for the past few months, too.

jungkook slips a few bills to the bartender, both as thanks for keeping watch over jimin and in worry of jimin not already paying for his excessive drinking amount. he tries to get jimin up and ready to leave the club’s flashing lights and blank faces and arms thrown into the air, but jimin pouts.

“jungkook-ah,” he yells over the bass, pulling jungkook close and burying his face in his chest. drunk jimin must only remember being together and not saying goodbye, and it makes jungkook’s chest pang in wrenching nostalgia. “let’s have fun, jungkook-ah!”

jimin tries to pull him along to dance, but jungkook grabs his wirst. “you need to get home,” he says, swearing that jimin’s eyes flash for a second with something akin to grief, but it’s gone a second later and he’s sure he just imagined it. “i’m taking you back to your apartment, jimin.”

there’s no fight this time, probably because the alcohol is making it hard to jimin to even stand. he’s dragged along like a rag doll to jungkook’s car, buckled into the passenger’s seat with no trouble. “it’s cold, it’s cold,” jimin insists, knees drawing into his chest and head snuggling against the window.

jungkook’s hand start the car, shaking, and jimin mumbles to himself, his profile bathed in moonlight. jungkook sneaks a few glances. nothing more.

jimin’s glow reminds him of when they first met, so in love that night that their sentences were tripping over their feet. he misses that night, thinks about it every day - the way jimin’s laugh lit up the room and the way his eyes shone like fairy lights. he misses the helpless back and forth that had followed then, as painful and stupid and obvious as pining had been. he remembers confession, the smile jimin gave, the feeling of being in love and being loved, the ecstasy of comfort and the other side of the bed.

he’d take it any day over the goodbye that came and what they’ve become - quiet and apart and stuck between friends and past lovers and strangers.

rolling on the road, jungkook indulges in one more memory before pulling up at jimin’s apartment building. then he shuts himself down and helps a dozing off jimin to his apartment door, trying to keep his heart rate healthy and constant. jimin speaks meaninglessly, like a broken music box.

“i can’t stop thinking about you,” jimin says into his shoulder as jungkook knocks on the door, but he isn’t thinking straight, jungkook knows, so he doesn’t let the words get to him too much.

that doesn’t stop jimin from rambling on, murmurs rounding into jungkook’s shirt. “jungkook. jungkook. i miss you much, jungkook…. don’t tell jungkook i miss him, he’ll be sad, so sad… he doesn’t need the - the baggage. i miss you so much, jungkook-ie…”

jungkook sighs, listening to the shuffle of feet behind the door. “me too, jimin-ah.”

taehyung looks different from what jungkook remembers when he swings the door. his hair is brown now, the bags under them more apparent than jungkook has ever seen. taehyung’s expression is wide as he takes in jungkook’s face and then jimin’s droopy form, beckoning them inside. jungkook doesn’t blame him, because seeing his best friend’s ex was probably not taehyung’s 2am plan.

jungkook knows where jimin’s room is, having been there before too many times to count on his fingers and toes because he would run out. he sets jimin down on his bed, kneeling besides him. jimin wriggles on his mattress and makes a small, sad sound, his brows furrowed and his bottom lip out. he looks at jungkook with big eyes, ones that hold half a universe and the entirety of jungkook’s heart. jungkook cracks, but he doesn’t break.

his voice is soft so that he doesn’t jolt jimin awake. “tae’ll help you in the morning, because your hangover is gonna be hell.” taehyung cracks a smile from where he leans against the door frame. “right now i think you should get some rest.”

jungkook smiles, feathery and light, and squeezes jimin’s hand once. he moves to leave, but then he feels a tug at the hem of his tee-shirt, and at the end of it is jimin, lids sleepy with the weight of the night and the memory of the neon lights, voice nothing more than a slow drawl, a drowsy kind of lullaby.

jimin murmurs, half gone, “don’t leave me again, kook-ah. please don’t leave me again.”

jungkook isn’t a man of colors, but he swears he sees blue in the way jimin is blinking up at - a way that carries sadness and a regret, as if jimin’s soul had been broken apart and he didn’t know how to piece it back together. jungkook’s smile is cerulean as he threads through jimin’s hair and watches as jimin’s lids stutter and stammer.

he’s missed this - the feeling of jimin in his hands, the smell of vanilla in the air, the residual feeling of warmth in his chest, pooling around him and wrapping him up. in the past few months, jungkook has felt hollow in the heavy sense, quiet but only the cacophonous sense - a mass of contradictions, fighting himself as he tried to find who he was when he didn’t have someone at his side to show him the way.

the crisp taste in the air is stuck on the roof of his mouth, and it is not sour, not is it sugary, and it most surely is not pleasant. jungkook can’t put his finger on what the taste is like, can’t even find himself able to screw his head on right as the puffs escaping jimin’s mouth even out and his cheeks glow in the light and jungkook swears his soul is being wiped clean again. jungkook wants to keep this memory in the back of his mind forever, for when he has a rainy day.

he slips his fingers from jimin’s hair, sighing into the gaping hole of the past that they’ve dug up into the present. jungkook wonders whether or not he could fall in it if he stepped in the right wrinkle of time, ponders it for a second with a crumbling train of thought. he puts it in the back of his mind.

taehyung steps into the room, sending jungkook a look that tells him he should get going before the dawn comes, and he knows he should, too. he nods and makes to walk away, pausing for only a bit of a second to press his lips against jimin’s forehead, soft and supple and subtle, barely there at all.

“sweet dreams,” he whispers. jimin sighs in his sleep.

when jungkook gets himself together and walks to the door, taehyung is standing there to bid him farewell. “take care of him,” jungkook says, and taehyung’s eyes are reassuring as he pats jungkook’s shoulder, but his smile is wistful. jungkook mirrors him before he turns away, letting taehyung shut the door, and tries his hardest to put his past behind him.

he realizes, driving down the road to go home, that the taste of the night was blue and bittersweet. jungkook turns around.

Writing Challenge part 2

OKAY IT’S ON! Here’s my reply to @prettynasty

1. That’s when I realized that there was no match for him. No one could ever make me feel like he did, no matter how hard they tried.

2. She knew her calendar like the back of her hand, always prepared for everything and everyone. However nothing could have prepared her for him.

3. He was north, she was south. He was the moon, she was the sun. Their love always present, but never allowed. 

4. And as soon as he smiled that persuasive smile, she knew. 

5.  His art was excellent - there was no other word. I felt tears in my eyes, and as I studied his work further, the tears streamed down my cheeks. I had no idea why I was crying, but I just couldn’t help myself.

6. She was haunted by his touch. It was like his hands were actually there, hovering over her, but never actually touching her. 

7. As he walked down that all too familiar street he felt a pang of nostalgia.

8. Autumn was named after her mothers favorite season. Her mother had always loved the changing of the leaves, and the promise of a new beginnings. So she named her only daughter after it. 

9. He awoke with a feeling of absence. He looked to his side, and sure enough his wife was nowhere to be found. Perplexed, he walked to the kitchen to find her in her pyjamas and a ‘kiss the chef’ apron, with flour on her nose and a grin on her face. “I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to make your favorite cookies.” 

10. And there they were, at the crack of dawn, sitting on the beach. Their friendship stronger than ever, and their hearts full of love. 

11. She looked at him, trying to make her smile look less perplexed than it probably did - however failing miserably.  

12. She considered herself rich in the best sense of the word. She had all the love she could ever wish for, and her heart was full. 

13. Her feelings for him came like thieves is the night, uninvited and unwanted. However she couldn’t deny that they were now in fact present. All she could do was decide how to deal with them. 

14. She tried to act unaffected by his cruel actions, but his words felt like a dagger in her heart. He had never loved her, only pretending to care. As he walked away, her knees gave out and she fell to the floor - broken. 

15. They sat quietly on the abandoned rooftop, watching the breathtaking sunset. No words were exchanged, or needed for that matter. They had each other, and that’s all that they cared about. His hand etched closer to hers, and he finally mustered up the courage to take her hand. His hearts was beating so hard, he thought it might break out of his chest at any minute. But the moment she laced her fingers with his, he knew. He loved her, and he would spend the rest of his life making sure that she was aware of this fact. 

16. She looked out the window of the small café, watching the heavy rain turn to a gentle drizzle. She felt content - that is until she saw him. He was standing across the road, looking straight at her. His eyes were partially covered by his now soaked hair, but she still felt his stare. After what felt like an eternity, he made his way over to the café. Her breath caught in her throat when the entrance bell rang, and he sat down across from her. He looked at her, running his hands through his wet hair. He licked his chapped lips, like he was preparing himself for the words he were about to say. “I’ve missed you”. 

17. As they walked through the mall hand in hand, he couldn’t hold back his smile. She was telling him about the bunnies that her best friend had just bought, and how she now wanted one as well. Her eyes lit up as she talked about their fluffy ears and cute little butts. He leaned down to kiss her nose, making her blush. “I love you” he said while lightly touching her cheek. She smiled and leaned up to kiss his chin. “Enough to buy me a bunny?”. He brushed his thumb across her cheek and lightly kissed her lips. “Enough to buy you all the bunnies and other fluffy creatures in the world”. 

18. They lived their lives as parallel lines, always going in the same direction, but never actually touching. 

19. They were on the phone, talking like they did every night. He was singing to her, his voice like a symphony. This was the only way she could fall asleep these days. Him being so far away was hard, so falling asleep to his beautiful voice was her favorite way of pretending that he was right there beside her. 

20. She was sitting at the huge dinner table, all alone like usual. He had promised that he would come home for dinner, but once again she had been a fool for trusting him. 

21. Considering their history she really shouldn’t have trusted her, not the slightest. However she was currently in the need of a friend, and who was she to deny anyone when she was this desperate. 

22. She came home from a long day of work, hearing her favorite sound in the whole world - her sons laughter. She put down her bag and took off her shoes and jacket. She walked to the living room to see her husband and son playing on the couch. Her heart felt so full, she thought it might explode. 

23. His thumb graced her cheek, wiping away the salty tears that she couldn’t hold i any longer. He kissed them away one by one, and held her as tight as he possibly could. His touch a reminder that she would never be alone - that she would always have him. 

24. He opened the door, walking into her room. He spotted it on his way to the bathroom, and being the curious creature he was, he just couldn’t help himself.

25.  And that’s when she knew - he had forever changed her. 

sidgneno soulmark au, part 1 (submission)

!!! y’all this isn’t my fic, but one submitted to me and it’s!!! honestly awesome

 hope y'all enjoy this, if you have any questions or comments or headcanons or theories or anything else, send ‘em to jack i guess ?? theyll make their way back to me eventually. enjoy ahhhhh

go pens go

Unnamed SidGeno Soulmate AU

“I swear, that girl’s been looking at you all night. Go say something to her.”

He rolled his eyes as Nate elbowed him, following his gaze to this girl who was supposedly staring at him. She was standing with a group of other girls, a glass in her hand, giggling at something. She was cute, he guessed.

“Maybe she’s been looking at you. Or maybe she just thinks we’re weird, we’re out at a club and we’ve been sitting alone since we got here.”

“Then let’s fix that!”

Nate was on his feet almost immediately, linking his arm with Sid’s and pulling him off of his barstool. Sid stumbled a bit, wishing that he hadn’t said anything as he was forcefully led over to the group of girls.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

How would talon dick react to the news of damian's death to the heretic? Or from afar he was curious what was going on with the battle he witness damian getting killed? Would he be sad or angry because he felt attached to him? Or basically upset that there isnt a robin to pick on anymore?

Mm. I don’t think he’d be sad or angry. Maybe a little disappointed but mostly because now he doesn’t have any toys to play with. 

So I think he’d do the next best thing and lord Damian’s death over Bruce’s head - and maybe the remaining family members if he ever ran into them - as much as he could. Reminding them it was their faults, and preying on all the bad and negative thoughts they had already, trying to amplify them and take advantage of their emotional states and the situation.

He might go to Damian’s grave once or twice, but mostly to scold Damian for not being strong enough. I might feel a pang of sadness or nostalgia but it doesn’t last. 

But yeah, if there’s any emotion from Dick’s part in this, it’d be disappointment that now there’s no one to pick on, and he’s toyless. Not to mention even if he finds a new toy, no one will live up to the little ball of insecurities and emotions that was Damian Wayne. Absolutely no one.

Obviously the title “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is an amazingly perfect summary of Garak’s skill set but hear me out, because I do think he would genuinely approve of, if not actively delight in, these books. 

Please consider: George Smiley, protagonist. Intelligent, cultured, nondescript, seemingly harmless, plain and simple. Able to blend seamlessly into the background, all the while ruthlessly picking apart his enemies through observation, organisation and the fine art of conversation. No one interrogates like he does, so casual it’s almost imperceptible. Never needing to resort to the mess of unnecessary violence, simply finding the sentimental weaknesses in others and exploiting them efficiently. At the end of the trilogy, he even actively chooses state and duty over his own personal values. What could be more Cardassian than that?

Julian probably loves Tinker Tailor, because not only spies, but historically accurate spies. He never quite plucks up the courage to lend it to Garak, though. How could he, without stammering over how blatantly perfect that title is? Besides, those books mean something to him, and they’ve helped him form an at least semi-complete image of who his friend really is at heart. He doesn’t know if he’s quite ready to share that information yet. Garak will see through him in a heartbeat, after all, and take perverse pleasure in destroying each and every one of his theories.

But Garak? Well, he’s Garak. Maybe he sees it tucked away in a corner on Julian’s bookshelf, or stumbles across it in a collection somewhere, or le Carré is mentioned in passing one lunchtime and the name comes back to him a little while later, along with the way Julian had not-so-subtly rushed the conversation on, quietly piquing his interest. He eventually looks him up, scanning the long list of his most famous published works and my, what an intriguing title. Now how could he possibly be expected to resist that?

He dives in, of course, expecting James Bond: gunfire, poison, gadgets, seductresses, the usual nonsense. Something trite, something he can tease Julian about later. He is not expecting the pang of melancholy nostalgia that hits him, especially not in the form of a dozen habits drilled into him since childhood, echoed now by a solitary old Englishman from 20th century Earth. Before he knows it, he is lost in the all too familiar crisis of a secret service eating itself up from the inside, family and profit and ego and blackmail interfering where there should be only loyalty and devotion to the greater glory of the Empire.

He reads all through the night and into the next morning, and when he’s finished he is reeling. His head is pounding, he feels alert and naked and known and remarkably, deeply, profoundly uncomfortable. Unfortunately, he loved it.

And he cannot wait to tell Julian the exact opposite of that truth.

anonymous asked:

hey, i was wondering if you could do a headcanon/imagine of 2D having nightmares/flashbacks regarding the trauma he underwent during plastic beach (or maybe even the events before then) and noodle overhearing and trying to console him? i am not sure what kinds of imagines you like to do so i hope this is okay!

omg you don’t know how excited I am to write this

Nightmares weren’t uncommon occurrences for 2-D, as he usually found himself writhing uncomfortably in bed, reliving the haunting memories of his time spent on Plastic Beach. They always started the same way: an unsettling, quiet void of darkness, akin to that he felt in his drugged state due to the gas he was sprayed with by the Boogieman–and then comes the stench. It’s mild at first, stealthily burrowing itself into 2-D’s unconsciousness once more, and nestling itself there; a sick reminder of how a tiny puff of gas rendered him immobile, rendered him useless to defend himself against the journey towards his own personal prison. After what seemed like hours of being stuck in a black abyss, 2-D’s lovely nightmare decided to progress even further, and finally he’s able to knock the feeling of paralysis away as he opens his eyes slowly, taking in his current scenery. The dreaded basement prison brings a pang of stabbing nostalgia with it, and 2-D can feel his heartbeat race at an immeasurably fast rate as he turned his head to face the window, only to be greeted with the menacing grimace of a whale–no, a humongous, gigantic, enormous whale with billions of sharp teeth that look like they could tear his flesh apart in seconds and–

2-D shook his head and looked away, goosebumps skittering about his skin. He knows the whale didn’t actually have billions of sharp teeth, but his dream didn’t. Ignoring the looming mammal behind him, 2-D went to the other side of the room, trailing his fingers against the wall. Even the texture was so precise, so undeniably real. Sudden flashbacks lurched into his mind, throwing up a chaotic mess of old, heinous memories, such as: Being trapped down here like a prisoner, like some animal and being forced to record songs by the man he once looked up to, without any compensation aside from an occasional meal and, if 2-D was exceptionally good that week, maybe a short trip out of the basement for some fresh air. Maybe. Visibly, 2-D flinched at the memories, pressing his back against the wall and sliding down it in utter defeat, eyes brimming with frustrated tears. He hated these dreams because there was no way out. Because he was trapped. 

But in life outside of dream world, 2-D was causing quite a racket with his insufferable tossing and calling out. Of course, no one did anything–Murdoc couldn’t care less about what his token front man was feeling, Russel was a pretty heavy sleeper and Noodle? Well, actually, she did care. How couldn’t she? 2-D was basically her older brother, and if there’s anything Noodle had learned, it was that family is the most important thing in your entire life, so you should try your hardest to keep said family around.  Quietly, she made her way to 2-D’s room, opening the door and walking in. Lo and behold, there he was, tangled in a mess of blankets, pillows strewn, face caked with snot and dried tears as he groaned out in fear, with just a dash of defeat. “Hey,” Noodle sat on the bed besides him, wary of his kicking feet lurking below the covers. “Toochie, wake up. It’s a nightmare.” To top it off, she gave him a little shake, hoping that would ease him into consciousness.

Back in dream land, 2-D was not doing so well. As the sound of footsteps approached, he scooted even further into the wall he was propped up against, grabbing his mask in an attempt to hide some part of him from the man who caused this madness: Murdoc Niccals, and his little faux Noodle. And there they were, both iridescent and colossal, sickening grins masking their true intentions. 2-D whimpered to himself, taking note that the walls of the basement were also growing increasingly closer to each other, causing the window guarded by the terror inducing whale to crack ever so slightly, and now the already small, dark space was growing more cramped by the second, leaving the illuminated, fantasy Murdoc the only light source. 2-D’s observances were interrupted by the giant Murdoc taking off one of his shoes and holding it up, hovering by 2-D, reading himself to pummel the poor boy with it for no good reason (as he often did). “C’mere, faceache” 2-D watched in horror as the dream Murdoc spoke, his mouth spastic and his words not matching up with anything he was saying. “Please, Mudz, I didn’t– I didn’t do nothin’, you don’t gotta–” The walls were beginning to close at a faster pace now, and the cracked window had started to leak, which was followed by the deafening thumping of whale against glass. Quickly, the room filled up with the disgusting, polluted water Plastic Beach was known for, and 2-D pressed against the top of the ceiling, trying to push it up, trying to make it stop shoving him down into the sickening deep abyss of cold, dark water–but it was no use. The back of his head was shoved against the ceiling and he was forced to look down, only to be greeted with the open mouth from the whale he feared most, ready to devour him whole as Murdoc’s sickening, distorted laugh bustled through the terrifying unknown and–

“Toochie!” Noodle was growing panicked at 2-D’s sudden rapid breathing and frantic heartbeat, so she shook him again, this time patting his cheek also. That seemed to do the trick, though, because 2-D’s eyes bolted open, his body shaking in a cold sweat as he wiped the trail of drool, snot and tears that combined into one mucus-y mixture off of his face. Noodle stared at him, and 2-D stared back at her, his breathing finally steadying, but his heart still going a thousand miles per minute. He stuck his hand out, cupping Noodle’s cheek and then laughing, before pulling her into a shaky embrace. “Ah, ‘m so glad you’re real, you know.” Noodle sighed, returning his hug and rubbing his back, trying to comfort him again. “Was it about that Plastic Beach this time?” 2-D didn’t respond, but Noodle knew the answer. She knew what had happened to him, what Murdoc had done, and what her friend had to go through. Noodle nodded, not wanting to push 2-D to talk about something like this. “Okay,” she whispered, breaking the hug and standing up, guiding 2-D with her. “Go get yourself some water and splash it on your face, you feel hot.” He nodded, and left the room with a dazed walk, almost hitting the door on his way out. She smiled, and made his bed for him, before plugging in a little nightlight right besides his dresser. 

Expecting the Unexpected - Part 3

Pairing: Negan x reader

Summary: Reader tells Negan the news.

Warnings: language

Expecting the Unexpected Masterlist

You shot up, scared out of our mind. Negan looked like he was fucking fuming, which was never a good sign. “What are you talking about?” You tried to keep your voice steady, but failed completely.

“You care to tell me why you’re asking my men about other fuckin’ groups around here?” You went pale. You didn’t think they’d tell him, and even worse, you didn’t think that he’d say anything about it. You figured he’d chock it up to sheer curiosity and leave it at that. You tried to find your voice, make it cool and collected, and you finally spoke.

“Negan, sit down, please. We need to talk about this like adults.” Your calm tone was definitely not what Negan wanted to hear, and you could tell that he was seeing red. You didn’t want it to happen this way, hell, you didn’t even want him to know yet. You wanted to be able to make a clean getaway. You knew that now, because of what those pricks told him, that wouldn’t be in the cards. You needed to tell him. He deserved to know.

Keep reading

You know what I hate?

That empty pang of nostalgia you get when you finsh a podcast/show/book. Here you are, done but already mssing the characters. Thinking back to the adventures you had with them. And there is no real way to quench that thirst. Sure, you can go back a re/listen/watch/read, but can never fully feel that pure, true emotion you had experiencing the story for the first time. Then, that sick empy feeling will still crop up days, weeks, even years after. There it is, always there. You can’t run away from it. That’s why I drown myself in new stories, to run away from it but I can’t. I can’t escape.