possible discomfort

Take Your Pain  {Part 1/2}

Steve x Reader
Summary: Soulmate AU in which Steve overestimates the powers of the super soldier serum and comes to a startling realization

Prompt: You can choose to take the pain of your soulmate away (from this post)

Word Count: 2163
Warnings: none

Originally posted by snowbutlannister

Soulmates were a thing of the past. 

Although it had been common throughout the early 1900s to be born with the small cursive words on your wrist, after the second world war more and more children were born without them. Many blamed it on the plethora of chemical and nuclear weapons, others on the traumatizing pain it had caused throughout the war, but nobody knew for sure why they had disappeared.

That’s why it had been such a big deal when you’d been born with a mark. Your grandparents, old enough to have their own, were ecstatic. Your parents, on the other hand, had urged you to keep it hidden away from the public. It was unusual in their day and age and they feared the attention it might bring.

So for much of your childhood you listened intently to your grandfather’s stories of soulmates in his time, eyes wide and a large grin plastered on your face despite having to keep your own mark a secret.

However, the excitement soon disappeared as you grew older.

Grandma explained that during the war the only way to know if your soulmate was alive and well was to feel for their pain. When your soulmate was hurt a numbness would spread across your own body, alerting you and allowing you to choose whether or not to take that pain away. When you failed to feel that numbness even through your teenage years, you knew what it meant. You might have been lucky to be born with a soulmate, but you sure as hell weren’t lucky enough to meet them.

The supersoldier serum pumping through Steve’s veins did many things. He could run faster, think harder, jump higher and most important of all, he could heal quicker. It was a significant advantage he had over the rest of the Avengers. Even with a bullet in his side Steve would push forwards, the pain all but forgotten and his enhanced body already racing to repair itself.

What Steve didn’t realize was that his pain wasn’t just being forgotten – it was being taken away.

On the other side of Manhattan, another person was willingly taking the pain as their own. Every bullet wound, every slash of a knife she felt so he wouldn’t. She wouldn’t let him. He was her soulmate and after believing he was gone for so many years, she would do anything to protect him.

So Steve continued on fighting, completely unaware that the girl he’d thought was left in the past was in fact alive and well only a few kilometers away.

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Who You Belong To

Description:  Jungkook has noticed you flirting with Taehyung for quite awhile and has finally decided you need to be reminded of who you belong to.

Pairing: Jungkook x Reader

Genre: Smut

Word Count: 8647

Warning: Dom!Jungkook, daddy kink, spanking, minor breath play, thigh riding, hair pulling, punishment, possessiveness

A/N: This is a happy birthday present to @avveh who has been my sounding board for literally every one of these fics.  She helps come up with general plots (what little plots I have in these smuts), what kinks to throw in, even some of the dirty talk, so of course I owed her a birthday present full of her favorite things.

The entire idea for this smut started between the two of us when the Bangtan Bomb for Sope-me was released.  We are possessive smut trashy fangirls and created an entire scenario based on the moment Jungkook got water and looked at something with, what interpreted as, a jealous look.  This is the kind of friendship we have.  We feed each other’s delusions.

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Some thoughts on Phasma, redemption and the Rey and Kylo connection

I’ve just finished reading Phasma, and I very much enjoyed it. There’s a long lull in the middle where a flashback drags on for far too long and Phasma is easily the least interesting character in the book (newsflash! Phasma is a pitiless badass with no scruples! Who knew!?), but despite those deficiencies it’s an interesting story with some pretty great original characters.

In this piece, I’m going to be focusing on the dynamic between the characters of Cardinal, a high-ranking First Order captain, and Vi Moradi, a Resistance spy. In particular, I’m going to consider its potential implications in relation to the pressing questions of Kylo Ren’s redemption and the connection between Rey and Kylo going forward.

The premise of the book is that Cardinal takes Vi captive and interrogates her for information on Phasma’s background, but to say more than that is to venture into spoiler territory. In other words, dive beneath the cut if you want to read on!

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Tattoo

[Day 1- Something New]


Ronan’s in the middle of having lunch –a bowl of the stale cereal Matthew left behind last weekend– when he gets a text from Blue. He expects the usual photo of whatever hideous shoes Gansey’s decided to wear for the day, but instead he gets a short and sweet Ahhhh! followed by a smiley emoji. Another text rolls in a moment later, with a tree emoji and multiple exclamation points. Ronan suspects that Cheng’s hijacked the midget’s phone, so he doesn’t bother with a reply.


Hours later, when the sun is setting behind the treetops on the back end of the property, Ronan gets a phone call. Blue’s cheeky smile illuminates his screen and draws Opal’s attention from her spot beside him. They’re both sitting on the steps of the front porch, eating watermelon and playing an old board game Ronan found stashed away in a closet. Opal has no idea what she’s doing, but Ronan pretends he’s getting his ass handed to him anyway.


“Blue!” Opal cheers, clapping her hands together and splattering juice onto her wool dress. Ronan uses the back of his sleeve to wipe her mouth and grumbles at her to go inside and clean off. Once she’s through the front door, he accepts the incoming call.


“What?”


“Lynch, my favorite disgruntled seal boy! How are you?” Cheng’s annoyingly chipper voice greets him. He doesn’t give pause for an answer and follows up his question with a laugh. “You won’t believe what Parrish did!”


Ronan’s interest piques at the mention of Adam, but he says:


“What are you doing with the pipsqueak’s phone?”


“Being an excellent hype-man,” Cheng laughs again. “Really, guess what Parrish spent his afternoon doing?”


Ronan sighs. He’ll admit that he’s come to somewhat of an understanding with Cheng; by understanding, he means that he knows the other man’s a fixture in Blue and Gansey’s life now, so he reins back on his impulse to deck him in the face and Cheng usually leaves him alone in return. Usually.


“I don’t need to guess,” Ronan scratches at his ear with a pinky finger. “I’ll find out when he gets back.”


“Tattoo,” Cheng says abruptly, ignoring Ronan completely. He sounds excited. “Parrish got a tattoo.”


There’s a voice that’s distinctly Blue’s shouting from somewhere in the background, clearly pissed that the cat’s out of the bag, but Ronan’s too stuck on the word tattoo to pay any attention to what’s being said. He ends the call and rubs a hand at the nape of his neck while attempting to picture Adam with ink. It’s not a complete surprise that the other man got a tattoo; they’d both been discussing it off and on over the last year, with Adam indecisive over what he wanted.


It has to mean something,” Adam had said once, while scribbling ideas onto the back of a notepad.


Ronan’s dragged back to the present when Opal pushes open the front door and peers out with scrunched eyebrows. Her wool dress is soaked and there are suds along her forearms that are dripping onto the floor. She looks mad, even though she’s probably the culprit behind whatever happened. It’s a very Lynch expression. 


“You had one job, kid,” Ronan motions her back inside and they both go to the bathroom, where the faucet is pouring a steady stream into the sink and overflowing onto the white tile. The cold water knob is broken off and lying on the floor, the bottom end rusted. Ronan simply grimaces and rubs his palm along the back of his shaved skull. “Well, fuck.”


“Language,” Adam says, appearing behind them as suddenly as Noah used to. His voice is warm and his accent thick, like he’s genuinely happy to come home to a flooding bathroom and a sopping wet goat-child. He moves to sit a few grocery bags on the dining room table, the familiar white of tattoo wrappings peaking out from under his collar.


Ronan’s fingers twitch with the desire to pull back the gauze and take a look, but he does have a sink to fix first.


“Adam!” Opal shrieks excitedly, trotting from Ronan’s side and plastering herself against Adam as if she’s not seen him in ages. Her eyes are round and bright with unfiltered adoration for the man and Ronan recognizes that look. Yeah, definitely a Lynch. “Welcome back!”


Adam smiles, simple and sweet.


“You’re soaked,” he says and tugs on one of Opal’s wet sleeves. “Why don’t you go and put on something else? I have a present for you from Blue and Gansey, so I’ll be up there in a minute.”


Opal doesn’t need to be told twice because she’s scurrying up the stairs in an instant, hooves like gunfire on the hardwood.


Ronan and Adam simply stare at one another for a few seconds before Ronan makes a turning gesture with his finger. Adam understands, turns around, and carefully lifts off his shirt until the wide expanse of wrappings are exposed. Ronan’s surprised at how large the area is; it covers skin from the nape of Adam’s neck, flares out along his shoulder blades, and ends half way down his spine. There are even a few pieces of gauze secured on the curve of his neck that leads up to his left ear. 


“No fucking wonder you were gone all day. Jesus fuck, Adam,” Ronan means it like high praise, his voice lilting with excitement as he ignores the flooding bathroom in favor of slowly peeling back the coverings to view the ink beneath. It’s a slow process and Adam complains under his breath, but Ronan is in complete awe once he has the tattoo uncovered.


The majority of it is a single, monstrous tree: dozens of branches join into a lush canopy that spreads across Adam’s shoulder blades and reach to the base of his neck. There are a lot of details in the leaves, in the knots of wood along the branches and the trunk. The many roots of the tree twist together into a final point on his lower back, centered on his spine; an infinity loop.


Ronan gently touches Adam’s side, as close to the tattoo as possible without causing any discomfort. He leans closer when he notices writing within the base of the tree and actually laughs when he realizes it’s all of everyone’s names. Gansey, Blue, Adam, Ronan, and Noah are inked into the skin along Adam’s spine, as if someone had actually carved their names into the bark of the tree with a knife.


Beautiful. Ronan has no other word to describe the piece of art on his boyfriend’s skin. Then his eyes snag on Adam’s neck again, as the other turns to see what’s taking him so long. There are ravens emerging from the canopy of the tree, wings spread and flying in a curving pattern that leads to the back of Adam’s deaf ear.


“Well?” Adam asks quietly.


Ronan can’t wait for the ink to settle and the irritation to fade because he wants to trace every single line with his fingertips.


“It’s amazing,” he answers genuinely, then steps back a few paces to really look.


The water flooding the bathroom floor has begun seeping out into the living room. It’s already around Ronan’s work boots and reaching for Adam, pressing around his feet like it’s trying to embrace him. Standing in the pool of water, with the tattoo on his back and his left ear facing Ronan, Adam looks like a creature torn straight from Ronan’s dreams. A secret. A magician.


Ronan can almost feel the memory of Cabeswater whispering to him: Magi. Our hands, our eyes.


“Ronan?” Adam asks while pulling his shirt back on. “What’s wrong?”


With a small shrug of his shoulders, Ronan steps in closer until his lips are almost touching the shell of Adam’s deaf ear. He presses a kiss right behind it, barely missing a small raven, and grins at Adam’s short intake of breath. Right before he pulls back, he whispers you’re gorgeous against warm skin, but Adam doesn’t hear it.


“What did you say?” Adam frowns, the tips of his ears pink.


Ronan grins.


“I asked if you’re as good at fixing sinks as you are at fixing cars?”


Adam’s face scrunches up into an expression Ronan somehow finds both unpleasant and attractive. It makes him want to kiss him.


“That’s not what you said, asshole. And I’m not fixing the sink. You broke it, you fix it.”

reticentseiko  asked:

How about a fluff scenario with Ignis finally deciding to get surgery for his eyes (I'm assuming there is a way in this world) with the persuasion of the guys and while he's recovering, he ends up falling for the nurse that is assigned to his room? Even though he can't see her, he is enamored by her personality and the sound of her voice. By the time his eyes have recovered and he can see, albeit blurry at first, just seeing her for the first time is more than what he could have ever asked for.

The Sound of Your Smile

Ignis x F!OC
Word count: 1853
SFW

Some Ignis fluff, coming up! This is sort of an AU, I suppose? Under the cut because it’s kinda long. Also, in this one-shot, Noctis is still alive. Enjoy!

Tagging @iinkpools because Ignis. And reasons.

Ignis was certain of most things. He knew that a perfect cup of Ebony took ten minutes to brew. He knew the sound of his friends’ voices distinctly, and the small quirks that gave them away. He also knew that he would never regain his vision.

Or so he thought.

“It’s possible,” the doctor had said, touching the scarring around his eyes. “It’s going to take a little bit of healing magic, and some very delicate corrective surgery, but there’s a chance that this could work.”

Ignis shifted from where he sat on the doctor’s examination table. “What is the percentage of success, doctor?”

“Why does it matter?” Gladio’s voice came from his left. “You’re already blind, what else could possibly happen?”

Ignis heard a smack, and Prompto’s voice rang in his ears. “Dude! A little insensitive, don’t you think?”

“Let’s hear it, Doc,” he then heard Noctis say. “What are the chances this actually works?”

Ignis could tell that the doctor was shifting slightly. Possibly from discomfort.

“About thirty-five to forty per cent.”

There was a pause. “Seems awfully low,” Prompto said, sounding a little nervous.

Ignis shrugged slightly. “We might as well go ahead with the surgery. Gladio’s right, there is nothing at this point that could possibly get worse. If we go through with the surgery, there’s a slim chance that my vision could return, and that is a chance I am willing to take.”

Noctis patted Ignis on the back. “We’ll be here for you no matter what, buddy.”

The surgery was schedule for a week later. The doctor that had done the consultation had offered to do it free of charge because of all Ignis had done for the Crown, as well as his connection with King Noctis as well. Ignis was grateful, albeit nervous.

“You don’t have to worry about a thing,” the doctor told him as he laid down on the surgery bed, covering Ignis’ mouth with a mask to put him to sleep. “When you wake up, everything will be different.”

When Ignis came to, he had bandages wrapped tightly around his eyes. His head was resting against a set of fluffy pillows, unusually soft for a hospital, he thought to himself, and had his blankets tucked up to his waist. He could hear the steady beeping of his heart monitor beside the bed, and felt the clamp that registered his pulse on his left index finger.

“Oh, good, you’re awake,” he heard a voice say. He turned his head slightly in the direction it came from. The voice belonged to a woman, sounding to be in her mid-to-late twenties. It was soft and delicate, the kind of voice that could ease any mind in the room. Ignis gulped.

“Yes, I suppose so,” he replied, mentally kicking himself for sounding so foolish. He cleared his throat, asking the question that was burning in his mind. “How was the surgery?”

“It was successful,” she replied, a smile lilting her voice. “Doctor Masika wanted me to apologize on his behalf for not being present to deliver the news, but he was needed in emergency surgery. I’m going to be your nurse during your recovery. My name is Adeline.”

“Adeline,” Ignis repeated, letting the name roll off his tongue. A faint smile crossed his lips. “It’s nice to meet you, Adeline. My name is Ignis.”

“I know,” she joked. “I read your chart.”

Ignis chuckled, and felt himself blush. When was the last time he’d actually blushed? He felt a little silly, being entranced by just a voice. He shook the thought out of his mind.

“How long will I be in recovery for?”

“Two weeks, perhaps?” Adeline replied, flipping through Ignis’ chart. “It says here that you’re to remain on bedrest for the first few days, and then you’re free to roam the hospital with an escort. We just want to make sure your eyes are fully healed before you try opening them, because it was such a delicate surgery.”

“I’m amazed it worked at all,” Ignis confessed. “Admittedly, I was not expecting for the news to be in any way positive.”

“Doctor Masika is an excellent surgeon,” Adeline agreed. “I’m sure he’ll be around later on to speak with you.”

Adeline changed Ignis’ IV and excused herself from the room, gently placing her hand atop his and giving it a light squeeze before saying goodbye. Ignis didn’t have much time to be alone with his thoughts though, because soon his friends were barrelling in and asking him all sorts of questions.

As the days went on, Ignis got used to the routine at the hospital. Doctor Masika came in and explained the recovery process in greater detail, and his friends would drop by and visit. But as time passed, Ignis came to realize that the person he’d look forward to seeing—so to speak—the most was Adeline.

She was shy at first, and kept things very professional. But the more Ignis spoke to her, the more her personality started to show. She would often sit with him during her lunch break and bring him food that she’d cooked at home so that he wouldn’t have to consume whatever bland meals were served at the hospital. She was a good cook, and promised to share her recipes with him once he regained his vision.

He also learned that she had become a nurse because of the ten years of darkness that had taken over when Noctis was absorbed by the Crystal. She said that she wanted to help people, and that there were so many friends and family members that she had lost to daemons that she never wanted someone else’s loved ones to have to endure that same pain.

The first time he made her laugh, he made a silly pun.

“Damn, I’ve gone and broken my pencil,” Adeline huffed as she was filling out more information on his chart. Ignis couldn’t help himself.

“Writing with a broken pencil is pointless.”

After a moment, Adeline burst out laughing, letting out a bit of a snort, and coughed as if she was embarrassed. He thought her laugh was adorable, and made a mental note to make her laugh more so that he could selfishly hear it again. “Wow, Ignis,” she chuckled, wiping tears from the corners of her eyes. “That was terrible. I needed that.”

Ignis grew to admire her very quickly, and that thought scared him.

Did he only care for her because she was his caretaker? The thought crossed his mind that maybe it was just because she was in close proximity, and that she was kind to him. But he thought about it a little more, and disagreed with the idea. He’d grown to know her over the past few weeks, and she’d shared with him stories that she swore she’d never admitted to anyone before: stories of her past, her deceased parents, her missing friends and her deep-seated fears. He’d told her much of the same, and he realized he hadn’t opened up to anyone like that in…well, his entire life.

Whenever her skin would graze his, he could feel his heart begin to race. He prayed to the Six that the heart monitor didn’t give him away, and he often had to take deep breaths to ensure that his heart rate returned back to normal.

“Only one more day left,” Adeline said, checking his chart on the next to last day of his hospital visit. “Are you excited?”

“I suppose,” Ignis replied, which was half-true. He had a thought on his mind and weighed the consequences of his words before finally answering. “I am excited to see if my vision has truly returned, but…admittedly, I’m afraid that I’m going to miss being around you every day.”

The room was quiet. The soft beeping of the heart monitor was the only sound that pierced the room.

“Ignis…”

“I understand that I’ve overstepped my bounds,” he said carefully, folding his hands in his lap. “I apologize if I’ve made you uncomfortable.”

He was expecting to hear the door open and shut, leaving him alone with his foolish thoughts. What he didn’t expect was to feel a hand come to rest on his cheek a pair of soft lips gently pressing against his. The kiss was over almost before it began, too quick for Ignis to reciprocate. But when she pulled away, he still found himself breathless.

“I’ve been feeling the same way,” she admitted sheepishly. “I thought I was being stupid for falling for a patient…but I like you. I really do.”

Ignis definitely heard the heart monitor pick up on his racing pulse. Adeline chuckled.

“Let’s get you through your recovery first, yeah? We can figure out the rest later.”

Morning came too soon. Adeline arrived to help Ignis take off his bandages, telling him that the doctor had another emergency surgery to attend to, so it was just the two of them. It was a slow, nerve-wracking process as Adeline unwrapped the bandages from around Ignis’ head. Once they were off, she peeled back the gauze that covered his eyelids.

The heavy scarring was still along his left cheek, but some of it had managed to be scraped away where his eyelid was to allow for it to open properly.

“Open your eyes,” Adeline instructed, placing a hand on his shoulder.

Ignis slowly opened them, his eyelids fluttering as his vision tried to adjust to the sheer amount of light in the room. Everything was blurry at first, and his head throbbed. He knew it was because he hadn’t seen the light of day in years, and so he would need time to adjust.

Eventually, he managed to fully open both eyes, the room slowly coming into view. Ignis felt tears pricking the corners of his vision as things slowly became clearer and clearer. With his heart pounding in his chest, he turned to Adeline to gaze upon her for the first time.

She smiled at him, her hands clasped in front of her as if she was in silent prayer. She had intelligent, almond shaped eyes, a small, round nose and plump lips. Her straight hair was long and dark, pulled up into a bun with a few strands falling in front of her eyes.

“You’re even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined,” he breathed, and she let the tears fall down her face. Ignis reached over and brushed them away, pulling her to him. He sat up in the hospital bed and she hugged him close, stroking the back of his head as they cried together.

She pulled away for just a second, holding his face in her hands.

“Ignis,” she said, her smile growing wide. “Your eyes…they’re green.”

He kissed her right there in that hospital bed, pouring all of his heart and soul into their embrace. He could finally see the world again, and the smile on Adeline’s face was a sight that he never wanted to be without for the rest of his days.

Imagine Sam, Dean, and the reader go to another dimension where they meet themselves except in an A/B/O universe

A/N: I was just literally introduced to this AU a few days ago and this idea was in my head so to get it out of my head I wrote it down. I didn’t proof read or spellcheck other than what my phone does but it’s here so sorry about any typos, i wrote this on notes lol.

word count: 4,714

No Smut, I don’t know how to write it or feel comfortable writing it, but if someone wants to reblog this and add it in go for it. I’ll read it. 

Dean x reader, Alpha!Dean x Omega!reader, Sam, Beta!Sam

———

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Frequent Patient

Request: “Hey! Can I please request a kylo x Reader do where she is a medic on the ship and takes care of kylo after he is seriously injured and he falls in love with her and always makes up excuses or injuries to go visit her in the medbay. Maybe he goes to see her one day but she is treating hux and he gets super jealous/possessive. Thanks so much x”

Pairing: Kylo Ren x Reader

Word Count: 1980

Warnings: a lil implied smut at the end

Originally posted by hardyness


Starkiller had fallen. The shame prodded more deeply at Kylo than the bleeding gash in his shoulder, and he limped towards the medical bay on the Finalizer, grunting with each step. A ripple of pain ricocheted against his shoulder and face. He would’ve been fine with having a droid stitch him up, but the wound across his face would need the care of human hands to make sure the scar healed nicely. He didn’t care about how he looked, but Hux had insisted that the new Doctor on board would be able to keep Kylo at least recognizable.

A trail of blood was left by the knight of Ren, and his vision was growing hazier by the second. He no longer could feel the left side of his torso, and it took all his strength to will the Force to keep his guts from spilling out. If only he hadn’t have been wounded, he would’ve slaughtered both the traitor and the scavenger girl. His weakened state made the duel totally unfair, but he still felt immensely disappointed that he still could not have pulled through in victory.

You emerged from the busy ward, having tended to countless injured Storm troopers, and almost dropped your information tablet at the sight of the panting Kylo.

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follows-swallows  asked:

For the non-sexual acts of intimacy prompts: ♟: Patching up a wound, Cullen x Inquisitor!

Alright, here I go with NO SMUT! Thanks so much for this prompt @follows-swallows​! It was sort of challenging, but I hope you enjoy! <3


SFW Dragon Age Fanfic Prompt
Rating: T 
Pairing: Female Mage Trevelyan x Cullen Rutherford
Word Count: 1k
Tags: Graphic descriptions of injuries, hurt/comfort, mild angst, fluff
Fic title inspired by: Dorian by Agnes Obel


The Inside Out On The Open by fereldenpeach

“Hold still.”

“I can’t! It fucking hurts!”

Cullen gingerly hooked his fingers through the line of torn fabric enough to continue the tear, carefully ripping it from Evelia’s body with the intention of preventing any further discomfort to his sore, exhausted, and maimed paramour.

The physical visit to the Fade had not been kind to the Inquisitor and her party—their bodies wracked, resources depleted, and minds bewildered with conflicting and unnerving visions meant to torment and torture what semblance of hope of which they all had desperately clung—an effort that was meant to keep them there—in defeat—for the rest of their days.  

The battle for Adamant had been nothing in comparison to the Fade, and Evelia had the wounds to prove it. Long ribbons of raw, red, and jagged flesh had burst across her right shoulder blade—her souvenirs on behalf of Fearlings converging on her from all angles. Dorian had covered her too late—a self-blame that had left him in tears at the edge of camp despite her insistence that she was fine, that she was alive, and all would be mostly right in the morning. Her stomach knotted at the thought of leaving Loghain behind—a decision that she knew would haunt her dreams for as long as she was living—but the burn and throb deep within the lacerations in her back would suffice as punishment for the time being.

Cullen said nothing while he inspected her wounds, his hands shaking as they continued to work her arms from her clothing, rending her partially naked there in his tent. He stole a glance back to the tent’s entrance, ensuring the flaps were secure and that no one would be able to glimpse her in such a state.

Why didn’t you bring Solas with you?” Cullen’s voice was calm despite the fear and irritation wrapped around his nerves. He opened a glass container, pulling its cork with a satisfying pop—the smell of elfroot swirled throughout the tent.  

“Dorian. I thought he and I could handle it. Solas has been—ahhh! Maker, Cullen, that’s fucking cold! It burns!”

Evelia squirmed, her fingernails digging into the meat of Cullen’s thighs and he paused his attentions on her injuries to band his free arm around her waist, pulling her closer so that her hips nestled between his open legs. Shushing noises slipped between his teeth, his fingers massaging into her biceps to distract and coax down her pain and anxiety.

“It was foolish.” Her voice was low, despondent, regretful. “I should have insisted that he come with us. I know things would have turned out differently had Solas been there.”

Cullen said nothing and instead rubbed a large dollop of salve between his palms, warming it in preparation of a second application. Deft fingers lightly patted the treatment into her wounds, taking care to prevent discomfort from the rough calluses of his fingers—and he nursed her despite her curses, watching as the skin around her torn flesh paled to its natural color—the magic of the herbs calming the angry inflammation branching within her veins.

Once he had finished, Evelia flashed her strongest healing spell throughout her body, using the power from the elfroot to hasten her recovery. Cullen tensed momentarily, but relief flooded his heart upon glimpsing her mostly smoothed back—only the largest of her wounds staring up at him from the mess of salve glistening in the glow of the lamplight.

“None of us expected you to physically enter the Fade, let alone your entire party,” he whispered, setting aside the salve in favor of a needle and suturing thread.

“I know. But it’s no excuse.”

Cullen hummed in contemplation. “Take a deep breath, darling. This will sting.”

Evelia did as she was told, filling her lungs to capacity as the needle pierced and threaded her flesh. Cullen worked as quickly and precisely as possible, and Evelia said a quiet thanks to the Maker during her long and careful exhale—grateful for her paramour’s expertise and skill, thankful for the elfroot’s numbing properties—and with that, the stitching had ended almost as quickly as it had begun. Cullen sliced off the remaining thread and proceeded to securely bind her injury. He wrapped the long, thin strip of linen around her chest, under her arms, over her shoulder, and tied it neatly so it would cause her as little discomfort as possible.

Cullen stood and looked down at her, assessing his work before reaching into his pack to withdraw a cream-colored tunic. Gathering the fabric around the collar of his shirt, he slipped it over her head before proceeding to gently pull her hands through the sleeves and smooth his fingers over her shoulders so her scarlet hair could cascade down her back. He took a seat next to her and reclined against his bedroll, extending his hand for her to join him by his side.

“Come, love.”

A small, sheepish smile spread Evelia’s mouth and she carefully stretched over him, snuggling against his shoulder and inhaling his warm and delectable musk. She nibbled at her bottom lip and he turned more to his side, looking over at her with a curious expression.

“What?” he asked.

“You’ve never called me that before—love.”

Without a second of hesitation, Cullen’s cheeks burned a warm pink that quickly flooded down his neck. But despite his blatant embarrassment, the look he bore in his eyes was unabashed—an intentional stare that relayed more than a simple glance as they flicked back and forth between the gray-green pools he’d come to search for from his earliest waking moment of the day until the Fade overtook his dreams at night.

“How do you feel?” he asked, cupping her cheek and gliding the pad of his thumb along her soft skin.

“Like I want to hear it more often,” she said.

His heart skipped a beat and Cullen was overwhelmed with immense excitement coupled with a nerve-wracking fear. But he drew in a deep breath, leaned forward, and kissed her—a delicate and familiar touch that suddenly felt different simply because his heart had slipped on his tongue. And it only made him long for more.

“I meant your injuries,” Cullen whispered, his lips grazing her jaw.

“I know,” she whispered back.

(Likes and reblogs welcome. 😘 )

an uncomfortable half hour

I find that some of the day-to-day living things make me uncomfortable, like paying bills and making medical appointments and dealing with my property management company etc. In an effort to stop putting this stuff off for so damned long, I’ve instituted An Uncomfortable Half Hour at the best day in the month to get all this crap done at once.

Step 1: Pick day and time (in advance of any bills being due). Then ignore it all until then.

Step 2: Get all papers in place with all phone numbers at the ready.

Step 3: Set timer for half an hour.

Step 4: Understand that the next 30 minutes are going to really, really suck.

Step 5: Do.

Step 6: Stop timer, stand up, shake off as much of the discomfort as possible. 

Step 7: Drink a glass of ice water. If it was really stressful/bad, take a shower. It’s a psychological hack and not based in science but it can help.

Step 8: Go look at videos of cats. You’re done for the month.

(results may vary etc)

Save Me - Part 2 - Chapter 62

Licking my lips, I felt my clit pulse.   Instantly changing my mood, the disappointment I had in my surprise being ruined was now long gone.  

My initial plan was out the window but I still wanted to present him with something unexpected.   I wanted so much to surprise him and really take his mind off everything that was bothering him.  

‘What to do, what to do…’  I thought to myself.  

My eyes darted around the room at all the different toys and implements I had s attested around the room.    Landing on the anal plugs that were neatly displayed side by side on the bed, this could be the answer I was looking for.  

‘This one’

Grabbing the glass plug with the white Swarovski crystal he had designed for me along with the lube that I knew I would definitely need, I darted back into the bathroom.  

THIS would surprise him.   Hell, if I pulled this off I’d surprise ME!

Placing both items on the counter, I had some apprehension about inserting this myself.   In all honesty, I was scared to hurt myself.  He always took such care that I hoped I could manage the same.   If I didn’t prepare enough and it started to hurt causing me to tense, all this would be ruined too.  

It’s not like I had all day and the option of multiple tries.   Jared is a patient man but not THAT patient.  

The only thing driving me on was the fact that he would never expect me to do this on my own.   Simply imagining his surprise when I was bending over before him to show him what I had done was making my tummy tingle.  

Flipping the cap on the bottle of lube open, I squirted the slick liquid onto my first two fingers.   Squatting down, I held the edge of the counter for balance as I began to massage my tight opening.  

Remembering what Jared did to ready my body, I tried to do exactly what he’d do.   Instead of concentrating on the task at hand, I thought about him and how I hoped tonight would go.   I knew that mentally distracting myself would allow the discomfort to fade just as it does when he’s the one readying my body.  

Before long, on thoughts of him alone, my pussy was dripping and puckered hole was aching to be filled.  

Standing back up, I took the glass plug and dripped lube on it, making sure there was enough to hopefully slip it inside my body quickly and with as little discomfort as possible.  

At this point, I was beyond anxious to get back to him.  

Squatting again, I used the head of the plug to circle my tightness until I felt it was where it needed to be to work it in.  Whether it was the position I put myself in or that I was just THAT turned on, I was shocked at how easy and really pinch free it was to push it in.  

Like, almost too easy.  

At least until I was about halfway in and at the thickest part of the plug.   Yep, I wasn’t getting away that easily.   Knowing I didn’t have much further to go, I bit my lip and pushed through the pinching, nearly biting my lip off.    

“Owwwiiieeee…”  I mumbled to myself hoping Jared didn’t hear me this time.  

Once I felt it was seated, I let the breath out that I had been holding.   Taking a deep, calming breath, I realized I had actually worked up a sweat.   It’s hard work trying to push though discomfort while at the same trying to keep your body loose.

I must say, I definitely enjoy Jared doing all this instead of me.  

‘Phew’

As I stood again and brought my legs together, I closed my eyes and relished in the sensation of my body molding around the glass.   My body’s reaction had me desperately needing to be touched.   I could slip my fingers into my slick folds but I resisted for two reasons.  What I really wanted his touch, not my own.   Besides, touching myself would most likely get me into trouble and I wasn’t up for a serious punishment.  

Tonight was about pleasure.  

Unbuttoning Jared’s shirt, I let it fall to the floor.   He only requested that I be on my knees but to up the ante I thought naked would be better.

Desire was written all over my body from my flushed cheeks to my darkened eyes.   Taking a damp washcloth, I blotted the sweat from my forehead.   Deciding to leave the slickness between my thighs, I wanted him to see how excited it made me to get ready for him.  

As I stood back to look at myself in the mirror, I turned around to take a peak at what he’d see when I bent for him.   Looking over my shoulder, I could see the crystal head of the plug nestled between my cheeks.    It made me feel incredibly sexy.    

After a quick dab of lip gloss, I used my fingers to tousle my hair.   There was only one thing left I wanted to get before I went to him.  

Leaving the bathroom and turning the light out I went straight to the bed.   Quickly taking the crop with me, I walked to the threshold of the bedroom door.   This was my favorite implement and I really wanted him to use it tonight.  

Peaking around the corner, I could see Jared sitting on the couch seemingly impatiently waiting.    Taking a little step back, I closed my eyes then took one last calming breath trying to settle the heart that was hammering in my chest.  

‘Now or never, Vivie.’  

Opening my eyes, I took a step over the threshold.    

As soon as I fell to my knees, I could feel my skin tingle and heart begin to steadily thump in nervous anticipation.   Placing the crop in my mouth, I put both hands on the floor and began to crawl towards him.  

Starting slowly, each move was creating sensation from the anal plug to my throbbing clit.   My physical senses were so strong, it was like I could feel every fiber of the rug against my knees and hands.   Even the air around me felt like a cool blanket.  

“Baby,”  He called to me, “I’m starting to get very impatient.  I thought…”

Jared was literally sitting on the edge of his seat as he waited for me.   Placing his elbows on his knees he then rested his chin on his thumbs.   His index fingers rested against his lips, it was almost as if he was holding his breath too.  

Before he even finished his sentence, we made eye contact as I rounded the corner.  

His eyes widened as I approached.   Sitting up straighter and placing his hands on his knees, he licked his lips.   For the first to,e ever, I could see him take his own cleansing breath.  

Stopping in my tracks, I waited for him to instruct me on where to go from here.

Waving me forward with his fingers,  "Come to me.“

I lowered my eyes back to the floor in acknowledgment the continued on.  

Crawling maybe another ten feet further, I was now at his feet.   I sat back on my heels and placed my hands in my lap leaving the crop between my teeth.   With my eyes to the floor in submission, I couldn’t see him but I could hear the steady pace of his breathing.  

“Very good, baby girl.”  He said with a smile,  “You’ve listened so well.”  

I wish I could be as calm and controlled as he was but that was definitely not the case.  The longer I sat at his feet waiting for his next instruction the less I could slow my breathing.  My anticipation level was out the roof.  

“I know you love the crop.”   Jared murmured, tipping my chin up,  “I love it too, baby girl.“

Our eyes met as he reached for the crop to take it from between my lips.   With it now in his hands, he gently placed the smooth leather tip flat against my soft lips.   Using it to trace an invisible line over my chin, then down my neck, finally stopping between my breasts, it sent goosebumps across my body hardening my nipples.  

Bending down so that his lips brushed against my ear as he spoke, Jared whispered…

“You look so fucking gorgeous baby.”   He said, kissing my shoulder then stood,  “I’m very much looking forward to welting your soft, beautiful skin…”

“Me too, Sir.”  

SWEETHEART // MASTERLIST // REQUESTS CLOSED


Request: Hi! I was wondering if you could do a fluffy one shot with Kylo and a sick reader where he takes care of her and cuddles her :)

A/N: I got this done so quick bc I was in the biggest of moods to write fluff and like 90% of my requests are anything but so thank you, anon! Enjoy!

Warning: None

Word Count: 2.3K+


The excitement of moving off of the Finalizer and onto Starkiller Base had become a faint memory. At first, you were more than thrilled to be surrounded by nature and not open space. Sure, seeing nothing but stars was quite pleasant, but you grew to feel a bit of cabin fever when all you ever saw was stars.

Keep reading

Dinner Stares

Lil blurb because I was feeling one tonight. Prompt: Harry’s girl is really shy and gets far too many stares from other people than Harry would like.

Harry’s hand visibly tightened around his girl’s, causing a frown to plaster itself onto her features. With her mouth in a full pout, she glanced up at him warily to detect the reason behind his discomfort. His own mouth was settled in a hard line, eyes angrily fleeting across the room. The hairs of his dark brows knitted together and his jaw clenched almost painfully.

It was quite a task to get Harry angry. It took far too much energy to get him riled up from his usual peaceful state. His patience was abundant and his kindness was sometimes overwhelming. Harry Styles troubled was never a good sign.

He’d never been this way in front of her before, no, he was a gentle, massive hearted fawn. His world was an ornate wonderland and his main source of happiness was the uneasy girl besides him who carefully documented his every move, long before he had caught her eye a month ago.

The restaurant he had brought her to was busy. He decided it was finally time to take a day off and treat his perfect girl, although he’d never admitted he found her utterly perfect. The early stages of their relationship was prolonged since she’d barely seen Harry for more than a couple hours in the past five weeks.

The chatter significantly dropped once the pair stepped into the large, dimly lit hall. Eyes immediately latched onto their figures, enthralled by Harry’s wealthy stand and his girl’s nervous gaze.

So what could possibly cause this man’s discomfort? The girl wasn’t too experienced in handling him. He was still quite a stranger to her, although she made sure to ask him how his day was whenever she saw him. He never seemed to be perturbed by the question. He seemed to love her company.

A couple minutes into the dinner, the girl had found herself in this position with a half fuming boyfriend besides her and the incapability to aid him.

Harry finally opened his mouth. “I hate the way they’re starin’ at yeh,” he murmured, tightening his grasp even further. It didn’t seem possible but he managed to do so anyways. “It’s like they don’t even see me next t'yeh.”

So the men were not staring at the lavish couple. No, they were staring at her exposed shoulders and dress that seemed to tighten around her waist when she sat down. The girl would be lying if she claimed she hadn’t noticed the hungry gazes of the men while their dates focused on the food in front of them. She noticed earlier than him. The girl had only subtly pressed herself against his arm and followed him quietly through the mass of people until they reached their table.

There was a hint of insecurity in Harry’s voice that his girlfriend vaguely picked up on. It was as if he actually believed the men were far more worthy of the girl. He nearly gave into the rude gazes the people were giving the girl. Would she always attract these kinds of people?

“They want your attention s'badly,” he sighed.

Harry’s girl was still quiet, at a loss of words. She could place her hand on his knee and mutter that he shouldn’t pay any attention to the irrelevant men. However, her panicking anxiety kicked in and her adrenaline wore away from earlier that night where Harry gushed about how angelic she looked. She felt nervous just by sitting so close to the frustrated man while eyes attacked her. She could have placed a not so discreet kiss under his jawline to prove herself unavailable to the men but suddenly it didn’t seem like a tremendous idea. Were they even at that stage yet?

Instead, she simply craned her neck and allowed her lips to gaze over his ear and whispered almost inaudible, “They won’t get it.”

Harry clearly relaxed at her words and tilted his head down and hear her better. She continued shyly, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, “And I think you look the most handsome out of everyone here.”

She’d hardly ever complimented his looks during their one month together, however when she did, it was a major amazing hit to his ego. A grin slithered onto his lips and he glanced down at the girl. His eyes shone with victory, dimples deepening as he took in her flustered state.

“Yeah?”

She merely nodded and sighed shakily, noticing her fingers absentmindedly toying with a button on his blazer. Harry licked his lips placed a heavy kiss to the corner of her mouth and her eyes fluttered shut at the feeling of his warmth

“Thank yeh, my beautiful girl.”

She didn’t stop blushing for the rest of their perfect dinner date. They didn’t even care about the frequent stares they received.

you who shined the brightest

genre: highschool!au | teen angst | slow burn | fluff&romance

star: mark lee&lee donghyuck 

side note: possibility of emotional discomfort may occur throughout this series. read at your own discretion.

author’s note: this plot is very personal to me. everything I felt, thought and urged to do was the base mould to create this fic. I’ll release the first few chapters around the first 2-3 weeks of October. 

synopsis: a heart so burdened and heavy with sadness and regret. in the classroom the heart that wants to disappear was hurt. you kept hiding it over and over again behind a smile. the smile of you, who flew through this window and died:

                    I won’t ever forget it; not even tomorrow.

Christianity and demon lovers

Amaimon and Astaroth: They both wouldn’t care, not even see the possible discomfort it could bring you by fighting against your parents like this. All they would care for is if you’re willing to stay with them. If not, and they realize your parents are the only thing stopping you, well guess the world just lost a few Christians.

Lucifer: They won’t know. They will think that you’re with a demon but not that you’re with the literal Devil. Though, if they give you shit for doing that, the result will be the same as with Amaimon and Astaroth.

Mephisto: If anything, he will only laugh. Isn’t it quite ironic that he chose you as his partner and his maybe parents-in-law are so bloody Christians that they would constantly throw holy water and the like at him just for being close to you. Not too mention that they would ward off their home with several demon traps. The only time when he will get angry is when they violently try to cleanse your soul for being with him. And then shit’s going down.

anonymous asked:

(a bittersweet prompt(?)) a slow burn relationship between akira and reader? where they acknowledge eachother and the further they interact there are conflicting feelings with reasons of both being in pressuring positions that they are at a loss of how they can continue this questionable friendship? i hope this made sense--

I tried.  I tried so hard but I think I lost it pretty quickly in this mess.  Just take my 3.7k words anon I’m sorry.


It started with a book and would end with blood, but that was not your story.

[Akira x Reader]


The first time you met the onyx-haired youth, the both of you had reached for the same book.  The Taiheido Bookstore on Central Street was not the largest but certainly not the smallest store either.  Such a chance encounter was truly a coincidence within the universe or perhaps fate.

“Ah, I’m sorry, go ahead,” you relented to the male.

He nodded at you in thanks before taking the last copy of the latest popular release. You could feel your heart sink a bit at the loss, but you knew it was pointless to fight for the tome.  It was not as if you possessed to cash to purchase it anyways.

“That’s… a really great book.  The hero is really courageous and kind and the trials he goes through bring tears to the eyes.  Everyone can find a little piece of their own life in his story—I mean, that’s what I’ve heard anyways and, um, sorry!  That was unnecessary…” you ended in a mumble, heat flared beneath your skin at your rambling.

“…Did you want to buy this?” he asked after a moment, voice soft to your ears.

“No, it’s okay.  I… wouldn’t be able to,” you admitted with another flash of shame.

Keep reading

Petition for the Gotham fandom to immediately stop calling last nights recent Nygmobblepot horror “gay panic”as a big joke heres why; 

  • Gay Panic is a criminal defence used by straight men who murder gay men ( typically friends or colleagues  ) after learning of their romantic and / or sexual feelings for them. 

  • Gay Panic though it has widely been banned is STILL a relevant, usable criminal defence in many states in the US and other places of the world
     
  • If you don’t know what the above means: it means a straight man can murder a gay man for being gay.

    It works upon the idea that straight men are so freaked out by the idea of gay men having romantic feelings for them they can slip into a form of psychosis and murder said gay man. This is used as a valid excuse and can get them off on the homophobic hate crime they committed. 

  • Why does this work? Because toxic masculinity is a thing. Straight men often suffer fragile egos and need to reassure themselves of their super macho heterosexuality every moment of their lives. Gay men and gay love is seen as emasculating and thus seen as extremely threatening to a straight man. They fear being gay or a gay man will rob them of said masculinity and this is more than enough to throw them into a violent rage that results in gay men being severely beaten or murdered. 

Some definitions of gay panic include: 

a legal defence, usually against charges of assault or murder. A defendant using the defence claims they acted in a state of violent temporary insanity because of a purported psychiatric condition called homosexual panic. The defendant alleges to find the same-sex sexual advances so offensive and frightening that it brings on a psychotic state characterized by unusual violence.

And

Homosexual panic is a term coined by psychiatrist Edward J. Kempf in 1920 for a condition of “panic due to the pressure of uncontrollable perverse sexual cravings”. Kempf classified this condition as an acute pernicious dissociative disorder, meaning that it involved a disruption in typical perception and memory functions of an individual. In the psychiatrist’s honour, the condition has come to also be known as “Kempf’s disease”. It is no longer recognized by the DSM.

Its really not okay to make jokes about Ed suffering “”gay panic”” after last nights episode. In general its incredibly disrespectful to gay men, particularly as despite the CLEAR HOMOPHOBIA this is still a relevant legal defence used to excuse homophobes of attacking and murdering gay men. 

On top of that what Gotham showed tonight continued to be completely in theme with its offensive flippant use of homophobic tropes in dealing with Nygmobblepot. Gay Panic actually DOES bare a disturbing resemblance to Ed’s treatment of Oswald which makes it all the more horrifying & gay fans pointed that out long before this epsiode. 

Last night, Edward Nygma was shown fantasising about Oswald in a very sexually driven way while also displaying clear discomfort and disgust toward this. The show has made an immense effort to completely desexualise Oswald’s feelings for Ed and explained that his feelings were in no way sexual. Oswald’s feelings had never been put across in a sexual way in canon UNTIL Ed. 

What I mean by this is Oswald’s feelings were displayed as very non threatening to Ed and yet Ed has completely sexualized them of his own accord and further shown that this is something he is uncomfortable with. This literally cannonly confirms that somewhere in Eds psyche he either found Oswald’s sexuality/feelings threatening and disgusting or that Oswald’s feelings did cause him to question his sexuality and he has been experiencing intense internalised homophobia. 

The latter is not great either because it feeds the stereotype that people who commit homophobic hate crimes or act in a homophobic way are secretly gay or bi themselves. This is intensely offensive and often makes a big victim blaming joke in itself out of both homophobic violence and real gay / bi people who suffer internalised homophobia and generally works to excuse homophobic hate crimes. 

This scene either existed as another way to show Eds discomfort with Oswald’s sexuality or to show Ed’s discomfort with possibly harbouring homosexual feelings himself. 

Also consider that Cory Michel Smith has A) confirmed that Edwards attachment to Isabella was because she made him feel like a “ real man ” which even early on correlated to Oswald’s feelings for him to being seen as ‘emasculating’ by Ed and Ed’s masculinity / security being related directly to being in heterosexual relationships.

and B) That CMS has come out and declared multiple times that Ed is in no way queer and does not have ANY romantic/sexual feelings for Oswald. He continues to reaffirm this in just about every interview hes done since e12. 

I assure you that NO homophobic fanboys are going to feel overly upset over last night episode because Oswald’s feelings for Ed are STILL being portrayed as a source of “discomfort” for Ed and used to justify what he did to Oswald. Even before that scene this was general consensus among straight men ( and homophobes in general ) who similarly feel threatened and repulsed by gay affections and believed Ed did the best and ONLY thing possible for a man to do in his situation. 

That very sexually charge homoerotic scene also came from a show who has gay coded Oswald since day one, directly outed him to traumatise him emotionally, mentally and psychically, would not allow him to have his love recognised in any positive way, had a heterosexual romance held directly above it and has then continued to try and erase his identity as gay. 

Please please please don’t joke about “Gay Panic” in regard to Nygmobblepot. 

No matter how you feel about the ship or the canon PLEASE don’t. I know you guys MAY be intending it to mean something different but please be aware of what “Gay Panic” is and its usage and further how disturbingly similar it actually is to what happened in Nygmobblepot. 

  • Idubbbz: explains fanedits, not really saying anything actually bad about them, a bit of making his own, maybe making fun of them a bit. Possibly hinting at his discomfort of the edits of just in general addressing the fan base and doing what he does (satire/insults/etc)
  • Fans: I!!!! CAN!! NOT BLieveee!!!! We done nithin but L O VVE!! I HATE HIM NOW!!!!! HE IS S A T A N

kagemushakosuke  asked:

44, the space gays, Al saying it. Shoot me hard please. </3 XD

Shoot, you say? May this be a shotgun to the heart! :D

44: “If you die, I’m gonna kill you.”

Salt and Iron

Subtle missions required subtle people. Anyone who saw Ivan and Alfred function in their day-to-day lives would never believe they were capable of being anything but ostentatious, but their capacity for subtlety was, itself, discreet. It showed in their typical politician answers of vagueness and misdirect; it showed in their guarded postures, arms folded over their hearts, feet always spread just so to be ready for anything; it showed in the precautions they took in their private lives, like always changing their routes to work, using fake names when conversing with strangers on the street.

It granted them safety and it made them good at their job with the agency.

But sometimes however good you are, the enemy was just as crafty.

Donned in their freshly pressed suits, Ivan and Alfred were a sharp sight indeed. They maintained a respectable distance in the main hall, but always close enough to keep the other in sight.

“Guy on your left as a knife sheathed up his sleeve,” Alfred murmured into his wine glass. He was at a slight disadvantage in this mission, needing to observe through his peripherals, but needing to look through his glasses to see well. He didn’t like relying on contact lenses; last time he had, they had popped out. No lenses stayed in his eyes for long.

Ivan, for his part, had been more than willing to accept this mission. Their target’s sprawling manor rested near a beach, and slivers of it were visible through the crystal-clear windows framed by heavy curtains of a rich red. Sandy shores and spacious seas were a favorite of his, even if he did not get to see them enough.

Their eyes met for half a heartbeat across the hall, and Alfred saw as Ivan’s gaze travel on the taller man scratch unassumingly at his nose.

All clear.

Alfred feigned fixing his tie.

Let’s go.

Without missing a beat, Ivan extricated himself from their fellow partygoers, striding off through a side door. Alfred, meanwhile, pretended to inquire as to where the bathroom was. As if he had not poured over a map of the entire premises for hours upon hours with his three companions: Ivan, coffee, and pretzels.

Bladder not remotely full, Alfred did not stay in the restroom long, instead quietly exiting, locking and closing the door behind him as he navigated his way to where Ivan was heading for. Their target boosted a strong ego, sure that through extensive screening everyone with an invitation would pose no threat to him. As such, the bulk of his security was focused on the main area of the party to do crowd control if anyone got rowdy. It was easy for Ivan to work the lock on the door, and just as easy for Alfred to hack the number pad and disable the digital lock.

And it was easy to enter the room and not leave a trace of themselves, as their prize- a simple painting, hung front and center right across from them. The door was closed quietly behind them as the two snuck in and removed the painting from the wall.

“Where is it?” Alfred voice was barely a breath. “Where’s the money?” He looked up and down the frame, along the back, the sides.

Slipping on a pair of gloves, Ivan’s fingers ghosted carefully over both sides of the canvas. He paused, gaze distant as he felt. “It…is in here. There’s another layer of canvas- the money is hidden between them.” He pulled out a knife. The tearing of the canvas filled the silence of the ornate office as, just as he’d predicted, one layer of canvas was peeled away to reveal wads of hundred-dollar bills.

Alfred whistled. “That’s exactly how much the chief said there’d be.” He began bagging the stolen funds as Ivan tore away the rest of the second layer and unfurled a stretch of fabric. They had brought that with the intention of using it for a quick escape or cut away swatches as gags or tourniquets, but Ivan’s intention would require all of it. “Not exact but it will do,” he muttered as he began stretching it over the frame as a replacement to the ruined canvas he had removed.

“Not quite.”

Both their heads snapped up, hearts pounding as their target frowned at them, a machine gun already aimed right at them. “I worked hard to get that money and I intend on using it,” he said coolly. “And I’d rather not worry about you two blabbing.”

“Law enforcement will love locking up an egomaniac prick like you,” Alfred shot back, eyes narrowed. He reached for his gun, stomach squirming as he watched the gunman smirk, and knew he would not have time.

“I think I’ll kill the mouthy one first,” the man said casually, as if debating what to order at a restaurant.

Alfred felt Ivan tense beside him. The gun was raised.

Barely three seconds passed as the world erupted into chaos. Shots rang, audible across the world, but Alfred did not see them coming as Ivan threw himself in front, pulling out his own gun. Something of the momentum must have misbalanced him, because he stumbled past Alfred rather than fire, but it made no matter because in the time Ivan’s distraction granted him, Alfred grabbed his own gun and fired. He hit his mark.

“GUARDS!” the man screamed, collapsed on the floor clutching his gut and thigh.

“Music is a bit loud, buddy, don’t think they’ll hear you for a bit,” Alfred gloated.

A pained moan reached his ears. Alfred looked over to see Ivan slowly, slowly dragging himself to his feet, arm wrapped around his torso. Ivan, tall, strong, stubborn Ivan, as immovable as a mountain and enduring as the most ancient trees, stumbled.

“Take it easy, big guy, we can-”

Blood leaked between Ivan’s fingers from several bullet wounds, the round balls of metal piercing fabric, flesh, and bone alike. Ivan swayed, face twisted as he coughed. Red stained his hand as he drew it from his mouth.

“Ivan!”

Ivan’s choked grunts of pain were drown out by a cackle, and Alfred saw the triumphant smile of their target as he lowered a walkie talkie.

Heart hammering, Alfred flew over to Ivan, wrapping his arm around the other’s back and grimacing at the aching cry it drew from his partner. “C’mon, Ivan, let’s go, come on, we have to get out of here now. Come on, I’ll get you out of here.” Ivan nodded, teeth clenched. Alfred snatched up the unused fabric and began slowly helping Ivan out the door. Already he could hear shouts.

“Chief! Chief, come in, we-”

“I know, Alfred,” their boss’s voice said in his ear. “Listen, just get out of there, get somewhere open, we’ll send the chopper to pick you two up. Don’t worry about anything else, just get the two of you out of there!”

Alfred worried Ivan could feel his shaking as he navigated them through side doors and obscure hallways, all the while aware of the distant shouts of more gunmen. Heart hammering, he leaned Ivan against a pillar just feet from the exit and hastily used their cloth to make a makeshift bandage. Ivan nearly screamed, cut off by his own bloody coughing. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Alfred said over and over, drawing Ivan back to him. Outside. They were outside. In the trees. They had cover now. But Ivan’s blood was dripping even with the cloth- and he hadn’t even be able to thoroughly wrap all his wounds. The world jerked to a halt when Ivan’s dragging feet stumbled over the uneven terrain, eliciting a broken sob as he tipped forward. Alfred hastily caught him, feeling cold and clammy yet like every nerve was on fire. His ears filled with the sound of Ivan’s cries as he carefully picked the other up, glad for his remarkable strength, and carefully guided them further and further away from the damned mission.

Ivan’s breathing turned into short, shallow puffs of air as he fought, always fighting, through the pain, hands shaking like leaves as they pressed cloth and shirt to his wounds. Every pause in that ragged panting made Alfred’s own heart stop. “Just gotta get to a clearing,” Alfred murmured to Ivan when the other quieted. “Ivan? Hey- you gotta stay awake until the chopper comes, okay? Don’t close your eyes until a doctor looks at you.”

“Would doctor…looking at me…make you jealous?” Ivan hissed through the rattling of his teeth.

“Not today, big guy. If you just stay goddamned awake.”

A horrible silence greeted Alfred’s words.

“Ivan? You have to stay awake I said. For the doctor.” For me.

Ivan’s words were soft, gentle almost, like the salty breeze caressing them as it wound through the foliage. “I can’t promise that.”

“If you die, I’m gonna kill you,” Alfred growled.

Ivan’s bloodstained lips opened in a smile, chest quaking in an agonizing, wet chuckle. Alfred shook his head, casting another furtive glance around. “Come on, just a bit further,” he muttered, to himself or to Ivan, he had no idea anymore. He wasn’t even paying proper attention to his surroundings; the only thing he saw was the color draining from Ivan’s face, the only thing he heard was his weakening breath as it rattled from his lungs, the only thing he felt was Ivan’s quivering. Centuries of careful treading, a thousand of Alfred’s broken sobs as he tried and failed to move as gently as possible, only imagining the discomfort it caused his partner. He was near, Alfred knew it. They had to be near. Alfred could hear the teal dance of the waves in their uncaring sway.

Warmth bathed their broken spirits as Alfred dragged them both beyond the treeline and onto the sandy beach.

“Look, big guy. The beach. You can rest here. You get to see the beach up close now. That’s why you took this mission, yeah? Now you can rest here and- and we’ll go to a better one when you feel better. Catch some sun, cool down in the water. Look how beautiful it is. This- oh god…this…this suits you, all this sun and color. I’ll take you to the beach when you’re better.” Alfred’s voice broke. He looked down.

Even with his eyes glazed over, long since unseeing, Ivan’s smile from before remained lighting his lifeless face. Alfred’s empty threat had been the final thing he heard in this world, unaware now of the anguished wail just beside him.

THE END