Amazing Race au where boyfriends Laurent and Damen are easily the audience’s favorite couple. They got the strength, the strategy, the looks and the most supportive relationship. Laurent calms Damen while Damen motivates Laurent. Damen is all about fair play thus preventing Laurent from being an ass to other contestants. Laurent’s snarky and straightforward comments about the whole game leaves the audience in fits of laughter. They also bicker about the most trivial things like Laurent should tie his hair up and Damen should stop being a huge oaf.
Rated M? Kind of? Content involves sexual and abusive themes, implied torture, bad vibes. No explicit violence. Mostly Emerald feeling up Ruby. And some Cinder feeling up everyone. Ruby is likely around 16-17 during the events of this story, so yeah, that too. …shit. goodbye
Not his near-death experience. That was the werewolf thing. But the werewolf thing was a blessing in disguise. You’ll see why soon.
Bill was tall and pale and bright-haired, could achieve anything, and was always first – first born, first named, first in through the door – winning all the prizes, captivating the prettiest witches, cooler than cool, all leather and dragonhide. You know this. But he was also, in that way all truly cool people are, weird. He’d picked up something of his oddball dad, in that he fixated on the esoteric, the non-magical, the goblin-made, the bizarre. Bill’s peers set out to carve their way up through the Ministry. Bill only wanted to go down – into tombs, into vaults, into strange caverns at the center of the earth.
See, always being first and always winning wasn’t exciting. You needed a little bit of danger, a little loss now and then. You needed to get dragged down, to side with the misshapen and the strange against those who would cheat them, to flirt with some sharp-witted bird girl your mum hated. Bill knew this. So when Grabclaw – Bill’s boss – held up the file on someplace called the Damia’s Cavern, a place of legend, a place of death, a place no curse-breaker had come back from, the home of the oldest and purest witch in the world, Bill jumped at it. He thought it might be the coolest place yet: skulls piled high, bones crunching beneath the boot, treasures barred from access by terrible winding serpents and fountains of venom. And, true to form, to reach the cavern, Bill had to suffer through all of that, and it was exciting, and it was dangerous, and it was oh-so-Bill.
But the cavern itself was a letdown.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful. It was suffused with light, and the fountains brought forth clear water and nectar and wine, and the vast halls shone like gold. And the Damia! What a stunning creature she was. Older than old, Bill knew, but so youthful-seeming, with her shining platinum eyes and hair, and her laugh like a song.
She laughed because he’d thought there might be skulls there. How young and fair and dear she found him. How perfect, even with those scars of his, which indeed only added to Bill’s cool, Bill’s charm. The Damia was like Bill. She collected odd and dangerous things, she liked a bit of glamour, she couldn’t abide all this boring golden rock – oh, wouldn’t Bill stay with her? Just for a bit? Just to keep her company?
Now, something in the back of Bill’s mind rebelled against the perfect Damia. She was too perfect. She was so beautiful, and her skin so clear and inviting, and her nails so sharp and shining. And sometimes he thought he could see, reflected in the golden nectar fountains, tall and white forms, an endless parade of handsome young men, drowning and gasping out for air. But he’d blink and they were gone. And then the Damia would laugh coyly and tell Bill that sometimes she collected the dearest trinkets, every now and then. The dearest, most perfect, coolest little specimens. Not like those failures that usually came out of the human race, oh no. Not like those monster creatures that they intermarried with sometimes.
Bill had a wife, up on the surface. Not a pure being, but a pretty one, a sharp one, a dangerous one, a bird-girl, from high up in the air, who was perfect for him. Now the memory of her began to leave him. He would catch it sometimes, when he ran his fingers over his scars, but then the Damia would take his hand and bring it to her breast, and he’d forget again, forget his monstrous wife and the three rambunctious, fierce little children who were waiting for him at home.
“Your home is an awful place,” the Damia told him, “With nothing but danger and bigotry and evil, and eventual death. And here everything is perfect, and you will always win, and I will preserve you forever.”
And the parts of Bill that were Bill, not the winning parts, but the weird ones, the convictions, the courage? These began to fade.
‘Til one day to the cavern came a sharp knock, and the Damia hissed to hear it, and there in the entryway stood a cursebreaker, a creature with its delicate nose all smudged, and its boots encrusted with mud, and its fair hair knotted and tangled from all the trials it had undergone to reach the Damia’s cavern. The Damia made to push Bill into the nectar fountain, for you must have seen by now that whenever a new one arrived, she would get rid of the old one, for she was easily bored; but perhaps it is good that she did not succeed, for this was no ordinary cursebreaker, and this was not the kind of person the Damia wanted. This cursebreaker gave a horrible shriek and it seemed to become a curse itself: its pretty face became elongated and monstrous and horrible, it sprouted hideous wings, its lovely limbs became claws, and it attacked the Damia, seemingly without provocation.
Bill attempted to intercede on the beautiful Damia’s behalf. To think that a monster should come and attack something so perfect! But it was like the monster suspected that he might try this. Whenever he came close it snatched out a claw and scraped along those old scars of his, mingling its blood and his own, and in those moments Bill would suddenly recall, with great clarity, a voice crying out that it would love him always, that scars (and fangs, and claws, and bits of monstrosity) could show that one was brave. And then he would retreat to the edge of the fountain, stupefied, and attempt to gather his wits while the fight raged on.
The Damia met death that day. And the fountains dried up, the youths trapped inside whispered out a silent thanks, the golden light of the place dimmed, and finally Bill could see all those skulls. So there went Bill’s chance to live forever, united in perfect victory with the Damia, never suffering, never losing, bathed in gold.
Fleur, for her part, transformed back. She became again that pretty, perfect-seeming person with just a touch of the horrible about her. She worried about the dirt smudges on her nose and the blood beneath her fingernails. She informed Bill that the children were with his mother, and that he’d been gone for a year and a day. She’d had to go crawling home to Gabrielle and her mother to learn all kinds of embarrassing ancestral things, and he had another thing coming, Bill Weasley, if he thought she was going to apologize to Molly for any of it.