You arrived back at the bunker with an intense throbbing in your muscles. The hunt had not gone at all to plan. You had been trying to take out a nest of vampires but the count had been much higher than you anticipated and now you were covered in scratches and bruises. The only thing that had got you out of there alive was your hand to hand combat. Now, all you wanted was to get inside and collapse on your bed.
Stumbling inside, you dropped your bag on the floor and went in search of a drink to calm your raging throat. Also, your head was pounding. Whilst you were getting a glass of water, you didn’t hear someone shuffle in behind you.
“Hey, Y/N,” a voice said and you spun around to be met with the face of Sam. You felt relief at seeing a familiar face. Sam’s face was instantly etched with concern when he saw the state of your appearance. “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine,” you mumbled, completely unconvincing. His presence caused you to let down your barriers and you allowed the tears you had been holding back to spill down your cheeks. Sam looked alarmed and hurried over to you, wrapping his arms around you.
“Come and sit down,” he told you. “Dean!” He called to his brother as he led you to a seat. Dean quickly appeared and upon seeing you crying rushed over.
“What happened?” He asked fearfully.
“I just- I failed the hunt,” you began to explain. “It was just a vampire best and I couldn’t even finish it myself.” You choked out.
“Why didn’t you tell us you were going on a hunt? We could have come with you,” Dean asked.
“I just wanted to prove I could still hunt on my own. It’s been so long since I’ve done it solo.”
Sam brushed a stray piece of your hair behind your ear, smiling. “You’re one of the best hunters we know. Remember the case in Oregon last month? No one else figured it was a Wendigo. But you worked it out almost instantly.”
“Yeah and that werewolf fiasco we dealt with? You took those suckers out with ease,” Dean added. You couldn’t help but smile at the memories they were bringing up.
“You’re twice the hunter you give yourself credit for,” Sam assured you. “Now come on, let’s get some food.”
“Great, I’m starving,” Dean remarked.
“Me too,” you wiped your face and stood up. “Come on, let’s go.” You said, feeling ten times better and grateful to have loyal friends such as the Winchesters in your life.
My first (and most likely last) one-shot about Captain Boomerang! :D I haven’t read much about him or anything with Australian slang so it was pretty hard getting the hang of it. I had to alter most or all of his story to fit in the divergent universe but I hope you still like it!
If anything is so wrong you can´t stand it tell me & I will change it :D
Lightning stroke over the glass dome in the interrogation room at the candor headquarters, the raging storm and the pounding rain mirroring the emotions, overshadowing the scene inside.
The young leader was kneeling on the floor, hands folded in front of him, still wearing his trademark smirk as he looked up at his biggest nemesis. Standing over him, Four had his gun cocked ready to end his life.
But not even now staring right into the face of death was Eric scared. Dying had never been part of his fear landscape and if he had to leave this life now, at least he knew the guilt of killing him would forever wear down the man that claims to be the epitome of dauntless.
Unexpected bright side: even though I feel so blah about body stuff lately, I definitely am noticing a huge difference as I try on dresses from my closet for this May wedding. So many things I’ve held onto for when they would fit better are fitting better but also I am able to purge all this old stuff I was hanging onto. Those things were kept by a desperate person who always felt it was impossible to find cute clothes that fit. I don’t feel that way at all anymore. Also this little exercise makes me refocus on the inches vs pounds debate that is constantly raging in my head when I don’t see the scale move. I definitely notice everything is fitting more loosely. So we shall keep on with our half-assed weight watchers point counting and exercising because something is definitely working. And by we I mean me.
First set of photos are of me in bed with a typical raging erection. Wife will be getting a good pounding tonight from the looks of it. As you can see, I’m sporting a bit of a sunburn from spending all day at the pool with the kids. Horny dad problems.
You hated Sid. That much you confirmed a few months ago, right after you stopped mistaking his abuse for love. But then sometimes, he’d look at you the way he used to and your heart would flutter. He’d kiss you in the same way that made you fall for him. He’d touch in the way that made you overlook all of his actions. And you’ll fall for him time and time again.
He banged on the bathroom door which made you drop your phone into the water. You quickly tossed it under your clothes on the floor, knowing you’ll have to buy a new one. When he came into the bathroom and saw you trying to cover your naked body in the warm water, he yelled, “How many times do I have to say no locked doors?”
His handsome face was contorted in a rage, his bare chest puffed in a way that made your heart pound in fear. He reached for you as you pulled back. Nothing hurt like getting hit when soaked. You manage to grab your towel as he drags you out of the bathroom. You holds you by your wrists and you writhe yourself free.
“I had to lock it, you don’t like being woken up,” you say quickly. At that he pauses. You’re not sure if it’s because he’s heard you or because you pulled away. You hold the towel tighter around you, feeling exposed more than just physically.
“I heard you talking to someone, where’s your phone?”
“Where is it?”
“I threw it away. I plan on getting a new one today,”
“Then who were you talking to?”
You look away from him, feeling your pulse racing but hoping your face isn’t giving anything away, “I was praying,”
You shouldn’t have looked away, because he shoves you against the bed and he has your wrists clamped down beside your head. He leans in close to your face, gracing you with his morning breath.
“You don’t pray,”
You look him in the eyes, “I was. I was praying for you,” At that, you finally see a glint of confusion pass over his face.
You don’t hesitate, “Because I love you,”
And just like that his eyes are red and he’s crying into your hair, “I’m sorry,” he sigh against your skin, “I woke up and didn’t know where you were,”
You nod, stiff like a board beneath him, “It’s okay,” the two words you’ve said too many times.
“I just- I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” and you feel yourself placing your arms around him, because that’s what you always do. Seeing him vulnerable moves you. You place your hand on his dark hair and he takes this as an okay to start kissing you. You don’t stop him, but you don’t participate. He’s calm now, that’s all that matter. And you’d do anything to keep him calm.
Your phone did break and you’re glad it did because that gives you an excuse to get out of the house. Sid is in a cheery mood. He even kissed you before you left when you said you might take a while, “I love you,” he had said. You left the house with a smile.
You get your phone as promised and find that you’re passing the fight club on your way home. Perhaps you were exaggerating Sid’s actions. He always apologized after. Was there reason to even come to this place? Maybe he was starting to realize his ways. People change.
You’re in the process of contemplating whether you should stay or go, when the door opens. You recognize him immediately and mentally curse yourself.
His eyes widen when he sees you, “You’re okay,” his words sound a like a relief for himself and you almost don’t know what to say.
You nod, “Why wouldn’t I be?”
“When you called, I heard-”
“You heard nothing,” you snap defensively.
B/N goes quiet and you feel yourself getting annoyed, “Will you be joining us anytime soon?”
You shake your head, “There’s no reason now. Everything’s fine. Sid’s changed,”
B/N squints his eyes at you, as if trying to see through your lies, “What makes you think so?”
You cross your arms, pushing your hair from your face which causes you to touch your cheek. You feel the pain, remembering the sore spot from where Sid had hit you, “He hasn’t changed just because he apologized to you.”
You glare at B/N, “You think just because you see a few bruises you know more about my life than I do?”
“No, I just-”
“I don’t need your help. My life is none of your business,” you take the crumpled paper that he had given you and throw it at him, “I’m fine right where I am.”
His eyes are on yours and you can’t stand to look at them. Unlike Sid, he doesn’t look angry by what you’ve just done. His eyes are so tender that your throat chokes up. You turn from him as your eyes flood.
“Sid’s changed,” you whisper to yourself as you walk home, trying to put B/N’s words away. You keep repeating that statement, forcing yourself to believe them until you step into your house.
“Babe, I’m home,” you call out to Sid.
He’s yelling on the phone. Your body goes cold and you think about leaving again, until he calms down.
“Y/N how much money did you use to buy that phone?” he snarls at you.
“Phones aren’t cheap, Sid,” your tone was too sarcastic. You shouldn’t have said anything because he smacks you so hard that you stumble against the vase. You catch it before it shatters.
“Ninety bucks for a phone? You couldn’t go cheaper?”
You’re angry now. You hold the medium size vase in your hand and before you can register your actions, you fling it at him. It shatters against his back, “Why are you even mad? It’s my money!”
He turns to you slowly and your heart drops at the look in his eyes. He smiles. He’s finally ready for a fight.
Me: starts watching young justice
Me, suspiciously close to around when I started watching young justice: what abt a Superhero au for Zane and Hana and Artemios and Marina and Apollymi what if I shove them into the young justice plot line in my head but also have their own separate superhero au and since I’m so bad at deciding on powers let’s do like a merge from the Faerie Royalty au mmmmm
You yelped in a mixture of fear and confusion as you were jerked from your sleep by a metal hand clamping around your arm. “Tony!” you shouted, your eyes wide as they fixed on the suit above you, its repulsors warming up.
Tony jerked over from his side of the bed, vaulting over and slicing his hands through the suit. It fell apart at his touch, collapsing into parts that clattered to the floor. You were shaking, drawing gasping breaths as you struggled to comprehend what had just happened.
Tony looked equally rocked, drawing sharp pants of air from where he perched on the edge of the bed. You could have sworn that he was about to cry. He looked small and broken.
Your heart was raging in your chest, pounding against your ribs as if it were trying to escape your flesh. “What the hell was that, Tony?” you whimpered, reaching for his hand only for him to jerk away and stiffen.
“I-I’m sorry, I must have called out in my sleep,” he stammered out, shaking his head anxiously. “It shouldn’t have attacked-”
You pressed your lips together as you crawled into the man’s lap, curling up against his chest. At first he didn’t react. You could feel the fluttering of his chest against your cheek as he fought to compose himself. Your fingers curled into the fabric of his shirt, your own frame still shaking like a leaf. It took him a few minutes, but Tony eventually wrapped his arms around you, burying his nose in the crook of your neck.
Driven by instinct and panic induced rage, Jago sprung into action. His boots pounded against the sand, hard packed by all of the camp activity. With a surge of will, he launched a searing ball of dark fire at his feet, pushing off against the ground. He rid the shockwave, rocketing himself towards the taskmaster with blinding speed; a black comet streaking through the cosmos. He reeled back, right hand clenched into a steelbound fist. Spurts of fel flame wreathed his fingers.
The taskmaster scoffed. His cracked lips peeled back to reveal his broken, yellow smile. The brand upon his brow ignited, and his crimson clad frame burst into blinding green flame. With uncanny speed, the eyeless warlock lifted his free hand towards Jago. All within fractions of a second, a spike of solidified fel congealed in the air before the taskmaster’s digits.
A jet of fel spewed from the branded sorcerer’s palm. The spike shredded the air. Jago’s eyes widened and he twisted in desperation.
The jarring impact sent Jago spiraling back down to terra firma. He collapsed in a heap, staring skyward. His labored heartbeat pounded in his ears. His rattled frame tingled, frayed nerves screaming in shock. Words, feelings, thoughts escaped him as his brain reeled inside his skull. Vaguely he was aware of the enemy warlock staring down at him with disdain. Several sets of feet padded towards him across the sand and white-cloth framed faces joined the tattooed visage of the taskmaster.
“… Get rid of him. I will go for the relic.”
The sun bronzed Tanari mercenaries drew curved blades, glimmering malevolently in the dim moonlight. They began to close ranks around Jago.
Screaming, agonizing pain shot from Jago’s left shoulder. The edges of his vision went black. He gasped, biting his tongue, fighting for a hold on consciousness. A primal roar of anger and wrenching pain split his lips and something broke free. The shadows twisted around the supine caster, stretching and engulfing the Tanari. Crushing Void energy bore down upon them, rooting them in place. Blades clattered against the sand and the startled men began to claw at themselves, fighting in vain to break free from the shadows constricting them. Tendrils of blackness snaked around their torsos and squeezed. One by one fifteen Tanari fell, their ribcages shattered and crushed inward by the Void’s wrath. They made no sound, for no air could reach their lungs.
Jago drew in deep, ragged breaths, blinking dazedly. He lay there motionless, staring blankly up at the star speckled sky. He gathered his resolve and slowly, gingerly sat upward. The spike lodged in his shoulder ground against bone, the entropic magics within slowly roasting his flesh. Rivulets of thick crimson splattered against the sand, staining his coat sleeve and gauntlet. Shakily, stubbornly, he stood, staring indifferently at the men he had slaughtered. With nary a single thought about their passing, he turned towards the temple entrance.
“I’m not done yet…”
Drip. Drip. Drip.
Jago’s passage through the carved halls of the temple was marked by the steady trail of blood he left behind. His arm hung uselessly at his side. Occasionally he’d pass the bodies of taskmaster’s former slaves, their life trained prematurely by the branded tyrant. They had been liabilities, perhaps. Or mere playthings for a twisted fiend. He ventured deeper and deeper into the ruin, singular of mind and purpose. He couldn’t afford to let this slip from his grasp. Not when so much was at stake.
His vision blurred, and he staggered. With drunken dexterity he fumbled with his pouch, struggling to open it one-handed. Fumbling within its confines, he retrieved a single healthstone and crushed it in his palm. The surge of life energy flooded through him, and he pressed onward with renewed vigor.
Should hold me… For now.
The antechamber spanned several hundred meters, vaulted ceilings held upon the shoulders of massive statues, carved into the likeness of Watchers. Filtered, antiseptic light flooded in from the seamless features above and below. At the far end of the chamber floated a multifaceted cube, wrought from the same, otherworldly Titan stone. Seams of white light flowed from the seams, forming a grid upon each face. A puzzle cube.
The crimson-clad taskmaster stood before the cube. His staff lay discarded upon the floor. With arms outstretched towards the device tethers of corrupted arcane flowed out from his fingertips, shifting the rows and columns of the cube. Beads of perspiration dribbled down his marked, shaven scalp. Jago drew closer, unnoticed for the moment.
Perhaps out of blind luck alone, the taskmaster shifted one final, correct panel. The cube flashed and began to fold away. He stood there awestruck. Vulnerable.
Jago lashed out with a hook and an underhanded jab; a pair of fel fireballs thundered across the chamber. The taskmaster spun, startled, and the bolts impacted against his chest, knocking the wind from his lungs. His arms pinwheeled as he fought against the pull of gravity and fel fire chewed at his robes and flesh. He staggered back, dispelling the flames with a wave of his hand, lips twisted into a snarl.
“You!” The crimson warlock hissed.
Jago’s head lolled to the side. “Me.” He replied, boring holes into his opponent with his smoldering gaze.
The taskmaster’s brand burned, and he unleashed a wave of roiling fel flame in a fit of rage.
Jago dashed to the side, swiping outward with his good hand. He tore through reality and disappeared into the Nether. The wave crashed against the far wall where he once stood. He reappeared behind the taskmaster, nearly sprawling onto his face as he clawed his way back into reality. His head spun and bile rose in his gut. His wounds were starting to get the better of him.
Need to finish this quick…
Streams of accursed Eredun spilled from his lips, and he extended his hand towards the branded warlock. A ring of demonic runes spread around the taskmaster’s feet, and he wheeled about in panic. His eyebrows arched in surprise as chaotic power built around him. Desperation and fear spread across his marred features, and he drew a bare wrist to his lips, clamping down on tendon and flesh. A spray of thick blood burst forth and a dome of translucent fel energy closed around him. The runes detonated, and a column of cornea roasting verdant flame erupted from the ground, bathing the chamber in sickly green light.
The smoke cleared and the small, broken form of the branded warlock stood within the ring of ash. Reserves spent, he staggered and fell to one knee. His breath hitched, ragged and raw.
Jago lifted his hand again, and chaotic flame spread across his gauntlet.
The rift opened upon a familiar scene. His eyes first fell upon the warm, luxuriously done four-post bed he had come to love, then drifted to the high stone walls, and the rich black and red tapestries hanging from them. The fireplace built into the wall burned quaintly, suffusing the room with warm light.
“Honey, I’m home…!”
Jago swayed and fell in a heavy sprawl, his reserves burnt through. A pool of blood began to spread from the spike embedded in his shoulder. As he faded into unconsciousness, his gaze slid to the flawless stone dodecahedron clutched tightly in his right hand…
The 6 Most Romantic Moments From Richelle Mead Books
Whether it’s about vampires, Alchemists, half-humans, or people rooted in ancient mythology, Richelle Mead knows how to write sparks – nay, raging fires – of love that get our hearts pounding. Read on for 6 of our favorite romantic moments from all of her books!
“‘No,’ he said simply. ‘Because I thought it would make you happy.’”
5. When Adrian tells Sydney what he would’ve said if he were Brayden in The Golden Lily
“If I were him, I would have said, ‘You are the most beautiful creature I have ever seen walking this earth.’”
6. When Adrian asks Sydney to dance in front of the Alchemists at Sonya’s wedding in The Indigo Spell
“Even with appropriate spacing between us, our hands were still clasped, our stances still intimate. I was hyperaware of every single place his fingers rested on my body. His touch was light and delicate but seemed to carry an extraordinary heat and intensity.”
Come November 10th, we’ll have to update this list because Richelle’s newest book SOUNDLESS will be out! And trust us…your heart will NOT be disappointed.
This is in response to “parents of autistic children” telling me I don’t know what it’s like to have to deal with an autistic child from the parent side. TMI but it needs to be said.
Judging my comments because I post from the side of the autistic without reading back is rather shallow of you, but we’ll skip past that to some interesting things that you don’t want to know.
I have been with Baby since she was a 4 foot tall and 50 pound bundle of rage. Around 5 or 6 years old. I have held her when she was a screaming shit fit trying to fight the world and no one knew why.
I have had her pee on me because she doesn’t notice when she has to go. I have had to fight off well-intentioned but clueless wannabe mothers who want to stop her screaming fits by comforting her without knowing that it is their very presence that is causing her meltdown. I have held her while she cried because her grandmother wouldn’t let her inside the house because she was a “half-naked little savage” - at 10 years old.
I am the one that has to tear her away from her giant teddy bear because she gets rashes from touching cloth for too long. I am the one that had to cut a bicycle chain down and put a lock on it for her to use as a belt because she will not keep clothes on in public (or anywhere else).
I am the one that she hits and kicks and punches when she sees violence on tv or a video game while she screams ‘no fidin’.
I am the one that has to make her keep studying the same thing day after day, year after year, because anything she doesn’t use or read often enough she forgets - at the same time as I have to find more math and physics than I understand because she thinks learning about string theory is a really fun game and she wants to know more about these weird worlds where physics has rules.
I am the one that had to learn to sleep on her back all night every night because letting Baby sleep on sheets or blankets meant she either woke up every two hours or woke up in the morning with a rash so bad she was screaming in pain because her SPD makes the continued touch with fabric agony and sleeping on me was safe since I have no body hair to irritate her skin. Yes, SPD does have physical effects.
I am the one that had to figure out why she couldn’t tolerate being near her mother - and now have to deal with that witch refusing to stop using the chemicals that cause Baby’s rage.
I am the one that had to hold Baby as she screamed because the therapist wanted to know why she wouldn’t say “lub” to her mother - because her mother already knew she loved her so saying it again was too painful.
I am the one that has been helping Baby cope with a world not ready to accept a person that just wants to climb trees and cuddle bunnies and poke (real) holes in advanced physics and math theories as a hobby while talking to the trees and rocks around her.
She’s still only 4 feet tall and 50 pounds at 23, but she is no longer a bundle of rage, and I like to think I helped a little with that.
And I did it while not being able to speak or understand speech, while having my own meltdowns for other reasons, while suffering the loss of my first girlfriend to heart failure, while becoming a successful software engineer.
Yeah, I don’t understand how hard it is to be a parent of an autistic child. I’m Turner Syndrome - I can’t be a real mother, I have no functioning ovaries.
So I have this headcanon that the MvM robots can only speak using the in-game voice lines of the mercs.
A flash of lightning lit up the room and thunder rumbled through the mountains. Engineer looked up from his sentry as the lights overhead flickered, the old wiring of the Mannworks building barely holding on as the storm raged outside. Rain pounded against the metal roof of the workshop, creating a constant drumming that filled the room. Normally, weather like this didn’t last long in these parts, but this particular storm had been hammering the base for days. Any other time, the mercs would have been climbing the walls by now. But now wasn’t like other times.
The Texan got up with a grunt, shaking out a foot that had fallen asleep as he’d been working. It was time for a break, and then back to the sentry. He made a quick stop at the coffee pot, then walked to the bay door at the end of the workshop, rolling it open and looking out into the night.
In the distance, he could see the lights of the Robo-Carrier that loomed over the valley. The source of all their troubles for the past six months. From the decoy at 2Fort to Coal Town and now to Mannworks, Gray Mann’s robots had chased them halfway across the country in his mad drive to utterly destroy anything even remotely associated with his brothers. It was for that reason that the mercenaries had been grateful for the relentless rain. The only thing that moved slower in the mud than mercenaries were giant metal robot mercenaries. It had been the first real rest they’d had in a month of Sundays.
Samurai Shopper | The Sweet Smell of Raúl Esparza
By: S.S. Fair
Actors go to great, often absurd lengths preparing for roles: Robert De Niro gained more than 60 pounds to better portray Jake LaMotta in “Raging Bull”; Nicole Kidman did Cyrano de Bergerac one better by growing a formidable Virginia Woolf-like nose in “The Hours.” But real method acting is less complicated and literal than that. It’s about making connections to sensory experiences — sights, smells, tastes, sounds — in order to flesh out a character’s character. The consummate Broadway actor Raúl Esparza is very clever in this regard: he picks a cologne/perfume for each role he takes and wears the scent until the the show shutters.
“A particular smell puts me in a place so much faster than any intellectual work I could do,” he explains. It makes perfect, Proustian sense. Right now Esparza is starring as the religious con artist Jonas Nightingale in “Leap of Faith,” a musical adapted from the 1992 film of the same name. The Samurai Shopper attended a preview weeks ago and said: Positively electrifying! Audiences were ecstatic. The almighty critics, however, were not. Though “Leap of Faith” won a Tony nomination for Best Musical, Esparza takes his final bow at the St James Theater on Sunday; all the fire and music in his performance will be history.
But the sweet smell of Raúl will undoubtedly linger on. Esparza’s been sporting Tom Ford for Men for his role as the flimflam man. “Tom Ford smells musky on me and a little bit trashy, in a good way,” he said. “And it’s not ridiculously expensive; it’s something Jonas — my character — could afford. The cast likes it, too.”
In “Speed the Plow,” Esparza went with Red, a honking, hyper-masculine scent by Giorgio of Beverly Hills from the ’80s. “It reminded me of a truck stop on the Florida turnpike,” he said. “It was so, so wrong. I smelled it and I was back in high school. My character was a cokehead, wore power suits and drank till he couldn’t see straight; today he’d be one of those frat-boy investment bankers, an overgrown boy.”
Esparza also chooses scents for sentimental reasons. “As the M.C. in ‘Cabaret,’ I wore Guerlain’s Imperiale because my grandfather used to wear it,” he said. “My grandmother would spray handkerchiefs with it when I had a headache, and put it on my head. It worked. As Lenny in ‘The Homecoming.’ I wore Old Spice because my dad always wore Old Spice.”
Everyone’s dad wore Old Spice. “I’m drawn to those tobacco-y musky smells,” Esparza admitted. This was the Samurai’s cue to whip out Frapin 1697, tobacco-rich, rum-laden and smelling like Havana. Esparza, a Cuban-American, was hooked: “Mmm. Cigars, leather, burnt sugar, espresso that’s been boiling for too many hours.” He died for Tom Ford’s Black Orchid. “This could be Jonas in ‘Leap of Faith’ too. Totally Jonas!” Ouarzazate by Comme des Garçons struck another chord. “This is Sundance, not the film festival but the actual town, the mountains and again, the woods and smoke.” Richwood, by Xerjoff XJ at $670 per 100 milliliters caused the first nose wrinkle: “Too rosy and sweet.” But as it dried down he had his epiphany: “Actually, this smells amazing.” Then the Samurai went in for the kill: Copper Skies by Kerosene, chockablock with amber, tobacco — loud, macho spices that end in a delicious whimper. Esparza was halfway to olfactory heaven. “These may be great for some future characters, but right now they’re for me.”
No matter the vagaries of life on Broadway, Esparza’s done time with the best of the best: Shakespeare, Stoppard, Sondheim, Pinter, Mamet. Whatever’s next, I’m certain he’ll come up smelling like roses. Or tobacco, amber, citrus.
Jace was pissed off beyond compare. The couple had gotten into an argument beforehand over something stupid, but Jace being the prick that he was, walked out on them. However, now that he was back, when he went to unlock the front door, his key didn’t work. Dripping with rage, he pounded his fist against the door. “Open the fuck up! Now! If I have to break this fucking door down, you’re not gonna like what comes next!”
It’s splattered on the walls, on the floor, dripping in footprints and smeared all over skin. It’s stained on novelty t-shirts and on brightly colored flannel, caught under fingernails and pressed into palms. It’s bouncing, swaying curls and lips. It’s blushed cheeks and embarrassed ears.
It’s pounding in his veins and in his head and searing hot at his forearm. It bubbles up his throat, tearing at his flesh and stinging his eyes. He says nothing and turns away, arms reaching up above his head to clutch at the barrel of his gun. He can feel the mist of cold, relentless rain out the door finding the scarred skin of his back as his shirt and jacket ride up. He takes deep, shuttering breaths, but there’s still red on the floor. There’s still red. Red.
Sam rushes out of the small motel room, barely making it out into the rain before he kneels down on the sidewalk and blows chunks in between choked breaths. Sammy hasn’t cried in ages. Dean can’t remember the last time the giant has cried. Sammy isn’t just crying, he’s sobbing, one hand gripping at his chest as the other braces itself against the concrete curb, searching for some sort of purchase to ground himself as his whole world comes crashing down.
Dean’s spinning as he searches for a place to set his eyes down, but there’s red everywhere. He looks out the window, but there are red-streaked smears of fingertips on the glass. He looks at the floor, but there’s red in the footsteps leading in and out. He even looks up at the ceiling, but his keen eyes spy droplets that found their way up on the spackled surface there. He tries to close his eyes, but all he can see is brown-red drying in curly locks of copper auburn- He opens them, and there she is. She’s lying in the bathtub, her hand still clutching a knife, her stomach still weeping like his brother outside. But her face, her face is peaceful. Her face is brave. Her face is covered in red, red, red red redredredredbloodmurderrevengeKILLTHEMALL-
He lowers his hands from his head, sets the gun on the table with her things, and gently steps over to the bathroom, as if moving too loud will wake her from her surreal slumber. There’s a towel still hanging from the towel bar. The sink still runs. Gingerly, soundlessly, at the protest of the mark on his arm, at the protest of all the red screaming inside his head, he takes the towel up in his callused hands, wets it, and brings it first to her soft hands.
He holds them like he would hold a baby, his rough palms turning soft like hers as the still-warm flesh touches his own. She’s just sleeping. He rubs the blood from her skin. It’s all his blood, not hers. She’s just sleeping. He moves up to her forearms, her collarbones, her neck. It’s all his blood, not hers. She’s just sleeping.
He finds her face, so gentle, so serene. So young. He wipes at her cheeks, and he spots little specks on her eyelids. The towel is too rough, too ratty to press against the tender skin there. He doesn’t want to hurt her. He brings a shaking hand up to his lips, licks his thumb and then moves to swipe it across them. Just like his mother used to do. She doesn’t stir.
Sammy’s still throwing up outside.
“I love you too,” he whispers.
It’s the last thing he says for two days.
Castiel comes in and out, always hovering over Dean, an endless stream of apologies falling out of his mouth. Sammy won’t shut up, either. He can’t speak without saying ‘sorry’, can’t say a whole sentence without stuttering, voice shaking. Charlie sits on the table in the war room. Her gentle, gentle hands are clasped over her chest. Her face is serene. She’s just sleeping. Her clothes are still stained. Her stomach lays open like a gaping mouth, no longer weeping. He keeps vigil. He doesn’t speak.
All he sees is the red on her shirt, her purple plaid flannel, thinks about how red was a color that never really suited her. It was something that belonged framed around her cheeks, her face, her bright eyes that marked her as a Queen of Moondor. It had no business stuck to her chest, to her stomach, underneath her torn fingernails and on her eyelashes. Red was only for her hair, her lips, her tongue as it peeked between her teeth. Red was only for him. Red was wasn’t for Charlie. Red was- red red, red, redredredKILLTHEMALL-
He looks back down, closes his eyes. He soaks in the aura now radiating around him, the warmth of the hand on his shoulder. “It’s time.” Dean shakes his head slowly at first. The hand doesn’t move off his shoulder, so he shakes it harder. “Dean-” “NO!” He stands up so fast that the chair topples to the ground in pathetic protest. Castiel jumps back. Dean is heaving, his clenched fists shaking. “No,” he says again, his voice shuttering and wavering, barely able to choke the word out. “No, Cas. No. She’s- no. No.”
Red. Red is everywhere, red is all he can see. All the red, all the red everywhere, all the time, constantly, red blood on the walls, on his hands, on his palms, under his fingernails, on her stomach, on her eyelashes, on her dainty collarbones and her face too young, too young-
“Dean.” Castiel is soft, quiet, gentle. Hands, arms wrap around his shoulders, his chest. Dean sobs. “I’m here.” He falls to his knees, and the angel goes down with him. There’s so much red, so much red… Castiel is suddenly in front of him now, pulling up his chin and coaxing open his eyes. All he can see is blurry blue, but the red washes out. It all washes out. Castiel is keeping his gazed locked, green and blue trapped together as he reaches for the hunter’s hands. Cool light engulfs them, and the bruises and split knuckles from punching walls, disappear. Dean’s still shaking, and Castiel isn’t letting go. “I’m here.” And like that, Dean lets it all go. He slumps forward, exhausted and unwilling to keep going, but in this moment, the mark is quiet. All he can hear is the dull thrum of Grace from where his ear is against the angel’s neck, beating like a pulse through his veins instead of blood. “She loved you, Dean.” “She’s dead because of me.” Gentle fingers rub small circles into his spine. “We love you, Dean.” “You’re all in danger because of me.” Fingers move to thread themselves into the hair at the back of his head. “I love you, Dean.” He feels lips at his temple, and he welcomes them. He takes in a deep, shuttering breath as he fights the streams that are flowing from his eyes. He feels two days hit him at once, ten days, ten whole years. He sees sparks flash across his closed eyes, feels the handprint burn on his shoulder. It throbs, and he lets himself forget what needs to be done, lets himself think only of this moment. “I know.” He lets himself be folded into the angel on the floor, on their knees, with Charlie’s body on the table above them. He lets himself forget everything.
The mark is silent. There’s red everywhere.
But he feels something smiling down on him, and all he can see is blue.
It lasts fifteen seconds. Lips forged through fire and brimstone captures his, still green and summer touched, and when his eyes open, a haze of emerald thrusts him into the locker with more regret and sorrow a face of her age should show
“I’m sorry,” she whispers, and the locker tears through the ash stricken sky. His fists pound and rage against the metal, and as the impacts makes another impact on the cratered concrete he passes to the brief moment’s appropriateness.
He doesn’t want to believe his first kiss would be her last.