road to fifteen

The Clan of the Boltcutter

or, Why Keys Are Not the Tools of Freedom

Science fiction is a genre that loves its stuff. For a genre of ideas, the invention frequently takes center stage as the manifestation of those ideas, as the crucial prop of the plot twists, and as the symbol of whatever deeper meaning we find in stories of the Future-That-Could-Be. In a world of outlandish vehicles, practical prosthetics, and that damn guitar, the humble boltcutter may be the most powerfully symbolic object in Mad Max: Fury Road.

The recurring skull/skull-in-steering-wheel motif certainly dominates the beginning of the movie. What are the women and the audience left with at the end, though? For a story of escape and freedom, in which locks and chains make repeated appearances, we need a symbol similarly oriented around getting out, away, loose. Not a key, I’d argue, nor a vehicle, but the boltcutter: a tool favorable for the physically weak, independent of any of their oppressors, and designed to dismantle that which binds.

(Warning: under the cut, spoilers for everything. Seriously, much spoiler, so details, very warning.)

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What Are Friends For?

Originally posted by bangthebae

Warnings: Smut

Word Count: 2200

“Y/N, we’ve been friends a long time right.”
“Yeah, I’m the only one who’ll go to museums and bookstores with your nerdy ass.”
“ANYWAY. We’re both going through a bit of a drought now. Ya know, sexually.”
“Excuse you Kim Namjoon! I’ll have you know I am NOT in a sex drought. It’s like a monsoon of dicks raining around me.”
“Oh really, when was the last time you had sex?”
“Before I came over,” you said smugly.
“Masturbating isn’t sex.”
“Oh, in that case…what year is it again?”
“Exactly my point! You have needs, I have needs and neither of us have the time or social skills to do this with anyone else.”
“Wait! Do what? I’m not dating your crazy ass.”
“Good thing I’m not proposing that then. Not that I wouldn’t mind,” he said smirking.  “What I’m saying is, you’re my best friend and I trust you with everything. I’m hoping this is a reciprocated feeling.  But since we trust each other with everything else, why not trust me to supply you with mind melting orgasms.  What are friends for, after all.”
“Well, when you put it like that. Let’s go.”
“Go?  Where?”
“To my apartment, duh. Unless you want Kookie to hear you moaning my name,” you say smirking and heading to the door.

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Wrong Number

Sooo @the-delusion-of-a-dreamer went and reblogged a crap ton of au ideas and the very last one on the list got my mental gears turning. So this happened. I can honestly blame Kassie this time; I can blame someone besides myself. She is a terrible accidental enabler and she ADMITTED TO IT.

So this one’s for you, Kassie.


Wrong Number


“It’s just your imagination, Satine,” the woman murmurs to herself, chewing at her lip as she continues her pace down the twilit street.

But her pace still quickens slightly. The deserted lane evokes a sort of chilled stillness, seemingly silent even though two sets of steps crunch on the icy sidewalk. Blonde hair swishes as she glances surreptitiously over her shoulder again.

He’s still following.

Fifteen minutes, and the man has been tailing her, dogging her steps since she got off the main road.

She’s only another fifteen minutes from home…

There is a noticeable increase in speed of the scrunching behind her, and Satine’s breath quickens, pluming white in the nippy air.

What if…

You can’t risk it, she decides, and reaches for her cellphone - but it’s dead, she remembers. She hadn’t remembered to charge it at the office. Panic threatens to take hold, but Satine Kryze is having none of it.

Taking a slow, steadying breath, she forces her steps to stay the same speed, and searches for something - anything - of help. An open shop, another pedestrian…

Her eyes land on a phone booth a few meters ahead, and her knees tremble with relief.

The footsteps behind fall a hair faster.

Satine all but rushes into the booth, closing the door and locking it - at least it had a lock. Fumbling for change, her fingers shake as she tries to punch in Padmé’s number. The thought of hearing her best friend’s voice helps her clear the fog of fear starting to build up.

As the dial tone buzzes in her ear, Satine peers out the windows of the booth, hoping the man will be gone.

He’s not; he loiters across the street, eyes fixed nonchalantly on the telephone box.

“Hello?” A warm, accented voice comes over the receiver; most definitely not Padmé’s.

“Wh-who is this?” Satine asks, startled, and checks her purse.

No more change.

The man sounds confused as he replies. “This is Ben Kenobi, and you are…?”

“I- I’m so sorry, I must have punched in the wrong number,” Satine says, desperation returning in full. “I was trying to call Padmé and now I haven’t got anymore change and -”

To her absolute horror, a choked sob wells up. The stress and anxiety of the past week has manifested itself in this situation, and now she can’t calm down.

“Are you all right, ma'am?” The concern flavoring his voice is apparent.

“…No,” Satine answers, hiccuping slightly. “I’m locked in a telephone booth in the middle of the night with a strange man who has been following me for a quarter of an hour and he started to gain on me so I tried to call my friend to pick me up but I put in the wrong number and called you instead and -and now I haven’t got any change or way to get home-”

She cuts off her sudden tirade and listens to the hopeless crackle of static on the other end. If only she’d payed attention when dialing!

Suddenly, Ben Kenobi’s voice returns, gentler. “Where are you? I can come pick you up and drive you home, if you’d like.”

Satine bites her lip. Normally…but now isn’t normally, and her situation can’t get much worse.

“I’m on Enderdale, just off Vidalia Road,” she says.

“I’ll be there in a few minutes,” he replies consolingly, “in the meantime, stay on the phone as long as you can.”

A few sounds echo across the line; the slam of a door, clicking of a car door, a car engine starting up.

“All right, ma'am, keep talking.”

“Um, about what?”

“Anything. But make it look natural. Lean on the booth wall, smile a bit, pretend to laugh. Make him believe you’re just speaking with a friend.”

“Oh.” Satine gropes for topics, mind landing on her nephew. “M-my nephew, Korkie. He started high school this year. Joined the chess club.”

“I love chess,” Ben murmurs across the line, and Satine smirks.

“Dreadfully dull, chess.”

“I object; it’s quite stimulating….”

The conversation continues, and as it does so, some of the terror melts away, replaced by the pleasant distraction of speaking so calmly, so casually with another person.

Then the car pulls up, and a tidal wave of relief crashes over her as she unlocks the door and hurries to the passenger side, practically diving in. Her rescuer, Ben, is an auburn-haired, bearded man, no older than herself, if she had to hazard a guess. His blue eyes seem to twinkle as he pulls the car in gear.

“Are you all right?” he asks.

“Fine,” Satine replies. “Thank you so much, Mr. Kenobi…if you hadn’t been so kind-”

He waves a hand off the steering wheel. “Just Ben is fine, and I should hope I only did what another would do in the same situation. Now, if you could direct me to your home, Miss…?”

“Kryze. Satine Kryze,” she blushes, forgetting she has not yet introduced herself.

They set off, and only moments later, he pulls up to her apartment complex. The companionable silence rests while she gathers her things.

“On the phone,” Ben asks suddenly. “Did you say ‘Padmé’, as in, Padmé Amidala?”

Satine starts. “You know her?”

“Mutually - she’s dating my brother.”

An incredulous laugh bursts from her lips. “I try to call my best friend but instead call her future brother-in-law - what sort of luck is that?!”

And suddenly they are both laughing, doubled over and giggling in that relieved sort of way that only extremely worried or tired people can achieve; it’s strangely freeing, really. She hasn’t laughed this way in months.

Finally, after breath is caught and tears are wiped from eyes, Satine speaks again.

“I don’t suppose you would care to come in for some coffee, Mr. - Ben?”

He’s quiet for a moment, and Satine internally curses herself - what an idiotic idea, could I honestly have asked anything wo -

“I think that would be quite nice,” he answers, throwing her mental train into a juddering, screeching halt summed up mainly by “What?!”

And so their … friendship … began; in the oddest, the most fanciful and unexpected of ways. But what else could be expected from two such unusual individuals?

Mojave Phone Booth

The Mojave phone booth was a lone telephone booth in what is now the Mojave National Preserve in California, which attracted online attention in 1997 for its unusual location. Installed in the 1960s, the booth was eight miles (13 km) from the nearest paved road, fifteen miles (24 km) from the nearest numbered highway, and miles from any buildings. Its telephone number was originally (714) 733-9969 before the area code changed to 619 and then to 760.

The booth was removed by Pacific Bell on May 17, 2000, at the request of the National Park Service. Per Pacific Bell policy, the phone number was retired. Officially, the removal was because of visitors’ environmental impact on the national preserve, but pressure from locals unhappy with the increased traffic may have contributed, and a letter by the Mojave National Preserve’s superintendent mentions confronting Pacific Bell with some long-forgotten easement fees. A headstone-like plaque was later placed at the site, but it too was removed by the National Park Service. Fans of the booth claim that Pacific Bell also destroyed the booth’s enclosure.

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mojave_phone_booth

Note: inspired by this gif!!!…forgive me. there’s swearing, clubbing, and lots of sexy stuff here. if you don’t like that stuff, don’t read, hehe! enjoy though! .c

Bucky x Reader (basically the whole team)

/Nat calls you a prude and your secret is revealed/

You were currently at a club with your teammates. You don’t really drink, but you went to dance and let loose a little bit. “You’re such an innocent prude, Y/N.” Natasha said after downing her second shot of the night. You scoffed. “No, I’m not.” Wanda looked at you with a smirk and you shot her a glare in return. She knew about your secret talent and she also knew Natasha would eat it up.

You sighed and rolled your eyes, drinking some more of your water. You never told anyone about your past pole dancing job. You lived in a beat up apartment and had to pay rent somehow. You weren’t ashamed of any of it because it led you here today. You now work with the Avengers, mostly helping Tony with his special projects and taking care of anyone when they got hurt.

You could never afford college and you didn’t have the best home life growing up. You were really smart and you knew you could do great things, you just didn’t have the chance to. Wanda found you at an old club one night with her brother and you got to know her. After, you two became best friends. She eventually invited you to the tower to meet her friends. Tony had asked you what you do for a living and you lied and said what you would like to be doing instead.

He took sudden interest in you and offered you a job at the tower, which you gladly accepted. Now, your pole dancing days were behind you, or so you thought.

The next night, you were forced to give everyone a show at the club after Natasha found out you weren’t so innocent anymore. Wanda let it slip out after she got piss drunk.

What made this worse is that she didn’t tell anyone. She wanted this to be a surprise to everyone else in the tower. Natasha knew that you and Bucky liked each other, but both were too shy to make a move. So she said she had to give fate a little push.

You sat there in your room now, face red and heart racing. You were in your old pole dancing outfit. It was basically lingerie so you kept it. You were wearing a red bra and matching panties with black lace on them. Fishnet pantyhose covered your legs, your matching red heels making your legs look longer than they actually were. Your hair was curled and your lips were painted red.

You slipped on your black lace eye mask, hoping nobody would recognize you. You always wore a mask so your entire image wouldn’t be blown. You also had a stage name so your real name wasn’t out there. You wanted to keep it professional.

You decided to slip your heels off and carry them so nobody would hear you sneaking out with Wanda. Natasha was supposed to be distracting everyone, so you hoped her plan would follow through. You had to get to the club early so you had to have an escape plan.

Once you and Wanda were safely in the garage, you slid your heels back on. Your phone vibrated with a text and it was from Natasha.

“What’d she say?” Wanda asked as she pulled out of the garage. “The manager gave us the okay. He said he heard about me from one of his friends and is gladly welcoming me for a show.” Your stomach turned and you felt really nervous all of a sudden. “You know you’re going to do great, don’t sweat it.”

Wanda flashed you a grin before turning her attention back to the road. “I hope so.”

Fifteen minutes later, you were exiting the car and walking in through the back entrance. You met with the manager and was glad he wasn’t too touchy. You’ve had your fair share of sleazy club managers before when you were in the back, prepping for the show.

You couldn’t believe you were doing this. You laughed to yourself, imagining the looks that are going to be plastered on everyone’s faces. “Hey, they’re ready for you.” Wanda said outside the dressing room door. This is it.

You nodded and slid your robe off, checking yourself out in the body length mirror. “You’re making me want a slice of that cake. Damn, Y/N! You look even better than before!” You blushed and rolled your eyes at Wanda, walking past her with a slight swing to your hips.

Adjusting your mask, you walked down a short hallway and walked out onto the stage. The lights were blinding, but you were used to it. You could still see everyone’s faces, considering the pole wasn’t too far from the edge of the stage. It left you just enough room between the pole and the bulging eyes from the men.

You requested ‘Partition’ by Beyonce as your song. The moment the song started, you got to business. You grabbed onto the pole, and dipped down, giving everyone a show of your perky backside. You heard the crowd go crazy, your nerves calming instantly from the positive reactions. You kept going, and swung around the pole, sliding your leg around as you went.

The bass hit and you started making your way up the pole. You slid up and down, swinging around the pole effortlessly. You flipped upside down and suddenly stopped before you hit the stage, your legs holding you there and your arms rubbing along your curves seductively. Just then, as you looked out into the crowd, your eyes met Bucky’s.

His mouth was open and so were the rest of the teams. Wanda was smirking at you and Natasha looked turned on as much as the guys did. You smiled and continued as you heard the crowd get louder. You lifted up and grabbed the pole with your hands, pulling yourself.

You swung your way up the pole and slowly slid down and twisted around when the French part in the song started playing. Your eyes were locked on Bucky’s the whole time. Steve, Sam, Clint, and Tony all had their eyes glued to your figure. Bucky’s bottom lip was caught in between his teeth, drinking you in with his piercing blue eyes.

You swung around the pole fast, landing on your heels and dipped down again, poking your ass out as you stood back up slowly. You shook it to the beat as the song started to come to an end. The crowd erupted in “woo’s” and claps. You smiled and turned around, picking up all the cash people threw onto the stage after bowing.

You locked eyes with Bucky once again, shooting him a wink. You made your way backstage, feeling really happy with yourself. You grabbed a spare bag in the room and stuffed the cash in it and made your way out into the club. You were stopped by people left and right, saying they enjoyed the show. You kindly thanked them and continued looking around for your friends.

You spotted Nat’s red hair by a VIP table. You walked over and Wanda shot up out of her seat, running towards you. “That was amazing! Oh my god!” She hugged you and you realized you forgot to put your robe back on. Natasha got up next. “Y/N, you’ve got moves. Even I was cheering like crazy.” She laughed along with you and you looked past her, seeing all eyes on you. “Wait, that’s Y/N!?” Sam yelled loudly. Everyone stared at you with complete shock.

You slid off your eye mask, a blush creeping onto your cheeks. “Holy fucking shit.” Steve said under his breath. “Hey, you can’t swear!” Clint said. Tony cleared his throat, trying not to stare. Bucky was silent, his face flushed red. “Bucky really enjoyed the show.” Natasha said, shooting him a smirk. You smiled and giggled. “I hope so.” You shyly smiled at Bucky as he looked into your eyes before trailing them down your body.

You took a seat beside Steve and Wanda. Nat sat on the other side of the booth beside Clint. Bucky was directly in front of you and you smiled at him again. “I can’t believe that was you. Holy shit.” Steve swore once again. You laughed and rolled your eyes. “Well, maybe now you guys won’t think I’m a prude.” Everyone laughed, even Bucky.

He kept biting his lip, the show on replay in his mind. His eyes were on you the rest of the night, watching your every move.

Once you all got back to the tower, he grabbed you by your arm and took you to his bedroom, showing you just how much enjoyed watching you tonight.

Note: omfg its late and forgive me guys for i have sinned… .c

Permanent Tag List: @abloggernamedsecretly, @iamthemaskhewears, @untrusted-statue, @imgettingmarriedtobuckybarnes (if I missed anyone or if you want to be added to this list, message me!)

Willowden

By Jimbersquish

Rating:

Genre: Romance; a/b/o dynamics; Alternate Universe–Wolves; Bonding; Mating Bond; Soulmates

Other notes: Some original characters

Pairing: Jeon Jungkook/Park Jimin

Summary:  Jimin is an ordinary high school student. Around school he’s pretty much ignored—and he likes it that way. He doesn’t need the added drama that these angsty teenagers deluge on anyone involved. Been there, done that freshman year, and he’d really not like to go back. He’s content with his small group of friends and their regular shenanigans. They really keep him entertained, and he needs the entertainment, because if there was one word he’d use to describe senior year so far, it would be borrrr-ing. But he doesn’t remain bored for long. One night on the way back home from a party Taehyung and Co. talked him into crashing, he finds himself kidnapped and taken to a strange place.

Chapter 1: Obsidian (3449 words)

“So Hamlet was just really bad at making up his mind, and that led to his death?” A student from somewhere in the class asked. “Yes,” the teacher answered, “it was his fatal flaw.”

“Isn’t that a little…melodramatic,” the student replied and Jimin rolled his eyes.

“What do you think Shakespeare was trying to say by making something so simple, Hamlet’s fatal flaw?” The teacher asked to the class. There was a long silence. Apparently none of the students knew the answer.

Jimin was staring at the clock with bated breath. He had his chin in his hand and his elbow on the desk as he watched the staccato movement of the clock’s second hand. The ticking was even audible in the quiet of students probably staring at the teacher with blank expressions on their faces.

“Shakespeare, was trying to highlight an occurrence that we face every day,” the teacher explained, “making a decision. Sometimes it can be difficult to do certain things, but they need to get done. You shouldn’t put off the difficult things just because they aren’t easy. For example, homework,” She continued, “Right, Youngjae?” and the rest of the class laughed at this. It was common knowledge that Youngjae would rather ask around for the answers the period before, than actually try to come up with them on his own.

Realizing that the clock wasn’t going to move any faster, Jimin turned his eyes towards the window. He sat on the edge of the class right next to it. He was eternally grateful that his assigned seat allowed him to be so close. It was the closest he would get to the outside before the bell rang, signifying the end of the school day.

The sun was barely out today, and the slight overcast made the afternoon look later than it actually was. Jimin noticed that there was a large black dog outside, sitting some distance away. It really looked more like a wolf, with its big pointy ears and fluffy mane, but what would a wolf be doing out in the suburbs? Maybe it was a Husky with the opposite of albinism, he mused and laughed internally at his own joke.

The longer he stared at it though, he couldn’t help but feel like it was staring right back at him with its piercing green eyes, the only part of the animal not obscured by dark fur. It was blacker than night, and so shiny. The sunlight reflected off of it like obsidian. Even with its unyielding gaze, Jimin never felt afraid. The animal didn’t seem threatening, it felt more like curiosity than predatory stalking. Its stance was strong, alert. It showed no sign of caring that it was being watched right back. It wanted Jimin to see it.

The bell ringing caused Jimin to jump a little. He stood up swiftly, ready to get the hell out of that place, and stuffed his books into his gray Jansport backpack. He put one strap over his right shoulder as he started to walk out, falling in behind the mob of students trying to squeeze through the door. When he looked back at the window the wolf was gone.

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Drunken Confession - Finn Bálor One-Shot

Request: Reader and Finn are best friends and are both at Enzo’s house party, Finn gets drunk so reader drives them to her apartment where drunk Finn confesses his feelings for her. He wakes up the next day and reader asks about what he confessed the night before 

A/N: This is based off of these lyrics:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2qq4UQL-MA

“Cause you’re feeling all tipsy
It’s game over when you cross that line
I lose every time – When you start drinking
Thats when you get to thinking of
Swinging right back into my arms.”

As well as these: 

“You can tell when I’m a little bit lonely
I know myself and I’m giving in slowly.”

-

Originally posted by thearchitectwwe


——


Tonight was one of the most fun events ever hosted. Every now and then, Enzo hosted the most amazing house party that featured everything. People you adored, drinking, amazement, and it offered one of the best times to place in a memory book. Bayley and Sasha approached you, smiles on their faces. “We’ve missed you, (Y/N)!” Bayley squealed, wrapping her arms around your neck tightly. You hugged her back, Sasha joining in. “You know I’ve missed you girls as well.” You chuckled, watching as Enzo made his way over to you.

“There’s the beauty of the night.” He smiled, taking your hand and twirling you around in a circle. You blushed, wrapping an arm around your waist. “Hence why you’ve always been my favorite.” You winked, causing Enzo to laugh. You turned the corner to see the backyard full of people. Laughter was heard, conversations being exchanged amongst everyone.

“(Y/N)!” Cass exclaimed, smiling wide. You giggled, hugging him. “Cass!” You returned in a similar voice. You felt Sasha and Bayley back by your side. “Your best-friend in all the world is by the bar.” Bayley pushed you slightly, making you chuckle. Straight ahead you saw him. He had a drink in his hand, chatting with Sami. “Best-friend!” You yelled, making your way over to him. Finn turned his head at the sound of your voice, a large smile spreading across his face.

“Best-friend!” He laughed, standing up, but he stumbled slightly. You grabbed a hold of him, smirking. “Someone’s having fun with their drinking, eh?” You hugged him tightly.  “I’m Irish. I can handle it.” Finn squinted his eyes at you. You felt his arms snake around you, hugging you tightly. His chin rested on the top of your head as you both turned to face Sami. “We were just talking about you, (Y/N).” He chuckled.

“I hope good things?” You peered up at Finn. He smiled, nodding his head “Always. There’s not a bad thing to be said about you, love.” He gently said, taking his shot glass back and downing the alcohol contained inside. He slammed the glass back down on the table as Sami grabbed the bottle of Finn’s favorite, pouring him another shot. “You are the man.” Finn chuckled, taking the glass.

“How are you?” Finn turned his attention onto you. The two of you let each other go as Sami poured you a drink. “I’ve been fine. Glad to be coming back to the ring in the next week.” You had suffered from a slight sprained ankle that left you out for the last two weeks, but thankfully it wasn’t too major.

Finn nodded, hearing you out. “We’ve all missed you. Especially me.” He smirked, making you roll your eyes. “You’re such a charmer, Bálor.” You giggled to yourself. You watched closely as Finn grabbed the shot glass and downed the next round. “How much have you drank already?” You questioned, staring at the empty glass. When you looked into Finn’s eyes, you noticed a slight haze. You’ve been around him long enough to know when enough was enough. “Uh… Three?” Finn mumbled, counting on his fingers. You turned to stare at Sami who shook his head.

“That shot was his seventh one. Not to mention he’s already had a few mixed drinks earlier when he first got here.” You stared at Finn, a sigh leaving from you. “He had a beer, too.” Kevin came up, resting his hand on Finn’s shoulder, nearly startling him. “I haven’t seen him drink this much in a long time.” He added, looking at you.

“Finn, you need to slow down, sweetie.” You looked up at him. He shook his head. “I’m fine, love. Trust me.” He smirked, walking away. You watched as he stumbled with each step he took. You and Sami exchanged a glance. “If he asks for anything, deny him. That shot you gave him - Let that be his last.” You pointed at his friend. Sami nodded, holding his hands up. You rushed after Finn, making sure he didn’t try anything else. 

You grabbed a hold of his arm, seeing as how he was off balanced. “I’m dizzy.” He chuckled. “But I feel so light.” You looked up at him. “Finn, you’re drunk.” You announced, causing his blue eyes to grow wide. “Drunk? Nooooo,” He trailed off, laughing at himself. You guided him inside the house away from the crowd. A few people were in the kitchen talking, so you made a B-line for the living room. The party would be over in the next hour, but you were contemplating just taking Finn home with you for the night to make sure he was okay.

Finn’s head rested on your shoulder as his eyes closed. Alcohol coated his breath, a strong mixture of the shots and whatever he had earlier. Bayley walked in to see the situation, her eyes widening. “Is he seriously drunk?” She asked. You nodded, biting your bottom lip. She covered her mouth to stifle a laugh. Finn’s eyes were closed, a laugh escaping from his mouth. “You’re really gorgeous, (Y/N)…” He mumbled. You sighed, running your fingers through his hair. “Come on, I think you and I are going to head home.” You stood up. Bayley aided you by getting on Finn’s other side, throwing his arm around her shoulder. You both hung onto his sides as you two stared to walk.

“Leaving already?” Enzo questioned, watching as you three made your way to the door. “Finn is drunk.” You chuckled. “I think his party time is over.”

“Do you want me to take him home?” Kevin asked, walking out. You shook your head. “I’ll take him back to my place. Can one of you bring his car over?” You reached into Finn’s pocket quickly and chucked Kevin the keys. Sami rushed over to you guys and grabbed Finn, letting you and Bayley out from under him. “Thanks, Sami.” You smiled at him, walking over to your car.

Sami helped get Finn into the passenger’s seat, his laughter becoming louder. You couldn’t help but chuckle at this scene. “Call me tomorrow. He’s going to have a massive hangover.” Bayley tapped your shoulder. You laughed, nodding. You got into the driver’s seat and started your car. You drove off, Finn staring immensely out of the window.

“You are so beautiful.” Finn whispered, indicating you. “Honey, I think the alcohol is speaking for you.” You kept your eyes on the road. Fifteen minutes later you arrived at your place. You walked over to the passenger’s seat and helped Finn out. He threw an arm over your shoulder as you made your way inside your apartment. “Where are we?” He questioned. “My place.” You responded, unlocking the door. Once inside, you turned on the lights and led Finn into the living room.

You sat him down, watching as his head fell back against the back of the couch. “Let’s get this jacket off of you, alright, Finn?” You said calmly, lifting his arm. He helped you by pulling his arm out of the sleeve. When you got to his right arm, you were extra careful due to the surgery three months ago. You didn’t want to do anything wrong just in case. Finn easily slipped his arm out once again, leaving him in his white t-shirt.

“Can you get this off?” You asked. He nodded, sitting up far enough. He lazily pulled the shirt over his head and tossed it to the side. He looked up at you, his eyes changing. He took his hand and rested it on the side of your cheek, staring deeply into your eyes. You stared at him, your breath hitching in your throat. 

“Slip the Vans off.” You broke the stare. Finn didn’t take his eyes off of you as he kicked off his Vans. All he was left in was his black jeans. His hair was still fixed so nicely and he had the tenderest touch even when he was drunk. “I need to tell you something that’s been on my mind for months.” Finn mumbled, stroking your cheek gently with his thumb.

“What?” You asked. Finn smirked, a half smile showing. “You mean everything to me.” He whispered. “I mean it… You’re beautiful… Breathtaking. Everything I’ve ever wanted and more.” You could feel your heart racing faster. “Finn, I,” - Finn shushed you by placing his index finger on the center of your lips. “(Y/N), I’m in love with you.” He mumbled. “Hopelessly… Helplessly… Love at first sight? Whichever came first, I knew it.”

You knew this was the alcohol talking. Finn was your best-friend and you knew he didn’t feel this way about you or else he would’ve already spoken up about it. Sure, he was a shy guy, but that didn’t mean anything. You two were closer than ever. He would’ve said something by now. 

“Finn, why don’t you try to get some sleep? I’ll be right back.” You quickly got up and made your way into your bedroom. You grabbed a blanket and walked back downstairs to see Finn sitting in the same position that you left him in. “Here,” You helped him lay down. You placed a pillow behind his head, watching as he adjusted himself so he was comfortable. You threw the cover over him and turned around. 

“Love,” He reached out and grasped your hand before you walked away. “Yes, Finn?” You questioned, slowly turning around. “S-Stay with me.” He slurred. “I don’t want to be alone.” You sighed, nodding. “Let me go change and I’ll be back.” You went upstairs and pulled off your clothes. You had grabbed Finn’s white t-shirt on the way up and it began to tempt you tremendously. You’ve worn his shirts before… Why not do it again?

You pulled the shirt over your head and pulled on a pair of shorts. When you got back down to Finn, he was still wide away even though his eyes were begging for sleep. A small hiccup left him, causing him to laugh at himself. “You’re back.” He smirked, turning to look at you. “C’mon, inside” He tapped the left side of the couch. You sighed, climbing over his body. You settled yourself on the inside of the couch, your side nuzzled into his. You couldn’t help but keep your hands to yourself for just a moment until Finn wrapped his left arm around you. “Just hold me.” He whispered. You placed an arm around his waist, your head resting directly on his chest, the sound of his heartbeat being the only thing you heard.

And just like that, Finn was out of it. His head rested on top of yours. Before you knew it, you had fallen into a deep slumber as well

________

When morning came, you woke up to the sun shining in through the windows. You looked around, noticing that you were still wrapped in Finn’s arms, his head turned to the side. You moved slightly which made Finn stir. You wondered just what time it was. Yawning, you felt the Irish man move around.

He grumbled something under his breath, something that was inaudible. “(Y/N)?” He questioned, seeing how you two were situated. “W-What happened last night?” He asked, rubbing his face with his right hand. Somehow he never once managed to lift that left arm off of you.

“You got drunk last night so I brought you back to my place.” You answered. Finn groaned. “I knew I shouldn’t have drank. Something told me not to.” He chuckled softly. What he said last night was still haunting you. You wanted to know so badly if there was any truth behind it.

“Finn?” You mumbled. “Yes, love?” He replied seconds later. “Do you remember what you told me last night?” You questioned, raising your head off of his chest. Finn bit down on his bottom lip, nodding quickly. “What?” You pushed him.

“I went ahead and told you I loved you.” You felt your heart skip a beat. “Y-You meant it? It wasn’t the alcohol talking?” 

Finn shook his head. “No way… (Y/N), I really do love you. I don’t want us to be on a friend basis anymore. You’re my best-friend, yeah, but I love you.” He smiled warmly at you. You grinned widely. “Finn, I-I love you, too.” You whispered, feeling different about saying it. It was as if a weight was lifted off your shoulders.

You felt Finn nuzzle closer to you. You turned your head up to stare at him, smiling at him. “I really do love you.” You giggled.

“I really do love you, too.” Finn chuckled, kissing your lips tenderly.

The Signs on a Road Trip

Aries: picking a fight with another passenger; possibly whining about not getting to drive

Taurus: asking for a rest stop every ten minutes; eating from the bag of chips they brought

Gemini: “are we there yet? What about now? How about now? Are we there yet? When are we gonna get there?”

Cancer: trying to break up the fight that Aries started; telling the driver to slow down when they really don’t need to

Leo: peering at themself in the rearview mirror; singing along loudly to whatever pop song is on the radio

Virgo: keeping to themself; possibly reading a book and only occasionally participating in conversion

Libra: watching the road and possibly backseat driving; might be the one driving the car

Scorpio: staring out the window with earphones in; inserting themself into the conversation at random and surprising moments

Sagittarius: reading off every road sign and chattering about whatever the sign says, however unrelated it may be

Capricorn: arguing with Aries while also trying to focus on reading the map and figuring out where they are this second

Aquarius: could be derailing Sagittarius’ rambling even further; also could be cheering “fight, fight” at Aries and Capricorn

Pisces: ignoring everyone around them and staring melancholically out the window pretending they’re in a music video

Night Falls: Chapter 8

Pairing: Dean x Reader

Warnings: Swearing

Summary: After witnessing a murder, Y/N becomes a protected witness to FBI Agent Dean Winchester, who needs her help to do more than just solve one man’s murder.

Word Count: 3,476

Gif:

A/N: Praise long flights! I had 2 movies I planned to watch, but this chapter was stuck in my head so I figured it was a good time to get it out. 

Prologue, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5,      Chapter 6, Chapter 7


One bathroom break and several snacks later, the sun was starting to set as the black car rolled off the freeway and into grassy lands, the warm glow of dusk reflecting off the blades that swayed in the cool breeze beyond the confines of the car. 

There had only been one small town you had passed through, with a firehouse and bar all on the same street. The few cars that had been parked along the road were at least fifteen years old, and the only person you saw was an old man in plaid with a cap so low you couldn’t see his eyes. The entire drive through town only lasted through American Pie, and soon the paved roads had turned to gravel and loose rocks hopped off the ground and into the black paint of the car, causing Dean to wince with every tap and thump that echoed above the sounds of Guns & Roses. 

There wasn’t a single house along the empty countryside, and not a single car had passed you by since you got off the exit. And just as the sun was beginning to dip below the horizon, you saw it; at first, just a silhouette, quick and fleeting through the tree line that obscured the view, but as you drove further, with no intention of turning, finer details began to appear. A small house, white and plain, with faded black shutters, and a small, but empty porch. The door had been red at some point, and as you slightly turn left, driving through the line of trees and into a partially paved driveway, you see the color had been diminished to more of a pink than a red.

The radio shuts off as Dean throws the car in park, a silence engulfing you as you stare out the window at your new home. It wasn’t awful; it looked like an everyday country house that had probably been built in the 1930s if you had to guess, and had seen many occupants come and go over the years. It wasn’t worn down, though it certainly wasn’t kept up, but you were sure that if it didn’t get a facelift soon, it was only a few years away from being condemned.

A car door opens, and you glance over your shoulder as Dean steps out without a word, the trunk popping open as he shuts his door. Dirt kicks up under him as he moves around the car, and as he hauls your duffle bags out, you figure it’s time to join him, whether you want to or not.

With quiet movements, you step out of the car, your eyes still taking in the house as the trunk slams shut, and Dean appears next to you.

“Not exactly the Ritz.” He smiles down at you, the lump in his throat bobbing as he clearly tries to break the ice.

“Home sweet home.” You sigh, reaching your hand out to take one of the bags from him so that he’ll have a free hand to get you inside.

“Thanks,” he mutters as he strides ahead of you, and with two steps, is up the three porch stairs. He pulls opens the screen door with a rusted screech before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a key, placing it in the scratched lock and opening the front door. You hold the screen for him as he steps inside before you follow, stopping just across the threshold as you take your new home.

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Puppy Problems

(gif credit x x)

Pairing: Cas x Reader

Word Count: 1,152

Warnings: mentions of abused animals, Cas being adorable

Song: None

A/N: So this was my first request sent in by @growleytria ok, requests, hmmmm, how about a reader/cas fic where the reader is part of an animal welfare group and goes to help liberate a puppy farm and Cas goes along and ends up taking home his own small pack of dogs. I’m really happy how this turned out and along with it being my first request it is also my first Cas fic! Hooray for firsts! I hope you all enjoy it! Leave me some feedback and let me know how I did! REQUESTS ARE OPEN!! I had fun doing this so send some more in!

Tagging: @iwantthedean @aprofoundbondwithdean @winchester-writes @spnfanficpond @growleytria

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The Mojave phone booth was a lone telephone booth in what is now the Mojave National Preserve in California, which attracted online attention in 1997 for its unusual location. Installed in the 1960s, the booth was eight miles (13 km) from the nearest paved road, fifteen miles (24 km) from the nearest numbered highway, and miles from any buildings. Its telephone number was originally (714) 733-9969 before the area code changed to 619 and then to 760.

Mojave phone booth

youtube

Mogwai — “Like Herod”

My own favourite example of this phenomenon was when I bought Young Team on a trip to Toronto with my dad and brother, and on our way back we were playing various CDs we’d bought/picked up in the car… and despite me insisting that “Like Herod” was going to get really intensely loud any minute now, the beginning was so quiet that my dad and brother (in the passenger seat) insisted on cranking it loud enough to hear things well. About three minutes in, we nearly went off the road; about three minutes and fifteen seconds in, they switched CDs.

Road to E3 (Aleks x reader)

aleksandr x reader where they are on the road trip in separate cars communicating via the walki talky (possibly irritating the others in the process)

“When are we gonna be switching cars?” James questioned, speaking over the sound of you and Aleks conversing over the walkie talkie.

Spencer sighed. “At the next stop.”

“Will Aleks and (y/n) be in the same car?” He asked. Spencer simply nodded in reply. 

“They’re gonna be in the same car the rest of the ride.” Spencer said.

“Oh, Aleks, Spencer just said we’re gonna be in the same car the rest of the ride.” You stated excitedly. You had been on the road merely fifteen minutes and everyone was already pissed off at the two of you, except Stefani who had said you and Aleks were being cute and they should leave the two of you alone.

Aleks muffled voice came in on the other end. “Fuck yeah, we better be!” He replied.

“You guys have been none stop talking.” Dex said from next to you. 

“I know.”

“So shut the fuck up.”

Stefani tsked. “Leave them alone, Dex.”

“No, Im annoyed.” He replied.

“Well stop being annoyed.” You suggested. Dex rolled his eyes then layed down, his head in your lap. 

“Give me the walkie.” Dex demanded. You handed him the walkie talkie and watched as he pressed the button. “Hey, Aleks.”

“Whats up?” Aleks’s voice rang out. 

“Im laying down on your girlfriends lap and there’s nothing you can do.” Dex replied, smirking as he watched a blush spread across your face.

You could practically feel Aleks’s anger. “Okay, first of all, she isn’t my girlfriend and second of all, shut up.”

“Is that the best you can do?” Dex asked, sitting up slowly.

“Hey, shut it back there!” Spencer said.

“Just give the thing back to (y/n), Dex.” Joe said. 

“No, I want Aleks to get so angry he doesn’t want to talk anymore.” Dex replied.

“Well it doesn’t matter. Just give the walkie to James. The stop is right here anyway.” Spencer said.

“Tiny town?” You questioned. 

“Yeah.” Stefani replied. “Tinyyyyy toooowwwwnnnn.”

You perked up and grabbed the walkie talkie out of James’s hands. “Bye guys!” You exclaimed. You rushed off and sat in the dirt floor. “Aleks!”

“What?” Aleks replied. 

“Tell Jordan to hurry the fuck up!” You exclaimed. Aleks replied a few minutes later, laughing.

“He said that you needed the be quiet.”

You pouted. “But I miss you.”

“I miss you, too.” He replied quietly. “But I will see you soon, if Jordan doesn’t kill us.”

“Tell Jordan he better not kill you.”

“Okay. Bye, love you.”

“Love you, too.”

Sorry this was bad, I’m hungry so I’m shit rn

Mabel’s Mind Palace - Ch. 9 - FINAL CHAPTER

Mabel’s Mind Palace - Ch. 9 - FINAL CHAPTER


Hey guys, so the last chapter was well-received, and I have decided to make this one the final chapter. Sorry for those who expected more content on this story, but I feel like where I ended off the last chapter was a pretty good place to stop. This final chapter will be the epilogue to the whole story, basically giving a little recap as to what’s been going on with the Pines twins since discovering their new-found magical abilities. The Pines twins were juniors in college when this story began, and now they’ve finished college and are about to graduate at the top of their class. Of course, they’ve had all that time to practice and master their magic and the Mind Palace, under the careful observations of Grunkle Ford.

I could extend the story, but seeing as the story is based on the Mind Palace technique, there’s really not much else I can expand on.

Thank you guys for sticking with this story, and keep an eye out for future stories. This particular story may be finished, but I’ll definitely keep the MindPalace!AU alive forever, in my heart and in my memory.

(Word Count: 4163 words)


Chapter 1 ] || [ Chapter 2 ] || [ Chapter 3 ] || [ Chapter 4 ] || [ Chapter 5 ] || [ Chapter 6 ] || [ Chapter 7 ] || [ Chapter 8 ] || [ Chapter 9 – FINAL CHAPTER ]


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Chapter 1 - Can A Man And Woman Ever Be Just Friends?

Disclaimer: Hello everyone! This is the first chapter to the series prequel of The Thing Is… I Love You. This work is purely fictional - any mentions of real persons or events are coincidental. Please read, reblog and enjoy :).

Sprawled against the warm leather of the car, I watched as the raindrops slid slowly down the window. We hadn’t been on the road long, a mere fifteen minutes, but it was already pouring. The rain was so thick I could barely see past the glass. At this point though, I didn’t care. I was exhausted.

I was coming straight home from the 2014 Golden Globes. It went about in the most spectacular fashion. From the glittering parade of designer gowns to the prestigious awards, the night didn’t disappoint. Although I’d established a solid acting career, I didn’t feel like one of the ‘elite’. I was still the young girl from Louisville, Kentucky.

As the car stopped briefly at an intersection, I found myself reflecting on the event. The first category they presented was the award for Best Supporting Actress. I was so deeply engrossed in staring wide eyed at my favourite actress Meryl Streep that I almost didn’t hear my name being called over the microphone. I blinked, glancing around the table in confusion.

Nick had squeezed my waist, leaning close so he could whisper in my ear. “Go on, babe, you’re up. You’ve won.”

He kissed me very briefly, surprising me, before giving my butt a gentle pat. Too bewildered to even object, I hitched up the skirts of my white tulle Dior gown and clumsily made for the stage. As I walked, several hands patted me on the back. My heart stopped when Meryl Streep herself pulled me aside, her feather-light fingers brushing my bare shoulder as she whispered her congratulations.

My hands shook as I slowly climbed the steps. No way in hell would I let last year’s spectacular fall happen again.

A beaming Tom Hanks pressed the small yet heavy Golden Globe into my hands. I stuttered my thanks as Sandra Bullock, THE Sandra Bullock, kissed my cheek. Clutching the globe tightly, I addressed the audience.

“Wow. Uh, thank you so much for this.” I suddenly became very aware of how breathless my voice sounded. “God, I don’t know why I’m shaking but yeah, um, thank you so much. I wanna thank David O. Russell, you’re a brilliant man in so many ways.”

The crowd was filled with several smiling faces; all of which telegraphed genuine pride. I paused for a second, collecting my thoughts. I knew at least half the room, having only interacted with the other half in passing.

My heart beat along to a strange rhythm. I was euphoric, literally on cloud nine. And yet, I knew something was missing. Or more accurately, someone.

“Uh, I wanna thank my family, my team. I would not be up here without you guys. Aargh. Who else? OH yeah! I wanna thank my fellow nominees, it’s such an honour to even be nominated with you. I am inspired by your work so thank you.”

I swallowed, hoping I could inject some much needed volume into my voice. “Oh god, I’m still shaking! Seriously, please don’t do this again. It’s freaking scary.” I say breathlessly as the crowd roared with laughter. I held up my Globe in gratitude as music echoed across the great hall.

Miss Golden Globe, a pretty young lady whose face I didn’t recognise, led me briskly from the stage, escorting me to the press room. I blinked rapidly, eyes watering; almost blinded by the lights. Journalists were clamouring, like angry bees, taking my picture, hurling questions in my direction.

“Jennifer! Hold it up for us!”

“Smile, this is for People Magazine!”

“You look gorgeous, Jennifer!”

“How do you feel about winning the first award of the night?!”

“Tell us about your acceptance speech. Are you really still that nervous?”

I felt the adrenaline recede from my system as I shuffle slowly along the platform towards the microphone. Flushed from my speech, I spotted my assistant and friend, Justine, lurking in the corner. She beamed at me, hands outstretched, preparing hold the Globe while I addressed the press.

Acquiescing almost immediately, I passed the little marble-gold award to her, then turned to face the media. I narrowed my eyes, squinting against the blinding glare of the cameras. “I’m sorry. Could you please repeat the question?”

“Oh, tell us about your speech. Are you still really that nervous about talking in front of crowds?”

I felt a momentary stab of irritation as I glanced down at the young woman who posed the question. She held a silver iPad in her hands but it wasn’t the gadget that captured me. It was the badge on her lapel; the yellow E! embossed in a gold circle.

The gossip channel held no attraction for me, it never really did. A derisive laugh escaped my lips. They saw me as an actress; not an actual human being who suffered from the occasional stage fright.

“Yeah, I mean, talking in front of a big group of people is nerve wracking.” I say petulantly. “Especially when the people watching you are your favourite actors. People you’ve admired since you were a little kid.”

Luckily, they didn’t detect the obvious petulance in my tone. Eager to coax more answers from me, they scrambled among themselves, debating on who should ask me next. I shuffled my feet restlessly, waiting.

“Jennifer, you’ve had a stellar award season so far. Firstly, congratulations. Second, what do you plan on doing after? Do you have a post-ceremony relaxation routine?”

“Well uh, I dunno. I’ll probably catch up on my drinking. There’s so much alcohol there callin’ my name, you know what I mean?” I laugh, longingly picturing the glass of champagne I’d left, still full, sitting on the table.

“Do you have any other projects in the works right now? Projects which could attract the same Oscar buzz?”

“Yes I do, although I don’t know if the 'Oscar buzz’ part is true. I’m shooting the last Hunger Games movie which has been split into two parts. But we’re filming it in one whole bunch so yeah, very busy.”

“Has the film been disrupted because of the awards?”

“No, I don’t think so.” I frown, biting my lip. Production was currently on a two week break to accommodate the hectic awards season. We were still based in Atlanta and had at least another six weeks there before moving overseas.

“Okay, ah, how do you see your future in the film industry? Is directing a movie something you’d consider later on?”

“Definitely. I’d do directing at some point, yeah. But I’m still a newbie at this stuff so I think I’ll keep learning for awhile. I’ve worked with incredible directors so I’m learning a lot from them.” I reply cheerfully; Francis’ face was vivid in my mind.

“Jennifer, over here! To your right.”

I started shuffling in the opposite direction before bursting into laughter. “Oh my god, you said right and I went the other way. Hah. Anyway, I’m sorry. Interrupt me quick!”

“You were at the Governor’s Ball last year, your family was there too. They were having more than you celebrating backstage.”

“Because they didn’t have to go through this. It’s hilarious. I really miss them though. I don’t know what they’re doing now so I’m gonna call em’ right after the press thing.”

“As a young actress, how do you stay grounded?”

“Family. They’d stop me before I get my head stuck up my own ass. Plus, I have a group of really good friends. Friends I’ve known for a long time..” Despite my lighthearted remark, I felt my heart clench painfully. I guess I’d be lying if I didn’t wish he was here too.

Amidst the rapid-fire interrogation, I thought of my loved ones. My family. Throughout my career, they’d remained steadfast in their support for me. This was the first awards ceremony they couldn’t attend. My parents. My two older brothers. I missed them all and wished, more than anything, that they were standing here there beside me.

When the press conference concluded, I slowly made my way back to the great hall. Nick was enjoying himself, deeply engrossed in an avid discussion with Amy. He kissed me briefly when I got back, then resumed his conversation. I sat down, fingers curled around the champagne glass, feeling a bit lonely.

The rest of the night passed by quickly. I watched esteemed actors win well deserved accolades. I didn’t stop acting like an obsessed fan all night, somehow neglecting my costars as I stalked my favourite actors. When the event concluded however, I was strangely relieved.

Nick didn’t stay long; he was flying out early the next day to attend the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. So he bundled me up in the town car, still wearing his black blazer. The blazer had since been clumsily folded up and put away.

It was still pouring outside. Sheets upon sheets of rain pelted the window, obscuring the glass, making clear vision difficult. From what I could see though, the roads were still wet. There was barely any vehicles on the road, save the limousine, traffic was almost non-existent.

The car pulled into my street, cruising slowly past the darkened houses until it parked beside front gate of my condo. I didn’t live here alone, I shared the apartment with Justine. I couldn’t find her after the backstage press conference at the Globes; for some reason, she’d disappeared.

Don, the driver, flitted to my side, kindly offering his arm as I climbed awkwardly out of the vehicle. He held a large black umbrella over our heads as we approached the gate. Through it all, I didn’t stop talking, thanking him for being my chaperone.

“No problem, Miss Jennifer.” He smiled, somehow reminding me of my father. “Please don’t apologise. It’s an honour for me to escort you. Plus, it’s raining. You wouldn’t want your lovely dress to get wet.”

“Okay, if you say so.” I reply, shuddering in the cold. “Thank you again. I hope you didn’t wait too long. The awards show took forever.” I dig through the silver purse for my keys. “I can take it from here. Go home, it’s late, your family’s probably waiting up for you.”

“Are you sure, Miss? I can wait if there’s no one at home..”

“Very sure.” I smiled warmly at him. I paid him handsomely, making sure I added a generous tip. He waited until I was safely inside before departing. Such a lovely gentleman. Definitely a father.

I clambered up the steps of the front porch, slowly; gritting my teeth as I concentrated on not slipping in my sky high Louboutins. I peeked through the window, seeing that it was dark inside. So Justine wasn’t home.. Oh well, maybe there’s still time for a pizza.

The lights flickered on all at once as I pushed open the door. I let out a high pitched shriek, clutching my chest as my family members came into sharper focus, screaming the word 'surprise’. I laughed through my tears as several sets of arms embraced me.

My mom, Karen, was the first to claim me. She looked younger than her fifty one years, her golden hair shining. She peppered my face with kisses, the way only a mother could. “Surprise!” She cried. “Congratulations, darling. We are so proud of you.”

“Oh my god, I didn’t know you guys would be here! When did this happen?”

“Well it wouldn’t be a surprise if we told you, now would it?” My father Gary’s blue eyes, so like mine, twinkled mischievously. He folded me into his arms for a tight bear hug. “We landed in LA this afternoon, booked a room at a hotel downtown.”

“Really? Oh my god, you guys should’ve told me. There’s plenty of room here.”

“Yes but like Dad says, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we told you.” My eldest brother, Blaine, teased. He ruffled my pixie cut, easily avoiding the punch I aimed at him. “Congrats, little sister. You look nice!”

“Thanks, bro. Where’s Meredith and Bear? Are they here too?”

“No, they’re in Louisville. They couldn’t make it but they wish they could be here. I know Bear misses his Aunt Jen.”

“Aw, well I miss him too.” I say, thinking of my cherubic, golden haired nephew. He was five years old and already a precocious child.

“Look who it is, it’s Bambi!” My brother Ben crowed, nudging me playfully in the ribs. Ever since I tripped at the Oscars in 2013, he’d taken to calling me 'Bambi’, which I secretly liked but never admitted out loud. “I saw what you did to Taylor Swift. Interrupting her, how dare you?”

“Hey, I was joking around!” I protested indignantly. “Come on, she found it funny. Plus she was very sweet about it.”

“Considering the last time we talked to her, you fangirled so much, you freaked her out.” A familiar voice teased. My heart thumped to a strange, irregular rhythm at the sound. I turned, slowly.

I’d know that voice anywhere.

There he was, standing beside my brother, hazel eyes gleaming. He wore his favourite black leather jacket and a pair of matching motorcycle gloves. He was still devastatingly handsome but it wasn’t his obvious good looks that captured my attention. It was the warm smile on his face.

“JOSH!” I shrieked joyfully, flinging myself at him. He wrapped his arms around my waist, holding me close. He even smelled the same; like cinnamon. The tears started again, mingling with my laughter. “JOSHY! OH MY GOD! What are you doing here?!”

“Hey beautiful. I wanted to surprise you. Congratulate you on your award.” He chuckled, planting a kiss on my forehead. “I’m so proud of you!”

I beamed at him. “Thanks. Holy shit. I actually can’t believe you’re here! I didn’t think you’d be in LA right now.”

“Me neither. I flew in from Madrid and was going to go straight ahead to Union but then I thought I’d stop by.”

Oh, Madrid. My heart clenched painfully again. Better shut that door. He was here now. It’s all that matters.

“Don’t cry, you. It’s your big night.” Josh chided gently, brushing away my tears. “Besides, I ordered a late night feed for everyone. Feel like some good old Pizza Hut?”

“GOD YES.” I started marching towards the kitchen as fast as my dress would allow when suddenly my mother’s voice stopped me in my tracks. I turned sheepishly, catching her stern gaze.

“Jen, change. You don’t want pizza toppings all over that gown, now do you? Go now. We’re still gonna be here by the time you finish.” She said briskly, giving me a slight push in the opposite direction. “Actually, you might need help unzipping the dress. Come on, I’ll go with you.”

With no other choice, I marched up the stairs, my mother trailing behind. In my bedroom, I quickly singled out my favourite sweatpants and Louisville High sweatshirt. My mom held me by my shoulders, spinning me round until her soft fingers found the zipper.

I waited impatiently as she unzipped the dress, somehow reminded of my years as a teenager in Kentucky. After every prom, every high school dance, this was something my mom did, no matter how old I got. It was the way we talked. She’d ask me if it went well, whether I had a good time. Being the only women in the family; we shared a close bond.

Living a few states apart made me appreciate my mother’s presence even more. Once I was out of the dress, she stayed to replace it back in its plastic sheath, smoothing the folds until all the creases were out. I quickly changed into my sweatpants while she hung the dress on a hook by the door.

“Thanks for helping me out, Momma.” I say affectionately, carefully removing the Neil Lane earrings. “I missed you a lot. You know, this reminded me so much of prom. Do you remember?”

“How could I forget, honey?” She smiled fondly at me. “You’re as beautiful now as you were back then. Now I’m not just saying that because I’m your mother.”

“Yeah, I know. So how did you guys get here? Did Justine swing by to pick you up?”

“No, actually Josh did. He got in touch with her, I guess. When he did swing by, he told us he was ordering pizza, in case we were hungry.” The look in my mother’s eyes was unmistakeable. It was a look of pride, wistfulness.

“He’s great.” I say honestly. “I actually can’t believe he did all this for me.”

“Well, sweetie, he’s got a big heart. Like you. Now come on, otherwise they might eat all the pizza. And we sure as hell can’t let that happen.” She winked at me playfully, making me laugh as we descended down the stairs.

Sure enough, we found the boys playfully squabbling over the pizza. At least my brothers anyway. Josh was sitting with my dad, trash talking one of his favourite teams, the Louisville Cardinals. It was something they often did, something that made my father see him as another surrogate son.

I sat down beside my best friend, pulling the box of cheese pizza towards me. I dug into it without hesitation, nibbling on the delicious crust. “You’re not really insulting the Cardinals, are you? They’re on pretty good form at the moment, aren’t they Dad?”

“Well I think it’s time they change coaches.” Josh said, raising an eyebrow. “In basketball anyway. They gotta knock the number ones off the leader board at some point. Come on, I can’t even remember the last time the Cards won a championship.”

“Twenty thirteen, mind you.” My dad retorted playfully. “Since 1982, the Cards have been in the top five. You weren’t even born then, son, so you wouldn’t know.”

“Oh no he didn’t..” I teased in singsong as my brothers laughed.

“Yeah well, the Cats are gonna kick ass this season. I know they will. They’ve recorded over 1700 wins. AND they’re two time National Champions. I mean, granted this was back in '62. Nick Van Exel was a graduate from Cincinnati, he’s been coaching the Texas Legends since forever. We got Cats champions in the NBA, man.”

“Wow, when did you learn all this stuff?” Blaine asked, impressed.

“I do watch ESPN sometimes.” Josh chuckled. “Plus, you know I got this from my best pal, Google. Just then. I actually got scared.. I’m like 'Oh, shit. I need more basketball trivia. He’s gonna kill me with his awesome knowledge.” He shared an impish smile with my father.

My father, bless him, smiled back. “Okay enough sports, we can talk some more after the Cards kick your ass next month. Jen, honey, tell us about the Globes. Did you have fun?”

Josh pretended to be offended as he reached for another slice of pizza. “I’ll take that bet. You’ll be sorry you ever cursed the Cats.”

“Bring it on.”

“The Globes was fun.” I answered loudly, giggling. “I had a great time, acted like an obsessed fan. Stared at Meryl Streep for hours. No joke, I watched her eat, drink. I was THIS close to following her to the bathroom.”

“You’re such a weirdo.” Ben quipped, shaking his head as he chewed noisily.

“Ugh, I should not be allowed near people ever.” I laugh. “Meryl’s gonna get a restraining order put on me, I swear. But she actually congratulated me when they called my name. I almost passed out.”

“Speaking of.. I’m surprised you didn’t fall over on your way up there.” Blaine teased, roaring with laughter at the way my face reddened. “I remember last year your dress got caught on the step.”

“This year, I made sure the Dior people didn’t give me a train. Freaking hate big dresses. I swear, it’s the last time I’m wearing a dress that makes me look like a pastry.”

“Did you eat enough while you were there?” My mother asked sternly. She knew I had the tendency to neglect the basic human needs whenever I got overexcited.

“Yes, Mommy. Amy made sure I did. It’s the motherly instinct coming out of her. She was all bossy. Her partner, Darren, apologised afterwards. He said it’s because Aviana started eating solid foods recently so Amy’s making sure she eats it all.”

“Who’s Aviana?”

“Amy’s three year old daughter.” I smile, remembering the first time I’d met the bubbly little girl with tufts of bright, strawberry blonde hair. She looked exactly like Amy. “She’s a cute kid.” I snapped my fingers, remembering something. “Oh! Guess what? I met Sam Worthington.”

Josh sat up straighter, swallowing the mouthful of pizza he was eating. “You did?! Oh my god. That’s awesome.”

“Uh huh. I even got a picture with him.” I say happily, fishing my phone from the pocket of my sweatpants. I scroll quickly through the images until I found the picture, then scooted my chair closer to his. “See? We took a selfie.”

“Wow, very nice! Did you tell him we loved him in Avatar?”

“Yeah, I did. He said he really liked The Hunger Games. I almost passed out then too, I was like 'Oh god, Jake Sully just told me he liked the Hunger Games’. I texted you as soon as he left. I’m like 'Holy shit. Josh has gotta hear this.’”

He smiled, his eyes glowing. It sent a strange yet welcome warmth searing through my veins, making my heart beat a little faster than usual. “Oh yeah I did get your message. You texted me from the bathroom… I’m all 'Dude, shouldn’t you be up there presenting?’”

Laughing, I nudged his shoulder. “Well, I needed to pee. But I also needed to text you. So I thought, 'Why not do both?’”

“Genius.”

I took another bite of my meat lovers pizza, ignoring the knowing look on my mother’s face. I had no doubt that she observed the casual exchange between us. The affectionate, almost tender, way we touched.

Despite the lateness of the hour, the conversation flowed easily. I served some coffee and rolls when the pizza was finally gone, beaming fondly at my loved ones. They chatted happily about the goings-on in their lives; so far removed from my own.

My father was amidst yet another project at his construction firm. He was building townhouses for a real estate company. He talked animatedly about concrete, bricks, cement. While my brothers rolled their eyes, I found myself listening aptly. Normality was so rare these days; my father’s talks brought that closer, even if only for a brief moment.

Blaine was navigating parenthood with my sister-in-law Meredith. So far he helped Dad out at the firm while raising their five year old, Bear. His wife was still on indefinite leave from her job as a paediatrician, holding play dates, forging friendships with other young moms in the area.

Although the summer had long since passed, my mother was still busy. She planned ahead for the coming season; adding more activities, booking venues, hiring new counsellors. As a teenager, I often assisted her, going along as a trainee counsellor when my brothers couldn’t. Now that we had our own lives however, she had a team of college graduates around her.

Wedding bells were ringing for my other brother, Ben, and my future sister-in-law, Carson. Like my parents, they still lived in Louisville, never straying far from their roots. The ranch ceremony would be held in the spring. This was something I couldn’t miss, being one of the bridesmaids.

Everyone was happy, healthy. Just as I hoped they would be.

Try as I may, I couldn’t stop myself from yawning. Against my will, the exhaustion was creeping back into my system, extinguishing what was left of the adrenaline. At first I thought I was doing well hiding my yawns, but when I stretched, my mother flicked her fingers.

“Oh, someone’s sleepy.” She said, rising from the table.

“No. No I’m not.” I protest feebly.

My mom laughed, shaking her head. “Sweetheart, you’ve been yawning for the last, oh I don’t know, ten minutes now? I think it’s time you call it a night.”

“But come on, stay. It IS a weekend, isn’t it?”

“Yeah but we’ve got a plane to catch. There aren’t many flights headed for Louisville.” Blaine reasoned, getting my mom’s message. He started gathering the empty plates, piling them on top of each other.

“Don’t worry, sweetie. It’s late anyway. We know you’ve had a long day.” Dad replied, kissing the top of my head. “You actresses need your beauty sleep.”

“Especially you. You get so crabby in the morning when you haven’t had a full twenty hours’ rest.” Ben teased, carrying the empty coffee pot into the kitchen.

“I do NOT get crabby.”

“Hah! Okay. You don’t get crabby.”

Shaking my head, I stood up to help clear away the mess. I’d spent years being the brunt of my brothers’ jokes. There were nights when I even cried over them because I was too young to understand. But now that we lived separate lives, only seeing each other when there was free time, I missed them so much more.

As tired as I was, I felt guilty having my family clear the table. But my mother insisted I relax while the men helped her with the work. So, I hung around in the living room, drifting in and out of sleep. When they were done, they each prepared to leave, grabbing coats, beanies, gloves.

My mother pulled me into her arms, holding me tight. “You were wonderful tonight, Jen. I’m proud of you, alright? Don’t forget.” She whispered, stroking my hair. “I love you.”

“I love you too, Mom.” I say, feeling my throat constrict. “I’ll see you in a few weeks.”

“Take care, squirt.” My father said, embracing me. “Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Work hard but stay relaxed, okay?”

“Sure, Daddy. Thanks for coming. Really. I missed you guys tonight.”

My brothers were next, tackling me so fast I was lifted off my feet. Laughing, I screamed, begging them to put me down. When they did, they both ruffled my hair. “Go and sleep, little sister. Congrats on the Globe.” Blaine replied, grinning.

“Yeah, it’s a miracle you didn’t fall over, Bambi. Really shocking.” Ben quipped, pulling his beanie low over his head.

“Boys..”

“Coming, Mom!”

I chuckled, watching my family walk down the path. Five minutes later, they all but disappeared into the night, leaving behind a trail of white smoke. I shuddered, closing the door. The house seemed colder without them here, less lively.

Desperately craving some warmth, I shuffled into the kitchen. To my surprise, Josh was still there, washing the dishes; his elbows caked with foam and soap. The sleeves of his plaid shirt were rolled up, revealing his fair skin.

He smiled when he saw me come in. Warmth gushed through my veins, turning my limbs into jelly, making my hands tingle. My heart skipped a beat, thumping along to some strange rhythm. I smiled back, grateful for his presence.

“What are you still doing here?” I ask, combing through the cupboards for a mug. “It’s late. You should go home. I can do all that in the morning.”

“No, don’t sweat it, Jen. I got this.” He reached for the last plate, coating it liberally in dishwashing liquid. “You’re exhausted, so I don’t mind.”

“But, you know..” My voice trailed into nothingness. There was no point arguing. I sighed, conceding defeat. I brewed some hot coca and poured myself a mug, sitting at the kitchen counter with my fingers curled around the handle. “Thank you, though.”

“You’re welcome.” He smiled, drying his hands on a dish towel. “Wow, that hot cocoa smells good. Can I have some too?”

“Help yourself.”

Once he had filled up his own mug, he joined me in the living room. We sat together on the couch, talking quietly, sharing stories. Like my family, he enquired about the Globes, wondering if I had a good time. I said I did but when I reflected on the memories, I suddenly found myself wishing he was there.

If it were up to me, I would’ve stayed up longer. Exhaustion crept back into my system, making me feel so sluggish I almost spilled my hot cocoa. He pushed it out of the way before it could fall on the rug.

Strong hands steadied me by the shoulders. Half a second later, I was lying on my back, my head pillowed by a cushion, with a blanket spread over me. I vaguely registered the sound of boots scraping across the floor. Oh no, was he leaving?

“Wait, don’t go.” I say, heart thundering in my ears.

“Relax, Jen.” He murmured gently. “I just moved my boots. I’m not going anywhere, okay? Shh. It’s alright.” He sat down again beside, shifting so that he cradled my head in his lap. His soft hands brushed my hair soothingly. “Shh, it’s okay.”

My body calmed at his touch, my heartbeat returning to its regular rhythm. I yawned, turning so that my face was almost touching the fabric of his shirt. My skin tingled as he pressed his lips to my forehead.

“Stay.” I whisper as the tendrils of sleep pulled me under.

“Always.”

I, a grown ass woman, am bawling my eyes out at a Denny’s over 2/3 of Ghost signing my copy of Meliora.

First and foremost Air gives great hugs and patted my hair when I started to cry. He’s so much taller in person 0.0

Water complimented my top and told me he liked how it “accentuated my bosom”, and he drew a fuCKING HEART “from [Earth]” for me, since little Earth was tired and didn’t come out :c

OMEGA WAS SO SWEET. He shook my hand and hugged me and asked me if I enjoyed the show. When I started to tear up again he seemed so genuinely concerned for me and told me not to cry over old men like him ;~;

Alpha gave me a big smile and introduced himself by his first name to me and asked me for mine and told me to drive home safe when I mentioned that I had to cut the meeting short due to our long drive home.

I’m hitting the road in about fifteen minutes and am looking forward to taking a nice nap once I get back home to Lathrop.