-An elderly man gave rave reviews for steroids and told me all about the benefits of drugs. Somehow, this man has managed to live into his seventies without ever leaving the seventies.
-A woman told me that I seem like a very, deeply happy person. My ruse continues to go unquestioned. The truth will never be found out.
-I watched a man who seemed to be the result of Freddy Krueger getting into jazz music wander around the accessories for an altogether unnecessary amount of time.
-A terrifying storm brought an inexplicable plague to the store. Despite the general dearth of guests entering the store, there came a never-ending stream of customers eager to leave. I do not know from whence they came but I hope they return soon.
-Jazzy Krueger and his equally-erratic girlfriend came through my lane, handing me a bill off the top of a stack of hundreds, each clearly having recently been rolled up. I brushed a light layer of white dust off of the bill, suddenly having a much more clear understanding of the night.
-Found: bright orange rubber Tyrannosaurus rex. Kind and friendly in disposition. Answers to name, “Bentley.” I will not be providing contact information as I have no intentions of returning him, I just wanted to let you all know that I have a new friend.
request: Can I request a Liam Dunbar imagine where your his guardian angel and he falls for you? (by anon)
a/n: omYSHIT LOOK AT HIS JAW IM SHAKING
He’s at the height of innocence and his days are filled with rambunctious laughter and having fun with his friends and he doesn’t have a care in the world.
It’s the 19th of June when he meets you.
His mother falls in love with you instantly and soon enough, Liam grows attached to you too.
He begins to spend more time lazing around in the sun, trying to make flower crowns and failing terribly each time, and you soon grow to love the outdoors - outside of your little front yard - and Liam drags you along on little adventures every afternoon, exploring a little more each day.
You two become the best of friends, and life before you met each other is soon forgotten.
He’s beginning to experience the confusing whirlwind of hormones and puberty and he just doesn’t know what to do.
He’s angry and exhausted and confused all the time and he’s a mess of frayed nerves and incomprehensible thoughts.
It’s during a P.E. lesson when he explodes.
A stupid boy is absolutely terrible when it comes to remotely anything physically exerting, and the basketball leaves his skinny, trembling hands and Liam is too busy watching you from across the hall and the bright orange rubber ball of fucking air slams into his nose at a surprising speed and he’s furious.
He doesn’t even know why he’s so enraged as his brain is thrown into a frenzy and his ears start ringing incessantly and all he can register is stalking over to the skinny bag of bones they called a boy and warm liquid is gushing from his nose and his fists clench and all he sees is red hot fury and then there’s a sickening crack.
Liam’s shaking and thrashing and fighting as foreign hands are pulling at his flailing limbs and then he hears your voice, soft and calming and soothing and your gentle hands find your way to his and he feels his heartbeat slowing.
You’re by his side when the doctor diagnoses him as having something called Intermittent Explosive Disorder.
It sounds disgusting and Liam doesn’t dare to look you in the eye because there’s something wrong with him and you’re too good for that.
The doctor prescribes him with a multitude of antidepressants and Liam resists the urge to scoff loudly, because those pills are useless - you were his medicine, and nobody but him would know that.
He gets kicked out of Devenford and has to transfer to Beacon Hills and you transfer with him, because neither can stand the thought of being away from each other - the idea is preposterous.
Everything is going well - he’s one of the best players on the lacrosse team, his grades are great, he has you by his side - then he gets bitten.
He had been wanting to tell you for months now - how much he adored the way you laughed, how much he cared about you, how he loved you so fucking much.
And now Liam can’t even bring himself to look in your direction.
Your scent is overwhelming and the only thing he can focus on is you and your voice and oh, god, he wants you so bad.
But now he was a werewolf, and anything could send him off the edge and he tries to control himself - he tries so damn hard - because if he ever hurt you, he would never be able to live with himself because it was you.
It’s the night of the scrimmage between Devenford and Beacon Hills and Liam is panicking because one slip-up and everyone would know what he was and you would leave him instantly because he was an even bigger monster than before and who could blame you for wanting to get the hell away from him?
Liam’s been waiting the whole day to kick Brett’s smug ass, but then he sees Brett wink at you and he almost loses it because you’rehis and how dare he?
You’ve been on the edge of your seat the entire evening, eyeing Liam worriedly, because he’s been so on edge and tense recently that you can’t help but worry.
Liam begins to shake and tremble and you can see his jaw clench and you’re out of your seat in two seconds.
Your hands are cupping his face and you let Liam clutch your arms painfully and he’s staring into your eyes and you’re lost in a stormy sea of blue and with a whispered ‘I believe in you’, you gently push Liam in the direction of the field, and with a reassuring smile, he’s off.
Your fists are clenched so tightly throughout the scrimmage that the pain from the bruises Liam left on your arms seems like a dull, nagging ache at the back of your mind.
Beacon Hills wins.
You’re ecstatic as you rush down to the benches and Liam is speeding toward with a gorgeous smile on his beautiful face and he scoops you up in his taut arms and his lips are on yours and it might just be a scrimmage but he doesn’t care, and suddenly, nothing else matters.
There’re no fireworks or flying sparks or explosions but instead there’s a delightful, welcoming warmth as your lips meet his and your body fits perfectly in his and it’s pure heaven.
Both of you pull apart, grinning and regretting absolutely nothing, and in that moment, Liam feels invincible, because he’s in love.
The two of you spend the night in Liam’s room, bodies moulded together, all the secrets spilled because Liam can’t lie to you.
Liam lays there, you in his arms, and everything feels right, for once in a long, long, time.
You’re his guardian angel, and he may be a monster, but you were his, and he was yours, and that was all that really mattered.
All right, I know I said I was going to wait until after A New Court was done, but I was too excited about this one, so. This is a Feysand coffee shop AU ❤ Yes, the name of this fanfiction is the title of Anakin and Padme’s instrumental theme. Bite me ;) This is the first installment of my new fanfiction! Enjoy <3
A girl tapped her heel impatiently on the lacquered cement floor, the rubber soles of her bright red Converse high tops squeaking as she did so. She glanced down at them and frowned. They were her favorite shoes, but she’d splattered them with paint only two weeks before, and was itching to get a new pair. But money was tight, and since she’d moved out of her father’s house, the money she got from her job as a waitress at the low budget diner down the street funneled straight into paying rent and utilities for her apartment.
Her coffee was her salvation, the shop her favorite hideout, her sacred little place nestled among the towering skyscrapers of the city.
And they were taking much longer than they usually did to give her the coffee she ordered every single day, without fail.
Madzie lies at the bottom of the tub, gazing up at the bright yellow rubber duck floating above her. She’s too big to lay all the way down in the little tub, so her knees are hugged to her chest, feet propped up on the tiled wall. It’s still nice though. Everything always feels better underwater. It’s easier to breathe, as backwards as that would sound to most people.
But well. Most people don’t have gills.
She can hear Magnus pacing outside the door, obviously still upset. She feels badly, but it’s also partly why she’d come in here. This is the one place neither of them ever follow her, so she takes advantage of that, sometimes.
“Madzie, darling?” Magnus calls out softly.
Madzie closes her eyes. She hates how small his voice sounds. I did that, she thinks, her stomach dropping heavily with guilt.
She takes one last deep pull of water in through her gills, centering herself in the feeling, before slowly emerging from the tub. The ripples caused by her movement send the little rubber duck drifting away from her. He’s running away too, she thinks.
She hadn’t thought to grab her favorite bathrobe when she fled in here to hide, so she magics it in from her bedroom. She hasn’t quite mastered conjuring something directly onto her body, so instead it appears folded neatly on the counter and Madzie dons it quickly. The slightly too big hood (complete with floppy rabbit ears) falls down over her eyes. She hesitates for a moment before reaching into the tub to retrieve the duckling, tucking it into the pocket of her robe. It’s comforting.
She opens the door to find Magnus still standing outside, just as she suspects. With her bath hood drawn over her eyes, she can only really see him from the ankles down. She can’t really tell from his ankles whether he’s still upset with her, but she’s also too afraid to look up at his face.
“Have a good swim, guppy?” he asks her, just like he always does. She knows the familiar question is meant to make her feel better, but instead she feels worse.
“I’m sorry I messed up your potion,” she tells Magnus’s ankles, fiddling with the ties on her robe.
“Oh sweetheart,” Magnus says, crouching down to try to see her under her hood. “You didn’t ruin anything, okay? Potions are tricky things sometimes, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fixed.”
She finally looks up at him then, and his steady gaze is gentle. Sincere.
“I’ll show you,” he tells her, reaching out a hand.
Madzie’s fingers rub idly along the smooth surface of the rubber duck in her pocket. Part of her longs to be back in the tub, submerged and safe.
But Magnus is still waiting, his hand outstretched patiently. She takes it, and the warmth of her small hand enclosed in his is instantly calming.
Maybe there’s safety on land too, as long as Magnus is there.
After the war relations between muggle borns and the other members of the wizarding community were difficult at best.
As the world of magic began returning to a sense of normality, if that was even a thing anymore, the new Minister for Magic decided that now was the time to create a muggle born relations initiative.
The newly appointed minister, Kingsley Shacklebolt, decided that it would be a good idea to enlighten the magical community about muggle life. The way in which he would do this is through a shop full of muggle artefacts and clothing. He thought this might help muggle borns to feel more at home again, and for wizards and witches to better understand what muggle life is like.
The place that Mr. Shacklebolt decided to put his first muggle liason initiative (or shop to us non-ministerial folk) was of course, Diagon Alley. The most popular shopping street in all of magical Britain.
Little remained of Diagon Alley due to the war, even the seemingly impenetrable fortress of Gringotts Bank had been damaged by the war. But where was the man to put the shop you ask?
Why, right next to the most popular shop in the street of course! Right next to Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. If the fractious relationship between wizards and muggles were to be rebuilt it had to be somewhere everyone would want to go to.
After hours of deliberating on who he would have in charge of the shop, Minister Shacklebolt finally came up with the perfect person for the job. However, one person running a shop that size simply isn’t feasible. No, the man needed more workers. Workers who could rebuild relationships that had been destroyed centuries ago. He needed a Slytherin.
After even more time, carefully thinking of who would be able to work with the manager he had chosen, Kingsley had eventually decided. His good friend Arthur Weasley was to be the manager, should he accept the job. The person chosen to be the assistant manager was to be the eighteen year old Slytherin boy Alex Sky who had fought along side him during the Battle of Hogwarts.
This Slytherin, as Neville Longbottom had informed him, was also a muggle born who unashamedly disobeyed the rules of the Carrows whilst in his last year at Hogwarts. He also decided to fight against Lord Voldemort’s followers and asked some of his fellow seventh year Slytherin’s to protect the younger children of all houses within the safety of the dungeons. An ideal choice for the role of muggle-wizard relationship building.
Two owls were sent immediately to the older Gryffindor man and his younger Slytherin counterpart, with the instructions to meet at Diagon Alley at 7am sharp the next morning.
The red headed man and the brown haired man waited nervously in front of an abandoned shop, eagerly anticipating the arrival of their Minister for Magic. They exchanged glances with each other, but quickly looked away as their heads were turned by the sound of Kingsley’s booming voice.
“I’m so pleased you could both make it! Did you bring the item I requested Mr. Sky?” called the man in the purple cloak from the other end of the dark street.
“Y-yes I did Minister,” squeaked the young man, taking the object out of his pocket, “it’s right here sir.”
Alex, the young Slytherin revealed a bright yellow rubber duck from his coat pocket and held it in his hands.
A look of pure delight spread across Mr. Weasleys face, and he knew that the future was going to be bright once again.
Dear Grimswald, when you are taking a shower, do you take off your clothes or...?
“Or what…?” He muses. “Bathe with them on? What a humorous idea! But alas, my answer is rather dull. Like most, I bathe naked. The only difference is that I don’t have a standing shower.” He runs his scaled palm over his prosthetic knee. “My… artificial parts don’t do well when exposed to water long-term so I have to remove them when it is time to wash up.”
“I admit it issss…” He chitters softly to himself. “… a bit of a hassle to do every time I want to get clean but I make the occasion extra special to make up for it. Rose-scented bubbles. Peach cream lotion. Industrial bleach. You know,” he picks dust off his desk, “every day delights.”
omg omg MC giving Saeyoung a rubber duck for coding troubles pLEASE
Yes I support this #rubberducksforsaeyoung2k16
For anyone who doesn’t know, rubber duck debugging is sort of an unconventional method of figuring out a code in where the coder explains the code line by line to a rubber duck (or any other object) in hopes of finding the problem.
Frustration was evident on the poor man’s face as he slaved away hour after hour, staring at a screen of numbers and letters that created a language you couldn’t even begin to comprehend. He’d been at it since the crack of dawn, and now, nearing midnight, without taking any sort of break other than for the restroom, he was still immersed in his digital world. He had also refused to eat anything you offered him (other than his usual soda and chip combo) and any attempts to converse with him felt like talking to a wall.
And that’s when you got an idea.
In the cabinet of your bathroom, you had noticed there were a few bath toys, so to speak, including plastic boats, water balloons, and a handful of rubber ducks. You had never brought it up in the past; it’s not as if anything like that surprised you. It was Saeyoung, after all.
You grabbed one of the rubber ducks–a bright yellow one wearing a pirate’s hat and an eye patch–and headed back over to his work space. The only light was filtering in from the adjacent living room, and you sighed. His already poor eyesight was only getting worse, and you’d lost track of the amount of times he’d been to the optometrist just in the span of your relationship alone. And then, every time he had gone, it was due to your incessant prompting since he couldn’t even differentiate the salt and sugar while cooking with his glasses on.
“Hey, it’s midnight,” you said softly.
He tensed at your voice, like he was surprised at your appearance, and then slumped back down. His glasses had been removed and set aside, a hand set deep into his hair as he kept his face inches from the screen with an elbow propped on the desk. You couldn’t see his face, but you were certain of the lackluster expression pinned to his usually cheery semblance, revealing the reality of his work life.
In response, he barely uttered a “hmm” to acknowledge your words.
“Don’t kill yourself over this, okay?”
Once again, he barely recognized your presence.
So you sighed and walked over to him, rubber duck tucked between your elbow and your torso. You placed your hands on his shoulders and kneaded your thumbs into the area where his back connected to his neck. He didn’t say anything, but he visibly relaxed into your touch, and a gentle smile graced to your lips.
As you leaned down to give him a goodnight peck on the cheek, you deposited the duck next to his mouse pad. “Maybe it’ll help,” you answered when his eyes flicked from the screen, to the duck, and then finally, swiveling his head just the slightest bit to peer up at you, puzzled.
You left him to his work, but not before calling, “Come to bed soon,” over your shoulder.
It took you about half an hour to finally settle into bed, and when you awoke, it wasn’t because of your alarm clock going off at 7:30 AM, but rather your significant other snuggling into you, wrapping his arms around you with his forehead in the crook of your neck. Your clock revealed it to be nearly four in the morning.
“Did you figure it out?” you asked drowsily.
You felt him nod his head, and he raised his hand to reveal the rubber duck. “Thank you,” he murmured.
You giggled and shifted around to give him a kiss on the forehead. “Of course. Any time.”
He was snoring before you could even finished speaking.
etsyfindoftheday | gift blitz 2015: for the DIY lover | 12.11.15
featured: ‘making spirits bright’ giftwrap stamp kit by asensiblehabit
one final DIY for all of the followers out there that like to get a little crafty around the holidays: a lovely trio of rubber stamps to label and decorate your packages and cards. this one includes an adorable mini snowflake and a snowball stamp as well as the fun, typographic holiday message. creative and cute.
“Eren, honey…” Jean perked up when he heard Marco’s voice carry through the house, not able to ignore the distressed edge it had again. That wasn’t good. It had taken him ages to solve the last crisis, which had only cost them more valuable preparation time. Eren’s answer was muffled and came from upstairs where he should be cleaning the bathroom or tidying the bedroom or at least hide some of the things they wouldn’t want their guests stumbling over.
“Please tell me you didn’t use all our hazelnuts when you made your cookies yesterday?” Jean shot a glance over at the cookies in question, cooled and stacked decoratively onto little plates, one on the coffee table, the other on the sideboard. They were pretty, decorated with icing of different colors, chocolate chips and yes, halves of hazelnuts. He abandoned the duster by the fireplace and went over to stick his head into the kitchen instead where Marco had pulled open most of their cabinets in a frantic search.
Before he could say anything Eren answered, voice not as muffled, he probably moved to the top of the stairs to shout down to them. “Yeah, I did. Told you we’d need new ones when you went shopping earlier.” Marco stopped rearranging one of their drawers and reached into his pocket, quickly pulling out a strip of paper. Scanning it he frowned and shook his head. “No…” “What?” The stairs were creaking now as Eren came to join them in the kitchen, donning a pair of bright pink rubber gloves. Bathroom it was then.
“You … I didn’t put it on the shopping list so you didn’t tell me…”, Marco murmured, holding out the piece of paper for Eren to check. Frowning Eren read over it himself, then shrugged. “Yeah, but I did, though..” That right there was Jean’s cue. They really didn’t need another shouting match over stupid stuff just because all of them were a little stressed and nervous. He slid into the kitchen and snatched the paper from Marco’s hands, smoothly gliding between his boyfriends. “What’s up?” He read over the shopping list. Indeed, no hazelnuts. But that wasn’t the point.
“I wanted to start with dessert but we’re all out of hazelnuts thanks to – ” “Nahh!”, Jean interrupted. Loudly. It wasn’t often that Marco’s voice drifted into that accusing, aggressive tone. But when it did he tended to say things he came to deeply regret later when he’d calmed down. So it was best to not even let him finish that sentence. The deep worry line between Marco’s eyebrows as he looked over at Eren was another strong hint. They were just strung a little tightly these days. “It was a misunderstanding”, Jean insisted, pocketing the offending piece of paper himself. “Just let it go. Let’s focus instead, okay?” He waited for the tiny, affirming nod, for Marco’s expression to soften a bit before he stepped back to take a look at the handwritten recipe on their kitchen table.
“Okay, you need hazelnuts, no problem. I can run to the store real quick…” “No, it’s closed…”, Eren interjected from the side, moving to stand next to Jean and read over the recipe as well. Jean hummed. Dammit. “No hazelnuts then. Uh, can you take something else instead? Like…” “We still got skinned almonds?”, his boyfriend supplied, shooting Marco a warm little smile and Jean jumped onto that possibility. “See, skinned almonds. How’s that sound?” “Yeah, it’s basically the same, right?” Marco looked at them for a moment, unblinking, then closed his eyes and huffed, one hand coming up to rub at his temple.
“It’s basically … no, Eren. No it’s not.” He opened his eyes again and shit, were those tears? Shit, shit, shit. What happened? Jean took a hesitant step toward his boyfriend, unsure if hugging would make it worse, so he just kept hovering somewhere in front of him. “This is my mom’s recipe, it’s her favorite desert”, Marco stuttered, blinking hard against the wetness shining in his eyes. “She asked me to make it for her and if I fuck it up she’ll…” So that was what this was about. Jean couldn’t hold back the little smile tugging at his lips as he closed the gap between himself and Marco to wrap his trembling boyfriend in a tight hug.
“She’ll do what?”, he murmured into Marco’s hair, pressing a kiss to his temple. “Disown you? Marco, baby, she agreed to spend Christmas Eve with not only one but two of your gay boyfriends and you think half a cup of almonds will tip her off?” Marco shrugged, breaths wet and stuttering as he carefully moved his arms to return the hug. “I just … I…”
“I know you want everything to be perfect”, Eren said from the side and made both their heads turn carefully to look at him. He was took his pink rubber gloves off and threw them towards the sink before he stepped closer and looped an arm around Marco’s waist as well. “But it doesn’t have to be.” “Yeah”, Jean quickly agreed, pressing another kiss to Marco’s cheek. “We wanna impress our parents. But the most important thing is that they’re even coming at all.” Eren hummed at that, raising onto his toes to nuzzle Marco’s face as well.
It had indeed taken them a long time to convince their parents that it might be a good idea to meet at their house this year. But in the end they had agreed it was time to get to know each other after all this time. Well, Eren’s dad hadn’t and he wouldn’t be coming tonight, but he was an ass anyway and Jean couldn’t shake the feeling that even Eren was glad he wouldn’t have to deal with him. Marco made a little noise and moved one of his arms to pull Eren close as well, kissing first his, then Jean’s temple. Looked like they succeeded in calming him. And that only meant one thing.
“You know what time it is…”, he murmured, a slight lull to his voice and he extracted himself from the tight hold of his boyfriend and stalked over to the little radio on the fridge. He ignored the two deep sighs behind him as well as the muttered “Oh god…” “Jean, please no…” as he turned on the little device and tuned it. “Shhh, if I got enough time for a dance break while being elbow deep in some dude’s guts we have enough time for a dance break four hours before our parents arrive”, he insisted, turning up the volume just at the beginning of one of those cheesy, happy pop songs. Exactly what they needed right now. “So shut up, one song, go.”
A few months ago Jean had started incorporating the dance breaks he knew from work into their daily lives. It was a good way to de-stress after complications had arisen and been dealt with in the OR and it was just as useful at home, after a fight or someone getting bad news or more recently, to get rid of the everlasting holiday tension. Marco wasn’t as big a fan of their newest routine and Eren kept bitching about it but they both couldn’t deny that it was working. It was much easier to go back to normal after dancing for a few minutes than it was with emotions and energy still pent-up inside them. That might be the only reason his boyfriends didn’t just leave the kitchen when he cranked up the volume even more as the bass set in and then turned around, moving to the quick, light beat.
“Come on Marco!”, he took his boyfriend’s hand, and pulled him free from Eren’s embrace so he had room to move. “I know you can shake that nice, round ass of yours!” “God, Jean…”, Marco chuckled, already loosening up a little as Jean moved him to sway to the beat, reaching out to drag a thumb over that plump bottom lip. “Sugar lips, angel eyes…”, he sang along, voice pitched too deep to be anything but mocking and it made Marco giggle even more. The laugh turned into a high yelp though when Jean moved around him to give that bubble butt a quick slap before making his way over to Eren, hips swaying and steps light. His boyfriend was watching him, weary, with his arms crossed, but it wasn’t like he could hide that smirk tugging at his lips when Jean rolled his hips a few times and began tugging one of Eren’s arms loose.
“She’s optimistic … something, something lights!” Eren snorted at the improvised lyrics and rolled his eyes but didn’t resist when Jean pulled him close to swing them around the kitchen a few times. “Before you play with fire, do think twice…” “And if you get burned don’t be surprised.” Jean hadn’t expected Eren to retort, especially not as assured or with a hard pinch to his ass. But here they were, hips suddenly flush, rolling to the insistent beat and suddenly it was getting hot and this was not the goal of a dance break, not at all. So Jean twisted out of Eren’s hold – they might have some time for a song but definitely not for a quickie in the kitchen, especially since even their quickies weren’t really quick.
He turned to Marco again instead who was back to just nodding his head to the beat and took both his hands this time, encouraging him to move around more, swing his arms and get more loose as the song went on and after a while Marco began to smile at him, soft and at ease and did a little twirl underneath their arms. Something in Jean’s chest eased up at the sight and he moved them closer toward Eren, handing Marco over to their boyfriend. He watched them dance together like that for a while, giggling and getting more and more silly in their moves, using the upbeat song to get rid of some of the tension, until all of them were singing at the top of their lungs: “Sugar, how you get so fly? Sugar how you get so fly? Sugar how you get so fly? But you won’t get me tonight!”
Eren’s pitched incredibly high at the last note, shrilling through the kitchen, while Marco stayed steady, carrying the tone out almost professionally. They kept moving in exaggerated moves until the song tapered out and they came to a halt, all three of them a little breathless. Jean casually threw the eggbeater he had grabbed as a microphone back into the bowl sitting on the counter. He couldn’t help but feel a little smug as he regarded his grinning boyfriends, then moved to shut off the radio again. “See, that was good, wasn’t it? Back to work now.” He gave both his boys a quick peck on the lips before disappearing into the living room again. Crisis averted.
while waiting in line for security, there was a row right in the middle of the security maze they’d blocked off for a security guy with a dog to walk up and down to sniff people as we passed by.
The line was Gigantic, but I figured that’s just how it goes at this time of year. So, I got in at the end & waited my turn.
Mid-line this guy comes up randomly & just starts skipping the little ribbon barriers, unhooking a few to put himself right in the middle - about 3 people in front of me.
I see a security lady give him a once over, but she lets it go. I’m a little put out, but figure there’s nothing to be done, and he’ll have to do the whole take his shoes off, go through the screener thing, just like everybody. Plus, there were several people all scrambling through the line begging to go ahead because of nearly missed flights etc.
Well, as we near the security dog, (we’re still about 2 rows away), he’s lazily sniffing various people near him until suddenly, the dog perks up and really starts sniffing attentively at some. He starts pulling on the guy holding his leash, so much so the guy leaves his little cordoned off row and they go diagonal across rows, the dog pulling him along - people are moving out of their way until they’re in my row.
The dog is excitedly sniffing at the guy who’d cut in line. The dog puts its paws up on the guy, sniffing and turning in circles excitedly. The security guy frisks the line cutter, and the dog nudges into the guy’s hoody pocket & comes away with this bright blue rubber chew toy! Filled with weed! I can barely, barely smell it as the dog turns in happy circles.
And the guy who cut in line laughs, and high fives the security guy, and the dog gets kisses and a hug.
Kate is parked in the preschool pick-up line, madly checking off items on her to-do list from the precinct, trying not to confuse her work email with her personal. The car is off and the windows down on a beautiful October afternoon, so the sounds of kids on the playground during their last hour of school brings a soothing white noise to her frantic pace.
She needs her weekend to be free, but she’s not sure she can get there. Her inbox is overflowing.
She’s in the process of composing a terse response to a CompStats bulletin forwarded to her by 1PP when she hears her own son’s voice and her head comes up.
Dashiell is on the playground?
She glances to the email, hazards a guess that it’s mostly official enough, hits reply. Looks back to the rubber tire strips and bright colored plastic that is the preschool playground.
Just in time to see a kid shove him to the ground.
She’s out of her car and flying across the sidewalk, up onto the strip of grass to the chainlink fence. The gate is locked - as it should be for a preschool with her children in it - but she’s halfway decided to scale the fence when Dash catches sight of her.
His face colors, and his embarrassment immediately checks her reaction, if not her livid desire to beat the kid that just pushed her son.
She takes a breath. “Hey there, Dash,” she offers, leaning against the fence and letting her gun and badge show. Smiling.
The kid menacing him is bigger, of course, Dashiell having inherited her narrow bones, but he looks startled by her presence.
“Dash, is your teacher out here? I want to cut out of car line if I can.” She doesn’t mention a word about how he’s sprawled in the rubber beneath the monkey bars, a kid twice his size standing over him. “Ask Ms. Amy if you can go.”
Dash jumps to his feet and races off, not uttering a sound, and the bully who pushed her kid is still standing there, a confusion on his face that Kate, despite being the adult here, absolutely relishes.
She says nothing.
Dashiell already has so much going against him, issues wise, that she will not add helicopter mother to the list. Besides, Dash has his father’s charm, and she realizes, belatedly, that her son might have very well talked himself out of that confrontation if she hadn’t crashed into the fence like an animal at the zoo.
The bigger kid wanders off with one last look at her gun - okay, she did employ some not-so-subtle scare tactics there - and she stands by the gate, breathing through her nose to cool herself off.
Amy comes back with Dashiell just moments later, his teacher smiling and unconcerned, Dashiell’s backpack in her hand - the sign-out clipboard in the other.
“Sorry for this,” Kate offers. She pulled I’m a cop just now, didn’t she? Amy is letting Dashiell leave by the playground gate when that’s not the usual procedure. All because Kate saw her kid get pushed. “Thanks for letting him skip a few minutes early. Dashiell, my man, what do you say to your teacher?”
The gate unlocks and Kate takes the clipboard, signing her name and printing it just beside the signature as Dashiell gives his teacher a wave.
Kate chuckles, hand touching the top of Dashiell’s head, takes the backpack from Amy. “Dash,” she prompts.
“Thank you,” he offers, and then his smile too, and even though it’s a little rattled, he doesn’t seem damaged by the incident.
“You’re very welcome, Dash. Have a good weekend.”
“Thanks, really,” Kate says, nodding, her hand around Dashiell’s. They turn back for the car, and she has to restrain herself from interrogating her son for information.
Once he’s buckled into his car seat, Kate shuts the door and climbs behind the wheel of the Audi. She glances in her rear view to check behind them, but she sees the look on his face.
“Hey, my wild man. Wanna tell me what happened on the playground?”
His head swivels to the window as if he needs the visual reminder of the monkey bars and slide and swingset. “Mommy, he pushed me.” He sounds surprised.
“Yeah, baby, he did. Do you know what started it?”
She has a text from Castle, a picture of him and Ella with matching goofy grins and - bubbles? She can’t tell; she slides the phone into the cup holder and eases out of the car line.
“Yes?” Her heart is thumping a little too hard.
“I told Miller he was a big fat dummy.”
“Are you gonna arrest him? I think you should arrest Miller. I think you have probable cause.”