second curtain

I Don't Wanna Live Forever [Connor Murphy x Reader]

Title: I Don’t Wanna Live Forever
Pairing: Connor Murphy x Reader
Fandom: Dear Evan Hansen
Requested: no
Summary: Your family takes an annual trip to the mountains with the Murphy family every year to unwind over the winter break–that being said, Connor Murphy isn’t the sweet kid he used to be, and you’d rather be anywhere else than sharing a room with him for two weeks. However, between your parents, a line of accidents, and a mapless trip in the woods seem determined to bring you together–if you can make it out alive.
Warnings: Connor’s potty mouth | Mentions of drugs, abuse, alcohol, panic attacks, sex trafficking, sex, blood, hospitals | First person reader | face paced/vignette style | not proof read | tenses may change
A/N: Here’s that long ass thing I’ve been working on for weeks and just finished a few minutes ago, ayy. Based entirely off the “Connor hated skiing” line. This is long af with no read more option, sorry :/ Here we go! (THANKS FOR 500+ FOLLOWERS ♡♡♡)


Connor Murphy was a lot of things.

He was stubborn–I’d never seen him admit he was wrong, but I’d definitely seen him throw scrabble pieces across the wooden floor of the cabin, leaving Zoe to scramble red-faced to collect them as he stomped up the oak steps to his room, echoing around the house.

He was annoying–I’d told him once I wasn’t crazy about Iron Maiden, which resulted in the album being on blast for the entirety of the time he drove Zoe and I around the mall in the family’s silver minivan.

He was stoic. He was impatient. He was angry.

I’d begged my parents not to go cabins for winter break. I’d begged them to pick a different mountain range if we were so dead set on skiing. But Mr. Murphy and my mother were business associates, and the last thing she wanted to do was make them feel like we were no longer on good terms–especially because of Connor.

“Larry’s been having an awfully hard time with Connor, sweetheart, you have to understand,” my mother crooned in our rental car, fixing her lip liner as she drove, my father keeping a white knuckled grip on the Jesus handle above his head. “He’s not doing very well in school and he’s been throwing tantrums at home. Poor Cynthia is at her wits end. They’re lucky to have that sweet Zoe, she’s so talented and smart. Poor Connor is jealous and acting out, just try not to rally him up, alright, dear?”

I didn’t dignify her with a response, mostly because I knew she wouldn’t like what I had to say anyway, but also because I knew she wouldn’t care to listen, either. I sighed loudly, watching the snow flurry softly outside the window. It wasn’t fair–here I was in the middle of something so remarkably beautiful, and I’d be shoved in a minivan with the Murphy kids and stuck in the valley town’s 1970s mall with crappy t-shirts and a vape store that Connor would spend all day in.

The cabin was huge, up with a view of the town below, nearly three stories made of solid, stripped oak, in the middle of a winding road with a four percent grade. Half the cabin was supported on beams which plummeted down the mountain face. I’d be lucky to stand on the deck without vomiting, let alone being able to venture into the hot tub.

The Murphy’s minivan was already in the drive, trunk shut, meaning they’d unpacked and I’d be left with whatever miniscule space they’d left for me in the loft area.

“Remember to be nice, sweetheart,” my mother crooned again, fluffing her hair in the mirror and giving me an enthusiastic smile in the rearview. “It’s important! They’re practically family.”

Geez, I was lucky to not have Connor Murphy for a cousin.

Slinging my backpack over my arm and exiting the rental car, I took the liberty to stretch, despite the cold air that stung my cheeks and the snow that fluttered down into my hair. This may very well be the last moment of solitude I had for the entirety of the week, and I was going to revel in it.

A movement caught my eye, suddenly, and I lowered myself off my tiptoes to glance up at the second story window–a curtain fluttered shut. It was most likely Zoe or Connor checking out the commotion that was my father and mother bickering over who carried what into the house, and shutting it once they’d realized I caught them. Feeling vaguely uneasy, I turned just as Larry Murphy, bundled in a parka, burst out of the house to take two suitcases from my father.

It was going to be a long two weeks.

——

Cynthia Murphy made me stand by the kitchen counter as she was stocking the cabinet with neon colored cardboard boxes containing various sugary, pink cereals with marshmallows and prizes inside. The Murphy kids were both picky eaters, I remembered quickly, Connor more so than Zoe.

Mrs. Murphy kept playing with my hair, crowing about how much longer it looked (despite the fact I’d cut it since the last time I’d seen her) and how pretty and grown up I’d become, asking me the usually annoying adult questions (“Any thoughts on schools yet? Oh, Connor can’t decide either! Do you know what you’re going to major in? That’s alright, you’ll figure it out soon!”) It would’ve been annoying, I decided, if and only if she didn’t look so sad all the time, the purple bruising under her eyes visible still underneath the layers of makeup. My mother could say whatever she liked about Cynthia Murphy where her wifely duties were concerned–Mrs. Murphy tried to be a good mother (re: tried, period), and that was more than enough to pass her in my book.

In the background, my parents were settling into the second master bedroom, Larry Murphy yelling at the bottom of the stairs to announce our arrival. I could do without the annual reunion, awkward questions about school. The Murphy kids were tolerable–Zoe definitely more so–but it didn’t mean they had to force us together so artificially.

Zoe skimpered down the stairs first, her soft moccasin boots barely making any sound on the stairs–I was surprised to find her long legs bare, her thighs peeking out beneath a pretty pink chiffon dress, covered by what I hoped to be a faux fur parka. Her pretty auburn hair was curled, pulled back with a polka dot headband I could recognize from her childhood. She was wearing eyeliner, and cotton candy flavored lip gloss I remembered sharing when we were thirteen.

It was such a stark contrast from how I remembered her before. The last I’d seen her she’d been gawky and fifteen with a mouth full of metal and a bra full of kleenex. She was practically grown now, and beautiful–it made me feel slightly subpar in my own blue jeans and blue sweater. Regardless, she smiled brightly and skipped over to me, opening her arms to wrap them around my neck.

“It’s so good to see you!” She exclaimed, pressing a quick kiss to my cheek that shocked me, as well as some others–Larry Murphy’s horrified expression was priceless, and I was convinced Connor put her up to it–but I just laughed and hugged her tightly before letting her go.

“You look so pretty,” I told her with a wry grin, and she just tossed the expression back, nodding with a, “So do you!”

“It’s so good to see you girls are still so close,” my mother tittered, beginning to uncork a glass of wine–we didn’t drink much at my house, but the Murphy’s, I knew, did, and my mother certainly wasn’t going to let that go to waste. “Where’s that sweet boy of yours?”

Larry Murphy at the bottom of the stairs, banging on the oak walls, yelling out, “Connor!” was enough to make both the Murphy women flinch visibly. Zoe still had her arm around my waist as we stared up at the ceiling above us, waiting for the squeak of sneakers on the polished wood.

“Don’t yell.”

Zoe jumped away from me as if she’d been burned, pressing herself against the countertop as if to make herself invisible. Mrs. Murphy, her hand clutched to her chest after the initial nose, fought hard to smile believably. I, myself, had jumped at the unexpected sound–Connor Murphy’s curt tenor clear across the room, no where near the stairs, instead standing the doorway were we had just come from. I couldn't  quite make out his frame from here–there was a line of bodies blocking my view, my parents, Mrs. Murphy, and Zoe all formed a human barrier that constructed the divide between Connor and I. Fine by me.

“There you are!” Mrs. Murphy chirped, clearly still nervous, visibly by her shaking voice and hands, fluffing her hair to give her something to do. “You didn’t miss much, Connor, they’ve just arrived.”

My mother said something unintelligent in way of greeting, to which Conner didn’t reply, just shut the door carefully behind him to keep out the cold air. I couldn’t see his face from here, but I could make out that he was much too still for a teenage boy, much too quiet.

“–You remember her, don’t you, Connor?”

My throat closed up as the Red Sea parted, everyone’s heads turning to look between the two of us.

He didn’t move from the doormat–boots  caked in snow, as if he’d gone for a walk, and the bottoms of his skinny jeans were muddy and slick looking. Still, he didn’t shiver, which was slightly unnerving. He was skinnier than I remembered, like he hadn’t been eating, and his face was all angles. He slouched, his pink mouth which was mottled red from the cold was set in a heavy frown. His eyes, which were scanning somewhere around my waist and hadn’t come anywhere near making eye contact since he’d seen me, had blown pupils. Drugs. He was doing drugs in the middle of the afternoon.

He hadn’t cut his hair since I’d seen him last, brown curls poking out of the bottom of a black sock toboggan with a soft pompom on top. It could’ve been funny, I supposed, his rough puberty finishing to leave him left over with this, something akin to a drugged out vogue model who listened to way too much 2008 Fall Out Boy, if he didn’t seem so…unnervingly somber for someone who clearly wasn’t sober. Geez, this kid was a school shooter in the making.

I glanced back up to find him finally staring at my face, shooting an uncomfortable alertness down my spine. His eyebrows were crooked in vague amusement that didn’t seem to reach his mouth, and I felt my face heat up under his scrutiny. If he was trying to intimidate me, it wouldn’t work. I wasn’t scared of boys like him.

“Yeah, I remember her,” he grinned mirthlessly, stuffing his hands into the gut pocket of his hoodie, giving me a nod that, while meant to appease our parents, also felt like a vague threat. I didn’t smile back.

“Great! Wanna show her the room?”

Connor grinned crookedly. “Follow me, kid.”

——

The upstairs layout was just like I remembered  it–Two rooms, one main one in the first entrance with a king bed tucked in the corner, a TV and a few gaming systems with some furniture in the front, a bathroom with two doors which lead through to the other room, which held the fold out couch and television I was accustomed to using.

The Murphy kids already had their belongs strewn about the room–Zoe’s stuff animals and princess blankets eclipsing most of the bed and an ancient Nintendo DS on the table with SpongeBob stickers on the cover that I’m sure belonged to Connor–and it left me very little room to maneuver through.

Connor was silent as he lead me up, as if I didn’t know the way, but surprised me by stopping in front of the king bed, holding out his arms to signal me.

“Your room, my lady.”

I cocked an eyebrow. “This–this is your bed.”

“Not this year. Dad’s decided it’s a little too Flowers In the Attic for Zoe and I to share a bed this year–I’m on the pull out and you girls get to have your fun.” He shot me a bitter smile to let me know he wasn’t thrilled about having the pull-out–he shouldn’t be, the thing was total garbage–but surely he’d enjoy the privacy of it?

“I don’t care to take the pull-out,” I told him, keeping my bag on my shoulder despite the fact it was beginning to be painfully heavy. “If you wanna–”

“Don’t have a choice,” he said, already turning toward the bathroom to walk to his half of the loft. “The bed’s yours.”

——

So, Connor Murphy had turned out to be a total dick. It should’ve unsurprising information, I knew, but part of me still remembered him as a charismatic kid I was, at one point, friends with. Back when the three of us all slept in the king bed, before any of us ever had a zit, when we’d fall asleep in the floor watching early 1990s Pokémon episodes, because Larry Murphy didn’t like them watching it.

Even the Connor I remembered at fourteen, gangly and silent and shy with close-cropped hair felt better than this. I was past uncomfortable, sitting stiffly between he and Zoe on one of the couches in the living room. There was a faux fur blanket hanging behind us, shedding hairs onto Connor’s black jacket, which would’ve been funny if he wasn’t picking at his nails with a slightly rusted pocket knife–I notice he’d painted them, which I oddly admired. I’d kissed a boy earlier this year who painted his nails, and his palms were always soft when he’d reach up to cup my cheeks. It softened Connor in my head, just slightly.

He was careful, I saw, to stay on his side of the couch, leaning into the apex of the arm and the back of the couch rather  than flush with me, his thin legs stretched out and crossed at the ankle to avoid me. I appreciated it, but it didn’t stop me from leaning forward, my elbows on my knees, sitting on the edge of the cushion. I could still feel warmth radiating from him–it was late, and I was tired with a full stomach. If I wasn’t careful, I’d fall right into him, and he’d never let me live that down.

Zoe practically was asleep, leaning forward as well with her head on my shoulder. Cynthia had let her have nearly two glasses of wine at dinner–not enough to get her drunk, but it didn’t change the fact Zoe was still lithe and young, and easily tipsy.

We’d all gone into town for a very awkward dinner–I was just thankful to be placed between my father and Zoe, in a position on the opposite end of the table from Connor, who was stuck in between Larry and Cynthia, looking as if he were in a permanent time out.

Now we were gathered around the coffee table in the cabin, the seven of us hunched over a tiny photo album that I couldn’t really make out from here. There were fuzzy polaroids of us as children, looking nothing like we did now. Connor and I at six, soaked from romping in a sprinkler. Zoe and Connor sharing a chocolate icecream cone, their faces covered in the brown spatter.

“You were all so small,” Mrs. Murphy crowed with a choked voice, covering half her face with her hand in a faux attempt to eclipse the emotion. “Oh, I miss it. You kids used to spend so much time together! Now we only get together for break, and Zoe is so busy there’s hardly enough time for her to spend quality time with her sweet brother.”

Zoe snorted loudly, earning a glare from Mr. Murphy I was positive I wasn’t supposed to see. I snuck a glance at Connor, whose face betrayed no emotion, just staring blankly ahead in the direction of the album. From his position, I was positive he couldn’t see more than the chipped leather cover of the book. Even if he leaned forward, he wouldn’t have been able to see much.

My mother and Mrs. Murphy went out in loud voices in a seamless attempt to pretend the seemingly secret interaction had taken place, so, while the focus was shifted, I turned my attention to Connor.

He didn’t cock an eyebrow this time when he caught me staring, instead just furrowed his eyebrows and looked at me, as if he expected me to speak.

“Can you see?” I asked, nodding my head in the direction of the book.

“I’m fine,” he said immediately–vaguely irritating, I’d admit, but nonetheless understandable. I was sure Cynthia Murphy had spent most of her life making sure Connor was comfortable at all times. Still, this was my olive branch, in an attempt to make this trip a little more tolerable, and Zoe seemed less than likely to console her brother at this point.

“We can change seats, I’m not really looking,” I promised, sitting forward more in my seat to show that I was ready to make the change.

“I’m fi–”

Connor was cut off by a squeal from his mother, who had tossed the book into our laps. It had taken a great deal of squinting, letting my heartbeat slow before I realized she’d been showing us something and not trying to kill some giant bug between us.

The polaroid was grainy, an ivory hue that whitewashed the photo and the years of existence made the picture hard to decipher at first, especially when we were so tired. The time stamp was from the late nineties, glowing yellow in the corner of the frame. I recognized the gilded tub from upstairs that dominated half the bathroom, big enough for three adults easily.

Connor threw to book onto my lap first, like it had scalded him. I should’ve done the same, but it took me a moment. To see, to adjust, to read and understand what was so socially condemning about the photo.

It was Connor, I realized first, small and tanned with bony ribs and chunky fingers and the apples of his cheeks straining against his baby skin. His hair was cropped so short, it looked almost silly. Beside him was me, my hair wild and tangled, curled as if my mother had teased it for dinner. My wide eyes were blazing, much too big for my face, and I was grinning with wet lips at the camera.

We were in the tub, surrounded by big pink bubbles.

We were very, very naked.

It shouldn’t have been a big deal–not really, unless you counted the fact that if this had been printed, our parents would be arrested for child porn. I was mostly covered, sitting beside Connor, my shoulders hunched forward. But Connor was standing, meaning the camera got a very decent view of–

“What the fuck, Mom!” He screaming, standing and ripping the book off my lap. Cynthia’s tittering died immediately, the hands covering her laughed instead covered her horrified face.

This was how it started, I realized.

“It’s not fucking funny,” he growled, tossing the book across the room, banging against the wooden wall with a heavy whomp.  

“That’s enough, Connor,” Larry Murphy growled low in his throat. Cynthia’s head was downcast, her eyes wide and wet. I recognized the emotion immediately–she shut down with conflict the same way Connor did.

“You don’t get to laugh at me for shits and giggles this whole trip,” Connor said, already lunging up the stairs, his hands shaking. “If I wanted to feel shitty, I’d have a conversation with you.”

So much for having a quiet trip.
——
Zoe wasn’t quiet in her gossip about Connor–his door was fashioned shut, I saw, and I doubt he’d come out for the rest of the night. I was positive he could hear his sister’s loud comments from our room.

“Sorry, he’s such an ass,” Zoe groaned, stretching on the bed, her little lilac nightgown shifting across her thighs. “I think his high is wearing off or something–don’t let it bug you. You don’t have to be nice to him, by the way. I’m not gonna let him hurt you.”

I shrugged, noncommittal. “We were friends once. I’m not gonna be mean, he’s never done anything to me.”

Zoe snorted. “You didn’t just see that? He’s a monster, and it gets worse.”

“He just has a temper. Everyone gets like that sometimes.”

I wasn’t sure why I was defending Connor–half because I didn’t want Zoe to tell Connor I disliked him, then he’d actively terrorize me–half because I had no idea why Connor Murphy was so pissed off. It was just a picture. Yeah, embarrassing, I’ll admit I wasn’t too thrilled about eighteen year old Connor Murphy seeing my nipples, and I’ll admit he definitely had the worst end of the stick.

“He loses his shit like that all the time,” Zoe said. “It’s not just a temper.”

“He’s your brother, Zoe,” I reminded gently, brushing out my hair in the bathroom mirror. “Can’t you give him the benefit of the doubt?”

“He’s no brother of mine,” she whispered, rolling over on the bed and clicking off the light.

——

The next few days passed as the usually did–the adults going places without us, albeit romantic and boring, and leaving the three of us to wander about the town below the mountain crests. It was Zoe’s turn to pick the day’s activity, and she’d chosen the mall.

The place was all dark oak, and hadn’t been remodeled since the late seventies at the earliest. Zoe was chipper, balancing a bag of organic soap and bath bombs on her lap that she’d bought at a local shop, pouring over the cheese fries between us on a plastic red tray.

Connor had also been well-behaved since his outburst several days ago, albeit quiet. He’d separated from us the second we’d arrived, holed out in some record store. Zoe was thrilled to be rid of him, and very vocal about it. I was bored out of my mind.

“Don’t look now,” Zoe said brightly, despite her face suddenly shifting into a mask of disinterest. She bit down on her lip, covered in a pink glitter lipgloss she’d applied much too liberally, and pulled on her pretty auburn braid. “There’s some boys two tables behind us checking you out.”

I felt my face get hot. “You’re lying.”

“Nuh-uh,” Zoe said, leaning into take a sip of her milkshake, biting down on the straw–the look on her face told me she’d got their attention.

“How old are they?” I hissed. The last thing we needed were some creeps following us around the mall–this was how sex trafficking started. Surely Zoe knew that this was a huge red flag.

It was clear from her overzealous wave she didn’t.

I felt a hand on the back of my chair before I saw them–to Zoe’s credit, they were pretty. Both in thick denim blue jeans, both in letterman jackets over white tee-shirts. One was tall, skinny, with pretty dark skin and hair cropped close to his head. The other was a little thicker, pale and short, in badly need from a shave. They were smiling brightly at the two of us in a way that was less awestruck and more closely resembled a triumphant conquest.

“Hello, ladies,” the shorter man greeted, grinning like a shark between Zoe and I. His hair was dark, curling around his temples–handsome, maybe my age, maybe ten years older. It was impossible to tell. There were lines around his eyes that either indicated he smiled too much or was simply older. “What are two cute girls like you doing inside on a day like this–the ski lift is just a walk down the road.”

“We’re here shopping with our brother,” I said immediately, giving a grin. The taller boy quirked his eyebrows at me–his eyes, I noticed, were dark with tawny flecks hidden in them.

“That’s cool,” he said to me, switching places so that the other boy could be closer to Zoe. They both pulled chairs up to our table, facing us. My stomach pinched uncomfortably. “Where’s he at?”

“Nike,” I lied, seeing the sign from the distance and knowing very well that Hot Topic, while probably true, didn’t exactly invoke fear.

“Ah,” he said with a grin, his eyes glancing down at my bare arm with a grin. With two slim fingers, he reached forward to pluck at my woven bracelet Zoe had made me a few nights ago, my name in block letter strung across the twine. His hands were uncomfortably hot, and I drew my arm back into my lap. “Aren’t you cold?” He nodded to my bare arms. I’d left my flannel with Connor, who was sitting on a bench at the time–I hoped he remembered to grab it. I was just wearing a striped cotton tee right now, and my arm had broken out in a case of goosebumps, though I wasn’t sure it was from the cold.

“I’m fine,” I said, careful not to meet his gaze. He was pretty, and if I wasn’t careful, I might end up going somewhere with this guy.

“You know,” he began, and I could hear his grin turn predatory. “You’re very pretty.”

A jolt shot down my spine–I wasn’t pretty, not really, which terrified me. I could hear what the other boy was whispering to Zoe, but I could tell that all the stars were gone from her eyes. She looked pale, panicked. These weren’t the kind of boys we needed to hanging around with.

“I know,” I said quickly. “We really need to call our brother–”

“I think he can wait long enough for me to get your number, right?”

Across the table Zoe laughed, too loudly, pushing back and standing from her chair. She was grinning at the dark haired boy, beckoning her to follow with a jerk of her chin.

“Zoe–”

“We’re gonna run to get some coffee, okay? Connor should be back soon, don’t wait up.”

She didn’t meet my heavy glare for long, and didn’t turn around when I yelled her name. I watched in silent horror as the boy put his hand flush with her lower back.

I was alone.

The panic crept onto the back of my neck long before his thin fingers did. He smelled like cinnamon, strongly, like he’d done one too many sprays with his cologne that morning. When I turned to face him, his tawny eyes were asking.

“Is this the part where you say you’ve got a boyfriend?” He grinned, his teeth blindingly bright in his tan face. He was so close I could see the threads on the collar of his letterman jacket–it looked soft.

There was a possibility, I realized, that they weren’t dangerous. That I was just being paranoid–Zoe wasn’t stupid, and she wouldn’t go off with a strange boy unless she was sure it was safe. Still, they were definitely in college.

And boy, were they pretty.

“I do have a boyfriend, actually,” I said, lifting my chin to meet his gaze so he wouldn’t think I was lying. There was a small voice in the back of my head, screaming, raised on her tip toes that I should just take this plunge–let him hold my hand or kiss him or whatever he wanted to do, because this was a shitty trip and I deserved to be as reckless as the Murphy kids were allowed. I didn’t see a reason why I shouldn’t.

Besides, you know, the obvious.

He quirked an eyebrow. “You have a boyfriend?” He asked, biting back a smirk. I felt the voice in the back of my head get sucker punched by my ego. So, he didn’t think I was pretty after all. Which meant he was dangerous.

Which meant Zoe was in trouble.

“Yes,” I growled, standing, yelping a bit when his hand snaked up to grab at my wrist, nearly breaking my bracelet and keeping me bent over the table.

“Let go,” I hissed–the food court was nearly deserted, and the family in the corner was carefully avoiding my eyes. I wasn’t sure I had the voice to scream.

“I don’t believe you have a boyfriend.”

“Let go, or I’ll scream,” I warned, yanking on my arm. He let go immediately, holding his hand high above his head, which I knew was meant as a gesture of calm, but instead looked an awful lot like he intended to strike me.

“Where’s your boyfriend, then?” He taunted loudly, thrilled to see no one in the court coming to my aid. I felt sick, the panic rising in my chest. Where was Zoe? She was in trouble. I was in trouble. I was going to have to scream–

“He’s right here.”

My arm flailed, immediately cocking back in an attempt to elbow in the stomach whoever had wrapped their arm around my neck, their other spidery hand snaking just slightly under the hem of my t-shirt to splay across my hip, finger tips barely brushing my skin above my jeans. The arms were strong, vice like, pressing me against a hard body, and suddenly I felt limp, panic leaving me as I realized whose familiar smell I was enveloped in.

Hair grazed across my cheekbone, and I could make out the dark locks if I looked out the corner of my eye, and I nearly yelped when I felt lips press chastely against my temple.

I couldn’t make out much of the boy anymore, my eyes level with Connor’s adams apple from where he was pressing me against him.

“Babe,” Connor said cooly, calmly, making my knees knock against his. “Who’s this?”

“H-he’s leaving,” I managed to stutter out, barely a whisper, my voice hoarse. I sounded terrified. No wonder this ass in the letterman jacket hadn’t be intimated by me, I sounded about as frightening as a kitten. Connor pressed his fingers against the nape of my neck, tilting my head against his jugular so that I couldn’t see anything but the pale column of his throat and his dark hair. It was getting difficult to breathe–I felt sick. He moved his hand to wrap around my waist, yanking me tightly to him.

“You heard her,” Connor said, again stoic–half of me wished I could see his face, but the other half knew it would be terrifying. Connor’s temper was legendary and destructive–to see him so angry wouldn’t make the fist in my gut unclench. “Go. Take your friend with you.”

There was a beat of silence. Then two. I couldn’t hear much but my own shaky breathing, warm and wet against Connor’s neck, his hair making the space much too hot. I wasn’t aware I had knotted my fingers into his shirt until he started walking, dragging my stumbling form forward with him. He was going fast, too fast for me to keep up, and my chest could only rise so far before deflating painfully.

“You gotta breathe,” he grunted, one of his arms still around me. His face felt hot against me.

“Z-zoe!” I choked out, realizing I had no idea where she was. She could still be with that boy, be in danger–

“Oh, Christ,” he exclaimed bitterly, letting go and beginning to trudge forward. I was terrified briefly, suddenly overwhelmed with the fact I didn’t know where I was. There was a Game Stop, and a Victoria’s secret, the neon lighting combined with the screaming toddlers and the kissing teens and Connor was leaving

An arm swept up from behind me, leading me just as quickly, mumbling something I couldn’t make out into my ear.

“Zoe!” I grinned, immediately feeling safer, feeling my fear melt away just smidgen in my gut.

“I’m so so sorry I left,” she sobbed. “I went looking for a cop, but I found Connor first and I told him you were in trouble–”

“It’s fine,” I said immediately, surprised that my voice was no longer wet. “Thanks, Zoe.”

I was calm, or, at least calmer by the time we reached the van. Connor was waiting by the passenger side door, which was opened, leaning against a scratch in the silver paint. He wasn’t looking at us, instead appearing to observe the silver snowflakes as they fell.

My reflection in the side mirror revealed my face was red and blotchy, not just from the cold wind. I felt gross–guilty for the fact I hadn’t been able to defend myself and Zoe, guilty for the fact Connor Murphy was the one who had to come to my rescue, and guilty for the fact I’d cried all over him. His zipped up hoodie seemed to have escaped the mess, but that didn’t mean I didn’t feel awful. 

He stepped out of the way when I made it close, gesturing for me to get in the passenger side door while glaring at the ground. I was only vaguely surprised, and followed along immediately. Zoe and I almost always rode together in the back. I let Connor shut the door, ignoring the disgusted look Zoe gave as she got into the back.

Connor hoisted himself into the driver’s seat, surprising me with a costume change, reappearing in only a forest green tee. He held out his hoodie to me, balled up in one of his fists without looking at me, before just tossing it into my lap.

“I–”

“I left your flannel in the back. Put that on or you’ll freeze.”

He licked his lips, staring coldly out the front window, before starting the car. I swallowed. Yeah, he definitely hated me.

“Okay.”

——

“You’re sure you’re alright, honey?” My mother asked for the third time. Her hair was tied up, her pink bathrobe covering little of her cleavage and bare legs. She was cradling a wine bottle in her hands, looking at me in faux concern.

I gave her a soft smile. “I’m fine,” I lied. I’d calmed considerately. Connor and Zoe had both agreed I needed to shower to wash off the panicked look on my face–I’d asked them to keep the days happenings a secret. They’d reluctantly agreed.

She gave me a clipped smile. “Maybe you should go to bed early, yeah? That’s what I plan to do.”

I nodded, scratching at my bare leg. I’d taken advantage of Zoe’s absense and changed into boxer shorts and an oversized tee with a kitten on the front–she and Cynthia had headed into town for the night, spending the night at a spa and would be gone for a few days, and my father had taken his annual ‘me time’ and booked a hotel downtown to do his own thing. I think Mr. Murphy went with him, but regardless, he was out of the house. It was just me and my mother.

And Connor. I tried not to think about it. I planned on offering him the big bed tonight, in way of thanking him for today, but we hadn’t spoken much since the incident and I felt…odd. Unsure how to thank him. Unsure why he helped.

I supposed the Murphy men were just gentlemen, even under all that teen angst.

“Yeah,” I agreed. “I’m probably gonna sit out on the balcony and then head to bed.”

She grinned. “Don’t stay out too late, it’s almost down to single digits, dear.”

I just nodded, sliding off the countertop, and slinking upstairs. I was surprised to see Connor sitting on the bed. I grinned.

He looked different, to say the least. He was still without his jacket, wearing only his tee and jeans, and little pair of socks with stars on them, which did seem a little out of character, but I assumed Cynthia bought them. His head perked when he saw me, simply craning his neck, keeping his shoulders bowed forward over his body.

He looked small, I realized. He didn’t look like a boy who punched holes in walls or scared off very big very scary men in shopping mall food courts. He looked like a vogue model with a little too much innocence.

He gave me a grin with no teeth, and it didn’t quite meet his eyes, but I gave him a sheepish smile back.

“Hey,” I greeted, tugging on my top to cover my shorts a little better–Connor Murphy didn’t have any interest in seeing my thighs. Despite all the panic, I’d been playing over and over in my head the comment the boy in the mall had made, incredulous that I had a boyfriend. It was silly to let it sting me, considering he probably wanted to stuff me in a van, but it crippled me nonetheless.

“Hey,” he greeted back, not rising from the bed.  I waited for him to speak again, and when he said nothing, I continued.

“I, uh, meant to say, since Zoe’s gone, you can have the big bed like good old times.”

He frowned. “I don’t need the bed.”

“I don’t either,” I promised, leaning against the banister. “Plus,” I sighed, scratching at the back of my head. “I’m not entirely sure how to thank you for today. I’d probably be selling for a low ball price on the dark web right now, if it wasn’t for you. So, thanks.”

Connor was still frowning. “You’ve had a really rough day. You should take the bed.”

“No,” I insisted, beginning to get frustrated. “I’m really okay, I promise. I can’t give you anything else, take the bed.”

His dark eyebrows knit together quickly, licking his lips again nervously. “I don’t–”

“Plus,” I cut him off again with a curt laugh. “I owe you for your Oscar performance. That was crazy, you know. I can’t believe you fooled him into thinking a guy like you would be with a girl like me.”

His head snapped up. “A guy like me?” He reiterated coldly. I felt my face grow hot.

“You know,” I said quietly.

“Know what?”

“That you’re cool,” I muttered. “And nice looking. And I’m not.”

I was thankful for the warm lighting in the room, concealing my red face. It was already dark out, the blinds drawn tightly. Connor’s fists clenched in the white lace comforter on the bed. I didn’t want him to feel bad for me, and I sort of regretted saying it. Connor had already seen me blubbering today and he didn’t need my shitty teen angst to deal with.

He bit down on his lower lip, staring coldly at the ground before murmuring, “I need a shower. Take the bed.”

I shook my head. “I’m gonna go for a walk.”

He just nodded, rising from the bed. “Don’t get too far. It’s cold out.”

Connor shut the bathroom door behind him, and I was left feeling like a total idiot. I could hear the shower running before I left, snagging Connor’s grey jacket from my bed post and sliding it on. I went down the stairs, sliding out the first door to the outside, stepping out onto the first floor balcony. I made a mental note to the shut the blinds later, before walking around to the front of the cabin.

I should’ve been thrilled to be alive, I realized, snorting at how melodramatic that sounded. Still, as I burrowed deeper into Connor’s jacket, watching my thighs turn red from the cold, I realized that I was shrouded in a veil of melancholy I wouldn’t be able to shake off.

I missed Connor. I missed being his friend. I missed him coming over for play dates when we were kids, gauzy fairy wings strapped to our backs, jumping on a trampoline when Zoe was still to young to participate. I missed writing him letters, like a pen pal, despite the fact he only lived on the opposite side of town. Going to different schools hadn’t deterred us, for a while, at least. We had sleepovers every birthday, and Zoe told the best scary stories. I remembered hiding under Connor’s bed with him, a hand clasped over my mouth so Zoe wouldn’t hear our breathing.

I remembered kissing him when we were in kindergarten, ridiculously late at night, a quick smack on the lips during a game of pretend. I’d kissed Zoe, too, when we were probably much too old for it, but thinking of Connor tugged on my chest.

It stopped as we turned twelve, I realized. I never saw him–he was still playing little league, and I stopped coming to his games to pick dandelions with Zoe. He was beginning to get teased. My parents insisted the slumber parties should stop, we were too old. Every time Connor and I were together at birthdays or Christmas parties, adults would joke about when we’d fall in love, how soon would it be before we got married. We avoided each other like the plague, unless we knew we could be alone. And we were never alone.

Connor hid inside himself. Zoe made fun of him at parties, loudly. I kept quiet.

He stopped calling during the summer months. He never rode his bike by my house. The only time I saw Connor Murphy was the annual ski trip.

I missed him. He’d been a childhood friend, and I’d let him go without a second thought to save myself some shred of dignity, like it wouldn’t be ripped away from me regardless.

Connor Murphy was nothing to be ashamed of.

And now it was too late to be his friend.

It had started to snow again, so I wiped my face and rose, walking the opposite way I had come, skirting the stairs–they led to the upstairs, but only to Connor’s room, and I didn’t plan to barge in uninvited, especially if he was still in the shower, two rooms blocked me from getting to the king bed, so I’d have to walk all the way around the house.

The lights were out, I saw, but again no one had bothered to close the blinds. The television might have been on, a dim blue glow resounding onto the leather couch–

I froze.

As it turned out, my mother hadn’t gone to bed. The television was on, showing some late show with some old white man making cracks about some politician I didn’t care for, casting the blue haze onto the coffee table, revealing the wine bottle my mother had been cradling. Two empty glasses sat on the table–my mother’s bathrobe crinkled on the floor.

I was disgusted in a comedic way, just for a moment, to see my mother in her nightgown kissing my father, who my brain had filled in under the assumption he’d arrived back.

I’d begun backing up to the stairs, Connor Murphy’s naked body be damned, when I realized my father’s car had never pulled up, and I’d been on the front porch the whole time.

A better look in the window revealed a man a little older, a little more gray and a little more handsome than my father.

I was sprinting by the time Larry Murphy had begun to peel his shirt off his back.

I didn’t knock by the time I’d made it to Connor’s room, just threw open the door, struggling to get my breathing under control. I stumbled to the pull out couch, dragging the sheets up around my freezing legs. I was in shock, I knew, and I needed to calm down before Connor came in–the bathroom door was shut, but I couldn’t hear the shower anymore, despite the steady trickle of steam coming through the cracks. I was trapped in this room until Connor came out.

My mother was cheating on my father Larry Murphy. Larry Murphy was cheating on his wife with my mother. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t believe it, I had to have made it up, this had to be a dream–

“What are you doing in here?”

It was an exclamation, alarmed, grasping a towel tight with thin white knuckles.

Connor. Connor in a towel. Connor wet with slick hair and chest hair and navel and hip bones. Connor Murphy, son of Larry Murphy, who had his tongue down my mom’s throat–

“Hey, breathe, what’s going on? What’s wrong?”

By the time my eyes snapped back into focus, Connor was struggling to pull on grey basketball shorts without dropping his towel, and I dropped my gaze back to my shaking hands, almost startlingly red from the temperature change and what was most likely shock. I was hyperventilating, struggling to smother the sobs. I knew this deep in the house, they probably wouldn’t hear me–they were most definitely preoccupied anyway. 

The bed dipped, and Connor’s bare side brushed my thigh. I didn’t mean to jerk back, but I did, clinging to the arm of the couch and staring horrified–Connor looked almost hurt, but mostly panicked. I tried to calm down, for his sake.

“S-sorry!” I sobbed. “Sorry! I-I-I didn’t mean–I didn’t mean–I didn’t–I–”

“Hey, stop, breathe. You gotta breathe. Go slow, okay? Stop tryna talk,” he commanded, holding up his hands to show he wasn’t gonna hurt me, readjusting so that he sat up on his knees, leaning  over me to take my hands, rubbing them between his own despite the claminess.

I avoided his eyes, focusing instead on the dip of his collar bone, surprised to see thin lines of chest hair, wet and plastered to his chest. He was skinny, and I could see his ribs despite the tiny stomach roll from where he folded in the middle. His thumbs rubbed soothing circles across the backs of my hands, and for a moment, I didn’t think. I could’ve forgotten everything and fallen asleep right here with him.

He pulled my hands against his chest, cradling mine in his own, pulling me forward, asking with his slate eyes if it was alright.

I pretended we were friends.

“You wanna talk about that?” He asked very softly, looking down at where our hands were clasped against him–he was warm, his skin pink and hot from the shower. He’d combed his hair back out of his face, and it was almost cute like that. “If it’s about today, I promise you’re safe, alright? I wasn’t gonna let that guy hurt you.”

My heart sunk in my chest, nearly restarting my panic attack. I shook my head.

Connor deserved to know.

I was scared, briefly, that it would set him off. He might yell at me, throw things, kick me out of the room. He might hit me.

I didn’t care. He had a right to know.

I swallowed thickly, shaking my head. “N-no.”

“Did something happen on your walk? Are you okay?”

I shook my head.

“What? Trouble back home–your boyfriend break up with you or something?”

“My mom–” I started, voice breaking, feeling fresh tears of shock on my cheeks.

His eyebrows furrowed, tightening his grip on my hands. “Is she okay? She–”

I saw it in slow motion–his jaw unclenched, eyebrows relaxing from their set, pouted mouth turning down. It was calm. It was knowing.

“You saw them,” he said very softly, letting my hands fall back into his lap. I was too shocked to move them away from his thighs.

“You knew,” I spat–an accusation. I hadn’t meant to make it one.

Connor scrubbed at his eyes roughly, flopping onto his back against the bed. Frustrated.

“I was tired of my dad reading my fucking emails, so I hacked into his–I only saw a few. I didn’t want to see anymore.”

I paled, feeling nauseous. “So it’s happened before?” I choked.

He swallowed. “That was two summers ago.”

“Fuck,” I hissed uncharacteristically, surprised to find Connor stretching out an arm to me. I took his hand with a firm grip. “How long before then.”

He shrugged. “Maybe our whole lives. Maybe before. I’m not sure, angel.”

I nodded, secretly pleased that he was so calm. It kept me level, grounded, watching where our hands were linked.

“What do we do?” I choked. “I have to tell my dad. He deserves to know.”

Connor’s eyebrows furrowed. “Everything would change. He’d tell my mom.”

I bit down on my lip, folding down onto my back to lay down beside Connor. “I hadn’t considered that.”

Connor sighed, scratching at my hand tenderly with his black painted nails. “I’m not sure that my mom and Zoe could handle the news–it’s not like they’d turn to me. They’d be alone. Zoe might even take my dad’s side.”

I groaned, stealing my hands to scrub at my eyes. My wet hair was beginning to dry in a tangled mess.

“This is too much,” I mumbled, rolling onto my side to face Connor, staring at his bare, freckled shoulder. “I don’t know what to do. If I can do anything.”

I jumped a foot out of my skin when he placed a hand at the corner of my jaw, brushing the tangled hair back out of my face. “You don’t have to think about it right now. You’ve had a really long fucking day. You should sleep.”

I didn’t want to sleep–I didn’t want Connor to leave. I didn’t know how to say that.

I couldn’t believe that everyone had tried to desperately to convince me Connor Murphy was a bad boy–fuck them, Connor Murphy was good. He was better than everyone in this cabin combined.

He cared about me.

I caught his wrist, which froze in my grasp, but I just took his bony hand and cradled it between my hands the same way he’d done mine, tracing the lines across his palm. He sucked  in a sharp breath.

“Okay,” I said, and he smiled, moving away. I let go of his hand.

“I just have to turn off the light. Get comfy.”

His retreating footsteps filled my stomach with dread, but nevertheless I unzipped his jacket and draped it on top of the blanket so that it would at least keep my feet warm. Pulling the pillow tight behind my head, I was pleased to find it sort of smelled like Connor’s shampoo as the light clicked off. It left me feeling a little more safe. Ironic, I realized. I was in the middle of a wilderness, I’d almost been abducted, my mother was downstairs ruining our family, and all I could find myself to be worried about was if Connor would be okay.

The bed dipped behind me, shocking me into stillness, surprising me even more when someone lifted the sheet and slid in behind me, a bony hand resting on my hip.

“This okay?” He asked, and I dared to open my eyes to meet his. They were unsure, nervous. He was scared I’d reject him. I nodded, scooting closer.

“It really will be okay, you know,” he assured. “Whatever you choose, I’m gonna be with you.”

“You’re amazing,” I said without thinking, but being entirely sincere. Even in the dark, I saw his eyes go wide and his cheeks tinge a deep magenta in his pale face.

“No, I’m not.”

“Yes, you are,” I assured with a laugh, reaching across the divide to poke at his side, slightly surprised to still find him shirtless. He’d withdrawn his hand almost immediately, keeping respectfully to his side of the bed. “I’d be dead without you. And you’ve supported me this whole way.”

His jaw clenched and unclenched, freeing one of his arms to pick at the wrinkled sheets between us. “I just, fuck, I knew you’d hear some shit, but I was hoping you’d be able to come out here and we could start over again, like before? Zoe started her smear campaign almost immediately. I just, fuck, nevermind.”

I watched him withdraw, turning over with his back to me, the pale plains of his back bared to me.

“Con,” I said very softly. “I don’t care what they say–fuck them,” I laughed, watching Connor’s shoulders shake. “I think you’re good, Connor, and I miss being your friend.”

I watched with bated breath as his back rose and fell with his steady breath in the cold room, his skin radiating heat. I shifted closer, crossing the divide between us. He didn’t respond.

I didn’t sleep.

——

I was alerted late in the day by a noise–it was daylight, I noted, the clock on the bedside table reading it was almost noon. I was groggy, still in the state between sleep and consciousness. The room was shrouded in a bright grey hue from the winter wonderland outside–it had snowed a significant amount, apparently, and the white fluff stuck hopelessly to the window.

At the foot of the bed, Connor was on his knees, pulling a navy sweater over his head. It was tight, with a stretched collar and holes at the hem, but he looked good in it. His hair was frizzed at the temples, and his eyes were wide when we saw me.

“You’re awake.”

I just nodded, a little embarrassed. Part of me hoped Connor would just let last night drop, and we could continue our indifference toward each other, but most of me felt as if we had an unfinished conversation to attend to.

“Is anyone back yet?” I asked, surprised as Connor came to sit in front of me, legs crossed kindergarten style. He shook his head.

“No, actually. No one came back from their trip, and the lovebirds have miraculously vanished for a ski day. It’s just me and you.”

“Oh.”

Connor seemed unsure for a moment, brushing his hands off on his pants. “I’m sorry, um, about last night? I should’ve asked first if it was okay to sleep next to you, I just–I know you said you missed being friends, so I thought–”

“It was nice,” I cut him off with a smile that was nearly all false bravado. “Warm. I really do miss hanging out with you.”

He pursed his lips in way of a smile. “Me too. Miss having friends, period, but you’re kinda great, so–I’ll shut up.”

Stretching, I groaned with the sensation and smiled widely at him. “We can be friends again, don’t you think?” I asked, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. When my vision cleared, he was sitting by my feet, eyes downcast.

“It’s kinda lame, isn’t it?” He asked, sending ice down my spine.

“What, I’m not cool enough for you?” I teased half heartedly, despite feeling slightly sick. If Connor left now, I’d be marooned on this island I’d made for myself, and it wasn’t ideal knowing I no longer had any allies.

“No! That’s not what I–no, fuck, I just meant. Don’t you like Zoe better?”

I shook my head. “I like Zoe–but I liked you first.”

“Yeah, I liked the Teletubbies first, doesn’t mean I prefer them to Death Cab for Cutie.”

I snorted. “Okay, I like you best. You’re both really similar, you know, but you’re kinder.”

He shot me a glare, which I supposed I’d earned. “Liar.”

“Can’t lie,” I protested. “And I like you better. Get used to it.”

He swallowed, shifting on the bed and looking at me again as if grappling to say something. His eyebrows were pinched in the middle, making him look slightly worried, small. I watched the way his mouth bowed as he opened and closed it, my eyes tracing over his soft lips.

He was pretty, I realized, in a way I wouldn’t have considered before.

“What about when you leave?” He asked softly, scratching his arm absently.

I frowned. “What about it?”

“We won’t see each other again.”

I smiled. “Connor, you just live on the other side of town. I do own a car.”

He frowned. “You’d come to see me?”

“If you wanted me to,” I answered honestly. “Or we could go do stuff. It doesn’t make me any difference–whatever you want, I’m game for.”

His eyebrows took a sharp hike into his hairline. “Whatever I want, huh?”

My stomach clenched nervously–decidedly a good kind of nervous. I didn’t realize it till he placed his hand on my ankle, grinning up at me with crooked teeth and pretty eyes, that I might’ve begun to develop a small crush on him.

Which wasn’t okay.

——

“This is such bullshit.”

I cackled as Connor continued to strap on his snow boots, repeatedly tripping and losing his balance in the snow.

“C'mon, it’s fun!” I protested, pulling my sock toboggan down tighter over my ears, trudging another few slow steps through the slush. Connor was frustrated, I could tell, seeing his pink nose and ears, his breaths coming out in angry puffs of smoke.

“No,” he grunted, dragging himself up the trail a few more steps. “Video games are fun. Cartoons are fun. Cheap Internet porn is fun. Dragging my frozen ass up a mountain covered in snow for ten miles is not my idea of fun, dude.”

“It’s not ten miles,” I protested, taking a seat on a mostly clean looking rock, patting the seat beside me in condolence to Connor, giving him a much needed break. He’d agreed to go outside with me at least once to take a hike, since the Murphy kids never ever wanted to do anything that didn’t involve fried food or touristy tie dye t-shirts. We’d been going for a few hours now, and the last bench had easily been miles ago. I wanted to see where the trail ended.

Part of me was scared he’d only agreed because he thought I would break. I’d surprised myself with how calm I’d been after, well, what a nightmare this trip had been. I supposed I’d be worse once my dad got back–but he wasn’t yet, so I was content to have my last moments with Connor.

“We’ve been out here for hours, man, don’t you think we should head back before it gets dark?” He whined, leaning forward on his elbows and rubbed his hands together–he had on mittens, which was probably the cutest thing I’d ever seen. Say what you want about Connor Murphy, his aesthetic was absolutely demolished once you put him in a fire engine red puffer coat.

I sighed, glancing wistfully up the trail. I’d like to finish, but Connor was right–it was getting dark, too dangerous out for us to be out here alone. He’d humored me enough for today.

Time to go back and face reality.

I just nodded, stuffing my hands in my pockets and rising from the rock, giving a decent stretch before moving forward back down the path, Connor scurrying along beside me.

“Thanks for coming,” I said again, nudging him with my shoulder. He stumbled gracefully, grinning with a subdued force that warmed me a little, before checking me back with his shoulder.

“Don’t tell anyone,” he warned, stuffing his hands in his pockets. “But it wasn’t totally awful.”

I snorted. “I won’t let anyone know Connor Murphy can feel fun.”

Biting back a smile, he nudged me again. “God, please don’t. Then they might bring me back here and I’ll have to spend another two weeks with you.”

“I’m sure I’m just killing you inside,” I teased. “How dare your parents give you unfiltered access to a teenage girl.”

“Who never wears pants around the house,” he added sagely.

“And sleeps in your bed!” I choked with laughter, the bird walking along the snow path in front of us clearing the way. “God, I can’t believe I did that. I’m sorry, I was probably awful. Did I snore?”

His mouth twisted, as if trying to look indifferent but instead just failed at smothering a smile, both corners of his lips turning in a different direction.

“Not awful,” he offered, earning an embarrassed groan from me. “No! It’s cute, like a kid, I promise. You kicked the shit out of me, though.”

“You’re kidding me,” I groaned. “I’m so so sorry! I didn’t hurt you, did I?”

“Might be some bruises,” he grinned, to my further mortification. “Hey, nah, I’m kidding. Any damage will heal. It’s kinda funny.”

I cocked an eyebrow from where I was hiding my face behind my gloves. “Seriously?”

“Yeah, don’t sweat it,” he said, reaching out to take my wrist, pulling one of my hands away from my face. He didn’t realize it, just held it, swinging stiffly between us as we walked. He held his breath for a moment before continuing, “I would’ve let you know if I didn’t like it.”

“Kinky,” I said upon reflex, earning a lazy kick to my ankle.

“You’re hilarious. I just meant you’re warm, maybe the bruises are worth it.”

I felt my face get hot, words forming in my belly, escaping before I could choke them back. “Yeah? Maybe I’ll kiss them better tonight, if Zoe isn’t back.”

He let go of my wrist like I’d burned him.

“Sor–”

“Don’t,” he said quietly, stuffing his hands in his pockets, beginning to walk quickly ahead of me.

“What?” I screeched, frustrated.

“Don’t fake flirt with me. It’s not funny,” he spat, continuing walking too fast on his ridiculously long legs.

“Who said it was fake?” I grumbled. “I’m not making fun of you, Connor.”

There was a beat of silence, pulling at my heart with sharp claws, the dull ache starting in my chest and spreading. I’d messed up everything.

“It’s getting dark,” he growled. “And we don’t have a flashlight. Try and keep up.”

——

The panic set in at twilight.

We were running.

He was holding my hand again, dragging me roughly down the mountain, hoping desperately to see some kind of light pollution as the sun set, but there was nothing.

“We should see lights by now,” I told him. “We can see the lights from our cabin, we should see the lights now.”

“We went down the wrong side of the mountain,” he gasped, already out of breathe. I knew his lungs weren’t the best, and we’d been running for awhile now.

“There has to be something at the bottom,” I whispered hopelessly.

“There is,” he growled. “It’s called a gorge, then you climb the other mountain, and there’s the next state. Fuck, how did we get so turned around?”

“Doesn’t matter, Con,” I said hopelessly. “It’s gonna be dark soon.”

His dark eyes widened. “You aren’t sincerely suggesting we try to find shelter. In the middle of a national park.”

“I’ve got a flare gun and a flint,” I told him. “But we have to get back up out of the trees.”

“You want us to climb the mountain again?” He hissed, holding both my hands now. “Are you positive you don’t have signal?”

I nodded. “I’m really sorry, Connor.”

“Don’t be sorry. Start walking.”

——

It was an accident.

It was dark.

I had an analog watch, letting me know it was nearly nine pm. We’d found shelter just as it had started to snow–the  ground here was wet, quickly freezing into ice, and we kept slipping up on the trail. I’d set off the flare an hour ago, and, so far, nothing. The snow had begun to pick up, and we’d found a alcove between two adjacent rocks–not big, about the size of a walk in closet, but enough space for us, our bags, and a pile of wood that refused to light. It kept the snow and wind off of us, and the alcove was high enough I felt safe, with a small mouth that made me feel as if at any instant we could be trapped.

It was an accident.

“The fire won’t light,” I said again, hopelessly, watching my now bloody fingers go numb from trying desperately to get the flint to do its job. I couldn’t feel them without my gloves on.

Connor, huddled in a corner, viciously rubbed his arms in an attempt to get warm. I knew the  temperature would only drop from here. If someone hadn’t seen the flare….

“There’s no dry wood. I checked.”

“Nothing?”

“No, okay? Nothing. That’s it.”

I knew he was right–and searching now would only prove to be counter productive and dangerous. I moved our bags and the pile of firewood to the entrance, sealing us in.

“It’s gonna be pitch black soon,” I warned, watching Connor tap angrily at his phone. “You should probably save your battery. I don’t have a flashlight.”

He snorted. “You’ll bring sleeping bags and a flint, but not a flashlight?”

“It’s the emergency bag! I didn’t pack it, Connor. Make fun of it all you want, but it’s keeping us alive!”

There was a beat of silence, before he clicked his phone off, leaving us in darkness. “M sorry.”

I dragged out the single sleeping bag, stretching it out to him. “Don’t be sorry.” I felt guilty–it was my fault we were in this mess to begin with. “Wanna granola bar?”

“Save it,” he said in a clipped tone, unsure what to make of it since we were veiled in darkness. “We might need it later.” Then, softer: “What’s the plan?”

I heard him stand, and walk across the slick ice of the alcove, coming to stand beside me, his hand at my elbow.

“Well,” I said very slowly, feeling my throat get thick. “Survive the night, stay awake, and once dawn hits we head back to the other side of the mountain, if no one comes.”

“If no one comes,” he echoed, voice oddly hollow. I choked.

“It, erm, is very possible they think we just wandered off, you know? We’re teenagers,” I reminded gently. I left out the part the police would be less than willing to look–Connor had a history of running away after a bad binge.

“Fuck,” he growled.

It was an accident. It was quick, in the dark, we couldn’t see.

He reached our for me, his open palm colliding with the back of my head, yanking me tightly again his chest, my nose buried in his nylon puffer coat. I felt his other hand, too forcefully, at the small of my back, and I nearly screamed, terrified this was an episode I couldn’t control–

“We’re gonna make it outta here,” he breathed against my ear, his breath warm and humid against my freezing ears. It set off a light bulb in my brain. “We’re gonna go back home and–fucking shit, I’m gonna be a goddamn good friend to you and we’re gonna–fuck,” he hissed, his clipped voice breaking off. “I’m gonna take care of you, I’m not going anywhere.”

I let myself break open, collapsing against him, openly sobbing with regret. He stiffened, but just tightened his arms around me despite our bulky clothes.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered. “This is all my fault.”

“It is not,” he hissed, shaking me a little. “We had no way of knowing this would happen. The trail looked safe.”

I just nodded, knowing that arguing would tire me out. I felt the lethargy begin to creep in my bones–Connor was warm, and it was late, and we were tired. Falling asleep meant dying.

“Get out the sleeping bag,” he said, extracting himself from me, and I heard his hands scrape along the hard rock looking for the entrance. “And I’ll look for some more blankets in the bag, see if we can’t insulate–fuck!

“What is it?” I screeched, turning, grabbing his hand to only find that my own was suddenly wet, almost sticky, and Connor pulled away with a howl. I smelled the metallic sting before I realized.

“Something cut my hand!”

“Stay away from the wall,” I warned. “Take your undershirt off, I’ll rip it up.” I felt around desperately for Connor’s phone, immediately illuminating our little cave with a blinding blue light.

The amount of blood smeared across the wall was nauseating. There was a sharp spot Connor must’ve grabbed too quickly.

He was crying, trying desperately to unzip his coat with one hand, the other dripping onto the floor.

“Fuck, I hope something doesn’t smell that,” I whispered, laying down the light and running to help him get undressed, careful of the open cut across his palm.

“I knew I was gonna get naked tonight,” he said with an unsure laugh, “I just didn’t realize it would be like this.”

My face flushed. “What, you thought I’d suck you off because we’re about to die?”

He shivered, accentuated by me ripping his white shirt down the front, exposing his blue, goosebumped skin.

“Fuck,” he hissed, and I was unsure if it was from the cold, the pain, or my foul language.

“Hope this is clean,” I muttered, wrapping a strip of his white shirt across his palm in a desperate attempt to stop the bleeding. It was a good way to get an infection, but I wasn’t sure what else to do.

“I didn’t–I wouldn’t ask you to–”

“I’m not sucking you off!”

“Fuck, I just meant–hypothermia, skin to skin, I saw it in a movie–”

The phone light clicked off. I sighed, tying off the cotton bandage.

“You wanna get naked in the sleeping bag,” I finished.

“I don’t want to!” He howled. “And not naked–just, enough to stay alive, shit. It’s gonna be negative ten out here soon, I just wanna stay alive.”

“We should hurry,” I said, surprising myself by reaching out to urge him to rub at his bare chest, earning a gasp from him. “You’re gonna freeze soon. Get your pants off.”

I handed him the sleeping bag, my breath catching as I heard his belt clink to the floor, trying very hard not to think about the implications of this. How far did he expect me to undress? And, if we did get in here, it would be ridiculously tight, we might fall asleep–

“Hurry up, this bag is an icicle with one person.”

Straightening out my bra and panties (even if we were going to die, Connor Murphy did not get to cop a feel) I felt my way to the sleeping bag.

My hand on his chest, he guided my legs one at time–one by his side, one between his knees–and gently folded me down against him, uncomfortably tight as his shaking fingers zipped the sleeping bag up.

He was breathing hard against my temple, and I immediately began to sweat–between the nylon bag and the fact I felt all of Connor Murphy pressed against my chest and stomach–it was nerve wracking.

“Don’t fall asleep,” he reminded in a hoarse voice, shaking a little. I couldn’t quite figure out where his hands were.

“Don’t get a boner,” I begged, earning a beat of silence before:

“I, uh, am–I’m really trying not to,” he groaned, and I could feel how hot his face was against my temple.

“If it helps,” I said, slightly disgusted. “You can imagine our parents kissing. That really kills my fire.”

“Ew,” he said. “Please don’t.”

I grinned. “What? You don’t want me to be your hot step sister?”

Stop it,” he begged, making me laugh, pressing my face against the soft cushion of his hair, nosing at the column of his throat. He groaned a little, and I felt his fingers twitch beside my hips.

“I can’t believe their secret is going to die with us,” I sighed. “No one is ever going to know.”

“I can’t believe you’re lying on top of me in your spiderman panties, but that’s also happening, so you’d better believe it,” he sighed, hands twitching again.

“You can touch me, you know,” I breathed, a little embarrassed against his ear. “We’re gonna die anyway, might as well die comfy.”

“We won’t die,” he promised, his hands clasping over the small of my back regardless.  “Hey,” he crooned, in a soft voice I hadn’t heard before. Encouraging. “Remember sharing a sleeping bag when we were kids?”

I laughed half heartedly, remembering fully. “The thing was always full of pixie stick wrappers.”

“It was an addiction, and I have quit,” he said sagely, earning another laugh from me. I almost joked about the pot, but part of me knew it wasn’t a funny joke. It didn’t have anything to do with him. He sighed, one finger trailing up my spine. “God, I was so in love with you.”

I froze against him, my body a live wire. His hand pulled back.

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said tha–”

“Were you really?” I asked. I felt him smile, before leaning in to kiss my cheek, slowly, his dry lips lingering.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t know,” he groaned. “Zoe had me convinced you were just humoring me because you knew I’d do anything for you.”

I pulled up, as far as I could (which wasn’t much) squinting to make out his face in the dark. “That wasn’t true. You were my best friend.”

He nodded. “Yeah, I know. God, that time when you kissed me….I’m so sorry we stopped talking. I don’t think I’m ever gonna forgive myself for that.”

“Connor,” I said very softly, reaching up to tangle my hands lightly in his hair. “If we’re gonna die…can I just….”

He surged up before I could, the nylon around us snapping taunt, squeaking in protest. Up on his elbows, his bony hands found their purchase on my bare hips, and I felt the wetness through one of the bandages–his hand was still bleeding, the idiot.

His lips were dry, and he kissed much too roughly for someone who wasn’t holding my head in place, our teeth clinking together in a way that I knew was an accident, sending my skull ringing. His eyes were squeezed shut in the darkness.

I can’t believe it took us to the brink of death for him to admit this.

God, he’s an idiot.

I reached up, pulling at his hair, holding his head to mine, his tongue licking roughly up into my mouth before breaking away–

“Boner,” he warned in a squeak, earning a loud laugh from me, collapsing against his chest.

“Not even in death, Murphy, am I sucking you off on a first or last date,” I giggled against his neck, giving him a chaste kiss there, listening to him groan. His hips canted a little, scaring me, before taking a deep breath to calm himself.

“First date, huh?” I felt him grin, followed by a yawn.

“Stay awake, Connor,” I urged, smacking him hard. “Or I’m gonna twist your nipple.”

“Kinky,” he sighed lethargically. Shit, he was gonna sleep.

“Connor–”

“Promise me this,” he sighed, nuzzling lightly against the side of my face. “If we survive the night by some miracle, and we don’t freeze to death or get eaten by bears or bleed out–you wanna kiss me again? With more clothes on? As my girlfriend?”

I leaned into his touch, tilting my head up to give him access to suck a hickey into my neck, groaning.

“Murphy, if we live, I will suck you off.”

That was the last thing I remembered.

——-

Three days later, it’s still cold. I’m not wearing much–a blue gown with shitty pink flowers, it’s made of some kind of plasticy cotton material. There’s blood under my fingernails and bruises on my neck that are almost embarrassing when I remembered how I got them. My clothes were gone.

Connor was gone.

My mother and father were leaning over my bed, the Murphy's  (minus Cynthia) are behind them. No Connor.

They explained it slowly, eyes wide. They found Connor and I nearly frozen, unconscious. Connor lost a lot of blood, they said, and he wasn’t do so well but he’d woken up several days before me.

He wouldn’t eat until they let him see me.

I’d nearly ripped out my IV to get to him.

He was wearing the same shitty hospital gown, his hair pulled back. He’s got hickies I don’t remember giving him across his collarbone that are ridiculously visible. There were purple bruises under his eyes, like he hadn’t been sleeping.

“They said you were still too sick to get out of bed,” he grinned, opening his arm, and I immediately stumbled over to the thin mattress, pressing myself tightly against him. His hand is thickly wrapped in cotton, a few tubes full of a yellow brown liquid in them. He was combing my hair–which I’m sure was a rats nest–out with his free hand.

“They said the same about you.”

“We’re really lucky, you know,” I said softly, tapping at his chest. “I almost lost you.”

“Almost lost you,” he choked out, pulling away to scan my face, before grinning. “Which would’ve sucked, because you’re my only friend right now.”

“Friend?” I said, trying hard not to sound disappointed. I supposed I shouldn’t have been–what we’d done in the heat of a moment hadn’t meant anything then. It had been a lie for my humor.

It wasn’t fair.

Connor’s eyebrows furrowed. “You, um–do you wanna be my girlfriend?”

I frowned. “I mean, only if you want me to.”

He grinned, the smile splitting across his face. “It’ll suck–your parents will hate me.”

“Right now, I kind of hate my parents, so.”

“I do a lot of pot.”

“We can do something else instead,” I grinned, nudging him, having the nerve to blush.

He licked his lips, looking down at where he’d intertwined our hands. “You–you can’t fix me, you know? I’m still gonna be, you know.”

I nodded, bring his hand up to kiss across the bloody knuckles of his good hand. “I know. I promised I’d be your girlfriend, though. A promise is a promise.”

He grinned. “I’m glad you say that–because you did promise something else.”

I shook my head, rising from the bed. “The kiss is for when we have clothes on, remember.”

“I wasn’t talking about that kiss.”

Connor Murphy!

Eric Bittle Is A Problem

(AO3 here)

Eric Bittle is becoming a problem. Not the problem Jack thought he was going to be in the beginning, no, he hasn’t had to worry about Bittle not pulling his weight on the team since pretty much the first time they played together. And certainly not now, when they work so well together on the ice. And off of it, too; it was surprising, but Jack considers Bittle to be one of his greatest friends, even if sometimes it feels like there’s maybe something shimmering around the edges of their relationship, something Jack doesn’t quite understand, it’s good with them, comfortable and fun in a way Jack isn’t used to.

But he’s becoming a problem, worse, a distraction . A menace, really.

The first time it’s a problem, Jack and Shitty had gotten back from a beer run, and Shitty was explaining some essential feminist theory to him as they made their way from the car to the Haus, “And that, my Canadian friend, is why intersectionality is so important. Like, you can’t really understand anything  unless you understand all of the realities and identities that inform a person’s existence, my man. I me-” as Jack turns to enter the kitchen, the rest of Shitty’s lesson is lost to a loud thrum in Jack’s ear that he distantly realizes is the rush of his own blood through his veins as he almost fumbles the case of beer and the bag of fancy nuts and chocolates that he thought Eric might appreciate- for his bakin g- and had purchased on a whim.

He manages to save the beer and the bag of goodies, but not to suppress the inelegant “ Buh -” that escapes his slackened mouth. Because Bitty is bent over at the waist, looking into the oven and making a satisfied little hum at the progress of whatever is baking in there, and he’s wearing those shorts, the short, short shorts that barely qualify as such in Jack’s opinion. And the way he’s bending is causing his muscles to tense and bulge, and his butt . Oh, Crisse , his butt is like a work of art and on display right in front of Jack, and he is in so. Much. trouble.

Jack manages to turn his random noise into a reasonable approximation of “B-Bittle,” and to reassemble his face into a generally neutral expression as Bitty stands and turns toward him and Shitty, who now stands next to Jack and thankfully doesn’t mention his near stumble. The late afternoon sun slanting through the window catches in Eric’s hair and he appears to glow for a moment, Jack manages not to choke on his sharply indrawn breath at the sight, because Eric Bittle is beautiful, and Jack is awed that he hadn’t noticed it until now.

“Oh, hi, y’all,” Bitty says brightly, a genuine smile lighting his face and stretching his lips distractingly. “You’re just in time, because this pie is almost done, so if you wanted some, you’ll just have to wait for a few while it settles,” Bitty checks the timer with a brief glance before looking back toward the doorway where Jack is still frozen, he quirks a perfectly shaped blond brow as if to ask what Jack’s problem is, but when he speaks again, he says “Did you two have fun at the store?”

Shitty moves into the kitchen, patting Jack’s shoulder on the way, “It smells swawesome in here, Bits. You’re the best!” Bitty grins and a slightly pink tinge paints his cheeks as he watches Shitty begin to put away his beer and the few other groceries they procured. He looks back at Jack, eyes darting briefly to the bag he is clenching before settling back on his face, a curious little smile on his pink lips. It spurs Jack into action, finally, and he moves into the kitchen holding the bag out like an awkward shield.

“These are for you,” he says, sounding too loud to his own ears, and maybe too loud in general, because Shitty looks over from where he’s stacking beer into the fridge with a strange look on his face that Jack will not analyze later. He continues, careful to regulate his volume this time, “Um, for your baking, I mean. I thought you’d like them,” he amends. Jack can feel his face heating, hopes Bitty doesn’t notice, that he writes it off as the heat from the oven, but when Bitty takes the bag and their fingers brush he feels the flush deepen. It gets worse still when Eric opens the bag and he makes an excited little sound.

“Oh, gosh, Jack, thank you! I know just what to make with these,” Bitty places his hand on Jack’s forearm and squeezes gently, repeating a thank you and grinning at him, his smile is open and fond and it warms Jack in a different way than the hot flush that he knows is painting his face and neck now.

“ Bienvenue ,” Jack says, voice a little too quiet and close now. Bitty smiles at his slip into Quebecois. It’s almost too easy to slip into the quiet of the moment, the little bubble of space around them, warmed by the sunlight through the window. They stay close, looking at each other for what feels like a long time, but realistically can’t be more than a second or two, then the sound of Shitty shutting the the refrigerator door and exclaiming “Shit, Bits, that pie smells fuckin’ delicious! Think it’s done yet,” effectively breaks the moment.

Bitty laughs and turns away from Jack, his fingers trail along Jack’s arm leaving a warm tingle lingering on his skin. The buzzer sounds as Bitty steps away fully, and Jack shakes himself, realizes he’s still holding the case of beer and places it on the counter. Bitty looks at him briefly as he takes the pie from the oven, and Jack feels the confusion rumbling through him play across his face, but Bitty thankfully looks away before he notices.

*****

Keep reading

In which Harry is a stripper…

3943 words / Mature

The boy who delivered our drinks was only wearing a flimsy, black apron, which was tied carefully around his waist. With the tray perfectly balanced upon the palm of his hand, he began to pass our drinks out, a huge grin on his face, and his cock just inches from my face.
I turned to the rest of the girls with wide eyes.

“Special occasion?” He asked, a thick Irish accent.

“I’m getting married!” The bride to be piped up, as smug as ever.

“Congratulations!” He beamed. “Sad to see you off the market, Gorgeous.”

All the girls sat around our table let out almighty giggles, swooning and fanning themselves, whereas I was too busy trying not to turn back in his direction and stare at his groin. I figured he was used to it in his line of work, but it still felt a little intrusive.

“What’s your name?” Katie barked at him.

“Niall.” He replied. “I’ll be your waiter for the evening. You need anything, just give me a shout.”

“What about your number?”

Keep reading

Day Off

Warning: Slightly NSFW, hints at stuff but nothing more.

Prompt: Hey I love all your writing! I’ve been working like crazy and I feel I like I’m dying if I’m doing honest. I was wondering if you could write something where Jason notices his SO working too hard and he forces her to take a day off with him, tons of fluff. If you can please! Thank you and I love you 💖

Requested by: @cecygee


    The first thing you realize when you wake up is the fact that there are hints of light streaming in through the curtains. The second thing you realize is that there is no blaring alarm going off in your ear. The third and final thing you realize, is that your boyfriend is so curled around you that there is no way to get out of bed without waking him up.

    You try a few different moves, but nothing works. Jason’s arms are around you, his head is resting on your chest, and one of his legs are thrown over both of yours. Finally you give up on being nice and start poking him in the side. His eyes don’t open, but you watch as his lips quirk upwards.

    “Jason, I need to get up and I know you’re awake.” Your eye twitches when he let’s out a fake snore, “Seriously, I need to get to class.”

    You watch his eyes open slowly. He frowns at you, “No.”

    “No?”

    He nods, “No. You’ve been working too hard. You’re getting maybe three hours of sleep a night, and you’re exhausted.”

    You scoff, “You don’t show this kind of concern about Tim.”

    “I’m not in love with Tim, I’m in love with you. And part of being in love is making sure that you take care of yourself. Now you make sure I don’t go out after being shot, and I’m making sure you rest. Missing one day of classes won’t kill you.”

    You purse your lips and stare at him, “I do not appreciate this.”

    He kisses your neck, “Yes you do. Admit it, it was nice not waking up to that stupid alarm.”

    “What did you do to my alarm, Jason?”

    “I threw it out the window. You can thank me later. After we get some more sleep. It’s only eleven.”

    You sigh, “Jason.”

    He kisses you, before rolling on top to straddle your hips, “If you’re really not tired we can find other ways to pass the time.”

    You raise an eyebrow, “I thought I was supposed to be relaxing?”

    He smirks, “You are.”

    Smiling you decide that one day off won’t kill you and might actually be very interesting. 

7

It took waaay to long for me to finally do this request I am sorry…

Welp, here you go. The strangest circus in your life.
1. The mighty magician Ghetsis, his pretty assistant Colress and their victim sideshow N (who actually does all job alone, escaping the trap box within 20 seconds behind the curtains, while Ghetsis is doing his “magical” moves)
2. Cyrus is a mix of a acrobat, a balancer and a juggler. His shows always take place at high altitude and always are space-themed. They look pretty stunning tho.
3. Maxie is a walking volcano in tights, a fire breather. He is always super serious during his shows and thinks he looks pretty cool breathing fire. Hovewer after shows Archie barely kisses him.
4. Pretty obvious, I think. Archie works with sea creatures as a trainer and he loves them all really much. He named on of his seal as “Maxie” and that drives insane the real one Maxie.
5. Again, pretty obvious. Lysandre is a rich and cool lion trainer. He is also sponsoring the circus (I don’t know why is he doing that seriously). He also loves to talk with a cute french vet who works with his lions. 
6. Just no comments.

there are people working on the building next door and they’re on scaffolding so they’re pretty much only like 2 metres away and I wanna shut my window cause they’re noisy as heck but then they’d see me

Drunk and Disorderly - Imagine

*Y/N’s POV*

It was well after 2am by the time I gave up waiting, shuffling to the bedroom with a defeated sigh, leaving a couple of hall lights on behind me should he arrive home after I’d fallen asleep.

Harry had been out with his friends since 6.30pm, dinner and a few drinks he told me, “Nothing major sweetheart, I’ll be home by 12”.

“12 my arse” I grumbled as I crawled in to bed, shuffling under the duvet and into the cool sheets. I had waited up for him like he asked, but as 12 came and went, and my phone remained void of messages, I gave up. It was unusual of Harry to stay out later than intended and not let me know, and to say his lack of contact had me worried was an understatement.

I settled in to bed, lying flat on my back with my hands resting on my chest and my eyes gazing up at the ceiling, the exhaustion threatening to pull them closed but my concern repeatedly pulling them back open. As 3am drifted past, I finally slipped into an uneasy sleep.

I wasn’t sure how much time had passed before I was ripped from my dreams by a loud banging on the front door, but I was faintly aware of a thin band of pale light creeping in between the curtains. A second series of aggressive knocks rattled the front door. I quickly flung myself from the bed and pulled a jumper over my body, dashing down the stairs in my pyjama trousers and socks. As I unlatched the front door, I assumed I would pull it back to find Harry, having lost his keys or too drunk to get them in the lock I wasn’t sure, but I knew it would be him. I was prepared to be relieved to have him in front of me, I was also prepared for the anger that would inevitably follow as he slurred out an excuse for returning during the early hours of the morning. But as I opened the door, everything I expected was replaced with one thing:

Shock.

Stood before me, silhouetted by the crisp light of the early morning, were two police officers. The two men took no notice of my appearance as one offered me a soft smile.

“Miss Y/L/N?” he asked. By this point, I was too stunned to answer. Every possible reason as to why I was being faced with two police officers at 5 o’clock in the morning flashed through my brain in what must have been no longer than a second, and all of them ended with Harry, arrested, injured or worse. I’ve seen the programmes, the cop dramas and movies, and no good ever comes from having a policeman stood on your doorstep without good reason.

My inner turmoil must have been present on my face as the taller officer, a slender man with a thin beard and moustache, spoke again without waiting for my reply to his earlier question.

“No need to panic love, I can tell what you’re thinking and it’s not that” he said, his words lifting a weight off my heart. But still my brows furrowed in confusion.

“Is everything ok?” I asked.

“Well we are here on behalf of your boyfriend, Mr Styles, yes?” he asked and I nodded.

“Got ‘imself into a bit of trouble last night” the other officer said. He was shorter than his colleague and rounder, his hand stuffed into the front of his vest to brace him against the chill of the morning air.

“What happened? Is he ok?” I rushed.

“He’s fine. He was arrested last night for being drunk and disorderly. Kept him in the cells over night to sober him up. We’ve been sent to request that you come and collect him, there are a few forms that need to be filled out on his behalf” he explained. I was stunned silent. Harry, drunk and disorderly? It didn’t make sense, and it didn’t sit well in my stomach. I was well aware of the fact that Harry, like perhaps anyone else, was more than susceptible to the effects of alcohol, and on more than one occasion I had to pull him away from a fight on a night out, but for Harry to follow through on what I had always assumed were idle threats surprised me.

“Oh, oh right. Um, ok, just let me get dressed and I’ll follow you there in my car?” I suggested.

“Sounds good. We’ll just wait for you in our car, head out when you’re ready” the shorter officer spoke once again before they both turned away and returned to their car which was parked on the road just outside. I shut the door quickly and rushed upstairs, not bothering to change the jumper I had thrown on, but instead opting to switch my flannel pyjama bottoms for a pair of jeans. I stuffed my feet in to a pair of trainers as I grabbed my phone and keys before dashing out the front door again, locking it firmly behind me.

The officers drove slower than was probably necessary as I followed them across town to the local station, making a point to hold back after each junction to make sure that I was behind them. I pulled my car up beside them as we reached the station car park and followed them inside like they said.

“We’ve got Miss Y/L/N ‘ere Sir” the tall officer said, who I learned was called Tom as we hurried across the frozen ground of the car park and in to the welcome head of the station reception.

“Ah yes, thank you Sargent, I’ll deal with it from here”. Both officers gave me a small tip of the hat as they disappeared down one of the many corridors that branched off from the desk I was stood before.

“Not what you were expecting this morning ay Miss?” the man behind the desk said as he collected some papers from beside him and placing them in front of me along with a pen.

“Em no, not exactly” I said with by best attempt at a chuckle.

“No need to worry, just need you to fill out a couple of things and then your boyfriend will be released without charge, no harm done. Well maybe not for him, I imagine he’ll be getting a bit of an ear bashing from you on the way home, am I right?” he said with a smile.

“You got that right” I snorted as I began filling in the required details on the papers in front of me.

“I’d say he’s got the worst yet to come” he continued and once again I nodded, he had no idea. The paperwork was long and extensive, giving me more than enough time to decide whether I was angry, or relieved that nothing serious had happened to him. It didn’t take me long to decide that I was angry, furious in fact. For Harry, things like these become global news ‘Harry Styles arrested for being drunk and disorderly’, ‘Harry Styles spends night in a cell following arrest’, ‘Harry Styles: global superstar or drunken thug?’. His worldwide influence was growing day by day, his album was number 1 across the world, he himself is number 1 on 2 Billboard charts, and he was marking that achievement, by getting himself arrested. Way to go Harry.

“Done” the man behind the desk said as I signed the last page. “I’ll just head along and get ‘im” he said, before removing himself from his chair and disappearing, the large bunch of keys strapped to his waist jingling as he went. It was only moments before he returned, a tired and rather apprehensive Harry in his wake.

“Good luck Son” the man called as I turned to leave the building, Harry shuffling along behind me. It was silent, neither of us spoke as we hurried across the car park to escape the chill of the morning air. The smell of stale alcohol drifted from him as he slipped into the passenger seat beside me, his hands fidgeting nervously in his lap as I pulled out of the station and began the journey home.

“Sorry” Harry mumbled after several more minutes of thick, tense silence. I snapped.

“What the hell were you thinking?! Drunk and disorderly Harry are you kidding me?! What happened?!” I shouted, the anger in my voice resonating throughout the small confines of my car. Part of me wanted to calm down, to let him explain and to listen to what reasonable excuse he had for behaving in such an uncharacteristic way. But the anger at his carelessness was consuming me, so I pushed the reasonable thoughts aside and continued speaking before he had the chance to reply.

“Do you have any idea what the media are going to make of this?! How could you be so stupid Harry?!”

“Y/N please, let me explain” he signed gently, looking at me with wide, bloodshot eyes. I waved my hand in the air to encourage him to continue.

“I don’t even know what happened, I wasn’t that drunk,” I snorted but he pushed on, “I wasn’t I promise! We were having a couple of drinks after dinner, just like I said and then this guy recognised me, said I was ‘That guy who was in that band’. He knew you though, kept going on about how I had such a ‘pretty girl’ and all this shit. He was off his face Y/N, literally blind drunk, I was surprised he was still on his feet. But he kept going on and on about you, said he’d seen you picture in the papers or something, and he was saying some disgusting things. Kept saying I should share you out, give him and turn for the night, said I could watch if it made me feel better” Harry cringed and I supressed a shudder, the anger dissolving from my body with each word he spoke.

“I lost it after that, I don’t even remember what happened. I must have followed him in to the street or something and attacked him cause the next thing I knew I was pinned to the ground by two police officers and the guy was being lifted into an ambulance. Someone said that they’d seen me follow the guy out of the bar so they arrested me for being drunk and disorderly and took me to the station. I’m sure you know the rest” Harry said with another gentle sigh. I pulled the car up outside the house and killed the engine.

“But they released you without charge, no assault conviction, nothing” I frowned.

“Yeah, a couple of people in the bar heard what was being said, told the police everything and they let me go”.

“I was so worried Harry” I whispered, turning in my seat to face him as he did the same. He sighed and reached over to brush his hand against my cheek, running his thumb along the puffy skin beneath my eyes which had developed from lack of sleep.

“I know baby, I’m sorry. I asked if I could call you but they wouldn’t let me until everything had got sorted out” he said gently, his fingertips brushing down my neck and pushing my hair back behind my shoulder.

“You don’t ever have to do that because some creep is saying something about me you know?” I said and he nods his head gently.

“You didn’t hear what he was saying Y/N, it was so,” I hushed him.

“Harry what people say doesn’t matter, what he was saying would never have happened, you and I both know that. Don’t get yourself into trouble just to protect me” I said gently.

“I’d do anything to protect you, sweetheart” he said, his voice holding the most conviction it had since I picked him up.

“I know” I said, leaning across the centre console to press my lips lightly against his. Neither of us tried to deepen the kiss, simply let the comforting warmth of his lips against mine sooth the stress of the night.

“Come on curly,” I said, pulling away just far enough to speak, my lips brushing gently against his, “let’s get you inside and in the shower, you stink of alcohol” I said with a giggle, pulling away completely and reaching for the door handle.

“Fine,” he sighed as I opened the door and stepped out, “but you’re getting in with me” he added as I shut the car door, a small smile spreading across my lips as his words ignited a warmth in my stomach.  

8

moments ♥ twenty-second

The anime finally closes it curtains. The second season is on 2016–still too far :/   But let’s drift away from the angst www KaruNagi in this episode is—what the hell why do we have a fckn confession scene ohmyghad and Nagisa looks like he has boobs ohmyholymacarons, wth anime staffs wwww ♥

AND KARMA, OUR LITTLE DELINQUENT. his expressions killed me too many times. Each facial responses he makes to Nagisa’s pain and badassness–I CANT EVEN PROPERLY DESCRIBE MY FEELS DAMMIT. I am too proud of my precious pair ♥

*embraces both Karma and Nagisa as well as the whole cast* SEE YOU NEXT SEASON, GUYS. I thank you from the depths of my heart for allowing me to join your fandom. Stay Badasses!

bonus: 

MaeIso

Bunny Rogers’ first museum exhibition in the U.S. opens at the Whitney today! Bunny Rogers: Brig Und Ladder is an installation in two parts. The first resembles a high school auditorium in which an animated video takes the place of a stage. The second, accessed through a curtain, evokes a backstage area and is populated with sculptures that act as props, awaiting use in a theatrical scene that will never occur. Rogers aims to materialize her inner world—a personal constellation of TV shows, movies, Internet forums, and common objects—and to connect emotionally with the viewer. Culling from these sources, she reveals how emblems of youth culture have consumed her identity since childhood, much of which she spent online. Explore the exhibition now in the first-floor John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Gallery, which is always free and open to the public.

[Bunny Rogers (b. 1990), still from A Very Special Holiday Performance in Columbine Auditorium, 2017. Video, color, sound. Collection of the artist; courtesy Société, Berlin]

The boys with an S/O that partakes in some kind of activity which requires you to be on stage (dancing, singing, etc.) but gets bad stage fright? Thanks!

Such a unique request! I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it!!

Korekiyo Shinguuji

  • He doesn’t really understand what you’re going through at all
  • You’re amazingly talented… what is there to be nervous about?
  • In a way, though, that actually helps you
  • His faith in you is blindingly strong
  • Truly believes you’ll be completely fine and you have nothing to worry about
  • He promises to watch you from the first row
  • If you get nervous, just look at him!
  • Even if you mess up, he’ll be there enjoying your performance wholeheartedly
  • You’re absolutely stunning as you perform, after all!
  • The clear pride in his eyes helps spur you on!
  • When the performance is over he gives you a hug
  • “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”
  • Promises to attend all your future performances as well!

Rantarou Amami

  • He can tell you’re nervous as you wait for your turn backstage
  • He wants to help but he’s not sure how
  • So he turns to the internet for help!
  • “Hey… Did you know that while watching a performance, the audience is almost always rooting for the performer?”
  • He goes through his phone and keeps reading off trivia and helpful hints for you, right up until it’s your turn to take the stage
  • He even looks up videos of other drummers performing your same song, to show you how often mistakes happen, and how little the audience cares!
  • Also so he can show you how much more prepared you are compared to them
  • Right before you go on, he gives you a hug and whispers that he’ll be watching you from the wings, so he’s right there when you need him!
  • You can see him smiling and clapping for you every time you turn your head
  • You feel more at ease now!
  • Even though your performance wasn’t perfect, you actually managed to get out there and have fun
  • You got almost everyone in the audience to feel the beat somewhere in their bodies!
  • Amami’s super happy about how free and happy you seemed!
  • When you’re finished he gives you a big bear hug
  • “I’m so proud of you! You did amazing.”
  • Lowkey brags about your performance to pretty much everyone afterwards

Kokichi Ouma

  • “Ehhh? Why are you so nervous? Who cares about anyone in the audience.”
  • You should just have fun! You like doing this stuff, right?
  • You try to explain to him that you can’t really help how you feel at times like these, regardless of how much you enjoy dancing
  • He takes a moment to think that over
  • “Can I perform with you, then? That way you can just focus on me, and we’ll have so much fun!!”
  • Ouma, no
  • He’s not a member of your dance troupe
  • Pouts when you say he can’t. He thought it was a brilliant idea!
  • Still, he assures you he’ll take the pressure right off you during the performance
  • Oh no
  • What are you planning
  • You keep asking him to tell you what he’s going to do but he refuses to say anything
  • The day of the performance, he does give you a big smooch and promises you’ll enjoy what he has planned
  • Since it’s you, he’s not going to mess around!
  • Hearing that does assuage your nerves somewhat
  • You actually start getting kind of excited to see what’s going to happen!
  • You don’t have to wait long
  • The second the curtains open you spot the gigantic sign Ouma’s holding in the front row
  • He wrote a bunch of short, supportive messages!
  • …Is that a pun?
  • You almost start laughing onstage, but manage to hold back. Instead, with Ouma cheering you on, you have the most enjoyable dance performance ever!
  • When it’s over, Ouma stands on his chair to cheer for you!
  • You’ll never forget how much fun you had with him cheering you on!

Shuuichi Saihara

  • Saihara’s a bit taken aback when you tell him how you’re feeling
  • He’s heard you sing before, and you’re amazing! He never expected you’d be nervous about doing it on stage
  • Still, he understands, and offers you his full support
  • In the weeks leading up to your performance, he probably gathers your friends and has you try singing in front of them as practice
  • He’s super patient with you. If you ever get too nervous to continue he has you stop and assures you of how wonderfully you were doing!!
  • He’ll even sing along with you if it helps you feel more comfortable! Although he’s embarrassed to do it himself, he wants you to feel at ease!
  • On the day of your performance, he tells you that no matter how you do, he’ll still enjoy watching you perform so much!
  • Gives you a hug
  • Crosses his fingers in the hopes that things will go well! For your sake
  • Once it’s over, he has the biggest grin on his face
  • Is the first person to give you a standing ovation!!
  • Immediately after you leave the stage, though, he leaves the theatre so he can meet you
  • Is too shy to do what he wants to do (immediately take you into his arms and kiss you)
  • But he kisses you on the cheek and holds your hand!
  • He’s your biggest supporter and he’s so happy he got to see you perform!

Kaito Momota

  • Yeah, he heard you about the anxiety thing, but hold up. You can do ballet????
  • Gets the conversation completely sidetracked immediately because he wants to know more about what you do!!
  • Asks you a ton of questions. Do you go up on the very tips of your toes?? Doesn’t that hurt?? Do you… you know… get lifted by other guys, and stuff??
  • Momota. Chill.
  • Eventually you get back to your issue with stagefright
  • He tells you that your issue is how you’re focusing on the wrong thing
  • You really like ballet, right? You like expressing things to the audience
  • So, you shouldn’t think about how well you do… Just think about expressing yourself to the people watching.
  • “Listen, even if you make a mistake or two, people aren’t really gonna care. What really matters is whether they experience something through what you do, right?”
  • How is he so wise about this. He’s an astronaut
  • Still, he’s actually spot-on
  • You try taking his advice, and…
  • Your performance becomes truly special.
  • Momota denies that he cried or anything like that, but… When he hugs you afterwards, his eyes are definitely red
  • He tells you that you couldn’t have done better, and that he’s so happy for you
  • He means every word.

Kiibo

  • He doesn’t understand, but he’s sympathetic
  • Truly wants you to do well, and hopes he can help somehow
  • He doesn’t really know what he’d be able to do, though, so he just asks you!
  • Is there anything that helps you stay calm while on stage? Anything he can do to help?
  • You hesitantly answer that you’d like to practice your routine in front of him?
  • He agrees immediately of course!
  • The first time he watches your routine, he’s enthralled! Sure, you made a couple mistakes, but… what you were doing was so incredible!
  • “Hey… can you show me how to do that??”
  • It ends up turning into a teaching session
  • Although Kiibo just cannot get the hang of tossing a flag like that
  • How do you catch it?? If only his reflexes were enhanced beyond the capabilities of an elderly man!
  • He’s so impressed by your abilities that it ends up as a huge boost to your confidence
  • In a way, it was like he sacrificed his dignity to help your anxiety since he hits himself in the head with your flag at least a dozen times
  • You thank him for helping you out like this!!
  • He’s happy that he managed to get you to feel better!
  • During your performance, he cheers for you louder than anyone else!!
  • Afterwards, he asks you on a “celebratory date”, since you did so well!

Gonta Gokuhara

  • Gonta feels so bad when you tell him how nervous you are!
  • He wants to help as much as he can!!
  • But what can he do in this situation?
  • He ends up asking all of his friends for advice
  • The advice he heard most was that if you had fun and enjoyed yourself, you wouldn’t feel as nervous anymore
  • So he decides to join your performance!
  • Gonta, you can’t just decide that on your own
  • He assures you that what he has in mind will work!
  • So, you allow him to play the tambourine along with your guitar
  • Of course, you have a lot of time to practice before you have to perform
  • Gonta manages to keep a pretty steady beat, and the tambourine adds more to your song!
  • More importantly, however… you find yourself so much more relaxed when he’s playing along with you
  • Watching his gentle smile, seeing him swaying slightly from side to side as you play… It’s truly a soothing picture
  • During your performance, you truly feel at ease as he’s by your side
  • He also enjoys himself a lot! It’s so nice that he gets to watch you play right beside him
  • After the performance is over, he tells you how much fun that was for him, and asks if you were able to feel less nervous
  • He’s super happy when you tell him how much he helped!!!!
  • From now on, you can remember this day whenever you perform, and feel more at ease!

Ryouma Hoshi

  • He listens to you explain your stagefright without commenting
  • When you’ve finished, he thinks for a moment, and gets an idea
  • “Did I ever tell you my ‘winning trick’?”
  • He explains how, before going into a match, he used to always be sure to step off on a certain foot. That way, he’d have luck, and he won all of his matches!
  • …Does that kind of thing really work?
  • He promises that he knows what he’s talking about.
  • So you decide to give it a try!
  • Of course, you’re still super nervous when you’re going out onstage, but…
  • For some reason, you feel like things are going to go well?
  • And they do!
  • Your tone at the beginning could’ve been better, but…
  • Otherwise, your recital goes really well!
  • You’re so relieved you almost just lie down on stage
  • Hoshi’s the first to greet you when you come out of the auditorium
  • And… he brought you a small bunch of flowers!
  • “It’s not a big deal, you just… did really well.”
  • He’s so precious.
Their First Meeting: B.A.P

YongGuk:

He was holding a gun against your boydriend’s forehead when you two first met, threatening to blow his head up if the man wasn’t going to pay up with his debts. It was on that day that you broke up with your so-called boyfriend and fled the city, a wild Mafia Boss under the name of Bang YongGuk was after you.

First impression? Stay the f u c k away from that man.


HimChan:

You saw a small glimmer of red hair when you had been dragged into an alley by your collar, the red head was standing in front of you with a bored expression, not caring as you yelled and begged for him to help you. He did not care. Not at all.

Just as you thought that all hope was lost and you’d be killed right there, in that alley, the red head had appeared in the scene again, holding a lit up torch and carelessly swinging it into your assailant’s head, smashing the man against the cold brick wall. 

His voice was cold when he told you, “You have a debt to pay.”


DaeHyun:

The first time you met DaeHyun was actually by an unfortunate accident. They had been looking for a woman of similar features to yours, and in her stead they brought you up in front of him.

However, instead of being scolded, his men received an extra payment, and you had never left the barracks after that.

DaeHyun’s eyes had now been set on you, the other woman completely forgotten. He growled at everyone who had stepped a foot too close to you, and nearly came to a conclusion of locking you up in the basement when you tried to escape once.

After that, you had never tried to escape again.


YoungJae:

You met YoungJae in a club, him sitting all along on the bar counter and sipping on a solid drink, a dart in his hands as his eyes wandered the place packed with people.

Feeling pity on the lonely an, you had stepped closer to him and started a conversation, trying to entertain him out of his rotten mood.

You haven;t even realized how the evening passed and you were drunk out of your mind. You only remembered YoungJae softly telling you to sleep as he drove you to somewhere and when you opened your eyes hours later you had noticed yourself being in a cage and on a stage. A second later the curtain that separated the stage and the podium iopened and you were blinded by the lights.

It was a human auction.


JongUp:

You were just at the wrong place at the wrong time. It just so happened to be that the cafe you loved to frequent in  turned out to be a shooting field in the middle of the day. Being a clueless mess you ran straight for the counter and hid yourself there, where you saw another man with a gun laying with a concentrated face, looking over the small holes of bullet in the wooden counter.

When he saw you his concentrated face broke into a smile which sent a cold shiver down your spine. You could still clearly remember the cheerful words he spoke to you on that day. “After this ends, wanna go on a date?”


Zelo:

A first day at uni was always the scariest one, particularly when you had been paired up with a scary looking tall young man who had glared daggers at you for no particular reason. It seemed that he simply decided to dislike you upon setting his eyes at you.

In this way, or that you had been forced to follow his one dark evening, together with your two new friends that had fled the scene as soon as the young man took out a gun from his gun, leaving you all alone before him, as his gun was pointed at you.

“It’s you again.” he had murmured, malice in his voice.,

anonymous asked:

MOAR headcanons for the celeb-fake dating au, pretty please! even better if they're about once those two dummies get their act together and smooch FO' REAL.

Here’s a few–nothing post FOR REAL kiss though…I’m still mulling about how to handle that and don’t want to tie myself down to any one idea yet :)


When Cassian performs his friend’s son’s play, the adaptation of “Ralph the Duck,” Jyn is not in the audience–she’s in the wings, nervous for him, program in hand. It’s just weeks before the end of their dating contract (one she’s actually extended via Bodhi largely in part because she wanted to be there to see him and not have it weird). When he goes off stage to the applause, she pushes him back out for a second curtain call, and when he’s finally done with that, she presents him with a bouquet of yellow roses. After a few drinks with the crew and other actors, he heads home, but Jyn’s got a bottle of tequila in her purse and they sit outside in his yard drinking until the bottle is almost empty. Jyn crashes on the couch, but when he wakes up in the middle of the night and realizes she’s there, he picks her up and carries her to his bed and takes the spot in the living room instead (his couch is still super comfortable–he is still filthy rich).

They quickly memorize one another’s little preferences at meals: Cassian likes one cream in his coffee, no sugar. Jyn likes sugar but no cream in her tea. At a business lunch with Kay and Bodhi, Bodhi notices that Cassian orders Jyn’s drink just the way she likes it when she’s away at the restroom, and Jyn reaches over, touches Cassian’s hand and tells him that rockfish and striped bass is the same thing and that he doesn’t like it so that he should reconsider the special the waiter offered up. 

“You okay?” Bodhi asks, concerned afterward, but Jyn has no idea what he possibly could be worried about.

For the first few months, when things are still new and they’re becoming friends, Jyn sometimes jokes about Cassian’s secret girlfriends with him. He plays along, but after the incident with his ex in the dog park and how hurt Jyn was at the humiliation, he spurs the attentions of anyone who shows any interest in him that way. He tells himself it’s for the PR, it’s to be safe, but he also knows that’s not really why he’s not interested in anybody else.

how did I never notice (how perfect you were for me)

aka First Time someone told you that you made a cute couple even though you weren’t dating

THIS IS PART OF A SERIES. IT WILL MOST LIKELY MAKE SENSE BY ITSELF BUT JUST A FOREWARNING.

PART 1 PART 2

AO3

Cassian x Reader

Words: 1861

Series Summary: Cassian and Reader Firsts – from meeting each other to the first time, first kiss, first fight, first “I love you”, to their (first) last breaths (maybe…that might be too depressing)

Time Cassian and Reader have known each other: 2 ½ months

Prompt: Anonymous- “firsts” for cassian x reader please?!? (like first date, first kiss, first fight etc) :-))

Chapter: 3/20

Author’s notes: This kinda happened to me in real life with my guy friend so I’m speaking from experience….


Never mind, you were completely wrong. People totally did assume more. You’d figured that since nobody had said anything by now that people believed you and Cassian to be just friends, but you were wrong. You were so wrong.

It all started with whispers. At first you didn’t notice. You would usually spend your free time with Cassian, either in the mess hall, the hangar, or one of your rooms. You weren’t usually around other rebels.

It wasn’t until you and Cassian were walking down the base one early morning, him telling you a funny story about how Kay “accidentally” blew up General Draven’s quarters a few years ago, that you noticed.

You were laughing over Cassian’s flamboyant retelling of his story when soft whispers flowed into your ear. Without pausing you turned your head, catching sight of three women looking at you and Cassian. When your eyes met them, they froze.

You stopped walking abruptly, yet somehow Cassian in all his infinite wisdom didn’t seem to notice and kept walking continuing on with his story.

For a second you were worried you would miss the rest of the story, but your attention quickly focused on the three women in front of you.

One of the girls seemed to muster up some courage and giggled before saying, “You guys make such a cute couple.”

Keep reading

fitzsimmonsftw  asked:

Are you taking prompts? If you are could you please do one where Fitzsimmons go shopping between season 3 and 4, and Fitz complains the whole time. And maybe they bring Daisy to try to cheer her up. Thanks!!!

AN ~ my 4K paper is out of the way and we need some fluff so here we are… took a brief detour through some Static Quake feels but it’s all from a very hopeful hurt/comfort/fluffy place.

Read on AO3 (~1200wd)

-

“Jemm-aaa,” Fitz moaned.

“Yes Fiiiiitz,” she said, mimicking his tone without turning to look at him. She ran her fingers down some corduroy and grimaced, regretting the unpleasant texture.

“Why not go back to that yellow one back there?” Fitz proposed. “We both liked that one, right?”

“We both liked it,” Jemma repeated, “but we didn’t love it.”

“It’s a curtain!” Fitz blurted. “What is there to love?!”

“Fitz! I intend to have as many windows as humanly possible. Whatever fabric we choose today will be within our field of vision at all times. We have to love it!”

“It’s lemon yellow! It’s not like it’s offensive to the eye! Unlike that white and green cheesecloth monstrosity-”

“Alright, alright!” Daisy stepped in between them, making a ‘T’ for ‘time-out’ signal with her hands. “Fitz, why don’t you go check out… TVs or something. There must be some new LCD curved screen 3D AI 2-point-0 model or something to argue about with the poor fifteen year olds.”

Fitz scowled. There was no such thing as AI television and he’d never heard of a 2.0 model, but he got the feeling that was not Daisy’s point. Well, anything to get him out of another second of this inane curtain shop.

“Run along then!” Daisy insisted. “We’ll meet you at the ice-cream place after.”

Fitz glanced at Jemma, who begrudgingly gestured toward the door. His face lit up, beaming.

“I’ll buy you curly fries,” he offered Daisy with gratitude. She smiled briefly.

“I’d like that.”

As he bounded away with the enthusiasm of a Looney Tunes character, Daisy sighed heavily.

“I’m sorry,” Jemma apologised. “We were supposed to be trying to cheer you up.”

“Nah, it’s okay,” Daisy said with a shrug. “You two are pretty cute actually. And I love that you’re picking out curtains when you don’t even know the colour scheme of your house yet.”

“Rustic, but go on,” Jemma deadpanned, and Daisy’s lips twitched upward again, and she tried to figure out whether Jemma was joking or not. After a moment, her humour faded a little.

“I just… I miss it,” she explained, grasping at straws to describe the feeling. “All this couples stuff, y’know? Lincoln was the first guy in – in a long time that I’ve actually been able to, like… imagine myself with. In the future. Stupid daydreams and stuff, you know, like taking the kids to a holiday house at the lake. I don’t know why. I’ve never had a holiday house on a lake. Been to one, once, but that’s about it. It just seemed like a nice thought. And now…”

She ran her eyes up the row of curtain clothes beside them. It wasn’t as visceral as grief, this sorrow she felt. It wasn’t the loss of something real. It was the loss of a dream, and one she wasn’t even sure she truly wanted, but it still hurt, and she wondered if Jemma could understand that.

Jemma put a hand over Daisy’s, drawing her attention with a gentle, concerned gaze. Daisy had tears in her eyes now; her lips trembling as she finally expressed something she hadn’t quite grasped before.

“I just don’t know what the future’s going to be anymore. I mean, I know I never did, but I thought I could make my own before and after watching that – after seeing him –“

Jemma wrapped her arms around Daisy, as if she could hold her together by the sheer force of her love. Daisy clung onto her for dear life as, in the middle of the isle of corduroy and calico curtains, a tidal wave of emotion crashed around her. She held onto Jemma like a rock in a storm until she felt the worst of it pass.

Jemma felt it too.

“You can still make your own future,” Jemma promised, a reassuring whisper in Daisy’s ear now that the height of the crisis was over. “Always. And you will always have us - Fitz and me, and Coulson, and May… As long as you want us, we’ll be here. Probably longer. Okay?”

Daisy wasn’t sure if it was okay. She wasn’t sure if anything would ever be okay again. She wasn’t sure why she was here, buying curtains, when she could have been across the way messing with new phones. She wasn’t sure why she was in this building at all, why she continued to let Jemma and Fitz and the others into her life when her future just felt like death. But she clung to Jemma a little longer, soaking up the honesty and rawness and love and trying to make herself believe Jemma’s words.

Before Jemma could get suspicious – Daisy hoped – she pulled back a little and smiled. She wasn’t completely off the hook, judging by Jemma’s ever-scrutinising gaze, and so she tried not to look too desperate to get away with it.

“Our choices matter, Daisy,” Jemma repeated: fiercely, stubbornly. Daisy thought of Lincoln, and his choice, and the way that wound was still bleeding inside her, but she looked around too, and thought about FitzSimmons, and how they were here making cute domestic choices about their cute, domestic future, because it was the one they were determined to have. If these two could make it, after all they had been through, maybe – maybe - she could too, after all.

She smiled again, for real this time, and only then did Jemma relinquish her intense attention, turning back to the materials around them.

“Now, in the smoothest segue ever,” Daisy began, wiping tears off her face as she gestured with one arm back the way they had come. “’Speaking of choice,’ I think the yellow curtains were great, but you should also consider maroon, especially if you want pale walls. And you should get sheer white curtains too, for when you want to let the sun in. Which will be always.”

“Always.”

This time, it was Jemma’s turn to smile. It was soft at first – quiet, like a private joke, like a stolen smile in a fabric isle in a precarious point in all their lives – and then it broadened as familiar footsteps and a voice that filled her with joy re-entered.

“Daisy!” he was calling. “Daisy! They’ve got a remote control helicopter demonstration in the mall. You and me, death battle for curly fries.”

“Um, excuse me?” Jemma scoffed. “I’m your girlfriend now, I get first helicopter death battle privileges.”

“Sorry, I thought you’d rather get some towels monogrammed,” Fitz replied, just as stubbornly, before a grin broke out on his face. Jemma rolled her eyes.

“You and Daisy can go first,” she conceded, “but I’m playing the winner. And we’re not getting monogrammed towels.”

“Yeah, Fitz, save something for the wedding why don’t you?” Daisy prodded. “You guys keep stealing all my gift ideas. I’m stuck between a rice cooker and a welcome mat.”

“Having an entirely separate device to cook rice is silly.”

“But more efficient,” Fitz pointed out, “if you’re already using your pot for something else.”

“Just use the microwave!” Daisy advocated.

“Of course you would say that, you cook everything in a microwave. You’ve probably never turned a stove on in your life!”

“I’ll have you know, microwaving’s supposed to be healthier because –“

“Because? Oh we’re going to take on the super-genius biologist with pop science now? Pray do tell.”

They left the corduroy and soon even the lemon-yellow curtains behind them and wandered down the mall, bickering all the way.

For the Love of My Life- Part 1

Characters: reader, Tony, Bucky, Steve, Sam (mentioned)

Summary: Modern AU. Reader is a young actress in her first big role when a man from her past offers a chance to fix her biggest regrets. 

Song Inspiration: Cleopatra by The Lumineers

Warnings: drinking and sex mentions, fluff, mention of death, bit of angst.

Word Count: 3,278

A/N: This story gripped me tight and wouldn’t let go from the instant I thought of the opening scene. It took on a life of its own and I’m kinda in love with how it’s turned out? I really hope you like it. Part 2 (of 2) will be posted tomorrow or the next day, I promise! It just got way too long. Oops. :D 

Tags are at the bottom

Part Two>>> 

_______________________________________________________

Originally posted by thespoilerwitchblog

Originally posted by imultifandomstuff

“Cleo….my darling, lovely Cleo. Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?” the man asked in earnest, hope shining in his eyes.

Arm draped over your eyes as you lie on the couch, you lifted it to see the man on one knee before you. Your eyes briefly flitted to the small velvet box in his hand.

“No,” deadpan expression upon your face.

“What?”

“I said ‘no’. For the fourth time, no I will not marry you, Tony!”

“Why not? And please, call me Antony.”

“No.”

“Okay.”

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Romione 20 Day Challenge - Day 3

3. When do you think Hermione realised she had feelings for Ron? 

I like to think she caught on before Ron, mainly because I feel like Viktor was a nice distraction that didn’t ultimately succeed, apart from showing her what she thought she wanted was quite it. But let’s be real - she definitely wouldn’t have wanted to admit that she liked Ron. But who is Hermione Granger to argue with solid facts? 

The curtains of the four poster bed were draped around her, providing some isolation from the outside world which Hermione craved at that moment. They were as red as she felt at the moment - though out of embarrassment or irritation, she wasn’t quite sure. Perhaps both.

Honestly, how could Ron think the Cannons latest win meant a turn in their rotten luck? He’d all but scoffed at her gentle but firm explanation, using very well-thought-out Arthimancy statistics to demonstrate the probability of them winning the Cup this year from the position of their ladder. Why did she even bother with him sometimes, it was such a waste of time to explain things to him logically, especially when she was so busy with Viktor and–

And hence her embarrassment. Just before she’d become engaged in a hefty and heated debate about the probability of a Cannons victory, she’d just come back from another… she wasn’t quite sure what to call it. Date? They’d kissed, yes, but it was just once, very chaste, as he was wishing her farewell from their study session. Was she his girlfriend? 

Most importantly… did she want to be?

She was confused, and needed some time alone to think. She’d been on several… oh, whatever, dates with Viktor, and he was perfectly lovely, sweet, kind, mature and patient. Perfect, really. But she felt nothing. Absolutely nothing. How was it that studying with Viktor aroused so little in her compared to a 20 minute debate on Quidditch with Ron? She could tell there was something there, she’d been feeling it for the last few… months? but honestly, could she really fancy Ron?

Hermione quickly got out a piece of parchment, her quill and some ink - all in trusty reach in her nightstand. When in doubt, make a list.

Reasons why I don’t fancy Ron Weasley

Keep reading

EndgAme : A endings from season 4

Ok everyone I have been analysing every A ending from this season, and some other A moments, and I think I might have found something HUGE. Please read cause it is important ! I think no one should cross Ezra out as A or ChArles. In fact, I think we should all start calling him VarjAk. I tried to link every A endings together, and see if they were filmed in the same place. I will group A endings that are related together.

Part 1 : Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

I am 100% positive they all happened in the same place : Mona’s van/lair. Whatmore, I believe the A we see is Black Veil.

First, let’s take a look at Mona’s van. The following pictures are from season 3, episodes 3x24 and 3x22.

On the first picture, please focus on the (ugly) curtains behind the lamp and the clown. We can see them better on the thrid picture.

On the second picture, please focus on the second type of curtains, the long ones that are green with purple stripes.

On the third picture, focus on the end of the long drapes from picture 2, and on the white sofa underneath them.

On the fourth picture, keep in mind the dollhouse.

After the picture, some context : In 4x01, Toby delivers Mona’s lair (which is in the van) to A, because he wanted to know more about his mom’s death. A was offering him information in exchange of the lair. 

With that being said, let’s take a look at the different A endings.

Episode 1 : In this A ending, Black Veil adds Mona to her dollhouse. We know she is Black Veil ecause we see her. Take at look at the following pictures :

This is when Black Veil steals definitely the gAme from Mona. She adds a Mona doll to Mona’s dollhouse, and we are 100% sure she is in Mona’s lair because on her right, you can see Mona’s ugly curtains.

Episode 2 : A feeds Tipi the Bird (after A steals Tipi from the girls).

We know this is still Mona’s lair because of the same ugly curtains we see behind Tipi’s cage. Also, please keep in mind the picture of the dolls in the background.

Episode 3 : A looks at Em’s radiography (after a car almost ran the girls over and Em hurts her shoulder on a rock)

On the first picture, we recognize Mona’s second kind of curtains, the striped ones dangling from the ceiling. On the second picture, we recognize Mona’s sofa. Yep, still Mona’s lair.

Episode 4 : A recreates Melissa’s masks (after she destroyed them)

We clearly see Mona’s ugly curtains, and the picture of the 4 dolls we could see earlier behind Tipi (!!). Still Mona’s lair.

Episode 5 : A looks at an old picture of Mrs Grunwald (when the girls are at the sorority house)

Do I have to spill it ? Same curtains, same picture, we even see Mona’s clown. This is still Mona’s lair.

Conclusion of part 1 : All the A endings of episodes 1 to 5 take place in Mona’s lair, that Toby delivered to A in the first episode. Whatmore, Black Veil appears for the first time in episode 4x01. We are a 100% sure it’s her in the episode 1 A ending, and if it were not for Tippee in episode 2, I would be a 100% sure A is Black Veil in all these endings. Tippee is relevant, so please keep him in mind. 

Part 2 : Episodes 9 and 11

I don’t know were these A endings take place, nor who is the A we see, but I am 100% sure they happen in the same place.

Episode 9 : A plays the piano and has a partition for Toby : the one his mother used to play. Toby receives that A message later on.

Please look at the wall behind A’s arm. It’s like we see some white bricks, that stop at a certain height : the wall is blackish after that. Also see the pipe in the corner of the room.

Episode 11 : A knits a sweater for a doll. Probably for Mona because she is still waering her hoodie and I don’t think she is currently in the A team.

Look at the wall behind A’s hand. Same white wall, and same pipe as before.

Conclusion of part 2 : The A endings of episodes 9 and 11 happen in the same place, and probably with the same A.

Part 3 : Ok everyone, be prepared (and don’t cry), this is the most exciting (and heartbreaking for me) part !!!! At the end of my explanation, I think we will all agree Mr Fitz went straight from Ezra to VarjAk, and probably Big A/Uber A too. This part covers episodes 15, 17 and 18 of season 4, and some other episodes too.

First, a bit of context. Let’s take a look at some picture I took of Ezra’s lair in Ravenswood.

Look at the maps on the wall. Specially the one at the top right corner, and the two maps at the top left corner (the ones that are next to each other) The one at the far left is a map of Ravenswood, the other is the map of Cape May. Please remember them (ans everything from this section), it’s super important !!

Also look at screen in the center of room, facing the three others.

A better look at the map on the right : we see it’s of Rosewood.

Next to Aria, same map of Ravenswood.

A little close up. With this map, it’s the colors that are important.

The picture of Wilden over Aria’s shoulder.

Of course, the poster.

Look at the mug on the bottum left of the picture. Also look at the curtains, the table behind the girls, and the ceiling, and its beams.

Another look at this particular part of the lair :

Now we will see that Cece have been to Ezra’s lair. I believe it’s because he was paying her. She is talking on the phone and says something along the lines : “Where are you ? I am never going back to Rosewood !”. Pictures, from 4x11 :

Yup, same curtains, same ceiling, and same table, same everything. Cece is in Ezra’s lair. By the way, this is the scene where we see her redcoat on a chair. In these shots, we get a clearer view on the mug (on the top left corner in the last picture). Right behind Cece, we can also see the yearbook from Melissa, Jason etc generation.

Now that we have stated the context, let’s go back to our A endings from season 4, episodes 15, 17 and 18.

Episode 15 : A undoes the modification A had done on Emily’s car. Reminider of this episode : the girls have Ali’s diary from Ezra’s lair in Ravenswood, and add notes/post-its to it. They want to go to the Busy Bee Inn, but Emily’s car GPS indicates wrongly a change of route, and their car finally bruttally stops, in the middle of nowhere yet next to Ezra’s cabin. The girls go there, are attacked by A who steals the diary. I am 100% positive that was Ezra. In a short while, you will too. Anyway, in the A ending, we see A (EzrA) undoing the modification he had made on Em’s GPS.

On the bottum right, we can see Ali’s diary. Thus this is the A who attacked the girls. Please note the shape of the table and the table stands, this is important. Note that there is an apple. Clue ?

Episode 18 (we’ll get to the 17th afterward) : A is watching a film in black and white and takes out of an enveloppe packets of unused Wren’s prescription (as a doctor).

Look at the table : it’s the same shape and legs as earlier. So this is the same lair. Ok now it gets interesting. Notice the screen ? Yes, same screen that was in the center of the room in Ezra’s lair. Notice the poster on top of the screen ? Yes, the same that we see in Ezra’s lair (and that leads to the Halloween episode). Notice the picture of Wilden on the top left corner ? Yes, the same that was over Aria’s shoulder in Ezra lair. By the way, notice how this A seem to like Aria. And it is not over.

Notice the mug on the bottum left corner ? Yes, same mug !! I am starting to get goosebumps. And right next to mug ? The yearbook !!

Now look at the map on A’s desk : it’s the Rosewood map we see on my two first pictures of Ezra’s lair !! Ok, now I think we can faiirly assume that this is Ezra (specially because of the mug ! One of a kind !), and that he moved in this new lair part of his Rosewood lair. Since this is the same place as the A ending of episode 15, we can thus definitely conclude that also was Ezra.

Episode 17 : NOW it gets twisted. This is the famous A ending where A shreds the dentist’s patient list and puts the shreds under Tipi’s cage. Yes, no less than this scene.

Look at the the veryyyy bottom left : this table is very thin, just like in the other pictures : it’s the same table. Now please remember the map of Cape May and the map of Ravenswood we see in Ezra’s lair in Rosewood. We can see them better in this picture, on the top left corner :

Back to the A ending :

See the picture behind the patient list ? Yes, sadly, it’s the map of Ravenswood.

And the map behing Tipi ? YES, the map of Cape May !!!!! This IS Ezra’s new lair, and it’s Ezra in this A scene !! It’s FREAKIN EZRA SHREDING THE DENTIST PATIENT LIST, BECAUSE IT WOULD LEAD TO THE DENTAL RECORD SWITCH BETWEEN ALI AND BETHANY !!!!!! This is seriouuuuus everyone !!!! This is Big A/Uber A material !!!!!!!!

Whatmore (no it’s not over), this scene parallels another A scene, form season 5 episode 23 :

And what is A shreding ?

THE VARJAK PAPERS !!!! This is probably Varjak shreding all his identity papers and everything related to his name !! And since the scene parallels the one from season 4, I am not afraid to say EZRA IS VARJAK. I don’t want to say, but this doesn’t make Aria look very good either (hum hum !!)

So, in conclusion of part 3, Ezra is the A in the A endings of episodes 15, 17 and 18 of season 4, in a lair where he has moved some of his stuff from the Ravenswood lair. Whatmore, since he is the one shreding the dentist’s patient list, he is probably big A/uber A, and he definitely is Varjak !!! 

Part 4 : Episodes 21 and 22

I don’t know where these endings take place nor who is their A, but they happen in the same lair.

Episode 21 : A is sitting in front of a fire and has/is reading the pages fom Ezra’s book

Focus on the wall of red bricks.

Episode 22 : A is sewing in bones in Spencer’s dress from the Bridal shower

Look at the wall behind the table : it’s the same wall.

Conclusion of part 4 : episodes 21 and 22 : same lair, probably same A.

Ok everyone, I’ll stop here even though I still have a lot of things to add !! Thank you for reading, but it was worth the ride, wasn’t it ? What do you think ?? Please let me know !

catch me a catch [4/?]

chapter 1, 2, 3

*spoilers for moulin rouge’s ending*


They sit side by side on the couch under his loft bed, his laptop is on a small wood table in front of them. Even stopped paying attention to the movie on screen halfway through and instead found himself observing Isak as he watched the movie. It’s not like he doesn’t know the film by heart anyway, Moulin Rouge! is one of his favorites, he can recite it from beginning to end and knows all the songs, much to Mikael’s endless amusement. The movie is coming to an end, and Christian and Satine are singing ‘come what may’ for the last time. He knows what happens next, and he knows Isak also knows because the younger boy lets out a small gasp as the musical number comes to an end and the curtain closes, seconds later his face turning sad as Nicole Kidman collapses in Ewan McGregor’s arms. He watches Isak as Satine dies while Christian holds her before the younger boy turns to him with a scowl on his face that doesn’t hide the wet sheen in his eyes.

“Really, Even?” Isak questions as he rubs his eyes, a grumpy pout on his face that charms Even like everything else about Isak.

Even raises his hands in a sign of peace earning himself an eye roll for his efforts. “To be fair, Christian said at the beginning of the movie that the woman he loves died.”

“I thought it was a fake out,” Isak grumbles and Even can’t help himself, he chuckles as he throws his arm around Isak’s shoulder and pulls him close. “I can’t believe she dies,” Isak continues giving him another annoyed look.

Even lets out an amused huff, placing a kiss on the top of Isak’s head as the boy snuggles in his arms. “They said she was sick throughout the whole movie,” he reminds him.

“But they were in love,” Isak protests tilting his head to look up at him fiercely. “She should have lived.”

“She had tuberculosis in 1900,” Even points out with a wrinkle of his nose. “She wasn’t surviving that.”

“Don’t use logic,” Isak glares at him and Even grins again at how put out he is. “Mikael was right, it was soppy shit that made me cry.”

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