I have a couple of questions about big lick and you seem like a good guy to ask. First, i dont really understand what it Is? Ive also heard that its all inhumane and abusive, but ive also seen otherwise very humane and knowledgable horse people says that big lick can be done humanely, so? I have no idea what to think of this discipline, i just feel kinda lost.
OK so I’m not a big lick/TWH expert by any means but here are the basics as I understand them:
Some breeds are gaited. The Tennessee Walking Horse is one of them. It’s especially known for its running walk. Originally, this gait was really popular because it was so comfortable to ride, so they were useful plantation horses, and they Looked Fancy. Big Lick developed because of the transition from using horses for work (farming, cavalry, pony express, yada yada) to horses being used for recreation - specifically here, shows. So you have a bunch of people riding their TWHs around trying to look the fanciest, without any actual goal beyond winning and looking fancy. It becomes an aesthetic thing, like a lot of current show scenes (western pleasure, saddleseat, a lot of dressage tbh, halter shows, reining, etc). Welfare and practicality go out the window because you don’t actually have a reason to keep your horse healthy, sane, and sound. Because you don’t need them to do work. You don’t need them to live long, healthy lives. This is why we see such an increasing number of horses being competed as two and three year olds (when they’re still 2-3 years from actual physical and mental maturity), and retiring before they’re even ten or early teens. It’s all about the benjamins and about winning the biggest prize.
So, how do you get the TWH to exhibit a fancier gait? Firstly, bigger shoes and longer hooves. Weight on the legs mean that the legs are lifted higher. And there is a spectrum here, from flat shod but hooves too long:
to moderate pads:
to fucking giant stacks:
These result in a higher-stepping gait.
But where do you go from there? Well, from there you get to the most controversial part of the TWH industry, which is soring.
Soring is when you make the front feet hurt, so that the horse is really fast to snatch them off the ground because they’re so painful. There are a lot of ways to sore a horse. I’ve read about putting marbles between the hoof and pad, people putting tacks in there, people over-trimming the sole of the hoof until it bleeds or bruised, adding extra deep nails, anything to make the foot sore. The most well known method (and this is usually what people are talking about when they talk about soring) is putting caustic chemicals on the horse’s ankles, and then adding chains, so that the metal chains bang against their already super painful pasterns.
Those pictures are taken from show screencaps. These stacks and these chains are allowed at the show. They are not just training tools. They are out in the public eye. People just lie about the application of chemicals.
All of this is done to make the horse fling up their forelegs, and step deep under with their hind legs like so:
Here’s another example of the kind of ‘stepping under’ that is caused by soring:
I don’t say this lightly but these horses are crippled. The trainer in that interview says so. He acknowledges that you have to essentially torture the horses to make them ‘walk’. That horses end up dead from the pain. These are animals that can barely stand (and sometimes literally cannot stand) on their own feet. And the end result is this:
Wow so fancy! So flashy! So great! I personally don’t get the appeal, and the appeal doesn’t even MATTER, because it’s about the physical and mental abuse and not about the end result, buuuuuut let me drop this comparison in here:
This^ is Champagne Watchout, who was exhibited flatshod at the 1999 TWH National Celebration, next to horses ridden with giant stacks. I recommend watching this entire video as the contrast between the gaits is unbelievable. It’s an amazing example of the difference between the beautiful, smooth, comfortable and NATURAL gaits of the TWH, vs the clusterfuck that is Big Lick.
My gifmaker stopped working so I’ll leave you with just some pictures of un-stacked, un-sored TWHs.
These^ are the horses that were bred to be comfortable to ride for long distances. Even those last two horses, exhibiting more dramatic movement, look like actual horses instead of dying frogs.
There are so many more issues related to TWHs (historical racism, the position of the saddle and rider and the damage to the back, the riding of two year olds, horses that literally can’t stand, that colic from the pain and die, horses that collapse because they literally can’t walk, the fact that horses are trained to get through vet inspections by being punished for exhibiting signs of pain, the HORRIBLE bits, the owners and judges and trainers all colluding to lie about abuse, god I could go on forever) but these are the very basics and all I’m gonna try and pack in here lol.
If there are any TWH/big lick experts who want to correct me on any points, go ahead, I know my terminology isn’t perfect. But this is why big lick exists and why it’s so horrible, and why literally every riding discipline accused of cruelty goes ‘well at least we aren’t big lick!’. Because big lick is the actual worst.
Well well well, here I am to share this with you wonderful human beings. I’m honestly cringing right now at the thought of you reading it, but hey - not going to keep it locked away am I?
If I’m super honest, I’m losing a bit of steam for this as I’ve started part 7. Hopefully I’ll get back into it, as I’d prefer not to have another incomplete WIP forever and a day. Hope you’re all having a fantastic week.
Tagging for SMUT - that means anyone that isn’t an adult better be walking away now. Happy hump day ;)))
you got on?” Finn grabs onto her arm, stopping her on her way out the door.
He looks her over, his eyes pausing on her legs for much longer than a few
“Do you not
like it?” she asks, pulling her arm free. “Do I look weird?”
He’s quick to put her mind at ease. “It’s just…I thought this was a hen
party?” Finn reaches forward to touch the material of her dress where it
falls at her thighs. He rubs the fabric between his fingers.
Rae’s eyes track
the movement of his fingers . “It’s rockabilly themed.”
You look nice.”
she questions, doing a little spin in front of him. She’s got no idea what
she’s doing it for. The skirt of her polka-dot swing dress fans out around her,
skims over the hand he’s still got hanging in the air between them.
She trains her
gaze on him, watches as his eyes dart between her bare legs, nearly bare chest,
then to her mouth. She can tell he’s thinking through what he says next. He
scratches at the hair behind his right ear, presses his tongue to the corner of
his mouth. “Hot. You look well hot tonight, Rae.” His head is angled
down so that she can’t see the look on his face, but she can see the flush of
red at the side of his neck.
think?” she asks quietly.
He nods, finally
lifting his head to meet her stare. “ ‘Course.” His smile is soft, reassuring.
showing too much - ehm - too much skin?” She points to her chest, the cut
of the halter top showing off nearly half of each breast.
S'pose you’re supposed to show a lot of skin at these things or summat, right?
Imagine the other girls will be dressed the same like.”
two leaving soon or what?” Rae’s mum Linda strolls into the kitchen,
interrupting the pair. “I’ve got plans, you know.”
Rae rolls her
eyes as her step-dad Karim comes walking into the kitchen, trailing behind her
mum. Karim grabs hold of her mum by the hips and pulls her body back against
his, either unaware of their presence or uncaring of it. You’d think she’d be
used to this after so many years, but it still makes Rae a bit nauseous to see
how lusty they are for each other. “You two go, take car but be
safe,” Karim says, his face pressed to Linda’s neck.
Finn faces Rae,
his hand reaching out to grab onto hers. “Should we go?” He tugs at
her hand, pulling her towards the door again.
Rae throws her
cardigan over her forearm and allows herself to be tugged out of the house by
Finn, grabbing the keys before they get out the door. “Alright alright, no
need to pull my arm off,” she grumbles, easing her arm out of his grip.
parents were about to shag….right in front of us, Rae,” he explains as
he waits for her at the bottom of the stairs. He rubs at his eyes as if he’s
hoping to rid himself of the image forever.
they were weirdos.”
He opens her
door, allowing her to slide in and get comfortable before shutting it. It’s
only the awful noises and the “right there, you bloody beast,” in the
high pitched squeal coming from Rae’s house that have him running around the
car and inside in seconds.
meeting his gaze under arched eyebrows. “What’s got your panties in a
He shakes his
head, deciding not to tell her what he’s just heard. She’s happy to not push.
The ride to the
pub is quiet until they’re about five minutes away. Rae looks over to Finn,
gauging as to whether she should ask the question that’s been niggling at the
back of her mind for some time. “Finn…” Her hands fidget in her
he questions, peeking at her before focusing on the road again. She think he
might of checked out her tits on the look over, but decides not to tease him
“Tell me if
I shouldn’t ask,” she starts, her fingers clenching and unclenching as she
contemplates how to ask this. “Do you - ehm - do you sleep with all of
your clients?” She looks down at her hands, smoothing out her skirt to
keep them busy.
another glance in his direction. He looks thoughtful, as if he expected this
question. She’s somewhat relieved, relaxing into her seat again, her eye
trained on his profile.
He clears his
throat before answering, “no.”
It’s not - not what most women want, Rae.” He sweeps his hand through the
side of his hair before he brushes his fringe from his forehead. “Most of
these women, they just want something they’re missing.”
understand, but before she can open her mouth he’s explaining. “Our time
together, it’s about providing them with comfort, about giving them the
confidence they need.”
convinced that’s why all those women would hand over £6,000 to this good
looking man. “Really?”
have me come, Rae?” he asks, pulling up in front of the pub. He slides his
seatbelt off and turns to her in his seat.
He’s got a
point, it wasn’t for sex. She wanted to rub her new life in the face of her ex,
make him think she was happy. She doesn’t answer his question, instead sliding
off her own seatbelt and getting out of the car.
Finn stops her
at the curb. “Don’t believe me still?” His hand slides into the crook
of her waist as he guides her back against the side of the car.
stubborn, her arms crossed over her stomach, eyes on his. He looks behind him
before stepping closer to her, hands going to either side of her hips. He’s so
close that the heat from his breath warms her throat. “Relax.” His
right hand moves from her hip to cup the side of her neck. With his thumb on
her throat he manages to tilt her head back against the car. “Close your
eyes, Rae,” he instructs and she obliges.
His thumb glides
over the skin under her ear, his mouth close by. “You’re beautiful.”
The swipe of his bottom lip against her earlobe makes her knees give way. It’s
only his firm grip on her hip that keeps her upright.
His thumb moves
down her neck before he traces a path across one collar bone, his mouth still
close to her ear. “Jeremy is going to wish he’d never let you go.”
She can smell the mint from his toothpaste when he moves his mouth inches from
hers. “We’ll show him what an amazing woman you are.” Her breath is
coming quicker now, her chest bumping into his with every intake of air. She’s
starting to feel it, starting to believe it more with every whispered word.
Jeremy had looked rather mad earlier in the day at how close she and Finn were.
He takes a step back and she feels the loss of contact - deeper than the
When her eyes
open he’s still standing right in front of her, a smirk contorting his mouth.
she says softly, reaching out to pat his chest with an open hand, “you are
her dress as it’s dipped down a little further in the front before the two walk
over to the pub doors. She’s grateful for his steadying hand on her lower back
as he ushers her through the door.
The pair are met
with hoots and hollers from all the women at the hen party, all of them
swarming around Finn. Rae gets pushed off to the side somehow, where she
watches all of the women fawn all over him. One of the women, Chloe’s cousin
she thinks, she’s got her hands on his lapel while Chloe’s mate from Uni is
pressed up close to him trying to smell his cologne.
He catches Rae’s
eye, shrugging at her. He’s eating it up. She rolls her eyes at him before she
makes her way to the bar to get a round in. She orders a round of tequila for
the party, turning back around to watch Finn while she waits.
forward in the sea of women, whispering something in a petite brunette’s ear.
Rae doesn’t recognize her but assumes she’s someone Chloe works with. There’s a
twinge in her belly as she watches the brunette throw her head back in
got them all distracted Rae,” Chloe says from beside her, causing Rae to
light up at the sight of the tequila shots in front of her as the bartender sets
them down. “You’re forgiven.” Chloe holds two of the shots out for
Rae to take. “Now, give this to your fit boyfriend and tell him to get
Rae does as
she’s told, walking over towards Finn with the shots. She has to push four or
five of the women aside as she passes and nearly all of them give her a nasty
look. He greets her with a grin and takes one of the shots from her
outstretched hand, pulling her forward by the waist with his free hand.
in front of his body, his arm wrapping around her side, his hand splayed out
across her stomach. A chill runs down her spine when he presses a kiss to her
neck. “Got to keep up the appearance,” he whispers next to her ear
before she can question him.
All of the women
raise their glasses up, all of them looking at Finn. She’s not sure why until
he clears his throat, holding his own glass up. “Here’s to the husbands
who won you, the losers who lost you,” he speaks clearly, his hand pulling
Rae closer, “and the lucky bastards who’ve yet to meet you.”
The women cheer,
all gazing adoringly at Finn before they throw back their shots. Chloe steps
forward from the group of women, she’s already swaying a bit. She points to
Finn and then the door. “OK mister, it’s time for you to go.”
“That’s my cue. Have a good night, ladies.” He gives a little wave,
grabs onto Rae’s hand and drags her towards the door with him.
behind him, the women behind them hollering at them again. “Show him what
he’ll be missing, Rae,” Izzy shouts from the crowd, laughter following.
The cheering gets louder.
Finn stops at
the door to the pub. Rae looks at him questioningly and he shrugs in response. Her
arms move around his neck and his automatically move around her waist, his
fingers pressing into her lower back. She chews at the corner of her bottom
lip, her eyes focused on his.
with it!” Chloe cheers from behind them.
her mouth. “Better get on with –” Her mouth is on his before he can
get the rest of the statement out. He’s quick to recover. He tugs her upper lip
between his, the tip of his tongue tracing her cupids bow. She thinks she moans
then, but she’s too entranced with the things his mouth is doing to be
embarrassed. Finn holds her tighter against him, kisses her like he has all the
time in the world to just stand here.
She whines low
in her throat when he pulls away. She misses the feel of his lips on hers,
misses the taste of his mouth. “I’ve got to go,” he tells her, his
arms slipping from around her. “Don’t pout.” He bops her on the nose
with his forefinger.
realized she was pouting. She drops her arms from around his neck, letting them
fall to her sides. “See you.” She reaches up to swipe the red of her
lipstick from the corners of his mouth before stepping back to let him pass.
Finn looks a bit
dazed as he leaves and she thinks she’s done a proper job kissing him.
Rae,” Izzy calls to her from the bar. “Come have a drink with
As the night
wears on they’re all feeling the buzz of the alcohol coursing through them. Rae
is currently dancing on the dance floor with her best mates, her arms wrapped
around both Izzy and Chloe as they sing at the top of their lungs to Journey.
“I love you girls,” Rae shouts over the music, the two girls grinning
up at her.
babes,” Chloe slurs, causing both Izzy and Rae to slip into a fit of giggles.
herself from the other two. “I need the toilet. Get us another
already making her way to the bar with Chloe in tow. Chloe rests her hand on
Rae’s lower back as she orders their drinks. “Babe,” Chloe whispers.
When Rae doesn’t turn she gets louder, “Rae!” Rae startles, turning
her head to look at Chloe.
need to shout.”
closer to Rae. “Rae, I need to tell you something.” Chloe’s eyes fall
to the floor, her shoulders hunched forward. “I can’t - I can’t marry
body rotates to face Chloe, concerned with what her friend has just said.
“What do you mean, Chlo?”
Chloe shakes her
head, refusing to meet her friend’s stare.
Izzy sidles up
next to them, her hand on Chloe’s forearm. “Chloe, come dance with
me.” Izzy pulls Chloe back to the dance floor, leaving their drinks at the
bar. Rae is left wondering what her friend isn’t telling her.
The rest of the
night goes by in a blur and before Rae knows it the limo has pulled up in front
of her house. She manages to extricate herself from the limo, nearly stumbling
up the stairs when she loses a shoe. The girls shout from the window of the
limo as they pull away, telling her to “get in there and have at
him.” She laughs, waving them off as she gets to the door.
makes her way up the stairs, pausing when she hears a creak of the floorboards
from downstairs. When she’s satisfied that she hasn’t woken anyone up, she
creeps down the hallway slowly and cautiously. There’s a faint light coming
from her bedroom that she can barely see through the crack in the door. She
nudges the door open with her hip, peeking into the room. He’s asleep on her
bed, sprawled out across the middle in nothing but his pants.
she whispers, easing into the room. He doesn’t stir. She places her purse on
her desk, money falling out onto the wooden surface, but she doesn’t notice.
She’s focused on the way his chest rises and falls with each deep breath he
takes, focused on the way his lips move while he sleeps. “Beautiful.”
She pushes the
door closed and makes her way to the bed at the center of the room. She toes
her shoes off when she gets to the corner of the bed, kicking them underneath.
She stands at the side of the bed for a moment watching him sleep. A sharp
intake of breath is all she needs to give her the last bit of courage.
Rae sits down on
the bed beside him, her hand reaching out to touch him. She pauses with her
hand above his cheek, watches his eyelashes flutter against his skin.
“Finn,” she whispers again. Her hand trembles as she presses her
fingers against his cheek, trails them down to his jaw.
His eyes open
slowly, but he doesn’t startle when he sees her. Instead he opens his mouth to
speak, “Rae.” The corners of his mouth curl upwards, his eyes focused
on hers. She presses a finger to his lips, shaking her head slowly. There won’t
be any talking.
She stands up
from the bed and soon he’s moving to sit up to follow her, but she pushes him
down with her hand on his chest until he’s pressed back into the mattress. She
keeps her eyes on his as she reaches up to the back of her neck, unhooking the
halter top of her dress. The fabric falls from around her neck and pools at the
top of her chest. Her skin prickles with anxiety, it feels like tiny ants
climbing just under the surface, but the alcohol has numbed her inhibitions
just enough to continue.
shaking hands to her back where she toys with the zipper of her dress, pulling
it down a fraction - just enough. Her gaze falls to his mouth, watching as he
bites at his bottom lip. She yanks at the fabric of her dress, pulls it over
her chest, her bra-clad breasts revealed. The groan that falls from Finn’s lips
has her pressing her thighs together as she shimmies out of the remainder of
the dress. The lamp at her bedside table casts an almost ethereal blue haze
over her bare skin, but it does nothing to dim the desire she can see in Finn’s
face - from the way his jaw is set to the way his eyes never leave her.
She steps out of
the dress, shoving the dress out of her way with her foot. He’s sitting up in
the bed now. He looks her over then, lets his eyes roam up her long bare legs,
takes in the sight of her red lace knickers, caresses the curve of her hips and
the softness of her stomach. He lingers on the swell of her breasts, getting up
onto his knees on the bed. She sucks in a breath when he beckons her forward
with a crook of his finger.
It’s only a step
or two to the bed, but it feels like twenty. Her whole body feels like it’s
buzzing and the only thing that will calm her is Finn’s touch. His mouth is on
hers as soon as she reaches the bed, but the kiss isn’t safe or tender, it’s
impassioned and ignites something inside of her. She meets his kisses without
hesitation and he pulls her onto the bed with him, both of them pressed knee to
The two break
apart only when necessary to breathe, their hands gliding over each other’s
bodies as they kiss. The only sounds filling the room are their muted moans and
the smack of their lips against one another’s.
His hand tugs at
the strap of her bra around her neck trying to find the clasp. He grunts in
frustration when it won’t come undone, as if he can’t wait to get a look at her
tits. If she were any less turned on right now she’d be laughing at his
She pulls away
from him for a moment (too long if you ask her) and reaches up to undo the hook
at the top and then at her back. He’s eager to pull the material away, grabbing
it and tossing it to the side of the bed as soon as it comes unclasped. She
can’t help the laughter that spills out as she watches his eyes zone in on her
Her laughter is
swallowed by his mouth, his hands moving to grasp at her breasts. She whimpers
against his lips as his thumbs circle her nipples, as he pinches them between
his thumb and forefinger. His skin is soft beneath her fingers as she kneads
his lower back, pulling at his body to come closer to hers, her own lower body
pressing forward. She can feel him hard against her now and it has her moving
her hand down his body to cup him through his boxers.
pulls away from hers, his lips traveling down her neck to her chest. His mouth
is hot against her skin, and he has her moaning when he takes one nipple into
his mouth, his free hand slipping down her stomach. He works his hand between her
thighs, pressing against her through her panties, rubbing at her until her hips
are pitching forward against his hand. She shifts his boxers down enough so
that she can touch his bare skin just as he pushes her panties to the side to
slip where she’s wet. They probably look like a couple of teenagers, fumbling
over each other, touching any piece of bare skin available to them.
He pulls his
mouth from her with an audible pop and somehow manages to maneuver their bodies
to the center of the bed. It’s not long before Rae finds her back pressed to
the mattress, both her and Finn divested of the last articles of their
clothing. He’s panting above her, his breath warming her face as he pushes her
legs apart and folds them up around his hips. He takes his place between her
legs and spreads her open, rubbing against her until she’s bucking her hips up
Rae’s heel digs
into the back of his thigh and she pleads, “please, now please.” It
’s the last bit of encouragement that Finn needs. He presses both hands into
the bed on either side of her waist and eases into her unhurriedly, watching as
he disappears between her thighs. His movements are slow at first as he maps
out Rae’s body with long sweeping strokes, explores her mouth with his tongue.
“Finn,” she gasps against his mouth, her hips meeting his, pressing
him for more. He’s quick to oblige, his pace increasing with every whimper that
falls from her lips.
press hard into Finn’s lower back, red marks of passion forming and fading on
his sun-kissed skin. The feel of him above her and inside of her has her
writhing against the mattress, her body reacting so strongly to his that she
might lift right off the bed with her frenzied movements. It’s only the weight
of his body over hers that keeps her grounded and secure.
He pulls his
mouth from hers to look at her, a sexy little smirk fashioned to his face.
“Don’t get a big head now,” she manages to stutter out between gasps
for air. It’s like he takes her words as a challenge, hiking Rae’s leg up
higher on his hip, stretching her calf above his waist. The new angle soon has
the both of them moaning and grinding against each other wildly.
stuttered movements she imagines that he’s close, his face screwed up in
concentration as she meets each of his thrusts with her own. Her hand moves to
slip between them to make sure she gets there, but he’s not having it. “Uh
uh uh,” he mumbles against her shoulder. He grabs onto her hand and holds
it down by her waist, nipping at her collarbone as he shifts back to balance on
his shins. Finn guides her hips up with his free hand, her lower half no longer
touching the mattress as he drives into her; he’s fixated on being the one to
make her come undone. “Rae.” It’s only her name, but the way his
gravelly voice makes it sound as he nibbles just below her ear is enough to
coax her over the edge, send her falling. She isn’t sure if it’s the sound of
her or the feel of her, but either way, she brings him with her, both of them
deliberately slow in pulling himself from her body, Rae’s body trembling with
little aftershocks as they separate. They don’t move to wash up nor do they
speak, both of them settling into a comfortable silence. He presses a kiss to
her shoulder and she turns to curl into his side, both of them falling fast
She wakes up
alone in her bed at her parent’s house, a thin sheen of sweat covering her
entire body. She rolls onto her back, stretching her limbs out as she moves.
Rae tries to ignore the dull ache coming from between her legs as she shifts to
sit up in bed. She glances at the rumpled sheets of the bed, looks at the empty
space next to her and wonders where Finn has gone. She can’t hear the shower
running, but she can’t hear much over the drum that’s currently echoing in her
brain. “ ’m never drinking again,” she moans, head clasped in her
She takes a deep
breath, rubbing her thumb and forefinger against her temples while she moves to
get out of bed. It’s only then that she notices her complete lack of clothing,
her tits hanging out over the top of the duvet now. “What the fuck?”
she shouts in the empty room, clutching at the duvet, as if anyone can see her
right now. She stands up from the bed, wrapping herself up to pace the length
of her bedroom as she chants, “no no no,” over and over again.
She’s on her
third round of chanting when Finn comes waltzing through her bedroom door, a
smile on his face. His flannel shirt is misaligned and his shorts are slung low
across his hips as he saunters into the room. His hands are full with a tray of
tea and what looks like toast and jam and her gut clenches, the possibilities
of what happened last night flooding her mind. “Brought you some toast
with your tea. The sausage that your mum made looked a bit dodgy, so I –
” He stops speaking when Rae lifts serious and questioning eyes to him,
and he must realize that it has nothing to do with his choice of breakfast.
Rae?” he asks, setting the tray down at her desk. His eyes stay glued to
the desk for a beat too long, forcing Rae forward to see what he’s looking so
intently at. When she spots the money falling out of her purse she can almost
immediately feel the rise of bile in her throat.
Her hand moves
to grasp his forearm, her voice barely above a whisper,“ Finn, what
happened last night?”
He doesn’t turn
to face her, doesn’t look at her then, just grips the back of the chair that
bit tighter. His shoulders fall forward as he answers, his voice free from
inflection, “nothing, Rae.”
She can hear it
in his voice that he’s lying, but she doesn’t push because she’d rather believe
that nothing happened last night, that she didn’t have sex with this beautiful
broken man while she herself was still in love with someone else.
He frees his arm
from her grip, pushing her purse over with a prod of his finger. “What’s
this for? For last night?” He sounds disappointed, maybe even hurt.
NOTE: the toast that Finn does - those words aren’t mine, they’re from the movie The Wedding Date, but I loved them so and had to add them in.
You looked down at your legs, counting the red, itchy bumps.
One… two… three…
You lost count after fifteen—especially since they were all kind of in giant masses, blotching your legs.
‘Damn bugs,’ you thought, resisting the urge to scratch.
You looked forlornly over at the dress hanging on your closet door. It was beautiful—a brilliant, royal blue. The halter top showed just enough cleavage to make you feel pretty (but not look scandalous). The skirt twirled with every step, hitting just above your knee.
Which, unfortunately, was higher than where your legs had been bitten by practically every mosquito in the city.
There was no way you were going to go out in public looking like the embodiment of Pestilence, no matter how pretty the dress was, no matter how much you had been looking forward to tonight’s date.
At that moment, Steve stepped into the room. You quickly threw a blanket over your legs, hiding the disaster area.
“Hey,” Steve said with a smile. “I thought for sure you’d be primping for tonight.”
“Um… listen. About tonight…” You glanced up at him before lowering your eyes in shame. “Could we… postpone?”
“Why?” Steve asked, concern on his face. “Are you ill?” His hand drifted towards your forehead, feeling the perfectly normal temperature.
“No. I just… things aren’t going the way I’d planned.”
“What do you mean?”
You chewed on the inside of your bottom lip. “I can’t wear the dress I wanted to.”
Steve looked over, noting the dress. “Why not? Doesn’t it fit?”
“It does. It just… doesn’t cover what it needs to.”
“Looks modest enough.” Steve looked at you. “And sexy enough,” he said with a wink.
You smiled despite yourself. “That’s not what I meant.”
Steve sat down next to you on the bed. “Then what?”
You took a breath. “Promise to not be disgusted?”
“Y/N, I’ve seen war casualties. I’ve seen some of the grossest, most vile things—and that’s usually because of Tony. Nothing you show me could turn me away.”
Slowly, you pulled the blanket away, revealing your red-and-white legs. Steve looked down at them, eyes widening slightly.
“What happened?” he asked, concern in his voice instead of disgust.
“Sweetheart, those look horrible! Do they hurt? Do they itch?”
“They kind of itch. But honestly, it looks worse than it really is.” You pulled the blanket back up, hiding your ugliness. “But that dress is too short to hide them and I don’t want to go in public with you and have these things on display.”
Steve was quiet for a few moments. Then he stood, heading out of the room.
You sighed, resting your head on your blanketed knees.
A few minutes later, Steve reappeared. “All right, let me see those legs.”
You looked up at him. “What?”
Steve sat down next to you, a tube of anti-itch gel in his hand. “Come on, those bites aren’t going to fix themselves.”
Steve pulled the blanket aside and carefully rubbed the gel onto your calves, coating the bites. The relief was almost instant, the gel cool on your skin.
When he was done, he placed the tube on the bedside table as he walked out of the room again. When he returned a few moments later, you could smell your lemon soap on his hands. Steve looped his arm around your shoulders, making himself comfortable next to you. He clicked on the TV, waiting for Netflix to boot up.
“So,” he said. “What sounds good? Comedy? Drama? Horror? Sit-coms you’ve seen every episode of and can quote along with the entire time?”
You suppressed a laugh. “What are you doing?”
“What do you mean?”
“Why are you…” You gestured at Steve’s stretched out body.
“Because… you said you didn’t want to go out?”
“So, what? We’re having date night here?”
“Unless you have something else you’d rather do.”
You were still for a moment, surprised. Then you leaned over, pressing a small kiss to his cheek before snuggling into his chest. “No. This is perfect.”
***Decided to try out writing instead of reading. ;) ***
Loud grunts echoed against the walls. Heart hammering, sweat pouring down your face, you managed to knock your opponent out before stopping to bend down and pant for breath.
“Damn. You did good,"you managed to splutter to the now-unconscious Tullk.
Straightening, you cracked your neck and fingers and wiped your forehead. It has been a long week aboard the Eclector, and a good one-on-one boxing match was just what you needed for a stress reliever.
Walking off the mat, you headed towards your bottle of water lying imon the ground. Groaning as you bent down to pick it up, you untwisted the cap and brought the bottle to your lips.
Once the bottle was empty, you tossed it into the trash and headed for a nice shower. Your body reeked of BO and your period has arrived, so you desperately needed a shower.
Turning on the faucet, you stripped and stepped into the cold water. Closing your eyes, you tilted your head up so the water slid down your face, cupping your cheeks and running down your exhausted body.
Once done, you stepped out into your favorite fluffy red towel and wrapped it around your soaked body. You threw your long h/c hair into another white towel and looked at yourself in the mirror.
Scars crisscrossed on the side of your face. Your nose was broken, has been for years, and there was a purplish tint around your right eye. Dried blood stained the bottom corner of your lip.
You shook your head. He wouldn’t want this, you thought miserably.
You didn’t know this, but everyone on the Eclector thought you were the most beautiful woman they ever laid eyes on. They would make inappropriate comments, tease you, and eye your entire frame. You passed it off as idiots messing with the only female on board, but little did you know how beautiful you actually were.
You sighed. You have been a crew member of the Ravagers for six years. Stealing, sneaking, fighting, and running were your best skills, perfect for a pirate life. You just assumed the captain kept you around for these reasons only, but if you could only hear the conversation he was having right now, you’d be flipping.
"Cap'n, I brought ya lunch,"Kraglin’s voice could be heard behind him.
Yondu stared ahead at his console, chewing the inside of his cheek. ” ‘Anks. Leave it on m’ table.“
Kraglin did as he told and started to back out of the room when Captain Udonta’s voice called him back.
“Yessir?"Kraglin responded, leaning against the doorframe.
"Have they been doin’ it again?”
“Ya know. Lookin’ at 'er. Admirin’ 'er. Makin’ stupid comments at 'er,"he growled, feeling heat in his cheeks.
Kraglin shifted uncomfortably. "Y-yes, sir. I-uh heard them talkin’ 'bout her every time she gets up in the mornin’, sir.”
Yondu huffed. He trusted Tullk. Tullk knew better than to hit on his unbeknownst-to-her girl.
“When ya goin’ to ask her, sir?"Kraglin asked.
Yondu shrugged. "When the time comes. Not now, yet.”
Kraglin stared at his cap'n. He’s been saying this for two years now.
“You’re crazy about 'er, aren’t ya Cap?”
If it wasn’t Kraggles, he would a been grumpy. “Hells yes.” He turned his chair to face his first mate. “She’s goddamn perfect in e'vry way. She don’t know it. The way she dances, her hips move. Those gorgeous e/cs of hers.” Yondu sighed, rubbing the back of his neck. “Guess I’m…what’d she say? Chicken shit?” He laughed.
Kraglin smiled. “Yes sir. Though I doubt she would think of you as chicken shit.”
Yondu smirked, then stared off at the wall with a loving smile on his blue lips. “She is so smart, Kraggles. And funny. Got a nice ass and chest. But she’s so beautiful on the inside. Was what made me want 'er. Now I’m in love wit’ this sneaky lil’ thing. Sneakin’ her Ravager ass into me and stealin’ my heart.”
Kraglin stood there, transfixed. He has never, ever, EVER heard Yondu open up like this. Even though he was his first mate, best friend, and pretty much adopted son (quite like Quill, except Quill left to find his own crew), Yondu was never comfortable letting anyone in like this, not even Kraglin.
As if he heard his thoughts, Yondu’s ruby eyes snapped to Kraglin’s. “Not a word of this, boy. Not even to 'er,"he said.
Back in your quarters, you were completely oblivious to the confession your crush had just said. Blow-drying your hair, you hummed to yourself.
The crew had the weekend off, so you were gonna dress up and chill at the bar on whatever planet you landed on. You’ve been dying to wear the sexy blue dress you bought back in Knowhere awhile ago, and now’s your chance.
Smiling, you straightened your h/c hair until it fell down your back in a long, silky waterfall. You applied your makeup and slipped into the dress. A little hint of sparkle, it hugged your body and just stopped halfway down your thighs. It had a halter neck, showing just a little cleavage to tease, but not too much for a show.
Spraying perfume, you smiled at yourself even more. Better, you thought. Maybe you’ll get a compliment from the captain, even.
You grimaced. Don’t even get your hopes up, y/n.
Stepping out into your bedroom, you felt the ship land. Finally.
Grabbing your gun, you attached it to the holster under your dress where it couldn’t be seen on your leg. You knew idiots would be out and about here, especially your own damn crew, so you weren’t taking chances.
Smirking, you made your way out the door, nearly bumping into your blue heartthrob.
Yondu nearly snapped before seeing it was you. His fin glowed red and his eyes scanned your form. You didn’t notice, you were SO oblivious like damn girl, but he licked his lips at the sight of you. Your pumps made you stand up taller, still a head shorter than Yondu, but it made his eyes widen at the sight of your legs in heels and tights.
Swallowing, his eyes snapped back to yours. You blushed.
So fuckin’ gorgeous, Yondu thought. The way you blushed, that shy smile…Hot damn.
Before either of you could say a word, a shout came from the ship’s exit.
“Hot damn, you look sexy! How 'bout hanging wit’ us tonight, darling?"one of the men catcalled.
You glared in disgust, but before you could say a word, Yondu’s lips came together to make a sharp whistle, and his arrow flew from his side to the throat of the catcaller.
"Say it again, and you’ll be done fer,"he growled, not taking his eyes off you.
The blush deepened. Why do you have to blush so much! you thought.
Yondu waited for the crew to exit before saying a thing. His heart hammering, his face flushes, he took a steady breath before smiling and eyeing the floor. Goddamn, no one has ever made him nervous like you do!
"Somethin’ wrong, cap?"you dared to ask, grinning. The way he looked at you made a tight knot in your tummy.
"Mmf. Not at all,"his husky voice drawled. "Exact opposite, actually.” He grinned shyly. You have never seen him act like this.
You frowned. “Did I do something wrong?”
He chuckled. “No darlin’. I did.”
You being you, you accidentally put your foot in your mouth. “You? Do something wrong? No one as perfect as you could do something wrong,"you spluttered, before sucking in a breath. Shiiiiiit.
He grinned, his eyes twinkling. "Oh really?”
With horror, you realized something from earlier. When Tullk had went off during break to get a drink, you couldnt find yours for whatever reason. He must have put truth serum in your water!
You blushed furiously. Damn it Tullk! So not the right time for a prank!
Unless he and the others did it to get you to confess to the blue sexy man. Truth dawning on you, you knew that was it. Everyone knew you crushed on the captain, and you did hear the drunk idiots joking about feeding you truth serum many nights, but you had no idea they’d actually do it…
You knew you were right. You could feel the side effects of the serum immediately, your mind feeling groggy. You had no choice BUT to answer honestly.
Yondu brought you back down to reality by winking at you. “So baby doll, I’s gots me a question.”
You panicked and started breathing heavily. “Y-yes sir?"you started as you began to back up into your room.
He followed you, hunting you like prey. "You crushin’ on me, sweet cheeks?”
Your heart jumped out of your chest. If he didn’t see your feelings before, he had to now. Your heart beat was impossibly fast, your breathing quickening, your face red as his fin.
You bumped into the corner of your room. Oh fuck.
He grinned, placing both hands on either side of the wall, trapping you.
“I don’t need no answer. Your body language was enough,"he muttered.
"I understand if you don’t want this. I aint much,"you finally spoke up.
His eyebrows came together. ”'Scuse me, girl? Oh hell no. You are more than enough. There’s a reason I’ve loved ya the past two years.“
Your eyes widened. "You lov-”
His rough lips slammed into yours, causing goosebumps to jump across your skin. He pulled you into his arms before pushing into the corner again, this time with your legs wrapped around his torso.
You couldn’t help but grin against his lips. Damn he was a good kisser.
“Ye like that, doll?"he murmured greedily. He snuck his tongue into your mouth before pulling away to look at you. "So beautiful,"he moaned before attacking your lips, face, and neck with kisses.
Giggling the entire time, you felt your underwear soak and your hair stand on end from his electrifying lips. Daaaaamn.
"Yer so cute when ye get excited.” He winked at you before setting you down. “Want to get a drink?”
“Fuck yes,” you answered, and he laughed, grabbing your hand.