shuffling gait

The Knight-Lieutenant

A Dragon Age fic  |  Read it on AO3  | Cullen & Meredith


Cullen is on his knees in the Chantry when the message arrives: Knight-Commander Meredith Stannard, of Kirkwall is in Greenfell, and wishes to speak with him.

It is cold and quiet, not yet close to dawn. It will be a while before the first of the brothers will wake, and flutter into the Chantry, armed with incense, and their enviably unshakable faith in the Maker’s plan – but Cullen is always at prayer at this hour. He can hear the rain – it is nearly constant at this time of year – through the shuttered windows. The messenger shifts from foot to foot, impatiently, clearly eager to deliver him to the Knight-Commander, and head back to bed.

The tone of the message is polite enough, but Cullen knows a command when he hears one.

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touch | nygmobblepot 3x19

Oswald is limping.

This is nothing new, of course; the awkward, shuffling gait is a handicap the former mayor of Gotham had learned to cope with long ago. He’s managed it through rain and snow, through the nagging ache of long hours spent standing at podiums giving speeches and the ravages of river water, tumbling to his alleged death on more than one occasion.

A weaker person wouldn’t have lasted this long, but Oswald is not weak. There is a fire in him, a determination to keep going. Ambition has driven him in the past. Love, too, had steered his course. And now? Revenge. A desire for vengeance sings in his veins, nourishing his body, fueling his mind.

But even for a criminal mastermind, there are limits. And Oswald has clearly reached them. His recent near death experience, being held captive in a damp, cold cell with little to eat or drink, the constant adrenaline rush of being so near Edward again–these things have taken their toll. His knee, already stiff from scar tissue and irreparable damage to tendons and ligaments, will no longer bend even the slightest amount. There is no cane to brace his weight on, so he instead drags a shoulder against the wall of the cramped hallway they’re moving through, a service corridor of some kind. His breathing is labored, a harsh rasp too loud for their stealthy flight punctuated by the drag-tap of a leg he can barely pull forward.

His companion sighs and clicks his tongue impatiently, holding out an arm as a barrier to halt further progress. “Enough. Stop a moment.”

Oswald scowls; Edward can see the impatient descent of eyebrows, the tightening of lips, even though he betrays his perturbence with a soft sigh of relief, sagging against the wall. “Why are we stopping? We don’t have time for this.”

“I’ve allotted us six hours to escape and regroup, remember? By my calculations, about twenty five minutes have passed and we must be at least halfway through the building by now. That leaves us with more than enough time. If we keep going at this point, you’ll collapse. I won’t be able to carry you.” He kneels down, a graceful movement of long limbs. “Hand me the knife.”

“What? You must be joking,” the other man scoffs.

“Don’t be ridiculous. If I was going to kill you, I would have done so already.”

Oswald snorts. “Maybe. Or maybe you’d try and fail like you did before.”

“Just give me the knife, will you?”

A grimace of pain cuts any retort he might have made short, and the blade is relinquished. Edward tucks it beneath the pant leg of the prison suit and begins pressing the weapon upward, away from Oswald’s shin, jabbing and sawing at the rough fabric. “Damn Owls don’t spare any expense, even on the inmate jumpsuits,” he curses, struggling a few moments more before he succeeds in gouging a hole.

“What are you doing?”

“I need access to your leg. I can’t do what needs to be done properly with this material in the way.”

“What needs to be done?” There is a note of apprehension in the shorter man’s tone.

“I’ve done some reading on massage techniques. We’ve got to ease the tension on the muscles and ligamenture–”

“You did research on massage?” Oswald hisses in disbelief. “When?”

Edward shrugs the question away impatiently, gritting his teeth as he grasps the charcoal cloth along either side of the hole, tugging until the gash widens, the threads releasing beneath his force. It takes a few moments and the aid of the knife again before he’s satisfied with the tear he’s created that now runs ankle to mid thigh. “We need to find a place for you to sit down. Let me see where that door over there leads.”

“You’re insane,” Oswald growls, then instantly regrets his phrasing, the memories of Arkham Asylum still too near for both of them. “I mean, you’re–”

Edward pauses, fingers resting on the door handle. “I know,” he murmurs, glancing in his direction before pushing down.

The exit into the room is a discreet one, half hidden by a heavy curtain. Judging by the furnishings he’s discovered some kind of small parlor, complete with a sofa, a pair of armchairs, and a table laden with glasses and a crystal decanter filled with amber colored liquid.

“This’ll do.” He returns to Oswald, drawing one arm like a yoke around his neck while he leverages him away from the makeshift brace of the wall. His former employer might be several inches shorter than him, and certainly slender, but the true state of his condition is readily apparent by how little he can contribute in supporting his weight. Edward’s determined, however, shuffling along until the pair of men reach the nearest armchair.

It’s less than graceful, the descent into that inviting cushioned piece of furniture, but the task is completed and it’s time for the next one. Absentmindedly readjusting his glasses, Edward kneels again. He braces one hand below the puckered flesh encasing Oswald’s damaged knee and the other just above the ruined joint, slowly stroking upwards. “First I’m going to work on the muscles surrounding the joint, then we’ll get to the joint itself,” he reassures the other man, focusing on exerting the right amount of pressure.

“Okay,” Oswald agrees. His voice is shaking; his body, too, a tremor that vibrates right through his former assistant’s probing digits.

“Try to relax a bit,” he admonishes. The trembling grows worse every time his hand reaches Oswald’s mid thigh, the long fingers curving around to caress the soft flesh on the inner aspect. He repeats this process several times before changing techniques, now using the palm of his hand to push upward, shifting muscle until he can grasp it without pinching the skin. His eyes flicker upward to judge Oswald’s reaction. His breath is short and shallow, fingers tightly gripping the arms of the chair. “Am I hurting you?”

“No. No, it’s…” he falters, swallowing thickly. “You can continue.”

“Alright. That was petrissage. Now we’re going to try friction.” Edward’s middle fingers bracket either side of the knee and he begins massaging with just the tips, working in a circular motion around the joint. There’s something incredibly soothing about doing this, he decides; it’s almost hypnotizing, like being lulled into a trance. He’s completely lost track of time, his sharp mind suddenly gone soft and dull, a comfortable numbing quiet that’s eluded him for a long time.


It’s the name he’s forbidden use of, a single syllable that snaps him right back to reality. His fingers still and he looks at Oswald; really looks at him, at the spatter of blood from the guards they’ve killed together staining his cheeks and the dark shadows beneath his eyes. At the way his bottom lip is clutched, curling beneath his top row of teeth, the subconscious lean of his body forward, bringing him closer.

“Does it feel any better?” He must ask the question twice; his first attempt never moves past his lips, his mouth suddenly dry, tongue cleaved to his upper palate.

“Yes. Especially when you–” Oswald halts, shaking his head. “Why didn’t you just leave me behind? I’m only holding you back.”

“That wasn’t the agreement. Six hours, remember? Survive to fight each other another day.” His hand rests on Oswald’s thigh, no longer massaging, just draped over the pale flesh. “What were you going to say before? Especially when I…what?”

“I like it when you touch me.” The admission is followed by a gasp, as if he cannot believe he’s let that truth escape.

“I like touching you,” Edward replies softly, and there’s no gasp punctuating his statement. The curl of fingers tightens as he moves forward, hand dragging up and over skin and the rough border of fabric. He’s nearly to the crease of his groin when the muffled sound of voices nearby interrupts his progress. “We need to move, now. Do you think you can make it?”

Oswald nods, accepting the hands he’s offered to help him rise to his feet, more steady than he had been earlier.

“We’re getting out of here,” Edward vows, casting a quick glance at the door across from them before drawing his companion back into the shadowed recesses of the hallway. The door closes with a soft click behind them.

“And then what?” Oswald watches Edward pick up the crowbar he’d left behind earlier, testing the weight, becoming reaccustomed to the feel of cool metal, so different from his friend’s warm body.

“Then…we’ll see what happens.”

one hundred ways to say “I love you.”


“It looks good on you.”

The words are spoken so softly that at first John thinks he might have imagined it.  “What?”

He pauses and looks back, raising his eyebrows at the way Harold suddenly straightens.  Clearly, his employer hasn’t meant for the words to be heard.  John waits, half-amused and half-curious, as he observes the internal war in his employer’s features before they smoothen into something akin to resignation.

The corner of John’s mouth quirks.  Harold must have remembered his promise never to lie to John.  It’s not that he enjoys Harold’s discomfort, but it’s very rare that he catches the aloof and enigmatic man off guard, so like any trained soldier, John decides to press his advantage.  “What did you say, Finch?  I didn’t quite hear it.”

Harold peers at him from above his glasses, glinting eyes eerie in the way they’re scrutinising him, and John braces himself for the usual sarcasm, deflection, or dry remark.

He doesn’t expect the direct, gentle truth.

“Happiness,” Harold murmurs.  “It looks good on you.”

John is stunned as his own words are echoed back at him, soft and almost shy:

‘I woke up this morning and felt, took me a while to put my finger on it, but I felt happy.’

It’s been awhile since John has been sucker punched, but he hasn’t forgotten how it feels like.  It’s the first time, however, that it is delivered through words.

Then again, Harold Finch has always managed to disarm him in ways he never thought possible.  In ways he is all too willing to yield to—ways that he is terrified to examine too closely when he knows exactly what happens when he allows himself to want too much, selfishly.

(He ends up losing it, the source of his happiness, and he can’t, anymore, he can’t lose this—)

Harold is now walking toward him, face impassive, but even his glasses can’t hide the tenderness in his gaze.  John feels like there’s a bomb about to explode from inside his chest.

“I hope,” Harold says softly, “that it will be a permanent look on you, Mr. Reese.”

It takes John approximately seven seconds to realise that he has been holding his breath.  He hears Harold’s shuffling gait from behind him as the older man walks on.

Must be this job,’ he remembers saying earlier.  All the breath comes out of him in a rush, and he feels lightheaded and unmoored.  He sways on his feet as he turns around, seeking the one anchor he needs.

It’s not the job, he realises with sudden, blinding clarity, and the bomb inside his chest explodes.  It’s not just the job.

“Finch,” he tries to say, but the word gets caught in his throat.  He swallows thickly.  “Harold.”

He sees the other man pause and square his shoulders, as if bracing for impact.  Slowly, he turns around.  “Yes, John?”

John has never seen Harold look so vulnerable, as if John holds Harold’s life in his hands.  

(If he does, then he fiercely vows to protect it until his dying breath.)

Slowly, slowly, Harold raises his gaze to meet his… and the debris of John’s explosive happiness must have flown to his face because whatever it is that Harold sees there makes his eyes widen.

John smiles: soft, yielding, permanent.

“It looks good on you too.”

Christmas Can’t Wait (Peter Parker x reader)

Request: Hi I’d like to request one with Peter Parker where the reader and him are best friends that have eyes for each other but are too shy to say anything. The reader has a bad day and a terrible headache and Peter comforts her. Super fluff! Thank you!

“Ugh,” you groaned quietly, since the sound of even your own voice only made your head pound even more. You had been on the couch with your head buried under pillows and blankets to try to shield yourself from the sun that wouldn’t take the hint to leave you alone, and from the sounds of families running through the halls of your apartment building as they met for Christmas traditions.  It was like the universe and world around you had no idea of your suffering, and you couldn’t help but feel put out.  When a gentle knock sounded on your door, it echoed through the room like a sledgehammer striking, and you couldn’t believe the audacity of whoever was on the other side of it.

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This video is obviously staged. When you know mustelids and especially ferrets, well enough, you can catch onto a Polecat fraud immediately lol. 

So they’re calling this a European Polecat. However, it’s just a domestic ferret. There’s no way this is a wild polecat for many reasons. 

1) Pink Nose. European Polecats have black noses. Most ferrets have pink noses. Sometimes a ferret can have a black nose, especially the ferret x polecat crosses. But a pure polecat will not have a pink nose. 

2) The shuffling slow gait. My own ferrets walk this way when they’re in a new situation to explore. They keep their bodies low, and their movements look like they’re shuffling along while sniffing every single thing that brushes their face. EU Polecats are also much more nimble than domestic ferrets and more at ease in the environment they’re in. So they likely won’t be shuffling along slowly, but instead loping at a quick pace. 

3) The log hole is obviously pre-drilled. 

4) The face mask is a fine light V shape with a lightened face and light undercoat. That’s a domestic ferret trait. Polecats have very limited white marking. Usually just the chin, upper lip and their ear rims will be white while the rest of their body is black. 

Here’s footage of a true wild European Polecat to compare.

Captain America (Steve Rogers x reader)

You should write a story about the reader x Steve being in a relationship and hydra captures him on a mission and turns him back to pre-serum Steve. Then he is embarrassed to see the reader because he feels like she won’t love him since he’s not Captain America anymore. Do what you want with the ending.

“Did you find him?” you asked in a panic, running across the hangar, fighting the urge to shake the answer from Tony when he wasn’t giving it fast enough.  “Tony, please tell me that you found Steve.”

“(Y/N), you might want to sit down.”

“No,” you replied cautiously, taking a few slow steps forward, “I might want to hear what you have to say instead.”

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anonymous asked:

31 and 39 with Winteriron please? Lots of feels.

Here’s 31, and I will post 39 when I get it finished. :) This one came out to about 6500 words, so watch for the cut!

Thank you to @arukou-arukou and @jovanispoes for the beta!

31 – “I’m sorry I ended up falling for you”

The scenes played out of order, jumping from the blur of watching his tank slide closed around him, to a barren lot with a sky made of hanging clothing. When he looked down, he found himself on a glass floor surrounded by fire and water beyond. Steve was there, in the lot, on the glass floor. He remembered pulling Steve out of the water. He remembered aiming a rifle at Steve’s head. He remembered a dark road with the fog pressing in close. An explosion of sound, and his mark spilling out of the car, landing on his knees.

Sergeant Barnes?”

The confusion on his mark’s face. Familiar face. He remembered that he’d wanted to ask Who’s Sergeant Barnes? But he hadn’t. Couldn’t. He remembered grabbing the man’s hair to pull his head back, examining his face, wondering if his face was familiar because it was his mark, or because of Sergeant Barnes.

Bucky woke at the creak of a footstep. He remained still on the mattress, breathed steadily and deeply, eyes closed. It took three breaths to determine that the noise was outside the flat, on the stairwell, one floor below. He tracked the sound up the stairs and rolled off the pallet bed to the floor. His eyes flickered to the pair of floorboards concealing his backpack, and he mentally reviewed the three most accessible escape routes.

The footsteps resolved into the shuffling gait of his neighbor, coming back tired from work. He took three breaths and relaxed slowly, his legs extending out in front of him, his back coming to rest against the wall. His shoulders were tired. His back ached. He pressed his fingers against his eyes like it might alleviate the heavy pressure there.

“My name is Bucky,” he said out loud. The words barely passed his lips. He took in another breath and said again, “My name is Bucky. I was born in 1917. My mother’s name was Winifred.”

He slid his journal off the upside-down crate that served for a bedside table. Colored tabs made soft tickticktick noises as he brushed his thumb over them. He continued reciting facts, things he knew about himself, but didn’t know. They were facts that he’d read in museum exhibits, library books, History channel specials caught in bits and pieces in hotel rooms and coffee shops. The brochure from the Smithsonian display slid out from between the pages and landed at an angle in his lap. Captain America stared at him from the page, but it was just a picture.

The dreams brought the memories closer. Sometimes it was Steve, but usually as a boy, small with skinned knees, dirt on his face, defiance in his eyes. Sometimes it was Captain America, a figure too big to touch, perfect and distant like a monolith. More often lately, it was Howard Stark on his knees, his expression equal parts confusion, recognition, amazement. The fear hadn’t come until the very end.

Bucky hadn’t remembered who Howard was until the Smithsonian exhibit. The photograph of a young man pictured next to a hovering car had triggered a sense of recognition in him. A more recent picture of an older man leaning against a model of buildings and tiny trees had shown the face of his nightmare. Howard Stark: Visionary, the caption had read.

He’d sound so lost and confused when he’d asked, “Sergeant Barnes?”

Bucky opened the notebook to a new page and added a new aspect from the dream: a silver briefcase. He couldn’t identify whether it was memory or a construct of his subconscious. His dreams blended often. Sometimes he went into battle with the small boy Steve had been beside him. Sometimes he went with Steve as he’d been After, but Steve was dressed as one of The Soldier’s handlers. In his dreams, they’d gone on missions to Brooklyn to assassinate classrooms of Nazis, had gone on massive assaults with the 107th to free prisons full of clowns. His dreams weren’t always reliable sources of information.

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hey guys!!! here’s a little blind!76 drabble for you, i’m definitely going to revisit this ASAP and work through it a little more– add some detail, make it a bit longer, i MIGHT try to make it a multichapter if you think it’s worth it?? i know there’s already another REALLY stellar one floating around tho, so it might just remain what it is c: let me know if you enjoyed it, please please give me your thoughts on how i could improve!!

gonna put it under a cut here so i don’t clutter up dashes too much C:

edit: okay i found the mastermind behind blind!76, the absolutely wonderful and creative @visor76 / hawkefeathers (it wouldn’t let me tag u either but i stuck a link in there i hope that’s okay) !!!! thank you so much for this beautiful suffering i am endlessly grateful.

please go check out their stuff and give them love for this glorious idea!!!!

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Abnormal Gait Exam : Parkinsonian Gait Demonstration (by onlinemedicalvideo)

  • Loss of DOPAMINERGIC neurons from substancia nigra: decreased direct pathway & increased indirect pathway
  • Lewy bodies
  • Causes: infections, vascular, toxic insults (MPTP)side effects of antipsycotic drugs (dopamine R blockers)
  • Bradykinesia: difficulty to initiate movement.
  • Cogwheel rigidity: reticulospinal fibers are overfired bc of less cortex activation
  • Pillrolling (resting) tremor: if dopamine decreases, ACh increases.
  • Shuffling gait: short, uncertain steps, with minimal flexion and toes dragging.
  • Festinating gait: trunk is flexed, legs are flexed at the knees and hips, but stiff; the steps are short and progressively more rapid.
  • Stooped posture
  • Masked face
  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Tx: L-Dopa (crosses BBB), anticholinergic drugs (Benzotropine, Trihexyphenidyl)

anonymous asked:

Sorry, I've accidentaly sent the uncomplete question! So, Eponine/Gavroche/Montparnasse living together and meeting Jehan for the first time as Mont's boyfriend, how do the Thenardier react?

The morning light hit Eponine’s face like a thousand bricks. Not this again. Not this whole “waking up and being an adult” bullshit. Eponine let out a grunt of protest and threw the blanket over her head, furiously hugging her pillow against her face. It was safe to say she wasn’t a morning person.

Her brother, on the other hand, was. He was a unique specimen of twelve year old who didn’t hibernate until noon. Gavroche woke up with the sun, much to Eponine’s annoyance. She could hear him trotting barefoot on the lino. They’d have to have a serious talk about wearing slippers.

Groaning all the way, Eponine dragged herself out of bed, slipped on her bathrobe and rubbed any remanant of slumber off her face. Gavroche was already in the kitchen watching cartoons when she stepped into the room.

“Morning,” he said, keeping his eyes on the TV. He tried to guide a spoonful of cereal into his mouth without looking, and half of the milk dribbled down his pyjama top. Eponine smiled at that and leaned against the counter, looking at the screen.


Yesterday’s dishes were still drying on the rack. Sluggishly, Eponine started putting away the cutlery in the right drawer, then the cups, and the plates. She was in the middle of tidying up, a plate raised above her head, when she spotted a figure over her shoulder. Eponine froze.

Prouvaire was standing in her kitchen, wearing what she recognised as one of Montparnasse’s t-shirts which rolled down to their thighs. Gavroche had stopped slurping his milk. The noises of the cartoons sounded suddenly eery in the otherwise dead silent kitchen. Prouvaire didn’t look at them. They didn’t even seem all that awake, with their heavy lids and shuffling gait. Eponine watched them open a cupboard and take out a box of cereals, hugging it against them as they turned around.

“Jehan?” Gavroche called, his eyes wide.

No response. Prouvaire sleepwalked their way out of the kitchen with heavy steps, unbothered by the bewildered looks on their trail. The door of Montparnasse’s bedroom clicked behind them. Shook, Eponine put the plate down, still looking at where Prouvaire had stood.

“What the fuck?”

“What the fuck indeed.”

The light was more agreable in Montparnasse’s bedroom, considering there was none. Jehan made their way back to the bed blindly, and crawled under the cover against the warm body waiting for them there. Instantly, Montparnasse rolled a lazy arm around their waist.

“Here you are,” he mumbled sleepily, snuzzling his head in the crook of their neck.

davii0  asked:

When Papyrus talks about how Frisk "shambles about from place to place" I thought he meant like how we have to grind in the genocide route, so we keep moving from one side to the other to force encounters

(undertale spoilers)

While that is one possible interpretation, it implies that Papyrus is personally watching the human grind to kill monsters. This seems unlikely because if Papyrus witnessed the human kill monsters then he’d certainly have more to say then just commenting on “dusty powder.” Plus, Papyrus appears to spend more time preparing his puzzles than watching the human. 

Furthermore, the word “shamble” refers to moving with a slow, shuffling, awkward gait, not a pacing back and forth. This is a rather oddly specific word to use to describe how the human is moving! It implies that something might be wrong with the human’s body – this is why with other clues from the game, we conclude that this is a sign of Chara’s growing control over Frisk.

kitsunesongs  asked:

Void!Stiles/Stiles "I like when you smile." Or, if you don't feel like that pairing, Steter, same quote?

I’ve been meaning to write something along these lines for a while, so thanks for the prompt!

The Best Presents

The scary thing is, everything could have gone so terribly wrong. If Stiles had done anything other than what he did, said anything to the kitsune than what he’d said, his world would have become a bloodbath.


He’d been scared – terrified of the foreign presence he could feel at the edge of his perception. Lydia Martin in his bed had been the first clue, but she was a figment of his imagination: this was not. Bright lights burnt around the nematon, and but for the crunch of leaves under bare feet Stiles could mistake himself for walking across a football stadium.

It has to be a dream. He could pull himself out of it, scream awake like he’d been doing for the last week…but when had ignoring anything or running away solved his problems lately?

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kvincsky  asked:

Destiel --> "Cas, please don't go, I-"

Dean fell back against the door. “I can’t do this alone.”

Castiel peered at Dean in that analytical way before nodding at the door behind him. “Get out of my way, Dean.” 

“It’s not supposed to be like this,” he said, frustrated, still blocking Cas’ way. “You’re supposed to forgive me. I told you, I’m sorry. But I couldn’t let you die, not even to save them.”

The way Castiel’s eyebrows drew together, the way he couldn’t meet Dean’s eyes, the nervous shuffle in his gait; it all told Dean that he still had a chance. 

“I love you,” Dean murmured, eyes turned to the ceiling. “Don’t you understand that? I love you. You can’t go.”

There was a long stretch of silence, one that left Dean feeling weak and panicked. But when he chanced a look back down at Cas, the angel was staring at him.

“Are you familiar with Matthew 18:21?” Castiel asked. His voice was the loudest thing in the room aside from Dean’s heartbeat. The blank expression on Dean’s face was apparently enough to push Castiel to continue. 

“Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘How many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?’”

Dean swallowed hard.

Castiel stepped closer. His fingers were crackling with unspent grace and they sparked as he lifted his hand to Dean’s cheek. “But Jesus answered, ‘Not seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’” 

“Why are you telling me this?” Dean voice cracked as he spoke. The grace from Castiel’s hand was cool on his heated skin and he wanted desperately to lean into it. He restrained himself and instead tried to read the future in Cas’ eyes. 

“Because even as faithless as you are,” Castiel began tilting his head up and moving into Dean’s space, “even as frustratingly impulsive, narrow-minded, and stubborn you are…” 

Dean let out a short, quiet breath when Castiel kissed him. 

“Despite all that, you are constantly reminding me of what it is to be Holy.”

With Our Backs to the Wall (The Darkness Will Fall) - Chapter 12

(Everybody look at the pretty cover callistawolf made me! Talent! I’ve been secretly dying for one since the first couple of chapters in.)

Summary: Oliver returns from 5 years in the Army to find home very different than he left it and his little sister’s best friend, Felicity Smoak, all grown up. When a threat is made on Felicity’s life, keeping her at arms length isn’t as easy as Oliver thought it would be.

Rating: M

Paring: Olicity

Tags: Army AU, Age Difference AU

AO3: here

FF: here

Chapter 12: And the Cracks Begin to Show

Note: This chapter dedicated to bowsinherhair because I love her and was torturing her with snippets of it all week.

Felicity’s outfit: Oliver’s office


“Oliver Queen speaking.”

The eager voice of his assistant intern greats him on the other end of the line.

“Hi, Mr. Queen. Just reminding you of your meeting with Bertinelli in an hour and that brief performance review with the head engineer on the DefenseTech project in fifteen.”

How could he possibly forget?

“Thanks, Barry. Anything else?”

“Uhm, yeah, Felicity is here to see you with those technical diagnostics from IT.”

“Great. Send her in.”

A smile lights Oliver’s face as he hears the click of heels in the hallway, increasing in volume as the woman they belong to gets closer to his office. He would recognize her gait anywhere. Shuffling the papers on his desk around into a semi-straightened pile, Oliver stuffs them into a Manila folder and sets them aside on the corner of his desk. The door swings open as Felicity enters, file in hand, before shutting it and making her way over to the side of Oliver’s desk.

“Mr. Queen, I have those files from IT about the hard wiring and systems diagnostics. We ran a few tests on the RAM speed and anti-tampering technology of some of the prototypes to test for glitches in the digital circuits. Additionally, we thought it a good idea to program a second power unit as a sort of back up generator in the central processor to avoid race condition faults. And why are you looking at me like that?”

He isn’t aware he’s giving her any sort of look, just that he doesn’t understand what half of those words meant yet finds it a complete turn on when she uses them.

“Like what?”

“Like you want to eat me.”

Oliver stands from his chair, extending a hand to accept the file from her. He haphazardly tosses it onto his desk before taking Felicity’s hand and drawing her into him.

When she’s close enough to touch, Oliver slides a hand around her waist and leans down to whisper in her ear.

“Maybe I do.”


Submitted by:

Story length: Super Long

Despite the fact that technology is neither intrinsically good nor bad, there will always be the potential to do harm. At least, that’s what Lou thought as he watched the customers waiting outside the doors of his workplace, shivering not only from the cold bite of the night air on the November wind, but also with a Pavlovian anticipation akin to a greyhound held behind the gate at a dog track. The reason behind this display was the release of the most recent model of smart phones.

Lou stood at his register and gazed through the doors, the same as he did every time he worked during a midnight release; lost in thought as he tried to determine why so many people were drawn in such a fashion to wait hours on end for something so very trivial as a representation of status. This was the conclusion he had originally come to, but over the course of the years since, that reasoning had gradually become less than satisfactory. 

He was also unsure of why he himself couldn’t feel a similar urge. Whether his immunity could be attributed to biology or apathy brought about by his profession, he had never seen reason enough to spend what would amount to approximately one week’s wages. This consideration did however bring the question of the type of lifestyle that would allow such discretionary use of income and time to the forefront of Lou’s mind, and perhaps how it might account for the actions of the crowd that was rhythmically surging and receding at a quickening rate outside the doors in a near fluid manner as the clock approached midnight.

Lou was disturbed from his thoughts by a sudden tapping on his shoulder from behind. He turned around and was faced with his coworker, Brittany. 

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