i don’t want to start discourse but i want to talk about two things in soc/ck that bother me. i love these books and they’re some of my favorites ever, but i want to briefly address these things:
the invalidation of matthias’s religion inej is the team’s other religious member, but never is her religion discredited like matthias’. kaz mocks inej for praying and believing in the Saints, but no one else does. matthias’s Djel, sacred rituals, and sacred places are publicly defaced, defamed, and ridiculed by the other crows. an he just?? rolls with it?? of course many of matthias’s beliefs were extremely prejudiced and he has to unlearn them - but he shouldn’t give up his entire religion for it. as a religious person, its hard for me to read such treatment of religion. inej remains as strong in her faith as ever throughout the books. i was expecting matthias to change his views on the treatment of grisha and find that it was compatible with the idea of Djel as the wellspring of life. after soc, he kinda… idk how else to say it??? abandons his religion?? idk im just really sick of religion ridiculed or portrayed as false or wrong in some way. ALSO nina not respecting his “prudish” desire for chastity?? if a girl didn’t want to do courtship a certain way and the guy forced a more sensual relationship on her, people would lose their minds. but when the guy doesn’t want something and the girl puts it on him anyway its ok?? like…. idk man
inej desiring physicality from kaz this ends up resolved somewhat, because when inej first makes her statement to have him without armor, she doesn’t know what kaz has been through. she doesnt understand why he can’t touch, which (i think) is why she makes that demand. she didn’t know how much that demand would cost him. she asks for him without gloves, without full clothes, with lips that can touch hers. and that is something he may never be able to give. does she understand that even though everything he can give is “not enough” he may never be able to give more? not at that point. the armor she should be asking him to remove is the mental and emotional barriers around his mind and heart. i guess her perspective changes after he helps her with her bandages and when he holds her hand, and i think then she understands that they can never have physical relationship and there are certain traumas that will always stay with him. she acknowledges that the important thing is that he tried. and he makes progress for her. the ending of crooked kingdom is a beginning, really. its the first time kaz can touch inej undebilitated and it’s when she understands that this is how their relationship is going to be and. it. is. ok. that. he. can’t. touch. he can’t give her all of himself but he can meet her partway and that is his 100% and it is enough. the mental and emotional armor is gone. that is what needed to change about kaz, not his inability to touch.
The thing that killed me about this ep was how clearly Betty and Jughead’s insecurities came out.
Betty feels like she has be perfect, but deep down she thinks she’s twisted and broken and is tired of being put on a pedestal. She throws Jug a birthday party he doesn’t want because she wants to pretend like she can be normal and good and useful.
Jughead, on the other hand, has always been an outcast. His family struggles with money, his dad is a deadbeat and he’s been bullied his whole life for being different. He acts like he accepts his strangeness, but he really feels like people can’t love him because of it and that they will only leave him once they realize who he is. He lashes out at Betty because he’s terrified of her coming to that conclusion on her own.
Both of them don’t feel worthy. They both feel too damaged and are projecting. Jug doesn’t really think that Betty is too perfect, (he said as much in ep six), he’s just afraid she’ll realize he’s not. And Betts doesn’t think that Jughead is bad or too abnormal, (she trusts him and supports him in spite of his family’s rep). They just push those insecurities into the earlier events to try and spare themselves pain.
But then at the end of the episode they come back together and show one another these fears. Jughead admits he’s scared to be rejected yet again, that he isn’t used to people being nice to him and Betty reveals that she is struggling emotionally and that she thinks that there is something wrong with her. They open up and communicate and fall back together easily because the truth is they do accept each other, even if no one else does. This is why I love them so much. This episode was amazing for their growth as characters and as a couple.
wait so if there have been 10 other kids before eleven then i want us to find out by watching the boys talk to eleven and one of them (cough dustin) is like hey el wanna hear a joke and she’s like ok?????? and then he goes “why was six afraid of seven” ?????? “because seven eight nine” and eleven’s just like wait what??? how did you find out???? that was top secret??????
“Hello,” I stand in front of all of
them and bow, “I’m Insoo.”
“Hello!” Chanyeol answers back
eagerly from where he sits with his brothers on the couch. Eleven pairs of eyes
are staring at me, six waiting on edge, afraid of what could be going on, the
other five want to hear about my past from my own mouth. The silver haired
giants wide smile keeps my heart from pounding out of my chest, I give him a
“It’s nice to meet all of you, I’m
sorry for looking like a mess on our first meeting, I wasn’t expecting to be
meeting anyone new,” I apologize awkwardly and I run my fingers through my
“You look beautiful,” Luhan offers
me a sweet smile.
“The others had neglected to mention
that there were move of you so, again, I apologize for the very bad
introduction I’m giving, I would have prepared better or at least talked with
my pack to see what they said yesterday. I’m not really sure how I should
explain this, can Jin hyung come up and help me?” I look to Kris.
He shakes him head, “I’m sorry
little wolf, I would like to keep the fighting to a minimum and having him up
here would cause a fight. We are very possessive men Love, I let you stay with
them yesterday because you wouldn’t let him go after you passed out. If you
need someone to help or lean on I’m right here and so is Yixing, we’ve got
“But it’s different,” I protest
lightly, “You don’t know all of it.”
“Please just try and explain a
little bit so the others will be more willing to understand why you need
another man to hold your hand.”
I take a deep breath, “Okay, Ge,
He chuckles, “That is all I ask.”
“Okay, when I was a little girl, I
was kidnapped by the blood red army.” The new comers eyes are wide with
surprise, their mouths hang up ready to question everything.
“You were kidnapped?” Suho repeats.
I nod, “When I was nine years old.”
“The army has been wiped out for
thirty years,” Kyungsoo’s brows furrow, “How old are you? How long were you
“I am 115 years old, so I was is
the army for about 76 year? That sounds about right, it was a lot harder to
tell how many days would pass back then,” I laugh awkwardly to try and defuse
the intense atmosphere I feel beginning to grow.
I suddenly feel my knees buckle
under me when I feel the air become thicker around me, “You were stuck with
those bastards for 76 years?” Chanyeol seethes. The others want to glare at the
younger but are struggling to keep their own anger in check.
Kris is on his feet hanging over
me, his hands are on my shoulders keeping me from going on all fours, “Chanyeol
calm down right now or I swear to god I will kick you out.”
The silver haired giant growls back
at the older, “How can you be so calm Hyung? How can any of you be calm when
our mate was used as a sex slave for some of the most disgusting men in the
world? Do you remember the rumors of what they would do to the omegas that they
caught? Their soldiers were pieces of shit monsters who would rather kill
innocent people than die themselves. Can you imagine what could have happened
“Chanyeol you are only making
things worse!” Suho snaps back in an obviously restrained voice. “Look at what
you are doing to her, she is just an omega, you are putting too much pressure
on her. Calm down.”
Just an omega. I remove Kris’s
hands from my shoulders and stand up on my own two feet, ignoring the trembling
of my knees and my shaking hands. I straighten my shoulders, trying my best to
fight against my natural instinct and just burry my face in Kris’s neck. I
don’t cower, I have already cowered and submitted more in the last three day
than I have for the last 100 years of my life. I not some weakling. The new
comers are arguing amongst themselves, too busy trying to protect me to
actually notice me right now.
“Suho hyung is right,” Chen voices
his concern, “Bringing it up also doesn’t help. We don’t want her to have to
late for that, I think to myself, I’ve
been reliving my past every night in my dreams since I was freed.
“So are we just supposed to pretend
like it didn’t happen?” Luhan scoffs, “This isn’t just something we can
“How do we handle something like
this?” Suho worries.
Kyungsoo and Minseok are both
staring at the ground, their eyes fixed on the wood, their hands are on their
knees, gripping them so tight their knuckles are white. As much as they are
trying to control their angry I can feel it seeping out of them. All of them
are too focused on their anger and how to handle me that they don’t notice my
sudden change of attitude. But the others do, Baekhyun, Jongin, Sehun, Yixing
and Kris all watch me with both interest and worry.
“You have it all wrong,” I mumble
“What?” The six look up at me.
“I was not a sex slave, I was a
soldier.” The others share a knowing look.
Kyungsoo is the first to question
it, for the first time I see some kind of emotion on his face, though whether
it is concern or anger I’m not sure, “You were a soldier? That’s impossible,
they wouldn’t allow a female omega to be a soldier.”
“That’s because they didn’t know,
I’ve been hiding my gender my whole life, well since I was nine.”
“How could you have been a
soldier?” Chanyeol scoffs, “You couldn’t hurt a fly. You are so tiny, look how
fragile you are, you could barely stand with me being upset, how could you be
in an army full of powerful alphas?”
“I’m stronger than you think,” I
snap back, taking the others by surprise. “This has be been a hard couple of
days for me, this is all so new for me. I’m used to attacking people before
they have the chance to use their dominance on me, so I hope you’ll understand
unless you would prefer me to use my old tactics.”
“You would attack people?” Chen
My heart actually hurts when I see
the concern and guilt on his face but I have to continue on with my poker face,
“I did what I had to do.”
I lock eyes with Minseok who’s cat
like ones are narrowed on me, “There is a cost to join, isn’t there?”
I stiffen, “A cost?”
Kyungsoo’s eyes go wide, “Your
“The cost to join is killing your
parents with your own two hands,” Jin surprises the room by chiming in. He
stands in the doorway, ignoring the death glares he is getting from my mates and
casually munches on an apple.
“What are you doing up here?” Kris
“I was ease dropping, when I heard
about the cost I figured Insoo might need a little extra support,” Jin explains
with a glare of his own.
“We are here for her,” Yixing
Jin cocks a brow at him, “Are you
sure? You may want to ask some of your other pack members before you start
yelling about that.” I look out amongst my mates and feel a ping in my chest.
They look so cold. I take a step away from Kris and wrap around myself, trying
to hold myself together.
“You didn’t do it did you?” Chen
suddenly questions me.
Before I have a chance to answer
Chanyeol sneers back, “Of course she didn’t!”
I chuckle humorlessly, “What makes
you so sure? Because I’m an omega? Because I’m a girl?”
“Because our mate could never do
something that cruel,” He snaps back. A burning feeling spreads through my
chest, I’m struggling to breath once again. But this isn’t his dominance taking
over me, it’s rejection.
I glare at him back at him, boiling
with anger I seethe back, “Well than I guess I’m not your mate because I did
kill my own parents. Sorry if that destroys the perfect little image you had of
your mate in your head but I did what I had to do to survive.”
“But they forced you right?” Sehun
hopes before looking over at Jin, “He forced you to do it! You had no choice.”
I look over at the older with apologetic eyes, he’s always being troubled
because of me. I guess this wasn’t discussed yesterday from not just Sehun’s
reaction but the other four as well.
Jin doesn’t argue, he doesn’t have
to, we’ve had this conversation a million times so I give the same answer I
always tell myself and anyone else who asks, “I had a choice.”
“No you didn’t,” Jongin agrees, the
others nod along with him.
I shake my head, “There is always a
choice. Jin hyung gave me two just like he gave everyone else, just like I did
with everyone after I was recruited.”
That seems like too much for Jongin
to understand, “How could you do something like that to your own parents? How
could you make children do the same?”
“Would you rather her be dead?” Jin
questions with his eyebrows raised. “Because that is what her other option consisted
of if case you were wondering.”
“How could make her do something
like that? Why didn’t you help her?” Baekhyun explodes.
“I’ve done more for that child than
any of you will ever know. I watched her struggle for years, offered her my
shoulder to cry on and my arms to sleep in. I protected her from a world that
would have eaten her up and spit her out so don’t you ever tell me I didn’t
help her. She had to make the same decision as me and the rest of our pack,
your own life or theirs. She did what she needed to do to survive in this
world, so get your asses off your high horses and ask yourself, where were you
when she needed you? What were you doing, huh? Last time I checked you were
more infamous than us. Your life wasn’t on the line when you made that choice to
bathe in the same blood as us so don’t you dare judge us. Just answer my
question: would you rather have her dead than have her as the warrior she is?
But make sure to answer wisely, say the wrong thing and we can be gone.”
The whole room is brought to their
feet when Kris suddenly has Jin by the throat, slammed hard up against the
wall. “You will not be taking my mate anywhere!” The giant roars as he looms
over the shorter. I stare dumbstruck, I’ve never felt someone this mad before.
As scared as I feel right now though, I find it strongly comforting that he is
this mad about me, all my mates are right now actually.
Jin is surprisingly able to push
the other away, rage burning in his eyes, “I will not be leaving my Insoo anywhere she doesn’t feel
wanted so the rest of your pack needs to buck the fuck up and take
responsibility for making her feel like they would rather have her dead than
how she is now!”
Jin’s words just hang in the air,
my heart is out there with them waiting to be completely torn apart by whatever
harsh words come out of their mouths. I wait for more denial and blame, I wait
for their eyes to leave the wood floor and come back to meet mine with nothing
but a heartbreaking chill. Instead I meet cat like ones that have sweet warmth
to them, “I’m sorry we weren’t there for you. I’m sorry you had to go through
all of that. I’m sorry for hurting you, for looking at you so coldly, for not
welcoming you in my arms for better or worse.” Minseok comes around the coffee
table to stand only a few feet from me. “Can we try again?”
I nod and take a step closer to the
older, “I would really like that.”
“Is it alright if I hug you?”
Again I nod.
“Thank god, I’ve been wanting to do
this since I got home,” He sighs in relief before pulling me into his arms and
burring his face in my neck. The tension seems to fade away allowing me to let
out my own sigh of relief.
“Good,” Jin claps his hands
together, “now that all this stuff is out of the way I have a cranky pup who
would like to see his favorite hyung.”
I snuggle deeper into Minseok’s
embrace and inhale his scent, “Give me a minute.”
“I want to hug her!” Chanyeol
whines as he comes forward as well. I sigh but release the eldest hyung before
allowing the younger to lift me up to his height to inhale his sweet scent.
Cake, the man literally smells like cake and it is driving me insane by
reminding me of the emptiness of my stomach.
“Are we each doing a round or am I
excused?” I wonder when the giant sets me down.
“I would like to have a turn if
that’s okay little wolf,” Luhan’s voice is soft and sweet.
“Me too!” Chen appears behind him
with a Cheshire grin.
“Form a line, form a line,” I order
as the others from earlier also join in for a hug. They each take their time
holding me close, I enjoy each new embrace, my mind already forgetting the
fighting from only a moment ago. When everyone has had their turn, I look to
Kris for an okay to go see my pack. “May I be excused?”
Jin chuckles as he comes to stand
next to me, “So polite now, aren’t we?”
“You have twenty minutes but than
you need to take a bath, you are still a little cold,” Kris places his large
warm hands on my cheeks in a quick attempt to get rid of their chill. He lets
me go with a deep sigh before waving us away.
“Did you actually take a bath by
yourself yesterday?” Jin wonders as we turn to leave the room, “That’s a
I nod, “It was really weird so I
asked Yixing hyung to come in so he laid on the floor.”
Jin chuckles, we reach the stairs,
“Poor man. It’s a shame now though, Jungkook has to bathe with Jimin and Tae
now that his usual partner is gone, he is very upset about it.”
“Who the hell is Jungkook?”
Chanyeol roars from behind us, “And why the hell is he taking a bath with you?”
Jin and I rush down the stairs to find our pack lounging around the massive
basement, Tao is sitting in a chair close to the stairs on his phone. He looks
up upon our arrival and quickly jumps to his feet.
“Insoo-ya!” He greets with a big
smile and a tight hug. I return the hug with a quick glance over my shoulder
when I hear a crowd following us.
“Hyung!” The three youngest greet
me happily. I thank Tao and even give him a quick kiss on the cheek before
rushing to my pack to give them each a hug before the moment is ruined. I hug
the older boys first since they are the more dominate of the group knowing my
mates would hate it a fraction less if I was hugging the pups.
“My pup!” I coo when I finally
reach Jungkook at the same time my mates reach the bottom of the stairs. Growls
erupt from where they stand but I don’t release Jungkook. Looking over my
shoulder I give them a forced smile, “This is my pack.”
“Well it is nice to meet you,”
Namjoon greets a bit awkwardly.
“You are the head alpha?” Minseok
Namjoon can’t hide the bit of
offense he takes from the question but quickly recovers and straightens his
shoulders, “I am.”
Minseok nods as he scans Namjoon
head to toe before looking over at Jin who is hovering around Jungkook and I,
“I figured from the way this man was acting he would be in charge.”
“I thought the same thing when I
saw you,” Jin snaps back, “but I guess we think the same thing, why bother with
being in charge when it’s only more work? I had my work cut out for me with my
pup and my grand pup.”
“True,” Namjoon ads on with a
chuckle, trying to make the conversation more light, “He had his hands full
with making sure these two didn’t get into any trouble.”
“What kind of trouble could she get
into?” Baekhyun wonders.
I chuckle as I release my pup and
awkwardly rub the back of my neck, “More than you could ever guess.”
“Insoo-ya,” Sehun waves me over, I
give my pack a small smile before obeying. Sehun pulls me close the moment I’m
in his reaching distance and wraps his arms around my shoulder, keeping me at
his side. “I’d prefer it if you stayed by us.”
I cock my head in confusion looking
to a smirking Jin for an explanation that he happily gives, “He’s jealous
“Can you really blame us though?”
Jongin comes to stand on my other side, “We’ve barely been able to spend time
with her then the hyungs came back and now you are all here taking all of her
love and affection and attention.”
“You can’t just expect her to be
able to focus on you and only you with twelve mates. Also,” Yoongi clicks his
tongue, “it has only been a day since she met you, you didn’t honestly expect
her to just throw herself in your arms the moment you meet.”
“That is how is works!” Sehun
corrects with a stomp of his foot like a spoiled child, “She is supposed to feel
the same automatic connection that we all feel where we can’t imagine living
without each other.”
“How do you know she doesn’t feel
it?” Jungkook mumbles taking all of us off guard, the pup usually never enters
a conversations when other alphas are involved, especially ones so old and
powerful. But at the same time my pack and I understand his sudden out burst,
when it comes to me Jungkook can be a wild card.
I lock eyes with the younger and
warn him softly, “Be careful with your words pup, I don’t want to start another
“But Hyung they seem so ungrateful
for all the things you are doing,” he protests.
“Ungrateful?” Kris snarls, taking a
step forward hands clenching tightly at his sides, making the younger step
I pull away from Sehun to stand in
between them, “Don’t you even think about raising a hand to my pup.”
Kris’s frustration with not only my
pack but me as well show in his eyes, “How can you stand there and let them say
that we are ungrateful to you?”
“Because you all stand there glaring
at us like we’ve done something wrong!” Jungkook snarls at them. “All we have
done is loved her while you were all too preoccupied running around the forest
slaughtering people for fun. We are her family, who you are keeping from her,
because your desire to keep her to yourself seems to be more important than
what she wants.”
I turn around to face the younger
with a poor attempt at a stern face to scold the boy but when I see his eyes
are red from holding in tears I can’t hold my self back from hugging him.
“Kookie,” I coo holding the boy closer, his face tucked into the crook of my
neck, “What in the world has gotten into you?”
“I’m so sorry Hyung,” He cries
softly, “I just…I’m sorry…but you were my hyung first and now they can come and
just take you away, how is that fair? I know they are your mates but they won’t
appreciate you as much as I do.”
I shush him, “Everything is going
to be okay, please calm down.”
“It’s not going to be okay! They
are going to make us leave as soon as they can so they can have you all to
themselves. I don’t want to leave you behind, I can’t imagine my life without
“Kookie, look at me,” I command
take the boy by his puffy cheeks. He stares at me with a cute pout, “I’m only
going to tell you this once, okay?”
“I love you, you know I will always
love all of you. You are my pup and I am your mama wolf, okay? Just because I
have my mates doesn’t mean I love you guys any less. You are not getting out of
my life even if you wanted to, we are family which means we are always
connected. Now stop crying okay?”
He gives me a small smile, “Yes,
“Good,” I kiss he forehead before
pulling away and flicking him in the same stop on his head.
“Ah,” He whines, “Hyung that hurt.
What was that for?”
“That is for talking back to my
mates. I don’t ever want you to talk back to a powerful alpha again, we won’t
always be able to protect you from getting your ass beat. I know they are being
possessive and a little crazy but this is a lot for them to handle. As I
remember you didn’t have the calmest reaction when you found out I was a girl
so give them a break. I have a lot more baggage than most omegas, it not like I
had one or two problems in my life that they have to deal with. I’m a bucket of
crazy with a lot of blood on my hands so give them more than an hour to fully
understand that, okay?”
Hey cutie, I have a request for a drabble - I wanna see more of Sirius Black arguing with a feisty Slytherin girl and then accidentally making out with her because angry chemistry is the best chemistry. (don't feel you have to use this if it doesn't work for you) 😘 xx
“Black! If you push me one more time!” you exclaimed in the middle of the busy hallway. This had made exactly 4 times this week Sirius Black’s shoulder had collided with yours. Not to mention all the times he had done to over the last six years.
“I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about, love” he chirped, turning to face you. “But if it’s such a bother, maybe watch where you’re going.”
“You think because you’re good looking, you can just treat me any way you want?” He raised an eyebrow at your question. “Well, you’re a right tosser, Black!” You huffed, turning on your heels. But something had stopped you mid turn. A hand this time. His hand.
“I’m good looking?” he questioned, grinning while he ran his fingers over your green and silver tie.
“That’s all you got out of what I said?” You rolled your eyes, entirely exasperated with him. Even though you were rightfully annoyed with him, you found it hard to keep on your way and move from him. You stood staring at him for a moment, his grey eyes studying every part of your face.
“I just mean if you think I’m so good looking…” he began, his fingers intertwining with yours.
“Oh for Merlin’s sake! Will you let me be if I take it back?” you pleaded, still annoyed, but still not willing to release his hand.
“I’ll let you be if you follow me into this empty classroom and let me snog you,” he leaned down and whispered in your ear. Your jaw dropped slightly in disbelief, unsure whether to hit him or follow him. But before you had really made up your mind, you were following him behind a large wooden door. The minute the latch clicked shut, he had pushed you up to the wall, his lips eager on yours. Instinctively, your fingers dart to his thick, dark hair. His tongue begged you for permission to enter. You readily let him in, moaning into his kiss.
“For the record, I’m not a tosser,” he said, pulling away slightly from your mouth, his breathing deep.
“Oh shut up,” you laughed, your mouth on his once again.
20: Of course you’re dating the person you told me not to worry about.
You know when you go the extra mile for something just to realize it’s probably not nearly as exciting to other people as it is to you yeah that’s how I feel like this is gonna be lmao but I hope someone likes it.
Word Count: 1624
“Ashton, turn that shit off,” Luke calls from the front counter, laughing despite his aggressive request.
A-Ha’s “Take On Me” blasts over the music store’s sound system, so loud it almost drowns out Ashton’s voice from the storage room when he shouts back, “You can’t kill the 80s, Luke!”
“I can kill you,” Luke lightheartedly threatens, unlocking his phone in search of a pastime. Business is slow this afternoon. Not that it’s particularly booming any other day, but usually someone who still believes in records would’ve come in and shopped around by now.
The next song selection doesn’t veer from the decade, but the genre is one that Luke can at least tolerate. Ashton comes out of the storage room bearing what looks to be a heavy box and heaves it onto the counter, dust literally exploding off of it.
“What’s that?” Luke asks.
Ashton peels apart the flaps and peeks inside. “Old VHS tapes,” he says, digging one out. It’s a copy of The Breakfast Club in its original cardboard sleeve. “Boss wants us to start selling them again.”
“Oh, great,” Luke mocks excitement, knowing they’re never going to get rid of them. He takes The Breakfast Club from Ashton’s hand and reads the back of the case.
As Ashton begins unloading the movies, the store’s entrance brings forth the first customer of the day. He glances up in the middle of his task, a strange noise getting caught in his throat when he realizes who’s just walked in.
“Don’t look now,” he mumbles to Luke.
But Luke, of course, does look now.
“Oh, great,” he repeats even lower, disappointed by a sight he’s been trying to avoid.
Your body freezes when you see Luke behind the counter, unaware that he would be working today. Your initial instinct is to turn right back around and leave before someone causes a scene, but the boy whose fingers are woven between yours doesn’t quite get the memo. Cameron, someone you’ve just recently become official with, knows about your history with Luke but doesn’t feel like there’s anything to be ashamed of since he’s the one who won.
With a red face you’re led to the counter, overly conscious of the glare that Luke hasn’t stopped burning into you. In your fist you ball and release the extra material of your sweater’s long sleeve, using the repetition to calm yourself down.
Cameron acknowledges both Luke and Ashton as if this isn’t the most awkward situation that’s ever happened. You notice that he talks mostly to Luke as he describes what he’s looking for, an obvious effort to make him squirm.
But Luke knows better than to lose his temper while he’s under surveillance at work. The punk is here for a cajon, and although instruments aren’t something they sell much of, they do have a dwindling stock somewhere in a separate section of the building.
“Ashton’s a drummer,” Luke bluntly points out, “He can help you with that.”
“Absolutely!” Ashton says with exaggerated enthusiasm, ready to part from the tension. He walks around the counter and gestures for Cameron to follow him.
Cameron tries to, but when you stay put and slide your hand out of his, he’s taken aback.
“You go ahead,” you insist. “I was gonna look for that Pink Floyd album, remember?”
He’s hesitant to leave you in the same room with the boy you dated prior to him, but with a little more encouragement from Ashton, it’s done. The last thing you hear from the pair before they disappear into another room is Ashton for some reason asking Cameron if he likes 80s music.
Now that they’re gone, you have enough courage to face Luke fully. He’s taken up the position of leaning his elbows on the counter, his hands folded in front of him, his knuckles looking pale and cold.
“Hi,” you say timidly.
He doesn’t respond even though he’s looking right at you.
“I didn’t know you’d be… You don’t usually work Saturdays.”
You rub your arm apologetically. “I should’ve called ahead or something.”
“No one does that.”
He apparently doesn’t want to make this easy. You can’t say you blame him.
“So… we never really talked about me and Cameron,” you feel mean having to say those words to Luke of all people. Me and Cameron.
“What’s there to talk about?” He straightens up, trying hard to sound as if he doesn’t care.
“Well I imagine you’d be kind of angry..”
“Angry?” Luke exerts a laugh that’s barely a laugh at all. “I’m not angry, Y/n; I’m not even surprised. Of course you’re dating the person you told me not to worry about.”
“Don’t say it like I’ve planned this all along,” you fight back, offense setting in. “We broke up and it just happened.”
“Happened pretty fast don’t you think?” he asks bitterly. Now quieter, he says, “Tell me the truth. Did you sleep with him while we were together?”
“No!” you emphasize a point that you’re tired of trying to make. “I never even thought of him like that when I was with you.”
“Sure,” Luke mutters.
You sigh. You don’t want Luke to hate you, but what else are you supposed to do if he won’t believe blatant honesty?
“Can you just show me where you keep the Pink Floyd albums?” You cross your arms in defeat.
“Haven’t you been here enough times?”
“Haven’t you heard of Yelp?” It’s a spiteful low blow, but he started it.
Fed up with this confrontation, Luke begrudgingly leads the way to the rock aisle. Your love for this type of music is what crossed your path with his in the first place, your cute self wandering into his shop over a year ago on the hunt for Aerosmith’s Permanent Vacation, a title and day that branded themselves into the region of Luke’s brain responsible for long-term memories.
On the way to the bin labeled “P”, Luke decides to show off his expertise by suggesting some other albums that might interest you. He stops before the “B” bin and scans its content for Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet, handing the flat square to you and recommending Song 2. You read the back, discovering it to be none other than the crowd favorite “You Give Love a Bad Name”.
You roll your eyes, but aren’t given the chance to respond when another album is shoved into your arms, this one from the Guns N’ Roses department, along with high appraisal of Song 8. You flip the case to find the track list, cringing at the print “Back Off Bitch” following the advocated number.
The trend continues, Luke expressing his disdain for you via songs recorded by your favorite artists, adding albums that contain Led Zeppelin’s “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” and Nazareth’s “Miss Misery” to the pile of vinyl in your hands before finally making it to the destination. You’re sure Luke could find a way to slip in one last insult with a band that starts with “P”, but he seems to have burned up all of his fuel.
You set everything you’re holding in between two bins, freeing your hands for your own mission. The Pink Floyd album you desire is easy to find; you tuck it under your arm for safe keeping but don’t go to check out just yet. Luke watches as you continue to skim the container, flipping the covers one by one, making your way toward the front. His brows furrow when he sees you pull out something by Pearl Jam, recognizing the artwork from his copy at home.
You don’t stop there, though. Your fingers dance their way through the bins to the left and right, following the alphabetical pattern accordingly. Two more records, one from Oasis and one from Queen, are plucked from their brothers and sisters and combined with the one from Pearl Jam. You rearrange the order as you stack them on top of one another, making all the sides line up neatly when you deliver the trilogy to Luke. He looks at them, puzzled, awaiting instruction.
“Four, eight, the, nine,” you say the way you would any other sentence, like the punchline to the old ‘Why was six afraid of seven?’ joke.
Ashton and Cameron have reappeared to the main floor, carrying with them a wooden box that is for some reason considered musical. With one last indefinable glance at Luke, you take your Pink Floyd album and join them at the counter to add it to the grand purchase.
Luke remains where he is, casting down at the items in hand, repeating four, eight, the, nine in his head out of fear that he might forget the sequence. He works up the courage to flip the top record over, bracing himself for whatever comeback you angrily repaid him with.
He reads the title of the fourth song down the list of Oasis’ (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, but it doesn’t make sense standing on its own. He goes on to the next, Pearl Jam’s Riot Act, and finds the eighth song on that list, but it still doesn’t complete the thought. Last but not least is the ninth song on Queen’s A Night at the Opera, and to both his relief and expense, that’s when it all finally comes together.
Luke’s wide eyes shoot up, desperate to find you only to be devastated with the realization that you’ve already left the store. That you’ve already left with Cameron. He tightens his grip around the album covers, suddenly feeling a powerful urge to break them in half or smash them against the ground.
(4) Don’t Look Back in Anger, (8) You Are, the, (9) Love of My Life
I have something to admit. I am tumblr staff. I am the whole staff. The website was a social experiment that got out of hand. Yahoo isn’t real, and I don’t have a billion dollars. I am poor and live outside of Sheetz on the outskirts of Moosebrain, Pennsylvania. I haven’t eaten or showered in six months. I’m afraid to leave my hovel because rabid raccoons like to attack me. Locals think I’m some sort of monster and have named me the Moosebrain Chupacabra. Please someone call help. I am sick and dying from a preexisting condition.