sudden realization guy

2

I immediately felt compelled to give them the nine dollars I had in my purse and say ‘you are the best looking person i have ever seen so i think you deserve it and i was going to buy my lunch with this but whatever’ but decided against it. and then i started crying. i seriously cried for an hour. i ran to the bathroom and came out later and i was even more tired before. i was overtired and btw i am a girl. i dont know why i cried because of that and he was better looking than all the models id seen ever!

I wonder what young me would’ve thought if they had seen what current me has managed to accomplish when it comes to art.

Non-Romantic Affection

Originally posted by huang-zitao

Part 1 // Part 2

Request: “Hey I just stumbled across your blog and I read your baekhyun scenario and my heart broke 😭. Do you think you can write an angsty kai or chanyeol scenario please??” - anon

Genre: angst

Characters: Kim Jongin (a.k.a. Kai) x Reader

Summary: From movies you knew friends with benefits never ended on a good note. But you have known Jongin for so long, he’s so handsome and you have been so lonely, you didn’t find a reason to say no. And everything is fine, until you see him out with another girl and feelings start pushing their way into your heart.


You came back from work, exhausted and defeated from the tasks you had to do. You opened the door, slipped off your shoes and almost threw yourself at your sofa. You sat there for a couple of minutes, comfortably and almost fell asleep from how tired you were. You grabbed you phone to check if you got any notifications but you have none.

Jongin hasn’t texted you, which was weird to you. He usually texted you around the hour you were on your way out of work to meet up with him at your home. Your usual routine during weekdays was; wake up, go to work, then go back home, talk to Jongin, wait for him to come over or vice versa and later on relief each others with sex and then go to sleep.

It was been about 5 months since you and Jongin agreed to being friends with benefits and it’s been fine. You couldn’t complain one bit about him. He was the most charming guy you have ever met and he was also you friend so you knew his amazing personality too. What you didn’t know about him before was his sexiness and true passion in heated situations you experienced with him after the agreement. He was a total package and the most confusing thing for you was the fact that he didn’t have a girlfriend. He just had you.

Thinking about the fact that he just wants to be with you, even if it is on a sexual way, flutters your heart. Maybe you’re special to him? Many thoughts come by of the possibilities of why you? But shortly you stop yourself before you attach yourself too much.

You get up from the sofa and walk over to your bathroom. You enter with your phone in hand and put it close to you but not to close to the shower. You play one of your favorite songs and start taking of your work clothes. As you were about to enter the shower, the song stopped for a brief moment and you phone made a little ring indicating you had a new notification.

I’m not gonna make it tonight, sorry 

You checked and it was a message from Jongin. As you read it you begin to question yourself, why? Did something happen to him? Is he okay? He didn’t usually cancel on you without telling you. You become worried for him and message him back. 

Is everything alright? 

 You locked your phone and stepped in the shower. In there you thought many things but your thoughts were interrupted by another ring from your phone. Eager to see what he wrote back, you finish showering, grab a towel to dry yourself off a little bit and put it around your body. Stepping out you reach for your phone, look for the chat and read. 

 Don’t worry I’m fine, just a little busy 

 Again you were confused, Jongin didn’t work at night so why would he still be working? Maybe he was busy doing other tasks. Probably. You wanted to ask him what exactly he was busy with but decided not to because you may look noisy. You message him back saying 

 Oh okay, see you tomorrow Jongin! 

You waited for a little bit and he responded 

See you tomorrow Y/N 

 You put your phone on your bed and start changing into your sleeping clothes which consisted of one of the baggy shirts that Jongin has left accidentally in your room without knowing and underwear. He found this very sexy on you but, he wont be seeing how sexy you look tonight since he was busy. You grabbed one of your cozy sheets and walked to the main room, laying down on the sofa and turning on the TV to choose a series to watch on Netflix.

After a few hours loneliness began to seep its way into you, leaving you tangled in one of the sheets you brought from your bedroom, cuddling with a cushion. You lay there lazily watching your favorite series and suddenly a low growl emerged from you belly. You realize you haven’t ate anything since lunch and think of the options you have. 

You could prepare a meal or buy it at a food place. And since you were feeling down to begin with, cooking wasn’t really an option anymore so you headed to put on some pants, shoes and you gathered you hair in a messy bun. You grab your keys and head out the door.

Driving in the car, you decided to get food from a Thai place in town that so happened to be open until really late at night. They actually made very delicious food but you didn’t go there often because just a cross the street, there was a club and sometimes people get drunk and act all crazy and you didn’t like that at all. But hey, you were almost there by this point so there’s no turning back. And it’s not always you have a bad encounter with someone who’s wasted but sometimes it just happens.

You parked you car in front of the restaurant and as soon and you opened you door, the pumping music from the club near by filled your ears. Usually you like the type of music that they play but its really late and you just want to get some food so as time goes by you become annoyed with the unnecessarily loud music.

You order you meal for take out and wait for it. By some reason you began to think about Jongin again. Sometimes after you had a moment with him, you decided to get some food and just watch TV, similar to what you’re doing now that he isn’t with you. You liked that part of him, that even if he was sexually involved with you, he would still spend time with you and be with you. He was truly a sweet person who cared about you and had some sort connection. Maybe not in a romantic level but in a friendly level, yes. You on the other hand, it can be debatable whether it is romantic but it is definitely not just friendly. 

The cashier called your name, waking you up from your deep thoughts and you walked over to her. You grabbed the bag with your food, said thank you and walked out of the restaurant. As you walk to you car, you see what you are guessing it’s a couple leaned into your car making out. Now this is one of the reasons you thought about earlier about coming here late at night. You sighed and continued walking closer to them. As you walk closer you notice something, that guy that was kissing the girl very harshly on your car looked very familiar. He had sort of a dark skin tone, brown hair, thin body, he looked too familiar.

You stopped behind them and said “Excuse me, could you please get off my car?” the girl was the first one to react when she turned to look at you with a nasty glare and said in a daring manner “What if I don’t want to huh? What are you going to do?” 

And before you could say something back, the guy she was with spoke “Come on, let’s just go” he grabbed her wrist and walked with her in the direction of the other side of the street near the club. As soon as he talked you knew who he was, that smooth voice you knew too well to not recognize it. It was Jongin. 

You were shocked at the sudden realization that that guy was him. He was making out with another girl and was probably going to do more as you can see by their state of drunkenness. Did he even notice that was you? Didn’t he recognize your voice or your car that they were kissing on? What if he knew and did it on purpose?

You stood there for a couple of seconds. You weren’t really special to him, weren’t you? This is the first time since you two agreed to the type of relationship you have that you’ve seen him with another girl. And it hurt you a lot.

How foolish of you to think you actually meant something more to him that just a fuckbuddy, that you’d be his girlfriend. You actually thought that at some point he would start have feelings for you, but no. This clearly indicated to you that you aren’t that important but the most sad of all is that to him, you’re replaceable.  

A mixture of jealousy, anger and sadness cover your mind as you get in the car. You wanted so bad to walk over to him and make him feel bad for playing with you but you couldn’t. This was what you agreed for a long time ago, a relationship of no strings attached. Who were you to say that he couldn’t go out with other girls? He wasn’t cheating on you, you weren’t his girlfriend. You couldn’t get mad at him for what he’s doing, you can only be mad at yourself for agreeing to this in the first place.

You knew how stories like this go, either both fall in love and become lovers or just one of them fall in love and  the other one doesn’t reciprocate the same feelings back and unfortunately for you, it was the second story. There’s no one else to blame but yourself. And now you sit there in your car holding back the tears that dared to stream down your face, and with the bag of food beside you but you don’t feel hungry anymore.

You turn on the car and drive off, you look at them against the wall, kissing intimately while thinking to yourself; maybe he was my prince charming but I just wasn’t his Cinderella.


A/N: Did you like it???? I hope so, i stayed up late tonight finishing it. My leg hurts a lot and i almost can’t walk but i’m recovering. Btw points if you’re kai biased as i am because man, he’s just so insanely handsome. Requests of angst, fluff, comedy or smut are open! *throws kisses @ u*

SUDDEN REALIZATION

GUYS, I JUST REALIZED SOMETHING ABOUT THE PACIFY HER VIDEO.

So, you know how at the end the ‘basic bitch’ flashes Blue Boy, and that’s how she gets him to stay with her? I thought it was kinda weird that Melanie added that part. I mean, they’re supposed to be kids, right?

THEN I REALIZED WHY SHE DID IT.

The next song is Mrs. Potato Head, right? And Mrs. Potato Head is about loving yourself despite your insecurities, right? SHE ADDED THAT PART TO SPARK CRY BABY’S INSECURITIES ABOUT HERSELF.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE.

Whenever Melanie sings Mrs. Potato Head live, she has the bunny doctor guy hold up those fake boob props she has. MAYBE THAT’S WHY. BECAUSE CRY BABY DOESN’T FEEL LIKE HER BODY IS GOOD ENOUGH AFTER BLUE BOY DESERTED HER.

I don’t have a life, sorry.

So as context, my DM had set us up to go fight a kraken. The kraken was to be sitting in the middle of a giant whirlpool we needed to sail through. It looked like a bad situation. One character named Sonny-Jim made a wish a long while back to see his child’s birth. As part of that, if he died, he wouldn’t see his child’s birth. So the wish was supposed to teleport him to his home town if he was going to die.

Silk (me): hey, Sonny-Jim, can you hold onto my weasel just in case we’re all going to die?
Sonny Jim: yeah, no problem. If I disappear and you all survive, you can find me in Three Springs.

The kraken fight ensues and our Druid ends up turning into a giant- giant squid to attack the thing head on. Surprisingly, this kraken that was meant to kill the entire party was defeated. One of our missing members named Khaleo suddenly showed up saying he heard we were in trouble and saw Sonny-Jim who was meant to replace him while he was gone.

Khaleo: Sonny-Jim! You’re so far from home! We need to get you back soon.
Silk: well, if you want it done quickly, you could try to kill him.
Khaleo (not knowing of the wish): wait what? No!
Silk: I mean it could work though if you want it to be real fast.
Sonny-Jim: *teleports to Three Springs*
Khaleo: what was that?!?
Silk: (explains the wish)
Khaleo: ohh okay. So anyways, where’s your weasel?
Silk: (sudden realization) OH SHIT!! GUYS WE NEED TO GET BACK IMMEDIATELY!!! DOES ANYONE HAVE A TELEPORT STONE WITH THEM?!?

… And then the session ended.

Embrace

A/N: Yay! First Sam x Reader, hopefully not the last! Hope you like it! 

Request: Hey! Could you write a Sam x reader based off of Kiss Me by Ed Sheeran? I would love you forever. Keep up with the amazing stories!! :3

Settle down with me

Cover me up

Cuddle me in

Lie down with me

And hold me in your arms

Nothing the world taught you about love had ever made sense, until him. It was now that you understood what had seemed so foreign before. There was always some weird sort of instant chemistry between the two of you. And much to your surprise, your feelings only grew for him after you started officially dating. And much to your embarrassment, you still felt the fluttery butterfly sensation in your stomach whenever you saw the way he looked at you when he thought you weren’t looking. He was everything you had ever hoped for in a boyfriend, and somehow even more than that.

You were interrupted from your reverie when a pair of strong arms wrapped themselves around your middle from behind, and a pair of soft lips buried themselves in your neck. You allowed yourself to relax in his embrace, gently rubbing his bare arms, squeezing his hand.

“Sam, what’s this for?” You asked with a giggle, spinning around to face him.

“I didn’t know I had to have a reason to be affectionate towards you, Y/N.” He joked, planting a kiss on your forehead.

“I didn’t mean it like that,” You trailed off, placing your palm flat on his solid chest. “I’m just not used to this, or being treated this way.”

“Then it’s about time someone treated you right. I’m just lucky I have you.” Sam replied, his words dripping with such conviction, his eyes scanning your face for something you weren’t sure of. “You’re the most important person to me.”

“Sam, I-” You were cut off by a finger to your lips.

“Let me show you.”

His plush lips crashed into yours, what he lacked in elegance was made up for with passion. It was a slow, scorching dance, just drinking in each other. You ran your fingers gently through his hair, enjoying this small moment as much as you could. His soft mouth was heaven against yours.

This was Sam Winchester kissing you like this, you realized. The mysterious hunter who had your heart the moment you saw him. Your heart leapt in your chest, only now truly realizing how much exactly you meant to him. Your lips kept twitching upwards now, until you had to break the kiss, smiling way too big.  

He laughed lightly at seeing your reaction, looking down at his feet before meeting your eyes once more. “You really are beautiful, you know. I love it when you smile like that..” He confessed, taking your hand in his loosely.

“Do you maybe want to sleep in my bed tonight?” Sam questioned, bringing your hand to his lips, kissing each knuckle.

“Oh!” You said with a sudden realization. He was a guy, of course, he was going to want that eventually. “Uh, yeah. Sure.”

In truth, you were terrified that this loving and affectionate Sam would disappear after you did that with him. Granted it was probably really dumb to even think he would do that, you didn’t really want to think about even the possibility. But for Sam, you were willing to do whatever he wanted of you.

“Great!” He said, smiling down at you, unable to resist giving your lips a final peck before leading you to his room.

Once there, he turned to face you.

“I uh.. usually I just sleep in boxers. If you mind though, I can put on some sweats or something.” He said quietly, his hand scratching the back of his head.

The sudden revelation struck you hard. He literally just wanted to sleep with you tonight. You were worrying over nothing after all. You sighed, relieved.

“That’ll be fine, Sam.” You said, blushing as inch by inch of his toned athletic body was revealed to you as he took off his shirt and jeans. It was very clear he worked hard for what he had, and the result was absolute perfection.

“Holy shit, Sam.” You breathed, not even bothering to hide your wandering eyes.

He laid down on the bed, basking in your attention, clearly pleased by your feedback. You got rid of everything but your bra and panties before going to join him on the bed. He was just so big. So tall, so strong, completely dwarfing you in comparison.

Sam was the first to move, settling down on your chest, his long-ish hair tickling your bare skin. Without so much as a thought, you wrapped your arms around him (or more accurately, tried to), trailing your fingertips up and down his back. He gave a soft shuddery sigh life, turning his head to kiss the flesh just above your heavily beating heart.

“Everything okay, Sam?” You asked, noticing the slight furrow in his brows.

“There’s just.. a lot of my mind.” He half explained, giving you the saddest puppy dog look without even realizing it.

“Tell me then.” You said, wanting to help him in any way you could. There was still a lot about him that you didn’t yet know, and you were aware that his past wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Though you were ready to support him however he needed you to.

“I don’t want to bother you with my problems, Y/N.” He said, brushing his thumb over your lips.

“What if I want to be bothered?” You insisted, it was killing you to see him unhappy.

“You are way too good to me.” He said, an almost bashful smile turning his lips upwards. “I’ll tell you everything, someday. But for right now, just.. be here with me.”

“As you wish.” You said in a half whisper, leaning forward to place a gentle kiss on the tiny mole under his left eye. You gave his shoulder a gentle push, signaling him to lie down on his back for you. He obliged, though his arms were still wrapped securely around your waist.

You attacked his neck with a barrage of little light kisses, running your hands up and down his muscled chest to show your appreciation. When you pulled back to look at him, you found he was smiling for you, the ever present adoration in his eyes. It was your turn to settle down on his chest now, leaning forward to capture his lips in and long, slow, and sweet manner.

My heart’s against your chest, your lips pressed to my neck

I’m falling for your eyes, but they don’t know me yet

And with this feeling I’ll forget, I’m in love now

He seemed to hold you even tighter after that, squeezing you against him. Not that you minded though, there was no safer place in the world than in his arms right now. You nuzzled against him, placing kisses here and there.

You breathed him in, your head growing light with complete adoration for him. As he held onto you like you were a life jacket in the middle of a torrid sea. This wouldn’t change anything, or get rid of all the bad in the world, or ensure he was never unhappy again. But just for right here, right now, you had each other and that was all that mattered.

Kiss me like you wanna be loved

While watching Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" with the weapons specialist
  • DD: ...(watches Flora get flustered over the sudden realization that the mysterious guy Aurora's so broken up over is actually Prince Philip, and [in her flusteredness] tap her wand against the brim of her hat a few times as she tries to work out what to do next)
  • PM: ...You know, somebody should have a word with her.
  • DD: About what exactly?
  • PM: We've seen them use those things as magical blasters... color-coordinated oxyacetylene torches... and they turn things into other things without warning...
  • DD: ...??
  • PM: And look at her now. Not very smart to just start banging something that powerful against your head, is it?
  • DD: ...
  • PM: Terrible wand discipline.
  • DD: ...Wand. Discipline.
  • DD: ...
  • DD: (sighs and goes back to watching Mistress Merryweather being a BAMF)
  • PM: There's probably not even a safety.
  • DD: ...I need tea.

GUYS!! Sudden realization. but didn’t Marlene make a tweet about BY + AM being members of the same family? and at first it didn’t make since to me but.. Bethany and Aria. what if they were twins? it would explain why Eddie from Radley recognized Aria. or thought he did. because he knew Bethany! It would explain the mirrors? honestly idk where I’m going with this but what do yall think??

Four Minute Mile

Hello, new follower! Hi! Good timing! Yeah, you, u/thatsmissitalianbitchtoyou! Hi! Thanks for following! I hope you and all your contemporaries (I appreciate all of you lovely followers) enjoy this! It is a silly thing. Cute, though. At least, I think so.

Thank you for reading!

“Can you run a four minute mile?”

Well, of course. Of course Scout could run a four minute mile, that was a dumb question. Only it was Miss Pauling and of course Miss Pauling didn’t ask dumb questions. How would she know, anyway. Not her fault. Anyway, he hadn’t before. That was to say, he had, but never such that it was official. Not with, like, a timer or anything. Well, now he had to prove it. Maybe not such a dumb question.

It had to be a straight line. Had to find a mile of road where he wasn’t likely to get hit by anything. Four minutes, that was tons of time.

Except, he had only meant to tell Engi. Engi wasn’t supposed to mention it to anyone else, Engi was just good with logistics and timers and maps, so of course he’d know the best place to do it. That’d been all Scout meant to ask him for, and maybe some help with actually timing it. Scout hadn’t asked him not to tell anyone else, because why would it matter if he did? A four minute mile, no big deal.

All eight of them had shown up. The bastards. Sat at the 384 mile marker of US 550, tailgating. Sniper brought a little coal barbecue. There were burgers. Their meat content was of questionable origin. Engi brought his truck with it’s crooning, cowboy radio. Demo brought beer. Heavy had a parasol, unironically. They had decided to make a day of it. Goddamn bastards.

At least Engi had brought a stopwatch. And at least he’d been good enough to give Scout a ride to the 383rd mile marker.  So he’d be fresh. Engi had done a lazy three-point-turn to turn himself around. He would start the stopwatch as Scout started running, and drive to beat him back to the finish line. It wasn’t supposed to be a big deal. What was four minutes?

Scout hopped out of the back of the truck and stretched. He never stretched, why was he stretching. “If I fudge this because you flapped your damn mouth an’ now I got performance anxiety, you owe me big.”

Engineer rested an arm on the rolled down window of his truck. “If you fudge this, it’s ‘cause you got a damn poor sense of your own abilities, and you owe me big. I put fifty bucks on you making at least 4:30. Medic laid the odds, and son, they aren’t that good.”

Oh Christ. “C'mon, it’s four minutes. Why’s this a thing, I didn’t know this was a thing.”

“Was a point in time people thought it was impossible. Not just difficult. Impossible. You’re what, twenty-five? Twenty-six?”

“Twenty-six. I am in my prime, though, you know me, I run everywhere. Can’t be that hard.”

“Ain’t my point. I remember the year they broke the record. Year you were born. Was in the papers. Thought it was neat, at the time.” Engi grinned. “Never figured on actually seeing someone do it. That guy, some English bastard. He must’ve trained for years.”

Shit. Oh, shit. “Oh.”

“Well, an’ you’ll pardon me saying so, I don’t know much from runnin’. I got a truck, does my runnin’ for me. But was always my estimation you were more of a distance runner. More with the endurance than the speed. Sure, you sprint now and again, can cover a span faster than the rest of us. Mostly it ain’t about speed, though, it’s about pacing. I imagine. Gotta be in a real mental zone.”

“Aw, god.” Sniper’s van was visible, a long way off, through a haze of heat baking off the asphalt of Highway 550. A thin curl of smoke rose from the barbecue. A straight line. Flat. And further than four minutes away. “Aww, man, I did not think this through.”

Engi drummed his thumbs cheerfully on the steering wheel of his truck. He leaned forward over the wheel and squinted. “Sure didn’t. I suppose you ain’t gonna be happy as I thought you’d be that I invited Miss Pauling out.”

It was hot. It was New Mexico, of course it was hot. Clear day, sun blazing. But there was a cold spot, smack in the middle of Highway 550, right around the 383rd mile. Scout was standing in the middle of it, afforded a perfect view of a purple truck, pulling up beside Sniper’s camper. Oh, good, now she was climbing out. Far off, a tiny figure was waving.

“You gotta help me fake this. Oh, god. I’m an idiot. I didn’t know this was a thing, why is this a thing.”

Engi laughed. “You know, she don’t care. Not actually. I reckon she’s only out here 'cause she’s curious, not 'cause you ran your fool mouth about bein’ so damn sure you could do it.”

“Look, they can’t see that well. Not all the way down here. Look, you start, an’ I’ll hang off your tailgate for maybe the first quarter. Then I’ll hop off an’ do the rest. Just a little handicap, come on. You got fifty bucks on this.”

This suggestion ran contrary to Dell Connagher’s stern sense of moral rightness. “Oh, now, I ain’t gonna help you cheat. Ain’t you curious to just see how you do? Still gonna be impressive, better'n any of us can do. Anyway, you think Sniper ain’t gonna have handed out extra scopes? There’s little stars winkin’ at us already, see?”

Scout bent over, hands on his knees, pretending that at a distance it just must look like stretching and not a complete mental breakdown. It wasn’t, of course, but he felt like an absolute idiot. “Engi. Two hundred bucks, all I got 'til next week and it’s gonna be my mom’s birthday, but I’ll just send her somethin’ late. Belated. Help me fake this thing, come on.”

Engi squinted down the highway. A shimmering mirage gleamed on the asphalt. “One twenty-five, you buy your ma somethin’ nice. But you help me move the lathe in my workshop, the big one. I want it in the other corner.”

“Yes, fine, right. Okay, you don’t gotta fake it much, right? I mean, I think I can get close. Just, you know, a few seconds. This shit comes down to seconds, right?”

“Sure does. Look, don’t feel too bad if you can’t do it, it’s a hell of a thing…”

“Nah. Nah, it’s fine, I got it. Okay?” He was tense now, bouncing with nervous energy. His calves already felt tight, probably the stretching. Stupid stretching, what kind of moron needed to stretch before running, running was just a thing that you did.

Engi had brought a starter pistol. He hefted it suggestively, still leaning out the window. The truck idled at a low, steady purr. “One for the money,” he led in, thumbing the safety.

God. “Right, right, yeah.” Was there a stance for this? Was he supposed to get down, like you saw in the Olympics? He’d never cared about the Olympics, he got paid way more than any of those assholes, probably they weren’t any faster than he was anyway. Oh goddamnit.

“Two for the show…”

“Oh Christ, Engi, can it.”

Scout took off. There was a short squeal of tires as Engi cussed quietly, and put the truck in gear. It wasn’t long before Scout was overtaken and passed, but it felt like a lot longer.

It’d all dissolved away, because when he stopped overthinking it, it just made sense. Running was just a thing he did, a thing he’d always done. In school–highschool, when he could be bothered to go, he could beat the morning bell. He could hear the five minute warning from the front porch, and he could be off and gone and at his desk before the day started. Out of breath and grinning defiantly at an irate English teacher, but it still counted. That had to have been at least a mile. At least.

A decade ago, though. A whole ten years, Scout hadn’t ever thought of his life in increments of a decade. Two decades, nearly three. But it was still as natural now as it was then. He couldn’t have gotten slower, that was unthinkable. He wasn’t underfed and sixteen and quietly, constantly desperate anymore, he was in the best shape of his life. Had to be. He’d never stopped running, there hadn’t been a day he could think of–barring illness or serious injury–that he hadn’t run at least a mile at some point, for some reason.

He hadn’t ever had a good sense of time. But he felt like he could sense a minute had passed, and there were fractional increments marked along this stretch of highway. Maybe that was why Engi had picked it. He was going too fast to have noticed the number, anyway, but he was already closing the distance to the next one. A big fat 4/10, nearly halfway. Couldn’t be more than two minutes, probably less.

And he felt fine. Just fine. Goddamn great, this was easy. He wouldn’t stop. When he got to the end, he would just keep going. Show the lot of them. Set a new damn record, hell with that British asshole. English. British-English. Demo would know. This was America, they had practically invented running.

He had just cleared the halfway point, two minutes in, when the heat caught up with him.

——

“Ooh!”

This was elicited in a chorus from the spectating mercs, along with wincing and hissed intakes of breath. Watches were checked. Engi absently clicked his stopwatch. Several dirty, suspicious looks were directed at Sniper, who had handed out extra scopes, but left his own attached to its rifle.

“Did any of you hear a gunshot? No? Well, that’d be on account of I didn’t bloody shoot him. Tripped on his damn feet, bloody fool. He’ll bounce right back up any minute.”

Demo was still hopefully checking his watch. “D'ye think he might still do it?”

Spy hadn’t bothered to watch, leaning against the shady side of the camper, smoking. “No, this is over. I believe several of you gentlemen owe me money.”

This started an argument amongst several of them.

“Aaaaaany minute now,” Sniper muttered. He and Miss Pauling were the only two still peering down their scopes.

It had been about five seconds longer than Miss Pauling felt she could attribute to someone lying facedown on a highway due to embarrassment, when she had a sudden realization. “Guys. It’s what, almost a hundred degrees out?”

This stopped the argument. Medic laughed, catching on quicker than anyone else. “Oh! I should perhaps have advised against this.”

Miss Pauling had collared Pyro, nearest to hand, and was already climbing into her truck.

——

Her hands were cold. But so was the window against his forehead and Scout didn’t really feel like choosing between the two.

“Hey. Scout? Hey, can you hear me?”

She had such pretty hands. He couldn’t see them, actually, because he didn’t especially feel like opening his eyes, either. But he knew they were pretty, they felt pretty. Were they always this cool? And delicate, firm fingers, her palm on the side of his neck, the fingertips of her other hand probing his jaw, his cheek. Ow.

“Oh god, Scout, your poor face. Come on, just give me something to rule out serious brain damage, okay? Who put you up to this, you could’ve killed yourself.”

Oh, he’s fine. I gotta buy him a beer when we get back. Good job, buddy!”

Scout’s brain was blinking back online, section by section, and reshuffling his priorities as it did so. “Mmmnmh. S'wrong with my face? Ow. Face.”

Language appeared to be lagging a bit behind. Vision had reengaged, though, and he blinked a few times. Truck. Purple. Ow, truck. Engi’s? Purple, stupid. Miss Pauling. “This your truck?”

She had smiled, just a little, mostly she looked relieved. “Okay. Yes, it’s my truck. It’s got air conditioning. We’re going back to Big Rock, you need to lie down for a while. Your face is fine, you just, um. Landed on it. Kind of.”

He’s fine. Little road rash never hurt anybody. He took it mostly on the side. Cheekbones probably broke the fall. Impeccable bone structure finally come in handy, pretty boy?”

“Pyro, keep your eyes on the road.”

Ow.

There went her hands again, his throat, collarbone. Down the front of his shirt. Oh god. Miss Pauling had a morbidly curious streak that occasionally made life awkward. Not strictly unpleasant. But awkward.

“You are really hot. Like, it’s ridiculous, I know about heatstroke. I haven’t ever seen it, though. I think this isn’t that serious. I think. Medic left. Packed up with the others, I am going to give him hell when we catch up.”

“Why’s Pyro driving?”

“He insisted. He had you down as 'catch fire halfway’ and everyone agrees he won on a technicality. I think he means to thank you.”

Relevant facts were still trying to butt their way to the surface of his brain. “Time?” Pyro, driving. “Uhm, he can’t drive stick, y’know.”

I’m learning.

Miss Pauling rolled her eyes. “Yes, I found that out. I’m shifting for him. There has been a learning curve. It’s around quarter after one. Do you remember getting in the truck? It was maybe five minutes ago, we practically had to peel you off the pavement. Whose idea was this, Scout, seriously. The middle of the day. In New Mexico. In August. What the hell were you trying to prove?”

I am the stupidest person I know, and I know Soldier. “Not that time. My time. The four minute thing. The mile. I hadn’t ever done it, before.”

Miss Pauling groaned theatrically. “I didn’t need you to prove it, I believed you. Engi said if you’d kept up the same pace you were at when he stopped the timer, you probably could’ve had it. But not in 95 degree weather on a black strip of highway in the desert in New Mexico. Scout, I catch you doing anything like this again, I’m going to staple your feet to the floor. You were eight miles out of range of respawn, you seriously could’ve killed yourself.”

Oh. “M’sorry.”

She sighed. “No. It’s okay. There are eight people–one of whom is a doctor, and another has half a dozen PHDs–who should’ve realized this was a bad idea. I should’ve realized this was a bad idea.” Again with that little half smile, though. “Still. It would’ve been neat to see you do it. Maybe wait til it cools down.”

Oh, no. No, no. Terrible idea, terrible goddamn idea. This is not your gig, you are twenty-six, you ain’t run like that since high school if you even did then. This is for damned serious bastards who get up at four in the morning like idiots. Still, though, Miss Pauling thinks I can. Oh, no. Hell. “So…like, November.”

“Yes. Try again in November.”

I could maybe do it by November.



Epilogue