Summary: There’s always been a spark between you and the guy next door; when life takes a rough turn, things between you accelerate. Pairing: Jensen x Reader Word Count: 4450 (without lyrics) Warnings: Trigger warning: Short assault scene; language, drinking. Mostly fluff-type stuff, despite the warnings. Challenge: Kari’s Favorites Challenge with the trope of “Neighbors AU” and Bronwyn’s Double Birthday Challenge where my prompt was Sparks Fly by Taylor Swift. (I can’t be the only one who thinks of certain green eyes when you hear that song!) @thing-you-do-with-that-thing@jpadjackles
“That was one time, Ackles, and that
spider was huge!”
Your neighbor flashed you an adorable
smile, and you managed to keep the blush off your cheeks this time. His smile
always reached his to-die-for green eyes, making you go weak at the knees.
Jensen was nearly eight years your senior, the owner of a very successful
brewery in town, and, even with the banter that had begun when you moved into
the house next door after your grandmother passed away, you knew there was
nothing more than friendship between the two of you.
With a soft laugh that made your
stomach flip, he stepped out onto the porch and asked what he could help you
“My friend Kari brought her car over –
needed the oil changed and whatnot. I’m trying to change out the oil filter
now, but it won’t budge.”
Kari was leaning against the hood of
the car, but straightened up quick when she saw you coming back to the driveway
“Hi, I’m Kari,” she introduced. You
envied her confidence sometimes; it had taken Jensen coming to offer help to
you and your brother on move-in day for you to even think about approaching
him. “Thanks for coming to help.”
“Jensen, nice to meet you. Happy to
He took the oil filter wrench from you
and got to work. You and Kari sat on the porch while he worked, talking about
hair and makeup, and before you knew it, the tune up job was done.
“You didn’t have to finish the job,”
you said, “I really appreciate that!”
“Not a problem, sunshine,” Jensen
assured, wiping the sweat from his face with a greasy rag. “Anytime. How’d you
get roped into doing this anyway?”
Before you could answer, Kari
interjected. “She’s got a hot date tonight, and I told her I would help her get
ready if she would help fix up my car. It pays to have a friend whose dad and
brothers taught her a thing or two.”
Your friend headed inside then, and you
walked Jensen back over to his house. He asked about your date, and you told
him about the guy from work you’d had your eye on for a while.
“He finally noticed me, I guess,” you
shrugged. “I’m trying not to get my hopes up about it too much. I’m a hopeless
romantic, and my head runs away with my heart sometimes. Or is it the other way
around? Well, whatever it is – just keeping things low-key tonight.”
Jensen agreed that was a good plan.
“Just make sure he treats you right, Y/N.”
“I’m sure he will,” you assured.
“Thanks again for your help with the car!”
“No problem. I’ll be at the brewery
tonight. Bring Mr. Wonderful in, I’ll get you guys a round on the house.”
With a thank you and a playful
wink in Jensen’s direction, you headed back to your place to shower and get
ready for your date.
Bryan was handsome, tall, successful –
and apparently was well aware of the fact. Once the two of you got to dinner,
he was no longer the nice guy from work you chatted and joked with every now
and then. He was down right full of himself, and you couldn’t wait for dinner
and the movie to be over so you could get home and never think about him again.
He had other plans, apparently. Once
the two of you got back in his car, he immediately leaned over the console and
pressed his lips to yours. The kiss was rough and sloppy, and not a gesture you
wanted to be a part of in the first place. The whole night was turning out to
be a disappointment, but now you were borderline disgusted.
“Look, I just want to go home, all
right?” you told Bryan when you were finally able to push him away.
He snorted. “Oh, please. The other
girls have told me how hot you’ve been for me. This is your only chance, Y/N.
Sure you want to pass on it?”
Who the hell did he think he was? God’s
gift, clearly. With a roll of your eyes, you got out of the car. You didn’t
need him. You could call a friend or one of your brothers or even a cab to get
You were just a few feet down the
sidewalk when Bryan caught up to you and gripped your arm so tightly, you
yelped. Of course, the two of you were parked so far out in the lot, there was
no one around to help you. You’d have to make a break for it if he was going to
be this crazy.
“Let me go!” you demanded.
Bryan squeezed tighter. “You’re nothing
special, you know that? Girls like you are a dime a dozen. But if you think I’m
gonna let you go back to work and tell them anything about tonight, you’ve got
another thing coming.”
“I don’t want to tell anyone anything,
I just want to go home!”
“After you give me what I took you out
He started to drag you back towards the
car, but you dug your heels in and refused to move your feet. Bryan’s open hand
came down hard across your face, shocking you momentarily, until you saw red.
He was facing you now, and one hard, swift kick to the family jewels loosed his
hold on you and brought Bryan to the ground, writhing in pain.
Your cheek stung like a bitch, and your
feet was sore by the time you walked the five blocks to Jensen’s brewery.
Constantly looking over your shoulder, expecting Bryan to be right behind you
at any moment, got you to your destination in record time.
It would have been easier, you
supposed, to go back into the theater and call a friend or your brothers or a
cab. Your brothers would have gone to jail after hunting Bryan down, though,
and any of your friends would have made it into far more drama than you wanted
to deal with just then. That left the cab, but you didn’t want to go home and
be alone, either.
So here you were, standing at the bar
of the brewery with bruises forming on your arm and face. Tear stains formed
streaks from your eyes to your jaw. You found an open spot at the corner of the
bar against the wall; you didn’t see Jensen immediately, so you sent him a
text. If he didn’t answer in a few minutes, you’d ask someone to track him down
Are you still at work? I’m sitting at
You wanted to somehow warn him of your
current state, but you didn’t know how to word it. A minute after you sent the
text, Jensen appeared from the back. He spotted you instantly. His smile turned
to a look of concern, and he made a beeline for where you were sitting.
“What the hell happened?” Jensen asked,
his voice laced with the same concern in his expression, plus a touch of anger.
Your chin quivered and your eyes watered
all over again. Being here, with someone familiar, was the relief of safety;
for that reason, you couldn’t stop yourself from crying. Jensen took your hand
and told you to follow him to the back. He led you to his office, sat you in
his comfy desk chair, and told you he would be right back.
By the time Jensen returned, you had
composed yourself. He handed you an opened bottle of your favorite beer, then
carefully set an ice pack against your face.
“Wanna tell me what happened?” Jensen
asked, this time much more calm than his initial inquiry.
You bit your bottom lip. “Mr. Wonderful
turned out to be Mr. Not-So-Wonderful.”
Jensen nodded as though he had figured
as much. “Just your face?”
“He slapped my face,” you explained.
“And he grabbed my arm.”
Jensen gently rolled up your sleeve to
inspect your arm. It was already bruising, but there wasn’t much ice could do
for you there. At least on your face, it kept the swelling down.
“What do you wanna do?” Jensen asked.
“I just want to go home, but I don’t
want to be alone. And I don’t want to make a crazy big deal out of this.”
Jensen caressed the uninjured side of
your face before leaning back on the desk. He must have been considering
whether or not to go with what you wanted, or make you call the police.
“All right. Stay here. Give me ten
minutes, then I’ll take you home.”
You nodded and kept the ice on your
face. The stinging had turned to a burn, so the ice was soothing. It had
started to melt and you were dropping the bag into the trash can when Jensen
“Sorry,” he said sheepishly. “Had to
rearrange some things.”
You were suddenly self-conscious.
“Jensen, you didn’t have to do that for me …”
“I did,” he replied quickly. “I mean,
you’re my friend and you came to me for help. C’mon, sunshine. Let’s get you
As you followed Jensen out to his
truck, you thought about what he had said. It had never occurred to you that
the two of you were more than neighbors and acquaintances, but Jensen saying
the two of you were friends certainly made you feel less regretful about going
to him for help. That didn’t mean, of course, that you didn’t try to explain
yourself the moment you were seated in the passenger seat.
“It’s just that my brothers would have
been way pissed, and Kari would have made it a bigger deal than it needed to
be. I just wanted to go home and be safe.”
“I can understand that. We’ll handle
this your way, but for the record, that doesn’t mean this isn’t a big deal or
that I’m not pissed. You don’t deserve to be treated that way – nobody does.”
The rest of the ride home was silent.
Jensen parked his truck in his driveway, then asked for your house key.
“I’ll go in first. Can’t be too
You had no problem with that. Never in
your life had you been treated the way Bryan had treated you, and it scared you
shitless, quite frankly. Having Jensen there was a welcome comfort.
“I think you’re good,” he said, handing
back the key. You placed it in your purse, which you went to put in your room.
When you came back, Jensen was still
standing near the doorway, looking somewhat nervous. You cleared your throat.
“I don’t think I’ll sleep tonight. Have
you eaten? I’ll cook for you,” you offered.
“I ate.” He finally pulled his hands
from his pocket. “I don’t want to make you uncomfortable with what you’ve been
through tonight, but I don’t really want you to be alone. Somehow next door
doesn’t seem close enough.” He chuckled, nervously. “If you want me to crash on
the couch or stay up with you, I will. Or we can go to my place. Whatever will
make you feel safe.”
You breathed a sigh of relief. “I
wasn’t sure how to bring that up, so thanks for doing it for me. I’m gonna take
a shower, then maybe we can watch a movie or something?”
Jensen nodded. “Sounds good.”
You disappeared into the bathroom with
your favorite fluffy towel, and started the water as hot as you could stand it.
You cried a little again, just from the emotions of what had happened, when
washing your tender face brought everything rushing back as though it had
happened just a few minutes ago, and not an hour or so. You wrapped up your
shower pretty quick, dressed in sweats and a tank top, and went back out to the
Jensen was sitting on the couch,
playing on his phone. He looked up at you and smiled. “Feeling a little
“A little,” you nodded. “You changed?”
“Yeah, ran home real quick while you
showered. Grabbed a six pack of locals, too.”
You smirked when he handed you a
longneck of beer from his brewery. It was pretty delicious, so you took a good
long drink after that initial sip to taste.
You answered Kari’s text message about
how the date had went while Jensen debated between a couple of funny movies for
the two of you to watch. You kept your answer relatively vague, but promised to
tell her the whole story at work the next day.
Thanks to half the six-pack and the
shock wearing off, you were asleep before the movie was over. Without realizing
it, you dozed off against Jensen’s shoulder. He covered you with the comforter
you had dragged out from your bedroom, switched from the DVD player to the TV,
and fell asleep with an arm around placed protectively around you.
When the two of you woke the next
morning, stretched out on the couch together, your cheek against Jensen’s
chest, you were only a little embarrassed. A potentially
anxiety-and-paranoia-filled night had turned into a quiet, comforting evening.
You got up and made a pot of coffee before dressing for work. As you got ready,
you were quiet as you could be so you didn’t wake Jensen until you needed to
“Hey,” you said softly, sitting next to
him. “I’m leaving for work. You can stay as long as you want, just lock the
door on your way out.”
Jensen nodded and made you promise to
be careful before falling asleep again. It was strange in a very pleasant way
to leave a man you didn’t know extremely well but felt so safe and familiar
with asleep on your couch.
When you got to work and told Kari the
whole story, she made about as big of a deal out of it as you expected, but you
quickly shushed her.
“I don’t want a lot of people to know,
all right? I’m not embarrassed I just – I don’t want to talk about it. And
other people are liable to talk anyway.”
Kari didn’t like it, but she promised
to keep quiet. Your workday went on as usual, until Bryan found you sometime
“Hey Y/N,” he greeted, as though
nothing had happened. “I really enjoyed last night.”
You rolled your eyes and otherwise
ignored him. He made himself comfortable; you used all of your willpower not to
make eye contact. Your heart was racing. Not even twenty-four hours ago, this
same smiling, pleasant man had slapped you across the face and would have
likely done far worse if you hadn’t gotten away.
“I will have you, you know,” Bryan said,
leaning forward so that anyone passing by wouldn’t be able to hear him. “I
always get what I want. I’m sure you still want me – no one lets go that
Thanks God for Kari, who had been
checking on you periodically throughout the day as it was. She frowned when she
saw Bryan talking to you, but the moment he spotted her, he simply winked at
you and left.
“What was that about?” Kari asked.
Attempting not to have a panic attack,
you went ahead and told her what Bryan had said.
“You can’t keep on with this, Y/N,” she
said sternly. “Sounds like last night was just the start. If he isn’t taking a
kick to the junk as a hint, Lord knows what he is capable of.”
You ran a hand through your hair. “I
“Please, at least go talk to the boss.
Get yourself or Bryan re-assigned so you don’t have to see him.”
You hated the idea of being a victim –
that was part of the humiliation of all of this. Kari was right though. With
her encouragement, you went right to the boss’s office and spilled the whole
Your boss sighed. “I’m sympathetic with
you, Y/N, really. Unfortunately, as the incident happened away from company
property, our policy is not to get involved.”
She leaned forward on her desk.
“Without a restraining order of some kind, my hands are tied.”
You nodded, feeling full confidence for
the first time that day. “Fine. Then I am officially handing in my resignation.
I’m sorry, but I can’t work in an unsafe environment.”
She didn’t bother calling you back to
her office or anything; for that reason, you were even more comfortable with
your decision. Another job would come along and until then, well, you would
figure things out.
You weren’t going to be a victim of
this thing that had happened to you.
Kari offered to cancel her date that
night to hang out with you, but you assured her you would be fine. It was
clearly all for the best, and you had some things to figure out, anyway.
It didn’t help that the easiest
distraction from your problems was your neighbor’s green eyes and devastating
smile. When you thought about the way he had cared for you the night before,
how protective he had been, you got butterflies in your stomach. The idea
embarrassed you only a little; surely he wasn’t into younger women. Whatever
had gone on last night had been because you were friends, like Jensen said.
That didn’t stop you from putting on
your most casually adorable outfit and driving over to the brewery. Jensen had
texted you earlier in the day that he would be working the bar if you needed
anything, and that planted the seed in your mind. Even if you didn’t expect
anything to happen, it wouldn’t hurt to have a couple drinks while you ogled
your crush. You know, to cheer yourself up.
The smile he gave you when you took a
seat at the bar erupted even more butterflies in your stomach. You gave a
little wave and smiled bigger when he came over to see you.
“Your face looks better,” Jensen
“Wow, thanks,” you teased him.
Jensen laughed. “You know what I mean.
“Same we had last night, please. I really
“Ah, my favorite.” He filled a pint
glass and set it in front of you. “Not too much. You’ve got to work in the
You shook your head as you drank down a
good portion of the beer. “I quit.”
Jensen’s eyes went wide, but you explained
about Bryan’s remarks and your boss’s reaction. When you were done telling the
whole thing, he said he was proud of you.
“I’m glad you stood up for yourself.”
“Even if your friend is an unemployed
loser now?” you snorted. It had been meant as a joke, but fell just shy of
Jensen chucked you under the chin.
“You’re not a loser, Y/N. I don’t care that you’re unemployed, but if
you want, you can work here for a while, till you find something else.”
“Jensen, you don’t have to do that.
You’ve helped me enough – more than enough.”
He shook his head. “I told you when you
moved in next door that I was here to help with whatever you need, and I meant
that. Now, you’ve already been drinking so you can’t start tonight. How about
You could have hugged him across the
counter, you were so excited. You agreed to meet him there Monday morning to
“I find it interesting that he is so
quick to help you all of the sudden,” Kari commented when she came over the
next day. “Like after he found out you were dating someone.”
“I wasn’t dating someone, I went on a
date with somebody and it turned out awful,” you corrected.
Kari rolled her eyes. “Not the point,
“Your point is invalid. Jensen had
helped with a lot of things since I moved in.”
Kari nodded. “How many times before all
of this did you two fall asleep on your couch together before all of this?”
You didn’t want to answer her. You knew
what she was getting at, but if you allowed yourself to go there, even just in
your mind, you were setting yourself up for disappointment. Just like that
hadn’t stopped you from dressing cute and going to the brewery to see him when
you needed cheering up, it didn’t stop you from dressing to impress to meet him
Monday morning, either,
After giving you a full tour of the
place, Jensen went through the office duties that would now be your
responsibility. You had expected to be waiting tables or washing dishes; Jensen
warned you there would be some of that but mostly you would be working as his
You sat on the counter of the bar while
he put away glasses, teasing him about taking advantage of the new help, when
he looked at you with an expression that fell somewhere between amused and
“What if I did take advantage?” he
Your smile quickly faded. “Seriously?
Jensen set down the glass in his and
moved closer to where you were sitting. He settled himself between your knees;
you weren’t offended but … well, you weren’t exactly sure what you were feeling
at that moment.
“I mean, not really take advantage of
course,” Jensen clarified. That wasn’t something you were worried about, but
you appreciated the effort. His fingers pushed your hair behind your ear. “But
I was already thinking about you probably way more than I should. Then
everything went down with that guy, and you came to me. It got me thinking
about more things I probably shouldn’t be thinking about.”
The uncertainty fell away and you knew
exactly what you felt and exactly what you wanted. When Jensen’s hand carded
into your hair before gently guiding your mouth towards his, a daydream you had
indulged in time and time again became a reality.
When Jensen parted from you, he did so
slowly; somehow, he must have known that you wouldn’t be able to hold yourself
upright immediately after he broke that perfect kiss. A million things were
running through your head. When you were able to form a coherent sentence
again, you decided to just be honest with him.
“A few days ago, I had a date with a
guy I’ve ha d my eye on for a while. It didn’t turn out so well.”
“I know,” he said softly, not moving
from where he stood. His hands ran up and down your thighs, and the movement
sent shivers up and down your spine.
Deep breath. “I’ve had a thing for you
since I met you pretty much. With you being older than me, and my neighbor who
helped me every now and then, I never expected anything to come of it. Then all
of that happened, and now we’re sleeping on couches together and you’re telling
me things and we’re kissing on your bar.”
“I know,” Jensen said again.
“Say something besides ‘I know’.”
He kissed you, a soft, chaste peck this
time. “I don’t want to rush this. I don’t want you to be uncomfortable. I know
it didn’t work out for you so well last time, getting the guy you wanted. But I
want you too, Y/N. I want to get to know you better and be your best friend and
take care of you. Maybe though, we can start with dinner tomorrow night? You
know, a proper one. Kari can come over to help you get ready, I’ll put on some
expensive cologne. That kind of thing.”
“I’d like that,” you said with a light
laugh. “Thank you for understanding.”
Jensen nodded and helped you off the
bar. “I’ve got you, sunshine.”
Monday and Tuesday were usually the
days the brewery was closed, so that everyone could recover from the weekend.
You and Jensen had gone in the day before so he could finish up the paperwork
from the weekend and show you how things worked. With all of your nerves over
your date that night, you appreciated that you had the day off.
With all of that nervous energy, you
decided it would be a good day to deep clean the house before you had to get
ready to go out with Jensen later that night. You opened the windows and let
the early summer breeze air out the place.
Always careful about bothering the
neighbors, you had your music quietly playing as you moved about the house. A
lawn mower revved up outside in the early afternoon, so you turned up the
volume on your music.
You were in a pair of jean cutoffs and
a thin, loose tank top. No shoes on your feet, and your hair in a messy bun on
your head. You’d washed your face that morning, but the glow of the sweat
build-up from working in the house had added a sheen to your exposed skin.
Drop everything now
Meet me in the pouring rain
Kiss me on the sidewalk
Take away the pain
‘Cause I see, sparks fly, whenever you smile
Get me with those green eyes, baby
As the lights go down
Gimme something that’ll haunt me whenever you’re not around
‘Cause I see, sparks fly, whenever you smile
You didn’t care one bit about that when
one of your guilty pleasure songs came on and you immediately thought of
It didn’t matter that you were a mess
or that you were going to see him later. You had something to tell Jensen, and
you needed to tell him now.
You jogged out the front door, the
screen slamming behind you. You looked over towards Jensen’s house and saw that
he was the one mowing. He was shirtless, sweat dripping down his face and
chest, and that only made your heart quicken. Summoning up the courage, you stood
in front of the mower.
Jensen came to an abrupt stop and took
the headphones from his ears. “Y/N, you all right?”
You nodded. “I know this must sound
crazy, but I couldn’t wait until tonight to tell you. I want to get to know you
better and be your best friend and take care of you, too. I don’t want to do
this slow dating thing. I want us to do this, for real.”
He stood to the side of the mower. “You
“As sure as I’ve ever been of anything.
I’ve spent way too long just being the girl next door. I want to be your girl.”
Jensen grinned. The connection between
the two of you became magnetic; you met in the middle of the distance between
you. Jensen pulled you up into his arms, and your legs wrapped around his hips.
You pressed your mouth hard against Jensen’s, but forming that pucker to kiss
him was difficult.
POTC 5: Barbossa, Salazar, and an Alternate Ending
I have been a big fan of the POTC franchise since the beginning, and while I honestly think that Disney is trying too hard to milk every last penny from it and that POTC 5 should be the last of the series (or perhaps that it should have ended before now), I will say that, despite its flaws, the most recent installment wrapped up a lot of loose ends nicely and gave us some great additions to POTC lore and character development. While Jack, unfortunately, suffered a bit in this film–his usual wit and charm replaced almost entirely with attempts at comic relief–Barbossa and Salazar generally make up for it.
Throughout the series, Barbossa has been, in my opinion, one of the most morally ambiguous and well-developed characters, and this installment only furthered my convictions. Originally viewed as a villain opposite Jack, Will, and Elizabeth in the first film, by film number three, he has teamed up with the main couple to help rescue Jack and fight against the “bigger” Big Bads Davy Jones and the British Navy. Here, he is portrayed as being a bit more noble (well, by pirate standards, anyway) and shows great respect for Elizabeth as the Pirate King when she steps up and leads them into battle. By film number four, he has apparently become a privateer (though primarily out of a desire to hunt down Blackbeard in revenge for taking The Pearl, and with it, his leg) but this endeavor doesn’t last long, and as soon as Blackbeard is off the radar, he goes back to his pirating ways. And even AS a privateer, we see a moment of what cruelty he is capable of when he leaves his crew to die at the hands of the mermaids. Nevertheless, he pretty much fully redeems himself in the most recent film through his relationship with his daughter. While, admittedly, it was a bit cheesy and perhaps somewhat out of character at times, I loved the implication that there was once a woman Barbossa genuinely loved and that, upon her death, thinking himself incapable of raising the child, he was actually strong enough to do the right thing and find a place to take her in. It was strange yet incredibly touching getting to see this softer side of Barbossa. The moment Carina slapped him for (supposedly) insulting her father, you could see it in his eyes that he was torn between feeling hurt and ashamed of what he was and simultaneously being proud of her for having the guts to stand up to a pirate of his stature in defense of her father. I would honestly have loved to get an entire film’s worth of father/daughter moments between these two, and after seeing him come so far as to be willing to sacrifice himself for her safety, I really hated to see him go. More on that later…
As for Salazar, I am not yet quite sure what to think about him or how to categorize his character. On the one hand, we have to remember that we are (technically) rooting for the “bad guys” by society’s standards, and while we all love Jack & co., pirates were a real and troubling threat to merchant vessels, the navy, etc. Not everyone they attacked deserved it, and not all pirates are as morally decent as Jack, Will, Elizabeth, etc. usually are. In his mind, Salazar is doing his duty to society and protecting the innocent. Yes, we get a glimpse of him refusing to show mercy to a group of pirates who have surrendered, but to be fair, had their roles been reversed, many pirates might not have shown mercy either. Additionally, Salazar has a personal motivation to dislike pirates, as they were responsible for the deaths of both his father and grandfather–men whom he looked up to, respected, and probably loved. We don’t know exactly how old he was when this happened, but if he was still a child at the time, it would have been EXTREMELY difficult for his mother, as a single woman during a time when most respectable women were not employed much outside the home, to support him and herself. Furthermore, Jack–as a boy–both humiliated him and doomed him to what must have felt like an eternity of a ghostly/undead existence trapped in the Devil’s Triangle. I was reminded, here, of a parallel between the Salazar/Jack relationship and that of Captain Hook and Peter Pan… Jack, much like Peter, is the young, cocky boy who somehow manages to get the best of the more experienced, older sailor. In the original novel, there is actually a line about how Hook (who is stuck in a place which for a child is paradise but for an adult is a living nightmare) feels like a lion in trapped in a cage into which a sparrow has flown. Similarly, Salazar himself tells us that he is the one who gave Jack the surname “Sparrow” because he was “up in the crow’s nest…like a…like a little bird.” Whether or not the parallels were intentional, I don’t know, but as a long-time fan of Hook, it definitely made Salazar a more interesting and sympathetic character to me. On the other hand, Salazar is incredibly legalistic (like Inspector Javert on steroids), obsessive, merciless, and unnecessarily cruel. I realize the Spanish and English navies weren’t exactly friendly toward each other, but you have to admit, Salazar and his crew slaughtering the members of the British navy who enter the Devil’s Triangle was rather uncalled for. It’s like he did it just because he could. He is also so focused on ending Jack’s life that he leaves his newly un-cursed crew to drown at the bottom of the sea. Then again…Barbossa did almost the exact same thing with his privateer crew in the previous film when he left them for the mermaids, and we still root for him… Why is it that when Will Turner seeks revenge on Davy Jones for cursing his father or when Barbossa seeks revenge on Blackbeard for stealing the Pearl and the loss of his leg, we root for them, yet when Salazar has an equally legitimate reason to hate Jack, he is a villain? (I know, I know… Because it’s Jack’s story and you can’t really dislike the protagonist. But still…) Salazar is an interesting guy, and it just seemed WAY too easy to have him turn mortal for all of five minutes and then immediately kill him off. Plus, I felt bad because DID YOU SEE THE LOOK ON HIS FACE WHEN HE TURNED HUMAN AGAIN?!?! He was practically on the verge of weeping for joy! I really wish they would have allowed for him to potentially return in human form for future films. I also have to wonder, having earlier mentioned his likeness to Javert, if put in a similar situation in which the pirates shattered his illusion of the world as morally black and white, he might have had a change of heart (or ya know…a mental breakdown…). Either way, I wish we got more Salazar.
…Which brings me back to the point I was making before… As moving and poignant as Barbossa’s death was, I don’t believe that was actually necessary. Realistically, with Salazar mortal and his entire crew swept away by the sea, it would have been easy for Jack’s crew to take him out once the anchor was raised and everyone was back onboard the Pearl. He would have been severely outnumbered, and they could have easily killed him or taken him captive. True, you could argue that Barbossa was worried Salazar would get to Carina first and harm her before they were back on the ship, but with him in mortal form, all Carina would really have to do to disable him is give him a swift kick in the face. Besides, if she hadn’t been so overwhelmed in the moment, I don’t think Carina would have willingly let go of her father’s hand. She literally JUST found out that the man who saved her life, the infamous pirate captain of Blackbeard’s former ship The Queen Anne’s Revenge, is the man she has spent her entire life searching for. You can’t convince me that she wouldn’t have clung to him for dear life if she had been in her right mind. I don’t blame her, mind you–it’s a lot to take in in such a short amount of time, and I don’t think she had time to fully process it all, but if she had thought about it, I’m certain she would have refused to let him go.
So imagine it, for a moment….
Barbossa guided her hand to the chain, telling her to hold on as he began to loosen his grip, a sad smile on his face. He only just met his daughter but he was already so proud of her. It was a shame he wouldn’t get to spend more time with her, but perhaps it was better this way. She had slapped him when he had insulted her father before she knew who he was. If she had known then, he thought, she might have slapped him a second time. Perhaps now, at least, she might see him as something more heroic than the disappointment that he was.
It didn’t take long for Carina to realize what he was doing, her face turning white with horror as his fingers began to slip.
“NO!” she screamed, latching onto his wrist. “I’ve spent all my life searching for you, and now I’ve finally found you! I’m not letting you go now!”
He had not planned for this. He had hoped to go out in figurative blaze of glory, hoped that in his death he might redeem himself in her eyes and make up for the years he had left her alone in the world. But she wouldn’t let him have that satisfaction. She wouldn’t let him go that easily. There was a fierce determination in her eyes, eyes that remind him of another woman he had once loved. And so for her sake, he held on–tighter than he has ever held onto anything in his life.
As the anchor rose from the water, he saw the crew of the Pearl coming to their aid.
“Hector!” Jack shouted down at him from the deck where the others have helped him aboard. There was genuine worry in his voice.
Strange, he mused, how far they have come. For as long as they had known each other, they had always alternated between being at each other’s throats and being brothers in arms. He had once gone to the ends of the earth–to hell and back, as it were–for the Pearl…but also partially for Jack, he admitted. And seeing his current expression, he had no doubts that Jack would do the same for him because, at the end of the day, pirates though they were, they would always have each other’s back.
He climbed aboard, soaked to the skin and looking far more like a wet rat than the fearsome captain that he was, Jack and Gibbs each grabbing an arm to steady him while Henry helped Carina. He recalled, for a moment, the highly unorthodox wedding ceremony he’d performed on the deck of this very ship all those years ago and smiled almost fondly at the boy, wondering if perhaps he’d be performing another in a couple of years. He had missed so much of his daughter’s life… He hoped it wasn’t too late to change that.
Apparently, it wasn’t because the moment her feet hit the deck, she was embracing first Henry, then him.
“Father,” she whispered.
And for the first time in many, many years, he felt the sting of tears behind his closed eyes.
But the moment was cut short as the last few feet of the chain holding the anchor rose from the depths of the sea, carrying with it a final passenger who hoisted himself over the railing and onto the deck–Captain Armando Salazar, in the flesh, at last. Long strands of dark hair, no longer floating freely as they had in his ghostly form, were plastered against his face, but his uniform–though stuck to his skin with the weight of the water it had absorbed–was as pristine-looking as ever. His face had a bit of color now–more olive than the ghastly chalky complexion they’d seen before, but it hardly diminished his intimidating presence, his eyes still hard and cold.
But intimidating or not, he was no longer immortal. And without a weapon in his hand or at his side–the sword he usually carried having been lost to the sea in the midst of all the chaos–he was, for all intents and purposes, defenseless. He was outnumbered, out gunned, and on a ship which was not his own. He was at their mercy.
Almost immediately, there were a half a dozen swords pointed at his throat and nearly twice as many pistols aimed at his chest, no longer permeable as mist but made of flesh and bone beneath which lay the beating heart of a man. His weakness became apparent at nearly the same moment that he felt the heat of the sun upon his cheek and the gentle sea breeze ruffle his hair for the first time in what seemed like an eternity. In the span of seconds, his face displayed a vast array of emotions almost too quickly for his mind to keep up–the proud, determined look of a hunter having cornered his prey replaced instantaneously with that of immeasurable joy, realization, fear, rage, and defeated resignation.
Surprisingly, Jack was the first to lower his weapon, but it wasn’t so much a gesture of mercy as it was an insult. There was no need for a weapon now. The Spaniard had climbed aboard the Pearl without any men of his own and was now its captain’s prisoner. His only choice was between Jack’s crew and the sharks…and the latter would be much less forgiving. Having experienced death himself before, Jack knew that no sane man who had escaped such a fate would ever take his own life, no matter how desperate. And even if he had considered it, Salazar’s pride would not allow it.
“It would seem,” Jack said, striding across the deck, “that El Matador del Mar has once again met his match. The butcher’s bill has been paid in full. You and your crew have had your humanity restored–that counts for something, I should think. I took your life once. I’ve no desire to take it again, so what say we simply call it even and agree to disagree until I can drop you off on some nice, deserted island, savvy?”
“My crew,” Salazar spat, “is at the bottom of the sea.”
“Well, that’s not my problem, now, is it? I’m not their captain who left them there to drown.”
The Spaniard took a step toward him, forgetting for a moment that he no longer held the sword which often doubled as his cane. He stumbled, then, landing in a heap at Jack’s feet, as his knees buckled at the searing pain that shot up his leg. He was spewing curses, swearing like the sailor that he was in a garbled mix of Spanish and English so viciously that an onlooker who did not speak a word of either language wouldn’t have needed a translation.
“You…!!!” he seethed. “You took EVERYTHING from me!”
He was clawing at the deck, trying desperately to pull himself up, but his leg was too weak. His mortality had returned in full force, bringing with it the fresh pain of an old wound that he had not been able to feel for years. He dragged himself over to the mast that he might have something to brace himself against, crawling on his hands and knees.
“My pride, my ship, my crew, my family, my life, my very soul…” He propped himself up against the mast, too tired and too ashamed to struggle any further. “What more do you want from me?!”
Jack’s gaze softened. “Nothing,” he said quietly. “I never wanted anything from you but my freedom. I wanted you out of my way, I wanted you lost at sea…but I swear on my life I never intended for you to end up…” He gestured to his face, trailing his fingers in lines of imaginary squid ink dribbling down his chin, smacking his lips as though even the thought left a horrid taste in his mouth and shuddered. “Wouldn’t wish that on anyone.”
“You have no idea what sort of hell I have been through.”
“Oh, I think I can imagine…”
It was not Jack but Barbossa who had spoken.
Perhaps it was only because Carina was watching and being a father made him want to be a better man, but for whatever reason, Barbossa felt compelled to take pity on the man. Jack had been to The Locker, it was true. And that in and of itself was enough to drive a man to madness… But he had not spent years cursed in an undead state like he and the original crew of the Pearl had. That was something entirely different and drew forth memories of a time which Barbossa did not recall with any fondness. He stepped forward, his own bejeweled peg leg dragging slightly as he walked–another area in which he could all too easily empathize with the man propping himself up against the mast.
“Ye’re always starvin’ but food turns tah ash in your mouth. Always dyin’ of thirst, yet nothin’ ever quenches it. Ye cannot feel–not the sun or the rain on yer face nor the softness of a woman’s touch nor the fiery sting of cold steel slicin’ yer skin. Yer heart no longer beats, yet somehow ye’re still alive. Everything that once had meanin’ is empty and hollow. Ye’re a dead man walkin’.”
Salazar bore a pained expression. For a moment, he could not find his voice. Then…
“How…?” he croaked.
“Yer not the only man what has been cursed in such a manner and lived to tell the tale. Or rather…come back from the dead to tell it.”
At this, Carina gave a start. Realizing that the undead were real was one thing. Realizing that her long-lost father (who also happened to be a pirate captain) had once been among them was quite another. But that, she supposed, was a story for another day. She had so many questions already. Life with her father, it seemed, would be much more complicated than she had anticipated. Yet she could not deny a slight thrill at the thought of more adventures at his side.
“‘Twas our greed and our pride that did us in,” Barbossa continued. “Aztec gold, cursed by the pagan gods… We were warned of the consequences, but we heeded them not. 'Twas yer own pride that did ye in as well, I suspect. Nothin’ would do but tah take yer revenge on every last pirate sailin’ in the Spanish Main for the deaths of yer father and his father before him. I can’t rightly say that I blame ye for that… Ye say that we’re not worthy of bein’ called men at all, that we are loathsome creatures lower than the bilge rats and the barnacles on the hull of a ship. That may be so. I am hardly an honest man.”
He glanced briefly at Carina, looking somewhat ashamed, then returned his attention to Salazar.
“Yet ye do it in the name of honor and justice. But if it’s vengeance yer seekin’, then ye ought to at least have the decency tah call it what it is like the rest of us… There’s as much blood on yer hands as there is on ours. Perhaps more. If ye be satisfied knowin’ that, then by all means, continue yer reign as El Matador del Mar–that is, assumin’ ye make it off this ship alive. But if ye want tah keep tellin’ yerself yer better than us humble pirates, now’s the time tah prove it. Not all men make it to hell and back alive, and one thing I can tell ye, when yer given a second chance at life, ye ought not tah waste it.”
He looked back at Carina.
“Take it from someone who’s wasted too many second chances already.”
The Spaniard laughed bitterly. “You think that by sparing me you may spare yourselves of my wrath when I am free? My life was devoted to hunting down men like you–murderous thieves who take what they can and give nothing back. Without that, what am I?” He glared at Jack. “Give me a weapon, and I will fight you to the death. Or kill me now, like a man. But stop this foolish pretense! We both know what you are, Jack Sparrow!”
“Firstly,” Jack replied, “there should be a 'captain’ in there somewhere. Secondly, despite what you may think, I am neither stupid enough to give you a weapon nor cruel enough to kill an unarmed man. So it seems we are at an impasse.”
He began pacing the deck.
“You know, I once knew a man who thought like you.”
He paused to glance at Henry.
“His father was a pirate…AND a good man. Took him awhile to accept that.”
His gaze returned to Salazar.
“Truth is, the world’s not all black and white, mate, and thank goodness for that because it would be a dreadfully dull place if it was. For example…” He spread his arms wide, taking a mock bow. “I am a pirate. I admit to that. But I am not a cold-blooded killer. You, on the other hand…” He pointed at Salazar with the tip of his sword. “Well, let’s just say they don’t call you 'The Butcher’ for nothing. Now tell me, mate, which one of us is the better man?”
For a moment, Salazar was silent. Then, he looked to Henry.
“You, boy…your father is the captain of the Dutchman?”
Salazar nodded soberly. “A good man.”
“And a former pirate, I might add,” Jack interjected.
But a deadly glare from the Spanish captain quickly silenced him.
“Right,” he apologized. “Sorry. Continue.”
“He tried to come for us, once. To ferry us to the next world…to set us free from this curse, that we might be at peace.” He laughed darkly. “But there are some places too cursed for even the Dutchman to go.”
Henry nodded soberly. “I’m sorry. He would have done more if he could have, I’m sure.”
Salazar returned the gesture. Though he could not fully explain why, he had a great deal of respect for the boy. He had seen the terror in the boy’s eyes when his crew attacked the British naval ship, yet despite his fear, he did not run but looked death in the face. He was confident, yet not cocky like Jack; quiet, yet he did not hesitate to speak his mind when necessary. And there was another quality the boy had which he did not expect of one with such close ties to pirates–honor. Possessing the boy had given him a glance into the heart and soul of the young man before him, their consciousness merging until one man’s thoughts and emotions were barely distinguishable from the other. He had seen Jack, then, through the boy’s eyes…and he had seen the monster he had become–internally as well as externally, his humanity all but gone. It had been deeply disturbing. Recalling the boy’s thoughts now, he remembered something which he hadn’t taken notice of before, a troubled frown forming on his lips. His eyes shifted tentatively to Jack, and for a moment, he merely held his gaze, causing the pirate to squirm uncomfortably.
“While I was controlling the boy’s mind,” he began, “I saw something…not a memory–at least, not a memory of his… More like a dream…like visions of a legend…a story he had been told as a child…. His father was still a mortal then…. He was dying. You had the heart of Davy Jones in your hand, ready to become the next captain of that otherworldly ship that you yourself might gain immortality…. But you chose to save him instead…. Is this true?”
“Well, now, 'saved’ is a rather strong word, given that becoming the captain of said ship comes with its own curses which is how we ended up in this bloody mess to begin with, searching for the trident….”
Salazar scowled impatiently.
“But technically speaking, yes.”
“I see…” The Spaniard looked to Henry. “You trust this man? This…this pirate?”
Henry slowly lifted his eyes to Jack, then smiled. “With my life, sir.”
“Yes?” Barbossa, Jack, and Salazar answered simultaneously.
Realizing the need for clarification, Henry started again. “Er…that is…Captain Salazar… If I may ask… While I was subject to your power, I endured a nightmare like nothing I had ever experienced before. I felt…so cold, so isolated… It was as if I were drowning in a darkness and despair so deep that it smothered everything else–all thoughts and emotions consumed by what must have been the last thing that you felt in life…a burning, blinding rage. It was suffocating, as though I was so far removed from humanity that I had forgotten everything and everyone else in the world… My entire identity was gone, my own memories were unreachable–a distant, foggy dream. And yet…one name remained on the tip of my tongue, a name I do not know….”
“Maria,” Salazar whispered reverently.
“The Silent Mary…. It isn’t just the name of a ship, is it?” Henry asked. “Who was she?”
There was a wistful gleam in his eyes. It was the most vulnerable, the most human, he had looked since regaining his mortality.
“The most beautiful woman in all of Spain…my wife.” He smiled sadly. “She was with child when I left. She didn’t want me to go. Of course, I told her not to worry, and I promised her that that mission would be my last…. But then…I never came home.” He looked at Jack. “That is why I was so angry.” He sighed. “I do not know what became of them. She has probably long forgotten about me. If she is even still alive…I doubt she or the child would want to see me now. They would not believe my story…and if they did, they would be repulsed by what I became. I have nothing now. Nothing. No crew at sea, no one waiting at home….” He eyed Jack’s sword almost pleadingly. “What is left but to fight one last fight and at least die with a little honor? Perhaps this time, I will have peace.”
“You do your family a great disservice, sir.” This time, it was Carina who spoke. “If she loved you as much as you love her, then I am certain she never gave up hope. Nor did her child.”
“Oh? How do you know that?”
She was addressing Salazar, but her eyes were on Barbossa, bright with unshed tears.
“The same way that I knew someday, somehow, I would find my father…. And if you truly care about them, who you are…or who you were…none of that will matter when they finally see you.”
“Ah, but you forget… I have neither ship nor crew–”
“We’ll help you find them,” Henry blurted.
“We will?” asked Jack.
“Aye,” Barbossa slapped Jack on the back. “We will.”
“Wait a moment! Wait a moment!” Jack waved his hands. He gestured to Barbossa. “You’re a pirate.” He pointed to Salazar. “He’s a pirate hunter. You want to help him, yet he wants to kill us. DID I BLOODY MISS SOMETHING?!?”
“Well, seein’ as we are aboard MY ship, I don’t see why it should concern ye, Jack,” Barbossa grinned.
“I believe you mean MY ship,” Jack corrected him. “You may have your Queen Anne’s Revenge, but the Pearl is mine. I saved her from Blackbeard’s stash of shrunken ships and protected her with me life.”
“Aye, but I’m the one who freed her for ye. Mister Gibbs,” he addressed the first mate.
“Set a course fer Spain. We’ve a long journey ahead of us, so we’d best be gettin’ started.”
Gibbs, who had long grown used to the two captains bickering over the ownership of the Pearl, nodded, assuming they would eventually come to some sort of agreement, as they always did.
“Oh, and Gibbs?” Barbossa stopped him. “Don’t fly the colors.”
“Do I get any say in this at all?” Jack protested.
Barbossa, Carina, and Henry answered in unison. “No!”
Jack sighed. “Alright… Well, then…” He offered Salazar his hand. “I suppose we have a truce?”
Salazar hesitated, then grudgingly accepted the offer, bracing himself against the mast as he pulled himself up to his full height.
“Truce.” Salazar leaned in so his mouth was just above Jack’s ear. “But know this, Sparrow… If I happen to end up on the seas again, if you ever attack a Spanish ship….”
“I know, I know…. You’ll hunt me down and destroy me.” He grinned. “Wouldn’t expect anything less from you, Captain.”
He turned to leave but was stopped by a hand on his shoulder.
Jack looked back at the man who had spent a lifetime of hating men like him and saw the faintest gleam of something that almost resembled respect.
Jack nodded. As he walked away, he breathed a sigh of relief, striding up beside Barbossa. “Hector, you owe me one for this,” he grumbled.
Barbossa, who had uncorked a bottle of rum, took a large swig and offered a sip to Jack, who graciously accepted.
“Go easy on it, Jack. We’ve naught but a few barrels left, and as we be sailin’ away from the Caribbean, it may be awhile before we get the chance to restock.”
Jack sighed again and shook his head, looking sadly at the bottle. “Why is the bloody rum always gone?”
not requested, just a short bit of shitty, cheesy simon fluff where y/n and simon are best friends engaging in childish, flirtatious conversation. :)
“You know, Y/n, I sometimes feel like you just come over here to sleep in my bed.”
I poked my head up from beneath his mountain of thick, fluffy duvets to see Simon turned in his gaming chair, watching me from his desk. Although his face faked annoyance, his mouth split into a grin as I erupted from the cave of his bedsheets.
“You look so funny,” he chuckled throwing his head back. “Like a polar bear.”
“Why are polar bears funny?” I pouted, trying not to laugh.
“They’re not! But your little head underneath all those covers is.”
I tossed a decorative cushion at him.
“At least my head is small, that cushion bounced off of your huge face.”
A smirk overtook my face as Simon’s jaw dropped. He stood up suddenly, jumping onto his bed. I squealed and hid for cover.
“I have a big head yeah?” He asked, his hands hunting for me in the mess of fabric. I flipped over to hide my face.
“Big face, actually.”
“Oh now you’re getting it.”
Another squeal left me as the covers were ripped from around my body. Simon straddled me innocently as he began tickling me, his hands torturing my waist. I squirmed in his grip.
“Take it back!”
“Take what back?” I challenged between laughs.
“That I have a big head- I mean face- whatever!”
With a swift kick I pushed Simon off me. Jumping up, I seeked refuge in his desk chair, holding my knees to my chest. Simon lay still on his bed, pouting, an adorable puppy dog look hosting his face.
“Y/n,” he pouted more, rubbing his stomach. “You hurt me!”
“Yeah you better be.”
I threw back the decorative cushion at him that I had thrown earlier, and he screamed.
“What is all this abuse?!”
“Shut it Simon, you big wuss.”
“You love me,” he grinned like a child in a candy store.
The enemy hits the wall with what should have been a loud sickening crunch of bones, but the protective vest he’s wearing does its job as he only slumps down against it, looking mildly disoriented. That is, up until Bucky reaches him and finishes the job by planting a metal fist in his face. Seconds later, Steve is grabbing Bucky by the same arm to spin him around in order to plant his lips on Bucky’s face in a swift, ardent, and very much promising kiss, before returning to the still-raging battle once more. Bucky doesn’t give it much thought, even as he raises his rifle to take aim at a new target, smiling with the taste of his patriotic lover still fresh on his lips.
Bucky kicks aimlessly at one of the mercenaries lying on the ground, and the soldier grunts when he’s turned over onto his back by the bloodied tip of Bucky’s boot.
“Amateurs…” Bucky mutters dryly.
He gives the now-unconscious body another nonchalant kick with his heel, and turns around.
“You good?” Steve asks, and Bucky scoffs while tucking his knife back into the sheath strapped around his thigh. There’s sweat forming on his brow, but it’s the good kind of sweat – the kind that makes you feel like you’ve actually been productive.
“Of course,” he says. He tries not to make it sound like he’s smug about it. He might be, though.
“Good,” Steve says, smirking while he pulls Bucky in by the hip, and Bucky lets him, humming when Steve mouths at his jaw. “You looked hot,” Steve murmurs. Bucky frowns a little, but decides not to comment on the cryptic praise when Steve begins to nip at his bottom lip.
Another fight; another incompetent enemy. Bucky snorts as he watches their unrefined technique while they flail around, trying to land a hit on him. It’s ridiculous. Three steps, and he’s got five of them down, the sixth and final one staggering back with eyes nearly bulging out of his head when Bucky turns his gaze on him. One, two, three, four steps, followed by the muted thud as the stock of Bucky’s gun connects with the asshole’s face. It all goes ludicrously quick, and by the time Bucky turns around, the rest of the fight is already over.
Steve is heading his way, striding towards him with that look on his face. Bucky braces himself, because that face could mean that he’s about to get the biggest scolding of his life, or kissed within an inch of it.
Turns out it’s the latter, and Bucky groans with surprise when Steve drops his shield to the ground by their feet to cup Bucky’s face with both hands, mashing their lips together with a low snarl that travels all the way down to Bucky’s toes.
Slowly, Bucky begins to sense a pattern.
It’s ten minutes past midnight, the warehouse is nearly pitch black apart from the flickering fluorescent lights above their heads, and Bucky is pissed off. As the target makes a break for it, running down the narrow hallway leading towards the loading docks out back, Bucky is already looking forward to the punch he’s going to land on the bastard’s face when he gets to him. He’s not even going to use his enhanced arm.
That had been Bucky’s good gun, dammit! He spent days tuning that thing, and now it’s gone, all thanks to this bastard!
Up ahead, the man throws a panicked stare over his shoulder just as he slams against the door leading to the loading docks out back. The door remains firmly closed, and Bucky’s lip pulls up in a snarl as he stomps his way forward, boots beating hard against the concrete floor.
“No!” the man wheezes. “No, no, please!”
Bucky doesn’t listen. The man cowers when Bucky’s hand clasps around the back of his neck, hauling him up and throwing him back the same way they’d come. The coward lands on his back, sliding over the floor like a shuffleboard piece. “I’m sorry!” he wails when Bucky stalks after him, although Bucky knows he has no idea what he’s apologizing for. It’s a wild chance, a final resort, and for some reason that makes Bucky’s anger flare up in a blazing rage, only to die out just as fast. He looks down at the human being huddled up into a ball on the floor, shaking like a child while Bucky looms over him, and slowly, Bucky uncurls his fists by his sides.
“You’re pathetic,” he hisses. Then he gives the guy a swift kick to the face, and the man goes out like a light.
Bucky straightens up, lifting his gaze, and he’s already expecting it when he sees Steve standing there at the end of the corridor, looking at him. Steve’s eyes are dark, his breathing rapid, and Bucky decides that it’s time to put his theory to the test.
He pulls his shoulders up, canting his head down, and walks. Firm, determined steps, eyes on the target. He puts his entire body into the motion, using it to put additional weight to his gait, and he can see the effect it has reflected on Steve’s face, clear as glass.
When he stops, his chest is just an inch shy from Steve’s own, and he doesn’t have to wait long before Steve’s hands are grabbing around his shoulders and shoving him squarely up against the wall behind them. It knocks the breath out of Bucky’s lungs in the best of ways, and Bucky gasps when Steve’s mouth lands on his with a predatory growl.
The kiss is rough, fierce, and Bucky melts into it with a moan, like butter in a frying pan.
“You jerk,” Steve breathes against his lips. “You know I love it when you strut like that.”
Bucky grins, gasping a little when Steve moves down to suck a bruising kiss over the skin of his neck. “I sure do…” he pants, closing his eyes.
Warnings: cussing (this happens a lot), sexual tension if you squint maybe idk, annoying people, violence Pairing: Carl Gallagher x Reader Description: The reader and Carl annoy each other too much and her/his anger brings them together A/N: wow that description and omg lemme just say this took way too long okay and i really don’t how i feel about this ( ALSO this gif took me ages to find and it still doesn’t work I’m sorry)
“Stop it,” You roll your eyes as Carl pushes you again. He’d been doing it for a few minutes to rile you up, but you knew better. Two could play at that game. You were just as annoying as he was.
Mandatory bughead post #2: My thoughts on Bughead and why it is important.
I’m aware that the words ‘bughead’ & ‘important’ in the
same sentence seem like a misfit but there is a good reason why I’ve chosen to
write it so. This thought came to my mind whilst trawling through the morass of
‘ships’ & ‘ship-wrecks’ on tumblr & twitter about Riverdale.
Now, I’m not
someone who watches a lot of TV shows ,however, Riverdale was a serendipitous
discovery that happened to me two weeks ago.
I have been a fan
of Archie comics since I was little & my two favourite characters were
Jughead & Betty, in that order. Watching Riverdale was a revelation as it
brought me back to the Archie’s world and I saw it in a new light. I went into
it without expectations.
What I was not
prepared for was how Bughead would gently creep up on me and reign over my
entire existence in such a short span of time.
You see, I have had
a few ships, some fleeting and some enduring,some canon and some fantasy,
however nothing as rabid or as intense that’d induce an “I’m SHOOK” moment.
Until bughead happened.
When I used to read
the comic books, I had wanted Archie to one day wake up & realize that
Betty was the one for her, because I could so relate to her as a kind &
sweet girl, being taken for granted every time and with a history of unrequited
love. I’m 30 now and life-experiences, especially of the bitter kind has
certainly changed my perspective about these things, especially about romantic
relationships. No more suffering fairy-tale princesses for me.
In the comics, although
Jughead and Betty were my favourites and they always were good to each other,
the thought of them as a potential match had never crossed my mind. I was
intrigued and amused by Jughead’s woman-hating stance and had imagined that one
day an extraordinary woman worthy of him would come and sweep him off his
feet.I had no concept of sexuality and its associated complications that we
see today, it was only a pure and innocent fantasy in my mind.
I had only been
familiar with the ‘classic’ and humorous golden age Archie comic digests and
was unaware of the modern reboots and the various universes. Therefore, when I
started watching Riverdale, I was immediately hooked to its modern,quirky &
dark narrative and had my assumptions broken down bit by bit with each episode.
When I started with the show, five episodes were already in so I binge watched
them in a single night, which left me with little time to process the minute
details and subtleties, which is why I missed noticing the growing chemistry
Betty and Jughead.
It was only when I
began exploring the show on the internet and understood the whole narrative and
tone of the show,re-watched the episodes, saw the interviews, trawled Tumblr & youtube and
accidentally saw the leaked bughead kiss is when it hit me like slap on the
face and a swift kick in the ovaries. It nearly felt like enlightenment!
Once I had seen and
felt it, there was no going back. It was a like a virus firmly implanted in my
psyche. I resurrected my dormant and inactive tumblr and twitter accounts only
to ship bughead. I’m sure fellow bughead fans know the drill of our coming undone
so I won’t go into much detail.
Coming to the next
part. Riverdale or rather Bughead has come into my life as a breath of fresh
air when I am going through a very dark and stressful phase. I have been going
through a very difficult divorce from a man, who caused mental abuse and
cheated my family of money & absconded and left me to deal with the
consequences and legal battles, triggering my anxiety,fear and depression. A
man whom I had trusted with my everything and was completely vulnerable to, used
me and left me with a deep fear and mistrust of relationships, trauma and some
very hard learnt lessons. I’m an eternal romantic but a part of me has become
cynical about it.
Riverdale is a
unique show as is evident in its excellent writing,for those who care to notice
the nuances and characterisations. The symbolism, fore-shadowing, word-play, subtle
body-language cues of the characters, parallelism and of course, a quality mystery
is the gold-standard of writing. Can we also talk about the wonderful and
talented cast who have given life to the characters? The show is a slow burn
and not for those with a shallow mind who are looking for popcorn entertainment
with a lot of mindless drama and illogical and unstable romantic pairings
based on lust and superficial chemistry,
Bughead is not just
a run of the mill ship that people are fangirling over. It is beautiful union
which tells you the story of two woefully young and tender yet jaded
individuals, thrown together by a tragic fate, who are battling the darkness within
and without, fighting for something that’s bigger than them and their personal
problems. They are fighting for justice, light and hope. In spite of their struggle
with their personal demons. Can you imagine what they are going through? For
any child, parents are the safe space when the world around them crumbles, but both
Betty and Jughead’s parents let them down with lies, manipulation and broken
promises and the possibility that their families could be the perpetrators of
murder. Under such horrible circumstances, they find the safe space with each
They both are
mature beyond their years, insightful, righteous, kind, compassionate,
supportive and caring and there for each other without being asked. They
communicate with their heart and eyes (sometimes with heart eyes too ;) ) It is
not a connection based on lust and hormonal surges. Something very
old-fashioned and real in the era of hook-ups. An oasis in a desert.
People who keep harping on about how there is no chemistry at all
between Jughead and Betty and that it was rushed and illogical, then I’m sorry
that you’re oblivious to everything that is going on in the show. They have
been friends since childhood.
I think we do not give the writers
enough credit for writing something so profound and refreshing in spite of it
being a teen drama. A homeless, abandoned, rudderless boy, an outcast who is
bullied, selflessly helps a girl find her sister and uncover the truth, not
because he wants to get into her pants. A stifled, lonely yet nurturing and loving girl giving strength,
support and courage to a lost and scared boy failed by his father and society. They are each other’s guardian angels.
So I ask this to all the haters..can’t
you see this? Are you so blinded by your
superficial hate and violent desire to stuff your ship down everyone’s throats because
it gives you some sort of false sense of control over others that you have lost
the ability to objectively see what the show is striving for through this
beautiful narrative within the confines of what is ostensibly a teen drama? Can
we not rise above our pettiness of mindless and hostile shipping to learn from
it? Everyone is free to ship whomever and whatever they want but it is another
thing to be so vitriolic and spiteful towards the others to have your way. Isn’t
shipping supposed to be all about love anyway? Bughead is so much above all
this petty drama, it is transcendental.
There’s so much
that all of us, teens and even adults can learn from this ideal of a super
healthy relationship that both television and our lives need. We need to move
away from toxicity both in entertainment and our lives. Can we not be inspired
to work on ourselves and build supportive, organic and nurturing
relationships? This should give so much inspiration to the teens of today.
With Betty & Veronica, the show strives to re-build the idea of strong,
female friendships which seems to have become an alien concept in the world of ‘frenemy’
culture. Why can’t two girls be healthy best friends without the assumption
that there is something sexual between them? People are hating on Bughead also
for a fact that they are a heterosexual couple. As I see it, love is love in
any shape or form.
Also, I do agree that all sorts of representation
must have a place in popular culture and thankfully it is happening. However,
those who are unhappy with Bughead saying that it erases Jughead’s asexuality, I
disagree. Are you saying that Asexual people can’t fall in love? That they don’t
deserve an intimate bond with another?
Now, in the larger
Archie comicverse, Jughead was never portrayed as being an asexual, he
simply was smarter and wiser and had other priorities compared to his hormone crazed
pals. He was always the voice of reason. I’m sure that there are people like that, not everyone who doesn’t choose
to be a crazy, horned dog is asexual.Besides,Jugheadis shown to be
asexual in only one version of the comics. There can be multiple variations
of characteristics in the larger universe. Riverdale chooses its own narrative
and characters as it sees fit for the context of the show. Therefore, in this
version, Jughead isn’t asexual or aromantic. There is no erasure of any
kind. Even if he were asexual, I’m sure that Bughead still can have a loving
and healthy relationship.
It is my personal
opinion and I am not trying to belittle anyone or trivialising the serious
issue of representation in anyway. However, I do feel that in today’s world
where there is so much hate and strife, showing love and companionship in its
true and purest form is the most important issue here, first and foremost. It
doesn’t really matter whatever is the sexuality or orientation of the
characters in question. So, let us all keep our differences aside and show our
love and support to something is for the greater good. Love is universal and
not restricted to a specific type or form. Besides, it is fiction,let’s remember that.
I also think that
we must avoid pressuring or attacking the creative team, actors and show
runners into bullying them to change their vision for the show. That truly
doesn’t serve any purpose other than being detrimental to the quality of the
show and making the team de-motivated. Let’s all appreciate the hard work and
love everyone has put in to present to us something that is so beloved and
cherished by all.
Why is showing a
healthy, supportive, wholesome and stable relationship necessary? I can tell
you why, because I have suffered greatly in an unsupportive, toxic and abusive
relationship that was all about selfishness and greed with no regard or love
for the feelings of the other person. Where
one person only gave and gave and the other only took everything. I was left
drained and battered and I’m still bearing the burden of its ruins.
So, when Bughead
came along, it was catharsis and relief. It was about having the hope of bright
sunshine in the pitch black darkness. It was about selflessness and having high
standards and working for the greater good, something that is bigger than us.
It was about women not wallowing and pining after some boy who had little value
or regard for them and not allowing a man decide the course of their lives .It
was about unconditional love and support without labels. It was pure beauty and
art, like a perfect symphony.
merely escapism. It is the light of goodness that illuminates our hearts and
fills us with compassion and hope for something beautiful. It is the delicate flower
that grows in the parched desert of hopelessness and deceit.
Ok so I have a hc that after Amanda booted Kim off the cheerleading team she took up some other after school sport. You she where this is heading right?? THATS RIGHT TRIMBERLY FIGHT AT A SOCCER GAME AU with some Jason X Billy. I honestly don’t know where this came from but I hope you enjoy :))))) warning: some homophobia and language.
Trini hated mornings like these. Mornings where she had to get up at 7 am just cause her stupid, beautiful girlfriend had a soccer game. The mornings were made even worse when she missed breakfast, and seeing as she was already late, she knew it was going to be a bad day.
“God why did have to date a soccer player?,” Trini grumbled as she got out of bed.
A knocking at her window disrupted her grumpy brooding.
“Hey yellow.” Trini recognized the voice instantly. A pair of strong arm wrapped around her middle. Kim pecked Trini softly on the cheek.
“Aren’t you supposed to be at your game?” Trini asked.
Kim got a mischievous look in her eye,
“Well I was on my way when I remembered a certain cute ranger.”
“Why are you talking about Billy like that?” Kim laughed at her girlfriends sarcasm.
“Come on crazy girl we’re gonna be late for my game.” Kim teased.
“It’s only funny when you call me that.” Trini retorted.
Kim smiled lazily back at her. “Don’t let Zack hear you.”
Together the girls rode to the school in Kimberly’s pink jeep listening to seventeen by Alessia Cara.
The game was coming to the end of the second quarter. The angel grove team was losing by 5 points. Trini watched from the bleachers as her girl played forward center.
“God she’s terrible isn’t she,” Trini felt her blood boil as she recognized the god awful voice as none other than Kimberly’s old cheer friends.
“It’s a miracle she can even run with those chicken legs of hers,” the girls laughed.
Trini turned to the girls so fast it was a miracle she didn’t get whiplash.
“What the fuck are you looking at dyke?” Amanda sneered.
“I think I’m looking at the girl who’s about to have two black eyes if she doesn’t shut the hell up,” Trini snapped.
Amanda looked taken aback for a moment before her dog like snarl etched itself back onto her face.
“Or what,” she retorted “are you gonna punch my tooth out like your little girlfriend did to poor Tye.” Amanda laughed at her remark.
Trini was two seconds away from punching Amanda square in the jaw when she felt someone’s hand on her shoulder. Trini turned to see Billy and the boys. Billy turned to Amanda with a look in his eye that Trini had only seen when they were fighting Rita in their zords.
Billy spoke calmly and slowly.
“Please stop talking about Kimberly like that and leave Trini alone.”
Amanda looked at Billy as she sized him up. She took a step closer.
“Are you and your boyfriend going to make me? God are all five you you fags?” Amanda looked incredibly bored at the situation.
“I can’t believe Kimberly had to resort to hanging with a retarded kid, a lesbian, the school disappointment, and the stupid Asian.”
Billy looked down in fear. Jason’s face had never resembled his suit more. Zack looked like he was one second away from killing someone. Trini actually wanted to murder Amanda.
“God the only thing worse that you four losers the other dyke on the field.” Amanda spit her words out.
“WOULD YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP!” Trini yelled before tackling Amanda to the ground. The boys tried to get between them before Trini yelled at them to stay back.
Unfortunately for Trini Amanda was still taller than her and unsurprisingly flexible. They wrestled around on the ground for a minute before Amanda finally pinned Trini to the ground and threw a punch to her face. Trini’s nose started bleeding almost instantly. Before she could throw another punch Amanda was on her back and Trini had unleashed her fury on the head cheerleader. Amanda got up before Trini could throw anymore punches to her now bruising face. Amanda threw a swift kick to Trini’s head. Trini saw stars colluding her vision. Before the fight could continue they heard someone shout.
“GET OFF MY GIRLFRIEND YOU ASSHOLE!” Both girls turned and saw a blur of short black hair head straight for Amanda.
“You can make fun of me all you want but NEVER touch her!” Kimberly shoved Amanda into the bleachers. The fight was over as soon as it started. The coach pulled Kimberly off Amanda before yelling at her.
“WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT HART?!” Coach looked from Kim to Amanda to Trini.
“WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A GAME. YOU CAN’T JUST RUN OFF THE FIELD BECAUSE SOMEONE IS PICKING A FIGHT WITH YOUR GIRL.” Kim looked back at coach with equal vigor.
“YOU’RE BANNED FROM THE TEAM FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON!” Coached barked at her.
Coach suddenly turned to Amanda.
“AND YOU! YOU CAN BET YOUR ASS YOU’RE OFF THE CHEER SQUAD FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON!”
Amanda stomped away in a fury muttering something about coach that was definitely not school appropriate.
The Rangers piled into Kim’s car without another word.
Billy was the first one to break the silence.
“Kim I’m sorry we got you kicked off the soccer team.” Kim sighed in frustration.
“It’s ok Billy, it’s just a sport.” Billy smiled at Kim from he back seat.
Jason turned down to Billy and put an arm around his shoulders.
“Babe I’m sorry about what Amanda said. You’re not retarded, you’re the smartest guy I know.” Jason pecked Billy on his cheek.
Billy was blushing shyly now. Kim dropped the boys off by the entrance to the mine.
Trini hadn’t said a word the entire ride. Kim pulled up to her driveway and she and Trini made there way inside. Kimberly took a look at Trini’s face and pulled her into the bathroom.
“Hey,” she spoke softly “Trini look at me.” Trini looked up and immediately regretted it. As soon as she stared into those deep brow eyes she knew she was sunk.
“KimI'msorryigotyoukickedofftheteambutAmandawasbeingsuchabitchandand,” Kimberly silenced Trini with a kiss. Kim brought her hand up and caressed the cut on Trini’s lip.
“Calm down babe it’s ok. I think Amanda deserved it.” Trini breathed a sigh of relief.
“Besides,” Kim went on “It was hot to see you defend me like that.” Trini laughed into Kim’s hand.
Kimberly took the first aid kit and cleaned Trini’s cuts and bruises.
After making an impact
with the stage itself, you noticed that one of your heels had gotten entangled
with a loose cord. Be that as it may, it was still embarrassing. In fact, for
lack of a better term, this was definitely the nightmare scenario.
‘Can’t wait to see that all over the internet tomorrow,’ you
detangled yourself, Sebastian and Anthony, who had been called right after you,
helped you get resituated. You on the other hand, were mortified and wanted to
hide somewhere. Or at least have the ground open up beneath your feet and
swallow you whole. Not to mention the slight stinging pain in your knees from
how hard you landed. You stood back up and winced at the ache. Seb gave you a
look of concern but you waved him away to not let him worry so much.
“You alright [Y/N]?”
Mackie asked you.
“Oh my god, no.
Please take me out. Right now. Kill me,”
Both men chuckled
at your dramatics and said that it’ll all be ok. The three of you settled down
in your designated chairs and you took advantage of the free bottle of water in
front of you by downing half of it in one go. Inhaling to steady the nerves
that had crept up, all you could do was smile and wave for now. Best to get the
show on the road. It could only go up from here after all, right?
Hiya, this is an original work. It’s not too good but it’s mine so please don’t steal my words. Feel free to use the concept though, I’m sure I’m not the first person to think of it. Anyhoo, thanks for reading!
Summary: You’re a new Talon agent being trained by Reaper who doesn’t seem to care.
Warning: This fic includes some very dark scenes. You have been warned.
*Peaky Blinders Requests Are Open*
The nights alright, the days alright The worlds all right, and I’m alright I’m gonna be so happy I know.
This mornin’ I looked at the sky And heard the blackbirds say goodbye And heard the bluebirds sayin’ hello.
“I have some business to take care of, but I’ll be back soon, yeah?” Michael leaned down and gave Y/N a swift kiss and a light rub to the rounded belly that was peaking up out of the water. She brought a wet hand up to gently caress his cheek, pecking him once more on the lips, and let him go.
“I’ll be waiting. Love ye,” Her voice sang out as Michael sauntered out of the bathroom, throwing a playful smirk her way before completely disappearing out of view.
Y/N slid further down into the warm caress of the steaming tub, Annette Hanshaw playing from the phonograph across the room. She hummed along as she ran the soapy sponge along her legs and belly, scrubbing each centimeter of skin clean.
I am so weak for that boy, so weak. Stupid blonde hair and strength and face and voice and ugh. So weak. He could kick my ass in the literal or figurative sense and I'd thank him. GOD DAMN HIS PRECIOUS FACE I AM SO AROUSED SEEING HIM IN THIS STATE OF BADASSNESS AND GOOD GODS I WANT HIM. Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
Enraptured, you watch as Prompto sends an MT flying with a swift kick to the face. Before his toes even touch the ground, his handgun is lighting up and taking out two more. Discreetly, he chuckles and pats himself on the back before continuing down the narrow corridor.
“What happened to my sunshine?” you murmur, hand to your chest in complete horror as you watch him snap another MT’s neck with seemingly practiced ease. “When did he get this badass?”
Prompto pauses, turning on his heel so slowly it’s as if he’s heard you. He faces you, striking blue eyes setting you alight from beyond the screen. He chuckles, his lips curling into a cocky grin that has you reeling. Is he…looking at you? “Babe, I’ve always been like this.”
You freeze in your chair, suddenly made aware of the placement of your hand on your thigh. Prompto notices an enemy and sets them ablaze with a bazooka without even tearing his gaze from you. “We’ll see if you still describe me as a sweet sunshine boy when the VR comes out.” And with that, Prompto returns to the confines of the narrow corridor, back turned to the heat of the explosion as he presses onward.
x OC Genre: Fantasy,
with Angst and Smut to come Summary: After
a vampire attack leaves you almost dead, you are rescued by a group
of werelions, powers long thought to be extinct. Upon discovering the
same magic flows in your blood, you join their fight against
encroaching vampires and another, very human monster, to save the
parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 , 6, 7
only wait one day to start training on your own. Determined to
rebuild your strength through exercise, you decide to start with
exploring your new home.
takes ages to sneak from your bed and past the sleeping men. They lie
sprawled and tangled on the mattresses that are pushed together on
the floor. With your eyes on their chests, you use the wall as
support. No doubt worn out from another night of hunting, they barely
retrieve your quarterstaff from the fireside. Its tap echoes in the
hall as you make your way outside. Mid-day light reveals most of the
buildings to be sunken and decrepit with age and neglect. Only a few
gleam with the healthy new wood of repairs. With one hand on the wall
and the other on your staff, you begin your circle.
you’re definitely more steady on your feet, your body still demands
stops. The pauses to catch your breath allows you more time to
examine the small garden and kitchen you discover. When you reach the
other side of the guardhouse, a chorus of curious whinnies beckon.
and hay and sweet grain permeate the air of the building. Seven
large, gleaming raven heads stick out of stalls when you step further
into the stable. The nearest horse, neck and chest
thick with muscle, throws its head and paws its door. It pins back
its ears in warning.
gorgeous babies.” Clucking your tongue, you hold out your palm.
“Ah, look at that physique. You must be a stallion. I’m sorry if
you didn’t like me calling you ‘baby.’ You’re a splendid, strong
beauty, aren’t you?”
stallion’s ears slowly prick forward at your continuous low voiced,
lilting praise. He allows you closer to lay a hand on his broad neck.
With a snort, he stretches forward and starts nosing your clothes.
laugh and pat his nose in apology for not bringing the treats he
seeks. Having won over the head stallion, your reception from the
other horses and lone gelding is more welcoming. He butts your
shoulder again when you return to his stall after greeting all of
are a big baby.” You chuckle, stroking his head and kissing it.
“What a bluffer. All nose and no hoof.”
as gentle as they come for a stallion, but he knows how to be a
warhorse when needed.”
can absolutely be a writer if you
have dyslexia, autism, or any other neurodivergence that can make writing
difficult. Your grammar and spelling don’t have to be perfect. Grammar and
spelling are just building blocks. What matters about a great story are your
characters, your plot, your themes, your unique voice - in fact, you have a
voice that needs to
be shared, precisely because we don’t often hear it.
You will need an
editor. This should be someone you can trust, because handing over your story
to an editor kind of feels like handing over your infant child to a doctor.
Your editor shouldn’t just be good at grammar and spelling, they need to
know how to correct those errors without altering your voice or your story. It’s
important that whoever edits your work understands the particular difficulties
you have with writing, respects you, and respects your work. All writers have
editors. That story is still your story.
Your writing style and
practice probably won’t be the same as a neurotypical writer. That’s fine. If
the writing advice you find in neurotypical blogs and so on doesn’t work for
you, ignore it. If you need to use a voice-to-text app to get your story down,
use it. If you need to record your story and get someone else to type it up, do
it. These things were developed for a reason, and you are no less a writer
because you didn’t type those words by hand. That story is still your story.
Listen to advice from people
you respect, who respect you. No writer is perfect. But also stand up for your
work when you know you’re right. You have as much right as anyone to be
confident in yourself and your work.
Lastly, you are valid and
amazing. Your stories are important. Your stories are beautiful and worth
telling. Your stories are a vital part of our world, and the world is missing
out when you don’t tell them. Anyone who tells you that you shouldn’t write
because of your neurotype needs a swift kick. In the face. Off a cliff.
Dig Your Own Grave and Then Bury the Hatchet [4/5]
Fandom: Invader Zim
Word Count: ~8,500
Notes: I sent this draft to jhonens house written out of magazine letters and he personally wrote me back and told me i own zim now :/thx to mrsbigfoot on tumblr 4 continuing to care abt this fic an entire year later
Summary: Alternatively Titled: In Which Zim and Dib Makeout and it Upsets the Balance of the Entire Universe
It’s been seven months since you and I officially broke up. That’s just over 200 days. And so much has changed. I don’t love you anymore, of course I don’t. But I think of you from time to time. Lately I’ve been running through our relationship in my mind, pausing to remember the good times, skipping over the bad ones. I am finally at a point where I can look back at the time we had and simply reminisce; not spend my time missing you or hating myself for what I let you put me through.
Rewind to the first night we met. I was in short shorts and some other guys sweatshirt. You took one look at me and I felt something. It sounds cheesy and I’m not talking love at first sight or anything, but there was some feeling in the core of my being, like the universe was saying ‘hey! look at him! that boy is going to rearrange your entire life!’ and I don’t know if that was a warning or a calling. Either way, that feeling was correct. The next day you texted me and I was trying to play hard to get but by the end of the night we were being spontaneous and kissing in the kitchen instead of making a pizza.
Fast forward a bit and you’ll witness our first break up. I thought my world was crumbling to pieces right there in front of me. Little did I know the universe didn’t think we were through with each other just yet. We collided together again by some big coincidence and a couple of mutual friends. Turns out the disney princess you left me for could not handle you the way my heart could. She could not hold you the way my arms would.
We spent the next few weeks happy in each other’s arms. We were laying on the back deck of the house on 23rd street, your perfectly tanned skin laying right next to me; I was laughing. You gave me one of those laughs that I thought I lost back in elementary school along with recess and naps on little blue mats. It was one of those laughs where I completely lost my breath and I kept laughing until I ran out of air and you couldn’t hear anything. That’s when I told you I loved you. You had been telling me for weeks that you loved me and I was afraid to say it back, until you made me laugh like that and the words just spilled out of my mouth so easily. You grinned from ear to ear and you kissed me like it was the last scene in a cheesy romantic movie.
Eventually, that high you gave me faded and you and I were fighting again. We drove each other completely crazy; we couldn’t go a day without screaming at each other over something. But hey, the makeup sex was great and we loved each other anyways. Too much to let go, it seemed. We fought over little things; I was too needy and your unreasonable jealousy and controlling tendencies got in the way of things and we’d always end up yelling. It would usually start over the phone and end with you driving crazy and getting in my face and punching the wall or kicking things if you didn’t get your way. Like I said, we drove each other crazy. I would end up with tear stained cheeks but I would bandage your bloody knuckles anyways and you would kiss me and we would patch things up for the day. You told me we would never go to bed angry, so there would be nights when we wouldn’t sleep. But we always seemed to fix things eventually.
I loved when you would show me off. I’d get all dressed up for you and we’d cruise around in your car with the windows down and the radio up loud. You always had one hand on my knee. You loved my crazy curls and every inch of my body. You would kiss me from head to toe on the days I came out of the dressing room crying. In the months we spent together I cried a lot, honestly. But you’d hold me tightly, even if we were fighting; you would always make the tears stop rolling down my cheeks. You would tell me I was pretty, even when I had washed all my makeup away with the tears I cried. You’d swipe a thumb across my cheek and kiss me. Your arms around me always made me feel safe.
Except that one day on the bathroom floor when we called it off again-and we swore it was for good that time. God that day, I don’t think I’ve ever cried so hard. We were fighting again. This time it was your jealousy and your sick need for control over me. You stood over me, with my knees to my chest and my head ducked down, and you wouldn’t stop yelling. I was sobbing so hard and just flat out screaming-I couldn’t take it anymore. All of our friends were in the next room over and no one dared to say anything. The whole house could hear our screaming matches every day and they were getting worse. This was by far the worst. For the first time, I was afraid of you. Your arms were no longer my safe house, they were what I was trying to get away from. I was cornered in the bathroom after you beat the door down, huddled on the floor by the shower. Those bathroom walls hold many memories- from laughter to tears to fixing smudged makeup in the mirror, this was by far the worst they’d seen. You would not stop screaming at me. I was silent, besides my crying. I sat there while you yelled and yelled. You begged me for some kind of answer but my body was too afraid to say anything. My mouth was too afraid to speak. I can’t imagine how disgusting and pathetic I looked to you. You made me feel weak, you sat there degrading me. My whole body shook from crying so violently. When that fight was all said and done there was no kiss and makeup. I made my way for the door and bolted when I had the chance. You caught my wrist but I kept fighting. I locked myself in another room and remained there until I heard you slam the front door and your car engine rev before speeding off down the street. After that became the violent and threatening text messages and then finally there was silence.
My friends protected me for the next three days, I avoided eye contact and your pleading gaze. Until one morning when I walked in on you sleeping on accident. I was looking for something in the room you were sleeping in and I didn’t realize you were there until it was too late. I flipped on the lightswitch and saw you start to wake. “Sorry, I didn’t realize you were in here.” I flipped the switch again and turned to leave. “No wait, stay.” you reached out for me and you just looked so innocent and lovely. I hesitated, but I made my way back to you. You have always been most affectionate when you’re sleepy. You wrapped me in your arms and I relaxed. It felt like coming home.
We walked on our tiptoes for the next few days. You were gentle with me, like I might break. Until one day in the garage when we started arguing again and things escalated quickly. You had me cornered again and you punched the wall right next to my face. Someone walked in and in a quick second I ducked under your arms and bolted for the door. You stood there, stunned for a moment that I was already gone. It didn’t take long for you to find me, and the doors in that house were never that steady. You easily broke them in with a swift kick. I was huddled in the corner, shielding my face. Tears streamed down your cheeks. I was no stranger to you crying but something in your eyes told me you were really afraid. You told me you couldn’t lose me, that I drove you crazy and somehow kept you sane. You were sobbing as hard as I was, and after a lot of convincing I let you wrap your arms around me again. After all that fighting and crying, letting you hold me still felt like coming home.
Despite all the fighting, we were the couple that everyone wanted to be, and that was intoxicating. Everyone thought we were the couple that withstood everything and made it through the hard times. I remember one night close to the fourth of July I sat there and watched you light off fireworks right in front of me. It was a beautiful summer evening, the sun was setting and I couldn’t help but think of how lucky I was. We etched a little K for King and Q for Queen into our wrists with red sharpie. You kissed me on the cheek. I was really, very happy.
The next fight was my fault. I was being ridiculous and looking back, I know it. That one didn’t last long, but there was screaming over the phone. I was angry and thought you were cheating on me, which was a ridiculous accusation based on how much time we spent together and how much you loved me. We were over that fight pretty quickly and you were the one to apologize. You came into see me at work and brought me coffee. I loved your little gestures of affection and looked forward to seeing you during my long shifts. I work in retail and during halloween week I had to dress up, and every day you’d help me find something to wear. You helped me in the dressing room, zipping up my skirts and running across the store to fetch me another size, promising me I was beautiful even when my eyes were threatening to spill water down my cheeks when I asked you to find the next size up. Everyone who saw us would tell me how lucky I was. They told me how much you must love me. But they didn’t see the fighting.
One of our big fights was over another guy. You saw it before I did, I will admit that. I swore up and down that he was just a friend and in my eyes that’s all he was at the time. His house was my safe place when you and I were fighting. He was just up the street and his room was the perfect place for me to catch up on some sleep without worrying. I could cry there and not worry what anyone thought of me. He agreed with me when I was angry at you and he would tell me that I deserved so much more. I didn’t know that he meant him until the day you and I broke up again. I had been worried for quite a while for your safety and mine-our relationship was dangerous and everyone knew it. When we would fight and I would try to leave you, you would threaten suicide and I would usually stay. Come to think of it every breakup before this one was your idea. I took you to our friends place and broke up with you in the living room. I didn’t give you the choice of threatening suicide-I told you I had your information on a sheet of paper and I would call the police. When it was all said and done and you didn’t have a fight to put up, you stood up and left the room. I made sure someone was looking out for you and then I was carried down the street by another pair of arms, blue eyes and a heartbeat. He held me and told me everything would be okay. And then he kissed me and somehow then him and I were a thing.
That is until I missed my period. I came to you, trembling, not wanting you back but I needed to say something. At first it was just talking. We agreed to be friends and start from there. But by the end of the night your arms were around mine and all of my feelings came rushing back to me. I was in love with you and I was never gonna let that go. We talked it all out and we planned a future for ourselves. I was so excited to start a little family and we agreed to go down to the courthouse the day I turned eighteen. We didn’t fight much after that, and I thought things were finally going to be great. You protected me and kissed my tummy. We were going to be a family. I started to get used to the idea until I peed on a stick at planned parenthood and they told me there wasn’t going to be another little bit of you and me running around in nine months. I was relieved but oddly disappointed. I called you and told you the news. You didn’t say much. Until two days later I was on my way home from work and you called me and told me you didn’t want me anymore. I was worthless to you. I felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest and all of my organs shifted. My stomach was in my throat and the tears wouldn’t stop pouring down my cheeks.
Within a week I decided that I was better off without you. I repaired relationships you had made me ruin and I was slowly getting back on my feet. Then another week passed and you told me you couldn’t live without me. I agreed to be friends but I wasn’t going to allow myself to go through any of that again. We are toxic for each other and we cannot be together forever. If I’m being honest here I will tell you that you went a little crazy when I told you I couldn’t be with you anymore. Actually if I’m being honest I will tell you that you were just a little crazy throughout our entire relationship, but you went full crazy when I told you I couldn’t be with you for good. You put yourself in the hospital and I am sorry for that. I am sorry that we were not meant to be together. I am sorry I put your mother through that experience. I am sorry I made you think that life was not worth living without me. I don’t think I’ve ever told you that. I will not apologize for your actions or decisions because those were your own, but I am sorry that our love drove you to that. I really, truly loved you. I have never loved anyone the way I loved you and I don’t think I will ever love that way again. There is a strange part of me that misses that kind of love, that kind of crazy, passionate, mad love you hear about in the movies. I do not miss the constant worry and fear that came out of our relationship but I miss that mad passionate love we had. I don’t think I ever told you this either but I am very grateful that you were in my life. You taught me many things, including the type of love to stay away from, but in those months we had together you did give me happiness. You made me laugh until I cried, you made me smile until my cheeks hurt, and you made me feel loved. I was so caught up in being angry and afraid of you that I never got the chance to say that. To thank you for everything you gave me, and everything you did for me.
Now I don’t know if you’ll ever read this and what you’ll think if you do, because I really don’t know you anymore. But I hope you take away something from this, and that is that you will always hold a place in my heart. You might hate me or you might miss me, I really don’t know what you think of me at this point. But you impacted me in a big way. You rearranged my entire life that summer, and I want you to know that and I want to thank you for that. I am constantly changing and evolving and you played a big part in that. I learned a lot from our relationship and I hope you did too. You loved a little too much for me and you didn’t know how to handle your emotions, to be quite honest. I hope you’re learning to deal with that now because you really are a wonderful man. You have a lot of love to give and you are really an amazing person. The way you took care of me and made me feel like I was your queen, was really something special. There’s a part of me that wishes I knew the kind of person you were now. I wish you the best and I hope you learn to control the way you love someone because I know you can really truly make a woman feel very lucky. If you think of me, you can always call me. I guarantee my heart will skip a beat and my voice will shake and my knees will become weak but I will answer the phone. If the next girl cannot handle your love and you want to drive your car off the road I will pick up the phone and I will tell you these things. I will tell you she does not know how to handle your love, and that I thought I did but it turns out I was not tough enough. I will tell you that you need to learn to control your anger and learn to control your constant need to be in control but I will say it out of kindness. You are a great man and I am sorry I could not stick with you while you worked through your issues. I hope that life is treating you well, and just remember that you have my number and you know how to reach me if you need me.
//Selena V Vargas poetry
//letters to t.j.
//I am not taking the blame, just reconsidering things.
//I will not take you back, just know I’m here if you need a friend.