tail between the legs

6

KNOW YOUR BATS: Emballonuridae family

Emballonuridae is a family of bats commonly known as sheath-tailed or sac-winged bats. I’m surprised these bats aren’t better known, because they have very uniquely appealing little faces. I think it’s the perpetually upturned nose.

They also have a stunning variety of colors, from the pure-white northern ghost bat to the dark chocolate of the Hill’s sheath-tailed bat.

Among them are some excellent camoflaugers, such as the proboscis bat, which looks like a bit of lichen or damaged bark on a tree.

In fact, many species in Emballonuridae roost on the trunks and branches of trees, in broad daylight, depending on their camouflage to keep them safe. They like to do it in neat little lines.

Sometimes they also stack.

You may have noticed their short little tailed. They’re sometimes called sheath-tailed bats because these tails protrude out of the membrane between their back legs, which can be pulled up to “sheath” the tail. Here’s a video if you don’t quite understand what I mean.

As I mentioned earlier, they’re also called sac-winged bats. This is because they have special pouches near their wrists designed to release pheromones into the air when they flap their wings. Below is a close up of the pouch, closed and then opened.

For the most part these are very small bats, with weights as low as three to four grams- one of the smallest, the proboscis bat, can get caught in spiderwebs and eaten.

Aside from roosting in trees, these bats roost in caves, crevices, and occasionally, human-made structures like wells or stone tombs. Because of this, several species are known as tomb bats. They’re pretty adorable little harbingers of death if you ask me.

Photo credits:

Main set (species in photo caption): Bat Conservation Intl / Jasmine Vink / University of KwaZulu-Natal / Merlin Tuttle / Michael Penney

Emedded in text: Bateleur Nature Reserve / ARKive / Riley Pearce / PSUNHM / Christian Ziegler

The player on center ice

A Check Please Soulmate AU


Yes, another one. This is a one-shot.

Warnings: time-travel. Don’t try to make sense of it, it’s just fluff.


Sometimes, your soulmate came back in time to give you a pep-talk. Not that you remembered who they were and what they said, but the feelings remained. 

This story is set during Bitty’s first year. 



Eric was about to quit hockey. He would quit hockey, then quit Samwell altogether, and go back to Georgia his tail between his legs and prove right every single person that said he wasn’t strong enough for such a manly sport.

Jack had chewed him out again- in front of everyone.


(more under the cut)

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a cog in the machine pt. 1

pairing: reader x jimin, yoongi

genre: robot!jimin, assassin!au, mafia!au, angst, smut

word count: 6,954

warnings: depictions of violence, descriptive smut, mention of minor character death

A/N: thank you to @kenwayer27 for helping me develop the plot of this series. thank you to @gukvory for putting up with my constant teasers and torment.

Originally posted by the-rap-man

a cog in the machine:  a small or insignificant member of a larger organization or system

part 1 part 2

“Run!” you heard Hyunsik shout behind you as your feet gained momentum on the pavement. Yoongi was already several yards ahead of you, leading the way to safety. The three of you had been ambushed. Your targets now made you the target.

You could feel your heartbeat in your chest as you tried to run as fast as you could, but you were stuck in place. There was no place for you to go. There was no place for you to hide as the sounds of their bullets started to ring through your ears.

“I told you to run!” he shouted again, angry that your feet hadn’t made any progress.

“I can’t move!” you shout as you turn around to face him.

The air gets knocked out of your lungs when you see the sight in front of you. Hyunsik is on his knees. Flowers grow from chest where the metal bullets made impact. He silently begs you to turn around, not wanting you to see the gardenia’s blooming. You let out a silent scream, no one able to hear your cries as you watch the petals of the white flowers spread open as they drain the light from his eyes.

Your eyes snapped open to a room full of darkness. You were dreaming. It was just a dream. You grabbed at your chest only to find that you weren’t dressed. Sitting up, you realized that you had fallen asleep in his bed. The clock on his bedside table read 4:30 in the morning. You had to be up in 30 minutes.

He doesn’t stir as you slip out of his bed, cursing yourself for breaking one of the most important rules between the two of you: never stay the night. Sleeping with your partner was already a very bad idea and neither of you wanted to deal with what could happen if either of you developed feelings. Emotional weakness could get either one of you killed.

And as your dream reminded you, you had already lost enough.

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deal | pt 3 (m)

Originally posted by sugamysavagebaby

summary: the years spent working hard had really paid off and was it so wrong to want to rub that in a few faces? The cliché mean girls that often teased you for not doing anything with your hair or clothing, wouldn’t it be great to show off someone like Jungkook? High school reunion au + ceo!jeon

word count: 3,292

warning: slight voyeurism, usual filth etc

part one | part two

Monday. A fresh start to the week, bringing a close to deadlines as new deals began. The office as always was bustling with life, colleagues sharing mundane details of their past weekend and plans for the next. However, an interesting topic or rather rumour was making it’s way around the office at a frightening speed. You’re preparing your first cup of coffee that morning when you hear it, feminine sniggers to the right of you.

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2

My Lords! My Lords! Do you know me? Of course, Your Grace. You are the Queen of England. Then listen to your Queen when I command you! England is invaded by a pretender and the Scots! Since when have Englishmen feared Gaels and Celts and run from warfare with the tails between their legs? They say he is the true king, Richard of York. If he were Richard, he would be my brother and I would tell you so myself! But he is here to kill your kin and rob England of what was never his! If you fear God then you will honor your true king, Henry Tudor! And if you will not do it for your King,  t h e n  d o  i t  f o r  m e !  The daughter of Edward IV and Queen Elizabeth Woodville, who has just passed from this life into God’s hands.

Hot Like Burning

Sterek, 2.5K words, Teen

AU, Firefighter Derek

In which Derek is the grumpy neighborhood firefighter, and Stiles is a bit of a lovestruck idiot.


Stiles winces as he turns the corner, unbearably nervous like he always is whenever he drives Lydia’s car, and pulls into the fire station. He offered this morning to help her with any errands she needed, and she asked him to take her car to the fire station and have them install the car seat. Stiles had no idea this was even a thing—seriously, how hard is it to put in a car seat?—but unsurprisingly, Lydia is as fastidious about her unborn child’s safety as she is about everything else.

He parks just outside the front door, careful not to block the big bays with the two fire trucks, and wanders inside. “Hello?” he calls out. There’s a noise coming from the other side of the fire truck, so Stiles keeps walking in that direction, then nearly trips over his own two feet.

There’s a guy, crouched down as he washes the wheel well of the fire truck, and Stiles is 101 percent sure that he’s the most attractive person he’s ever seen. He’s frowning, as if he’s pissed at the task in front of him, but it only serves to show off the sharp cut of his jaw under a very nicely-shaped short beard. He’s wearing a tight short-sleeved SFFD t-shirt, which is wet in patches and very clearly showing off the muscled physique underneath.

“Holy shit.”

The guy’s head jerks up at that, his eyes wide, and his gaze locks with Stiles’ for a long second before slowly drifting down the rest of his body. Stiles damn near forgets how to breathe because yep, this impossibly hot dude is most definitely checking him out.

Stiles has never believed in love at first sight, and he still doesn’t, but as of this moment he most certainly does believe in…familiarity at first sight? Cosmic connection? Just plain lust? He has no fucking clue.

But he yelps a little in surprise, then actually manages to trip over nothing, only catching himself by clutching the pillar next to him, which oh fuck, is actually the fire pole. He finally rights himself, grimacing with both arms spread for balance, and then slaps a hand over his eyes with a plaintive groan.

“Oh my god. Hi, hello, my name is Stiles. Uh, any chance we can start over and pretend that this excruciatingly embarrassing encounter didn’t happen?”

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4

Then listen to your Queen when I command you! England is invaded by a pretender and the Scots! Since when have Englishmen feared Gaels and Celts and run from warfare with their tails between their legs? They say he is the true king, Richard of York. If he were Richard, he would be my brother and I would tell you so myself! But he is here to kill your kin and rob England of what was never his! If you fear God then you will honour your true king, Henry Tudor! And if you will not do it for your King then do it for me!

Lin-Manuel Miranda on His Oscar-Nominated 'Moana' Song: 'You Start by Thinking, Don’t Write "Let It Go"'

It’s something that really sets Moana apart from other heroines: She finds herself without running away from her home and culture. In some ways it seems like a bolder choice.

I had a similar thing when I was working on [Miranda’s first Broadway musical] In the Heights. I got a lot of notes from producers, who didn’t end up being involved, being like, “You gotta give Nina stakes! What if she got pregnant at school? What if her boyfriend beat her?”

Oh my God!

Believe me, that’s not the worst of the notes I got. Not from our actual producers, but from people who would see the show in process. And what we were trying to accomplish was so much more subtle, which was, this is a young woman who’s been built up to be the star of her neighborhood all her life, and then she goes to a place where everyone’s the star of their neighborhood. And so she sort of comes home with her tail between her legs. And we fought for that. Even though it was more subtle than a more soap-ish plot line, I can’t tell you how many young Latina and Latino men and women have come up to me saying, “I was the first in my family to go to college, and Nina spoke to me.” Because we reached for the more subtle storyline, the more specific storyline than “some dramatic event happened and I couldn’t hack it.”

[click for the rest of the Moana-heavy interview]

The Promise

Title: The Promise (Mechanic!Dean x Reader, Best Friends AU). Part 1.

Summary: When Dean Winchester was a little kid, he met a girl that would change his life. So, he stood by her through thick and thin and every time people asked him what home was to him all he could think of was her beautiful smile and her big, bright eyes and the sound of her laughter. Because, like Melville used to say, his home was not down in any map. True places never are.

Author: deanssweetheart23

Characters: Dean Winchester x reader, Mary and John Winchester (mentioned), Sam Winchester, Benny Laffite, Leslie (OFC, only mentioned), Lisa Braeden

Word count: 7217 (I know, I know, it’s a monster fic but I hope it’s worth it)

Warnings: Language. Lots of fluff. Angst. Divorche, mentions of an almost-fatal car accident and drunk driving, death of a parent. Kid Dean (trust me that should be a warning). Lots of feels. 

Author’s Notes: This is my submission for @luci-in-trenchcoats ‘s 2K Follower Challenge. Michelle, congratulations on your milestone, you deserve it so much! Thank you for organizing this and for letting me participate. I had tons of fun writing this.

Now into the fic, my prompt was “ We’ll figure it out. We always do.” and it is included in the text below in bold. (This is an AU, written entirely from Dean’s POV and hopefully they’ll be more parts.) 

Enjoy everyone!


Dean was five years old when he met the girl that would change his life. Of course, he was too young to know it then, but that didn’t stop Lady Luck from working her magic.

Everything started at the playground just a few blocks away from his house. The little Y/H/C girl was there again that morning, just like the last two times, jumping off the swing like she could fly, but Dean didn’t want to leave his mum and his brother alone to go talk to her. So, he stayed away, stealing glances every now and then, until another boy, older than him and plainly mean, shoved her off the swing and made her fall flat on her butt.

The girl gasped in surprise, her bottom lip wobbling and Dean knew he had to do something about it because he hated seeing girls cry; it reminded him of that time his parents spent the entire night fighting, and of the next morning, when his mother’s eyes were red and puffy and he had to hug her and tell her that joke about the stick being brown and sticky to make her laugh.

So, the green-eyed boy walked to that annoying kid, told him to leave her alone and when he didn’t listen and made fun of her again, Dean punched him so hard that his stupid Pokemon hat flew off and his whole face turned red.

A few seconds later, Stupid Hat was leaving with his tail between his legs and Dean was turning towards the girl that looked like a scared little bird, her big Y/E/C eyes wide open.

“Are you okay?” he implored, taking a step forward.

She nodded solemnly and looked down on the ground.

“Are you going to be mean to me like he was?” she asked.

Dean shook his head.

“No. He was an idiot. Here, give me your hand.” He said and she obeyed, smiled shyly at him.

She was kind of cute.

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A Lone Wolf

Group: BTS

Pairing: JUNGKOOK X READER

Requested: Anonymous said:  Omg werewolf jungkook au pls

Summary: Jungkook finds a lone wolf and takes her into the pack house, but as he sees you suppress your wolf, he just wants to help you.

Genre: angst, wolf au

Length: 1.5k

A/N: the ask that started all of my woes  ( i joke i actually loved it )

Originally posted by ky-ngsoo


The woods were tinged orange, as the sun dipped beneath the horizon. This was his favourite time to be out, to feel the wind in his pelt as he let his wolf completely take over as the wind rushed past his ears and through his fur.

He had felt the presence of something different, something new and his heart raced in excitement at the idea of discovering what had sent his pack into disarray. Jeongguk slowed to shake out the tingles that still ran down his back after his abrupt shift on a night with no moon.

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anonymous asked:

tw for sexual harassment, but how would the guys react if they were out with their SO and they come back from the bathroom or something to find their SO being harassed by someone who's getting a little closer than they should? I'm sorry if this makes you uncomfortable

Let’s see how many beatings I can fit into one post.

~~~

Roadhog

  • Whoever’s harassing you isn’t harassing you for long
  • They’re too busy getting thrown through a wall one-handed by a big angry hog-man
  • Doesn’t care if he’s causing a scene in a public place; he usually does that just by being in a public place
  • He checks to make sure you’re okay, then goes to pummel the guy to a pulp
  • No one’s willing to interfere because Mako’s terrifying as all fuck and, y’know, a few bystanders think the creep deserves it
  • After he’s done he wipes his hands clean and proceeds to silently fuss over you
  • Brushing his fingers lightly through your hair, gently feeling your arms and body for any bruises or signs that you’ve touched or hurt
  • Then he simply picks you up and hauls you home to vocally fuss over you and pamper you
  • Apologizes for leaving you alone several times, as well as grumbles about people like that creep being one of the many reasons he hates society

Junkrat

  • Again, the creep’s not bugging you for much longer after Jamie notices
  • He’s on the guy in a second
  • Marches right up to the guy and decks him in the face, then catches him by the shirt collar before he falls to the ground
  • Proceeds to threaten to fill every crevasse in the man’s body with dynamite, then keep him locked up in a shed like that for a special occasion
  • Like a firework party
  • Then he shoves the man, who stumbles and curses, away
  • Then he finally goes back to you to confirm that you’re okay
  • When you assure him as much, he continues on with the date or activity as if nothing happened, though he’s got a tighter hold on you than usual
  • You get extra stolen gifts and special gentle cuddles when you two get back home

McCree

  • Manages to keep his cool but just barely
  • Slowly saunters over and gets all close you, wrapping an arm around you while putting him between you and the creep
  • Then he gets close into the guy’s face and uses his free hand to show him the precious Peacekeeper he’s hiding under a long jacket
  • He just quietly threatens the guy
  • “Now you better be gettin’ along before you start up some real trouble, ya hear?”
  • Needless to say, the guy backs off
  • Then Jesse hugs you close to his side and takes you to your favorite place to make you feel better

Genji

  • Anyone who sees a buff robo-man coming their way at even the most leisurely of speeds better check their blessings and make sure they haven’t done anything in the past five decades to make someone send of ninja beast after them
  • So, I mean, when the guy creeping on you backs away a little bit when they see Genji marching over to your side, they’re not the dumbest person alive
  • But they’re still a creep and they’re going to suffer for it
  • Genji walks right by you and up into the guy’s face, and then keeps walking
  • He pushes Creepster back a fair way, until he eventually hits something to stop him from moving farther away
  • Then he gets a face-full of emotionless Genji (which is terrifying, let’s face it), who’s letting every threat he can think of go
  • Threats of him, his family, his entire clan hunting this guy down, even if he runs forever and literally falls off the face of the earth
  • He’s not a fan of his past but he sure as well will use it to terrify a shitty man back into his place
  • Then he thumps the guys back against the wall and walks back to you
  • He takes your arm like a gentleman and leads you out of there

Hanzo

  • Tbh, what he does is pretty simple
  • His dragons are just as protective over you as he is
  • So he just walks over and wraps his arms around you from behind
  • Rests his chin on your shoulder and looks the man dead in the eye after asking you quietly if you’re okay
  • Then his arm starts glowing and there’s a very vague reptilian shape made of blue light encircling his arm
  • Oh, look, there’s two of them now and the shapes are gradually getting bigger as the light slowly gets brighter
  • Of course, he doesn’t acknowledge this and just keeps giving the guy a deadpan stare, who’s now fidgeting and glancing at his arm every few seconds
  • “So, can we help you or are you going to leave my partner and I alone now.”
  • He does not phrase it like a question but as an order

Soldier 76

  • He literally just walks up to the guy
  • Puts a hand on his chest
  • Lightly pushes him back
  • “Unless you want your lights knocked out, you better be getting your ass out of here.”
  • And if the guy decides to push back, Jack keeps his promise

Reaper

  • He doesn’t do much right at that moment
  • He asks you to confirm the guy is harassing you, then he decks the man in the face in a knock-out punch
  • Then he takes your out of there
  • However, once you’re in the safety of home and relaxing, he goes back to hunt down the douchebag
  • The man shows up on the local news missing a couple days later

Zenyatta

  • He’s a pleasant guy, so he’ll start out asking pleasantly
  • Carefully sliding himself between you two and asking him to leave, as he’s making you uncomfortable
  • If the man persists and tries to move forward, Zen puts a hand out, stopping the dude from making any headway (dude, he’s a robot; you bet your ass he can stop you with one hand)
  • Not to mention the orbs around his neck are whirling a bit faster and glowing lightly
  • “Sir, I asked you to leave. I will not ask you again.”
  • If the guy still doesn’t move, he gets a little push that causes him to fall on his ass (again, robot = stronk)
  • Then Zen lightly slips an arm around you and escorts you out

Reinhardt

  • All he has to do is walk up and whoever’s bugging you will stop and run for the hills
  • If they’re really stubborn (and are one of those people who thinks they can take an old guy, even if it’s a 500+ pound old guy who has several visible battle scars), they run off with their tail between their legs when he picks them up by their torso and quietly growls a threat into their face
  • Then he goes back to German teddy bear Rein and sets up to finish your date/whatever activity you guys have been doing

Lucio

  • He gets a little rowdy but doesn’t actually put up his dukes
  • He puts on a scary face (yes, even our precious frog bean is capable of doing such a thing for someone he loves) and gets a bit pushy with them, trying to get them to back off
  • If they get pissy enough to swing a punch, then he kicks their legs out from under them
  • Then he grabs you and starts to leave, hollering that if they try it again they’ll get a lot worse
  • He buys you your favorite treat to make up for the incident, all the while apologizing profusely for leaving you alone and allowing that to happen
Leave This Town Pt 6 (Mechanic!Bucky AU)

Characters: reader, Bucky, Natasha, Surprise Avenger! :)

Summary: Your dreams of kissing your small town life goodbye are about to come true when an unexpected detour leaves you stranded. Meeting the handsome local mechanic has you rethinking your plans. Perhaps happiness is less about where you’re headed and more about the people you meet along the way.

Song Inspiration: Sleep on the Floor by The Lumineers

Warnings: Angst and then a bit of fluff. Mentions of sex.

Word Count: 2.7k

Tags are at bottom (TAG LIST IS CLOSED I’M SORRY)

**This fic is for @bionic-buckyb ‘s 5K AU Writing Challenge**

A/N: Soooo yeah. Heh. Just keep in mind that this is not the end! At least 2 more parts coming. Here’s my ask box if you feel the need to share. ;) 

<<<Part Five   Part Six   Part Seven>>> 

Leave This Town Masterlist

Full Masterlist

__________________________________________________

Originally posted by captaincentenarian

“You’re meant for more than this small town, too,” you declared louder this time, grasping his face in your hands.

“I don’t underst—“

“Come with me.”

_____________

“What did you just say?” Bucky asked, taking a step back.

“Bucky,” you began calmly, since you had blurted it out too quickly the first time. “I want you to come with me. To L.A.”

With a dazed look, he slipped from your grasp, taking halting steps backwards until he reached the bed and sat down. “Are you serious?” he asked, finally meeting your gaze.

“Yes.”

“You want me to come to L.A. and…do what?” he questioned.

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Your idiot (ft. Jeongguk)

Originally posted by bangtan

Drabble Game Prompt 49. “I may be an idiot, but I’m your idiot.”

→ cardiopalps!jk, boyfriend!jk, cardio surgeon!jk, aka disgusting amount of fluff, sequel to cardio palps twoshot
→ 2k words, requested by my soulmate @yoongihime <3 

A/N: I highly suggest reading the twoshot first! Plus, there might be another member’s story coming out of this au “might!!1″ wink wonk enjoy


If looks could kill, Jeon Jeongguk would be on the ground and frothing at the mouth right now. 

But instead, he was smiling down at the bitch who was busy rubbing her tits all over his arm as he walked over your way in the cafeteria. Her arm was looped around his, as she hung like a koala onto him, her chest on his bicep as she hugged it toward her torso and giggled along with the other nurses who were busy chatting with your man. 

Said boyfriend, oblivious to the daggers you were mentally stabbing into his eyeballs, was in the line for the hospital lunch. It wasn’t technically all his fault for being cute. It was the reason you decided to keep him, anyway, among other things. But it bothered you a ton when other girls noticed it. 

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One Breakfast at a Time

upperstories submitted:

(Rough Around the Edges, pt. 2)

Previous

Summary: The following morning… 

***

Boris’s feet felt prickly.

The first thought that dredged up the wolf’s mind from the thick, murky mires of sleep was that there was a foreign, uncomfortable feeling in his toes. It wasn’t quite painful, but it was distracting. Which was a shame; quite honestly, as the rest of him felt like it was swaddled in a soft, warm cloud, like lying on a mountain of fleece. He was dreaming of sleeping on the back of a large, comfy sheep. Maybe if he moved his feet right, he could shoo the strange sensation away and get back to sinking completely into the wool.

His toes twitched, and the tingling feeling went up both his legs completely. That hurt.

“YIPE!” Boris yelped, knees hiking in alarm, eyes flying open.

The first thing that greeted him was strange visual tones and hues, blurred from the sleep in his eyes and the tingling in his feet. They were—oh, whadyacallems?—Blues. And Greens. Only lighter, greyer, faintly cast across the ceiling above him, making him squint. It followed the outline of a windowpane.

His foggy mind thought, not for the first time:

How long will it take before them colors look normal?

Motion at his side had him shaking his noggin, revealing the familiar heads of to his pals, moppy and disheveled from sleep. Alice muttered something under her breath—when had her halo hung itself up on that lamp?— and Bendy snuggled closer into the pillows, a bit of drool staining the soft cushion.

Recognition stumbled into his brain as his eyes adjusted to the dim early morning light.

He wasn’t sleeping on a bed of fleece. He was sharing a bed with Alice and Bendy, feeling mighty cozy in spite of being too long to rightly fit on the mattress length-wise, which explained why his feet weren’t under the covers. The tingling must’ve been because they’d been leaning over the end board all night.

Asleep, his feet were asleep. That’s what this feeling felt like. Except… it was much stronger than how it’d felt before, back in the world drenched in ink.

Dang, the real world felt strange.

Trying his best not to disturb the other two sleeping Toons, Boris slowly pulled his bare feet under the blankets, wincing as he flexed the tingling feeling out of them. They were cold to the touch, as were the ends of his ears and snout, a stark difference compared to the comfy warm bubble formed underneath the covers from his proximity to his friends. If he stayed still enough, curled up a ball, maybe he could go back his sweet, soft, monochromatic dreams…

The door creaked, and Boris was awake.

In the semi darkness, the wolf made out the shape of a figure entering the room, familiar in spite of his loss of Toonification. It was Henry.

Err. At least. Boris was pretty sure it was Henry.

The man had Henry’s almost square-ish head, large ears, surly set face and all, but in place of the man’s wrinkled light green shirt and brown slacks was a plaid patterned collared shirt, all blues and grays, sleeves rolled up to the elbows, and the bottom half of a dark grey jumpsuit, faded at the knees and the top half wrapped messily around his waist. His black work boots were word around the souls. It all smelled faintly of engine oil.

A change of clothes shouldn’t have been completely out of left field for the Toon (as he recalled, Bendy changed his wardrobe a number of times over a wide variety of episodes), but the old animator’s plainer duds had almost seemed glued to him. Seeing Henry in less plain-looking clothes felt like seeing a camel in a bunny onesie. Strange.

He silently watched Henry tread to the bedside table on Bendy’s side of the bed and leave a note next to the lamp. The man looked haggard, but clean. His hair was even combed.

Boris considered keeping his head down, pretending to be asleep. But then, just as it looked like he was about to leave, Henry stopped and turned around, looking back at the bed of Toons. Contemplating, eyes unfocused and glassy—from lack of sleep, perhaps?— grey circles under them. The wolf’s felt his heart clench, and he lifted his head.

“Henry?” he whispered.

Henry jumped and caught himself on the wall.

“JEEZ—” Henry breathed, forced his voice down. “Boris— scared the daylights outta me.”

“Sorry—!” Boris’s ears fell back. “Sorry.”

Henry put a hand to his chest and sighed. His eyes looked less glassy, more awake.

“Agh, I didn’t wake you up, did I?” Did Henry look guilty? Nah, it must’ve been Boris’s imagination.

“Nah,” said Boris, truthfully. “Feet fell asleep. Woke me up instead.”

The corners of Henry’s mouth twitched. If Boris didn’t know any better, he could almost mistake the man’s grimace as a smile. It almost met his eyes.

“Headin’ off somewhere?” said Boris, nodding towards the note.

“Just about,” whispered Henry.

He motioned for Boris to follow him out of the room, finger to his lips. Boris nodded, trying to be mindful of jostling the bed, so as not to rouse Alice or Bendy. The wolf was thankful for his thick coat of fur (ink?) once he was free from the blankets, as the room was fairly brisk without the protection. Boris swallowed a whine and followed after the grizzled animator.

On their way to the den, Henry grabbed a large, dark green jacket from one of the hampers in the hallway. He gave it a tentative sniff to check if it was clean, shrugged, and offered it to Boris. Boris sniffed as well. It smelled of Henry and mothballs. It would do. The sleeves came up an inch short of his wrists though.

“Gotta go plead to the powers that be that I don’t end up unemployed before the day’s end,” said Henry once they were a safe whisper-free distance from the bedroom, sighing and scratching his neck. “I, uh, took a few more vacation days than I’d originally planned.”

Boris’s stomach dropped, guiltily. The studio.

“Oh, golly… wha… that was our fault—”

“S’nobody’s fault,” said Henry, patting Boris’s shoulder. They passed the couch. It didn’t show any signs of Henry sleeping on it. “I might have to work a few extra shifts to make up for it though. My boss, Callum? Not exactly known for being forgiving, but he can be fair when he needs to be.”

Boris nodded, faint memories of his own past experiences with “unforgiving bosses” arising. His tail tucked between his legs, the wound from the harsh look on Joey’s face all those days ago in that office now fresh in his mind’s eye. When the air was thick with acetone and Henry’s open cartoon wounds. His nose twitched, feeling a little sick at the memory.

“M-Maybe I should come with ya,” said Boris, the weightlessness of Henry leaning on him ghosting along his shoulder. He gripped it. “Help explain a few things—”

“Boris,” said Henry. There was no harshness in his voice, but it was still firm. “I… I appreciate it, Pup. I really do. But… you need to stay here. All three of you. Lay low for a while.”

Boris tried his best not to look discouraged. Henry patted his shoulder again and gave it a squeeze. It felt odd, not having to look down on Henry as much as he had when the animator was still a Toon. Henry squared his shoulders, and Boris felt assured.

“It’s… too much, out there,” Henry nodded to the window. A car honked, followed by another, and across the way, some neighbors were opening windows to do laundry. A lady waved out a large red blanket, and Boris had to flinch at the brightness of the color, visible even in the dim early morning. “Too much to get used to all at once.  Besides, I know Callum. I’ll be alright.”

Boris felt like crawling into an inkwell. He knew Henry was right, but it wrung his nerves like wet laundry. He felt so… useless. He was supposed to be the helper, the best buddy. He sighed.

A kettle whistled.

“Oh, shoot—” Henry rushed to the stove and turned the knob, using one of the dangling jumpsuit sleeves to take the metal pot from the heat when he couldn’t find his oven mitt, setting it on his oven mitt so the counter wouldn’t burn— ahh. Found the mitt. Hmm. “Sheesh… I, err, tried making something quick for breakfast for you all before I left, but, well. The mess. Heh. Wasn’t able to get as much done as I was hoping…”

Boris turned to the counter while Henry prepared a quick coffee for himself, and noticed, to his surprise, that the tower of bills and mail had been cleared off, leaving room for three sets of plates, bowls, forks and spoons of varying style and size. Each plate had a couple eggs, sunny-side up, glasses of water, and steaming hot bowls of oatmeal—with walnuts and molasses, from the looks of them. Bois sniffed the air above the biggest bowl (he hoped it was his) and licked his chops. It smelled pretty dang good.

Breakfast wasn’t the only change to the den. The mess from last night seemed to have all been pushed to the side, the floor for the most part cleared of debris, if still in need of a vacuuming. Trash bags sat stacked next to the door, ready for dumping, full of the empty bottles and boxes.

…How long had Henry been up, working on all of this?

“Ya didn’t have to…” said Boris, ears flopping back. “Dunno if we really need to eat.”

“A good breakfast might liven up the mood around here,” said Henry, smirking. At least this time it reached his eyes. He quickly downed the contents of the mug, grimacing. “Aghh, love the feeling of burnt tongue in the morning.”

“Ya do?” Boris laughed.

“Nope,” Henry laughed in turn. He set his mug in the sink, which was filled with other much dirtier mugs as well as pots and pans, and put a small tin reading Express-o, Coffee on the Go away. A cast iron skillet was all that was left on the stove, which looked surprisingly well cared for, considering the state of Henry’s other kitchen items. Guess that explained the eggs. He pointed to Boris. “Tea boxes are on the counter too, should be enough hot water between all of you. Don’t let Bendy drink my coffee. I’ll call you all when I’m on my way back. Don’t answer the phone for anyone else.”

“Wha?? Buh—how-how?” said Boris, getting whiplash.

Henry pointed to the other end of the den. A black, faintly dusty dial-up phone sat on the floor, next to the far wall, with a note taped to the wall over it. It read a variety of instructions in Henry’s chicken scrawl shorthand, and a blessedly legible phone number at the bottom. It looked as if it’d been dug up from one of Henry’s old boxes.

“I’ll call three times in a row. Only answer if you get three calls within a few seconds of each other,” said Henry, grabbing a toolbox next to the couch and as many of the trash bags as he could carry. “Other than that, just let it ring.”

“Whuh- wait, Henry!” said Boris, heart leaping in his throat. “I-I’m not so sure we…”

Boris turned to the window, grabbing the sleeve of the jacket. The sun was raising more and more, the world outside of them starting to wake up. Yellows mixed with grays, turning them brown and sandy. He was sorely missing his dreams, drenched in black and white.

“Hey, hey,” said Henry. His hand was back on Boris’s shoulder.

Boris turned to him, every inch of his face dropping, expecting to get one of Henry’s signature rigid, authoritative glares, waiting to be given the hard facts of their situation. Instead, he got a tired, yet… understanding smile. It was lopsided and rough around the edges, and looked wildly unsure.

“It’s ok,” said Henry, in a voice that, despite what his face betrayed, sounded pretty dang convincing.

The wolf felt something inside him—something that he’d kept bunched together throughout the drive, the climb to Henry’s apartment, the scary few minutes this morning where he first experienced his feet falling asleep in the real world and how real the real world felt and how he wasn’t really a wolf he wasn’t real was he?— unclench and, without thinking, he leaned his head on Henry’s shoulder, sagging weightily. Henry teetered, not used to the wolf having a third dimension’s worth of weight to him, but evened out, and wrapped an arm around Boris’s back, toolbox counterbalancing him.

“This is a lot to take in,” said Henry, gruff voice a welcome sound for the poor, overwhelmed wolf. “Don’t rush yourselves through it. Thing’s’ll get easier. I just…” His grip tightened, strong, grounding. “We just gotta make some things work first.”

The wolf whined.

“I just wanna help,” said Boris, voice feeling thicker than glue. “I ain’t much of a good helper though. I couldn’t even help you or Bendy or Alice when everything came crumblin’…”

“Now now, none of that,” Henry almost laughed.

Boris almost had enough nerve to get annoyed, if not for what Henry said next.

“That’s no way to talk about the guy who saved my life. And Bendy’s and Alice’s. And then mine again.” Henry stopped, smirking when he felt Boris quietly snort. “And Bendy’s, again, about, what? Five more times?”

“Mmmh, you’re just saying that…” Boris didn’t sound completely convinced, but the knot loosened a fraction. He pushed from Henry, trying to stand his full height. His cheeks had their old stylized blush back; his ears almost perking sincerely. Almost. He let them droop, eyes downcast. Henry sighed.

“For now… none of us know what we’re doing,” said Henry. “Not even me. And I’m from here. But we’ll figure it out.”

“…one breakfast at a time?” said Boris, trying to smile. It was shaky. Oh, he felt so shaky.

“One breakfast at a time,” said Henry. He reached up and scratched Boris between the ears, and Boris relaxed. He felt his tail wag, if only just a bit.

“But seriously,” Henry added. He was grinning, almost… devilishly. “Keep. Bendy. Away from my coffee. If I come back and find him bouncing off the walls, I’m hiring an exorcist.”

Boris was so taken aback, he couldn’t help himself. The thought alone was so ridiculous, but seeing Henry actually try to crack a joke? Utterly too much to comprehend. The wolf howled a laugh right out loud.

And it felt scarily, wonderfully real. 

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA IT’S A HAPPY HOPEFUL ENDING TO THIS FIC.  THIS IS MY WEAKNESS.

THIS IS ALL MY WEAKNESS.  I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.