Dark Merlin | Alternative Trailer [Please watch in “HD”!] I tried really hard to upload this directly on to Tumblr but alas, it was not happening. Anyway… Some Dark Merlin murdering folks for your pleasure. Please note: this is an AU. I don’t buy into the whole ‘merlin is actually evil’ thing so please, let me live. Otherwise, enjoy!
After the great divide, the people of the land abandoned their ability to cross, eventually forgetting how to do so entirely. The people of the astral realm on the other hand, their memories of the strife still remained. Distant and distorted, yes, but not forgotten.
As for what became of the gods?
No one ever found out.
(Please view full size! The quality is much better that way)
A prelude to Spiritfolk, a headworld/story that’s still in massive development and probably won’t be finished until several years from now. I thought I’d get a little bit of the lore out in the meantime though.
Clony Fanfiction - Do you really like my arms? - Part 1
One summer evening, after homework was completed and the dishes were done, Clay Jensen was rummaging through his closet.
‘What to wear?’ Clay thought to himself.
Searching through the mass of shirts, he seemed unconcerned with the discarded items being strewn about the floor of his room. Focused, but quite frankly agitated, the young man finally decided on a short sleeve, black, button up shirt. He had to leap around the few empty spots of floor to lay it on the bed, but completed his mission. In this success however, another challenge met him. Where were his khakis?
Just as this thought entered his mind, his phone buzzed. When Clay pulled the phone out of his shirt pocket, Tony’s name was displayed across the screen. Instead of answering, he declined the call and texted him to, “Come upstairs.” He still had to find his pants, after all. He hopped around his room like an off balance bunny, nearly slipping, but proceeded to search in his clothes hamper. To and fro, he looked here and there, but no luck.
Clay placed his finger on his chin, when he finally accepted that his search was fruitless. ‘Looks like I’m going in my jeans. Oh well, black goes with everything, right?’ Kicking the scattered remnants of his search into his closet, and shutting the door with some necessary force, he started to grow more excited for the end of the year party that would take place that night. The plan was for Tony to drive them, they’d grab a bite to eat at a local diner, and then go to the party to blow off some steam, alcohol style.
So when Clay heard his mom say, “Hi Tony, come on in! Nice to see you, ” he knew he was past his deadline to be ready. He pulled his t-shirt off, tossed it into his hamper, when there came a light knock on his door.
“Can I come in?” Tony asked, while slowly cracking the door open. “Yeah, come in,” Clay stated as he placed his arms in the sleeves of his carefully selected shirt, and started to button it up clumsily. Tony caught a peek of Clay’s chest in the mirror, and smirked ever so slightly. Playing it cool, he went and sat on the edge of the bed, hands clasped in his lap. He wore his signature leather jacket, a light gray shirt, and dark blue jeans.
“You know you skipped a button, right?” Tony said nonchalantly, followed by a light chuckle.
“Huh?” Jensen looked down to see his crooked shirt, the two completed buttons one spot off. “Oh, oops. Thanks, Tony.” He began to fix his wardrobe malfunction, and he couldn’t help but blush a little with his friend watching him. His chest was blindingly white, since he hardly ever took his shirt off out in the sun.
Suddenly, Tony stood up, glanced around, and grabbed a pair of scissors perched on the dresser on the other end of the room. Clay eyed him suspiciously, as Tony walked toward him, holding up the scissors.
“Clay, relax, you just have a string on your shirt, ” Tony explained as Clay completed his last button. “Oh, well I thought you might be mad at me for not being ready or something.” Clay smiled and nervously rubbed the back of his neck, feeling a little dumb for making a fool of himself twice in the span of a minute or two. He turned his head to examine the mysterious string hanging on the back of his shoulder, but it was just out of sight, much to his annoyance. “Clay, its just a party, it doesn’t matter if we’re late. Now move your head so I can snip the string.” Tony placed the string in between two of his fingers, raised the scissors, and snipped it off.
“Ready to go get something to eat?” Tony questioned, his stomach grumbling. “Sure, but quick question, do I look okay?” He paused for a moment to look Clay up and down. He wanted to say, 'well of course, you always look good,’ but instead went with, “Yeah, looks good. Especially now that you’ve got the buttons right.” He gently laid his hand on Clay’s shoulder, and nudged him toward the door.
“Promise me that you won’t throw up in my car tonight, too. I’ve heard you don’t hold your liquor well,” Tony joked as they rounded the corner, closing in on the stairs. Clay laughed and grabbed onto the rail, determined to try and leave without his mom stopping them. He put his arm up to keep Tony from stepping off the stairs, peered around the corner, and determined it was safe. Just as he opened the front door, his mom appeared.
“Aw, look at you boys. Doesn’t he clean up well, Tony?” Mrs. Jensen smiled brightly as she adjusted her sons collar. Tony politely smiled back and replied, “Yeah, I think so.”
Clay lightly removed his moms hands from his shirt, and pushed Tony out the door. “We have to go mom, I’ll see you later,” he called as they walked toward the distinct red ’66 Mustang. “Okay boys, be careful, and call if you need me! Be safe, no drugs!” Tony laughed a bit and waved bye to Mrs. Jensen as he was getting in the car. After clicking in his seat belt, and double checking that his friend did the same, he turned the key, and put it in drive. “Well, she didn’t say not to drink for once. Conveniently,” Tony commented, looking at the road, but truly thinking about how the nights events might play out. If given the chance, he wanted to tell Clay how he felt, and had for a long time, about him. He pushed that out of his mind when Clay started to speak again.
“Yeah, I love her, but sometimes she’s a bit overbearing.” He paused. “Ya know, this will be the first party I’ve been to since the night Hannah talked about on the tapes.” Tony thought for a moment, thrown off by the sudden change in the atmosphere of the conversation. “It’s alright Clay, just try to focus on having fun tonight. This is actually going to be my first party ever. Outside of family stuff, of course.” Clay glared at the guy driving, thinking back to the two parties he’d gone to, and he realized he’d never seen him at one. Why hadn’t that occurred to him before? Clay started again, “Well why are you going now?” Tony debated how to answer in his head, whether to be truthful, and say it was because he wanted to spend time with Clay, as well as protect him, or make something up. He decided on both. “Well I figured we’re graduated now, and it’ll be our last high school party. Besides, last time you went to a party by yourself, you didn’t have any back up plan when shit hit the fan.” Tony smiled, trying to convey that he would be there for him tonight, no matter what. Clay looked as clueless as ever, though, and just nodded casually. He watched as Tony’s workman hands picked up a tape, and pushed it into the slot on the stereo. He briefly admired the ring that adorned his right hand; a very simple element to Tony’s persona, but pleasing all the same. They listened to a couple 60’s songs, and Clay began to reflect on his friend’s love for his outdated media, wondering when he might have heard his first tape. “How did you get into listening to tapes, Tony,” Clay asked, flitting through the other tapes to see what was on them. “My dad had some when my brothers and I were kids, and we all just kind of developed the same love for them. The sound quality is so much better, ya know.” Clay nodded in agreement, then turned to stare back out the window, when he realized they were already at Rosie’s Diner.
“Here we are.” Tony announced. He removed the key from the ignition, and got out. Clay followed suit, a few steps behind, thanking Tony when he held the door open for him. The two boys sat down at a booth, and chatted about how weird, yet relieving, it was to think high school was over. “It seems like just yesterday we were heading into junior year,” Clay mentioned when the waiter came up to take their order. “Good evening. How ya doin’ Tony? This is your first date in a while,” the waiter innocently stated, assuming a little too much. “Actually Jim… this is my friend Clay.” Tony blushed furiously, though it was hard to see against his complexion. Clay stayed quiet, blushing much more obviously, as he stared out the window to his left. Under the table, he twiddled his thumbs. The waiter cleared his throat and continued, “Sorry gentlemen, something to drink?”
Clay glanced at the waiters notepad, refusing to make eye contact. “Just a Dr. Pepper for me.” A nod, a pencil scratching along the paper, and then Jim directed his attention to Tony. “Same for me.” He quickly went to get their drinks, after apologizing again for the mix up. “Sorry about that Clay, I used to bring Brad here a lot, and I guess he just assumed…” He let his sentence trail off. Clay looked back at him, and gave him the most sincere smile he could manage. “It’s okay, don’t worry about it. I’m sure we won’t remember this moment after all the drinking anyway.” They both laughed at the thought.
Still, Tony couldn’t help but think, 'I can’t believe he was so cool with that. I mean, I think I was more embarrassed than he was.’ On the other side of the table, however, Clay was thinking, 'I guess if I were gay, Tony would be a good choice, but I’m not. He’s great and all, but we’re friends.’
Jim came to set down their drinks, and took their orders. “Two burgers, and a french fry basket, got it. Coming right up.” A minute or two passed by with Tony texting his mom, reminding her that he’d be out late, and Clay looking through the dessert menu, amazed at the size of the banana split they served. Tony watched as Clay’s fingers delicately flipped through the pages. He desperately wanted to reach out and hold his hand, but that wasn’t an option, especially after the waiters comment. He giggled a little when he saw Clay’s face light up when he came across the picture of the banana split. Naturally, he was in his own little world, and hadn’t the slightest clue that Tony was watching him.
“So Clay,” Tony began, as Clay set down his menu, “Are you going to work at the Cresmont again this summer?”
“Actually, I hadn’t even thought about it. I suppose I should, so yeah,” the taller boy concluded, and looked into Tony’s eyes for the first time in a while. He saw a true interest there that amazed him, like his friend wasn’t just making conversation. He had gotten used to people asking about his life in a not-so-meaningful way once everything with Hannah’s case calmed down. Sometimes things Tony said just fascinated Clay, because, like just now, Tony would think of things way before he even did himself. It was like he could read his thoughts. “Are you gonna work with your dad like usual,” Clay asked.
“Yeah, that’d be the plan. I love working with cars.” Tony smiled at Clay, and Clay couldn’t help but think about his hands again, and that ring. “What’s the story behind your ring, Tony?” Clay’s eyes locked on it, as he pointed it out. “My ring? What made you think about such a small thing like that?” Clay scrambled to find an answer, because 'oh I was staring at your hands in the car,’ was not an acceptable response. “Well… you know, I just noticed you wear it a lot and thought it might be meaningful to you, or something,” Clay stuttered out in a choppy tone of voice.
“Oh, well, my mom got it for me when I was younger. We don’t exactly have a lot of money, but she decided that I deserved something special for my birthday. She told me, ‘Mientras traigas esto contigo, estaras seguro,’ which means, 'As long as you keep this with you, you’ll be safe.’ So once it fit me, I always wore it, and I hardly ever it take it off.” He paused for a moment, brushing his thumb over the smooth face of the object. “Its real silver.” Tony wiggled it off his finger, showing a very obvious tan line from it being worn constantly. He slid it over to Clay, who turned it around in his hand, admiring the shining metal and the story behind it. “That’s really cool that your mom did that for you,” Clay said, still examining the ring, fixated. “Clay, you okay?” Tony was getting a little nervous, because his friends eyes were glazing over, like he was a million miles away. While Clay had this look on his face often, this time it seemed different, like he had something on his mind. “Yeah, I’m alright… Here you go.” Clay put the ring in the center of his hand, closing his fingers around it. Once it was held over Tony’s open hand, he dropped it, like dropping a penny into a wishing well.
Once Tony put his ring back on, their food had arrived. “Here you go, gentlemen. Can I get anything else for you,” Jim questioned. Clay looked up at Tony, and with a little shake of his head, Clay responded, “No, I think we’re okay, thank you.” The boys both appeared to be hungry, because they finished off their burgers in about five minutes, taking sips of soda every so often. Tony motioned to Clay’s chin, where some stray ketchup was smeared. Napkin in hand, Clay reached up and wiped it off. They both laughed a little, muted by their mouths being full of food. “You’re so messy,” Tony said, after swallowing a mouthful. Clay moved his empty plate aside, looked back at Tony, and simply stated, “Actually, I prefer the term clumsy.” They both laughed again, grabbed their fries for the road, and headed for the car. This time, Clay held the door open for Tony, giving him a nice smile in return. “Clay, I’m actually going to drive to my place, and we can walk. Its only two blocks away, and if we’re both drunk, driving isn’t a good idea.” Clay okayed the idea, and off they went to the Padilla house, munching on some fries here and there. They both sat and listened to the tape that was playing, saving anymore chatting for their walk.
Unknown to Tony, Clay was okay with the lack of conversation. Lately, he had felt weird whenever being around his friend. He wanted to make sure he dressed nice and smelled good; he just wanted to impress him, for some reason. So this car ride was spent with Clay sorting through his thoughts, occasionally sneaking a peek at Tony’s perfect hair, or arms, clad in leather.
'Why am I thinking about him like that?’ Clay became wrapped in his inner conversation. 'I like girls, and all the sudden I’m thinking about Tony as if he-’ He was interrupted by a hand on his shoulder. “Clay, we’re here. You seem pretty distracted today, everything alright?” The boy blushed, just slightly, at the tender touch on his left shoulder, something that had happened many times before and never caused a stir. “Um… Yeah, let’s go.” Clay stood, narrowly missing hitting his head on the car, but he surprisingly managed to play it off. With a quick lock of the doors, they were on their way to the party.
Trying to change the subject, knowing Clay wasn’t ready to talk, Tony brought up something he had meant to ask much earlier in the day. “How are you doing, Clay? Ya know, with the whole Hannah thing.” Clay turned his head slightly, to see the expression on Tony’s face, whose eyes were swimming with concern and loyalty. “I’m doing pretty good, I try not to think about it much. Even though its hard sometimes, I keep myself occupied, and just… carry on.” The Latino boy nodded, responding with, “That’s good Clay, I’m glad to hear it. For a while there, I was worried about you. Truthfully, all a person can do after something like that is carry on.” He paused to think for a moment, carefully constructing his words. “You really were in love with her, weren’t you?” Tony knew the answer to this question would sting, but at least he expected it. “Yeah, I did. She was so beautiful.” Just then, the two boys started hearing loud music. Some sophomores drove by them, hollering out the windows to some rap song. “I think we’re getting close,” Clay announced. His friend just laughed at the obviousness of it, and kept walking. Tony made sure he always walked on the street side of the sidewalk, that way if some drunk driver came by, maybe he could take the hit instead of Clay. It was the little things like that, he thought, that made their friendship so great. Possibly, one day, even more than a friendship. That’s what Tony told himself, anyway.
They walked the rest of the way, telling each other how their weeks had gone, and the closer they got, the more cars they saw parking for the party. Lots of couples, lots of friends, and lots of every type of person imaginable heading to the party. It was like the alcohol was a magnet for all walks of life.
When they finally got to the house itself, Tony had to stop for a minute to take it all in. The people swarming around the place, the lights and music, the numerous scattered cups, and the sheer amount of stupidity. 'Why am I here again,’ Tony thought. 'How can anyone have fun with all these drunk, unaware people bumping into them and music so loud you can’t hear your own voice?’
“Tony? Aren’t you coming,” Clay asked. “We came this far, just give it a try. If it’s really not your thing, we can leave, but you have to give it a chance!” His volume was forced to get louder and louder as they approached the door. “Okay, I’m definitely gonna need a beer, though,” Tony shouted back. The two walked through the front door, immediately having to work their way through a mass of humans. It was a sensory overload, and probably would be even for the most resilient of people. Tony stayed close to Clay, never letting him get too far away. He was out of his element. He was used to being the one protecting Clay, whether Clay saw it that way or not, and it was an odd feeling for Tony to want Clay to be his protector. As they went through the back door, and into the backyard, almost reaching the alcohol, Tony could breathe again. It was a little less crowded out there, and easier to move.
Clay, however, seemed to be pretty relaxed, despite the large crowds and small spaces. Tony admired that. You could put Clay one on one with anyone, and he would be very awkward, but put him in a crowd, and he knew how to blend right in. It was like he changed into a different person at this party.
The two of them finally reached the keg. After waiting for a couple people to clear out of the way, Clay turned to Tony, only about a foot apart from him. “Just a beer for you,” Clay half-shouted into his friend’s ear. Tony looked up at him, craning his neck a bit, and nodded. Clay went up, poured Tony a beer, and passed it to him. Then, he did another for himself. They walked out toward the back of the yard, trying to find a spot where talking for more than a minute was possible. They found a couple empty chairs side by side, and sat down, Tony to the taller boy’s right. Clay observed the dumbfounded look on Tony’s face. “So, what do you think of all this,” Clay inquired, waiting for Tony to shoot it down. Tony held up a single finger, as if to say ‘hang on a second,’ and lifted the edge of the red cup to his lips. Clay watched as his friend chugged three-fourths of the beer down in about thirty seconds, straight through. When Tony stopped, he blinked a couple times, and with a straight face replied, “Holy shit.” Clay laughed, chugging down some of his beer. “I know, but the more you drink, the less intense it gets.”
After this, Tony insisted they both get a few cups of beer flowing through their system before continuing their conversation. Clay thought that was weird, because he never took Tony for a drinker, and, truthfully, he wasn’t. However, if he was going to tell Clay how he felt that night, he knew he needed liquid courage. Clay really didn’t mind downing a few himself, maybe the weird thoughts surrounding Tony would die down.
About 4 cups of beer later, minus a little spillage, they clumsily walked back to their slightly quieter corner with chairs. Some other people had egged them on, so they downed their drinks very quickly, a lot of people buzzing about how Tony Padilla was at the party. “Sho how do you feel now…? Less shitty or more shitty?” Clay was slurring his words, and buzzed. With a big grin, Tony was speaking just fine, but feeling a lot more confident. “I feel like a fucking winner,” he laughed, and Clay joined in, clearly feeling good in his fit of giggles. Drinking was how Tony got through the majority of his tattoos, so he knew the right amount of beer to get him feeling invincible, and right now was the right amount. Confession time. “Clay, can I tell you something?” Tony nonchalantly slipped his hand onto the back of the rim of Clay’s chair, while he fumbled with his words. “Yeah… Sure, man. What’s up?” Clay leaned his whole upper body onto his elbows, which were perched on his knees. He looked back toward his friend, with pure innocence and curiosity painted on his face. This made Tony’s heart flutter. “You remember when I told you I’m gay, right?” Clay suddenly sat up, and pointed a finger at the other. “Yeah…! Tony, I have a question fur you about that.” Taken aback, he said, “Okay, what is it,” wondering what on earth this boy could throw at him. “Is there a word for like, shomeone who likes boys and girls?” The breath that was in his chest only a moment ago was suddenly gone. His eyes widened, and his stomach flipped. 'Was this what he was so intently thinking about earlier…’ Tony wondered. “Ye-yeah, it’s called bisexual, Clay. Why…?”
Clay leaned onto the arm of Tony’s chair, grabbing his right hand, staring at his ring while he talked. “It all started in PE. I was looking at you a cou-couple days ago, and I thought to myself, 'huh, Tony has nice arms,’ and then I thought 'woah, wut,’ so I avoided you… until you asked me if I wanted to go to the party. Then I got all weird about that and dressed up to impress you, and you have really nice hair 'n stuff, and basically I think I might like dudes. Like a dude with a red mustang, leather jacket, and tattoos. Does that make me bishexual?” Clay had slumped over onto Tony’s shoulder now, still grasping his right wrist ever so gently. Tony was absolutely speechless, speechless over the fact that Clay was practically laying on him, speechless over Clay’s confession that he thinks he’s bisexual, and speechless because this means he might be able to actually be with the only guy he truly wants. “Tony,” Clay slurred, turning his head to look at the astonished boy. Tony glanced into his eyes, and slid his left arm around his back, caressing his crushes’ shoulder. He turned his head back to the party, straight in front of him, and nearly whispered, “Yeah, Clay. I think that does make you bisexual.” For a while, Tony just rubbed Clay’s back, they relaxed, and just let what was said sink in. “Do you really like my arms,” the Latino boy joked, but he was met with total seriousness. “Yeah… I do.” Clay snuggled into Tony a little more, getting more and more comfortable with the idea of being so close to him. “You know, I’ve liked you for a long time, Jensen, but I never thought you’d… I never thought you would think of me as anything but a friend.” Clay began to stand up, slowly, but very determined. He held out his hand for Tony to stand, too. “Come on, let’s go somewhere else.” Tony grabbed his hand, stood, and was led through the crowd of people, back through the front door, and out to the sidewalk. “Clay, where are we going,” Tony said with a giddy smile spread across his face. “To your car. We gotta go somewhere.”
That question actually hit my feels. I’m gonna do the best I can to explain.
was an amazing character and I loved her more than I could ever put into
words. In the pilot, the present her to us as a high qualified agent who takes no one’s bulls**t.
Her chemistry with Gibbs is another thing I adore but that’s another story. So yes, she did her job really well and was proud of it, and given that it was 2003 and there were lots of men there, that’s one thing you gotta admire. Let’s take a moment now to appreciate her gorgeous smile:
The following episodes show how she started to get used to NCIS and Gibbs’ way of doing things. Remember when he was like
Plus, she got on well with the others (Tony, Mcgee, Abby, Gibbs, Ducky). She formed special relationships with everyone.
Another reason for loving her was that she was very kind hearted and always thought the best of everyone (which sometimes led to some people backstabbing her, like 1x03 and 1x10). Bottom line is, she was a really nice person, even if her job meant dealing with all those deaths and murderers. She never stopped smiling and always encouraged her teammates and took care of them.
She also didn’t lack badassery.
She was serious at important times, even when her teammates weren’t.
She was willing to make sacrifices for her teammates, or more accurately, family. Remember when she stayed with Tony even if he had the plague to keep him company?
Or when she jumped in front of a bullet for Gibbs?
She was never afraid to speak up, not even to superiors from other agencies.
And she was good with kids too:
Basically I have a lot of respect for that character and I am really hurt about what they did to her (s2 changes, 2x23) which only makes me wanna protect her even more.
And the reason I’ve been blogging about her these past days was that yesterday (May 24th) was the 12th anniversary of her death and I haven’t gotten over it yet. I don’t think I ever will because she was just too awesome.
Tl;dr: Caitlin Todd was a splendid character with numerous qualities who deserved much better and I will always love her.
today i discovered that watching the live shows on youtube is actually way less glitchy than younow I'm a creature of habit so i just kept watching them on younow but i realize the quality on yt is much better
younow is the rawest way to watch liveshows we die like men
First Todomomo kiss? asldkfadfjlkjf these are cute
I’m glad you like them! I hope this is cute enough for you! This is set in the future – when the two of them are pros. You might consider this a continuation of this little ficlet.
Shouto paused at an intersection. Masked villains filtered in from the right, terrorising anyone caught in their path. Civilians ran screaming to his left. If he ran towards the people, many more would be slaughtered on his behalf. If he ran towards the villains – the people would still be slaughtered, without a hero to bring them hope. Damn it, what was he supposed to do? This would be a lot easier if he were alone.
But he wasn’t.
Momo lay unconscious in his arms, wisps of dark hair plastered to her glowing face. Her skin was bruised and battered, like broken bristles of a brush she’d once used to create. It would take some time for her to rouse from her injured state. Time he didn’t have to spare.
‘Don’t do this to me, Momo,’ he urged, casting about for signs of escape.
You’re a hero now, he heard her say in his mind. The civilians should be our first priority. They’re defenceless.
He was doing it again, he realised. Letting his heart – his feelings – rule his thoughts on the battlefield. Balancing her weight against one arm, Shouto raised his right hand and created a glistening wall of ice, hoping to slow his pursers down. He then forged a slope at his feet and proceeded to ride it over the heads of the civilians. Seeing him above them, close enough to fight, gave them a glimmer of hope. He saw it flash in the way they smiled underneath him.
‘Come on, Midoriya,’ he muttered, thinking back to the SOS he’d posted. If anyone could pull through on his behalf, it was All Might’s successor. ‘Momo needs you.’ I need you.
It would be nice if Shouto didn’t have to rely on anyone else, but there were times, such as these, when one hero just wasn’t enough. Of course, he and Momo couldn’t have known that their primary hideout was close by. They’d only intended to flush out the leader during one his anti-hero tirades. Cut them dead at the source.
Settling on a flat rooftop in the distance, Shouto laid Momo on the ground and turned back towards the chase. His barrier of ice exploded behind them, sending eliciting screams from anyone the shards hit.
What should I do? His gaze flicked to Momo, who still lie unconscious beside him. What would she do?
She seemed so at peace despite her injuries. If she were awake, he knew for sure she’d have an answer. Her strategies had gotten them out of worse messes than this.
‘Think,’ he cursed himself. ‘What should I–’ That’s when he spotted it, the pipe leak flooding out onto the street below.
When he was certain the villagers were clear of the street, he eased himself onto the edge of the rooftop and sat, waiting, for opportunity to arrive. Sure enough the villains poured out of a side street, hoping to ambush Shouto and his injured friend, and stumbled right into his trap.
Ice began to rise from the water, trapping their feet, first, then their waists, spiralling in tendrils all the way up to their hands. The water enhanced the speed of his quirk, sending it shimmering in all directions like a spark of flame dancing on a puddle of oil. It wrapped itself around each and everyone one of them, securing their bodies – and their hands-on quirks – within it. The element of surprise had been enough to prevent them from stopping his quirk.
It wouldn’t hold forever, he knew. But it would hold long enough for them to be detained. Heaving a sigh, Shouto dropped to his knees beside Momo, suddenly aware of how exhausted he’d become. Being a pro hero wasn’t something to be taken lightly. It had only been a year since graduating and neither he nor Momo had made a name for themselves yet. But fame didn’t really matter. Not if they could save people from harm.
Shouto fixed Momo with a worried stare. Her eyes fluttered open to meet his gaze. She winced against the sunlight, then at what he could only assume was the pain riddling her body. Regardless, she eased herself up onto her elbows and pierced him with a hard stare.
Shouto nodded. ‘See for yourself.’
Glancing over the edge of the rooftop, Momo’s lips twitched up into a smile. ‘There sure were a lot of them, huh?’
‘Yeah. More than I can count.’
‘Are the people safe, too?’ she asked.
That was so typical of her – while he was worrying for Momo, she was worrying about everybody else. She’d lose a leg or an arm or her entire quirk just to protect one single person. It was a quality that made her a much better hero than he was.
‘Midoriya and the others are on their way.’ Sirens whirred in the distance, as if summoned by his words. ‘Let’s keep watch until then.’
Momo shuffled closer to him on the rooftop. Her hand knocked his own as she moved, and he became suddenly aware of how happy he was to see her mobile again.
‘I was worried about you,’ he confessed.
‘Why? You handled it yourself, didn’t you?’
‘I had your help.’
Momo raised a brow in questioning.
‘I mean,’ he explained, ‘the plan. I tried to think of something you would do. Something you might create.’
Momo let out a gentle laugh. ‘You say that like I’m the only one capable of creating things.’
‘My quirk is that of destruction,’ he said.
‘Really? Because that looks pretty beautiful to me.’
Shouto followed her gaze to where the ice had lapped up a nearby chimney top and erupted in the form of a geyser. It shone an array of different colours where the sun touched it just right.
This time, it was Shouto’s hand that brushed Momo’s, and when he felt the warmth of her skin against his own, he gave it a more purposeful push in her direction. Turning her hand to interlock their fingers, he said nothing as he watched the colours glinting off the solid geyser.
Momo squeezed his hand. ‘People all around the world use ice to sculpt beautiful things, you know. I only really know how to make weapons and tools. Those aren’t necessarily beautiful.’ Tilting her head, Momo smiled at the shimmer of colours on the chimney top. ‘But I’ve always believed that we should cherish beautiful things. Especially during times like this.’
Shouto’s attention returned to Momo. Her eyes melted under his gaze, exposing layer after layer of untapped emotion – of wisdom and courage and all the things he’d always liked about her.
Leaning in, he hesitated for just a moment before closing the distance between them. Her lips were soft against his own; gentle and sweet. Just like her.
Alarmed at what he’d done, Shouto drew back and stared at her, warmth tingling up the back of his neck. He tapped into his quirk to regulate the sensation, but no matter how hard he tried to cool himself down, his heart had other plans.
Momo peered at him through misty eyes. ‘W-what was that for?’ she asked.
‘You said we should cherish beautiful things.’ Shouto cleared his throat.
Momo’s face turned as red as her costume. ‘T-that–’
‘I cherish you, Momo,’ he whispered. ‘I always will.’