thinning the herd

Office Party 2016

I hate office Christmas parties. Hate them. It’s not the music or the ugly as sin sweaters. It’s not even the shitty Secret Santa exchanges or the awkward, hopefully forgotten conversations with half-drunken co-workers who don’t even have the common decency to look at you the other 364 miserable days. It’s none of that.

It’s f*cking Craig.

Perfect Craig and his bullshit, ‘go get em’ attitude that makes the rest of us look bad, and his million dollar smile. I don’t think I’ve ever hated anything more than I hate this a*hole. There’s always one of him in every office, one guy who’s so locked in to winning that no one else gets a chance. Gotta hand it to him. He’s good at it. It’s gotten him a corner office, front row parking space and a shot at every single worthwhile piece of tail in the department. Jerk is always one step ahead, one move faster.

I hate him.

I sipped my watered-down, bottom shelf Gin and watched as Craig spun Sheila for the billionth time on the dance floor to some shitty 80’s pop song. I can’t stomach the sight of it. I’m stuck over here, invisible in this ridiculous Santa’s hat, under the bar’s muted television, and this piece of shit is having the time of his life, getting patted on the back and having free drinks tossed his way.

God, I hate him…

This party’s not gonna end the same as last year’s. Not by a long shot. I won’t be slinking home alone, and Craig won’t be enjoying the intern. I came prepared this year. Right after I’m done with this shitty drink, I’m gonna get the revolver from my glove compartment and show everyone who really deserves the respect. I’ll show them who’s not gonna get pushed around any—

BANG!

The party screamed and I snapped to the ear-splitting sound. The pistol’s barrel breathed a spiral of sinister smoke up past Craig’s waist and in front of his eyes. Sheila’s crumpled body is in a heap by his side. I watched, heart pounding in my throat, as Craig reached up and locked the door behind him.

“I’m tired of carrying all of you useless bastards all year long,” Craig said, darkly. The gun eagerly panned over the shivering mass of our co-workers. “Time to thin the herd.”

When the gun settled on me I knew I was f*cked. It’s like I said before. Craig was always one step ahead. One move faster.

anonymous asked:

I'm a hostess and the restaurant I work at our customers that come in are mainly old. So that being said I h8 my job most days because I get yelled at by the guests that come in because they ALL want window seats, won't sit in the middle dining room, won't sit in a table for 2 when they only have 2 people or even 1, get mad if there's kids in the same dining room, don't like to sit next to the "hoodlums" (Mexican/African Americans) and it's so frustrating and they are just so mean and picky.

Why do these types of old people group together? If anything they’re the hoodlums. Old age needs to hurry the fuck up already with thinning that herd. -Abby

anonymous asked:

I wish you would write a fic where ... Dominic Purcell's portrayal of Dracula from Blade Trinity shows up. Like a crossover/fusion or maybe a Mick Rory vampire AU.

Fic: The Righteous Men (AO3 Link)
Fandom: The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Blade: Trinity
Pairing: Mick Rory/Leonard Snart

Summary: The boy who likes to visit the tombs is back again. Doesn’t he know better than to disturb a sleeping vampire?

(After the end of humanity’s reign on earth, Len makes-believe that a vampire he’s called Mick is his friend. It’s not as made up as he might think.)

A/N: Slight fusion with Blade: Trinity, in which I borrow the following: Dominic Purcell (who plays Mick) plays Dracula (called Drake in the movie), an ancient vampire with very specific ideas about honor. The rest is mine.

WARNING: violence, explicit sexual content

——————————————————————————————–

Leo likes to go to the crypts when he has the time, which is to say, when Lisa (baby) is asleep and Lisa (mother) is around to keep an eye on her to make sure the baby doesn’t turn over the wrong way, and maybe is even sober enough to do it, too, and when his father is busy at the local Courts.

Leo likes the crypts because they’re empty.

Very few people ever go there outside of the holidays.

Oh, sure, teenagers looking for a place to screw, or middle schoolers daring each other to go be brave. But they usually scatter, giggling in terror, and run home.

Leo’s home is scarier than the crypts.

Most of the year, though, the gigantic gothic cathedrals, filled with endless stacked rows of box-like marble tombs surrounded by curving pipes, are totally empty.

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Io

An excerpt from my novel, Citizens of Jericho, concerning an event in the war that, while unimportant in the ultimate scheme of things, remains hugely significant in the lives of two of our characters. 

Mostly under the cut because of content warnings: graphic depiction of violence. 


Nobody was where they were supposed to be. Dead, too many of them, an as yet uncounted number of their own people, dead, and for no other reason than that nobody was where they were supposed to be.

        Bad intelligence.

        Cohen was still reeling.

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comicbook.com
Arrow Season 5 Finale: Five Theories On How the Cliffhanger Will Be Resolved
Arrow season 5 was both a welcome return to form for the series, and an epic rollercoaster ride, [...]

Arrow season 5 was both a welcome return to form for the series, and an epic rollercoaster ride, that was full of surprises (i.e., the Prometheus reveal). The Arrow season 5 finale ended things on one hell of a cliffhanger, with Prometheus/Adrian Chase blowing up Lian Yu, the remote island were Oliver Queen was once stranded - and where his former Team Arrow friends and foes may have just been destroyed.

Now that Arrow is done for the season, the show’s fans are understandably twsiting in the in, wondering what may have become of some their favorite (and not so favorite) supporting characters. We’re definitely caught up in our own speculative debates about where Arrow will/should go from here - including the theories we’re about to share.

Here are 5 Theories on How Arrow Should Resolve Its Season 5 Cliffhanger.

The Great Escape

The first and most popular theory is that Team Arrow escaped from Lian Yu unscathed.

In the final moments of Arrow season 5, Oliver ordered his team to get across the island to take possession of an ARGUS boat docked on shore. Given the nature of that order and the island, it’s conceivable that the team made it to safety.

Slade Wilson/Deathstroke was supposed to lead the team to the boat; Slade was stranded on Lian Yu along with Oliver, so he would naturally have knowledge of all shortcuts and “island hacks” for getting to the boat on time.

More to the point: we know from Arrow season 4 Lian Yu is an epicenter of mystical energies. In the time since he left and returned, Deathstroke may have also picked up a trick or two for using the mystical power on the island to escape death.

Whatever explanation there is, it wouldn’t be hard for the Arrow showrunners to sell the idea that the team escaped destruction intact.

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The Liam Neeson Nightmare (Chapter 2)

Chapter 1

Originally posted by miss-swan

Wade Wilson x Reader

Warnings: Language (a lot), slow burn, semi-gory

Summary: You and Wade were friends long before he became Deadpool but now you two are going to be working together and things feel different.

A/N: Feeling better today but still not great. Hope you guys enjoy.


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anonymous asked:

Top favorite Shallura headcanons.

It’s so hard to choose favorites!

I love the idea that Shiro and Allura become so comfortable with one another that it’s almost like mind-reading. Sparring becomes like dancing; even in battle against their enemies, they just flow through and around each other, knowing exactly where the other is, what they’re doing, what they need. Shiro’s leaving his left side open again, so Allura moves to cover it. She’s getting cocky, taking on too many opponents at once, so he thins the herd a bit.

And in daily life, it’s just natural to hand her a cup just as she’s looking for one, to know exactly how much spice he likes in his food goo (too much for her taste), to know that exactly how to pull her away from going over things one more time before bed (seducing her doesn’t work; she won’t let herself give in when it’s something this important to her), and, for that matter, to know exactly how to pull HIM away from going over things one more time before bed (seduction works about 60% of the time).

That’s only one headcanon, but it feels so long already ^_^;;;

Distraction (RWBY Snippet)

“Ruby!” Yang shouted. “What are you doing?”

The mighty leader of Team RWBY had run into yet another rock face first. If her Aura hadn’t been in place to take the edge off the blow, she would most likely have needed major corrective surgery to make her face resemble something other than a pancake. As it was, Ruby staggered away from the rock, clutching at her face and muttering some very un-Ruby-like curses.

“Seriously, Ruby?” Yang growled, grabbing her sister and yanking her out of the way as she pummelled another pair of Grimm. “This is the fourth time this week! What’s wrong with you?”

Blake rolled her eyes. “I think it’s pretty obvious what’s wrong with Ruby.”

“Huh?” Yang kicked one Grimm in the face and crushed the skull of another. “What do you mean?”

Blake nodded at the other member of Team RWBY. Weiss Schnee was cutting through the Grimm with elegant ease, her rapier a constant blur of motion as Dust attack after Dust attack annihilated her enemies. The backlash of those attacks had kicked up a mighty wind… a mighty wind that had done some very interesting things to her skirt.

Yang could now see what kind of underwear Weiss liked to wear. Red lace? Very nice.

“Really?” Yang grabbed Ruby and shook her little sister like a rag doll as Blake continued to thin the herd of Grimm around them. “You ran into a rock - again - because you saw up Weiss’s skirt?”

Ruby made a whining sound. “But… but… it’s Weiss!” Ruby pointed at the heiress. “Look at her legs! Look at her -”

Yang sighed and threw Ruby at a bunch of weak-looking Grimm. “Get your head back in the fight, Ruby!” She glanced at Blake. “And can you give me your coat?”

Blake tossed her coat to Yang.

“Wear this.” Yang threw the coat over Weiss’s shoulders.

“What? Why?” Weiss growled as she kicked one of the Grimm in the head, causing Ruby to miss a step and almost impale herself on Crescent Rose. 

“Because if you don’t we’re going to end up as Team WBY.”

Hot or Cold

Summary: The team is finally getting the weekend off. Keywords: Finally. Getting off.

Pairing: Bucky x Reader

Word Count: 2747

Genre: Tension, LIGHT smut. Smut Lite™.

Warnings: Mentions of sinful activity.

Part 2 ‘Getting Warmer

Originally posted by blankspace-1989-me

The past few weeks had been particularly exhausting due to the back to back missions the team was sent on. So when Fury informed the group that you would all have the weekend off, everyone was more than excited. Tony hadn’t even let Fury finish speaking before he rushed out of the compound, calling Pepper and telling her to get ready for a peaceful weekend together. You smiled at his eagerness as Fury finished talking and let you all start your much-needed break. The rest of the boys, consisting of Steve, Sam, Bucky, and Clint, always enjoyed spending at least one night off just to hang out with each other and play games. Some nights that meant contact sports, others it meant paintball or laser tag. Tonight, they decided on a friendly game of basketball. That just left the girls to their own devices for the evening. Yourself, Natasha, and Wanda had opted for a relaxing night in, a chance to unwind and dispense of the formalities you would have to uphold around your male teammates. Basically, you wanted to have a couple drinks and talk absolute trash with your girls. It was going to be fun.

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nightswatchrebel  asked:

The thing that make PrinceWhateverhisface whole argument come apart is how he strictly avoids talking past the part that suits his argument. Stiles didnt lie, he was never asked and avoided the topic because Scott said that the chimera kids were victims. Naturally what Prince neglects to mention is that a few episodes later scott is setting those same chimera kids up to be murdered and never mentions this plan to the pack. Thats a huge torpedo to the whole bs accountability argument

THANK YOU!

I saw PEW try to reference the plan with Deucalion even going so far as to say “if I hired someone who ended up killing does that make me a murderer?” and I answered “Yes, if that was your plan” and it was definitely Scott’s plan.  And if it wasn’t, then what was?  He even said that Scott gave them Deucalion because they’d been looking for him, but I’m like, the only reason they even knew he existed was because of SCott.  So if you’re giving me the story of him being the ultimate mastermind then you have to followthrough with the fact that he planted Deucalion to thin the herd and neutralize the threat by any means necessary. 

Which would have worked perfectly in their “Scott is not just always morally good spiel” except that Scott castigates Stiles all season long about how they have to save everyone and no one should die by their hand. 

So either Scott is a murderer or he’s a blithering idiot and PEW and co are trying to have him be both while calling him a hero. 

Five seconds with Misha Collins: A Novel

This is part 3 of “Sparrow’s Infinitely Long JIBCon Report”, a writeup about JIBCon that I posted to fandomnatural a couple days ago after my first JIBCon, which was held in Rome last week. It was the first con (of any type) that I’ve ever attended. I was livetweeting it for fandomnatural, and I wrote up a thing about my Jensen, Jared & Mark interactions (all of which were great) for fandomnatural as well. But the Misha part got so long it somehow turned into a whole damn novel, really about the whole fangirl experience. Here it is.

MISHA

Ok so, of all the main cast Misha definitely is the one I most wanted to see… and definitely has the most potential to rattle me, lol. I was hoping, kind of desperately hoping actually, that the Misha photo ops would be later in the weekend so that I could get settled in first, maybe get to see him a few times from afar first and kind of get used to the idea. BUT NO, when I consulted my schedule the Misha photo ops were like VERY FIRST THING ON DAY 1, before the main stage had even started, and so I was all “…. shit”, lol.  (He did actually have a few other op sessions later actually, but those conflicted with other ops I also had to do).

The very very first thing of course on day 1, though, is just to get into Jibcon at all, which means standing in a loooong line at registration to show our id’s and get our passes. While in that long line, I got talking to a German girl next to me. It turned out she was also at her very first con. We were each pretty relieved to find another newbie and so we started bonding over first-con jitters. She said, “I’m kind of worried I’m going to panic at the photos.” This was absolutely my strongest fear as well and I said “Me too.” I was really thinking privately, “I’m not just ‘kind of worried’, I’m TERRIFIED,” and then she added, now with this sort of stricken look on her face, “Especially Jared. I’m really nervous about Jared,” and I confessed “Yeah, I know what you mean, it’s Misha for me…. I don’t even know why….”

She looked at me, and there was this little pause, this mutual-fangirl-recognition-moment, and then we finished the next sentence in alternation. She began “It’s so strange….”  and stopped, and I picked it up and said “It’s so strange, how you can find yourself getting so…  emotionally attached, to one particular actor…. and… for….” and she was nodding and she chimed in and we said in perfect unison “…FOR NO REASON!” and we both just burst out laughing.

Because it is so strange, isn’t it?

In his panel later, Misha said something about how odd it is to discover that (from the cast’s perspective) there are all these people that you’ve never met who have somehow gotten attached to you. He described how “warily” the cast approached the fans at first, how at first the cast was standoffish about the “all these weirdos”. (He never really retracted or clarified the “weirdos” characterization and I don’t know if he’s concluded that the fans are not weirdos, or simply has concluded that weirdos can be nice people too) It got me thinking: from the fangirl perspective there’s actually a rather similar experience of confusion and wariness. It is just as odd to discover that you yourself have gotten attached! That you’ve become part of this strange mass of obsessed humanity, that you’ve become one of the weirdos! You’re looking into your own heart & brain going “wtf, heart, brain. WTF,” and you approach *your own self* warily. And you approach the actors extremely warily, partly for fear they will somehow make you crumble. You know they have an illogical power over you, and you know you cannot voluntarily control the rush of adrenaline that they can elicit; you are even fighting a feeling of shame about it (the infamous Fangirl-Shame; so illogical and unwarranted and unfortunate, yet still so strong).

So, as a fan, one is (or I was, at least) extremely, extremely wary about approaching the cast in person, wary about that moment of handing over that power to them, while not yet knowing how exactly they might affect me. It is a moment that requires a real trust in the actor, a trust that the actor will not be cruel or cold to you if in fact you do crumble.

Another fan told me not to be scared because “Misha is a nice guy.” I was standing in the photo-op line clinging, mentally, to that statement, hoping that it would turn out to be true.

So I get in the photo op line and it turns out there’s a well-organized flow to the line (which kept reminding of a herd of cattle headed to slaughter, ha). The longest part of the wait is in a large herd of people outside in the hall where you are sorted into your pass types (angel pass, demon pass etc.) and you are slightly nervous but you know you still have a good chunk of time to wait. Batches of people get taken away bit by bit (headed off to slaughter! You never see them again and you are never quite sure what happened to them) As the herd thins, suddenly you’re waved forward to join the next part of the process, and now YOU are in the group that disappears around the corner, to join a much shorter line of maybe 5 people that is neatly arranged just outside the photo op room door. This is where you (or I at least) start to get REALLY nervous. The third stage is inside-the-room line where you’re like shit there he is, there’s only about 6 people in front of you now and you’re just like 1 minute away from your little 5 second photo moment with this…. random actor dude who you don’t even know, and you know that you don’t really know him, and he knows that you don’t know him, you both know that neither of you know each other and you both know that there is something deeply ridiculous and bizarre about this little tiny meeting, and you’re thinking WHY THE FUCK AM I FREAKING OUT. You’re laughing at yourself — laughing and laughing, at yourself — even while panicking, because this whole thing is completely ridiculous. Yet here you are just the same!

I was still out in the herd and didn’t yet know how the flow operates, and was busy discovering that my dominant emotion while waiting in that line was not excitement at all but was raw panic. Honestly I was unprepared for what a strong and downright unpleasant fear it was. It was not at all a jitters/butterflies/“omg!” kind of feeling but more like, actual ice-cold dread, and it was approaching true terror level. The level of fear really surprised me. I mean, c'mon, I’m not a starry-eyed kid, I’ve been around the block! Misha should seem just a pup, to me; I’m ten years older than him, and, not to toot my own horn or anything, but, I’ve got to a place in life where I can usually hold my own in all kinds of situations. I give public talks all the time, I meet all kinds of people, I’m used to performing, I can usually handle nerves pretty well. But this frickin Misha photo op was FUCKING. TERRIFYING.

To try to calm myself down I started talking to the other fans around me, many of whom reported the same state of near-panic. I mentioned in the livetweets how there seem to be two components to the fear. One was a fear of looking bad - of looking too ugly next to the beautiful cast, feeling like maybe you’re too ugly even to want them to have to look at you. This seems really common. :( (and yes, I was feeling it, keenly. So keenly that I actually haven’t looked at any of my photos; I picked them up with my eyes half-squinted shut, stuffed them in my bag and still have not looked at any of them).

But that is far from the only fear. I started talking to a Swedish girl named Emma next to me. Emma could be a supermodel - tall and slender and blonde and gorgeous, the whole package, drop-dead. You’d think she’d be fine being in a photo, but it turned out it was her first con too, and Misha was her first ever photo-op too, and like me she was PETRIFIED. Because… the other part of the fear is a real fear of losing one’s dignity in front of the actor. Of being so overwhelmed that you might crumble; get physically shaky, or unable to speak, or (worst) maybe you might even cry. There’s this terrific uncertainty of not knowing how you’re going to react, how badly the adrenaline will hit you, and being desperately worried that you’ll come off badly in front of this person who you dearly want to impress.

It’s inherently such an unbalanced interaction, isn’t it? The actor is so much more socially dominant; the fan is on a lesser social and psychological footing in all possible ways. The actor is, additionally, experienced & well-practiced at the whole photo-op routine, while the fan is (usually) not. Each of the main cast must have done tens of thousands of these little photo ops, right? I was thinking, on that one day alone, each of the main cast would be buzzing through hundreds more such fan-actor encounter moments, and there would be hundreds and hundreds more tomorrow, on and on in what must seem, to them, an endless flow, the actor as calm as a rock in a river while a virtually endless stream of completely interchangeable fans flows by like minnows in the stream. Any individual fangirl knows she is just one of a million minnows. The fans know they are interchangeable and forgettable; and yet nonetheless are hoping to somehow be able to hold their own, to carry themselves well, to be able to speak coherently and to, in some sense, meet the actor as an equal, as a fellow human, if just for a very brief moment.

The impulsion behind all that fear, the reason to gut oneself through it, is this unlikely hope that for one moment  the actor might see them as an individual; one moment of being “appreciated and seen”, as /u/TotallyNotARaccoon eloquently put it. And maybe, just maybe, even remembered, even if just very briefly. I thought, while in the photo-op line, of Peter Beagle’s “The Last Unicorn”, in which the greatest gift the unicorn can bestow upon a mere mortal is simply to promise to remember them.

So I’m in the line thinking about all this and getting MORE AND MORE SCARED, and one of the many things I was panicking about was what to actually DO with this photo op. I had been thinking about this for eight months, okay? You’d think I would have settled on a plan, right? You’d think I would have made a decision by now. BUT NO. However, standing there in line, I remembered this Misha/Jared photo I saw last year that had really bothered me. It was that one from a year or so back that had two fans hugging Jared, and then way off to the side was Misha, all alone, holding a little sign that said something like “The Jared photo ops were sold out”. You guys remember that?

Grrrrrr. I was so pissed!

THEY EVEN DID ANOTHER 2ND PHOTO LATER, same two fans, same kinda pose, Misha holding a sign that said “Still sold out”.

GRRRRRRRRRRRR

The entire point of both photos was clearly to deliberately let Misha know that they didn’t want him at all. Those 2 photos just PISSED. ME. OFF. so fucking much. It’s not like I thought it had broken Misha’s fragile little heart or anything. He’s a pro, he certainly knows he’s got his own loyal fanbase, he’s got layers of support & protection, and he is savvy enough to understand that in any mass of humanity there will be some small % of toxic wackos who are best ignored. That sort of fanwank must just sort of mostly blow right past unnoticed. Or at least roll off pretty quick.

But then…. there was that other con a few months back where it sorta came clear that maybe it does get to him a little bit. Remember when that bullshit fan got up to ask Misha a question and then was all “Actually I didn’t even want to ask you a question, I wanted to ask JARED a question” and she’d very obviously gone to some trouble to stand in Misha’s question line just to say that, and Misha just, like, went off on her. It was pretty trolly and funny in the moment, but it also made painfully clear that he actually has noticed the fanwank to some degree. So… at least sometimes, it probably stings a little bit.

Anyway I thought: if those nutjobs made a sign about how they didn’t even want Misha in their photo, well, then I’ll make a little sign to show people I really DID want a Misha photo, that he was actually my top choice and the main reason I even came to the con. And I came a fricking long way for this, too, like, WAY out of my way! I mean, c'mon, I was supposed to be flying to Alaska that very weekend and I’d actually diverted to Rome for this photo (a decision I am paying a real physical price for today in terms of jet lag!) So I got an idea for a little sign. I pulled out a piece of paper and my trusty Sharpie (same one that’s in my pocket now to label bird nests) and made this sign for Misha to hold:

“This joker  —->   [an arrow pointing toward me]

is flying from

[east coast city] to Alaska

VIA ROME

just for a photo

with me.”

I made a tiny second sign, this one for me to hold, that just said: “worth it!” :D

Instantly I was already embarrassed about the little signs and convinced they were SUPER LAME, but by now I was at that “fuck it” point. In for a fangirl penny, in for a fangirl pound, right? COMMITTED, lol.

Then my bunch of fans, including me & Emma, got called forward to slaughter and we were herded around the corner to the small-group-just-outside-the-room, and we lined up there like obedient sheep and at this point my heart started to POUND. All of a sudden my main worry was no longer that my little signs were stupid, but that my knees were going to shake so bad that I was going to collapse. I actually had to start doing the deep-slow-breathing thing to slow my heart down. (deeeep breeaaaath, thinking SLOW, SLOWER, to my heart; but even so my fitbit reported later that my HR spiked at 132, more than twice resting, lol) I looked over at Emma right behind me and she was, like, ASHEN. I said “Is your heart racing too? Cause mine is,” and she whispered “yes”. She looked so scared that I started patting her arm and saying stuff like “deep breaths, deep breaths, just breathe slow, we’ll be fine”.

Then

we

get

steered

into

the

room

and

there’s

Misha Collins

And it turns out he is THREE-DIMENSIONAL. Also he has feet.

There was this odd sensation of some part of my brain trying to map the familiar 2-D face onto a human 3-D body. Something deep down in my mind was kind of going basically “whoooooa, he’s always been two dimensional before, wtf happened, he’s a PERSON! And also he has FEET!” ha, haahahhaha, I was standing there amazed by this. (I know you do see Castiel from head to foot occasionally in the show, but usually it’s some kind of waist-up shot or a closeup) The moment I caught sight of him he happened to be sort of shaking out his legs from the last pose, and it seriously was this brain-jolt moment, to be able to see the guy from head to foot, continuously all in one field of view (w/feet, w/depth) and without a camera cutting away to some other scene.

There were maybe 8 people in front of me. Later on in the weekend, once I got a little more sane about it all, my favorite part of photo ops became this first moment in the room, when they’re not at you yet. Because, you get to watch several other photo ops before yours. I would so, so love to just spend an hour just sitting there quiet as a mouse in the back corner of the photo op room, just watching the flow of it. Some fans have elaborate poses in mind; the majority actually don’t, turns out, and most just do the Classic Hug pose (there is this craving for hugs. There’s this whole currency about whether or not you got hugged). There’s something incredibly endearing about these little interactions: watching each fan gear themselves up and step forward for this little moment they’ve been waiting and planning for for months -  especially endearing now that I know firsthand that a good half of them are fighting back a fricking flood of complex fears and emotions that I now deeply understand. I got to feeling this fellow-fangirl pride about how well they were each handling themselves.

And then there’s the aspect of watching how the actor handles it all, gamely keeping his energy up through what must be (let’s be real here) a pretty boring-and-also-tiring hour. Trying to give each fan a genuine smile and a moment of eye contact, trying to give each photo its little moment of energy, and trying to stay game and cooperative about all the weird little poses.

But that’s later that I start noticing all that. Right now I was only thinking “I am going to fucking COLLAPSE if I can’t get my heart to slow down” and the line was going wayyyy tooooo faaasst, bam, bam, one after another, <FLASH>, <FLASH>, <FLASH>. I was really grateful to a couple fans with complex enough poses that it slowed the process down, because that gave me some more time to try to get my fucking heart rate under control, lol. Some girl wanted Misha to lie down on his back next to her with some kind of stuffed animal and with his feet in the air (he got this slightly wtf look on his face, but did get down on the floor willingly enough), and thank god since that gave me a sec to order myself to CALM THE FUCK DOWN. Another girl then apparently asked him to pick her up, which I am pretty sure the actors are not supposed to do but she was a tiny little thing and he WHISKED her off her feet, bridal style, with a big grin, and she was thrilled, and that gave me 2 more seconds to continue chanting to myself CALM THE FUCK DOWN, GODDAMMIT. But then the next whole set of fans in front of me, all the rest of them, were all just Classic Hug pose and it was going super fast: hello, <pose> <FLASH>, thank-you, next fan, hello, <pose> <FLASH>, thank-you and I’m like FUCK WOULD YOU JUST SLOW DOWN, MISHA, BECAUSE I NEED MORE TIME TO CALM DOWN. My entire ribcage is shaking with each heartbeat now, it’s seriously bad, it’s worse than that time I bumped into a grizzly bear! I turn to Emma (who is just behind me) and she’s dead white now and she whispers that classic phrase to me, “I’m really nervous”, the Great Fangirl Understatement, by which I know she means “*I am fucking terrified*” and I hiss “we’ll be fine, we’ll be just fine, we’re gonna be FINE, BREATHE, you’ll be FINE”, patting her arm. All of a sudden I’m next, the girl in front of me’s doing her photo, I totally fumble with the bag hand-off and then somebody’s all “your turn, NEXT” and there’s nobody in front of me and Misha’s looking at me.

aaand

I went

dead calm

Exactly like I did with the grizzly bear.

Footnote: With the grizzly bear, I was all alone and it was the very end of the day and I was hiking alone in grizzly country on a bird project. (footnote to footnote: That was a weird project… I was constantly ending up lost off-trail on my own at the end of the day. It was maybe not the world’s best organized fieldwork, now that I think about it) Anyway it was a blustery evening near sunset, the wind was blowing the wrong way for the bear to get my scent, and also the trees were rustling in the wind and hiding the sound of my footsteps, and I rounded a corner and literally almost bumped into the rear end of this frickin ENORMOUS grizzly bear. It had not seen me yet. I was a couple feet away from it. It was fucking HUGE. I knew if it saw me and got startled to find me suddenly that close, I was dead.

With the grizzly bear, I instantly had 2 voices going on in my head. One voice, the stupid voice, was saying, “Get closer and take a photo!” Fortunately a second and much more ancient and much wiser voice spoke up and said “DO NOT TAKE IT BY SURPRISE. Back away very, very slowly before it attacks,” and that is what I did with the bear: I tiptoed backwards for a long, long time, at least a quarter of a mile (and also maneuvered closer to an alpine lake, figuring if it charged, I would rather jump into the lake and die of hypothermia than be mauled to death.) And I got away.

Misha is now looking at me and I instantly have those exact same 2 voices in my head, lol, the first going “Get closer and take a photo!” and the second going, I swear, “Do not take it by surprise. Back away very, very slowly before it attacks”.

Misha has already spotted me though! It’s too late to back up and sneak away!

However…. he does not attack, ha. The 1st voice takes over and somehow then I’m just, like, walking up and telling him super confidently what to do: “You stand here, I’ll be on this side, you hold this little sign, the sign’s pointing at me, ok?” He’s like “sure” and he rearranges himself and shifts over to the correct side (whoa, he’s doing what I asked) and takes the little sign (and it looks like he doesn’t even have any claws, whoa! He is, like, almost definitely not going to kill me) Meanwhile a 3rd voice in the way back is piping up again, now that he is very close, with “This guy is DEFINITELY three-dimensional.” And somehow through all this mental chatter I manage to say, about the sign, “Do you want to read it?”

I was not really expecting him to read it given the fast clip of the photo-op line, but I hate it when actors aren’t at least given a chance to see what the hell it is that they’re endorsing, so I was just sort of pointing out he could read it if he wanted.

He turns the sign toward himself so he can see it, and kinda studies it for a sec, and then he doesn’t look at me and doesn’t say a thing but slowly turns the sign back around and turns to the camera with that mock-appalled look that he’s so good at. (you know that look, right?) Somehow I had not expected that particular look of his in response to that little sign, and I just busted out laughing.

<FLASH>

I forgot all about trying to do any kind of polished smile or correct head angle so as to look good (always a doomed endeavour for me at the best of times) so in the photo I’m actually in the middle of this huge belly laugh and paying zero attention to the camera.

And that’s it. That’s my 5 seconds with Misha Collins! And I know my time’s up, and I am SO THRILLED because I didn’t pass out, I didn’t collapse, I was able to talk, I functioned like a normal human being. I kept some little shred of dignity! I’m totally thrilled. I turn to go and reach out for the little sign. But now he’s turned the sign around toward him again and he’s reading it again.

The following little exchange was actually not very long but has accordioned out in my mind (as Jeremy Carver would say) to where it felt like it lasted half an hour. I was just so certain the line was going to keep bipping right along and that my time was up. But instead now Misha’s turned the little sign around again so that he can see it, and he’s studying it again.

Then he turns to me. He’s now completely blocking my way out of the room, like, squared up in front of me, and he’s got this laser look like he’s studying me (I was relaying this to /u/TotallyNotARaccoon later and she pointed out, he’s got this way of really focusing on you that is pretty sweet, that really makes you feel like you’ve got his full attention.)

He says, “Why are you going to Alaska?”

I say something like “I’m an ornithologist, and I study birds up on the tundra, up in Alaska. I go up every spring,” and he’s all, “Really?” (narrow eyed look here) and then he says, “With who? With what group?”

The answer to that is about five minutes and twenty institutions long, because it’s this gigantic long-term research project with a million collaborators from all over North America at the USA’s main tundra ecology research station, so I scrambled a bit here and tried to shorten it down to my main 3 collaborators. Now I’m listing universities, fuck, and he’s staring at me as I list universities, and meanwhile I’m thinking “This is incredibly boring, Misha, why did you ask me such a boring question? You should have asked what species I study, or where the field site is,” but he’s still giving me that extremely attentive look and I finally realize what he probably really meant was “are you legit / where do you work” and so I add, “But I work at Aquarium X actually, in [east coast city]”.

So he says something like, “But why are you working at an aquarium in [east coast city] if you study birds in Alaska?”

So I say, “Well, I study whales there.”  (Which I do.)

Here Misha does SUCH A CLASSIC CASTIEL PUZZLED SQUINT that it almost burns a hole in me - it turns out that this look is actually a Misha thing and not just a Castiel thing - and he says, kind of slow like he’s confused:

“You’re an ornithologist but you study whales?”

Again I just busted out laughing.

At that point I realized the whole line has been stopped dead for a little while and poor Emma (who is next) is probably ABOUT TO DIE, so I decide to wrap it up (me! I’m the one who decides to wrap it up! Not the JIBCon staffer and not Misha)  I actually said “It’s a long story. I’ll tell you all about my career later,” (like he gives a fuck about my frickin career; and like there is gonna be a “later”, ha hahaaa) and I walk outside and I’m just… laughing.

All through JIBCon there are these Moments that get filed away in my memory. I guess this must happen for any fan, at every con: the things you will remember, right? The little portfolio of highlights, the things that make it all worthwhile. My little mental file ends up including:

Jared & Gen finally getting into their dip pose successfully and laughing at each other (described here)

Jensen staring up at me with this totally wtf look on his face thinking I am a moron (see previous link)

Me squeezing past Mark saying EXCUSE ME right in his face (see previous link)

Meeting my fandomnatural buddies IRL at last and realizing anew what genuine friendships I have made through this show. And my line buddies too, Viki, Emma, all of them.

But the moment that is sharpest in my memory is actually this one of Misha Collins frowning at me and saying “You’re an ornithologist but you study whales?” And me just laughing.

Anyway, that was my little photo op moment. I don’t know why he stopped to talk to me for a few sec. I am guessing it was probably half a case of “this crazy person apparently flew all this way, so I’ll give her a bit more time” and maybe half genuine curiosity on his part. But I hope somewhere in all that he got my actual little message, which was: You were my top pick, Misha, and thanks.

EPILOGUE: By Saturday I was in my “fuck, I didn’t bring anything for them to sign” crisis about the autographs (see previous link) but it occurred to me that for Misha, rather than see if he would deface euros like I did with most of the rest of the cast, instead I could have him sign the photo. So I scouted out his autograph session, which was almost done. He was the only one in the room, with a line of a dozen or so people. There he was! He was still three-dimensional. (I couldn’t see if he still had feet, lol) As with the photos, the autograph lines move with a very smooth efficiency. Sign, “thanks”, fan moves on, sign, “thanks”, fan moves on. My heart rate is maybe a *tish* high now but nowhere near full panic mode anymore. Because, it turns out, Misha is just a guy, and indeed, as I’d been told, a nice guy at that. As my turn ticks closer I’m wondering whether I could bother him for just 30 seconds more of conversation (I’m thinking of explaining about the ornithologist/whale thing, maybe saying something like “actually Misha, just to explain, I’m an ornithologist so I study whales and also sea turtles and elephants, which I forgot to mention before, so hopefully that clears it all up”) — but then I realize he looks a little tired. He is doing this thing where he goes slightly unfocused for a split second between people. It looks like fatigue. It gets me thinking how tiring this must be sometimes, how long these photo and auto sessions are for them (it’s like… a solid hour or more sometimes, of all these high-emotion-for-the-fan, 5-second-long, interactions). So I decide to keep it very very quick and simple and minimal; to act, and be, super calm and cool, so that he can just glide through it all quicker and go take a break sooner.

It’s my turn, he says hi pleasantly enough, but I just say “could you sign this please”, and I say nothing else, just slide the photo over and he signs. “Thank you *very* much” I say, in my best cheerfulest smiling-est, I’m-Totally-Fine-Here, Don’t-Worry-About-Me, voice. “Thank YOU”, he says, automatically; he offers his hand to shake, also automatically (he’s been doing that with everybody), but he’s nice, he’s a nice guy, he gives me a smile and I smile back.

And I turn and walk away feeling… AWESOME.

It’s a big room and there is a long walk back to the door. I’m about six strides away when Misha says behind me, kind of hesitant like he’s not sure he’s got the right fan, “See any good birds here?”

The Last Unicorn remembered me!

I resist the urge to march back up to his table and tell him about European hoopoes, and instead I just say “Yeah, actually, there’s swifts all over.” (Which there are.) Misha nods sagely. I’m pretty sure that means we’re best friends now.

EPILOGUE 2: Yesterday I met another grizzly bear. I was driving a pickup north through the sleet over the mountains in northern Alaska, almost brain-dead with jet lag (this Rome-Alaska itinerary that I put together to get my 5 sec w Misha was really not the brightest idea, but I REGRET NOTHING). The truck was fishtailing around and I was really trying not to skid off the road in the mud, and suddenly there was this frickin ENORMOUS grizzly right in front of me. It galloped away (fuck it was fast!). When it got to a safe distance, it stopped and turned and looked back. I could see its fuzzy little blond round ears trained on me, as it paused there with one (GIGANTIC) front paw raised, like it’d suddenly thought “why am I running from you?” Granted I was in a pickup, but just for the record, my heart rate was nowhere near what it was in that Misha photo-op room.

OK, that’s my report… and I’m heading out on the tundra now to get to work. Because, as Misha Collins can tell you, I am an ornithologist and that means that I study whales, so I’m going to head on out there and see what I find. :)

M!A Mythological Creatures List

Brute: Muse becomes an Orc for (anon specified).

Bite: Muse becomes a Vampire for (anon specified).

Thin The Herd: Muse becomes a Werewolf for (anon specified).

Sleeping Shepard: Muse becomes a Satyr for (anon specified).

Daedalus’ Maze: Muse becomes a Minotaur for (anon specified).

Clippity Clop: Muse becomes a Centaur for (anon specified).

Bubble Bubble: Muse becomes a Witch for (anon specified).

Shot It In The Head!: Muse becomes a Zombie for (anon specified).

Yol, Toor Shul!: Muse becomes a Dragon (specified species) for (anon specified).

Time’s Up: Muse becomes the Grim Reaper for (anon specified).

What The Hell Is THAT?: Muse becomes a mutant for (anon specified)

No Rest For The Wicked: Muse becomes a devil for (anon specified)

Pact of Righteousness: Muse becomes an angel for (anon specified).

Lustful Wretch: Muse becomes a Succubus/Incubus for (anon specified).

Did You Hear That?: Muse becomes a poltergeist for (anon specified).

Your Faithful Student: Muse becomes a mage (type of magic) for (anon specified).

Walking Timber: Muse becomes a Treant for (anon specified).

To A Non-Believer: Muse becomes a god of (anon specified) for (anon specified).

Who Could It Be That Set You Free?: Muse becomes a Nuckelavee for (anon specified).

Hail Hydra!: Muse becomes a Hydra for (anon specified).

Suit And Tie: Muse become a Slender for (anon specified).

Oh, That’s So Creepy!: Muse becomes a Haunted Doll for (anon specified).

Faithful Trickster: Muse becomes a Kitsune for (anon specified).

Majestic: Muse becomes a unicorn (magic or not, anon specified) for (anon specified).

Winged Stead: Muse becomes a Pegasus for (anon specified).

Healthy Trees: Muse becomes a Dryad for (anon specified).

Guess What I Am!: Muse becomes a Shapeshifter / Doppelganger for (anon specified).

Don’t Follow Their Song: Muse becomes a Siren for (anon specified).

Feathered Freak: Muse becomes a Harpy for (anon specified).

Creepy Crawlies: Muse becomes a Giant Spider (specified species) for (anon specified).

Tehe!: Muse becomes a fairy/pixie for (anon specified).

As You Wish: Muse becomes a Genie trapped in a lamp for (anon specified).

Dangling Guts: Muse becomes a Pennangalan for (anon specified).

Part of your World: Muse becomes a Merfolk for (anon specified).

One-Eye: Muse becomes a Cyclops for (anon specified).

Living Clay: Muse becomes a Golem for (anon specified).

Sticky Coat: Muse becomes a Kelpie for (anon specified).

I Come In Peace: Muse becomes an Alien for (anon specified).

Clean Up, Aisle Four: Muse becomes a Slime for (anon specified).

Why’s the Floor Shaking?: Muse becomes a Giant for (anon specified).

Pay My Toll!: Muse becomes a Troll for (anon specified).

Stone Wings: Muse becomes a Gargoyle for (anon specified).

Horrible Screaming: Muse becomes a Banshee for (anon specified).

Born from Ashes: Muse becomes a Phoenix for (anon specified).

Goat Sucker: Muse becomes a Chupacabra for (anon specified).

Release the Kraken!: Muse becomes a Kraken for (anon specified).

Stormy Seas: Muse becomes a Thunderbird for (anon specified).

Freaky Pussy: Muse becomes a Manticore for (anon specified).

Headless and Horseless: Muse becomes a Dullahan for (anon specified).

Annoying Little Pest: Muse becomes a Goblin for (anon specified).

Stitched Together: Muse becomes a Frankenstein for (anon specified).

Am I Pretty?: Muse becomes Kuchisake-Onna for (anon specified).

Slithering: Muse becomes a Naga for (anon specified).

Look into my Eyes: Muse becomes a Gorgon for (anon specified).

Noseless Monument: Muse is a Sphinx for (anon specified).

Three Heads Aren’t Always Better: Muse is a Cerberus for (anon specified).

Twilight Much?: Muse becomes a Vrykolakas for (anon specified).

Dear, Prince(ss): Muse becomes an Alicorn for (anon specified).

Beaked Puss: Muse becomes a Griffin for (anon specified).

Vile Pest!: Muse becomes a Wererat for (anon specified).

Pointy Ears: Muse becomes an Elf for (anon specified).

Watch Your Hair!: Muse become a Will O Wisp for (anon specified).

I’m In My Element: Muse becomes an Elemental (specified element) for (anon specified).

Too Many Parts: Muse becomes a Chimera for (anon specified).

Is It Moving?: Muse becomes an Automaton for (anon specified).

Bump In The Night: Muse becomes a Boogieman and terrorizes another’s muse for (anon specified) nights.

Handy Tyke: Muse becomes Dwarven for (anon specified).

Sand Crawler: Muse becomes a Death Worm for (anon specified).

Tusked Fiend: Muse becomes an Ogre for (anon specified).

Common Beast: Muse becomes a monster from his/her own world (anon specified) for (anon specified).

Helpful Reader & Alpha Sans

               This Papyrus character seemed very sweet, but you weren’t sure if he was completely sane. He’d been talking to Miss Hart for the past half-hour, flailing his arms about as his voice boomed about the shelter. It was a large building, but not big enough to soften his words. The deer monster hushed him several times, but his volume would eventually climb back up. The quiet and shy readers had hidden themselves away in one of the doll houses in the far corner of the playpen, while the energetic and curious ones watched the skeleton excitedly. The rest of you were playing, enjoying your time before dinner and bed.

               “ARE YOU SURE?” The skeleton boomed as he was led over to the pen, looking a bit nervous. Miss Hart rolled her eyes behind his back and pushed him forward.

               “Just talk to them,” she insisted, “get to know some of them. I’m certain you can find the perfect Reader for your brother. I’ll go fill out the paperwork.”

               The tall skeleton tapped his gloved hands together and, still looking nervous, knelt beside the two-foot-high wall that separated the playpen from the rest of the store. He looked really, really uncomfortable at being so close to you all. He wasn’t the first nervous monster you all had seen, and he certainly wouldn’t be the last. All the Readers that hadn’t been chased off by his boisterous attitude immediately gravitated towards him, like pins pulled by a magnet.

               “Uh, hello there, little ones!” He greeted upon realizing he had an audience. He was hilariously tall, and even kneeling down he towered over the wall. Several of them called out ‘hello’ or ‘hi’, while the rest simply waved. “I, the GREAT PAPYRUS,” his bellowing nearly blew several of the smaller Readers off their feet, “am looking for a companion for my brother!” He twitched his fingers a bit, and had he lips you were certain he would be chewing on them. When nothing more was said, a few of you shared amused expressions. Nervous, anxious monsters were always so cute when trying to speak with Readers the first time.

               “What’s your brother like?” A curious Reader piped up, urging him on with a soft smile.

               Papyrus immediately brightened up. “Oh! My brother is the best!” Literal stars appeared in his eye sockets and he hunched over to get closer to you all, arms draping over the wall so they nearly touched the floor. “His name is Sans. He’s older than me by a few years, but I’m taller,” he bragged with little-brother-pride. “He works with the Royal Scientist, Dr. W. D. Gaster, who’s also our dad.”

               The curious and intellectual Readers ‘ooh-ed’ and moved forward, eager to hear more. A few of the active ones wandered off, not interested in being with a cerebral monster over an energetic one. You stayed towards the back, listening as Papyrus went on and on about the experiments his father and brother had told him about.

               “So is science stuff all your brother does?” One of the creative readers asked.

               “Oh, no!” Papyrus laughed. “He’s a lazybones – dad says he barely does his job at work. He likes to nap a lot, or just lay around and read.” The rest of the adventurous and active types of Readers left the group, going back to scaling the plastic model of Mt. Ebott (complete with a cave system with hideaways and a fake little waterfall-esque twisty slide down one side). Papyrus didn’t seem surprised when they left – Miss Hart must have warned him about the whole ‘thinning the herd’ effect his description would have.

               “He does like jokes, though! All day long he makes puns.” The ridges above the skeletons nose cavity wrinkled. “It drives me nuts, but it makes him happy.” His voice dropped a bit at the end, and you caught a glimpse of something sad deep in his sockets.

               You stepped past the handful of Readers left and frowned up at him. “Are you okay, Mr. Papyrus?” You asked, reaching up and patting one of the boney hands hanging over the edge of the wall.

               “I am alright,” he rushed to assure you and the others, who had followed your lead and gathered closer, all having to crane your heads back to look up at him. Jeeze, he really was ridiculously tall. His smile looked a bit more strained than before. “It is simply that lately Sans has not been as happy as before.” He hung his head a bit. “I have not been able to cheer him up, and my father doesn’t have any ideas on what could be wrong. I think that he may be lonely…”

               “Awwww,” you patted his fingers again, getting his attention, “Don’t skull-k, Mr. Papyrus. You’re obviously doing a skele-TON to help your brother. I’m sure one of us can help him feel less bonely!

               Several of your fellow Readers groaned at the puns, and you shot them a guilty grin. A few of them, seeing what being around a punny skeleton all day might be like, wandered back to play with the toys. You didn’t really notice them, though – your focus was on Papyrus.

               The skeleton was staring at you with even bigger stars in his eyes than before. His jaw had dropped, and before you realized what was happening you’d been scooped up in a pair of boney hands covered in thick, red gloves. He lifted you to his beaming face.

               “You’re PERFECT! You tell the same stup – uh, the same jokes as Sans!” He gushed excitedly as he stood. You had to grab onto one of his thumbs to keep from falling on your face. He spun around and rushed to the far side of the room, where Miss Hart was sitting at her big desk, filling out paperwork. She glanced up at he came to a halt in front of her, an amused smile on her lips.

               “Did you meet someone you think your brother will like?”

               “YES!” Papyrus boomed, holding you out in front of him. The deer monster blinked, then huffed in laughter.

               “You told him jokes, didn’t you?” She accused, poking you in the stomach with the end of her pen. You couldn’t help but giggle and wrap your arms around yourself, trusting the skeleton wouldn’t let you fall from his fingers.

               “Have a hart, ma’am! Don’t tickle me!” You squealed when the pen gentle jabbed your side again.

               The deer rolled her eyes but was smiling widely. She pulled out a page from the stack she had been filling out. It was an adoption form – gilded edges and everything, very official looking with curly writing and her signature in the bottom corner. “I just need you to sign this here,” she pointed to a blank space beside her own, “and a few other things.”

               Papyrus carefully set you down on the desk and accepted the ballpoint pen she handed him. The skeleton signed his name in a flourish on the adoption certificate, and you noted that his handwriting looked oddly like a font you’d seen in a book about a desert place called Egypt. Weird. He quickly read through the accompanying paperwork – all outlining the laws involving owning a Reader, care instructions, proper feeding instructions (READER, YOU CAN EAT PASTA! I CANNOT WAIT TO MAKE YOU MY SPECIAL FRIENDSHIP SPAGHETTI!), using magic around Readers, and such. Miss Hart, meanwhile, pulled a small white bag from the bottom drawer of her desk and set it beside you with a bright smile.  

               “What’s that?” Papyrus asked curiously as he handed her pen back, along with the papers.

               “It’s just a little care package for new owners,” Rivet held the plastic bag open for him to peek in. There was a pamphlet about Reader health, along with some Reader-sized toiletries, a few simple changes of clothes, some snacks, and a few books and toys.

               Papyrus beamed and accepted it from her. “Thank you so much, ma’am!” He tugged out his phone and the bag disappeared in his storage space. “I’ll make sure Sans reads every word of the paper, I promise!”

               “I know you will, sweetie.” Rivet stood and shook his hand across the desk, before poking you in the side again. “You’ve found a good little friend, sir. I’ve never had such a funny little Companion Reader before.”

               Papyrus paused half-way in picking you up. “Companion Reader?” You leaned against his fingers, which prompted him to lift you to chest-height.

               “Yes,” Rivet pointed at a poster on the wall. One of the pictures was of a reader in a soft gray sweater, the same color as your own, beneath the words ‘COMPANION READER.’ “Companion Readers are wonderful, caring friends to any monster they meet. A lot of therapists and doctors in the area have Companion Readers – they’re very good at calming children and comforting monsters. As long as your brother can handle this ones terrible jokes, he’ll never feel lonely again.”

               “They’re not terrible!” You crossed your arms and pouted. “I think I’m very humerus.”

               Both monsters groaned loudly. “They will get along fine,” Papyrus assured her as he carefully lifted you to sit on his shoulder, where his pauldrons met his scarf. You had to grab onto his scarf to keep from sliding off, but his height meant you could see everything. It was incredible. “Now little Reader, let us be off!” With a dramatic twirl, Papyrus scampered out of the shelter, and you were barely able to toss a wave to Rivet on the way out.


 

               “I don’t know the best way to do this.” Papyrus had given you a whirl-wind tour of the house, which was a nice two-story cabin, before depositing you on the kitchen counter as he began to cobble together a spaghetti dinner for his brother and father.

               “Well, what does your brother like? Besides jokes?” You prodded, watching as he began beating tomatoes into submission. It was an interesting technique. You’d never really seen cooking before, but you were fairly sure Papyrus was doing it in a very unique way.

               “Ketchup. Japes. Jokes. Pranks. My spaghetti. He doesn’t like sweets much but he’ll eat them when they’re in reach…” The tall skeleton gasped and stopped mid-punch. “That’s it! I’ll bake a cake, and you can pop out of it and surprise him!”

               You grinned, then glanced at the clock on the oven. It read 4:45. “Um, didn’t you say they’d be home around five?” You pointed at it, and his face fell.

               “Oh, right, there’s no time to bake a cake.” He pouted a bit as he scraped the tomato remnants into a pan along with several spices and a few other vegetables he’d already beaten to death. The noodles went in the pot, the pan when on the back burner, and dinner would be ready in fifteen minutes, he told you.

               “What else can we do?” You asked. He leaned against the counter, arms folded over his anime-themed t-shirt (he’d changed before cooking, not wanting to get his Battle Body dirty). You mimicked him, leaning back against a jar of olives he’d left out and crossing your arms.

               The skeleton sighed and tried to think about what else he could use to surprise his brother. You mimicked his pout and posture, drawing a smirk from him when he caught what you were doing. You smirked back.

               Not even a moment later he slammed his fist into the counter a few inches away, making you jump. “I’ve got it!” He had started to vibrate in excitement. “You can jump outta the spaghetti!

               “Uh…” You blinked uncertainly. “Wouldn’t that, uh, be hot? And, like, get me and the food dirty?”

               “Not if I use my magic!” Papyrus was rocking from side to side now, one hand on his chin as he planned it out. “It would only be for a minute – they always come straight to the table when they get home!” His face was a bit flushed now, cheekbones orange in excitement.

               The clock over the oven beeped and Papyrus became a whirlwind of activity, draining the pasta, stirring the sauce, and dishing it all up into serving bowls. Then, he quickly set the table – three spots, three plates, two glasses of water and one bottle of ketchup, forks, napkins, everything needed for a nice spaghetti dinner. Just as he set down the last fork, the front door unlocked and swung open.

               “Oh!” Papyrus grabbed you off the counter and swept you over to the table. An orange glow surrounded you – it tickled a bit, and you squirmed against his palm. “Don’t worry, my magic will protect you! As soon as he starts to serve, I’ll help you pop up and we can both yell surprise!” He was trying to whisper, his voice softer than normal but still a bit loud. He pushed around the spaghetti, and you were glad he had put the sauce in a different bowl, or this would be a very messy prank.

               He tucked you among the noodles, and you did your best to ignore how much it felt like worms. A moment later he covered you, and everything was shaded in an odd yellowish light.

               “Hey Paps! It smells good, did you make your special Friday-night spaghetti?” A tired, cheerful voice asked.

               “Hello, brother! Hello, father! No, I made my special friendship spaghetti!”

               “Ah, friendship spaghetti? But son, I thought we were already friends?” A second voice asked, humor underlying fake hurt.

               There was a slight stutter before Papyrus managed to answer. “Ah-ah-a well, yes, of course we are friends! But it is always good to reaffirm it! With spaghetti!”

               The two new voices laughed, and you heard the chairs around the table scrape as they were pulled back. There was some creaking and groaning as the chairs were occupied, followed by the fluffing of napkins.

               “You look hungry, Sans. Why don’t you get yours first?” Papyrus urged, and you did your best not to wiggle a bit in anticipation. Dancing spaghetti would ruin the prank.

               “Uh, thanks Paps.” Sans answered. The magic around you tensed slightly as one of the chairs scraped against the floor. You drew your knees against your chest and took a deep breath. Your stomach lurched as the magic made you pop out of the spaghetti like a cork, suspending you a foot above it and only a few inches from the face of a startled skeleton.

               “SURPRISE!” You and Papyrus yelled at the same time, his voice easily drowning out your own. The shorter, rounder skeleton jerked back with a cry of surprise. The chair legs caught his own, and with a yelp he crashed to the ground.

               “Sans!” Papyrus’ magic disappeared as he rushed around the table to check on his brother. You dropped back towards the spaghetti and were only saved from a painful noodle-y bath by an odd-feeling hand catching you.

               A third skeleton – tall, thin, wearing a nice turtleneck – had saved you from the Italian meal. His face was smooth and white like his sons, but there was a crack moving upwards from his right eye and trailing down from his left eye to the corner of his mouth. You glanced down at his hand and realized why it felt odd – there was a hole right in the middle of it!

               “Apologies,” the skeleton said, his deep voice rolling over you like a cloud. “My sons can overreact when startled.” He set you on the table beside his plate, making sure you were steady before placing both hands beneath his chin and his elbows on the table, leaning forward slightly so he could see you better.

               “It’s alright, sir.” You reassured him, glancing at the other side of the table. Papyrus was bent over his brother, babbling worriedly at a million miles an hour.

               “So, would I be correct in assuming that Papyrus has brought you home to be a pet for Sans?” He asked, eyes flickering between his sons and you.

               You nodded, not a fan of the term ‘pet’ but lots of monsters used it without meaning anything by it. “Yeah, he mentioned his brother has been sad lately.” There was a thunk as said brother smacked his head against the edge of the table as he tried to get up. Papyrus whined in surprise and knelt back down to assist his brother.

               “Indeed,” Gaster’s eyes crinkled at the edge (somehow – bone wasn’t supposed to move that way, was it?) as he watched his sons interact. “Sans suffers from depression,” he confided in you, “and often has negative mood swings.” He was very clinical in the way he spoke, though there was a warmth in his voice that showed the affection he had for his sons. “Papyrus spoke of finding a way to cheer him up, but I did not expect him to bring a Reader home.”

               You frowned suddenly, struck with a rather daunting thought. “Um, that’s okay, right?” Biting your bottom lip, you glanced up at him nervously. He was their father, right? Sans and Papyrus seemed to be adults, but this was probably their dads house. That meant he had final say on if you stayed, right?

               “Yes, child, that is perfectly fine,” he was quick to reassure you, noting your nervous expression. “There is always room in this house for one more.” He cast you a quick wink, then glanced over as his sons finally managed to find their feet. You shot him a quick smile then ran across the table, dodging past the serving bowls and cups, to stand beside Sans plate.

               The skeleton was shorter than Papyrus by a good bit, and had a wide, squat face with large eyes and a bright smile that, at the moment, looked a bit dazed. His eyes met yours and he simply stared for a moment, giving you an unsure smile. “Uh, hi.”

               “Hello!” You chirped, waving happily and flashing him your biggest grin.

               “Hi.” He repeated, before turning to glance up at his brother. “You…?”

               “I got them for you!” Papyrus was bouncing in place, looking delighted with himself before sobering.

               “Right. Can I talk to you for a sec?” He grabbed his brothers arm and, with surprising strength for his height, dragged him out of the kitchen.

               Behind them, your heart sunk into your stomach, and you sat down hard on the side of his plate. This was not a…complication you had thought of. Being bought as a gift was risky, but none of the Readers you’d known that had been gifted had ever been returned. Rivet would never allow them to be adopted in the first place if that was a risk.

               Muffled voices (a truly shocking feat, from what you had seen from Papyrus so far) hissed from the far side of the living room, too soft for you to make out any words. Oh god, what if Sans didn’t want you? He didn’t seem happy about this at all – what if he took you back? Had you done something wrong? Was popping out of the spaghetti too mean? Had you offended him some way?

               By the time the two brothers returned, both were much calmer than before. Papyrus seemed a bit chastised, but gave you a bright smile before taking his seat and serving himself some spaghetti. Sans righted his chair and plopped down in it, then slumped down, resting his chin on his arms so he was at eye-level with you.

               “Sorry, kiddo,” he gave you a large grin, “You gave me a bit of a fright – really rattled my bones.”

               “I’m sorry,” relief swept through you, making you feel a bit giddy, and you returned his smile. “Papyrus just wanted to get you a little gift, to help you feel less bonely.”

               He snorted, the air ruffling your clothing and hair. His breath smelled like ketchup and French fries. Behind you, Papyrus groaned (muffled by his mouthful of spaghetti) but Gaster let out a soft laugh.

               “Good one, kiddo,” he laughed, the bones in his jaw and around his eyes relaxing. “I’m Sans. Sans the skeleton. But I think you already knew that.” He held his hand out, offering a finger for you to shake. You accepted it, shaking it firmly as best you could.

               “I’m pleased to meet you, Sans.” You peeped happily.

               “Likewise.” He sat up straighter and dished himself some spaghetti, noting that the other two had already started eating. You sat at the edge of his plate as he smothered it in tomato sauce, watching him. “So, I’ve never really, uh, met a Reader before. Do you like pasta?”

               You smiled as he cut up a few pieces of noodle into small bites and pushed them towards you, so they rested within reach of you. “I like pasta,” you confirmed. “Especially special friendship spaghetti, cooked by the Great Papyrus!” You picked up one of the warm noodles and dipped it in a bit of sauce before munching on it.

               “Nyeh heh! I am glad you like it, Reader!” Papyrus had already cleaned his plate and was giving himself a half-serving for seconds.

               “It is very good, Papyrus.” Gaster complimented his son, also nearly finished. You watched curiously as they ate, noting that despite not having lips they were all able to slurp the noodles and flick sauce over their cheeks and nose.

               “Thank you, father!” Papyrus began on his second helping. “So what did you do in the lab today?”

               “Ah, we have found a fascinating connection between SOUL energy and plant growth…”

               You listened as Gaster and Sans described an experiment they had run that day, altering the DNA of an echo flower so it worked more like a recording machine, able to remember and echo many messages instead of just one. Most of it was completely lost on you, but as they spoke Sans brightened, lost in the technical mumbo-jumbo he and his father were spitting back and forth across the table. Papyrus looked just as confused but happy non-the-less as he had a third helping of pasta.

               After the four of you had eaten your fill, Gaster gathered up the dishes, insisting he would wash them since Papyrus cooked. The tall skeleton rushed off to the living room, yelling something about a Mettaton marathon. Sans dragged himself away from the table and glanced down at you.

               “Get enough to eat, pipsqueak?” He asked, voice light and teasing. You nodded and stood, brushing parmesan cheese off your lap. He stood in front of you, hands shoved in the pockets of his hoodie for a moment, looking unsure for a moment. When you realized why he seemed nervous, you raised your arms up towards him.

               “Uh, heh, I’m not really, uh – I don’t want to hurt you.” He rubbed the back of his head, and you grinned.

               “You won’t hurt me,” you insisted, smiling at his hesitance. “It’s okay, I promise. Us Readers are really durable!”

               He still twitched for a moment before biting the bullet and reaching out with both hands. One hand was set behind you, palm up, and you easily sat down, legs dangling over the edge of his boney pinky. Slowly – oh so slowly, ridiculously so, but you didn’t tell him that – he lifted you off the table, bringing you straight up against his chest to minimize the chances of you taking a dive.

               “What do you wanna do?” Sans asked, still standing awkwardly in the kitchen, as though afraid to move. You shrugged, leaning against his ribs, tugging at the squishy layer of his jacket curiously.

               “Whatever you want!” You kicked your legs a bit. Sans huffed a soft laugh.

               “Don’t suppose you’re ready for bed, huh?”

               “I could sleep,” you reassured him. “Getting adopted is really tiring.”

               He let out a bark of laugh and carefully left the kitchen, walking slowly. This babying was, at the same time, incredibly annoying and delightfully sweet. “I bet it is,” he shuffled across the living room, where Papyrus was sitting on the edge of the couch, watching the large TV with big, sparkling sockets.

               “SANS! READER!” He boomed, bouncing a bit in his seat, “Do you wish to join me?” He motioned to the TV.

               “Nah, bro. Me ‘n’ the pipsqueak are gonna go bond.” Sans winked at him before starting up the stairs.

               “Good!” Papyrus waved you both off with a thumbs up before going back to drooling over the robot.

               There were three bedrooms upstairs, and one small bathroom (no toilet, just a shower and sink). Sans went to the middle door along the hall and threw it open dramatically.

               “Welcome, pipsqueak, to scenic my room!”

               His room was – well, it was a bedroom, most likely. There were socks and trash spread across the floor, some of them twirling in a self-sustaining tornado. A lamp with a flashlight taped to the bulb was set on a dresser that had seen better days. Opposite the dresser was a mattress on the floor, no bedframe in sight.

               “Sorry about the mess,” Sans sounded a bit embarrassed as he kicked some trash into the tornado before shuffling over to the bed. With his free hand he spread some blue-tinted magic over the bed, smoothing out the sheets that had been balled up and messily tucking them into place. “I wasn’t expecting company.”

               You scratched at the back of your head and shot him a small grin. “Sorry,” you felt compelled to apologize. “I know you didn’t ask for a Reader, but Papyrus really did just want to help you.”

               “No need to say sorry, pipsqueak.” He sat on the bed carefully to keep you from bouncing, before laying back so his head plopped down on the pillow. You ended up laying on his sternum after a bit of maneuvering, stretching out on your stomach and resting your head on your arms so you could look up at him. He shifted the pillow a bit and put his hands behind his head so he was able to peer down at you. A lazy grin stretched across his teeth and you returned it. “Hey, I just realized, I didn’t ask your name.”

               That startled a laugh out of you. “I don’t have one. Most Readers don’t. Sometimes when Miss Hart gives one of us a nickname it sticks, but I never got one.”

               “Huh,” Sans raised one boney brow. “Well, what do you want to be called?”

               You shrugged, having never really thought of naming yourself before. “I dunno. You can call me whatever you want.”

               Sans’ eyes drooped a bit, looking heavy and tired as he thought. “Hmm. I may need a few days to think of a good name for you.” He winked.

               “A few days? You’re a real lazybones aren’t you?” You teased gently, remembering what Papyrus had said about his big brother’s awful sense of humor.

               A surprised laugh boomed through his chest, shaking his sternum and, by extension, you. You fisted your hands in his sweatshirt to keep from rolling off his chest.

               “I do like to laze around. In fact, sleep comes so naturally to me, I could do it with my eyes closed.” He shut his eyes as he said it, his smile stretching as you giggled.

               “Heh, don’t you ever get tired of sleeping?” You prodded.

               “Nah, sleeping all day is my dream job.”

               “Hey, what do you call a parent who sings their kids to sleep?”

               “What?”

               “A kid napper!”

               “Hah! What do you call a cat sleeping in a sunbeam?”

               “What?”

               “A light sleeper!”

               You could almost hear Papyrus groaning as you and Sans exchanged jokes. Despite him seeming hesitant to keep you as a companion earlier, you and him managed to keep the line of jokes going for nearly half-an-hour before he began to snore, hands falling to his sides. He didn’t roll over at least, and soon after his breathing slowed to gentle rolls of his sternum and ribs. The odd rocking sensation was relaxing, and it didn’t take very long for you to join him in dreamland.


 

               Sans woke to an odd little weight on his chest that wasn’t supposed to be there. His jaw cracked as he yawned and blinked the sleep from his sockets. Just before he sat up to stretch, the weight on his chest moved. He froze and glanced down, eyes widening slightly as he remembered the previous night.

               The reader on his chest, clad in a too-big silver sweater and jeans, was curled into a cute little ball, fast asleep, one hand fisted in his jacket, the other tucked under their head. They were breathing in time with him, inhaling whenever his ribs raised, and exhaling whenever they dipped. It was a very odd, yet comforting feeling.

               He still couldn’t believe Papyrus had gone out and gotten him a Reader. Hadn’t he ever heard that giving pets as gifts was one of the worst ideas ever? There were entire articles on it! True, those mostly revolved around puppies at Christmas and bunnies at Easter, but aside from sentience Readers were the same thing!

               Then again, that sentience was what made them such wonderful pets and companions. They weren’t simple animals with a need for food, shelter, affection – they were complex beings with advanced thought patterns and an understanding of metacognition and a strong sense of self. He’d met a few around the lab when they accompanied their monsters for the day (they would never test on a Reader – Alpha Asgore would have all their heads on a silver platter if anybody even thought of that, if Alpha Toriel didn’t dust them all first), but he’d never had a true one-on-one conversation or held one himself before. He was too lazy to do that.

               So he’d been understandably (though perhaps a bit excessively) annoyed when Papyrus had sprung the little thing on him. Honestly, popping out of spaghetti – the jape just screamed Papyrus. While having their whispered tête-à-tête in the living room, he’d demanded to know just what his little brother had been thinking.

               “You’re getting sad again, Sans,” Papyrus had whispered, torn between guilt and annoyance. “I can see it – your smile has gone all fake again, like when we were Underground! Nothing father or I have tried has helped cheer you up. We love you, Sans.” He’d rested his big, gloved hands on the smaller skeletons shoulders, “We want you to be happy. I truly think having a Reader will help.”

               When Sans still didn’t look convinced, Papyrus whipped out his smartphone. “Wait, look here. I did research, see!” He showed Sans the screen; it was loaded to a mental health website, specifically on an article connecting higher levels of serotonin to owning pets. “And the Reader I found for you, they’re what’s called a Companion type!” He flipped to another tab, showing a gray sweater with a list of traits beside it.

               “Please, Sans,” Papyrus pocketed his phone again, “I have a good feeling in my SOUL. It’s been there ever since I had this idea. I really think this will work.”

               Sans had sighed beneath the weight of his brother’s words and agreed to get to know the Reader. Obviously his brother had good taste – they’d kept up with him joke-for-joke, pun-for-pun, before he’d fallen asleep in the middle of a punchline. Apparently they were also just as much of a lazy-bones as he was – a glance at the clock on his dressed showed it was nearly noon. They’d slept for almost eighteen hours. Thank god it was Saturday, and he didn’t have to go into work.

               Sans laid his head back and began running a finger over the Readers head, not wanting to wake them, but at the same time needing a good dose of ketchup to get his day started.


 

               You woke to a finger running over your head, coaxing you from your rest. You lazily lifted your head and smiled up at the round-faced skeleton you’d fallen asleep on.

               “Mornin’, pipsqueak,” he greeted with a large smile on his face. You yawned and sat up, stretching your arms over your head.

               “Mornin’, bighead.” You returned, then realized what you’d said. “Er, I mean, uh-“

               The skeleton snorted in laughter, cutting off your apology. He cupped a hand around you as you sat up, allowing you to fall back slightly and sit comfortably in his palm as he got off his bed. “You’ve got me there, pipsqueak. C’mon, let’s grab some lunch”

               “What about breakfast?” You asked. He shifted so you were seated on his shoulder, comfortably relaxed where his clavicle dipped.

               “We slept through it.” He explained, leaving the messy room and making sure the door shut behind him. The other two doors were open – his father and brother were already up and about, apparently.

               You held onto his jacket as he meandered down the stairs and through the living room, heading for the kitchen. “So, what do you want to do today?” He asked.

               It seemed his lazy attitude was contagious – you just shrugged and leaned against his puffy hood, which was bunched up around his shoulders a bit, creating a perfect resting spot.

               “Heh,” Sans chuckled and went straight to the fridge, pulling out a bottle of ketchup, which he promptly uncapped and drank. You wrinkled up your nose and stuck your tongue out at the sight. “What, not a fan of the sauce?”

               “Nah,” you quipped, “I don’t have the stomach for it.” He chuckled, the vibes reverberating through his chest and shaking you a bit where you sat.

               “True, it is a unique taste.” A luminescent blue tongue licked over his teeth, catching the stray drops of ketchup on his bones. “Jokes aside, what do you want to eat?”

               You pointed to the white bag sitting on the counter, where Papyrus had placed it when you arrived last night. “There’s some snacks for me in there,” you explained.

               Sans took the bag over to the table and poured it out. The pamphlet on Proper Reader Care flopped out first, followed by all the treats the shelter owner had packed for you. The skeleton whistled and set you down on the table. “Heh, and here I was worried you’d only brought the clothes on your back.”

You dug through the stack of supplies, pulling out the few bags of treats the shelter owner had packed. There was a bag of Muffet’s cookies, a box of flavored chips from Grillby’s, and a variety of monster candy and snacks. You popped open the chips and munched on them as Sans continued sipping his ketchup.

“So what do you normally do on Saturday?” You asked around a bite of the BBQ flavored snack.

Sans shrugged. “Sleep,” he admitted, “or hang out with Paps or Alphys.” He had finished about half of the bottle now, and got up to put it back in the fridge.

“Exciting stuff,” you commented as he came back.

“Yep,” he agreed, retaking his seat and slumping back, hands on his stomach, as he looked at you with lidded eyes. “We appear to be two very exciting people.”

               “No bones about it.” You agreed, feeling a bit proud as he snorted with laughter.

               “Heh, good one pipsqueak. So, lazy day in?”

               You licked salt off your fingers as you agreed. “Lazy day in.”

               Several hours later Papyrus arrived home and lambasted you both for being lazy, as well as marathoning his TIVO’d episodes of the hilarious dating show ‘Would You Smooch A Ghost?’ without him. He was all bark and no bite, though, and by the end he simply sighed and stomped off to the kitchen to make lasagna.

               Sans seemed happy enough with the lambasting, and when he went into the kitchen to help Papyrus with something (leaving you on the couch cheering for the cute bunny and reptile couple in Royal Guard armor), you could hear him speaking softly and affectionately to his brother. Just as the applause for the kissing royal guard couple tapered off, you heard the older brother quietly thanking his brother for finding you.

               A proud smile crossed your lips, and you hummed happily as Sans returned and plopped you back on his stomach to watch the next episode.


 

               You and Sans bonded over bad puns and a shared love of hamburgers. He took you with him to work a few times, when he and Gaster weren’t dealing with chemicals or running experiments. You sat on his desk as he filled out paperwork, sometimes distracting him with spontaneous tic-tac-toe games, other times just reading some science books from his shelves. It was a bit daunting, having to stand on the pages to read, and flipping the pages was a bit of a hassle, but his astronomy and joke books kept you both entertained for hours on end.

               On days you couldn’t go to the Royal Labs you hung out with Papyrus, discussing Italian cuisine and watching Mettaton marathons. When Papyrus had work you enjoyed exploring the house, challenging yourself by climbing to the top of the couch or playing in the kitchen. At least until you accidently shut yourself in the fridge and Papyrus came home to a Reader-scicle. A quick warm bath and a lecture later, and you were banned from the kitchen when they weren’t home. Sans thought it was hilarious, of course – he made ice and snow puns for several days afterwards.

               Gaster stole you sometimes, whisking you away to his office on the first floor, just to chat while Sans napped. He tried to teach you to play chess – it was a bit difficult since the pieces were the same height as you, but once you got the hang of it, you…still couldn’t beat him.

               Most of the time, though, you were with Sans, riding on his shoulder or in his hood, sleeping on his chest, or exchanging puns and jokes (much to the annoyance of those around you). While he was often tired and did sleep a lot, you never noticed him being overtly sad or obviously upset.

               That’s why the nightmare was such a surprise. One moment you were asleep on his chest, dreaming about accompanying Papyrus to an Italy made entirely out of pasta and bread sticks, the next you were jarred awake by hitting the mattress. It had happened a few times – Sans slept like a brick, rarely moving, but you had rolled off his ribs a few times during the night. It wasn’t painful, just sudden. This, though – this felt more like you’d been pushed or thrown off his chest.

               The big-boned skeleton was thrashing in the sheets, his legs tangled, arms flailing, a blue glow curling up from his left eye. You scrambled away from the tossing and turning body, nearly losing your head when his elbow came too close. Luckily, you were able to reach the pillow with all limbs intact. Thanks to your time climbing around the couch and kitchen (when supervised), you easily scrambled up the cotton pillowcase and crawled across the plush surface to Sans head.

               You were on his left side, and the magic leeching through his socket sent an odd chill over your skin. For a moment you hesitated, not entirely sure what to do, but a pained whine from between the skeletons clenched teeth spurred you on. Inching forward, you moved to sit right beside his head and, with trembling fingers, began to gently stroke his cheek bone.

               Sans jolted at the sudden (if small) contact, but luckily he didn’t lash out. You continued to pet his cheek, running your hand in a line before switching to rubbing circles along the arch of the bone. Absently you began to hum, the same soft tune Papyrus sometimes did in the kitchen when he was cooking. You didn’t know what the song was, or even if you were loud enough for Sans to hear you, but miraculously the skeleton began to calm down.

               You kept petting and humming for what felt like hours, though surely was only twenty or thirty minutes. You had to switch arms halfway through, the muscles in the one having gone sore from the repetitive motion. Just as your other arm was about to give out, the flickering magic of Sans left eye (which had been dying down steadily for the past half-hour) went out, and he lazily opened his sockets to reveal his pupils. They shifted to you, and very slowly he turned his head so you were both eye-to-eye.

               “Pipsqueak?” He asked sleepily, reaching up to rub at his now magicless eye tiredly. “What’re you doing up here? Heh, get bonely down on my hoodie?”

               You ran your hand along the bone just above his nose cavity, as though petting a dog with a big muzzle. “You had a nightmare,” you explained.

               “Yeah, I uh, get those sometimes.” You swore you could see tears beading the bottom of his sockets, but he blinked them away before you could be sure. “I don’t normally wake up before they end, though…” His teeth lifted in a smile. “Guess I have you ‘n’ your pretty humming to thank for that.” His hand slid over to brush a finger over your bedhead. “Sorry for wakin’ ya up, kid.”

               “It’s okay, Sans.” You reassured him, standing to lean forward and press a kiss between his eyes. A blue blush crossed his cheeks as he carefully rolled over, so he was on his side, facing you.

               His eyes were still heavy with sleep. “Think you can sleep a few more hours?” He asked, even as the lids began to fall.

               “Yeah,” you flopped down onto the pillow beside his head, giving him the same half-lidded stare he was giving you. His hand came up to lay over you, warm bones better than any blanket.

               “Night, Pipsqueak.” Sans shut his eyes all the way and within moments, he was breathing deeply, fast asleep.

               “Night Sans,” you whispered back, grinning and hugging his pointer finger like a teddy bear, hoping the touch would keep any lingering nightmares away. It must have worked – the rest of the night passed peacefully.


Thanks for all the questions and ideas! I’m working on putting together a infograph about the Itty Bitty Reader AU, please let me know if you have any questions so I can try and answer them! I’d also love to hear any ideas - not a promise to write them, of course, but I enjoy inspiration!

AN: When I watch that gif I don’t know whether to laugh bc I know the funny bit right after it or cry bc I know what it foreshadows and oMG I NEED TO STOP RIGHT THERE BEFORE I ACTUALLY CRY. On that awfully sad note, I would like to thank the anon that sent this in. *I do not own the gif, found on google. Please ignore any spelling errors!

Pairing: Pietro (AoU) X Reader

Prompt: Babe, I’m sorry! I know requests are closed, but you get drowned by the other posts and people on my dash and I had to ask while I remember. If you have a waiting list, maybe set me up on it. Pietro imagine where he get’s hurt protecting reader while reader is kicking ass. Reader notices and in turn protects him by kicking even more ass.

Warning: Violence

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Fight Like A Girl”

“Status report, Y/N.” You heard Nat’s voice buzz through your ear piece, but you didn’t answer right away due to the ten men that were coming at you with an intent to kill.

You cast a quick glance at Quicksilver, Pietro Maximoff, who was speeding in every direction around you, preventing more soldiers from attacking you.

For some reason, the two of you had made an unspoken agreement to fight with each other during this battle once you bumped into each other. And, honestly, you were okay with that. He didn’t focus on eliminating one side of you like the others would do, but rather he would thin the herd all around you, so when they did get to you the numbers weren’t as bad. You both were pulling your weight evenly.

“We’re fine." You grunted as you roundhouse kicked a man who was approaching you from the side.

"Alright,” Nat said, equally as breathless. She seemed to be getting hit pretty hard as well. “Update us if anything goes wrong.”

“Will do.” You said quickly as you avoided a punch that was aimed for your face.

The men’s numbers began to grow, and soon there were over a dozen circling you at once. Now, you were good, but not that good.

“Pietro, you mind not letting so many get through?” You shouted at the speeding blur of silver and blue that zipped by.

Pietro stopped for a split second to punch a man who was charging at you. “Sorry, I’m getting a little worn down.”

A man managed to clip your shoulder just a touch with a knife, causing it to sting. Hissing at the newfound pain, you clasped a hand on the cut and kicked the man in the stomach. “Don’t get sloppy on me now, I’m loosing momentum too.”

The numbers kept growing and growing, soon you would have to call in for backup from the others. It wasn’t something you really wanted to do because you knew that there was a good chance they were facing similar situations, but you were swimming upstream in this battle.

You were knocked to the ground, and before you could call in for help, the men ripped the headset off you and smashed it to bits.

“You are finished.” One said with a wide, sickening grin.

You returned his smile, then nailed him in the groin with your knee, causing him to roll off of your with his hands between his legs. You jumped up to your feet and tried to fight off as many of them as you could, but in the seconds that you lost on the ground more men had managed to surround you.

And, one of them had a gun.

Pietro spun around to check in on you, his blue eyes widening when he saw a gun being pointed straight at you. Within a second, just as the man was pulling the trigger, a blue and silver streak cut between you and the deadly weapon, and suddenly you were out of the herd of men.

Pietro’s strong, large arms were wrapped around you from the back, and his forehead was resting on your shoulder. You heard him hiss in pain and mutter something in his native tongue.

You untangled yourself from his arms and turned to assess the source of his pain.

“I tried to knock the gun down as I ran by, but apparently I didn’t do it quick enough…it still managed to get me…” He growled, and his hands shot down to his right thigh.

Blood. Dark red blood was all over his grey running pants, and when you gently moved his hands away you saw the bullet hole.

You threw a glance over his large shoulder to see that the man were looking around for where the two of you had gone, it would only be moments before they spotted you. Pietro couldn’t run anymore, clearly, and you could not carry him. You had to stay here and fight.

“The wound isn’t fatal.” You told him, then helped him to lay on the ground. You ripped off a bit off his shirt and tied it around the bullet hole (much to his horror) tightly to apply pressure. “Make sure there is pliantly of pressure on it.”

“W-what about you?” Pietro asked under his breath. “They aren’t going to just stop fighting when they see that I have been injured.”

You smiled at him the best you could, then stood and turned to face the on coming herd of soldiers.

He protected you, and you sure as hell were going to return the favor.

You took the pistol out of its holder on your thigh (you only saved it for when hand to hand combat was out of the question) and shot at them with perfect aim.

“Pietro,” You yelled loudly so that he could hear you over all of the gunshots and yelling soldiers. “You still have your communicator, right? Request some backup.”

You heard Pietro mutter painfully a, “Yes, Ma'am.” Then continue to talk into the small speaker in his ear.

Soon enough, you ran out of bullets to shoot, so you had to resort to fighting once more. You tossed the now-useless gun at the face of the closest solider, then swept your feet under him and caused him to fall to the ground. You staid right in front of Pietro and defended him the best you could, but by this time you had over twenty men trying to get you.

It got to the point where you knew that you weren’t going to be able to keep going. Your feet were tired, you were all cut up, and your energy was running dangerously low. Every time you thought you were close to finishing them off, a new wave hit. You weren’t giving up, you were just accepting the reality of the situation.

You threw yourself over Pietro with your back to the enemies as a last ditch effort to keep him alive, even if it was for only one or two more seconds.

The both of you twisted your eyes shut and leaned your foreheads against each others as you waited for the fatal blows.

“Out of the way!” You heard the voice of an absolute angel, Nat, scream from the distance.

You looked up as saw the Hulk come barreling in your direction, his eyes narrowed at the group of soldiers.

You rolled Pietro and yourself out of the way just in time before Bruce plowed into them, only a mere few feet away from you.

You were going to live, you were saved.

Pietro, seemingly going through the same mind set, smiled brightly. The way that the two of you had rolled away had caused him to be resting above you with his arms on either side your head.

“You are so kick-ass!” He shouted before he smashed his lips against yours.

Your ran your fingers through his dirty silver hair and tugged him closer to you, both of your lips curled up into a smile.

Bruce continued to fight off the rest of the men, and Nat just stood above the two of you with her arms crossed above her chest.

She cleared her throat with an amused grin. You just flipped her off as you continued to kiss the speedster.

A SONG IN EVERY WORD

A Poem by Rene Velez

It’s a new hell 
when you realize 
poetry doesn’t sell, 
though its your gift 
late nights, 
with an aching wrist, 

born, two hundred 
years too late, 
so we wait for a 
rebirth, of soil 
and Earth, 

and with an urge, 
we play with words 
in some secluded 
room, and hum 
a tune, in early june, 
life, a thriving cocoon, 

never waiver, 
there is no failure 
in words, we are 
the dreamers among 
a thinning herd, finding 
a song in every word.

© 2017 Rene Velez