imagine that at some point in time smol cherub chris just thrusts some paper and a pen at young victor and asks for an autograph
victor: *teasing bc he’s a little shit at that age* ‘didn’t know you were a fan’ chris: *blushing* ‘oh it’s not for me, it’s for a friend’ victor: *gasps* ‘I thought I was your friend’ chris: *blinks with all the innocence that’s still on his face but not in his heart* ‘what I can’t have more than one?’ victor: *pouts* ‘then get me their autograph too, fair’s fair’
long years after that, a week after sochi actually, victor goes through his memorabilia and stumbles upon an autographed piece of a napkin that hesitantly spots yuuri katsuki in the bottom right corner and he grins so, so wide when he decides to frame it
This past summer, I was lucky enough to go on my own little voyage through the Caribbean. Though it was much less adventurous than Jamie x Claire’s seems to be – definitely no middle of the night trips overboard to go deep sea diving for me, thank you very much – I did get to collect a few Outlander souvenirs along the way! Who knwe Turtle Soup/Stew was so popular?! But enough of that. Let’s get to the real soup we’re here for… Anyone up for some
“No, Sassenach, ye dinna frighten me. Or rather ye do, but only when I think ye may kill yourself from carelessness.”
I snorted briefly.
“You scare me for the same reason, but I don’t suppose there’s anything I can do about it.”
His chuckle was deep and easy.
“And ye think I canna do anything about it, either so I shouldna be worrit?”
“I didn’t say you shouldn’t worry – do you think I don’t worry? But no, you probably can’t do anything about me.”
I saw him opening his mouth to disagree. Then he changed his mind, and laughed again. He reached out and popped an orange segment into my mouth.
“Well, maybe no, Sassenach, and maybe so. But I’ve lived a long enough time now to think it maybe doesna matter so much – so long as I can love you.”
Speechless with orange juice, I stared at him in surprise.
“And I do,” he said softly. He leaned into the berth and kissed me, his mouth warm and sweet. Then he drew back, and gently touched my cheek.
“Rest now,” he said firmly. “I’ll bring ye some broth in a bit.”
I slept for several hours, and woke up still feverish, but hungry. Jamie brought me some of Murphy’s broth – a rich green concoction, swimming, in butter and reeking with sherry – and insisted, despite my protests, on feeding it to me with a spoon.
“I have a perfectly good hand,” I said crossly.
“Aye, and I’ve seen ye use it, too,” he replied, deftly gagging me with the spoon. “If ye’re clumsy with a spoon as wi’ that needle, you’ll have this all spilt down your bosom and wasted, and Murphy will brain me wi’ the ladle. Here, open up.”
I did, my resentment gradually melting into a sort of warm and glowing stupor as I ate. I hadn’t taken anything for the pain in my arm, but as my empty stomach expanded in grateful relief, I more or less quit noticing it.
“Will ye have another bowl?” Jamie asked, as I swallowed the last spoonful. “Ye’ll need your strength kept up.” Not waiting for an answer, he uncovered the small tureen Murphy had sent, and refilled the bowl. […]
“What kind of soup is this?” The last spoonful had left a delightful, lingering taste on my tongue; the next revived the full flavor.
“Turtle; Stern took a big hawksbill last night. He sent word he’s saving ye the shell to make combs of, for your hair.” […]
Fergus is on his honeymoon,” I protested. “You shouldn’t make him do it. Is this really turtle soup? I never had it before. It’s marvelous.”
Jamie was unmoved by contemplation of Fergus’s tender state.
“Aye, well, he’ll be wed a long time,” he said callously. “Do him no harm to keep his breeches on for one night. And they do say that abstinence makes the heart grow firmer, no?”
“Absence,” I said dodging the spoon for a moment. “And fonder. If anything’s growing firmer from abstinence, it wouldn’t be his heart.”
“That’s very bawdy talk for a respectable marrit woman,” Jamie said reprovingly, sticking the spoon in my mouth. “And inconsiderate, forbye.”
I swallowed. “Inconsiderate?”
“I’m a wee bit firm myself at the moment,” he replied evenly, dipping and spooning. “What wi’ you sitting there wi’ your hair loose and your nipples starin’ me in the eye, the size of cherries.”
I glanced down involuntarily, and the next spoon bumped my nose. Jamie clicked his tongue, and picking up a cloth, briskly blotted my bosom with it. It was quite true that my shift was made of thin cotton, and even when dry, reasonably easy to see through.
“It’s not as though you haven’t seen them before,” I said, amused.
He laid down the cloth and raise his brows.
“I have drunk water every day since I was weaned,” he pointed out. “It doesna mean I canna be thirsty, still.” He picked up the spoon. “You’‘ll have a wee bit more?”
“No, thanks,” I said, dodging the oncoming spoon. “I want to hear more about this firmness of yours.”
leah @dadhopper asked for Karen and Joyce as teenagers kissing behind the bleachers. I made Joyce… a little too flirty maybe but I wrote this super quick and had fun doing it SO I HOPE THAT IT’S OKAY
Karen is always nervous on game day.
Joyce can tell because her usual perfectly manicured nails are cut short, like she’d chew on them if they were long enough and her signature high ponytail is just the slightest bit crooked. No one else can tell, but Joyce can. Karen might be the beloved flower of Hawkins High - head cheerleader, valedictorian, straight on the path onto bigger and better things outside of Hawkins - but nobody knows shit about her.
Everyone thinks they know Karen Dawson. Karen Dawson who wears Grace Kelly approved blouses with her signature rose pink lipstick. Karen Dawson who raises her hand every day in math because she always knows the answer. Karen Dawson, whose giggles make guys like Lonnie Byers and Jim Hopper alike weak to their knees.
It’s all bullshit. Nobody knows the Karen Dawson that Joyce knows.
“Hey Dawson,” Joyce calls when the bell rings in sixth period, Karen getting up from her seat a little too frantically, scrambling to get her books in time. Karen turns to her, hair whipping around her shoulder and Joyce bites the inside of her cheek to keep herself from smiling at the steely glint in Karen’s eyes. “Break a leg today.”
There’s a moment when Joyce thinks Karen is gonna snap at her, full of heat and tension that makes Joyce’s spine light on fire. But it’s gone in a second, Karen’s perfect face fixed back into her perfect Lucille Ball smile. “Thanks ever so much, Horowitz,” Karen says sweetly before exiting the classroom with the rest of her squad.
Joyce grins darkly at her retreating back.
The game goes perfectly - they win, Karen executes her final tumble perfectly and she’s waving her pompoms wildly, leading the audience in one final victory cheer. All her nerves and anxiety bleed away and she nearly sags to her feet, exhausted. Thank god it’s over.
The team and the rest of the squad make excited plans for the after party while Karen slowly makes her way to the lockers. She makes it a rule not to ever ride with any of them - the last thing she needs is Ryan Cooper trying to cop a feel while she rides passenger - and takes her time getting ready after a game. She’s already thinking about how good it’ll feel to take her ponytail out when a delicate hand seizes around her wrist and drags her behind the bleachers.
Karen is half ready to shriek but the familiar smell of Camels and some other unidentifiable spice hits her and she relaxes. “Joyc - “ she starts, about to scold her but Joyce steals her words away, pressing her mouth against Karen’s seamlessly, like they’ve done a dozen times. At Joyce’s house at night, at the quarry, at the dark corner by Cherry and Elm and doesn’t have a streetlight when they’re feeling particularly bold.
She relaxes into the kiss for a good ten seconds, the taste of cheap beer and bubblegum a welcome reprieve, before her brain catches up with her. “Joyce!” she hisses, pushing her away. “Your lipstick!” Judging by the satisfied curl of Joyce’s mouth, Karen’s suspicions must be on the dot - Joyce’s dark red staining Karen’s mouth.
Joyce tilts her head in that furiously coquettish way, tilting Karen’s chin so she can get a better look. “I don’t know, Karen, I think I like this color better?”
“You’re impossible,” Karen grumbles but she doesn’t protest when Joyce carefully undos her ponytail, running her hands through blonde tresses.
“You did good tonight, kid,” Joyce says and Karen preens because she’s never one to deny a compliment. Joyce takes advantage of her lapse in attention and tugs her down for another kiss, heated this time, Joyce’s tongue coming to curl against hers.
Five more seconds, Karen thinks wildly to herself, hands scrambling to clutch at Joyce’s leather jacket. We can kiss for five more seconds.
Joyce tugs at her hair, startling Karen with the electric way it feels, and she bites on Joyce’s lip to hold back her moan.
“Ow, motherfucker,” Joyce hisses pulling away. Her lipstick is all smeared and Karen hates how much she loves it. “Play nice!”
“You started it,” Karen pants back. Joyce rolls her eyes at her.
“Nice hair, Dawson.”
Karen immediately tries to pat down her wild curls. “Whose fault do you think this is?” she hisses. Joyce snorts at her but helps brush back a few curls until it looks presentable. Karen groans as she points to her mouth. “How bad is it?”
“Yes, well.” She never knows how to act when they’re in public because Joyce is always staring at her with those dark, wide eyes like she knows something Karen doesn’t and it’s infuriating. Joyce Horowitz is infuriating. “I have an after-party to get to.”
“Yeah. Byers and I will stop by.” Karen wrinkles her nose at the mention of Lonnie Byers. “What are you doing tomorrow though? I think I’m flunking chemistry… might need a tutor.”
Joyce’s eyebrows raise and Karen immediately starts to blush, thinking of the other ‘tutoring’ sessions they’ve had. “I’ll be at your place at five,” she snaps as she turns away. “Don’t you dare think I won’t actually make you study!”
Joyce’s tinkling laughter, carried high in the wind, follows her as she goes.
Everyone lived. When Harry was born, Lily hardly saw him because Sirius was fitting him into a tiny leather jacket, Remus was reading to him, and James was already trying to sneak him to the Quidditch supply store to get Harry his first toy broom. Christmases were spent with full bellies and rooms stuffed with laughter, and there wasn’t a single person without flushed cheeks from all the wine. Lily’s eyes sparkled, and there was always a joke on the tip of James’ tongue. All Harry knew was love, love, love, from every corner of the universe.
Everyone lived, and every Thursday afternoon, Sirius and Remus took Harry to the “library”, which was the secret word they taught him for the ice cream parlor. With each trip, they ordered the biggest sundae that was offered with three spoons, and Harry always ate nearly all of it. They kept it up until the day Harry asked Lily to take him to the library and, when confronted with the shelves piled high with books, he asked her where they went to order their ice cream.
Remus and Sirius got married when Harry was three, and Harry was the ring bearer. Lily cried the first time she saw him in his tiny dress robes. They were just long enough that he nearly tripped halfway up the aisle. There wasn’t a single pair of dry of eyes in the audience that day.
Everyone lived, and on Harry’s sixth birthday, he celebrated alongside Neville with all their friends and family. James gave Harry his first set of toy Quidditch balls. He, Ron, Neville, Draco, and Ginny all played together until Draco pushed Neville off his broom and into the cake Alice had spent hours working on. Lily tried so hard not to laugh at Neville’s frosting-covered face, but instead she went beet red and gave herself away to everyone.
Draco said he was sorry. He actually meant it.
Everyone lived, and the moms had a Lockhart book club, which consisted of everyone getting wine-drunk and complaining about their husbands together. Draco, Neville, Harry and Ron eavesdropped and reported back to their dads, who were standing around the kitchen armed with beer, about what they did wrong that week. Each of the meetings somehow coincidentally ended with each of the men stopping by to bring their respective wives bouquets of flowers or boxes of chocolate “because they just felt like it.”
Everyone lived, and Draco and Harry were friends, believe it or not. When Narcissa and Lucius had a date night, they dropped Draco off at the Potters. James told them scary stories in the darkness of their blanket tent. Lily used magic to cast shadows all over their living room, and Harry and Draco wouldn’t sleep for the rest of the night. But Lily kissed each of their foreheads and assured them each that everything would be fine, because she and James would never let anything bad happen to either of them.
She meant it.
Draco and Harry stayed up until their eyelids were simply too heavy to bear, but Harry managed to remain awake till Draco was completely asleep before closing his eyes. It was one of the most peaceful things he’d ever seen. He wasn’t exactly sure why he thought that. Not yet, anyways.
Everyone lived. Everyone got a little bit older. The kids all went off to Hogwarts, somehow managing to stuff themselves all into one train compartment, even with Hermione once she joined. Draco and Harry got put into different houses, which was a relief to everyone around them. “they already bickered like a married couple without rooming together,” Ron said when they were first sorted, “I don’t want to think about what we’d have to deal with if they were sharing a dorm.”
The only time Harry and Draco forgot about their friendship was when they played against each other in Quidditch. There were no rules when you needed to be the first one to the snitch.
(I suppose there weren’t any rules when it came to making out with your best friend in an empty corridor after drinking half a bottle of fire whiskey, either.)
Sixth year came with sly glances and brushing fingertips in the hallway; throwing all caution to the wind and risking friendship for feelings Harry and Draco had been denying since they were kids. Ron and Hermione exchanged knowing looks, but no one said a word. Not even when Harry inconspicuously crept out of bed nearly every night at half past two with his Invisibility cloak in tow, not returning until the sun was just peeking out over the mountains, if at all. He looked happier than ever that year, secrets tugging on the corners of his mouth every time he spoke.
Everyone lived, and when Draco and Harry came out to their families their seventh year, everyone groaned. “You owe me ten Galleons,” was the first thing James said to Lucius, and Harry knew then that everything was going to be okay.
Because everyone was here, surrounding him, breathing, alive. They all hugged him and Draco at once, cheeks smooshed together, a mess of laughter and “I love you’s” and kisses on foreheads. They were all connected then, their pulses stitching them together with a bond Harry knew nothing could break.
They all knew hurt; they knew pain and suffering, and they knew loss, but most of all, they knew each other. They knew love, and they knew hope.
As they stood there, a giant amoeba of people from all walks of life, some more challenging than others, Harry let go of the breath he felt as though he had been holding for his entire life.