Gather around my children and you shall hear of the most terrible, most implacable, most improbable friends ever met by our people. They came from the third planet of a tiny system, surrounded by desolate space. Not one sentient species for hundreds of lightyears, and they managed to propel themselves into space.
We watched from afar as they developed slowly. We watched as they warred among themselves, brutal and savage. We watched as they rendered regions of their planet uninhabitable to themselves, a hardy species able to adapt to even the most hostile of environments. We watched as suddenly and without warning they united under four banners, the rest falling by the wayside. We watched as they expanded into what we had begun to use as a buffer zone, to allow these humans to burn themselves out in.
But they did not burn themselves out. Despite their warring among themselves. Harsh people. Humankind is a race of warriors, do not be fooled by the eloquence of their diplomats. In their own words, “All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means”. Their greatest artists and philosophers were born from blood and conflict. I had the privilege once to view a painting by one Pablo Picasso, entitled Guernica. It was a savage piece, with not a drop of color. It showed the horrors of war, and the irony of it all was that the painting hung in the office of one of humankind’s generals.
It was sudden, when they burst from the containment zone. When they realized they were not alone. And we, with heavy hearts, prepared to fight them bitterly and to the last. Imagine then, our surprise when humanity embraced us among the stars as long lost brothers. They were overjoyed to discover they were not alone in the darkness. Despite their brutal and warlike culture, despite their glorification of death and violence, their people do not seek out combat. An ancient general of theirs once put it thusly “Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace”.
For centuries humanity worked to better itself. They unified under a single Interstellar Empire, the Empire of Man, the Human Empire, however you called it. They enjoyed art and music. They became leisurely at home, exploratory in the field. Their weapons of war were long gone, beaten into plowshares as they say. Humanity was finally at peace. There was no conflict among them, a few border skirmishes for certain, and they kept a small standing military, but nothing more than that. We considered them domesticated.
At first we were surprised at their transformation, then overjoyed. We welcomed them into the fold of the cosmos, embraced them as they would embrace us. We thought we knew humanity then, that we had seen them at their best and their worst. We were wrong, so very wrong. We did not truly understand humanity until the Texar-Hakara came into the void between the stars.
Seemingly more brutal, more bloodthirsty than even the humans, they swept into our region of space like conquerors. They smashed whatever feeble resistance the Yungling managed to put up, took their planets, enslaved the survivors, and pressed on. The Junti were next, utterly destroyed. The four great races left, ourselves, the Itaxa, the Kukrama, and the Illnaa, banded together to try and stop them. In our arrogance, we did not include the humans in our pact. Too few in number, too weak in frame, too backwards in technology we thought.
The Texar-Hakara hit our borders like the great wave that sweeps life from the beach. We hardened our hearts and prepared for the worst. Seeming without pause they crushed our border defenses. They obliterated the first fleets we sent to them. The Itaxa fell to the Texar-Hakara, enslaved, killed, scattered to the corners of the galaxy. Then the humans sent us an offer, a request really. They asked to fight alongside us.
Bemused, we accepted. What else could we do? Deny them the right to fight with us for their very survival? We thought to assign them as rearguards, to ferry our people to safety after our fleets fell. We thought wrong.
Humanity swept into the stars with a fury unmatched by any other. Their fleets were not the heaviest. Their guns not the most accurate. Their soldiers however. Their sailors. Their warriors were unmatched by any others in the cosmos. I remember the first battle in which the humans fought the Texar-Hakara like it was but a single solar cycle ago. Our forces were on the brink of breaking and fleeing. Our ships were gutted ruins. Our fighters exhausted and out of missiles. Then humanity fell upon the flank of the enemy, and the full force of the Human Empire was unleashed in a single moment of utter fury. Landing craft spat across the distance in an instant, slamming into enemy hulls and disgorging humanity’s greatest weapon, their Marines. In close combat humanity is unstoppable, and so they took the vast distances of space combat out of the equation.
Their ships belched fire and plasma. Lasers crossed the vast distances in the blink of an eye. Half the Texar-Hakaran fleet was obliterated in minutes. The other half turned to face this new enemy, only to be wracked by internal explosions as the Marines did their work. Their greatest ships turned on the rest of the fleet, a handful of humans holding the bridge against waves of enemy attackers to turn the tide of battle.
The Interstellar War came to a screeching turnaround. The advance of the Texar-Hakara halted, like it had hit an immovable wall. In many ways that is what humanity is, an immovable, implacable wall. Then, with the ferocity humanity is alone capable of, they routed the Texar-Hakara. Not from that lone battle. They pushed them out of Itaxa space, liberating the slaves. The space of the Junti and the Yungling was swept clear of invaders. Then the Texar-Hakara committed the gravest of sins in humanity’s eyes. They warped a fleet to Earth, jewel of humanity’s empire. They burned that blue and green world. They destroyed it, and the trillion people it housed.
Humanity is a forgiving race my children. Even their most terrible of wars have resulted in lasting friendships between nations. When they left millions dead and broken on the muddly fields of their world, they rebuilt the aggressors. They raised them from the mud, dusted them off, and welcomed them back into the fold. But there is one thing that humanity cannot, will not, tolerate. It is abhorrent to them my children. To strike at their home, to strike where they raise their young ones. Where they leave their mates and non combatants. To strike there is to raise the ire of the human race, truly.
Humanity raged. Their attempts at obtaining the surrender of the Texar-Hakara halted. The war turned from a righteous war of liberation to a furious and hateful war of retribution. We begged the humans to stop, to leave what few planets the Texar-Hakara had alone. Our pleas went unanswered for months, until a single human ambassador came to us. His face was cold and emotionless. He told us, in no uncertain terms, that the Texar-Hakara had doomed themselves and that any trying to aid them would suffer the same fate. Quietly we watched then, as humanity wiped the Texar-Hakara from the stars. The Texar-Hakara pleaded for mercy. They offered their unconditional surrender. They came to us and begged on bent knee for us to reign in the mad dogs we had unwittingly unleashed into the universe. Humanity had for so long repressed their warrior culture. Tried to become better. Then we had given them back into the fires of war, and humanity had awakened it’s warrior past.
The Texar-Hakara ambassadors were taken from our halls by grim human Marines and thrust out airlocks. Finally there was but one planet left, and we came to the humans, we pointed to our own losses, our own dead friends some of whom had lived for longer than humanity had been among the stars, and we begged the humans not to take the last of the Texar-Hakara’s lives.
I watched, children, I watched as the Texar-Hakara’s world burned. As humanity left but one of their planets alive, a simple backwater colony of no more than ten million. Ten million, out of the trillions. Then the leader of the human military turned to me, and with no emotion in his voice, told me that humanity accepted the unconditional surrender of the Texar-Hakara, and walked off the bridge of my ship.
My children, the lesson here is that a warrior past is never truly gone. Only buried, mayhaps even wiped from living memory. But gone? Never. Humanity showed us that.
Random D&D grump: if your character concept involves the phrase “fanatical cultist”, the class you’re probably looking for is the cleric, not the warlock. You can totally play your warlock as a bargain basement cleric if you want to - it’s not like anyone can stop you! - but it can be a lot more interesting if you play up what most readily distinguishes the two archetypes.
In short, the warlock has an adversarial relationship with her patron. Being a cleric implies a certain level of devotion, or at least a level of shared goals between priest and deity, but a warlock doesn’t even have to respect her patron, let alone worship it. Their arrangement is a contract, and that contract allows the warlock to demand that her patron uphold its end of the bargain whether it wants to or not. A warlock can totally work against her own partron’s interests, then turn around and go “yeah, but I’m still technically in compliance with the terms of our pact, so fuck you, give me my spells”.
And as for the patron? Well, it puts up with the warlock’s bullshit because, as powerful as it is, it’s not actually a god: it needs mortal agents to work its will. And that usually works out for it, because it’s a billion years old and it knows a thing or two about pushing mortals around. There’s always that one prick who thinks she can game the system and win, though, and that’s the stuff that player characters are made of.
There’s lots of ways you can take that relationship; your warlock could be a conniving schemer, a smarmy kiss-ass, or anything in between - but if you’re not calling your patron by its first name behind its back, you’re missing out on your class’s full potential!
Because @playingfetchwithdinosaurs was finally seduced into reading this amazing series and then she came to me because she needed more. Also, coincidentally, @notagoodplace4gods finished yesterday CP, but told me only today that she was freaking out over their love and she needed more so here I am giving more to them ;)
💖: my absolutely favorite stories about those Kings
“Oh,” Laurent finds himself saying. Damianos has excused himself from his conversation, and has begun to make his way through the crowd. Here stand the Princes of Vere, after all. The ethereal Veretian Prince brothers. Laurent lifts his eyes towards the ceiling, arching his brows. “Heavens,” he says, voice tight.
During character creation, I let my players dip into some homebrew content they found online. Our warlock finds the pact of the skin and decides that he wants HIS skin to manifest all over his body in an Eldritch manner, with tentacles coming out of his stomach.
Me: (incredulous) You know you can’t walk around town? You’re going to look like an actual fucking monster.
Warlock: Monsters have feelings, too.
I know I love Steven because he’s smart, and he’s deep, and when we have conversations he makes me think, which used to give me a headache, but now I really like.
Look, Kelso. I have never felt this way about a girl before and that pretty much beats our third grade pact.
“It has opened my eyes and my heart toward other people’s lifestyles and cultures. Really, it has changed me for the better and it has made me feel the most alive.”
Take one look at Adrienne’s dreamy adventure photos, and you’ll find yourself wishing you lived in her world of wanderlust. Her never-ending travels are captured in a series of beautiful photos from icy landscapes to stunning tropical oases. Each one of Adrienne’s photos captures the emotion and experiences from that particular trip to tell her travel stories for others to enjoy. Today, we’re chatting with Adrienne about her magical trip to Oahu, Hawaii and the moment that took her breath away.
Love of the Second Star by SteeleStingray - This is the top of my list because if you haven’t read this fic you need to stop what you are doing right now and go read it. Akielos and Vere have an agreement that the princes spend several months in the other kingdom every other year so Laurent, Auguste, and Damen all grow up together and it is SO GOOD (COMPLETED)
One the Other by Ruby_Wednesday - This is a long fic (38 chapters) where Laurent is taken as a ward of Akielos at Marlas and he grows up with Damen. It is also absolutely fantastic (COMPLETED)
Trust Falls by ChristyCorr - I’ll just leave the summary here: Damen’s made some questionable life decisions before, but subbing for the co-worker he hates the most might just take the cake. Damn, Nikandros is going to kill him. It’s a BDSM fic that’s really more about the relationship between the two of them than the porn. I would read a whole novel about this world, but sadly it’s a one-shot. (COMPLETED)
A Perfect Commotion by Ruby_Wednesday - In this fic, Laurent is a lawyer who desperately needs this job because he had to take time off for (so far vaguely mentioned) mental health issues and he lies! and says he took time off to take of his kid! that he doesn’t have! ENTER DAMEN who has a blonde kid and we can all see where this is going. (WIP)
building empires by dawnstruck - Summary: “Marriage,” Prince Auguste bursts out and everyone stares. “A marriage between our royal families,” he clarifies, visibly clearing his throat and his head before he continues, “To symbolize the pact between our kingdoms, for generations to come. Not foes, not friends, but family.” Arranged Marriage AU that’s a bit more complicated than that and features poetry! (WIP)
The Veretian Flytrap by Just_Another_Day - THIS FIC! Honestly, this fic and Love of the Second Star made me want to write this list. It’s A/B/O and the slowest fucking burn, enemies to friends to lovers, like this fic is LIT (WIP)
Okay, that’s all I got right now, obviously this is by no means a comprehensive list, but it includes some of my favorites and the two fics I think everyone should read (one if you really hate A/B/O). Let me know what you think!
✿ zenmasters week 2017 ✿ (x) day one: why they are my otp Look, Kelso. I have never felt this way about a girl before and that pretty much beats our third grade pact ❥ I know I love Steven because he’s smart, and he’s deep, and when we have conversations he makes me think, which used to give me a headache, but now I really like.
All I have to say today is thank you! Your likes, comments, and reblogs mean the world to me 🌷 The last 24 hours have been super stressful and being able to read your reactions helped me more than I can say. You guys are the best 💕
Peter’s face is half-buried in my hair, yet again. I could get used to this. Wrapping my arms around his neck, the hug becomes a lot… closer. As if I minded. I laugh at the thought before I can help myself - but I stop immediately. I can’t seem too eager. If he figures out how I feel, this really could be the end.
I realize I’ve been nodding my head for a weird amount of time, but I almost can’t help it. Fewer than 24 hours ago I tried hugging him to say exactly what he’s just told me. We’re best friends and we love each other. Maybe not in the same way, but still. If the ocean broke through the window behind me to wash me away, I couldn’t feel more overwhelmed with relief.
As long as things just stay normal, we’re going to be okay. I squeeze tighter again before letting go.
“Things are back to normal now?” I ask, taking a small step backward.
So I don’t know if any of y’all out there have this problem, but @theglassesareafacade and I are both watching Legends of Tomorrow and are both obviously gay for Sara Lance, but are both way too gay to want to watch Arrow to get her backstory, but are both gay enough to really want to know her backstory. But, in my benevolence (and free time as i recover from food poisoning), I took one for the team. In case any of you are in a similar boat, I present to you:
The Story of Sara Lance: by performativezippers, as figured out by fast-forwarding through seasons 2-4 of Arrow and literally only watching whenever Sara’s face is on screen
Also none of this is shown chronologically on Arrow, but I’m nice so I put it in timeline order for ya. You’re welcome, fellow Sara-Enthusiasts.
1. OUR STORY BEGINS
Five years before Arrow airs, Oliver Queen (a douchebag) and Laurel Lance (a too skinny entitled bitch) are dating, but Oliver is trying his hardest to screw her little sister, one SARA LANCE. This is a bad decision, but I’d pick Sara over Laurel too, so I kiiiiiinda get it. They dress Sara in a lot of pink in this time period so you know she is SOFT and DOES NOT PUNCH and IS A DITZ. She’s in college and like, totes a tiny bit of a rebel! LOL!! She calls Oliver “Ollie” which just makes me want to heave each time.
Oliver takes Sara out on his dad’s boat for an illicit sex romp. Also his dad is there because that’s romantic. The boat has a punny name, The Queen’s Mercy, or some shit like that, and it sinks. Whomp. BUT, don’t fucking worry. Oliver ends up on an island? And it’s like Lost where it’s not a good island but an island full of horrible shit and graves? I don’t know, I fast-forwarded. Anyway, there are many gratuitous shots of Sara in her underpants being flung out of the boat into the sea. You can see the hand of Andrew Kreisberg at work here. There is no reason for her to be in underpants.
She lives, floating on some shit. Then a boat finds her, and she’s like OH FUCK, YES, SAVE ME, like she doesn’t hear the ominous music in the background. There are lots of enormous black guys with guns on the boat, and they do not treat her nicely. Honestly this all seems racist. There are all these cells full of sad white dudes in the ship. This is A Bad Ship. Then this white dude comes and the music gets more sinister but apparently Sara isn’t listening because she’s like YAY A WHITE PERSON and hugs him. But he’s clearly sinister af.
2. SMASH CUT TO ONE YEAR LATER
Somehow Oliver is on The Bad Ship, I have no idea how, and actually I do not care at all. He’s getting beat up by the white dude when a pair of boots appear. TO WHOM DO THEY BELONG? You guessed it. SARA LANCE. No longer in her underwear, but now in boots and skinny jeans (with possibly underwear under the pants, we never find out for sure). SHE’S WORKIN’ FOR THE WHITE DUDE. She breaks Oliver out and lets him radio his friends on the island because apparently he has those, but IT’S A TRAP, SHE’S WORKIN’ FOR THE WHITE DUDE. Which, like, DUH, Oliver.
Apparently the white dude wants some magic Japanese serum in a submarine on the island from world war two, which is super fucking plausible and realistic. Also, still racist. So they all troop back to the island, including Sara for no possible reason, and then the Lost Boys (one is a girl) get the drop on the Bad Boys and Oliver takes Sara with them. Now they’re on THE RUN. Blah blah. Hijinx. They find the serum, which is totally in tact and not rotten, and they inject it into one of the Lost Boys who has half his face burned off for a reason I did not see cause Sara wasn’t there. He wakes up later with some superpowers but also with serious ‘roid rage. He’s in a bad spot. But before he wakes up, white dude finds them and is like “Oliver! You’re a man! Make a decision! Which one of these ladies should I kill? Sara or The Lost Boy?” and for no reason he picks Sara to live, so the white dude kills the Lost Boy whose name is Shadow and apparently half-burned-face-guy was all hearteyes for her, even though she was hearteyes for Oliver, and this is his motivation for literally everything else in the world. It feels rushed, but maybe that’s cause I fast-forwarded through it all. Oliver is also is sad about this. I had no feelings because this was the first time she and Sara crossed paths so I had not seen her before.
Then half-burned-face-guy, Oliver, and Sara are like LET’S DO A HOSTILE TAKEOVER OF THE BAD SHIP but it does not go great because half-burned-face-guy turns on them cause Oliver chose to save Sara over the unrequited love of his life, Shadow. High drama. Two very angsty white men blah blah blah but Sara keeps being in the frame so I keep accidentally watching it. They all end up back on the island, not on the Bad Ship. But they do kill the white dude. Sara is quite nice to him which is clearly Stockholm Syndrome to the max.
Then they’re like, oh remember that submarine, maybe we can take THAT ship off this island! LOL it’s been there the whole time. But then blah blah half-burned-face-guy ruins fucking everything. Oliver and Sara keep risking their lives to save each other. It’s very nice if you imagine them as just a brotp. But then Oliver is like, okay me and Sara will be on the Bad Ship, and you extras with various accents will be on the Good Submarine, and if we’re not back in a jiff how about you blow up the Bad Ship? And the extras are like SUPER so they do, and then Sara is swept out to sea AGAIN like before except this time she’s wearing clothes. And Oliver is like, you know what guys, I killed her AGAIN.
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Being a shy teenager isn’t easy and if the shy teenager is even plus size, it becomes a nightmare.
You are one of the most reserved people in the school, you never talk to anybody or do anything outside the normality just because you aren’t brave enough to do it.
As you walk in the school you sink into your jacket even more trying not to draw the attention on the seniors in the hallaway.
You breath slowly almost arriving at your locker when you suddenly froze as you hear a top familiar voice.
“Hey, Y/N!” says the guy behind you.
“Hi Aaron” you answer looking at the ground, trying to control your heartbeat.
“Did you do my homework?” he takes a lock of your tugging it lightly.
“N-no” you answer, shutting your eyes.
“And why not?” he throws a punch near your face making you jump.
“I-I fell asleep”.
“You know what is gonna happen,right?”.
You start shaking as your eyes are filled with tears.
“This was our pact” he says smashing you against the locker.
You check your mascara again as you enter in your next class, searching for signs of your crying.
You close your little mirror entering in the class, sitting at the bottom and grabbing your notebook.
“Okay, guys, today I’m choosing the seats because the school rules say that you have to socialize”.
You sigh exasperatedly and bury your face in your hands.
“Y/N with Isaac”.
You stand up and walk towards his desk.
“Hi” he waves at you smiling sweetly.
“I know who you are, you are the girl with cute glasses that always sits in the back of the class and writes on her notebook”
He smiles politely at you as you feel your cheeks heat up.
“Okay class, even if I want to sleep during this lesson I have to teach you something so let’s begin”.
You laugh as you read Isaac’s message.
You two became really good friends, he always made you laugh and kept you happy.
You hit someone and you fall on the ground, apologizing.
“Sorry, I’m so sorry” you say, mumbling.
“You fat bitch, how dare you?”
“Hey baby, is she bothering you?”
‘No, not now. Not today’
“Yes baby” says the blonde in front of you.
“Oh, my little Y/N, you are in so much trouble”.
Aaron hits you and your sight becomes to blur.
“Hey Y- Woah,what happened?” Isaac lookes at you with worry, taking your face in his hands.
“I just slipped today and my face hit the ground, you know I’m really clumsy” you mumble trying to cover the giant livid on your cheek.
“You’re lying, and don’t tell me that you’re not. Who did this to you?” says him angrily.
“Isaac no please” your voice cracks and tears starts to form in your eyes.
“No, what? Tell me, I’ll be the hell out of them and they won’t bother you anymore”
“No Isaac, stop”.
You move your chair far away from him and open your notebook.
“You shouldn’t have sent your friend, Y/N”
Aaron slaps you, leaving a red print.
“What are you talking about?” you say trying to run away.
“Don’t lie you little bitch” He slaps you again, grinning.
You see Isaac behind them. His eyes are full of anger and his fists are closed tightly.
“What if I say no, Superman?” Aaron laughs, cocking his eyebrows.
“I said, leave her”.
When Isaac lifts his head from the ground his eyes are yellow, fangs appear from his mouth and claws sink his fists.
He roars making Aaron and his friends run, yelling in fear.
You start walking away from him but you fall on the ground, looking at him with wide eyes.
“Y/N, I can explain I swear”.
“…and this is it” he finishes his story looking at the ground.
“So you are a werewolf”
“Okay” you says scrolling your shoulders.
“Okay?!? You don’t care?”
“Isaac, I don’t care if you are a werewolf, you saved me from my worst nightmare, and speaking of that…”
You lift his head and put your lips on his softly and pull away right after, him smiling at you.
“Thank you for that”
Summary: Steve Harrington, former best friend of Y/N L/N, has somehow found his way into her life again. Only problem is, she resents him and wants to have nothing to do with him. When the two are paired up for an english project- Y/N and Steve have no choice but to cooperate with each other. Honestly, just a fluffy slow burn ya’ll i hope you enjoy
A/N: Chapter 3 is here!! I, myself wanted to pick this up a little so here we go
Warnings: Swearing, and my ass hasn’t proofread again yIKES
Why do I hate Steve so much? Nancy does have a point- it was years ago.
While you nodded politely at Nancy’s attempt in conversation (obviously you weren’t listening), only one thought ran through your mind.
This boy- This fucking boy will be the death of me.
A harsh rapping at the door had jolted you awake from your seemingly endless slumber. Your eyes fluttered open, mouth slightly agape in confusion at who could possibly be at your door this early on a Saturday morning. Yawning, you stretched your arms out, rubbing your eyes to fully take a proper look at your surroundings. TV, the previous movie from last night on pause; Multiple balled up tissues, crumpled up in a corner; You had crashed on the couch again.
Knock knock knock
The loud knocking on your door had begun again, with an additional groan coming from the other side.
“I’m coming!” You answered, voice all gravelly from just the pure effects of the morning.
Lazily, you shuffled to the door, not bothered by your weary appearance, and slowly turned the doorknob to see who had happened to come by on this early Saturday morning.
Steve Harrington, that’s who.
“Y/N! Finally, you’re awake.” The brunette exclaimed, grabbing your hand to drag you out, before taking notice in your sleepwear apparel.
“Why aren’t you dressed yet?”
You yawned, before looking him up and down in confusion.
“I think the real question is, why are you here?”
A groan escaped his lips, before he brought a hand up to his face in disappointment.
“Photos, Y/N. Remember?” He began, bringing up his camera to wave in your face. “I told you, Saturday morning, I’ll be coming to your house to pick you up and take photos for the project.”
“Right.” You grumbled in response, as you had completely forgotten about the project, before letting him in.
“Sit.” You commanded him, pointing to the couch. “I’m going to get ready.”
Steve obeyed, smirking slightly at how you were acting this morning.
“What- No death wishes for me today, L/N?” He teased, giving you a smirk as you made your way up the stairs.
You rolled your eyes. “It’s the crack of dawn, Harrington. There’ll be plenty of death wishes later.” You called back down, smirking slightly at yourself as you entered your bedroom.
You made your way to your dresser, throwing on a pair of mom jeans and a sweater, before making your way back to the living room where- No Steve Harrington was to be seen.
“Steve?” You called, looking around the living room.
“Steve.” This time, you said it more forcefully. It was too early to deal with this bullshit.
“Steve- I swear, if this is some prank you’re trying to play on me- I’m going to cut your throat.”
A quiet mumble of a “I’m over here!” was heard down the hallway of your house. Sighing in relief, you scurried over to where he was, to drag him outside to get this over with- but you stopped midway, to see the brunette smiling to himself at a photo on the wall.
“You still have this?” He asks, his finger tracing the glass, clearing out a trail of dust that had settled on the photograph.
Your eyes landed on the picture before you: You and Steve, enveloped in a huge bear hug, grins both evident on each other’s faces.
You remember that. That was the last day of eighth grade. You and Steve were saying goodbye, since it was summer break. The two of you knew that you’d see each other in the coming September, but you had no idea what was going to happen to your friendship back then. You thought that this friendship you had with Steve would last forever. Boy, were you wrong. Despite that, the picture still somehow brings a smile to your face, as you’d always remember how naive you were, and how much things had changed today.
“Yeah. I kept it safe.” You say, slightly smiling at the bittersweet memory.
The two of you are caught in this comfortable silence, before Steve breaks it by clearing his throat.
“Let’s- uh’ Let’s get going?”
You nod. “Right.”
The two of you drove in Steve’s car for fifteen minutes, before finally reaching a quiet little meadow. Flowers, practically flooding the meadow with color; A surrounding of trees in the background; The smell of wood, and oak- This was yet another childhood memory of yours.
“Remember this place?” He asks, grinning at you when you can’t seem to stop smiling about this place.
“How could I not?” You say, picking up a flower and tucking it behind your ear.
Steve brings a camera up to your face, clicking the shutter, smirking as he observes the photo he took. He’s about to take another photo of you before you stop him with an unamused frown.
“Get that camera out of my face, Harrington.”
He only gives you a cheeky grin, before taking another photo of you. You roll your eyes, and flip him off- which- surprise surprise - he’s caught on camera.
“Oh fuck off Steve!” You complain, lunging towards the camera as he prepares to take another shot of you. Steve takes a step back, and starts running backwards, shit-eating grin evident on his face as he attempts to get away from you and your grabby hands.
The meadow is now filled with sounds of laughter, coming from you and Steve.
“Stop! Give me the camera!”
“Not until you smile!”
You laugh, annoyed, yet amused, as you surprise him with one more lunge. You cheer, as you have successfully grabbed the camera out of his hand. Steve pouts at you as you take a photo of him, then perks up with curiosity at the giggles coming from you.
“Why are you giggling?” He asks, attempting to have a peek at the photo you had just took.
“Your hair looks like shit, that’s why.” You laugh, suddenly laughing even harder as you see the horrified exclamation spread across his face.
“Then let me see!” Steve complains, but it wasn’t easy for him to get it back.
Before you knew it, you had a brunette chasing you up and down the meadow, desperately trying to get ahold of that camera.
You sprint forward, looking back every few seconds, adrenaline running through your veins. You haven’t had this much fun with Steve since middle school, and now that you think about it, you’ve grown to miss it.
All of a sudden though, as you’re deep in thought, a pair of strong arms lifts you up from the ground and spins you around.
“Steve!” You say, in between fits of laughter. “Put me down!”
“Not until you give me that camera!” He counters, spinning you around more and more.
The sweet melody of your laughter fills his ears, and he sets you down, the both of you laughing messes. Your hands are at your sides, from laughing too much, while collapsing on the soft pillow of flowers beneath you.
He joins you, his laughter dying, similar to yours, and the two of you are now settled with a comfortable silence filling the air.
A few minutes in, you speak up, propping yourself upright.
“Steve-” You begin. “What happened to you? You know- with the whole ignoring thing- I just- I just want to know. I won’t get mad.”
That was the truth. Although it hurt, and you’re positive you’ll never forget it, there was just something about Steve today that you missed- but couldn’t quite place what it was. Yes, you missed the laughter, and the jokes, and just spending time together- but that wasn’t all. There was something new. Something different. But before you could ask about that as well- Steve answered your question with a sigh.
“What happened to me?”
You nod. “Why did you ignore me- and why didn’t you even make an effort to talk to me until now?”
Steve runs a hand through his soft brown locks, before making sudden eye contact with you.
“I guess i just chose the wrong friends… I- i didn’t know what to do after our old ones moved away- and they just happened to show up- and.. Also not particularly like you… but- that doesn’t make up for freshman year.” He begins, slowly explaining what happened. “I- I’m different now though. I’m like- so guilty over how much of a jerk i was…”
You smirk, earning a reassuring smile from Steve. “Damn right, you were a jerk.”
Steve only chuckles in agreement, before his eyes light up at the sight a tree nearby.
“Y/N- Remember our little pact that we made?” He says, quickly making his way over to the tree ahead of you.
“Pact?” You say, before you remember. “Our little promise!”
The corners of your lips tug into a wide smile, as you follow the brunette to the tree where the two of you carved each other’s initials in seventh grade.
“We promised we’d be friends forever.” You say, tracing the little indent in the bark with your finger.
Steve smiles. “You promised that. I had something else in mind.”
“Oh? And what may that be?”
He plops down and leans against the tree trunk.
“I remember promising that’d I’d marry you eventually.” He confesses, chuckling softly at the thought. “I had a huge crush on you back in middle school.”
You smile, nodding your head. “I knew. It was pretty obvious.”
“I’d always think- and honestly I believed it- but I always thought back in middle school that you and I would be together by now or something.” He continues, running another hand through his hair. “But, you know- Things happen. Things change.”
You nodded in agreement, slightly smiling at the thought.
The silence was back, the only sounds coming from the quiet whisper of the breeze passing by. As Steve stood up to stretch and prepared the camera for the next couple of shots you’d be taking, you stole a long glance at him. His soft smile beamed down at the camera, and you admired it and him, taking in a slow breath as you did.
“Y/N- You ready? Let’s take these actual shots now, and we can go.” Steve ushers you, putting his hand out for you to reach.
You take it, and pull yourself up, before stealing yet another glance at him.
Smiling to yourself, you thought: Things really do change, don’t they?
“We felt like, together, we were a force of nature. And we made a pact, probably in our first rehearsal, that we would never accept being treated as second-class citizens in the music business. That when we walked into a room we would be so fantastic and so strong and so smart that none of the uber-rockstar group of men would look through us. And they never did.”