to have flesh make new flesh and leave nothing to show for all the things you have been through

Photoshoot 

Summary: Your anxiety gets the better of you doing a photoshoot for an undercover mission and Bucky checks up on you, wonder what happened.

Warnings: anxiety attack, sexual tension, fluff, oral (reader receiving), fingering

A/N: It’s Bucky’s birthday and with all the fics being written for it, I thought I’d go ahead and write a quick one-shot! Happy Birthday, Bucky Barnes!


“I’m sorry, you want me to do what?” You folded your arms across your chest, anxiety bubbling in your chest.

“All you have to do put on a few swimsuits and plant this thumb drive in one of their computers when no one’s looking.” Nat held up a usb drive with Stark printed across the plastic. 

Keep reading

Wanted (Jungkook and Hoseok love triangle smut)

Originally posted by bangtansonyeondarnit


Summary: Jungkook likes you, Hoseok’s girlfriend, a little too much and gets a little too excited when he catches you and Hobi having sex.

Pairings: You x Hoseok, You x Jungkook

Genre: Smut, angst, fluff

Themes: Jungkook catching you having sex, Jungkook masturbating, Jungkook having feelings for you while you’re in a relationship, sex with Hobi

Word count: 4k (?)

Trigger warnings: Explicit smut, being caught (kind of), masturbating, over-all mature themes, hints at mental illness (like, sort of- not really)

You watched your boyfriend, who sat cross-legged on the floor, folding clothes to put into his suitcase with great care. Sparkles twizzled across your eyes as you observed him with a thudding heart. His back was facing you and as he moved, his muscles flexed gently beneath his grey sweater. Unable to resist the temptation of his touch- you climbed off of his bed to crouch behind him. Your hands rubbed over his shoulder blades tenderly.

“Hey, baby.” He says and laughs. That enchanting laugh that is so soft it comes out as a throaty chuckle.

“Hey, baby.” You say back and sit down so that your knees are on either side of him. You nuzzle your nose into his soft shirt, inhaling his clean and musky scent. You wrap your arms around him- letting your hands fold over his abs, which he soon covers with his own. He leans his head backwards and the smell of his shampooed orange hair tickles at your nose.

Keep reading

Dawning in Dust: Part VII

Prologue, Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI

Claire gradually fell into a doze in the early hours of the morning, waking fully to her inner nurse’s clock that told her there was work to be done. Jamie, who had himself finally succumbed to the restorative sleep his body needed, blinked listlessly at her as she woke him to redress his bandages.

There’s the bloody fever, she thought dispassionately, confirming her theory with the thermometer someone had brought in with the fresh bandages.

102.3. Need to watch that…

Jamie withstood the second cleaning with as much fortitude as the first. They’d done this in relative silence, whatever connection formed the night before overshadowed by shyness. The runnels of wounds were stark against his ruddy skin, but appeared to be doing rather well at this stage. After a brief squeeze of his shoulder, Claire left Jamie with Ian and Murtagh, muttering brief instructions to keep the patient as immobile as could be managed while they helped him wash and change.

The day dawned, fog pearling its tendrils through the trees and outbuildings of the unexpected haven Claire found herself in. She breathed in the crisp air, relaxing as the rising sun warmed her face and cast shadows through the courtyard. Sounds of livestock and the faint, raspy morning voices of their caretakers reached her ears, making her smile. It felt good to be amongst so much life again, however brief the time would be.

“Claire?”

Claire startled a little, but smiled at Ian as he sat down on the stairs beside her, groaning a little as he stretched out his right leg in front of him.

“Sorry about that. Didna meet to startle ye.”

“It’s alright,” Claire replied sincerely. “I was off somewhere else for a bit.” Claire gazed around the courtyard. “It’s really very peaceful here.”

Ian smiled, nodding. “Aye, it is.”

“How’s the patient?”

Ian’s face transformed into an interesting combination of a smirk and a grimace.

“He’ll do.”

Claire nodded, taking mental inventory of how much lidocaine she had left in her medical bag.

“Was this always a working farm? I mean, before..”

“In a way. The Fraser family kept it up as a tourist spot. ‘Travel to the past.’ That sort of thing. It’s been this way for generations now. Earned the place extra money for upkeep and allowed the tenants work so they could stay. We’ve always been fairly secluded out here so it wasna the complete end of the world for us when the Last War ended and everything went to hell. Thank God,” he said, looking around. “Without everyone here, we’d have all been dead long since.”

“Hmm,” Claire answered, the slight pull of her heart at the thought taking her aback. She cleared her throat. “Was Jamie in the service long then? He told me he’d just come back when the War… ended.” Claire shook her head and sighed. ‘Ended’. More like dissolved. Destroyed.

Claire could see Ian give her a quick, appraising look before he answered.

“Aye,” he said, nodding gravely. “We both joined around the same time. What about you?” he asked, turning back suddenly.

Claire blinked, but then smiled. “How did you guess?”

“Yer pack is military issue,” Ian replied, kind brown eyes alight. “I’d recognize medical personnel anywhere.”

You bloody would, Claire thought with a small jolt as Ian pulled his right pant leg up. It was well crafted, but clearly becoming the worse for wear. The artificial leg, having once been coated with the perfect finish of Ian’s natural skin color, was faded in places and scuffed in others. The mechanics still appeared to work though, Claire noted, seeing the foot move as Ian shifted for her to see.

“Lost it in France going on five years ago now,” Ian said conversationally. “Honing shot. I was lucky, but didna feel so at the time.”

“Does it bother you at all?” Claire asked. Then, realizing she may have sounded rude, clarified, “Discomfiture, I mean.”

“No, though it aches a wee bit at the end of the day.” Ian rubbed the flesh above the binding meditatively. “Ye wouldn’t have had training in medical robotics would ye?”

Claire grimaced regretfully. “I’m sorry, no. Just plain flesh and bone for me.”

Ian smiled kindly, waving it off in a 'think nothing of it’ gesture.

“It’s alright. I’m lucky the program is so simple. We’ve electricity and a few of the tenants know some programming. No’ much difference between my leg and the bale stacker apparently,” he said self deprecatingly.

Claire couldn’t help but laugh with him.

“I take it you are of the same opinion as Jamie when it comes to pain control?” she asked, nodding at his knee.

Ian snorted but tilted his head in acquiescence.

“Have you tried water pepper?”

“No,” he replied, looking curious. “How do you use it?”

“I’ll make some for you to try,” Claire offered, liking him. “I’ll show you how before I leave.”

“Thank ye, that’s verra kind.”

They smiled at each other, then sat in companionable silence for a few more minutes. The sun was almost above the trees now. A horse whinnied in the distance. As if on cue, Ian stood.

“I’d best be getting back. Take care of Jamie, aye?”

“Of course.”

Ian gave her a smile and a short bow, then turned toward the stables. Claire watched him go, only now noticing that he walked with a slight limp. She stood up to go inside, resolving to convince Ian to let her examine his leg to see what could be done.

Perhaps the artificial leg itself needed new padding…

The house was dim inside compared to the brightness of the morning. The smell of a simple breakfast wafted through the hallway, causing Claire’s mouth to water. In the excitement of the past two days, she’d forgotten all else but what was immediately urgent. Her stomach rumbled, informing her of its own opinion on where priorities stood. First though, she needed to check on Jamie.

Claire was almost to the doorway of the study when she heard a loud THUMP followed by semi stifled groans and muffled curses. She ran the last six steps to the door and barely managed to sidestep Jamie as she flew into the room.

“What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing?” she gasped, dropping to the floor where Jamie apparently had fallen.

“I..”

“Oh be quiet, I need to take your pulse.”

Jamie exhaled shakily, clearly in no little pain. Ian or Murtagh must have opened the windows while they were there. The rare Scottish sun drifted through the room, lighting on Jamie’s hair and sending sparks of copper, auburn, and cinnamon through Claire’s vision. She was also seeing red, but for another reason.

“Congratulations, soldier, you’ve managed to reopen your back. I told you to stay put and rest and what do you do? Throw yourself off your cot and set yourself back again.”

“I didna throw myself off anything,” Jamie said through gritted teeth, with as much dignity as a large, injured Scot who has just fallen on his face could muster. Claire was so caught off guard by his tone of voice that she laughed. Jamie smiled weakly, his face pale but for the blush creeping up the back of his neck and into his face. Claire blew the stray wisps of curly hair out of her face.

“Alright. Let’s get you up.”

“Aye,” he grunted, placing his hands on the floor to push himself up.

Claire caught him under the arm, bracing him as he struggled to his feet like a newborn deer. The skin of his torso was hot and dry under her hands as she began to maneuver him toward the cot, taking care of his now partially bandaged back. Each movement Jamie made resulted in a slight grimace or a hiss of his breath. She noticed he was trying to take most of his own weight, despite how weak he obviously was.

Still fevered, then.

Someone had brought him a pair of dark blue sweatpants to replace his bloodied jeans. Claire turned him to face her, avoiding eye contact as she grasped his large, warm hands.

“Alright. Hang on to me and we’ll get you to the cot. Easy does it.”

She began shuffling backward, pulling Jamie gently with her, allowing him to try and do this under his own power. After three steps, he stumbled a bit. Claire’s heart lurched and, without thought or hesitation, she reacted.

She could feel his breath caress her ear, his cheek brushing her hair. His hands anchored at her waist as her own held him at his, the heat of his body causing her own pale skin to flush. Claire slowly raised her eyes, seeing the rapid pulse beat in his neck; his throat moving as he swallowed; his wide, soft mouth; blue eyes meeting hers.

“Sorry, a nighean,” Jamie whispered.

Claire licked her lower lip, breath catching as his eyes caught the movement. Her body felt like a tightened guitar string; as if the very air surrounding them vibrated with the tension of their connection. Claire swallowed, tightening her hold on him as she beckoned him to follow her again; a slow, awkward dance that only they shared, holding each other up.

Claire felt Jamie’s gaze as she helped him sit on the edge of the camp bed, then as she bustled about preparing to redress his back, trying to get a hold of her wits and pounding heart. Infatuation. This wasn’t the first time she’d experienced it. After all, she reasoned, Jamie was physically attractive. A fellow veteran. Obviously brave and intelligent. There were few things not to like in the little time she’d known him.

Except that damned stubbornness. Thinking he can walk about against orders, making me pick his sorry arse up off the…

“Why did ye not call for help?” Jamie asked quietly.

“What?” Claire startled, feeling like he had plucked her thoughts from her mind.

“When ye found me. Ye could have called for help. I would have gotten a tongue lashing into next Tuesday like it seems you want to give me right now but they would have gotten me off the floor. Ye didn’t. Why?”

Claire observed him, taking her time to formulate an answer. He sat straight and still, arms bracing his weight as his hands clutched the bed for support, eyes hesitant but direct. He was a tall man with broad shoulders, the lines of his body flowing smoothly from muscle to bone; an imposing figure to most despite his current circumstances. To Claire, though, he looked exhausted.

“You needed to help yourself,” she said simply. “That’s why you got up before you were supposed to. You needed to prove that you could do it. To yourself.”

His eyes bore into hers, simultaneously intense and gentle.

“Aye,” he responded softly.

“Who was I to take that from you?” she asked, trying to control the emotion in her voice. Without waiting for an answer, she turned her back on him again, continuing to prep bandages.

“Bloody hero,” she muttered.

Late Nights [Jung Hoseok]

Warning: Contains smut. Do not read if you are underage.

A/N: I’m a shit and was meant to have written a Hoseok fic months ago for @just-let-me-be-your-lover . It’s my first one, please give me feedback on characterization and if you think I portrayed him right. Thank youuu. 


Life was Hoseok was good. It was hectic, you had to admit that, but overall, there was nothing you could complain about. Because his bright personality was such a ray of sunshine, even when things were wobbling off track, he made an effort to look after you. To fix it. To make sure everything was back ticking so smoothly it was as if there had never been an issue to start with.

And when he was unable to redirect the path of your misfortunes, he never let you dwell on it. Never let you feel the sadness of the mess up. Never let you hold onto things longer than you absolutely had to. He was the perfect compliment to the ball of nervous anxiety you’d been before you met him - before he’d stormed into your life with unrelenting optimism, settled himself in and never exiting. And for that, you loved him.

Except he had one bad habit. Arriving home late. But it was often that love that swelled through you as when you found him making his way next to you far too late for you to still be conscious, the digits of the alarm clock glowing the reality of the relationship you’d been fostering for the better part of three years. Because he worked. He worked often, he worked hard, and he worked late - the time you wanted to spend with him was more than not filled with meetings and overseas trips and executives and award shows and filming and dance practices and hours spent in the studio.

So when he did crawl into your bed during the early hours of the morning, the rustle of the blankets stirring you awake despite your sleepiness, you’d learned to find the joy in that too. The joy that was Hoseok. Your boyfriend.

Keep reading

Update - Wanted (2/3)

Sorry for the delay in this. I’ve been unwell for the last two weeks and motivation has lacked. I hope you enjoy!

Remember this story is rated E for explicit sexual content and explicit language. 

Possible trigger: Discussion of a minor character’s infidelity.

Part one can be found here

Thank you to my amazing betas @sponsormusings and @papofglencoe and @loving-mellark for the banner :)

Summary: Modern AU: Young newlyweds Katniss and Peeta live a simple life in their hometown of Victors County; a life filled with family, friends and the love they have for each other. But an unexpected turn of events, and a brush with the law, puts their relationship – and their sex life – to the test. And afterwards, nothing will be the same.


Over the following days, as small towns go, the gossip mills are in full force, with rumours spreading to every nook and cranny about Peeta’s arrest and the circumstances behind it. Like Miss Trinket, all the women in town think it is the most romantic thing they’ve ever heard, a love story for the ages apparently, and - according to Peeta - they were all now flirting with him and giving him heart eyes. The men, however, couldn’t care less. It was just one more thing to bring up in between a round of beers down at the local watering hole. To Peeta’s immense relief the scandal doesn’t seem to have a negative impact on the business of the bakery. In fact, over the ensuing days his numbers double, and to Katniss’ annoyance he hasn’t brought home any leftover cheese buns because he’d sold out; this just adds to her frustrations. She hasn’t been able to get away from her ‘bad boy Peeta’ fantasy since Wednesday night, no matter how hard she’s tried – and deprivation from her favorite food just makes things worse.

Keep reading

Ways to Advance Your Roleplaying Experience Pt. 1: Backstory

The primary purpose (and draw) of tabletop RPG’s is the chance to play a fully original and unique character. To have total control over every action, reaction, decision, what have you. To be that character, going on the adventures and gaining the glory.

But some people have a really hard time getting into the roleplaying. They feel like they aren’t really attached to their character any, and don’t get much more out of the rpg than they would playing a video game. This doesn’t mean they don’t want more, but they just have a hard time associating with their characters. And perhaps this is you - maybe you struggle to feel the emotions your character should be feeling. You have a hard time knowing how your character would react in a situation, what would motivate them, what would grab their attention.

 So, is there a way to fix this? Or are you simply doomed to never feel close to the action, to never feel satisfied with your roleplaying experience?

Keep reading

What We Left Behind In The Past (8/?)

Originally posted by luvinchris

Bucky Barnes x Daughter! Reader

A/n: Again, sorry about the long ass wait. This was way overdue. way way way overdue

PART SEVEN IS HERE!

Genre: Angst, Family, Friendship, Mystery, Humor, Adventure, Action, Suspense

Rated: Everyone (KEEP IN MIND THIS MIGHT CHANGE AS THE PLOT CONTINUES TO DEVELOP)

Warning: Swearing, Angst, MORE TO BE ADDED

—-

Author: Chris-Evans-Imagines, Captain

“Daddy!”

Deep chuckles had the young girl smiling as she grabbed for the older man, reaching up for the blue eyed beauty. The man picked her up and held her close, asking her. 

“Hey, trouble. Did you miss me, darlin?”

The young girl nodded furiously. The man laughed and the little girl exclaimed. 

“Me and Steve drew pictures while you were gone and showed me some of his latest works! And we went to the park and saw a bunch of dogs! Steve also got sick again, but he got better! Oh, and Ms. Tella taught me how to say my ABC’s without missing a single letter!”

The man gave a look of surprise, a smile on his face. 

“Really? I’m so proud of you, Honey B!”

The girl giggled as a new voice joined in. 

“Bucky, it’s time to go.”

Bucky looked back, his smile fading, before he looked at the little girl. He kissed her forehead and whispered. 

“I love you so, so much, my Honey B.”

“I love you too, Daddy!”

The man jolted awake, his back shooting up off the floor of the cave. His chest heaved with heavy breaths, his icy blue eyes wide in shock. Was that a memory of this girl who laid in his bed, recovering from her crushed windpipe? Bucky grabbed his notebook and pen, writing down the memory and making a tab. 

  • Ms. Tella: Possibly teacher
  • Honey B: Nickname?
  • Steve: Man from the bridge, possibly an artist, poor immune system?

Bucky put the book down and looked at the girl, biting his lip once more. Scooting over to where he could easily put his arms on the cot and rest his head upon his arms, he stared at her. If this truly was his own flesh and blood, then god, she was beautiful. He didn’t think he could have ever made such a gift from Heaven. With her luscious, thick, brown hair and those icy, blue eyes. She looked just like him. It scared him.

Bucky blinked as he looked at her, a sigh involuntarily heaving through his body. He was conflicted. For years, he was HYRDA’s asset, giving into their lies and bullshit. Could this girl be his way out? Of course, he would never be safe from HYDRA nor the government. He was a wanted man; a criminal. The government would target her just as HYDRA did. HYDRA…

Bucky’s metal fist clenched, bending the metal of the cot. How dare they make him harm, and kill, his own flesh and blood. He hadn’t even known…he didn’t know at all. It made him feel like a monster more than he thought he was. Bucky knew, deep down, it was too dangerous for her to be around him. Maybe protecting her wasn’t such a good idea after all…but should he really leave her with Steve?

Yes, he was dangerous. Yes, he had, indeed, killed her. But he had saved her and brought her back to life. And…Honey B, as he had called her in his dream; his memory, had said to him that she wasn’t angry with him. But did that really serve an excuse? No. No, it didn’t. He didn’t deserve to have such a beautiful creation. Bucky stood and continued to look down at her. He truly didn’t deserve to have fathered such a pure, strong girl. 

Even though Bucky hadn’t even met her for a second time, he knew that she was a strong girl. To not be mad for him, to keep hoping for him, even though he had laid his hands on her. Either that, or she was just stupid. Bucky frowned deeply. Sighing, he turned and went to the entrance of the cave that rested on the coast. The sun was going to be rising in a moment. The sunset. It was one of the things Bucky secretly enjoyed whenever he had missions along any beach or coast. 

The sunset always lifted a weight off his shoulders, one that nothing else could ever do, and Bucky blinked as the wind blew. How long had it been since he had felt so…free? Looking back, he noticed the girl was stirring and he walked back over, standing over her. She was moving, turning her head to the side before her long, dark, and full eyelashes fluttered open to reveal those beautiful, cold eyes. 

-READER POV-

Waking up was a hassle, as I was still sore from being choked to death and then being brought back to life. Sighing, I sensed something standing before me and opened my eyes. The first thing I noticed was black armor. Looking up, I noticed my father standing over me, a calm but curious look on his face. I blinked up at him. What could I say to him?

What was there to say? Looking down, I saw that I was bundled up in a thick, wool blanket on the cot. The breeze was unrelenting, and even through the thick blanket, I was still cold. I turned to see the ocean, the sky slowly lighting up and I sat up, only to feel a hand on my shoulder, gently pushing me down. I looked up at my father and he just shook his head. 

“It’s not good for you to be up. You need to rest.”

His voice made old scars open up again and I stared, almost in shock. Bucky looked away after a moment before dragging the cot closer to the entrance, making me gasp and hold on for dear life. Now with a clear view, I relaxed and Bucky sat down hesitantly beside me. The sun started to peek out from the horizon and I sighed. I hadn’t seen one of these in a very, very long time.

“Is it true?”

I blinked and looked over, seeing my fathers face turned to mine, a perplexed look on his face. 

“Is it true that…you are my daughter?”

I was shocked. Did he remember me? I turned onto my stomach, staring at him with wide eyes and struggled to respond, even though the best I could do was just raspy breaths. Bucky widened his eyes and stressed. 

“Don’t talk! You’re going to irritate the wound, numbskull! Just…nod yes or no, alright?”

He was quiet for a moment before asking once more. 

“Is it true?”

I nodded ‘yes’ and Bucky sucked in a breath. His eyebrows furrowed into a saddened frown and he looked away, down at his hands. 

“I killed…I killed you…”

He murmured quietly. The sun was halfway up and I set my hand on his metal shoulder, making Bucky’s gaze shoot to mine. I shook my head slowly. Mouthing the words slowly, I replied. 

‘HYDRA killed me, but it was my father who saved me.’

His eyes widened as he processed what I said and Bucky turned away. 

“How can you be so forgiving of me…nobody in their right state of mind would forgive me…”

He looked at me. I thought for a moment before mouthing to him.

‘I forgave you the moment you fell from the train.’

Bucky’s eyes widened more and his mouth fell agape.The sun was higher, and the waves crashed onto the shore. That’s when I noticed it. The sound of humming. However, I knew that sound well enough to not mistake it for humming. 

“Bucky, step away from her or I will be forced to personally escort you away from her.”

I turned slowly and widened my eyes.

‘Steve?’

[PART ONE] [PART TWO] [PART THREE] [PART FOUR] [PART FIVE] [PART SIX] [PART SEVEN] [PART NINE SOON]

Risk For Reward (Finn Balor) Vol. 13

Prompt: You are the new make-up artist for WWE. You have no prior knowledge of Finn or the work that goes into creating the demon. With a whole new world to discover is there room to be anything but professional? Your biggest test will be fighting your new demon(s) and showing that’s this job was made for you. Even if resisting Finn will be harder than you first thought.

Pairing: Finn Balor & Reader

Word count: 1.4k

Warning: Just some fluff! :)

Those who wish to be tagged! @ambrosegirlforever, @valeonmars, @thebadchic, @nickysmum1909, @vsturgeon5489, @jade4062022, @ortonaholic, @seths-skinny-jeans, @lakama15, @southernbelle24, @wwefangirlllll, @spiderman2289, @nickie-amore, @blondekel77, @princess3733, @toosweetme

Please let me know if you would like to be tagged! I’d be more than happy to add you! :)

Keep reading

The Collector

I’m a collector. Some might call me a hoarder and I can’t say they’d be wrong! I have many different things I like to collect: crystals, TY beanies, fairy ornaments, coins, stamps… you get the idea. Nothing brings me greater joy than adding new things to each collection, nothing gives me more of a rush than looking through my collections; all those years of hard work, saving money and hunting through pawn shops, yard sales and the internet to find the objects I most coveted. It brought me immense pride to look upon my work. It’s a hobby that has made my life what it is, and I wouldn’t be without it.

It seems twice or three times a year for the past four or so years, I’ve started collecting something new. Bottle caps and records, I have a fondness for deer and so started collecting knick-knacks of them.  I’m a big fan of numerous magical girl series and every time I find a new one to watch, I start adding merchandise for it to my collection.

Keep reading

Gethsemane

Pairings: Evil!Sam x Female Demon

Summary: Lucifer sends a demon to groom Sam, preparing him for his place in hell.

Word Count: 2400+

Warnings: Graphic sexual content, rough sex and mentions of sexual violence(it’s consensual), torture, murder and language.

A/N: Evil!Sam ends up being really fucking evil, so this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. To my tags, please read the warnings and pass this one up if it’s not your thing, I’ll understand.


“I apologize Sam, for misleading you.” Odile stands naked in the hardwood doorway of the bedroom and looks to Sam where he’s still lying on the bed. He stares for a moment at the pallid flesh of her hip, the slope of her breasts. She is a most profoundly tempting indulgence.

Keep reading

Save Me From Myself - Part 2

Summary: Y/N was the leading medic on the team catering to the Winter Soldier under the watchful eye of Hydra against her patriotic will. Now Captain America and the Falcon needs her help to track down her ‘patient’.


Pairing: Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier x Reader (Eventually…)


Part 1


Meeting Captain America was pretty much one of the most phenomenal moments of my life. When Sam Wilson led me to his apartment where the good Captain was waiting, I walked in to find him waiting for us, and I swear to God, I could almost see freedom and patriotism emanate from him. He wasn’t even wearing his blue uniform or even carrying his shield. It was just the man – he was, and always has been a symbol for true American feelings. To put it mildly, I was awestruck.

So when he held out his hand to shake mine and introduced himself saying, “I’m Steve Rogers. It’s a pleasure to meet you ma’am,” I could only stare, completely awestruck.

“I know,” I whispered looking up at him, and I am sure I looked exactly like the woman who had more than a few PhDs under her belt – not. I heard Sam Wilson snicker behind me and I abruptly let go of the Captain’s hand. Get yourself together, Y/N. I cleared my throat a little. “How can I help you, Captain Rogers?” I asked in a more calm and put together voice, hoping I sounded more like a grown up woman and less like an awestruck child.

“Please, call me Steve,” he said offering a kind smile, and a seat at the little table in the apartment’s kitchen. “You were the lead medical officer on Hydra’s team catering to the Winter Soldier,” he stated.

I shrugged. “Yes. It’s common enough knowledge,” I agreed. I had nothing to hide. I’d already given the interrogators from CIA, NSA and what not everything I possibly could about Hydra after S.H.I.E.L.D. fell.

“And wasn’t the bionic arm on him your area of expertise?” he prompted. I nodded my agreement again. “Then,” he continued, “To the best of your knowledge, would you be able to track the soldier down?”

“I don’t understand how you expect me to do that, Captain. I mean Steve.” Yes. That’s right. I decided to play dumb with Captain America himself.

“You know exactly how,” Sam butted in, calling my bluff. “The arm runs on some software. That’s how he feels the sensations even though it’s made from metal. You may not have developed the system but you tweaked it. Now we – or even the best hackers we know – couldn’t crack it because it’s a whole new level of tech. But you! You could. We know you could.”

I stared at them both not knowing what to say. How did they even know so much?

“We raided a recent Hydra facility in DC that held the Winter Soldier,” Steve explained. “It was all there in the files, especially the ones you updated. That’s how we even knew to come to you.”

“Of course,” I muttered mostly to myself. “So lets say I could actually track him down for you? What next?”

“You do the tracking, Dr. Y/L/N. Leave the rest to us professionals,” Sam said leaning back on his chair.

That was the thing you know. I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t be a part of that again. I’d track him down for them and then walk away back to my little apple pie life I got going on and they’d put him in captivity all over again – just like Hydra. I was there for the last wipe. I remembered his screams…the pain. S.H.I.E.L.D, Hydra or whatever else that wanted the Winter Soldier, for them, he was naught but an assassin that needed to be kept in check. I couldn’t be a part of it.


[Flashback]

 

I stared at the screen displaying the Winter Soldier’s stats as Alexander Pierce himself walked into the little laboratory they’d set up, as far away as I could be while the men held the assassin at gun point. Hell, I didn’t want to be anywhere near the room – but it was my job to make sure he was medically stable. I had no choice.

 

Motioning for the guns to be lowered, Pierce commanded, “Mission report?” The soldier simply stared blankly ahead of him almost seeming as if he couldn’t hear – like he was stuck in his own mind. “Mission report. Now,” Pierced insisted more fiercely. Still nothing but a blank stare was all he got.

 

Angered by the lack of response from the ‘asset’, Pierce slapped him. The sound of flesh striking flesh so aggressively almost made me gasp. I glanced at the almost helpless look on the soldier’s face. He looked like nothing I’d ever seen him before through my last two months of being around him. He was usually so in command and rigid, showing no emotion whatsoever – not even anger. Now this helpless, forlorn look on his face had me mesmerized. For the life of me, I couldn’t seem to look away.

 

Finally glancing at his commander, he spoke. “The man on the bridge…who was he?”

 

I couldn’t be sure who this ‘man on the bridge’ was but I’d heard from fellow field operatives that they’d come across Captain Rogers, Agent Romanoff and some other dude in some suit with metal wings. All I could see was the confusion and chaos etched across the soldier’s face.

 

“You met him earlier this week on another assignment,” Pierce said in way of explanation.

 

“I knew him,” the soldier whispered almost to himself, and I even I could see from where I stood that he meant in a way more than just a mission. I didn’t know what really. I mean I didn’t even know the guy’s real name but in that moment I knew that whatever memory that was coming up regardless of the ‘wiping’ done by Hydra was close to the soldier in a big way.

 

Pierce pulled up the stool and sat in front of the assassin so they were now eye-to-eye. “Your work has been a gift to mankind,” he said calmly trying to get through despite whatever confusion addling the asset’s mind. “You shaped the century, and I need you to do it one more time. Society’s at a tipping point between order and chaos, and tomorrow morning we are going to give it a push,” he continued, referring to whatever top mission or agenda on Hydra’s to-do list for tomorrow. “But if you don’t do your part, I can’t do mine, and Hydra can’t give the world the freedom it deserves.”

 

It seemed that Pierce’s words were getting through but in all honesty, it wasn’t. the soldier stared at his commander, looking more lost than ever. “But I knew him,” he whispered once more, almost as if he couldn’t understand why and how he knew whoever this man on the bridge was.

 

Finally frustrated about not getting anywhere with him, Pierce stood up and instructed the doctors, including me. “Prep him.” I knew that meant to put the soldier in the freezer again – literally. I’d never seen it happen but I couldn’t imagine how it felt to be frozen in time against one’s will.

 

The doctor in charge of that said, “But he’s been out of cryo-freeze too long.”

 

“Then wipe him,” Pierce ordered. “And start over.”

 

I was still staring at the Winter Soldier when Pierce said that so I saw the fear that briefly passed through his eyes to be replaced swiftly by a look of acceptance. ‘Wiping’ meant to erase his memories, and it’s been done to him countless times. Yet, he remembered what it meant I think. He shouldn’t have considering the whole point of wiping was to make sure he didn’t.

 

The doctor stepped forward to prep him for the procedure. When he held out the mouth guard, even without being told to do so, the soldier opened up his mouth so it could be placed. The grim look of determination and acceptance on his face told me that though they thought he didn’t remember the procedure, he did. He knew how it hurt.

 

As they locked his arms into the chair and lowered him, his eyes met mine. It was purely an accident but they lasted longer than they should have. Tears sprang to mine. Assassin, asset, criminal, or whatever he was…no one deserved this. No one deserved to be stripped of his own free will and to be subjected to this kind of inhumane treatment. And here I was, as much a part of it all as any of the loyal Hydra followers. Clearly I was in the wrong line of work.

 

He was breathing heavily and almost gasping even before the procedure began. Even if his mind didn’t fully remember, his body clearly remembered the pain. I couldn’t watch anymore. I turned away as the screams filled the room. I lowered my head and turned away while the screams drowned out the sobs that unwillingly escaped me.


 

“I can’t do it, Captain. Not unless you tell me what you want with him,” I insisted.

To say the captain was slightly taken back my sudden ferocity was an understatement.

“What’s it to you?” Sam asked, more out of genuine curiosity than anything else.

I sighed. Should I just lie to Captain America, the man who basically saved so many live – mine included, or should I just tell him the truth? I decided with the latter. “I know what he is, okay? I know he’s this assassin – a freaking cold blooded killer. He’s dangerous. He needs to be stopped. But you don’t know what Hydra did to him. I saw it with my own two eyes.” I shuddered. Even the memory of it still haunted me.

“They tortured him, Cap,” I said. “They tortured him, stripped him of his own memories and basically brainwashed him. I don’t know what you want with him but I can’t be a part of anything that puts him through something that inhumane. I just can’t.”

“Again I ask you. What’s it to you?” Sam asked and this time there was a threatening tone that insinuated that maybe I was in league with the assassin himself.

This was not the case obviously. I barely stopped myself from rolling my eyes. “I’m a doctor. Whatever I’d been forced to do by Hydra and sometimes S.H.I.E.L.D, I am first and foremost a doctor. I’m wired to help people, to heal them, regardless of who they are. To knowingly subject someone, even a known criminal, to something horrible, is just against who I am.” I looked up at them both and then let my gaze rest on Steve. “So I ask you again. What do you want with the Winter Soldier?”

With a sigh of resignation, Steve replied. “He’s my best friend.”

“Come again?”

“I don’t know how much you know of all this but the man you refer to as the Winter Soldier is my childhood best friend, Bucky,” Steve explained. “When the 107th was captured…”

“I know the story, Cap,” I interrupted, completely shocked. Anyone worth his salt knew of the legendary escapades of Captain America, and that meant of the rest of the Howling Commandos. Bucky Barnes or James Buchanan Barnes, who had been Steve Roger’s best friend from childhood, had been the only Howling Commando to give his life in line of duty. I knew the story. I grew up listening to those stories thanks to my grandfather who’d also been an officer of the 107th. “But he died, didn’t he?”

“Clearly not,” Sam quipped. “So will you help us or what, Doc?”

As the information sank in, I intently looked into the Captain’s eyes. “So no torture? You promise?”

“I promise, Dr. Y/L/N,” he replied smiling and I knew he was telling the truth. “I just need to find him so I can help him be the man who he really is – a good man. Not this stone cold killer Hydra made him be. I can’t do that without your help.”

“Alright,” I said. Then again, when Captain America asked for your help after a bit of a speech like that, I didn’t think anyone could say no. “I’ll need a computer though.”

Sam handed me a laptop from somewhere and I began typing away. “When I added in my tweaks to the system and the bionic arm, I also installed a tracker,” I explained as I hacked in. “So that in case recovery was necessary in event of a contingency, Hydra would be able to track and easily retrieve the Winter Soldier. But the thing is…I never told anyone about it. I think a part of me didn’t want him to be found if he ever got away.”

Steve smiled on in approval. “But you can track him right?”

I nodded, and with a final tap on the keyboard, I turned the screen to Steve. “Voila! There’s your Bucky.” Steve read out loud the address on screen, making me gasp, “Oh my god.” I felt my body go into an almost panic attack.

“That’s the address,” Steve said looking at me, confused about my sudden outburst. “What’s wrong? Do you know the place?”

“Yeah, I know the place,” I whispered. “That’s my apartment.”



Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Chin Up, Head Down

One-shot. 2,648 words

Based on the Professor McGonagall post. Angsty James. 

FFN

an unholy hour

The staccato rhythm of her boots—piercing clips on stone, muffled thuds on rug, pause, pivot, repeat—strikes a sharp contrast to the steady, throbbing ache reverberating in every recess of his brain.

Nearly a year has passed, maybe a year and a few months, since he’s been in this chair, in her office, in deep fucking trouble, but he hasn’t forgotten their roles. She needs to say her piece, and when she is finished, he’ll be expected to account for himself.

He doesn’t have a good defence, so he’s opting for a simple version of the truth: he’d snapped.

The full truth: finally fucking snapped, because it’d been a bloody long time coming.

As those vile words spewed from that git’s mouth, James felt his proverbial straw cracking, shattering, collapsing the massive, heaping pile of bullshit he’d been shouldering for the last several months.

See? Snapped.

He can’t tell her any version of the truth just yet on account that she is, he estimates, only about a third of the way through her tirade.

She is angry, too—angrier than he can recall ever having seen her before. And although she’s been going strong for nearly quarter of an hour, she doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Her voice is cutting, rising and falling in a continuous, disappointed stream of ‘conduct unbecoming of his badge’ and ‘giving into provocation’ and ‘proper channels of communication.’

Bullshit, again, just a different flavor. ­­

It’s not that he doesn’t deserve it, because he does; he knows he does. Still, he cannot force himself to listen.

—to listen, that is. Put on a smile, too, to charm her, but tonight he’s too damn fatigued to even feign contrition to try and appease her.

With slumped shoulders, elbows on his knees, and face in his hands, fucking exhausted and beaten to shit—literally and metaphorically, he notes wrylyJames sinks further into the chair and surrenders to the thrumming in his brain.

one hour earlier

He’d asked Lily, more than once, how she was able to ignore the taunts. 
Practice, she always answered with the same, sad smile, years and years of practice. The resigned curve of her mouth, the way her eyes dimmed as she said it—that was enough to make his blood—his pure blood—boil, but it wasn’t his place to tell her she should retaliate. She wouldn’t retaliate, wouldn’t give them the satisfaction of knowing they’d got to her, for one thing. For another, he couldn’t understand—not completely; so he kept his mouth shut.
She could handle herself, anyway; she didn’t need a goddamn protector.

He could handle being insulted, too.

Blood traitor.

Dumbledore’s Pet.

Mudblood lover.

He kept his wand in check like a proper head boy should, but the anger didn’t dissipate. He tucked it away, burying it down. He could deal. He forced himself to. After all, she dealt with much, much worse. He was sure he didn’t know the half of it.

It’d been nothing new, tonight, trying to wrap up rounds. He already had the damn point deduction form mentally composed—use of mudblood, blood traitor, five points. He was two fucking breaths away from telling the idiot he’d caught out after hours to bugger off when that wankstain, slimy, son-of-a-bastard brought her into it.

Her. This amazing, fantastic girl he was pretty damn sure he loved.

The sick things he was saying…it wasn’t going to fly.

It was a split second decision. (Weren’t they always?)

Not trusting himself to leave it at a common jinx, he threw his wand to the ground and his fist into the arsehole’s jaw. Damn it to hell if that crunch, flesh on flesh, wasn’t the most fucking satisfying thing he’d heard all day.

The idiot responded with a punch of his own before he could even feel properly satisfied about it, though. His glasses had been knocked clean off his face and it was, really, a free for all.

Minutes later—five, ten, he wasn’t sure—and both were sweaty, bloody messes; robes torn; bruises already blooming; neither quite able to get the upper hand.

He’d never been a good fighter, wasn’t sure why in the fuck he’d thought it was a good idea to start one tonight. Of course, he hadn’t been fucking thinking, had he?

Then they’d come, the green and silver cronies—dark marks in training, he and the lads called them—and it was three against one. Not that that stopped them.

He didn’t stand a chance.

They beat him damned near unconscious, were just about to try out Merlin knows what foul curse on him, when McGonagall happened upon them all in the far recesses of the third floor corridor.

You’d think being beaten nearly half conscious would garner some sympathy, but it was McGonagall.

 

an unholy hour, and then some

The office has gone silent. No footsteps. No lecture. Shit; he didn’t think he’d been so far gone that he would have missed her wind down.

He lowers his hands and looks up expecting to meet her stern glare only to find her shoulders sagging, her head tilted, watching him, and her face pressed into a small, cheerless smile. Her eyes, peering at him over the top of her thin wire glasses, are lined with dark circles. She seems as tired as he feels, and that has more of an effect on him than all the rest.

“Look,” he exhales, launching into an explanation, “I know I shouldn’t have—”

“I’m not interested in your apologies, Potter.”

Since when? Wisely, he keeps this particular observation to himself. Keep it simple James. The fewer syllables, the better. “Ma’am?”

She nods curtly. “For once, Potter, I do not want your apologies. You were in the wrong—that is obvious—but I do understand.”

He can’t keep the disbelief from his voice, though he does try, when he asks, “You do?”

She ignores his question and counters with one of her own. “What is it they were saying?

“Lily.” It is enough of an explanation as he feels he needs to give.

 “I don’t see Miss Evans here, in my office, beaten half unconscious, dripping blood onto my carpet.”

He looks down—as if she’d be lying or something—and, fuck, small pools of blood form at his feet—pools, plural, because he is bleeding from more than one place; he hadn’t noticed.

“Take this,” she says, handing him a cool, wet rag. She waits patiently, or as patiently as an angry McGonagall can, while he cleans himself best as he can manage. As soon as she deems him clean enough, she vanishes the rag back into the abyss, as if it were the easiest thing in the world.

They stare at each other for a long moment before she prompts, “Out with it, then.”

Right. Explanation.

He tries to order his thoughts, to gather them neatly and present them in a way that would best explain and appeal to her sensibilities, but it’s impossible. Something, for the second time that night, snaps in his brain and words tumble out—tangled, messy, thudding to the ground before he is aware of the weight or the consequences. He is too tired to care, anyway, so he finds himself, quite by accident, asking the wrong question.

“Do you know how many times a day I hear the word mudblood, professor?”

Without waiting for a response, he continues, “Too damn many. Once is too many, but you’ve seen the reports. Do you know how bleeding exhausting it is to dock points?

It’s his turn to pace now, feet stomping lines into the floor. Trying to, but his ankle is sprained and maybe broken. It doesn’t matter, though; the anger is surging up, an antiseptic, numbing the pain. He laughs mirthlessly, not bothering to keep the derision from his voice, “Points! As it if that makes any damn difference in the world to them! As if anything matters to them but being prejudiced, wanking bastards who think they’re better than everyone else because their blood is pure. It’s fucking not. She’s better than any of them—than all of them. They fucking know it, too.”

“Potter.”

He doesn’t slow down, doesn’t give her a change to edge in, but he takes the hint—the warning in her voice always did have the subtlety of a bludger. “I was finishing up patrol and I ran into him—just the one. That…bastard said that Evans, Lily, was a special target. Which we knew, after Christmas, we both knew we were targets. You know that.” he said, nodding at her, “But he— Professor, the shit he was saying. He’s a sick bastard. You know what they’re doing to muggleborns now? The women? They’re fucking raping them.”

She keeps her voice even, though she pales, and her eyes widen. “That hasn’t been reported in the Prophet, Potter.”

That doesn’t mean it’s not happening.”

She nods her agreement. “Continue on, Mr. Potter, but mind your mouth.”

“That, Professor, is the shite he was saying. About Lily. Lily. And, he called her a mudblood cunt—”He glances at her, sees her flinch. Good.  She should flinch at that. He carries on, “—and —and I’m supposed to take points for that? You cannot honestly stand there, Professor, and tell me to take points and file a report for that as if it’s going to make a fucking damn bit of difference in the world!”

“Potter, did throwing punches make a damn bit of difference in the world?”

It’s his turn to wince. She has a point, course she does. “No.” He didn’t have to like it.

“Then why on earth did you do it?”

“I couldn’t not. I can’t not.

She sniffs the air. “That’s dung, Potter, and you know it. You could, you can. They’re tryingto provoke you. They want a rise out of you.”

“Well, it’s bloody working, alright?” He shouts at her, specifically, rather that the room in general. He knows he’s crossed a line. Her entire body rights itself: her shoulders unwrinkle to her full height; her mouth straightens into a razor thin line; her palms flatten out on her desk, as if they’ve been ironed.

He’s realizes, too late, that his outbursts have probably made his situation much, much worse.

Fuck.

He sits down, spent, and anyway, his head is reeling. He waits for his verdict.

“Three months.”

Fucking harsh, McGee, he thinks, but he deserves it. He isHead Boy after all but, still, three months?For the first time tonight, he keeps himself in check—mostly—and acknowledges this with a curt nod and, “Fine.”

“Potter?”

“Three months’ detention, right? Will they be here, or—”

“I’m not going to give you a detention.”

Before he can stop himself, “You don’t have to pity me, professor, simply because I got my arse kicked.”

Shut up. SHUT UP, you sodding fuck. Do you want detention?

There’s no trace of pity in her voice when she says, “I don’t pity you, Potter. You threw punches, you deserved that bit. You don’t deserve detention though. Or perhaps you do, but I shall—against my better judgment, mind—refrain from giving you one. At any rate, you don’t deserve any of the rest of it.” Her voice softens as she adds, “Neither of you do.”

He nods, swallowing, and takes a moment to steady his voice. “Ma’am? Thank you for that. But…three months? All due respect—and I mean that—but what are you talking about?”

“Three months left until graduation.”

“Don’t I know it.”

“Clearly not, Potter, since your normally brilliant mind couldn’t make the connection. What are your post-graduation plans?”

“Plans?” he asks, rather stupidly, for she responds in kind. “Did those hard knocks affect your hearing, Potter?”

“No.” he shakes his head, and bites back a wave of nausea. “Maybe, actually. After Hogwarts though? I just—I don’t know. I thought I did. But I don’t…I don’t know now.” Then, quite suddenly he does know exactly—exactly—what his plans are. “Do something about this. All of it. Anything. I can’t not.”

She inclines her head slightly. “You may well get your chance. For now, however, you need to be the better man.”

“That’s shite advice, Professor.” Bleeding hell, you idiot. He can’t help it though, it is shite advice.

She’s just as matter of fact in her response, and it strikes him, quite suddenly, that her frankness is one of his favorite things about her. “Do it anyway. The more you give in, surely you know, the more they’ll goad you both.”

“I can’t protect her.”

“Miss Evans can protect herself.”

“In here, yes.” Bile rises to his throat; he swallows it down. “But it’s really fucking awful out there right now.”

She sighs in acknowledgment. “I know.”

“It’s going to get worse.” He’s asking, really, which is ridiculous, because he knows it’s true. But he needs her to say it, if only to know that he’s not mad for being so fucking terrified. He hand begins to tremor; he balls it into a fist, and digs into his thigh.

“Yes. Potter, it is.”

His hands are in his face, again, and he can feel that damn exhaustion creeping in, again. The adrenaline is long gone.

“This is going to sound completely contradictory, Potter, but I want you to do two things.”

“Ma’am?

“Keep your chin up and your head down, ok?”

Professor-”

“Potter,” she says, pointing at him, and narrowing an eye, “if you tell me it’s shite advice, I’ll give you detention, since you seem to miss me so much. It’s a shite situation—I know. We’re all doing the best we can.”

“It’s not enough.”

“You’re right. It’s not, but it’s got to be.”

Professor?”

Potter?”

“Thank you.”

“Go on, then, straight to bed with you.”

He rises from his chair—slowly, but he manages. He’s about to salute, the way he always used to, but he doesn’t have it in him.  Instead, he asks their same old question. “Do you, by chance, have any biscuits tonight?”

The corner of her mouth twitches, just as he’d hoped it would. She’s only mildly reproving when she shakes her head, “Afraid not. I don’t keep them stocked like I used to. I’d rather hoped we were past this sort of encounter.”

“That’s a shame. But you won’t—see me in here like this again, I mean.”

“I should hope no.”

“So three months. And then…”

 “It’s not my place to say. But I’m telling you as your Head of House, as your Professor, and as someone, Potter, who is on your side: keep your fists—and your wand—to yourself. Chin up.”

“And head down…”

“Yes. Keep your head down. Three months.”

“And then what?”

“You’ll see.”

“That’s a very Dumbledore thing to say, Professor.”

She offers a closed mouth smile, but nothing more as she reaches for the door.

He pauses at the doorway, turning his head slightly to face her and says, “Thanks, Professor.”

She pats his shoulder, once, before sending him on his way.

The Ribbon On My Wrist Says 'Do Not Open Before Christmas'

Christmas is tomorrow.

For almost a year, I have endured stares from friends, internal self-admonishment, and “helpful suggestions”. For almost a year, I have had people attempt to remove from me what is mine; through offhand remarks, through drunken fights over the true meaning of paranoia, in using the cover of care; but it is my secret, and my burden to bear. For almost a year, I have been barely living.

On January 1st of this year, I woke up severely hungover, spitting ash and breathing out the remnants of the pack of cigarettes I inhaled the night before.

Rolling over, I pushed my roommate Mikey off of my arm-cum-pillow and raised myself up on my elbows to see that our apartment had just barely survived a bomb attack; at least that’s what it looked like. Trash everywhere, bare flesh mingling with half-worn clothes, flecks of puke decking the halls; it was a veritable Renaissance painting of degeneracy.

Across the floor, there was a slew of bodies. A good mixture of friends, friends of friends, and utter strangers. Par the course for the four years Mikey and I had been living together; Halloween and New Years were always our big party days.

I got up slowly, my brain at-sea and my stomach awash with gurgling notches. Pain throbbed from every corner of my body as I footed my way to the bathroom. It was like a scene from a typical college trash flick. Someone asleep in the bathtub, an underbrush of red solo cups littering the floor; even a nice splash of some dark brackish liquid coating the side of the sink.

Quaint, I thought.

My stomach lurched. I’d have to nosh on something fried and greasy later. I’d probably send Mikey out; he owed me one after the incident with the toaster oven last night.

I reached out to turn on the sink, and stopped. On my wrist, a red ribbon was wrapped tightly, clinging to my skin. Weird, I thought. We didn’t go to any clubs. We were inside the apartment the entire night except a last-minute beer run to the corner store.

Picking at the band with my finger, it felt soft; silky, almost, like the kind you would wrap a present with. I noticed that there were words embroidered into the edge of the band, in a neat, white, flowery script. I brought it closer to my face and muttered them under my breath.

“Do Not Open Before Christmas”.

I laughed. “What the hell?”

The stranger in the tub stirred, shuffling against the stained porcelain, and turned over. Wading through the marsh of my memories from last night, I tried to remember where I might’ve gotten it.

In for six shots and a couple of beers, my search returned nothing but shapes and colors moving haphazardly to the throb of a distant, pounding beat.

Later, when we’d finally cleared the flesh from the floors and I was doing the dishes, I offhandedly asked Mikey, staring at the ribbon I’d neglected to take off.

“Did you, uh, I don’t know, wake up with anything weird?”

He looked up at me from the couch where he was busy scrubbing some mysterious stain out of the seat. “Nah, didn’t score last night.”

I was confused for a second, and then laughed, “No, I mean like this,” I brought my arm up, showing him the ribbon.

For a moment, he stared, and then a weird look crept onto his face. “Yeah, actually,” He brought his right leg up to the arm of the couch and rolled up the leg of his jeans, “Got one on my ankle.”

“Does it say something?”

“Do Not Open Before Christmas.”

We were both silent for a second, and then his face lit up. He snapped his fingers, “Those chicks last night! The ones in the slutty elf costumes. Black hair? You remember?”

My memory was still completely shot. “Not really.”

“Yeah, there were two of them. I think mine was Sasha or something; yours started with a ‘B’”

“Mine? Yours?”

“How do you not remember? They were all over us.”

“I thought you said you didn’t get laid.”

He shrugged, looking a bit indignant. “I didn’t. Neither did you. But every move we made, they were right there, on top of us. And they had a bunch of ribbons with them. I remember feeling drunker and drunker, almost like I’d taken a pill, and then she put a hand around my thigh. I thought she was gonna get hot with it, but she went down to my ankle and slipped this thing around it. The next thing I remember was waking up next to your sorry ass.”

“You were the one using my arm as a pillow, shitstain.”

Given reality’s shaky baton, my brain was now slipping fragments of this girl with the B name into last night’s whirlwind; raven-black hair, skin pale as the twice-filtered vodka she was sipping on, a smile painted on her face like a snake about to strike. The costume, leaving almost nothing to the imagination, hadn’t seemed out of place at the time; but in the judging light of day, a niggling doubt started to creep into the back of my head.

“Do you think they drugged us?”

“Hell man, I don’t know. Is anything missing?”

I went to check the safe in my bedroom as Mikey rifled through the drawers in the closet where we kept important mutual documents. We still had all the cash and cards in our wallets and all of our electronics seemed to be accounted for. Nothing was out of place, except for the ribbons.

We sat down on the couch, avoiding the stains, and looked at our respective bands. They were twins; bright red, soft to the touch, embroidered in the same white thread.

Hesitantly, I spoke the absurd words hanging in the air: “Do you think we should leave them on?”

Expecting him to laugh it off or call me an idiot, it unsettled me even more when he returned my question with another, nerves shaking his voice. “What if something happens?”

We sat in silence, toying with the ribbons, neither of us making a move to remove them.

Fortunately, Winter was still in full, freezing throttle, and living in New York, there wasn’t much hope for warmth anytime soon. This meant that long sleeves and pants were the norm, and we didn’t have to worry much about anyone seeing and questioning our dumb secret.

Unfortunately, as is the case with most things, it didn’t take long for someone to notice. For me, it was my boss. I worked in sales, so even if it hadn’t been cold as sin, I’d still be expected to wear long-sleeved dress button ups. In the bathroom, at the sink, I rolled up my sleeves and he looked over and laughed.

“Saving yourself for someone special?”

I laughed along, not wanting to talk about it, but he pressed on. “Hoping Santa delivers you himself this year?”

Staring at my reflection in the mirror, letting the suds run off of my hands, I saw my eye twitch. He finished up and left, still laughing at his own joke.

It didn’t take long for the word to spread. Like gnats, people and their comments surrounded my head, buzzing in one ear and out the other.

Mikey was also getting the hotseat treatment from his co-workers, from other friends, even from his family.

At night, we would come home and commiserate over a bottle, half-heartedly laughing off the worries of the day, trading the latest comments about our shared shame.

As the months passed, the stares became sharper, the words harsher, and it started to become a little too much to bear.

After a particularly long day at work, through half a bottle of Jack, we sat on the couch, silent; the TV buzzed, a re-run rolling in the background.

“My family thinks I’ve gone mental, y’know.”

I glanced over at Mikey; he looked terrible. His eyes were red-rimmed, sitting stale and dull at the back of his skull. It looked like he hadn’t slept in days. He took another swig from the bottle and hiccuped, his stomach gurgling loudly. “Mom keeps telling me she’s worried, dad says it ain’t right for a man of my age to be playing games or actin’ superstitious or shit. Even my brothers look at me weird. And don’t get me started on work.”

He didn’t need to; he’d already told me about his latest performance review, wherein his boss had said his numbers were showing serious signs of trouble.

I sighed deeply, looking into the bottom of my mug, wishing it full again. “Yeah man, dunno. It’s stupid; it’s always been stupid. But I just–”

“Can’t. You can’t. You get sick too,” he interrupted. And he was right. Every single time I’d gone to take the ribbon off, a feeling of nausea came over me, kicking up muck in the back of my throat and making my ears burn. Even thinking about it made my heart beat faster.

“I’m sick of this shit,” he muttered, standing up and kicking the table. A stack of magazines slid to the floor, spilling across the rug. I continued staring into my mug, watching the dregs of my drink swirl around the bottom as my hands tremored.

Mikey stared at the wall for a second; I could almost feel the heat radiating off of him, anger rolling through the air in unfettered waves. Then, without another word, he disappeared into his bedroom, slamming the door.

For nearly an hour, I sat and absently watched TV, sipping away at another drink, trying to numb out the pressing strands of unreality tempting my mind into oblivion.

Then, like a rocket from the crypt, an inhuman-sounding scream tore through the apartment. I jumped, my mug clattering to the floor. Looking around wildly for the source, I ran to the front hall. Another scream, louder this time, pulsed through the hallway; it was coming from Mikey’s bedroom.

Standing outside his room, shaking from head to toe, I slapped my palm on the door and yelled his name. In response, I was met with a third scream; I’d never heard anything so loud in my life. The cliche “blood-curdling” rings through my head when I think back to it; the sound was so animalistic, so piercing, that it felt like the blood in my veins had actually gone sour and thick.

I wrenched the knob and pushed the door open to a scene that is forever seared into my memory.

Mikey was completely nude, suspended in mid-air almost touching the ceiling, his skin rippling like some great force was flexing against it. His eyes were white save for the veins which seemed to be overflowing with blood, pushing against the white surface like a deep purple spiderweb. Where his genitals should’ve been, there was a gaping, bleeding hole, and blood poured from the wound in a violent, erratic stream; the jetting spurts were currently soaking the wall above his bed like some deranged abstract painting.

I felt mindless in that moment; felt myself observing the contents of the room unfolding,watching a movie within a movie.

With a massive cracking noise like two felled trees crashing into one another, Mikey folded in half backwards, pushing another scream from his lungs that should’ve never been able to come out of a human. Until that point, I’d never seen a human bone, and I can tell you that they are whiter than I would’ve ever imagined. His spine pierced upwards through the skin of his stomach, splintering and sending a shower of bone fragments across the room, the force rupturing any organ in the way.

With one final pain and fear-laden look into my eyes, I saw the shadow of life flicker between his, dancing a drunken dance as it leapt from his body. His entire body seemed to throb and then his skin gave way, splattering the ceiling. I was covered in a thick layer of blood and his limp form crumpled to the ground, a mess of steaming viscera and fragmented bone. He landed a few inches from his ribbon; it’d been ripped in two.

My phone call to 911 was a babbling, incoherent jumble of words that I wasn’t even sure were true. I was drunk, shock had overloaded my brain, and what was left of my best friend was coating his bedroom from floor to ceiling.

For a while, the police believed me to be a suspect. Eventually, that notion was dispelled by the pure eruptious violence with which Mikey had died. They concluded it to be a freak accident, an act of God. But I knew better.

Over the last month, I’ve barely left the new, smaller apartment I moved into. I quit my job. My cellphone has been turned off, not that it matters; I haven’t spoken much to anyone since the “accident”. Barely anyone came to the funeral besides Mikey’s immediate family and a few friends. I know they all think it was me. I know they all think we’d been going crazy with each other; maybe one night we got too drunk, our shared obsession got to be too much, and I snapped and killed him. Whatever they think, it isn’t true. But I know what is.

It’s Christmas Eve. The streets outside are hushed, like they always seem to be during a holiday.

It’s snowing inside the apartment; I don’t know where the snow comes from, but I know it’s marking an arrival. The walls have taken on a pinkish hue. It was pale at first, but it’s gotten deeper, reddening as the days turn to weeks and the weeks are preparing to herald in the new year. A year I don’t think I’ll be around to see.

In the dead of night, when the wind whips through the trees outside and I can see my breath, pale and wet, hanging in the air of my room, I can sometimes see them; small, needle-thin handprints pressed through the frosted glass of my windows. They appear and disappear quickly.

Something heavy knocks against the roof, making the icicles dangling from the ceiling quiver. Three times. The knocks always arrive in threes.

If I strain my ears hard enough, tensing over the thundering beat of my heart, I can hear a faint jingling riding the wind, like bells strung through the tips of feathered wings.

Merry Christmas.

anonymous asked:

Could you maybe do a short Lewthur story where Arthur is all depressed and such because he still hasn't forgiven himself, but lewis makes him feel better with warm cocoa and cuddles and blankets?

((It’s 3am and it’s not short, but here you go Anon!))

He had been rolling his screwdriver across the table for twenty minutes, now, and the sound was really starting to grate on Vivi’s nerves.

But one look at Arthur’s ‘kicked puppy’ expression, and her irritation evaporated.

Keep reading

anonymous prompted: Have you ever considered writing a story about Blaine being self cautious about his body? Like maybe he thought about it in school cause almost every guy in glee club has amazing abs, but now he lives in NY w/ Kurt and let’s say Isabella invites them (w/ Rachel and Santana) to a fashion show and their backstage and every guy is shirtless and maybe Santana (jokingly) says to Kurt to date a guy with abs, and even though Kurt says he likes Blaine’s body but Blaine gets worked up about it.

~4,500k

“Wow.” Blaine looks around, eyes wide, as he takes in all of the chaos.

Models are running everywhere in various states of dress; hairdresser, makeup artists, designers, all follow that same frantic pattern of darting from person to person, from station to station asking how everything is going, is everyone ready, is this rack of clothes for now or for later?

“I can’t believe your boss hooked us up with this,” Santana says as she watches a particularly tall and lithe model with chiseled features dart around in tight briefs. “It’s a shame I don’t like dick,” she says directly to one of the makeup artists who’s been leering at her for the better part of the last five minutes. He looks immediately away, and the model that he’s working on gives Santana a wink.

Keep reading

Fears

I seem to be the only one who headcanons that Hiccup is afraid of the Red Death. Please tell me I’m not alone in this! It makes so much sense! Think about it! Anyway, here’s a drabble (the longest one I have ever written so far) for my headcanon. Takes place sometime during RTTE. Hiccstrid is about 19.
*****


“Come on, come on!” Fishlegs grumbled as he looked through the Dragon Eye. Meatlug nosed her rider, soft eyes looking up at him. Fishlegs just ignored her and kept rifling through the Eye. “It’s gotta be in here!”

“Whoa, Fishlegs,” Hiccup said as he walked into the clubhouse, Astrid at his side. “Whatever you’re angry about, I can assure you the Dragon Eye had nothing to do with it.”

Fishlegs either didn’t hear Hiccup or was just ignoring him. “It has to be in here!”

“What is he looking for so intently?” Astrid whispered to Hiccup, her eyes on Fishlegs.

Hiccup shrugged, as lost as she was. He walked over to his friend, standing behind his chair. “Fishlegs, you haven’t slept since yesterday. What’s going on?”

Fishlegs didn’t respond until Hiccup laid a hand on his shoulder. The larger boy jumped and looked back at the heir. “Hiccup! I didn’t realize you were in here.”

“We’ve been in here,” Astrid said, crossing her arms. “We’ve been trying to get your attention. You kept ignoring us.”

“Astrid.” Hiccup gave her a look and she rolled her eyes. He just shrugged it off and looked back at Fishlegs. “What are you trying to do?”

“I’m trying to figure out this new slide for the Dragon Eye,” Fishlegs explained, going back to his work as he spoke. “I think it has information on Legendary dragons.”

“Legendary dragons?” Astrid asked. Hiccup and she shared a confused look before looking back at Fishlegs.

“Dragons that are extremely rare and can control other, lesser dragons,” Fishlegs explained. “The Screaming Death is an example of this class, as is–” Suddenly the Dragon Eye lit up, projecting a scarlet dragon slide onto the wall. “The Red Death!” Fishlegs exclaimed excitedly.

Hiccup froze, his eyes locked on the image on the wall in front of him. The Red Death’s face was projected four times: one in the middle, and three around it for various attributes of the dragon. The one in the middle had its giant mouth open, as if it was roaring.

Hiccup’s face paled. Fire swirled in his vision, an endless inferno with no escape. He remembered the flames, closing them in on all sides as he and Toothless weaved their way through the spines on the dying queen’s back. Then suddenly, the fire is gone, and a giant bludgeon of a tail replaces the flames. Hiccup is knocked off of Toothless’s back, dazed and disoriented, falling down to the blaze below. He remembered reaching for Toothless, trying to get to him. Then, pain flares in his left shin as teeth are sunk into flesh, and the boy is yanked into the arms of the dragon. Hiccup’s vision goes black as dark wings wrap around him, and the dragon crashes to the ground. Flames lick at scales that won’t burn, and exposed, injured flesh that will. He can’t even scream, the pain muting him completely. The heat is almost unbearable, even through fireproof wings. He remembered falling asleep, not knowing if he’d wake up again, as there is the repetitive sound of someone yelling “Hiccup! Hiccup!”

“Hiccup!” Astrid placed a hand on Hiccup’s arm, shocking him back to reality. Hiccup leapt away from her, still on edge from the resurfaced memories. Astrid drew her arm back, her eyes full of concern. “Are…you alright?”

“I…” Hiccup glanced between Astrid and Fishlegs, both of whom had their eyes locked on him. His eyes flicked back to the projection on the wall, then back to Astrid as she took a small step towards him. Hiccup took a step back in response, with wild eyes like a cornered animal.

“Hiccup?” Astrid took another step forward, reaching out to Hiccup. But before she could do or say anything more, Hiccup turned and bolted out the door. In a split second he was taking off on Toothless.

“Hiccup!” Astrid yelled after him, but whether he heard her or not, he didn’t slow down.

“What was that about?” Fishlegs asked.

“I don’t know…” Astrid looked back at the projection, at the Red Death pictured in the center of all the indecipherable information. Hiccup had been perfectly fine until Fishlegs projected it onto the wall, then he’d gone ghost white and froze, almost like he was in a trance. Astrid had to say his name five times before he snapped out of it. A thought started to form in her head, a theory to explain what had happened. “But I’m gonna find out.” She ran outside and leapt onto Stormfly. “Find him, girl.”

The Nadder squawked obediently and took off, following the scent of human and Night Fury.


With Stormfly’s nose, it didn’t take them long to find Hiccup and Toothless. The two had flown off to a secluded part of the island, where a few mother Night Terrors were raising their young away from the flock. The large tree branches seemed to overlap, creating the perfect canopy over the entire clearing. A small pond sat in the center, almost like a replication of the cove back on Berk. The sunlight streamed through the leaves, casting moving shadows on the water and giving the impression that the entire place was alive. Astrid wondered how beautiful the place must look in the fall, when the leaves are all sorts of different colors, and in the winter, when the pond would be frozen over and snow and ice would blanket the branches of the trees.

Stormfly flew through a hole in the leaves, a Night Fury-shaped hole. Judging by how broken the branches were, and by how long the branches seemed to have been broken, Astrid figured that Hiccup and Toothless had crashed here a couple weeks ago, when Hiccup was trying to test out a new tail operation for Toothless.

Astrid slid off of Stormfly and looked around the clearing. Toothless was in a patch of what must be dragon nip, rolling around on his back like nothing was wrong. Stormfly soon joined him, curling up in the patch of nip like it was a comfy bed.

Hiccup was sitting by the pond, his chin resting on his knees with his arms around his legs. His right hand cupped his left leg, where flesh met prosthesis. He didn’t appear to be rubbing it, just resting his hand against it, like it was a child he was comforting from a nightmare.

Astrid stepped slowly towards him, fallen leaves crunching under her boots. She stopped when she was right behind Hiccup, gently running her fingers through his auburn hair to announce her already known presence. Hiccup didn’t say anything, just stayed perfectly still with his eyes staring blankly at the water.

Astrid stayed quiet as she moved to sit beside him, her left leg brushing lightly against his right. She reached out to him hesitantly, afraid she might make him run again. When he didn’t move, the hand buried itself in his hair, fingers idly twirling smooth auburn locks between each other.

“You okay?” she asked softly, almost in a whisper. When Hiccup didn’t answer, Astrid shifted closer to him so her other hand could play with his hair, braiding a rattail behind his ear that would surely be taken out after she left. “Can I ask what happened back there?”

A flash of green graced Astrid’s peripheral, then turned back to the sky-blue water. “I freaked…” came Hiccup’s soft reply. His voice broke halfway through, the way it often did when he was trying to hide something he didn’t want the others to see.

Like a certain fear Astrid was beginning to suspect. “I know,” she said softly, tying off the end of the braid with a thing piece of black thread. “I saw you in there. I was there.” Both of them were quiet for about a minute before Astrid spoke up again. “Can I ask why?”

Hiccup sighed, turning his head slightly so Astrid couldn’t see his face. “It’s complicated…”

“The least I can do is listen.” Astrid moved closer to him, sliding her arm around his shoulders. She didn’t dare show this much affection to Hiccup in public, as the progression of their relationship would have led their parents to pressure them into a marriage contract, which neither of them were ready for. “Please, talk to me.”

Hiccup remained silent.

“Hiccup you’re scaring me.” Astrid drew away from him slightly, her arm coming away from his shoulders. “You never get like this, at least not with me.”

“I was afraid, okay?!” Hiccup snapped, his head whipping to Astrid as he yelled. Astrid’s eyes widened, and she moved back a few more inches. Hiccup sighed, running a hand through his hair and tirning his bloodshot eyes back to the water. “Fishlegs put that…that thing up on the wall and I just…”

“Hiccup, you’re not making any sense,” Astrid said calmly, daring to move closer to him. “Start from the beginning, as far back as you need to. I promise I won’t make fun of you for whatever you say.”

Hiccup sighed, staring at the ripples moving across the surface of the water. He sat in silence for a few minutes before speaking. “It was about a week after I woke up from the Red Death battle. I don’t know, I guess my brain was starting to remember things from the battle while I slept, because I started getting nightmares about falling into the…the fire that started when the dragon exploded. I thought I was unconscious during that part, but I guess I wasn’t. The nightmare was always the same thing: Toothless and I flying through the maze of spines, hitting the tail, falling into the fire, Toothless sinking his teeth into my leg to pull me close, falling to the ground, feeling the heat of the fire through his wings, hearing my dad yell my name before everything goes dark.”

Astrid listened intently, saying nothing as Hiccup continued: “Each time I had it, the nightmare got more and more intense. I talked to Gobber about it, and he said it was a result of the trauma I’d endured. He said they’d go away in time…”

“But they didn’t,” Astrid concluded.

Hiccup nodded. “They just got worse and worse. Soon, every image of the Red Death reminded me of the inferno of my nightmare, and just seeing its face could send me back to the battle. That’s…that’s what happened back in the clubhouse. I saw the Death and…I just…”

“It reminded you of that moment,” Astrid offered. “Falling into the flames, staring death in the face. Not knowing if you’d even make it out alive.”

Hiccup nodded again, his eyes still on the water. “As time passed, the nightmares faded away, from nightly to weekly to monthly, until I rarely ever had it. But the image of the Death, any mention of it…I just lose it. I can’t focus, I can’t concentrate…It feels like it’s everywhere and nowhere all at once, waiting to trap me in its fiery jaws and swallow me whole.”

Astrid slid her arm around Hiccup’s shoulders again, drawing him in close to her. “It’s okay to have this fear, you know that right? It’s rational, logical, considering what you went through. I’d be scared of it too if I was in your shoes.”

“Shoe,” Hiccup corrected, a hint of a smirk on his face as his eyes flicked over to her.

Astrid rolled her eyes in response to his sass. “Still, it’s natural. Everyone’s afraid of something, even the biggest, baddest, fiercest Viking alive.” Astrid paused. “Even your father.”

“I know he’s afraid of something,” Hiccup said simply. “He’s afraid of losing me. Everyone knows that. It’s kind of obvious.”

“Yes, but some fears people show openly. And some people choose to hide it.”

“Like me.”

Astrid sighed. “Yes, like you. Although I don’t understand why. You don’t have to.”

“I don’t want the others finding out about this. Can you imagine what they would say? Their leader falling to shambles because of a huge dragon.”

“That almost cost you your life trying to kill,” Astrid pointed out. “Hiccup, it’s okay. Really. It is. I don’t think any less of you because of it. If anything, it makes you stronger.”

“How in Midgard does it make me stronger?”

“Because you live with it. Grow with it. Learn from it. It’s something you always have. Maybe you’ll overcome it someday, maybe you won’t. But having a fear like that makes you a stronger person in the sense that it doesn’t control your life. Yes, you’re afraid of something, but it doesn’t lock you up in your house and give you massive paranoia. It just comes up at random times and you work through it, like any sensible person would.” Astrid laid her free hand on Hiccup’s. “But if it ever becomes too much for you to handle, come to me. I’ll help you through it. We can just sit and talk, cuddle up in a blanket, go for a flight, whatever you want. I’ll always be here for you. Through anything.”

Hiccup looked up at her. “Promise?”

“I swear to it.”

Hiccup leaned against her, his head resting in the small space between her neck and shoulder pads. “Thanks Astrid.”

Astrid smiled, wrapping her arms around Hiccup in a hug. He returned the gesture, and the two stayed locked in each other’s embrace until sunset, when they raced each other back to the outpost and spent the night cuddling in Hiccup’s bed.

The Call of Your Soul - Chapter One

Author´s Note: This AU is completely different from what I have done so far, but the story has been lingering in the back of my mind for a long time and I thought, why not give it a try. Like a good story not everything is going to be revealed and completely clear right from the start and I´m working to get the next part up asap.

Half-god/Soulmate Au

Dan x Reader

Your POV

I stare at the flickering screens in front of me, watching the different patterns and variables and impatiently wait for the results. I involuntarily bite my lip, a habit I tried to get rid of god knows how many times. I hear the swish of the automatic door behind me and turn around to find one of my co-workers standing in the door frame. Much later I´ll remember his name is Steven. His face is flaming red and he is holding his side, trying hard to catch a breath. I repress a laughter and fully turn around on my chair. He takes a deep breath still holding his side. “He was hit by a car.” He eventually manages to press out. I don´t need to ask who ‘he’ is, there is only one person he could mean. My body instantly gets taken over by a cold sinking feeling. My stomach clenches to the point I feel like I have to throw up and my whole world seems to crash. My vision gets blurry and outlines start to go hazy. It is like I´m seeing right through everything. The blood in my veins feels icy cold, my hands shake uncontrollably and I´m not able to form a clear thought. “They´re making the jet ready.” Steven adds, still sounding completely breathless. His words tear off my rigidity. Within the blink of an eye I feel adrenaline flooding through my blood, burning in my veins like fire, a violent contrast to before, and preparing my body to fight or flight. I jump up from my chair and cross the room with only a few big steps. Steven quickly makes room for me and I storm down the corridor with him trying to keep up with my pace. I sprint down a seemingly endless row of hallways until I reach a big white door. A red light next to it shows me that it is locked. I swipe my key card through the lock and the light switches to green. This shit is too cliché, I think while storming inside the room with Steven right behind me. This room is designed exactly for situations like this. I find the shelf with my name on it and take the traveling bag from it. It is already packed with clothes and supplies for a week, together with my passport and various other documents. Steven seems to have caught his breath and quickly helps my packing some technical supplies. “We don´t know what exactly happened. Only that he´s been hit frontal by a car and rushed to a hospital. We´re still trying to figure out which one. You´ll be flying with Boris and we´ll be providing you with further information as soon as possible.” I quietly listen to his words, only nodding along. A wave of reliefe runs through my head when he tells me I´ll be flying with Boris. I zip up the bag and press out a monotone ‘Thank you’ before getting on my way outside.

A car is waiting to get me to the airfield. Boris is already sitting on the driver´s seat, giving a quick glance and handing me a file before he drives off. I stoically stare out of the window, trying to keep my calm while the thoughts in my head are running wild. The longer I´m sitting in the car the more I can feel the adrenalin vanishing and I start to feel sick again. What if I´m too late? What if there is nothing I can do? Fuck it. My palms are suddenly feeling sweaty and I feel incredibly helpless. This flight is going to be three and a half hours of hell for my mind.

“You ok?” Boris asks in his heavy Russian accent, giving me another quick glance before concentrating on the road again.

“Yeah – yeah I´m fine” I stutter, taking deep breaths and try to calm myself down a little bit. It´s  good to have Boris by my side. As far as I remember he´s always been there, taking care of me when I was little when my mom had to work. It doesn´t surprise me, that he volunteered to come with me. And right now I´m more than glad he did. His presence always calms me down and makes me feel somewhat at ease. He´s not a man of many words and there is not much that can ruffle him. For all my life I could always rely on him and I feel like this whole thing is something I can´t possibly do alone. We´re quickly making our way through London and soon we leave the last houses behind and get to an open field. A small jet awaits us. Without hesitation I jump out of the car as soon as Boris stops and grab my bag. I show one of the guys my ID card and he lets us pass without saying a single word. We get on the plane and don´t have to wait long until we take off. I sit next to a window and watch the world below me getting smaller and smaller until we reach cloud limit.

We´ve been in the air for about half an hour when I get the first E-Mail, but it simply says ‘Car will be waiting for you at the airport. At this time there are no further information about the target person’. It makes me sick that they are calling Dan a target person, but most of all it scares me that there are no new information about him. I put my tablet down and start to look through the file Boris handed me earlier. It contains information about Dan and Phil´s trip to Greece, the name of their hotel, things they were doing so far and even a key card for their hotel room. I can feel the fear of coming too late, of not being able to save him coming back and my stomach starts to clench again. I try to focus on the clouds and ban those thoughts from my mind. Time ticks away painfully slowly and the longer we´re in the air the harder it gets to get my thoughts under control. Half an hour before we are supposed to land Boris sits down next to me. “What is our information status?” he asks pointing to my touch pad. I let out a deep sigh, again trying to fight back the anxiety and fear. “We basically know nothing.” I press out and clench my fist. Boris raises an eyebrow and gives me a sceptic look. I know exactly what the look means, so I take another deep breath before answering him. “They were on a little holiday in Greece and - well apparently Dan was hit by a car as they were about to visit an ancient temple. Completely frontal. He got rushed to the hospital, but they are still trying to figure out which one. I have no idea how bad he is injured. Oh who am I kidding, he got hit by a fucking car. Boris what if there nothing I can do anymore? What if all I can do is watch him die?” My last words are an unarticulated stutter. I´m breathing heavily and clenching my fist so hard my nails are cutting into my flesh. Boris takes my hand and opens my fist.

“You listen to me” His voice is quite and calm “I´ve known you since you were a little girl. No matter what awaits us, I know you are going to deal with it like a true half god. You can save your soulmate. So you can freak out as much as you want right now, but as soon as you step out of this jet you’re going to deal with it like a professional.” For the rest of the flight I repeat his words in my head over and over again. Boris is still holding my hand, very subtle and soft, to prevent me from clenching it forcefully again. I watch the clouds go by and suddenly we´re going down. We´ve reached our destination.

I take deep a breath and step out of the plane. I walk straight over to one of the security guys and swiftly show him my ID. He only nods and waves me through to the exit. Just like the E-Mail said a car is waiting for us. Boris gets in on the driver´s seat and looks at me, waiting for orders, making me realise I still have no idea where Dan is. I can feel panic taking over again and my fist clenches and my nails cut into my flesh just like before. My breathing gets a lot faster, I feel hot and I have a hard time forming a useful thought. Boris takes my hand and squeezes is softly. I look up and he says “You can do this.” With a serious nod. I quickly get out my notes and check all the information I got one more time, when an idea strikes my head. “Phil!” I whisper to myself and put the address of the hotel Dan and Phil have been staying in into the navigation system. “If someone knows where Dan is, it is definitely going to be Phil. We need to find him. Let´s just hope he went back to the hotel.” I explain and Boris starts the engine. 

We make our way through Athene, and even though I can still feel the panic lingering in the back of my mind and inside my stomach I can´t help but appreciate the pretty buildings. If I wasn´t in this god damn situation I could probably enjoy the warmth of the sun and the Mediterranean vibes. I look through my notes again, memorizing the number of their hotel room and take out the copy of the key card to their room. How the fuck did they get a hold on this key card but can´t manage to find the hospital he is staying in. We only need fifteen minutes to get to the hotel, but every second seems just too long. It´s been about four hours since Dan had the accident and I feel I´m not a single step closer to him even though I´m at least in the same country as he is. I tell Boris to stay in the car and storm into the hotel. I walk right past the reception and take the lift to the second floor. Room 212. I walk down the corridor, reading out the numbers in my head until I stand in front of room 212. I take a deep breath and swipe the key card through the door. I carefully open the door a bit and slide through it, immediately closing it behind me again. My eyes take a moment to adjust to the darkness inside the room but I´m eventually able to see Phil sitting with his back against a wall on the floor. He didn´t even notice me coming in as he is constantly sobbing, clinging to an object in his hands I can´t identify. I slowly walk over to him and I kneel down next to him, softly putting my hands on his shoulder. He jumps and looks at me with horror in his eyes. “How did you get in here?” He whimpers. I can hear panic in his voice. His otherwise beautiful bright blue eyes are watery and bloodshot. He seems pale and sick.

“There is no time for this. I need to know where they have taken Dan.” He doesn´t look very convinced. Silent tears are still streaming down his face and he doesn´t seem to be really realizing what is happening. “Dan -  he –“ The rest of his words are drowned by a new wave of sobs and tears. I hate myself for what I´m about to do, but I´m running out of time. I can´t really recall what exactly lead up to this, but the next thing I remember is the sound of my hand slapping Phil heavily in the face. The palm of my hand burns and I feel shocked and awful because of what I did. Phil looks at me in horror and fear. “Where did they take Dan?” I repeat slowly and calm, almost in a pleading voice. “Athene General Clinic”

I don´t intend on loosing anymore time. “Ok, let´s go. We need to hurry if we want to save his life.” I say while I grab Phil´s hand and pull him up, needing all my strength to do so. Phil stops mid step and shakes his head. “We can´t – the hospital called me before you came in. They told me there was nothing they could to for him anymore. He is still connected to some machines to keep him alive – but they said he will not wake up again.”

“Well, we´ll see about that!” I retort in a defiant tone and start dragging Phil out of the room behind me. Startled he just follows me all the way to the car. We both sit down on the backseats. I tell Boris our destination and without saying a word he drives off. I take a few deep breaths, relived I´m finally on my way, hoping I won´t be too late. An oppressive silence fills the car only interrupted by occasional sobs from Phil. I still feel shitty for slapping him and I can still see a red patch on his cheek. I swallow my spit and it leaves a bitter taste behind. This whole situation is so bizarre. I take another glance at Phil, who is looking down at his hands still with fear in his eyes and finally manage to say something. “You can ask now.” He looks up at me and confusion crosses his face. “You can ask me all your questions now.” I repeat encouragingly.

“Who are you?” Phil asks after a few seconds.

“My name is Y/N. This is Boris, my driver.”

“What do you want from Dan and me.”

“That is a bit harder to explain. Where do I start – Are you familiar with Plato´s simile from the Symposium?”

“No.”

“Basically he said that humans were originally born with four arms and legs and two faces and Zeus split them into half, creating the humans we know today, as a punishment. He was pretty close to the truth. Whenever two half-gods had a child, it created something that was completely human as well as completely god. The perfect creation, an entity of both human and god. Zeus was afraid of the power of these children and split them into two, making them half gods, just like their parents. But as he did so, he split up their souls as well.

I´m a half god and Dan is my other half, my soulmate.”

Here, have a Sam/Steve with ace!Steve. Because sometimes when you’re figuring things out, it’s easier to write about them. 

It was hard, listening to Bucky talk about whatever girl he’s been with, about the tickle of her hair and the softness of her neck and the round swell of the bottom, and feel…nothing. Interest, but in the far-off way he has when he finds something beautiful to draw. Not a stirring in his loins or a predatory excitement or anything else described in the romance novels he sometimes borrowed from Mrs. Eddie in apartment n.8. Mrs Eddie was a curious lady, a daytime docks prostitute with romantic dreams and a wealth of books and music that she’d share with Steve willingly.

(Bucky told him later that she’d have been willing to share a few more things with Steve. The only thing he’d noticed was that she smelled of peonies.)

Keep reading