very old building


(A/N): This idea popped into my mind the minute I started watching Iron Man. I needed to write this down. Oh, Tony, my baby. I just love him so much. Enjoy!

Pairing: Tony Stark x reader

Warning: angst-y, bit of language, not that sad as it might look

Words: 3500+


Originally posted by cinziadowney


               Everything was terrible – the Avengers team fell apart, Pepper broke up with him before the whole Civil War happened and now, he was all alone in this gigantic, crowded world. The tower never felt emptier like today. He was standing alone in the massive living room, his hand hidden in pockets and his dark brown eyes were glued on the people that looked like ants from the perspective. At least the world was peaceful and saved – for now. It’s been weeks since he used the newest prototype of the Iron Man suit.

               After a deep sigh, he decided to go outside and take a long walk. Maybe the people would approach him to take a photo or talk to him, or not. For the first time, he admitted how lonely he felt. Some attention wouldn’t hurt him and there was always a possibility he would meet someone – it could be Natasha, who was hiding, or Sam, Steve? Of course not, they were on the run too.

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Arabic proverb : أَشْهَرُ مِنْ نارٍ على عَلَمٍ (ash-haru min naarin ‘alaa alaam)

Literal translation : more famous than fire on a landmark

Meaning : it’s important first to note that the word علم here does not mean “flag” but it means a high landmark, such as a mountain or a very high building.

In old times, there used to be people who would light fire on mountain tops to mark that place and help lost travelers find their way and of course everyone in the region near the fire knows where it is. So saying that someone is more famous than fire on a landmark means that this famous is very well-known.

Some Mumbo and Gruntilda headcanons

-It’s canon that Mumbo was once Gruntilda’s teacher in the magical arts, probably starting off as a shaman who would teach anyone magic despite being good or evil if he was paid the right price.

- Grunty either had a one sided crush on Mumbo, or they had a short affair that ended up with him breaking her heart. I have the feeling Grunty was significantly more attractive when she was younger, that or she used magic to disguise her true appearance to seduce him, he found out and then rejected her advances.

- Mumbo was also very attractive too before the spell turned his face into a skull and made his skin pink and scaly. She likely transformed him like this to show him “what ugly really looks like”.

- Mumbo lives inside the lair because she’s keeping him trapped inside it: a part of Grunty, despite being enraged, still had feelings for him so created “Mumbo’s Mountain” as somewhere for him to live at least somewhat comfortably because his old home was a similar place to the level.

- She also gave him free reign of the other levels too, which is why there is a hut in a fair amount of them. The beehive talking about Mumbo “going on holiday” in the winter side of Click Clock Wood was actually Mumbo staying in Treasure Trove Cove for a bit as that level doesn’t have a hut and therefore that would be his version of a vacation.

- When Banjo and Kazooie finally defeated Gruntilda, the spell keeping all the levels intact as well as the lair broke- it was a very old and decrepit building and without the enchantments fell apart easily. Mumbo was able to leave of course, moving out and taking time to look through Isle O’ Hags after so long being locked up in the lair.

- Because of his newly found freedom and excitement, Mumbo set up huts all over the island, wanting to be able to travel as much as he wanted as well as having rest stops.

- It’s also why there is very little furniture in the skulls- no need for too many amenities when you’re going all over the place so much.

IM5 Preference's : He helps you get over your fear


Ever since you were a little kid, you’ve hated spiders. You had a bad experience with them when you were young, and it still haunts you today. Cole knew of your fear, and would always try to convince you that it wasn’t that bad, but you never gave in.

You came home around 4 like any normal Friday, saying hi to Cole who had just returned back from tour. “Hey babe.” You kissed his cheek lightly, as he intensely scrolled through his tumblr feed. “How was work, babe?” He asked you, not looking away from his computer screen. “It was fine,” You headed into the bathroom to remove your makeup. “ My boss told me I might get a - ” You started, but then let out a blood curdling scream.

You heard Cole throw down his laptop and race into the bathroom.“What’s wrong?” He worried.“SPIDER!” You whimpered, clutching tightly onto Cole’s shirt, burying your face into his chest. He chuckled lightly, “You have to get over this fear.” he stated. “When I die,” You mumbled, trying to back out of the bathroom, before he stopped you.

“No, now. Just hit it, really hard. I swear it won’t hurt you.” Cole explained, handing me a rag. You look up at him, he was completely serious. You grab the rag out of his hand, and slowly lean toward the spider. It begins to move and you scream again, hiding behind Cole.

“No, no no no.” You stuttered. Cole pushed you closer to the spider, causing you to flinch. “Just do it.” He ordered. You closed your eyes, then quickly took the rag, smashing it into the mirror, onto the spider. You cupped the spider, squishing it into the rag, then throwing it down into the toilet. “Did I get it?” You asked Cole, refusing to open your eyes. He laughed to himself. “Yeah, you got it. We’re going to need a new rag though.”


“Can we please take the stairs?” You begged Dana as you left the car, on your way to a meeting about buying a house, in a very old building. “No, we’re taking the elevator. I’m not walking up nine flights.” He demanded.

“I hate elevators.” You mumbled, folding your arms, heading toward the doors. “Nothing’s going to happen while were in there.” He explained. “It’s a perfect elevator, just like every other elevator.” But you didn’t believe him. You both step into the icy cold elevator, chills going down your spine. Dana pressed the button casually, leaning against the side wall. You stood right in the center of the elevator, thinking of every scenario possible that could happen to you and Dana.

At about the third floor, the floor begins to creak and you can hear the gears begin to shake. You began to cringe in fear, but Dana leaped over, comforting you. “Hey, hey, it’s fine. Just a little creak.” You nod in acceptance. Then, a huge boom erupts from the elevator. 

You know exactly what it is. You hear Dana mutter a few curse words under his breath, before pulling out his phone. “Ah, great. No bars.” He sighs. As he heads over to press the emergency button, you quickly pulled out your phone, dialing 911 as fast as possible.

After a 5 minute conversation with the emergency dispatch, and a 10 minute wait, you hear the elevator doors begin to pry open. The firefighters helped you both out of the elevator, and checked to see if you both were okay.

“Nothing’s going to happen.” You mocked Dana after all the firefighters had left the scene. He smiled, shaking his head. “I’m proud of you.” He added. “Why? Anyone can call 911.” You said blandly. He kissed your cheek softly “But you did it, plus you didn’t have a heart attack in the elevator.” He joked. You smiled, “Ready for our trip up the stairs?” You ask happily as he rolls his eyes, following behind you.


“ I promise you the carnival will be fun.” Will encouraged for the 20th time during your car ride. He was taking you on a surprise date, but you finally got him to admit where you were going. “Will, I  can’t believe you would take me here. You know I hate clowns.” You spat coldly at him. He frowned slightly, pulling up to the carnival.

The majority of the carnival was fun. You both enjoyed cotton candy, funnel cake, Will even won you a teddy bear from one of the games. It was getting late and this was about the time when the performers would come out and do a show.

“Please babe, I really want to see the show.” Will whined. You shook your head furiously, trying not to give into his puppy dog eyes. “Please, baby?” He asked, pecking your lips softly. You gave into his kisses and nodded. “Yes, thank you!” He quickly grabbed your hand, pushing through the crowd to the front row.

The show was amazing, acrobats, animals, all different types of performers. At about the end, the clowns came out for their comedy routine. One began to head your way, looking straight at you with it’s goofy smile. Your grip on Will’s hand tightened. He took his other hand, patting your knee in comfort.

The clown was now right in front of you, trying to make you laugh. He sprayed you with a small amount of water, pulled flowers out of his ears, even made you a cute balloon animal. At the end, the performance was wonderful, and you both had an amazing time. “So, are clown’s really that bad?” Will asked. You smiled, shaking your head. “They’re actually pretty funny.”


“David, do we really have to go on the Drop Tower? It’s so fast!” You whined, waiting in line for your turn. “I swear, you’re going to have a great time.” He smiled. David loved fast rides. The thrill got him excited and gave him a boost of energy. You, on the other hand, hated them. Fast, tall, slow, long, o matter what, you did not like any of them.

The whole wait in line, David talked about how excited he was, as you just stood, watching screaming people fly up and down the ride. Your palms were sweating, you bit your lip nervously, and agonized having to get on the ride.

“Are you okay?” David asked, he must have noticed how quiet you were being. “I’m fine, just nervous.” You whispered faintly. “If you don’t want to go on, we can leave.” David offered. You could see the sadness in his eyes, even though he tried to hide it. He was dying to go on the ride, and you weren’t about to take that away from him.

“No, lets go on the ride.” You smiled, heading your way onto the seats. After being locked in, David’s hand reached out for yours as you began to rise up the tower.

“3..2..1..” the speaker announced. You closed your eyes tightly, squeezing the life out of David’s hand. You heard a click and felt as if you were floating. The ride was descending so fast, you couldn’t even tell where you were. David’s screams next to you made you burst into an uproar of laughter. Before you knew it, the ride had ended and you were walking away with David.

“So, any thoughts?” He asked, giving an anxious look. You nodded and smiled, “Can we go again?”


“Gabe, please tell me where we’re going.” You asked. He didn’t respond, he just had a sly smirk stuck on his face. You rolled your eyes, looking out the window at unfamiliar New York. Your family was vacationing there, and Gabe happened to be in town at the same time, so you were spending it together.

He was surprising you with a trip to somewhere you wouldn’t believe. You didn’t know much about New York, living in LA had it’s perks, but it was nothing like New York. After a 20 minute cab ride, you arrived at a fancy building, that was ridiculously tall.

“Whoa,” You gasped in astonishment. “Amazing, huh?” Gabe asked from behind you. “We’re going up there?” You stuttered, remembering your huge fear of heights. “Yeah, but trust me, it’s worth it.” He smiled, intertwining your fingers together.

You headed up a few flights, making your way into a giant elevator that rode all the way up to the top. After a few minutes, the doors opened to the top floor of the building. You slowly stepped out with Gabe, staring in awe at the beauty of New York City at night. The gorgeous lights that glimmered off of building’s was spectacular.

“It’s beautiful.” You whispered with Gabe’s arms wrapped around your waist. “We’re pretty high up, you know?” Gabe added in, waiting for your reaction. But you didn’t care.“ I know, but as long as I’m with you, I’m great.” You giggled. “Talk about cheesy.” He chuckled. “Oh, shut up.” You smile, as your lips both met with a smile.


This is my first preference, so please be nice! Reblog and like it too please.

The Matriarch Hospitalisation

Fluffy one-shot where Amy comforts Sheldon when Meemaw goes into hospital. Rated K+, 1550 words approx. 

Sheldon sat hunched in the dark. This space has seemed so much bigger when he was a little boy. He picked up the first book in the stack he had dragged under the table, it was a copy of the Feynmen lectures on physics.

It was a wonder that such a book existed in this small, East Texan library, but that is why Sheldon had always enjoyed coming here. He would spend hours sat under this desk flipping through old textbooks, most of which were barely touched, trying to block out the world. Trying not to think about the inevitable arguments that were happening at home.

No one ever seemed to mind or even notice that he was gone. They knew it was his coping mechanism, getting away to think. He never really did enjoy spending much time with people. However, this time, 30 years later, it was not his parents arguing or his siblings fighting or school bullies that had driven him to his childhood sanctuary. It was something much worse.

The library was almost empty and Sheldon’s hideaway was located in the very back of the old building. He, however, did not see or hear the woman approach him until a pair of dark tights and orthopaedic shoes were standing in front of him. She slowly bent down and joined him under the table in silence. She was surprised to see him sitting on the germ-ridden, dusty floor.

No one spoke or moved until Sheldon asked “How did you know I was here?”

Amy continued to stare straight ahead, “Leonard and Penny told me about Meemaw. I remember you telling me about all the locations around here where you used to hide. So I came to find you. I can’t believe this is still here after 30 years”

Sheldon smiled as Amy peered up into the underside of the table where crude initials were scratched and fossilised gum stuck like limpets. He softened as the realisation hit him, “You came all the way to Texas for me?”

Sheldon finally turned his head to face her. Amy nodded in confirmation.

“I thought you might need support” She also turned towards him “How is Meemaw?”

Sheldon sighed “She’s fine. They said they might keep her in to do some tests. But she’ll be okay”

“And are you okay?” Amy asked

“I’m not sure if I want to dignify that with a response but since you ask, no I’m doing terribly” Sheldon responded coarsely.

“I know. Seeing her in hospital like that must have been hard” Amy had a look of concern on her face whilst Sheldon just continued to flip through the pages of his book, not really reading it at all but it felt comforting and avoided awkward eye contact. He used to love looking into her eyes, watching them sparkle, but now he couldn’t. It would be too hard to face.

“It’s not just that” Sheldon closed the book and put it down. It landed with a dull thud and sent several years’ worth of dust into the air. He clasped his hands together and inhaled deeply, preparing to confide in Amy. His tongue darted out to moisten his lips.

“All the men in my life I have loved have left me. Pop-Pop, My dad, Professor Proton. And now all the women I love are leaving too” Both cast their eyes down. There was a moment of silence as neither knew what to say. Sheldon decided to continue.

“Today made me realise that Meemaw isn’t going to be around forever. My mother is preoccupied with her new companion and says we need to have a different type of relationship. Both said I didn’t need them as much because now I have you” there was more silence and although it only lasted a few seconds, it felt like an eternity to Amy. Sheldon bit his lip before finishing “But now you’re gone too”

The air seemed to turn cold and the darkness under the desk deepened. Amy turned her whole body to face him “Sheldon… I’m still here for you. Just. Just as a friend” her eyes were sad and hurt. Her eyebrows crinkled in concern.

“I know” Sheldon voice was rasping and he nodded, still not making eye contact.

Amy didn’t know what to say. They sat in silence for a while longer. Both facing straight ahead. Amy wasn’t quite sure what brought her actions, especially since it was well know that Sheldon preferred to keep himself to himself and even more so that they had now broken up, but she slowly lowered her head until it was resting on Sheldon’s shoulder. He tensed at her touch but she soon felt him relax and lean ever so slightly into her. They remained like this for several minutes, simply enjoying the others’ company.

“I miss you” Sheldon whispered.

Amy closed her eyes, “I miss you too” she sat up to look at him.

“Thank you for coming all the way to Texas to find me” His voice was sincere. Sheldon slowly leaned down and placed a small kiss on Amy’s cheek.

It didn’t last very long but as they broke apart, their faces lingered close. They could feel each other’s warm breath. Amy could smell the conventional soft scent of talc. Sheldon gulped.

Suddenly Amy broke the gap between them. Crushing her lips into his. Sheldon turned completely to face her and wrapped an arm over her waist to pull her closer.

This kiss was unlike any other they had had. Tension from months of separation and longing were finally released. Their lips soon found a rhythm. Sheldon coaxed Amy’s lips apart and introduced his tongue.

As quickly as it had begun, it ended. Amy pulled away. Leaving both panting for breath. Sheldon’s face was plastered with pleasure whereas Amy was more concerned.

“We shouldn’t be doing this”

“Why not? You started it” Sheldon pouted but still looked confused and took his hands away from her.

“I know and I’m sorry. It’s just that… getting over you will be the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do and this won’t help” Amy looked down at her hands.

“But I don’t want to get over you!” Sheldon sat back and clasped his hands on his lap “I love you” he glanced over to see her reaction.

“I love you too” she whispered, blinking back tears.

Months ago they both would have enjoyed sitting in silence together, now it felt hollow and uncomfortable.

Amy sighed, “Sheldon, you’re tired, stressed and upset about Meemaw. I don’t want to be taking advantage of you when you’re in such a fragile state”

Sheldon crawled out from the table they had been hunched underneath and held out a hand to help Amy up. He did not, however, let go.

“Amy, believe me, you are not taking advantage of me. I have wanted to kiss you like that since we broke up. I understand that I was a bad boyfriend. Within these past few months I’ve been immature but I just wanted you back. I… I just wanted to say I’m sorry” he squeezed her hand.

“Sheldon, don’t blame yourself. I should have communicated, told you what was wrong. I’m sorry too” Amy smiled up at him “I won’t say I regret our break up, I think it may have improved and strengthened our relationship. We still have a lot to talk about but Sheldon…”

Amy looked up into his blue eyes which were searching her face, analysing it, willing her to continue talking.

“Could I alter the paradigm of our relationship?” Amy squeaked.

Her question was answered when Sheldon’s arms wrapped around and pressed to her back, pulling her closer to him and his lips met hers. Amy reached behind his neck and drew him into her, making their lips press harder together.

They were lost in the heated moment until they heard a small cough and broke apart. The librarian looked over her glasses at them with raised eyebrows.

“Shelly bean! There you are! We’d been wondering where you’d got to” Mary Cooper beamed as she saw Sheldon stroll through the front door, towing Amy behind him.

She went to hug him. Unsurprisingly, he refused to let go of Amy’s hand and only returned the embrace with one arm.

“How’s Meemaw?” Sheldon asked after they separated.

“Why don’t you ask her yourself?” Mary smiled and stepped back, revealing Sheldon’s grandmother who was sat at the table.

“Meemaw!” Sheldon ran to hug her.

“Hello Moonpie” Meemaw stood and stretched her arms around her grandson who towered above her.

Sheldon let go and beckoned to Amy “Meemaw this is Amy, she’s my girlfriend and…”

“Alright” Mary cut him off, knowing how long Sheldon could talk about Amy for, “Meemaw needs some rest. Why don’t you two make us a round of tea?”

She watched the couple leave “Did you ever think you’d live long enough to see Shelly fall in love?”

“Mary! That is an insult to both my age and your son” Meemaw retorted sassily “For your information I always knew that boy had a huge heart…” She smiled as she heard giggles from the kitchen.

“He just needed the right girl to coax it out of him”

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Summerset House, LONDON

anonymous asked:

A cherik fill please? :D in which Charles maybe is a soapmaker and works at a place that sells soaps and candles and Erik goes there once grudgingly as a favor for Raven to pick up something from Charles and thus starts crushing harder than a 12-year-old girl

“But mutant solidarity!” Raven said, and that’s when Erik knew he had lost. Never mind that he had never even met Raven’s brother, mutant or not; never mind that his own secondary mutation made the prospect of a scented-soap-and-candle shop completely abhorrent. Charles Xavier was the citys’s newest mutant small-business owner, and Erik and Raven were going to the grand opening.

“It can’t be that bad, at least it’ll be good smells,” Raven said as they got into their cab. “Hey, Darwin, how you doing? We’re going to Charles’s new shop!”

“It’s not good smells,” Erik said, sparing Darwin a friendly-ish nod as he grinned at them in the mirror. “Good smells are real. They occur naturally, they’re not cooked up in a vat and injected into cleaning products.”

“We talking about your secondary?” Darwin said as the cab pulled away from the curb. “You know, that’s never made sense to me, man. What does super-smell have to do with magnetism?”

“Ask Emma what diamonds have to do with telepathy, or Logan what claws have to do with his healing factor. On second thought, that would mean talking to Logan, so don’t bother.” He grimaced, looking around at the interior of the cab. “Your last fare had a ‘blooming onion’ for lunch and her date needs to lay off the cologne.”

“Got it in one!” Darwin laughed. “Seriously, though, who doesn’t like nice-smelling soap? Isn’t it better than smelling b.o.?”

“Now you’ve done it,” Raven said, but Erik cut her off.

“Everyone has b.o., all the time! Everyone has a scent, it’s just that most people are too stupidly nose-blind to notice it until it gets utterly rank. Even then, I’d rather smell a body being a body than the fog of alcohol, phthalates and whale vomit people try to disguise it with!”

“He has strong feelings about this,” Raven said apologetically.

“Everyone has strong feelings about smells, whether they know it or not—do you know how strong a role scent plays in romantic attraction, in familial bonding, in memory retrieval—”

“Okay, Erik, we get it!”

“So why is Raven dragging your poor miserable nose to a scented soap store?” Darwin asked, sparing them a glance in the mirror as he stopped at a redlight.

“Because she’s sadistic.”

“Because my brother has worked his butt off to achieve his dream,” Raven said staunchly. “We need to support him. Besides, Erik, I have smelled Charles’s stuff and it really does smell amazing, all of it! I bet you twenty bucks that you will find something in his store, even if it’s just one thing, that actually smells good to you.”

“Deal,” Erik said. “Easiest twenty bucks I ever made.”

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London, South Kensington, 

Trevor Place

Glory and Gore

The attack had been quick, simple and percise. They’d been in and out as quickly as possible, weilding technology even Alternia wouldn’t recognize. Anything that had been left behind had been set to self destruct, the small burns and craters set in stone the only evidence they had ever existed in the first place.
Sure blasting a hole in the front door of the palace wasn’t exactly subtle, but Dirk had bigger things to deal with.

Like the computer they had stolen.
Who were ‘they’ anyway? Not quite a rebellion, but far from the opposite, they were just a small group of people Dirk had found and asked for the service of. People he swore to himself to safeguard when they agreed.
So it really came as no surprise that the young man was trying to hack into the laptop himself.

Not in his apartment, no of course not. Rather he was at what he’d dubbed “Headquarters;” a very abandoned, very old building pratically on the outskirts of town. Machinery, computers, weaopons littered the place, creating the illusion that this small group was much less organized than their attack had claimed.
Dirk, with his mussed hair, somewhat sleep deprived eyes and manic disposition could show the same. It was very important he finish this though - knowing the Empress she probably had some way of tracking the technologie’s location.

Yuchi blog 2015.11.23

We finished 2 days in Midokaikan! 

Hello, this is Yuchi.

We finished 2 days of “The poetry of garbage dump and hanging midair girl” without any issues!

I took this picture from the dressing room (laugh). It’s a very old building. It has a very solemn atmosphere, right?
But those (temples) will be gone soon! I’m glad it’s still here!

Rehearsal. View from the stage.

It’s quite an usual building for a hall as there is no second floor. Because of that it’s very deep room.

Usually this is my main instrument, Sadowsky, but this time I only use it for 3 songs.

There’s good sound of low tones and good pitch, extraordinary guitar that is not missing any sounds. 
I’m living my life as a bassist being supported by this bass guitar!

Unexpectedly, bass used mostly this time is Fender Jazz Bass.

Recently I’ve become fond of it again so I use it often, but it contributes a lot to sukekiyo’s sound!
There is a thickness to the sound when I slap the strings, there’s a brusque core that an active bass doesn’t have.
But if you start using 4 string bass, 5 string bass will get difficult (laugh). Thinking that it’s fine to express myself just with the limitation of the strings of those 4 bass guitars, I feel the future shape of my bass.
It’s not like when I was a child playing aimlessly, so I can feel the happiness by using this kind of subtle instrument. It also feels upright.

Anyway, next one is the last, the performance in Tokyo Kokusai Forum! There’s a little break in between [the shows], but I will do my best!

Thank you to everyone who came to our shows☆

裕地 /Yuchi

anonymous asked:

May I please have Hara and/or Hanamiya angst where their s/o gets hurt because they got caught up in Hara/Hanamiya's enemies' gang violence?

For some reason I’m getting some Durarara!! vibes here. I hope you don’t mind that I only did Hanamiya for this request, because I started writing his first and then it got really long xP Enjoy! -Admin Fyre

He was planning a surprise for you that night.

Hanamiya waited in the pavement in front of your workplace by his car, fingering the collar of his shirt almost nervously. He still wasn’t used to taking you out to dates, given his background, but hey, anything for you. He’d made reservations at a nice restaurant by the river and a bouquet of flowers was sitting in the passenger’s seat in his car. He’d texted you earlier saying he was going to pick you up after work, and you’d agreed, ending the text with “see you soon”.

He wondered how much longer did he have to wait to see you again.

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Okay! Well first of all, the school is separated into 4 classes: 1st years (freshmen), 2nd years (sophomores), 3rd years (juniors) and 4th years (seniors). After the fourth year, they graduate and go onto college/university.

I imagine the academy is actually a re-furbished castle. Very old building with a 2 floors and long, expansive wings that could be easy to get lost in if you don’t keep your school map around with you (an item given to every first year at the ceremony, and generally given only once). Some parts of it look very old, while other parts are relatively modern.
Appears something like this on the outside

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Thorn and Flame part 15

(part 14)


In silence Max finished the work of unbinding Alcor. As the circle’s runes faded and the last of the chains vanished, the demon tipped over onto the floor.

Max ran across the circle and knelt beside Alcor’s head, searching for signs of life. He was very weak - the last thing he’d done was to warn Max of Enna’s approach.

“Dipper, wake up! What do I do now?”

The demon cracked one eye open and squinted up at Max.

“What did you just call me?”

“What did I…” Max frowned and bit his lip. “Dipper? Why did I say Dipper?”

Alcor peered at Max with a perplexed expression for a moment, then closed his eyes again.

“I’m still weak,” he said. “They were trying to drain my power as part of the sealing. The Nidhoggr venom on the chains wasn’t very nice either.”

“What should I do?” Max repeated. “Are you going to take this back?” He held up his hands, which were still flaming faintly.

“Not yet. Just get me away from these circles,” Alcor answered. “Then find the others and bring them back here.”

Max picked up Alcor - which wasn’t hard, since the demon was still in the form of a child - and carried him to a corner of the room, away from the bodies. He paused for a moment before turning away, and conjured a pillow beneath the kid’s head. He thought he noticed Alcor smiling slightly.

As he wandered down corridors, Max finally paid more attention to his surroundings. He was in a very old abandoned building. There were no transient remnants of its original purpose, but the abundance of small, identical rooms suggested it was once a place that held a lot of people. As soon as he realized this, he stopped wondering. There were things he would rather not know.

Tali was the first one he found, and she was not in a good state. The room she’d been imprisoned in was dark and smelled awful. She was strapped into a chair just as Max had been, her head lolling forward. Her breathing came in an audible dry rasp, and she must have been awake because the moment Max took a step into the room he heard a pitiful choked whine from her.

“Tali,” he said, walking quickly to her side. The stink of the room was strongest on her, and he couldn’t help wrinkling his nose at it.

She tried to lift her head to look at him. Even in the faint light from his flames she could barely keep her eyes open long enough to see him.

“Max?” she managed in a hoarse whisper.

“Shh, it’s okay. You’re safe now.” He put a lightly glowing hand on her forehead. “Go to sleep,” he said, and she did.

Seeing the state she was in, his anger flared up again, and the flames with it. But there was no one left to take out his remaining anger on - he had done them all away. Later, he knew, he would probably feel guilty about that, but here and now his actions felt justified.

Having no more violent deeds with which to vent, Max instead set about freeing Tali and cleaning her up. The straps tying her down crumbled to dust, and a cool breeze blew away the smell while he removed its source. He wasn’t sure what to do about the state of her health, or if he could even do anything. Alcor would know. Finally, with magic he lifted her out of the chair, and carried her along behind him as he continued on to find her brother.

It wasn’t Lee he found next, but Journey.

“Max?” Journey peered up at him upon being pulled out of unconsciousness.  His eyebrows shot up at the sight of Max’s blue fire. “What in the name of Mizar’s knitted socks?”

Max gave Journey a sarcastic grin. “Funny you should mention Mizar.” And then he explained, in as few words as possible, how their situation had come to this. He was most deliberately vague about what he’d done to get past all the henchmen.

“Well, shit,” was all Journey could say about his friend’s temporary powers.

As he followed Max down another corridor, however, he proved that he still had plenty else to say. Such as how weird it was - and kind of cool - that Max’s footsteps left a trail of blue fire. And how awful Tali looked, and how they really should get her to a hospital soon. And, “Wait, what did you say happened to Enna?” to which Max gave a noncommittal shrug of his shoulders.

When they found Lee, he didn’t bat an eyelash at the sight of Max on fire. He wasn’t bound in a chair like they had been. Evidently, Enna hadn’t counted on Max bringing another friend along. He’d simply been tied up and tossed into one of the many empty rooms to be forgotten about.

Lee rushed over to his sister as soon as he could get his feet steady under him.

“Is she okay?”

Max nodded, a little uncertainly. “She should be fine, as long as we get out of here soon.”

“Then lead us out, o burning one,” said Journey.

Max shot Jo a half-amused look.

At that moment the floor rumbled quietly beneath their feet.

“What was that?” Journey said. Lee eyed Max almost accusingly.

“Shit,” said Max. He looked back at his flaming footprints. His thoughts caught up with his moment of confusion. “Okay, we’re getting out of here now.”

"What is it?” said Lee.

“I’ve been setting fire to everything, I guess,” Max replied. “This whole place is probably gonna come down.”

He led them quickly back to the wide room where Alcor sat huddled up with his pillow - where, remarkably, Max’s flames hadn’t destroyed anything yet, though they had begun spreading across the floor and up the walls. From a glance at the demon, he understood that Alcor had been holding back the fire until they returned.

Lee shook his head in disbelief as he stared at the broken binding circles on the floor. Some shadowed shapes on the other side caught Journey’s eye, and he almost tried to cross the room to find out what they were.

“Leave it, Jo, it’s not important. We have to go now.”

Max knelt by Alcor again. The demon nodded, and drew his power out of Max, growing a little taller and stronger as Max drooped in sudden exhaustion.

No longer being controlled, the flames that had been trailed through half of the building burst into furious life, eating away everything they touched. Everyone gathered close around Alcor, and he took them away before the walls began to collapse.