She has to catch him when he falls out of the elevator and into her, and she takes a step back to keep the doors from hitting him. She cups the back of his head, afraid he might actually crash into the walls right here in their hall.
“Sorry,” he slurs. “Had to be drunk.”
“Had to.” She sighs as he lurches on his feet, but she manages to right him again, get him moving down the hall. “Makes it sound like you had no choice.”
“Not exactly. They’re very persuasive. They have fists. And guns.”
Kate narrows her eyes at him even as she pushes open their front door. “I told you not to agree to this.”
“Did you forget the part with guns?” he whines.
“You should’ve stayed away from them, Castle. Rita and Jackson Hunt - they do not have your best interests at heart. They’re the reason for-”
Kate stops short as she notices the wide bandage across his forearm, half hidden by the rolled cuff of his plaid shirt. She yanks the sleeve up and he yelps, staggering in the entryway.
“Ow, Beckett, ow ow ow.”
“What did you do?”
“It was an honor,” he starts, his eyes that blurry earnestness that comes when he’s drunk. “Really, an honor that they think of me as a comrade in arms so to speak.”
“Oh, no.” Kate cradles his forearm in one hand and peels up the clear surgical tape with her fingers.
Bold black ink, almost violent in the lamp light. Blood red. Unnatural blue.
“It’s really for you,” he mumbles, pitching forward into her as he trips over his feet.
She catches his shoulder, easing his descent but unable to stop their slow collapse to the couch. Castle tries to wrap both arms around her and nuzzle into her neck, but she keeps his freshly inked arm held away.
“Castle,” she sighs.
It’s a rook from a chess set, but carved into its ebony surface are her initials.
Like she did in her old place, claiming her time and space and work there.
But he doesn’t know that. He just-
“Castle, why did you do this?”
“I just love you,” he sighs, and his whole body sinks into the couch cushions. His eyes slip shut only to flutter open, stare at her with that dreamy happiness. “And my - dad - said all the guys in his unit got tattoos with their girls’ names on them.”
“Oh, Rick,” she murmurs, stroking her fingers through the flop of hair on his forehead. His eyes fall shut at her touch. She leans in and kisses his brow. “Lucky for you, you have the money to get it lasered off.”
“No, never,” he mumbles. “But maybe I won’t go out with them anymore.”
“No,” she echoes softly, her lips touching his mouth. “Never.”
AU where tattoos naturally develop on people’s bodies.
Eren grows up normal and unmarked, for the most part. When he’s 9, a knife, blood dripping down its inked blade, appears in his palm. He’s disconcerted until he sees that Mikasa has the same one on her left hand. They hold hands in the playground, each of their murder-marks mirroring the other’s.
When Eren is 15, one of his arms develop a ring of thorns, circling just above the forearm. That night, he dreams of his arm being bitten off, and gets no sleep.
Armin was born with a sigil for knowledge above his heart, small and delicate, something the doctors almost missed when he came into the world. His parents thought it was sweet, and gave him all the books he asked for when he was a child.
When he was 10, he understood that knowledge wasn’t always a happy thing. Even so, he kept his mothers’ books close to his chest, pressed against funeral blacks.
Krista, their friend, has a crown on her forehead. It’s beautiful and delicate, something a queen would wear, but the girl herself is shy and withdrawn, and the tattoo only makes her keep her hair down, blonde hair obscuring a mark seemingly too royal for a shy high schooler.
Levi grows up with a skull in one palm and a rose in the other. He doesn’t care too much for them, but they don’t stand out in the streets, where skulls and other death-marks adorn most of the people here.
His teenage years are met with wings, ink black, over his shoulders, spreading down over his deltoids and upper arms. He… likes them, even in their irony.
When they meet, it’s in the autumn, and the cold air is biting Eren’s skin as he takes in the sight of the stranger, beautiful and pale and somehow familiar. He starts to apologise, for bumping into him, but the stranger isn’t looking up at him, instead staring transfixedly at his neck.
Eren belatedly realises that his scarf has come undone, and the back of his neck burns in the way that signals the appearance of a new tattoo. He looks back up at the stranger, who is looking a mixture of horrified and awestruck. Eren should feel offended - tattoos are ultimately a private thing, and their conception is usually something kept hidden - but no matter, he can’t bring himself to mind.
“What is it?” He asks the stranger, curious.
The shorter man’s voice is tight when he answers, “A wound. On the back of your neck.”
Eren blinks, surprised. He feels strange, and wonders why a wound tattoo would appear on his neck, why something so ominous?
He laughs, a little nervously. His companions face looks pained. He begins, awkwardly, to introduce himself, before-
“Eren,” the stranger says, face almost impassive, save for too-bright, grey eyes.
Something about the way his name catches on thin lips rings a bell, and Eren remembers.
In fits and bursts, but he remembers. The headache is massive, and when he wakes up again he’s lying down on a bench, the stranger-yet-not-a-stranger leaning over him, brows furrowed, a cup of water in hand.
When he gives his name - Levi, how perfectly it sits on Eren’s tongue- it spills from Eren’s lips like water, soothing all the cracked and parched portions of him, even as his hands reach out to grab, knives and thorns pressing against the outline of wings and roses.
2 months into their friendship, a swallow appears on Levi’s left clavicle. Levi seems rather nonplussed, but Eren remembers his old book of tattoo meanings and smiles, even as the back of mind traitorously wonders about Levi’s lovers.
He doesn’t realise it until two weeks later, when somebody points it out in the changing rooms, a flash of colour on his right shoulder blade. A swallow, brother to the one on Levi’s pale skin. He swallows tightly, and pulls on a hoodie, not knowing what to think about it.
When the tension eventually breaks, he clings to Levi like he’s drowning, and Levi’s hands discover a lifetime’s worth of stories in the ink on his skin. He pauses over the swallow on Eren’s back, and chuckles a bit before bending down to press a kiss against the skin.
When he reaches the wound on Eren’s neck, he pauses, and amidst the haze Eren thinks he can hear an apology slip past Levi’s lips to sink into the skin at the back of his neck.
Eren shudders, and turns around to face his lover.
A year later, a band appears on both their ring fingers. Eren laughs and makes a joke, but Levi answers honestly, seriously, and Eren laughs again, tears in his eyes.
I AM SUCH A SAP I’M NOT EVEN SORRY.
Anyways Hi guys I’m back! Sort of, anyways. Been having a terrible dry spell and lots of stress and hectic IRL things. I have half a dozen discarded angsty death-drabbles in my folders as testament to my emotional state these days. >_> BUT HERE, something slightly less angsty but still idk. I started writing this in the car and couldn’t really find a way to tie it up but well. Forgive me. ;__; it’ll probably be a while before any major activity on my part, but for now I’m just going to work my way back into creative output and hope for the best.