whatever else is going on

Coming back on to good ol’ Tumblr.com and being immediately met with drama

a guide to exploring abandoned farms
  • essential supplies include: plenty of food and water, a change of socks, a hat, rope, bandaids, a knife, gloves, an acorn in your pocket, and an offering
  • there are always odd noises on the farm. half of them come from the animals
  • try to forget what the lake looks like between the hours of three and four AM
  • never ever find yourself alone in the milking shed in the south end of the farm. time passes differently there
  • if you happen to hurt yourself in your exploration, make sure you do not bleed onto the dirt
  • bring plenty of water, you do not want to drink from there
  • the cows will watch you, this is normal
  • close every gate you open, even if the fields are empty. don’t ever leave one open behind you, just trust me
  • beware unstable rocks, the cracks tend to be filled with insect nests
  • bring a weapon with you, but no guns
  • if you see someone else while exploring, never tell them your name. you can never be sure if they are real or not, and further out you go, the less real they will seem. the patupaiarehe have evolved in cruel and unusual ways
  • do not go inside the empty share-milkers cottages, whatever you do, do not go inside. something else lives there now
  • a tree with the undersides of its leaves showing mean that a storm is coming. a tree with no leaves means the storm has already come
  • sometimes the hills look like they’re moving. be aware of this, because some things don’t like to be disturbed
  • do not sleep under the full moon, in fact, just don’t sleep on the farm
  • finding skulls is normal, only become worried when you start finding ribs
  • if you find yourself lost in a forest, continue walking in a straight line until you are free again. the trees may make it look as though you are going in circles, but i promise you’re not. ignore the soft music you can hear
  • your phone won’t work out here
  • the ghosts from the land wars won’t harm you, but be sure to show them respect
  • don’t take anything from the farm with you when you leave. just be grateful you have made it out alive
10

Daisy Johnson in Agents of SHIELD: ‘Farewell, Cruel World!’

Getting angry at the world for your problems isn’t going to bring you any closer to a dream job or relationship or whatever else you feel like you deserve. It’s going to keep you thousands of miles away from it.
—  Ryan O’Connell, I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves to Get through Out Twenties

everything sucks forever | a night in the woods mixtape

for lori m. - fifteen-year-old horror aficionado and train tracks lurker. 

*an assortment of altpop feels for all you maes and greggs and beas and anguses out there*

[ listen to me here ]  [ track list under the cut, if you don’t like surprises ]

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Nosy Rosy Big Brother

Originally posted by oldbucksicle

Summary: Dean’s hit with a strong case of curiosity. Pure, uncontrollable curiosity that leads to him finding a treasure trove of nasty little things.
Paring: Sam/Reader, Dean/Reader (kinda), Implied Sam/Reader/Dean at the end
Word Count: ~2.5K
Warnings: FILTH. At this point it’d be easier to name what’s not in this fic, but I’ll name a few that are; smut (obvy), dirty text, nudey pics, sex videos of Sam/Reader, masturbation, anal play, anal sex, vaginal sex, dirty talk, copious amounts of semen, Sam’s a big fan of creampies (both of the butt and vag variety), more masturbation, voyeurism, NSFW gifs just to really mess y'all up :)
a/n: aight don’t judge me but I only have one fic to post today bc school’s got me fucked up and has literally sucked my soul from my body. I’m still working on some of the requests you guys have sent in and other WIP’s as the mood/will to do anything but cry in a corner hits me (lol but I’m fine tho I swear) I hope you guys enjoy my contribution for Smut Appreciation Day 2017!



The first time Dean “snoops"—it’s by total accident. 

Sam had lent him his phone after Dean’s had been compromised on the hunt that they had just finished. Long story short; phone in pocket plus getting pushed into pool by werewolf equals no bueno. Dean pulled up the messaging app to shoot the hunter that been helping them out a text to let him know that everything had been squared away, but when Dean went to tap compose message, his thumb took a sharp left and ended up pulling up the messages between you and Sam. 

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Finding your Own Associations

What is the first thing you do when you start practicing witchcraft? Probably start collecting candles and jotting down the associations for herbs, colors, scents, and whatever else you can find. 

I’m not going to tell you this is wrong, after all associations tend to be the foundation for everything else we do in spell craft, as well as magic as whole. However, it is not the strongest way to use associations. In truth, to get the strongest impact with your supplies, you’re going to want to use your own associations.

But how do you even start to form your own associations?

1. Start with a list of what you want to make associations for. This could be anything from colors to carnivorous plants. I recommend using scrap paper or a side notebook for this, as it’ll function more as a work space than a solid list.

2. Go down your list. Note the first five words that come to mind when you first read the name you’re on. Example, when I think of daisies, I remember my mom receiving a bouquet of brightly colored Gerber daisies for her birthday. My associations would be family, happiness, vibrancy, celebration, and abundance. This might not be the same list you’ll make, but that’s okay! 

3. If you’re unfamiliar with something your list, look up what it is. I’d recommend looking up the most objective descriptions of whatever it is so you don’t feel swayed by the associations of others. For this, I like to use field guides from my local library or even Wikipedia. If you find yourself unsure of how to feel about something then, look up the historical uses of the subject.

4. Repeat the process over a period of time. If it’s a smaller list, like the 7 colors of the rainbow, you can repeat this over a couple days. Although if you have a bigger list, break it up into sub-lists or smaller groups, and focus on one group each day. The point of this is to make sure your associations are consistent. I find it also helps filter out the possibility of suddenly remembering something bittersweet or straight out awful later on about the emotional trauma of lavender from your childhood while mid-spell.

5. Finally, take your most consistently used associations for each item and make a permanent log or reference guide for yourself. This can be a word file or a fancier notebook where you keep all your witchcraft notes. The point of this is to keep a solid, permanent record of these associations to refer to later on. If you’ve been working for a while in magic, you already know how often you look back at your notes on associations. If you haven’t been practicing for a while, or if you’re brand new, you’re gonna learn.

I’d like to imagine this is what Saihara got for his birthday 

ciesus  asked:

Do Temmies have sexes or are they born without a sex? If the latter do they assign themselves genders or do they remain gender neutral or is that like everyone else and they just go by whatever they choose as life goes on? Also do they procreate with other Tems or do they asexually reproduce? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

Temms reproduce asexually. An egg is laid, hard boiled, then it hatches into Babi Temm identical to the mother Temm. 99.9% of Temmies identity as female, with the exception of Bob. Bob is a special boy.
-TQ

“Flat out” - h.s. Part 3

Part 1 / Part 2 

—–

—–

Before Harry came back to London, you had always enjoyed that your flat was kind of a drama free zone. You never invited anyone over, except for Felicity who came over on weekends to study, and you always had a sense of clear calm and peace to have your work zone and just enjoy yourself.

But when Harry came back for longer than just a couple weeks, things did become different. You didn’t mind though considering it was technically his apartment, and it was just his space as much as it was yours. But you knew that the only reason the flat had been so quiet was because you had been the only one in it. And now that Harry was back, you both found a way to express yourselves through some louder words every once in a while.

With the arrest of diTorino and his buddies, you really didn’t feel unsafe in any way. But that didn’t seem to matter to Harry as he drove you in silence back to the flat you shared. He was quiet, a brooding angry quiet that you didn’t want to mess with, and you decided not to allow it to bother you in any way as you dropped your keys and shoes at the front door and made your way inside.

You’d seen Harry angry on multiple accounts. There had been the whole cupcake fiasco at Liam’s birthday two years ago, and then that paparazzi that had almost knocked you over during your time in Canada. And though it was scary at times, you never took it that seriously because you knew he was nothing more than a softy on the inside.

So you didn’t take it into thought as Harry slammed the door behind you while you walked over to the kitchen.

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I know most everyone is upset about the cast news and worried about what’s going to happen on the finale, but no matter what happens, I just wanted to take a minute to thank Lana Parrilla and Jared Gilmore for giving us one of the most touching, beautiful, real mother/son relationships I’ve ever seen.  Whatever tonight brings, I will be forever grateful for the six seasons worth of amazing character and relationship development they’ve given us.

Here are five of my favorite Regal Believer moments - these are just the first five that popped into my head.  To list all my favorites would take hours and more space than Tumblr allows. 

1.  This is the moment where Henry remembered that Regina was his mother and really did love him, and the moment I first really and truly believed that Regina might be able to be redeemed.  This is where I started falling in love with Regina, and with Regal Believer.

2. If the world was going to end, Henry was going to die holding onto his mother as tightly as he could.

3. “You’re not a villain.  You’re my mom.”  Enough said.

4. “Mom!” Look at how happy they both are.  The way Henry’s face just lights up when he sees her and the sheer joy on Regina’s face that her baby boy remembers her and is so happy to see her.  (This might be my favorite RB moment ever.  Definitely top 3.)

5. Henry’s face says it all.  He is home, safe and sound in his mother’s arms. Right where he wants to be. (Also definitely in my top 3.)

So there you go.  Five of my most favorite Regal Believer moments.  Feel free to add your own and spread the love.  And remember - whatever happens tonight, they cannot take this away from us.  This is ours.  

A Hero in Black (Part One)

Jughead x Reader

Request: Could you write something about the reader being missing and jughead being really worried. And when he finds the reader they have a really romantic moment and he saves her. But not the typical kind of romance. A jughead kind of romance.

Warnings: Kidnapping, swearing

Word count: 2,728

A/N: Think Brandon’s piece he performs at Idyllwild (The Fosters). That’s the kind of good she’s playing here.  I also tried third person so tell me what you think?? I also got very carried away, so I feel it deserves a second part, since i left the prompt kinda (okay very) unfinished. I can’t help myself, I love a good cliff hanger.


(Y/N) sits at home, playing the electric piano in her room. The grand piano downstairs isn’t tuned correctly, so she has to make due. College auditions are coming up, seeing as she’s a junior, and everything has to be perfect. She has at least three auditions for her top picks, and they are all a little less than two months away. She practices every day, for at least two hours a day with no distractions. Her parents barely even notice she’s there anymore, they’re so busy wrapped up in work and whatever else they have going on they couldn’t care less where she is or what she’s doing. They’re out of the house at bars and friends houses most of the weekday. It sounds worse than it actually is, this way, she can practice as loud as she wants anytime she wants without bothering anyone. She likes it like that.

 She has the music laid out in front of her, but she barely needs to look at it, the piece flows out of her fingers from memory. Her eyes close ever so slightly, really feeling every note and rhythm.

“That’s a really fancy version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star huh?” a voice makes her jump in her seat, causing her fingers to pound on a horrible combination of keys.

She turns her head to see none other than her best friend, and long-time secret crush Jughead Jones leaning on the window frame as he peeks in the room with his head.

“Actually that was Wheels on the Bus.” she mocks, smiling as she spins around on the piano bench, turning to face him, leaning her elbows on her knees.

She mentally kicks herself, because she almost forgot, it was Wednesday, the day that Jughead always comes to write his novel when she practices.  He says her playing makes him write better, or something, but she can hardly believe it.

He climbs in through the open window and takes a seat on the bench right inside it, flopping his book bag on the floor as he does so.

“Well don’t let me interrupt.” He says, holding his hands up as he leans against the window frame before shoving them in his pockets, their usual location.

She can’t help but smirk as she turns back to the piano, placing her fingers lightly over the keys before picking up where she left off before she was so rudely interrupted.

She leans into your music this time, her whole body moving with the notes, and in that moment she could’ve stayed there forever, surrounded by the sound of keys filling the room. She almost forget someone is in there with her, before hearing a light clapping while hitting the last notes.

She lets out a breath, turning to see Jug smiling at her.

“That was good for a beginner.” he teases, getting up and motioning for her to move over.

She obeys, making room for him on the bench in front of the instrument.

He makes a big deal about cracking his knuckles and waving them a whole bunch before overdramatically placing them on the keys ‘delicately.’ She stifles a laugh, putting a hand over her mouth as she waits for what he’s going to do next.

He raises his hands ever so slightly before coming down fast, pounding several dissonant keys before continuing to play what she can only discern as some awful combination of the two mentioned kids songs.

Her hands reflexively go to Her ears, chuckling at his serious face while plays a few more chords, before he finishes with sliding his hand up to the highest note and back down again.

She slowly drops her hands, only slightly concerned he would continue.

“What, no applause?” he asks, giving her the side eye with a raised eyebrow.

“I think you should stick to the keys of the laptop variety.” She tells him, nudging his shoulder.

“Yeah, right.” he scoffs, getting up and going over to his backpack. He sits on the bench by the window again, pulling out his laptop and opening it, “The Jason Blossom case has stalled for the past few months. They haven’t found anything new. My novel has remained a blank page.” he says, looking at something on his laptop.

“Who cares what the cops are saying, weren’t you doing your own investigation with Betty?” she asks, trying not to sound too jealous or put any emphasis on the question. She has to remind herself that he’s allowed to hang out with other people besides her, even if that includes one of the most beautiful girls in school that she could never compete with.

She knows that he’s been investigating for a long time with her, but strangely he’s never talked about it that much. Her guess is that he doesn’t want to bother her with it, her focus being on music and all. She really wouldn’t mind hearing about it, though.

“Yeah, but that came to a screeching halt when we found the car on fire and Polly came home. She said she didn’t have time, but wished me luck.” he says, pulling up the document the novel is located in. Sure enough, it hasn’t been written in in a few weeks.

“You must have been getting close.” She says, taking the music off of the stand and putting it away in a folder on the floor next to her. She contemplates for a moment on the solution. Jughead is obviously very passionate about this, at least for the sake of his novel, and she doesn’t want him to stop something he loves doing. “What if I help you?” she proposes.

“What? (Y/N)? Really?” that gets him to look up, “but you have those auditions, I can’t rope you into all this.”

“Nonsense. I’ve practiced so much my hands might as well fall off and I’ll still be able to play.” She jokes, earning a small smile from her best friend, “come on, let me help.”

He sits and looks at your for a few moments, adjusting his beanie, a strand of his black hair falling to the side of his face as he does.

It seems like the silence goes on forever, when really it’s probably only a few seconds.

“Okay.” He finally says, “but only when you have actual freetime, not when you’re supposed to be practicing.”

“Deal.” she says with a smile, standing up to join him at the window, “when do we start?”


About two weeks later she is in full on investigation mode, while still practicing every day, her audition dates growing closer by the minute. Jughead still comes over every Wednesday, but she sees him a lot more often now. She’s not opposed, but their Wednesday sessions of just sitting with each other while she plays and he writes still hold a special place to her.

Today, in the early Monday afternoon, she’s  in the room with all of the pictures and connections all over the wall, looking over the latest work. They were getting close, she could feel it.

“So he roped you into this?” She hears someone ask, looking over to see Betty, smiling as her hands are on her hips, raising her eyebrows.

You give her a half smile, “More like I volunteered.” she says with a shrug.

“Why?” Betty smirks, walking over, her blonde ponytail bouncing with the sway of her walk.

“I think you know.” (Y/N) says, crossing her arms in a light-hearted way.

“Enlighten me.” Betty gestures to the board, looking at it with (Y/N).

“I wanted to spend more time with him.” (Y/N) admits, a blush coming over her cheeks. She’s a bit surprised at herself for telling Betty this. They’re not really friends, (Y/N) only know her through Jug. It’s the honest truth, though, and it’s not incriminating for a girl to want to spend more time with her best friend. And a friend of Jug is a she could deal with, she tells herself. She only half believes it, though.

“He talks a lot about you.” Betty says, “he talks about the way you play, the jokes you guys make.” she has a sad smile over her face, like there was something she was just realizing.

“Well you guys are pretty close, too. He practically ditched me to hang out with you.” (Y/N) rebuttals, trying to not sound too sassy about it. She knew it wasn’t Betty’s fault, at least not completely.  

Betty stands there, looking at the floor.

“What’s wrong?” (Y/N) asks, noticing Betty’s change in attitude almost immediately.

Betty takes a few breaths, closing her eyes, taking a few moments before responding, “We kissed.”

“What?” (Y/N) asks, turning towards her. A shock going through her system she wasn’t expecting. That can’t be possible, surely Jug would’ve told her something like that. Her vision begins to spin as she tries to process what she’s heard.

“I -we- Jug. I kissed him.” Betty says again, an apologetic look coming over her face, like she’s done something terribly wrong.

“Oh.” is the only thing that can come out of (Y/N)’s lips, her world shattering around her. There was a sliver of hope before today, just a small one that maybe he would like her back, but now… she wasn’t so sure.

“It was nothing, I swear.” Betty lies, trying to make it feel better, trying to erase the bomb she just gave (Y/N). Betty knows that what happened between her and Jughead was wrong in some capacity. Betty knew that deep down, Jughead wants (Y/N), but Betty can’t help her feelings.

“Sure.” (Y/N) says, brushing Betty aside as she walks out of the room and down the school steps. She needs to get away, she decides, just for today. She needs to disappear for the afternoon to think.

She walks as far as she can away from town, wanting to get some fresh air. She knows that she’s probably being a little over dramatic, but at the same time she doesn’t care. If Jughead is her best friend, why is he still such a mystery?

A car pulls up beside her, but she doesn’t think anything of it. She isn’t concerned with anyone else now.

She hears a window roll down, but she ignores the sound.

Her heart beats are starting to increase, though, making the slow moving car feel like a heavy weight on her chest. There is definitely something fishy going on. She begins to speed up, but the car starts to follow. She slows down, it keeps pace.

She’s afraid to look over now, but out of her peripheral vision she can see a figure in a mask, driving a white van with tinted windows. Of course, the most obvious thing parents tell their children to stay away from.

She closes her eyes for a moment to catch a breath, trying to decide on what to do. She is too far out of town to run all the way back without causing a scene or them catching up. Her phone is in her backpack, and it will be too obvious as to what she’s doing if she tries that.

She’s stuck.

A touch catches her off guard as she spins around, and then doubles over in pain as the man makes a swift punch to her gut. Her backpack falls to the ground, her notebooks falling all over the gravel side of the road.

Before she knows it she’s being thrown in the back of the darkened vehicle, the stench of alcohol and weed filling her nostrils, making her gag. Her hands are tied tightly behind her back with rope before whoever her captor is closes the door, plunging her in darkness.

The car begins to move, and she has a sinking feeling she might be in some deep shit.


Jughead knocks on the bedroom window later the in the week, on Wednesday, of course. He hasn’t seen in her in a few days, seeing as they don’t have any classes together, he assumes she was probably busy practicing and taking a bit of time off from the murder case.

The window is closed, which is unusual. Normally (Y/N) leaves the window open a crack for him, always playing piano. He loves to sit and listen to her play, teasing her and writing when he has the time.

Her playing is one of the only things that can calm him in the midst of dealing with his dad and his novel. Her help with the murder is beginning to lighten the load, it seems like she spends just as much time on making connections as she does making music.

He cups a hand around his eyes as he peers in through the window, looking for a sign of her in the room. There’s nothing, though, which is also odd. He has been coming over every Wednesday since he can remember, since they were little kids. He comes in through the window, always.

He pulls out his phone and opens a text message to her.

‘i need to play my rendition of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” for you. where are you?’ he writes, pressing send, trying to make it sound as light hearted and not needy as possible. He knows she’s busy, that she may still be doing school work or out running errands, but it’s just so unlike her to not be practicing in her room on a weekday afternoon.

There’s no response, so he waits. He waits for an hour, which turns into two.

Soon it’s sunset, and still no sign of (Y/N).


The next day, Thursday, he approaches Betty.

“I need your help.” he says, making her heart flutter in her chest despite her protests to make it stop.

“What is it?” Betty asks.

“I know you said you don’t want to do any more investigating, but I think (Y/N) is in trouble.” he says under his breath.

“What? No, I just saw her Monday.” she says, pulling the books she is carrying closer to her chest.

“She wasn’t there yesterday. She’s always there on Wednesdays.” he says, a sinking feeling coming over his chest. Deep down, he knew.

“Maybe she forgot?” Betty shrugs. It’s not like she doesn’t care, because she does, she just knows that her and (Y/N) are in rocky territory right now, and she’s not even sure if she could call them friends. She wants to be friends, but knows it probably won’t happen.

“She doesn’t forget.” He argues.

“She’s probably fine, Jug, you’ll probably see her later. Don’t worry about it.” she dismisses him as the bell rings, walking down the hall.

The thing is, he can’t dismiss this feeling. This feeling of trouble.

He adjusts his beanie and begins to make a plan, trying to think like (Y/N) would. He exits the school, walking down the road. He notices a music notebook along the road out of town, and he knows she was there. She must have dropped it, or it must have fell. He looks around, and only then does he notice skid marks driving off the road on the other side of the road. They were fresh, like they had been caused only a few days prior. The tracks continued through the grass, off into the distance.

He contemplates what to do, looking at her stuff once more.

He kneels down and opens the notebook, reading the music notes on the page. On the top, the title of the song read, “A Hero in Black”. Underneath, “for Jughead”. His heart wrenched, looking at all of the marks on the page. It looks as if it’s been redone about a million times, pencil marks everywhere, notes appearing in patterns he can’t understand. There’s a pain in his chest, and suddenly he knows.

It took her disappearing for him to realize, but he likes her, and he needs to tell her. He may be overreacting, but a part of him doesn’t care. Wherever she is, he needs to get to her, in a cheesy-romantic kind of way that kind of makes him of want to vomit, but pulls on his heart like nothing else ever has.

And so, he sets off down the road, not knowing where it’ll take him.


Tag list: @always-chocolate @theselfishllama @letsgetfuckingsuperwholocked @idle-lanes @xbobaaa @juneb (If you wanna be on my tag list, just ask!)

Part Two Here

This Is What I Do

It had been a rough handful of weeks. The news of the death of a sister he never knew hit him harder than it should’ve. Maybe it was because he wished he had known her, or maybe it was because of the baby she’d left behind. A baby that was left to Will’s care after realizing there was no one else to watch her.

He could have said no. He could have given her to an adoption agency. But that “could have” wasn’t really a possibility. Not with his heart. Not with the bright blue eyes and curly black hair adorning her face as she looked at him in confusion. Of course Will wouldn’t leave the child to the system. Of course he’d take her and give her a better chance at life.

It meant he had to get baby formula and diapers and toys and he had to babyproof his apartment, all of which he’d only done about two things. For the time being, he had to get back to work… along with the child in a car seat.

He hadn’t found a nanny yet, and after talking with his boss, the company allowed him to go to work with the baby as long as he was able to keep up.

When he walked into his office though, he stopped short at the sight of someone else in his chair. “Uh, who the hell are you?” he questioned.

Dark brown eyes flitted up, one eyebrow arched in question. “Who the hell are you?” the guy retaliated.

Will frowned and put the car seat on a table before turning to the guy who was looking at the car seat in utter confusion. “I’m who the hell’s office this is. Why are you in my chair?”

The guy sat back and scoffed, crossing his arms. “I’m the guy who’s been doing your job. Nico di Angelo.” He held out a hand and Will stared at it suspiciously. Eventually, Nico put his hand down and tilted his head as he looked at Will. “Question; why is there a child on the table?”

“Long story, don’t worry about it. Can you get out of my chair now, so I can do my job?”

Nico scoffed and stood. “Sure thing. If you know what you’re doing.” Will scowled and sat down. As he looked at the computer screen and the paperwork in front of him, he realized he was completely out of the loop and horribly confused. Nico sat on the edge of the desk and leaned forward with a cocky smirk. “Need help?”

The tone of his voice, along with his attitude made Will angrier and added to his pride. “No. Get off my desk.” Nico laughed and slid off, sitting in the chair as he waited patiently. Will could feel his face heating up with embarrassment of being watched and not knowing what to do with his own work.

Finally, he looked at Nico and let out a frustrated sigh. “Okay. Explain. What the hell is this?”

Nico smiled and went around the desk, explaining the paperwork and the presentation that had to be given the next day. “Look, I can do the presentation, you have the kid and you just got back,” Nico said after a half hour of Will trying to catch up with the statistics. “I know the information, so-”

“No!” Will snapped. He put a hand to his temple and shook his head. “No. This is my job. I can do this. Just give me the information, and I can do the presentation myself.”

Nico sighed and shrugged, continuing to walk Will through the data. A few minutes later, a sharp cry broke them both away from the computer. “Your child is making noises,” Nico noted. Will sighed in exasperation and glared at him before going to pick the baby up. He shushed her and fished in the diaper bag for her bottle. “What’s its name?”

Her name is Lily,” he answered. “Keep talking, I’ve got this.” He motioned for Nico to keep talking as he prepared the bottle and fed the baby. Nico continued to give him notes and pointers.

Half an hour later, their boss came in and asked if they were ready for the presentation because it was being rescheduled to that afternoon. “What?” they asked at the same time. Will shook his head. “No, I can’t present it today, I have to get Lily home so I can get more things for her-”

“Well, Nico can do it,” she said. “He’s been here for a while, he’s already presented before. It’s fine.”

Will clenched his jaw as he looked down, feeling defeated. She walked out and Will took a breath before looking at Nico. “Well, you win. Let me know how it goes. I have to go.”

He started packing the diaper bag and gathering his things when Nico’s voice stopped him. “You do it.” Will looked back at him in confusion. “You’ve been working really hard for the last few hours, pacing back and forth with a baby in your arms to get the information memorized. You do the presentation.”

“I doubt they’ll let me in with Lily in the car seat.”

“I’ll watch her. She’s fed, she’s quiet, she’s back in the car seat. I can handle a baby for an hour. But you should do the presentation.” He looked at Will with sincere eyes, his jaw set as though he wouldn’t take no for an answer. “Go,” he said again.

Will bit his lip and grabbed the paperwork. “Thank you,” he said softly. Nico nodded and turned to the baby, his expression melting into a playful smile.

An hour later, after a successful presentation, he went back to his office to find Nico with Lily in his lap while she reached out and touched his face. He kept making silly expressions while she explored his features, widening his eyes, letting out a trill with his lips, or expanding his cheeks.

Fighting a smile, Will knocked on the office door, making Nico jump and blush slightly. “Oh, hey. She’s a quiet baby,” he chuckled. “She has your eyes.”

“She’s my niece. Half-niece,” he answered. Nico raised an eyebrow, but Will shook his head. “Thank you for watching her. I’ll have a nanny by Monday. Have a good weekend, Nico.”

***

That Monday, when Will got to his office, he saw several shopping bags in one corner. They were from baby clothes stores and toy stores. As Will looked through them, he saw several outfits, booties, bibs, diapers, formula, soft toys, and stuffed animals. He stared at them for a moment before he heard footsteps behind him.

“Morning,” Nico said. He turned and saw him drinking a coffee, relaxed and unfazed. “I hope you don’t mind, but I got some stuff for Lily. I heard you saying you had to buy her things, and I assumed she’s small enough that she’d need this stuff.” He waved a hand in the direction of the bags. “There’s a little stuffed monkey in there somewhere that I think she’d really like.”

“Wh-Why?” he asked. He cleared his throat and shook his head. “I mean, why did you get all of this stuff? You didn’t need to.”

Nico furrowed his eyebrows and smiled. “I guess I’m weak for babies,” he said with a shrug. “Besides, have you seen those big blue eyes?” He took another sip from his coffee and walked away, leaving Will confused.

He sat down and began to sift through all of the items, smiling as he saw the cute little outfits. He couldn’t imagine his coworker looking through baby clothes and choosing things out. He was so reserved and serious, despite the cockiness. Will wouldn’t have thought he had a soft side for anything.

Later, while he was inputting some data into the computer, Nico came back and had a few more files for him. He sat and helped him sort through the information, making snide comments and sarcastic remarks now and then which quickly wore out Will’s positive view of him.

Before his gratitude was completely wiped out, Will decided to thank him for watching Lily and for the items he’d bought. Another coworker came in looking for a document in one of Will’s drawers, and while he looked, Will turned to Nico. “I wanted to thank you for watching Lily for the presentation. And for the things you bought. I know I was pretty rude when I first got back, but there… was… a lot of….” He frowned and trailed off as he noticed Nico tilting his head to look at the coworker who was leaning down to check another drawer.

Will furrowed his eyebrows as Nico’s attention was elsewhere, and when his coworker stood back up, he turned to Will and smiled. “Got it. Thanks.” As he walked out, Will noticed Nico smirking after him.

“Wow, okay obviously Percy’s ass had something more important to say than me, so never mind,” he snapped. Nico blinked and looked back at him.

“What? No. Asses don’t speak. But man, was his calling to me,” he joked. Will clenched his jaw and shook his head.

“Right, okay. So we’re done here, thanks for the help, you can go do whatever else you do in this building.” He waved a hand dismissing him and Nico furrowed his eyebrows and tilted his head.

“Wait a second, why are you upset?” Will looked at him and scoffed. As if. “Is it because I was checking out a guy? Because that’s discrimination.”

Will rolled his eyes and shook his head. “I don’t care if you’re gay or bi or pan or whatever. I’m frustrated because I was trying to apologize for having jumped to conclusions, and then you went and proved my first impression right. You’re rude and pompous and totally unprofessional-”

“And you’re totally jealous,” he interrupted with a smirk. Will stared at him, mouth open mid-sentence. “Right?”

“No,” he said with absolute certainty. “Trust me, I wouldn’t want you trying to check my ass out. You just need to be more professional.”

“You mean like you when you were calling me rude and pompous and-”

“Okay! Okay. Look, from now on, strictly professional. I won’t insult you, you don’t flirt with coworkers in my office.”

“You can’t stop me,” he said with a teasing smile, leaning forward over the desk. “You can’t fire me even if I do things you don’t like.” All of Will’s dislike came crawling back up in angry heat to his neck and he took a deep steadying breath.

The sad part, he was right. Will couldn’t do anything. “Right. Well, you are my coworker. So I suppose all I can do is be painfully polite.” He gave him a tense smile, but Nico seemed unfazed, looking at him arrogantly.

For the rest of the day, Will tried to interact with Nico as little as possible while Nico seemed to try and interact with him as much as possible. Sometimes it even seemed like he was blatantly flirting to piss Will off, but he didn’t seem to care. It was always subtle enough that Will didn’t want to call him out on it for fear of reading into things, but also obvious enough to where the comments made Will blush.

By the end of the day, one of Will’s friends, Paolo, stopped by his work. “Solace, you ready for your birthday dinner?” he asked, leaning against the door.

“Yeah, I’m definitely ready to go,” he said, feeling relieved. “Nico, please leave any other files on my desk, I’ll get to them in the morning.”

“Who’s Nico?” Paolo questioned.

“That would be me,” Nico answered behind him. He went into the office and looked at Will with large dark eyes. “Leaving already?” he asked innocently.

Will clenched his jaw and nodded. “Paolo, this is my coworker, Nico. Absolute ray of sunshine, just about my best friend.”

“Oh, really? Well, are you going to come to his birthday party tonight?” Paolo asked.

Will’s eyes widened and he interceded immediately. “Oh, no, Nico has stuff to do, it’s fine. Come on, you ready?”

“I can cancel,” Nico said. “I didn’t know it was your birthday.”

“Awesome,” Paolo said. “Here’s the address.” He grabbed a paper and wrote it down for him. “Come on, Will.”

With absolute dread, Will took the things Nico had bought for Lily and left with Paolo. “Why did you invite him?” he said tiredly.

“What? I thought you said he was just about your best friend!”

“That entire sentence was filled with sarcasm. How could you not tell?” he asked. Paolo grimaced and Will waved a dismissive hand. With Nico’s attitude and the tension and dislike between them, it was probable that he wouldn’t even go. He only said he would to push more of Will’s buttons.

***

Throughout the entire party, Will kept glancing anxiously at the door any time it opened. He kept dreading having to see Nico in his house and it was honestly the last thing he wanted on his birthday.

“You know, despite how much you say you don’t like him, you’re acting like a teenager waiting on a crush,” Paolo noted.

Will shook his head. “No, that’s not it. He’s frustrating. He makes work hell and he does it on purpose. Flirting and making a joke out of everything, he’s arrogant and just horrible to work with.”

“Flirting?” Paolo questioned. “Okay… have you ever considered that maybe he actually likes you and therefore finds excuses to bug you?”

“He’s known me for all of two days, Paolo. I highly doubt that’s what’s happening.”

Paolo shrugged and gestured to his room where Lily was sleeping. “He did buy a shitload of things for a kid that’s not even his.”

“He likes babies! He had to take care of Lily for an hour and he said something about her eyes, I don’t know. Liking Lily doesn’t mean liking me. Besides this isn’t elementary school.”

Again, Paolo shrugged and held up his beer. “If you say so.” He turned away and backtracked. “Also, you and Lily have the same eyes, so….” He smirked and walked away, leaving Will dumbfounded for a second.

A couple hours later, his guests were leaving, much to Will’s relief. It was a Monday and he wanted to go to bed before Lily woke him at three in the morning. Paolo offered to clean up while he got ready for bed.

“Actually, I’m going to step outside for a moment. Let me know if Lily wakes up.” Paolo nodded and Will went out to his porch, sitting on a bench. His thoughts wandered to the sister he didn’t know and the life he missed out on.

Did she need someone when she was pregnant? Was she scared? Was she funny? Did she want to be a mom? Did she know about Will? He had so many questions and no answers. Not only that, but he was a father now. He was in his mid-twenties, not dating, and a father. He had no idea how to do these things. He never thought he’d have to.

Someone cleared their throat, pulling him away from his thoughts, and he was surprised to see Nico on his porch. “Hey,” he said in surprise.

“Party over already?” he asked.

“Um… yeah, sort of.” Nico nodded and stepped closer. “It’s a Monday. I’ve got a kid. I don’t get to party like most twenty year-olds.”

Nico chuckled and nodded. “I guess that makes sense.” He lifted a gift bag and offered it to him. “I got you a gift.”

“What? Why?”

Nico chuckled and looked at the bag. “Okay, so usually when it’s someone’s birthday and there’s a party, people bring presents to celebrate-”

“No, I- I know how birthdays work,” he said exasperatedly. “I just… why are you getting me a gift?”

Nico shrugged and kicked at the ground. “I guess it’s also sort of an apology for being such a jerk to you. Here, open it.”

Will took the bag and opened it, pulling out a new, name-brand leather jacket. His eyebrows went up and he chuckled nervously. “This is… really nice, wow.”

Nico smiled and gestured for him to stand. “Come on, try it on.” He took the jacket and held it out for Will to slide his arms into. “Perfect fit. Leather looks good on you.”

Will smiled and looked down at himself, enjoying the feeling of the cool leather and the scent of a new jacket. “See, you can be nice,” he said, looking at Nico with a smile. “Thank you.” Nico smiled and nodded. “You know, Paolo was telling me he thought you were such a jerk because you have… feelings for me? Like we’re in grade school or something.”

Nico chuckled and furrowed his eyebrows. “I mean, would that bother you?”

The comment took him by surprise and he stammered for a second. “I mean… we work together. No, it… I just….” He took a breath and shook his head. “We work together. Nothing to do with you being a guy….”

He hummed in response, with his signature cocky smile. “Right. Well… I do have feelings for you.”

It felt like the ground had been ripped up from under him. He stared at Nico with wide eyes and blushing cheeks. “Y-You do?” he questioned.

Nico nodded. “I feel that you are annoying and controlling.”

And just like that, the world was righted. He frowned and scoffed in frustration. “See, why do you have to do that? Just as I’m changing my mind about you, you go and-”

Suddenly, Nico’s hand gripped his jacket and he pulled him into a kiss, his other hand cupping his face. Will felt his breaths stop and his mind began to race until it was a jumble of incoherent thoughts. Nico pulled away, and Will opened his eyes slowly, breathing heavily as he looked at him.

“Do that,” he whispered softly. Then he wrapped his arms around Nico, pulling him into another kiss which Nico immediately returned with more fervor than before. Will stumbled forward, pushing Nico back into the pillar of his porch as he kissed him. His hands slid into his hair, his teeth grazed his lip, and as Nico pulled him closer, he couldn’t help the dizziness he felt.

Finally he pulled away and stared at Nico with wide confused eyes, flushed cheeks, and tingling lips. Nico smiled and rubbed his thumb across his cheek. “Come on Freckles, don’t look so horrified,” he murmured.

“I’m not,” he answered softly.

His frustrating coworker hummed and tugged lightly on his hair. “Those big blue eyes make me absolutely weak.” Will laughed nervously and Nico pulled him into another kiss. “Happy birthday, Freckles.”