worn wood


Sunset and rainclouds, and exposed/worn by the waves wood, Hawaii


Dirk Gently fans! Tomorrow is the SEASON FINALE of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, 9/8c on BBC America and we’ve got another reason for you to watch!

Watch live (East or West Coast airing) and look for a special hashtag on-screen. Tweet it and you’ll be entered to win one of the following costume pieces worn in the actual show:

  • A Mexican Funeral band tee (size small/extra small)
  • Future!Todd’s tank top (size small/extra small)
  • Bart’s construction uniform 
  • Bart’s button-down shirt
  • Gordon Rimmer/Todd’s fur coat, complete with fake blood!

Winners will be selected at random, and as these are actual costume pieces worn by Elijah Wood, Fiona Dourif, and Aaron Douglas, there’s no options for sizing. Click here for full terms and conditions. Good luck, and don’t forget that season two is coming in 2017!


“Why do you even need a book from the Restricted Section, Malfoy?” The words are sharpened into brittle, serrated points. Pricking and poking and unsettling him as he slackens his grip on her wrist.

“I don’t need one, per say,” he offers, eyes trained on the door to the Potions room as the last handful of students hurry out. “But I’d like one. And I know that you can help me-”

“And why, exactly, would I help you?”

Y/N’s gaze narrows. She’s suspicious of him. Bottom lip tucked behind her teeth and chin tipped appraisingly. She knows better than to do what he says. And he would commend her on it if it weren’t for –

“Look.” He cuts the thought off. Slaps a hand against the age worn wood of one of the desks. “If you help me, I can give you something in return. Anything. Whatever you’d like, okay? All you have to do is help me.”

Her mouth slants. “What do you need me to do?”


It had been easy, really. A smirk and a giggle and too-short skirt and Slughorn had proffered the key to the illustrious Restricted Section with vigor.

And if Draco’s eyes had trained just a second too long on the smooth skin of Y/N’s thighs, or his hand had hovered over the curve of her waist a moment longer than necessary – Well.

He tells himself that wanting someone isn’t akin to liking them.

He pointedly ignores the fact that he’s rather enjoying sneaking about with her.

He clutches the key in his hand and focuses on what he has to do.


“Where did you get this?” Y/N’s shoulders stiffen as he clasps the cloak around his shoulders. Glances down to find a silvery sheen of dust coating the air where his body should have been.

He shrugs. Elects not to tell her that he’d swiped it from Potter earlier that day. “Does it matter?”

Her mouth flat lines. “Yes.” But even so, she’s stepping close to him and tucking her shoulder against his rib cage and he can see the Y/H/C top of her head as they crouch down and hurry towards the library.

“You know what book, don’t you?” she asks, white knuckled and nervous as she glances around the dark aisle way.

“Of course I know what book,” he tells her, reaching upwards to unlock the particular shelf, “I’m not an imbecile, you know-”

It happens too fast for him to quite catch what’s going on.

Because there’s the all too familiar clank of a lantern and the telltale scuff of shoes. A high pitched meow and a chortle that spurs Y/N into action.

Because she’s running at him, slamming into his chest and knocking them both to the ground as she hurries to obscure them from view with the cloak. She’s on top of him. Hips pressing and chests knocking and noses just inches apart.

He can see the dark flecks in her eyes, the hazy blur of his own reflection. He can count the faint freckles mottling the groove of her cheeks and make out the steady catch of her breathing.

He can hear Filch pacing up and down the aisles. A mutter. A scoff. A hiss.

Y/N is holding a finger to her mouth. Leaning down and closer, closer, closer.

Her nose brushes his jaw.

Her fingertips are mere inches from his ears.

And he can’t quite help it. No, can’t help it as he’s leaning upwards to press his mouth against hers. Neck straining and laughter choked in the back of his throat.

She doesn’t pull away.

Not until after – when the coast is clear and the Restricted book is all but forgotten.

Draco is certain that he can still feel the weight of her ribs against his chest.

To love someone is like moving into a house,“ Sonja used to say. "At first you fall in love in everything new, you wonder every morning that this is one’s own, as if they are afraid that someone will suddenly come tumbling through the door and say that there has been a serious mistake and that it simply was not meant to would live so fine. But as the years go by, the facade worn, the wood cracks here and there, and you start to love this house not so much for all the ways it is perfect in that for all the ways it is not. You become familiar with all its nooks and crannies. How to avoid that the key gets stuck in the lock if it is cold outside. Which floorboards have some give when you step on them, and exactly how to open the doors for them not to creak. That’s it, all the little secrets that make it your home.
—  Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove
A dash of positivity for catkin friends...

Catkin are wonderful!

Whether you’re long-haired, short-haired, or have no fur at all…Whether pure bred or mixed breed.

Whether you’re used to living life curled in the warmth of sunbeams on worn wood floors

Or used to wandering the streets and forests sniffing out adventure…

Cats are known to be lucky, mysterious, loving, misunderstood, magic, adventurous, courageous…

When you’re lucky enough to be friends with a catkin, chances are, you’ll end up learning a great deal about yourself and others! Cats teach us the value of friendship and social connection while also reminding us never to sever our connection to our own independence. They can be both supportive friend and protector. Confidante, defender, and ally all in one :3

May you all remember that you’re all wonderful! Never forget that you are infinitely beautiful, inside and out! 

To love someone is like moving into a house. At first you fall in love in everything new, you wonder every morning that this is one’s own, as if they are afraid that someone will suddenly come tumbling through the door and say that there has been a serious mistake and that it simply was not meant to would live so fine. But as the years go by, the facade worn, the wood cracks here and there, and you start to love this house not so much for all the ways it is perfect in that for all the ways it is not. You become familiar with all its nooks and crannies. How to avoid that the key gets stuck in the lock if it is cold outside. Which floorboards have some give when you step on them, and exactly how to open the doors for them not to creak. That’s it, all the little secrets that make it your home.
—  Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove
An Overwhelming

New Parent Hiccstrid Fluff, anyone? 

(I don’t know where this shit comes from. I got more sap than a maple tree, I guess)

An Overwhelming

Astrid took her time returning home from the bathhouse.

The walk home normally took less than 3 minutes but Astrid wanted to enjoy, for one, the silence.  It was early enough that most of Berk was still asleep. She hoped she didn’t meet anyone on the journey.

Two, feeling fresh for the first time in days. She figured she only had moments before she would be covered in body fluids, be they her own or the baby’s. It felt good to be clean.

Three, if she was being honest, a slow, awkward waddle was all she could muster. It had been three days, since she gave birth and she was swollen in places she didn’t even know she could swell.

You can do this, Astrid thought to herself once outside her own front door. She laid one hand against the weather worn wood and the other on the iron latch but felt reluctant to enter. She didn’t know if she had the strength, physically or mentally, to go inside. It seemed becoming a mother had taken everything from her. She felt drained and was not sure what she had left to give. 

She took a deep breath and like what felt like every moment of the past five days, she somehow found the strength of will from somewhere deep inside herself, to open the door.

Astrid found Hiccup sitting in his father’s chair by the hearth, Falda, their daughter in his arms. The babe was asleep and Hiccup was staring at her intently. His eyes were red rimmed, he was unshaven, and wearing the same tunic he had on since the day of the child’s birth.

“You can’t just stare at her all day and night. If she is sleeping, we should be sleeping. Or at least that is what everybody tells me. If only it were truely possible,” Astrid scolded without much conviction and slowly eased herself beside her husband in the chair large enough for all three of them. She joined him in staring at the infant. The babe was awfully pleasant to look at.

Hiccup snuffed and appeared to wipe a tear from his cheek with the back of his hand.

“Are you crying?” Astrid asked concerned. She had done her own fair share of crying the past few days and needed him to be strong.

“What? No,” Hiccup denied before conceding, “Maybe. I don’t know.”

Astrid put her arm around him and her head on his shoulder.

“Talk to me, Hiccup.”

“She is just so beautiful, Astrid.”

“That she is.”

“This is going to sound really weird-“

“What? Something weird coming from you? Never,” Astrid chided.

“Hardy, har, har, har,” Hiccup replied sarcastically.

Astrid gave his arm a squeeze, “I’m sorry, you were going to say something weird?”

“I was going to say, I think I understand why they call sex “making love” now.”

“I hope you are not thinking of making love again any time soon, cause I am thinking that might happen again, maybe, never from now.”

Hiccup laughed, “Ha, but seriously-“

“I am being serious,” Astrid half joked.

“Don’t worry, that is not where I was going with this train of thought.”

“Thank Thor.”

“We made her, Astrid. You and me.  We fell in love,  made love and in doing so we made a person, a baby, who we love. We made her out of next to nothing really. Falda didn’t even exist 10 moons ago. My love for her did not exist. I could not have even imagined her and somehow we made her. And now that she is here, I have so much love for her. Love, I didn’t even know I was capable of. Where did it come from? It’s all a little overwhelming, I guess.”

Astrid looked at her husband and then her daughter fondly.

“Overwhelming is an understatement. When I look at her, I feel so many things. Emotions I cannot even explain. I love her. I know I do. But I think I feel fear mostly, if I am being honest.

It was Astrid’s turn to wipe tears away. She wished she felt nothing but overwhelming love. Not that it wasn’t there, but it was partnered with overwhelming pain and exhaustion. It was the love that kept her there though, she guessed. 

“You know, Astrid. I have battled dragons bigger than this house, and faced men of questionable character, time and time again, but this is the most afraid I have ever been in my life, to be honest.”

“Oh, great. Well, at least I’m not alone, then.” Astrid laughed as she pulled the blanket over a tiny foot that had escaped its swaddle. Hiccup’s words did not relieve the fear but they did make her feel better. 

“Do you think my Dad loved me like this?” Hiccup asked.

“I am sure he did.”

“I can’t imagine. I loved my dad, and part of me always knew he loved me too, but as much as I wanted to prove myself to him, in many ways, I took his love for granted, you know? If I would of known he loved me like this, I think our relationship would have been different.”

“I definitely have a whole new respect for my mom.”

“I have a new respect for you. I mean, I always knew you were tough, but good Thor, but birth and motherhood does not look easy.”

“My mother made it look easier than it is.”

“My mother wasn’t around, so I don’t have any comparison, but I think you are going to be a great mom.”

“I hope so, Hiccup.”

“I know so.”

“You’re gonna a be a great dad, too, you know.”

“I hope so.”

“I know so.”

anonymous asked:

I associate your earth grey blue of stormy california waters, the bitter taste of salt spray in your mouth after wiping out hard and getting rolled by a pissed off ocean, the navy and blue blacks of the churning water. Your greys are like the seagulls, perched on the pier shrieking indifferently, and you have brown tones of wet sand and water-worn wood. And every once in a while, theres a spot of white, like the clouds illuminated by the sun on the horizon. Your art is the calm before the storm.

:0 I don’t know what to say. Aside from a compliment that you paint a very vivid picture with your words and I can totally see it, and thank you because this made me happy and a bit proud!

Drabble Requests are closed.

@kandayuu, and here’s the third! :D

#24 “Actually… I just missed you.”

Lavi played with his cellphone as he leaned against the kitchen table. He tapped the edge of the phone on the old, worn wood, listening to the dull, rhythmic thud as it echoed in his empty apartment. He sighed, looked at the clock on the microwave, then back to his phone. It was nearing 3AM. He tapped his foot against the linoleum, anxiously chewing on his bottom lip.

After another moment of indecision, he cleared the lockscreen and pulled up her number in his contacts. After pressing Call, he rested the phone against his ear and waited, the ringing tone leave his chest pinched tight.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

How would Armin, Erwin, Levi, and Historia (gotta include the fave amiright) would react to a comrade breaking down in a corner after a recent expedition outside the walls? Thx!

Armin starts to tread lightly when he hears light sniffling coming from around the corner of the horse barn. When he peeks his head around the worn wood of the building just enough to see who the person was, he was surprised to see someone he hadn’t really talked to before. However, he did know their name. And he did know they looked in need of someone to talk to, or even just a shoulder to cry on.

He was a bit sad when he realized he’d be the one to comfort them, the boy freaked out a bit on the inside. Despite his inner turmoil he still found himself walking toward them. Armin’s boots crunched uncomfortably loud on the gravel. They lifted their tear streaked face up to the look at the boy, and smiled a smile that looked more like a grimace.

“Are you alright?” Armin asks them in a soft voice. They look away from him, staring at the shrubbery and garden of the camp. He can see them gulp distinctly but decides not to say anything. “I’m fine.” Their voice comes out sounding cracked and tired.

“You don’t have to lie. Everyone’s bummed out about the mission, no, not bummed out, but you get what I mean. We’re not in an ideal situation and it’s only natural to react this way.” The blond haired boy finds that his words give him more comfort to himself than they were supposed to. He sits down next to them and hits the ground with a light thump, putting a gentle hand on their knee. “I can’t believe this is the world they live in.” Despite saying that they didn’t believe such a thing, their voice was monotonous and numb. It made a spark of anxiety fill Armin’s stomach. And then he realizes why. They remind him of himself, when he had no hope and all he wanted to do was give up. If no one else was going to give them the push they needed, then he would.

“We’ll be the ones who change the world. Just you wait, ___.”

Erwin had grown accustomed to comforting veterans of the expeditions. However, this one had been particularly devastating. Only coming back with less than a fourth of what they arrived with, everyone in the camp was dealing with their turmoil in their own ways. Erwin wondered briefly if he had been a bad person because he wasn’t fazed anymore.

When Erwin makes a sharp turn to the hallway where his office was held, he was surprised to see a comrade of his on the ground, hands covering their face. Their hands muffled most of their cries, but the way their shoulders shook was a giveaway that they were crying pretty hard.

“I’m sorry you had to go through that.” Erwin’s deep voice rumbles out in the otherwise quiet hallway, making them jump and wipe their eyes. They stand up straight and salute him briefly before slouching. “Don’t be sorry. I should be used to it by now, shouldn’t I? I can’t help but feel like we’re wasting our lives away, chasing after an unsalvageable goal.” They looked hysterical, a crazed sad look in their eyes. Erwin sighs sadly, stepping forward and closing a hand around their shoulder. “How about you take the rest of the day off? You can spend as much time as you want in my office if you need someone to vent to.”

Deep down the man knew a day’s worth of talking wasn’t going to fix anything, but it was all he could offer. It must have worked, because they slowly smiled and nodded solemnly.

Levi contemplated just walking away when he saw them crying. If he had to be honest, he’d never been good at comforting people. Or maybe he just didn’t care. Levi told himself to be better to people. He had a soft spot for them, the way they sniffled and wiped at their eyes fervently somehow made his heart squeeze uncomfortably. The young cadet was now trying to control their breathing, hiccupping desperately for air.

“___.” Levi grumbles, walking over to them in short and to the point strides. They look surprised to see him, standing up as straight as possible and trying to put on a straight face despite the wavering look on their face. “I’m sorry, captain Levi.” They mumble, not bothering to meet his gaze and looking down at the ground.

“Don’t be sorry, kid. It’s tough, yeah?” He asks, to which they nod at him. Levi averts his gaze, wondering faintly what to say next. “I won’t lie to you. You’ll see it more and more as life goes on. But if you ever feel discouraged, remind yourself that despite how many people we lose while doing it, we will save humanity. No matter how long it takes.” The man almost forgot how to breathe, trying to discreetly take in a gulp of air after he finished his mini speech. The cadet looks at him, smiling. “Thank you, captain.” They smile.

Historia hadn’t been in the greatest of moods that day. They’d lost so many great people the day before, and now no matter where she looked everyone seemed to be in bad mood. She couldn’t blame them, for she had cried the night before as well.

What really made pain spread throughout her chest was seeing one of her fellow cadets crying where no one else usually went. They chose a good place. It seemed like they knew that too, crying and hiccupping to their heart’s content in a desperate attempt to make themselves feel better. “___?” Historia asks, putting on a sweet smile as she stood in front of them. Her hand is outstretched toward them, and they take it.

“I didn’t think anyone would be here. I’m sorry you had to witness that, Historia.” They smile sadly, drawing their facial features together in a sad smile. She only shakes her head and frowns, wrapping her arms around their body. Right then, their wall breaks, tears streaming once more as their nails clawed at her jacket clad back. Historia only hushes them gently, stroking their side to calm them down. “We’ll get through this.” Is all she says in their ear, over and over again. The girl meant it, too.

“Inconceivable. What does a cat need to do for a bit of affection now and then? Nothing. I am a cat. Humans should be flocking around me, eager to touch my beautiful fur.” 

Perhaps it did account for the fact that he was fae and virtually unseen to most humans, but surely a child would notice him? Children always had the strongest imaginations. His ghostly form shouldn’t deter them from adoring him.

Grumbling to himself–he just wanted to be petted, damn it. No fuss at all–Razkiel rolled about to make himself more comfortable on the park bench. His paws kneaded the worn wood.

your royal highness// prince hemmings pt.4

Pairing: Prince Luke Hemmings+Reader

Word Count: 1.2k 

You can find parts 1-3 here

(A/N): hii I’m back from my small writing hiatus and I’ll begin to update regularly now! xx


8tracks playlist 

The frigid air bit at his pale skin, white snow now beginning to fall and collect on his black coat. He took a deep breath and hesitantly knocked on the worn wood door. The door quickly opened, a pair of frightened brown eyes meeting ice cold sapphire irises.

Without a word, the tall blonde entered the small makeshift home. The brown haired girl was stunned at the prince’s presence, her breath hitching in her throat. The room was silent except for the cracking notice coming from the fireplace.

“Y/N,” The Prince firmly said, taking off his coat and carelessly throwing it on a chair. “I have something to tell you,”

“Your Royal Highness, why are you here-” Y/N questioned, heart beating against her chest.

“Did I ask you to interrupt me?”


“I can’t do this anymore!” A muffled cry rang out into the massive bedroom. “What the hell!”

“Luke,” Prince Ashton called out. “Get a hold of yourself.”

The two were currently sat on the wood floor of the royal prince’s room, the discussion of the unfortunate event that happened only a few days ago in the air.  Ashton and Luke had known each other since they were small boys, growing close to each other even thought they were apart of different kingdoms.

Luke wiped his red rimmed eyes and got up to pour a glass of alcohol. “Ashton, you want some?”

“I’m fine mate,” He softly smiled as this was the first time he saw Luke in this horrible state. “My mum has always told me that communication is key.”

Luke raised his eyebrows, taking a long sip of the strong alcohol. He kept quiet waiting for the curly haired boy to explain.

“Have you talked to the King and Queen about your point of view? Maybe they would have understood that you don’t wish to participate in the marriage,”

“I’ve told them before! And look where I am now!” Luke yelled furiously, slamming the glass down. The alcohol swiftly seeping into his veins, clouding his thoughts.  “I don’t even remember the girl’s name for god’s sake!”

“Then who do you remember?”

“Y/N,” Luke mumbled, drowning down the remaining alcohol.


Luke’s tired eyes scanned the small house, finding a torn up suit case ready to go.

“I’m leaving tomorrow morning,” Y/N mumbled, not daring to look at the prince. “It was my mistake of coming here in the first place. I’m so sorry your royal highness,”

Luke leaned against one of the beat up tables, crossing his arms not knowing what to say. He had chosen to wear casual clothes to blend in with the general public, black long sleeved shirt nicely fitting his broad and built torso.

“How many times do I have to tell you to call me Luke?” He raised his eyebrows, and walked closer to Y/N. Luke tried to grasp her soft hands, but she flinched back as if his touch burned her.

“You have a fiancé, Luke,” Y/N bitterly asserted. “I hope you haven’t forgotten. I remember all of the effort that you had put in just so I could witness your new beginning with another woman. You could have your dress back too. I don’t need any favor from a rich prince,”

Luke remained silent, clenching his fists trying to maintain his anger. The silver engagement ring on Luke’s hand glowed in the moon’s reflection, seeming to mock him. Both of their eyes diverting to glance at the piece of metal that tore their lives apart.

Without a second glance, Luke hastily took off the ring and threw it across the room not caring where it ended up.

“Are you happy now?” Luke yelled, not caring if anyone overheard them. “I came here to talk things through! Jesus, I don’t even remember how she looks like! Y/N every time I close my eyes, you’re all I see!”

“Luke! I’m not fit for you!” She yelled back, ignoring what he had said. “I’m not worth anything and I won’t be able to give you anything!”

Tears were threatening to spill from her eyes but she took a shaky breath and continued. “Forget everything and leave me be,”

“I can’t Y/N,” Luke sighed, running his fingers through his messy blonde locks. “You don’t understand.”

Locking his dull blue eyes with Y/N, he placed his cold hand on her cheek. She could feel his warm breath on her neck, his captivating scent surrounding her.

“I’m helpless,” Luke muttered, putting his free hand on the wall beside her. “Marry me please. You’re the only one left to save me,”

Y/N starred at him with wide eyes, not believing him. “I’m… no. Are you out of your mind?”

“I’ll take care of you, I promise.” Luke murmured, stroking Y/N’s face with his thumb.

“I’m sorry I can’t,” she shook her head, moving Luke’s hands away. “Find someone else,”

He was running out of time, he had to convince her somehow before his parents, the king and queen, found out he ran away from the castle.

“Please,” Luke begged, “Help me get out of this. We’ll escape from this kingdom and travel somewhere far away. Y/N…”

She took a deep breath and put her head in her hands. She knew she was going to regret what she was going to say, but she couldn’t help decline his offer and leave Luke to suffer after what he had done for her.

“I’ll marry you,”

Luke looked up at her with widened eyes, his heart swelling with pride. He enveloped her with a hug, thanking her a countless number of times. The world seemed to stop when Luke pressed his lips to Y/N for the first time, taking his time and sweetly rubbing her back. He moved Y/N so that her back was pressed against the wall, deepening the kiss.

This didn’t continue for long as there was an impatient knocking at the door. “We are palace guards,” a gruff voice yelled. “Open the door!”

“Luke,” Y/N whispered, frightened and she hid behind him.

“How did they find me so quick? It’s okay, I’ll figure something out,” Luke assured, putting on his coat.

“Take the back door and wait by my horse Apollo,” he motioned for her to go immediately. With a slight nod, she sneaked out before taking a second glance at the tall blonde.

Before Luke had time to react, the guards had broken the old door down. Swiftly taking Y/N’s bag, Luke revealed a blade from his coat pocket.

“Don’t risk it,” Luke warned, threatening them with his sharpened dagger ready to strike.

“Your royal highness,” one of the guards spoke up, “We have orders from the King to arrest you for treason.”

“Treason?” Luke yelled, slowly inching his way to the back door that led to Y/N. “Tell him to go find another Prince.”

And with that he bolted for the door, the guards yelling behind him and trying to catch him.

“Get on Apollo!” Luke yelled to Y/N trying to get away from them without any bloodshed. She followed his command, hastily grasping onto the saddle.

The cold weather not helping their situation one bit. Breathlessly, Luke skillfully mounted the white horse and began to gallop away from the armed guards.

“They’re still behind us!” Y/N yelled as Luke gripped the reins even tighter, making his chest pressed against her back.

“Thank you Ms. Obvious!” Luke sarcastically yelled, heading for the short cut that led them away from the kingdom.

“Where are we going?” Y/N asked after a while, the guards long gone from their vision.

“Far, far away.”


tell me how you liked it/comments/suggestions here

anonymous asked: OMG GOTHAM I just read your latest Vietnam AU ficlet and you CANNOT leave us like this with that cliffhanger! Please say you have another installment coming asap! P.S your blog and all you mods over at Imagine are making this Droughtlander a lot easier to get through :)

Vietnam AU

Jamie carefully balanced the tray as he ascended the stairs, bare fleet sliding along the worn wood boards hewn by his six times great-grandfather back before the Revolution. Quietly down the hallway, then gently elbowing open the door to the room his parents had lived in when he was a boy.

Claire was awake – she never slept long by herself, sensing his absence even in sleep. She blinked at him from against the headboard his grandfather had carved, hair all wild, the low neck of her sleep shirt slung to expose one bare shoulder.

He set down the tray on the bedside table he’d made her for their anniversary, handed her the black coffee she craved each morning, and smiled as she tilted her chin, waiting for his kiss.

And then her hand snaked over his to take the mug from his fingers, withdrawing from his mouth just enough to take her first sip of the day. Eyes still locked with his, the corners crinkling with amusement – and so much joy to be starting yet another day with him.

A crash outside their window – he turned –

And almost tripped over a half-unpacked box of catheters someone had carelessly left in the hallway leading to the Chu Lai recovery ward.

“This way!” Claire darted right, away from the gunshots and screams and God knew what else was going on back at the mess hall.

Jamie gripped her hand tight, grimacing as the healing scars on his back jostled in rhythm with his quick strides. And at the very real fear that what he’d dreamed of almost every day since he’d woken up at Chu Lai – making Claire her coffee each morning – would never come to pass.

He had no idea where they were going – but knew that he would protect her to the very last drop of blood in his body. And that he trusted her with his life.

She led him back to a tiny office – from the haphazard papers piled on one desk next to a Red Sox cap, this had to be where Claire and Dr. Abernathy spent most of their time.

Claire flicked off the light and shut the door, locking it. Jamie dutifully pushed Joe’s desk up against the door, heedless of papers sliding off to flutter silently to the floor, and then hoisted the desk chair on top for good measure.

Echoes of automatic fire filtered through the door. Us, or Charlie?

Jamie swallowed and turned to see Claire pulling another, smaller desk toward the door. Quickly he helped her wedge it at an angle against the other desk, then watched her diligently stack thick medical volumes on top of the desk.

Charlie would need a hell of a lot more than an AK to get into this room.

But it could still do a lot of damage.

“D-d-down,” he rasped, gesturing toward the floor with one hand.

The last thing either of them needed was to be hit by a random bullet sprayed through the flimsy wall.

So Claire sank to her knees, resting her back against the drawers of the desk. And as Jamie dropped to her side, he watched her shoulders slump as the adrenaline ebbed out of her body.

A soft rumble – a bomb, perhaps? Or a grenade?

Without thinking, he opened his arms, and Claire collapsed into them.

For the first time – would this be the last time? – he held her. Pressed her face against his neck. Nudged her side so that she slid onto his lap, arms twined around his shoulders – mindful of his scars.

Maneuvering them so that his body was completely between her and the desks – and the door.

If he died today, it would not matter. For it would be in the service of this extraordinary woman – whom he loved more than his country, more than his sister and nephew, more than his career.

More than his life.

“*Mary, Michael, and Bride, protect us. O blessed Michael of the red domain, shield my beloved, my white dove.*”

His lips moved almost soundlessly in the *Gaidhlig,* right next to her ear.

“*Keep her safe from harm. In this place, and in every place.*”

Hurried bootsteps in the hallway – and the floor shook.

Plaster rained down from the ceiling.

“*On this day, and on every day.*”

Muffled explosions somewhere close.

She was shaking – trying to be so brave.

“*Give her mind peace, and her soul strength. And give me the fortitude to do right by her. Let me be what she needs, for however long she allows it. Let me be enough.*”

Automatic fire right outside the door.

Jamie curled his body around Claire’s, fingers digging into the rough olive fabric of her uniform, molding her to him. Terrified to even draw breath.

Then she tilted her chin, and he drew back to watch her in the dark.

She looked exactly like she always did in his dream.

“We’re going to die,” she whispered, eyes shining with tears.

And so he did what always came next in his dream – fuse his mouth to hers.

Closed Rp// What We Can Be

     “Get your ass moving Lutz!” Allen hissed, sliding his signature sunglasses on top of his head as he trudge up the broken stairs to a withered porch front, the once pink shaded down dulled down to a dirty peach. He waited for his partner to catch up to him, crimson colored eyes scanning their surroundings before his partner joined him, his thick black army boots making the worn wood underneath them creak at the weight.

    “I’m here. Quit your bitching. “Lutz grumbled, strands of blond hair sticking to his forehead due to sweat, panting lightly due to the long drawn out sprint he and Allen had been doing for the past hour. “You sure we’ll be safe here for the night?”

    “Yeah man. Fuck. Just get inside.” Allen snapped, yanking open the wooden door with a harsh force, almost tearing it off it’s hinges as he made his way inside, leaving Lutz to slam it closed after him.

    “Just where are we exactly Allen?” Lutz commented, thick accent weighed with exhaustion.

    “Some house Oliver an dI lived in back when I was still a fucking colony…Fucking surprised it was still here but we should be safe for the fucking night. God this shit is so fucked.” Allen hissed, resting his bat against his shoulders as he glanced about the room.

     Lutz frowned, knowing that any topic relating to the recently deceased Oliver was a touchy subject for Allen. Especially with the situation on hand.

     No one was sure how it had happened, or what had started it. But suddenly the Second players had thrown themselves into a free-for-all, finally destroying the last shred of control and authority they had for themselves, and had started attacking each other. Alliances were thrown out the window, and allies were now enemies. Lutz himself had survived a almost fatal encounter with Kuro, and he did not know how Luciano had fared. He actually wasn’t sure why he had teamed up the the temperamental American nation, perhaps it was because he and Allen had always been able to sort of get along in the past, going to gyms and cat calling women and men together, going out for drinks and having fights just for the hell of it.

     Lutz let out a long exhale as he watched Allen suddenly dart up the stairs, the wood creaking pitifully beneath him. “Come on asshole. The attic actually had a metal door. It’s our safest bet for now.” Allen called back down, and Lutz found himself following after the American.

     He wondered just what their future held for them…If they even had much of a future to begin with.