worn wood

Mishaps

Bucky Barnes X Barista!Reader

A/N: This is for @just-some-drabbles 4k follower challenge! Congrats, babe!

Thanks to my fake friend @denialanderror for beta’ing.

Words: 1718

Prompt: “I got your message. What the hell was that supposed to mean?”

Warnings: bad fluff again bc im a hoe for soft things but idk how to write soft things rip

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anonymous asked:

Hey! If you're still taking prompts, could you write about neil and Andrew having a conversation about Neil's past? Like the stuff he had to do to survive and the stuff he went through with the worlds shittiest parents? Also I'm pretty sure neil has killed people like it makes complete sense so maybe andreil talking about that?

There’s a band of pale blue light nipping at the tops of the trees and sharpening the silhouettes of the houses, but everything else is fresh and dark. Andrew smokes with the pack clenched in his fist, the cherry of the cigarette winking at the street lamps winking at the orange moon.

Their front porch isn’t like the rush of the rooftop, but he can get that same jitter of fear from Neil nowadays, and he’s more portable. He’d left him knotted in the bedsheets an hour ago, and knowing he’s inside somewhere at his back is burning him up. Andrew inhales and focuses on the exhale, the way the smoke still tries to hurt him when it should’ve given up. He likes that nicotine doesn’t leave him alone.

Neil slips out the front door and lets the screen door clatter, and Andrew knows that he’s upset before he sits down two steps below Andrew, holding his own head.

He doesn’t ask; just smokes fervently. The moon bobs its head sympathetically, wind catches the smoke and breaks it over Neil’s head like water on rocks.

It occurs to Andrew that Neil isn’t going to start this conversation, because he likes to think things through on his own, solve them wrong, and tell Andrew about his mistakes later. He’s insufferably convinced of his own problem-solving abilities, then obsessed with the mechanism of his own missteps.

“What?” Andrew asks impatiently. He flicks ash from his cigarette and holds it out in front of Neil’s face. Neil sidles through his own tangled thinking for long enough to glance up. He leans forward and sucks the smoke from between Andrew’s fingers.

When he looks away, gusting smoke from his open mouth, he says, “Matt called. We fought.”

You fought,” Andrew guesses.

Neil looks agitated, blue in the choked light, eyes black and furious. “He was being unfair. He keeps trying to tell me what’s right or wrong lately, because he thinks I’ve been— been deprived, like my experiences were outside of humanity, or morality, and it’s so— condescending.”

“You’re only realizing this now? All of the foxes are condescending. It is the only way they can avoid their own failure.”

“This was different,” Neil says, shaking his head. “I can tell when they’re saying things because they want to see my reaction, and this wasn’t that. He meant what he was saying.”

“And what was that?”

Neil goes gagged silent. He shifts backwards up to Andrew’s stair without looking at him, settling into the groove worn into the wood.

“That killing someone makes you a monster. That murder is the worst thing you can do to a person.”

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anonymous asked:

Can you write a fic where Elia destroys,tears apart Rhaegar's harp then throw it to flames as he watches? It can take place before he leaves for Trident. Idk I'm just sooo angry about Rhaegar. I stopped watching show since Sansa's rape and only was interested on what's happening and now I learned about annulment and more outrages shit that will happen on episode 7 from the leaks. I can beat D&D with Dance of the dragons(in the case it is the heaviest book) and I just want to see Rhaegar cry.

THIS IS THE GREATEST ASK I’VE EVER RECEIVED.


“Elia, be reasonable. Cruelty is not like you.”

Reasonable? You’re asking me to be reasonable? Were you reasonable when you ran off with a betrothed girl of five-and-ten, leaving me and the children to the mercies of your father? You should pray to all seven gods that I don’t decide to kill you in your sleep.”

“Please, not this. This is over the line. Don’t hurt it. It’s worth too much to me.”

“Is it worth a realm? Tell me where the girl is so I can stop this madness, and you can have your damned harp back. Or else it is going in the fire where it belongs. Personally, I can’t wait to see those silver strings burn. I hate bloody harp music.”

“This was a commission from a well-respected artisan. Do you know how much was spent on it?”

“No, but I would imagine quite a bit less than the war. And since it’s treason to dismember you, this is the next best thing. So again, I ask: where is the Stark girl?”

“I can’t tell you that.”

“Very well then. This will hurt you a lot more than it hurts me.”

The harp goes up faster than she’d thought, the fire catching instantly on the worn wood, thin silver strings glowing red before melting in the flames. Rhaegar makes a move to attempt to salvage it, but Elia steps in front of the fireplace, and with a single glare, he stops.

“Make one more move and I’ll break your fingers. See how well you can play after that.”

“I can’t believe you just burned—”

“I’ll do a lot more than that when you come back from the Trident. Your precious scrolls are next.”

“Not the scrolls!”

TMNT x Reader (Part One).

Imagine your favorite turtle cuddling with you. It’s late and it’s cold and he’s had a stressful day. All he wants right now is to hold you and kiss you and fall asleep. The best part about being in a relationship is that all of those things can happen.

Leonardo is exhausted.
Today has been an exhausting, difficult day. And it seemed like those days were coming along more often.
Sometimes, the line between brother and leader can be confusing and tiring. There are some days when he just wants to hang out and not do anything…but that can’t happen.
He has a job to do.
A job that his family counts on.
So after training and patrol and meditation and butting heads with his brothers, all he wants to do is to crawl in bed. He slowly walks through the dark hallway, his brother’s voices and laughter slowly vanishing from his ears. He approaches the final circular door.
His door. His bedroom. His sanctuary.
He shuts the door behind him and leans against it, pressing his head to worn out wood, lost in thought. He thinks about everything he had to do today and how he will do it again tomorrow and he wonders if it will ever get any easier. He had been the Leader for five years, since he was fifteen, and as he got older his job only seemed to get harder.
Leo sighs and turns around, acting to get into bed, when he notices a small figure underneath his sheets. He stiffens but relaxes when the figure mumbles something. He would know that voice anywhere.
He strides over, quietly, and pulls his blue comforter away, revealing Y/N’s peaceful face. He notices the book tucked away next to her, a copy of Cinder that has her finger tucked between the pages.
He laughed softly at the sight before him.
“Did you fall asleep waiting for me?” He whispers.
Leonardo carefully takes the book, making sure to mark the page, and places it on the nightstand. For a moment, he simply watches her breathe softly.
She looks so content and he wonders what she might be dreaming about. A little part of Leonardo hopes that she’s dreaming about him…Eventually, he decideds to join her in her dreams.
Moving away, he removes his armor piece by piece, putting it away. He looks in the mirror. He tools older. Tired. He examines his green skin, littered with scars and a few tattoos. His eyes linger in his left forearm, where he had the kanji symbol for “love” tattooed.
He had gotten that for her and she had held his hand the entire time. He hadn’t really needed her to but he certainly had enjoyed it.
He looks up and he can see her reflection in the mirror. Y/N has rolled over and is now facing him, her arm reaching out towards him as though to say
“Come to bed.”
Love. His fingers run over the inked skin before he turns away and goes to join her. Carefully, so very carefully, he slides in bed next to her. Leonardo is always surprised about how small she seems next to him. How delicate, almost doll like.
She suddenly stirs, her eyes just barely opening.
“Leo?” She asks, her voice thick with sleep.
“Hey. Sorry for keeping you waiting.” he whispers.
Y/N smiled sleepily and says
“No trouble.”
She’s drifting off to sleep once more and Leonardo gives her a quick kiss before she resumes her peaceful breathing.
It has been a difficult day for the turtles but being able to hold her like this…made it all worthwhile.
Within moments, Leo had joined her in her slumber, still holding her in his arms.
Love.

Seventeen as: Things in Life

S.Coups: Bright red. Worn in baseball caps, over-sized jerseys, hot dogs and empty stadiums. The smell of fresh strawberries; Getting into your house after a day out in the winter; The feel of a new basketball. Warm summer nights. The sound of kids in the hallways on the last day of school after the bell rings; Screaming when you finally beat a hard level in a game; Teasing eyes; Mangoes.
  
Woozi: An untouched field of bright crisp snow; the satisfaction you get when you ace a test you thought you’d do bad on. Thick Holiday sweaters; paper lanterns glowing in dark streets; serious conversations with your normally easy-going friend at 2 in the morning. The colors mint and peach. Smiling to yourself as someone unknowingly compliments you. Laughing to yourself, embarrassed, after you caught yourself daydreaming about someone. The feel of new notebooks.

Hoshi: The rush of joy you feel all at once as you’re trying your hardest doing something you love. Watermelon Popsicle sticks. Turquoise. Giggles breaking the silence. 2007- 2009 pop songs that you still break out screaming to if they come on the radio. Cherry lip balm. Daisies. Empty hockey rings. Cheesy Valentine’s Day teddy bears. Spending hours on a project you’re working on, not noticing you worked through the night. Plastic water bottles.

Wonwoo: Ocean blue. Secret smiles. The jokes written on cards you get at the Pharmacy. Midnight walks. Being in a warm jacket outside during the fall. Apples. The feel of a cold PlayStation controller. Fresh pumpkins. Inside jokes with your friends. Laughing really hard after not laughing for a long time. The smell of clean linen. The moon’s reflection on a car window. Hugging a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Worn in converse sneakers. The sound of a shower running. Soft cloth. 

Mingyu: Warm cheesy pizza.  Unexpectedly laughing loudly. Ultramarine blue. Fuzzy socks. Riding your bicycle really fast and feeling the wind hit you. Mozzarella sticks. Ice cold soda on a hot day. The way gloves feel when they just got out the dryer.  Giggling to yourself as you enjoy doing something childish. Dancing to yourself in front of a mirror. The sound of the city on a busy day. Dipping new paint brushes into paint. Bright sunlight pouring in through a window.

Vernon: Staying up all night on the internet. Late night jokes with your friends. Burgers. Crinkled plaid shirts. Purple. The way your face scrunches up as you laugh really hard. 2 a.m. Ramen noodles. Feeling satisfied as you push yourself past your comfort zone and get good results. Jokes so bad they’re funny. Falling asleep to the sound of a tv show. Opening a new album package that you waited forever for. Plastic figurines. Feeling nervous on the first day of school. Rubber bracelets.  Relaxing car drives. 

Dino: Stretching in the morning. Lopsided beanies. Pumpkin seeds and tangerines. Long needed hugs. Making fake mohawks with shampoo/soap. Brand new comic books. The way your eyebrows furrow as you work hard doing something you love. The color green. Pinky promises. Randomly learning a  weird fact. Rushing to open  a package of takeout when you’re really hungry. Racing during gym. Ham and cheese sandwiches. 

Seungkwan: The smell of warm, fresh out the oven, buns. Pastel yellow and baby blue. Soft pajamas. Purposefully singing badly to a song. Scrapbooks. The taste of vanilla. The feeling of satisfaction and pride you get after you tell a joke and everybody starts laughing. Those dollar store kids hand sanitizers. Preppy button up shirts. Warm honey brown eyes. The way a librarian smiles at you sweetly. Snow falling in your hair. Thick fluffy scarves. Really puffy winter jackets. Dandelions. 

DK: Yellow and orange. Sunflowers. The way you squint your eyes when the sun is too bright. Fried chicken + french fries. Late night snacks. Sliding down wooden floors in socks. Terrible romantic movies. Imitating/mocking the GPS’ voice when you’re driving. Holding hands with your friends. The toy section at the dollar store. The smell of citrus.  Bananas. Finger painting. Bouncing your leg as you type away. Laughing with someone, adoration shining through your eyes.  Oversized shirts with jokes written on them. 

The8: Rubber bouncy balls. Happy family reunions. Fuzzy slippers. Tinsel. The faint sound of music playing at a bbq. Baby golden retrievers. Surprising yourself with your own strength. Bonfires late at night on the beach. The sun shinning extremely bright after it rained. Long eyelashes. Roast sessions with your friends. Coconuts; the smell of purple grapes. Holiday music playing in stores. Fake mustaches and waffles. Two toned/swirled ice cream. The way the warm sidewalk pavement feels against your bare feet.

Jun: Retro red. The night sky when there are no stars out. Kitchen aprons and rose petals. Steele blue. Brand new pencils. Bright white teeth and secret winks. Jumping in (clean) puddles when it’s raining. Airplanes. Apricots and strawberry jam. Cheap perfume and small tourist knick knacks. Warm caramel, covered in chocolate.  When your friend pulls through for you. 1 a.m. phone calls. Waking up before you’re supposed to and just laying there, thinking, until your alarm goes off. Fake-flirting with your friends. Plastic flower necklaces. 

Jeonghan: Neutral colors. Cactus’ and pastel flower pots. The silence before a storm. Sticking your tongue out playfully. Laughing so hard you accidentally hurt yourself by bumping into something. Messy toaster strudels. Accidentally succeeding at something/good luck. Nostalgia. When you’re tired but so excited you can’t sleep. Watching terrible comedy movies with your friends and laughing more with each other than at the movie. Cinnamon toothpaste. Saltine crackers; absentmindedly laying in a weird position when you’re invested in your hobby. 

Joshua: Worn down wood. Maple syrup on warm fluffy pancakes. Procrastinating by watching strange useless videos on Youtube. Old headphones. When your desk is messy but you kinda just know where everything is. Coffee shops and doughnuts with sprinkles. The sound of traffic at night. Knowing every word to a child’s song you haven’t sang in years. Chipped nail polish. Jeans and messy hair. Seeing your own breath when it’s  very cold out. Drawing small hearts on the car window. Secret Pinterest boards.

Off Limits - Finale

→ Reader x Blind!Chanyeol

“You don’t necessarily have space for one more?”

→ Warnings: Curse words.

→ Off Limits p. 1 - p. 2  - p. 3 (M)

Word count: 1,4K


Worry laid thickly in the bottom of your stomach ever since that night. The clock that hung over the head of Ms. Marcus ticked teasingly slow, letting you only stare silently as it closed in on the full hour. You tapped your fingers against the top of your desk, your eyes wavering in the direction of Baekhyun on the other side of the classroom. 

He was smiling, chatting in whispers with this sideman. He was glowing with glee, his life had somehow turned out okay. It all only added onto the never ending thickness in your abdomen. If only he knew that Rose was only playing him for you, playing on a small crush he had on her years ago that somehow had lingered until now. You could only imagine what would happen once Rose ended things with him, how he would react and what he would do with you. 

Finally, Ms. Marcus took a quick glance to her wrist before raising her arms, ending the lesson. You sprung to your feet, throwing your heavier than usual backpack over your shoulder and hurrying out with the rest of your classmates. Baekhyun jogged down the route you used to take, going towards you dorms, where Rose’s dorm also laid. You sighed before starting to run in the other direction, down the route where Baekhyun would usually go, to his and Chanyeol’s dorm. 

It only took a few minutes before you were knocking on Chanyeol’s dorm, tugging your backpack tighter over your shoulder. The backpack was heavy, filled with clothes and toiletries this exact day in the place of the books you used to carry with you. Chanyeol opened the door to you, calling out a hesitant “Hello?”

“Chanyeol,” You whisper, watching as a beautiful face lights up his face. 

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anonymous asked:

There´s been written a lot of Jamie POV about his PTSD, but I can´t remember any from Claire´s perspective (if there was any). What she felt and thought during her husband´s healing proces? How she tried to help him (ease his pain)?

Vietnam AU

Jamie carefully balanced the tray as he ascended the stairs, bare fleet sliding along the worn wood boards.

Just past dawn on the Fourth of July – it would be a busy one at Lallybroch, yet again. Claire and Jenny Ian and Murtagh and Suzette and all the kids had all been up late, sweeping off the lawn and setting up chairs and tables for the barbeque that had become a cherished annual tradition.

For every year, the Fraser/Murrays of Fraser’s Ridge extended an open invitation to all veterans of all conflicts, to come together at their home on America’s birthday and celebrate service, and each other. And remember those who hadn’t made it home to celebrate.

Most of the veterans were local – Murtagh’s close-knit friends from when he stormed the beaches at Normandy; the few ‘Nam vets Jamie had gotten to know through his business dealings, selling Lallybroch’s milk and cheese and wool and produce to local markets; friends and family of Claire’s current and former patients at her neurology practice.

This year was especially poignant, as it was the first since the men and women who had helped push Saddam out of Kuwait would be here to celebrate.

Quietly down the hallway – past Brianna’s room. Aged sixteen, she was intelligent, vivacious, responsible – and drop-dead gorgeous. The younger guys would be flocking around her tonight.

Jamie sighed, then gently elbowed open the master bedroom door.

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. And smiled.

Eighteen years since a beaming Murtagh had walked her down the aisle at St. Bride’s Church, when she legally became the Fraser she had already been since they handfasted the year before. Twenty-three years since he first saw her, a circle of light amid a haze of confusion and pain, smiling down at him at Chu Lai.

His heart still stuttered to see her.

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.

“I’ll need this today,” she yawned, gently scooting over for him to sit beside her. “Careful – we’ve got a visitor.”

Five-year-old William Fraser – their joyful surprise – snuffed against his mother’s lap and returned to sleep. Jamie reached over to ruffle his brown curls – so much like Claire’s.

“Is he all right?”

“He was so excited last night he had a hard time falling asleep – it’s the first barbeque he can *really* help with.”

Jamie bent to kiss Claire’s exposed shoulder. “Thank you for all you do for me. For us. I know it’s always a lot of work – ”

“Nonsense. You know I’m happy to do it. Proud to do it.” She sipped her coffee. Thoughtful. “It’s so important to everyone – to help them remember they are appreciated. That they have a home, a place to relax.”

He nodded, mind turning over the thousand small tasks still to be done before the guests arrived at noon –

“You do it because you don’t want them to be forgotten, don’t you?”

He turned to face her.

“You know me too well.”

“I know it grates on you how for so long, nobody wanted to talk about Viet Nam. To acknowledge what soldiers like you – ”

“Soldiers like *us*,” he corrected.

She twisted her lips. “Like *us* - what we experienced. What we survived – it was no less honorable than the guys in France or the Pacific or Korea.”

He sighed.

“I don’t want the kids coming back from Desert Storm to ever feel the same way.” His eyes were far, far away – remembering those times people had sneered at the “Vietnam Vet” bumper sticker on his pickup truck, and how hard it was for him to claim benefits from the VA, and how so many of the men he had commanded in Nam had fallen on hard times. “That – that people don’t appreciate them, and their service, and their sacrifice. Forget the politics.”

Claire set down her now-empty coffee cup, gently rolled their sleeping son off of her lap, and crawled onto her husband’s lap. Wrapped her legs around his waist. Holding him so, so tight.

He melted into her – full of so much.

“You do right, Jamie,” she whispered hotly in his ear. His fingers dug into her hips. “They won’t go through any of that, because of you.”

He swallowed, holding her close.

“If Brianna or William ever choose to serve, I – I want it to be better for them,” he rasped. “They need to know – ”

“Hush. They *do* know, love. Hush.”

Always so strong for her – for their son and daughter – for their family and employees and clients.

But they both knew that she was the strength for both of them.

When I look into your eyes, I can see a love restrained,” she sang softly, quietly, just for him.

“But darling when I hold you, don’t you know I feel the same?”

He shifted to kiss her.

“*Mo graidh,*” he whispered against her lips.

—–FIN—–

Golden - Lin-Manuel Miranda x Reader

Summary: Lin-Manuel is holding his daughter for the first time. 

Words: 1,077 (short and sweet!)

Warnings: There is death at the end but it’s like cute but you know it’s like…yeah

A/N: WOW. Day 5: Reverse POV day is happening. I cannot believe this. I barely got this done in time so it’s super bad, but it’s the thought that counts! Enjoy. 

askbox | masterlist


Eldora Luz Miranda, whose name meant golden was born on a wet day full of rainstorms on April 23rd.

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anonymous asked:

I wonder – what if Frank and Laoghaire have met – what it would be?

Mod Gotham says: Laoghaire won’t appear in this story, but the memory of Frank will…

Vietnam AU (and follow-up from this story)


Jamie gently shut the door to their bedroom, leaning against the wood worn shiny with use and age, watching Claire struggle to compose herself.

It was ten feet from the door to their bed – but felt like two hundred years.

Silence ringing in his ears. Thousands of emotions skittering across her face. Flashes of memory across his eyes.

One truth underpinning it all.

“I love you, Claire,” he whispered.

Then she reached out a shaking hand, and he rushed to take it. To caress it. To clasp it to his heart. Still waiting for her to speak. Giving her space.

Her clammy hand trembled in his. But her grip was firm.

“*‘S tu smior de mo chnàimh,* she rasped.

Jamie kissed the back of her hand, and then knelt before her. Eyes locked on her. Always on her.

“*Na mo chuislean ‘s tu ‘n fhuil,*” he replied. “Always.”

Her eyes shone with tears.

Jamie’s free hand rested on her knee. Thumb gently tracing the smooth skin.

“I remember the first time you did that,” she whispered – eyes still on him, but seeing something very far away.

“I do too. You know I do.”

“I didn’t know what to think – my heart was so confused…”

“I love you, *a nighean donn,*” he interrupted, squeezing her hand. “I have loved you from the moment I saw you, I will love you ’til time itself is done, and so long as you are by my side, I am well pleased with the world.”

Now she sank to her knees, the carpet scratching at her bare skin, and wrapped her arms and legs around the man who was her home.

He sat back a bit to balance her weight – then pressed her face into his neck – then stroked her back gently.

“I am grateful to him every day – for his callousness gave me a second chance with you, Claire. I can begrudge how terribly he treated you, but I can’t be angry that his loss is my gain. *Our* gain.”

Then she pulled back a bit, and quickly leaned in for a long, slow kiss.

“I wish you could take me to bed now – I need to…to *claim* you, Jamie.” There she was – there was the steel that had driven her to find him, to make a life and career for herself, to bravely bring their children into the world in this very room, to keep the Fraser tradition alive.

He kissed her again, smiling. “That’s for tonight, love – I want you to show me that you’re mine. And I can’t wait for me to show you that I’m yours.”

She kissed him again. Then sighed. “We need to tell them.”

He nodded. “I know. I’ll be there with you.”

She swallowed, and stood, and offered her hand to help him to his feet.

He gripped it, and kissed the inside of her wrist, and her stuttering heart calmed.

Brianna looked back and forth between her parents, watching their body language, processing her mother’s words.

Da had remained silent, but as always he was right there with Mama – supporting her. Loving her.

“…understand why I never told you before. You weren’t old enough to understand – and it’s all water under the bridge. Da and I have moved on from it.”

Brianna pursed her lips, thinking. “Da, did you ever meet him?”

“No, I never did. Never even saw a picture of him until today.”

She watched Da’s thumb trace the back of Mama’s hand. Aromas – beef stew, roasted vegetables – wafted in from the kitchen together with Auntie Jenny’s muffled voice, supervising the cooking.

“I…I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of, Mama. It was a long time ago. And – and it sounds like you weren’t happy with him.”

“I thought I was. But with your Da, I know what true happiness is.”

“But the rest is still all true, right? How you met in Viet Nam, and lost touch, and how you came here to the Ridge and found Da again?”

“Yes. All of it, thank God.” Da smiled, just so slightly. “Happiest day of my life, when she surprised me in the barn – except for the days you and Will were born, of course.”

“Even happier than your wedding?” Brianna teased.

“Yes. Because once she was here with me, we both knew.”

Brianna gently lay her sleeping brother into the empty chair beside her, then stood to envelop her mother in a hug.

It went on for a long time.

“I love you, Mama,” she whispered. “And I won’t go to Duke. I don’t ever want you to think of him again.”

Claire pulled back. “Oh, don’t shut that door on my account, love. I wouldn’t want you to – ”

“I insist. There are *so* many other options for me – right, Da?”

His smile broadened. “Right.”

Brianna pushed the magazine – still open to the page with Frank Randal’s picture – across the table to her mother. “Come on, Mom. Let’s get rid of it.”

Finally Claire smiled. She ripped out the page with Frank’s picture and crumpled it into a ball.

“Feel better?” Jamie teased.

“I do, actually. Now what?”

Brianna stood. “Let’s go outside and burn it. Come on – we should have enough time before dinner.”

Claire’s eyebrows raised. “Where did this ruthless streak suddenly come from, Bree?”

Jamie stood and bent to pick up William.

“From my mother, of course,” Brianna replied, holding out one hand. “She taught me to do anything for the ones I love.”

Claire took her daughter’s hand, heart so full with pride and love. And made sure to stop by the kitchen for a box of matches on their way out.

I dreamed this last night and woke up with my heart hurting, so uh… here’s some fic for you?
Pure spec and completely not how s7 is going to go at all.

There’s a girl at the door.

Henry pauses at the foot of the stairs, keeping his grip tight on Lucy’s hand; strange that two weeks ago he had no idea she even existed, but now she’s the most precious thing in his life; he’d do anything to keep her happy and safe.

This must have been what Mom felt like after he found her all those years ago.

The girl is tracing the letters on Killian’s door, light glinting off the jewels in the small braids woven through her long, curling blonde hair. When she turns, hearing Henry’s footsteps on the stairs of the porch, he can see she can’t be old enough to have driven here; maybe fourteen or fifteen? Old enough to be out without supervision, but young enough that Henry doesn’t like the thought of her out alone.

More new feelings awakened by fatherhood.

“Henry?” the girl asks, peering at him curiously.

He looks at her skeptically. Something about her red jacket looks familiar, and the cautiously hopeful look in her blue eyes, but he can’t place it. When he tries to pin it down, the memory slips away like an eel. “Please don’t tell me you’re also my daughter, you look too old for that.”

She grins and that also looks maddeningly familiar. Lucy drops Henry’s hand and shoves him forward, making him stumble. “No, she’s your sister.”

Henry’s jaw drops, old, buried memories of Mom’s pregnancy and a blonde toddler rushing back. No wonder he hadn’t been able to place her, he hasn’t seen her since… well, since before he met Ella. “Cassie?”

Her mouth sets in a line. “CJ,” she states firmly. “It’s been a long time, big brother.”

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The lighthouse was a castle. It was a scrap of impossibility balanced on the edge of reality. It was a fortress, and a safe house, and an island. Most importantly, it was her home.

The huge rocks of the island’s base rose out of the water like they were scared of getting wet, contorting into strange shapes, their crags seeming to form upset expressions and stony cringes at the waves that rolled and splashed beneath them. If they had been people, they would have fussy and stuffy and terrified of stains. She wasn’t sure, to be honest, that they had never been people. The island didn’t deal in certainty.

It had been storming the night she arrived. The grayness of the sky had gone on forever, like the horizon didn’t exist anymore, and she felt sick from the hugeness of it and the tilting of the small boat on the waves. She’d sailed herself there, once upon a time. She no longer remembered from where.

Once upon a time. These were not words that belonged on the lighthouse’s island. They were words for the beginning of the story, and the island didn’t deal in beginnings.

This is the ending, she said to herself, as she stood at the top of the lighthouse, a million miles, it seemed, into the gray sky. The lantern light that sputtered and glowed there was to mark the end of the story, to show you the way to the final lines in the dark.

But then she shook her head, blinking those thoughts away. It was only a lighthouse to light the way for ships during the storms, such as the storm she had arrived in, heavy and dark and filled with lightning the way a jewelry box was filled with silver. It didn’t matter that she had never glimpsed a single ship on the steel-gray waves of the ocean this open balcony looked out over, or that she no longer knew which way she had sailed from to find this place.

It was only a lighthouse, and lighthouses lit the way.

She pulled her knitted gray sweater tighter and descended the twining steps down the tower. The thick pads of her gloves ran down the peeling metal railing with a shushing sound, but her cold, bare fingers were silent, and her old leather boots barely made a sound on the steps. Most days she never talked at all, though sometimes she sang a little and listened the sighing, creaking wind blowing in response. She could almost hear the fussy, stuffy rocks muttering about her lack of pitch in the distance, though they always stopped before she could hear them clearly.

Only one sound was constant, and that was the rushing of the waters crashing on the rocks and the sandy beach on the other side of the island. The ocean here and everywhere (and nowhere) was vengeful and strong and cold, and to dip your toes into it was to invite the waves to simply take you with it when it pulled away. The island didn’t deal in warmth. You had to make your own.

Steam was rising as thickly from her mug as spray from the ocean when she heard the yell. She stirred the tea one more time, and heard it again. She didn’t rush. There was more than enough time here. She poured another cup to cool while she was out and wrapped a scarf around her neck and hair and stomped her boots three times on the threshold before she stepped out, to remind the lighthouse to behave itself. It never misbehaved, but it didn’t hurt to stomp a little anyway.

Down to the sand, crunchy with salt and ice, down to where the shallows of the ocean swept across the beach and swirled at the hair of the girl lying there. The lighthouse keeper looked at her. Hard to tell, with her long skirts, whether she had legs or a tail. She unwrapped her scarf and put it around the girl’s neck, though being soaked and shivering wouldn’t be fixed with one scarf. Still, one bit of warmth when everything was terrible and dark made more a difference than body heat. She didn’t remember where she’d learned that.

The island didn’t deal in memory. You left something behind when you stayed there, left it in the ocean or the storm or perhaps the shore you left behind. You learned that, or you left.

She gathered up the half-drowned girl and carried her back over sand and salt and ice to the little kitchen at the bottom of the lighthouse. The fire crackled, dim in the storm that was brewing up past the nonexistent horizon, and the windows shook in the walls as the old worn wood shutters creaked sadly. It was almost warm enough, and a couple of stories would fix it up. Over the glowing embers and tea and thunder-growling, the lighthouse keeper brought out her stories like showing off jewels and dropped them into the girl’s lap as she sat and dried and warmed and fell half-asleep in the rickety chair. Some of the stories were hers — or had been given to her, or stolen by her, she could not remember — some of them were not hers, but she didn’t know who had told them to her, or whether she thought of them on the spot. At some point, the un-drowned girl would get around to telling hers. When she was awake again, and warm enough, and ready.

The island’s trade was stories. The whole place glowed with them, seethed with them, lived with them, and the lighthouse’s lantern shone through it all, soft and resolute. Calling for stories and their tellers to come home, for the storms to howl the stories they knew and for the rocks to hold them safe in their depths. Calling out that the end was the natural home of all stories, and that the distant shores of beginning could be returned to later. Now was the time for the telling.

A mess of freckles and stars

Summary: Everyone has a different way to deal with stress

Characters
: Bucky x Reader
Word count: 743
Warnings: Vague PTSD references

MASTERLIST

Originally posted by caps-bucky

Repetitive motions. Back and forth…left and right…up and down.

She finds herself absently running her fingers over things, mindless patterns to help her relax, to make sense of chaotic thoughts. It’s a personal habit, but she’s not exclusive about it. Sometimes she includes other people in her ritual.

She notices Bucky Barnes has freckles scattered on the inside of his right arm. Some are small and faint, others clear and bright. A mess of stars in human form, little pieces dropped from the heavens to cover his skin. She finds a familiar pattern in the freckles, a tiny constellation, and her fingers dance along, playing a childish game of connect the dots. Back and forth…left and right…up and down. Bucky’s amused by the habit, but finds a satisfying comfort in the touch.

She finds him sitting on the carpet in front of the couch. He’s completely still on the floor, and the room is dark, no one else awake. He rests his head on the cushion behind him, silently turning to look at her. His eyes are blank, the black swallowing them whole. She holds her breath when she tentatively runs her hand down his shoulder, his bicep, landing on his forearm. Her eyes are locked on his as she traces her pattern, again and again. Slowly she sees the bright blue come back, realisation shuddering through him. She stays close. Back and forth…left and right…up and down.

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9

“Down a path worn into the woods, past a stream and a hollowed-out log full of pill bugs and termites, was a glass coffin. It rested right on the ground, and in it slept a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives.”

- the darkest part of the forest by holly black 

Dawning in Dust: Part X

Thanks to all of you readers who have sent asks and shown this story love. Special thanks to @lenny9987 for the beta ❤️

Previous chapter

***

Breakfast was a quiet affair. Jamie and Ian were out with the tenants completing the never ending winter prep list. Young Jamie had woken Jenny up a few hours earlier, which meant that the latter was already halfway through today’s do list by the time Claire came downstairs to eat. Mrs. Crook, the housekeeper and main cook, came and cleared away the remaining breakfast dishes, firmly insisting that Claire not lift a finger to help as she was a guest. Not wanting to cause waves, Claire bundled up and prepared to go outside.

She emerged from the warmth of the Lallybroch manor house, breath stolen by the wind and freezing rain coming down outside. On mainland Europe, rain would have been met with shelter lock downs and chemical tests due to the toxin contamination in the food and water supplies. Not for the first time, she was grateful for a full belly and more than adequate shelter to return to each night.

She made her way toward the barn to meet Jamie, shrugging to keep the knit scarf Jenny had given her as high as possible. Shivering with cold and a slight case of nerves, she trudged through the mud as fast as she could without slipping. The barn’s large sliding door was half way open and she could see the horses champing on their breakfasts or pacing in their stalls. With the dark clouds and rain outside, it only took a few blinks for Claire’s eyes to adjust to the dimness inside.

There was something about the scents of the hay, manure, and animals that stopped Claire. She stood, eyes closed, breathing in slowly and listening to the shuffling of hoofed feet and the patter of rain on the roof. Maybe it reminded her of her world travels with Uncle Lamb. Maybe it was the thought of caring for other living things; each inhabitant of this estate coexisting for survival. Maybe it was feeling close to the earth; dirt and plants and life remaining despite the explosive destruction of civilization.

“Morning Sassenach,” a quiet voice said beside her.

The corners of her mouth turned up, but she didn’t open her eyes yet. She could feel him, his large presence standing so close that his natural heat radiated into her own flesh. Her heart thumped, blood surging strong and sure through her veins as the moment of peace passed over her. Jamie didn’t move or say anything; he just was along with her and time and the moment. Sighing contentedly, Claire opened her eyes and looked up at him.

“Good morning.”

“Did ye sleep well?” he asked, looking her over carefully.

“Yes, eventually. You?”

“Aye, eventually.”

They smiled at each other for a moment before Jamie coughed and turned slightly toward the exit.

“Are ye ready to see yer surprise?”

Claire eyed him dubiously and he laughed.

Dinna fash. Come, it’s this way.“

He held out his hand and she took it, feeling nervous. In truth, Claire tossed and turned after Jamie left her room last night. Deep sleep was interrupted by flashes of dreams and memories; her mother singing; Claire and Frank on their wedding day; the last letter she’d ever received from him; Claire running, unable to find whatever it was she was looking for; Jamie, down the hallway sleeping.

She twined her fingers with his as they headed back outside, walking fast to keep up with his long stride. He wore his tartan coat today, the curls of his auburn hair escaping the grey beanie on his head.

"Are you keeping your bandages dry?” she asked, eying the crimson fabric that was darkening at the shoulders from the rain. She saw his cheek curl and thought he must be smiling.

“Aye. There’s a waterproof liner inside my coat. Besides,” he looked down at her, moving her hand and tucking it into the curve of his elbow, “I dinna want to get my arse skelped for going against doctor’s orders now do I?”

Claire gave him a look and nudged him gently with her shoulder. While he was up and about every day, she noticed the stiffness in the way he still carried himself.

“I’m not a doctor, but I’m glad you know who’s in charge.”

Jamie made a Scottish noise of amusement and led her to a small outbuilding. It was no more than a large shed, but she could tell that the two windows on either side of the door had recently been washed. The door was open, the smell of lemon wafting out into the cold air.

“In there,” he said, releasing her so she could go inside first.

The room had been freshly scrubbed down. Claire briefly took in the many shelves and storage boxes along the walls before her eyes caught the object on the table. Her fingers were touching it before she even had a thought, the smooth worn wood of the old medicine chest like velvet against her fingers. She looked up at Jamie, questioning, and saw his look of nervous anticipation.

“Open it,” he encouraged.

Claire pulled the latch open and lifted the lid.

“Jamie!” she said, a delighted grin spreading over her face.

She touched the contents of the chest, sterile medicaments, herbs in old fashioned glass bottles, and simple surgical instruments, most of them hospital grade.

“Here, there’s more,” Jamie said, encouraged by her enthusiasm. He opened the front, revealing tiny drawers filled with pre packaged sutures and needles.

“The hospital in Broch Morda was in disuse,” he explained, watching her as she started making a mental inventory of the new supplies. “The local tenants divided the remaining medicinals. I’d have grabbed the more advanced instruments but I didna think we’d have anyone who would ken how to use them properly, even if we could fix their coding.”

”This was in the Medical Director’s office,” he went on, nodding at the chest. “I couldna bear to leave a piece of history behind so I took it. Now, I’m especially glad I did.”

Claire met his eyes, a happy flush to her cheeks and eyes clouding over slightly with moisture.

"Do ye like it?” he asked, searching her face.

“Yes, it’s wonderful!” she replied, with feeling.

“It suits ye, Sassenach,” he said, the corners of his mouth turning up. “I hope this space will be sufficient for your doctoring.”

She blinked, then looked around the room.

“You… you mean this is for me to use?”

“Ye’ll need privacy to do some of the things that need done, aye? I thought this would be a nice spot for it. Close to the house but out of the way. It’ll be warm. I asked Ross to make sure it was well insulated. There’s a solar panel up top to give ye light whenever ye need it.”

Claire stared at him. Jamie’s ruddy brows drew together.

“Will it not work Claire? Perhaps another space would-”

“No!” she exclaimed, placing a protective hand on the surface that would become the examination table. “No Jamie, it’s perfect. Truly.”

Jamie’s shoulders relaxed at this.

“It…” Claire paused, looking up at him. “I don’t know how to thank you. You.. everyone.. has been so kind.”

Jamie nodded, moving closer as she processed what she was going to say. She felt exposed and vulnerable… and yet, perfectly safe with him. Jamie Fraser knew her on a level no one else had ever had and she knew he would give her all the time she needed. The thought sped up her heart, her pulse racing strong and sure through her body as he leaned closer. He put a hand over hers and squeezed lightly, causing her to look up at him from under her eye lashes.

Blue, slanted eyes gazed back at her, fathomless and open as she’d ever seen them. She could feel his own pulse in her hand, racing along with hers as he chose whatever words he was about to say. He stood tall in front of her and took a shaky breath. Claire met his eyes and, for the first time in a long while, was ready and willing to be a part of whatever it was he was about to offer.

“Claire..” he started.

“Milord!”

Claire jumped, pulling her hand out from under Jamie’s as a young boy flew into the room. He had bright blue eyes and wild, curly hair. He was also drenched from the rain and slipping on the freshly washed floor in his haste.

“Fergus, calmez-vous lad,” Jamie admonished as he grabbed the young man by the shoulders to steady him.

“Kincaid and I have just returned from Leoch,” Fergus reported in a heavy French accent.

Claire saw that he was breathing fast, muscles taut like a bow string. Jamie noticed too and started to tense himself.

“What’s amiss then?” he asked.

“It’s your uncle, Milord. He’s coming.”

Making the Grade - Ch. 2

A/N: Thank you all so much for your patience.  I’m so sorry this took so long!  This wouldn’t be possible without the support from my friends and readers.  I truly appreciate you guys!


Chapter 1

“Wait wait.  Here comes Lou - tell him what she said when you asked for her number.”  Harry’s laughter peals across the corner of the lacquered bar where Niall’s leaning with his head in his hands.  “Christ Harry, ya think you could keep your voice down to a dull roar?”  Niall can feel his cheeks burning hot with shame.  The entire debacle has been running through his head on a constant loop since the afternoon.  After Poppy had stormed out of his classroom, Niall was left standing at his desk, his mouth hanging open and his arms hanging uselessly at his sides.  For a brief moment he considered running after her, but what would he say?  “Hey, just so you know, I wasn’t hitting on you?”  Niall may have terrible luck with women, but he wasn’t a complete idiot.  Even he knew that wasn’t the way into a pretty girl’s good graces.  So, instead, he sank down into the hard plastic chair, took a deep breath, and shoved all his papers into his worn leather messenger bag.  By the time he’d made it to the pub to meet Harry, Niall’s mood hadn’t improved.  He’s skulked into the bar, heaving himself onto the stool next to Harry’s and waved Louis down for a pint and a shot of Jameson.  Harry had coaxed the entire story from Niall and was now forcing him to repeat it to the bartender for his own sadistic pleasure.  

Louis sidled up to the bar, flipping a bar towel over his shoulder.  They’d made friends with Louis almost immediately, deciding that his caustic attitude and relentless sarcasm could be tolerated because of their shared love of football and collective homesickness for the UK. “Ok Harold, you’ve made your point.  Spill it, Nialler.”  Louis was working on his Masters in psychology, a degree that came in handy more often than not working as a bartender.  With a deep sigh and a tug on his fringe for good measure, Niall reluctantly filled in his friend.

“I kinda accidentally asked out one of my students this afternoon.  Got me ass handed to me in the process.”  Niall raised his eyebrows and took another swig of his pint.  “Gotta be honest, she was fuckin’ terrifying.”  Slumping against the bar in defeat, Niall stared at the drops of condensation rolling down his glass.  

“I’m sorry, did you say you ‘accidentally’ asked out a student, Neil?”  Louis was staring incredulously at Niall, a wicked cackle starting to bubble up from his slight frame.  “How do you accidentally ask someone out?  I mean, logistically, how does it happen?”  Louis and Harry were shaking with laughter as Niall sat back and glared at both of them.

“For your information, Lewis, I wasn’t trying to ask her out.  It was a complete misunderstanding.”  Harry slapped Niall’s shoulder, shaking him slightly in his seat.  “Happens to the best of us, right Lou?”  Harry looked pointedly at Louis, nudging his chin in Niall’s direction.  Louis got the hint, and  piped up quickly.  “Sure Ni, sure.  I mean, can’t win em all can ya?”

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