#and there's REALISTIC ON SCREEN HEALING TIME?? Both physically and emotionally? For everyone??
shadeswift99 · 1 year
"Redemption arcs are an overdone and badly executed trope" factoid is actually just statistical error. Redemption Arcs Mythicalsausage, who spent episodes after his Xornoth possession systematically apologizing to the people he hurt and working to regain their trust while also giving them ample space to forgive him or not forgive him in their own time, as well as setting up an accountability network to keep himself from falling into evil again, is an outlier adn SHOULD be counted because oh my god it is so refreshing to see someone actually make their redemption a real arc instead of just a tacked-on excuse and a guilt trip -
#Mythicalsausage#empires smp#the next time someone asks me why i watch series like this instead of mainstream shows and movies anymore I'm just going to show them this#because you have NO IDEA how good this feels#it's a redemption arc that doesn't make me feel bad!! it doesn't give me an inexplicable sinking feeling!!#it's not focused on guilt! it's not about Sausage feeling guilty and down on himself for the things he did#and it's not about guilting other people for not immediately accepting that he's cool now either!#and there's REALISTIC ON SCREEN HEALING TIME?? Both physically and emotionally? For everyone??#it's too good to be true#it's so so so good in so many ways#how the things he did have lasting repercussions that don't disappear when he decides to turn over a new leaf#but also the consequences don't isolate or punish him in a way that makes the viewer wonder why he bothered trying at all#the way he takes accountability for things and doesn't push away other people's pain#while ALSO having a clear boundary in terms of how much accusation he'll take before reminding people that he was in fact possessed#and he gave his tools to Gem#it's a tiny detail but i swear I'm going to cry about it#he gave his corrupted tools to Gem...for safekeeping...#and he can ask her for them back and use them for a bit if he needs to if she asks him a few questions to know why and that he's safe#but he gave them to her to keep because he didn't trust himself with them at that point and that's just... that's good. that's very good.#that's genuine very good coping right there#....yeah it's been a Day apparently I am in fact tearing up over this#but the arc is good okay! it's very good!!#sausage <3#this man can WRITE
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byunbaekcult · 2 years
i’d tell you i miss you (but i don’t know how)
or the one exboyfriend!calum one shot no one asked for!
CW: mentions of food, minor mentions of mental slump and loss of appetite (tagging just in case ^^)
words: 7159 words
tags: exboyfriend!au, calum hood, (sad attempt) angst
dedicated: @kouchos​ & ally, my supporters! 
i got carried away, and i proofread this like five times at most. ENJOY. scream at me or with me on twitter tho <3 also alternative title was “ it’s time for me to admit that i’m an asshole “ yep, angst. also partly self indulgent, actually majorly sorry imma stop now-
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“ Maybe one day, one day you’ll learn to treat a girl right but today is not that day. Neither am I the girl for that. “ 
  The words ring in Calum's head since the day you walked out. It was a huge toll on his pride and ego before he even realised it himself. He was an asshole. 
  He can’t imagine how difficult it could have been for you to even confront him, knowing how difficult it was for you to make a decision for yourself. Always needing to consider others before your own well-being. If it weren’t for the fact that you broke up with him, he would have been so happy and proud for you. Now, he’s left with regrets and a broken heart. 
  He only has himself to blame. After all, he was the one who treated you badly. He was the one who took advantage of your love and kindness. It was unimaginable to Calum on how he even ended up that way, but it did happen after all. 
  It’s been a full year by now, wallowing in self pity and hatred was Calum’s new past time. He’d like to think you’re doing better without him. He’s always known you were strong, independent and an amazing person. He was just dead weight in your life.
  You were still healing, learning how to love others more than you love Calum. Deep down though, you knew you’d always want him back. But you didn’t know where he was mentally, emotionally and physically even. 
  Last you’ve heard, he’d shut out from the world. Occasionally meeting his best friends but never really out and about. Sure, it hurt. It stung and crushed your very being to be the one to make the call but you knew if you didn’t, you’d both be stuck in a constant hell-loop. The toxicity was suffocating and you couldn’t hold yourself up anymore under the weight of it. 
  So you left. 
  It felt selfish, you spent several months seeking help and learning to understand your emotions are valid. Learn to stop sabotaging yourself. You’d turn to healthier coping mechanisms, try new things. You’d been apprehensive but you knew if you kept to your old habits, it would only add salt to the wound. 
  However, you still kept in contact with everyone except for Calum. At first, it was weird. No one really knew where the boundaries really laid but it quickly got resolved once you opened up to them fully. Of course they were sad about your breakup, but once they got the full picture they were supportive of you. 
  Happiness is personal and if it means going separate ways with their own best friend, they would still try to support you. 
  You felt fresher these days. You didn’t have to drag yourself out of bed much these days. A more relaxed expression painted your face these days. Sometimes you find yourself wondering about Calum in general. You’d hope he’s doing well, even after all the turmoil. You don’t hate him, you could never hate such an amazing soul. You were just disappointed you can’t have him the way you want to. 
  Life goes on, you started dating casually in the past three months. None of them really tugged on your attention, instead ending up as friends by the end of the dates. 
  Currently, you’re on your way to meet Andre. You met him for a date, the two of you linking up through Twitter. By the end of the date though, you two agreed you’d be better off as friends. It was a friendship you’d quickly learned to cherish, enjoying his presence and personality. 
  The Autumn air was always one you relished in, despite getting cold easily. You wore your favourite coat, as well as a beret. Any close friends of yours could pick you out of a crowd, knowing how attached you are to your accessories. 
  Apparently, so could Calum Hood.
  He was hunting for coffee, needing that energy boost to help him get through the recording session. It was an area he wasn’t familiar with, hence his troubles locating a coffee shop. 
  It was pure coincidence when he looked up, spotting you walking down the pavement. You hadn’t noticed him though, too busy looking down at your phone, a small smile present as you mumble to yourself. In the midst of his own shock, he’d ended up staying still on his side of the pavement. 
  You passed him, as he eyed you, eyes widened in pure surprise and even a tinge of panic. His staring didn’t go unnoticed by you. You were already a couple steps away but you looked up, knowing someone was watching. The frown on your face was visible to Calum, only to watch it deepen when you catch the culprit staring at you. 
  Normally, you’d give a stranger a dirty look and a once over but this was no stranger. You stopped in your steps, seeing Calum’s body half turned as well. Confused and taken by surprise, you raised your free hand, waving at him lamely. You saw something in his eyes change, and he made his way to you, calling out your name softly. 
  “ Hey, “ you greeted him breathlessly. 
  He had tucked his hands in his front pockets, trying to play nonchalant. He pressed his lips together, taking you in. You knew he wouldn’t make the first move, so you decided to save him.
  “ Change of scenery? “ He looked at you confused.
  “ Uh, I’ve never ran into you around here before. So this is unexpected and new. What brings you here? “ The implied message that you moved on in your life without him didn’t go unnoticed by Calum.
  Still, he pushed that thought of his mind and replied. “ Recording session down the street, needed some caffeine. “
  You smiled softly, pleasantly surprised. “ Oh? That’s cool. I didn’t know there’s a studio around here. How’s it going? “  
  Calum hums, looking down at his shoe. “ It’s going. “ 
  Noticing his change in behaviour, you decided it’d be best you excuse yourself. After all, you are keeping your own friend waiting. “ Uh, if you don’t mind I’ll have to get going. Good to see you Calum. “ 
  His head shot up, looking at you in the eye for the first time. “ Wait, “ he sputtered, his right hand reaching out to your arm. Your eyes darted down to it briefly, before looking at him expectantly.
  “ Uh, do you mind if we could catch up? Like some time, any time? My number’s still the same. If you still have it, if you don’t then, uh it’s understandable. If you don’t want to meet up it’s fine by me too it totally- “ 
  You couldn’t help the fond smile from appearing, interrupting him. “ Calum, I haven’t changed my number and I’ve still got yours. I’ll text you sometime this week. I’ve got to run. “ 
  You flashed him one last smile before turning on your heels, without waiting for his reaction. You’d miss the dazed look on his face and the gummy smile that broke out afterwards. 
 Staring at the screen of his phone, Calum contemplated his next move. He had already unlocked his phone to read the notification, to ensure that it really was a message from you and that it wasn't a prank. He was certain you were just being polite when you said you'd text.
  He's nervous, which is stupid to him considering the fact that you two were once good friends before dating. Still, he felt slightly light headed when he decided to open the chat to type out a reply.
hey, Y/N here :] wondering if you're down for pizza at our old regular spot on friday, dinner time?
  Shakily, he sent his message but not before reading it three times, once out loud and the twice in his head.
sounds great, see ya around 7 : D
  It suddenly dawned on him that Friday was two days away. He ran into you on Sunday. Many thoughts were running through Calum's mind, but he needed to ground himself. Obviously, you two wouldn't be dating the moment after Friday. He knew you, and he'd like to think he still does. This means that your walls were already back up, and if anything, they’re even tougher and taller. He'd need to work his ass to gain back your trust, even as a friend.
  You were the best thing that happened to Calum, if he's being completely honest. He didn't show you enough care, more often than not finding himself prioritising third parties opinions regarding himself, regarding you two. He was too focused on losing the love of the world he didn't spare a thought about losing yours. In the end, it felt like he lost everything when you walked away from him.
  If he even got the chance to be back in your life as a friend, Calum was going to jump on it. The past months have been living hell for him and he hasn't felt more alive than he's been in the past year. Calum's hoping his change will pull through.
  On the other hand, you were worrying slightly. You're never one to let people back into your life so easily. This was the quickest you'd try to reunite with someone you'd cut off. But if you could learn to grow into a better person, you believed Calum had taken the time to learn too.
  At first, you hesitated texting him. You wondered if you should even be talking to Calum in the first place. It was kinda ridiculous though, considering the fact that you're still good friends with his bandmates. You can't even lie about how your mind would drift towards Calum in the past month before your run in with him.
  Taking the run in as a sign of fate, you decide to gamble all your hope into the universe. If Calum truly had changed for the better, you know you'd be able to live with one less heartache. Losing a good friend has always been difficult for you but to lose both a lover and a friend, it got hard to cope with at times.
  Realistically speaking, you'd know even a small thought of considering dating Calum again might come in at a later point in life but for now, you're just hoping to rekindle the friendship you had.
  You wonder if he noticed the change in your texting style, was it obvious that you're truly a different person now? Or does it reveal your own conflicted feelings even through a simple message? Not wanting to worry anymore, you threw your phone to the side and focused on your laptop to take away your frustrations.
  The pizzeria wasn't fancy, it was a hole in the wall store. It'd been a long while since your last visit, the last time you were there was not long after the break up. The burning curiosity as to whether Calum visited the pizzeria after your fallout was dizzying your mind. To your surprise, Calum was there first. He had just found a seat, eyes drifting towards the entrance to check for your arrival.
  A soft expression took over his features as he admired you. You'd always been one to dress up regardless of the activity and location. Even being in an ordinary pizzeria was no exception for you. You wore your favourite pair of Docs, the one Calum gifted you for your birthday two years ago. It wasn't intentional, it was just one of your favourite shoes that was still in mint condition.
  The rest of your ensemble reminded him of the long time away from each other. You wore a plaid pleated tennis skirt, with a buckle at the side. You layered it with a white turtleneck and a knitted vest, on top of it all were various necklaces. New outfits that change you, just like the time apart.
  " Hey, did you just get here? " You greeted as you settled opposite him, straightening yourself out to avoid looking him in the eye.
  Calum's eyes were still on you, taking in your appearance. " Uh, no I just got here too. Are you ready to order? "
  You finally looked at him, taking in his appearance across of you. A band tee (The same Nine Inch Nails shirt you used to steal,) and a simple silver chain adorning his neck. His tattoos were peeking out from the short sleeves of the shirt, drawing your attention to his arms. It was buffer than you last remembered it to be, that you were sure of. Calum was looking at you, waiting for your response.
  Right, you're about to have dinner with Calum in your old hang out spot with him. You nodded at him, about to get up from your seat to order when he shakes his head. " Two slices of beef pepperoni, and a side of root beer right? "
  " Yeah, I- "
  " It's okay, it's on me. " He quickly replies and leaves you at the table. You stare at his retreating figure in disbelief. You settle back in your seat, deciding to berate him when he returns with your orders.
  Within minutes, Calum returns with your meals. " You didn't have to do that you know. " You narrow your eyes at him, automatically fixing the placings of the food on the table.
  " It's okay, I insist. " He smiles, muttering a quick thanks for setting the table.
  You heaved a sigh of exhaustion, shaking your head. " Alright but I'm buying us dessert later and you can't deny it. " You threatened him, the fond smile never leaving your lips as Calum laughs at your antics.
  The rest of dinner carried on naturally, as if you two have always been in this pizzeria for the past one year of your lives. It was a little unnerving but it mostly felt right, like the stars had aligned. Time flew by, like it always did when the two of you were tucked in your own bubble together. Finishing up the last of your drink, you two lapsed into comfortable silence. He watched you as you downed the remains of the cup, containing melted ice cubes.
  " Good to know you still have iron deficiency. "
  You rolled your eyes, deciding to chew the ice cubes a little loudly. " It's an addiction, I truly can't help it. Come on, let's go. " You urged Calum, grabbing your bag and standing up. He quickly picked up his leather jacket and stood up too. You got a good look of his full outfit, surprised by the lack of Docs to be replaced by a pair of Vans instead. You watched as he pat down his pants, ensuring he got all his belongings before coming up to your side.
  Once you two left the pizzeria, you took a quick glance at the street you were so used to. Wordlessly, you turned right, Calum having no other choice but to follow along. It wasn't even nine yet and it was a Friday night, so you were in no rush to go home. You'd hope your intuitions were right as it led you two towards one of your favourite book stores, the one you used to drag Calum in to hide from the rest of the world.
  Calum's heart swelled, he recognised the direction they were headed towards the second you chose to turn right. He wonders if it was just as natural for you as it was for him, muscle memory to go to the book store after the pizzeria now that you're with him. It was just like the many times you've done so all those years.
  It was silent between you two during the short walk to the store. Calum, ever the gentlemen opened the door for you. You thanked him, before looking back at him. The feeling of nostalgia was mutual between the two of you. Feeling brave, you stuck your hand out to him, nodding towards the endless shelves of books. " Come on. "
  He gently took your hand, letting you pull him along. You automatically made a beeline towards the Young Adult section, ever the hopeless romantic you are. The thought brought a fond smile to grace Calum's lips, loving how some things will never change.
  You awakened to the sun shining through your window. Days like these made you regret not getting a blackout curtain. One hand stretched over your eyes to shield you from the light. You had gone out the day before, only returning towards midnight. Calum had invited you out, taking you out for lunch and dinner which you fought to pay for, refusing to let him treat you to a meal twice in a day.
  After dinner, you two went to a bowling alley that you'd never been too before. It had ended with you losing but you were the one that scored not one, but two strikes so really who's the real winner?
  ( " That's not how it works Y/N. " Calum rolled his eyes, causing you to giggle.
" Well, you had one strike while I had two. We haven't even gotten to the part about my spares. "
Calum just took your bowling shoes from your hold, " Whatever you say Y/N. " )
  You'd been spending more and more time with Calum, meeting up with him at least once a week. The excitement and happiness that washed over you each time you texted or met never seemed to fade. It alarmed you a little, reminding yourself of the times you were crushing on Calum big time. You were confused. Sure you can't deny that you're attracted to him but you were also just really really grateful to have him back in your life.
  Maybe that was a little too much gratefulness but could you really blame yourself? It was Calum freaking Hood! Who could resist such a divine being? If anyone could, please send some tips your way.
  After accepting the fact that you won't be continuing your slumber, you reached out for your phone on your nightstand. As always, numerous notifications greeted you. This time however, you noticed you’d been tagged in multiple posts on Instagram, noting how they were all from fan accounts. You groaned out loud, not ready to deal with blatant haters all over again.
  As if they hadn't already made your life a living hell when you were still with Calum, the first two to three months of your breakup was somehow, one of the worst. Calum had never once said a word to the fans to keep themselves in line. It was painful and harmful to live that way. His own silence was ultimately a factor leading to your downfall with him.
  The rest of the band almost posted a statement to tell the fans to shove their useless hatred up their asses but you stopped them, not needing to complicate the situation of your breakup even more. Thankfully, it all ended up dying down but it wasn't something you'd like to relive in.
  Going onto Twitter, you contemplated on going private. You were starting to get tagged in conversations on 5sos stan Twitter. You were quick to mute those conversations, not even sparing a single glance to read the tweets. Deciding to tone down your fear, you just double checked on your settings across Instagram and Twitter, twitching it so only people you follow can contact you directly from those accounts.
  The two of you have skid past the topic of the breakup. Which was why it surprised you when you received a long message from Calum, filled with apologies.
It wasn't selfish of you to walk out from me because I was the selfish one. Seeing the commotion online has only pushed me to get this overdue apology out of me. I'm sorry you're getting this through a text, first thing when you wake up. It's been hard for us to approach this but in order for us to properly start a new chapter, we have to address the matter. I feel like I should take full responsibility for causing you unnecessary pain. I admit, the pressure of the fans and the media got to me, letting them dictate how I treat you. I'm easily one of the biggest fools you've ever known, it surprises me how you even found it in your kind soul to love me once upon a time and even, forgive me. If you don't mind, I'd like to do this right. Defend you from the fans for a start, even though we aren't dating anymore you are still my friend and a human being. You don't deserve the relentless spite from the internet, you don't need my own issues to become yours. Do know that I'm not doing this out of guilt but because I truly care for you and it's time for me to stop being a coward. If you're not comfortable, fine by me too. Just know that I won't hesitate to defend you from now forth.
  You were moved by his words, knowing how he always got a way to craft words in the best ways possible. Your thumb hovered over the call icon before pressing on it. You didn't even have to wait three dials for him to answer.
  " Y/N, " he answered softly.
  You brought your knees to your chest, leaning against the headboard of your bed. " Calum, thank you. I don't want to stand in the way between you and your fans again. Do what you think is right for your own well-being as much as mine. "
  " No offence Y/N, but it was hard back then not really realising how much backlash you'd receive just by existing around me. You don't have to suffer again by being associated with me. It irks me that I just stupidly stood by you, oblivious to the hate you got. Maybe worse things did happen and you didn't tell me. I don't want that to go on anymore. I want you to know that I'm fully here now. "
  You cringed at his words, remembering how crude those remarks could get. Even when you were alone in public and a hater recognised you, they'd send you a dirty look and mutter a nasty remark for you to hear. Sometimes some fans would use the crowd as an opportunity to hit you more roughly than you'd expect. Those experiences made you stop showing up to huge events and surprising Calum.
  It was unfair to Calum, that you didn't tell him about the other happenings but it would break your heart to break his heart about his fans. You knew how far his loyalty for the fans stood. For him to genuinely offer you proper protection was really a shocking change. You were silent for a moment; taking in the gravity of his words.
  " Alright, " you nodded. " But if this ruins your reputation- "
"   I don't care about that anymore, I care about you Y/N. "
  You pressed your lips together. " I've got to go back to the studio, I'll talk to you later. Bye. "
  Later that evening, Calum sent out a tweet that couldn't even be replied by anyone but him, calling out fans to watch their own words regarding the band and their loved ones. You simply liked and retweeted it before exiting the app to send a quick text to Calum, expressing your gratitude before choosing to ignore the world for the rest of the night.
  Normally, Calum wouldn't be worried as he knew you well enough to know that sometimes you needed space. Sometimes you'd fall into a mental slump and just needed to slack throughout the days. But he hasn't heard from you in almost a week now, he was really starting to grow concerned about your well-being. You never had much friends, he knew that you prefer a tight knit circle of friends. After checking in on your social media accounts to track your online activities, he decided to pay you a surprise visit.
  You'd told him before on how you moved into a new apartment, on a completely different side of town away from him. A fresh start for you. He input your address in the gps of his car, letting it lead him towards your apartment.
  He double checked your building before driving towards the security post. He was under the guise of dropping off delivery for you, easily slipping past security. After they jotted down his name in the log book, they let him enter the car park. He found an empty space, luckily and made his way to the lift lobby.
  He only had his memory to help him, previously having mentioned what level and unit number you lived in when you shared about your new life to him. Calum also remembered how you loved living in a high rise building. Calum was alone in the lift, riding up to the sixteenth floor. When he got out, he noticed there were only five units on this floor.
  Carefully, he examined the exterior and read the different unit numbers of the apartments. Reaching outside the furthest unit, he hesitates to ring it. Calum reads the unit number, seemingly ringing a memory in his mind about the same numbers plastered on the door before him. With a deep breath, he presses on the doorbell of the apartment and awaits for your arrival. 
  " Calum? " He had been staring at the ground, hoping to calm his nerves.
  His head shot up, once again looking at you, feeling relieved. " Thank god I got the correct unit. Surprise? "
  You stepped aside to let him in, " Right uh, sorry I look like a mess right now. " You smiled sheepishly, tucking your stray hair behind your ears to look somewhat presentable. You'd been lounging in an oversized tee and some cotton shorts, not even wearing a bra underneath.
  " I brought us some food, if you don't mind. " Calum raises the paper bag from McDonald's. Your stomach starts to churn slightly at the sight of fast food.
  " I'll be right back but make yourself comfortable on my couch. Turn Netflix on, or Disney+ or whatever makes you comfortable. " You quickly headed for your room, putting on your most comfortable bra. Sure, he'd seen you naked on multiple occasions but this was different. You quickly fixed your appearance, grabbing your glasses, hair tie, as well as your blanket, head pillows and jacket.
  By the time you returned, Calum had already laid out the food on the coffee table. You didn't have the heart to tell him that you didn't have much appetite to eat, despite being attracted to the food presented to you.
  " Thanks Calum, " you mumbled softly, settling on the end of the couch. He settles down gently beside you, leaving a small gap between the two of you. You opted to look at the television instead, refusing to open up. Calum was waiting on your every move, so you had to be fine. You wanted to be fine.
  He took one last look at you before his eyes adverted to the screen, pressing play on the film he's chosen. You tried to relax as the Disney introduction clip rolled through, only to jump slightly in surprise when your favourite film introduction came on afterwards.
  You couldn't help the smile from forming, peeking to look at Calum only to find him already grinning at you. You blushed, shyly looking away and reached out for the packet of fries he laid out on the table for you. You absentmindedly offered Calum some fries, holding it in between the two of you to munch on.
  Calum was still worried about you. Sure you were eating the food you brought over but you weren't fully enjoying the moment. You didn't sing your heart out like you normally would. Instead, you were muttering some lyrics under your breath. He knew when the next song sequence would come up, deciding to take action from there.
  You were surprised when you heard Calum singing along to the film, looking at you earnestly. It was always the other way around, being the Disney fanatic that you are. You didn't think he'd notice your subtlety today, but he did. It was almost the end of the first verse, and you were quite tempted. Maybe it showed on your face because Calum was inching closer, singing louder.
  As the pre chorus kicked in, you finally gave in, singing a little louder than you had all day. Calum harmonised with you, encouraging you to take the lead. You rolled your eyes, but it held no threat as you smiled widely, feeling your burdens slightly lifted off your chest.
  By the end of the song, you were breathless, leaning close into Calum and laughing. His one arm instinctively wrapped around you, pulling you close. It's the first intimate contact you two have initiated in a long while, but you didn't care. You felt him tense up, before Calum pulled away feeling shocked and apologised.
  " It's okay, " you assured him and snuggled into him. His once tense body relaxed in a matter of seconds, giving into your needs. The comfortable silence returned, but this time you truly felt calm as Calum ran his fingers through your hair as you leant against him.
  Since his visit, you decided you were ready to go back to socialising. You were sure to express your gratitude multiple times towards Calum, forgetting how safe and sound it was like to be by his side. However, you were positively sure those feelings were all on the platonic side. It only made sense right? Ignoring the facts, Calum was being a great friend and you seeking comfort in him can be purely platonic. (Even when your heart is trying to convince you otherwise.)
  You went about your week as per usual, going to work, coming home, talking to your friends and meeting up with them. It was a rare day for you, as you had ended work earlier than usual. You were getting ready to meet your best friends when Calum randomly rang you up on FaceTime.
  " Hello? " You answered, pausing to stand in front of your phone where you had balanced against your makeup brush holder.
  " Oh hey, sorry am I disturbing you? " You noticed he had his bass clutched on his one hand, probably using his laptop to FaceTime you as his phone was on his lap. You got a clear view of Calum on his couch.
   " Uh, no not really? I mean I can get ready while talking to you. Not like I've never done it before. What's up? " You settled down in your chair, mindlessly moving things around to make it easier for you to get ready while sitting down.
  Calum curses, " Oh you're going out today. Sorry I forgot I'll just, I'll just call someone else or something. "
  This made you stop your movements, glaring at Calum as best as you can through your screen. " Calum Thomas Hood, you called me, I stayed until now. What makes you so sure I don't wanna listen to whatever song you magically conjured up? "
 " How'd you know it's a song? "
  " From the way you're set up. Quick, I wanna hear it! "
  He looks at his phone then back at you. " Okay, I just need some new perspective okay? Be brutally honest if you have to, " Calum trials off.
  You sat back in your seat, making sure all your attention was on him and only him. He cleared his throat once before strumming the bass. He was singing loud enough for the two of you to hear, singing the melodies at some parts he was unsure of. After a minute or so, he stopped and looked at you for approval. Even through the small screen of your phone, you could see the eagerness to be praised and showered with love. Writing can get vulnerable and it made you wonder how he'd come up with such a beautiful song.
  " I love it, I really do. " You smiled sweetly, hoping all your appreciation towards him are being expressed. " It's an amazing song, Calum that bass line is really really good too. That's so genius! " He looks at you with his doe eyes, smiling in disbelief.
 " You trust me right? "
  His face harderns, " Of course. "
  " Then believe me when I say that your song is on its way to be one of the most amazing songs ever! I'm a music snob, you know I take music to heart. " You tried to lighten the atmosphere, succeeding in doing so when Calum broke into a smile.
  The two of you stayed on the line, Calum working hard on shaping his song while you worked on your face. Even when you were driving, you made him stay connected despite his protests.
  ( " That's so fucking dangerous, I'm not sure if we should. "
" I'm wounded, I'll be fine! " )
  Much to Calum's relief that his prayers regarding your safety were answered, you made it to your designated location without a hassle. You ended off with a cheerful farewell, promising to talk later that day.
  Being around you was both the best and worst time of Calum's life. He loves you, he really does but it kills him not knowing where the two of you stand. He's aware that he's already pushed his luck with you, getting a chance of reconciliation which is rare especially coming from you. Calum doesn't want to fuck things up with his own feelings becoming a potential problem but he's sure at times, you feel the same.
  You however, were still in denial of your own feelings. To be fair, you denied the first time you thought you liked Calum beyond the friendship zone. To be there again, for the second time in your life was something you're struggling coming to terms with.
  Maybe it's the nostalgia getting to you. Maybe he really is charming. Maybe he is the love of your life. You're not sure. No living soul could tell you the truth and it's tearing you apart. If only feelings weren't so complex, especially when Calum's the subject of the topic.
  As the days go by, your feelings grow stronger and stronger, making you realise many things. Wanting to kiss your very good friend isn't platonic, at all. Wanting to wake up to your friend every day and to fall in bed with your friend every night isn't platonic. Needing to see his face and hear his voice when you're at your lowest low isn't platonic in the slightest. You are still in love with Calum Hood, but the feelings just felt more vigorous.
  As it comes to be, you grew even more in love with him as the times went by. It was scary, the familiar feelings coming back at fuller force. It was like speeding without brakes because you didn't know how to stop. You never learnt but you don't really know if you wanted to. He made you feel so much and none at the same time. Being him felt like being at the top of the world but also feels natural, meant to be. How seamless it was to be back in each other's lives. It should seem like a huge deal but it's Calum, it felt all too natural to you.
  It was weird, once you started thinking hard about it. What are you to do now? If you acted differently, it'll probably be noticeable and he'd ask you about your feelings but how do you control yourself around Calum to be more friendly? It seems like life's a never ending struggle when Calum's involved in the equation.
  The day of your routine meet up with Calum had arrived, and you were trying to stay as nonchalant as possible. Surely Calum could distract from, well himself in your own mind. He was dropping by your house today, opting to cook you your favourite pasta dish. You were whining about how you lack the time to travel to your favourite Italian restaurant, which only transpired into a banter between the two of you. Calum insisted to cook for you, in the comfort of your home. Who were you to deny free food, let alone his company?
  It started out fine, you helped Calum prepare some ingredients from your pantry, setting it aside for him. The natural playful attitude came out easily when you’re around Calum. He shooed you away right before he started cooking, urging you to relax. After sending him one last half hearted threat, you complied and retreated to your room.
  Getting lost in your thoughts was easy, especially as you laid on your bed with your music playing beside you. The very thought that Calum was in your kitchen, preparing dinner right now for only the two of you sends your head spinning. It feels like a fever dream, having him regularly back in your life. Your thoughts almost made you nauseous from clogging up your senses. You’re only brought back to earth when Calum comes knocking on your door, calling you.
  He cautiously pushes the door open, widening the small gap you had left behind. From your spot on the bed, you look at him and you nearly swoon. It’s like every moment that happened before today blends into your mind, rendering you speechless over such a simple sight. He truly looks like he belongs in your space all along, as if he never left. It’s scary, yet you fucking loved it.
  “ Hey, you good? “ His forehead creases with concern, taking a tentative step forward.
  You flash a small, tired smile. “ I’m fine, sorry. Just spaced out there. “ 
  Calum stares at you, before his body language swiftly relaxes. “ Well, don’t keep our food waiting. “ He smiles teasingly at you, an effort in lifting your atmosphere. One, you recognise and still feel grateful for. 
  He watches you as you slowly rise from your bed, sauntering towards him. His lips quirk up as he leans against the doorframe, crossing his arms. “ Last one to the table is a loser! “ You exclaim, pushing him lightly and running out of your room. Your laughter fills your apartment, shortly accompanied by Calum’s groan. Obviously you reached first, appreciative of the fact that Calum had set the table up. As you take your seat, Calum finally makes it to the dining room. 
  “ You know you’re dirty right. “ A smile plays on your lips as you shrug, looking away from him. 
  “ Sounds like a loser is saying something. “ You joked, getting up to wash your hands.
  Calum grumbles to himself, but his eyes are full of mirth. “ Whatever, you’re lucky I love you. “ 
  You stared at him, hands hanging by your side. He stares back in disbelief, a look of conflict flickers across his face. “ Yeah, “ he lamely concludes, eyes drifting away from yours. 
  Now or never.
  “ I love you, so you’re lucky too. “ You see his ears perk up, shoulders risen again. When he looks at you, he’s frowning, a little sad even. Calum shakes his head, smiling sadly. “ No, don’t say that. “ He weakly protests.
  It makes you frown, causes your own hope to vanish. “ Why? “
  Calum breaks eye contact again, staring down on the ground. “ Don’t say it like you mean it. Or worse, like you feel obligated. “ Your frown only creases deeper, feeling hurt by his own assumptions.
  “ That’s rude. “ You find your voice, despite feeling the growing pain in your throat. You want him to look up, to see if he could see your anguish on full display right now, all triggered by him. “ I’m in love with you Calum Hood. I never stopped and I don’t think I ever will. It would take the entire universe for me to fall for someone else. “ 
  The sound of your own heart was deafening for you, beating loudly in your ear. You want to get out so badly but you didn’t want to leave Calum, nor did you want him to leave you. You don’t think you could handle it. “ Are you sure? “ Calum gulps, braving himself to look you in the eye.
  The exasperation in your voice makes you cringe inwardly but you can’t find it in you to care all that much. This could be your only chance. “ Yes, I am very sure. “ He stares hard at you, his face void of emotions but you can tell his mind is making many contemplations. It was up to him now, you can only hope. It’s kinda humorous, you’d never imagine yourself confessing your feelings to him again. This time, it feels much more surreal but it was Calum. He’s always going to make you feel this way, you knew that deep in your bones.
  “ I’m speechless, “ is all he could come up with. 
  “ I can tell. “ 
  He sighs, running a hand through his hair. His composure breaks, shoulders slumped forward. “ You’re all I ever wanted, and even more than what I deserve. Don’t, you know it’s true. It’s a miracle you even forgave me and reconciled with me. I didn’t treat you right the first time, Our love may not be perfect, but I hope it’s enough for both you and I. I’m sorry that it took time apart for me to finally change, but I know you believe in the fates. If the fates are signalling that we’re the endgame, then I’ll trudge through every hardship by your side, not up ahead without you. That is, if you’ll have me. “ 
  You approached him, taking every step closer as a chance for him to break away but he didn’t. Calum stood his ground, straightened up as he looked right into your soul. If he was looking hard enough, you’re sure he could even see the red string that pulls you two close, tugging you back to him. He reaches out, hands fitting back into place on your hips, closing the gap between you two. The adoring smile on your face calms Calum down, indulging in the feel of having your arms wrapped around his neck once again. Your foreheads meet, inhaling the electric feel of finally having your worlds return into one. 
  Your eyes flutter open, staring deep into Calum’s. Instantly, you both leaned forward, finally getting rid of all the space between you. The kiss was igniting, the blazing feeling was pretty much mutual as you felt Calum smile into the kiss. It was a little desperate, but still fulfilling the yearning that had accumulated in the past year. You’re left feeling hazy, laughing as you pulled away gently. Calum laughs too, out of giddiness. His right hand leaves your hips, coming up to cup your cheek. Once you look up, you catch his signature gummy smile directed at you. Your mind should be in overload but instead, it’s peaceful, the silence comforting you. It’s like a missing puzzle piece has been recovered in your life. In that moment forth, you knew love was truly everlasting.
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aion-rsa · 2 years
How Wynonna Earp is Busting the Moonlighting Curse
The following contains spoilers for Wynonna Earp season 4.
While we wait for Wynonna Earp to return from its COVID-instigated midseason hiatus, it seems like the perfect time to dig into one of the show’s most complicated and rich topics: The layered relationship between Wynonna Earp and Doc Holliday, and the ways in which the show has committed to telling a love story that goes beyond whether a particular pairing will get together in the end.
Far too many TV series – genre or otherwise – waste far too much screen time delaying the organic progression of their two leads’ romantic relationship. As a result, from pilot to series finale, the redundant “will they/won’t they” relationship question dominates a significant portion of the plot, as marquee couples are inevitably pulled together and pushed apart by circumstance, and the story spins its wheels, afraid to let the would-be couple take “the next step,” usually right up until the series’ final set of episodes.
This happens so often that there’s even a name for it – it’s known as the Moonlighting Curse. The name references the (honestly, incredibly incorrect) assumption that the 1980s comedy-drama Moonlighting suddenly became both boring and bad because it finally paired off its will they/won’t they leads, played by Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd after years of mining the sexual tension between the pair. 
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Though the true culprit was actually bad writing, the show’s subsequent collapse in terms of both ratings and quality was ultimately blamed by many network higher-ups on the decision to finally pay off the series’ love story well before the end of the show (the characters consummated their relationship at the end of Season 3, and the series ran for two more seasons). And in the many years since, something of a cottage industry of shows has sprung up that seem to exist solely to string along the fans who invest in romance, creating an endless stream of obstacles for their marquee pairings centered around the questions of whether they will “get together” yet afraid to fully confront the idea of what writing a real, complicated relationship might look like. 
Thankfully, Wynonna Earp has never been the sort of show that’s afraid of anything.
Read more
When Will Wynonna Earp Season 4 Return?
By Kayti Burt
Wynonna Earp Season 4 Belongs to Nicole Haught
By Delia Harrington
In the world of this series, the question of whether Wynonna and Doc love one another isn’t really even worth asking anymore. It’s just a simple fact. Through fights and betrayals, trips to hell, the Garden of Eden, and back again, one of the only true constants of Wynonna Earp has been that, no matter what, Doc and Wynonna are in love. 
Even when one – or both – of them was romantically involved (or at least sleeping with) other people for whatever reason, their epic attachment was always bubbling in the background. Everyone in Purgatory knows what this pair means to one another, even when both have done their best to avoid the reality. Granted, neither of them is a particularly easy person to be in a relationship with, which is perhaps why they keep failing to truly get together in a lasting, healthy way despite the complete obviousness of their feelings for one another. And man is it fun to watch, proof that the “will they/won’t they” narrative structure isn’t the only or even best way to tell a love story.
Yes, the two often appear chronically incapable of even really admitting – let alone realistically talking about – their feelings for one another. But Wynonna Earp smartly doesn’t pretend those emotions don’t exist, or that they’re not driving the behavior of both characters. Instead, the show allows their relationship to become a primary driving force of the plot. The fact of their love for one another is not only taken as read, it’s used as a tool by which to further explore who they both are as individuals, in a way that will ultimately allow them to be better both for and with one another. 
Both Wynonna and Doc are deeply broken people, who’ve suffered unimaginable loss and pain in their lives. Mutually riddled with trust issues, neither seems to believe they will ever find anything as normal as peace, or that they’re worthy of those they care about most. This low-key self-loathing leads both to make selfish decisions and bad choices, the kind that generally end up hurting themselves more often than they end up helping anyone else.
Because of this, Wynonna tries to drive Doc away, convinced that she doesn’t deserve real love. For his part, Doc behaves recklessly, attempting to prove he’s the monster he’s always feared becoming. (Even allowing himself to be turned into a literal monster at one point.) They argue, they make choices the other doesn’t agree with, they purposefully hurt one another when they’re angry, and they push each other away. 
Yet, at no point is any of this behavior meant to make viewers wonder about the reality of their feelings for one another or whether they’ll ultimately be together or not. (No television show is ever going to abandon a couple with this kind of sexual chemistry, and we all know it.) Instead, the issues in their romance are meant to illuminate the things that Wynonna and Doc struggle with individually, and every step they each take toward figuring themselves out is also presented as a step (back) toward one another.
If that’s not incredibly romantic, I’m not sure what is.
Often, the duo have what once again feels like cosmically unfortunate timing – we’re talking like John-and-Aeryn-on-Farscape levels of bad – in which neither of them can seem to get on the same page at the same time. Season 4 is the most heartrending example of this, as their fragile reconnection is shattered when Wynonna decides to shoot Holt Clanton in the back rather than trust the tenuous peace Doc negotiates between their families.
But – again, also like the central love story of Farscape – Wynonna Earp doesn’t act as though these issues are insurmountable, or a potential death knell for the pair fans love. In fact, despite the difficulties the two are sure to face next season, it feels equally obvious that they’ll still find their way back together and work things out in the end. But only once they deal with some of their own issues first. Because I mean, let’s be real, if Doc literally becoming a vampire didn’t faze these two for longer than a handful of episodes, this isn’t likely to do so either. 
Yet, the latest rift between the two still makes for supremely compelling television – not because it overtly threatens their love, but because it stems from interior character issues that have nothing to do with their relationship and that can’t be healed by a romance. Whether these two want to be together isn’t the issue here – they clearly do – it’s whether they can be right now in light of the choices they’ve both made that have nothing to do with their feelings for each other. 
Wynonna’s reasons for deciding to kill Holt are understandable – if perhaps decidedly unheroic – as is Doc’s conviction that her choice is not only cowardly but will surely escalate the same blood feud that he himself now regrets starting back in Tombstone. But despite the fact that the midseason finale ends with both characters moving away from one another, physically and emotionally speaking, both are still on similar narrative journeys, questioning who they are if their previously established identities as the Earp heir and the fastest gunslinger in the West no longer apply. 
Wynonna and Doc’s relationship has taken something of a backseat in Season 4 thus far, allowing Wynonna Earp to center WayHaught’s story and explore Nicole’s lingering trauma from the eighteen months in which she had to survive in Purgatory on her own. But the pairing still feels as necessary and relevant to the story the show is telling as they ever have been. And, despite their current situation, it seems more obvious than ever that their paths will ultimately not only lead back to one another but to better versions of them both. This isn’t a will they/won’t they question so much as a matter of how and when.
Wyndoc is the grand and (thus far) tragic love story of the Ghost River Triangle, a star-crossed pair who share a child, a complicated family entanglement going back hundreds of years, and a love of continual self-sacrifice in the name of others. (And also, they hunt demons!) But Wynonna Earp isn’t content to simply throw up unnecessary narrative obstacles in their path for the sake of dragging out a happily ever after. Instead, the show acknowledges Doc and Wynonna’s obvious feelings, while simultaneously asking why they can apparently do anything together but figure out how to love one another the way they both deserve. 
This sort of romantic introspection – and acknowledgment that love really doesn’t instantly conquer all – is an important and often ignored part of a couple’s story, and can be just as compelling as the will they/won’t they dance that many other pairings before Wyndoc have been forced to engage in. It takes work – on yourself and on your relationship – to build something that really lasts, and Wynonna Earp’s decision to show us that that can be something really ugly and uncomfortable is as important as the happily ever after part we fantasize about. Wynonna and Doc will absolutely find their way back together again – but this time they’ll be stronger for it when they do.
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