shadowshandsface · 2 months
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febuwhump day 8 - panic
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febuwhump · 3 months
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the prompts this year were chosen through a suggestion poll and subsequent vote, where over 350 people voted for their favourites. the top 28 make up the core prompts, and a mixture of the next most popular and this blog’s personal favourites have become the alternatives!
i’m so excited to see what you all create with these prompts, and hope they’re inspiring enough to trigger a whole month’s worth of creativity for you! if you have any questions, make sure to check out the blog’s FAQ, or check out the previously asked questions on the blog before sending one of your own!
please note: this year, notifying the blog of completionist status will happen through a google form that will be released closer to the end of febuwhump.
full write-up of prompts and rules under the cut:
DAY 1: touchstarved
DAY 2: flinching
DAY 3: muzzled
DAY 4: knife to the throat
DAY 5: "that's gonna scar"
DAY 6: secrets revealed
DAY 7: made to watch
DAY 8: panic
DAY 9: voice loss
DAY 10: difficulty breathing
DAY 11: fever
DAY 12: "can you hear me?"
DAY 13: forced to hurt a loved one
DAY 14: captivity
DAY 15: self-sacrifice
DAY 16: semi-conscious
DAY 17: silent tears
DAY 18: can't stay awake
DAY 19: "you deserve this"
DAY 20: knife wound
DAY 21: shackled
DAY 22: can't scream
DAY 23: "you'll have to go through me"
DAY 24: bloody clothes
DAY 25: assumed dead
DAY 26: forced to choose
DAY 27: survivor's guilt
DAY 28: "you're safe now"
is there a specific day’s prompt you don’t want to fill? here are ten alternatives you can switch them out for!
ALT 1: rope burns
ALT 2: caged
ALT 3: soft words
ALT 4: experimentation
ALT 5: time loop
ALT 6: limp
ALT 7: immortality
ALT 8: found footage
ALT 9: natural disaster
ALT 10: inferno
prompts should be answered in the form of whump
creators can produce whatever kind of media they want
you don’t have to complete all the prompts! you can create however much you want to
you can use the prompts after the event ends
you can post on any platform you want, however this blog will only be sharing those posted on tumblr
if you want to be featured on the hall of fame then you have until the 3rd of March to inform this blog that you completed all the days
HARD RULES: (specifically for being featured on the blog)
when uploading febuwhump content to tumblr, please use the tags:
febuwhump (i’ll also be checking febuwhump2023)
the relevant day’s tag e.g. febuwhumpday1, febuwhumpday2…
nsfw (if relevant)
and any trigger warnings that may be important!
you can also tag the blog, @febuwhump
i cannot guarantee your work will be archived on the blog because I have no idea how many participants there will be. a random selection of works tagged in accordance to the rules above will be reblogged every day of february.
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nartothelar · 2 months
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- febuwhump - day 5: “that’s gonna scar”
- ingo’s main priority was defusing the situation and not causing panic
- nothing vital was hit
- ingo was gifted 3 baskets of fruit and numerous cards from passengers at GS and the depot agents
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acekindaneat · 2 months
A Wedding. 💍
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Based on Lapidist's work on ao3.
^^please give it a read because it's really good but i had to cut out a lot of bits to fit it into 10 pages :0
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sleepyconfusedpotato · 2 months
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Can't afford any CoD merch so Imma make one myself HAH. This started as a random sketch at midnight before I sleep for Febuwhump! Turned out, I actually liked the entire idea and the composition of it so I continued the WIP and voila!
Tried greyscale panting and for this one it looks pretty good. Here's the timelapse should you like to see it (o゚v゚)ノ
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ghoulfriendfangs · 2 months
Febuwhump 23 - “Restless”
Day One: Touch Starved with Lucifer
{WC: ~578} {Lucifer x reder, anxious thoughts, trouble sleeping, and of course a very touch starved demon, this takes place shortly after they start sleeping together}
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  Lucifer did not think of himself as “touch starved.”
  He preferred terms such as private, reserved, or even aloof and detached. As cold as the latter were, as much as they painted him in an unfeeling light, Lucifer still vastly preferred them to touch starved. That term implied he was like an animal; some poor wretched thing that could not function without being held, or petted like some dog.
  But now, Lucifer was kept up at night. Eyes wide open, body frozen under the bedsheets. Because sleeping with you had become a habit. Not a habit like checking himself in the reflection of a window, or scribbling with his pen when he needs a microbreak from doing paperwork. A habit like his bitter coffee in the morning to wake up and strong demonus in the evening to knock him out. A habit like taking a walk around the bedrooms, making sure all his brothers were safe before he could sleep. The kind of habit he had started doing only once or twice to ease his nerves, but he now could not function without.
  The very thought of it was like driving a dagger into his heart. How would he sleep without being able to wrap his arms around you. Without seeing the way your eyes lit up when he unfurled his wings- the same wings he foolishly hid away because he could only see them as imperfect, eternally missing a set. He doesn’t admit it before he’s had several drinks, but when he sees the way you look at his wings he feels silly for hiding them at all.
  But even more private is what he hasn’t admitted at all. He isn’t sure you’re even aware of it, and he is afraid that if he told you you’d stop. But sometimes when you’re asleep, you roll over and wrap your arms around him, and suddenly he’s the one being held, he’s the one being soothed to sleep and he likes it. He loves it. Some nights, he skips the wine and only pretends to fall asleep because he’s waiting for you to roll over, to give him the kind of hug he doesn’t know how to ask for.
  And while he waits, he’s haunted by his own mind, which torments him by asking what he’d do if you stopped, and he had to sleep alone in his large and empty bed in his room which is colder than death even with a roaring fire. He knows you cannot control all of the ways you could stop. You are a human, and he still sees you as fragile, even if the thought now brings forth feelings of protectiveness rather than superiority.
  But what tortures him most is the thought of you voluntarily stopping. His pride and stubbornness finally trying the last of your patience. Because deep down…
  He knows that his pride is the reason he is touch starved to begin with.
  Lucifer is rescued from his own thoughts when you begin to stir, tossing and turning in the bedsheets. Finally, you’re turning over, your hands sleepily curling around his chest and his stomach, pulling him into your own. You mumble some sleep talk, as he feels his heartbeat slowing. He thinks he catches “it’s ok,” and “go to sleep already,” and suddenly he’s wondering if you’re more awake than you look.
  “…promise not to leave me,” he whispers, allowing himself to ask for what he needs.
  “…I promise.”
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breezy-cheezy · 1 month
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Febuwhump day 9: Voice Loss (un)Natural Disaster
So these are gonna be kinda late (and out of order) from here on out since it’s MARCH but hey some of these were solidly set up!! School just was A lot. Anyway.
@forwantofacalling wrote a Drabble and shared it in our discord about Cater Overblotting and Trey tracking him down after the fact. 12/10, painful concept, here’s a drawin.
Please do not tag this with shipping tags, this is meant to be portrayed as platonic, thanks!
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scratchandplaster · 1 month
FEBUWHUMP 2023 DAY 16 - Semi-conscious
CW: recapture, drugging, intimate Whumper, non-con kiss
Hero tried to escape again.
Naturally, they didn't get very far; Henchman caught them shortly after they sneaked out the main building. They were so careful and planned every step in advance, but in all their eager forgot to calculate Villain's increased security personnel. Whatever had been in the vial Henchman forced down their gullet just moments prior, made their vision swim.
The treetops radiated with the light bursting through them, Hero basked in the golden rays of the August sun, the worries about Villain's reaction fading far away. Of course, they would be upset with them, but that little detail didn't matter right now. The leaves-
The next time their eyes opened, they were inside the manor walls. Unsure about how many minutes had passed, Hero tried to focus again on the lights above. The sun had been replaced by the dim chandelier overhead the dinner table, seeming to cast light with a halo-like sheen across the room.
Somewhere deep inside their mind, they recognized their prison, the building they were trapped in for the last few weeks. But that thought was now buried, washed away by the dust particles floating through the air gracefully, like a gentle fall of snow during the winter months...
"-you listening?" a faint voice called out to them. Maybe Hero should snap back, stand up to fight their way out again. But not now, they loved to just stare for a little while longer. The worries of tomorrow could wait.
Villain waited for a response, even shaking their captive didn't seem to change the blank stare towards the ceiling. They looked peaceful, a certain calm was radiating from their limp form, slumped in their designated chair. As if looking right through them, Hero let their droopy eyes roll from side to side, untroubled by the world around them.
There was something Villain didn't expect: a light smile danced around Hero's lips, even though dry and ripping, but content nonetheless.
"How much did you give them?", they asked Henchmen, all the while petting Hero's hair gently, a gesture of affection they were normally punished for with vicious resistance.
"The - the whole thing," they answered uncertain, not wanting to risk any consequences for possibly damaging the precious good, "I wanted to ensure a safe transport and-"
"You can leave now," their boss interrupted them calmly, an unusual luster to their eyes. Henchman would keep all their fingers for today. "You may all go, enjoy your day off."
With that, the two enemies were left alone. Villain sat down next to their guest, filled with artificial bliss the potion still pumped through their system, Hero didn't even bat an eye at their gentle touches anymore.
From time to time, they could see quick shadows interrupting the surrounding snow, brushing hair from their face or taking their pulse. Rationally, Hero should have known it would come to something like this, after rejecting the invitations of their nemesis countless times. They were slowly gaining back some control about their mind and body, exhausted but still prepared to start the fight anew.
Suddenly, a kind but firm hand took hold of their head to tilt it back. Thin liquid started to coat the inside of their mouth, like cherry wine but way too bitter, making Hero quickly gulp it down with a confused moan. The aftertaste was horrifyingly familiar.
"That's it," Villain purred against their ear, so close, the distance between them was barely more than a hair's breadth. They continued to keep Hero's head between their hands, stopping the vertigo for just a moment, before the candles in front of them started to lose shape again. Their flicker smeared across their view like an oil painting and smothered them into a forced ease.
"I think I will keep you like this, at least for a bit longer..." 
Hero's inner screams deafened in an instant, the only feeling left were the soft lips of Villain against their own.
Thanks for reading <3 [Febuwhump 2023 Masterlist]
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giotanner · 2 months
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Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi for @febuwhump 2023 - day 15 "Self Sacrifice"
Flowers? Yes. Hanahaki is the disease of flowers, when you know or think you are not reciprocated in romantic feelings.
As the Jedi are inspired by Japanese culture (samurai) Hanahaki is also a Japanese myth. IF we tie it to the world of users of the light side of the Force we can consider Hanahaki as a "getting sick in the Force, that's why attachments are also avoided." In the year Obi-Wan was on the run with Satine Hanahaki hit him hard. He was ready to leave the Jedi, to sacrifice his ideals and his beliefs, she however knowing how important the Jedi were to Obi-Wan refused to tell him that she loved him.
print avalaible
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beth--b · 2 months
I'm the touch that you crave
Steve didn't get shown much affection as a child.
There were no kisses goodnight from his mother, no high fives if he did well on his spelling tests. When he fell off his bike and grazed his knees there was nobody to hug him and dry his tears. Suffice to say he could go weeks, even months without being touched more than a casual brush of shoulders in the school hallways. 
He's not sure when it happened really, but by the time he was 15, Steve craved physical touch. Depending on how long it had been, he could be satisfied with a fist bump from Tommy, or even a playful shove from another kid on the basketball team. When he started dating it was even better. He could hold a girl's hand, or wrap an arm around her shoulder. As he got older hand holding progressed to kissing, make out sessions and eventually to sex.
Most of the time he forgot how he once wished someone would touch him, to the point where it wouldn't have mattered who or how, as long as they did.
read it here on ao3
Then he began to date Nancy Wheeler. At first things had been great, but after Barb disappeared, after the shit with Jonathan Byers and monsters from another fucking dimension, they began to touch less and less.
She'd pull away when he tried to hug her, turn her head when he'd lean in for a kiss. 
Then it was all bullshit.
Nancy went away, school ended and even casual touches from friends went away as well.
The kids helped though. 
High fives, fist bumps, giving Dustin a pat on the back when the kid did well at school. Little moments that most people took for granted, Steve savoured them all. 
At his shitty summer job at Scoops Ahoy, inadvertent touches happened fairly often. A brush of fingers as he would hand over an ice cream cone, touching a customer's palm when money was exchanged.
He felt both thrilled at being touched, even if it was nothing but incidental touches from strangers, and like the biggest fucking loser that he needed it so much, that nobody cared enough to touch him for anything else. 
He knew he was really fucked up when the first punch came from the Russian soldiers whose base was under the damn mall, and instead of thinking of the pain or fear, he was almost relieved that someone had touched him for the first time in a week. That changed very quickly when the hits kept coming.
When it was all said and done though he got Robin out of it and that nearly made the whole ordeal worth it.
Somehow, Robin seemed to sense that Steve needed to be touched. She'd hug him or grab his hands when she was excited, one time she jumped on his back and demanded a piggy back ride. With Rob around he knew there was always going to be someone to help him with his ridiculous need for human touch and affection.
Finally there was Eddie.
Eddie who constantly got in Steve's space, their fingers brushing together, Eddie's chest pressed against Steve's back as he leaned in to point at something over Steve's shoulder. 
Not that Steve was complaining, no he wasn't one to look a gift horse in the mouth. He wished the circumstances were better but between Robin and Eddie his need for touch was able to be pushed to the background with ease.
Life went on, he and Eddie grew closer, that longing for touch abated and he forgot.
Then the holidays came, and for the first time in months he was alone.
Eddie was off visiting some distant relations in Chicago.
Robin's family had decided to go to visit her grandparents in Indianapolis.
The Hopper/Byers clan had gone to California. Hopper apparently wanted a break from cold weather after his time spent in the Russian prison.
Dustin was finally allowed to visit Suzie, Steve worried the kid may never return.
Nancy and Mike were with their family in Hawkins, but without anyone else there to act as a buffer there was no way he would be spending time with them.
So he was alone.
After so long without worrying about touch, about the itch beneath his skin when he went days or weeks, even months, without any human contact, he wasn't prepared for just how quickly it would overtake him. He found himself wishing his parents would come back, if only for the brief contact that may come with them being home.
Lost in thought Steve lay back on his bed, scoffed at his own ridiculous train of thought.
"Not like they'd hug me anyway. Don't even want them too really," he muttered to himself. 
Thoughts spiralling, he almost didn't hear the knock at the door.
With a huff Steve sat back up and glanced at the clock.
"Who the hell is knocking at 11pm on Christmas night?"
He wanted to ignore it, wanted to close his eyes and sleep, anything to quell the itch.
The knocking came again, louder this time.
Steve ran a hand down his face and pushed himself to his feet. 
"Fine, I'm coming, I'm coming. Keep your damn shirt on."
He headed downstairs, switching lights on as he went. Finally he reached the door as the knocking started again.
"Jesus, I'm here-" Steve started, stopping as he took in the sight on his front door stop.
"Hey Stevie," Eddie greeted him with a grin. As though he wasn't supposed to be hours away with family right now.
"Eddie? What the hell man?" Steve grabbed Eddie by the arm and tugged him inside, out of the freezing night air.
Eddie let himself be pulled until they reached the couch. Then he shrugged out of his leather jacket and without any warning pulled Steve into his arms in a bone crushing embrace.
Steve knew he should say something, they'd been dancing around each other for months, growing more and more comfortable with one another. He wanted to ask questions. What on earth was Eddie doing there being the most pressing. Despite that, as Eddie held him all Steve could do was melt into the older boy's arms.
Without meaning to, or understanding why, Steve felt the hot prickle of tears start up behind his closed eyelids.  He tried to stifle a sob against the crook of Eddie's neck where his face was currently buried.
"You're alright now sweetheart, I'm here," Eddie whispered, cheek pressed to the top of Steve's head.
When he finally calmed, Steve managed to ask the most pressing question on his mind.
Eddie pulled away enough that he could look Steve in the eye, while still keeping his hands on Steve's shoulders.
"Well, I told Wayne you were here all alone, and he agreed that after the family celebrated today that I should get back here to be with you. Told me nobody should be alone on Christmas. So here I am Stevie, if you'll have me?"
Steve nodded, and that was all the permission Eddie needed to pull Steve close again and press his lips gently to Steve's. 
It was the sweetest kiss Steve ever had.
As Eddie pulled away, Steve's brain finally caught up. Not wanting the moment to end Steve brought a hand up to the back of Eddie's head, fingers tangling in dark curls as he deepened the kiss. Eddie held on even tighter, moaning into Steve's mouth.
It was long minutes before they pulled away.
The itch beneath Steve's skin was gone for the first time in days.
He had a feeling Eddie would never let it get that bad again.
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darkkitty1208 · 2 months
*shuffles to the middle of the stage and taps on the mic a couple of times* uh, *taps again* does this thing work? Right, okay. Um, so *claps hands together* I have come here today for a very very, very very special announcement. It is with great honour I announce that, err... probably a thousand years ago today, our dear, dear, lovely @lilbitofmac has been given birth. And so today we shall celebrate their birthday, as they are getting older than they already are. Anyway. *clears throat* *takes out a bunch of cards* No... done that bit. *flips it over* done that bit... *flips* that bit as well... *flip flip flip* *gives up and throws it into the air* Alright just-- gift! Right. Here -- *gestures vaguely around fic* for you, my love. Happy birthday. xoxo 
Chapters: 1/1 Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man (Movies), Doctor Strange (Movies) Rating: Teen And Up Audiences Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence Relationships: Tony Stark/Stephen Strange Characters: Tony Stark, Stephen Strange, Tiberius Stone Additional Tags: Kidnapping, Kidnapped Tony Stark, Hurt Tony Stark, Protective Stephen Strange, Torture, Waterboarding, Ambiguous/Open Ending Series: Part 6 of Febuwhump 2023 Summary:
Tony gets kidnapped by Tiberius Stone.
Febuwhump Day 6: Shackled 
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shadowshandsface · 2 months
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"Can you hear me?" (febuwhump day 12)
Teru really gave it everything he had 😭
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febuwhump · 1 year
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the prompts this year were chosen through a suggestion poll and subsequent vote; the top 28 make up the core prompts and a mixture of the next most popular and the blog’s personal favourites have become the alternates!
i’m super excited to see what you all create with these prompts! if you have any questions, make sure to check out the blog’s FAQ or send an ask! 
please note: this year, notifying the blog of completionist status will happen through a google form that will be released closer to the end of febuwhump.
and click here if you’re interested in the bonus march 1st prompt known as febuclown!
full write up of prompts and rules under the cut:
DAY 1: head wound
DAY 2: failed rescue attempt
DAY 3: blood loss
DAY 4: nightmares
DAY 5: "let me see”
DAY 6: hypothermia
DAY 7: used as an experiment
DAY 8: no anesthesia
DAY 9: kidnapped
DAY 10: “how long has it been?”
DAY 11: chronic pain or suffocation (x)
DAY 12: spiked drink
DAY 13: won’t regain consciousness
DAY 14: can’t go home
DAY 15: hidden scars
DAY 16: "does that hurt?”
DAY 17: self-inflicted wound
DAY 18: forced to watch
DAY 19: delirium
DAY 20: caged
DAY 21: "help them”
DAY 22: restrained
DAY 23: “don’t leave!”
DAY 24: too weak to move
DAY 25: muffled screams
DAY 26: “please don’t do this”
DAY 27: shower breakdown
DAY 28: presumed dead
is there a specific day’s prompt you don’t want to fill? here are ten alternatives you can switch them out for!
ALT 1: buried alive
ALT 2: trapped under a collapsed building
ALT 3: shrapnel
ALT 4: "i dreamt you were alive”
ALT 5: left behind
ALT 6: natural disaster
ALT 7: blindfolded
ALT 8: "i’ll never forgive you”
ALT 9: friendly fire
ALT 10: black eye
prompts should be answered in the form of whump
creators can produce whatever kind of media they want
you don’t have to complete all the prompts! you can create however much you want to
you can use the prompts after the event ends
you can post on any platform you want, however this blog will only be sharing those posted on tumblr
if you want to be featured on the hall of fame then you have until the 3rd of March to inform this blog that you completed all the days
HARD RULES: (specifically for being featured on the blog)
when uploading febuwhump content to tumblr, please use the tags:
febuwhump (i’ll also be checking febuwhump2022)
the relevant day’s tag e.g. febuwhumpday1, febuwhumpday2…
nsfw (if relevant)
and any trigger warnings that may be important!
you can also tag the blog, @febuwhump
i cannot guarantee your work will be archived on the blog because I have no idea how many participants there will be. a random selection of works tagged in accordance to the rules above will be reblogged every day of february.
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zillastar13 · 1 month
DAY 28: “You’re Safe Now"
TW: captivity, recapture, death threat, referenced conditioning, referenced deconditioning, referenced pet whumpee, intimate/creepy whumper
"It's alright," Whumper cooed. "They won't touch you again. Just stay here with me. You're safe now."
"Please," Whumpee voice broke. "I have a family now. And a home. God, I want to go home."
"Oh Whumpee." Whumper hugged them tightly and whispered in their ear. "You are home. And I forgive you. I know it wasn't your fault. Caretaker kidnapped you. I'm not going to punish you. I love you."
Whumpee choked down a sob. "Please. I can't do this. Not anymore."
"They've corrupted you, and undone all my hard work. But I'll retrain you. Don't worry. We can be happy again."
"I wasn't happy. I was never happy. Surely you know that."
"Shh, Shh. I'll be gentle. You were my favorite, you know that. You were always good, so compliant and respectful."
"I don't want to be your pet. I want to be a person."
"Just relax. We don't have to start yet. I hate Caretaker for what they did to you. They broke you. If they come here and try to kidnap you again, I'll kill them. You don't have worry about them. I promise."
Whumpee sobbed. Whumper held them tighter.
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whumpinthepot · 1 month
@febuwhump 2023
Day seventeen: Silent Tears
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If you're new, this all starts with Touch Starved! Takes place immediately after Difficulty Breathing, so I'd highly recommend at least reading that first.
Febuwhump Day 11
Fever – Tech
Warnings: Angst, accidental drug exposure via fungal spores.
WC: 2,011
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Hunter wanted me to stay on the ship. I could see it in that whisper of tension in his brow as I pulled the stark white plastoid bucket over my head and in the stiffness of his shoulders as I threw the heavy medpack over my back, but he trapped the objection behind pointedly ground teeth. They all did. In the couple weeks since my meeting with Commander Cody, every one of them seemed to step quieter around me, hesitant to offer even a breath of argument to anything I said.
Except Crosshair. Despite the relatively cramped quarters, he somehow managed to never find himself in the same room as me. I found myself remembering those first few months; the heavy quiet that fell over them when I was too near, the sense of being not quite welcome though they’d never say the words. This time, however, I had no one to blame but myself. Worse, I knew exactly what I’d lost because of that moment of fear.
It had been two weeks since the warmth of Wrecker’s laughter reverberated through the ship; since Tech allowed himself to ramble about nothing and everything at my slightest encouragement or Echo had came to me with even a minor ache; since Hunter was able to look at me without that lingering hint of frustration that ruined me anew each time I saw it.
Two weeks since those hands held me like I was something treasured.
“On approach to Endor.” Tech’s voice chimed over the coms, ripping me from my thoughts with a burst of fluttered heartbeats, head snapping to attention. I tried not note the way Hunter’s helmet shifted slightly, focus locked on me for a breath too long as my gaze carefully locked on the far wall.
“Alright – we stick to the plan.” The sergeant started, that commanding impatience clear in his voice. “Their latest shipment went out this morning and should be intercepted within the hour, which means we only have until then to scrap their equipment before they relocate.” A group of would-be crime-lords was trying to establish a spice operation harvesting Rokna Blue from the native tree fungus. Eager to eliminate the threat before it could pose any serious problems, we’d been sent to cripple their infrastructure while the 187th targeted their transporters.
“Echo, Tech if you don’t find any intel by the time Wrecker and I rig the place, assume there isn’t any, and get out of there. Doc, you’re with Crosshair – hole up below him and be ready in case we need you.” It was the most any of them had spoken to me in weeks, but the only thing I could focus on was the flare of adrenaline at his words, and the threat of panic at that curious tilt of his helmet that assured me he’d noticed it.
Jaw ground, I gave a sharp nod, hands tightening around the crash harness strapped over my chest. He glanced briefly to where the sniper sat to his right, appearing to all the world as though he’d nodded off despite the way the ship began to tremble as we hit upper atmo. I’d barely seen the man since the day he’d begged me to stay, and now I’d be alone with him throughout the entire mission. Would this terrible quiet linger continue to linger? Would he act as though nothing had happened? Should I act as though nothing had happened?
The growing frustration only continued festering through the stomach-churning evasive maneuvers Tech used to guide us through the dense, towering trees of that gorgeous moon. I needed to talk to him; to clear the air, but the middle of a mission wasn’t the time for it. There were far more dangerous places than Endor, but we had little knowledge of what we were walking into. The spice-dealers could have any manner of security measures in place, and none of us could afford a distraction.
The instant our momentum shifted from forward to down, we were moving, tearing free of our harnesses and trotting across the still lowering ramp. Without a word, I entered the dense undergrowth at a quick pace, trailing mere meters behind Crosshair as the others split off toward their own targets.
Rivulets of sweat had already begun dripping down my back, soaking into my blacks and hair when he finally slowed to a quiet walk, back hunched slightly in a crouch as Crosshair’s attention locked on a single point somewhere beyond the maze of trees and vines. I glanced from him to the forests before us, trying to catch sight of what had caught his focus, but neither my visor nor my eyes noticed any motion.
“Get down.” I didn’t hesitate. The instant his words hissed through my com, my body dropped, one hand automatically snatching at a pistol. “Hunter, I have eyes on a two-man patrol – trandosians – doesn’t look like they’ve noticed us.”
“Leave them. I don’t want their disappearance tipping off anyone else.” The Sergeant answered on a near whisper. Crosshair didn’t respond, helm slowly following what I could only guess to be where the figures tread hidden beyond the foliage.
“Come on.” No longer distracted by the danger, that raspy voice sent a flush of heat up my neck, but I spared it no thought before quickly regaining my footing. Still crouched low, we continued into the thick brush, quietly nearing the compound. It was several minutes before he stopped once more, helmet shifting between the surrounding forests and the heavy brush climbing up the trunks.
“I suggest you get comfortable.” He didn’t look at me as the almost sneered words dragged from his lips, modulator blurring them into a hum before he slung the rifle over his back. I wanted to snap at him; wanted to remind him that he was the one who asked me to stay; begged me to, but, as he began the seemingly effortless climb up a Rokna’s tree’s splintered bark, I merely let out a short, tense sigh and lowered myself into the cover of the brush.
The coms remained frightfully quiet, each passing second mounting the threat of anxiety beneath the knowledge of impending battle. Hidden within that quiet, I knew Hunter and Wrecker had long since begun laying out the network of explosives; that Tech and Echo tread on silent footsteps, ducking just out of sight of some unknown number of enemies as they searched for intel that might not even exist; that Crosshair lay in perfect stillness somewhere overhead, finger resting a hair’s breadth from that sensitive trigger with some utterly ignorant grunt locked in the sites of that powerful rifle; and through it all, I had to remain frozen, crouched within the nest of fronds and dirt, muscles coiled, ready to sprint at a single word, because if I wasn’t, if I allowed myself even a moment’s distraction, it could come at the cost of one of their lives.
That quiet splintered into a frenzy. The series of over a dozen rapid-fire explosions was over in the span of seconds, preceding the distant roar of billowing flames. Screams of rage and fear erupted all around us as whatever guards had been posted about the facilities abandoned their patrols in some futile attempt to rescue the already decimated camp. The unhurried trill of Crosshair’s rifle sang in an almost rhythmic consistency, eliminating anyone foolish enough to return that might pose some threat to his brothers’ retreat.
I crouched motionless, one foot curled beneath me, listening to it all through the ambient chaos buzzing from my speakers as they barked quick orders to each other.
“Four incoming from quadrant 3!”
“Two down! Lost sight of the others!”
“I’ve got them.” Two rounds shot through the air overhead almost instantaneously.
“Two mor-”
“Tech!” Echo’s shout made my heart drop, boot shifting tensely atop the damp soil. “Status?!”
“I’m fine.” Tech answered brusquely, drawing a sigh of relief from me.
“Objective’s complete – get to the Marauder!”
“You see how quick this place went up! Told yuh I could sync ‘em!” My lips twitched into a smirk at Wrecker’s glee.
“Doc!” I was already running, feet pounding atop the soft humus in a mad dash toward the still raging inferno.
“Crosshair, whe-”
“Twenty meters directly ahead of you.” That earlier touch of distain was gone – there wasn’t time for it here. Assured I was going in the right direction, I pushed myself faster, tearing through vines and leaping over roots until the brush finally cleared.
The compound was in ruins. Thick, black smoke billowed from the half dozen fractured buildings nestled awkwardly between massive Rokna trunks. Pinned against one of the outlying trees, Echo stood carefully over a tangle of white and red plastoid heaped beside a mound of gnarled root. I barely spared a second to look around me as I shot free of the cover of forest undergrowth, certain that Crosshair had cleared my path.
“What happened?” The quick words held no shred of hesitation from the lingering uncertainty between us as I sprinted across those last few yards. Echo glanced only briefly toward me before returning his attention to the distant sound of shouting, pistol aimed and fired several times in there mere seconds it took him to answer.
“Trandosian threw him against one of the trees.” I dropped heavily to my knees the instant he was within reach, noting the listless movements of his limbs, the occasional shift of his helmet absent any real intent. “He seemed fine at first, then,” He motioned gruffly toward the pilot with his scomp. Symptoms of a concussion and internal bleeding raced through my mind as I reached out to angle his visor toward me.
“Tech? Come on, Tech, I want you to look at me for second.” There was a subtle gentleness in my order, mind already counting his lazy, too-deep breaths as I watched the absent flutter of his long lashes. “Tech… Tech, open your eyes for me.” I pressed, voice raising slightly. Reluctantly, some awareness seeped back through him, but it took a beat too long for him to focus on me.
“Oh,” He almost hummed in a note of pleasant surprise, “You’re here.” I nearly broke beneath those mumbled words, chest bucking in something too close to a sob.
“Yup,” I huffed, biting back the guilt and hurt tearing through my chest. “Course I’m here – someone decided to go and get thrown against a tree.”
“Hmm.” The quiet laughter in the little scoff sounded… strange coming from him.
“I want you to keep your eyes open for a minute, okay?” It took him a moment to understand, but he painstakingly forced his gaze back to mine, apparently oblivious to the bright light I flashed over each eye in turn. His pupils were blown, frightfully unresponsive to my light. It took only a quick glance to note the tiny nick in the sliver of exposed skin at his neck, the fine sheen of blue smeared atop the black fabric.
“Kriff.” The curse escaped me in a sigh as I wrenched my pack over my shoulders.
“What is it?” Hunter’s voice rang over the coms, “How bad’s he hurt?”
“No, he’s-” I paused only briefly to find the right medication. “He’s kriffing stoned!” Someone snorted before the coms fell quiet. I didn’t bother elaborating before laying the injector flush against his neck. He didn’t flinch.
“I’ve already administered something that should be enough to keep him stable, but the comedown’s going to be hell.” Already, I threw my bag back over my shoulder, once more reaching for the barely conscious man before me. “I need to get him somewhere safe before that starts. Can you cover us?” I didn’t wait for Echo to nod before heaving the lanky pilot over my shoulder. Tech’s confused grunt sounded clearly through the coms.
“I know, but we’ll be back on the Marauder soon, okay?” I murmured, already taking off at a quick pace through the trees, and I vaguely felt his head nod against my back.
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Quick warning/disclaimer: the following chapter will feature very intense Tech!whump/comfort following symptoms of withdrawal. I want to make it clear that my initial release of the chapter will not pull any punches, but it will be very thoroughly tagged. As always, if there is something specific you are sensitive to but still want to keep up with the story, just let me know and I'll try to make a censored version with that in mind. Additionally, there will be no intentional illicit drug use in my writings, nor will I write about actual addiction (if someone wants a comfort, standalone fic touching on recovery, drop me an ask/message - I will never judge someone for their demons).
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