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#field debt collections
credgenics12 · 10 months
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Field collections- Credgenics
Field collections refer to the process of gathering samples, data, or specimens from their natural or specific environments for scientific research, study, or analysis. These collections are typically conducted by scientists, researchers, or professionals in various fields, including biology, geology, ecology, archaeology, and more. Field collections are essential for acquiring firsthand data and materials to further understanding and knowledge in these disciplines.
Here are some common examples of field collections:
Botanical Field Collections: Botanists collect plant specimens, including leaves, flowers, and seeds, to study plant taxonomy, ecology, and biodiversity. These collections often contribute to the creation of herbaria, where pressed and preserved plant specimens are stored for future reference.
Zoological Field Collections: Zoologists and wildlife researchers collect animals, such as insects, birds, mammals, or reptiles, to study their behavior, genetics, distribution, and conservation status. These specimens can be used for museum displays, genetic research, or ecological studies.
Geological Field Collections: Geologists collect rocks, minerals, fossils, and sediment samples from various geological formations to study Earth's history, structure, and processes. These collections help in understanding the Earth's geological evolution.
Archaeological Field Collections: Archaeologists excavate and collect artifacts, pottery, bones, and other archaeological remains at historical or prehistoric sites to study past human cultures, lifestyles, and history.
Environmental Field Collections: Environmental scientists collect water, soil, air, and biological samples to assess pollution levels, monitor environmental changes, and study ecosystems' health.
Social Science Field Collections: Social scientists, such as anthropologists and sociologists, conduct fieldwork to collect data on human societies, cultures, and behaviors. This may involve interviews, surveys, observations, and the collection of artifacts or documents.
Meteorological Field Collections: Meteorologists gather weather data through instruments like weather stations, balloons, and aircraft to study weather patterns and climate change.
Field collections are often conducted with meticulous care to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the collected data or specimens. Ethical considerations, such as obtaining proper permits and minimizing ecological impact, are crucial when conducting fieldwork. Additionally, documenting the location, date, and context of the collection is essential for future research and reference.
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peachdues · 3 months
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COMPASS
bad boy!Sanemi • gang AU • NSFW
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A/N: Peach?? Not having any self control when it comes to writing a fic?? It’s more likely than you think.
This was supposed to be a bad boy!Sanemi takes your virginity drabble that spiraled into a meta-analysis of Sanemi’s self hatred that then blew up into a fic with plot. All of those elements are still present but surprise!! Enjoy 24k words of my brain rot.
Inspired by @homo-homini-lupus-est-1701 ‘s wonderful meta analysis of Sanemi’s self hatred and his scars.
CW: 24k • explicit sexual content • MDNI • gang-related violence • mentions of blood and broken bones • mentions of murder/death • loss of virginity • creampie • vaginal fingering • some angst
I have plenty more of this AU written, so if y’all want more, just let me know 🫡
There are three rules to surviving life in the Corps.
The first is simple: once you’re in, you’re in.
Never outwardly confirm or deny rumors; let others talk, but don’t even think about opening your fucking mouth about the things you see or the whispers you hear.
And don’t be stupid enough to think you can cling onto any vestiges of your old life. There’s no splicing your life within the Corps with the one you’d had before. No separation. You’ve whored yourself to their cause, and for better or worse, you’re there until either someone important says otherwise or you end up in a morgue.
This is especially true for someone like Sanemi, so hopelessly entrenched within the organization that he’d allowed himself to be branded at the age of seventeen upon his ascension from rank-and-file street member to full-blown Hashira — the elite of the Corps, just short of the higher-ups who ran it.
The hot sear of iron between his shoulder blades had hurt like hell, but it was a welcome pain. A reminder that he’d not only outlived his father, but had actually made an impact, enough to be noticed and entrusted with more strenuous duties.
Each Hashira is assigned to a particular field. Uzui, silver haired, boisterous and extravagant, deals in bodies — mostly women, but men too, and he runs all of the strip clubs and escort services west of center city. Kocho, a child prodigy in chemistry, leads an intricate narcotics network.
And then there’s Sanemi: the debt collector.
Largely monetary debts — collecting on behalf of loan sharks, gambling debts, or that which is owed to his fellow Hashira, when their customers forget that there are no friends in business.
But the brand seared into his flesh has nothing to do with money — it is a reminder that above all, he is to ensure debts of another kind are paid.
Life debts.
In the three years since his initiation, Sanemi has only had to carry out this oath twice. Both had been scum, responsible for the deaths of innocents.
Their executions had been quick and without fuss — or much mess. A quick trip to an overpass abridging the Wisteria River. A march to the barrier in the dead of night, when no other cars were out and about to see or hear pleading sobs and bargains for their pathetic lives. A bullet to the head would quiet them, and Sanemi would let the rapids below take care of the clean up for him. Job done.
But even though the spray of their brains hadn’t touched him, their blood still stains Sanemi’s hands.
He will never be able to wash them clean.
But this is the life he chose, so Sanemi will endure the consequences — for the sake of his brother, the only living person on earth he gives a damn about. For whom he’ll do anything — be anyone — if it means Genya does not have to pick up a gun and sell himself to the very gang that owns his elder brother.
The second rule is simpler: no patterns. Patterns signal comfort and comfort may as well be a target on your back, begging for someone to come and take their shot (or several).
And finally, the third and arguably the most important rule, is don’t get attached. Keep your circle small so there’s less collateral to be used against you — against the organization that owns you.
This rule applies to both Corps members and civilians alike.
For the longest time, Sanemi Shinazugawa found Rule Three to be the easiest one to follow. He has his brother and no one else. His parents are dead; he has no friends beyond those in the Corps with him, and he knows better than to get overly invested in any of them. His inner circle is as tight as it can get.
But then he’d chosen your bookstore to hide in and that’s when everything falls apart.
“Fuckin’ Christ,” Sanemi mutters, anxious eyes tracking the large hand on his watch as it ticks the seconds by.
They were late.
The job was simple, and well within Sanemi’s capabilities. Maeda, a local dealer in stolen goods, had run up a sizeable bill at one of Uzui’s joints that he’d yet to pay. And while the slippery lech was quick to come sniffing whenever news spread that Iguro, a fellow Hashira, had managed to hijack a semi-truck full of luxury items, he was surprisingly difficult to connect with when it came time for him to pay for company he couldn’t get elsewhere.
He glanced down at his bruised, swollen knuckles and smirked. Sanemi couldn’t say he loved that his worth was measured in the number of bones he could break, or the amount of teeth he could punch out, but he’d be lying if he said he didn’t relish the chance to smash the pervert’s face in whenever the opportunity arose. Nor could he deny the rush of satisfaction he’d felt when he’d thrown open the steel door of the Maeda’s small office, crowbar in hand, and watched the snot-nosed pervert piss himself, stumbling over his words as he’d begged for mercy Sanemi hadn’t been hired to give.
The stupid, greasy fuck.
By the time he’d finished, Maeda had been little more than a quivering, helpless lump curled in on himself on the sticky, slate floor. His office had been left in shambles, drawers yanked out and emptied, only to be thrown aside (or cracked over the vermin’s back as he sobbed). But he’d had found the money, right down to the last dollar, just as he knew he would.
And that’s how Sanemi finds himself standing in the alley tucked behind Maeda’s small warehouse, Uzui’s payment split into two rolls that he’d shoved down into boots. All that was left was for the two junior Corps members he’d brought along for watch to bring the car around, and then they’d return to the abandoned factory that served as their headquarters.
Normally, this would have been a solo job, and Sanemi would already be on his bike, speeding off to safety. But he’d received an order to take along two, new Hinoe so they could get experience with higher level jobs.
Conveniently, his instructions had omitted the part the fact that the two lugs were utterly useless, bumbling idiots, contrary to what their recent promotions otherwise suggested.
Because neither of the two juniors are anywhere to be found. Nor is there any sound signaling that his getaway ride is approaching.
Sharp, lavender eyes scan the alley before him, but to his dismay, it remains empty — disquietingly so.
Leave it to a couple of rookies to set his teeth on edge.
Sanemi’s eyes drop down to follow the large hand of his watch as yet another minute ticks by. It’s been six minutes and their window had only allowed for four.
He knows how to be patient when the circumstances call for it, but now is not one of those times.
One minute, he decides, shifting his weight between his feet. They get one more fucking minute and then he splits —
A sudden screech of tires at the opposite end of the alley makes his stomach flip. Sanemi looks up just in time to see his escape car grind to a sharp halt, its rear jolting up as the driver slams on the brakes.
The passenger door flings open, and one of the Hinoe stumbles out, his feet barely connecting with the pavement before the car guns away, the side door flapping open.
The familiar howl of police sirens accompanied by distant shouts is enough for Sanemi to know this simple little debt collection has now gone tits-up.
“Pigs!” The Hinoe who stumbled out of the getaway car calls to him. “Pigs!”
“Shit,” Sanemi growls. No doubt Maeda’s bruised ego sold them out. He should’ve taken the time to smash the asshole’s phone.
He’ll be dealt with later — and with relish. But right now, Sanemi needs to get the fuck away.
Part of following Rule Three means not worrying about your fellow comrades when the cops come. None of them are stupid enough to actually risk talking to law enforcement about the Corps’ operations, but the fewer of them who get caught, the better.
So Sanemi takes off, adrenaline pumping fast and jot in his veins as he hears the swine behind him split off. He can’t be sure, but he can make out two, maybe three pairs of footsteps trailing behind him.
He scowls; shaking one cop is a breeze; having to shake off three is a bitch.
He hurtles over a pile of wooden crates and shoves a stack of delivery pallets over behind him as he runs, darting down random alleys and side streets that he knows will eventually lead him to a safe house.
The backstreet he shoots down is a fork, but only the path straight through will lead him to a rust yard of abandoned warehouses and shipping containers that Sanemi knows like the back of his hand. He could lose them there, could vanish between freights and wait the bastards out, and once clear, he could slip back into the district marking the outer territory of the Silo and get back home.
Iron pumps hotly in his veins. Almost there, almost there —
A car skids to a stop at the end of the middle ting of the alley, police lights flashing and alarms blaring.
No good.
“Fuck.” It isn’t the end of the world, but the blocking of the alley meant he had to reevaluate his escape. While he’s familiar with the path now obstructed by the police cruiser ahead, he hadn’t the chance to fully scope out his only other two options — the side streets to the left and right.
Without much thought, Sanemi darts sharply left and prays to whatever deity is listening that he hasn’t fully fucked himself.
Only one shop remains open; a tiny hole in the wall, tucked in between two old apartment buildings at the end of the street — one that borders the city’s western wing.
It’ll have to do, he decides, especially as the police sirens grow louder with each passing second.
He explodes through the front door, wide eyed and panting. Vaguely, it registers to him that this is a bookshop — a thankfully empty, cluttered bookshop.
But his abrupt arrival does reveal that the shop is not totally empty. There is one other — the store’s lone employee, who startles out of her seat behind the clerk’s counter, nearly knocking over a small cup of coffee.
He regards her for a moment, and she him, with matching expressions of wariness and shock at the presence of the other.
Behind him, the police sirens grow louder; more urgent.
It’s now or never. And, because he’s desperate enough to try, he risks a move he knows better than to take.
“You got someplace I can hide?”
——-
You blink, stunned as you stare at the frantic, pleading man anxiously looking between you and the door behind him.
His name registers dimly in the back of your mind. Here. In your store. And, evidently, on the run, if the distant echoes of police sirens growing steadily closer to your store is any indication.
Sanemi Shinazugawa.
You know him; you’d known him most of your life, even if you’d never spoken to him. You’d gone to the same school in your youth — all thirteen years of it, in fact. He’d been an abrasive loudmouth in the hallways, but a quiet, even polite boy in the classroom.
You know he’s from the Silo — a worn down, derelict part of the City that housed only the poorest residents. A cruel nickname meant to mock the poverty of its population.
But the Silo was also well known for being the epicenter of operations for the notorious group known only as the Corps.
It was the Corps who owned a majority of the City, its reach extending from the Silo, through the West and East wings, and all the way into Midtown. And, as was the case with most leeches, the Corps relied on the most desperate and hungry to carry out its biddings, offering some level of protection and security for the poor souls who needed it most.
Hence, its presence in the Silo.
So you hadn’t been surprised when you’d heard Sanemi had joined the Corps. Most kids from the Silo did; what had surprised you were the rumors that he became a high-rank member by the ripe age of seventeen, before he’d even graduated high school.
You shudder to think what he had to have done — what he’d become — in order to achieve such status and notoriety.
If he’d been anyone else, you wouldn’t have helped; you would’ve screamed, alerted the police to his presence, maybe even outed him as a suspected Hashira.
But you owed him.
Years ago, before either you or your siblings could drive, you all relied on the city bus to get to and from school.
But one afternoon, when you’d had to stay late for a club meeting, your little sister accidentally got on the wrong bus. Rather than being dropped safe and sound a block away from home, she’d ended up in a bad part of town that just so happened to have been the stomping grounds of the scowling delinquent now shoved under your cabinet, contorted between boxes of blank receipt rolls and stacks of returns.
Had anyone else found your sister, there would be no telling what would have happened to her. The Silo was not a place known to be kind to lost little girls.
But it was Sanemi who discovered her, sniffling and red-faced at the dilapidated bus stop. And though he’d been nothing more than a scrawny ten year old, he’d put your sister on his back and carried her not just the six miles back to safe part of town, but the additional two that led right to the front doorstep of your parents’ home.
You’d watched him curiously from the stairs as your parents profusely thanked your sister’s white-haired savior. They’d offered Sanemi dinner, or at least some sort of reward for his efforts, but he’d only waved them off, briskly telling them it was “no big deal.” As though carrying a six-year-old nearly eight miles was par for the course, as far as he was concerned.
His eyes had flitted over to you once during the exchange, briefly lingering before he turned and left, a single hand held up in casual farewell.
You’d been ten at the time. And now, here you are, twenty years old, running a shabby bookstore, and the opportunity to pay him back has finally arrived. The chance to show your gratitude for sparing your sister of a fate he himself, had not been able to escape.
Quickly, you motion him to you and without explanation, you cram him under the clerk’s counter, holding the cabinet door shut with your knee just as the police burst through the store entrance.
There are three of them, and they do not bother announcing themselves to you. Instead, they begin to prowl through your aisles, flashlights out and guns drawn while they comb the quiet corners of the store, searching for signs of anything that did not belong; anything misplaced.
A bead of sweat slides down the back of your neck, but you keep your face and your stance casual. Below the counter you cross your fingers, hoping and praying that the criminal stuffed inside your cabinet isn’t stupid enough to try and shift.
One officer rounds back into the main part of the store and locks in on you, stiff and anxious behind the counter.“You haven’t seen anything suspicious?”
“I’m sorry, sir. I don’t know what you mean.”
The cop grimaces. “You haven’t seen anyone who looks out of place? Maybe seems like they’re running?”
You feign an easy, sweet smile, even as the leg holding the cabinet door shut begins to tremble. “I’m afraid you’re my first customer of the day, sir.”
The officer grumbles under his breath something along the lines of not your customer, but he questions you no further. He only waves to his comrades and the three of them shuffle out through the door, one muttering into the walkie strapped to his shoulder.
Several moments pass, tense and thick. The silence is broken only by the sound of your heart hammering against your sternum. You remain still, fingers curled tight against the counter’s edge listening for any sound signaling the cops have returned, that their stiff departure had been a ruse to lull you into a false sense of security, as they waited for you to reveal your deception.
But all remains quiet. And you cannot stomach the silence any longer.
“They’re gone,” you mutter, finally moving aside to let the cabinet door below you swing open.
There’s a faint thumping and a few, muffled curses as the scar-speckled fugitive unfolds himself and spills free from the under-cabinet.
In a way, Sanemi still resembles the boy of your memories. His eyes and hair have always been distinctive: a shocking contrast of violet framed by thick, dark lashes that do not match the mop of silvery-white atop his head. But it’s the faint scowl he wears as he stands, the tinge of annoyance that tugs at the corners of his mouth, that scrunches his pale eyebrows, that feels familiar.
That expression, a portrait of vague irritation with the world around him, was one you came to know well — at least, at a distance. One that remained constant even as you grew; his default.
However, it is still not nearly as memorable as the shy embarrassment that had turned his cheeks slightly pink, had made him cast his eyes down as your parents showered him with gratitude.
But that earnest bashfulness is nowhere to be found now.
He wears a patterned, short-sleeved button down. Though rumpled and a tad dirty, you suspect the top three buttons were left open intentionally, rather than being the product of whatever scuffle he’d found himself in before he decided to make it your problem.
You try not to linger on the very obvious hint of the well-defined muscles revealed by his open collar. Nor do you let yourself consider the bulging mass of his biceps as he runs a hand through his cornsilk hair.
He has scars he’d not had in your youth — jagged, silvery lines that cut halfway across his cheek and forehead. Yet their presence does not dull his good looks.
A scrawny ten year old no longer; Sanemi Shinazugawa is now tall and roguishly handsome. But his infuriating good looks aside, your debt to him has been repaid; now, he needs to get the fuck away.
“Can’t thank ya enough,” he shoots you a devilish smile as he straightens his shirt. “You really saved my ass —“
“Get out of my store.” You order, your voice hard. “Take your trouble somewhere else and leave me out of it.”
Sanemi’s eyes narrow at your use of the word trouble, but he says nothing. Instead, he only rounds the counter with a loping, infuriating swagger, his hands shoved in his pockets.
“As you wish, Princess,” and you bristle at the sarcasm dropping from the word. He pauses to scan the shelf marked New Releases. “Just need somethin’ for the road.”
He snags a small novel — a fantasy story, judging by the cover - and he tucks it under his arm.
“Later,” he calls, waving a lazy hand over his shoulder.
You stare after him, slack-jawed and incensed. “You have to pay for —“
But the door bangs shut behind him, and Sanemi Shinazugawa disappears into the night.
—-
By the time Sanemi returns to his shabby apartment, it is well after midnight. He’d met up with Uzui and forked over Maeda’s payment. Though, the Corp’s head pimp hadn’t been particularly pleased that his money rolls had been shoved deep down in his boots, his nose wrinkling as Sanemi dropped the crumpled, slightly damp wads of cash into his waiting, magenta-nailed hands.
As it turned out, Maeda hadn’t sold them out. Rather, one of the Hinoe had stupidly gotten into a scuffle with some brash, young teenager and in his anger, pulled his gun on the kid.
Right in front of two, marked cop cars.
One of the idiots had been caught and cuffed, and was now spending his evening locked in the damp, cold jailhouse pending bond. The other — the driver — had managed to escape, though he’d been carted off to Iguro for punishment.
There’s a reason he prefers working alone, he thinks bitterly as he kicks his boots off. He fucking loathes incompetence.
He pulls his gun free from its place in his waistband and sets it gently atop his ratty kitchen table. Sanemi then trudges over to his futon, collapsing heavily on it with a groan. A shit day, he decides, pulling the stack of cash he’d received as his cut for the job free from his pocket, thumbing through it. A shit day with shit juniors.
He shifts against a lump that sits under his ass. Frowning, he reaches into his back pocket and pulls out the book he’d swiped from your store and turns it over in his hands. Surprisingly, it has managed to remain in pristine condition despite its rather unceremonious storage in his pocket.
Your face flashes in his mind, but before he can fully appreciate it, your words echo in his ears.
Take your trouble somewhere else.
Sanemi scowls, tossing the book onto his coffee table, annoyed. The implication underlying your use of trouble and the venom with which you’d spoken it is a thorn in his side he cannot ignore.
You know what — who — he is. In Sanemi’s world, that’s a liability.
Though, in fairness, he can’t really be surprised that you do. Gossip is a free commodity in this town, and it’s a coveted one. It wouldn’t be a stretch to conclude that you’d overheard one of the rumors about him and his ties to the Corps.
What concerns him is he doesn’t know what your connection is, if any, to his world. Maybe you’re really just a girl in a bookshop who paid back a decade-old favor.
Or maybe you’ve got an in with them.
The Corps isn’t the only gang operating within the city; there is another, crueler and far more violent that had arisen west of the Silo.
The Kizuki.
In the last six months, the Kizuki have managed to overtake the Western Wing, nearly expanding their reach into center city.
Their takeover had been swift; practically achieved overnight, following the systematic execution of every known Corps members in the area. And their violence hadn’t been limited to active members; the Kizuki had brutally maimed and murdered anyone tangentially connected to those Corps members.
Neither women nor their children were spared. And now, it seemed the Kizuki had set their sights on the Silo.
There are whispers that they’ve expanded into their operations into the neighborhood adjacent to the one in which the bookstore sits. That alone is enough to make Sanemi suspicious — perhaps you’re in league with them, and you’ll hand him over the moment it’s most convenient for you to do so.
Admittedly, that theory seems doubtful. You’re a bookseller. Not the kind of girl he knows is prone to becoming involved with the seedy underground world of organized crime. And your apparent disdain for him and his trouble only supports that theory.
But that’s an assumption, and in his line of work, assumptions are precarious; risky. Too much so for comfort.
Either way, he doesn’t know, and that uncertainty is a breeding ground for the parasite that is doubt. Toxic enough that were it to take root in his brain, his judgment could be compromised, leading him to mistakes he can’t afford to make.
Sanemi doesn’t tolerate blind spots. He will keep you on his radar until he determines the threat you pose and once he knows its severity, he’ll decide how to proceed.
He eyes the book he’d swiped from your store. He likes reading, though he hasn’t had much time for it lately (or, ever). But, if he’s going to hang around you while trying to identify the threat you pose, he might as well have a strategy for getting you to talk.
Sighing, he grabs the novel from his table and thumbs to the first page as he pads into his kitchen, in search of something to quell the grumble in his stomach.
His inquiries into you and your life reveal shockingly little.
You work at a bookstore. Your parents sold off your childhood home and retired to some beach down south. Your siblings are spread out across other cities and don’t visit home often, if ever.
Only you remain, abandoned by your family to fend for yourself in a crumbling city with only a shabby bookshop that sits on the furthest end of an otherwise safe street to keep you busy.
Truthfully, the bookstore probably is more interesting than you, at least on paper. But it’s that dirge of information that piques his interest; makes him look at you more as a mystery worth unraveling.
Besides, the smart thing for him would be to keep a tab on you until he can confirm you are in fact, as boring as you appear.
Or so he tells himself.
The image of a ten-year-old you peering at him from your parents’ stairwell flashes through his mind once more.
He’d felt your gaze burning a hole into his head, and shyly, he’d looked back at you, only to find himself unable to look away. Only your mother’s prodding about him joining your family for dinner had broken your temporary enchantment over him.
The memory of how you’d looked at him — a mixture of curiosity and awe highlighted by a faint blush in your cheeks when he’d met your stare head on — remained fixed in his brain for years after.
And though the two of you never spoke, you always smiled at him whenever you locked eyes in the school hallway or cafeteria. A real, genuine smile.
He wonders if he ever smiled back and finds himself irritated that he can’t remember if he had. He should’ve; especially now when it seems as though he’s unlikely to ever see that gentle, radiant smile again.
Sanemi’s phone pings and all thoughts of you come to a screeching halt. The message that flashes on his screen — instructions, only by way of an address and an amount — chase away the images of you and your sweet smile, like a hand scattering smoke.
With a sigh, Sanemi dials the number for two, lower-ranked Corps members to serve as scouts. With watch secured, he shoves his phone into his pocket and runs a tired hand over his face.
He wonders what will kill him first — whether it will be a bullet or whether it will be because there’s nothing left of him to whore out on the Corp’s behalf.
Ultimately, he knows it doesn’t really matter. He won’t die as himself; as Sanemi, the boy from the Silo who wants a life that’s anything but this. He’ll die only as Shinazugawa the Hashira. He’ll die under the mask he’s forced to wear so often, he wonders if it hasn’t yet bonded with his skin.
But as long as he remains in one piece, he must continue on as a puppet in this this tedious show. So, Sanemi grabs his gun from where he’d placed it on atop the cheap plastic of his kitchen table and he tucks it into his waistband.
And by the time his apartment door slams shut behind him, Sanemi has slipped the mask down over his face, and he is Shinazugawa once more.
Two weeks pass before he ends up back in front of your bookstore.
Sanemi doesn’t really remember how he got here. He awoke well before sunrise to his phone chiming with orders that he go collect on a sizeable gambling debt owed by one of Iguro’s regulars, an owner of some pawn shop.
The sun was already high overhead when he finally left the pawn shop, knuckles bruised and arm aching. He’d kicked his bike into gear in a familiar daze, one that always slipped over him after he completed a job. A kind of numb quiet that settled into his bones, a dull static in his brain that did not fade until the tremor in his hands subsided.
That paralysis needs to be broken. Contrary to popular belief, desensitization was not an ideal state of being for someone like him. It made him apathetic and careless to the world around him, and that was little better than painting a giant target on his back, begging his enemies to come and do their worst.
So, when the numbness still lingered by the time his bike roars past a rusted water tower that marks the outer limit of the Silo, Sanemi knows of only one cure. His go-to.
His bike is still hot by the time he lifts his phone to his ear, just outside his shithole of an apartment.
He doesn’t know her by name — only by description, as told by the series of emojis that accompany her number on his phone. But it’s surprisingly easy to charm her, though perhaps that’s because she’s looking for an escape just as much as he is.
Less than ten minutes later, the girl pulls up beside him in the parking lot.
Her hands are already roaming down his chest and playing with the buckle on his belt as Sanemi unlocks his door and pushes her inside.
At some point between the front door and his bedroom, the girl has stripped herself of her outer clothing, leaving her only in her undergarments as she tugs Sanemi down by his neck and into her kiss. She’s licking and nipping at his lips in a way he’s not sure he likes, but he allows it because his cock is painfully hard and throbbing where it strains against his pants.
And, after all, he’s the one desperate for relief.
“I’ve only got ten minutes,” she warns, kicking off her underwear as she falls back onto his bed. Sanemi only smirks as he slides his hand down the length of her leg, gripping her by the ankle and flipping her to her stomach.
He shifts away long enough to quickly wiggle free of his pants. He grabs a condom from his nightstand and rips the foil with his teeth. Fingers toying with the girl’s clit as she moans into his mattress, Sanemi rolls the latex down his cock. Protection secured, he reaches for her again, yanking her by her hips until her backside is flush against him. One hand pushes down between her shoulder blades while the other snakes up her neck, and Sanemi nudges the tip of his cock up against her entrance.
“Don’t worry, darlin’,” he winds the long tresses of her hair around his fist and gives her a sharp tug. “We’ll be done in five.”
—-
Even an hour after he tossed the girl her clothing and not so casually suggested she leave his apartment, Sanemi still feels restless.
He cannot shake the images of the afternoon from his mind, and so, Sanemi resorts to walking.
He does so without thought as to destination or the rapidly setting sun. Sanemi only focuses on the activity itself. One foot in front of the other; pace even and quick, each step accompanied by a flash of that day’s sins.
The crash of a garage door as it slammed back against the wall. Wide eyes that quickly filled with panic at the sight of him and the flash of metal tucked against his hip.
Step.
A plea; a desperate promise to pay, one that he’d heard a thousand times from a thousand different mouths. None of them ever seemed to understand their word wasn’t worth shit when they’d already defaulted on their obligations. Yet still, they begged.
Step.
The breaking of teeth beneath his fists.
Step.
The crush of bone under the iron pipe he’d found discarded on the garage floor. The agonized futility of trying to scoot back and away from him, despite a shattered leg.
Green; the color of the money he’d found stashed in a duffel, the debtor’s desperate attempt to hoard the wealth owed to the Corps.
Step. Step. Step. All the way down the street leading until he finds himself on a distantly familiar stretch of pavement that ends at the bookstore’s front steps.
For a moment, he lingers outside the shop, hesitant. He should turn around; there is no reason for him to be here. His investigation into you is not a priority by any means, especially where whatever poking he has done has revealed so little.
The book he lifted from the New Releases shelf is tucked carefully in his jacket pocket. He doesn’t know why he’s carried it around with him, all this time. Sanemi finished the novel the very night you’d helped hide him from the cops.
He should leave; but then his feet carry him up the walk leading to the store, and he’s pushing the door open.
His arrival is punctuated by a cheerful ring of the old bell nailed above the door. At first, the store appears deserted; but then you pop up from under the counter, surprise coloring your features.
That surprise melts quickly into cold disdain that makes something in his chest flutter as he strolls toward you. With every step, that numb haze of his disperses and instead, Sanemi feels himself returning to normal the closer he brings himself to you.
“This isn’t a library,” you chide when he plops his borrowed novel back down on your counter. “You have to pay for the books here.”
It’s incredible how easily he is able to slip back into the skin of the suave, smug playboy, and your adorable glare only makes him smirk. “I brought it back, didn’t I? Look — didn’t even crack the spine.”
“It doesn’t matter,” you reply coolly, snatching the book up and tossing it on a small cart marked Restock. “That loss came out of my paycheck — which is scant enough.”
That piques his attention. “Didn’t you say this was your store?”
His question makes you turn pink, and you’re quick to put your back to him, pretending to shuffle through new releases waiting to be shelved. “I work here,” you mutter quietly, but when you turn back around, you stick your chin out, defiant. “But I am the only employee, so it is my store, in a sense. The owner doesn’t ever come by.”
You wrinkle your nose. “So yes, lost profits affect me, and me alone, you thief.”
Sanemi cocks his head, his eyes running over you in consideration.
You’re beautiful; he’s always found you cute, even as a kid, but the transition between your teen years and adulthood have been kind. Even if you’re glaring at him like you would a crushed bug stuck to the bottom of your shoe.
But your words strike a chord in him. His job is to collect money from those greedy lowlifes who waste it; who use money to carry out their bad deeds, who use it to fuck over others.
He doesn’t take it from those who need it; from those who are barely scraping. by. Sanemi knows the agony of having to choose between keeping the lights on or feeding a hungry stomach far, far too well.
“Fine, here,” he tosses a random novel on your counter and a crumpled twenty dollar note. You ring him up, eyes flicking up to glare at him every so often as you count out his change.
He only continues to watch you, the heat of his stare ignites an itch under your skin that makes you squirm.
Your restlessness boils over. “What?”
“Nothin,” he shrugs. “Just think it’s interesting that you of all people are still lingering in this shit hole.”
Your head snaps up, your task of totaling out his change forgotten. “I live here, idiot.”
He snorts. “Didn’t you want outta here? Do somethin’ different?” He leans forward, elbows propped on your counter as he rests his chin on his fist.
“I don’t see how that’s any of your business.” He’s dancing dangerously close to a sore spot of yours — that you are alone in your hometown, working at a failing bookshop, with no one and nothing to justify your stagnancy.
“This can’t be your dream life.”
You don’t have to answer; you know that. But his line of questioning is puzzling. Because, no matter how casual he manages to keep his tone, his nonchalance is betrayed by his eyes, sharp and inquisitive.
Like he’s waiting to dissect whatever answer you give him.
Sanemi continues. “It’s strange for people not to want for more — to not dream about somethin’ different.”
“And who are you to say I don’t?” You bristle, slamming your cash drawer shut with more force than necessary. “I have a dream of my own. Just because it’s not one you would pick for yourself doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”
He blinks, taken aback. “Woah, woah, I never meant any offense.” He pushes back from the counter. “My bad.”
His response feels genuine but your ego is already bruised. Stiffly, you finish counting out his change and drop it into his waiting palm.
You slide his book across the counter. “Have the day you deserve.”
His surprise morphs into amusement at your iciness. So haughty, he winks. “You too, Princess.”
You turn aside in clear dismissal. He makes a show of taking out his wallet and stuffing his change inside, but your pointed ignorance of him means you don’t see him toss another note on the counter.
He’s already halfway out the door when you call after him, urgent. “Sir, you dropped your —“
“Nah, I didn’t,” he raises his hand in farewell as the bookstore door bangs shut behind him, leaving you to stare open-mouthed after him.
Clutched tightly in your hand is his crisp, one hundred dollar note.
His next visit is unplanned, but not in the way that Sanemi avoids routine. It’s unplanned in that he’s annoyed and it’s partially your fault, so that means the onus is on you to fix it.
You’re in the process of double checking delivery logs to ensure all your new inventory has arrived when a large thud against the clerk’s counter startles you.
You frown. It’s him again — all ivory hair and silvery facial scars that somehow are less imposing than the irritated scowl he wears.
“This book was shit,” he scoots the novel across the counter to you with distaste. “I want a refund.”
You level his pout with a frosty glare of your own. Wordlessly, you lean over the counter and tap a single finger against a laminated sign duck-taped to its edge.
Return-exchange only. No refunds.
“But it was shit,” he repeats, as though that will somehow spur you to change a policy you didn’t create. “You let me waste twenty bucks.”
“I did nothing,” you rustle the pages of your delivery log in pointed dismissal. “You’re the one who decided to buy a book before checking it out.”
You glance down at the discarded novel. “Figures,” you scoff. “He’s not even an author. He uses ghost writers and takes all the credit.”
“Woulda been nice if you’d told me that before you let me give him my money.”
You hum idly as you cross off the log’s boxes for new releases. “I suppose I was too stunned that you even knew how to read. Guess I wasn’t really paying attention to your shit choices.”
“Oh?” And you glance up to see Sanemi smirking at you. “The Princess has claws, does she?” He leans against the counter, propping his cheek under a loose fist. “So, what are your recommendations, gorgeous?”
“I’m not your Princess,” you snap imbuing the nickname with as much venom as you can muster. “Call me by my name or call me nothing at all.”
His eyes drop to your name-tag, pinned neatly on the front of your sweater. That insufferable smirk of his only widens. “Alright, alright. What are your recommendations, Y/N?”
The syllables sound rich and honeyed and suddenly, you wish you’d let him stick with Princess, as grating as it was.
Because your name should not sound so sweet, should not roll off his tongue so seamlessly, as it just did.
You’ve never been one to indulge in rumors. But in this city, as economically fractured as it is, gossip is a currency everyone keeps in their back pocket. And though you keep your head down and mind your own business, even you have heard the rumors swirling around town about the eldest Shinazugawa child.
Rumors that he has ascended the ranks of the same Mob that claimed the life of his deadbeat father long before the bastard was shived in the back for a debt he’d owed (their words, never yours).
Rumors that he holds a unique position within the gang, known clandestinely only as the Corps, and that position requires him to do things most won’t speak about.
But the rumor that screeches to the forefront of your mind has nothing to do with his alleged status with the Corps. It’s his reputation as a flirt; a rumored womanizer, through and through, that is a splinter under your skin.
Determined to pick him out, a wicked idea blossoms. “Fine, here.” You stalk purposefully to the section marked Literature. Your finger drags down a line of titles before finally settling on one. You pull it free with a soft grunt, the book sitting thick and heavy in your hand as you dump it into Sanemi’s.
“Read that.”
His eyes flick between its cover and you, incredulous. “This ain’t a book; it’s a brick.”
“It’s a classic,” you counter. “One that examines age-old question of destiny versus free will, generational curses.” Your head cocks to the side, a challenging smirk tugging at the corner of your mouth. “Love and lust.”
His eyebrow raises and you cross your fingers. If he falls for it and ultimately ends up hating the book, then perhaps he’ll decide your taste in reading material is indeed shit, and maybe then he’ll leave you alone.
Sanemi considers you for a moment but then he takes the bait. “If you say so,” he sighs. “But if it’s shit, I’m taking my refund.” And then he leans in close, so close that you can feel the warmth radiating off his body.
His breath is hot against your ear. “Regardless of your shitty little policy.”
You refuse to let him see how much he’s knocked you off-kilter. “So I can expect to be robbed? Will it be at gun or knifepoint? Just so I’m prepared.”
His chuckle, low and dark sends goosebumps skittering down your arms. “Worse,” he promises before he draws back. His grin is wolfish, all teeth and feral hunger. “You’ll owe me a date.”
He looses a low, appreciate whistle as he steps back and takes his eyes over your rigid form. “Though, I might just take you out anyway.”
“You assume I’ll say yes — or are you planning on kidnapping me? I’m sure you’re rather proficient at it, given your occupation.”
Something dark flashes across his face, and it’s enough to make you step back, a sudden fear creeping up the back of your spine.
Stupid, you chastise yourself. You never know when to keep your mouth shut.
But the shadows in his features recede as quickly as they appeared, and Sanemi’s mouth eases back into that same, cocky smile.
“You’ll say yes, Princess. You won’t be able to resist the temptation.”
“Temptation?” You force out a laugh. “And what makes you think I can’t?”
Sanemi’s eyes find your current read, open flipped over on the counter, marking your current page.
It’s a mystery novel. Your third of the month, born of a new hyperfixation on the genre.
You want nothing more than to wipe that smug grin of his clean from his face. He gives an affectionate snake of his head as he turns and makes his way toward the door. “Habits, Y/N. It all comes down to habits.”
You should throw it at his head, but Sanemi exits the store before your hand can find its spine.
——-
Over two weeks pass without so much as a whisper from the enigma that is Sanemi Shinazugawa.
Loath though you are to give him that sort of credit, you cannot deny that he utterly confounds you. He is everything you expected while simultaneously nothing at all what you’d imagined. He is brash and cocky, and he struts around with an insufferable self-importance that can only come from years of being at the top of his game (no matter how he got there).
Yet, he also reads. Enough to have opinions, even decent ones, about certain authors, and he’s open minded enough to accept your recommendation even if it feels as though he has an ulterior motive for doing so.
And, he’d been bothered by the dock in your pay as a result of his mischief; so much so, that he’d slipped you more than enough to make up the loss. That is the action that puzzles you the most, even weeks later. You’d assumed that someone like him, so used to ensnaring people into various schemes, wouldn’t have given two shits if he’d stolen money from some broke girl at a bookstore. After all, his business was all about money — and the lengths some would go to keep it.
Yet he’d paid you back — paid you more than you needed, if you were honest.
Since that day, you’ve had your ears tuned to any mention of his name, any whispers of the mysterious, scarred gang-member who has occupied nearly all the open space in your head. You’ve managed to glean small things here and there. That he’s a Hashira, and Hashira means he’s only one step below what is known ominously as the Master Family — the heads of the entire organization.
That he’s rather feared, even among seasoned Corps members; that he’s known for his swift brutality.
That he’s more than just a flirt; he’s a virile lover. Not picky in the slightest about who warms his bed, though no one has ever been able to pin him down longer than a handful of one-night stands.
You stop poking around after that particular revelation, embarrassed that you now know exactly what makes him so popular.
Apparently, his flexibility pairs well with his near inhuman stamina. And he’s said to be very well-endowed.
It’s more information than you care to know, but you can’t deny that your curiosity lingers.
You brush aside your inquisitiveness as nothing more than a natural side effect of your own inexperience. And you’ll be damned before admitting that your interest in Sanemi Shinazugawa isn’t limited to rumors of how good he is in bed. That, perhaps your curiosity stems from something deeper, from a desire to know if that bad boy persona is authentic or a mere facade, and boy on the stoop still lurks somewhere beneath his mask.
“You look like shit.”
You startle up from where you’d been resting your head on your arm, wavering between consciousness and sleep.
You know that gravelly voice before you lay your eyes on him, and your irritation is quick to flicker to life.
Nearly a month has passed since your last encounter, and for a moment, you’d thought you’d been freed from his nuisance. But now, Sanemi stands in your store, wearing a half-amused expression on his stupidly handsome face.
“Is that the only descriptor you know?” You ask miserably, hands working quickly to smooth down your mused hair. “Is everything either shit or not-shit to you?”
Sanemi shrugs. “Pretty much,” and he holds something out to you, waiting. “Here.”
It’s a to-go bag from a cafe two blocks away. One known for their almond croissants, for which you have a particular penchant.
Your stomach grumbles fiercely. You’d foregone eating breakfast when you realized you’d overslept your alarm, and had to rush out of your apartment to ensure you’d be here in time for the weekly delivery truck.
The sweet scent of butter and sugar wafting from the bag makes your mouth water.
But this is Sanemi Shinazugawa, and you should think to know better. “Is it poisoned?”
He rolls his eyes. “If I wanted to drug you, sweetheart, I’d pick a far more convenient way to do it — and one that didn’t involve me getting up at the ass crack of dawn for some overpriced pastries.”
Warily, you accept the paper bag, and Sanemi surprises you again by handing you a to-go cup of coffee. He watches as you, ever the dramatic, sniff tentatively at the lid and frown, apparently dissatisfied that you can discern nothing but the rich, aromatic scent of espresso.
Sanemi takes a deep drink from his own cup. “It’s a thank you. For that book you recommended,” He smirks. “It wasn’t shit. It was good.”
You fish a pastry out of the bag, and nearly drool as you behold its buttery, flaky goodness. “You sound surprised.”
“Maybe I was. Your success rate was only fifty-fifty. I had every right to be skeptical.”
“You’re the one who grabbed that last book,” you take a large bite out of your croissant and you fight to keep yourself from moaning. “That had nothing to do with me.” You swallow thickly before taking a large sip of coffee to wash down the pastry. “So, no date, then?”
The smile he gives you is almost apologetic. “Sorry, beautiful. I don’t actually date.” And you nearly double over at the bewildering taste of disappointment creeping sourly up the back of your throat. “Gotta keep things casual in my world.”
The once-over he gives you is razor-sharp. “And you don’t look like a casual girl.”
You resist the urge to cross your arms. “You seem awfully certain, Shinazugawa.”
“Experience,” he offers easily. “I know casual women.” He turns his head away before quietly adding, “And you ain’t one of ‘em.”
It’s odd; you know of his rather wild reputation among women, and yet he seems almost embarrassed by its acknowledgment. But as you’re slowly learning, Sanemi Shinazugawa is a conundrum you haven’t yet been able to pick apart.
You could throw it in his face; you could spew some barb about his experience, rub your salt right into his obvious wound. You have no reason to spare his feelings, not when he’s been such a consistent pain in your ass.
Your eyes drift to the empty pastry bag and coffee cup before they find him again, and suddenly, you don’t see the swaggering, cocky Corps member with a reputation for being just as dangerous and violent as he is flirtatious.
You see only the boy on your stoop; the one who’d gently removed your sister from her place on his back and handed her back to your tearful, relieved parents.
And it’s because you cannot stop seeing that boy, that you offer before you lose the courage to ask, “So, friends, then?”
Sanemi whips back to you, surprise coloring his features that quickly melts into a smile — a real, genuine smile.
And thus, Sanemi Shinazugawa, ruthless member of the Corps and a ranked Hashira, befriends a girl who runs a bookshop.
—-
In retrospect, Sanemi knows he’s probably fucked himself.
His only intention in visiting your shop after that first day had been to discern what level of threat you posed to him, if any, and to address it accordingly. Befriending you was never his goal. After all, he prided himself on his staunch ability in following the unspoken Rules of the Corps — number Three, in particular.
But he has always interpreted Three has a warning against forming bonds within the Corps. And though he knows it’s good practice to keep his circle outside its operations small as well, he rations he’s entitled to indulge his curiosity in you. He doesn’t have friends, not really. Just Genya, and his little brother lives well over an hour away, enrolled in a school in a far better — far safer — city.
It would be nice to have someone a little closer to home that he could relax around.
Yet, he can’t recall whether Rule Three would bar him from associating you outside work hours. Caution would dictate he shouldn’t, but Sanemi never claimed to be a careful man.
He never visits the same day or at the same time. Rule Two says no patterns, and though he’s steadily blurring the lines of Rule Three with each passing day, he convinces himself that as long as he abides by the first two, he won’t be in as deep shit as he, in theory, could be.
It starts out slow; tentative. Despite what he’d thought otherwise, you’re not nearly as prim and haughty as you’d tried to make him believe.
You’re sweet. Genuine, in a way that’s rare for him to encounter in his world.
Gradually, he begins spending more time with you. At first, your relationship is confined strictly to discussions of books. You swap favorites, debate which author is at the top of their genre, and you occasionally needle each other over your respective guilty pleasure: yours, bodice rippers. His, fairytales.
He spends a great deal of his free time at the bookstore, though he’s never consistent with his visits. You never ask him about it, and for that, he’s grateful. But eventually, your conversation turns to other interests — movies, shows, music — and each new mutual interest only further enamors him with you.
And when you invite him over one day after you close the shop to watch an old movie you’d swiped from the store’s limited collection, he can’t find it in him to tell you no.
The first time he visits your apartment, he is appalled.
For starters, the neighborhood you live in isn’t the safest. It’s not the Silo, by any means, but it’s an area he frequents as part of his job and that fact alone sets him on edge. He knows what kind of people linger here; knows that they tend to borrow cash that ends up in Uzui’s business — another Hashira.
And when he sees the shoebox you live in (a studio, you’d proudly boasted, as though the distraction of exposed brick and industrial piping made up for its shit location and shit security), Sanemi finds himself clutching his proverbial pearls.
He supposes he can see its appeal — you’ve certainly turned it into a home.
You’ve made a small living room out of a single couch, thrifted coffee table, and a faintly stained rug. Your TV is laughably small, but he supposes it gets the job done.
A small kitchen stands to the right of the entryway, and there is a bathroom to the left. You have a wall of closets with folding doors, and the wall directly opposite of him boasts three large, arched windows. Sanemi supposes during the day, they provide enough natural sunlight to negate any need for any overhead lighting, of which you have none. But he can’t tell if they open from the outside, so he resolves to furtively check once you’re distracted.
Your bed stands on the furthest wall, tucked into a corner and laden heavy with colorful pillows and plush throws. Books are stacked everywhere — in shelves, in corners, by plants and furniture. All well-worn and loved, their spines cracked and covers stained.
It’s lively; warm. And it has you written all over it. That alone is enough to slightly endear the place to him.
But it’s still a shit apartment in a shit neighborhood.
Worse, your door is little more than a flimsy piece of wood that latches with a single turn lock — the easiest to break, if someone was determined enough to try. He tells you as much and you roll your eyes, brushing aside his concerns as though he’s not precisely aware of what kind of filth might linger around the corner.
The next day, he brings over a deadbolt, a chain, and a drill. He bats off your indignant protests as he installs it on your door. And, because he’s petty, he forces you to sit through a painfully detailed demonstration of how to properly latch and unlatch the chain once he’s finished.
The weeks blend seamlessly into months, and Sanemi finds himself spending more and more of his free time with you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re working at the bookstore or enjoying a night of brain-rotting entertainment on your shitty little television. He just wants to be near you, and he finds himself unable to stay away.
Four months into your friendship, you start a weekly movie night, though the date is always subject to change. Still, Sanemi finds himself craving more of that precious time with you. The hours spent in your store or at your apartment fill a void in his chest he hadn’t realized he’d been harboring, and it’s a fullness he quickly becomes addicted to.
It is an odd thing, this new ritual (never routine) of his. The alternation between visiting the scum indebted to the Corps, to feel bones crush and snap beneath his hands or the iron of a spare crowbar, or blood griming to his knuckles, only to return to your bookshop or apartment, cheap beer and greasy takeout in hand, isn’t the kind of switch he imagined he’d ever make. But you make taking off his Hashira mask so damn easy, and every time he leaves he finds it more difficult to slip back on.
With each passing day, he learns you more and more. He gathers information like a dragon hoards its jewels, each new tidbit a precious gem that he tucks safely away in a mental box labeled with your name.
He learns that, while he prefers tea, you prefer coffee, but you’re picky about your order. If it’s hot, you want it black or with only the faintest splash of cream. If it’s cold, however, you want every sweet syrup and topping known to man, even though it only makes you crash like a freight train once the sugar high wears off.
He learns you think cooking means pouring yourself a bowl of cereal and calling it a day, and it’s a revelation that makes him have to walk away and collect himself, lest he start lecturing you on the importance of proper nutrition, just as he does with his brother.
In exchange, he opens up about the more sacred aspects of his life — namely, Genya. He confides in you the great pride and adoration he has for his little brother, and admits his deep-seated fear that Genya will somehow be pulled into his violent, hostile world of his. And each time Sanemi begins to feel that anxiety rear its ugly head, threaten to settle into the marrow of his bones and send him into a spiral, you’re always there to pull him back.
Sometimes you ask questions, and Sanemi tries to answer them as best he can. But there are some subjects he can never touch. Never wants to.
He can’t tell you whose blood stains his knuckles or is splattered across his shoes. He can’t tell you where he goes when his phone vibrates late at night or at random during the day. He can’t tell you what his fellow Hashira do; the specialties they oversee.
Sanemi does make a point to assure you there is one sacred creed by which they all abide: no kids. This seems to put you at ease, as though this tepid moral line somehow absolves him of the other shit he’s guilty for.
It’s selfish, this thing he has created with you. He knows that. And his blossoming friendship with you likely breaks more than one of the sacred precepts of the Corps. But you’re the first person he’s met since his initiation who knows what he is and doesn’t cower in fear, and that makes him desperate to cling onto you. You know what an ugly, beastly creature he is, and yet you do not run away from him. Even when you probably should.
So, he makes a promise. He won’t show you the Shinazugawa who belongs to the Corps; a formidable member of the Hashira, known because of the things he can do to others to make sure they pay their debts. What he does to them when they don’t.
With you, he wants to be Sanemi; only Sanemi.
And so it goes, for the better part of a year, the two of you learning one another, pretending the ease you feel in the company of the other is merely the product of two people relieved to find a friend in a city that cautions against such ties, and not something in danger of becoming more.
As though the metamorphosis hasn’t already set in.
“You never told me what your dream was, y’know.” Sanemi says one night while you finish up inventory at the store.
“What dream?” You hum as you scan the shelves reserved for non-fiction releases, your lips pressed into a firm line as you run your pen down the entries of your log.
He leans against the bookshelf, arms folded across the considerable mass of his chest. “Your big dream — the one you bit my head off for insulting that one time.”
You look up long enough to roll your eyes at him. “Where’s this coming from?”
“Dunno. Curious.”
“Thought you’re not supposed to ask questions in your line of work.” And you shoot him a sly grin. “You ought to be careful.”
Sanemi snorts but he nudges your foot with his. “I’m serious.”
Your eyes dance back and forth between him and the log before you. There’s no real harm in it, you decide. After all, he’s the only friend you have. “I want my own bookstore.”
“Yeah?” He raises a pale brow and waves his hand vaguely around behind him. “Aren’t you practically running this one? That ain’t enough?”
“I don’t own it, though.” You frown, setting your clipboard down. “I just work here. You’ve seen my paycheck.”
And he had, having found a paystub when he’d gone snooping under your counter. You would’ve been furious at his invasion of your privacy had you not been so mortified at the way he’d stared in horror at the pitiful figure reflecting your earnings after two, grueling weeks of work.
His insistence on bringing you meals at any and every opportunity afterward only compounded your embarrassment.
“I want something that’s mine — that I own.” You continue. “I’ve begged the owner to let me organize author meet-and-greets as a way to promote the store for months, and he always says no. If I owned my own store, I wouldn’t need anyone’s permission.”
You pull your bottom lip between your teeth. “I wouldn’t have to live under anyone’s thumb.”
Something shifts in the way Sanemi watches you, a certain profundity creeping into his eyes.
Your cheeks heat. “I know it sounds stupid —“
“It doesn’t,” Sanemi says earnestly. “Wanting your freedom can never be stupid.”
You soften then, as understanding passes between you. Of course he would know all about that — arguably better than anyone you know.
Sanemi clears his throat. “So, a bookstore?” And he gives you a broad smile as he pulls out his wallet and tosses you a twenty dollar note. “Consider me your first investor.”
Sanemi spends the rest of the evening watching you work, fascinated by the way you meticulously organize your store shelves, and count the cash in your register. When it comes time for you to heave boxes of excess inventory to the back storeroom so they can be shipped back to their distributors, Sanemi plucks them from your hands, batting off your protests as he carries them for you.
By the time closing arrives, every new shipment has been unpacked and its contents have been shelved.
You flick off the overhead lights in the main store, relying on the backlight of the exit door to light your way out. You tug on your coat and find him watching you, expectantly. “Are you walking me home?”
“Tch. Don’t I always, when I can?”
You grin and it’s enough to chase away some of the sourness twisting in his gut. He shouldn’t do it, as often as he does. He’s risking enough as it is by constantly redrawing the lines around Rule Three to justify the way he’s beginning to bend the parameters around the rule against patterns. But it’s dark and late, and you don’t have a car, and he’ll be damned if he lets you brave the walk home alone.
Better he’s there to protect you from the dangers he can anticipate and see than to stick to his code and risk your harm from those he cannot.
Thankfully, the journey back to your apartment takes no more than fifteen minutes, even when he stops to thumb free a cigarette from the spare carton he keeps tucked in his jacket. You wrinkle your nose at him in mock-disgust as he lights it, the smoke curling out of his mouth reminiscent of a fire-breathing dragon.
He wouldn’t do it if he knew it truly bothered you. But you’d once shyly confessed you liked the faint smell of tobacco that clung to his jacket, especially in cold air like this. So he only shoots you a wink as he brings it to his lips and takes a long drag.
Besides, he thinks as he looses a slow exhale. He needs something to help him take the edge off; to guide him in making that transition between Hashira and Sanemi.
He escorts you all the way to your front door, the two of you trading quips and jokes. And Sanemi savors how utterly extraordinary something as ordinary as walking you to your door feels. Almost as if he’s ordinary, the way he so desperately wishes he could be.
You fidget with your keys, sliding them into your lock. “Did you finish that series I recommended?”
Sanemi grins. “Last night. I think it was your best suggestion yet.”
You duck your head, a bashful smile spreading across your pretty lips and its sight fills him with a golden warmth.
Your door gives way and you turn back to him. “‘Til next time?”
It was what you always said; you never asked him when you could expect to see him again, and he appreciated it. Appreciated not having to explain himself, when most outside his world would likely demand he try.
“‘Til next time,” he confirms, returning your smile with one of his own.
You hover in your doorway, fingers drumming on the frame, eyes roaming his.
“You never told me yours — what your dream is.”
He should leave. You’re treading in murky waters, ones made dangerous because he almost wants to tell you — tell you the truth, at that.
That he dreams of more. More life. More stability. More everything. He’d settle for anything, really; anything at all.
As long as it was more than this.
But Sanemi only responds with a wry grin. “To wake up in the morning, Princess. That’s all I can ask for.”
———
Sanemi’s answer lingers with you long after you emerge from your shower, warm and toweling your damp hair.
To wake up in the morning, Princess.
He’s full of shit and you know it.
Over the course of the last year, you’ve learned a handful of crucial details that make up Sanemi Shinazugawa.
You’ve learned he loves matcha, but he really loves the expensive kind. While you can’t afford to buy the high quality powder, you make do with what you can afford at the grocery, and you make it for him as often as you can.
He drinks it every time, bitter dregs and all.
More importantly, you’ve learned what it means to have a friend involved in the Corps. Not that he’s merely involved with the notorious gang — at least, not any more than the two of you are just “friends.”
Town gossip aside, Sanemi’s affiliation with the Corps is made obvious by his own actions. Like the way the two of you only ever hang out at the bookstore or your apartment; how he never invites you to visit his place, over in the Silo.
Or how he insists on scoping out your apartment every time he comes over, his eyes alert and sharp as his hand lingers at his hip, ready to pull out the gun you know he keeps tucked into his waistband at all times.
It’s evident in the way Sanemi never sticks to a consistent schedule. He varies the days and times of his visits at random, never allowing himself to settle into a routine, even if that means going an entire week or longer without seeing you.
But perhaps the most significant detail you’ve learned about Sanemi over the year of your friendship is this:
He wants out. Dreams of it, even.
This revelation does not come from the scarred Hashira himself. It is the product of months of observation, of studying how his face darkens when his phone pings! while you’re watching some sitcom on television, or when he sees a familiar face pass by your shop window, and suddenly he has to leave because he must be Shinazugawa again, and you won’t see him for the rest of the day.
It is evident in the way he talks of his younger brother, who, by all accounts is a star student and athlete, with a promising future in collegiate archery.
Sanemi is saving every penny he can to send his brother — Genya — to school, far, far away from the Silo. The conviction with which he speaks of Genya’s future, full of college and internships and promise, breaks your heart, because you know Sanemi hadn’t anyone to want those things for him.
Sanemi does not speak of any future of his. You suspect it’s because he doesn’t believe he will have one.
That has to be why he answered your question with his vague desire to wake up every morning. It was an easy answer. One that relied on you making certain connections between his life and his words and deduce that he truly had nothing more to live for other than life itself.
A cop-out, is what it is.
But his reading habits betray his darkest secret — betray the truth — and that’s exactly how you know his flippant answer is utter bullshit.
The book Sanemi carries around the most is a series of classic fairy tales, bought off your sale table a few months back. He’s read the whole thing cover to cover, but he keeps a bookmark on one specific page, and periodically, you catch him flipping back to it.
He made the mistake of leaving the book on your coffee table one night when he excused himself to use your bathroom. Realistically, you knew it was no big deal to flip through it, but somehow, the thought still felt like an invasion of his privacy.
But your curiosity got the better of you so you snatched it up, and thumb quickly to the bookmarked page, desperate to know which story has so captivated him.
You opened to the first page of of a tale — an old French story, about the daughter of a merchant who is sent to life with a beast in a distant castle, as penance for his theft of the beast’s rose.
You smiled to yourself; you were familiar with the story. You know how it goes — the beast everyone believes to be the villain is saved by the woman, and revealed to be a handsome prince. And the two live happily ever after.
Your smile faded as you recalled how the woman saved her Beast. True love’s kiss, or something along those lines.
True love.
And as Sanemi returned from the bathroom and plopped down next to you on your couch to watch a rerun of some old sitcom before he has to leave for the night, you mulled over Sanemi’s apparent fascination with the tale of the beast and the beauty.
And that’s how you drew the series of conclusions which enabled you to see right through his thin facade.
He wants out.
He wants a happily ever after. He doesn’t think he’ll get it.
And, above all, he dreams of love.
If any doubt lingered as to the magnitude of his ties to the Corps, it disintegrates one night, about eight months after he’d first burst into your bookstore.
It is well after midnight, but you are still awake, too engrossed in a new fantasy novel to pay particular attention to the lateness of the hour when your phone buzzes on your bedside table.
Sanemi’s name lingers above the notification, which reads simply, Outside.
You untangle yourself from your blankets and pad over to your front door, hastily tugging on a pair of sleep boxers over your underwear.
You open the door and the flutter of excitement you’d felt upon seeing his text is chased away by shock at the sight before you.
There is a bruise forming along Sanemi’s cheek that you almost would have mistaken for dirt if not for the swelling. His hair is rumpled, his clothes in disarray. Though it winks away the second he sets his gaze on you, you swear you were able a cold fury in his eyes; foreign, and violent.
The fury that belongs to a Hashira, not to the friend you know.
Wordlessly, you step back and allow him to limp past you.
“You got liniment?” He rasps, plopping heavily down in your kitchen chair. “And water?”
“You mean icy-hot?” You’re already filling a glass from the tap that you set on the table next to him before you retreat to your bathroom to rummage the cabinets.
You return a few moments later, tub of minty topical gel clutched in hand. You nearly drop it when you realize that Sanemi has stripped himself of his shirt already and is now bare from the waist-up, his forehead resting against his arms where they’re propped up on the back of your chair.
You’ve known for a long while that Sanemi is well-built (obscenely so).
Once, in the early days of your friendship, you’d snapped at him to button his shirt properly if he insisted on hanging around your store, dramatizing over how obscene it was for him to prance around with his chest half-exposed.
Sanemi had only grinned at you before he unbuttoned two more, revealing a generous glimpse of infuriatingly toned abs. Your open-mouthed, scandalized stare was met only with a wink.
He kept his shirt like that for the remainder of the day. You’d hardly been able to look at him without flushing a deep scarlet that only seemed to inflate his already generous ego even further.
But, you’re only human. And as the months passed by, and your friendship with the scarred mobster grew, you found yourself sneaking the odd peek every now and then. A glimpse of pectoral here; a hint of his rigid v-line when he stretched his arms over his head there.
And now, here he is, sitting in your small kitchen area awaiting the relief of the icy hot clutched in the tub that grew more slippery between your rapidly sweaty palms, every mouth watering inch of his upper body on display.
Beautiful. Your mouth goes dry at the sight of him. Sanemi is unbelievably beautiful.
“Need ya to rub it into my shoulder, if you don’t mind,” his voice is muffled against his arm. “I hate asking, but I dislocated the damn thing and had to reset it — fuckin’ hurts, now.”
You know better than to suggest he go get an x-ray. No hospitals, he’d once explained. Not unless you’re bleeding out.
You also know better than to ask how he dislocated it, and so you only pad silently over to him, grateful he’s turned away from you so he cannot see the tremble in your hands or the blush creeping across your cheeks.
Eager to give yourself something to do besides ogling, you focus on unscrewing the lid on the jar of liniment, your nose wrinkling under the burn of its stringent odor. You scoop a generous amount of the salve into your palms and warm it between your hands.
“Motherfucker,” Sanemi hisses as your hands spread gently across his shoulder, your fingers gingerly massaging the topical into his swollen joint. “Shit stings.”
“You’re lucky it’s not broken,” you chide, carefully prodding along the joint in search of anything that may be amiss — an odd lump or gap, signaling something hasn’t been reset properly. “At least, I don’t think it is.”
“Your medical expertise is astounding,” Sanemi drolls, but he winces again as your fingers press against a particularly tender spot. You step away from him with a huff and fish your phone out of your pocket, hands still slathered with ointment.
“I’m not a doctor,” you shoot back. “And since you refuse to go see one, the best I can do it give you the advice of the internet.”
You ignore his grumblings as you search for treatments for dislocated joints. You tap on the first link that appears and scroll, eyes narrowed as you read.
“You’re in luck. It seems like you won’t die,” you say dryly. “But you’re going to have a nasty bruise.” You purse your lips, eyes scanning the article on your phone. “And this says you’re supposed to rest — not overexert the joint.” You reach to tug playfully on a lock of his hair. “I don’t suppose you’re actually going to do that, though.”
He twists and flashes you a mischievous smirk over his shoulder. “You know me too well, Princess.”
You roll your eyes and snort, tossing your phone onto your table in favor of reaching for a discarded kitchen towel to wipe off the excess icy hot from your hands.
You’re about to tell him to put his shirt back on and stop flaunting the muscles he just can’t seem to help but show everyone he has when your eyes snag on a mark that rests squarely between his shoulder blades.
You wouldn’t have noticed it but for the shiny redness surrounding it, a clear contrast to the rest of his skin. But the longer your stare at it, the more clear its abnormality. The mark is puffy and raised, but there’s a distinct pattern to it that makes the hair on the back of your neck curl.
A brand, you realize with horror. Someone has branded him like cattle.
Your finger reaches to trace over the ridges seared into his skin before you can think the better of it. Sanemi twitches under your touch, a small shudder skirting down his spine as he tilts his head back toward you.
“Ugly, ain’t it?” His tone is unreadable. “Like a collar, ‘cept it’s permanent.”
Though he tends to err on the side of caution when it comes to discussing the Corps, you at least know what is role is within it. He told you: debt collector. Mostly monetary debts.
But the brand has nothing to do with money. No, the symbol burned into his skin — the one that stands for Kill — is a neon sign of a reminder that Sanemi’s duties can and do entail another kind of collection.
A chill snakes down your spine. You’d had your suspicions, of course, you’re not stupid. But seeing it confirmed by a brand of all things is a lightning rod through your chest.
Sanemi must sense your stare against his back, and you hear his rueful smile though you can’t see his face. “Guess it’s fitting, since I’m their dog.”
There it is; confirmation of what he is, as though it were possible to forget. You don’t know why you’d held out in letting its weight settle over you. Nor do you know why your brain had refused, for a moment, to reconcile the Sanemi who brought cheap beer and greasy fast food to your apartment for a night of trash television and book reviews with the one before you now, branded with inexorable reminder of what his duties are when he steps outside and debts go unpaid; when scores go uneven.
Your eyes slide to his gun, resting atop your table. It may has well have been smoking.
“It’s barbaric,” you murmur. You never offer much of an opinion on the tidbits of information about his life he shares with you, unwilling to make him feel as though you aren’t someone he can confide in.
But the sight of the brand scorched between his shoulder blades stokes something ugly and angry within you. You’re grateful his back is to you so you can furtively rub your hand over your prickling eyes before he can see you do something stupid, like cry.
He tilts his head back until it rests against your abdomen. “Thank you,” he murmurs, his eyes drifting shut.
You freeze for a moment, your anger temporarily suspended against your uncertainty of whether you should step back or remain. You’ve touched Sanemi a thousand different ways — you’ve grabbed his arm, smacked him upside his thick head, and elbowed him more times than you can count.
But this; this is something far different from your teasing nudges of the past. This small gesture feels infinitely more tender. Gentle.
Intimate.
Sanemi has never not been the picture of cocky brashness, especially around you. His priggish smirk was a constant, only ever dampened by the occasional alert on his phone — the one that meant he had to stop being yours for the night, and go be theirs.
But this Sanemi? This peaceful, eased, vulnerable version of your best friend is wholly uncharted territory. And perhaps it’s because he looks so unguarded this way, his face relaxed and his eyes closed, that you feel so flustered.
You brush his hair away from his forehead. At the first graze of your fingers along his scalp, Sanemi leans further into you with something akin to a moan.
Hot; everything feels so damn hot, the air in your apartment suddenly too thick. Too oppressive.
Yet, you don’t stop; your fingers keep raking through his hair, surprisingly silky.
You think he may have fallen asleep in your chair, but after another moment of your hands carding through his hair, Sanemi stands. You step away instantly, and you avert your eyes while he pulls his shirt back over his head, cursing softly as he works it over his injured shoulder.
Sanemi turns to you and clears his throat roughly. “Thanks again. Don’t know what I would’ve done without ya.”
You wave him off with an exaggerated eye roll, eager to conceal the redness in your cheeks. “Oh please, I’m just your neighborhood book supplier and occasional first aid nurse.”
A sudden sobriety passes over his features, clouding over that all too familiar smirk with something heavier.
“No,” he murmurs and his hand absently lifts to tuck a stray lock of hair behind your ear. “No, you’re more than that.” His palm lingers against your cheek and his voice quiets to a hoarse whisper. “Much more.”
For a moment, you wonder if he’ll lean in; if he’ll show you whether his lips are as warm as his touch.
His eyes drop briefly to your mouth and your stomach somersaults at the thought he might be considering it, too. But the clouds part and Sanemi withdraws from you with an affection flick against the tip of your nose.
And then he turns and leaves.
You sink back against your door after you close it behind him and slide to your floor. You remain there for a long while after, your mind little more than a gnarled tangle of brambles you can’t begin to pick through. But even despite the complicated mess of thoughts and emotions knotted together in your head, one thing stands clear: you’d wanted to kiss him.
And for a moment, you swear he’d wanted to, as well.
An old rumor, one you hadn’t considered since your very first interaction with him, resurfaces in your mind. The one that had less to do with him in the Corps, and more so involved his activities outside of it.
The rumor that he cycles through the bodies he uses to warm his bed more frequently than you change the sheets on yours.
Your cheeks heat, and you shake your head to clear away the sudden, intrusive images of Sanemi tangled in the throes of passion with some faceless stranger that fill your imagination. You don’t care what those blasted rumors claim; you know him. And what’s more, you know that what you feel for him is stronger than anything you’ve ever felt toward anyone.
You’re in love with Sanemi.
It is his face you see at night before you fall asleep; it’s his touch you imagine in those secret moments in your bed or in the shower, when you’re desperate and aching.
It’s he who makes you feel most at ease; the one person you feel truly sees you, thinks you’re actually worth something.
You’ve never really known love before. But it’s because you’re such a novice that you know your feelings are true; powerful. You know what he is — what he thinks he is. And you know that you will never want anyone else; you can’t.
You won’t.
Three rules. That’s all he had to do, was follow three simple fucking rules.
Don’t speak. No patterns. And don’t get overly attached.
It had been easy, so easy, to follow them. If there was one thing Sanemi believed he could pride himself on, it had been his steadfast adherence to the Corps’ rules. Number three, in particular.
Until you. Until the day he’d chosen your bookstore to hide in.
Because that was when Sanemi decided that those rules were really more like guidelines; malleable. He’d let himself cast them aside out of a desperation for human connection. And he’d justified his carelessness by convincing himself that as long as he maintained some semblance compliance with the unspoken code of the Corps.
Sanemi had built his own set of rules around the foundation of his friendship with you, a wall of stone around the glass castle meant to ensure you would not be cut by its shards should it ever shatter.
He would not be your liability, nor would you be his.
But now, he’s too deep; Sanemi knows he’s gotten in way too fucking deep with you.
Until this moment, he imagined he’d managed to toe the line of this internal code that applied only to his relationship with you, save a handful of instances when he’d let himself blur it.
As it turns out, he’d been dead fucking wrong. Because he’s pretty sure you just asked him to cross the last major boundary he’d set for himself when it came to you.
So, Sanemi only gapes at you. “What?”
You huff, impatient. “I want you to fuck me.”
You say it like it’s the most obvious thing in the world — as though you haven’t just ripped the floor out from beneath him and sent him falling directly on his ass.
If he didn’t know you were dead serious, he would’ve laughed in your face. And that’s how he knows he’s fucked.
You’re a virgin; he knows that, because you’d drunkenly confessed it to him two weeks prior, tipsy on the cheap beer he’d brought over for your weekly movie night together.
Admittedly, he’d been surprised. You were beautiful — not that beauty was a requirement for a good fuck, but you didn’t seem the type to go for random hookups, unlike him. Still, he would’ve thought you’d had some prior relationship where the opportunity would have arisen.
As it turned out, you’d never been in a relationship, either.
Between long gulps of your drink, you’d asked him to fix it and he’d turned you down — his tolerance for watery beer far surpassed your own, and Sanemi Shinazugawa wasn’t the type to sleep with someone who couldn’t fully consent.
So he’d let you down — but not before he kissed you. It was only once; soft, the way you deserved to be kissed. His lips met yours and suddenly, the gaping hole in his chest felt smaller; fuller. Kissing you felt like coming home, even though Sanemi was sure he’d never fully known what home truly felt like.
And then he parted from you with an affectionate flick on your nose to cover the way his heart clenched at the visible disappointment in your eyes.
He’d boldly kissed you twice more after that night — one a quick, cheeky peck when you went in to hug him, an act done more to fluster you than to sate any desire of his, no matter how he craved more of you.
The other happened only three nights prior, and it was anything but soft and sweet.
One of Sanemi’s fellow Hashira, Kanae, hadn’t been seen in several days, and no one had been able to get in touch with her. When she’d missed a scheduled patrol of one of the neighborhoods in the Silo, he and another member, Iguro, had been sent to check on her.
They’d found her in the kitchen of the small home she’d shared with her two sisters with a hole in her head and her brains splattered across the floor.
Curled under the protective stretch of her limp arms, had been her two sisters, both bearing matching bullet wounds to their skulls.
Kizuki, most likely. They were the only ones brave enough to target someone as high ranked as Kanae.
Their blood had still been fresh, and the stench of decay and rot hadn’t yet set in, which only told them that the girls had been held for several days, forced to endure unknown horrors at the hands of their murderers.
He hadn’t been particularly close with the woman, but as his rank equal, she’d had his respect. But now she and her adolescent sisters were nothing more than smears of brain matter and skull fragments to be scraped off the linoleum of their kitchen floor and quietly buried. Forgotten.
The hours passed by in a blur once Kocho’s death was called into the higher-ups, and Sanemi didn’t remember cleaning up the scene anymore than he remembered the solitary trek back. His mind and his body disconnected, and he only snapped back to reality when he realized he was standing in front of your apartment, unsure of how or when he’d begun walking in its direction.
He knew he should turn around and go home; there was nothing you could do for him right then, he shouldn’t bother you —
His fist was pounding on your door before he could think better of it.
Despite the late hour, you’d greeted him with a broad smile and a shy hi. Your hair had been damp, and he could smell the floral sweetness of your shampoo still mixed with the steam from your shower as it spilled into the hall.
Safe; you were safe.
Your door had still been hanging wide open as Sanemi surged forward, trapping your face in his hands to crash his lips down against yours, his kiss heavy and hot.
You’d broken away long enough to ask, “S-Sanemi — what —?”
“Shut up,” he’d snarled, slanting his mouth back over yours, his teeth nipping at your bottom lip. He’d half expected you to shove him away, perhaps to even aim a knee right at his crotch, yet you’d only buried your fingers in his hair and tugged him closer.
He backed you up against the wall opposite of your entryway, though he’d moved his hand to cup the back of your head to keep it from banging against the exposed brick.
You moaned into the kiss and Sanemi lost whatever shred of sense he’d managed to cling onto. His tongue swept along your bottom lip, and the hand cupping the back of your head loosely pulled at your hair, tugging your head to the side and signaling you to open up — to let him in.
And you did. And the first brush of his tongue against yours as he licked into your mouth ignited an inferno within him that he did not know how to tame.
His hands pushed under your sweatshirt, seeking out the comforting warmth of your skin. Higher and higher they rose, until they came to rest against your ribs, and Sanemi realized you were bare — completely bare — beneath your hoodie.
That you’d allowed him to toe so dangerously close to a line neither of you could cross had clouded every bit of his judgment. The thought that he’d only have to move his hands mere centimeters to touch you in a way no other had before had sent him reeling, and his hips were beyond his control when they pinned yours against the wall and ground into you.
But your single gasp into his mouth broke the spell, and with more regret than Sanemi knew he should feel, he broke away, leaving you both breathless and panting.
Without a word, he’d turned around and stalked right back out of your apartment, closing your door firmly behind him.
He’d sent a text only a few minutes later — a single, ominous reminder to you to lock your door, deadbolt and all.
He hadn’t the stomach to explain his cryptic warning; not as the sight of Kocho remained burned into his retinas.
So, yes, he’s blurred a few lines when it comes to you. But those had only been kisses; heavy touching aside, he’d never allowed himself to go further than that.
No matter how much he wanted to.
And it’s because he knows he can’t cross this last line — can’t open you up to risk more than he already has, that he meets your expectant stare with a rueful smile.
“You’re better off asking someone else, Princess. You don’t want to get tangled up with someone like me.”
Never mind that you’re already tangled up with him — but he’s managed to uphold this last boundary, and Sanemi has convinced himself that as long as it remains in place, he can’t ruin you the way Kocho and her young sisters were ruined.
“I don’t want to ask someone else,” you fold your arms across your chest and cock your hip out, defiant. Normally, Sanemi finds your stubbornness endearing, if not adorable, but not now; not when you should know better.
A low growl of your name is his warning. “You don’t know what you’re asking —“
“It’s you I want. I don’t care what the rumors say, I don’t care what anyone thinks — including you.”
The sincerity in your eyes nearly scalds him. “And I am not asking as a friend. You and I both know this is more than that.”
He wants to throttle you. Not literally of course, he could never — but he wants to shake the sense you’re so clearly lacking back into you until you see; until you understand.
Of course he wants you. He has wanted you for months — so much so, he hardly can focus on anything else. And he’s pent up. He hasn’t had the stomach to fuck anyone else. Not since he began falling asleep and waking up to thoughts of you and your touch, of how you might look under or above him, wanton and desperate. Or how you might feel in his arms; on his tongue.
Really, it’s been quite a blow to his rather wild reputation throughout the Silo. But God knows he has tried to fill the you-shaped void in his heart, but nothing — no one — has come close.
More than anything, he wants you to be his, and for him to be yours. He longs to be the Sanemi who takes you out on dates, who kisses you freely without the compulsive need to check over his shoulder, to make sure there aren’t any enemies watching and plotting to strike him right where he’s weak. He wants to be the Sanemi you come home to after a long day at the bookstore. The one with whom you plan a future, utterly and completely yours.
But he can never be just Sanemi. He is nothing more than the property of the very organization he’s sworn allegiance to; the group whose brand he bears on his skin.
He is not good. He is a curse that will infect you, a poison to your life.
He will rot you from the inside, out.
His friendship with you is selfish. He knows that — he’s always known that, and yet he did not stop. It is selfish because he deluded himself into believing he could actually be someone else when he was with you. Someone worth befriending; perhaps someone worth a little more.
You were right to call him a thief, that day. All he does is take your time and affection when he knows damn well he won’t give you anything in return, no matter how he wishes he could.
Sanemi won’t label that thing he holds deep inside his heart which is formed in the shape of your name; not when it could so easily doom you both. But he knows his feelings for you are dangerous, and he cannot allow you to sniff them out.
Because if he does, then this only ends one or two ways: either he lets you in only for you to abandon him once you realize the truth of what he is, or you’re used as a weapon against him.
In either event, he loses you. So it is better to cut this off now, to force you away before either of you become more invested than you already are.
He will not hurt you, but neither will he allow himself to be hurt by you.
You take a step toward him, and the soft whisper of his name sounds like a holy prayer on your lips and that’s how he knows this is wrong.
Your obstinate refusal to recognize him for what he is is a needle digging into his skin, one that whittles away at every wall he has managed to build around his heart, that damnable, soft, dangerous thing that he will not allow you to find; he cannot.
You’re confusing your roles. He is the vulture and you are his prey, not the other way around. he is not here to give. He is here only to take, and you will let him and then he will leave.
And he will not be the carcass you pick clean only to discard once you’ve had your fill.
(A lie, but it’s one Sanemi almost believes. Almost.)
But Sanemi knows you; he knows you better than he knows anything else. You are a constant he has become far too dependent upon, and you are precious — far too precious to him to continue to indulging.
He knows you are too good, too loyal in your feelings to forget about him, even if he disappeared from your life entirely.
A clean break. it is the only thing that will force you to forget him and move on, find another, someone good and whole and not a broken, misshapen thing like him.
He will show you who he really is. He will show you that he could never be just Sanemi, and he sure as hell can’t ever be yours.
Better; you deserve better, so he will become worse.
He advances on you, his step heavy and imposing, and you have enough sense to scurry back from him. But he is too quick and soon he has you caged against the wall of your studio, literally backed into a corner.
“You want me?” He is scathing and he loathes himself for it, but he can’t stop. Not when he’s desperate to save you from the blight of himself.
You shouldn’t; you can’t.
But you nod, damn you. Wide-eyed, you nod and he resents the certainty reflected in your gaze.
His mouth twists into a cruel sneer. “You want to say you’ve had a taste of the lowlife, huh?“
Your eyebrows knit together. “Sanemi, that’s not —“
But he can’t stop his venom. “Bragging rights, that’s all you’re after, right? You want to be like one of the characters in your stories — the good girl who makes an honest man outta the good-for-nothing villain.”
“Stop it,” you bite, and your eyes harden. “You’re acting like an asshole.”
You’re angry. Good. Sanemi knows how to deal in anger.
“Hate to break it to ya, sweetheart, but I’m not acting like an asshole. I am one.”
Your hackles raise, and you step away from the wall and toward him, bold in your fury. “I know you want to believe you are, but you’re not —“
Sanemi’s hand shoots out to grab a fistful of your hair. “Is that so?” You yelp as he wrenches your head back, your neck straining. “Then maybe I oughta bend you over and fuck you like I would any other cheap whore. Then you can tell me what you think I am.”
Your eyes water as the grip in your hair tightens.
Good, he thinks savagely. Let you see the monster he truly was, let you know he was his bastard father’s son, and that he’d be no different, no different at all. He’s a brute, and you don’t want that, you don’t want him —
“You can do whatever it is you want,” you manage, you throat tight. And Sanemi’s eyes blow wide at the soft, watery smile that forms on your lips despite the tears that escape the corners of your eyes. “Do to me what you like; I don’t mind, as long as it’s you.”
All at once, his ire with you and your bewildering devotion to him melts away, leaving nothing behind but a deep well of guilt, bitter and acerbic.
It isn’t that you think he might take you forcefully and harshly; after all, he’s only shown you he’s entirely capable of doing so.
It’s that you would let him. Without a shred of doubt, he knows you would offer yourself to him to use however he wants, and that you’d do it with a smile not unlike the one you’re wearing right now, soft and earnest.
Fuck, you just did.
And it’s that realization that has Sanemi’s hand loosening from your hair, his eyes softening. An errant tear escapes down your cheek and he moves to brush it away, but you close your eyes the moment you spy his knuckle nearing your face.
You do not flinch, but you are steeling yourself in anticipation of expected cruelty, and the front he’s put forth crumbles to dust.
He is a monster, but not for the reasons he’s used to justify this ugly display of his. He’s a monster because he has made you believe that this treatment is acceptable — an unavoidable cost of intimacy, no matter how fleeting.
Worse, he’s done the one thing he’d sworn never to do to any woman, let alone someone as good and as dear as you.
He’d only wanted to disgust you; enrage you, so that you would kick him out of both your apartment and your life, right out on his sorry ass like he deserved.
But this is worse. He has frightened you.
He recoils from you like a kicked dog. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
He stands awkwardly as you stare at him, wide-eyed and uncertain, and each second that ticks silently by only amplifies the oily well of guilt in his stomach.
He clears his throat. “I’ll go,” he says roughly, too ashamed to meet your eyes. “‘M sorry, I didn’t —“
Your hand grabs his bicep, anchoring him in place. “I want you to stay.”
“You don’t owe me anything —“
“It’s not about owing you,” you interject, lifting your hands to take his face between your palms. “I want you. I want this.”
You prove your point by taking his hand and guiding it to your waist. You hold it there, mouth set in a determined line as you inch closer to him.
“You deserve someone else,” Sanemi can’t stop the admission from rolling off his tongue. “Better.”
But you’re already shaking your head, as though you somehow know different. “There is no one better; I only want you.”
Idiot, he thinks as you rise up on your tiptoes, your arms winding around his shoulders as the distance between your bodies grows narrower. You’re an idiot.
You can’t possibly believe he’s as good as it gets. He’s used you as a distraction this whole time, a chance to forget the things he’s done and what he’ll be required to do in the future. Surely, you must know that.
He will hurt you; it’s in his nature. It’s unavoidable. He can’t be what you deserve.
But then your lips brush gently against his and the last of his resolve crumbles.
Sanemi melts into your kiss. He brings one hand to cradle the side of your face as the one braced against your waist shorts, until he wraps his arms around you and tugs you closer to him.
This kiss is gentle in every way the last was not. Sanemi’s lips are soft moving against yours, his hands almost hesitant in how they hold you. For a moment, he imagines himself not as the selfish, hard brute he knows he is, but instead as the gentle, giving lover he wants so desperately to be. One who is worthy of someone as kind and vibrant as you, and not the trash you’d be better off leaving out on the street.
The tentativeness with which he kisses you tempers some as his tongue flicks out against your bottom lip. You answer his silent request with enthusiasm, your fingers burying themselves in his hair as you haul yourself closer. The moment Sanemi’s tongue sweeps into your waiting mouth, you buckle against him with the sweetest sigh he’s ever heard. One of pure relief, as though you’d been burning and he was your balm.
Ironic, considering he’s only adding gasoline to this fire between you.
But there’s nothing he can do now except allow the flames to consume you both.
Soon, the shy curiosity with which he explores your mouth gives way to a mutual hunger, evident by how he feels as though he’s boiling alive while you gasp and sigh into him, your fingers tugging pleadingly at his hair.
You want more, and he needs you, too.
His nose nuzzles against yours as he bends down, his hands running along the bare expanse of your legs. The ground beneath your feet disappears as Sanemi gathers you up easily into his arms.
One of your arms is looped around his neck while your other hand cups his face, turning it toward yours as he carries you to your bed. Your thumb smooths absently over the scar that cuts across his cheek and then your lips seek out his once more. His kiss is as gentle as the hand squeezing your waist, his fingers slotting into the gap between your sweatshirt and the top of your sleep shorts, stroking your skin.
He lays you out upon your mattress, grateful you’d at least purchased a full bed rather than some shitty twin. Your hands untangle themselves from his hair and instead seek out the waistband of your sleep shorts, but Sanemi covers them with his, halting you.
“Don’t,” he murmurs between quick, messy kisses. “Let me — please.”
Before you can respond, Sanemi sits back and grabs a fistful of his own shirt, yanking it over his head.
Your pupils blow wide at the sight of him and he feels himself hesitate. Sanemi has always felt an easy self confidence when it came to stripping in front of his partners for the night. He’d always been quite proud of his physique, relying on his considerable muscles to mask his deep loathing of his scars.
But in front of you, all sense of self-assuredness goes flying out the window, and suddenly he feels too exposed. His eyes drop to scour the planes of his chest — have his scars always been this prominent? This thick?
“Holy shit,” your soft sigh snaps his attention away from the howling inside his head. For one, petrifying moment, he thinks that you are as disgusted with his body as he is, but then he sees the pink flush staining your cheeks.
Your eyes roam hungrily over him and your tongue darts out to wet your lips. You meet his gaze and your pupils are blown wide with desire — rich, hot need for him.
Your voice is little more than a sultry whisper. “Come here.”
He moves eagerly to cover your body with his, his hair rumpled and his eyes bright as his lips press hurriedly against yours. Your hands smooth over his pectorals and tease down his abdomen until he’s panting, but the moment your nails rake along the skin on either side of his navel, Sanemi moans.
More. He needs more.
He hauls you up from the bed, straddling you across his lap, his hands notched behind your knees as they press into the mattress. You reconnect your lips in a heated kiss, one hand playing with the ends of his snowy hair, the other dropping down his back, settling over the brand seared between his shoulder blades. Covering it.
Yes, he thinks as he nips your bottom lip, urging your mouth to open so he can slide his tongue in to dance with yours. Yes, this is fitting. Because in his ideal world, his life with you would come before any other — including his with the Corps.
Sanemi’s lips begin trailing hotly down your jaw, pausing when he reaches your neck. He finds a particularly sensitive spot with a nip of his teeth that he soothes with his tongue, and he hums in approval at the faint, breathy whimpers that squeak past your lips as you tilt your head, offering more of yourself to him.
The ache burgeoning in his groin in response to your display is enough to drive him insane; he has never wanted anything in his life as badly as he wants this — you.
As his mouth continues its heated path, his hands find the hem of your hoodie. With a gentleness that surprises even him, Sanemi begins charting your skin with his fingers. With every new plane of your body he explores, he pushes your sweatshirt up, up, up, until he guides it over your head.
He tosses it to the side, not caring for where it lands. His attention is focused solely on you as you fall back against your bed, now bare from the waist up.
“Beautiful,” he marvels, eyes running over the slope of your shoulder and tracing the curve of your breasts. “So fuckin’ beautiful.”
He savors every hitched breath, every chill that ripples over your skin as he explores your body with his mouth and hands. Over the years, Sanemi has become well acquainted with the magic of the female body. He’s always liked how soft women were compared to him. He isn’t a picky man; he’ll celebrate them all, regardless of their shape or size.
But you? Celebration isn’t enough; you deserve nothing less than outright worship.
“You feel so damn good,” he mutters against your breast before closing his lips over your nipple and sucking hard. You bow off the bed with a keening moan that gutters out into something more ragged as his hand covers the other, pinching and rolling your stiffened bud between his fingers.
He could spend all night like this, lavishing your soft mounds with his mouth. But Sanemi knows that won’t be enough to satisfy the hunger gnawing at both of you, so with a tinge of regret, he forces himself to move on, descending your body in alternating kisses and nips.
He reaches the waistband of your shorts and his eyes flash to yours as he tugs on it with his teeth. The hot exhale of his breath below your navel sends goosebumps across your skin. Sanemi’s fingers inch below the hem of your shorts until he loops his hands around the waistband, and he yanks them down your legs in a single, fluid motion.
His eyes rake down your body, taking in every beautiful inch. A blush forms on his cheeks as he realizes all that separates you from him is your simple pair of black underwear.
He sits back, eager to join your near-nudity. His hands are quick, if not a little clumsy, as he finds his belt buckle. The instant the metal clicks and the leather around his hips loosens, Sanemi shoves off his pants, eagerly kicking them off your bed until he is left in nothing but his briefs.
Your eyes fall to where the evidence of his desire protrudes stiffly from between his legs. Sanemi watches your throat pulse as you try to stifle your small gulp, your thighs tensing beneath him in an effort to press together.
He can sense your nerves; can see by the way your eyes dart anxiously between his and the rigid tent in his briefs.
With a gentle smile, Sanemi leans in and soothes your unease with his lips. “We’ll take it as slow as you want. I’m not in any rush.”
“N-now?” You murmur between kisses, and he nearly seizes at the hesitant, questioning brush of your fingers against the underside of his shaft.
“Not yet,” he groans against your mouth. “I gotta make sure you’re ready first.”
“I am ready -“
“Not like that,” he cuts off your protest by ghosting his fingers up the covered seam of you. Sanemi circles his finger around where he thinks your clit is, and he smirks when your head tips back against your pillow, your mouth widening in a silent o.
“Found you,” he croons, repeating the movement again until your legs begin to twitch beneath him.
He makes quick work of your underwear, tossing them over the side of your bed without much thought. The sight of you bare beneath him nearly stops his heart dead in his chest. His eyes drop to the neat thatch of curls resting at the apex of your thighs, and his mouth waters.
You blush under the intensity of his appreciative stare, and your legs twitch, as though you mean to close them.
A hand sliding between your thighs restrains you from doing so. “Uh-uh,” he tuts. “Can’t hide from me now, sweetheart’.”
He smooths his hand down the length of your leg until it hovers just outside where he’s most eager to explore. The heat radiating from sends his pulse skyrocketing.
One, tentative finger circles your entrance, testing. Sanemi leans in to capture your lips with his as he pushes in, swallowing your soft gasp with his tongue that he slides into your parted mouth.
A moan vibrates in his chest in time with a faint whimper that sounds in the back of your throat as Sanemi begins exploring you. You’re tight; almost impossibly so, clenching and pulsing around the single finger he gradually sinks inside you, pushing deeper with every gentle pump of his hand.
The thought of your tight, wet heat constricting around the aching length of him just as you were around his finger makes him dizzy with want.
He won’t go down on you, he decides. Not tonight. Not when he’s throbbing this badly after just a couple of fingers; not when your breasts are so plush and soft pressed against his chest where you’re already arcing up into him, sending his mind wild with thoughts of how you’ll move under him; how you’ll moan.
His lips are hot against your neck, trailing down past your collarbone. Left behind are a series of purplish-maroon whorls blooming beneath his mouth, your skin quickly becoming a tapestry for him to display how badly he wants this. You.
You cling to him, one hand buried in his hair, pulling and tugging at him as the other clutches wildly at his shoulder, your fingers digging hard into his muscles. Your teeth are buried into your bottom lip in an effort to stifle your whimpers, but a needy whine slips out as Sanemi sucks one, soft breast into his mouth, his tongue flicking out across your pert nipple.
Another finger slides into your entrance as his thumb works your clit, and before long, you’re vibrating beneath him, unrestrained in how you moan and cry out for him so beautifully.
“Sanemi! I think — oh, I think I’m -“ but then he crooks his fingers, brushing against a rough spot deep within you that makes you writhe. You thrash back hard against the bed, your hips grinding against his hand with abandon.
He smothers a curse into your skin. You’re close and he knows it; can feel it in the way your walls flutter and pulse around him. And as desperate as he is to study how you fall apart, it’s too soon.
“Not yet,” he pants against your breast, circling your nipple with his tongue before imparting a final nip at the soft flesh and drawing back.
Remorseful, he pulls his fingers away from you, leaving you panting and flushed under him. But the hot, searing flames of desire burning beneath his skin intensify still, as he takes your hand and guides it between your legs.
“There. Feel how wet you are?” His voice is husky with want. You peer up at him through heavily lidded eyes as you nod, a whimper vibrating in your throat as Sanemi grinds your hand against your sensitive flesh.
“For you,” your voice is syrupy and warm, and damn if Sanemi doesn’t feel like he could get drunk on it. “It’s all for you.”
His tone sharpens into something possessive; hungry. “That’s right,” and he pushes your hand firmly against your clit and rotates it, eliciting a deep moan from you. “Because you’re mine.“
It’s not fair. But he wants to pretend like it’s true, if only for a while.
Once your fingers are sufficiently shiny with your own wetness, he brings your hand to his mouth, his tongue peeking out from between his lips. Slowly and languidly, he drags it up the side of your digits, and his eyes burn into yours as he slides your fingers into his mouth and sucks them clean.
It takes everything in him not to moan at the sweet taste of you that floods his tongue.
He’d made the right decision in not going down on you. If he had, he’d never be able to pull away; not until his face had become so adorned with your essence that he could not comprehend anything that wasn’t you. Not until you were trembling under him and begging for a break.
The first time you cum will be on him; with him. So as much as it pains him, he resists your temptation.
But not before you know; not before you understand exactly how wild you drive him. How much you threaten his sanity.
“Jesus Christ,” he rasps as he pulls your hand away from his mouth. “Here.”
His hand his gentle but firm as he grips your chin, squeezing your jaw until your mouth parts. The question in your gaze dissolves, your eyes instead rolling back into your head, as Sanemi slides the two fingers he’d just had between your thighs, still covered in your wetness, past your lips.
“Go on,” he orders, his other hand brushing your hair from your face. “Taste how fuckin’ perfect you are.”
The moan that slips free from your lips is one he wishes he could bottle up as your tongue caresses his fingers, your cheeks hollowing so fucking perfectly around him as you dutifully clean yourself from him.
Fuck, you’re trying to kill him.
But some of the burning he feels ebbs as the sobering weight of what’s to come settles over him; the magnitude of what he is about to do. Because no matter what happens after, nothing between you will be the same. Whatever else you are after tonight — whether that’s something or nothing — you will never be just friends again.
Sanemi supposes the punishment fits his crime; this is what he gets for getting in too deep with you, even if it means losing you entirely.
He chases away those thoughts by running his hands down your sides before he pulls back, leaving you in favor of shucking his briefs down his thighs.
Finally bare, he’s quick to drape his body over yours once more, his hands smoothing up and down your sides, unable to quench his need to feel your skin against his. But a foreign uncertainty stills him, and his eyes flash to yours, hesitant.
“Are you sure?”
You answer only by reaching to grip the back of his neck, tugging him down to meet your lips, your kiss feverish and urgent.
He doesn’t have a condom but he’s in too deep now to stop. In a way, what is about to happen is new to him as well. He’s never fucked anyone raw before. No matter who he’d had in his bed, no matter how much they begged him or assured him they were on birth control, he’d always been sure to have protection on hand.
Children are a gift, but he’d be damned if anyone tried to come after him and demand he raise one in his fucked up world. Either Sanemi got out or he never became a parent; there was no middle ground.
But once again, he is blurring boundaries where you were concerned, and Sanemi doesn’t think he knows how to stop himself from having the full taste in the indulgence that was you.
“It might hurt a moment,” he admits against your mouth, his voice raspy. “But I promise I’ll be gentle — as gentle as I can.”
You stretch to kiss him again, your lips soft and warm and everything he loves. “I trust you.”
You shouldn’t, he wants to say. You shouldn’t, and you should run far away from this — from me.
But Sanemi knows you won’t just as much as he knows he doesn’t have it in him to try and chase you away, and so he only kisses you back, slow and indulgent.
He breaks away from you with a soft groan and sits up on his knees. His back straight, Sanemi’s hands curl around your hips and he tugs you forward until your backside is flush against his thighs.
The heat radiating from you pulls him in like a magnet as he lines the tip of his cock up with your entrance. A vein above his brow ticks, the only outward sign of the battle raging within him as his self restraint wars with his tantalizing urge to impale you on the thick, throbbing length of him, desperate for the sweet relief only your body can give.
Every inch of him trembles as Sanemi presses his hips forward. “Fuck,” he exhales shakily, pushing his tip past your entrance. “Fuck.”
His head falls back and the muscles in his throat strain. Some small, needy sound leaves him and the fingers on your hip tighten nearly to the point of pain.
The noise registers in the back of your mind, and vaguely, you recognize it as a whimper. You wonder whether he makes that sound for the others; somehow you doubt it, given that he does it again, only now in the shape of your name.
The rumors always said he never asked for names; he was a one-and-done kind of man. A great fuck, but not someone to go to if you were looking for comfort; softness.
Once again, Sanemi is nothing but a collection of contradictions, especially where you’re concerned.
Sanemi hisses as he slowly eases into you. Despite your wetness, you’re impossibly tight, and your body is a live wire hell bent on pushing out his intrusion.
With a deep groan, he falls forward, one arm shooting out to land near your head to catch himself before he can crash into you. His weight carefully braced above you, Sanemi shifts, widening the stance of his knees. Your legs slide up his waist, locking at your ankles at the base of his spine.
His cock is barely a quarter of the way inside your heat when he pulls out. A whine of protest mounts in your throat, but it quickly flickers out when he presses his leaking tip to your clit and grinds. A soft moan slips out of you when he repeats the movement again, and your thighs widen, your hips tilting up to allow him easier access.
Sanemi circles the head of his cock once more against your sensitive nub, coating himself in more of your sticky wetness, before he slides back into your entrance. This time, your body parts more easily around him, sucking him in rather than trying to squeeze him out.
“There you go, that’s it,” his breath is hot against your ear, his lips trailing silkily across your jaw. “That’s my girl.”
Halfway in, Sanemi brushes against that thin barrier that separates him from the rest of you, and he stills.
He pulls his head back from your neck, and moves his hand out from between your legs to cup your cheek.
“Ready?” His thumb strokes over your cheekbone, tender and soft.
There is a tightness building in your abdomen, a foreign pressure that isn’t entirely unwelcome, but neither is it wholly comfortable. You brace a hand at your side, balling your sheets into your fist as you steady yourself, flushed and panting beneath the scar speckled man holding rigidly still above you.
Your eyes flick up once, and you see the tightness in his jaw; the tremble in his limbs as he fights against the urge to relief the friction mounting where you are joined.
You swallow around the lump of anticipation lodged in your throat. Your breath is shaky, but at last, you manage a single “Please.”
With a groan, he grips himself around his base and slowly, he presses forward. There is a sharp prick that shoots deep in your lower abdomen as Sanemi surges past that thin inner wall.
You cannot stop your cry of discomfort from ringing out anymore than you can stop the surprised tears which escape the corners of your eyes as the sharp pain between your legs intensifies.
But then Sanemi’s lips are there, kissing away your tears, and the hand he’d used to guide himself into your body skims along the outside of your thigh, hiking your leg higher up his waist before it drops to rub gentle circles into your hip.
“I’m sorry,” he murmurs between soothing caresses of his lips against your cheeks and across your eyelids. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
He coos his string of apologies as his cock continues to push into you. On and on he sinks, his length endless, and you begin to think your body will split in two before you find the end of his.
Just before you reach your limit, Sanemi stills, fully embedded in your heat. He pants through gritted teeth, his jaw locked against the way you’re constricting around him so tightly it’s nearly painful.
It’s unreal; not only does Sanemi realize how much fucking better sex feels without the restriction of a condom, but he’s also bashed over the head with the realization that you were made for him. For nothing, no one has ever felt as incredible as you.
Nothing in his life has ever felt so right.
Sanemi has always been someone who fucks fast and hard. He’d had no objective other than to escape for a few, blissful moments in the body of another as he pretended not to feel the hollowness in his chest, or the throb of his own self-loathing.
With you, however, he wants nothing more than to relish every movement of your body against his, to savor your every gasp and sigh; to learn what makes you lose control.
You are no temporary distraction; he wants to know you.
He drops his forehead against yours and waits, allowing you to adjust to the intrusion of him.
He trails his lips across your collar bone and down to the twin swells of your breasts, sucking softly at your plush skin as you fidget and squirm beneath him. One broad hand skirts down the outside of your thigh until he finds your knee, and gently he guides your leg around his hips. The other he leaves relaxed against the bed, your foot resting somewhere against his calf.
When your eyes flutter open and find his, he knows you’re ready. So he moves his arm out from between your bodies and winds it instead around your waist, deepening the arch in your back until his chest is flush with yours.
His lips press to your forehead, a silent warning that he is about to move.
And then Sanemi begins molding your body to the shape of his.
He starts slow. He doesn’t withdraw far from you, instead focusing on rolling his hips against yours. Each churn of his groin pushes his cock deeper into your warmth, and soon, your timid whimpers melt into soft moans as your initial discomfort gives way to pleasure.
Encouraged by the way your body starts to relax in his embrace, Sanemi tests drawing his cock out a few inches before plunging back into you.
Before long, the room fills with the lewd sounds of skin slapping against skin, and Sanemi’s moans join yours as he rapidly becomes lost in the euphoria of your wet, tight heat.
One of your arms jumps to lock around his ribs, your nails sinking into his skin as you anchor yourself to him.
His hand snakes across the sheets in search of yours. When he finds it, fisted against your sheets, he pries your fingers loose, winding them with his and he wraps your arm around his shoulders.
“Tighter,” he gasps. “Hold me tighter. Please.”
Your fingers dig into the muscles of his back and Sanemi groans his approval.
And then he’s rolling to his side, pulling you along with him until you’re stretched out across the length of your mattress, chest to chest.
His hand grips under your thigh, tugging it over his hip as he rocks harder into you. “Talk to me, angel,” the hand under your thigh moves to splay across your rear, pushing and pulling your hips in time with his as he grinds. “Tell me how you feel — tell me what you want.”
You cry out, mournful, as Sanemi draws out his cock nearly to its tip before he plunges back into you.
The fullness you feel is overwhelming. You can’t stand that empty feeling, even for a moment. So you hitch your leg higher around his hip, and dig the heel of your foot into the firmness of his ass, limiting his movements.
“Closer!” You gasp. “I — I need you closer.”
He needs that too, he decides; craves it. He doesn’t want to feel any space between your bodies. He wants — he needs — to be so enraptured with you that there is no point in trying to separate. That way, he might get to keep you for just a little longer.
Sanemi’s hand massages your backside, his cock throbbing with every push into you. “Deeper,” he confirms between throaty groans. “You want me deeper?”
You bury your face into his shoulder. Your teeth sink into his skin and with a moan, you nod.
He can do that; is more than happy to, as a matter of fact.
So, with a faint snarl, Sanemi grips the fat of your ass and spreads you wide, and he begins thrusting, hard.
The new angle allows the tip of his cock to bump up against a sweet spot deep inside you. Sanemi’s eyes narrow at the way your head drops back, a loud cry tearing from your throat.
Determined to hit that point within you again and again, he shifts his hips under you while hiking your leg higher up his hip, his fingers digging into the curve of your ass.
It’s a success; soon, your wails echo throughout your studio, punctuated by every punishing slap of his skin against yours.
Really, he can’t give less of a damn at how thin your apartment walls are. The sounds pouring from your mouth are the prettiest fucking thing he’s ever heard.
Something hot and electric mounts quickly in your stomach with each of his frenetic movements. You’ve come before with your own hand, but this — this is something different. Something far more intense, something that threatens to rip you apart from your very sanity until you know nothing but him.
You try and tell him you’re losing control but all that comes out is a pitiful whimper.
But he knows; he knows exactly what you need.
“I’m here, baby, I’m here. I’ve got you.” And with that, Sanemi rolls you back underneath him, settling into the cradle of your thighs and pushing his cock faster and deeper into you. His arms gently unwind yours from his shoulders, and he brings them up over your head, one large hand pinning them down.
“I’ll take care of you, sweet girl,” he promises, and he weaves the fingers of the hand keeping you pressed against the mattress with your own. “Just keep your legs around me.”
Your thighs squeeze his waist in silent answer, your mind far too suspended in the throes of your pleasure to do anything else.
With his lips trailing along your neck leaving hot, open-mouthed kisses in its wake, his free hand slides between your sweat-slicked bodies. He wedges it between where his groin is pressed to yours, and he searches along your sensitive, swollen folds, seeking the spot between your thighs that made you tremble and whine for him earlier.
You jolt under him as his fingers find you again, that foreign, electric sensation sparking deep in your abdomen. “Sanemi —“
“It’s okay,” he murmurs sweetly, pressing down on your clit until you arch further into him with a gasp. “It’s gonna feel so good, baby, I promise. Just focus on me.”
Each rotation of his hand against your sensitive bead matched the deep, pointed roll of his groin, with Sanemi capping the end of every powerful thrust with alternating pulses of his thumb. The pressure he uses mounts with every churn of his hips, and the moan vibrating in your chest as another surge of sticky wetness gushes from your thighs is the sweetest sound he thinks he’s ever heard.
A broken chant of please please please stutters its way out of you, spurning him to go faster; hit deeper.
And Sanemi only knows how to oblige you.
“You’re doing so fucking good, sweetheart. Just keep letting me take care of you —- that’s it.” He curses as you clench down around him, crying out in approval at his praise. “Yeah, yeah. You’re my fuckin’ girl, aren’t you?”
A single wail of his name is your only response, but it’s enough of a confirmation to damn you both.
“You are,” he affirms, his voice taking on the timber of a growl. “Mine. You’re fuckin’ mine.”
His thrusts grow sloppier with every second, though each is punctuated by a silent, recurring chant of mine, mine, mine. Though your eyes are closed, Sanemi can spy a faint sliver of white peeking out from between your eyelids.
You’re close; he can feel it. And he knows, as the walls of your cunt flutter and tighten around him, that your climax will be his undoing.
The hands he has pinned against the mattress over your head flex as you twist and writhe beneath him. your head tosses from from side to side, and the vibrato of your cries rises octave by octave. Every muscle in your body is tense; you are a live wire thrumming with a need to come apart that he knows you do not fully understand.
Sanemi grunts as he fucks you harder into your bed, no longer concerned with keeping his weight off you. He will show you; he will show you how to shatter, and then he too, will break.
But he needs to see you, first.
“Look at me,” his voice beckons you back from the precipice of ruin. “Look at me, Y/N.”
Your eyes open to meet his and suddenly you’re right back at that edge, only this time, you’re falling freely over it, plummeting down a drop that has no end.
“S-Sanemi —!” It’s all you can manage before the knot steadily building in your stomach unravels. Your back arcs sharply away from your bed, and Sanemi ducks his head to smother his own cry against your breast as he takes its tip into his hot mouth.
Your hips jerk and twitch against his, your cunt seizing around him with force that threatens to squeeze the life out of him. Above you, your arms strain and pull against his grip as you writhe and sing for him.
“That’s it baby, that’s it,” Sanemi’s praise is muffled against your sternum, though it is strangled as he nears his own end. “Fuck!“
He’ll have to buy you the morning-after pill tomorrow, he realizes as you continue to come apart so beautifully on his cock, a soft chant of his name the only thing on your lips. He will not force you to bear the consequences of his own selfishness; he will not saddle you with his burden.
But he’s also not strong enough to pull out; not when your body feels like it was made for him, not when your sweet cunt is gripping him this hard, is this wet — all because of him.
He is selfish and he is weak; it’s a toxic combination, and yet he knows cannot stop.
Sanemi’s hips snap a final time against yours, pushing them up and away from the mattress, pressing deeper than he thought possible. His eyes roll back as his own orgasm rocks through him, powerful and blinding, and the growl that built in his throat melts into a strained groan.
He holds you in place, his cock pulsing in time with your cunt while the two of you ride out the waves of your climax together, his cum steadily filling you with his warmth. Your hands skirt down the length of his arms, blindly searching for his hips. When you find him, you pull and tug, a faint whine sounding from the back of your throat. Sanemi answers your plea with a broken moan of his own and he rocks against you, your hips circling with his until he finally lets you collapse against your mattress, limp-limbed and exhausted.
He follows you down, smothering you with his weight as he clings to you like a lifeline, his face buried in the crook of your neck.
“Fuck, you did so good, sweetheart. So fuckin’ good.” He moans into your ear before he pulls back, his eyes searching your face as he pants.
One hand cradles your jaw and his thumb strokes repeatedly over the flushed curve of your cheek. “You okay?”
You don’t answer right away, your eyes shut tight, and Sanemi feels panic bubble hot in his stomach. The hand cupping your face tightens with his worried call of your name, his fear rearing its ugly head, ready to rip him apart, to turn him into the horrid monster he’s always known he was —
“I love you,” and then you’re peering up at him, eyes round and shining with emotion he does not deserve to feel. “I love you, Sanemi.”
It would’ve hurt less if you’d shot him.
Whatever wall remained around his heart cracks and crumbles under the weight of your confession. Sanemi does not answer, cannot find the words to adequately capture the depth of his feelings.
Instead, he snatches you up into his arms, crushing your body against his.
He kisses your lips and then your cheek. One hand cups the back of your head, his fingers burying into your hair as he presses your face into his chest. His arms tremble as he holds you close, every hard ridge of him cradled against your soft curves. He feels your smile against his collarbone, and the way your fingers dance up and down his spine that makes him melt.
It hits him, then. You aren’t waiting for an answer — you said it only so he would know, and you’d not expected anything in return.
All you’d done was give while he took and took. Your body. Your love.
He doesn’t deserve any of it.
Whatever or whomever came after this would never compare to you. Truthfully, Sanemi doesn’t think it would be worth trying anything different. Everything now began and ended with you — including him.
He twists his head to kiss you again and again, your lips meeting his with a sleepy enthusiasm.
He pants as he breaks away. “‘M gonna pull out — might be uncomfortable for a second.”
You wince at the sudden stab of cold left behind by Sanemi’s retreating warmth. He shifts back onto his knees and slides his hands down your thighs, parting them.
A low whistle blows past his lips. “Damn, I made a mess outta you.”
For a moment, Sanemi can’t tear his eyes away from the sight between your legs; the sight of him trickling out you, staining the sheets below. But some of that hot, possessive pride that wells in his chest tempers at the small smear of blood staining your inner thigh.
His fingers massage your legs in silent apology. “Let me clean you up.”
Your hands shoot to grasp at his shoulders, a pleading whimper on your lips. “Don’t leave — not yet.” You bite your lip, your eyes wide and anxious. “Please, can you just hold me for a bit?”
Sanemi’s eyes soften and his heart throbs painfully in his chest. He can’t imagine leaving you; not now, not ever. No matter how stupid and selfish that makes him.
He’d be lying if he said he didn’t know the source of your anxiety — or that you didn’t have reason for it. Sanemi isn’t known for lingering.
But this is different — you’re different. You’re not some temporary distraction. You’re everything. His everything.
“Shhh,” he maneuvers you easily atop him, settling you in against the length of his torso, his hands smoothing up and down the column of your spine. “I’m staying right here, sweet girl. I’m not goin’ anywhere.”
He seals his promise with a gentle kiss against your forehead before laying his cheek against your temple, cradling you to his chest.
Finally, you relax against him, convinced. He lays with you for a long time after, one hand on the back of your head, his fingers rubbing against your scalp until you fall asleep on against him, safe and sound and warm.
Minutes pass, or maybe hours. But Sanemi’s head does not quiet, not even under the soothing sounds of your deep, slow breaths as you dream.
He must have lost his mind. There is no other explanation for the way he’s disregarded every rule, every boundary he’s ever made sense of, all in the name of you. In a single evening, you managed to obliterate every last defense, every barricade he’d safely cowered behind, and now that the castle has fallen, he isn’t quite sure what he’s supposed to do with the rubble.
What he does know is that there’s no putting things back to how they were.
His eyes search your sleeping face because if you were able to make him question nearly everything that made sense in his life, then surely you must also have the answers he needs to re-strike balance in his tilted world. Maybe they lie among the lashes that tickle your cheek, or in the occasional twitch of your mouth between your deep inhales.
But Sanemi is only left feeling more confused the longer he watches you. Because, despite the way he feels vulnerable and exposed at how easily he has been stripped of his guard, he can’t quite bring himself to believe it was entirely your doing.
His eyes widen. There’s his answer.
Perhaps you are not trying to sink your nails into his flesh to peel it back, to demand he be stripped to the bone for you to inspect, to scrutinize and use as you please.
Perhaps that is what you’ve done to yourself, and you’re waiting to see if you will join you; to know if he can volunteer his vulnerability, rather than wait for someone to come and force it from him.
He cannot make any promises. He has spent so much of his life cowering behind the armor he crafted out of his scars and his sneers and barks that were always more ferocious than his bite, that he does not know how to take it off. He does not know how to navigate the world without its weight, both his safety net and his chain. And there is an understanding in your eyes that signals you know that, too.
But he can try.
He mouths I love you against your hairline — he does not voice it, not yet, though it’s what he feels. But your love is a compass that just might point him down the road the leads to a life he so desperately wants; to you.
And he’ll get there, maybe.
In time.
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LIKES, REBLOGS, COMMENTS APPRECIATED!
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evilminji · 7 months
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(O.O ) The PONDERING is back!
You know Walker?
One of the Zone's literal ACAB? We are shown in one episode, that real world items? Against The Rules(tm).
Now, that COULD just be HIM being An Asshole? But let's be real! Unlikely. Rules/Laws get made for a REASON, generally. Usually because someone ruined it for everyone by being an asshole. Taking things too far.
You start OUT with the obvious Rules. Like "Don't Tear the Zone Apart." And "No Genocide of Literally Everything Forever You Fighty Little Assholes" but over time? You have too add stuff. Like "George is Forbidden to use the fax machine and he knows why" and "Ice Lairs and Fire Lairs have to be X distance apart AND YOU KNOW WHY"
And? IS there a central Governing body, regulating the Zone Rules? Nope! Pariah's in nappy time! BUT the manic, Iron fisted, Obsessions of THE LAW across time and space are sure willing to step up and help keep order. It... KINDA works!
And they MOSTLY have the same-ish Rules!
Like NO FUCKIN LIVING WORLD STUFF. Because? To GET such contraband? You'd have to break containment of the Zone, go THROUGH a random ass natural portal, that may or may NOT be safe, may or may NOT ever RECONNECT to the Zone, to literally terrorize the unsuspecting living souls (assuming you can FIND any), on the other side, JUST to drag that shitty candy bar back home.
Leaking ectoplasm the whole time. Poisoning the air, land, and sea. Making NEW ghosts where there might not have been any. Effectively making you their deadbeat parent. Which is premeditated child abandonment. And you DEFINITELY didn't PAY for those objects. Thief.
So, NO. No Living World Shit.
BUT!
Like city states! The Area of influence each Law Man(tm) has? While wide and sprawling? Does NOT perfectly mesh together like puzzle pieces! There ARE dead zones. Lawless, "unclaimed" areas.
Which? Are not so unclaimed.
For just as The Law has it's Obsession? So too, has the Underworld. Shaddy casinos and auctions. Black markets run like street fairs. What some Ghost Weed? They can hook you up, man. Vinnie over there was a Runner during Prohibition. He knows where ALL the classy joints are.
He can hook you up with some REAL nice Living World collectibles.
From All Over.
And? I bet it's that LAST bit? That REALLY sparks Danny's interest. He saved the guy from the GIW, who may or may not have busted him trying to... uuuuh... LIBERATE, some fine scotch for the bar back Zone side. Who's to say, really? Regardless, Vinnie? Pays his debts, you here.
Beside... the feral little gremlin kinda scares him. Good quality to have, no question, but maybe cool it with the biting? You don't know where they BEEN. You'll get a disease.
Now... all you gotta do, see, is... *mutters* *map scribbling* *bad idea enabling*
Which? Constantine! League Members of your choosing! Like a field trip from hell! Some how in the SINGLE shadiest den of Obvious Criminals you ever did see. The sky is green and they aren't in their dimension anymore. Circle up! NOW. Young Justice shoved to the INSIDE of the circle, adult heros on the outside.
Constantine? Knows where they are and wishs he didn't. He... he's not sure he CAN get them back. Going to try obviously. But no one panic. Don't show fear. DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING. Start walking.
Danny? Loading up the speeder~ Christmas gifts for daaaays~~☆ Everyone is Salty but respectful, cause anti-ghost tech meant they couldn't steal it. They did TRY. But... fair play, kid. Nice ride.
Only? Right before he gets in to leave? Some vibrating blur shoots over? Talking fast and followed by an older blur? Oh hey, humans. Like... ALIVE humans. Sup?
@the-witchhunter @hdgnj @nerdpoe @hypewinter @mutable-manifestation
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mysteryshoptls · 3 months
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SR Azul Ashengrotto - Luxe Couture Vignette
"Please come this way"
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[Fairest City – Crystal Galleria]
Azul: …Now, now, don't say that!
Azul: I would be honored if you would come by the Mostro Lounge to come see my photo with Eric-san.
Vil: I'm staggered. You would not only use my father, but also myself to increase your reputation?
Grim: Oh hey, if it ain't Vil and Azul. What're you guys talkin' about?
Azul: We just happened to come across each other over here, so we were merely chatting about plans once we return to campus. Have the two of you been shopping?
1. I bought some clothes for myself.
Azul: You bought clothing at the Crystal Galleria? You must be a better shopper than I thought.
2. I bought some gifts for everyone back home.
Azul: A wonderful sentiment. Keeping people in your debt is very valuable.
Azul: I myself just finished purchasing some cosmetics. After this, I plan on perusing some tableware.
Grim: Huh, tableware? Don't really matter what gets used, to me.
Grim: The food 'n drinks're waaay more important than the plates 'n cups.
Azul: I fully believed that would be your response, Grim-san.
Vil: I absolutely adore that sort of dedication. The more opulent the tableware, the more sophisticated the mealtime becomes.
Vil: Weren't the plates, cups, and cutlery at the restaurant we dined at yesterday utterly sublime?
Grim: I don't remember a thing about 'em.
Vil: ...Right, I was a fool for even asking that in the first place.
Azul: The golden rimmed white porcelain plates at that restaurant was indeed spectacular.
Azul: Decorated in both matte and glossy gold, these surely were high-quality wares. A rare sight, indeed.
Vil: Well, now. You're well informed, Azul.
Vil: It may be interesting to shop for tableware with someone who actually knows a thing or two. I'll join you.
Azul: Why, certainly. Would you like to join us, [Yuu]-san?
1. I'd like to. 2. I'm definitely interested.
Grim: 'Kay, then I'll tag along too, then. But anyway, do they even sell stuff like that here?
Vil: Of course. Fine ceramic wares are yet another major product of the Fairest City. There are also many antique shops.
Grim: Uh-huh. So it's not just make-up 'n clothes 'n food, huh.
Azul: It is said that there were 3 primary factors that led to the development of those fine ceramic wares in the Fairest City.
Azul: The first factor was due to the nearby mines.
Azul: The neighboring mountain range had an abundance of high-quality clay, for which artisans from all over began to come for.
Azul: The second factor is the development of pharmaceuticals thanks to knowledge passed down from the Fairest Queen.
Vil: That pharmaceutical science was then used to develop a diverse array of pigments, and that allowed for the field of colors to become what it is today.
Azul: Indeed. It's just as you say.
Azul: And the final factor is the sense of beauty that every Fairest Queen-loving inhabitant of the Fairest City carries.
Azul: Thus, the potters and sculptors who were raised with a heightened awareness of beauty themselves brought their ceramics to an entirely new level when it comes to works of art.
Vil: Only the residents of the Fairest City would find ways to elevate beauty in fields other than fashion and makeup.
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Azul: We've arrived. I hear this shop carries a rather large collection of antique tableware for sale.
Vil: Have you already done prior research?
Azul: Yes, indeed. I must admit I have been looking forward to purchasing new tableware.
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Grim: Woah! There's a ton of sparkly dishes and stuff!
Vil: What sort of tableware are you planning on purchasing, Azul?
Azul: I believe I'd like to find teacups, saucers, and a matching teapot.
1. What about this golden tea set?
Grim: Yeah! The shiny gold color is so cool! Azul: I see they allowed gold to oxidize and used that to create a pattern for the design. I must admit it is extravagant and definitely draws an eye. Vil: An opulent design. However, I feel it may not suit the Mostro Lounge.
2. Look at this pink tea set!
Azul: I see it is a set of teacups with a frill molding. The flower pattern along the rim is so wonderfully subtle. Vil: A rather cute design. However, I feel it may not suit the Mostro Lounge.
Azul: Fufu, I agree completely. Perhaps now we can look at the wares that had caught my eye?
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[Fairest City – Crystal Galleria]
Azul: This is the one I am looking to purchase here.
Grim: This one, huh? It's just a borin' looking white cup with a tiny bit of blue stuff on it.
Azul: That dainty and subtle touch is intended to be its charm point… It seems you fail to comprehend that, Grim-san.
Azul: This bright white porcelain shows not a hint of translucency… Does it not seem to be the pinnacle of class?
Vil: It certainly does have a refined beauty about it.
Azul: The elegant design carved out of the rim of the teacup is called a "scalloped rim."
Azul: And consider this wave-like handle curled along the side… Even the minute details are so stunning.
Grim: A handle? What, you gonna steer somethin' with this cup, then?
Vil: Obviously the handle is where you hold the cup.
Vil: But, Azul. These cups and teapot are a vintage set.
Vil: Is there any need for you to use such an extravagant tea set in a café that caters to students?
Azul: Indeed. I consider this a necessary investment.
Azul: Just because my customers are students does not mean that I intend on compromising my standards.
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[Fairest City – Queen's Palace]
[camera shutters clicking and screaming]
Fans: KYAAAAAAAAA! VIL-SAMAAAAA!!!
Reporter: If I can run an article on Vil Schoenheit, then there's no doubt that both magazine sales and website traffic are gonna go through the roof!
Reporter: Alright, now I just gotta hop this barrier so I can cover Vil Schoenheit up close…
[Grrk…]
Azul: Oh, my, it is dangerous to attempt to climb the barrier. Please take all photographs from the designated area.
Reporter: You little brat, don't get in my way! [Azul starts pushing] Urgh, what strength! He's pushing the whole barrier back towards me…!
Azul: If those instructions cannot be followed properly, I may have to take appropriate countermeasures…
Azul: For example, I may be inclined to ring up your place of employment and file a complaint at the highest levels.
Reporter: Okay, fine, just get out of my way, then! I can't even take a picture with you like this!
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Azul: How wonderful that we've reached an understanding. Vil-san, please come this way.
Vil: Thank you… You were awfully efficient in handling that.
Azul: When you've made as many deals as I have, it's not uncommon to encounter troubled clients in need of extra firm handling.
Azul: I'm just glad I was able to put the mediation skills I've accumulated to good use.
Vil: Not only are you handling the press well… But you are doing a fantastic job as my escort.
Azul: Well, it also is not uncommon for me to host prospective business contacts personally, either.
Azul: Ah, we are almost at the staircase.
Azul: Right this way. If you wish, my hand is yours to take.
Vil: Well, then. I shall accept it.
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―A few days later
[Mostro Lounge]
Octavinelle Student: Welcome!
Azul: Oh my… If it isn't Vil-san! You've come, as promised! I'm so elated.
Vil: Excuse you. I don't recall ever promising you anything. However…
Vil: I was merely thinking back to how you handled yourself previously. I do expect exceptional service today as well.
Vil: Business seems to be going well… Are you using that tea set you purchased back then?
Azul: I am. Right now… The guests at that table are enjoying the tea served in it.
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Deuce/Epel: AHAHAHA!
Vil: …There is no way those two even remotely understand the worth of those cups.
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Vil: Neither would the rest of these customers. Do you still think that it was worth selecting that specific set?
Azul: Absolutely. I vow to serve drinks and meals on quality dishes that I have personally selected.
Azul: That is something that I will never compromise as the proprietor of the Mostro Lounge.
Azul: You yourself would never touch clothes or cosmetics that don't suit your design or aesthetic taste, yes?
Vil: So, just as I carefully concoct my personal brand by being particular on how I fashion myself…
Vil: You look to enhance the Mostro Lounge by careful consideration of the tableware and table linen.
Vil: I think that fastidious approach of yours is just as spectacular. Perhaps I have judged you a tad harshly.
Azul: Why, thank you. I fully believed that you of all people would understand, Vil-san.
Azul: However… I cannot deny that at times I would like to share that appreciation of the tableware's elegance with someone who actually understands their worth.
Azul: That being said, Vil-san, allow me to prepare your order on my absolute finest plates.
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Requested by Anonymous.
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ourserendipity · 4 months
Text
A dimly lit room for the lonely two
(Aventurine x memokeeper!fem!reader)
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Aventurine's POV
Ah yes, sunlight. Since when did he ever truly felt the embrace of dawn? The warm light promised to him by his sister, by the only one he has left; now vanished under the falling drops of suffering and agony. It had been a long time, years even ever since it all happened; the day of reckoning if you would call it that. Painful as it may be, one could not dwell in the past that much longer, for it will only break the will and soul of man, bit by bit. And in doing so, that also meant for him leaving the place called 'home'; one that used to be surrounded by lush fields accompanied by the joys of his kind, now all but a bygone memory.
Sitting on his lavish couch at the local bar in Penacony, he scans his surroundings; still the same as ever. Not a single thing had changed, so much as he remembers: The blinding lights, endless banquets of mindless entertainment to feed the masses, and most importantly of all: the alcohol. He admits that he doesn't enjoy the taste of it and yet here he is, drinking all of it in full glory as if it's the only sustenance he needs. Strangely enough, he feels as if he's content living this way; roaming planet after planet to collect the debt of those who sold their souls to the IPC for some quick cash, not like he's going to complain or anything. Gambling too is one of the reasons why he still lives to this very day, it's pretty much his whole ordeal at this point: either you go big or you go home, and it seems like he's not backing down on any games any time soon. And one of those games, one that he especially looks forward to playing: is you, a memokeeper. Though to be honest, he's more interested in getting your attention rather than to just simply snoop information about you; he has the connections to do that easily. And what do you know, one thing led to another and now, he's finally close to you; enough for him to engage and to capture you in his silly little games. But to his surprise, it seems that you know him more than he thought you would.
The feeling of being trapped in someone else's fingertips, oh how he remembers; the fear and anxiety it brings to a poor child, and how it teaches them to live by it, hoping to one day get rid of it. But he never did, instead, he'd rather bury it deeper, only to be replaced by his insatiable hunger for thrill. One would think that it's his way to escape his own harsh reality, and truth be told: it is his only way, no other choice would suffice. But somehow, it doesn't feel like what he's used to: it's rather.... soothing, calming even. He couldn't fathom to understand how a mere stranger could do something like this. Perhaps it's your powers that made him feel vulnerable and oh so weak, yet it could also be fate that tied you to him altogether, all for this one fateful encounter. And to him, he wouldn't change it one bit.
And now here he is, dancing with you in this dimly lit room, hands intertwined at each other, bodies a few inches apart. His eyes couldn't get enough of your own; and he never will be satisfied. Your gaze of awe as you lead him in this dance ever so softly, tranced at the murky abyss that he had willingly reopened just for you to see, is something he thought he would ever do, especially to the likes of you. Strange it may be, he couldn't be bothered by it, in fact, he feels lighter now, elated even. He had finally felt the return of daw creep up to skin, sending shivers down to his spine as the two of you spin around, arms that would shortly depart and link back to each other made him feel something; it made him feel that he is something. It felt as if he had his own worth; one that could not compare to the unsurmountable riches of the IPC nor the undeniable powers held by his cornerstone. To him, he would forever cherish this moment, unchanged; even if it meant for him to risk everything he has. For he is like a moth, knowing the dangers of the fiery light and yet achingly yearns for its touch, willing to sacrifice its wings to feel even the tiniest bit of warmth he was never spared his whole life.
But it would seem that all of this would abruptly end; a lie within a dream. The deeper he went to the light, the further he spread his wings to fly farther, only to realize that the light he was chasing was no longer there. Rather, only the shadow remained on its stead, its stature still on the carpeted floor they were both roaming around. After that 'dance' of theirs ended, only did he realize that he was the light all along; all alone in his own little world. This moment would've been everlasting had he not let her be engulfed by his own abyss. Perhaps he should just remain in this dimly lit room for a while, to relish the remaining stains of your shadow he had been looming onto, hoping that he would meet you again, not in this dreamy illusion, but to the reality he wishes to return to; a dimly lit room, just for the lonely two.
(HERE IT IS! SKSJSKKKDKSJAKAUAJWUA I'm sorry it took me a while to finish this, I was still daydreaming about this for like days 😭😭 Anyways, now that I've finished this one, I think I would do an Aventurine x Singer!Fem!reader tho idk if I'll ever do that. If you have any suggestions, feel free to drop some and I'll probably brainrot abt it before fully writing something. ALSO! Thanks for the support y'all 💖💖 I'm still genuinely new to tumblr despite lurking around multiple fandoms silently and honestly, I'm still trying to adjust and to hopefully fully utilize the features tumblr has. So once again, I give y'all my heartfelt thanks for the 100+ notes and to your kindness for reading my brainrot of a work dkjskajaiajaia Love y'all!!)
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kingkunigami · 1 year
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Blue Lock was masterfully crafted to build a Japan team capable of winning the World Cup, bringing some of the most talented players together to work their strengths and weaknesses. But what if it doesn’t work?
The players are great, have drive and determination, but what if it’s not enough? What if they need more incentive to reach the top? Which is the reason Ego brings in a pretty thing like you.
You can feel his breath against your neck as he speaks into the camera, unable to see the sets of eyes watching you on the large screen as you suddenly feel vulnerable. Ego’s hands settled on your waist as he talks, fingers dipping into the plush skin as he gives them the rules. It’s simple really. Whoever reaches the top gets the prize, you.
Your chest feels tight as he continues to break down the point system, even with such a seedy agreement he’s still interested in what’s fair. Not that anything was really fair when you didn’t have a choice to be here, although Ego would tell you that you could leave at any time. And you supposed you could, you could walk out that door and forget all about this depraved arrangement that you’d agreed to. The contract didn’t start until first play, and first play was in four hours. But money was money, and your debts would continue to pile, work would continue to run you into the ground, and you’d continue this lifeless cycle of misery. Anything was better than that.
But what you couldn’t see was the dark, depraved looks in the players eyes as they watched your pretty face enlarged on the big screen. Each man finding their own renewed vigour at the sight of you, another trophy to add to their collection as their names appeared on the leaderboard. Each man with no points between their name, a level playing field. For now.
Ego continued to list through the rewards the team could win for each tier of points, every salacious sex act he listed had the men hanging on his every word. Calculating in their minds how many goals they would have to secure to have you, and the number needed to win the grand prize.
Because giving away cheap frivolity would only keep hungry men satiated for so long, it was about time that they were given a chance to hunt a more coveted prize. Kunigami’s throat bobbed as he swallowed thickly, golden eyes glancing to his side to see who else seemed intent on winning. A dark, sinister smirk appeared in Shidou’s face as his eyes shamelessly roamed your exposed skin, while Raichi’s hands balled into fists beside him. Chigiri’s expression was unreadable but he could feel the ache between his thighs as he took in the way your lips curled into a pretty pout, as Bachira began to jump on toe to toe. The lions were about to be unleashed from the den.
“Game on.”
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Please be mindful of the warnings which will be displayed at the top of each chapter, but each will be labelled as non/dub-con just to be safe. There is no upload schedule for this so new players will be added as inspiration strikes. 
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✦ Kaiser Michael
✦ Shidou Ryusei
✦ Aiku Oliver
✦ Kunigami Rensuke
✦ Mikage Reo
✦ Shouei Barou
✦ Raichi Jingo
✦ Ness Alexis & Kaiser Michael
✦ Chigiri Hyoma
✦ More to be added...
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Based on this post.
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spnscripthunt · 10 months
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We're doing our last fundraiser for RIP Medical Debt and our goal is to raise $5,000 so we can erase $500,000 in medical debt here in the USA.
Just one $10 raffle entry erases $1,000 in medical debt with no tax burden to the recipient.
If you want the John Oliver segment to explain how this works:
youtube
All the details, including direct donation links to RIP and the link to submit your receipt to enter the raffle:
Raffle closes on November 5, 2023 at 11:59pm (EST)
Update 11/02/2023 @ 6:14 PM (Eastern): "$7,179.50 of $5,000 goal"
We added a separate tier of X-Files scripts and added a question on the Google form so we can pull those entries out for a separate drawing:
2X05 Duane Barry (Blue)
2X25 Anasazi (White-Full)
4X05 The Field Where I Died (White; Blue-Pages only)
4X14 Leonard Betts (Salmon-Pgs; 2nd Blue-Pages only)
5ABX19 Folie a Deux (Blue-Full)
🚨FOUR MORE RAFFLE PRIZES ADDED🚨
Supernatural: the complete blu-ray box set, donated by HanmeiCui (Twitter)
12.19 "The Future" (pink draft) signed by Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Misha Collins donated by Kreespa (YouTube)
Curse Box (7.5") made by @thegreencooler
There'll Be Peace When You Are Done essay collection donated by @fangasmspn and signed by J2M, Gil McKinney, and Meg Donnelly.
Necklace made by @thegreencooler "Hey, Lunatic" - Amethyst flakes like a shattered bunker wall with a steel Men of Letters pendant. Adjustable: 17.5 - 22 inches.
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sh1-n0bu · 11 months
Note
Omg hello fellow lumine main!
I don't know if you watched the recent Xiao teaser but i got inspired by it so if it's okay with you can you write an angsty scenario about this:
After fighting with the "evil" Xiao, Xiao feels extremely tired and after walking for a while he bumps into you in a deserted field he then confuses/ hallucinates as if you are his evil self so he starts choking you(?) tries to attack you(?) And no matter what you say your words doesn't reach his ears and he snaps out of it only when Zhongli calls his name when he happened to be passing by
Hope this is not too specific! Feel free to change any part that you don't like and it could end with whatever genre you want whether it's angst or angst with fluff!! Thank you and please ignore this if you don't feel like writing it<33
✿ 𝙠𝙖𝙧𝙢𝙖 ✿
characters: xiao x nb!reader
warnings: angst, slight spoilers to xiao’s backstory, hurt/no comfort, fighting, descriptions of blood and canon violence, confession, big ouchies, major character death
notes: just wanna add that the reader doesn’t have a vision! since you didn’t specify the reader’s gender, i went with the “you” pronouns thing. also hiii❗️fellow lumine main❗️(ps: i wanted it to be different but my mitski’s playlist hurt me)
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karmic debt is something that all yakshas bear in their lifetime until their timely demise. it is a collection of their evil deeds, of slaying demons, of taking the life of a corrupted being. of tainting one’s hand with blood whether that blood was already tainted or not.
out of five yakshas that guarded liyue and kept the land of any evil, three had died. minds corrupted by their own karmic debts, hearts shattered by the ones they once used to call a family, bodies torn apart, leaving behind only ashes with nothing to bury and reminisce about in the future. while one had disappeared without a trace.
out of five, only one remains.
and that one would sooner or later fall into his own karmic debt as well. it was only a matter of time. however, there was a small glimmer of hope in the yaksha’s tainted heart. a small glimmer in the shape of you.
sweet, loving you in all your glory who first met the legend of a being when he protected you from a mitachurl. kind, gentle you who thanked him later at the wangshu inn with a plate of hand-made almond tofu with a small offering at the side. thoughtful you who kept appearing every once in a while at the balcony, talking out loud to him about your day, your latest travels and business trades, knowing full well he was listening.
passionate you who gleefully accepted him with open arms when he first decided to sit beside you to hear about your day. understanding you who kept your distance when he warned you of his karmic debt, respectful of his wishes.
and the idiotic clumsy you who would sometimes trip over on the way up the stairs. who would smile at him with the same smile, calling out his name with a scratched hand or forehead. who would brush it off as something small and mediocre.
but the yaksha hated that you would always say your injuries are mediocre and “nothing to worry about”.
of course he would worry. you were one of the few people in his life that he held dear in his heart. one of the few who accepted him, karmic debt, dirty hands, tainted heart and all. the only one… he ended up falling in love with.
“if one day, this karmic debt that binds my soul becomes too much and i no longer can tell the difference between friend or a foe, call upon mister zhongli or the traveler. they’ll get rid of me before i can harm anyone” was something that the lonely yaksha would remind you often.
“it’s fine. that won’t ever happen” you would console him, hands weaving a flower crown together from the qingxin flowers he picked up for you.
“because i’ll be there to knock some sense into you” was your sweet promise as you would place the flower crown atop his head with a smile.
he always found it meaningless that you would weave the flowers into something as useless as a flower crown. but he couldn’t bring himself to ever take it off or throw it away, even after the flowers have dried up and he would pick up the fallen petals, storing them in a glass. he loved how even in death, without nourishments, the petals would continue to keep their beauty.
perhaps that’s why he always brought you flower bouquets back. ones made from random flowers. sweet flowers, glaze lilies, qingxin, silk flowers — he always brings back a flower for you whenever you visit. and on certain days when he feels an odd emotion gripping his heart, unable to tear his gaze away from you as you look at the setting sun, his gloved hand would slowly reach out, tucking one of the flowers behind your ear.
“pretty…” the lonely immortal would whisper without notice. only when you glance at him with a smile, would the yaksha realize what he had done, turn beet red and teleport away. too shy to confront his feelings, too conflicted to stay beside you, too afraid of your mortality.
there are so many times when xiao fears for your mortality.
the times when he feels his karma gripping his heart. hand clutching his jade spear tight to the point he fears he would break the weapon. blurry figures in his sight, muffled voices in his ears, an annoying high pitched ringing in his head.
it was just supposed to be another night. another night of keeping liyue safe. another night of banishing demons and abyss mages, mitachurls, what nots.
and yet it drained him so greatly. when was the last time he had ever felt this exhausted? down right almost collapsing right then and there in the fields of liyue? muscles straining, dragging his feet, vision blurry — the yaksha was exhausted.
amidst the chaos of the voices screeching in his head, demanding more blood, more death and sacrifices, xiao finds himself staring back at a familiar mask. his own mask. himself. or what kind of a twisted joke of himself it was.
their speed was evenly matched. spear swings and thrusts sharp, aimed at his weakest parts, the same feeling of adrenaline pumping as he fights against his own self. with some sort of blind luck or fate, the yaksha manages to make his other self kneel. a single plummet of his jade spear to the heart was all it took for the illusion to disappear.
this was a tiring night. xiao just wanted to go back to wangshu inn and collapse in your arms. you always had a soothing presence that quelled the karma in him.
“xiao?” a voice sounds from behind him. turning back to look at the person who spoke the immortal’s name, he finds himself growing enraged. another look alike of himself.
this was getting tiring.
and yet when the yaksha slipped on his mask and attacked, something was weird. this illusion was slower, weaker, never attacking back and he would almost daresay, felt wrong to fight against.
it didn’t took long for the seasoned fighter to leave a nasty cut on the illusion’s side, almost plunging his spear through their ribcage. he’d just have to try a bit harder then.
xiao wanted nothing more than to go back to you. to feel your arms around him. to feel your hands run through his hair, rambling on about your day or just simply choosing to stay quiet. either way, the lonely immortal loved it. he wanted to go back to you. to your loving embrace. sweet smiles. little nods when he whispered about somethings he wanted.
xiao just wanted to be with you.
just your presence alone was enough for him. he would savor the warmth your skin excludes as he sits beside you on the balcony. cherish every little moment you would spend with him. treasure the small gifts and the almond tofu you would make for him.
and yet why was it that such a familiar hand was touching his own gloved one when he finally drove his jade spear through the illusion’s chest.
it was only then the illuminated bird noticed.
there was no second ‘illusion’. there was no need to fight against the voice that called out to him. for it was you. for it was the one person he cherished the most. for it was his beloved that was now bleeding out, blood tainting the tips of his spear, warm hand covering his own gloved one. warmth that was so quickly fading away.
his beloved… that he killed.
taking his spear out, xiao moved quickly to catch your falling body. the warmth that your hug gives him, the comfort he feels now being replaced by the warmth of your blood.
“no. no no no no, h-hang on. i’ll get you to liyue harbor” what was he saying? it was no use. he had already pierced your heart straight through, there was no hope for you. but xiao wanted there to be one. xiao wanted you to stay alive so he can confess to you. xiao wanted you to live, wanted to taste your hand made almond tofu again, wanted to put flowers in your hair.
xiao wanted to spend his tomorrows with you.
“don’t. we both know i won’t make it” your voice calls out. weak, hoarse, tired. you were bleeding. eyes dull, losing life, losing it’s shine. you were dying and it was all his fault.
“please… please don’t go” the yaksha didn’t knew he was crying until his tears landed on your face. even when bleeding out, even when dying, you still smiled. and by the archons, you were still beautiful even as you lay dying in his arms.
“please don’t go. i love you too much to let you go…” the yaksha sniffled, sobs coming out as he holds you in his arms.
it was just like how you two would lay on the rooftops of wangshu inn. watching the stars, the cloud move by, pointing out the shapes as you two enjoy each other’s presence.
except the warmth that came from your body was now the warmth of your blood gushing out, staining his clothes. the smile you used to give him now dead, stoic, almost like a puppet’s forced smile. the bright shine of life that was once in your perfect [color], dull like a matted blood.
“i wanted to spend my tomorrows with you…”
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drdemonprince · 7 months
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Any recommended reading for a newbie to anarchism?
David Graeber truly is the best entry point into the pipeline i feel. Reading his work doesn't feel like "reading theory", it feels like learning more about a specific aspect of the world from an engaging, open-minded author who makes history and anthropology accessible, and then simply realizing somewhere along the line that you've become a lot more radical than you realized you'd always been.
Bullshit Jobs is his easiest and most approachable read -- start with this if you're not a big reader of dense books, or if my book Laziness Does Not Exist particularly spoke to you. It's about how the majority of reasonably well-paying jobs today are completely meaningless, and why important, fulfilling jobs that are actually necessary to run society are so often thankless and poorly paid.
If you have student loan or credit card debt out the ass or you grew up hearing the myth that the earliest human societies relied on trading and bartering, pick up Debt: The First 5000 Years. This one is a bit of a tougher read than Bullshit Jobs, but still approachable, talking about the history of human commerce, debt forgiveness, enslavement, and where that history has left us today. You'll learn a lot about history but Graeber will also always lead you back to the present.
If you were a follower of the Occupy Wallstreet movement and wonder why it failed (or whether it failed), pick up The Democracy Project. This is a slimmer, faster read! And it focuses a lot more on the practical tactics and bylaws of Occupy organizing. In it, Graeber illustrates how human groups can be run without hierarchy and just how well that can work! It's perhaps the most explicitly anarchist book of his in that sense at least, yet it's also very conversational and easy to follow, with lots of lessons learned and specific examples from real-life organizing meetings.
If you hate rules and bureaucracy, pick up Utopia of Rules. What Debt is for bursting basic, widespread myths about economics, Utopia of Rules is for challenging mainstream knowledge about the role of the state. This one is actually an essay collection, and that makes it a quicker, easier read than many of the others -- in each chapter, Graeber tackles one specific aspect of irritating modern-day bureaucracy, and its full of relatable gripes about going to the DMV or applying for unemployment, but then it zooms out to make a larger point about how societies now function (and fail to function).
If you're interested in Indigenous cultures and how various human societies have approached governance, start with Dawn of Everything, which he co-wrote with David Wengrow. Now this is a MUCH denser book that I recommend taking chapter by chapter, pausing to savor all the new information and paradigm-busting that they've just showered you with. A chapter before bed each night and then some time laying down and simply reflecting about the diversity of human social potential is a great way to slowly work your way through it.
If you read any of these, you'll be left with a lot of ideas as to where to look next -- Graeber was widely read in a great many fields himself, so he'll leave you a trail of breadcrumbs to follow.
The Anarchist Library online is also a great place to find shorter, more explicitly anarchist theory work, once you're ready to delve in. The r/debateanarchism subreddit is also something you should subscribe to and thumb through every once in a while!
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sneaking away to a hidden corner to share a secretive kiss
"This is such bullshit."
"I know," Michael answered, his pleasant smile never budging. Gerry shifted restlessly at his side, glad that he had Michael's arm tucked in his. Otherwise he would have hauled ass hours ago.
It was fine that the person he loved the most in the world was tied to the Archives and the Eye, and he himself was deep in debt to an evil old bitch and thus also roped into the whole mess. He had accepted all of that. The day to day was decent, especially once he and Michael left at the end of the day to spend the night together, which he could easily call the greatest moments of his life. He could handle the field work involving dangerous books or people- he could handle himself, and had a reason to make it back safely. Even the occasional Institute drama that made its way into the Archives, he could deal with it.
But he could not stand being forced into a suit to stand around and please the Institute investors at some stupid fundraiser dinner.
There were so many people in fancy suits and dresses, crowded into the ritzy hotel ballroom Elias had rented for the evening. It was hot, and crowded, and Gerry could feel judging eyes on him, like he was holding a flashing sign saying "I Don't Belong Here". His shoes hurt his feet and his jacket was too tight in the shoulders and the food still hadn't been served. The night was dragging in the worst way, and he hated all of it.
The only relief he had was Michael, somehow looking perfectly at ease in the uncomfortable situation. And gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. Unlike Gerry, he fit so well into his dark blue suit, eyes bright and sparkling, hair pulled back so his curls spilled down his back. Gerry wanted to plaster himself to him, press him up against a wall and ravish him, take that sweet bland smile off his face and replace it with wide-eyed pleasure. And the knowledge that he couldn't, not for several hours, was unbearable.
"Ah, here he is." Gerry tensed when Elias pushed through the crowd, approaching them with a horribly delighted smile. A small stuffy-looking man followed him. "Gerard, it's my pleasure to introduce you to a former associate of your mother."
'Fuck you,' Gerry thought as hard and viciously as he could, and caught a slight wince from the Head of the Institute. It seemed that Gertrude's suspicions about her boss were correct, but he didn't have time to think about that. The other man, who's name he didn't bother to catch, was stepping forward with his hand outstretched, and he reluctantly took it, woodenly smiling at his enthusiasm.
"I'm so glad to make your acquaintance," he gushed, hand clammy as he vigorously shook Gerry's. "Your mother's passing left such a hole in the rare book collecting community. Elias tells me you've inherited her stock. Will you be continuing her work?"
"Not...really?" Gerry mumbled, feeling horribly awkward and deeply uncomfortable by the mention of his mum. He knew just from the way Elias was smiling that he'd done this on purpose, setting up this situation just to watch him squirm. Fucking bastard. "Not really interested in collecting them, exactly."
"We've actually discussed liquidating Mary's collection," Michael spoke up smoothly, tugging Gerry closer to his side and out of the grasp of Mary's enthusiastic former client. "If that's something you're interested in, we can certainly discuss the sale at another time."
God fucking bless Michael, Gerry thought in relief, slumping against his side. He was taking control of the conversation, saving Gerry's ass with his confidence, and that was so unspeakably reassuring.
"Oh." The stranger's face fell dramatically. "That's such a shame, Mary worked so hard to compile all those books."
"I'm sure they will be far better off in the hands of someone else," Michael said placatingly with a surreptitious squeeze to Gerry's arm. "Someone who is more suited to care for them than we are."
"Well, in that case..." A nearly lustful look slid onto their conversation partner's face, sending a chill down Gerry's spine. "I'd be more than happy to-"
"Um, Elias?" Rosie appeared at Elias' elbow, distracting him from their conversation he'd been watching like an engrossing tv show. "Gertrude has Peter Lukas cornered again, I think you should intervene."
"Oh, damn," Elias sighed as he turned away to focus on the problem. Gerry felt a hard yank on his arm, and let himself be pulled back by Michael, who dragged him away from the conversation before anyone could notice. Michael towed him to a corner next to the window, where the long curtains shielded them from the rest of the room.
"Come here," Michael whispered urgently, pulling Gerry close and cupping his face. Gerry eagerly shifted up onto his toes to accept his kiss, full of warmth and comfort. "Are you okay?"
"I am," Gerry assured him, sighing against his lips. "I am. Because of you. Thank you for dealing with that asshole, I never know what to say to guys like that."
Michael sighed as well, his breath gusting across Gerry's face as he touched their foreheads together. "I wasn't sure...I know we talked about it, about what to do with your mom's stuff, but-"
"You were perfect," Gerry assured him, stepping closer to wrap his arms around his middle. "I don't want it to go to him-"
"Absolutely not," Michael agreed with a smile, tucking Gerry close in their private little corner. "We're a good team, aren't we?"
"The greatest." Gerry buried his face in Michael's chest, rubbing his cheek against his smooth tie. All of his nerves had melted away, leaving him happy and warm in Michael's embrace. "I think I'll keep you right here for the rest of the night."
Michael laughed. "But we'd miss Gertrude tormenting Elias and Peter Lukas," he protested, even as he leaned down to kiss Gerry again. "She might need us as backup."
"She's fine," Gerry dismissed immediately, sinking his fingers into Michael's hair and pulling him into a deep and very-wanted kiss. He could keep Michael there for the rest of the night, just the two of them, their own private oasis all to themselves, to kiss and bask in each other's presence. That was all that he wanted, and he would take it for as long as he could.
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idanceuntilidie · 7 months
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I am back and with an idea that has 100% not over used and I am suggesting it because I found it
Yan farmer x business person reader
(optional ->Jason can be the name for the farmer)
(optional -> could be kidnapped)
- 🌑 the moon is finally showing the night sky is pretty it gives me butterflies but why do I still feel… empty inisde? Am I missing something? Or is it someone
As the moon shines, I wonder why I long, I wonder and ask why I hope for answers, but the moon gives me none
Yes I have finally finished this time for hot coco and sleep god its 1 am
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Yandere farmer x gn business reader
Warnings; yandere themes, stalking, drugging and kidnapping, suggestive themes at one point
"Oh how crazy you make me."
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In very small towns you might notice that how important you are is based on how much land you own. It was a very old custom but it’s not Jason minded.
There was another problem after all. 
He inherited the land after his father and it came along with the debt.
This farm was promised to him, and he loved it with all his heart. Jason worked day and night but the debt kept getting bigger and harder to pay off. He can go so long with scaring off every single person that wants to collect or buy his land. Jason knew who you were, he studied you and your business, maybe watching you from time to time. Taking a few pictures, sneaking into your home. He wanted to know his enemy, of course. 
Jason was a stubborn man, he would never even admit out loud that someone like you made his cheeks flush and heart skip a bit. You wanted to take his home for heaven's sake! He sighed as he watched you from your window, you were getting ready for bed. Face going red as you began to take off. He didn’t stop watching, instead he loosened his pants.
Your job was simple, go in hand letters and talk to Jason Ackworth.
From what you know he was a very scary, stubborn man. You sigh as you listen to yet another employee of yours cry and explain themselves why they couldn’t even get close to his property. This happened every single time you tried to send someone to collect the debt, or do anything. You swear a few of your employees never came back, they must have ran away. Cowards
Time to take things into your own hands.
The ride to the farm was long, but when the buildings and city noise morphed into fields and calm sounds of nature you felt rested.
The land was pretty big, if not for the debt Jason would be a lucky guy if not for the dept. Your family dealt with Ackworth for years, but you were pretty sure you will finish this.
When your great grandpa started his business he lent money to people so they would be able to stabilize themselves and eventually pay it back. Ackworths did everything not to do that, so that’s why you are here.
You finally see the white house and the farm. It looked simple, but boy wasn’t it a jewel.
It looked well taken care of, which meant it could be sold for a lot. You smile as your eyes wander through the farm.
Everything seemed to be in good condition, your eye caught an older man tending to the chickens. 
It looks like you didn’t need to look far for Mister Jason, smiling proudly as you walked towards him. He must have noticed you too because he stopped what he was doing and watched you. When you got closer to him you noticed he is not as old as you thought he was. Jason was actually a good looking young man.
“Mister Ackworth!” you yelled cheerfully, you think he shook when you yelled. “What do you want?” his voice horse, somewhat angry sounding.
“Can we talk?”
“I still have a few years to pay off the debt.” Jason started, his face turned into a disgusted look. He was difficult, but you could work with that so you kept your polite smile. No need to anger the man more, yes? You sipped the coffee Jason made for you, the sweet bitter taste filling your mouth. It had an off taste but it’s probably because it’s organic or something.
“Mister Ackworth, listen, I know your situation is hard but this is getting ridiculous. My men disappear when coming into contact with you and the debt is overdue!” Your vision got blurry, something was wrong. Oh very very wrong. “Are you feelin’ alright?” “Yeah yeah just just-” you slurred, then your vision went black You groaned as you tried to move your hands to rub your face, only to hear a loud noise and realize you have been tied up. Jason chuckled as he crouched in front of you. He had such a happy smile, you thought he wasn’t really capable of that. His face was still a little blurry, and speech a bit slurred.
“Why?”
“I hate you, oh how I hate you with my whole heart. I spend days, weeks, months or maybe even years watching you.” His rough hand grabbed your face, with a very painful grip he forced your glossy eyes to look at him.
“I hate how you make me feel, God, how crazy you make me.”  he laughed.
“We are going to have so much fun.” he drew in closer and kissed you.
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hotvampireadjacent · 1 month
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Idk I’m really luck all things considered. I always feel guilty bc my current field of work is one of the worsssttttttttt like honestly only a step above working for the military (debt collections law firm)
Idk I think what’s fucking me up mentally is everyone here is so nice it feels like none of us are acknowledging the harm we’re doing. And. I know my friends and manager are all here bc we don’t have a choice really. I don’t plan on staying here long.
I guess my issue is bc I don’t feel god awful like I did at my last job I feel guilty bc I’m participating in actively harming society. I’m not. Like. Trying to get someone to comfort me just venting in general. I feel like I should be actively afraid and feeling awful every day like I did at my last job. (For different reasons my previous boss was a dickhead the law itself wasn’t bad)
I should be able to leave in less than a year. I only plan on staying here for as much as I have to. Once I get accepted (if) to law school I can and will change work to something closer to future school.
If I don’t get into law school I’ll take my experience and work in a different law firm.
My point is I feel. Nice that I met so many nice people and friends here. I was really depressed and isolated after I got laid off. I was able to move out of my house thanks to this job. And I’m happy but I feel guilty for being happy (as I should be)
It’s only temporary but I guess my point is. The people minus the bourgeoisie law firm owners are so nice and normal. (The owners are nice too but. They can afford to be nice.) when you think of who works at a debt collection law firm you imagine scum of the earth evil people. In realitily it’s every day people like you and me just another cog in the capitalist machine trying to get by.
The owners and bourgeoisie actively chose to enter this awful field, me and my proletariat workers did not.
Idk I’m not trying to make an excuse for myself but I am making excuses for my fellow workers here. Say what you want about me but I know how we all struggle, and they struggle. For most of us this is a jumping board to better less awful work as soon as we can get out.
I made a lot of nice friends here and I was so lonely and isolated before I had this job. People who are introverts like me and don’t mind how of putting other more extroverts usually find me.
Just thinking to myself bc I’m an open fucking book here and post about my entire life
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grison-in-space · 3 months
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Hi! I've just stumbled onto the dogblr side of Tumblr and it seems fascinating. Could you recommend any fundamental reading/watching material for people who want to start learning about dog training/behaviour/cognition? It would also be cool to hear about how you, personally, got into it if you're okay sharing- it seems like a niche field and I'm curious about what the journey might look like for different people. Thanks! ^.^
Oh, sure! Bear in mind that my particular path is, um, actually much weirder than most folks': the dog training with clients is a very new (and very part time) development in my professional life. In my full time job, I'm a postdoctoral associate in neuroscience working on motivation and decision-making in the context of animal behavior. And even for that, my career path has been bizarre: I started out in population genetics, did the PhD in behavioral ecology with a side of metabolic neuroendocrinology, and have now wound up in a NIH-oriented lab focusing on topics related to sex differences, neurodivergence and addiction.
It just occured to me that the dog training thing puts me squarely on the grounds of applied animal behavior research, which means that I've done it! I've poked into all the disciplines that can be described as Animal Behaviour and collected all the achievements! I really gotta reinvest in the Animal Behavior meeting, huh. Oh, wait, no: I'm forgetting behavior genetics, which is an area of strong interest I've poked around the edges of but never myself published in.
See, animal behavior as a formal study contains at least four different disciplines of study that really only loosely interact with one another. Behavioral ecology often appears in concert within ecology and evolution, and it focuses on the study of animals within their own natural context according to their own concerns and experiences. Neuroscience is typically thinking in terms of understanding the mechanism of the human brain, and behaviorism is similarly trained on the universal mechanisms of learning and behavior. Applied animal behavior involves studying how to most effectively, safely, and ethically manage animals in human care, including both domestic animals and captive wild ones; it also covers finding out how to teach animals to do complex but useful behaviors, like training working animals. Neuroendocrinology involves studying how hormones effect changes in the brain and body: metabolic hormones, stress hormones, sex hormones, the works. Behavior genetics (and epigenetics) include studying the effects of genetic variation on behavior itself.
It's certainly not uncommon for people to jump fields once or twice, or to straddle an intersection of approaches over their careers. It's.... less usual to bounce around one's career to quite this extent, which I attribute to the fact that a) I have quite a bit of fairly obvious ADHD, b) I've never worked for anyone who hasn't had their own case bedeviling our focus, and c) I graduated directly into COVID, which meant that I had to figure out a solution on the fly when all the positions I had intended to cultivate dried up overnight.
Not that I'm bitter.
As for how I got into the dog training gig, essentially I like dog training, I really like this outfit, and I have some credit card debt I would really like to pay down. I wanted to meet and talk to more dog folks in the area and I also really missed teaching—I taught every spring and fall through my 8yr PhD, I'm good at it, and I really enjoy it. Since I've respected (almost) every instructor I've had through this outfit, and the one exception involved being listened to immediately about my concerns and increased supervision in response, and I knew that one of my instructors worked part time with them, I figured it might be a neat side gig. So far, that's been bourne out.
I also do have some longer term plans to do some behavioral genetics and neuroscience work on dogs, and I would like to incorporate some noninvasive experiments that use dogs from the general public. My facility also has a robust doggy daycare program and it'd be rad to work with them to build opportunities for everyone in a few years. I'm hoping to leverage a permanent tenure track job at my institution over it, but I might go in several directions from here. Predicting the direction of my career has been a losing proposition so far, so let's see what seems good at the time and stick around as long as I'm having fun.
As for how I got into dogs and dog behavior specifically? In addition to the ADHD, I'm autistic enough to have been diagnosed as a tween girl in the 00s, and my special interests never quite leave —they just flare up and simmer down in long periods over my life. Dogs are the first and earliest of these; my parents told me that they'd seen me gravitating towards the family Lhasa from pretty much the moment I could roll over on my belly. That seems about right. Dogs have been my gateway to huge corridors of my intellectual world, and dog training specifically have been a hobby for some time. In addition to my training gig, I'm experimenting with functional service tasks to support me as burnout and neurodivergence have limited my capacity.
Books and reading recs I'll try to get to later, mm falling asleep right now.
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danieyells · 2 months
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"The Casino opened about six months ago when Taiga Hoshibami, a second year at the time, was given management rights and the position of Sinostra's dorm Captain."
So six months ago, about two months before the game started, Taiga was made Sinostra's captain. He hasn't been Captain very long comparatively.
And Taiga immediately fucked it up by injuring and attempting to kill the pc! And Romeo immediately fucked it up by trying to aggressively collect Kaito's debt in public!! It took both of you two months to get your whole house put on probation!!!
I wonder if that's part of the rift between he and Romeo and the reason for their split factions of followers. Some people expected Romeo to be given captaincy, and others expected Taiga. And Romeo and his loyalists don't agree with Taiga's being chosen as captain--although Romeo insists that he doesn't want Taiga under his control and that Taiga is the boss, even though he tries to tell Taiga what to do because he believes Taiga to be incompetent.
But they're both third years. He's only going to be captain for a year anyway before they both go off to do their year of field work learning. It's funny that they're doing this all for people who're gonna leave a year from now. . . .
(It's also kinda funny to imagine Ritsu being the next Sinnostra captain tbh. And he has to be the next captain, unless another ghoul transfers in--)
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The Difference between The Black Agenda & The Reparations Movement
Reparations Commissions are popping up across the Country, but none of them come close to addressing the true spirit of Reparations. There are several reasons for this:
Neither Democrats nor Republicans in Congress have a real interest in discussing Reparations; let alone dispensing anything tangible.
Minorities involved in these Reparations Projects have either tried to include their demographic into the discussion, or they have been against it.
Infighting amongst members of the ADOS, FBA, Freemen, & Indigenous Community have weakened the overall message of Reparations. The Masses don't realize that they are All THE SAME LINEAGE GROUP. This division weakens Our collective argument, but has allowed some to eat well over the past few Yrs.
Organizations like The NAACP, The Urban League, The National Action Network, NCOBRA, NAARC, & other like minded Groups have promoted a Trans Atlantic Reparations Agenda that ignores CARICOM. In effect, it 'Centers' Black Immigrants (including Afro Latinos) in the Black American Experience. Most arrived @ least 10Yrs after Jim Crow ended- how do they qualify for American Reparations?
The recent kerfuffle over San Francisco NAACP President Rev. Amos Brown's rejection of that City's Reparations Proposal spotlights the problem w/ letting Our (so called) 'Established Leaders' drive the Reparations Bus. They drove the Bus into Our current situation, why should We expect anything different from them? Many of these individuals chose Corporate Donations over Black Community Development. They arent 'Leaders', they're Corporate Lobbyists. These are the Same People that let HR- 40 rot on the 'Social Action vine' for over 30Yrs; If they REALLY wanted Reparations...
Another issue, are the individuals & Organizations narrating 'The Black Agenda' into the Reparations Argument. They are separate & distinct. The White Noise of their rhetoric has confused The Masses, which weakens the magnitude of Our Fight. For the sake of clarity, I want to point out the difference between The Black Agenda & The Reparations Movement.
The Black Agenda, is an All inclusive Program for Black & Afrikan Americans, regardless of their Country of Origin. This includes Africans, Caribbeans, Afro Latinos, & Afro Asians. All of Us share in the current experience of being Black in America. It is an experience that is unique to Us, & is also what unites Us.
The Black Agenda is about Equity. America loves to promote 'Equality', but equal measure doesn't guarantee that Everyone will somehow end up on equal ground. We have been collectively marginalized in America, so it's only fair that they level the playing field. 'Rising Tide' Programs, like those offered by The Democratic Party are on the right track, but none take into account the fact that Black America needs an extra scoop of whatever they propose.
The Black Agenda deals w/ the issues of Community Development: Residential & Commercial/ Business Property Ownership, Job Development & Employment Opportunities, Health Care & Mental Health Solutions, School Reform, After School Programs, Youth Empowerment, Visual & Performing Arts Programs, Daycare & Pre- K Programs, along w/ the necessary Community Boards needed to present these & other Community related issues to Local & State Agencies. The goal, is to improve the overall Quality of Life in Black Communities- up to the level of Every Other Community.
The Reparations Movement, is a specific call for American Society to pay their long overdue debt to American Descendants of Chattel Slavery. This Movement is about Indemnification. While Black America collectively deserves legislation, American Descendants Of Slavery deserve much more. The problem w/ EVERY Reparations Program offered so far, is they All ignore the fact that Reparations is a debt owed. They All read like Politicians are giving Blackfolk a hand out. These Programs also fall short on what is really owed.
A lot of numbers have been thrown around over the years, but I have consistently said that Final Reparations numbers will depend on WHO is held liable. If the U.S. Government alone is held liable, Reparations will probably be in the $18 Trillion- $22 Trillion range. If Corporations & Individual families are included, that number could reach $64 Trillion. That should give a clue to the extent of Exploitation, Terrorism & Oppression that Black America endured over the last 246Yrs- 400Yrs. American History is a chronicle of Anti- Black sentiment. Reparations Naysayers point out the impossibility of dispensing Trillions of Dollars, but a Multigenerational Reparations Program is an easy solution.
The Republican Party's outright refusal of, & The Democratic Party's attempt to graft Feminist & LGBTQ... rhetoric to Critical Race Theory (CRT), are attempts by both Parties to keep Mainstream America away from Our Nation's cruel & bloody past. They obviously fear divulging this history, because it will quell the Argument 'Against', as it strengthens the National Argument 'For' Reparations. The Immigrant Argument of 'I wasnt Here' becomes embarrassing, when We consider 2 facts:
It was Black American Labor that built America up & made it attractive (i.e. The Land of Milk & Honey) to Europeans, Asians, Latinos, Caribbeans, & Afrikans looking to start a New Life.
Black America is responsible for motivating ALL of the Immigration Initatives over the last 150Yrs; especially those since 1965.
It's only fitting for Immigrants living their American Dream (at another's expense) to pay tribute to the people who made that dream possible. I like the analogy of 'Inheriting an Old House'. The New Occupant didn't cause the wear & tear on the house, but that doesn't change the fact that they will have to invest the Time, Work, & Money needed to restore & maintain it. THAT, is the price of Occupancy.
Another thing to consider, is the fact that most Black Americans are descendants of Indigenous Americans or American Indians (Coppertoned Aborigines); not to be confused w/ 'Native Americans', who migrated from Siberia. Less than 10% of Transatlantic Slaves landed in North America. Our Ancestors were Prisoners Of War, that were forced into Indentured Servitude, & later Chattel Slavery on their Own Land. Census Records reveal the effort to hide Our lineage.
Starting w/ the 1790 Census, Indigenous indentured servants were reclassified as Negro & Colored. By the 1900 Census, Indigenous People were being punished for identifying as 'Indian'. They were forced to identify as Colored or Negro. By the 1970 Census, We were designated 'Black'; & on the 1990 Census, We were labeled 'Afrikan American'... Out Of Afrika Theory, while genealogically true, is not only Culturally false; it now appears to be a ploy to get Us off of Our Land. We're looking to Afrika, while the Blood & Bones of Our Ancestors fertilize This Land. Our success in agriculture isn't an accident- We were Here for millennia!... I guess that adds an extra wrinkle to the Reparations Discussion.
It's Time for Us to link the moving parts of Our Lineage into Black Voltron, so We can get on w/ The Work. -Just Saying
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celembrindal · 2 months
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Vashtorr and his hounds hit the field today to collect on some debts from a Great Unclean One. The new Soulforge detachment is everything I ever wanted from a daemon engine detachment. The new codex is awesome and I cant wait to try out a ton of stuff. Abaddon needs to make his debut soon.
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