Due to a problem in Amity Park with their parents, Jazz decided that it was in Danny's best interest to move in with her until she could have full custody of him, the legal process was really long when you had no connections, her brother was happy with that arrangement.
However when he decided to move to Gotham with Jazz, Danny heard rumors about Bruce Wayne and his entourage of black-haired, blue-eyed children, similarly there were other rumors about the "Gotham Knight" who kept adopting children and transforming them into "Robin", or at least, that's what the kids on the Alley told him.
So, he made the most logical decision possible: he applied for a restraining order, for both: Batman and Bruce Wayne, he justified in court that it was for his own safety and he had nothing against them but he preferred if they stayed far from him, considering his trauma it was for the better. Jazz supported him and gave her professional opinion which sped up the process; Harvey Dent found the case hilarious so he supported the siblings and they got the court order.
For his part, Bruce was extremely confused when he found Jason laughing at a document that had arrived in the mail at the mansion, his confusion only increased when his League communicator beeped, alerting him to an urgent call from Flash.
𝐁𝐎𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐍 𝐊𝐔𝐑𝐎𝐊𝐀𝐖𝐀 𝐈𝐙𝐀𝐍𝐀
—» content warnings :: afab-reader, character study (I'm warning you) , mentions of unprotected sex, nightclubs; word count— 0.75k LINKS SECTION
—» notes :: this is just a glimpse of how his Bonten life would be in my head & this is for my sweetest mikey lover, robyn’s collab(@fueledbysano ), “the sano collab”
BONTEN KUROKAWA IZANA’S day starts with tucking his gun in the valley of his waist and majestically swinging his body while dashing out of his room. And, the first thing he does is to pull Kakucho’s daughter in his strong, firm arms and safely tuck her into his lap. While Kakucho frowned at Izana’s habit of taking his daughter on such a daily local tour but the toddler begs to differ since she thinks it’s her responsibility to carry on Uncle Zana's legacy.
BONTEN KUROKAWA IZANA knows his city like the back of his palm. The guy is generally seen with his long overcoat hanging down to his ankles, at arcades with a baby girl by his side. He doesn’t even have to do much; just be sharp enough to protect the princess and with little miss Hitto as his prodigy, he is never a talk of a suspect. He likes his reputation that way subtle and mysterious.
BONTEN KUROKAWA IZANA is seen in a lonely corner of a bar enjoying the melodious voice of the new barmaid. He rarely visits sex clubs, night clubs especially after he became an uncle to someone. And Manjiro? He just got another excuse to make him angry enough that he cusses Mikey in Filipino.
There are times when BONTEN KUROKAWA IZANA is seen in nightclubs while Manjiro packs a year's deal. No, he is always behind the curtains pulling the strings, thinking which pawn to use while his expensive cigar becomes null. Kakucho often turns a blind eye to the fact that he is a little homely after he married you. Since you walked into his life, he has become a little silent. Manjiro happens to blame your absence for it but Kakucho seems to believe that he is just moody today.
Well, Manjiro sure gets excited whenever he happens to notice his brother sneaking out of the room hurriedly with fidgety fingers upon the phone screen.
“Thought you forgot about me…when I sent you to your daddy’s house. That was such a bad choice. Wasn’t it?”, and you could tell how direly he missed you day and night, how much he regretted turning you down when you nuzzled against his firm naked chest just because he was just tired.
But BONTEN KUROKAWA IZANA is sly; sly enough to impress both the parties, you and your father. He will bluntly show up at your mansion and he never takes the easy route. It’s always the balcony.
No one in the town, not even his local subordinates knows where his bonten tattoo is; it’s just you and the quarter members of bonten. That’s why people say, no one knows where his loyalty lies.
And he makes great use of such easily mouldable rumors. He often goes for a little vacation with you just outside the town just because Manjiro does the on-stage work and no one dares to question because spending time with little Hitto has made him whiney. Ask him the reason, he’ll blame it on Kakucho, for ordering him around.
BONTEN KUROKAWA IZANA enjoys the weight of the crown when you’re around him. He never fails you, your desires whether it is to bring you ice cream in the dead of night or to fuck you on the rooftop of the bonten building.
“You see baby”, he rasps as he pulls up your face by wrapping his fingers around your throat giving you a view of the city he owns. “We.are.gonna.rule.over.this. We.are.gonna. Make. something.that.they can never take from us”, his voice slurries as he takes you from the back hitting as deep as he can with broad strokes at the fall of each word. And, all he needs from you is “Yes, yes sir”, with a little smile lacing your lips that always gets him.
But some days, he forgets to make love to you and hence, sneaks through your balcony to make you his while your father is having a very peaceful meeting with other yakuzas. And sometimes, he is so wound up in the shackles of bonten that he can’t even do that.
So, he comes with pleasantries to woo you. No, it’s just not gifts and expensive pieces of jewelry, you already have those. Thanks to Little kakucho who peeks through his long overcoat, soft palms grabbing his legs making you grin as Uncle Zana proudly introduces you to her.
Yeah, he would do anything to protect you from the very shackles that bind him to Bonten and that is why, he likes to keep it subtle, to hide you away from his monstrous world.
+tags — @etheralyonn @manjiroscum @1900-aria @haitaniapologist @em-plosion
+networks — @downtown-roponggi @tokyometronetwork
My God I’m So Lonely
Batfam x batsis!reader
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Jason thought by now everyone would be on speaking terms, they weren’t. Now it was his job to fix that, he felt bad in a way for letting the problem go this far. Jason understood more than anyone your frustrations and if he were you he would never forgive them, except he needed you to. Hypocritical, he knew.
What Jason could think about is the countless occasions this family has failed one another, believing the legacy of that should end here.
You did miss your family, college life was a bitch. Though you did not regret your choice to leave, the actions felt like constant disrespect and you needed to choose a path in life.
Guilt, a strong feeling which was currently eating you as you tried to finish typing your thesis paper. Across the room your roommate spoke up, “y/n keep that up and you’ll get wrinkles.” At this you realized your face had been locked in a scowl for majority of the time that was spent typing, sitting back you stare at pictures of happier moments on the wall.
“Maybe you should visit them.”
“Your family, everytime you come back from lectures you just mindlessly stare at those pictures. It’s normal to be homesick y/n.”
For the rest of the week that one word occupied your thoughts, homesick. When at the manor you were sick of your so called “home”, so this came as a shock to you. Mind going between the fact that you were crazy to even consider it and how eventually you would end up seeing them again. As hurt as you felt it’s not like you could avoid them forever, subconsciously pushing the idea off until you caved.
How does one go about contacting a family with a nonexistent relationship. You could only think about how you were worlds apart from them. Y/n a regular civilian, besides the fact that Bruce Wayne adopted you. Then again “regular” people didn’t have to cling on to the small strings of sanity they had left in big mansions, the walls closing in. “Stop it.” You thought to yourself, there was no pushing this off any longer. For the sake of Alfred who looked a bit more on the sad side last time he visited, you caved.
It was almost like that day. A small child looking up at a big scary castle that would take her pain away, a scared adult looking at the mansion of her rich adoptive father which caused her the very same pain. The place that was supposed to protect you like a princess locked away in the walls of a castle, drove you over the edge.
The sound of you knocking made you cringe at how quiet it was, straightening your spine at the oncoming chills. Upon opening the door you were yanked into a bone crushing hug by Alfred then he led you inside. Damian was one of the first to notice yelling out, “See father I told you l/n would be back!” Then hugging you which confused you since you didn’t think that he liked you, believing that you were below Tim on his list. Slowly the family trickled into the main room. Dick’s face looked older than he was, as if the stress had finally got to him. “I’m sorry.” He whispered as he pulled you into a hug.
Tim and Bruce were discussing something when they walked in, a boyish smile gracing Tim’s features. He too joined in on the hug. At the end of the day you couldn’t hold him at fault for the real problem.
Everyone stepping away when Bruce came over with a relived expression. This time you were the one who hugged him, it would take time to fix things but this was a start.
From the top of the stairs someone watched the display below with a smile. If it were up to him Jason would have locked you all in an escape room.
tags: @yunho-leeknow @twismare @voldieshorts @slowaluminum @bribris-things @awalkingdisasterbi @bubblybrianna
i tried to tag others but it would only let me tag a few of you and i have no idea why thank you all for reading <3
Dabihawks Victorian-esque AU (that has been floating in my mind for a while) where once upon a time, Keigo and Touya were engaged to be married.
It wasn’t their choice, as this union was agreed upon by both The Commission and Endeavor. Both sides saw the benefit that would come from joining their families together. And both did not ask Dabihawks how they felt about the arrangement.
At first, Touya and Keigo didn’t like the fact that the other would be their future husband. But slowly, over the years, they began to fall in love. However, the two struggled to speak their true feelings to each other, their pride getting in the way, and instead opted to speak around the issue.
“Well, since I’m the only one who can handle you at your brattiest my dear Touya, I suppose I will have to marry you.”
“No one else will listen to you chatter on about nonsense my darling Keigo, so I suppose I will have to marry you too.”
Despite conversations like these, the two were very much in love and were both secretly and eagerly waiting for the day when they would be wed.
However, a few months before wedding bells were to ring, hidden truths about The Commission were released to the public. Their many heinous acts were exposed and amongst the information leaked was the past of one adopted Keigo Takami: son of the Takami thief turned killer. The very same Takami who robbed and threatened the Todoroki household so many years ago and who had scared the eldest Todoroki when he was just a boy.
The public becomes outraged and the good news is that The Commission is taken down. The bad news? Keigo is taken down with it.
And Touya, too angry at Keigo for hiding his origins from him, becomes persuaded by his father to end their engagement.
So Keigo, on the day of his wedding, finds himself on the streets. No title, no money, no family, no Touya. He’s lower than he’s ever been before in his life and completely lost.
But, he is a fighter.
Flash forward ten years then and Hawks, age 28, is the accomplished butler/teacher of the Yagi family’s pride and joy, Izuku. Though the Yagi family is a small house, they are a mighty and powerful one. And, after years of struggling and crawling through hell itself, Hawks has finally managed to abandon his true name and his old ways. He has no title or connections, but he does have kind employers and has formed a brotherhood of sorts with Izuku. He is content with his new position in life.
But then, a letter arrives to the Yagi household. A letter from Shouto Todoroki asking if he could formally court Izuku with the intention of marriage and if Izuku could spend the summer getting to know him at the Todoroki estate.
And all too soon Hawks is whisked back to the mansion where he spent his childhood as he accompanies Izuku to meet his possibly future fiancé, Shouto. And, as if it wasn’t embarrassing enough that the family whom he grew up with now sees him as nothing more than a mere servant, guess who happens to be visiting for the summer? Like a faded page from a chapter of his life that Hawks vowed to never reopen.
None other that Touya Todoroki. A man who Keigo loved so much when he was at the top of the world. A man who Hawks can’t help but feel prejudiced towards after being betrayed by him so many years ago.
As for Touya, he has spent 10 years regretting his choice. Social standings, class, and his family be damned, he won’t make the same mistake twice.
(Also, dabihawks totally have a rainy day gazebo scene. Cause… why not?)
one for the money // fallon carrington x reader
↪ summary: after years away, you figure it’s time to explain to fallon why you left
a commission for @devillskettle
↪ pairing: fallon carrington x reader
↪ words: 3584
↪ trigger warnings: homophobia from a parent (blake is a shitty parent), blackmail, switch!fallon, switch!reader, focusing on top!reader, orgasm control, orgasm countdowns, hatefucking
Nothing in your life has gone according to plan. Your major? Changed six months into undergrad. Your career path? Abandoned for a graduate offer a few months after graduating. The outfit you planned last night? Peed on by your cat in the middle of the night, requiring you to wear the outfit you wore the day previous. Your breakfast order this morning? Messed up by the drive-thru employee. In your field, with your luck…hoping for predictability isn’t enough. You have to be able to find comfort in chaos or else you’d be screaming into every damn pillow you could get your hands on, and probably on a much higher dose of anxiety medication.
None of this, none of your years of preparation for “times your life has gone off the goddamn rails” seems to matter now. Not a single minute of the quick fixes and pivots and carefully constructed plans dashed could have prepared you for the moment to come. The long drive from your company-provided AirBnB certainly don’t help either – the two hours alone in your car in Atlanta traffic a full one hundred and twenty minutes of silence that have you itching to get out of your own skin. Still, when you arrive and park, you wish you had more time…hoping you could delay the inevitable task ahead of you.
You haven’t been at the Carrington mansion in a long while. Part of you feels it hasn’t been long enough, that centuries could pass between visits, and you’d regret stepping through the front door. Another part of you feels like it was yesterday; like you had merely stepped out for dinner and are returning home after a few hours away. Not much has changed either way, the statue that once sat in the immediate view of the front door is no longer there, and the carpeting in the front room has changed. But the twin staircases, the marble floors, the haunting feeling that settles into your bones…that’s just the same as the day you left. The family scent hound’s there, too, lounging on a dog bed you’re sure was prohibitively expensive while the rest of the world ignores him the same way it does them. You want to pet him, see if he remembers you; but the fear he doesn’t keeps you in your place.
The worst part is, the mansion is nearly silent. Nearly no one is home. Blake and his wife (which one is this? Four? Five?) fucked off to the Bahamas for a week-long vacation at an all-inclusive resort. The older Carrington sibling is similarly gone, his ex-boytoy luckily gone, too. Whether they’re in the same place is none of your concern, all you truly care about is that they’re not here with you. Even Anderson has taken a few days off, returning to New Zealand to do…whatever it is he does. All that’s left are the lower servants, who – if they do recognize you – say nothing as they hurry past to do whatever stupid chores Blake left for them. You are stagnant, listening to the sound of shoes walking past you occasionally. The non-slip sneakers make a distinct, soft squeak, a sound you’re nearly enjoying when you hear the harsh, sharp sound of stilettos. They start far off, a sound you hope is just an impending thunderstorm. As their tight, even pace continues, though, growing louder with every passing click…you know your fate.
So you stand, inert, staring straight ahead into nothingness, waiting for the voice of the woman whose heart you broke to ring through the empty corridor. And, Heavens above, does it ring.
“Get out of my house,” she hisses. You don’t need to see her face, you can imagine her pursed lips and narrowed eyes and brow furrowed with rage. It’s almost cute.
You keep your gaze straight ahead, not giving her the satisfaction of eye contact. “Your name doesn’t go on the deed until both Blake and Steven die and we both know it.” She gasps then stomps down the stairs, and only when you feel her body heat and can smell her signature perfume do you look at her. “Fallon,” you say, looking her up and down. “It’s so nice to see you again.”
She doesn’t respond, anger radiating off of her like heat rays from the sun. “You left me!” she growls through grit teeth. With her so close it’s easier for you to see her, truly, in all her glory. She looks almost the same as the day you left, with perfect makeup and perfect teeth and perfect nails and perfect jewelry that perfectly complements her perfect outfit. Really the only thing that’s changed is her bangs – these adorable, childlike bangs that once covered her forehead and now are gone. Her hair is still the same, slightly curly and a wonderful dark chocolate color you want to twirl around your fingers. If Fallon didn’t look like she’d bite your hand if you tried, you’d be threading your fingers through her locks and pulling her close.
You aren’t able to defend yourself for your self-admitted misgivings before she’s pouncing on you like a cat, knocking you to the ground as she screams. “You fucked off to your fancy fucking college and left me here!”
You can’t tell what she’s trying to do, her fists balled but punches reminiscent of a toddler whose animal crackers were taken away. At least she doesn’t want to really hurt me, you think.
You scoff as she grabs ahold of your blazer lapels, shaking you back and forth. You keep your head angled to avoid the hard floors (blood would be very unbecoming on your cream shirt), but allow her to use you like a punching bag. “I didn’t leave you, I left this house.”
Fallon’s eyes narrow, her movements never ceasing. “And I fucking live here, asshole! You can’t leave this place without leaving me in it! You left me alone here!”
Tears – tears you ignore for her own dignity – prick at the corners of her eyes. Beneath her fiery outrage you know she’s upset, genuinely upset with you and what you did. You have no defense, really, and so you let her do what she needs to do until she tired herself out and stands back up. Though her heart races in her chest and her nostrils flare, she calmly moves the hair that covers her face back into its proper place. After a beat, you follow suit, getting back on your feet and facing her once more.
“I,” you sigh as she raises a single brow. Don’t lie to me, it says. Don’t you dare fucking lie to me. Not here. Not now. Not after what you did. “Let’s go up to your room where we can talk.”
Fallon considers your proposal, neither of you acknowledging the awkward housekeeper who dusts the paintings that hang a mere ten feet from the both of you. She doesn’t say anything when she accepts, simply exhales and turns on her heel to walk back where she came from. You follow, equally silently, until you’re both in her obnoxiously large bedroom and standing far enough apart to where you can’t count her eyelashes.
“Come back,” is all you tell her. Your heart aches for you to touch her again, to smell where she sprays perfume on the juncture of her neck, to nose at her hairline. She doesn’t move. “I’ve missed you.”
She merely raises her eyebrow once more. “How much?”
You move closer in the face of her stubbornness, tracing your hands down the seam of her top. “More than Romeo missed Juliet when he found her dead body at that casket…”
She fumes, silently. It’s a good answer, one much better than she was expecting. You take her silence, even as her jaw tenses, as the okay to continue. Your hands travel from her elbow to her shoulder, down the black edge of her cardigan thumbing at the expensive knitwork. You want to tease her, mockingly ask whether it was actually as hard as she wants to make it seem to let you near her again. But she’s skittish, like a newly rescued feral kitten. So you keep your voice low, focusing on small movements and quiet praises. “You look nice.”
Fallon gives you a little snort but doesn’t pull away. A good sign. “If you’re here to butter me up into not being upset, it’s not going to work.”
You shrug, tracing the outside of the matte black buttons. “Nah, honest. You look good in this.”
She’s wearing a sweater set – some knit houndstooth pattern that a cropped cardigan and skirt that falls mid-thigh share. She’s got a black shirt underneath, the style reminiscent of a t-shirt but made of a silk much nicer than any jersey fabric. It doesn’t really matter what she’s wearing, or even that she looks fucking delectable in it. What matters is that it grants you easy access to her pussy. Or, more accurately, the panties that cover it. You move your head ever so slightly, softly pressing your lips to hers.
“These are nice, too” you murmur into her lips, your smile only growing when she scowls.
Her eyes narrow, her jaw setting as she tenses. She doesn’t move away, though, just digs her manicured nails into your bare upper arm. “What did you expect, granny panties?”
You give her a little snort, but don’t stop tracing what you think are embroidered flowers. A small pool of dampness is starting to form, but you don’t give her the satisfaction as the pads of your fingers trace every petal. “No, I just sometimes forget that you’re the kind of stuck-up bitch that wears lingerie on a random Tuesday.”
You ignore your mother’s voice in your head telling you that only hussies forgo pantyhose as you move them to the side. Fallon’s breath hitches as the cool air brushes over her wetness, a similarly small gasp leaving her lips when you tease at her entrance. “How long as it been since someone touched you like this, pretty girl,” you whisper, raking your teeth ever so lightly against the shell of her ear. “Or has the rest of the world treated you like an antique, beautiful but untouched in some climate-controlled cabinet.”
You know the answer. Fallon’s a very particular woman, a particularity that also manifested in who she has sex with. Even the careless hookups were chosen with specificity, people she knew could be trusted (or at least blackmailed into silence if need be). You hadn’t been the first woman who fucked her (and who she fucked in return), but the way her body had reacted to yours during those hours-long sessions had you knowing that you were something special to her. Even if you were more object than human, there’d never be another you.
As you rub at her clit her beautiful sighs fill your ears like an award-winning symphony, her body becoming more pliant as pleasure replaces distaste in her veins. You use her acceptance, her letting herself go just a tad, to flip her around so that you and her both face her ridiculously large closet. Her moans are loud, lewd, like they had trapped themselves inside of her throat and just now were releasing themselves from their imprisonment. They go straight to your core, flint striking upon an already raging fire that burns inside of you. Flames lick at your organs as you rub loose, lazy circles, ignoring the frantic bucks of her hips.
“Be patient,” you tell her. The words are firm even though they have no edge. You’d give her anything she asked for in a heartbeat…you’re just trying to keep her from begging so that you can make up for lost time properly and at your own pace. “I’ll give you everything you need, princess. You just have to be patient.”
She whines, but obliges.
You can’t help but laugh when you go to palm at her breasts, untucking her shirt and moving the cup of her bra aside. A bra you can’t see – but can tell from the fabric and raised pattern matches her panties.
“What are you laughing about?” Fallon huffs, trying to shove her ass back to force your fingers deeper.
You ignore her actions, pulling her up so that her back is flush against your chest. “Nothing, just thinking about how you’re such an uptight control freak you wear matching sets when you know you have no plans.”
She has no retort to that. Partially because it’s true, and partially because you’ve got one hand plunging below her panties to insert a single finger inside of her. It’s not enough – for your little size queen it’ll never be enough – but it certainly has her moaning and chewing at her lip to suppress the desperate, slutty sounds.
“C’mon, baby,” you too. “Be loud for me…” You can tell she isn’t convinced, so you lower your voice just a tad and kiss at her neck as you speak. “C’mon, princess. I’ve missed you too much for my first time back to be so quiet.”
And, to her credit, she moans unabashedly. A smile plays on your lips as you realize it’s because she’s desperate to reach her own peak. No, you think. No, she can’t take the reins back like that so easily.
“You come when I tell you too,” you tell her, leaving no room for argument. “I’m gonna count down from five, and I want to feel you come around my fingers when I get to one. Understand?”
You can practically feel the clever retort forming on her lips, but it dies and is replaced by another moan when you fit three fingers inside of her, the other rubbing tight circles around her swollen clit. All she can do is nod.
“Good, princess,” you murmur. Part of you wants to start at a higher number, but you’ve denied yourself this pleasure for too long. Selfishly, you want to see her fall apart in your grasp – and to be the only thing there to catch her as she does so. “Five.”
She moans, tugging her bottom lip between her teeth and digging her hands into whatever skin of yours she can get ahold of. It hurts, the feeling of her nails breaking skin, but you don’t say anything. You deserve that pain – probably more, and she deserves an anchor. All you can do is be thankful she found it in you, and that you were here this time to provide it.
“F-fuck,” her words are strangled, and it’s a struggle to keep her upright. You love it.
You increase the pace of both hands, feeling her stomach tense and watching her hips fuck down onto your fingers. You wish you could record this, and watch it every time you got off. Nothing could be hotter than watching the effervescent, perfectly put together Fallon Carrington fall apart so effortlessly under your touch.
She chokes out a sob, desperate. Whether she wants more to please you or to come, though, is the question.
“Two…” you feel her fight against you, while grinding against the hand that circles her clit. The two parts of her, the one that wants to obey, and the one that wants to chase every bit of pleasure she can find, battle each other. Regardless of who wins, though, you’re determined to reward the champion.
“You okay, love?” you ask. It’s genuine, even if a touch of torture threads itself into your tone.
Fallon nods, breathing harder than you’ve ever seen her pant in her life. “F-fuck you, don’t you dare fucking s-stop,” she threatens through gritted teeth.
All you can do is smile. “One.”
You can feel her clamp down around you, tightening around your fingers like a vice. The most sensitive part her jumps under your fingertips as she screams, spasming under your grasp.
As she comes down from her high you maneuver her to the bed, crashing upon the thick duvet like waves upon a shore. You don’t say anything until her breathing evens out, her eyes closed as she curls around you.
“I didn’t leave you, you know…” you sigh as you say it, the gross feeling of expressing a genuine emotion making your teeth itch. Still, you manage to keep talking – even if it feels like your skin is covered in a thick, wet slime. She turns away, looking straight up as you speak. You don’t try to get her back. “Blake offered to pay for my education through a PhD and said he’d consider funding my research if I stayed away.”
Fallon doesn’t look at you, continuing to stare up at her ceiling. That indignant tone softens just a little as she speaks, her indignant facial expression set in stone. “That’s a lot,” she pauses. “Considering your field.”
You don’t say the quiet part out loud. You’re in engineering, focusing on green technology and environmental justice. Having a world-renowned advocate and scientist on his side would let Black get away with a Hell of a lot more than he is now. It would quell the Steven’s of the world – ones who want to feel good more than they want to be good. Ones who don’t go hunting for grant proposals or know how to use SourceWatch; ones who think straw bans work and bring their own tote bags everywhere they go. In the beginning, you felt guilty, for doing what you did under Blake’s watch. But nothing paid the bills better than oil barons, and when creditors started to come knocking, they didn’t much care for a piece of paper with “I’m doing important environmental research” in reply.
If there’s anyone were to understand what kind of spot you’re in…it’d be Fallon. She’s one of the few people who truly understand Blake’s influence on the world, how hard it is to get out from under his thumb. Which is why she stays silent – doesn’t try to fight you again, or question your choices like friends and colleagues did. She’s just…quiet, tracing your jaw with her right index finger and looking you up and down. “It’s really hard to be mad at you with my father manipulating reality like that.”
You shrug. “Rock and a hard place. Had to take it. Didn’t really have any other options.”
The next question she asks is one you knew was coming, but it still digs the knife deeper into your already scarred heart. “Why’d you come back? Why now?”
Because if I went another day without seeing you I think I’d explode. Because I love you. Because life doesn’t feel worth living if I can’t have you in my life.
You shrug once more. “Knew him and his snitches would be gone, so I took the chance. Figured it’d be better to see you now than at Blake’s funeral.”
She snorts, and you wish you could capture the smile on your face. You don’t want to grab your phone, though, don’t want to risk turning the location on and being found out. And you just burn the image into your memory, praying you see it every time you close your eyes for the rest of your days. “Is that when the contract ends?”
It’s hard not to sigh, to think about the lack of legal protections you have if Blake wanted to fuck you over. “Technically there isn’t a contract. He just checks in on me on the first of every month to hand me a check, ask if it’s enough, and remind me to stay away from you.”
The next question hangs in the air, unasked and unanswered. Why Blake’s always hated you matters less than why Blake wants you to stay away from Fallon. Steven being gay is one thing – he’s already a black sheep, and falls in line when necessary. Fallon’s too…unpredictable. She’s done too much to deserve happiness, to deserve what you can give her. Black would never say this, of course, not to her face or yours or anyone else’s. The excuse you were given was about her focusing on what matters, on restoring the Carrington name. Certainly more flimsy than the truth, but the near-ridiculous amount of zeros at the end of the first check he cut you filled in the gaps for him.
Money talks, just as much as it keeps people quiet.
The both of you are silent as Fallon processes what’s happened, and you watch her face as she does so. It’s been at least eight years since you’ve seen her in person, even if you’ve watched her career closely through a series of Google alerts and trashy magazine email lists. You have no idea whether she’s done the same for you (even though you know she didn’t read either your undergrad, master’s, or doctoral thesis…which you can’t really fault her for. Fallon Carrington is a lot of things, but she is not an expert in mechanical engineering). All you can do is hope she knows you still love her, even after all these years.
Fallon is the one to break the silence, getting up from the bed on shaky knees and opening the safe hidden in her nightstand. “That was a fun conversation. Now get on all fours, because I’m going to fuck you.”
Needless to say, you do as you’re told – even if it’s with a smirk tugging at one corner of your lips and bratty ideas sparkling on the inside of your skull.
MERA I HAVE TO SHARE THIS BATSHIT INSANE IDEA I HAD
YANDERE KAMISATO AYATO AND EX-WIFE DARLING
The divorce is the Kamisato clan’s worst stain on their pristine reputation, even if Ayato and Wife had been in complete agreement to divorce each other. They didnt love each other, they could barely stand each other, and Ayato would rather be labelled a man with one failed marriage under his belt than a man who’s in an unhappy one. The scandal of it all eventually dies down after some years and Ayato’s consolidated his power as the Yashiro Commissioner and one of the top dogs of Inazuma, and he’s... well, satisfied seems too strong a word but he isn’t... its not like he regrets his divorce too much, ya know? Their personalities clashed, they couldnt be what the other needed or wanted, it just didnt work out. Sure it hurts when he wakes up in the morning and he goes through his daily routine in the complete silence of his solitary chambers but its not that big of a deal? He still has Ayaka. He even has Thoma! And the Kamisato servant... even if they’re forced to attend to him bc he’s their lord... ah uhm, he has Itto, sometimes, when he can make time in his schedule. And uh, Miss Ann is quite kind, she’s always willing to lend an ear to him when he dines at her shop, rare as it may be. He has... he has...
Fine, he’s lonely. It hurts to wake up to an empty and cold bed and its sad when he has to have his tea alone and its worse when the few times he can return to the house its empty aside from servants who dont dare to be too familiar with their lord, and his sister and Thoma are out doing whatever it is that they do. At least when you were there, no matter how much you two argued, you’d greet him and ask him about his day or offer him a snack. At meals you’d regale him with tales of your day or some petty ongoings in Inazuma. Light hearted things that never fail to take his mind off of his heavy burdens and he can relax as you fill the silence with chatter.
He knows he misses the good times, the memory of you, more than he actually does you, because there were just as many fights as there were good days, but for seven’s sake the loneliness can just really wear down even the most resilient of pillars.
Maybe thats why, years after the divorce he seeks you out. He doesn’t even know how he ends up in front of your humble but quaint home, but he’s quick to spin a lie when the door opens to show your unsurprised but bemused all the same face. A lie that he was just out for a walk and decided to deliver this month’s alimony to you personally. You invite him in easily enough, and Ayato marvels at the warmth your home exudes. It’s homy and lived-in, a great departure from the ornate and grand halls of the noble mansions both of you grew up in as children, and you chuckle at his amazement and remind him that your family had disowned you for the dishonor of being a divorcee and he cant help but wince. You had taken on the heavier social stigma with the divorce but you had bravely accepted it and laughed in the face of the consequences as you built up a cozy life for yourself.
He envied it, your freedom and courage to do something so... independent. He could only ever envision something like this at his lowest of low points when the burden of being the commissioner and lord kamisato overwhelmed him. He would never turn his back on his people, but it doesnt mean that he never felt tired.
It’s the warmth of the tea cup you press into his hands that shakes him out of his thoughts, and his brain hyper-focuses on the warmth of your hands enveloping his before you pull away and he almost almost chases after you.
You’re calmer now, he thinks. More mature, gentle in a way he doesn’t really remember aside from the times you’d help him into the bed after a long day of work and bundle him up in the sheets back when you were married. You wouldnt have welcomed him in and served him tea if he had visited you unannounced in the past, and you pointedly remind him you were both children then. Angry, emotional children who were caught up in political schemes they had no choice but to follow.
And yet you managed to escape. Ayato cant help but sneer in his heart, but its forced to remain an internal statement by a pointed look from someone who knows all the best and worst sides of himself. A look he knows well from years of experience and he holds his tongue as he drinks his tea. Sweet, with a mellow taste that reminds him of the strange milk teas he hears so much about being sold in the city. He should take you there, sometime, it would be nice—
Ayato stops his train of thought right there, wondering why it even came to mind. You didnt even like sweets all that much, and he knows how weird it would look to everyone to see the Lord Kamisato setting aside time in his busy schedule to get drinks with his ex-wife. Does that even make sense? The divorce happened because you two could barely stand each other, but here he is time and again seeking you for comfort.
It’s a pity that you two had been forced together so unnaturally, like roughly chopped blocks of wood, the friction between you burgeoning into a raging fire that ruined much of your early history together till it razed down the marriage alliance both families had been so hopeful for. Its ludicrous, when you think about how you two almost seamlessly work with each other now, that there had ever been a fight between you two. Even with his unannounced arrivals you let him in and let him complain or rant or stare off into space as he lets himself be Ayato and not Kamisato Ayato. And in this house (that he secretly helped you make, he wasnt a monster to just completely abandon you after the divorce), you thrive in the freedom of being the sole master of your own destiny and blossomed into someone who no longer had to bite her tongue when someone tried to talk over her, who no longer had to pretend to be diplomatic when she was enraged, like you had been when you were married to him.
Maybe if you got together now instead of then, he wouldnt have to wake up to an empty bed. Maybe if you were together now instead of then, he wouldnt have any memories of that bed containing more than just himself to begin with. Maybe if you two got to be together as Ayato and (Name) it wouldve worked out.
Maybe thats why he lets his feet take him to your house more and more as the days go by, and your continued graciousness to let him into your home and let him be Ayato contorts his mind into believing that you feel the same way. You were once his wife. You know every part of him, good and gracious and bad and terrible, and you still accept him. Its not like the mask of a kind if mischievous older brother he puts on for Ayaka, the playful but hardworking master Thoma knows him as, or the cunning and handsome lord of Kamisato he puts on for the populace.
You were his wife. Were. But whats something as flimsy as a piece of paper splattered with ink against the might of the most powerful man in Inazuma? He could just erase the records. Order the Shuumatsuban to destroy any proof of the divorce and subtly implant the idea that it was just a very, very bad lover’s spat in the mind of the populace. After all, who would dare question him about the details of his own marriage and risk the consequence of such an insult? Not even your family would dare to disagree with his version of events, they’d be delighted for any connection to him and it would salvage their honor.
After all, who would believe you were divorced when he disappeared to your home everyday? A home he helped you procure and build, a home you never rejected him from entering, a home that many people of the Kamisato clan knew of and would periodically visit, whether it be the servants who liked to chat with you, the samurai who helped ensure the safety of the house, that Ayaka and Thoma had even sat down and dined in with Ayato on your birthday? No one would believe you two were on such bad terms as to be divorced when you fit so well together now.
And anyone who dared to remind others of that... well, the Shuumatsuban were under confidentiality agreements for a reason.
:O your brain is so galaxy!!! This idea is incredible!!
Sailor Moon Defenders -- fan-fan fiction
Flash had visited about twenty-two worlds. Maybe twenty-three; he couldn't be sure. In any event, he'd seen all manners of civilizations, spotted great advances in architecture. Among all the places his eyes beheld, few lands compared to the Netherworld. The Golden Realm was incredible, even more so than when he'd viewed it last. Jedda was adding her personal touch, making the kingdom her own domain. Long red banners draped ivory walls -- banners displaying the kingdom's crest. Video screens hung above the streets, ones Jedda used when she made an address. The land looked a little like ancient Rome, with the conveniences of Central City.
"So what does a typical day entail?" he asked while walking beside the queen. What did his son's routine involve?
Jedda held her gaze on the long pale road, a number of guards marching up ahead. "The realm is divided into multiple lands. Tensions are arising between a few. We're monitoring shipments. Preaching peace. Making sure the people don't fight for supplies." She paused a moment. "Aside from that, we've stopped radicals who want other lands, villages outside their territories."
Flash couldn't help but feel a little conflicted. Jedda's report made him proud of her. Another part of him felt something else. "J..." He paused, his voice softening. "Do you ever long for a normal life?"
She chuckled a bit. "I've never exactly been a 'normal' girl."
"I know that you haven't. That's my point. I wonder if it's something you still desire." He smiled a tad. "Remember when we talked about this back home?" Flash regretted his choice of word. He shouldn't have labeled the mansion home. That might make Jedda start to long for it -- assuming she wasn't longing for it now. He cleared his throat. "Back at Mandrake's place, I mean."
Jedda went quiet for a number of seconds. Her gaze grew firm as she studied the ground, the little tiara shining in her hair. Just as it seemed she was about to speak, the sound of footsteps arrived behind.
Flash turned and spotted a servant. The guards at the rear looked curious.
The man knelt down a few yards from her. "Raiders have looted your shipment to Alyn."
"Raiders from where?" Jedda was scowling.
"According to footage from Nethernet..." He made a long frown. "They seem to have approached from the village of Oris."
Her fists clenched up. "Damn it," she whispered, turning away.
Flash touched her arm. "I don't understand. What's going on?"
"Those two lands are on the brink of battle." She heaved a sigh. "The leader of Oris wants more supplies. He thinks that Alyn gets a bit too much. As soon as word spreads of what he's done, Alyn will take the goods back by force."
A voice called out. "Not if I can help it."
Flash spun around, seeing his son. Rick was approaching in a suit of armor, a number of troops marching at his back.
"Lend me your cape," Rick said to Jedda.
Jedda flinched a little. "What are you doing?"
"I'm going to head out and retrieve the supplies. A knight wears the colors of his lady in battle."
She scowled again. "Have you lost your mind? I can't have you running into battle, Rick. You're about to sit on the throne with me. I need you here, where you won't be hurt."
"This isn't a risky battle, J. It won't demand any real effort."
"Then why are you going?" She narrowed her eyes. "Why don't you leave this fight to the troops? Why do you need to be out in the field?"
Rick looked down at his boots for a moment. His fists were shaking with anxiety. It seemed he couldn't wait to head out to the fray.
Jedda glanced off. "You don't need to go -- you want to go."
Flash felt awkward as he watched them both. He wasn't surprised that it'd come to this. Rick was a Gordon. He longed for thrills. Action and adventure were in his blood. This could be an issue for years to come.
She turned back to Rick. "We're not Defenders. Not anymore. You're supposed to be King Richard now."
Rick sighed a bit. "I'm not on the throne. Not just yet. Until I am, I'm going to go out there and serve our kingdom." He walked to Jedda and gave her a kiss, then he patted Flash on the shoulder and left. All of the soldiers followed him.
Jedda looked on, quietly.
"He'll be okay," Flash murmured to her. "He's the best." The mission didn't sound very dangerous. If it had, he would've gone too.
Jedda kept staring, holding silent.
"I'm going to head back," Flash announced. "I'll call here later."
Jedda made a nod.
Flash stepped away.
Based on Sailor Moon Defenders, by @amandadoe.
Ride or Die
Pairing: Ransom Drysdale X Fem! Reader
Word Count: 1.1k
Warning: implied smut, cursing, swearing, explicit language, crime, fluff, 18+: MINORS DNI
Summary: Nice lazy day with Ransom got interrupted by The Thrombeys.
A/N: A repost from my old tumblr that got banned for no reason. It contains Knives Out spoiler!
18+, you have been warned
“Hugh” you called as you rolled softly to his side of the bed.
He opens his eyes and smiles at you. The sun is shining brightly, the light enters through large windows of your bedroom. You can see his sparkly blue eyes scanning your face before his hand ran through your hair.
“It’s Ransom, sweetheart. I set the ground rules here.”
“Ground rules?”, you scoffed. “This is my bedroom, Hugh”.
“You really want me to punish you, don’t ya?”. He challenged you. “You are a brat, aren’t ya?”
“Sharing my bed too long with a brat, I might become one”, you winked. “So, what are you going to do, Hugh?”.
Oh, you really pissed him off this morning. He does not like his first name since that is what everyone called him in his family. The relationship between his family and himself is quite complicated. You met them for couple of times and understood his feeling completely. They are bunch of entitled hypocritical, licking his grandfather’s boots to get the money and power that Mr. Thrombey has. That is why every time you tried to push his button, you just called him Hugh.
After what it felt like hours, you are a whimpering mess right now. He went on you restless until both of you were panting. Well, who needs cardio when you got man like Ransom- you thought to yourself. He rises from the bed and runs a warm bath for you. He might be rough, but he will treat you right afterwards. He would wash your hair, scrub your back gently, and eventually shower you with kisses.
As you lazily drying off your hair, his phone rings.
“I think that might be your side chick. Go pick it up, daddy”, you smirked.
Ransom shakes his head in disbelieve. He might mess around with girls before, giving his entitled playboy nature, but that is before he met you. You are well aware of his traits, but that does not stop you dating him. It seems like he has a charm that drags you to him. Although, he might think it is the other way around.
“It’s my old man, Richard”. He slams his phone to the bed. “Let’s pay a visit.”
“Ugh, what does he want?”, you huffed. “Aren’t you cut from the will?”
“I am. Just mere formality.”
Ransom grabs whatever clothes he left in your house, his old cable knit sweater, long brown coat from last night, and random scarf from your wardrobe. He never really cares about what he wears, but his style is always effortlessly on point. It is either because of his well-built body and perfect face or because you are madly in love with him. You step outside the house as he opens the car door.
“Nope. We are not gonna use that old car”. You pointed to his vintage BMW car.
“C’mon! It’s vintage, sweetheart.”
You grab your helmet and jump on your motorcycle.
“The last one is a loser.” You started the engine.
This is one of your traits that he likes, your sass and stubbornness. When you made up your mind, no one could change that.
“Oh, It’s ON!”, Ransom yelled as you rode away from him.
The road to Thrombey’s mansion is quite breathtaking. The trees are colorful with some of the leaves fall and blown by the wind. It takes you a while to enjoy this view, which you regret it later as the sound of Ransom’s car approaching. Both of you end up arriving at the same time. He goes out of his car and walks towards you. His arm automatically wraps around your shoulder and you walk together with him. There are two men waiting in the porch of the mansion.
“Hugh Drysdale?”, one of the men called him.
“Call me Ransom. It’s my middle name”, he answered.
“Please don’t call him Hugh”, you winked at the man as you and Ransom walked pass them.
The meeting, investigations, and Harlan’s will are really messy. Everyone was shouting at each other and throwing dirt at every names. You watch this whole scene next to Ransom who shows his disinterest while munching on butter cookies. He occasionally feeds you cookies as he laughs at his family antics and curses at them.
As soon as Marta was announced as the beneficiary, the Thrombeys were furious. They do not stop following Marta as she walks out, trying to escape. You follow everyone outside to watch the drama. Ransom is in his car right now. He signs Marta to go with him and she does. As he drives away, he waves and winks at you. Only God knows what he is up to.
“Where does Ransom go?”, Linda asked you.
“You’re his mother, not me”. You sneered and gave her and the rest of the family your middle finger before you rode away.
After that incident, Ransom never visits you again. He keeps you update through text messages. He does not tell you what he is up to, but you do not care anyway. His texts were random. Sometimes he asked how you are doing, sometimes he asked what you are wearing. These texts are his way to apologize to you since his ego is way too big. As long as he is fine, you will be fine.
One day, you heard the news that Ransom was behind Harlan’s murder. He is currently held in police custody. You never been so excited before. He finally stops running away and you miss him so badly. This is your time to shine- you whisper to yourself before went to meet him.
“Mr. Drysdale, your lawyer is here”.
You walk inside a room. Ransom is there, sitting calmly before looking up at you. He smirks, knowing fully that you are the one he has been waiting for, his lawyer and his lover.
“Such a pain in the ass, literary and figuratively” you muttered. “I believe you owe me an explanation.”
“About the murder?”
“Nope.” You pressed the ‘P’. “About the girl”.
“Jealous?” He laughs hard. He never thinks that will be your first question for him.
“Well, I thought we will be having threesome”, you joked.
“If you said so, I could find another candidate.”
“Deal!”, you shouted. “But now, let’s get you out of here.”
“Playing dirty now, aren’t you?”. He cannot believe he finally sees this side of you. He thought you would leave him as soon as you heard the news. “For better and for worse, huh?”
“Ride or die, baby!”
‘’Hugh ‘Ransom’ Drysdale escaped, His Lawyer/Lover to Blame.” You read the headline out loud. “Why not wife?”.
You huff as you see the glistening ruby on your finger.
“Who cares, Mrs. Drysdale. Now, shall we begin our honeymoon?”
is y / n virgin in koala bear? If not, what did Steve find out about this?
okay so A LOT of you have been asking about y/n’s virginity/first time +koala!steve’s reaction so i’m going to attempt to satisfy you all with one answer
content warning: mentions sex
steve isn't dumb; he knows you're a pretty girl and you get a lot of male attention
he's well aware that you might find love when he moves to new york
in fact, he convinces himself that he wants you to find a nice boy who will be sweet to you
when you actually do, though, he realizes just how much he hates the idea of you being with someone
you miss steve terribly, of course, but the one perk of his absence is that you can go a little wilder without your personal bodyguard protecting you
life is a little scarier now, but you soon learn that scary is fun
you’re still pretty tame though
one night you party a little harder than usual and end up dancing with brock rumlow. steve catches wind of it when he sees your mutual friends’ social media posts, and he is Not Happy
you have a small argument with him over the phone, which ends with you hanging the fuck up on him which he is PISSED ABOUT
you’re also angry that he’s being a little controlling and in retaliation, you wanna piss him off even more
so you plan to fuck rumlow
of course, you quickly realize rumlow is the absolute worst and it isn’t worth sticking it to steve if you have to sleep with him
but the idea of losing your virginity is still in your head. you figure why not? it’ll take the pressure off
so after you flirt with rumlow, regret it and narrowly escape his clutches, you end up visiting steve in new york to apologize for being a brat + also because you need some comforting after rumlow called you a frigid tease
steve says sorry too, and everything is fine. that weekend, there’s a charity ball
steve introduces you to his business partners and colleagues - including one silver-haired man who can’t stop flirting with you
pietro maximoff isn’t used to someone not knowing who he is, especially at a corporate event, so he is immediately enthralled by the girl on steve rogers’ arm
he gets a few nudges from other men who warn him not to go there, but he doesn’t pay them any mind. he wants you
and you want him. he’s pretty, kind and makes you feel all fuzzy inside
steve rolls his eyes when he sees you two talking. great; another guy i’m gonna have to threaten to never look at y/n again
he makes his way over, but someone stands in his way.
“can i help you, wanda?” steve asks with a bored tone
“leave them alone,” she says sternly, a knowing look in her narrow eyes. “he likes your friend.”
“i don’t care; y/n is off limits,” steve tells her.
“need i remind you that i could melt your business in seconds?” wanda asks, raising a brow. her voice remains calm but her words are anything but that. “pietro likes your friend. relax; he isn’t like the other men in our world. he’ll treat her well.”
it takes steve three more whiskeys to calm himself down, but he knows wanda is right. he’s known pietro for a few years now; he’s a decent enough guy
he figures you two will flirt for the rest of the night, and then steve will take you home and balance will be restored
the next day, though, you inform him that pietro is taking you on a date
you stay in new york for a few more days, spending more time with pietro than steve
steve almost blows his top but he remembers wanda’s threat. she isn’t a woman he wants to cross
so he lets it play out, thinking a few innocent dates before you go back home won’t do any harm
then you end up staying the night in pietro’s mansion
guys. this place is fucking gorgeous
every inch of his home makes you feel relaxed and comfortable, and as though all you want to do is just curl up on one of the soft seats and lay there forever
the night is absolutely perfect. pietro doesn’t rush you, or pressure you into doing anything.
in fact, you’re the one who starts touching him
and he doesn’t exactly put up a fight
it feels right. sure, you’re not in love, but he’s sweet. you trust him.
when he learns it’s your first time, he doesn’t act weird about it. he doesn’t suddenly feel some sort of predatorial shift whereby he’s taking your purity or stealing your innocence
he just makes loves to you, and goes slowly (which pietro maximoff is not used to, but he’s happy to go slow for you)
and he constantly checks on you
“does it feel okay?”
“let me know if it hurts too much, zaychik”
that means bunny in russian and you melt every time he says it
“you’re doing so well”
“just say the word and i’ll stop”
he’s still sweet once it’s over, bringing you water and some clothes and making sure you’re emotionally feeling okay
he cuddles you all night
you feel amazing
the next morning, he drops you off back at the hotel you’re staying at with a soft kiss.
“may we meet again, zaychik”
pietro and you have a wordless understanding that this isn’t love or a relationship; just two kindred spirits who connected
you tell steve when you meet up for lunch
“so... i need to tell you something”
“what is it, bub?”
“i slept with pietro last night.”
steve loses his appetite instantly
“he was really sweet about it,” you assure him. “and he didn’t pressure me at all, i promise”
he feels nauseous at the thought of you under pietro, giving yourself to him, but he knows that if he reacts badly, it will only upset you
“you’re sure you were completely consenting?” he asks, taking your hand in his
“absolutely,” you swear. “i didn’t feel scared at all, and i don’t regret it. it was nice.”
the wine glass almost shatters under steve’s tight grip
you leave new york that afternoon, and steve can’t help but feel scared
he feels like he’s slowly starting to lose you and that makes him panic
after that day, he can never look at pietro without wanting to strangle him
he almost calls up thor a couple of times but he knows wanda would absolutely destroy him if anything happened to her brother, knowing steve had a motive
it takes him some time, but he manages to get over it
he knows he had to let you fly alone one day, but he comes to peace with it because he also knows that deep down, you will always belong to him
and that’s something nobody will ever be able to change.
Prologue | Chapter Two
Warning: 18+ Content. Arranged marriage, cursing, disrespect, peer pressure, anger, arguing, etc.
Tags: @awilddreamerwrites @lanarist @someonewhowannadielol @gazelle-des-pres @bloggingdumbshit @darlinguareiridescent @justtiarra @illumisrat @bakusquadtingz @cursedryomen
Y/N sighed as she placed the wedding photo down back onto the dark brown nightstand beside her king size bed. Those memories always leave a bitter taste on the tip of her tongue. She always had that feeling anytime her lips touched Katsuki’s. It isn’t often the couple share tender moments, but when it comes to press and events, a happy couple had to be plastered on the magazine articles. They are not only making Katsuki look great, but their parents as well.
This is all for them.
The wasp swarmed her stomach just like they do anytime she thinks of Katsuki. Anger, regret, and much more negative emotions arise. If she was still young and naive, she would believe she would possibly love Katsuki one day, but with each passing week, the bed becomes colder and colder from lack of lust and touch among the married couple.
A soft knock is delivered onto Y/N’s bedroom door. “Come in.” She called, not even bothering to meet her butler. She did not even share a glance in his direction.
“Mrs. Bakugo,” Akume bowed, “your parents are here for supper.”
Y/N released a sigh, not wanting to see your parents right now. Not only that, you have to be lovey dovey with your estranged husband. This only makes the visiting much worse.
“I’ll be down in a moment, Akume.” Y/N dismissed, waving her hand slightly to let Akume know he is good to leave. Typically, Y/N is not a fan of the behavior she is displaying, but with the tense nerves and Katsuki training the butlers to worship the ground they walk on, Y/N followed what they know.
Akume sees himself out, gently closing the tall wooden door behind him. Y/N’s gaze did not leave the window before her. Katsuki’s mansion is faraway from the busy cities of Japan, giving the two safety and privacy from the public eye. Something Y/N is grateful for, though, a tall building in the distance always made her blood boil.
Katsuki Bakugo’s agency stands tall and proud among Tokyo. She has only seen it a handful of times when it is for press events or other important matters Y/N needed to be present for. As always, she is the wonderful wife Katsuki needs her to be in the public eye. His reputation is more important than Y/N’s as well as her parents.
Y/N’s hands balled into fist, a shaky breath releasing before putting on the fake smile she does all so well. Strolling out of her bedroom, she makes her way down the large marble staircase to the main floor. Friendly chatter is heard from the kitchen. Y/N’s heart races against her rib cage. She could not hear Katsuki, — he is not one for small talk — but his overwhelming presence is still prevalent.
The sound of Y/N’s heels clinking against the marble floors gathered the crowd’s attention. Her makeup is already done along with her hair like her parents taught her. Appearance has always been important to the Y/L/N’s.
“Hello, darling.” Your mother greeted, opening her arms to embrace her daughter.
“Hello, mother.” You breathed, her perfume entering your nostrils as she hugged you tight. Y/N then repeated the same process with her father. Katsuki’s piercing crimson orbs stayed on his wife’s frame, anything he wanted to say is being implanted in their eye contact. This is their way they really speak to one another when the kind words are forced.
Your parents immediately stare at the couple before them. The couple that they forced to be together since the legal age eighteen years old. The tension is quite clear between the pair yet their own desires blinded the parents from seeing the true colors in front of them. A divorce would look terrible for all parties involved, so that conversation never arises. Even with Katsuki’s hatred for everyone, the parents will never care because you get to live a life they oh-so-dreamed of.
“Hi, honey.” You dare sweetly speak, pecking your husband’s cheek with your painted lip gloss lips. Katsuki could not prevent the roll of his pupils and a low groan of annoyance escaped him. Luckily, your parents did not even notice as they admired the scenery inside your expensive home.
You and Katsuki have your normal stare off until your parents look back at you both. You, of course, have a grin with your arm laced around Katsuki’s muscular one. Katsuki has no interest in hiding his dismay. He will be oh-so kind to hide it when it comes to his image on the red carpet, but other than that, his feelings are always revealed to anyone who is around. Y/N is quick to mask any rude remark that leaves Katsuki’s click of a tongue.
Her parents taught her very well.
“Supper is ready.” Butler Daisuke called as he entered the kitchen, interrupting everyone’s ongoing commotion.
Katsuki is quick to pull away from you, walking straight to his designated seat at the end of the long dining table. Y/N mentally cursed him for doing so, but knowing her parents all-too-well, she refused to show any grimace towards Katsuki’s typical foul mood.
The butlers showed everyone to their seats, a meal presented to feed many. Miso soup for starters, Vegetable and Seafood Tempura, and Oyakodon for the completion. Regardless of the size of the party, there will always be too much food that will go to waste.
Y/N along with the others began slurping away at their freshly made Miso soup. Not much chatter arises as everyone chows down on their meals. Y/N and Katsuki liked it that way. Katsuki is always quick to reassure his hatred for your parents. They just do not seem to care because as long as their daughter is promised a fortunate life and the press is happy, so are they.
“So, Y/N,” your mother spoke, dabbing the corners of her mouth with a white silk cloth napkin then proceeding to sip her wine. You make eye contact with her, placing a piece of Oyakodon in your mouth and chewing. “Are you and Katsuki attending the Hero Academy Awards?”
Y/N took extra long to chew her food, shooting a quick venomous glare at Katsuki for not alerting her about the event to come. Now, she is put on the spot, not even sure if her husband wants to attend the event to begin with. Y/N always did enjoy the reward ceremonies. That is the few rare times Katsuki is actually pleasant to his wife.
“I’m not sure. Are we attending the ceremony, darling?” Y/N questioned, shooting the spotlight on Katsuki. He sure does love the attention in the public eye, but when it comes to your parents, he hates every bit of it.
Katsuki shrugs his shoulders, leaning back in his seat and placing his hands behind his head. He is showing clear disrespect to everyone. “Why would I want to go to some stupid event?”
“Because you are nominated for an award, Katsuki.” Your father informed. Katsuki did not even spare the man a single glance as he stared off into space.
“It’s just going to be full of old geezers giving speeches and handing out shitty awards. Sounds like a pretty lame night to me.”
“Katsuki—“ You scold through gritted teeth, remembering to use his first name in this kind of setting. He loves to get payback on your parents for forcing him to marry you. Plus, he knows it gets under your skin. This is even better.
Your mother gasped, clutching her expensive brooch, placing her palms firmly on the dark wood dining table and standing up. Your father attempted to settle his wife down, placing a comforting hand on her back.
“Dear, please—“ Your father’s pleas are ignored and interrupted.
“Young man, these award ceremonies are very important. This not only helps build your reputation, but helps—“
“Let me guess, everyone else’s?” Katsuki finishes your mother's sentence, an arch brow as he glances at her. An amusing smirk is tugging at the corner of his infamous scowl, but he keeps his composure.
Y/N’s blood boiled in her veins. She may have her own personal issues with the families, but she refuses to tolerate the constant disrespect towards them. His parents raised him better than that.
“That’s enough, Katsuki.” You intervened, only reviving amusing laughter from the man.
“Oh, please, Y/L/N. We all know what they really care about. I don’t give a damn about their reputation.” Katsuki scoffed. Your eyebrows knitted together and your fist clenched by your sides.
“I have your last name, Katsuki. We are married—“
“Yeah, because you’re fuckin’ quirkless!” Katsuki barked back. Horrified gasps filled the room except for you two. This is not the first or last you will hear that comment.
Y/N is taught to always respect her man, even if he is acting a complete fool. It is a man’s world, after all. Y/N is just living in it. She only gets to see this lavish lifestyle due to Katsuki’s excellence. She must remember that.
“Excuse me.” You choke out, exiting the dining room before any protest could begin. Your parents glared at Katsuki. He refused to acknowledge them, shrugging at any scolding they did towards him.
Just normal family dinner, once again.
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the silent sounds of loneliness (best of my love)
for the @dreamlingbingo
Square: c5 - turn over a new leaf (combined with march monthly prompt haunted by regrets)
Word Count: 11454
Ship(s): dream of the endless/hob gadling, johanna constantine/rachel moodie
Additional Tags: alternate universe - human, age gap, age difference, hob gadling loves dream of the endless | morpheus, dream of the endless | morpheus loves hob gadling, though he doesn’t want to admit it, canonical child death (though in a different manner than canon), recluse!dream of the endless | morpheus, uni student/errand boy!hob gadling, anal sex, rimming
When Hob lands a job with Helping Hands, it's a dream come true for a poor uni student. He loves what he does, and he likes to think he's good at it. The only thing he isn't so sure about? The client. He hasn't seen nor spoken to the mysterious Morpheus, a reclusive man only doctors have seen over the last seven years. But between a sudden surge of courage and a lot of luck, everything changes.
In only six months, he learns more about life and love than he ever thought was possible.
Link: on ao3
Hob stares up at the enormous house stretching before him. Mansion, really. He wraps a hand around an iron picket and lets out a low whistle. Early morning sunlight glints off massive windows, white brick surrounding the glass a sharp contrast to the dark grey masonry of the exterior. Large slabs of stone make up the walkway to the covered veranda. With a slow breath to steady his nerves, Hob walks to the gate and digs the keys from his pocket.
Unity Kincaid had warned him that the client is, for lack of better terminology, a recluse. No one besides his doctors had seen hide nor hair of him in seven years. Hob has no idea why–he hadn’t bothered to ask. What business is it of his? All he needs to worry about is doing a good job and getting paid. And damn, he can almost taste the influx of money from the job. It’s more than he’ll ever have made in one cheque.
It takes three different attempts before he locates the correct key for the front door, but find it he does. Twisting the key in the lock, he glances over his shoulder then pushes open the door. Dimness spreads before him. He inhales deeply before stepping inside.
A shiver races down his spine. A heavy silence lingers in the air, oppressive and suffocating. Hob can smell nothing but the faint hint of a cleanser and disuse. He takes another step, pushing the door closed behind him, and comes to a stop in the centre of the grand foyer.
On either side of the foyer are massive sets of ornate doors. He wonders where they lead, but he knows better than to go exploring. Unity said there would be a tablet waiting for him, and there it is, resting on top of the end newel of the sweeping staircase. Twin banisters curve outward as they stretch up the sides of the stairs until they reach a landing that overlooks the foyer. He gazes up into the darkness for a long moment then decides it isn’t worth trying to figure out what’s upstairs.
He digs out his phone to check the onboarding email Unity had sent, finds the six-digit passcode, and types it in. The only four apps on the device are the calendar, the camera, a photo gallery, and a to-do checklist. The calendar holds a schedule–doctor appointments in red squares, medication pick-ups in blue, his days off in sunshine yellow. The checklist has a list of tasks that need doing and which Hob is expected to do: Shop for groceries and essential items, pick up medications when needed, let the doctors in and show them out whenever the client has appointments. (Here, Hob snorts. What privilege must this man have that he can afford in-home doctor visits?). He’s also to clean the house but never go into two specific rooms: The one at the far end of the upstairs corridor and the one across the hall from it.
Hob’s curiosity grows instantly. What lies beyond those doors, then, that needs to be kept a secret? An urge to find out nearly overtakes him, but he manages to shake it off. Unfortunately, he already has one foot on the third step and is poised to continue up the stairs.
No, you bloody idiot. Keep to the rules. He needs this job too damn much to break the rules already–or ever. Sighing, he straightens his spine and goes back to the email. It says to check the gallery, so he does. The only photo is of a blueprint of the manor, each room except the forbidden ones marked and labelled in squared letters. The forbidden rooms have large Xes overlaid.
He studies the map for a moment longer then points himself in the direction of the kitchen. He might as well explore what he can, while he can.
It takes longer than he expected, but Hob finally feels like he’s memorised the layout of the manor rather well. At least, enough that he doesn’t think he’ll get lost in five seconds flat. The solarium, as notated on the map, had been his favourite room of all. Warm and full of sunshine, it made him want to sit down and never leave.
He makes his way back to the kitchen and plucks a piece of paper off the refrigerator door. He’d seen it on his walkthrough but decided to wait until he was finished to read it. Spidery letters spell out a list, this one of groceries. Hob wonders why this client doesn’t just order delivery. It’s a lot cheaper and faster.
But then again, if they’re as reclusive as Unity claims, of course they wouldn’t want delivery. The delivery people usually want to hand off directly to the recipient. Whoever this client is, Hob is rather jealous. They have wealth, and they have privilege. Too bad his twenty-year-old self doesn’t have the same.
Hob tucks the list into his pocket and heads to the front door. He might as well get a jump on his list of tasks. Whistling quietly, he locks up the house and ambles down the walkway to his car. The beat-up vehicle struggles to start before coming to life with a roar; Hob winces. This is a nice-with-a-capital-N neighbourhood. His lemon of a car doesn’t belong here, and there is no reason to draw attention to himself.
Shopping goes as well as it could. The email had stressed the importance of getting exactly what was on the list, down to the brand name and quantity, so Hob spent an inordinate amount of time comparing product to list. Three workers asked if he needed help, but he’d waved them off politely. How could he have explained his new boss is apparently the most particular person he has ever even heard of?
By the time he leaves five hours later, Hob has done fuck all. He’d gotten the groceries, sure, but there wasn’t much to clean and no medications to pick up. Easy money, he thinks, as he drives home, the wind slipping in through the open window. A bead of sweat drips down his back, pools at the base of his spine, and he squirms a bit in his seat. He really needs a new car, one with air-con. Thankfully, this job will make saving up easy.
Johanna and Rachel are already waiting at the New Inn by the time Hob arrives, freshly showered and ready to relax. Rachel waves him over, knowing full well he’s already seen them in their usual booth, and gestures to Alan for a new round of drinks. It’s a testament to how often the trio drinks here that there are no questions asked as to what they want to drink. Hob slides into the bench across from the women and swipes the pickle from Johanna’s plate. She scowls but doesn’t bother punishing him.
They all know she wasn’t planning on eating it.
“How was your first day?” Rachel asks, all but bouncing in her seat.
She’s been more excited about Hob’s new job than he has, and he’s been damn excited. Mostly about the prospect of money. Maybe now he can pay for nights out with his friends instead of Jo always paying the tab. She never complains, not really. Despite the gruff, acerbic facade, she’s quite a lovely woman, especially when Rachel is involved.
Hob still wonders how the two met in the first place. Rachel is vibrant, open and kind and always quick with a smile. Johanna is the complete opposite towards everyone who isn’t her girlfriend. They’ve never told Hob the story of their meeting, and he’s long stopped asking. Doesn’t stop him from imagining different scenarios, each more unlikely than the last.
Accepting the glass of whisky from Alan, Hob tells Rachel the truth: The day was uneventful, and he hasn’t yet met the client. “Ms Kincaid told me I probably never would, to be honest.”
“How the fuck does that even work?” Johanna asks. “Did he just ring in one day and go ‘Yeah, I need an errand boy to come ’round for a few hours and do what I refuse to do with my own two hands’?”
“I have no idea,” Hob replies with a laugh.
And he doesn’t. He’s new to this; he’d only applied at Helping Hands on a whim. A lark, truly. Hob couldn’t say where he even heard of the agency, but he had decided to throw in an application along with the seventy others he’d filled out. It’s a sad state of affairs when even retail won’t hire a willing applicant.
But Unity had taken a chance on a twenty-year-old with only handyman work on his CV. She’d warned him she was unwillingly, reluctantly throwing him to the wolves: “Everyone else I have has been dismissed by this particular client.”
Hob was–is–confident in his abilities to keep this job. He doesn’t scare easily, and he’s been told he is quite the charmer.
By the time the pub closes down for the night, Hob has spent four hours drinking and chatting with Johanna and Rachel. He goes with a woman named Claudia to her flat and doesn’t leave until half-six, when she kicks him out so she can get ready to go to class. They don’t bother exchanging numbers; they both know what the tryst was. It was merely a way to pass the time and satisfy needs, and nothing more.
Hob has to admit, as he’s walking back to his own rundown studio, he kind of misses the structure of a class schedule. He’d failed due to lack of attendance. Working two jobs made it impossible to have any time for something so trivial as schooling. There’s a small part of him that regrets not trying harder, not asking his parents for any sort of assistance. They would have helped without hesitation, but his pride had gotten in the way.
He wanted to be self-made, to make them proud of how hard he worked to reach the top.
He’ll never make it. He’s not naïve enough to actually think he will. But it’s a pleasant enough dream.
The manor is silent as it was the day before when Hob arrives. He locks the door behind him, just like the list of rules told him to, and checks his email for the day’s tasks. First up is sorting the post that waits in the box at the end of the walkway. He isn’t entirely sure what’s ‘important’, but he sets aside anything that looks like it may be junk. He leaves the legitimate post in the basket by the front door then turns to his next task: Cleaning.
Hob isn’t necessarily an untidy man. He keeps a clean enough home, he thinks. But here in this mansion, he feels as if he is the most unkempt human being on the planet. The only dust that lingers is the barest coating that he hadn’t wiped away yesterday. Everything has its place and is in said place. He can see no signs of life. Might as well be a mausoleum. He wonders if the client is even still alive, or if they’re actually dead and their estate is merely paying for the upkeep.
“Don’t be daft,” he chides himself as he gathers up the supplies. “Of course they’re still alive. The estate wouldn’t pay for groceries just for them to go to waste.”
Hob quickly falls into a routine. He wakes in the morning and showers, feeds the neighbour’s cat while fighting to avoid the claws that swipe at him (one would think Shakespeare would warm up to Hob after five months of this, but no. The feeling is mutual, if Hob’s honest), then heads off to the mansion. It’s easy work, really, and he finds himself bored more often than not.
Two weeks in finds him saying “Fuck it” and baking a—quite frankly—absurd amount of brownies in the kitchen. He’s almost surprised that the client has so much cookware; then he remembers—recluse. He doesn’t get delivery. Wondering what the client makes for themself, Hob washes the dishes he uses and puts them away where he found them.
He leaves half of them in the refrigerator and takes the other half home. Johanna appreciates them, eating six in one sitting. Rachel refuses them, but Hob sees her sneaking a few into her bag before she exits his flat.
The brownies are gone from the refrigerator when he shows up for work the next day. All of them.
The job is as he thought—simple and straightforward. Unity emails on Friday evenings for a recap of his week, and his replies seem to assure her that there are no problems. And why would there be? He never sees the client, so there is no clash of personalities. There have been no complaints about how he cleans or his singing as he goes from room to room tidying up what doesn’t need tidied.
By the end of the first month, Hob can afford to get a new car on lease. He’s almost sad to say goodbye to the hunk of junk he’s called a vehicle for twelve years, but the new one more than makes up for it. It has air-con and heated front seats and windows that actually roll up and down as they’re meant to. He feels like a lottery winner as he drives back to his flat in the powder-blue sedan.
Hob finally learns the client’s name a week into the second month. Morpheus. There is no surname given, and Johanna doesn’t seem bothered by that. Hob doesn’t ask how she found out who his employer is, though he desperately wants to. There’s something about the way she can ferret out information that enthralls him; she always refuses to tell, so he’s learnt to stop asking. Rachel has promised to tell him one day, but Hob has no hope of that actually happening. She’s too loyal to her girlfriend of four years.
Hob should feel weird, uncomfortable, about the fact his two best friends are seven years older than he is. Neither Jo nor Rachel seem to mind that he’s only twenty, though. They treat him like the adult he is, though he can live without all the teasing Johanna does. He loves her as if she were his sister, and it’s all done in love, but damn, she can get mean without intending to. Product of her upbringing, he figures. He’s met her parents once. They weren’t exactly the loving, nurturing type.
It’s a wonder she came out as personable as she is.
He leaves the pub that night with a man named John and is unceremoniously shown the door immediately after. Hob doesn’t mind; the sex wasn’t that great anyway. The September night air steals his breath away as he waits for the ride-share to arrive. He shivers slightly at the cool breeze, tugging his jumper more tightly around him, and curses himself for not wearing his leather jacket like he planned. But Jo always takes the piss out of him for it, says it looks like he’s trying too hard to be a badass. Hob only cares that it’s warm.
Finally, he arrives home at half-three. He makes sure to rate the driver for not getting into an accident on the way or chatting the entire time. Hob’s head hurts now, and incessant conversation would have made it worse. He tosses his keys into the bowl on the table by the door, toes off his trainers, and stumbles toward the couch. Making it to his bed isn’t on the agenda for the night.
He falls asleep almost instantly.
Unfortunately, he only has ten minutes the next morning before he has to leave for work. Not showering is not an option, so he does so in icy water. The water’s just begun warming up by the time he steps out of the shower stall. Cursing under his breath, he speeds through getting dressed and brushing out the tangles in his hair. He’s meant to get it cut for the last two months, but something always stops him. He frowns at his reflection and tells himself to set an appointment as soon as possible.
Hob taps in the tablet’s PIN a mere minute before the hour changes over. Unity had made a big deal about him being on time. He hadn’t known in the beginning that the tablet keeps record of when he unlocks it, but he’d found out quick when she called him up to ask why he was late:
“We try to not make our clients wait.”
In his defence, Hob has never even met this Morpheus fellow. He is honestly beginning to doubt he ever will.
The mansion feels more like a mausoleum with every passing day. There is hardly ever anything to really do: An hour every couple of days is spent cleaning, dusting, and generally tidying rooms that don’t appear to have ever been stepped into. More often than not, though, he wastes away the time by lounging on a couch in the most exquisite study he’s ever seen, reading books he never would have gotten his hands on otherwise. Being a poor uni student doesn’t exactly lend itself to a lavish lifestyle. Hob finds himself jealous of this man he’ll never see.
Wealth, privilege, and access to such fantastic reading material… Hob wonders if Morpheus knows just how damn lucky he is. If Hob had this life, he would never take it for granted.
He certainly wouldn’t have to juggle his studies and his job. He’d be able to forgo one or the other, anyway. Perhaps he wouldn’t. He does like gaining knowledge, and he does enjoy working. At the very least, he likes making money.
Thankfully, Unity assures him that the client knows of his schedule and is willing to work around it, except for days on which there are appointments. Those days, Hob is expected to skip class long enough to do as his job requires. It isn’t much of a sacrifice, really, Hob thinks. It’s only one measly class, and he can easily make up for the time lost.
So it goes. August has faded into September which melts into October. Three months without a single sighting of his boss, and a balance in his bank account that he can actually be proud of. Hob decides to take his parents and siblings out for dinner—and doesn’t even sweat when his dad orders a whisky and his mum two glasses of wine. Hob even splurges on dessert for everyone. They have to share, but it’s an extra expense nonetheless.
He makes a mistake at work. It’s a simple one, inconsequential, though he still must fix it: He does the shopping as he’s meant to, but he forgets to pick up the medication refills on his way back to the mansion. He doesn’t realise it until he finishes putting the eggs in the refrigerator and reaches for the pill-keeper.
The bag with the bottles isn’t on the counter like it should be, so Hob bustles out of the house. The quicker he retrieves the medications, the less likely it is that Unity will find out about his lapse in memory. He doesn’t think she or Morpheus would fire him, especially not since he’s rectifying the mistake, but Hob doesn’t want to take chances.
He makes it to the pharmacy and back in less than an hour. It’s a record, he thinks, considering the massive queue he’d had to wait in. But it’s over now. He can fill the pill-keeper then go home to… do nothing, really. Hob is pathetic enough to have no plans on a Friday. Even Johanna has plans, and she’s the type to stay home because she dislikes people so much.
He opens the little box for Tuesday and reaches for the anti-anxiety pills. The hair on the back of his neck rises, skin prickling, and Hob freezes. Is he going to die? Has someone broken into the manor and he just hadn’t heard? It wouldn’t be that much of a surprise, not with how cavernous the house is.
He fists the orange bottle—he could probably use the pills as a diversion by throwing them in the intruder’s face before rushing them, if it comes to it—before turning around. There in the doorway stands a pale-skinned figure. Wide grey-blue eyes stare back at Hob from under a shock of raven hair. The man’s lips part on a quiet, shuddering gasp, then he’s gone from view. Hob listens to the pattering thud of footsteps on the steps before a door upstairs slams.
Hob isn’t entirely sure, but he thinks he just got his first look at the elusive Morpheus.
He takes his time organising the tablets and putting them in the pill-keeper. If he moves any quicker, he will make a mistake. Morpheus may be a grown adult who can double-check his medications before taking them, but that doesn’t mean Hob should be careless. It would be just his luck that he’ll lose his job over it and never get a better look at the client.
Don't be stupid. He warns himself that it’s a poor reason to want to do his job properly. He should want to do it for the sake of doing it. That has to be good enough.
Once he’s finished, Hob puts the keeper away and unlocks the electronic tablet. He taps the square on the to-do list, waits until the checkmark fills the box, then sets the device aside. There is nothing else to do, so he heads toward the door. He’s just grabbed his keys from the hook when he glances up the stairs.
He wonders what Morpheus does all day, why he hides himself away so much. Surely whatever the reason is can’t be that bad, can it?
Shaking his head, Hob steps out onto the covered veranda and locks the door behind him. There’s no point in speculating on something he will never learn. It’s best to just forget his ruminations and that he’s ever seen Morpheus.
Unfortunately for him, Hob can’t let it go. The memory haunts him for weeks. He dreams about seeing Morpheus for those few seconds. He can’t stop wondering if it’ll happen again. Hob is… He’s almost desperate for another look. He likes what he saw. It wasn’t much—even he can admit that—but it was enough to catch his attention. The eyes… It’s the startling grey-blue of Morpheus’s eyes that Hob sees most in his dreams. They held such depth, and Hob wants to drown in them.
He sighs and reminds himself he’s never talked to the bloke. Hell, he’s barely even seen him. It’s absurd to be so hung up on someone he will never know.
I’m sorry for startling you a few weeks ago.
There. Simple, to the point, and professional. Hob sticks the note to the fridge with a handprint magnet before heading off to hide in the study. He’s made it through the entire collected works of Poe and started on Lovecraft. He has studiously avoided Shakespeare (he still has nightmares of having to perform Romeo and Juliet in year nine, and he really detests his neighbour’s cat), but his to-read pile is growing steadily larger the more he spends time in Morpheus’s study.
Thankfully, he hasn’t been found out, judging by the fact he hasn’t been reprimanded by Morpheus or Unity. So Hob continues to push his luck by rushing through his tasks then slipping through the doors of the study, sitting behind the mahogany desk, and sloughing through the stack of books he’d set aside.
He stops by the shops on his way home to purchase a small square notebook and a pack of pens.
Over the next two weeks, Hob leaves notes pinned to the refrigerator door: wishes for Morpheus to have a good day, ramblings about the weather and the latest news (he isn’t sure if Morpheus even watches the news; Hob hates doing so. It’s always so disheartening). He writes about his days. Once, he even apologises for the enormous aloe plant dying. He thought he’d been taking care of it, but evidently not.
He’s putting away groceries on the second day of the third week of leaving the notes, when he hears footsteps behind him. He tenses, hesitates, then turns. No one is there, but on the counter is a folded piece of paper. His head tilts, and Hob frowns. Had it been there before now, or did Morpheus leave it within the last minute?
Hob shrugs and crosses the kitchen to pluck up the paper. In the same spidery letters as on the grocery lists are the words Thank you for your hard work. At the bottom, Morpheus has written Do not worry about the aloe plant. It was an unwelcome gift from a sibling. I should thank you for killing it.
It’s so stupid that Hob beams and tucks the paper into his pocket. He knows the note means nothing, but it’s something.
Hob goes home with a stronger desire to actually meet this Morpheus, to see his face once more.
He writes even more notes. These are more personal, having been struck with the urge to let this elusive man know about him. It makes no sense—Hob doesn’t know this man, but maybe that’s the problem. Maybe Hob can’t handle the unknown. No, he can’t. He knows that. He likes figuring out everything that life has to offer. His may not be glamorous, but it’s his, and that’s all that really matters. Why shouldn’t he know all there is to know about it?
Dream tells him little in return, though it doesn’t discourage Hob at all. He merely continues writing notes; if he’s become a perfectionist about his handwriting over the last month and a half, no one needs to know. No one needs to know that he spends over an hour rewriting the notes until the words are perfect, letters evenly spaced and legible.
Before Hob knows it, Christmas is on the horizon. He can hardly believe it’s been almost four months since he first began working for Helping Hands and, by association, Morpheus. As he sits in the study a week before Christmas, he finds himself unable to focus on the book in front of him. Does Morpheus have someone coming to visit, or will he spend the holidays alone?
The very idea that Morpheus would be by himself on Christmas is absolutely depressing.
But there’s really nothing Hob can do. It isn’t like he could spend the holidays with Morpheus, though the thought is enticing.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. See you in the new year. Hob pins the note to the refrigerator before leaving the house two days before Christmas. Snow swirls around him as he steps out onto the veranda, and he tugs his coat more closely around him before starting the trek to his car. The heating system kicks on as soon as he starts the engine, though it blows icy air for a few minutes. He grimaces and shivers until the air turns warm.
For some inexplicable reason, he glances through the windscreen toward the house. The upstairs window, more specifically. A figure stands there, peering around the curtains. The man’s skin is pale, and the black his hair blends into the shadows behind him. Even through the distance, Hob can see the way his eyes are narrowed.
He raises a hand and waves at Morpheus. Morpheus lets the curtains drop into place.
He spends Christmas at his parents’ and New Year’s with Johanna, Rachel, and a few of Rachel’s artsy friends. Hob knows he doesn’t belong amongst these people—they’re all older, more sophisticated, more educated—but Jo wouldn’t let him leave even if he tried. So he grits his teeth and tolerates the silent judgement.
He also gets very, very intoxicated.
Thankfully, the new year brings a sense of calm. Hob goes to his classes once they start up again, and he goes to work. He falls into the routine easily and rather enjoys it. Unity compliments his work ethic—and the fact he’s gone four months without a single complaint from ‘the client’. Hob is only thankful it’s a phone call and not an in-person meeting; having his boss watch him preen at the praise would be devastatingly mortifying.
The new year also brings an enormous rise in his courage. Hob leaves another note on the refrigerator: May I see you? If Morpheus says no, then it isn’t surprising, nor would it be disappointing. If he says yes… Oh, but then it’ll be a dream come true for Hob. He wonders if it would be anything like his fantasies, where Morpheus would realise Hob is a decent bloke if a bit young, and they’d strike up an unlikely friendship. Maybe Hob would find out why Morpheus stays locked away.
It’s two weeks into the year when the doctor comes. Hob lets her in and sits in the plush chair in the foyer to wait for her to finish. The hour ticks by slowly; he wishes he’d brought a book, but it’s too late to sneak into the study now. He should have paid better attention to the time, since he knew this appointment had been scheduled for today. Thankfully, before he decides to start counting the wavy lines in the marble floor, the doctor descends the stairs and heads for the door. Her trainers squeak on the floor with each step.
“He will have a new prescription to pick up tomorrow,” she says briskly as she passes Hob. “Do remember to collect it.”
“I always do.”
She gives a succinct nod then vanishes out into the freezing January air. Hob watches her get into her car then drive away, before locking the door. When he turns around, he runs a hand through his hair and gazes around the foyer. Something catches his attention, and he nearly shrieks. Thankfully, he clamps his teeth together in time, though he can’t stop the muffled shout.
There, at the top of the staircase, stands Morpheus. He blinks placidly down at Hob, but something in his expression doesn’t ring true. Hob recognises it, has felt it often enough: Morpheus is nervous about something.
Hob suppresses a shiver at the rich, low timbre of Morpheus’s voice. “I, er, wasn’t expecting to see you?”
“I suppose not.” Morpheus squares his shoulders, adjusts the front of his silken black robe. “I have… appreciated your work these past few months.”
“I’ve enjoyed doing it.”
“And your messages.”
“Ah. Those. They’re nothing, really.”
Morpheus frowns, gaze dropping to the floor. “I do not believe that,” he finally says. “They mean something to me.”
And isn’t that something. Hob tucks his hands into his pockets and very nearly scuffs the toe of his trainer against the floor. He doesn’t, purely out of willpower, but he certainly feels like a child caught unawares.
“Have you enjoyed my study?”
At this, Hob’s head snaps up, and he stares at Morpheus with wide eyes. He knows? Of course he does, Hob’s brain whispers. It’s his house. Why wouldn’t he know what goes on in it? But then, why hasn’t he said anything?
“I—I’m sorry. I know I probably don’t have any right to go in there, I certainly don’t have permission, but—”
“I don’t mind, Mister…?”
Morpheus’s eyes narrow, and he slowly descends the staircase. “And how old are you, Hob Gadling?”
“Twenty, sir. Why?”
“There is no reason beyond curiosity, don’t worry.” Morpheus comes to a stop on the bottom step and scrutinises Hob more closely. Hob barely manages to not shiver beneath the intensity of the stare. “May I ask why you wished to see me?”
Hob mentally curses at himself for the answer. Morpheus isn’t some specimen on display, meant only for people to gawk at as if he’s an oddity of some kind. No, he’s a human being with what Hob can only imagine is a good reason to stay away from humanity. Hob is such an idiot.
But… Morpheus is smiling. It’s barely an upward curve of his lips, but it’s a smile nonetheless. “Would you like a cup of tea, Hob Gadling?”
“Of—of course, sir.”
The man turns out to be nothing like Hob imagined but so much more. He carries himself as royalty would, though his fingers tremble as he holds his mug. His words falter on occasion, and he frowns more than Hob thinks is normal. His grey-blue eyes rarely meet Hob’s. He may seem unbothered, imperial, but there’s something beneath the surface that says otherwise.
The pair discusses books that Hob has read, his opinions and philosophies. They talk about Hob’s dislike for Shakespeare, both playwright and cat. Morpheus listens as Hob tells him stories of his childhood he never relayed before.
The hours slip away from them. By the time Hob realises what time it is, he was meant to go home nearly two hours ago. His tea has long gone cold, and he hurriedly swallows the dregs before rising to his feet. Morpheus’s lips turn down in the corners as he gazes at Hob. Hob gives an awkward shrug.
“Sorry, I just—I have to go. I have schoolwork I haven’t done yet.”
“Of course. Have a good night, Hob.”
“Thanks, sir. You, too. And… Thanks for talking to me.”
As Hob exits the kitchen, he thinks he hears, “Thank you for seeing me.” He wants to turn back, to confirm that Morpheus actually said it, but he wasn’t lying. He has too many essays to write and worksheets to fill out. So he clocks out on the tablet and heads to his car.
No one stands in the upstairs window to watch him leave.
Morpheus is waiting for Hob when he returns to the mansion with the medication the next day. Hob hides his surprise; he’d assumed it was a one-time thing, seeing Morpheus. Today’s conversation occurs while Hob puts the pills in the keeper. Hob thinks it should be awkward, doing his job with his boss at the island counter behind him, but it’s easy. It’s easy to let the words flow, more stories of his youth and his family.
Morpheus swallows up the tales eagerly. It’s almost as if he desires to hear about wild escapades and siblings and—
Does Morpheus even have siblings? Hob aches to ask, but it’s outside the realm of professional. Then again, so is chatting with Morpheus like they’re even friends.
Who cares about professionalism when you’ve finally got the chance to talk to the man? Hob cares, so he bites his tongue to stop the questions. He doesn’t ask after Morpheus’s family, he doesn’t ask about Morpheus’s life. He only tells Morpheus what he wants to hear and lets the enquiries fester in the back of his mind.
So it goes. Each day Morpheus is waiting, and each day, Hob has more memories to recall. He tells Morpheus of the time he and Johanna were arrested for public intoxication despite the fact they were only walking to the next street to get to Rachel’s SUV. Of course, the arrest probably had something to do with Jo getting into a physical altercation with a man who was pestering a woman just trying to go about her way. Hob was merely a victim of circumstance, and he paid the price for his best friend’s chivalry.
It isn’t until the week of Valentine’s Day, three weeks later, that Hob finally acknowledges what he’d been trying to deny since he first spoke with Morpheus: Hob is absolutely, undeniably falling for the enigmatic man. There is still so much he doesn’t know about Morpheus, but it doesn’t seem to matter. He yearns to spend more time with the man and to actually hear about Morpheus, though he knows it will never happen. Morpheus is too much a mystery, with too many closely-guarded secrets that Hob will never know. He wants to hear Morpheus’s laugh and know his hopes. Hob doesn’t even care if Morpheus ever tells him why he stays hidden away. He just… wants Morpheus.
He’s woken too often in the night, aching to phone Morpheus or to hold his hand as if they are sweethearts in primary. He dreams of what it might be like to kiss Morpheus, even with the knowledge that it would most likely not be like his dreams. It’s worth the loneliness, Hob thinks when he wakes after a night of imagining far more than filthy kisses with his boss. He at least has enough respect to not stroke himself to completion on the mornings after those dreams.
He only takes cold showers and wills his libido—and desires—to calm.
Everything comes to a head, as is wont to do. Morpheus and Hob sit in the study, both reading to themselves but occasionally reciting passages to share with one another. Hob rises to his feet and makes his way to the shelf that contains the collection he’d read a week ago, the poem that says what he wishes he could say in his own words.
“‘I crave your mouth’,” he begins, ignoring Morpheus’s sharp inhale, “‘your voice, your hair. Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets. Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day. I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps’.”
Morpheus closes his book and sits back in his chair. His voice is rough, low, when he says Hob’s name. Hob closes his eyes against the shiver racing down his spine and waits for Morpheus’s next words. Instead, he gets footsteps padding across the room, a soft, cool hand against his cheek.
“You know not what you say.”
“I know enough.” Hob finally meets Morpheus’s gaze. “I dream of you. Nearly every night, you haunt me. I… I don’t know how else to tell you that…”
“That what, Hob Gadling?”
“That you’re what I want.”
Morpheus’s fingers cradle Hob’s chin, then his grip tightens until Hob clumsily rises to his feet. They’re the same height, but Hob feels so much smaller. He shudders when he sees the heat in Morpheus’s eyes, the want in the bow of his mouth. Then that damned mouth is on Hob’s, and the world explodes around him.
With a low groan, Hob presses closer only to be forcibly turned to walk backwards toward the door. The two part only to stumble up the stairs together. Hob registers that they’re tumbling through the door to one of the forbidden rooms, but he gives less of a damn than he thought he would. He’s no longer curious about what lies inside—at least, not at the moment. That’s liable to change the instant Morpheus isn’t causing his blood to boil with nothing more than a tight grip and fervent kisses.
Morpheus wastes little time in steering Hob toward the bed; the two men fall to the mattress in a tangle of limbs. Hob whimpers into the kiss when Morpheus nips at his lower lip. HIs cock twitches in the confines of his jeans, and he wonders if this is how he will die—in the throes of desire and need while his boss (fuck, his boss) devours him whole.
“Are you sure?” he pants as soon as Morpheus pulls back for a breath.
“More than you could know” is the response given on a harsh rasp.
Hob shifts, slides his thigh between Morpheus’s, and drags the older man down for another kiss. This one is just as graceless and filthy and begging for so much. Promising even more. Hob will not leave this house until he’s given Morpheus all he will take. He has been called greedy dozens of times in his life, but this? This is one area he refuses to be selfish in.
So like a teenager, Morpheus ruts against Hob’s thigh, his hands locked in Hob’s hair, and he gasps when one of Hob’s hands slides along his back to dip under the band of his pyjama bottoms. There’s nothing underneath. Hob groans against Morpheus’s mouth and lays his hand flat against Morpheus’s arse, pulling him even closer.
“Fuck, love,” he nearly whines when Morpheus gives a rough tug of his hair.
Morpheus lifts his hips long enough for Hob to slip a hand between them; his cock is hard, leaking, by the time Hob wraps his fingers around the length. He rests his weight on his elbows, fucking into the circle of Hob’s fist as he buries his face against Hob’s throat. He lets out a long keening sound as his hips move faster, and Hob stretches his arm further to press a finger against Morpheus’s hole.
Morpheus comes without warning, with a cry of Hob’s name.
“I—I’m sorry,” he mutters moments later, though he doesn’t move from where he’s sprawled atop Hob. “I…”
“It’s okay. Not a problem at all. I’m taking it as a fucking compliment, thank you very much.”
Hob releases Morpheus’s softening cock and pulls his hand away. Morpheus lifts his head in time to see Hob licking his fingers clean. The whimper he lets out would force Hob into orgasm were he to have been focusing on himself at all. As it is, he wants nothing more than to continue pleasing Morpheus. His own pleasure can wait.
Except it can’t, judging by the fact that Morpheus is sliding gracefully along Hob’s body. He glances up through thick lashes as his hands make quick work of unbuttoning Hob’s jeans; Hob barely gets his hips lifted before Morpheus is tugging down his jeans and boxers. His hand presses to Hob’s stomach, fingernails scratching lightly, then he takes Hob into his mouth in one smooth move.
Morpheus hums around Hob’s cock, and Hob has to clap a hand over his mouth before he shouts again. There is no one else here, no one else around, but it feels taboo to bring attention to what he’s doing right now. With his boss, no less. Maybe that’s what makes it feel so right despite being so wrong. He moans when Morpheus slides a hand between his thighs. Presses against his hole before slipping just the tip of his finger inside.
Just before Hob can leap over the edge, Morpheus pulls away and stares through the dimness at Hob. “Roll over.”
And who is Hob to argue with that voice, the one that brooks no argument? He does as commanded, yelping when Morpheus's hands tug on his hips. Morpheus nips at the curve of his arse before whispering an order for Hob to place a pillow beneath him. The cool silk of the pillowcase feels wonderful against his overheated skin, and he melts into the chill. Of course that’s when he loses all sense of anything but the press of Morpheus’s tongue against his hole, thumbs holding Hob’s arsecheeks apart. The heat of his breath ghosting along Hob’s flesh, the sparks lighting up along his spine.
Hob has never, never, never been on the receiving end of this, though he’s given plenty of times before. He never imagined it could feel so great. Perhaps, he’d thought, his former lovers had been merely attempting to make him feel as if he was better in bed than reality. He whines and moans and clutches at the bedsheets as Morpheus’s tongue mercilessly fucks into him.
It takes two strokes of a cool hand on his cock before Hob is spilling a release all over Morpheus’s fist, the pillow, and the bedsheets beneath him.
He collapses to the mattress as Morpheus runs a soothing hand down his flank. “Shit, love, I think you’ve done it. I think you’ve killed me.”
“Well, I can guarantee you’ve ruined me for anyone else.”
“And I’ve not even fucked you properly yet.”
Hob’s cock gives a valiant twitch, and he groans at the words. That’s all he can think about now. How it would feel to have Morpheus fuck him as roughly as he had with his tongue. How amazing it would be to be filled with Morpheus’s cock for as long as he can. He aches for the stretch. He is, as an ex-boyfriend claimed, a slut for a good cock, and Morpheus? Well, he’s got the best one Hob has ever seen.
They lie there together for the next hour, silent and still save for Morpheus’s index finger running up and down Hob’s spine. Hob, for his part, is struggling to keep his hands to himself. He doesn’t want to push before Morpheus is ready; it’s taken months to get to this point in the first place. He’d hate to ruin it by being selfish and demanding.
In the end, it isn’t Hob who demands. It’s Morpheus who leaves burning kisses across Hob’s shoulders. It’s Morpheus who reaches toward the bedside table and extracts a tube of lubricant. He bites down where Hob’s neck meets his shoulder, grinning against the skin when Hob lets out a sharp cry. It hurts, and God, does Hob love it. He wants more. Probably more than Morpheus will give him. Definitely more than is appropriate.
Five minutes of meticulous prep later, Morpheus helps Hob roll onto his back before pushing into him with a tenderness that is at odds with the throbbing in the bite mark left behind. Morpheus gazes down at Hob steadily; the gentle glow of the moon casts stars in his blue eyes, and Hob reaches up with one hand to tug him down for a kiss. It’s softer now, more tame. They share breaths for a long moment before Hob nods once. He’s ready.
He needs it.
He yearns for it.
He craves it, and it hasn't even truly begun.
His legs tighten around Morpheus’s waist, pull him in with each thrust, and Morpheus exhales slowly—unsteadily—as he shoves his hips forward. With a soft sigh, Hob lets his head fall back to the mattress, and he closes his eyes. Morpheus’s cock drags along his prostate, and Hob knows he won’t last. Not with as much as he wants this.
Morpheus moves slowly, a tantalising pace that is just enough to keep Hob on the edge. Hob moans and scrabbles to cling to Morpheus. His fingernails find a hold in the pale skin, and Hob bites down on his bottom lip when Morpheus lets out a bitten-off gasp. His hips move faster, though still too slow, and Hob could cry with it.
Pleas spill from his lips—a litany of babbled desire that hardly makes sense even to himself—and Morpheus leans down to kiss away the words. Hob’s hands slide along the warm body until they press to sharp shoulderblades. One hand continues, cupping the back of Morpheus’s neck, and a burst of hot breath gusts along Hob’s cheek. The laugh goes ignored.
Hob was right, he thinks when Morpheus pulls back, straightens his spine, and fucks into him with a rough thrust. Hob will never find anyone to make him feel like this. Morpheus has ruined him. Sex is good and all, but it’s different with Morpheus. It could be everything, if Hob lets it.
He wants to let it.
He curses when Morpheus wraps fingers around his cock, stroking in time with each thrust that rocks his body; the crooked grin Morpheus sends him brings a boil to Hob’s blood. He groans and bears down on Morpheus’s dick; he’s never cared much one way or the other, but now… Now he wants to feel Morpheus filling him up.
He isn’t disappointed. Not even seconds after he comes across his own belly, he feels the hot spurts of Morpheus’s release. Another splatter of cum drips from the head of his cock at the sensation.
“You, love, are a dream come true,” Hob murmurs shakily before dragging Morpheus down for a kiss, disregarding the mess between them as Morpheus rests over him.
“You are more than I imagined,” Morpheus whispers against his lips.
Hob huffs out a laugh at that. If anyone is more, it’s Morpheus. Morpheus has proven himself better than Hob’s fantasies. He’s starred in many a dream, but none of them have come close to reality. This… This is something Hob will remember for the rest of his life.
He remembers to clock out on time, but then Morpheus drags him back up to the bedroom.
Hob doesn’t leave Morpheus’s bed until near dawn the next morning. He drives home in the grey dark of early morning, aching and devastatingly satisfied. His mind replays the night, the hours spent in Morpheus’s bed, the touches and kisses that lit his nerves anew. He gets home, locks the door behind him, and falls facefirst onto his couch.
He falls asleep to the memory of being full of both cock and love.
A woman stands just outside Morpheus’s front door when Hob climbs out of his car only hours later. She takes a step forward into the weak February sunlight, and he eyes the envelope in her hands. Her wire-rimmed glasses glint golden in the sun; on her face is a severe yet unreadable expression. Hob feels much like a chastised child with no clue what he’s done.
“Mister Gadling, I presume?”
Hob nods then clears his throat. “Yeah. What’s, er, what’s going on?
“Mister Emrys no longer requires your services. Consider this your severance. If you would please return to your vehicle and leave, it would be appreciated.”
Hob gapes but doesn’t take the envelope she holds out. What? Morpheus… Morpheus doesn’t want Hob around? Hob can’t make heads nor tails of the situation. Everything had been fine—had been great—when he’d left. He can still feel the aftermath of everything they had done. But now he’s being unceremoniously evicted from the property for a reason he can’t find.
He finally pinches the edge of the envelope with two shaking fingers and turns away from the woman. There is no point in arguing, he knows it. She looks like the type of woman to phone the police if the situation calls for it, and Hob refusing to leave Morpheus’s home is definitely a situation that warrants a police presence.
He’d had plans for today, damn it. He wanted to read more with Morpheus, he wanted to—let’s face it, he thinks. He wanted to make love with Morpheus, be the one to push into him so carefully and make sure Morpheus could feel the depths of Hob’s feelings. A month of constant talking, months of notes passed back and forth, and one perfect night is all Hob gets from this ordeal.
He glances through the windscreen. Morpheus stands at the upstairs window. Hob wants to get out of his car. He wants to storm inside and shake Morpheus until he gives answers, until he explains what the fuck is going through his head.
Morpheus lets the curtains drop into place, and Hob feels his heart stutter. Collapse into nothingness.
He manages to drive home and get inside before the tears win the fight. Hob throws the envelope onto the counter before stumbling to his bedroom. He sits on the edge of his bed, head in hands, and lets himself feel all the pain he’d hoped to never feel again. He thought it was bad when he broke it off with Eleanor because he knew he couldn’t handle a long-distance relationship, but this… This might actually be worse.
Jo finds him later that night in the New Inn, already six beers and two shots of whisky in. She takes one look at his face, orders another round, and drops onto the stool beside him. They drink in silence; she doesn’t want to hear his problems, and he doesn’t want to talk about them.
The next morning, he doesn’t remember how he got home.
He phones the Helping Hands office and quits.
He spends the next week looking for a new job during the day and his nights at the New Inn, drinking until he forgets even his own name. Unity sends one final email congratulating him on such hard work, promising a recommendation should he need it for his next job, and apologising for how abruptly his employment with the agency ended: You were such a wonderful employee, and I know the client appreciated all you did for him. Yeah, Hob thinks, Morpheus appreciated it so much, he fucked me and ditched me. The pain starts all over again.
His mum is less than pleased that he lost his employment at Helping Hands—“You worked so hard and did so well, what happened?” His dad only tells him to keep his chin up—“You’ll find something, lad.” Nothing will compare to the job he had. He loved working as what amounted to little more than an errand boy. Even before he ever started writing notes to Morpheus, Hob enjoyed what he did. It was easy work, and it was nice to not have anyone pestering him to work harder. What happened with Morpheus was only a bonus, even though it turned out to be one helluva beautiful mistake.
It takes another two weeks (and asking his parents for rent money), but Hob finally manages to get a job as a courier for a solicitor’s office. He still drinks every night, but Johanna only joins him less than half the time. After the fifth night in a row of destroying their livers, she’d snapped at him without remorse.
“You’re a grown man, Gadling. Either deal with the shit that happened, whatever it is, or keep drinking yourself into a hole. But don’t expect to drag me down with you.”
Rachel perches on the stool next to him one evening, nearly two months after his night with Morpheus. She asks for a martini then crosses her arms on the bar-top. He ignores her and finishes his beer, gesturing for another.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” she starts, rolling her eyes when Hob interrupts her with a derisive snort. She continues without acknowledging the interruption further, “I don’t know what happened, but I’m here if you need to talk.”
“Nothing to talk about,” he snaps.
“Yes, because that was so believable.” Rachel sighs and accepts her drink with a smile at the bartender. When he moves on to the next patron, she takes a sip before setting the glass down. “Have you not noticed that nobody wants to be around you when you’re like this?”
The words hit Hob like a punch to the gut. He squeezes his eyes closed, but the tear slips free anyway. Rachel murmurs low in her throat and tugs on his hand. He stumbles after her to the corridor leading to the toilets. Her arms wrap around his neck, and he lets her pull him into a tight embrace. She doesn’t shush him, doesn’t say a word except ‘That’s it, sweets, let it out’ as he cries. He should feel pathetic, sobbing like this in his best friend’s arms so long after he got his heart broken, but he knows Rachel would never judge him.
Not even Johanna would.
Hob finally manages to blubber out the story of what happened, of how he stupidly fell in love with his boss, slept with said boss, and was pushed aside as if none of it mattered at all. Rachel’s grip tightens, and her voice shakes as she tells him everything will be okay.
“You just need some time, and I need to find this prick and—”
“And nothing, Rache.” Hob pulls back and wipes at his eyes with his palms. “He showed me what I meant to him, and… I can’t change it. I can only accept it. You kicking his arse won’t do a damn bit of good.”
“It’ll make me feel better. And it might even cheer you up.”
“Doubt it, but thanks.”
Rachel sighs and brushes away a stray tear with her fingertips. “Look, Hobsie. No matter what he made you believe with this shit, you deserve better. Okay? So forget him. Stop drinking so much, focus on your schooling and job, and everything will work out. I promise.” Hob only nods in response. She smiles and laces their fingers together. “Good, now let’s go finish our drinks and go home. Jo won’t mind if you stay at ours tonight.”
Jo doesn’t mind at all. However, she makes Hob swear that he’ll make pancakes and waffles in the morning. He does so willingly.
His studio flat is a mess when Hob walks in the next day. Dishes clutter up the countertops, and mugs and empty beer bottles spread across the coffee table. He sighs and heads to the kitchen. He might as well follow Rachel’s advice to get his life in order, starting with this bullshit.
By the time he finishes clearing out the rubbish, scrubbing filth from plates and forks, and washing three loads of laundry, the sun has begun to set, and he actually feels better. Less like he’s on the verge of falling apart, as if one wrong move will shatter him. He finds himself thinking of Morpheus without the agony from before. It’s a dull ache, the ghost of want that has plagued him since After. He finishes sorting through all the post he’s let collect in a pile on the counter, frowning when he sees an envelope with a blank face.
Hob tosses the junk mail into the bin before sliding his finger under the flap. Inside is a cheque and a folded sheet of paper. He doesn’t recognise the handwriting on the cheque, but he remembers now. He recalls the woman handing him this very envelope: Consider this your severance. Hob sets the envelope and cheque on the counter, clenches one hand into a fist, and squeezes his eyes closed at the wave crashing over him. He’d somehow forgotten, in all his drunken hours and time spent working and in school, exactly how that morning had gone. After a moment, he pulls out the folded paper.
The spidery handwriting forces open the rift in Hob’s chest, and he chokes on a broken sob even as he reads Morpheus’s words.
I am truly sorry for this. You do not deserve what I am about to do. You have been a tremendous help in more ways than you shall ever know. Your kindness has helped heal a wound that has been festering inside of me, eating away at the very heart of who I am. I will never be able to find the words to show my appreciation for all that you are, all that you have done for me and will do for this world. My sincerest apologies for hurting you the way that I am. Forgive me, though I have no hope of ever deserving that forgiveness.
I hope you have stopped dreaming of me. Much like your forgiveness, I am not worthy of it.
“What a load of shite,” Hob snarls though he can’t drag his gaze away from Yours. “Mine, are you? Mine? Then you better fucking prove it, you prick.”
Deciding that action is better than standing around shrieking curses at the unresponsive air, Hob storms out of the flat and down to his car. Yours. Yours. Yours. God, does he hope it’s true. He hopes it isn’t too late.
He hopes that Morpheus will forgive him should he be compelled to actually punch the man in the face.
A beat-up two-door sits in front of the house when Hob pulls up. He parks behind the compact, turning off the engine with a vicious twist of the key. Praying no one notices him, he stomps up to the front door and reaches for a key he no longer has. It’s an attempt borne of desperation, but he tries the knob anyway.
The door is unlocked.
Someone is going to get fired, he thinks even as he quietly slips inside. The foyer looks the same. Nothing has changed, and that alone hurts Hob’s heart. He’d hoped, before everything went to shit, that things would be different for Morpheus. That he’d make different decisions and do what he could to make himself happy.
Hob had hoped it would be him to make Morpheus happy.
He sneaks up the stairs on near-silent footsteps and stops just at the top. He remembers clearly which door is the one he seeks; he just needs to find the courage. Now that he’s here, confronted with his own stupid idea, Hob isn’t so sure he can follow through. What if Morpheus turns him away again?
“How did you get in here?”
Hob turns to see a young Black woman with a rainbow in her hair. She frowns and walks closer, closing the door to one of the guest rooms behind her. Hob swallows thickly and glances back at Morpheus’s door.
“You can’t be here, sir.”
“I’m not leaving without talking to Mor—Mister Emrys.”
“Leave, or I’ll phone the police.”
Hob closes his eyes at the quiet squeak of hinges. Rose’s gaze cuts to the space behind him, and he stifles a broken sob at the achingly familiar voice.
“It’s quite alright, Rose. I will handle this.”
Rose’s frown grows, but she takes a step back. “Of course, Mister Emrys. I’ll be in the study if you need me.”
As soon as she’s disappeared with one last dark look at Hob, he turns to Morpheus’s door. It’s still open, but the man has retreated further into the room. Hob glances at the staircase, though Rose doesn’t reappear, before slipping inside the bedroom. He closes the door behind him and blinks in the sunlight that pours in through the window.
“That was a shit thing you did.”
Morpheus’s shoulders tense; he stares out at the garden as he says, “I did what I thought best.”
“Your thoughts fucking suck, then.”
“You do not understand,” Morpheus replies, though it comes out a plea.
“How could I?” Hob scoffs, throwing his hands into the air. “You’ve told me nothing. I don’t know whether you have siblings, what your dream job is, anything. Hell, I barely know your name! I literally just learnt your surname the morning after you fired me.”
“And that’s the way it should be. We should never have…”
“Yeah, well, it’s a bit late to take it back, isn’t it?”
Morpheus sighs, raises a hand to press his fingertips to the glass, and keeps his gaze on the world outside. “Would you, if you could?”
“You are young.”
Hob snorts, crosses his arms over his chest. “As if you’re some ancient being. You’re only a few years older than I am.”
“A few?” From where he stands, Hob can see the curve to Morpheus’s lips, though he knows it isn’t a kind smile. It’s wry, sharp. Cold. “Hob, I am fourteen years older than you are. There is a wealth of experience I have that you do not.”
Hob gapes for a second. Fourteen years? Shaking himself from his disbelief, Hob approaches slowly and comes to a stop at Morpheus’s side. Neither man looks at each other.
“I don’t care,” Hob finally says. “I enjoyed spending time with you. Being with you. Quite a lot, actually.”
“Though you know so little of me?”
“I like a mystery. Tell me, don’t tell me. It’s your choice. I won’t push. But no matter what, it won’t change my mind about you.”
Morpheus turns his head away, hand falling to his side once more. The drag of his fingertips on the glass causes a squeaking sound to break the silence. After a moment, Morpheus speaks.
“Then sit, Hob Gadling. Let me tell you a tale.”
Hob frowns but takes a seat on the edge of the bed. Morpheus still won’t turn around, and Hob aches to force the man to look at him. To see him, to know that Hob is here and not going anywhere. But he doesn’t. He only listens as Dream talks about growing up in a family with loveless parents who had no time for their seven children. The third oldest ran away at seventeen, and no one has heard from him since. They don’t even know if the brother is still alive after all this time.
“I haven’t spoken to my once-favourite sibling in nearly a decade. We had a massive fight. I hardly remember the cause now, but it is too late.”
“It’s never too late, love. You can—”
Morpheus continues, speaking over Hob with ease, “I met a woman eight years ago, beautiful and kind. Intelligent. We married within the year, and our son was born only ten months into our marriage. Our struggles only grew worse. The distance between us widened.”
Then, Morpheus says, tragedy struck. Their little boy, only four years old, died in a car accident in which Morpheus was driving. Morpheus and his wife could hardly stand the sight of each other after that. Their fighting grew harsher, more frequent. They spoke words they will never be able to take back. She left him three months after the funeral with an empty house and a heart full of blame.
“She has blamed me since. If I am being honest… I have blamed myself.”
“This whole time?”
“Losing a child is devastating enough. To be the cause of that loss, it is unforgivable.”
“It was an accident.”
“I was scolding him, Hob. My attention was no longer on the road, and the last thing I ever said to him were words of anger.” At this, Morpheus finally turns to Hob. His eyes are filled with tears, and some spill over. “Tell me, how does one move past that?”
And that’s a question too difficult to answer. Hob has no words. For once, he is utterly speechless. He can do nothing, say nothing, to assuage the guilt that still wracks Morpheus. He rises to his feet and moves to embrace Morpheus, but the man takes a large step back.
“It is my fault that my son died. It is my fault my marriage dissolved—no, imploded. There is nothing of me to care for.”
“Let me be the judge of that,” Hob pleads. “Let me make my own damn choices.”
Morpheus grins that same cold grin. “And when we end in disaster? What then, Hob, would you feel? Would it be resentment towards me for taking so much of your time, your affections? Would it be the same hatred and blame that Calliope has carried in her heart for seven years?”
“Oh, Morpheus… It will always be love.”
Morpheus flinches bodily, shoulders coming up around his shoulders as if to guard himself against Hob’s words. His expression turns from defiant to wounded, to frightened.
“You said you were mine,” Hob counters. “In that letter. You said you were mine, Morpheus. So fucking prove it.”
“I know, I know. You wish me gone. But I wish you to know that I don’t give up on what’s mine. Now prove that you are mine as I am yours.”
“I know of no way to do so,” whispers Morpheus; his voice shatters in the glow of the sunlight spilling across his pale face.
Hob lets out a slow breath. “I do.” He cups Morpheus’s cheek and presses their foreheads together. They share breaths for a heartbeat, two, three. “Let me love you the way you deserve.”
“And if I cannot?”
“Then I’ll love you anyway until you can. I’ll love you enough for the both of us.”
Lacing their fingers together, Hob pulls Morpheus toward the bed. Morpheus goes willingly, lying down under Hob’s insistent hands, and Hob sighs in relief when Mropheus curls into the comfort of his arms once they’re both stretched across the mattress. Morpheus lets out a shuddering breath, and Hob stifles tears of his own as the man he loves falls apart. Sobs shake his entire body; Hob imagines he has nearly a decade of tears to shed, of remorse and agony to work through.
Eventually, long after Hob has stopped keeping track of time, Morpheus calms. His breathing evens out as he drifts off to sleep, his head on Hob’s chest. Hob presses a kiss to the crown of Morpheus’s head and makes a vow to always be there, every step of the way. Fourteen-year age difference be damned.
Hob can be what Morpheus needs.
the rot, PART 1
((hello im gonna try something new, this is a Rick trager fanfic, no real smut but heavily implied))
this is all my idea of Rick’s background, it started as a writing exercise and he was a good subject for it lol
TW: gore, descend into madness, 18+, disturbing
Everything rots, the blood flow stops and everything goes to shit. Except maybe bugs – do bugs rot? Have you ever seen a rotten bug?
Richard sees his first rot when he is too young to remember, back when he would go play in the forest behind his parents’ mansion whenever they are too busy for him, and that is often.
He can’t remember properly, but it is a few months before his birthday, perhaps fifth, perhaps sixth.
He knows that dog, she is the neighbour’s, an old girl that Rick likes, even though she’s almost as big as him she was old and fragile and could only really wave her tail when he snuck over to pet her, Molly is her name.
Strange name for a dog.
Apparently she got too old for the neighbours though, proven by the bullet hole in her dumb big forehead.
It couldn’t have happened so long ago, she is still soft to pet – so Richard does just that, sits next to her and pets her, until she gets rigid and cold and his nanny calls for him to come back to dinner.
He visits Molly again, every day, he has no better company and she’s a good listener.
He watches her rot.
Her tongue turns pale and greenish, her big loving eyes sink into the skull, and Richard watches her fall apart. He can’t pet her anymore after a few weeks, her skin isnt connected to the flesh and it moves as a whole under his hands.
He watches the worms come.
Worms in her ears, maggots in her mouth, under her skin, making it move as if it’s alive, some sort of a monster, wearing Molly’s skin.
Richard celebrates his birthday with the maggots.
Sits next to them and Molly’s bones, sings himself a happy birthday, puts a cupcake in what is left of Molly’s mouth, maggots watching from what was once her eye.
Richard is lonely again when the maggots leave.
He doesn’t see his first human rot.
It’s one of the rare regrets Richard has, that he couldn’t put her in the woods next to Molly and watch maggots infest her pretty blue eyes, to touch her curly blonde hair, the silky skin as it goes cold and rigid...
But his father is as pale as a corpse when he fails to find a heartbeat, he jumps when he hears another car approaching.
It passes them without noticing, and Richard is too entranced with rain washing away all the blood to care until his father is yanking him away, back into the car. He drives away and tells him to never talk about this to anyone, that it didn’t happen, that there is no woman with a bloody forehead and tire traces down her broken back laying on the road, and Richard nods and never says a word. Promises to forget about it.
When he lays awake at night, breathing heavily with a sticky hand, he can’t help but remember.
Some people might be rotten, rotten and still alive.
Richard becomes Rick, for a friend, it’s the first time he can talk about the rot without being bad, Jeremy (Jer, its Jer, because they are friends) sits down and listens with his clever blue eyes. And he talks back, the two talk about rotting and blood and Molly, the man Jer saw die, the woman Rick saw dead.
They push a teacher down the stairs and watch the blood, Rick likes it more than his friend does, but Jer seems perfectly happy sitting there and getting away with it, he has a nasty grin and Rick loves it, the pain they cause and that they’re smart enough to get away.
Having a friend is much nicer than he expected.
He hopes Jeremy doesn’t rot.
It’s wrong if women rot when you love them.
Rick’s aware of that, it’s why he uses pills to get as close as he can, he prefers if they lay down and pretend they’re dead, wraps his hand around their necks and feels the pulse, one he could silence with just a bit of a harder squeeze... He wants it, to dug into them, cut them open with a scalpel he isn’t licensed to use, cover himself in hot blood and feel it go cold on him, feel her go cold around him and him being the only hot thing left inside.
He doesn’t, though.
Jer says it would be too hard to clean up, and Rick tends to agree.
At least until they join Murkoff, and suddenly, Rick’s allowed to do anything he ever wanted.
And oh man, is it dark.
People rot at Mount Massive, Rick noticed.
Patients, doctors, guards, the asylum doesn’t discriminate and ruins everyone equally.
Rick feels just fine though.
Perhaps a little high constantly – but he blames the cocaine for it.
Perhaps a little... itchy.
Like there are maggots in his brain.
He can blame cocaine for the itch.
He can blame cocaine and pretend that he doesn’t pick up a letter opener and find himself thinking of shoving it in good ole Jeremy’s skull down to the handle.
Rick sometimes thinks women have rotten brains, he agrees with Gluskin on that.
He doesn’t complain though, when a cute redheaded secretary starts looking at him with doe eyes, with a few more buttons popped open on her blouse.
He smiles and gives her a wink, and she giggles – it’s all so easy, Rick knows his way around women.
She doesn’t see him roll his eyes when he turns away.
Michelle Haas is her name, he has to remember it, can’t say the wrong name when he asks her out – he asks her and she says yes, she would love to go on a date with her rich and handsome boss, who wouldn’t?
Apparently, Jeremy wouldn’t.
But Jeremy was always smarter than average.
Which Michelle, oh sweet Michelle with a bland name and nice tits, is not.
Rick knows she’d let him fuck her, she wanted him to, even, but that was boring. Michelle was boring. He doesn’t like how bright her eyes are, and he doesn’t care for anything she says. So in the end, he still slips her the pill, still watches her slump in her chair and become soft in his hands.
He prefers it this way, it’s as far as he can cross the line before he would fall from a monster to the bottom of the barrel, same as his ‘patients’.
It’s what the asylum does to you, he realized, it takes good people and monsters and makes them all equal, equal in insanity.
Rick is better than that, better than them.
Rick refuses to rot.
Michelle Haas pulls an Uno reverse and fucks Rick over just a few months later.
It’s shit, it’s all shit, Rick’s house of cards is collapsing in on him and for the first time in his life his charm and quick mind aren’t helping him. If only he knew any other way, but he doesn’t, he doesn’t, so he does what he always did best and
And it smells down there. Perhaps its not even shit, perhaps it’s rot, rot Rick’s been collecting his entire life, and now he’s neck deep in it, flies in his eyes, piles of rotting flesh threatening to bury him like how he refused to bury Molly.
He doesn’t know what he was thinking, asking the bitch of a detective for drinks (pointy nose, beady eyes, a weasel in a pencil skirt).
He doesn’t know what made him put the roofies in her drink, as if she was just another sloppy cunt (bet it isn’t, bet she’s tight, bet she doesn’t get any.) he could get away with.
Rick claims it was madness.
(he doesn’t like pointy tits, that bony neck, no way he’d do her sane of mind)
Jeremy claims it was ego.
((that bony neck, he should snap it, she’d deserve it for fucking with him))
Rick silently agrees and blames madness.
((beady eyes, beady eyes that see him rot, he wants to eat them)))
He sits in his office and thinks, his heart is beating and maggots in his brains are eating away regrets he has, coke burning through his nostrils and his trust in Jeremy.
He knows Jeremy is talking to the detectives (the Pauls, the Pauls, Paul and Pauline, what a stupid coincidence is that?) in his office right now (fancy office, fancy suit, he wants to bend Jeremy over that table and strangle fuck strangle fuck him), he knows Jeremy’s trying to save his ass (would he get fucked in prison? Part of him hopes so, hopes years haven’t eaten off of him that much yet).
He knows that he knows and yet he can’t sit still, what if Jeremy fucks it up like how Rick did? What if he makes it worse?
What if he fucks Richard over?
(would he? Is he selfish enough to betray his friend just to avoid taking the bla-)
Rick’s marching down the hallway, legs carrying him as if they’d be piloted by the maggots in his brain and not him.
He bursts in the office (feels crowded with so many people here) and he sees them, their faces melting away in the features they share (beady eyes, they all have beady eyes, they all climb the glass ladder) until he sees the red hair.
Jeremy let Michelle whatshername come, and not Rick, not letting him defend himself, and Rick wants to call him out for it.
He takes a deep breath (air feels so stiff right now).
He walks forward, to explain himself (his hand reaches out, reaches for the desk).
He’s sure he can explain, puts on his trademark grin and
(( snaps ))
gets away with it.
(( “Liar, fucking liar!” ))
He’s a charming guy, he knows he can do it, can fix what Michelle die die FUCKING DIE has done to him!
Belly bursts, letter opener it hand, it opens bellies now, not letters, instead of paper guts spill out and its beautiful, red fills Rick’s hands and the belly bump the cunt refused to abort is gone, its gone, he solves his problem like how he should solve it months ago before
(( Pauline )) kicks him, she’s stronger than (( ))
got mixed in, and it can all be fine again, he can go back to golf with Jeremy
(( Jeremy )) watches with a martini in hand and a smile on his face, (( )) meets his eyes before (( the bitch )) slams his head in a paper shredder.
Hair grows back.
Rick can go back, back to what he was, a monster in the shadows, untouchable
Pauline holds his head there while he screams, the hair being torn off, Jeremy’s pants tenting, Paul helping Mariane while she’s bleeding on the floor, her baby dead, dead, fucking dead like how Rick wanted it from the moment he learnt it was in there
because Rick always WAS always untouchable, out of reach, better than everyone, better than shitty patients he oversees
doctors strap him on a table while he trashes, screams his name, screams for Jeremy to stop it. but Jeremy just watches and doesn’t touch, Jeremy doesn’t like touching patients.
i’m Richard fucking Trager, executive at this fucking
Doesn’t like to touch a crazy man.
crazy, you’re crazy.
words blend in, bugs eat, devour, and they’re so much like Jeremy, praying on the rotten, the moment the meat isn’t fresh anymore
rick and jer
jeremy smiles and his face melts and he doesn’t have it anymore, jer is gone and jeremy follows, leaving nothing behind
nothing but Blaire, murkoff executive, mount massive director, lone wolf of wallstreet.
blaire looks as the machines close and richard bangs on the glass, he screams so hard he thinks he bursts a lung before machines had the chance to, and
morphogenic engine activation, phase 1
PART 2 still in working :)
Greek mythology AU where as opposed to everyone else getting turned into trees because they angered gods or were pining for their unrequited love Cale Henituse turns into a tree by lying by the lake in front of his house and refusing to budge.
He enjoys the nice weather outside and decides to keep slacking like this - this is the life - and one day he looks up to see a leaf sprouting from his hand.
”Hm,” he says before he closes his eyes again.
There’s something nice about being a tree whose only obligation is to provide oxygen.
Cale breathes; Cale works.
Truly this is the best.
He doesn’t know why the nearby town’s children decide to climb his branches and make him little flower wreaths, especially not why that black-haired little boy with black eyes, a cloak and a wooden sword keeps hugging his trunk but whatever.
It’s probably not important.
The little boy is back again.
”You should just go back to where you came from!
The other little boy with red hair and a self-satisfied look scampers off though not before the black-haired boy throws a fistful of dirt toward his head.
It lands accurately, hitting its target with a squelch.
The red haired little boy turns and looks murderous and Cale sighs internally. He isn’t heard - he isn’t audible. He is a tree.
Hooking a root around the little red haired boy’s middle and tossing him gently toward the direction of the nearby town is easy enough, and does the trick.
The red haired boy goes, shrieking up a fuss and loudly.
The black haired boy of course, turns to look at Cale the Tree and after a moment he hugs him again.
Cale sighs, again inaudibly.
”Tree-nim, are you my friend?”
Cale reaches out a branch, dragging a nearby cloak which has gone tattered but it’s the only thing available over the little black-haired boy’s slumbering form.
“I’ll protect you, tree-nim.”
Cale decides to leave well enough alone.
- Cale saving CH from the bullies in town, who bullies CH because his coloring is off, he’s the only child they know with black hair omg
- Cale saving CH and CH considering more and more that the tree is his only friend. His salvation.
- foreign lumberjacks getting hired to cut down Cale-Tree
- CH chasing lumberjacks away
- CH getting his head almost cut off in the process and Cale-Tree rearing his slacking head and chasing the lumberjacks away all the way to the next state over
- CH saying again, “I’ll protect you, tree-nim. I’ll keep you safe.”
- Hm, guess you’re useful to keep around after all
- Cale chasing away CH’s bullies
- Cale bridging the distance between town and CH
- Cale gifting CH with a magical scabbard formed from one of his branches and when CH pulls his sword from it after having stored it for thirty seconds it lights up with an otherworldly power and glows
- CH getting an amulet in the shape of a never-wilting leaf and which protects him
- CH finding bowls of fruit and leaves wherever he goes
- CH officially making Cale-Tree a treasure of the state and going on to become a hero, he’s got a protagonist’s fate, and it’s inevitable
- CH being drafted into war
- CH becoming the greatest hero the now peaceful kingdoms of the world have ever known
- CH, older and wiser and more world-weary than Cale-Tree has come to recognize, slipping back into the town that started it all, visiting Cale-Tree.
- CH pressing a palm to Cale-tree’s trunk like he did many years ago
- Cale slacking and not answering his call, just napping
- CH, unknowing of what’s happening in Cale’s mind, slipping down to kneel between Cale-tree’s roots and pressing his forehead to the bark like a prayer and just breathing how it’s over. He can rest now.
- “Thank you for everything, Tree-nim. Tree-nim… I wouldn’t have made it without you. Tree-nim -“
- CH slumping against the tree and Cale’s attention finally turning its head because excuse me? Sir are you dying? Sir you can’t die here who do you think you are, don’t bring me drama -
- CH closing his eyes and murmuring, “ - I have no regrets. Well…“ CH smiling to himself and looking rueful, “Maybe there’s one thing.
- “ - but I think it’s too late to find love, don’t you? I’ll try again in the next life.”
- CH jerking when he feels something moving
- CH whipping up his head and tensing in preparation of an attack, and CH’s eyes widening and his breaths freezing in his chest and his face twisting into confused suspicion as he sees a face that shouldn’t feel familiar somehow does
- “Are you going to sit there all day?” “Who-“ “Follow me.”
- “I’m not going anywhere with you.“ “I think you will? You’re hungry, aren’t you? Come - I’ll feed you.”
- Cale bringing CH to his old mansion which is now abandoned but has some preserved food lying around
- CH eating
- Cale sipping his tea daintily and CH looking at him with a dawning realization and after some unintentional - maybe some of it is intentional - flirting over the next several weeks the two finding love in each other and CH getting his wish of discovering what it’s supposed to feel like
- “Tree-nim,” “How long are you going to call me that?”
- I’ll protect you, CH thinks and secretly Cale also thinks that of CH too
- “Can I turn back into a tree now your heroics seem contagious” “That’s all you, Cale-nim. That’s all you”
The end - but really
Tobias & Casey "My Canon" Masterlist
🎭 Angst ☁️ Fluff 🔥 NSFW /18+ Ⓜ️ Mature Content 18+ 🍼👰 Baby/Wedding
📱 Text Fic 📷 Edit ⭐️ Personal Favorite
A Mixed-Up Valentine 💘They hadn't met yet... but what happened on Casey & Tobias's last Valentine's Day without each other? See how Casey's night went... how Tobias's did... and how they intersected.
ORIGINAL CHARACTERS IN TOBIAS x CASEY HEADCANON
Their Start: Stories of their meeting and how they came to be.
A Deli...ightful Meeting ☁️ Casey & Tobias meet during a chaotic scene at a local deli, and both like what they see.
Wildest Dreams (Tobias POV) 🔥18+ Casey must have made an impact because Tobias cannot get her out of his mind.
A Not-So-Chance Encounter ☁️⭐️After an impressive first meeting, Casey and Tobias “bump into each other” with a little help from Aurora. When they spend the afternoon together, will they still feel the same way?
A Change in Plans Casey & Tobias finally get to spend some time together, but her friends put a damper on their plans. Later, they meet up unexpectedly at Leland Bloom’s mansion, where it becomes apparent that they have much more to learn about each other.
One Way or Another ☁️Ⓜ️ Frustrated by their inability to make their schedules mesh, Tobias surprises Casey at work. But they never make it to lunch.
Entanglements They’re still in the getting-to-know-you stage, and so far, they love everything they see and hear…even when Ethan and June come up. But, when Casey shares a medical miracle she encountered, Tobias’s interest is piqued. Could there be trouble ahead?
Stollen Chances Tobias pays the price for his shady endeavors; Casey gets by with a little help from her friends... and a plan for revenge.
Striking Out Casey plans on taking her revenge during the Edenbrook/Kenmore softball game. Tobias gets some guidance from a friend, and it’s time to play ball.
Checkmate - After Tobias steals Casey’s patient, she looks to settle the score. But will that level the playing field to give them another chance? Or will new discoveries cement them in the past?
Betwixt, Bothered, & Bewildered Casey’s friends force her to take steps to move forward after her break-up with Tobias, while his friends do their best to keep him from doing more damage. Each makes a discovery that makes them think, but will they regret it? Is it too late?
Break in the story: Anything above this line took place before the chemical attack. I'm working on that fic now. Anything below this line takes place after. They are still not together at this point.
The Fine Print ☁️ ⭐️ Casey is still trying to return to herself after the attack, and an unlikely person is helping her pave the way.
Christmas Through Your Eyes 🎄☁️⭐️ Their first Christmas together… but they’re not together, or are they? Tobias and Casey show each other what Christmas is like in their home cities, then take a detour in The Big Apple (NYC) before returning to Boston.
Christmas Through Your Eyes Epilogue 🎄☁️ When the weather thwarts Casey’s plans to visit her family on her first Christmas following the attack, she is touched by her friends stepping up to make it special. Especially when Tobias passes by on his way to Kenmore.
Kind of our first Valentine’s Day…💘 ☁️ First, they were obsessed. Then she hated his guts. Then they were friends. Then he fell in love. And so did she, but she wouldn’t admit it. And now it’s Valentine’s Day, so what do they do?
Mostly Pleasant Surprises 🎂 2.18 - It’s Tobias’s birthday, and his good “friend” Casey is not sure what to do about it. With the help of Sienna, she came up with a great idea, but will someone bring it all crashing down at the end?
The Big Secret ☁️ Casey and Tobias are trying to figure out what they are to each other; when she calls him to meet her at Donahue's, does she let it all out?
Break in Story the story: Anything above this line is before they were officially together; anything below is after. I'm working on filling in this gap, so you learn how they came together now. :)
Morning Person ☁️ As a new couple, Tobias & Casey wake up together, ready to greet the world in a brand new way.
Happy to Announce ☁️ It’s Harper’s birthday luncheon, and Casey has brought Tobias along. Today’s the day they learn these two are off the market.
Ground Rules 📱☁️Ⓜ️Not long after they finally made it official, Casey just wants to set some things straight. Can Tobias wear her down? [02.16]
Last Stop ☁️ The best friends just recently turned into a couple. One late night, they get into a battle of wills until they realize they've got nothing to debate after all. 01.22.23
Toy Story ☁️Ⓜ️ They’re officially a couple, and it’s date night! Without any plans, except each other - then they wind up in a titillating place….
New & Improved 📱Ⓜ️ Finally together, Tobias and Casey’s morning texts go to a spicy new level.
Enjoying the View ☁️ Casey is not happy about seeing her favorite show live, and there is a good reason for that; but in the end, she gets a delightful view. FEAT: LANDRY OLSEN.
Special Delivery 📱Ⓜ️ A silly, saucy text exchange between Tobias and Casey. Set early on in their relationship.
Hush ☁️ Happy noises, gainful winnings, it’s just happiness all around.
His Pampered Princess ☁️ 👓 Tobias plans a day of pampering for his new girlfriend, Casey. Offering a little sample of how he plans on treating her.
Simple Moments ☁️ ⭐️ Tobias has got it bad. After a ribbing from his brother, he hears a song that reminds him of Casey, and he rushes home to share it with her.
But I won't do THAT! ☁️Ⓜ️ Tobias is not used to hearing no from his new girlfriend, so when he does, it leaves him flustered. Will Casey give in?
A Big Splash 📷 ☁️ Tobias & Casey are on their first BIG vacation as a couple. When Casey aims to impress on IG, her boyfriend has a few things to say.
Not Tonight☁️🔥 How does Tobias handle the first time Casey says “not tonight”? What about when the tables are turned?
Playtime ☁️Ⓜ️A lazy day off leads to unexpected changes in plans when Tobis breaks out a bingo card...
Washed Up ☁️ Tobias has to pay the price for Bryce's discovery.
Just for Fun... 📷☁️ Casey and Tobias are camping, and they're at it again...
The Late Shift 🔥 ⭐️ (FIC & FANART) Casey is tired of waiting for Tobias, who is working late, so she surprises him at work with some of his favorite things.
Reporting for Duty☁️ Tobias’s accepted a position at Edenbrook, and it will be a good… and bad… adjustment.
Table Talk☁️Tobias and Casey make use of the conversation starters at a roadside cafe.
Just Add Water🔥 NSFW/18+ A carwash turns into an afternoon to remember.
Play Ball! (Tik Tok Tuesday) ☁️ Casey is anxious to get Tobias home from baseball practice, but what does she have planned? (Tik Tok Tuesday)
Paging Dr. Carrick 🔥 NSFW/18+ Tobias selects the theme for their next roleplay adventure. While Casey appears to disapprove at first, he takes full advantage when he realizes she was only teasing. But when they’re interrupted, Casey makes plans for a night to remember.
It's all relative... ☁️ Casey and Tobias are starting their fall weekend with lunch at their favorite café. Tobias insists the younger waitress is flirting with him, but Casey bets that he’s wrong.
No One Else... Part 1 / 2💘 Misunderstandings, changes in plans, a blast from the past, and secret admirers threaten to turn Tobias & Casey's first second Valentine's Day upside down.
Baby It’s Cold Outside ☁️🎄🔥 NSFW/18+ The things Tobias will do to get his girl to stay (spoiler: she never wanted to go)
Wanna Bet? ☁️🎄 Jackie and Sienna make a fun bet when Tobias drives them and Casey to pick out a Christmas tree.
All I Want for Christmas ☁️🎄The friends host a Christmas party where they weigh in on a disagreement between the happy couple. Then at the end of the night, Casey gives Tobias a gift he wasn’t expecting to receive.
All That I Need to Get By ☁️ Tobias returns home after a long day and is reminded of just how lucky he is.
When the doctor is away… (Text Fic) 🔥☁️💝 It’s their first “official” Valentine’s Day together, and Tobias is 900 miles away assisting on a case. They’ve already agreed to celebrate when he returns, but they can have some fun in advance, right?
Perfect Strangers🔥 NSFW/18+ Tobias is looking to get away from everyone for a night, so he heads to an unfamiliar place where he meets an alluring stranger.
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (Tik Tok Tuesday) ☁️ Casey succumbs to peer pressure and takes part in a Tik Tok challenge where she pretends to break up with Tobias by sending him a lyric to a song. When things go too far, will they really break up? (Tik Tok Tuesday)
Best Seat in the House (Tik Tok Tuesday) ☁️ A quiet Saturday morning at home helps Tobias convince Casey that their new arrangement is just perfect.
It Had to Be You (Tik Tok Tuesday) ☁️ Tobias explores Casey’s crushes, and is in for a surprise.
New Adventures 📱Ⓜ️Tobias makes weekend plans, and Casey is not too thrilled. Take a peek to see how things turned out.
Times Two ☁️Ⓜ️ A lazy afternoon takes a turn when a napping Tobias starts talking in his sleep.
Subliminal Thoughts ☁️ Casey accidentally calls Tobias her husband when they throw a party. And he's ready to lock it in.
Dance it Better ☁️ An over-tired Casey storms into Tobias's office quite cross, but she leaves with a bright new perspective. 01.29.23
The Perfect Gift: For Yor Eyes Only (Part 1 of Tobias & Casey's Baby & Wedding Stories) ☁️Ⓜ️🍼👰⭐️Tobias is always spoiling the love of his life, and she desperately wants to do something in return for him. But the man has everything. What can she possibly give him? Suddenly, she has a perfect idea! And it’s a gift that keeps on giving.
For Keeps (Part 2 of Tobias & Casey's Baby & Wedding Stories)
☁️🍼👰⭐️ Tobias drags his best buddy around Boston to find the perfect ring for Casey, but in the end, she has the biggest surprise for him.
(Not) Keeping Secrets (Part 3 of Tobias & Casey's Baby & Wedding Stories) ☁️🍼👰 They're engaged and expecting their first baby... but they want to keep it under wraps until they can tell their parents, which is two weeks away. The problem is... Tobias.
Part 1 (Drabble) Part 2 (Insta Edit)
Part 3 (Text Fic) Part 4 (Drabble)
Still the Same 📱 When Casey worries that having a baby will change them too much, Tobias reassures her. But in the end, she reassures herself.
Grandparents Day Part 1: Unexpected ☁️ 🍼👰Casey is enjoying how excited Tobias is to (finally) spread the news about their engagement and baby-to-be finally. But en route to her parents, he begins to panic; what if they don’t feel the same way?
Grandparents Day Part 2: …and I needed you to know. 🎭☁️ 🍼👰⭐️ After learning he is going to be a father, there is only one person Tobias wants to share the news with.
Grandparents Day Part 3: An Act of God ☁️ 🍼👰Casey’s parents know, and Tobias shared a poignant moment with his late father. Now, the happy couple travels to DC to tell Vivian the wonderful news. How will she react to hearing her dream come true?
Just Name It! 📱☁️ 🍼 Tobias & Casey have some unusual ideas for naming their baby
Wedding Plans - A short series leading up to their wedding day.
Part 1: "I don't think I can do this..."
Part 2: "Stress-free, you say?"
Best Men - Not everyone is happy to hear Tobias & Casey's news, but others help them through, and Ethan is elated with his new role.
Consequences - Ethan is being a wonderful friend but fails to make a good impression on a new doctor. A displeased Vivian confronts her youngest son. Casey makes a new friend, and Jordan wants to make amends, but is Tobias ready?
A Little Detour: The Elopement - With their planned wedding less than a month away, they hop on a flight to Vegas to make it legal.... all by themselves.
Wedding Plans (resumed)
Part 3: Use Soap! A Bridal Shower A bunch of edits from Casey's Bridal Shower as the countdown to their "real" wedding continues. Can they keep their elopement a secret? Does Bryce win the contest for best gift?
Part 4: Stags & Does 📱📷 - Tobias & Casey's bachelor/bachelorette party in texts and edits.
A Little Surprise ☁️ (feat. Bryce Lahela x Olivia Hadley) Tobias & Casey's wedding is this Saturday! And their officiant, Bryce, has been so excited about wooing the single guests all along, until now. When he creates a little mystery about his sudden date, Casey is determined to get to the bottom of things.
Brotherly Love 📷☁️Tobias & Ethan engage in some Instagram silliness before the big day... and Ethan wins this time. lol
Our Little Surprise ☁️👰 Ficlet & Fanart from Tobias & Casey's Wedding Day
To Have and To Hold 👰 Fanart - Tobias & Casey's Wedding Day.
The Perfect Thanksgiving ☁️🦃 Tobias and Casey spend their first Thanksgiving together as husband and wife.
Christmas is gonna be awkward... 📱☁️ Tobias and Casey's flirting takes a turn when his mother gets involved.
Just a Little Faith ☁️🎄12.23.2022 Casey and Tobias reflect on how they have changed as they await Christmas day.
A Perfect Date ☁️ Wedding plans are behind them, the holidays are over, and Casey's morning sickness is finally gone. So, Tobias plans a big night out on the town for them to celebrate. Not everything goes as planned, but it ends perfectly. [01.23]
Simple Pleasures ☁️💘 (FIC & FANART) Tobias is driving himself crazy trying to create the perfect Valentine's Day for his new wife and momma-to-be. Meanwhile, Casey forgot about it until the last moment, then worried she couldn't make it special. Luckily, they heeded good advice from friends and went on to enjoy a beautiful evening together.
In the Middle of the Night ☁️🤰Casey's now in her third trimester, and she can't sleep through the night, and that means Tobias isn't either. Luckily, they make the best of it together. [2.22.23]
I'll Be Watching You 📱☁️ 🍼 Tobias & Casey are about to be parents, but Ethan is about to be a godfather, and he's spoiling the baby in advance... and trolling Tobias while doing so.
By Your Side ☁️ A very pregnant Casey is having a difficult night, and her husband is there to help her through.
Just Fine! ☁️ Tobias stumbles upon a shaken Bryce... who tries to warn him about what he's in for. But Tobias has things under control... or does he? [3.18.2023]
A Family Evening ☁️ A month before their first baby is due, Casey and Tobias enjoy a fun and pleasant evening with his mother and “little” brother.
A Quite Carrick Halloween - ☁️🎃It's their first Halloween with baby Samantha, and they're wrapped in sugary sweet domestic bliss - but with these two, there's always a side of something extra.
Baby Talk ☁️ On a holiday trip to grandma's, Tobias tries to convince Samantha to crawl
Sunday Night 🔥After getting their baby to sleep, they thought their day was over... but they were wrong.
One Summer Night... ☁️ The lights are out in Boston in the middle of a heatwave, and no one is sleeping, but it is a night full of sweet memories for Tobias & Casey... once they cool off. 01.16.23
Full of Surprises ☁️ 💐 - Tobias and his daughters plan a lovely day full of surprises for Casey, but in the end, she has the biggest surprise of all.
Happiest New Year☁️ 🎄 - It was a difficult year for the Carrick family and on New Year’s morning, Tobias & Casey welcome the craziness, the chaos… and even Vivian. They are happy that their recently expanded family is all under one roof and starting new traditions.
Candyland Part2: Power in Numbers ☁️ ⭐️ - Casey & Tobias attempt to trick their daughters with the latest Tik Tok challenge, but who wins in the end?
Sweet Chaos ☁️💝 With the help of Tobias, Casey recreates a Valentine’s Day family tradition from her childhood for her three little girls.
Tobias and His Lovely Ladies ☁️ ⭐️ (FIC & FANART) Tobias & Casey share a typical Saturday morning discussing what to get his mother for a birthday gift.
For His Girls ☁️🎄- The girls want to have a nice holiday party, just like those Mommy & Daddy have been attending. So they ask Daddy to make it happen.
Disclaimer: Swearing, sexual implications no actual smut. Theres a man in this chapter
Throwing her luxury purse aside Bea hops into her Mercedes S class, throws her hair out of her face before starting the engine. The LEDs begin to light up around the car changing occasionally between the different shades of purple, “Ah the perks of being rich” Bea breaths out patting her steering wheel whilst her other hand taps the address into a GPS.
By now it was already quite late in the afternoon and probably not a good time to stalk- I mean kindly visit someone, but Bea doesn’t care because she is indeed a disgraceful simp. Simp aside she already freshened up so she might as well take the hour drive through the hells of New York. Now minutes later Bea has finally managed to make it out of her street and onto the highways, only to feel regret when a man in the next lane almost rammed into her car. “WATCH IT BITCH THIS IS A NEW CAR!” Bea screams then flips him off expecting him to hear and see on highway traffic. God she does not miss this part of New York, Poppy better make this trip worth it.
Long long after three near miss car accidents, Bea has finally arrived at the place. A giant mansion surrounded by a gate. “I guess their home hasn’t been sold to pay the bills yet” Bea thinks to her self then drives up to the gate to ring the intercom. At this point her heart is pounding out of her chest, probably from the anxiety… like what was she even meant to say to Poppy after a year, will she even still look the same?, will Poppy just murder her on the spot and bury her body in the yard?, or will Bea even still have those “feelings” that she once felt a year ago- well more like an hour ago. A million thoughts race around Bea’s brain, when all off a sudden a man’s voice could be heard over the Intercom. “Hello”. The man sounded like Piers Sinclair but dead inside.
“Um, I’m here to see Poppy Min-Sinclair?” Bea pitches her voice higher in hopes that if it was Piers he wouldn’t recognise her.
“I’ve told you before we are not interested in speaking to the press”
Yeah right like any press would even wanna speak to them considering the Sinclairs have been pretty much irrelevant these days.
“Actually I’m one of Poppy’s friends ya know”
“Alright” he sighs “I’ll send someone to get the door for you”.
“Damn they can could still hire people, Where do they do they get all this money from?” Bea has so many unanswered questions here it felt like they were going to take over her brain but little did she know they would all be answered soon.
What felt like hours later someone finally came to open the gates. Hooray Arendelle was free again. With that Bea drives up the drive way to park her car where the guy pointed too, then made her way up inside the house. She’s never seen or been here surprisingly, considering the amount of times she’s snuck into Poppy’s room or been in there for some scandalous fun. “Welcome I wasn’t aware Poppy was friends with Bea Hughes” the mysterious man said as Bea turned to face him.
He looked around Bea’s age, 6 foot , neat blonde hair, bright blue eyes and probably came from a family that exploits the poor.
“Haha yeah, she didn’t mention it..?” Bea laughs nervously looking around the interior, everything was pristine and definitely up to Poppy’s taste.
“Nope Never, but I think I know why considering you were rivals back in collage and almost ruined her life if it weren’t for me”
Bea stares him right in the eye trying not to throw hands, not that he was exactly wrong but who the fuck was he to judge without knowing her side of the story.
“Excuse me; who the hell are you first of all, and second of all I’m just here to see Poppy not exactly any of your business is it”
But all that did was make the douche laugh and here Bea was thinking she was going to be the murdered but now she might be the one doing the murdering.
“If you must know my name is Justin and I’m a family friend of the Sinclairs, me and Poppy grew up together” He smirks clearly trying to rub it in Bea’s face before continuing “My relationship with Poppy is none of your business though but I’m here helping them out, from my perspective you have no rights to even see her so please leave before I have someone escort you out”
The brunette is fuming inside upon hearing his words but she masked it perfectly being an actress and former bitch her self.
“Look Jacob I don’t care for your existence I just want to see Poppy, I’m jet lagged and drove an hour here so please don’t fuck with me right now”. She jabs a finger at his chest, in heels Bea seems to be almost the same height as him.
“My name is Justin first of all and I don’t care that-“ another voice is heard cutting him off thank god as they listen to the set of stilettos echoing down the stairs.
“Justin I told you we weren’t meant to have guests over so why-“ Poppy pauses as she takes in sight of Bea either in shock or awe or maybe a bit of both. Bea looks back at Poppy, her eyes wondering over places she shouldn’t be and her brain struggles to function also in shock.
“Well she still looks the same” Bea thinks whilst still staring at Poppy. It is probably the only decent thought in her brain right now.
The two women continue to stare at each other until an awkward amount of silence pass by. Justin notices the tension between them as he looks between the two.
“Hey Poppy don’t worry our guest was just-” he gets cut off again this time by a furious howl
“WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING HERE HUGHES!”
If Bea wasn’t regretting her life choices up to this moment she definitely was now.
“Well Pops hello to you too”
With that said, the Seven REALLY DO NOT APPRECIATE anyone bringing up what happened in their childhoods to bring upon pity, belittlement, and especially derision. Not only because much of them were out of their control (especially if it's a historical event), but because it insinuates that these grown-ass adults never 'grew up', so to speak. It doesn't just deprive them of their dignity, but their autonomy--which is already incredibly limited due to their souls belonging to the Master. There are some notes to take with a few.
This is especially true for Giovanni, who, as far as everyone knows, is still stuck in the cellar and struggling to survive against the yearly acqua alta for ten. cold. dark, and lonely years. And modern day therapy, counselling, and medication does not exist during the 1500s-1700s. While he has a loving and caring support system now, they--especially Josep--have a nasty habit of infantilizing him. Even Ruixiong, his biggest advocate and proponent on him becoming his own man, treats him more like a little baby brother instead of acknowledging the fact Giovanni is over 100 years older chronologically and 2 physically. The only reason Giovanni allows this is because, by becoming the Crew morality pet, it discourages them from wanting to abandon him as he fulfills a role absent in many of their lives. But GOD, he can't stand being coddled and treated like a kid, or worse--a prisoner. He's not even allowed to grow a beard, so his babyface is somewhat enforced.
Rashid is the only one without any notable childhood trauma--his anguishes based on childhood were all slow-burn sadness and regrets from not having developed better relationships with his father and brothers rather than any real life-changing event or events. The youngest you can go to something 'life-changing' is when he first met Sukhbir at around 16 and then deciding to obssess and devote his life to just around her. But he would tell you that was a joyous event, not a traumatic one. The Fucked Up Moment (TM) was ten-ish years after marrying her, and it was that point that everything turned for the worst.
Of the rest of the Crew, the most emotionally well-adjusted from their childhood traumas are Abena and Phoebus. Though this comes with an OOC precedent. Besides balancing out the number of people among the Seven with debilitating childhood trauma, this is also to try to have their Sin Stories come from their personal, human, autonomous actions rather than JUST on being victims of the Atlantic Slave Trade and antisemitism in Renaissance Avignon. In other words, their Envy and Sloth is NOT just on being black or Jewish. It's their actions--or lackthereof--that set their Sins in stone, with their traumas as a contributing factor but not the dominant one.
Really, the only characters whose childhood traumas RULED their lives is Ruixiong and Josep. And in their defenses--Ruixiong was still very young when he sold his soul to the Master and lived on his own without any real parental figures throughout much of his life until he met Rashid at age 19. Josep, meanwhile, is subjected to the most mistreatment by the Master, who gets his jollies tormenting him (as Captain) if the Crew fucks up in their missions, so the trauma is frequently reinforced. In the modern day, Josep would have been diagnosed with C-PTSD and likely would require regular visits with his health professional team for the rest of his life.
.....so that leaves out Guy, lmao. Well, he IS the most (literally) volatile member of the Crew, arguably more than Josep, and Josep’s Sin is Wrath. I suppose he’s a little bit of all of the above--childhood trauma based on his identity and historical events, never given a chance to heal or grow. Poor, Jewish, AND gay. It’s no wonder he burned down an entire mansion full of rich partying people with little provocation. Josep may be angry and ready to throw down a fight at any given moment, but Guy won’t hesitate to incinerate anyone for seeing him lesser than human. We can laugh at him being 100% Horny on Main, but there are times and places for it. Guy’s volatility is no different from that of a rutting animal who can’t find release and relief. No release? No relief? No way of having a healthy means of simple human needs met? You get a man who’ll explode at any given moment, and I don’t mean through a sexual climax.