Whumpee's only semi-conscious when they're rescued. Caretaker tries desperately to hug them, but whumpee doesn't have energy to lift their arms; so caretaker half-drapes them across their chest in their lap to get to hold them.
when i feel icky i like to project onto whatever poor characters happen to be my hyper fixation at the time. might i recommend a hurt/comfort with our favorite vampire spawn when tav gets burnt out/depressed/dissociates?
i love this request <3 my dissociation has been horrible these past 3 weeks and i hadn't even thought of doing this. thank you!!
tags: hurt/comfort, angst, dissociation, reader is in depressive/dissociative episode, gender neutral reader, post-events of the game, bg3 and astarion spoilers
summary: ever since you defeated the netherbrain and saved baldur's gate from evil, astarion noticed you weren't yourself anymore. he started seeing pieces of himself in your behavior, which terrified him. he decides to ask what's wrong and tries to help you through it <3
Ah, sunrise. The time that Astarion should’ve despised the most, considering it’d kill him, but it was really one of the times of day that he loved the most. Because you were there waiting for him in bed.
He was just coming back from a night of haphazard drinking with Karlach and Wyll. They’d both invited you out, but you’d refused, saying you were too tired from all the work you’d been doing helping Baldur’s Gate rebuild. Astarion had been suspicious of you. You were never one to turn down some partying with friends, but he had tried not to think too much of it.
He quietly crept back in through the front door of your shared house, and a soft smile found its way onto his face when he saw that all the curtains had already been drawn to protect him. You must’ve drawn them before you went to bed, knowing he’d be back by sunrise. It was the little things like that that made his undead heart feel alive, even if just for a moment.
Astarion slowly pulled his boots off, trying not to make any noise. After centuries of slinking about, being silent wasn’t something he really had to try to do. But he always was extra conscious when it came to you. He didn’t want to wake you up or disturb your sleep. You deserved to rest.
He gently opened the door to your room and just stared at you for a bit. There was no light in the room, but his darkvision let him see you just fine, albeit in shades of grey. He changed into some more comfortable clothes for sleep and slid into bed with you, wrapping his arms around your waist. You were sleeping on your side with your back facing him, so he just buried his face in the back of your neck and deeply inhaled your scent. Gods, you were so warm. And soft. And the perfect person to sleep next to.
“I’m home, darling,” he murmured softly into your neck, though he knew you couldn’t hear him in your sleep. He always tried to savor this time. Your schedules never seemed to line up, what with him being nocturnal and you not, but sunrise was the one time you both could really rest together, even if it was only for a few hours.
“I love you,” he said before placing a light kiss on the back of your neck and closing his eyes, holding you tight against him. He let himself relax and fall into his trance, his breathing slowing and muscles relaxing into you.
He woke from his trance about four hours later with you still in his arms asleep. He blinked in confusion. By now, you should be out of bed and out of the house. He was never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, though. Maybe you’d decided to take the day off to rest. He couldn’t complain about that. He simply nuzzled his face into your neck again and decided to just wait for you to wake up. You always looked so peaceful when you slept. He could stare at you for hours, just drinking in the sight of you.
He sat up and took out a new book he’d been reading. He wasn’t just going to sit around the house doing nothing when the sun was out. He ran a hand through your hair while he read; half because he knew you liked it, and half because he was a selfish bastard who kind of wanted you to wake up already so he could tell you about all the stupid shit he’d gotten into last night. You slowly stirred from your sleep at his touch, turning to look up at him. You lazily draped an arm over his blanket-covered legs.
“G’morning, ‘Starion,” you said groggily.
“Good morning, darling. You’re up late. Did you plan on taking the day off?” He continued running his hand through your hair and set his book down by his side.
“..What? What time is it?” You frowned in confusion.
“It’s already almost midday. Are you okay? You don’t usually oversleep. Well, this much, anyway.”
“..Midday..? Godsdamnit I’m so late,” you grumbled as you laid face first on your pillow. “Might as well just stay home at this point.”
He narrowed his eyes at you. “You’re not answering my question, darling.”
“What was the question?” you asked, your voice muffled by the pillow.
“Look, darling, as much as I love having your face in the pillow when we’re in bed, I need you to turn over so I can actually hear you.” He grinned at his own dirty joke and waited to hear your giggle back.
But he got nothing.
“..Are you hungover or something?” he scoffed. “You know, we invited you out last night. Did you go off partying with some other group of dashing bastards? You can tell me. I’ll pretend to not be offended.”
Again, nothing. He tried to hide the growing panic in his voice.
“Are you mad at me?” he asked quietly, as if it couldn’t be true if he didn’t say it loud enough. “Did I do something?” He took his hand out of your hair and placed it on his lap. His eyes raked over you, trying to see if there was anything physically wrong with you. You were eerily still. Still breathing, but you weren’t moving at all, even though it couldn’t have been comfortable with your face in the pillow like that.
“No. ‘Starion.” Your voice sounded.. pained. Like every word was taking the life out of you to say. He reached over and picked your limp body up to turn you over onto your back. Your eyes were glazed over and half-lidded. If he couldn’t feel you breathing in that moment, he was sure he would’ve thought you died. He moved some of your hair out of your face as some was stuck to your mouth.
Astarion leaned over you, scanning your face to see what could possibly be wrong with you.
“Are you hurt? Did someone hurt you?” He hadn’t noticed any signs of someone breaking in and he didn’t smell your blood anywhere in the house. What in the Hells was wrong with you?
“‘M fuzzy..” Was all you said.
“You’re.. fuzzy..?” He furrowed his eyebrows at you. “What do you mean you’re-“
And then it clicked. He’d seen you like this once before. It was after you’d been imprisoned and chained up by that goblin priestess, Gut. You’d stumbled out of there in a daze, covered in blood but silent. Once you’d all gone back to camp, you just stayed in your tent for hours. Karlach had gone to check on you, but all she came back to tell the group was that you had been laying there silently. The only thing you’d said was that you were “fuzzy.” Gods, it was so long ago that he’d almost forgotten.
He stared into your eyes. Eyes that were looking, but not seeing. He saw himself laying there. In your eyes, he saw the same faraway look he made himself have every night when he was still enslaved by Cazador. It made him have a horrible nauseous feeling in his stomach. What could have possibly made you feel this awful?
“I’m going to get you some water, okay?”
You simply blinked at him. He tried to mask the anxiety on his face and hurried to pour you a cup of water. He came back into the room with your favorite cup in hand and set it on the nightstand next to you.
“Do you think you ca-“ He looked down at you and saw there were tears falling from your eyes. They fell down your temples and onto the pillow under you, but your expression hadn’t changed since he left. He gently wiped the tears from your eyes as if you were a delicate piece of glass. As if you could break.
Your mind was completely empty but unfathomably full at the same time. You wanted to tell Astarion what was wrong. That you never had time to process everything that happened in your adventure. That the faces of the people you killed or couldn’t save were always in your mind. That the wounds you’d taken always felt like they were still there, no matter how many times Shadowheart had healed you. It was too much.
But whenever you tried to tell him what happened, the thoughts drifted away from you. Your tongue felt heavy. It was better to just give in to the gnawing emptiness. To let it consume you. To let it drown you.
Astarion took your hand in his and gently rubbed his thumb along the back of your hand. The chill of his skin against yours brought you up for air for a moment.
“..cold,” you fought through the heaviness of your own tongue, trying to tell him that the cold was helping. He pulled his hand away from you immediately.
“I’m- I’m sorry. I thought it might-“ He looked down and saw that you had gripped his hand into yours before he could pull away, his cold hand now spreading its chill through your own. He frowned in confusion. “What..?”
You flicked your chin up to motion him closer. Every movement felt like dragging a thousand pounds behind you, but his touch lightened the load just a bit. He tentatively brought his face closer to yours, now about a foot away. You flicked your chin again, then pushed your head down so your forehead was closer to him.
His eyes flickered in understanding once you did this. He laid a gentle, cool kiss to your forehead before resting his forehead on yours.
“Is this helping? Me being cold?” he murmured, his nose brushing against yours as he spoke. You simply closed your eyes and took your first deep breath of the day. Gods, were you lucky your partner was undead.
“Mm,” you grunted in response. He took his free hand and wrapped it around the back of your neck to hold you closer. He picked you up to help you sit up against the headboard of the bed, then straddled you to sit in your lap. He wrapped his arms around you, trading his undead ice for your living warmth.
It shocked your brain out of its spiral, finally letting you fully see Astarion. Your hands moved to his waist and you kissed his nose, earning a surprised noise from him. He pulled away to look at you again, his red eyes drinking in every inch of your face, as if he was trying to memorize every line and shape in it.
“What happened, love? Did someone hurt you? Did you eat or drink something odd? Gods, if anyone did anything to you, they’ll have to deal wi-“
“Astarion-“ you tried to cut him off before he could begin his “I’ll murder anyone,” rant.
He scowled. “No, I’m serious. Who did this to you? Where do they live? You know I’ve got plenty of experience killing. Nobody would know-“
“Astarion.” His face softened and he looked at you again. You gently tucked a stray curl back behind his ear. “Nobody hurt me. I just- life has been a lot, recently. I’ve been so busy helping everyone rebuild and I never had time to just.. rest, and recover from what happened to me. To us.”
“You fucking hero,” he rolled his eyes with an exasperated sigh. “Can you be selfish for just one second? Fuck them all. Are you saying spending the entire day shoveling bricks out of the street and listening to people cry for hours is more important than laying here with-“
You shot him a warning look. He rolled his head back and dramatically groaned in frustration.
“Why didn’t you tell me before this happened?” He rested one of his hands on your chest, toying with a stray thread coming out of your shirt. He’d have to fix that later.
“I didn’t want to worry you, ‘Starion. I thought I could handle it,” you mumbled and looked away from him, ashamed by your weakness. You couldn’t deal with a little zoning out and feeling sad every now and then? Really?
He took his other hand and pushed your face back to face him. When you saw him again, his eyes were narrowed and darkened at you. “Don’t.”
“Don’t what?” You squirmed under him, confused by the sudden firmness in his voice.
“Don’t say you didn’t want to worry me. That’s what led to.. this, which made me infinitely more worried than if you had just told me sooner.” He took a deep breath. He was trying to practice that whole “vulnerability” thing. “It scared me, seeing you like that,” he murmured. “At first, it was because I didn’t know what was wrong. And then it got worse when I did realize what was wrong. I don’t- I don’t want to see you like that. Like me, before.. all of this.”
Your heart felt full, but also dropped at the same time somehow. Gods, he really did care about you. In your efforts to try to shield him from what was happening, you ended up hurting him anyways. You took his hand on your face and kissed it softly before resting your face on his chest, tightly wrapping your arms around him.
“I’ll take that as an apology. You know, I’d prefer a bouquet and a new perfume—maybe a new pair of shoes as well—but I suppose this will do,” he sighed, trying to sound annoyed. You could hear the smile in his voice, though, even if he tried to hide it while you drank in his scent in his chest.
“Now, lay down again. You’re staying right next to me until I say you can leave. I never thought I’d say this, but I do miss our little camps, if only for the fire I could sleep by every night.” He pulled himself off of you and got back under the covers, wrapping an arm around your waist to pull you in as well. He was startlingly strong for a.. petite elf, but you’d be lying if you said you didn’t like it. He spooned you, leaving kisses along your neck while holding you tightly against himself. Your heat spread through his chest and stomach, making him release a content sigh.
"You'll be my fire, won't you? All you have to do is stay here and rest with me, darling. Let me take care of you."
Yeah, the city could go without you for a few days. You had more important things to do now.
@skyward-floored and I both noticed Warriors looking less than comfortable in Jojo's latest art and thought 'wait is he afraid of heights??' As someone who is VERY afraid of heights I naturally had to latch onto the idea...and write something about it. Sorry, Wars
CW for blood/injury, mentions of vomit, and descriptions of panic and fear of heights
In no universe is this enjoyable.
Warriors stares down, transfixed by the sky and clouds beneath him, (beneath him — by the golden three they should be above him, ABOVE HIM like normal). His limbs are leaden, his thoughts scrambling, panicked. His mouth is dry as the Gerudo Desert.
He swallows, forces saliva down a too-tight throat. He and heights never truly have gotten along. But this is a new extreme.
He’s never been this high before. He’s never been atop an island in the sky. It’s something he was very much fine, never having done. In fact, he was much more fine before the Shadow had decided it would be wonderfully comical to dump them here.
To Sky, it had been the best thing since pumpkin soup. He was home, after all. Warriors can’t blame the guy.
He drags his foot away from where it had crept worrying close to the edge. How exactly had that happened?
Still, why on Hylia’s green earth does the hero have to live IN THE SKY?
Warriors glances over to where Sky is eagerly showing off his loftwing to Wild and Hyrule. A short ways away, Time converses with Gaepora. Not far from him, Legend and Wind seem to be engaging in a game of some sort.
Warriors squints. Are they…are they hurling those strange, little creatures off of Skyloft to see them fly back? Well, not anymore, because here comes Twilight to save the poor things. Not that they had seemed to mind much…
The rancher catches Warriors watching and shakes his head.
Can you believe these two? His gaze seems to ask.
Warriors dredges up a dry smirk.
Try dealing with that behavior 24/7, he mouths.
Twilight frowns. I do, is his silent response. Then, his brows dip further, expression losing its exasperated humor. He walks forward, a tiny creature cradled in his arms. Still very much paralyzed, Warriors watches helplessly as he advances.
“Rancher,” he says, cordially, once the hero is beside him – or more in front of him. (Why Twilight has chosen to stand with his toes off the edge of the island, Warriors has absolutely no idea. All he knows is that it makes his legs go numb. He forces himself to look forward instead.)
“Captain,” Twilight replies. He shifts and Warriors’ stomach somersaults. “Are you doin’ alright? You look a little pale.”
“Do I?” Warriors chuckles. It sounds too harsh, too loud. “Must not be spending enough time in the sun.”
Twilight gives him an unenthused look. Warriors grins. The expression feels as wrong as his laugh. Too wide, too brittle.
Why does everything just seem off right now?
“Don’t worry about me, rancher. I’m alright.”
Twilight studies him for a moment, eyes narrowed. He opens his mouth, no doubt gearing up to pry further. But Four’s voice rings out before he can, beckoning him to come inspect one thing or another. Warriors can’t truly make out the words. Maybe that’s because his ears are filled with the sound of rushing wind.
Is it the wind? Or is it coming from inside of him, stealing away his remaining balance and setting his stomach churning?
“Well, take care of yourself,” Twilight says. He sets a hand on Warriors’ shoulder, with a small smile. “And be careful. Can’t have you fallin’ off the edge there.”
Warriors looks down and immediately regrets it. He hardly registers Twilight walking away, doesn’t hear his brother’s lively voices as they enjoy the wonders of Sky’s home. All he can see is the drop off he is certain that he is mere inches from plunging off of. His line of vision narrows, darkening at the edges, and he stumbles back, arms wrapped protectively around his middle.
“Captain?” Time is suddenly holding him, keeping him from toppling. “Are you well?”
Warriors swallows hard. “Fine, Sprite.
It’s only the lack of a substantial breakfast that morning that prevents him from getting sick all over the old man’s shoes.
The next few days are torture. Warriors does his best to keep his distance from the edges of the island. But it is nearly impossible in a place so compact as Skyloft. And the sparse fences constructed around hardly seem enough to keep him from plunging off.
So, he spends most of his time indoors (praying to any goddess who may listen that there won’t be a sudden earthquake that sends the building careening down into nothingness).
His excuses are few and paltry.
“I don’t feel well.” “I’m tired after the journey.” “I need to think about an actual plan to track down the Shadow before he gets too far ahead.”
The heroes can see right through him – he is certain of it. And none more than Time.
“Tell me what I can do, captain,” he says one night when Warriors awakens screaming after a dream of plunging into a sky of flame. (And wow, does that commotion help him maintain his secrecy and uphold his reputation. He’s doing wonderfully.) “Please, I want to help.”
Warriors’ breath hitches as he slumps into his little brother’s arms. Here, with the two of them there is nothing to hide anyway. He couldn’t even if he tried.
“You can get me off this cursed island,” he says, with a dry chuckle. “That would be lovely.”
Time merely sighs and holds him closer.
They both know he can’t do that.
…just as he cannot keep away the monsters the Shadow sends after them the next day.
Venturing outside of the academy to fight off a hoard of monsters is not exactly something Warriors had wanted to do. He is a hero, however, and he refuses to leave his brothers to battle them alone. So, out he comes into the light of the day, with his heart in his throat and his chest feeling like Ganondorf is sitting on top of it.
“I’m sorry that you have to do this,” Time murmurs as they head toward the tell tale screeches (in the plaza, of course).
Warriors shrugs, somewhat stiffly. “Who knows? I could get lucky.” He sends Time a grin and plunges his sword into the first of the monsters. “Maybe the Shadow will open another portal.”
Time smirks. “Perhaps, he will.”
The fight drags on all morning. Warriors fares well enough through it. He remains in the center of the plaza as often as he can and his brothers take care of the stragglers around the edges. He does his best not to look at them when they toe the edge, heedless of certain death less than inches away.
And he fights on with the same ferocity as he always does.
…until about midmorning. Because that’s when the moblin shows up.
It is one of Sky’s – hulking and corpulent and capable of taking at least ten bokoblins with one hefty swing of its spear. But he has fought this kind before. With a smirk, he rushes forward to engage it.
He hacks away at its shield easily, then readies himself to dodge as it roars in rage. It rears back, then bends its head, smoke puffing out of its nostrils.
Warriors raises an eyebrow. He hefts his sword more firmly into his hand.
“You gonna come and get me?”
It roars again and breaks into a run. He steels himself, tensed for the strike. One second, two, three…
“Warriors look out!”
Something hits him from behind – something big and bulky and heavy. It slams into his side, breaking bones on impact. He gasps, vision going spotty.
And suddenly he is flying. His feet leave the ground and he is tumbling, head over heels through the air. The world is a blur of color, up is down and left is right. He is almost certain that he’s going to be sick.
Then, it’s over. He hits the ground in a tangle of limbs and fabric. Blood fills his mouth and he chokes on it.
Running feet sound in his ears. He blinks, dazedly, trying to bring everything back into focus. It feels like the moblin has taken to tap dancing on his skull.
There is panic in that voice, he realizes sluggishly. There must be a reason for that, there has to be…
His vision clears just enough that he can make out a gigantic something looming above him. He tries to push himself up for a better look, but his upper half seems to be on a slightly different level than his bottom half. When he allows himself to lay down fully he sees only sky.
Ah…that would explain it.
Panic pierces him far deeper than any spear ever could. He digs his fingernails into the grooves in the pavement, gritting his teeth against the pain and oncoming unconsciousness.
Don’t pass out. Don’t pass out…
He tries once more to pull himself up and fails.
Warriors lets out a grow of aggravation. He really wishes his brothers would exert more energy on fighting off this thing and getting him back on land than yelling his title repeatedly.
…though maybe he has heard it a few more times than they have really said it.
The monster raises its weapon just as Twilight comes out of nowhere, leaping forward to skewer it. The rancher’s sword strikes home seconds before the monster’s can, piercing it through. And the next thing Warriors knows, he’s staring up at the concerned face of his brother.
“Are you alright?”
Twilight leans forward, grabbing his hand and supporting his back as he drags him away from the edge. Warriors slumps against him with a relieved sigh.
“Just great,” he slurs and Twilight chuckles.
“Don’t worry. We’ll get you a potion and you’ll be just – ”
Warriors isn’t entirely certain what happens. He is too dazed to comprehend the events that occur in quick succession.
One moment he is held in Twilight’s arms and the next, the rancher is wrenched away from him with a grunt of pain and shock. Then, something collides with Warriors’ chest…
And he’s falling.
His stomach turns to lead, the wind rushes past at breakneck speeds, his scarf tangles about his limbs. Panic courses through his veins, beating in time with his pounding head and thumping heart. It encases him like a vice, paralyzing him, chasing away all other feelings, all other sensations save for icy, thick, undefeatable terror.
Warriors shuts his eyes and grits his teeth. He can’t breathe. He’s going to be sick, he’s sure of it.
…Or maybe he’ll die before that happens. Maybe he’ll collide with the hard ground and in a quiet, contained explosion of agony be gone.
And after he had just gotten up the courage to propose to Arty too. Isn’t that just his luck.
“Hold on, Wars!”
An inhuman cry rings out, free and brave and strangely familiar. In the next moment Warriors’ lands with something blessedly solid. Arms wrap around him, warm and strong. A heart beats fast beneath the chest he collapses against.
“I’ve got you, captain,” Sky breathes. “I’ve got you.”
He drapes his sail cloth over Warriors’ trembling shoulders. Warriors clutches it so tightly his fingers ache.
“Get me somewhere low to the ground,” he whispers, in between haggard breaths. “Please.”
“Don’t worry.” Sky’s voice is kind. “I’m bringing you to the Surface.”
The Surface. That sounds promising. Warriors can only hope that it is as solidly on the ground as the name suggests.
He won’t see it if it is, though. He keeps his eyes stubbornly closed the entire trip.
The Surface, it turns out, is just plain, old Hyrule. Which, in Warriors’ book, is pure heaven.
“I still can’t believe no one thought to tell me about this place,” he gripes as he limps out of Sky and Sun’s cozy, little cottage, two days later. “Why would anyone want to stay up in the sky when we could be down here, on the ground?”
Twilight smirks. The rancher has been cooped up with him for the last few days as they healed from the injuries they got on Skyloft. And Warriors has to admit that he has appreciated his company.
“I still can’t believe you’re afraid of heights.” Twilight grins innocently at him. “The great Captain of the Hyrulean Army, scared of a little sky island.”
His tone is light and teasing and Warriors feels no pain from the jabs. But he scowls anyway.
“I’m scared of falling off a ‘little sky island.’ Which, coincidentally, I did and nearly died. Given that, I’d say the fear is warranted.”
Twilight hums. “So, what you’re saying is fear of heights is really a fear of falling.”
Warriors sighs. He looks out over the small town Sky and Sun are building, smiling slightly as he spots Time and Wind fishing in a nearby stream. It’s lovely, really, how he’ll be able to enjoy those activities with them now that he isn’t trapped in the grip of nauseating fear.
“I don’t know, rancher,” he says, shrugging. “Call it what you want. All I can say is that I want my feet firmly on the ground.”
How do you think Luigi would handle Mario’s breakdown? Would they talk about it? Would they not? Would Luigi speak on his own feelings about how distant his brother is, would he feel hurt that Mario probably was pushing him away but understands why he did it. Or would he keep silent about it for fear that Mario would blame himself and want to fix it?
With a tired, knowing and long-accustomed sense of helplessness. 😔
Being Mario's brother and having spent his whole life at his side has taught Luigi many things, and one of them is that Mario will always elevate and shield others at his own detriment. He may let others in, may try to acknowledge how wrong it is to carry such a burden alone and accept the help that is offered to him in the moment... But his deep set imperative to serve and protect (even when on the verge of collapsing) will always rule out everything else in his heart. It's just too strong of an instinct for him, and Luigi knows this. 🥺 He would know exactly what Mario's reasoning is, because he knows him better than anyone.
While far from deterred, he would still feel a bit hurt nonetheless. Not being one to favor speech when gripped by weariness and discouragement, he would opt for a silent approach instead- knowing that his brother becomes especially attentive in the quietness of a wordless moment spent in someone's company. He would sit carefully next to him, his eyes effortlessly telling Mario all that he feels and thinks about the situation, and they would stay like this for a while. Talking without saying a word.
He would always be transparent with Mario in those instances; letting his affection, concern and mild frustration show when the man would reflexively attempt to isolate himself further. And even though he would feel like he isn't helping much, his mere presence and gentle aura would actually be the main thing keeping Mario from spiraling most times. 🌧
May I request Zhongli X fem-reader ?
Because last one you did with Zhongli was fricking amazing!
Hi! Thank you so much I liked doing that one as well I did a lot of experimenting with that one so I thought I would do it again for this post as well
'the Dreaded Dragon of Geo and his mate'
Dragon Sovereign!Zhongli x Reader
You gazed down upon the village of Liyue, a small town, a far cry from what it will be in the future. And a place you once called your home, looking out from the mountain where you reside now—a temple-like castle carved from the very rock of the mountains. Eyes red and stinging, lost in your thoughts, your mind repeating the words of the same people you had known just days before, their friendly smiles warming your day as they would greet you with enthusiasm now those same faces twisted with hate, disgust, slinging hurtful words; those people were your friends, people you had known all your life looking at you with such disdain as if i had forgotten how you were.
And all because you had fallen in love with The Sovereign of Geo, a known rival of Celestia.
Having been out there for so long you had momentarily forgotten that time had passed.
"Mate, are you ok?" A deep, rumbling voice Like an earthquake trembled behind you as your husband concerned for how how long you had sat there watching the carts going in and out of the city walls. The Dragon came to join you by your side, changing its form to its human appearance, the wind tosling his hair and white robes as he sat beside you.
" You have been out here for quite a while beloved."
When Morax followed your gaze, his eyes narrowed as he looked down at the tiny Kingdom, his brows furrowing with worry, for he had known how its people betrayed you. Watching them draw their swords that the woman he loves still remembers, your pleads and cries for your loved ones to see reason; all the while, he attempts to protect his mate; his wife grabs your arm to pull you behind him.
The crowd grew as onlookers heard what was happening from a distance. Grabbing on to the robes of your mate, your eyes dart frantically, feeling your chest become tighter and tighter as it becomes harder to breathe. Looking among the crowd your heart practically stops in the very back was the familiar faces of your own family looking at you with worry but they didn't do anything they just stayed there silently refusing when they saw that you've noticed they just turned away their eyes shifting to the floor looking anywhere else but you...
And that moment your family had to sound you and you knew that, and it hurt clenching your teeth trying to stop the tears not now... not in front of Morax...
But he had already sensed your sadness. Your husband having live with you for a while and being attentive and taking pride in knowing every little piece of you including the little hair on your head noticed those tells immediately to the slight quiver of your lip to the way you would refuse to look at him refuse to look at your husband with those big beautiful eyes of yours. His eyes growing soft and see gently caress your cheek tilting your head to look up at him.
Those amber eyes gaze into your red puffy ones. "Oh, my sweet mate, are you thinking of that day again?"
Your eyes had widened feeling your paper thin facade already tearing in two. Your voice breaks when only his name Falls from your lips. His heart breaks along with it, scooping you up into his arms before getting up onto his feet with you tucked protectively gently against his chest. Morax was as gentle as he was feared, but that gentleness was only reserved for you, his mate. Morax kissed you on the forehead before whispering, "That day they have failed you my beloved you need not think of them anymore. They are nothing but vile creatures worth far less than the dirt on the very ground they stand on. You are nothing like them."
He nuzzled into your neck bringing you back home in his cave as he continued.
" you are far more than that, my sweet beloved, gentle, and beautiful Wife. You are a precious gem sticking out from the rest of the rubble." The dragon knew, but you felt it was something he could not fix, but he could be there to make you smile, that same smile he fell in love with. He couldn't make that whole town disappear, for it would sadden you even more, but he could tell you that you are worth far more to him than the rest of your kin were stupid and vile creatures to do what they've done. He could spoil you like a husband should.
The dragon gently lays you back in his nest with the finest silk sheets and mattresses, along with stuffed toys and anything else he had gotten for you over the years that he had been with you. And Morax not wanting to part from you for a single moment snakes his arm underneath you to pull you closer laying right beside you where he belonged his brown and gold draconic tail wrapping around your leg wanting to be as close to you as possible. His eyes only had a room for one as they were trained and focused taking in every little thing you do even now as you cry and whimper he only saw the beautiful bride he had taken still as beautiful as you were when he had married you. That beautiful white and gold glittering dress to match his robes he made sure to pick out the finest treasures and gems from his horde decking you out in glittering gold and other delicacies from the earth please his little dragon mind greatly. Your family couldn't be there but the other sovereigns were the dragons of the other six elements congratulating him. Despite him marrying a human, they lovingly accepted you as one of them, far more than They could have ever done.
Your smile will shine like gold in his memories just as brightly as the gold and glittering ring he had made for the both of you. He had carved it himself with the raw Elemental energy of Geo. He had even so much as carved the innards of the band with each other's names as if it was a signature on parchment.
Marriage was a human tradition, and he cared little for humans except for, well, you, but the idea of a contract of love and binding two mates as one intrigued him. Now, he was obsessed with the titles that came with husband and wife. He was happy to call himself your husband and was eager to call you his wife.
As he reminisced on the contract ceremony 'Wedding' all the while playing with your delicate human hand, his eyes trained on that glittering band signifying your title as his wife and forever mate, his clawed hand threading through your head of hair, practically purring in delight at the warmth sharing with you, hoping this would have calmed you down from your sadness. Oh, how your husband wished to ease you of your pain forever, but he knows he could not wipe your precious memories as much as he regrets. As much as your memory hurts you, human memory is fragile and precious. Even the moments of hurt will be tied to moments of happiness, and he never wants for you to lose those.
His heart squeezed feeling your hand clench his robes your fingers grazing against his bare chest. He whispered your name only to be met with quiet snoozing. He couldn't help but chuckle you were so cute.
"Good night, my dear. Have good dreams, only for you to wake in my arms again; I love you, my wife."
author’s note: this fic is part of the 200 followers event, go check it out and request something!
synopsis: when you have a rough day, all you need is seunghcheol.
word count: 0.5k | genre: fluff, hurt/comfort | pairing: cheol x gn! reader | warnings: bad mental health
you had just got home from work; your day had been terrible, a car splashing water on you, spilling your coffee all over your white shirt, and so many things you could count for hours. to say shortly, just were beyond exhausted, having done extra hours at the office on top of everything. you were making your way into the living room to just flop onto the couch and take a nap there before dinner, not even caring about changing your clothes anymore when you got a videocall from seungcheol. “hi baby, how was your day?” he asked in a happy tone, face glowing. you waved at him through the phone; his face lit up upon seeing you but that grin quickly faded when he realized that you must had a bad day, since you had a forced smile on your face. you sighed trying to compose yourself, but you knew it was useless since he always saw right through you. “it was so bad, i could honestly just cry right now.” you said, pouting, to which he mirrored your expression. “i’m sorry baby. you want me to come over? i miss you.” he cooed, seeing how your lip jutted out while trying to muster up the courage to answer without crying. “you don’t have to cheol, i know you have an early schedule in the morning.” you smiled sadly, getting on with asking him about his day and talking on the phone for a while.
not even an hour after your call with your boyfriend ended you heard a knock on your door. you raised a brow at this; you didn’t order anything and you had no idea what else could it be. “sorry but i think you have the wrong address, i am not waiting for any packages!” you shouted out from the hallway, not even being at the door to look at the person standing there, being too invested in your sadness. “open up baby! i didn’t get soaking wet and ice cold by walking to your house for you to say no to pizza. i have beer too. i know you’re sad, so let me in.” you heard cheol’s voice shout out to you through the door, and you jumped in surprise, not having expected your boyfriend to actually come over despite his busy days. you turned the lock, opening the big door to be welcomed by his arms around your shoulders and a kiss on your forehead. “my baby had a bad day, i had to come over to cheer you up, otherwise what kind of a boyfriend would i be?” he laughed, peppering kisses over your cheeks, which were stained with joyful tears. “thank you so much, i love you.” he grinned against your head, making your way to the couch to cuddle for a bit. “now tell me about all the bad in detail, let it out baby.” he said while tucking your head under his chin, his warmth making you feel at ease, making you let go of all of your worries.
“Hero, what ails you?” - Chapter 1
I wrote this fic after finishing twilight princess over a year ago, since I was full-on captivated by the Hero’s Shade and his whole deal. I’m so attached to the Hero of Time, and that hasn’t changed a bit over the years, and I love making him a dad hehe
Anyways this has been posted on ao3 but due to some recent events I don’t feel like explaining again, I’m crossposting it here. Please enjoy tp Link getting sick and the Hero’s Shade being a Dad while attempting to deny it the entire time <3
First (you’re here) | Chapter Two
The Hero’s Shade sat and waited patiently in wolf form for his young successor to arrive.
As he waited, a few flakes of shimmering snow wafted past his muzzle and he breathed out with a huff, watching them drift past. The snow wasn’t cold, nor was it really snow, but it was the closest thing the Shade could compare it to.
It was calming to watch, and kept him occupied while he waited.
He’d already initiated contact with the boy. He merely had to wake up and accept, but he seemed to be taking his time today. It had already been several minutes longer then it usually took him to arrive and he was starting to grow concerned.
But a few moments later, the boy appeared on the ground, lying prone as always. It always took him a moment to get accustomed to this realm, which was understandable. This was not a land for living flesh.
The boy took several moments longer then he typically did to stand, but once he did he met his gaze as usual, giving the wolf a determined look.
The Shade nodded then howled, changing seamlessly from a wolf into his more human form.
“We meet again,” he rumbled, not bothering to obscure the fond note he knew was there. The boy gave him a small smile and returned the greeting, though his face wasn’t as eager as it usually was when he arrived here to learn a new skill. The Shade frowned to himself, but perhaps the boy was merely feeling the stress of his journey more harshly now that the castle was blocked off.
“Before I teach you my next hidden skill, prove to me you still recall the technique of the last lesson,” he continued. “Show me the Helm Splitter!”
He drew his sword and allowed the boy to do the same, then advanced on him. The boy watched him carefully, studying his movement, then leveled his shield and thrust it forwards once the Shade was close enough. Then he bent his knees and jumped, trying to land a hit on his head.
Except he fumbled the blade and nearly tripped over his own two feet when he attempted the move.
The Shade stopped, disappointment flowing through him. He was certain the boy had mastered this skill, yet here he was acting as if he hadn’t even learned it in the first place.
“What ails you? Do you require a reminder of the technique?” he asked.
The boy stumbled a bit as he regained his balance, then jerked his head in an apologetic bow. “N-no, I remember how to do it, I apologize. I’ll try again.”
The Shade paused, hearing something in his voice. Was that a faint rasp?
He took a small step forward and studied his protégé’s face. Now that he was closer he wasn’t sure how he’d missed it. The boy was concerningly pale, though his cheeks were bright and rosy compared to the pallor of the rest of his skin. He seemed to be fighting to remain upright if the trembling of his limbs were any indication, and a thin sheen of sweat shone on his face despite the fact they’d barely even begun the session.
He obviously was not in fighting condition.
The boy raised his sword and started for the Shade again, but he held out a gloved hand to stop him.
“Hero... you are not well,” he said in a softer voice then he usually used on him.
The boy blinked a few times then shook his head, gripping his sword more tightly.
“No, I’m f-fine. It’s just a bit of a cold.”
The Shade narrowed his eye. “A “bit of a cold” would not leave you shaking like a newborn foal, young one.”
The hero gritted his teeth and managed to get the shaking in his legs under control. “I said I’m fine. Allow me to show you I’ve mastered the previous skill.”
The Shade sighed. The boy obviously would not be swayed, to his own detriment.
“Very well. Come at me.”
He raised his sword and slowly advanced on the boy again, and Link darted forward, shield raised and sword ready.
The Shade eyed him carefully, even more so than usual, watching how it seemed to take him more effort to raise his shield and the way he moved much more slowly. The boy, seemingly oblivious of his enhanced watchfulness, ran forwards and repeated the action of bashing his shield against the Shade, then tried to leap into the air.
This time instead of jumping up he lurched to the side, clutching his forehead and looking dizzy.
He started to fall over backwards, and would’ve hit the ground if the Shade hadn’t jumped forward and caught him. He lowered him gently to the floor and gave the boy a stern look, and Link seemed to shrink in his hold, eyes downcast.
“How long has your condition been like this?” he questioned, cutting to the chase.
Link didn’t meet his eye. “Only a day or so,” he whispered, rasp more noticeable now.
“Where were you last?”
“Snowpeak... the temperatures there were a lot, but I-I had to keep going... I need to keep going. If Zant isn’t stopped—”
“You are in no condition to do anything at the moment,” Shade said sternly. “If you faced the usurper as you are now, he would kill you without a second thought, no less any other enemies. You need to rest.”
He removed his glove and brushed a ghostly hand over Link’s forehead as he spoke. It was hot, much hotter than it should be, and the boy sneezed as he checked, trembling in his hold.
“Did you wear proper equipment at Snowpeak?” he questioned, already knowing the answer.
Link swallowed. “Spent most of the time as a wolf... b-but I didn’t have any thicker clothes as a human. I just... made d-do.”
The Shade sighed. This irresponsibility was what got people killed.
“It was foolish of you to believe your wolf form would fully protect you,” he said sternly, “but that is water under the bridge. You need to focus now on healing. Not more fighting.”
Link made to speak but broke into a coughing fit instead, great wheezing things that wracked his chest and made him curl in on himself.
The Shade watched him, feeling a thread of worry lace itself through him as he listened to his successor cough. It had been a long time since he himself had a body that could get sick, but he knew a sound like that was not healthy.
His successor was strong, so strong despite everything the goddesses kept throwing at him, and seeing him laid low by something so normally inconsequential as a sickness scared the Shade more then he’d care to admit.
“I’m going to send you out of my realm,” he said, coming to a decision. “This place is likely aggravating your condition.”
Link’s face fell. “But you didn’t teach me—”
“That can wait until you are healed,” he cut off, and Link lowered his head. “I will wait for you. Focus on healing.”
Then he closed his eye and pushed at the edges of his realm, magic lightly fizzing through him. The Shade huffed, and in an instant brought his successor back to the waking world, and in turn, changed back into a golden wolf.
He let the magic wash through him, then opened his eye, looking around for the boy. He spotted him a moment later, a few feet away. Link lay on the ground as usual, but he didn’t stir, not even when the Shade padded over and nuzzled him.
A bolt of fear shot through him. Was removing him from his realm really the correct choice of action? What if he had worsened his condition merely by pulling him between dimensions?
“Hero, wake up,” he said, a thin thread of panic in his voice.
Link finally let out a wheezy cough and blinked his eyes open, looking miserable as he stared at him. The Shade couldn’t help his sigh of relief. He was alright, for now at least.
“You need somewhere safe to rest,” he rumbled. “Where would be suitable?”
Link shivered again, and the Shade cursed the fact that he couldn’t hold him in this form.
“K-Kakariko...” the boy rasped, another painful-sounding cough escaping him. “East... there’s a man there...”
The Shade nodded, taking a steady breath.
He hadn’t planned on helping the boy further then getting him out of his realm, but it seemed he wouldn’t be going anywhere by himself. It looked like he was going to have to get him to Kakariko somehow.
How was he supposed to do that?
A shadow split from his successor’s own, and a small imp creature with fiery orange hair appeared. She didn’t seem to notice him, and opened her mouth to speak to Link, but cut herself off when she saw him lying on the ground.
“Oh you stupid wolf I told you to wait—!” the imp rushed to his side, prodding him with a sharp sort of worry, only pulling back when he gave her a weak smile.
“‘S fine Midna, I’m okay,” he murmured, but contradicted his statement moments later by breaking into another coughing fit.
Midna crossed her arms and poked him again, and the Shade could see the thinly disguised worry on her face. She obviously cared for him despite her demeanor.
“You are not okay, and you weren’t okay yesterday either when you insisted on galavanting off and learning a new skill while you could barely walk!” she yelled, and Link didn’t reply, merely sighing tiredly.
“Sorry...” he croaked, and the anger immediately deflated out of Midna, the imp hovering worriedly by his shoulder.
The Shade decided to intervene then, padding forward and breathing out heavily to make his presence known. Who he knew to be the twilit princess startled and whipped around, staring at him with a wide look in her visible eye.
“Whoa!” she exclaimed, carefully moving herself to stand between him and the boy. Then realization landed on her face. “...oh it’s you. Skeleton-wolf-teacher-guy right?”
The Shade huffed and would have rolled his eyes if he could. “Not exactly, but close enough. The hero is in need of healing.”
Midna snorted, though it was layered with worry. “I hadn’t noticed,” she snipped, placing a hand on Link’s cheek. He leaned into the touch and let out a small sigh, and her frown deepened. “Can you heal him?”
The Shade shook his head. “Healing magic is far out of my ability. And sickness is difficult, much trickier then a physical wound.”
The imp sighed. “Well then thanks for nothing, nice to see you, we really should be going now.”
She raised the cursed shard the Master Sword had purged from his successor, and began to direct the magic towards Link, shadows coalescing around him. But the Shade barked and pushed it back into where it came from, and Midna teetered in the air.
“What’s the big idea?!” she snapped, turning on him. “Link needs to get a move on and here you are stopping me from tele—”
“Do not teleport him,” the Shade interrupted, “or turn him to a beast. Moving him between my realm and this already caused his condition to worsen; I do not believe his body would be able to handle that much while he’s this ill.”
Midna lowered the shard, and real worry cracked through the uncaring face she’d put on.
“Then how will we move him?” she asked, floating around in a pacing motion. “There’s a man in Kakariko who could help him, but I can’t carry him there right now and his stupid horse is all the way across Hyrule, and if teleporting is bad then dragging him around on your back wouldn’t be good for him either, and they won’t let a stalfos wolf guy in anywhere!” she snapped, and the Shade patiently waited for her to finish.
“Calm yourself,” he said, despite probably being more worried then she was. “I have a solution.”
This would take a fair bit of magic, but in order for him to not terrify the locals and for Link to be comfortable, the Shade needed arms, and not skeletal or ghostly ones. It had been a while since he’d done this, as it was difficult to maintain these days, but this was a bit of a special circumstance.
Taking a deep breath, the Shade pulled on his magic, going seamlessly from a wolf to a skeleton. But once he’d finished he kept pushing, forcing his form to change further. Bones were covered by less-ghostly flesh, and he could feel bangs brush over his forehead, the sensation one he’d realized he’d missed. He suddenly felt heavier somehow, despite still being a spirit.
When he opened his eye the twilit princess was staring at him in astonishment, and he gave her a small smirk.
“Do I look alive enough?” he questioned, going to his knees and putting a hand on Link’s forehead. He seemed hotter, and the Shade wasn’t even sure he was awake anymore, though he did make a small noise as his hand landed on his skin.
Midna blinked then nodded, albeit hesitantly.
“You... yeah you do, you look alive. And like... you look like Link,” she said, continuing to stare. “Who are you?”
The Shade gathered his descendant into his arms, ignoring the question for the moment as he stood. Link’s head lolled against his shoulder, and he could hear his breath rasping more thickly in his chest. It sounded even worse then it had before, and an icy hand of fear clutched around his heart.
“Someone who cares for his wellbeing,” he answered simply, and began to walk, keeping a tight grip on his descendant.
Midna snapped out of her reverie and quickly moved in front of him, an arm held out. “You’re going the wrong way, moron.”
The Shade blinked, confused. He’d visited Kakariko many times and thought for sure he knew where to go.
Then again... it had been several hundred years.
“...perhaps you should lead.” he admitted, and Midna sniffed.
“Perhaps I should.”
And they set off without another word.
I Come With Knives Pt 15
Astarion x gn!Tav/Reader
This is a continuation of the last chapter. Tbh I cut that one off shorter than I'd have liked, but I'm kinda glad I did, if only to have this chapter turn out the way it did
Not proofread and I wrote it while soooo sleepy
Warnings: undressing, anxiety, references to past abuse/trauma
Word Count: 1,352
First Baldur's Gate 3 Masterlist - Second Baldur's Gate 3 Masterlist
I Come With Knives Masterlist
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Astarion wrapped you in a towel and used another to dry your hair. You’d calmed down, but now exhaustion pulled heavily on your body. Not just exhaustion from fighting for weeks on end, but the toll of your entire life up to this point - the slavery, the abuse, the conditioning. And it was still going. On and on, seemingly never-ending. After one issue was solved, 12 more arose, all clasping you in shackles and iron chains that bolted your limbs to the ground until all you could do was struggle helplessly against them.
Nothing was said as he guided you away from the river back to camp. One of his arms wrapped around your waist as the other clumsily held all of your still-bloody armor. He dumped it outside of his tent, wincing at the clattering noise it made - but he truly couldn’t care less if it woke anybody up.
He sat you down on your bedroll and rummaged through your pack until he found something for you to sleep in that wasn’t soaking wet. He wasn’t sure if you’d even want to change, no matter how much you needed to. Humans were so fragile, a fact he often forgot when he looked at you; he’d hate for you to get sick.
Kneeling in front of you, he set the clothes on your pillow and tenderly cupped your cheek in his hand. You melted into it, eyes fluttering shut with a quiet sigh as you leaned into the kindest touch you’ve ever known. Already, your skin was becoming chilled with the water.
“You need to change, love,” he insisted softly. “Can’t have you getting sick now.”
You didn’t say anything for a while. He worried that you’d fallen asleep, but he was sure he’d have heard your breathing and heart rate change if you had. But then you reluctantly pull your cheek from his palm and nod. You’re sluggish as you look at the stack of clothes and drop the towel from around your shoulders. A chill wracks through your body.
He pulls away and begins to stand, but your hand shoots out and catches his arm before he can get too far. All at once, your eyes are wide and panicked, fear shooting through your system. “Don’t go,” you plead, desperate. “Stay, I- I can’t-”
“Shh.” He sits back down, taking your hand and raising it to his own cheek. You feel the creases by his mouth and the little curls by his ears. “I’ll stay, darling. I’m right here.”
Your eyes flicker across his face, as if you don’t quite believe him, even though you’ve been at his side all evening. But soon you relent. The fear dissipates, and you pull your hand back. Your shoulders slump in relief when he doesn’t try to get up again.
“Can you…” You take a breath, as though anything you could ask of him would be too far out of the realm of possibility and would be rejected outright. He waits patiently. “Could you close your eyes?”
He smiles. “Of course, darling.” And he does, but he doesn’t hear the shifting of fabric for a moment after, as though you’re prepared to be tricked.
He tries not to startle when your cold hand touches his own. He does not resist when it is pulled from his lap, though a slight crease forms in his brow. It disappears when soft lips kiss his knuckles, replaced with another grin and a quiet chuckle. You replace his hand in his lap, and he listens as you stand to undress.
True to his word (a rare occurrence for a rogue), he sits exactly where he said he would and keeps his eyes firmly shut. He hears wet fabric slopping into a pile by the entrance, and the rustle of dry clothes and the towel as you change. He knows you’ve finished when your hand finds his again, but his eyes remain shut.
His ears twitch at the slightest sound as he listens to you lean forward. Your lips find his cheek, and then you rest your forehead on his shoulder. “Thank you,” you whisper.
He raises a hand to comb it through your hair, and leans his head against your own. “Of course, my love.”
“You’re still wet,” you point out. His pants got the brunt of the river, but his shirt wasn’t left unscathed. Fortunately, it was merely uncomfortable, and he didn’t have to worry about catching a cold. Oh, humans. “You should change, too.”
He hummed. “I will, once you let me go,” he teases lightly, pressing a kiss to your head to assure he would wait as long as you needed.
You linger for a little longer. Despite being clean, your skin feels like it crawls with the burning gaze of the incubus. The phantom of her nails glides across your back. But here, solid and real, Astarion sits, accepting your touch and offering gentle ones in return. You wished for a life filled only with his touch, not those of your enemies, or your master, or anyone else that wished you harm.
With a deep breath, you finally pull away, squeezing his hand. He opened his eyes. They were so round and soft in moments like these. He lifted your hand and kissed your knuckles. “Close your eyes, dear. I’ll only be a moment.”
You do as he asks, placing your full trust into his hands. He opens your hand to place a kiss in the center of your palm. He closes your fingers around it, as though you were holding onto his endearment for you, and rests your hand in your lap. You begin fiddling with your closed hand, refusing to open your fingers despite needing something to distract yourself with. You trusted him, but your mind had ways of believing the worst would come when your eyes shut.
He rummages through his pack to find spare clothes for himself. The shirt he wears is the best he has, despite being patched up over and over from his centuries under Cazador, but you’d graced him with extra, in case he ever needed them. Sweet thing, looking out for him in all the little ways you can think to.
His pants stick to his skin. When he grunts with disgust, though, he sees the little smile it produces, even if it lasts only a moment. He drops his pants and shirt in the pile with your own, and slips into the extra. It does feel exceptional not to be in damp clothes any longer.
Finished, he sits back down and repeats your own gesture: He takes your hand in his again and kisses your temple. “You can look now,” he murmurs against your skin.
Just touching you puts you at ease. You don’t fiddle with his hand as you hold it; you have no need to. You lean your head into him slightly, eyes still shut. “Are you hungry?”
He huffs a laugh, hot air puffing across your skin. He kisses your temple again. “I’m fine, dear. Let’s worry about you tonight, hm?”
He pulls away and helps you into your bedroll, tugging the blankets up around your neck as he always does. He slips in right after, curling around you with his arms wrapped securely around you to keep you close. Yours wrap around him as you bury your face into his neck, breathing in the familiar scent of bergamot, rosemary, and brandy.
Your breath fans across his skin as you speak lowly by his ear. “I think… I think we should promise something.”
“Never again will we ever take off our clothes because someone demands it of us.”
He presses his nose into your hair. “That’s a good promise to make.”
You sigh shakily. “If she asks it of me, I don’t know that I’ll be able to refuse.” You squeeze him, pressing yourself ever closer.
“I won’t hold it against you if you do,” he assures. “And I’ll be right by your side to make sure she never gets the chance.”
“I love you.”
“I love you, too, darling.”
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Ask box is open and I am taking poll suggestions
2am therapist ♡⊹˚₊
genre: hurt/comfort, fluff
pairing: Min Yoongi x gn! reader
synopsis: Reader has frequent nightmares due to their past trauma and decides to lean on their roommate Yoongi after a particularly bad one.
Warnings: a lot of discussion of nightmares, mentions/talk of grooming, trauma related nightmares, there are no detailed descriptions of said trauma, cursing, reader is gender neutral but there are mentions of a masc ex, sorry if this is too specific and not at all relatable i needed some comfort LMAO. This was supposed to be platonic but it almost has mutual pining vibes😭
"What's up?" Yoongi clicked on his keyboard a few more times before turning in his studio chair. Sometimes you forgot how observant he was, all it took was the light creak of his door to notice your presence.
You fidgeted with the hem of your shirt, avoiding eye contact with the black haired man at all costs. It wasn't that you didn't want to look at him, but that too much eye contact would surely push you over the edge right now. "Nothing much," your eyes darted around his studio, picking up all the little details. "I just, um, what are you up to? Are you busy? If you are I can leave, I don't wanna be a bother... Besides, it's getting pretty late..." You rambled aimlessly, words spilling from your mouth with not much thought.
"Are you okay?" Yep. He's very observant. "You seem a little anxious, I mean, more than usual." Your eyes finally find his face, landing on his worried smile. "And no I'm not busy, just working on a couple things. Is everything alright?" He stood as he spoke, pulling another chair next to his and sitting back down, making a vague gesture for you to sit with him.
"Yeah, I'm okay, I just-" your eyes shot back to the floor, "I just don't wanna be alone right now."
Yoongi furrowed his brows, a look of concern washing over his normally soft features. "Yeah, of course. Sit down, talk to me." He patted the seat beside him, ready to listen to all you had to say.
Tentatively you made your way to the chair, grateful to be a bit closer to him. "I- I had another nightmare last night. It was worse than usual and I don't know- I guess it's just been affecting me all day. I feel really anxious and... scared? And really paranoid. I can't sleep." Your heart started racing, tears beginning to prick at your eyes. "And I just... I don't wanna be alone with those thoughts."
"Hey, you're safe now, it's okay. Can I touch you?" You nodded, and he was quick to rest his hand on your shoulder. "Can you tell me about the nightmare? It might help to get it off your chest." He spoke softly, wanting you to know there was no pressure in his words, that you had all control over what he was told.
Your fear that you were just overreacting quickly returned. What if it wasn't as bad as you thought? What if you told him and he laughed? Or worse, what if it changed the way he saw you? Swallowing your fears, you spoke softly, "it- it was about my ex... The one who... groomed me." Your words were no more than a whisper. "He- he came back and my dreamself was... happy to see him." Sniffling back your tears, you began fidgeting with your shirt again. "He- I-" the words almost refused to come out. "It was awful." Your eyes clenched shut as your breathing became erratic.
Yoongi took a second to respond. He always hated talking about your ex, he knew how much it affected you. He hated your ex more than anything. Trying to pry his thoughts away from your ex, he focused again on you. "Shhhh, it's okay. You don't have to get into any details you don't want to." He brought his other hand to rest on your lower thigh. "Why do you think your dreamself was happy to see him? We can break it down together if you want."
"I- I don't know. I hate him. I- I hate him so much. I don't know why I would ever be happy to see that piece of shit. I hate him." Yoongi rubbed your shoulder soothingly, bringing you back down to earth. "It's just- it's been so long since I've had a relationship, I guess my brain just goes to him when it thinks of romance. Fuck, I hate that." You put your head in your hands, overcome with a feeling of guilt at your realization.
"Maybe that's just what your brain associates with romance right now, and that's okay. Its totally understandable. Trauma has a long-lasting effect on your brain. It isn't your fault, and its not a reflection of how you feel." That was the straw that broke the camel's back. His words struck hard, setting free the dam of tears you were holding back. As if a switch was flipped, you went from fidgety to sobbing in an instant. Yoongi simply put his arms around you, pulling you into him and letting you cry. Time seemed to stand still as you cried, Yoongi's soothing hand rubbing your back.
Yoongi let you let it out, not speaking until he noticed your sobs calm a bit. Finally, he broke the silence, "Are you afraid that you won't be able to find romantic love again?" His question was spoken softly, but felt like a thousand knives nonetheless.
You were stunned, unsure how to respond in fear that any choice would make you sound pathetic. "I- maybe, yeah." After Yoongi let go, your eyes never left your lap. You felt ashamed of the affect this trauma had on you. "It's just that... its been years since anyone's been interested in me like that, and the only people who have only wanted to... take advantage of me. Maybe I'm just an easy target." More tears began to fall, but this time you just ignored them, despite knowing Yoongi could see them.
Yoongi felt his heart break at your words. He knew the trauma you had been through was awful, but he never put too much thought into all the different ways it affected you. He wished more than anything that he could take this pain away from you somehow, even if it meant taking on the burden himself. He moved his hand to rest on your cheek, needing to be sure you heard his words. "You are not an easy target. And you're far more than the product of your past trauma." His voice gently held your gaze, thumb stroking your cheek lightly. He was desperate for you to believe the words he spoke. He needed you to know that you were perfect to him, regardless of your past. "You're worthy of love, more so than you think."
Your eyes finally trailed up to meet his, though you couldn't see him well through the wall of tears threatening to break free. You wanted so desperately to believe him, but it was hard. "Can- can I have a hug?" You asked tentatively, more worried about his comfort than your own. He held his arms out, inviting you to him. He wanted so badly to hold you, to show you he was proud of you for how far you'd come.
You wasted no time in falling into his embrace. Wrapping your arms around his neck and resting your head on his shoulder, you finally let your tears fall again. The two of you stay there for a minute, before you finally muttered a weak "Thank you," between sobs. It warmed your heart how Yoongi was always willing to comfort you. It's easy to feel guilty asking it from him, but he manages to respond in a way that makes your heart swell every time.
He held you close, rubbing your back soothingly. He was filled with nothing but compassion and empathy towards you, wanting nothing more than to show you that you were safe with him. He planted a soft kiss on your forehead, continuing to give you the warmth you needed. The kiss was a small gesture, but it made another wave of tears flow nonetheless. "You don't need to thank me. I'm here for you. Always here for you."
His soft words struck deep, but all you could do was continue to cry. It meant more to you than you could ever put into words to have Yoongi here with you like this, supporting you in your time of need. He was always there to remind you that you are worthy of love, and no past trauma would ever be able to change that.
The two of you stay like that for a while, clock ticking as Yoongi comforted you through your sobs. Eventually, your tears came to a halt, claiming a new home in Yoongi's shirt. You slowly lifted your head, looking into his soft eyes with your much puffier ones. "Thank you, Yoongs, thank you for always being here for me." The words were broken between the tail end of your sobs, but he was able to piece the message together. He was grateful to be able to give you the comfort you needed. As he felt you relax in his hold, he realized how glad he was that you were comfortable enough to rely on him like this.
"Thank you for trusting me. Thank you for opening up, for letting me be here. I know it's not easy. You're so strong." The last part was not more than a whisper, but he meant it just as much as the rest. He brushed away the tear-soaked hair resting on your messy forehead, planting another soft kiss on the salty skin. "You're worthy. You're precious and you're deserving of love." His words were as soft as his hold on you. He needed you to know how much he meant that.
LIMERENCE (part I)
Gojo Satoru x gn!reader
"I can't stop loving you, no matter how hard I try."
summary: Your long-time friend stirs feelings inside you that you never realized existed. Of course they bubble up in your chest while he’s in the midst of ignoring you and discovering his own possible romance. Your mutual friend thinks she has it all figured out—or does she?
pairing: gojo satoru x gn! reader
fandom: jujutsu kaisen
genre: hanahaki sickness au, angst, hurt/comfort
warnings: mentions of feeling sick, being stonewalled kinda, usage of the word (Y/N) bc Gojo is too fed up for nicknames (in reality idk what else to use 😶), Gojo being an ass (common theme in my fics oops)
word count: 3.6k
a/n: This is the first part to my hanahaki au! I’ve had this in my drafts for the longest time, but never committed to writing it all out until now. This first bit is kinda slow and maybe confusing BUT hopefully I’ll be able to clear it up next chapter. Not proof read very thoroughly; will probably regret later
“DON’T YOU THINK you could be a bit nicer to me?” You try, clasping your hands together as you look up at him with an odd smile—a cross between apologetic and playful. You’re joking, or at least half joking. It’s too difficult to be serious with Gojo; his habit of masking emotion with jest must be rubbing off on you.
Only one corner of his mouth raises. “Good one, (Y/N)-chan. As if I didn’t use to pay your bills.”
He doesn’t look at you when he speaks, and he walks away from you without a single glance. You frown and lightly jog a few steps to catch up to him.
“Ah, and I’m forever thankful for that!” You say, cringing at how overly peppy your tone is. “But that’s not exactly what I meant.”
“Hmm,” Is all he says. His hands are in his pockets, but he doesn’t carry himself with as much ease as usual—his posture is closed off, angular and tense.
“What I meant was–” You prompt your own answer, as he doesn’t make any move to. “We haven’t seen each other in a while. I know you’ve been really busy lately, so I don’t blame you, but I think we should go out and do something. Could help relieve some work stress too, don’t you think so?”
“Maybe,” He says, the word short yet effective in its delivery. The word was sharp in his mouth, clear annoyance shaping his tongue enough for the word to have a bite to it.
You wince. He never used to be like this. Gojo has been in a state of perpetual mirth—and one could argue levity—for the entirety of your friendship, never taking anything seriously and always looking for opportunities to poke fun at you to half-jokingly glorify himself. His expression has always been infectiously positive—never molded into anything hard or serious.
But, lately, everything you thought you knew about Gojo Satoru has faded away into your memories. He never seeks out your presence anymore, which is polar opposite from your high school days, when he would follow you around and pester you until you’d hang out with him. You actually used to get annoyed at this behavior, but you’re sorely missing it now.
You feel like you know nothing about him these days, only hearing tidbits here and there from your mutual friend Shoko. It stings to know that he obviously talks to her, and quite often at that, seeing she always has new details to spill every other day.
It doesn’t make sense to you: him and Shoko were never particularly close, definitely not nearly as close as you and Gojo were. In fact, she thought of him as particularly annoying in high school, and often swore to you that she would cut all contact with him once they graduated.
Back then, you had rolled your eyes at her antics, never believing that anybody could cut Gojo out of their life, seeing as he simply wouldn’t let them. But how else could you describe what he seems to be doing to you?
You bite your lip nervously. “Satoru? Is there something wrong?”
“Not particularly,” He says with a forced smile that’s screaming for you to shut up. You pretend like it’s not the most disingenuous smile you’ve ever seen smeared on his face.
“Are you sure?” You probe. “I mean…what’s been going on with you these days? We haven’t seen each other in forever, and you don’t seem yourself.”
“Are you sure?”
His lips are quirked up, as they perpetually are, but it’s different this time. It’s mocking. A mocking smirk that’s telling you to face reality. Do you really know him anymore?
You pause in your steps, studying his expression. You can’t see his eyes, but you wish you could. He’s hard to read with that blindfold concealing those powerful eyes of his, but it never used to be a problem. It hurts that you’re now struggling to gauge him when your emotions used to feel like one.
Evidently, you can’t answer his question. Not that he seems to care.
“I’ve really got to get going. Students to teach, curses to kill, all that,” He announces, tone low and apathetic. Bored. “See ya.”
Your breath flutters in your throat as you try to bid him goodbye. You choke on your words and only end up tentatively raising a hand. Before you can wave, his form disappears. A gust of wind greets you in lieu of a proper goodbye.
You stay where you are for a few shocked moments, not even registering the hot tears that leak from the eyes he avoided.
You wander aimlessly around campus for a while, the whole interaction replaying in your head several times over. His “Are you sure?” needles its way into your brain even when you push it away, the words hitting where it hurts every time.
Your feet find themselves taking you to an empty break room – ah, this is the one that has your favorite flavor of tea. You turn the kettle on, then eagerly dig through the tea stash. You file through the individual packets quickly and thoroughly, but to no avail. It’s gone.
With a sigh, you grab a random tea bag and throw it into your mug. Frustrated, you roughly begin pouring the now-boiled water into the mug, but it doesn’t seem that was a good idea. Your hand slips for just a split second, but a sizable splash of boiling water still manages to singe your non-dominant hand. A stream of expletives leaves your mouth, and you instantly cradle your hand to your heart.
More tears appear. At least you have an excuse this time—it fucking hurts.
You trudge to the clinic, feeling quite silly, but also seeking some much-needed relief. And you’re not exactly imagining painkillers or an ice pack—no, there’s something else. Someone else.
You hesitantly knock on the door. You feel stupid, but you really have to see her.
You crack a smile at the creak of the door. Your friend and co-worker Shoko strides out with an air of confidence you wish you held.
“What happened?” She asks calmly, eyes lazily taking in your form.
“Spilled some water from the kettle,” You say lamely. “It hurts.”
That doesn’t really constitute a visit to one of the only reverse-cursed technique users in the school, and you know it. So does she.
“Mmhm,” She raises her eyebrows. “Well, come on in.”
You shuffle in a little sheepishly, not able to meet Shoko’s eyes. Now that you’re here, you start to feel unsure about your own motive—do you really want to discuss this? Won’t it just be embarrassing more than anything else?
You stall a little in your steps as the negative thoughts invade your head. You’re startled to attention by a poke to your side—when you look up, Shoko’s playful smirk fills your vision.
“Come on over to the sink and we’ll put that under some cool running water,” She says, gesturing to your reddened arm.
You cock your head, looking between her and the sink skeptically, “No ice?”
She shakes her head, sticking her tongue out at you a bit, “Nope! Running water for burns.”
You hold up your hands in defeat, smiling, “Whatever Doctor Shoko says.”
“And I do,” She says cheekily. “So get under that water!”
“Aye-aye,” You say with a salute.
She groans, “Ugh. You guys are so annoyingly similar. Hang on a sec, I gotta grab something.”
She turns away before she can see the way your expression drops. The smile is stolen from your face, leaving behind saddened eyes and a slight frown. There’s only one possible person she could be talking about.
You sigh and turn on the faucet—your disheartened sigh morphs into one of great relief as the cold water soothes your burn.
“That better?” Shoko asks upon her return.
You nod, a small smile coming back, “Yeah, thanks Shoko.”
“Is there something else wrong?” She asks, then shakes her head. “No, scratch that. What’s actually wrong?”
You take a deep breath. How are you going to broach this subject? You wait several moments, pondering your exact next words.
“Do you think Gojo is okay?” You finally ask your long-time friend, words coming out almost cautiously.
She eyes you funnily, “Why are you asking me? As if he doesn’t chase you around the school to blab on about himself.”
You smile, but it’s tainted by bitterness.
“Shoko…Gojo hasn’t talked to me for two months,” You admit quietly. “I don’t know what’s going on.”
You hate hearing the confusion in her voice. You hate the pity that soon fills her eyes.
“He seriously hasn’t,” You affirm, sighing. “I don’t know what I did, or if I did anything, or…or what. I just, I don’t know what’s going on.”
“Have you tried talking to him about it?”
You sigh. “Of course I have, but he didn’t seem to take my concerns seriously. Or consider them at all. It just seemed like he wanted me to shut up and leave him alone.”
Shoko looks at you curiously, lips quirking as if she has something to say, but no words come out. Is she holding something back?
You take a deep breath, willing the horrible emotion that squeezes your throat away. You look out the window to distract yourself, watching the branches of a sakura sapling swaying in the wind. It looks alone and lost, battered by the relentless wind.
“What’s he been like recently with you?” You finally ask, your gaze still on the tree.
“Normal,” Shoko says. “Annoying as ever. Noisy as ever.”
A cluster of pink petals is ripped from a branch, swirling hopelessly to the ground. When they settle on the ground, you look back to your friend.
“He’s really the same?” You ask weakly.
“Unfortunately,” She says wryly. “Besides, why do you care? We’ve both been trying to get him off our backs since waaay long ago. Sounds like a blessing in disguise.”
“Ah, that’s true,” You admit with a weak chuckle, trying to ignore the way your heart throbs painfully. “But he’s also our friend.”
“Since when? More like a thorn in my side. Maybe he finally got the message,” Shoko smirks. “You should give me instructions for that. I’d have a lot better quality of life, you know.”
You know she’s just joking around with you, but she’s truly just rubbing salt in your wound. Not very ethical for a doctor, even if unintentional.
“Yeah,” You laugh, but it’s an empty sound. “Well, I guess I’ll get going then. Hopefully your next patient gives you an easier time.”
Shoko jokes, “Yeah, this has been my toughest job all week. You fiend.”
Your head is filled with so many questions, all of them growing louder as you walk away from your friend. Your friend who you thought would sympathize with you, but only ended up making you feel worse in the end is acting suspicious. It’s not like you’ve ever wanted to actually cut ties with Gojo, even when he used to pull pranks on you in high school. You craved for a strong friendship with him throughout all his shenanigans.
Why is Shoko acting like you hate Gojo, and what isn’t she telling you?
Before you reach the door, you decide you need to know. You stop abruptly in your tracks.
“Ieiri, you’re not telling me something,” You say softly, not looking back. “Why?”
Shoko sighs, pinching the bridge of her nose, “You don’t miss anything, do you?”
You say nothing. The door in front of you is tempting—it’s your way out of knowing the truth. Do you really want to know?
You wait tensely for a few seconds, the silence causing nerves to bubble up in your stomach. But when Shoko begins to speak, they go don’t go away.
“He hasn’t really been acting strange around me, but he’s constantly on his phone. Like always. Whenever he comes to chat, he immediately tunes me out and starts texting or loudly takes a call,” She snorts, huffing out an exasperated sigh. “I thought he was just bored and trying to make me feel disrespected as a sort of cruel joke, but I think it’s something else. I think…I think Gojo is interested in someone.”
Your head whips around, disbelief clear in your features. Interested in someone?
“Maybe that’s why he’s been acting weird. I always thought he was crazy for you, so it didn’t cross my mind until now.”
“Crazy for me?” You immediately echo back, voice hollow and confused.
Shoko shakes her head at you, “C’mon, you can’t be that oblivious. He always followed you around like a lost puppy in high school. He never said anything to me about it, but I really thought he would confess any day for years.”
“He did that to everyone…” You shake your head. “You say yourself he bugged you so much.”
She rolls her eyes. “Trust me, it was different.”
Your heart pounds in your chest. Your vision becomes foggy at the edges, reality fizzling out.
“Why didn’t you want to tell me?” You ask. “It’s not like that matters.”
You try to appear uncaring, yet it was a fight to get those words out.
“You’re a sensitive person. ‘Didn’t know how you’d react since Gojo always seemed to chase after your attention, exclusively. But it’s not like it was the other way around—should have known it wasn’t a big deal. It’s not. Guess he’s just growing up.”
“Yeah,” You agree faintly, voice devoid of emotion. Reality is slipping through your numb fingers, the information turning your world into a nightmare. You should have opened the door and ran when you had the chance.
“It’s not,” You say with a saccharine smile, one so sickly sweet that Shoko gets chills. That’s not your usual smile—not one that Shoko has ever seen you wear. “Of course it’s not.”
When you turn on your heel and rush out of her infirmary, Shoko reaches out a hand and her lips part to call after you. It’s uncharacteristic for her—the cold doctor is rarely sentimental or emotionally affected, but she saw something ghastly in that smile of yours.
The slam of the door answers her call. The truth, now imparted, comes to bite her in the ass.
It’s been a few days. You’ve been moping around the school, around your students—trying to cope with the information that you don’t even know is true. You see him across campus sometimes; he’s so easily spotted with his translucent hair and tall frame. Every time, he’s facing away from you, and your eyes fall on the back of his head. Your chest always tightens and you end up turning away, too.
You have ignored the feelings stirring in your chest, not willing to admit something that clearly isn’t reciprocated. It has been working, you suppose, since you haven’t cracked under the mental weight of possibly being in lo—
No, you can’t even think that.
Everything has been as okay as it can. It’s not until you attempt to visit Shoko again to try sort out your feelings, however, that things take a turn for the worse.
Your hand is raised as you prepare to knock on the infirmary door, but you hesitate once you hear muffled voices.
“I don’t know…I didn’t expect it at all.”
That’s Gojo’s voice. That low but self-assured tone is undeniably his.
“Expect what?” Shoko asks, sounding bored.
His reply is so soft that it passes by as just a hiss of air, so quiet that you physically startle at Shoko’s loud reaction.
“No! What? I can’t believe that!” She shouts, laughter quickly following her exclamation.
You shouldn’t be listening—you hadn’t planned to eavesdrop on your two best friends, but for some reason your ear seeks out the wall, as if magnetized.
The next three words uttered still your heart.
“Utahime kissed me,” Gojo admits quietly.
You feel like you can’t breathe. Utahime, who has always despised Gojo even beyond Shoko’s extent. Utahime, who once cried into your chest after Gojo was harsh with her at an exchange event. Utahime, who always persisted that you and Gojo were into each other during high school.
Shoko’s unbelieving chuckle cuts through your thoughts.
Shoko laughs, “Oh, yeah, okay, as if I’d ever believe that.”
There’s silence. Your heart drops at the lack of response—no teasing refute, no playful faux playboy attitude.
Shoko absorbs his unusual silence, finally interpreting his words for what they are.
She gasps loudly, spluttering, “Oh my God, you’re being serious. What?! There’s no way…”
Gojo’s voice is even and deep. “I didn’t lie. She just did it out of nowhere. I didn’t even know how to react, to be honest.”
“So you just stood there?” Shoko snorts, trying to keep up her usual sarcastic persona. “God, you’re insufferable all the way around.”
“I kissed her back,” He breathes out, voice almost weak.
Another long moment of silence ensues. You hold your breath, terrified that your panicked pants will alert them of your presence.
Shoko recovers quickly this time.
“Still insufferable,” She sighs, and you can imagine her shaking her head. “So what now? You like her or something? This is so random.”
“I…I don’t know,” He admits quietly. “I never thought she’d do that, it took me by surprise. I…I think I liked it?”
Your heart shatters. You clutch a hand to your mouth, gagging yourself, forcing back the pained gasp that’s threatening to leave your lips.
“Oh, is that so?” Shoko says drily, but the usual edge to her voice is absent. You can only imagine her expression: contorted with pity and pain, desperately trying to maintain her poker face.
“Yeah,” Gojo reaffirms. “It was nice.”
There’s silence for a few seconds as Shoko takes it all in. Then, “Is she who you’ve always been calling and texting when I’m talking to you? You’re an ass for that, by the way.”
Gojo exhales out a sardonic sniff, “You’re spot on.”
Why are you still listening? You should leave. You shouldn’t be hearing this. Pain blooms in your chest, as if thorns became lodged between your ribs.
“What about (Y/N)?”
You freeze, eyes bulging out of your head.
Gojo sighs, sounding annoyed, “What do you mean?”
“I’m not dumb, Satoru. There was something going on during high school and frankly in the past few years as well. Are you going to deny it?”
He scoffs, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Shoko. It was never like that.”
You feel like you’re going to be sick. You shouldn’t—there’s no possible way you’re actually in love with Gojo Satoru, is there?
Fuck. The thought you’ve been trying to avoid all this time has finally firmly inserted itself into your head.
You take off swiftly and immediately, and your footfalls are as light as you can possibly manage. If either of them knew you were here, you wouldn’t be able to handle the shame.
Gojo and Shoko are none the wiser to the immoral action that took place just beyond the door—so when Shoko is ready to clock out and opens the door, the presence of a school ID on the ground is nearly missed. She feels something strange crunch underneath her foot and steps away and glances at the foreign object.
You left in such a hurry that your ID flopped out of your pocket. It lays on the ground, your smiling face staring up at Shoko, who looks on in horror. She immediately knows that you heard everything. She quickly steps back onto your ID, concealing your identity with her foot.
With all the sight of his six eyes, Gojo somehow completely missed Shoko’s strategic maneuvers to erase traces of your presence. He whistles nonchalantly, not having a care in the world, apparently.
In contrast, Shoko’s mind is racing. Her eyes roam around the courtyard, searching for your form. She feels rooted to the spot—will she reveal you if she steps away? She almost forgets that she’s not alone.
“You looking for someone?” Gojo asks.
Shoko stiffens, but forces herself to relax and appear nonchalant. “Ah, I was just wondering if…if (Y/N) would still be around.”
Gojo frowns. “Hm. Not sure. Don’t they usually go home right after they get off?”
“Lately, they’ve been staying back to do paperwork,” She sighs. “Masamichi has really giving them too many missions…How come you don’t know that?”
“Haven’t had the chance to catch up, I guess,” Gojo says evasively, then quickly changes the subject. “Besides, aren’t you the same way? You coming or not? I’ve got better things to do.”
He waves his cell phone around playfully, a smirk widening across his features.
Shoko rolls her eyes, “Go ahead. I’m just going to wait here a bit and see if I can text them and get them over here.”
She hesitates for a second before adding, “Actually, why don’t you wait a sec? We haven’t all seen each other in a bit.”
Gojo immediately stiffens. He scratches the back of his head and says, “Ah, I’m actually sort of on a time crunch. Maybe next time.”
What a lie. Shoko thinks, eyes narrowing subconsciously. What is he up to?
As he trails off into the distance, the gears in Shoko’s head continue to turn. He always, always teleports home after work finishes. So why is he slowly walking around campus, head turning this way and that way as if searching?
And you! Why were you there? Why were you so affected? What is going on in your head—or rather, your heart?
Something strange is going on with her two friends and Shoko is determined to find out what.
@kiyaedits - baby pink dividers, @sweetxmelody - cherry blossom divider
Hi green! Since you've left me some lovely requests, I thought I'd leave you one! I'm in love with the friends to love trope, so if you could do something like that with Felix, I'd eat it up. I'm thinking of something like the reader (gn please) has a really hard day and decides to go to Felix, but then it starts raining, so when Felix opens the door, reader is soaking wet and distressed. You can do anything from there! Again, I love your writing, so anything you come up with will be undoubtedly amazing. Hope you're doing well! <3
everything is you.
other works by green.
pairing: felix x gender neutral reader
content warnings: hurt/comfort, mentions of parental abandonment years prior, mentions of recent death of a parent, smoking weed, daddy issues
summary: through every single hardship you'd ever endured, felix always waited for you, ready to bring you into the safety of his embrace. so when you're stuck amidst the complicated emotions following your father's recent passing, the first and only person you sought for comfort was your best friend.
Echoes of the youth you’d spent in this house haunted the eerie hallways of this vacant home. Every inch of this familiar place has remained the same, though you certainly haven’t. Sitting on the front porch floor, a joint you’d just rolled burning between your fingers as you watch the rain pour outside, a vacant expression on your face as you decided on what to do. The initial plan was to walk towards your best friend’s house, which was a short walk away but the sky seemed to have other plans. And so you remained there, stuck sitting beside a box full of letters addressed to you, but that had never been sent – all written by your father.
Too many times you had driven past him on your way to visit your best friend, making the point to keep your eyes on the road in case your father sat out front like he sometimes tended to do. The two of you had never been on good terms, especially since your mother left when you were a teenager to chase another man who’d made empty promises to her, and your father didn’t know the first thing about caring about another human being. It wasn’t a surprise to anybody when you left without a word the very minute you were old enough to do so and never returned. And yet, here you were, years since you’d gone – a box of letters he’d written to you though never sent, and you knew you didn’t have the nerve to open them alone.
An exasperated sigh escaped your lips, pulling your phone out of the back pocket of your jeans for what was possibly the millionth time only to be met by the same symbol of no signal available for you to message Felix, the aforementioned best friend – the boy you’ve known since you could barely form a sentence due to living so close to each other. He was the kind of guy who would smile a little bit wider whenever his eyes landed on you, the one to allow you to lash out when you were angry despite how sensitive he was because he wanted you to feel better, the one to remember your birthday and plan something intimate and special even if nobody else bothered, the one to pay attention to the little things you would mention in passing and always remember – he was very much in love with you, had been for a very long time and you were well aware. But he never mentioned it directly, and you decided that you wouldn’t bring it up either because you knew that the reality of this lifetime is that you were made to destroy and hurt while he was made to heal and rebuild and you couldn’t risk having him be the next victim.
In moments like these, while alone with your thoughts that slowed down from the flower you smoked that still seemed to suffocate you all the same, you wished things were different. If only you were a stable human being, good enough for him to safely lay his head on your shoulder the way a lover would do, someone who’s sane and loving and all things good – all of which you were not – then perhaps he would be sitting beside you already, encouraging you to open the first letter while being ready to kiss your forehead at the first sign of distress. It’s selfish, and you knew, but as the screen of your useless phone remained blank you couldn’t help but wish his name would pop up.
Your mind swirled with thoughts that made it harder to breathe with each passing second. The box of letters beside you. No signal. Felix’s smile. Childhood home. Your mother leaving. Your father’s cold demeanor. Yourself.
Not willing to wait for the rain to end, but also not wanting to dwell in here any longer, you grunted as you put out your joint and walked inside. A plastic sheet that covered one of the cushioned chairs in the living room was the only thing you took before making a b-line back outside. You lazily throw the sheet over the box, struggling only slightly to lift it before leaving the shelter from the rain, instantly drenched as the it offered no mercy. Barely able to keep your eyes open, you followed the same path you’ve walked a thousand times throughout your life, the pull of your best friend’s comfort and warmth being the true source of your rush as your pace quickened.
The neighborhood was the same, with the same married couples still residing in them – though most of their children were gone, already having moved on in their adult lives as their parents awaited for the next holiday to see them again. Everywhere you looked, a memory tied you to Felix as though his entire, beautiful being had been burned into your consciousness forever. Perhaps he had been, not that you would complain about it one bit if that were the case.
Felix’s childhood home came into view at last, and you all but sprinted clumsily with the box in your hands as your mind, body and heart yearned for his strong arms around you. Your heart was pumping blood through your veins harshly by the time you’d made it to his front door, dropping the box at your feet before banging on his wooden door. The air was having a hard time reaching your lungs and you realized that you were crying now that the rain was not hammering onto your skin – flashbacks of a similar scene played in your head, your teenage self distressed after you’d read your mother’s goodbye letter and your grief engulfed you and sent you down a spiral while the scene of your father sitting on the dinner table reading his newspaper and sipping coffee as you screamed at him to see you and your broken heart left at the departure of your mother. Your fists shaking as you gave up, falling onto your knees in despair just as the door swung open.
A wide-eyed Felix stood before you, shocked to see you in such a state and so late at night. It only took him half a second to react as he practically threw himself onto the ground and pulled you into the safety of his embrace despite how drenched you were. A sob you hadn’t realized you’d been holding back escaped your lips, and the gravity of the fact that you were officially alone dawned on you. Your heart ached in a way you couldn’t describe and all you could truly focus on was the fresh scent of his blueberry shampoo and vanilla soap on him as you briefly realized you must’ve caught him getting out of the shower.
“Hey, hey,” Felix attempted to pull away slightly to speak to you but you tighten your hold on his torso, not quite ready to let go yet. “I thought you wouldn’t be here until tomorrow.”
You said nothing, silently cursing yourself for being so weak – crying over a man who had never even smiled in your direction.
“Felix, darling, what was all that noise?”
The sound of Felix’s mother’s sleepy voice caused you to jerk away from him, cheeks heating up in shame. You were on your feet in a second, bowing deeply to the kind woman who’d supported you through all of your hardships.
“I– I’m so sorry, I don’t know what I was thinking when I came here, making all that noise. I just–”
“Nonsense,” Mrs. Lee waved you off with a concerned smile. “I’ve been telling you for years that you’re welcomed here at any time of day. Come in, darling, you’ll catch a cold. Come!”
Felix moved out of the way so that you could enter his home, pushing you away when you tried to grab a hold of the box you’d carried through the rain so that he could take care of it himself. You knew that you must’ve looked deranged, but there was no hint of judgment in their eyes as they watched you take your shoes off at the entrance. Mrs. Lee guided you into the living room by the shoulders despite the fact that you knew your way through the house like the back of your hand. The tenderness of such a simple touch made your sight blurry with tears that you refused to release this time.
“Darling, go take a warm shower and Felix will bring you a fresh towel and some spare clothes for you to change into, deal?” Mrs. Lee raised her brows as she waited for your response, you merely nodded. “Good, have you eaten?”
“I’ll heat up some leftovers from tonight’s dinner, then.”
With that, she rushed over to the kitchen. You remained in the same spot though, letting the rain drip onto the floor as your body trembled from the chill the weather outside had instilled into you. Felix gently dropped the box on the couch, paying no mind to the wet plastic sheet that was still covering its contents.
“Y/N,” Felix said, voice low and warm. “You told me you were coming tomorrow in the afternoon. Why are you here?”
“I lied,” you sighed defeatedly. “I just didn’t want you to worry too much and I thought that I could– I thought that I would be able to go in there myself. And I really was fine, really…until I found that stupid box.”
He glanced back at the box behind him, sighing. Felix didn’t say anything, choosing instead to lead you towards the second floor and into the bathroom he typically shared with his sisters, closing the door behind you.
While standing under the scalding hot water in the shower by yourself, you couldn’t help but scold yourself at the lack of impulse control. You could have knocked like a normal person, instead you simply decided that you would bang on his door as though your life was in danger which in turn startled everyone in the house and probably the neighbors as well. The thing that had you so upset was not something that couldn’t wait until tomorrow, it wasn’t urgent at all. It was just a dumb box filled with letters that you’d never received while your father had been alive. So dramatic, you chided.
Just when you were about to shut the water off, you heard the bathroom door open quietly while you assumed Felix gathered your wet clothing and replaced them with fresh ones along with a towel. Once the door closed again, you drew the curtains back to be proved right. You dressed quickly, not bothering to brush your hair as you made your way back down and into the kitchen only to find that Mrs. Lee was no longer there, instead you found Felix looking for chopsticks for you to use while you ate.
“I told my mom to head to bed,” Felix informed you without looking up, placing the chopsticks on a napkin beside your warm plate. “What’s in the box?”
Your feet felt heavy with each step you took closer to your meal – to him. You leaned your lower back against the counter, gingerly taking the plate into your hands. “My father wrote me letters. A whole lot of them. But he never sent them.”
Felix’s eyes remained on you, taking his place right beside you, leaving only a hair’s distance in between. In order to not get distracted by this silly fact, you shoved your first bite into your mouth even though you didn’t feel particularly hungry. He didn’t seem to notice, only waiting patiently like he always did.
“The house hasn’t changed a single bit since I left,” you swallowed, voice thick. “I could tell exactly where he spent the majority of his time– the same spot at the head of the dinner table where he left stacks upon stacks of newspapers he never did bother to throw out, the reclining chair right in front of the TV where his weight had left its mark over the years, and his room that was a complete mess of clothes and books and papers and everything he ever used was thrown onto the ground.”
Another bite. Felix still said nothing.
“My room was left intact,” you continued. “It almost felt like time had stopped when I left, and the clock only continued when I walked in again. It was clean– my father kept his own room in chaos but cleaned my room. Not a speck of dust anywhere, and I checked.”
A third bite and then you set the practically full plate back onto the counter, you didn’t have the appetite to finish it. Felix wordlessly cleaned the area and left your plate in the fridge.
“I think the only thing that changed there was that all the family photos were taken down.” You pinch the bridge of your nose, squeezing your eyes shut as your breath becomes slightly shaky. “Not even put away, he just– took them and smashed them on the floor and left everything there. I can’t help but wonder just how long ago that was, and how many times he turned a blind eye to the broken glass as he stepped over them.
And then I went down to the basement, and everything was pretty much the same except for this stupid box. All of the letters with my name and address written on the envelope and I just– I lost it. I don’t know what to think anymore, of him…of anything.”
Felix’s arms suddenly wrapped around you tightly, surprising you for a second before you returned the gesture. Your heart was beating erratically in your chest despite this not being the first time he’d hugged you, but this one felt like it did when you were a teenager. It was strong, yet gentle; protective, yet freeing. Although it’d only been a few weeks since you’d seen him, you missed him deeply. You had left town, and he remained here with his family and his happy childhood memories – though you visited often and he did as well, but still; you missed him deeply.
“I think that your father loved you in his own twisted way,” Felix murmured in your ear at last, arms tightening around you. “He was hurting, too. And you still didn’t deserve any of the things he did and didn’t do to you, because you were hurting and you were the child. But I think he loved you.”
Tears welled up in your eyes once more, hands shaking as you gripped Felix’s blue hoodie.
ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ☀️
The rain had stopped after a while, so you and Felix took advantage of that and sat on the roof right outside his bedroom window like you’d done a thousand times before. Overlooking the neighborhood in the dead of night as you lighted up the freshly rolled joint between your lips, inhaling the comforting flower before exhaling its smoke. The weight on your shoulders and mind was lifted as your anxiety dulled and your body relaxed. You passed the joint to Felix, who mimicked your actions.
Your tears had long since dried, and the box had been left in the living room as you decided not to look at them tonight. Instead, you focused on the serene atmosphere that surrounded you and Felix like a warm hug. He passed the joint back to you, though you didn’t immediately bring it up to your lips again, letting it burn slightly between your thumb and index finger. Your eyes slowly found their way to Felix’s that had already been on you, analyzing you in the same way he had always done. You couldn’t tell if the glitter in his eyes were a reflection of the stars in the sky, or if they were truly his though they looked enchanting anyway. His smile widened when he noticed you meet his intense gaze and your heart burned at the sight, thinking back to your train of thought back on the front porch of your childhood home right before you’d come here.
After all of these years, all of the tears, grief, arguments, and lashing out – he remained beside you, eyes on you as if you’d placed the sun in the sky yourself. You would never understand how he could stay by you when everyone else had left, there was nothing special about you other than your cutting tongue and vengeful heart. Though you couldn’t help but soften at the sight of him and his optimistic way of seeing the world. He was far too good, too pure for you or anyone else. And yet he sat there, subtly inching closer to you though you had still noticed.
Lee Felix was in love with you, and had been for a long time. You were well aware, and had been for a long time. Though he never mentioned it directly and you decided that ignoring this would protect both you and him; but after all of this time, perhaps you’d maybe fallen in love with him too. It would be impossible not to let your own smile widen at the sight of his brown eyes watching you with so much genuine gentleness, to not feel your heart quicken every time he touched you, to not think of him when your bed was empty and cold, to not wish with every aching cell in your body that you were not as damaged as you were so that maybe, just maybe you would have a chance of deserving such a rare soul.
Despite knowing all of this, you allowed him to move closer to you as the joint became smaller and smaller with each pass between the two of you. Eventually, your arms and legs were touching, and you could practically feel Felix’s erratic heartbeat.
“What are you thinking about?” You surprised yourself by asking him, pointedly staring at the streetlamp directly in front of Felix’s house. His breath hitched slightly, though he didn’t say anything for a few moments.
“I don’t know,” he eventually mumbled with a half-shrug. “Everything, I guess.”
“What is everything, Felix?”
His eyes met yours, wide with curiosity as he attempted to read you. Your own veins were pulsing with adrenaline from your boldness, though somehow you weren’t as mad about it as you thought you would be.
“I– I’m not sure.”
“I don’t believe you. What is everything?”
This was everything against what you’d done since you noticed his feelings for you, this was not keeping a safe distance. But you couldn’t help it, it was as though your heart had finally gained control over your brain and was pushing you to confront your own feelings for the first time in years. Because the truth is, your heart did burn for him in a way you couldn’t explain; it fluttered and skipped a beat a thousand times whenever he was around and it had been for as long as you could think back. You didn’t deserve him, but he thought the world of you – so maybe that was worth something.
“Everything is–” Felix’s eyes searched yours, his breathing picking up slightly. “Everything is you.”
If your heart either exploded or simply stopped beating, you wouldn’t be surprised in the least. His words sent a chill down your spine, and you couldn’t stop the smile that snuck onto your face.
“Good.” You stated, putting out what little was left of your shared joint on the roof before moving to straddle him, and you might as well have pushed him off and onto the ground before with the way the wind seemed to have been knocked out of him. His eyes were so wide, so surprised yet so excited. “To me, everything is you, too.”
His eyes scanned yours for a moment before he released an incredulous, airy chuckle. He didn’t get the chance to say anything, however, as your lips met his for the first time and the world melted away.
word count: 3.3k ☀️ posted: 12 • 05 • 2023
💬 a note from green;
Thank you so much for the request! I truly, truly enjoyed writing this for you. I just sat here and the words just kept flowing and flowing and I just couldn't stop, so I hope you enjoy it! (Side note though: I'm sorry if this a bit darker for your taste, I read it back and was like 'yikes, didn't mean to start off like that'.)
Anyway! I appreciate your compliments, always. Your feedback is something I genuinely look forward to every time I post, and so I'm happy that we're mutuals out here supporting each other because honestly – you're a magnificent writer as well, so I can promise that every time I think of something new for you, I'll grab my phone and tell you all about it no matter where I am!
Again, I hope you enjoyed this and thank you!
🪲 TAGLIST !
This is my fic for @ecto-implosion! I wrote it based on the art by the talented @jackalspine
The little ectoblobs are made of the emotional residue of the creatures around them like dust bunnies. The Fenton house is full of both ectoplasm and emotional residue. So what happens after Danny is injured by his parents?
Danny walked along the power lines. Not on the ground, that was for people who liked getting doused with rain water everytime a car came by. It was way cooler strolling along, way above the headlights cutting blindly through the splintery drizzle that made this evening’s twilight so dim. Danny adroitly floated around a buzzing insulator that snapped testilly at every rain drop. He continued his stroll, placing his feet just a finger’s breadth above the black wire.
He supposed he should be grateful for the drizzle, and the quiet evening that was proof of the apparent absence of ghosts to hunt. But really, he was bored. Bored, and his brain was starting to prickle with dread as calculus equations and handwritten paragraphs echoed sinisterly in the back of his mind. The image of the homework he’d left piled in his room loomed closer over the horizon. On top was the English paper Lancer had assigned him.
He’d written two sentences for the paper’s intro before flying out his window to patrol. So far it was disappointing him. He’d found a wisp of a ghost bear rooting around in the Nasty Burger dumpster and an old granny who wasn’t bothering anybody except the park’s population of stray cats. It was getting uncomfortably more obvious that tonight his biggest responsibility was going to be his homework.
Danny wrinkled his face. Figures, the one night he wanted a distraction, Amity decided it was time for peaceful quiet.
Even though he knew he should be heading home he just kept walking along the wire. He folded his arms behind his head and kept an eye upward, hoping the clouds would break up.
It was just on the edge of too cold. The drops that hit his shoulders and head were like needling icy fingers, prodding him to go home and take cover inside six warm walls. Leave the world to the rain to whom it belonged. He stuck his tongue out at the sky and pulled his phone out of his belt pouch.
The cracked screen pulsed unhappily at him with aberrant colors. He tilted it forward, trying to shield it from the beads of water that rolled off it with bent light. There were no new messages from Sam, but Tucker was asking about that English assignment. Danny groaned and scrubbed his fingers through his hair in frustration. He knew what he should be doing, the universe knew what he should be doing, he’d cut off his toes and feed it to the resident ghost cats before he wrote one more word tonight. He locked his ankles together, drifting a little higher over the powerline while he texted back.
“Hey, Ghost scum!” was his only warning before something exploded off to his left. The acid green light of ecto-based ammunition froze the rain in the air in a single flash. It competed and instantly won against the dim sky, lighting up the undersides of tree limbs and throwing everything into a sharp lime light.
Danny automatically threw his hands over his face, then flew up, searching the ground through the spots in his vision for the interrupters.
“Damn it, Mads, I missed him again,” came the only slightly quieter voice. Danny’s grin spread sharply when he spotted his mom and dad crouched behind some bushes.
He floated tauntingly lower. “Hey, I was walking there. How’d you like it if I threw missiles at you when you were on an evening stroll?”
“I’d say you were showing off your true nature, ghost,” Jack cried, pointing a finger at him. The shiny black rubber of his gloves reflected the yellow globe of the streetlight that hummed, lonely in the rain. The single illumination of the deserted road. “An evil, mindless blob of ectoplasmic residue that’s grown too comfortable in the mortal plane.”
Danny hovered in place, daring on whatever happened next. “At least I’d be able to hit you, in that way I am pretty good.”
Maddy was scrambling to quickly reload the gun. It looked like pretty heavy artillery. It might be strong enough to blow him to pieces if the spots still dancing in his vision were anything to believe. Of course, it would have to hit him first. Lucky for him, it looked like it was going to take Maddy a while, and Danny had plenty of time to antagonize his parents. He floated lower, leaning back in the air and crossing his legs. “Don’t you two have somewhere better to be than out in the rain following an innocent ghost around?”
“No such thing,” Maddy hissed, still fighting over the guts of the big gun.
“Menace to society you mean,” Jack shouted up.
Danny stuck his tongue out at them and raised his arms with limp wrists like the classic ghost. “Boo.”
“You won’t be saying boo when my wife reloads and splatters your ectoplasm– er,”
Maddy threw down her new rocket launcher in disgust.
“No good, Mad’s?”
Danny looked on in utter delight as Maddie began riffling through the duffle bag at their feet. “I can’t get the damn thing to work with this rain.”
“My bad, Honey. In mark two, I’ll prioritize simplification and ease of use.”
“You can’t have everything in one gun, dear, your design is wonderful just as it is. Only a little tweaking I think.” Danny gagged overtop of them before they could get really sappy. They whipped back around, on guard again. Maddy stood up from the duffle bag this time with the net gun in her hands. She braced herself to fire.
Danny sighed and shook his head. “You folks need to figure out when it’s time to pack up and save it for another day.” He accumulated a ball of ectoplasm between his fingers and lobbed it at Maddie’s feet. She dived to the side and came up on her knees. They locked eyes and she pulled the trigger. The net burst out with a puff of gunpowder.
Danny flew to the side, but a corner of the net collided with his leg. The cords snapped around his boot, quickly tangling when he tried to shake it off. He grumbled, annoyed. But still, no problem. The cord was treated to be anti ghost so he couldn’t phase out, but he had a lot of energy humming in his chest that had gone unused all day long. He smiled grimly. So, they wanted to catch a ghost? This was going to be fun. He twisted around and propelled himself up above the treeline. Maddy yelped beneath him. He glanced back to see her feet were dragging in the ground and she was barely holding onto the gun over her head. He put on another burst of speed and her toes lifted off the ground.
Jack leaped to grab it from her. He braced his feet and grunted with the strain of holding Danny earthward. She let him have it and ran back for the duffel bag. Danny wasn’t quite strong enough to lift Jack off his feet, not without phasing the big man partly out of the physical world. Danny soon found himself fighting just to stay in the air.
Jack clung onto the rope doggedly. They both seemed pretty determined today to reel him in. No matter how he flew Jack was stubbornly holding on. As though he actually believed he and the phase-proof line could reassert the laws of gravity that Danny had gotten so used to ignoring.
He was starting to feel a little too much like a toy kite for his liking. Careful to keep the line taut, he bent over his leg to tug at the tangled cords of the net. He was just starting to make progress, a pile of freed loops dropping to hang form his boot, when he heard a pop from below. An instant later a bolt screamed through his arm. He recoiled, grabbing his arm tight.
The ectoplasm of his arm had been sheered away and hollowed out like a stick of butter in a microwave. Beads of ectoplasm rolled over the creases of his white gloves.
Looked like Maddy had finally got the gun to work again.
“Hey,” he yelled down. “You missed my vital organs. For all the time you spend hunting me, I’d expect you’d at least be good at it!” He aimed down along the perfectly straight line drawn between him and his dad. As perfect as a math equation, from point a to point b. He didn’t even have to aim.
Jack dropped backward, electric green smoldering in his orange jumpsuit. Danny buoyed up into the air, cord and gun and all. He would have gotten away then, and he was already thinking about what in hell he was going to write for his damned English paper.
Maddy dropped the gun and leaped over Jack. She jumped for the cord before it could get away from her. Her fingers wrapped around the handle of the gun, jerking Danny back down. She’d pulled something out of her jumpsuit. Danny saw the flash of the Fenton Ghost Taser™ an instant before she pressed it against the taut cord.
Danny cried out. His body instantly seized up, all his muscles vibrating, making his teeth chatter together. The searing pain that traced the path of the electricity came as a secondary thunder clap. He dropped out of the air.
He hit the first branches like a second shock. Thousands of tiny twigs crackled under his descent. As he traveled lower he hit branches that bent, then broke. He caught a glimpse of the ground. All scattered with brown, lance shaped leaves. Then he hit.
“Ow,” he groaned, pushing himself up. He batted bits of dead leaves out of his hair and suit, making sure he was all still there. He felt like his parents had hit him with the earth like a wrecking ball. He looked up, staggering a little with the tilt in perspective, up through the hole he’d smashed through the perfectly nice canopy the tree had been working on for who knew how long. Maybe he’d been the wrecking ball.
He had to sit down a moment, his entire body felt burned and achy from the taser. He fished one spikey piece of branch out of the side of his boot. He’d taken bigger hits and farther falls, but when he couldn’t catch himself the stupid part of him still expected to die everytime. He looked up again, ignoring the ringing in his head. He’d fallen into a damn thick patch of alders and bushes— honestly amazing he’d found any flat hard ground to hit at all.
The phase-proof cord— one end still tangled around his leg, wandered off into the underbrush. He could hear his parents thrashing around in the distance.
Danny quickly shook off his distraction and jammed his fingers into the knotted mess around his leg. He worked and pulled at the strands, brow furrowed into determined concentration. If he turned human he could slip out in an instant, but he didn’t want to risk one of his parents spotting it through the bushes. He kept glancing up to check how close they’d gotten before returning to the net. Of all the things, why did he not keep a knife on him? His parents had made a ghost thermos and laser lipstick. Why not a Fenton Knife™?
Their crashing was getting closer. He stubbornly kept his head down, focused on his scrambling fingers and ignoring the loud sounds of Jack and Maddy following the anti-ghost cord right to him. He just needed to figure out where it had gotten tangled. A careless movement reminded him of the hole seared into his arm. Oh, ow. He’d almost forgotten about that.
There, he’d found an edge. He freed it from a few misplaced cords, then twisted it, wrapped it back, passed it under his leg, and finally he could pull his leg free. He kicked the limp coil of net away and climbed to his feet. He could see patches of orange jumpsuit through the trees now. He gritted his teeth, pushing down the temper he could feel rearing up. They didn’t know— no. They didn’t care. He’d turned into a ghost under their noses, in their own workshop, and they’d never even noticed.
He tested his arm with a hand. He still could barely feel it but he could already tell it was going to hurt when he got home and slipped back into his human skin. He winced when his fingers came away green.
Danny stepped up into the air, flickering out of the visible spectrum.
The drizzle was still hesitant to turn into an actual rain when Danny floated outside his home. The neon sign buzzed faintly, briefly illuminating the drops that fell from the sky green, as though it was raining ectoplasm.
Carefully, Danny pulled open his window and slipped inside. He let go of his invisibility and dropped heavily to the floor. A blanket he’d kicked off the bed bunched uncomfortably under his back and elbow, and his boot was chewing up the pages of a book he’d left open in the middle of the room, but right now he didn’t care.
He stared up at his ceiling, at the sickly plastic of his glow-in-the-dark stars. It wasn’t dark enough yet for them to light up. The drizzle patted softly against the roof, like the Fenton building was a strange and unusual cat it didn’t quite know how to stroke. His arm ached dreadfully but he ignored it. A glancing thought reminded him of the English paper he’d sworn he’d finish tonight. He turned over, squeezing his fingers into his torn up arm. He scowled into the dark shadows that clung to the floor of his room. He’d do it tomorrow.
He came out of a dull fog with something nudging his leg. He hissed and kicked at it, then groaned. He was so sore from the electricity that had pulsed through ever fiber of muscle he owned. He cracked an eye open. It was dark. Rain shadows mottled the dim light from the neon sign outside that the window cast onto the floor beside him. The constant buzz of rain on the roof made him realize he was still cold and damp. He curled tighter into himself, closing his eyes to try and go back to sleep. Well, it had decided to rain after all.
Another nudge against his leg made him open his eyes in annoyance. It was a tiny blob ghost, apparently small enough to get past his parents' sensors and definitely too small to cause real trouble. It sat in a ball by his foot, gazing him down with softly glowing red eyes.
“Shoo,” he said crossly. “I’m trying to sleep.”
Instead of going away, it drifted up closer to his face. It was certainly brazen in the face of a much stronger ghost. Danny drew himself up into a half crouch, unwilling to let even this mindless blob catch him down and out. “You should get going, you don’t want my parents to see you hanging around.”
Instead of listening to him, the blob rolled up to his hand. The surface of its ectoplasm rippled and then it plopped up a wet wad of bandages.
“Eeew, that’s gross.” But it did make Danny think to look at his injured arm. He grimaced. That gun was seriously concentrated. His arm was still hollowed out and dripping with green slime. He’d been slowly leaking as he slept and it had left a dark, wet spot on his twisted blanket that gleamed dully in the low light. “Shoot.”
The small blob made a tiny murmuring chirp. He looked back down at it and it nudged his hand. He’d never met a blob ghost so friendly. The ones he occasionally spotted in the house seemed peaceable enough, but he never let them get close. They were like fruit flies, they just appeared where their sustenance was. Normally they coalesced after fights, drawn to the spilled ectoplasm like ramora to sharks. Or maybe they were created by it. Who knows. They were skittish, unfriendly, and prone to hurting pets. He didn’t really know how to react to this one trying to cuddle up to him.
When its insistent bumps got no reaction, the blob instead snagged his sleeve. It bobbed up in the air, tugging him to stand up.
Suddenly there was another blob. It floated out from under his bed and tugged on his pant leg, seemingly for the same purpose.
Bemused, Danny stood. The room tilted. For a moment he couldn’t move except to sway on his legs. He almost jumped out of his skin when a third blob ghost appeared over his shoulder. It settled as solidly as a blob could on its perch and hummed and chirped in his ear. Its firm press reminded him of when his dad would clap him on the shoulder, his big warm hand a steadying weight.
The blob ghosts were still tugging on his clothes. So, Danny obeyed. He tottered tiredly toward his bed. He made the bed every day, but the blob ghosts must have been rifling through his room before they woke him up because all the blankets were half off.
Irritated, he fell into bed. He sighed as his pillow recieved his head with a puff. His ssense of gravity became even looser as the pillow cradled his skull. He might have been floating as unmoored as he felt. How he’d missed it. Did it seem poofier today or was he just really happy to be in bed?
He shivered at the cold sheets and shifted to curl into a ball, but the blob ghost was still holding onto his sleeve. He lifted his head to show a threatening row of teeth, but he didn’t have the energy for much else. He flared the energy of his core. It had never failed to to send blobs darting away like frightened mice. These ones didn’t.
The big one that had sat on his shoulder floated through the air, a long trail of white bandage fluttering beneath it like a tail. Danny was starting to be amused. At least this bandage wasn’t already sopping with ectoplasm.
The big blob hovered over the bed, edging the bandage closer to his wound. He didn’t know how to tell these things that you were supposed to disinfect stuff first. Whatever, at least it would stop him from soaking the mattress. He could deal with things properly tomorrow. In the morning when he felt less like a dead boy barely filling in his human skin. Yeah, whenever that happened.
He’d figured out how to scare them off the night he’d been following the trail of a giant, mutant ghost snake. He’d been chasing it for most of the night and the snake had left it’s mark on him and a large chunk of Amity Park. He’d been pretty sure it was dead but he didn’t want that one coming back to life to bite him in the ass. Again.
He’d found it in an old alleyway, its coils half hidden by mounds of trash. The huge snake had stopped moving. It was losing clarity fast and its scales were melting into the broken asphalt. The ambient ectoplasm its blood had added to the air made a glowing haze over the alley. It was also swarming with blobs. Like busy ants they flocked from one wound to the next, soaking it in like sugar water.
Danny had taken a step back, just like anyone who turned over a log and found it crawling with maggots. Danny blinked at them, squinting with one eye crusted half shut from the fight and the other rubbery with exhaustion. The way the blobs swarmed over the ghost’s corpse before it had even bled away out of their physical world made shivers prickle all over his shoulders. Slowly he backed away. He’d confirmed the snake wouldn’t be a threat anymore, his job was done.
He’d intended to leave the scene and creep away to finally go home, when his leg gave out and he slipped on the pavement. all the milling pairs of red eyes snapped to him. They hissed like a multi-tongued hoard of snakes. Automatically, Danny flared his core. He’d gritted his teeth, staring them down, thinking very hard about how much bigger and fiercer he was, how easy to squish them and fight them off his prey. The hand in front of him gained an unnatural edge, like a glowing afterimage. All the ghosts immediately fled, abandoning their immense feast.
After that he’d never had much trouble with the smaller ghosts. It didn’t make sense that these ones weren’t bothered about it.
Danny took the bandage from the bigger blob and pinched it to his arm, intending to wind it around with his teeth. Instead, the three blob ghosts seized it from him, letting him hold it in place while they passed it back and forth around his arm. Danny didn’t have to do anything before he was looking at a tidily wrapped bandage. He wasn’t even seeping through them yet.
“Thank you.” Uneasily he settled back onto his pillow, warily watching the blobs flit around like alien lights through half closed eyes.
The blob ghosts drifted like flotsam, their cool glow sliding over his freezing sheets to the glistening wood of his bedpost, then back again to bead on the dark wetness he’d spread on the floor and under his dry eyelids. His sight blurred and he realized again how tired he was, but now he’d been roused twice. He couldn’t relax with the huge, cold night huddling in the space of his bedroom. Especially not with the strange ghosts, mindless and helpful though they seemed to be.
The blobs didn’t seem to realize. They briefly floated down out of sight then reappeared holding up a blanket between them. As gently and softly as could be, they drew it over him. Two of them churred soothingly and patted the blanket around him as though they were trying to tuck him in. Danny wanted to laugh but instead he found himself sinking into his pillow, eyes blinking shut. After all, why shoo them off, he could defend himself from a couple of blobs. He yawned broadly. The third blob ghost drifted down to alight on his forehead, unexpectedly similar to the softness of a cool hand against a fever. Danny sighed and let it stay there. He already felt warmth spreading over him from the blankets, he was afraid to move or it would go away.
The other blob ghosts settled onto his blanket around his legs. Their light dimmed as though they were going to sleep. He finally relaxed enough for the transformation to slip over his head and down his legs. He shivered furiously for a moment, like the first steps out of a cold pool where he’d acclimated to a chill sort-of-comfort and then into biting wind. Before long real warmth stole over him.
The blob resting on his forehead began to hum. Even through his sleep drenched brain he recognised it. It was a silly song that his parents had liked and turned into a lullaby, just like every parent does. Whenever this one came onto the radio Danny was jolted back to when he was a kid and soothed into a warm bed on a close and sleepy evening. When he was a kid he’d practically vibrated with too much energy. When he couldn’t sleep Maddie would hold him wrapped in a blanket in her lap, singing that song and rocking back and forth, sometimes flubbing and making up her own words.
They needed the lullaby a lot when he was a kid. Some nights it was the only way to keep him in bed. It was a song for a too long road trip when he’d sent the entire car into seismic shifts from his carseat while the windshield wipers worked madly and Jazz was yelling at him for kicking her seat. The song was for a hospital visit where the cold room and unfamiliar walls was more disturbing than the pain in his broken arm. In the past it had never failed to lull him to sleep.
Somehow he hadn’t heard it in a long time. He didn’t miss it, it was just one of those things you naturally left behind as time passed. He wasn’t a baby anymore and Maddie didn’t need to sing it to get him to shut up for five seconds. He didn’t even remember the funny words she’d made up for it. His eyes drifted closed as he tried to mumble them and somehow dredge them up from deep in his mind. He’d almost completely forgotten it. He wondered where this blob had picked it up.
All the wondering he could do ran away from him quickly. His consciousness spun out like a ball of yarn leading him to sleep. The tune dropped him back into those years of falling asleep with his mom’s cheek next to his and finally his brain stopped thinking and let him drift off into deep dreamless sleep.
Jack and Maddie came home in the stillness of the hour between night and morning. It had stopped raining but they were drenched and stuck all over with orange pineneedles and other forest detritus. They were tired and trudged heavily through the door, not wanting to wake anyone up. There were twigs and leaves in Jack’s hair and a spray of thorns caught in the weave of Maddie’s suit. She smiled working it free but there was no real mirth behind it. Just tiredness.
They’d found no ghost in their net. But they’d been so sure a ghost couldn’t escape it, and a hit from Maddie’s new gun, on top of a shock from the Fenton Taser™ without being seriously damaged and power drained. So they’d combed the area again. They’d found not a sign of the ghost. They supposed that they’d never know until the next dogfight if that one had survived or had dissolved into whatever aether the scraps of human consciousness were bound for.
They dumped their tangled and scraped up gear in a pile. Neither of them said anything. Without a word they left it there and took the stairs. Jack looked at the back of his wife’s neck. He might not be good at reading people but he’d known her long enough. All these ghosts were fascinating, they’d never had more work. But the rest of Amity didn’t exactly agree with their glee. Some nights the sheer amount of ghostly activity was overwhelming. And they were strong enough to be actually capable of real property damage! Who knew what else. The sooner they could stuff these spooks back where they came from the better. But this wasn’t what was bothering Maddy. Jack knew the problem that was puzzling her now was Danny. It was frustrating. Life would be so much easier if people could just say what they were thinking.
If only he could figure out the problem.
Again, without words, they stopped in front of Danny’s door. Dread was boiling in Maddie’s stomach, there’d been so many nights she’d known he’d snuck out. Some nights he just never came home. Jack’s large arm reached past her to press against the door. He eased it open with both hands, For once he payed special attention to not bump anything thoughtlessly. Danny’s room was dark, the only light inside came from the warm stripes that escaped from the hallway lamp around their legs and the dim stick on stars that littered the ceiling. It was messy, as usual. Leaves of homework were layered over his desk and books lay open all over the floor. Drifts of clothes made sedimentary layers in the corners of the room. Jack couldn’t help his well of fondness at the sight. Danny was a still form on the bed. Silent asleep, as he should be.
Jack sniffed, was the ectoplasm smell stronger here? He glanced around briefly; bed, desk, floor— then shrugged. It was everywhere in the house. It was their fault really, always mixing work and family life.
Jack looked down and realized neither of them had pushed one toe over the carpet line into his room. It was just as good as a wall.
Maddie’s mouth worked as though she was chewing over a mouthful of words that needed to be said, no matter how silently. She finally whispered. “Good night, Danny.”
And then they left as carefully as they had come.
One of my friends asked me what I was reading and I don’t know how to tell them it’s Bowuigi hurt/comfort.
whump writers and their best friend, the list of symptoms of hypovolemic shock