I'm sorry but WHAT is happening in Duel Links??
*CRACKS KNUCKLES* ALRIGHT im certain other people could explain this better than I could (bark at me if any of this is wrong,) but, an attempt at a quick rough tl;dr of it:
so like. an important thing to note with DL is that like..... the in-universe explanation for Duel Links is that it's one of Seto Kaiba's new VR Next Evolution of Dueling Ego Projects, which like, ok sure, he Makes Those, but what's a little alarming with this one is that technically (almost) none of the characters In The Game are actually Those Characters Specifically, they're AI recreations of them with their original self's memories (that's already a lot, right out the gate.) (I say "almost" everyone because I think it's implied DSOD Kaiba and maybe Mokuba actually Are them because it's Their Game and they're always product testing it, there might be others though)
anyway another thing with this situation is that, uh, Most Characters in Duel Links Do Not Know They're AI. They just assume they're the original guy, that's just them! Hanging out in this cool new Duel VR! But then sometimes you DO get characters who actively are aware that they're just code in a video game (Yami Bakura and Bruno 5D's both comment on it), so you have this really interesting ecosystem of duelists who Are aware they don't really exist, and duelists who are None the Wiser. absolutely batshit.
and sure this is all well and fine with like, DM and maybe GX characters, ok sure it makes sense Kaiba would be recreating notable duelists of that era, but i cannot stress enough He Is Also Making AI Recreations of Dead People. DL very much takes place post-manga, post-DSOD. But Yami Yugi is There. Yami Bakura and Yami Marik are Very There. Manga Pegasus is there. Seto "I Will Never Learn to Come to Terms With Grief" Kaiba is actively raising the dead in his little VR card game simulator so they can live forever and there's a 50/50 chance they'll be FULLY AWARE that they died. JESUS.
There's also the hulking elephant in the room of Duel Links Has Been Including Characters From Series Kaiba Has Nothing to Do With For Quite Some Time Now--and a lot of those characters are like HEY. WHERE THE FUCK ARE WE. like I SWEAR someone from either Zexal or Arv-V was actively like "hi what the hell is KaibaCorp" so like...Kaiba's branding is ALL OVER THE VR WORLD EVEN IN THE WORLDS HE DIDNT EXIST IN. It's painting this absolute off the rails picture of Seto Kaiba trying to create this virtual multiverse of The Best Duelists From Every Timeline Living or Dead, and half the guys he's pulling in at this point are like *spawns into a perfect recreation of their hometown with no real idea of who did this* "what in the goddamn."
like guys from zexal/arc-v are actively IN GAME like trying to figure out why this VR world exists and who created it. It's absolutely wild and fascinating to watch. excited to see what happens when they add VRAINS world next month?!?!? idk anything about VRAINS really but it's probably going to make the DL lore even more bananas.
ANYWAY. ALL OF THAT SAID. NOW WE HAVE MAXIMILLION PEGASUS DROPPING IN-GAME OMINOUS SENTIMENTS it's kind of a culmination of all of the aforementioned shit. Duel Links Pegasus (an AI recreation of manga!Pegasus, who is fully aware A.) that's he's dead and B.) that there's multiple worlds and timelines crammed into this Virtual Reality) has a conversation with Paradox (an AI recreation of Paradox the Bonds Beyond Time Yugioh Movie Bad Guy, who, for all intents and purposes, fully believes he's the real dude and he wants to kill-die-explode-murder Pegasus SO BAD) breaking down that "hey, this place unites different histories, and if you kill me duel monsters won't cease to exist. Anyway, I'm not real! Ohoho! This world holds threads of tragedy, Paradox-boy!" <-- (not verbatim. but i wish it was.) Meanwhile Paradox is having a sputtering breakdown right next to him. This is a video game to play yugioh the trading card game.
like. it's just absolutely wild. konami could have just said "hey heres yugioh characters from every series. whatever" but no instead they threw in a bunch of mild psychological horror and inter-series friction and existentialism and it's a freemium video game that i have 600+ hours on on steam. yugioh duel links !
Heyy, I hope you're doing fine ! I just love your prompts and your characters are always well written !
Also the NSFW is *chef's kiss* however I'm a slut for angst and I have a prompt for you when you have time :
So I'd like to know once the proxies are established with fem!reader, like they get steady-ish with her, how would they react if she dies/disappear ? Thank youuu ♡︎♡︎
Thank you so much!!Also,I LOVE THIS PROMT😭💞
Warnings: death and dark themes,angst
If you suddenly disappeared they would hardly assume a demon got you,that would be near impossible considering your skills
None would consider your death.Sure,maybe you ran away and that would make somewhat more sense.
"That stupid bitch wouldn't." Masky hissed,throwing the cigarette on the ground and smashing it with the tip of his boot.
Running away from Slenderman it's an impossible mission for all the creeps,including yourself.He would make sure to bring you back or to torment you until you break down and come back.It's only on HIS terms if he decides to let someone go,and even then he would always know where they are
"He wouldn't let..let go of h-her." Toby said,nervously rubbing the back of his head while EJ simply sighed while looking out of the window to the forest with him.
They would search your room for leads,considering the possibility of a runaway
None got any notice from The Operator,and none asked.That's why the three of them looked for you in the forest for two days before putting Smile to search for you
Masky's nerves were over the roof and he already consumed one month worth bottle of pills while Hoodie started to lose his calm demeanour,yet it was subtle,you could tell by the tapping of his foot
Surprisingly, Toby didn't get into a fight with Masky first but rather with Hoodie.
"Fucking hell guys." he suddenly snapped,taking fast steps towards the white masked man."If-If f-fucking only you would keep your m-mouth shut she-she wouldn't do this!" Toby yelled at Masky,still thinking about the slight possibility you are still alive.
Brian made his way to the younger man and held him by the collar of his jacket."Shut the fuck up,Rogers.This time-shut up." he demanded,still keeping his voice as cold as possible.
In the same night all of them got the news from Smile's owner about your death.
Their relationship would grow significantly colder,even between the pair of closer friends
The nights of the long missions all of them stayed beside a camp fire and made passive aggressive jokes towards each other disappeared along with you
Your name wouldn't be bought up,but whenever it would be a fight would erupt.It would be Toby who would bring you up the most,almost as if he's blaming the others for your death
Did they cry?The younger man had a few breakdowns who resulted in a lot of restless nights,after all you were the only one who was there for him and now he remained alone between two psychopaths who were barely human.
Masky would have moments where he would simply stare into the void,but he would claim he's actually glad you're no longer there,that's why him and Hoodie would get violent with each other
Tim on the other hand even bought a flower to the tree both of you used to talk before,it was his way of apologising on behalf of all of his fucked up doings towards you
"Damn,you are really gone,and now things are worse than they were before"
Hoodie doesn't make an effort to hide the way he feels,it doesn't make sense to hide it.He would sit down and run a hand trough his hair and he would go back to work,he secretly drowns his feelings into it
The loss of your presence it's too obvious for their liking,almost to the point the other residents acknowledged the way their dynamics changed
I don't see them going back to normal for a few years,even then their relationship would still have a cool tone attached to it.
I can see Toby keeping an object from your room with him and if Masky would notice it he would throw a tantrum
Hoodie and Masky were the ones to empty your room,while his friend went with it quite fast and quiet,Brian took his time to notice all the small details about how you really were in your life
Masky acts like you ran away just for a reason to be angry with you,it keeps him occupied from the guilt that finally caught up to him
People cannot be replaced,even if someone similar would come in they still don't have your name attached to it,and if they do they will never be you.
Hi-Fi RUSH theory rambling time
I was writing this for a wiki but why the hell not post it here too -
Chai's music player deliberately chooses songs that fit his emotions at the time. The game already implies that the music player's grafting to Chai affects more than his physical abilities and reacts to stress (like when The Rush starts playing when he's hit by the SBR-001), so it's entirely possible that this includes picking the song that would be the most personal.
With the streamer mode songs, that might even include the lyrics; even before the surgery, Chai is listening to "The Beacon" which is about being rescued from a dark, lonely place (possibly his own life prospects and hope about Project Armstrong), so it could be emulating the same habits. Notably, that song in specific could be suggesting he had depression or some sort of breakdown before the events of the game, but since Chai never shares about his life before this, no way of knowing.
(spoilers under the cut, to go into the songs individually:)
"I Got This", which only starts playing after he's started his escape, is about Chai's euphoria in getting freedom and attention, and having no intention of letting his new arm be taken away from him.
"Too Big To Fail" is similar, focusing on Chai's determination to fight anything that wants to take away his newfound freedom.
"Captive Normals" adds an extra layer to the ableist angle that being called a "defect" seems to have on him, as it insists on not submitting to anyone just to be "normal", even if that means acting well out of line. The lyrics have a LOT of ableist imagery mentioned (asylums, being shoved out of conversations, being “bed bound” and forgotten) further supporting that Chai has a lot of restrained anger about it.
"Buzzsaw" is Chai's first genuine act of teamwork instead of being mostly self serving, and the lyrics reflect a need to make it count despite the odds.
“This’ll Be Rough” speaks for itself; climbing Wing 2 is a pain and a break would be nice, but Chai is gonna do it anyway; fits his character well.
"My Heart Feels No Pain" seems to specifically relate to Mimosa's contribution to Chai joining the project. The female vocals insist it can't be a lie if he took the risks knowingly, while the male vocals have a realization that it was a mistake but it's not too late; culminating in the duet talking about Chai being truly free from her propaganda as the last bit of truth about Vandelay was fully revealed in the previous Track - not even Project Armstrong was Kale's idea in the first place, and his "coolness" was all manufactured through altering the truth about his family.
"Surfacing" is a reply to "The Beacon", having realized that a miracle wouldn't turn his life around, and instead Chai had to make the best out of his situation through effort.
"In a Blink" starts out mild as the music player is malfunctioning, describing a moment of hesitation leading to being manipulated (much like SPECTRA, but with the song playing at all, it’s clear Chai still had a little resistance left in him); but once 808 breaks him out of it, the song kicks in at full force, repeatedly telling himself to "snap out" as there is too much at stake, and face Kale head on.
EDIT: I saw a different interpretation of In a Blink’s lyrics that doesn’t match up at with the previous, so putting this alt here: assuming the themes use the vampirism allegory, it actually changes the context to something far more gay I mean vengeful. Kale put Chai in a world of lies set up to be a tool; but now that Chai is part of it, “it's my turn to feed”, as in, he’ll make full use of it to turn the tables instead of becoming the puppet. No seriously the vampirism angle only makes this more gay
In constrast, "Negotiation" and "Reflection" have no lyrics whatsoever or a licenced counterpart, as Chai is focusing on the task at hand fully.
Eddie Munson General Headcanons
Male! Reader, holy shit y’all really liked that last one, although I can’t blame you I love him too so here’s some headcanons for y’all, literally rewatching season 4 as I write this, just some fluffy headcanons, might do a smuttier version when I wake up tomorrow on my nsfw account, but for now let’s get into this shall we?
CIS Women and Female Aligned people, please DNI, this story and all of my others are for non-binary, masculine aligned and male readers!
He’s just great
Eddie for sure is a weirdo
But to the people he loves? It’s like weirdo but sincere
He cares so deeply about those close to him that he would go to the ends of the earth to protect them
But his boyfriend?
Don’t even get me started
He would defend him from any asshole that decided to pick on him/beat him up
Such a delicate man
If the hellfire club was cool with it his bf would chill in Eddie’s lap during sessions
Granted none of them have much of a choice given that Eddie did what he did and no one could stop him
He doesn’t do too much PDA because it’s a small town in Indiana in the 80’s, pretty much no one is cool with the gays
But in private this man is all over his bf
He always wants to be touching him
Ed’s also definitely loves movie nights
Cuddles, a couple movies, popcorn, candy, ya know the works for a proper movie night
He loves every second of it
“What movie do you wanna watch?”
“It’s up to you Ed’s, you always pick good ones”
Without realizing it he definitely blushes a little at comments like those
Hearing tiny praises from the person he loves the most? He is more than signed up he’s running the organization
If he’s interested in DnD, Eddie is immediately getting him a Hellfire shirt, helping him make character sheets, get a set of dice, understand the base rules of the game, and somehow finds a way to get him into the current campaign
Like he’s so deadass about DnD that having a bf who’s also interested might break him
He’s genuinely a sweetheart
Besides the whole “hellfire is a cult”, “he’s a vessel for the devil” bullshit that the rest of the town is convinced about, Eddie’s so down to earth
Especially when he’s high
For the sake of this we’re just talking about weed
Best to smoke with 10/10
Always has snacks and drinks prepared for the inevitable munchies
His trailer is a safe space for everything too
Need to have a breakdown? Eddie’s trailer
Wanna get high and forget the day? His trailer
Just need to sleep in a comfortable place? He will make it as comfortable as his bf needs it to be
Complimenting his rings is like #1 best thing to do
Like I said he loves subtle praise, so complimenting his style is perfect for that
His hair, his clothes, rings, eyes, guitar skills, DM abilities, hell just his dramatic flair
Loves any compliments that he can tell are genuine
Such a sweet man
During his hiding phase he definitely felt bad that anyone was involved
And especially bad if his bf gets involved
It’s inevitable but he still feels a lot of guilt
Definitely the type to just shake off any pain and keep going
He would literally get socked in the face and have a broken nose and still get up just fine and keep going
Insane levels of adrenaline
Speaking of adrenaline
He’s a junky
Loves anything that gets his heart going
At least, in a safe manner
Like not Chrissy dying in front of him racing, like rollercoasters, skiing, skating, good DnD campaigns
Usually the first to ask about dates
He’s very forward with his tactics and doesn’t like to just let his feelings fester
Overall, great guy, 100000/10 I do in fact recommend
So, I've been thinking deep, long and hard about this (tehehe that sounded dirty :3) and I've finally found a nice prompt I wish to make a request on...so get your pot brewing cause its angst time.
How about some Childe x harbinger! fem! reader where they both have been in a relationship for a while now…and have grown extremely close since then doing missions and assassinations together etc. And everyone knows them as a power couple/force to be reconned with. However, as you know Childe/Ajax is a family man and after a little night of unsafe 'dirties' reader becomes pregnant and they are both super excited (if you feel uncomfortable with pregnancy you can just change it to them planning to getting married or something its fine) butttt...then they get sent off on a mission together to fight a powerful enemy that is giving big trouble...but unfortunately it was too much for even them and though they win the battle they lose the war (they basically got the badguys but got fatally wounded throughout this)
And its in their last moments together that they reminisce about the good times, remind each other of their love and think about what could've been... I mean if you wanna let them survive too that's cool..but just make sad regardless okay🙂
*skips out the cafe*
What could´ve been
summary: you and childe are living the harbinger life, secretly dating behind the scenes; when a new member joins your little family, how will your life change?
pairing: childe x fem!harbinger!reader
warnings: fluff to angst, major character death, child death, pregnancy, allusion to doing the dirty but noting explicit (therefore suggestive), (mentions of) murder, mentions of maiming/ losing limbs, cursing, long fic (~11.6k)
a/n: cookie, i don´t think you know how much brain rot you gave me with this but you can guess with how much i drifted off; i changed the ending a little bit, i hope you don´t mind; i understand there´s been a lot of focus on the fatui recently bc of the new trailer but i wrote this before we got the news, if you wanna learn more about my progress, you can find a post here; thank you to my best friend and @mari-on-dragonspine for reading this and enduring my breakdowns <3; lastly, i don´t normally ask for this but i invested a lot of time into this, so if you like the fic, please consider reblogging, commenting, leaving an ask or sharing this with others, it would mean the world to me ♡
genshin impact masterlist
“I think I fell madly in love with you the first time we met.”
“The first time we met, I tried to kill you.”
“I know and it was attractive as hell.”
“I worry about you sometimes, Childe.” The smell of fresh coffee wafted through the kitchen and into the rest of the house as the first rays of the sun filtered through the curtains.
“Aww, what´s with the name, babe? We´re not at work yet,” he whined groggily. Joining you at the kitchen counter, he pressed his chest against your back and buried his nose in your hair. His hands seemed to have found a life of their own as they stroked and squeezed along every part of you they could get a hold of, here and there dipping under the shirt that was actually his. His voice came out muffled as his lips attached themselves to your neck, making it even harder to understand him. “So, don´t call me that, yeah? I´m just Ajax while we´re at home.”
“Right now, you´re just a big baby,” you teased as your hand came up to run through his messy ginger strands before pressing a steaming mug into his hands. “Come on, you´ll have to get going or you´ll be late.”
“Do I have to?” At the affectionately stern call of his name, Childe slowly detached himself from you. “Fine. But it´s really not fair that you get to go later than me.”
“Bring back a gnosis and you might be able to sleep in as well.” You chuckled at the imprecations the ginger directed towards your fellow harbinger under his breath while he pulled out a pan, two plates and some ingredients for breakfast. Now it was your turn to hug your pouty lover around the waist while nuzzling your cheek into the defined muscles of his back. “Don´t be like that, honey. I also wish we could have more time together but for now, I´m just happy we even get to spend the morning with each other. Being away from you for so long was really the worst.”
“How can I not agree with you when you´re so cute first thing in the morning, hmm?” You felt his laughter just as much as you heard it, the movement of his arms over the pan adding to the sensation. “What do we say to eggs and bacon to start the day? I think we still have some vatrushka buns as a little treat as well.”
“Sounds amazing,” you yawned into his back.
“Hey now, no going back to sleep,” he teased. “If you helped, we´d be done faster, you know.”
“But this is nice, I think I´ll stay like this a little longer,” you said, digging your fingers into his ribs, causing Childe to jolt up slightly.
“This is not helping!”
Eventually, you decided to lend a hand and soon after you two got to enjoy a scrumptious breakfast as you soaked up each other´s presence, hands intertwined and feet tangled underneath the table. In the early morning light, his ocean eyes sparkled the way they usually only did during an intense battle. And just like always, it was way too easy for you to lose yourself in their depths but reality pulled you to the surface again.
“Thank you for cooking, darling, it was delicious.” As you stood up and gathered the dishes, you pressed a lingering kiss to his temple. Before he could even make a move to help you, you shushed him. “I´ve got this. Go and get ready. You really shouldn´t keep Her Majesty waiting.”
When Childe reappeared in the kitchen door, he was dressed in his trademark grey outfit, harbinger mask settled at the side of his head as he wrapped the striking red scarf around his neck. Stepping close to him, you let him pull you in by the waist as you worked on the buttons of the thick fur coat he threw on.
“What´s your schedule for today? I´ll be working with some new recruits and they´d better do well. For their own sake.” His thumb traced along the features of your face as if he wanted to commit every last detail to memory.
“I´m sure they´ll do fine,” you hummed as you leaned into his touch. “I´ll be out collecting some debts. If everyone behaves, I might make it back to Zapolyarny Palace for lunch.”
“I´m looking forward to that,” he hummed before cupping your face and leaning down to meet you halfway. Neither of you wanted to pull away, your hands snaking around his neck keeping him in place as you tilted your head to gain better access to his lips. A groan escaped him as Childe tugged you impossibly closer, your chest flush against the soft material of his clothes. You knew he might not ever leave the house if you didn't stop him, so you pulled back only for his lips to chase yours.
“Ajax, you really should go now,” you giggled. “I´ll come meet you once I´m done, I promise.”
There was a smug grin on his face at your statement. “Well, you promised it, can´t go back on your word now. Be safe, yeah?”
“Will be. Same goes for you, too.”
He hummed affirmatively before swooping down to place another quick peck on the crown of your head. A cold breeze swept through the entryway of your house as the front door opened and Childe stepped into the snowy landscapes of Snezhnaya. After the door shut, you stood and watched his silhouette grow smaller in the distance before making your way to the bathroom.
Going through your morning routine, you washed up and then moved into your dressing room where your work clothes were already waiting for you. The material was familiar against your skin as you pulled piece after piece on, giving you a sense of comfort and normality. You added a multitude of different accessories to complete the harbinger look and scrutinised your appearance again in the mirror. If there was something you had learned from your time working under the Tsaritsa, then it was the importance of appearances. A harbinger who didn´t look the part was much less likely to be taken seriously, by both enemies and allies alike.
When everything sat as it should, you opened the topmost drawer of your vanity and carefully lifted the elegant mask out of its designated case. During a confrontation, it would cover the upper half of your face, leaving your mouth and cheeks bare, but for now, it only served as a special accessory.
Last but not least, you attached the teal vision that almost felt as if it was floating before grabbing your Tsaritsa-given delusion. In contrast to the power bestowed upon you by the gods, it felt cold against your skin but didn´t chill you to the bone like it used to.
After pulling on your boots and grey coat, you braced yourself for the frosty temperatures you had learned to endure and started trekking through the snow-covered paths. It was hard to discern anything due to the thick white blanket covering everything the eye could see and you´d no doubt go blind if the sun broke through the dark grey sky. Perfect for an ambush on the unassuming.
“My Lady!” The voice of one of your subordinates rang through the silence of the morning as they appeared before you, their black uniforms standing out against the background as they knelt before you. “All targets have been sighted. We can proceed with the mission as planned.”
“Good. Let´s get going then.”
Most of the people owing money to the Fatui complied rather easily with your demands or jumped at the deals you offered them to clear themselves of their debt. Having a Harbinger personally show up on your doorstep was a well-known sign the time for fun and games was over and that resistance would cost you more than any kind of deal ever could. But, as always, there had to be an exception.
You came to a halt on a hilltop outside of a run-down town, the black fur of your coat’s neckline tickling your nose when a gust of wind swept over the ice as you scanned over the info on the last debtor for this day. He had loaned a hefty sum from the Fatui but also from other organisations, all of which he had yet to repay.
“This is going to be fun,” you mumbled under your breath as you handed the files back to an agent. “We´ll proceed as usual. Stay back until the target shows signs of resistance.”
“Yes, my lady!”
The snow-mudded streets were empty and if weren´t for the shadows moving behind the windows of the crooked houses, one could´ve mistaken it for an abandoned ghost town. Whenever you caught the eye of someone through the dirty glass, they averted them with ill-disguised fear.
With confident strides and your head held high, you pushed open the door to a shabby bar while your subordinates melted into the surroundings outside. The falling snowflakes from outside were replaced by dust swirling through the dimly lit room. The floorboards groaned under your heels. Drawn by the noise, a sleazy and haggard man appeared behind the bar.
“Yeah, yeah what do you want-!” His tone and facial expression immediately changed as he took in your appearance but not in the regretful way people normally look at the Harbingers. A disgusting grin spread over his face as he rubbed his hands together. “Oh, my apologies, young lady. What can I get you, dear?”
“I´d like a drink, please.” You put on your most honeyed voice and an easy smile as you slowly approached the counter. Oh, you were going to have fun with him. “A drink worth 800 000 Mora, to be exact.”
“800 000 Mora?!” The guy spluttered. “You must be joking! A- a drink worth this much-“
“I don´t jest about matters of this magnitude. Well, if you can´t make me a drink, there´s something else you could do for me. Certainly, this figure rings a bell.” Your smile grew just a little too friendly as you cocked your head to the side as the fool blankly stared at you. “No? What a shame. But since I´m not interested in wasting my valuable time any longer, let´s cut to the chase: I´m here to collect a debt.”
“Collect a debt?” His eyebrows knitted together before he slammed his hands down on the countertop. “Did that bastard Igor send you? Thought a little eye candy would loosen my pockets, huh? Well, you can tell him—”
“Unfortunately for you, I wasn´t sent here by Igor. Oh well, since you clearly have no idea who I am, I´ll be so generous as to enlighten you.” As the cold from outside seeped into your voice, the shadows on the wall started to move, your subordinates manifesting behind you. “I´m Columbina, Second of the Fatui Harbingers. I´m here on behalf of Her Majesty, the Tsaritsa, to settle a debt amounting to 800 000 Mora. Without calculating interest.”
His face fell as those words left your lips and he rounded the bar faster than you could say Mora. Throwing himself at your feet, he grabbed at the hem of your coat as he finally showed some remorse. “Please, Lady Harbinger! I didn´t know! Please forgive this fool for speaking out of term!”
“Is that all your apologising for?” Looking down on him from above you studied his already tear-swollen eyes as you ripped the cloth out of his grasp. “Besides, it´ll take more than a pitiful apology to absolve you of your misconduct against Her Majesty. After all, going against the Fatui means going against the will of the Tsaritsa herself, you understand that right?”
At his shaky nod, you continued.
“Good. Now that we´ve established that,” you said, drawing an elegant sword and pressing the dangerously gleaming edge against the side of his neck, “I wonder how our Archon would proceed with someone who dared disrespect an agreement with her?”
“Please, gracious Lady Harbinger, spare my life!” His trembling caused his skin to slide against the steady hold of your blade causing the first crimson drops to run down the polished surface.
“And why would I do that? Give me a convincing reason.”
“I´ll pay back the whole debt!” This was the loudest his voice had been since the reveal of your identity, yet, you could see the panic in his eyes as his gaze caught yours, one eyebrow raised as you scrutinised him. “W-With interest of course!”
“Hmm, you sound confident, so I´ll believe you for now.” Sheathing your blade again, you motioned for your subordinates to leave. As you reached the door, you looked back over your shoulder at the fool´s ashy-grey face again. “Well, then, I´ll be back for a drink soon.”
And with that, the door shut with a bang. You exhaled deeply as you pinched the bridge of your nose. Debt collecting was usually not something you enjoyed as most people who loaned money from the Fatui were desperate enough to grasp at the last straws. But sometimes… sometimes seeing a douche like him on his knees in front of you gave you a certain kind of kick.
“Hihihi, Lady Columbina~” Two of your highest right-hand mages, Elaira and Alina, approached you, the blue and violet ears on their hoods bobbing with their giggles. “It´s not often you´re so cold with your targets. What´s prompted this?”
“People need to be reminded once in a while who they´re dealing with. Besides, don´t you think he deserved it more than any of the others we visited today?”
“Oh, we absolutely agree, Lady Columbina,” the electro mage said in a sing-song voice. “It's always fun to see you so commanding, it really gets me going. You should do it more, it suits you.”
“It's always the same with you two,” you sighed as they erupted in another fit of giggles. “Come on, let´s report back to Zapolyarny Palace. I´d rather not waste any more time in this run-down town.”
“You got it, my Lady!”
Stepping into Zapolyarny Palace was like taking a bath in a Snezhnayan lake, the sub-zero temperatures from outside seemed to plummet even further as you crossed into Her Majesty´s sovereign territory. The guards at the enormous entry gate saluted as you and your entourage passed before the heavy doors shut again with a deep thud. As the clacking of your heels echoed off the icy walls, every agent you came across halted in their way and stood at attendance, even if you didn´t spare them so much as a glance.
Signalling for the guards to grant you entry, you held your head high and looked straight ahead, all emotion drained from your features as the high-arching doors slowly swung open. There, on a throne in front of a stained-glass window, sat one of the most beautiful women you had ever seen, the slit in her shiny blue dress revealing the marble-smooth skin of her crossed legs. The crystals in her crown reflected the light like polished icicles and her long snow-white hair moved barely at all as she tilted her head resting on a perfectly manicured hand. Yet, as you levelled your gaze with hers, there was nothing but frost and coldness between you, the mere metres to the base of the throne felt like a tundra worth of distance.
“Your Majesty, we come bearing the reports of this morning´s debt collecting,” one of the Cicin mages said as they stepped out in front of you before kneeling like your other subordinates. “We think your Majesty will be very pleased.”
One of the soldiers next to the throne took the papers, then resumed his position and stood still as a statue. With a lift of your fingers, you motion for your leave, never once breaking eye contact with your Archon. The heavy drape of your cloak swept over the threshold of the courtroom and with that the doors shut.
“Ugh! How do you do it, my Lady? What is your secret?” The Elaira lamented as you reached your wing within the palace. Everyone within these corridors was one of your subordinates or one of a fellow Harbinger whose business collided with yours. “I really don´t understand how you can look her in the eyes for so long! I´d freeze on the spot!”
“Hmm, I suppose you get used to the cold eventually”, you answered nonchalantly. “Now, to more important matters: lunch?”
As she opened her mouth to speak an agent called for your attention. “My Lady, Lord Tartaglia has requested an audience. He is waiting in your study.”
“Very well.” You turned to the two women. “You go on without me. I will meet you at the training grounds as scheduled.”
“Of course, my lady. Enjoy your lunch~”, the two giggled as they vanished with a wink.
“They´ll be the death of me,” you sighed as you crossed the room, shrugging off your coat before slumping into your cushioned chair, your fingers finding their way to the familiar spot on the bridge of your nose.
“You´ve always been exceptionally fond of them though.” The ginger across from you remarked as he linked his arms behind his head and stretched out his long legs.
“Unfortunately for my nerves, you´re right.” With a softer tone, you added “They´re a lively bunch; reminds me that not everything in this place is emotionally dead.”
“What about me then?” Childe smirked as he leaned his elbows on your desk. “Am I emotionally dead too?”
“Nah, you´re alright.” Your eyes twinkled as they locked with his as your boyfriend placed two containers of homemade lunch on the table. Much better than the cafeteria food especially considering who prepared it. “So, how´re the recruits?”
“They´re not half-bad,” Childe said between bites. “Well, if you compare them to freshly born bunnies at least. How´s Her Majesty?”
“Peachy. What´s on the agenda for this afternoon?”
“Just running some errands. I saw you´re in for a bit of fun with some newbies too.”
“Don´t remind me. As if dealing with them wasn´t enough already.” Pointing your fork at him, you swallowed. “Forget the rookies, they´re adorably fresh-faced compared to those nuisances. They´ve been here for a while, they´ve gone through frigid training. They´re not new but they´re also not experienced enough. They´re itching for a chance to prove themselves without ever having had to face any real consequences. They fancy themselves capable agents already, they have a grandiose sense of self and worst of all, they´re the most likely to act out against authority. It´s always the same.”
“Every kid needs to eat their vegetables some day and who better to teach them a lesson than dear old mom?” Childe smugly said, leaning back in his chair again. The way you saw it, he was enjoying himself a little too much on your behalf.
“Is it too late to give them up for adoption? I´m sure Dottore or Pantalone would love to ingrain some manners into them.”
“But then we´d also be a couple of soldiers short of what we started with.”
“That´s true,” you conceded. “Let´s pray they´ll choose a Harbinger other than me to bother.”
The remaining lunch break was spent not talking about work. Instead, you started daydreaming about possible home renovations, what to make for dinner or where to go on your day off. When the clock chimed to get back to work, you almost didn´t want to leave the comfortable couch or the warm embrace you found yourself in. But alas, you had a job to do.
“I´ll see you this evening then. Stay safe, yeah?” You leant up for a kiss as you straightened his uniform. His palms were pleasantly warm as they cupped your cheeks and he pulled you oh so close to him. As your lips connected, all coldness left your bones and made room for the feeling of home, so familiar and safe, it had you immediately smiling into the kiss. Never in your life had you wanted to be anywhere so badly as with him, so you only parted from him reluctantly when there were three mismatched knocks on your door. Childe fastened the cloak around your neck before booping your nose with a playful wink.
“My Lady, we know this meeting must be of utmost importance but they´re are recruits to be taught,” Alina´s sing-song voice called out to you.
Walking side by side with your subordinates trailing behind you, you made for the main hall of the palace where you stopped in front of one another, all previous warmth erased from either expression.
“Tartaglia.” You offered a court nod which the man in question promptly returned.
“Columbina. I thank you for the most insightful meeting.” And with that, both of you turned on your heels and marched off in opposing directions.
You could feel your retainers´ gazes bore into you as they practically skipped behind you but you shushed them before they could open their mouths which only earned you a giggle in return. Even though you didn´t explicitly tell them about your relationship with your fellow Harbinger, they had picked up on the shift in atmosphere rather quickly. Despite their somewhat ditsy appearance both of them were a lot sharper than people gave them credit for, which really shouldn´t come as a surprise considering you chose them as your closest associates. Around the last corner to the training grounds, you signalled for them to stop.
“Out of all the Harbingers, did we really have to get Columbina?” It was the voice of a young man, decent with a sword, terrible with a bow and even worse with a polearm.
“Shush! Do you have a death wish?!” A female recruit, all-rounder, humble, not a troublemaker. “Besides, she is the second of the Harbingers, I´d be honoured to serve under her later. Unlike others, she actually treats us like people.”
“Oh, come on. I´m sure she´s the weakest one of the bunch.” Next to you, the sound of electricity crackling could be heard while the temperature was rapidly falling, yet, you held up your hand to hold your retainers back. “Like, that vision has to be a fake, I´ve never seen her use it even once. She´s probably just a fraud or something. What could we learn from someone like that?”
“Stop it! I won´t let you talk ill-“
“No, no. Let him finish, it´s an interesting take.” Your voice rang out as your eyes flicked over the man rooted in his spot. “Go on, you were so confident about it just a moment ago. Or better yet, want to put your theory to the test?”
“N-No, my Lady, I-“
“Don´t be shy now. We´re all here to learn after all.” You strode past him to the centre of the open-air arena, your tone leaving no room for argument. “Pick a weapon of your choice.”
When he went to grab a wooden practice sword, you clicked your tongue and motioned to the sharpened weapons. The sword's rack clattered from the tremble in his hands as he lifted a blade from its holder, then turned his head toward you.
“I won´t be needing one. We want to keep this nice and fair, yes?” Cocking your head to the side, your smile was a bit too thinly stretched to be comforting as you patiently waited for him to come closer. “This is your chance to show everyone how weak I am. I´ll be generous and say that you´ll win if you last 20 seconds after initiating the battle. If you manage to land a blow on me, I´ll step down from my position as Harbinger. If you lose, however, you´ll face the consequences of disrespecting one of the Tsaritsa´s hand-picked elite. Sound fair?”
Among the other recruits watching with curious interest, a chorus of shocked whispers filled the afternoon air. Meanwhile, the two mages looking on inspected their nails or stifled a yawn.
“You´ll really step down from being a Harbinger if I hit you?” Placing your hand over your heart, you nodded. “With all due respect, my Lady, aren´t you being a bit too cocky right now? There´s no way…”
“Why don´t you cut the chit-chat and find out?” You crooked your fingers with a smirk. “You won´t win by just standing there.”
With that, he charged at you like a bull chasing a red cloth, completely blinded by the prospect of winning. You really had to applaud his optimism, though it did nothing to save him from your foot hitting his fist the second he came within reach and sending the sword high up in the air. Delivering a forceful kick to his stomach, you send him staggering backwards before knocking him on the ground by hitting him over the head with the sword handle you just closed your fingers around.
As the blood running from his temple started soaking the floor, you accidentally stepped onto his hand which gave a sickening crunch in return, then you pressed the sword into his neck. Now, where had you seen this before?
“I believe I have won. Or should I grant you a revanche?” At the frantic shaking of his head, you hummed. “You´re right, it´s not what we agreed upon. Rules are rules after all. As for the stakes we established…I´m a firm believer that you should learn from every lesson, so today I´ll teach you how to properly address a Harbinger. All of you should pay special attention now.”
“First of all, kneel unless I tell you otherwise.” You watched as he heaved himself onto one knee, swaying side to side due to the impact of the metal. “And be quick about it. Other Harbingers aren´t as lenient as I am. Keep your head down and only speak when you´re spoken to, it might save your life or at least a limb. Next up, with all due respect, which is none, do you really think your tone of voice was appropriate when directed towards me?”
“N-No, my Lady.” His voice was shaking as badly as his legs, tears and snot were already covering the part of his face you could see.
“We agree on something then, which means we can move on to the final question for today.” You pressed the sword against his pulse again. “Do you still think my vision is a bluff? If so, I´d be delighted to prove you wrong.”
The air around the training ground crackled with pure power as the winds around the arena picked up speed, harshly tugging at the recruits' clothes and causing them to stagger. Murmurs and shocked gasps could be heard as the others shifted uncomfortably on their feet. Perhaps there really was something akin to comradery amongst them. As the one to your feet opened his mouth, his answer was drowned out by the howling squalls which shook the landscape.
“Do you want to know why I never use my vision?” Without waiting for an answer this time, you leant down close to his ear. “It´s because I don´t need to.”
You tilted your head and pressed the sharp edge deeper into his skin as you took in his panic-stricken face. Then you lifted the sword above your head and swiftly brought it down. Turning towards the others you made brief eye contact before coming to stand next to your retainers.
“For today´s training session, we´ll practice disarming your opponent. Everyone pair up in teams of two, one will attack while the other tries to knock their sword right out of their hands.” For a couple of seconds, nobody moved before they bustled about. “Oh yes, someone please pull the sword from the ground and bring your comrade to see a healer. Today, if it´s possible.”
An appreciative whistle came from the shadows next to you. “Quite the show, Columbina. A rare treat indeed.”
“Capitano, to what do I owe the pleasure of you following my lessons? Hoping to learn a thing or two?” Your voice was devoid of the boiling heat in your blood upon the arrival of your fellow Harbinger, resembling much more the ice that surrounded you all.
“I like this side of you, it´s very entertaining.” He laughed as he patted a heavy hand on your shoulder and you fought hard not to slice it clean off right then and there. “Still, I can´t believe you let him walk away with his head on his shoulders. How fortunate for him.”
“I´ve found people learn more from their mistakes with their heads still attached. Besides, he wasn´t doing a lot of walking. Weak knees that one.” The mages barely concealed their interest in your conversation as you side-eyed the man. “Will that be all then? The show is over for today.”
“Oh yes, that will be all. But please inform me next time you put it back on, yeah?” You didn´t acknowledge his leave as you closely watched the movement of the men and women in front of you.
The rest of the day went by without any further occurrences and soon enough you rolled your shoulders after bidding Elaira and Alina goodbye. Your thoughts were invaded by the images of a warm bath and cozy snuggles with your boyfriend, making your desire to go home even stronger.
So, you were surprised and somewhat disappointed when you came home to an empty house, the lights shut off and the rooms awfully quiet as you kicked off your shoes and hung your coat. Normally “running errands” shouldn´t take Childe that long. Seems like this day was troublesome not only for you. You might as well get started on dinner then.
Yet, you only managed to chop half of the vegetables before the silence was broken by a key turning in the lock as a deep groan, heavy footsteps and the distinctive thud of a body hitting the couch followed.
“Welcome home, honey. How was work?“ The answer came in form of a muffled groan. “Shoes off.” Two smaller thuds.
With a warm smile, you followed him into the living room, placing the knife on the couch table. You squeezed next to him, sitting at the edge, running your hand through his ginger strands, carefully detangling the red mask and discarding it next to the knife. As your fingers ran over his scalp, Childe let out a blissed sigh, shifting to get more comfortable.
Moving your hands further down, you peeled off his grey uniform jacket, revealing the crimson red shirt underneath. Trailing your touch over the planes of defined muscle, you pressed down where most of his stiffened areas sat. This time he audibly moaned.
“Feel good, hm?”, you teased.
“Yeah, you´re so good to me, baby,” Childe sighed. “Keep going, please.”
“Later. I´ll make dinner and then we´ll take a nice long bath together, sound good?” You planted a soft peck against the side of his head. “Just be a little more patient for me.”
As you stood against the counter again, you grabbed for the knife only to find it still laying on the coffee table. “Ajax, dear, could you hand me the knife please?” Your hand shot up to catch the handle right before the blade could pierce your skin. “Thank you.”
“Would you please start catching them a few seconds earlier? One of these days it´s actually going to hit you, you know.” His voice sounded closer now, his spot on the couch abandoned in favour of leaning in the doorway.
“As if,” you snorted. “You can´t even get a hit in when you´re actually trying, so I´ll be fine.”
“That´s just because you´re such a small target,” he whined.
“Maybe you should use those long arms of yours, then, to land a blow,” you mused, winking at him over his shoulder before returning your attention to the poor cucumber on your cutting board.
“You mean like this?” The knife clattered onto the counter as Childe wrapped his arms around you from behind and spun you around, merrily laughing at your surprised squeal. “Caught you, I´m not gonna let you go again now.”
“Ajax! Let me down, I still need to prepare dinner!” Your sentence came out stuttered between your laughter as you half-heartedly thrashed in his hold. His only response was to hoist you up into carrying bridal style.
“I´ll help you later. For now, I want all your attention to myself.” There was no hint of exhaustion as he marched straight towards the bath and set you down on the sink, coming to stand between your legs. “I know we don´t talk about work at home but I heard about what you did today and I gotta say, that was attractive as hell.”
He didn´t even give you the chance to respond, before his mouth was on yours, his hands greedily pulling you closer. The kisses you shared throughout the day had been sweet and playful but there was nothing of that innocence to be found now. Instead, his tongue swiped over your bottom lip with fervent hunger before tangling with yours. Gripping the countertop with one hand as your other arm lazily draped over his shoulder, you felt him cup the back of your head in his palm, the material of the gloves he hadn´t bothered to take off massaging against your scalp.
“Ajax,” you breathed out as his lips started mapping out the expanse of your jaw, down your neck and to your collarbones, using the hand in your hair to angle your head to give him better access. “Don´t leave any marks on my neck, I can´t cover them up well enough.”
“So, everywhere else is fair game?” You didn´t miss the hint of mischief in his voice right before his teeth nipped at your shoulder before soothing the spot with a tender kiss. It earned him a light tap on his biceps but when he straightened back up again to level his gaze with yours, he found nothing but mirth, warmth and love swirling in your eyes. Smoothing his hands up your thighs, he wrapped one of your legs around his waist and pressed you tightly against him when you crossed your ankles behind his back, his long fingers covering most of the small of your back. “A bath sounds really good now, don´t you think? It´s a good thing, too, that you can sleep in longer in the morning. You might be a little tired after such a long day.”
And Childe was right. You were so sore the next morning the smug idiot carried you to the kitchen to “make up for being the one responsible”. Over the next weeks, going to work later turned from blessing to necessity as you were more often than not hit with nausea after waking up. This was enough to tip you off but the final nail in the coffin was your period. Or, more accurately, the lack thereof.
You knew you needed to tell Childe but something made you hesitate. It wasn´t that you were scared of his reaction, everybody knew he was a family man and he often flooded your mind with the thoughts of starting your own family. It was the situation you were in that made your jaw clench. And telling Childe would make all of it become a reality.
Keeping the baby would mean you´d have to desert the Fatui and secretly at that. A Harbinger couldn´t have any major responsibilities towards anything but the job and a child would be an unacceptable burden you´d need to get rid of if others were to find out. You were weapons, chess pieces in someone else´s game, bound by an oath. In that way, Archons and Harbingers weren´t so different.
But betraying the Fatui would mean running for the rest of your life, never being able to properly settle and always casting a glance over your shoulder. How could you possibly raise a child in the knowledge of dooming them to such a fate? If they´d live long enough to grow up that is.
Reality, however, wouldn´t change if you kept quiet about it and Childe and you had sworn an oath to carry whatever struggle may befall you together. Besides, he had a right to know, it was his child after all too. So, one evening after dinner, as you were cuddling on the couch, you gathered all your courage. Sitting up so you were straddling his waist, one hand came up to rest against his cheek as the other intertwined with one of his.
“Ajax, there´s something I need to tell you.”
At the worry in your tone, his brows creased and his hand squeezed yours reassuringly. “What is it, darling? You know I´ll always be here for you. It´s a promise I intend to keep, so please tell me what´s troubling you.”
“There´s no point in prolonging this, then. It concerns you as much as me, you see.“ A timid smile found its way onto your face at the softness in his voice and the way his eyes stayed trained on yours. “Ajax, I´m pregnant.”
You watched him process this newfound information before you were engulfed in a tight embrace and you wondered why you ever hesitated in the first place. Pulling back, Childe framed your face with both his hands, a vivid spark in his eyes as he searched for the indicators of a joke. “Please tell me you´re serious.”
“I´m serious, dear. You´re going to be a father.”
At that, something in him seemed to snap and he pulled you forward as if he couldn’t bear the thought of separating from you ever again. The kiss was deep, sensual and oh so full of love. As his searing lips slowly danced with yours, his hands slid down your body to settle at your waist as his thumbs circled over your stomach, leaving a trail of molten affection in their wake. Waves of bliss were tugging you deeper into the ocean that was the man before you but you couldn´t say you minded; you´d let them swallow you whole if he so desired. You could feel the excited fluttering of his heart matching yours against the palm of your hand. The sensation was only heightened by the vibrations of Childe´s deep laughter which had both of you coming up for air.
“I still can´t believe it. I´m going to be a dad,” he breathlessly whispered. Carefully he placed one hand fully on your stomach, gently moving his fingers over the place where a new life was beginning to blossom, mesmerised by the thought of his own little family. Pressing another sweet kiss to your lips to confirm this was indeed happening, he leaned his forehead against yours, the tips of your noses almost touching. “I must be the luckiest man alive; how did I deserve you?”
“By the same means through which I deserved you.” You placed your hand on Childe´s and he swore he could see the stars twinkle in your eyes. But yours were so much brighter and more captivating than the ones in the night sky; he never wanted to look anywhere else ever again. “I couldn´t be happier right now, which is exactly why it pains me to ruin this moment but… what do we do now? We´ve already been playing a dangerous game just being together but we can´t hide a child, let alone a pregnancy, forever. They´re bound to find out and they won´t be lining up for the title of godparent, that´s for sure.”
Childe´s grip on you tightened as a shadow fell over his blue irises. “I´d tear Celestia apart with my bare hands brick by brick for this family. If I have to betray the Tsaritsa, so be it. This is worth it; you are worth it.”
“I´m sorry your Majesty,” you thought. Your fingers reached up to touch the icy delusion you had received “to freeze this heart of yours”. “But this heart of mine is still very much alive.”
With a reassuring grip on his hand and a daring smirk, you met Childe´s determined eyes. “Glad we´re on the same page then.”
“There´s one more thing to do, though, and I think now´s the perfect time,” Childe announced. You shot him a curious glance as he carefully lifted you out of his lap and came to stand before you before pulling you to your feet as well. His eyes shone with delight as he chuckled at your confused expression. “With our little family growing, this is the only right conclusion, is it?”
Not letting go of your hands, he slowly got down on one knee and a fond smile graced his features when he saw your expression catching up with his actions.
“Truth is, there´s something I wanted to tell you as well. I guess it´s more of a question really but it´s been on my mind for a long while now and I´m dying to hear your answer.” Reaching into his pocket he pulled out a beautiful ring and held it up between you. “(Y/n), will you marry me?”
You had thrown yourself on him before he could even register the excited string of “Yes!”s leaving your mouth, tears now flowing freely as he cushioned your fall. Both of you were radiating like the sun when he carefully slipped the wedding band onto your left ring finger before pulling out one for you to give him. When you calmed down, you rested your head on his chest, hands intertwined as he absentmindedly traced circles onto your waist.
“I, (Y/n), take you, Ajax, to be my husband, to cherish and to hold from this day forward. Not even death shall do us part,” you whispered into the calm of your living room.
“I, Ajax, take you, (Y/n), to be my wife, to dote on and to protect from this day forward. Not even death shall do us part.” You smiled into the sweet kiss as you wondered how you got so fortunate to call this man yours.
You spent the next couple of weeks planning your escape from the Fatui, double and triple checking every little detail and every possible outcome. It was clear as ice that a single mistake would probably cost you your lives but you had both endured your god-given fate only to end up in the arms of the Fatui, where you clawed your way to the top. If anyone was though, daring and skilled enough to pull this off, it would be you two. And at first, your plan seemed possible. That was until everything started going south.
“What do you mean Rosalyne is dead?”, Pierro´s voice echoed through the frosty chambers. “And on top of that, the Balladeer betrayed her Majesty and vanished with the Gnosis. Preposterous!”
The messenger bowed his head even lower as he repeated the dreadful news. When the voices of the other Harbingers were raised as well, he took it as his cue and quickly took leave. You let the others squabble amongst themselves for a while as you looked onto the scene. It was hard to tell whether they were angrier about the passing of one of our own or about the disappearance of the God of Eternity´s Gnosis. Either way, it seemed wise to interrupt their petty disputes before tensions could rise even higher.
“Please, calm down, everyone”, you said and despite not raising your voice, the chatter stopped almost immediately. “This is not something to get so excited about.”
“Rosalyne died! How should we not be upset?”
“Do you not care about our duty to the Tsaritsa?”
“Naturally, I am just as appalled by these turns of events as you are and I´m not saying we should go about our days as if nothing happened,” you explained. “I´m merely asking you not to lose your heads over this. Antagonising one another won´t bring any progress at all.”
“I must say I agree with Columbina.” It was Pulcinella who spoke up first and broke the silence that had befallen the room. “We will mourn the death of our fellow Harbinger appropriately, then we will strategise on how best to track down the Balladeer and recover the Gnosis.”
That was what you agreed on, at least. But feelings are not so easily repressed just because one wants them to be. The one unifying trait among the Harbingers had been their loyalty to the Tsaritsa and the cause. If they couldn´t agree on anything else, they were brought together by the oath they swore. Now, however, even this flimsy string had snapped and they drifted further apart still.
Who would betray them next? Could you trust in anyone else besides yourself even with the most trivial matters? Shouldn´t possible threats be disposed of? These were the doubts lingering inside the Harbingers´ eyes whenever their gazes would cross. Lies, manipulation and intrigues had been part of everyone´s lives for long enough to become second nature, so it was no surprise their suspicions turned against each other.
For Childe and you, however, this was like balancing on a tightrope without a safety net. The starting line for your escape had just been reset to an unbridgeable distance. With everyone´s guards raised impossibly higher than before, one wrong glance could send you hurdling down towards your demise. But with your family´s lives on the line, you couldn´t backtrack now. It might have become harder but not unthinkable.
“Lady Columbina, Her Majesty has requested an audience.”
It wasn´t the cold which sent shivers down your spine as you saw Childe already standing before the frosty throne but an urgent sense of dread which filled your gut and made it hard to breathe. You came to a halt next to him as you swallowed the lump of premonition lodged in your throat. The fact that there was nobody else even in the throne room didn´t help to soothe your nerves, if only it served to worsen your fears.
“You summoned us, Your Majesty?” Despite your doubts, your voice came out evenly and you were tempted to thank the gods. “May I ask what this is about? If it pertains to the Balladeer and the missing Gnosis, please rest assured, the situation will be dealt with swiftly.”
“I have no doubts regarding the matter of which you speak.” It wasn´t often the Tsaritsa spoke to her subjects but her voice was unlike anything you ever heard. It was clear and pure like an ice crystal but just as cold and dangerous as the frost creeping over the ground and encasing all life within it. “In fact, I am leaving this case in your capable hands. You shall venture throughout Teyvat and bring home your fellow Harbinger as well as the piece missing in our collection. I believe by entrusting you two with this task, I´m eliminating all possible threats to our cause, wouldn´t you agree?”
The front door fell shut behind both of you as you already shrugged off your coats and discarded your boots.
“I´ve never heard a more thinly veiled threat,” Childe groaned.
“I agree,” you hummed. “I think we might have waited too long.”
“So, you really think she knows?” The ginger sank into the couch cushions and pulled you in closer by the waist as you took a seat next to him. “There´s no chance that this is a coincidence, is there?”
“Hardly. The Tsaritsa might´ve abandoned her Heavenly Principle a long time ago but I don´t think that made her blind to it,” you mused as you placed your head on his shoulder. Your gaze fell onto the stationary set still lying on the coffee table from when Childe excitedly informed his family of the good news. “On the contrary, it probably made her even more conscious of it. After all, love might be one of the few things that could endanger her cause. Case and point, us.”
“But there´s not much we can do about it. We´ll have to follow her orders until we make it out of Snezhnaya, then we follow through with the rest of our plan and go into hiding; can´t exactly disappear from the Palace when everyone´s sniffing the air for betrayal like bloodhounds.”
“I hate it when you´re right,” you sighed which earned you a flick to the forehead and an offended “Hey!” as you sank deeper into Childe´s warmth. “But leaving the Tsaritsa´s domain won´t exactly be a leisurely walk in the park if she threatened us so openly.”
“So, what I´m hearing is, we´ll get a little bit of a warm-up exercise before leaving the country. How thoughtful of Her Majesty.” The challenging tone that would normally have you rolling your eyes at your dork of a husband couldn´t quite mask the edge in his voice or the way his arms tightened around you. Had you already lost your footing or would you be able to hang on to that tiny sliver of hope?
“Hey now,” his voice was gentle as he pulled you into his lap and rested his head on top of your shoulder, arms wrapping around you protectively as his warm hands rested on your belly, “it´ll be alright, yeah? We´ll be together, all three of us. There´s nothing more I could wish for.”
“Maybe I don´t always hate it when you´re right,” you cheekily replied, teasing grin on your face as you turned your head towards him. Placing a soft peck on his cheek, you basked in the comfort of the moment which you wished would never end as Childe guided your chin, so he could give you “a proper kiss”.
But nothing lasted forever and all too soon you found yourself walking the cold halls of Zapolyarny Palace again, only now, the corridors seemed much narrower than before, the walls seemingly moving in, leaving you with nowhere to go. The arrangement of the floor tiles reminded you less of diamonds and more of a hunter´s trap waiting for its prey to make one thoughtless move.
Pantalone´s scrutinising gaze, Dottore´s mocking questions about whether you were feeling nauseous and Capitano´s blade missing your belly by a hair width during sparring were not exactly comforting either. You were certain Childe and you weren´t the only ones who were given a mission that day.
Therefore, it was almost a relief when the date of your departure finally came. What was about to come would probably be hell on earth but at least it was something. The calm before the storm was always the most unnerving, spending it in anxious anticipation for what was to come, yet, as you triple-checked your weapons, you felt a strange sense of ease, the inevitability of disaster grounding you in the moment.
Pulling on your coats for what would probably be the last time one way or another, a sinking feeling settled deep in your gut as you reached for the doorknob. It was as if you stood at the edge of a cliff, the ground behind you slowly breaking away. There was no way to go but forwards but did that make taking the leap easier?
“Ajax, whatever happens today, I-“ As you turned your head, you were caught off guard by him standing directly behind you, his thumb tracing over your lips.
“Don´t.” Childe smiled softly as he feathered a sweet kiss against your temple. “Whatever happens today won´t change my promise to you. I´ll always be here for you, for both of you. Nothing could ever change that. Let me protect my family, okay? Ready?”
You cradled his hand on your cheek in your own before turning your head and pressing a peck against his palm while catching his loving gaze with your own. “Whenever you are.”
At first, your trip to the harbour resembled more of a relaxed afternoon walk rather than the beginning of a no-return mission. Yet, instead of thanking your lucky stars, the hairs on your neck stood on edge as the unnerving lack of threats made your skin prickle.
When you arrived at a narrow canyon framed by high mountain cliffs, however, your little stroll turned into a walk to the gallows. As you took in the differently heightened plateaus surrounding you, you understood why nobody had attempted to stop you on your way there. And by the way Childe´s shoulders tensed as he itched for his bow, you knew you needn´t convey your own suspicions.
“Well, well, well, what do we have here? A little birdie told me two traitors would be coming through here today.” A gleeful voice echoed from the boulders, “Looks like it was right.”
“Pantalone. I´d say it´s nice to see you but I was told lying is a sin, so let me ask you what you´re doing here instead?”
“Ah, my dear Columbina, I told you already, haven´t I? I´m here to catch some filthy rats, as our late comrade would´ve phrased it.” The smile on his face was too wide to be considered friendly but didn´t reach his eyes. “I have to hand it to you, you are right on time.”
“Traitors?” You feigned shock and indignance as you stalled for more time to assess the situation at hand. “We´re on our way to Inazuma on Her Majesty´s behest, I see nothing treacherous about that.”
“You don´t have to play dumb with me, Columbina. Both of you are well aware why we are here and we are well aware you wouldn´t be off to Inazuma for the Tsaritsa´s request.” At your inquisitive raise of an eyebrow at the plural form, both of you dropped your venomous smiles to reveal your pure loathing for one another. “Naturally, Her Majesty has known about your little… situation all this time and, when faced with the possibility of another deserter, requested the full support of her Harbingers to deal with this threat.”
“But not all of us are battle-hungry fools,” Pantalone threw Childe a nasty side-glance to which the ginger merely scoffed, “so, let us be civil about this. Get rid off the baby and this foolish dream of a family and return to your rightful place at Her Majesty´s side. I´m sure she will be considerate of your situation and only minorly reprimand you.”
“I cannot do that.”
“You heard me. If you make me abandon my child, I will never be able to swear my loyalty to the Tsaritsa again.” With an unforced smile dripping malice, you took a step forward. “Besides, I´ve been looking for a reason to actually hurt you without pulling any punches for a long time now. I can´t just pass this opportunity up. Let us be battle-hungry fools, comrade.”
“So be it then,” he scowled. Raising his hand in an all too familiar gesture, he signalled for his subordinates to take up position and mere seconds later, you found yourself surrounded on all sides.
“Not to be that guy but,” Childe´s voice sounded from behind you as he had moved to cover your back, “I am quite honoured at the warm welcome.”
“I know right?” You chuckled as you eyed the eight Harbingers who had appeared next to their troops with varying degrees of enthusiasm. “Pulling out all the stops just for us, that´s so thoughtful of them.”
“You know the Tsaritsa always gets what she wants, right?”
“Yes. But we are Harbingers, my dear. We defy the gods.”
“Have I ever told you how much I love you?” The excited laughter spilling from his lips made you think you really had married a maniac but judging by the grin on your face, you weren´t fairing much better in the sanity category. “Let´s enjoy ourselves to the fullest then.”
The first onslaught of arrows raining down from the cliffs didn´t even reach your near vicinity before being caught in the wind torrents surrounding you. Instead, they were flung outwards toward the soldiers charging at you. The characteristic swoosh of Childe unleashing his hydro blades graced your ears as you unsheathed your own sword to parry an agent´s dagger aimed straight at your head.
As you slashed through wave after wave of agents, mages and skirmishers, Childe´s presence never left you. He was always there to cover your back, not giving anyone the chance to even get close to you. In the corner of your eye, you saw the red flash of a pyro gunner reloading but you couldn´t even ready something to take him out with prior to a blue charged arrow tearing through him. It didn´t take long for the perimeter around you two to be covered in bodies, some still groaning or trying to crawl away, others completely motionless in the snow.
“This was to be expected, of course, but impressive nonetheless.” The slow clapping sounded nothing but mocking as Pantalone´s condescending voice reappeared. “Now then, I hope you´re warmed up for the actual fun to begin. We even brought you a gift to show there´s no ill will between us. After all, you should be able to say goodbye to your closest associates.”
Among the faces of your former colleagues, you spotted two familiar pairs of ears bobbing reluctantly, trying to keep in the background. They were pushed to the front, however, and barely met your eyes, hoods drawn deep into their masked faces.
They hesitantly raised their catalysts “We´re sorry, Lady Columbina, but they threatened to-“
“No, I understand. And I´m sorry, too.” Concentrating all your anemo power into the palm of your hand, you drew them in with a cyclone before abruptly pushing all force away from you, sending them flying straight into the side of the mountain. Hopefully, it would only render them unconscious for the time being.
A gentle touch on your shoulder took your mind off murder for a second. “Are you okay?” Your husband´s soothing voice hummed. You merely nodded as you eyed the man in front of you like a hawk.
“Ouch. Cold-hearted, that one. There´s really no comradery left in you, is there?” His chuckle brought you back into the present as you gripped the handle of your sword tighter. “I wonder what you would´ve done if we had brought those little brats instead.”
An image flashed through your mind. The stationary on the coffee table. A small house in a fisher´s village. Three ginger haired children smiling up at you. How far would the Fatui go to get back at you both?
The hand on your shoulder tightened its grip, Childe´s brain most likely conjuring similar thoughts as yours. If you wanted to hurt Pantalone prior to this, you wanted to see his head roll now. The air crackled with electricity and sheer cold as two delusions were unleashed, the power flowing through your body giving you a rush unlike any other.
“Let´s kill them all.” All playfulness was gone from Childe´s voice as he unblinkingly stared down the man who had just threatened his family. He needn´t wait for confirmation as he charged at the Harbingers with lightning speed, backed by you following close behind him.
The previously light snowfall started to thicken as a white blanket started to cover the landscape but your steps were as light as ever, feet barely leaving prints on the ground as you dodged various elemental attacks directed at you. The ice spear you had conjured after you leapt high into the air missed its target barely as a mechanical arm shielded the person behind it.
“Don´t take this the wrong way, Columbina,” the dreamy voice behind the puppet said, “Not all of us are here because of personal reasons.”
“That´s true.” The voice of Arlecchino sounded, weapon raised and eyes fierce. “I´ve actually always liked and respected you a great deal but I can´t have you turn your back on Her Majesty and the Fatui.”
“Likewise. I never wished to face you in battle either.” The temperature around you fell several more degrees as you raised your hand over your head towards the heavens. “But it seems some things just cannot be avoided.”
Dove´s Lament froze the falling snowflakes above you into sharp icicles before you let them plummet to the ground like falling tears. While your opponents were busy shielding their heads or destroying the projectiles, you took the chance to sweep in but were promptly pushed away by a geo construct rising from the ground. Using the upwards momentum, you catapulted yourself high into the air and landed gracefully next to Childe, who had dodged a couple of metres away from the group. There was an awful screeching noise as a horde of humanoid creatures emerged from within the stone, hunched over, dragging their feet, stumbling, arms hanging limply at their sides. Their expressions were so vacant you couldn´t tell if they used to be human or if they never were, to begin with. To be honest, you didn´t really want to know.
“What in the abyss is THAT?” you exclaimed, the sight somehow more disturbing than most of what you had seen before.
“I don´t know. But seeing how our beloved Doctor is here, I´m sure we all know who we can thank for it.” The arrow Childe fired dug deep into the chest of its target but the creature didn´t seem fazed by it at all, merely approaching further as if nothing happened. “You know, I´m starting to starting to realise all our comrades were really mental.”
“You´re only realising that now?” You incredulously stared at the man next to you before shaking your head. There was a problem to be taken care of. “Anyway, do the thing.”
The shadow of a gigantic narwhal spanned almost the entire width of the canyon as it emerged from the tip of Childe´s arrow. As it descended from its arch, you aimed two fingers with the palm turned outside at it while pulling your other hand back like you were drawing a bow. The burst of ice flash-froze the whale in an instant as it crushed everything beneath a ton of falling ice.
While most of Dottore´s experiments were squashed, the other Harbingers had managed to evade the worst part of the damage. With most delusions unleashed now, you didn´t want to give them much more time to recover. Frost crept over the ground and up their legs, freezing them in place to give Childe the opportunity to cause chaos.
It wasn´t enough though and as they freed themselves from their icy prisons, your element of surprise was mostly gone. And when faced with the wrath of eight Harbingers, even you two found yourself with your backs to the wall.
“Guess there´s only one thing left to do.”
“To the bitter end it is then.”
“Foul Legacy, the devouring deep!”
“May you all find Eternal Peace!”
Unlike unleashing a delusion, taking this form didn´t feel like a high. No, it was like the flesh was pulled from your bones, every muscle straining and tearing to accommodate the newfound power overtaking your body. Whether you´d obliterate your enemies or would crumble under the pressure, either way, this battle would soon find its end.
Rising above the ground on wings of pure white, you assessed the situation from above and then plunged towards the ground, knocking over opponents with your feathered appendages. You switched your weapons up to two short swords as you took advantage of your heightened mobility. Under normal circumstances, your enemies wouldn´t have lived long enough to even properly take in what was happening to them. But the people you were up against were hardly normal.
You could already feel your every muscle beginning to burn as you willed for your legs to move even faster but you were caught off guard by a loud and terrifyingly familiar voice groaning in pain. As you turned towards the source to see Childe hunched over in pain, you registered the shadow coming up next to you a fraction too late and searing pain exploded in your abdomen. As you fell to your knees you clutched the handle of the dagger lodged to the hilt in your flesh.
“Favoured by both the gods and Her Majesty. I´ve always despised you. See reason, Columbina,” Pantalone said as he returned your furious gaze with cold apathy, “you won´t make it out of this alive.”
“Yeah,” you panted. “But neither will you.”
His eyes went wide as saucers as he reached for his weapon in a futile attempt to reach you again but a strong gust of wind pushed him away from you. A rage you´d never felt before coursed through you and exploded outwards into a freezing blizzard, shards of ice and snow pricking the skin of those caught in it. The canyon turned into a massive cyclone with you and Childe at the centre of it, its force keeping the other Harbingers pinned without a means to escape.
The man in question lifted his electric-charged spear high into the air and plunged it deep into the frozen ground which cracked from the force of the impact. A blinding light illuminated the sky as jagged lightning flashed across the dark grey clouds making your skin tingle and your hair raise. The following thunder was so deafening it made your ears ring. But it led to the desired outcome.
The bang shook the piles of snow which had accumulated on the top of the cliffs and it came crashing down over you. As the avalanche loomed over you, threatening to bury everyone and everything in its wake alive, you reached for your delusion.
“Frozen heart,” you muttered.
Frost blue light shone down on you both as the dome of ice encased the eye of the storm, cutting you off from the outside world, the quietness almost startling in contrast to the chaos before. The calmness was cut short, however, when a deep groan and a heavy thud cut through the fragile peace of the moment.
“Ajax!” There was more desperation in your voice this time as you rushed to his side, ignoring the pain in your knees as you threw yourself next to him. “Hey, it´s okay. It´ll be alright, look at me, love.”
You gingerly reached up to peel off the mask exposing one of his eyes from where it had cracked. After you slowly pulled it off, your ringed hand rested on his cheek as you committed all his features to memory, as if you hadn´t done so a million times before.
“Let me see you, too.” Even in the quiet, it was hard to make out his low words as his shaky hand reached up to free you from the mask covering your eyes. “I knew it… you´re actually an angel…in the form of a human…Too bad I won´t be going to heaven.”
“Bold of you to assume I´ll be going anywhere you´re not. After all, I fell madly in love with you the first time we met. So passionate and determined, can you blame me?” You reciprocated the love-filled gaze he gifted you with as you thumbed away the blood seeping from a cut under his eye. “Besides, I don´t think they´d want me back anyway.”
His weak chuckle morphed into a sickly cough and your heart clenched at the sound. You fought hard to keep the serene smile on your face but you were powerless against the tears rolling down your chin and dripping onto his skin.
His ocean eyes drifted down towards your stomach where the silver of the dagger gleamed mockingly against the crimson underneath. You took his hand in yours and wrapped it around the handle, slowly pulling the blood-stained blade out of your body. With the last strength left in you, you tried your hardest not to wince at the stinging pain which fogged up your brain. After throwing the offending weapon as far away from you as possible, you pressed your linked hands to your sticky belly as you lowered your head.
“I´m sorry you couldn´t experience all the wonders this world has to offer. Please don´t hold it against us, my dear. Mommy and Daddy love you so, so much.”
“I´m sorry, (y/n),” he whispered. “I promised to protect this family and yet I—You—”
“Don´t apologise, my love. If I could go back and do it all over again, I´d choose this family over everything, again and again. I have no regrets.” You leaned down and pressed a kiss to his temple. “You´ve worked so hard and I´m so proud of you. It´s time to rest now. I´ll be here when you wake up.”
“No matter what´s to come, I´ll find you both and we can be a family…the three of us,” he coughed.
“I´ll be waiting for you, then.” All energy drained from your body as you laid with your head on his chest, listening to the faintest heartbeat dwindle like a candle in a storm, images of what could´ve been clouding your mind.
“I love you, Ajax.”
But as you closed your eyes, you could only hear the hollow howling of the wind.
Hi!! Buggy anon's here again 🥴
I saw that your requests are open again and I wanted to request something about him so
May I request Buggy comforting GN!reader when they breakdown out of the blue in front of him?
Both hcs or one-shot are pretty cool so do what seems good to you sweetheart. Also if you don't feel comfortable with this just ignore it, no problem at all 💕
Hope you have an incredible day today sweetie ily <3
✸ headcanons % when you breakdown in front of him.
✸ characters! . . . buggy.
✸ cw(s)! . . . mentions of a breakdown. no pronouns used. not proofread.
✸ notes! . . . he’s so goofy looking, i wont him kinda. take that hat off and let your hair flow <3 thank you for requesting !! you’re so sweet !! it’s a few days late but i hope today is treating you well. ilyt <33333
today was just not your day. these last few weeks have been nothing but hell for you. but you try your best to keep a smile on your face and party with your crew
most importantly, you wanted buggy to believe you were doing just fine so he didn’t have to worry about you. he had an entire crew to lead
but you just couldn’t take it anymore
you had reached your limit
buggy could tell something was amiss when you didn’t respond to his question. when he asked what was wrong, you just broke down
he was quite shocked. he thought maybe he said something wrong, apologizing to you right away
he had never seen you breakdown, let alone cry more than a few tears
for him to see it now, it broke his heart. he wants to be there for you, to help you like you have done for him a million times before. it does take him a bit to figure out what to do
buggy starts fighting himself on whether or not to hold you, wondering if you even want to be held, what does he say, what if he says the wrong thing and makes it worse
all the while you’re standing right next to him, still sobbing into your hands
he finally gets it together and decides to pull you into a hug, letting you cry into his shoulder as he rubs your back
“you don’t have to tell me anything. just know that i’m here for you”
his first priority is making sure that you know that you can depend on him for whatever you need. and that he will never force you to open up about anything to him if you do not wish to
however, he does worry a lot about you
buggy isn’t exactly the best at comforting people. his idea of comforting you is putting a smile back on your face with a flashy magic show or treasure of some sort
he’ll even let you squeeze his nose however many times you please if that makes you happy. he just wants to see you smile again
of course, you are the only one who can do this to his nose. anyone else ?? buggy ball to the face
Hello I love your AU!
Could you please tell us more about Elfilis and Star Dream as well?
Well, for one thing, they're a lot harder to draw. ^^; So I will gladly accept this opportunity to talk about them now and finish my sketches later~
For another thing, I will admit that they were kind of afterthoughts for GONE (this image basically tells all the story I wanted to tell). It was hard for me to even imagine a space for them to be characters...until I tried thinking of the AU as a more casual slice-of-life thing, believe it or not. ^^;
It kinda makes sense though; for multiverse-scale rulers to take something like this in stride, to be totally comfortable taking breaks to chat and get to know each other in between murder attempts. ^^ To be honest, it's almost creepier this way...for someone to ask how you've been before ripping your head off your neck...really adds to the 'inhuman' vibe of this AU in particular.
Fecto Elfilis: Probably the most sympathetic of the three, despite also being the most brutal (in a way, I feel a capacity for kindness and a capacity for cruelty are two sides of the same coin).
They kinda understand what the Master Crown is going through, since they also have a nagging 'weakness' living inside of them at all times, in the form of Elfilin. ^^ You'll see what that looks like later. ;)
Of course, they have the advantage of knowing with certainty that Elfilin is real, most likely permanent, and has feelings they can hurt (their basic dynamic is that Elfilin begs them not to do something bad, and F/E does something 10x worse just to spite him). Unfortunately, this comes with the disadvantage of having to fight with him all the time, and the constant stress and aggravation that results. ^^; Like, imagine you had a sort of sentient autoimmune disease that flared up AND psychically argued with you every time you wanted to do something fun...it's a special kind of hell, tbh, and I like to think that Elfilin knows that~.
Anyway, despite all of that, F/E is usually pretty cool and self-confident, personality-wise. They have zero respect for either of their opponents, and they get a cathartic kick out of watching the Crown have a mental breakdown and mocking it for it...even though they secretly feel the same way very often, and very deep down.
Star Dream: It thinks of itself as a benevolent god, the savior of the universe...and whether or not that idea is a half-truth or a complete delusion honestly depends on your perspective.
They ARE the only one of the three who's actually concerned with building civilizations instead of destroying them (F/E) or treating them like toys (MC). They also have the intrinsic ability to read people's dreams and grant their wishes, an ability they use to keep their colossal hivemind happy.
But is this a 'real' happiness, or a sort of 'brainwashed' happiness? Does it really free people's souls from their imperfect flesh-prisons, or does it simply remake them into a sanitized ideal...?
I think it would be interesting if it offered to mechanize the Master Crown in order to relieve its suffering (which would totally count as proving dominance)...even though it's kind of its fault that MC started losing its mind in the first place. ^^;;; The 'itch' starts when it has a small but unexpected reaction to seeing Susie's face, and becomes exponentially worse when SD admits that the form it's in is something it saw in the MC's dreams. But y'know, what better way to convince MC to have its mind digitized and have the 'weaknesses' deleted than to show it exactly what it's afraid of? ^^
In case it's not obvious, Star Dream has a very 'pleasant' and calm personality-- by now, it's learned that it's faster and easier to convert people with """"kindness""" than threats of annihilation. Of course, it doesn't like being told 'no' (you could argue that it doesn't really see any viewpoint other than its own as valid) and really doesn't like entities that can challenge it, especially "repulsive" flesh-creatures like Fecto Elfilis. ^^ If there's any potential for dark comedy in this AU, it's in the dynamic between those two~
「 Make – believe 」
Characters: Jung Yunho x f!Reader
Synopsis: I didn't cry at first but now that you're dead it hurts.
Trigger Warning: mentions of death, depression, hallucinations, angst.
A/n: am sad.
Grief manifests itself in various ways. It varies depending on the individual. Some people cope better than others. Yunho believes he is one of those people. After all, he was doing better. Far better than everyone else in the house He wasn't sobbing as the woman in the living room was. He wasn't a mess like his Seonghwa hyung. At least, he doesn't believe he is. He 'handled' his grief by going to his room, sitting on the edge of the bed, and staring out the window directly in front of him.
"You should go downstairs, love. People need you there."
Yunho turns around and looks at you because of your voice. You give him a soft smile as you lean against the doorframe. The crying fades away in the background. You approach Yunho and take a seat next to him. He looks out the window once more. A cool breeze blows into the room, and the sweet smell of jasmine relaxes him. It's your favorite flower. He sighs. He is aware of it. He knows he should go, but he can't. He lacks the courage to face everyone. He doesn't want to leave this room.
"I know but I can't. Not right now."
God, he feels so selfish saying that.
"I— I'm just not feeling that well."
He lies. He couldn't bring himself to tell Y/n the truth. He can't tell her he's scared. He's afraid that if he goes there, he'll break down, shatter like a fragile piece of glass. So he lies.
"You know, I can tell that you're lying. So, would you tell me the truth if I offer you a penny?"
Yunho looks at you, and you have a coin between your fingers and a bright smile on your face. He's actually surprised that you were able to pull a coin seemingly out of thin air and make him smile even at this grim hour. But then again, you're Y/n, and you can make even the most grumpy people laugh like children. You were just like that.
He sighs, shaking his head. He should have told you the truth. What the hell was he thinking? He should have realized you'd catch his lie.
"I like to think I'm doing ok but I know I'm not really doing ok."
He takes a long, deep breath. Knowing in your head is one thing; admitting it is quite another.
"Maybe that's a good thing."
You say, your smile still on your lips. Yunho was puzzled. Why would having a breakdown in public be a good thing? That's a hellish nightmare for him. The expression on his face told Y/n that he was contemplating the meaning of those words. And before he could ask you the questions 'why' you answered.
"To let yourself go once in a while Yunho. I know you are a strong person but even the strongest people should let go sometimes."
He knows she's correct, but something within him still denies it.
"I'm ok with it."
No. He's not.
"You aren't. You've convinced yourself that you are. But you're not. You take care of everyone except yourself. So going downstairs and joining them would be good, as would allowing yourself to cry a little."
He considers it. She's correct once more. He's done so much for others throughout his life. He's always been there for everyone except himself. He suppressed his emotions in order to be strong and dependable. But in this unending and vicious cycle of life, he's forgotten everything about himself. And now, maybe he should prioritise himself.
"I'm– I'll do fine. I don't want to go there. Not right now."
Y/n sighs as she looks at Yunho. She understands how difficult it is for him to process everything so quickly. But he has no choice. Or else he'll be trapped in a never-ending cycle of pain and sadness. That is something she does not want to happen.
"A heart, you know, is like a balloon. When you bottle up emotions, it expands and eventually bursts, scattering all the hurt and pain you've kept hidden all around you. It will hurt you even more than the original hurt. It's fine if you don't want to go right now, but you will have to. I want you to go. For your own benefit."
He exhales deeply and nods. She's correct yet again. He must confront whatever is troubling him.
"Alright. I— I...I think I can— can handle going downstairs now. Thanks."
He says. Y/n smiles and so does he.
"You don't have to thank me sweetheart. But you're welcome."
Yunho gets to his feet. He ran both of his hands over his clothes, which had wrinkled due to his slouching. He combs his hair with his hands and rubs his face before returning his gaze to Y/n. He calls out.
She never ceases to be charming. He was always referred to as her sweetheart. It had always made Yunho's heart skip a beat. It continues to do so.
"Can you give me a hug please?"
He was certain he looked like a child asking his mother for something, but he couldn't care less. She was his Y/n. He was free to hug her at any time.
"I can't Yunho."
Even with such a response, her smile never wavers.
"Why? Why can't you?"
God, he shouldn't have asked.
"Because I'm dead. Remember?"
Yes. He does remember. It was the reason he didn't want to go: he knew he'd have to face reality. A reality in which you are no longer present. He knows he'll have to look at the casket, at you. But not quite you. Your physical body. He didn't want to, but he had no choice. For the sake of you. For the sake of him. Because that is what you desire. Because that is what he desires.
The stale stench of grief crawls and gnaws at his heart once more, but this time he's certain. He'll be fine dealing with this grief. He has his Y/n with him.
oh btw my ACE ATTORNEY dual destinies post game review. LONG RAMBLE CHOCK FULL OF SPOILERS BELOW.. BEWARE!!!!!
ok SO. ending-wise it was fucking awesome. funnily enough while me and sal were on our own between playtime we ended up both getting spoiled on fulbright dying and something odd happening to him. On accident. So we both kind of knew what was coming, but not how or why. and id say it actually didn't take away from the surprise considering by the point you really hammer down on it, it's pretty obvious imo LOL. ALL the disguises threw me for a fucking LOOP!! i was like. Huh??? THIS GUY??? ironically all the big ones he did before the breakdown were ALL characters i voiced which was really really fun for me. i think the choice to have him impersonate phoenix last was so cool and the new sprites he gets RULE SO HARD. genuinely thought it was sick as hell. i miss you bobby every day of my life
something really funny that occurred was : Throughout the entire game sal decided they HATED Simon blacjquill. like genuine vitriol at seeing him. when we found out he was on deaths door they were like KILL HIM‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️ OT WAS SO FUNNY. but by the end of the game they did nearly a complete 180 on him and he was the first character they doodled after finishing the game.Thwy were sooooo mad about liking him now
speaking of liking characters: my top fave new characters were DEFINITELY bobby fbright & damien tenma. i already talked about fulbright yadda yadda he's cute yadda yadda need him expoditiously yadda yadda cool ending. Damien on the other hand was the only side character that we were consistently SO happy to see literally EVERY time. (Excluding Bobby). Dude fucking rocks he's so weird and he owns. Cawwww caw caw caw
casewise i think the weakest might have been the monstrous turnabout? even though i LOVED damien the rest of the case was. It was okay? but with the rest of the cases being so interconnected jt just felt kind of out of place. hypocritically i found jinxie and filch and labelle kind of annoying despite liking damien... eye dee Kay. My Opinion. my fav case was the very last one i think. i would say it was the academy one but means just felt like a kinda weak villain. especially since it felt really obvious from the beginning with his whole shtick (which was ALSO annoying) and also his whole. Him. but i liked the whole bit with scuttlebutt & the trio. it was very cute. Also elephant in the room, robin, i felt DEFINITELY could have been handled better. but it really wasn't THAT bad, and i like that he retained her like, testosterone rage screaming despite him "getting revealed". In my beautiful mind they're gender fluid. Smiles serenely. it was also nice seeing klavier again but his 3d model is NOT DOING HIM WELL . i like his gay little intro animation though
oh yeah and the 3d. since we were playing the original trilogy concurrently to dd, we got to compare how the characters look pretty often and i found that it's kind of weird, but i understand why it was done & honestly it allowed them to do more fun stuff. like having bobby wave out of the window or all the shit with recreating the silhouette of the statue was REALLY fun to see and I thought it was cute as hell. Simon does look like he's poking himself in the eye though. the normal art in the game was cute too & i thought the cutscenes were fun when they showed up!
comparing it to the original trilogy, without rose tinted lenses of nostalgia & with direct referencing via.... playing them both at the same time... i really think it was a solid game. one thing i really, really liked about it vs the trilogy is that it's a lot more... easier?? straightforward?? it's hard to put into words but i NEVER felt like i had hit a dead end in investigating and didn't know where to go. the notes system as well as the button to look back at recent dialogue are SUPER helpful, and even if i might not have used them All the time, they really helped when we needed them lol. i LOVE. not having to present every single piece of evidence to a random during investigations and just PRAYINF that one of them make something happen. and especially since i was playing with someone else, and therefore took what could be week + long breaks between playtime, it was really useful to get back into the swing of things. ANYWAYS
Overall it was a really fun & engaging play!! me & sal enjoyed it a lot and it's got our gears turning and steam smokin and shit. we actually finished the second game right before finishing the last case of dd and it was fucking awesome. we started trials & tribulations (one case in!) and after that we might hit up the investigations games... and THEN we'll play spirit of justice. so that's the game plan teehee
Thank you for reading if you did lol ^__^ ❤️🌈‼️
let's talk about lily evans and the marauders, aka moony, wormtail, padfoot and prongs. given that i didn't use their actual names, i think you can figure out where this is going. it's also long as hell, so. canon vs fanon, marauder edition, except snek is sleep deprived.
now, before we begin, i don't dislike the marauders. or lily, tbh. if I'm being perfectly, genuinely honest, i still go back and forth sometimes but they've been growing on me for a while now. the canon versions, at least. fanon does them real dirty, and that's part of why i'm writing this, because i'm genuinely tired of it. it's an injustice.
you can at least make excuses for james and lily, who were so undeveloped that jkr practically dropped a fill-in-the-blank sheet of character information in our laps, but sirius, remus and peter were around long enough for y'all to get real acquainted with them.
in canon, sirius black is an unhinged mf. genuinely. this isn't to say he's a bad guy, in fact, we see that he's still capable of doing good things, still capable of love, still capable of all the things that prove he's actually not bad at heart, just,,, severely traumatised and very steeped in negativity from his time with the dementors. what i'm saying is that this man is absolutely, no questions asked, no holds barred demented, and how could he not be? the guy sat wrongfully imprisoned in azkaban for twelve years, a good portion of which he spent as a dog in order to protect himself from the dementors. he certainly wasn't completely insane, but you cannot tell me that he was all there. he got out of azkaban fuelled almost solely by the intent to get revenge on pettigrew, tried to commit murder in front of three witnesses who were also children—one of whom was his godson—ate rats and was also malnourished, which i'm certain did not help the situation any. this man is off his goddamn rocker, and you know what? you love to see it. good for him.
oh, but, snek, that's what he's like as an adult. what about when they were at school? before azkaban? my guy, the reaction he has to grimmauld place is not the reaction of someone without trauma. i don't believe that walburga and orion were the type to physically abuse their children, but whatever happened in that house helped to fuck him up enough that he skipped the joke of part of practical joke, and pranked snape by telling him how to meet a werewolf that he knew would be fully transformed and dangerous to humans. more than that, the werewolf was remus, whom he's friends with, and who—best case scenario—would be facing a trial if james hadn't stepped in. you can say that maybe he didn't think about or understand the gravitas of his actions, but at the end of it, that's not how properly sane people react to people they dislike, and that's not how they treat their friends. if anything, it reads like he was in the middle of a breakdown and absolutely losing his shit and he wasn't thinking at all.
my guy went through some serious shit, and was in no way completely mentally stable. we can see pretty clearly that he's got a serious dark side to him that probably would have gone unbridled had he not disagreed with his family, and yet, fanon took one look at him and went, "teehee, uwu bad boi go vroom."
fanon said padfoot is a pretty boy with nice hair who is tastefully traumatised from his horribly abusive household. sirius rides his motorcycle and plays jokes and flirts with anything that moves, but he can do no real wrong and always comes back to his soft, bookish, chocolate-loving boyfriend remus, who will laugh about his lycanthropy and quietly disapprove but secretly laugh at his friends' antics while hiding his smile in his cardigan.
respectfully, what in the absolute fuck.
i'd put that meme in here if i could, the one that's like, "well done, you've broken _______ down to its bare essentials," but no. i can't bc it doesn't even apply. this isn't a meme, it's theseus' fucking ship.
fanon broke it down, and replaced the pieces one by one until we got to this point, where we need to sit down and ask ourselves, "is this even the same character?"
the answer is no, by the way. it isn't. when people talk about woobifying characters—you know, taking away every flaw they have, romanticising everything they do and making them only capable of doing good, wonderful, lovely things?—this is what we mean.
and it'd be one thing if it was just the one character, but, no. fanon went all in and made them all squeaky clean and boring, especially peter, who draws the shortest of the straws.
remus got fucked, too. not just because fanon insists on sticking him into a relationship with sirius. which, we'll tackle wolfstar in a bit, but that's not even the worst of it. here, we have yet another example of blatant, rampant woobifying. again, is he a bad person? no. we know he's a good guy, we know he's generally kind and well-mannered, we know that he wants to fo the right thing but hey, fun fact. did you know that you can be nice and a coward? did you know that you can be benevolent and good and kindly and have the greatest of intentions and still be shady as fuck? no? ask dumbledore. the man played people like chess pieces when he needed to, and he was a twinkly grandpa. these are things that can coexist.
teenage remus is a coward who, understandably, does not stand up to his friends, likely for fear of being ostracised, and doesn't uphold his prefect duties as he should and takes part in their bullying of snape as a result. he lets them romp with him in werewolf form while they are in their animagus forms and then, he lets them continue to do so even after they have multiple close calls, which, again, had anything happened, would have resulted in a trial in the best case scenario.
grownup remus is still a coward, he tells no one that sirius can move about the school in his animagus form despite wholeheartedly believing that he's a mass murderer, he tries to run out on his wife and unborn kid. he isn't deliberately making attempts to harm anyone, but he's content to sit back and let things happen to him and around him so he doesn't rock the boat, although he is capable of action, which we see when he is more than willing to help sirius merk pettigrew in the shack. he can be careless, he runs out to the shack knowing he hasn't taken his wolfsbane and ends up transforming in front of the students he, as a teacher, is meant to be protecting. of course, this doesn't negate his good qualities, it just bears repeating that his flaws do exist, and they're pretty serious.
fanon moony is always pleasant and kind and soft-spoken and bookish, and he always has to have his chocolate. he knows when to tell off his friends, and he'll do it, even if he's secretly amused by everything they do and laughs about it with his best friend, lily evans, who coincidentally spends all her time with them so he and sirius can go on double dates with james and lily and no one has to remember peter exists.
why. theseus' ship 2.0. does the actual character still exist or is this something entirely different thing bearing the same name?
as for peter, who needs peter pettigrew, the actual, legitimate, fourth marauder when you have lily evans? canon pettigrew is opportunistic as fuck. he's latching himself to the biggest bad on the block and he's going all in. for teenage peter, that was james and sirius, and for adult peter, that's voldemort. canon peter is good enough at transfiguration to master the animagus transformation, just like his friends, and he's good enough at potions to brew the potion that gives voldemort a body. and honestly, you can't say he wasn't brave. he could've run off somewhere and died, or changed his identity or something after he faked his death and framed sirius, but, no. he goes and resurrects voldemort. that's fucked up, yeah, but it happened and honestly, i respect that it. he stuck to his guns.
fanon wormtail is lucky if he exists beyond being a spineless sycophant for james and sirius, or an evil conniving little rat who's looking to toss his entire friend group to the wolves at eleven.
of course, this isn't meant to negate his bad qualities, he still murdered people and framed sirius and sold out the potters to die, but his good characteristics do exist, and james, sirius and remus genuinely were his friends.
and now, we get to lily and james.
we have hardly any information on either of them. they're a pair of cardboard cutouts that we can paint and stick flyers to and colour outside the lines however we want. we can do whatever the fuck, as long lily is brave and smart and somewhat kind and james is brave and willing to die for his family. we were essentially handed a pair of ocs.
what little bits of canon we have are thrown out of the window regardless.
james is privileged and rich, and he throws hexes for fun. he's willing to hex lily when she disagrees with him, and then, he goes behind her back to continue hexing snape after she believes that he's stopped doing so. and that's all we know about him until he dies for his family at twenty-one years old. once again, say it with me: this does not negate his good qualities. he definitely had them, he took sirius in when sirius ran away from home, he became an animagus to keep remus company as a wolf, and he saved snape in the shack, thereby saving remus and sirius by extension. him having flaws does not make him a bad person.
fanon prongs is a feminist. he fights for equal rights for women everywhere, and he constantly treats his girlfriend, lily, like an absolute queen. he's the hottest boy in school and everyone claps when he walks through the halls. mcgonagall and dumbledore are always patting him on the back and making jokes with him. he has a built-in dark detector that helps him sense when someone is a evil and needs to he punished.
give me a break. the dude's cool and all, but was the gary stu treatment necessary?
...oh, he needed to match fanon lily? right, right.
canon lily is a contradiction unto herself. she's supposedly a great friend, but since we see her at a point where they were already drifting apart, we see her putting little effort into keeping their friendship afloat. she victim blames based on rumours, she doesn't seem to care over much about what snape has to say about the people who have been tormenting him since day one. and she's justified, of course, she doesn't have to stick around. canon lily is a bit of hypocrite, she says that snape calls everyone of her birth mudblood, but then that begs the question why she still hangs around with him if that's the case. he calls her mudblood, she retaliates by calling him snivellus, and finishes up with a dig about his underwear, which, sure, it's kicking a man with a rusty spoon and pouring salt in the wound, but she's, again, justified. i get where she was coming from. and then, of course, she dies for her kid after marrying the guy who relentlessly bullied her quote-unquote best friend for their entire school careers. but, like i said, canon lily is, in many ways, a contradiction.
lily is basically a plot device. she pushes everyone's narrative but her own, and does little else.
of course, this trend would continue in fanon. fanon lily exists to be the perfect girl who gets really angry over the slightest injustice, and of course, she gets to be one half of one of the oldest enemies-to-lovers "it was just sexual tension" cliche pairings in the book. she's just,,, a mary sue. in so many fics, so many headcanons, she's just pettigrew's stand-in, a girl to form a gang with marlene, mary and dorcas—who happen to be more undeveloped ocs who also get the woobify mary sue treatment—to parallel the marauders. there is nothing compelling about her character when she's presented as a saint, and even less when she's supposedly the other moral compass for the marauders that doesn't actually work because she thinks that james is cute.
and this brings me to the next topic. jily. what, why, how. this was supposed to be a healthy, happy relationship that would have lasted in the long run? absolutely not. even for its time, i can't say that i see it lasting.
first of all, jkr presents james' crush on lily as just that: a crush. a mildly obsessive one, but a crush nonetheless, which she tries to liken to the pulling of pigtails. and then, we see that james' way of getting her to go out with him consists of blackmail, and when that doesn't work, he resorts to threatening her. this could have been set aside if he had actually, genuinely changed when they started spending more time together, but as we're told by sirius and remus, he didn't. he just got better at hiding what he was up to. and it has to be that he hid it, because if she knew, this further damages the character that she's set up to have and paints her out to be either unable to stand up to him or an enabler.
regardless, they get married. and while i have trouble believing that it was out of genuine love, there are scenarios that could make some semblance of sense. it's wartime, after all, and maybe lily is worried about her stability in the wizarding world, so why not marry into an established family whose son is already showing interest? or perhaps, she falls into the trap of every bad boy cliche ever, and she thinks to herself, well, i got him to be better then, maybe i can get him to do even better in the future. or maybe, she doesn't get into a relationship with him immediately and sees him on and off, until eventually, she accidentally gets pregnant and they scramble to have a shotgun wedding so as not to leave lily alone at nineteen with a baby. or maybe they marry each other because they're there and sure, neither of then is ready and they don't know what love even is but what else is there to do when there's a dark lord about? anyways, the point is, they get married.
and then what? if we count pottermore into canon, he goes on to further damage her relationship with petunia and vernon, to the point where she ends up crying. if we don't, she fades into the background enough that nobody has anything to say about her. she's harry's mum, she's james' wife, lily potter, she was kind and smart and brave and that's it. her agency is gone, anything else we have of her personality is gone.
jily just,,, wasn't built to last. and, yeah, this,,, this is a hill i'll die on.
same with wolfstar, honestly. there are so many reasons why it wouldn't work, but fanon has made it so fucking prevalent that it's literally everywhere no matter where you look.
first of all, i've said it before and i'll say it again. sirius is more likely to get with james that he is to ever end up in a relationship with remus. their chemistry is just,,, underdeveloped. net zero for a relationship.
secondly, sirius instigated the werewolf prank, and lupin would have paid the price for it. this could have been overlooked, but he doesn't seem the slightest bit guilty about any of it when it's brought up in poa. he could have been responsible for lupin losing the security of his place at hogwarts in the best case scenario, and in the worst case, his life. and he seems to look forward to full moons, even though they clearly aren't pleasant for remus, which,,, yeah, you're going to have fun, but like, maybe be concerned about the fact that your friend undergoes excruciating pain and it isn't a pleasant time for him? read the room, my g.
thirdly, they don't trust each other as much as fanon seems to think they do. they were both willing to believe each other the traitor before ever suspecting pettigrew. sirius thought remus gave away the potters, hell, he thought remus was a spy for voldemort, and remus was convinced that sirius was a mass murderer. neither of them needed to be convinced.
fourthly, maybe i'm reading too much into it, but like. sirius had money. remus had no money, since, yk, he was a werewolf and struggling for cash and still, sirius,,, did not leave him any money. i feel like if you had money to spare, you would give to your friend who is literally poor. but, again, maybe i'm reading too much into it and this isn't as valid a point as i think it is.
and ehh, the fifth reason is that it's,,, actually very much not the representation for the ltgbt community that fanon says it is but y'all aren't ready for that conversation.
anyways, just,,, even when you set the couple shit aside, the power dynamics between everyone here is fucked. like, james and sirius are clearly at the top of food chain calling the shots and egging each other on. then there's lily, who isn't even a marauder, but is always ever-so-slightly above remus but still not on their level, because, well. neither of them actually listen to her. remus is the novelty friend, the friend who's,,, alright, i guess, but you keep them around specifically because they're funny or they can dance or they have something that you can either show off to other people or keep as your little inside joke, your little secret, yk? and peter is just sort of there. like, yeah, he can do what we can but does that make him as good as we are? no. does he have a funny little something about him that we can exploit? nah. therefore he sits at the bottom. and like, yeah, james and sirius are on the same level, but james is yanking sirius' chain, not the other way around. anyways, like i said. power dynamic's fucked and it bothers me that we were given all of this, and fanon decided to take it all and throw it away so they could give us flamboyant!badboi!sirius black x softboi!motherhen!remus lupin going on double dates with feminist!trustfundbaby!james potter and saint!lily evans while ignoring peter pettiwho?
theseus' fucking ship, indeed.
anyways, this needed to be said. it might not make as much sense as i want it to, considering it's 4:12 in the morning as i'm posting this, after taking a break from writing to do some research and coming across way too much content about fanon marauders, but it's here and it still makes enough sense that you can read it and understand what i mean. and like, at the end of the day, you can go ahead and headcanon whatever you please, you can write fic and make art and do whatever you like, just,,, remember that they're exactly that. headcanons. stop presenting fanon as canon. please. i'm literally begging. we actually have evidence against it. just,,, acknowledge that they're headcanons and stop putting them forward as though they're able to fit into canon. please.
How would you rank the barians from least favorite to most favorite
OK SO. IVE BEEN SITTING ON THIS ASK FOR WEEKS CUZ I WAS WAITING UNTIL I HAD ACTUALLY SEEN ALL SEVEN BARIAN EMPERORS IN ACTION. and now well im done watching the series SO!! im glad I waited because over the course of the back chunk of zexal ii my opinions on all the emperors got jostled around so much AND I ENDED UP LIKING ALL OF THEM A LOT. so i guess caveat for this list: love all 7 of these guys so much, definitely one of my favorite "factions" of yugioh characters. my fuckign kids
anyway, from 'least' to most favorite
7. Girag: THIS FEELS SO MEAN. SORRY GIRAG like I said i love 'em all but I guess he's the one I like the least, if only because his design is.... unfortunate. And his backstory is......................... unfortunate. They really said "this black character didn't actually do any of his supposed achievements; a literal tanuki did them for him" and called it a day huh HHFDGSDFG Yugioh Not Fantastic Moments but what can ya do. He's still fun. I love his dub voice I genuinely do wonder if it being a bit of a Rocky Balboa impression was a deliberate choice (since he's buddies with Alito Boxer Kiddo Extraordinare).
6. Dumon: AGAIN. A LITTLE MEAN. SORRY DUMON FDHGSG he's grown on me a BUNCH since I started z2 mostly because i lesbianpilled him in my brain but he's gotta be #6 because his Barian form is probably my LEAST favorite of the bunch. I'm not big on his very flat eyes but I do love the idea that they're because He Cant Fucking See. His human form is so fucking funny they really librarypilled this guy so hard. He's low on the list but still dear to me. Definite Zexal Real One.
5. Marin: GOD. RIOMARINMERAG. I LOVE HER. I REALLY DO. her Barian form's color palette is just gorgeous and she has an awesome ice motif and she's a COOL SPORTY JOCK and she LOVES HER BROTHER but my GOD she suffers from Girl in a Yugioh Series SO BAD. THIS POOR GIRL IS FRIDGED FOR LITERALLY OVER HALF THE SHOW!!!! she does 1-3 cool things and They Shred Like Hell but there's just barely enough of her in the show for her to really blossom into one of my top favs :( don't worry sweetheart im coming
4. Mizar: ok so now we're getting into the territory of where I Just Really Like These Guys. I didn't give a SHIT about MizarMizael until the Moon Duel, and then I proceeded to give SO many shits about him. What can I say.... sad kiddo YGO character backstory gets me every time. I love that he pulled an Aporia and face-turned and tried to take on the Big Bad but fumbled so fucking hard he died in one turn. His Barian form is ROUGH, THOUGH. HIS SHADES OF YELLOW ARE TOO FUCKING CLOSE TO EACH OTHER PUT SOME MORE GREEN AND RED IN THERE. Anyway. Been cooking a trans woman Mizar headcanon for a little while now. estrogen and hooves could have saved her.
3. Nasch: I. really like Shark. I'm still sorting out favorites in my mind but Shark is definitely in my Top Five and I like him as Nasch by extension. Definitely one of the coolest Yugioh Rivals by absolute far. His slow growth as Shark from Mean Bully to Guy Who Cares So Much About His Friends just GUTS me!! This is what ygo's all about babeyyy!!! And the sheer amount of AWFUL SHIT that happens to this kid, MY GOD. He loses his sister over and over again and ends up with SO MANY LIVES ON THE LINE it's a fucking wonder he didnt have a turbo emotional breakdown and collapse. Also I love when characters have species identity crisis and claim to throw their humanity away<3 I know that one <333 ALSO his color palette is really good, I wish his pants were dark though.
2. Alito: ALITOOOOOOOO ALITO MY BI ITALIAN REP. he is latino to me. as well. anyway Alito is also one of my Absolute Top Favorite Zexal Characters I fucking love him. I love Tough Guy Who Kids Love. I love his Battlin Boxers. I love his narrative parallels to Nistro (also one of my fav characters). I love both his forms!! His Barian color palette rocks. ALL OF HIS DUELS GO SO DAMN HARD ESPECIALLY THE MYTHIRIAN NUMBER ONE AND HIS 'CONTROLLED BY DON THOUSAN' DUEL. He's just so good!!! His dynamic with Yuma makes my brain spin around. I need to draw him for real so bad. I hope they put him in Duel Links soon I will whoop and cheer and clap.
cmon. gotta be basic here but you know it's VECTOR!!!!!!!!!!! God he might be. My most favorite Zexal character. He is certainly the one making me the Most insane. I feel like a version of me from a different dimension made this character in a lab just to psychologically torment me. He's BONKERS, he's FUNNY, he's SO OBSCENELY EXPRESSIVE IT'S INSANE, he LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE MY BESTIE'S BLORBO, he LOOKS LIKE MY ART STYLE. Absolute Dana Monster Perfect Storm thats destroyed my house and my brain. And then they had to go and make him SAD!!! JUST TAKE ME TO THE VET AND PUT ME DOWN, MAN!!! s-tier yugioh character. top tier favorites hall of famer. i love him to bits. half my screenshot folder looks like this now
Milano's Trailer Breakdown Vol 1 Part Two
Sigh. Props to Chris Pratt, he really does look like a man whose girlfriend came back from the dead just to kick him in the babymakers twice. That's simplified of course, but you get my point. He's so beautiful but he's married and I have my own hero IRL. In another life, Chris.
I do find it interesting that Mantis is the one to share the wisdom that is staying true to your roots and not forgetting where you come from. I don't know her history - yet. Was she taken from her mother as a newborn baby? Do her species hatch from eggs? Was Ego always her home and family or did she have a life before? God, I can't deal with Mantis feels. Pom Klementieff just has this incredible, perfect delicate balance between soft, fragile innocent and steely badass for Mantis that I don't believe any other actress could duplicate.
Oh hell no. Oh hell no. This was what I was both eagerly anticipating and dreading. Baby Rocket. Those ears! Soft fluffy baby raccoon fur!
That motherfucker. I hate James Gunn. I just know that sadist picked out the cutest little baby raccoon he could find. I bet he had a big warehouse full of them and spent half of production choosing the cutest one just to torture us. That bastard.
He looks like he's just had a flashback here. Background shows people, so I'm thinking he's in Knowhere, perhaps reminiscing? Whatever is going on, he looks sad. Once again, I am torn between hating and loving James Gunn for this.
Who's the murderer? God knows but I think this must be the home or even breeding ground of the interdimensional beast that's coming up shortly. It's very similar to the creature itself.
Gamora!!! I would kill to see what's on that Polaroid. I hope it's a family photo. She's so cool about whatever's on there. Zoe Saldana has a really cool storyline here - her other life had it all. Sister, family, boyfriend, a little tree baby, free from abuser. But that other self is dead, now there's a group of people who love you, but you just do not know them at all and one in particular is seriously broken up about it. And you're a good person, you're a kind person so you feel bad for him but you've been through enough crap that you need to protect yourself, even and especially if he loves you. Zoe's playing a different Gamora for sure, but as always, she's just so perfect for the character.
See that wistful, yet focused look? Whatever was in that photo, Gamora longs for. My guess is, this is around the midway point of the movie, where she starts to make peace with what's gone on and maybe reconsiders Quill.
God this cracks me up. Nebula carrying Peter like he's a kid who is fell asleep in the car, Cosmo trotting eagerly along, Mantis distractedly staring around...
And let's not forget Rocket's smoothie. On a more serious note, it's sad that they're acting like Quill getting blackout drunk is completely normal. Which it most likely is due to the everything that went on.
Thoughts on Jaune? He gets such a raw deal in the FNDM, both being hated and loved far too much in my opinion.
Jaune. My boi. My really traumatised son boi.
I did not hate him but i sure as hell did not like him, especially during volume 1 and 2. I feel like the general dislike for him in volume 1 was because everyone (including me) really wanted to see more of RWBY but we got slapped with Jaundice which is arguable not a bad (predictable and clichéd yes) arc, but it literally could have happened at any other time.
He was an ass in volume 2, take no for an answer my dude pls but once his whole crush on Weiss ended he really did become a lovable little dork and he did have moments of character growth (chaotic team leader for the win!) before the events of volume 3.
And Jaune has not a had a peaceful moment since. No seriously he lost his partner and found out that it was all because an immortal wizard didn't take a flu shot and his wife left him and killed took the kids and the world is fucked but he has to help cause he's a huntsman and what else does he have but he has no semblance and then he meets his 'what could have been' person's killer and has a glorious breakdown with tears and screaming and randomly flinging his sword around and yikesss he is literally almost ready to die (concerned eyes from teammates) and then his friend gets stabbed but he's got his semblance and okay things are looking up but NO the evil witch divorcee is unkillable but hey he's got his team and his friends so yes he's gonna fight and he's also really following his passion for crime (STEAL STEAL STEAL) cause better late than never but then it turns out the kingdom they're headed to is actually being governed by a fascist but hey he's got some new beats, his hair is fruity fresh and dare he say it he might just be the most mentally stable person in their squad of depressed teenagers he's helping kids cross the streets! and he's finally doing something he's proud of! cause its all him and okay things are spiralling but he's still got his funky clothes and his fresh haircut and he's in a whale but he's okay and then there's a bomb but he's okay and it's kinda bad but he's got his Johnny Bravo hairstyle and so ITS FINE they've got a magic gateway with zero regulations and he just got hit with a rock but HE'S FINE he can do this he is cool he is calm he can do this and things go to shit there's chaos his friends are hurt but he's still here and he can help its still okay and-- OH WAIT ITS MERCY KILLING WITH A STEAL CHAIR!! and then his mental health falls into the void.
So yeah personally I'm kinda worried because he has not been having a very good time at all and now he's alone on freaky magical talking mice land and now he has to live with the guilt that he made a choice at a time and I honestly can't judge whether he did the right thing or not and maybe he can't either there's no right or wrong he did it and if the psychedelic island is supposed to help you figure out who you are I wonder if Jaune will be able to accept what he finds.
“Western Energy” breakdown
The latest episode came out sooner than I thought, which I like as now we can see I.M.P. vs. Striker and that Vivzie seems to be somewhat on schedule. SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
I am a bit surprised that the Striker episode came out so early, as I thought it was going to be the season finale. Hopefully it has a big moment in it that is also still pleasant.
The restaurant shows Stella still being materialistic and obsessed with her cliché rich, royal lifestyle.
I wonder what the “deal at Ozzie’s” is about? Yes it could be Blitzo related, especially with the Ozzie X Fizz episode coming up, but I wonder if it’s something bigger?
During Stolas’ rant to Stella, he never said anything about Octavia. Could this mean Stella actually cares for their daughter? Probably not but I thought I bring up the possibility.
It’s safe to say Stolas knows Stella wants him dead.
The way Stolas escapes from Striker in a ball of feathers reminds me of Ruby Rose’s (from RWBY) semblance.
At 1:11 you can see a Goetia like character have an Imp in their purse like a dog XD
You can see a wanted sign for Striker that says they prefer him dead. I’m glad I’m not the only one who wants that.
Let me guess, the reason they go to the Sloth ring is cause its Loona’s annual checkup, and she’s nervous like an actual dog XD (some time later) CALLED IT!
Stolas calling Striker sexy is the second time in the entire series that Stolas has thought someone else besides Blitzo was attractive in some way, and as he pointed out it’s with someone he met before. A bit random but because both times happened in season 2, I feel like they are an example of those mid-season changes VIvziepop said she did for the show.
I’m surprised the others didn’t have a bigger reaction to Moxxie instantly realizing the sexy imp meant Striker XD
If an angelic weapon can kill demons, and blessed ropes can nullify a demon’s powers, what would happen if an angelic bullet got lodged into a demon’s arm or other body part that doesn’t cause instant death? Would the person lose their powers or would it be like some kind of poison and the person is in a weakened state until the bullet is removed?
I do like how the situation Stolas is in is similar to other myths where powerful creatures and beings get into such a situation. I think it’s a nice way to show that it’s possible the events involving Heaven and Hell in this series likely created stores in other mythologies/religions. Fingers still crossed that they do this with other things.
Sounds like Stolas wants to have his “knight in shining armor” moment with Blitzo, but will he be happy about it at the end of the episode?
That hat on Moxxie makes him look like his father! Could this be foreshadowing that after Crimson dies, he is going to have to take over the “family business”? That would be a cool Moxxie centered episode.
I stated this in a recent post, but it looks like the Sloth ring follows a different kind of physics. It also gives me the idea that those to dwell there have psychic, telekinetic, and/or reality bending abilities (After seeing receptionist) or maybe not. I can at least see Belphegor having such powers. It could it being possible that him sleeping all those millenniums unlocked these powers, which handy if he is stereotypically lazy and doesn’t feel like doing anything that requires moving XD
Nice to see another demon hybrid. She seems to be part Baphomet and part octopus. Not a Von Eldritch reference, but close enough.
Striker: For HELL, where killing your hated spouse isn’t frowned upon (rides off)
That aquatic lady is still a better mother then Stella.
Another example of how Imps are treated in Hell’s hierarchy. Though a very dark result, at least Blitzo stood up for himself. Seriously people never do what Blitzo did.
GO MOXXIE! I wonder how Millie would have reacted to see her husband in that brawl :3
Wait did those singing Imps die?
Though cliché as Striker is, at least he is still more developed than Stella. Sorry but I still can’t fully get over what the writers did to her. At least my comments are tamed compared to others I’ve seen on YouTube.
Stolas is more durable than I thought. Heck you think with legs like that, especially with how fragile bird bones can be, you think it would be broken by now and of course he is thinking about Blitzo the whole time.
The shot of Andrealphus’ house shows us he lives somewhere in a barren part of the Wrath ring, which INSTANTLY gives us a strong reason for why he would want to help Stella take out Stolas. For those that don’t know, Andre is one rank lower than Stolas in the Goetia royal hierarchy and that small difference SHOWS as while Stolas has a walled off mansion in the middle of a city, Andre is in the middle of nowhere in the Wrath ring and likely only has some Imps for subjects. I also bet the constant heat in the ring is why he has that cold aura around his house, as it would probably melt in seconds. Sure the difference could also be because Stolas is the son of Paimon, and maybe Andre has some generic similarities to the Yuki-onna yokai and wherever he goes it gets colder to the point he snows but if I was in his spot, I’d also try and do anything to get out of a position like that, and luckily for him his sister has given him an opportunity. I hope this is true as I could see this eventually leading to one of my previous ideas of Andre wanting more power and after dealing with Stolas, goes after Stella and Octavia so he could eventually try and overthrow Paimon, and Paimon does seem like the kind of guy who could easily be overthrown.
YES! Andre is smarter the Stella, and what he said brings him closer to what I just said and my headcanon of him becoming the main antagonist of the series! I also like how it sounds like they could eventually do my “expose Stolas’ crimes and get him to lose his royal status” idea.
Also I doubt that all of Stolas’ stuff would go straight to Octavia. If so then just like how child arrange marriage are apparently okay in Hell, I’m surprise Queen Lilith never passed a law that prevents such a thing especially in cases when the lesser royal really needed some resources, given again how Andre is treated with his status.
Also again Octavia is brought up in front of Stella, but she doesn’t think or say anything about her. I think it safe to say, regrettably, that Stella doesn’t care about Octavia. Again can’t we have levels of bad parenting on this show?
I do question a bit on how keeping Stolas alive won’t just easily go against Stella, but they could just threaten to reveal his crimes to Hell’s government to keep his silence. This could then lead to them just blackmailing him exchange for his money and such until the time is right.
A missed opportunity to have Moxxie use the heaven gun they got from Striker in their last fight.
Moxxie and Mille are perfect as always.
WAIT what is Millie’s axe made of if it can destroy angelic metal? I rather learn about that then see Blitzo and the Doc fail to give Loona her shot.
(seeing axe coming at Millie but luckily misses her) DON’ T SCARE ME LIKE THAT VIVZIE!
Wrong move Loona, those horse riding lessons and all that time with his own horse has made Blitzo a pro XD. Also you have to admit, that scene was gross.
Good distraction Moxxie. That was a distraction…right?
Dammit Striker got away again. At least I could see him going after Stella and other Goetias now that they no longer need him.
The 4 eyed demon lady near the hospital looks like she could be a child or descendant of Asmodeus, mixed with some Imp and Baphomet. I mean he’s defiantly the kind of demon to have illegitimate kids/descendants running around.
Blitzo caring for Stolas moment.
There was another missed opportunity for a scene of having Stella cover her tracks by pretending she cared about Stolas getting hurt. Actually as I write this, given she does stuff like post newspaper articles about “not divorced” parties I wonder if the public would even buy into it?
The writers finally bring up the events of Ozzie’s after all this time but its via text. Though better than nothing, I bet some people are going to be annoyed by this. It also references “Seeing Stars” and that Stolas wants to actually be closer to Blitzo. Be nice if he actually SHOWED it to him. Huh I was right about using text to explain things getting people annoyed. Sadly it seems too late as it seems like Stolas has finally taken the hint, too bad he doesn’t know the truth.
On a similar note, since the writers are clearly not going to do anything love triangle related involving Stolas and Bltizo, can we at least have Blitzo and Stolas end up together soon, as the “main romantically involved characters getting together at the VERY END of the series” trope is another trope I really despise.
That was another intense episode, and I’m usually don’t get like that for Stolas episodes. I have the usual pros and cons for the episode like good animation and humor, how they are advancing some plot points that I like, an unnecessary subplot that took time away from more important stuff, my still present feelings on how I don’t the direction the writers went with for Stella, and not exploring much of the Sloth ring.
My favorite thing from the episode who have to be Andre and how the writers do seem to have plans for him that could happen later in the season, like the eventual Stolas going to court idea (as stated in my anti IMP post) and my ideas for the aftermath of such a thing.
My least favorite thing I guess would have to be how the ending was similar to the Ozzie episode with both Blitzo and Stolas obviously hurt emotionally. Maybe if the Loona thing didn’t happen, they could have talked and maybe have finally gotten together? IDK but I don’t how again they used something similar to a previous Helluva Boss episode. Also what is with that Ozzie reminder Stolas got? Was it related to how he wants to talk to Blitzo about the events of Ozzie’s OR a wilder theory is that Ozzie knows about Stolas’ crimes and maybe Stolas was going to try and get Ozzie to forget about them which will happen during the upcoming Ozzie X Fizz episode.
Also after all he went through only for Stella to no longer want him dead at the moment, Stolas must now wonder what she could be up to next and I think it would be cool to see how he could try and counter her plans if he’s not too late (it likely will).
Still it was a good episode and now I’m actually excited for the next Stolas episode, but I’m glad we will be taking a break…. I think. There is a scene in the 2022 trailer of what looks like him getting out of the hospital and after seeing that notification, again maybe this happens in the Ozzie X Fizz episode. Maybe while Blitzo and Stolas (along with Ozzie and Fizz) get together at the end of the episode, there is now tension between the groups which could backfire on Stolas one day AKA his crimes. This could then play in the Barbie Wire episode as when I.M.P. get caught, people find a connection between them and Stolas leading to the new finale where Stolas and the others are put on trial.
Till the next episode, I got some good news, I’ve been able to catch up on all my stuff so now I can FINALLY start posting my Helluva Boss rewrite that I’ve been talking about for some time now soon, hopefully before May ends. Now it’s not going to be a word for word rewrite of the series but a series of summaries, the first few going over how the characters are different in this version and then I will go over how the episodes are different, including adding a few new original episodes that fit in my rewrite so if you like my way of writing, then give me a follow.
And those was my thoughts on the episode, and things Helluva Boss related, but I want to hear your thoughts.
I Know You 6
I Know You Masterlist
Author’s Note: AU where Dean was never cured of being a demon and Crowley took over the world with the help of Vampires, Werewolves, and Shifters. Dean’s spent five years not giving a damn about the state of the world and no one has seen Sam in years.
Summary: Dean's pissed off at Cas and Sam and Y/n and the world, but something in him has changed since he found Y/n leaning against his car. Will that be enough?
Pairing: Dean x Reader, Destiel
Word count: 2629
Story Warnings: bit of post-apocalyptic angst, mentions of character deaths, Mark-induced rage, angst, guilt, anger, alcohol as emotional numbing,
I pull the Impala into the Bunker garage and get out. Sam meets me on the stairs. "Dean!" He looks surprised that I'm here. "You came back!"
"Where are they?" I snap.
I roll my eyes. "Yes. Cas and Y/n, where are they?"
"They left. Cas said she'd leave and she did."
I roll my eyes again at 'she'...but it’s right, isn't it? "They begged me to come back and didn’t even have the decency to stick around to greet me?"
"Honestly, I think she might have been scared to stick around. You did threaten to, uh, tear us down to the studs if you found out we were lying to you."
I chuckle. I did threaten that. "She scared of me, all of a sudden? She wasn't scared of me before...and why aren't you scared that I'm gonna follow through on that threat? I'm still a demon."
"If you want me dead, there's not a lot I can do."
"You could kill me," I suggest, shrugging.
"Can I?" Sam responds. "Even if I could bring myself to raise the knife to you, would it work any better than Metatron's blade did?"
Valid question, Sammy. I shrug. "I don't know. Wanna find out?"
He rolls his eyes. "What do you want?"
Another valid question. What do I want? Why did I come back here? I lick my lips and shrug. "I missed this place. I mean, a full kitchen, a full library, badass garage full of classics...fun dungeon."
"You were hoping Cas was here," he accuses me.
"Why would I-"
"I don't know, Dean. Maybe she got to you more than just your soul."
"Sam," I growl. "Shut up."
He laughs and kinda spins away from me. "You've got a thing for Cas!" I feel my eyes go black and the Mark pounds on my forearm. "About damn time! I've been watching Cas make googoo eyes at you since, like, 2009!"
"I do not have a thing for Cas!" I snap.
"You fucked her. You traveled with her. You listened to her ramble and listened about what's right and let her try to save your soul. You admitted to me that she's one of the only things you care about. Just because she ended up being somebody you used to know doesn't change how you were feeling about her." I clench my jaw as he talks. "I was right when I said a pretty face got to you. Because Y/n's face left you more susceptible to Cas' sentiments. It's weird for you because it's Cas, but she's amazing. She's been amazing since she was in her old vessel, since the Apocalypse...and she would do anything for you."
I run my tongue along the inside of my cheek. "Okay. Sure. And what about Y/n? She's stuck with Cas driving her body around and-"
"They're best friends, man. Y/n doesn't mind any of this shit. Hell, Y/n would do anything for Cas, even coach her through sleeping with you." He steps back over to me. "It's actually kinda cool to sit and watch them talk. Looks like she's having a mental breakdown when they're both talking."
"And you know that she doesn't mind, how exactly?"
"I talked to her...and I talked to Cas. They've both come to really enjoy the company and the fact that they can take a break from control every once in a while. They are so close, Dean. They even dream together now." Sam leans his head down and looks me in the eyes. "The situation is weird, yeah, but it's good. You're feeling something for her. She feels something for you. Even Y/n said she understands why Cas has it so bad for you."
Great. The one I thought I was fucking has a crush on me, too. That's awesome.
"Well, if they're dreaming together, I'm sure Y/n's had her fair share of Dean time."
"Ew, Dean." He rolls his eyes and sets a hand on my shoulder. "You came back because of Cas, right? I could call her." I just glare at him. "Or did you come for a cure?"
There's just a lot of anger in my chest. And in the Mark. I'm not really sure why I came back. I just had to come.
Maybe I did come for a cure.
Maybe I came for Cas.
Maybe I came to disembowel Sam...but that doesn't feel right. As pissed off as I was that Cas and Sam lied...I feel no real desire to murder either of them. Even with the Mark pushing me, I'm not feeling it.
"You're gonna need my help if you're gonna fix what Crowley fucked." I don't know why that is what came out of my mouth but it is.
"I need my brother, Dean. Let me fix this so we can fix the rest of it."
Do I want that? Do I want to be cured?
Yeah, I think I do.
I lick my lips and look up at him. "Fine. Let's do this." Sam's eyes light up. I kinda hate how happy this makes him. "You know what this is gonna do to me, right?"
"We'll get through it together."
Of course that's what he thinks. "All right. Let's go."
"Is all this really necessary?" I'm in the devil's trap in the dungeon, cuffed and tied to the chair in the middle. "I'm here voluntarily, remember?"
"You might change your mind the further we get into this," Sam answers, setting a bunch of syringes on the table along the wall. "I can't risk you running out on me."
"Right. You know I could probably get out of this shit, right?"
"Yeah. But you won't."
"Well, you're here voluntarily, remember?" he says.
He walks over and pushes the needle into my carotid, before pushing the blood into my system. It's like acid. It burns my veins from the inside and travels through my entire body. "No," I growl, shaking my head as my eyes go black. "Sam. No."
"Yeah, this is part of why I cuffed you." He steps back, needle in hand. "It'll be worth it."
It'll be worth it. It'll be worth it. Really?! This is the worst thing I've ever felt and I was tortured in Hell back when that actually meant something. Fuck him. Fuck this. "Sam, stop. I don’t want this!"
"Yes, you do. It hurts but it's going to be-"
"Gonna be worth it?!" I snap. "This hurts worse than anything I've ever felt!"
"You're going to be human again, Dean. I'm sorry, but it has to happen." He turns away and starts to walk out of the dungeon.
"Sammy, don't leave me in here!"
"Calm down, dude. I'm gonna get you something to drink."
I let out a growl and sneer at him. "Make it a double."
"Sure," he says before disappearing out the door.
The whiskey he brings me helps ease a bit of the pain...and there's a lot of pain...at first. As I get more...more human, I guess, it doesn’t hurt as much when he injects me with the blood. I don’t like it any more as time goes, though. It still hurts, just hurts different. Hurts like when I got back from Hell.
"Sam, please. I can't take this," I beg as he picks up another needle. There's only one left after the one in his hand. "I can't…"
"It's almost done, Dean. Just two more hours."
"I can't do two more! Sam, I can't."
Tears start rolling down my cheeks as I think about the things I've done over the last several years. I don’t want to think about them but they're invading me. The woman in Chicago who begged me to stop right up until the moment I made her cum on my tongue. The one in New Orleans that I cut to pieces to appease the Mark. The man that bumped into me at a strip club in Cheyenne. He didn’t even see it coming. There's so many and they won't leave me alone already and I can't.
"Sam, please. Please, stop."
He slides the needle in and pumps me full of blood. I struggle against the binds over the burn and squeeze my eyes shut tight against the emotional pain.
"Dean, I know. But we're almost done."
"No, no, it's not gonna be done! You don't understand. I don't want to feel this!"
"Of course I understand, but you can work through it. There's things we've both done and-"
I open my eyes and look into his. "It hurts too much."
He smiles tightly and pats my shoulder. "Means it's working." He steps away from me and sets the syringe on the table. "You hungry? I'm gonna get you a sandwich." I'm drowning in guilt already and he wants me to eat.
I'm sick. I feel physically ill...and it's not any after effects of the blood or the Mark. It’s guilt. It's shame. It's deep regret.
"Dean, you need something in your system other than whiskey," Sam says, picking the bottle up from the table and setting it on the shelf.
"I'm not done with that." My voice sounds hollow, far away.
"Yes, you are. Until you get a shower and something to eat, you are done with the bourbon."
"Sam." I shake my head. I've been drunk for two days. I don’t want to be done. "I don’t want something to eat. I want something to numb. Don't make me-"
"I called Cas." God, why? "She's on her way back."
"No, Sam, why would you do that?" I groan. "I don't wanna see them."
"Well, they wanna see you...and they're already on the way here. So, maybe you should try to sober up and get a shower. Go clean the hopelessness out of your hair."
I stumble as I stand. "I told you that I don't want to see them." Cas can't see me like this. Y/n can't…they can't. "Seriously. Call them. Tell them not to come. I can't see them."
"Too bad. Deal with it. Get your shit together."
"Coming from the guy who sulked for five years in his depression and let himself go completely and-"
"Yes, Dean. Coming from the guy who wallowed the whole time you were gone: get your shit together. Cas and Y/n will be here in a couple hours. Try to look less dead." He hands me a bottle of water and walks away. Fuck, I don’t want…
I twist the top off the water and down it. I don’t wanna do this. Fuck.
I take a drunken shower. I wash my stupid hair. I resist the urge to go pass out. I resist the urge to get the bottle back off the shelf. I try to look less dead.
I don’t know what to say to them when they walk into the library with Sam a half an hour after I get my hair dry...so I don't say anything. I stare off at the books...just reading the spines of the ones I can see. They walk over and look down at me.
Pretty sure it's Cas. Usually is, right? I don't answer her. I don't move. I just stare. She stands there for a few moments before sitting in the chair beside me and leaning back to stare at the same bookcase. We just stare for a while. She's quiet and still. I'm quiet and still.
"What are you doing?" I ask after a while.
"Whatever it is that you’re doing, of course," she answers. "It appears we're staring off into space."
"Cas...do you have to…"
"Whatever the rest of that question, the answer is 'yes'." She doesn't stop staring off into the books. "I know you're upset at me but I also know that the guilt and pain you are feeling in regards to your actions as a demon is much more powerful. I told you before we went to New York that I would be here for you when you were cured. You are cured so I am here." She lets out this almost contented sigh. "You are the man I fell in love with so many years ago once again and I am here with you."
"I don't know how much I want a friend or...or fangirl, right now."
"Well...isn't it fortunate that I am here for your needs, not your wants."
I look over and she's got this smile on her face. It's a very Cas smile on Y/n's lips...and it looks right. It looks good on her. "My needs, huh?" I sigh and turn back to stare at the books. "I'm not sure what I need."
"We will figure it out together."
Damn. Cas is good at that supportive shit, aren't they? We sit in silence for a while. Cas is good at that, too. Contemplative silence is no problem for them.
"So, what's it like? Two people in the same body." I'm not sure exactly why I'm asking. Guess I just want to talk. I'm not as good with the silence.
"I'll admit, it took some getting used to. When I was in control of Jimmy Novak, he was pushed down very deep. Y/n is always at the surface." She looks over and gets this look on her face, I don’t know how to describe it. It's like she's happy to be telling me...the real me...about Y/n. "She's actually very intelligent and wise quite beyond her years. She's also an amazing hunter, a bit of a poet, and she's taught me how to do a cartwheel."
"Sam says you and Y/n talk a lot...like, out loud."
"Yes, we're...in a lot of ways, we're like twins. We are incredibly close, we feel each other's pain...we look alike." She's smiling...happy, really?
"You look like this in your dreams, too? When you're sharing dreams, I mean?"
She chuckles. "Sometimes. Sometimes I look like Jimmy since that was me for half of my time on Earth. It really depends on my current mental landscape. It's hard to let go of that image...me, wearing a good Christian man, and a suit and tie."
"And the trench coat. Can't forget the trench coat."
She nods. "Oh, I have not forgotten. In fact, I still have that coat."
No shit? "Really?" I turn to her more fully. "You kept the coat?"
"Of course, Dean. It was what Y/n calls 'iconic'."
"A symbol? Like my car?"
She nods. "Exactly. I've actually been driving around with my own symbol locked in the trunk of our car." That’s why they wouldn't let me look in the trunk. "It doesn't fit anymore but...I couldn’t throw it away."
"I'm sure it would still look great on you." I bite my lip and look away from her. "Cas...I'm sorry, man. If I'd been there...if I hadn’t been a demon when you and Y/n got attacked, I could have-"
"I am perfectly happy with things as is." She reaches over and puts her hand over mine. "I know that I would never have gotten through to you without Y/n's help so...it was all worth it in the end."
"You really are in love with my broken, crazy, fucked-up beyond all measure ass, aren't you?"
I nod and turn back to stare at the books. I swallow as I turn my hand over and hold hers. "That’s the most dumbass thing you could have said...guess you really are Castiel."
She just hums in agreement...and we stare at the books...together.
Author's Note 2: There's going to be an epilogue to this, but I liked ending the main story here. Kinda hopeful, but still painful. Things aren't magically fixed. Dean's still broken, the world's still broken...but there's hope for better things.
~~~The Kitchen Sink Tags- @flamencodiva @sacriceria @lyarr24 @440mxs-wife @nancymcl @stephv213 @mariekoukie6661 @beachy2014 @alwayskeepfightingsweetheart @cosicas-cuquis @queenoftheunderdark @myheartbelongsintz @squirrelnotsam @akshi8278