#sorry for being so pedantic. I am really not trying to pick a fight with you I promise.
birdmenmanga · 5 months
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some kind of moodboard
@birdmenanime @kitsoa
#just thinking thoughts...#sorry. the phrase 'bird mom loves you both' was so fucking evocative#and then once I started drawing it turned out I had a lot of feelings about this#if either of you want me to take this down let me know#yeah so I've been sitting on that edit of the conversation between takayama and karasuma for ages. like 4 months.#but at that time ghost was still on hiatus I think and also we weren't that close. so it didn't feel right to show it. but it existed.#my mental image of ghostpun is actually largely just that chibi takayama actually#but like that would cause confusion. so i used your discord pfp. your goat person is really nice to draw actually#as for kitsoa. it's supposed to be your fox from tumblr. but I also really associate you with sora(?)'s silhouette so.#it's that. and then hair that COULD be fox ears if you so desired. the ponytail is the tail... the shape is more or less the same.#fistfighting on top of a ferris wheel is a reference to detective conan movie 20: darkest nightmare#it's just so stupid and ridiculous it's my go-to for ludicrous conflicts#yeah anyways onto the actual subject.#to ghost: sorry about this. generally when it comes to fandoms I read most text posts and nod my head thoughtfully and sip my drink#but I guess because I have more cohesive and coherent thoughts about this series in particular I'm less good at just nodding my head#I don't think there's been a single time where we've said something that made the other person go 'YEAH'#like it's always '......well...............'#some nights I wonder whether we read the same series or not. and I feel like you probably feel this way sometimes too#sorry for being so pedantic. I am really not trying to pick a fight with you I promise.#yeah I have no clue what I want to say actually#we go to the same church for worship and like what are we gonna do??? stop going??? fuck no#I don't hate you. I respect you. still trying my damnest to like you. we're still working on that last one#like look I want to be besties so bad but I feel like we just have a boatload of ideological differences to work through#so I guess. what I'm trying to say is. here's to being insane together for the next few years. cheers!#(additional apology for the brutal honesty. I'm not good at white lies.)#to kitsoa: uh. sorry about. This. I don't even know if you were aware we had a rivalry (???) going on#Uh I wish I didn't stir up trouble in your house (bm fandom) but I'm stubborn. for better or for worse. sorry...#I am going to be careful to keep discussions respectful etc. etc. so as not to cultivate a toxic workplace or whatever. prommy.#(but you have to admit. this is kind of funny) <- guy addicted to doing things for the bit#yeah that's all. I can't do anything in a normal way but I hope you guys can understand somewhat.
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Vergissmeinnicht II
It was just one night. It wasn't meant to be more than that. Even if neither of them could entirely forget the other. She wasn't expecting to see those piercing eyes again, especially at the other end of her desk. And he didn't make a habit of sleeping with colleagues. Also on AO3. Per usual, the actual adult content will only be available on AO3.
Her jet lag disappeared when they entered the gallery, the bright space teeming with people. It was part of a larger event space, which was blocked off until the designated show time.
Kat joked on their way over that it would be filled with hot people. There was a modicum of truth in it. They were surrounded by tall, glamorous figures, their clothes probably as expensive as some of the pieces hanging on the walls. Even if they weren’t, there was just an air about them. A certain something that was impossible to truly put a finger on.
They were swallowed up almost immediately upon entry. Navigating the space was difficult, if not impossible, especially once Kat finally located Leo.
The only thing that came to mind when Sophia met the artist was a golden retriever. Bubbly, excitable, genuine. He fidgeted a little more once he realized Kat was coming, the writer noticed, which was all the more endearing.
It hurt when Sophia heard the way Kat spoke to him. Her best friend’s eyes were always seeking Tristan. It was like they were back in undergrad. Her behavior was easy to predict; Kat was, once again, ignoring the good things in front of her only to blame Sophia for ‘distracting’ the person Kat had in her grasp. Frustrating and hurtful to all parties was just the tip of the iceberg that was Kat’s love life.
When they stepped away to let Leo talk with other guests, Sophia pulled Kat close on their way to get drinks and said, “He likes you, you know. You could stand to be nicer to him.”
Kat gave her a sideways glare that said, Don’t you start. When Sophia held the gaze just as strong, Kat rolled her eyes.
“Like you’d know. You’ve been working your butt off and have been too busy for anyone, let alone a partner. We’re here to have fun and maybe meet people. Maybe get you some release before your schedule is too packed for dating. Tonight’s not about me.”
They paid for their drinks at the makeshift bar—a Vesper and a Kir Royale—and did their best to follow the flow of people.
“Fine. But I pick,” Sophia relented, taking a sip of the lemon-infused gin.
“Hope your taste in men is better than your taste in liquor,” Kat shot back jokingly. “I’m going to see if Tristan’s around before set-up. Keep me posted.”
Kat threw her a wink as she melded into the crowd. Sophia could see her bobbing in and out of the crowd as she passed through until she was no longer distinguishable by hair color alone and she was officially gone.
As she took another sip, she glanced around and admitted to herself that she had half a mind to simply go home. She didn’t board a crowded flight in a metal tube for eight hours only to end up in an even more crowded (and even smaller) space for her evening. Any other day, she’d enjoy it, try to soak everything up and listen to what people were talking about. The language barrier wasn’t much of an issue; she was fluent enough.
But all of this—the dress, the shoes, her makeup—felt so...disingenuous.
On the other hand, Kat had a point . She’d worked hard to get out of the American job market; heck, she’d worked hard to emigrate, period. She had gone without for longer than she wanted to admit; she’d bought new batteries for the stash she kept in her dresser drawer. Surely, she deserved something more than that before she let work consume her.
Sophia made her way around the room, managing to dodge elbows and shoulders for a majority of her journey. It wasn’t until she was about halfway around the room that she was knocked back and stumbled back into someone else.
Seriously? Of all the…
“I’m so sorry,” Sophia spun around, the room not quite catching up with her immediately.
Maybe gin had been a bad idea.
The figure she bumped into didn’t even look at her. His gaze instead lingered on the perpetrator in question who was already three people into the crowd. The man she bumped into was striking, tall, and dark featured, and incredibly put together. In Paris, it wasn’t that rare, she supposed, but he was exactly what Kat would label as ‘her type’.
Sharp cheekbones and a scar in his left eyebrow certainly helped.
And so did his eyes. A piercing green, somewhere between jade and faint peridot. He already cut an intimidating figure but…
Perhaps she could stay a little while longer after all.
“It’s quite fine. It was hardly your fault. You are unharmed?” He asked in French.
“I am, thanks. I hope I didn’t ruin the experience,” Sophia pointed to the work he had been focusing on when she was pushed into him.
Liquid courage was required, she decided, when he didn’t immediately respond. He didn’t seem particularly interested in anything or anyone outside of where his thoughts already were before her interruption. She interviewed men and women of this particular caliber before. A curated exterior. One she may never get passed entirely.
“It’s not for everyone,” he admitted. “Some would consider it kitschy, in the fashion of American Pop Art. It reflects an original sort of beauty though, does it not?”
“It does. I think Pop inherently commentates on the idealization of beauty, of the celebrity, and shows the absurdity of it. Warhol’s Golden Marilyn, that sort of deal. But by calling attention to it, we still find something of value and admiration in it. And what is beauty if not the admiration of aesthetics, of finding a value that exceeds the sum of the parts?”
The stranger gave a thoughtful hum, rolling his own glass to stir his drink of choice. Old Fashioned, by the look of the orange peel twirling in the center.
“A worthy consideration,” he said at last. “But what is your opinion on the work itself?”
“It seems to invoke—”
“Do you like the piece, mademoiselle?”
His tone was short but not in a way she would classify as outright rude; more like someone who didn’t like having to clarify themselves.
“Yes,” she replied as she felt heat creeping into her cheeks, both from embarrassment and indignation.
Sure, she was trying to impress him, but the words came naturally anyway.
“I happen to like the fact that, unless you specifically know what the artist is referencing—that is, which artists and which works specifically—the meaning is absolutely lost. Those who know, know.”
“And what would you say the lucky viewers recognize?”
“How elitist the art world is. How despite the fact that we like to think it is accessible, most art is, in and of itself, hidden behind exclusivity. The artist would like the piece to be iconic on its own but it is inherently built upon a canon that prevents that very possibility.”
That she was unafraid to criticize the world she worked in was one of the reasons she was here, why she got the job she did. It was important to pull back and consider that not everything was saying a profound piece of knowledge, that the art world was and is still buried in the history of belonging to the rich and the elite. Her publication was thought-provoking, the black sheep of the mainstream, forever balancing critique with promotion of the canon. Difficult, but not impossible. And forever embracing the idea that what was considered to be kitsch or cheesy was, well, allowed to be admired for that.
She must have said something right, or at least appealing, because her companion gave a small smile and chuckled into his drink.
“You’re the first person I’ve met tonight with something resembling taste , mademoiselle. I’m Vincent.”
He held out a hand and she took it, expecting to shake it. Instead, he lifted it and brushed his lips against her knuckles.
It was an intimate gesture but she now understood why it was once an in-fashion greeting. It was an acceptance of someone’s presence in your own personal realm.
He cocked his head slightly at the pronunciation of her name. “American?”
“Newly transplanted to Monmartre as of,” she did the math quickly in her head, “Fourteen hours ago.”
“And yet you still stand, wide awake, capable of pedantic considerations. That’s a tedious flight. Just long enough to be inconvenient.”
“Coffee helps,” Sophia admitted. “Do you travel a lot?”
Small talk. She could do small talk.
“Every few months to America, yes. I prefer to remain in Paris when possible, however.”
Vincent didn’t clarify upon his work or what he did, but it was easy to guess it was at least within some kind of business realm. Finance, perhaps. The wolves of Wall Street always wore three piece suits when she passed by the Financial District in New York and Chicago.
He asked how she found Paris so far and she held her tongue on reflecting that it was nicer now that she met someone new.
“The energy here is different. Old mixes with new. Nothing is ever lost, simply repurposed. People are different, of course, but I like that. I’m trying to temper my expectations, however, if that makes sense.”
“How so?”
“I’m a stranger in a strange land,” she shrugged. “I really don’t want to live up to the stereotype that I’m a stubborn American who wants to change the land I live in. I would like to ingratiate myself but that will mean accepting the shiny parts of Parisian culture and the other aspects, too.”
She slipped into English for parts of it, unable to find the words to properly convey her thoughts.
“No society is without fault,” Vincent agreed. “It is our role to enhance it, not fight it.”
“Precisely. But I take it you’re not exactly a fan of being in America, even temporarily?”
“The food is fine, enjoyable in some parts. The people are cold in places such as New York. No one speaks a full sentence and everything seems to be an acronym. No time for anyone or anything and there is so much informality...”
Sophia tilted her head and he continued when he found her receptive. “Is that such a bad thing?”
“It’s important to be mindful of one’s...circumstance. Do you enjoy that kind of thing, getting to know someone you’ve only just met?”
She mentally winced at his derision. Maybe this was a bad idea after all. He raised an eyebrow when she didn’t speak.
She gazed up at him coyly. “I think it depends on the person.”
“Fair enough,” Vincent smirked and took another drink.
“And you?”
“I’m not often in the position to do so.”
A momentary silence fell between them as she turned back at the work hanging in front of them. She felt him watching her closely, and shifted to find his eyes climbing her figure, his gaze meeting hers expectantly.
“That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t consider it,” Vincent clarified. “But as you mentioned, it depends on the person.”
Sophia felt heat crawling across her cheeks again. She wasn’t sure if it was the gin or something else, but she felt emboldened now that she had his attention.
He was charismatic, that much was clear. And it worked on her, too. She couldn’t bring herself to end the conversation just yet.
“Anyone in particular?”
“Perhaps, mademoiselle.”
“What about me?”
Worst case scenario, she returned home alone. Best case scenario, well…
Vincent considered her with a sharp jade gaze, barely breaking it to finish the last of the amber liquid in his glass. The only thing she was remotely aware of was her pulse humming in her ears, as loud as the chatter around them, a tension so thick that it seemed to ward off those passing by, not daring to interrupt.
“A proposition I would be interested in,” he said, placing his glass on the platter of a passing waiter who dared to navigate the thick crowd.
Her heart skipped a beat and it took her a second to recover.
Vincent regarded her again for a moment longer and she wondered if he half-expected her to take it back. He reached for his tie and adjusted the knot, which already looked perfect to her to begin with.
Amusement seemed to creep into his expression as she found her voice and asked, “Do you want to get out of here?”
“My driver is nearby.”
She nodded and followed him through the crowd, handing off her glass absentmindedly. Her way her name fell from his tongue was electrifying. She couldn’t help but wonder if his mouth had other skills to give a similar effect to…
“Is your place close by?” She asked as he pulled out his phone, no doubt texting his driver.
“Much closer than Montmartre.”
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spideyanakin · 2 years
Across The Stars  - P3
Will Turner x Sparrow!Reader
Don’t come at me but it’s based on this song
Synopsis; You found yourself across the stars from the one you love
Series Masterlist 🍒
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Night fell on both of you as you tried to find a plan to save your father from his cells.
"Once again im so sorry Y/n" Will stated for the fifth time this evening.
"Will, please you don't have to be. I know you hate pirates." You chuckled at the irony. "Although you're marrying one..." You smirked.
"Hey..." He slightly shoved your shoulder which made you crack a smile.
"I know." You replied dropping a kiss to his lips as you added details to the map of the prison where your father was kept.
Suddenly you heard a large boom similar to cannons followed by the ground trembling.
"I know those cannons." You replied standing straight up like a cat who had heard something in the distance.
A second cannon blew and you snapped your head towards Will.
"It's the Pearl." You said a mix of fear and happiness mixing together.
You walked out, Will chasing you out. Suddenly you were met with a wave of cursed pirates coming from every corner of the city.
Sadly it wasn't your luck as your pedant had flown out from inside your shirt. Resting on your chest, for everyone to see. It got the attention of a pirate, whose hand became bones with the moonlight as he reached for you.
You took a few steps back Will stepping up to protect you. Unfortunately, a pirate took you away at the same time as Will got knocked to the floor. You screamed for his name as you saw the pirate creep behind him knocking towards the ground, making both of you powerless.
You tried to fight off the two men who were grabbing you but you could do nothing. You were dragged towards the sea and onto the deck of the Black Pearl.
You stepped onto the familiar Pearl. Even tho you hadn't seen it in 8 years it felt like home. You watched the once beautiful black sails who were now ripped to shreds as you walked towards the captain.
"Captain wants to see you." One of them spitted in your ear as he walked you forward.
Suddenly you were surprised by the arrival of a second prisoner. You recognized her as Miss. Swann, the Governor's daughter.
"I demand Parley!" She said as she got closer to you, the pirate holding her taking a halt right next to you. One of Barbossa's crew slapped her right across the face as she continued talking.
You thought to yourself of how stupid it was that she tried to follow the pirate code. She wasn't a pirate, the code didn't apply to her, and Barbossa wasn't going to let the code stop him from getting what he wanted.
"I would shut up if I were you." You whispered scream to her.
"Who are you?" She asked turning her face to you confused as too why a pirate would be taken away too. You were dressed like a real pirate, the hat, the sword, the boots. She wondered why you were here if you were possible one of them.
"We do not harm people in the protection of Parley." The captain arrived breaking your conversation and your face lit up in surprise.
The man who slapped her retreated himself while Barbossa stepped closer to the two of you.
"I've been searching for you two for a long time." He said as he stepped closer to you and placed a lock of your hair behind your ear. You watched in anger, doing nothing but resembling all your cold blood.
"Names?" He asked standing right in front of the two of you.
"Turner." You both said at the same time and your eyes lit up in shock. Your head snapped towards Elizabeth Swann and you shot her daggers with your eyes.
"Alright well, one of you is obviously lying." The pirate said before turning towards Elizabeth. "Explain yourself."
"Elizabeth Turner Sir. Im a maid in the governor's household." She replied and looked to you.
Barbossa's face lit up as he heard the name.
"Married into the name. She's my sister in law, Im widowed im afraid." You gridded your teeth through your lie to protect Will. You placed your hand up to show your brand new ring which made Barbossa's face twist.
"Bootstrap?" The crew started whispering. "Didn't know he had twins." They all started discussing the matter and Baborssa shut them all silence falling back on deck.
Barbossa walked towards you, putting his face inches close to yours.
"You can hide yourself all you want behind a name, but I know how to recognize a Sparrow when I see one." He spat out. "You clearly know why your here Y/n, so just give it, or be ready to walk." Barbossa pointed to the plank on the other side of the ship. You stared at it, zero fear in your eyes.
"Then give me back what's mine." You stood up straight.
"What? The Pearl?" He scoffed and looked around. He started laughing at you and the whole crew followed.
"The Pearl will never be yours, Darling." And with that, he grabbed the coin from your neck and ordered two men to grab you. You tried to fight them off but one knocked you unconscious right onto the hard floor of your beloved ship.
Wicked laughter could be heard around the pirate ship, as Barbossa turned his attention back to Elizabeth.
"Welcome aboard misses Turner!" Barbossa stated a wide grin painting his wicked face.
"What do we do with her sir?" One of the crew members pointed to your unconscious body.
"Throw her overboard. She's no use for us anymore." He replied as Elizabeth was being carried into a cabin.
The men nodded and carried your body towards the edge of the ship. You had already set sail out of port royal and Barbossa knew you had 0.01 percent chances of surviving a fall like that.
But the crew had known you before. They had been here when Jack first got the Pearl and seen your bright toddler eyes the first time you walked its decks. They'd seen you charm Davy Jones into lighting the deal to only 100 souls and spare some of the crew's life. Him not being able to resist the charm of a 5-year-old.
So when they picked you up to drop you into the cold sea, they could barely bring themselves to do it. They looked at each other and waited for Barbossa to enter his cabin to hide you.
One of them threw a bucket of cold seawater to your face harshly waking you up.
"Sorry miss." One of them added feeling a little guilty.
You breathed out trying to calm down from the sudden awakening.
"Where am I?" You asked scanning the room, soon realizing you were still aboard the Pearl.
"Lower deck miss. Hidden from Barbossa. He wanted us to throw you overboard, we couldn't do it, so we hid you..." He replied trying to hide the blush creeping on his undead cheeks.
You took a second to realize the situation and a smile crept on your face.
"Thank you." You nodded. "I realize I can't stay here." You said as you looked towards the door. "You have a way to get me out without the captain realizing?" You asked as you wiped the water from your face.
You let out a struggling breath as you rowed through the tough seas. You watched your compass and lifted your head towards the stars rowing towards Tortuga as fast as you could. You looked behind you and finally saw the small piece of land you were waiting for. You let out a sigh of relief as you watched the lights from the city twinkle.
You fixed your hat as you walked off from the small boat.
"You can have it." You pointed to the man who was looking weirdly at you and your boat. "It's all yours." You added with a smile as you shook your arms the pain of rowing so far slowly hitting you.
You walked through the familiar streets crossing paths with a familiar set of women.
"Y/n?" One asked with wide eyes.
"Scarlette?" You asked and your face twisted as you knew what she was thinking of your father.
"Well, you wouldn't believe me when I say I saw your father about 5 minutes ago." She added, not being mad at you in any way for your father's actions. It wasn't your fault after all.
"Really?" Your face scrunched up in confusion as you walked towards the tavern stopping when you heard Will's familiar voice from the pig house.
"Will? Gibbs?" You asked and the three men turned their attention towards you. "Dad?"
They all looked at you with confusion and Will felt a pressure go off his shoulders as he realized you were safe. He ran up to you and brought you into a tight hug, bringing confusion to Gibbs and a disgust expression to Jack's face.
On the other side of the story, Will had managed to free your father, who was still confused as to why he knew you.
"You! Sparrow!" Will went down to the prisons in a fury after waking up.
"Hmm?" He asked lifting his head from the ground and placing it back down.
"You're familiar with that ship the Black Pearl?"
"I've heard of it." Your father moved his head to be more comfortable.
"Where does it make berth?" Will asked a little too confident.
"Where does it make berth? Have you not heard the stories?" Jack replied as he placed his head up and looked at the boy who was talking to him. "And how do you know my daughter by the way." He pointed out before placing his head back down, silence falling between the pair. Jack knew he wouldn't get any answers to he replied to Will's question "Captain Barbossa and his crew of miscreants, sail from the dreaded Isla de Muerta it's an island that cannot be found except by those who already know where it is."
"The ship's real enough, therefore its anchorage must be a real place... Where is it?"
"Why ask me?" Jack picked his nails.
"Because you're a pirate..." He replied holding onto to the bars of Jack's cell.
"And you want to become a pirate yourse-"
"And they took Y/n." Will cut your father's sentence and fear rose in Jack at the thought of you being Barbossa's captive.
"As so it is that you found a girl." Jack clicked his tongue. "And it just so happens to be my daughter." He hummed and Will's face twisted a little scared as too how he was going to drop the fact that he asked you to marry him without his blessing.
"What your name boy?" He asked still on the floor.
"Will Turner," Will replied without any other words trying to scan the expression of your father's face.
Jack sat up getting a little more interested in Will.
"Im sure its short for William I suppose?" He added thinking about Bootstraps and how in this entire world did you end up being with his son.
"Well as much as I'd love to help you save my daughter the key's run off and I have no way out."
"I helped built these cells," Will replied as he looked at the bars separating your father from freedom.
After a few adventures later and Will finally accepting that his father was a Pirate, soon realizing he was the boy in question that you told him about a few weeks back. Will found himself hugging you in Tortuga, after being scared Barbossa had killed you.
"Their sorta together," Jack explained joining his fingers to show Gibbs that you two were in a relationship. "He seems to love her." Your father added as he walked towards you. "Well Y/n... Im glad your safe!"
-Tag List- 
@ourfavoritesergeantbarnes​ @carolxnaaa​
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bat-besties · 2 years
Rain towards morning (3)
Chapter One | Chapter Two
Platonic Roman and Virgil
A friendship grows between Roman, a lonely farmer, and a mysterious stranger. But when Virgil’s past catches up with both of them, Roman digs himself in farther than he imagined as his heroism is cruelly tested.
Warnings: captivity, compelling voice, overwork, thunderstorm, hypothermia, minor character death/murder.
Edited by the lovely @mariniacipher!
Roman woke up to a low voice.
The man was back, sitting on a low stool with a loaf of bread beside him, just outside the boundary. Virgil was pressed into the back of his corner, legs pulled in front of his chest. His brow was furrowed and his eyes squeezed shut as if he was concentrating.
There was a clatter of dice.
"Six, six, four. Try harder."
He didn't reply and the man sighed and noted the score down in a little book. He rolled the dice again.
"Six, three, five. You're getting worse. That’s less. Even you can get that."
He pursed his lips and turned his face away, rolling his eyes.
He made a sharp “ah” sound and held up a finger. "Don't be a brat."
Roman tensed, waiting for the spirit's behaviour to snap into something different, but apparently the instruction wasn't specific enough to have any effect. Still, Virgil looked back at the man without a scowl, and this time when the man rolled the dice-
“Two, one, three. Is that more or less?”
He barely opened his mouth. “L’ss.”
“What’s the score, then?” he asked in a patronising voice. “What’s the number? Two plus one plus three. Count up the dots on the dice.”
Virgil scowled. Shame twisted to overlay the landscape of his face like the shadow of a cloud dappling the ground. “You know spirits are above these things,” he spat. “There is no meaning in numbers connected to nothing, or being pedantic about amounts-”
“Go again.” He rolled the dice. After a pause, he raised a slightly impressed eyebrow.
"Six, six...six. Was that so hard?" The man tore a piece of bread off the load and held it out towards Virgil. "For the score."
His hands tightened around his sides. "That's not what we're playing for."
The man dropped the bread on the ground, just outside the circle, and picked up the dice again. "Your loss,” he said in a cheerfully patronising tone.
Roman didn't know what was happening but he didn't like it. He pushed himself on an elbow before remembering that he was, in fact, stark naked under his blankets. "Good morning," he said with a winning grin. "Could you possibly just pass me my pyjamas?"
The man stood up and grabbed the pyjamas between his finger and thumb, dropping them in front of him in disgust. Dried mud had encrusted them, and Roman feared the cheerful polka-dot pattern would never look the same again.
"Seriously?" Virgil said to the man. "You need to get him actual clothes now." As the man turned to raise his eyebrows at Virgil’s tone, Roman wiggled on his wrinkled pyjamas under the quilt. "He'll get pneumonia or hypothermia or something," Virgil continued. "And then he won't be able to help you at all.” He dropped his eyes, drawing up his strength from a moment under the damp curtain of his hair, before he forced his eyes up to look at the man’s. They were steady- and angry- and holding back that anger. “Please, I'm asking you to get him some clothes and shoes."
"You're the one who made the rain, aren't you?" Something in the way he spoke to Virgil specifically set Roman's teeth on edge. He thought he was smarter than the farmer, but he was cruel, not patronising. With Virgil, it was as if he didn't stop talking down to him for a moment he'd be forced to fight in the game for control the spirit had already lost.
"It's not raining now, and it's still cold." Despite his defence, the spirit still looked guilty.
"Clothes, shoes, a cloak- I never agreed to provide all of that."
"He'll work better. It will mean he doesn't get sick," he pressed.
As Roman pushed off the quilt to reveal the pyjamas in all their badly-dried glory, the man wavered. He waved a hand as if to illustrate how little he cared in the first place. "Fine. I'll get them for him."
Roman grinned at Virgil.
"If-" the man added, "-you take your reward for the dice roll."
Virgil scowled at him and the man laughed. "Well?"
Virgil ducked his head, still scowling. "Fine, whatever."
The man picked up the bread from the floor and Virgil went forward onto his knees and laid out a flat hand to receive it.
"Manners," the man chided.
"Please," he spat.
Then, when the bread was in his hand an equally vitriolic: "Thank you."
Deliberately slow, Virgil brushed it off and bit off the smallest amount he could. He leant back and glared at the man as he took another tiny bite.
"Finish it by the time I come back," the man ordered before he left, taking his dice and the rest of the bread with him. Virgil flipped him off behind his back.
Roman averted his eyes. "Um- thank you, Virgil. For the clothes."
"Don't fucking thank me," he snarled at him.
He shied back. "I'm sorry! I was just trying to be nice."
Virgil bit off a retort as his eyes caught Roman’s expression. Pushing back his anger seemed like a physical effort which involved letting out a long exhale and closing his eyes. He opened them a moment later and said: "The clothes are a right; not a gift."
Roman nodded. He opened his mouth to lament the destruction of his nice pyjamas, then decided it wasn’t the time. He picked a more neutral topic. "So… spirits need to eat, then?"
"You’ve seen me eat before."
"No, but the whole...spirit part is where I'm tripping up."
Virgil rolled his eyes. "No, we technically don't need to eat. We need to be given things- usually food."
"So it's the giving, not the eating?"
"I can taste the stuff too, you know,” he replied, annoyed.
"I mean...I didn’t know spirits could taste? But I'm glad you at least enjoyed that part of my meals!"
"Yeah, they're pretty good.” Virgil tore off part of his bread, rolled it in a ball, then threw it at the barrier. His hand automatically shot out to catch it. He shrugged and continued, “The, uh, cat analogy isn't so far off. I need people to give me stuff- offerings, I guess. And I give stuff back but like- as friends, you know?"
"Right." That did add up with his visits. "So just now he had to give you something to keep you alive?"
"That wasn't giving," Virgil corrected darkly. "That was trading."
Roman's brow furrowed. "Oh?"
"It wasn't for me. It's for me doing something for him. For the deal, or for the manners."
"What’s the difference?"
"I don't know. I don't get full. I'm not meant to trade and be bound this way; it's not good for me."
"Okay. And what was the, uh-" Roman mimicked how flat Virgil's hand had been.
The spirit gave him a savage smile. "That's because as soon as he puts his hand near me he knows I might tear his fucking skin off."
Roman's eyes widened and he laughed in shock.
"Seriously," Virgil said. "He tried to freeze all of me but my head once and I damn near bit his thumb off.”
"Sweet spitting spirits," he said. "I'm impressed."
"Thanks." He tried to hand the last half of the bread out to Roman. "Do you think it technically counts as finishing if you eat the last part?"
Roman put his hand through and tried to take the bread off him, but as soon as he tugged it away Virgil's fingers locked more tightly around it.
"Ah, sorry.”
He shrugged, trying to ignore the hunger gnawing at him. "No problem."
"It would have been a nice gift," Virgil mused.
"Yeah, I guess." Roman got up fully, and began to stretch out. He let out a small, pained sound as he tried to raise his arms over his head. Virgil winced in response. "Don't push yourself too much today, if you can?"
"I'm fine," he said cheerily, gritting his teeth and attempting to make a windmill with his arms. "I'm no delicate spirit, Virgil, I'm a farmer. I'm used to hard work."
He rolled his eyes. "Don't put your back out on day two."
"I won't, I won't,” he said. "As long as you promise to try and not rain on me again?"
Virgil shifted in a hunched half-shrug. "I can only promise to try.”
"You should get up too!" Roman said. "Being bent over like that isn't good for you."
"I am not doing exercise with you."
Roman tried to reach over and touch his toes but that wouldn't happen on a usual day. "Bet you can't touch your toes."
"I'm not falling for that."
"So you can't touch your toes." Roman reached down a little more.
"I'm not falling for it."
"That's what you say, but really-"
Virgil stuffed the last of the bread in his mouth, leapt to his feet with preternatural swiftness, then folded himself in half and pressed both his palms flat onto the floor. His hair flopped down over his triumphant, upside-down grin.
Okay, so maybe Roman had baited him into that, but he was still a little put out that Virgil had beaten him.
The door opened and Virgil straightened in an instant. The man handed Roman a pile of clothes and some dirty but sturdy boots. "Be ready in five minutes."
"Sure, whatever," Roman said.
The door closed again.
Virgil turned away from Roman as he tugged on the new clothes, groaning as his back twinged and pulled. They were adequate, if a little baggy. They’d most likely been worn by some servant before. "Do you ever change clothes?" Roman asked.
"Fair, I suppose." He looked at his boots, looked back at Virgil, and with his back aching from pulling on his shirt considered asking his friend to lace them even as he decided that would be the shittiest thing he could do in their positions. Instead, he lifted his foot up onto the chair and carefully did one set of laces, and then the other. This did not, he reflected, as his back twinged, bode well.
"I am trying to give you luck," Virgil said, still turned away from him. "But it's not precise. I can wish for more or less, not a number of something. Numbers are…” He waved a hand through the insubstantial air. “Like the dice, they don’t work for me. The good roll was coincidence-"
"Don't tell him that."
"I'm not stupid. But still- I just...don't hope too much."
"Not exactly what I wanted to hear," Roman said brightly, standing up again. "Well, regardless..." He tried to put on a brave voice. "I'll use my ingenuity, and strength, and heroism-"
The man reappeared and Roman cut off his speech in relief. Even his acting skills and natural courage couldn’t easily maintain a brave front.
He waved goodbye to Virgil before he followed the man out to the exit again, tying his cloak and picking up the shovel as he set out into the waterlogged country once again, grateful at least for the small mercy of a clear sky.
Roman trudged out and away from the mansion. "Treasure, treasure, treasure-" he called. "Treasure, treasure- try and give me some luck, Virgil."
He decided to set out further. Reaching a grassy hillock, he figured there was as good a place as any to start.
As soon as he began, everything hurt. The cloak got in his way, and he should have ditched it once the digging began to warm him, but he didn't want to be cold again. A few hours in he had raised blisters on his hands; by noon they had burst and reformed.
On his first hole, he focused on riding through the aching and digging. On the second, he began to burn with rage at the man again. On the third, he worried about his chickens who were waiting to be fed and hoped they would be alright until his father got to them. On the fourth, there was a sudden squall of wind and it began to storm again, so he had to turn his attention back to just digging.
Night fell soon after he began to slice the turf for a fifth hole.
Roman pulled his hood up, as he had the night before, and waited outside, as he had the night before. Like he had the night before, the man opened the door for Roman, and gave Roman towels and a bowl of stew. Unlike before, however, Virgil was frozen in the corner, kneeling and with his mouth shut tight. A few instruments were laid out around his circle, along with more dice of various sizes scattered over a map.
Roman looked between Virgil and the man, who didn't offer an explanation as to what had happened. "What- are you going to just leave him like that?" he asked the man.
"Why not?"
"But why?" Roman repeated, horrified.
"He was misbehaving again." The man fixed Roman with a stern look he didn’t have the natural authority to carry. "Don't touch my instruments, understand? I'll make him tell me if you do."
"I'm not interested in your instruments,” he said. "I have something else to ask- that letter to my father?"
"Oh, yes, that-" The man carefully tore a page out the back of his research book and handed it to Roman, along with a stub of pencil. "I'll check it tomorrow."
Since he refused to thank him, Roman nodded and just took the paper. "Goodnight."
"I'll be back by morning."
Roman turned back to Virgil as soon as the door closed behind the man. "Can I ask you to come out of that?"
The spirit widened his eyes at Roman, but that could have meant anything.
"Come out of that?" he tried. Nothing happened.
Virgil rolled his eyes.
Roman thought back to the last time- was it really only two nights ago? "You can move and speak?"
Virgil relaxed. "Took you long enough," he grumbled in a rough voice.
"It was like two seconds!" He shovelled a spoonful of stew into his mouth with one hand and took off his cloak with the other. "How long?"
"Couple hours," he said. "Oh, and move his shit all you like- he can't tell me what to do with my powers, what to say, or what to think. He can't do jackshit, really." He stiffly shifted off his knees and back to sitting down.
"Plus I can also use the instruction thing,” Roman added with a nod, “which I don't think he’s realised."
Virgil tried to cross his stiff legs, using his hands to pull them into place. "So it's basically nothing. Embarrassing for him."
Roman towelled his hair down. "Trying to figure out where the treasure is again?"
"Yeah, using dice and maps," Virgil said. "It's so dumb. How was your day?"
"Oh, you know," he said. "Dug a hole. Dug another hole. And onwards on my heroic journey!"
"Sorry for the rain. I tried, I swear, but I just-"
"It's fine," he interrupted him. "It wasn't so bad today. You did well against that foul villain."
Virgil rolled his eyes again, but the corner of his mouth tugged up into a smile.
Roman handed Virgil the bowl through the barrier. "If I give you a very special single chunk of meat will that be like the same as a full meal?"
Virgil's eyes widened. "Wait, what?"
He paused, nervous. "Can I not- was that rude?"
"No, that's- that's really nice, actually." He gently picked out a piece from the top with the tip of his fingers so he didn't touch anything else. "Here we are."
"It's a special piece of meat!" Roman said. "Which I dedicate to my good friend Virgil! With no strings! Freely given!"
Virgil snickered and popped it into his mouth. "Thank you."
He handed the bowl back up to Roman, who was more grateful than he liked to admit that Virgil didn't need more than that. A full day of digging had left him famished. Some colour returned into Virgil's face. It was the pink flush of a sunset Roman noticed now, a little to the left of normal.
He hung up his cloak, kicked off his shoes and settled down with his bowl again. "So- what do we know about the treasure?" he asked Virgil.
Virgil met his eyes. "Nothing. I don't even know what it is.”
For a moment, Roman just stared at him in horror. "How can we find it if we don't know what it is?" he burst out. "That's impossible! Didn't you ever ask him?"
"Oh, no, of course, I didn't ask him," Virgil snapped. "Didn't even think to try that when I was stuck here for seasons and seasons by myself! Even when he's so easy to fight with I couldn't bring myself to ask the simple question-"
"You don't know what you're looking for," Roman repeated hollowly.
"I'm not the one looking for it," Virgil scowled. "I'm just another instrument. He doesn't think I need to know, or he won't tell me- it all adds up to the same."
"I'm never going to find it," Roman said, putting his hands on his head. "It's a wild goose chase. I can't- I don't even know what size of thing I'm looking for."
Virgil turned his face from him. "I told you to leave,” he said flatly
"And we're back here again!" Roman let his head hang back to thud against the wall. "I'm too tired for this."
"I'm not feeling guilty for something you chose to do."
"Said with the tone of a man- or, well, a spirit- who very much does sound guilty."
Virgil let out a long exhale. "Fine. I feel guilty. I didn't- I don't want to hurt anyone else because of this situation I got myself into... Especially you."
"It's not your fault you're here. And you don't have to be guilty for me, I...actually did choose to be here. Because I want to help you.” Roman gave Virgil a soft smile.
He paused, tilting his head as he thought, before he simply said, "You're a good man, Roman."
Roman burst into tears.
Virgil started back, holding his hands up. "Hey, hey, I meant that as a good thing-"
Roman, exhausted and hurt and scared, couldn't hold back his flood of hiccupping tears as the stress of the past few days suddenly caught up with him.
"Hey, uh-" Virgil held a hand up to the barrier. "Roman, it's- I'm here. You are good, yeah? You really are, goodness, you gave me food all those times and the meadow-"
At the mention of his home, the farmer only cried harder.
With that course of action exhausted, he shifted forwards and opened up his arms, an imitation of what he'd seen humans do. "Cuddles? Maybe?"
Roman shuffled over in his quilt and Virgil wrapped his arms tight around the whole, big bundle of him. The spirit’s neck was cool and damp as Roman buried his face against it, but the solid feeling of having another person holding him was so, so nice. His dad would have hugged him-
Virgil moved his arms awkwardly to pat at Roman's back and hair, trying to figure out if the renewed bout of weeping meant he was doing things right. Hopefully raining out his tears was best for Virgil's human.
After a while, Roman tuckered himself out with weeping. He came to a rest, lying his head on Virgil's chest. He didn't move, hoping that Virgil might just let him stay there. As his eyes slipped closed, however, the spirit shook his shoulder.
Roman burrowed his head under the blankets. "Mmrp?"
"I'd rather that he didn't find me like this," he said gently. "You need to reset me before you go to sleep."
Roman shook his head, not moving. "I'll wake up early and do it."
"You're a heavy sleeper," Virgil said with some regret. "And I'd fall asleep too." He pushed Roman's head off him. "C'mon."
Roman rolled off Virgil with a thud. "You're so cruel to me," he whined.
Virgil pushed himself up. "Tell me to behave."
"It's a shorthand for the instruction," Virgil said tightly. "I don't know how the curse learns what things mean, maybe it's something about the intention of the spirit or the person ordering-"
"I don't want to say that to you," he said in a small voice.
"It's not the biggest of our problems here, Ro."
"It's extremely rude."
"I know you don't mean it, dude."
Roman shuffled out of the circle and swallowed. "Could I ask you to maybe be still and have your mouth shut?"
Virgil cut him a look.
"Fine." Roman took a deep breath. "Virgil- behave?"
Virgil went unnaturally still.
Roman felt awful. "Are you okay?"
Virgil gave him a long, slow cat-blink.
Roman breathed out through his nose. "Of course." He blinked back to him. "Goodnight. Sweet dreams."
He couldn't sleep facing the odd figure of his friend in the corner, so he turned his back to him. Placing himself between him and the door he hoped he could serve as a paltry defence. Once again, sleep smothered him in dreamless darkness.
A barked instruction woke Roman just in time to see Virgil, who had fallen asleep kneeling, tumble to the floor as his body responded to the order before his mind did. Up, and dressed, just like the day before, he left behind the room and Virgil, who stood stone-faced and stoic as keening wind and roaring thunder betrayed his anger.
Roman envied the scale of it. He could sass the man more than the spirit, but only for a few fruitless minutes. Then he was back at his thankless task, all alone again. And as Virgil’s rage echoed through the sky, like a cry amplified by a thousand caverns, as his tears fell in a deluge until Roman was heavy with them, as a crack in his pride was told by lightning splitting the sky, all Roman had were exhausted sobs drowned out by the storm.
His anger was so complete it began to choke him.
That evening, he was curled up again, racked with shivers which irritated his already sore muscles. "I don't know what to do with the anger,” he said, voice reined in so his irritation wouldn’t make Virgil uneasy. “I can't put it into digging- that's for him. I can't distract myself with my senses- everything's bad around me. Crying just makes me feel worse! I can't just hold it like this," Roman finished bitterly, spreading his hands as if to show the futility of keeping it contained. "I feel like I've been here for months. I've strained muscles I didn't know I had. I'm angry because everything is useless."
Virgil hummed from his corner. "Give it to me."
"I don't like it when you're hopeless, annoying as the optimism was,” he said more tenderly than the words would suggest, “Give the anger to me." His voice was more assured than it had been for days.
Roman’s brow furrowed. "How?"
"You see that string on the desk? Take a bit of it and weave it together."
"I don't want him to be annoyed," Roman said in a small voice he despised. Things had snapped into a narrow focus and the man was at its centre
"He won't notice, okay?" Virgil shuffled forward towards the barrier. "Cut me a bit too."
Roman hobbled over to the table and used his forearm to measure out two lengths of string. When he sat back down, Virgil held his hands out for Roman to make a simple cat's cradle. He wove it clumsily, fingers stiff from the persistent cold. Once it was done, he let go. "And that's it?"
Virgil nodded once. "That's it.”
"I feel...a little better," he admitted.
Virgil took the cat's cradle off their fingers and tucked it into his pocket. "Magic of arts and crafts,” he quipped.
"Virgil," Roman said mock-sternly. The spirit tensed. He tried for a lighter tone. "Are you bullshitting me?"
"Nah, promise. My turn now."
He held still as Virgil wove a more dexterous piece, long fingers moving in practised twists.
Once it was done, his fingers had left rain on it like dew caught in a spiders web. He pulled it off with a flourish, and placed it on top of Roman's head. "Luck netted in your hair."
"You wetted my hair, more like," the farmer grumbled, but a treacherous hope kindled in his chest.
Virgil snorted.
"Oh, you know what I mean!" Roman said. "Fiendish thunderer."
"Not your best," Roman took off the string and tucked it under his quilt as he lay down for the night. "I hope you sleep well, Virgil."
"You too." He curled up in his corner and lay his head onto the floor.
Roman set out to the fields with high hope that morning; he chose to focus on one of the holes that he'd dug before. It was so deep he needed a ladder to get up and down. However, as he began to flag, so did his optimism. Tonight, he might come back to Virgil stuck again. Or, he’d be upset- he’d have that haunted look in his eyes, and the wind would be screaming outside while Roman’s friend was reserved and silent.
His back was aching and pulling, and it wasn’t just painful, it was boring in the monotony of his suffering. No wonder Virgil was so obsessed with change and novelty. By the time the sun began to fall in the sky it felt like all he'd accomplished was disturbing the route of a multitude of worms.
But then, as the angle of sunlight slanted down, he caught a glimmer in the corner of his eye. He stopped, hardly daring to breathe. It was probably glass, he reminded himself, he'd run into that once before. His heart still thudded against his chest.
Slowly, as if the twinkle would spook and flee, he turned around to look at it.
A clear shard of something stared at him from the earth. He touched the hard edge of it with his thumb- sharp, but not nearly enough to cut- then began to work away the dirt around it by hand.
He pulled out a rounded shape attached to a long, rusting chain. He rubbed at the mud with his fingers, then bent down to wash it in one of the puddles. Dirt floated off it, revealing a multifaceted gem attached to the long chain. It was sharp and alien against the clear water.
"I did it," Roman said in a low voice. "We did it. It worked." A sunny grin split his face as he leapt to his feet and held the pendant over his heart. "We did it!" he crowed. "I did it!"
He tucked the pendant around his neck and under his shirt for safekeeping and attacked the mud-wall it had come from, seeking the rest of the treasure.
The rest of the evening yielded only mud and rock, but that didn't matter. Roman climbed up from his hole and dragged his spade and ladder back; his fatigue was helpless against his triumph.
The man opened the door, as usual. "Here you are again, useless as ever," he drawled.
He only grinned back. "I have a little something to discuss with you and Virgil."
The man frowned. "No, tell me now."
"No, later," Roman replied, almost playfully.
"Don't talk back."
"You'll want to hear this. He pushed inside and laid down the shovel and ladder.
The man, overruled by begrudging curiosity, led him back to the room, then gave him a hard look as he locked the door behind them all.
Roman pulled the pendant out from under his shirt. "Now, I'm just a humble farmer, a man of simple ways, but- Virgil? Does this not look like treasure?"
Virgil looked too startled for joy, his eyes widening as they met Roman's.
The man went still and stared at the pendant. His mouth worked for a moment before he stammered out- "How?"
He gave him a smug smile. "Lucky guess."
The man turned to Virgil. "Did you do this?" he growled, trembling with emotion.
Virgil ducked his head. "Yeah, like I've been doing the whole-"
"Look at me when I'm talking to you!" the man snapped. As Virgil’s head snapped upwards, the man wrenched his head back by the hair. "Don't you dare lie to me any more." Helpless, his breaths picked up as he struggled for words.
Roman stepped forwards to calm the man down. "We found it-"
The man ignored him.
"What did you do? What did you do for him that you wouldn’t for me? How long have you been hiding it from me?" His eyes roamed over Virgil until they snagged on the woven string peeking out of his pocket. "Hand that to me!"
Roman was sick of this, he was so sick, and so angry, and all he wanted was for Virgil to get out now. He just needed him out.
"What the fuck is this?" The man brandished Roman's web of anger in his hand.
"Nothing! Nothing! Nothing, I swear-" He tried to put his hands up to defend himself but the man simply barked, "Behave!"
As Virgil fell onto the floor, everything went very still for a moment.
The shutters rattled and static pricked across Roman's skin. "You said," Roman yelled, "that you would let him GO!" His voice distorted into wind and thunder.
Lightning crashed through the window, tearing a hole in the boards over it. When the flash cleared, Virgil was gone.
The man started back. "What-"
The pendant over Roman's chest crackled with power. The stark white light and howling rain which swirled inside it looked oddly familiar. He put a hand over it. "Virgil?" he softly asked.
The pendant pulsed.
The man suddenly thrust his hand out towards Roman. "It's mine! It's mine by right! I caught the spirit, I researched the stories-"
"You were never planning on letting him go after all." Rain drummed through the smashed window, beating a final tattoo onto the floor.
"Do you really think you can wield that kind of power?" the man spat. "Give it to me! I earned it! He kept that from me, the deceitful creature- think of what he could do to you!"
The farmer felt the power, dangerous and intoxicating: the storms which had beaten him, the sweet relief of rain after drought, the moment of a coin flip where all became certain, the luck caught up in his own hair. With no effort, he could just smite the man….
He shook his head. "No, I can’t wield that power."
Roman tugged the pendant off his neck and cupped it in his hands. "Come out, Virgil," he said firmly.
The spirit appeared by his side. Standing like this, he was taller than Roman, and distinctly inhuman. With wonder, he looked down at his body, and over down to where he had been trapped. "Roman," he breathed, and the breeze rushed through to caress Roman's face. "You...rescued me."
The man didn't even try to resist as Roman grabbed his arm. He pulled him out of the door and out of the building entirely, into the swirling storm. Virgil was behind him, rushing through the door, appearing in front of them in the field with a crack of thunder.
Virgil threw his head back and laughed, spreading his arms out to embrace the rain as it rushed down to him. He made a full, delighted circle, long hair sticking to his face and snapping in the wind.
Then, he turned to the man and his grin only widened. "Get on your fucking knees." Lightning split the sky into blinding black and white, silhouetting the spirit; wide-eyed and utterly without mercy, Virgil was not a thing of flesh and blood, but thunder roaring out and wind howling savagely and pouring rain.
The man dropped as if he had been compelled.
Shut your mouth, the wind hissed.
He did.
"Tighter," Virgil chided. "So your teeth are touching."
The man clutched at Roman's sleeve. He looked up at him with wide eyes full of desperation. His fingers twisted into the threadbare material as he tried to catch his attention. "You're a human too! You're a human too- won't you help me?"
"Shut up, how dare you speak," Virgil snarled. "Roman has every right to kill you himself."
He had dreamed of it, yes. But as the reality of murder drew closer, he knew with a sick certainty he couldn't do it like this, not in cold blood. "Virgil, I can't," he said in a low voice.
"Can I, then?" Virgil said, meeting his eyes solemnly. "It is right for me to do."
He nodded just once. He turned his back and as he walked away, he heard-
"Beg me not to kill you.”
"Please, please, I fed you, I clothed him, I have friends. Please. I only hurt you if I had to."
The storm laughed. "That's not good enough."
Roman walked away into the pelting rain until he heard a distant scream, and then, silence. The man had found the luck owed to him after all.
He waited, huddling under the protection of his cloak, until Virgil strode up to his side. "It's done."
“Okay.” He took in a shaky breath. “Okay.” His eyes met Virgil’s, searching for the change in his friend after the murder. He didn’t look any different. Roman exhaled. “Spirits. We did it,” he said almost in disbelief.
A grin spread over Virgil’s face. “Yeah,” he sounded tired. “You did.”
Roman put his hands on Virgil's shoulders. “I- no, you were so strong-”
"Don't do that shoulder bullshit-" Virgil grumbled, then he pulled Roman into a proper hug.
The two stood together, holding each other close, as the clouds emptied and the sun finally peeked out behind them for the first time in weeks. Roman slumped against Virgil, who wrapped his arm tight around him and rested his head on top of his hair.
As Roman pulled away, he couldn't help but wince at a twinge in his shoulder. Virgil cringed with him. "Did I aggravate it?"
"It's fine," he said with a grimace, and decided the best course of action was heading out on the walk back home. Tired and aching, he didn't get very far before Virgil picked him up from behind. "Wrong way, idiot."
Roman kicked his legs into Virgil's shins. "Could an idiot do this?"
He put him down with a sigh. "Unfortunately, yes."
He turned the other direction. "There?"
With a long-suffering sigh, Virgil raised his eyes to the sky. "I can't believe I have to carry you back."
"You do not need to carry me-"
Virgil picked him up, and Roman let out a sharp cry at the sudden shift in position. The spirit quickly adjusted. "Better?"
"Not ideal," Roman grumbled. "But fine."
Virgil set out over the fields, as the sun bathed the fields in the soft pink sky of dusk the clouds had cast darkness over too early.
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what-a-messsss · 2 years
1x10 rewatch
Ok, let’s get back to Walt Longmire: Disaster Boi of S1 and finish this season off with a...something.  Pleading look to the heavens, maybe?  
How do I keep forgetting that Lizzie is a thing, even after our decision to find her some nice Smitten Cowboy to be with?  Holy hell, but why are you still keeping your dead wife’s ashes in the kitchen?  At least you kept Lucian in your fucking truck.  In a coffee can.  What is with you and breakfast beverages??  We all know you need lots of therapy, but this seems like a kind of niche issue.
“Trust me, you don’t, uh, you don’t want that tea.”  Buddy.  
Poor Lizzie.  She really is so nice.  And he’s such a fucking disaster.  “You seem weird,” she says, in reaction to him going bug eyed from having to convince her not to drink his dead wife without her realizing that’s what he was doing.  Sweetie, you have no idea.  And she really does like him.  
This is.  So.  Gloriously awkward.  And Lizzie’s there in her bare feet.  And all we need is for Branch to show up and we’ll have a full house, and aaaaahahaha, Walt is so trying to freeze time with the power of his brain.  Staring off into the Not Here place with his mouth pressed just so...  Awwwww, suffer.
I had forgotten that Ferg was the one who actually did the body work on the Bronco!  Even did the paint work, because that old truck has never looked so good.  I know Omar loaned Walt his truck while the Bronco was “in the shop,” but I like that the writers gave Ferg the skills to do that.
“If anybody... has something they want to say, I suggest you think twice about it.”  We don’t need to say anything; we’re too busy laughing at you.
Oof, and then Lizzie hearing Martha’s voice still on the message greeting.  She’s really quite a good actress.  Lizzie isn’t a terribly subtle character generally, but she gives her these really fine microexpressions that give you occasional glimpses that there is more going on under the surface, and she’s not just an open book.  : (  Making me actually like her and feel bad, not just cringe when she comes on.  Dang iiiiiiiit.
Ok, that does NOT look like Sharpie.  I’m sorry, but that looks like a paint pen or lipstick more than it looks like a Shapie on the dead kid’s forehead.  Even if it were one of the jumbo Sharpies, they don’t write like that, they aren’t that colour on skin, and the thickness of the lines are all off.  Which is not really relevant, but it buuuuugs meeeee.  Pedantic little shit that I am.
Ope, Branch is basically past the angst about Walt not liking him and straight into just giving him nothing but attitude.  Which, while I can hardly blame anyone for giving Walt shit, does get old pretty fast.
Walt, you are So Bad at talking to people, even when it’s for the damn job!  Yeah, it’s fine to have Ferg fill Vic in, but at least acknowledge that she’s there, damn.  Honestly it would have been good for both Vic and Ferg for Walt to tell her to follow Ferg’s lead on this one.  He knows the case, the local history, the players, the situation, and probably more about archery than her, and she could stand to take the reminder that working 5 years in big city homicide still doesn’t make her the senior deputy and that she needs to be ok learning from even Ferg.  Shit, I keep finding more and more reasons to be annoyed at Walt.  Is he even really that good of a sheriff?  I’m shaking the ol’ Magic 8 Ball here, and signs point to frickin’ NO.  Ugh.
Five HUNDRED dollars says that he didn’t check with Mathias before going on the Rez for official police business again.  Jackass.
Can’t really blame Viho for being super bitter.  And Ayasha is so sweet.  This whole family dynamic is so well done.
Aw, Ferg is so excited about the gum wrapper.  “Still minty!”  How are you such a sparklebunny?  Bless.
Detective Falessssss.  His opening line is so great, but uuuuuuuhg, he’s as bad as Walt with his singlemindedness about the case.  
“Talk to Ruby.  She runs my life.”  She runs the department, bucko, and you’d be lost without her!  Lost, I say!  But you treat her like your personal social secretary, and that’s crap.
In Fales’ dubious defense, you were just super weird about that whole encounter.  
Omar!  You creepy little lecherous jackass.  Why am I still fond of you?  It’s really rather galling that I enjoy your character at all, but I doooo.  Thank gods he has the beard now; cleanshaven was just wigging me out.  “Vickie’s never shot before--”  “That is the second-to-last time you will ever call me that.”  And I chortle myself to distraction to the point that I have to rewind to catch the lines that I missed.  With her horrible plans when she gets drunk (I’m still cringing at that flashback of her with Travis) and her obvious thing for older men, I’m honestly kind of surprised she didn’t end up having a deeply regretted something with Omar at some point.  They do have good chemistry in an antagonistic way.  And he does so enjoy tugging her pigtails.  ...ew.  Why is my brain like this?  
“A little bit of practice, even a girl can make that shot.”  Aaaaaaand we’re back to kick him in the nuts.  Not that we ever really left there.  Such a butthead.
Boy oh boy, it sure is great the tone that all these shitty rich white people take saying “Indian.”
“That is what a normal person would do in your situation.”  Henryyyyyy, I love you so much.  Why can’t we spend more time with him in the early seasons?  Why are you drinking a Rainier?  Nooooo, please have better taste in beer than your boyfriend!  You have expensive tastes in bourbon, why can’t you have decent taste in beeeer?
Walt, what is the point of practicing darts when you are FIVE FEET from the board?  Seriously, you’re supposed to be like...  (a google later)  7 feet 9.25 inches away!  That’s...  That’s an oddly specific measurement.  Wtf.  No quickly apparent reason for that specific measure.  Resisting the pull of this particular rabbit hole to continue the ep.  
Aaaah, that’s right, this is still when Walt thinks that Henry may have killed the guy for him.  And BestDad Henry talked to Cady after the blow up about Branch, and he is a wonderful human being.  “It’s really none of your concern.”  Hoooooow dare you.  It is clearly a function of being bffs with that butthead that Henry just smiles (somewhat bitterly) at this instead of tripping him into the bar or shoving his head into the cigarette machine.  (Is that a cigarette machine?  Wtf is that thing with the yellow lit up portion towards the top? [14:05])  
“What a rich inner life you must lead.  From time to time, you should consider sharing some of it with the rest of us.”  The sass!  Swoon.  Henry.  Marry me.  
“I’ve got other problems.”  Buddy, you are other problems.
I wonder how many people/places Ruby just has on speed dial so that she can zoom through her list of “Where the hell is Walt now” to get in touch with him.
Aaaaand we’re back to Branch getting a bit big for his britches.  Whee.  Better fight about it like Big Boys.  Ffs.  “Go ahead.  Give me your best shot.”  ::Pat Benatar starts playing in the background::  Oh holy shit, I wish so damn much that I had any know-how about making vids.  I would be beyond amused by a spoofy hate vid of Walt and Branch being assholes to “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”  Ooo, oo, or “Hit Me Baby One More Time!”  Aaaahahaha, these fucking losers and their fragile masculinity.  Get rekt.
Children.  Childreeeeen.  Stop it, or you can’t go to Timmy’s birthday party next week.
The irony of Vic being the one who is actually calling them on their shit and getting to do their damn jobs.  Well shit, they actually have a warrant this time.  Will wonders never cease.
Damn, Viho is smart.  Politically savy, pointing out the election coming up.  He’s got the wrong end of the stick this time, but the fact that he’s seen these angles and considered a bunch of things about the consequences already is telling about how smart he is.
Ruby is so pleased to see Henry.  She sounds tired (dealing with Walt and Branch and the sheer volume of bs that is accumulating in that office, no wonder) but still fond.  And the look she gives him.  I love her so much.  She puts up with so much.  And I love Henry continually calling Walt and the department on their shit and just being a dedicated activist for his community.
Fuck right off, Branch.  “Woah.  I know you’re Walt’s friend, Henry, but you don’t have any particular rights here.”  You are sliding into being a full on trashbag of a human being so fast, Brancheroo.  Reminding a young man of his rights and helping him avoid getting railroaded by your biased ass isn’t a bad thing, you rusty wingnut.
Ok, it might not be Glasses!Henry, but cowboy boots!Henry with the glow of righteousness upon him is also quite A Look.
Aaaaahahaha, for once Vic’s unholy yelling saves the day.  Being able to shout over a mass of raucous teens is usually reserved for teachers, camp counselors, and stage managers.  Looool and using detention as the threat.  And then jail.  Heeeh.
This is soooo weeeeeird: I’m starting to genuinely like Lizzie.  She just showed up and I remembered that it’s for dropping off that present, and then Vic is such a butt about it, and this poor lady is just trying to date a guy that she really likes and even gave him about 5 different outs that morning and he pointedly didn’t take any of them and dammit, Lizzie deserves better, too.  Fuck, Walt, you are such a disaster zone.  And Vic is a whole other disaster area that’s looking to, uhhhh, share a border.  Yike.
The present is definitely more Lizzie than it is Walt, with the wrapping and everything, but it’s still a sweet impulse.  AND THEN VIC, who told Walt how many times that he should call her?? gets all up in her business?  Poor Lizzie trying to figure out what the fuck this has to do with Vic or how it is even on the same planet as any of her business.  She does have some issues from her previous marriage, but she owns them.  And her BS meter is actually pretty finely tuned.  Sure picks up on Vic’s awkward boner for Walt in no time flat.  Not that it’s particularly well hidden, damn.
This kid is a rapist and a murderer and The Bad Guy, but at the same time, he is a high school kid, chances are he’s a minor, and Walt is talking to him alone in his office without any parent, much less a lawyer.  What the fuck.  
“Because Ayasha Roundstone told me so,” is a good line, solidly so.  And Walt’s all in The Righteous Hand of Justice mode or whatever, with the gravelly voice and standing over the kid, staring him down.  Effective.  (But where are that kid’s parents?)  Ah, that’s right, his dad is taking a shot at whatshisnoodle to make it look like he’s the killer.
Awww, Cady.  Honey, how long have you been waiting for you FailDad to show up?  Fuck.  Right.  This was how she found out that Martha was murdered.  He lies to her so much.  He manipulates her so much.  He passes all of this off on it being Martha’s wish, but he even acknowledges that Cady had a right to know and he chose not to tell her.  He denies Cady her own agency again and again.  He makes decisions for her without ever giving her a chance to choose for herself, and punishes her when she makes a choice that he doesn’t agree with.
It’s not “protecting” her from the pain.  “Protecting you from the pain,” is not a father’s job; it’s to teach their child how to manage it, help them live through it, and how to grow past it.  You’re damaging her.  Into the suuuuuuun, Walt!  Into the fucking SUN.
But fuuuuuuuuuuuck, her delivery of that same line, “Well, let me relieve you of that burden,” is sooo good.  You done fucked up, buster.  And you just keep fucking up.  I would say in new and exciting ways, but it’s generally in the SAME DAMN WAYS, dammit Walt.
This flashback is really difficult.  
They’re right about that technically being kidnapping, too.  Wyoming  § 6-2-201 specifically includes defining kidnapping as unlawfully confining another person, with the intent to “facilitate the commission of a felony; or Inflict bodily injury on or to terrorize the victim or another,” with unlawful confinement defined as “accomplished (i)  By force, threat or deception; or (ii)  Without the consent of a parent, guardian or other person responsible for the general supervision of an individual who is under the age of fourteen (14) or who is adjudicated incompetent.”  Meaning that not only could Walt charge Jake with the kidnapping of Rich, but also probably of Ayasha, since she was ruled an unreliable witness and would more than likely be legally considered a “mentally incompetent person” according to the states’ legal definitions.  
Not... that I have the Wyoming State Criminal Code downloaded on my computer.  >_> Certainly haven’t skimmed about 80% of it trying to figure out what charges would most make sense to be levied against Jacob at the end so that I don’t have to deal with him going in to a Federal prison on RICO charges.  <_<  Or what Cady probably should have been charged with after that mess with Tate and Catori.  Nnnnnnope.  Sure don’t, didn’t, haven’t. o_o
This is about the only time I can remember there being a legitimate reason for Walt not to have backup.  Since they’re off checking other locations.  Also, damn, that was some classic Old West quickdraw shit, Walt!  Noice!
“Why did you stop me?”  Because you have to testify, you little shit.  HE is not terribly bright.
Ooooooo, somehow I forgot that it was Branch who went to Jacob.  But that makes total sense; I can’t really see Jacob seeking Branch out, but once he walks himself into his office, Jacob will certainly play those new cards for all they’re worth.  Ooooooooo, and the Hotamétaneo’o headdress!  I’d forgotten about Branch seeing it, too!  Nice call back and foreshadowing to finish off S1!
“You will not find a chili cheeseburger of this caliber anywhere in Colorado.”  And now it’s 4:30 in the morning and I want a chili cheeseburger.  Thanks, babe.   Some daaaaaay, I will figure out which is my favourite Henry, but it is not this day, because godsdaaaaamn, the red checked shirt with that vessssst, is *chef kiss* a wonderful thing.   And the director knoooooows it = that pan down Henry’s back as he turns after saying, “I said nothing,” for noooo reason other than to have Henry’s ass on screen.  Seriously.  He says his line, it pans down, we get a primo shot of his jeans, and then it cuts away.  Solely a pan for Henry Butt.  Who directed this, and where do I send the fruit basket?  Dang, it was Nelson McCormick, and this was the only ep of Longmire he directed.  Huh.  In S1, there’s only one repeat director, who did eps 1, 3, and 7.  Interesting.
Focus, kid.  You are less than 3 minutes from the end and you’ve had it paused for over 5 minutes to wander around IMDb.  No wonder it takes you three flipping hours to watch one of these episodes.  What a mess, indeed.
“We all process grief in our own way.”  Buddy.  You have not processed.  You are a human <BUFFERING> screen.  You’re a walking loading symbol.  Walt, he gives you some basic vital statistics on the guy, but...  You haven’t even asked who it was.  Walt, you are so bad at this.  Fffffffff---  And there’s season 1.  lawd.
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gurguliare · 4 years
ooh ooh. can you dvd commentary "the wine we fought for" from "Are you a masochist, Schonkopf?" to "Schonkopf felt a fleeting moment of pity for that one other person, whose life and honor the firebombing must have saved"?
MY PLEASURE, THANKS. sorry this is super long because you picked a fresh ‘un.
“Are you a masochist, Schonkopf?” he said.
“Who, me?”
I obviously love Yang and Schonkopf’s stupid conversations in-show for a lot of reasons, but one is that Yang is a little less sure of his footing around Schonkopf than e.g. academy friends (and has reason to be!), so he puts more effort into actively turning the tables when he’s uncomfortable. He also spends less time playing dumb, I think because he finds Schonkopf’s incitement-to-revolt genuinely worrying and doesn’t want to give it any quarter—Schonkopf seems willing to take anything less than a flat denial as encouragement, so this makes some sense. Actually, Schonkopf might take encouragement from a flat denial, which is presumably why Yang always hears him out first, to make a point out of “it’s not that I don’t trust you enough to share my secret ambitions, it’s that I trust you and I DON’T HAVE SECRET AMBITIONS.” I also like that Yang’s efforts to wrongfoot him often work, at least a little, although he’s a recovery artist. But his recoveries involve digging himself deeper in/showing more of his hand, as far as personal investment is concerned. 
“Well, take this. I can’t imagine you’d enjoy seeing me paired off. It would offend your sense of justice—and rightly so. How can a man like me go courting?” With his free hand he drew a line across his neck. For the guillotine? “As for your other demands… If I seized control of the government, your life would become very boring. Subduing the populace, night raids—for a man of your talents, it’s a snore. We’d never go to war again. And yet you go on asking me to take up the mantle of power.”
I do think Yang kind of equates “Schonkopf urging dictatorship upon me” and “Schonkopf meddling in my love life.” Which is interesting, because… in some ways the show wants to set up the desire for a happy private life and the pressure to seize power (and protect himself) as opposing drives in Yang’s life, but obviously for Yang himself they both represent an unconscionable turn toward self-interest—toward self-interest and away from his obligation to, uh, all the people he’s blown up. I don’t know that Vermilion is really about Overcoming The Guilt so much as it is discovering a little humility; in targeting Reinhard and proposing to Frederica he’s slightly overriding the control freak instinct that says “you hold the ultimate power here and will fuck everything up personally.” But it’s charming to me when people are like “??? why doesn’t Yang ignore the order for the sake of the greater good,” when it’s made pretty explicit that if Yang were following his idea of a straight consequentialist agenda, he wouldn’t fight Reinhard at all…….. Well, and there’s more to it than that, because part of Yang’s brand of consequentialism is trying to force himself out of the headspace that believes perfectly informed decisions can ever be made by fumbling individuals. Still.
That said, I feel “your job would suck under the Yang Regime” is a pretty compelling argument and one Schonkopf should lend further consideration
“You’ve confused me with yourself,” Schonkopf said, after a pause. “A man so afraid of being bored, he closes his eyes to everything that might disappoint him.”
Yang blinked. But Schonkopf had warmed to his subject. “Now, me—though it might involve some personal sacrifice, I would find matters to interest me in your dictatorship. And if you were in love… ‘Yang Wen-li, laid low by passion!’ I admit, you’re not a natural. Is there any part you’re a natural for? But as we’ve discussed—you’re not a bad student.”
The most unrealistic part of this fic is the idea that this would in any way strike Yang as an odd or unprofessional thing for Schonkopf to say. But as I discovered while editing this scene, there’s actually no line weird enough that it DOES make sense as a trigger for Yang’s realization. I made the sort of boring decision while writing that… characterization-wise I am okay with Yang moving things along here, on the basis that Yang is interested in letting off some steam and has entered into that kind of self-soothing mindset he’ll increasingly show on the road to Vermilion. And I think if Yang were going to choose any time to hit on Schonkopf, or better yet blindside Schonkopf by arbitrarily declaring Schonkopf to have hit on him, it would certainly be as part of a high-level deflection away from one (1) question he doesn’t want to answer about Frederica and/or himself as a person who experiences positive desire. In this case actually it wasn’t a question, it was just Schonkopf suggesting he reach out to a grieving friend. Yang: What? No!!
Yang is also kind of the Aslan of LOGH in that whenever a person comes to him about a third party’s possible crush on him, he’s like, “no, I’m going to tell you about your crush now. no one is told any incriminating details but their own.”   
He leaned forward; and for once, Yang didn’t shrink away. Emboldened, Schonkopf wiggled his fingers in Yang’s face, invoking the spirit of a fairy godmother over a pumpkin. Yang moved his head to one side and squinted. “Are you making a pass at me?”
With the body language I did want to convey that Schonkopf has overshot his normal careful boundary-testing, partly because he’s feeling “vulnerable” about the one-sidedness of his investment—that’s part of what him ordering the autopsy under his own authority and then feeling weird about it is supposed to set up, though I don’t know if it works. 
It was natural to lower his hand. It was natural to smile pedantically, as if letting himself in on the joke.
I’m happy with this line because for me it immediately evokes OVA Schonkopf’s whole face situation. 
“I can’t say I’d thought of it. But for you, Admiral, I would make an exception…”
One question that it might be reasonable to address, now that I’ve gotten into it about all these… characterization considerations, for a very short and unimpassioned relationship upgrade scene… is why I didn’t just have Schonkopf initiate. And the answer is, because Schonkopf is a cowardly opportunist! Of sorts. I mean, he’s not Yang-level, but we see with Katerose how unwilling he is to go out of his way to do anything that might involve inconvenience for him, and I don’t think he’s so attracted to Yang he’d consider it worth the risk. Maybe. I mean, in general he’s not the sort of person who “risks” things for sex. It depends how you picture both FPA culture and the culture within the military, but I think especially in the first half of the show Schonkopf doesn’t seem confident enough about where to place Yang in any of that, even just as an “unsoldierly” person with all these performative civilian aspirations, that he’d put himself out there without some sign of interest from Yang. I think also with both Yang and Frederica he has this pre-emptive sour grapes thing of like, I don’t have a chance so I’m going to sublimate all my energy into weird interrogations of their joint ward, which Julian calls him out on in the one target practice scene, lol.
“No, really.” Schonkopf eased his weight off the desk and raised an eyebrow, a half a beat too late. Yang was practically glowing. His eyes had popped open. Disgusted, Schonkopf understood that he was ignoring any implications: he had the silly, brazen look he got when alone with an ideal puzzle. “I thought you were sour Frederica turned you down,” Yang stage-whispered, putting his hand flat on the desk in a covert slap of triumph. “I was too narrowminded. General, if you have a complaint—”
Yang is so dumb lol. None of the above commentary is meant to imply that this isn’t a genuine lightbulb moment for him, at least on a conscious level. Yang: “huh, this hot guy is constantly up in my business, I guess I can leverage his curiosity as loyalty” —> “ohhhhh he cares about me as a PERSON i can use him for SEX”
He paused. I should have timed it, Schonkopf thought, and folded his arms.
“How curious,” said Yang, leaning back. “I seem to have lost my head. I apologize if I said something in bad taste. It was a joke. Uh, a test?”
I wrote a less halfassed version of this and then had to ask myself whether Yang would put any effort whatsoever into offering someone ELSE a graceful exit.
Schonkopf shook his head. His arms stayed crossed. Yang stared up at him, and stifled a yawn. When the silence had gone on another moment, he appeared to sag. “This is difficult. Usually, the other person makes a move, and we’re interrupted by a firebombing,” he offered. “Well, I say usually. It’s only happened the once…”
“How would you know?” Schonkopf said, kissing him.
He felt Yang tense. The change was harsh. But, equally quickly, he relaxed, and even moved with the kiss. His hands settled on Schonkopf’s shoulders. Schonkopf felt a fleeting moment of pity for that one other person, whose life and honor the firebombing must have saved.
Anyway, my favorite thing about writing this scene was just that Schonkopf doesn’t know who Jessica Edwards is. Could Yang pull this line on Frederica? He could not! But Schonkopf, while a stalker, isn’t one of those weird stalkers who knows your dead friends’ names. Here, that puts him at a disadvantage.
“life and honor” — I like this bit because, although it’s just a joke, I enjoyed making Schonkopf be wrong in this fic, in general, as a dramatic irony thing but also because I like when characters are wryly, ruefully, or resignedly wrong. Like, they put some thought into this! Still wrong. And often the way in which they are wrong shows a real lack of imagination about how many different things can fail terribly—sure, getting emotionally involved with Yang is a bad idea and about to become a much worse one, but disengaging didn’t save Jessica. Yang is not the be-all and end-all of horrors awaiting anyone in LOGH universe, and it’s important that Schonkopf can’t see beyond that for even a second.
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ghost--facers · 5 years
S01E02 - Wendigo (Part Three)
A/N: Hey guys, it has been a while... but I’m back! This is part three of the second episode of the Series One (Wendigo) imagine series I’m doing where I rewrite the reader into Supernatural. It’s been ages since I’ve posted a rewrite and I’m sorry it has but I’ve been super busy. I’m just getting back into writing so sorry if it seems all over the place! Anyway… feedback is appreciated and if you want to be tagged in the next part please let me know! I hope you like it x
Characters: Dean (eventual Dean x reader), Sam, Hailey (+ other characters from the episode)
Warnings: Swearing, kinda angsty, pettiness with Dean Word Count: 2943
Description: The reader continues their adventures with Sam and Dean in Blackwater Ridge.
Episode One
Wendigo : Part One    Part Two
“This is it.” Roy spoke, stopping in the middle of the path just before a clearing. “Blackwater Ridge.”
Your M&M count had dwindled due to the fact you had been walking for another hour and your feet were beyond killing you. You were thankful that everyone had now stopped because you hated the fact that you were so far behind everyone and this gave you a chance to catch up.
“What coordinates are we at?” Sam asked, surveying the area, as you stopped next to Hailey.
“35 and minus 111.” Roy replied, after checking his GPS.
Dean then began walking over to Sam and the rest huddled together, so you decided to go over to the Winchester brothers as they started to talk.
“You hear that?” Dean asked, as you came up beside him.
“Yeah.” Sam responded, sighing.
“What?” You said, scrunching up your eyebrows in confusion. “Am I going deaf or something?”
“No.” Dean replied, laughing.
“There’s nothing. Not even crickets.” Sam said, surveying the area again.
“I’m going to take a look around.” Roy spoke, breaking the silence that apparently meant something.
“You shouldn’t go off by yourself.” Sam replied, looking over his shoulder at him.
A cocky smile appeared on Roy’s face and it immediately made you want to punch it. Jesus, you hated this guy so much. Remain calm [y/n], you repeated to yourself as a way to bury the thought of slapping him that you had appeared in your mind.
“That’s sweet. Don’t worry about me.” Roy replied, still smirking.
“Oh, we’re not, dickface… we’re worried you’ll lose the GPS.” You replied, glaring at him.
“Excuse me?” He replied, dropping the smirk and slowly advancing towards you.
You stayed still because despite him holding a massive gun, you weren’t really scared of him. You also knew that Sam and Dean wouldn’t let him hurt you so that was always a bonus.
“Let me summarise: don’t lose the GPS, dickface.” You responded, still maintaining eye contact.
He walked towards you more before Sam placed a hand on his chest and gently pushed him back. Dean then stepped in front of him, blocking you for his sight.
“Just go look around, Roy.” Dean spoke slowly.
You didn’t see the face Roy pulled but you could tell it wasn’t a happy one. Dean then moved out of the way and Roy pushed past both of the boys and stopped just in front of you.
“I’m not done with you.” He replied, his face screwing up in anger.
You just laughed and then elaborately place your hands in the direction he was headed. “Onwards, Ranger Roy.”
He glared at you once more before going on his way. You began laughing to yourself and shaking your head before suddenly being pulled around to face Dean.
“[y/n], quit it!” He said, gripping your shoulders tightly.
“What…?” You replied, knowing full well you were just winding Roy up for the sake of winding him up.
“Yeah, he’s a dick or dickface, whatever you put it as, but just drop it ok?” He replied, still gripping on tightly.
“Jesus. Ok… dad.” You rolled your eyes.
You knew you were acting like a 5 year old, but that was what happened when someone had pissed you off and you didn’t want to get into a physical fight.
He raised his eyebrows in response.
“What?” You screwed your face up in confusion and he raised his eyebrows up again. “I’m not apologising…”
You raised your eyebrows up as well before wiggling from his grip and walking over to Sam, who laughed as got to his side.
“He went full on dad mode…” He laughed, watching Dean walk over to Hailey.
Of course he was going to Hailey!
“Yeah…” You shrugged, laughing, pretending it didn’t bother you at all.
You couldn’t really work out Dean… it seemed like one minute he liked you, laughed at all your jokes and gave you reassuring smiles and glances but the next he seemed to want to exile you to a different country so you couldn’t bother him again. It did bug you a little bit and you knew you shouldn’t be so pedantic and annoying all the time, but something you just couldn’t help it. Especially when you were mad.
“Alright, everybody stays together.” Dean spoke, loudly grabbing everyone’s attention. “Let’s go.”
You sighed as you watched Dean walk in front of everyone and down the path that Roy had just gone down, before following him and walking alongside Sam, who took a lot bigger strides than you. You had to run slightly just to keep up, but luckily you soon reached another clearly and stopped to survey the area. It was similar to the other one, just now with a lot less trees.
You loved forests normally, the pine scent, the crunch underfoot as you stepped over the fallen leaves and twigs, the serenity of the place, but this was a forest you didn’t like. You knew a lot of people were scared of forests and you had never really understood why but now you knew there was something dangerous hidden between these trees made you fully understand the dislike people had for places like this.
“Hailey! Over here!” Roy shouted from a distance, breaking you thoughts up.
Everyone began to bolt over to the voice of Roy and for fear of being left behind in this death trap, you did the same. Luckily, Roy hadn’t gone far so you didn’t need to sprint for that long, but when you arrived your stomach began to flip over and over again.
The same familiar feeling of sickness washed over you and your heart began beating quicker. You began to think you would never get used to this feeling, as you clutched your stomach tightly. It wasn’t even your family that had gone missing, why were you feeling like this?
You closed for eyes for a second before opening them again, to see the same scene. A ripped tent, collapsed in a small clearing, with food strewn across the forest floor. Everything was broken, ripped and torn and no person was in sight and there was blood splattered across the tent covering.
“Looks like a grizzly.” Roy spoke, moving to the side of Hailey and her brother, Ben.
You released your hands from your stomach and scooched over to Dean slightly. You weren’t going to grab his jacket, but you wanted him to be there just in case you needed to. You’re such a wuss, you said to yourself before deciding to move further away from Dean.
“You okay?” He asked quietly, noticing you side-stepping.
You murmured a yes in response, but didn’t look at him. You did wanna grab his jacket, like a lot, but you knew this wasn’t the worst thing you would see today, so you wanted to act someone brave.
You didn’t really know why it was making you feel like this, it was probably to do with the fact that you knew Hailey’s brother and his friends would’ve been taken by a monster. It was the fact that you knew the blood splatters were the result of the monster and you knew that you were going to fight this monster. That’s why you felt like that.
“Tommy?” Hailey asked softly, unclipping her bag and dumping it on the ground.
Everyone else was walking around the debris, trying to find something and you were now doing the same.
“Tommy!” She shouted, walking around the tents. “Tommy!!”
“Shhh.” Sam spoke, walking over to her with his quick strides.
“Why?” She asked quietly.
“Something might still be out there.” Sam replied.
“Sam! [y/n]!” Dean shouted and you spun around. To your surprise he wasn’t there so along with Sam you ran over to the place his voice had come from.
“The bodies were dragged from the campsite.” Dean continued, as you both crouched down beside Dean. “But here, the tracks just vanish.”
You stood up quickly, which caused a wave of nausea to wash over you. You were beginning to think more and more that you weren’t cut out to do this and that you should just go home and start again… this time without demons.
“It’s weird. I’ll tell you what… it’s no skin walker or blackdog.” Dean spoke, standing up next to you.
“That’s good isn’t it?” You sighed, turning to him.
“Well if it isn’t them, it’s something else and it looks a lot worse.” Dean responded, before turning away and walking back to the rest of the camp.
Sam smiled at you apologetically before doing the same.
“Great. Something worse. That’s just what I need after hiking all day.” You muttered to yourself before turning on your heels and running over to Dean and Sam who were basically already back with everyone else.
By the time you returned, Hailey had melted into a pool on the floor, tears flooding her eyes, before picking up a bloodied phone that you assumed was her brothers. Dean immediately walked over to her, and this time you didn’t care… she needed someone and she didn’t like you so there wasn’t much you could do except offer a sweet smile if she ever turned round to look back at you.
“Do you think her brother is actually ok?” You asked Sam.
“I don’t know. I hope so.” Sam replied, looking over at Hailey.
“Me t-”
“HELP!” A voice bellowed from the other side of the forest.
You all turned around in the direction of the sound of the scream.
“That did not sound good. That did not sound good at all.” You whispered to yourself, silently wishing you could hold onto Dean’s jacket, but he was too far away.
The screams continued, and your stomach began to feel more and more sick with each shriek. Dean and Hailey immediately rushed off and you followed as Sam ran alongside them. Your legs hurt from all the hiking but you ran anyway, not wanting to be left alone in hellish place and also because you actually wanted to help.
You felt like you were really the most helpful person that the Winchesters could have ever had and you felt like you needed to prove that you were able to be a good hunter… even though the feeling of nausea that was washing over you made you feel like that was not possible. Nevertheless, you persevered and smashed through the branches and leaves that hit your face as you ran. You had taken your hair down earlier so that was an extra problem because it whirled around in front of your face.
“Shit.” You shouted as quietly as you could after ploughing straight into something. That something probably being a tree.
You clutched your head that hurt slightly, and moved the hair from your eyes to see a mad Dean staring down at you. It wasn’t a tree. It was Dean. Shit.
“[y/n], this is serious, stop messing around.” He spoke, stern faced.
“I’m not messing about. I didn’t realise you had stopped and I couldn’t see because of my hair.” You replied, slightly embarrassed, before noticing his gun was pointed at your stomach. “Dean?”
“Yeah?” He responded, sighing.
“I know it’s a stressful, worrying and scary time… I’m not gonna lie I’m crapping myself… but could you please not point that gun at my stomach?”
“Oh shit, sorry.” He whispered, looking down at the gun before turning around to face the direction everyone else was looking.
You smirked slightly and then stopped because it didn’t really seem like the time. Everything was so silent and still, like this forest wasn’t capable of such sounds.
“It seemed like it was coming from around here, didn’t it?” Hailey asked.
Nobody responded, as you all looked around intently. The wind had started to pick up and it sent an unnerving shiver down your spine. You didn’t like this one bit, but you had to try to be brave at least… even though every ounce of your being wanted to reach out and grab Dean’s arm to transfer your nerves to him. You knew that as soon as you touched him, your nerves would calm and you would begin to feel safe.
“Everybody back to camp.” Sam shouted suddenly, causing you to immediately look over at him, before he began to bolt back to where you had just come from.
“What?” You muttered, utterly confused before Dean grabbed your arm and pulled you alongside him as he ran back. “Stop dragging me.”
“[y/n], just shut up.” Dean muttered, coming to a halk back at the original camp.
A space that was once cluttered with your backpacks, was now empty, with only splatters of blood dusting the ground.
“Our packs!” Hailey sighed.
Pointing out the obvious much? You rolled your eyes… did she not realise that you were all seeing the same thing? Maybe you were a little jealous, you thought to yourself as you watched Dean walk to her side. You only seemed to dislike her when Dean was by her side but that was just because maybe you wished that Dean would stay by your side, not drag you around like his little sister and leave you alone to cozy up with the cute girl he just met. Although, you didn’t expect any less from Dean… he seemed to be the kind of guy that would do that. Or maybe he just wanted to help her. Either way, him dragging you about and being sweet to her made you slightly annoyed and drowned you in jealousy.
“So much for my GPS and satellite phone.” Roy whispered, kneeling down.
“What the hell’s going on?” Hailey shouted out.
“Like we know!” You scoffed quietly. Apparently not quietly enough though, as she whipped her head around and glared.
“[y/n], calm down.” Dean spoke, his voice lowering with seriousness as he got in between you and Hailey and turned you around.
“I’m chill, Dean, let go of me.” You spoke, staring up at him.
“It’s smart, it wants to cut us off, so we can’t call for help.” Sam spoke.
“So I guess we do know.” You awkwardly laughed, raising your eyebrows over at Hailey, who at this point was just ignoring you.
“You mean someone, some nut job out there, just stole all our gear.” Roy responded.
“Not a nut job exactly…” You replied, walking away from Dean and over to Sam.
“[y/n], can you be quiet for like a second, maybe?” Dean spoke, watching you move closer to Sam.
“I’m sorry, what was that, Dean?” You swivelled back around to face Dean.
Dean just raised his eyebrows at you before you felt yourself being pushed by Sam back to Dean. You sighed as you knocked into Dean’s arm, your head bumping into his shoulder.
“You guys need to stop.”
“Stop what?” Dean responded, glaring at Sam.
“Stop being childish.”
“We’re not being childish… she is.” Dean said as he nudged you.
“Fuck off, Dean.” You rolled your eyes, moving away from him slightly.
You didn’t really know what Sam was on about, because you hadn’t really done anything childish. Actually, that was a lie. One minute you and Dean were the best of friends and the next you wanted to rip each other’s throats out. It wasn’t even arguing at this point, it was just petty comebacks and you weren’t one to back down so the childish fights just escalated.
“You want me to fuck off? How about--”
“Dean shut up. [y/n], shut up. Can both of you just shut up for one second please?” Sam spoke louding, cutting Dean off. “I need to speak with you both… in private.”
“Sam, I don’t think we need to talk about me and Dean arguing right now, do we?” You asked.
“It’s not about that.” He replied, raising an eye before exchanging a worried glance with Dean.
“Ah.” You spoke, glancing between both of the boys, before following them as they walked off into another clearing.
“Okay. Let me see dad’s journal.” Sam said sternly, as you entered the clearing.
Dean raised an eyebrow but removed the book from his jacket and handed it to Sam who began to flip through it wildly.
“Alright.” Sam started, stopping on a page and holding it out to Dean. You peared over Dean’s shoulder in order to get a clear view, but it just looked like a bunch of scribbles in your eyes. “Check that out.”
“Oh, come on.” Dean smirked. “Wendigos are in the Minnesota woods or Northern Michigan. I’ve never heard of one this far west.”
“Think about it, Dean. The claws, the way it can mimic a human voice…”
“Great.” Dean sighed, lowering the book. “Well, then this is useless.” He sighed once, more showing his gun to Sam.
“A wendigo? Am I even saying that right? What even is it?” You asked, grabbing the book from Dean.
“A monster known to be native to forests, that enjoys the taste of human flesh.” Dean grinned, grabbing the book back and stuffing it back into his jacket pocket.
“Lovely.” You whispered, looking down at the ground.
You began to hope that one day you wouldn’t feel as scared when any sort of evil creature was mentioned. But that day was not today.
“Not scared are you?” Dean smirked.
Jesus, what was his problem?
“Oh no. I’m not totally terrified of the fact I could get eaten alive by some human flesh loving monster. Go fuck yourself, Dean.” You glared at him, before walking back to the others, with Sam not far behind you.
Tags: @shut-ur-face-and-get-in-the-car @jules12345678910 @anolympianhero @cra-zy-vib-es1999 @sherlock44 @queengraciella @for-a-brothers-love @puppies-make-me-extra-happy @dean-is-my-favorite @a-little-bit-of-everythin @dean-is-a-cutie @be-with-me-for-evermore @tbk28 @haveyoumetmeyet @that-was-scary @in-deans-arms @it-could-go-off @dean-is-my-superhero
(Let me know if you want to be tagged in the next part!)
 Part Four
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Exo Reaction: Their S/O playing around, pretending to have their powers. (Pt.2)
Anon: Exo reaction request where their s/o is playing around pretending to use the boys powers
Admin Eva: Thank you for requesting, here is Part 2~ I hope you enjoy it! Only warning here: Please do not play with fire or electricity.
You waited and waited for Chen to come home from tour. They had been on tour for a little under a year. You were so excited to see Chen again. You support the boys as much as you could while they were away. As you waited, however, you got bored. 
So you put on your fuzziest socks and started dragging your feet all over your carpets. Before Chen went away he gave you a ring with his symbol on it to match his own. He knows how much you love the power concept. You thought it was absolutely adorable and perfect for them. 
It surprised them all when they heard that you loved the power concept considering they are all embarrassed by it. You were always into things that included powers or fantasy elements. Now you are dating a lightning master, or so he liked you to call him. You had no idea how long you had been doing this, but suddenly you felt a presence watching your every move. You turned around and jumped, Chen was just sitting there smiling and laughing at you.
“Chen! Warn somebody before you just sit there and stare at them like that!” You grabbed your heart and willed it to go back to your chest. 
“Well, I was expecting you to be asleep or out doing something, not rubbing your socks all over the carpet.” Chen chuckled and walked to your shared room to put his stuff away. 
“Listen, I am more powerful than you right now.” You scoffed at him and continued on your mission. 
“Oh really? How so?” Chen looked really confused. 
“Well, come here and give me a hug.” You smiled gently and opened your arms wide. 
Chen apparently forgot everything you were doing for the past over and happily hopped on over. As soon as he touched you, you both left the biggest shock of your lives. You could have sworn your heart stopped for a second. 
“Woah.”  Chen was on the floor looking up at you with shock in his eyes. You didn’t even know how he got there. You feel down next to him, your hair frizzy and the both of you started laughing. 
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The managers were allowing Exo some time off, they worked hard and the managers felt they deserved some time off. Chanyeol wanted to take you to a place you’d never been before. You always wanted to go to Japan, you just never had the chance. The two of you spent the night before packing. It wasn’t the best thing in the world, but you were doing it together. You noticed he was starting to get annoyed with all the packing, so you suggested a break. Chanyeol was more than happy to comply. The two of you walked into the kitchen and Chanyeol sat down while you started to make a snack. 
“Chanyeol look, I have powers!” You picked up the torch you use for some baking dishes and turned it on. Moving your other hand around like it was magically. 
“Didn’t anyone tell to never play with fire?”  Chanyeol chuckled at you and rested his head on the table. 
“Of course they have, and yet I’m near you all the time.” You shot back as you watched the temperatures rise and you turned off the torch. 
“Haha, very funny.” Chanyeol sighed and looked up at you. 
“Where’s your pendant at?” You pulled out some bowls from the cabinet and started distributing the food evenly. 
“Far away from any place you can possibly reach.”  Chanyeol smiled up at you. 
“Why must you do this? Why must you take away my dreams of being the Phoenix?” You sighed and sat down next to him with food and pouted at him. 
“Becuase there is more to life than those little pedants.” Chanyeol shook his head and rolled his eyes. 
“You’re just mad because Suho caught you playing with the lighter in stove again.” You chuckled and pushed him slightly.
“Yeah, you’re a bad influence on me. But I’d rather be around you than get burned. Shall we go back to packing and get some rest? We have a big day tomorrow.” Chanyeol pushed you slightly and smiled at you gently.
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You watched the boys film the MAMA music video, probably the funniest thing you have ever seen. D.O had to stomp on the ground multiple times, they had to do multiple takes. When they finally allowed them to take a break he wouldn’t even look at you. You knew he was embarrassed. They popped into the waiting room and D.O saw you smirking at him. He couldn’t hide his embarrassment, not form you. You always knew when he was embarrassed. 
“Hey there Superman, what’s up?” You tilted your head and smiled. 
“Stop, you know I don’t like that.” D.O chuckled and pulled you away from the beagle boys before they could mess with the two of you. 
“You looked pretty strong back there, though.” You smiled at him. 
“You mean with the green screen.” D.O sighed and shook his head. 
“Stop, don’t ruin the magic!” You smacked his shoulder lightly.
“Oh sorry, should I squeeze ya until you pop or something?” D.O chuckled. 
“Nah, you might have super strength but I am still stronger than you.” You teased him and wrapped your arms around him. 
“No one is stronger than you love, want to go mess with the beagles while we still have some break time left?” D.O pointed at the three unexpecting beagles.
“Oh you know I’m always up for that.” You two both quietly walked over to mess with the sleeping beagles. Who said a little revenge is a bad thing?
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He walked in with a happy sigh, he couldn’t wait until you got off of work. The two of you were going to have a nice weekend of just staying indoors and watching movies. He walked into your shared bedroom and laid down for a few minutes. You two had a small fight this morning, he wasn’t even sure why you were so angry. He misplaced the ring he got you a couple months ago. 
It looked just like the one he was given for MAMA. He decided to get up and look around for the small ring. He couldn’t believe that you were so hurt by him misplacing it. He thought it was more of a gag gift, but you really loved it. The two of you used to run around and pretend to freeze things that you could actually press pause on. 
As he got busier though you couldn’t play around as much as you used to. He looked around all over the place and still couldn’t find that ring. As soon as he heard you walk into your shared apartment. You turned around and held out your hand in a stopping gesture. Tao stopped, this movement confused him. 
“Right light.” You said with a smile. 
You then turned around and yelled out green light. He was still confused but figure green meant go and started moving toward you. When he got closer you whipped around and yelled red light causing him to stop once again. He chuckled as he began to understand this game. One your hand was the shiny ring he had been looking for. You were “messing” with time. He waited for you to turn around and ran up to hug you when you did. 
“Messing with time is a dangerous game.” Tao said quietly. 
You two played a couple of rounds of this game. Did you feel ridiculous while playing? Yes, you both definitely did. But at the moment it was fun. The two of you felt a little tired and made your way to the couch. 
You decided on a couple of movies before you both went to work so it was all ready to go. Sitting down on the couch the two of you curled up and turned on the television. The movie began to play and the two of you sat there enjoying the movie. Every once and a while the two of you would pretend to pause time (the movie) just to make each other annoyed. After a while, he started to talk to you when the movie was nearly over. 
You didn’t give him a response. He looked down and noticed that you had fallen asleep against him. Tao smiled and gently brushed some of your hair out of your face. He decided that one movie was enough for tonight. Tao gently moved you over and stood up. He then picked you up gently and headed to the bedroom. Tao placed you on the bed and kissed your forehead, he then walked on over to the other side and laid down next to you. Tomorrow would be a better day for movies anyway. 
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Kai walked into the company, he received a text from you saying you were having fun at the company. That was very strange to him, why were you “having fun at the company” when he hasn’t even been at the company yet today. He walked through the halls to the room you said you were in. Kai looked in and chuckled. You were there with a green screen in the desert. He opened the door and walked in with a very confused face. 
“What are you doing?” He asked, his face full of amusement. 
“I’m living my dream.” You said simply. 
“By playing with a green screen?” Kai looked a the little set up you had going on. 
“No! By traveling the world.” You said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. 
Kai just sat down on the other side of the room and allowed you to do whatever you wanted. You made it throughout Asia, over to Europe, down to Africa, somehow made it to Australia. You were having a great time with the green screen. You turned around when it changed to South America, that’s when he noticed what you were wearing. You were wearing the exo adornment he gave you when you left for school and while back. 
Suddenly the green screen went from Earth to the Exoplanet screen from the Power MV and somehow you made the toy guns (the ones they used in the video) appear out of nowhere. Kai started laughing really hard as you try defending yourself against the evil robot. You were calling for back up, which meant Chanyeol and Baekhyun had to burst into the room and help you. The problem with that was Kai locked it when he walked in. So when Baekhyun tried to burst into the room it didn’t open and he ended up hitting the door. 
This made Kai laugh even harder. Kai stood up and opened the door, the two older members walked in and started “attacking” the robot as well. He did not think this was how today was going to go when he woke up this morning. The robot exploded and the three of you celebrated until one of the managers walked in and yelled at Chanyeol and Baekhyun. Apparently, the two of them forgot about something they were supposed to do. They both gave you one last hug and headed off. You turned to him and reached your hand out. 
“I can take you anywhere you want to go.”  You winked at him and smiled. 
“Really? Can you take me to our apartment?” He grabbed your hand and winked at you. 
“Kai!” You pushed him away and blushed a little bit while he laughed and hugged you tightly. 
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Sehun was annoyed and exhausted, he got into an argument with one of the other members. It was a stupid fight, but Sehun was stubborn and didn’t want to apologize first cause he thought he was right. Someone thought it would be funny to change his alarm clocks to make them go off an hour earlier than they were supposed to. He knew who did it and he went at them. A fight with the beagle line in the morning is never a good thing and it ruins the rest of your day. You decided to pay him a visit at work. 
You brought some of his favorite food and walked down the recording room he was in. As soon as you walked in you noticed he was down. The two of you sat down for lunch and you asked him if something happened. Sehun told you everything, even as he spoke to you he was annoyed. Sometimes this happened you knew that. Sehun was stressed out, he was trying to do too many things. Shows, the comeback, modeling, it always amazed. Sehun was so talented that it was wearing him down.
“Sehun, maybe you should apologize. Be the bigger person.”  You smiled at him gently. 
“I know I should, but I don’t know how.” Sehun sighed. You got an idea, something that might make him laugh. 
“I’ll be right back Sehun.” You stood up quickly and ran out of the room before Sehun could say anything. 
Sehun continued eating his lunch alone, wondering what you ran off to get. Eventually, he had to clean up. He wished he had more time to spend with you. He was really busy today. It was almost time to continue with the recording sessions when you ran back in. You weren’t mad that he had to clean up, no you were excited about something. It made Sehun slightly uneasy. You just sat there and smiled at him. 
“What? What did you do?” Sehun tried to look around you to see if anyone was following you or if you broke something. 
“My mission is to save exoplanet’s hero.” You said with a smile.
“What?” Sehun was now officially confused. 
He noticed that you were wearing the exo wind symbol around your neck. You pulled out a fan and stuck it in his face. As soon as you were done with your “attack” you pulled the fan away from his face and smiled at him. Sehun looked down, but you could see it in his eyes and he wanted to start laughing. If there wasn’t another person in the room, he would have laughed. As far as you were concerned, you did your job correctly. You said your goodbyes to Sehun and as you left you could see the smile plaster its self on his face. You smiled as you left knowing you did the right thing no matter how stupid it seemed. 
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torestoreamends · 6 years
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Fic: In Tears
2k words, G rated
Scorpius is completely lost in a world where Rose doesn’t exist, Albus is forbidden from talking to him, and his mum is still dead. The only place he can go to escape is the Manor, like that’ll be any help at all. 
This is a fill-in scene, based on Draco’s line: ‘my son is in tears, and I am his father, so I’m here to ask why you would keep apart two good friends’. I honestly can’t explain why I’ve never written this before, but here it finally is! 
The final inspiration to write this came from me rediscovering this great bit of art by @captbexx.
Thanks to @abradystrix for being a wonderfully pedantic beta, and for helping me figure out That One Paragraph, all while battling dodgy internet signal. A true hero. 
Scorpius doesn’t really know why he goes home that Friday night. He hasn’t voluntarily gone home in over a year. It’s just too difficult, too dark, too miserable. And Albus isn’t at the Manor. Albus has been his main comfort for so long, that any moment spent apart from him has seemed painful and difficult. But now that every moment is spent apart, there doesn’t feel like a better option. And there’s a chance that maybe in this world his dad will be different, that they’ll get on alright. It’s a very slim chance, but it is a chance.
He Floos in to find the Manor as dark and empty as it always is these days. As he leaves the reception room, he hugs himself and peers into the dusty corners. All the cobwebs seem familiar, like he’s not in another timeline at all. His favourite spider is crawling up the bannister of the grand staircase, and he pauses next to her.
“You’re the same, aren’t you? Maybe we can be the same together. We’ll be the only ones.” He sighs and stretches out a finger to pick her up, but she scuttles onto the underside of the bannister, and abseils down onto one of the wrought iron curlicues to get away from him. He stares down at her, chest tight with misery. She’s never run away from him before.
“Is there anyone in this world who doesn’t hate me?” He asks, voice echoing in the empty hall.
He spins round, almost losing his balance on the stairs, so he has to flail his hands, trying to grab hold of the bannister. He ends up half sitting on the step, robes wrapped round him, arms straining to keep himself from rolling all the way down into the entrance hall.
His dad stands at the top of the stairs and looks down at him, arms folded. “Are you alright?” He takes a step forward.
Scorpius nods and struggles to right himself. “Fine. Completely fine.”
His dad takes several steps down the stairs, like he’s considering helping him. “I wasn’t expecting you to come home this weekend. Is everything okay?”
Scorpius stares up at him, lost for how to answer that question. Nothing in the world is alright. Everything is horrible. He’s trapped in this awful timeline, where Rose doesn’t exist, Albus is in Gryffindor and won’t speak to him, he has no friends and no one to help him, his mum is still dead, his dad is still his dad, and he has no idea how it’s happened or how to fix it.
“Um,” he says. He swallows. “I don’t know?” He can hear his voice start to shake and crack. It’s like the fragile pieces of himself that he’s been carefully holding together all week are finally fracturing and shattering and falling apart.
His throat goes tight. Hot tears choke him, and start to sting his eyes. He draws in a shallow gasp of a breath, and struggles not to start crying. His dad is the last person he wants to cry in front of. It was always his mum that he went to when he was upset. His dad doesn’t seem like a very comforting person, all upright and intimidating; hiding his own emotions so well. Surely crying would be a disappointment to him.
“Scorpius,” his dad says, voice dropping low and urgent as he rushes down the few stops between them. “What’s wrong? What’s happened?” He takes hold of Scorpius’s arm, grip firm, but gentle. “Is it the bullies again? Are you hurt?” He takes Scorpius by both shoulders and turns him round, so he can get a proper look at him, then he starts examining him all over, like he might be able to see blood or bruises or any other sign of damage.
“No,” Scorpius sniffs, trying to pull away. “No, not- not bullies.”
His dad relents a little, but keeps hold of his shoulders, and his expression doesn’t shift at all. He’s still gazing at Scorpius, silver eyes shining with concern. “If it’s not the bullies… I assume it isn’t school work? You’re usually so confident with that.”
All Scorpius can do is shake his head. He has no idea what to say. It’s been so long since he last broke down in front of his dad, years in fact. He’s been careful to cry at school, or at night when everyone else is at sleep, or out in the garden where no one can see. And his dad’s reaction to it now is completely unexpected. Why is he worrying like this? Why isn’t he telling Scorpius to grow up and pull himself together?
“Please,” Draco murmurs, searching his face, wild and desperate. “Talk to me.”
But I can’t, Scorpius thinks desperately. I’ve never been able to.
Does this version of himself have a different relationship with his dad? Are they closer? Do they talk about things? About their problems? Do they talk about bullies, and school work? Do they talk about Astoria?
“I know it’s hard,” Draco says softly. “But I want to help.”
Scorpius looks up at him, at the faint grey light of the hall reflecting in his eyes, at the shadows falling long across his face, at just how tired and worried he seems. He’s never noticed before, but his dad looks completely exhausted, like he hasn’t slept in a month, like the whole world is pressing down on him. Maybe he’ll understand what it’s like to feel lost and hopeless. It’s worth a try.
“I…” Scorpius starts. He swallows. His throat is so thick with impending tears that it’s difficult to say anything at all. “I don’t know what to do,” he says, and as he does it’s like he finally shatters, and everything comes pouring out.
Tears overwhelm him, and he gives a broken sob, his whole body heaving, as he buries his face in his hands. His knees give way, and he sinks onto the stairs, but as he does his dad’s arms go round him, supporting him so he doesn’t just fall. Scorpius can’t resist curling against his chest and gripping handfuls of his stiff wool robes.
“It’s- it’s all of it,” he gasps out between sobs. “I think I’ve ruined everything. A-and Albus is in Gryffindor, and I never talk to him. And I need him now. I want him back. But his dad won’t- he won’t let us talk because…” He takes a deep, shuddering breath. “Because he thinks I-I’m the- he believes the rumours.”
For a moment he pauses to wipe at his face with his sleeve. There are tears and snot everywhere, and he’s a mess, but he doesn’t have it in him to care right now.
“I just want it all to go back to how it was,” he mumbles through the tears. “I want Albus back. And I-I want to fix it. And I…” He swallows and sniffs. “I wish Mum was here.”
His dad’s arms tighten round him, and he feels fingers brush through his hair. “I know,” he murmurs. “I’m sorry, Scorpius.”
Scorpius buries his face in his dad’s robes and lets go completely. He’s said everything he wants to, everything he needs to, and he doesn’t have the strength left to control himself. He feels like he did when he was very little, and he would go and crawl into his parents’ bed at night when he’d had a nightmare, and his dad would hold him, and he’d feel safe again. The only difference now is that the nightmare is real, and he doesn’t really feel safe, but he does feel better. Just a little bit.
“Did you say Potter is keeping you and Albus from talking?” His dad says after a short while, once Scorpius’s sobs have begun to quieten a little. “Because he believes the rumours?” His tone has changed now. Sharp and brisk.
Scorpius nods and wipes his eyes with his fingers. He looks up at his dad through a blur of tears. “I think so.” He draws in a shaky breath. “He-he said… Albus is in danger. From me.”
His dad’s grip on him goes very tight, almost too tight, but it doesn’t hurt. It’s just uncomfortable. “From you? What on earth does that mean?”
Scorpius shakes his head. “I-I don’t understand. I don’t know. I… I miss him.”
“Of course you do,” his dad says, looking down at him. “He’s your best friend. The two of you are inseparable. For him to even try…”
Scorpius curls himself away from his dad, into a little ball, and he starts mopping himself up using his sleeve. “It’s… it’s lonely,” he mumbles. “I don’t have anyone to talk to. I-I don’t like it. I don’t…” He takes a slow breath, carefully considering the words before he says them. “I don’t want to go back to school… I know I have to, but I don’t want to.”
“You love school,” his dad says, voice a soft, menacing hiss. But Scorpius knows it isn’t aimed at him. That anger is going to protect him. To fight for him. “You love it, and you’re considering not going back? Because of him? Because of Potter?” His dad’s wand whips out in a second, and he moves to get up, but Scorpius catches hold of his arm.
He stops and looks back at Scorpius. “What?”
“Don’t-” Scorpius wipes his nose. “Don’t leave me on my own.” It sounds so stupid and pathetic. He sounds like a child, like a helpless baby.
His dad pauses and looks at him for a moment. “But if I don’t- I can stop this nonsense. I can make him reconsider.”
“I know,” Scorpius says quietly. “But I-I want you to stay here. Just for now. For tonight. A-and then in the morning I can go back and…” he takes a deep breath, another sob rising up inside him as he thinks about the idea of it. “I have homework and things.”
Very slowly, his dad sits down beside him and pockets his wand. “Very well. I’ll stay for now. But tomorrow-”
Scorpius nods. “Tomorrow.” He adjusts his robes, wrapping them tighter round himself.
“And tonight…” His dad looks at him critically. “Would you like some hot chocolate? That was what your mother used to make for you, correct? When you were upset?”
Scorpius looks at him. “You know how to make Mum’s hot chocolate?”
“No,” his dad says, with a small shake of the head. “It won’t be nearly as good as hers. But I’m happy to learn. You can tell me when I go wrong, so I can do better next time.”
Somehow, in the midst of all the awful things, Scorpius manages to smile. “I-I watched her do it,” he says. “A couple of times. Maybe I can- maybe I can help?”
His dad gets to his feet, and offers him a hand up, which he accepts.
“We can do it together. It’ll be an experiment.” He looks at Scorpius, then draws his wand and conjures a tissue from thin air. “Here, take this. You look a mess. In fact, before you have any hot chocolate you should go and find some clean clothes. You’ll be more comfortable then.” He gestures up the stairs, in the direction of where Scorpius’s room presumably still is. “And bring the robes down so I can wash them for you. I’m not sending you back to school with them in that state.”
Scorpius looks down at his snot stained sleeve, and decides his dad probably has a point. “Okay,” he agrees. “I’ll see you in a minute?”
“In the kitchen,” his dad confirms.
For a second they look at each other, then his dad strides up the step that’s separating them and reaches out, as though he’s thinking of hugging Scorpius. But he stops short, and just puts a hand on his shoulder, giving it a tight, comforting squeeze.
“I’ll wait for you,” he says.
Scorpius nods, staring up at his dad, deep down inside wishing that that had turned into a hug after all. Then he hugs his robes round himself and turns away to run up the stairs. The sooner he gets changed and gets to the kitchen, the sooner he can have hot chocolate. And his mum always said that hot chocolate can cure all wounds.
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asriels · 6 years
I'm not sure if you're still in the hp fandom but how diffrent would the story be if a- Harry was a Slytherin and b- Alice and Frank had lived? I hope you're well, xxx
Oh man. What a question. What a big question.
Now for A—I’m sorry, you’re probably going to hate thisanswer. But I can’t ever see a version of the story where Harry is sorted intoSlytherin. Not only because JKR’s conceptualisation of the world and Slytherinin particular is so restrictive (which I won’t go into now but is like…thebiggest argument against Slytherin!Harry bcus JKR really, really wants Slytherins to be The Bad Guys), but also because the HP books are somuch about choice.
Choice comes in on so many levels. It’s in-your-face  (“It is the choices we make, Harry, that showwho we really are, far more than our abilities”) but there is so muchunderlying interest in choice, andthe human capacity to choose their path for themselves. Harry’s free will istaken away incredibly early on in his life—as an infant, he has no say in wherehe goes or what happens to him once he is with the Dursleys. Even once helearns about Hogwarts, he’s not really given a choice on whether he goes—he’san eleven-year-old child, and Hagrid says to him “you’re going to Hogwarts”, soHarry decides, “I’m going to Hogwarts”. It’s a choice, but really he doesn’thave an alternative. Even the things he takes with him to Hogwarts are decidedon for him. He’s so lost in Diagon Alley he just accepts what he is told—buythis wand, take this pet, get these robes, don’t get a broomstick.
The first big choice he makes, really makes, for himself, iswhen he turns down Draco Malfoy’s invitation to sit with the future Slytherinlot. He picks Ron. And I think that is such a formative moment for Harry thatthere is no way after that that he could be in Slytherin. Draco and his friendsremind Harry of Dudley—the cousin that has bullied him his entire life. All the‘good’ people Harry has met so far have told him that Slytherin is a ‘bad’house, and the only real encounter with Slytherin Harry gets is an introductionto nasty bullies who remind him of his awful cousin, so that opinion isinstantly reinforced. He dislikes Draco from the moment he meets him in MadamMalkin’s. I don’t think he’d have gone to sit with him even if he hadn’t metRon. So I don’t blame Harry at all for begging not Slytherin, and I honestly cannot imagine a scenario where he’snot sat on that stool asking for the exactsame thing.
And the Hat—because this is JKR’s world, and she’s so muchabout choice—listens. It will always listen.
I’m forever interested in posts that say “imagine Harrybeing in Slytherin and being friends with people across all houses” and all thefascinating meta that can come out of that but it just…rings hollow for me. Don’t get me wrong, if you like it, keep at it. You do you. 
I’m coming at it from a point of view that it’sa nice idea, but my experience growing up in a boarding school in this countryhas made me very, very aware of how unlikely it is. Bearing in mind that Harryis a kid who’s spent most of his life trying very hard to ensure his peers don’thate him—although with little luck—I don’t think he’d be sticking his neck outat eleven and defying the boys he has to literally live with nine months out ofthe year to make incredibly swift and close friendships with people everybodyelse in his house hates. I can see a friendship developing in later years, whenthey’ve all matured and learned to think for themselves more—but I still reckonany situation that has Harry in Slytherin would have him isolated and miserablefor a good couple of years at least, and that’s really not going to end well for a boy who can hear giant snakes in thewall and who has a mainline to the darkest wizard of the last century.
Like, Harry might end up making friends with Ron andHermione anyway, but I doubt it. We see that Ron is outgoing, ebullient, funand generally kind; Hermione is bookish and quiet and comes off as a bitinsufferable. Not only would they be unlikely to make friends with each other,but an unhappy Harry in a negative dorm room environment would be more like theHarry we see in OotP—withdrawn, sullen, suspicious—and I really can’t see anyfriendship forming instantly. We have to remember that these areeleven/twelve/thirteen year old kids, not late teens or twenty-somethings withthe benefit of reflexivity and distance. Kids feel first and think second, andthat would get in the way of these three coming together in a huge way.
And Harry needsRon and Hermione. If the series is about choice, it’s also really aboutfriendship and loyalty and love. I mean, that’s obvious to anybody who’s readit. It screams about love. It wantsus to believe in love and treasure love and ascribe immense power to love. Lovemakes Harry who he is—not just the literal physical protection his mother’slove gives him, but the platonic love he feels towards Ron and Hermione and hisromantic love for Ginny and the filial/maternal love he shares with MollyWeasley. Love and choice and loyalty are the ABCs of Harry, and if he was inSlytherin I think he’d be severely lacking in at least two thirds of them.
Also, let’s not forget he’d have Snape—bullying, abusiveSnape—as his chief guardian figure whilst at school. So instead of trading theDursleys for the strict but ultimately kind and caring McGonagall when he goesback to school, Harry would be trading them for Snape. Can you imagine growingup under the immediate care of a teacher who is willing to completely abuse hisauthority to outright bully you and other children? I’d like to think thatother teachers would intervene, but based on the fact that nothing was doneabout Snape at Hogwarts until he straight-up murdered the headteacher, I doubt it.
On a more pedantic and picky level, the plot just…wouldn’thappen if Harry was a Slytherin. He probably wouldn’t venture into thatforbidden corridor, he wouldn’t have Hermione around to figure out thePhilosopher’s Stone was hidden in the school, and he wouldn’t even make it pastthe Devil’s Snare without Ron and Hermione. That’s trusting, too, that Harrywouldn’t internalise the other Slytherin’s prejudices about Hagrid and startlooking up to him less (strong as Harry is, he’s still a kid, and it’s all tooeasy for children to absorb the feelings and prejudices of those around them)and therefore never find out how to get past Fluffy. And if Harry doesn’tventure down into that dungeon, then Voldemort never finds out about theprotection Lily left, and everything changes.
I’m not saying Slytherin Harry wouldn’t be fascinating—it would—butI don’t think the series would be about Harry if he was. Voldemort would goafter him, sure, because Voldemort is a megalomaniac mass-murderer who wouldn’tbe able to stand having been beaten by a one-year-old child first time around.But Harry wouldn’t be Voldemort’s arch-nemesis. He’d be a minor roadblock onhis path to world domination. He wouldn’t foil Voldemort’s plans early on, he’djust be…around. Trying to get by. And probably completely fucking miserable forlike 90% of his teenage years. Lupin being around in his third year would bereally good for him, but still….Snape’s going to be unable to resist outingLupin as a werewolf at the end of the year, and for Harry to lose thatpseudo-father figure without a support system to fall back on is going to MessHim Up.
I’m sorry that I can’t give a better answer to this but I amjust completely invested in the connections Harry makes to Hermione and theWeasleys and the person they make him into. Harry is able to develop into ahero primarily because of the friends he makes and the people he finds to lovehim—and I think if you take them away (which putting him in Slytherin would, due to the prejudices within theworld) it’s just not going to have the same moral to the story. Gryffindor gives him the belonging he has been desperate for his entire life, and I don’t think he’d be the same without it.
Also, I’m super into the Next Gen, and I love to Sort LilyLuna into Slytherin and her brothers into Gryffindor, and have them all grapplein their own ways with their dad’s legacy. His membership of Gryffindor is abig part of that, so I’m probably super biased towards keeping him firmly inthat house.
And, quickly, because I realise how long this is now—Frank andAlice being alive would be a fascinating change, but primarily with regards to Neville.I didn’t get the sense they were particularly close to James or Lily (I mean,obviously they were friends, but Ididn’t get a best-friends-would-fight-against-the-wizarding-world’s-main-authority-Dumbledore-to-change-Harry’s-lifevibe from them) so I don’t think they’d really have much impact on Harry’sstory. They might give him access to memories of his parents he couldn’t getfrom anywhere else, and I can see him looking to them for guidance in the sameway he looks to Molly and Arthur Weasley for the sense of parental love andsecurity he’s never got anywhere else, but I don’t think his overall plotlinewould be that much affected.
Also if Frank and Alice ever found out about the prophecy,can you imagine the guilt they’d feel every time they looked at Harry? Because they’dbe relieved it wasn’t them, wasn’ttheir son. And that would be a terrible thing to carry around. It wouldcomplicate everything they felt about Harry.
Neville on the other hand—oh, Neville with his parents.Probably Neville with younger siblings. Neville without a childhood under thethumb of his very strict grandmother. What kind of a boy Neville might havebeen! Still nervous, I’m sure, still insecure—but much less afraid of himselfand of the world. That fight we see in him at the end of Philosopher’s Stoneand in later books—I think we’d see a lot more of it, and we’d see it sooner.
I’m utterly fascinated by the idea of Neville with hisparents around. But I also would miss that moment where we find out it’sNeville who’s killed Nagini. So unexpected, because nervous hapless helplessNeville is not who anybody would have expected to kill the last Horcrux. Butthat’s what makes the moment great, and it’s a thread that runs throughout theseries: heroes aren’t better than anybody else, when it really comes down toit. They are just people who have made a brave choice in the face ofinsurmountable odds. That’s what Neville does. And I think it carries even moreweight because up until then we’ve got the sense of a bit of steel insideNeville, but we don’t realise quite how wide a steely streak it is until thatmoment.
But if Neville had Frank and Alice around, I think we’d knowthat steel was there from the very first. In fact, coming back to my pointabout friendships, I think in a series that had Harry in Slytherin and Nevillewith his parents alive, it would be Neville who reached out to Harry and madefriends with him first. But that’s a whole fanfiction, probably.
P.S. I will always be in the HP fandom. I keep trying to get out but I think someone locked the doors. I love to mess around with the canon a whole lot, but I prefer to do it outside the constrains of the stories themselves. That’s why I love the Next Gen, and that’s why I think a lot about the Trio’s lives post-Hogwarts, and how they get to where they end up in the Epilogue.
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