day 2: always meant to be
Fruk / Engport | G | 2,3k
It’s Gabriel’s first party since his parent’s divorce and he hasn’t seen his cousin since they were both two. He fixes his hair again, rubs his sweaty palms on his pants, hopes Francis won’t comment on his worn out shoes and ill-fitting clothes.
His mom pushes him towards his cousin and tells him to go say hi. Gabriel forgets all the French words he has ever learned, in fact he forgets how to move at all.
On the other side of the Bonnefoy backyard, his cousin is surrounded by friends, laughing loudly and smiling a lot.
“That’s a tiny box you got there,” one of the kids say and Gabriel fidgets with the present in his hand, his clammy hands leaving grease stains on the wrapping paper. “What did you get him?” the kid asks, taking it from his hands. Gabriel tries to stop him, but he can’t find the words, panic growing inside him as he watches the kid shake the little box next to his freckled ear.
Gabriel’s hand darts to reach the present, but the kid just pulls it out of his reach, holding him at bay with an elbow to his chest, continuing to shake it with increasing strength. Gabriel bites on his arm and the kid yelps away, letting the box fall to the ground with a loud crash.
“Shit,” the kid breathes, freckled cheeks flushed and green eyes flashing. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to—why didn’t you just say—”
But Gabriel is staring at the fallen box, small shoulders shaking and heart beating too fast. His mother was going to be so angry with him. They had just upheaved their entire lives and moved to a new country, she had been struggling to find a job, he hadn’t spoken to his dad since they left and he now couldn’t remember how to speak. He was going to get into so much trouble, so much trouble.
“No, fuck, don’t cry!” the boy hurried to say, picking up the broken box and nervously turning it in his hands, treating it far more carefully now than he had before. “I can fix it! If I fix it will you please stop crying?”
Gabriel looked at the kid’s flustered face and touched his own cheek gingerly, surprised to find it wet.
“I’m Arthur,” the boy said, pointing at himself, quickly grabbing Gabriel’s hand and pulling him towards the garage. “Come on, I know where Francis’ dad keeps the tools.”
Gabriel lets himself be led by this strange child, listening to his incessant nervous chatter without fully understanding what he’s saying.
Only later, after the broken watch had been glued and taped together, after Francis looked at it and him with snide disdain, after Arthur punched him in the face and the two rolled around in the grass until Mrs. Bonnefoy declared the party to be over and his mom pulled him away mumbling apologies to her cousin.
Only later would he realize what had just happened.
He is fifteen when they meet again. His grasp on French is a little better, their life in Calais turned out okay, his grades are good enough that he’s even thinking of applying to college once school is over. Francis still doesn’t like him all that much, but he lets Gabriel tag along sometimes when he goes out to meet his friends under the promise that he was not going to tell either of their moms about the underage drinking and smoking.
It’s not a hard promise to make, not when Gabriel is the one doing most of the smoking, lighting one cigarette on the next and washing down the taste of ash with cheap beer.
He’s not one for crowds either, so he’s happy to let Francis be the center of attention, charm everyone around them with the story of how he once beat this kid in his seventh birthday and chipped his tooth to everyone’s absolute delight.
Said kid comes over to where he is, sitting on the public benches facing the Channel, a chipped tooth smile when he asks for a light.
“You never told me your name,” Arthur reminds him after the first drag, watching him through the smoke, and Gabriel shrugs, hugs his own arms against the cold.
“You never asked,” Gabriel tells him in return and Arthur blushes beside him, takes a swing of his beer to hide it.
Francis calls his boyfriend back to his circle of friends to tell his side of the story and Arthur bumps Gabriel’s shoulder lightly, shoots him a tentative smirk.
“See you around then stranger,” he says and Gabriel snorts, places his cigarette back on his lips, looks back to the ocean.
His mother calls him when he is twenty-four to tell him Francis had been arrested during the protests in Paris. They had found him setting up a barricade on the street, inflammatory pamphlets against the government among his things.
“I feel so much better knowing you are far away from all of this,” his mother tells him with a sigh, “I can’t imagine what Emma is going through, they say some of these kids died during the protests.”
Gabriel breathes in smoke from his cigarette. His merchant ship had just left Portsmouth behind them and was heading back to France. He would have liked to be there, out on the streets when the police came out. He knew the news exaggerated some things, but, all in all, he was actually impressed. He would never have guessed snobbish, stuck-up Francis would one day be leading students in a fight against the government. He would have liked to see it.
Instead here he was.
“Don’t worry about me, mom,” he whispers, blows out smoke into the night.
“Oh, you can leave that anywhere,” Francis says, wrist doing a little nonchalant twist to indicate any available surface on his Parisian apartment holding a glass of cognac on one hand and a lit cigarette on the other. “Everyone, this is my cousin Gabriel. Gabriel, this is everyone.”
Gabriel nods to the small crowd gathered in Francis’ cramped living room, a record spinning lazily on the player and a thick cloud of cigarette smoke hiding their faces from him. He balances the cake box he had been assigned to buy, a little wet from the rain pouring outside, and follows Francis into the kitchen.
“Wine?” Francis asks, opening cabinets in search of clean, non-cracked glasses, serving him a good amount of red without waiting for an answer. Gabriel pushes three overflowing ashtrays out of his way to put down the cake and graciously accepts it. “Have you heard the news from Lisbon? It’s all everyone’s talking about.”
“I have,” he says, drinks. “I’m thinking of joining them, actually.”
“Oh,” Francis lets out, crossing his hands over his chest, seeming almost… impressed? “Aren’t things a little… chaotic in Portugal right now?”
Gabriel pulls out a drenched pack of cigarettes from his back pocket and takes one out with his lips, offers it to Francis who refuses with a shake of his head.
“That’s exactly why I think I should go back,” he responds, lighting it and taking the first blissful drag. “There’s a lot that needs to be done.”
“What about your mother?”
He swirls the wine on his glass, “She’s, ahm…”
The door of the apartment opens and closes, a distinctive British accent curses all the way down the narrow hallway.
“You invited your ex?” Gabriel raises an eyebrow at him and Francis sighs exaggeratedly, indicating the cake.
“Whose birthday do you think it is?” he says to him, pushing his hair out of his face. To the man that appears on the doorway, he scowls, “You’re late and wet, why didn’t you take your shoes off at the door like a normal person?”
Arthur flusters and grumbles, water dripping down his entire person as he drops two bags of wine bottles at their feet and stands in the middle of a growing puddle on Francis’ floorboards. “Have you seen what it’s like out there, Fran?”
“Gabriel was just outside and I don’t see him dripping all over,” Francis counters, huffing in annoyance, going up to Arthur and pulling his leather jacket from his arms with two rough but efficient yanks. “Honestly,” he grunts, turning on his heels to go hang it by the door.
“Oh, hey, Gabe,” Arthur waves at him and Gabriel waves back. “I heard about the revolution.”
He gives him a restrained smile, tilts his glass back into his mouth.
“Are you planning on heading there? Do you still have family in Portugal?”
“My father still lives there, in the countryside. I was thinking of going, yes, I know it’s a stupid idea, but—”
“I don’t think it’s stupid,” Arthur interrupted him, standing in the doorway with his hair plastered to his temple, droplets of cold water running down his face. “I think it’s actually pretty brave.”
Gabriel forgets to smoke. He nods after a long stretch of time.
“Kirkland, what is wrong with you?” Francis scolds Arthur when he comes back, “What did I say about the shoes?”
Arthur shoots Gabriel a chipped tooth smile before following Francis back to the front door, the two of them bickering the entire time. Gabriel looks at the ash on the tip of his cigarette, smiles to himself before taking another drag.
“I’m fine, mom, you don’t need to worry.” Gabriel balances a baby on his hip and keeps the telephone wedged between his cheek and shoulder. “Yes, I talked to dad. He said he can’t come help us with the baby, but it’s fine, honestly.”
Said baby just gurgles by his side and regurgitates green pea soup on his shoulder. Gabriel turned his eyes up asking for patience.
Clara comes into the kitchen and relieves him of their daughter, mouthing something at him that he responds with a thankful smile, finally taking his phone from his shoulder and moving it to the other ear.
“No, mom, you don’t need to bother. The trip from Calais is very long and expensive. We’ll go visit as soon as we can afford it. I just started a new job so it might still be a while. Who offered you a ride? What young man? Mom!”
Clara takes the phone from his and raises her eyebrows at him, “Hi, Mrs. da Costa,” she chimes warmly, taking the phone and the baby with her as she exits the kitchen and goes up the stairs. “Don’t listen to Gabi, we’d love to have you.”
Gabriel grumbles and looks down at his green-stained shirt.
Laura sits on Arthur’s lap and Gabriel wonders how his life has come to this.
“So how’s the new job? Your mom told me about it on the way here.”
Gabriel lights a new cigarette on his old one and tries not to think of what his mother might have told Arthur Kirkland during the very long car drive from France to Portugal. Arthur Kirkland who is currently holding his baby girl’s little hands in his while she smiles and drools all over herself, his wife and mother having gone to the kitchen to bring out dessert over ten minutes ago without any sign of ever coming back.
“It’s going fine. It’s just logistics. Very boring logistics.”
Arthur wiggles Laura’s arms in his hands and bounces her on his knee, giving Gabriel a chipped tooth smile. “It can’t be more boring than my job at the bank.”
Laura giggles on Arthur’s lap and Gabriel finds himself smiling as well. “Is that why you came all this way? Did the bank relocate you here?”
“Oh, no,” Arthur hurries to say, slowing the bouncing to a stop. “No, I just heard from Francis that your mother needed a hand and I thought I might help.”
Gabriel frowns at him, cigarette forgotten. “You drove an entire day just to help my mother?”
A blush creeps over Arthur’s freckled cheeks. “Well, I—I thought—I hadn’t seen you in a while so—”
Clara comes back to the table with dessert followed by his mother, both of them swapping recipes and talking loudly about how badly the economy was going. The possibility of Portugal joining the European Community sounding more and more promising with every passing day.
Gabriel remembers to smoke and watches Arthur on the other side of the table.
Arthur cradles Laura carefully in his arms and avoids Gabriel’s eyes for the rest of the afternoon.
Laura is nine when he and Clara decide their marriage is beyond salvation.
He is forty-five when Clara decides to move away with her to France.
And like a movie he had seen twice, he watches as things unfold before him, unable to stop them, not finding the right words, feeling what his father must have felt when he and his mother moved away.
He sits on his couch in his house, illuminated by the glare of the television screen, trying to piece everything together.
He hadn’t smoked in a week. For some reason he doesn’t miss it.
The phone rings and he gets up to answer it.
“Are you watching the news?” the voice asks and Gabriel frowns when he recognizes Arthur’s voice.
“Yeah, the footage has been playing all day.”
He hears him breathe on the other end of the line, hears the rustling of clothes, the faint sound of the phone being passed from one ear to the other.
“Isn’t it incredible? I’ve been calling everyone I know,” Arthur says and Gabriel looks back at his television in the middle of his dark living room, scenes of the wall crumbling while the people cheered around it, journalists standing with their microphones in front of the cameras, constantly interrupted by smiling faces, the end of an era that he had watched and lived his whole life.
“Hey, Arthur,” he says, and Arthur hums on the other end, “Do you want to come over next Saturday? Spend the day?”
He thinks he can hear a smile on the line, pictures a seven-year-old boy with freckles on his cheeks and a chipped front tooth.
“I’d like that very much.”
Kathony Prompt: Anthony of Bridgerton needs a wife immediately. After the passing of his distant uncle, he’s inherited the title and all the privileges that come with that title. But in order to gain that title, he needs a wife..and he needs one right now. His first choice would be his lady who he’s been courting, the sweet and demure Ms. Edwina Sharma, but she’s nowhere to be found. In time being of the essence, he marries Ms. Edwina’s older half-sister, the out spoken and promiscuous Kate Sharma. The Kate Sharma who sets his body on fire and his blood racing.
Historical/Medieval Times Period prompt. AU Prompt. Forced Marriage prompt. Married enemies to friends to lovers prompt. Love after marriage prompt
I’m indecisive and those prompts are all so good but how about 8. “I’m sorry. We were supposed to have fun today.” or 23. “...Why are you here?”
lucky for you, you don't have to choose! ily, thank you for the prompt! (prompt list)
[don't need a roof (to know i'm home) - AO3 Link]
Word Count: 3113 words
There’s an elephant sitting on his chest.
He’s done for the minute he wakes up. Buck knows that.
And yet, he tilts his head to where Eddie would normally be lying on the pillow next to him, the sheets too cold and jarring against his sleep-warm skin, his back too freezing with the absence of Eddie curled around him.
Despite this, he’s content to shuffle over into the place Eddie left behind, sighing as soon as his husband’s scent envelopes him. There’s a bone-deep ache in all his limbs, like he’s been put together with rusty screws, but something about Eddie’s familiar sandalwood soap and the clean scent of him soothes a little of the ache all over.
It’s peaceful for a moment, to curl around his husband’s pillow and relax into the mattress.
Then he opens his eyes, looks at the clock and bolts up in bed.
“Holy fuck ,” he curses, grabbing his head as the room spins and spins and doesn’t stop, like a ride that dropped Buck off the side. Nausea rises in his chest, acrid bile shooting up his torso. Buck only barely manages to choke it down as he sucks in one deep breath after the other.
A hand comes to rub his back, and a trash can nudges under where Buck’s got both his hands gripping the pounding headache in his skull. “Easy, baby, easy.”
Eddie’s voice is like a balm, and Buck slumps forward into him, breathing him in to settle his stomach like the world’s best smelling salts.
He thinks Eddie will get a kick out of hearing that when Buck feels more alert.
Then it hits him — Eddie shouldn’t even be here right now.
“Eddie?” he asks, not daring to move from his place in the crook of his partner’s neck. He can feel the vibrations in Eddie’s throat against his forehead as he hums, and despite himself, Buck huffs out an amused sound at the tickle of it. “...Why are you here?”
“What do you mean?”
They’ve only been planning this day for the last three months. Even in his sick state, Buck knows that Eddie knows what he’s talking about.
Mustering up the last of his strength, Buck pulls back to look up at him. “We were supposed to go with Chris to the history museum today.”
“Yeah, but you were running a fever this morning,” Eddie says gently — always gentle, always so, so gentle. He pushes a few sweaty curls away from Buck’s forehead, and that’s when it hits Buck that Eddie’s skin feels too cold — which means he’s the one running too hot — and that the ache he’s feeling is none other than his annual bout of cold.
The one that usually knocks him out for a week.
“No, no, no,” he groans, sluggishly moving to swing his feet off the bed. “We can still go. We have to.”
“Buck.” Eddie stops him, stepping in front of him.
Even when he’s at full strength, Eddie has the ability to manhandle him, and under normal circumstances, Buck would find that really, really attractive (and he still does right now, because his husband is a snack and a half and even operating at 10%, Buck knows that), but right now, all he wants to do is take Chris to the goddamn museum.
He knows he’s too late, though, because the clock is blinking 12:00pm and they were supposed to be out of the door at 10:00am, snacks, sunscreen, museum maps and anticipation in hand.
Buck’s not expecting the disappointment to lay on him much, much heavier than the thick mucus lining his lungs, but he’s also not surprised.
Because by the time Buck gets over this cold enough to go out in public, the exhibition will be gone.
“Hey.” Eddie’s cool hand lands on his neck, and Buck leans into it, blinking up at him, feeling the sense of failure curl bitterly on his tongue. “He’s already gone. Prathana and her wife offered to take him and Chetan without us. He didn’t want to leave you, but I convinced him to go with them, get the experience.”
The Space Race exhibit at the museum only came around once a year, and Buck and Christopher had been looking forward to it for months, having missed it last year, too. One of Chris’ friends, Chetan, had wanted to see it, too, so they’d made a plan with his parents to all go together.
And here Buck and Eddie are, still at home, away from all of Buck’s plans for the day.
“I’m glad you did,” he says finally, shutting his eyes. Even without looking, he can sense Eddie’s sympathetic smile, and moments later, a cool palm covers his closed eyes.
With Eddie’s hands on his skin, Buck doesn’t feel like he’s been plunged into darkness, only dragged towards the light.
It’s another clue of how sick he is because he can’t stop clinging to Eddie. The idea of pulling away from him right now feels like actual torture, and Buck thinks he’d rather run into a fire without gear than go without Eddie’s hands on him.
“You didn’t let him down,” Eddie says quietly. Too quiet for a house with only two people. “He’s fine, he’s going to take a million pictures, and he’s going to tell you all about it as soon as he gets home. Even if he couldn’t go today, you wouldn’t have let him down.”
The soft tone in his voice sends tears springing to Buck’s eyes, even behind the pressure of Eddie’s hand easing most of the pain spearing through his head. He sucks in a shuddering breath and blindly leans forward.
Eddie catches him like he always does, his hand slipping away from Buck’s eyes as he does so. Buck keeps his eyes closed even as he buries his face in his husband’s stomach, feeling sick and disappointed and like a failure all at once.
It makes for a nauseating cocktail.
He might actually need the trash can.
Buck knows it’s mostly because of how shitty he’s feeling that’s sending his emotions through the roof — he has the wherewithal for that much, at least. But he can’t help but let his brain wander in the direction of Christopher’s day at the museum, wondering if he’s having as much fun as they’d had planned, if he’s doing all the things he’d wanted to do.
It’s been something he’s struggled with since the day he met Christopher, something Eddie still gets on Buck’s case about — but the truth of the matter is, neither Buck nor Eddie have ever liked saying no, or having to change plans.
And Buck absolutely loathes whatever the fuck got him sick enough to not even wake up on time today.
Eddie’s arms keep him centered enough that he doesn’t spiral as much as he wants to, and Buck tucks himself smaller into them, holding on tightly to his anchor.
It’s silent for a long moment, just the rasping sound of Buck’s breathing filling the room. Eddie’s cheek comes to rest on top of his head, his shoulders swaying slightly as if to rock the two of them where Eddie still stands and Buck still sits at the edge of their bed.
The movement is soothing, and unwittingly, Buck’s eyelids grow heavier until he’s leaning all his weight forwards, slumping against Eddie.
“Want to lay down for a while?” Eddie asks, his fingers brushing through Buck’s hair and swirling around his temple. His broad palms cup the sides of his neck, thumb smoothing circles in the space behind his ear. All familiar places where Eddie’s hands seem to be branded into every cell, lighting him up even when his hands aren’t on him.
Buck hums, flipping it over in his mind as he burrows into his husband’s touch. “Only if you lay down with me.”
Briefly, Buck spares a thought for getting Eddie sick before deciding Eddie would’ve gotten in bed with him either way, and that it was too late for them anyway.
As if reading his mind, Eddie says, “Nowhere else I’d rather be.”
This time, Buck feels Eddie’s cheeks bunch into a wide smile on his head.
Eddie maneuvers Buck into laying on his side before slipping in behind him. His chest is a line of comfort along Buck’s back, clearly unperturbed with how damp with fever sweat and disgusting Buck is.
Usually, this position would have him boneless, but today, Buck still feels restless. He wiggles in place, trying to find a place where his bones and muscles hurt a little less, where the congestion in his lungs lets him breathe, where he can feel less like he’s floating.
In the end, he only needs to flip onto his other side and press his face into Eddie’s chest to finally settle. He slings one clumsy arm around Eddie’s waist, and their knees knock together.
A low chuckle pierces through the fog and leaves Buck bereft, until Eddie’s arms tighten around him, holding Buck close as he tosses the covers over them. His fingers trail cold patterns over Buck’s hot forehead, tracing back and forth as he murmurs something nonsensical in Buck’s ears.
It takes him a moment to realize that Eddie’s singing.
Buck can’t make out a single word, but the tenor of Eddie’s voice, the exhaustion in his limbs and the heat of his husband’s body lull him towards sleep.
“If you rip my hair out with your ring again, I’m gonna be so mad, Eds,” he manages drowsily as Eddie’s left hand cards through Buck’s curls, fingertips scraping across his scalp. “I’ll be madder if you take the ring off, though. So don’t rip my hair out.”
“I’ll try not to,” Eddie laughs quietly, his lips pressing against Buck’s forehead and staying there.
Wrapped up in his husband, Buck clutches him tighter, tries to miraculously will the sickness away, and falls asleep.
The next time he wakes up, the bed is empty of Eddie, but there’s a small hand running across Buck’s forehead in clumsy patterns.
He knows that hand, and despite the pull to fall back asleep, he forces his eyes open.
Christopher’s bright eyes greet him, a little awed as he checks Buck’s temperature the way he’s seen Eddie do it. Buck knows Chris has no idea what he’s doing but the caring action itself burrows itself deep in Buck’s heart in a category made for the kid.
“Hey, buddy,” he rasps out.
His throat wasn’t this sore this morning, which means he’s just gotten worse — despite his best efforts.
“Dad said you weren’t contagious,” Chris informs him before Buck can protest his presence, tongue poking out of his mouth as he flattens his palm against Buck’s forehead.
“Yeah? What’s your assessment then, Doctor Diaz?” Buck manages a smile at him, because he looks adorable like this.
“You’re sick,” he declares.
“I concur,” he agrees, smiling as Chris laughs.
Buck clocks that Chris is sitting on the vacated side of the bed, practically sidled all the way up to him, and that he’s wearing a hat with the museum’s logo on it, his curls sticking out of the sides.
Guilt slams into Buck hard and fast at the circular logo, thick and cloying.
“I’m sorry. We were supposed to have fun today,” he whispers.
Chris, who’s somehow the world’s most understanding kid, just shakes his head. “Don’t apologize for being sick. You didn’t know it was going to happen, and it’s okay. I took a lot of pictures so we can see it together anyway.”
There is no somehow about it, Buck self-corrects as he looks at him, seeing Eddie’s kindness in every pore of the kid. He’s seen so much of Eddie reflected in Chris since the day he met him, but right now, sitting there with the look on his face that’s gentle beyond belief, Chris looks like the spitting image of his father.
“Besides,” Chris tacks on, grinning cheekily. “Dad said I can boss you around if you don’t let us take care of you. That’s the most fun thing ever.”
And there’s the personality that Eddie apparently passed right down to Chris.
Buck snorts, and immediately regrets it when he dissolves into a coughing fit. He turns his head away from Christopher, the ache in his chest only deepening. He registers the kid’s hand coming to rub his back, and slowly, he manages to settle down.
“Isn’t this the cold I had two weeks ago?” Chris says with the full airs of a middle schooler who knows too much.
“You kids are lethal with the stuff you bring back from school,” Buck sniffles, trying to clear his throat. Even his voice sounds weird — deep and nasally all at once, entirely too stuffed up.
Maybe he’ll sit in a steaming shower for an hour, he thinks vaguely as he lets his eyes flutter closed.
Christopher stays next to him, quiet as he fiddles with something in his backpack. Buck listens to the sound of rustling and the scritch-scratch of pencil on paper for a while before the creak of the door hinge draws his attention.
Eddie slips into the room quietly, tray in hand. The scent of Abuela’s chicken soup reaches past even Buck’s blocked nose. He inhales as much as he can, heaving himself up eagerly at the rich spices and vegetables that never feel like “sick food.” Christopher easily slots into Buck’s side instead of sitting at his hip, resting his head on Buck’s shoulder as he grins up at his father.
“Hey,” Eddie says, pressing a kiss to Buck’s forehead, humming when he finds him less warm than before. “Feeling better now?”
“Don’t feel feverish, but my throat is killing me,” he recites dutifully. After another assessment, he realizes that some of the body aches have settled, too, and tells Eddie as much.
“I think your fever went down at some point,” Eddie says, sticking a thermometer into Buck’s mouth. “You’re still a little hot, though.”
“Damn right I am,” Buck mumbles around the thermometer, going cross-eyed to see if he can read the blinking screen.
Eddie shakes his head, his expression too damn open and fond to give his exasperation any heat.
Chris looks amused by this, already checking out the tray of food Eddie brought in to see if anything can be picked off. Buck nudges the bowl of oyster crackers towards him, shooting the kid a wink as his face lights up.
Eddie only sighs, dramatic as always.
Buck makes a face at him.
The thermometer beeps, and the relieved grin that lights up his husband’s face tells Buck all he needs to know. Without further ado, Buck snags a couple crackers from Christopher and drops them in his soup, thankful that the heady smell of food isn’t turning his stomach.
Maybe it’s just this food, because Eddie’s always said that Abuela’s soup could bring the dead back to life, and Buck really, really believes it.
“I thought we agreed we wouldn’t wake Buck up.” Eddie raises a knowing eyebrow at Chris, seating himself carefully on the edge of the bed. Buck holds the tray tightly as he shuffles his feet aside, giving him more space.
“I didn’t!” Chris protests.
“He didn’t,” Buck chimes in. “I literally slept all day, I was always going to wake up at some point.”
Eddie sighs — dramatically, again. Buck elects to ignore him in face of his soup, sipping it carefully. The broth’s warmth practically chases away the tiredness that still lingers in his muscles, and already, Buck can feel himself perk up.
They’re quiet as Buck eats, Christopher munching on his crackers. He has a weirdly methodical way of eating them — biting off all the sides of the hexagon before popping whatever’s left into his mouth.
Eddie’s hand comes to curl around his ankle on top of the blankets, and Buck smiles at him over the bowl. He likes his husband just like this — a little soft, a little weathered by Buck’s hands in his hair. Buck takes in the oversized hoodie that definitely belonged to him a couple years ago before Eddie stole it, the sweatpants with the cuffs resting an inch above his ankle, the hair flopping over his forehead, tapering down his jaw into two-day stubble.
(He still wears his hair short on the sides, longer on top, and because Buck’s feeling extra nostalgic today, he remembers that it looks exactly like it did when Eddie first kissed him.)
Buck turns his attention to his kid at his side, who’s still just as content to sit in the silence with him as he was when Buck first met him.
It takes Buck a minute to work out what Christopher’s been drawing for the past twenty minutes. It’s a sketch of a missile, or a Space Shuttle, clearly from today’s museum outing.
“What are you drawing?” he asks anyway, digging to the bottom of the bowl as he waits for Chris to answer.
“They showed us blueprints of all the different spacecraft, and Chetan and I got to see a few old screws and plates that they still had,” Chris explains excitedly, angling the drawing so both Buck and Eddie can see.
From there, his excitement seems to unleash a whole dam, and faster than Buck can keep up, the conversation shifts from the Space Race, to NASA, then to the world’s other space stations, then to current projects and so on and so forth.
He hates that his mind is muddled enough that he can’t exactly keep up with everything Christopher’s rambling about, but he’s content to sit and watch his kid talk animatedly about it. Eddie lifts the tray off of Buck when one of those animated movements nearly knocks the bowl of crackers onto the bed.
Buck doesn’t waste the opportunity to yank his husband next to him, curling back into his chest to listen to Chris recap his day.
His lungs still feel heavy, and his head still hurts a little, but with Eddie’s arms around him and Chris’ happy voice permeating the air, Buck’s more content than he should be. He clearly isn’t put off by them not having been able to go, and Buck’s glad that at least someone was able to take him.
“Told you,” Eddie whispers, a ghost of his breath coasting over the shell of Buck’s ear before his lips press to the words.
Buck smiles, scrubbing a tissue across his blocked nose before dropping most of his weight back onto Eddie’s chest. Eddie doesn’t flinch, only shifts to hold him that much more.
“Yeah. I guess you did.”
Uh-huh okay but what about an immortals AU where Tony and Peter are somewhat enemies across the ages and they keep trying (and succeeding) at killing each other but as the centuries pass they’re also slowly falling in love and its the perfect mixture of crack and enemies to lovers. Have we thought about that? No? Well, why the heck not?
same psa as jason's post, still pretty vague because surface-level knowledge about the old west means i can’t yet properly ground it in the era
kyle’s mother worked in a farm on the californian coast following the gold rush she came with, his father was a vaquero in the ranch there but he disappeared one day, neither kyle nor his mother knowing why. they moved to the nearest city after and made a life there, they struggled but still made an honest and decent livelihood together, kyle working in an art-related job, yet to be decided. he had just asked alex’s hand in marriage when he got recruited into the GLC, a ranger like group that chases bounties/outlaws and works as lawmen in various regions (aka sectors) of north america
i want kyle to be the youngest to date to join the green lanterns, barely a legal adult, just to make him extra special like mr. torchbearer/ion/white lantern deserves to be. he’s recruited by hal and ganthet through more practical means because no magic rings here. he at first treats the job lightly but he’s still really talented and valuable, learns fast and has new insights to offer the corps that change them for the better. he slowly grows to become a part of the corps as alex pushes him to be better. add a ridiculously self-indulgent amount of comradeship between the corpsmen because it’s one of my favorite things in their comics and he deserves those friendships/mentorships
plot happens, he leaves the west coast because it gives him too much grief with what he lost and he goes to the east coast and the GLC base, where instead of working in one region he becomes a special ranger that travels around the country filling specific and sensitive/dangerous assignments. he becomes much more serious and hardened about his work even if he keeps a lighter personality, now a lot of people are reliant on him so he can’t fail. with him comes the opportunity to explore change in someone, not belonging where you used to, the weight of taking responsibilities and titles and having people rely on you as well as what giving a 20yo free reign to do whatever he wants and tell him he’s really special and good results in
72. Stranded on A Desert Island
74 Huddling for Warmth
from this ask game
When Jamie shivers awake, he's lying on the sand, completely naked. Blinking a few times and shaking his head, he realizes he's lying in someone's lap.
Zegras had been a pirate they took as prisoner, that the captain hoping to cash in for the reward offered for any of Getzaf's men. Jamie hadn't thought Zegras was worth much, nothing compared to the bulky, intimidating men they've come across at sea. Zegras' best asset was his mouth and even after a while, the crew had had enough of that too. He was just so fucking loud.
Zegras isn't saying anything as he looks down at Jamie in his lap, even though Jamie knows he knows he's awake now.
He wants to jump up and demand to know where he is, why he's lying on the pirate enemy, and where everyone else is, but he can't. As he regains some consciousness, he vaguely remembers the chaos of the night. The clipper had fallen victim to the storm that surpassed any that Jamie had witnessed before. But when Jamie tries to speak, his throat is too dry and tight to make any noise but this strangled whisper. When he tries to move, his limbs scream at him to stop. He clenches his eyes together tightly and tries to make himself speak, anyway.
"Hey, hey. No." He feels Zegras' fingertips brush his cheek, as gentle as a soft wind. Surprisingly, the skin on his hands is rough, which Jamie wouldn't have expected from the pirates' pretty boy.
"Jamie, no. Look at me, please."
His skin is still wet and he's chilled to the bone. He can't imagine how Zegras feels, still wearing all of his clothes, still drenched in water. Jamie is so uncomfortable, wants to crawl out of his skin but can't. There's a comfort that comes with Zegras saying his name, which Jamie hadn't known that Zegras even knew his, a deckhand's name. He stops fighting it.
"I know you hate me. I know you do, but we're the only ones left. Please. Just let me take care of you. It'll be okay." Jamie's heart clenches. Zegras must not notice the hot tears slipping down his own face because he doesn't wipe them away, just keeps his hands on Jamie. Jamie can't even think about what Zegras is telling him and he can't do anything about Zegras crying over him, either. He can't say anything to help Zegras - not that he knows why he'd want to - when his mouth feels so dry and throat bruised.
He doesn't hate Zegras. In the last few weeks, he's only caught a few glimpses of him. First, Jamie had seen him when they first captured him near the coast. Jamie watched with the rest of the crew in amazed horror as Zegras was forced to his knees with his hands tied behind his back. Jamie watched as he was forced to recite whatever humiliating utterances the crew subjected him to before finally hauling him off to the cargo hold of the ship. Jamie saw him periodically, while Zegras spent his time in the hold and in the captain's bed. Every single time, Zegras had met his eyes and held Jamie's gaze. They never spoke, as Zegras was never allowed to and Jamie didn't have the right yet. Regardless, it felt they were sharing something, like Zegras was challenging him to something. It was hard to respect him, but Jamie didn't hate him.
He can't help but compare the bold, cocky man that was forced onto the ship with the one cradling Jamie in his arms. Jamie watches as he weeps, as his chin wobbles as he speaks.
"It's too dark. There's too much rain. I'll find wood tomorrow. I'll build you a fire tomorrow, okay? As soon as the sun rises. I don't want to leave you. You're bleeding." He feels Zegras' fingers graze his temple. That would explain why he feels so dizzy, if he hit his head. It feels good when Zegras tries to soothe him, running fingers through his damp hair.
He lies there underneath a tree beside the ocean, with his head rested carefully in the enemy's lap. Trevor shouldn't have saved him, Jamie's not on his side, but he had anyway. It's too dark to see much, but as he falls asleep, he watches Zegras above him, crying until he too is too dehydrated to cry.
Kathony Prompt: Historical AU Prompt. Kate Sharma is one stubbornly headstrong woman. That’s why, after the death of her last remaining parent, she’s packed her things and made her way England, seeking refuge with the last of her family, Edwina - her born-and-bred-in-England younger sister. But when she arrives, she finds out that her sister is dead. Instead she is greeted by a boisterious household of Bridgertons…and him - her rugged, distant and vexing brother-in-law - Lord Bridgerton. A man used to always getting his way. A man used to giving orders.
The absolute last thing that Anthony needed was his dead wife’s sister making her home with his family. Although Edwina was a kind and caring woman, her spirit was too gentle for the life of someone married to a Viscount...and Ms. Sharma was sure to be the same - docile, agreeable, and delicate. And he doesn’t need that headache on top of his duties. But, he couldn’t just turn her away, she was after all family. Soon Anthony comes to realize how he’s never met someone like Kate....and that this women is someone he could come to admire, respect, and possibly even love.
Talking with my mom rn, i came to a series of toughts but no conclusions.
During WWII, in England, it was still illegal to practice witchcraft and the most brilliant mind at the time, Alan Turing, took his own life after being forced on conversion therapy. During the same time, but in the USA, the usa army was segregated.
In perspective, this was yesterday in history. Our rights, our dignity, was granted only after suffering and blood. Please never forget this.
When Lady Kate Sharma went to bed, she never expected to wake up to strong hands caressing her body and warm lips desperately kissing her. Shocked, she quickly subdued the intruder but gained the attention of the whole house. She comes to the realization that, unless this man marries her, she faces disgrace and shame (far more than she already carried as a spinster at the mature age of six and twenty) in society. But this man is no stranger to her. No, he happens to be the Viscount himself - Lord Anthony Bridgerton, the infamous and vexing rake (with a capital R) and member of one of the most affluent families of the ton.
When Anthony went out drinking that night, he never expected to be beaten into submission by a lady of the ton, granted that he did somewhat deserve it (he was after all found in her bed). But, it wasn’t entirely his fault, he had been heavily inebriated and all the damn doors of the house looked the same. How was he to know that the bed that he thought was Sienna’s, his longtime mistress, actually belonged to the most aggravating spinster and outcast of the ton, Ms. Kate Sharma. Now, he faces the grim prospect of having to marrying this creature in order to save her (and his family) from ruin.
Historical AU Prompt. 18th Century/Late Regency English Society AU Prompt. Forced marriage trope prompt.
A and B are on the same sailing ship travelling across the ocean when it crashes during a heavy storm. They both manage to survive and wash up in a deserted island, but must work together to survive until help comes or they can escape by themselves.
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Here’s a fun method of torture: combing. Specifically, with an iron comb meant for preparing fibre such as wool or flax. Like this:
[ID: A flat piece of wood with metal spikes sticking up from it.]
That's not a purpose-built torture device; it's meant for processing flax fibre, which can then be spun into linen thread.
This torture method was used as far back as the Lydian Empire, and enjoyed continued popularity throughout the days of the Roman Empire. It didn’t require much in terms of equipment, because wool combs were fairly common tools. You just had to secure one in place and drag a victim across it, or chain someone up and go to town with the comb.
Of course this fits well into a whump story set in (historical or fantasy) mediaeval times or earlier, but since the comb involved is essentially a bunch of nails sticking out of a block, it’s easily adaptable for the modern era. Combs like this are even commercially available, if your whumper isn’t the crafty type! Ones intended for wool usually have just one or two rows of teeth, while those for plant fibres (called hackles or heckles) look more like the picture above.
This year's Medieval May prompts have just dropped!
I don't think I'll take part this year on account of my increasingly spicy health and homelife but I'll be following the tag and reblogging what I find! I would love to see what everyone posts. ^.^ We'll see if I put something together for colours, since I'm more and more interested in dyes!
writing this argumentative paper for literature class on the treatment of animation from the film industry and the academy. also im going to buy a ring pop. ongoing quest buy a ring pop
and there was not
and his lover
they grew up together
the perfect couple
the first man
"i will not save the people
they have made me a fool"
he was unable
to swallow his pride
day by day
and determined boy
pleaded with him
"please save them
you are the only one who can;
they will all die"
he did not listen
things grew desperate
his lover got a plan
"i will go out in your stead
they will cower
at the sight of your armor
on the battlefield"
the man hesitated
but too easily gave in
"do not fight
your cover will be blown
once they see your skills"
his lover assured him yes
and off he went
things went well
the enemy trembled
at the sight of him
they figured out his trick
they hunted him down
was fading away...
with the corpse of his lover
he was submerged
and a fury
he would not forgive
his lover's slayer
so in the next morning
he cleared a bloody path
and slew the man
dragging his body
behind his chariot
for nine whole nights
around his lover's
in the end
but will either
be at peace?
A samurai warrior and wild western lawman somehow get stranded in the swamps of Australia and must work together to escape.
It's always kinda weird to look at a character you once held zero interest in and just go "They...really are so relatable".
Anyway, this is a Jake appreciation blog, so feel free to leave adorations at the door and love letters in the mailbox.
Do you have any noir / Roaring 20s-inspired prompts?
Oooooo what a fun period, I'll give it my best shot!
1. Detective A gets hired by jaded ex-lover B when a string of crimes and murders relating to their shadowy past begin to happen with alarming frequency.
2. Wealthy tycoon A is known for throwing lavish parties with the most affluent people in attendance, but well known socialite B usually rarely attends... so what makes them want to come to this one?
3. A and B both regularly frequent the same downtown speakeasy, where they often spend hours dancing into the night and chatting by the smoky bar.
4. Lounge singer and burlesque dancer A has any admirers and is used to receiving gifts and flowers, but when they perform they only have eyes for one person in the room: B, who comes to the show every night and lingers by the stagedoor afterwards to walk A home.
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Oooooh I saw the angst list; number 21 is looking mighty nice 👀
“It should have never happened. I should have never allowed us to ruin our friendship, to turn the purest understanding between men, the connection of virtuous minds of similar thoughts, to decay under the compost of my lust-” John’s trembling voice stabbed the air shallowly, leaving stinging, leaking blood cuts.
Not even a spark was needed to start this conflagration; it would not have been an unnatural occurrence. Growing immunity, they adapted to heal the wounds. Time and a touch of care closed the banes up, the scars faded into the mosaic of lines of ragged edges. Before the morning would come, only pale signs hidden under the uniforms’ severity would be able to point at the torment inside.
“I have been nothing but a burden, with an imagination of a lost child thinking himself to bring any change to the surrounding world. Where the reins of power are held by old fools, justice shall never be brought. A man is not worth existence if he brings no good; and there am I, poisoning the strengths which could break and build again from ashes the order of the things.” Chaotic thoughts were slipping with no second thought even after they found their victim.
Approaching John from behind, Alexander took a few quiet steps and reached out his hand in a tender gesture, gingerly petting his lover’s cheek, softly brushing with his blistered fingers, “John, love…,” but before they could reach the jaw, John forcibly grabbed his wrist and pushed his hand away. “What-”
“No.” He whipped his head, glaring down at Alexander. “Everyone I’ve loved has gotten hurt. I can’t let that happen to you.”
Caught in deep disbelief, Alexander took his hand back to himself, dropping it to the side, and looked into John's piercing eyes. He laughed wryly, crossed his arms on his chest, and raised a corner of his lips in the slightest smirk. “You? It's always you. It's always you who has a problem, it's always you who has been hurt. It's always you who needs sympathy. Have you ever thought of me? Of the loss I suffered? Have you ever considered that losing all your family, one by one watching them disappear, watching them walk away or seeing their lifeless bodies, might have touched someone? You only ever see yourself. You are so egocentric.”
Blinking rapidly, pushed away by the words, John stepped back. He tried to keep his expression neutral, but he underestimated the strength of Alexander’s stare. In three swift motions, he turned around, made it to the door and stormed out, slamming the door behind himself.
Alone in the corridor, he swung his arms pointlessly and closed his fists, growling to himself. He took two steps forward, turned on his heel and got back, shaking in his shoulders, until he was facing a wall.
His whole life he had been dedicated to everyone and everything, but himself. He studied, exercised, took care of his brothers, got into law to be a good and reliable man, dropped law to fight for freedom, ready to sacrifice his life for their cause. And yet, the one he had trusted with all his experiences dared to call him self-concentrated. His fists hit the wall with a deaf thump.
If anything, he was acting unselfish, hoping to save Alexander from the inevitable doom awaiting them. He did not deserve to be mistreated for it. It was a noble cause, to keep the man he loved safe and sound, alive and well.
John dropped his head to his hands, leaning forward. He shut his beginning to burn eyes tight enough not to let even a drop leak from under his lid. Alexander’s words crushed him. That was not how a friend should behave. He wouldn't have expected such a lack of understanding from a man he had shared his mind with. It was not right.
When reddish spots began to float in front of his eyes, he opened them, letting a teardrop drip from a corner. In a mindless gesture, he hoped to wipe it with the cuff of his sleeve, and only then did he notice he had forgotten to take his coat and was now standing in a light shirt and a waistcoat. In such dressing, he ought to not leave his current spot but for their room.
However, coming back would force him to face Alexander. And Alexander should apologise. He had misjudged him, painfully. It was not John's fault and hence not his obligation to make the first move towards repairing what got broken today. All John had left was waiting.
Grinding his teeth, furious for letting himself end up in this situation, he slid down the wall and looked at the only source of any light, a window with a dark evening behind the glass. The first salty teardrop reached his lips.
Why couldn't Alex understand he just wanted to keep him safe? That he was trying to brace his strength for both of them to repair the demolished barriers of security? He had never experienced what John had experienced. And John doubted he would be able to stand the pain of Alex’s awakening from this horror. To see him terrified with himself.
Minutes (or were those minutes?) passed, but the door remained closed. Not many sounds were coming from the inside either. On the other hand, the faint light was disappearing quickly. Thick blackness poured inside heavily, cutting off John’s vision inches before his face and indicating the late and later hour.
However, nothing indicated that Alex would come out and apologise. The streams of tears left dry courses, tearing John’s energy away. Hurt, tired and coatless, he had few possibilities left, either stay on the cold floor in the corridor or swallow the lump in his throat and return to the bedroom.
Trying to regain balance, scrambled to his feet and propped himself up on the wall. Straightening his shoulders and raising his head, he approached the door, slowly placed his hand on the handle and, even slower, pressed it, pushing the door and peering inside.
One candle illuminated the middle of the room, giving barely enough light for John to walk without bumping into furniture. But just enough to notice Alexander lying calmly on the other cot. The lump moved back to his throat when he sat on the bed they used to be sharing to pull off his boots.
He threw the waistcoat away and slid down, covering his eyes with his palm to cut off the even so left light.
Waking up had never been easy. Staying in the heat of the embrace of blankets was much more tempting than facing the cold of the air. Forcing himself to a compromise, John rolled to the side, burrowing his nose in the sheets. The familiar, cherished scent of nights with his lover reached him first. The warmth of the expectedly cold side of the mattress second. Realisation third.
The smell might have lingered. No temperature kept up for so long.
Hesitantly raising his head, he peeked across the narrow room, at the second bed, already empty and neatly made. The question should be for how long had they been folded this way. Had it been hours?
Confident of his lack of rapid movement during sleep, John was also confident Alexander must have spent the night, at least partly, next to him. Must have pretended to be asleep to shift later. This thought brought his unease from the evening back in its place, this time coated with sweetening affection.
Heavy hearted, he dragged himself down the bed and began to dress hastily, collecting the scattered pieces. In the light of the night, the unsolved burden on his mind asked for the confrontation. Even if it would ask for swallowing his pride and not demanding an apology.
Ragged out his coat, John quickly left the room and ran down the stairs, slowing down in front of the entrance to the office and peeking inside, not yet noticing Alexander. He rushed further, stepping out to the cold outside and pulling his coat tighter around himself against the chilling wind.
Pushing through the forecourt, he was looking for so well known, stiffly erect silhouette to loom on the horizon. It should not be difficult to distinguish an officer among privates, the more, a beloved officer. True to the words, within minutes, his eyes landed on the searched man. “Hamilton!”
Alexander turned around slowly, peering at John from under the cooked brim of his hat, and John swallowed hard, ogling his military posture: strong stand, straight shoulders and back, pushed out chest. The sense this man would be the doom of him returned to his heart.
“Laurens. As you may see-” Alexander glanced behind himself, at a small gathering that had not yet come into John's perception, blurred behind Alexander’s well-defined form- “I am rather busy at the moment. Do, please, wait in a queue.”
“I did not know the King was holding audiences for his friends,” he snorted, but soon regretted it, cursing himself in his mind. “Hamilton, we need to talk.”
He noticed hesitation on Alexander’s face as he shot a look at the privates he had been talking to and sighed. “Three minutes.” He walked to the side, nodding at John to follow him. “Yes?”
When they finally found a bit of cold privacy, the first words got stuck in John's throat. “Did you sleep well?” he threw, hoping to fill the silence while he was putting a neat sentence together. “Alexander, I think we ought to talk about yesterday. I shall not lie, your words hurt me deeply.”
A sharp smirk shot onto Alexander’s face, masking any real emotions he could be feeling. John despised this artificial expression, a fortress for Alex, leaving John vulnerable for any surprising attack. “We have just returned to the same problem. It’s always you.”
The hard turn made John abandon any previous hopes for calm and humbleness. “And who am I supposed to speak about?” he snapped. “You? How could I know how you feel? I am speaking for myself so, in exchange, you could speak for yourself! That’s how communication works!”
“Communication? What do you know about communication? We should invest in the relationship. Also fears. I have got to know your demons. You should let me carry them. However, what you do is refuse my help when I offer it. You brush me off. You want to know how I feel? As if you didn't find me equal. As if you considered me weaker.”
“I just want to protect you!”
“From what?!” That was when Alexander crossed his line of nerves and waved at him angrily, grimacing. “I don’t need protection! I am an adult man. I know pain! I know what I can take.” He took a step back, clenching his fists. “The only harm you can do to me is by pushing me and my affection away.”
John felt he was a victim to a trick he hadn’t realised till that moment. Suddenly, he was pushed against the wall, either to admit he was indeed rejecting Alexander’s friendship or that he had been mistaken. And that was very much not what he had wished for. The solution was to ease the conflict for the moment, until it would fade away. Until a promise to himself from mere minutes ago returned to him.
Did he care for Alexander? He did. Was he ready for sacrifices for him? He was. Did he want Alexander to fall asleep next to him in bed this evening? He did. John inhaled deeply. “I’m-” he stopped, hesitantly- “I am sorry. You are right.”
Unlike he would have hoped and expected, Alexander’s expression didn’t change at one moment, but rather slowly drifted to neutral. Alexander nodded slightly, ready to walk away, having settled the issue down, until a thought crossed his mind and face. “John- I apologise. As well.” It felt sincere, but cold, just like John’s apology a second ago.
It should not have been so uncaring. He should have wanted to fall into Alexander’s arms, whisper something sweet in the ear and await the evening, when they would discuss the issues of the day, seated side by side. Yet, some tether was holding him back from wanting it. Instead, he only watched his lover nod again and walk away from him.
On his way, Alexander must have stepped on some hidden mechanism, as after the tenth step he took, the line restraining John broke. “Alex!”
Thankfully, he did stop. “Yes?”
John loped towards him and, without more hesitation, embraced him in a hug, placing one arm in his waist, with the other hand on the back of his neck and pulling him close. “I love you,” he spoke in a low voice. “Have a great day.”