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Percy Jackson/ Heroes of Olympus
Leyna

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Many things were said that Reyna didn't understand. Leo shot off, riding into the sunset of his own mechanical mind, waffling about all of the techno-babble he could produce. And Reyna just watched him, her dark gaze softening, her arms relaxing, only catching odd words as the boy continued. Occasionally he would stop to take a breath, and, Reyna noticed, look her in the eyes. His were a deep brown, like the colour of coffee or tree bark, burning with enthusiasm and desire to impress like she had never seen. He'd promptly turn a bubblegum pink colour before casting his fascinated scrutiny elsewhere and launching off again.

But that was alright to Reyna. It was a strange thing to admit – even stranger for someone of her calibre – but she felt an odd twinge of jealousy when someone else had the luxury of being regarded by him. She wanted to know that his expression of delight behind his glass orbs was present because of her. Maybe that was obsessive, maybe she was being cautious. The girl wasn't sure; she wasn't sure about many things regarding Leo Valdez. He clamped at her fragile heart in ways she thought it couldn't be clamped, not by him.

Leo stopped talking. Reyna tried to bring her mind back to reality – what had he just said?

"Um, sorry?"

"My joke? Did you get my joke?"

Reyna was solid, unmoving. Leo's face dampened. She tried her best to recover from being wrapped up far too much into her emotions, "Wait – no. Could you repeat it? I'm…" she hesitated, "I'm rather slow at understanding jokes."

And Leo grinned; Reyna blew an inward sigh of relief, "Sure," he inhaled, "I was having conversation with Frank earlier. What did I say when Festus broke down?"

Reyna waited, her glance frozen on him as his grin spread across his face like butter on warm toast. The restaurant atmosphere in Nolita just seemed to suck in breath in anticipation – the noises from the other diners muffled as she concentrated on what mattered.

"I said 'I bett-Argo II fix him right away!'"

Her hand flew to her mouth to suppress her giggle. By the gods, that was so awful. So bad it was good, kind of comedy. Leo just chuckled as Reyna covered up her giggle, although her pearly teeth began to flash behind her delicate hand.

"You get it!" he cheered, "You see; you're not that slow."

Reyna wanted to counter that a bridge troll could probably understand the joke. But she didn't say that out loud. He was on a roll (like a fresh piece of bread straight from the oven), and she didn't think it would be good to puncture it. Not when he was grinning so wildly from her understanding his madness it was like he'd won the lottery.

"There are some exceptions," she merely said, between a split smile, "And that was… quite unique."

He chuckled, "I know it's bad. Bad jokes are just my forté. If there was ever a statue made in my honour, it would read 'Leo Valdez –The Gag Guru of Groan-worthy Garbage. Accepted currency is facepalms and headdesks'."

She placed her hand down on the table then, flashing a smile, "And I suppose you get a lot of those?"

Leo's smile turned sheepish, "If facepalms and headdesks were denarii, I could buy this restaurant and a house on the side."

Reyna laughed then. She hated her laugh – one of the reasons why she avoided doing it so much. It was a cross between a snort and a high-pitched squeal. If you hadn't seen it being emitted from her throat, you would have thought a pig was dying somewhere. Leo laughed too – much more masculine, deep, laugh with that edge of a girlish giggle – which covered up hers enough not to be too embarrassed. She did flush a red colour though, ceasing her pig-squealing noises and suddenly finding the table cloth extremely interesting.

Leo quietened, "Your laugh-!"

"Yes, I know," Reyna cut through; a rush of embarrassment knotted her stomach, "It's horrible."

She cast her gaze upwards; Leo was grinning.

"Actually, I was going to say it's really cute," he flushed the same cranberry colour then, "If you don't mind me saying…"

=#=#=#=

The girl tilted her head upwards now, eyes wide, "You find it… cute?"

Leo's face was hot – heat hot – with embarrassment. Was calling a girl's laugh cute a cliché thing to do? Percy and Jason had said, definitely in the top ten things to do, make sure to compliment her on something: her dress, shoes, hair, make-up, general beauty, voice, food taste… whatever worked. Of all the examples they had given, a laugh was not one of them, and he was pretty sure he'd seen at least five romcoms where the guy had complimented the girl's laugh (of which, he was forced sit through… purely for educational purposes, of course).

He tried his best to quell his feelings of cheesy romance and spoke again, "Yeah. I mean… it's a lot more attractive that my laugh. My laugh sounds like a bodybuilder leprechaun lives in my throat."

Reyna snorted with amusement. It was great to see her so open with her feelings, Leo thought idly, as she struggled to keep her face straight.

"Well," she said, regarding him again with those dark-as-night eyes, "Thank you. And I can assure you, you do not sound like a bodybuilder leprechaun."

Leo practically glowed with happiness. He was pretty sure, if he became any happier, something on his person would catch fire. He was about to respond when the waiter came over. A tray of food was balanced perfectly on his hand and he placed the dishes onto the table with no trouble at all.

"Please enjoy," he said, slipping the tray underneath his arm and retracting his hand, "If there are any problems, do not hesitate to call someone over."

"Thanks dude," Leo said, and the waiter wet away on his business. The food he had left was sizzling hot – two half-chickens marinated in flavouring. The scent of lemon trees and herbal plants walloped his senses and sent his tastebuds into a frenzy, hungry to sample. Not to mention the side-dish, sweet mash potato in a little pot, looked so good he could have done with double the portions.

Reyna picked up her knife and fork. She had a delicate hand about her, the way she twirled and the cutlery like a professional ballerina twirls on their feet, which you wouldn't expect… not when she was slicing with a sword and commanding comrades to battle the other half of the time. She bit her lip, exploring the feast with her eyes.

"Does it look okay?" Leo asked.

She smiled, "It looks delicious," she said, gently forcing a fork into one half of a chicken and hauling it onto her plate, "Good choice."

"Great," Leo said, doing the same. The chicken was so hot steam was rising up. Sometimes Leo wished he was that hot naturally. He watched his date cut off a piece and pop it into her mouth, chewing laboriously.

He waited for her to swallow, "So… how does the chicken taste?"

She gave him a look he had never seen on her before – the expression of amazement. Eyes wide, smile curling on her plump lips. He must have matched her own when he watched her.

"It's absolutely delightful," she spoke, cutting another piece, "I cannot believe I haven't seen eaten here before."

Leo tried it too – she was right. It was rather good.

"Oh man, this is delightful," he said, "Now I wish I did have enough dough to buy this place out."

Reyna smiled, covering her mouth with her hand as she spoke, "So do I."

The two were mostly silent for the rest of the meal. The clanging of fork and knife against plate and occasional chomping sound, as well as the subdued chatter of the other diners and soft drumbeat music from overhead speakers, was the only thing that could be heard. That was fine with Leo – it provided him with the opportunity to relax, think of what to say, and, most importantly, enjoy his food. When Reyna reached for her drink Leo would do so too – maybe it was a psychological thing, but it was just to make sure she didn't feel out of place. They'd only speak to pass over the peri peri sauce or the salt.

With each bite, Leo felt like he was floating further and further into sweet paradise. And with Reyna opposite him, he had already been given a boost there. If he ever had the chance to come back here with her, he would.

But that was the thing. He'd already made total pants of half of the things on the date – Reyna may not have wanted a second time of utter catastrophe with this guy. The rule was if a first date goes badly, you don't get a second chance… well, you might, if you were Fortuna or maybe Venus' child. But he wasn't either, so that was out of the question.

It was times like these that he wished he had Piper's charmspeak ability. Then he could have easily recovered from his trouble with smooth pick-up lines or something.

All too soon Reyna put down her knife and fork in finished formation – Leo had been savouring the taste so much that she had cleared her plate and pot of mash, except from the bones. He felt an urgent need to hurry – he didn't want to hold her up. She took the napkin in her hands, gently dabbing her red lips before folding it up and placing it back on the table. Even when she'd just stuffed her face she still looked like a goddess herself.

Then Leo noticed something. Reyna's post-food face-wipe session had missed the hot sauce on her upper lip. It was like a giant mole – except it was red, specked with black bits and protruding from her face like a peninsula on an island.

Reyna stared idly at everything else in the room, oblivious to the hot sauce chunk getting comfy on her skin. Leo panicked inwardly – what was he supposed to do? He wracked his brain – nothing in the mental checklist could have prepared him for this. Did he tell her and embarrass her in front of him or let her walk around and embarrass herself unknowingly in front of everyone?

He decided in a split-second decision that the first one was definitely better, "Um, Reyna?"

She turned to him, "Yes?"

He used his knife to indicate her upper lip, "You have peri peri on your lip."

Without another second to spare, Reyna seized the used napkin near her plate and shrunk in her seat, "Where?" she hissed, her face burning.

"Just below your nose," he replied, using his knife again. Quickly she removed the evidence with three thorough wipes, "Is it gone?"

"Yep," Leo said, as she sighed.

"Thank you," she breathed, "That could have been very embarrassing…"

Leo smiled, hoping nothing was stuck in his teeth, "No worries. But just so you know, you didn't need it."

"… What?"

"You didn't need hot sauce on you because you're already hot."

Only after her face contorted to surprise did her realise how forward he sounded. Calling a woman 'beautiful' would have been far more acceptable than 'hot', which was usually a cheesy way to pick up chicks (great example: Coach Hedge), but then he couldn't have used it in a joke. Maybe he should have just shut up and kept eating?

But she chuckled, dipping her tone to a dangerous (yet oddly appealing) level, "Were you hoping that would happen just so you could say that?"

Leo hadn't actually planned that joke at all – it would have never run passed Annabeth and the other girls as suitable for the occasion. But Leo Valdez rolled with it, with a cheeky smirk, "Maybe."

She laughed again, which, unlike last time, she was ignorant to how it sounded to others. Leo laughed too, trying to cool his pulsing heart. It was beating so loud that he could have joined a marching band.

Reyna's laughter died much earlier than Leo anticipated, slowly dipping into nothing. Leo had to try not to make himself look awkward, quietening until he stopped completely. His date had suddenly turned sombre – like someone had switched off the happy light in her brain. She regarded Leo with a gentle yet solemn gaze, her eyes like black glass orbs reflecting the darkness.

"I'm sorry," she said – which, to be honest, was the last thing he'd expected to come out of her mouth. He thought she might have been offended by the hot joke, "I'm just… just nervous."

"Nervous?" Leo couldn't help but echo, "Why?"

Reyna looked away, "This date, Leo. I'm nervous sitting here with you," she faltered then, "Not that I'm saying you make me nervous – well, you do, but not in a bad way… I mean-…" Reyna was the praetor of the camp, the leader, the idol that inspired hard-work. She probably hauled men into battle crushed the spirits of her enemies on a daily basis; a bundle of nerves was the last thing he'd expect her to become, since she was so sure of herself and confident in her demigod comrades for the rest of the time.

Leo wasn't sure how to reply. Hades yeah, he was nervous too. He thought it'd be difficult not to be nervous on a first date, when you're exploring new things.

"It's okay," he eventually responded with a smile, "I'm… I'm nervous too. I mean, you can probably tell – I dropped a vase on you."

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"You didn't drop a vase on me," Reyna said back to him, with a weak smile, "It was an accident."

"I know," the boy said, "But I probably wouldn't have done it if I'm not as shaky as I am, hahah."

She didn't reply. Reyna felt that it was good to know that both of them were equally as nervous and that she wasn't alone – even if the majority of the date was almost over. She kind of didn't want it to be over; Leo had a strange appeal to him and his personality.

He spoke again, "I guess I'm a bit like the Titanic, trembling at the bottom of the sea."

She couldn't tell if he was being serious, comparing himself to a sunken ship. Reyna narrowed her eyes, "Pardon?"

Leo grinned, "I'm a nervous wreck."

She laughed. Leo laughed. It was as if neither had anything to hide, as if their nerves had dissolved into nothingness. It made Reyna feel relieved that it wasn't a strange thing to feel, she'd been holding up the walls for so long.

The waiter came over then. He appeared regretful for interrupting their conversation, "Are you finished?"

Reyna held up her plate as Leo did the same, "Yes, thank you. It was delicious."

The waiter took the empty plates gratefully, "Thank you. Would you like the dessert menu?"

She looked to her date for guidance, "I'm full, but you can order something if you like..?" She could see the temptation on his face – no doubt did he want ice cream or something to fill to cracks in his stomach. But he shook his head.

"Nah, I'm good. Could we get the bill, please?"

"Of course," said the waiter, whisking himself away to the counter again.

Reyna stared at him funny, "Don't you want dessert?"

He shook his head again, "Really, I'm good. Besides," he feigned sombreness, "I don't think I dessert it."

After a brief chuckle, Reyna spoke, "How long do you spend writing and memorising these jokes?"

Leo shrugged, "Ages."

The waiter came back over with a tiny, rectangular-shaped tray – a thin and crispy sheet of shiny paper with printed words and numbers, "Your bill."

Leo quickly seized it before Reyna could, she retracted her hand in surprise as he spoke, "Thanks." The waiter went off. Leo didn't look at the bill.

"We gotta' agree on how we're gonna' pay this."

Ah, payment. Reyna understood now. She bent down for her purse, in her bag on the floor, and reached it up so he could see it. Reyna knew that it was traditional on first dates to pay exactly half each, rather than one person paying for their whole share. She could understand why this worked – to be fair to your significant other – and was grateful too. The idea of letting Leo pay for the whole thing just because he was the one that asked the question seemed horrendously selfish.

She regarded him with a cool smile, "Half each?"

He smiled, "You read my mind." But she could tell from that relief in his eyes that he didn't want to pay for all of it either. She clicked her purse open – coins of bronze, silver and gold denarii were wedged into the sides, as much as she could fit in. She saw Leo browse secretively at the receipt before passing it over to her in silence, before he brought out his own wallet.

The price was reasonable. It was cheaper than she expected, and for such nice food it was in fact very good value. She selected the appropriate amount, popping the coins with a tapping noise onto the tray. Leo did the same, and the tray became a little goldmine for the restaurant.

Her date exhaled deeply, "I've put the tip in," he said, with a hint of relief, "Shall we get going?"

"Of course," Reyna went to stand up, bending down for her belongings. When she rose, the waiter was back at their table.

"Thank you very much, sir, ma'am. I hope you have a pleasant-" he froze, "Oh…"

Reyna's insides suddenly flared with nerves. He had the coins in hand but looked doubtful. She stopped, midway pushing her chair behind the table, "What's wrong?"

"There is a foreign currency in here – is that a drachma?" he held it up, a rough and shimmering grey coin with the head of Athena printed on one side and Athena's owl on the other. Leo suddenly went pale.

"Oh my gods, I'm so sorry," he took back the drachma from the waiter's hands, rummaging in his wallet again, "I must have mixed it with the denarii… denarii…" Reyna noticed that he gulped then, his face glowing with hot sweat and his eyes contracting to the size of full-stops in a sentence. He had frozen solid, with only his hands in motion. They searched, more desperately, in his wallet for the denarii that – Reyna dreaded to acknowledge – he didn't have.

Without saying a word to embarrass him, she opened up her purse again and gave the waiter a litter of denarii, "Leo, remember, you gave your extra denarii to me because your wallet was so full. Here-" the waiter accepted it gratefully, "We apologise for the trouble."

Leo just stared at her, stunned. The waiter gave a quick, curt nod, "Thank you, and not at all. I hope you have a pleasant evening." He left the couple, taking the tray of coins with him.

When he was out of earshot, Leo spoke, like a cold whisper, "Reyna-"

"Not here. Outside," she didn't mean to sound so commanding, as Leo flinched and sped outside, dodging the other tables and diners. She followed, weaving in and out of the labyrinth of the Nolita restaurant; she knew that his happy demeanour had just sunken into the lowest pits of Tartarus.

Leo held the door open for her. As she approached, a rush of cool evening air singed at her skin. She shuddered, regretting not bringing some form of warmer clothing. The sky was dark, like drapes of indigo and navy littered with tiny white holes had been sewn across the horizon, and the crescent moon provided a reflected glow over New Rome. Many shops were still open, mostly restaurants, and those that had closed for the night blending and blurring into the background like melting butter onto a pan.

Her date was frightful, she could tell. The shine of his sweat was even more noticeable outside, where the light of the moon gave him a more angelic glow, like cinnamon. His hair, one combed, was now back to its curly and loud consistency on his head – like the mane of a lion.

She smiled, hoping to quell the fear that was obvious on his face. But it didn't go away.

"Reyna," he started, "I'm so, so, so sorry-"

"It's alright, Leo," she said, but he didn't stop.

"I thought I'd converted all of my drachmas into denarii, but apparently I missed a few – oh my gods, how did I miss it? They don't look alike – they don't even weigh alike," he turned slightly more happier, "Of course I'll pay you back. You just tell me how much I owe you and I'll repay you – with interest, if you like. I feel so bad-"

She cut him off, placing a finger to his lips. It was the only approach she thought would work – and it did. He went a bright red.

"Leo," she said firmly, "It's alright."

"No, it's not," he mumbled – his breath was warm against her fingers and sent a tingle down her arm, "It's like the most awkward and un -gentlemanly thing on this planet ever to do."

She shuddered then, partly because his lips were soft against her skin, but mostly because she was cold. Her arms back at her side, she was about to launch into a speech as to why she didn't mind when he cut her off.

"You're cold," he said. She saw his breath appear in the air, like puffs of whispy cotton candy.

"Only a little bit," Reyna replied, "But, Leo-" She froze as she saw him, removing his coat. It was black, plain and simple, contrasting with the checkered shirt that he wore, but completed his outfit well. He placed it over Reyna's shoulders, and she could feel the heat rise not only in her body but also on her face.

"That should keep you warm," he said, apparently ignorant of how red she had turned, "Here, I'll walk you home so you can enjoy inside heat instead."

She had to fight to keep her voice in one piece, "What about you? Aren't you cold?" Only after she had said that did she realise how stupid she sounded. Leo chuckled.

"Nah. I'm like a living furnace. The whole 'conjure-fire-from-my-fingertips' thing keeps me warm enough," Reyna could hear the pinch of nervousness back in his tone. He didn't sound so confident in himself anymore, and she missed it.

"Thank you," she said, shivering again. His jacket even smelt of him – a sweet scent she couldn't name that reminded her of a beach, as well as an aftertaste of engine grease. Just how she liked it.

=#=#=#=

The couple walked along in silence, Reyna with her arms wrapped around herself and face hidden from his view. Not that Leo had cared, pretty sure she didn't want him to look at her – he had severed whatever connection they had when he'd been unable to pay up his share. On his mental checklist, it even said, right at the top in screaming capital letters, MAKE SURE YOU CAN PAY. It had been Percy and Jason's first piece of advice, the first thing to be absolutely sure about. And he'd gone and ruined it anyway.

He felt hollow inside, like a black hole had sucked up all his innards and left him feeling nothing. Reyna, luckily, had been sympathetic enough to save him from eternal embarrassment in Nolita and paid up for him (what other choice did she have?), but that was going to be about it. He could picture it now – she would politely decline a second date before avoiding him for weeks and weeks after, never to look at her pretty face again.

When they reached her house – an expansive Roman villa, with wooden window blinds to keep the cold out and a low-lying slanted roof – Reyna removed the coat from her shoulders and handed it back to Leo. Finally, she looked at him in the eyes, smiling.

"Thank you, again," she whispered, before turning her head away, "And thank you for the date."

He took back his coat, flinging it over his free arm, "You're welcome… and I am really, really sorry. I owe you-"

"Indeed, you do," Reyna's expression had changed of one to complete seriousness, like the very strong stone columns holding up wide arches over her front door, "But, instead of repayment in denarii form, I am expecting a time and date for our next outing."

Leo's skin turned cold, and then blisteringly hot in a moment's notice. He spluttered out a reply before he could help himself, "A-another date?"

Reyna cocked an eyebrow, her expression even, "Yes. You do 'owe me', after all. Is there a problem?" She smiled gently then, a little hope in her eyes.

Leo gulped, "No, no, of course not," he said, too overwhelmed to fully comprehend the situation. She… wanted another date? Somehow he had done it – despite the mess he'd made of himself the entire evening she had requested another date. Confusion welled up alongside his triumph.

"It's just…" he spoke again, "I'm surprised you even want to look at me because I bungled so badly – I was a disastrous date…"

But Reyna laughed, puncturing the night silence with her commanding noises. He wasn't sure whether it was good-natured or a snigger, but by the way she looked like she was enjoying herself, he guessed (and hoped) it was the former. Then, to his surprise, she took a step closer. The scent of her perfume drifted into his nose, like a field of flowers, and Leo could swear the fire was crackling underneath the skin on his cheeks.

"Yes, but you do it in a masterful way… it's sort of… appealing," she said, standing on the tips of her feet and whispered luxuriously, "Besides, mistakes often set us on the right path."

Without warning, she pressed her lips against his cheek in the form of a small kiss. They were soft and plump, like someone was massaging him with silk. Sunshine and rainbows and unicorn happiness burst inside his stomach, coursing through his entire body. For five whole seconds this sensation lasted, before she withdrew. Leo was left in a daze; his legs had turned to bags of jelly and his vision blurred.

That kiss was awesome.

But then Reyna screamed.

"Oh my gods, Leo! You're on fire!"

She was right. Leo's hair had caught fire. The feeling of overwhelming delight disappeared, Leo yelped in surprise ("Gah! My hair is on fire!"), before running around in circles and madly patting his hair with his hands. The fire died out as quickly as it came, leaving only a smoky stench in the air.

Reyna had held her breath, which she exhaled in a shaky motion. Her hands had flown to her mouth, and now she was holding Leo by the arms, "A-are you alright?"

"Oh, yeah," he said, panting hard from the shock, "I'm sorry… Some things just send me into a frenzy… Are you okay?"

"Of course I'm okay!" she protested, going red, "Honestly, my boyfriend sets himself on fire and asks if I'm okay?"

But Leo had ceased all movement, "Boyfriend?" he echoed. Reyna, still holding onto him, let go immediately. If she could go any redder, she did.

"Well, yes…" she faltered, "Why? Do you not want to be my-"

"No! I mean – yes, I do, but-" Leo shook his head to free him from his stupidity, "I mean… yes. I'd love it."

Reyna smiled, "Good. But don't you dare even think about pampering me, okay?" She shivered again, "I suppose I'd better be going now."

"Okay," Leo said, letting his disappointment show, before recovering with a smirk, "I guess I'll see you soon, girlfriend?"

Reyna smirked back, "Yes, you will be, Valdez," she said, making her way to her front door, "And I'm still expecting a time and date soon."

"Of course!" she smiled, before the front door shut behind her. The date was over, and Leo was left alone at the front of her house.

He drew in breath before exhaling deeply. Even though he had been late, never eaten there before, spilt water on her, ordered the wrong drink, failed at small talk, rambled about mechanics, embarrassed her with hot sauce and bad jokes, been a nervous wreck and unable to pay for his meal, she still wanted to go out with him again. Even better, they were now… a thing. His brain felt like someone had wrapped it up in a cashmere scarf – that fuzzy, pleased feeling that only Reyna could make him feel. His friends would be proud and his mental checklist ticked with the bets point of all – get a second date.

He turned on his heel, back to his place, and clasped his hands together.

"Thank you, Hephaestus for helping me through this. You really pulled through," he said, before dropping his head down in defeat, "And for the sake of my soul, please please please help me with the next one."

Fin.

:icongemini-by-nature:
Finished this for Leyna week on tumblr! Hope you enjoyed it and thanks for reading!

Btw, Nolita is based off of Nandos. My favourite dish from their menu is sweet potato mash =P

PJO/ HoO (C) Rick Riordan

First part: gemini-by-nature.deviantart.co…

Fanfiction link: www.fanfiction.net/s/9528320/2…
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It was 5 am, the most boring time for a night at the bar, Kai would've gone home, but his shift lasted till 7 am. It's the time when people start falling asleep on tables and couches, drunk girls start crying and whining about their stupid boyfriends and everything becomes even more depressing.
"If I buy you a beer, will stop looking so freaking depressed?" a girl sat next to Kai, who was just staring at nothing and pretty much sleeping with his eyes opened.
"Did somebody say "beer"?" he yawned, turning to look at the unknown to him girl. She had short dip dyed hair, which looked damn bad ass turning from white to black at the ends. And that's what made Kai pay some attention to her.
"And you are…?"
"I'm Alice, nice to meet you, Kai" her eyes didn't seem to be happy seeing him at all. They had this predatory gaze as if she offered Kai to buy poison instead of beer.
"How do you… uh, shit, I always forget about this stupid thing" the security guy pointed at his badge.
They took some beer, for free of course. And just sat there staring at nothing together, after 15 minutes of silence Alice finally said:
"Hey, wanna get out of here? I don't like the perspective of dying of boredom in this bar, and don't tell me you have to work".
And she was right, after 5 am it was nothing to do in the bar.

And that's how they met.

"What the…?" she stared at Kai's face in disbelief, half of it was covered with blood and lower lip didn't look good at all.
"Get used to it" he smirked, pulling her closer and kissing in the lips.
"Fffuu…Kai! Ugh, it's disgusting, go take a shower!" Alice jumped back into bed. "What the hell had happened to you, anyways?!"
Kai looked at his face after washing it a little with water, that bastard cut him right under the eye, so close. "Fuck… uh? Not much, just another jackass with a broken bottle…"
He got through this so many times, that a bag of ice in his fridge was a "has-to-be-there" thing. Kai crashed next to Alice with an ice bag on his face. It was 5 am.
"Did your mother kissed you in places, which hurt, when you were little?" asked Alice.
"What the fuck are you talking about…?" Kai couldn't keep his eyes open, it usually happened after fights, cause that's when he felt the most tired and sleepy.
"You know, when a little boy or a girl hits something, their mom kisses that part of the body so it won't hurt that bad?" Alice took Kai's hand, which still had marks of the fight.
"Weirdly enough, but no, she didn't, why?" the guy looked at her with his healthy eye.
"Why are you even asking?" she smiled, kissing his fingers.

And that's when he thought she might stand him.

Down the jaw line, marking her neck with kisses, Kai thought how different it felt. Alice pulled his face closer to hers, just to kiss him in the lips again.
She kept him sober, it wasn't necessary to get drunk just to fall asleep. It felt weird, but good. Somehow she managed to make him so exhausted, that he could sleep like a baby all night long.
He was making his way down, not missing any part of her skin. When Kai finally was about to take off her panties, front door suddenly swept open.
"Guess who's home!" Aeric's triumphal voice sounded especially loud at night. He froze with his arms in the air as if he won an award. "Damn, man! I thought you're alone tonight!" he sat next to lovers on the couch.
"WTF, Aeric?!"
"What?! It's not my fault you didn't tell me you're gonna be with a girl tonight! You could've hang a sock on your door or something, so that I'd know!"
"First of all, I don't have to inform you about every hook up I'm about to have… and second of all – it's my damn flat and I can do whatever I want here without hanging any socks on my door!"
"Yeah, yeah…Oh hey, it's that 2-weeks-girl! Hi!" Aeric waved at her, seemed like he wasn't going anywhere: "Oh it was two weeks one week ago, so it makes three weeks today! Congrats!"
Alice just laughed in reply and added: "Aeric… I don't know if you've noticed, but we were in the middle of something".
"That's called sex, for your information" Kai was pretty much mad.
"Oh come one! I am bored and have nowhere to go, and you took away my only friend with a free-from-parents flat, what do I have to do?!" yeah, this dude wasn't going anywhere.
"Jesus, Liska, just fuck off already?" Kai punched him off the couch.
"Okay, okay, but not because of you, but cause she asked me nicely!" the door shut closed.

And that's when he thought his best friend was okay with her.

"I've got something for you" Alice just came back from a party at her friend's house. Kai played his bass not really paying attention to her, until she put little plastic bag with pills in front of him. He immediately stopped playing and asked her as calmly as he could: "What is this?"
"A friend of mine gave me these. I took one last night, god, that was amazing! You definitely have to try it too!" she smiled widely. Kai couldn't believe his ears, so he just kept staring in her, trying to understand what she had just said.
"What? It's so much better than alcohol! Come on, it'll be fun!"
"I drink, because it helps me to fall asleep sometimes, and not because it's fun when everything is fucking spinning around. You won't take any of these, you hear me?" Kai took the plastic bag with strong intention to throw it away, but Alice stopped him.
"You can't tell me what to do" she simply pulled out pills out of his hand. In a second a few of them was in her mouth.
"Sure." His answer was simple.

And that's how he lost her.
soo... i thought i'd make some kind of a short summary of that month with Alice (: longest relationships Kai's ever had, WHOOO xD

Kai and Alice belongs to me
Aeric belongs to =firstfruits
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Annabeth usually found herself slightly mesmorized by him when he was fighting. Particularly when he was fighting shirtless.

  Percy stood barefoot in the middle of the arena, because he said it was easier to fight without shoes. Wider range of motion, or something like that. He kicked and flipped and punched the straw dummies set up around him, moving “the way some people play chess: like he was putting all the moves together and you couldn’t see the pattern until he made the last move and won.” At least, that’s how Percy had said it. He’d learned it from studying Quitus years ago.

  Within seconds, three of the dummies were lying on the red dirt floor of the arena, straw strewn everywhere. Percy backflipped effortlessly—round, taut muscle rolling under tan skin. He ducked to avoid an imaginary blow, and knocked out two more dummies with a sweep of his leg. Several punches, fast as lightning, left the last two dismembered, and Percy stood alone in the arena, sweat glinting on his skin.

  “Not bad, Jackson.” Annabeth walked down the stone steps toward him, smiling to herself at what she had in mind.

  He glanced up at her and grinned like he’d known she was there. He probably hadn’t, but sometimes Annabeth couldn’t be sure. His green eyes glimmered through his mess of black hair. “I’ve done better.”

  Annabeth rolled her eyes as she came to the edge of the arena. The air smelled musty, damp, and earthy from the dry floor and cold stone walls. She shuddered briefly at the sent, remembering last summer when they had only narrowly defeated Gaea; she quickly pushed the memory away and turned up the arrogance. “Please. Modesty has never come naturally to you, so don’t even try.”

  Percy smirked and closed the distance between them, running a towel across the back of his neck. He took in her appearance with a  quick and quite noticeably hungry glance: sports bra, sneakers, and tight, very short shorts. “Looks like you came dressed for a workout.”

  “I most certainly did.” She stretched her back leisurely. “How ‘bout a little one-on-one? We don’t get nearly enough alone time.”

  “And sparring is such a romantic way to spend our time alone.”

  Annabeth laughed easily. “You game or not, Jackson?”

  He threw his towel to the bench and returned to the center of the arena. “Of course I’m game. But are you sure you wanna do this? I’m on a roll today.”

  Annabeth flipped flawlessly three times until she stood directly in front of him. “Oh, I’m sure.”

  With a laugh, he kicked out at her with his foot and they settled into a rhythm. Annabeth knew most people watching wouldn’t have been able to keep up with each move, but she was able to separate every one in her mind: what was coming next according to what muscles of Percy’s were tensing and which moved he used last, all of this being assessed by her mind in a millisecond. They fought at an exhilarating, lightning-quick pace, skin connecting in a fast rush of heat and bruising force. They danced around one another, flipping, spinning, kicking, jabbing, laughing, each trying to get in a lucky shot.

  As per the norm, Annabeth got him down first. A kick to his chest—not hard enough that she’d crack a rib, but hard enough to take him down—sent him sprawling on the dirt floor. He quickly turned it into a backward roll and came up on his knees, but Annabeth was already flying at him in a tackle, catching him by the shoulders and ending up on top of him, one arm across his neck, legs straddling his waist.

  Percy’s chest heaved as he tried to catch his breath, but he was grinning. “Can I just say that you’re never hotter than when you’ve beaten me in a fight?”

  She flipped blond curls off of her sweaty face with a flick of her head. “Flattery isn’t going to get you anywhere, but I appreciate the compliment.” She smirked.

  “Good to know, but—“ in a flash, he’d rolled over, using all of his strength and weight against her until he was on top of her, “the fight isn’t quite over, Wise Girl. I win.”

  She sighed and narrowed her eyes, not quite given up. “Fine. I concede.” She may or may not have arched her chest toward him seductively… but it served her purpose. He was distracted enough that she managed to throw him off of her. She twisted around and locked her legs around him from behind, securing his arms behind his back and out of his use.

  He grunted in defeat, his exhalation causing a tiny cloud of red dirt to skitter across the floor in front of his face. “Ow,” he muttered.

  Annabeth leaned forward toward his ear, close enough that her loose hair dripped over her shoulder and landed on his bare back. “I win again, Seaweed Brain.” She vaulted off of him with a triumphant backflip.

  He stood, grimacing—in shame, she imagined—and rotated his shoulder. “I think you pulled something wrong when you had my arms behind my back.”

  “Oh, stop being such a baby.”

  But of course, as soon as she said that, he ran with it. “Oh!” he cried, falling to his knees. “Oh, it hurts! Oh, man, I’ll never be able to use this arm again. Oh… oh, the pain!”

  Annabeth collapsed into laughter. “All right, Percy, all right! I’ll fix it, okay? A nice shoulder massage after a long workout. How does that sound?”

  He grinned. “Sounds great.”

  “But take a shower first.” She kissed him. “You smell sweaty.”

*

  After they’d both showered, they ended up in Cabin 3 in a position they’d been in back in the arena: Percy flat on his stomach, Annabeth sitting comfortably on his back. The only difference this time was that they were on his bed rather than a dirty floor. A vast improvement.

  Annabeth dug her thumbs into the thick muscles of his shoulders, looking for knots.

  Percy groaned in complaint. “Owwwwwww. That hurts.”

  “Has to get worse before it gets better.” She had to admit, she was enjoying his discomfort just a little. After all, he had thrown her pretty hard when he tackled her back in the ring.

  “Owwwwwwwww,” he cried again, his voice somewhat muffled by the pillow.

  She laughed as she dug her fingers in a bit harder, having finally located the source of the problem. With several shouted complaints on Percy’s part, she managed to rub out the knot and he sighed with relief.

  “So much better,” he muttered, talking more to the pillow than Annabeth. “You’re really good with those hands.”

  She continued rubbing his back, more for her benefit than his. She enjoyed feeling every ridge, every ripple of muscle under his skin. But he rolled over so he could see her better, and she had to sit up a bit. Her heart beat a bit faster as she watched his sculpted chest rise and fall with each relaxed breath.

  He ran his rough hands up and down her arms, studying her with his intense green eyes. “You’re pretty incredible, Annabeth.”

  She blushed in spite of herself.

  He laughed suddenly. “It’s almost too good to be true.”

  “What is?”

  “We have the rest of our lives together. No more wars—hopefully. No major attacks. Just you and me.”

  Annabeth raised an eyebrow. “The rest of our lives? That sounds pretty serious.”

  Percy swallowed hard, suddenly looking nervous. “Well… we have been together a while. And I… I’m so sure that there’s no one else I’d rather be with.”

  Her heart was officially racing out of control now. “W-what are you saying?”

  Percy reached over to the drawer of his nightstand and pulled a shining… ring.

  Oh, gods. Annabeth wasn’t sure she was ready for this, but he was holding it up in front of her…

  “I’m sure,” he stated, more calm and confident than she’d ever heard him before. “Are you?”

  All she could do was nod. She was shaking like a leaf. He slipped the ring on her finger and she felt the press of cool metal sliding on her skin. It fit perfectly, and was made of thin bands of platinum, woven into a sort of loose braid. A round diamond sat on the top, glimmering with its own light, encircled by the tiniest, most perfect pearls Annabeth had ever seen.

  “Leo helped me make it.” He’d sat up so Annabeth was straddling his lap instead of his waist. He was grinning like an idiot. “Hazel found the gems.”

  “It’s… beautiful.” She could barely hear her own voice.

  “You’re beautiful.”

  With a gleeful laugh that made her sound like a five-year-old, she threw her arms around her stupid, perfect, sappy boyfriend—fiancé, now—and they collapsed back on the bed. She kissed every inch of his face to the music of his laughter. “I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you!”

  The rolled over on the bed, kissing and laughing and admiring the ring. They had perfect liberty to do things like, oh, spend the night in the same cabin. Since Tartarus and the war with Gaea, no one able to console either of them after a nightmare, they’d taken to sleeping in the same bed. And besides… Chiron had… fulfilled his purpose as a trainer of heroes. He’d faded and left the camp to Percy and Annabeth, and as much as it broke her heart and she wanted nothing more than to honor his memory, she just couldn’t think of Chiron’s death right now.

  Sometime after two in the morning, they relaxed under the covers and held each other. Suddenly, Percy became serious. He held up Annabeth’s hand, now adorned with a silver ring.

  “This is my promise that I’ll never leave you. I’ll always be here when you wake up screaming or can’t get through the day, or get sick or hurt or so mad at me that you can’t even breathe.” He laughed nervously, his old self returning. “I will never leave you. My—“

  Annabeth furrowed her eyebrows. “My what?”

  Even in the darkness she could tell that Percy was blushing to the roots of his hair. “Nothing.”

  “My what?” she teased, poking his chest. Then realization dawned on her. Her jaw dropped in surprise and amusement. “You were going to say ‘my love’!”

  “What? No, I uh…”

  “You Romeo, you! My love. You’re a sappy romantic!”

  “I most certainly am not.” He noticeably deepened his voice. “I’m a real man,” he said sarcastically.

  “Uh-huh. Anything you say, real man.

  She buried her head in his chest, every positive emotion within her bubbling up in the form of laughter. She’d never been so happy in all her life.

  As she drifted off to sleep, safe in his arms, one thought—though she wasn’t sure why it was that thought—drifted through her mind. I’ll always be here when you wake up screaming….

  And that’s exactly what happened. Thin, hopeful rays of sunlight reached through the cabin windows and pulled Annabeth from an awful dream. She dreamt she’d lost Percy, that he’d fallen to Tartarus alone. Together, they had barely been able to survive, but… she couldn’t bare the thought of him down there alone.

  The first thing she noticed was how her screams died down into a thick silence. He wasn’t there. The cabin was perfectly still. The bed was warm next to her, so Percy had been there, at least. For a terrifying moment, she’d thought her dream was real, or she’d been plunged back into one of the darkest times of her life: when Percy was missing.

  So she checked the bathroom. Dark and empty. No problem. Don’t panic. He often went for morning walks when he couldn’t sleep. She dressed and started wandering the camp just as everyone was beginning to wake up.

  But she checked everywhere. He hadn’t even left a note. He’d simply… vanished.

  And broken his promise in the process.
I feel like the pacing isn't up to my usual standard... Thoughts?

Again, still loosely based on a drawing by :iconviria13: Characters are not mine. 
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Piper chased that little two year-old everywhere. Sure the Roman apartment was small, but that didn’t stop him. She put on a smile and tackle-hugged her son as she caught up with him. The toddler let out a scream of delight and fidgeted in his mother’s arms while she played into it and made them both laugh even harder.
“Are you ever going to stop running away?” she asked him.
In response he kicked a little more, but then settled down. Piper ran her fingers through her son’s muddy, brown hair and ruffled it up like she was praising a good dog. She carried the half-dressed toddler back to his room and finally finished putting his pants on. After that she let him run around like crazy, as long as he didn’t break anything. He was such a hand full, but she loved him. As she left the room and wandered down the hall, she could hear his little footsteps storm through the hallways burning off all of his morning energy. In her stroll, she discovered where her husband had been hiding; actually, he’d been there all morning.
“Hey, Jason.” She said, poking her head through the door.
The blond looked up from his computer for about two seconds probably just to make sure it was Piper in the doorway and not some stranger, then muttered, “Hey, babe.”
Piper smiled and rolled her eyes. These days it seemed like Jason was glued to that screen. In the back of her mind she knew he was only on it in his free time, but always having to drag him off of it seemed to amplify it. She walked into the room, draped her arms over him, and talked right into his ear.
“Whatcha working on?” she muttered back.
“Just that stuff from Annabeth.” He responded distractedly.
Piper was staring at the screen, but all she saw were a bunch of lines, letters in weird combinations, and something that might have resembled a building. “Why does she keep sending you stuff?”
He chuckled at himself, clicked a few buttons, and sat back in his seat. “I don’t know, I ask for it. It’s kinda like a puzzle.”
“But you don’t get paid for it.”
He shrugged. “She does.”
She gave him another sigh and kissed the side of his nose. It seemed like he was done with the project for now, so why not take advantage of it?
“Do you even really talk to them anymore?” she asked as she untangled herself.
“Sometimes… if I’m really stuck. Then we work on it together and figure it out that way. Annabeth’s crazy good at this stuff, I don’t even know why she needs me.”
“I think you need her,” Piper added as she leaned up against the computer desk. “She’s just keepin’ you smart, which is nice on her part.”
Jason smirked and replied, “Yeah maybe, but other than that I don’t keep in touch with anyone other than occasionally Percy.”
She took a moment to think about it. It seemed like ever since they all went their separate ways, no one bothered to hang out anymore. The only thing that brought the seven of them back together again was the tragedy over Percy and Annabeth’s daughter, and that was not the time to chat about the weekends.
“Don’t you think we should do a campfire again?” she wondered aloud to her husband.
He took in the idea, but didn’t really seem to know where to go with it. “Like here?”
“Yeah,” she said as she started putting it together in her mind, “I mean we used to do it at Camp Half-Blood, but I don’t see why we couldn’t pull it off here. It’ll be just like old times.”
Jason raised an eyebrow at her like she was crazy. “Where would we even be able to put a camp fire here?”
A smile propagated across Piper’s face as she pretty much already had an answer for this. “I’m thinking Fields of Mars.”
In agreement he nodded and smiled back. Piper thought this was a great idea, and the only hard thing to pull off was contacting everyone and finding a weekend when everyone was available. In that moment their little toddler came running into the room. It was nonstop with that guy, and Jason knew that. He bent over in his chair and scooped up the runner, stopping him from tearing up the whole room.
“Whoa, where do you think you’re goin’ little man?” he asked his son.
Piper smiled as she watched the two blue-eyed Graces look at each other without saying a word. Eventually, though, the toddler did speak up.
“Idunno, daddy.” He said in a slur of two year-old words.
Piper couldn’t help but laugh; it seemed like those two made everything funny. Jason made a face that was somewhere between confusion and a playful smirk, which made their son nervous.
“You were just running wherever the floor took you, hu?”
“Yeah.” He muttered, but then started fidgeting to get out of the situation.
Piper sighed and picked her son off of her husband’s lap. He wasn’t too happy about that either, but he would be free soon. She held him with one arm and turned back to Jason.
“I’ll feed Emmitt breakfast, while you finish that thingy, kay?”
Jason nodded as he scooted into his desk and almost immediately went back to problem solving, but paused just long enough to think about what would happen after breakfast.
“You wanna do that campfire next weekend?” he asked.
Piper shrugged, “If it works for everyone else. And if you can get in touch with Annabeth and Percy then I can call Hazel, Leo, and Nico. Do you think his girlfriend’ll wanna come?”
“Isn’t she mortal?”
Again, Piper shrugged. It had been forever since she talked to anyone; it was definitely time to call everyone together again. “I guess we’ll find out.”
Jason stood up and weaved his fingers through his wife’s choppy hair. He leaned in and kissed her before he would have to go back to his work, talk to Annabeth about the weekend, then head down to the arena to work on fighting skills with the young, Roman soldiers. They parted lips and he tickled his son’s chest.
“See ya later, bud.” He said.
Piper smiled. She couldn’t stop thinking about what the next weekend would be like. She couldn’t stop thinking about how awesome it would be to get the group back together. And then she started to think about how lame and desperate she seemed… but whatever, she had friends and she wanted to see them, that’s not wrong.
Alright, back in business! I guess this is just a bunch of one shots that I've put together into some sort of story. hope it's enjoyable and sorry for deciding to take the whole summer off... I just got really lazy.
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Chapter 20 – Scorpius

"Oh my God, his arm. Oh Merlin, his arm!"
"His arm? Look at all of 'im! He's like a stick figure drawn by a toddler!"
"Move! Move! Move! Do you really think he's comfortable with all of you just inches from him?!" Madam Pumphrey.
"Er, that means we win, right?" Scamander. Didn't matter which one.
"Lorcan! What the hell?!" Albus. And the prior was Lorcan, now.
"What?! It's something I'm curious about!" Damn you, Lorcan.
"Okay! All of you! Out, out, out!" I could hear forced shuffling of feet. Madam Pumphrey was such a hard ass, and yet she was the medic here. I would've shrugged if I could. She's the only one capable of doing what she does.
"Wha—Wait, Madam Pumphrey! Can't I--?!"
"No! All of you, out!" Before I heard the door slam, she muttered something, and a pair of feet walked back onto the tile of the room. A chair screeched a bit as the person scooted it closer to me.
"Hey…Hey, Scorpius. You awake?" Albus asked. I was a little, but I seriously didn't want to move at all. Everything hurt.
"Well," he continued, "If you are, it'd be nice if you could tell me what happened up there. We tried to get Lysander to talk, but he wouldn't. He looks terrified, and everything's gone all awry. I don't know what's going on but it feels…kinda scary. Is that weird? Damn it, I'm talking to my unconscious friend." He chuckled. I blacked out before he finished, unless he was finished when I blacked out. I wasn't sure.


I groaned. Everything started hurting again, including parts below my waist. This is awful. Kill me now, God.
"Scorpius?" I heard. Rose. I was joking, God.
"Mmm!" I grunted. I didn't care if I could've talked or not, I wasn't going to tell her what hurt where. She giggled.
"I'm sorry. That's not funny," she said, stifling her giggle.
I smiled, though my skin felt like it was being stretched across two razor blades.
"Oh, that looks painful." She stroked my face, tracing her finger along a gash I could feel that ran down the side of my face.
"Hmm" was all I could say. She smiled again.
"Either you can't talk or you're just teasing me," she said. I tried shrugging, but a shot of pain went through my left shoulder, and I winced. She sucked in a little breath and lightly touched my shoulder. I felt like a child who fell off the swing set and cried just to get the love and attention from my mother or something. It was humiliating, but at least it was just me and Rose alone.
"Say something," she half-demanded, "Say something…say…something." She smiled more each time she said it.
"Mwhy?" I mumbled. She giggled.
"Because you sound ridiculous." She grinned playfully.
"I know." The more I talked the better I sounded, so I played along. She sighed.
"I just…well, everyone's a little worried, and it's too stressful to find the answer out there, so I came to you," she said, eyes down, "Albus told me you couldn't really talk when he saw you, so I wanted to try. And if you heard him at one point, you'll understand when I say that I feel the same way…So, what—" The door was loudly thrown open, and just about the whole staff marched in, along with a few parents, including Rose's and her uncle. Professor McGonagall saw me first and led the march to my bed. All of them crowded around my feet and shins. Everything tensed up too quickly.
"Scorpius, what happened? Did someone push you? Was someone else there?" someone in the back of the crowd rambled on with the questions.
"Quit babbling, Sinistra!" McGonagall shouted. "Now, Scorpius, just tell us what you saw." She nodded at me to start.
"Er…well, I went after it into the clouds—" I started.
"Went after what?"
"The Snitch, Sinistra! Now please!" McGonagall nodded at me again.
"Well, I think Lysander followed me up there, because I saw him a little while later. We both saw the storm coming, but it was the Snitch that was important…" I was trying to remember what made everything change.
"And?"
"Dad! He hit his head from 30 meters up! Do you think you'd have a crystal clear memory from that?" Rose glared at Mr. Weasley.
"It's okay, Rose," I said, sitting up a little more, "…Then lightning flashed, but it wasn't regular lightning. It seemed like it was a different color. It was strange. I couldn't see Lysander anymore, so I assumed he flew off away from it, which was also strange since the Snitch went straight into the storm, and of course I followed it…and then everything seemed to get darker, and the temperature felt like it dropped at least 20 degrees. And the—aagh!" The pain surged through me again, but this time it was through my whole side. I moved as an instinct, but it worsened. I touched my side gingerly. It had started to bleed again.
"And the Snitch disappeared." I tried to get full sentences out of my mouth before wincing. "And then I saw Lysander on my right. And…we both saw the storm escalate. And then these…these dark forms started going through the clouds. Then they sort of circled around us, and I think they were…laughing. But I'm not sure if that's entirely sane, because some kind of spell or something knocked me off my broom, and I saw everything falling up past me. Then it all went black, and…" I trailed off. There was nothing else to say, although I could've said something to get Madam Pumphrey back; the bleeding was starting to ruin my bandage.
No one replied to my recall. I looked up at them, and they all wore the same face of dread. Lovely. Even Rose had concern written on her face. I hoped they understood that I was saying "What?" with my expression.
"Scorpius," Rose said, putting her hand over mine on the bed, "those forms…they were Death Eaters."
"What?" Suddenly it was just me and Rose in the room.
"Don't you remember? When Death Eaters Apparate but don't have an exact destination, they travel through the air in clouds of black smoke. Members of the Order turn into white smoke. Professor Lupin taught us that last Thursday, even though it was on our Charms O.W.L." She gave me an I-can't-believe-you're-so-silly look.
"I wasn't really listening. You weren't wearing stockings that day." Her face turned red and she looked at her lap.
"I couldn't find any that day," she muttered, embarrassed. Someone ahemed in the background, and we weren't alone anymore. Damn me and my subconscious wanting to be alone with her.
Everyone stayed in a hushed silence, waiting for someone else to speak.
"So…what happens now?" I asked.
"Well…" Professor McGonagall started, but her eyes went distant in contemplation.
"Well, we have to do something. Strengthen the barriers somehow," Mr. Potter said, deep in thought as well.
"We have to restore the Order," Rose said, "Bring in more recruits somehow." She looked at me, and we both made the understanding that we—including Albus—should join.
"No, Rosie. We have enough members already," Mr. Weasley finalized, shaking his head at our desire to join.
"Well, you need somebody," Rose retorted, "Why not us? We're old enough, and we know spells beyond our year. You know that of all people, Dad."
"Yes, you're brilliant, sweetheart, but it's not as easy as it looks."
"I never said it was easy. I said we were capable of being a part of it. We're not kids, Dad."
"Yes, you are. When you're seventeen, you can join the Order and decide who's allowed in at a certain age, but not now."
"Why not?"
"Because you can't, Rose, and that's it."
"That's ridiculous--!"
"Stop it! Both of you!" McGonagall put her hands up to make sort of "Halt!" signs. "I'm sorry, Miss Weasley, but your father is right, but you can do this for us: Keep it to yourselves."
"But what about—" I started.
"You can tell Albus, but the three of you are the only three students who should and will know. We cannot have parents getting scared and taking them out of Hogwarts again, probably the safest place they can be right now."
20 Chapters, how exciting! :squee:

Yes, Scorpius is better, but it's gonna take time. Ugh. He's all bent up ;)
Anyways, the woman called "Sinistra" in this chapter is Aurora Sinistra, the Astronomy professor for Harry and their generation, but I assume she'd keep her position. And I'd also assume she wasn't the most knowledgable of Quidditch and things that go on there, even if she came to watch a game :D. Also, anyone else get a sense of deja-vu? Because I remember a certain Chosen One who wasn't allowed in the Order when he was in his fifth year because "He's just a boy!" (Mrs. Weasley :love:).
Aaaaaand I used a trio picture because I'm finally bringing in the fact that they are the next golden trio, and that they're in it together and all that cool cliche stuff :w00t!:

picture [link] by *Peibee-an-Jay. She's incredible, you should really check her out :D

Prologue-- [link]
Ch. 19-- [link]
Ch. 21-- [link]

P.S. Scorpius is so funny when he thinks of Rose :XD: I love writing him like that:giggle:
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thigh highs ; © chinaaru

- - -




Your fingers dragged across your messy [h/c] while you continued to rummage through you school bag with your free hand in search of your phone. Hiking off through the destitute hallways, you scanned through the device to find one unread message from your energetic boyfriend.


From: Bokuto ❤
To: [Name] (´▽`ʃƪ)♡

[namee]! did your meeting finish early after all?


Munching on a granola bar you had found in your bag, you quickly tapped onto your device - pushing on the school doors with one of your shoulders to make your way outside.


From: [Name] (´▽`ʃƪ)♡
To: Bokuto ❤

yeah, im on my way to the gym already.


A small yawn escaped your lips –causing you to blink from the small tears that stained to corner of your eyes - before a ring from your phone informed you of Bokuto’s reply.


From: Bokuto ❤
To: [Name] (´▽`ʃƪ)♡

awesome! can’t wait for you to see all my awesome moves & to get some sweet kisses from my adorable boyfriend each time i score a point! ok, i need to go already cause the team is waiting for me already. see you here!! ilysm~ ( ˘ ³˘)❤


A smile settled onto your lips as you put your phone away and advanced towards the gym. Once there, you opened the doors and were greeted with a few hellos from the rest of the volleyball teammates who were doing some stretches. Your [e/c] orbs traveled over to your owl boyfriend who spiked the ball furiously onto the other side of the court. He landed on his feet with a triumphant smile. As soon as his eyes met yours, Bokuto was quick to embrace you in his arms & shower your lips with soft kisses.

“[Name]! Did you see that?! I was so cool just now wasn’t I?”

“Bokuto you’re all sweaty, but yes- I’ll admit that was pretty impressive.”

Bokuto grinned before Akaashi made his way over to you with a greeting.

“Hello [Name], how was your meeting?”

“Ehh, it was ok. The president needed to leave early so here I am.” You smiled at him while rubbing the back of your neck. A small chatter was shared between the 3 of you before the setter parted his ways back over to the court.

“[Name]! There’s like forty minutes left for practice to be over, so we could go somewhere after this kay?”

You shrugged your shoulders as the captain planted another kiss onto your lips and headed back to the court. You sat against the wall, a book in hand; interrupted several times by Bokuto jogging his over to you to claim his kiss of a reward each time he made a point.

After a couple of minutes of your eyes scanning through the book –not really paying much attention to whatever content lay inside- you yawned again and decided to take focus onto the Fukurodani volleyball practice.

You’ve only ever been to their practice about 2 times – not counting today. Usually you would be busy with different club activities, community service work, & meetings for the student council, so around the time you finished was the time the volleyball team ended their training. Bokuto had asked countless times if you wanted to join the team, but after many balls to the face you had to politely decline.

Sports were never something that caught your interest anyway.

[E/c] orbs traveled to the captain well toned body and stayed there. Eyeing him up, you then noticed the little patch up skin the was revealed each time Bokuto was ready to receive. A scarlet hue dusted your cheeks.


Bokuto’s knee pads are kinda like how when girls where those thigh high socks. Just a little bit of skin shows up top

..Fuck



Desperately trying to keep a stoic face, you couldn’t help but let a rosy hue that traveled along your cheeks darken.  With a bead of sweat dripping down the side of your face, you let your eyes wander once again onto your boyfriend.


not now [Name], keep cool.


Now wouldn’t be a correct time to pop a boner right so with the oh so little restraint you had left, you looked away nervously and let your mind drift onto something else. Through the corner of your vision you saw Bokuto make his way over to show. He crouched down eye level – the little bit of skin catching your eye, causing your heart to skip a beat.

“[Name], you could wait outside if you want. All I need to do is take a quick shower and change, k?”

Before he was able to stand up again, your hand latched onto his wrist.

“W-wait. Is there any way for you to possibly keep the knee pads on?”

..

..

“What.”
they probably fucked afterwards.

idk about you, but thigh highs are my WEAKNESS. lol which is why i love bokuto's knee pads. i based this off of this comic. also, the lack of bokuto fanfics upsets me dearly.
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“Reasons we love H O M E S T U C K.”

[Free-style poem]

Why do this love this web comic, you ask?

Maybe it’s just the way the fandom rolls,
or how mean Andrew Hussie trolls.

It could possibly be Eridan’s accent (WWyeh?)
or even Feferi’s keyboard trident. (---E)

Some people say it’s Equius’ broken bows and arrows, ( D →)
but what about Nepeta’s meows and roleplays? (:33 <)

We really do love Sollux’s lisp,
and also when Karkat’s pissed. (FUCKASS!)

Including Kanaya's fabulous lipstick,
it's also Rose's amazing magic.

How about when Dave starts rapping
and Jade Harley begins napping?

We love Vriska’s eight-pupiled eye,
and how John is such an adorable guy.

Or maybe it’s with all the sprites
or how prospit glows bright.

Can’t forget about Derse’s darkness
or Gamzee and all his soberness. (WHOOPS.)

There’s also this thing with Tav and stairs
which he tends to fall down ‘cause he’s impaired.

Maybe it’s Aradia’s thing for death
and how Terezi licks the text.

It’s all beautiful and a little insane,
but you have so much to gain.

Join the fandom, you won’t regret,
For this fandom’s the best one yet.

YES, CHEESY AS A CHEESEBALL GUYS.

I'M PROUD OF IT THOUGH, SO YAY!

SORRY IF SOME STUFF DOESN'T SEEM CANON, I TRIED.

I TRIED.

I'll be posting some more Homestuck X Reader stuff sometime soon.

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"What about now?" Liz says in a almost indiscernible whisper, the softness ruined when she begins to giggle soon after. She had never quite understood the expression 'laughter bubbling up', but lately she felt full and happy, and she was laughing before she really knew what she was doing. Rich grins back at her, his softly glowing green eyes moving fondly across her face.

"Still yes." He murmurs into her ear, his smile tickling her skin as he places a kiss underneath.

"And now?" Her voice is softer still, barely audible to her own ears.

"Yes." His lips brush up and down her neck almost curiously. "Though it behooves me to tell you, Elizabeth, that in such close proximity to you this is hardly a legitimate experiment, nor will the results be satisfactory."

"Hey, buddy, that's not pillow talk."

"The meaning of that phrase eludes me." He says, his arm shifting around her waist with purpose and pulling her close on the sheets.

"You can't use that excuse every time. You knew what 'friends with benefits' meant, I'm not buying that you don't know what 'pillow talk' is." Liz returns, grinning and squirming a little as he begins to laugh against her neck. His laugh is still strange to her; when she had first heard it, she had started laughing almost immediately after, delighted at such a strange sound. It was always a little too loud and boisterous, a little too high pitched, as though he couldn't control his enjoyment; as though it burst out of him. Liz loves it. She has heard far too many fake, soft laughs to be bothered by his complete honesty.

"Mmm, that was, my dear, a complete coincidence."

"My dear?" Liz asks, slightly entranced at the before unheard endearment, a small, private smile blooming on her face.

"Do you like it?" Rich flops over onto his back and looks up at her, his arm still wound around her waist, holding her close. Liz nods, and reaches out to run her fingers over the sharp planes of his face. She has known him for months, but this- this is new and fragile, still somewhat unexplored. She wants to know the nuances of his bones, the curve of his cheekbone in her palm. Liz moves her hand up to trace the soft skin of his ear, and gently mouths the words 'What about now?' above him.

Rich looks up at her, brow furrowed. "You didn't say anything that time," he accused.

"Pfft, maybe your hearing's just not as good as you think it-" She breaks off with a laugh and a squeal as Rich tugs her down and flips them over, pressing her into the bed with a happy growl. Liz grins up at him as his growl turns into a laugh, happy and rich and utterly lovely above her.
omg Rich has rich laughter omg im so stupid hahahahahaha

alright, enough silliness.

another in the 100 themes challenge, this time featuring Rich and Liz! THERE IS ALSO IMPLIED FUTURE/PAST SEXY TIMES, CHILDREN. IF THAT DOESN'T FLOAT YOUR BOAT, WALK AWAAAAAAY. Not explicit in the slightest, there's not even any real kissing, but fair warning anyways.

okay, so i broke my promise to get this up yesterday, but in my defense, I'm only half an hour late! hope you guys enjoy, this was fun to write.

Rich, Liz @ ~AndThenYou
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Many people can't understand how someone can love someone from the same gender.
Many people can't understand how someone can love a person that is twice as old as themselves.
Many people can't understand how someone can be in love with a person that is twice as young as themselves.
But I did.

I loved him; the at least 30 years old man from the house a few blocks away.
No one knew, no one ever would, not even him. That was at least what I had hoped.
It had started out small with an encounter after throwing up my lunch in front of the apartment complex he was living in.
I've tried to hold it down but I was sweating – it was summer – and tired and as I've tried to force it back down my throat and not letting it out of my mouth by pressing my hand firmly on my mouth, it just broke through my lips and fingers and landed right on the ground in front of me, some of the yellowish vomit landed even on my shoes, even my shirt was a mess.
The reason why I had been throwing up?
I've been sick, no, not the normal kind of sick. The sickness had forced me to stay at home in my bed for more than six months but I hadn't known it back then at the moment.

Apparently he saw me since he grabbed my arm roughly and pulled me to the inner yard, where he dragged me over to a sillcock, turned it on and simply splashed me with the water while he clicked his tongue once to let me know how troublesome and annoying the situation was for him.
After a while I was fully soaked, every single hair and every tiny place on my body was touched by water, even my mouth.
I felt better afterwards.

The black haired man in front of he stared at me with a look that I wasn't able to categorise anywhere.
It was a mix out of disgust and pity, at least it felt this way.

I wasn't able to proceed what was happening, I just stood there as he stared at me with his narrowed, grey eyes and the arms crossed as I gave him a tired and confused look. The feeling of being lost and uncertainty dwelled within my chest as I grabbed a fistful from the fabric of my white shirt where my heart was supposed to beat and trembled slightly.
My eyes went downcast to the wet stone floor with them slowly being filled with tears.
I was unable to cope with this situation. It was too much.

“Oi, brat.”

The sigh of his that escaped his slim lips reached my ears before I felt two muscular arms wrap around my shaking and soak body, pressing me against his own and I smelled the sweat from the summer heat that probably tickled down his sides, down this pale skin of his.

The embrace didn't last long; it was gone as soon as it came upon me.
It felt like it did not really happen as if it was one of those fantasies that you randomly get throughout the day.
But it was enough to calm me down.

For the first time I noticed how small he was.
As he had hugged me his nose had touched my collarbone, the tip – compared to the heat that radiated from his body – was strangely cold.
A nice feeling that I felt through my wet shirt.
My head was dizzy and the sun was still shining merciless upon me. Luckily, it slowly started to set and my mother was probably going to be worried like she always was.

“Oi, are you even listening? Little shit,” the man suddenly ripped the string of thoughts of mine and I looked up, no, tried to look up, I really wanted to, but felt how my knees gave in.
Black fabric hit the ground, a slight jolt ran through my knees up my thighs and as my upper body was about to follow suit and collapse, my right arm was grabbed by its elbow.

“Tch,” I heard him click his tongue again, apparently he did that a lot, “troublesome brat.”

Everything went by in a blur and I somehow ended up on his back, with him giving me a piggy ride, his short, yet somewhat strong and firm arms tightly holding onto my legs while my chest was against his back, which felt very muscular to me.
For a short man he was really well-built.

I remember how he asked me where I lived and had replied my address in a mumble. Seeming to know where my home was, he soon started to walk.

I liked the way his back muscles felt against my chest.
The whole walk was silent and everything went by in a blur.
Soon we had reached my house and he – as softly as he could, which was still a bit rash – placed me down again and by now I felt the slightest bit better.
Placing my hand on the brick wall beside me, I steadied myself and was about to thank the man that helped me but I heard him scoff and say in a demanding voice: “You better repay me.”
And with that he was gone.

After that, my mother made me see a doctor and I was forced to stay at home for six months.
Over the time my mother tried her best to make my long stay at home as pleasant as possible.
My brother and I usually shared a room but Jean was forced to sleep in the living room after my sickness was diagnosed– Icterus they said. Nothing too new, it was a common sickness during the 1960's.
He's been in a sour mood because of that.

It's not like he was a mean brother; I'd be in a pretty pissy mood as well if I was in his place.
I guess.


And so six months passed. They were filled with a lot of sleep and medicament. My mother was often so nice and would manage to push my bed onto the huge balcony we had. I was able to listen to the kids downstairs and since it was a bit chilly during that time – I think it was autumn – I was sweaty or feeling too hot. It was nice, especially during night. Sometimes I would sleep there.

The worst during that time were the dreams that I would have. No, the worst was the morning after when I had to explain why my pants and bed were wet and sticky.
The nurse, that would take care of me during daytime, was always censure me that it wasn't bad but that I would have try to behave because God saw and heard everything.
Luckily, I haven't told her about whom I was dreaming, I wasn't even telling her about what exactly my dreams were about but she was able to imagine, I guess.

I know that I shouldn't dream about stuff like that, I would feel less awkward and confused if it was about a girl. But no, I was dreaming about the short, 30 years old man, who had carried me home.
Not always were the dreams improper like the nurse had told me, often I would just dream that I was entering the apartment complex he lived in, saw the staircase, the handrail, the old mailbox that everyone shared but I never saw him or others that lived there.
The dream would end as soon as I was standing in front of his door, the hand placed on the doorknob and about to turn it but I was never able to.

I couldn't tell anyone. I wouldn't tell anyone.

Thinking about him, my mother had told me reproving, after I had told her how I got back home, that I should repay the man as soon as I felt better.
That was how I got stuck in the relationship back then.

As soon as I was up on my feet again and allowed to take my daily walks, I decided to stop by at the man's apartment with a bouquet in hands. I had no idea what I could give him but showing up empty-handed wouldn't be nice.
At first I was feeling okay but the closer I got to his home, the worse got my nervousness.
I was standing in front of the many bells with names on them.
My problem: I had no idea what the male's name was.
I was thinking about just turning back but I knew, I knew that if I would, I could never forgive myself and my mind would never be able to let the fantasies slip aside.

So I waited and waited while sitting on the front staircase until someone stepped out of the building, having opened the door wide enough for me to quickly slip in. But well, it really barely change anything, I still had no idea where I had to go.
I was about to ask the receptionist, who was already giving me a warning glare, but what?
'Uuh, excuse me? Do you know where the short, black haired guy lives?'
They'd kick me out immediately.

I decided to go a few stairs up to escape the sight of the woman behind the counter. After entering a safe area I sat down on a stair and waited.
Waited, waited and waited.
At least two hours passed and during that time I was at least thinking 50 times about just going home until I heard footsteps coming closer.
My breath hitched and my heart started to pound in my chest.

Do you know this feeling of wanting something so bad that you are scared of it at the same time?
I wanted to see him but at the same time I didn't.
My urge to see him was strong, yet my fear of meeting him was at least as strong as the other.

Then I saw his feet, then his legs and at last his torso and face.
He gave me a blank stare, the lathy eyes landing on the bouquet with an eyebrow raised and I flushed slightly in embarrassment.
I greeted him, he greeted me.

I can't remember how I did it but I started talking about how he had helped and practically saved me six months ago and that that was the reason why I was there.
But before I was able to talk he had invited me in and offered me a cup of tea, something that surprised me.

He didn't look like someone so welcoming.

I gave him the flowers, which he eyed with doubt and I told him flustered that I was at a loss about getting him a thank you gift.
The whole time I wasn't stuttering at all, in fact I even talked more than he did, which surprised me once again greatly.
The feeling of wellness bubbled up in my chest because I was feeling comfortable around the man that had been on my mind since months.

He was eyeing me the whole time with his steal, the cup of the black tea mixed with milk pressed his slim lips as he listened to me talking after he had asked me how I was doing.

The thought about how good looking he was crossed my mind over and over again. I shouldn't be thinking this way, I always thought, he's older than me and probably has a wife.
But his apartment was small, more than enough for one but already too small for two persons.
Maybe he had a girlfriend but they didn't live together?
Possible.
Besides that, his home was pretty neat and clean like he would clean it every day.
I liked it, it suited him.

The time flew by and beside a few shitty brat, shit stain and fucking slut here and there – he really had a foul mouth – it had been nice.
I remember how he had “offered” me to walk me home:
He's stood up and put the cups into the sink of the kitchen, gave me a look and told me with his gruff voice to get dressed after I had told him that I'd need to go home soon.
“You better be happy that I have to go into the same direction,” he told me and I nodded, unsure to reply, and walked into the hallway, he himself still being in the kitchen and getting there quickly dressed and changed from his work attire to more casual clothing.

While I was finished getting dressed, I turned my gaze back to the kitchen's door, which was a creak wide open.
I was able to see him.
How he slid of his previous shirt.
How the muscles of his torso moved with every motion.
How elegant and yet terrifying his every single thing was that he did.

I felt myself growing hot.
My cheeks flushed in a bright red and my shirt was suddenly sitting to tight. I tugged on the collar to loosen it a bit from my warm body.
The short man slid off his trousers and grabbed a more comfy looking on. As he bent down I was able to get a nice view of his butt.
It had a nice shape and I swallowed the amount of saliva in my mouth, the eyes never leaving his rear.

Suddenly his grey gaze met mine.

I shortly froze under his stare, my face heating up more and more before I dashed out of the apartment, down the stairs and quickly out of the building, leaving his door wide open.
I was such a wuss.
Instead of staying there, trying to be mature, what did I do?
Right, I ran away like a child.


One week passed with me trying to forget him and somehow...
Somehow I found myself in front of his apartment again.
This week was filled with thoughts of him, the dreams grew hotter and more unbearable, the morning after still embarrassing and humiliating.

I had to do this.

I waited on the front staircase for over three hours until he was standing right in front of me, his gaze drilled through my body.
Without saying a thing he walked passed me, his head high as ever, opened the front door and stepped in.
Suddenly he halted.
“Oi, brat,” he looked at me over his shoulder, “hurry up and move your ass inside.”
I quickly jumped up onto my feet and stumbled after him.
He led me downstairs to the basement.
What I saw there was a huge amount of strange piled sheets beside a woodstove.

“Help me carry this coke upstairs,” he told me and I nodded eagerly.

Finally I was able to repay him for helping me back then. So he grabbed a few and walked upstairs and I did the same.
After the fourth go my arms grew tired because they looked lighter than they actually were.
With my worn out arms I tried to grab a few plates but managed to knock some over. Black dust filled the basement and I coughed for a good minute before finally being able to breath normally again.
Quickly, I piled them up again and grabbed the once that I have already chosen to be taken with and made my way upstairs.

As I was about to enter his apartment, he hand appeared out of nowhere in front of my face and I heard him click his tongue loudly.
“Tch. You filthy piece of shit. Look at you,” the black haired man eyed me from up and down and gave me a disapproving glare.
“Strip.”
With widened eyes, I stared at him in shock, hoping that he was joking but his eyes left no space for jokes and funny puns.
“W–Why?” I stuttered slightly, my shoulders hunched as he stepped closer, the tips of our noses nearly touching as he answered lowly: “Because you will take a fucking bath and I will clean your fucking clothes, got it?”

I nodded frantically and stripped off my shoes, socks and lastly my pants.
I shivered as the cold air in the hallway brushed my legs.
With jittery fingers, I handed him half of my clothes and he immediately grabbed them and went to inside.
Quietly, I stepped in, the familiar surroundings from last week so washed over me. The clean hallway, living room and kitchen, a little bit further where a few other doors.

He exited one of those, still with my clothes in his arms.

I assumed that that one was the bathroom.
With slow steps, I entered it and saw that the bathtub was already filled with hot water and a bit of foam.
I stripped off the rest of it, folded it and placed it on the sink nearby.
So I went in, first one toe, then a foot and at last my whole body.
A shudder ran down my spine as I slowly dove in so only my eyes and hair were still seen.
The older man came in, grabbed the clothes and exited again.

I was staying there for good ten minutes before my ears caught the sound of the door opening and closing once more.
My eyes pecked from their corner and I saw the man that I hopelessly followed and complied standing with a towel wide open in front of him.
As I was about to say something, he placed it to the side and for the first time I have noticed that he was naked.
Ironically, I froze in the actually hot water and eyed his whole body, once again noticing how handsome he was. My eyes stayed at his semi-hard member and I felt myself growing hard.

I tried my best to hide it but his hand was faster, softly grabbed my member and I gave a tiny moan in surprise.
He slowly climbed into the tub.

“You wanted this, right?” he whispered huskily into my ear, with me still being able to differentiate which warmth was from his breath and the water; his breath was hotter.
“You naughty brat.” His silk tongue traced up and down my ear before finding the pleasure to play with my earlobe, nibbling and sucking on it. Meanwhile I turned into a shaking and moaning mess.

Never have I experienced pleasure like this, this feeling of being so close to somebody.
It was amazing, so thrilling.
So stimulating.

Other than I actually thought, the short man placed himself on my lap and slowly slid my member into his back entrance.

And with that we began to love each other.

Every day after school I would visit him, we would love each other mostly with him topping me, with him helping me with my school work and cooking for me.
But I was in one hell of a punishing with dirtying something.
The best was when I myself was dirty in some kind of way, we would take a bath together, not necessarily have sex, just enjoying each other’s presence.

We had told our names only a few weeks later, in his bed, worn out form the previous activities.
I asked him and he told me his name; Levi Ackerman it was.
Then I told him mine and he clicked his tongue with a huff, stroked my cheek with his slightly rough thumb and gave me slightest of smile before pressing a kiss on the tip of my nose before telling me that the name suited a shitty and perverted brat like me.

I loved this man.
I adored him.

My adoration grew with everyday bigger and bigger and I knew he was feeling the same way.
The way he looked when he smoked, the way he held me, kissed me, loved and simply the look in his eyes, a look full of affection and love, spoke more than a thousand words ever could.





A never ending adoration.
// Levi Ackermann x Male!Reader // AU |

I. AM.

NUMBER FOUR
//slapped
//shot
//buried


I'm alive, yeeee

With some Levi.
he's overrated but fitted in perfectly into this plot.


based on a novel that i've read a while ago.
'The Reader'

i'm sorry for any mistakes i'm so done with this oneshot rn like shit why are you so long and i need to correct you you piece of filthy shit 


Picture ((not mine)) => zerochan

Plot / Story © Feeniecchi

You © Yourself

Levi Ackerman © Hajime Isayama

Shingeki no Kyojin © Hajime Isayama
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    Looking around the large tunnel she was currently in, she decided against moving him up the stairs and onto above ground. She doubted, if she was found by any guards, that they would believe her tale of how she came to find him. And Nemi didn't fancy being blamed for whatever mess she had stumbled upon, especially with him being who he was- at least high class, but he could even be...
    
    Banishing the thought and considering the boy critically, Nemi reached down and wrapped her arms under his shoulders and attempted to hoist him up, giving a squeak of surprise when she realized that he was heavier than he looked. She adjusted him a bit before spotting something on the ground near him- the piece of parchment the other man had been holding earlier. Setting him back on the ground, she picked it up and unfolded it, eyebrows raising in surprise at the letters scribbled onto it. It was written in a strange, flowing lettering that she was unfamiliar with- Nemi could tell from a glance that it was not written in the common alphabet used by most people of her class. She had never been able to learn the fancier writings of the upper class, nor any other language other than the common one, being too poor to learn and never having any real desire to, either. Nemi studied it for a few more minutes, the only thing she could read being the signature at the end of the page- a blocky "Kaleb" written there- before shrugging and tucking it into her belt- she could give it to this teenage boy, whenever he woke up. As long as it wasn't a map, she had no problem with it.
    
     Sighing a little at the task ahead of her, she bent down and grabbed him again, maneuvering his body until she had her arms wrapped around his middle. Nemi started to slowly drag him back into the tunnels, knowing that as long as she got him far enough away from the staircase, they would most likely be undisturbed. Once he woke up, she could lead him back and then ditch him. Possibly with a reward at the end, which cheered her up quite a bit. The package on her back had been momentarily forgotten in the urgency of the moment, and, upon remembering, she stopped in her tracks. Looking down at the man in her arms, Nemi groaned and continued to drag him away from the entrance. She would tell her mentor that she had gotten lost, and face the consequences of that particular lie when it came. Once the man had woken up and gotten sorted out or whatever came next, she would deliver the package and go back late. If this unconscious teen was who she thought he was, then she was not going to leave him in the sewers, and taking him to the guards would get her arrested. She would just wait- she had time.
    
     However, after a few minutes of dragging him and getting, well, not far at all, Nemi came to see the flaw in her plan. Huffing irritably and blowing a long strand of curly brown hair out of her eyes, she let the boy fall to the ground and put her hands on her knees to catch her breath. She glared at the prone body slumped next to her, but gathered up her resolve and decided to drag him to the fork in the tunnel, so they would be relatively out of sight. Once Nemi had accomplished this, she again let him fall to the ground, sliding down beside him and turning him over more gently. She patted his face a few times, but received no response.
    
     She knew there were certain smelling salts that her mentor used to wake up someone who was unconscious, but she certainly didn't have any, and she didn't think waiting around until he woke up would be a good idea, especially with the two men still running around in the tunnels somewhere.
    
     He'll forgive me for this later, Nemi thought, scooping up a handful of the dirty water at their feet and letting it splash on his face, giving his cheek a few slaps for good measure. His eyes flew open, and he jerked upward quickly, Nemi scrambling out of the way to avoid knocking her head together with his. His eyes were dazed and confused, but he used the wall behind him to help him scramble to his feet, and swayed unsteadily, looking around the tunnel before meeting her eyes.
    
     "You... who- I don't...?" His voice slurred, and he began to tip forward dangerously. Nemi jumped forward to push him gently against the wall and let him slide back down to sit with his back to the wall. She noticed that his eyes were a dark brown, almost black, color, contrasting sharply with his hair and, by extension, contrasting exactly with what she had expected them to be. Dark eye colors were common among the lower classes, but usually those of the richer classes had lighter eyes- gray or light blue. Her attention was brought back to him when he groaned lightly and touched a hand to his head, where she could see a dark bruise forming.
    
     Nemi winced, knowing that such a bruise was only likely to get worse before better, but she grabbed his hand and tugged on it lightly, directing his wandering eyes back to her. When his eyes started to slide shut almost immediately, she snapped her fingers a couple times in front of his face.
    
     "What's your name?" She tried, not knowing if he was even coherent enough to understand her. "He- hey! Your name?" Nemi added hurriedly when he merely glanced away from her and back down the tunnel.
    
      "It's Loch," He mumbled to her, eyes slipping shut this time, and Nemi was so stunned from that response, despite more or less expecting it at this point that she didn't even attempt to keep him awake. Loch. Loch. Son of Menas. Loch, the unofficial prince of Paleth. If this guy was telling the truth, there were probably dozens of soldiers, if not more, out looking for him, depending on how long he'd been gone. Nemi had suspected, seeing the bracelet and earrings he had been wearing, but she hadn't been sure until he told her, foolishly hoping that they had been stolen, or something of the like.
    
      Only nobility wore gold, and only the ruling family wore the gold twining bracelets on their arms. It was the reason why the ruling family also only wore clothes in which the sleeves ended at the elbows, so everyone would know their class. She had hoped this boy was a cousin, or someone distantly related, but seeing the odd mix of his hair and eyes, she concluded that he certainly fit the descriptions she had heard of him. Staring unseeingly down at him, Nemi was pushed back into reality when noticed his closed eyes.
    
      "Stay awake!" She yelled, shaking him lightly, more scared than she had been before he confirmed his identity.
    
      He groaned again and opened his eyes, "I am. My head's just makin' me a little dizzy."
    
     "Good, then you can tell me how to get you back to your father without getting myself killed." Nemi said.
    
    His reaction next was altogether unexpected. His hands shot up, grabbing onto her wrists, and he stared at her, wide-eyed and panicked.
    
    "My father! He- they, I was knocked out- or, or drugged, I can't remember, but-" He would have continued, but Nemi interrupted him.
    
    "Woah, hang on, your father knocked you out?" She asked incredulously.
    
    "No! The two men who grabbed me, they were saying something about my father, but I couldn't quite hear-" He seemed to abruptly realize who he was talking to, and eyed her suspiciously for a moment. "Who...did you say you were, again?". His fingers inched towards his boot as he spoke, and Nemi didn't doubt that he had a weapon or something of the like hidden in it. She felt a tiny surge of respect for him at seeing this, and she met his eyes as she spoke, trying to reassure Loch silently that he was safe.
    
    "I didn't," she answered, "but the name's Nemi. You kind of owe me big time."
    
    "... Well, it sounds like a fantastic story. Care to enlighten me?" He asked her, a small smile twitching across his lips, which Nemi couldn't help but find odd. Who smiled in a situation like this?
    
    "Do you want the long story or the condensed version?" Nemi asked him, shifting her weight onto her other foot.
    
    "Whichever works best," He said, suddenly tugging her a little weakly down to sit beside him and facing her more directly, "But sit down with me- otherwise that light will be doing murder on my head." And again, that strange smile curved on his lips, relaxing her and unnerving her at the same time. She considered the thought that this whole situation had been easier when he was unconscious.
    
     "Condensed, then. Two men were carrying you through here, following a rope, but I managed to cut the rope and lead them away, at the end of which they abandoned you. Good enough?" She asked him, looking away from his now intent eyes.
    
     "And you do this all the time?" He asked, bemused, "Go around rescuing sons of rulers in distress?"
    
     "Very clever." She deadpanned, "Although 'princes' would have been catchier there. And no one should be using a rope to get around these tunnels. For all I knew, they were soldiers re-mapping."
    
     "Fair enough." He said, his smile growing, "Also, I'm not a prince. The correct term is nobleman. Otherwise people get all tetchy."
    
     "I haven't forgotten the lack of detail on your part, you know," Nemi added, not returning his smile, and disregarding his later comment, "How'd you get down here?"
    
     "Yes, you do catch those little details, don't you?" Loch said, tone still amused, and lips still smiling, but eyes oddly serious. "I don't remember most of it, just leaving the... meet and greet, I suppose you can call  it, that my father was hosting. Nobody would really miss me, and I was feeling dizzy, so..." He trailed off, looking down at his hands.
    
     "And?" She asked, wanting him to continue.
    
     "I don't- someone grabbed me, I think, but I'm not really sure of anything after that." He said, "And I didn't even get a good look at the one who did."
    
     Loch let out a bark of slightly mocking laughter. "Some prince, right?" He said, his lips smiling but his eyes disappointed, with himself it seemed. Nemi found it an odd quirk, the way he contradicted himself, but it fascinated her. She didn't bother telling him that there was nothing he could have done, because, in all probability, there probably had been something. However, she didn't think he needed to hear that at the moment.
    
     "Nothing after that?" She asked him softly, feeling the need to lower her voice, as though the occasion called for it.
    
     "No... nothing." He said. She shifted next to him, turning to face him more fully, and as she did, felt the parchment wedged in her belt rustle and crinkle.
    
     "Oh!" Nemi said, tugging it out of her belt and holding it out to him, "They were holding this, I thought it was a map, but- it has something written on it, but I can't read that type of writing, anyway, so I... um, just- here."
    
     He took it from her, eyes lighting up a little at the sight of it. He unfolded it, almost tenderly, smoothing the parchment with his hand as he read it, brows beginning to furrow.
    
     "What does it say?" She asked, watching his expression and trying to gain something from it.
    
     "Just a second," He murmured, eyes still roving over the last lines on the parchment. "It says... that the, um, "package" should be taken to the docks in the third quadrant, near the pass. A ship called The Lenore."
    
     "Well, they certainly had a bit of a walk ahead of them." Nemi said, "Unless you've got horses, that's a three or four day journey, and that's if you travel at night as well as day."
    
     Loch looked up, surprised. "Why wouldn't you travel at night?" He asked.
    
     "In the third quadrant? Down there it would be suicide." She said, contempt in her voice, "Everyone down there is cowardly or a thief. Usually both."
    
     There was a long silence, Loch studying the paper in front of him intently, his eyes fixed on one part in particular. He eventually let his hands fall into his lap, and he looked over at her, eyes newly resolute.
    
    "Guess I'll have to keep that in mind, then," He said, determination in his voice, and he began to push himself up, swaying a little as he got to his feet but steadying himself almost immediately. He ignored Nemi's horrified expression in favor of looking down at his probably ruined clothes and grimacing.
    
    "Wha- are you crazy?!" Nemi asked, her voice rising, "I didn't cart you around these tunnels so you could go off and get killed! You've got to go back to your father, or everything will, just, will go to shit!"
    
     "I'm not going back before I know who these men are. Until I know more I'll just be a liability, and that's something I refuse to be!" This impassioned speech from him caught her by surprise, the fire in Loch's eyes doubly so.
    
    "You'll be a dead liability if you go traipsing off into the quadrants by yourself." She said, standing up next to him, "You've probably never even been past the seventh quadrant!"
    
    "I've been to plenty of foreign cities- my father made sure of it." Loch said, before admitting, "But, yes, they were to the east, so I've only been in the sixth."
    
    "Unless you're going to go back and get an armed escort, you'll be out of luck," said Nemi, "You'll never make it far."
    
    "I only need a guide." He said, "And only to the docks. I'm not incapable, as much as it may seem to you at this point."
    
    "It's not a question of how capable you are, if you don't know your way around you'll be a complete goner." She said, adding, "Besides, you stick out like a sore thumb with that jewelry and hair, and unless you know who to go to, your secret would be out in a heartbeat, and the ones you're looking for would get away or get you back."
    
    "So show me." He said, his voice suddenly challenging. He stepped close to her and took one of her wrists in his hands, bringing up the parchment and clasping it between their hands. "I need a guide. You obviously know your way around. It all fits, see?"
    
     Nemi stared at him in utter shock. Looking back, she realized she ought to have seen this coming ever since he contrived this harebrained scheme, and she was a little embarrassed to admit that she hadn't. What amazed her more, however, was the immediate trust he put in her. Foolish, she thought in amazement.
    
     "No." Nemi said, schooling her face back into impassivity. Then she decided it needed more effect and settled for glaring at him.
    
     "... You're not even considering it." Loch accused, releasing her wrist and stepping back a few paces.
    
     "I don't need to!" She said, "I didn't save your royal self back there just to watch you throw it away trying to be noble!"
    
     "It's more than that- if my father found out someone had tried to do this without knowing exactly who it was he would go on a rampage, and someone would be offended, o-or someone would get angry, and I doubt Paleth can afford to make any enemies right now." Loch said, his voice angry and imploring at the same time. When he saw her simply shake her head, he let out an exasperated breath, and put a hand to his head, rubbing small circles into the skin there, carefully avoiding the bruise.
    
      A little regretful at being so brusque, and feeling something stir in her at the simple gesture of his, Nemi softened her voice and said gently, "It's not safe even for the most hardened soldiers. I just don't think it would be a good idea for you. There are too many people who would love a chance at the prince."
    
     "I'm not a prince," He mumbled, eyes still shut tight, "Remember? There is no king of Paleth, I thought everyone knew that. Not since the war, anyway."
    
     "Oh, I know," She said, "Unacknowledged prince, then. But you get my point?"
    
     Loch was quiet for a long time, staring at the parchment in his hands, a torn expression on his face. Finally, he reached down and tucked it into his belt, eyes lit up with that same fire that had so shocked Nemi earlier.
    
     "I'm going. But, you're right, it was wrong of me to drag you into it." He said, "I can manage to find a guide on the way there." Nemi, for a moment, was torn between hitting herself in the face, or hitting him in the face. They both sounded appealing.
    
     "Don't be...ugh. Fine!" Nemi burst out, throwing her hands in the air, "I'll take you to the docks. But no further, and I swear, if you decide to pull some other heroic crap that'll get you killed on the way, I will abandon you and let you get yourself killed."
    
     "I'll take that." He said, a wild, relieved grin emerging on his face, "Where to first?"
    
     "Before we go anywhere, ah...you'll need a new identity," She said, appraising him. He raised an eyebrow at her, letting himself lean against the wall behind him. Considering him, she reached down and ripped a strip of cloth out of the jacket she had thrown on. Ignoring his shock, she tugged him down a little so that she could reach his head, and gently wrapped the cloth around his bruise, covering much of his hair while she was at it.
    
      "Aah- ow!" Loch yelped when she tied off the strip of cloth rather roughly, and glared up at her from where he was hunched over.
    
     "Well, that does a little, I suppose, but we'll need to hide your hair color..." Nemi started, "And take off your bracelet and earring, those will give you away in a second."
    
     "I can take my earring out, but not the bracelet," He said, tugging at the earring now, "It's considered an awful crime in my family,  rather like disowning them or being ashamed of your lineage." Nemi looked up at him, surprised.

     "What, you're going to risk our lives for a piece of jewelry?" She asked, irritated. "Just take it off, it's not like you have to mention it to your family."

      Loch's lips thinned into a small line, and he shook his head. Nemi argued persistently against him, but in the end, Loch was adamant, and Nemi conceded, though the tenseness of her shoulders belayed her annoyance. She reached for her jacket, intending to rip off another piece, but Loch stopped her with a touch to her wrist.
    
    "I've got it," He said, grabbing the hem of his shirt, "We don't need you ripping your clothes off here." Nemi almost punched him for that, but held herself back when, as he backed away form her, laughing softly and cheerfully, he stumbled again, and put a hand to his head, his face twisting into a sharp wince.
    
    "Just rip off some cloth," She grumbled, "And we'll get you something for your head from my mentor, he lives close to here."
    
    "Mentor? Oh. Oh. You're a..." He blushed, and seeing her glare, added, "Not that it's a bad thing, being a runner, I was just, um, didn't consider it."
    
    "You left out the "sewer" part. And last time I checked, people like you usually use the term "sewer rat", yeah?" Nemi looked away from him, voice unintentionally bitter, focusing instead on winding the strip of cloth he had torn from his shirt around his arm, over the bracelet.
    
    "People like me? What does that even mean?" Loch asked, eyes narrowing a little.
    
    "Nothing. Forget I mentioned it." She said, "Don't worry, I'm not going to leave you for dead, or sell you off to the highest bidder, or anything like that. Unless you do something stupid and heroic, like I said before, if you'll remember. Then it's highly probable, actually."
    
    "I wasn't thinking that at all." Loch stated, "But thank you for the assurance, I suppose. At least I think it was an assurance. Has anyone told you that you have a nasty knack for being cynical?"
    
    "With you, anyone would be." Nemi grumbled, but then grinned as a thought occurred to her, "Oh, I cannot wait until you meet my mentor."
    
    "You know, from anyone else I would take a smile as a form of reassurance." He said, eying her suspiciously, "With you, it's more a sign of impending doom." He grinned at her when she rolled her eyes, glancing at the now tied cloth over his arm, eyes running over it to check for any hints of gold peeking through. When he saw none, he looked at her and held out his arms, as though asking for approval.
    
    "Dirt." Nemi stated, simply. "You need more dirt."
and here's the first chapter, folks :woohoo:
(if you're confused, the excerpt i put up before this was the prologue :))

edit: I did fix the amount of "she"'s that were in there- thank you all for pointing it out! Looking over it, it did get a bit annoying reading that over and over again, haha

Also, Loch is supposed to seem very naive in this chapter, kind of foolishly trusting, but from the response, I'm guessing I didn't make that clear enough? Tell me what you think :)

sooooo....it's a bit long, but enjoy anyways! feedback/criticism is loved and appreciated, as always :hug:

please be brutally honest with how you think this is going- this is the only long term story i've ever really stuck with, and i'd love to hear all your opinions. :nod:

Loch, Nemi, and co @ ~AndThenYou
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