dazai has tried to kill himself so many times and been so reckless with his life for so long, and yet he still isn't dead.
why? because he's immortal.
i mean. he calls his ability "no longer human"...
dazai has tried to kill himself so many times and been so reckless with his life for so long, and yet he still isn't dead.
why? because he's immortal.
i mean. he calls his ability "no longer human"...
Hi, are you like me? Do you think Baby Boba Fett deserves better? Do you like found families and characters growing as people through shenanigan's and supportive friendships?
I do! And that's why I wrote this fic. I hope you'll enjoy it too!
Summary: Young Boba Fett has been granted early parole. However, he's tossed out into the world with no money, home, or prospects. A chance encounter with two young teens in a diner solves at least one of these problems. What starts out as a temporary roof over his head slowly grows into a home and family he builds for himself, and leads him down a path completely different from the one laid out for him.
Read on AO3
There was a light dusting of snow on the hill when she woke. The moisture clung to her back, soaking through her top layer and making her shiver. She remembered the warm knit shawls, hand warmers, and the fur-lined coat that Mrs. Fitz had supplied for her journey with the rent party and sighed. Even though it had been summer, it was practical for the unpredictable weather of the unforgiving highlands. And now it was winter. What she would give to feel that warmth now.
Midway through her journey, she stopped to have a bite to eat. She savoured the final meal Mrs. Graham had slipped into her bag. Shepherds pie tucked expertly into a small container wrapped in newspaper. Apparently, Roger helped prepare the snickerdoodles with the matron last night, but she wasn’t sure just how much help he really had been. His face was covered in the dough and mysteriously five cookies had disappeared from the tray. She smiled and dug in.
It had taken her all day to reach Inverness on foot, and she was dead on her feet. Night was almost upon the bustling market, and she would have to make some trades quickly. But the first man looked at her distastefully as soon as she opened her mouth. The next reacted similarly and raised the price of a simple apple nearly five hundred times its original price. Such was the price of her existence. But God dammit, she went to war for Scotland, placed bones back into place and sewed up the broken men shot from cannon fire and muskets, risked everything and lost everything, and they still couldn’t move past the nationality she was born into. She tried not to take it too personally, none of them knew who she was, the Stuart Witch, wife of Red Jamie. Many of their families had been killed and starved after Culloden, their culture was subsequently lost, and in walks one Sassenach requesting hospitality from her ‘enemy’. They were allowed to be furious.
She haggled over a meagre piece of bread, meat, and a small room which was more closet than room, until finally the innkeeper accepted her payment of four silver coins. She grabbed a pouch from within her cloak and produced the coins. The innkeeper was shocked at the abundance of wealth inside of it and cursed himself for already sealing the deal. The rest of the more valuable gold, silver, and jewels were safely sewn into the many yards of wool in her skirts and cloak. Mrs. Graham thought it was a brilliant idea to hide such valuables in more than one spot, and the clothes on her back were a good start.
Claire stretched out on the stiff straw mattress and groaned. She paced the short distance of the room and placed the large leather bag onto the sheets. Claire dumped out the letters from the slim wooden box inside the leather bag onto the bed. She smoothed them out before her so she could take in every one. The last brief conversation between her and Frank was him instructing her in how to deliver these properly, without them, she may very well place Lallybroch in danger with her presence alone. He had given her three letters to send through the post. She gasped at the official seal on one of them, intended to mimic the King of France’s impression. It was a perfect counterfeit. She could peek inside one of them, the page was not folded too tightly within itself. She recognised the signature and seal all too well from her days in Paris and on the battlefields of Scotland. “I have discovered a most heinous plot against me. A betrayal by one of my closest advisor’s. Captain Fraser himself…”. The last one was a mystery to her. She didn’t recognise the seal and there was no writing on the outside of the letter. How had Frank managed it all? She wordlessly handed the letters to be sent through the post, afraid her accent would enrage the postman. Perhaps it was better to be mute than English. He assured her with her generous donation to him, the letters would be delivered immediately. He patted them through the fabric of his breast pocket and took off swiftly on his horse.
Claire was impatiently waiting at the stables, hoping to purchase a horse. There were four to select from, but the man in front of her insisted only the geriatric mule was for sale. A balding man flashed a smile to the stablehand and offered a greeting. He passed five pounds Sterling for one of the stronger steeds and left with a cheerful goodbye.
“Come again tomorrow lass, when yer willing tae properly negotiate. I’m sae sorry but these are lean years ye ken.”
Claire knew the price of ten pounds Sterling for the ancient mule was hiked up impossibly high. She briefly thought of pretending to mimic the Scots’ accents, subduing her own but her presence had already been made known in the village. Not much went unnoticed in such a small community, especially a strange Sassenach travelling all by herself whose clothes were slightly off but none could pinpoint the exact reason why.
She was a Sassenach here. Not my Sassenach. It was most certainly not a good thing.
Tongues wagged excitedly to gossip about her in Gàidhlig and none of them made any effort to hide their chatter. And she heard the baker in conversation, crossing himself at the mention of another sweep of smallpox through the village. Claire’s heart stopped. Had it reached Lallybroch? It was the dead of winter of course, the greatest time for such an outbreak.
At night, she bolted the door and added a wooden chair under the handle for extra security. The windows were sealed shut, but she still shivered under the chill of winter. More than one man knocked on her door that night, no doubt one of the ones who had leered at her downstairs in the tavern. She imagined a pair of strong arms holding her close, cursing at the men and enacting vengeance.
The next morning, she returned to the stables again. He had budged to eight pounds Sterling. Still expensive for a creature in such a state, she relented and took the mule off his hands. She was over waiting. She had done months of it. All that mattered was her family, the money was of little consequence.
The mule trotted at a leisurely pace through the hills and valleys of the highlands. She was grateful no more snow had fallen yet to impede her journey. The steady weight of the coins in her pockets and dress clanged against her at each stride of the mule’s legs. There was worse company than a reserved old mule named Clarence. At least she didn't feel the need to fill the silence with her voice.
Claire stood on top of Clarence at the entrance of Lallybroch, unsure if she should take another step through the gate. The dogs yipped at the mule’s feet and startled the poor creature. There was one amongst the bunch of fur that she didn’t recognise: a new puppy. No one was out in the courtyard, bustling around laundry tubs, skinning animals, or just generally causing mischief. She suddenly worried that she hadn’t even travelled to the past at all and her heart raced in her chest. Were they here? Was any of this even real in the first place? Maybe she was still on her cot at the ward. And the worst thought of all, were they dead? Was she too late in trusting her gut instinct?
Her heart calmed at the sight of a brown mop of curls peeking out the sturdy oak door in the front doorway.
Destiny’s Fate is the main story in my ShepShep world.John and Jane Shepard have known one another since they were fifteen years old. Through thick and thin they’ve been friend, lover, and spouse to one another. Destiny has a grand plan for them.
Until Jane dies over Alchera and John finally finds a way to live again. When they meet up again on Horizon, both their worlds are shattered. Harsh words and bitterness ensue, as does a divorce, leaving them on a different sort of battlefield. A personal one.
But Destiny’s grand plan cannot be changed, and as the promised Reaper attack gets underway, they are brought together once more to face the greatest threat all civilization in the galaxy has ever known. Can they set aside their differences enough to partner up and defeat the common enemy? Or will their own personal battles defeat them in the process?
Summary: Once united in all things, Destiny has guided John and Jane Shepard to separate, divergent paths; however, both know the future holds a far greater threat than the rest of the galaxy is willing to acknowledge. Can they join together one last time to complete the mission they started together, or will Fate deal them a final losing hand …
Tags: marriage, divorce, strained relationships, angst, pregnancy (past), loss of pregnancy (past), emotional hurt/comfort, death, descrption of battle, biotics, injury
Chapter: Li'l Sis
Word Count: approximately 3100
Dark and oppressive, the skies above are thick with falling ash to the point of obscuring the path before her. In the distance, the now familiar deep, rattling thrum of a reaper klaxon rolls ever closer, the vibrations moving through the ground and up her legs. There is a certainty to it, as if they know she is here. That sends an altogether different kind of shiver through her.
Jane knows where she is. A part of her stays separate from this reality, recognizing she is in yet another dream. She takes a long look around, searching for the now familiar cherub-like face, but she is nowhere to be found. A wave of anxiety slithers up Jane’s spine, ready and pouncing when she least expects it. An ache fills her chest as she tries to breathe. Where are you? Why am I here again, so soon?
It’s as she turns to her right, spinning around on her heel to search in a different direction, that she catches movement in her peripheral vision. Though somewhat distant, there is a hint of light against dark; the ache eases, allowing Jane a deep breath, relief pouring through her.
There is something about this place; time doesn’t exactly stand still, and yet, nothing is as it should be. Distance is impossible to judge, and it takes forever to make her way across the never-ending expanse. For every three steps forward, she stumbles two more back. Progress comes slowly, but eventually.
Rounding a bend, the child comes into view. At last. Her earlier flutter of anxiety is chased away and a smile takes shape and form. But this time, the faint glint of red-gold hair isn’t alone. Standing beside the girl, a large, broad shouldered, giant of a man stands, as if on guard. There is a hint of familiarity to his form as well, though Jane cannot think why. She skids to a stop about five feet from them when he positions himself between her and the girl. It’s then, as he turns and meets Jane’s gaze, a gentle, warm smile on his face, that familiarity becomes recognition.
Breath hitching roughly in her lungs, Jane’s eyes widen. She reaches instinctively for the pistol at her hip out of training and instinct, pulling it free and taking aim. “Who-who are you?” she demands, barely contained anger pitching her voice down an octave lower than usual. How can this be? You… you’re dead!
Dark curls frame the round face, brown eyes sparkling with a patience and fondness that stir up the depth of Jane’s memories. A small patch of white brightens his face as his smile grows. Jane gulps. “Hey there, Li’l Sis.”...
Read on AO3 // Read from Beginning // Read Destiny’s Fate:Downtime// Read Series
Thank you all for reading and your comments! Feel free to drop an ask if you have questions about ShepShep or just want to talk about them! :)
Also, for those interested, I've recreated my ShepShep Playlist over on Spotify. It includes songs I've listened to at various times throughout the writing of the Destiny series, not just this story.
Read on AO3
Before Claire could journey up to Inverness, she had to settle some matters first in London. The first thing she did was walk up the grand steps of her parents’ bank and walk through the marble columns of the main entrance. A little over two-thirds was left in her account, and she withdrew it all. She walked out, two hundred pounds heavier. The pound notes were neatly stacked into piles of twenty in her suitcase. It was all that remained of her inheritance which had been pretty substantial; the rest had been spent on various celebrations in her life and her travels with her uncle. In total, her trip up to Inverness would be very comfortable, and she would have some to spare for a mockup dress, with guidance of course as Mrs. Graham had assured her.
The first thing she did was purchase a train ticket at King’s Cross Station to Edinburgh for the next day. She was almost giddy when she felt the smooth surface of the ticket and her receipt shoved into her hands.
The pawn shops in London had infinitely more variety than Inverness, she was certain. There was practically one on every corner in London, but only one she could remember in the general area of Inverness. She couldn’t very well bring a banknote with her into the past. But she could find something to trade. No matter what century, gold, silver, and jewellery always held value.
She glanced through the miscellaneous items dotted throughout the store and finally assumed a stance before the jewellery counter. Dainty rings laid within velvet boxes and chains strung across the shelves enclosed in glass carefully haphazard. Her eyes paused on an emerald. Jamie’s birthstone. Next to it was a ruby, much like the ring meant for her baby, set into a gold necklace. She pointed at the different necklaces, bracelets, and rings for the attendant to put aside for her. With one final point, she was ready at the register with her money. At the last minute, she spied a stack of pictures and postcards depicting the world’s modern marvels. An airplane, skyscrapers, tug boats, telephones, even the atom bomb were included in the stack. She added it to her items and smiled up at the cashier. She left, with little less than half of what she had withdrawn that day from her purchases at the train station and the pawnshop. She could always purchase more in Inverness.
Claire hurried over to her next stop; the sun would be sinking soon. Her body stopped before the small metal door. A locker in the storage facility. It contained mementos from her childhood. Pictures of her parents and notes from the various friends she had made across the world with her uncle. It was the only tangible thing that anchored her to one spot. While she constantly left for new places, it had been reassuring to know that the locker would always be there for her to remember. She shuffled through the items and pulled out some of her baby pictures where she screamed with cake smeared over her face, her parents’ smiles shining brightly behind her. One with her mouth covered in ice cream on a pier at Brighton with her parents, months before the accident. The rest were her dirty and dusty with her uncle, beaming with curiosity at various excavation sites. Claire glanced slightly at the envelope that contained things pertaining to her time with Frank and shoved it back deep into the locker. There was a final one of her during the beginning of her nurse’s training, smiling optimistically for the camera in her uniform at the train station, oblivious to the gruesome years to come sewing back shattered men and hiding from the sky itself.
She boarded the train without fuss the next morning. No one was travelling during the New Year. They were all settled in with their families enjoying their feasts. So Claire enjoyed the luxury of an empty compartment within the train and patted her suitcase reassuringly.
The Reverend would be away for the week to substitute for a minister who had taken ill on short notice. The house was left to Roger, Claire, and Mrs. Graham.
“Och, Claire, it’s sae fine seeing ye again.” The short woman gathered her in her arms, bringing her down to her level. “Would ye like a cuppa?”
“That would be wonderful Mrs. Graham, thank you.”
She puttered about in the kitchen and instructed Claire to place her luggage in the second room to the right up the stairs. The door creaked open to a light room covered in a rosey wallpaper. Claire was glad it wasn’t the same room she had stayed in months ago. She set her things on the bed and returned downstairs to where the elderly woman had already set up the cups with tea on the small circular table. Tarot cards were strewn all over the tablecloth. Claire presumed Mrs. Graham wanted to take a peek into her future once again. Seeing no use in delaying the inevitable, Claire launched into her questions.
“What do you know about the stones Mrs. Graham?”
“Och, please call me Mairi, lass. I’m sae glad ye called over before ye arrived here, didna want ye to be disappointed. I looked through some of my mother’s old things, and there were many journals passed down through the matrilineal line. It would have been a mess to try to find them in short notice, but I managed to find the box just in time. One of them details the subject of powerful stones holding the Earth’s energy itself within them. Ye can read through dear and I’ll wait fer any questions.” She stood up to fetch something from the counter near the oven and returned with a smooth brown book.
She looked closely over the scribbled notes and drawings in the small leather-bound book. It most likely could fit into her coat pocket and she was amazed at the artistry of something so old. The pages were weathered yellow like they had been soaked in tea and there were tears in some spots, but it didn’t hinder the journal’s abilities to instruct. Within it contained certainties, speculations, doubts, and even contradictions coming back to scribble that human sacrifice was indeed not necessary and strongly discouraged from the earlier statement regarding it as a necessity. Different hands amended the pages, added different textured paper when the pages ran out, and ripped out some to little stubs close to the spine.
A calendar was sketched into the very first page, listing fire festivals at each point of a star. Imbolc. That was the closest date. She had missed Yule while in the ward and cursed herself. She would have to wait a month more, if the information written down in the battered book was to be believed. After months of separation, what more was one month? But her soul agonised over the fact that she was so close to the stones, but their strange attributes limited her. Would the nagging feeling of anxiety for her son ever waver? Or did this new sabbatical mean she would be too late?
“So Imbolc, a fire feast?”
“Aye, most all o’ the journals in my grove ha’ something similar. It’s always, a gem and a fire feast. Many other suggestions have been quite unsettling.”
“So when I came through, on April the 16th, I was two weeks away-”
“Lass dinna work yerself up o’er that jes now. Ye canna blame anyone, it’s jes,” the kind woman squeezed Claire’s hand in comfort, “jes the way things went.”
“But, I put my baby in danger, and it killed him.” She couldn’t help the wobble of her lip and the big fat tear that rolled down her cheek.
“Ye dinna even ken if he could ha’ gone through at the proper time anyway.” Mrs. Graham hooked her weathered finger under Claire’s chin and brought her gaze towards her. “I know it might not be what ye want to hear right now, but perhaps yer baby saved ye. Ye couldna ha’ travelled alone, even wi’ yer wee gem.”
“But why take my baby? Why not me?”
“The way I see it, the stones only wanted one tae live that day. And if yer baby survived while ye died, weel it wouldna ha’ survived anyway wi’out ye. It doesna do well to dwell on the past lass. The only thing ye can do is look to the future and move forward. Go to yer lad. Yer soul kens what yer brain refuses to. The boy needs ye.”
“What if I’m too late? The death certificate-”
“Have faith, Claire, yer- Frank researched tirelessly to find his fate. If he wasna going to make it, yer soul wouldna be in overdrive to return to him.”
“Yes, of course. Faith.”
“Fer now we bide, and I’ll help ye prepare. These are lean years yer returning to, ye’ll need all the help ye can get.”
The greying woman stood up to leave but Claire placed a hand on her arm to stop her. “Thank you Mairi, for everything.”
For the next month, Claire helped Mrs. Graham tidy the manse and watch after Roger. Her heart had warmed to the small boy instantly and she played planes with him whenever he asked, mimicking the noises and spreading out her arms wide to fly across the garden. Reverend Wakefield, much to his own chagrin, helped Claire smuggle some supplies from the hospital, during his visits to the ailing and injured who couldn’t attend church. He even found a set of knives that were close to being pitched before he intervened and saved them from the dumpster. Claire passed those weeks amongst pleasant company in the manse, and knew she would miss her friends dearly. To her surprise, Graham Munro, the kind boy who had brought her to the hospital from the stones, visited the manse occasionally and would take up a game of cards with her and Roger. The seven-year-old won almost every game they played; Claire and Graham had made the mistake of having him lose and much to their dismay he had started a tantrum that lasted for four hours. One evening, he had sulked into Claire’s room, his cheeks tracked with fresh tears from a nightmare and she pulled him close, murmuring to the young boy. Yes, she would miss them all terribly.
Mrs. Graham worked on the logistics of Claire’s dress; she was impossible at sewing, knitting, and practically any other domestic task. A plain white slip dress was transformed into a shift, extra yards of wool were donated through her druid friends which turned into her various layers of skirts, and an old blue raincoat fit for a giant was found in the closet and transformed into a cloak of sorts to cover the fact of missing stays.
On the First of February, close to midnight, Claire, Roger, Mrs. Graham, and Reverend Wakefield climbed into the Reverend’s black car. Roger was bouncing off the back seat next to Claire, excited at being awake way past his bedtime. Reverend Wakefield had driven them to the stones to humour them, still not quite believing in the absurd story. A leather messenger bag sat on Claire’s lap, practically bursting from the contents within it. She had already dressed into her new clothes that would not be so conspicuous in the eighteenth century. Her heart raced as the headlights from the car illuminated the grey stone at the top of the hill.
Claire offered a short sentence of gratitude for the Reverend’s hospitality and then moved on to her fast friend Mairi. He lingered back behind the line of the stones with his arms around Roger. Claire shared a heartfelt goodbye with Mrs. Graham and thanked her profusely. Tears clung to her eyelashes and she pecked the small woman on the cheek. Roger was inconsolable when he felt the atmosphere shift. He thought it was a fun adventure with his new friend, not the finality of a goodbye.
“No Miss Claire! I dinna want ye to leave!” He slobbered into her stomach and held tight to the buttons of her cloak.
“I’m sorry, Roger. I’ll miss playing pilot with you terribly. Will you keep this safe for me?” She reached into her pocket and pulled out a toy rocket, the new fascination of young boys. Planes were old news, but space was exciting.
“Aye!” He tried to be brave like his father said his parents had been. She shoved back the hair from his eyes as he looked up at her with glassy eyes and a snotty nose.
“What do ye say, Roger?”
“Thank ye, Miss Claire!” He hugged her tight.
He took the plastic object from Claire’s hands and skipped over to his father. His mood had instantly changed and he was happily distracted from the severity of the moment. They all walked slowly towards the stones, Roger hand in hand with his father. The buzzing swarmed through Claire’s ears and she was standing near the centre cleft now.
“Father, what’s that noise?”
“Stay put Roger.” He tightened his grip on his son’s shoulders, fear laced into his voice.
With one last tearful glance of goodbye, Claire vanished. The group was left stunned, even Mrs. Graham. Hearing certainly was not seeing.
“Mama?” She felt the soft curiosity of a child’s mind amongst all the screams of anguish and hopelessness. “It’s okay. You can go home now.”
She pulled her towards her, guiding her mother gently.
“I love you, mama. Tell da I love him too.”
Was it really the child she had lost, or a delusion her mind had conjured? One thing she was certain of though deep in her bones. She had been a girl. A beautiful soul.
Eric and OC Fanfiction Recommendations
Hello! I’m not positive if anyone enjoys these stories, but I love a good Eric and OC fanfic and wanted to see if anyone had any recommendations!
One that I absolutely adored and wished there was more of us:
Unfading by dragonchallenge
It was a slow burn with passion and enemies to lovers and I absolutely loved it! If anyone has any recommendations please share!
What I’m looking for:
- slow burn
- enemies to lovers
- Eric being an absolute jerk but eventually becomes soft towards the one person he ends up caring about.
Read on AO3
Claire sat nursing her glass of expensive cognac. Neither of them initiated a conversation, preferring silence to the inevitable argument that would ensue.
It was Christmas Eve when she returned. Little over a month and a half in that soul leeching ward. Frank had decorated the house with holly, and ivy, and even some sprigs of mistletoe in an attempt for some normalcy.
“Claire, I’m sorry for what they did to you. I was angry at you. You not only chose to leave me once but twice over. You’d rather die than feel my touch. I wanted to feel anything but utter despair. I’m sorry it has taken me so long to return you home.” She offered no response.
“Do you have any idea just how difficult these last few months- past few years have been for me Claire? How utterly exhausting it has been to deal with your loss and then now this? I don’t wish to fight you on any of this. Let us have a civilised conversation please.”
“How hard it’s been for you!” Her mouth hung open in shock. “You think these past few months have just been a fucking picnic for me!” She stood in her anger and seethed at the fireplace, back turned from her husband.
“Of course not, but did you ever stop to consider how I’ve felt about anything?”
“Did you ever consider my feelings when you were sticking your cock into one of your students?! God, did you give me one of their diseases?” Shock plastered over his face. “Oh don’t act so surprised, I’ve smelt the perfume and all those long nights at your ‘office’.”
“Claire, be reasonable. You’ve only let me touch you once, and that was before I was intimate with anyone else. Not all of us are such mendacious sluts.”
“Oh and I’m sure you were an exemplary student of abstinence while I was ‘missing’, for fuck’s sake even during the war, because clearly me being the ‘mendacious slut’ that I am I wasn’t entirely faithful either!”
“I don’t wish to fight you anymore Claire, something has recently come upon my knowledge during my research, and it affects you. Please have a seat.” He gestured to the decanter on the side table and poured a glass for her.
“It pains me to see you like this Claire. I can’t in good conscience force you to stay here and slip further and further away from me every day” Frank sucked in a breath and smoothed his hands over his thighs. “It angered me to see that you’d rather die... than be with me. That you chose his memory over me, a living, breathing human being, and I couldn’t even be sure he was real. Still can't. Can you not see Claire why it took me a while to finally decide upon your release?”
The hazy buzz that normally surrounded her mind now had started to fade, if only slightly. Claire squinted at Frank and nodded.
He paused, calculating his next words.
“I’ve done some research with the Reverend. We’ve been in communication since you’ve told me what happened.”
Frank adjusted his collar. He stared at the stack of papers to his right on the desk.
“And well we certainly found evidence of your presence in the past, but there are other things.”
Claire stared straight through him, she didn’t need to worry about her glass face showing something wrong. She felt nothing. This confirmation made no difference for the hell she had been through. The numb feeling had taken a while to crawl over her body the past few months and she welcomed it. It felt better than the suffocating dread and grief she originally felt.
“I know I must let you go. Go to him I mean. It’s the least I can do for the pain I’ve inadvertently caused you, Claire. Please forgive me. It’s unbearable for me to live to see you this way, even if the alternative is to send you back.”
“He’s dead, Frank. They all are.” Her lips thinned into a line. “I have nothing to live for.”
She cringed at her last choice of words. She didn’t want to cause him unnecessary suffering. But she was too tired to lie, to protect him from such verbal blows.
“But Claire. He survived.” His white knuckles wrapped tightly around the armrest of the leather chair and he flexed his jaw. “This man, this Red Jamie was exonerated of his crimes, with a pardon from King George II himself. And his lands returned in reparation.”
“How-how can you tell me this? You know what I- God what you put me through. Why would you give me this hope?”
“I’ve also found one Alexander Malcolm and his,” he gulped, “wife Elizabeth Malcolm. But Claire, this is your hand on the document. A christening, where Elizabeth, where you’re stated as godmother in a church in Broch Mordha. But then there’s also this purchase of a croft on the Isle of Lewis, with the same signature as Alexander Malcolm.”
“Please, Claire, allow me to make amends for whatever part I’ve caused in your suffering. If there’s some piece, some knowledge I can give you, it would ease my mind considerably. I don’t wish for you to waste away before my eyes, for the rest of our days in resentment.” His lips tightened into a thin line. “I met someone while you were away. The new assistant under me at Harvard. I think,” he paused, “I think I love her as you love your Jamie. Let us divorce and I’ll give you what funds I have.”
“You’re just- okay with that?”
“Claire, you haven’t been my wife in years, not really.”
“So that’s just it? I offered divorce when I returned, and finally accept when you’ve damaged me. My mind, my soul!” He winced at the sight of circled bits of skin on her temples.
“And I am regrettably sorry, darling.” He reached for her hand and squeezed. “I know this is what you’ve wanted ever since you’ve returned. Please, let me make this easy on you. I have the banking number for what covers the divorce settlement. It should be enough to purchase a flight to London, and then I know the inheritance from your parents and uncle should help you on your way to Inverness.” He slid over a paper card to her, detailing the whereabouts of the money he was offering her. She kept her arms crossed tightly over her sternum, not wishing to take any charity from him.
“There's another thing. Your son, the name they said you called out in your sleep every night. I have this death certificate of one Fergus Claudel Fraser. Marked March in the year of our lord Seventeen Forty-Five.” Tears sprang in her dry eyes at the mention of him. He pulled out a sheet from the pile of papers he collected and shoved it over to her side of the table.
“Why are you doing this Frank?” She couldn’t bear this physical proof that she had left her son to die without her.
“Here is one Fergus Malcolm, on the Isle of Lewis, a year after his ‘death’ and you're on this too. Or rather your alter ego one Elizabeth Beauchamp Malcolm. If nothing else, will you not live for him? Even if the proof of him amounts to nothing, that he really did die at Culloden? Please, take the money, and the papers. I’m hoping it can ease my conscience from all the torture you’ve endured.”
The last thing Claire wanted to do was ease Frank’s ego. She wanted him to suffer. But here was a lifeline, a way out and back to her family. She would see Fergus again if fate allowed. Her mind would never allow her to comprehend the other piece of hope before her. The one sure thing she knew was Fergus, he had been whole and alive the last she saw him. And there was something urging her to him. A panicked urgency. Her mind flashed to the nights after her therapies, when his presence in her dreams was almost so real she could feel his touch after she woke. She quickly signed the paper he offered. Claire Elizabeth Fraser. The wet ink shined against the thick paper. His suffering would have to wait. Her fingers began to twist the gold band on her finger but Frank stopped her.
“No, keep it. It will have value when you… return. The papers will be sorted by the time you’re gone, and we’ll both be free.” He swallowed sharply. “Know this Claire. I still love you, and I always will.”
He had a funny way of showing it, Claire thought. She didn’t dignify his statement with a response. She left him in the living room to pack, and as the sun rose the next morning her bed and dresser were empty.
Frank set aside some money for the divorce settlement into Claire’s own account. She withdrew the three hundred pounds without a second thought, and purchased a ticket to London. It barely covered the cost of a transatlantic flight, which was more of a luxury than anything, but she could afford to spend money, not time. A ship between would have lasted weeks, not hours. She was left with little over fifty pounds to find her way to Inverness. The only things she carried with her were her pearls, sgian dubh, the ring without its ruby stone, the copious amount of papers from Frank’s research, her old botany pocketbook, and a change of clothes, all packed into one small suitcase. Her things barely fit half the space inside it. The gold band hung around her neck on a chain now, instead of resting comfortably on her left ring finger. It clanged against the skin between her breasts with every sway of her steps. It was decided over a very pricey international phone call, she would go see Mrs. Graham.
Read on AO3
cw: medical trauma/abuse
They stripped her to the bone and prodded her towards the corner with the spigot about a metre above her head. Their eyes were focused intently on her every move, calculating each misstep. One of her guards called out into the hall and the water surged down in high pressured spurts. She had been naked with strangers before. Had been dressed by them. Bare and vulnerable. Mrs. Fitz came to mind. But this was not anything like that, it felt demeaning, dehumanising. It was intended to humble her.
The other guard threw a bar of soap which Claire fumbled with and fell to the floor. The grime on the floor had built up for years and mould dotted the edges of the shower. She scrunched her nose at the thought of picking the soap up from such an environment, but the stares of the guards burrowed deep into her skin.
Claire carefully traced the spot above her heart. It stung less than before when she was weaned off of the pain medication. Claire was heavily sedated for those six days in hospital. She felt like she had when she returned through the stones, a crushing weight bearing down on her body. And she was all alone. Her injury was monitored until she could be properly transferred to Danvers State Hospital, or rather the Danvers Lunatic Asylum, where they placed her unceremoniously in her cage-like room. The pounding force of the shower left a dull pain, almost opening the wound on her breast again. She scrubbed the dirt, the pain off of her skin until she felt she had no skin left.
Claire was soon in the plain cotton uniform they provided everyone. Her hair flew wildly above her head because she was unable to comb through her curls. They at least deemed her safe enough to not need restraints on top of the guards that flanked her. How kind. Those were reserved for the more violent afflictions.
She watched as her tangled curls floated down to the tiled floor around her feet. Her hair was shorn to about her chin to conform with the other patients.
The institute had yet decided what to do about her condition, which they concluded was melancholia and the hysteria which accompanied it. All unnecessary consequences of her female persuasion.
“I assure you, sir, I am perfectly fine. Now if I could just speak to my husband.” She forced herself to put out the last word.
“He is still considering the terms of your release and treatment. You gave Mr. Randall quite a shock.” Doctor Lionel Brown quirked his eyebrows at his patient, placing the pairs of his pointer and middle finger against his lips in thought.
“I know. Now if you’d just-“
A knock sounded at the door.
“Mr. Anderson you may come in.”
“Mrs. Randall, this is Mr. Anderson, our specialist in mood disorders. He’s shed some insight with me earlier about what may be best in order for you to be released. If you don’t mind, Mr. Anderson.”
“I think our electroshock therapies would be very conducive for her recovery. When repeated twice a week, these treatments help ease pain and reduce memories that are hard to pass on their own.” Anderson glanced at Doctor Brown and continued. “Another option if the treatments are unable to hold and improve your condition is the transorbital lobotomy which is guaranteed to permanently improve it. I can assure you ma’am this avenue has been thoroughly researched and our patients report a calm demeanour within weeks of the operation.
“I highly doubt that’s necessary sir.” Claire scoffed.
Claire slumped in her chair and considered for a second. She could be free of the pain, of the man who haunted her every waking moment. She could stop mourning her husband, her family at Lallybroch, and her children. Maybe she would forget and finally be able to return to Frank as Jamie had intended. But she could never forget Jamie, no matter what happened to her. Her mind may forget but her soul would always keep him within her.
It was four doors later that she reluctantly followed one of the nurse’s in the ward down the dreary halls. No matter her reluctance to it, her treatments would begin according to the doctor’s schedule.
Claire was instructed to take off her shoes as she entered the room. She glanced around the room only to be met with unfamiliar faces. She had comforted the woman who went before her who was convulsing and writhing on the treatment table. Claire tried to soothe her and soon her breathing evened out and a dazed look took over her face. There was no fighting this. If Claire refused to comply, it would be much worse. The woman slouched to the floor and began her walk away from the machine.
The orderly wiped off the metal table from the woman’s sweat and perhaps even a small amount of urine: the reactions to the terror. He sighed and wrote on the chart, detailing exactly how the patient’s body handled the treatment. He pointed to the table, not even sparing a glance at Claire. One. Two. Three. She thought as she forced each step. Her back and limbs arched away from the shocking cold of the metal and her muscles tensed reflexively.
The nurse placed a flat wooden stick in her mouth and instructed her to bite down. Her arms and legs were strapped down before she could change her mind and start thrashing against her jailer. Two firm ovals suctioned to her temples and a strap ran around her head securing the device to her head.
Perhaps it was her indifference that led them to choose this method of torture. She would be sure to smile and have all the warmth of a womanly countenance when she next met with Doctor Brown. Her fate depended on her first husband, and the doctor that held her hostage within the suffocating walls of the institution. She had made her feelings quite clear to Frank, and perhaps he was enacting his vengeance this way.
As the first wave of electricity passed through her body straight to her heart and mind, her body convulsed under its strain. After the base time of thirty seconds for her treatment, her body slumped back down onto the cold surface that sent chills down her spine. She was left disoriented and stupid, waiting to gain back her senses.
“Who’s this, Smiley?” Claire’s mind could barely discern the shape of the figure hanging on the doorframe before her. The glum nurse who was addressed was the farthest thing from smiley.
“Mrs. Randall, your newest neighbour.”
“Oh, how exciting!” The girl who couldn’t be more than fourteen slipped something into the nurse’s pocket. “I think I’ll call you Miss Curly Wig.” She grinned and eyed the mess of curls fanned out around on the silver surface enviously.
The orderly nonchalantly slipped a lollipop into the girl’s waiting hands and a piece of gum, payment for whatever she had smuggled in for him.
“You’ll be just fine Miss Curly Wig.” The girl who was barely a teenager patted her shoulder in comfort. Claire couldn’t do more than stare blankly at the girl, no words appearing on her tongue. “Sure the first one is a bit of a shock. But you get over it. Your brain is like cotton the first few days, and you look as dumb as ever, but if you comply, they shorten it to every three weeks instead. I haven’t gotten the shock in four weeks now because I’ve been on my best behaviour. Haven’t had the urge to steal in months. Isn’t that right Smiley?”
Smiley grunted affirmatively in a way that reminded her of Murtagh while he put away the equipment from the day’s treatments. Her heart ached along with her head and tears pricked at the corner of her eyes.
“Can I escort her back to her room Smiley? You are done here for the day, aren’t you?”
“Yes, Miss Emily.” The nurse clearly was uncomfortable straying from protocol.
Claire walked back in silence to the plain white room, filled with only a white metal bed and mattress. Emily patted her hand on the sheets and Claire plopped down on them. The rambunctious child flitted out of the room, excited to find a new face in the dreary and tedious schedule of the ward.
Claire laid back against the stiff pillow of her twin bed. It was impossible to get comfortable here. Her brain was buzzing and her fingers felt tingly, like the static from the radio. In the night, when the other patient's cries filled her mind, she traced the fading scar on her palm where he cut her. The rings, sgian dubh, pearls and her old clothes were the only physical proof it had been real. Now she had none of them. No tangible proof in her grasp. The only reminder was the memory of the slight pain when he marked out the flesh into a J.
“Milady!” Fergus screamed into the empty air of the great room. His body curled up into one of the velvet chaises by the fire and his whimpers woke Jamie, who rested his eyes on the floor beside the inconsolable child. Jamie had almost drifted off to sleep himself, but his mind buzzed with thoughts of his wife. He rose and gathered Fergus in his arms, hushing the boy.
“Milady.” The tears renewed themselves and tumbled without end down his cheeks. Jamie stroked the hair from his son’s face and cursed when his hand felt the hot and sweaty skin.
Claire woke up shaking on the sweat-soaked sheets. “Fergus.” Her guilt of leaving him, her family was insurmountable. But she felt deep in her bones something terribly awful. A dread that squeezed at her heart. Just like any other person could feel the earth shift under their feet, before possessing the actual knowledge of what happened to their loved one. A fellow war nurse once told her of her premonitions, and the next day she was sent an impersonal letter declaring his death in battle.
She pressed the pillow against her ears, trying to block out the vivid visions of the young French boy.
Emily became an ally to Claire in the short amount of time she had been in the B ward. She followed her constantly like a lost puppy and accompanied her to the electroshock therapies every week. Claire supposed the girl had deemed her the sanest out of their fellow patients, so she must have felt more at ease in her presence. The girl had even taught Claire a neat trick, how to pretend to swallow her medicine and then spit it out later.
At night, the faces in the flecks of the popcorn ceiling above taunted her. Every move of the shadows was a demon reimagined in her mind. Of her family and those who wished her harm. They all played an equal role in the play stretched out before her. Two straight lines and a curve mixed together into one evil, Black Jack Randall and her husband. Her mind drifted to the sight of her son, curled up and shivering in his sickbed. She was stuck between the tormenting images in the ceiling or the all too real feel of Fergus’ small body pressed against her in a tight hug.
“Miss Curly Wig!” It took her a moment to recognise her young companion, the thoughts seeped slowly through her mind like molasses.
“Where on earth did you get these?”
“I filched them from Doc B when I was snooping through your files. I was going to trade them to Smiley, but I thought better. Hide them in your bra, they never look there.” The child winked at her.
“Thanks for the advice.” She slipped the silver down her shirt and was about to scatter the gold across the wooden boards of the floor when she thought better; it was a valuable chunk of money. “What do you want in return?”
“Nothing yet. But those locks of yours sure are pretty.”
“You want a lock of my hair?”
She stared at the child dumbfounded. Hers easily rivalled Claire’s, the fiery red waving around her ears and growing slowly towards her shoulders. What harm was there in giving a child a piece of a muddied brown curl? She gripped a strand of her hair from the base of her head and held it taut. Claire ripped the piece just below the hold her hand had on it so it wouldn’t be plucked directly from her scalp. Her palms opened, gifting the rare thing to the adolescent. Her face visibly brightened and she snatched it immediately. She tucked in safely within her shirt like Claire had done with her rings and skipped down the hall towards the dark wood staircase.
Claire plastered a sickly sweet smile as she sat on the plastic chair. Dr. Brown shuffled some papers on his desk and ignored her. He licked his finger to card through the pages and pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. He cleared his throat before finally acknowledging her.
“Ah, Mrs. Randall. And what, might I ask, lead me to the pleasure of seeing you in my office today?”
“As you can see, Dr. Brown, the treatments have worked splendidly and I would very much like to return home now. I see no need to be kept here further.”
“I’m sorry ma’am it’s just not how- oh looky here! Your husband signed for your release when he visited me yesterday.”
“Great, so now this has all been sorted.”
“Just hold on Mrs. Randall.” He emphasised her proper name. “Yes, he’s clearly signed your release here, but we’ll need to keep you here for an observation period of at least three more days. Make sure you’ll do no more harm to yourself or others. But, you’ll be glad to know we have seen an improvement from your treatments, and your last one will be this Friday, a day before your release.”
She bit her tongue to hold back the avalanche of defiant words and insults she wanted to fling at the man who held her fate in his hands. Finally, she settled for a simple, “thank you,” and left back to the empty halls.
The bastards in the hospital had made zero progress in truly helping her. If she was asked, Claire knew she wouldn’t be able to recall any detail at all about the last few months of her life. If she could call it that, she was dead living. The therapies only added to her already failing memory. Emily was the only bright part of her day, and now she was leaving the poor girl in the hands of these people alone.
Her final night, when her brain sludged forward through its thoughts, a consequence of her treatments, she finally allowed herself to relax back into her bed fully. But that was a mistake. Fergus sat before the fire at Lallybroch, playing soldier with some chess pieces. The sight of the son of her heart pierced through her chest. He turned around and smiled at her softly.
“Come back, Milady, please. Milord needs you. I miss you maman.” He had never called her maman before, only Milady.
On closer inspection, his eyes were wide with fear at the apparition before him. He knew Milady would never harm him, but there was something otherworldly about her appearance now, much different than her usual strange demeanour. Sensing his trepidation, she kissed his forehead gently, taking the pain and fear into herself from that small point where her lips met his curl that dangled there. A tear dripped down the edge of her nose to his cheek. A flash of red and blue entered the dream, but by then she was already awake.
Me literally a minute ago: haha I'm not much of a fic writer lol
Me the next second outlining a potential fic in the notes app of my phone: BUT WHAT IF-
Read on AO3
cw: depression, small references of dissociation/derealisation, suicide, dubious consent
Claire was constantly watched, monitored those first few weeks at the manse, waiting for Frank to pack up for Boston. Mrs. Graham and the Reverend had heard many horror stories of men and women in the throes of grief. Especially women with the ‘baby blues’. But she had no baby. There was no need for caution, she wouldn’t do anything drastic yet. Even if she wanted to she didn’t have the strength nor the energy to.
She never spoke their names, never let herself fully grieve, and was caught in this limbo of unfeeling. Some days she had fits of rage, just a general ire aimed at nothing in particular. Others her eyes watered so much it seemed her body would become dehydrated from their eagerness. Little things would release the rage of emotions. One day, the spoilt milk in the fridge had her curled up on the kitchen floor sobbing. But mostly, her days passed with such monotony that she was unnerved when forced to change it. Minutes blurred into days, days into months, they were all the same in her mind. What was time really, with nothing of interest to mark it? Her mind moved from one second to the next until she didn’t notice the present anymore. She couldn’t remember anything from the last few months if she could try. She numbed her mind with the muffled voices riding through the waves the radio emitted. She tried to grasp on to the world and the time slipping away from her by digging her fingernails into the flesh of her palm, but neither cared for her attempts. She curled her toes in her flats and heels and stabbed her fingernails into her palms to reassure herself she was there. That this was real. Before the rush of panic could sweep through her brain, and the lightheadedness that accompanied it, she bit the inside of her cheek to stay grounded.
She refused to cook, to clean, to do anything that would take her from her bed. Most days, she slept the day away, tired with no obvious source of affliction. Until her obligation as a wife forced her to make at least one meal a day for her husband, dinner. Frank usually made his own breakfast without complaint, a coffee and two eggs, and then ate lunch in the dining halls of Harvard. Claire nibbled on what the Americans passed as cereal occasionally.
On Frank’s birthday, September the 30th, the day was as boring and uninspired as any other. She was surprised when she asked Frank for the date for the first time since her return, and he had replied with his birthday. It had taken a few embarrassing silent moments for her to conjure the specific date in her mind, and fleetingly she thought of the First of May. Had it really been more than five months? Too much time had passed but yet not enough. She couldn’t remember a single thing from that time, save the blanketing numbness that followed her day in and day out. The dinner she made, the only thing she could successfully produce was presented on the table before he returned home. Stew that reminded her subconsciously of the many meals in the pitched tents of camps surrounding battlefields. Frank ate the meal without fuss and wasn’t surprised that his wife hadn’t remembered enough to buy him a gift. The only change was his effort in climbing into bed with his wife.
“It’s been years Claire, indulge me.”
Her body was stiff against his lithe actions. The movements were clinical, thought out like the process of stitching skin and cleansing the wound. A business transaction. Frank reeked of perfume. She was reminded of Versailles and the frivolous ruffles of a king’s linen shirt. The cold slender fingers pulling apart her thighs and the taste of chocolate on her tongue. She didn’t remember when her tears began to well up but they came down in steady streaks on her cheeks now. He quickly finished, rolling on to his side facing away from her. The feel of his seed, hot and sticky trailing down her leg felt like a betrayal. He sighed. Maybe a new baby would cheer her up.
It wasn’t uncommon for women to coop themselves up in the house due to their delicate constitutions. Their brief first neighbour in Oxford only ever left for the groceries because of nerves. Frank stopped pushing for her to join him in dinner with his colleagues. He would spend hours at work and then the bar to arrive home and immediately collapse onto his own twin bed across from his wife.
She didn’t care to celebrate her birthday. It marked how long she had been alone with a permanent stamp and made it feel more real. Not even the borrowed medical texts that she got from the library to feel anything at all gave her the rush of curiosity and excitement they used to.
Frank had another idea to brighten up his wife.
“You got me a puppy?!” She threw an ashtray, narrowly missing his head.
“A fucking puppy to-“ She sunk to the floor and her eyes stung with unshed tears.
It sat wagging its tail inside the box with a pink bow wrapped around its neck. The golden, almost auburn, cocker spaniel cocked its head at her expressing its interest in the chafed woman before it.
He lowered himself to kneel beside her but thought better of it and straightened up. The puppy eagerly tapped up at her master. He rubbed under her snout affectionately. Frank had never expressed interest in pets when he was with her and she was baffled at his open display towards the squirming beast. He scratched her ear, eliciting a shake of her leg in appreciation.
“Yes darling. Meet Brianna. Though we’ll shorten it to Bree. I was thinking Frankie but I feel Brianna suits her best. This little one was named for her sire, Brian.” Her heart dropped at the name and her jaw clenched in anger.
“Get the fuck out now! I don’t want to see you!”
She took off her flats and flung them at his face. One hit its target in the form of Frank’s face and flopped down to the floor. Brianna clumsily chased after it and began to rip into the shoe, oblivious to any frustrations around her. Bubbles of laughter rose in Claire’s chest as hysterics overtook her body. The front door clicked shut with a sure snap of the lock. She felt the sure weight of the creature in her lap. Suddenly, she was back in L'Hôpital des Anges. Buton keeping her company: pity for the baby she lost. Sharp laughs turned into breathy inhales at the intensity of her cries. Puppy Bree lapped at the salt on her hands and snuggled close. At one point while her mind was floating to the ceiling, dreams of birds and blue skies, she had nuzzled into her stomach with her snout which sent a new wave of hideous wails. Her arms squeezed the distraught little puppy close to her and she clung to the comfort of its ignorance. A puppy. A fucking puppy to replace the ache in her womb.
“I’m sorry, you must be a very lovely girl.” She choked out between sobs.
Brianna continued licking her tears off her cheek, provoking more tears to take their trek of doom down to the floor. The floor became wet and sticky from the dog’s excited piddle.
It was November, the month her child would have been born. Should have been born. But neither one of them had and that was the reality Claire was faced with. All the months before were a blur, the only indicator of time being Frank leaving work and arriving back home. He hadn’t pushed her much to do anything really, giving her time to adjust to her new role as a housewife. She was glad she didn’t have to look into his face often, to see the evil sneer of his ancestor beneath the warmth of his smile. Frank wasn’t supposed to be home for another hour. Bree was out in the garden chewing on sticks.
Claire gripped the sgian dubh, angling it over her heart. The tiny blade was all she had managed to keep, to hide from anyone but herself. It was a gift from Jamie. One given on the date that marked their second year of marriage. A beautiful handle crafted from one of the antlers of a stag he had triumphantly dragged back to her at camp. The meat was shared amongst the soldiers of course, but Jamie kept the hide and antlers for himself. He created a pair of mittens for her and himself and expertly carved the material of the antlers into two identical hilts. One for Fergus later for the day they had surmised his birthday to be and one for Claire. She glanced down at the handle now, forget-me-nots etched into its boned surface. The heat of her tears left trailed down her cheeks. She could almost pretend he was there.
“Sassenach. Dinna do this. Please.” Her heart ached at the pain in his voice.
Jamie stood before Claire, exactly as she remembered him when they parted. Two small heads of red hair, identical to Jamie’s colour, clutching his leg, stared wide eyed at their mother in a mixture of curiosity and fear. Faith and Brian. A soft smile played across Claire’s face but didn’t reach her eyes which were glossed over with fresh tears.
“Jamie.” Claire whispered, relishing in the feeling of his name on her tongue.
“Come home mo gràidh. Fergus needs ye.”
“Yes. Fergus, and all of you.” Her eyes drifted to the little boy whose lips pulled into a dimpled smile.
She steadied her shaking hands and squeaked out a laugh. Sobs and laughter joined together into a cacophony of near hysteria that Claire dryly forced out. She wouldn’t fail to be with her family this time. She would join Fergus. And Jenny, Ian, young Jamie, Maggie, and any other children her good sister managed to have. Even Murtagh, Rupert, Angus, Willie, and all the other men who had touched her heart during the war and her short days at Leoch. All of them were long gone but now moments away.
The door slammed and jolted Claire’s initial target away from her heart and more towards her shoulder. She cried out when the small blade pierced her flesh, and cried more when she realised the consequences of her failure. It barely missed its target. She scrambled for the knife, its handle wet with her thick blood and it fumbled out of her reach.
“Darling! The grading was much lighter tonight so I thought that we-“
Frank’s eyes widened and he choked out a sound. He quickly dove to the floor where his wife was encircled in her own blood, and the hilt of a dagger was poking out of her cream nightgown.
well i think that's the moment to do a rewatch lol
Title: Scorched Earth: The Heat Author: @wickednerdery Fandom: Marvel Pairing/character: Dr Strange, Reader/The Bold One Rating: Teen/Mature Summary: “I think I killed someone.” Notes: This is the third part of what’s shaping up to be a legit series - 1st is FrostBitten, 2nd HoarFrost Hel - and the masterlist is here. The story on whole is gonna be very dark, this piece - which occurs about a few days after the last Dr Strange one - has references of violence/death. For consistency and length, it gets a “Read More”.
Stephen spends his off time researching, trying to find any scientific diagnosis and treatment for your ailment. Ailments. He did not admit it, not even to himself, but looking back he remembers your cold. Even in the heat of passion, your skin chilled his. This implies biological, not psychological, disturbances.
“Mm.” He looks up. “Yes?”
“You’ve a phone call...”
From you, he’s a phone call from you. “What is it? What’s wrong?” He asks over and over as sobs come across the line.
“I...I don’t...” You shake in the corner of your room, trying to recall time. Make sense of the blood and the body in the bed. “Oh god, Stephen, I...” For once the cold that blooms in your stomach is welcome, seeming to cool and calm. You take a deep breath. “I think I killed someone.”
“You what?” He’s up, with nowhere to go. “What do you mean? How...?” The questions race through his mind, but can’t seem to get past his lips.
Another deep breath. “I tried to reset things, but nothing changed. I...must’ve done it a while ago.”
He finally finds something to do, close the office door. “Where are you?”
“Still in Vegas.” Though you have to go to the window to confirm. “I don’t know where the others are, maybe they left?”
“But you’re not in a hotel?” Good, that was good. It gave you some time, at least.
“No, I’m on the compound.”
You sigh, walk back to your corner. “It doesn’t matter, I just...I should go.”
"No, I -” What? Strange asks himself, then sighs. “You should call the police.”
“Turn myself in?” No fucking way. You can’t afford the risk, not with how time worked - or didn’t - with you. Mutants, any anomalies, were not looked on fondly these days. Certainly not after Loki.
Strange goes to the computer. “You don’t know what happened, correct?”
“Y-Yes.” It was all a blur of lost time.
“Then maybe you didn’t do anything, maybe you were defending yourself, you don’t know. I’ll find you a lawyer where you are, okay?”
“N-No, I...I’ll find one.”
“I’ll come out myself the moment I’ve time.”
It sounds like a lie, or at least something he can’t possibly follow through on, but then you just lied to him. “Yeah, all right.”
“You’ll call them? The police?”
“And a lawyer, yeah.”
“Good...” After a few more reassurances Stephen hangs up and, the moment he does, you begin to rush around to pack.
You try to remember what happened, but only recall glimpses, fractions. They’d confronted you: O and Jadira first, then Mastermind and Catch. It got ugly with Catch. Had it been self-defense? Maybe you should turn around, turn yourself in like Stephen said. But what of the others? You hadn’t even looked - if they were alive, they could turn on you and, if they weren’t...what was the defense then?
Out of Las Vegas, out of Nevada, you drive without end. Without destination, except for “away”. Time unravels like a frayed sweater without Catch as your anchor. You recall wiping out and tossing your phone, freezer-burning a man’s wandering hand in a bar outside Reno...stopping cops in their approach near Carson City...Countless hours of driving, seemingly without sleep.
In reaching California you find enough peace to settle, collect your thoughts. With effort you are able to regain some control over time, focusing as the Club taught you. It allows you to lose only hours instead of days. Not enough to start a life, but enough to live. You think to call Stephen, but unsure he won’t turn you in, isn’t already working with the police, you don’t. You change your appearance, think of what to do, where to go, next.
It takes a good two weeks before the surgeon’s able to head to Vegas. With no word from you, nothing on the news, he worries it’s too late. Either you’ve been swallowed up by the system or, worse, gone on the run. Or worst, been disappeared by a criminal or government entity. Given his increasing anxieties, given he’s no way to contact you anymore and nowhere else to start, Stephen heads direct to Las Vegas PD.
Dr Strange explains the situation - as he understands it - first to the officer at the front desk. He portrays himself as a doctor concerned for a patient’s welfare without actually declaring you his patient. That gets him beyond the front lobby, but that’s all. After that it’s a series of vaguely or completely disinterested cops half-listening, then passing him off to another department, another officer.
His frustration builds with the worry he’s being played, being passed around in hopes that he’ll lose interest in helping you at all. “Look, isn’t there anyone here who might be able to help? She could be in real danger, from herself or others.”
“Think she’s a danger to herself and others?” The current detective twists words.
“That is not what I said!” Stephen snaps, irritated by the stupidity - intentional or not.
Tyr moves discreetly along to catch the story as it unfolds; perhaps it doesn’t interest the others, but it interests him. As the doctor’s patience wears dangerously thin, as he senses things about to go sideways, he steps in. “Excuse me, detective, can I have a word with Dr. Strange?” The Vegas PD shrugs, leaves the interview room. “You okay?”
Stephen takes a deep breath. “My friend...” He repeats your name, again. “I worry she’s in trouble, danger.” He tells his story again, doing his best to stress your need for help without putting you in a bad light. “I just...want to find her. Help her. And know who the hell you are.”
The edge of the last bit makes Tyr smile. “I’m Detective Tyson Vidar, LAPD.”
“So you’ve no jurisdiction here.”
“No, I’m just visiting, but I’d still like to help.”
“...Why?” Dr Strange has already been jerked around enough to start distrusting.
Tyr shrugs. “What can I say? I’m a stickler for justice.”
Just a bit of catching up with The Bold One!reader and, haha, Dr Strange. I was stuck on this one forever - the whole series - but found a solution for this thread in just, ya know, getting rid of the surplus characters - they aren’t really needed and were never gonna last anyway. Now some MAY have survived, but I’m not certain so not saying who and/or how it all went down, exactly. And, yes, you’ve FINALLY met Norse god, Tyr, who I’ve been trying to get in this thing since the last major part...Not sure if he’ll stick around just now, but he’ll definitely be back at some point. Oh, and he’s living disguised as a human police detective named Tyson “Ty” Vidar, but maintains all his powers as Norse God of War. Also, he’s “played” by Titus Welliver.
All gifs made found on Google, combined by me, credit goes to whoever their OG makers are!
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And, look, another drabble I wrote over the weekend!
They’d taken flight the night before, away from Arendelle. Kristoff had Sven taking the wagon at top speed. This was madness but what other choice did they have at this point? Hans knew, and it was bad enough that she was at risk, but she couldn’t put Kristoff at risk.
The mountains grew less familiar. They were deep in the woods now. He knew where they were going, but she didn’t really remember. He had said something about the trolls. She would have to trust him. He said she’d been there before. She couldn’t remember very much. They were close.
• I always imagine their kids would be tall. Levi would be taller if he hadn’t been so malnourished at a tender age. (Also Kenny wasn’t short) So Levi and Hange’s son could easily tower over Levi.
• Since his kids are so much taller than him, he feels a sense of pride since they got a lot of Hange’s genes and his dormant tall genes, no doubt, but also frustration because he feels like they don’t listen as well to their shorter dad once they’re as tall or taller than Hange.
• Speaking of genes, Ackerman genes are STRONG. Poor Hange’s kids don’t look much like her, except their son (who I always imagined named Erwin (RIP)) has her personality with the ability to have Levi’s imposing air of indifference. Except he’ll act serious but then laugh in your face. He has Hanji’s nose and his hair color is a mixture of his parents. Not as dark as his sister’s, and he has Levi’s gray eyes. He’s also exactly a foot taller than Levi once he’s finished growing - which Levi loves and hates at the same time.
• Their daughter, Kuchel, (they call her Elle for short) looks exactly like Levi, or rather her namesake, except with Hange’s hazel eyes. Her name is fitting as she’s a carbon copy of her grandmother. Her personality is more like Kuchel’s as well; she’s very sweet and demure, but she was Hange’s sincere kindness and intelligence. Also she has Levi’s OCD as far as being clean. Thanks to Ackerman DNA, the kids eyesight is decent but Elle needs glasses for reading still - which makes Hange secretly really happy.
• Erwin and Elle are fraternal twins, conceived after the war. Canon divergent: everything is the same but Hange survived. She and Levi make good on their dream and move into a cabin in the woods as soon as they humanly can. The twins were a planned accident. They knew they would have kids eventually. But Hange was pregnant within six months.
• Queen Historia puts into place an excellent pension for both surviving veterans; Levi and Hange don’t have to work if they don’t want to, but Hange can’t sit still for long. She eventually becomes the kingdom’s minister for botany and agriculture. Helping streamline the frame work for farmers to better disperse food throughout Paradis while also importing new seeds and plants from other countries to yield more crops, and to help feed a rebuilding country burgeoning upon a brand new world now available to them.
• This means Levi is a stay at home dad and he could not be happier. He can clean and maintain his house to his hearts content. He can also rest and relax, which were foreign concepts to him, and brew and drink tea (Hange bringing home new herbs and teas for him to experiment with) and feed children expertly crafted food. He has even started a garden. Every morning at dawn he feeds birds outside his house with homemade bird seed, while drinking something warm, as his house slept. And he allowed himself a moments peace and tranquillity - thankful for his life now despite the horrors he has experienced.
• As the kids reach pre-school age, Hange plants the idea in Levi’s head that he could start a small tea house, since he would have more time.
• Hange finds out she’s pregnant again when the kids are 4 years olds This time is not twins, thank god, but it’s a girl.
• The third baby girl is named Grace, after Hange’s grandmother. The name Grace could not be less fitting. Grace was rough and tumble with Levi’s personality and Hange’s affinity towards rolling around and playing in dirt. She also has Hange’s temper, and she’s strong, so when she is really angry she has been know to smash things. She’s also a certifiable genius. If not kept in check, and without proper training, she could easily become an evil overlord. (Think Louise Belcher from Bob’a Burgers) Her face is absolutely Hange and Levi mixed, to the point where she looks the most and least like them at the same time. Her hair is dark like her dad’s and sister’s, but her eyes are a clearer blue than gray.
- > Speaking of Bob’s Burgers, I’m using it as a blue print: Bob and Linda are absolutely Levi and Hange. Elle is Tina (quiet and insightful and wears glasses, but has a secret badass side - thankfully Elle isn’t nearly as boy crazy, although she is harboring a crush on Annie and Armin’s son) and Erwin is Gene (hilarious and indifferent to most things. But unlike Gene, he acts tough like his dad but is secretly really soft (which is also like his dad but no one really understands Levi’s soft side unless they’re Hange) and Grace is absolutely Louise. Scary as hell and could cut you: physically or with her brain. You don’t cross Grace.
So because of this, I imagine the twins being 13, Hange working part-time in the capital, Levi finally owning a tea shop, and the youngest is 9. And thus: Levi’s Teashop is now in my head whenever I watch Bob’a Burgers.
Thanks for reading, it’s so long sorry. But I had to type it out lol