I'm beyond humbled that anyone has made fanart of my designs/characters, I can't even put into words how much you guys have made my entire year! Thank you so much to anyone that has made fanart!!! You guys are the best and inspire me to make more content!
in exactly two songs i’m going to go sit in bed and scroll through ig until i fall asleep cause i just did the self destructive thing i mentioned in my last post and as expected it ruined my already yucky mood.
no promises ill actually be on but if i am keep me company on dicksword (kastledevils#5086)
me: *invents dark, sad ways for a character to suffer because the canon material doens't fulfill all the whump needs*
author: *makes a dark, sad way for the character to suffer in canon*
me: ... i don't want this....
i can gif interviews, tv spots, and studio chooms from now until forever, but the second i attempt to even *touch* a live stage, vapoursynth and photoshop both decide to conspire against me because 1080p from youtube isn’t enough for them.
i’ll elaborate later but damn clingy boyfriend bokuto 🥺
nearly cried today because i had to come to a full stop going 75 down the highway cause of someone being dumb and my fucking sandwich container flew off the passenger seat and fell open and my sandwich that i just bought for lunch went on the floor...
no actually i hate targeted ads because now i feel like people are watching me again
Ending a scene while ugly crying after you've killed a new character for the first time
hmm just learned the fafsa deadline is june 30th and i'm v displeased
Today was a good day. I got to see a friend for the first time in a few weeks, I got to work with horses for a while, I got chocolate covered pretzels, I was actually happy for the first time in a while. And then when I got home, it's like something in my brain flipped cause now I'm just not doing good and I'm sitting on the floor in my room on the verge of tears and really anxious and I don't even know why
WITCHING HOUR, a john seed/deputy fic.
chapter thirteen: babel
word count: ~10.4k
warnings: allusions to past trauma, mentions of negligent (and perhaps abusive) parental relationships, dead bodies getting dumped and a lot of mentions of blood. i feel like elliot's father should have a warning of his own because the man is absolute bananas. also: explicit sexual content ahead! hints and/or allusions to a praise kink, oral fixation, uhhhhhh elliot being drunk on her own sexy power what else is there to say you know
notes: hiiiiiiii friends! i took a little break from the Social World of Tumblr (and thus, writing) but i'm back now! i know i keep saying like, "this is the LAST chapter before the action REALLY hits" but unfortunately while these two idiots share precisely one brain cell among them, they have a lot to say on the matter. this chapter is exclusively john and elliot (with flashbacks etc) but it felt really important (and also: good!) to give them a little time to themselves before they make back to hope county. i appreciate y'alls patience and i really hope you enjoy this chapter; i'm really proud of it and pleased with how things are shaping up!
thank you forever and always to every single one of you who reads, comments, kudos-es, etc--anything to let me know you're enjoying what i'm putting out there is so helpful. i love you and kiss you! special thanks of course to my beta, @starcrier, for helping me when i kept getting lost in the sauce and letting me borrow her eyeballs all the time, as well as @shallow-gravy and @vasiktomis for being a second & third pair of eyeballs when i kept getting stuck. all of you have my heart!
She is seven when her father comes home.
“It’s me,” he announces with a lopsided grin on his face. “Don’t you remember me?”
She does. She remembers scratching his beard with her fingers, and counting the freckles on his face when he pulls her up into his arms, and the smell of his aftershave and tobacco clinging to him like a cloud on a rainy day. Still, her feet stay planted on the floor—even as his arms open to receive her—and she looks back at her mother.
“Go on,” her mother says, arms crossed over her chest, “give your daddy a hug.”
When she gets close enough to be in reach, Ambrose wraps her in a bear hug and squeezes until her ribs ache a little and says, “There’s my Elli,” like she was missing. Like she had been gone all this time. Like he hasn’t been gone from her, missing from her, like she doesn’t sometimes wake up from a dream where he’s home and remember that he’s not and cry.
She squeezes back, as hard as she can, so that the hug can say; please please please don’t leave again, please.
Her father makes a big show of remarking about how strong she is, feigning crippling injury and collapsing halfway to the floor before he flashes her another grin—full, white teeth—and says, “Mama says you’ve got lots of little hiding places out in the woods, bunny. You wanna show me?”
Elliot opens her mouth to respond, but her mother interrupts. “Don’t encourage her, Ambrose.”
“Kids love to have hiding places,” he tells her, hand on the top of Elliot’s head. “It’s natural.”
“She’ll be tracking mud through the house all afternoon if you let her run wild.”
“It’s fine,” her father says, light-hearted despite the way her mother’s expression tightens, “your parents don’t mind.”
They don’t. Her papa and nana laugh every time she comes back speckled with mud, or with twigs in her hair; they say, look at her, Scarlet, don’t you think she’s such a doll? And it makes her wish they could stay in Georgia forever, instead of going back to Montana.
She holds her father’s hand as they trek across the field and into the woods. It’s hot, but beneath the trees the air cools significantly; she shows him the large, overgrown hickory that probably hasn’t been touched in a decade by anyone except her, and the gaping sinkhole-turned-miniature-body-of-water where she dangles her legs over the edge and waits for something to come out from the bottom, and the river where she sees what she is sure is the same glossy crayfish snake come back to say to hello.
Her father says, “Well, these are mighty fine, honey. Thank you for sharing them with me.”
She feels special. She smiles, for the first time since he’s been back, and he carries her back on his shoulders so she can reach up and touch the branches and leaves before they break the treeline. He says don’t you think it’s nice, Elli, being up there? Don’t you want to be up there all the time? and she does think it’s nice, and she does want to be up where she can touch the secret place in the trees where only the birds can go, and she’s happy that he’s home. She ignores the way nana and papa whisper in the kitchen, pretends that she doesn't hear just going to leave again and don't like the look in those eyes, you know the kind.
It’s two weeks that he’s back before she comes bounding into the house, excited to inform her daddy that the glossy crayfish snake made his return, when she sees the body on the floor.
Ambrose turns and looks at her. There’s blood on his face. He lifts his hands. They’re covered in blood, too. His shoes make a wet sound against the wooden floor and leave crimson prints. As he steps towards her, his movements are tight and controlled, the way her papa’s horses look before they hit the track; a little frantic. Like they’re in a frenzy, but it’s bottled up, ready to snap. He kneels down in front of her, close now, and his hands lift, and the smell of wet, hot copper washes over her like a tidal wave.
“Hey,” he says, like nothing is wrong, like the body on the floor isn’t deathly still and she can’t see the blood seeping out from below the lump of person occupying the space just over her father’s left shoulder. “You’re back, huh? You wanna help daddy?”
Elliot blinks. Her stomach and chest feel tight. Suddenly, all thoughts of reporting on the snake have flown her mind. “Who is that man, daddy?”
Her father’s eyes look a little strange—dark, no longer their bright, vibrant blue, but blown wide with something, and she doesn’t know what. He says, “A mean man, Elli, a mean man who was going to try and take you away from me.”
“Um,” she says. “W-Why did they—?”
“This world is full of men who will take from you,” he says urgently, like she hasn’t said anything at all, like he can’t even hear her. “Full of it, and you know what you’ve got to do, bunny? You’ve got to put them down. Like a sick dog. You know about that, don’t you?”
There’s a little tremble in her lip. She thinks she’s going to be sick. Not cry, not all the way—but maybe be sick.
“Some men will try to take from you, and you’ve got to put them down,” her daddy says, his voice low, his hands coming up to cup her face, the smell of blood washing over her again as his thumbs press against her temples and his fingers are in her hair. Some of the blood smears on the corner of her mouth and she can taste it, a dead man’s blood, still sticky and warm. “You’re going to help me, won’t you?”
A nod happens without her consent. She doesn’t know what she would say, if to say no; he kisses her forehead and leaves a mark of blood there, like a christening. He talks the entire time he drags the man by his feet out to the back porch, stops in the doorway and says, “We can clean that up when we get back,” and there’s a weird little way it makes her feel special when he says, we can clean that up, because he’s been gone all this time but now they’re a we.
She wonders if she should be scared. If the dead body should worry her, make her cry, make her panic; but all she can think is, why would someone want to take me from my daddy, when he’s finally come home?
The air vibrates with the song of cicadas and birds. Her father drags the dead man by his feet through the trees; she leads, a few feet ahead, one foot planted in front of the other. Each second feels longer than the last, each passing moment dragging on for an eternity. She thinks, I will just keep walking; she thinks, it’s our secret; she thinks, maybe now he’ll stay.
When her daddy pulls the man’s body over to the edge of the sinkhole, he stops. He takes his shirt off, still covered with the man’s blood, and makes it into a little pouch, filling it with rocks. The air stops vibrating. The birds stop singing. Nothing rustles the undergrowth. Suddenly, Elliot thinks that the animals have discovered the smell of blood, have identified a predator larger than them, and have fled.
She counts the scars littering his chest. There are thirteen of them. Purpled and jagged, like they didn’t quite heal right. There’s an awkward jut in his ribcage where it looks like a bone is trying to push through his skin. He ties the shirt full of rocks to the man’s leg and pushes him over the cliff—down, down, down, down into the water, sinking lower. When will he touch the bottom, she wonders? When will his dead hands hit crust, or maybe further? Magma, deeper down? The earth is full of molten-hot magma, isn’t it? Will he turn to ashes? Will his ashes float back to the top?
Elliot thinks about how she likes to dangle her feet over the edge and wait for something to grab her. Now she knows, for sure, that something will be there.
Ambrose plants his hands on his hips and watches as the dead man’s body sinks into the water, dragged down by a bloody shirt full of stones. The gesture is very funny, very human, very dad, and Elliot has to swallow back the urge to laugh. She wants to throw up.
Some men will try to take from you.
“You wanna ride my shoulders back, Elli? Reach the trees?” he asks her, patting her head. It reminds her of how hot it is; the air, thick and humid and quiet, swallowing up their secret like the sinkhole filled with water, so deep deep deep that maybe the dead man will never come out and grab her ankles to pull her in.
You’ve got to put them down.
She can’t stop staring at the water. Ambrose says, “Elli?”
Like a sick dog.
“Yeah, daddy,” she replies, swallowing, “I wanna.”
His hands are carmine-colored. He grins, full and with teeth, and lifts her up with ease onto his shoulders. This high, the sinkhole zooms and blurs out of her vision; her head swims; her daddy grips her ankles like he’s going to drop her in with the dead man.
“Can get some ice cream when we’re home,” is what he says, and starts walking back to the house. She doesn’t have an appetite.
“Sure, daddy,” she replies.
“You like ice cream, don’t you?”
“Gotta clean up first,” he amends, “but after.”
Elliot hunches a little, sets her chin on top of his head and doesn’t reach for the secret place in the trees only the birds can go. It doesn’t feel like it’s for her, anymore.
She closes her eyes. Her arms drape over his shoulders; her fingers brush one of the wicked-looking scars welling up on his chest. Where did he get them, she wonders, leaves slinking over her hair, grazing her cheeks, where did these come from?
She says, “Yes, daddy?”
“This is just between you and me, bunny.” Ambrose reaches up and pats her knee. “Alright? And remember—”
A dead man, a dead man at the bottom of the water, a secret just for us.
“Don’t tell your mother.”
Nine hours on the road, and Elliot finally relented to taking a break.
Not, of course, without precautions. The whole trip so far had been precautions. She’d made him drive all the way up North to go through the toll with the Jeep’s current license plate, swap to the license plate she’d apparently taken off of her mother’s car while he was packing his bag, and drive back down through the toll again.
“That should put them on a chase,” she’d said, sighing a bit like it was a relief, even though she instructed him to drive three hours out of the way before getting on the shortest shot to Hope County again. And drive he did.
And drive, and drive, and drive.
Surely, he thought, at the four-hour mark, we should pull aside.
Surely now, he thought, when five hours had passed, but Elliot remained silent. There was a weird tension about her, in the clench of her jaw and the nervous way she skimmed her nails against the nylon of the seatbelt, the way her eyes fixed on the road even as the sky started to grow dark overhead.
Each time he stopped to gas up, he’d lean against her window until she’d roll it down to look at him expectantly, and he’d say, “Don’t you think we should pull in for the night?”
“No,” she said, every time. “Not yet.”
Not yet, even when the snow came down heavier than before. Not yet, even when night fell, hard and fast and early. It’s not far enough yet. Even with the assurance that Pritchard had certainly taken down the license plate marked and traced through the toll gate they had skillfully gone back through disguised, she didn’t seem content with the distance they were putting between themselves and Weyfield—and whatever it was that was lingering there, waiting for him.
Waiting for them.
Still, it was impossible to linger on it too long, because every time he started thinking about it there was another overwhelming wash of relief. It didn’t matter really, did it? If there was something waiting back there for her, for him, for them? Because they were going home, to Hope County, and there was no fucking way John was going to let Elliot slip through his fingers again.
“Ell,” he said, when they had reached a stoplight in the middle of some podunk Missouri town, the windshield wipers running nonstop to battle the near-constant snowfall, “we need to stop for the night.”
Elliot’s leg bounced in the passenger seat. She dug the nail of her thumb into her lower lip. The light flipped to green, but John didn’t let up on the brakes.
“Fine,” she said at last. “Let’s stay in that motel.”
Said motel that she indicated with a jerk of her head looked to be, perhaps, the hunting ground of every serial murderer that had ever existed anywhere at any point in time. The VACANCY sign flickered and buzzed in a lukewarm attempt to appear inviting. John grimaced.
Someone behind them honked. He sighed, let the car roll forward through the light and then pulled into the parking lot of the motel. Up close, it looked worse—sad, desolate, sagging. He supposed, idly, that it was fitting for the two of them on the run from the (possible) Federal Marshall on their tail, and for leaving behind waking nightmares.
Putting the car in park, he sat for a moment before sighing. “Wait here,” he said, and heaved one more sigh before he climbed out of the car, leaving it idly and with the heat turned on.
About twenty minutes of back and forth with the front desk clerk—who looked not at all happy to assist despite the claim of the inspirational sign hanging on the wall beside her, and would have much rather preferred to cease helping him at all despite his insistence that Boomer would be the most well-behaved—he had made it back to the car with a dingy room key in his hand.
“Last and final offer to pay a little more to stay in a place that looks a little less like a breeding ground for an STD.”
Elliot rubbed under Boomer’s chin. “It’s better to stay someplace like this,” she informed him. “Less chance they’ll come checking for us.”
“And who,” John replied, “is they, Elliot?”
“Anyone,” she snapped. “Does it matter?”
“No, I suppose not.”
They hauled their meager on-the-run belongings into the room at the end of the motel’s long stretch of rooms; Boomer squeezed between their legs to dive in first, nose to the ground as he inspected what John could only assume were a myriad of scents stained into the short carpet forever and always. Elliot dropped her duffel onto the floor and closed the door behind them, throwing the lock and then dragging the curtains shut.
When she turned back and really looked the room over, her expression twisted a little, crumpling before she took in that which John had been anticipating and thus had already seen: the thin, scratchy comforter, the radiator on the wall, the door to the bathroom which seemed to sag in its doorway, the tiny patch of scuffed linoleum stretching in the corner where once, he thought, perhaps, a kitchenette had stood. No longer.
“What the fuck,” Elliot sighed.
“My sentiments exactly,” John agreed.
The redhead rolled her eyes, stretching and wincing a little. She looked tiny; swallowed up in thick, heavy fabrics, cheeks flushed and wisps of her hair sticking out of the haphazard ponytail. The coppery hair dye she’d used was beginning to fade into a strawberry blonde, giving away to the true cornsilk color underneath again. But even as he stood there, watching her peel off layer after layer of coat and sweater, he thought, I know no one else better than I know her.
Without pretense, Elliot announced, “I’m cranking the heat up. And then, I’m going to take a bath. And you know what I’m going to do after that, John?”
“I couldn’t begin to hazard a guess.”
“I’m going to pretend like you don’t have a tendency to ruin things every time I think you’re really making a decent effort,” she continued tartly, nudging the bathroom door open and turning on a light which ended up being so viciously fluorescent she almost immediately turned it back off, “and sleep next to you without strangling you.”
“Romantic,” John said.
“Fuck you,” she replied.
“Might as well get it all out now,” he ventured, “before we get back to Hope County and you have nobody else’s side to be on but mine.”
Elliot scoffed and started the bathwater. “If you mean get out all of my irritation with you, then rest assured you have an immense talent at raking up my ire with ease. It wasn’t the first time you’ve made me want to punch your teeth in, and it certainly won’t be the last.”
“Contrary to what you might think, I love when you talk like that.”
She made a disgusted sound, peeling her shirt off over her head and shimmying out of her jeans. Boomer had, for some reason, selected the few tiles of dingy linoleum to settle on, but not without dragging one of Elliot’s coats over to make a nest in. John stifled a sigh.
He peeked out through the curtains, relieved to find that there were a number of other cars that seemed to belong to folks already settled in for the night. Despite the fact that the place reeked of potential crime scene, there were a number of inhabitants; as much as he almost preferred to keep driving rather than stop here, he knew that it was best.
The sound of water splashing drew his attention back to the source. Even though the bathroom light was off and they hadn’t turned anything on in the room, he could see Elliot, sinking into the water as far as she could. John shrugged out of his jacket and set it across the singular dining chair (not a lounge chair, but just a...dining chair, sitting, vaguely threatening, in the middle of the room) and sat in the doorway to the bathroom. The room itself was cramped, but the bathroom seemed barely capable of holding all of its necessary components.
In the dark, his wife heaved a sigh.
“Water’s cold,” she muttered.
“You think someone was killed in here?” She waved her hand. “Not like, the room, but here in this bathtub.”
John snorted. “Probably.”
Another moment of silence stretched between them; John glanced at Boomer, already snoozing, face tucked beneath his tail and curled tightly up on Ell’s coat. Sitting down again—and sitting somewhere that wasn’t in a car—was making him painfully aware of how tired he was. His whole body ached. Weariness tugged at the edges of his vision, coaxing his eyes shut. He thought, I could sleep right here, probably, if I needed to.
Elliot said, “I think my dad made me help him hide a body.”
His eyes blinked open. He expected to find her under duress, but instead he found her—frowning. Contemplative. Reaching for the drain in the bathtub but not quite ready to pull it yet. He’d heard so little about her father—even from Scarlet, who seemed to hold him in some kind of high regard still—that this was the first real introduction.
“You think?” John asked. “That seems like a big thing to be unsure of.”
“Human memory is funny,” she replied. “I was little. Couldn’t have been more than seven, I’m pretty sure since—” She stopped for a second. “Well, I mean, he left, you know.”
He did know. He’d scoured her documents after she’d left, memorizing and re-memorizing every little detail about her that he could, anything to give himself the upper hand or an edge in figuring her out. Ambrose had left Scarlet and Elliot when Elliot was only eight, and had never come back. Not to mention the numerous times he’d disappeared since.
There were a lot of questions, of course; whose body? How much of it did she remember? Could it have been a dream, and not a memory? She’d been having a lot of those lately. Dreams.
He said, “Where?”
Elliot looked at him. “Back in Weyfield,” she replied after a second, seemingly caught off-guard by his question—like she had been expecting him to brush it aside, to dismiss it as, in fact, a dream and not something she was really remembering. “In the woods, behind the house. We would go there every summer to visit my grandparents, even when my dad was gone.” She scratched at her cheek absently. “There were all of these little trails, you know—animal trails—and all of these places I liked to go. Way back was this like....pond,” and she gestured vaguely with her hand. “It was really a sinkhole, that had been filled with water over the years because it’s so close to a river, so it was really deep. Local kids liked to jump in it a lot. They used to say the devil would come up and grab you if you were a sinner.”
She stopped talking, and didn’t elaborate. She didn’t have to. John knew what she was thinking about—dumping a body in it. Whatever she had been thinking about for the entire drive to Missouri, she had been running it over and over in her head. And now she was giving it to him.
Sharing it. With him.
Elliot pulled the plug from the tub’s drain and sighed, reaching for the towel hanging on rack.
“Ah—I wouldn’t,” John cautioned, swatting her hand away. “Not sure where that’s been. Wait here.”
As he went to fetch one of the towels he’d lifted from a hotel on his way to Weyfield, he heard Elliot climbing out of the tub, water splashing, and thought against about what she’d said. A sinkhole, and a man he’d never met, and a body he’d never seen, suddenly handed to him without prying it out of her. There’d been no tantrum. No venom. He’d become the person that Elliot worked through her reflections with—at least, in this moment.
“Thanks,” she muttered, when he returned to hand her the towel, wrapping it around herself. “Fuck, it’s freezing. Turn the heat up more, will you?”
“Sure,” John agreed. He reached up, tucking some hair behind her ear, drawing her eyes to him. “And then afterward you can lay in bed and not strangle me.”
“Or,” he added casually, “you could, if that’s something that you’re interested—”
“I’m just saying, we’ve had so little time to explore your sexual fantasies.”
“My fantasy,” she replied coolly, “is you shutting the fuck up.”
He grinned. A moment of silence passed. Elliot announced, feigning saccharine, “So sexy.”
“Get dressed before you get sick,” he prompted. “I’ve already had to listen to you wheeze through pneumonia once.”
He leaned in, feeling comfortable—close—enough to kiss her; she froze, stilling, and he thought about how easily she’d confessed to perhaps being complicit in a crime so many years ago, and he thought about how easily she accessed her wrath, and—
And she kissed him. She clutched the towel to her and kissed him, and it ended faster than he would have liked, but when he leaned in for more she said, “Maybe we don’t make out after I tell you about a childhood trauma,” and he felt a little thrill of victory sweep through him—because the amount of time between when Elliot would tell him to keep his hands off of her and when she would let him back in were growing smaller and smaller by the day.
He watched her as she slipped past, shuffling around in her bag for her clothes, her angry words from before settling like a film over his mind. Have you ever done anything for me that wasn’t for you too?
No, he hadn’t.
If I didn’t have the baby, would you have even come for me?
“John,” Elliot complained, “the heat.”
I want to go home.
Biting back the urge to laugh, John manged out wryly, “Yes, dear,” before he turned his attention to the radiator ticking and rattling laboriously below the window, trying its hardest and failing miserably to warmth the room. Still, he couldn’t stop thinking about it. How had he missed it?
I told you, the thought running over and over and over in his head, I told you, I knew it all along.
You were always mine.
( start running, elliot )
The dead man’s blood on the tongue, put there by a father’s hand. It’s the first taste. She brushes her teeth over and over again, rinses and spits, scratches the flat of her tongue,
You like ice cream, don’t you?
( pine needles underfoot, wet cotton on skin, and the woods—the horrible, dark mouth of the woods, opening and opening to scream but no sound comes out, )
like she scrubbed the floor, working the rag between her hands before sopping up the sticky, dark liquid from the floorboards. She bares her teeth in the mirror, and she thinks she can see the man’s blood sticking between them like a plague, the same way her daddy looked when he wipes the back of his hand across his mouth and smears the blood and then grins at her and his white, white teeth—always so much teeth—are doused in red,
Give your daddy a hug,
( lungs aching for air, eyes burn from gunsmoke and dirt, do you feel guilty, elliot, for what that man did to you, )
and he looks like a monster, and she bares her bloody teeth in the mirror and she looks like a monster, and she cries and cups the water in dirty, bloody hands to rinse it again and again and again. She’s seen blood before, had it in her mouth when she trips and falls or that time she punched the neighbor boy and he swung back,
This is just between me and you, bunny.
but she’s never tasted blood before, not like this, it’s different when it’s someone else’s, when it belongs to someone who’s
( i’m glad they blew her fucking brains in, and the ground collides with her back, and there’s the taste of sweat and blood in her mouth just like that day when the cicadas buzzed too loud and the sound died out of the forest, and i wonder, elliot, will you feel guilty about this too, )
Don’t tell your mother.
Elliot stirred, kicking the sheet further down her legs a little and sighing. She couldn’t sleep; every time she closed her eyes and started to drift off, the sound of gunfire echoed in her head, the smell of pines and wet blood and sweat filled her senses. Each moment spent half-asleep and half-awake meant that her brains busy sorting and compartmentalizing of what had been dredged up now blended together furiously, over and over again, dark, rich color and sound overlapping until she couldn’t make out one end from the other.
The heater rattled against the wall, sputtering out bursts of hot, dry air, and beside her she felt John shift and roll over, his nose brushing the back of her neck. He’d gotten comfortable with it—all of this touching, even after her outburst back at the house, but she thought, too, that John had always wanted to touch, had always wanted his hands on her. One way or another.
Not this one.
Always grabbing, and touching—except when he wasn’t, except when someone else was doing it and she was ready to kill, to maim, to bite, until someone else was doing it and John let them and she knew, she knew that too late he had realized she had been relying on him, even back then. Even when she would go to sleep at night thinking I hate him I hate him I hate him to avoid counting sheep.
This one’s not clean.
Had she ever been?
“Don’t cuddle me,” Elliot murmured. Her voice was hoarse from non-sleep, from that strange space between waking and dreaming. “It’s so fucking hot in here.”
The brunette hummed, breath fanning against her skin, the pads of his fingers tracing the slope of her hip through her shorts. Still, he was mindful not to drape himself over her—instead, he dug his thumb past the elastic band lightly and skimmed over the sensitive stretches of skin marred with gossamer scars. Goosebumps prickled along her shoulders, up the back of her neck, reminding her that no matter how much time she spent pushing him away, even still he somehow managed to get under her skin.
“John.” His name came out of her as a warning, but it came out half-hearted and without any bite or sting; hearing it come out of her was like hearing a stranger, the stretch and pull of his name odd-fitting and uncomfortable. She realized, with a sinking sensation, that it hadn’t come out as a warning at all, but a plea.
He heard it, too; he paused, like the timbre of her voice had caught him off-guard. Calloused fingers splayed against her hip bone and then gripped, squeezing for a moment.
“I’ll turn the heater off.” He spoke the words into her skin and went to pull away—the departure of his warmth, and the strange chill that came in the wake of it, had her rolling onto her back and catching his wrist to stop him from getting too far. In the dark, John hesitated. Neon from the motel’s sign outside cut across the foot of the bed, slicing red along his shoulder, and illuminating him in an eerie halo. He looked the same way he had in that dream, interlacing their blood-covered hands, just like me, you’re just like me.
She said, “Don’t.”
Waiting exactly where he was, halfway pulled away, John stayed propped up on one elbow. He was far enough that his body warmth was no longer seeping against her already-overheated skin, feverish and sensitive with a strange, uncomfortable sensation; and she wanted him back again, wanted him close, wanted his mouth on her neck and his hands on her and anything he would give her, if he would just give it to her.
That gnawing, itching little hunger inside of her, that voice that said, John’s always been there, it’s always been John, we always knew he was here, waiting for us, wanting us.
She said, “Stay.”
Again, her voice felt like a stranger’s—but she didn’t feel far away from herself, didn’t feel like a passenger, an audience to her own unraveling. She was there, in her body, watching John’s eyes sweep over her in the dark and half-neon glow, letting his hand twist in her grip to cradle the crook of her arm and roll her all the way onto her back.
She thought, briefly, my mother would be having an aneurysm right now. The whisper of rational thinking almost prompted a laugh out of her, and Elliot was sure she would have sounded hysterical if she let it come out. There was no need for that kind of restraint, anymore. She couldn’t go back. There was nothing in Weyfield for her. Just a mother who didn’t want her—was embarrassed by her—and friends who couldn’t know her, not really, or they wouldn’t have liked her at all, and
( a body, a body, don’t you remember, that day when the air was buzzing with cicadas and the glossy crayfish slinked through the water and you let your daddy drag a body through the woods, crushing underbrush and poisoning each shade of green and purple and white wildflowers with red, red, red, so much red, can’t you taste it can’t you feel it under your tongue, don’t you remember, )
in the end, Joseph John had been right.
With one arm wedged under her pillow, half-caging her in against the bed, John’s other hand lifted; the pads of his fingers went to the Wrath scar, tracing the mark he’d left before his eyes flickered up to meet hers, waiting expectantly. Elliot shifted a, just enough to angle herself toward him a little, wishing—wanting, again, that troubling, tiny word—for him to grab her the way he had before, grip her hips with bruising force and dig his teeth into her neck but unsure how to tell him that’s what she wanted.
My husband, she thought absently, as John’s hand began a leisurely pace down her sternum and pushed the end of her tanktop up; down further still, pausing only when she kicked the blankets from her legs all the way, thumbing once again at the band of her shorts. My husband, isn't that a thought? Someone belongs to me.
On instinct, her hand went to his. She gripped his wrist for a second, a little tension gathering in the hollow of her jaw, I want I want but I don’t know how to say, her lashes fluttering; John’s nose brushed the slope of her cheek.
“Ell,” he murmured, his voice rough, “what do you want?”
Touch me, something inside of her said, even when she found herself stiffening a little, touch me, touch me, tell me you love me again when no one else will, tell me again how you love me even when I taste like blood, especially when I taste like blood.
“Did you think about me?” Elliot asked impulsively. The thought that had sparked through her mind needed to be washed out with something, anything else. “While we were apart?”
His eyes were dark in the dim light of the motel room. There was a little push and pull of his jaw, too—familiar. She was frustrating him. Her question had pushed him somewhere he didn’t necessarily anticipate being.
“Yes,” he replied, his voice low.
“Like this?” she prompted again, loosening her grip on his wrist and letting his hand slip beneath the band of her shorts. It felt electric, giving it to him—watching the way his eyes flickered with want and that tension wadded up tight and vicious as he tried to keep his composure, even when greedy fingers dug beneath the fabric of her underwear still, even as she lifted her hips a little to meet that touch and the breath left his nose in a sharp exhale.
“Is that what you want?” he countered. He sounded barely-even, barely-put-together, but she could tell he was trying. “For me to tell you that I thought about you—”
“—just like this, grabbing my hand and putting it where you want it most—”
Yes. Her throat felt tight, holding his eye contact harder and harder with each passing moment.
“—and taking,” John said, voice catching a little as the glide of his fingers pulled a low, uneasy whimper out of her, “what you want from me?”
Yes, the word, stuck in her throat despite how true it was; yes, waiting for her to say it, to tell him—John, who had no problem telling her that he loved her—to be as honest—
(if it was honest, if he meant it,)
—as he was.
Calloused fingers dipped, nearly sliding home but too quick on the retreat; Elliot couldn’t stop the disappointed little sound, the breath, that came out of her, but the noise was quickly quelled when John brought the offending fingers to his mouth and slid them into his mouth. Tasting her, hungry for her, and she couldn’t look away—not even if she wanted to, and she didn’t want to, not like this, not when John half-sighed, half-moaned around the taste of her on his tongue.
She said, somehow managing the words out above a whisper, “Is that a yes?”
“Not quite,” was his reply, once his hand had returned to its leisurely exploration, always circling the part of her that wanted him the most but not quite going there; teasing, gliding, dropping his mouth to the slope of her stomach and her hips to kiss there, his breath fanning hotly. “Because I didn’t think about you when we were apart.” His free, unoccupied hand lifted, tugging the fabric around her hips down down down, further still to expose more to him; Elliot squirmed, stomach twisting as he said, “I’ve been thinking about you—”
“John,” she said, just like before—not a warning, but a plea.
“I have,” John reiterated more forcefully, “been thinking about you, Elliot, but not just while we were apart.”
Oh, she thought, oh, don’t say it, John, don’t—
“You have no idea,” he murmured into her skin, “how long I have thought about you, just. Like. This.”
The room was hot, too hot, so hot, and each breath felt like a mouthful of bathwater, slick and wet as it filled her lungs. Shifting again, John settled between her legs, pressing two fingers into her and lifting his gaze to hers when he did. Elliot knew that he wanted to see her—wanted that veil to lift, the scales to fall, drop from her face and leave her open and vulnerable for him; and when he beckoned his fingers against her and he dragged the flat of his tongue at a pace that was so infuriatingly slow she thought she might never see the end of it, a sharp, violent spark of want sprinted up her spine. It gripped at the base of her neck with hot fingers, spreading warmth through her cheeks and head until it was so muggy in the room she couldn’t quite think straight.
But that wasn’t true. It was different this time. John was pulling her open, prying her apart, but she was letting him, and she had never felt clearer.
Elliot sighed his name in a shaky, uneasy breath, reaching for him; his hand caught hers, lacing their fingers together as he set a pace that was both too slow to get her off and just fast enough to build and build and build and build, moaning against her when her nails dug into their hand-hold a little. The competing tension between his mouth and tongue and the molasses-slow crook of his fingers against her was enough to make her squirm again, trying to shift and garner any little grind of friction she could get.
Shameless, something inside of her said. She was. Gripping John’s hand, she tangled her other into his hair and made a sweet sound.
“Not going to tell me to speed it up, are you?” John asked, having glanced up to gauge her. “I don’t want to. I want to take my time, Ell, I want—”
“I thought about you too,” she cut in over him, her voice unsteady, drenched with want. “Before, but—especially, I thought about you when we were apart.” Elliot’s lashes fluttered and she made a low sound, half frustration and half want. “I thought about you like this—”
She heard him breathe out a near-inaudible fuck before he was back on her. This time, he was less teasing, more direct; she knotted her fingers in the strands of his hair and resisted the urge to chase the heat of his mouth with her hips, trying to keep her thoughts straight—but every time she thought, I’ve got to get it under control, she’d search and search and search only to find that she was in control, that nothing about this felt wild or uncontrollable.
“Tell me,” the brunette said, his voice hoarse. “You thought about me? Like this?”
Elliot’s breath felt a little shallow, that wet-hot heat coiling tight and unforgiving in the pit of her stomach. “Yes.”
“Before we were apart.” The pad of his thumb dragged against her, breath fanning silkily, and her body leaned into it involuntarily. “You thought about me, like this—desperate for you, before we were apart.”
“Yes, John,” she ground out between her teeth, that little budding frustration at being so close and so far all at the same time feeling like it was dropping wall after wall in her head. What else could she say, to get him to just put his mouth on her? “Fuck, I—what do you want me to say? That I—”
“Touched yourself,” John finished, filling in the gap the way he wanted, voice thick with want, “and thought of me.”
Yes. There was that silly little shred of honesty, again. How many times? Before, and before-before? Before the reaping, when the idea of having sex was repulsive but the idea of John Seed filling the person-shaped hole in her fantasy while she got herself off had not been? Before John had showed up in Weyfield, and she’d been so fucking sad, but even more than that she had just wanted someone to put their fucking hands on her and wasn’t John so good at that, and wasn’t it so easy to think of him doing it; John, dropping to his knees in front of her, moaning against her, getting himself off while he ate her out because just the taste of her on his tongue and the sound of her sighing his name was enough to push him over the edge, and John, burying his face into her neck, fuck Elliot please Elliot I know you love when I fuck when I come in that perfect fucking—
“I did,” Elliot said without thinking, the words departing her mouth hungry and wanton as John picked up the pace of his fingers. “I did, John, t-think about—fuck, I thought about you and touched myself, thought about you fucking me and—”
“Don’t stop,” John bit out, pulling what little fabric remained between them out of the way and her down the bed so that he could nose past the damp hair at her neck.
“Yes,” she breathed, yes yes yes, “just like this, I th—” Her breath hitched as he pressed up against her, not quite all the way but enough to make her body tense and ache from the absence of it. “—thought about you just like this, John, the way it f-feels when you finally—oh, John—”
An embarrassingly wanton sound came out of her when he finally pushed in all the way, and then he just stayed, not moving and not working that friction he’d spent all that time building up. The brunette moaned against the hollow of her jaw, one hand gripping her hip and digging his fingers in just enough to make her whine.
“Fuck—” John breath stuttered, but he stayed exactly put where he was. “Wanted you the second I put my eyes on you, Ell, don’t—don’t fucking stop telling m-me—”
He’d always said I’ll give you anything you want, and she didn’t know why he wanted it so bad—but now, like this, listening to him, she thought she did get it. She thought about giving him exactly what he wanted, and how it would unravel him, and she felt in control in a way nothing else had ever made her feel.
“Feel so good,” she moaned, breathing the words reverently, yes we know, we know what you like, and we’ll be honest when we give it to you, “Christ, you—feel so good, John, even when I was just thinking of you I—k-knew—”
“Made for me.” He pulled back just a little and then rocked all the way into her again, making her keen and whimper, squirming underneath him. “Weren’t you? I knew it, too, back then and when you left and now, I knew it, that we were meant for—fuck, we were meant for each other.”
It felt like everything in her body was pulled tight, cranked to one hundred. There was nothing that could have been worse than John fucking her like this, slow and with intent, grinding those words against her skin like he was just barely holding himself back—and maybe he was, but she wanted so badly to tell him to just fucking move. But if she did, the magic would snap, break; she wouldn’t be giving him what he wanted, she would be telling him what to do, and maybe she liked that, but right now she was taking his magic and using it for herself.
Elliot tilted her head. Their noses brushed; John’s slow, unhurried pace of fucking her enough to spark pleasure with every connection of their bodies but not enough to quite get her there, perpetually strung in a strange purgatory of wretched want.
“It never—” She arched up against him, encouraging more, more more more, please, I want more. “—never felt—this good, John, not with anyone else—”
“Fuck me.” John’s voice pitched to a whine at her words. He was caught wanting, but there was no game this time, not really. No competition of who would break first—only the breaking, across the board.
“—just you,” Elliot coaxed, hungry to hear that kind of slip again, “it only feels good l-like this—fuck, John, you feel so fucking good and you’re the only one who m-makes me feel this way—please.”
He moaned, hand sliding from her hip to the small of her back so that he could pull her up against him a little—and then he really started moving, and she felt that heat start spreading again, purposefully fueled, moving at the pace of a lava flow but burning and grinding every nerve-ending on its way. She barely registered that she was sighing and moaning his name, please John please John yes just like this just what I wanted I always wanted you just like this John, because somewhere in the humid, cloudy haze of her want, as she inched closer and closer to her finish, she could hear John, too.
Always, he was saying, always knew, as he fucked her, always knew you were meant for me, when his teeth caught her skin a little too hard and she whimpered, always knew you were mine, as his pace shifted a little, a man incensed, sick to death with his own magic, fucking I knew it fuck I love you I love you Ell I fucking—
“John—” His name left her mouth again, a plea, shameless. “Please—”
“Fuck, I—” John’s voice peaked, torn with want as he pulled back to look at her, drinking her in. “F-Fuck, you—look so fucking good—don’t you stop, Ell, don’t stop telling me how much you—how much you fucking w-want—”
He’s close, something inside of her whispered, insidious and wicked, and it was right; and Elliot squirmed and shifted up underneath him, onto the pillow so that she could see him better, too, before she said, “Not yet.”
The brunette blinked hazily at her. “What—?”
“Don’t,” she told him, pulling him closer, “come yet.” And then, when he’d ground out a frustrated noise between his teeth, she added, “Not—until I say you can.”
“You’re such a—” Elliot arched up, tugging him tighter against her. “—fuck, such a fucking—”
“Say it,” she murmured silkily; he made a vicious sound and dug his fingers into her hip. “Come on, baby—”
“God damn it—”
“—you want to come, don’t you?” She sighed, and moaned against him, not just yours, anymore, I know it, too, this magic, the thought permeating dreamily as she brushed her lips against the spot just below his ear. “Tell me what a—hm, what a brat I am.”
He groaned, broken and wrecked. “You are,” he said, like she wasn’t goading him to say it, like he had to defend his opinion on the matter. “A f-fucking—brat, Elliot—”
“Yes,” Elliot murmured in agreement, the words driving the red-hot spike of want ever higher in her, “but look at how good I’m being, for you.”
John whined. He dug his teeth into her pulse point a little, just enough to make her moan, and it felt like pulling, shredding, tearing at the edges of her senses. Against her skin, he managed out, almost spitefully, “Please.”
Too good. No wonder he loved to hear it coming out of her mouth, no wonder she’d gotten such a fucking high that night she’d killed Kian and he’d said that word to her. Nothing else in the entire world could have mattered in that moment except for the weight of him, the taste of him, the way he said again, “Please, Elliot, I—” And then, as though to swallow whatever ego he had: “I want it.”
She settled back against the pillow, pushing on his chest so that she could look at him. His eyes darted to the scar on her chest hungrily; loose, silken strands of hair fluttered into his face from where she’d raked her fingers through it. She wanted to give it to him. She was close, too, teetering on the edge as his hands roamed her body and he resumed a steadier pace, having pulled himself back from the finish line.
Elliot said, “Try again.”
Annoyance, frustration—maybe anger darted across his expression, overwhelming the hunger, and he said, “I don’t think—”
“John,” she breathed, skimming her hand along his chest, emboldened by this new high she found, “I want you to finish in me.” She rolled her lower lip between her teeth, the half-sigh half-moan coming out of her when John’s eyes fixed on her mouth and a wrecked sound was pulled out of him. “So badly. Don’t you?”
“Please,” he ground out, his voice breaking a little, “please, baby, I—want to—I want it so f-fucking—fuck, I want it so bad, Elliot, please—”
His words cut off when Elliot pulled his hand up from her hip and brought it to her jaw, letting his fingers skim her lips before she guided his thumb past them and into her mouth. His eyes fluttered, his movements grinding to a stop.
“The fuucking mouth on—on you,” he breathed, almost a complaint. He pushed his thumb deeper into her mouth, watching transfixed as Elliot moaned and arched up against him, so close, I’m so fucking close, John, but she couldn’t tell him—only hollow her cheeks like there was nothing that she wanted more than to have him inside of her anyway she could get it. Look at him, that wicked thing in her said. Look at how he’s looking at us, like he can’t get enough. Like he’ll never get enough of us.
And he said, his eyes never once leaving the way she dragged his thumb from her mouth, “Please let me come, Elliot.”
Oh, there it was—the magic sequence of words she wanted to hear. It was like something had clicked into place, fitted slots sliding together until everything was exactly where she wanted it, and the desperation in his voice was so fucking good and he looked like there was nothing that he wanted more in that moment. There probably wasn’t.
“Just like that,” she murmured, a sweet iteration from before, “just like that, that’s all I wanted, John, all I—you can have it, it’s all yours—”
He moaned her name, frantically and haphazardly slipping his hand between them; he was breathing out, “Yes, yes, fuck yes, come on, Ell, pretty baby, come on, give it to me, I want it—I want it so fucking bad,” when he finally pushed her over the edge, whining his name and twisting her fingers in his hair until he was finishing. Even as he fucked her through it, even as he said, “Fuck yes, Ell, fuck yes that’s my fucking girl, so fucking good for me,” like he was going to yank her right back and push her over again, he kept her pulled close and flush against him.
She could barely breathe. Slick, heavy drags of pleasure pulled through her body like the tide, and John’s breath puffed against her neck, and he dragged his mouth over the flushed places where his teeth had been a little too rough.
“Pleased with yourself?” he murmured huskily, carefully disentangling their bodies just enough that he could wedge himself against her side, effectively feeding the problem that had stirred her in the first place; being too fucking hot. Elliot made a low, thoughtful noise.
“A little,” she admitted. “But there’s still room for improvement.”
A breathless laugh billowed out of him. “Oh, is that so?”
“Sure.” She shifted, stretching a little shoving her arm under the pillow, not bothering with the blankets. “I mean, you didn’t say thank you.”
John’s hand, which had been making its ascent up from her hips and to her sternum, paused; he brushed his thumb against her pulse, and the feeling of his fingers splayed against the column of her throat made her heart jump a little.
“Well,” he said after a moment, dipping to kiss her shoulder, “if you’d only said.”
“Shouldn’t have to tell you how to use your manners.”
A low, throaty noise came from him. “Criticism noted. Anything else?”
“Yeah,” Elliot replied exhaustedly. “Turn the fucking heat off.”
John woke up to the sound of whispering.
He wasn’t sure what it was, precisely, that stirred him out of sleep, not right away. He didn’t know what it was that made his skin prickle and his eyes flicker open, staring across the room at the red neon cutting into the wall. As he gathered his thoughts, his senses, he realized that Elliot had gotten out of bed.
He took a minute to collect sensory information. The room had cooled down since the radiator had been turned off; the door to the bathroom was open and the space empty, which meant she wasn’t in there. As he sat up a little, back to the door and trying to figure out where it was that Elliot had gone, he heard it.
He turned to look over his shoulder. The curtains were pulled back from the window, allowing the full, stuttering static light of the sign outside to bleed in through the glass and across the ground-level room. Their bags were untouched, exactly where they’d left them; Elliot’s paper coffee cup on the table and the book she’d been thumbing through before climbing into the bed, the heater silent and no longer ticking, and Elliot herself.
Elliot, standing at the door, palms flat against the cheap vinyl wood, whispering into the space where the door didn’t quite reach the frame.
A strange, uneasy chill crawled up his spine. He thought of Elliot, screaming in the car and insisting there was a dog with man’s face. He thought of Elliot, panicked and barefoot in the snow on the street, telling him that a stranger knew about their baby. He thought about Elliot, face relaxed, I told Joey I can’t let her in.
They were somewhere in Missouri, now; there was no way, right? There was no way that the woman from the road that night was here, too, on the other side of the door. But if he sat very still, if he stayed very quiet, he could hear the pauses in Elliot’s breath—and thought he heard someone’s responding whisper slipping through the crack in the door.
For a second, he couldn’t move; that cold dread wound tight and vicious in his stomach until it was in knots, over and over again, watching Elliot sway on her feet, long hair tangled and the copper coloring faded and violently washed out in the neon light. John pulled himself out of bed, taking care not to make too much sound—not that his footfalls against the thin, bowling-alley-esque carpet would have made much sound to begin with—and closed the distance between himself and his wife standing at the door.
“...eat, grin.” Elliot’s forehead pressed against the door, the words slipping out of her mouth almost inaudible. “Bloom, eat, grin. Wrath, do you want to bloom in me? Bloom, eat, grin. Wrath, do you want to—?”
Abruptly, she stopped speaking. John had come within a step or two of her. He watched her head tilt—inquisitive, sharp, machine-like, much like she had that night he’d found her struggling to open the front door at the house in Weyfield. She didn’t say anything. He could see, in the darkness, the cut of her eyes, keeping him in the peripheral.
She was listening. For him.
He stayed put where he was. This was unlike the ways she had sleepwalked before; she had always been distressed. Sad. Joey won’t let me sleep, I can’t let her in, or seeing things, terrible things—a dog with a man’s face. Sometimes, she had just been standing, staring blindly out the window. But this was different. There was a strange slyness to the way her head tilted, the flicker of her eyes, the twitch of the corner of her mouth, like she was holding down a smile.
“I see you,” she whispered in his direction. At him. “I see your color.”
Something whispered on the other side of the door, words he couldn’t make out—but he was sure he heard something. Quietly, without turning her full attention back to the door but rather keeping her head cocked in his direction, Elliot’s nails scratched at the vinyl wood; sliding down and down and down until her hand hit the metal deadlock. His eyes fixed on the quiet movements of her hand before he realized, with a sickening flush of panic, she was trying to undo the door.
“Elliot,” he whispered, reaching for her, “come on, let’s go back to bed.”
He was going to put her back to bed, and creep back to the door to find out who it was looming on the other side. It would be easy. A kid, perhaps, playing a prank; even someone trying to break in and rob them, thinking they were talking to someone who was fully awake.
But as his hand neared her, she snapped viciously, “I see your color, John. I see your color, I see—”
He barked out, “Elliot, stop!” sharply, abruptly, the sound of his voice reverberating off of the plaster walls and making the redhead jump as the panic rose high and fast in his throat. She blinked rapidly, clearly disoriented. On the other side of the door, the sound of footsteps hitting pavement echoed; something cut across the line of neon red filtering through the room, but as soon as he’d gone back to the window to see, they were gone. Boomer had risen to his feet, ears pricked and alert, hackles prickling along his spine as he darted to the window to look outside at whatever it was that seemed to be alarming everyone.
And then, Elliot’s voice, soft and distant: “John?”
When he looked back at her, she looked more like herself. Confused, but her eyes no longer held that glassiness that came with sleepwalking, and that odd, sly cruelty had fled her expression, too.
“Hey,” he said, eyes darting to the window again. No movement, in the dark, night; no movement on the sidewalk that had been shoveled clean of snow, or between the cars, or anywhere except for the snowfall filtering through the night.
“Where—” She paused, swallowing thickly. “Where am—”
“In the motel room,” he told her, moving back to the door and double-checking the lock with one hand, the other touching her hip—wanting to brush the slope of her tummy, to see if maybe he could sense through just tactile purpose alone if the baby was alright—and then going up to her shoulder. “In Missouri. Remember?” Elliot’s eyes fluttered uneasily. “We’re going home?”
“Oh,” she said, “yeah.” She didn’t sound certain.
“Elliot,” John said, drawing her eyes back to him, reaching for her with his other hand now, “are you...”
His voice trailed off. The wariness in her expression bloomed exponentially. She was bracing herself; are you okay? The words stuck in his throat, because he knew the second he finished that sentence she was going to pull away from him. I’m not crazy, she’d said, after saying something that John thought might certify her as such, but given what he knew she had been through he’d let go of.
Sort of. Anyway.
“I’m fine,” Elliot replied tartly.
John’s mouth pressed into a thin line.
“Don’t,” she said, “make me regret—”
He thought about the sound of feet hitting pavement, and about the sound of whispering drifting through the door. I see your color, John, and he thought about the way the neon had flickered when someone had darted in front of the window when he’d raised his voice.
“We should get up and leave anyway, don’t you think?” She didn’t pull away when he swept the pad of his thumb over her cheek, flushed and feverish as it was, her skin clammy. “It’s, what—”
He glanced at the cheap alarm clock on the bedside table. It blinked 3:00 AM at a leisurely, uneven pace. Blink, blink. Friendly reminder that they’d only slept a handful of hours. That someone had been outside their door. It was better—ideal, even, preferred—to just go when they might not expect it.
“Yeah,” Elliot replied after a second. “Okay, yeah. We should go. Just leave the key on the table and—”
“Sure,” he agreed. “Better to be on the road as much as possible.”
“Okay.” She pushed the hair from her face and stepped out of his grasp, immediately setting about gathering up her clothes and slipping into them again; John hurried into his own clothes, grabbing the car keys from the bedside table. Boomer circled impatiently at the door. Elliot glanced at him, zipping up her coat and then the duffel, and said, “John—”
He stopped in the doorway, hand on the deadlock. Elliot’s eyes were stuck on it. She looked apprehensive. Her mouth opened, to go on, and then closed.
Bloom, eat, grin. Isolde had confirmed that the Family was still afoot, and killing. And the woman in the street—had she been related? Elliot refused to talk about her. Didn’t bring her up again after her panicked nighttime jaunt. Wrath, do you want to bloom in me?
John said, “We’re going home, Ell.”
A strange, unfamiliar shade of relief colored her expression. Her lashes fluttered, and she nodded.
“Okay, John,” she replied. “Going home.”
i knew i shouldn't have rewatched it but train to busan came up on my hulu again nd i had too 😭😭
“baby as much as i love you and humour you for your selfship with denki, i’m not letting you suck that man’s rancid ass dick.”
— mei, my lovely girlfriend, on the topic of denki kaminari eating taco bell before a bj
i’m now 4 weeks post op and 5 months on T and i just gotta say - it feels super good to be able to look in the mirror now and think, wow, that’s one handsome dude 🥰
In ref to previous post, Mr. Hyde/Dr. Jekyll might have gotten an unmarked grave. Since Dr. Jekyll was physically stuck as Mr. Hyde and although we don't know at what point Mr. Utterson eventually read the letter (whether before or after they buried the body) it's quite likely that he wasn't buried with a headstone.
In the vic times (off of my basic research, correct me if i'm wrong), criminals were buried without markings, and whether it was due to ignorance or from trying to prevent Dr. Jekyll from being publicly discovered as being Mr. Hyde thus then tainting his name, Mr. Utterson possibly had to have his friend buried in some random local cemetery (or wherever they buried criminals).
Although, Dr. J did say that he was fond of Mr. Hyde, he didn't really say that he was family, so it was unlikely that he would have been buried in the Jekyll family plot.
So in the end, when the grass has grown over the tussled dirt, there won't be a remembered mourning site. And taking a guess that Utterson wouldn't let anyone discover the truth (maybe let Poole or Guest know), there's going to have to be some ruse to hide Dr. Jekyll's sudden dissapearance, maybe even making an empty grave just to say what happened without really an explanation.
And imagine the many questions that will arise, after all Dr. Jekyll was like super popular and known as terribly kind person, like how could you handle that as a very close friend, now knowing the truth, that your friend had done terrible acts, deviating from everyone else's ideas of him, meanwhile people are muttering gossip (which isn't always nice) or asking gut wrenching questions right to your face.
Who knows, maybe even after no one iss watching, he relocates the body to a proper grave. By himself? With two others sworn to secrecy? Either way I can't imagine it being good.
Maybe he just places a small makeshift cross over his friends unmarked grave, where he alone visits.
Mr. Utterson is such a tragedy of a character.
[ ... ] we're pattern finders, and we'll find patterns, and we like really put our hearts and minds into it even if we don't mean to. so I believe in a universe that doesn't care and people who do.