SEQUEL TO MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE
Genre: speculative, horror, LGBT, NA Content warnings: stalking, unreality, blood/death/gore, panic attacks, attempted genocide, trauma, torture POV/tense: third person present tense Status: first draft in progress Length: ~20k word novelette Summary: Ezra and Revael die on August 15th. A demon with the ability to control time is the only one who can 'save' them, making a deal to repeat the day of their deaths endlessly. But what he wants from Ezra is something that must be prevented at any cost. Ezra and Revael must find a way out of the time loop, before all of humanity pays the price.
The day Ezra dies is a Wednesday, hot and bright. His watch runs backward that day. He has bigger things to worry about, though, like the car accelerating toward him as he crosses the street, his body bouncing off the hood and leaving a mirage of blood and spiderwebbed glass. Or the bolt of lightning that strikes him in a sudden summer storm, leaving his corpse Lichentenberg marked on the sidewalk. Or the shock of sound as a gun fires in the gas station parking lot and he staggers forward, clutching his chest, fingertips coming away looking like a cherry slushie.
It loops like TikToks and Instagram boomerangs. Over and over and over again. On Wednesday, August 15th, Ezra Iglesias dies like it's going out of style.
This has happened before, hasn't it?
It happened in a dream.
I live in a bubble floating on the ocean
It's a sphere of denial
I don't want to believe the things that are true
The good, the bad
Everyday feels fake
Feels like life is starting to play back on repeat
Each week the same
Each step in sync
Falling into routine
But a thousand miles away
I was the one who burst the bubbles
Everyday was different
No two things the same
But nothing's like it used to be
So I sit in my bubble
And keep away from reality
Because I'm afraid
I know that everything has changed
And I don't want to face it
I need my bubble
I need to make my way
But it's hard
Navigating from the middle of the ocean to dry land
But if my bubble bursts before I reach
I drown in the sea of reality
All the emotions
The things I was protected from
Will come crashing on in waves
The harsh truth
Will pull me to the bottom
And even if I try to swim up
It's not going to make a difference
Finally finished transfering my wip from Scrivener Windows to Scrivener Apple.. I guess now I actually have to write something.
"I'm not spiritual nor do I pray, but I always feel like something enormous is trying to bring me back to my purpose in this lifetime. I don't know what it is yet, but this one definitely feels so wrong,
sometimes, a tiny part of my heart wishes it's true. That there is a calling from the universe and I hope I'm not romanticizing it,
then if I have to live all over again next time, I hope I am not lost again."
— via @elinthewords (late night thoughts).
a piece I wrote about god and eve's father-daughter relationship. I might write a companion piece about god and adam later
Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham
2021 reading challenge: 1/50
I'm usually not a huge nonfiction reader, but I'm trying to expand my horizons this year so I decided to give this one a try. I actually thought it was pretty interesting. I find audiobooks make nonfiction much more digestible for me, just someone telling me some cool History facts. If you want to educate yourself on a historical event you've never thought very much about before, I'd recommend this book. Very thorough and broad in its exploration of the catastrophe.
“We’re the same, you and I,” the kid said, pinned underneath Hero’s arm.
Hero quirked his eyebrow disbelievingly, “You can’t be serious,” he said, escorting the overly angsty teenager of a villain to headquarters. “You watch too many cartoons, kid.”
Villain squirmed, flopping like a drying fish, “No, you are like me! You’re not respected!” the boy said, before ranting about other various things with little to no reason behind them.
Oh, Hero wanted to hear this, if this was going to be a conversation about respect, this ‘Villain’ was going to receive the talking to of a lifetime. He looked for a good place to land. The kid was a speed oriented super, so he’d have to be restrained somehow. Or, Hero realized, noting the skyscrapers filling Main Street, Hero could just make it impossible to run anywhere.
Hero brought them to a large bank and hovered a foot over the roof of an overly flamboyant casino before dropping the kid onto the cement. The kid yelped in surprise.
“You dropped me!” he said from the ground.
“You’ve handled worse,” Hero said offhandedly. Honestly, the only injury caused by the drop was the kid’s pride if the embarrassed flush was anything to go by.
Like a mouse, the kid scrambled to their feet and glared at Hero. It wasn’t half-bad, but Hero had spent years as a high school science teacher. He placed the ‘you-acting-like-an-idiot-and-I-have-higher-expectations-for-you’ look he had cultivated in that time. “What’s this you were saying about respect?” he asked.
The kid laughed, head thrown back and a maniac grin on his face. “I was right!” he shouted. “I knew it. No one respects you. You’re just a tool for them to use and they don’t even thank you for it.”
For a moment, Hero couldn’t take his eyes off the kid. Was that what people thought? Really? “Villain,” Hero said carefully, “I’m not a tool.”
“Oh?” the kid asked, “so you aren’t risking your life?”
“Sure, the people love you now, but do you think they always will? Do you think they’ll still love you when you can’t save the day? Do you think that they won’t turn on you after you take us villains out?”
Hero let the wry smile cover his face. With the emphasis Villain had put on ‘villains’ surely, the kid thought that he was in the right. Of course, he did. He couldn’t be out of high school yet.
“Why do you think I do this?” Hero asked in his teacher's voice.
Wind passed through the kid’s cape and only carried the silence over the two. Finally, irritation settling on the kid's face, the kid provided an answer. “I don’t know,” he said, waving his hand in disinterest, “probably for your girlfriend or something.”
“I see,” Hero said, “and why are you doing this?” The kid’s mouth snapped shut and Hero knew he had hit something that this kid didn’t want to touch. Well, that was too bad. “You have to have a reason for this, kid.”
“The name’s Villain,” the kid snapped, “You’ll do well to respect me.”
“Do you really want to argue about respect?” Hero asked, trying to maintain a neutral tone. “I will listen.”
Over the years of teaching, Hero had learned a few things. Firstly, if he was able to maintain a polite smile, insults wouldn’t do much damage. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, silence was something that most people couldn’t stand, kids especially. It wouldn’t be long before the kid would talk.
At least that’s what Hero thought would happen.
Hero sighed, of course this kid would be different. “Look, Villain, I’m not going to pretend I know everything. I don’t know your story, I don’t know you, and I don’t know the future. There’s plenty of things I don’t know.” The kid snorted and rolled their eyes. “If you need to talk about anything I’m sure you could figure out a way to get my attention.”
“Did—did you just tell me to commit a crime?”
Hero shrugged. “I’m a Hero. I’m not paid for doing this and while I have a spouse, they aren’t the reason I do this.” Hero’s arm swept across the landscape. “People suck sometimes but, at the end of the day, there is a lot of good out there too.”
“So what?” the kid asked, “What’s the point of you being out here then? All you're good for is propaganda. You spend so much time abiding by the people’s wishes that you don’t even exist. You’re just a puppet for them. According to them, our powers are something to be feared. Why should we let ourselves get torn apart by them when they’d kill us the moment we break free of them? I won’t let myself be like you and give in to their every command.”
That, Hero thought, was a lot to unpack. “Gees, kid. What have you been through?” Hero said. He hadn’t meant to say that. Lovely. Now the kid was staring at him like he had a pig snout and three frog eyes. Hero took a deep breath and carefully framed his words. He had to remember that this was a kid who, from the sounds of it, had been hurt by something. Well, most everyone had been hurt by something but that didn’t matter. This kid was the person in front of him and Hero would give his full attention to him.
“Villain, I am not a puppet. I chose this path because it’s what I believe in.”
“Popularity’s more like it.”
“No.” Hero said. “Popularity is the last thing on my mind. You’ve said it yourself; I am risking my life every time I put on my suit. You are too. Do you think you could do that if it was only for popularity?” Great, the kid looked like he was going through cognitive dissonance. That could be either a good thing or a bad thing. Hero took the risk and kept pressing his point. “I’m doing this because I think it’s right. If I can help people, I will. That’s all there is to it.”
That was a good sign, Hero thought before smiling at the kid, “Why don’t you go home and figure that out for yourself? It’s not like a prison will hold you anyway, right?”
Hero took advantage of the kid’s gaping and threw the kid over his shoulder this time. Oh, there were still many protests coming from the kid, but Hero found it quite funny. Unlike before, Hero carefully set the kid down in an alleyway. “You know how to find me, kid,” he said before taking off towards his own home and leaving the dumbfounded kid behind.
The family camping trip was annoying, but you still tried to make the most of it. That small contentment was shattered by a strange scream in the dead of night...
--Friends, it’s raining. I love the rain. That fresh smell of rain, feeling the raindrops hit your face. The clouds, the ferocious thunder that’s going on right now. Just all of it; I just need a cup of tea and some peace and i’ll be perfectly happy.
“Just stop. Stop hovering, stop chattering, stop showing up everywhere I go --”
“You make it sound like I’m stalking you.”
Why the hell have I never heard of this film until now??
A bond so tight that even on bad terms you still run to me.
It was, in fact, someone looking for my help. Aidan Bankhead, one of the bakers in town (so he introduced himself), stood there practically filling up the doorframe.
He asked me if I was the new witch and I said I supposed I was. He looked me over and seemed to approve. He held up his thumb, showing me that there was a screw sticking out of it. I told him a puncture wound was more the domain of a surgeon, but he shook his head and asked if he could come in.
I hadn’t made it all the way through my “yes” before he was in the door. The instant he made it to the center of the room, the copper alembic zipped from its place on the shelf to slam against his thumb. He winced. It stayed stuck there. Magnetic thumb, he told me. A hereditary disorder, and particularly inconvenient for baking. Not curable, but it only crops up every few months and when it does there’s a tincture that can help. He said the old witch (that’s what he called her, “the old witch”) used to make it for him, though he’s not sure what exactly went into it.
I mentioned that I didn’t think copper magnetized, and he said that pure copper was probably too soft to hold the shape of the apparatus in its pure form and that the alembic was likely made of an alloy—though not in those exact words. Said he’d picked that tidbit up from his best friend, the father of the mining family.
I told him I hadn’t cured any cases of magnetic thumb before, but I had heard of it, and I knew the basic mechanisms. I told him it would be easy enough to recreate my predecessor’s tincture by combining our notes, and that I would let him know when it was done.
It was clear that he hadn’t expected any kind of significant wait, but I knew I’d need time to collect the reagents. So, I told him to feel free to use the stream or the latrine to clean his wound, and lent him the first aid kit I’d brought with me. I figured that would buy me some time.
I got to work immediately, cross-referencing my predecessor’s notes on the environment surrounding Greenmoor with my own knowledge base about which substances cure which symptoms, and in what environments they were likely to be found. More quickly than I expected, I had my shopping list.
I decided to make my way to Moonbreaker Mountain first, both because one of my ingredients was likely there, and because according to my predecessor’s notes there’s a direct (albeit circuitous) route from there to the other place I’ll be needing to go, that isn’t as easy to traverse the other way around.
It is a strange mountain, mostly due to the land surrounding it. As far as I understand, mountains are typically surrounded by foothills, the land creasing higher and higher until it finally reaches its peak. Furthermore, mountains rarely stand alone: they come in twos or threes in lines or clusters, all formed together. Moonbreaker Mountain has neither of these features. It stands alone, shooting up abruptly from flat ground to a peak past the clouds. Fortunately, I shouldn’t need to climb that far up today.
It occurred to me as I began to scale the side (two feet and one hand on the ground at all times) that with a landscape like this, I might be able to make the best of a bad situation. After all, isn’t mountain climbing an adventure? It certainly felt like adventure, or at least close enough.
I was pulled from my thoughts when I tripped over a rock and almost went skittering back down the path before I managed to find my footing. Only after I’d stopped did it occur to me that as my foot struck it the rock had sounded hollow. I carefully picked my way back up to it for a closer look.
As it turned out, it wasn't a rock at all, but what looked to be a large metal boot (well, larger than mine, at least—although that’s not difficult to achieve). The top of it was buried in a large tangle of vines that coated a much larger form, maybe twice as big as me.
Well, if this wasn’t something presenting itself I didn’t know what was.
When cleared away, the vines revealed a vaguely humanoid form—it had clear arms and legs, though its torso was just a rough cylinder, it had no neck, and the head was a strange shape with only the barest hint of facial features. It was made almost entirely out of stone, though below the knees and past the elbows it transitioned to rusted metal. Running the entire length and circumference of the torso were carved runes. They weren’t the ones I’d have used, but their purpose was clear nonetheless: among them were instructions for life, for consciousness, for autonomy. This was a stone golem, abandoned here and left to the elements.
And it had certainly been dutiful in offering itself up to the cold and rain. Its limbs were rusted, its movement sluggish even once freed from the tangle of plants. It could be of real use around the cottage, but it’d need repairs first.
My gut murmured something to me, and I deemed it worth a try.
I leaned in and whispered to the golem, gently, since it likely hadn’t heard anyone speak in quite a while. I told it that I could repair it (I didn’t actually know how, but left that small stumbling block for later), but that I didn’t have the materials I’d need with me.
I asked if it had enough energy to make it home.
It didn’t move at first. I almost gave up, resigning myself to lugging a bag of anything that might help up the mountain at some later date. Then sluggishly, clumsily, it stood. It looked at me for a moment and I wondered what it was thinking. Then, it began to walk slowly down the slope in the direction of the village.
Among the tangle of vines that had covered the golem, I found exactly what I was looking for: hiker’s helper. Its leaves can be boiled into a tincture that helps with pain. How serendipitous.
I plucked a handful of leaves from the vine and headed on my way.
When I reached the bottom of the mountain—a different part than I’d climbed up, closer to Meltwater Loch, where I was headed—I came across a small rest stop. It seemed designed for adventurers, with raised platforms for tents (I assume a particularly bad rain could easily cause torrents to rush down the mountain), a pump, a latrine, and complementary bear bags. There was a family sitting by an empty fire pit—a man, a woman, a son, and a daughter. They were absolutely grimy, covered in dust and soot. I wasn’t really interested in talking, but the woman spotted me before I could slink away and called me over.
She was Crystal. He was Angus. The teenagers didn’t introduce themselves. She asked if I was the new witch, and I asked how she guessed. She said it was just a hunch at the same time that he said that no one who wasn’t a witch would choose to dress the way I was. She swatted him on the arm.
I suppose I’ll have to visit the tailor in town.
They are the family responsible for mining the raw materials used in the town’s industry—all four of them share the work among them every morning, and return home around noon. They typically go mining in Hero’s Hollow, but there was currently a party of adventurers in there and working around adventurers is inconvenient. The resources aren’t nearly as rich in the caves under Moonbreaker Mountain, but it’s something at least.
Crystal asked me where I was headed, and I told her Meltwater Loch. I was going to see if I could find any slime shells, whose secretions help with ailments of the blood. Angus, half joking, told me to be careful out there, that there’s a pack of cù-sìth (magical hounds) that like to hunt in the loch. I laughed and told him cù-sìth aren’t real. Neither he nor Crystal responded to this.
I asked them how they deal with the threats in Hero’s Hollow—it is a dungeon, after all. Angus said dungeons aren’t as bad as everyone makes them out to be. Most of the inhabitants are perfectly reasonable, so long as you know how to interact with them. That’s not a perspective I’d ever encountered before. I wonder if it’s worth further consideration.
At this point, their daughter told me to catch (the first thing she’d said) and tossed me a glass vial. Reckless of her—I’m visibly not athletic—but miraculously I actually caught it before it shattered on the ground. I held it up to the light, not believing what I was seeing. At my questioning look, she confirmed it was vampire venom. She said she found it that morning, and after learning I was a witch she figured I’d have more use for it than she would. I told her I would certainly find one and tucked it carefully into my satchel next to the leaves.
We sat and I chatted with the parents a bit longer before I had to be on my way.
Meltwater Loch was more beautiful than I’d anticipated. I don’t know why I expected it to be more of a swamp. My predecessor’s notes specified that there was a bog somewhere around as well—I suppose I just thought the loch would be part of it.
I wandered along the edge for a bit, combing the crystalline waters for any small mollusks that could be what I sought. After about fifteen minutes of this, I heard a single bark echo out from the trees behind me.
No fucking way.
I froze, listening intently, racking my brain for all I could remember of the myths surrounding the cù-sìth: huge dogs, the size of a small cow; solitary hunters; shaggy green coats…
Then, I remembered the most chilling part. When hunting, the cù-sìth barks thrice, and only thrice. And if it’s prey hasn’t reached safety by the third…
A second bark rang out over the loch.
Frantically, I scanned my surroundings for anything that could help me. The only cover I could see was the trees behind me, and that was where the barking was.
Looking down at the water, I spotted a patch of what looked like seaweed, with just the very tops poking out of the water. I knew that plant. As loath as I was to get my clothing wet, it seemed I didn’t have a choice.
Quickly, I waded into the water and hunkered down until only the top half of my head was poking out over the surface. I held my satchel above my head to keep it dry, and that combined with the surrounding weeds obscured me almost entirely.
Just as I thought, the air within the patch smelled especially clean. This was a species called gas weed, known for expelling excessive amounts of oxygen. Hopefully it would dilute my scent enough.
I waited there for around ten minutes, and no third bark rang out. With a sigh of relief, I stood.
Wading back out of the loch, I stepped on what felt like a particularly rough stone. Looking down, I found it was a slime shell. At least I’d be able to get back to the cottage and change, I thought as I reached down and snagged it.
The quickest route back led me directly through the village. I tried to keep my head down, embarrassed at my unkempt state, certain everyone was staring at me. If I could just get back to the cottage, then I could change and maybe bathe and feel alright again.
That’s when someone called out to me.
I debated just ignoring him but no, I’d been instructed to be sociable. So, I turned and walked towards the voice.
It came from one of two men sitting at a wicker table outside the bakery. He introduced himself as Evander Bankhead—Aidan’s husband and co-owner of the bakery. His friend was Gowan Leckie, the local blacksmith.
Evander said he just wanted to thank me for taking care of his husband, and asked how he was doing. I said I’d been out gathering reagents, but I doubted he could have gotten into too much trouble at the cottage. Evander chuckled and said he wouldn’t put it past Aidan to fabricate a bind for himself all on his own.
He made small talk and I’ll admit I was a bit checked out. I was cold and uncomfortable and tired and not too focused on first impressions. At the end of it he thanked me again and insisted I take some bread and a songberry, as a tangible expression of his gratitude.
It’s only just occurred to me that songberries are used in potions meant to improve mood. I wonder if that was intentional.
When I got back to the cottage, here is what I did:
First, I built a little fire in the fireplace.
Then, I filled the small cauldron with water and dropped the hiker’s helper leaves in and set the whole thing over the fire.
I let it boil until the pigmentation of the leaves had leached into the water and the whole thing was a dark green color. Then, I took it off the heat.
Next, I convinced the slime shell to open up just a bit so its slime could drop into the mixture (I must remember to return the mollusk itself to its natural habitat next time I’m there—I’ve left it in a small pool near the river for the time being).
Finally, I briskly stirred the whole thing until it turned a royal blue color, which I supposed meant it was ready.
It was at this point that I realized I didn’t have any cups or bottles or any kitchenware, for that matter. What an oversight.
I went outside to find Aidan, and I located him (copper implement still stuck to his thumb) examining what at first appeared to be a large pile of rocks. As I got closer, I realized with a sense of both pride and uncanny surprise that it was in fact the stone golem, having made its way here from the mountain, and now sitting inactive in the middle of the cottage’s backyard. Maybe there actually was something to this ‘listen to your gut’ business.
Aidan asked me if the golem was mine and I said I didn’t think it was yet, that it needed repairs and I wasn’t sure how to go about that. He recommended that I speak to his friend Gowan (who I realized I’d already met—he had been the one sitting with Evander), and I said I just might do that.
I asked him where I might find a cup and he produced a wooden one from the satchel at his side. He said my predecessor always made her patients bring their own.
Well, that solved the immediate problem I supposed, though I made a mental note to see if I could find some kitchen implements of my own in town.
As I carefully poured the potion from my cauldron into his cup, Aidan asked me what it was called. At my questioning noise, he told me my predecessor always named her concoctions—the easier to tell them apart. Thinking back on it, I realized Edith had done the same thing. I suppose it just never occurred to me.
On impulse, I told Aidan it would be called Bankhead’s Brew, after him. He seemed flattered.
As soon as he took a sip, the copper alembic fell with a thunk into the grass. That was as strong proof of its efficacy as any.
Aidan thanked me, paid me 20 silver, told me again to get Gowan to look at the golem (and I told him again to seek medical attention for the screw embedded in his thumb), and went on his way.
And just like that, I had treated my very first patient.
I immediately set out for the river to collect water for a bath.
June 9, 2020 by Elodie.
You guys love the flirty/flustered snippets as much as I do, so, enjoy!
A week. They had managed to last a whole week successfully avoiding the villain. Granted, they had spent most of it hidden at home, but still.
It felt like an accomplishment nonetheless.
Hopefully, if they stayed away long enough, the hero would be lucky and the villain would simply forget all about what happened. Too caught up in their... villainous activities, and the like.
And unfortunately, as much as the hero would have loved to hide in their room and pretend the *event* hadn't happened at all, there was still a supervillain on the loose, and a city to protect.
The hero really wished they could go back and change it. Do, *something*, so the villain never found out in the first place. But of course, supervillain had to just go and expose their feelings.
So now here they were, avoiding the villain like their life depended on it, because, well... it kind of felt like it did.
Suddenly the hero looked up, realizing they were accidentally at a dead end, having been too lost in thought to pay attention.
That would have been fine, if not for the abrupt crunch of a footstep on the pavement of the ally behind them.
They whirled around. Oh no.
The villain smiled at them, eyes gleaming with an almost hungry amusement in response to whatever they saw on the hero's face.
"There you are," they chided, too amused and knowing to be casual as they slowly stepped forward, hands behind their back, "I was starting to think you were avoiding me,"
"Uh," the hero swallowed, backing up as the villain advanced, only to suddenly feel their foot hit the wall behind them, "no, obviously.... I've just.... been... busy,"
"So... if that's all-" their foot twitched to the side, like they were thinking about running.
The villain suddenly lunged forward, having been much closer than the hero had realized, and the next thing they knew they'd been pinned to the brick behind them. A hand on the walk to either side of them bracketing them in place.
The hero's eyes widened, shrinking back slightly.
The villain just grinned more, highly amused but... it didn't seem mocking or cruel either. If anything it looked... almost fond...
But that couldn't be. The hero was just seeing things, looking at the world through their hopelessly pining brain.
"I'm going to assume," the villain started, tilting their head, "we can skip the part about me asking whether or not what was said was true?"
"Why would you assume that‽ Just because-"
"Now, now. Are you sure that's *really* a question you want to ask?" They replied teasingly, leaning slightly closer, causing the hero to snap their mouth shut. They met eyes with the villain for a moment, before immediately looking away.
"You've been avoiding me like the plague ever since. You took off like a bat outta hell right after. You can't even bring yourself to look at me,"
With a single finger on their jaw, the villain tilted the hero's head, guiding their gaze back to them with a softer smile, "You're also about as red as a tomato~"
"Okay! Okay! Alright!? I get it!" The hero snapped in slight panic, looking down at their feet. Their face was red, heart pounding in their chest. They extended their hands instinctively, flattening against the villain's chest as if to push them away, but they couldn't seem to put the force into it.
The villain laughed, and the hero was shocked how... genuine it sounded. It wasn't mocking or cruel but amused and... almost happy. They could feel the rumble of laughter on their hands, but the sensation seemed to course right through them.
"It's funny," they started conversationally, tracing the tip of their finger featherlight along the hero's jaw and down their neck to their collar bone, watching the hero shiver, yet not move away, "I feel like you'd be less scared of me if I had a knife to your throat right now instead,"
"I'm not afraid of you!" The hero snapped indignantly, pushing themselves off the wall, trying to get out of the interaction with at least some of their dignity in tack.
But the villain's hand immediately landed on their chest, pushing them back against the cold brick as they stepped even closer, mere millimetres from being flush against the other now.
The hero suddenly felt like they couldn't breathe, having the other so close. They froze.
"Say you're not afraid but..." their eyes fell to their hand on the hero's chest, "I can sure feel that heart of yours pounding,"
Their traitorous heart only pounded harder at their tone.
Before the hero could reply, the villain leaned into their ear, "That's cuz it's not fear that's got you so worked up, is it pumpkin?
The hero didn't know what to do. Part of them never wanted to move, while the other felt embarrassed, like they were only being played with. Another part of them didn't even care, as long as it never stopped.
The villain drew back at the lack of response, and their amused smirk softened at whatever look was on the hero's face.
"Why are you doing this?" The hero choked out, "Just- just toying with me like-"
"I'm going to kiss you now, is that okay?"
The hero's entire world came to a screeching halt. Had they heard that right?
They stared wide-eyed at the person in front of them, completely frozen.
The villain snickered, though fondly, before putting a finger under the hero's chin, tilting their head up, "I'm waiting~" they teased in a sing-songy voice.
The other's eyes darted to the villain's lips before giving a frantic nod.
Luckily, unlike the hero, the criminal didn't keep them waiting long.
The hero's hands immediately twisted into the villain's shirt, pulling them flush on impulse, which was rewarded with a hum of amused approval from the other.
Eventually, they broke, and the hero immediately looked back down in embarrassment, only to have a finger catch under their chin and tilt it back up just as fast.
"Now, see? And to think all this time you'd been avoiding me. I feel like I should be hurt,"
The only response they got was the hands still twisted into their shirt tightening, trying to pull them back flush, and not so subtly trying to provoke them back into something at the same time.
The villain chuckled before leaning forward again. The hero immediately closed their eyes, expecting another kiss, only for the villain to divert at the last second, leaning towards their ear instead.
"Ah, ah, ah," they tsked, "If you want another one, I want to hear you admit it out loud,"
This time, it was the hero's turn not to make them wait.
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I was feeling insane and anxious....
Finding my head, exploding with pain...
But deep down I know ....
There's nothing but emptiness ...
And I'm quite....
Silently listening to playlist....
Thinking this will pass ...
“Ugh I hate writers who are so melodramatic/casual/tryhards/lazy/etc” ok but the worst writers of all are those who hate other writers for having a different writing style