Chapter 1: Sam/Sarah
Pairing type: Romantic
Grief is a funny thing. Like an unexpected house guest, it always appears without warning, and it's never known how long it's going to stay. Twenty-year-old Sam Winchester would say he'd known his share of grieving; Twenty-two-year-old Sam Winchester would say Twenty-year-old Sam was an idiot.
Everything changed when Jess died. The boy who held a smile that could light the darkest days lost all reasons to show it. Sam became a shell of what he used to be, and though he felt it happening he had no desire to fight it. The emptiness was a welcome alternative to the pain.
Sarah came into his life like an earthquake that shook the whole foundation he had built his brooding persona upon. She was beautiful, she was fearless, and she was kind. She made Sam laugh, and when she did the sound felt foreign in his ears. Sam realized he hadn't laughed in a long time.
After he kissed her it was hours before he could stop smiling. Normally Dean would have given him a hard time for it, but this time he was grinning right alongside his brother. He was thrilled to see the life in Sam's eyes again.
That was the beginning in a lot of ways. There would be plenty of darkness to come for Sam Winchester, and while he would falter at times, he would never truly succumb to it. When the weight of all he'd done got too heavy on his shoulders Sam would always pull out the picture of the beautiful girl with the long brown hair, and somehow then he would find the strength to soldier on. Her world was a world worth saving.
He had the urge to call her a time or two, but he never did. There were too many memories he didn't wish to taint with too many questions he didn't want to answer. Still, the brief days they spent together started Sam Winchester down the road that would eventually end with him being the boy who saved the world.
The gospels would never remember Sarah Blake; Sam would never forget.
Chapter 2: Loki/Sif
Fandom: Thor (Avengers~?)
Pairing type: Romantic
It was Sif who originally crowned Loki “The Liesmith.” It had been a childhood taunt, but the name stuck. Loki argued that the title applied equally to Sif herself, but nobody took him seriously. Sif didn’t have Loki’s reputation; after all, she only ever lied to him.
Accusations were constantly flying between the two of them. Sometimes they were valid; more often they weren’t. When they were children, Loki accused Sif of telling Thor that Loki had broken a prized relic of Odin’s, but she hadn’t. Sif constantly accused Loki of stealing her toys, but he didn’t. Loki accused Sif of pushing him down in the mud, to which she could only smirk. That one she had done.
In their adolesence, Loki accused Sif of being in love with Thor. She had fiddled nervously with her rings and asked how he had known. The hurt in Loki’s eyes startled her, and brought a responding accusation to the tip of her tongue, but she let it die there. It was better if she didn’t know.
As adults, Sif accused Loki of being a bad king. Loki got upset and sent a giant robot after her – and Thor, but mostly her. Part of him might have been retaliating on behalf of the little boy who got pushed in the mud.
When Thor brought Loki back to Asgard in chains it took two weeks before Sif came to visit him, but she did. She stood outside his cell – a prisoner’s cell, not at all fit for the prince – and glared at him. She stood with her shoulders thrown back, her arms crossed over her chest, her feet firmly planted in a warriors stance. In contrast Loki sat with his legs crossed in front of him, shoulders hunched, elbows on his knees, looking up at Sif and waiting for her to speak. Her face spoke of anger, his of amusement. They sat in silence for the longest time, Sif’s grand prepared speech about disloyalty and betrayal forgotten at the sight of her long lost friend.
“You were dead,” she said simply.
Loki smiled. “I wasn’t, in fact.”
Sif set her jaw and shook her head. “Your brother, your mother, they wept for you.”
“And you?” Loki asked, rising slowly to his feet. “Did you weep, Lady Sif?”
Sif stepped forward and wound her hand around one of the cool iron bars. She shook her head again, slowly, and looked up at him with dark eyes.
“You’re cruel, trickster.”
“Me, cruel? You wound me. I think, my lady, I shall not take your words to heart considering the fact that I am not the one who took a fortnight to visit an old friend.”
Sif narrowed her eyes. “Loki -”
“I suppose you had previous engagements.”
“If you’re seeking an explanation -”
“Spare me,” Loki hissed. “I’m sure you have something lovely worked out to say to me, but I’d just as soon skip the performance if you don’t mind.”
“You left me,” Sif spat back at him. “So I left you. To rot down here like the rat you are. Save me the sob stories, Thor’s told me what you’ve done.”
Loki smirked and stepped forward. He brought his hand down to cover hers where it still grasped his cage. Sif shivered at the contact – she had forgotten the coolness of his touch.
“What I’ve done, what I am, it’s all irrelevant. You still missed me.”
Footsteps echoed through the corridor, and Sif quickly pulled her hand away from his. Loki’s eyes narrowed briefly before a smirk broke out across his face.
“They’re coming to make sure I haven’t murdered you, then?”
“And to bring you dinner,” Sif added, shifting her weight uncomfortably between her feet. “Mostly the former though, yes.”
Loki rested his cheek against the bars of his cell and looked at Sif with a softness she hadn’t seen on his face since they were very young.
“Will you visit me again?”
The footsteps got louder, and Sif nodded quickly.
“I will.” She pushed herself up on her tip toes, and could just barely reach to press a light kiss against his cheek. He blinked as she pulled back, speechless for the first time either of them could remember. A smile ghosted across Sif’s lips, and she stepped away from him just as the guard’s shadow appeared against the wall.
“Welcome home, Loki.”
Chapter 3: John/Mrs.Hudson
Pairing: John/Mrs. Hudson
Pairing type: Platonic
They didn’t talk much in the weeks following Sherlock’s funeral. Mrs. Hudson was in the flat more than she had been, but that was to be expected. At first John didn’t really want the company, but he wasn’t rude enough to kick her out. She’d stay for a cup of tea, in complete silence. She’d tidy up for him. She’d ask him if he needed anything; he always told her he didn’t. Sometimes they’d watch their shows like they used to. Whole blocks of time would pass where John would feel the tension in his shoulders leave. He and Mrs. Hudson would start to chat, just a little, and the flat would feel like home again. Inevitably, however, something would catch his eyes. He’d see the skull sitting on the mantlepiece, he’d see a book of Sherlock’s on the table, he’d catch sight of the time and realize Sherlock should’ve been home hours ago. Then he’d remember Sherlock was never coming home again, and the silence would come back.
Mrs. Hudson started to feel the restlessness in her bones. In her lifetime she’d seen more than one young man broken by grief, but to see it happen to someone as good, and pure. and lovely as John Watson was enough to make her want to call the whole thing off. She wanted to scream at him that Sherlock was alive, and how had he not figured that out by now, he knew Sherlock better than anyone. She wanted to shake him out of his stupor, grab him by his ear and pull him all the way down to the bridge where the homeless man with wool cap and the dirty overcoat sat, the one that John gave a dollar to every day on his way to work. Mrs. Hudson wanted nothing more than for this nightmare to be over, but she wouldn’t be the one to end it. She couldn’t, she had made a promise.
So instead she brought John homemade biscuits, and ironed his shirts for him when he was about to leave the house looking rumpled, and made sure as far as she could that he was still in one piece. John tried to tell himself that the attention annoyed him, but on the days where she couldn’t make it up to visit he found the loneliness hit him like a punch. Eventually, he stopped pretending, and when Mrs. Hudson didn’t drop in on him he would drop in on her instead.
They never talked about Sherlock, never once. Instead they stayed together, carried each other through the sadness, the loneliness, the assaults from the media and their friends alike, and through their companionship kept their wits about them. It didn’t matter to John if they were watching television, or eating out, or sitting in Mrs. Hudson’s flat and listening to the police scanner with a perverse interest in how Scotland Yard was making due without their secret weapon. At the end of the day, all that mattered was that he still had a best friend.
Chapter 4: Arthur/Mithian
Pairing type: Romantic
Mithian was beautiful, Arthur was sure of that above all other things. In the winter, however, she somehow became even more so. While many things could be said about the months that plagued Camelot with bitter cold and borderline famine, Arthur spent them with his eyes fixed on his betrothed, watching her shine like a gem among the drab grayness of the season.
They liked to go for walks together, even when the cold made their ventures ill-advised. They’d bundle up in furs and head into the forests. When they were away from the watchful eyes of the court and their archaic ideas about propriety, Arthur and Mithian would wrap their arms around each other to shield against the chill, and tell each other stories in murmurs that could not be heard outside their private cocoon.
One day they were lucky enough to be on one such walk when the snow started to fall. Mithian had been delighted. Arthur watched her hold her hands out to catch the fat falling flakes, and he couldn’t help but smile at the sight of her. Her skin, once colored with the sun’s kiss, had grown pale with the dark winter. It was a stark contrast to the dark brown color of her hair, and the Pendragon Red of her cloak complimented the red tinge the cold had given to her lips and nose. There, surrounded by the falling snow, she looked like an angel. Before Arthur knew what he was doing he had pulled her close and kissed her on the lips.
By the time they headed back to the castle, a layer of snow had accumulated on the ground, and both of them slipped and slid, their balance thrown off by their fervor to hang to each other as they walked. They stumbled through the doors of Arthur’s chambers with snow melting in their hair and on their clothes, and they set about keeping each other warm any way they could think to. As the blizzard started outside, they found comfort safely indoors, enjoying their burning fire and sharing a pitcher of wine.
Arthur and Mithian were a fine match for a number of reasons, but few of them were as important to Arthur as the idea of winters to come.
Chapter 5: Meg/Castiel
Pairing type: Romantic
They had both once seen the world with such crystal clarity. Heaven and Hell were the two poles, you picked a side and you fought for it with fire and blood and holy grace; you fought or you died. Meg and Castiel were both born soldiers, raised to identify the enemy, to attack, to decimate. The difference was that he was taught the the value of the martyr, while she was taught to do anything it took to survive.
Now here they stood, centuries later, maybe even millenia, it was hard to tell anymore. Wherever they thought they’d be at this stage in the game, neither of them expected this: fighting side by side, protecting each other, caring what became of a creature from the other realm.
Castiel had an excuse if one was ever asked of him: he was completely and utterly broken. Meg on the other hand couldn’t find justification. She was always told that angels were terrifying weapons, things she was forbidden to trifle with because their power was something she could never hope to control. Of course that only made the thought of having one at her disposal even more attractive, but it wasn’t as if Castiel was locked, loaded and primed for smiting. The truth was she liked having him around. She hated that she liked it. The tender feelings felt like weakness.
It hadn’t started out as a soft spot. In truth, fucking around with Castiel was just fun. He wasn’t the precious puppy Dean made him out to be; he was ten thousand years of storming, rage-fueled power locked inside a vessel that positively vibrated with the force of the energy it contained. Maybe the Winchesters couldn’t feel it, but Meg could. Just being near Castiel gave her a contact high. She knew it was dangerous, knew he could kill her just by thinking about it hard enough, but so far he hadn’t. The danger made it all the more exciting.
He seemed to enjoy her in a similar way. She had taken so much from his precious Winchesters, pulled them and jerked them and killed the things they held dearest, and Castiel had to know that. It seemed that whenever he was feeling especially under-appreciated by his charges, her presence was all the more welcome. She was a force they could barely control, and Castiel could do away with her in a snap if he wanted. It was a reminder of his power, and his importance. It was a reminder he liked having.
That was then, of course. Things were different now. Hazier. The lines that once clearly defined the sides they stood on had blurred. Heaven wasn’t all good, Hell wasn’t all bad, the Winchesters sometimes got it right and sometimes angels and demons could be friends. Just sometimes. Sometimes, Meg thought with a smirk as they sat in the day room and Castiel instructed her to go fish, maybe they could be even more. Allies, comrades…Castiel’s hand brushed against hers as he drew a card, and Meg’s mind flashed back to bodies pressed tightly together in a ring of fire, back to the wall firm against her back and his lips covering her own with clumsy but determined movements. Yes. Sometimes they could even be more.
Chapter 6: Merlin/Morgana
Pairing: Merlin/Morgana (for tallforesttowers)
Pairing type: Romantic
In his sleep he saw Morgana and the flames. Merlin was never sure if it was a memory or a premonition, or perhaps it was neither. Perhaps, like ordinary people, sometimes he just had dreams. Whatever the case, when he closed his eyes he could see her. The flames cast an orange glow around her and made her pale skin glow warmly, and the flicker of the fire reflected in her golden eyes. Her hand was always extended towards him, an incantation would fall from her lips and suddenly Merlin would find himself awake and shivering from the cold sweat on his skin.
The thing was, Merlin wasn’t afraid. Not of Morgana, not of her power or of the fact she might hurt him. No, Merlin was relatively certain he had nothing to fear from her. Morgana was strong but she was reckless and uncontrolled. She wasn’t quite the high priestess she made herself out to be, and her confidence was shaky. Merlin knew he could topple her, it was barely a question.
What did worry him, and perhaps what plagued his nightmares, was what Morgana might do to herself. Even if they couldn’t call themselves friends now, they were once. Merlin blamed himself for the path Morgana had taken. Maybe if he had told her about his magic, maybe if he hadn’t turned her away…but it was too late for maybes now. What was done was done, and Morgana was a force unleashed on Camelot.
Tonight, Merlin took a draught before he went to sleep. Not a strong one, because it was important that he was still able to dream, but something with just enough of a kick to keep him from waking up. Tonight Merlin was determined to see his dream through to the end.
It started like it always did. Morgana stood,a circle of fire around her feet, the flames licking upwards and illuminating her pale skin in a ghostly way. Her hand extended towards him, and Merlin’s breath caught. Her mouth formed foreign words -
But Merlin understood them this time. It wasn’t an incantation she was muttering, though she was speaking in a language long attributed to the old religion. She was speaking the language of the dragons. Merlin gasped as her words reached his ears, secret words he’d only ever heard himself utter. What was even more terrifying was the realization of what the words meant.
She said his name – Emrys – but with a familiarity of their old friendship. She knew she was talking to him, not his mythical persona. And then, with a choked off sob, she begged him to help her. She screamed to be rescued from the flames. She needed him, she was scared, she was going to die there. The flames grew larger and his name tore from her throat in a howl
He reached for her, but he was rooted on the spot. He couldn’t move, could speak, couldn’t let her know he heard her call. His magic failed him, his feet refused to carry him forward.
Her screams were darker now. The name Emrys fell from her lips a final time before the fire took her, engulfed her. Morgana La Fey fell, burned alive by her own magic.
Only then did Merlin awake from his dream.
He trembled and pulled the blanket up around his neck in a futile attempt to block out the chill in his bones. It was impossible; the cold originated from inside him. It wasn’t the witch he had seen burn, the cold-eyed sorceress who had sat proudly on Arthur’s rightful throne. No, before she was taken Merlin had seen the eyes of Morgana, ward of the king, friend of the prince, and to Merlin – what had she been? Not a lover surely, servants didn’t get that title. Not a friend. A companion. Yes, Merlin’s companion. Their magic had bound them, even if they had been too dense to realize the connection for what it was. Merlin had failed to protect her, had misstepped in ways that he’d never be able to rebound from. He had sealed her fate, and now he knew his dreams for what they were: not merely a premonition, but an inevitability. No matter how much he longed to save her, Merlin was going to have no choice but to watch Morgana burn.
Chapter 7: Tony/Loki
Pairing type: Romantic
Tony loved the Avengers, he really did. The problem was that he was used to dealing with people who were a little more high brow. It wasn’t that they were beneath him in any way, but when it came to the kind of joints he liked to frequent, all of his friends (except for Natasha) always either looked or felt ridiculously out of place (sometimes both).
It wouldn’t have been a big deal, but Pepper was busy running his company, Rhodey was busy become best friends with Clint (and they were going to have a little talk about that later), and Tony was in desperate need of some companionship more on his level.
So when Loki started hanging around, Tony was elated. This guy knew how to handle himself, and seemed more than willing to be Tony’s arm candy on the nights when Pepper wasn’t up for the job. Tonight was one such night, and Tony straightened his bowtie in the hall mirror as he waited for Loki to come downstairs and join him.
The impatience set in quickly. He was about to holler up the stairs, make some comment about Loki shining his horn another night, but then Tony turned and saw Loki skipping off the bottom step and gliding towards him, and god (pun intended) was it worth the wait. Loki’s tuxedo was perfectly tailored, and hugged around his broad shoulders and wide chest in such a way that every movement of his torso was reflected in the stretch and give of the fabric. Tony was hypnotized for a moment before Loki cleared his throat, and Tony flicked his gaze up to Loki’s face guiltily.
“I believe you wanted to get going, yes?” Loki smirked and adjusted his jacket. “I did get all prettied up for you.”
“Yes you did,” Tony said in a breath. “Right, let’s shake a leg.”
Suddenly Tony was less interested in the party they were going to. The idea of staying home and dismantle Loki’s pretty ensemble one layer at a time was much more appealing. As if reading his mind, Loki stepped forward, pressing close enough that Tony could smell the sweetness of his breath, and adjusted the shorter man’s lapels affectionately.
“Come now,” Loki said, smiling devilishly. “We have a long night ahead of us, don’t we?”
He turned and walked towards the door, and the air left Tony in a groan as he realized Loki wasn’t just talking about the party. Like a trained puppy he followed after the tall Asgardian, slowing his pace just slightly so that he could appreciate the movement of Loki’s suit as he walked.
Chapter 8: Pepper/Rhodey
Fandom: Avengers (Iron Man)
Pairing type: Platonic
It wasn’t easy being friends with Tony Stark. Tony was a lot of excellent things – loyal, generous, funny, bighearted – but he was also reckless, at times thoughtless. Caring about him was a constant gamble, because any second he could be jumping off a building, or getting shot at in the middle of the city, and Pepper would find herself gripping the edge of her seat until her knuckles turned white and praying to God that Tony would manage to whip up one more miracle. Somehow, so far, he always did.
That didn’t make it any less traumatizing, and after every one of Tony’s near-death experiences Pepper would come out feeling like she had just survived an ordeal of her own. Over time she learned to deal with these feelings in ways that were varying levels of healthy. She would hyper-focus on work, she would spend a large sum of money that belonged to Tony on something nice for herself, and – very rarely – she would drink.
One night Pepper found herself three sheets to the wind sitting in Tony’s living room while Tony himself was lying unconscious in the hospital. She wasn’t family, Tony himself wasn’t awake enough to pull the “Do you know who I am” card, and Pepper was too shaken by the sight of Tony unwillingly hooked up to various types of machinery to handle the situation with her own signature cutting, so she had been forced to leave. She holed herself up in Tony’s living room, opened a bottle of fine scotch that she knew her boss wouldn’t miss, and set about numbing her emotions in a manner befitting the billionaire philanthropist himself. She’d never know it, but it had actually been JARVIS that called Rhodey and told him that Ms. Potts may require his attention. Rhodey had come immediately.
He hadn’t said anything. He sat on the couch, poured a glass of scotch for himself and pulled her into a warm embrace. Pepper mumbled something about being tired, and Rhodey knew she wasn’t just talking about general fatigue. It was exhausting being friends with Tony, he knew, he’d known Tony longer than anyone. He’d seen Tony fumble his way through college, just as reckless back in those days, and with arguably less regard for his own safety and survival. It had been the worst when Howard died, but he didn’t need excuses. Tony was Tony, always had been and always would be, and while neither of them would trade him for the world, some days it was just too much.
So despite the fact they were in Tony’s house, and despite the fact it was Tony’s personal AI that was catering to anything they might need, right now Rhodey didn’t give a damn about Tony Stark. All that mattered was Pepper: the woman who took care of everyone so completely that she barely had anything left for herself. Rhodey stroked her hair, and listened as her whiskey-loose lips rambled about being tired, and over-worked, and under-appreciated, and so damn scared all the time. When she asked, he promised he didn’t think less of her for confiding in him. He told her she was brave, and wonderful, and amazing for all that she put up with, for all that she did. He told her that Stark Industries would fall apart without her, and that everyone knew it. He told her she was perfect.
Pepper fell asleep that night with her head resting at an awkward angle against Rhodey’s shoulder, but she would swear up and down for many weeks to come that it was the best night’s sleep she’d had in ages.
Chapter 9: Jackson/Danny
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing type: Platonic
“If you see me coming toward you, run.”
Danny’s stomach clenched. He couldn’t see Jackson’s face through his helmet, but he knew Jackson’s eyes had locked on him. Jackson was moving towards him, towards their home goal. Running the wrong way, running with a purpose.
“Run the other way.”
Danny met Jackson’s gaze – he wasn’t sure how, he just knew they were looking straight into each other’s eyes. Something wasn’t right here.
He whispered his best friends name, there was no way Jackson heard him, yet somehow he slowed, then stopped, and then fell to the ground as if he were moving in slow motion. The crowd had formed before Danny could process what had happened.
“Run as fast as you can.”
Danny ran. Danny tore out of the goal and ran to where teammates and spectators had surrounded Jackson’s fallen body. Hands were coming from every direction, trying to keep him back, but they weren’t as strong as he was. They couldn’t keep him away. They didn’t see him from seeing the blood. Danny staggered backwards, feeling the bile rise in the back of his throat. No, Jackson couldn’t be dead. He couldn’t be. It wasn’t true. But there was so much blood -
Jackson’s name tore from Danny’s throat in a sob. He buried his face in his hands, missing completely the slight jerk of Jackson’s head against Lydia’s hands as the sound fell on his barely-conscious ears.
Chapter 10: Steve/Maria
Pairing type: Romantic
He wanted to get her the perfect present.
Maria's birthday was coming up, and Steve was on a mission. Whatever he got her had to be perfect, it had to be the best present of the year. They'd only been dating for two months, but Steve was crazier about her than he knew how to deal with, and he was hoping the perfect present would make her just as crazy about him too.
Tony had offered to help, offered to buy her a building or get a state renamed in her honor or something, but Steve had gratefully declined. This was between him and Maria, and it didn't have to be flashy or obtuse, it just had to make a statement. So, instead of having Maria's face added to Mount Rushmore, Tony agreed to lend Pepper out for the afternoon instead.
“What does she like?” Pepper asked as her and Steve walked at a leisurely pace through one of Pepper's favorite shops. Steve frowned.
“She likes a lot of things,” he answered, looking positively overwhelmed by the suffocating amounts of pink lace everywhere. “She likes jewelry.”
“Really?” Pepper asked, somewhat surprised.
“You don't see her out of uniform much,” Steve supplied. “She has to be careful what she wears at S.H.I.E.L.D., nothing that would get in the way of fighting, you know?”
Pepper nodded. “Ok, jewelry we can do. What kind?”
Steve wandered thoughtfully over to a counter where various baubles were displayed.
“She has a silver bracelet that her mother gave her. It's her favorite. She wears it every day, when she can.” Steve carefully fingered a small silver heart on a chain. “This would match it. And she could tuck it into her uniform. It's something she wouldn't have to take off, I think she'd like that. Being able to sneak something past the dress code.”
Pepper smiled at the childish excitement in Steve's eyes. “It's a little pricey you know. I'm sure Tony wouldn't mind helping -”
“I can afford it,” Steve insisted, and Pepper pressed her lips firmly closed.
Steve didn't give Maria her presents with everyone else. He waited until later that night, when they were curled up on the couch watching a string of Maria's favorite movies and sharing a bottle of red wine. As the credits rolled on Sixteen Candles, he produced a small velvet box and pushed it into her hands.
“I was starting to think you'd forgotten,” Maria teased.
“Just wanted to get you liquored up first, in case you hate it,” Steve teased back, but his eyes were soft and his smile was easy. He knew she wasn't going to hate it.
He wasn't disappointed. Maria's mouth slacked slightly as she brought the necklace up for closer inspection. It drapes across her wrist as she lifted it, falling next to her prized bracelet and demonstrating how nicely they worked as a set. Finally she saw the engraving on the back, a simple Love, Steve etched into the silver. A long minute passed before she finally looked up at Steve.
“I love it,” she whispered.
“I love you,” Steve responded. He took her chin in his hand and tilted her head towards him so he could kiss her gently on the lips. When they pulled apart, he saw the dazed look in her eyes, tinged with confusion. He realized that was the first time he'd said it aloud.
“Happy birthday,” he added in a hushed tone, smiling.
Chapter 11: Derek/Erica
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing type: Familial
Erica didn’t really know what it was like to have a family. Her mom was probably too drunk to realize she wasn’t around anymore, and that was for the best. Having the police after Isaac was bad enough, they didn’t need to be looking for her as well. The pack was the closest thing she knew to a family, Derek was the closest thing she knew to a father, and while it was weird and creepy to think about him in those terms, there was no denying that he had taken it upon himself to watch over her.
Derek was new to this whole alpha thing, and it was painfully obvious, but bless him he was trying. He had no idea how to deal with these crazy kids, and Erica knew she was the craziest of the bunch. There was also the added fact that she was a girl, and Derek seemed completely out of his element in that regard (he’d had a sister, sure, but not one like Erica). She didn’t mean to make his life more difficult, it just sort of happened on a semi-regular basis. It wasn’t her fault.
Still, he never turned his back on her. He never stopped caring, even when the fatigue was heavy on his face. He taught her how to use the gifts she’d been given, how to fight, how to survive. One thing he hadn’t prepared her for, however, was venturing on her own. He’d always wanted better for her than the life of an omega, and as she wandered lost and weary through the woods, wondering with every step if Allison was going to pop out from behind a tree and cut her in half, Erica realized how ungrateful she’d been. She wanted nothing more now than to go back and be part of the pack.
At this point, however, she wasn’t even sure there was a pack to go back to.
Chapter 12: Gabriel/Kali
Pairing: Gabriel/Kali (For Paula)
Pairing Type: Romantic
Knowledge is power, and if anyone was aware of this fact, it was Gabriel. When he ran off to join the Pagans he did it with only a vague idea of what he was doing, and while he was singularly skilled at flying blind, doing so in this scenario was terrifying. Luckily he’d met Odin first, who figured out what Gabriel was fairly quickly but took steps to make sure he was the last to do so. Odin gave him the name Loki, and introduced him to the others as his brother in arms, his friend, his family. No one questioned Odin, and for that Loki was incredibly grateful. ‘Brother’ was the one lie that Gabriel wasn’t sure he could pull off if pressed; experience told him he was lousy at filling that role.
It was never clear exactly what drew him to Kali. She was beautiful, yes, and powerful, without question. There was also the fact that she fancied herself a master of change, and that to Gabriel was the most attractive thing about her. He wanted to change everything about himself, and that seemed like something she was especially equipped to help him do. Also, after a lifetime of dealing with the bright shining star that was Lucifer, there was a certain serenity to the darkness that seemed to follow Kali around.
So Gabriel was in love with Kali, and it didn’t take long for him to realize that fact. The problem was Kali couldn’t stand him. This did nothing to dishearten Gabriel, however. He had a certain penchant for mischief, and in his mind the most epic of romances were formed in the pits of loathing.
It was lucky he took this optimistic world-view, because she didn’t talk to him for almost two-hundred years, and the centuries that followed were filled with turmoil and rage that at times turned the tides on top of entire cities, at which point Odin would insist they spend some significant time apart. Gabriel never had any choice but to listen in those moments. After all, he did owe Odin his life.
Still, when things were good, they were excellent. Gabriel kept himself warm in the long winters when he and Kali were banished from each other with memories of her warm embrace, and the sweet music of her laugh, and the fire in her eyes when she looked at him with ideas of mischief and trickery that put his own to shame. It wasn’t something he could ever explain to another angel (except, as he would learn later, a younger brother of his that he never expected to have so much in common with), but some things were truly worth falling for.
Chapter 13: James/Miles
30 Days of Drabbles: Day Thirteen
Fandom: Third Star
Pairing: James/Miles (for Danielle)
Pairing type: Romantic
I don’t love him. It doesn’t work like that. He’s my best mate. We can have a laugh, we can stay up all night together, we can spend hours with our heads bobbing just above the surface of the lake, splashing at each other and dunking each other under the water. There are a lot of things we can do, but there are also boundaries, lines that must never be crossed.
I’m probably just confused, anyhow. That happens at our age, confusion, or so I’m told. I’ve only ever felt it around James.
Logically, a person is nothing more than a combination and subsequent displaying of a variety of traits. So even if I did love James, which I don’t, it wouldn’t be him, it would just be all the little parts of him and the way they come together.
I see now. The one I really love is Chloe, James just reminds me of her. It all makes sense.
James would kill me if he found out though, so I best just keep that to myself.
He’s not sick. No, of course he’s not. He’s just been pushing himself too hard, he’s a little tired, maybe he’s caught a cold or something, but it’s nothing serious.
He’ll be fine, we’ll be back in business in no time. We’ll spend the summers on the beach and the winters in the mountains like we’ve always done. He’s fine, nothing is wrong.
Well, that’s all right. I’ve seen cancer before, and it’s brutal, yeah, but my dad was an old man. Old compared to James, at any rate. James can beat this. James has to beat this.
He’s not getting better.
I just need some time. A week, I just need a week. I just need to get my head together. It’s not like I’m abandoning him, I just need a little time for myself so that I can be there for him more fully. He has Davy anyhow. It’ll be fine.
How long has it been now? Blimey I can’t believe I let this happen. No matter, I’ll go on this camping trip. It’ll be like old times, it will be grand. James doesn’t even look that sick. I’m sure we can all still have a laugh. That’s what friends are for, right?
I don’t miss him.
He was a prat. Only a prat would go and give up. The rest of us grow old and gray and he’s done with all of that. He’s left his legacy, his mark. He made sure to leave a mark. A prat.
I don’t miss him. That’s Davy’s job.
It’s sad, of course, but I won’t cry. People die every day.
I cried a little, but it was for show. It was to comfort Chloe. I’m fine. I’ll always be fine.
It’s not as if I loved him.
Chapter 14: Pepper/Bruce
Pairing Type: Romantic
They always looked forward to the summer. Tony had a few small sailboats (just because he could) and Pepper and Bruce enjoyed nothing more than the summer days when they could pack a cooler of sandwiches and soda and head out into the open sea. Over time the sensations associated with these outings became anchors of a sort for Bruce when The Other Guy wanted to come out to play: the smell of salt, the sound of Pepper laughing, and the touch of the wind.
Years of dealing with Tony Stark made Pepper especially qualified for a relationship with Bruce Banner. She knew how to handle difficult men, whether they were difficult of their own accord or not, and she had a patience and a confidence that put her at ease even in situations like this, where other women might be scared. Bruce had been scared at first. He had told her it wasn't a good idea to be trapped on a tiny vessel with him in the middle of nowhere, but she wasn't afraid, and after awhile he wasn't either.
It was easy with them. She was smart, and had an easy confidence that drew Bruce out of his shell quickly. He felt relaxed with her. His heart pounded in her presence, but not for the reasons he'd grown accustomed to. It wasn't fear of killing her that made him sweat, it was just her. Her smell, her smile, the glint of the sun off her wind-tousled hair, all of it caused a warm curling in Bruce's stomach that he couldn't quite bring himself to hate.
In the end, they deserved each other. Pepper deserved someone who could love and appreciate her, and nobody appreciated her for simply existing more than Bruce did. Bruce deserved someone who was unafraid, who loved him and wouldn't stop loving him just because The Other Guy was always hanging over their heads. They both found in each other what they had been looking for, and nobody dared to interfere. Not that they'd want to, if anybody deserved a shot at being happy, it was this pair.
Chapter 15: Irene/Sebastian
Pairing type: Romantic
Sebastian liked taking commands, and Irene liked giving them. It was why they worked so well as friends. She was basically filling the same role Moriarty had, giving him guidance and direction in his day to day life. He was a good little whipping boy in every sense of the term. Sometimes, however, just sometimes, their roles would switch.
The first time it happened she was in danger. Someone had come to kill her, not for the first time of course, but tonight they had gotten too close for comfort. Sebastian was in control of the situation immediately. He herded her upstairs with the hired help, ignoring her protests that she could take care of herself, and locked the door from the outside in case she got any funny ideas. From inside Irene could hear the tussle that ensued, and ended quickly. Then it was just the sound of weight sliding across the floor, a sound she would later learn was attributed to Sebastian sliding the unconscious bodies into the downstairs cupboard for safekeeping until he could deal with them later. When he finally let her out, she was furious, and he was unapologetic. Things went downhill from there.
She hated admitting that she liked it when Sebastian took control. It was a rare thing – it had to be, otherwise it would lose it’s appeal. Occasionally, though, when their mutual frustrations ran high, they would slip out of their established roles and find release in the novelty of wearing each other’s skin.
Chapter 16: Mary/Ellen
30 Days of Drabbles: Day Sixteen
Pairing type: Familial
Heaven was a lonely place before she met Ash. Something in Mary’s hunter instincts told her that the things she was seeing, even if they were amazing, weren’t real. It terrified her until she met the free spirited computer genius and he explained to her about angels, and heavens, and all the rules he’d learn to break. Meeting Ash was the best thing to happen to Mary in death, not only because it kept her from being alone, but because it brought her to Ellen.
The Roadhouse was your average hunter’s dive, Mary had been to a million of them in her lifetime, but none with a bartender like this one. The first time Mary met Ellen, the older woman had poured her a beer, given her a small smile, and said the words Mary never even dared to hope that she would hear:
“Let me tell you about your boys.”
Ellen talked for hours, and in that time Mary didn’t make a peep. She listened with rapt attention to stories about her sons saving the world. She learned that Sam was a good man like his father, with his father’s temper to boot. She learned that Dean was a leader, and a strategist, and a fighter. She learned that they had both made mistakes, but more than that, they had both done more amazing things than she could’ve ever dreamed. She learned that angels truly were watching over them – well, one angel at least.
Ellen told Mary that she had never seen two human beings who watched out for each other the way Sam and Dean did. There was laughter in her eyes as she talked about all the times she’d wanted to stab Dean in the neck for pulling at her daughter’s heartstrings, and there was sadness in her eyes when she talked about how lost Sam always seemed.
They didn’t talk about John much. Ellen didn’t have a whole lot of positive things to say, and honestly Mary seemed more interested in the sons she’d never known, so it was an easy topic to avoid. Ellen did mention Bobby Singer, and the slack he’d picked up in raising Sam and Dean, and Mary couldn’t have been more grateful to learn that. It should have been her and John raising the boys, but in their absence, it was good to know Ellen and Bobby had filled in where they could.
Eventually they talked about things besides Sam and Dean as well. Mary had never known another female hunter besides her mother, and Ellen was one of the most interesting individuals she had ever met. Ash was amazing too, and around them Mary couldn’t help but smile. When she met Jo, her opinion was sealed: Sam and Dean had lived their lives surrounded by incredible people, and that was all she could ever really hope for.
And now she was grateful to be surrounded by them as well.
Chapter 17: Dean/Gabriel
Pairing type: Romantic
Dean and Gabriel communicated mostly through a series of looks. It was interesting how little they had to verbalize. Even though they were rarely in agreement about anything, they had mastered the looks of disapproval and condescension to the point where it was easy to tell when one had crossed the line with the other, and when one was pushing the other’s buttons intentionally.
It was different, this camaraderie they had, than anything else they’d really experienced. They challenged each other, they called each other out, and when that didn’t work they found creative ways to shut each other up. Their relationship somehow simultaneously humbled them both while stroking their collective egos constantly. It was a fantastic thing.
Gabe would never admit it, and Dean would never accept it, but he had taken it upon himself to ensure the safety of the older Winchester. He never told Dean when he was interfering, that would be a show of affection that neither of them wanted to face up to. But sometimes there would be unlikely strokes of luck that Dean couldn’t attribute to anything else: salt lines that didn’t blow away in the wind, mysteriously fallen logs that slowed their pursuers, a bullet that fired when Dean was sure he’d run out of rounds. They never talked about it, but when little things like this happened Dean made extra sure to show Gabriel his thanks.
It was never meant to last. Their interludes were fleeting and infrequent, Gabriel disappearing more often than he stayed and Dean always eager to move on to other things. The times when their paths crossed, however, were times that both of them treasured, and neither of them ever forgot.
Chapter 18: Amy/River
Fandom: Doctor Who
Pairing type: Familial
Amy mourned the loss of River’s childhood in a thousand different ways, but the sadness hit her hardest in the summers. She saw the babies playing with their parents in the parks, toothless children enjoying ice cream on the sidewalks, traveling families on vacation – those were the most difficult to see. They reminded her of the travels her and Melody would never have.
Of course they had their adventures anyway, but a childhood spent in camaraderie was a different kind of gift than the the joy of watching your child learn and grow and wonder. Even now when River came to visit Amy felt younger than her somehow. There was a timelessness about River Song that gave her wisdom beyond her years.
Their dynamic was a learned thing, and Amy loved what they had grown into, but she couldn’t help watching wistfully after the smiling schoolchildren with an ache in her chest as she thought about the summers that might have been.
Chapter 19: Natasha/Fury
Pairing type: Platonic (Familial?)
Natasha didn’t like the word ‘prodigy’. She had been turned into this thing she was now, this weapon, and since then had done was was necessary to survive. To her, the word ‘prodigy’ had such a positive connotation that it didn’t account for the nightmares, the battle scars that she carried in her mind.
Fury understood that; he had a few scars of his own. He took it upon himself to make sure Natasha’s didn’t become what defined her. Under his guidance, the things she did became more important than the skills she had. Natasha transformed from a weapon of destruction to a tool for the greater good. She put marks in her ledger that she could be proud of, and started to wipe away some of the red.
Natasha had never had any family of her own, and if Fury had he never talked about them. They became a unit of their own, a team within the team, their camaraderie driven by both a both shared interests and a mutual need to find solace in another human being.
They didn’t always agree and they didn’t always get along, but they did always have each other’s backs, and that was more than either of them could hope for from anybody else.
Chapter 20: Molly/Irene
Pairing type: Romantic
They were friends first. Irene never pressed for anything more, because she truly thought that what she did for a living frightened Molly, and fear wasn't the intention of her games. So with Molly she was just another girl. They went shopping together, they had coffee, Molly talked about the men in her life and Irene listened with rapt attention, offering advice where she could. They never talked about Irene's personal life, however. Over time Molly gleaned facts about her mysterious friend. Irene liked roses, she took her coffee black, she loved classical music but also had a secret soft spot for classic rock, and sometimes she liked to sit home in her underwear with her hair a mess and watch old Disney movies. None of these tidbits spoke to Irene's true mystique, however, the things she did for money.
Of course they couldn't talk about her clients even if Molly wanted to, but that wasn't really what she was interested in. She was too embarrassed to ask about the finer details of Irene's work, so she kept her lips tightly sealed on the subject, but in truth she was devastatingly curious to know what went on behind those closed doors.
One day it came out in front of Molly, that vicious side that Irene tried to keep quiet in gentler company. They were shopping when a security guard started harassing them, insisting that he'd seen Molly slip something into her purse. The very idea was preposterous and Irene had held nothing back as put the man firmly back in his place and sent him on his way, muttering apologies and scurrying off like a kicked dog. They were standing close together, and Irene had felt a tremble from Molly during the altercation, so she immediately turned with the intention of comforting her friend. It wasn't embarrassment or anger that showed in Molly's eyes, however. It was intrigue. There was a softness to the curve of her lip, hanging open just slightly as her eyes searched Irene's. There was a tremor in her voice as she whispered her thanks, and Irene didn't miss the low tone to the words. All of the assumptions she'd made about Molly Hooper dissolved in that moment.
And it was all uphill from there.
Chapter 21: Stiles/Sheriff Stilinski
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Stiles/Sheriff Stilinski
Pairing type: Familial
When his mom died, the light in Stiles life got perceptibly dimmer. When he found out his dad was sick the sun truly began to set.
Sheriff Stilinski wasn’t even sick, persay. Not the way that Stiles’ mom had been. His blood pressure was a little high, his cholesterol could be better, but he was by no stretch of the imagination dying. Stiles didn’t care. Every little thing that could go wrong would go wrong, and every imperfection in his dad’s health was one more step towards him being well and truly alone. He was only sixteen, he wasn’t ready for that.
So he harped on his father, held on a little too tightly, tried his best not to fight with him because he knew all too well that any conversation could be their last. He did everything he could not to be a disappointment, to make the sacrifices his father had made on his behalf worthwhile, to do his mother proud.
When the secrets started, the guilt made Stiles physically ill. More than that, the knowledge of all the new dangers his dad could be crossing on a daily basis made him shake – from fear for once instead of Adderall. He could see the stress as bags under his own eyes, and the pressure his father was under showing in lines around his. Stiles Stilinski, the boy who ran with wolves, swore to himself that when push came to shove, his father would come first. Before Scott, before Derek, before the pack. He’d kill them all if he had to. His family came first.
It wasn’t all projection, either. The sun was setting, the moon was rising, and sooner or later this was a decision he would truly have to make. And he would. He swore he’d keep his father safe.
Chapter 22: Dean/Meg
Pairing type: Romantic
They were too similar, that was their main problem. Both too headstrong, too self-righteous, too smart, and both just a little bit mad.
She had no respect for his boundaries. She had no respect for anything, really. She poked his bruises, stuck her finger in his gaping wounds, and sent hell hounds at him knowing perfectly well the trauma he relived every time he heard the barking.
He hated everything she was. He spat at her even when she did something to help them. He equated the darkness in her eyes to a darkness in her heart. He let her know that he was constantly on the edge of killing her, and he made sure he knew he wasn’t kidding.
When they fought their words were venom. When they fucked their fingers turned to claws. They tore each other from the inside out. They let their hatred consume them. They descended into the madness.
Meg Masters and Dean Winchester both knew they’d been forgotten by their gods. They both knew the world was going to kill them and their allies were going to betray them. They both understood reality too well to cling to hope.
So instead they clung to each other, even when the fires of Hell rose around them, and they both blamed it on their spite. Spite was all they had in the end. Spite, and hatred, and insanity.
Chapter 23: Master/Martha
Fandom: Doctor Who
Pairing type: I don't even know
He tortured, he killed, he held everyone she loved for revenge. The Master was evil, and from her he stole a thousand tomorrows. A year of her life was spent wandering the Earth, during which time she saw a thousand good men fall. A thousand tears fell from her eyes before she found that she could cry no more.
A thousand moments were spent wondering what was happening to her family way up there in the forgotten sky. It was a special torture, designed only for her: the torture of not knowing. She supposed they didn't know what happened to her either, but they knew she wasn't in The Master's grasp. She could only guess what was going on up there, the hand carved hells that he had dreamt up for her mother, for her beloved Doctor, for Jack – the man who could never die.
Her isolation gave her strength. The perils she went through proved one thing: she was a survivor. Better than The Doctor in a million different ways. The Master gave her that self-assurance, and showed her that she had to leave. He stole a thousand adventures from her, the days in the TARDIS she would never have.
Chapter 24: Miles/Bill
Fandom: Third Star
Pairing type: Platonic
They all had their roles within the group, and Bill considered his to be that of peacekeeper. All these strong personalities clashing together caused the occasional (frequent) burst of sparks and he was always quick to interfere when he could.
Through this self-imposed role, Bill grew especially close to Miles, who was perhaps the most hot tempered of them all. Miles was narcissistic and pessimistic and a real honest buzzkill to be around sometimes. But Bill found something else in his friendship with Miles. Miles also happened to be smart, possessive of a rare dry wit, and above all else he truly cared about his friends, even if you could never get him to admit it out loud.
After James died they all needed somebody. They didn’t exclude Davy, but when he wasn’t around they were able to grieve in their own way, a way that was more inclusive of cheap jokes and expensive booze, sitting outside under the midnight stars, and less about soul searching and finding meaning in what had happened. Bill could tell when Miles needed to be serious and when he needed to just be, and was happy to be a friend in either instance.
Miles appreciated Bill, always had, but even more so now. Bill was the only person who didn’t have any expectations for him, the only one who treated him like a person instead of a machine. He didn’t have any expectations for Bill either, which was a special thing for a father-to-be to find in a friend. Together they were able to wash away the memories of tear soaked beaches and replace them with something a little more solid. Friendship, and family, and the possibility of a future. The reminder that they were still alive, and still had something to live for.
Chapter 25: Nick/Lucifer
Pairing: Nick/Lucifer (For Paula)
Pairing type: Platonic? (What do vessels count as?)
It was early summer when Nick allowed the devil to share his skin. From the moment he said “Yes” the world turned on its head, which was to be expected, but just how strange they got was surprising.
If you had asked Nick where he’d be in his life at this point, locked up with Satan in some abandoned recess of his own consciousness would not have been high on his list of answers. Here they were, however, and there was nothing to do but get to know each other better.
Lucifer was a violent man, that was no surprise, but his motives were startlingly honest. He told Nick the story of how he fell from Heaven, and Nick couldn’t help but feel sorry the guy. He was also honest about what his plans were now. Everything was put on the table – Sam Winchester, the apocalypse, the likely casualties and the inevitable destruction. But Nick didn’t believe for a second that Lucifer wanted this. The guy was no saint, but he spoke of his family like he still mourned the loss, and well, Nick understood that feeling.
When autumn turned to winter and they were no closer to Sam, Nick expected Lucifer to grow angry. He braced himself for it. The slow burn of Lucifer’s grace against the walls of his skin was excruciatingly painful, but he knew it couldn’t be helped. As the days grew shorter and the devil’s frustrations grew longer, Nick expected some intentional torture to be thrown his way. Funnily enough, as time went on Lucifer only grew more gentle. If winter made most humans depressed, it had the opposite effect on the archangel. He seemed to thrive in the cold, and his spirits were in a constant upswing. He was sure they were going to win, sure things were going to go his way. Patience and perseverance, that was all it was going to take. Nick wasn’t about to tell him differently.
In the end, Sam said yes. Lucifer had done it honestly, Sam had even come to him, and Nick couldn’t help but be impressed. There was a sadness too. In the time of his greatest loneliness, Nick had found companionship in the last person he would ever have expected. He knew he was just a tool, a means to an end, but as he felt Lucifer leave his body, he couldn’t help feeling the loss of the last friend he’d had, and realize now there was nothing left but to die.
Chapter 26: Allison/Lydia
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Allison/Lydia (for Liz)
Pairing type: Romantic
Lydia was the strongest person that Allison had ever known. Lately though, the cracks had begun to show through the foundation. Something was going on, and no one seemed to know exactly what. All that was certain was that Lydia was starting to shatter, and Allison didn’t know what to do.
When she saw the necklace, she knew she had to get it. It was perfectly Lydia: a flawless diamond in the shape of a heart. It glinted in the light and hung heavy on its chain, a comforting weight that demanded its presence be felt. This stone would never shatter, and Allison knew that if she could just help her hang on neither would Lydia.
They were in her room when she presented her with the necklace. Their lips were pressed gently together, a warm and relaxed contact, when Allison snaked her hands up and fiddled the small silver lobster clasp into place behind Lydia’s neck. Lydia pulled back, confused, and Allison took her hand and led her over to the mirror.
“It’s beautiful,” Lydia whispered, touching her hand to the pendant hanging high against her sternum.
“You’re beautiful,” Allison murmured in her ear. She adjusted Lydia’s hair to frame her face and pressed her lips to the pale skin of her shoulder.
“I wish you’d tell me what’s going on,” Allison said, to which Lydia frowned. “But I understand if you can’t. Just believe me when I say you’re the most amazing person I know, and we’ll get through this.” She laced their fingers together and held the clasp of their hands against Lydia’s stomach, rocking to and fro lightly with Lydia in her arms.
“We’ll get through it together.”
Chapter 27: Bobby/Mary
Pairing type: Romantic
Mary was pregnant with Sam when she met Bobby Singer. They were at the gas station, and she was walking by his truck when her eyes just happened to glance into the bed. When she saw the bags full of rock salt, she just knew.
She told Dean to wait in the car.
Mary could identify Bobby the second he walked out of the building. His eyes were sunken, his mouth was a thin line. There was a gruffness to him that was beyond his years, and a bitterness to his gaze that betrayed the things he’d seen. He tried to ignore her and climb in the cab, but Mary wasn’t having any of that.
“Don’t forget the windows,” she said quietly. Bobby froze, then turned to her. Despite how cold he was trying to be, there was a gentleness to his voice when he replied that put Mary at ease instantly.
“Sometimes people salt the doors real well and completely forget about the windows,” she explained evenly. “An entrance is an entrance. Make sure you don’t leave one open. Never know what might get through.”
Bobby glanced from Mary, to her swollen belly, to her car where Dean had his face pressed curiously up against the window, and laughed.
“You can’t be a hunter.”
“Could be,” Mary countered. “You got a name?”
“Mary Winchester. Listen I’m not in the business right now, but I know the life. I live just down the road from here. If you ever find yourself in need of a home cooked meal, you call me, you hear?” She pressed a piece of paper with her phone number into his hand, and Bobby actually managed to smile at her before she turned to go back to the car.
“And remember what I said about those windows!” She called over her shoulder.
Bobby did come around once or twice after that. Mary told John that he was an old family friend, and John welcomed him into their home with open arms. Bobby loved the Winchesters, especially little Dean, but when baby Sam came along the family picture was too complete, and Bobby couldn’t bring himself to intrude. He knew the life he lived, knew the darkness that followed him. He couldn’t risk bringing that darkness into their home. His visits stopped after that.
Bobby still kept in touch with Mary though. Mary knew a hunter’s life, and she couldn’t argue when he told her it wasn’t safe for her family to have him around. Still, they wrote letters to each other constantly. Bobby would tell Mary what he was hunting, Mary would share stories about the boys. It was her correspondence that chased the loneliness from Bobby’s life.
He couldn’t help but notice when she stopped mentioning John. Bobby didn’t dare let himself hope. His attraction to Mary Winchester was far from innocent, but she was a married lady, and those boys needed a father. It didn’t matter that he could be better for them than John Winchester ever was, those weren’t thoughts he was allowed to entertain. Still, it was obvious Mary wasn’t happy. Bobby offered her what comfort he could, wishing all the while he could offer more.
He didn’t have long to hold onto his wishes. Mary was dead two months later.
John Winchester showed up at Bobby’s door, sobbing and shaking with a boy in each arm, the smell of smoke clinging heavily to his clothing. Bobby took them in. He handed John a gun and he taught him how to use it. He taught Dean how to change Sam’s diaper and made him repeat the house phone number until he could say it in his sleep. He never let them see him shed a tear.
But he was sure he had brought this darkness into Mary’s life. Many years later he would find out he was wrong. Until then, he lived with the knowledge he had killed her. That a lovely young mother smiled at a miserable old hunter at a gas station one day, and he brought demons to her doorstep. The guilt almost ate him alive, and if not for the little boys with their mother’s eyes and a powerful need for a guiding hand, it might have.
Chapter 28: Jack/Rose
Fandom: Doctor Who
Pairing type: Romantic
With the Doctor, Jack and Rose both saw terrible things. Wonderful things, but also things that would give them both nightmares until the end of their days. Above all else, Jack wanted Rose to be safe. She was more important than any of them, he just knew it. Someday Rose Tyler would save the world. She’d probably save it a hundred times over, she just just had to survive the Doctor first.
He knew better than to assume she would ever leave the Doctor, hell he couldn’t ask her to make a sacrifice he would never make himself, so instead he just asked her to stay alive. The fleeting nights among the madness that they got to spend in each other’s arms, they would whisper that promise to one another, that both of them would stay alive.
Jack faced a firing line of Daleks and Rose took the time vortex into her head. She used the power to bring him back. She made sure he kept his promise.
He spent a lifetime trying to figure out if she’d kept hers. He went to the end of the universe looking for the answer, and when he found it, he could’ve cried.
Rose was alive. She’d survived. She was still fighting.
Even at the end of time itself, that was all that truly mattered.
Chapter 29: Molly/Lestrade
Pairing type: Romantic
Their worlds were madness. They dealt with the dead and the dying, the cruel and the sadistic. Molly Hooper spent her days among rotting corpses, and Greg Lestrade spent his amongst the slime that put them in that state. Worst of all, both of them spent a good portion of their time with Sherlock Holmes, and while they considered the man a friend, neither could claim that he made for the most relaxing company.
So at the end of the day it was the simplicity of their relationship that made it work. At the end of the day, neither of them needed something complicated to come home to, and really things between them were anything but. They cared about each other, they enjoyed each other’s company, they were content to spend long nights at home with a bottle of wine on the couch in front of the television. It didn’t look like much from the outside, but it was really all either of them needed.
Chapter 30: Hunith/Merlin
Pairing type: Familial
Merlin’s birth followed the Great Purge by mere months. As the son of a great dragonlord there was never any doubt what he would be, but still Hunith waited, and she hoped. When Merlin began showing signs of magic she begged him to keep it hidden, but he was a boy with very little control over his abilities and no memory of scream-addled fires that haunted his mother’s dreams. He tried his best because his mother asked, but there were more incidents than Hunith cared to recount.
It wasn’t fair to Merlin to ask him to keep himself hidden. Hunith knew how powerful her son could grow to be, knew the potential in his veins and the qualities of his heart would combine to carry him far, so she sent him to Camelot.
Gaius kept in touch with her long after Merlin came to be his ward. He told her constantly that she’d made the right choice, and while Hunith appreciated that, she did not need reassurance. After seeing her son and meeting the prince, Hunith sat by the fireplace with Gaius’ latest correspondence clutched tightly in her hand, and her eyes skirted over the last lines for the hundredth time.
“Merlin’s abilities grow every day, and he has found purpose in his work with the future king. They bicker like school children, but I have no doubts that this is the start of a new age. You need not fear for his safety, dear Hunith. Arthur will not let any harm come to Merlin. Together, they are going to shape the future.”
Hunith smiled. Merlin and Arthur were two sides of the same coin. Yes, she couldn’t help but agree. The future was coming fast, and her son would stand by the side of the king and lead into a new era where no mother need fear for her child. Hunith longed for that day on behalf of all the magical children not yet born, and their mothers.