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Social Opposites

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Jim’s POV
At five foot five, he is on the short side but is pretty certain that he will have at least one more growth spurt before he is done growing. For now, he uses his slender build and small stature to his advantage in acrobatics and gymnastics. Both of those skill sets are used as a method to avoid bullies, particularly the ones on the rugby team who like to pick on the small, geek.

Just wait, one day he will get his revenge on all of them. He had started with Carl, but the rest would feel his vengeance eventually too.

He had just escaped from a few of those bullies when a bloke on a bicycle nearly runs him over, causing him to trip as he dodges out of the way.

He is startled when a pair of firm hands catch his upper arms and keeps him from falling.

“You alright?” an unfamiliar voice inquires.

Straightening himself and his clothing, he studies the stranger, quickly going through every fact that he knows and can see to determine who this is. Sebastian Moran, recently transferred to their lousy school, on the rugby team, lives at the local orphanage, excellent aim with a sling-shot, and well liked by both ladies and blokes.

“Fine, tch,” he answers, thinking that something seems different about this one.

“I liked your flip over that railing, did you do it for fun or do I need to bash some heads in?” the taller boy queries curiously.

He doesn’t answer, taking his time to study this unusual creature before him.

“Sebastian,” the taller boy announces, thrusting his hand forward.

“Jim,” he replies after a few minutes, deciding this might be the best thing to ever happen in this shit hole.

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Muffled sounds could be heard through the double doors so he knew he hadn’t completely missed it. Rugby practice had run later than planned and he skipped a shower in hopes of seeing his new boyfriend in his science competition. 

Hoping to be a doctor one day, he knew the basics behind anatomy and the body, but the rest was lost on him.

As he entered, a few people glanced at him, but he tried to quietly sneak into the back and away from the others. He didn’t want to embarrass his love. There was only so much deodorant could cover up. 

When he caught the brunet’s eye, he sent him an encouraging smile and a nod.

Sherlock had, of course, won. Not wanting to be in the way, the blond waited at the back of the hall for his nerd to make his way to him.

As they headed for the parking lot, they struck an odd picture: the tall, brunet nerd in his sleek, tailored suit and the smaller, stocky blond clad in black rugby gear. 

Not bothering to hide their new relationship, they knew things would be interesting between the science club and the rugby team come Monday morning. 

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Mycroft’s POV 
She was surprisingly popular because of her ability to dance. 

He watches from the back of the studio, always from the  background, never from the front. He does not know how to approach the graceful dancer, while he excels at problem solving, figuring out motives, and knowing things before anyone else. He tends her performances to watch her when he does not have other things going on in his life or when he can reorder them.

Tonight is her biggest performance of her career and he wishes to watch it, leave her flowers, even if he will not say a word to her. It goes wonderfully, her performance is perfect.

Standing while she is bowing out, he goes to the back room, setting them on top of her things. 

He is just working on escaping when she comes around the corner into the room, her eye widening as she studies him. 

“Oh, hel-lo My-yc-roft,” she stutters, her flushes skin darkening further in a blush. 

“Good evening Miss Hooper, you preformed excellently,” he compliments her.

“Oh, umm, thank you,” she replies. 

He goes to leave, only to have her gently touch his arm and inquire, “Wou-ld you like to join me for cof-fee or tea?”

He freezes, not sure how to respond to that inquiry, reading her nervousness and sincerity , he slowly nods. “I would.”

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Looks like another late night training session for him tonight. Everyone was out celebrating the football teams’ win so John knew the gym would be empty. Well, he hoped it was only almost empty.

John had been going to the gym late at night ever since he noticed the tall brunet dancing in the mirrored studio. Maybe his own boxing wasn’t doing so well because he spent too much time observing the moves of the other man. He was starting to have a new appreciation for ballet. At least he thought it was ballet.

He needed to focus more on his own training if he wanted to lead the team. Being on the boxing team for most of his university career helped his popularity, but he knew it would only improve if he could just back on track.

Turning back to the punching bag once more, John plugged in his iPod and shut out the rest of the world. Finally working up a good sweat and feeling like he had made some progress, the blond hung up his gloves and hit the shower.

He was standing in a towel in front of his locker when he heard, “You’re doing it wrong.”

John had to grab the towel around his waist to keep it from falling from the sudden voice behind him.

“I’m sorry. What am I doing wrong?”

“Your technique. You’re not using the area around the bag to your full advantage.”

“You know boxing?”

“No.”

“Then how –.”

“I may not know anything about boxing, but I do know mathematics and anatomy. I could help you.”

“Dude, I’m a med student. I know anatomy as well. How could math help me?”

“I could help you learn new techniques based on movement and area.”

“Why would you want to help me? We don’t even know each other.”

“I know you’re a boxer. Third year med student. You’re popular, but not as popular as you’d like based on your position on the school team. You’ve also got a brother with a drinking problem that you’ve been trying to avoid. Judging by the scars on your hands, you’ve been fighting all your life, but the other scars on your body show a wider story.”

Shocked, John turned back to his locker to dress quickly and gather his things.

“Wait a minute. You never did tell me why you want my help. Hell, I don’t even know your name.”

“I need a bit of help on my own “fighting” technique. In exchange, I could help you with your training. Meet me at my place tomorrow.” With that, the younger man turned on his heel to leave. He stopped at the door and turned back to the blond, “By the way, the name’s Sherlock Holmes and the address is 221B Baker Street.”

John just stood and stared at the now empty doorway still trying to figure out how it all happened at once.

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Being the popular girl can be a real disadvantage sometimes, like when trying to make friends with the new gymnastics student called Eggsy who dislikes most of the people I hang out with. Of course, I didn't really understand the problem until I spotted two of my 'friends' trying to bully Eggsy and his escaping by using his gymnastics. Bot did that piss me off. Just because he got into the school on a scholarship doesn't mean they need to be arseholes. All of them got a piece of my mind and I went back to trying to befriend Eggsy. When we finally did  manage to have a conversation, I was happy I had, because he was smarter than he let on and talented. We became friends, though I would not say it was a quick process. When the Kingsman recruiters came to our school, well all of those people who disliked Eggsy for being the new bloke were shocked when he got the second position and I got the first.

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That’s all Bilbo could make out over the cheering crowd. His best friend, Ori, was cheering on his boyfriend of six months, Dwalin, who played as a center mid-fielder on their uni team.

He was only at this stupid game because Ori didn’t want to come alone. So here he sat, sketch pad in hand and nodding every time his friend asked, “Did you see that??”

For most of the game he did his best to ignore the crowd and the team. The two art students were sitting in the front row where Dwalin had pulled some strings and gotten them seats.

“Look out!”

That was all the warning he got before a football whizzed past his head and a large, solid muscled body landed at his feet. When he stood, the first thing that struck him was clear blue of his eyes and then the long, dark, wavy hair.

Jumping back over the fence, the stranger sent him a wink and a smile as he ran off with the ball in hand. He gave one last glance at the shorter man before tossing the ball back into play.

“Oh my Mahal, Bilbo!” Shaking his friend’s shoulder, “That was Thorin!”

“Who?”

“Dwalin’s best friend and captain of the team.” At Bilbo’s confused look, he continued, “Ugh, I’ve only been talking about him for the last week!”

“Wait, was that who you wanted to set me up with?”

“Yes!”

“Well…”

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Sam was one of the most popular boys in the school, though he never understood why. It had been that way from the minute he moved to Sunnydale. The first time he noticed the supernatural activity, not just the stuff they had come to Sunnydale for, he had also noticed the cute blonde with a quick temper and quicker reflexes. She had killed a demon with barely a blink, he had found himself hooked.

Many of their classmates had told him she was an oddball, weirdo, freak, and any other series of nasty things.

After crashing one of her teams meetings, he manages to talk his way onto it, and learns even more than what his dad and brother know.

During the summer months they strike up a relationship, one that is ended when his dad moves them away, but he comes a few years later when called for help, bring his brother along. Somehow they hold off the apocalypse and even manage to save Buffy.

He gets a shock out of her new boyfriend, another vampire, but easily sees the affection between them. They part as friends and help each other over the years to come when various problems arise. Sometimes, he even calls just to visit.

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Summer before second year –

Hermione stood behind her best friend, Harry Potter, in silent support while Lucius Malfoy looked down on them all. His son, Draco, stared down from the stairs off to the side.

Lucius stood tall in front of Harry and spoke in a voice that said he was better than everyone else, “You must be very brave, Mr. Potter, to dare speak his name.” Raising an eyebrow, he continued, “Or foolish.”

The witch had had enough of his attitude and stepped forward in defense of Harry. She spoke in a serious tone, “Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.” She stared up at the older man in defiance.

Lucius sneered as his eyes slid to her, “You must be Miss Granger. Draco’s told me about you… and your parents.” He glanced at her parents behind her briefly.

Though the young witch held her ground, masking her sadness behind a wall of courage fitting of any Gryffindor. If she had glanced up at the blond boy above her, she would have noticed the ashamed look he was trying to hide. Draco was raised a certain way and had an image to uphold.

Ten years later –

It had been ten years since that day and five since the war ended. The annual Anniversary and Memorial Ball was held in the Great Hall of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After all those years, Malfoy still felt guilty over his behavior. Now that the war was over, this was his chance to made amends. He attempted to get Hermione alone several times to speak to her, but was never able to catch her. She was still a member of the Golden Trio and everyone wanted a piece of her time.

He gave up after the speeches were made and decided to leave. She had noticed his attempts throughout the night and followed him out into the entrance hall.

“Draco!” Her small voice still echoed through the empty hall.

He turned on the spot with a shocked look on his face. He put his hands in his pockets with his head down reminiscent of childhood, “Yes?”

Hermione held her dressed front as she walked up to him, put a hand on his shoulder for leverage as she stood on her toes, and kissed his cheek. Setting herself back down, she put a hand to the same cheek and smiled, “It’s okay, Draco. Really. All forgiven.”

With that, she turned back and returned to the hall and her friends. Shaking himself free, he shook his head, smiled, and strolled out of the school with a new pep in his step.

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She was sure he must be the most popular boy here, yet he is leaning so casually against the wall, watching everyone with sharp gray eyes as they dance around the ball room. Biting her lip, she looks up at a shooting star before she feels his eyes on her. Smiling at him, she holds up her hand with just one finger up, in hopes that he will accept the dance.

At first when he declines, she is not sure what to do but quickly decides to go ask in person.

Striding over to him, she comments, “You’re the best looking guy here,” leaning forward with her hands on her hips she asks, “Dance with me?”

He doesn’t answer, looking right through her with those shimmering eyes before taking a sip of his wine.

Straightening, she holds her hand out as she remarks, “Let me guess,” she leans forward again slightly, “You’ll only dance with someone you like?” clapping her hands together, she continues to smile at him, “Okay then,” reaching one hand towards him, she watches as he takes another sip, “Look into my eyes,” she reaches out grabbing his chin lightly, nearly getting lost in those amused eyes. Letting go she wiggles her fingers at him as she lightly chants, “You’re going to like me, you’re going to like me,” before pulling her hand back and curiously asking, “Did it work?”

He chuckles, a rough sound that entrances her and she is quite certain that he doesn’t do it often enough. “I can’t dance,” he tells her after taking another sip of his wine, voice a low ruble that sends shivers down his spine.

How could such a handsome man not know how to dance? She is sure he has to be popular, he is the only one she has felt drawn to, how could he not be popular?

“You’ll be fine,” she tells him excitedly, “Come on.” Grabbing his hand, she tells him, “I’m looking for someone. I can’t be on the dance floor alone.”

He just barely manages to pass his cup to a passing waiter as she pulls him out on the floor. This has to be one of the oddest moments of his career in SEED. Who was she and what was she doing? Moments later find them figuring things out, she gives instructions and suggestions, all the while smiling at him like he is someone special.

What she doesn’t seem to know is he is at the bottom of the social ladder. It doesn’t bother him, but it does make him curious why someone who is obviously from the top would want to dance with him.

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Javier proceeded Carlos into the kitchen a few minutes later. When his eyes landed on Katey he was unable to beat a hasty retreat thanks to his brother pushing him into the room. At a single look from his mother, Carlos sat down across from his baby sister, leaving the only open seat across from Katey. Javier stared at the chair as if it had offended him just by it’s placement.

 

Without so much as a glance at the young woman the table, Javier spoke in Spanish, “No thank you, mother, I’m not hungry tonight.”

 

Before he could make two steps, his mother replied in kind, “Sit down, Javier.” Her tone strong.

 

Like a good little Cuban boy, he listened to his mother, but that didn’t mean he had to like it. What was Katey doing there? Peaking up at just her stomach, he saw what Carlos meant by his American not being far enough along for the child growing in her womb to be his. Six months had passed since their night on the beach, and not that he really knew much about pregnant women, but he thought she couldn’t be more than two to three months along.

 

A bark of laughter boomed through his mind at his next thoughts. Oh yeah, this rich American girl is going to be demanding support from her poor Cuban ex-dance partner. This girl, woman, had grown up in high society while his own father was murdered by Batista’s secret police. They should never have even met, their social and life statuses so different, but he couldn’t bring himself to regret it.

 

Javier poked at his food as his nephew and little sister tried to engage everyone in some attempt at speaking, even child ramblings. Carlos speaking to his mother and grandfather. Only Javier and Katey sat in silence, too distracted by their own minds to pay attention or eat.

 

The evening was progressing awkwardly smooth until Carlos decided to address Katey for the first time since her arrival, “So Katey, what brings you back so soon?”

 

Her head snapped up as soon as Javier slammed his hands on the table and pushed his chair back. She followed his movements until he had stalked out of the room.

 

Setting aside her napkin, Katey turned towards Mrs. Suarez who was berating her oldest son, “It’s alright, Mrs. Suarez, I should really be going. Yolanda will be here soon.”

 

Angelica rose from her seat and pulled Katey into a tight hug, “You come back any time you need.” She rubbed Katey’s belly, “and abuela will be here.”

 

Kissing Mrs. Suarez’s cheek, she made her way to the front of the house. Katey admired the decor as she walked quietly towards the front courtyard. As she grew nearer, the sounds of bickering and rapid fire Spanish were heard. Recognizing the voices of Yolanda, who must have come early to retrieve Katey, and Javier almost instantly. These were the moments where she wished she had taken Spanish instead of French because although her Spanish was improving, there was no way she could keep up their argument.

 

(POV - Javier)

 

Javier had been content to wander the streets of Havana lost in thought, but as soon as he left the gate of his home, he spotted Yolanda strolling down the road in his direction. He stopped just in the shadows and wait for her. She had been with Katey last night at La Rosa Negra, it must have been her idea for all of this.

 

Yolanda slowed her steps as she approached the gate and Javier knew he’d been seen. Grabbing her by the elbow, he dragged her into the shadow of the wall just like he had done to Katey that day in the garage right after he was fired for walking her home.

 

Yolanda yanked her elbow out of his grasp and spoke with a mock smile, “Hola to you, too, Javier.” Her tone dripping with sarcasm.

 

Rolling his eyes, Javier took a deep breath before he started speaking, “What have you done, bringing her here?” He couldn’t bring up the baby.

 

It was Yolanda’s turn to roll her eyes as she crossed her arms over her chest and spoke in a harsher tone, “What’s the matter, Javier? I thought you might like to see your handiwork.” She stared up at him in challenge.

 

Javier stared at her for a long moment before he scrubbed his hands over his face, sighing, “What are you talking about, Yolanda? Carlos said -”

 

The older woman cut him off with her hands on her hips, “I don’t give a damn what Carlos said to you last night or any other time.” She raised a hand to poke him in the chest, right over his heart, “You still love her, admit it.”

 

Ever the young man, she denied it, “No, Yolanda, I don’t. She left-”

 

Exasperated she shouted over his rambling, “Because she had to, you bastard!” Yolanda took a deep breath to calm her nerves, and if she wasn’t still so angry, she would have laughed at the shocked look on Javier’s face.

 

The silence seemed to stretch and she almost thought their interaction was over until he spoke again. Javier was already soft spoken so Yolanda had to strain slightly to hear, “But how? Why?” He was scrubbing his face with his hands again. A new nervous habit it seems.


Calming slightly Yolanda spoke, “I think you know how, Javier.” She squeezed his upper arm and turned to enter the small courtyard only to see Kately standing just outside of the house with a look of betrayal and hurt.

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Max’s POV
After the entire mess with Thomas Geiger, the corruption, and the fight to get his name cleared, he had decided to retire from being a detective inspector. His drive for justice had been nearly destroyed, along with his willingness to stay in a job where he no longer felt welcome. So he had finished out the last of the cases he shared with Sarah. Once everything is done and the paperwork is filed, he leaves, heading to Scotland and the home he left behind when he joined the London police force.

Instead of going by his middle name, as he had as an officer, he returns to using his first name, and opened a small coffee shop.

For two years that was his life. It was quiet and somewhat peaceful. He was finally starting to heal emotionally, if not physically.

Of course, all of that was thrown into chaos when a tall, familiar form came striding through the door to his coffee shop. For a moment, it feels like time stands still as he studies the thief from the safety of behind the counter.

 In the three years since he last saw Jacob, not much seems to have changed. The thief is still tall, still commanding, still in better shape than he ever wants to admit. Dark eyes sweep the room, taking in everything he is sure.

 How long until Jacob recognizes him? Why is he here?

Striding up to the counter, the taller man stops just a few feet away, watching him with a small frown wrinkling his brow.

“You’re familiar,” the familiar deep voice he will deny missing states calmly.

Not smoothing his accent out the way he did when he was a cop, he responds, “What would you like?”

Dark eyes widen as the taller man realizes who he is according to his expression. “Detective  Inspector Max Lewinsky,” the thief mutters in surprise.

His lips quirk up in a small smile, as he remarks, “Aneirin, thanks. Do you know what you’d like?”

“The lightest, strongest coffee you have,” Jacob answers, still studying him with a small frown.

He nods, turning slightly and setting to making it. To the untrained eye he appears to be focusing purely on the coffee, however he is quite sure that Jacob know’s he is not. When the coffee blend is done, he turns, offering it to the thief with a small smile that seems to unsettle the taller man.

“On the house,” he murmurs, nodding towards one of the empty tables by the wall.

Jacob accepts the cup, eyes narrowing once more and nodding back before striding over to the  table and settling in it.

He wonders if Jacob realizes it’s his table, situated so he can see everyone coming and going within the cafe and quickly respond as needed. For almost an hour he waits on customers, waiting for his night shift to show up, the two teens being diligent workers. Once they show up, he makes himself a coffee, and then makes a second one for Jacob before carefully carrying them over to the thief and settling on the second chair.

“Why are you here Jacob?” he asks as he sets them down.

“I am wondering the same thing, Max,” the thief responds.

“Aneirin,” he repeats firmly. “Max would have already called the cops. I stopped being Max when I came home and went back to my first name.”

“Aneirin,” Jacob repeats, almost as if he is tasting his name and how it sounds coming from his lips. “I heard rumors about a used to be cop who settled in the area and started a coffee shop. I had a hard time believing it was you despite the description and wanted to see for myself. I wasn’t expecting you to be the one running it.”

“Why?” he queries, watching the taller man.

Several minutes pass before Jacob finally responds, voice low and frustrated, “I don’t know.”

He nods slowly once, his smile turning mischievous.

“Well then, perhaps we should have another cup of coffee and discuss what you don’t know.” he comments smoothly, rising to his feet, taking their cups up to the bar, and making them new ones.

Chapter Text

The world ended in a single green flash of light. It was over. The war was finally over. Someone slipped. The secret of the light was only given to a few, none he could see giving in… even the Weasley girl or the Longbottom boy.

Many of those playing both sides would never have a chance to make their true allegiances known, and for good reason. The Dark Lord rained down hellfire on those who opposed him. Many were unceremoniously executed in public, others taken prisoner and indentured. Any attempts at creating an underground network to safety was squashed.

Severus Snape was one of those who smartly kept his true intentions hidden behind a strong mask of occlumency, and rightly so. Anyone with a strong connection to Harry Potter or Albus Dumbledore was handed off to those of his inner circle as slaves. The Dark Lord knew of Severus’ preference for privacy, instead of a slave he was gifted many treasures and properties.

The death eaters who were already installed at the Ministry of Magic and the Daily Prophet took control to sensor the information given to those remaining in the wizarding world. For the most part, Severus kept to himself, refusing to be involved in the nightly raids that occasionally came back with… entertainment for their after-feast revels.

Tonight was no different. The hunt had returned with three muggleborns he remembered from his first couple years of teaching at Hogwarts, their names escaping him. The air around them was thick with excitement though this meeting felt more intense. He noticed there was an additional smaller seat situated beside the larger, dark wood throne of their lord.

When the doors behind the throne opened, as one every robed figure bowed at the waist in full respect to their sovereign. “Arise, my children.” Again, as one, they regained their composure within their ranks.

To the surprise of everyone, but a familiar couple standing off to the side of the room. A young woman in a floor length black and silver strapless gown accompanied their lord on his arm, taking her seat even before him. Her eyes met his for an fierce moment, as if she were reading him, inside and out. He quickly cast his eyes down so as to not draw attention.

Several minutes passed before he glanced up at her again, this time her eyes were on the couple in the corner, now obviously recognizable as her parents, and sharing a smile. He found himself so entranced by her lips that he nearly missed Voldemort’s introductions to the group.

“Now many of you may be wondering who this beautiful young woman to my left, and the couple in the corner, is.” He paused for dramatic effect, Severus mused. “Though once thought to be gone for eternity, these three loyal subjects you see before you may very well be the reason we all still stand here today.” Voldemort seemed to be enjoying the confusion flitting across the faces of his followers. “May I introduce Malik Baalim, his gorgeous French wife, Helene.”

Shock went up around his subjects. This family was once thought to completely gone, like many others, murdered after the birth of their only child… 19 years ago. All the pieces were beginning to fall into place for Severus the longer he stared at the young woman.

“And this,” sweeping his arm to indicate the still seated brunette with stunning chocolate eyes, “is Penelope Baalim.” The Dark Lord finally took his seat, continuing to address his supporters, “Yes, the Baalim family. Malik, Helene, and Penelope are the last remaining members of the very first family to join me in my quest.”

Malik and Helene stepped forward to accept the robes and masks Narcissa had been holding for presentation. Once the couple inserted themselves within the ranks of the inner circle, Voldemort continued speaking, “I can tell by the look on the faces of many of you that you’re wondering why this family has come out of hiding after so long hidden away - Penelope is someone a few of you know, and know well. Penny dear, would you like to tell your secret?”

She had been trained well in etiquette, Severus observed. She adjusted her gown as she stood, the material clinging perfectly to her every curve as nearly black waves fell down her back. Scanning those before her, she began to speak, her accent clearly British with a hint of French, “Good evening, our lord is correct when he mentioned that a few of you have crossed paths with me previously.” She smirked, “Try not to hurt your brains too much, you would not have recognized me even if you’d known my real name.”

Her brown eyes focused on Severus’ own black, as if conveying only to him a small, private secret. A brief smile hinted at the corner of her lips as Penelope drew out her wand, from Merlin knows where, turning to the Dark Lord, “With your permission, my lord.”

With a nod from their leader, she tapped her head twice before mumbling a spell under her breath. The the continued surprise of everyone in the room, Penelope began to shrink by five inches, gorgeous black curls frizzed and became a dull brown.. How could this be possible?

Standing before the Dark Lord and a room full of his top death eaters was Harry Potter’s best friend, know-it-all, and bookworm extraordinaire - Hermione Granger, status: mudblood. With another tap of her wand, her appearance reverted to it’s previous vision of beauty.

Chaos erupted among the ranks which, surprisingly, Voldemort let go on for several minutes before raising a hand to call for silence. “Yes, this young woman you see before you is none other than the former chosen one’s “best friend”, Miss. Granger. The reason we stand here today and I was able to destroy the boy.”

In a rarity, he sent a small smile, or what passed as one, towards her, affection clear on his reptilian face.

“As a gift of my appreciation, Penelope here can choose anyone among any of my ranks as her own. Members of the Baalim family are married by their 20th,” he glanced at her parents for confirmation. At their nods, he carried on, “By their 20th birthday, she is to be married. I know that many of my subjects believe their own offspring to be her perfect match.”

Many glanced at their own children. “Her parents will, of course, not allow an improper match. Wrong class, intelligence, wealth…” He clapped his hands, “Let the games begin. Strength, power, and cunning will prove who is capable and a right to stand at Penelope’s side.”

The gleam on her face said she knew this would be a competition of any kind. Any way possible. Eight more months until her 20th birthday, over a hundred applicants to whittle down to a single life partner. Severus was both desperate enough for information on how this betrayal could happen and entranced by her beauty and intense stare.

The Dark Lord dismissed them all, Severus vowing to be the winner, come hell or high water. Whether or not his rank was believed to be well below hers remained to be seen. He had the backing of their lord to his advantage, never having asked for anything before.

The way her eyes, hungry and steel, followed him said he had a pretty good chance.

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Max’s POV
He had called his friend, asked his fellow alpha to make sure nothing happened to the boy. He knows that Juka probably didn’t understand until stepping into the boy’s room. It’s hard to miss the scent, his but not his.

Of course, it changed everything about his case and what he was going to do.

They had just spoke with the old woman when his phone goes off. A quick glance at it tells him what the problem is, Ruan has taken a turn for the worse. He doesn’t bother telling Jacob when he changes plans mid-plan, returning to the hospital making his way to the CCU where their son is struggling to live.

A quick text message to his friend clears the area so they don’t have to worry about the cops standing guard. He definitely owes his friend for this, because it’s definitely against regulations.

As they climb the stairs, with Jacob giving him a combination of confused and frustrated looks, he recalls something his grandmum once told him.

Alphas and omegas can complete each other. Science can’t explain why humans developed the way we did, six different physical sexes. I think, like my mother had before me, and hers before her, that alphas and omegas carry the blood of the fair folk. When mates are together, they complete a bond, and they can do the impossible. I’ve seen mates heal each other of wounds that should have killed them. Heard of parents saving children from things that should have been fatal. All sorts of amazing and hard to believe tales. But believe I do. I have to. I have my mate. You’ll find yours someday too. You just have to believe, and anything is possible.

He shakes his head, pushing the thoughts away, and ignores the shooting pain rushing through him. He’s got a goal, and he’s going to deal with it first. Everything else is after.

When they reach the room, the only person nearby is Juka who goes from disbelief to glaring in roughly six second. “You bloody owe me.”

“Yeah, for more than you’d guess,” he agrees as he heads into the room, not saying anything else to his friend.

“I’ll keep everyone back, you better be right you insane Scottish bastard.” His friend grumbles as he goes to make sure the area stays cleared.

“Forget everything except Ruan,” he orders the omega, “think nothing except healing, healthy, living. Believe it.” He stress the last part.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Jacob demands as the tall man steps through the door. Going silent as he sees the way their son is lying on the coat nearly dead.

“Before her death, my grandmum told me an impossible story, so as an adult I looked it up, and she wasn’t wrong. Now focus,” he answers as he stops next to the foot of the bed, almost hesitantly reaching out to touch the young man’s bare foot just beneath the blanket.

Eyes narrow, the omega studies him just for a moment before nodding sharply. A moment later the bigger man mirrors him.

Heal. He wills the boy, live. His focus becomes so narrow that the only thing he is aware of is the weak heartbeat beneath his fingertips as it slowly gets stronger, steadier, leveling out and stabilizing.

A familiar voice cuts through his focus, “Back to earth Max. Time to leave. Now.”

Shaking his head, he lifts his hand off Ruan’s ankle and glances up at the monitors, biting back a smirk.

“Come on, we need to finish dealing with this situation and then have a very long talk,” he tells Jacob with leaving room for a question. Turning his attention to Juka he opens his mouth to ask his friend to stay but he doesn’t get a chance to.

“Get, you owe me,” Juka tells him, waving towards the door, “We’re lucky no one else on this case is an alpha or omega with the senses to go with.”

“I said the same thing first time I stepped in this room.” He agrees before leaving the room with one last glance at Ruan and the machines monitoring his son’s life.

The trip through the buildings backways is silent, just as it is when they get into the vehicle. They have a situation to deal with: corruption, bad cops, and gun runners. This isn’t going to be easy, but he definitely knows he has to do this.

Afterwards, he glances at the thief and apparently his soulmate, well afterwards they’ll see if they are as opposites as it seems or not.

Chapter Text

Come out with me tonight! I need to let go after Istanbul.

A’ight, me too. Shower, change, meet ya up front in a hour?

I’m probably her last resort, might as well make the most of it.

Sounds good! And an hour means an hour, Mr. Unwin.

Yeah, yeah. Joy.

 

Wow, Rox! You’re fit! Never pegged you for a little black dress type.

Looks like another night of being ignored and playing wingman.

Don’t you know it! You don’t clean up so bad yourself, Galahad.

I look like shit next to you, don’t lie. Why’d you choose me as your friend?

Uh, Rox, there ain’t no way we’re gettin’ in here. Look at that que.

Shit.

Watch and learn, my dear. Watch. And. Learn.

He hasn’t looked at me once. Oh, there he did. Yeah, I’m with her, I’m not just some tag-a-long or charity case… at least I hope not.

Come on, Eggsy! Time for some freedom. Wanna dance first?

Nah, you go. I’ll shout first round. Gin and tonic?

You know me well. Join me after? Gotta work out all this energy.

*nods* Will do.

Well that took long enough. I guess if I had tits I’d have gotten attention from the bartender quicker. And look at that, Roxy has already found some chick to grind up on.

Looks like it’s just you and me, Jack.

Oh, here she comes… dragging along another chick. Great.

Your drink, ma’am.

Thank you, Eggsy! We’re hitting the loo before going for another dance. Care to join next song?

I’ll watch you and enjoy ol’ Jack here, thanks.

Suit yourself.

Go on, Rox. *wink*

Why the hell did I just wink? Guess I wasn’t worthy of an introduction either.

Another please.

Let’s see where this night goes, eh my friend?

 

Hey Eggsy, you sure sure? I’m betting we could find you your own hot chick…

Uh...

Or guy…

Indulge yourself, seriously, Roxy. Just save me a dance later.

Fine, but next round is mine.

Sure, Rox.

Yeah, that’s not gonna happen.

 

Maybe Harry’ll still be awake if I text him.

Enjoying your night out with Miss Morton?

Yeah, I guess. She’s already got a bird.

Ah, and I can assume you are still sitting at the bar just watching your best friend have fun and drinking one Jack Daniels after another.

Well, you ain’t gotta put it like that.

That wasn’t a no.

Eggsy, darling, why don’t you join your friend and have a good time? You don’t get this chance often and you’re off to Tokyo in two weeks.

It’s just…

Just what?

I don’t belong. Here or with you. You’re too good for me.

Eggsy?

I ain’t nothin’ compared to these poshes. Why am I even still here?

I can practically hear the gears turning in your head, and not in a good way.

Eggsy, talk to me or you’re on trainee duty for a month.

What am I doing here, Harry?

You’re suppose to be having a night off with Miss Morton after a long mission.

Oh Harry.

I mean, no…

You’re gonna make me say it, ain’t ya?

Hmm…

Harry, what am I doing here? With Kingsman, Roxy, you? I’m not like any of you. All posh, proper accents, rich upbringings, fancy educations. I just -

Oh Harry…

Eggsy, dear, come home. I’ll show you how much you belong here.

Not like that, guv.

Don’t call me that, and that’s not what I mean.

 

Eggsy!

Rox?

What does she want now? New chick? Dude?

What do you say we get out of here?

Wha…?

But I thought you wanted to come here?

Yeah, well not as much as I want to hang out with my best friend. No prissy boarding school princess is worth me leaving my partner alone.

Really?

Of course. This place is too crowded with too many self-entitled arseholes. Think I even saw Charlie as Penny and I left the loo.

*grins* Wanna get some chips?

Thought you’d never ask. Think Harry and Merlin would join us?

Well, Harry’s still awake, we was just textin’... and we all know Merlin doesn’t need sleep to survive, probably just recharges his batteries.

Oh hush you, just text your fiancé and tell him to meet us, I’ll text Merlin. Lord, I’m hungry.

Me too, Rox. Me too.

I guess she can see right through me after all. I’ll still never be on their level, but I can try as hard as I can to reach them all. Love makes you think some stupid shit.

Chapter Text

Stiles POV
This town is a hellmouth, he thinks as he finishes reading through the book Shale gave him. There’s not a lot of them in the world, but the ones that do exist are damn dangerous. Each one is tied to something physical, a beacon or anchor. He’s moderately certain that Beacon Hills’ hellmouth anchor is the Nemeton. That magical tree that none of the fae folk he’s spoken with like.

Well then, they’ll just have to close it up before it can become a real problem. A huge problem. The sort of problem that destroyed Sunnydale ten years ago.

Stretching, he sets the book aside and glances around his room, flicking his wrist at his mug and calling it to him absently. As he catches it, he considers how to close it up, preferably without having to destroy the town. He likes this town, despite all the mayhem that happens here.

Hmmm.

People to talk to about the problem: Derek, Peter, and Lydia.

Derek probably won’t know much about it, but it never hurts to ask his mate. After all, there have been plenty of surprise tidbits of information from him since they got together and Derek stopped trying to intimidate him into being less of a pest. He’s still certain that’s just a matter of his soulmate fighting off the attraction since he was a minor at the time.

Peter, now that wolf will probably have a lot of information, it is just getting him to talk that’s the hard part. His uncle-in-law for all practical purposes doesn’t like him, might have something to do with the fact he bound Peter to Derek, so that never could the wolf cause harm to the pack or his nephew, never could he harm them for self gain, and several other interesting tidbits that he’s sure some would classify as morally gray. So, good source of information.

Lydia, his goddess, has ended up as a great friend. Once he stopped fixating on her as an ideal and they actually started talking, well it changed everything. A fact he is most pleased with. Now they team up to deal with situations, because that’s what friends do. Besides, as she’s been learning to control her banshee powers she has been able to access other resources that he can’t.

Setting his cup down, he turns towards the door, planning on heading over to the loft where Peter and Derek stay for the most part. At least, he smirks, that’s where Derek stays when his mate isn’t with him at night.

Only, something draws him towards the preserve instead. An instinct that says he needs to find out what’s happening.

He should probably call or text someone to come back him up, but he’s totally not going to. Besides, he thinks with a certain sort of pleasure, these are his woods. He’s connected to them on a rather intimate level, not the way a wolf has a territory but the way a fae claims one. Just because he is still living as a human for the most part doesn’t mean hasn’t been slowling changing into the fae creature he actually is. Instead of breaking his mom’s masking spell, he is letting it fade as he gains control over his gifts.

It doesn’t take too long to get to the Nemeton, the annoying tree which is causing all the problems.

When he reaches it, he’s surprised to find a rather lovely woman with deep auburn hair pacing around it, muttering softly as if casting a spell.

Focusing, he changes his senses using a spell he cast on himself years ago to make his ability to hear sharper at will so he can listen to the words.  He grins as he listens and smirks when he hears the other’s approaching. They aren’t part of his pack, so he isn’t going to let them catch him unaware but he’s really good at playing dumb so he’s going to act like he can’t hear them.

“So why are you here?” he asks the redhead with a grin when she suddenly turns to face him, a slight look of disbelief on her face.

“How did you get here without me hearing you or know?” she retorts, eyes him suspiciously.

He can definitely get that feeling. He feels like that on the rare occasions ‘big bads’ and ‘monster of the week’ manage to get through the wards, mostly around Halloween for reasons he hasn’t yet been able to figure out.

“This is my home, it takes a bit more to find me then one would figure when I want to get somewhere without being noticed.” He replies, she’s a witch, but he can’t tell exactly what the rest of the group approaching is. He knows one of them is human, and another is sort of human but sort of not. “Stiles Stilinski,” he introduces himself, deciding it might be a good idea to make friends with this group. If they turn out to be evil, well, that wouldn’t be a first time they had to deal with that sort of thing.

She studies him for a long moment before deciding to introduce herself, “Willow Rosenberg, and my friends,” the witch motions to the rest of them coming up around them.

Actually there is only one purely human one in group, now that’s interesting, they’re a pack, although not a pack like his.

“You shouldn’t be here,” he comments, head tipping to the side, “This is private property.”

That seems to startle the witch, because she blinks at him before glancing past to the person coming up on his left.

“I didn’t realize. I thought the preserve was public land.” She replies quickly.

“This part belongs to the Hales,” he comments easily, he’s out grown most of his hyperness, possibly because he is now grounded, but it’s not something to focus on now. Grinning, he suggests, “How ‘bout you and your pack come to the diner? I have a feeling we have a lot to talk about.”

“Are we a pack?” he hears a woman mutter to his right and back.

“Well, we’re the Scooby Gang, I guess that counts as a pack,” a different woman replies, voice high and lilting, somehow familiar.

“You’re not human,” Willow states almost questioningly.

“Well,” he drawls, “I’m human enough, I just happen to be a lot like you, only maybe on a different scale.” He’s moderately certain he’s stronger because of the fact he’s fae and spark, but he’s not mentioning that. He can also feel that she used to be so much more, but lost part of the power doing a grand spell. Burned it up, along with part of her life force. He doesn’t know how he knows that, he just knows that he does.

Laughing, the redhead waves the others closer, “Let’s go then,” she suggests, “I think you need to know about the potential hellmouth opening here.”

“That I know about, I was on my way to do some research on shutting it down without destroying the area when I felt you here.” He retorts, hand on hip, “I am pretty awesome at gathering information.”

She flinches, as does the blonde woman on his right who steps up next to her. A rather interesting reaction, why did she do that? It doesn’t take him long to figure out the answer, this is the group that closed down the other hellmouth, Sunnydale. That explains a lot.

His mom wrote that her parents left extra power for him, so that he would have it when the time came. He tips his head as he studies each member of the group as they gather together, no longer separated and surrounding them. They know the price of a grand spell and a hellmouth, and so did his grandparents he decides. That’s what the power is for.

Grinning widely, he declares, “Welcome to Beacon Hills, home of the other California hellmouth, the Hale and McCall packs, and a bunch of moody fae. I think we have a lot to discuss.”

He can’t stop the laughter that falls from his lips as they stare at him in shock. This is going to be a lot of fun, he decides, maybe he can even become friends with this new witch. She’s worked the sort of magic he’ll probably need to understand in the future, that would be really handy information to have.

Chapter Text

Four months. It took four months for Simon to finally break his silence before the vein in his forehead did it for him. Though not sure which would have been a bigger mess: the vein or ruining his Mèimei’s dinner date. Even Mal stepped back from the situation refusing to get involved. He wasn’t completely happy about his merc and the doc’s little sister getting together, he preferred it when Inara didn’t make him sleep in the pilot’s chair.

This was River and Jayne’s one year anniversary, or at least as close enough out here in space. Oddly, he cooked while River hummed a flitted around the kitchen, occasionally stopping to perk her lips at him, Jayne obliging every time with a smile that had started to become more commonplace on him. Still freaked out Mal and Simon. The women and Kai found it sweet If Kaylee thought Simon would let this day pass peacefully, she was sorely mistaken.

Jayne and River had retreated to their area of the ship, the cargo bay, to enjoy the meal Jayne had prepared. Simon stood by the railing over the bay, staring down at the couple. Jayne sitting on the black workout bench, legs spread on either side, leaning back against the bar. River, in her usual dress and barefeet, sat cross-legged between his thighs facing him. They were silent, bowls in their laps, happy just being near the other.

Just as Simon made up his mind to go down and give them his two credits worth, Kaylee surprised him with her strength, grabbing him by the back of the collar and pulling him back down the corridor. She continued dragging him until they were in the kitchen and forced him into a chair. “What in the Bàozhà hóu pì do you think you’re doing? Are you trying to hurt River?” Kaylee’s face had gone red, flushed in an attempt to keep her voice down.

Simon looked up at his wife, shocked, “What? No! It’s that giant ape out there that will hurt her. She needs to see reason. He’s just some border planet Kělián de nóngfū -” The hurt and angry looks that flashed across Kaylee’s face had him replaying his last words in his mind.

Kaylee stood before her husband, back straight, chin up, arms crossed, and continued to pin him to his chair with her glare. “You, know for someone so smart, you’re so dumb.” She uncrossed her arms to start waving them around, emphasizing her argument. “How can you say that?”

Simon still hadn’t taken the hint, “Because he’s too rough for her. Have you ever seen him attempt to read or write properly? Hell just listen to his voice.”

Anger rose within Kaylee again as Mal, Zoe, and Kai appeared in the doorway, chatting away intent on finding food. The crazed look in his mechanic’s eyes as she stood over the doctor was definitely not something he wanted to be on the receiving end of, again. “Something wrong with being from a border planet? Jayne and I may not be from a core planet like Osiris like you and River, but we’re still human.”

Kaylee was out of breath by this point, but she trudged on, her husband still seated, staring up at her with wide blue eyes. “Is that how you see me too? Like Jayne, am I too rough, just some giant ape from a border planet?” When Kaylee finally ceased her shouting, Simon opened, then closed, then reopened his mouth again, trying to find the right words to respond to his wife.

“Choose your words carefully, Doctor Tam.”

Being called ‘doctor’ again by his own wife always stung a little and he knew he’d stepped in it by that point. Holding his hands up in surrender, he slowly began to speak, “Oh Kaylee, sweetheart, I am so sorry. I wasn’t thinking clearly.”

A very unladylike snort was the response, “Obviously.”

Simon extended one of his hands, hoping she would take it, pulling her into his lap when she did. Wrapping his arms protectively around her, he kissed her temple and began apologizing again, “I’m sorry. I really am. No, I don’t see you as anything like… like Jayne.” He stroked her back, “Trust me, there was nothing truly glamourous about growing up on a core planet. The struggle to constantly please your parents, don’t speak out of turn, don’t give the Alliance any cause to take you in for questioning.”

Simon sighed deeply, “I guess I’m still too overprotective of River. She may be my little sister, but she’s not so young anymore. She’s an adult and it may be time I accept that.”

Kaylee nodded, her head in the crook of his neck, “Yes, she is. And she’s in love… just like you were at her age.”

“I married you at her age - oh lord, please don’t tell me what I think is going to happen is going to happen.” He covered his face with his free hand.

Kaylee reached up to pry his hand from his eyes, turning his chis so he was looking her in the eye, “How do you feel about another brother-in-law?”

Simon growled, throwing his head back in exhaustion as Kaylee continued to giggle in his lap. “I guess I’ll deal. I don’t have a choice, do I?”

Still smiling, Kaylee shook her head ‘no’.

“That’s what I thought.”

With a final peck to her husband’s lips, she stood to retrieve a large wrench from the dining table that Simon must’ve missed her carrying earlier. Leaning the largest wrench he’d ever seen on her shoulder, Kaylee smirked, “Shiny,” as she returned to her baby, Serenity’s engine room.

Chapter Text

Jacob’s POV
He was a new detective on the force when he first met Max. The two of them had run into each other in a bookstore, and there had been immediate chemistry. It was before Max became the cop hunting him. They had spent several hours sitting in the attached cafe, sipping at coffees and discussing anything and everything that came to mind. Yet neither mentioned their job.

It would be six months before they ran into each other again. This time not a friendly run in either, but a job related one. It would be the first of seven bank robberies that Max would hunt him through.

The seventh was the most dangerous one, the one where he shot out the younger man’s knee because he could not bring himself to shoot the intelligent young man he had once shared a day of coffee and delightful conversation with.

Had things gone differently they could have been friends, maybe even lovers.

Three more years pass, with him often thinking of those intelligent blue eyes and that easy smile whenever he is not focusing elsewhere. Then comes the events that happen with his son, the corrupt cops and politicians, and Max.

He doesn’t know what to think when he teams up with the younger man, now a detective inspector. He has to keep himself under control because there are several times he wants to kiss the smaller man. Wants to pin him against whatever surface is handy and kiss him silly, touch, caress, and fuck.

Afterwards, when Max allowed him to escape, taking the blame for the situation, he doesn’t know what to think of that. It confuses him, particularly considering how stubbornly the detective inspector had hunted him.

So he calls in a few favors, getting all the evidence needed to clear Max together and having it delivered via the post office. It gets the detective inspector cleared, soon after the younger man retires from the force. Taking a disability retirement, probably using his knee as the primary reason and he feels a quick stab of remorse over that before ignoring it the way he always has.

Another four years pass before he runs into Max again, this time in Scotland, again in a bookstore. Only unlike the first time, they are well aware of the other. For several long seconds he thinks that the once cop is going to notify the authorities, instead the younger man asks him if he wants a coffee, a small smile playing at the edge of his lips a lot like the one he had seen so many years before.

Chapter Text

John removed his headphones, the sounds of The Who fading to that awful classical streaming from the speakers across the gym. He was usually finishing up his workout, winding down on the heavy bag when the same piece of music piped in - every night. Tonight John had to see what poor soul was killing his ear drums with the noise pollution.

Whatever speech he had started to prepare died on his lips as he saw the figure in head to toe black, erant dark curls blocking his vision, and a perfect arabesque form. The mirrors and bar on this side of the gym were mostly for the dancers, the university was small and couldn’t afford two separate spaces so they were combined to save money.

“Something I can help you with? I prefer to rehearse alone.”

John had to shake his head to bring him out of the fantasies forming in his mind, “Uh, yeah, sorry mate, I’ll just… I’ll just go… shower.”

The flush on his cheeks burned brighter than it had than they had earlier while at the bag. He turned to beat a hasty retreat before he could further embarrass himself. Curls called him back though causing him to stop in his tracks, “Wait… how much did you see?”

John stuttered for a moment, wiping the lingering sweat out of his hair with the towel draped around his neck, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude.”

The brunette took a slight step forward, eyeing him from head to toe. “No, it’s alright. What did you think? I know as a medical student from a military family you probably grew up believing that dance was only for the female gender. On the other hand, as you’ve spent years as a competitive boxer, you can understand the basic points of ballet. Though if you’re not careful, one mistake can ruin both of your promising careers at once.”

The blonde could do nothing more than stare in fascination at the lithe form in front of him spouting observations at every whim. He tilted his head in amusement, “Brilliant.”

“That’s not what people normally say.”

John could see him fidget with the hem of his shirt, probably a nervous gesture, “And what do people normally say?”

“Piss off.”

The two young men stared at each other in silence before grins broke out on both of their faces. John was immediately entranced by this dancer who couldn’t be more than a couple years younger than him.

He caught sight of the clock on the wall behind the brunette, remembering in frustration that he had a study group across campus. “Look, I gotta run.”

The taller man’s smile faded, “Of course.”

John couldn’t leave it like that, he probably didn’t think John actually wanted to talk to him. “Sorry, I’ve got a study group in a few minutes. Would you mind… would you mind if I watched you tomorrow after my own workout?”

“As long as you sit quietly and don’t say a word.”

John let out the breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding, “Great, awesome. See you tomorrow.”

The smile that reappeared on the dancer’s face was worth being late for group. Before he could make it to the locker room door, he turned back to see the brunette had returned to the bar by the mirrors. He waited until they made eye contact through the glass, smirk firmly in place, “Hey Curls, what’s your name by the way?”

The man in question made a face at the nickname, “Sherlock.”

“John.” And he left before he could come up with anymore reasons to delay. Maybe tomorrow he’d introduce Sherlock to some of his own music so he wouldn’t have to hear that one again.

For the next three weeks John sat in on Sherlock’s rehearsals if he didn’t have study group. Sherlock had been correct in his assumption that John had a knowledge, though small, of ballet moves. His coach thought he could use a refresher  for the next month’s match.

One night as John was helping Sherlock clean up his area of the gym, he decided to test if they’d formed enough of a friendship to ask the genius for help. “Uh, Sherlock?”

“Yes, John.”

“I know we haven’t known each other that long and I have a match next month - a big one. Huge even -”

“You coach wants you to rehearse a few ballet steps in order to perfect your footwork.”

John stood gaping at the brunette for a moment, whispering, “Amazing.”

“D’you know you do that out loud?”

“Sorry.”

“No, it’s… fine.”

John blushed briefly before trudging on, “So?”

“Every other night for half an hour. Bring your own music.”

“Really?” John threw his arms around the brunette’s neck before she realized how close they were standing. “Sorry. Thanks.”

“Do stop apologizing. We’ll start tomorrow night. I observed you tonight for a few moments.” He eyed the boxer critically. “We’ll come up with something.”

Unfortunately John was unable to make it to the gym for the next three nights. With the two having neglected to exchange phone numbers, John had no way to contact the dancer, fearing his new friend would believe he stood him up on purpose.

He was just finishing his usual workout when Sherlock entered the gym. He couldn’t keep his eyes off the dark purple shirt that clung to the brunette’s  chest. John hadn’t realized Sherlock had seen him yet until he was being physically dragged away from the bags and weights.

Sherlock didn’t spare a moment before positioning John’s limbs as he saw fit, even though John had to have at least three stone on him despite being nearly a head shorter. When the boxer was where Sherlock seemed to want him, he watched the younger man click play on the sound system.

“Do try to keep up.”

John rolled his eyes and relaxed into his stance… until that same earsplitting tune screeched through the speakers. “Uh, Sherlock?”

“Yes?”

“Remember you said I should bring my own music?”

“Yes, did you?”

“Yeah. I’ve actually spent the last three days studying for my exam to this artist. I think it’s more my speed than… this.”

“Not a fan of The Trout’s Quintet, I assme.”

“The Trout’s what? Nevermind, here try this.” John pulled a burned CD out of one of his medical binders in his backpack nearby. He wasn’t sure if Sherlock would approve of his choice, but he did tell him to bring his own stuff.

Sherlock loaded the new music, pressed play, and the two resumed their positions facing the wall of mirrors. Soon the sound of Palladio by Escala came floating through the speakers around the gym. He watched in fascination as the frown on the brunette’s face slowly transformed into a smile.

After twenty minutes of listening to the album, Sherlock gestured for John to continue dancing as he moved behind the shorter man, close enough to subtly direct his movements.

“Try this. You’re too heavy on your back foot.” John allowed himself to be led into a southpaw stance by this beauty of a dancer. He was sure there would never be anything more than a small friendship between the two. Sherlock was obviously a genius from a wealthy, influential family. He, on the other hand, knew he’d be leaving soon. He’d signed a contract with the army to pay for his med school. Boxing was a way to keep fit. He wasn’t sure how to bring this up to Sherlock or if he could risk his heart and their fledgeling friendship.

Chapter Text

Bilbo’s POV
He had always preferred the peace and quiet of his own home to anywhere else. That is, before Thorin Oakenshield and the Company showed up at his doorstep. Now the only thing he prefers is to be snuggled close to Thorin’s body, curled around each other in love and affection, even if it’s only to sleep.

Following the events of the battle, he had thought that his friend and love was dead, only to be saved in the last moments by Gandalf and Legolas.

Now, nearly two years later, he hears the whispers of the foreign dwarrow when they are in Erebor, but pays them no mind. He might be a commoner here, but back home he is anything but, their ranks are not that different, even if he never did wish to follow in any of the Took thanes.

Thankfully, a few humans from the rangers were willing to fetch his belongings using the detailed map of his home and the sketches he provided.

Chapter Text

Bilbo was pregnant. Thorin was still unconscious. Fili and Kili’s funerals were fast approaching. As was their mother, Lady Dis. And once brave, Bilbo Baggins, was too frightened to show his face in public. Showing his face meant showing a lot more and he certainly wasn’t ready for that reaction.

The guest rooms he’s been put in was thankfully near the healer’s wing, he could quickly run from door to door with little fear of anyone other than Oin seeing him. The hobbit felt horrible for not spending time with the other members of the company, especially Ori who had become a close friend. They had gone from Ori spilling his every fantasy about a certain older, bald dwarf to Bilbo barely answering any missive sent to him.

For the last month, baby month four, Bilbo sat vigil beside Thorin every night for the privacy and slept all day as the baby demanded. The council was grateful to Dain, Thorin’s cousin from the Blue Mountains, who stayed on as steward to the throne with the help of Balin until all of the affairs of the kingdom were in order.

Bilbo was sitting alone at the dwarf king’s bedside as a new day dawned. He read aloud as much as he was able to, sure Thorin could hear his voice. He read by the light of the torches bracketed into the walls around him until a large dwarf shaped shadow fell across the doorway, blocking half of his light. A dwarf dame stood in the doorway, large blue eyes and long black waves, this had to be Dis, Thorin’s younger sister, mother to Fili and Kili.

As he had been sitting comfortably with his patchwork robe open rubbing his swollen belly, he prayed to Eru that she hadn’t seen him. He took his escape when she made for the chair beside his bed, the hobbit’s usual seat. Slipping through the shadows to his quarters, his stomach began to roll as he entered.

Appreciatively, Bombur had left a bit of dried bread next to his now steaming tea pot. He would have to think the rotund cook for looking after him when he couldn’t manage it himself. After the bland meal, and his stomach settled, Bilbo crawled into the furs of his bed, the child draining what little energy he had left.

Dreams of a happy life with a husband and child mixed continuously with nightmares of being rejected, cast out of Erebor by Thorin. Denying the child they’d created together because the hobbit was not royalty or up to the standard of the dwarrow way of life. He wasn’t sure if he should regret his hobbit genetics for making this pregnancy possible.

Many times he’d woken in a cold sweat, intentions of packing up and leaving for the Shire had very nearly succeeded. This sleep cycle’s dream turned from a happy day for the three in Dale to the moment Thorin had held the hobbit over the battlements spewing hatred and betrayal… only this time he also held a small boy with bright blue eyes and chaotic soft brown curls. Thorin was shouting about how there was no way the child could have been his. The hobbit wasn’t even on his rank, the council would forbid such a union. The last thing he heard before he woke up screaming was Thorin’s voice whispering in his ear close enough he could feel the hot breath, “The abomination must be destroyed.”

Bilbo’s scream soon turned hoarse, full streams of sobbing released, shaking his whole body. Only after he’d sat up did he hear the sounds of bangning on the chamber door. He knew if he didn’t answer Oin wouldn’t leave him alone until he talk to the older dwarf.

“Bilbo, are you alright in there?”

“Yes, Oin. I’m fine.”

“Well you don’t sound it. Come on and open this door like a good lad and we’ll get you some tea.”

Bilbo sighed resignedly as he crawled from the bed, not bothering to retrieve his robe from the foot of the bed as he shuffled to the door to open it for the ever concerned healer. He sorely wished he’d taken the time to put on said robe when he opened his door to not only Oin, but Lady Dis as well.

He felt his face flush with embarrassment as he eyes, those same as Thorin’s, traveled down his body, pausing for a long moment before onward. Bilbo quickly crossed his arms over his stomach self-consciously as if they could cover the evidence growing inside him. Oin proceeded Lady Dis into the room, heading for the fire to brew Bilbo that tea.

Dis admired the keepsakes on the hearth mantle, many given to him on their journey to the Lonely Mountain. Upon spying the silvery glint peaking out from under the pillows on the bed, both Dis and Bilbo headed straight for it. Even with the dwarrow dame’s larger side, she was much fast than his exhausted body, snatching up the heirloom, protective shirt.

“I knew it,” she said with a triumphant beaming smile. This outburst shocked Bilbo into a squeak as he searched frantically for the safety of the healer.

Before the hobbit could escape her vicinity, she reached out to grasp his hand, pulling him down to sit on the furs with her. “Why do you run frightened, Mastin Baggins?”

He stared wide-eyed at the dame next to him as he muttered, “It’s not what it looks like.” He kept his eyes on his hands situated purposely on his thighs, determined not to draw attention to the bump taking up half of his body.

“Bilbo, dear,” Dis turned slightly to take hold of his trembling hands as she still held fast to the mithril in the other. “I think it’s exactly what it looks like.” Turning back to admire the material in her lap, she ran a hand over it links. “This was Thorin’s. He once told our parents that the only way he’d ever give it up would be the day he chose his One.”

Bilbo looked confused, Oin of no help sitting quietly in the corner subtly listening with his horn. “His One. What does that mean?”

“Every dwarf, every elf, every living being has a One. The missing piece of their life. The one to spend eternity with.”

The hobbit stared at the mithril shirt for a long moment, turning back to her, “But I’m only a hobbit.”

Dis closed her eyes, holding back her own tears, “When I received word that my sons, my precious boys… I thought for sure this was the end.” She took a deep breath, “Frerin died after Smaug’s attack, and Dain’s letter said that Thorin had yet to regain consciousness.” Releasing both of his hands and the shirt, she pulled the hobbit into a hug, petting his curls and allowing the tears to finally fall when he hugged her in return.

“You thought for sure that the line of Durin had ended.”

Dis nodded, eyeing the nearly deaf healer in the corner pretending not to hear. “That was until I arrived at Thorin’s room. You were there. Clearly comfortable in the space as if it were you own.” She let a small laugh be heard, “You hadn’t even tied your robe. I saw that I had been wrong to assume… not all was lost.” Pausing for a moment to pull back and look the hobbit in the eyes, “It is…?”

Bilbo realized the implied question and hastened to reassure her, “Oh yes, gods yes.”

“Why doesn’t anyone else know? Oin said he and Bombur were the only two privy to the information.”

A single tear slipped past Bilbo’s reserve as he cast his eyes down at the floor once again, “I wanted Thorin to be the first.” He looked back up, “I couldn’t stand the thought that he wouldn’t believe me. That maybe he’d deny this child and we would be exiled.” As he spoke, Bilbo placed a hand on his stomach and soothed the sleeping baby.

“Oh, dear sweet Bilbo. Fear not. This garment says everything to me about how my older brother sees you. You are worthy. This child is worthy. If anyone says otherwise, Thorin and your friends will prove them most wrong."