"I’m still here Sookie."
he took a step but then felt tired, he said i’ll rest a little while. but when he tried to walk again, he wasn’t a child
rickon stark, requested by lordeddardstark
YES!! You can also read the fic here. It is amazing!
(And I think that was a very productive weekend!)
I just got an idea. Let’s try this out, fellow fic peeps. Post the following:
1) Something old- A blurb from one of the first fics you’ve ever written.
2) Something new- A snippet from something you’re currently working on, or from the last thing you posted.
3) Something borrowed- A scene or section of dialogue from another writer’s story. Maybe something that inspired you or resonated with you. (Credit the writer and link to it if possible, please.)
4) Something blue- C’mon, you know you’ve written a really gut-wrenching bit of angst at some point. Let’s hear the saddest or angstiest thing you’ve got. Alternatively? Tell us about the last time you described the color blue.
Tag whoever you can think of and get to reblogging. All fandoms/fanships welcome!
Tagged many moons ago by ghostcat3000 (thanks, you’re the best!) My blurbs are long.
1) Something old
Fun sidebar…the very very first fic I wrote (years and years ago) was for the anime show Gundam Wing. Wrote it on an airplane, in a water-stained coupon book after listening to too much Evanescence (isn’t that how it always goes? bahaha). However my first fic I actually put online is from a few years ago when I was really into Glee (Puckleberry was my tragic OTP of choice).
She spotted some movement across the street where the buildings split and a tiny alley she hadn’t noticed before was. A man came barreling out of the alley, an accordion strapped to his chest, swearing up a storm.
Rolling her eyes at his language she decided to speak up, saving any other innocent bystanders from his poetic diatribe.
The boy in question spun in surprise, squinting across the street to see the small girl in a blue dress, sitting on the steps up to some apartment.
Confusion written all over his face, Puck made his way across the street and stood in front of her staring at her harshly.
"What the hell are you doing out here?"
"What are you doing down there?" She shot back.
"Oh, the alley?" He jerked his thumb towards the aforementioned alley. "Me and ‘Guppy Mouth’ thought we’d try and get into a bar, serenade some NYC ladies if you catch my drift."
She awarded that statement with an indulgent smile. “Caught it,” she said.
"I mean I know it’s an accordion and all but, come on, I’m still hot as hell."
Puck then proceeded to bring his arms up to flex – body builder style.
"Good Lord." Rachel said, dropping her face into her palm. "Let me guess, your efforts went unrewarded?"
"Psh, whatever, the bouncer was the size of a fuckin whale. I could still take him, and he may have heard me say that, and he may have called me a ‘fuckin hipster,’ and I may have punched him."
"What?" His tone suggesting he was completely innocent in the whole thing. "He punched back! Put a hole through my sweet ass accordion."
Rachel glanced down, and sure enough there was a bouncer-sized fist hole (about the size of her head) in the center of the instrument.
2) Something new
(Future smut incoming)From: Trench Coat Tales
A jolt of excitement goes through him when he spots his navy blue cap hanging on the doorknob to her office. He’s been looking all over for that! Tran had given it to him. Old man placed it in his hands after one of their park therapy sessions and pointed to his own logo-less powder blue cap.
3) Something borrowed
A lot of HP fanfiction out there is STUNNING. I mean honestly I’m blown away by it and some of my top fics of all time are Dramiones (sucker for the good girl bad guy trope). This comes from Rizzle's Love in a Time of the Zombie Apocalypse. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, or a Hermione fan, or a Dramione fan, or even just a Zombie fan then you really must read this and show your love to the author.
Hermione took a step backwards to observe the notes. Even after nearly two decades of life in the Magical World, with all the attendant marvels that she witnessed on a regular basis, there never failed to be something new and oftentimes rather simple, that would momentarily take her breath away. On this occasion, it was silver writing suspended in a foggy cloud of Lumos gold, bordered by seemingly endless darkness. She touched one of the runes and it wavered slightly in the air. It was beautiful enough to make her eyes shine with reverence, but its utility far surpassed its beauty. She turned on the spot and was dismayed to realize Malfoy was against her back. He looked down at her; at her face and then at the sheen in her eyes, for which she felt foolish.
“How much do you want this?” he asked her, his voice now husky.
“Very much,” she said. “You want something for it, don’t you?”
He didn’t reply, merely stared at her. She thought he looked faintly disgruntled.
“What do you want?” she whispered.
“I want you to kiss me.”
Hermione was too self-aware to fool herself into thinking that this new request was unexpected or shocking. There would be no morally outraged How Dare Yous, because Hermione suspected she and Malfoy had mutual recognition regarding their odd new relationship. As much as she wanted to insist that he was out of his mind, that his request was completely unethical, she knew it would be a waste of time.
4) Something blue
This one’s hard. I’m gonna go with a scene from one of my ficlets set in post-ness break-up time. I mean a passed out Nick Miller is always pretty angsty to me.
"Nicholas?" The room was silent. Schmidt took in the sad plank of wood lying where the bed should be and saw Jess’s makeshift sleeping cubby next to the closet. Glancing to the other side of the bed, a broad, gray clad shoulder stuck out.
Sighing, Schmidt moved to the other side of the bed and took in the image before him. It was just as sad as the one of Jess on the couch. Before him laid a clearly brokenhearted man, asleep (or passed out), clutching a bottle of whiskey like it was a child’s teddy bear, with no blanket, and dark circles under sunken eyes.
"Oh, good lord."
Setting the glass of water and Advil on Jess’s desk he took a moment to plan out his next move.
"Nick, you’re using a cinder block as a pillow!"
Nick’s only comeback was a loud snore.
Hey kyrafic have you done this yet? Well now you’re tagged which is practically a legally binding contract, so you must do this…or not. Cheers.
Once they’re settled at a secluded table, Nick takes the time to look around. It’s no basement bar but maybe all the air is for the better. The panic that had been twisting in his chest slowly releases as he takes in deep breaths of the crisp air. They’re on some secret roof top bar, the kind that only those in the know can get to. After taking a sip of the very expensive whiskey he ordered (she had said it will all be taken care of, might as well seize the day), he asks Jess how the hell she got them in.
"My best friend, Cece, brought me here once. She has the inside track on all the fancy schmancy exclusive places in practically any major city."
The breeze is doing some pretty wild stuff to Jess’s hair. A lot of it coming out of the neatly coiffed side-bun she had styled it in. He won’t admit it to her, but it’s breathtaking either way.
She’s looking down at her phone finishing off a text, he assumes, to Cece.
"She was a model but then went back to school for business and is now running her own modeling agency, the smarty-pants." The pride is evident in her voice.
Nick nods, mouth pulled down in an impressed expression.
"She’s the best. We grew up together in Portland and then after college, decided to go on an adventure to LA. The original plan was to sell our script about a gender-swapped Batman/Comish Gordan crime-fightin team."
"No, no. Just, like, the superhero is female with an older wise woman mentor. There’s not enough female role models in superhero movies, I say. Too much damsel in distress crapola."
"Seems like a tough sell. Girl saving the guy."
She stares at him for a beat before dropping her gaze and raising a glass of water to her lips. “It happens every day,” she says before taking a sip.
Nick can’t deny that that’s probably true and starts playing with his a tie, a small smirk on his lips.
"Anyway, like you said. It was a tough sell…well a no sell more like it. So plans changed, she modeled, I got into publishing and bam, here we are." She raises both hands in a sort of ‘ta da’ pose before sheepishly lowering them at his blank expression. He opens his mouth to ask another question but she interrupts, pointing a finger in his face.
"Hey! Stop trying to distract me. It’s your turn to talk mister," she leans her elbows up on the table in anticipation, crossing her forearms to rub her hands from elbow to shoulder. Goosebumps rise on her skin and he can’t help but want to rub his own hands down her arms. To feel the bumpy ridges speckled over silken skin, smoothing them out as the heat of his hands removes the chill from the breeze.
Rolling his eyes he stands and Jess sits up quickly, probably thinking he means to escape. She seems to stiffen up even more as she realizes his intention. Taking his coat off feels like lifting a 20 pound soggy weight off his back and the breeze that flows through his white dress shirt is glorious. He drapes the coat over Jess’s thin shoulders, praying that his panic-sweat didn’t seep into the fabric.
"Thank you," she says quietly, pushing her arms through the sleeves and cocooning herself in the coat.
He returns to his seat, leaning heavily into the back of the chair, one hand resting on his thigh, the other stretched out and spinning his whiskey glass on the table.
Gazing to his right at the multitude of lights from the city he gathers years of memories in his mind, preparing to tell his story. He can see out of the corner of his eye that she’s doing her best to be patient for him which he appreciates.
Taking a resolute sip from his glass he leans both elbows on the table, shoulders bunched up around his ears as he drops his head, eyes staring at the table. Heaving a great sigh he begins.
"I’m gonna need ya to not interrupt, Jess. Let me get through everything and then I’ll allow at most three questions."
Opening her mouth to protest the question limit he raises three fingers.
Her nose scrunches up in distaste.
"Fine," she scoffs.
He stares at her unblinking for another few seconds, trying to drive the three question limit home. “I promise. Only three,” she says resigned.
He’s thought about this moment a lot. Came up with a multitude of scenarios on how the big reveal would go. It was never like this. Sitting on a private rooftop bar in New York City with a $38 glass of whiskey in hand, drunk and exhausted. And it was never to her. A co-worker . Someone he’s known for less than six months. But she’s here. There’s no accusations in her eyes, just a willingness to listen, catering to whatever he needs in the moment. How does one do that? Know what emotion to project to fit his comfort level. And at the same time, she knows when to push to get more from him. Caroline would always push too much. He’d react negatively, pushing back then slamming up impenetrable walls that she was never able to bypass. Jess, on the other hand, chipped away at the wall, so subtly that he didn’t even notice until tonight that they were weak and ready to crumble…so he lets them fall.
Since day one she’s gotten under his skin, crawled her way into his brain where she’s been tap-dancing (seriously, she tap dances…a lot) in his thoughts on a daily basis. That’s gotta mean something. He’s ready, the walls are down and she’s dancing on the rubble.
"Here goes," he says under his breath. "Yes, Tran is the original author. Yes, I am the current author."
He hears her suck in a breath and not release it. Glancing up at her he continues.
"Short version, my dad was a…piece of….he wasn’t around a lot. Tran was our neighbor who looked after me and my brother when my ma had to work late. At the time, he was already an established author in the mystery genre. Pepperwood formed once my brother and I were over practically every afternoon."
"You were the inspiration?" Jess says incredulously.
"There’s one, Day." She scrunches her face up in consternation at her impulsiveness.
"Anyway, I guess you could say that," he continues and sits up, shifting in his seat. "Jamie and I were just acting like dumb kids. He loved Scooby-Doo, so one of us was the monster, the other solved the mystery." He can’t help the smile that comes to his lips. “‘Solving the mystery’ was basically just me beating Jamie with a stick, one of Tran’s empty flower pots on his head as his ‘disguise,’ until he confessed." Jess giggles at the image.
"But I guess it gave Tran the spark he needed and he ran with it and Julius Pepperwood: Zombie Detective was born."
Jess opens her mouth as if to ask a question and he raises an eyebrow at her, inquiring whether she really wants to ask her second question. Instead she shakes her head and smiles.
"I was obsessed with zombies and would not shut up about them, which is why I think Tran chose them as the focus. He brought two of my favorite things together and told a story." He rubs a hand down the side of his face, moving his fingers to scrape over his chin. "Do you have any idea how wild it was for a kid to have the inside track on his favorite character? To be able to ask the source any and every question that he could think of? It was incredible."
He remembers the excitement. Devouring the Pepperwood books then sprinting to Tran’s house to ask any insane question he could as the old man sat calmly on his front porch, a serene smile on his face. Sure, the books were a bit advanced for a kid his age, a lot of times if he didn’t understand the word or situation he just skipped ahead, which Tran would endlessly scold him about.
"As I got older, my passion for Pepperwood took a bit of a back seat. I still read every book and would still visit Tran from time to time but I didn’t need looking after anymore. I wasn’t exactly the best student but let me tell you, when I did go to class it was usually English because I kicked ass in it. Having an author as your neighbor will do that."
Licking dry lips he reaches across the small table for Jess’s water, suddenly uninterested in the whiskey he had ordered. He downs the rest of it and Jess turns to find a waiter to request a refill; his coat collar brushing her chin; its bulkiness swallowing up her small frame.
"So high school and college happened. Sports, girls, weed and beer became the priority…I mean I still read the books and would still write Tran; but it was rare and without a lot of the bulk and resonance that they used to have. Eventually I stopped the letters altogether…which I still feel guilty about."
A confused look crosses her face and he knows what’s on her mind. She can’t figure out the path of how he got from there to where he is now. It’s doing wonders for his story-telling ego. But she resists asking another question so he resumes his story.
"About, um, 10 years ago, I got a package from him. Simple brown envelope with two pages in it. The first page had a general plot/outline for his next Pepperwood, and the second page had two words on it: ‘Write it.’"
Jess’s eyes grow wide and she leans her elbows up on the table.
"At the time I was bar tending in LA and interning at Clyde Co. No goals, no drive, just kind of functioning on a routine of work and drinking with my roommates," he says on a laugh. "I wasn’t gonna do it. I threw the letter in a box and shoved that in my closet, figuring if I didn’t answer he’d get it and eventually the next Pepperwood would come out."
A wide smile spread across Jess’s lips.
"Yepp..the infamous and mysterious delayed release of the eighth novel. All my fault."
A waitress drops off two tall glasses of water on their table and Jess takes a small sip from hers.
"I thought he was being a crazy old man and at first I resented his demand that I write. Thought there was no way in hell I had the talent or the work ethic to pull it off. I was….scared, ya know? Who was I to take this on? I was just a dummy fetching Leo his coffee during the day and pouring strangers’ drinks at night.” A self-deprecating smirk crosses his lips and he crosses his arms over his chest, his tie tangling in the crook of his elbow.
“But then, after a visit from good ‘ol Pop…” the memories of that fateful week spring to the forefront of his mind, along with emotions: rage, disappointment and resignation. He shakes his head, clenching his jaw, forcing the emotions away. He had gotten passed it then he can do it now.
"Something in me snapped and I refused to turn into that man," he can see that Jess wants to ask about his dad, but that’s a whole other can of corn that he’s definitely not ready or willing to open. "This was bigger than my fear of failure. So I wrote, Tran edited and boom, there was my first book. I’d say about half of what I wrote made it in the book while Tran took care of the rest."
He remembers the heart-stopping feeling the day he received a thick brown package from a bicycle courier with blue hair and the strangest body odor (stunk of weed and lemons…a pretty potent combination). Inside was the completed manuscript. He had holed himself up in his room and read through it start to finish within 3 hours. He had immediately called out of work that night, instead, he drove straight to Tran’s farm and stood on the porch with the thick pack of papers dangling from his hand, unable to put into words just what he felt in that moment. Tran had smiled and gestured for the catatonic man to come in.
"Unbelievable," Jess says under her breath.
"Yeah…Thing was I didn’t want my name associated with it." Jess responds with a cute scrunch between her eyebrows.
"I wasn’t ashamed or anything like that!" He says quickly. "It was just…too….personal. Didn’t want any recognition, wasn’t ready for it." Jess nods slowly in semi-understanding.
"It definitely took some convincing with Tran but I mean the Pepperwood name is associated with Tran and forever will be, you can’t just up and switch author names and expect the fan base to stick. And besides it’s not like the entire work can be associated with me. Tran still writes bits and pieces and offers plot details and he’s the primary editor."
Jess is still nodding her mouth pulled down into a nice imitation of his usual ‘turtle-face,’ as she calls it.
"Yeah, so, I write, Tran edits. It works," he finishes, downing half of his glass of water, the lemon wedge bumping his nose. Disgruntled, he reaches two fingers into the glass, pinching the offensive piece of fruit and tossing it on the table between them. That’s when he notices Jess’s continued stunned silence.
"Questions?" He asks. He knows the retelling definitely had its holes. Some things he left out deliberately, others he figures she’ll cover with her questions. Another reason is he’s just a little too drunk to recall it all. What’s weird is this isn’t his standard drunk. That usually consists of a lot of shouting, throwing things, doing the kinds of shenanigans that result in the discovery of mysterious bruises once he peels off his wrinkled and stained clothes the next morning (afternoon). He feels calm and contemplative; the kind of drunk where you’re quiet and considering deep things that are normally kept buried and hidden. Things that would have never passed his lips are tumbling out and he finds that he doesn’t care. He’s glad. Relieved.
Her eyes drop to stare at the table, mindlessly darting from their glasses to the discarded lemon wedge, a million questions flickering across her face. She opens her mouth to speak but then decides against it. A few loose curls blow into her face and she takes a moment to push the offending locks out of her eyes and mouth, just the tips of her fingers visible out of his coat sleeves.
She finally settles and seems to have her question ready.
"I guess…I’m just trying toooo…understand your reasons for keeping it a secret," she says slowly. "And why, after all this time, out of all the people you’ve known, you decided to tell me…?"
"Hm?" She says, all big innocent eyes.
"You’re manipulating the three question system I established," he deadpans.
"I am not," she gasps dramatically. "I’m simply…..working around it."
"That was like, three or four questions in one!"
"Are you going to answer it or not, Miller?"
They have a brief staring contest…which he loses.
"Well, like I said before, the Pepperwood name is associated with Tran, so that’s just business, keeping it in his name. But personally…there’s a freedom in anonymity that I’m not willing to give up. If you haven’t noticed, I’m not the most social person…don’t really like or trust people in general."
She breathes out a laugh, rolling her eyes at him. He notices for the first time, how close they’re sitting. They’re both leaning their elbows on the table, less than a foot of space between them.
He goes quiet, eyes roving over her face.
"What?" Her eyes get big in panic. "That doesn’t count as my last question!"
He laughs before quieting once again. There’s a strange sort of buzz that seems to surround them. They’re in their own serene cocoon and there’s no one else up on this roof with them.
"I’ve never…felt the pull to tell anyone…but…then you came along…"
It’s her turn to go quiet but she doesn’t get bashful, she’s just kind of calmly staring at him.
"With that weird smile of yours….that one right there!" He points an accusing finger in her face. Her lips are pressed together in that secret expression she reserves only for him.
"And nothing’s been the same." He’s staring at her but has to break away from the mesmerizing blue. Turning his head to the left he nods.
"You gotta stop looking at me like that. I’m serious." Her lips spread into a full blown toothy smile. Heart beating loudly in his chest, Nick knows he’s in dangerous territory. Everything is a bit cloudy in his mind, the only clear things he can make out are the shadows her eyelashes are making and the way the city lights seem to reflect out of her blue irises.
She finally breaks the spell by looking away as a troubled expression crosses her face.
"You said that Tran still contributes plot points and ideas to the books…"
"Yeah," he says dropping his head to stare at the table. "It’s more like…suggestions."
"What does he suggest?"
"Well…he pushes me to make things more personal."
"How personal?" He narrows his eyes at her, trying to figure out what angle she’s playing.
"You’re completely ignoring my three question rule!"
"Yupp," She replies quickly. He leans back from the table and tugs at the belt loop near his hip.
"Well, write what you know; isn’t that the saying?"
"Look," she remains leaning on the table but doesn’t hold his gaze, instead fiddling with the corner of a cocktail napkin. "I just want to know what kinds of personal stuff Tran is suggesting for the story."
"What do you mean?"
Jess huffs. “Well, um, I’ve spent a lot of time with him and sometimes my mouth runs without my brain being really connected to it and if all that is about to be out in the world and he suggested to you I’d make a good comical and dramatic character I just don’t think I could handle-“
Ohhhh. He realizes what she’s getting at. She wants to know about what she read that day on his computer. Wants to know if it was Tran’s plan to put her in the books. Nick leans his head back, contemplating which road to take as Jess continues to ramble on. Looking at the night sky he squints to try and make out the few stars he can see; the city lights dimming their shine to nonexistence. You know what? He’s done thinking tonight. Screw the consequences. He brings his head down, connecting his eyes to hers as she trails off at his intense look.
"It was me, Jess. I wrote you in."