Following your heart is all well and good, more power to you, but please remember: you are not the main character of an epic designed to suit your needs. You are surrounded by people who have better things to do than get caught up in your shenanigans. I swear,(more) if I have to go another day without food because in a moment of lunacy you decide it's your destiny to destroy the town square, which is where I conduct my business thank you very much, then Gods be damned I will wring your neck until your head pops off. (less)
The rancid words drip from the tip of her tongue, leaving a lingering bitterness she can't escape. She feels like a ventriloquist's puppet, completely helpless against the involuntary sludge spilling out of her mouth. "This isn't me," she tries to say. "These aren't my words."
As involuntary as they feel, they must come from somewhere. And that means all this time she's deceived her friends, her family, even herself, by acting like she wasn't a worthless person capable of such cruel thoughts.
She feels sick. Sick and weak. "So this is me," she thinks, resigned and filled with self-loathing. All she can really do now is cover her mouth. (less)
It's just something about being around that guy, y'know? He's really... refreshing? Is that the word for it? Hell if I know. Maybe it's the freckles. You always feel ridiculous when a guy with freckles goes all 'responsible adult' on you. Or maybe it's because he just exudes 'disappointed(more) mom' when you go around being stupid, which, I guess, happens an awful lot with me. He's the kind of guy who goes around thinking the best of people without pressuring them to be the best, and that just... makes 'em want to be who he thinks they are. And with him around, you don't feel stuck with yourself. Who you can be feels a lot closer to who you are. Ugh, that sounds stupid, forget I said anything. (less)
You're gradually guided to consciousness by the distant sensation of something lightly tracing your cheek, right at the edge of the bandages. Your eye blinks open with a bleary languor, and you don't quite manage to stifle a snort when you hears a quiet, startled curse. You do manage(more) to catch the quickly withdrawing hand.
"Mornin'," you mumble, quite pleasantly considering the sun peaks barely over the horizon. "What's up?"
"I, uh..." his face flushes an impressive shade of scarlet. "Shit, I didn't mean to wake you up. Sorry."
"Don't be." Easing yourself up, you bring his palm to your lips, letting go only when he looks like he's just about ready to combust.
"You should be resting," he protests, letting his hand linger in yours. "Trust me, I'm supposed to know this stuff."
"Well. I'm not the one here getting no sleep, am I."
You give him a mild look as he sighs, running his free hand through his mess of hair. "Worry about yourself, why don't you."
"Sorry, can't." Your fingers intertwine, and you feel a reassuring squeeze. "There's this idiot who keeps agonizing over things that aren't his fault. I've got to take care of him, y'know?"
He rests his forehead on your good shoulder, and it's moments like these you really feel the absence of your arm. "Sometimes I feel like this is too good to be true," he mutters. Tensing up, he jerks back and makes an odd strangled sound. "I mean-! No, that's not what I wanted to say at all. Shit. Shit, shit, shit." He groans, probably regretting his lack of brain-to-mouth filter. You let out a huff of fond exasperation, and pull him back against you.
"I'm not going anywhere. Just go to sleep, okay?" (less)
She prods his cheek with the nub of where her index finger wasn't. "At least we match, right?"
"Hardly," he scoffs, swatting the hand away. "Haven't you learned the differences between right and left?"
(more) "We don't have to be exactly the same to match. Jeez, you always fuss over the details. Sourpuss."
"Excuse me if I find little cheer in the fact that you lost a damn finger!"
"It ain't such a big deal. Look, now my thumb fits better! I bet I can punch people twice as good!" Jumping off the cot, she eagerly demonstrates her epiphany on his arm.
"Can you not." Rubbing at the spot a bruise was sure to form, he glares at her until she sighs and flops back into the space beside him, ignoring the muttered 'sourpuss' from the lump of petulant brat. (less)
“I think I might love you,” she confides one night. It’s a non-sequitur that festers into a heavy silence as you sit on this foreign shore. You’d think it was said with a certain carelessness, a splatter of syllables dropped without regard, but there's the hitch in her breath(more) and the slight flush of her cheeks as her eyes stay fixed on the distant horizon. She brings her knees up and crosses her arms loosely over them in a parody of nonchalance, the space between you a yawing crevice. But that won’t do.
There is an illuminated canvas on the wall. There is nothing above it. There is nothing beside it. There is nothing below it. There is just the canvas of greenish-blue, slick and gleaming from paint not-yet dried. You walk towards it, the soft padding of your feet echoing cavernously(more) around you, until you can see more than just a blur of colors. The scene depicted is of a figure lying face down in an emerald sea, as the vibrant cyan sky lounges carelessly overhead. Now that you're close, you can see that only the sea has yet to dry - as close as you are, your eyes can trail a thick drop as it slowly descends to the edge of the canvas.
It drips. Ever. So. Slowly. Until it finally rolls off the edge and onto the floor. Far too soon there is a puddle of green, and you step back. After another step the puddle extends to the curve of your toes, and by the time you turn and launch into a full-out sprint there's a thin layer of green paint on the floor. (less)
Here's something they don't teach you in the movies! It's actually REALLY CREEPY when a guy stalks a girl. It doesn't matter if he fell in love with her laugh, or if he's entranced by her smile, or if she lights up his world like the sun does the(more) sky. It doesn't matter if he means nothing by it, or if it's the one thing that keeps him alive. His mental well-being isn't her responsibility. Because he is not her responsibility.
Let me break it down for you.
You are not the hero of this story. You are a parasite leeching off that girl over there, you are a predator preying on her lack of agency, and it is disgusting. Do you honestly think you deserve to be someone special in her life because you follow her around? Because you don't even have the guts to talk to her? Is this honestly romantic to you?
Let me say you picked a great girl to harass because she's far too kind for her own good. If she called the police, y'know, things could get messy for you pretty damn quick. Unfortunately for you, she's got people who don't let this shit fly, and hun, if I were you? I'd start running. (less)
He followed you. He always follows you, even though you're caustic, even though you're a coward, he follows you like you're someone worth following.
That was probably his first mistake.
(more) Your mistake was thinking he'd actually listen and take the opportunity to escape while you held them off. It's probably what you would've done. But no, of course the bastard comes back for you, of course he salvages your piss-poor plan, and of course he's the one that gets stabbed saving you from your own stupidity.
He's laid out on the dirt, barely conscious. His shirt, torn and filthy, has been tossed aside so you can actually see the damage. The fire still rages behind you, but you're pretty sure if you move him any more his chances of survival will plummet exponentially. There's blood everywhere and it's not stopping, and you're wracking your brain about what you're supposed to know about tourniquets and pressure and gauze and shit, there's no supplies, there's no time, and he's still bleeding.
You look at your sword.
You look at the fire.
"Hey," you croak, voice hoarse from the smoke. "You look like absolute shit."
He huffs, and you can almost hear his signature smile. "Your bedside manner is terrible."
Gripping your sword, you take a deep breath. "I'm gonna try something. I'm gonna try something and get you out of this alive, and it's going to hurt like a bitch, but you gotta promise me you're gonna stay with me, okay? "
"'Course," he mumbles groggily. "Who else is going to look after you?"
After checking for splinters, you shove the handle of your pocket knife in his face. "Bite this," you advise, and you get to work. (less)
"Okay, no, unless the past three years of awkward courtship's actually building up to the twist ending that you're a serial killer that specializes in suffocating their adorable defenseless girlfriends with soup, add more water."
"Defenseless my ass. Remind me, who was the one the one who broke that guy's nose last week?"
"He tripped onto my fist. What can I say? Shit happens."
"Yeah, right. Get out of the kitchen. I'm cooking the best goddamn soup in the history of soup and you aren't going to lift a finger, got it?"
"Look, I get that you're trying to get over your whole 'I'm a bratty heiress and I don't need to do shit!' thing, but just jumping into the deep end without letting anyone help doesn't give you extra points. You don't need to be instantly perfect at everything."
"That sweet, it really is, but I can definitely see that cup behind your back."
"Ding dong!" comes an obnoxiously cheerful voice from right outside her bedroom. She slides out from between her covers with the consistency of a cat, dragging her duvet along as she rolls her way to the door without actually getting up. Only on her fifth try does she manage(more) to flop her arm up to the handle, catching the lever enough that Mister Obnoxious is able to burst through with the energetic fervor of an excited corgi. "Today's the day!" he exclaims as he bounds over to her bed, fussing about with fluffing pillows and smoothing the sheets.
She mumbles a very dispassionate "mnfn" from her cocoon, which, translated from apathetic teenage speak, meant something along the lines of "no."
"Don't be like that," he scolds in a disconcertingly merry way. Heedless of his (happy???) disapproval, she rolls out the door and dribbles down the stairs in a fairly viscous manner. He follows her to the refrigerator, which she maneuvers around her puddle of comfort until she's halfway inside and chewing on whatever's on the lowest shelf. It takes her a while to realize it's a head of cabbage. She eats it anyway. (less)
"Does it hurt?" he asks, his fingertips trailing down your back.
"No, not really." You give a small half-shrug, which probably looks pretty silly considering the fact that you're laying on your stomach. "To be honest I can't really feel anything in that area."
He responds with(more) a noncommittal hum, and you shiver as he ghosts over the edge of cauterized skin. "Are they gonna put you back on active duty?"
"It's still up in the air. I'd say it's pretty unlikely." His hand stutters to a stop, hesitantly resting somewhere above the dip of your spine. You feel the absence of a trembling hand, the lack of the tears that slide down your back, and your heart aches terribly for him.
"I'm sorry," he chokes out.
"Don't be," you say. "Without you I wouldn't be alive." (less)
"Young master," she calls after his retreating back as he stalks off to mope somewhere more private. "You mustn't-"
"Stop with that shit already! I don't want you around if you're going to keep spouting that 'young master' crap."
There's a flash of /something/ in her eyes,(more) and he instantly regrets his vitriol. He stops, trying to think of away to somehow dismiss his ill-thought response when she derails his train of thought with a with a stoic "I see." She approaches slowly, and he's trapped by her unwavering gaze. "However, it's my duty to ensure your safety regardless of what you want. As a tool of this household-"
With that, the spell breaks. "After all this time, how can you..!" She halts her advance as he starts storming back towards her. He yanks at her necktie until they're at eye-level, and he knows she lets him - to be honest that just makes him angrier. "Why don't you understand! You're not just-! You're human! If you're gonna stand by my side thinking you're less..." The red cloth slips through his fingers and she stands tall once more, towering over him as she always does. Taking his trembling hand in hers, she offers a slight smile and he feels his heart break all over again.
"Young master is kind, but this is more than I deserve."
You're wrong, he thinks, but he swallows heavily and squeezes her hand tight. (less)
There's the thrum of cicadas heavy in the midnight air, an incessant cacophony that echos in her skull in the most grating way possible. It's quite possibly the exact opposite of hypnotic; the keening cry grounds her to an almost unbearable degree, and as they repeat their round once(more) more she feels the hums beneath her skin. (less)