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  • Mood: Tense
  • Reading: The Art of Character by David Corbett
  • Watching: Agent Carter
  • Playing: Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance
  • Drinking: Coca-Cola

Okay, I’ve been thinking long and hard about doing this, and I’ve finally decided to do it. You know why? I don’t much enjoy my job. $10 an hour isn’t very much for being screamed at for nine hours with only one thirty minute break to halt the noise. I would like to save up some more money so I can move into my own place somewhere that hopefully has more enjoyable jobs. All the fun financial guides my parents keep sending me say to find hobbies you can get paid for, and I guess I might have one of those.

Please be aware that I am not 100% sure on the pricing. These seemed like reasonable expectations (especially since strings of the same thing would cost less), but feel free to discuss. I just know that I need more than the five cents per 2000 words I was making via points several years ago.

Interested? Read on.

But Straw, you’ve already opened and closed commissions!

That’s true. But these would be for actual money. dA points aren’t going to pay my rent. I’ve been told there’s a way to convert points to money, but this is just an easier way to do things. I have a PayPal, so all I need to do is get it set up to receive money if people are actually interested in doing this.

I don’t know. Some of your old commissions were pretty dumb.

Yes. Yes they were. But something important has happened since then: I have become a better writer.

HOWEVER, to prevent myself from charging you money for things you might not like, I have decided to put a system in place: You don’t pay me and I don’t write anything until we’ve come up with a story that you like. You get a slot, you tell me what you want, I get the information I need, then you pay me half of the cost of whatever it is you wanted.

I don’t have an idea for a story. I just want my OC and the canon character together.

That’s fine, too! Just let me know that, and I’ll come up with an idea for you. The same will still apply: I will keep coming up with ideas until I have one that you approve of. Only then will you owe me half of the money for your commission.

I don’t have an OC! What about reader inserts and other such things?

Not to fear, I can write any number of things for you! Do you want a story about Tony Stark and Bruce Banner going on a first date? Sure thing! What about you and your friend’s OCs from your own story or roleplay going on an adventure together? That too! I can do reader inserts as well, but do keep in mind I have a free reader insert request booklet that still has over 100 slots to be filled. Unless you just want yours sooner or you want something super specific or longer than a one shot, you might as well take advantage of not paying me for that.

How is this different from your free request booklet, then?

Because for these I am literally going to do whatever you want. Bring me your Tiffany the Ice Goddess of Asgards, your Emily the Rainbow Guardian of the Vongolas, and your Xavier the Muggle-Borns who both Draco Malfoy and George Weasley are fighting over! Multiple love interests? Characters inserted straight into scenes in the canon story? Game breaking magical powers that aren’t in the canon? Main character’s little sister? I’ll write any and all of the above. Pretty much anything is fair game.

What about your other free fan fics that you’re supposed to be writing?

Commissions come first, obviously, since that’s for monetary gain. However, I will only open three commission slots at a time, and update one of my “real” fan fictions (or more, depending) before opening commissions again.

I really liked this one shot of yours and I would like to see more about it.

Yep, you can also request that I do that for you. Basically, what you want, I will deliver.

Payment Guide (Open to Discussion)

  • $5 per ficlet (~500 words) or collection of 5 drabbles (~100 words). 50 cents per additional ficlet; 25 cents per additional drabble. Collections will be posted and paid for all at one time.
  • $10 per one shot (~1000-2500 words). Additional one shot pricing can be discussed, depending on what is wanted for them such as length, connecting one shots, etc. One shots will be posted and paid for one at a time.
  • $15 for the first chapter of a multi-chapter story (~3000-6000 words). Payment for additional chapters may be discussed, depending on length and other details. Chapters will be posted and paid for one at a time.

 

HALF of the full price is expected when I begin working on your commission. I will send you a note when writing begins and you will have a week to send me the money. Commissions will not be posted until half the money is received. Once the commission has been posted, you will again have a week to pay the rest of the price. Failure to send the second half of the money will result in blacklisting. No further commissions will be allowed, even if the work in question was part one of something longer.

What I Will Need

  • The fandom you want me to write for
  • Your idea or prompt for the story (if you have one)
  • Biography of character(s) to be written for

 

Biographies do not necessarily need to be long or detailed, but the more detailed the better. Details must be relevant to what is expected from the story (relationship with canon characters, backstory, powers, personality, etc.) and not silly, such as favorite holiday or season. For examples, please feel free to look at the biographies I use. A picture of your OC may be included, but is not required.

Please be aware that I have a list of fandoms that I will and will not write for. Please ask if you do not see your desired fandom. I might not have thought to add it, and if I cannot write it, I will be up front and let you know.

Commission Slots

1. [OPEN]
2. [OPEN]
3. [OPEN]

Name: Keatyn
Nicknames: Key
Age: 15
Gender: Female
Sex: Male
Hair Color: Orange/Natural Red-Head
Eye Color: Brown
Height: 5’8.3”
Weight: 128 lbs.
Birth Date: November 18th
Health Status: Average
Parents: Tamera (mother); Timothy (father)
Siblings: Wesley (older brother; 19); Gareth (little brother; 8)
Nationality: She’s from Unova
Financial Status: Slightly below average personally, but her parents still send her enough money to get by.
Marital Status: Single
Boyfriend/crush/etc.: She’s got a crush on Marlon, but it’s nothing she’s able to admit at this point. Other than that, she’s a little busy/too not around to pursue relationships.

Other Physical Appearance Details:
~ Keaton is shaped like a fifteen-year-old boy. She drifts towards clothing that obscures her figure or lack thereof.
~ She keeps her hair very short in the back, with bangs in the front.
~ Her face is very freckly, not just across the nose and cheeks, but all over.

Usual Clothing:

Note that Keatyn changes her clothes to suit wherever she is going. Considering she is often difficult to find when working, these are simply the clothes people would see her in most often. No matter what she is wearing, however, she makes sure it is modest and covers most of her body.

~ Baggy brown sweater that goes nearly to her knees. The sleeves are a little long for her.
~ Baggy cargo shorts, khaki in color.
~ Brown, lace-up boots
~ Several long silver necklaces; one to three hair clips of varying style. These are usually sent to her as gifts from her father.

History:

Assigned male at birth, Keatyn grew up in a very normal household in Aspertia City. She realized at a fairly young age (around six) that she didn’t like the same sorts of clothing or interests as her older brother, but said nothing. This feeling of dysphoria only strengthened as she got older, feeling uncomfortable and out of place in her body that wasn't shaped right.

Her father worked (and continues to work) at Pokestar Studios. Sometimes when she was a child, he would take her and Wesley with him to work. On one such trip when Keatyn was seven, he agreed to help his children catch pokemon at the Virabank Complex. Wesley got a growlithe; Keatyn got her magnemite, Neutron.

When Keatyn turned thirteen, she decided to start expressing herself as a woman. Her family was, for the most part, accepting. Wesley continues to tease her--and worse, being the most unaccepting of her family--to this day, but Gareth doesn’t care at all. Keatyn’s mother does not understand, but tries her best to be accepting. Sometimes she does crack and wonder aloud why Keatyn has decided she is a woman, but for the most part, they get along. Keatyn’s father, on the other hand, loves having a daughter. He almost immediately took up calling her “princess,” and frequently sends her packages of pretty necklaces and hair clips, which are Keatyn’s favorite accessories.

Shortly after, Keatyn left to explore the world with Neutron. It did not take her long to figure out that gym battling was not for her. As a child, Keatyn had always been fascinated by the stories of legendary pokemon, and she and Neutron decided to take up searching them out instead. After a year and a half of searching, they finally discovered Tornadus, and spent several months on its trail taking notes. Now they are on the hunt for Cresselia.

Keatyn has no desire to catch any of the Pokemon she finds. Since they are unique, she believes that they must be important to the ecosystem of Unova. Instead, she simply draws images of the Pokemon interacting with its natural habitat, and takes notes for science.

Personality: Keatyn, though accepted by her family, is very uncomfortable and self-conscious about herself. She tends to stay away from people, and never travels with any person longer than absolutely necessary, as she is convinced that one of them will discover her secret. Keatyn also doesn’t speak very much, especially to people she does not know very well. However, if she finds something to speak of that she enjoys (such as the pokemon she is tracking), Keatyn can talk for hours. Underneath her layers of shyness, she is a very passionate person, although still not very loud. Neutron and she are very close, but Keatyn has very little interest in forming personal relationships with other pokemon.

Personal Triumph: Getting her family to accept her decision
Personal Tragedy: Not having the guts to talk to Marlon
Goals in Life: To become more confident as herself; to find Keldeo

Team:

The only pokemon that Keatyn keeps with her at all times is Neutron. She does have several pokemon in her box, but they are only retrieved when she needs their particular skills, such as surfing or cutting.

Magnezone (Neutron; NA): Keatyn’s lifelong friend. Wherever Keatyn goes, Neutron goes, and they make many of their decisions together as a team. Its magnet rise move is especially helpful for allowing her to sit atop it and hover in caves, either to get a better view of a pokemon, or to take a closer look at markings in the wall. It is generally much more friendly and sociable than Keatyn, but doesn’t ever push things so far as to make her uncomfortable.
Moves: Magnet Rise, Thunder Wave, Sonic Boom, Discharge

Additional Notes:

~ She was given the name "Keaton" at birth. She actually likes the name itself, but wanted it to have a more feminine feel, which is why she spells it with a "y" now, instead of the "o."
~ Her mother still frequently spells her name “Keaton” on cards.
~ Keatyn does not visit home more than twice a year, mostly because she left shortly after coming out to her family and the rest of the town doesn’t know. She doesn’t want to have to explain herself to the people she grew up with.
~ Part of her understands that her gender is her business, but she still fears judgment. She always introduces herself a woman and hasn’t told anyone since leaving home otherwise.
~ Although she is a very distant individual, she still manages to make friendly acquaintances during her stops in various towns to gather supplies and information.
~ She has four gym badges: Insect, Jet, Wave, and Trio.
~ Because she very rarely has access to a PC and doesn’t want to keep more than Neutron around consistently, Keatyn doesn’t have the ability to fly places. Sometimes she can go missing up to two months before her parents hear from her again.
~ She isn’t good enough at battling to make money beating trainers. Mostly she gets paid by getting the information she puts together published as articles in magazines.
~ Despite her interest in science, Keatyn still hasn’t managed to run into either of the Professors Juniper.
Pokemon OC Bio: Keatyn
A while back, I submitted this bio to lamepokemonart.tumblr.com, mostly to see if it would elicit a negative response. So if you recognize it from there, mostlyieatburritos is me, so I'm not stealing. Recently, I submitted a fan fiction challenge for people to write stories where the reader is something other than CIS female and heterosexual/romantic. I'm not sure if anyone is going to respond, but I remembered I had a Keatyn and was thinking about writing a Marlon/Reader ficlet based on her. I still might get around to it...but first I definitely need to finish the chapter of "Brightest" I'm working on. And everything else I haven't updated in like a year.

Anyway, that blog has closed down, but I thought I might like to have this biography for reference some day, so I decided to post it here.

I do hope that I haven't been offensive in my portrayal of a transgender woman. I realize as a writer there's a lot of ways that I can expand representation, and this is my first attempt. ;w; So if I did something wrong or insensitive, please let me know so that I can correct it. Which includes referring to Keatyn as "transgender," since I think at one time that was an offensive term. I do try to keep up and not use bigoted terminology and all; it just seems to change and sometimes I can't keep up.

A couple of extra things:

~ Her pokemon being gender neutral was entirely by chance. I just really liked my Magnezone during my Black 2 run.
~ Eventually Keatyn and Marlon do date. She tells him she's transgender first and is very nervous, but he just points out that Neutron didn't think it made her any different and it still loves her, and he's not about to change his mind about her because of something like that.
~ When she's a little older, Keatyn does decide to transition, so she and Marlon go to Kalos to have that taken care of.

(I said Kalos because I believe there's a transitioned transgender woman in the games centered there, and I thought it was a nice reference. I'm sure it could still be done in Unova, but hey. It's Pokemon Paris. Throw some romance in there, I guess.)

Again, I'm very sorry if I said or did anything wrong! Please notify so that I may learn from my mistakes.
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It was the night before Christmas and all through the flat, two creatures were stirring—especially the rat. When Yuki disappeared shortly after picking you up from work, you expected him to be in the bath, trying to warm up after so much time spent in the snow. You found him, however, in the living room, hanging up stockings. Behind Yuki stood the twinkling Christmas tree, already ornamented; next to him sat a stack of (badly) wrapped presents.

“Busy while I was out?” you asked after you had taken all of this in.

“I just thought it would be a nice surprise for when you got home.” Yuki sat back to admire his handwork on the stockings. “I picked up the cake as well.”

“Huh. Sounds like there’s not much more for me to do.” With that, you collapsed gratefully onto the couch. Even after having lived with Yuki for the past four months and finding that his family was more than willing to pay all the rent, you still couldn’t bring yourself to quit your cruddy retail job. It would have to do until you graduated—though the holiday rush was causing you to rethink this plan. You couldn’t ever remember being so tired before.

As your eyes drifted shut, Yuki hummed in agreement. The cushion next to you shifted, and then you felt Yuki’s hands gently shifting you so that you were leaning against him. “Still upset that we didn’t go visit my family for Christmas?”

You could hardly believe that he was bringing up your stupid almost-fight. Did you appear at all as though you were in the mood to berate him at that moment? Maintaining consciousness was difficult enough. “You just don’t want me to meet that ex-girlfriend of yours you have all those pictures of.”

To your surprise, Yuki chuckled. Though he certainly wasn’t as quiet as he’d been when you’d met him in your first business course two years back, the fact that he thought something funny enough to laugh like that had you opening your eyes.

“Tohru was never anything more than a friend,” Yuki said with such a sweet smile that you blushed at having brought up the matter to begin with. “I merely thought it would be nice to make our own Christmas traditions.”

He had such a weird way of saying sweet things when you least expected them. Staring at him probably only made your blush more evident; you had to cover by snorting and settling back onto his chest. “I hope you’re okay with our Christmas traditions involving me falling asleep on top of you.”

The gentle fingers in your hair were answer enough. “I don’t mind,” he said once you had nearly drifted away entirely. “The quiet is nice.”

Perhaps if Yuki hadn’t said that, the scene that followed would never have happened. Almost before he had finished voicing the sentiment, someone began to pound on the door. Yuki disentangled his hands from your hair.

“I wonder who that could be,” he said as he got to his feet. “I told Kakeru not to come.”

Woe be unto Kakeru, had he chosen to go against Yuki’s expressed wishes of being left alone on Christmas. It didn’t seem like Komaki would allow him to, but you were well enough acquainted with the couple to know that she wasn’t always able to restrain him. You were so confident that whoever it was at the door would be expelled that your only response was to roll over and try to go back to sleep.

“What’s this? Is [Name] such a child at heart that she goes to sleep early on Christmas Eve to expedite the arrival of Santa Claus?” That voice. You knew that voice. Your eyes popped open, you flipped over and saw, to your horror, Yuki’s older brother standing in the living room. “But Yuki! You did not tell me how whimsical your girlfriend was.”

“Ayame, what are you doing here?” Yuki demanded, rounding the corner with Mine in tow. He looked much more upset than he would have had the visitors actually been Kakeru and Komaki—and with good reason. “I told you not come!”

“I know that, Yuki, but I also know what a lonely Christmas it would have been for you and [Name] if you’d really had to spend it alone.”

“Let me guess.” Already Yuki looked as tired as you felt and his brother hadn’t even been there for ten minutes. “Everyone else in the family had plans that didn’t involve you.”

A very long pause followed this statement. Then, Ayame beamed. “Don’t be silly, Yuki! I will have you know that there are only three men in the entire world that would go to such lengths to spend Christmas with their brothers—I, of course, being first among them.”

Yuki only frowned.

“We tried to visit Hatori and Mayu’s,” Mine whispered, holding a finger up to her lips, “but Hatori slammed the door shut on us.”

“Did he,” Yuki stated. Ignoring this, Ayame threw himself on the couch next to you. You opened your mouth to tell him to get the hell away, but he interrupted you by slapping his palms several times against his legs.

“Come, come! It was a rather long trip, you know. It would be polite in this situation for the woman of the house to offer refreshment to her guests.”

“Ayame…” Yuki began in a sigh. Too bad for him that he had missed his chance to smooth things over.

“Hey,” you said. Ayame didn’t react. “Hey, you. You with the stupid hair. I don’t cook.”

He ignored your jab at his hair and, blinking, said, “Still? I would have thought Yuki would have tamed you in the months it has been since our last meeting.”

“I. Don’t. Cook.”

“Well, why don’t you at least try?”

“Ayame,” Yuki said, more sternly.

“What? Is this another situation like Tohru’s? Do you expect me to take [Name] out for a meal as well?”

“I don’t think that’s a very good idea,” you said shortly.

“Whyever not? After all, I have decided to forgive you for taking the place of Machi as Yuki’s beloved in his heart.”

“Gee, thanks,” you said through your teeth. You’d never met Machi, but given the constant asides you got about not matching up to her when Yuki’s brother was around, you were seriously starting to dislike the girl. Yuki must have sensed this, because he rapidly attempted to change the subject:

“So how is work at the store?” he asked Mine. “Are you busier than normal?”

“Yes, of course!” She lifted a large piece of fabric you had assumed to be her coat. “I brought some projects along so we don’t get behind during vacation.”

Yuki appeared very relieved. “So that’s not something to forcibly change [Name] into?”

“What?” you asked, but no one heard.

“Don't be silly,” Mine sang. “[Name] isn’t as cute as Tohru or Machi! Dressing her up would be a waste.”

Quite abruptly, you got your feet. The other three in the room fell silent. You didn’t bother to answer their unasked questions as you began to traipse toward the door—at least not until Ayame decided to speak up:

“Good heavens. Could it be you’re going to get food since you are so adverse to the idea of preparing it?”

“I just need a breath of fresh air,” you snapped, and threw the door open and shut behind you before he could say anything to make you angrier. Outside, you could no longer hear his voice. All was silent and dark. Everyone else in the apartment complex, it seemed, was inside, enjoying their loved ones or a nap. Lucky them. Once Ayame decided to stay, he normally didn’t leave until Hatori came looking for him. For once you could actually look forward to your hectic work schedule, as it would get you out of the house more often.

You felt bad, knowing that you had left Yuki inside to deal with his relatives on his own. He said that his relationship with his brother had only improved in the past few years, but they still clashed frequently enough. Still, Yuki was not the one constantly being compared to women he had never met or being told that he wasn’t good enough for his significant other—an idea you heard fairly often anyway, considering that most people at the school thought Yuki far too rich and beautiful to date someone like you.

Your bitter musings were interrupted by the door nearby opening. You spun quickly on the spot, preparing to run if it was either Mine or Ayame. The worry was needless; Yuki stepped out and closed the door behind him.

“You forgot your coat,” he said as he offered it to you. “And your shoes.”

“Oh,” you said. “Sorry.”

Unsure of what to say in the way of an apology for your recent tantrum, you simply took the coat and shrugged it on. Yuki, however, only continued to look upset. “You’re not going to leave, are you?”

“To go get food for that guy? Fat chance.”

Yuki blinked. “No, I meant—Ayame didn’t put you off of me forever?”

It was your turn to blink, and then to blush. “What? No! I just—I need a warning whenever Ayame is going to come around so I can mentally prepare.”

“I…don’t think I can promise that.”

“I know.” You sighed wistfully and stared off into the distance. The apartment complex had transformed into a wonderland of sorts, dark, with squares of light shining from each room, and snow falling quietly down all around you.

“[Name], I’m sorry. Ayame means well. He just doesn't know how to express it. And I don’t think you’re worth less than Tohru or Machi. They’re both very good people, but I’m not dating them. I’m dating you.”

You nodded. Suddenly your throat felt tight and your eyes felt as though they were burning. God, if you cried and Ayame walked in on it, you would have to punch him to save face.

“I’m sorry,” Yuki said again, “for ruining your Christmas.”

“Eh?” You looked wildly up and around at Yuki. His eyes were focused quite firmly on the ground beneath his feet. To get his attention, you grabbed his hand with one of yours. “Christmas isn’t ruined. In fact, I bet this is the best Christmas ever, even if Ayame does decide to stay half a month.”

“But he’s so loud,” Yuki protested.

“It’s quiet out here.” Still looking at you, Yuki cocked his head. For the moment, all was silent but for the gentle hissing of the snow as it melted against the hall floor. Even that slowly dissipated as the flakes began to pile up against one another. Yuki smiled.

“That’s true. And it’s definitely not quiet inside.” He squeezed your hand before adding, “I know getting food for them is a hassle, but I bet there’s no one else out for a walk right now. Want to pick something up so we can stay outside a little longer?”

You squeezed his hand in reply. “I’d like that.”

“I’ll go get your shoes.” Before ducking back inside, Yuki pressed a quick kiss to your cheek. It did not take long for him to return, likely because he had refused to explain your disappearance or need for shoes to his guests. You pulled your boots on equally fast, then allowed him to hold your hand again as the two of you set off. The snow that continued to fall was perfectly silent.

Yuki SohmaxReader: For the Moment
Merry Christmas!

I actually wrote this last year, for Lunaescence's Anonymous Holiday Fic Trade. We're not doing one this year, and my writing has come to a grinding halt since I started my full time job. I am working on a chapter for Brightest, but who knows when that will actually get wrapped up.

The prompt for this particular fic trade was "Silent Snow."

This is supposed to be set after the manga, obviously. In retrospect, I am not pleased with my characterization of Yuki. Takaya says in one of the last volumes that he becomes much more a brawler toward the end. Here he's pretty much general manga Yuki before all of the final character development. I'm sorry. At least I think I handled Ayame well.

By the way, in response to someone once telling me they liked that I wrote Machi out, I like to think that she and Yuki are still friends. They're seeing other people and she goes to school somewhere else, but they exchange Christmas cards and visit maybe once or a twice a year...just not when the reader is around. Remember: ex-girlfriends are not your enemy!

Fruits Basket belongs to Natsuki Takaya.
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“A-Ah!”

“Hold still.”

“It hurts.”

“Don’t be such an infant.”

“An infant? You are making my skin smoke!”

“It’ll hurt worse if I don’t. Here. Bite down on this if you’re going to whine about it. I’m almost done.”

The protest on the tip of Loki’s tongue was roughly shoved back by a coarse wooden block. For a moment, he gagged on it. The girl in front of him had her face hidden as she kept her eyes focused on the deep gash across his lower arm, else Loki would have glared at her. But maybe you wouldn’t have seen it then, either. The cozy bedroom was utterly dark. It had to be. No one was to know who was visiting this healer in the dead of night—many nights, for years now. The darkness was for Loki’s benefit, and yet he found himself annoyed by it more often than not.

You were prettier in the moonlight. That had to be it. The shadows turned your [color] hair inky blue, and when you looked back up at him, your eyes were full of starlight. Loki’s mouth turned to sand long before you’d even taken the block from his mouth. “There,” you said, and surely it was Loki’s imagination that made you sound a little hoarse. It did things to his body and his head, being so close to you, seeing you like this, things Loki should not like to admit. A peasant girl had no right to be so enchanting. He had to get a handle on things, sooner rather than later.

“If this is how you treat your rulers, I should hate to see how you treat your other patients,” he said—but he had to force the snideness that always came so easily to him otherwise. Was the look you sent him irritated or knowing? The latter. It must have been the latter. You took his arm so tightly that that was the only option, and you did not look away as you began to loop a bandage around his recently repaired flesh.

“Princes mend the same as peasants, I’ve found.” Finally, you looked away. This allowed Loki to swallow the worst of his nerves, or try to. It did not help as much as he had hoped. “They pay better, too, or at least tell other people they should come by.”

“It should be—”

“—‘honor enough to house Loki Odinson,’” you finished for him. Loki glowered stonily at you until you shot him a grin. “You take everything too seriously, ‘your highness.’” The way your lips quirked up around his title made something burn in Loki’s chest. Frustration was what he decided to convey.

“I could have you locked up for that.”

“And then who would patch you up after your midnight trips to Jotunheim, my liege?” The last word seemed to end on a purr, but Loki was too startled to notice. His eyes went wider than he wished them to; he blinked as he battled off the desire to shout.

“How did you…” he began, but by then you had looked back down at your work and he was distracted once again by the way the silver moonlight flowed across your skin. This you did not notice. All you did was shrug.

“I know you,” you answered. Loki let out a scoff, the sound of which was so softened that it sounded much more like a low chuckle. Damn him. He was letting himself get lost here; he should not have ever allowed himself to come back. Unfortunately, you were like a magnet: no matter how many times Loki swore to never return to this cramped home in the middle of a tiny Asgardian village, there would come some time, some wound when he could no longer resist your pull. Then you had to go and ruin the moment by adding, “I thought you would have learned your lesson the first time you went there.”

Loki stiffened, his fingers tightening around his knees. Your voice had been mild enough, but that did not stop him from feeling the sting of betrayal in your rebuke. Did you presume that he enjoyed spending his time with those monsters, freezing his bones to the core in the constant snow while the Frost Giants lumbered about his plans with all the grace of those half-wit carnivores sitting at their gate? That you were so far removed from court that you could not understand politics was a given, but Loki had thought you had some grasp of tact.

“You do not understand,” he snapped. Being quiet was the farthest thing from his mind, his voice rising as he continued, “There is so little time. Thor’s coronation is two weeks away. If I don’t do something, no one will. I cannot stand by and let him have the throne. You know Thor, [Name].”

The tirade might have been shorter than most of Loki’s speeches, but he spoke it with such feeling that he was breathless by the end of it. A faint feeling of chagrin flashed through him at the sight of your reaction: None at all. In fact, once he was finished, all you did was lean forward to wipe his brow with a soft cloth and answer, “No.”

No?” Loki repeated.

“No.” You shrugged again and settled against the back of your hard wooden chair. “I have never met your brother, Loki. I do not know him at all.”

For a moment, Loki was nonplussed. Not know Thor? How was that possible? And then he remembered the important detail that kept slipping his mind: You were not of high or noble birth. The people of Asgard in this distant corner of the realm weren’t likely to hear much other than the codswallop spread by the rest of the populace, all about Odin’s golden child, winner of a thousand battles, worthy wielder of Mjolnir. He felt certain that if you just met Thor, you would be on Loki’s side—which shouldn’t have mattered, but somehow did.

He allowed himself to imagine for one moment. In his mind’s eye, Loki saw himself taking you to the palace, introducing you to his family, declaring his intentions. Father would throw a fit over your low birth, to be sure, but Mother wouldn’t mind, and what could they do to stop him? Thor would have the Realm; Thor would need to marry for the good of all. Loki could stop this plan of his right now and take you home. Assuming you were amiable, his happily ever after was right within his grasp.

“[Name]!” This illusion shattered like glass underneath the insistent fist against your door. Despite himself, Loki started and felt blood rise to his face in embarrassment. Whether this embarrassment was due to his thoughts or his jumping hardly mattered. You, too, had frozen, one hand still gently holding Loki’s wrist as you twisted toward the door. “[Name], are you alright? I heard shouting.”

“Fine, Father,” you called back. This was not the first time Loki had nearly been caught in your bedroom after the moon had risen, and he was not surprised to hear your cool lie next. “I had a bad dream. I’ve calmed down now. I will try not to wake you again.”

There followed another long silence. Though Loki could not be in any danger from a man like your father, he still found that he could not force his tensed muscles to relax until he heard your father’s tired response: “Very well. Let me know if you have taken ill and need anything. Goodnight, [Name].”

“Goodnight, Father.”

Loki’s ears strained to hear the sound of bare feet softly padding back up the hall. At last it did, and at last Loki could let out his long-held breath and relax. When he looked back at you, your eyes were still glued to the door. “[Name].”

Blinking, you turned your face back to him. Once more he felt as though he had been punched in the stomach. You really were so beautiful. Perhaps he was being foolish, trying to take the crown for himself—or delay Thor getting it until he had matured a little. There were fruits that could be enjoyed only by those that did not have the weight of an entire realm on their shoulders, after all. Could it be that Loki had not thought his play all the way through?

No.

Loki’s shoulders tightened once again. He could not simply stand back and let Thor be king. Thor was every kind of reckless under the sun, and hardheaded and ignorant to boot. He would have Asgard at war with all nine realms within the first nine months of his reign, Loki was sure of it. To choose his own happiness over the good of Asgard would make Loki every bit as selfish as his brother.

As though you could sense that he had come to this sort of conclusion, you let you a short, soft sigh and smiled as you released his arm. Loki pulled it protectively to his chest and your smile widened slightly. Then you turned away, hiding your face again to put up the rest of your healing supplies.

“Well, your highness,” you said once you were finished, “it will be difficult to sneak out of here, now that my father will be listening out. Will you be wanting to stay the night?”

For once, Loki did not answer. He merely gazed at you, wishing that he had never made the mistake of coming here. Why did this choice have to be so difficult? You were not worth this sort of heartache, except that you were, or else he would not feel heartache to begin with. When Loki did not speak, you moved past him to settle on the bed he was already sitting on.

“Suit yourself,” you murmured as you pulled the sheets back over your shoulders. “Do keep in mind that there is room on the bed here, if you are not averse to sharing with a lady.”

He did not point out that you were not a lady. Loki did not even point out that, as he was the prince, you should have been happy to take the floor while he slept on the bed. Instead, he wordlessly slipped into the blankets next to you, as he always did on such nights when escape became impossible or undesirable. As he listened to your breaths lengthen in the dark, Loki thought that you had been enough of a lady to him from the beginning. Always you had been there to patch him up and hear his troubles, without pay and always with a touch of sarcasm. He knew that your attitude wouldn’t change even if he did continue his secret meetings with Laufey. It was just that now he realized that couldn’t matter. The realm came first, and Loki’s heart second.

Loki LaufeysonxReader: Reliance
Still not pleased with my conclusion paragraph. You would think that now that I have my masters, I would be the master of conclusion paragraphs, but apparently not.

Set shortly before the events of the first Thor movie.

In response to the "160 Collection Drabbles" challenge by Bobapop on Lunaesecence Archives. This is part of a request booklet I'm doing, and Loki this time around was requested by Azarius. Next up is Legolas.

I do not own the Avengers.
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(Contains: strong language)

The stables were without a doubt the quietest damn place in the entire fucking settlement. Possibly this was due to holding only three horses total, but it didn’t hold all that many people either. You may have gone kicking and screaming, ranting and raving the first time; then you realized: horses were much preferable to people. Feeding, cleaning, and talking with Ellie’s horse might have been a chore, but at least it was a chore that didn’t make you want to drive a hoe through your fucking eye. You could save that for your mornings and that goddamn corn plot of Tommy's.

“Getting kind of low on the hay,” you told the horse as you groped for the feeding trough through the bright afternoon sunlight flooding Callus Two’s window. He (or so Ellie insisted; you weren’t about to check yourself) stamped his feet when you found it, nearing only to nicker in obvious disappointment at the little amount of food inside. “Sorry,” you said with a careless shrug. “It’s hard all around.”

“I don’t remember giving you permission to give my horse attitude.”

Twisting around, you saw Ellie standing pale in the entrance of the stable. Her glassy eyes flashed dimly even in the well-lit stable, her lips set in what you could only assume was a shitty attempt at a scowl. How she was to frighten anyone when she still looked as limp and moist as a fucking cooked noodle was beyond you. You could have tackled her to the ground—if the damn horse hadn’t got in the way. As soon as Callus Two spotted her, he was pressing you against the rough, splintery wall to get at Ellie.

“That’s right. You know who loves you,” she crooned as she patted his neck with one hand and held a second up to his fucking gross horse lips. A familiar crunch filled the air. So that was why the damn horse was so excited to see her.

“The fuck are you doing out of bed?” you grumbled. If Ellie was well enough to bring the thing treats, she was well enough to feed and water and clean it and scoop its fucking shit. Wielding a shovel with one arm was no easy task—though you would admit to yourself (and yourself only) that the work had done wonders for your muscles. That did nothing to change the fact that you spilled the fucking manure all over your shoes more often than not, though, which meant you felt no inclination to be charitable.

“Is she taking good care of you?” Ellie asked the horse. “Just tell me if she’s not. I’ll have her fired so fast her fucking head’ll spin.”

You were in no mood listen to the little shit poke fun at you. Filthy, exhausted, and hungry, you wanted nothing more than to choke down whatever the fuck the cafeteria had left over this late and crawl into bed. Too bad for you that Ellie was somehow your personal responsibility until Joel came back from wherever the hell he’d run off to. The brat had come down with a bout of food poisoning due to fucking marshmallows of all things. Tommy couldn’t have thought of a better punishment for you skipping out on night-watch duty if he’d fucking tried, not that Joel had allowed it easily or all that willingly.

“Get back to the goddamn infirmary,” you snapped, “and quit wasting the apples on your fucking mule.”

Ellie shot you a look of what might have been amusement—the same look she’d shot you since your being assigned to be her personal slave. She might not have taken Joel ditching her very damn well, but you remaining behind seemed to go a long way in cheering her up. You supposed there must have been something funny about watching you struggle to open fucking doors with your only damn hand clutching a plastic cup of water; still, it didn’t exactly endear Ellie to you any further than she’d already managed by wormin her way into your shithole of a life.

“Why should I?” Ellie wanted to know. Callus Two had finished his fruit and moved onto mouthing his slime into Ellie’s hair. The fucking horse seemed more interested in breaking your toes than grooming you, but you shuddered all the same. Horse spit was not something you wanted to have stuck in your hair until wash day. The horse shit was awful enough. Unfortunately, Ellie saw and her weak smile only grew at your obvious discomfort.

“Just go.” Maybe if you started shoveling, she’d leave you the hell alone—not that that ever worked. “I don’t want yelled at for letting you walk around again.”

“She’s with me.” Maria stepped inside, her eyes narrowed at you. Ellie practically beamed.

“So she’s well enough to be out and about?” you asked coolly. Maria’s presence was not one you knew well enough to think snarling would be tolerated. Though you sensed a kindred spirit in her commands and scowls, it was carefully buried underneath several layers of strained patience.

“I haven’t thrown up in twenty-four hours,” Ellie said with a brightness that did not match her syrupy movements.

“I’ve seen more of your fucking insides than I ever wanted in the past week and a half and one day means you're good to go?”

“She’s fine.” Ellie turning to speak softly to her horse again forced Maria to answer your question. You noticed that though she met your eyes, Maria’s expression didn’t seem as fiercely determined as usual. Ellie still looked pretty damn white and sweaty. Food poisoning hadn’t been too bad in the distant past, but in this day and age where medicine was jealously guarded and hard to come by, all anyone could do was watch as Ellie tried and failed to keep down one grainy dinner roll after another. Tommy and Maria had spent as much time as they could spare in the infirmary with her. If they thought Ellie was well enough to move about, who were you to argue? Besides her fucking nurse, that was. At least this meant they were watching her. It would keep Ellie out of your hair for a few more days, thank fucking god.

“Fine.” Arguing with Ellie’s aunt wouldn’t do you any favors anyhow. “Just make sure I haven’t been abusing your pet and get out of here. I want to be done before it gets dark.”

Ellie looked over at Maria, who simply shifted her gaze to frown at you. “It’ll take as long as it takes. This is your job until further notice. Failure to do so—”

“Means I don’t get to eat.” You rolled your eyes. How many times did Tommy think you needed to hear this fucking lecture? A couple of days without food had been more than enough to get his damn point across. Several months with three regular meals a day, however meager, made it all the more difficult to go without. It spoiled you. As much as you hated knowing that, though, you just couldn’t bring yourself to not eat when there was food available. For all you knew, next week it wouldn’t be.

“Ellie,” Maria said, the frost in her voice so apparent you were surprised that you couldn’t see her breath, “go get your saddle.”

Normally, you got the feeling that Ellie liked watching you get told off. Hell, you assumed she fucking loved it. Today, she scuttled off eagerly enough. Callus Two tried to trot after her. Maria, however, blocked the way and looked entirely unperturbed by the hooves going up and down near her feet. It didn’t seem likely that looking busy would work to get rid of Maria any better than her annoying niece, but you did your best. Then Maria cleared her throat.

“What?” you demanded.

“Listen.” Maria stepped closer, her expression not flickering away from her scowl once. You didn’t see why you should do as she said, but the idea of having a pistol shoved to your head was just as unappealing as it was any other day. “You let anything happen to her—”

Me? I’m not the one letting Joel’s dying whatsit out on a joyride, th—”

“Quit interrupting me.” When her palm pressed into the holster at her thigh, you fell into a silence that was sure to be as sullen as you intended it to be. There you’d been, minding your own fucking business, and now Tommy’s damn wife was in here acting like you’d dragged Ellie out of her sickbed yourself. “We got a signal from Joel. She’s not going to sit still until she sees him. So she sees him, and you bring her right back here. Understand?”

“No, I don’t fucking understand,” you said, shoulders hunching up around your ears as though you were some sort of cornered cat. “Why the fuck does she need to go running after Joel when she’s sick as one of your bitchy dogs?”

Unlike everyone else in Jackson, Maria didn’t react at all to your temper. There was nothing there of Joel’s impatience or Tommy’s pained sympathy. It was like your words slid off of her. All Maria was concerned about was getting her way; how you went about it didn’t seem to matter. “We can’t get her well until she knows he didn’t ditch her. We need someone to get her there safely.”

“What about you?”

“I can’t leave right now. But before you go, I need you to understand one thing very clearly.” Maria got so close to you that your skin crawled. Every fiber of your being screamed at you to retreat, to get the fuck away before she drove a bullet through your skull. Instead, you stood your ground, muscles tensed as her nose nearly touched yours. “You’re expendable. She’s not.”

Even with adrenaline racing through your system so fast that thinking was difficult, your lips curled at the suggestion that a fucking fifteen-year-old warranted more importance than you, the experienced adult. You’d been hunting since before Ellie had been a fucking thought in some guy’s dick. Of course, you’d lost your arm and become a useless sack of shit since then. You knew it every bit as well as Maria. Arguing wasn’t going to do you a lick of good. Despite this knowledge, your chin lifted in defiance.

“And how do you suggest I get her away from Joel if he’s not finished with whatever he’s doing out there?” you demanded.

“Drag her back,” Maria answered. “Tie her to the horse. I don’t care. I’m just saying, if she’s the only one that comes home on that horse, that’s fine. If she’s not, don’t bother coming back.”

That pissed you off. Everyone kept acting like you’d asked for this, like it was only out of the goodness of their hearts that they didn’t send you packing out the front door with no time to prepare—as though the collective of humanity even had any goodness in their hearts these days. Your knuckles went white around the handle of your shovel; your lips parted with what you could only hope was a stinging retort, and then Ellie came back and the room was once again filled with excitedly prancing horse.

“What’s going on?” Ellie looked honest to god curious, as though the idea of Maria threatening you was the furthest fucking thing from her mind. You’d seen Maria give Ellie her fair share of lectures (the only person in the damn settlement that bothered), but Ellie seemed to take these in stride as part of being family. Maria was no family of yours, but she seemed perfectly willing to chew you out for something you hadn’t even done yet. And in fact, Maria didn’t bother explaining. All she did was smile that same strained smile given over the discussion of Ellie’s health.

“Nothing,” Maria answered, and stepped away from the horse. “Saddle up. Hold tight to [Name] while she’s steering.”

What you could do to this order but snort? “Like I know how to drive a goddamn horse.”

“You don’t drive,” Ellie said. “You ride.”

“Whatever.”

Maria didn’t look like she believed your lack of horsing experience. Why shouldn’t she have, though? Horses took up space and food—a lot more of both than human beings. Jackson was the only non-military settlement fucking stupid enough to keep them around. It was obvious why: Ellie’s damn sentimentality. Callus Two was like the damn dog she’d never got at that godforsaken school of hers. You, on the other hand, had grown up with real fucking transportation: cars and buses and airplanes, for fuck’s sake. By the fucking way? You only had one arm. How the fuck would you steer a horse one-handed?

After considering you through narrowed eyes for another minute or so, Maria snorted herself, turned back to Ellie, and folded her arms across her chest. “Fine,” she said. “You steer. But if you start having trouble, you’re walking home.”

“We are not walking home,” Ellie muttered underneath her breath as Maria marched past her and out into the stable hall.

“You will if you have to,” Maria called back flatly. That was the last you heard of her. Only the sound of her boots against the ground announced that she had left. Ellie, meanwhile, was busy getting her saddle situated. It was clearly from Before: old and scratched, with fraying straps and tarnished buckles. You supposed it must have done the job fine, though this didn't matter much either way. Surely Ellie of all fucking people didn’t know how to ride bareback either.

“Are you coming or what?” Ellie’s voice snapped rudely into your musings about whether or not you actually should have learned to ride a horse when you’d had the damn chance. When you looked up, she was already atop Callus Two, reins in her hands and as close to a look of impatience as she could manage on her face.

“And if I don’t?” you asked in a voice of feigned curiosity.

“Can we not do your fucking drama queen bit right now?” As if the dumb horse could sense Ellie’s agitation, he began to stamp again. “Shit,” was all you got out before you’d been backed into the wall again to avoid having your feet broken. Ellie did not appear to notice or care. Her eyes were already glued to the tree-line outside the window. “I need to see Joel. Either get on or fuck off—but remember it’ll be really fucking easy for me to catch up with Maria on horseback.”

“You little—”

Not right now, okay?”

The look she threw you was almost pleading, or maybe that was just the sheen of sickness underneath her shell of contempt. Whatever it was, it wasn’t that that made you clumsily climb onto Callus Two’s trough and scramble onto his back. Last time you had been in this position was when Ellie had brought you to Jackson. She’d been a hell of a lot more accommodating then; now you were forced to struggle to get yourself adjusted all on your own. Ellie didn’t even wait before she snapped the reins and the horse started off. The bouncing made it much more difficult for you to find your balance and all that came out of your mouth for the next few minutes was a stream of quiet but vehement profanities.

“You done now?” Ellie asked once you had finally come to a stop behind her, legs pressed against hers and hand clutching at her hip as lightly as you dared. With the back of her red-brown head nearly pressed against your nose, you could smell the faint, cloying scent of illness clinging to her. This was the first you’d smelled of it and it nearly made you sick yourself. Even what used to be Wyoming got warmish in the summer, meaning that you hadn’t had to cuddle the little shit to keep her warm at night. You wished you had been able to keep that distance now. “Hey. Bitch. You settled?”

“I’m—fuck!” The damn horse obviously hated you, as he took the incline down toward the forest with such a bound that you nearly flew off the back again. “I’m settled, thanks.”

She glanced back once at you without pulling to a stop. Unlike you, Ellie knew the lay of the land surrounding Jackson well enough to not have to look where she was going. You could find your way to Joel’s swimming pond and that was fucking it. You were half-surprised that Maria hadn’t insisted on blindfolding you for this little venture with how little you were allowed outside these days. And for what? Who the fuck were you supposed to bring here? Who the hell did she think you liked enough to remain in contact with? “What’s your deal?”

“My deal?” you repeated incredulously. “Please tell me you’re joking.”

“Look, I didn’t fucking ask to be saddled with you for this. If I’d had my way, I’d be going to Joel alone.”

“Too bad for me that your family seems so damn keen to keep you around.”

The back of Ellie’s neck turned slightly pink. When she looked at you a second time, you could have sworn that the ends of her lips were twitching up. You must have been mistaken; Ellie never smiled at you or because of you. Then again, you weren’t sure if you were mistaken when Ellie spoke again, her voice uncharacteristically soft: “Yeah, well, you need to get out sometimes, too.” Must have been those marshmallows talking.

Once in the forest, Callus Two slowed considerably. At this rate, it would be past dark by the time you got Ellie home. Maria hadn’t outright said you had a time limit, but you wouldn’t have been surprised to find her standing at the gate waiting for you if you took too long. You snorted into the top of Ellie’s head and looked away. “Your gesture of kindness might be more appreciated if your fucking aunt hadn’t twisted my arm about it.”

“She shouldn’t have to twist your arm," said Ellie.

“Why the fuck should I listen to her?”

It was Ellie’s turn to sound incredulous. “Because she’s in charge.”

Why did you have to explain the workings of Ellie’s family business to her? That round of food poisoning must have fried the last few brain cells left in the kid’s head. “Tommy is in charge,” you said slowly. Ellie’s responding eye roll was so massive that her head moved along with it.

Maria is in charge. Jackson belongs to her family. She used to run it with her dad before he—”

“Died,” you finished for her. Everyone’s loved ones were either dead or fungal and it wasn’t hard to tell if it was the latter. “If it’s Maria’s settlement, why does Tommy give me all my assignments?”

“Maria can’t stand you,” Ellie said bluntly. “Kind of a repeated pattern in your life, if you think about it.”

Already the images were there. They had been creeping closer and closer and closer every night since that bungled attempt at watch duty. You could see a stunted, misshapen figure chained to a tree just out of the corner of your eye, hear the grunting slowly turning into the godforsaken clicking, taste the ghost of warm meat in the back of your throat. Holy fucking shit, could one glimpse of a familiar face in the dark really turn you back into a quivering member of the non-fungus walking dead that quickly?

“Fuck!” Ellie hissed. “Let go.”

Too late, you realized your broken fingernails had dug into her side. You hastily forced your fingers to straighten, balance be damned, but you didn’t bother offering Ellie an apology. You simply sucked in a high, quick breath. “You stand me,” you answered smoothly a moment later. Ellie snorted again, forcing you to add almost insolently, “And Joel.”

You had, of course, intended to get a rise out of Ellie. Baiting her was about the only fucking thing that brought you joy in this life anymore—and no way in Hell were you speeding your way along to Hell. You figured you might as well enjoy the simple things in life, but Ellie had to go and ruin that too. She didn’t immediately snap at you; in fact, Ellie hardly responded at all. For what felt like a whole damn minute, the only sound in your ears was the steady beat of horse hooves against the wet leaves on the ground. When Ellie finally did speak, her voice was so quiet that you could barely hear:

“Did he ask you to go with him?”

“Huh?”

“Did Joel ask you to go with him?”

A frown pressed wrinkles into your forehead. Was Ellie fucking delusional all of a sudden? “Did Joel as me to go where?”

“This isn’t that hard of a question!” Ellie snapped, twisting in her seat to glare at you. “Did Joel ask you to go along with him on this trip or not?”

Now that you understood what Ellie wanted to know, you couldn’t help a bitter laugh from bubbling out of your lips. You had been afraid that things were about to turn genuinely serious there for a second. “Why the fuck would Joel ask me to go anywhere with him? You’ve heard him. I’m ‘quite frankly as useful as a chocolate teapot in the desert heat,’” you said, mimicking Joel's drawl for the last bit. For once, Ellie didn’t fire back with a comment about how you were as useless as a chocolate teapot. She really must have been sick, because she just turned back around and was silent again.

Well, if the rest of this trip went by without Ellie’s typical useless chitchat, you could count that as a victory. You: one, Ellie: somewhere in the fucking thousands. Unfortunately she did not remain speechless. “He had a girl once, you know.”

Her tone was so different all of a sudden. You found yourself frowning at her through the flitting shadows of the trees. What did Joel’s past have to do with anything? He tolerated you because Ellie—for reasons that were beyond you—liked having you around. “A daughter or a girlfriend?” you asked. Again, Ellie fell silent. Obviously, she was still thinking about it, though, because her thin shoulder blades were pinched together. You were only just starting to feel a burning annoyance in your chest at her for bringing it up if she wasn’t going to elaborate when she finally got her damn tongue back on track.

“A girlfriend,” she said quietly.

“Before or After?” you inquired, still faintly frustrated by the pointlessness of the conversation when you could have been in your room sleeping off your inadequate meal.

“After. I met her once. Tess.”

“Tess,” you echoed. What kind of woman had Tess been, you wondered? Tough, presumably, to have lasted that long. Joel took any and every insinuation that Ellie was anything other than his daughter so badly that Tess must have been an adult. You imagined a tall woman, quiet, with smoldering coals in her eyes instead of fire. Maybe she had been a better shot than you, or more likely she had done something productive with her life. She’d definitely have been whole, at least, probably didn’t go around chopping off limbs in a wild attempt to stave off the inevitable burning of eternity.

Wait. Why the fuck did you care what Joel’s old girlfriend was like? You ought to have wished she was still around so she could fill in for parent-guardian when he was gone. It was Joel’s fault you were being dragged on a horse out into the middle of nowhere to begin with!

While these unsettling thoughts flipped through your head, Ellie appeared to be lost in thought. You could not see her eyes from where you were sitting, but she held the reins loose in her hands, unmoving other than the occasional twist to get Callus Two back on what she must have felt was the right track. Even more irritated to find that she could escape your presence that easily, you cleared your throat. Ellie gave a fucking ridiculous start and said “What?” with obvious frustration, which you ignored.

“Where the hell is your dad anyway?” you asked. Too much longer and the clickers would be out—and it wouldn’t easy to keep them from hearing the steady rhythm of Callus Two’s hooves. Maybe a horse could take out a few on its own; maybe not. You weren’t all that eager to find out firsthand.

As soon as the question was out of your mouth, Ellie’s shoulders hunched again so that her shoulders were up around her goddamn ears. “Joel isn’t—”

But whatever Joel wasn’t (the possibilities were endless), you never got to hear. Laughter had filled the air, several different laughters, and they echoed against the tree trunks eerily in the red-orange light of the evening. The smart thing to do probably would have been to keep going—but hell, you weren’t the one driving. Frowning, Ellie pulled your ride to a complete stop. In the shadows beyond Callus Two’s path, five darker shadows shifted, closer and closer until their owners appeared: three ragtag men and a couple of equally ragged women. As always in bands such as these, there was an obvious leader; the dark-haired man stepped forward so that his relatively clean-shaven face showed clearly in the sun. As the laughter died away, he smiled a disarming smile that showed a surprisingly whole set of teeth.

“Oh, he’s far enough away, darling. Don’t you worry your pretty little head about that.”

Ellie frowned down at the man. “Who the fuck are you?” she asked, tone mild. Either she was even more of an idiot than you thought, or Ellie had goddamn balls of steel. It was true that none of the five had weapons drawn, but several backpacks had crowbars sticking out of their tops and the man in front had a sawed-off rifle in plain sight. For all of Ellie’s tense curiosity, however, his eyes were focused squarely on you. He did not even seem to have heard Ellie speak.

“How you doin’, sweetheart?” he asked, sauntering forward as casually as fuck. Your eyes felt so wide that they might pop out of their sockets. Your fingers had once again latched onto Ellie’s hip as your only anchor to this goddamn earth. “Looks like that crazy plan of yours worked—‘less you just go runner slower than the rest of us.”

Your companion twisted in the saddle to gape at you. “You know him?”

You would have known him anywhere. Seeing him, your chest ached as badly as the day you had met, and once again you tasted meat in the back of your throat, the first real meal you had had in years and years and years.

“Ezekiel,” you breathed. And then, before Ellie could demand that you explain or before anyone else in that cramped forest space could react, you had launched yourself off of Ellie’s fucking horse and tackled Ezekiel to the ground.

JoelxReader: (Don't) Chapter 14
(Don't) Hold Your Breath

So you want to survive the Cordyceps apocalypse? Yeah, well, join the club. That's easier said than done, and that's when everything is going your way. Throw in losing your arm and getting dragged off to "civilization" by a sarcastic teenager and her guardian, and you'll be lucky to last the week.

Still think you've got what it takes? Here's a list of rules for if you ever wind up in that situation. You might want to make sure to memorize them. They might not save your life, but at least they'll keep you out of hell a little longer.

Joel/Reader

In response to the "#32 In His Rulebook" challenge by Edible Heart Monster.

If you are in/run/know of any good groups I could submit this to, I'd be grateful for the exposure!

The Last of Us and related material do not belong to me.

Previous Chapter: JoelxReader: (Don't) [Ch. 13]
Current Chapter: Survival Rule #14: If we get ambushed doing YOUR thing, it's YOUR fault.
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  • Reading: The Art of Character by David Corbett
  • Watching: Agent Carter
  • Playing: Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance
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Okay, I’ve been thinking long and hard about doing this, and I’ve finally decided to do it. You know why? I don’t much enjoy my job. $10 an hour isn’t very much for being screamed at for nine hours with only one thirty minute break to halt the noise. I would like to save up some more money so I can move into my own place somewhere that hopefully has more enjoyable jobs. All the fun financial guides my parents keep sending me say to find hobbies you can get paid for, and I guess I might have one of those.

Please be aware that I am not 100% sure on the pricing. These seemed like reasonable expectations (especially since strings of the same thing would cost less), but feel free to discuss. I just know that I need more than the five cents per 2000 words I was making via points several years ago.

Interested? Read on.

But Straw, you’ve already opened and closed commissions!

That’s true. But these would be for actual money. dA points aren’t going to pay my rent. I’ve been told there’s a way to convert points to money, but this is just an easier way to do things. I have a PayPal, so all I need to do is get it set up to receive money if people are actually interested in doing this.

I don’t know. Some of your old commissions were pretty dumb.

Yes. Yes they were. But something important has happened since then: I have become a better writer.

HOWEVER, to prevent myself from charging you money for things you might not like, I have decided to put a system in place: You don’t pay me and I don’t write anything until we’ve come up with a story that you like. You get a slot, you tell me what you want, I get the information I need, then you pay me half of the cost of whatever it is you wanted.

I don’t have an idea for a story. I just want my OC and the canon character together.

That’s fine, too! Just let me know that, and I’ll come up with an idea for you. The same will still apply: I will keep coming up with ideas until I have one that you approve of. Only then will you owe me half of the money for your commission.

I don’t have an OC! What about reader inserts and other such things?

Not to fear, I can write any number of things for you! Do you want a story about Tony Stark and Bruce Banner going on a first date? Sure thing! What about you and your friend’s OCs from your own story or roleplay going on an adventure together? That too! I can do reader inserts as well, but do keep in mind I have a free reader insert request booklet that still has over 100 slots to be filled. Unless you just want yours sooner or you want something super specific or longer than a one shot, you might as well take advantage of not paying me for that.

How is this different from your free request booklet, then?

Because for these I am literally going to do whatever you want. Bring me your Tiffany the Ice Goddess of Asgards, your Emily the Rainbow Guardian of the Vongolas, and your Xavier the Muggle-Borns who both Draco Malfoy and George Weasley are fighting over! Multiple love interests? Characters inserted straight into scenes in the canon story? Game breaking magical powers that aren’t in the canon? Main character’s little sister? I’ll write any and all of the above. Pretty much anything is fair game.

What about your other free fan fics that you’re supposed to be writing?

Commissions come first, obviously, since that’s for monetary gain. However, I will only open three commission slots at a time, and update one of my “real” fan fictions (or more, depending) before opening commissions again.

I really liked this one shot of yours and I would like to see more about it.

Yep, you can also request that I do that for you. Basically, what you want, I will deliver.

Payment Guide (Open to Discussion)

  • $5 per ficlet (~500 words) or collection of 5 drabbles (~100 words). 50 cents per additional ficlet; 25 cents per additional drabble. Collections will be posted and paid for all at one time.
  • $10 per one shot (~1000-2500 words). Additional one shot pricing can be discussed, depending on what is wanted for them such as length, connecting one shots, etc. One shots will be posted and paid for one at a time.
  • $15 for the first chapter of a multi-chapter story (~3000-6000 words). Payment for additional chapters may be discussed, depending on length and other details. Chapters will be posted and paid for one at a time.

 

HALF of the full price is expected when I begin working on your commission. I will send you a note when writing begins and you will have a week to send me the money. Commissions will not be posted until half the money is received. Once the commission has been posted, you will again have a week to pay the rest of the price. Failure to send the second half of the money will result in blacklisting. No further commissions will be allowed, even if the work in question was part one of something longer.

What I Will Need

  • The fandom you want me to write for
  • Your idea or prompt for the story (if you have one)
  • Biography of character(s) to be written for

 

Biographies do not necessarily need to be long or detailed, but the more detailed the better. Details must be relevant to what is expected from the story (relationship with canon characters, backstory, powers, personality, etc.) and not silly, such as favorite holiday or season. For examples, please feel free to look at the biographies I use. A picture of your OC may be included, but is not required.

Please be aware that I have a list of fandoms that I will and will not write for. Please ask if you do not see your desired fandom. I might not have thought to add it, and if I cannot write it, I will be up front and let you know.

Commission Slots

1. [OPEN]
2. [OPEN]
3. [OPEN]

deviantID

TehStraw's Profile Picture
TehStraw
Straw
Artist | Student | Literature
United States
(ID made on Doll Divine's Hipster Doll Maker)
(So was my icon, obviously)

Hey howdy ho, random internet denizen!

My name is Straw. I’m twenty-three years old. As of May 2014, I have completed the requirements for my MA in English and will receive my degree in December 2014. I received my BA in English and Creative Writing in May 2012. Currently, I live with my parents and younger brother in Texas, working full time and I’m saving money up as best I can so I can move out into a small house this winter. Hopefully my platonic soul mate of several years will be coming along. My goal is to work for a publishing company in Portland, Oregon. The color green! Rain! Coffee! Or working with Marvel would be good, too, but do I dare to dream?

I’m feminist and Christian (nondenominational). I’ve also been a vegetarian my entire life! My sexuality is really of no importance to me, so it’s not really of importance to you either. I like who I like when I like and why I like them.

In my spare time, I like to write second person fan fiction, usually involving the Avengers fandom, though I do dabble in Star Trek, The Last of Us, and James Bond on occasion. I also love to read, worry over my goldfish (Ken, Chikusa, Loki, and Clint), watch movie reviews, talk to my internet buddies, and eat burritos.

If you ever have any questions or comments, or simply wish to strike up a conversation, please feel free to leave a comment on my profile. You can also send me an ask on my Tumblr (mostlyieatburritos.tumblr.com). Usually I have anonymous on, so don't worry if you don't have an account.

I also post my fan fictions to Quotev (as Straw/Strawchan), Ghosts of the Vanguard (as Straw), and Lunaescence (as Straw). If you ever see my stuff on any other website, that's not me. Please report them for stealing, and let me know so that I may as well.
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:iconmyinqi:
myINQI Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
:iconbedanker: on Knoblauchsland by myINQI :iconcip33:
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:iconhypermagical:
hypermagical Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014
Thank you for the recent fave! :la: 
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:iconkillstein:
killstein Featured By Owner May 26, 2014
HAPPY BIRTHDAY STRAW!!
Reply
:icontehstraw:
TehStraw Featured By Owner May 26, 2014  Student Writer
Aw, thanks.
Reply
:iconkillstein:
killstein Featured By Owner May 26, 2014
Welcome~ < 333
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:iconsphinxgal1:
sphinxgal1 Featured By Owner May 26, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Happy Birthday!!
Reply
:iconsphinxgal1:
sphinxgal1 Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey Straw, Since you're birthday is coming up I was going to write you a oneshot.
However, while looking through some of your old character Bios I can't seem to find the one i was looking for, your OC from KHR first gen. I still remember a great deal about her, she was a pickpoket who became a master their, ended up getting on well with the Vongolla and ended up stealing their rings only to get horribly burned when she tried to retreive them from a fire after realizing the error of her ways.
The only thing i can't remember is her name (an quite possibly her hair and eye colour).

Could you please email me a copy of her bio so I can make a start on it for you?
Reply
:icontehstraw:
TehStraw Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Student Writer
I don't think I actually have a bio for her. I was going to rework here before I lost interest in KHR!. But I do know who you're talking about: Carabella. She had green eyes, if that helps at all. It sounds like you have about everything else down. But if you need anything else, just let me know! I'll be on and off for most of the day.
Reply
:iconsphinxgal1:
sphinxgal1 Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Okay, did she have brown hair or was it another colour?
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:icontehstraw:
TehStraw Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Student Writer
She was a redhead, actually. :x Sorry, I should have said that earlier.
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