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Maleficent

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If there is one thing in the world that Alma dreads (besides the melting of the ice caps, a Mad Max-esque apocalypse, and all of their loved ones suddenly dropping dead) it is opening the front door to a little kid asking, “Would you like to buy a Krispy Kreme?”

It doesn’t matter if the kid’s eyes are wide or narrow, if their smile is shy or bright, if they’re fine-boned and petite or caught awkwardly between growth spurts – the kid is always adorable. Alma is positive that there is some cosmic law, set down before humans were past the amoeba stage of evolution or doughnuts were allowed to taste like the inside of a clown’s asshole, that disallows all children going door to door and attempting to swindle money out of weak-willed citizens (such as Alma) in exchange for heartless, mass-produced baked goods to be anything but adorable and precious and impossible for mere mortals (again, such as Alma) to say no to.

These poor children, whether they know it or not, have been recruited into the ranks of Satan’s messengers. Their message? TASTE THE ASS, like an unholy Skittles commercial.

Of course, it doesn’t matter how aware Alma is of the insidious plot with a questionable objective. They still can’t help but open the door, even when it is before 9:00 on what is supposed to be a lazy Saturday morning spent in bed after a full work week. Alma opens the door, as if they’re Pandora but without the reflexes or sense to keep Hope trapped within the box, and so Alma deserves it when they are greeted with a question most sinister:

“Would you like to buy a Krispy Kreme?” Alma is asked by a kid wearing a cute little brown uniform and a yellow kerchief around the shirt collar.

“Just wait one moment please,” Alma chirps, perky smile affixed on their face, before shutting the door and sagging against it in despair. “Why couldn’t it have been Girl Guide cookies? Everybody likes those,” they take a moment to groan in the empty foyer before straightening up and hurrying to their bedroom in search of their metaphorical backbone, as their own seems to have gone a little limp.

Yuu Kanda, Alma’s partner, is still fast asleep when Alma re-enters the shared bedroom. Alma is unsurprised by this for two reasons: one, it hasn’t been more than a few minutes since Alma left him alone in bed to answer the door; and two, though Yuu is actually a morning person by nature, he always seems to get chosen or hired for night shifts and graveyard shifts at every single work place he’s been part of in his life until even his friends (“They’re not my friends,” Yuu protests whenever he catches Alma referring to them as such. “They’re annoyances who won’t leave me alone.”) believe that Yuu is a “night owl” who hates mornings and not an “early bird” who likes his worms, thank you very much.

With his dark hair spilling across the pillow and his face a rare picture of serenity, Yuu looks like a male version of Snow White. (Yuu is also the fairest of them all, Alma would tell anyone if asked, though the opportunity hasn’t cropped up yet unfortunately.) What Alma needs right now isn’t a Disney Princess to sing to animals and dust the furniture, though. They need someone willing to dirty his conscience with the crushed dreams of children; someone able to look into the innocent eyes of those same children and still be able to stomach slamming the door in their doughnut-toting faces. What Alma needs is . . . a villain.

They rip the blankets off Yuu to perk him up with cold air, then clutches his shoulders and shakes him until his eyes squint open, flinty and irate.

“What,” Yuu asks flatly.

“There’s a child at the door,” Alma whispers.

Yuu rolls over. “I’m going back to sleep.”

“Yuu,” Alma says. “Please?”

“I’m asleep.”

“You need to wake up,” Alma says, “because I can’t do this without you.”

“Was that a pun on my name?” Yuu asks dangerously.

“No.”

Yuu sighs and sits up. “What are they trying to sell you this time?”

“They’re peddling Krispy Kremes, Yuu,” Alma says with great offence. “I don’t like Krispy Kremes.”

“Who the fuck does?” Yuu grumbles.

He’s already out the door, a man on a mission, and Alma peeks around the corner to watch as he throws open the front door.

“What do you want?” he asks the Krispy Kreme dealer.

“Would you like to buy—?”

“No,” Yuu says, and shuts the door right in the kid’s face.

He yawns as he walks back to the bedroom, like snubbing hopeful children is just another Saturday morning activity, and Alma looks upon him with a confusing mix of awe, horror, and respect.

“You’re not Snow White at all,” they say, hushed with revelation. “You’re Maleficent.”

Yuu flops face-first onto the bad. “You’re mixing movies,” he mutters into the pillow.

“Huh?” Alma says. They lay down next to him and burrow into his side.

Yuu turns his face away from the pillow to face Alma. “Maleficent is in Sleeping Beauty, not Snow White,” he says with surprising disinterest considering he knows enough to make this correction. “Why are we talking about Disney movies anyway?”

“Never you mind, Yuu. Just know you’ll always be my Disney Princess and I’ll always be there to kiss you awake,” Alma says, then plants a loud kiss on Yuu’s cheek.

“I’d rather you kiss me asleep, to be honest.”