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But I can't help falling in love with you

Chapter Text

The train rattled on through the mountains of the northern region of Amestris, the chilly atmosphere of the desolate, hostile lands froze the poor alchemists to the bone. None worse than the poor transfer from Xing, who was used to much warmer climates than this, but of course when she first applied for her certification in Amestris she hadn’t expected to be shipped halfway across the nation with a war criminal! So here she sat in silence, huddled up against the wall, shivering in the freezing compartment the two shared, as they made their way to Briggs to hunt down a dangerous Ishvalan who was killing Alchemists. 

The silence was unbearable, the only sounds resonating from the wind howling through the Brigg’s mountain range, and the creaking and moaning of wheels against metal track beneath them. The Xingese Alchemist just prayed their trip didn’t get delayed by some freak blizzard. Zera, and her commander hadn’t spoken much since their argument in the hospital, bitter words still hung heavy. Neither one planning to bring it up, make the first moves towards apologizing, their pride to great. Her fingers ran lightly over fresh scars littering her hands, most were from their previous encounter with Scar, the newest ones however were from something else. Her alchemy backfiring on her during a moment of intense emotions. The same thing that cost her sight long, long ago. 

She felt his eyes on her, that same burning feeling, a gaze that seemed to burn straight through her. As if she was made of nothing more than glass, someone who was so easy to read. She heard him shift in his seat, larger hands gently taking a hold of her’s. She shifted slightly, turning her attention towards her commander, brows furrowed together. Long fingers, trailed their way over her calloused surface, taking their time as they slowly drifted over each of the new scars littering her hands. “What exactly did you do to yourself?” Her commander’s cool, calm voice broke through the silence. 

“Nothing illegal if that’s what you’re worried about” Silence followed, and Zera could feel the look of disbelief in her commander’s gaze. Unconvinced by her statement, “Experimenting with my alchemy, it backfired on me, I’m just glad I had enough time to brace myself… unlike last time” she trailed off, chewing on the bottom of her lip. “Were you really that concerned that you had to ask?” A faint chuckle escaped Kimblee’s throat, as his hands finished their assessment, allowing his hands to rest in his lap. “I was simply curious on how you managed to injure yourself during our brief stay in North City” Zera scowled, as silence once again swallowed the train compartment, she could just imagine the smug look plastered on her commander’s face… 

No, 

No she couldn’t.

Her attention returned to her commander, curiosity peaked. She felt Kimblee’s gaze returned to her own, as if questioning her sudden interest. “What do you look like?” Her voice once again breaking the silence, curiosity getting the better of her. She never did ask, and they’d been working together for a little over a month now. She just simply went off his voice, the smooth, cool tone, but voices could be deceiving.

“Grey eyes, black hair, thin, about a foot taller than you” 

“Vague, doesn’t really help me get a good idea of what you look like”

She heard a nasally sigh escape her commander, “It’s the best I’ve got for you” Zera carefully inched her way towards the edge of her seat, hesitantly holding her hands up, “I know this is a weird request, could I see your face?” 

“I suppose that would be alright” his response was curt, and before she knew it, she once again felt his skin brush against her fingertips. Gently cupping his face, a thoughtful look found its way into her features. Thumbs carefully gliding across the surface of his face, uttering small comments as she did so. “Narrow face… such stern serious eyes” she paused for a moment, “You said they were grey? Must look like a raging storm” a faint chuckle escaped her lips, the corners of her mouth curling into a smile. “You don’t smile much do you?” 

“There isn’t much reason to”

Her assessment continued, she paused, allowing her mind to process the information she had been given. Hands lingering against his skin, before she abruptly slipped off his face, leaning back in her seat. The tips of her fingers tingling from the sudden lack of contact. Finally Kimblee cleared his throat, “Would you like me to assess your appearance now?” 

“No, I have a vague memory of what I look like”

“What color did your eyes used to be?”

Her eyebrows quirked at his strange question. What did he eyes look like now? “Brown, nothing too special. I’m sure lots of people in Amestris have brown eyes”

“Well yes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to know about the color of your eyes”

“Think crisp fall leave brown, that sort of brown you only see in the fall. The kind of leaves that just recently fell off the branches” why was he asking? Had her original pigment all but vanished after her incident? Oh god what if she had dead fish eyes!! Eyes of a dead person, what could be worse than that?! “What color are they now?”

“Milky, I can still see hints of hazel underneath, but for the most part they look almost vacant. Empty, almost as if you were void of any emotions, but at the same time, so full of life. It’s complicated to explain them, but they’re beautiful. Beautifully haunting” She heard his shift once again, his fingers brushing stray hairs out of her face, “They’re intense, your gaze feels like it could pierce my very existence if given the chance” 

Her hand instinctively met his, fingertips brushing against the back of his hand. His warm hand gently cupped her face, she could feel his eyes pouring into her own, and for once she felt as if she truly saw him. Saw her commander for the very first time. Her skin burned under his touch, calloused hands, hands that had caused so much bloodshed, cradled her head in such a gentle embrace. She couldn’t help but lean into his touch, fingers finding their way to carefully entwined with his. Time seemed to slow down if not freeze all entirely, the sound of the wind howling outside, the sound of wheels against metal track, the rattling of the train car. Everything fell away in this one moment. All she could hear was her heart beating in her ears, the warmth of another person’s skin against her own distracting her from the cold that once surrounded her. She felt safe, as strange as that sounds. She was in the hands of a criminal, a cold blooded killer and she felt safe?

Yes.

Safe.

… 

“Major Kimblee, we’re approaching Bri-”

And as she heard the door of the compartment slide open, Zera felt the warmth disappear. Scrambling to the corner of the compartment, cold air all but drowning her as her consciousness resurfaced. “Excellent, right on time” Her commander’s voice broke the silence once again, and she could just feel his devilish smile taking shape on his face as he spoke. “Well then” a groan escaped his lips, as she listened to the screeching of the train wheels grinding against tracks in an attempt to slow down before they reached the station. “Shall we be on our way Miss Mei, we mustn’t keep Lieutenant General Raven waiting”  

Her skin continued to burn during the walk to the edge of town, the feeling of warmth still lingering on the surface of her skin. Lingered on her fingertips as he held tightly to her hand, guiding her through the blistering winds to the front entrance of Brigg’s. People would certainly talk if they saw the two like this. A commander and his subordinate, how unprofessional. No. Whatever this feeling was, she had to ignore it. Kimblee was her commander nothing more, there was nothing going on here. There was nothing. And whatever that was back on the train was nothing. Nothing.

Nothing.

Nothing… 

Chapter Text

“It’s my day off, I earned the right to be lazy.”

Dovey glanced over her shoulder, brows furrowing at her boyfriend’s words. L wasn’t wrong, the couple had been working extremely hard on the Kira case, and seeing as this was the first day off they’ve gotten since they started the case they might as well enjoy it.

“You do realize you can’t lay around in bed all day, we do have stuff we need to do before we get sucked into another big break through” Dovey pointed out, peering at the motionless figure still pretending to be asleep in their bed. A small groan resonated from the mess of black hair, shifting slightly. Finally L rolled over, propping himself, grey eyes peering at the brunette standing before him. “Yes, yes I am fully aware, but can’t we just enjoy a few extra moments to ourselves, before we have to deal with everyone and every little thing we’ve put off?” He questioned, offering his hand out, trying to tempt his beloved back into the inviting warm bed she had left just moments before.

The ghost of a smile crossed Dovey’s features as she carefully took L’s hand before settling herself down on the edge of the bed, “You really do need to stop overworking yourself” She cooed, gently cupping L’s face in her hands, pressing a soft kiss on his forehead. A small groan resonated from the ebony haired detective as he leaned deeper into his partner’s touch. “Then why are you trying to hard to get me up when I’m trying to catch up on some much needed sleep?” The corner’s of his lips curled up into a smug smirk, as dark eyes peered up into blue ones. “Seems kind of contradictory to me Dearest”

The brunette rolled her eyes, crawling back under the covers next to her beloved. “Fine, fine I suppose you do deserve the rest” She cooed, tangling her fingers in his messy ebony mop of hair. After a moment she felt L’s arms wrap around her waist, resting his head on her chest. A deep sigh escaped his nose, finding comfort in the soft yet constant beating of Dovey’s heart, slowly coaxing him back into a rare, peaceful sleep.

Chapter Text

He hadn’t meant to upset his dovey, he had just simply been poking fun at his dear and gone a little to far and said some unsavory things. It was obvious as soon as those words left his mouth he had greatly upset his girlfriend, but before he had the time to take them back Dovey had left without another word.

He had spent almost all day trying to hunt his beloved down, but of course Jared and the responsibility of taking care of Superjail managed to wedge its way between the problem and forced a delay on the apology. Now once the day had finally come to it’s close and Warden was allowed a moments peace, he had quickly retreated back to the safety of the room he shared with his dearest.

The smile quickly disappeared from his face once he saw his beloved, she had spared him a glance and a half hearted smile as a greeting but that was really it. He carefully shrugged off his overcoat before approaching the cozy arm chair Dovey was nestled into. His arm chair. Warden let out a small whine, resting his head against Dovey’s shoulder attempting to get her attention. Warden slowly places light kisses on Dovey’s shoulder slowly trailing up to her neck.

After a moment he gently buried his face in her neck breathing in her sweet scent, before feeling her hand tangle their way into his hair, “I’m sorry my dear” He mumbled, pressing light kisses against her neck, long arms snaking around Dovey’s waist. “I’m so very sorry, my jokes can go to far… It was never my intention to hurt your feelings. I wanted to apologize all day”

A small sigh escaped Dovey’s nose as she glanced down at the man who had managed to curl himself around not only the chair but herself, the ghost of a smile crossing her features. Dark eyes hidden behind thin frames of yellow glass peered up into bright blue ones. Instinctively Warden leaned forward capturing Dovey’s lips in a soft kiss.

As Dovey parted from the kiss a soft smile found it’s way onto her features as she pressed a kiss on the tip of his nose, “I love you Warden” she murmured.

“I love you too my dear”

Chapter Text

“God you smell so bad, what did you do all day?”

A whine resonated from the brunette haired woman, wrinkling her nose in a playful manner at the taller man sitting in front of her. Larry rolled his dark eyes shooting Dovey an equally playful glare in return to her question, “Sorry, it’s hot outside, and Sal and I were moving boxes all afternoon while you were at work” he shot back, watching as Dovey carefully pour a cup of warm water over his hair, long, tangled locks clinging to his face, “Oh sure, sure blame it on the heat” the brunette quipped back, as she gently pushed the sopping wet mop of hair out of her boyfriend’s face. A devious smile was all that greeted her. Dovey carefully filled up the cup once again, gently pouring over the length of Larry’s dark hair, “Did you at least get most of the stuff moved out?” She questioned, glancing about the expanse of the tub.

“More or less” The darker haired individual spoke, offering up the bottle of shampoo Dovey had been searching for. The young brunette woman uttered a quick thank you before lathering up her hands, running the suds throughout Larry’s long hair, “I think we have a few more to take care of in the morning, mostly miscellaneous objects, your gardening supplies, and of course your mug collection” Larry mused, closing his eyes leaning into Dovey’s touch as fingers thread through his hair, massaging his scalp. A content noise escapes his nose enjoying the serene feeling of his lover washing his hair after a long day of work. “Where you plan to put all those damn mugs I don’t know” he mumbled, “You do realize Neil and Todd have to fit their mugs and dishes in this house too right?”

“I am aware of that” Dovey replied curtly, “Todd and Neil are free to use my mugs as well if they want” she spoke, untangling her finger’s from Larry’s hair. The only response she got was a dejected pout from her lover obviously disappointed that the serene moment had passed so quickly. He carefully took the cup that had been placed to the side, pouring warm water over Dovey’s shorter hair humming quietly as he did so. Carefully running his fingers through her hair, a sigh followed the action as Dovey closed her eyes. A small smirk crossed Larry’s features as he pressed a quick kiss to her lips before pouring another cup of water over her head.

“You know we’re not going to be able to do this anymore after we move in with the rest of the boys” Dovey pointed out, peeking out from behind wet bangs plastered to her face. A small chuckle resonated from the taller figure as he carefully pushed her bangs out from in front of her eyes, “What? Take an innocent bath together?” He questioned, brows furrowed together in feign confusion. Dovey quickly shot him a knowing look, as her brows furrowed together, “We have to be considerate of everyone else, seeing as the house only has one bathroom” A shrug was the only response she got, as Larry leaned forward, running another cup of water over her hair before moving on to the shampoo. “Who cares? Sal and Todd have seen me naked tons of times!” Dovey scrunched up her nose at the statement, peeking open an eye as Larry started to work the shampoo through her short locks. “We’ve known Todd and Sal forever, they’re not the ones I’m worried about” she paused, chewing on her bottom lip taking a moment to carefully choose and assess her next words carefully. “We haven’t know Neil that long!”

“And?” It was Larry’s turn to quirk an eyebrow, confused by Dovey’s statement, continuing to thread his long fingers through her hair. “I just don’t want to mess anything up, or cross any lines, or make anyone uncomfortable and then we have to move back into the apartments!” A frown had found its way firmly on Dovey’s features, “We’ve been working so hard to try and move out and join everyone else, I don’t want to give the universe a reason to backtrack us… Does that make sense?”

“Love bug, you don’t have to worry about that” Larry reassured, gently cradling Dovey’s face in his hands. “Neil and Todd aren’t stick-in-the-muds. They love you, and I’m sure they’re not just going to kick us out. They’re probably going to have rules, or well boundaries, but so is everyone else in the house! Hell, lovebug we’re going to have our own boundaries to establish once we move in too!” A look of uncertainty still held onto Dovey’s features, blue eyes holding Larry’s darker ones. “I know you’re nervous about this move, so am I. There’s so many things about this move that scare me. Not having easy access to my mom whenever I need her or if something was ever to happen. Having to pick up and clean up after myself, actually paying bills! Having to be considerate of four other people’s space and their boundaries” A quiet giggle escaped Dovey, the corners of her mouth twitching with a faint smile, “I’ve never lived with that many people before. It’s always been me and my mom, or just me, or me and you. Now it’s you and me and Sal and Todd and Neil and maybe Marilyn, but this is an adventure Lovebug” Larry paused, chewing on the inside of his cheek taking a moment to see if any uncertainty still lingers in Dovey’s eyes. “And we’ve been on bigger adventures then moving in with our friends”

A hum of agreement followed his statement, as Dovey leaned into his touch with a sigh of relief, fingers gently wrapping around his wrist. “I guess you’re right, nothing could be as scary as hunting cultists in your own town” Dovey mused. This would be a big change, another step in life, moving away from the familiar, safety of Addison Apartments. All the memories of having dinner with Lisa and Larry, investigating the ghosts and trying to find ways for them to pass on, learning about the cult from Rosenberg, the Ghostnabbers spending endless nights together theorizing about what happened long ago. There were so many wonderful memories trapped in these haunted walls, but that didn’t mean the memories ended here. There were still so many memories yet to come in this next phase of life.

“We’ll get through this like we always do Dovey. Together” At that, Larry leaned forward, pressing a soft kiss on Dovey’s forehead, before leaning his head against hers.

Her worries and fears all together melted away, smile beaming up at her lover, blue eyes filled with love held tightly to the equally loving gaze of Larry’s darker eyes, “Together” She repeated.

Chapter Text

It was to early for this, or that’s what Ryoma kept telling himself as he made his way through the expanses of the Academy. The early morning sunlight of dawn trickling in through the gaps and cracks of the crumbling building. How this old place managed to hold itself together everyday was beyond him. In the early morning the old academy was actually kind of tranquil, if it wasn’t for the unfortunate situation that befell him and the other sixteen strangers residing in this same academy he might actually enjoy the peace and quiet, but this hell was anything but peaceful. His strides slowed before coming to a halt suddenly face to face with his destination. The looming door of an Ultimate research lab dwarfed him in size.

The beautiful olive green door littered with obscure, abstract paintings of flowers and other plants. The door to the Ultimate Botanist’s research lab. His hands gripped tightly to the plastic container. All morning. He had spent all morning wasting coin after coin after coin in that stupid MonoMono Machine trying to find the perfect present. Anything he thought would be appropriate to convey his appreciation for the young woman. The Ultimate Botanist’s kindness knew no bounds, even in such a twisted, awful place such as this. As much as Ryoma persisted as he tried to convince the young woman to stop her attempts at being his friend, to stop hanging around because he was dangerous. All these attempts to deter Dovey only seemed to fuel her determination to get close to the convict. For whatever reason, he wasn’t sure.

Yet no matter how much Ryoma resisted, he found himself to be the target of the woman’s affections. Though, he would be lying if he said he didn’t enjoy her company. To have someone who wasn’t afraid of him, someone who genuinely enjoyed having a conversation with him, someone who didn’t look at him with pity like the rest of the world. It was a nice change. There was nothing but kindness in Dovey’s voice when she presented him with a gift, nothing but fascination in her eyes when he talked about his past, nothing but warmth in her smile. A warmth he had long forgotten, in favor of being shunned by the world. So that’s why, he stood here in the early hours of dawn, sweaty palms gripping tightly to the plastic toy in his hands, to display his gratitude for the endless kindness.

He swallowed, throat suddenly feeling dry as he pushed open the door, stepping into the Botanist’s domain.

Ryoma had never once stepped foot into Dovey’s research lab, but as soon as he stepped through the door, he felt safe. A warm comforting sensation surrounded him, as his grey eyes met with a vibrant sight. The room was decorated wall to wall with different types of flora, from stunning flowers to medicinal herbs and anything in between, the ceiling was gone, instead replaced with glass panes allowing for the early morning light to cast a heavenly glow on everything in the lab, and in the middle of this room stood the woman he had been looking for. Her back was to him, she seemed to be tending to her plants, fingers run over damaged or dead limbs, a pair of scissors in her free hand to carefully trim away these stray bits in an attempt to keep her plants healthy and green. A content smile held onto her features, and as Ryoma slowly approached he could hear the sounds of her humming an unfamiliar tune to herself.

Ryoma froze mere feet from Dovey, watching her work. She was so content, so happy in her own little world here with nothing but her plants, she looked so peaceful. He would be content to stay and just watch her work for any number of moments, but he assumed his luck for the morning had ran out, and he had been caught. The heavenly glow gave her an almost angelic appearance, a warm smile spread across her face as her eyes landed on Ryoma. His heart skipped a beat, as her smile only grew when she recognized who it was. “Ryoma come look!” She exclaimed, without a moment’s hesitation took his hand in hers leading him farther into her sanctuary. He could feel his heart pounding in his ears, eyes lingering on their entwined hands. Her hands and the edges of her baggy sleeves were caked with dry potting soil, even with that they still felt soft against his calloused hands.

Finally her hand slipped from his, turning to face him once again, arms outstretched towards one particular corner of the room. His eyes followed her fingers, bright colors clouding his vision. Sunflowers, tulips, lilies, orchids of all sizes and colors littered the expanses. The smile on Dovey’s face only grew, eagerly bouncing on her heels, hands clapping together as she did so. “Isn’t it so beautiful? Everything was so overgrown and crowded when I first found it, but now it’s looking so much better!” She paused, carefully slipping the pair of scissors she had back into her apron, “I’m going to talk to Gonta later today about catching some butterflies, or maybe some bees so that I can have some pollinating friends to help with my plants” and like that she was off, rambling to herself about taking care of her plants, making plans for what little adjustments she could do during the day, if she could get Miu to craft her a Beehive, anything and everything. The ghost of a smile found its way onto Ryoma’s face watching how eager the young woman was, she looked so happy, hearing how passionate she was about giving her plants the absolute best was infectious, and for a moment Ryoma fully forgot the horrible situation the two of them were in.

In an instant Dovey froze, rambling ceasing as she stared blankly at the plants before her, eyes flickering back towards her current companion, for the second time that day he had been caught staring. “I’m so sorry, kinda got carried away there. How are you this morning Ryoma?”

“Heh, I’m alright” He shrugged, playing off the fact that he had once again been staring at the woman in front of him, “There’s no need to apologize about something you’re passionate about. I actually enjoyed hearing you talking about your garden” his voice faded away, gaze shifting to anything that wasn’t Dovey, freehand instinctively tugging his beanie over his eyes. “I actually came here to give you something” he mumbled, holding out the plastic little gacha ball in his hand. He could feel the sudden confusion on Dovey’s features as she carefully picked up the toy, popping it open without so much as a moment’s hesitation. He had spent all morning trying to find the perfect gift, but gacha after gacha was filled with garbage, absolutely useless trash that he couldn’t see anyone, not even Miu, enjoying. He was almost about to give up, but someone must have been smiling down on him. In the very last ball was a stuffed animal, a sock monkey to be exact.

“I know it’s kind of childish, if you don’t want it I could give it to Kokichi-“ his doubts were cut off by Dovey’s voice cut through the air, “I love it” taken aback by the positive response, Ryoma’s gaze shifted back towards Dovey. “I used to have one of these as a kid” her voice sounded watery, as a deep sense of nostalgia took hold of her face, blue eyes traveling over the plush expanses of the toy. Without warning, Ryoma was suddenly pulled into a warm embrace, “Thank you, thank you so much Ryoma!”

Ryoma could still feel the pounding of his heart in his ears, when she pulled away. He tried to play it off, shuffling his hands into his leather jacket, giving a nonchalant shrug in response, “Well I certainly didn’t have any use for it, I figured instead of trashing it I should at least give it to someone else”

A small giggle followed his response, but before Dovey could respond the familiar, obnoxious chime of the morning announcement echoed through the empty building. Silence fell over the Botanist’s research lab once again, Ryoma quickly cleared his throat, taking a step back, “Looks like that’s my cue to leave” he was the first one to break the comfortable silence, “Thank you again Ryoma, I’ll take good care of ‘em” He shrugged once again, turning his back to her, casually strolling towards the door. He could still feel her beaming smile against his back once the door finally closed behind him, heart still hammering in his chest. His cheeks burned at the image of her smiling face, he had never seen her so happy before, a faint chuckle escaped his lips, eyes turning to peer at the olive green door behind him, “Hmph, seems I’ve still got a ways to go…”

Chapter Text

A gasp escapes Ryoma’s lips as he jolted upwards, heart hammering in his chest, as fingers gripped at his short hair. It took his a moment to assess the situation, dark eyes frantically searching the interior of his dorm room before he felt his heart rate slow. Another nightmare. Sadly it seemed he had only awoken into an even worse nightmare. His grip on his hair loosened, hands resting back on his sheets, a grimace crossing his features as he noticed how they were drenched in sweat. He huffed, swinging his legs off the side of his bed, feet hitting the cold floor. Due to how frequently these nightmares came and went, there was no point in trying to go back to sleep. The nightmare he had only recently escaped was still looming in his subconscious, waiting for him to return. He carefully slipped on his jacket, and trudged out the door, maybe a quick trip around the academy would help take his mind off things.

Just as he left his dorm, the reality of how late it truly was started to settle in. The dormitory was completely silent except for the light snoring resonating from a few of the dorm rooms, the distant chirping of crickets echoing through the air was the only other form of noise, he could feel the light from the moon illuminating the building, a dull, comforting light he had grown so used to. His eyes turned up towards the glass ceiling, dark eyes trying to find the twinkling of stars in the far off expanses, however all he could make out where the outlines of the cage they were trapped in.

“Hey sleepwalker” a familiar soft voice echoed through the stillness, his dark eyes being torn away from the vast expanses overhead to the second story balcony. The familiar figure of the Ultimate Botanist loomed over head, a kind smile holding onto her features as she gave him a small wave, “Hey” he echoed back, keeping his voice down as to not wake the others, his legs making their way towards the set of stairs, “Aren’t you supposed to be asleep?” He questioned, arching an eyebrow.

“I should be asking you the same question” her voice continued to drop to a soft murmur as he drew closer, she was leaning against the railing, posture lax as she propped her head against her hand, “Insomnia” she answered with a small nonchalant shrug, “I can’t sleep without some sort of supplement, and I mean this place doesn’t exactly have a drug store, so I guess that means no good nights rest” she hummed, eyes turning towards the glass ceiling, “That’s quite unfortunate, you can’t even escape this hell for a couple hours huh?” Ryoma questioned, carefully pulling the box of candy cigarettes out of his pockets, he caught Dovey instinctively hold out her hand in a silent attempt at asking ‘can I have one?’ He arched an eyebrow and gave a small chuckle, “You know they’re not really cigarettes right?” He questioned, placing one in her open palm.

“Yeah of course I know that, I figured they weren’t real since you never reek of cigarette smoke” She hummed, nudging him in a teasing manner before chewing on the end of candy stick. “And well you have these things with you all the time” A small snort escaped Ryoma’s nose as he placed his own candy cigarette between his teeth, silence settling over the two, back pressed against the railing, dark eyes staring at the glowing plaques sitting above each of the doors. The symphony of crickets returned once again filling the silence between them. It was a comfortable silence, one that didn’t need to be filled with constant chatter, maybe it was because Ryoma actually found himself to be comfortable with the Ultimate Botanist. More comfortable than anyone else in this school.

“Nightmares” he finally spoke, breaking the silence, it only seems fair seeing as she explained her reasons for being up. A quiet ‘Ahh’ followed his statement, “With everything I’ve been through I’m surprised they don’t happen more frequently,” he mused, rolling the candy stick between his fingers. “Sadly I can’t do anything about it, not like with you and your insomnia”

He was glad when Dovey didn’t press for more information, between what she knew from Shuichi and his own accounts, she could probably piece things together on her own. “You know” Dovey’s voice piped up, as she took the candy from her mouth, twirling it between her fingers, “Researchers do say there’s one way to help ward off nightmares” The slight raise of an eyebrow was the only response she got, as Ryoma’s eyes drifted up towards Dovey’s features. Standing here, moonlight illuminating her features, blue eyes staring off into the distance of the dormitory, the slightest curve of a smile resting on her lips. She looked almost ethereal, like some sort of goddess from another plane of existence. “Oh? And that would be?”

“Having someone to hold onto is said to work wonders”

A faint chuckle escaped Ryoma’s lips, his gaze dropping from Dovey’s face, the corners of his lips twitching with a soft smile. He couldn’t even think of a witty comeback at this point, but that was fine, his head was spinning too much to focus anyways. Was he reading to much into this situation? This couldn’t be an invitation to spend the night with her? This was just Dovey’s attempt at a joke! Of course, that’s all it was. Dovey trying to be funny! He forced another chuckle, shuffling his hands into the pockets of his jacket, as silence fell over the duo once again. Dovey shifted beside him, pushing herself up off the railing. She stood there for a few moments, motionless. He couldn’t see her eyes, completely lost on what could be going through her head at this moment. Finally she turned to him, smile holding tightly to her features, “Well, I’m going to try and find my way back to dreamland” her voice broke the silence once again, as she placed her hand on Ryoma’s shoulder, “Try and get some sleep too, if nothing else let me know and I can make you some chamomile tea tomorrow night and you can see if that works” he watched as her hand slipped from his shoulder, as she turned to head back towards her dorm, and as she disappeared into the inviting warmth of her dorm. As Ryoma made his way back towards the stairs, he paused, gazing at the familiar plaque sitting above Dove’s door, a sigh escaping his lips before he made his descent back towards his room.

Chapter Text

The silence was deafening, as pools of blue stared blankly at the unfamiliar woman before her. How strange it was to gaze upon your own reflection, but even then there was someone looking back you recognized. However that was not the case for Kaylina, she was used to dressing formally. Her appearance holding a professional, commanding confidence to it, she however was not used to her appearance holding elegance, making her appear gentle and almost otherworldly. The beautiful, billowing wedding dress felt foreign on the young Psychologist, the lace and satins hugged her frame in a way she wasn’t used to. Had she always had these curves? This was her special day, and if it hadn’t been for the compromise she made with her fiancés, the whole ceremony would be a much more casual setting so she could be in the comfort of her button ups and ties.

Seeing as how the spectacle was being kept on the down low, it seemed only fair to abide by Damien’s wishes. If he wasn’t able to have his grand over the top wedding where he could invite friends and family alike, the least Kaylina could do was wear a dress and take the form of an elegant, ethereal being for the time being. Anything for her soon to be husbands. The thought bringing a smile to her distant expression, how after today they would be bound together in holy matrimony and no one could ever invalidate their relationship ever again. They would be a Family.

“Don’t you look positively radiant” a sudden voice echoed through the stillness, if the young psychologist wasn’t already well adjusted to the booming baritone she would have more than likely jumped out of her skin at the disturbance. Bright eyes slid towards the doorway, the smile replaced with a quirked eyebrow, a blank thoughtful look taking up its place. Having stepped through the doorway were none other then her soon to be husbands.

William and Damien dressed to the nines and looking absolutely ravishing. William’s usual Safari attire had been replaced with a nice tux for the big day, even though his slacks and most of the ensemble were black he insisted on wearing a light pink blazer to offset the darker shades. His usually shaggy hair combed back nicely, and his glasses set on the bridge of his nose. William held a beaming grin, eyes traveling over every inch of the bride. “My darling Kaylina, I don’t think I’ve seen a more beautiful bride” he mused taking a step towards her, arms outstretched. “And you won’t get to see one again if you don’t turn yourself around and march on back to the altar, don’t you know it’s bad luck to see a bride in her gown before the ceremony!”

“I tried to tell him” Damien’s voice piped up, and it was only now that Kaylina noted his take on the situation. Unlike William who had no problems with breaking all known rules, Damien was huddled close to the door, hand raised over his eyes in an attempt to shield the psychologist from his view. The mayor looked as he did every other day, dressed comfortably in a black tux, hair smoothed back, freehand lightly holding onto the end of his cane. Even if he looked as he did everyday, that didn’t make him any less handsome, the slight quirks of a smile could be seen peeking out from behind his hand.

“Oh pish posh you two, absolute poppycock if you ask me. Why it’s preposterous to believe in those old wive’s tales” William remarked, a hearty chuckle following his statement, only receiving a cold stare from the bride to be, “Well then, if one of us ends up dead or we end up divorced then we’ll know who to blame” the chill to those words had William stop in his tracks, a baffled look crossing his features. Absolutely dumbfounded by Kaylina’s words, after a moment or two of silence light fits of giggles arose from the psychologist, stepping forward to plant a gentle kiss of her fiancé’s cheek, “I’m just messing with you my love” she cooed, gently cradling his face in her hands, “It would take some otherworldly phenomenon to separate the three of us”

A hum of agreement rumbled from William’s chest placing a sweet kiss on the palm of Kaylina’s hand, gently cradling her hand in his larger one. “It would take the work of the devil himself to separate me from you” he murmured against her hand. A content sigh escaped the woman’s lips, as she pulled her hand away, “Go, before you get us all in trouble” a groan resonated from William as he rolled his eyes, placing one last tender kiss on his fiancé’s knuckles before retreating from the room. Blue eyes slowly made their way towards the other figure who had silently edged his way into the room, still casting his gaze to the far end of the expanses, respecting his fiancés wishes. “Are you nervous?” Damien’s voice sounded meek for once, and his usual suave confidence was gone, hands trembling as they gripped at the end of his cane.

“Are you?”

He paused, brows furrowing slightly as if assessing his own feelings at the moment, “I’m excited, I don’t think I’ve been this excited since... since we won the election” He chuckled, rigid posture slowly starting to relax as he spoke, Kaylina felt herself drawn to him, gently placing her hands on top of his, a smile holding her features. “Then why are your hands trembling?”

“Because I’m about to marry the love of my life, and she’s absolutely breathtaking” his gaze finally turned to look her in the eyes, she could feel the absolute love and adoration spilling from his gaze. Fingers entwined together, as he gently lifted her hand to his lips placing chaste kisses against her knuckles. “You’ve been so distant today, are you sure you’re not nervous?” His voice was soft, laced with concern. Even when he spoke softly his voice was so clear and so professional. “What do I have to be nervous about? Like you said, I’m about to get married and share the rest of my life with two amazing men. I couldn’t be happier” she mused. “Now if you don’t take your handsome ass down to that alter, there won’t be a wedding to be had” eloping was still an option at this point, and she wasn’t above suggesting such a scandalous alternative. Damien’s smile only grew into a beaming grin, “Fine, if I must depart... I will see you shortly” he placed a swift kiss on her cheek before turning on his heels and sauntered out of the room leaving Kaylina with a warm fluttering feeling in her heart, and a twitterpated smile holding to her face.

The distant organ’s keys echoed through the church as Kaylina slowly made her way down the aisle, blue eyes locked on the two figures standing waiting at the end of this trip, her hands held tightly to the bouquet of light pink and blue roses. Besides the haunting melody that seemed to drown out all other sounds, the room was silent. Among the audience were only a small handful of trusted friends and whatever family that approved of the Union. As she finally made her way to the altar, her gaze shifted between William and Damien, noticing their distant gaze. Following their line of sight she noticed the way their eyes held tightly to a pair of seats, empty. Mark and Celine. She felt her heart drop for her beloveds, there was no guarantee that the couple would even show.

Their last conversation as friends hadn’t ended so well, from the limited information she had been given the quartet of friends had gotten into an argument. Something stupid, and it slowly brought up deeper seeded issues, jealousy and concerns that had been buried deep down to keep face, to try and protect each other, tensions had finally boiled over and it seems as if everyone was done with playing make believe. Damien was heartbroken, left trying to pick up the pieces and set things right. However that was easier said than done when your childhood friend and twin sister refused to speak to you. In a last attempt to extend the olive branch, it was Damien who sent the invites to their wedding.

The trio’s attention was drawn away from the disappointing reality when they heard the pastor clears his throat, before raising his hands to address the audience, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness and celebrate the union of these three lovely beings; William Barnum, Kaylina Morton, and Damien Gaumond in marriage. Today you enter as individuals, but you will leave here as a family, blending your lives, expanding your family ties, and embarking upon the grandest adventure of human interaction. The story of your life together is still yours to write. All those present have come to witness and celebrate your love and commitment this day- eager to be a part of a story not yet told”

The pastor continued on with his speech, Kaylina could feel Damien gently squeeze her hand, her thumb trailing over his knuckles, she could tell from the distant look in his eyes he was disappointed. Disappointed that his sister wasn’t here, wasn’t present for the happiest day of his life. She gave his hand a light squeeze in return, a silent reassurance. “Let us continue on to the vows, Do you Damien Gaumond, take Kaylina Morton to be your lawfully wedded wife, promising to love and cherish, through joy and sorrow, sickness and health, and whatever challenges you may face, for as long as you both shall live?”

“I do”

“Do you Kaylina Morton, take Damien Gaumond to be your lawfully wedded husband, promising to love and cherish, through joy and sorrow, sickness and health, and whatever challenges you may face, for as long as you both shall live?”

“I do”

After the responses followed justly, the Pastor turned towards William, as the taller man carefully took Kaylina’s hand in his, a beaming smile holding tightly to his features, “And do you William Barnum, take Kaylina Morton to be your lawfully wedded wife, promising to love and cherish, through joy and sorrow, sickness and health, and whatever challenges you may face, for as long as you both shall live?”

“I do!” He chuckled, beaming down at the smaller woman.

“And finally” the pastor paused as light fits of good natured laughter floated from the crowd, “Do you Kaylina Morton, take William Barnum to be your lawfully wedded husband, promising to love and cherish, through joy and sorrow, sickness and health, and whatever challenges you may face, for as long as you both shall live?”

At this point Kaylina couldn’t help but laugh along with William, “I do” After receiving the final response, the pastor motioned for the ring bearer to step forward, as Damien carefully picked up the silver band holding out his hand for Kaylina’s, “With this ring, I thee wed” he spoke before sliding the band onto her finger. In suit Kaylina picked up the two bronze rings, repeating the action between Damien and William, “With this ring, I thee wed”

“And now, by the power vested in me, I hereby pronounce you husbands and wife! You may kiss your bride”

Cheers erupted from the audience, before Kaylina could even react she felt two kisses placed quickly on her cheeks. A giggle fell from her lips as she gently grasped Damien’s face, placing a soft kiss on his lips before turning towards William planting a kiss on his.

As she broke away a bright smile took hold of her features, smiling and laughing happily alongside her newly appointed husbands. Bright eyes turned to gaze at the beautiful, silver wedding band resting on her finger. The sounds from the crowds, the boisterous laughter coming from her husband, all the noise that surrounded her started to fade away, the color draining from the world around her as reality started to fade. Lifeless eyes slowly lifted from the ring, still resting on her hand. The colors had been sapped from the world, nothing but the dark, inky expanses of the void laid before her. She felt tears burn at the corners of her eyes, threatening to spill. Her knees hit the ground, long auburn locks fanning out around her, she could still hear the echoes of William’s laughter floating on the stillness as the distant memory faded away into oblivion.

“Another dream?” A cold, calculating voice ripped through the silence. Dark. A sullen smile found its way onto Specter’s features, hollow eyes staring blankly, as her fingertips lightly trailed over the surface of her wedding ring, following the curves and swirls of the design, “A memory” she corrected. Her body shook as she tried to repress the tears that threatened to fall, she didn’t want to break down in front of Dark. He always spoke about how letting your emotions control you made you weak. Unbeknownst to Specter, a single tear made its way down Dark’s cheek, watching the broken shell of his wife struggle to hold herself together.

Chapter Text

Holidays weren’t a common practice in the realm of eldritch horrors and reality warping abominations, it wasn’t natural for most beasts to show kindness or even be interested in the humanly festivities. But Sketchy’s time with their human companions had warped and shaped their views on a lot of things. Natalie was the first one to introduce them to the concept of Christmas, how Humans bought each other presents and made big feasts to celebrate a holiday celebrating the birth of a being some cultures considered a god.

Many traditions were explained to the proxy, some personal traditions that had only been celebrated by Natalie and her family, some worldwide traditions that a large number of families in the world attempted, each one intrigued Sketchy in one way or another, and as the days grew shorter and the temperatures grew colder, the intrigue planted in Sketchy’s very soul bloomed into excitement, and soon enough old boxes of decorations, ornaments, and everything in between were scattered about the limited space of the apartment the three resided in for the time being.

The light lull of christmas music echoed through the rooms, as the eldritch being padded in and out of rooms, pausing in the doorway of the kitchen as their eyes landed on the human they had been looking for. Caught was hunched over the kitchen table, papers scattered across the surface, head resting in his hands. If it wasn’t for the rhythmic rise and fall of his shoulders as he breathed one would assume they were looking at a statue. Without even a second’s hesitation, Sketchy teleported behind the man, hands resting on his shoulders as they leaned over his frame attempting to get a good look at what he was working on.

A small groan resonated from the human as he shifted slightly to accompany the added weight against his back, “Sketchy, I’m busy”

“I just thought you could use a well needed distraction” The proxy cooed, the familiar cheshire catlike smile spreading across their face, “Looking up every once and awhile wouldn’t hurt”

“Dee-Dee I’m in the middle of something”

“Yes, yes I’m very aware, but I’m sure what you’re looking for is right in front of your eyes”

A scoff escaped Caught’s lips, and Sketchy could just see him roll his eyes at the statement, “I’ve been looking at these papers all day, if there was some hidden code I would have seen it by now” a snicker followed his words as the Proxy shifted their weight, peering over his shoulder now, head tilted at a bizarre angle, “Maybe you’ve been looking at it for too long, your eyes might need a break.”

“I might be able to get this done if you and Natalie weren’t blaring Christmas music throughout the apartment” Caught’s tone was starting to get irritated, and Sketchy felt him go rigged underneath their touch

“Dammit Caught just look up! Exactly how much more hinting do I have to do?”

“What are you talking about?” at this point Caught’s dark eyes pulled away from the scattered papers, gaze finally turning to face the eldritch being before coming face to face with a green bundle of leaves with white little berries mixed in. Mistletoe.

Dammit Natalie!

In an instant the Proxy vanished, and Caught felt a heavy weight settle in his lap, arms lazily draping around his neck as Sketchy appeared casually lounging comfortably in his lap. “You know I’m not going to kiss you with the mask on dumbass” his voice shifted into a playful coo, as he leaned forward resting his head against the mask clad Proxy. “Rules are rules my dear Caught” and in an instant the gap between them was closed as Sketchy pressed their lips against Caught’s.

“Take a break, come decorate the house with Natalie and I” they mumbled between kisses, a groan resonated against Sketchy’s mouth as Caught briefly pulled away from the kiss, only to receive the familiar puppy dog eyes and pout from his significant other.

“Fine… but we are turning off that damn christmas music!”