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"What the hell...?"

You pulled out the object in the box and examined it with pure bewilderment. Twisted scraps of metal and shards of glass shined with an orange glow from the lanterns around you, reflecting the light directly into your eyes, making it all the more difficult to identify you newfound present. Circuits, wires, and gears littered every possible side, save for a perfectly flat side - most likely a base - and you had to wonder if they actually served any purpose or were simply there for decoration. It was hard to determine, since it was basically just an array of bits randomly embedded into a small dome of metal.

“So it’s either a random invention,” you mumbled to yourself, “Or it’s modern art…”

Either way, it was something you probably had no use for, but it would certainly make for a nice paperweight if nothing else. Carefully placing your new present back in it’s surprisingly well-wrapped box and scanned your eyes around the tavern. With the party nearing its imminent end, people had already donned on their winter wardrobe and hovered around the pair of doors. However, no one actually stepped outside and everyone was still happily conversing and laughing with each other. Would it be rude to make an abrupt exit now that you’d given and received a gift? Probably, but you didn’t feel like putting up with any more nonsense and needed a good night’s rest.

So, with present snugly tucked under your arm, you made your way through the crowd, down to the cellar, and retrieved your jacket. With mostly everyone already wearing their jackets and whatnot, there were only a few coats hung on the nearby shelves and kegs, making it easy to spot your jacket resting on a nearby hook, quickly wrestle the layer back on, and head up the cellar stairs, just in time to see Parvis and Strife heading out the door.

“Merry Christmas,” the former of the two smiled to you as he followed behind Strife, who just gave a curt nod of acknowledgement. You simply mirrored Strife’s actions and nodded back.

All in all, it wasn’t the most possible worst way to spend your Christmas, but it most definitely wasn’t the best. How anyone could tolerate obnoxious crowds and a smothering pub was beyond your comprehension. You continued to ponder and complain to yourself as you followed behind Ridgedog and stepped outside.

So, naturally, you were caught off guard when you felt someone tap your shoulder.

While you managed to suppress a startled yelp, you obviously flinched before quickly turning on your heel and seeing a familiar spaceman standing in front of you.

“Are you leaving already?” he asked, giving you a smile.

“Yeah,” you shrugged, “It’s late, I’ve got my present, and it’s a bit of a trek to get back home,”

“Oh, you’re base is far from here?”

“Not really,” you explained, “But it’s more difficult with the snow,”

“Well, if you want,” Lewis looked back to his small group of friends lounging about at a nearby table, before facing you once more, “You could always stay at the farm, for the night - that is. There’s food, water, a place to sleep, and it’s perfectly secure,”

The more you studied him, the more obvious it was that Lewis was… leading you into something. His smile was just a bit too eager, and he kept glancing to the table to the left of him. You looked to the table of guests and tried to see what he kept looking at.

“What’s the catch,” you finally asked, not wanting to waste any more time than you had already.

Lewis gave an obviously nervous laugh as he stretched the back of his head, “Um… It’s Duncan. You see, he might have had a bit too much to drink, an-”


“What?” you would’ve been lying if you hadn’t felt a small twinge of satisfaction when Lewis’ originally nervous expression turn into shock, “What do you mean “no”?”

“I’ve seen what he’s like when he’s drunk, and I don’t want to be stuck babysitting him,” you snapped, “I’ve had a pretty lukewarm night and I don’t think dealing with “Drunkan” is going to fix that any time soon,”

“C’mon! He’s too drunk to get home, even with someone else’s help, and I’ve got to take care of Simon. All you have to do is keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn’t hurt himself,”

“I’ve got a feeling hurting himself is going to be the least of his problems…”

“Please?” he begged, “I promise I’ll make it up to you however I can,”

You were well aware of the damage Duncan was capable of inflicting when he was sober; you shuddered to imagine what kind of chaos he could cause when he was drunk and void of what little judgement he had left. However, at another glance at the small crowd at their delegated table, you spotted said mad scientist leaning back on the sofa, his trademark goggles askew on his forehead -one lens covering his right eye and the other resting on his bangs - and his jacket lying on the floor at his feet. Though you couldn’t tell due to the distance, you had a feeling he was either asleep or on the verge of passing out. Perhaps, by some cosmic fate, he wouldn’t be as much of a burden as you feared? As you drummed your fingers against the cardboard box holding your present, a glance back to Lewis showed a pair of pleading eyes and hopeful smile.

You sighed, “Just this once, and you owe me!”

“Oh, thank you!” Lewis said, trapping you in a quick hug, forcing the box in your hands to press painfully hard against your stomach, before letting you go and practically dragging you over to the table. Once there, he carefully leaned over to Simon, who was also leaning back with his metal helmet covering his head.

“Simon,” the spaceman began, placing a hand on his friend’s shoulder and gently shaking him back and forth, “C’mon, wake up,”

An irritated grumble was partially muffled by the helmet that Simon eventually lifted from his face.

“Whu… What time is it?”

“It’s almost midnight,” Lewis replied with an amused smile, “C’mon, we’ve got to get back home…,”

“Alright, alright,” He groaned, slowly sitting up in the chair with Lewis’ assistance, “Ugh… I’m so fucking drunk right now,”

“I’m sure you are,” Lewis smiled, slowly helping him out of the chair and across the room. You watched as he helped the stumbling, bumbling Dwarf make it eventually to the entrance of the tavern, at which point the taller of the two looked back to you with a nervous smile.

“Thanks again, for looking after Duncan,” he said. You rolled your eyes, but there was the slightest hint of a smirk curling the corners of your mouth.

“Just get Simon home safely,” you snapped.

Without any more delay, Lewis and Simon slowly stumbled out of the building, leaving you with a still comatose Duncan lying beside you.

Instantly you considered the possibility of simply walking away and leaving Duncan in his drunken stupor, but if he were to wake up still intoxicated… well… the enormous flying demon in the glass cadge behind you was forewarning enough. So, with a heavy sigh, you carefully leaned forward.

After a moment to examine the damage, it was clear that your half-hearted attempt to keep Duncan even the slightest bit sober were - much like the man, himself - wasted. While a set of disheveled blond bangs covered the majority of his face, you could still see that his cheeks and forehead were a bright pink and the beginning of dark rings encircled his half-lidded eyes as they aimlessly glanced around the room.

“Hey, Duncan? Can you hear me?” you grabbed him by the shoulder and shook him back and forth - far less gently than Lewis did with Simon - and watched as he slowly began to respond. A tired mix between a grumble and moan crawled out of his throat as he rubbed his eyes and sat upright.

“Hmn… What?” he looked around the room, partially bloodshot eyes scanning the tavern before settling on you, “Is the party over? Where is everyone?”

“The party ended a little while ago; everybody’s left,”

“Well… what about you?”

“Lewis wanted me to stay back and take care of you,” you answered with a sigh, “I’m supposed to take you to the farm house keep an eye on you while you sober up,”

He scoffed.

“I can take care of myself just fine,” he said, standing up and out of his seat. Of course, he stumbled and flopped back onto the sofa with a soft giggle.

He’s just drunk, you thought to yourself as you placed your present on the table.

“Sure you can,” you mumbled, quickly taking Duncan’s hand and slung his arm over your shoulders. With a quick (and somewhat painless) pull, you managed to bring the drunken technomancer to his uncoordinated feet.

“Will you at least let me help you get to the farm house?”

With a weak noise of disagreement from Duncan, you grabbed your present in your free hand and the two of you slowly shuffled out of the tavern and into the snowy night.

The farm house wasn’t far from the tavern - not even in the slightest - and the gravel pathway leading to it had been mostly cleared of the snow and ice, but that didn’t stop the short trek from being an enormous hassle.

“We’re going to that building over there, right?” asked Duncan, who was pretty much resting his head on your shoulder, as he pointed to the rooftops lying just beyond the now barren vineyards and apiaries.

“Right,” you answered.

“Alright then,” Duncan said, abruptly straightening his posture and removing his arm from your shoulders.

“What do you think you’re doing?” you asked as the blond-haired man beside you took two drunken steps forward.

“I can get there on my own just fine,” he said with a smirk, just as he set foot on a small patch of ice. Unsurprisingly, he instantly slipped and lost his balance, and he would’ve fallen back and hit with the ground if you hadn’t been there to cushion his fall. You reached out with your free hand to steady the both of you - you were still holding onto your present with your left hand - but Duncan still somehow managed to collide the back of his head with your face.

Once the faint ringing in your ears died down, you looked back to Duncan who simply gave a nervous smile. With an irritated sigh, you grabbed Duncan’s hand and continued to the farm house.

“Remember, he’s drunk,” you grumbled.

Thankfully, you got to the farm house without any more interruptions, and you were more than happy to practically drag Duncan up the stairs and toss him onto one of the beds.

“Alright,” you sighed to yourself, “I just have to last the night, and then someone will come by in the morning and keep watch over him if he hasn’t sobered up by then,”

With another sigh, you ran a hand through you hair and looked up at Duncan. He’d fallen asleep the moment he hit the mattress, but it looks like it he was breathing perfectly fine and he wasn’t going to vomit - you hoped. To a complete stranger, he probably looked as innocent as a sleeping child. It wasn’t a a terrible comparison.

“He really is like a little kid sometimes,” you laughed to yourself, “Always causing chaos and grief for others, but he never goes out of his way to hurt people,”

You continued to silently think to yourself, occasionally directing your attention to Duncan, when you finally realized something. While the bottom floor of the house was heated with furnace, the top floor was completely exposed to the elements with enormous holes in the walls rather than closable windows.

“Jesus Christ,” you muttered, noticing just the faintest traces of steam leave your breath, “This place is freezing…”

You quickly rose to your feet and headed downstairs. Surely Sjin or Lewis had some spare blankets or something to board up the ‘windows’. All of the chests you found were void of anything you could use to stop the cool from coming in, but you were able to find a few spare blankets in one of the kitchen cabinets.

“I guess this’ll do,” you sighed, taking the wool blankets and closing the door.

You turned on your heel, and nearly screamed when you saw Duncan standing at the bottom of the stairs.

“Duncan! What’re you doing up? I thought you were sleeping?”

“Thirsty,” he answered, rubbing his eyes. With his wrinkled clothes and ruffled hair, he really did remind you of a child.

“Oh,” you sighed, “I’ll get you a glass. You should probably stay down here anyways; I can start a fire in the furnace,”

“Alright,” Duncan mumbled, dragging out one of the chairs from the kitchen table and unceremoniously dropped himself into the seat. He watched with tired eyes as you placed the blankets beside him before opening another set of cabinets and grabbing a glass.

“Here,” you said, placing the glass right in front of him before turning your attention to the wall of furnaces right next to the table. “How are you feeling?”

“Hungry, tired, and thirsty,” he answered, taking the glass.

“Well you probably shouldn’t be eating anything right now,” you answered, grabbing a few logs resting by the wall, “You’re still pretty drunk,”

Eventually you succeeded in getting a fire started in the very center furnace, and soon enough you could feel the faintest traces of heat make its way into the room. With a few more logs placed around the fire, you turned your attention back to Duncan, who was still sitting in his chair, but this time examining a familiar box.

“Oh,” you smiled as he toyed with the bow, “That’s the present I picked out. What happened to your present anyway?”

“Um… I think I left it in the tavern,” he answered, “I’ll get it in the morning,”

“Okay then,” you said, taking the seat across from him and grabbing your present. You opened the box and place your still unknown present in the middle of the table for him to poke and prod at, but you were surprise when he just stared at it with a lazy smile.

“Do you know what it is?” you asked.

“Of course I do,” he smiled.

“After all, I made it,”

Curious, you watched as he carefully took the object, studying the various parts and sides before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a small wind-up key. Was it a wind up toy? A little old-fashioned for a Christmas present. You wanted to ask Duncan where he got a wind-up toy - or maybe he made it - but decided it was probably best to just let him work. Eventually he placed the object back down, but instead of any movement, you could just barely hear the faintest traces of music.

“You made a music box?” you asked.

“Kind of,” he shrugged, “Just watch, okay?”

You wanted to argue, but the smile on Duncan’s face forced you to at least give him a chance. So, you looked at the strange lump resting in front of you.

Lights illuminated, sheets unraveled, and cogs began to turn. Curious and confused, you continued to stare at the music box in front of you, and watched in amazement as it slowly came to life. Metal and glass limbs unfurled themselves from the base and stretched up to the sky, growing and thinning until they roughly the width of a thread. Soon, what was once a crude mass of metal had transformed into a small robot in the shape of a person, moving- no, dancing along the table’s surface. The movements were jerky and brief, but the figure itself still held a sense of grace.

You looked up to Duncan, his face glowing from the fire in the furnace, and gave you a smile. It was… enchanting. The melody of the music box, the snow falling outside, the glow and crackle of the fires - it all seemed to add a certain magic to the air. The same nostalgic kind of magic you got from childhood fairy-tales and shaking snow globes. When the song finally ended the dancing figure bowed and slowly reverted back into its original shape.

“Wow…” was all you could say.

Duncan laughed at your dumbstruck expression before placing the key on the table in front of you.

“There was supposed to be a spare wind-up key in the box, but I guess I accidentally forgot about it,”

“It’s amazing,” you laughed. Curiously, you grabbed the robot and examined it once more. This time, you noticed the cuts, the joints, all of the pieces you’d originally assumed as random which were now all aligned in their proper place. You quickly grabbed the key and placed both belongings back in the box for safekeeping.

You looked back up at Duncan, who still had a grin on his face, and smiled, “Do you think you’ll be able to fall asleep without getting sick,”

“I think so,” he answered.

“Alright then,” you smiled, grabbing the extra blankets and your present. You lead in front of Duncan, up the stairs and to the beds, where you abruptly tossed a blanket onto each bed. You were just about to crawl into bed when you noticed the gaping holes in the walls again and sighed.

“Hang on,” you said, “I’ll be right back,”

Duncan instantly pushed himself onto his elbows as you began to walk away.

“What…?” he asked.

“I need to find something to cover these damn windows,” you sighed, “Honestly, what kind of architect makes a house without any glass windows,”

“Do you have to?” he asked. You failed to notice the growing anxiousness in his voice.

“It’s getting pretty windy out there, and the blankets won’t be enough. Don’t worry, though, I’ll be right back,”

You’d just begun to walk away from the beds, and from Duncan, when you felt a hand grab onto the back of your jacket.

“Wait,” he mumbled, tugging at the fabric.

“Um… What’re you doing?”

“Don’t leave,” he pulled at your coat once again, forcing you to take a few steps back.

“I’ll only be gone for a few minutes,” you said trying to pull your coat out of his grasp.

“So you’re just gonna leave me? Just like everyone else?”

You paused.

“You’re just going to leave like Kim, and Lewis, and Sjin, aren’t you?” he continued, “Don’t leave me all by myself…”

Dammit. He’s still drunk.

“Well then what should I do?” you scoffed, “Because if I don’t so something, we’ll freeze overnight,”

Duncan paused, giving you the perfect opportunity to free your jacket from his grip, and furrow his brow together in thought. You expected him to grumble something and let you go off, so imagine your surprise when he rose to his feet and  made his way to the other side of his bed.

You sighed, “What’re you doing now?”

Duncan just gave you a smug grin as he grabbed the bed and began pushing it. You quickly stepped back and out of the way of the oncoming furniture, and watched as he pushed the two beds right next to each other. He gave you a proud smile as he crawled back into bed and quickly threw the sheets over both mattresses. Meanwhile, all you could do was stand there, dumbstruck and slightly red in the face.

“Oh no!” you laughed, “There is no way I’m sleeping in the same bed with you,”

“Why not?” he laughed.

“Because it’s stupid,” you answered, though you still had a smile on.

“No it’s not!” he said, “Look, we can keep each other warm, you don’t have to go around and cover up the windows, and finally get some sleep. C’mon, please?”

You wanted to scream objections, but by now it was probably two in the morning, pitch black and snowing outside, and you still had to keep an eye on Duncan, who was looking up at you with pleading eyes. With a sigh, you simply repeated the same mantra you’d been repeating all night and made your way to the bed.

“I hope you understand,” you sighed, taking off your coat and shoes, and getting under the covers right beside Duncan, “I’m only doing this because you’re drunk and I have to keep an eye on you,”

He laughed and you turned to see his drunken smile.

“Ya know, you’re a lot nicer than everybody thinks you are,”

“Of course I am,” you sighed with a smirk.

“No, really,” he said, both of you unaware that he was inching closer, “Everybody think’s you’re this cold and nasty businesswoman, but in reality you’re really nice. You’ve taken care of me all night, even though you didn’t have to; that has to mean something,”

“Lewis was begging me,”

“You still could’ve said no,”

“You’re just drunk,” you scoffed with a laugh, turning your back to him.

When you heard the sound of fabric rustling, you’d assumed Duncan was just making himself more comfortable, so of course you nearly screamed when you felt his arms wrap around your waist and his chest flush against your back. He rested his head on your shoulder, and you could feel your heartbeat increase.

“What if I told you I’m not nearly as drunk as you think I am?” he suggested, his breath tickling the shell of your ear. You honestly thought that your pulse was going to rupture an artery or that your stomach was going to snap in two, but you still tried your hardest to sound as cool and unfazed as possible.

“I wouldn’t believe you,” you answered.

You could actually feel Duncan when he laughed, and a part of you wanted to instantly jump out of bed.

“Good-night,” he answered.

When you woke up that morning, the first thing you realized was that you definitely  were not sleeping in the same position as you were during the night. Instead of sleeping with Duncan resting behind you, you seemed to have turned over in your sleep and were now facing said scientist and curled up against him, with his arms still wrapped around your waist. He was still asleep, of course - and therefore unaware of your reddening face - and had a serene look on his face as he quietly breathed in and out. You smirked when you saw that his goggles - while once again askew - were still resting on his head.

“Duncan,” you called out, much more softly than last time, “Time to wake up,”

You watched with a smile as he slowly stirred awake, before he finally opened his eyes and gave you a smile.

“Hungover?” you asked.

“Not really,” he laughed, “Like I said, I didn’t have a lot to drink,”

“Does that mean you could’ve taken care of yourself last night?”

“Probably,” he shrugged, “But it was good to have some nice company,”

You smiled, “So, I guess this means you have to get back home now?”

“I guess, but I wouldn’t mind spending the rest of the day here, with you,”

You couldn’t help but smile at the half-compliment. You were just about to get out of bed when you heard the sound of a creaking floorboard, followed by,


You both instantly looked up from each other, and were shocked to see Lewis and Kim standing at the top of the stairs, eyes wide and faces bright red.

“Sorry!” he shouted, trying to avoid any eye-contact whatsoever, “OhGodI’msosorry! I didn’t mean to walk in on you two; I’ll just leave now!”

“‘Leave now’? What’re you guys talking about…” you muttered, just seconds before realization struck you in the head.

“T-This isn’t what it looks like at all!” you shouted, throwing the covers off your body and grabbing your shoes.

“Nonono!” the Kim screamed as they nervously headed down the stairs, “I don’t need to see that!”

“Guys!” you called back, “W-We weren’t doing anything! We literally just woke up!”

You quickly chased after them, down the stairs and to the kitchen, but by the time you’d gotten to the front door, Lewis was nowhere in sight and Kim was already flying off into the distance. As the latter of the two vanished into the horizon, you sighed and hung your head in dismay.

“Well that was… a thing,” you sighed, listening as Duncan’s footsteps made their way to the kitchen.

“Look on the bright side,” he laughed as he placed a hand on your shoulder.

“What bright side?” you asked.

He smiled and took your hand in his, “We have the entire house all to ourselves, and no one to bother us,”

You smiled at the thought.

“So,” he began, “What do you want to do first?”

You smirked and quickly leaned in and kissed the bridge of his nose.

“I think I’m going to close these windows and make us some coffee,”

Duncan x Reader - It's All Subjective
First off, I'd like to apologize for procrastinating for so long. I realize that a lot of you wanted me to write the Duncan x Reader chatper sooner, but I still put it off for so long. On the bright side, this chapter is roughly 4,000 words long, so you have that to enjoy. Other than that, there's really not a lot t osay about this one. I haven't really written any Duncan x Reader before (though I am working on some Lalnable x Reader drabble at the moment). Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy this chapter, please tell me which character you want me to write up next, and I hope to post a new chapter soon. I'll probably try to stick to a once-a-month scheduel.


Prologue: Yogscast x Reader - A White 'Elephant' Christmas
Xephos x Reader - Sweet Anticpation: Xephos x Reader - Sweet Anticipation

“What is blood magic?”


You recall asking Parvis that question a few weeks ago while the two of you were exploring a castle, and you still remember his reaction: widening eyes accompanied by a massive grin. He spent the next few hours rambling about blood orbs, altars, Runes of Sacrifice, and several other objects you didn't even know existed. And then somewhere along the line, Parv offered to teach you everything he knew about blood magic.


In all honesty, you were more than a little reluctant to learn more about said magic, you never were one for fighting (or bloodletting), but when he began to talk about unlimited powers and ultimate tools, you could see a gleam in his eyes as bright as his smile, a light of hopeful enthusiasm you could only recall seeing only a few other times - when he first discovered what was now his current base, when his new guitar finally arrived in the mail, and when . Despite all of the little voices telling you to simply say 'No', you couldn't do it - not to Parv. Whenever he made those eyes, you melted; saying 'No' to him was the equivalent of kicking a puppy. The worst part of all of this, was the fact that Parv knew you incapable of denying him as long as he made those eyes.


So here you were, standing beside Parvis in front of a blood altar, in a makeshift altar in your basement, holding a sacrificial knife in one hand while holding out the opposite arm over the stone. Parv was currently explaining the amount of blood needed to power the altar, what it could be used for, and other ways you could collect blood, but you weren't really paying any attention. You were too focused on the blade resting right above your veins. 


"...and then you simply cut yourself and bleed into the altar," he finished, giving a casual shrug as if the two of you were talking about something as trivial and everyday as the weather.


You stared down at the metal glinting in the light, before looking back to Parv.


"Are you sure this is a good idea?" you asked, moving the knife away from your arm and subtly as possible.


"Don't worry," he smiled reassuringly as he slapped your on the shoulder, which only caused you to flinch and toss him a glare, "Here, I'll even go first for you,"


He quickly took the knife out of your terrified grasp and held his other arm above the altar, right beside yours. He didn't even wince as he dragged the knife across his arm, little dots of red seeping out of the wound until a thin line had formed, growing bigger and bigger until drops rolled off his skin in a glossy trail and hit the stone. Drop after drop of blood fell into the altar, the sound of plasma hitting stone growing loud with each passing second, until a small pool had collected in the divot of the altar. It swirled and stirred about, slowly turning into a bright pink liquid - too bright to be pure blood. You recall Parv mentioning something called 'Life Essence' at one point or another.


You turned to Parv and took in the features. His expression could only be described as bliss, with calm and half-lidded eyes and a euphoric smile just wide enough for you to see a set of surprisingly white teeth. You carefully brought a hand up to his and let him practically drop the blade into your hands, the metal feeling heavier than before, as calloused and cold fingers brushed against yours. He turned to you with a devilish smile.


"Now you try," his voice sounded so much softer than before, as if he was forcing the words out with his breath.


You looked down the surprisingly clean blade and saw your reflection, slightly distorted but clear enough to see the uneasiness in your eyes.


"It'll only hurt for a second," Parv added, "Just a quick pinch, and then you'll feel really good,"


He was probably right - god knows he's cut himself enough times to know - but it didn't make you feel any better about slicing your skin open. Your mind was screaming for you to just throw the knife away, clean your hands of the entire mess, and get some bandages for Parv. As persistent as he was, he was still an understanding guy and would be perfectly fine with you stopping blood magic. The two of you could still go on adventures, fight monsters, and cause grief for others without needing blood magic. Yet still, a small portion of your brain was begging you to simply make the cut. It was the same part of you that would find you at Parv's side whenever he called your name, or happily explained every single detail whenever he asked you even the most useless question. It was the part of you that kept humming the songs he played on his guitar and loved the way his names rolled off your tongue.


You didn't even notice that you had been staring at the knife until you felt a hand gently shake your shoulder. When you looked up, you saw Parv giving you a confused and somewhat concerned look as he asked, "Is everything alright?"


You weren't stupid; you could come up with ten different way to save face without sinking a blade in your arm, and in each one, Parv would be perfectly content with whatever you told him, but at that moment all words ran dry. Eventually you swallowed the silence in your throat and gave him a smile.


"I'm fine, it's just nerves" you told him.


He gave you a skeptical glance before quickly moving to the opposite side of the altar and, before you could object, taking your hand - the one that wasn't holding the knife. He brought it right over the divot and wrapped his fingers around your wrist with a surprising amount of care.


"Don't worry, you'll be fine," he gave you a reassuring smile, but it was those damned eyes that made your heart lurch.


"Alright then," you sighed.


You wrapped your fingers around Parv's wrist snuggly and tightly gripped the knife in your other hand. As the blade slowly drew closer to your wrist, your grip on Parv tightened, but it didn't seem to bother him - if it did, he didn't make any objections. You winced as you let the knife slide across your wrist. You hissed at the initial sting of the blade, but after that was a terrified shiver. Your stomach tightened at the feeling of cold metal and it took every ounce of willpower to keep your eyes open. An eternity passed when the knife finally left your skin, and you instantly felt your grip on the knife vanish. The metal hit the floor beside you with a sharp clang, and you slowly let your hand slip out of Parv's, his thumbs smearing against the blood that began to drip out.


"How're you feeling?" he asked, circling around the altar until he was by your side again.


"I've been better, and I've been worse," you answered, your voice seemed barely loud enough for you to hear.


"Well on the bright side," Parv said, "The first tier Blood Orb doesn't require too much blood. You stay here, and I'll get a diamond,"


"Alright," you weakly nodded your head, eyes still transfixed on the blood traveling down your arm and into the bright pink pool below.


You were vaguely aware of Parv leaving your side to head upstairs - where you stored all of your various resources and equipment. His footsteps echoed against the hard stone, bouncing off of the walls surrounding you, growing duller and softer with each passing second. You hardly even noticed when Parvis had left the room.


You kept your gaze fixed on the liquid gathered in the altar - watching as each drop of blood fell into the pool, creating a dark red swirl which was quickly consumed by pink. The fluid level slowly rose, crawling up the walls of the altar's divot, until it was approximately a quarter full. Surely that was enough essence for whatever Parv had planned, and you could finally stop the bleeding. Wash and dress your cut, get some food and water, and hope that the next lesson Parv had planned didn't involve any more bodily mutilation.


Certain that the altar had enough essence, you quickly covered up your wrist - shuddering at the sudden coldness in your skin, before you quickly stepped away from the altar. Almost instantly a wave of nausea crashed down on you and you felt your legs began to give out; you weren't sure if it was from standing and staring at the altar for so long, from bleeding so much, or a combination of both. Your head began spinning and a high-pitched ringing tore through your ears, but you fought against the disorientation long enough for you to reach a chest pushed up against a nearby wall. You leaned against the wood lined with metal, closing your eyes in an attempt to rid yourself of the dizziness. The floor beneath you rocked up and down for a while until you finally had enough balance to open the chest and grab a small stack of gauze and a roll of bandages.


With the cut running along the outside of your hand, it was awkward to cover the wound, knowing that the cotton would probably slip out when you had to move your fingers or wrist, but you eventually managed to cover the cut, thought it also involved covering most of your lower hand a some of your forearm.


"Alright!" you heard a familiar voice call out as a pair of feet began climbing down the stairs, "I've got the diamond! Time to make a blood orb!"


He quickly hopped down the stairs and the two of you rejoined at the altar. He instantly noticed the bandages wrapped around you hand and you saw his smile falter just a little.


"How're you feeling?" he asked.


"Better," you shrugged, "But I'm going to need something to eat and drink later,"


"Well, we're almost done," he smiled, taking a diamond from his pocket, "There's just one more thing left to do,"


He placed the diamond in the pool of essence, and you watched as it floated about in the altar, little wisps of red smoke rising from the altar with a faint smell of iron. It was only a moment later when you finally noticed that the essence in the altar was being absorbed into the diamond. Strangely enough, the diamond didn't seem to change in appearance at all. You arched your brow in confusion as it bobbed up and down in the altar.


Finally, the altar released a large cloud of red vapor, filling the room with the familiar stench of blood. You coughed and waved away the cloud, watching the colour dissipate, and saw a strange dark red sphere, no bigger than your closed fist, lying in the middle of the altar - which only had a small puddle of essence leftover.


"Is that it?" you asked, and Parv nodded his heat enthusiastically.


"That's it," he answered, "All you have to do now is take it and it'll bind itself to you,"


"What do you mean it'll bind to me?" you could already feel your fears begin to come crawling back.


"It's just a fancy way of saying that it'll become your personal Blood Orb, and no one else can use it. Go on, take it!"


Parv gave you an eager nudge forward and you nervously stumbled closer to the altar, nearly jamming the edges into your stomach. It seemed simple enough, take the orb and it'll do the rest of the work. You sighed and outstretched your hand.


The moment your fingers brushed against the surface of the orb, a pain shot through your hand. It didn't really hurt - especially when compared to cutting into your own wrist, but after that came a horrible ache in the middle of your chest, as if a pair of ice cold hands wrapped themselves around your heart, slowly crushing in it an attempt to stop the rapid beating. You felt the tips of your fingers go numb as floor underneath you began to sway, and by the time you looked down to see your heavily-bleeding hand, your legs had already collapsed and you felt yourself falling. You hit the ground with a thud, wincing as your body collided with the cushion-less stone. Before you could register what was happening, you felt a pair of hands grab onto your shoulders and pull you into a sitting position. You struggled to lift your head up, but you were eventually able to look up and see Parv right beside you, his face constantly fading in and out of focus.


You could see his mouth moving, but all you could hear was the panicked sound of his voice. You weakly raised your injured hand and showed him the blood-soaked cotton, hoping that he'd know what to do. His eyes widened in shock before he slowly moved away from you. Panic filled your mind as he rested you against the altar before backing away, only faster this time. Once he was far enough away, he turned around and went into a full-sprint, climbing up the stairs and out of sight, leaving you terrified and alone.


He’d left you.


Parvis was a lot of things to you, but never in the span of your friendship had you ever even remotely considered the possibility that he’d turn his back on you. You, who would run to his aid whenever he needed help; you, who would happily spend an entire day mindlessly digging underground alongside him just to share some meaningless banter; you, who, much to your inner turmoil, found him surprisingly charming, kind-hearted, talented, and any other random compliment you could think of. But the look of fear in his eyes - that and how quickly he’d fled the basement - was enough to convince you otherwise. You’d been abandoned.


A million thoughts and feelings battered themselves against you and the urge to curl up into a ball and give up was overwhelming, but you refused to close your eyes. Urged on by fear and frustration, you pushed yourself away from the altar behind you, wincing as more pain flared from your chest. Your legs had gone completely numb, so you had to resort to crawling and occasionally digging your hand into the floor and pulling your body forward. The burning pain slowly eased from your body as you edged farther and farther away from the altar, though the sting in your wrist remained.


You had managed to reach the base of the stairs when your body finally began to shut down. With arms too weak too pull and head too heavy to lift, you let yourself crumple to the floor. The pain had finally subsided, but you couldn't feel your hands or legs anymore; you thought that blood had made its way into your mouth. Feeling exhausted and abandoned, you let your eyes finally close.


As you felt sleep overtake you, you began to wonder what kind of afterlife waited for you. Would you be forced to spend the rest of your life wandering as a spirit? Maybe you’d be trapped in some sort of limbo. You probably weren’t going to be allowed into heaven given the fact that you were just performing blood magic, but maybe there was a chance.


The next time you opened your eyes, you saw a strange array of different machines, some of which you could recognize and some you couldn't. Either the afterlife was more technological than you once thought, or you had somehow managed to survive. Either option was equally impossible. However, the moment you turned your head, you realized that you had indeed survived. You were quick to recognize the room you were in as the sleeping barracks of Parv’s base - which seemed to have been turned into a makeshift infirmary - and sitting on a stool next you, fast asleep, was Parvis himself.


You carefully pushed yourself up into a sitting position, and glanced down at your injured wrist. The blood that once decorated your skin like a winding tattoo was cleaned away and pristine cotton covered your wound along with fresh bandages. You turned your head back to Parv and were quick to notice a small pile of bloody rags and cotton discarded in a nearby bin.


Even if Parv had been awake, you still wouldn’t have known what to say.


"Parv," you called out, unable to reach out and actually shake him.


He didn't wake from his sleep and only stirred for a moment when you tried again.


With an irritated sigh, you grabbed the pillow from your bed and chucked it at Parv as hard as you could. It hit him in the side of his face and he jolted awake just as he began to slide off the stool. It would’ve been lying to say you hadn’t felt just the tiniest amount of satisfaction from watching him startle and hit the floor.


"Five more minutes, Mom!" he whined without even thinking. You couldn't help but laugh as his half-asleep expression.


"You've got to wake up, Parvis" you called back, "Or else you're going to miss the bus again,"


It didn't take long for him to recognize your voice, and within seconds he was quick to his feet and rubbing the sleep from his eyes.


"Oh, God, you're alright!"


Before you could say anything, he was sitting beside you with his arms wrapped around you.


“Parv, wha-“


“I’m sorry! I’m so sorry! I’m so glad you’re alright, though…”


He continued to babble a string of apologies too incoherent for you to understand - partially because you were still having a hard some comprehending your current situation, and also because of Parv’s hyperactive rambling. Only then, did you realize just how tightly he was holding onto you - as if he was afraid that you’d fall apart the moment he let go of you. was he really that concerned for you? Then why did he run away?


“Parv,” you began, carefully removing his arms from you, “What exactly happened back there?”


Parv instantly paled before giving you a nervous smile, which you returned with a skeptical glare, as he nervously rubbed the back of his head.


"Well... I kind of forgot to mention that the Blood Orb harms you when it binds to you, and I guess you’d already lost a lot of blood… so it started to kill you,"


You didn't say anything, letting the awkward silence hang in the air, while Parv merely smiled nervously, occasionally glancing out the window to the night sky. Finally he sighed and gave you a look mixed somewhere between guilt and defeat.


"I know that it's my fault you got hurt and I'm so sorry," he said solemnly, "I won't try and force you to learn Blood Magic if you don't want to, and I understand if you don't want to be around me anymore,"


During all of your adventures, perils, and arguments, you had never seen Parvis like this before. For all his faults, he was usually such so optimistic, even when discussing something as grim as blood magic, and seeing him so dejected made you grimace. You glanced down at your bandages again before looking back to Parv.


"One of the questions I've got is how I got here so quickly," you finally said, "I mean... I was pretty much dying when I blacked out. Did we teleport?”


He smiled softly, "I, um... I used this,"


You watched as he reached over to the floor and lifted something off the ground. A familiar blue and white machine. Your portal gun.


"I took the portal gun from your storage and put a portal down, then I teleported home and put down the second portal,"


"So that's where you went... For a moment, I thought you'd ran off and left me for dead,"


"Wow, how little faith you have in me," you couldn't help but smile as Parv gasped, feigning offense, "Well, the good news is that I was able to get you out of there before it was too late, so you can leave whenever you feel you’re well enough to,"


You watched his smile falter once again before you groaned and smacked Parv upside the head.


"Stop being so dense!" you scolded him, "I'm not just leaving; you've still got to teach me about Blood Magic,"


He stopped rubbing the spot where you hit him and looked at with shock in his eyes. "You mean you still want me to teach you?"


"Alex," you sighed, using his proper name as if it was a weapon, "You're not exactly 'Teacher of the Year'; of course we're going to get into a few scraps here and there, but you're also someone I care about, and, believe it or not, I actually enjoy being around you. You couldn't get rid of me, even if you tried. Besides, someone's got to make sure you don't kill yourself,"


You watched with pride as his face brightened tenfold; you expected that would cheer him up. What you didn't expect, however, was him suddenly leaning forward and press his lips against yours. A startled yelp escaped your throat and you could actually feel him mouth curve up into a smirk. He tasted faintly of metal - of course he did - but there was also a sweet tang mixed in. You had just closed your eyes when he pulled away from you, chuckling at you flustered face. Hearing him laugh caused you to quickly snap your eyes open and practically dive under the covers.


“Alright, I’ve had enough excitement for day" you shouted, “I need my rest now!"


"Oh, alright then," he sighed with a laugh, "I guess I’ll check up on you in the morning,"


You risked a quick peak from under the covers and saw him smiling down at you. He leaned forward and gave you a chaste kiss on the forehead before standing up and walking off, giving you one last smile before he left for good.


You spent the rest of the night wonder what awaited you in the world of blood magic.

Parv x Reader - Learning to Teach
So I wrote this a while ago... and I guess it was okay, but I thought it could be better, considering I really like the original idea. So, I decided to rewrite a few scenes, take some parts out, and now you've got a one-shot to keep you guys occupied until either:

1) I write the next Sjin x Reader chapter
2) Write the Duncan x Reader chapter of the Christmas story (I might do a thing where I write one chapter per month, just so I can keep myself on a scheduel)
3) The earth freezes over, then melts, floods, and overheats

I think the third option is the most likely.


“It’s nice to see you again,” he had a small smile as he spoke, “I see you were able to regroup with your friends. I’m glad,”

“Where’re Julian and Emily?” you asked, peeking over his shoulder and surprised to find his companions missing.

“They’re at GDC Play right now,” he explained, “I was just heading back to see them when I spotted you, and I thought it’d be nice to say hello. I’m not interrupting anything, am I?”

“Not at all,” you watched his curious expression change back into a relieved smile. Yes, “endearing” was certainly the best word you could find to describe Adrian.

“Who’re you talking to?”

You turned and saw that Kim, Mark, and Paul were all looking at you and Adrian - who was now beginning to turn a light pink.

“Oh,” you smiled, “This is Adrian. I kind of ran into him yesterday when I got lost,”

“Nice to meet you,” Adrian smiled as he extended his hand, only to have Kim grab and shake it.

“Nice to meet you, too,” she smiled, “I’m guessing that you know who we are,”

“Of course,” he had that starry-eyed expression a child would get when they first got to meet Santa Claus, “I’m a huge fan of the Yogscast; I’ve been watching for years now,”

“And which one would you say is your favourite?” Mark asked, “Of course, there are no wrong answers, but I am the CEO of the Yogscast, so…”

“Oh, please,” you laughed, “What’re you going to do, bribe him with Jaffa Cakes?”

“We’ve got more than enough,” he shrugged.

“Well,” Adrian paused and thought, “I really enjoy Hannah and Nilesy,”

“Alright, we’re leaving,”

You couldn’t help but laugh as Mark abruptly turned on his heel and began walking away.

“So where are you guys heading?” he asked.

“I don’t think we actually have a set destination,” you shrugged, “It seems like half of us want to go to the Choice Awards, and the other half wants to see the Independent Awards,”

“Why don’t you just split into a pair of groups?”

“It just seems like it wouldn’t be as fun,” Kim shrugged.

“Besides,” you smirked, “They’re afraid that I’ll get lost again, even thought it’s all in one room,”

“Let’s figure it all out when we actually get to the award shows,” Mark suggested, “It was nice meeting you, Adrian,”

“Likewise,” he replied with a smile.

“So,” you continued, “Where’re you and the others heading next?”

“I don’t know about the others, but I actually interested in going to the Indie Awards, too. There were a lot of great big budget games this year, so it’s kind of easy to tell which ones would get awards, but I’m curious to see which indie games people really enjoyed. Plus, ya know, I might get some tips and ideas for a new game,”

“That makes sense,” you shrugged, “I might just have to side with the indie games this time…”

You opened your mouth to say more - not that you had anything else to say, in retrospect - but before you could, you felt a tugging as your shoulder. Confused, you turned around and saw that Kim was impatiently pulling at your bag.

“We won’t get a chance to see either of the award shows if you keep standing here,” she said, pulling you along, “Now come on!

“Okay! Okay!” you said, nearly falling back as she gave a particularly violent yank, “Um… I’ll see you around, okay?”

“Of course,” he smiled as you stumbled farther away, “See you then,”

With one final pull, Kim successfully turned you around and you began following behind her with Paul beside you.

“So which show do you think you might see?” you asked him.

“Well, I think the Choice Awards might have more hype, but I heard was your friend Adrian said, and I kind of agree. Besides, maybe I can find some new games for the Sjindie series,”

“When was the last time you made a Sjindie video?”

He shrugged.

“Last September, I think,”

When you finally reached the lobby to the West Hall - which, in all honesty, wasn’t a particularly difficult endeavor since you were already on the third floor - you stared at the open doors in astonishment. People all around you slowly funneled through the entrance and into a single room which obviously took up the majority of space for the street level. As you followed the herd into the room, you were instantly overwhelmed by the sheer vastness surrounding you.


To say the space was massive would be an understatement (there was a reason there were nine sets of double doors at the entrance). A grid of pillars spaced themselves evenly throughout the floor, and between a pair of pillar you assumed was enough space to comfortably fit at least eight decent-sized cars, and that was just a rough estimation. On the way down, you had wondered how there could possibly be two award shows going on at the exact same time and in the same room, but now you could see that everything was going to work out just fine. Even with two stages, two sets of digital screens, and two theater-like arrangement of seats, there was still plenty of space leftover for people to wander about.

“So,” Mark finally said, turning the camera to face the three of you, “Have we decided which one we want to see?”

“I’m kind of interested in the Indie Games Awards,” Paul answered.

“I guess we could see them instead of the Developers Choice Awards,” Kim sighed, though you could tell she wasn’t terribly disheartened by the turn of events.

“Well?” Mark said, focusing on you, “Any objections,”

You looked to both the stages and then to the camera.

“I think the Indie Awards could be fun,” you smiled, “C’mon, let’s get some seats,”

Glad to see that everyone was now on a more or less agreement, you made your way to the stage - which you very soon figured out was the stage to your left and not the one to your right.

“Jeez,” you sighed, carefully moving past the see of people, “It’s a lot more crowded then I thought it might be…”

“Just stay close, okay?” Paul asked, and you smiled.

“Of course,”

But, as you quickly realized, keeping sight of your friends was becoming increasingly difficult as the crowd seemed to become denser and more difficult to navigate through. Soon enough, you realized that you were falling behind and the others were slowly disappearing from your sight.

“Hey, guys?” you called out, “Hold on a second, okay?”

After bumping into yet another person, you quickly turned back to give a quick apology, but when you turned back, you could barely catch a glimpse of Mark vanishing behind a group of people.

“Guys!” you shouted, a sense of dread beginning to fill your stomach.

You already knew where the stage was and where they would be, but you could calm the feeling of panic slowly rising. All of a sudden, you couldn’t help but feel helplessly small as people continued to move around you. Not wanting to risk reliving the events of yesterday, you immediately stopped your wandering and swallowed your pride.


You couldn’t help but feel embarrassed, calling out for someone like a lost child, and after a few seconds of waiting, you assumed that he simply failed to hear you. So of course, just as you were ready to continue moving, you could just barely hear an all-too familiar voice. You turned around, and smiled when you saw Paul carefully making his way through the crowd of people, and soon he was standing right in front of you, not as concerned as last time, but still just a hint of worry on his face.

“So much for staying close…” you sighed with an apologetic smile, but instead of a witty comeback or some little comment, Paul immediately took your hand in his and gave you a smile.

“The others’ve got seats already,” he said, “We’d better get going,”

“Sure,” you smiled.

Paul lead you through the groups, and crowds, and parties, all the while his grip on your hand never relaxing for a moment - if anything, you were fairly certain he was holding onto you tighter than before. Eventually, you made it out of the mass of people, and instantly spotted Kim waiving to you.

“Thanks,” you smiled to Paul, letting your hand slip out of his.

“No problem,”

Of course, as you made your way through the rows and to the seats besides Kim, she gave you a skeptical glance.

“You have a horrible sense of directions, don’t you?”

“Hey, I tried to get your attention this time; you can’t blame this on me,”

“Can, and will,” she replied with a smirk as you sat down.

People quickly made their way down the aisles and through the rows of chairs, quickly filling up the vacant seats. With Paul to your left, you began to toss random comments back and forth between the other three people beside you.

“So,” you began, “Do we have any particular plans set out for tomorrow?”

“Well we should probably see the Global Game Jam,” Mark answered, “But besides that, I think any suggestions are possible at the moment. Though I definitely want to go back to alt.ctrl.GDC and test some of the different things they have for show,”

“Do you think you’ll get to play games with your face again?”

You couldn’t help but laugh along side everyone else.

“Do we get to see that ‘grimace’ again?” Paul asked, “Or is it just going to be you pulling odd faces again?”

“Screw you,” he said, recovering from his fit of laughter.

You continued to laugh softly to yourself, only paused when you realized that someone was standing to your right.

“Is this seat taken?”

You gave a small smirk as you recognized Adrian’s voice.

“Not at all,” you answered, smiling as he quickly took the seat beside you.

“Oh, hello again, Adrian!” Paul said, causing Mark and Kim to turn their attention to Adrian immediately.

“Hi guys,” he said with a shy smile, “I’m curious, what were you guys laughing about?”

“Turps’ face,” Kim answered nonchalantly.

Instantly they burst into a fit of giggles, while Adrian simply gave a confused look.

“We’re just discussing plans for tomorrow,” you explained, “Besides Global Game Jam, we’re not entirely sure what we want to do, at least not yet,”

“Are there any booths that you haven’t visited yet that you want to see?”

“Not that I can think off,” you shrugged, “Though I might be interested in see Unity Tech again,”

“Yeah, they’ve got some pretty interesting stuff,”

You could tell that Adrian wanted to continue talking about the current topic, but very soon your conversation and those all around you quickly died down as a voice began to echo through a set of speakers. Soon enough, the hostess made her way onto the stage and a polite applause echoed through the room.

“Hello, everyone,” she spoke into the microphone at the podium, “Welcome to the seventeenth annual Independent Games Festival Awards, how is everyone enjoying GDC so far?”

The hypothetical question was met with enthusiastic cheering.

“Alright then, let’s get thing started now shall we? So, our first category is actually the Student Showcase competition; there are eight finalists this year. They are: Close Your, Downwell, Even the Stars, Gemini…”

You listened as the list of names continued, along with the honorable mentions. Eventually the winner was announced (not that you recognized nor remembered any of the titles), and the developer quickly came on stage and gave a few words of thanks. The woman continued through the different awards and listed off all of the nominees and honorable mentions. After the third award was announced, you finally turned to Paul.

“How many of these games have you heard of?” you whispered

“Only a few,” he answered, “Of course, these games are indie, and we’ve been pretty busy with just Minecraft lately. I really ought to get back into the indie games,”

“I suppose,” you began, “Um, Adrian, which game do you think will win?”

You turned, and were surprised to see that the chair beside you was empty. Confused, you quickly scanned around and watched as a single figure hurry through the rows of chairs, down the aisle, and make their way to the exit.


You looked back to the current person giving a makeshift acceptance speech, and then back to what you could only assume was Adrian.

“Hey, Paul?”


“I… I’m gonna be right back, I need to take care of something,”

“Where?” he asked, arching a brow in confusion.

“I just… I’ll be right back, I promise,”

He looked at you in a mix of concern and bewilderment, but eventually he gave a slight nod, “Just be back soon, alright?”

“Alright,” you smiled, before hurrying out of your seat and away from the show. By now, Adrian was almost to the door. Speeding up your pace until you were on the borderline of running, you kept your focus on him as he made his way out of a pair of opened doors and into the lobby.

“Adrian,” you called out, though you doubted he could hear you.

You followed him into the lobby, just in time to watch a pair of doors close behind him. Without another thought, you instantly followed after him into the surprisingly chilly evening.

“Adrian,” you said louder, now no longer afraid of interrupting an award show.

Obvious caught off guard - he nearly jumped at the sound of your voice - Adrian spun on his heel and stared at you in surprise.

“W-What’re you… Did you follow me?”

“Well, you kind of just… left,” you explained, “I mean, you seemed so excited to see the show, and then you just get up and leave?”

He looked at you for a split second before turning attention not the pavement.

“Adrian,” you took a cautious step forward, “Did… Did something happen?”

Absolute silence.

“(Name)?” he finally said, his voice startlingly low, “What did you want to be when you grew up?”


I have often dreamed
Of a far-off place
Where a great, warm welcome
Will be waiting for me

“Kids…” he smiled, “They always want to be things like astronauts or celebrities or doctors. They want to be in control. And when they get older, they start changing their minds. They want to be psychologists, lawyers, reporters, bioengineers. When I said I wanted to make games for a living, everyone thought I was just being a kid who refused to grow up. The artists and writers at my schools never got criticized for wanting to do something creative, but everyone kept saying that I should consider other jobs. Even my teachers kept suggesting different coarse and programs.

“For the longest time, I thought I was the only one who actually cared about video games, and honestly, I was okay with that,”

Where the crowds will cheer
When they see my face
And a voice keeps saying
“This is where I’m meant to be”

“I guess I had this crazy dream that, because I was the only one I knew who had this dream, I was something special - I was the only one who could make great video games. I learned everything I could about coding and game mechanics, I started designing tons of different games - just simple online stuff - and I really had this idea in my head that I was something great.

I will find my way
I can go the distance
I’ll be there someday
If I can be strong

“Then, I found out about how much people cared about video games. I guess I was both really relieved, but scared at the same time. There were people still in high school making things I could’ve never thought of. I, um… I was disillusioned. Pretty badly, too.

“I mean, I wasn’t completely shattered,” he laughed, “I met Emily in college and she introduced me to Julian not too long after, and we have some really good ideas for future games. Emily handles the bulk of the coding, Julian helps her out but he’s mostly in charge of audio, and I’m the artist.

I know every mile
Will be worth my while
I would go most anywhere
To feel like I belong

“We help each other out with everything when it comes to making games. Of course, we’ve also got to pay bills and afford groceries, so I’ve got a few part-time jobs. Still, I enjoy working with them - they’re really amazing at what they do, and we’ve made some pretty decent stuff with what we’ve got. It’s not as bad as I’m making it out to be - honest. It’s just that I want… I want to make something really great, and right now that just can’t happen,”

You stood there, completely shocked.

It was well-known in the gaming industry that indie developers weren’t nearly payed as much as the AAA companies were, but hadn’t actually considered how hard it’s been for him.

“Adrian,” you began, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have just pried like that,”

“It’s alright,” he smiled weakly.

“Still… listening to that woman rattling off name after name, knowing that none of my games were going to be on those lists - not even as an “Honorable Mention” - I guess it just struck a nerve. Not to mention the others?”

“Emily and Julian?”

“Emily’s told me about how much she wants to design robotics, and I can tell that Julian’s not as crazy about video games as I am. When I first met them, I thought they were the kind of people that put their heart into making games, but now that they’re not… I’m beginning to wonder if even I’m meant for the gaming industry,”

He sighed and ran a hand through his hair, before giving you his best attempt at a carefree smile.

“I’m sorry,” he laughed, “I must sound like a real killjoy. Just ignore that stuff - I’ll get over it,”

You watched him give a soft laugh before you took another step forward. He immediately stopped laughing and gave you a confused looked.


“Everything you’ve just said is absolute bullshit,”


“Adrian, I’ve known a fair amount of people in the gaming industry, and I can tell that you genuinely care about games. You’re at GDC; Game Developers Conference! If you didn’t care about games as much as you think do, you wouldn’t have scrounged together your money to get passes,”

You could tell from his wide eyes that you’d grabbed his attention.

“No one in the industry is going to be able to create the next Mario or Legend of Zelda first time around - you probably won’t make something genuinely great until you’ve at least gotten the basics of everything in video games - but there’s no way you should let that stop you. Besides, you’re not alone, and that’s not a bad thing. I’ll admit, I don’t know anything about Emily or Julian personally, but I’m sure that they care about games.

“And besides,” you gave him a grin, “If all else fails, I’ll be there to keep you from moping,”

I am on my way
I can go the distance
I don’t care how far
Somehow I’ll be strong

“You… You can’t seriously mean that,” he laughed, but you could tell that he was on the verge of breaking down, “We’ve known each other for two days; you really have that much faith in me?”

“You’re damn right,” you answered, “I’ve known enough people who make games - good and bad - and I can guarantee that you’ve got more spirit in you than the whole of them combined,”

You may have been exaggerating, just the slightest bit, but you knew deep down that it was the truth.

I know every mile
Will be worth my while
I would go most anywhere
To find where I belong

“You just have to keep trying, and don’t beat yourself up when bad stuff happens because, in case you haven’t noticed, life’s kind of cruel sometimes,”

To your surprise, Adrian let out a soft laugh.

“You sound like some cheesy motivational speaker,”

“Because you’re acting like a moody teenager,” you replied, half-tempted to smack him in the back of the head just to emphasize an already obvious point.

“Like I said,” you sighed, “You’re not going to make the next big thing - there’s not way you can do it at this point - but if you keep learning and trying, you’ll make something mindblowing,”

Taking a moment to recover from your little soapbox speech, you looked to Adrian just had a look happiness in his eyes.

“I guess I did get a little carried away,” you grumbled, suddenly realize how long you’d been making your ‘heroic-speech’.

You were half tempted to scurry back into the lobby and pretend like nothing had happened, but before you could put that plan into action, Adrian instantly stepped forward and practically tackled you in a hug.

“Thanks,” he mumbled, “I really needed to hear that,”

After getting over the initial shock, you smiled and gave him a comforting pat.

“You’re welcome,” you smiled, “Now let’s get back inside; it’s getting too cold to just stand out here,”

You both stepped into the lobby, just as a few people filed out from the award shows.

“I guess we missed a lot of the show,” you said, giving him your best attempt at a deadpan tone, though a bit of a grin twisted your mouth.

“I’ll just look up the results on the internet,” he shrugged. You couldn’t help but laugh a little.


Sjin: Where are you!?

“Oops,” you muttered under your breath.

(Name): Waiting in the Lobby. Kind of had some stuff to deal with.

Sjin: Should we leave soon and get something to eat?

(Name): Probably.

“So,” you turned to Adrian and put your phone in your pocket, “It is safe to assume you won’t spend the rest of the night moping and feeling bad for yourself?”

“I guess I can’t, knowing you’ll probably hurt me if I do,”

“Good,” you smiled. It wasn’t long before a familiar group of people appeared at the doors to the lobby, and you smiled as they made and immediate bee-line for you.

“So,” you asked, “How was the Indie Awards?”

“It was alright,” Mark shrugged, “I’m surprised there were so many games different games being nominated. Of course there was This War of Mine, 80 Days, and Shovel Knight, but still, there was a lot of different stuff I haven’t heard of,”

“Well at least now I have a bunch of different stuff I can play for Sjindie Games,”

“If you ever get around to it,”

“Well,” Adrian sighed and turned to you with a smile, “I… I really appreciate what you said and thank you, so much. I should probably call Emily before she starts panicking again. I’ll see you tomorrow,”

“Most likely,” you answered.

“Alright then; I’ll see the rest of you tomorrow, too,” he turned to the others and gave a polite smile before heading out the doors once again, grabbing his phone from his pocket.

“That’s where you went?” Mark asked.

“He just needed someone to talk to,” you explained.

“Ooh,” Kim smiled, “Do you already have a boyfriend,”

“Shut up,” you laughed, “He’s just a really nice guy - he’s like this to me, to you, and to everybody else, no doubt,”

“Ah, whatever,” she grumbled, “Let’s get something to eat; I”m starving!”

“Agreed,” Mark said, “I think there’s a really nice Italian restaurant just across the street,”

With no objection, the four of you left the West Hall and stepped out into the night. According to Mark, the restaurant was just a block away, but you were still a little tired from walking around all day, so you opted to stay behind the others once again, allowing yourself to walk at a slower pace and enjoy the almost-silence surrounding you.

“So…” Paul began, instantly grabbing your attention, “Has San Francisco been everything you’d dreamed and hoped for?”

“More or less. It’s sunny but not blindingly bright, there’s a bunch of great restaurants nearby, and for once I can go outside without needing an industrial rain jacket. The only issue I have is all of the walking - I was made to sit at a computer desk, not wander around convention halls and up and down streets,”

“Well, on the bright side, we don’t have to climb up any ridiculously steep hills this time around,”

“Yeah, I can sort of imagine why Lewis and Duncan didn’t come with us. What about you?”


“Yes, you. Is there anything you absolutely have to do before we leave in a few days?”

He paused to think, all the while still walking beside you as you followed behind once again.

“I’d like to see the Golden Gate Park - apparently there’s a lot to see there,”

“Isn’t there a building just for flowers?”

“The Conservatory of Flowers,”

“Sounds fancy,”


You and Paul continued to talk to each other as you followed behind Kim and Mark, hardly noticing when you actually reached the restaurant.

Sjin x Reader - Go The Distance
I'm not going to lie; I stayed up all night writing this one, just to make sure I could finish it in time and post it before Valentine's Day (not really a fan of the 'holiday'). Well, you've got the beginning of a love triangle, as per your request, and now I need new romantic ideas for Sjin and the Reader. Enjoy.

“Y-You’re (Name) from the Yogscast! Oh my God, I can’t believe… Can I just say that I thought you were hilarious when you were in Magic Police?”

You watched as the stranger’s expression of shock quickly morphed into one joy, and finally absolute terror.

“Oh, God! What did I just do? Are you alright?! Does your head hurt? Do you feel like you need to see a doctor?” the man babbled nervously as he nervously scrambled to his feet before offering you his hand.

"Don't worry," you began, amused by his nervous ramblings , "I've been through worse,”

You took his hand and with his help, rose up from the carpet and onto your feet. You couldn't help but notice that he stumbled when he tried to pull you up.

"I am so sorry," he sighed, looking to the floor in embarrassment, "I should've noticed that you were walking... It's just... This is my first time coming to GDC and I was just to overwhelmed by everything going on. I know that's no good excuse, but I-"

“You don’t have to apologize for anything," you interrupted him with a smirk, “I’m kind of out of it today; I was bound to collide into something or someone,”

Honestly, you felt a bit flattered - you could only recalled being recognized by a seemingly random stranger on one other occasion, and even then you were skeptical that it was pure coincidence. But getting back to the matter at hand, you smiled at the man in front of you, who seemed to constantly jolt his attention between you and everything else within sight. Despite the endless conversations surrounding the two of you, an awkward silence began to settle and weigh down on your shoulders.

“Well you clearly already know who I am,” you began, tearing his attention away from the nearby banners, “May I ask what your name is?”

The skill unknown stranger looked at you in surprise, but you just gave your usual smile and waited patiently. You were a Youtuber, and as a Youtuber it’s your job to make yourself a relatable and approachable person.

“I’m Adrian. Adrian Stone,”

“You said that this is your first time at GDC?”

“Yeah,” he smiled, “I wanted to go last year, but I couldn’t afford a pass. The only reason I’m here this year is because a few friends and I joined all of our money and go together,”

“Make sense. Speaking of going with friends, I sort of got separated from the others - Sjin, Turps, and Kim. Did you happen to see them or know where they’re going?”

“Sorry,” he said with an guilty shrug, “I meant to find out where they were going, but I forgot. If you want, I can help you look,“

“Hang on, I’ve got my phone,” you explained to Adrian as you dug through your bag to find the familiar electronic, “I’ll just text Kim and ask them where they are,”

You searched through the bottomless pit of papers and useless rubbish - and your computer - and arched your brow in confusion when you failed to retrieve your phone.

“Where the heck did I put that thing…?” you mumbled to yourself.

And then, realization.

You were talking to Mark, going over the different booths you wanted to visit, when you finally noticed someone standing right in front of the four of you. When you looked up, you were met with a rather starstruck boy - no older than eighteen - with tangled black hair and wide eyes.

“Oh my god! Yo-You’re the Yogscast!” he gave a laugh of disbelief as Kim and Paul smiled at him, “Um… can I get a photo with the four of you?”

“Sure thing,” Kim smiled as the boy pulled out his phone. The five of you quickly gathered in front of the phone’s camera and gave your beaming smiles as the boy took the photo.

“Thank you so much!” he said, giving the biggest grin possible, “Do you guys want me to send you the photo?”

“Here,” you said with a light chuckle, “We can just take another picture on my phone,”

Another photograph later, the boy was gone as fast as he’d appeared, and the other three people beside you were glancing at the photo on your screen.

“Not a bad picture,” Kim said as she zoomed in on her face, “Do you want me to send this to the rest of us?”

“Sure,” you shrugged with a yawn.

“Ah, that’s right…” you mumbled, barely resisting the urge to smack your forehead, “Kim has it,”


“Sorry,” you sighed, “I just remembered that I lent Kim my phone and she had yet to return it, which means I have no way to communicate with the others, save for hacking the P.A. system. Look, I’m terribly sorry about this, but I really need to go and find the others before it gets too late, so… I’ve got to go, sorry,

Without another tired grumble, you hurriedly passed Adrian and set off on your unknown destination, hoping that you could possibly find a service center or directory, and work your way from there.

“Um… would you like me to help you?”

You stopped and turned.

Noticing the overwhelmed - and mostly likely dumbfounded - expression on your face, Adrian mumbled an apology as he approached you, taking the crumpled map in your hands.

“I don’t mean to be rude when I say this, but you seem kind of… frazzled. Is everything alright?”

“Kind of,” you sighed, “I… I didn’t really get much sleep last night,”

“If you want,” he began, “I could help you find the others, or at least find you someplace to rest. I’d feel awful if I let you just wander around the expo halls,”

“That’s probably a good idea,” you gave a weak smile, slowly letting the bustling in your mind relax as you handed him the map.

“Alright then,” he smiled, taking a look at the paper in his hands before looking up to you, “Shall we?”


I know you
I walked with you once upon a dream

Honestly, you had no idea where you were going or where Kim, Paul, and Mark were, but you somehow managed to remember a few places and events that interested the others; perhaps you would get lucky run into them - figuratively speaking, this time. Until then, however, you’d simply have to trust your comatose memory to find your friends.

Sadly, after visiting the museum, the IndieMEGABOOTH Showcase, At Flash Forward Awards, and pretty much any other event you could vaguely recall, you still hadn’t found the others nor had you any idea where they might be. To make things all the more painful, things were still unbearably awkward between you and Adrian, and you were still half-asleep.

I know you
That gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam

As the two of you continued to wander throughout the convention center, you came to a very quick and certain conclusion. Adrian - for his kindness - was the absolute paragon of timid. It seemed like almost every time you looked to him, he was either keeping his eyes to the ground or glancing at the booths and people around you, and if the two of you ever traded glances, he quickly turned his attention back to the map in his hands. Of course, your first impression included literally colliding into him, so he had the right to be a bit reserved.

Yet I know it’s true
That visions are seldom all they seem

“Adrian?” you racked your brain for something to talk about, but half of your mind was occupied with getting to the booth, and the other half was still sleeping. Still, the sound of your mumbled voice was enough to get Adrian’s attention.


“Um… I’m guessing, since the student passes are pretty inexpensive, you’re not in college anymore and you’ve got a job of some sort?”

“Yeah, I graduated last year now I’ve got a Master’s degree in Game Development and a B.A. in Game Art,”

“Impressive,” you smirked.

But if I know you, I’ll know what you’ll do
You’ll love me at once
The way you did once upon a dream

“As for the job,” he continued, “I had a few paid internships with a couple of companies, nothing too well-known, and right now I work with my friends to make indie games,”

“Well aren’t we something special?” you scoffed with a roll of your eyes and a sarcastic smirk. In all honesty, however, you were relieved to see Adrian smiling and talking with newfound confidence. At least now you knew what he likes.

The two of you continued to pass booth after booth, letting the mix of voices create a white noise-like static to fill the now-not-quite-as-awkward silence. You wondered if there were any more game-related questions you could ask him, but decided that it was best to simply wait for a better, less crowded time.

After passing the Riot booth for what felt like the twentieth time, you both finally agreed that perhaps now was  good time to find a nearby place to rest.

“Agh… my feet are killing me,” you sighed as you relaxed in the surprisingly comfortable seats of the Networking lounge, “Maybe it’s time I get new shoes,”

“I know what you mean,” Adrian laughed, “My sneakers are a few years old, and I think they’re starting to fall apart. I’ve been meaning to get a new pair, but I just haven’t gotten around to buying them,”

But if I know you, I’ll know what you’ll do
You’ll love me at once
The way you did once upon a dream

You continued to smile and make small talk to each other, asking random questions about one another and talking about whatever came to mind, letting the world around you continue to go through the motions while you simply your company.

“I’m really sorry for dragging you into this. I’m sure you’re friends must be worried about you,”

“It’ alright,” he smiled, “I sent them a text a while ago, so I’m sure they’re fi-“


The sound of an infuriated voice seemed to echo through the halls, causing you to nearly jump out of your seat. Adrian, meanwhile, made a sound akin to something of a groan and a squeak as he watched a woman slowly appear from the sea of faceless people and march her way over to your table.

“Where have you been?!” the woman  slammed her hands on the table as she fumed; meanwhile, a taller, older-looking man appeared behind her a shot Adrian a skeptical look, “You disappear for forty-five minutes and we get is a text?!”

“Sorry,” Adrian laughed nervously, “I’ve been busy… and I was going to a bunch of different places, so I couldn’t tell you where I was,”

“You could’ve at least told us you where you were going! Jeez, you’re so…”

“I’m sorry about her,” the other man apologized, giving you a small smile, “She’s just a little… hyperactive. Adrian, aren’t you going to introduce us?”

“R-Right,” he turned to you, “These are my friends, Emily and Julian. Guys, this is (Name). From the Yogscast,”

“Nice to meet you,” you smiled.

“Oh, I remember you,” the man named Julian smiled, “You were in that Guns of Icarus tournament with Jesse Cox and Dodger, right?”

“Y-Yeah,” you smiled back as you shook his hand, “That was ages ago, though,”

“Julian and Emily don’t watch a lot of Youtube,” Adrian quickly commented, “Anyways, we were busy trying to find Kim, Sjin, and Turps - they’re other members of the Yogscast - and just decided to take a bit of a break,

“That’s still no excuse,” Emily replied, though she seemed a lot less aggressive than before.

I know you
I walked with you once upon a dream

“So,” Julian said, taking the seat to your left while Emily took the seat to your right, “How long are you staying in San Francisco,”

“Only a few more days,” you answered, “I’ve got to get back to Bristol, and Mark- I mean Turps has got a wife and kid to get back to,”

“Aw,” Emily smiled, “How sweet,”

You seemed to be the only one surprised by how quickly she’d changed her tone.

“It’s too bad, though,” Adrian sighed, “There’s a lot of great stuff to see and do here - at GDC, I mean,”

“How long are you staying here?” you asked.

“A little less than a week,” Julian answered for him, “We don’t have our own booth or anything, but there’s a ton of stuff to learn and see here,”

I know you
The gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam

“Well it’s still a few days,” you shrugged, “Spend two more days at GDC, one last day to enjoy the weather, then back to England,”

“I’ve always wanted to see England,” Emily said with a soft smile, “I mean… I’m not a huge fan of hot weather,”

“You’re not a fan of anything,” Julian smirked.

“Seriously though,” Adrian said, more to you than to his friends, “It’s too bad that you have to leave so soon,”

“Yeah,” you sighed, “I like England, don’t get me wrong, but it’s nice to be somewhere different for once,”

“Anyways,” Julian said, standing up from his seat, “Adrian, we’ve got to get going to Mild Rumpus before it’s over,”

“Okay then,” he sighed. The other two stood up and began to walk away, though Adrian looked back to you with a soft smile, “Hey, I hope we get to see each other again while you’re still here,”

“Me too. I’m really thankful that you chose to stick around with me, even though we couldn’t find the others.” you gave him a soft smile before you had a small idea, “Hang on,”

You quickly dug through your bag before you finally found a scrap of useless paper and a discarded pencil. You quickly scribbled down your number and handed it to him.

“Let me know where you are tomorrow - maybe we can meet up again,”

“Um… sure,” he hesitantly answered as his face began to turn a shade of pink.

“See ya around, maybe,”

“Yeah, maybe,” you smiled and waved as the three walked off.

And I know it’s true
That visions are seldom all they seem

Nice guy, you thought to yourself, he’s kind of timid, but it’s a little endearing. Another tired yawn escaped your throat and you rested your head on the table. Perhaps a few minutes of sleep was just what you needed. Just a few. You had just closed your eyes when you heard the sound of rapid footsteps.


And instantly your eyes shot open and you lifted your head from the table. A second later, you were watching, completely dumbfounded, as Paul, Kim, and Mark were all running towards you. Before you could even say anything, they were at your side and towering over you.

“Where the hell have you been?!” Paul asked, his face riddled with concern, “We’ve been looking for you all day! What happened?!”

“S-Sorry,” you sighed, “I was following behind you one second, and then the next, you guys were completely gone,”

“Why didn’t you try and call one of us?!” Mark asked.

“Because she has my phone!” you answered, pointing an accusatory finger at Kim.

Both Mark and Paul turned their attention to her, who quickly dug through her pockets before pulling out a familiar mobile device. You quickly snatched it form her and shoved it in your bag, meanwhile she gave a nervous laugh.

“I’m just glad you’re alright,” Paul sighed, taking the seat where Julian was sitting, “We were so worried about you. What if something happened,”

“I’m fine,” you answered with a shrug, “And if something did happen, I could’ve handled it,”

“Jeez,” Kim sighed, “That’s it, do we have some sort of a leash or tracking device we can use?”

“C’mon,” Mark said, though he had a bit of a smile on his face, “Let’s just get something to eat, get to the hotel, and get some rest,”

“That sounds like a good idea,” you agreed, standing up. Especially the rest part.

“Alright then,” Kim sighed, “But if you go missing again, I’m gonna kill you,”

“Fine,” you smiled.

But if I know you
I’ll know what you’ll do

You began to follow behind Kim and Mark without another word, but the moment you felt something wrap around you wrist, you froze. Prepared for the worst, you turned around, and were surprised to see Paul standing there, holding your wrist.

“Um… Paul?”

He still had the same serious look of concern and the grip on your wrist was surprisingly tight. Was he really that scared for you? Then again, after all you’d been through, was that really a ridiculous question?

“Paul,” you began, “I… I’m really sorry that I got lost. I mean, I tried to find you, but I couldn’t remember where we were going, and it all just went downhill from there. I promise I won’t get lost tomorrow, alright? I-”

You were interrupted when Paul abruptly pulled you closer and wrapped his arms around you.

“I was really scared when you went missing,” he mumbled, holding onto you so tight, it was as if he was afraid you would slip through his grasp, “When we realized you weren’t with us, we instantly went back to the last booth, but we couldn’t find you. If something happened to you…”

His words made you pause. You had never thought that they’d come looking for you. Why hadn’t you thought of that?

“If you get lost again,” he continued, “Promise me that you won’t wander off. Stay where you are, and we’ll come running, alright?”

You’ll love me at once
They way you did once upon a dream

“Alright,” you smiled, returning his embrace, “And I promise that I won’t get lost again,”

“Good,” he smiled, finally letting go of you, though he refused to let go of your hand, “Let’s hurry back to the others,”

“Alright,” you smiled.

For the rest of the day, Kim, Turps, and Sjin continued to constantly check back to make sure you hadn’t miraculously disappeared again. As strange and condescending as it was, you took it all in stride and good humor. They were just being concerned friends. You all enjoyed a rather relaxed dinner at another unnamed restaurant before returning to the hotel and abruptly crashing for the night.

The next day, you were happily wide awake and ready for the tedious trek from place to place. That being said, Paul made sure to stay by your side every step of the way.

Eventually you all decided it was in your best interest to take a quick stop and decide where your next destination would be.

“Why can’t we go to the IGF” Kim asked.

“Because GDCA is happening at the exact same time,” Mark said, “And I think that’s going to be more interesting,”

“Well, VinderiSQ is only going to be performing for another forty-five minutes, so maybe we could go there first,”

You watched with an amused smile as the three continued to bicker back and forth. You were just about ready to abruptly end their arguing, when you felt a tap on your shoulder. Confused, you turned around, but you confusion was quickly turned to pleasant surprise.


“Hey, Adrian,” you smiled at the familiar stranger in front of you.

Sjin x Reader - Once Upon a Dream
Bah, this was so difficult to write, esepcially because I seem to be all alone. Why doesn't anyone love me anymore?! Either way, I think this is actually a rather good chapter nonetheless. Yes, we have a new original character and potential love interest. That's potential, as in whether you want me to make this a love triangle is up to you. Ugh... I'm somewhat dreading writing the next chapter. Enjoy!
Um... I'm kind of suffering from writer's block for the next Sjin x Reader chapter. Does anybody have any ideas? Writing stricly about GDC is boring and I've got one idea (I have part of a plan), but I can't really explain it without spoiling the possible future plot. So... any ideas? Anybody?
I think this may be the only way I can get some answers. Well shit.
Um... I'm kind of suffering from writer's block for the next Sjin x Reader chapter. Does anybody have any ideas? Writing stricly about GDC is boring and I've got one idea (I have part of a plan), but I can't really explain it without spoiling the possible future plot. So... any ideas? Anybody?


Ian Moone
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature

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rhosmarixx Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014
I tagged you in my journal.
Clarixx Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013
Thank you for the watch. ^-^
BavarianZombieBoy Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Student Filmographer
Thanks for the watch! :la:
X-Doe Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome.
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