From the commentfic meme:
copperiisulfate // taichi/yamato; mob!au -- give my gun away when it's loaded
if you don't shoot it how am i supposed to hold it? // taichi/yamato
Everything hurts. Everything is red. Yamato fires off one last shot, waits for the last one to fall, and sinks against the wall. he presses his fingers to the bullethole just under his ribs, gentle at first and then harder because everything is slippery and he has been shot enough times to know that the real pain is about to hit. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, fingers of his other hand curling around the grip of his Colt.
"Yamato?" Taichi's voice is so familiar Yamato would know it anywhere, knows it from his dreams if not from across enemy lines, across awkward meals where they pretend like they don't want to kill each other (fuck each other) and talk about territory deals instead.
Yamato wonders if Taichi will shoot him in the head, bullet right between the eyes, spare and competent and quick like Taichi always is. He wonders if it will hurt. He should open his eyes but he doesn't want to. (He doesn't want this to be a blood-loss hallucination, though he doesn't think he's lost enough blood for that yet.) "Hi," he says. "What are you doing here?"
"Jesus," Tai says, and there are warm, steady fingers on Yamato's wrist, slipping through the wetness of Yamato's blood. "What the fuck, Yama, we need to get you to a hospital."
Yamato opens his eyes. Taichi's kneeling next to him, hair falling in his eyes, shirt-sleeves pushed up. He is wearing a bulletproof vest. His eyes are incredibly bright and Yamato wants to press his hand to Taichi's heart, feel it beat.
Yamato breathes in and drops the gun. "Shoot me," he says. "Just do it." (It is not that Taichi has not tried to kill him before, but he has never sent proxies. It has always, Yamato thought, been clear that this was between the two of them.)
"No," Tai says, teeth white on his lower lip, rocking back on his heels. "Shut up, Yamato, these people weren't mine. Your brother called my sister and she told me. Keep pressing."
The pain is starting to kick in but Yamato still snorts, trying to ignore the relief that's flooding his veins. C'mon, he almost says, like I’ve never been shot before.
"Yeah, you're a trooper." Tai pauses, running a hand through his hair. "Like I’d send anyone that stupid to kill you. Do you think you can walk to the car?"
Yamato closes his eyes again. The correct answer is, Fuck off, Taichi, I don't need your help, but he really doesn't feel like lying today. "Yeah," he says, "if I--"
But the warmth of him is suddenly gone; Yamato opens his eyes to see that tai is rocketing to his feet, hand on Yamato's gun and Yamato thinks, Okay, well, this wouldn't be the first lie either of us has told, but it might be last I hear, takes a breath, thinks, I always loved you--
But now Tai is spinning, taking one shot and the man that Yamato put four bullets into now has a fifth, right between his eyes.
"What the fuck," Yamato says, coughing blood.
The gun gleams in Taichi's hand; he stares at Yamato for what feels like forever, so long that Yamato wonders if he will take another shot. Then he drops it, kicks it away into the corner where neither of them can reach it.
"C'mon, Yamato," he says, slipping his arm around Yamato's waist, pulling him up. (Yamato tries not to collapse into the warmth of him, but that is something he gave up a long time ago.) "Time to go."
Yamato pulls himself ramrod straight even though every fibre in his body is screaming. "You better not get pissed if I bleed all over your upholstery."
Taichi's hand squeezes over Yamato's, Yamato's blood sticking them together. "Just this once," he whispers.
(Just this once, Yamato thinks. This is the last world he ever wanted.)
THE HUNGER GAMES
aimmyarrowshigh // Foxface/Thresh.
i see you in my sheets, i see you in my sleep // thresh, foxface [inception!au]
[Basic backstory: the Capitol trains kids from the Districts in dreamsharing and makes them fight each other during that process. Generally each district sends a team of architect + extractor.]
He stretches out his fingers and the world reforms, dancing around his fingertips like the light in the sunny, well-windowed room in which they went to sleep. "Hi," he says.
She tucks her hair down the collar of her shirt and gets ready to run. "Where's your extractor?"
"I'd wish you luck catching her," he laughs, "but there's not even a chance."
She grins. "Wanna bet?"
She's never met anyone like him before.
(It's okay. she doesn't have to go into his dreams to know he's never met anyone like her.)
At dinner, he catches her eye over a plate of pastry puffs. "Hi," he says, "I'm Thresh."
She cultivates an air of mystery and says, "The caviar is good." (She is lying. it's gross. She figures it will be a conversation topic at a later date.)
At first she assumes (which is stupid, assumptions get you killed or in limbo and she should know better) that he is the extractor, the one who rips through a dreamscape for answers. The first time they dream, she watches him slide the IV into his arm and he looks up, eyes very warm and very dark and she notices spidering lines of blue ink across his thumb, forefinger.
Oh, she thinks. You're the architect. It catches her off-guard for half a heartbeat and she hisses pressing her needle in.
"See you in a second," he says, closing his eyes.
She watches the fan of his eyelashes for a moment before she lies down, too.
His extractor is a tiny, wiry little girl with very black hair who stares at her for a very long time.
"Hi," she says, "I'm Rue. Where's your partner?"
She considers saying, He's dead because I killed him, but that would be a lie and also net her a reputation she's not sure she wants yet. "I never had one," she says, instead, curving her lips in sort of a grin. "I never needed one."
"Huh," Rue says. "That's pretty cool."
"Kinda is, yeah. Would you me to shoot you in the chest, or the head?"
Rue takes it with surprisingly good grace, smirking as one bullet snaps her into the waking world. “Thresh is gonna be pissed.”
Thresh cracks the world open underneath her, so it swallows her up.
"That was petty," she tells him, sitting next to his bed.
"You shot my partner," he says, pulling himself up, disentangling his line. "You wanted me to leave you dreaming?"
"It's how you play the game," she says. "Lunch tomorrow?"
His eyes widen. He blinks twice, licks his lips (she knows the feeling; dreaming with Somnacin leaves you dry-mouthed and it's gross). "Okay."
They are playing a block game; she and Thresh are running from Cato and Clove and they are at the edge of a cliff. She says, wait, I’ll build us a bridge but then Clove is there, teeth shining bright, Cato half a beat behind her, and the sky is going black.
Thresh says, "You'll thank me for this later," and stabs her in the heart with a knife she didn't know he was carrying. It fucking hurts for a moment before everything goes black and she thinks, way to be prepared.
"That was totally petty," she says, over lunch which is tuna sandwiches and ginger ale. "I could have shot myself."
His face is pale and drawn but he makes a face, "The other way was much more satisfying."
There is a crash and Katniss Everdeen, the girl from Twelve, has overturned the table Cato and Clove were sitting at. "You sick fucks," she is shouting, "this isn't interrogation, this is a practice sim, we all have to work together. You can't just cut people up, what the fuck!"
She turns back to Thresh. He is peeling open a pudding cup; raspberry-flavoured and a truly disgusting shade of pink. He does not bat an eyelash.
"Hey," she says, brushing a fingertip along his wrist, "we should get out of here." (This is, sort of, thanks.)
She kisses him in a sunlit grove of her own memory, which is cheating and also bad form but she doesn't really want to know what Cato and Clove did to him so it seems fair.
Hey, he says, hand pressed just under her collarbone, this isn't because I killed you.
That would be telling, she says, but relents; no, Thresh, because she has never met anyone like him, and it's-- relentless. If they weren't in a dream she'd say it was like gravity, but gravity is only an option, here.
Good, he says. His mouth tastes warm. Time to wake up.
There are few things that are better in reality. She cannot actually think of any that are not: his mouth, his hands, his laugh, his eyes.
She wakes up wrapped in his sheets with the sunlight on her shoulders, bright and warm.
He says, Hi. That caviar was terrible.
She leans forward, shoulder brushing his shoulder, her breath touching the shell of his ear. I have a name, she says, and whispers it into reality.
From prompt thing:
jada_jasmine // Johanna/Finnick, I was starting wars, saying my good-byes / still you never took your hand from mine
all the people wait around to rust // johanna/finnick
He says, "So I have this plan." He will not meet her eyes.
Her lip stings. Her mouth tastes like copper. "Not you," she says. "Them."
"Finnick. This isn't your idea."
His thumb brushes across her knuckles. "It doesn't have to be. It’s the right thing to do."
She thinks: I don't want to see you dead.
"When did we get so careful," he whispers against the slope of her spine, the fall of her hair.
"When we decided we wanted to live," she says. She is digging her fingers into her palm. She knows when she relaxes there will be red under her nails. There is a little of some official's cologne lingering on her collarbone.
His eyes hold an ocean. "That’s not all I want anymore."
Haymitch smells like a still but his eyes are kind; he has always liked her, liked her spark, liked her fire and her defiance. "Be careful with this," he says.
She laughs, all the right sounds but nothing of the mirth. "Careful gets you killed, these days." She wonders what the arena will look like.
"I’m sorry," he murmurs.
She steals his bottle. "Yeah, yeah."
Finn says, "Jo." He looks tired, stubble marching across the line of his jaw. He doesn't say, I'm sorry but she's known him long enough to read the slant of his eyes.
She says, "This is the game, isn't it. We go in. We cross our fingers about coming out."
Above them the stars are shining, too bright for her eyes.
He says, "If I don't get to say it--"
She kisses him, swift. There is still white liquor on her tongue. I’m on your side. There’s no such thing as goodbye.
Here's the sick thing: they rip her apart with needles and knives and drugs, pumping through her blood, and she feels like she's floating, like they can't touch her. The pain becomes a painting, distant and removed, her skin a blue-black-red canvas that is no longer part of her realm of existence.
She floats, and lets the pain scream through her nerve-endings, and thinks of Finn on the other end. She thinks: I'm glad you never said goodbye, and waits for him to come back. (After all: where there is pain, there is Finnick Odair.)