Burnout

rating: T for nonexplicit violence and temporary character death
relationship: jeremwood
words: 1144

Jeremy was gone.

Ryan trudged into the penthouse behind the others, feet carrying him automatically past them all. Someone tried to reach out to him, but he flinched away and kept walking. His mask fell from his numb fingers and he left it where it landed.

They didn’t even have a body to bury; he’d been burned away completely. There hadn’t even been ash.

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geoff who grew up poor and shitty and learned to take care of himself and pack his own lunches from a young age and grew up on canned food and ramen but when he got out of there he learned to cook Right because he had a sister (jack) to care for now, so he researches and borrows cookbooks from the library and prints out easy recipes he thinks she’ll eat and collects them all in a big, ratty binder and even when they’re rich and famous and geoff could cook any fancy meal they want, on bad days jack always asks for something that he cooked when they were younger bcos it’s home to her

it’s nearly 2am and i have therapy tomorrow so i should be sleeping but oh well

like, i think it’s fairly accepted across the board that none of the fakes had good childhoods. what that means exactly differs by each author, but you don’t end often up in a profession like theirs if you have a stable childhood.

and like, you can so easily write a lot of food insecurity into jack’s childhood. growing up without easy access to fresh, good-quality food means that you don’t really develop the taste or stomach for it, which can persist far into adulthood. so the aversion to vegetables? the inability to cook anything that didn’t come from a can? it’s easy to take those weird tics and give them a darker edge in a fahc verse. jack is probably the kind of person who on bad days gravitates towards childhood comfort foods like vienna sausages and instant mashed potatoes instead of rich, homecooked food. she and geoff probably got sick the first time the two of them made a haul from a job and decided to treat themselves to a fancy steak at an expensive restaurant downtown. even now, with the glitz of a penthouse suite in the most expensive building in the city, she probably has a hidden stash of shitty junk food just in case

benevolence-verse crew doesn’t have a swanky, expensive penthouse overlooking the entire city. they have a respectable set of apartments downtown – still expensive, because downtown areas always are, but they don’t like being too far away from the thick of things. sure, they have an elaborate system of safehouses (that they let ppl who need a place to sleep borrow when they’re not in use), but those don’t make a home. so they buy a couple first-floor apartments all next to each other in a decent bit of town, somewhere where no one would ever ask questions about the number of people coming and going, and by then everyone knows the fakes anyway. the place isn’t perfect, and the building manager is often unreachable so ryan and michael and jack are the ones who end up patching up the other tenants’ places when something goes wrong, but it’s their home, and they’ll protect the rest of the building just like their neighbors will protect the fakes.

the official and definitive list of the fahc’s cooking skills:

geoff: enjoys cooking a lot, but more than that, is good at it. cooks dinner most nights because he likes the routine of it, and also he knows that half of them would resort to junk food if he wasn’t around with fresh vegetables. does most of the grocery shopping too (or, at least, writes up the list and then delegates it to someone else when he’s too busy to make the trip himself)

jack: Grill Mom. not fantastic in the kitchen otherwise, though. makes sure to pack “lunches” consisting of granola bars for heists, because she knows how they can all get.

ryan: can make enchiladas but, somehow, very little else. refuses to actually make enchiladas for the others, but swears he knows how. one day they’ll make him cook for them.

michael: rarely cooks himself, mostly because having multiple others in the house who can means he doesn’t need to, but will pester the others to make sure they’ve all eaten. brings in snacks and donuts and coffee when he comes back from his morning run.

jeremy: cooks breakfasts, especially on heist days, because he’s great at making healthy + filling + protein-filled breakfasts since they’ll probably be outrunning cops later. enjoys baking too but does it more rarely, since thanks to michael there’s always something sweet around to snack on.

gavin: can be trusted with the electric kettle to make tea, and nothing else.

jeremy massaging ryan’s shoulders when his arthritis flares up so badly he can’t move his arms, helping him to their bed bcos his hips have locked up, getting him his pain meds and water and petting his hair as ryan curls around a pillow. jeremy puts netflix on as a distraction and ryan chooses a comfort show and smiles when their big gentle pitbull jumps into bed and curls up next to him and tries to lick his face

man thanks to that anon im having a LOT of feelings about ryan post tower-destruction, like he goes off alone and maybe he sees the others at the farm occasionally but he’s different now. stranger. quieter. he throws himself at the cabal again and again and again, dying and living and dying, going after the things that took everything from him with an almost disturbing tenacity — which is saying something, coming from other guardians. the others can’t help but worry, even when Light seems to crackle between ryan’s fingers and in his mouth when he bares his teeth — because, after all, the Light shines brightest in those that it has consumed.

and then, of course, he and jeremy find each other again and ryan may not ever be like he was before the fall of the tower, but finding jeremy has pulled him back from the brink of completely losing himself to the Light.

everyone in the fake ah crew is trans. not that they just happen to all be trans; Jack and Geoff have a mostly-unspoken requirement that anyone who wants to join can’t be cis (tho they have made a couple exceptions in the past and will continue to do so if the cis person comes with a recommendation from one of their trans crewmembers). 

it’s not that they demand people out themselves when they want to join; it’s just that Jack and Geoff are really good about picking up tells. like how Lindsay missed a spot shaving that morning (bcos she can’t afford laser hair removal yet) and so keeps trying to pull her hair over the patch that she’s since noticed. or how Michael constantly rubs at his shoulders where his binder digs in. or how Jeremy complains about it being hot all the time but won’t take off his shirt (or how he tugs at his undershirt a bunch bcos he’s stocky enough that his binder doesn’t sit perfectly). or how the Vagabond so rarely talks and when he does he tries to pitch his voice low, how he walks stiffly to try to make his shoulders look wider. or hell, how Kdin talks about sylveon before she comes out. they’re mostly not things that cis ppl would use to clock them, just things that Jack and Geoff recognize because they’ve done the same things over the years.

imagine jeremy and ryan going to an amusement park together and after jeremy convinces ryan to go on like three roller coasters ( “you’re afraid of heights but this is fine?”), ryan gets jeremy to go on the ferris wheel with him. it’ll be romantic, he says. the sun is starting to set and it’ll be pretty, he says. you can hide in my shirt if you get scared, he says. jeremy finally agrees.

and then the ferris wheel gets stuck with them at the top.

jeremy sorta freaks out and climbs into ryan’s lap and ryan is just D: because he thought this would be nice, not that it would scare his boyfriend this badly (though he didn’t expect the thing to fucking break down on them, just their luck). they’re only stuck for about ten minutes but by the time they get off the ride jeremy never wants to come back to this place and ryan can’t stop apologizing but they cuddle in the back seat of their car for a few minutes with the ac on high until jeremy apologizes for freaking out so badly and ryan kisses him softly and drives them home so they can cuddle some more but with their pets in their big bed.