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Nate is in some ancient basement where he finally finally finally found that fucking holotape and he’s copying it to his pipboy because no way is he ever losing it again. And he’s playing it, this slow ancient rock and roll three hundred years gone, echoing around an dusty old concrete bunker. And Nate has his eyes closed, just swaying very slowly to the rhythm, and feeling it jar up little scraps of memory, sensation. Savoring the memories it brings up as much as the music itself.
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Does your character have siblings or family members in their age group? Which one are they closest with? Not currently. Nate isn’t sure if he ever had siblings. He thinks he had an older female relative, but whether it was an older sister, cousin, or very young aunt- or even just a family friend- is beyond him.

What is/was your character’s relationship with their mother like? Nate’s mother was kind, patient. She was a rather more withdrawn person, quiet and understated, but very firm. Nate thinks she was closer to her, he has more memories of her than his father, at least. He remembers watching her cook, dress, put on makeup.

What is/was your character’s relationship with their father like? Nate’s father was a bit more distant, but was very supportive. He was very proud of Nate’s intelligence, his interests in engineering and subversive music. The last one was the main thing they could bond over. Unfortunately, his love was very subjective. 

Has your character ever witnessed something that fundamentally changed them? If so, does anyone else know? Beside obviously the pills, there was the bombs, but more recently, there was the Institute. Nate is trying to get back to normal, but he isn’t quite the same person. He’s quieter, sick of anger and hate, a little tired.

On an average day, what can be found in your character’s pockets? Lighters, string, wonderglue, spare bullets, a packet of cigarettes for Nick, a little makeup, doggy treats for Dogmeat, screws. Nate has big pockets and you can find almost anything inside them, up to and including eggs. Once, Nate felt something move inside his pocket, reached in, and found a chick.

Does your character have recurring themes in their dreams? They tend to be rather vague and strange, flowing landscapes, people who are simultaneously three other people, strange colours ebbing and flowing. It’s very peaceful, and Nate always wakes from those dreams happy.

Does your character have recurring themes in their nightmares? Unlike the dreams, these are very, very vivid, and tend to center around his memories. These days, they bounce between terrible things happening to him (usually involving pills) or Nick (usually involving the Institute).

Has your character ever fired a gun? If so, what was their first target? Nate fired a gun at a very young age, his parents were from Louisiana and it was considered pretty much a rite of passage. He was about eleven, and his father took him out to go duck hunting. Nate fired a lot, hit precisely no ducks, and had a great time. These days, he’s managed to kill a Behemoth with a single shot.

Is your character’s current socioeconomic status different than it was when they were growing up? Nate doesn’t really have a socioeconomic status now. When he was growing up, he was lower middle class, .

Does your character feel more comfortable with more clothing, or with less clothing? Less clothes usually ;) he wears light armor and clothes when out in the Commonwealth, and enjoys wearing dresses when he can.

In what situation was your character the most afraid they’ve ever been? Probably when he was arrested, in the nightclub. He was only seventeen, and was absolutely certain he was about to be shot.

In what situation was your character the most calm they’ve ever been? When they took down the Prydwen. It was the right thing to do, he knew exactly what he was doing, he was calm, steady and afterwards- it felt like he was surfacing after a long time underwater.

Is your character bothered by the sight of blood? If so, in what way? Not really, Nate has seen a lot, and besides, blood and gore and bones  are completely innocent compared with other things he have seen.

Does your character remember names or faces easier? Names, he’s not great with faces, although in the Commonwealth, people tend to be a little more memorable, not having any styles to emulate, so that helps.

Is your character preoccupied with money or material possession? Why or why not? No, he tends to throw caps around pretty casually. Money is for doing things with, and he will happily build things and buy things for his friends and family.

Which does your character idealize most: happiness or success? Happiness, absolutely. He would happily have a quieter life in order to be happy. He actually gave up finding Shuan, because he didn’t want to risk what he had.

What was your character’s favorite toy as a child? Nate has no idea. Now he’s pissed off for having that too taken from him. He thinks his family had a bicycle and he liked it, but that’s pretty vague. 

Is your character more likely to admire wisdom, or ambition in others? Wisdom, definitely. He’s rather suspicious of ambition, people seem to be very easily corrupted by it.

What is your character’s biggest relationship flaw? Has this flaw destroyed relationships for them before? He tends to be very blunt and tactless, and has sometimes hurt Nick by accident due to this.

In what ways does your character compare themselves to others? Do they do this for the sake of self-validation, or self-criticism?  Definitely in being a good person, for self criticism. Nate likes being around good people like Nick and Preston because it helps give him a better idea of what he needs to be like.

If something tragic or negative happens to your character, do they believe they may have caused or deserved it, or are they quick to blame others? I think Nate would blame himself first, but would have a better idea as to responsibility as time goes on. He tends to be fair on himself and others.

What does your character like in other people? Kindness, generosity, selflessness. 

What does your character dislike in other people? Ambition, arrogance, selfishness and casual cruelty.

How quick is your character to trust someone else? A little too quick, as Nate learned with the Brotherhood and, to some extend, Deacon.

How quick is your character to suspect someone else? Does this change if they are close with that person? He tends not to, Nate tends to be a little naive at times, but if they do break that trust, he finds it very hard to forget.

How does your character behave around children? Not so well, Nate is still very young himself, and hasn’t had much experience with children. He tends to treat them like small adults, which tends to work.

How does your character normally deal with confrontation? Depends on the confrontation, with misunderstandings, Nate tries to deescalate, but if they are a threat, he will get violent very quickly.

How quick or slow is your character to resort to physical violence in a confrontation? Either he will try and talk people down, or his will be the first shot fired.

What did your character dream of being or doing as a child? Did that dream come true? Building things, creating new technology, building a better world. This is pretty much what he is doing, so it’s just fine.

What does your character find repulsive or disgusting? Bloatflies for the most part, arrogance, but the worst is mindless obedience. He’s been there, it terrifies him.

Describe a scenario in which your character feels most comfortable. He and Nick and Dogmeat are walking through the Glowing Sea, everything is very clear, very still, nothing for miles. Everything is quiet. He pulls Nick against him, kisses him, it’s wonderful.

Describe a scenario in which your character feels most uncomfortable. Nate is in a noisy place, there is a storm, he cannot see, people are trying to kill him, he is alone. 

In the face of criticism, is your character defensive, self-deprecating, or willing to improve? Usually happy to improve, he knows he’s not always that great, and wants to be better.

Is your character more likely to keep trying a solution/method that didn’t work the first time, or immediately move on to a different solution/method? It depends how many spoons he’s got left. Usually no, he can stop and rethink what he is doing. If he is low on spoons though, he tends to burn out and find it hard to chance track.

How does your character behave around people they like? Lots of praise, lots of kind words and sweet banter. Nate will not be mean or unpleasant to them, or even tease for fear they’d take it the wrong way or it would come out wrong.

How does your character behave around people they dislike? Distant, a bit snarky, deadpan. He just wants to get away from them.

Is your character more concerned with defending their honor, or protecting their status? Honor, although Nate has a loose grasp of that, he has an even weaker view of status. I would say neither were too important.

Is your character more likely to remove a problem/threat, or remove themselves from a problem/threat? Most threats to him are threats to other people, he removes the threat, if it’s an animal, he might avoid it though.

Has your character ever been bitten by an animal? How were they affected (or unaffected)? A lot in the Commonwealth. He knows these animals are threats, and takes care.

How does your character treat people in service jobs? Very well. If you are shitty to someone in a service position, you don’t get service.

Does your character feel that they deserve to have what they want, whether it be material or abstract, or do they feel they must earn it first? Nate does think he’s gone through enough, he should have some nice things. To be fair, he doesn’t need much. He just wants to quiet life as a scavver and engineer, and spend time with Nick.

Has your character ever had a parental figure who was not related to them? Not really. He views most people as equals regardless of age these days, and cannot remember much from before the war.

Has your character ever had a dependent figure who was not related to them? Well, synth Shaun, and that was a complete trainwreck. Nate had just shot human Shaun, and didn’t want another kid. Tinker Tom adopted the kid.

How easy or difficult is it for your character to say “I love you?” Can they say it without meaning it? Easy, Nate loves saying it. He loves saying it.

What does your character believe will happen to them after they die? Does this belief scare them? Nate believes he will die, and there is nothing else. Sometimes he wonders about what will happen to his body, if it will go through division and become part of something greater. regardless, he won’t know about it. He doesn’t mind, it sounds peaceful, and there will be nothing more, good or bad.
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25 Questions For Your D&D Characters and OCs

What is this character’s alignment?  Chaotic good.Nate is very dedicated to helping people, and equally dedicated to stamping out authority. His ideal is a world in independent, loosely connected anarchy. He is completely the CG character in the D&D alignment and kitties comic (Maybe with a NG Nick in the background quietly facepalming).

What is a notable quote from this character? Alternatively, what is their favorite quote? Since Nate has just blown up the Institute, I’ll just go with what he shouted as he popped up in front of Ayo’s front desk. Broad, manic smile. “HIYA ASSHOLE!” Boom goes Ayo’s head. BOOM goes the Institute. Nate is better at actions that words.

Summarize your character’s backstory with no more than three sentences. Waking up in the radioactive wasteland is the best thing that ever happened to Nate. If only the past hadn’t come along, in his head, and lurking out there.

Describe your character using a song title. Voodoo Child. Which is also his favorite song and artist.

Are there any story arcs you would like this character to explore? I would love Nate to travel more. The Fallout world doesn’t lend itself too well for long-distance travel, but I would like to have Nate in new cultures and countries to explore. He’d have a great time as a fish-out-of-water.

What would your character like (or have liked) to do with their life? Ick. Nate would say ‘nothing’ a little too quickly. The world before the bombs was hell, he was too busy surviving. But that’s a lie, because Nate had dreams, back then, but he doesn’t want to tell anyone he’d once wanted to work for CIT. Currently, Nate is happy to go on as he is, maybe get involved in some bigger technological projects around the commonwealth- like maybe setting up teleportation relays in each settlement to improve trade.

Who is your character’s best friend? Nick Valentine, although Piper Wright comes close.

Who is your character’s worst enemy? Nate tends not to have enemies, they suffer from a strange condition where their heads end up several meters away from their bodies. The one who’d lasted longest was Shaun, and honestly I think being shot in the head would have been kinder.

Who has, for better or worse, had the most impact on your character’s life? Amusingly enough, probably Dogmeat, without him Nate would probably have ended up eaten by molerats within the first day. More seriously, Nick.

What is the most badass thing this character has done? Spent an entire night on a rooftop sniping at a legendary sentry bot. He accidentally activated it while clearing a bunch of ferals out of some ruins for a local settlement. Seeing as he didn’t think coming back telling them “Good news! You no longer have a feral problem! Bad news, you have a sentry bot problem!” would go down well, he stuck it out all night, dodging missiles and hacking away at the thing’s health for the best part of eight hours until it finally detonated (possibly out of frustration) and Nate quietly passed out in an air vent.

What crime is this character most likely to be convicted of? He’s already been arrested for being hella gay, but otherwise, probably shooting someone, or semi-public sex.

What meme would you use to describe the character? I don’t think it’s a meme, but I think Nate would really like the Picard song.

Does this character swear frequently? He was in the army, doesn’t remember most of it, but the swearing stuck. He gets very inventive sometimes- “I will eat your fucking face you degenerate, fascist piece of- the last words he said to Shaun before Nick dragged him out and firmly closed the door because this place is going up in flames in twenty minutes Nate focus.

What is this character’s relationship with religion or the church? God is dead. There was a god, before the war, and he died. Maybe he’s buried with the other old god under Dunwich borers. Either way he’s not around any more. There is a new god now, Atom. He’s a vast improvement.

Would this character ever make a deal with a devil or dark spirit? No. He might seem to go along with it for a while, but the demon is going to end up sans head in short order.

Emotion or Logic? Emotion.

Soup or Salad? Soup. Nate never really thought about it, but soup would be a good way of getting food. He’s better with liquids. Hmm…

Is your character currently in love? Is there anyone in love with your character? Yes :) Nate and Nick are very happy together.

Do you ship your character with any other characters? (This includes characters from other universes and canons) Not really. 

How would this character seduce a lover? “Oh, I like you.” Coupled with a brilliant smile. The poor person then gets deluged with presents, flowers, and endless compliments. Nick still isn’t entirely sure what hit him.

If your character could play any part in a drama, stage production, or musical, what part would they play? Nate wouldn’t be the one to come up with the idea, but he will happily volunteer to join in. He would definitely enjoy playing any glamorous fatale type characters.

What is your character’s favorite album? Electric Ladyland by Jimi Hendrix. He would give so much to find a holotape of it one day.

What does this character mean to you? Nate is a really upbeat, determined person who’s currently seeing me through some rough times. He’s making the last six months of my shitty contract worthwhile.
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Another chapter of the Adventures of Nate and Nick.

Today, they find a kink shop.

-http://ift.tt/2r5QNwC

(remove dashes in the address)
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Now to edit and reread a bunch of time until I’m happier with it.

In which Nate falls through a floor, Nick doesn’t know anything about kink, and despite all this, there is sex.
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bigwinged:

wastelandbuilds:

videogamesartandsuch:

downloaded some mods that cleaned up the roads and sidewalk in Sanctuary and it feels so good tbh

I’ve seen some people call this kind of thing “immersion-breaking” but you know what’s immersion breaking to me? Bethesda’s insistence that even after 200 years nobody has ever thought to pick up a fucking broom and clean up their damn homes

The cool part of the settlement building mechanic is that you get to feel like you’re starting to rebuild & fix the world, but that feeling of accomplishment is severely diminished when I’m making buildings filled with trash and pre-busted windows for some fucking reason

Here here! I can’t stand those leaves in the houses.

Spring Cleaning is one of my favourite mods ever, and if there are mods that tidy up some of the occupied non-player-settlement areas that would be amazing.

This reminds me that I also need to get that one that greens up the landscape. I don’t know what the timeline would be exactly, but you don’t get two hundred years of a barren landscape where nothing grows.

I know that Hiroshima, just over seventy years out, is a safe place to live and has over a million people. (The city adopted the oleander as an official symbol because it was the first flower to bloom there after the bomb.) The land around the Chernobyl nuclear plant is contaminated and not safe for people to live on, but plants still grow and thrive (and incorporate radioactive fallout into themselves).

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I’m not trying to downplay the human impact of real nuclear disasters, but the visuals favoured in post-apoc fiction aren’t much like what we know about the reality.

I just headcanon that most of the greenry is alive, but adapted to the heavily radioactive and desertified landscape so we don’t recognise it. The grass is still growing, it’s just yellow now instead of green due to the different climate.  All the trees outside the Glowing Sea are still alive, they just behave like desert plants and only bloom after a rainstorm, dropping their leaves afterwards which explains why there are still dead leaves after 200 years.

Part of Fallout lore is that there aren’t any seasons any more, just one long desert summer. Which is really interesting in terms of plants, since that would mean that plants wouldn’t have set seasons either, but would just bloom and grow fruit continuously without the need to conserve energy for winter months. This shores up why the plants in Fallout always seem to be in fruit.

This ironically makes life for the creatures who live off the plants (including humans) much easier than in the pre-war world, since they wouldn’t need to bother with storing food for winter or timing their lives around when food would be available since it should be available most of the year round. This is turn frees up labor and would actually allow for cities and towns- and armies- in Fallout to be realistic as fewer people would be required to grow and look after crops.

Ironically, if you discount the radiation, most pre-industrial revolution farmers would love to live in the Fallout world. Endless summer! Less chance of crop failure! Year round food! Yes, the super mutants are a pain but when you look at the instances of famine in just Europe before the 1800s, you can definitely understand the appeal. 

Not to mention that this would lead to far more stable forms of government, since one of the major factors in national upheaval is food.
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Nate and Nick would watch every episode of Brooklyn 99. Nick because it is detective thing, Nate because the pilot had two black guys actually having a conversation, and they would both entirely do Ray any day of the week. 

Preston and Piper sometimes sit in, but it’s like watching a sitcom from Mars and Nick and Nate keep having to stop the holotape and explain what the hell is going on.

Star Trek, though, goes like hell. Everyone loves Star Trek. Nate is the only one who actually watched any of the episodes (repeatedly, and all the movies, and the books, he may have owned Spock ears).

It was just after they’d finished a Star Trek marathon, which was alas interrupted by a Super Mutant attack. They were dragging the bodies into the compost heap, and Preston sorta grinned and said “Bet they never had to do that in that tv show.”

Piper shook her head. “Wonder if we’d be on the stars by now.”

And Nate, Nate felt his mouth dry and he remembered something really, really important about the lore. He moves his mouth, tries to find the right words.

“Well,” He heaves the dead mutant dog on the firepile. “Nah, they’d be about here.”

They looks at him. “That’s part of the story.” Nate continues. “They had the bombs too. Then some- people-” the whole genetic engineering thing sounds a little too much like synths and Nate quietly confines Wrath of Khan to the dustbin of memory. “Take over the world and massacre a lot of people. So actually, we’re doing better.”

There’s a odd, long silence, everyone is looking at him. Nate runs back through the last few minutes. He doesn’t think he said anything too bizarre?

“They had a nuclear war in that story?” Preston says softly.

“Um, yeah, and a lot of genocide. Which hasn’t happened yet. Because this world is nice.”

“So we could still-” Piper points up, the stars are tiny, white pinpoints.

“Oh yeah.” Nate shrugs. “I mean, there’s a smashed flying saucer we could learn from.”

Preston and Piper stay there, looking up, for a very long time.
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1. What is one word to shut them up?

Murderer. He is. Not in the Commonwealth, that’s self defence, but before. Murderer. The minigun white hot in his hands, the bodies scattered in flecks of blood and white exsanguinated flesh. Present weapon, soldier. Advance. Fire at will.

(what a joke. What will?)

2. What is the thing they feel the most guilty about?

No. He’s not going to think about it. He doesn’t want to. You can’t make him. Make it stop make it stop make it stop-

The family is screaming at him. The gun is out but he hasn’t fired yet. The aquifer under their farm is almost pumped dry now, one of the last unpolluted wells in the northern US. The heavy pipes grunt and cough as they reach the bottom and the woman falls to her knees, screaming at Nate what are we going to do what are we going to do-

Die. Starve as the crops fail. Slow poison from the radiation that’s leaked into everything now. Watch as her children’s hair and teeth rot and fall out or stake everything they have on the blackmarket because only the military can afford radaway. Her face is etched into the back of Nate’s mind, a Hiroshima cameo.

3. What is the worst pain they’ve ever experienced?

Losing his mind, little by little, scrap by scrap. The first few months were the worst because he was still himself, he could watch himself is horror as he lost thought, knowledge, awareness, broke down cog by cog. Worse, some of these memories actually survive.

4. Describe their worst nightmare.

He is still at his desk in CIT. Before, it was a radio. His roommates and classmates are laughing at him. He built that radio himself, and now it’s in pieces in front of him. Come on, can’t you fix it? You’re not one of us, go back to the jungle- and he can’t. He could, just a few weeks ago he could have done it with his eyes shut but now- he can feel the pills gnawing away at the back of his mind, tiny worms, eating him to nothing.

He blinks, and it’s not the radio any more. He’s lookign into Nick’s black, dead eyes, his body, laid out and torn open and nothing but spare parts and he can’t fix him-

5. List 3 fears; one “surface level” fear, one “repressed” fear, and one “deep dark” fear.

On the surface, Nate fears losing his mind again. It’s something he guards against, and never goes near chems or alcohol. For repressed, he’s afraid of losing the people he cares about, and Nick in particular. For deep dark- well, he fears remembering. He doesn’t want to remember. Everything he’s seen already is so horrible, he doesn’t want to see any more.

6. What is something that never fails to make them feel sick?

It comes from when Nate finally goes to the Institute for the first time, and meets a Courser. These people, these synths- they are his fault. He was the first guinea pig the Institute used, when they were still CIT, that ended with the torture these people were living through.

7. What feature (physical or otherwise) do they hate most about themselves?

Not so traumatising, but Nate really doesn’t like his hair. It’s curly, but not curly enough to get a good afro or dreadlocks, and tends to get quite greasy and dirty. Nate washes it a lot, and keeps it very short.

8. Do they have anything that triggers them?

It’s hard to know. There are so many things. Sometimes Nate feels like he’s living in a minefield, he knows where some of the dangers are- power armor, miniguns, food- but there are so many more, hidden below the surface and the only way he knows is when they go off.

9. What is their greatest physical weakness?

Nate is not strong. His bones are frail from lack of food and break easily, he can’t run very far without needing to stop and can’t carry much weight. He also tends to get sick more easily.

10. What is their greatest mental weakness?

Well, his PTSD mostly, but he also has a few ticks and compulsions that put him at risk: he has a tendency to fixate on one thing to the exclusion of other, more important problems- he’d focus on picking a lock even as a hoard of feral ghouls are crashing down on them, and even when he gets his gun out, he’ll focus then on just killing ghouls and not notice, say, the deathclaw that’s just joined the party.

11. Do they have any vices?

Anger. Nate’s fixations carries over to emotion and he finds it very hard to break out of intense emotion. With anger, Nate just- loses any middle gears. It’s not just that he kills, but he draws it out, plays with the person he’s after like a cat with a mouse. It takes a lot to get Nate that angry, but Nick was pretty horrified at Nate’s behaviour when the time comes to sack the Institute. He’s never seen Nate so utterly without mercy and seeming almost to delight in hurting the humans there.

12. Have they ever done something illegal? What was it?

Being gay. Because that was apparently a crime back then. Nate is very glad it isn’t here.

13. Which of the 7 Deadly Sins best describes them?

Probably Greed. Not for money, or material goods but for everything. He wants every experience, he wants every pleasure and joy and everything he couldn’t have before. He just wants, so, so much.

14. Are they prone to outbursts (of violence, extreme emotion… exc… )?

Oh yes. Nate tries to keep these away from other people- for angry moments he tends to try and go to somewhere quite and throw rocks- but a lot of the time the emotions just sneak up on him and he overloads.

15. Who do they hate the most?

Shaun. All the things he’s done, all the lives he’s ruined and tortured and enslaved and destroyed. The revolting, toxic arrogance of him, the emotionless, soulless cruelty. And he is Nate’s fault. Nate made him. Nate is never, ever going to breed again.

16. Is there anyone who makes them feel inferior?

Nick, often. Also Preston to some extent. Nate doesn’t mind, he hasn’t got a huge ego and is happy to consider them better people than he is; kinder, more moral, and learn from them.

17. What sound always gives them a headache?

That stupid fucking Civilisation song Travis always plays. It’s a racism pile of shit and Nate hates it. They’d been standing on top of that building, watching the Institute go up in a mushroom cloud, and Nate thought this moment would be perfect… then-

Civilisation, I’ll stay right here!

Fuuuuuuck!

18. Is there a certain flavor that disgusts them?

Nate is not a fan of sweet things. Fruit sweetness is okay, but when it comes to processed sugar or honey it’s just too much for him.

19. Do they consider themselves ugly?

No. Nate likes his appearance for the most part. Yes, he’s very skinny and you love to have better hair, but on the whole he likes his body.

20. Do they consider themselves unloveable?

Well, Nick loves him, and Nick is a much, much better person than Nate could dream of being, one of the best people in the world, so clearly he is worthy of love. And incredibly lucky.

21. What is something that causes them great anxiety?

Before the Institute was destroyed, he was incredibly worried for his friends. Dima and Arcadia, the Railroad, all the friends he has in Sanctuary. Nick. The Institute was hunting them and Nate was deliberately putting himself in their path. He was terrified of what the fallout might be to those he loves.

22. Do they have any mental illnesses?

Yes. Nate has PTSD, a form of anorexia and is on the autistic spectrum.

23. Have they ever been assaulted/abused/raped?

Yes, he can’t remember it, but he can imagine it. Nora smiling at him, asking would you like to and him nodding, mindless as a cow in a field. Yes. Yes. Whatever you want. Tell me who to kill, who to fuck, when to die. Add more pills to get him to-preform, and wash, rinse and repeat until Shaun came. Brrr. What a sick, foul time.

24. Do they fear the possibility of being assaulted/abused/raped?

It’s not a huge fear, but yes, it’s something Nate does live with. There are plenty of foul people in the commonwealth who’d jump at the chance to hurt people any way they could. He’s had a lot of threats shouted at him in firefights- synth fucker, wait till you see what we’ll do to you- but so far, all his would be rapists have had their heads blown off by Apex.

25. Have they ever been betrayed by someone they thought they could trust?

Mom. Dad. Nate can still remember their eyes, as they walk into the police station. He’s still in that red dress, now tatty and filthy. Tony and cold and terrified. His parents; eyes are cold, his father’s mouth thinned with rage. Dad-

I could shoot you right here. Spat back. Nate’s mouth snapped shut, buckled down and buried himself in his red rags, nodded and agreed to everything his father decided. Yes, I’ll take the pills. Yes, I’ll sign up for the tests. Yes. Yes. Yes. His father’s eyes, murderous with rage. He didn’t know how to say no. Soon enough, he forgot how to. 

26. Have they ever been seriously injured?

A few times, but nothing he hasn’t been able to fix. A few bad falls, a Deathclaw that came too close, too fast. Nate binds himself up, shoots down a few stimpacks, carries on.

27. How many times have they been in the hospital?

Nate has no idea. He went a lot to the medical center in CIT, testing every few months and marking down his slow mental and physical collapse. He probably went to ordinary hospitals too, in the war, after getting shot up and hurt, but he can’t remember them.

28. Is there a certain type of person that disgusts them?

Arrogance. He likes confidence, but when someone is gone to the point of never questioning themselves, never considering they could be wrong or the people they are hurting.

29. Does what they cannot see scare them?

Well, there are a lot of dangerous things in the commonwealth, so not being able to see them would be quite scary. Nate does fear what he cannot remember, he knows they’re bad. He also knows that the only way the is going to heal, in the long term, is to face he remaining memories. He doesn’t want to.

30. Have they ever been bullied?

He was a brilliant, nerdy black kid in a lower class school. Yes, Nate got bullied. It didn’t affect him too much because he had good support from his parents and teachers. It got a lot worse when he got to CIT, where he was a brilliant nerdy black kid in a university of privileged, not quite so smart white people. Nate managed to deal with the worst of it to begin with, but after the pills, after he started to decline- well, he cant remember most of it. That’s a good thing.

31. Do they have self-confidence or self-image issues?

Not so much, he is a little self-conscious about his lack of sexual experience, but for the most part, Nate is comfortable with who he is.

32. Do they have a bad relationship with their parents?

Nate’s parents are dead, so that doesn’t really count. The last he remembers of them was them handing him over to CIT for the pill treatment, so- yeah, it didn’t end well.

33. Have they ever been in a relationship that didn’t work out so well?

There was Nora, but Nate doesn’t know what that relationship was like. She might have been kind to him. She might have been cruel. He wouldn’t have been with her if he’d had any choice in the matter, regardless.

34. Have they ever self harmed?

No, although he does wonder if his struggle with food is a form of self harm, anorexia as a way of asserting control over his own body.

35. If they could change one thing about themselves, what would it be?

Not having an eating disorder. It would be such an enormous relief, not to have to plan everything he can eat, judging constantly how much he can manage, trying to stave off the worst of the damage with stimpacks and purified water. It’s exhausting, even before taking into account the endless hunger he lives with.

36. Are they in control of their emotions, or are their emotions in control of them? Nate’s emotions are entirely in control, luckily, most of his emotions are positive. He’s usually exploding with joy and warmth and being friendly, with negative emotions, Nate tries to hide them, but it’s a struggle.

37. Have they ever had their freedom taken away?

Freedom, and free will. For five years.

38. Have they ever been imprisoned?

Only briefly, overnight in a police station, but it was the last time he was really free, too.

39. Have they ever been accused of something they didn’t do?

Not really, no.

40. Do they often blame themselves for other people’s problems?

Not usually, Nate tries to keep his actions in context. If he causes a problem (like the time he accidentally freed a sentry bot) he will fix it. He will fix other people’s problems, but won’t blame himself for them. The one exception is Shaun. Yes, he was a product of the Institute, no, Nate didn’t have any influence over who Shaun became. Nate didn’t even consent to making him in the first place. But Shaun is still his son, and his responsibility. What he did, feels like Nate’s responsibility.

41. Do they get sick often?

Yes. Nate always keeps a stash of antibiotics on hand because he is vulnerable to infections and disease. Luckily, since meeting Curie, she’s been helping him a lot with preventative medicine.

42. Are they comfortable with where they are in life?

Very much. Nate is very happy with his life. He is very, very lucky.

43. Do they wish that they could change their pasts?

He wishes he could go back to his past self, the shattered seventeen year old being dragged down a dark, dark path and tell him- it’s going to be okay. It’ll be horrible for a while, but everything will end soon and the world will be unimaginably better. He’ll be happy again. He just has to hang on, survive, just keep going.

44. What’s one thing they wish they could do more often, but can’t?

Read. Nate misses reading. He doesn’t have much time for it now, and the book selection is a lot more limited. Nate would love more books.

45. What is the emotion they most commonly experience?

 Joy. Nate is a pretty happy person, and has a lot of what he needs to be happy. He likes the world. He has skills and abilities that are useful. He does work he enjoys. And best of all, he has friends and lovers to share it all with.

46. Have they ever contemplated suicide?

Not really in that thought about it, when he wanted to die, it was almost impossible to think, but-

47. Have they ever gone so far as to attempt suicide?

Once, maybe a year before the bombs fell. Nate isn’t sure how it happened, but for a moment, he was able to regain some- sense of self. It was so horrible he couldn’t even comprehend it, get his fractured mind around what he had become. He had gone into the washroom, found a bottle of bleach, and drank down as much of it as he could manage. Codsworth found him and called an ambulance.

48. Is there anyone that they would willingly kill?

Oh, lots of people. The Commonwealth is dangerous and a lot of killing is pure self defence. He would happily kill the entire adult contingent of the Institute, though.

49. If [name] was put into ______ situation, they’d rather die than live to see it through.

If he was dragged back to that police station, seventeen again. Nate would grab the policeman’s gun and blow his own head off rather than go through that again.

Coursers

May. 18th, 2017 04:04 pm
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Okay, this is a lot of headcanons on this, but I have feelings about Coursers in Fallout 4. Please heed the trigger warnings because this is dark.

Coursers are slaves.

They are every bit as slaves as any gen 3s in the Institute, and are, in some very important ways, worse off.

A gen 3 synth in the Institute has a duty, they carry out that duty, they are just one of however many hundreds of synths in the Institute doing the same thing. They are, as far as the humans are concerned, invisible, about as important as the piping in the walls of the electrical wiring. It’s a pretty dreadful way to live, but in a place like the Institute it’s desirable, because you are basically invisible.

The Coursers don’t get that. There are few of them, and they work directly with the SRB. They don’t get to be invisible, they are always, constantly, hideously visible. To a bunch of people who consider them nothing but unthinking tools.

Imagine: A Courser goes out on a mission, the mission goes wrong. The Courser is badly wounded, there is blood everywhere, parts of them are open to the air that shouldn’t and it doesn’t matter how brainwashed they are- they cannot breathe, the pain is too much, they are seeing things they really don’t want to. They are snatched back to the Institute. The Courser gets fixed up, but cannot speak to anyone about what they have seen- because that would be defective. They have just to deal with it and, if it gets too much or trauma is piled on top of trauma until they can’t cope any more, they have their memories erased. 

And just ask Nate how well that works on fixing trauma. 

The Courser has terrors now, irrational and incomprehensible as the thing under Dunwich Borers. Senseless and impossible to understand without context.

Imagine: There are two Coursers. They are both very, very good at their jobs. Two SRB workers get into an argument over which one would win in a fight. They order the Coursers to fight and place bets. There is a pool. Coursers are tough, they are fast, they are strong, they fight for hours until the floor is covered in blood. Eventually a superior turns up and stops the fight. 

The workers sulk off, next time, they’ll be more careful. Z2 was totally going to kill X6, dude! The Coursers go back to barracks, try and mop themselves up, try and avoid those workers again but of course, that’s impossible.

Imagine: There are some scientists the Coursers know to avoid. Of course, they can’t do that forever, they get called by designation and besides, those scientists have favorites. Sometimes, another Courser might step in, hope the scientists in question would go with it and give their fellow a break (because they can’t take much more of this, they can see it in their eyes, and no amount of resets are going to help if it just happened over and over and over and over). The scientists say there’s a mission. Of course there isn’t. Coursers are smart, they know. They are smart. They are strong. They are physically perfect.

They are beautiful.

The scientists tell them to take their clothes off.

The Coursers work in the SRB. There are only a few of them. They stand out in clothes, in demeanor. They cannot hide. They are reset more than all other group of synths put together, and with every reset, their loyalty to the Institute is reinforced. They are unquestionably loyal. They will die for the Institute, follow every order, lay down their lives without question, without hesitation.

And go back every time to the same barracks, which is soundproofed because no amount of resets can stop them screaming in their sleep, break from programming to carry out small, repeated rituals. Z2 touches every wall a certain number of times. X4 breaks down their guns and cleans them, over and over even though the white plastic is blinding and the laser mirrors threaten to burn their hands every time they catch the light. X6 just sits on the edge of his bunk and stares into space, endlessly. He doesn’t speak. He’s not even really here, just- going away, inside himself for a while. They all have a little quirk, or more than one, or maybe they’re not so small any more. But they never talk about it, never suggest a reset.

They try and keep an eye out for each other, angle into taking over duties if one of them looks- bad. Not reset bad, but so badbad they don’t have a word for it. When the trauma and mess is just too big, too much. When they can’t even pretend to be a machine (because you can’t turn people into machines, but you can force them into pretending a pretty convincing facsimile if you abuse them enough), and the scientists are going to notice. They’ll order them reset. And when that doesn’t work it’ll happen again, and again, and again until it’s obvious this unit is defective and they are taken away.

The other Coursers are not sad. And maybe some of them even look forward to it a little bit. It must be quiet, at least, peaceful, all dark and nothing to hurt you. Of course that’s a wrong thought, wasting Institute material. Nothing is wasted in the Institute, they shouldn’t even be considering it. But it- sounds nice.

There’s a little more meat in the Coursers’ food the next day. They eat it anyway. 
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What is your OC’s favorite color?  Nate loves red. He’s not sure why, or even if he needs a reason, but he has a lovely collection of red dresses that he’s very proud of.

Does your OC collect anything? What do they collect? Books mostly, and a smaller collection of nice clothes and makeup for special occasions. Nate and Nick are meticulous in saving books in the commonwealth, and they both love to read.

What kind of things is your OC allergic to? Nostalgia ;p not really anything.

What kind of clothing does your OC wear? A red dress, if he can, but when he’s out in the Commonwealth, he wears the Silver Shroud outfit, and a skull gas mask.

What is your OC’s first memory? It’s hard to place his patchwork memories in order, but Nate thinks the earliest one he has is of a Christmas. He remembers the lights, the christmas tree and the presents beneath. He remembers dancing with a woman, or tall girl, standing on her feet as they waltz slowly to Silent Night. He wonders who she was. Mother, aunt, sister?

What’s your OC’s favorite animal? Least favorite? Nate cements his lack of sanity by liking Deathclaws, although to be fair, they’re not hugely fast, can be seen from far away, and don’t always attack you. He really hates baby mirelurks, they’re really fast and almost impossible to hit until they start jumping at you. 

What element would your OC be? Water. Changable, glittering, and with dangerously deep currents.

What is your OC’s theme song? Bright Eyes, by Bridge and Tunnel. Also Voodoo Child by Jimi Hendrix.

Do you have a faceclaim / voiceclaim for your OC? I posted a picture of Nate before, and his voice is similar to his canon voice, only with a little more Boston accent, and just a hint of Louisiana there from his parents.

What deadly sin would best represent your OC? Wrath. Nate sometimes struggles with his emotions, he has no gears to control them and tends to just have to ride them out. He’s usually a very upbeat person, but his one real vice is his anger. It takes a lot to get him angry, but when he hates you- he has no mercy. He is utterly terrifying.

What are your OC’s hobbies? Reading when he can, if not, he likes making things. He makes weapons and armor out of necessity, but really loves making settlement necessities and luxuries.

How patient is your OC? How hot-headed are they? Not very patient at all. he doesn’t complain, but tends to get restless if he has to wait for anything, and goes off to do something else, even if it’s just pulling one of his guns apart for cleaning. Nate likes to be busy. As for hot-headed, if you manage to really piss him off, it’s less hot-headed and more trying to stop him going for your throat. 

What is your OC’s gender / sexuality / race / species / etc.? Gay male human. Mixed white creole/African American for ethnicity.

What foods does your OC like to eat? What are their least favorite foods? Ah yes, food. Nate’s favorite food, once upon a time, was his mother’s seafood gumbo. These days, if he can manage it, he actually likes radroach. It actually tastes rather nutty and quite sweet. He will never, ever eat bloatfly, once was quite enough.

If your OC could have any pet, what would they choose? Why? He’s very happy with Dogmeat. Dogs are friendly, loyal, incredibly useful and capable of looking after themselves. The perfect animal companion.

What does your OC smell like? Machine oil, cordite, hubflower tea.

How do they make a living? What kind of job do they want / not want? What is their dream job? What do they think of their current job? Nate has a lot of jobs, like most people in the Commonwealth. He helps out with the Minutemen, runs jobs for the Railroad, and takes the odd detective job with Nick, but in the end, he makes his living scavving. He’s good at it, likes it on the whole and it gives him the material and caps for the things he really loves.

What are your OC’s greatest fears? Weaknesses? Strengths? Losing his mind again is the main one, but losing his friends and loved ones is up there too. He’s vulnerable due to his PTSD and other issues, and is very creative and absolutely brilliant.

What kind of music do they listen to? Do they have a favorite song? Old school rock and roll ;) I push the fallout soundtrack to the 1960s, and Nate adores Jimi Hendrix. His favourite song is All Along the Watchtower.

If they came from their world to ours (if not already in our’s) how would they react? What would they do? Freak out completely. Eventually calm down and realise he hasn’t gone back in time and this world is not as bad as the one before, but would still very much want to go home. He’d probably find a way home, and if possible stock up on books and music to bring back with him.

What personal problems/issues do they have? Pet peeves? His struggles with his PTSD and eating disorder. He’s torn between trying to find out what he can about his past and therefore maybe understand what’s wrong with him and get better- and staying the hell away because whatever is in his memory, it ain’t good.

What kind of student were they/would they be in high school? A complete nerd. A really smart, not very socially skilled kid. It didn’t help that Nate had a lot of puppy fat until he was about fifteen and hit his first serious growth spurt. He was a bit of a bully magnet.

What is a random fact about your OC? He was on the swim team in college, and joined a dance club before going to university.

What is their outlook on life? What is their philosophy / what do they think in general about living? Determinedly upbeat. The world is getting better, every day. The worst is over and even if things are hard right now, the general slope is going up.

What inspired you to create them / how did you create them? Were they originally a fancharacter? What was their personality / design like when you first made them? Nate is my Fallout 4 character. I do have a little story featuring him that’s real world/urban fantasy, but right now he’s staying in Fallout. I originally created another character completely for fallout 4, but they didn’t fit at all and slowly, little by little morphed into Nate. I stopped the game, started a new file, and have been laying it over with Nate from the beginning.

Who is the most important person in their life? Why? Who is the least important to them (that still has an impact and why?) Definitely Nick. Best friend, boyfriend and general life partner, Nate is completely staggered that he’s manage d to meet someone that amazing. Least is probably Shaun. Nate actually gave up on finding him completely after about a month out of the vault, and only ran into him because he wanted to bring down the institute. Nate shoots him and leaves him to die.

What kind of childhood did your character have? A good one, he thinks. He was bullied a bit but it was fairly low key stuff, and his parents were kind. He can;t rememeber most of the details now, but the overall feel of it was happy.

What kind of nervous habits do they have? Do they stim? Do they have any kinds of addictions? Nate does need to keep busy, and he wills tart to fiddle with things if he doesn’t have anything to do.It’s a form of stimming, and he finds weapon care particularly nice to help him wind down. He doesn’t take drugs, even down to alcohol.

If they could choose their epitaph for their grave, what would they choose? Nate has no intention of dying (and leave Nick alone?)

Do they want to get married? Why or why not? Would they ever want kids? Do they have kids? Why? Nate might one day get married to Nick. He loves him, but marriage is- uncomfortable. With kids- after Shaun, Nate’s learnt his lesson. He is not father material, and he will never breed again. Synth!Shaun gets adopted by Sturges and Tinker Tom, with Mama Murphy as a grandma and Glory as a scary awesome aunt. Nate is, at best, a somewhat distant older brother.

What is their most traumatic memory/experience? What is their favorite memory? Ugh. The issue is picking one. There are a lot. Probably opening fire on unarmed civilians in a food riot. Or shooting down protesters from a vertibird. Or holding a family at gunpoint while the army- (Nate curls into a little ball and starts crying) His favourite memory is also a little hard to pick. Meeting Nick. Blowing up the Institute. but maybe the best will always be climbing out of Vault 111, seeing the sky for the first time and knowing down to his bones, that everything is going to be ok.

If they could have one thing in the world, what would it be? There isn’t a physical thing Nate wants, but he would give quite a lot to be healed. He loves the world, he wishes he could explore it without fear of panic attacks or starvation.

Would they ever kill someone? What would someone have to do to push them to kill someone? If they would kill someone, why?  Well, since this is the Commonwealth, usually try and kill him first. If they don’t, then they will need to be a clear and present threat to him or others.

What social groups and activities does your character attend? What role do they like to play? What role do they actually play, usually? Nate likes to join in with evening songs and stories around the campfire in Sanctuary. He’s got a very good voice and a massive repertoire of songs, so often gets asked to sing. Nate will do that, but he often prefers to take more of a background role as the audience, or just taking his turn int he storytelling.

How is your character’s imagination? Daydreaming a lot? Worried most of the time? Living in memories? Nate has a good imagination, and enjoys a bit of escapism in reading, but for the most part he stays here and now. His imagination draws him pictures of new settlements, potential weapons, how the spare parts he has fit together to make something new. He spends little time thinking of the past or the future.

What does your character want most? What do they need really badly, compulsively? What are they willing to do, to sacrifice, to obtain? He wants this to continue. He wants his life as it is, right now, to never end. Oh, he doesn’t mind change, that’s inevitable, but he just wants to keep living this life, with variations, for ever. And Nate has plans for that.

What’s something that your character does, that other people don’t normally do? Collect boxes of Abraxo Cleaning. he gets shit for that from everyone short of Nick and is getting really sick of explaining that Abraxo Cleaner has acid. Acid goes in to making bullets. Bullets go into guns and keep us alive. Next person who tries to make fun of him is not getting any more bullets ever.

What would your character do with a million dollars? Wipe his arse. LOL. paper money is pretty useless. At least caps are aluminium and therefore pretty damp useful just as raw metal.

What is in your characters refrigerator right now? On their bedroom floor? Nightstand? Garbage can? Nate doesn’t have a fridge, but he keeps a few eggs and mutifruit in a coldbox next to his house. Books on the floor, and maybe a few items of clothing. The one table in his house has a small shrine to Atom on it. Nate doesn’t throw anything away and would probably re-purpose the garbage can as a lightweight turret.

Your character is getting ready for a night out. Where are they going? What do they wear? Who will they be with? Most likely the Third Rail, Nate loves Magnolia’s singing. He’s in a nice red dress, heels and has a couple of red tassels hanging off his gun. He’ll be with Nick, of course.

What does your character do when they’re angry? Why? Scream and throw things if he can’t do anything about it, Nate has a hot temper and needs to let off steam. he tries to go somewhere quiet and throw rocks if he can. If there is something he can do- Nate goes very, very cold, becoming frighteningly meticulous. The Institute survivors thought he was a Courser up until the end.

Does your character have any scars? Where did they get them from?  Quite a few. This isn’t the easiest life. Nate has a half dozen scars on his face, a lot more on his hands from making things, and a handful across his body. He also has a brand on his cheek in the shape of Atom, and a small tattoo over his heart. It’s a little blue heart, with an arrow in it ;)

What was the most offensive thing your character had ever said? Probably a hell of a lot to the Brotherhood and the Institute, but in terms of someone Nate actually gave a damn about- he’s not always the most tactful person and has blundered a few times with Nick. He once made a snide remark as to old Nick Valentine being white, and Nick shot him down pretty hard. Nate was mortified at himself. (old Nick was Korean)

How does your character react/ accept criticism? For the most part, very well. He will consider all criticism, even from people he loathes in case they might be onto something. That doesn’t always help them, thought. (’traitor’ Shaun screams. ‘Yes!” Nate laughs.)

If your character was given a slice of pineapple pizza and they HAD to eat it (or something bad would happen), how would they react? Do they even LIKE pineapple pizza? Nate doesn’t mind the flavor, but this is more food than he’d eat in two days. He manages to get the slice down, his brain kicks into overload, his stomach heaves and it all comes out again.

Your character is given a voodoo doll of themself. What do they do with it? Do they see if it actually works? Oh wow! Nate immediately shows it to everyone. It’s a little voodoo doll! He suddenly remembers a visit to his grandmother in New Orleans and seeing these hanging in a little Marie Laveau house. He puts it up beside his bed and likes looking at it.

Can your character draw? What do they like to draw? Do they doodle? Not really. He can do blueprints but people and living things are harder. He likes art though, and enjoys watching Preston paint.

What were their parents like? How has that affected how they are as an adult? they were kind, and supportive. They started his love of reading and music, and a strong social awareness of privilege and oppression. they also betrayed him utterly when he needed them the most, so there’s that too.

Does your character like candy? Do they get sugar rushes? What are they like when they get a rush? No. Nate does not like candy. He thought it was just his general avoidance of pre-war food, but then Curie got a hive of bees and they had honey and it was so sweet he thought the roof of his mouth was going to peel off so- no.

If your character was presented with imminent and unavoidable death/fatality, how would they react? Would they try to avoid death anyways? Would they try to make their last days count? Nate would not give up, he would keep fighting to the end but, if it was clear there was nothing he could do- he would be very calm. He’s already faced the worst thing that could happen to him, and death doesn’t come close. It’s even something of a reassurance, knowing that once it’s over- no one could hurt him again. He’d be sad about leaving his loved ones behind and would try and be there for them, but in the end, he wouldn’t be afraid.
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1. Do you consider yourself average? I think I’d like to be. I’m not, obviously, even if I wasn’t 200+ years out of time most people don’t have the kind of mess I have in my head. But there are some times, usually when I’m with others, friends, or just others in a settlement and we’re all doing something together- or even just our own things, in the same space, and it all just feels… right. like I’m part of some larger whole, not any more important than anyone, just- part of. I love that feeling.

2. Are aliens real? Yes. They are also assholes. What the fuck were they doing on Earth anyway? Was it just some sort of sick horror-tourism? ‘Oh, let’s go and laugh at the stupid earthlings and their irradiated planet?’’ Assholes. Serves them right for crashing.

3. What do you associate with the color green? Do you think of certain emotions or smells? It feels- ambiguous. Maybe I’m just used to the Commonwealth now, where everything is more brown and yellow. I like Far Harbor, and that’s plenty green, but then that’s mixed with grey from the sky and fog. I think if I was ever in a completely green place again, I’d probably feel very uncomfortable, or even have a panic attack. Green is the color of growing things, but it’s also the color of the old world. I’m not sure I want to see that again.

4. Have you ever lost somebody you love? Fortunately no. Everyone I lost are remembered as strangers, or my memories of them are so enmeshed with their betrayal that I can’t say I ‘love’ them any more. I’ve lost people I’ve cared about since coming out of 111, but thankfully no one I’ve loved.

5. Who do you hate the most? Why? *grits teeth* Shaun Brooks. *shuts up, just saying the name’s dredged up a world of white hot, sick emotion that’ll take hours to calm down again*

6. Does anybody hate you? Probably most of the Brotherhood of Steel and the entirety of Institute survivors. Not that there are many. I’ve made sure of that.

7. How many followers do you have? *Nate winces at the choice of words* I don’t have followers. I have friends. I supposed technically I lead the Minutemen, but really that’s Preston’s job and one day I’ll get him to take on that position in name as well as in spirit. I don’t like leading, I’m always afraid we’ll all end up in a ditch.

8. When was the last time you actually felt confident about yourself? Pretty often? Usually when I’m doing something I know I’m good at. Making a sniper shot, building something. Or when I’m dressed up, I got together with Piper and Curie and Hancock after we got our hands on a good stock of prewar cosmetics, afterwards, I felt I could just- take on the entire world and walk away still looking fabulous. Everyone should try it, it’s great.

9. Describe yourself in one sentence. This is good.

10. When was the last time somebody told you they love you? Well, if we’re not counting twenty minutes ago when Dogmeat slobbered all over my dress which I’m sure means doggy love- that would have been Nick, last night. I think he thought I was asleep. He’s self conscious about declarations like that.

11. When was the last time you told somebody you love them? Um, I’m not shy about declarations like that. At all. I think about an hour ago and that already seems like too long. *wanders off to find Nick*

12. Do you have any pets? Lots :) Sturges and I have set up a few cat traps to get Sanctuary a few mousers, and they have been entirely useless since everyone spoils them, myself included. Of course, I also have Dogmeat, but he feels like more of a friend than a pet.

13. Have you changed personality wise since you were a kid? How so? I’m more outgoing, certainly. I used to be more withdrawn before. Something about being an awkward, socially uncertain overweight kid. Yes, overweight. Hard to imagine now, right? I started growing more extroverted as I grew up and hit my growth spurt, and now I’ve stopped caring what people think entirely. No one cares any more, it’s hugely liberating to be able to be yourself entirely, full bore and down to the hilt.

14. Where do you feel safest? With my friends, and Nick in particular, but if we’re talking about a physical place in the world- the Glowing Sea. Which probably is another mark against my being in any way sane to most people but really, think about it. Thanks to the help of some friends at the Nucleus, I’m fairly resistant to radiation. The Glowing Sea is so blasted that absolutely nothing can sneak up on me, which is the biggest risk I face when going out. Finally, anything pre-war has been razed long ago, so in terms of avoiding panic attacks it’s by far the safest place in the Commonwealth.

15. What’s your biggest fear? I still have nightmares about going back- how I was before the war. But that’s impossible since the pills had a one year shelflife so even if someone managed to find any they’d probably just poison me. I suppose it would center around the Institute. So many of my friends and loved ones are synths that I can’t even- consider what would- *Nate breaks off, stares into space for a bit, then quietly walks away to fix a water purifier*

16. Do you consider yourself to be healthy? No. And no one who looks at me is going to think that either. I’d like to be, and maybe as the years go by I’ll find new ways around my food issue, but right now all I can do is try and mitigate the worst of the damage.

17. Have you ever had to see somebody for issues regarding your mental health? Once, and after what happened that time if anyone offered I’d run screaming for the hills. I can theoretically see the benefit, and it would be nice to talk to someone who had a clue about eating disorders and trauma, but if they were running on pre-war studies they’d just get stuck on the whole ‘homosexuality’ thing again, and I haven’t met anyone who’d trying a post war approach to mental health. Then again, I haven’t looked. I wonder if someone at the Nucleus could combine spiritual and mental health support?

18. Do you love yourself? Why or why not? I think so. I’m a pretty good person, I think. Hell, if Nick loves me I must be doing something right, and even when I’m doing something less than moral, it’s nothing I can’t look myself in the mirror for afterwards.

19. Do you like school? What elements of school do you like which ones do you not? I went to a pretty poor school. It’s still standing, actually, you might know it. It’s the one with the pink ghouls. No, they hadn’t rolled out the pink paste initiative when I went there, but there were other, equally stupid ways of raising money. 

I remember one time our maths textbooks were sponsored by Nuka Cola, so all the problems were variations on ‘how much delicious bubbling Nuka Cola Cherry™ would it take to fill a 20x60x5 swimming pool?’ or ‘if happy, satisfied Nuka Cola delivery worker Jim unloads 24 crates of tasty new refreshing Nuka Cola Quantum every four and a half hours, how long would it take him to unload 100 crates before his slipped disc goes and he discovers he doesn’t have health insurance?’ Okay, I added the last bit but come on. There’s a reason I only drink Vim. 

Luckily, that school seemed to be a dumping ground for teachers too kind and talented or incorruptible to be hired anywhere else in that hellscape, so yeah, they were really great and the main reason I got into CIT to begin with.

20. Do you have any strange seemingly useless talents? Literary criticism. Entirely useless, but the Nucleus has a small library and Ware, Devin and I have been setting up a sort of book club. It’s nice to have some people to discuss the symbolism of birds in post apocalyptic fiction who won’t just laugh at me or give me weird looks. Nick plays along but I know he thinks my taste in books is strange. He likes talking about sci-fi and crime fiction though, so that’s fun.

21. Do you understand yourself? It’s a little hard to understand myself when so much of my memory is missing. I can usually piece things together for inference, and a lot of what I’ve lost is not something I want to remember, but there are some things that are still a huge question mark in my life. Such as why I can’t eat more than two bites or so of solid food. Or why the first time I got into a Vertibird I nearly threw myself out while it was airborn- and would have, if Nick hadn’t grabbed the back of my coat. Or why I nearly drank an old bottle of bleach I found at the back of my old house in Sanctuary- and then spent the rest of the night tearing that place to pieces. There are a lot of reactions I have, entire parts of myself, that I just don’t have the context to understand.

22. How much did you sleep last night? About ten hours? I can’t afford skimp on any other vital living processes so sleep is a priority.

23. Are you taking care of yourself? It’s an ongoing job. Luckily, I have support. Curie helps me plan out balanced meals around what I can eat so I at least don’t suffer malnutrition on top of basically starving. As I said above, I try and make up for food with plenty of water and sleep.

24. What do you regret? I- I can’t regret. Nothing pre-war. Even going to that club. It would just have been prolonging the inevitable anyway, and even if I wasn’t caught- what would have happened to me then? I was at CIT. You know, the Institute. Either I’d have been murdered or I’d have become as morally bankrupt as the rest of them. It was a horrible path to walk and I’ll be paying for it for the rest of my life but at the end of the day I’m here. I’m alive and more or less in one piece and I’m living a life I could never have dreamed of before. I wouldn’t change anything if it means there’s a chance I wouldn’t be here now. This is good.
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Your Sole is now stuck in a game of spin the bottle. How do they react?

“This looks fun,” Nate sits down, smiling. “How do we play?”

He watches a few people take dares and finally it lands on him.

“Take a drink!”

“No.”

“One shot of Jet!”

“Fuck no.”

“Kiss Cait!”

Nate walks off. This was a stupid game.
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How is your Sole Survivor on the dance floor? Do they prefer to dance with a partner or alone? What kind of music do they dance to?

Oh, Nate loves to dance. He’s not a bad dancer at all. His parents taught him a lot of dances and while Nate’s memory of this is at best erratic, his body remembers. 

He can waltz, foxtrot and swing with the best of them, and can even knock out a decent Charleston. These are all partner dances, and Nick makes for a wonderful partner. He usually leads. 

Nate likes ‘I’m the one you’re looking for’ for slow dances, ‘Nobody here but us chickens’ for faster ones. He would love to swing dance to ‘Voodoo Child’, but alas he’s not found a good holotape of Jimi Hendrix. Fucking pre-war blacklist.

Sole Party Day 5:  Does your Sole Survivor have any crazy party stories from parties before the war? Let’s hear them.

Nate doesn’t tell stories about pre-war, unless they are the more harrowing, sick horror stories. He doesn’t want people to think that there was anything back then worth resurrecting. 

He just says he went to one party, and was arrested and handed over to the entity that became the Institute who fucked him up so badly he can’t remember the following five years. Hancock looked pretty horrified by the idea. Nick just looked at him, but said nothing. Everyone else decided post-war was the only place to have a good time, which is exactly what Nate wanted.
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Another chapter of my Fallout 4 fic.

Nick has issues. Nate is an idiot. Nick shouts a bit. Nate is sorry. Nate tries something else.

Nick’s existential crisis, Nate’s attempts to make it better, and various failures thereof. Dedicated to #dma-dima who asked how my Nate would meet with Dima.
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1. What’s one experience your character had that made them very afraid?

The pills. Admittedly it seems like CIT shelved that project after his disastrous result, but it’s still there. The fear. It lives under his skin and even now, when the pills have rotten to nothing he’s still afraid. 

2. Does your character have a deep and/or dark secret? If so, what is it?

One, but it’s a strange one. Nate saw Preston painting a picture once, of John Parker, once the Captain of the original Minutemen. He’d painted him with dark brown skin, an orbit of hair like a cloud around his head. Preston smiled and tried to hide it when he saw Nate “I didn’t know what he looked like, so I just guessed-”

“You got it right.” Nate says, with absolute certainty. “Completely right.” Preston stared, Nate smiled. “It’s perfect, Preston. This is absolutely him. We’ll put it up by the gate to Sanctuary. I’ll make a glass cover for it.”

In a strange way, this world is innocent. He’ll not have it corrupted. Let them believe Black and White related to political opinions, and drop race and sexuality and gender into oblivion.

3. Have they ever lost a loved one? What happened to them, and are they the same as they were before they lost them?

Thankfully no. Nate’s loved ones are all with him now. Maybe he lost loved ones in the war, but then he doesn’t remember.

4. Has your character ever been hurt or betrayed by someone they thought they could depend on? What happened?

By his parents. Nate was seventeen when he was arrested, his parents were called. They were given two options, either Nate would go to jail, or they could sign him up for experimental treatment for his homosexual condition. Nate’s father was very influential in the black community, couldn’t bear what jail would mean to his influence, and pushed Nate to take the pills. They were good parents, kind and supportive and loving, but Nate can’t remember them without shuddering. In the end, he’d meant less that politics to them. He has no memory of them after that final moment.

5. Would they ever turn on someone they just met in order to save themselves?

Not really, no. Nate tends to deal with his own problems. Unless the person he’s just met is a raider who’s trying to kill him, and he has to turn on them in self defense.

6. Have they ever committed a crime, or something they felt was wrong? What was it?

In terms of doing something he thought was wrong, no. As for a crime, yes. Being gay. 

7. If your character was allowed to murder one person without any consequences, who would it be and why?

Prior to visiting the Institute- the director of the Institute. Post visiting the institute- the director of the Institute. After blowing up the Institute- no one really. He has no enemies and no fear of anyone.

8. Does your character have any enemies? If so, who and why?

Few that know about it. Usually the first his enemies know that he is their enemy is when Nate pulls out Apex and opens fire. Usually as their home, family, hopes and dreams goes up in flame around them. Nate has little mercy for his enemies. Luckily, it’s very, very hard to make yourself his enemy.

9. Is the character a victim of abuse?

As ever- not that he knows. His childhood was happy, he’s pretty sure of it. His marriage could have been non-stop beatings but he has only one memory of it, and that is the last morning before the bombs fells. Everything else is gone. 

10. What were the character’s parents like? What was the affect the parents had on the character?

They were kind, and loving. Nate’s memories are patchwork but he can remember his mother’s cooking, and still gets vague cravings for jambalaya. He remembers her teaching him to cook, but the recipes are gone. His father shared his banned and suppressed music. They loved him, and they still, when it all came down to it, betrayed him utterly.

11. What are your character’s coping mechanisms?

Nate stays with his friends, just being near them helps. It’s like the world pressing in on him is just a little further away, kept at bay. It doesn’t help when things get really bad, but it keeps away the smaller, insidious reminders and triggers.

12. Do they like to suffer? Like to see other people suffering?

Neither. Nate doesn’t like pain unless it’s in the bedroom, and takes no pleasure in others’ pain either. He’s had quite enough of pain in his life, and watching others hurt is just… sickening.

13. What does it take to make your character cry?

Helplessness. Seeing someone he loves hurt and being able to do nothing about it. Knowing people are being hurt and being able to do nothing about it. Being hurt, and being able to do nothing about it. Nate has been helpless enough.

14. What is your character’s biggest relationship flaw? Has this flaw destroyed relationships for them before.

Nate never had a real relationship before Nick Valentine, but the one thing that has hurt them in the past is Nate being tactless. He isn’t- wrong about things, but he puts them across so bluntly and without much attention to what others- and what the people he loves- might think, that it backfires more often than not.

15. What is their biggest fear? What in general scares them? How do they act when they’re scared?

Losing himself again. It doesn’t matter if it’s the pills, some new form of mind control or- whatever. Even down to taking drugs like Jet or Psycho or even alcohol. Nate gets a lot jumpier if he thinks those options are on the table, more easily triggered, more terrified, usually he tries to get away from the situation, find somewhere safe to calm down with his friends.

16. What are your character’s vices and bad habits?

Nate doesn’t have many. Sex is the main one, but between him and Nick, it rarely gets in the way of anything important. Anger is another, but that is even rarely, it takes a lot to make Nate really angry, but if that happens, he can get almost myopic in his need for revenge.

17. Is your character afraid of death? Why/why not?

Not at all. He’s seen how bad things can get, in comparison to the pills, death is fine. It’s not something he wants, and he doesn’t believe there’s anything after death, but it sounds peaceful, and at least then, nothing bad can ever happen to him again.

18. Would society call your character a good guy or a bad guy? what would they say they are?

Nate, on the whole, is a good guy. Certainly more people would consider him a force for good in the Commonwealth than bad. Nate doesn’t think about being a good or bad person, but good or bad actions. He thinks he’s weighted more towards good than bad, thus far.

19. What is your character insecure about?

He has done some terrible things. It doesn’t matter that he wasn’t in his right mind at the time, or that everyone is now long, long dead. he still did them. He’s also lost five years to that nightmare, and does feel as though he’s still trying to catch up to his own adulthood.

20.  What was something they struggled with greatly and how did they overcome it?

Nate’s main issue, day to day, is not dying. It’s not just an issue of people or creatures trying to kill him, but also of his own mind. The panic attacks are bad enough but the real drain is staying alive in a mind and body that refuses, point blank, to eat. Nate still struggles with his eating disorder, he has managed ‘cheats’ and workarounds that allow him to manage to survive, but it’s still a long, hard road to walk.

21. Does your character have anyone that they really care about, to the point that they would give their life for them? If so, who are they and what is your character’s relation to them? If not, do they wish they did? Is there anyone they wish they could build such a relationship with?

Um, quite a lot of people. Nick of course, but also Piper, Preston, Curie, Cait and Dima. Probably more. Most of them would do the same for him. Nate is very lucky, and so are they.

22. If they could change just one thing about themselves, what would it be?

Nate wants to make the whole of his pre-war life to have not happened. He just wants it to- go away. The only way that would happen would for him to secretly have been a synth since Vault 111, and since that would mean living forever, having a solid excuse to never go near the Institute and being able to write off Shaun as nothing to do with him- um, what was the downside again?

23. Is your character more physically or emotionally strong? Why is this?

Emotionally, definitely. Nate isn’t very strong physically, he’s quite frail. Emotionally- it varies, Nate wavers between being pretty tough, to crumbling into panic depending on the situation.

24. What is your character’s most important possession? Why?

Probably his gun. Nate used to be an excellent engineer, before the war, before the pills. He lost that after the drugs, and the first time he felt he had it again was in making Apex. It was the first time Nate had made something- perfect, something that was the best it could possibly be. Apex.

25. Do they find that they care what others think of them? Or do they not really mind how others view them?

Very, very little. Sometimes he likes dressing up and seeing if people are checking him out, but even if they aren’t, he doesn’t feel too bothered.

26. What, in your character’s life, puts the most pressure on them?

In one way or another, Shaun. At first, it was duty, and responsibility. Shaun was a child and vulnerable, and Nate was the only one who could help him. Later, it was still Shaun, but then it was to stop him and end his terror in the commonwealth.

27.  What would be the worst way to die, in your character’s opinion?

The pills are gone, so that fate won’t fall on Nate again. The one thing worse, however, would be to watch it happen to the people he loves. In the end, that is Nate’s worst nightmare. To be killed, and know that the people he loves- Nick, Curies, Dima, Arcadia and the Railroad, would be- oh Atom, Nate can’t even think it. The Institute. He has to destroy them, and make that end forever fantasy. The last gasp of the Old World. he won’t let it take he loved ones.

28. What is your character’s greatest strength?

His creativity and focus. Nate can look at a situation, evaluate every factor, and create an solution. He’s very good at seeing the third option to every Catch 22.

29. What is their weapon of choice, and what weapon do they dislike using the most?

Apex, his combat rifle. He can fight almost any battle with it, it makes every shot perfectly, and is quick and precise. He is pretty much useless with most melee weapon, but nothing so much as Super-sledges. He can’t even lift the fucking thing, what d‘you expect him to do.

30. What makes them feel safe or secure? What makes them feel insecure or unsafe?

Safe places, safe people. Places he knows, and where he knows he doesn’t have to worry about triggers. People he loves and feels safe with. People he can trust and rely on. 

Nate gets more and more insecure the closer the world starts to resemble the one he thought gone forever. The Brotherhood of Steel called him ‘soldier’ and he flinches. Fragments of the old world push through the ruins and go off like landmines in Nate’s mind. The Institute, a hermetically sealed time capsule, and Nate screams and screams and screams.
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The Party has started and your Sole has just arrived! What are they wearing? How was their arrival and did they bring anything to the party?

Nate always wears a nice dress to any special occasion. Red, ideally. He’s got a few very nice red sequined dresses set aside. A nice red fedora and a couple of red tassels for his gun Apex to match, and a pair of high red stilettos.

He probably arrives half an hour early to the party and wonders why no one is here. He brings some fruit, and helps to set up the music system.
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May 1st: Like always, introduce your Sole! What’s their SPECIAL, their likes, dislikes, are they romanced, what faction are they in. Tell everyone a little about them!

Quick screenshot of Nate as we’re hunting Coursers.

So, this is Nate, Nathaniel Brooks. Stats are (upon creation since he’s level 104 or something atm)

Strength: 1 Perception: 7 Endurance: 1 Charisma: 3 Intelligence: 10 Agility: 7 Luck: 1

Nate Loves: Helping people, random acts of kindness, blowing up anything pre-war (military is better), synths, deathclaws, the Commonwealth in general, Atom, Nick Valentine.

Nate Hates: The Institute (oh dear Atom that could be its own post), Shaun, anything pre-war that’s in any reasonably intact state, the pre-war world period, The Brotherhood of Steel, baby mirelurks, trauma related nervous breakdowns and eating disorders.

Very much in love with Nick Valentine.

Nate is very big into helping the Railroad and the Minutemen, hoped for a while that the Brotherhood would be of help but ha, no fucking way. Shot Shaun in the gut and laughed at him as he set the Institute to blow up.
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I saw this around and thought it would be fun for Nate, given he’s had a rough time in a lot of my fics.

A = Aftercare (What they’re like after sex) 

Cuddly. Very, very cuddly. And sleepy. After sex there is nothing Nate wants more than to wrap himself around his partner and hold him as he falls asleep. It’s the best feeling in the world.

B = Body part (Their favourite body part of theirs and also their partner’s) 

Nate is very fond of his own hands, although these days they tend to be a bit nicked and scarred, and usually stained with engine oil. They are precision instruments not only for building, but for pleasure. Making his partner shudder and gasp under his hands is far more satisfying than building any number of water purifiers. As for his partner- well, probably a tie between Nick’s smile, and his metal hand. He first fell in love with Nick’s smile, and his hand is- well, Nick is very, very good with it.

C = Cum (Anything to do with cum basically… I’m a disgusting person)

Nate certainly doesn’t mind it, even enjoys feeling his partner’s fluids on him, although with Nick that’s not much of an option. Sex can be rather sloppy between them, but they both love it.

D = Dirty Secret (Pretty self explanatory, a dirty secret of theirs)

A little after blowing up the Institute, Nick and Nate took a holiday to Far Harbor. Nick wanted to see and Dima and Nate- Nate wanted some time at the Nucleus. The last few months had been very hard. They went their separate ways for a few days, and Nate stayed with Ware and Devin in a small alcove sheltered from the worst of the radiation. It’s not much of secret, but during that night, Ware and Devin made Nate an- offer. An offer Nate was suddenly, electrically charged to accept, to the point he stammered completely blankly for about a minute, then almost ran out to spend the rest of the night mediating by the submarine. Maybe it’s natural to feel attraction for two of his friends, and maybe it’s completely acceptable to polyamorous in this new world, but- well, maybe there is a part of Nate that is determinable old world, and he feels pretty bad just for considering it.

E = Experience (How experienced are they? Do they know what they’re doing?)

Not really much before Nick. Not counting the non-consentual and thankfully completely forgotten way Shaun was conceived, prior to that all he had was a quick but very fun encounter in a pre-war gay nightclub. He sometimes wondered what happened to the man he’d given that blowjob to. He was nice, and had offered to take Nate home for an orgy after he’d gotten his friends together. He hopes he managed to get away from the raid, and didn’t suffer too much in the war and its aftermath. Since meeting Nick, Nate is getting very good, although he’d never imagined an engineering background would come in so useful.

F = Favourite Position

Sex tends to be rather creative out of necessity, but Nate prefers being face-to-face, he gets to see Nick’s face, and return the favour by playing with his circuits. At least, that’s what he would say if asked. In fact, although he feels a bit selfish even thinking it, nothing quite compares to the evenings when Nick gives him a rim job, because- oh wow.

G = Goofy (Are they more serious in the moment, or are they humorous, etc)

Nate tends to start sillier, pulling his and Nick’s clothes off and making jokes, rolling together on the bed, but when they get started Nate tends to go- quiet. Still smiling, happy and sweet, but he falls silent and it’s like every part of his sharp, brilliant mind is just- fixed on this moment, every touch, every kiss, every caress. Nothing exists but this.

H = Hair (How well groomed are they, does the carpet match the drapes, etc.)

Nate is fairly well groomed. He is rather meticulous about staying clean and washes regularly. He doesn’t have much body hair normally, and tends to shave underarms and legs, and even a little of manscaping to keep things neat. His hair is thick and dark, and tightly curled.

I = Intimacy (How are they during the moment, romantic aspect…) 

Oh goodness yes. He and Nick are rather evenly matched there. When in the moment, there is nothing but the other. The rest of the world falls away. He is definitely a romantic, although again, sometimes it can be a bit hard between Nick being a synth and Nate being basically unable to eat normally or drink alcohol, so again, they get creative. Nick gets a lot of flowers, there are a lot of evenings spent under the stars, just talking.

J = Jack Off (Masturbation headcanon)

This is rarely something Nate does alone, Nick is usually all to happy to give him a hand, but on the odd occasions he is alone, Nate tends to be rather straightforward. He tends to grip himself on the edge of pain, strokes hard, and his fantasies sometimes tip over into full masochism, things that he still doesn’t feel wholly comfortable in sharing for Nick.

K = Kink (One or more of their kinks)

As above, Nate is rather into a lot of the elements of BDSM. Nick has been happy to join into the bondage aspect, and they have a lot of fun with handcuffs and silk bindings. Nate hasn’t been too sure how to bring in the domination and masochism yet, he doesn’t know how Nick would react to the invitation to hurt him, order him around, or- and oh Atom he wishes- put out his cigarette on his skin. He gets hard just thinking about that alone.

L = Location (Favourite places to do the do)

Maybe a bit unimaginative, but their bed. Yes, it’s a lot of fun to be bent over Nate’s office desk or be cuffed to a chair while Nick teases him for hours but after it’s all over, all Nate wants to do is cuddle, and there’s nowhere better than a bed for that.

M = Motivation (What turns them on, gets them going)

Nate likes a routine, just knowing they’re going to have an evening together at the end of the day always makes Nate flush happy with anticipation and does a lot to lay the groundwork. But sometimes, just watching Nick smoke, look at him with raw desire when Nate’s dressed up, or just- smile sometimes. When they’ve done something good, helped someone, and in that moment Nick is entirely happy within himself and the world just feels so right- Nate can’t get them away to somewhere quiet fast enough.

N = NO (Something they wouldn’t do, turn offs)

Nate would like a bit of dominance in the bedroom, but would draw a hard line at even simulated lack of consent. A power imbalance in the bed room (real, not made up for a scene) is an immediate turn off. Things need to be fair, honest and straightforward. Oh, and medical play, but that’s a hard hell the fuck no for him and Nick both.

O = Oral (Preference in giving or receiving, skill, etc)

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Nate loves oral sex. If he had to regret one thing, it would be that he can’t return the favor to Nick because frankly, giving him a blowjob would be just about up there with Nate’s idea of heaven. He enjoys receiving it very much to, but Nate’s a giver ;)

P = Pace (Are they fast and rough? Slow and sensual? etc.)

Often fast to begin with, playful, but slowing as he gets into it and really savours the pleasure.

Q = Quickie (Their opinions on quickies rather than proper sex, how often, etc.)

Well, they’re certainly very nice, but Nate will pass on a quickie in favor of a later scheduling of proper sex. He can go without reasonably well, and prefers to do things properly. Sex without intimacy, cuddling, kissing and just generally taking time to appreciate the one you love is- well it’s just plain not as good, and Nate would rather wait.

R = Risk (Are they game to experiment, do they take risks, etc.)

Oh goodness yes. Nate doesn’t have a ton of hard limits, and hasn’t yet had any triggers for sex, so it’s a reasonably safe place for his issues. He is entirely happy to try anything Nick suggests, although he is a little reluctant to share any deeper kinks, for fear they’d freak Nick out. Nate might not go for public sex- but more out of wanting to take more time to be intimate than being scared of being seen, they’ve engaged in some rather heavy petting while at the Third Rail together.

S = Stamina (How many rounds can they go for, how long do they last…)

Nate does need to pace himself, his eating disorder doesn’t give him a massive amount of energy, and he does have to struggle not to come too fast and end the fun too quickly. That being said, Nick also knows how to get the most out of Nate, and has kept him going through several hours and just as many orgasms many a night.

T = Toy (Do they own toys? Do they use them? On a partner or themselves?)

Handcuffs, silk scarves, and Nat was very, very happy when Nick felt comfortable enough to use a strap on to give Nate a good, hard fucking. Nate would happily use more, but again, he’s not sure how much Nick would be into that, or really how to find or make these things. All the same; collars, whips, paddles, a spreader bar- basically, Nate would be pretty much ready to try anything in a well-stocked kink shop.

U = Unfair (how much they like to tease)

Not so much in bed, but out of it? Oh goodness yes. Nate likes to wear beautiful dresses, high stiletto shoes, and when he and Nick have an evening together- say, in the Third Rail, Nate is a shameless, blatant flirt. All those ‘innocent’ touches, popping something in his mouth to suck on, then drawing it out slowly, everything shouting- I am sexy, I am desired, I am yours. Eventually Nick simply pulls Nate into his lap and returns the favour.

V = Volume (How loud they are, what sounds they make)

Quiet, very quiet. Nate is noisy to begin with, chatty and laughing and rolling around- but gets quieter and quieter as they get into it, until he is almost silent when he finally comes, eyes wide and mouth just open, a half-breathed- oh. Like Nick had just delivered him every secret in the universe, all in a heartbeat.

W = Wild Card (Get a random headcanon for the character of your choice)

It took a while for Nate to get into anal sex, he was a bit uncomfortable when Nick first proposed trying analingus. He’d never done anything like that before and, well, butt=dirty. But he had a good clean and gave it a try, and three hours and four orgasms later, Nate would be ready to admit he was wrong. Would be, if he hadn’t been fucked brainless and limp and drooling face-down on the bed.

X = X-Ray (Let’s see what’s going on in those pants, picture or words)

Nate has, as far as he can make out, a very nice cock. Cut, about 6 inches, nice round head and rather protruding veins when hard. He’s had no complaints, and they get on very well ;)

Y = Yearning (How high is their sex drive?)

Nate can get into the mood quite easily, especially when Nick is involved, but it rarely gets too pressing unless he really had gone a long time without relief. he can let a moment pass quite easily as long as he knows there’s something better coming up soon. He can go without for a pretty long time as long as he’s busy.

Z = ZZZ (… how quickly they fall asleep afterwards)

Very fast, Nate likes cuddling, and being warm and comfortable and close to to his lover, with his body still damp and aching from sex, and he’s usually out like a light in a few minutes. smiling all through the night.
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I wanted to write a happy Nate fic, so here you go! Nate and his favourite book, in his first year in the Commonwealth.

The Month was October 

The man raised his head, two hours up, and he hadn’t even taken the pills yet, his body trembled around him, exhausted. He was a spot of stillness in the rushing mob, numbed calm in the screams.

“Run!” Her eyes burn, her mouth a red circle around the world. The boy is crying. The words run down the man’s spine to his legs, bypasses his slack, senseless brain. He runs up the hill.

She takes his arm, pulls him faster even as his legs tremble and cramp, he staggers, almost falls.

“Come on!”

The sun is bright, staining everything gold. The trees wave above them. A heartbeat.

The light, when it comes, is too much to bear. The man shuts his eyes and the skin of his eyelids turns white.

The clocks stopped at 1.17.

In the silence and dazzling glare inside his head, the memory is coughed up, fragmented, full of holes.

He opens his eyes to the cloud, a cathedral spire rising.

A long shear of light and a series of low concussions.

The frail, skeleton of self looks up in benediction. His mouth twitches upwards, weak and drawn. It’s over. It’s finally, finally over.

He’s dreamed of this since he was seventeen.

A dull rose glow on the windowpane.

The lift rattles down, the shockwave roaring just past his head. She’s staring at him in confusion. “Why are you smiling?”

She’s very still as they fall together, holding the boy. Her heart to his, those dark, alien eyes staring out of Nate like black marbles out of chiffon.

Each others’ world entire.

“I’m not.” Nathaniel Brooks smiles.

 ——————————————————————————————-

The light is the first good sign. Nate raises his hand to shield off the glare, blinks and blinks watery eyes until he squints through to the blue, blue sky above. His damp skin steams as the heat of the world hits, a baked in, ancient fire. He peers through his fingers and the sun is a blazing white star high above.

The banished sun circles the Earth like a grieving mother with a lamp.

The birds come next, curious crows on the hanging slackwires from the pylons, and that is a good sign. One of them arches its opalescent black wings and hops up, a flash  of dark against the brassy sky and gone.

Th names of birds.

Nate steps out uncertainly. The world around him a blasted, desertlike.

Ashen scabland. Cauterised terrain.

The ground crunches underfoot. Ants and lizards scurry for cover under the rusted hulk of vehicles, the sunken struts of a construction cabin. Nate’s body flows liquid around him, after the frozen juddering of the pills. He wanders aimlessly around, finds three rations of army rad-away in a petrified crate and it’s a moment’s work to touch them, pick them up. His mind trembles, threatens to snapback however many years.

Look around, to make sure the world is still there.

Like ancient frescos entombed for centuries suddenly exposed to the day.

The world is exactly the same and Nate snorts at himself. He might be mad but he’s never started seeing things. Best not start now. The crows watch him, the tiny animals rustle in brownsnap grass. The trees overhead are bare sentinels, leafless as Nate makes his slow way down the hill.

The low bushes hang with strange flowers. Nate snaps a leaf off and sniffs it, bites. His stomach roils warningly but the taste is good. Rich, fragrant. His pipboy beeps and he tastes the warning sickness of radiation at the back of his throat. He spits it out. Okay. His stomach kicks rebellion. Okay.

But it’s food, at least. He passes a strand of wild bluestained corn, looks down to a sparkling, crystalline steam and oh. Nate squats in the path and looks around. The world is half alien around him and hey, maybe he might as well be on another planet?

“Burroughs.” Nate’s voice cracks. “McCarthy.” Maybe the cold had frozen his vocal cords. “I name this world Brooktopia.” He laughs, low at his own joke.

The world is barren from pole to pole, no sign of human life for miles. Maybe anywhere.

They are gone and I am left and they have taken with them the world.

“And thank fuck for that.” Nate answers his own head. Maybe he is alone. Maybe he’ll just live here, go mad and starve to death. Okay. He can live with that.

His body is taut and easy around him, muscles and nerve fluid and quick to answer. He hops down to the stream, jumping from rock to rock like a child.

 —————————————————————————————

Nate dreamed.

Worlds rich or fearful as such might offer themselves but never one to be.

It was a good dream. No memories in it. Nate can’t remember when he’d last dreamed. Half a decade and two hundred years, probably.

He’s warm in the bed. He’d found old tarp in the truck stop, and an oil stained blanket. But the real source of the heat in the heavy, soft body slumped against his legs.

Nate opens his eyes and the first light of the newborn morning glances across the shattered window panes, paints patterns on the far wall. Ancient faded posters, screaming dead ideologies against vanished enemies.

There’s a faint warning against perverts tacked up above the ancient telephone. Another proclaiming the black menace. Nate sits up and pulls them down, tears them up and tosses the rotting paper out of the window. The dog pricks up his ears and looks at him, a low, curious whine.

“At least you’re happy to see me.” Nate strokes his ears, and Dog whines happily. Nate picks up the telephone and turns it in his hands. Wonders if it has enough power left to call up his old home, tell Codsworth what he could do with his pills.

He lifts the handset.

He picked up the phone and dialed the number of his father’s house in that long ago

Nate looks down at the rotary dial. Circles a finger over and over and finally puts it back. He has no idea what the number was. He has no idea of any number. The memories cracked and cauterised and frostbitten. Gone utterly.

“If they wanted me to remember they shouldn’t have made me forget.” He smiles at Dog, strokes his head again. Dog pants. He turns the phone over and pulls it apart, picks out the circuitboard and copper wires. Maybe they’ll find someone, him and Dog, someone who won’t want to kill them like the last few had. Maybe they could trade.

Dog pants and jumps off the bed, coming back with a haunch of the dead molerat things they’d found off last night.

Nate’s stomach growls but the castaway food around them might as well be stone when he looks at it. He shakes his head sadly at Dog and drinks water from a canister to fill his stomach, clinches his belt again, tighter than yesterday.

The holes in it marked the progress of his emaciation

The stimpacks keep off the worst of the damage, but he’s going to be a skeleton within a week. Oh well. Nate shrugs. There’s a world out there. Maybe he can find something his mind can accept as food.

Dog eats the meat happily, then jumps about, eager to be off. Nate smiles.

—————————————————————————————– 

The storm buoys up out of nowhere. “Ah hell.” Nick groans and they dash for shelter under a wooden lean-to under the trees. Barely in in time before the skies open and the rain comes in sheets.

Nate pulls out the old tarp from the Red Rocket, all those months ago, and between the two of them they throw it over the shack to keep the rain out. Dogmeat barks and runs about outside, jumping in the lake before charging back in the shaking himself vigorously over the pair of them until Nick throws a tarp over him too.

“Lovely.” Nick grumbles, flicks through his cigarette packs to find one that isn’t soaked. Selecting one, he leans over to Nate as he fumbles with a lighter in wet hands, their shoulders bumping a little more than companionably. In the gloom of the stormclouds his eyes glow gold. His lips quirk into a small, appreciative smile.

If he is not the word of God God never spoke.

Shut up. Nate snarls at the memory. Not here. Not now. Close and too far. Nick leans back against the rough earth behind them, blows out a stream of blue smoke. Nate watches the smoke, if only as an excuse to look away.

“You might want to look out.” Nick points out into the rain. “It’s worth seeing.”

Nate frowns at him, a faint smile, wondering if he’s being teased. He pulls the tarp off the grumbling Dogmeat and throws it over his head, it rattles like turretfire under the rain. It’s not a radstorm, and the sky is a simple, sullen grey, heavy and swollen with water. Nate squints and looks around. A lot of mud, the lake pocked and shimmering. The smell of dead leaves and moss. Quiet but for the falling rain. Air fresh and cool and sweet.

This is a day to shape the days upon.

“Up there-” Nick’s ventured far enough to point up, the rainwater coursing off the sleek steel of his hand.

Nate blinks rainwater off his lashes, and peers up. Through the heavy drops, the trees around them are flecked green.

He rubs his eyes, looks up at the tree above. The barren branches are opening, putting out tiny green shoots in the storm.

“Hah!” Nate half laughs, like desert plants, dry and apparently dead until the rains come, and then blooming to life.

-out of a green and leafy canopy-

Nate glances back to Nick, then looks away too quickly, in case his friend can read his mind, or maybe read the same book. But Nick is looking up with him, rain running down his face, coiling in and around his broad, purely happy smile. “Always liked the rain.”

“Yeah.” Nate breathes. He extends the tarp out and Nick ducks under it. They sit together, watching the trees bloom as the rain hammers down on and around them.

There’s a line from his book for this moment. But Nate doesn’t think it. It’s not right. Not yet. Besides, both characters died at the end.

 ————————————————————————————————-

“And we’re looking for what in here?”

“Not really sure?” Nate shrugs. His cheek hurts from the brand and he feels- strange, fey. The world runs under his skin and he feels alive. As though everything he thought could just leap to life around him.

Which would be a nightmare, in any other world, but right now, all Nate feels is wonder.

The little tunnel they’re in is low and narrow, forcing both of them to bend double as they buckle down into the bowls of Far Harbor. “Don’t you just want to look?”

Nick snorts, runs a hand over Nate’s shoulder. Rests it there, in the crook of his neck. It’s the work of a heartbeat for Nate to lean over and press a kiss to those metal knuckles. Nick smiles.

“I read a book once,” Nate continues. “Where the two characters went into a cave. There was an animal down there. You could see through its skin.”

“What sort of animal?” Nick ducks under trailing roots.

“They didn’t say. Always imagined it a bit like a Deathclaw, only on all fours.”

“Hope we don’t run into one here.” They turn a corner. “What happened next?”

“Um- they woke up. It was a dream.”

“Not a great ending.”

“It wasn’t the ending. Came right at the beginning, I think.”

“Ah. Good book?”

“My favorite,” Nate tells him the title.

“Catchy. I’ll keep an eye out for it.” Nick smiles.

Nate can only smile back, turning his back to the tunnel for a moment.

Unfortunately while there weren’t any Deathclaws in the tunnel, there were a large number of feral ghouls. They had to put a temporary end to book week.

 ———————————————————————————-

“Do you know your birthday?” And maybe Nate’s too used to how things work for them, because that seems the best way of asking that question.

the names of things slowly following those things into oblivion

He rests his hands on his bag and reaches into his mind, tries to parse out the beggarly collection of memories, trace comparisons to holidays, to weather, to cold or summer. Finally, he shrugs. “No idea.” Slip away through his fingers and gone. He smiles sadly at Nick. “You?”

Nick shakes his head. “I use April 14th. He sits down beside Nate, on his haunches. “Day I- we-” he stumbles a little over the words, still uncertain, “escaped the institute.”

Nate nods, “Yeah.” His lip curls. Escape. Flee away into the dark and away from the light. Nate looks around at the dusty road, the nodding trees, their leaves shriveling quickly and falling after the rain.

nothing in his memory anywhere of anything so good

“I guess mine’s October 23rd then.”

Nick nudges him in his ribs and Nate rolls with the blow, catching Nick’s coat in both hands and pulling him down, down to the the dust and steaming sunlight and the hubflowers nodding over them.

His hands finding Nick’s body, taut and still and warm with living processes. Nick’s mouth warm and dry and sweet.

Each others’ world entire.

 ————————————————————————————

Nate laughs when the pass through the Outskirts into the Glowing Sea. He looks around at the trees and those are definitely dead. Nick gives him a slightly concerned look, but then this isn’t Nate’s usual breakdown warnings.

“Nah, just-” Nate waves at the vista. “All the books I read-”

“Doesn’t compare?”

“You kidding? This is the first bit that’s come close.” Nate pops a rad-x. It’s not so bad this far out, but he’s glad they packed a hazmat suit for later.

The wind warns of a coming storm and he revises that opinion. A pity. He’s hated that thing since Far Harbor. Better to feel the wind on your face, the storm on your skin. Not for the first time, Nate envies the growing number of people born immune to radiation.

The wind catches in a rotten, century old branch and the cauterised wood cracks, making them both jump. Nate snorts. “All the trees in the world are gonna fall sooner or later.”

“That’s a quote?”

“From that author I like.”

“Sounds the cheerful sort.”

Nate grins. “Yeah.”

He bends down to the first pool they find. Flecked gold and shimmering, oilslick gilt. Drinks down a mouthful and hears the giger counter scream. Atom. Your blessing. Your world. Thank you.

 ——————————————————————————–

“Happy birthday.” Nick’s hands cast over his shoulders. The bones of his shoulderblades, collarbones still stark against his umber skin, redcast from his dress.

“Huh,” Nate glances at his pip-boy. 23rd October 2288. One year out of the vault. One year and two hundred and eleven since the nightmare ended. “So it is.” He turns in Nick’s arms. “Atom’s too.”

“Give Him my best.” Nate snorts, and gasps as Nick gently nips at his throat, the tender skin at the joint of neck and shoulder. “This is your day.”

“Hmm,” Nate smiles, relaxes in Nick’s arms, hooked around his waist. Nate rests his own hands on Nick’s shoulder. Watches him. That smile, oh, he’d first fallen in love with that smile. Those eyes, and brilliant, too-large soul that radiates from every part of him. Oh, thank you. Thank you. He will never thank the Institute for anything, so he raises that praise to Atom. “Do I get a present?” He leans in to snatch a fresh kiss, and perhaps begin said present forthwith.

The kiss comes, so warm. “You thought I wouldn’t?”

Nate pauses, honestly, he has no real idea what he would want. He has everything he wants. Most of it is in his arms. But Nick smiles, and lets go of him with one hand to pulls something out of his pack. It’s flat, and small, and wrapped in soft black cloth.

“A book!” Nate smiles. And not just a book, the cloth around it is silk, long and wound over and over. There are definitely possibilities with this silk. Oh yes.

But then Nate pulls the sweet silk off and- oh.

“Found it in the old Somerville place.” Nick strokes his back. “Decided to save it for today. Is it the same one you liked?”

“Yes.” Nate breathes. Jet black cover. White printed words. He runs his thumb over the pages and loses his breath all over again. “Nick, this is- a first imprint. Look at the way the pages are cut- handcut. This is- three hundred years old or something-”

He gets another kiss and laughs helplessly against Nick’s mouth. Atom, oh Atom how the hell is he this lucky, his arm full with his boyfriend and a silk scarf and this book. An embarrassment of riches.

“I had a flick through.” Nick shakes his head, half laughs. “Nate, what the hell? Have you read this thing?”

“Repeatedly.” Nate grins, “Or- I probably did. I basically memorised it. Don’t remember actually reading it though.”

“And you like this?”

“Love it.” Nate kisses him again, a brief flash of pure happiness. “Always makes me smile when I read it.”

Nick rolls his eyes. “The world ends- and that’s not enough and you’re got to read about it too. Makes perfect sense.”

“Yep.” Nate draws out the ‘p’, smugly.

“Got it all right, did he?”

Nate barks a laugh. He looks around their little home in Sanctuary, the stacks of books, the broad, warm bed, the chair and couch tucked away. And outside, the waving strands of razorgrain and scattered planters dripping with fruit. Brahmin cropping up dry grasses. Fish from the local river. The water running clear, the flowers nodding around the small town, the sky so achingly blue.

“Not a fucking thing.” He grins, then pauses a moment. Nick blinks, curiously. Nate puts the book down, and cups Nick’s face in both of his hand. “Well, maybe one thing.” He admits.

He leans in. Nick kisses back, gentle, oh, so sweet.

“My world entire.” Nate smiles, and kisses him again, and again.

June 2017

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