“Do you understand,” Sakura pants, bloodstained and furious and snarling, “how long it took me to find this dress?”
The nin in front of her looks around desperately for an exit.
He doesn’t find one.
Instead, he gets Sakura hands on either side of his head and a broken neck.
“Twenty-six bridal stores!” Sakura spits at the body at her feet.
“You know, love,” Kakashi muses from where he’s guarding her back, “I definitely thought that if any weddings were ever going to be crashed by an attempted village take-over, it would have been Naruto’s and not ours.”
Ok but can I just……. gush about creative writing friends for a minute
the best friends I’ve ever had are the ones that I share writing with. Because you enter into this non-judgemental exchange of thoughts, some of which would basically constitute gross oversharing except it’s all hidden in your plot choices and narrative devices. And even though you know that writer friends will see through your writing, they’re extending you the same privilege when they show you their stuff. So you can share really deep and taboo things about yourself with each other, and it never feels like too much oversharing or like you’ve given them too much of yourself. If they appreciate your writing it’s like they’ve glimpsed the worst parts of you and accepted them, and it becomes this backdrop of quiet acceptance out of which even the most casual of friendships still feel really intimate and it’s so fucking great. The listening part, too - the fact of being given time to extrapolate your thoughts properly, making them elegant, and being listened to without interruptions. People tilting their heads to the side, closing their eyes, nodding along, smiling. Engaging. People allowing you time to speak and then complimenting you on your wording is just. I don’t know if it’s a nerdy thing to appreciate but there’s nothing quite like someone not only appreciating what you’re saying, but how you said it.
Having a circle of writer friends saved my fucking life tbh. I don’t even care about that whole “they won’t give you good criticism if they’re your friends” - because that’s not what you go to them for. You go to group readings so you can spill your fucking guts all over the table and they nod and say “I like how you worded that! / I can really empathise with that! / You’ve created an amazing world!” and you just sit back down feeling like you were heard in a completely different, more profound, and more intimate way than just outright talking about all the grotty things in your psyche that you still don’t understand. And they won’t look at you and go, ‘are you OK?’ or ‘why did you write about that?’ - they’ll comment on the writing, the story, not the things that are implied, and it’s so much more gratifying than being asked to bare yourself for no other reason than to satisfy someone’s curiosity who won’t necessarily give you any satisfactory response.
That being said, I do remember cringing really hard at some things that were read out at my society’s meetings. Especially the poetry. But the great thing about having the writer sitting right there is that you see them as a person, you guess at what they’re trying to express and you respect that. There were young girls who used clichéd terms of phrase like “my inner demons” and constructed poetry around that but you know what? It didn’t matter. We knew their backstory and the poems were fucking heartbreaking because we knew or guessed where they were coming from, so we supported them. There were stories that packed a huge punch and made you cry and all you wanted to do was give the writer a hug - and sometimes I got that, I got people hugging me for what I read, but they didn’t say anything about my own personal issues, they stayed at the level of the story and it’s the double-entendre of those conversations that touch me the most. There were stories that were really fucked up and showed the author’s lack of emotional understanding of certain situations, so we picked out the good bits first and gave constructive criticism instead of calling them out. Because this is something that gets a little lost with online publication and the writer/reader being isolated from each other when the sharing happens - when people read their stuff to you, they’re trusting you so much. They’re baring their neck and giving you an axe. And absolutely nothing feels better than receiving a kiss when expecting a blow.
I love my writer friends to the marrow of my bones and this might all be massively cliché but I just get so fucking emotional thinking about you guys.
She also successfully defended her title as Commander
Won a kickass battle against a prince including some pretty fancy legwork, fake-outs, and sword twirls
Defeated her greatest enemy, both on a personal and on a political level, by hurling a spear in the air and straight into her heart.
The crowd is screaming out her name and her little Nightbloods are practically in tears. The noise of the celebration must be deafening
And she stands alone in the arena.
No one comes out to hug her, no friends give her a victory high-five, no advisors clap her back, no mothers clutch her to their chest in desperate relief that she’s alive. No one even checks if she’s injured. And it’s achingly obvious that there isn’t ever anyone like this. Lexa stands alone in everything she does: she’s Commander of the Blood and she’s leader of the coalition. She’s the deadliest warrior and she’s an untouchable goddess.
(Ai laik Heda. Non na throu daun gon ai) (I am Heda. No one fights for me.)
But this time, maybe for the first time since she was a tiny child fighting with a wooden sword, she dares a look up at the crowd while getting her breathing back under control instead of keeping her eyes on the ground. Chances a glance over to see if Clarke’s still there, if there might be a smile or a nod or even just a split second of relieved eye contact for her. A grain of social comfort in a world where love is weakness and shows of strength are the only thing keeping her people alive.
And there is - oh, thereis. She catches Clarke’s eye and their respiration falls into in unison for a second. And then Lexa squares her shoulders, lifts her chin, and takes the deepest of breaths.