...why is the preserves so mean

what she says: I’m fine 

what she means: I don’t understand why they can’t professionally record broadway shows and release them to the public, there would be no need for bootlegs, broadway fans FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD could watch, it would help expand the theatre community and preserves something that is so beautiful and special to so many people.

OFF THE CUFF HOMESTUCK THOUGHTS #3: THE SELF PILE DOESN’T STOP FROM GETTING TALLER OR: THE PROBLEM OF DEAD MARIOS

DISCLAIMER

IMPORTANT THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

[CHECK THE TAG FOR MORE THOUGHTS]

So, a long-ass time ago, Rose and Dave had a conversation like this:

TT: After you go, what do you think will happen to me?
TT: Will I just cease to exist?
TG: i dont know
TG: i mean your whole timeline will
TG: maybe
TT: Maybe?
TT: Is there a chance it’ll continue to exist, and I’ll just be here alone forever?
TT: I’m not sure which outcome is more unsettling.
TG: the thing with time travel is
TG: you cant overthink it
TG: just roll with it and see what happens
TG: and above all try not to do anything retarded
TT: What do you think I should do?
TG: try going to sleep
TG: our dream selves kind of operate outside the normal time continuum i think
TG: so if part of you from this timelines going to persist thats probably the way to make it happen
TT: Ok.
TG: and hey you might even be able to help your past dream self wake up sooner without all that fuss you went through
TT: I think the true purpose of this game is to see how many qualifiers we can get to precede the word “self” and still understand what we’re talking about.

This is the most important sentence in Homestuck.

I am dead serious.

Well, OK, I mean, it’s pretty important for understanding some major Homestuck themes and shit or something like that.

Also, I totally should have said: Pre-Retcon Doomed Timeline Non-Dreamself Rose but ultimately about to become Dreamself Rose who semi-merged with Pre-Retcon Alpha Timeline Rose and Doomed Timeline Dave aka Davesprite AKA future Davepetasprite^2 or as we all call them around the office, Davepeta, had that conversation.

Maybe you begin to see what I’m going to talk about here.

One of the major frustrations a lot of people had with the retcon was that the characters we ended up with at the end weren’t the ones we’d come to love and know throughout the story. Was it even worth it, to lose the characters we loved to the tyranny of Game Over? The victorious kids, with the exception of John and Roxy, were other people, with other histories, other goals, and other choices.

Allow me to submit that that may be the whole point.

SBURB is cruel. We’ve known that for a long time. It’s cruel not as Caliborn is cruel, but as the cosmos is cruel, as a supernova is cruel. It wants what it wants, and doesn’t care about how that intersects with the needs of humanity. It wants to make universes through a complex game-playing method, and drags hapless, vulnerable adolescents along for the ride. And most of the time it doesn’t even succeed, leaving its champions to rot in a doomed timeline or similar! Skaia’s victory is an amoral creation myth where individual human beings are just the carved pieces on the chessboard. (I mean, the other ones. Not the carapacians.)

Again, let’s consider the theme of VIDEO GAMES vs. REAL LIFE.

Homestuck, let’s be real, is basically some postmodern horror timey-wimey Jumanji. For a generation way more familiar with pixels than cute little tokens It’s easy for teenagers and in fact, basically everyone, to fantasize about escaping their life and slipping into some game world forever, where they get to do awesome things and be a heroic person.

Homestuck makes that literal. Congratulations, everything you ever knew is dead. You will never see it again, except your internet friends, who turn out also to be your family and other important people. I mean, from a distance, SBURB sounds like an awesome game, right? You figure out who you are and get to wear a cool costume displaying that identity. You get to make anything you want and enjoy this hyperflexible mythology tailored to YOUR CHOICES. HS fans talk all the time about how cool it would be to play a real version of SBURB. That’s a big part of the appeal of SBURB fan adventures. They put you and your friends in the story. Or your favorite characters! It sounds like a fantasy come true.

The thing is, as fantastical as it is, it’s also really fucked up, and ultimately you and your friends are being used. By a giant frog to let it have its babies. By the universe. By a smug blue cloud thing that doesn’t care about you at all.

SBURB does not care about you at all.

The funny thing, SBURB features a mythology with so many layers and nuances and seemingly human motifs about growth and self that you might search for some grand ultimate meaning behind it, but it’s not even human enough to have a personality, to be something you can argue with or fight. It just is. It’s all the cruelty and power of a god without any of the dazzling personality. It’s empty. It just wants to make universes all day long, or fail trying. It is a great, weird tadpole-making machine that eats children.

One of the big ways it doesn’t care about you is its attitude toward the self. Humans and trolls and whatnot prefer not to be relentlessly duplicated. SBURB says, oh yeah, let’s make tons of copies of the player characters and use them for a lot of different purposes.

There’s the dreamself, an essential bifurcation of identity (you are now and were always the dream moon princex) that sometimes gets merged into god tier but sometimes doesn’t. There’s doomed timeline selves, who exist ultimately to augment an Alpha timeline whose Alphaness is decided very arbitrarily and frequently by Lord English. There’s the you who exists before a scratched session and the you who exists afterward, who are two different people but started as one baby in an act of ectobaby meteor duplication, your player self and your guardian self. Dead timeline yous fill up the dreambubbles made by the horrorterrors and get endlessly confused with each other. Any one of these could be the you experience being at any given moment, and which one it is entirely arbitrary. Don’t like being Dead Nepeta #47? Tough hoofbeast leavings, kiddo.

To top it all off, in Terezi: Remember, we learn that every single time we thought someone changed from one self to another, was resurrected or something like that, it was another act of duplication. For every time someone’s died, there’s another version of them waiting in the Dream Bubbles, surprised that they’re not the main character anymore. And we have no way of knowing which is which. Even John, good old everyman John, may or may not be the person who died three or four times. It’s really impossible to say whether we’ve been following the same person throughout our story, or just the illusion of the same person, like a horrifying cosmic flipbook.

The retcon is a return to this same theme. Ultimately, there’s very little new in the changes John makes to reality except that they drive the point home.

John’s friends all died. John and his friends won the game. These things are both true at the same time, except those things may not have happened to the same people. There was a happy ending. Hooray! For, um, some folks who may or may not be the ones we care about. In fact, it’s very confusing, because from Rose’s perspective, Roxy is dead but came back to life, and from Roxy’s perspective Rose is dead but came back to life, except also she came back to life as a weird tentacle catgirl of pure id and self –indulgence. So there’s that. Um. Which Rose are we rooting for again?

Or wait: is it none of them, because the first Rose died in a doomed timeline, hundreds of panels and a number of years ago?

There’s a tension here which one experiences between saying it’s okay because it’s still the same people, and saying it’s not okay, because it’s not the same people at all. This tension is exactly what we’re meant to wrestle with. To put it another way, Homestuck asks if identity can work in aggregate. Are all Johns John, all Roses Rose, and do they all share in what they accomplish? Or are the final victors only accidents created by the whims and needs of the frog baby machine?

What I’m saying, basically, is that the retcon, in the sense that it pointed out our confused relationship with these characters, was already here.

In interviews and questions put to him over the years, Hussie constantly compares HS and SBURB to other video games, particularly Mario, which he frequently returns to as a baseline of comparison that most of his readers will know. One answer, from a recent Hiveswap interview, is particularly revelatory. To the question of “Why do you kill off all your characters?” Hussie replies:

[…]HS is supposedly a story that is also a game. In games, the characters die all the time. How many times did you let Mario fall in the pit before he saved the princess? Who weeps for these Marios. In games your characters die, but you keep trying and trying and rebooting and resetting until finally they make it. When you play a game this process is all very impersonal. Once you finally win, when all is said and done those deaths didn’t “count”, only the linear path of the final victorious version of the character is considered “real”. Mario never actually died, did he? Except the omniscient player knows better. HS seems to combine all the meaningless deaths of a trial-and-error game journey with the way death is treated dramatically in other media, where unlike our oblivious Mario, the characters are aware and afraid of the many deaths they must experience before finally winning the game.

The big man hass the answer.

Homestuck is the story of those dead Marios.

Other works, like Undertale, have engaged with this topic as well. But one of the major differences between Undertale and Homestuck is that in Undertale, between “lives,” one’s consciousness is preserved. In Homestuck, it’s discontinuous, and the value of the overall trial-error process is called into question by the fact that you, the player, may not even get to experience the victory. What meaning does victory hold if that is the case?

So, to put it in a nice thesis format:

One of the central themes of Homestuck is the challenge of reconciling an arbitrary and destructive pattern of growth and victory with the death and suffering you experienced along the way. Homestuck asks: is victory worthwhile if you’re not you anymore? And would you be able to know?

What even is the self? Is there such a thing?

If you were left feeling somewhat disconcerted by our heroes’ tidy victory and departure to their cosmic prize, or by how which Rose gets the spotlight is so deeply, deeply arbitrary, there’s a good reason for that. You’re supposed to be.

The philosophical problem of Wacky Cat Rose is insignificant next to the bullshit of SBURB.

And don’t forget—John and Roxy’s denizens helped them achieve the retcon. Ultimately, the victory they achieved was mediated by the same amoral system of SBURB, and was a victory over an enemy, Caliborn, whose power was created, perpetuated, and ended by that same system.

Okay, so here’s where it gets contentious. There’s an argument to be made, which I’m not sure how I feel about, that some of the character development that could have been in post-retcon Act 6 was left out precisely to push this feeling and play up this tension. Note that this is not the same thing as saying that they were deliberately badly written, but that they’re deliberately written to make us uneasy.That Hussie deliberately played with the balance between making these retconned characters feel familiar and making them feel eerily different to leave us feeling uneasy with the result.

I’m not sure I like that idea. It smacks a little too much of that “everything is perfect” thinking that comes sometimes from the far Metastuck camp. Some of the differences may also be the result of flawed writing. (See: Jane and Jake’s character arcs, which I might talk about later.) And I want to be able to critique those flaws. Ultimately, I think we still needed more time and development to figure out who these new people were—even if our goal was ultimately to compare them to their earlier selves. And again, more conscious acknowledgement of the problem from our heroes—especially John, the linchpin in this last and biggest act of duplication—might have helped drive this theme home.

Still, I think the Problem of Dead Marios is one of the most fundamental questions of Homestuck, maybe THE biggest question. It’s essential to understand it to understand what Hussie’s doing—or attempting to do— in the retcon and the ending.

I don’t know that Homestuck offers us a clear answer to that question. There are some confusions around the issue, too. Where do merged selves fit in, exactly? Clearly they’re a big part of the discussion, because Hussie spends some time in Act 6, especially near the end bringing the identity-merging powers of the Sprites to the forefront. (See also: the identity-merged nightmare that is Lord English.)  Can we even come up with a clear answer to what it means when a dead Mario returns to life grotesquely fused with Toad? How does he beat the game? Does he tell himself that the princess is in another castle? Or what if he merges with Peach? Are they their own princess? How do they know if they’re in the right castle?

Um. Anyway—

Interestingly, it’s not all grotesque—spritesplosions suggest that personalities that are too different don’t stay together long, so a fusion might rely on some inherent compatibility between the two players. Erisol’s self-loathing, sure, but also Fefeta’s cheerfulness. Davepeta seems to be a way of bringing out the best in their players, a way of getting Davesprite past his angst and Nepeta past her fear. Honestly, I know a lot of people don’t like Davepeta as the ending of these two characters’ arcs, but I can’t help but love it. They’re the ultimate coolkid. Cool enough to know they don’t have to be cool. Regular Dave got there, too, of course. But was his retcon assist from John ultimately any different?

Then, of course, we come to Davepeta’s speech to Jade in one of the last few updates before Collide. Davepeta suggests that there is such a thing as an ultimate self beyond the many different selves one piles up throughout the cosmos. A set of principles that describes who you are that’s larger than any individual instance of you. Your inherent Mariohood. (Maybe this is comparable to your Classpect identity, which attempts to describe who you are?) Davepeta even tells Jade, strikingly, that one might learn to see beyond the barriers between selves. Be the ur-self, in practice, rather than theory. This would be incredible news for Jade, who wrestles with the issue of different selves perhaps more than any other character. (There’s a lot to say about Jade.)

Honestly, I wish this ur-self idea had been developed more, and I honestly expected it to be. It doesn’t fully come to fruition, I feel. (Same goes for Davepeta’s character. Ohhhh, ZING!) I’m not sure it entirely makes philosophical sense, especially with fusion—I mean, doesn’t Davepeta themself disprove it? Or at least complicate it? Like, are they part of the ur-Dave or the ur-Nepeta? They seem to imply they’re BOTH? Does that even work? Does that mean that Marieach is all the Peaches and Marios at once?

(In fact, Bowser/Peach/Mario are but the three manifestations of one eternal principle. Also, Bowser/Peach are the true power couple. Read my fanfiction plz.)

And what, say, of Dirk, who ultimately ends up rejecting aspects of his other selves? It feels like there’s a lot more you could say here, and I wonder if Hussie would have said more, if he’d had time. What’s weird is, none of our victorious kids never reach an ur-self (though to their descendants, they become archetypal to some degree), which one might have expected. They’re just individual selves who happened to get lucky. Does that make them representative of the whole? It feels like something’s missing here, or like something got dropped at the last minute.

Same goes for the idea of the Ultimate Riddle. You’d be forgiven for missing it, but there’s been this riddle in the background lore of SBURB that seems to have something to do with personal agency in this overwhelming, overarching system. Karkat called it predestination, saying something like “ANY HOPE YOU HAD OF DOING THINGS OTHERWISE WAS JUST A RUSE.” But others have interpreted it more positively. My favorite interpretation, from bladekindeyewear: the answer to the Riddle is that YOU shape the timeline through your existence, personality, and choices, even when it looks like it’s all predestination. Ultimately it’s your predestination, your set of events, based deeply on your nature, that you are creating. Someone like Caliborn can use his innate personality to achieve power; someone like John might be able to use it to achieve freedom.

I definitely expected something like that to be expressed more explicitly. Like, a big ah-ha moment that helps John or Jade or whoever understand how to escape Caliborn’s system. Something like that would have been very helpful for a lot of our heroes, actually, who’ve been pushed around by Skaia and SBURB together, in finding a cathartic ending.  Once again, I wonder if something was dropped or rushed because there wasn’t time to put it all in. There’s places where you can see hints of that Answer being implied, maybe? But it’s kind of ambiguous.

You can see how the Answer to the Ultimate Riddle ties into some of Davepeta’s ideas. If your personality, the rules of your behavior are a fundamental archetype that goes beyond each individual self, then the answer to whether it matters if one self of yours makes it through to victory is an emphatic YES. You are all of those people, and by winning one round with Skaia, you’ve won the whole game, despite all the arbitrary challenges and deaths it heaps upon you along the way.

This may strike some as too positive for Skaia’s brutality, or again, some way of excusing flaws in many characters’ arcs, or unfair things that happen to them. To be fair, I don’t know that Davepeta’s necessarily meant to be taken as authoritative or the voice of Hussie. They may simply be offering a purrspective.

Hussie not choosing to come right out and engage with the Ultimate Riddle leaves the question of Dead Marios and what they mean for the victorious versions of our cast very open. I like that in some ways—let the reader decide—but I can’t help but wish we had more to work with in making that decision. Plus, it might have brought the thematic messages of Homestuck all the way home to tie them more closely to our characters and their experiences—character development being one of the things most people found most lacking in the ending.

NEXT TIME: All that wacky gnostic stuff probably

WHEN THEY ASK WHY IT DIDN’T WORK:

Tell them it was my fault. Tell them I was skittish and distant. Say any word other than abuse when it comes up. Say something that sounds softer or less intentional. Tell them I was confused. Say you didn’t do anything. Say you didn’t mean to do anything. Say your depression made a monster out of you. Say you were trying so hard to take care of yourself that you forgot to treat me like a person in our home. Tell them it was self preservation. Tell them it was necessary. Say you never knew there was a problem. Say you knew there was a problem but I never tried to talk about it. Say I only tried to talk about it three times before I quit. Tell them I quit. Say it again, but sound more disappointed. Tell them I refused to badger you about your trauma. Tell them I was only understanding for eleven months. Tell them my patience ran out and you don’t know why. Tell them it was “complicated.”
—  Trista Mateer
- SU AMETHYST THEORY: “Deep Cut” Definition - Not a Defect; a Secret Weapon!! -

So when the Crystal Gems are all at the forge, Bismuth calls Amethyst “Deep Cut”. She says “Hey deep cut, what’chu packin’?”

When Amethyst pulls out her whip, Bismuth is genuinely impressed and continues, “Not every Quartz can make a whip like this”

I looked up what a “deep cut” means in gem terminology. 

“When we discuss colored gemstones such as sapphire, ruby and emerald, the main motive of cut is to maximize color to its full potential. In contrast, cutting in diamonds mostly refers to maximizing brilliance.”

Stones that are too deep will look smaller than expected but they will show off more color than they would if they were cut to normal proportions. Deep-cut stones also preserve weight, increasing the cost of the stone without the expected increase in the size of the crown (top portion of the gem).”

Well, we now know why Amethyst is considered a defect by Homeworld, she came out cut too deep, so she looks smaller. But check out what else it says about deep cut gems; their color is more saturated, vibrant, beautiful. That’s why her weapon is special; Deep Cut gems show more potential.  They also ‘preserve weight ’ without having to be physically bigger. That could mean Amethyst has more mass packed in her body than the other gems, which would explain her shapeshifting prowess.

In particular, why Amethyst can shapeshift into someone twice her size like The Purple Puma, or Jasper, without taking damage (when she’s used to the form, comparing Purple Puma vs Jasper, she’s been shown to sustain Puma for much longer without resting). Even then it took a long time before being Jasper started to be hard for her. 

In contrast, remember how tired Steven got, from just stretching his body a few inches??

Her smaller body is ALSO why when she finally accepts herself, it takes her TEN SECONDS to reform after she’s poofed the second time: 

How long did it take Pearl the Perfectionist?

TWO. WEEKS. So in battle, though she still needs some protection, Amethyst’s small size gives her a tremendous advantage; she could potentially save herself from being shattered by reforming almost immediately. No other gem has had that ability so far.

Finally, Amethyst is just deep. She’s a very deep person.

Why else do I think this is relevant? Well… 

“Stones that are too shallow will look big for their weight and appear lighter in color than deeper-cut stones.”


Why does that sound familiar?

Oh. 

Shallow has several meanings here. Her weapon is a helmet. Her battle strategy is to run into her foe. 

That’s a shallow strategy. No one will stay with Jasper because she only thinks of things from her perspective; she lacks insight in other’s emotions. She’s, in a way, shallow. 

Or, an allegory for being born with pure talent vs having to work for everything you have, and how shallow pure talent alone really is. 

In Conclusion

Homeworld has a recourse problem, and Amethyst’s ‘deep cut’ gives her all the abilities of a regular cut Quartz soldier plus more, while taking the same amount of resources to create, and they’d consider her a defect?? Homeworld. You fools. 

anonymous asked:

can you write a drarry fic about draco trying to get away so he goes to hide in a closet but little does he know that this is also a hiding place for a certain dark haired,green eyed,lightning scared boy

Harry runs down the hallway, making far more noise than he should be for hide and seek.  But he is  drunk.  Well they are all a bit drunk really.  So he hopes the noises he makes as he stumbles into the wall will be lost in the choas of giggles and heavy footsteps he can hear as the other 8th years take off running around in opposite directions throughout the darkened corridors.

All he knows is he can’t get caught.  He is good at hiding.  He can definitely do this.  If only it didn’t seem to take so much concentration to put one foot in front of the other.

“Buggering fuckity fuck,” he curses, tripping and stumbling into a suit of armor.  Except this suit of armor is solid and warm, and smells really fucking good.

“Unhand me this instant! Oh, Potter, should’ve known it was you.  My god you’re loud.”

Oh, so not a suit of armor then.

“What’re you doing here?”  Harry is rather proud of himself for getting out a full sentence.  Even in the dark he can see the other boy rolling his eyes at him.

“I’m playing this ridiculous muggle game like the rest of you.  Though Merlin only knows why because its incredibly juvenile and unbecoming of-” but Harry cuts him off, shoving his hand over Malfoy’s mouth when he hears someone coming.  He tries really hard not to notice how soft and warm Malfoy’s mouth feels beneath his fingers, and curses the fact that he’s wearing a thin pair of joggers and not a robe like the other boy because if he does any more noticing about Malfoy’s mouth and skin its gonna become pretty damn obvious.

Malfoy looks rather annoyed at being interupted, but he’s also clearly heard someone coming too because he doesn’t hex Harry.  Instead he grabs him by the front of his jumper and drags him into the closest broom closet a few feet away, shoving him inside roughly.

Harry swallows down a lump in this throat, not at all pleased to be in a fucking cupboard with his entire body pressed up against Draco Malfoy who has his finger held up to Harry’s mouth as if to silence him.  As if Harry is too stupid to know not to make a noise.

Or perhaps the problem is exactly that he’s far too pleased to be in this situation.  All he knows is he’s too drunk for this, too drunk not to reveal far too much.

“We can’t…can’t both be, um…be inside.  You can be inside, um me.  Or no I mean I want to be inside.  Wait no…fuck.”

Malfoy arches one elegant eyebrow at Harry, making him try to tug his jumper down farther as if that would hide his obvious reaction to being so close to the other boy.

“Your powers of articulation never cease to amaze me.”

Harry feels like his head is spinning and he doesn’t think it has anything to do with the copious amounts of firewhiskey hes had tonight.  “Why the bloody fuck aren’t you drunk?”

“Because unlike some people I have an impeccably high level or decorum and self preservation and had no desire to spend our last night at Hogwarts making a complete and utter arse out of myself.”

Harry just huffs out a breath, wishing now he hadn’t had so much to drink because try as he might he can’t think of anything remotely smart or funny to say back to that.  To his horror all that comes out of his mouth is a tiny sort of huffing sound as Malfoy presses him back into the wall.  Malfoy is talking, asking him something as his hand comes up over Harry’s shoulder and presses into the wall.  His voice is in Harry’s ear, whispering something but all Harry can focus on is that fact that even though Draco is barely an inch talling than him he feels him practically looming over him, as if Draco’s body is consuming it.  Harry blinks at him suddenly when he realizes he’s stopped talking, trying desperately to look in Malfoy’s eyes and not at his lips.  “What?”

“Suppose that answers my question about how drunk you are.”

“M’not that drunk,” Harry lies, clenching his hands at his sides to stop himself from touching the other boy.

Malfoy laughs.  Harry wants to blame the alcohol for thinking its the most beautiful sound he’s ever heard.

“I’m quite certain whoever was looking for us is gone you know.  We can leave now.”

It doesn’t escape Harry’s notice that despite his words Malfoy doesn’t look like he’s about to move.  It gives Harry all the courage he needs before his hands are fisted tight in the front of Malfoy’s robe, pulling him closer and slamming their lips together.  He swallows down the noise of surprise Malfoy makes, making up for what he lacks in finesse with enthusiasm,

In the back of his mind Harry swears he hears someone yanking the closet door open, swears he hears someone shouting they’ve been found and can move, but he ignores them in favor of sucking Malfoy’s bottom lip into his mouth and grinding up against him.  He doesn’t care about the game, about whoever is there watching them, all he cares about is making sure that Malfoy never ever stops touching him.

So on the note of human bonding- we’re super sentimental? Like, first let me just point out that we call our death world “mother”. Also the fact that if something is really old and hand-me-down, than it probably means more to us that any of our new stuff. Just imagine a really well preserved WWII fighter plane. 

Alien: Why do you keep that old war-craft? Why don’t you use the metal to make new things?

Human: Because it protected us.

Alien: But it doesn’t anymore? So why not?

Or maybe some human who’s three most prized possessions are a raggedy old teddy bear that their great grandmother made for their grandfather and eventually passed down to them, a piece of white limestone that their 6th grade science teacher gave them, and a dry stock of lavender from the bush in their childhood backyard that all their pets are buried under.

Hard Feelings Part 4

Summary:  (Modern Au) After the death of your only living relative, you find yourself lost in life and your feelings. To make things worse, you have to deal with Steve Rogers someone from your past that is more present in your life now than ever.

Pairing: Steve x Reader

Words: 2461

Warnings:  This Part is one of my favorites, you are going to discover a little bit of the past between the reader and Steve. And what is in her letter.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 

Originally posted by jlstreck

On the lobby you see, Bucky waiting for you “Don’t you look fancy, Mr. Barnes?”  You say pulling him for a hug; he hugs you back kissing your cheek “Look who is speaking, you look amazing. The businesswoman look fits you.” He says hugging you by the waist taking you to his office

“It’s being too long since we saw each other… when the last time was?” You ask sitting on his couch, taking off your high heels. “I think it was on Nat’s birthday, four months ago…. Oh boy, it’s been ages… being a responsible adult sucks.” He says laughing and giving you a soda of his minibar.

“Come on, Bucky we were never the responsible ones of the group, this was always Nat and Steve job, they just put up with us.” You joke “That is true, talking about my new boss he said that you wanted to talk to me?”

Keep reading

cecillanzi  asked:

Hiya! So, I'm writing a novel that involves several different fantasy cultures that are based off of real-world cultures and ideals. Everyone in this world shares the same religion {although it is worshipped differently in each place, but real world religion doesn't have an impact on this}. Anyways... One of the countries in this world is based off of Chinese and Japanese culture due to it being an ancient empire. Is this okay or should I focus on the aspects of one culture over the other?

One Region, One Religion: Avoiding Colonization Parallels

Regarding combining Chinese and Japanese culture, please read Research:Large to Small Scale, Avoiding Homogenizing East Asian Cultures, & Paralleling Regions Appropriately.

I would advise a lot of caution on “a single religion”, especially if you’re making one or more nations representative of various East Asian countries/empires, because while it looks like there aren’t any real world parallels there actually is one very large one, and it can come across as very hurtful if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Christianity is very close to the whole “one religion across the globe” thing, and most authors are going to be pulling Christian influences just because that’s what they grew up with. As a result, inserting a single religion across everywhere can lead to replicating colonialism in a fantasy setting.
Some ways to avoid this are:

Make it a polytheist religion
Not only can you better replicate folklore by having this situation, but you avoid the whole “one god is the ultimate don’t worship anyone else but this one god” thing by doing this from the start. Many world religions are polytheist (Abrahamic religions are actually the anomaly for that, but you can even find references that they aren’t truly monotheist and there are multiple gods, but the god of Abrahamic religions just wants to be the only one worshiped).
You can have different gods be major or minor in various regions, depending on their cultures, which in turn preserves the rituals and cultural values of non-Christian cultures more effectively.

Have the gods physically show up
This may or may not work depending on your world, and it would still be better in a polytheist religion instead of monotheist, but having a physical representation of a deity everyone can interact with (not just a few set people who then tell everyone what they saw) can help create a sense of non-Christian-ness to the world, and also reinforces why people follow only those gods instead of creating new ones to fit their cultures.

Reconsider it all being “the same”
Even people who worship the so-called “same god” practice in wildly different ways— just look at the differences between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All three of them share a general history, but they’ve all taken it and run with it in different directions based on the historical context of the time and early followers. While there might be some similarities between how key gods are worshiped, they could have wildly different practices for minor gods, or some minor gods are only in some places, or some major gods are minor gods and minor gods are major gods.

Overall
Religion is such a big messy thing people love to argue about, and having one religion across a huge variety of cultures rings extremely false. Really, really trace back logic for why you want to have just one religion, and consider instead to work a little bit harder to preserve the huge variety in religion that exists in the world.

Religions are a product of their culture, so changing a religion so fundamentally means changing the culture to the point you might even end up with something unrecognizable if you insist on following this course. Not to mention, making marginalized groups who’ve been greatly hurt by Christianity (not necessarily East Asian individuals, but it is very possible) feel like you’ve pushed them out of their escapism by insisting that no, Christianity (or a Christian-like religion) is the best, theirs isn’t worth putting in other than a few trappings.

~ Mod Lesya

Preservation Day has started, so I’m going to start by talking about why I can be trans and Jewish. Many people cite Dvarim when trying to invalidate trans identities. However, if a trans man is a man, and a trans woman is a woman, then “a woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor a man the garment of a woman,” means that every trans person who expresses their identity is fulfilling a mitzvah. Each of us is performing a holy act by revealing the light within our souls. Never forget this.

Manners and Etiquette in Māori culture.

I just wanted to share a quick guide on one of the most common Māori custom.

WHAT:

1. NEVER and I repeat NEVER, sit on a table or ANYTHING that you put food on e.g. the kitchen table, the kitchen bench, coffee table. Additionally don’t:

            1a. Put your hat or hairbrush or anything to do with your head on said                       surfaces.

            1b. Put your feet or shoes or anything to do with your legs and feet on                       said surfaces.

Basically, don’t put anything other then what is supposed to be on a table, on a table. Even if you have a bag or purse or whatever put that on the seat around the table NOT ON the table. 
                             

WHY: 

This is because in Māori culture there is a concept of tapu and noa. Tapu means sacred and noa means to be free from tapu. Māori believe that all bodies are tapu (an aspect that has been handed to us by the gods) and it is our responsibility to preserve ours, other peoples and, other places tapu. 

Food on the other hand is considered noa. When something that is noa touches things that are tapu it automatically loses its ‘tapu-ness’. This is why we say karakia (prayers) before eating so that the food that we are putting into our bodies doesn’t alter our own ‘tapu-ness’. 

It’s all a bit confusing if you aren’t Māori and this is an extremely brief explanation of the concept but yeah :) 

So this idea has moved away from the idea of ‘breaking tapu is an assualt on the gods’ and moved more into the realm of just general manners and practicing good hygiene. 


- You don’t put your bum on tables mainly because that’s gross and like your putting the thing that you shit out of on a place where food is prepared/eaten. It’s EXTREMELY offensive and is like saying that you shit on their food which by extension says that you don’t want them to be healthy because you need food to survive. It’s just gross, don’t do it.

- Heads are the most tapu place of the body so mixing anything to do with your head and food is a MASSIVE no.

- Feet are also just dirty and is similar to the bum rule. Just don’t do it.

- Bags and backpacks touch the ground which is dirty which is why you don’t put them on the table. 

Ka pai whanau :) The more you know!!!


Tea at Three -5-

Rating: Teen and up for blood and bodily injury

Tags: auror!Harry, potionmaker!Draco, oblivious!Draco

This is the fifth and final part of a five-part series. Links at the bottom of the page for the other parts.

♡ ♡ And thank you soo so much for reading!!! ♡ ♡


Draco’s shoes clicked across the polished marble floors of St. Mungo’s, the sound seeming too loud in the quiet front hall. About half the chairs along the walls were filled, some with families, worry etched on their faces, and some with reporters, wearing the expressions of hungry jackals, notebooks and quick quills clutched in jittery hands. Draco ignored them all and was completely ignored in turn. Luckily the press didn’t seem to know he was involved in yesterdays fiasco.

He went to the cafeteria first and got a mug of hot water. He carefully put the little sachet of Harry’s tea leaves in the hot water, watching the clock closely to make sure it was steeped for exactly the amount stated on the box.

“Mr Malfoy!”

Draco tore his eyes away from the clock, “Healer Maison,” he tipped his head in greeting.

Maison pushed his glasses up with one hand as he approached,  “Glad to see you! I’ve been through your work, several times in fact.” He held out his hand and after a moment’s hesitation, Draco took it. Maison shook it enthusiastically, “Brilliant work! A shame the hospital ignored it for so long. It’s going to save a lot of lives.”

Draco fell momentarily speechless, “Of-of course. I hope to continue improving it.”

“A stasis spell that doesn’t need a healer to cast it? It couldn’t be much better!”Healer Maison went on excitedly, “The slowing of the metabolic process means that most damage can be healed-”

Draco glanced at the clock. Swearing silently at the time and carefully extracting the tea bag from the cup.

“-before it ever becomes a problem and on those wasting illness’ that require stasis we will no longer have to worry about running our healers ragged and splitting their attention! In emergency situations-”

He added sugar and milk, stirred and put a preservation charm over the mug.

“-a potion can be administered at the scene or by a medi-witch without having to wait for a healer and those precious minutes can be enough to save a life, you know.”

“Yes, well, if you’ll excuse me I’m-” Draco said, turning to leave.

“Are you here to see Auror Rowena?” Maison asked.

“Potter, actually,” Draco said.

Healer Maison straightened and gestured to the doors, “Ah! I was just headed that way myself. Shall we walk together?”

Draco would have quite gladly refused if had any clue whatsoever about where Potter was. He nodded, “After you.”

(Continue reading under the cut)

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A thread I’ve been picking at from Space Mall is that the galra really don’t seem to be the position of cultural dominance you’d expect considering this empire is pretty much built and maintained by a galra-exclusive military.

People have pointed out with Sal, that even if he has really good ingredients (Hunk’s able to improvise great food out of it) he goes for basically space gruel and uses a robot to produce it rather than cooking himself. He could just be a bad restaurant, but, the reactions of other people kind of imply this is normal.

There’s also almost no galra there. And this is pretty pointed- of the patrons and shopkeepers, they carefully avoided anybody even partially galra-looking. The only ones we see are Sal and Varkon, and this is a big, well-lit cultural hub. It’s not a backwater middle-of-nowhere affair. We see more Unilu (knife merchant, info desk girl, and the older man Coran barters with) than we do galra.

Again, it suggests that even though socially, it’s probably not nothing that their species is the one that’s conquered everyone here- culturally? The galran foothold in their own empire is weak. Not only are they outnumbered, but, they’re not holding lavish positions of power. Varkon’s rigid adherence to protocol just proves that he’s got no more sway or prestige than the average mall cop on Earth. The one testament that Sal has something going on is that he stays in business and even then, the fact that he’s not really paying his workers would hardly suggest he’s got a lot of money to toss around. 

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Healthy Morty Vs. Toxic Morty

At first glance, Toxic Morty appears to only embody Morty’s bad qualities. His fear, self-doubt, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, hero worship and inability to stand up to Rick. However he also holds Morty’s sense of loyalty/devotion, need to be liked, empathy, etc. That’s what makes Rick referring to him as “tiny American psycho” so perfect. Morty’s healthy self isn’t deep. He can’t be. He isn’t plagued by questions of morality, responsibility, all the things that fill Toxic Morty with fear and doubt.

Healthy Morty has no problems with Healthy Rick shooting his toxic self. Why would he? To both Healthy Rick and Morty the ends justify the means. However, it’s still not that cut and dry. It seems Morty finds his own sense of self preservation to be toxic.

Like Healthy Rick, Healthy Morty knows there’s something missing from himself. Healthy Morty would never concede to Rick. He’s too confident and independent. So he reaches for help instead by his inaction. He doesn’t hang up the phone call allowing the trace.

anonymous asked:

Hey there, I've been really enjoying reading your blog and have been learning a lot. I'd like to ask about some claims I see being made online about that everyone needs to stop eating meat/animal products imminently to lessen climate change. Is that the full picture? Most articles I see online promote a "plant based" (read: vegan) diet, but is it feasible for everyone to even do that? Would it even help? Thanks :)

This is a very complex question, and a lot has been written on it from different perspectives, but I have to say that it definitely is not the full picture.  To be honest, the question you asked could become an entire paper and/or thesis, but here are some reasons why everyone stopping eating animals immediately is neither feasible nor sustainable for people or the climate. 

The fact of the matter is, we have to feed -everyone- with the land and resources we have.  Climate change aside, that is the problem ag seeks to solve. So a solution is not truly sustainable unless it is capable of feeding everyone and is better for the climate than alternatives. Ok? Here we go!

So, does going animal-free work to feed everyone?

  • Many people (myself included) cannot safely exist on a diet devoid of animal products. Whether it be due to celiac, soy allergies, corn allergies, other gut disorders, many people need at least some animal products to survive. I have celiac. I also cannot eat soy more than occasionally without getting very sick and risking permanent health consequences. The majority of the items on the list of foods I cannot eat without getting sick and/or putting my health at risk are plant-derived. I am far from the only one like this. 
  • Allergies to plant-derived foods are far more common than to animal-derived ones.  Of the top 8 allergens estimated to cause >90% of allergic reactions by the Mayo Clinic, half of them are plant sources, and of the plant sources listed (peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat) those are common sources of protein for vegetarian/vegan diets. If we cut out animal-based protein, where are people with these allergies going to get protein?
  • Saying “everyone can eat vegan” is ableist, and denies the reality of many people, myself and many of my family members included.

Going totally vegan may actually be bad for some ecosystems

  • Grasslands and rangelands need grazing to survive. These lands evolved under pressure from native herbivores, which in turn were kept in check by predators. Humans have largely eliminated those predators from a good chunk of the world, or severely reduced them (see the issue with deer overpopulation in the US due to human elimination of predators). 
  • Even if all the land currently grazed by herbivores was returned to wild populations, we risk herbivore overpopulation issues and long-term environmental degradation. If we just remove all grazing herbivores, we wind up with habitat degradation and in many places, increased fuel for forest fires, which causes its own problems. Removing herbivores also changes ecosystem balance for many other species that rely on herbivores to clear out excess brush, provide manure, or alter habitats.
  • A totally vegan diet for humanity wastes land.  (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/earth/going-vegan-isnt-actually-th/) Most grazing land is unsuitable for row crops without massive inputs of fertilizer and tilling/irrigation, which themselves can have a fairly high carbon footprint, and repeated tilling can be very bad for certain kinds of soil. (http://cropwatch.unl.edu/tillage/structure
  • Have you ever seen the rangelands of California or Montana? It would be extremely difficult to grow row crops there, but we are really good at growing cattle and sheep there!  Since grassland is 26% of the world’s land area, and 70% of the world’s agricultural area, any diet that doesn’t use pasture-produced animal products will be wasting a lot of land that could be feeding people. (http://www.fao.org/ag/agp/agpc/doc/grass_stats/grass-stats.htm)
  • As the world population increases, pressure on existing land usage is going to increase, and so agriculture needs to rise to meet this challenge.

So I think we can make the case that a), a vegan diet will not feed everyone, and b) wastes land that could be used to feed people. So by default it’s not sustainable.

But what about livestock and climate change?

  • Livestock production of all types sum up to 15% of total greenhouse gas emissions worldwide (http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/197623/icode/),and 24% of global greenhouse gases come from agriculture, forestry, and other land use, according to the FAO. That includes plant and animal agriculture. (source: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data)
  •  Of this, livestock are a major contributor, but so is soil management, which is needed for growing both human food and feed for livestock.
  • By contrast, electricity/heat, industry, and transport account for 25, 21, and 14% of greenhouse gases, respectively. 
  • In the US, livestock account for just 4.2% of total greenhouse gas emissions. To contrast, transportation and energy production account for 27% and 31% of total US greenhouse gas emissions, respectively. 
  • The contribution of livestock to greenhouse gases is higher in developing countries, partially due to a lot of livestock eating poorer quality feed or needing longer to reach market, and the fact that grass-fed livestock do produce more methane than livestock fed on lower-fiber feeds. 
  • But as discussed above, those grass-eating livestock are necessary for producing food where other crops can’t grow, and keeping ecosystems healthy.
  • So for the US and other developed countries, focusing on livestock seems a bit shortsighted compared to developing cleaner energy and transport, right? (source: http://www.afia.org/rc_files/801/livestocks_contribution_to_climate_change_facts_and_fiction.pdf Disclaimer: the author of this piece is one of my advisors) 
  • The US EPA here lists a lot of good ways we can improve agriculture to reduce climate change https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions#land-use-and-forestry but the fact of the matter is, while ag and livestock ag in particular contribute a good amount to climate change, it’s got a big job to do - feeding everyone!
  • Herbivores like cows and sheep and goats are needed to preserve native forage-based ecosystems and provide food, but at the cost of producing methane that contributes to climate change. However, if we got rid of every cow and sheep and replaced their contribution to human diets with chicken and pigs, we’d have to grow extra food for them, which means more greenhouse gases to grow those foods, and we’re back at square one
  • To me, the real benefit of livestock, especially on range situations, is that they turn human-inedible plant protein into human-edible protein. That’s a significant reason why they’re so important to the human food supply.
  • Livestock also eat a lot of byproducts (brewer’s mash, hulls, tomato pulp, etc) that would otherwise go to waste.  This reduces the impact of their feed production and of waste disposal in other industries. We’d have a lot of reject feed/byproducts sitting around if we got rid of livestock, and those would have greenhouse gas production from their waste disposal.

For me, it amounts to priorities - we know a vegan diet won’t feed everyone and it wastes land. We don’t have enough arable land to feed everyone on a vegan diet, even if everyone could go vegan. 

We have researchers like myself and my colleagues working to help farmers reduce greenhouse gas emissions no matter what they farm (greenhouse gas emissions are a waste, remember, and cost farmers money). Livestock, especially in range situations and developing countries, eat a lot of stuff that would otherwise go to waste, and help keep ecosystems healthy. 

So it’s not just the analytical life cycle of the animal and it’s impacts, it’s what would the effect on climate change be by a) removing livestock and b) dealing with the human food needs met by doing so? 

To me, livestock earn their keep, and while it is our job to keep improving livestock systems to be more efficient and help  prevent worse climate change, we also need to remember that livestock are an important part of the sustainability of existing systems. 

So hope that answered your question, anon! For more info, check out this video presentation that you might find neat, as well: http://articles.extension.org/pages/28311/clearing-the-air-on-animal-ag-and-greenhouse-gases

Voltron & Hogwarts Houses (Sorting)

Something I’ve been thinking about since the first season came out is which houses I’d sort the characters into. Now I take thispretty seriously I’ve spent a lot of time doing it lol I need a life, so I’m making this post to see what everyone thinks! (Btw I’m an extremely proud Ravenclaw lol)

When sorting with the four Hogwarts houses there are two important things you need to remember:

1. The house reflects the character’s traits (what they’ve shown to have and excel at) and…

2. The house reflects what the character values most! I bold this because most people forget it when sorting! I care way too much about this to let it go and continue being ignored.

And lastly, disregard the basic stereotypes you have of each house (ex. Hufflepuffs are weak/the leftovers/can’t be brave or smart or etc, Gryffindors are all loud/impulsive/warriors, Slytherins are evil/selfish/unkind, Ravenclaws are logical/strictly book-smart/know-it-alls, etc). 

*Quick note - in the books the sorting hat does take into consideration what the student wants. Whether or not it makes a difference depends on the person and situation.

Keep reading

Is Chase Evil: Theory

I’ve been seeing screenshots from Bro Average a lot, in the tag, on my dash. And I can’t help but feel like there is 1 moment, after the outro clip plays.

Isn’t this look a bit off? Friendly and kind Chase, who just wanted to see his kids again and have fun making videos. Suddenly wakes up on the floor with wide open eyes. A gaze that you’d normally only see villains do.

Posessing bodies isn’t hard when the person is dead, Chase was so to speak “ dead “ on the floor for quite a few seconds and Anti has been able to strike.
Take over the body.

Now how do we put this together with what’s been going on lately? Do you remember the titles?
“ Please stay alive “
“ Please help me “
“ I need healing “
What does a body do after its been dead for a while? Decay and rot.
Using a decayed body for cover is no good. It would strike people immediately that something is off.
Anti was calling out to get help.

So wouldn’t our favourite doctor, Henrik von Schneeplestein, have some preservation tools with him? Mad as he seems he would probably. He would probably be able to help Anti and prevent Chase’s body from rotting away.
Chase is a living zombie and probably the best looking one at that.
I feel like y’all have no idea when you say “ Please don’t let me turn against chase, he needs to see his kids again “
He is not going to see them again. Chase is no more, He already switched sides. Unwillingly gave his body after death for Anti to keep.
So why was it so easy after all for Anti to take him? I mean he shot himself. But you might have not paid attention to Chase’s murderous intentions after all.

“ This one is called, the drive by “
Chase scootin’ by on a office chair shooting into a crowd of people as we hear screams of terror and agony.
Wouldn’t seem like a thing friendly and kind Chase would do right? Maybe deep down, he’s just as mad as Anti & Schneeple.

So is Chase evil?
Yes. Always been.

Save Me. (Yoongi x Reader) PART 5.

“It swallowed me, this lunatic. Please save me tonight. Within this childish madness, you will save me tonight.” - [“Save Me” - BTS]

Summary: It was an unprecedented love that bloomed within the halls of your high school, until secret words were overheard, and shattered the budding romance. It changed your life forever, leading you down a path you had never thought you would be on– training to become a secret agent. You chose it to escape Yoongi and the results of how things ended between you two, but as fate would have it, that very same choice ended up leading you right back to him. Will you be able to save your clients and solve mysteries together despite your history? Will you be able to save each other? Will you able to save yourself…from yourself?    

Yoongi x Reader (ft. Jin & all the other BTS members)

Secret Agent AU

Mystery, Action, Angst, & Fluff (contains some violence, mentions of murder, death, harassment, and bullying)

PARTS: Prologue | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 (Finale) | Bonus: The Letter

A/N: So I’M BACK! Wow, I was a little rusty haha but hopefully, you’ll enjoy this new update ^_^ thank you again for waiting so patiently! Enjoy! 

Originally posted by cyyphr

Originally posted by jinmini

         You sighed as you thoroughly read through the encrypted notes that Jimin had given you about the previous deaths and the two suspects you had asked for. Nothing seemed to be adding up despite having more information. None of their backgrounds had consistent similarities. There was a missing piece and you were frustrated that you couldn’t pinpoint it.

           You stared at the sheet, willing a clue to emerge. Everything was intriguing. All of their deaths, and all of their stories. Namjoon had so wonderfully organized it for you, but still, even combined with your own observations, no definitive patterns jumped out that could give you an advantage against the killer.

           The deaths were as follows:

Keep reading

Dear fandom

Why do you keep forgetting that Sebastian is a sassy little shit? I mean it’s all precious and sweet, that you keep depicting him as this innocent, ever-friendly, Maker-loving choir boy, but have you also considered these?

Before a fight:
“Maker preserve their stupid, stupid souls.“

When killing and enemy:
“Arrows courtesy of Sebastian Vael!“

After a fight:
“And I just cleaned my armour.”

About to KO:
“Why do they always go for the archers?“

Anders: How can you have so much faith? Does nothing bother you?
Sebastian: You’re bothering me.

Aveline: I’ve seen greater men than you use that excuse.
Sebastian: Noted and ignored, Captain.

Fenris: I can’t decide if it is certainty you have, or blindness.
Sebastian: (Chuckles) At least you can’t decide. 

Isabela: You weren’t? You weren’t going to tell me to comfort the needy and give freely of myself?
Sebastian: From what I hear, you already give yourself quite freely.

To Isabela if she returned to give the stolen book back:
“It’s frightening, isn’t it, to realize you have the potential to be a better person?”

Merrill: I’ve always wondered: how do your Divines choose their names?
Sebastian: They write all the best sacred names on slips of paper and stuff them in a miter.
Sebastian: Then the newly elected Divine picks a name out of the hat.
Merrill: What if she picks a name she doesn’t like? Does she have to keep it?
Sebastian: Of course she does. How do you think we got four Divines named Hortensia?

Sebastian with Hawke in the Legacy DLC:
“I wish my parents could see me now. They always said I had “no sense of the dignity of my station.” A disgrace to the Vael name.”
<Location dependent>
“Now, here I am, tracking down dwarven ruffians…”
“Now, here I am, traipsing around the Deep Roads like a common soldier.”
(If Hawke has a diplomatic/helpful personality)
Hawke: I’m sure they’d be proud of you for defending a friend.
Sebastian: They must be rolling in their graves…
(If Hawke has a humorous/charming personality)
Hawke: If you could bring your family back from the dead, that’s what you’d want? For them to be disappointed in you?
Sebastian: (Laughs) How else would I know it’s really them?
(If Hawke has an aggressive/direct personality)
Hawke: They’re dead. Let them go.
Sebastian: They must be rolling in their graves…

During the Tallis DLC when looking for Hawke:
Carver:
And we are back to front yet again.
Sebastian:
Blessed Andraste, guide us. Protect our friends in this dark hour.
Carver:
Right. Prayer. Useful, useful. Or we could do something.
Sebastian:
Guide us by the wisdom of your light… in silence.

During the Tallis DLC Act 3:
Tallis:
So if I put an apple on my head, could you shoot it off?
Sebastian: Considering what you’ve led us into, I don’t think that would be wise. 

1999: Somebody Told Me

Request by anon: 1999. Dialogue: “No. It’s always been you Dean.”

Word Count: 1216

A/N: I’m not too sure about this one. I couldn’t really capture the feeling of this song. Mostly because I haven’t ever been able to figure out how this song makes me feel or what it’s really about. Online people say it’s about how hard it is to write songs when he has writers block (or something like that) but that just doesn’t really mesh with the words or the actual music and that might be why I like this song so much. I can listen to it over and over and still not know what is happening in my brain when I hear it. But lemme tell ya, it sure makes it hard to write.

Version en Español: Somebody Told Me

Song 1999: Somebody Told Me by The Killers


“What’s up with Dean?” You asked, biting off the end of a celery stick. “And when did we run out of good food? Shouldn’t this healthy, produce crap go first? I mean, it’s not full of preservatives like the good stuff is.”

Sam scoffed. “It’s good for you.”

“Doesn’t mean it’s good food,” you countered, searching the cupboards for some peanut butter. Anything to make this green water stick taste good. “Seriously, please tell me Dean went to the store for something edible.”

The silence that grew after your question made you suspicious. Putting your search on hold, you spun around and eyed the youngest Winchester who was looking too entranced by whatever was on his laptop screen. “Sam…”

“He went out.”

“For… food?”

Sam finally looked up and heaved a sigh when he saw that you weren’t going to give up. “On a hunt. Said he needed some alone time or whatever.”

That definitely wasn’t good. “Dean only needs time alone when he’s emotional. You’re telling me that you let an emotional Dean Winchester go on a hunt alone when his judgement isn’t always the best?”

“I, uh, yeah?” Sam scratched the back of his head, avoiding your eyes. “Look, Y/N. Dean can handle himself—“

“He nearly died on the last hunt. The only reason he’s still alive is because we had his back.” You stormed out of the kitchen and quickly packed a bag in your room. Sam followed, trying to calm you down and explain that Dean would be fine, but you refused to believe that.

It wasn’t that Dean was a bad hunter. Quite the opposite. He was an exceptional hunter. But lately he’d been off. He was avoiding everyone and sulking around. You barely saw him anymore, and you missed him. You used to spend every waking moment together.

“Where did he go, Sam?”

“He told me not to tell you.”

“But you get to know?” You hadn’t expected Sam to know where Dean went. You thought Dean would have just left without telling anyone. But apparently he’d told Sam. Which meant that he didn’t need time alone. He just needed time away from you.

Well, he wasn’t getting away from you that easy. “Samuel Ricardo Winchester—“

“Not my middle name.”

“—You will tell me where Dean went or so help me Chuck, I will torture the information out of you.”

*****

You pointed your car towards the hotel Sam said Dean had booked a room at, but then you saw the Impala parked at a diner, so you quickly changed your plans. Dean was not about to leave that diner without telling you exactly what was going on with him lately.

The bell above the door tinkled when you walked in, drawing the attention of a passing waitress. “Good morning! Booth or table?”

“Um,” you glanced around the room, searching for the familiar sandy hair. “I’m actually meeting someone.” Then you spotted him and nodded towards the booth he was in. “There he is!”

Walking over, you tried to plan out what you were going to say, but you couldn’t get very far. Once you made it past the initial greetings, you couldn’t even begin to guess how Dean would react. And you used to know him so well.

“Hey, stranger.” Your voice had Dean’s head snapping up to look at you in disbelief as you slid into the other side of the booth. “How’s the case going?”

“Good.” He grumbled, taking a bite of his breakfast. “You don’t have to be here.”

“No, I do.” Forgetting all pretense of small talk and politeness, you dove right into the nitty-gritty argument with your friend. “Wanna know why?”

“You’re gonna tell me anyway.”

“I’m here to tell you that you need to get your head out of your ass and suck it up.”

That definitely wasn’t what Dean expected. He just stared at you for a minute, trying to piece together your blunt statement. “Suck what up?”

“Whatever the hell is going on with you! You’re never around anymore. You barely ever talk to me. And I miss you. I miss talking to you and hanging out with you.”

Dean sullenly stabbed at the waffles in front of him. “Seems like you’ve got someone else to talk to and hang out with.”

“The hell you talking ‘bout?” Your whole life was spent with the Winchesters. The bunker, the Impala, the neverending string of hotel rooms… You were never not by their sides.

He looked between you and his plate a few times before sighing. Your eyes went wide when he pushed his plate away. Dean Winchester not finishing his meal? This had to be something big.

“I’m talking about how you’re always on that damn phone of yours. And you always wanna hurry back for your stupid weekly dates with whoever you keep texting. I’m not the one who’s never here anymore. Now that you’ve got a boyfriend that you never talk about, you’re never here.”

The more he spoke, the brighter you could feel your cheeks becoming. This wasn’t something you wanted to admit to Dean. Sure, he was your best friend, and it wasn’t like this was anything to be embarrassed about, but you just knew that he would tease you incessantly once he knew.

“I don’t have a boyfriend,” you mumbled. Now it was your turn to look down at Dean’s half-full plate. If admitting this would save your friendship, then you could withstand the teasing jabs that were sure to follow. “I’m in a book club.”

He drew back in surprise and pursed his lips. “Come again?”

“A book club, Dean. A fucking book club, okay? I download the books on my phone and read them on all of the long ass car rides and in our downtime. And the meetings are held each week. I get to be normal for a few hours and gossip with some women in town. I get to be around other women, not that I don’t love you and Sam, but it’s still nice to have a little break.”

“You—“

Finally daring to look back at him, you saw how his thoughts were translating onto his face. Eyebrows drawn together in confusion slowly smoothed out when he finally reconciled what he thought was going on to your explanation. His lips slowly turned up at the corners before jerking back down when another thought obviously crept into his brain. 

“So… no boyfriend?”

“No. It’s always been you, Dean.”

As soon as the words passed your lips, you wanted to take them back. That was admitting too much.

So you hurried to cover up your slip up. “I mean, you’ve always been my best friend. I’m not going to replace you with anyone.”

“Right,” he drawled, eyes narrowing thoughtfully. He opened his mouth a few times, starting to say something, but seemed to stop himself when a pink tint crept onto his cheeks. “So, book club, huh? Do you read those trashy romance novels?”

“Shut up, Dean.” You rolled your eyes, relieved that he hadn’t commented on your slip-up. You weren’t quite ready to risk your friendship like that quite yet. “We good now?”

He pulled the plate towards him and took another bite, chewing happily. “Yeah. We’re good.”



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