But this small chunk

Study Tips!

1) STUDY WHEN YOU’RE SLEEPY! Instead of reading a bedtime story, try and study for a few minutes before going to sleep. When you’re asleep, the brain makes connections to make your newest memories stronger and more prominent, so by studying before bed, you’re more likely to remember what you learned or reviewed that night.

2) DON’T TRY TO LEARN IT ALL AT ONCE! Space your studying out. There’s a new learning technique that is called “spaced repetition,” which involves breaking all the information that you need to learn into small chunks of information, and then reviewing the chunks slowly over a period of time. PLEASE don’t try to remember an entire chapter from your textbook in one reading session; instead, learn a few paragraphs a day and review each paragraph before starting anything new. 

3) MAKE IT INTO A STORY! Make whatever you’re studying into a fun, crazy tale. When you turn the information into a story, the info becomes more meaningful. For example, there’s PEMDAS.’PEMDAS’ stands for “Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division, and Addition and Subtraction.” PEMDAS is a way to remember the order of mathematic operations, but the order that each letter comes in may be confusing, so we’ll make a story out of the letters! For example, PEMDAS becomes (P)lease (E)xcuse (M)y (D)ear (A)unt (S)ally!

4) GET UP AND MOVE! Research has shown that by studying in different places each time we study makes us less likely to forget information. Every time that you move around, you are forcing your brain to form new associations with the same materials so that it becomes stronger in our memories.

5) CHANGE IT UP! Don’t study just one subject in an entire study session. Study a lot of subject in one sitting, instead. When you study like this, you are helping your brain to prepare you to use multiple strategies to find a solution to one problem. For example, when you study a lot of division problems at once, you’ll later remember that those problems require some division, but by doing both multiplication and division, you will be training your brain to consider what method will best solve the problem. 

6) TEST YOURSELF! When you quiz yourself, you’re preparing yourself for the real thing. Don’t worry about getting nervous while trying to remember what the Four Noble Truths are in Buddhism; the harder it is to remember something you learned during practice mode, the more likely you are to remember it on the real test. 

7) ACTUALLY WRITE THINGS DOWN! Research shows that the human brain stores more information securely when we write it out than when we type it. 

8) MAKE SOME NOISE! By reading information out loud, you are mentally storing it into your brain in two ways: seeing it and hearing it. 

9) DON’T STUDY WITHOUT A DRINK! Sorry, not an alcoholic drink, though. Lots of research suggests that caffeine-filled drinks such as coffee or tea, will keep us awake and alert while studying. Especially when it seems like there’s nothing more interesting than staring at the ceiling until you doze off. 

10) REWARD YOURSELF! Take a little walk, eat something sweet, give yourself five minutes on your phone - do whatever makes you’d like. When we know that there’s a little bit of a treat waiting for us after we finish a certain amount of studying, it makes it a lot harder to procrastinate so much.

11) WORK TOGETHER! Not everyone learns well in groups, but if you do, a study group is perfect for you! Get together with some pals every few days and review whatever you need to with them. It also helps to put certain people in the group in charge of certain things, such as cleaning up trash, providing extra materials, making or bringing snacks, etc). 

12) TAKE A TIME OUT! Taking some time to plan everything out is probably the most important study skill that you can have. Make small weekly goals for yourself. When you set your goals, don’t just tell yourself that you want to pass that English exam, tell yourself that you need to reach multiple smaller goals in order to succeed at you much bigger goal. 

13) STARE AT THE WALL! Before you force yourself to stare at a text book for three hours straight, look at your wall for three minutes straight. It’s not exactly meditation, but it has the same effect as meditation does. And meditation is known for reducing anxiety and boosting your attention span. 

14) DO SLIGHT EXERCISES BEFORE YOU HIT THE BOOKS! Research has shown that just half an hour of exercise can improve our brain-processing speed and other important cognitive abilities. Simply by jogging around the block, you may go to studying with a higher IQ. 

15) WHEN IN DOUBT, DANCE IT OUT! If you’ve ever relied on Beyonce’s singing to make it through an all-nighter of studying, you can agree that music helps to reduce stress. Even though everyone has a different music taste, studies show that classical music has been the best at reducing anxiety and tension. So, give your subjects a soundtrack and get to work. 

16) GET YOUR OMEGAS! Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in olive oil, nuts, and certain fish, are famous for boosting brain power. Studies have even shown that consuming a combination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids before taking an exam have reduced test anxiety.

17) TAKE REGULAR BREAKS! I know that people are always saying to give yourself a break every now and then, but it’s very important that you do give yourself some time in between subjects! Science has proved that by taking breaks regularly, you are boosting your productivity and improving your ability to focus. 

18) GET SOME SLEEP! It may seem like a great idea to stay up all night and commit yourself to memorizing every possible answer to each question, but all-nighters rarely get you an A on anything. Actually, staying up all night has been shown to make cognitive performance worse, along with increasing stress. Try to get a good night’s sleep every night so that your tiredness doesn’t undo all your hard work.

19) STEP AWAY FROM THE SCREEN! I’m pretty sure that we’ve all had those times where we’re trying to study so hard but our phone or laptop or tablet or TV or any distracting electronic device is just calling us to it. Try to avoid as much technology as you possibly can while studying. If you absolutely must have technology nearby, mute the notifications for apps, put your TV remote away, and temporarily block certain distracting websites (such a Tumblr) until you’re done studying. 

20) BREATHE! Studies have shown us that smelling certain essential oils, like rosemary or lavender, can help to ease nervousness before a test. 

21) FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU! Everything is different for different people. Some people are early birds who work best in the morning, some people are night owls who learn better late at night. Some work better with others, some do better when studying in silence. Nothing is the same for everybody, so just find what work bets for you and what makes you feel the most comfortable, most intelligent, and most successful. 

Overwatch Pachimari Cupcakes


Yields 1 dozen

The things you’ll need

Ingredients
  • 2 small turnips
  • ½ medium onion
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups cake flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Green buttercream frosting stiffened with powdered sugar
  • White buttercream frosting
  • White candy melts
  • Black, dark pink, and light pink royal icing
Equipment
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Rubber spatula
  • Hand mixer with attachments
  • Whisk
  • Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Large sauté pan
  • Mini cupcake pans
  • Cupcake liners
  • Cookie scoop
  • Piping bags
  • Three #1 tips, #12 tip
  • Small offset spatula

Let’s get started!

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Peel and cut turnips into small chunks and then toss with 2 tablespoon of oil. Roast at 400ºF for 30-40 minutes or until soft.
  3. Thinly slice the onions and then sauté them with 2 tablespoons of butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Cook for 30 minutes, or until onions are golden brown and soft.
  4. When the onions and turnips are ready, puree them in a food processor with the remaining oil and honey until smooth.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sea salt.
  6. In a large bowl, beat the remaining butter and sugar until fluffy and smooth.
  7. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each egg and scraping down the sides.
  8. Pour in honey and the vegetable puree and beat until smooth.
  9. Add the flour mixture and stir in by hand until well combined.
  10. Place batter into cupcake liners and bake at 350ºF for 20-22 minutes or a cake tester comes out clean.

Time to decorate!

  1. Tape a piece of wax paper onto a cutting board. Pipe a dollop of white candy melt onto the paper and then tap the cutting board on a counter to smooth out the melt until it is circular. Repeat for desired amount of pachimari faces.
  2. Use a #1 tip to pipe two dots (for eyes) in black black royal icing onto each white circle.
  3. Pipe a black outline of each pachimari mouth and then fill it in with dark pink royal icing using a #1 tip.
  4. Use light pink royal icing and a #1 tip to pipe two cheeks onto each face.
  5. Use a #12 tip to pipe green buttercream frosting onto each cupcake and then pipe 4 tenticles around the edges.
  6. Use white buttercream frosting to pipe a turnip shaped dollop onto the top of each cupcake and then place a face on each one.
  7. TaDa! A deliciously unique recipe to share with your gamer friends!
DIY Witchy Washing Powder

There’s a post going around popularising the idea of making your own washing powder, and I thought that it had a lot of potential for witches who like to make their own stuff! 

You will need:

  • 2 parts Washing soda (can be bought or make your own)
  • 2 parts Borax (borax-less recipes can be found online, if you don’t want to use it for whatever reason)
  • 1 part Bar soap (grated, or cut up into small chunks and blended if you prefer)

Use 1/8 to ¼ cup for a load.

Now the bar soap is where it gets interesting. Many are scented and have natural ingredients, or if you want to be sure of what’s in it you can make your own. 

You’ll probably only want to make one batch, so I’d suggest going for something useful for all/most situations.

I’ve listed some ideas below, but feel free to add/use your own correspondences. Anything that’s available in soap form can work (hence why I didn’t list popular herbs you’re unlikely to find in soaps).

Protection:

  • Violet
  • Aloe
  • Black Pepper
  • Dragon’s Blood

Energy/Vitality:

  • Most citrus plants (lemon, lime, orange)
  • Mint
  • Vanilla

Calm:

  • Aloe
  • Lavender
  • Gardenia

Cleansing:

  • Sage
  • Frankincense
  • Lemon grass
5

If I could, I would replace all my grass with thyme.

I have seven different cultivars growing now, with outstanding features like lemon and pineapple flavours, variegated or brightly-coloured foliage, and creeping or bushy habits. I can really never have enough thyme.

Thymes (Thymus spp.) are in the mint (Lamiaceae) family. They’re beautiful, small-leafed plants that attract all sorts of pollinators with countless small blossoms.

I take chunks off of the thyme plants I have growing in the herb spiral to start areas of groundcover elswhere in the garden. They form patches easily from a small rooted stem.

I plant strawberries in a bed of thyme to repel pests, which allows the fruit to lay on soft, hygienic leaves, instead of soil.

My plants that need a little winter protection over the root ball are often planted under a bed of thyme, allowing them to be insulated during the colder months: tarragon, for example, springs up reliably every year from underneath a patch of golden thyme.

Under foot and between paving stones, thyme holds weeds at bay, and releases a sweet scent into the air when stepped on.

In essence, it’s a perfect permaculture plant, because it fulfills numerous functions: it’s edible, aesthetically-pleasing, labour-reducing, and insectary.

Recipe: Roots Platter

Description: This’ll keep you digging for more.

Game ingredients: Cave Carrot, Winter Root

This recipe restores 125 energy and 50 health. It also gives a +3 Combat bonus. It can be obtained from achieving Level 3 Combat and sells for 100g.

Difficulty: Easy, 45 minutes. Serves 4.

I make this recipe quite often, but I usually just use potatoes and carrots.

-Root vegetables: turnips, parsnips, carrots, rutabaga, etc
-Tubers: potatoes, yams, etc
-¼ to 1/3 cup olive oil, as needed
-One Step Greek seasoning (or seasoning of your choice!)

For 4 servings I used 2 parsnips, 2 carrots, half a rutabaga, 3 small potatoes, and half a yam. I didn’t use turnips, but about 2 of those will do if you choose to have some as well.

Preheat the oven to 395°F. 

Chop up the tubers and roots into small chunks, removing any unwanted peels and ends. I keep the peels on the potatoes. For rutabagas, you may need to use a knife to remove the peel since most vegetable peelers aren’t strong enough to remove the skin. 

Combine the olive oil and seasoning in a large bowl, and add all the vegetables. Toss to fully coat them, ensuring an even distribution of oil and seasoning. 

Transfer the vegetables to a baking dish and cook for 35 minutes, or more if needed. The larger the chunks, the more time needed. 

Serve hot with lunch or dinner. Some root vegetables don’t hold a lot of flavour, so the seasoning helps a lot! This dish is tasty and nutritious. 

-SVR

if u struggle with depression and no one has ever taken you seriously, i just want to take a small chunk of your time to tell you that I, yves, love you, and I believe you.

ig : the_yvesdropper

(Peter Pan) In the Name of Love

A/N: The events take place before OUAT.

Word count: 12 076 (got a bit carried away)

Summary: In an attempt to flee from the Enchanted Forest, you sneak on a ship, but when two days into the journey you get found, you’re thrown overboard and end up being a castaway on Neverland. But who is this boy who claims to be the king? And why does your stick transform into a knife by your sole will?

“Who are you?” A voice asked behind you, causing your eyes to snap open with a start.
The cold had paralyzed your bones. You didn’t know how much time had passed since you set foot on this chore but it was freezing and there was no food or people for what you could see. That didn’t prevent you from sleeping with a knife hidden in your clothes. Well, clothes was a big word, for you were only wearing small chunks of ripped material, revealing almost as much as if you weren’t wearing anything, but at least your skin wasn’t in direct contact with the cold stone on which you decided to take a nap before investigating the jungle to see if there was a living soul here.
Seems like there was after all, and they found you first. The manly voice came from behind you and in a split second you jumped on your feet, ignoring the pain in your articulations and pulling the knife out, holding it right against the stranger’s throat, the tip digging in his skin.
“I see,” he said evasively, way too calm for someone you had a knife at his throat.
Suddenly he disappeared. You blinked a couple times, thinking you had imagined it. You hadn’t eaten in three days.
“What are you doing here?” The voice asked again, this time from some other rock, a few meters away from were you stood, the hand holding your knife not knowing what to do with it anymore.
“How…? Who are you? What is ‘here’, what kingdom is this?” You fired questions at him, waiting answers before even considering answering his questions.
“A kingdom?” He chuckled before taking a few steps in your direction, but staying at a safe distance. “There is no king here, darling. Just me.”
“Oh please don’t choke on your modesty,” you spat at him. “Now answer! Where am I?”
“This is Neverland. And I’m Peter. Peter Pan,” the boy said as if you should have known who he was, though it didn’t ring a bell. “And you are…?” He continued.
“Lost,” you replied. “How do I leave this place? ”
An enigmatic smile spread his lips, “You don’t.”
Once again he disappeared and you felt him reappear behind you. Spinning on your heels you were ready to stab him right in the neck but he stopped your arm. Without even touching you.
“How do you do that?” You groaned, frustrated with your lack of hold over the situation. The only answer you got was a smirk. “If you plan to stab me in the back you better be quicker than me because there will be no hesitation on my part,” you warned him, tightening your grip on your knife.
Without saying anything, Peter grabbed your forearm, making you almost drop your weapon out of surprise. He turned your palm up to see the inside of your arm and there was a rough scar, still fresh and probably burning from the salty sea water. A white iron mark. Obviously from pirates.
“Who did this?” He asked. His voice was free of concern, he simply wanted to know what ship got close enough to Neverland for him to find a castaway.
“Pirates,” you said. “I wanted to cross the sea and sneaked on a ship. They found me two days into the trip.” You had no idea why you told him this, but you figured that it wasn’t dangerous to tell him this. Maybe he’d leave you alone if he thought you were cooperating.
“I want a name,” the boy snapped at you. “The captain? The ship?”
“Jollyroger. The paint was almost scrubbed off but all the barrels said 'jollyroger’,” you informed him. He cursed under his breath but you didn’t bother asking why. He must have known the ship if her name made him swear like that.
“So I’m guessing they threw you overboard?” You nodded. “And they gave you a knife? They didn’t even tie your hands behind your back?” You snickered. Apparently it wasn’t the first time he had an encounter with a bloody pirate.
“Oh but they did,” you confirmed, smirking. “I’m pretty light fingered, the rope didn’t resist me long.” To illustrate your point you slipped your arm out of his grip and stuck your knife out, pressing the tip under his chin before he had the time to process what was happening. The boy had a mysterious smile, as if please by your answer. You thought that something was definitely wrong about him, because the more you threatened him the happier he seemed.
“And what about the knife?” He insisted. You hesitated, biting the inside of your cheeks while trying to decide if you could tell him. He was obviously familiar with magic, so why hiding him? Maybe he could give you an explanation.
“I grabbed a stick to defend myself, wishing I had something better, like a knife, and-” you stopped mid sentence. “It just… transformed into one.”
Peter Pan was hardly ever surprised by anything anymore, but the expression on his face was unmistakably choc. There was a silence for a couple minutes, the boy being deep in thoughts. Suddenly he started speaking again.
“I see that you can use magic here. It seems that Neverland has accepted you already. Perhaps you coming here wasn’t so much as an accident,” he wondered out loud.
“I’m sorry, is that how you intend to make me drop my guard? Speaking about destiny? Because it’s a rather idiotic strategy.”
“You don’t believe in fate, darling?” The boy raised an eyebrow as if this information was highly interesting.
“Should I?” You answered his question with another one, much to his displeasure.
“In a land of magic everything remains possible, especially here. Everything you believe in becomes true,” he explained, making you wonder why he was giving you this information.
If it was true, it meant you could wish for a bigger weapon. Or a ship. A way to leave this strange place and this magic boy. Experience taught you that when potentially dangerous strangers told you too much it meant that they either planned to kill you afterward or keep you prisoner. You had a bad feeling about this Peter Pan.
“So the knife…?” You asked just to make sure. You cared little about looking like an idiot, it was better to be underestimated than overestimated.
He nodded, “you must have really wanted it.” There was something quite soft in his voice, almost as if he was in admiration of your will power. Indeed, you had never wanted anything more than that.
“Well, I guess you’ll have to stay here now,” he said, although you had multiple arguments going against this. He snapped his fingers and you felt a sense of warmness. You were now wearing a female version of his own clothes. Too grateful to complain, you simply gave him a thankful nod, but didn’t lower your weapon. “Oh you can keep your little knife, you’ll need it later,” he informed you. “Welcome to Neverland, darling.”

*

The first time you entered the camp, you had knocked out three and a half boys before nightfall. Stunned as to how you arrived here and stung by curiosity because they hadn’t seen a girl in a while, the group of boys - who you knew now were called the Lost Boys - gathered around you like you were some strange spices of animal and whispered things and poked you and wanted to take a closer look. Thinking that it was definitely a bad way to greet somebody, you decided to show them your displeasure and shoved off a rather short bulldog-looking boy by slamming your hand right in his face and pushing him to the side. Some laughed at your gesture and others shouted at you, but you ignored them, just like Peter did as he continued to lead you across the camp, dragging you by the arm. For a second you were overwhelmed by the need to scream bloody murder in hope that it would make them leave you alone or at least step back to let you breathe. When Peter stopped in his track you almost bumped in him but you managed not to after tripping a couple times on your own feet, not even seeing where you were going with this crowed around you.
Peter grabbed a boy that looked a bit older than the majority and told him, “Jean, where is Felix?”
“He’s out in the woods with Marco and Conor, they are hunting,” he quickly made his report to Pan - who you decided, was the leader of this gang of midgets.
He grumbled something about leaving the camp without surveillance and resumed dragging you away from the boys, barking them orders on his way. Soon the crowed scattered around but before you had the chance to enjoy it you were thrown in a small wooden cabin.
“Hey!” You shouted at Pan, glaring him daggers. The boy disregarded your protests and closed the door behind him, his face neutral and his intentions unclear. For a minute or so, he said nothing. “So, how’s it going? You talk? I talk? Who goes first?” You asked in an attempt to calm your nerves.
This whole situation was decades away from what you expected to happen when you sneaked on that god forsaken ship two days ago.
“Sarcasm is not going to help,” he answered. “If you want to survive here, you better not push the boys’ buttons. They are not all as well-mannered as me,” Peter snickered like it was some sort of inside joke.
The taste of blood in your mouth when you bit your tongue was awful but you were grateful that you did it. You were about to snarl back at him that if someone should be afraid it was them, because as soon as you’d be out of Pan’s radar, you’d run away from here - regardless of how many victims you’d have to make to achieve that.
“Are you hiding something from me?"He suddenly asked you, noticing your hostile look. "We have very efficient methods to make intruders speak,” he felt the need to inform you.
“Try me.”
After saying that, the events followed through rather quickly but when time slowed back down you were once again in the middle of the camp, surrounded by Peter’s crew of minions, with a crossbow in your hands, wondering what was happening. Lack of sleep and food got you a bit confused and it turned out real difficult to focus on what Peter was telling you.
“It’s a game. You win, I leave you alone,” he told you, pointing his finger to your left.
A very young little boy stood there, looking almost as confused as you, with a big red apple resting on his blond head. You guessed the rules of the game, but Pan still took it upon himself to explain you, although you had stopped paying attention to what he said. His explaining was cut short by the arrow you shot towards the little boy, who started and it hit the apple and began to cry before running away.
“Here. Done,” you declared, throwing the crossbow at Peter’s feet. If it was a bow you would have kept it and made arrows out of branches later but a crossbow without the appropriate arrows was useless. They all stood there in complete silence for so long that you were beginning to think that you could attempt an escape.
“Can I go now?” You asked eventually, growing tired of the odd looks they were giving
giving you.
What you had just done was not particularly extraordinary. It didn’t require much skill besides good aim. No it was more of a psychological test. That’s why they chose to put the apple on the head of the youngest boy, the most innocent one. But you weren’t a sentimental person, never will be, and if your survival - or freedom - was hanging on the line, you cared little for the collateral damages - even if they were presented under the form of a little blond boy.
“Do you have no heart?” A nameless boy asked among the thick crowd.
“I wonder sometimes,” you laughed bitterly. “Now can I leave?” You asked again, looking at Pan.
He didn’t look so surprised by your gesture, his expression was a pleased one and that scared you a tiny bit. What did he have on his mind?
“You really are a unique lass,” Peter commented as if studying you. “I knew you wouldn’t disappoint me.”
That’s when you realized that he never intended to let you go. The test wasn’t what you first supposed. You didn’t fail because you shot the arrow. It was meant to show that you would do it, no second thought. And you succeeded brilliantly. He was never going to let you leave this place now. Angry at yourself for being tricked like an amateur, you pulled out by the blade the knife he had allowed you to keep before leading you to the camp and you flipped it around, firmly holding the grip, and threw yourself at Pan.
A few hours later you woke up tied against a tree, feeling the bark scratching your back and your wrists sore from how tight the ropes were.
“What the hell…?”
“The boys don’t appreciate when a stranger tries to kill their leader right after shooting at one of them,” an already all too familiar voice told you from behind the tree. Peter Pan walked around it and when he was finally in your view field you glared him daggers. “Easy tiger. We don’t have to be enemies.”
“And you don’t have to be a cocky egomaniac but you still are,” you spat at him, earning a pensive smirk.
“You’re not making this easy for anyone. I’m feeling lenient today and if you promise you won’t attempt anything stupid anymore - like trying to kill me with a blunt knife - I might forgive you.” The way he said that implied that you should have felt honored.
“Just let me go and you’ll never see me again!” You shouted, wriggling on your little spot, struggling to free yourself from the strings. The boy sighed and knelt down beside you, his face suddenly really close to yours making you suck up your stomach and stop breathing as if you were face to dace with a venomous snake.
“That’s not how it works around here, darling. I make the rules, there’s no negotiating with me. I’m not letting you leave Neverland, get this idea into your pretty little head,” his voice was sweet but his eyes dark. He titled his head to the left. “You don’t seem like a fool. Make the good decision.”
And with that he stood up and started walking away.
“Wait! Don’t leave me tied here!” You screamed at him before he was out of earshot. “Why do you even refuse to let me go??!”
Pan stilled and you saw his shoulders tense up and then he said, without turning around to face you, “maybe I just want to keep you with me.”

*

Months later…
Carefully, you took another step, avoiding the leaves on the ground. You had to remain quiet or you’d get noticed. Pan had sent on a recognition mission because you were by far the most discrete person in the camp. Not as reckless as the boys, you knew exactly when to stop because one more step would betray you. About a week ago, a ship sailed in the Mermaid lagoon, and Pan usually leaves pirates alone if they don’t stay too long but they seemed determined not to leave. They started wandering in the jungle, getting too close to the camp for comfort. Last night, three of them had an encounter with a lost boy and he was now severely wounded. He only escaped thanks to Peter’s shadow. Silently, you pushed the branches of a nearby tree out of your way and headed back to the camp to make your report. Suddenly you felt a hand grab you by the arm and pull you behind a bush, and before you had the time to scream bloody murder, another hand was placed over your mouth to shut you up.
“Shhh, (Y/N),” the voice hushed you, not removing the hand from your mouth. Another noise made you still. It was the sound of rustling leaves, and it was far too close in your opinion. Unconsciously, your own hand covered the one still on your mouth and you both waited until your heard whoever was walking by walk away and even then you waited a couple minutes to move again, just to be sure.
When the hand released you, you jumped to your feet and whispered angrily, “You took me by surprise Pan!”
The fact that he had followed you upset you far more than what he just did, but you learned not to patronize him the harsh way during the last few months. Ever since you set foot on Neverland, he had made sure you would never get bored, giving you endless tasks to do, the worse one, to keep you busy and under his supervision. But it soon proved that you were too skilled to be doing stuff like cooking for the boys or sewing their clothes all day long. Peter watched you slowly integrate, get into fights with the boys, who started to consider you one of them. To this day, Felix and Peter were the only ones not convinced of your loyalty. Especially Felix; but he was second in command and if he wasn’t a bit suspicious of you, he would be a very bad one.
“Well Love, next time I’ll just stand by and watch that filthy pirate take you by surprise. You should be happy it was me, because that’s what Felix would have done,” he replied, obviously furious against you. “Be more careful. I can’t watch you all the time.”
“Then don’t. I can handle a drunk pirate.”
“Who said he was drunk?”
“When isn’t a pirate drunk?” You deadpanned. “If not, I would have kicked his ass nonetheless.”
It was true. During your friendly sword fighting with the Lost Boys, your skills didn’t go unnoticed, you were fierce and sly in battle. You weren’t afraid to back stab your enemy if it brought you victory, and Peter admired that trait. Although his admiration didn’t go as far as blinding him to your will to leave this place. He knew that for now you were on his side, a good little soldier fighting his battles, but as soon as you’d sense an opportunity to flee, you’d take it. That’s why he tried not to let you out of his sight. Now he let you hunt, guard the camp and capture intruders when they came to Neverland.
“I know,” he admitted, to your astonishment. He left it there, but you knew there was more to it. He didn’t just follow you around the entire island to stare at your backside.
“You thought… that I would side with them and ask them to let me travel in their ship?” You guessed, and according to Peter’s sudden flinching you were right. “You’re unbelievable!”
“And you’re a devious opportunist,” he told you, raising an eyebrow at you. “Which is a trait I consider a quality as long as it benefits me, but it’s not in this case.”
“Careful with such big words Peter, I could get offended,” you rolled your eyes. “Let’s get back to your shack before our friend comes back. I have news,” you told him, shrugging off his remarks against you and switching on your professional mode.
In a snap of his fingers, Peter transported you both inside his wooden shack, the only just about comfortable one. It took him several months to finally allow you in here, and the first time you discovered the place – about five months after you arrival – Felix walked in and became completely red and started yelling because you were just an untrustworthy spy sent by Hook.
Hook, the name of the pirate who threw you overboard and caused you to lend here in the first place. You had asked Pan about him numerous times but he persists to remain silent about what he did to him. Now was just about time to ask again.
“Pan, tell me about Hook,” you said, smirking. It wasn’t a question. Peter despised being ordered around, which is why you always made sure to formulate your questions or demands as plain orders. He seemed about to burst as you said that but you didn’t give him the time. “Don’t even try to tell me to shove off. The Jollyroger is in the Mermaid Lagoon as we speak, and there is a reason to this. A reason I intend to find out.”
Not once in all the time you’ve been on Neverland – at least not since the first day – had you seen Peter Pan look surprised, but he was right now. He glared at you before sighing I defeat, rubbing his eyes with his thumbs as if it was a very long story he was tired to tell before even starting. To encourage him, you decided to be more precise, “I want to know why he keeps coming here. You have a history, obviously.”
“That we do,” Pan said, pacing around in his small cabin. “It was centuries ago.”
“Centuries?” You asked, shaking your head. Peter looked up and offered you his infamous half smile.
“I’m older than I appear,” he chuckled. You had no doubt about that.
“So am I,” you told him, which made his smog smile disappear. He knew better than to ask any question though, for you didn’t drop any information about you or your land since you were here. You almost saw him mentally noting that bit of information you just gave him and it made you laugh.
“What are you laughing for?” He asked.
“I’m laughing at you,” you said, not bothering lying to him. Besides, he seemed to sense it when you lied to him. “Tell me… How is it possible that Hook is so old?”
“As long as you stay on Neverland, you don’t age,” he explained. You knew that. “And… let’s just say he spent a lot of time here…. before you came.”
“Sounds to me that you kept him prisoner,” you translated his understatement. “You know, undermining the truth doesn’t make it less true, right? Just say things as they are, don’t make me guess, I’m not in the mood.”
Peter’s face darkened at your daring words and his hand slammed on your shoulder, grabbing you there and pulling you so close to him that you could feel his breath tickle your nose. “Don’t push your luck, (Y/N),” he murmured in a threatening tone. Then he let you go, making you stumble back. “You’re lucky I like you. You amuse me.” Hearing him refer to you as if you were an object of entertainment took all you will power not to throw yourself at him, teeth and nails out.
“I’m the lucky one?” You asked, ignoring the part of your brain tagged 'common sense’. “From my point of view you’re the only one you benefits from my presence on this god forsaken slice of earth. I’m your best man, none of those kids you bring here can do as much as I do, and as good – not even Felix.”
Turning around to face you, Peter shrugged and looked away. You felt your entire face heat up and you knew it was red and steam was probably coming out of your ears. As if it had its own will, your hand dived into your pocket and took out a small knife which you threw to Peter, and it landed in the board next to his head, inches away from his neck.
“Don’t play with me darling, you’ll lose,” he said, more amused than angry – which only infuriated you more. But by now you were used to his mind games and you knew that he was acting so carelessly just to make you burst, so you breathed calmly and settled down.
“You seem to forget that I’m not as easy to beat. Without your magic, we’d be at the same level… more or less,” you liked to see how his eyes betrayed him when you implied that you could physically overcome him – if he ever decided to fight without soliciting his powers, which was nowhere near to happen.
“I fail to see why you point this out. I would be a fool not to use magic, especially if it’s in response to one of your poor strategies to make me fight fair and escape.” You hated that he saw right through you but at the same time, you would have been disappointed if he was that easy to trick. He was supposed to be the master of all tricksters after all.
Deciding that you had had enough fun, you came back to your initial topic, “So, why did you keep Hook on the island? And if you kept him here so long, why do you want to make him leave now?”
Although your questions were intrusive, Peter thought it was better to answer them than to have you on his back because he kept things from you. You never delegated a mission to a Lost Boy, but you always insisted on knowing in what kind of trouble you were putting yourself into.
“I didn’t keep him – not in the beginning – he was here because he wanted to kill me. But when he understood that he was far from succeeding he tried to escape to gather men and weapons, he intended to find a crew so he could come back when ready, and defeat me. That’s why I kept him here for such a long time.” Peter paused in his telling. You raised your chin, showing that it wasn’t enough and he sighed again. “He was never my prisoner, I didn’t keep him captive, I just-”
“Didn’t allow him to leave,” you finished for him. “Like me.”
The boy swallowed down, uncomfortable with the turn of the conversation, but he nodded briefly, agreeing with you.
“I’m not keeping you here because you’re a threat, (Y/N),” Peter informed you. You were about to ask why then, but he quickly resumed his story before you could place a word. “But he was. I don’t doubt that I will vanquish his herd of old drunk excuses of pirates but you have to understand that after decades and decades I grew tired of this endless war.”
“What grievance does he hold against you?” You asked, crossing you arms over your chest. The fact that he purposely avoided your question didn’t please you but you reasonably couldn’t  complain now that he was finally telling you what you’ve been asking him to tell you for so long.
“I killed his wife.”
You waited for more details, or at least a bit of context, but nothing came.
“That’s it?” You questioned, frowning you brows. “I have no doubt that you had excellent reasons to do that,” you added ironically.
Peter walked up to you, standing straight in front of you, his eyes closely studied you, from head to toe, taking his sweet time to let his gaze linger over the most feminine parts of your body, before eventually speaking up.
“She was a rare beauty. In that, you are very much like her. She was kind-hearted too, but she was unfortunate enough to be loved by the wrong man. I killed her to serve my purposes – at the time, I needed Hook to do something, and that’s how I made him obey.”
“By killing his wife?” You asked, stunned. It was a rather weak strategy, as stupid as it sounded, you expected more of Peter.
“No, of course not!” Peter groaned, as if offended that you thought he could come up with such a n idiotic plan. “I threatened to kill her.”
“And after he had done what you wanted, you killed her anyway,” you guessed, looking Peter right in the eyes. It was the easiest way to know what he was feeling since he never showed anything apart from mild-boredom and pride.
“My mistake was to think that he would try to pursue me to get revenge after I forced him to… whatever. So I killed her to destroy him – in many ways I succeeded – but instead of mourning and eventually ending his life too, as I expected him to do, I gave him a new-found reason to avenge him and his lost wife.”
It was only when you saw a hand on Peter’s chest that you realized it was yours. You hadn’t realized you were doing that, and you had no idea why. He was looking at your hand, not angrily, not mockingly, so you decided to leave it there. At best he’d think it’s a mechanical gesture in response to the terrible story of his meeting with Hook, at worse, he’d think it was an affectionate gesture.
“It was a smart move on your part. But there are always some exceptions to the rules,” you simply said before removing your hand and walked a few steps away so you didn’t have to meet his eyes.  You felt Peter’s hand on your shoulder, not to make you turn around or to abruptly pull you closer like earlier, it was simply there, the contact so light you barely noticed it through your thick clothes. He opened his mouth to say something, but you suddenly felt unease, and before he could form the words, you stormed out of his shack, leaving him there.

*

A whole week passed before you saw Peter again. You were especially eager to avoid him since the moment you shared in his shack after your mission, only doing the usual boring stuff and never asking to be sent out of the camp again, even though you were bored to death. You favorite activity was hunting, because it took you all day and allowed you to leave Pan’s presence.
Although it gave you a dangerous amount of time to re-think about that night. You were never one to have l'esprit de l'escalier (1), but the scene just kept playing over and over again in your head, like a litany. Peter’s honeyed voice saying She was a beauty. In that, you are very much like her, was plaguing her thoughts and she wanted to smash her head against a tree for having  futile concerns such as that. And then there was your hand on his chest, which you didn’t remember placing there. Disregarding the pointlessness of the while thing, you kept looking down at your hand with a sullen expression as if it had betrayed you and you suspected it to do it again. Mentally scolding you for being flustered like a schoolgirl because Pan sort of complimented you indirectly was beyond you, you couldn’t be that silly.
After your inner conflict, you were angry at yourself and at Pan and at Hook and also everyone one, just because. A good fight was what you needed to calm down, and who could offer you a fight on a equal footing. But since he despised you he wasn’t going to give you what you wanted unless you forced him, and you knew just how to push his buttons, not even ten minutes into the conversation, he picked up the saber he always carried around. He liked to tell everybody that he took it from the pirate who gave him his scar after killing him. You refused to believe him, it was just a story he told himself because it was probably his father who did this to him – before the shadow brought him to Neverland.
The rage you sowed during that fight took him aback, and even Felix had trouble keeping you at distance and not getting his head accidentally chopped off. You were better at using knifes than a sword but since he never fought without his saber, you had to adapt, and sometimes, if you weren’t careful enough, you’d cut off a few things here and there – mostly branches and tents, but once it was a finger. But you weren’t spared from getting some wounds every so often, as prove by the long bloody cut on your right arm. After so long a duel, you grew tired, but you couldn’t afflict your pride with a defeat out of tiredness and in one final sneaky move, you surged forward and knocked him off his feet, causing him to loosen his grip on his saber, which you quickly grabbed from his hand. You places the tip of the saber in your left hand on the right of his head, and did the opposite with your sword so that the two blades formed an 'x’ over his throat, preventing him from getting up without slitting it.
Breathing heavily, you let go of the weapons, leaving them planted in the ground, and walked away. All the boys had gathered around, at the safe distance, to watch the quarrel between the two best swords – apart from Pan, who taught Felix – and none of them uttered a word as you walked away, slowly stepping into the darkness of the forest at night, oblivious of the gaze that followed you from up in the tree, where the shack was.

Later that same night, you were still in the forest, for you hadn’t dimmed that you were calm enough yet. At least, not in the boys’ company. Sitting on one of the highest branch of the highest tree, you watched the horizon. You saw the sun set and the moon rise, but still, you felt that anger boil inside you.
You felt it since the day you arrived and learned that you may never leave and see the world again. It was right there, ready to explode, and it had. Now how would you face them, face Pan? Knowing that you had so much violence in you was eerie yet exhilarating. From your spot, you could see the mast of the Jollyroger, and the light of the pirates’ bonfire on the beach. It itched you to jump off that tree and head towards the group of most definitely passed out pirates to end them all. Slitting their throat in their sleep one by one felt like a good idea at the moment.
But one of the reasons you were still alive today was because you never let your heart dictate your decisions. It was generally best to listen to your head.  
“Why do you never use magic?” Someone asked out of the blue, not signaling his presence. It almost caused you to fall and your hands flew to the nearest branch to steady you. Right next to you appeared Pan, not particularly concerned about your start.
“Use it for what?” You managed to ask after a few seconds. Keeping a straight face had never been as difficult.
“Beating Felix without losing an arm?” He suggested, passing his hand over the flesh wound and healing it. The stinging feeling disappeared as the cut faded away.
“I beat him and my arm is still there,” you simply said in a flat tone, slightly waving your hand to show him you were still in one piece. “If you can heal me, why don’t you heal his scar?” You asked out of pure curiosity.
Peter simply shrugged, “I don’t see what for. I don’t think he was more appealing before getting it.”
A smile curved your lips but you didn’t answer. The faded sound of the pirate slurring and singing came from a distance and the fire lit the trees all around, making seem as though part of the forest was on fire.
“All that fuss because of one, out-dated, grievance,” you stated, earning a nod from Peter, who looked towards the source of the light, following your gaze.
“We have to at least recognize that he’s tenacious,” he pointed out. “No many would dedicate their whole life to avenging their dead wife.”
“Most would take it as an opportunity to find a new one. Younger? Maybe prettier too?” You scoffed in disgust of men’s attitude. “What does he think he’s doing? It’s a hopeless cause.”
“It gives a meaning to his life. If he really did love her that much, what else could he do? They didn’t have children, just each other. I took it from him.”
“What?” You raised your eyebrows, turning to Peter.
“His love,” Pan answered, staring right back at you. First you laughed because you thought he was being sarcastic, but then he flinched and you stopped. Something in the way Peter looked at you made it clear that he was serious. “You don’t believe in love?”
Once again you scoffed, “Why, you do?”
“Some say it’s the most powerful kind of magic,” he said, this time ironically.
“Love,” you said the word for the first time, almost expecting it to have a taste and you were disappointed. “What is it good for?”
Peter didn’t answer. Nobody had the answer.
“What is it even?” You asked suddenly. “Not thinking straight? Forgetting your priorities? Having sleepless nights and restless days? Never moving on? It’s ridiculous,” you rambled, talking to yourself like a mad woman. “Things shouldn’t be like that.”
“You sound like you’re in love (Y/N),” Peter stated flatly, looking past you. “Is that why you want to go home? Is there someone waiting for you?”
“Well, if there is, he’s probably wasting his time, right?” You attempted to joke, but Peter only looked away, no trace of a smile on his face. You were a thief and a girl. You weren’t fit for a happy marriage and where you’re from boys don’t like it when a girl can kick their ass, it wounds their ego. How could you believe in love? Parental love? You barely knew them when they abandoned you. Friends? Lovers? Who had time for this?
Me, you thought. Now you had all the time in the world, but you were stuck here. A sudden need to go away struck you. As if the island was a box and you were feeling claustrophobic. You wanted to leave, right now. By swimming if you had to.
Peter was still awaiting your response, and for some reason, you chose to lie, hoping that he was too distracted to see you were telling a lie.
“But if he’s waiting for me, I hope he’ll give up and move on before ending up like Hook,” you tried to sound as sad as you could. It seemed to pass as the truth and Peter frowned.
“You want him to give up? Why?” He questioned you, genuinely confused.
“Because… Nobody should wait for someone who will never return, it’s just a waste of time. They should move on, find someone else to make them happy,” you shrugged, not knowing what else to say without blowing up your lie. “Love is a waste of time. One shouldn’t care for another to the point of forgetting to live their life.”
“I disagree,” he replied straight away. Once again you almost fell off the branch and Peter quickly grabbed your arm to steady you. The touch made you shiver, but you made it look like you were simply cold, and luckily for you, he withdrew his hand as quickly as he placed it there, as if you were a hot device and he got burned.
“Really?” You huffed. “How can you say that? That man,” you pointed towards the general direction of the beach but it was clear that you talked about Hook, “just spent the last centuries trying to kill you because you killed his wife. Not only is that self-destructive, but it’s also pointless because killing you won’t bring her back, and if she had her word to say she probably wouldn’t want him to waste the rest of his life chasing after you, in an attempt to get rid of all the anger he bottled up all those years.”
“Seems to me that you know what you’re talking about,” Pan stated. “But I still disagree. Love isn’t a waste of time. It’s not a selfless feeling resulting in you living for someone else at the expense of your own yearnings. It’s selfish and cruel.”
A debate over love wasn’t exactly what you planned for the night and slowly but surely, the aftermath of your duel with Felix got the best of you. All you wanted to do was to sleep, and you had to get off this tree before falling asleep on the spot.
“Let’s agree to disagree.”
“No,” Pan argued. “Stand up for your ideas.”
“I’m tired Peter,” you told him. “And this conversation is sterile. Who cares about love?”
He smiled faintly, nodding. Of course this wasn’t totally about love, he was just trying to get information from you, taking advantage of your advanced stated of exhaustion. You mentally scolded yourself for not realizing sooner. You started climbing down, and when you reached the bottom of the tree, Peter was already there, waiting for you, offering you a hand to help you down the last branch which was quite high. You didn’t even think about slapping it away and gladly took the helpful hand.
You both walked back to camp, choosing to enjoy the silence provided by the night instead of using magic like Peter taught you when you first came here and he noticed that you were particularly receptive to magic.
“Hey, Peter,” you said, minutes before reaching the camp. “What is love to you?”
The boy smirked as if he had waited for you to ask the question this whole time.

*

The following weeks were a nightmare oscillating between random pirate attacks and sleepless hours of intense brain-racking on your part. He never answered your question, leaving you to wonder what the hell he was thinking. The thing that bothered you the most wasn’t the lack of answer for you didn’t really care about his opinion on love, but it was the way he looked at you with an odd intensity, as if expecting you to guess, or to already know the answer. And that made you think that maybe, you had missed something.
You didn’t miss things. You were proud to say that you had a sharp eye and a good ear, important things couldn’t go unnoticed by you, so what on earth could’ve escaped you? In the last three weeks, you took the habit of asking Pan the question again and again, everyday, in hope that he would get annoyed with you and give you the answer just to make you shut up. But the more you asked the more he seemed pleased – and beyond the obvious frustration it inspired you, it was also pretty unsettling.
Besides the occasional fights with the pirates, Pan didn’t give you much to do and you had to improvise to find distractions because ever since his stinging defeat, Felix avoided you like the plague. To pass the time, you decided to carve a bow and some arrows – even though you could have just magically made appear. That’s what you were doing when Pan burst out of his shack at the crack of dawn, ordering the Lost Boys to wake up at once and get ready.
The chaos that ensuing his exclamation was unbelievable. The boys jumped out of their tents and improvised cabins and started running around, gathering weapons, yelling rallying cries and even painting their faces with mud. You didn’t understand, there was no attack planned today. Or was there?
“Peter!” You shouted over the loud crowd of yelling boys. But he didn’t hear you and turned on his heels to go back inside his shack, with Felix on his heels. To say that you were shocked was an understatement. You were enraged that those two made battle plans purposely not including you. They didn’t share those with the Lost Boys, but at some point they started doing it with you because you were the best in hand to hand combat and recognition missions. This felt like a huge demotion to you.
Pushing all the cheering bodies out of your way, you waked through the gathering, straight to Peter’s cabin. By the way some boys stepped out of your way you concluded that you looked just as infuriated as you were deep inside, and if looks could kill, Pan and Felix would have been dead when you kicked the wooden door open.
“(Y/N)!” Felix growled through his teeth, indignant that you dared intruding Pan’s room like that. “How dare yo-”
“Oh sorry, I seem to have forgotten my good manners, should I have knocked before entering?” You squinted your eyes at them, challenging the two boys to answer to your rhetorical question. They had sufficient common sense to remain silent and at least look a bit guilty. “What is going on? Why don’t I know about this?”
“Mind you own b-” Felix started but you cut him off.
“I wasn’t talking to you,” you glared him daggers, wishing you hadn’t left your real ones in your tent. “Pan?”
“Felix,” Peter simply said, as a way of dismissing him. The blond boy was about to protest but his leader shot him a glance so sharp and cold it could have frozen a lake. “Off you go,” Peter told him and Felix begrudgingly left.
As soon as he stepped out, Peter rushed to you and slammed his hands on your shoulders, making you look right in his eyes – not that you intended to look anywhere else, your gaze was fixed on him, returning the sharpness of his stare.
“Who do you think you are to come here and demand explanations? I don’t owe you anything!” He shouted, making sure that everyone outside the shack could hear him as well. Irritated by his patronizing tone, you shove him off of you and hit him in the chest to show your discontent.
“And who are you to treat me like I’m nobody?!” You replied. “If you think I’m just another one of your little paws you can move at your will, you’re delusional!” Pan was taller than you but with your chin up and your eyes throwing flames at him, you still managed to look down on him.
“This is none of your concern (Y/N),” he said, not replying to your remark. “You’re not coming with us, you stay here and keep sharpening your knifes – that’s what you do best.”
Forgetting your no magic rule, you made a dagger appear and held it against Peter’s neck.
“One more insult and I stab you in the neck. We’ll see if you still feel like being impertinent after that,” you murmured menacingly, so close to him that your breaths mingled. “If I just killed you and joined Hook on his ship, I would be better off than here. But you’re still alive, remember that next time you consider doing plans without informing me.”
Pan scoffed disdainfully, and mocked you, “You think I’m that easy to kill? You wouldn’t be the first one to try, but I’m still fresh and alive. There’s a reason why people say 'Peter Pan never fails’,” he cockily smirked as he said that, but right as he pronounced that last word, you raised your hand and cut his cheek, leaving a superficial wound but still earning a puzzle glance and a few drop of red liquid before seeing it heal.
“But he can bleed,” you spat. “You might not die but I can make your life a lot worse than death.”
“I have no doubt about that,” he continued to smirk, not fazed one bit. With a flick of his hand, you were thrown across the room and ropes appeared out of nowhere to tie you against the wall of the cabin, so tight you thought it was cutting your blood circulation.
Peter stepped closer to you and knelt down to be at eye-level now that you were on the floor.
“You’re not coming with us, Dearie,” he repeated, shaking his head, looking almost sorry that he had to tie you down. “This ends today. I have to put an end to Hook’s revengeful impulses, and I don’t want you to be there.”
A strange sensation of anguish and dejection filled your chest at his words. After all those months, he still thought you were sent here by Hook to spy on him. In your entire life you had never felt untrustworthy, and having to face such leeriness. You swallowed down your harsh reply and bit your cheeks before saying something you’d regret later.
“If you think this amuses me, you’re wrong,” Peter informed you before standing up. “I find no pleasure in mishandling you, but you give me no other choice.”
“Tie me up if you want, but don’t make it pass as a compassionate gesture,” you hissed. The spark of hurt in his eyes took you aback and you closed your mouth, forgetting what you were about to say next. Peter shook his head, giving up on trying to reason you and started walking away. When his hand touched the doorknob, he froze.
“Love is a theft.” And with that, he walked away, leaving you prisoner of his room, wondering what the hell he meant by that.

*

It took you two hours, but you managed to free yourself of your ties, cutting the ropes with a small blade you made appear. Peter hadn’t botched the ropes, they were thick and hard to cut, but nothing could hold you down very long. Before the ropes eve hit the floor, you were on your feet and rushed out of the shack, climbing down the tree and quickly gathering your bow and arrows as well as your set of knifes, before running to the beach. All your hunting sessions proved being useful because you knew exactly were to put your feet not to fall or trip over some fallen branch and in less than ten minutes you were there, in the middle of an unprecedented chaos.
To join the battle, you had to step over the dead body of a Lost Boy who obviously had a encounter with a sword according to the slash across his chest. A couple pirates had fallen too, but most of them were still fighting and swords and cursed were flying all around. From the corner of your eye you spotted Felix who was on the ground, holding his saber up over his chest, and a pirate hovering over him, ready to finish the boy. Quickly, you pulled your bow from your back and took an arrow, aiming and shooting at the man. When it hit him in the stomach, he froze and looked down, as if not believing what happened. Felix had just the time to crawl away before the fat man fell on the ground like a dead mass – which he was. The shocked blond boy looked around to see where the arrow was coming from and when he spotted you, you saw him nod in gratitude, although he was probably not that grateful to owe you his life.
You directed another arrow to a pirate running after the small blond boy on whose head was the apple you shot the first day you came here, but you missed. You might be a good aim, but you weren’t the best craftswoman, and the arrows weren’t perfect. The second shot was the one though,  and yet another pirate face planted.
Screams came from each side and you hardly knew where to go or who to aim because of the huge gathering of Lost Boys and pirates crossing swords and running around in an attempt to kill their enemy. Your arrows were too hazardous too shoot in the middle of such a crowd, you might accidentally hit a Lost Boy – not that you were attached to any of them, but it could turn against you.
You dropped your bow and the two arrows you had left – you hadn’t had time to make more of them and you didn’t want to burden you with them if you had to fight hand to hand.
“Oh, what a nice su'prise!” Some gruesome one-eyes old pirate snickered at the sight of you. “What’s a 'ady like ya doin’ here?” He asked in this terrible slur pirates had developed after years of never drinking anything besides rum and entering a state of perpetual drunkenness. Going against all your basic instincts, you gave him a smile and fluttered your eyelashes at him. It gave him enough confidence to approach and suddenly, you slammed your fist right where his neck met his shoulder, and it didn’t occur to him right away that you were holding a knife, until you took it out and he started bleeding out, falling to his knees and letting out an inarticulate gurgle as final words.
“(Y/N)?” You heard Peter’s puzzled voice ask from behind you. When you turned around he was standing there, his face splashed with blood that apparently didn’t belong to him and his knuckles scratch and bloody as if he had punched a tree. “What are you doing here?”
Strangely enough, worry topped anger in his tone and when one of the pirate threw himself at you, taking you from the back, Peter’s hand flew up, causing the poor man to fly across the beach and knock his head at a branch so hard you doubted he’d ever wake up from that blow.
“Why is love a theft?” You simply asked, as if you weren’t standing among the dead bodies of your comrades in the middle of a battlefield.
“I don’t think that’s the right time (Y/N),” Peter rolled his eyes, though a smirk floated on his lips. He started when you disappeared from your spot but when he heard the familiar sound of a broken neck, he spun on his heels, only to see you drop the lifeless body a pirate with his neck twisted in an odd manner.
“Later then,” you said, and he nodded. You intended to make him keep his word. “I’ll hold you to that.” In a brisk movement, you joined him and put your hand on his shoulder. “Don’t get killed.”
With that, you let go of him and joined the battle, a knife in each hand, you left a trail of bloody limbs and screaming pirates in your trail, barely paying attention to whose arm or eye you were cutting, all you wanted to do was to put an end to this massacre. When a tall black man with two gold teeth slammed his huge hand on your arm and gripped so tight you almost cried out in pain, you flipped your dagger around and took him in the rear. His crooked golden smile faded when your dagger penetrated his ear as smooth as a knife in butter. His limp body almost crushed you but you stepped out of the way, not noticing the little blond boy standing behind you.
“No!” You screamed but it was too late. It was over for him. You barely saw his little hand coming from under the giant pirate you just killed. You killed the pirate but also the boy, inadvertently.
“Watch it!” Someone yelled and you ducked, laying flat on the ground, feeling something fly over your head. An ax planted in the tree in front of you and when you looked over your shoulder, you saw Felix smirking. He had warned you.
The number of pirates had severely decreased since you arrived and the only real fight going on was Peter and Hook dueling on the Jollyroger, a few meters away from where you were. It seemed like Peter had things under control. Hook uselessly tired himself, making dramatic gestures, exhilarated to finally have Pan in front of him, at sword length. He was so close to his goal that he grew over-confident, and forgot to spare his energy. Peter on the other side looked like he was dancing a ballet, just ducking and avoiding Hook’s sword and hook, letting him grow too tired to fight. The humiliation of getting beaten by a boy without even being wounded in his flesh would kill him if Pan didn’t do it himself. After a couple minutes of this masquerade of a duel, Peter got bored and he managed to make hook trip on his feet and fall back, hitting the helm. Pan grabbed the saber from him and held it to his neck, putting a final point to this fight.
But something else caught your attention. The familiar spark of a blade reflecting the sun came from the rear of the ship and there you saw yet another of Hook’s pirates. One that was strategically placed there to ensure that Pan wouldn’t make it off the ship alive, in case Hook failed.
“Peter!” You screamed, already running to the ship, wishing you could go faster, or yell louder. Peter didn’t hear you and the pirate aimed and just as he threw the knife towards Pan’s back, you wished you could just appear there, stop him, stop this.
The next thing you knew was that you weren’t on the beach anymore and a flashing pain coming from your chest. When you looked down, you saw the grip on a knife, the only part that wasn’t dived into your flesh, and a growing stain of blood coloring your blouse in red. Without recalling sitting down, you sudden felt yourself on the wooden floor, your cheek pressed against the filthy material. The throbbing pain was unbearable and you closed you eyes to ease it. They shot open when you heard Pan’s scream though.
“NO!” The scream echoed and you felt a wave of magic come through you, as if emanating from Pan, and crash through Neverland, making everything silent on its way.
You welcomed the quietness and your eyes fluttered a bit. You had trouble staying awake, but you knew that you had to. If you let go, it was over. You spotted Peter’s blurry face in front of you and felt yourself being rolled around. The blue sky momentarily blinded you and all you could see was light. You turned you head around to see the beach – bad idea, the flashing pain was back, making you cry out. But you saw it. The beach. Everybody was frozen on the spot, in the middle of fights, in the middle of dying.
Pan had immobilized the whole island in just one time.
“Now is not the time to play noble (Y/N),” he groaned. “I have to remove the knife,” he said, obviously not pleased with this perspective. “It’s going to hurt.”
“I know,” you articulated. “Just do it.”
With one hand he pushed you shoulder down against the floor to make sure you weren’t going to move. When his other hand grabbed the grip of the weapon, you screamed again, the pressure increasing the ache. Not giving you any warning, he pulled it out and threw it away, immediately covering your bloody open wound with both his hands and applying pressure to prevent the blood from flowing out. You felt a warm sense of tranquility fill you and you didn’t know if it was death or Pan using magic to heal you. All you knew was that it was too good and you decided to close your eyes, just for a second… just a second…

*

Slowly applying some herbal ointment to sooth your wound, you winced a bit but it was far less sure than last week. The boys told you you stay unconscious for two days, they were worried you were never going to wake up. But at last, you opened your eyes, only to fall back asleep minutes after having been fed by one of the boys. It was a rather confusing two weeks, but now you felt better. Thanks to Peter your wound healed quickly. He didn’t allow you to leave his shack – which became your room for as long as you needed it – and you hadn’t seen him since the fateful day, but the boys who visited you told you he came at night and tended to your injury.
Just when you were about to open the door to leave your 'room’, you bumped into a flat chest. You looked up and saw Felix.
“I wanna go out,” you told him. He blinked a few times but eventually turned around and climbed back down the tree, even offering you a helpful hand to climb down without mishandling your hurt shoulder. You were lucky the pirate aimed at Pan and not you. He was a good shot, but since Peter is slightly taller than you, it hit you just above your heart, and didn’t make any permanent damages.
“Pan’s at the beach,” Felix said, not waiting for an answer before leaving.
You suspected he was purposely avoiding the camp because he felt guilty for what happened – although you never saw him make himself sick worried for someone who wasn’t him. Slowly this time, you walked to the beach, and unlike the ten minutes it took you to run there last time, you made your way there in half an hour, stopping here and there to take your breath and calm your spinning head. It was tiring but being assigned to camp for two weeks made you miss nature.
When finally you reached your destination, expecting a pile of bodies, and blood tainted sand, you were faced with a spotless beach. The only thing that betrayed the presence of pirates was the ship, with Peter sitting at the head. You closed your eyes and when you opened them again, you were standing right behind him on the boat.
“Are you avoiding me, Peter?” You asked in a rather playful tone. He turned around – he didn’t look surprised to see you there so he must have sensed you come.
“Yes.”
“Why? Don’t I deserve a little thank you?” You teased him, pushing his buttons. You walked up to him and sat on the head beside him, making sure not to fall. He chuckled lightly.
“Would a thank you be enough?” He wondered out loud. “I’m not sure.”
“It would be a good start,” you shrugged, winced at the gesture. “Okay note to self: do not shrug anymore.” Peter laughed at you and turned around to face you, tearing his eyes away from the sea. “Now if you feel like building me my very own cabin because you feel really thankful, I wouldn’t say no.”
The wind made your hair fly around your face and you had to push it aside, trying to gather your wild brown locks in a ponytail.
“Deal. But it can’t be bigger than mine, the leader needs to have the biggest shack,” he said, smiling and passing his hand before your eyes, making the wind fall.
“That’s a very masculine thing to say,” you mocked him. He looked strangely melancholic. “What happened to Hook?”
“I killed him.” Peter paused. “He’s at the bottom of the ocean now, where he belongs.”
“It’s sad end for a sad man,” you simply said, feeling very sad yourself suddenly.
“Thank you (Y/N). I owe you my life, without you I’d be dead,” Peter said his mouth dry and his eyes distant.
“So you can die?” You asked just to make him crack a smile. It worked and he nodded. “Well, I wouldn’t be here without you either. It would have been a fatal wound if it wasn’t for your magic.”
“You’re welcome,” Peter said. “Hey!” He exclaimed as you punched him in the shoulder. “What was that for?”
“Shut up, I’m the hero of the day,” you just said, narrowing your eyes at him. He laughed, throwing his head back and holding his stomach. You let him have his moment.
“Hey Peter,” you called his name when he calmed down. “Why is love a theft?”
“You never give up do you? You know, this is also one of your qualities that you manage to turn into an annoying trait of personality,” he smirked. His hand flew up to your face and push a lock a rebel hair behind your ear, his fingers tickling your cheek and neck as he did so. All of a sudden, he dived in and placed a quick kiss on your lips, leaving you speechless.
“See? I just stole a kiss from you. Love is the same – it feels good but it’s quick and sudden and you don’t see it coming it just crashes down,” he explained. His hand fell down, and you missed the touch, feeling the cold wind were Peter’s warm palm formerly was.
“Love is a theft because you steel someone’s heart? That’s it?” You asked, a bit thwarted with this answer. “But they can give it freely,” you pointed out, trying to find a crack in Peter’s logic.
“In my case, it is a theft, because the heart I covet already belongs to someone else,” Pan stated, not meeting her eyes. “It’s cruel.”
“Life is? Why would love be any different?” Your question was answered by a shrug. “What’s bothering you Peter?”
“Nothing,” he replied, a bit too fast to sound honest. “I’m just enjoying this.”
“This what?”
“Our conversation. I’ll miss it.” If he kept being so vague about everything you’d smash his head against the foremast.
“What are you talking about? I’m not going anywhere,” you said, but when you saw his expression, you swallowed down. “Am I?”
“Take this as my way of thanking you,” he said. “You have my permission to leave Neverland, I won’t hold you back. The Shadow will take you anywhere you like, just go to him when you’re ready,” Peter informed you. “Go back to your 'someone else’, (Y/N). Don’t make him wait any longer.”
And just like that, he disappeared, and you felt your heart crumble.

*

Peter Pan had disappeared. The Lost Boys, Felix, even the Shadow, nobody had seen him. Worry was eating away at you, but a small voice in your head whispered you that he would remain hidden until you left. If he really was talking about when he said that love was a theft, he was probably hiding from you. He waited 'til you left, because that’s how he dealt with your departure.
Pretty ironic when you considered the fact that back in the Enchanted Forest you were a theft and a pariah, who made everyone a big favor by fleeing on that ship. Nobody was waiting for you back there, and nothing good would happen to you if you ever decided to go back. You’d get arrested, thrown into a cell for the rest of your life at best, and executed the very next day at worst.
Fed up with waiting for him, you decided to take matters into yours own hands. Going back to the ship, you climbed up there, cursing under your breath every time a flash of pain emanated from your healing shoulder, but still making it to the deck. Once there you sat back on the very spot where you last saw him, and called Peter.
“Peter! Come here! Stop hiding!” You yelled to the void, only hearing the sound of the waves crashing against the hull of the ship and the wind blowing in the sails. “Peter Pan come at once! I’m not leaving this boat until you reappear, I can stay here all night, all day! I’ll starve myself if I have to, but I won’t step off this deck.”
You began to feel a little silly for shouted at the empty air but you ran out of ideas, you had already looked for him everywhere on this island, expect for the Jollyroger.
“Fine! I’ll wait,” you crossed your arms over your chest and waited. You waited. And waited. And fours hours later you were still waiting, and occasionally calling Peter’s name. You shivered from the cold as the sun set and the night fell, but you stayed as you told him. If there was one thing you were certain of, it was that he heard you. Whatever happened on Neverland, Peter was aware of. There was literally not a chance in the world that he missed your hysteric screams.
“You’ll catch your death, Darling,” a voice suddenly made you wake up. You hadn’t realized you fell asleep, but when you looked up you saw the moon high and the night dark. It was around midnight. You stayed here for the last ten hours. “Go away. I gave you want you wanted, you’re free to leave. What are you still doing here?”
Taking your sweet time to answer – he made you wait here the whole evening, he could wait a few minutes – and stretched yourself after getting up, shaking your sleeping limbs.
“There are a few things you should know Peter,” you said, walking to him, your eyes dived in his cold gaze. You knew that stare, it was the one you used to give people when you thought they were once again leaving you alone. “And the first one is this.”
Your hand flew up to grab him by the neck and Peter was too surprised to react when you leaned forward and captured his lips for a kiss. Miles away from the chaste peck he gave you a few days ago, it was everything you’d expect from a kiss. Deep but soft and setting you ablaze. When he kissed you back you smiled and brought your other hand to his face, while he encircled your waist, pressing you against him. When you broke away, breathless but content, you stepped back just a bit.
“That’s how you steal a kiss from someone,” you smiled, your cheeks pink and your breath short. “Secondly, I’m not leaving, and that’s nonnegotiable.” The look a relief in his eyes was worth all the waiting he put you through.
“And finally,” you started, “you’re wrong. Love is not a theft.”
“But-” He argued, his eyebrows shooting together, confusion wrinkling his forehead.
“There is no one else, Peter,” you cut him off. “I’m not awaited in the Enchanted Forest. There is no one for me but you.”
A smile so wide you thought his face would crack in two adorned his lips, and he grabbed your wrists and pulled you to his chest, wrapping his arms around your small frame.
“And here I thought you were so sick of living here that you literally threw yourself between me and a knife,” he admitted, chuckling lightly.
“Ridiculous, I know! Seems like Hook’s not the only one to do reckless things in the name of love,” you smiled brushing the tip of your nose against his before feeling him lean down to kiss you yet again. Peter’s hold on you was firm and he had no intention on letting go, because finally he had his treasure, and it was far more precious than jewels and gold.
It was something nobody could take from him, because love wasn’t something one could steal.

(1) L'esprit de l'escalier: (French) Sometimes called “escalator wit”. Thinking about a past conversation over  and over again and finding the perfect answer/thing to say, but too late.

Amphibious Mermaids

I talked about oceanic mermaids in a previous post, but I’ve recently been neglecting a question about amphibious mermaids because I wanted to give it due time and detail in a response. I’ve finally found some time in my procrastination schedule to give it a proper go.

Amphibians are generally restricted to fresh water, and I envision amphibious mermaids would need a large amount of fresh water mixing with land to take full advantage of amphibious adaptations, so large expanses of swamp, wetland or bayou are the most likely environment. Mermaids are often thought of as associating in small groups or ‘sisterhoods’, to a large enough territory to support multiple predators is necessary. A small stream isn’t going to cut it.

And I do think they would most definitely be predators, or at least scavengers. Lots of things drop into the water, and a curious predator is well equipped to make the most of that opportunity. I envision multiple rows of small, needle teeth, ideal for gripping fish or tearing chunks out of the drowned.

Using skin for respiration works best for small animals, becoming less efficient as the volume to surface ratio of the organism increases. It’s probably useful for a tiny, baby, amphibious mermaid, but useless for an adult. As their oxygen demands increase, the larger adult mermaids need more surface area for diffusion, so external gills like the axolotl may be a useful adaption. The older the amphibious mermaid is, the larger it gets, and the more gills it requires, so the eldest amphibious mermaids would likely have vast expanses of external gills sprouting from their head, which may be mistaken for hair from a distance.

Lungs may still be useful for mid-sized amphibious mermaids, or in times of drought or hot weather, as lungs will still function even if the skin and gills go dry. This is probably uncomfortable for the largest specimens, who would be more dependent on their expanse of external gills. Lungs also allow these mermaids to sing, a classic mermaid feature, though their voices are probably smaller and higher than their body size would normally dictate.

These mermaids would likely retain four limbs and a tail, though they may only have their tail at birth, similar to a tadpole. They would retain their tail, making the most use of their legs when mid sized, either to migrate to new waters or perhaps lure prey to the largest adults lurking in the waters. The large adults would also retain their tail for swimming, though their legs would be relatively less use and spend less time on land, much like a crocodile or alligator does.

They have to be egg laying, and most likely laying a clutch of eggs, perhaps a few dozen, with larger specimens laying more. I think they’d be intelligent enough to guard their clutch and may even herd food towards this school of small carnivorous tadpole-like mermaids. It’s possible they may even have a degree of family structure, with offspring from previous years helping to protect and feed the youngest tadpoles.

Also, there’s often minimal sexual dimorphism in amphibians. Sometimes males are a bit smaller, but usually no external markers. Perhaps male amphibious mermaids do not reach the same size the females are capable of, but for external purposes the two are indistinguishable, so I will refer to them all as female, even though some are not. I’m confident the mermaids can figure it out.

So where does this leave my amphibious mermaids?

Picture a man walking through the swamp, finding a child-sized being with a tangled mess of red hair (blood-filled cranial external gills), wet and splattered with mud. She climbs trees, darts under roots and swims fearlessly through the shallows. It sounds like she’s laughing, or sometimes singing or humming a small fragment of song. Her eyes are large and she always smiles with her mouth closed. Perhaps she steals small objects. She’s curious, strange, but seems harmless.

Her older sister, a little shorter than the average human woman, with an even more impressive expanse of red hair, has actually mastered singing, even though the words don’t quite make sense. She moves with grace, despite her long, smooth tail dragging behind her through the mud like the train of a bridal gown. She frolics in the clear water, laughing, winking, always smiling with her mouth closed.

Then there’s her youngest sisters. Swarms of them in the water around you. Small, fast and with rows of needle teeth. They do not laugh or sing, only feed.

And the matriarch, like a colossal crocodilian sliding up from the deepest water, her red gills trailing behind her and wicked rows of needle teeth. She grabs the man with arms that are really too small for her body, pulling him under the water with her sheer mass, waiting for his struggles to cease so her young can feed with greater ease. Perhaps when they are done she will store his corpse under a submerged log as crocodiles do, until the next traveller wanders by.

I should write a horror story. 

Upgrade your Ramen

Everyone knows that ramen noodles are cheap. But the fact that they’re  a nutritional void by themselves also gives them a bad rep. Luckily, it’s not too hard to make the healthy(ish) kind of Ramen bowls you get at Asian restaurants. It just takes a bit of planning ahead to have the ingredients on hand. 

Start out with your protein. Chicken, shrimp, beef, pork, mushrooms, tempeh, and tofu are all great choices. You can match the flavoring packet but you don’t have to. Precooked protein is the easiest to use. When you do your shopping, scope out the proteins that are on sale and cook them up before you forget about them so they’re ready for quick meals throughout the week. 

Raw protein: cut it into small strips or chunks and sautee over medium-high heat.

Cooked protein: cut into small strips or chunks and set aside.

The next important part is the vegetables. I like the traditional bok choy and scallions, but feel free to experiment with whatever you have on hand. Remember, the noodles are a blank canvas so it’s hard to mess up the flavor combinations. 

Leafy vegetables like bok choy are better fresh, but there’s nothing wrong with using frozen vegetables. Frozen and precut carrots, beans, and broccoli work really well for recipes like this because you only have to throw them in (preferably after they’ve been removed from the bag). Stock up on your favorite versatile frozen vegetables when they’re on sale so they’re always on hand. 

A ramen noodle bowl is the same as a stir-fry or a soup in that it’s a great way to use up leftovers. It defeats the purpose if you feel like you have to go out and buy something for it, so use what you have. 

You can also fry an egg and place it on top, but I don’t usually do it since I’m not a fan of eggs and I also like to keep my ramen relatively simple. 

Ingredients:

  • Packet of ramen noodles ($0.20)
  • 1 cup cooked protein, small chunks or strips ($0.40)
  • 1 cup vegetables, precut, fresh or frozen ($0.20)

Instructions:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add ramen noodles and seasoning packet to water. If you’re adding veggies that take longer to cook, such as carrot or broccoli, add these in with the noodles. 
  3. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add vegetables, cook for 2 minutes
  5. Add protein, cook for 30 seconds (just enough to heat up the protein)
  6. Drain (optional)
  7. Add fried egg (optional)

Total cost: $0.80

Cost per serving: $0.40 as partial / light meal, $0.80 as a whole meal

Total prep time (including all meat and vegetable cutting): 10 minutes

Total cook time: 4 minutes

Total time: 14 minutes

Total dishes: 2 - 5

vimeo

Awesome close up shots of a 2015 lava flow on the slopes of Mt. Etna, Sicily. This is a classic “a’a” type lava flow - higher viscosity than flows like many of those on the slopes of Kilauea today. The lava moves as though pushed by a bulldozer - crystals growing inside the lava cause it to break into small chunks that roll forwards rather than ooze forward. Hear the sound? These rolling, broken chunks of lava are called “Clinker” for a reason.

“Oh, dear,” said Ponder again.
“What’s up with you?” said the Dean.
“There’s only one,” said Ponder. “That’s what he was trying to tell us.”
“One what?” said Ridcully.
“Of everything, sir. There’s only one of everything.”
It was, he thought later, a good dramatic line. People ought to have looked at one another in growing and horrified realization and said things like, “By George, you know, he’s right!” But these were wizards, capable of thinking very big thoughts in very small chunks.

– a dramatic line wasted | Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent

jon snow: my everything

ANON REQUESTS: Hi!! Could you please write a Jon Snow x reader with jealous Jon? // AND // Could you write something really fluffy with Jon? I love your imagines


It was late at night when you passed by the stables when a hoot came from it. You rolled your eyes, and turned back to the stables and you saw him. He was brushing the horses, and feeding them small chunks of apples to share.

“Hey,” your friend Osywn said. He has been your friend ever since you both are kids.

You moved next to him and played with the horses, “Aren’t you going to sleep, Os?”

He flicked his hair, and wiped the sweat on his forehead. “I will,” he said. “And you should too.”

You two talked for awhile and you even helped with the horses. He told you jokes and you have to muffle your laughs to not raise such commotion during the night. You sighed in contentment and patted his shoulder, “I should get going,” you smiled. “Sleep well, Os.”

You ascended the stairs, your eyes adjusting on the limited light shone by the small torches. You went by your room to take a small bath, and you grabbed your book and proceeded to go up the stairs once more until you’ve stopped in front of a door. You knocked a few times, but nobody answered and so you opened it and nobody was there. You went down again clutching the book, your footsteps the only sound aside from all the hacking and grunts happening in the yard.

He was dressed lightly in leathers and wool, his arms swinging left and right as he swung his sword. You leaned on a post and called him out, “Jon,” you said. “Isn’t too late for you to practice?”

He looked at you briefly and said nothing. You moved closer to him, holding your book. “I went to your room, thinking I could read there since you’ve got better candles,” you laughed. This time, he gave you a grunt in response. You waited for him to say something, but he didn’t and so you looked at your feet in embarrasament. “I should go, then.”

You walked a few feet away from him, when you heard his voice low and cold, “Maybe you should ask Osywn for candles, since you too have been talking for awhile.”

You turned to him and he was staring at you, holding his sword. He hacked once more before he proceeded, “Oswyn should have sufficient candles for you.”

You sighed in exasperation, tired from the night and you just wanted to be next to Jon while you read, “What are you talking about?”

Jon hacked, “I saw you talking him, blushing even and heard you laughing.”

“Os is just a friend,” you said. “You know that.”

Jon shooked his head and dropped his sword. “Is he now?”

“Jon,” you whined. “Please.”

You were staring at him, and his eyes bore into yours. You reached for his hands but he moved. You put them all together and you realized something, smirking at him. “Are you jealous?”

He started hacking again, this time harder and faster. You turned him around and grabbed his sword. You looked at him, and he just avoided your eyes. “Gods,” you sighed. “You are!”

“I am not.”

You placed your arms around him and you smiled at him, “Are you really?”

He grudingly shook his head and whispered, “You were too close to him, laughing and blushing.” You started to protest but he shut you down quick, “Even if you two are friends, I should be the only one to make you blush.”

You laughed and pinched his cheeks, “You don’t have to be jealous.” You hugged him tighter and smiled. “You have my heart, completely.”

You stayed like that, until he wrapped his arms around you. You kissed him on the chin, “Now come on, I’ve been wanting to read this book.”

Keep reading

Imbolc Crafts and Creations: Ice Candles

Ice candles are a lot of fun and easy to make during the winter months. Since February is traditionally a snow-filled time, at least in the northern hemisphere, why not make some ice candles to celebrate Imbolc, which is a day of candles and light?

You’ll need the following:

Ice 

Paraffin wax 

Color and scent (optional) 

A taper candle 

A cardboard container, like a milk carton 

A double boiler, or two pans 

Melt the paraffin wax in the double boiler. Make sure that the wax is never placed directly over the heat, or you could end up with a fire. While the wax is melting, you can prepare your candle mold. If you want to add color or scent to your candle, this is the time to add it to the melted wax.

Place the taper candle into the center of the cardboard carton. Fill the carton with ice, packing them loosely in around the taper candle. Use small chunks of ice – if they’re too large, your candle will be nothing but big holes.

Once the wax has melted completely, pour it into the container carefully, making sure that it goes around the ice evenly. As the hot wax pours in, it will melt the ice, leaving small holes in the candle. Allow the candle to cool, and then poke a hole in the bottom of the cardboard carton so the melted water can drain out (it’s a good idea to do this over a sink). Let the candle sit overnight so the wax can harden completely, and in the morning, peel back all of the cardboard container. You’ll have a complete ice candle, which you can use in ritual or for decoration.

And You Are? Part Two

MASTERLIST

And You Are?  (PART ONE)

hemmodweeb asked:

Part 2 of and you are?!?!

As asked, here is the second and last part to this imagine :)

*if you have a request do ask!*

It had been seven months since Ashton had come home, how we have had to slowly piece his memories back together and it’s been difficult to endure. At times when we would go out with his friends he would be confused about how they knew more of my past than he did. On many nights we sat and talked until the sun came up, just to become more familiar once again, neither of us giving in.

Seven months of hospital visits to check on his progress, see how his memory has come back in small pieces, he can remember moments but not specific chunks of our relationship, but it’s better than having no one at all. Today we have to go back for the weekly visits to the hospital, these visits are draining for both of us. They make us sit and they do tests on Ashton’s memory, from the last thing he can remember and events in the world he missed out on and how the accident happened. He knows the story off by heart having it hammered into his memory now. He may not remember living through it but knows how it happened at least, he isn’t living in the complete dark.

A couple of weeks ago we had Ashton’s family stay with us since we couldn’t get back to his home, the doctors thought flying for such a long period of time would be damaging. Having his family here was difficult at times for sure, but mostly it seemed to relax him which is what is good to see. Seeing him bond with his siblings and help out his mum it makes me smile thinking of it all.

After the hospital visit we come back home, the usual run of events after a visit is to refresh ourselves then watch films all night and talk about anything that Ashton wants to know. It can range from my upbringing to how I learnt to drive or my first kiss. Things that he knew once like the back of his hand, but now it’s alien to him but it’s not his fault. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be sat next to him today, brushing his golden curls out of his face, seeing those dimples form when he smiles to me or the fully amazed and interested look he has whenever I tell him something new.

To begin with when we got home initially I felt like I was walking on ice around him, he was kept in a wheelchair for a few weeks in case he caused anymore damage in his legs or was prone to falling which may have resulted in his head to become even worse. I would avoid him and sit upstairs in my study just to cry, he didn’t quite understand why or knew about how upset I would be, as he didn’t know me. For a while he didn’t talk a lot, he seemed like part of him was holding back every time we ate a meal or when we said good night. He admitted recently how scared he felt, that he was living with a stranger who was supposedly his fiancée and that this was his life. I always told him if it wasn’t for him I would understand but he remained persistent, eventually I joined him.

As we both walk in, hand in hand he goes and makes us a drink each. Some people think that the relationship isn’t normal, how I am trying to make him remember me, those people think I’m holding him back and that he should live his life now, not trying to remember everything that did happen. Ashton remains perfectly capable of everything he did before, playing the drums and singing with the guys, dancing terribly and naming every single Pokemon character. He now knows so much about me, it’s almost like everything was the way it used to be, almost.

As Ashton walks into the living room handing me a drink I give a small smile, he raises an eyebrow and sits down next to me, taking away my drink so he can hold me close. Four months ago he picked back up on my mood and how it can alter, this wasn’t something I had to explain it was just his own instinct. He knows how tough I find the sessions, reliving the night of the accident and he always holds me close, never wanting to let me go.

Neither of us say anything, we sit there in silence embracing each other, finding peace within the muted world. Sometimes he will say soothing words, or repeat an old story or tell me about something he remembered us doing once, it may only be a small glimpse of a memory but I usually fill him in on what he missed, we make it work.

Once we usually feel better and share stories I go up and refresh whilst Ashton orders something for dinner. We have a routine as the doctors told us that routines tend to be good and can help with the brains activity, so we came up with this routine of things at least on Tuesday’s.

“Ashton, I’m just going to have a shower!” I tell him as I see him pick up the phone, nodding to me.

When I reach the bedroom I take out my dressing gown and place it on our bed, I remove my necklace and place it down looking at it carefully. It was my engagement ring. As Ashton came home I kept the ring around my neck, rather than on my finger as it wasn’t something to show off now. It wasn’t a symbol of what we have, it’s a symbol of what we had instead, it’s something I want to hold close to my heart instead. I head for a relaxing shower and once I get out and dry my hair off I secure my dressing gown around myself and go to put my necklace back on, only to see it isn’t on the bed side table.

I begin to look around it and in the draws, trying to prevent myself from freaking out or breaking down. It’s around somewhere that’s a fact, maybe Ashton would know.

As I head down the stairs I rub my eyes, feeling tired and spreading black under my eyes even more so than it originally was. “Have you seen my necklace?” I ask letting out a yawn, not paying attention to where he was whilst I got some water.

Taking my glass and heading into the living room I see candles lit across the room, the tv on and Ashton sat on the sofa, an array of food and my favourite snacks nearly presented. “What’s the special occasion?” I ask surprised.

He looks nervous, but there’s no need to be. “Just wanted to treat you, you deserve it y/n.” He says walking towards me and kisses me softly.

As he pulls away I let out a chuckle, “Guess I feel a bit under dressed.” I motion to my dressing gown and my damp hair and make up under my eyes.

He twirls me around and then stops me, pulling me close to his chest. “You look beautiful to me whatever you wear or don’t wear, how ever you look.” He kisses the top of my head and I snuggle into his chest, smelling something different.

“Is that a new aftershave?” I jolt my head up to face him and he shyly nods, as if he was worried I hated it. “It smells great Ash,” I say winking to him and we settle down on the sofa, tucking into Chinese. “So what are we watching first?” I ask with a mouthful of noodles.

He chuckles at the sight and bites into some prawn toast. “Actually I found this film that I wanted you to see.” I raise an eyebrow with curiosity. “Remember when we showed each other films from when we were kids, of us singing or playing around?” I nodded remembering it well, Ash joked about how I looked cuter then and my singing voice has gotten worse with age, I joked about his hair mainly. He let out a soft chuckle at the vivid memory we shared, “Well the thing is I found one more.” He said and I put my food down and moved closer into his chest wrapping my arms around him, he placed an arm around my back instinctively.

As it began I could hear some commotion and some distinctive voices. “Ash why did you drag us here? I was playing Mario kart!” I knew that was Michael, the distinctive moaning regarding video games has never faltered.

“You know why dummy, now cheer up. I went to the effort to style my hair.” Luke said now visible pouting to the camera, I let out a giggle as Michael rolled his eyes.

“That took effort? I thought you just woke up ten minutes ago?” Calum spoke up and Luke went silent, his facial expression saying it all.

“You guys are such dorks.” I heard a voice behind the camera, looking to Ashton who smiled to me, pulling me closer to him. “So, what do you wanna say?” He asked the boys as they sat on a sofa which I recognised as the one we were sat on now.

“About what? Sleep? Life? Sex? Food? Be specific mate.” Michael spoke up and Calum hit him.

“You know what Mike, it’s important.” He mumbled to him and Michaels expression changed to one of joy.

“Ohhhhh that!” He exclaimed and I rolled my eyes, finding it so weird yet normal of Michael in terms of his behaviour.

“So, y/n?” Ashton said behind the camera and I could feel myself blush, turning to Ash who had his eyes focused on the camera.

“She’s almost as good as me at guitar.” Calum spoke up but laughed.

“Cal you’re crap at guitar.” Luke joked, and Calum shrugged his shoulders.

“Exactly.” I let out a laugh, thinking back to when I wanted to learn guitar but Luke gave up after half an hour whilst Calum watched.

“She is very good at looking after us, especially you.” Luke motioned to behind the camera, “She didn’t give in on you, that’s love right there.” I smiled, wishing I could thank Luke for the kind words.

The boys turned to Michael waiting for an answer. “I mean, she’s kinda cool I guess.” He shrugged his shoulders and there was a long pause. “Oh I’m just fucking with you.” He scoffed, “Y/n,” he pointed to the camera, “you make Ashton so so happy it’s crazy. You’d think after all that shit most people would be out of the door the first chance they got, but you, you stayed with him. I remember seeing you sat there for five days straight, in and out of his room and you barely spoke, you occasionally blinked or accepted coffee, but mainly you just wanted to be by his side so he didn’t feel alone. Even now after he couldn’t remember you you stuck to him, helped him remember. That is what love and commitment is, and I couldn’t be happier for the two of you.” He nodded signing off and I had tears in my eyes, amazed such kind words could come from Michael.

“Plus she has a great butt!” I heard Michael yell and the others agree as the screen went black.

I laughed at the comment and turned to Ashton, still incredibly confused. “They aren’t wrong you know.” He said looking to my butt, but I shook it off, wanting to see what was going to happen next.

The screen came back on and it was his family. His mum, and two younger siblings, on the same sofa. “Okay guys, gotta take this seriously.” I heard Ash breath in and out behind camera, trying to calm himself down.

“Ash be calm, y/n loves you with all her heart. You can do this, I raised you to be a gentleman.” His mum told him and I smiled, hearing him mutter behind the camera.

“Mum, you can start.” Ashton told his mum who readjusted herself on her seat and looked at the camera.

“Y/n, sweeetie. Since the first time we met I have always seen you as a part of the family, you are amazing with the kids and were so willing to get involved with every aspect of our family lives. When Ash toured you came to visit when you could, keep the kids company and joke around with them. After the accident you remained strong like I knew you could, I always told Ashton to find a woman who is capable of anything, and I think he found her.” She points to the camera and smiles.

Ashton pokes his head around and is very close to the screen pulling a stupid face. “She means you dummy.” I smile and look to Ash who is blushing like crazy. “Lauren? Do you want to go next?” Ashton disappeared behind the camera and she nodded happily.

“I thought a lot about having a sister when I grew up, what she would be like to play with or talk to about girly things.” She started, “Like I have mum but it’s not the same, Harry doesn’t understand and Ash is well,” She points to behind the camera, “He’s Ash.” She jokes. “But when Ash said he had a girlfriend I got nervous, when he was coming home and introduced us to you immediately I felt at ease. You were so friendly and were interested in me and what I cared about. You helped me with my homework when Ashton was away, we went shopping and baked cakes together.” She laughed and I let out a watery laugh now, “Y/n you’re the sister I always wished to have, now my dream is becoming a reality.” She finished holding onto her mums hand. Her mum kissed the top of her head, telling Lauren how well she did.

“Right, it’s all down to you Harry.” Ashton said and a thumbs up appeared in front of the lense.

“Okay, y/n. My brother means a lot to me, he was like our dad growing up. He cared for us when there wasn’t an additional figure to help. When the accident happened we broke down, mum practically fell apart and Lauren didn’t talk, that meant it was up to me, the man of the house to take control. I remember you helped me out a lot, you spoke to me when you could even though when we visited I could clearly see how damaged you were. I admire you y/n, and I am happy for you and Ashton, always will be.” He gave me a thumbs up and I wiped away a tear that fell.

“Thanks guys, you all did great.” Ash said behind the camera and the screen went black, I shifted in my seat as I wiped my eyes, wanting to try and seem like I was together for this.

Ashton now sat alone on our bed, he held his hands in front of him leaning on his thighs. He let out a sigh, and picked up a piece of paper that was next to him, muttering whatever he had written before putting it down and facing the camera once again. “To my beautiful, most caring and committed girlfriend y/n.” He started and let out a shaky breath. “You were my everything, and I’m so glad you still are. We went through hell, you went through hell watching me suffer in silence, I was told about how you didn’t leave my side and still managed to look after my family, my friends and even me when I didn’t know. I vividly remember waking up and seeing your face, God you were so beautiful, you were exhausted, crying but you looked perfect in your own way. When you told me you were with me, I wished I could’ve danced, but you didn’t see it. I didn’t want to let you go, I was desperate to know you again but a part of me was afraid you wouldn’t want to. I was scared to be alone again, I saw all the pictures and heard your laugh, I saw you cry and I’ve seen you dancing at 4 in the morning just because we couldn’t sleep. You looked after me in the best possible way and loved me through it all.” He paused and rubbed his face, I took the moment to hold back the sob I suppressed, rapidly wiping my eyes. “We’ve known each other for so long now, and I have had the pleasure to fall in love with you all over again, thank you y/n, I love you.” He smiles and gets up to turn the camera off, the screen goes black and the film ends.

Ashton removes his arm from me and we sit up, both of us seem to be in a bit of a state, he wipes my fresh tears and kisses me passionately, once we pull away, breathless he moves away from me, standing up.

“Y/n.” He holds his hand out for me to take and I accept, standing in front of him. “The day I woke up do you remember what day it was?” He asked and I nodded.

“It was our wedding day.” I told him, once I would have burst into tears thinking about it, but now I am thankful that Ashton is alive, my wedding day was the last thing I thought of when we were sat in that hospital room.

He took my hands into his, “I know how prepared we were to be husband and wife, how by now we would’ve hoped to have moved or planned to move somewhere else in the country, planned on having kids whilst I did a few more tours with the guys. In a few years coming home to the smell of cakes and cookies for the kids, seeing our children aspiring to be what ever they want to be. Having our families visit for the holidays, being one big unit.” I imagined it all so clearly, it seemed like so much pressure placed upon that one day, the day we should’ve had that pressure placed on us was the day some of the pressure was lifted off of mine. “Thing is y/n, I love you, I love you so much it hurts me at times. When I woke up part of me knew I loved you and that I would never stop.” He moved away and went down onto one knee, I brought my hands up to my mouth in shock, now trying to stop myself from crying anymore. “I may have lost three years of our lives together, but I don’t want to miss anymore.” He pulled out from his pocket my necklace with my engagement ring on it, he chuckled as I raised my eyebrows. “Yeah, I took it whilst you were in the shower.” He joked, easing the nerves we both felt. “So y/n y/m/n y/s/n, will you do the honours of being my wife?” He asked looking up at me with that same look in his eyes of aspiration.

Before I could even speak I was on my knees and crashed my lips onto his, kissing him deeply and passionately. As I abruptly pulled away, panting and catching my breath I nodded. “Yes Ash, yes a hundred times over.” I giggled as he removed the chain from the necklace and placed the ring back onto my finger.

“I love you so much.” He pulled my into a hug.

“I love you too Ash, forever.” I let tears of happiness fall down my face as I smiled brightly.

“Never again will I forget you.”