Located along the lower Detroit River and western shoreline of Lake Erie just 20 miles south of Detroit, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is truly unique. The refuge was established in 2001 as a result of binational efforts from politicians, conservation leaders and local communities to build a sustainable future for the Detroit River and western Lake Erie ecosystems. Because of this collaboration, international status was given to the refuge, making it the first of its kind in North America. The refuge consists of nearly 6,000 acres of unique habitat, including islands, coastal wetlands, marshes, shoals and waterfront lands within an authorized boundary extending along 48 miles of shoreline. It’s home to 300 species of birds, including 30 species of waterfowl, 23 species of raptors, and 31 species of shorebirds, plus 117 kinds of fish – all within an urban area of six million people. Photo by Volunteer Tom Kachelmeyer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
So sing to me, sing me a song, a song from yesterday And when the laughter drank these tears before the promises that now slip away Don’t turn your back on me, dont’t turn your back on me, don’t ever let me down Don’t turn your back on me, dont’t turn your back on me, don’t ever let me down We are within a mile, we are within a mile, within a mile of home We are within a mile, we are within a mile, within a mile of home We are within a mile, we are within a mile, within a mile of home We are within a mile, we are within a mile, within a mile of home
Celtic punk is a genre of music that I will never stop loving. I’m not sure how it broke into the American mainstream, but I’m so glad it did. One day in high school somebody cool started listening to Flogging Molly, and the next day we all were. So thank you, cool person from freshman year, whoever you were. Thank you so much.
The best thing about bands like Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, and The Pogues is how unabashed they are. If you had never heard the phrase “Celtic punk” and were asked to explain what you thought it sounded like, you would probably just be describing this exact song. There’s a lot of toe-tapping, yelling, and singing about pirates and drinking.
It’s about as frenzied as you can imagine, and it’s in the most glorious of ways. That’s something I can drink to.
It was a quiet, almost lazy morning at the communal ego home. No gunshots, no screaming, no attempted murder. Just comfortable silence only broken by quiet breathing and quiet whispers of movement through the home. Some of the egos lazed in the common room, books and laptops in hand. Others strolled through the garden outside, and others still stayed safely within their rooms content to spend their day in solitude.
Nearing towards lunch was when this peace was broken, when the Host sat upright as if shocked and slammed his book shut. The sudden noise startled the other egos in the room, all of them jumping from their various spots around the room. “Something large and powerful barrels towards the house, it’s howls startling the rest of the house to the living room to investigate.” The Host’s monotone voice hid a hint of strain.
Just as he had narrated, loud reverberating howls started to shake through the house and the egos that weren’t already milled inside the living room filed in like a flood. All of them demanded at once to know what was going on, their overlapping voices and cries echoing so loud that they almost drowned out the unceasing howls. That is until Dark stormed in from his office and shouted one word, “Enough!” It was enough to quiet them all in paralyzed fear.
Dark turned to the Host, the only one still speaking, albeit quietly as he narrated under his breath the events of that were transpiring. “What is going on,” he demanded none-to-gently to the blind man.
The Host didn’t flinch, didn’t move, just continued to stare at the wall as he rambled on. “The Host does not know and tells Dark such, explaining that a large beast of unknown origins is coming to the home with the power to destroy all the egos. The gathered egos gasp at the revelation. The Host is frustrated at his inability to glean much information about said beast but can garner that it has a strong connection to Dark, one that he is feeling now as the Host is speaking.”
Indeed, as the Host as spoken, Dark had felt a small tug on him, not physically but almost deep within his mind. “How close is it to the house?”
“The Host states that the animal is within a few quarter miles of the home. The animal howl again and the egos flinch in response, many reaching for their weapons.”
“Why don’t we just shoot it?” Wilford piped up, gun in hand and audibly clicked off safety. He got a round of affirmations from Ed and Google, but Bim and the Jim twins cried out in outrage and a new round of arguments started up between the egos.
Dark ignored the fighting, instead tugging and pulling on this new nugget in his mind, trying to find his way around it and get the right key to fit it. The Host’s voice became a monotonous drone in the background of the chaos until finally, Dark’s rumbling voice shook through their skirmish and caused fists to stop midair. “All of you stay here. I’ll go.”
“Bu-t if i-i-i-t does want to kil-l us the-n we sho-uld all go.” Google glitched.
Dark growled harshly. “I said I’d go and that’s final. Stay here. I’ll have the best chance to subdue it anyway.” No one noticed that he didn’t say ‘defeat it’. They just bristled and indignantly agreed. Wilford and Edgar were raring for a fight though and caressed their guns as Dark teleported out of the house to meet the threat head-on.
The demon cracked his neck once he was outside, scanning for the large beast. He felt the tug in his mind grow stronger, drawing him towards a small ravine. As he walked towards it, a large beast easily as large as him jumped out of it, cyan and red light blazing from its fur. Dark dodged backwards just in time to avoid being crushed under the massive weight of it.
As he did he was able to see that it was a dog, a rather large one, with blonde fur and large fangs–
The dog bounded forward and lunged in Dark’s moment of hesitation, trapping him under it’s paws. Dark felt fear like he’d never felt before course through his undead veins, that gaping pink maw came down closer and closer to him and at the last second Dark screwed his eyes tight in wait of the inevitable.
Only to feel something wet lick his face profusely. Dark opened his eyes to find the dog’s big brown eyes staring at him not with malice, but with playfulness and mirth as it’s tongue continued to lick his face and chest.
Eventually Dark was able to regain his wits and get out, “Hey hey, get off me!” while pushing the dog’s head away. With some initial resistance, it finally jumped off of him and allowed Dark to breathe fully. That dog was fucking heavy. It bounded around and wagged it’s tail, obviously unaware that Dark was still trying to regain his wits and breath, but at least it wasn’t attacking him.
While he was given his reprieve, he was able to really look at the dog and with a start he realized that it was the spitting image of Mark’s dog, Chica. Which would mean that this dog was probably a girl. Dark would check later, when he wasn’t trying to figure out the bigger mystery of 'what the fuck is going on’.
“So, what are you doing here?” he asked to himself, not even realizing he said it out loud.
Play! You! a loud shout seemed to come from her direction, even though her mouth didn’t move, and Dark immediately drew up his aura into an offensive formation before realizing it was from the dog.
“You…talk.” A sharp wind swept through the field, sending Dark’s hair and clothes askew and rippled through the…Dark Chica’s blue and red tinged fur. Dark shivered and wondered how long he’d spent here. He should head back soon.
She didn’t answer him, just yelled, Play! again.
He sighed as another wind shrieked past them. Then an idea sparked in him. “I know a place where you can play. There’s a lot of other people you can play with too.”
Her ears perked up and she wagged her tail and ran up to him. Play play play!
He started to walk to the house, and she ran after him, then in front of him. Then she stopped and ran back to him and behind him and circled around him before running ahead again to chase a rabbit that had chosen the wrong place to be at. A chuckle escaped him before he could clamp it down.
Dark Chica growled from ahead of him, having lost her prey, but barked happily when she found a stick and bolted back to Dark. Once again a slight course of fear as a five foot mass of muscle and fur was headed for him, but it was smaller now compared to earlier. She stared at him expectantly, as if telling him to throw the stick. Dark went to take the stick but then Dark Chica swerved and Dark grabbed at air.
He made another grab for it, this time bluffing her by going one way but instead switching the other way and catching her when she swerved. He held the stick with both hands and pulled hard. She tightened down the clamp of her jaw and he couldn’t help the smile that graced his lips. Dark let go of the stick with one of his hands and grabbed the other side sticking out of her mouth so that he had a hold on both sides of her head. Then he gave one sharp twist to the right with a hard pull so that the stick slid a little from her grip and then he twisted it to the left again and it popped from her mouth.
For some odd reason Dark felt pleased with this little achievement of gaining the stick from the dog. But it was short lived as he immediately threw it down the field, Dark Chica bolting down after it. As she ran after it, Dark teleported to where the stick landed. She didn’t seem fazed that he was there, instead picked up the stick without stopping and continued to run past Dark.
The rest of the walk transpired like this, with Dark wrestling a stick away from the dog and throwing it for her to chase as they made their way back to the house. When they finally made it back both were out of breath, though Dark hid it better than the dog.
He threw open the front door and Dark Chica wormed her way past him and into the living room, earning loud shrieks and yells from the gathered egos. Dark causally followed after the fluffy mass. Inside the the living room, Dark Chica stood in the center, the other egos either pressed against the wall or on furniture with weapons raised. Except for the Host, who had not moved from his spot off-center in the room except to tilt his head and listen to the new arrival.
“What…happened to your suit Dark?” Bim cried, his momentary fear of the animal overridden by his horror of the atrocities done to Dark’s clothes. Dark looked down to find his usually impeccable suit covered in dog fur, grass stains, drool, and dirt. Some blades of grass were still stuck to him and in his hair. He just shrugged and nodded to the dog currently being petted by the Host. “She happened. Don’t be too scared, she won’t hurt you. She just wants to play.”
Play? Her ears perked up and she bounded back over to Dark and jumped up, placing her paws on his shoulders. Play play play!
“Yes play. You can play here. Just please get off of me.” Dark half groaned under her weight. She did drop down from his shoulders but ran around him and back and forth to the Host and to him. The other egos gave each other confused looks as they slowly got down from their spots.
“Dark why’re ya talkin’ t’ the dog?” Ed asked as he reluctantly put away his gun.
It was the Host who answered him. “Dark can hear Dark Chica speak through their connection. If Dark Chica wanted to and if she was more mature, as she’s currently a puppy, she could direct this connection to anyone. Wilford walks forward and pets the dog…”
Wilford ran his hands through Dark Chica’s fur, causing the dog to flop on her stomach and give him access to her stomach which he immediately began to rub. “You should name her Diva, it’s a lot less of a mouthful than Dark Chica.”
Dark grunted, “I’ll consider it.”
There was a small quiet only broken by Diva’s contented barking and the Host’s soft narration. Then Google piped up, his voice glitching a little as he stated dryly, “So now we have a dog.”
“No, I have a dog,” Dark smirked, leaning down to rub Diva’s head. “Do well to remember that.” Dark could have sworn that she barked in affirmation.
A/N: Straight up standalone fluff for a Sunday morning. Please enjoy responsibly.
“What am I lying on?” Regina thought to herself.
She was in a state of blissful half-sleep; that quiet stasis you feel on a weekend morning, lying in bed with no plan for the day; not asleep anymore, but not really awake either, where sounds and sensations come in, but they’re processed in a dream state, taking on their own realities or surealities randomly.
There were the normal sounds and smells of her bedroom. With her eyes still resting and closed her mind registered that the room was beginning to take on the grey traces of dawn. The crisp, cool, cotton, summer sheets were on her bed, still exuding the pleasant lavender and ozone smell of having been line-dried in the backyard yesterday. The antique New Haven on the dresser across the room was tick-tocking its typical rhythm. The soft whir of the heating system was taking the edge off the cool, misty June morning.
Physically though, something was… different. In this frame of mind or lack thereof she couldn’t figure out what it was, gave up trying, and drifted back into a peaceful slumber.
An hour later the morning sun was blazing through the spaces between the luxurious curtains adorning the eastern windows of the master suite at 108 Mifflin. Typically an early riser, Regina had to sleepily fight off the half-panic of a too-bright room and the feeling of being late for something.
Speaking of “something,” there was still something under her midsection. It was uncomfortable now. Two or three of her ribs felt a little sore. She’d fallen asleep on her phone? That never happened. A lump of rolled up comforter fabric maybe. She untucked her left hand from beneath her pillow and reached down to free the offending knot from where it was trapped.
And found another hand.
Her insides jumped violently while some instinct of self preservation froze her physical form in place as her mind raced awake desperately trying to catch up to reality. The fingers she found were cold and twitched slightly from the contact. There was a groan from behind her.
“Ugh… you killed my hand R’gina,” Emma said, her voice muffled by a pillow.
“It’s late. Do you want the guest room again?” asked Regina.
Emma looked at the coffee table - one bottle of Malbec gone and half another on its way out. She thought about the keys to the Bug in her jacket, wherever that was, and decided that was probably a stupid idea. Sheriffs shouldn’t drive with a wine buzz, even if it was only three quarters of a mile to her place. She could hear what Regina’s admonition would be in her head already - “Most accidents happen within four miles of home, dear.”
She chuckled and downed that last of the glass she held in her hand, the leaded crystal ringing lightly as it grazed her upper lip. “You like getting me drunk, don’t you.”
“Drunk? No, but I do like tipsy-truthful-Emma quite a bit,” said Regina with a grin. She downed the last of hers as well and stood from the sofa. She wasn’t nearly as untipsy as she thought she was though, and suddenly found herself fighting to keep her balance. Her right foot rose higher and higher as she hopped twice on her left before crashing bodily across the right arm of the couch, causing Emma to positively erupt in fits of doubled-over laughter. Regina giggled, slightly chagrined as she rolled herself back onto the couch and collapsed across Emma’s lap, groaning over her bruised ego and chuckling despite herself.
“Alright, my majesty, let’s put you in a bed,” said Emma, rising much more steadily and helping the inebriated mayor to her feet. They giggled their way through the hallway and up the back stairs to Regina’s bedroom, dropping both of their butts roughly on the edge of the bed and sitting together while they caught their breath.
“Pee…” Regina said, “gotta pee!” They both giggled again as Regina stumbled quickly to the en suite bath.
“Brush your teeth while you’re in there. I’ll tuck you in when you get back,” said Emma, flopping onto her back with a huff, sighing through her heady red wine buzz.
“That’s entirely unnecessary, dear. Besides, I need to change out of these clothes anyway.”
“Yeah whatever R’gina, just hurry up before I fall asleep right here.”
“Don’t you dare.”
“Thhbbbbb…” was Emma’s reply. Regina just laughed. When she’d finished with brushing her teeth and washing off her makeup she returned to find her blonde guest completely passed out and snoring not unquietly atop her comforter.
With a tired facepalm she walked to the bed and lightly shook Emma’s knee. “Guest room, Emma. C’mon, let’s go.”
Emma snorted awake and draped her arm over her face. “Nope.”
“Em-maaaaaa…” Regina whined. “Get out; I need to change my clothes,” she said, kicking Emma’s leg and nearly losing her balance again.
“You’re wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt, which, by the way… hot… but that’s pyjamas in my book so just go to sleep.”
“Where?” Regina asked, planting her hands on her hips and ignoring the flirtatious comment.
“Anywhere. Whatever,” said Emma. With hooded, sleepy eyes she rolled over onto her hands and knees, crawled up to the pillow on the right side of the bed and flopped down on it, curling her body around it posessively with a growl. Regina smiled at the cuteness overload and just stared after her for a minute.
She rolled her eyes at the ceiling, then pinched the bridge of her nose shaking her head slightly. Emma was already snoring by the time she’d completed the simple gesture. She switched off the lamp on the nightstand, climbed into bed, and was passed out by the time her head hit the pillow.
Regina lay with her eyes wide open, unblinking and glued to the wall on the opposite side of the room. She should be shocked, maybe even scandalized at the current situation. Yet she wasn’t. She was certainly surprised at herself, and at Emma, who’d awoken next to her and simply commented that her hand was asleep. Was this what they were now? And what was the “this” of it anyway? Teenagers having a sleepover? Preposterous!
She moved to sit up, but Emma was apparently a little more awake than she’d assumed. She didn’t even make it half way up onto one elbow before a hand bunched itself in her sweatshirt and pulled her back. “No, Emma… we-” she began.
“Nope.” Emma said, and though Regina was facing away from her she could hear Emma’s grin in her voice. “You killed my hand. It’s frozen,” Emma continued. “Got someplace you gotta be on a Sunday morning?”
“That’s what I thought. You owe me warmth.” She scooted her cold hand under Regina’s sweatshirt and splayed her fingers against her lower back. Regina squealed and squirmed as Emma then shoved it under her waist with a throaty chuckle. “Mmm, nice and warm!” she said through another grin.
Regina squealed again and twisted herself off of Emma’s frozen hand and out of her grip. She flipped herself around to face Emma, wide-eyed. “Emma,” she said, confusion swimming behind her eyes and struggling for something to grasp, “What are you doing?”
“Wh-what are we doing?” Regina asked, “What’s going on here?”
“Oh.” Emma’s grin softened to a smile. She reached out to tuck Regina’s hair behind her right ear, causing the brunette’s honey-brown eyes to dart furtively back and forth to the green eyes before her. “Well,” Emma continued softly, “most people call this cuddling.”
“We… we cuddle?” Regina asked hesitantly.
Emma smiled again, her hand moving from behind Regina’s ear to rest against her cheek. “Yeah, I guess we do.” Regina’s nervousness seemed to abate somewhat at this. Emma moved her hand down to rest it gently just above Regina’s hip. Her other hand, somewhat warmer now, she slid under Regina’s waist and scooted herself a bit closer. “Is this okay?” she asked.
Regina glanced down at the remaining, albeit small space between them. She looked back up at Emma then, still a little nervously, and nodded in the affirmative.
Emma grinned happily. “Okay, good. Let’s try this then…” she offered, and pulled Regina ever so lightly toward herself. “C’mere,” she said. Regina allowed her to complete the embrace, but Emma could feel that she was still tense. She planted a small, silent kiss on her forehead just at the hairline and felt some of that tension melt away. “Good morning, Regina,” she said calmly.
Regina melted the rest of the way then. She twisted her hands into the front of Emma’s shirt and tucked her forehead into the base of her throat. “Good morning, Emma,” she whispered.
The room brightened and the birds outside chirped away happily. The clock on the dresser tick-tocked its way further into the morning, and Regina wondered what the rest of her day was going to be like.
david cameron sits in his office. he’s a very serious man. he’s trying to write a very serious speech about the very serious issue of the working class sponging from food banks, but it is very difficult to concentrate when water is dripping ceaselessly from the ceiling. there is no leak upstairs and no burst pipe, but still it pours in. it’s knee deep now. he looks at the tattoo-like message that appeared on his arm overnight. for every hungry mouth, another drop will fall. thatcher’s ghost drifts in again and snickers with glee. i do love the rain, she says. david doesn’t know how to swim.
nick clegg looks in the mirror and the reflection of david cameron moves with him. little yellow canary birds fall dead from the trees wherever he goes. all his ties are blue now, and when he goes to buy a particularly fetching mustard one, that turns blue too. he can’t remember if he went to cambridge or oxford. his wife grows tired of having to wade through tiny avian corpses wherever she goes, but still they mount up.
every room in ed milliband’s house is now a kitchen. he’s not sure how this happened. he started off with one, then built another for the nanny to use, of course- then-? he doesn’t recall. he doesn’t know how he amassed so many kitchens but now the press are starting to ask questions. why did you have 7 ovens delivered last week? why do you need 5 fridges?? are you opening a restaurant?? he doesn’t know how to say that he now sleeps on the breakfast bar and sponge baths himself via the kitchen sink. no matter what he orders from ocado, all that gets delivered are bacon sandwiches.
IMMIGRANTS!!! shrieks nigel farage. IMMIGRANTS IN MY FUCKING KITCHEN!!!!.EATING MY FOOD! PULLING MY HOUSE APART TO FIND SOMEWHERE TO LIVE!! he is frothing at the mouth in rage and has on a very snazzy pair of purple underpants. each bum cheek has a gold pound sign on it. his wife sighs into her breakfast. IMMIGRANTS IN MY HOUSE!!! he hollers again, and she looks where he is pointing. a tiny stream of ants are scuttling across the kitchen floor. yes, dear she says, and escorts him to sit on the sofa. he has become so racist that anything not produced within a 10 mile radius of him is repelled. their home is very sparse.
Title: Coming to Terms Author: unforth Artist: SillyBlue (diminuel) Rating: Explicit Pairings: Dean/Cas Warnings/Tags: No Major Archive Warnings Apply. Other Tags: Alpha/Beta/Omega Dynamics; Alpha Dean; Prostitute Dean; Top Dean; Aromantic Dean; Businessman Castiel; Trans (Alpha to Omega) Castiel; Bottom Castiel; Attempted Rape-Non Con (Not Dean-on-Cas or Cas-on-Dean); Gaslighting/Emotional Manipulation Posting Date: 11/3/2017
Summary: From the time Castiel was a child, his mother Naomi has planned his life for him: be top of his class, attend Harvard Business School, become an investment banker at the family firm, maintain his virtue, marry a proper beta or omega, make lots of alpha babies, and serve his parents and family. Even when meeting her expectations made him unhappy, Castiel has strived to fit with Naomi’s ideal of the perfect son.
There’s but one thing Castiel wants for himself. His mother is arranging a marriage for him, and before he ties the knot (figuratively and literally), Castiel wants to bottom for an alpha.
Nervous, Castiel goes to Palmeton’s red light district and hires a prostitute who goes by the name Jensen, a gorgeous young alpha who smells like fresh-cut grass and sunshine and lemonade. With Jensen - actually Dean, Castiel learns - Castiel finds the courage to ask for what he wants.
Castiel’s not an omega, but being with Dean is everything Castiel has ever wanted.
And now he has to figure out: how is he supposed to go the rest of his life without experiencing that again?
- - -
A breeze stirred the air and dissipated the distasteful miasma of mixed scents, diffusing the pleasant smell of fresh-mown grass through the cabin of his car. Surprised, Castiel looked around. The neighborhood was mixed residential and commercial, tall buildings housing multiple apartments and businesses on the first floor. Castiel doubted there was a home within a mile that had a lawn. In the darkness he saw no evident source of the pleasant aroma. A young man emerged from Van Aiken Street, hair disheveled, cheeks flushed a rich color even with only the washed-out glow of the multi-colored fairy lights for illumination, and the smell of grass intensified.
“Ah, like the new arrival?” Meg asked. Startled, Castiel tore his eyes from the source of the enticing smell and glanced at her. She pursed her lips and gave him a knowing smirk. “Hey, Jensen!” she shouted. The young man kept walking. “Jen!” Freezing mid-step, Jensen swiveled around, searching for Meg. His eyes were dark pools in the night, his lips plush and spread in a smile. A t-shirt hung loose over his lean frame; tight jeans clung to his legs, tucked into the tops of his unlaced boots.
“Jerk! Over here!”
Meg awkwardly climbed up in her bucket chair, invaded Castiel’s personal space, and reached an arm across the narrow space between Castiel and the steering wheel to wave out the window. Spotting them, Jensen ambled over, steps wide and bow-legged. The closer he came, the stronger the earthy scent became and the more complexity Castiel was able to pick out. Jensen smelled like new-sheared grass on a hot summer day, moisture in the air promising rain later, a faint citrus undertone suggesting lemonade to cool Castiel’s brow, and—
“You free?” asked Meg.
Dazed, Castiel had no idea what Meg meant. He opened his mouth and clamped it shut again. Jensen stood by the driver’s side window, and at Meg’s question he broke into a toothy smile. His lips looked kissably soft, his teeth straight and white…
…he’s beautiful, and smells like I’ve tumbled into my own personal heaven.
“I am.” Jensen nodded and leaned into the car. “I mean, I’m not free, but I’m available.” He winked. Freckles painted the bridge of Jensen’s nose and scattered over his cheeks. Sweat left faint tracks down his forehead. The lingering aroma of another alpha clung to Jensen’s skin despite the subtle smell of dryer sheets that suggested that Jensen had recently donned a fresh shirt. Their gazes met and Jensen’s nostrils flared as he scented Castiel. His eyes darkened with lust, pupils large and black, whatever color surrounding them impossible to distinguish.
“How much?” asked Castiel hoarsely, his throat dry.