alien trail

Replaceable Part 3!!

Lance was woken by the sound of the castle alarms blaring. He quickly rolled out of his bed and put on his armor. He took a quick look in the mirror to see how he looked. He is eyes were still puffy and red from all the crying, but if any of the others asked, he could simply blame it on the sleep. Running his fingers through his hair to make it look presentable, he took a final glance at his reflection and ran to along to the pounding sound of the alarms. Lance reached the room just as Hunk was. Hunk sent him a small smile, in which he returned. His smile quickly fell however when he turned to look at Keith, who was clearly trying to ignore him, not even looking in his direction. Lance swallowed around the lump in his throat. *No. No more crying.* Allura clapped her hands together, getting the attention of the team. “Okay, Paladins! We’ll be arriving on the planet in just a few ticks, so just a quick reminder that this alliance is very crucial to Voltron and stopping Zarkon. Everyone must be on their best behavior! We have to make sure that we secure this alliance, no matter what!” *Oh yeah…* Lance thought. *I completely forgot about the alliance..* “Princess, we are now landing!” “Thank you, Coran. Alright Paladins! Let’s greet our, hopefully, new alliances!” As Lance stepped onto the foreign planet, he looked around in awe. It was beautiful here. There were enormous, strange looking buildings that looked like skyscrapers. The planet reminded him of New York, only there was a peaceful, calm aura surrounding the place. It was clear to see that this alien race was very civilized and advanced with technology, which also meant weaponry. They would definitely be a powerful ally for Voltron and the fight against Zarkon. Allura led them to a large building that resembled a mansion, but it appeared to be made out of an iridescent, chrome material. Coran stepped forward. “It’s made out of a material that’s virtually indestructible. And you may have noticed that you can’t see into the building, but once you are in the inside, you can see the outside. I believe you have something similar on Earth. Two-way mirror is it?” Pidge nodded with her mouth hung open while the other paladins looked around in awe. “It’s beautiful.” Shiro murmured. Lance nodded in agreement. He could feel the excitement bubble up inside him as they drew nearer to the entrance. When they entered the building, Lance was not disappointed. It appeared as though there was some sort of celebration going on. Hundreds of chandeliers made out of glowing blue crystals hung from the ceiling, creating a soft blue hue to light up the room, giving a calming effect. Rows and rows of tables were lined up, displaying an endless buffet of food Lance had never seen before. The aliens there were all dressed in various ball gowns, some of which seemed to sparkle like it was made entirely out of crystals and jewels. And there was music softly playing in the background. Everything was breathtakingly beautiful. One of the older looking aliens recognized them and walked over to Allura. “Ah, hello Princess Allura. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.” Allura bowed deeply. “The pleasures all mine, Queen Lilith. I would like the introduce my Paladins, the team of Voltron.” The Queen’s eyes shined as she gazed at them. “Yes, yes! I would like to thank you for everything you have done so far. The task you have been assigned is very challenging and dangerous. It is quite impressive the things you have accomplished.” The Queen turned to Allura. “Now, I do believe we have business matters to discuss. Paladins, please enjoy yourselves. This party was thrown for you after all.” The team sheepishly gave their thanks. Lance turned to the party, eyes alight. *Finally, time to relax and have some fun!*
~~~~~
Everything was going amazingly. Lance’s belly was stuffed with delicious food, everyone he talked to was incredibly respectful and kind. He was…happy. He smiled genuinely for the first time in what a felt like a very long time. Everything was going perfect. That was until he talked to Hunk. Lance noticed Hunk talking to a trio of female aliens who were all wearing elegant gowns. They were all giggling as Hunk was flushed red and rubbing the back of his neck. Lance knew that look. Hunk was uncomfortable. What kind of friend would he be if he didn’t come in the save the day for his best bud, his right hand man? So, Lance made his way to them. “So, what are you lovely ladies doing this fine evening?” One of them turned and giggled. “Oh, we were just asking Hunk here about his adventures as a Paladin.” The alien let her hand trail down Hunk’s arm. “He’s very strong and brave. And quite cute if I’m being completely honest.” The others around them giggled in agreement. Lance chuckled and shook his head. “Sorry to be the bearer of bad news ladies, but Hunk right here.” He threw an arm around Hunk’s shoulders. “He’s already a taken man.” Lance felt Hunk stiffen underneath his arm. “Lance, what are you-” “And who is the lucky lady to have such a handsome defender of the universe?” One of the girls pouted. “Well beautiful, that would be one rock hard gal by the name of Shay. You see, from the first time Hunk looked at her, he was smitten. You should of heard him-” “Lance, can I talk to you for a second?” Hunk interrupted. Before Lance could reply, Hunk dragged him away from the group, and to a secluded corner. “Hey, what’s up buddy?” Lance grinned. “Don’t ‘buddy’ me.” His smile fell. “What was that all about?!” “Wha-what?” “Who gave you the right to just start running your mouth about my feelings or relationships?” Lance slowly took a step back. “I-I’m sorry, Hunk. You just looked uncomfortable and I thought-” “No. That’s just it. You didn’t think at all.” Hunk gave him a hard look. “Did you ever think how that made me feel? Lance, that was embarrassing! Shay and I aren’t even dating, and the only reason I told you that I liked her is because you’re supposed to be my best friend!” “Hunk, I am your best friend!” “A best friend wouldn’t just spill out the inner most secrets to compete strangers! I thought I could trust you. I guess I was wrong.” Lance could feel the familiar heat behind his eyes. “H-Hunk..” “Just leave me alone, Lance. And just try to think of others feelings before you think of yourself. And stop trying to 'help’ me. You’ve done enough 'helping’ already.” With that, Hunk turned and left. Lance stood frozen, unmoving. Feeling the heat increase and the water beginning to form in his eyes, he quickly left. He had to get out of there. He couldn’t cry in front of these people, he would just ruin the alliance. *Just like I ruin everything else. But where could I go?* Then, someone was calling to him in his mind. *Blue.* Lance ran back to the castle, avoiding his teammates. He couldn’t let them see him like this. When he got to Blue’s hangar, he could already feel himself starting to crumble. The dam behind his eyes cracked and the tears began to flow. He ran to Blue as she lowered her head and open her mouth for him to enter. Lance threw himself into the pilot chair, drawing his knees to his chest and allowing the tears to flow freely. “Blue, why do I have to mess up everything? I try to help, but I just end up making a bigger mess of things. I knew I didn’t belong here. I was never meant to be a paladin of Voltron. I’m just a weak, pathetic, excuse of a pilot. Keith was right. I’ll never be a true pilot of Voltron. All I am is a cargo pilot.” Lance muttered bitterly. Blue tried to send him comforting thoughts, reassuring him that he did belong and that she CHOSE him to be here paladin, but Lance ignored her, letting the grief and shame consume him.
~~~~~
Lance was still in the castle with Blue when he heard a thunderous crash outside, followed by several screams of panic. He ran to the nearest window to see what caused the commotion. When Lance glanced toward the sky, he gaped at what he saw. A large Galra ship was hovering in the air, and it suddenly projected a hologram of a scarred, angry Galra. “Paladins of Voltron, I am here in behalf of Zarkon. We know you’re here! If you do not reveal yourselves, this planet will perish.” Lance watched as Hunk, Pidge, Keith, and Shiro ran outside the building, facing the hologram. “Ah, there you are.” “What do you want from us!?” Shiro shouted. “Hmmm..I actually have a deal to offer.” *A deal..what could he possibly have to offer that would interest us?* Lance pondered. “Do not think we haven’t noticed that you have stolen information from our database, but what caught my attention was what you specifically searched. It appears that you are looking for your fellow species, one that shares DNA to the Green paladin.” Lance gasped as he saw Pidge pale. “Where are they?! What do you know?! TELL ME!!!” Pidge screamed. “Haha, be patient gremlin. We do have the information about these humans you are looking for, possibly even their coordinates. But in exchange for your the information, you have to prove your strength to me and pry the information from myself. Let me see the strength a member of Voltron has.” The others sneered and shouted at the Galra while Lance set his jaw. He knew what he had to do.
~~~~~~
“I’m going.” “No Shiro, if you go, who’ll lead Voltron? There’s a very high chance that whoever goes will not come back alive.” “It’s either I’m going, or no one is going, and that’s final.” The team was still arguing when they were caught off guard by thunderous laughter. “Ahahaha!! It appears we have a challenger!” The team whip around, just in time to see the Blue lion headed straight toward the ship. The Glara ship begins to take off, the Blue lion right on its tail. “LANCE!!” The team ran after them, but they were slowly losing ground. Shiro quickly turned on his communications in his helmet, allowing the others to hear. “Lance! Lance! Do you copy?!” “I hear you loud and clear, Cap!” “Lance, what the quiznak do you think you’re doing?! Get back here right now! That’s an order!!” “Sorry Shiro, but I can’t do that. I’m getting that info.” “Lance, you can’t do this; it’s a suicide mission!!” Shiro screamed desperately. “That’s okay Shiro. I’ll do whatever I can to help my team, especially if it’s concerning their family. I may never get to mine again, so if there is a chance that I can help any of you get back with your family, I’ll always step up to the plate. It’s time that I tried to do something right, instead of being a disappointment to the team and ruining everything. Besides.” Lance chuckles weakly and let’s a few more tears escape, dripping off his chin onto the control panel. “I’m replaceable.”

anonymous asked:

That ask about Ryou going searching for Shiro made me think of something: Imagine Shiro and the other paladins seeing a broadcast about a special arena match featuring the return of the Champion and Shiro's heart just stopping when he see's a terrified looking Ryou on the screen.

welp.  You’ve done it now, nonnie.

“Shiro, could you come to the bridge please?”

The princess’ voice over the com and Shiro looked up from where he was working on training the rest of the team on hand-to-hand.  Lance took a pot shot at him with an elbow and Shiro, smiling a little, caught it in his palm without turning his head to look, peripheral vision easily catching the telegraphed move.

“Good job, Lance.  Always take the opening when you see it.”  He straightened and the rest of the team, looking relieved, and, in Hunk’s case, a little less scared, straightened as well.  “Be right there, princess.  All right team, take five. Then try out your new move on each other.  Gently.”

“That was her ‘uh oh’ tone,” Pidge observed, moving over to get her glasses.  Shiro didn’t comment on it because - well, Pidge was right.  Allura’s voice somehow got stiffer and even more enunciated and ‘proper’ when she was concerned about something.

“Uh oh voice?” Lance was suddenly interested - and giving Shiro the woolly eyeball.  Starting to grin.  “You’re in trouble,” he singsonged.  Shiro ran a towel over the back of his neck and debated getting back into his uniform.  He didn’t feel right coming into a situation, especially on the bridge and with Allura no less, out of uniform but he’d just get it dirty in his current state if he did and he didn’t think that tone of voice offered time for a shower and making himself presentable.   He accepted the water packet Hunk passed him with a smile and shook his head.

“Just keep up with your training.  I’ll be back to check on you once I get the chance.”

Lance gave him a salute - which he assumed meant the team was going to rest for at least ten minutes instead of five once he was out the door but he wasn’t going to call them on it.  They had been working hard.  Keith however fell into step next to him.  Shiro arched an eyebrow at him but Keith just scowled and kept pace with him for the door.  Keith had always stuck close but since the run in with Haggar and the crash landing on the planet with the space lizards, there was a definite shift in the way he - it wasn’t hovering but it certainly had a more protective feel to it.  Shiro appreciated it - and knew he was going to have to get it to stop.  Keith had other things he needed to concentrate on.  Just - not yet.  Whatever Allura wanted, Shiro didn’t have a problem with Keith hearing it too.  If anything happened to him, he wanted Keith to lead and that started with being part of making planes.

“What?  How come Keith gets to go?  Allura didn’t use her ‘uh oh’ voice on him.”

Which, Shiro suspected meant Lance was looking for a way out of more training but he shrugged.  It wasn’t as if they were keeping secrets about anything.

“Well, come on.”

Pidge and Hunk took one look at each other and scrambled to their feet as well, falling into quick step behind a trotting Lance.

Looked like Allura was getting the whole crew after all.

Not that she seemed particularly bothered by it, beyond a raised set of thin eyebrows when they all walked onto the bridge shortly after her call.  The main vid screen was up, trailing alien lettering across it like a marque sign.  A vicious looking face, something that looked like a bad mug shot, flared to life and somewhere in the back of Shiro’s mind, something went very cold.  His stomach rolled, nauseated without reason, and the next picture that flashed by was of the same alien, armed with dual knives the size of bastard swords in the middle of a fight, a frozen second of time in a death struggle that Shiro recognized the way a sick fever that had settled into the bones was recognizable each time it surfaced.  He averted his eyes from the screen and forced all his concentration on the princess.  Who was watching him with the tight lines of worry about her eyes.

“What’s going on?”  His voice at least stayed steady but he saw the way the other paladin’s craned their necks to see what was still flashing across the screen and he knew they were putting the math together and realizing what that was - and what it meant to him.  He refused to look at them.

“I’m sorry, Shiro,” still clipped but softer and he both appreciated that and registered that anything that started off with an apology was probably going to be uncomfortable, at the least, for him.  He unconsciously squared his already set shoulders and met her eyes.  He could do this.  He was the Black Paladin.  And he was the squad leader.  Everything else came second place to that.  Whatever Allura say she took it as her sign to continue.

“As you know, we had a constant monitor running on all the news sources we can access.  Both for any hints that will help us with assigning new targets and to keep an ear out for any news involving Voltron.  We programed in quite a few words that will immediately flag if they come up.”  She gave him another look, part apologetic, part ‘don’t ask me to apologize it was necessary’.  “One of those words is Champion.”

The sick feeling intensified, curling rotten in his gut, coiling up the back of his spine and wrapping around the base of it.  The fever dream feeling moved through the back of his brain, always there, just a little less dormant now.  He kept his jaw looked and his eyes straight ahead on her and he didn’t miss the way Keith stepped to his side and just a little behind him or the way the rest of the team went silent.  Coran interrupted.

“As you know, we run hundreds of words through the system every tic, sorting through the news and trying to find useful tips.  Most of its rubbish of course.  That and a few catchy song lyrics really.”  The brief distraction lost to his usual enthusiasm.  “But every now and then we get a useful hit!  Loose lips ground star ships and all that.”

“Right,” Allura took over again.  “We got a pip just a few moments ago.  It appears one of the more affluent planets is hosting a Gladiator event.”  Her tone made her opinion obvious as only Allura could.  Her eyes met his and her voice went gentler.  Almost apologetic again.  “Shiro, I thought you should see this.”

His common sense was screaming at him not to look.  That he already knew what the fighter scrolls looked like, that it would cause a flashback, that his team didn’t need to see him fall apart again - but if the princess thought it was important than he trusted her judgement.  Eyes narrowing a little, bracing himself, he turned to look at the screen. 

“They’re hailing it as quite the event.”  She paused, just for a second.  “And the core game is for the return of the Champion to the fight ring.”

The picture flashed up on the screen.  Dark close cut hair except for the longer fringe in the front, stormy grey eyes, a lean square face.  Shiro went completely still.  The universe stopped, in that split second, just before it crashed like broken glass into sand and something, small and foolish, thought - if he would just not move, maybe the rest of the world wouldn’t either and this wouldn’t be real.  Lance made a surprised noise.  And, surprisingly, it was Hunk that spoke, voice cracking a little, in surprise and hurt.

“Instructor Ryou?”

The ‘mug shot’ was a little out of focus and the man in it looked a bit worse for the wear, bruised and hollow cheeked, lip split.  But it was the eyes that tore the heart right out of Shiro.  The wide, scared, lost looking, unprepared eyes.

“Who?” Lance wanted to know as Pidge made a small squeaking noise and said:

“I didn’t realize they were identical.”

The next still was of the same man, the man that looked so much like a younger Shiro from only a year ago, teeth bared, pure fury and anger across his face, features splashed with something dark and teeth bared in a snarl as he lunged at something much bigger than him bare handed.

“It’s his brother.  Shiro’s twin brother.”  Keith was explaining but it was all buzzing in Shiro’s ears, somewhere distant and hollow.  He could taste metal in his mouth, tinny and foreign.

“He’s supposed to be on Earth though,” Keith’s voice was still going.  “He shouldn’t be out here.”

Safe on Earth.

Anywhere but here.

“Suit up, team.”  Shiro’s voice was flat and deathly calm.  He was already heading for his compartment, stride intent and irrevocable.  “We’ve got a fight to stop.”

part 2

Tender Pt. 1

Pairing: Sebastian Stan x Reader

Word Count: 1.6k

Summary: Reader and Seb lock eyes at a convention, and he hopes to see her again.

Warnings: It’s ‘real life’, so there’s going to be naughty language.

A/N: I need to be stopped… No clue why I started writing this in third person, but I hope it works regardless. My first RPF! I’M SCARED! Reader is part of the Game Grumps in this; cousin to Suzy and half sister to Ninja Brian. Oh! And I made Tom Holland younger than drinking age in the U.S. (21).

@cassandras-musings Idk if you want in on this. If so, let me know and I’ll tag you as usual.

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“Come on, guys! The sooner we can decide, the better the chance we’ll have of getting the days we want,” Suzy chided.

Y/N pouted. “But it’s so hard when we don’t know who’s doing what or when. I don’t wanna miss something awesome because we scheduled too early.”

Suzy sighed, “Fine. What’s the one thing you’d hate to miss if it happened?”

“Shit…” Y/N pondered it for a moment. “Hannibal or Supernatural cast appearances.”

“That’s two!” Arin yelled in his typical fashion. “You don’t know how to count ‘one’?!”

“I can’t choose! How about you choose which eye you wanna lose?”

Suzy looked to Danny for help, who just giggled from his spot on the couch. She should have known better than to think anyone would be of any help. Ross and Barry stepped out as soon as Suzy walked into the game space looking all business, and Kevin had his headphones on, determined to focus only on his work.

She threw her hands up in the air, “You guys are impossible! That’s it,” she said as she pulled her phone out. “I’m calling Brian.”

Y/N groaned. “Suuuuze,” she whined. “I’ll die if I miss either of those. You remember how bad I took it when Hannibal was canceled.”

“God, don’t remind me. You were so adorably pathetic,” Dan finally spoke up.

“And it’ll be worse if I’m at the same convention unable to see them.”

“What about you guys?” She gestured to Arin and Dan.

“Uhhhhhhhhh, Sailor Moon,” Arin said. Suzy facepalmed. “Uhhhhhhh, I guess I just wanna check out the anime booths and the gaming demos.” Suzy looked gratefully at her husband.

“Ok!” she said more cheerfully than she had previously felt. “Dan?”

“Gaming demos for sure, Zelda, um…”

“Cool! Barry picked the same. Ross said Doctor Who and Brian said Marvel.”

“Oh! Game of Thrones!” Danny yelled, making Suzy groan.

“Hell yes!” Y/N agreed, sharing a high five with him. “I wanna meet Jorah fucking Mormont.”

“Giiiirl, me too.” Danny did a hair flip.

“And Jaime Lannister.”

“Oh shit, yeah!” This time it was Arin that spoke.

Suzy sighed again before leaving the room. “I’ll go make some calls.”

“Wait!” Y/N called out. Suzy turned expectantly. “Bruce Campbell?” She expected Suzy to roll her eyes, and was surprised when she was met by a grin instead. “And Aliens!” she tacked on, earning her a glare. “I love you, Cuz,” she said sweetly, causing Suzy’s stare to soften.

“I love you too. But no more!” she sent her a pointed look before finally leaving the room.

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fic idea where the Voltron crew is out on Space Cop Patrol (’stop calling it that, Lance’) and the planet they’re on has vehicles that are a lot like earth cars, except they use electromagnetic technology to float above the ground and run on, like, crystals or smthing idk. anyway, the gang gets in trouble with the locals and/or the Galra which leads to Hunk hot wiring one of the space cars and Keith in the driver’s seat bc he’s the best pilot so it makes sense at the time, but it turns out Keith has never driven a car?? he could probably figure it out in no time, except that ‘no time’ is exactly the amount of time they have before they have a group of angry aliens hot on their trail so Lance hauls him out of the driver’s seat, scrambles over him with his giant giraffe limbs, and before anyone can ask what he’s doing, he tells them all to buckle up and floors it, maneuvering around tight turns that give Shiro a few more white hairs and generally breaking every intergalactic traffic law there is without, miraculously, hitting any pedestrians or drivers. not to say they completely avoid property damage bc Lance definitely took out at least three side mirrors, ruined a paint job on the passenger side of a passing convertable, and turned a fruit stand into a pile of pulp and toothpicks. basically what I’m saying is that I want Lance to drive everything as freestyle as he flies and it ends up saving them

Finding a new planet that orbits a distant star isn’t such a big deal anymore — astronomers have discovered around 2,000. But no one knows if any of these planets has a moon.

That might change this year, if a moon-hunting project goes as planned.

David Kipping, an astronomer at Columbia University, says his team will use some new techniques and one of the fastest supercomputers in the world to survey around 1,000 planets. He expects the search to be detailed enough to catch even some pretty small moons, like the ones that orbit Jupiter.

Hot On The Trail Of Alien Moons

Photo: NASA
Caption: (Top row, left to right) Titan, Earth’s moon, Europa and Enceladus. (Bottom row, left to right) Callisto, Charon, Ariel and lo.

tvline.com
The 30 Greatest Fox Shows Ever
Thirty years ago this week, the Fox network began broadcasting… and TV was never the same. Joining ABC, CBS and NBC on the broadcast dial on Oct. 9, 1986 (back when we actually used a dial to change the channel), Fox was the brash upstart, attracting a young audience with groundbreaking shows that pushed the boundaries of acceptable content. Three decades later, Fox is an elder statesman — and has given us some of the best and most beloved shows in TV history.

3. THE X-FILES

(1993-2002, 2016)

It brought geeky sci-fi into the mainstream (topping 20 million viewers at times), it originated the concept of “shipping” with Mulder and Scully (really, look it up), and its dense alien mythology blazed a trail for serialized dramas like Lost to follow. Plus, it was damn good TV. This year’s revival might have disappointed some fans, but enduring love for The X-Files, like the truth, is always out there.

comicbook.com
Roulette and Miss Martian Come to Supergirl in "Survivors" Synopsis
Roulette comes to National City, bringing her superhuman fight club with her, while J'Onn J'Onzz [...]

HANK AND M’GANN GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER; AN ALIEN FIGHT CLUB RUN BY ROULETTE GRABS SUPERGIRL’S ATTENTION — When Kara (Melissa Benoist) and Alex (Chyler Leigh) investigate the murder of an unregistered alien, the trail leads to an alien fight club run by Roulette (guest star Dichen Lachman), the ringmaster who commands aliens to fight in mortal combat for the entertainment of rich humans.

While trying to stop the fighting, Supergirl and Martian Manhunter find themselves up against a surprising opponent. Meanwhile, Hank (David Harewood) is thrilled to have found another Martian and tries to get to know M’Gann (guest star Sharon Leal) better. Supergirl takes Mon-El (Chris Wood) under her wing and begins to train him.

James Marshall directed the episode, written by Paula Yoo & Eric Carrasco.

Supergirl airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. “Survivors” will debut on October 31, 2016.

youtube

Dichen Lachman appears on next week’s Supergirl 2x04 “Survivors” as Roulette!

When Kara (Melissa Benoist) and Alex (Chyler Leigh) investigate the murder of an unregistered alien, the trail leads to an alien fight club run by Roulette (guest star Dichen Lachman), the ringmaster who commands aliens to fight in mortal combat for the entertainment of rich humans. While trying to stop the fighting, Supergirl and Martian Manhunter find themselves up against a surprising opponent. Meanwhile, Hank (David Harewood) is thrilled to have found another Martian and tries to get to know M’Gann (guest star Sharon Leal) better. Supergirl takes Mon-El (Chris Wood) under her wing and begins to train him.

itsjanetsnakehole  asked:

A Hard Day's Night, Steve/Darcy

Beatles Prompts

Pairing: Steve/Darcy
Word Count: 762


The Things That You Do (A Hard Day’s Night)

Steve loved coming home.

And the worse the mission, the more he looked forward to the proverbial glowing hearth of home.  Home in this case, was not a glowing hearth, but the glowing smile of his best girl.  And whatever the hell she did that made him forget even the worst missions.

He sighed as he looked down at his uniform.  Covered in alien slime and dust…it formed a kind of paste…that had hardened into something that was seriously cutting down on his mobility.

This one had been bad.

He stepped out of the elevator, grimacing at the trail of alien concrete crumbs he was leaving in his wake.  

He needed a shower.  

And food.  

And sleep.  

In whatever order he could attain them.  

He opened the door to his apartment, smiling slightly when he spotted Darcy. All warm smiles and open arms.  

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anonymous asked:

H. Cat and Eliza.

H: Greatest fear.

Cat.

Being forced back to those Planet days of pouncing on the slightest scrap of opportunity, of working twice as hard and getting less than none of the credit. Being as powerless in her working life as she had been against her mother’s cruelty, as useless as she’d been watching her father fight for his last breath on the grass in front of her. 

Irrelevance, Cat once laughingly replied when asked the question, and ten different media personalities had bobbed their heads in unison; courtiers attending their queen. They could think of no worse fate than to be ignored, and it had made her third martini splash into a queasy feeling in her stomach.

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