also NOTE that i said 'nearly every'

Beyonce is no one’s mammy.

So the record-scratching comments from Adele and Faith Hill shortly after Beyonce’s Grammy performance came across as absolutely bizarre. In her earnest acceptance speech for her Album of the Year win, Adele praised her fellow artist’s vision for “Lemonade,” the album Adele’s “25” bested in the category. She also all but said Beyonce deserved the Grammy.

She then turned inward and noted how difficult it was to re-enter the music business to record the album, particularly as a young mother. As a music lover and mother, I was nodding in appreciation of her vulnerability and openness.

But then she said this: “My dream and my idol is Queen Bey, and I adore you,” she gushed to Beyonce in the front row. “You move my soul every single day. And you have done for nearly 17 years. I adore you, and I want you to be my mommy, all right.”

Shortly after, Faith Hill repeated the sentiment: “I’m older than you, but I want you to be my mommy, too.”

Both comments were made without the least bit of irony, but for this black mom, those words made me bristle — seared me down to my soul.

Beyonce Is Not The Magical Negro Mammy

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

There are two headcanons I feel nearly every Spn fan had the first time they watched the show:

  1. Ben is Dean’s biological child. 
  2. Someone picked that goddamn Samulet up out of the trash 

title: I Can’t Help Falling (In Love With You)
word count: 2,594
summary: in which ronan says something when he thinks adam can’t hear him, except that adam can. 
note(s): for kieva (@alwaysemrys), because she’s an absolute gem, and also it’s her birthday!! This is unbeta’d so all mistakes (spelling or otherwise) are completely mine alone. +prompt fill for things you said when you thought i was asleep

Adam hates driving back to Henrietta when Ronan isn’t by his side. The nearly 6+ hour drive from his college campus in Washington D.C. back to the Barns in Henrietta drags on and on, heavy, quiet, seemingly endless as he gets stuck in pockets of traffic nearly every hour. He finds himself wishing for nothing more than to just be home already at least seventy-six times.

It’s getting dark by the time Adam reaches Henrietta. Before he’d gone away for college, Adam hadn’t taken the time to truly appreciate the winding driveway leading to the Barns. Now he couldn’t be more thankful, it feels like he can (finally) breathe again. Like he’d let out a breathe he didn’t know he was holding until the very moment he turned down the worn down road. He takes in the familiar autumnal colors as he drives, redgoldbrown leaves clinging to the branches of trees lining the driveway,  the cotton candy sunset sky peeking through intermittently. The fresh air rolls in through the open window, and Adam breathes—inhale, exhale, repeat—lets all the stress from the school semester so far leave through the window. He can hear the cattle lowing in the pasture, rolling green hills dotted with the outlines of their blackbrownwhite bodies. He’s home, finally home, and the drive was definitely worth it. 

Parking next to Ronan’s BMW, Adam climbs out of the driver’s seat, his bag slung over his shoulder. Gravel crunches and shifts beneath his feet as he walks towards the faded white farmhouse, skipping the porch steps leading up to the front door. He drops his bag in the breezeway, sets his shoes down beside it and wanders towards the kitchen. Ronan’s standing at the stove with his back towards the doorway, making sure whatever’s in the pan he’s using doesn’t burn. The sleeves of his deep green Henley are shoved up to his elbows, as per usual when he’s cooking. Opal sits at the counter top, absently chewing on a carrot while scribbling wildly with an assortment of colored pencils. Music plays a little too loud from a speaker beside her. The speaker isn’t plugged in.

Opal notices him first. 

Clambering down from her seat at the counter, she trips over her own hooves when running to meet Adam in the doorway. She screamsquawkmangles his name at the loudest volume possible, arms outstretched as if waiting for Adam to pick her up. Ronan turns around, a quick intake of breath the only indication that he’d been caught off guard. When he sees Adam standing there, Opal perched on his hip with her arms thrown around his neck, he visibly relaxes.

“Didn’t think to call on you way over?” Ronan sets the fire on the stove to a lower setting and wipes his hands off on a dish towel before walking over to greet Adam. He presses a kiss against Adam’s mouth, chaste, and Opal squirms to get down so that she’s not trapped between the two of them. Adam sets her down, then casts a smile in Ronan’s general direction.

“Would you have picked up if I did?” He follows Ronan back over to the stove, where he’s now adding an unnecessary amount of ginger to what looks like stirfry. Ronan hums in reply, which is neither here nor there. “Besides, I wanted it to be a surprise.“ 

Ronan shuts the stove off, moving the pan to the back burner, “Well, color me surprised then." 

Adam laughs at that, a bright sound that seems to fill the room, and reaches out to curl his hand into Ronan’s shirt, tugging him closer. Ronan wraps his arms around Adam’s waist, rests his head against his shoulder. Their bodies slot together in a way that feels safe, secure. Adam can feel Ronan’s eyelashes fluttering against his neck, they’re pressed so close together. He feels more than hears Ronan say, "Don’t stay away for so long next time, Parrish.” Then, a moment later, “I hate having to use a phone.”

Briefly, Adam recalls all the phone calls and text messages he’s received since the semester started. He thinks of every snapchat Ronan had sent, silly videos of Opal and grainy photos documenting life as it was at the Barns. “I know,” he says, his voice warm and light, an audible depiction of the happiness that crowds his chest knowing Ronan put effort into keeping him posted with the everyday goings-on of life back home, “I appreciate that you use yours anyway." 

Ronan pulls away, just barely, "You better, that thing’s a terror.” He steps away fully, turning to grab a stack of plates from the overhead cupboard to the left of the stove, “Anyway, you’re just in time for dinner." 

Adam is really glad he made it home.

After dinner, they move into the living room. Opal is laying stomach-down on the floor, a blanket lazily tossed over her back. Hercules sings his hero ballad on a TV that doesn’t have a power source. Adam and Ronan are tangled up on the couch, bodies pressed close together. Adam rests his head on Ronan’s chest, listens to the stutter of his heartbeat, leans into his touch when he traces cirlces over the expanse of his back. The movie rolls on, but he doesn’t pay it much attention. Rather, he closes his eyes and lets himself doze. 

When the movie ends, Ronan shuts the TV off and herds both Adam and Opal up the stairs. They tuck Opal in and both make sure to press kisses to her forehead before leaving the room. 

"How come you came back?” Ronan asks, when they"re lying in bed, facing each other. When Adam is silent for a beat too long, he adds, “Don’t get me wrong, I like that you’re home, but aren’t you supposed to have class?”

“I missed you guys, class was cancelled this afternoon, and my next lecture isn’t until Monday. Made sense to come back for a while." 

Ronan wasn’t going to complain about Adam being home.

When Adam wakes up, everything is groggy and disoriented. He isn’t aware of much beyond the fact that it is still very dark out, he is still very tired, and Ronan is still not asleep. In fact, Ronan is talking, to Adam it would seem. Which didn’t make a lot of sense to Adam himself, as he was sure he had been sleeping just a few moments ago, until he registered what Ronan was saying. It starts with

"I love you, and I know that I don’t tell you that enough,” His voice is soft, as if to keep from waking Adam up. Adam lays very still, trying to keep his breathing the same as it would have been had he still been asleep. He wants to know what Ronan is on about, and is fairly certain that if he were to let Ronan know he’s awake, it would cause him to stop talking all together, “But I do. I love you, and that scares me. 

"Not a lot of things scare me anymore, but the thought of loving you does. Not because you’re hard to love, Adam, but because loving you comes too easy.” Ronan pauses, sighs. He brushes the hair away from Adam’s face, causing Adam’s heart to jackrabbit against his ribcage. Ronan never says these sorts of things outloud, has always been the kind of person to show instead of tell, for as long as Adam has known him. Adam wonders if this sort of conversarion has happened before, in similar fashion. 

“I am so sure of you, and that’s dangerous. Or at least, Declan says it is. He says being sure of anyone is dangerous, because you never really know what version of a person you’re being sure of.

"But this is you, Adam. You.” Ronan’s hand comes to rest, gently, on Adam’s jaw. His thumb traces lazy half circles on his cheek. “And I’m so overwhelmingly sure of you. So sure that I want to marry you, some day. If you’ll have me.”

Adam wants to say of course. Of course he’ll have Ronan, through the good and the bad and the bitter anger. He doesn’t have to, but Adam chooses Ronan every day. He has for the past six months. He wants to tell Ronan of course, so he does. Blinking slowly, Adam shifts farther into Ronan’s touch before saying, “Of course I’ll have you, Ro. It’s always been you." 

Ronan doesn’t look surprised at all, but he still asks, "How long have you been awake?" 

"Hm, Long enough.” Adam says, “And I mean it, too. I’ll have you.”

“Yeah?” The smile on Ronan’s face is soft, warm. Adam’s chest feels flooded with love. 

“Yeah.” Adam smiles back, equally soft, equally warm, equally endearing.

And that’s enough for now. Ronan pulls Adam closer, kissing him even though the fact that they’re both smiling makes it awkward. When they settle back in to catch a few more hours of sleep before Opal wakes up, Adam whispers, “Hey, Ro?”

Ronan hums, his eyes still closed.

“I’m sure of you, too.”

When Adam wakes up again, later in the morning, Ronan’s side of the bed is empty. He scrubs a hand over his face to get rid of the last dredges of sleep, taking in the smell of coffee that drifted up from the kitchen. 

The hardwood floor is cold against his feet when he wanders downstairs, sockless, into the kitchen. Ronan is standing by the stove again, a growing tower of French toast sat on the counter beside him. Chainsaw perches on the sill of the open window above the sink, preening. 

“Morning,” Adam says, voice still a little scratchy from sleep. Ronan looks up from the stove, smiles at him over his shoulder.

“Good morning.” Ronan drops another slice of French toast into the pan.

Adam wanders over to him, wraps his arms around Ronan’s waist and hooks his head over Ronan’s shoulder. “How long have you been up?”

“Since sunrise, to take care of the animals.” He flips the slice of toast over, the pan hissing when it comes in contact with the egg batter. 

“Why didn’t you wake me? I would’ve helped." 

"I already woke you up once this morning, Parrish,” Ronan states, turning down the heat on the stove just barely, “Besides, you need all the beauty sleep you can get." 

The sound Adam makes can only be described as an indignant squawk,  and it causes Ronan to laugh, his shoulders shaking. 

After Ronan finishes cooking breakfast, they carry full plates and mugs of coffee out onto the back porch, settling down on the wicker swing. Opal romps around in the grass, chasing after Chainsaw, who’s flying back and forth nearly three feet above her. 

"I can’t tell you enough how much I’ve missed your cooking.” Adam says, cutting his slices of French toast into even squares before dowsing them in maple syrup. He chews three squares at a time, watching as Opal trips over her own hooves, toppling onto the ground. She sits up, quickly glancing over to them as if to check if they’d seen. (They had.) 

“It’s just French toast, Adam.” Ronan balances his plate against his knee, grabs his coffee mug from the ground and takes a swig. 

“I know. But it’s so much better than dining hall food." 

"Well, obviously.” Then, Ronan directs his attention to Opal, who is laughing, delighted, while still trying to grab Chainsaw. “Hey, brat, come eat. You food is getting cold." 

Opal gallops over, wedging herself between Adam and Ronan with her plate in her lap. Adam smiles at the whole of them, his chest feeling too small to hold how happy and content and in love with it all he is.  For the rest of breakfast, they talk and laugh and revel in the calm that’s settled over them all. It’s nice. 

Adam has to drive back to Washington D.C. the next day. His car is once again packed with the things he’d brought with him, in addition to a collection of drawings from Opal that he was instructed to hang in his dorm room. He shuts his trunk a little more roughly than necessary, turns to look at Ronan and Opal who are standing a few feet away. 

Ronan asks, "Will you call later? When you get back to school?” but it sounds like, “Let me know when you’re safe." 

"Will you pick up if I do?" 

"If not me, than Opal, probably. She always does.” Which is true. Opal’s voice is almost always the first one Adam hears when he calls.

Adam steps into Ronan’s space, tugging him into a hug. Ronan wraps his arms around Adam, holds him tight and hides his face in the curve of Adam’s neck. 

“Adam?” Ronan’s voice is soft when he speak, careful. It reminds Adam of that first night so many months ago, reminds him of the night sky and dreamt up fireflies. 


"Marry me?” Adam’s heart stutters, his mind leaping back to the early hours of the morning again, leaping back to Ronan laying his heart bare, leaping to how sure he was of Ronan, too.

Adam says, “Will I get a ring?” and it sounds like, “Of course.” It sounds like, “I’m sure of you.” It sounds like, “Yes.”

Ronan smiles, his laughter fanning out over Adam’s neck. “I’ll dream you one, if you want. The best there ever was.”

Adam almost says, I don’t need the best, I just need you, but he settles for, “You’re such a sap,” instead.

When Adam kneels down to hug Opal, she all but launches herself at him, sniffling unhappily into his shoulder. Adam smooths her hair down, pulls away enough to be able to press a kiss to her forehead. “I’ll only be gone a few weeks.” He says, gentle, swiping a stray tear away from her cheek, “You’ll hardly even notice.”  She nods, still frowning, and goes to hide behind Ronan.

Adam stands, kisses Ronan one last time before climbing into the driver’s seat. Opal waves at him as he drives away, only stopping when the road curves, and he drifts around the corner. 

The drive back to his campus is essentially the same as the drive to Henriettalong, uneventful, full of traffic. He sighs when he lets himself into his dorm room, eyeing the stack of textbooks and homework papers he neglected in favor of driving home for the weekend. He sets to work emptying the bag he’d brought with him, stopping when he reaches a folded up hoodie that is decidedly not his. He brings the faded black fabric up to his nose, breathing in the smell of Ronan and the Barn—Of home. He picks up his phone, dials Ronan’s number. It rings.

And rings.

And rings.

Voicemail. “I’m back. Traffic was awful, as always. Thanks for the hoodie.” Then, a beat later, “I miss you. Call me back, or have Opal call me. I love you guys.” He hangs up.

Adam moves to sit at his desk, flipping open the topmost textbook in order to start on his assignments. Ten minutes later, his phone buzzes. 

(1) New Message 

From: Love❤︎

For you. 

[Image attached] 

Swiping open his phone, Adam checks the message. It’s a closeup of a ring, thick silver band engraved with dark swirls like ivy vines. Adam’s heart swells. Quickly, he types out a reply before turning back to his homework assignment;

To: Love❤︎ 

It’s official, then. I love you.

From: Love❤︎ 

I love you too.

So about an hour ago I finally finished the entire Harry Potter series, and I really enjoyed it all the way. I was kind of disappointed with the ending, how Harry used the cloak nearly every darn chance he had (which ok, makes sense to keep him safe, but still). The final dual between him and Voldemort felt really rushed, and while I still enjoyed that he revealed everything to him about Snape and Dumbledore, it still felt a little unnecessary. Neville’s finale was better executed in the final film than in the book (though my gosh I really want to put in the AU the kids asking him constantly about him being one of the leaders in the final battle), and I loved Luna’s character a bit more in the movies than in the books because I was just hoping to see and hear more from her. And McGonagall had such a bigger role in the books, man! Aaargh, I wanted to hear her cry in despair when Harry was thought dead in the film! But all-in-all, it was such a great series to read. Probably gonna buy books 4-7 to complete my pack, as well as Tolkien’s books. They shall all be reread again :)