also known as the worst parallel to ever happen to me

It’s probably not a secret that I’m madly in love with Lucien. I’ve written and read plenty of meta about him to gather a general insight on what the ACOTAR fandom thinks of him. Often I find that people see him as a tragic character that’s going to either rise or fall to the occasion— and I can relate to that method of thinking. However, I’ve begun to notice that a lot of these comments about Lucien are, in fact, very misleading and are almost always full of double standards. For instance, these are a few of the classics:

  • “I want him to succeed but not until he repents.”
  • “Lucien should just leave Tamlin. He’s a High Lord’s son, right? He’s should be able to just walk out spewing fire everywhere.”
  • “He’ll ally with the Nigh Court after Feyre uses Elain as bait.”
  • “Lucien isn’t as damaged as Feyre, and she managed to escape.”

And on, and on…

It’s disgusting.

I’m going to try to keep this as calm and educational as possible (even though on the inside I’m typing in caps and being bitter) so let me address the first issue with the above statements: they’re all unrealistic, contain harmful representation of a person suffering abuse, and are brimming with double standards. Lucien doesn’t need to repent. I’m tired of seeing this as a scapegoat for readers to think that “after character does X they will be deemed good enough and receive Y at the ending.” Lucien doesn’t need to be forgiven for trying to survive. He’s a victim of immense abuse (*see horrific references below) and he’s only ever acted accordingly to what would keep him alive. I realize that the main scenario readers want Lucien to apologize for is the scene in ACOMAF where he tries to take Feyre back to the Spring Court. Let me break this down for you all.

While the event was definitely one portraying him as an antagonist, Lucien still believed that the Night Court was evil and manipulate— especially where the mind is concerned. Rhysand literally can place claws inside of a persons mind, and he once threatened Lucien to step aside or have the Autumn Court and his mother executed. (We all know it was for show, but did Lucien? Of course not.) So when this girl, who was deeply in love with his only friend, disappears and is found with a new, wicked attitude that matches Rhysand’s to an extent and Illyrian wings to boot…hell, if I were Lucien I’d probably think some mind control had come into play as well. This is where things get a bit tricky, however. Lucien does realize that Feyre looks healthier and seems to be better off in the Night Court, but he’s not certain if it’s real or a compulsion. Given that he has no way of knowing the truth, and that believing Rhysand had truly helped Feyre get better after Rhysand’s last encounter with Lucien had been full of threats, I’m lead to believe that Lucien was trying to help Feyre escape, even if it meant brining her back to Spring. We also have to consider that Lucien, although having shown signs of being wary of Tamlin’s behavior,  still loves Tamlin because he offered him a home when his own brothers chased him out of his court. So if Tamlin orders him to do something, Lucien will do it out of loyalty and fear. Loyalty, for what he thinks he owes Tamlin because he’s never known what it’s like to be free, and fear because he knows Tamlin will lash out violently if he doesn’t get his way.

The second and third points I’ve stated are probably the worst I’ve seen. Lucien is the seventh son of the High Lord of Autumn, so he more than likely has magic that can rival other High Fae and, possibly, even High Lords. However, we have to consider that Lucien never reveals his magic for a few reasons. He could not know how to control it because no one may have bothered to show him. He could be terrified or disgusted with it, because fire (and let’s assume it’s fire magic) can cause devastating destruction. Or he simply doesn’t have enough power to rival Tamlin’s, and he knows this so he doesn’t try because the one time he DID stand up for himself, when he announced that he would leave his family’s court, he was hunted down.

Much like using one person’s love for another is a prominent motif in this story, Elain could potentially be used as bait for Lucien to “behave” himself in the Spring Court because he probably knows Feyre is up to something. This is wrong and deceitful for so many reasons. If Lucien is to have a character arc that rivals the main character’s own development (which I firmly believe he will) then he needs to come about this revelation on his own terms, not because of someone else— not matter if they’re his mate. If Elain were to be used against him, that would only further his abuse. This would be manipulating and traumatizing a PTSD and abuse survivor. He’s already lost one person he loved, and to dangle his mate in front of him for his cooperation won’t make him realize he’s more than he believes himself to be— it will only continue to make Lucien think that he’s worth less than those around him. Also, Elain doesn’t deserve to be treated like a piece of meat, much less by her sister (so I doubt this will happen, but it agonizes me to continuously see this theory).

On the topic of which character faced more abuse than the other, it’s nonexistent. We should never compare two characters’s trauma for the sake of figuring out who deserves the most sympathy. That’s so incredibly offensive and WRONG.  This applies to all situations, books, and real life events, but for this rant I’m applying it to the concept that Feyre suffered more than Lucien and therefore calling Lucien an abused character like Feyre doesn’t mean anything. It’s important to note that I strongly disagree with this, and that I think their suffering is equal in that they’ve felt it both so strongly that it’s ruined parts of their lives they can never get back. No suffering can be measured, for everyone feels it differently. That being said, Feyre and Lucien DO contain many parallels together—mostly that Lucien is exactly in Feyre’s position, stuck between loving Tamlin and fearing him, but he doesn’t have a Rhysand to help him escape.


  • He was treated like dirt in his homeland. 
  • His lover was murdered right in front of him as he was held down by his family.
  • When he stood up for himself and told them he was going to leave Autumn, his brothers hunted him down and tried to murder him.
  • He’s never had real friends aside from Tamlin, so he doesn’t understand how a real friend should treat their friends. 
  • Tamlin helped kill one of his brothers, and Lucien feels indebted to him.
  • Lucien is known as the drunk, flirtatious courtier/spy that isn’t stable and cannot remain in a single court. This has definitely effected the way he thinks about himself and his self worth.
  • Amarantha used Lucien as a flogging board when Tamlin didn’t obey her.
  • Lucien’s eye was ripped out because he once again tried to stand up for himself on a task that wasn’t even his own.
  • No one has even tried to help him battle his PTSD, so it’s only festered
  • Ianthe pursued him and tried to rape him but he managed to escape her
  • Lucien has never had someone to talk to about these things.

Bottom line, treat Lucien better. He deserves so much more.

Fuel to the Rivamika fire - A Rivamika shitpost 🔥

Shipping Rivamika has been a journey with ups and downs, but definitely a lot more ups than downs. Looking back, I can’t help but feel like Isayama has been constantly blessing us with huge motivators to ship our OTP. So I’m going to list 8 big things Isayama has done for our ship ever since it started out as a small crack ship. You could say this is a Rivamika timeline in a nutshell to remind you why shipping Rivamika is so amazing!

⛽ 🔥. Chapter 30

Before this chapter, people crack-shipped Levi and Mikasa because of their parallels as the strongest soldiers in their group, because of Mikasa’s initial animosity towards him (ahh, love-hate relationships are the best) and because they were the most popular male and female characters in SNK respectively. One day, Isayama decided to dish out some fanservice by making these interact and fight together as well as having Levi keep Mikasa from harm’s way not once but twice. I’ve lost count of how many shipping tropes I spotted in this chapter alone, but oh did they kickstart our ship in the best way imaginable?!

⛽ 🔥🔥. The first databook & Chapter 37

Levi worried about Mikasa as much as Eren. This one came as a surprise to the (still few and far between) Rivamika shippers of that time, since Levi’s relationship with Eren was much more developed than his relationship with Mikasa. It seemed like Isayama put this detail in out of nowhere, since Levi’s only real interaction with Mikasa besides chapter 30 was during Eren’s trial and when he saved EMA at the end of the Trost Arc.

But then we remembered the databook came out AFTER chapter 37 was released… And it all started to make sense! Yet, it still seemed that Isayama wanted us to know there was something else going on with these two. What if Levi knew something else about Mikasa? Fuel to the fire.

⛽ 🔥🔥🔥. The Uprising Arc

The Female Titan and Clash of the Titans arcs came and went by and the only conclusion we got to the developments of chapter 30 were MIkasa’s acknowledgement of Levi’s abilities, her regret for indirectly causing his leg injury and her promise to keep her emotions in check and not making a blunder again. Rivamika shippers were satisfied with that, because for a crack ship that was more than enough material and development. Most of the Rivamika fics from that time started from that point in the story, building a trusting relationship between the two. But then came the Uprising Arc, and that’s when Rivamika shed its crack ship status for good…

… because starting from chapter 53, Rivamika fans finally got what they’ve wanted for so long - not only Mikasa reciprocated Levi’s concern for her, we got Rivamika fighting side-by-side in not just one, but multiple battles, building trust and camaraderie between themselves, just like everyone dreamed of! But that was too good to be true, right? Because soon came the…

  💦 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥. Chapter 56 - The Ackerman reveal

…and it came as a shock to everyone, shippers or not. Sure, Levi and Mikasa were similar because of their unparalleled battle prowess, but everyone thought it was just pure coincidence or that, at most, it had something to do with the special “Asian bloodline” (now known as the East Sea Clan bloodline). No one could’ve guessed Levi and Mikasa would be related through the other side of her family! With the (huge) possibility of these two being closely related, romantic Rivamika went under heavy attack and was practically considered sunk. On the other hand, a lot of shippers like me who were in for more than the romantic aspect of their relationship were very excited about this chapter’s revelation, because Isayama finally gave Levi and Mikasa a deeper connection in the story, something new for them to relate to - with endless possibilities ahead!

⛽ 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥. Chapter 63 - The Ackertalk

This was the chapter every Rivamika shipper was waiting for since the Levi Ackerman reveal - the (prelude to the) Ackertalk, a.k.a. Levi and Mikasa talking about their past and their Ackerman connection. It was a very intimate scene that made the other characters feel out of place at that time, and despite the Ackerman reveal, it fueled the flames of our ship again! Sadly, they didn’t get to finish that conversation - yet.

⛽ 🔥?. The Live-Action movie trailer

Let’s be honest, the live-action movie was bad, and Shikishima (pseudo-Levi) didn’t compare to Levi. But back when the movie trailer was released, we didn’t know (or care about) that. Pseudo-Levi and Mikasa kissed, and that’s all that mattered. RivaShikimika was officially the first ship to kiss in the SNK universe, even if it wasn’t in canon, but a spin-off. As you can imagine, the fandom went nuts (both sides of it).

⛽ 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥. Chapter 65 & The second databook

Following up on the huge fanservice that was chapter 64 - Rivamika fighting side-by-side, covering each other’s backs *dreamy sigh* - Isayama finally graced us with a very important flashback about both Levi and Mikasa’s bloodlines. The “Asian bloodline” was just as special as the Ackerman Clan (?!?) - fuel to the Rivamika fire! Most importantly, Grandpa Ackerman’s words implied that Levi and Mikasa were third cousins at the closest, since it seemed his family branched out at least before or during his father’s time. Romantic Rivamika was back in the game and stronger than ever. But for many people that wasn’t enough to stop the incest argument, right?

…because as if Isayama hadn’t made himself clear enough with chapter 65, the second databook’s release ended the incest argument once and for all with the inclusion of the Ackerman/East Sea Clan family tree, confirming that Levi and Mikasa were indeed third cousins at the closest.

⛽ 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥. The Ackerbowl

Cue the Return to Shiganshina Arc. Rivamika was still in the game, but they didn’t interact nearly as much as in the Uprising Arc. We didn’t get any Ackertalk, either. Now, every Rivamika shipper (or not!) at some point wished Levi and Mikasa would test their skills against each other, be it sparring or, in the worst case scenario, a serious fight. Levi and Mikasa still had some leftover tension between them from what happened at Eren’s trial, after all. The serumbowl was the match that lit that fire.

It was the worst case scenario. Levi had made Mikasa cry. But it was also everything Rivamika shippers wanted. Not only did we get multiple sexy shots of our ship struggling for the serum box ON TOP OF EACH OTHER, they avoided hurting each other and in the end Mikasa got Levi’s message and was later forgiven by him when he told her to not make him regret his decision. Isayama gave us the most emotionally charged battle we could possibly have wished for between these two, adding much needed drama fuel to our ship.

⛽ 🔥x∞. The 4-year time skip

A new story arc started and the Walldians were nowhere in sight! But the news that four years had passed since the last Battle of Shiganshina kept us avidly reading SNK months later, hoping to see everyone grown up.

For us, that meant Mikasa was now 19-20. Not only it would be acceptable for Mikasa to be in an adult relationship, the age difference between Levi and Mikasa would become less significant as she aged. Suddenly, there was nothing stopping a possible romantic Rivamika relationship anymore!

Look how far we’ve come. From a crack ship to a sunk ship to a sexy battleship… it has been an amazing journey. TL;DR Isayama ships Rivamika🔥

Essays in Existentialism: Monarchy II

Previously on Monarchy

The wedding was a celebration that didn’t want to end. The halls were decked and the church was set with al manner of ancient allies and long forgotten grudges. For a week, the entire thing was all over the news, all over the world, in fact. It was a party akin to a United Nations summit, and it had the makings of an infamous reception.

Keep reading


Favourite Acting Scenes – Isak and Even meet in the schoolyard (9.10 part 4)

Also known as that post in which I make use of my English lit degree to overanalyse everything.

So here it comes: the scene, in which everything is laid bare and has been episodes in the making. You get the script, but as far as you can see, there is only one line for one of you. That means that the rest of the scene hinges upon you, the actor, your eyes, your body movements, your energy. Throughout the series, you’ve had moments in which moments of quietness were needed, but none as long as this one. To really make it work, it’s all about you and your fellow actor. As mentioned in @softnorwegianslovely post  the trust has been established: you know what you’re both comfortable with and what you can do without breaking the scene. You can challenge each other, and you have each other’s back; so you can make this as intense as possible. We as an audience have to keep in mind; it could be that the music was played during the filming of this scene, but it’s not the only sound they would’ve heard. 

So how is it possible that this scene feels so particularly intense, even when you disregard the music? I think that one of the reasons that makes you feel it so deeply is because of its use of the five senses in order to focus on feeling. Feeling that you’re not alone is so different from knowing that you’re not alone.

Regardless of whether Even was really going to take that final step or not, Isak is scared out of his mind after receiving that text message. As a person who has the tendency to assume the worst, as evidenced by his inability to see that people aren’t always mad at him for stuff he does, for Isak to see that bench to be empty has to be the most horrible feeling in the world. You feel that his heart just sinks right into his stomach; until he remembers Even’s ridiculous towel dispenser flirting move – maybe he’s to be found there. And then, as if the stars aligned for just that moment, Even is there.

The tiniest hint of a smile is found in Tarjei’s mouth and eyes, and he makes the relief feel tangible; Even is shocked into a motionless state, his depression clearly has taken a heavy toll on him with his red-rimmed eyes. But still, they walk towards each other. Both in different mind-sets; Even terrified and maybe unable to comprehend what’s going to happen here, while Isak is slowly taking in the fact that Even’s still here. They keep looking at each other.

Now, the first time I saw this scene I was confused as to what Isak was doing here; he’s not kissing his cheeks but seems to be ‘nosing’ them. But rewatching it a few times, one edit with regular street sounds in particular, made me realise that Isak slowly wants to make sure that Even physically and emotionally feels that he’s not alone. And even for himself, this is the case: Isak needs to feel Even is there, he isn’t gone yet again, he’s right there. We need to see this in close-up.

So first are touch and smell; cheeks upon cheeks, noses upon noses as they are so fond of doing. Can you feel me, Even? How close we are to each other? There’s no space between us. And when he’s sure Even feels him – because Even leans into him in small increments, brushing his nose ever so slowly over his cheek – then he moves on to touch and sight and hearing. His hands make sure Even looks up, into his eyes. Can you see me, Even? I’m still here. See me here so close to you.

And then he mentions a few of the most wonderful words you can hear in this universe and all the parallel ones.

You’re not alone.

What a beautiful reaction from Henrik here: he listens, takes it in, and closes his eyes as if it’s too good to be true. Ever so slowly, they move on to touch and taste. Isak takes the initiative, kisses Even very carefully and only twice. I’d like to kiss you so much more. If you’ll let me. But that’s all they need for this moment. Then there’s the eye contact again; Isak already almost falling against Even, seeing his face and those wonderful eyes again. Until now they’ve only given the barest touches to each other, but now that’s not enough anymore.

Tarjei and Henrik’s amazing chemistry, trust and ability to show the feelings and emotions behind this scene without saying anything made this such a special scene. Lesser actors would not have been able to convey such intensity in a scene without dialogue.

So Isak envelops Even into his arms, and Even reaches around him to tightly hug him back. And isn’t that one of the most wonderful feelings in the world? When you’re completely surrounded by someone’s smell, and touch them by taking them in your arms, and hear their breath pushing out in relief? Now you not only know you’re not alone, but you can actually feel it.

What a Helga Natt indeed.

Previous parts: here.

On Peter

I ended up going way off topic from the main point of this post while replying to @do-what-the-knight-tells-you so I decided to just give this its own post. I went back and forth on replying at all because I’m obviously not multishippy and I almost don’t want to say anything pro-Peter in that context. But shipping preferences aside (and yes, people can ship what they want even if it squicks the hell out of me) I’m just going to go ahead and talk about this from a character perspective.

Because Peter, as fucked up as he is, is a legitimately interesting character.

The thing about Peter is that I never vaguely believed the “I was so out of my mind, barely knew what I was doing” explanation he tried to push on Derek. I think the show itself pretty much disproved that by showing him luring Laura to BH with the deer and the spiral. But that’s not to say that Peter wasn’t severely fucked up from his trauma. He was. It was just a calculated, twisted logic form of fucked up. And… I’ve really never read Peter-centric fic (aforementioned ship squickiness) but I think that’s the direction you should come from when deciding whether he’s sympathetic –– not whether the hunters or his nurse manipulated him into killing Laura, because I don’t think they did, but whether you feel sympathy for what Peter went through during and post-fire, how you think that affected his actions, and whether you think he could be or would even want to be redeemed for the choices he made after “waking up.”

I believe Peter, after six years of being basically comatose, no control of his body and in constant, excruciating pain –– and in the aftermath of a devastating emotional trauma –– came back to himself and decided two things: he needed revenge, and he needed to get his control back.

I think he probably saw Laura as a failure of an Alpha because she hadn’t avenged their family or worked to rebuild their pack in the years since the fire. He might have even, like you suggest, been bitter about her abandonment but I personally don’t think that was at the forefront of his mind. That might have made it slightly easier to do what needed to be done, but I think it came more back to those first two needs. The people who’d killed their family were still running free through Beacon Hills, and Peter needed to stop them. Peter needed to stop them, because he obviously couldn’t trust anyone else.

And so, regrettably, the only way to ensure the punishment of those responsible, and the future of the Hale pack, was to sacrifice his niece and take on the mantle of Alpha, himself. If he could have stolen the power without killing her, I think he probably would have. It wasn’t malicious, wasn’t hateful.

It was calculated. Her death was unfortunate but was what, in his mind, needed to happen. And for those same reasons I don’t think Peter would flinch from mutilating Laura’s corpse to redirect the blame. He would see that as just another unfortunate necessity –– after all, if Derek knew Peter did it, he wouldn’t understand. He wouldn’t stand by Peter to help avenge their family, and then Peter would be forced to kill yet another Hale. In his scorched, scarred but intensely rational mind, ruining Laura’s body to frame the hunters might actually be the kinder option –– Laura was dead, it wouldn’t hurt her anyway, and it would help assure that Derek stay on Peter’s side and in line.

Which… is all kinds of fucked up, I know. And I’m in no way defending it. But doesn’t it make a cold kind of sense? Peter was horrible in season one… but to be totally honest, how could he not have been? He’d been trapped in his own mind, spiraling through agony-hate spirals for six straight years. He wasn’t out of his mind the way he claimed… but he really couldn’t have been in his right mind, either.

I’ve paralleled him to Derek in the past (though I can’t find that post now): how the both of them valued power as a way to not become victims again, how they kept secrets and tried to manipulate others into doing what they wanted instead of trusting, explaining themselves, and leaving themselves vulnerable to betrayal. There are obviously also a lot of differences, and I think it’s a huge testament to how good and how strong Derek is that he didn’t go down the same path of murder and revenge when he so easily could have. Peter’s a cautionary tale, a foil for Derek, and I actually think their different paths show more about Derek’s strength than Peter’s weakness.

Though their interpretations of the fire also impact their choices. Peter was attacked. His enemies came out of nowhere, without warning, an external threat he was completely helpless against, and that imprinted Peter with a need for power (not to be attacked again, not to trust anyone else for protection) and revenge. Derek, on the other hand, was manipulated. In his mind, he failed his family. He made choices that led to his family’s deaths, and that imprinted the need to be better, to help and protect people going forward. Part of this comes from who they were before –– Derek internalizing guilt over Kate instead of just blaming hunters is very much a personality trait, a sign of his inherent kindness, empathy, “goodness.” And your mileage may vary on how Peter was before (I think he always had manipulative/know-it-all tendencies but they –– and his need for control –– were deeply enhanced by his trauma) but I do think the fire messed him up and brought out the very worst parts of him. He went through a traumatizing experience and then was left alone to relive it every waking moment for the better part of a decade.

And I don’t think that makes what he did any better, or even more forgivable, but I also don’t think it’s essential to say Peter was feral or that he was being manipulated to make him sympathetic. And I don’t think that seeing him as a villain, needing to be stopped, or even irredeemable is mutually exclusive from him being sympathetic.

Can he get “better,” though? And does he even want to? There are signs that he might have taken steps in that direction –– he didn’t try to kill Derek to take his Alpha power back (even though Derek had his guard down often enough that he easily could have). And he seemed concerned about Cora when she was in the hospital. Of course, wanting his family alive isn’t necessarily a sign of improvement. Cora wasn’t a threat to Peter (and was a potentially useful ally), and Peter must have known in s2 that killing Derek would have just invited attack by his betas, and potentially Scott/Allison/Stiles, etc. It was the logical move to keep Derek alive, as much as the sympathetic one.

So does he feel actual regret, actual love for his family? Or was the capacity for feeling burned away in the fire and lost for good? (Or, going even further, did he ever even have it at all?) Does he care about the concept of family (preserving the Hale legacy) but not the individuals? Does he think that he is looking after his family in his attempts to take control, even when he needed to sacrifice Laura to do it?

Those are the questions that are so interesting to explore when it comes to Peter. Not whether he was manipulated into doing something, but what’s going on inside his head that’s led to the choices he made, and which ones he might make in the future.

Review of 13x16 “Who is He? And What is He to You?”

So, this is the first time I have written down my analysis of an episode.  There was just so much to think about in this episode because of how well it was written, directed, and performed that I needed to write it down, even if I am the only one who ever reads it.  

Thoughts on the opening scenes:First, I love that Jackson had the narration and that he talked about being unable to say what you really want to.  This has been a recurring issue not only with Japril but across the show.  So many times I yell at my screen, “Just talk to each other!” So at least the lack of communication was somewhat acknowledged.  

It seems that Catherine knows Robert Avery is in Montana which surprised me a bit.  I would like to know how long she has known, but I doubt we will ever get an answer to that.  Either way, she knew and sent April because as controlling and manipulative as she is, she is also wise.  I saw a lot of people wondering why April came in a cab and if Japril are still living together.  To me, this was just another way to show how divided they are going into this episode.  

I also was surprised to see the ongoing theme of April replacing Meredith was still present in this episode.  I like that April is getting more recognition and credit because she deserves it, but I expected them to drop this story once Grey came back from suspension.  I will be interested to see if it continues.  

Jackson’s snarkiness with April caused a lot of eye rolls as well, and as much as I would prefer he not be this way with her, this allowed us to see that April chose to put up with it.  She easily could have said, “You’re being a jerk.  I’m out.”  several episodes ago, but she knows him well enough to get that something more is going on.  She lets him be angry because he needs to be and she deals because that is what we do for the people we love.  We love them even at their worst.  

The real story: In my opinion, one of the most impressive things about the writing of this episode was how well Elisabeth Finch paralleled Japril’s story with the surgery and Jackson meeting his dad.  This story has two children in it, one boy and one girl.  Let’s start with the boy.  When we meet Dr. Cordon he seems cowardly for forcing Jackson and April to tell that father his son has no chance and they want his organs.  I think this scene is supposed to parallel losing Samuel for Japril.  They were, in a way, forced to lose Samuel.  They could not save him, and although they didn’t want to, terminating the pregnancy was the best thing to do.  So, although they don’t want to tell this father they cannot save his son, they must.  And then they must convince him donating his organs is the best thing he can do.  Jackson bringing up Samuel in this scene was the first time we have really heard them mention him besides JTM.  This loss is still very real and present for both of them.

Then we meet the girl.  To me, this girl, Caroline, represents Harriet in a way.  Caroline needs her parents help.  She cannot speak so they must be her voice and try to make things better for her.  Of course, Harriet is too young to speak and completely depends on Jackson and April.  She needs them to make things better for her as well, but in both situations, they don’t quite know how.  Again, this is why Jackson mentions to her mothers that he is a dad.  He understands needing to advocate for his daughter and wanting the best for her.  He doesn’t always know what that is, but he will always try to figure it out.

 The “I don’t make promises that I don’t keep” line is of course a reference to April telling Jackson, “You are not a person who makes promises he doesn’t keep” in JTM.  And for the most part this is true. Jackson keeps his word to everyone, except April.  Regardless of whose fault the divorce was or whether it was right or not, it happened because Jackson pushed for it.  And even though the show has done a poor job of showing him acknowledge that he realizes this, I believe he does.  From big things like April and Harriet almost dying in 12x24 to little things like his loss of appetite when April went on her date, he still feels that pull to April and he must at least consider that he made the wrong choice.  

Caroline’s first plan of treatment is a throat transplant.  This will get rid of her biggest problem, the tumor, and still allow her to speak.  But it falls through.  In the scene where April talks to the mothers alone, she says, “The best way to help your daughter is to do the laryngectomy…At this point, I really think it is her best chance.” So here is the thing about fixing major issues in our life.  No one can do it for us.  Caroline losing her donor throat represents the idea that no one can fix the issues Jackson and April are dealing with besides Jackson and April.  Caroline will survive with the laryngectomy, but she will be no better off really.  The tumor would be gone but she would lose her voice.  Trading one awful thing for another.  Just as Japril would survive if they didn’t deal with their issues.  If they just left things as they are, they would both survive, but it would leave them with a permanent whole in their life just like the one Caroline would literally have.  

(Unimportant Info - beautiful scenery, loved April’s breast pump scene, loved the Chinese food with extra fortune cookies)

Jackson finally sees his father.  This demon has been haunting him for years.  We have seen hints of it, but I am so glad Jackson finally confronted him because he was projecting all of his abandonment issues on to April.  The scene where April finds Jackson at the diner is so good.  Jackson is so hurt and Jesse played that perfectly.  April, of course, takes his anger because she knows him so well, and above everything she is just worried about him.  It is heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time.  And then that line, “I didn’t bail on anyone!”  That is really what this is all about for Jackson.  As much as he wants to know his dad, he is also scared as hell that he might be like him.  And here is the one person he thinks he might have bailed on telling him he is bailing on a patient.  Like I said, heartbreaking and beautiful.  

I like that we got the small moment between Robert and April.  Of course it was put there so April could realize that he is Jackson’s father, but regardless, I like that they met.  They are both incredibly influential to Jackson for very different reasons and they should know each other.

In the scene where Jackson wakes April up early, the first thing he says when she opens the door is, “We still need to find a way to help Caroline.”  The first thing he thought of that morning is that he and April have things they need to fix.  He says they need to figure out how to fix Caroline, but again I think this line is about them still needing to find a way to fix their relationship.  And I also love that even though he knows he was pretty awful the night before, he doesn’t even hesitate to knock on her door.  He knows she will answer and help him.  Because she is April.  He knows her as well as she knows him.  And I actually love that he walked into her room as he told her to get dressed.  It shows that their comfort level with each other is still there.  Maybe she changed in the bathroom or maybe she didn’t.  I’m sure she probably breastfeeds in front of him, especially right after getting out of the hospital.  She would have needed his help for absolutely everything, so maybe undressing is not a big deal to them.  Either way, the fans certainly caught this moment.

Let’s move to the first scene in the lab where Jackson and April are bickering.  It starts with Jackson saying “I hate this.  I don’t see how we can do anything but the laryngectomy, but I hate the laryngectomy.”  Of course he does.  With the laryngectomy, Caroline loses her voice and the parallel here with Japril is that the laryngectomy means they don’t figure out a way to really heal or fix things.  They settle.  They take the easy way, probably stay co-parents, maybe friends, but really they hate this option - they hate the laryngectomy.  But there don’t seem to be any other options.   The scene in the lab, to me, was them going over the obstacles in their relationship.  They start by acknowledging that they do not want to do the laryngectomy, but also, they are running out of time.  Jackson saying he was drunk is a substitute for him saying he needs to deal with his dad, which is a huge obstacle for them.  April says that Jackson doesn’t want her there, which I don’t think is true, but her saying this acknowledges the divide that has strengthened between them recently.  Then Jackson brings up April’s friendship with Catherine, and we all know Catherine has created many problems for them.  She may be helping now, but that has not always been the case.  April argues that her relationship with Catherine started before Japril became romantic, but even when they were friends Jackson wasn’t comfortable with April and his mom’s relationship.  "Stop facebooking my mom!“  Then their differences in financial status and upbringing are brought up. “Your mom says the difference between you and I…” As much as these two are meant to be together, they come from very different worlds and see things differently.  This line reflects those issues..  But the conversation is cut short because of the 911 page.  Time is almost up.  If they are going to fix this, they must do it fast.

So Jackson gets the 911 page.  Caroline’s parents want more.  They want their daughter whole and healed and not just the easy fix.  April tries to tell them, “We’ve gone through every possible alternative.  There comes a point when you have to hear…We’ve been down every road.  Every one.  There are no other options.  We do the laryngectomy, Caroline lives.  It’s that simple.”  I can only imagine how many times Jackson and April must have went over every alternative for their relationship in their own heads.  But since they refused to talk to each other, none of the options seemed like they could work.  The easier choice was to choose to settle for less than what they really wanted.  Luckily Caroline refuses to do that.  She wants her voice, and Jackson promises that he and April will find a way to get it back for her.  

Outside of the hospital April finally tells Jackson he made a promise he can’t keep.  Jackson can’t possibly come up with an idea to save her voice and they should do the laryngectomy.  He is confident they can until April tells him she knows about his father.  “He’s the whole reason we’re here!”  And she’s right.  Not just in Montana, but in this frustrating, difficult place in their relationship.  Jackson’s father and his trust issues and inability to let go of his abandonment are what led them to this moment  - completely in love but so alone.  He is the whole reason we are here. 

The transition from Facetiming with Harriet to sitting in silence could not have been directed any better by Kevin.  The shift in tone was almost tangible.  I felt physically uncomfortable watching them sit in silence.  And then finally Jackson told April everything that he had been holding on to for years.  And she responded perfectly.  She listened, which was all he needed.  And then she pushed him to go confront his father.  No one else could have done this for Jackson.  No one.  

Jesse’s acting in the scene where he confronts Robert was some of his best.  His little decisions like not lifting his arms to hug him and the absolute shattered look in his eyes when Robert says he couldn’t be torn away from his diner in Montana were fantastic.  There was no remorse or apology.  Jackson had waited years for this moment, and this man was still able to let him down even more than he already had.  But he also gave Jackson some things to think about.  “Are you happy?”  “I was born into this life, but she was born for it.”  There is no way those lines didn’t instantly make him think of April.  

One of my favorite scenes of the whole episode begins with the coffee apology.  Kevin’s camera angle was perfect.  We hear Jackson say, “Hey” in that voice he only uses for April.  The camera focuses on the coffee in Jackson’s hand and then transitions to April smiling up at Jackson.  While we all would have loved a great speech from Jackson, somehow this was enough.  It has been awhile since we have seen such a sweet gesture from Jackson to April but this was all she needed to know he was sorry.  The way the writing weaves the discussion of Caroline’s surgery seamlessly with Jackson’s explanation of what happened with his dad is some of the best writing of the entire series, I think.  The two are completely intertwined. Jackson must let go of the past in order to move forward, as the tagline said.  He must let go of his anger with his father to move forward with April, but how do they get there?  How do they fully heal Caroline without just settling for the laryngectomy?  “Her guts for her throat,” he realizes.  “Then she’d be her own donor…You think it will work?”April asks.  “No, maybe, yeah.”  “Well which one do you wanna go with?”  They have to heal themselves.  Not even Jackson meeting his dad can heal them.  They have to fix things from within, together, just as Caroline is essentially fixing herself. Will it work?  They aren’t entirely sure, but they decide to go for it.

Dr. Cordon argues that this has never been done before.  And it hasn’t.  When Shonda wants to end a couple, she ends them.  Japril are divorced.  The papers are signed.  So to put them back together is new and different and never been done.  And we all love it. 

Jackson steps up and accepts the Avery name.  The shadow of his father not being able to handle being an Avery is not looming over him anymore.  He is not his father.  He does keep his promises, and he certainly doesn’t bail on his family.  He realizes that now, even if it took him awhile to get there.

The surgery scene.  The music.  The looks.  The silence. “I’ll see it.”  Jackson and April are literally healing Caroline and figuratively healing themselves.  They work together to use Caroline’s body to heal itself and they work together to heal their relationship as well.  And that camera angle over April’s shoulder where Jackson is watching her.  That moment is when he realizes that he could not have done this without her.  Talking to his dad, saving Caroline - it all happened because she was there.  She is and always has been exactly who he needs.  At the end of the surgery, April asks, “This is gonna work right?” And Jackson confidently replies, “We did it.”

The hotel scene.  The parallels to the hotel scenes in San Francisco were perfect here.  As a fan, I appreciate that they put in details they knew we would catch.  I also appreciate that neither Jackson or April show any hesitation.  They have both grown so much that they are completely sure at this point of what they want.  And those looks. The chemistry with these two is unbelievable.  I can’t say enough about how great this scene is.

The next morning was almost more satisfying to see as a fan than the hallway scene (almost…).  Again we saw that they had no regrets with their choice to be together.  The lighting, the bed sheets, their emotions - everything is light and bright.  Everything is hopeful and positive.  And this is April’s apology scene the way the coffee cup was Jackson’s.  April telling Jackson he is a good father and that he never bailed on her and Harriet, is everything Jackson needed to hear to 100% let go of his fear of becoming his father.  These few, important lines allowed Jackson to go back to Robert and tell him that he doesn’t need him.  He met him, and now he can move on.  The shot of Jackson’s back walking confidently out the door of the diner into the sunlight was another really nice addition from Kevin.  Jackson is literally leaving the past behind him and moving toward his future.  

In case they had any doubts about their decision, Caroline is completely healed.  They go to check on her and she has her voice.  And we get another adorable scene of them communicating with only their eyes.  

The episode ends with Jackson narrating, again, about how important it is to speak up.  “We lose our words because the stakes are so high”  The camera shows Jackson and April looking at each other.  “And we have so much to lose” And we see the Avery family, Catherine, Jackson, April, and Harriet, reunited.  April asks for a ride home, to her home with Jackson, to signify that there is no more division between them as there was at the beginning of the episode.  

And this is why when Jesse and Sarah have been giving their scripted answer that Japril could go in several different directions, I don’t believe them.  If they were going to just stay friends after this episode, Caroline would have had the laryngectomy and lost her voice.  If they were going to split up completely, Caroline probably would have died.  But she was healed completely, and so were they.  And it wasn’t just their friendship that was healed.  That was not a good-bye night together.  So, when they tease that it could go any way, I think that is just to keep us on our toes until the end of the season where something else is waiting for us.  Could I be wrong?  Of course!  Shonda has definitely surprised me in the past.  But if they stay true to the writing and meaning behind this episode then I believe I’m right.

Personal Captain America Civil War fix-it fics rec list

First of all, kudos to lovely @the-vorkosigan, who motivated me to actually put together a list of post-CW fics, without her I wouldn’t manage to do it.

Secondly, this list is entirely personal & based on my personal preferences. I’m sure there are lots of great post-CW fics out there besides those mentioned here.

Thirdly, I’m Tony Stark Defense Squad to the core, and I guess this list made it obvious, so… idk, be informed & prepared? :)

Here we go (in no particular order):

And In The Silence That Follows by lazywriter7

19,5k words, M

It’s not fully-fledged Stony, but it’s absolutely brilliant, full of hidden gems though angsty. Worth reading 100%. Kinda like «Captain America: Civil War theoretical justification of consequences 101». Idk how to put it better, so… just read it, it’s truly beautiful though bittersweet. Oh, and Hawkeye is awesome, as always. And T’Challa is awesome too. And everyone is apparently wiser than Steve (figures) :) And FRIDAY is so sweet & …. oh my I don’t even know why I’m still talking, just go & read it already :)

“He should have an Avenger with him.” Steve murmured, too quiet to be heard.

Evidently not. For Sam smiled next to him, lips twisted, voice filled with a queer, bitter compunction. “Which one? The android or the cripple?”

“Sometime during that battle, the fight stopped being about freedom and the Avengers’ ability to save the world when it needed them, and became about protecting Bucky Barnes instead. And while I’d never back down from saving a man’s life, Captain.” Clint’s eyes flashed, from things brighter than emotion. “We damn well should have had the right to make that choice for ourselves.”

I said to call me when you need me (But it is I who need you now) by rz_jocelyn

Gen, 2k words

Sam Wilson is awesome. And basically every phrase is gold.

‘I was angry, you know, so angry when he kept Ultron a secret from all of us.’ Steve’s laugh was an ugly sound. ‘I was so mad at him. Even though Bruce was also involved, I could forgive him. Even after I found out that it was Wanda who had pushed Tony into such desperate measures through her mental manipulations, I still forgave her. But Tony, I was still so angry with him. Something that big, I trusted him to tell me about it. Instead, he kept it from me, lied to me and only told me the truth when it blew up in our faces.’

‘He didn’t think that we would listen; that we would understand. Sam, he only wanted to protect us.’ ‘I only wanted to protect him.’

An Infinite Number Of Monkeys At Typewriters (Or, Steve and Tony Finally Get It Right) by JenTheSweetie

M, 19k words

Doctor Strange saves the day :)

Now usually I’m not all that interested in parallel universes, dimensions-traveling and all that jazz, but this was like a fairytale, so…

«Steve, come on, it’s not a fairytale»

«Isn’t it?» Strange said, stepping into the office. «And here I was all ready to play the fairy godmother.»

Like a Postcard Phrase by isellys

T, 5k words

Texting. A bit of humor, a bit of reminiscing, a bit of starry-eyed Wanda, a bit of daddy!Clint, Sam is once again awesome, no super angsty angst, and really, really sweet & warm.

Have you ever seen an android powered by a magical alien stone pine? It’s sad. It’s like seeing a normal person pine, except he glows sometimes.

Unknown Number by @copperbadge

Starring: The One And Only Tony Stark, Sullen Surrogate Daughter, Bird Costume & Angriest Bird.

It’s just some excerpts, not the complete fic, but as brilliant as anything copperbadge writes.

In Case of (Coronary) Emergency by @veldeia

T, 1,3k words

He doesn’t expect Steve to pick up, so when that actually happens, Tony almost drops it. His hand is shaking. His other arm, the left, aches fiercely.

“Tony?” Steve’s voice cuts through the ringing in Tony’s ears.

“Steve. I’m sorry,” Tony says. “Also, fuck you.”

Hope for the Hopeless by @owltype

Really, really short series, just ~4k words in total, but so sweet. Post-CW fluff, even.

“How do we always wind up here?” Steve asks.

Tony’s voice catches in his throat. “Because we’re idiots,” he answers, his voice soft, afraid that if he speaks any louder it’ll shatter this tender moment between them.

It’s What You Choose That Counts, In The End by @the-vorkosigan

T, 8,5k words

The whole family is back together, and it’s Halloween and it’s Harry Potter references and it’s perfect. I couldn’t even pick up a favorite quote, it’s just… Fuck it, it’s absolutely perfect.

Never Eye To Eye by @the-vorkosigan

M, 26k words.

As good as you can possibly imagine & even better. Angst, chemistry & tension, sooooo many emotions and, of course, happy ending. This one is imperative to read. It’s classic, and it’s gold, and it’s EVERYTHING.

“Tell me,” Tony said quietly “how is it that I always get the impression you expect the worst from me, in advance, and then, afterwards, you still manage to be disappointed in me somehow, every fucking time?”

Clint is Allergic to Feels by @fangirlingmanaged 

Hawkeye saves the day :) Just a cute one-shot to warm up one’s heart amidst all the post-CW angst.

Our Shared Mutual Destruction by GreenLoki

M, 3,5k words

After all, who did he value more – a few friends who had gotten him through a world he couldn’t even recognise, a few friends who he had fought with, had drinks with, respected, laughed with? Or the one friend he had known since he was just a kid in the early forties? Who had been through everything with him, who had followed him through anything? A friend that he had lost and mourned and found again?

Tusk by @laudatenium 

M, 6,5k words

Beautifully written angst.

Tony knows what he’s doing, he knows what he’s saying. He knows he probably shouldn’t. But for once, he just wants to have the freedom to burn everything. It’s been his job to preserve, to clean up, to repair, to fix. The sour, stinging center of him just wants to be expulsive like he used to be, to blow everything up and leave it behind for everyone else. He wants to rip Steve to shreds, because Steve doesn’t care that he ripped Tony to shreds.

Maybe he can’t burn everything, but maybe he can burn the man who left him the smoldering shell of what they’d built.

Made Of by @killaidanturner 

T, 4k words

Beautiful, poetic even.

I knew it was Bucky and I was selfish, I was too selfish, I wanted them both. 

And by keeping it from him I lost him and I lost Bucky. I lost the Avengers. I lost everything.

Riving Metal and Melting Ice by brown_recluse

E, 22k words

Are you telling me Germany lost a perfectly good airport because you didn’t think my jokes were funny, Rogers?

Essays in Existentialism: Monarchy II (Preview)

The wedding was a celebration that didn’t want to end. The halls were decked and the church was set with al manner of ancient allies and long forgotten grudges. For a week, the entire thing was all over the news, all over the world, in fact. It was a party akin to a United Nations summit, and it had the makings of an infamous reception.

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Class 1-A should really learn to stop letting Bakugou baku-off

(when stuck for the most appropriate and to the point title just give up and use shitty puns, 10/10 it will pass….I think :P)

One of the things that caught my attention when reading the manga for the first time was Bakugou’s behavior after the sludge man incident: when dealing with complicated/conflicted emotions he doesn’t know how to process, he has a tendency to just back off from the problem altogether for an indefinite amount of time. 

(This is all going under because this really got out of hand, so if you wanna have a read please do when you have the time or are bored, I take both)

Warning: A tad disorganized so read at own risk

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Running Down a Dream: The Definitive Guide

So. Back in January of this year, when I was about eh, twenty hours into FFXV, I started a fanfic on Ao3. I thought it would just be a nice place to sock away little drabbles or short fics, here and there, that might be inspired by my playthough. I had no intentions of doing more than maybe ten of them, and I thought they’d all be too small to be stand-alone fics. So I made them chapters, though they weren’t really meant to tell any kind of overarching story. I called it Running Down a Dream, because too many things were already called Life is a Highway, and I liked the Tom Petty song better. I didn’t expect it to amount to much, really.

…The current collective word count for my FFXV works on Ao3 is 106,074 words. (My FFXV game save is about two hundred and thirty hours.) Slightly more output than I planned. Probably more than anyone expected when reading the first chapter of this five months ago! (The fact that this comes after two years of painful block following the publishing of my first novel is just the cherry on the sundae.)

So, I realize that some people might not have read RDD, because the main fic and the B-sides are marked as unfinished. That’s because they’re a collection of stand-alones and the whole thing probably won’t be finished ever– I want to leave it open so I can go in and write something whenever. Someday, I may go in and mark them as finished. Probably about thirty minutes before the Earth crashes into the Sun. But each ‘chapter’ of RDD and the B-sides is complete as is, and while there is some continuity from chapter to chapter–mostly in the form of in-jokes and relationship status–you can still go in and read any one of them, at random. But who wants to plunge into a thirty-chapter mess that’s part of a series which also has multiple-chapter fics and some of them are marked finished and some aren’t and there’s a crossover?? and what? Especially since this Tenshi no Korin person never puts in summaries that actually tell you anything and it’s always a song quote or obscure movie quote I mean, the hell?

Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. Because I’m here with the……

DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO TENSHI NO KORIN’S RUNNING DOWN A DREAM FFXV ARC SO FAR (as of 5/12/17). With links. Buckle in. Here we go.

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a sort of continuation of this.

he’s been at it for hours and hours.

it rings in his head like an endless bell: my life would be better without mentally ill people around me, my life would be better without mentally ill people, my life would be better, it would be better

my life would be better without you.

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The truly laughable thing about Bryke hating Zutara is that all those negative things they thought wouldn’t make it work they put into their own canon relationships.

Putting it under the cut since this might be kind of long, and it does involve some ship bashing. I will try to avoid character bashing though since I like both Aang and Mai as individuals.

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Tom Hiddleston on why his Night Manager character could be the next 007

The BBC’s devilishly enjoyable adaptation of John le Carré’s The Night Manager premiered last Sunday and immediately announced itself as event television. Take the credits sequence – all morphing Martini glasses and crashing chandeliers, it was a mere Shirley Bassey solo away from stealing James Bond’s tux and making off with his audience.

Tom Hiddleston, in the title role of soldier-turned-hotelier-turned-spy Jonathan Pine, certainly scrubbed up impeccably, giving us a smoother (and younger) hero than the one who slinked through the pages of Le Carré’s 1993 novel.

It wasn’t just a matter of cutting a dash, though. The 35-year-old Englishman, a Shakespeare veteran best known to global film fans for his role as Loki in the Marvel comics franchise, hasn’t skimped on his homework either. He never does. Every close-up shows him thinking his way carefully into this part, turning the whole enterprise into a cunning chess game.

“The opening paragraph of chapter two of the novel is emblazoned on the inside of my brain,” says Hiddleston, looking supremely dapper as usual in a Berlin hotel bar. “It says, ‘Jonathan Pine, graduate of a rainy archipelago of orphanages, foster homes, half-mothers, cadet units and training camps, sometime army wolf-child with a special unit in Northern Ireland…’ So you get the sense that Pine’s wasn’t an upbringing of enormous privilege, but his service in the Army and hotel management has given him this access to the manners and the milieu of the very wealthy.”

The crucial upshot of this is gaining the trust of arms dealer Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie), “the worst man in the world”, and using this to report back on his nefarious activities to British intelligence. Roper is part Bond villain, part mirror image of Pine – both are interlopers in the English class system drawn to each other’s opportunism and drive. It’s a lot of fun, of course, but Hiddleston takes the role a little more seriously than that – he’s happy to think through the real-world implications of this plot, which has been extensively updated from Le Carré’s book, for instance by moving the timeline to just after the Arab Spring in 2011.

“There must be people like Pine,” he decides. “I remember being fascinated by the debate last November on whether the UK should join air strikes against Islamic State. All we got was that intelligence had come from the 'highest level’. I’ve listened to John le Carré talk about what happens in those meetings. There must be people who are truly hidden from society, gathering intelligence about targets, about numbers of troops, about weapons and so on.”

Early reactions to The Night Manager have found it hard to shake off the James Bond parallels, even going so far as to suggest that it feels like a virtual audition piece for Hiddleston as 007.

“I’ve been getting a lot of that,” he admits. “There are similarities insofar as Pine and Bond are granted a licence above and beyond the law to do bad things for the greater good. Bond has a 00 licence to kill. I don’t know if Pine is a 00 just yet…”

“Nobody would say no to Bond!” interjects Hiddleston’s director, the Oscar-winning Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier, who is making her first inroad into long-form drama with this series. “Even if you ask Olivia Colman, she’s going to want to play Bond. Or any director. It’s part of the air we breathe.”

The glorious Colman, hiding a pregnancy bump under some heavy jumpers, plays Angela Burr, the spymaster who recruits Pine and installs him at the heart of Roper’s operation. In the book, Angela was a Leonard, but Bier leapt at the chance to do a gender switch.

“Part of my worry about a contemporary spy thing,” she says, “was that you’re going to alienate the entire female audience. Because you’re gonna relive that world of men having been to public schools, having more or less got the same education. And I think it’s slightly dusty. The real world is somewhat more diverse, and we have to reflect that.”

You won’t catch her implying that Le Carré’s worldview is sexist, however. “He has a very contemporary mind,” she explains. “I think he was pretty adamant to make it current.”

The process of updating the book while also satisfying Le Carré’s legion of fans was helped by the writer’s own input – Bier says that keeping him happy was a high priority. “Through him we actually got access to a whole network of spies, of people working within the weapons industry. To me as a director, almost the most frightening aspect is that people who deal with weapons might as well be dealing with luxury cars. Can it be this easy not to be found out? Apparently it is.”

Hiddleston does a pretty spot-on impression of Laurie, tilting his head with a “Well, I, erm…” that conjures pure Bertie Wooster. He calls his co-star “an extraordinary mixture of deep seriousness and irreverence” who is “painfully honest” with himself. Bier says that a resolute loathing of hypocrisy unites both men. She’s curious to know if Hiddleston ever contemplated being a spy when he was younger. “I thought about it! But I just thought my personality is too visible, in a way. I’m not disposed to secrecy.”

An actor who doesn’t like camouflage? Here Hiddleston finds himself playing a character who goes by four different aliases, and conceals his true identity from almost everyone.

“That was the challenge and the thrill of it. In every scene I had to hide sufficiently that Roper and Co aren’t smelling a rat, but not hide so much that I’m hiding from the audience. I liked the idea that there is anonymity in uniform. He finds security in the silhouette of someone who is of service. But then you scratch behind that, and what is his centre?”

a steve/bucky fic rec list (◡ ‿ ◡ ✿)

written or existing pre-ca:tws

  • baby baby baby come back by gyzym: “You and me? We’re not the war.”
  • timestamp series by what_alchemy: *series is non-ca:tws compliant, but touching and riveting nonetheless.
  • Gravitation by Odsboskins: “He couldn’t remember when he first started feeling the pull. Perhaps it was too long ago, or perhaps it had been gradual, something that crept up on him. But by the time he was sixteen, Bucky knew that the axis of his world spun around Steve Rogers in the worst possible way." Inspired by finding out that in the prequel comics for Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve and Bucky are in art class when the news breaks about Pearl Harbor.
  • we share our mother’s health by tigrrmilk: “I didn’t ask for you to do this,” Steve says, as he cleans Bucky’s back, a few minutes before Steve’s mother will come in and take over. And no, this, this is the most offended Bucky has ever been, because he knows, and nobody needs to tell him what he should or shouldn’t do because he knows, he’s always known.
  • Wanderings by sariane: With their names at the top of SHIELD’s Most Wanted lists, Steve takes Bucky - the Winter Soldier - and runs to save him.

    Bucky isn’t sure why he goes with Steve, especially after everything he’s done, or why Steve is giving him a second chance. He only knows that he owes it to Steve to try.

written and existing post-ca:tws

  • lethe by black_nata: ”‘Do it,’ he goads. 'Do it or come back home with me and let me help you. But you gotta do it now, Buck, because I can’t take another moment of this hell.’“
  • we did not ourselves make by M_Leigh: ”It is like steel, the determination inside of you that tells you you will achieve this, that you will find him. Nothing will stop you. You are two sides of the same coin, you and he: he cannot escape you forever. Bucky runs. Steve follows.“
  • your favorite ghost by augustbird: "It’s harder than Steve ever expected to bring Bucky home.”
  • Parallel Constructions by freshbakedlady: “In the absence of orders, the man wearing the face of Bucky Barnes must figure out who he will be. The answer, mostly, is "somebody Steve Rogers can love.” Nothing so easy should ever take this much work.“
  • The Steven G. Rogers Guide to What You Missed the Last Few Years by what_alchemy: "Steve’s got the hang of this 21st century thing.”
  • Mistake on the Part of Nature by idiopathicsmile: “Steve takes in Bucky’s betrayed look and Sam’s confusion, follows Sam’s gaze to the pile of mangled fruit in the trash can. Sudden comprehension fills his face.

    'Oh,’ he says. 'Bucky found out about bananas.’”

  • Steve Rogers at 100: Celebrating Captain America on Film by eleveninches, Febricant, hellotailor, M_Leigh, neenya, tigrrmilk: “’Heil Hydra,’ the enemy agent shouts.

    'Heil this, motherfucker,’ says Captain America, shooting off a rocket.

    Steve and Bucky find out Hollywood has been busy since they went away. A historical survey, including but not limited to: one set of exploded genitals, a brief interlude in France, Mel Gibson and other masterworks of casting, eight Academy awards, several dinosaurs, and something Tony Stark has ominously dubbed 'the masterpiece.’ Art included.”

  • this is a back alley by Febricant: “Here is the only thing you know: the body remembers.”
  • the nightmare from which i am trying to awake by Speranza:“"You gotta bring him in, Cap.” Tony Stark, distant: on speakerphone. “You can come in to me, or you can go to—well, I don’t know who else is left. But you gotta bring him in.”“ 
  • Close to the Sun by thebrotherswinchester: ”Steve’s known Bucky his whole life.“
  • I Didn’t Know What Time It Was by MoreThanSlightly: ”It’s been two days now. He knows it would be logical to get out of the city, but he’s waiting for something. Against everything he knows about hiding, he went to the exhibit on Captain America at the Smithsonian and looked at a photo of a stranger who might have been his twin from seventy years ago. He’s not sure what he wanted. An epiphany of some kind, a feeling of doors opening and light flooding in; whatever it was, it never came.“
  • My Brother, The Hero by Odsbodkins: Becca Barnes is eight years old, and her big brother can do no wrong.

    The events of the two Captain America movies, from the perspective of one of the sisters Bucky leaves behind.

  • your homecoming will be my homecoming by lupinely: This is what Bucky thinks he remembers. Writing a letter to Steve in the trenches, muddy footprints, impressions of army boots on the ground. So cold his fingers ache. He’s writing the letter but it doesn’t make sense. He’s writing the letter but he wants to go home. It’ll make sense then, he thinks—it’ll make sense when they both come home.

  • the gravedigger’s handbook by idrilka: ”Sometimes it’s the most difficult thing, coming home. They both learn that, in their own ways. (In the end, Bucky comes back to Steve. In the end, it is all that matters.)“ *new
  • the thing that drives the wolves away by caughtinanocean: ”The thing about Bucky these days is that, while he might be a semi-mythical assassin, he’s also vulnerable—the kind of vulnerable that makes total strangers want to drape a blanket over his shoulders and take him to safety. The problem is, of course, that Bucky is already safe.“
  • Wait for the Word by sara_holmes: "He’s still not sure how Steve does it, even after ten years of knowing each other, how he can be so bullheaded and stubborn and irritating, yet simultaneously so good and kind and earnest. He’s hopeless, is what he is, but he’s still the best goddamn thing to ever happen to Bucky.

    Bucky’s sure there’s a word for it somewhere, a word to describe how Steve is all of those things at the same time, but he hasn’t found it yet.” *new


  • Hotel Service by Odsbodkins: “The one where Bucky is one of the reception staff in an upmarket hotel and Steve’s a wealthy businessman who stays there regularly. They’re involved in a heavy flirtation but neither of them have quite gotten up the courage yet to take the next step.”
  • our golden age by augustbird: “Wherein Bucky is the crown prince and Steve still becomes a hero. A series of fics/media set in the same universe.”
  • Flying too close to the sun by viverella: “In which Steve is a flight attendant and Bucky keeps showing up on his flights and they fall in love without meaning to.”
  • A Gentle Thaw by godofpancakes: “AU in which there was no Dr. Erskine and no serum, Steve never got the chance to go to war. The years pass and Bucky finally comes home, no longer the man Steve remembers.”
  • You Were Standing There by thebrotherswinchester: “Bucky accidentally breaks into the wrong house while drunk. The wrong house happens to belong to Steve Rogers.” aka a very sweet 'neighbours’ au
  • patterns of love in peoples of diaspora by buchanan: “Impossible things happen all the time” (time loop/groundhog day au) 
  • The Shape I’m In by radialarch: “[AU where Bucky never fell.] They win the war. Steve and Bucky come home and deal with their feelings." 
  • the poem which I do not write by viverella: ”See, here’s the thing: Steve has a problem.

    His problem is embodied in almost six feet of cocky smiles and toned muscles and tattoos and it starts three weeks into the school year when his life drawing professor announces that they’re finally moving onto studying the human form and says, “This is James. He’s going to be our first model.” And the guy steps up onto the platform in the middle of the room and undresses without a lick of self-consciousness, smirking all the while, and Steve thinks, Oh, hell. 

    OR: Steve is an art student and Bucky is a figure model and a lot of pining happens. 

  • Middletown: A Study of Suburban Life by M_Leigh: “Or: the story of the year Bucky Barnes finally learned how to talk to at least one other human being, discovered J. D. Salinger, started to try in school (kind of), got a haircut, landed a punch, almost got arrested, and kissed a boy on the mouth." 

  • What a Wonderful World This Would Be by mambo: ”Steve Rogers isn’t about to let some frat boy jerk like Bucky Barnes show him up, even if it means having to kick Brock Rumlow in the balls.“

  • On The Cusp by thebrostherswinchester: ”Bucky is a rich kid. Steve is his butler. It doesn’t stop them from being best friends.“

*i will update this as I see fit*

anonymous asked:

If Destiel is going to happen. Do you think they have non-disclosure agreements about Destiel?

If it was going to happen, they would, probably like any upcoming plot thing. I don’t really think at this point it is or really ever has been something they’d have an NDA for, which is why we have Misha casually telling people about the jilted lover note, or Jensen with absolutely no briefing on how to handle the fandom when it comes to shipping >.> That’s not to say I am agreeing that it’s not real or there, but, well, I’ll refer you to my next anon down:

Anonymous said: true, an actor gets to interpret lines and act out something, but even that is going to be re-shot and edited. actors are in a position where their opinion can reach more people, and because they are linked to process of getting the story to us, their opinions are more easily mistaken for fact than say, mine… which are on anon, on tumblr. :P

And yeah this is why I think Jensen has no clue. To use a recent example, 11x15 absolutely hung him out to dry with the writing and editing. He had no control and probably no idea when it came to setting Sam up in a scene immediately following Dean meeting Gunnar, to meet HIS childhood crush, and for the moments to be played side by side like that. Or for the scripting of his own scene to mirror Dr Sexy as much as it did. He might think he filmed a normal sort of scene about meeting a childhood idol (did he even know the camera implied that Dean recognised him by his butt? They film these things completely out of order :P) but when you add up everything about that sequence, it was directly paralleling one childhood crush to another, and the character Sam talked to played almost no further major part in the episode, really. The only reason she was more than a background character was to have this comparison.

Of course since Jensen looks like Dean and puts in all the effort to bring us Dean you would think he’d know the character best, but he’s just standing in the worst possible place to see it. I mean, like, he’s trapped in the Truman show except he’s getting hauled out to discuss it with the audience every so often. And people working with actors on film have a luxury that, say, playwrights never had, because they can withhold info - give new script pages at the last minute, be working several episodes in advance… Say, surprise Jensen with the demon!Dean reveal that they’ve known about forever and ever the audience seemed to be guessing longer than Jensen finally knew :P 

I don’t think it’s a conspiracy or anything, but the writers and crew have been playing around with implications a LONG time - almost the whole show, really - and at what to them is a fairly safe remove. If you follow the breadcrumb trail back to the knowing smirks, you get “who says Destiel isn’t canon ;)” or “the potential for love in all places” and then you go a few layers above those assholes (meant lovingly :P), and suddenly the higher ups have no idea, which takes me right back to NDA anon, because 9x03′s wank storm proved that there’s no long foretold plot about it. When we talk about the Destiel arc, it’s just what they’d treat as the regular emotional arc between Dean n Cas, and then we bring in the tools to analyse it… Which takes me to my 3rd anon:

Anonymous said: agree so hard with you on the stuff about actors and pr and fandom. whenever i see actors from various fandoms saying things like ya i play it that way, ya i think my character is this or not that, i’m like cool, but that’s your interpretation. sometimes i agree sometimes i don’t. as viewers, we’re also in a position to interpret the story. and i definitely enjoy what i get out of it.

Absolutely :D 

I also think SPN gave us the okay several times to analyse it however we want and knows its fanbase well enough in the show to give proper nods. I mean, not like we needed permission, but that the show itself doesn’t squirm away from this sort of analysis but embraces it, even if it seemed to think it was funny, it didn’t think it was bad, early on (and I think acknowledged the part they had to play in it, like, fair cop, when they first started getting meta).  Then Robbie wandered into the show and rubbed his grubby hands all over it, so now within the text of the show, it’s literally more the actors fault for not getting it about shipping, than it is the final product of the show’s fault for not encouraging it, even if “it” in this case is a fairly safe middle of the road “it’s okay to interpret Destiel out of the show if you want to and like it”… 

Anyway when it comes to Jensen, he obviously hasn’t had anyone seriously explain to him - even after 10x05 - the really complicated media theory at work here, and honestly looking at his part of Fan Fiction, or, say, that scene back in 4x18 where Sam tells him about Sam slash Dean, I’m not sure he’s ever been given a definition of what fandom does which doesn’t imply that fandom interprets secret relationships or inserts gay stuff where there wasn’t any… 

idk, at this point they’d need a long weekend and a team of scholars to set him straight on the matter, because standing where he does on the production end, I’m not entirely sure he has even really thought about interpretation. He has a role as a storyteller, but it’s so much the mechanical actions of the story, no matter how much nuance he puts into a performance, he’s thinking that he’s creating, like, a fixed event and that’s just what the story is. Even away from the queer readings the show encourages multiple takes on things, or actively tries to whip up sides in arguments between the brothers or something… The whole ambiguity about John’s parenting… 

The actors really aren’t big-picture about it, and so they’re going to miss a lot of stuff, especially the stuff which you can’t get from acting it out without seeing how the finished product looks. Which puts US the viewers in the one seat in the whole assembly line where we get to authentically describe what the story is. We might come up with different things, but our reading is the one that matters (even if it’s still technically not “correct” in a world where there’s no right answer), since this is produced as entertainment FOR us.


this is a psa…

PLEASE if you love pokemon and suffering do yourself a favour and play the pmd games

they’re roguelike/rpgs (YES U HEARD THAT. THE POKEMON RPG U ALWAYS WANTED. IT ALREADY EXISTS) that take place in the ‘pokemon world’. you are, per game tradition, a human that’s been transformed into a pokemon for a reason beyond your knowledge. the world is populated by things known as 'mystery dungeons’ - randomly generated labrythns full of wild pokemon that you must battle your way through to complete requests or find bosses!

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anonymous asked:

Hii! Could you help me find a fic? Basically stiles and derek are together in an alternate universe, but not irl? And when they get back to reality they decide to move in together. I dont remember that much im sorry!

you are looking for:

  • Where The Inevitable Isn’t by Survivah (M, 41k) Stiles has a magical thingamajig that’s supposed to get him out of danger. Trouble is, it took him really, really far out of danger. Like, to the point where he isn’t in the same universe anymore. “A part of Stiles had been thinking that he’d come home, and just go, ‘hey, Derek, are we mates and you just haven’t said anything about it?’ and Derek would reply, ‘now you mention it, we are indeed! Now come to my bedchamber, where we will have super hot sex and then cuddle after!’“ 

and more recs with alternate universes, parallel universes, universe travel

  • Play It Again by metisket (T, 63k) In which Stiles goes along with one of Derek’s plans and ends up in an alternate universe as a result. He should’ve known better. He did know better, actually, and that means he has no one to blame but himself. “Laura wants to lure the kid in with food and kindness and make a pet of him, like a feral cat. Derek wants to have him arrested for stalking. They’re at an impasse. (And the rest of the family is staying emphatically out of it in a way that suggests bets have been placed.)” 
  • inside these arms series by rufflefeather (T, 18k) Stiles is having the worst day of his life and it keeps happening./ Derek’s worst nightmares didn’t prepare him for this.
  • Misfire by unpossible (T, 29k) “The debt must be repaid,” she says, and it has the weight of a vow. The words resonate through him, ringing through his ribcage and the bones of his jaw, and Stiles loses his breath and maybe his grip on reality because she draws herself upright and where there had once stood a supermodel-level MILF now there is Galadriel’s much hotter older sister, a Presence of unmistakable power in their ordinary, smells-vaguely-of-Thai-takeout hallway. “Oh shit,” Stiles says.

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Time for some “Mills” meta.  I’m just trying to make sense of why would they choose to make Zelena, Regina, and Cora share not just parallels BUT love interests (Rumple, Leopold, Robin) as well, because it’s really messed up.

1. OUAT puts a lot of emphasis on “Choice.”
2. The concept of “Fate; Soulmate vs True Love.”
3. Finding your “Happy Ending.”
4. Fake identities / coercion.

It’s SUPER long.

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anonymous asked:

but it can't be a coincidence that after being freed of the darkness, leaving behind the times of feeling scared, dean calls cas sunshine, can it? am i the only one that after hearing that "sunshine" thought of cas as dean's light at the end of the tunnel? does this make any sense or is it too far fetched?

Not really - I absolutely agree with you. 

Season 11 ended with some great shots of the sun set, and season 12 opened with a sunrise as well, connected to Dean and Mary which serves pretty much the exact same metaphoric function:

I sort of feel like the constant comparing of Cas and Mary in how much they mean to Dean is fairly deliberate to say he’s family and part of that light at the end of the tunnel endgame happiness picture for Dean if he was ever to get one. Unlike Sam, their position there is a bit more tenuous to him, that he thinks Cas might leave and, well, for like two and a half episodes Mary was too good to be true and then she left, and now she needs much more careful and sensible integrating into the family unit so it’s still a goal to get her there. That gif of Dean walking off with Mary to take her home is the only true peace he’s known in a while and that lasted all of until discovering Sam was kidnapped, the next scene for him :P

This gifset:

has all the most direct references to Cas and sunshine for Dean that I can think of, although I feel like there are a lot more out there… The season 7 one interested me a lot because this was 2 episodes in a row with “sunshine” as a thing, the other being Charlie’s intro, and outro:

She was a blast of happiness and cheerfulness and optimism about the plot as she finally gave them a turning point on it, in what was engineered to be the Worst season, taking away literally everything that makes them happy. There’s probably also a ton more random sun imagery out there (not even getting near El Sol and its “go someplace better” message :P) but this stuck out to me since when I was doing my meta rewatch, I was still reeling from Dean calling Cas “Sunshine” in 7x21 so realising there was 2 in a row made it really interesting. I mean it was a throwaway comment in a way, but Dean seems to like calling Cas it, and it fits, and there’s the whole Gas n Sip sun thing :P So I like to think we already had the proto version of Cas being Dean’s sunshine and happiness already way back, paralleled again to someone who brought a bit of light into their lives. (I feel like we shouldn’t have to meta that Cas makes Dean happy but this WAS back in season 7…)

Actually, quick detour for something else from the recesses of my rewatch… Because I’m really not sure how many people ever look at those posts :P The El Sol thing is almost always the neon sign, but one time it appeared beside Cas and Dean in the form of the original style of advert/poster that added Carmen to the djinn dream for Dean in the beer’s own origin story… Well, with just a drink, not her, but these posters are much harder to spot:

I like that detail especially because this is the next Cas episode after 9x06 and the whole Gas n Sip sun thing which gave him the strongest association (which is why I used it for the Mildred watching a sunset gifset :P), but also because El Sol posters, unlike the neon lights or actual bottles, which usually signal false realities etc, because of the way the advertising was used to introduce Dean’s girlfriend in 2x20, seem much more like they’re at least tangentially about relationships… I’ve written meta before paralleling Lisa to Carmen because of the El Sol sign in 6x01 and the djinn connection which made Lisa more of a dream to Dean that like in 2x20 he eventually had to leave for the sake of hunting. I quite like the idea that Cas in this part of season 9 was also a sort of dream to Dean that he never got - the idea of happy domestic bunker fluff Cas from all the fics between seasons where everyone wilfully ignored everything and produced a veritable golden age of bunker family fic around Cas being human and living with them :P Like, hey, Dean was pining for that too. Since that’s the last time they see each other while Cas is human it’s particularly sad that that dream is also nearly over too, and sort of encompasses everything from 9x03 and Dean thinking Cas can stay, then making him leave, to whatever 9x06 was, to this much more fragile and sad state of affairs this episode where everything is reaching breaking point. And again, you could read that through an implication from an El Sol poster, or, Cas is Dean’s sun. Again. (Which 9x06 gives us the strong visual association for so I think this holds up as a reading :P)

… Anyway to get back to season 12, yeah. I don’t think it’s weird to compare Cas to the sun and have a similar imagery for another character (especially when that makes it much clearer what the sun imagery means there), because Charlie. And 12x03 also compared Cas and Mary straightforwardly with their feelings about belonging, but of course if they did join the family in Bunker Family v.2 (or whatever we’re up to at this point with the endless rotation of killed off close family members >.>) for Dean they’d have very different relationships, and the sun connection is just because they both mean too much to him for them not to be there.

The sun in 11x23 was heavy handed imagery when they talked about its importance to life and used it as the sign of the universe unravelling because they sort of made it the centre of the universe. For Dean season 11 had been a metaphorical as well as literal battle with darkness, and 11x21 in the conversation with Amara had some of the most obvious lines which make it easy to parallel to depression and Dean wanting to give up. If we make the stakes metaphorical then we sent Dean on a suicide mission to save the sun on the behalf of the universe/humanity/himself, which are really hard concepts to actually untangle from each other, and finds there’s another way and he doesn’t have to die, and the sun is saved and light prevails. So that’s another reading which metaphorically ties the sun to Dean’s happiness, even aside from the connections other characters have to it, to the same end. I suppose you could also argue that losing the people he cares about in this way also takes the sun from him, and plunges him into darkness - metaphorically at first but then eventually all that twisted up inside him eventually unleashes an actual personification of it. (And his true descent happens after one of the sun-coded characters is killed. Ugh.)

(On the other side of things, I feel like the use of The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Any More in 9x18 was aimed squarely at Cas; the lyrics of that song connect love and sun, and I suppose confirm that the romantic sun connection is something they both have for the other.)  

… *flicks through a mental collection of index cards* I think that’s everything I have about the sun which could help meta you to feeling like you’re not being too far-fetched with this. :D