and i don't like it as much as the other colours i've done

The Phantom of the Opera (25th anniversary)
  • Prologue: 666 nUMbeR of THE beAst I meAN MAN the oLD GhoSt Was SUPER scAry gET rEadY fOr a HoRRoR STORY
  • Overture: ... but this sounds f*****g epic and i'm already on the masked man's side
  • Hannibal Rehearsal: BOO IT'S THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA TO MAKE MEG SCREAM LOUDER THAN CARLOTTA
  • Think of Me: Raoul thinks it's R/C, The Phantom thinks it's E/C, in fact it is a song from a completely different story and ya'll are reading into things too much but dam Christine so fab that two men she scarcely knows instantly want to marry her.
  • Angel of Music: Is it an angel... Is it a dad... It's the Phantom.
  • Little Lotte: Aw, my childhood friend :3
  • The Mirror: NEVERMIND, RAOUL WHO?
  • Theme Song: I should probably be scared but I find myself turned on.
  • Music of the Night: Pretty sure father wouldn't have sent me this but still thank God it's happening.
  • I Remember/Stranger Than You Dreamt It: Staged depiction of "major fuck up".
  • Notes: Whipped
  • Prima Donna: but in denial
  • Poor Fool: exactly what it says on the tin but in plural
  • Why Have You Brought Me Here: BECAUSE I'M EXPERIENCING EXTREMELY CONFLICTING FEELINGS I'M SCARED but also still kinda turned on
  • All I Ask Of You: "Yes please marry me and make my life decisions I'm done with independent adulting shit's crazy" The Love Song
  • Reprise: When you think you helped a damsel in distress but the distress keeps on intensifying.
  • Masquerade: Well you must be quite emotionally exhausted by this point... Have colour and fun!
  • Have You Missed Me: No? Well, still have this opera.
  • |Madame Giry: Who's he? Basically, deformed.
  • |Raoul: Ew.
  • Notes: Whipped and they know it now.
  • Twisted Every Way: really, just twisted every way, like wtf
  • Don Juan Rehearsal: angry little people call perfectly good music bad so the piano shuts them up
  • Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again: Is she singing to her father? Is she singing to the Phantom? We just don't know through all these daddy issues.
  • Wandering Child: What I've learned thus far is that I really can't show restraint when he's around, can I?
  • Angel of Darkness: Serious mood kill and massive sass fight including pyrotechnics.
  • Before Don Juan: So tell me again how are you going to kill a guy who's there, and there, and there and there and there
  • Past the Point of No Return: Into it. No wait no I'm not.
  • Down Once More: Phantom: I've been in deep emotional turmoil since day one. Christine: *seen 23.30*
  • Final Lair: 666 nUmBER of ThE BeAst don't say that don't do that put him down everybody stop YES YES YES wait NO NO NO i was promised a ghost story and now look at my heart wtf K.O.'d by a musical
  • Bonus END CREDITS: HE'S SMILING. THE PHANTOM'S ALIVE AND SMILING. LOOK CHRISTINE IS HUGGING HIM IT'S CANON LALALA.

anonymous asked:

Can we have a NejiTen Amnesia AU, where Tenten loses her memory and Neji can't help but be giddy because he loves the fact they're falling in love again, but also can't help but feel guilty for deceiving her in some way.

I took some liberties, if that’s ok, since the only circumstance I can see Neji feeling guilty in this kind of situation would then require something much longer than this drabble! Also modern day AU since I’m kind of on a roll with that. (Also this got angsty, I’m sorry. I blame the last anon prompt I got.)


Every single day, Neji comes and sits in the same chair. It’s comfortable, padded, very much unlike the typical cold and hard plastic of the typical hospital chairs for visitors. 

He hates it. 

Still, that does not deter him from coming every day, from the moment visiting hours start to the moment visiting hours end. He walks in the hospital, nods to the personnel who all know him if not by name then most certainly by sight, sees himself in to the spacious room with the single bed situated by the window. 

Tenten’s there, breathing, in that bed, but the last time he remembers hearing her voice was too long ago. The last time he remembers seeing her eyes, brown and full of warmth and humour and love, was too long ago. She was always so vivacious, laughing when he was scowling, running when he insisted on walking, carefree when he was uptight. He knows her, loves her as a moving figure, a comforting warmth by his side, a match that could ignite fire in him. 

“Accidents happen every day,” she would cheekily tell him but he never imagined it would happen to her because Tenten was always one who met a situation fearlessly, flawlessly. Except how does one prepare for a late night, a drunk driver, a freak accident?

Neji doesn’t know, but as he sits down in that chair once more, he wishes he did. Wishes he could’ve done something. Knows better though, that some things are out of his control. He hates this too. Once upon a time ago, he would’ve accepted this with a kind of resigned defeat but now- now he would fight time and logic to help her. Help himself too because this waiting, this stillness is terrible. 

A groan snaps his head back to the figure on the bed, freezes him, unsure if he imagined the sound or not. But the figure shifts and he’s out of that damn chair, rising to the side of bed, clasping her hand. 

Eyes blink open, brown and warm and alive, and he doesn’t realize the shaky breath he just sucked in at seeing her awake and moving again. 

Tenten turns her head to face him, fog evident in her features. Another quiet groan from her. She parts her mouth and the question is so quiet he almost misses it- but he doesn’t, and the loudest sound in that room is his heart breaking. 

“Who are you?”

The doctors tell him, “Selective amnesia.” 

His heart hurts so much he can’t feel it anymore. Neji never realized how much he came to love the dances and races his heart would do after Tenten came and made him feel alive with her words, her smiles, her presence, her hands. 

It takes him a few days, but he’s back in that room again, back to staring at the woman who loved him and whom he still loves. She who doesn’t know who he is or what they meant to each other anymore. 

Tenten sleeps most of that day, and Neji decides he prefers this. It allows him to pretend, if only for this moment, that she hasn’t woken up yet, that when she does, she’ll roll over, brush her hand against his cheek, smile lazily, sleepily, and whisper, “Good morning, Neji” as she has for every morning they’ve been together. 

Seeing that emptiness in her warm brown eyes made it hard for him to breathe and after she uttered that fatal question, he found himself wishing, for one terrible moment, that he never knew her. That he’d never met her, hadn’t fallen in love, hadn’t built a life with her if only to save himself from this heartbreak. 

“She may never recover her memory,” the doctors tell him. There are treatments, facilities, but no known cure for recalling that which has been lost. 

Tenten groans again and this time he steels himself. Doesn’t rise out of the chair, but watches her like a hawk as she rolls over, her hand reaching out to grasp the edge of the bed, her eyes flickering open. 

They stare at each other, and there’s no roaring in his ears, no sound of his heart breaking, no ringing silence filling his head. She always did have that effect on him. 

She licks her lips and he flinches. 

“I know you.”

His lavender eyes snap to hers, warm, brown, and alive. She’s confused, but resolute. Her gaze has not wavered from him for a moment. 

Tenten reaches out and Neji doesn’t even realize he’s already reaching back until he feels her hand clasped in his. 

“Yes,” he murmurs, his voice so low he’s not sure if he wants her to hear or not. “You do know me.”

Tenten’s eyes scan his face and he feels a comforting sense of déjà vu. She always read him clearest in the things he couldn’t say. 

“No…. I know you.”

The conviction and promise in her voice has him squeezing her hands, his heart clenching. He doesn’t know how to respond. 

He’s frozen as her free hand comes up to brush his cheek. He can’t think when she leans up and presses forward, when she licks her lips and closes her eyes. 

He closes the distance in a kiss that’s bittersweet but familiar. He makes a sound at the back of his throat and can’t tell if this hurts or helps him. But he does know, as her lips move against his in a familiar pattern, as she hesitatingly opens her mouth to deepen the kiss, that he has missed this. That he has missed her and all the colour and warmth that she made him feel. 

When she draws back, her lips red and her cheeks flushed, her eyes are still confused, still blank, but purposeful. 

“I know you, but I want to remember you.”

Neji swallows the lump in his throat but he holds her hands tight and is comforted when she holds back just as tightly, when she sighs and leans into him, trust apparent in her movements. 

“You will,” he promises. “We’ll remember it all again, one step at a time.”

anonymous asked:

nonbinary neil prompt

this + chelsey’s ask alright…,,, kind of a continuation from this post i wrote with fox about genderfluid neil because a lot of the ideas are the same (i.e., in how i feel neil would explore gender, obviously genderfluid and non-binary are different)

and disclaimer.. i am cisgender so all i know about non-binary or genderfluid people is second hand knowledge, please please please tell me if i’ve gotten anything wrong or i’m being offensive i really don’t mean to be and i debated about not even answering this but… yeah anyway. under the cut

Keep reading

  • /After the recovery of Wall Maria. A therapy for veterans who are reckoned to have shell shock after long battles./
  • Therapist: During today session we are going to try to calm down and find our inner peace...
  • Levi: *whispers to Hanji* The hell are we doin' here?
  • Hanji: Tsss... It was the governments request to make us all to come here.
  • Levi: I'll find those bastards and kick their asses.
  • Hanji: Tssss... Calm down. You have no idea how difficult it was to make them let us have the therapy together.
  • Therapist: ...we'll start with some old breathing methods...
  • Levi: *keeps whispering to Hanji* A band of tedious motherfuckers.
  • Hanji: Shut up or they'll change their mind. You wanna come here alone?
  • Levi: Hell no!
  • Therapist: I've read in your documents that because of an unusual attachment to each other during the war you have been allowed to take part in the therapy as a team.
  • Levi: *looks at Hanji with disbelief*
  • Therapist: In the beginning I'm going to make a test to get to know you better.
  • Levi: *full of concerns unconsciously slightly pulls himself to Hanji*
  • Hanji: *grabs Levi's knee under the table to cheer him up*
  • Therapist: First, I want you to describe me what you can see in the picture *shows them a cardboard with a huge blot of blue colour*
  • Levi: ...
  • Hanji: ...
  • Levi: Blue...a piece of blue shit?
  • Hanji: Yeah, if something defecates blue shit it sure would look like that.
  • Levi: Not at all, four-eyes. Something would have to have diarrhoea to shit like that.
  • Hanji: Ok then, it's more like blue vomit.
  • Levi: But not titan's vomit. Blue human vomit or blue feces after your dinner.
  • Hanji: *grins* That was rude, Clean-freak! I've always done my best.
  • Levi: Yeah, Shitty-glasses, especially when you added a suspiciously looking mushroom you have just found to our dinner.
  • Hanji: That was an experiment.
  • Levi: Your whole life is an experiment.
  • Hanji: And thanks to this we are here now.
  • Levi: Oh, thank you very much, Four-eyes. I've always dreamt to speak out about blue shit in front of a hag from the capital.
  • Hanji: Levi, chill out.
  • Levi: Oh, wait, Shitty-glasses. After your mushroom-experiment we all would be dead didn't Moblit left one of them as a specimen and show it to Sasha who knew what shit was that and what to do.
  • Hanji: Are you going to remain it forever?
  • Levi: Only when I'm pissed off.
  • Hanji: Good. So maybe one day I'll forget how you fainted when you found some dishes in my room. But I wouldn't hope it if I were you.
  • Levi: They were mouldy, you dustman. The mould has already been all blue, get it? Blue as the damn shit in the picture!
  • Hanji: Hey, Levi! We have the answer what's on the picture!
  • Levi: You may be right. When I squint I can even see a shape of the broken cup I dropped back then...
  • Hanji: And the blurred spots look like the sodden tea leaves on my floor...
  • Levi: Don't mess tea with this, Four-eyes.
  • Hanji: Ok, Clean-freak. Let's say it's all mould and crushed ceramics.
  • Therapist: So if you are already done with the task...
  • Hanji, Levi: No!
  • /Diagnosis: The patients seem to share the same hallucinations or communicate with a strange code. Also, they argue like an old married couple. I strongly recommend to transfer them to a more experienced specialist./
  • Author's note: I'm really sorry if any real therapist is reading it and tearing hair out of head, I'm not a therapist and it's only my retarded stereotypical image, don't beat me please >_<

What is Offensive/Negative to do/say toward Tan-Skinned Idols: Saying that said idols are “too dark”, Saying that said idols should wear lighter makeup/foundation so they don’t look “so dark”, Commenting that said idols should consider lightening their skin, Recommending whitening creams/lotions and/or similar treatments to lighten their skin, White-washing their photos

What Kyungsoo Has Done: Picked Jongin’s tan skin has his #1 charm, stated in the past (several times, if I remember correctly) that Jongin’s tan skin is sexy, has said that Jongin’s tan skin is positively unique and charming, Jongin has stated himself that Kyungsoo makes him feel good about his skin

What Everyone Needs to Understand: The episode hasn’t aired yet therefore we do not fully understand the context and meaning of everything that was going on, Based on translation I’ve seen - the reason Kyungsoo colored in Jongin’s picture was to highlight what he was choosing as Jongin’s best feature; therefore this should be seen positively and as a compliment because that’s what Kyungsoo was probably meaning to convey.


If this is not your culture (and no, it is not my culture.), please at least try to get a proper understanding before posting your opinions. and be careful with the words you say and the threats you make, solely because you do not understand/agree with their view points. That is no excuse to tell a person to kill themselves. And if you think it is - you need to reevaluate your understanding of right and wrong.



@ryoga-echizen replied to your post: What is Offensive/Negative to do/say toward Ta…”

lol but you didn’t address the aspect of him colouring jongin in with a black marker, you’re honestly pretty misinformed about what is and is not colourist. I understand soo’s circumstances are different as Korea is usually accepting of colourism but that doesn’t justify what he did. y'all can be stans but you need to acknowledge it when our idols do something wrong??

I’m very well informed of what colorism is. Everything that I listed in the first section of my OP is examples (mind you, just a few) of colorism. It seems like you are the one who is a bit misinformed - and I’m not saying this to be aggressive in anyway.

I didn’t address the black marker because it’s very vague and petty, and there isn’t much to it to argue about. Just as @kaidonutsuniverse replied: He colored him in black because he had a black marker to use. Black is just a color here. As much as a color as pink, blue, red, green, brown, or orange. I want to genuinely ask you if you would be equally as offended if perhaps he had a red marker to use and colored him in red, or a yellow marker to use and colored him in yellow, or a purple a purple marker to use and colored him in purple? I want to ask if you’re only offended because it was a black marker? You shouldn’t be offended by a color if it’s used as what it is–just a color.

And we’re not for certain of what color options he had to choose from, but it’s pretty obvious he only had (what I assume to be) a black Sharpie pen, because he used no other colors on any of his other drawings. What I would understand you being upset about is if he used multiple colors for everyone else, but specifically chose a black marker to draw, target, and mock Jongin. But he did no such thing. Black was the only color he used for everyone.

If you’re going to go off about solely Kyungsoo coloring in Jongin, it’s because he had to highlight their most prominent feature, and he chose Jongin’s skin. Every member has their own specific feature that has been noted on them since MAMA era. Chanyeol’s big ears. Kyungsoo’s heart lips. Baekhyun’s pretty fingers. Chen’s upturned smile. Xiumin’s cat eyes. Lay’s dimples. Sehun’s indifferent expression. Suho’s forehead. Jongin’s tanned skin. This is their irrevocable staple, and it has been since MAMA era. I guarantee almost every fic or fanart you can find will mention/have any of these features on said member. Because this has become part of the way we identify and describe them.

Now for the last thing I’d like to add, I’ll quote @jiminychimchimcheree, because she said it perfectly.

“To me, as a plus sized woman, I would be more offended if a friend drew me skinnier than drawing me round and plump, because my friend would say to my face “your body is beautiful” but reflect in their drawing of me a different view.

I don’t understand. Couldn’t it be seen as just as “offensive” to ignore his skin color or change it by keeping him light? This is why this shit is bullshit. People who get offended cannot ever really figure out why or properly explain it without me coming behind and having a rebuttal. Kyungsoo likes Jongin’s skin and so when coloring him, he drew him darker because he IS DARKER. That is the end of it. “

givemepaperandpen  asked:

That artwork you just posted of Zora's Domain blew my socks off! :D I'm curious though, how does using a photo texture work? I've seen it done before but I don't understand how it works--the results are always fantastic though and I'd like to try it in my own art :)

Thankyou so much! :) Answering this publicly because I know there’s other artists wondering this too, hope that’s cool. 

The way I use photo textures is by using Masks in Photoshop and then painting the texture in with an Air Brush: for me it feels more intuitive that way instead of cutting and pasting it in. You don’t want to be controlled by the photo - make the texture work for you and your idea. 

Here’s a super quick tute to give you the idea:

Always start with your idea first. The cooler and more exciting, the better. For the sake of just showing this technique, I’m just going with the idea of some rock in a forest and working from there. Block in some shapes, whatever colours. 
Then you get your photo and plop it on top. 

This is a photo I took when I was in Hokkaido, Japan. I recommend using your own photos, Google can be pretty boring sometimes (along with the whole copyright thing. So just use your own stuff, or royalty free photos). 

Then you do this: With the photo layer selected, click the Vector Mask button (as above). At first it might seem like nothing has happened, but then go Ctrl+I or Cmd+I to invert the mask layer and it disappears! OOoooooOOh

Then the fun part. Grab a brush, the best I’ve found is an Airbrush, make sure the colour is white and then paint a few strokes on the vector layer. 

You are now painting in the texture! Cool right?!! :D 

From there that’s when you experiment, flip the texture upside down, try different Layer Blending modes for cool effects, and just mess around with it. And of course paint over the texture so it becomes part of the painting. 

It can be fun for a good starting point and to get a colour palette down. Just whatever you do - make the photo your slave. Don’t let the photo restrict you, control it and make it work for your painting and idea. 

My streams on Youtube are a more easier way to see how I integrate the photo textures into the painting (here’s the channel), but I’m painting differently now than I was 6 months ago - nowadays I’d only use 1 or 2 photo textures while handpainting the rest. I’m still learning too and my technique changes as I keep painting. 

Hope this helps you guys! :) 

Never say Never

For @hashtag-eruri because I think your heart deserves a break from all the angst -  Here’s some fluff (*˘︶˘*).。.:*♡


Erwin doesn’t cook. Even before he lost his arm seeing him in the kitchen was as rare a sight as a Titan reciting poetry.

He was always much more at home sat at his desk than in front of a hot stove, more suited to commanding a legion of soldiers than whisking egg yolks or sautéing vegetables.

Levi was never much of a cook either. Food was simply vital for survival. Things like taste, presentation or quality ingredients weren’t important when you hadn’t eaten for three days.

But now that they’re no longer in the Survey Corps, the war having been won years ago, they were forced to learn to cook or live off bread and cheese for the rest of their lives.

Well.

“They”.

Erwin now has a lifelong exemption from cooking duty. The vast majority of kitchen tools and techniques require two hands, after all. As much as Levi likes to complain, he really doesn’t mind too much that he is the one who cooks every evening. Not when he is rewarded with a gentle smile every time Erwin has the first taste, even for something as simple as vegetable soup.

Keep reading

Unintended Chapter 5

5- ROOF TILES AND PIANO 

summary: Foreston Academy was the very last resort for angry, lonely Dan Howell. He never could have imagined meeting anyone like Phil Lester, and Phil never could have known that befriending his new roommate would change his life entirely.

Is there such a thing as being too forgiving?

betas: comefeedmyobsession and kaleidanscope

wc: ~5.5k THAT’S LITERALLY LONGER THAN MOST OF MY NORMAL PHANFICS WHY

warnings: bad chapter name i mean wow zelda couldn’t u think of anything better than ‘roof tiles and piano’ smh

Dan curled up against the wall, the drummers in his head banging harder and harder, the agony splitting his skull as his red eyes blurred with tears.

Maybe it would hurt less if he stopped crying. But Dan couldn’t stop crying.

Four days. That was a new record for him. One of them wasn’t even a schoolday.

He didn’t know what to do- the world around him had seemed to start imploding, wave upon wave of horrible flashbacks and thoughts and sickening fears overwhelming him until he felt his head could burst with the pain.

 

‘We’re putting Buttercup down,’ he hissed, sharp Southern accent cold and emotionless.

'Please. Father, please, no,’ Dan is on the floor before him, face screwed up and red and his knees on the cold marble floor.

'Perhaps you should learn that there will be consequences to your atrocious behaviour in the future, Daniel!’

'Please, Father! Please!’ His voice is just a choked sob now, because he is breaking- his only friend- he can’t- he wouldn’t-

'She’s not done anything!’

'But you have. And you need to learn.

Besides… I never liked that damn dog anyway.’

 

Dan saw two long black-clad legs walk past him and sit on the bed. Two minutes later they were up again. And then Phil was pacing.

Dan wondered if the sound of his desperate sobbing was annoying Phil, and started to feel sorry that he had woken him up last night to see him in this pathetic state.

'I’m sorry,’ he managed to choke out. His vision was too blurred to see legs too clearly, and his viewpoint too low to see anything above the boy’s waist, but he saw Phil stop pacing and turn to face him.

And then Phil was crouching level with him a few metres back, and Dan could see the blue shining eyes beneath the blurry splash of black that defined the top of his head.

'You should be,’ Phil said slowly, and then sighed as Dan dissolved into fresh sobs, body shaking with fear.

Phil didn’t really understand- Dan had beaten people up before- and he didn’t enjoy it as such, but it made him feel good. It was the only way he could ever get any control or respect, and commanding an audience of people as large as there was today made him feel as though he was actually of some importance- for once not clutching at loose footholds that let him slide helplessly down the cliff face when they crumbled- for once, he was not the useless one, the unimportant one, the pathetic one.

So he wasn’t sorry for that.

He also wasn’t sorry for the way he had behaved at the school. The teachers had dragged him off, and told him that he was disrespecting the long and gracious history of the school. This school is here to understand you, they had said. This school is here to help you and let you be who you truly are, they had said. But Dan didn’t want to be who he truly was. Dan despised the person he was. So he wasn’t sorry about that.

He had treated Phil like shit, he knew. He understood that the boy was a genuinely nice person, and although he wasn’t fully clear why Phil had tried to be his friend even after Dan had made it clear that they weren’t to associate, Phil had changed things the night he took Dan down to Firespot. Phil had put the idea into Dan’s mind that perhaps he could be happy with these sorts of people. Perhaps even that he could not be considered pathetic.

The following day had shown that that couldn’t be the case. And so Dan wasn’t sorry about how he had treated Phil.

Much.

He was crying now, horrific sobs crumpling his body in pain and causing him to gasp and snort and all the other vile noises that you make when you’re breaking inside, and Phil looked uncomfortable, and Dan just wished he would leave. He wished Phil hadn’t heard him last night, and he wished he had just told Phil to go back to bed, and he wished he had just kept himself where he belonged- nowhere near someone like Phil. Because now he was stuck in this confusing mess and Phil wasn’t leaving the room and yes, he was sorry that Phil had to listen to his sorrow.

But really, this situation was all Dan’s fault. Dan knew that he was wrong. Dan knew that he had acted like a dickhead. And Dan knew that he had acted irresponsibly. And most of all Dan knew he had acted cruelly. What he had done to Chris had been wholly unnecessary. Having woken up to the horror of another boy lying so close to him, he had exploded at the sight of Chris and PJ acting so intimately as he entered the canteen, and the situation had spiralled so out of control that here he was now, the school a short conversation away from ringing his parents.

And when they did that, his life would be over.

His punishments had gotten worse and worse over the years as he consistently broke the rules, but Dan genuinely couldn’t think of anything else they could take from him.

Dan had nothing else he cared about any more. And so the sickening tarry pit of fear in his stomach was not because of any of these things.

It was because he knew that when his parents found out, they really would hate him.

And for that, Dan hated himself. Dan had hated himself for quite a long time now.

'Dan.’

Dan owed it to Phil to reply, so he choked back his next sob with an ugly squeak and, still staring down at the carpet, replied, ‘I’m sorry, Phil. I’m so sorry.’

'So, what’s happening?’ Phil asked awkwardly. Dan could see that Phil was still furiously angry. But it was like he was programmed to be almost unbearably nice and kind, and so just couldn’t let Dan sob his heart out without at least trying to do something. Which used to infuriate Dan. Now it just made him realise even more how horrible and useless a human he was. ‘Are you going to get excluded?’

'What makes you assume that?’

'You seem devastated. And from what I’ve seen of you so far, you wouldn’t be this cut up about hurting Chris.’ There was an awkward pause as Phil watched Dan dissolve back into self-loathing. 'I’m sorry. That was harsh.’

Phil’s voice was wooden and Dan just looked away.

'I do care,’ he whispered.

'I know you do,’ Phil replied gently, and they both knew that he was lying. 'Do you want a tea?’

Dan twisted around so he was looking up at Phil angrily. ‘Alot of fucking good a tea is gonna do me right now!’ He shouted, voice cracking on the words.

'I was just trying to be nice!’ Phil almost-shouted back, 'I don’t have to do anything for you! I shouldn’t even be speaking to you, after what you did to one of my best friends!’

'Then don’t!’

For a second it looked like Phil was going to storm out again, but something in his expression changed and he stopped still, every muscle tensed up. ‘Why are you like this, Dan?’

Dan clawed his way up the wall so he was face-to-face with Phil, their noses inches apart. ‘Why am I like what?’ He spat.

Phil didn’t answer, simply glaring hard at Dan, Adam’s Apple bobbing in his throat, and Dan could see every little imperfection on his face and every colour in his eyes- turns out they were not completely sky-blue as he had thought, but rather an ocean of different colours that swam around with expression and emotion, lit bright from behind by all the care that Phil put into everything and everyone, and the passion with which he stared back into Dan’s eyes now.

'You don’t understand anything,’ Dan hissed. 'You’ve had such an easy life. You’ve gone to one school, you’ve had friends and classes and you’ve behaved and you had parents that gave a shit about you and-‘

He choked off and looked away, glaring down at his feet, furious at himself for giving Phil so much of himself, before quickly treading as hard as he was able on Phil’s foot and running out of the room as fast as possible.

***

 

'Mate, don’t worry about me. I’m Northern. Made of some tough stuff!’

'I’m from up north aswell!’ laughed Phil, 'but I wouldn’t be overly chuffed with a broken leg!’

'Well, I’m not saying I’m happy about it,’ Chris said, rolling his eyes,'but y'know, it’s not actually broken…and it’s quite soothing in here after having to share a room with Peej snoring his head off!’

'Oi! Watch it! You may be an invalid but it doesn’t mean I can’t hurt you!’

'Ooh, I’d like to see you try!’

PJ raised his eyebrows. ‘Make me.’

'God guys,’ Phil moaned, 'do you want me to leave you to it!?’

'Mmm, please,’ giggled Chris as his painkillers came into effect and his head dropped onto the pillow, 'you might not wanna be here when Chris and I,’ he yawned, eyes screwed up with sudden tiredness, 'get frisky!’

'I might go back anyway,’ Phil said, turning to PJ (who was making gagging motions in response to Chris’ comment) as Chris drifted off, 'time’s ticking on.’

'I think I’ll stay in the hospital wing a little longer with him,’ PJ replied, nodding. 'You seen Dan?’ Phil nodded affirmation, 'he deserves to get kicked out for this. Actually, he should be getting police attention. He’s insane.’

'He’s screwed up, Peej.’

'What do you mean?’

'I think his life’s been a mess. I keep getting little hints off him before he clams up. Something… There’s something wrong.’

'A tragic history may explain a crime but it doesn’t excuse it.’

'Where did you get that pearl of wisdom from?’

'Dunno. Can you stick a cup under that leak when you leave? The rain’s getting in. Would have thought the hospital wing would have slightly better roofing, if I’m honest.’

 

Phil turned round quickly as he left, and he could have sworn that PJ was holding Chris’ sleeping hand.

 

***

 

It was raining outside and Dan was just in a black tshirt and jeans. Atleast his dark attire would mean he was less likely to be spotted outside out-of-hours, he thought.

Not that he could really get into much more trouble than he was already in.

His hair was already plastered to his head, rain running down his face in icy rivulets and merging with his stinging hot tears.

He reached up to brush away the water in his eyes but his arm was just as wet as the rest of him and the gesture was pointless and he was trembling with cold and fear and his mouth was dry and his head was splitting in half and half again.

By the time he reached the clearing in the trees that contained the dead embers of Monday’s bonfire, he didn’t realise that his feet had taken him all the way to Firespot.

His clothes were all plastered to his body and his hair drooped pathetically over his face.

As he approached the edge of the clearing again, he automatically gravitated towards the spot he had sat with Phil only two nights ago, curling up on the sodden wood and breathing in the smell of the rain and the damp leaves and mud and tree bark.

 

***

 

When Phil reached his happy place, he almost jumped out of his skin.

There was somebody there already.

 

After leaving the hospital wing Phil had realised he wasn’t ready to go back to the room, so after borrowing PJ’s waterproof mac and cuddling up in it, he had headed outside into the building storm.

Now his fingers were numb with cold and his face spattered with rain, but he felt calmer and less confined. He had been looking forward to arriving at his beloved Firespot and being able to sit down, completely alone with his own thoughts, to mull over how he felt about everything.

And yet, there was somebody there.

Phil crept over, feet squelching in the mud, and realised before he got to him that curled up on the seat was the defeated figure of Dan. Of course it was. Of course it was.

Phil walked away from the place that made him happiest.

Just at that moment, he couldn’t deal with it all.



***

‘Dude you’ve been playing the piano for over an hour and it’s now 3am so I just came to tell you to shut the fuck up.’

Dan spun round to see Chris limp out of the shadows behind him, face and hair partially veiled in blackness.

‘How did you even hear me?’

‘The hospital wing is directly above the music suites, and seeing as my leg is in fucking agony, it may not surprise you to know I’ve had some difficulty sleeping. Basically, the dorms are at the other side of the building, but the hospital wing is conveniently placed over here. Peej is still asleep because he’s a heavy sleeper. Also… I’m not sure how many loons frequently play music at such obscene hours in the morning.’

Dan looked away, trying to hold back the tears. Of course it would be Chris to come and find him. Of all of the hundreds of pupils in this school, of course it had to be Chris.

‘What the fuck is going on with you?’ Chris approached him slowly, carefully, as though he was a bomb that could explode any second. Dan guessed after all that was exactly what he was. A thing to be feared. Unpredicatble, uncontrollable, and hated by everyone.

He didn’t wipe the salty tears away quick enough for Chris not to see.

‘How long have you been like this?’

‘Like what?’ Dan’s hands were still resting on the cold ivory keys- the one single place he felt he was capable of expressing himself.

‘Like…’ Chris waved his arms around as he tried to articulate his thoughts, ‘Like… Well, so… Hating everybody… The people who want to give a damn about you…

‘So… Stupid…’

This angered Dan. ‘Stupid? What the fuck is that supposed to mean? How am I stupid?’ Dan had no redeeming qualities- he knew that- he was a fuck-up in every way, a by-product, good at nothing… But he was sure that he wasn’t stupid. Intelligent- not overly. But not an idiot. After all, he was able to see his own flaws- wasn’t that a thing that made you smart?

‘Yeah, you’re stupid. You’re a goddamn idiot, Dan. Phil… And Peej, and even me, we wanted to help you. We decided to be your friend, and you were a wanker. And then guess what? Phil still took you down to Firespot, and you did it again. Infact, then you decided to out-do yourself. Really,’ he guestured down at his crippled form, and Dan wondered how much he hurt. Probably not as much as Dan himself. ‘You’re stupid because you think David’s crew are where you belong. You’re stupid because you think they actually give a shit about you-’

‘No.’

‘What do you mean, no?’

‘I mean, no. You’re wrong. David and his gang don’t give a shit about me, and I do know that. Nobody gives a shit about me. You have to understand. I accept that. If I wasn’t me, I would hate me too. No, no, I do hate me.’

‘Oh shut up with your self-pitying crap, Dan,’ if Chris had been less exhausted and in agony and if Dan hadn’t been the reason for both of those things, perhaps Chris would have been gentler. But Chris was a good person, and he was pissed off with Dan. ‘We tried. Phil tried so fucking hard. And you still think we didn’t give a shit about you?’

‘You don’t after what I did,’ sighed Dan, staring at his hands, still resting on the piano keys.

‘That wasn’t the question!’ Chris flared up, voice an angry loud-whisper. ‘You’re making all of this about self-pity! If you had stopped being such a wuss, you could have just told those guys to shove off. And then you wouldn’t be in this state!’

‘But I couldn’t. I didn’t. You’re right- I am pathetic.’

Chris allowed himself just a second to howl into his hand in frustration. The darkness in the room filled out between them.

Dan broke the silence that followed with a soft, sad note on the piano, followed by another, followed by another. As he begun to spin the threads of a melody, he looked up at Chris, who slowly nodded his head in silence.

Soon, Chris was sucked in by a gentle, soothing flow of music, the notes swirling around him and taking over all of his anger and frustration, letting it leak out like a poison as he sunk into the tune.

‘What’s that?’ Chris asked when he finished, letting out a deep breath he didn’t know he had been holding in.

‘Uh, it’s called “Dearly Beloved”, from the game Kingdom Hearts? It was kinda like a shittier version of Final Fantasy. But the music was good.’

‘Mhm,’ Chris said, nodding his head as he he looked over at Dan slowly. ‘You’re not okay, are you?’

Dan stared down at they piano, and a glistening tear fell onto one of the keys.

‘I’m going to get Phil. You need to talk to him.’

Dan leapt up and grabbed Chris’ arm. ‘No! Please, no! He hates me.’

Chris rolled his eyes. ‘We both have reason to hate you, dude. And I’m helping you.’

Dan’s voice was low and confused. ‘Why?’

‘Because you need help.’

‘I don’t.’ His voice was now almost inaudible.

‘You’re a mess. And it’s not me you need.I know you need Phil. I can see it every time you look at him.’

As Chris started to stride towards the door of the music suite, Dan dropped onto his knees, eyes once again filling with tears.

***

‘Dan?’ Phil’s voice was soft over the sound of the breeze and the night and the shushing of the stars, because that’s what the silvery night does- it make you feel like you need to be quiet. ‘Dan? Are you up here?’

Phil looked around, head filling with hundreds of panicky situations and reasons why he could fall to his death any moment, and his feet were rooted to the spot, slate tiles slanted scarily beneath him and reflecting the moon’s silver with the rain of the night, his feet six floors further off the ground than he would have liked them to be.

And then at the other side of the sloped roof, Phil saw the silhouette of a boy stretched languidly out under the stars, hair being played with by the wind and skin being tickled by the moonlight.

Phil closed his eyes and took a deep breath, placing one foot forward and then when he felt safe enough, another.

Chris had followed Dan up here. He had said the boy needed Phil.

After everything, was Phil willing to give up his time for this boy? Certainly not his life, right?

Of course he was. Dan needed his help. And who would Phil be if he denied his help to someone?

And then the moon drifted slowly behind a grey cloud.

The darkness was all-consuming, and so was the absolute fear that gripped at Phil’s heart.

The sole of his shoe didn’t have enough grip to hold him in place as his arms flailed and black hair flashed in the wind, and he let out an earsplitting scream as he slid backwards across the tiles-

‘I’ve got you- I’ve got you! It’s okay. Shhh, Phil, Phil, I’m so sorry, I’m sorry, I’m-

Phil’s breathing was rapid and horrified and brain haywire as he started to grasp the fact that he had almost fallen to his death.

His eyes travelled up the one outstretched arm that was holding him stable on the slippery slate tiles, past his forearm, still in PJ’s rented raincoat, his pale trembling arm, clasped in another-

‘Give me your other hand,’ Dan whispered to him, ‘I can’t hold you up for much longer.’

Numbly, head still mostly uncomprehending, Phil pressed his hand into Dan’s freezing cold one, and slowly, the two of them started to steady themselves on the roof.

Phil was trembling all over. He hated heights as it was, and his near-fall had completely shaken him up. He didn’t want to be here. With Dan, who didn’t care about anyone-

Dan; who had saved his life.

‘Don’t thank me or anything,’ Dan whispered, after realising that Phil was much to scared to release his unrelenting grasp on Dan’s hands, ‘It’s my own idiot fault that you’re up here in the first place, I, I, I almost killed you.’

Phil still didn’t say anything.

‘This is all my fault. All you wanted to do was help me. Chris explained. I mean, I guess I knew that, really. I’m not that stupid. I think.’ He paused, cocking a head on one side, as though wondering just how much Phil was listening. Admittedly, the answer was not much. ‘But please, Phil. I don’t know if I can… Be normal. But we like the same music and books and food and oh my god, Firespot, and I don’t know, I just, I know I don’t deserve it, and you can say no and, I just, could you… Give me a second chance? I mean, I know I don’t deserve it, I know, and… Yeah…’

Fleetingly, the thought crossed Phil’s mind how easy it would be to shut Dan up by pressing his own warm lips to Dan’s, to hold his cheeks, flushed with the cold night air, and to let go of his hands just to tangle them in his dark hair.

When Phil caught himself, he had to take in a deep breath of the cold September air.

Delirious with fear… Shock… Gratitude… Or something. Right?

‘Are you okay just to walk down here a little?’ Dan asked, motioning with his head (Phil still had his hands tightly clasped in his own) towards Dan’s spot a little further down the roof. It wasn’t far, but… Dan wanted Phil with him.

If he was going to do this, he was going to do it here. Dan didn’t know why, but the cold roof and the dark damp night air and the isolation of the height calmed Dan. For some reason, Dan was able to think up here.

He had found the way up onto the roof completely by accident. After Chris had left the music room, Dan had realised he needed to flee before he came back with Phil, and so he had run as far and as madly as he was able in the opposite direction from the dorms.

The corridor that lead to the stairs that lead to another corridor which lead to a tiny hidden doorway which lead to the balcony which lead to the roof was clearly not meant to be found by students, so Dan had known he wouldn’t be disturbed.

He hadn’t counted on Chris following him.

But for some reason, when Dan had seen Phil stumble out onto the roof, things had become clearer in his head; he knew that he had to stay at Foreston; he knew that he had to stay with Phil, with Chris, with the ‘misfits’ of Firespot. For the first time, Dan realised that it might not be a terribly bad thing to not fit in perfectly. In fact, he wondered if trying to fit in was where he had been going wrong all along.

And so he had resolved himself to tell Phil. Tell Phil everything, if he wanted to hear it.

And Phil was here, and now they were sat with their legs hanging over the edge of the roof, hands intertwined and hair blowing lightly in the breeze, and Phil’s blue eyes fixed on his own brown ones, and Dan tried as hard as he could.

‘I’m not going to ever try and excuse anything I do,’ He said as he watched Phil’s and his own legs swing back and forwards together in time, the dark gardens of the school far below their feet, ‘But you said you wanted to know what was wrong. And… I guess I was terrified of making my parents hate me. Well, I mean, I think they already do, but…’

For a second it looked like Phil was about to interrupt, so Dan looked up at him in earnest, begging the midnight-haired boy not to stop him.

‘I’m kinda just in the way all the time. Like, I don’t have any siblings or anything, and I never had any friends round either, unless my mum tried to force me. But I wasn’t all that good at making friends… I don’t know, it all sounds so stupid! I’m just a dickhead, I just-’

‘Dan,’ Phil’s hand gently squeezed his own and then he let go, wrapping his arm around Dan’s waist.

Automatically, Dan leant into him.

‘Have I done too much to be forgiven?’

‘I don’t know. You sprained Chris’ leg. Or something, I’m not sure. He’s not gonna be able to walk properly for a few weeks, so he’s not best pleased, I’ll give you that. I just… I want to like you, Dan. A lot of the time, I do. I want this to not be you, to not be your fault…’

‘But it is.’

‘But it is.’

Dan pressed his face hard into his hands before scraping his fingers back over his scalp and through his tangled, windswept hair.

‘Please don’t hate me,’

‘I don’t hate you, Dan!’ For some reason, Phil looked genuinely shocked, even a little angry, ‘We’re going around in circles here! If I hated you, would I be here? I want you to be you, the real Dan that I know is inside there, the one that sings his lungs out to Muse, and the one that wants to be a good person and do something with his life, and the one that runs across a steep wet roof because he thinks his friend is going to fall off-’

‘Anyone would have done that.’

‘No they wouldn’t.’

‘I don’t deserve another chance.’

‘If you keep saying that, I am going to get so annoyed that I might just swandive off this roof of my own accord.’ Phil growled in reply.

The rain had stopped by then but the night was still thick with the memory of it; the roof tiles slick and shiny and the leaves on the trees heavy and dripping and Dan’s hair damp and curling.

And the night’s storm had left its legacy on the morning with the thick black clouds that filled the sky, the heavy silent night pressing down all around them, not uncomfortably so, but overwhelmingly, deafeningly silent. The blackness was oppressing and inky, torn apart only by the golden glow of streetlights far away towards the road, and the tiny pinpricks of light that dotted the Foreston gardens.

It was now that hour where everything is dead: infact, it was no longer even night, but the miserable time of morning where the only people that were awake in England were the ones sailing their lorries down the motorway in the black, eyes drooping and misty with lack of sleep and radio station turned up loud with garish club remixes to try and keep them awake. Back at Foreston, Dan talked. He spoke in a low voice that barely even classified as a whisper, his tone raw and his speech filled with constant pauses to take rasping breaths. He tried to keep those breaths as quiet as possible, as so not to break the thick darkness around them, and he started to tell Phil everything.

He even told Phil about how he had been expelled from his previous two schools- the posh, private boarding schools that had thrown him out after he got too out of control. The threat his dad made to him the night before he left for Foreston Academy- if he got expelled again, he would be sent off to a behavioural camp.

Dan told Phil how his father was always true to his word.

Phil had a raincoat on, dark and crinkly and shiny with wet, and Dan pressed his side into it, the material transferring all the rainwater straight onto his jumper, causing him to shiver as it soaked right through. Dan had been drenched earlier in the night after his stupid venture into the woods, but he had seized the oppurtunity to dry himself off and change when he noticed the room was empty.

But he didn’t regret cuddling up to Phil, because as he continued to talk, and the black-haired boy listened in perfect silence, he felt a hand tentatively wind itself in his.

And when Dan looked up into Phil’s face, the boy gave him a look as if to say ‘Is this okay?’

And Dan tried to give him a look back that adequately conveyed the message, ‘yes, yes. All the yes’s in the world, yes.’

 

Eventually, Dan’s story was over, and he was overwhelmed with a guilt and embarrassment for having talked solely about himself for so long. But Phil gave his hand a comforting squeeze.

Dan placed his hand on the cool tile beside him to steady himself, and almost overbalanced as it slipped in a puddle.

Phil caught him in under one arm, eyes wide.

And so, for some strange reason that Dan couldn’t quite comprehend, but which filled his heart with warmth and hope nonetheless, Phil sat there on the edge of the roof with him for the rest of the night as Dan told him all about his pitiful life and shortcomings and failings, and then Phil told Dan about his dreams and aspirations, and Dan slowly started to unfurl, telling Phil more and more about himself, until he finally reached the point where he felt the boy knew him better than anyone else ever had.

And when they sat there in silence to watch the sun rise, Dan put his head on Phil’s lap not because he was cold, but simply because he wanted to listen to the slow beat of his heart, and melt into the soft comfort of his enveloping arms.

6. headphone sharing - masterpost

 

anonymous asked:

Hi, I saw some discussion of transmisogyny in cartoons on dragondicks' blog and as a cis girl who adores Steven Universe and wants to be a not-shitty person, I'm curious as to how you feel about the ending of "Sadie's Song", because I've been baffled as to how to feel about it since it aired. My gut reaction is to have a zero-tolerance policy to "dude in a dress" jokes, but it did put it in a more positive light than most cartoons... you don't have to answer, but I'd love to hear your two cents.

The emphasis in that particular Steven Universe episode was never on Steven wearing a dress, the reaction suggested that nobody minded at all and that it was just Steven… there was nothing untoward about it. He did not sing in a booming voice, nor overdo it with a wig and tons of makeup or any of the other embellishments that are used to comedic effect for the dude-in-a-dress trope.

A subtle touch is that said dress matches the colours and pattern of the transgender flag, plus the fact that it was never called out in any way makes me confident that the message being sent here was not that OMG ITS A MAN IN A DRESS HAHA, but more “its totally okay for him to wear a dress, he looks great and is comfortable and that’s fine”.

The man in a dress trope has never been just about the garments the character wears… its what its implying by this. When a male character in a show wears feminine clothing, if it is done for comedic effect its demeaning and insulting towards gender expression. For Trans women for example, this trope is incredibly harmful as it is often the source of a lot of the ire that is thrown our way, even though we are not men it feels like we are invalidated in wearing feminine attire because we don’t “deserve” to, unless we face a laugh track to our lives.


To compare in to the MLP episode I recently endured with my girlfriend, roughly 80% of the show was not only dedicated to a running joke that Big Mac, a male character is apparently HILARIOUS in a dress, but it focused on a much wider array of subtropes contained within, such as the deep voice, the overuse of wig and makeup and the heels and frilly dress combo. It was a direct pantomime of the mockery of womanhood, not just trans women but that the concept of being feminine is somehow dainty and ridiculous and is “below manhood”. As the shot zoomed in on his bobbing adams apple as he sung, I felt myself subconciously moving my hands towards my own neck, feeling incredibly conscious and ashamed of my body. This is how a cartoon made me feel, exposed me to all the things I spent years facing against and many other trans women do as well, with varying degrees of success. It was.. harrowing for me as transgender woman and I suspect many other women like me would have felt the same.

Imagine how that would have an impact on a younger trans person who has yet to fully realise their own feelings. If I had seen this as a child, it would have told me that to sing in a higher voice, to wear dresses and be feminine would have been wrong and bad…. exactly the kind of thing that torments younger trans people and drives them away from the self realision they so desperately need in their lives. As Laverne Cox would say, this episode was a passive form of violence against transgender people and I couldn’t agree more.

But going back to that Steven Universe episode, none of this was present and the supporting story and reactions of other characters around Steven made me feel quite the opposite. Wearing dresses is fine for a guy, or a trans woman, or anybody for that matter and SU did a great job of normalising one form of feminine expression, and that to me is a small victory that left me smiling and singing along to Sadies song for days.

3

Happy holidays @laegolass , I’m your secret santa!! ovo @secretsantawatch

I went with Pharmercy and a mix of the civilian au (in this case, undercover at a coffeeshop bc I love cliches), and the soulmate au!! This is the ‘everything is in greyscale until you touch your soulmate’ au

I really hope you enjoy it!!

+ bonus fic under the cut

Keep reading

New Inquisition Interview with Mike Laidlaw and Mark Darrah up on IGN Sweden
  • Original link here (In Swedish): http://se.ign.com/dragon-age-iii/68632/interview/intervju-med-mike-laidlaw-och-mark-darrah
  • Kajsa Lundqvist: By now, you've worked on this game for four years and you've said that it's the Dragon Age game you've always wanted to make. Why is this and how will be able to feel it?
  • Mike Laidlaw: One of the things we especially wanted to go to back to was to find a mix of story and discovery. There's a childlike joy in discovering the world around you, especially when nobody has explicitly told you what to do. We looked at frostbite and realised we could make something great with it. By mixing discovery with storytelling and making it perfect, I think we have made a fantastic Fantasy experience.
  • Kajsa: I can imagine it's been pretty difficult to mix the two?
  • Mark Darrah: Yea, you're right. But the way Dragon Age: Inquisition is portrayed is absolutely built to be able to do that. Going from going out in the wild to become stronger, to later be able to use your Inquisition to do something that's more focused on the story. Open World-games aren't exactly new, but it's a genre where there's no language yet. It's not very well understood, so what we're trying to do with this game is to figure out what makes the discovery fun, what the ingredients are to make it entertaining.
  • Mike: At the core it is to understand the context in this huge game. Does the player have the motivation to go here or there? Does s/he feel that it gives her/him something to discover? It's exactly that that's the strength of the Inquisition, an organisation that grows from the ground and up. It's a pretty ragged band when the game starts, you have no castles or armies. This is something we did intentionally, as it's supposed to be the player that makes it grow. So when' you're out in the world you're constantly increasing the Inquisition's influence. When you have influence, you have power, which in turn makes the story progress. The idea is that you're always supposed to have a greater goal you want to achieve. That's how we've let the story and the discovery meet, having a heavy story but also having a lot of freedom.
  • Kajsa: In the earlier games, especially in the first, we've seen how there are many different endings depending on what choices you've made. Among other things it was determined by what kind of character type you chose to play as, how have you looked at this?
  • Mike: Well of course your character type will play a large role during the entire game. Sometimes it just pops up once or twice and other times it has a large effect from the start. I don't want to spoil too much, but other factors than your character type are of course there, among other things what choices you make. It works like rings on water where the choices you make early in the game have a direct effect later. Which is very satisfying as it makes you feel that…
  • Kajsa: You've actually done something?
  • Mike: Exactly! I feel like that's something we've grown more comfortable with. I'm going to say something that sounds very 2014, but the experience of gaming is something you really can share with your friends. I find it very satisfying that you may have seen entirely different stuff depending on how you've played. I don't want to spoil anything, but there's an example where if you choose one path you get information about… a thing. If you choose a different path you don't get that information. But the game works anyway. I'm hoping that the people who completed the game will be able to meet and discuss the game. So you can share your experiences with each other.
  • Mark: The entire game is very much based on what choices you make, what character type you play as, who you allied with and what order everything is in. All of this and more will be tied together and create an ending based on the choices you made.
  • Kajsa: So Thedas is in chaos, how politically will you be able to act in the game?
  • Mike: There are some explicitly political missions in the game. There are those times where it's not enough to fight, but instead you must talk your way out of things. There are three advisors in Inquisition who work at this. We have a general who handles your armies, a spymaster who handles your assassins and lastly we have a diplomat who helps you tackle Kings and Empresses. What you do in the game is to try to answer questions and understand what is going on. Though there are situations where your advisors can handle the situation instead. That's when you start playing more politically. Which fits as Orlais has a large role in this game, a country that is very careful with all its connections.
  • Kajsa: What vision did you have when you created the look of the game?
  • Mark: We knew we wanted to have something special. When you see a picture from Dragon Age I'd like you to instantly be able to identify it as a Dragon Age game. When we started development we wanted to have more dampened colours, everything looked pretty raw back then. It's interesting how in other forms of media you can see how colourful everything has become, like in ''The Hobbit'' or in ''Guardians of the Galaxy''. We changed our mind as well, we wanted the colour back, it just so happened that everyone else did it at the same time.
  • Kajsa: I just have to bring this up. I was shocked when I realised that I could jump, but I presume that's another part of the discovery.
  • Mike: There are NO invisible walls any more! When you want to go up something it's actually possible to do so.
  • Kajsa: But it's not really open-world, is it?
  • Mike: Nah, we call it ''multiregion open world'', it was Mark who coined that expression.
  • Mark: Every area is larger than anything we've done previously. It's about as large as all the earlier areas put together. But we still have different regions, with differing environments like deserts and marshes. This also makes it possible to have places with a specific meaning, even though things around can be distracting.
  • Kajsa: From what I've seen there also seems to be possibilities to craft?
  • Mike: Yes! We understand that not everyone wants to be hardcore-craftsmen. Some want to upgrade their armour, others want to enchant it. There's also alchemy, which probably will be especially important as the amount of drinks (Note: They probably mean potions here) you'll be able to travel with is limited. There's also a deeper level, like when you want to craft an entirely new sword. Let's say you find a sword at the start of the game, that may not be the best in the world but on the other hand is the best-looking in the world. Later in the game you can use some of the best materials in the game like dragon bone or something like that, but make it look like the old sword. So you can have the same look with your armour or your sword the entire game, but make it as good as it's gonna get at the same time.
  • Kajsa: And this also applies to your companions?
  • Mike: Yep! Everything their class can wear, they can also wear. There are no limits as to weapons either. If they're a rogue they can use a bow or daggers, even Varric can stop using Bianca. Not a bow though, he's got some dignity.
  • Kajsa: But now we get to the romances! I know you've said they'll be more realistic, how will be able to notice that?
  • Mike: We've moved away from the staleness in the earlier romances. If you say something your companions will still react to it. If you say something mean to an elf the character Solas won't like it, but it won't say ''-10'' any more. There are numbers that get taken off like earlier. It made the experience feel a bit cheap. Something that was huge for me was that many of the characters have their own motivations, they have different goals och things they want to get to. Cassandra, as an example, searches for information on the ''the seekers''. Should you choose to help her she'll like you more. It helps you understand the characters, not just by talking with them, but instead by seeing everything that interests them. It feels, to me, like a very natural way to get to know someone.
  • Kajsa: There seems to have been some doubt whether fan favourite Varric will have a romance, can you say anything more today?
  • Mark: There'll probably be no way to have a romance with him. But there's a reason.
  • Mike: This is probably the first time we've said this, so you'll get to handle the fans' tears! He also has someone, so to speak.
  • Mike: It's something we're very careful with, when we started developing Inquisition we put a lot of weight behind the fans' feedback. We went with our gut feeling over what people seemed to hold dear when it comes to the Dragon Age-series. We know that if we take away some things the fans won't be happy. Varric is such a case, a lot of fans want to be able to fall in love with him, but some others don't want to. So when we say no now, it's a meaningful no.
  • Kajsa: To wrap it up, I'd like to know what's been the most fun when developing Dragon Age Inquisition:
  • Mark: For me it's been getting the discovery back. Games that are more based on exploring are easy to jump in and enjoy. It's made me feel more for this game than ever.
  • Mike: For me it's been working with the combat team, to find the balance between the real time fights and the more tactical game. I get excited and tense every time I draw my sword, cause I love to plan my fights. The end result is fantastic!

brailleoperatic  asked:

As a former theatrical lighting designer, the lighting design in video games drives me crazy. I've seen too many games where the lights were too bright, too dark, the wrong colour, or at bad angles, and I just don't get why it seems like such a problem for games. Could you talk a little about lighting in video games and some of the difficulties with designing in virtual environments?

There’s usually a few main factors involved with lighting - the artistic, the technical, and the schedule. All three are rather big deals.

The first is the artistic. The art director, the creative director, and the environment art lead will all have major opinions on the lighting of each particular scene. There may have been some artistic reason to use washed out coloring, extreme brightness, or other reasons. You also often need to remember that the art must serve the gameplay - the player must be able to see more than just the best-looking scene. Often the environment artist needs to keep a certain list of considerations, such as:

  • Where he or she is supposed to go
  • Where he or she can go
  • Where certain interactable objects are on screen
  • Which areas are “lit” or “dark” for the sake of stealth detection
  • How the lighting and coloring is supposed to make the player feel at that particular moment

Take a look at this screenshot from the latest Thief game. Obviously, the lighting in the wings isn’t actually that dark, and the lighting from the lanterns and lamps shouldn’t be anywhere near that bright. However, it is imperative that the player recognize the areas that are traversible, and which areas deny him or her the ability to hide. These are far more important to the player to be able to intuitively and immediately grasp. 

The second major consideration is the technical. Lighting calculations are expensive and time-consuming - most developers normally run with things in fullbright mode if they aren’t working specifically with lighting, because it is much quicker to build and iterate on the gameplay when they do so. Here’s a comparison of a level built in fullbright and a level built with full lighting:

The atmosphere is completely different, and the games actually look almost like they are from different generations of hardware. Lighting makes a huge difference, and can be incredibly resource-consuming. The lighting calculations need to be done either at build time (with baked-in lighting) or at run time (with dynamic lighting). Doing it at build time means that it’s faster to load and takes less system resources, but means the builds can take very long with a lot of lights… and the lighting math might not always be that correct. The way that light interacts with materials can fill books, but sometimes it just isn’t done quite right for a variety of reasons (graphics programmer leaves the team, formulae are incorrect, or there are long-standing bugs in the system that are problematic to fix. This was the biggest reason that the Dragon Age games, as an example, weren’t able to include characters with darker skin - the lighting just didn’t work right with dark skin, for various and sundry reasons.

The final issue of the trifecta is always scheduling. Lighting calculations take a relatively long time to get right, and the iteration time quickly becomes cost-prohibitive. It can take hours to light a scene, and hours more just waiting for the tools to build the data and get in-game just to view it as the players would. Technology is improving, but time is always a factor. A lot of the time, errors in lighting are found too late and we simply don’t have the time to go back and fix issues when we’re close to shipping and art assets have been locked down already, especially when all of the levels have budgets for lights, textures, models, size, etc.

As dgaider has often mentioned, game development is about often about tradeoffs. We need to sacrifice one thing in order to do another. Lighting adjustments are a very expensive ask - it requires a lot of very senior engineering time and a lot of artist time. There are a lot of things we can do with that sort of time and resources instead, but we also know just how important lighting is to setting the scene and imparting the things we want to the player. It often comes down to the specific circumstances for the specific game, but I hope that this post has at least shed a little light on the sort of considerations that go into lighting.

Lyrics Harry should tweet.......

Just a little fun, these are lyrics Harry should tweet in 2015!

These are the lyrics Harry has tweeted so far - here

-

Snow Patrol - Your’re all I have:

‘A welcome arrow through the heart 
Under your skin feels like home' 

For obvious reasons, such a lovely song though…..

-

REM - At my most beautiful:

'I count your eyelashes secretly.
with every one, whisper I love you.
I let you sleep.
I know your closed eye watching me,
listening.
I thought I saw a smile’

Obviously because Louis has incredible eyelashes remember…. because you know Harry has done this……

-

Alanis Morissette - Head over feet:

'You’re the best listener that I’ve ever met
You’re my best friend
Best friend with benefits’

Because your lover should be your best-friend too…….

-

Dashboard confessionals - Hands down:

'And you kissed me like you meant it. 

And I knew that you meant it, that you meant it’

Louis likes to place his hand on Harry’s waist….

-

Bright Eyes - First day of our lives:

'And you said

“This is the first day of my life
Glad I didn’t die before I met you
Now I don’t care, I could go anywhere with you
And I’d probably be happy”

I just love this song…… 

-

The Zombies - This will be our year:

'don’t let go of my hand 

Now darkness has gone
And this will be our year 
Took a long time to come’

I wonder if 2015 will be Harry’s year?

-

The Cure - Lovesong:

'However far away, 
I will always love you. 
However long I stay, 
I will always love you’ 

Just because 'Home’ is their theme. because they travel so much, home is more than an house

-

Real Love - Regina Spektor version

'From this moment on I know
Exactly where my life will go
Seems that all I really was doing
Was waiting for love’

Amazing song anyway, John Lennon, The Beatles…. but her version takes it to a whole other level, just stunning. The message is pretty obvious and the lyrics are beautiful

-

True Colours - Cyndi Lauper:

'But I see your true colours
shining through
I see your true colours
and that’s why I love you
so don’t be afraid to let them show
your true colours
true colours are beautiful
like a rainbow’

Maybe a bit cliché, but that is Harry - for the 1D rainbow army….

-

Just a bit of fun, hope 2015 is as fruitful and dramaful as 2014. I hope there are less Harry womanising and Harry the free in 2015. I hope this is their year and no one will care if they came out, except with love and positivity and celebration of how wonderful love can be.

anonymous asked:

[#1] Hello! I hope I don't come off as rude, since that's not my intention at all, I'd just like to ask about something if you don't mind =) I've seen you bring up Britishisms in your reviews a few times now and never really got what the purpose of that is supposed to be? It sounds like you're putting a warning on it, implying it's some sort of mistake, while it only makes sense that Brits(and whoever else isn't used to speaking American English) would use Britishisms at times.

[#2] I can see how that might bother the review personally and all in all it’s not that big of a deal, but I’m just wondering what the point is to include it into the official review considering we’d really get nowhere if the rest of us started complaining every time American spelling finds its way into a fic? Sorry for bothering and keep up the oh wow brilliant work! =)

We understand where you are coming from. It makes sense that a British author would write in British English. However, Supernatural is set in America, has American characters, and is an American canon. We do mention it as a warning since a lot of readers (and not just American readers) get thrown by American characters using British slang and/or idioms. We don’t typically warn if it is only spelling related (color/colour, organize/organise). However, even that is “wrong” if it is written from a character’s pov. That character is (most likely) American and to read them thinking with Britishisms is, well, odd. And yes people do complain about it.

If you’re only active in the Supernatural fandom, of course you are only going to see people complaining about Britishisms. If you head over to a British canon, you’ll see people complaining about Americanisms (see: Doctor Who, BBC Sherlock, and Harry Potter [only have personal experience with HP but assume the other fandoms deal with American authors not britpicking their fic]). Here are some links you might be interested in: Britpick and Ameripick.

A note about our reviews: They are written by a single person for other readers. We are not going up to authors, shoving our reviews in their face, and saying, “Fix this!” That would be dickish, to say the least. We write for other readers. Readers complain about Britishisms, so we warn when it’s more pronounced. We should also note that we don’t do this for every review since the mods come from different walks of life and only one is American (another is Canadian who has the pleasure of dealing with their country’s mishmash of Americanisms and Britishisms, lol; the final mod is ESL with a strong British English bias). The American mod is the one who points it out the most (because they notice it more easily) and, like it’s said above, only warns if it is pronounced (ie: they have to bust out urban dictionary/it’s not only spellings). How to figure out who reviewed what is explained on our about tag.

For example, there’s a certain fic we’ve all read. The review was done by the ESL mod and doesn’t mention Britishisms. However, when the American mod read it, the Britishisms severely detracted from their enjoyment of the fic (to the point that they almost stopped reading it). The Canadian mod noticed but it didn’t bother them too much. And yes, after it was posted, we had people asking for fics written by American authors (and how to avoid non-American authors/Britishisms). It would be one thing if it was an AU set in the UK. But American characters talking about primary schools, British cultural figures, torches, the boot of a car, phoning someone, things going pear shaped, etc etc, can really take you out of a story and detract from your overall enjoyment.

American bias definitely exists. However, that’s not what this is about. This is about authenticity. Supernatural is not only an American canon, but Americana is one of its focuses. So, yeah - the setting of a story matters. Wouldn’t you be upset if a fic set in a London-centric canon mentioned filling the car up with gas and grabbing french fries?