and queerness was something she could be open about and feel secure in

Girls made of snow, language made of thorns, and putting ourselves back in the narrative

I’ve had some ideas swirling around my head ever since I finished reading Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust that condensed while I was reading Leigh Bardugo’s short story collection The Language of Thorns, so I want to talk about it a little.

It started with the realization that Girls made of Snow, while it is a Snow White retelling (or perhaps better called a reimagining), completely leaves out the whole seven dwarves part of the story. In my review, I pointed this out as something I liked — the story didn’t need to sidetrack there, and it kept us focused on the real core of the story: Lynet’s relationship with her stepmother, Mina. Lynet being Snow White, Mina is the Evil Queen.

The book alternates chapters between Lynet’s present day and Mina’s journey from the daughter of a sorcerer to the bride of Lynet’s father, making Mina the second main character. This is where the book’s “feminist fantasy reimagining” tagline comes in. The point of Bashardoust’s story is to explore the stepmother-daughter relationship and how they could come into conflict without it being about who is the fairest of them all.

The point of tension Bashardoust goes for is about politics and power, a much more satisfying reason than “well, women get angry when another woman is prettier, that’s all”. But the framework of Snow White also gives her plenty of room to work with how women’s appearances and age are seen and judged. What if Lynet’s beauty binds her to her dead mother in a way that strangles her, while Mina struggles with knowing her beauty gains her what respect she commands and aging could steal it away? The commentary that emerges isn’t new — I think we all realize how damaging the value placed on women’s appearances is — but using the cultural touchstone of Snow White makes this version powerful. It’s probably my favorite thing about the book, even above giving Lynet a female love interest, which is something we’re going to circle back to.

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knives78  asked:

You get this shot of Dany reaching for Jon but Jon does not take it her hand. Instead he chooses to go after the NK all on his own. This is significant because it tells you that if Jon could end this without the help of Dany he would, Beric showed him a different way and he really tried but failed. This if anything reinforced the notion in his mind that he can't do it without Dany.

Hi there! Thanks for the ask!

I apologize I’m just replying now. Thought I’d hold off on judging this shot until the finale aired so I could discuss it in full. Because it is a super interesting thought!

D@ny reaching for Jon was one of those 706 details I missed the first time around but it is curious upon rewatch. I don’t particularly think they telegraphed WHY Jon turned around all that well. It’s pretty chaotic with a lot happening all at once. My original assumption was that Jon realized the team needed him to provide cover to support the mission and in the process of fighting, just got cut off from them. If they wanted to telegraph that Jon intended to fight the NK, IMO, they needed more shots of closeup NK and Jon a la Jon vs Ramsey in BotB.

But thematically, it’s an interesting shot right? That D@ny offers her extended hand and Jon reaches up with clenched knuckles but then decides against taking it. That he turns away, goes in the opposite direction to be a hero on his own, still denying her help even after she flies in there with those colossal war machines. That says a whole lot. It also is another breadcrumb pointing to Viserion’s death as the gamechanger for Jon because he knows what the NK will do with a dead dragon. So fastforward to the boat, Jon realizes they are fucked without her dragons, that there is no time to waste, and he does the very un-Jon-like move of grabbing D@ny’s hand. 

For D@ny, there’s also a potent tragic metaphor in this shot: Jon Snow always just out of her reach. She extends her hand whole heartedly to him. Jon reaches half-heartedly with a clenched fist before turning away to protect others. 

The finale underscored this metaphor IMO. I believe we’re seeing undercover!Jon, so it makes me feel for her in a way. She really does spend most of the episode being influenced by him. Despite riding into the pit on a dragon (and that visual itself is its own doozy of a metaphor, flying into a dragon trap?!), she really lacks agency the whole hour. She offers her personal thoughts and feelings to Jon. He offers up nothing personal in return but she doesn’t seem to notice. When he lays out a travel plan that threatens her safety and makes her advisors nervous, she doesn’t question his motives in the plan. She buys his flimpsy excuse of sending “a better message” as Tyrion and Jorah watch Jon’s growing influence with worry. And then boatbang, she doesn’t notice Jon all weirdly stressed and panic-y on top of her? I’m honestly lowkey concerned for her lack of self-awareness and judgment of others. It makes me want to go all girlfriend on her and take her aside like, GIRL OPEN UP YOUR EYES. 

But this isn’t an out of nowhere trait. D@ny has had a long history of trusting people that are playing her. Off the top of my head, Mirri Maz, Doreah, and Jorah had all played her with varying degrees of malice, before the second book/season closed. And she was clueless until evidence came out proving their treachery. I guess the argument could be made that she’s learned since…but I’m not sure she has? She became less trusting but nothing showed us she ever worked to correct this weakness or ever got better at reading people’s intentions. She states in ACOK that she is “neither deaf nor blind”. Stannis also proclaims “I am not blind”. Both state so with lack of self-awareness to their own actual blindness.

D@ny does have a moment of realization in ADWD:

If I look back, I am doomed, D@ny told herself … but how could she not look back? I should have seen it coming. Was I so blind, or did I close my eyes willfully, so I would not have to see the price of power?

— Daenerys II, ADWD

But it is short-lived. She basically buries this, deciding to be a conqueror and leave Meeren for Westeros.

I’m particularly fascinated by that “if I look back” part because she repeats it over and over across the years. She fears looking back and feeling lost. But that’s exactly what she needs to do to gain some self-awareness and grow some discernment skills. She resists it and thus goes down a path that wasn’t her own. One that will most likely end in tragedy.

This counters Jon pretty sharply, who does nothing but observe. That’s a specific Jon talent GRRM highlights from the very beginning of the series. Bran’s climbing habit seems to be an extension of wanting to, like Jon, see things others did not.

Bran’s first chapter compares Jon’s discernment skills with Robb’s:

The deserter died bravely,” Robb said. He was big and broad and growing every day, with his mother’s coloring, the fair skin, red-brown hair, and blue eyes of the Tullys of Riverrun. “He had courage, at the least.”

“No,” Jon Snow said quietly. “It was not courage. This one was dead of fear. You could see it in his eyes, Stark.” Jon’s eyes were a grey so dark they seemed almost black, but there was little they did not see.

— Bran I, AGOT

This awareness is underscored a couple pages later when Jon discovers Ghost:

Halfway across the bridge, Jon pulled up suddenly. 

“What is it, Jon?” their lord father asked. 

“Can’t you hear it?” 

Bran could hear the wind in the trees, the clatter of their hooves on the ironwood planks, the whimpering of his hungry pup, but Jon was listening to something else. 

“There,” Jon said. He swung his horse around and galloped back across the bridge. They watched him dismount where the direwolf lay dead in the snow, watched him kneel. A moment later he was riding back to them, smiling. 

“He must have crawled away from the others,” Jon said. 

“Or been driven away,” their father said, looking at the sixth pup. His fur was white, where the rest of the litter was grey. His eyes were as red as the blood of the ragged man who had died that morning. Bran thought it curious that this pup alone would have opened his eyes while the others were still blind.

— Bran I, AGOT

Jon hears what neither Ned nor Robb nor Bran nor Theon can hear. As a consequence, he finds Ghost, the only pup of the litter with his eyes wide open.

This is barely 13 pages in. It’s akin to an establishing shot for the character.

There’s been some good takes lately on Jon physically losing his sight (at least partially) in the future. Ever since I learned Jonnel Stark (who married Sansa Stark) was a One-Eyed Lord of Winterfell, I’ve joked about a plot twist that Jon loses an eye in the war against the Dead. 

So it’s worth noting that Sam explains how Maester Aemon, though physically blind, “sees things no one else sees” (Jon VIII, AGOT). 

Arya learns through actually losing her sight that one can become hyperaware of surroundings by relying on other senses, gaining skills of discernment that others with sight ignore.

And because this is a Jonsa blog, I cannot resist adding this passage of Ned’s about Sansa:

It was queer how sometimes a child’s innocent eyes can see things that grown men are blind to. Someday, when Sansa was grown, he would have to tell her how she had made it all come clear for him.

— Eddard XII, AGOT

Of course, here, Sansa had no idea she was helping Ned. And in fact, helping him piece together the puzzle of Joffrey’s parentage actually contributed to his death. She’s still a child and her skills of discernment take some time to evolve—most notably, while she poses as a bastard in the Vale. But it’s a curious connection nonetheless.

The only other people who are said to “see things” in the series have magical connections, Thoros and Melisandre. They both are said to “see things in the flames”. In the case of Melisandre, what she saw was ultimately misleading. Thoros explains to Arya that although the flames do not lie, he can misinterpret them (“sometimes I read them wrongly, blind fool that I am”; Arya VIII, ASOS).

At the heart of the Undercover!Jon theory is the narrative need for Jon to do better than Ned and avoid his mistakes. I’ve been reviewing Ned’s chapters since S7. His words as he sits in the KL dungeon for treason are relevant:

He damned them all: Littlefinger, Janos Slynt and his gold cloaks, the queen, the Kingslayer, Pycelle and Varys and Ser Barristan, even Lord Renly, Robert’s own blood, who had run when he was needed most. Yet in the end he blamed himself. 

“Fool,” he cried to the darkness, “thrice-damned blind fool.” 

Cersei Lannister’s face seemed to float before him in the darkness. Her hair was full of sunlight, but there was mockery in her smile. “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die,” she whispered. 

Ned had played and lost, and his men had paid the price of his folly with their life’s blood.

— Eddard XV, AGOT

This is Ned taking full stock of the consequences of his actions and owning up to them fully.

He calls himself out as a fool. A blind fool.

That connects pretty nicely with Jon up on that cliff in 703 lamenting being a Northern fool.

But if it was Ned’s blindness that made him foolish, trusting LF and underestimating Cersei, causing his death—then Jon should be uniquely positioned to prevent history from repeating itself. Indeed, if the finale is any indication, he’ll get back to Winterfell. He’ll succeed were Ned and Brandon and Rickon failed. And he’s returning having completed his original goal: to secure powerful allies and their resources to take on the NK.

So I do feel bad for D@ny. If S7 is any indication, Jon will always be just out of her reach. She has her years long resistance to looking back and fear of being lost to thank for it. No boatbangs will change that. But I can see Kit’s satisfaction with Jon this season. If the Undercover!Jon theory is correct, it’s a character move six years in the making with a hell of a potential payoff. It would pair with the R+L=J reveal, that Ned played everyone for 18+ years, spectatularly. 

The Emancipation of Me(mi)

The month was April. The year was 2005. I—a scrawny, ill-proportioned boy of 16, with skin the color of Lily’s peanut butter—had set out in the mild morning heat for our quaint town mall.

I began my day knowing how it will be spent. It would start with a 14-minute journey to Robinson’s. I remember vividly how I left home to do just that, with the clanging of our iron gate as it closed behind me. I didn’t even try to hide the spring in my step.

You see, I had marked April 11th on my calendar like it was my birthday. And who could have blamed me? After months of revisiting various websites and countless hours of staying tuned to the radio (a thing that began and ended in this period in my life), it was finally here. For those who’ve had to wait for something with great anticipation, you know what it feels like when the wait is finally over.

The day of The Emancipation of Mimi’s release ultimately became a hot one, scorching even. Smack dab in the middle of summer, with the 9 AM sun hovering somewhere above me, I walked. I couldn’t look at the sun, of course; I only felt it. The sky was cloudless, blue as it could ever be. I felt a drop of sweat drawing a line behind my back and still another one rolling just below my left ear. I kept on, feeling my bag jostling next to my waist. In it was the money I had saved from skipping recesses and denying myself after-class trips to McDonald’s. 

When I reached Robinson’s, I sat on its front steps, in front of its still-closed doors. The security guard, fidgeting with his phone, was oblivious of me. I knew I was too early. I wanted to be the first one in the music store. I wanted to hear the whole 50 minutes and 10 seconds of it. I didn’t have to search for what the word emancipation meant; it was defined in Mariah’s website: To set free from care or restraints.

I had gained a bit of freedom myself at this juncture in my life, having hurdled high school in a fashion not a lot could emulate, having been able to secure a spot in the top university.

I was a generally a happy boy on the outside. A lot of things were working out for me. Inside, however, there was a growing tumult, a barrage of self-perpetuating questions regarding my identity.

High school graduation, entering college—these times told me I was growing up. And growing up made answering these questions more urgent. Who was I? What would I become? Where is my niche? Every day that came and went, with these questions unanswered, I got a little bit more lost. I remember looking at the mirror and not liking what I saw—the way my hands moved, how I could easily roll my eyes, or just the way I stood. I even hated that I loved Mariah so much, something I shared with one of my closest friends. Being bullied about this was another thing we shared. In hindsight, maybe it was because I didn’t want to be queer and yet everything I knew pointed to just that. (Why is it that a lot of us like Mariah?)

At 16—in a devoutly Catholic family, in a provincial town, inside a campus where everybody knows everyone, where your parents are both professors—growing up gay was an unnecessary scourge. Life is unfair, isn’t it? I had a support group, though, comprised of a few good friends, but most of them were to study in other universities in far places. I guess that added, too, to the dreading of the growing up part. In a lot of ways, college was the beginning and the end. And in this paradoxical time, little did I know, The Emancipation of Mimi would serve as its soundtrack.

My love affair with Mariah Carey began in our car, in a parking lot. I was with my father and he had just installed a CD player.  He had me listen to My All and pointed me to notice the texture of the singer’s voice, how she easily glided from a breathy, sultry coo to a strong chest voice. I listened. By the start of the new millennium, I was already purchasing copies of her albums and had memorized all of her runs and melismatic ways.

I had also learned about her story: How she was discriminated as a child, for being of mixed decent, for being somewhere in between. How their family car was burned and their dog poisoned because her interracial family lived in a white neighborhood. How this molded her and made her strive to be more. How she already knew at a tender age that she was going to sing for the rest of her life, how she wrote her feelings, made them into songs, which would later become no. 1 hits. I started to be a true fan, I think, at that point—the previous years, I was just mildly obsessed about her.

Her life became even more fascinating, particularly in the light of all her achievements in the music industry, not to mention the influence she’s had on so many artists. She vehemently denies it, but to a teenager, her life easily looks like a fairytale. That is, up until her famous breakdown in 2001, following her debut film Glitter tanked in the box office and its accompanying soundtrack’s sales failed to compare with her previous releases. (Interestingly, the album was released on 9/11. Yes, that 9/11.) She received bad publicity after bad publicity and people forgot that she had at least one no. 1 song for each year since her debut, nor that her collaboration with Boyz II Men, One Sweet Day, was and still is the longest-running no. 1 song in music history (16 weeks), and never mind that she had just received the Artist of the Decade award by Billboard. All these and more in less than a decade, but one failure was all it took to relegate her to pariah status.

Mariah sort of bounced back late 2002 with Charmbracelet–easily forgettable save for the lead single, Through the Rain, which became an anthem here in the Philippines. She became quiet afterwards. Rumors about Mimi went around in late 2004. Here, only a few people cautiously predicted it to be her comeback album. Most didn’t want to bet on her. She was easily a has-been in the early 2000s and understandably so. She had been counted out. I wasn’t one of them. In fact, I was betting on her, to prove her critics wrong. I saw myself in her, somehow. Growing up, I was bullied and teased a lot, for acting soft, for reading books too much, for liking to hang out with girls more often, for not being sporty, and for favoring Mariah Carey songs.

Mariah has claimed music saved her life. Whenever she’d feel low, she’d write lyrics or listen to the radio. I realized that I did the same, only I listened to her music. Songs like Hero, Through the Rain, My Saving Grace, and Can’t Take That Away (Mariah’s Theme) have helped me get through a lot of dejection. And my showing up there, half an hour before the mall opened was my thank you, my statement that I was rooting for her, like how she rooted for me.

That day, after getting my copy of The Emancipation of Mimi from the town mall, I immediately went home and locked myself in my room. I placed the CD gently in the player and carefully unraveled the album inlay, which to my surprise doubled as a poster. I looked at the large photo of a woman in gold, beaming with triumph, like a phoenix from the ashes. I took a deep breath and pressed Play.

I—a scrawny, ill-proportioned boy of 16, with skin the color of Lily’s peanut butter—had set out to find saving. Being in this world was harsh, I had learned early on. But within the confines of my room on that hot summer day, in spite of everything, life seemed fair. The month was April. The year was 2005.


This essay first appeared on Unread.com

Find the whole collection on Ao3

Day 2: Nerd Girlfriends

Maggie and Alex did not exactly have schedules conducive to traditional dating. The schedule conflicts Maggie alone brought to the table had cost her more than one girlfriend in the past. Alex’s field time and lab hours added in created something that looked more like Netflix and Chill than anything serious.

They did what they could though. Sometimes that meant cooking lessons for Alex that ended in rescue by Jessy the Pizza Guy more often than not. Sometimes it was kids’ science experiments because if the neighbors were already used to hearing the fire alarm, why not? There were movie nights and sometimes, sometimes it was fantastic to just come home, turn down the lights, and sink into the arms of someone who cared.

Once a month they did something different though, moving heaven and earth to make sure they both had two days set aside for each other. They took turns surprising each other.

Last month, Maggie had somehow lined up a tour of the new Star Labs Biomedical Research Center, complete with NDAs and one-on-ones with the lead scientists. Maggie had followed along happily, occasionally asking for clarification since she liked science but “I’m just a dumb cop with an easy bake oven, Danvers.” She swore up and down she had fun watching Alex “get her nerd on” with other nerds.

Alex was determined to return the favor.

The botanical garden was out, because she’d played that card two months in. For that matter, she had no intention of reliving the nightmare that was couples’ cooking lessons either.

Alex had to dig deep for this one.

Deep enough to get her ass over to L Corp and bribe Jess to let her in because she needed to talk to Lena about something Kara related.

Lena seemed just as startled to see Agent Danvers as Alex was that a vague mention of her sister’s well-being was all it took to get in to see a busy CEO.

“Agent Danvers, is Kara alright?”

“She’s fine. I need a favor though.”

“A favor?” Lena’s eyebrow raised dramatically, “Are we favor friends now?”

“We could be,” Alex hedged. “Look there’s this new exhibit at the People’s History Museum, and it’s sold out for months. I was hoping you, as a major donor, had some tickets for this weekend lying around.”

“Even if I was a donor, Agent, no self-respecting pro-alien display is going to let the last of the Luthors attend such a crowded public event.”

“Please, you are not the problem. At least you come with added security.”

“Be that as it may, I’m sorry but I can’t help. I’m not even sure Supergirl could get tickets.”

Alex sighed. “Damn. Well, thanks for hearing me out, Ms. Luthor.”

“Lena.”

“Hmm?”

“If we’re going to be favor friends, you should call me Lena.”

“Then you should call me Alex. And let me know the next time you want to help save the world so I’m not panicking you’re turning on my sister.”

“Where’s the fun in that?” Lena smiled.

****

Alex was still racking her brain for ideas two days later when Kara showed up near the end of her shift at the DEO, dressed as Supergirl and grinning like *NSYNC had just announced a reunion tour.

“So. Lena asked me to tell you she still can’t get tickets.”

“She sent you over here to tell me that?”

But, she can get you in a couple hours before the doors open, if you and Maggie want a day-date.”

“Wait, seriously?”

“She asked around. Apparently she went to school with one of the curators.” Kara’s smile dimmed into a pout. “She had to swear it was for law enforcement and that she wasn’t up to anything. Supergirl even had to come vouch for her.”

“It’s still really weird when you refer to yourself in the third person, Kara,” Alex said. “Why did she go through all that trouble? I was surprised she’d even let me in to ask.”

“Because you’re my sister, I guess.”

Alex decided to table that discussion for a later date. Much later. Preferably involving alcohol and gay-yoda-Maggie.

“Anyway, you guys can meet with Dr. Camdem around noon and roam the exhibit until 4 or so, when they’d have to kick you out to prep for the big event Saturday night.”

“I owe you both. Like, so big.”

****

Friday night, Maggie lost a game of pool.

Saturday, she had to ride koala on the way to their date.

She complained the entire way, but Alex loved the feel of Maggie, with her arms wrapped around her, leaning into turns. She loved Maggie’s hands tucked under her jacket, the muttered curses when Alex would accelerate faster than necessary.

Alex may have taken the longest, most winding route possible to the museum.

It was worth it to see the blinding grin on Maggie’s face as she removed her helmet. “You hate history, Danvers.”

“I don’t hate it, Sawyer, I just don’t need to study it when I can watch it repeat on the news.”

“Knowing it is half the battle to keep it from repeating.”

Alex shook her head and slung her arm over Maggie’s shoulders. “C’mon, I have a surprise waiting that I think we’ll both enjoy.”

“It’s a little early to break-in for after-hours sex, Danvers, and after seeing Winn I think that’s probably ruined for me forever.”

“We’re not- okay, first of all you can’t really break into a place that’s currently open for business,” Alex stuttered. “Wait, you’ve thought about-”

“C’mon, Danvers, you promised me a surprise, where’s my surprise?”

Alex rolled her eyes at her girlfriend and dropped a $20 into the donation box on their way in. She didn’t need to bother with the ticket office unless Maggie decided she wanted to come back to the exhibit in a few months when tickets were actually available. Alex tried very hard not to laugh as she had to drag Maggie past all of the displays that she knew for a fact Maggie had seen a thousand times before.

“Did you know National City was built on a native city, Danvers?”

Alex had to constantly redirect Maggie’s attention the entire way through to the back of the museum.

“Hey did you know the greatest gunslinger in National City history was actually an alien?”

Or her opinions on the LGBTQ exhibit, which Alex actually did want to check out. Later, after the surprise.

“Alex, wait, hold up this one’s important! I mean, it’s a little whitewashed, but so is everything else here and-”

“Maggie, I promise you we can check this one out in a little while, okay? But there’s kind of a time limit on your surprise.”

Maggie made a face, but let Alex lead her through to where a security guard stood at the entrance to the Aliens Among Us corridor. A quick flash of her badge, and he held aside the curtain for them.

Maggie’s eyes widened as they stepped through and she squeezed Alex’s arm excitedly.

They were greeted by the curator herself. “Agent Danvers, Detective Sawyer, thank you for coming. I’d love to discuss any of the differences or gaps in knowledge with you two later, if you have time?”

“That would be great, Dr. Camden. Thank you so much for letting us in here.”

“Anything for the girls in blue, and for fostering a better understanding of our refugee populations,” Dr. Camden smiled. “Now, I’ll leave you two to explore, if you don’t mind? There’s a lot to do tonight. Just let Ms. Luthor know when you’re free to discuss things later and we can set something up.”

“Perfect, thanks again, Dr. Camden.”

Maggie waited until Camden was out of sight to let out a quiet screech, “You got us into Aliens Among Us??”

“I mean I tried for tonight, but not even Supergirl can get tickets, apparently. Is this okay?”

“Is this okay? Is this okay? Of course you’d ask that. It’s amazing, Danvers.”

Alex sighed, “Oh thank god.”

“Did you think there was a chance I wouldn’t like it?”

“I mean, I wanted to do the fancy thing, I know you’ve seen most of this stuff before.”

“Danvers, trust me, we get to explore together, without wearing heels or dealing with rich snobs, this is perfect.”

Maggie didn’t know everything, but she knew enough to skip around the Kryptonian display, complete with wax figures of Astra and Non beside Supergirl. She didn’t ask when Alex’s gaze lingered on one over the others, but she did crack a joke.

“She was hot.”

“She had a thing for touching my face,” Alex muttered.

“Can’t blame her, you have a pretty nice face,” Maggie said, “C’mon, there’s a thing about Roltikkons.”

“Why does the tongue thing work in reverse?”

Maggie bumped her hip. “Hey, I don’t remember you complaining about the things my tongue could teach you.”

“Maggie!”

“After that we can check out the Infernian display and reminisce about how you stole my crime scene.”

“It was my crime scene, Sawyer.”

Alex was familiar with at least a vague idea of the history of the many species on display. It was Maggie’s excitement that brought them to life, hands waving as she ranted about inaccuracies or told wild stories about some of the aliens she’d met while working in National City. The movements got wilder as she got more excited.

It only got worse when they finished with the new exhibit and Alex allowed herself to be dragged off to the LGBTQ exhibit.

“So, there was this whole underground scene for non-white queers because we took a beating during raids in the 80s and-”

It was the most adorable thing Alex had ever scene, including the first time Kara ever saw a litter of puppies dressed up in costumes.

who ya gonna call (when you’re drunk off your ass) pt. 1

im jumping on the social media/group chat AU. this should be about 5 chapters and includes character perspective switches when there’s an actual scene opposed to a purely chat format the entire time. The emojis are able to be seen best on a web browser opposed to on a phone, and even better on ao3 but I’ve tried to get them readable here.

the primary ship of this fic is Sirius x Gasolina by Daddy Yankee who are we really kidding here

2k | ao3 

Remus Lupin to Lily Evans

Remus: room 347 right?

Remus: because I am at 347 right now

Remus: and the sign on the door says “paranormal studies”

Remus: but it’s written in eyeliner. maybe crayon. wtf.

Remus: and it looks like no one’s here.

Remus: Lily what the fuck is this?

Lily: no, you’re at the right place. Don’t know what’s up with the sign though…

Remus: so this isn’t the room for paranormal studies

Lily: no, like, there was a real sign the other day, not sure what happened to it       

Remus: Okay. But that still doesn’t explain why you told me to meet you here. You said this was a club for people like us.

Remus: was more under the impression you meant queer, not crazy.

Lily: just go inside you utter goblin

Lily: be there soon xoxoxo

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WoW We're Nerds (Part 2)

On AO3: http://archiveofourown.org/works/11280858

Part 1: http://archiveofourown.org/works/11244396

Alex laughed as Maggie pulled up in the driveway of the hotel she was staying at, happily listening to her girlfriend go on about some idiot she’d been stuck behind on the interstate on her way to the west coast. She threw the truck into park and grinned happily at Alex, grabbing her hand and tugging her out of the massive truck, stopping once she’d climbed out to help Alex get down before dragging her off towards one of the bottom floor rooms as she was talking.

“Anyways so this is where I’m staying, I put my stuff away before I went to pick you up. It’s a nice room actually, I kinda thought the place was going to be a dump considering what I’m paying for it.” Alex chuckled as Maggie fought to get her keycard out of her pocket one handed.

“I got you a discount, that’s why it’s so cheap. The owner owns me big time… I had to babysit his grandson for a month and it was a disaster, the kid was a monster.” Maggie laughed as she managed to open the door and tugged Alex inside. “I also fixed his wifi so the thing actually works properly which…” Alex was cut off when Maggie turned around and gently pushed her up against the door as it shut, waiting for Alex to give her a little nod before pressing their lips together in a soft kiss. Maggie cradled her face in the palms of her hands and gently sucked her bottom lip between her own, gently biting it causing Alex to let out a soft moan. Maggie pressed another solid kiss against her lips before pulling away, a soft smile on her face as she gazed a little breathless up at Alex.

“Sorry, I just… I’ve been waiting to do that for months…” Alex smiled, tangling her fingers in Maggie’s hair to pull her forward to press another kiss against her lips.

“I know the feeling.” She pulled Maggie into her arms and simply held her. Relishing the warmth of the other woman’s body against her’s. “I’m… Really glad you’re here…” Maggie nodded in agreement, gently kissing Alex’s neck as they stood there rooted to the spot, swaying lightly.

Alex holds her secure against her chest, because she knows (even if Maggie won’t talk about it much) that it’s really hard living in the midwest as a queer woman of color and she wants to, even for a moment, try to take away that feeling of hopelessness Maggie’s described to her before. And she really wishes Maggie didn’t have to go back there to finish high school. Only three more months then she’s moving out here…

Maggie started walking backwards, gently pulling Alex with her until they collapsed in a heap on the bed. Alex moving so that Maggie could curl into her side like they’d always said they’d do if they were able to cuddle. Maggie fisted her handed in Alex’s shirt, holding her tightly as she seemed to take a moment to ground herself.

“So, you want to play or would you rather cuddle for awhile?” Alex asked her gently and Maggie responded by throwing her leg up around Alex’s hips.

“Cuddle now, games later.” Alex chuckled and pulled Maggie closed to her, leaning down to place a kiss against her forehead. They last about thirty minutes like that, gentle touches, fingers running through hair and soft kisses press against each other’s lips. That approach was quickly lost however as Alex pulled Maggie on top of her and started a very thorough exploration of her mouth, following a mixture of instinct and YouTube tutorial videos she had watched for this very purpose.

Maggie groaned appreciatively, her arms moving to frame Alex face as they made out. Alex wrapping her arms around Maggie’s waist and bringing their clothed chests flush against each other. After that things started to blur, their shirts ended up on the floor and somehow Alex found herself on top while Maggie was busy sucking dark hickies across her chest. And then there was grinding and panting, and Maggie had grabbed her ass and pulled her down hard against her thigh in time with her own thrusts. And then they both came, Alex first followed very closely by Maggie. And Alex collapsed against the smaller woman, panting and shivering as the aftershocks coursed through her, feeling Maggie in a similar state beneath her. They stayed like that for several minutes until Maggie finally rolled them over so she could cuddle into Alex’s side.

“So… That better that the local girls?” Maggie commented teasingly and Alex froze, realizing that they had just had… Well… Elementary sex.

“Ummm… I… Ugh…” Alex sputtered and Maggie lifted her head off her shoulder and raised an eyebrow at her.

“Are you saying I need improvement? Cause I’ve got three days to work on it.:Maggie winked at her and Alex flushed.

“What? No. I mean… I wouldn’t know. I haven’t exactly… Done anything like that before…” Maggie’s eyes widened and she gasped at Alex.

“What… You mean that was… Alex!” Alex blushed at Maggie’s freaked out expression.

“What? Like you said earlier… I’ve been waiting for months…” Maggie groaned.

“If I’d known I’d have like… Taken you out on a date first…” Alex rolled her eyes and tugged Maggie back into her arms.

“We’ve gone on plenty of dates.” Maggie groaned even louder.

“Alex, pretending to get drunk together in a pub in World of Warcraft doesn’t count as a date.” Alex pouted.

“Sure it does. We even called them dates.” Alex protested. “Remember that one time when the town we were in was attacked by a Horde raiding party and you got pissed cause they ruined our date cause we had to go help fight them off with all the other level 110’s in the area?” Maggie chuckled.

“I didn’t want to deal with them… I was having a night with my girl…” Maggie sighed. “Fine, am I at least better at kissing than they are?”

“Well… About that…” Maggie’s eyes went wide and she looked at Alex in shock.

“Please tell me your first kiss wasn’t me shoving you up against a door in a hotel room… It’s already bad enough that was your first time…” Alex bit her lip.

“Okay, I won’t tell you.”

“Alex!”

“What? It was perfect… You’re perfect.” Maggie shook her head and drug them both out of bed, “What are you doing?”

“I’m taking you on a date.” Alex’s eyes widened comically.

“Right now?”

“Yes, where can you go on a date around here?” Alex sighed as Maggie picked up her pocketbook and pulled her out of the room towards the truck.

“Umm… There’s a burger place down on the boardwalk…” Maggie shook her head.

“Oh no. We’re going to a nice restaurant where I can buy you good food and then we’re going to do something really fucking romantic… Like… Stargazing or… Or dancing or some shit like that…” Alex shook her head and kissed Maggie’s cheek as the other woman shifted the truck into drive.

“I don’t need that stuff, I just want you, Mags.” Maggie looked her in the eye and took her hand in her own.

“Just cause you don’t need it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it.” Alex’s eyes widened as Maggie gently pecked her lips. “Now tell me where to drive.”

Her Favorite Criminal:Chapter 3

Her jacket was on his couch in a messy heap. She had tossed it there carelessly minutes earlier along with her holster. She wouldn’t need it now. Kagami’s hands were on her shoulders, rubbing circles into her flesh, tracing the pattern of her muscles further down her back.

Sakura felt the sight leave her lips before she knew what she was doing. She bit back the moan and closed her eyes, content to let her former partner use his hands on her body however he saw fit. She trusted him for this, even as his hands edged deeper and deeper.

Her teeth locked onto her lower lip and stayed there, holding back the moan she wanted to let go. This was all she wanted. No more reports, no more work, just…fun.

“That’s enough uncle, you’re making it gross.”

Kagami looked up from Sakura’s back and smirked. “You’re jealous you don’t get these anymore, or do you wish you were the one who actually knew how to perform a halfway decent massage on our favorite Sakura blossom.”

Sakura looked up from her folded arms and glared over her shoulder at Kagami. “Who said you could stop? I still have knots.”

“As you wish, princess,” the older Uchiha laughed before kissing the back of her head.

Shisui scowled, but made room on a spare chair for himself as he resolved to stay with Sakura while his uncle teased him mercilessly. It was so easy to misinterpret those sounds she made from his office and it drove him insane if left up to his imagination.

“You shouldn’t even still be here, Sakura,” Shisui began, convinced to not make his presence in her room weird. “You’ve been working double shifts with Sasuke, boy wonder, just because he has issues compensating for something.”

Sakura didn’t look up from her arms when she replied. “I don’t mind.”

“I mind. Does he not care what he’s doing to your health?”

“Shisui, I’m on the police force, my health is not a primary concern, otherwise I would have been a secretary.”

Kagami made a dismissive sound behind her as he found a knot and worked it over. Sakura bit her lip and kept her head down as the pressure turned nearly uncomfortable.

“My most favorite nephew is right, you’re overworked. And I know you don’t want anyone taking it easy on you because you are a girl, there’s only so much you can do with a human body, regardless of sex or gender. You’re going to need a break sooner or later.”

“Are you lecturing Sasuke like this?”

Shisui snorted. “No one here cares about that prick enough. We’re happy enough to let him learn the hard way the importance of taking a rest every now and then. I just don’t want to see him drag you down with him. I think even Itachi would kill him if you got hurt because of Sasuke’s stubbornness.”

“I’m resting and relaxing now, aren’t I?”

Kagami huffed angrily, pausing in his work. “A ten minute tune up with me is no such thing. I’m not even using any of my oils or proper treatments. You said you wanted something quick.”

“We’re getting briefed at noon.”

“You just got off the night owl shift.”

Sakura yawned into her arms before looking up at Shisui’s shocked expression. “Don’t look so surprised. I’ve known you to pull a triple every now and then. Besides, after the brief I’m heading home as soon as Obito gives his presentation.”  

“Speaking of Sasuke…where is he?” Kagami asked.

Sakura murmured something that sounded like ‘I don’t know’ into her arms before lifting her head. “It’s my time to summarize a brief for our team. He went home.”

“What the fuck is wrong with him?” Shisui hissed, nearly standing up in his anger. “How does he rate? You were both at the last briefing.”

“Yeah, it was his turn, but it was about a case I was angling so I wanted to be there to hear it for myself. He takes the worst notes.”

“So, because he does a shit job you end up covering extra slack,” Shisui dryly summarized, looking ready to throttle his younger cousin the next time they met.

There were few people that could get Shisui so genuinely annoyed as quickly as Sasuke Uchiha. Not only was he a pretentious child that annoyed Shisui whenever he came over to play with Itachi, but Sasuke also had the stupidly good fortune of securing Sakura freaking Haruno as a partner.

The fact that she had feelings for him was little less than secret as far as eligible Uchiha men were concerned. The fact that Sasuke didn’t return the feelings made a lot of other Uchiha feel like Sasuke was making a waste out of his good fate. Shisui was inclined to think something more along the lines of it all being fine in the end. It was Sasuke’s choice, and his decision to squander the girl’s affection did nothing but make it easier for someone else to come in and look impressive. 

Since last year’s undercover wedding operation it seemed like any potential romance between the two of them was improbable and Shisui felt inclined to not encourage Sakura’s feelings any more if Sasuke passed up on indulging her. Thankfully, Sakura seemed to recover with time.

Sasuke did a lot of annoying things, but the worst was how little he seemed to notice Sakura’s needs or value the contributions he took for granted from her. He even forgot her birthday last year. They had been practically raised together and he still missed her birthday.

“If you need to, you could always partner up with me again,” Kagami chuckled. “I’m sure Obito wouldn’t mind the extra company.”

“How is Obito doing? I haven’t seen him recently. If you think I’m burning the candle at both ends you need to take a second look at that guy.”

“Hmm, one of his informants, a PI has been having some pretty nasty breaks. Great for us, terrible for the PI and his six recovering gunshot wounds.”

Sakura hissed, reminding herself to send flowers to Kakashi. The old goat refused to die, but she worried nevertheless. Being a former officer, he was a quick wit with minor difficulties in respecting chains of authority. The PI gig was pretty recent.

“Who’s in the hallway?” Sakura mumbled.

Kagami paused on her back and Shisui sat up, hearing the running feet as well. Seconds later one of the younger officers staggered in. “The briefing just got moved up, there’s been a development!”

“What sort?” Shisui asked, already standing.

The younger officer stammered before reaching into his pocket and pulling out the crumpled sticky note. “Something about a Kabuto sighting.”

Kagami felt Sakura jerk under him and wanted nothing more than to force her down and make her sleep, because he knew once she heard that name there was nothing that could hold her back. He held onto her as she sat up and glared like some mythic demon.

“Where?” she demanded in a low growl.

“L-local.”

Sakura pushed Kagami off and reached for her holster and jacket. There was no way she was going to rest now that she’s heard that name.

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itsmayonegg  asked:

Nomi/Amanita prompt: One of them asks the other out for the first time (you decide who does the asking!)

this totally got longer than i intended. oops but also not really.
nomi/amanita, 3k.

Nomi still gets nervous in bathrooms. It’s an old reflex, a bullshit flight or fight response she hasn’t been able to shake, and she hates the way it makes her feet shift against the ground nervously as she waits for her turn at the sink.

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to hide is to choke (fic)

Supergay Network: Challenge #1: Scene Stealer
↳Lena and Kara loosely inspired by Lito and Hernando from Sense8. (Lena is a closeted actor who loves Kara but only behind closed doors).


Lena kicks off her high heels and flicks on the lamp by the bed, casting a soft glow across the room. She leans over the sleeping figure, whispers,“Are you awake?” 

Kara stirs and mumbles with heavy-lidded eyes, “I am now.”

Lena smiles, planting a faint lipstick mark on her cheek.
“How did the premiere go?“

She walks to the bathroom and washes her face, leaving the tap dripping steadily onto cold porcelain. "It was good. The usual. I brought the new guy along as my date.”
In the mirror she watches Kara sit up to fumble for her glasses and put them on slightly skewed. They’re slipping slowly and she does that thing where she wrinkles her nose to try stopping them but they fall anyway and her index finger comes up to push them back. It’s rather distracting.

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The (Partial) Fall of the House of Winchester: Deconstructing Ask Jeeves

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fic: paint the town (and all that jazz).

a 1920s!au. read on ao3. this is rated a light m for some mature content. i apologize for any historical inaccuracies. i took some liberties.

It’s the energy of the underground that attracts her initially.

For years, she would spend her nights with her arms folded on the sill of her window, staring at the bright lights of the outside. Wondering what it what be like to part of it all.

She’s eighteen the first time she sneaks out. She’s dressed in a long white gown and she might as well have the word ‘naïve’ inked on her forehead.

The streets are…quieter than she expects them to be and she almost turns on her heel and goes home. Almost.

She is halfway down an unfamiliar road when she hears it. Giggling. Laughter. She takes a few more steps forward and the smell starts to hit her. Booze. And lots of it judging by the potency of the scent.

There is a faint light coming from an establishment on the left side of the road. She hesitates. She shouldn’t be doing this. Not only is she breaking the law but she’s breaking every single one of her father’s rules. He would have her head on a silver platter if he knew she was doing this.She wants to turn around and run. He never has to find out she’s snuck out, not if she just turns around and goes home now.

“Are you just going to stand there, or are you going to go in Pet?” Says a voice from the cover of darkness. She jumps, her back going straight. Her eyes are wide and suddenly, she’s terrified. That voice could belong to any number of shady characters. She turns in the direction of the darkness.

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“True Love vs. Soulmate”

The way I see OUaT has shown us these two concepts.

Soulmate: A love that is fated, secure. There is always someone out there for you, by design of a “superior” mind (God/the Author). You are compatible, you can fall in love – it’s inevitable, but; it isn’t a love as “special” as what True Love is made to be in fairytales. It falls short.

True Love: A love that grows from its very seed, makes root, and blossoms. People who make each other shine; they bring the best out of you. It’s unconditional, selfless, and it means sacrifice. It’s also something very hard to find, attained through pain, work, and solidarity. It’s unexpected, but it makes so much sense when you realize. You feel finally home, against all odds. But more importantly; it’s freedom. Your own choice.

Examples:

Ariel and Prince Erick. They are not even from the same species, and yet they found each other.

Cinderella. A maid that found love with a Prince. A Prince that risked getting disowned, because he would rather choose love than “duty.”

Beauty and the Beast. A woman who could see the light that still shone inside the beast’s heart. A man very consumed by selfishness and darkness, who found his heart could still love, and tried to open up so he could be good again.

I’m talking about the overall moral of the story. They have their own problematics, but the “idea” is what I put there.

I could also add Frozen with Elsa and Anna, and Maleficent with Aurora (the 2014 movie), but these two movies relayed on heavy subtext (like OUaT), and didn’t take the little step that would’ve made it canonically romantic. Frozen, because, well, they’re sisters. Maleficent was the CLOSEST thing to have a queer wedding, but they played it “safe” with making it a coronation, and made it appear “maternal” in the eyes of heteronormativity. But it was so incredibly femslash, it’s canon in my book.

Anyway.

Subtext aside, Maleficent (the movie) does fit with Henry. It’s the fraternal True Love, both of his mothers had to earn with him. One mother who didn’t get to raise him, whom gave him up as a newborn. And an adoptive mother who gave up the security of her curse, erasing her own memory so she could raise him without the impact of knowing whose child she would be rearing. Against the oddity that was Henry for both of these women, they learned to love him unconditionally and earned his True Love.

They’ve already paralleled Frozen with Emma and Regina, but there is one important thing to keep in mind with this parallel: Elsa and Anna were sisters; Regina and Emma are not. They can go that step forward and make their True Love romantic, because one thing is sure: Emma and Regina share True Love. Not only with Henry, but with one another.