and thinks his father's given up on him as he thinks he's done before

what's a fire and how does it - what's the word? - burn

so i have this disney playlist i listen to usually when i’m driving and i was blasting poor unfortunate souls this morning and i was thinking

what if ariel didn’t sign the scroll?

because she’s about to, okay, and she looks at the paper. the parchment made of seaweed, the ones that’s specially treated to survive underwater. and she thinks of her cave of treasures, her books that remain perfectly preserved underwater. “no thank you,” she says slowly, becoming keenly aware of air of this place, of the not-people she’d seen who hadn’t been able to pay the price for sea witch’s bargain. “i – no. thank you. but no.”

ursula tries to convince her otherwise, but ariel runs. she goes back to her cave, destroyed as it was by her father’s anger, and thinks.

she’s the daughter of triton. her books never got wet, though she lives in the ocean. she feels a pull inside her, to the land, to somewhere else, but what if – what if –

what if she doesn’t need the sea witch or her father to perform magic for her? what if she has her own?

ursula had wanted her voice because that’s how she performed her magic. singing in this cave had given it powers and protection, and when she saved her prince from the sea – she sang then too, to keep him safe, to guide him back to life and away from death.

so she has magic. she only needs to figure out how to use it.

so that’s what ariel does now. she’s quiet and keeps to herself, and her father and sisters think that it’s because she’s upset with her father, that she’s busy licking her wounds. she’s moved on from that. she has no trident, and is uninterested with fueling her magic with the souls of the damned like ursula has. so she needs to figure something else out.

she does what she’s not supposed to do, and goes where she’s not supposed to go, slipping past the guards and patrols to the one place in the sea that is forbidden to all of them.

the crevice in the earth where what remains of her grandmother lives.

ariel goes to amphitrite, and the sea goddess is so much bigger than ariel, the size of great whale as she curls at the bottom of the sea floor, too old and too tired to do anything more than sleep. “granddaughter,” the great being croaks, opening an eye as blue and as unfathomable as the sea, “you look like me.”

“they say i look like my mother,” she says, and to herself adds: that’s why father can barely stand to look at me.

“you have more of me in you than your mother,” she says, and she shifts and pulls her mass of red hair over her shoulder. “more of me in you than your father does, even.”

“i have magic,” she says, pulling her bravery to the fore as she swims closer to her grandmother, “i want you to teach me how to use it.” amphitrite pushes herself up, and it’s the first time she’s moved in a millennia, and ariel notices for the first time that her grandmother isn’t a mermaid – she has legs.

she has legs.

“you have power,” amphitrite corrects fiercely, “and i will teach you to wield it.”

and so she does. ariel spends her nights by her grandmother, learning to harness the power of the sea that runs in her veins, and sleeps her days away while her sisters and flounder and sebastian grow more and more concerned, but she refuses to tell them why. she refuses to be stopped.

but her heart still aches. she fell in love with her prince, and she wants him still. so she swims to the edge, goes to the beach where his castle resides in the dead of night when her lessons with her grandmother are complete, and sings

. she’s careful not to let any magic leak through, only her voice. she does not want to enchant him. she wants him to love her as she is. so she sings, her voice clear and powerful and cutting through the air. she hopes he can hear it.

then one day a figure walks to the beach, and it’s him, her prince. “hello?” he calls out, “are you out there? are you – please, it was you that saved me, wasn’t it? won’t you come out and let me see you?”

so she does, waves her tail at him until he catches sight of her and takes hesitant, disbelieving steps closer.

“you’re a mermaid,” he says, eyes wide, “i thought i saw – but it couldn’t be.”

“i am, and it can,” she says, heart beating wildly in her chest. he’s just as handsome as she remembered, and she wants him just as much. “my name is ariel.”

“ariel,” he repeats, and pulls off his boots and goes wading into the water, watching her to see if she flinches away from him. she doesn’t, and his strides grow bolder. “my name is eric.”

“eric,” she whispers, and when he’s close enough he touches her, trailing fingers across the bare skin of her shoulder and tangling them in her hair.

when he kisses her, she feels powerful enough to undo the world.

so there’s that now, spending her nights with her grandmother and her prince, and she knows how to make her own legs now, could walk onto land and be made a queen among the two legged men.

but she’s a princess here first, and before she can do that she needs to take care of something.

ursula.

the rotten sea witch with her rotten sea magic won’t be allowed to torment her people any longer.

she tells her grandmother, and amphitrite smiles and says, “an excellent decision, child. i’ve enjoyed our time together, but i think it’s time for me to sleep once more. i’ve taught you everything i can.”

and tears prick ariel’s eyes, but she holds them back. she knew that it couldn’t be forever, that her grandmother can’t die but no longer desires to live and this is the in-between.

“you’ll be an amazing queen,” amphitrite murmurs, and closes her eyes for a millennia more.

this isn’t something to be done in the dead of night, although it would be easier to do it then.

she will make a spectacle of it, she will remind the sea that her people are not to be trifled with.

once upon a time they feared a blue eyed, red haired sea queen with the power to destroy them all. it’s time for them to do so again.

so she drives ursula to the center of the city. her sisters cower and people hide, and her father comes rushing forward to save her.

“you’ve committed great crimes against my people,” she says, not flinching as lightning gathers in the sea witch’s hands, “so now shall a great crime be committed against you.”

“foolish girl,” the sea witch snarls.

triton is yelling. he won’t get there in time.

he doesn’t have to.

she doesn’t need to sing anymore. instead she lifts her hands and pulls ursula apart without ever touching her, not only renders flesh from bone but also sets free the souls she’s been hoarding, reverses the magic done to those who’d fallen into the sea witch’s trap.

they all stare at her, her people, her father, and her sisters. she looks to triton and says, “i’m not a little girl anymore.”

he opens his mouth, closes it again, then says, “i can see that.”

all at once everyone’s perceptions are turned sideways about their youngest princess. she commands a power that even her father doesn’t have access to, she’s not depressed and dreamy – she’s powerful young woman who knows exactly what she’s doing.

so she does what she wanted to do, she gives herself legs and steps onto the sand and launches herself into eric’s arms. she becomes his bride, and the rumors run rampant of what she is, of where she came from, but they can’t prove anything and so they rule.

they live long, happy lives. ariel is his consort, his advisor, his wife, his tactician, and his best friend. all those years reading drowned books have certainly paid off. she ages herself along with her husband, bears his children and then teaches them they ways of her – their – people.

her husband dies, and she disappears, like the stories of selkie women that everyone whispers around her. their children give their father a sea burial, and vow to see him again one day. what they know and none of their subjects do is this – their father’s body isn’t in that casket.

she returns to her ocean, her legs form into her glittering green tail, and she goes home. she uses her terribly powerful magic, and brings her husband with her. she went from princess ariel of the sea to queen ariel of the land, and now she’s back again.

she’s not quite a teenager, but neither is she the old woman she pretended to be on land. she’s returned her and her husband to the prime of their life, and as she gained legs to be with him, he now gives his up to be with her.

eric becomes a merman, and a prince by virtue of being ariel’s husband.

she returns to her family and her world without missing a beat, and they all welcome her as if she never left, treat her husband with kindness and respect.

because they all know.

it doesn’t matter that she’s the youngest. when, far in the future, triton’s reign ends –

ariel’s reign will begin.

Sangwoo’s reaction and why it’s significant

I see a lot of people either disappointed over Sangwoo’s reaction or bemused because they expected it. I think there’s more to it. When I read the chapter, I noticed a few important things that I would like to point out. First, it’s important to remind everyone that Sangwoo is not a normal person. His way of dealing with trauma is to confront it, and exterminate the problem at its core. Sangwoo does not like feeling vulnerable. It diminishes his masculinity. It reminds him too much of his past, and of his mother who–like Bum–seemed to be the type of person who was easily taken advantage of. Frankly, weakness and indecisiveness just piss him off.

This brings me to my next few points:

When Bum spoke of his trauma, it reminded Sangwoo too much of his mother. 

Now, please note. We don’t know how Sangwoo’s parents perished. Some assume he killed them both, but that doesn’t make sense. Personally, with how Sangwoo speaks of mother with fondness, even I find it hard to believe that Sangwoo killed his own mother. (My theory is Sangwoo’s dad killed her during a domestic abuse episode and in turn, Sangwoo killed his dad.)

If you remember, there was that one scene way back when where it depicted “Sangwoo’s” hands around his mother’s neck, but I don’t think those were his hands. Sangwoo was hallucinating. 

That’s not from his point of view. It’s from his Dad’s point of view. And do you see that smile. Do you see how his mother isn’t fighting back? That’s stayed with him forever. His mother just taking it isn’t something that he’s forgotten. And what does Bum do? He takes it, just like his mother. He doesn’t stab his abuser, like Sangwoo suggests. He doesn’t do anything, because he’s afraid. So Sangwoo, whether consciously or not, starts drawing parallels: Bum (My Mom) is a weak person, who allowed his Uncle (My Father) to abuse him (her).

It’s history repeating itself and Sangwoo fucking hates it. So when Sangwoo reacts hostilely to Bum’s story, it’s not that he’s incapable of emotion or that he doesn’t “get” that Bum’s been raped. Quite the opposite.

He’s throwing a tantrum. He’s upset Bum was assaulted. In his head, Bum practically allowed it. And this anger shows in some fucked up way, he’s started to like Bum. I wouldn’t say “cherish”, because I’m not sure Sangwoo is capable of that, but he cares about Bum in a way that’s like his mother but not quite. (I think more so like a pet then a partner.) He knows what happened to Bum and what it all means, but he’s unable to act sympathetically, because he just wished that Bum (unlike his mother) could have fought back. Now let me say, this isn’t an attempt to justify Sangwoo’s reaction.

I’m a victim of sexual assault. I know, more than anyone, how fear can paralyze you into submission. I sympathize with Bum. I feel horrible for him. But Sangwoo isn’t, again, a normal person. He’s a sociopath. So Sangwoo doesn’t see that. He just sees two things: Bum didn’t try. Bum disappoints me. And it infuriates Sangwoo, because in a way, Bum’s uncle wins. Just like Sangwoo’s father won when he abused his mother. 

Sangwoo is hurt.

Most importantly, Sangwoo’s selfish.

His emotions are the only thing that matter to him.

Bum’s feelings mean nothing.

Last point: 

I think Sangwoo was planning to have sex with Bum.

Okay, I know, another stretch. But if you think about the last chain of events, it makes sense. Sangwoo has started to develop feelings for Bum. Not just emotionally, but sexually. Now given this new piece of information, I think Sangwoo is not only angry that Bum didn’t fight back, but that the abuser has been with Bum in an intimate way before he has. I think Sangwoo assumed Bum was a virgin, and he had planned on consummating their “relationship” very soon. The fact that Bum’s uncle already has done so… someone who’s abused Bum and reminds him of his Father… Well…

For him, that’s a turn off, and a let down.

3

History

Decided to combine these two requests. Hope you like it!

Your eyes were growing heavy as you continued to stare down at the history assignment that was currently sprawled out on Archie Andrews’ kitchen table. The smell of pizza was wafting through the kitchen as the greasy box sat untouched on the kitchen counter; it was enough to make your stomach growl in anticipation but there was no time for that – not until you finished.

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Peanut Butter Cookies

*throws allergic!Lance at you and runs away*

Summary: When Pidge’s birthday rolls around, Allura remembers her offhand comment about liking peanut butter. Little did she know that Lance is actually very, very allergic. (angst and fluff, and a bit of established klance because I have no self control and I ship it leave me alone)

I hardly ever post anything because I have no confidence ha so if you like it, let me know! This is very short compared to lots of other stuff I’ve written.

@taylor-tut I don’t think this is that good or even if it counts as langst/whump but I’ll tag you anyway and @voltronpaella thanks for actually getting me to post this my dude


When Allura called the Paladins into the kitchen, Lance expected some sort of emergency.

Why they’d be meeting in the kitchen, he had no idea, but he slid out of bed regardless. After removing his face mask he padded out into the hall, slightly resentful that he didn’t have time to straighten his hair.

Lance nearly bumped into Hunk in the hallway, who was also still in pajamas. The two were the last to arrive in the kitchen. He surveyed the others and found Shiro in full armor, Keith with an activated bayard, and Pidge rubbing the sleep out of her eyes with a laptop tucked under her arm.

“Princess, we’ve talked about this,” Lance grumbled. “You have got to stop interrupting my beauty sleep.”

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Lance and the Mirror of Erised

Lance stares back at the mirror suspiciously, wondering why in the hell Pidge would ever want to keep that. It’s not like she would need it or anything, and Lance hold no grudges against it, it’s just…

Creepy.

Suspicious.

Creepy because of the old fashioned golden frame with an inscription that said, erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi.

Whatever alien language that was in.

Suspicious because when Pidge had found it during a mission, she claimed to have seen her brother and father in the reflection, smiling at her, hoping it was some kind of clue, and thus she brings it on board to the castle.

Lance called the bull immediately, wanting to get rid of that…mirror thing…as soon as possible. He could think of all the bad things that could happen, everything he’s seen in movies come flashing through his mind…like what if one of the paladins got literally sucked in and can’t get themselves out? Or what if one of them couldn’t take their eyes off the reflection because they saw some kind of traumatizing thing that could affect their brains?

Whatever the possibilities, it’s just unlikely to find something this enchanting with their luck. But the others took Pidge’s word over his ridiculous thoughts, thinking what possible damage could a mirror do? It’s only a big piece of glass surrounded by a fancy old frame, glass for which people could check their reflection, that’s all a mirror is after all.

It was a quiet night, up until the point when Lance woke up from a nightmare, and all he could do was pace around the castle in order to clear his mind from all the horrid images that would flash in his head from the bad dream. He didn’t feel like going back to sleep any time soon, and getting some food from the kitchen to help him fall asleep wasn’t exactly something he want to do at two in the morning.

Or…space.

He thought about going to the training deck to help tire him out, and keep his mind busy at the same time, seeing that he wasn’t going back to bed in his room any time now.

-

Once he was in the training deck, he was just about to demand for a level, expecting the training bot to come out, until he was interrupted by a quick flash of light in his peripheral vision that caught his attention. He walks closer to the light, keeping his footsteps light as if he was approaching a small creature. He keeps his eyes open, thinking that if he loses his eye contact, the light would disappear in a flash.

It comes to his disappointment when the light of the object that caught his direct attention was just the lights of the training deck reflecting off that stupid mirror Pidge brought home.

However, he does look good in it.

He runs his eyes back over the frames of the mirror.

Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi.

Still gibberish, if you ask him.

Lance’s eyes drifts into the actual mirror, and checks himself out, happy to see that there wasn’t a line of worry on his face, or a break out any where in his sight. His hair was a disheveled mess, sticking up in every direction due to the twists and turns he had done in bed because of the nightmares. He didn’t bother to fix it up, knowing that he’ll just fall asleep, and it’ll still be an untidy mess when he wakes up. He does a couple of poses just for the fun of it, chuckling softly at his reflection as he was making faces for his own enjoyment.

Okay, maybe the mirror isn’t as evil or creepy as Lance thought it would be, but it still doesn’t mean that finding this during a mission, along Pidge saying she saw her brother, it doesn’t make it any more suspicious than it already is. Useful, maybe, but still suspicious.

He feels a yawn release itself from his chest and escape his lips, and he decides to leave the deck before he falls asleep on the spot. Lance was giving one more finger gun at himself towards the mirror, until he sees it.

He catches his breath, and his heart felt like it almost dropped to the pit of his stomach. Scratch that, he feels his stomach begin to churn, aching with a sense of longing and sickness. There was no way that what he was seeing was actually real, but he refuses to look away and search behind him to see if it was more than an illusion. As much as it pains him to say, he feels his tongue tie itself in a knot, wanting to say that one word he hasn’t said out loud in so long without seeing her face.

“Mamá?”

There she stood, smiling, dressed in her usual floral clothing. In the mirror, she looked just as Lance had remembered, her friendly smile, her short height, her kind blue eyes. The image of his mamá squeezed his cheeks with one hand, leaving a small kiss. Lance’s eyes widens, and he didn’t even feel a tear roll down his face until he reaches a hand up to wipe it away.

And as he wipes it away, he looks around him, the training deck still empty. Looking back into the mirror, the reflection of his mamá stood, whispering words in his ear that Lance couldn’t hear. She gives him a big hug, which made Lance open his arms up to hug her back, only to find himself reaching out for nothing but air.

He snaps from his daze, his arms slowly going back down to his sides, but he hasn’t break eye contact with the mirror just yet.

His mamá steps aside, but Lance didn’t want her to go just yet. He wanted to remember her face, have it etched in his mind, so he wouldn’t ever forget. Luckily, she only stepped aside for another person to come in the mirror.

Another person steps into view. A taller person. With her long brown hair and similar blue eyes, her golden tan skin like the sun had given her a kiss. His oldest sister. She brings Lance in an embrace, holding him close, almost picking him up off the ground. But Lance looks up, knowing that she wasn’t really there, but still felt disappointed when he comes to see no one hugging him. He returns to indulge himself in the reflections and images that the mirror was somehow giving. Then another comes in, this one was shorter, his brown hair bouncing as he was running up to Lance’s reflection, wrapping his little arms around his leg. Came another one, joining in on the group hug. Then another, and another, until Lance sees all of his siblings, his four sisters and three brothers, drowning him in a big, suffocatingly loving, group hug.

He longs to feel all of these hugs himself, and not just look at it happening in a mirror. His heart starts to warm up by seeing every single face he comes to see in the reflection, laughing quietly to himself.

Lance brings his arms closer to him, embracing himself with his own arms to feel the hugs. It wasnt as comforting as the numerous of arms that wrapped around him in the reflection, but it’ll do.

Soon, they all stepped aside. He didn’t want them to leave yet, but he could still see them, waving to him, smiling, jumping around. Some were carried by others, the older siblings were giving the little ones piggy back rides.

Then Lance sees him.

He feels his heart elevate up, lodging itself in his throat, skipping a beat.

“Keith!”

He jumps, catching his breath as he turns around, expecting to see Keith’s confused expression on his face.

No one.

All he heard were the sounds of his own breathing and his heart pounding in rythm. All he sees is the emptiness of the training deck.

Lance’s breathing gradually slows down, looking back at the mirror to see if his eyes were playing tricks on him. The reflection of Keith was still standing there, smiling directly at Lance.

Why would he be there?

If Pidge saw her brother and father, and I saw my family, then wouldn’t this mirror just be showing images of…family? Or…Am I wrong? What’s going on?

He watches intensively, all his attention back on the reflection if him and Keith. Although Lance feels himself gaping at the mirror, his reflection shows him smiling softly at Keith, almost a smirk.

Then he sees it.

The reflection of Lance looks down, interlacing his fingers with Keith’s. He holds it up to his lips, leaving a soft kiss on Keith’s hand. The reflection of Keith smirks, cupping Lance’s face with his other hand, and smashes against his lips with his own. The two images moves their mouths together in synch, hands moving in places Lance wished he could do, the two pulling apart only to gasp for a breath of air, and continue to kiss like the world had stopped spinning and time had stopped running.

Lance steps back, startled by the quickened pace of his pulse, his heart racing faster just by looking at the image. Never would he thought of being jealous of himself, but at this point, he has now come to a conclusion that this mirror was evil.

“Lance?”

The voice was sudden, like it came out of nowhere, yanking Lance out of his daze. He jumps back, turning around to meet his eyes with the one and only Keith.

His mullet was all mussed up, causing him to run his fingers through it to keep it from falling down on his eyes. The bags underneath shows that he had just woken up, rubbing them with his other hand as he made an arch in his back to stretch.

“What are you doing?”

Lance hums in response, trying to block Keith’s vision away from the mirror.

“Nothing.” He says quickly, wincing at the pitch in his voice.

Keith raises an eyebrow, still unconvinced by the tone of Lance’s voice.

“Is that the mirror Pidge found?”

Lance turns to look over his shoulder, and sure enough, the reflection still showed the two of them canoodling, smiling, flirting, and hugging.

“I-It’s nothing,” Lance stutters again, internally slapping himself in the back of his mind with an invisible palm.

“C'mon, I just wanna see what I look like,” Keith chuckles, unaware of the small hoarse in his voice that really made Lance’s insides twist about.

Keith moves him aside with no effort, finding himself looking at the mirror with a small smile.

Lance panicks, attempting to explain what’s happening, and hopes Keith doesn’t get freaked out on what he sees in the mirror. “Look, it’s weird, I get it, but I saw those images–”

“Lance–”

“–and it wasn’t like I was in control of what I saw–

“Lance–”

“–and I don’t even know what was happening–”

Lance!

He stops rambling, directing his attention to a calm looking Keith, smiling. His eyes weren’t mad, and his expression hasn’t changed. Or maybe it was just because he was more tired than Lance thought he would be.

“What are you talking about?”

Lance blinks a couple times at him, wondering if Keith didn’t see what he saw. He hesitates before he asks, catching his bottom lip between his teeth, “The reflection? What do you see?”

“Me?” Keith answers, raising another curious eyebrow at Lance, “Isn’t that what mirrors are for?”

Lance blinks to make sure he wasn’t hallucinating from sleep deprivation, but looking at Keith–the real Keith–the tightness of his chest loosens. He lets out a deep breath, his eyes drifts back to the reflection of him and Keith holding hands, embracing each other like a couple would.

Maybe it was just him that could really see it, or maybe it was just the lack of sleep giving him all these illusions.

Lance lets out another sigh, breaking his eye contact with the mirror, and smiles at Keith, “Maybe I should go take a rest now.”

Keith gives him a small smirk, brushing the bangs of his hair back, “Heh, I recommend it.”

Lance sticks his tongue out, and leads himself out the entrance of the training deck. He turns back, expecting Keith to be following right behind him. Except he wasn’t, and instead, his eyes were focused on his reflection of the mirror.

“Aren’t you coming?”

Keith rips his attention away from the mirror, and his eyes were back to Lance with a bigger smile tugging on the corners of his mouth. He sighs, running his hand through his unruly hair again, “I’m coming.”

With one last glance at the mirror, Keith drags his legs towards Lance, brushing their shoulders against each other sleepily as the two of them walked back to their rooms, which were conveniently placed right next to each other.

Keith mumbles a ‘good night’ to Lance, right before his door shuts close right in front of him. Lance catches his face heat up, a blush creeping on his cheeks. With his hand on the door, he smiles at the door of Keith’s room, muttering a ‘good night, Mullet’ as if he could hear through walls. Lance slips inside his own room, with the sound of the door sliding closed behind him.

Little did he know that what Keith actually saw in the mysterious mirror wasn’t exactly what he told him.

He did see himself, that part was true. However, it was part of the truth. What Keith saw–what he really saw–was him and the tan and lanky figure of an obnoxiously loud and hilarious person named Lance. In the reflection, he saw himself–yes–he was smiling, and he was happy. The reflection of Lance went up behind Keith, and took him in his arms by the waist. Lance’s grip on Keith’s waist looked tight, but he seemed to sink himself further into the embrace.

Keith’s reflection put his hands over Lance’s, his smile widening at the touch. Even if it was just an image, he could still feel his heart pounding out of his chest like it was about to burst, but he kept his breathing steady. The reflection of Lance placed a soft kiss on his cheek, resting his chin on Keith’s shoulder.

And what the real Keith saw that made him not want to look away, was the minute his eyes drifted back down at their hands, and saw that there were silver rings on both him and Lance’s ring fingers.

His smile widened, and he heard Lance’s voice call him back to reality, but that didn’t make his smile go away.

“Aren’t you coming?” Lance had asked in that sleepy tone in his voice.

Maybe one day… Keith thought as he took a quick glance back at the reflection and seeing the image of him and Lance disappear as he tugs himself out of his trance, dragging his legs towards the real Lance. Maybe one day that’ll be my reality…

But hey, Lance didn’t need to know all that extra information, doesn’t he?

Besides, he’s got part of the truth already.

Katie’s Graduation Present

Katie’s Graduation Present | Phil Lester has missed the majority of his daughter’s high school years because he’s spent the last four years in the military. When Dan finds out he’s going to miss her graduation, too, he throws a fit, and doesn’t even say “I love you,” before hanging up on him. So who’s the military guy in blue at the bottom of the bleachers? | Phan | Teen and Up | Reunion fic, light angst, happy ending, Parent phan | 1,849 Words

Disclaimer: In no way do I pretend that this is real or cast aspersions on Dan or Phil.

I may have spent a good portion of the morning watching military reunion videos and I cried so hard I wrote a fic with my tears.

(Ao3)

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Simmer // Archie Andrews

Summary: Archie and you have a fight when Veronica can’t seem to understand that Archie isn’t single but that doesn’t stop her from kissing him. During ‘Secrets and Sins’ some things you didn’t know are revealed causing a rift but with the sex be enough to convince you how much Archie cares?

Characters: Reader x Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper x Jughead Jones, Veronica Lodge, Kevin Keller, Cheryl Blossom, Chuck Clayton, Dilton Doiley, FP Jones, Jason Blossom (mentioned) and Ms. Grundy (mentioned).

Words: 3126

Disclaimer: Disclaimer: I do not own Riverdale or the characters involved. Some parts of the dialogue from the episode has been changed to fit the fic.

Warnings: Swearing, underage drinking, party, fighting, and smut.

Author: Caitsy

A/N: This was two requests I put into one!

Master List

Prompt List

ASK US A QUESTION LIST

Originally posted by riverdalesource

The minute Archie told you about Betty throwing Jughead a birthday party you knew it would go bad. When you were young Mrs. Jones would babysit you for extra cash, your parents doubled the average pay to her. That meant you grew up close with Jughead as if you were siblings or really close cousins and you knew how much he hated his birthday.

You were shocked when Archie allowed the get together build into a fill fledged high school part with two kegs in attendance. Your boyfriend was acting odd but refused to tell you why and you didn’t appreciated Veronica making eyes at your oblivious boyfriend.

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Love Always Wakes the Dragon

(and suddenly flames everywhere)

It could be worse. You do have all the luxuries befitting a princess, though one charged with treason. But a gilded cage is still a cage. And the prospect of withering away in this, the tallest tower of the Palace of Asgard, in the same place where your once-betrothed will live and marry and rule from, it’s almost too much to bear.


author: sugardaddytonystark (formerly buckysbackpackbuckle)
pairing: Thor x Jotun!Reader
word count: 4067
warnings: brat prince Thor, unprotected sex, oral sex, hair pulling, choking

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Lust & Errors 01 (AU) | Jungkook x You

Rated: M

Warning: Dom themes, very light dubcon and inappropriate step sibling stuff. Be warned.

Summary: Step brother, fuck buddy… They were one and the same now. But what started out as some mindless fucking game, quickly turns into something much more difficult and complex.

Note: No words other than can y’all tell how fucked up I am by now? =D  Anyways, this is going to be a little mini series. :) It was originally supposed to be just a oneshot, but I thought of a cool story, so yeah. I’m tired so I’m not editing tonight lol.

Words4,393+

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It was wrong, you knew it. He knew it. But you couldn’t bring yourself to stop. It was like an addiction - each of you the other one’s drug. The situation itself wasn’t right, but it also wasn’t fair either. You and Jungkook had been hooking up before your father and his mother decided to get together. It wasn’t that big of a deal until they made the decision to tie the knot and ultimately labeling you and your fuck buddy as future siblings.

However, the engagement didn’t stop your encounters, nor did the actual marriage which officiated the fact you were supposedly ‘brother and sister’ now. You fucked every chance you got. After school when your parents were still at work, in his car when you two would drive to some abandoned parking lot with the notion of 'going to bond’ - but your encounters usually ensued in the middle of night while your parents slept, peacefully oblivious to the sins happening under their very roof.

You would tiptoe silently through the house until you made it to Jungkook’s room. You wouldn’t knock, you would simply open the door as quietly as you could so you wouldn’t wake your sleeping parents. He’d be waiting for you in the nothing but his boxers and you’d greet him with nothing on but your panties and one of his white t-shirts that swallowed your small frame. When your parents asked what you were doing with your brother’s shirt on in the many mornings they found you wearing it, you’d innocently say that it was cozy and they wouldn’t press you any further about it.

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anonymous asked:

Could you possibly do a mafia!daddy!phil × pastel!little!Dan ? ?? Cause that hc is freaking grEAT (possibly some smut?)

Prompt: dan wearing those cute velvet shorts you see on Instagram and phil can’t keep his hands off of him. (mafia!daddy!phil and whiny!little!dan?)

Oral fixation pastel Dan is all I beg you for

can i pleeease have some more little dan with oral fixation??? 

Here y’all go. Plus dirty talk, exhibitionism, and cockslut!dan. If you have trouble getting past the cut on mobile, open in your browser.

Being the son of the boss always has it perks, but when your father is the boss of the mafia, the fringe benefits are almost endless. It certainly isn’t the most relatable circumstance, but Phil Lester is acutely aware of the privilege his heritage brings. His family has never had any financial issues, and, although it may not be the most honest money, it made for a very comfortable childhood. Growing up, Phil never had to worry about being bullied in school – even though he was a fairly strange, quirky kid that would usually attract that kind of negative energy in the cesspool of teenage hormones that is high school, everyone was well aware of who his father was and what he could do, so he was left well alone. Now that he’s older, his blood keeps on giving in the form of a large house in London and connections with almost every business in a ten kilometre radius. That’s not to say Phil has had an easy life, but his problems are quite disparate from the average persons’. He may be rich with a notorious last name that opens back doors, but he does live with the constant knowledge that he may be shot dead at any moment, so he supposes it all evens out.

He works as part of the family, of course. That’s how the mob operates and, although he’s had his fair share of morality crises, he enjoys it. He’s not the eldest son, so, as long as nothing happens to Martyn, he isn’t expected to take over when his father – willingly, or otherwise – steps down, but he is still in control of some aspects of it. He supposes he’s a capo, in a way, being able to give orders to soldiers to do the bidding that’s sometimes his own, and sometimes passed down to him from his father. Most of the members he ranks above are considerably older than him, considering he’s only twenty-five, and he can tell from the hard look in their eyes when he gives orders that they’re not exactly thrilled about that. It doesn’t really matter, though, because to go against Phil is to go against the boss and, unless they’re actively looking to be killed, that’s not a very bright idea.

Phil’s seen a lot of shit since being inducted into the business at twenty. Before that, his father always kept things vague and the gory details hidden, probably more on Phil’s mothers’ wishes than his own, but the reality of what being in the mafia involves couldn’t be sugar-coated for him forever. He’s seen theft, assault, battery, and a fair share of murder. It’s not what Phil would call ideal, but it comes with the kill-or-be-killed lifestyle. He’s pretty much desensitised to the horror of it all by this point, but there is one incident that affected him above any other; it was also the chain of events that led to him meeting Dan.

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Tumblr Needs To Chill: Let People Like Hamilton!

I’m so tired of seeing people being so rude to the Hamilton fandom. Especially when the Hamilton fandom are just minding their own business. For example, I’ll be scrolling and see a post sharing interesting or funny facts about the founding fathers. And there is always a guarantee that someone will hijack that post or send anon messages like, “The founding fathers were slave owners, so you’re a terrible human being for liking Hamilton or American History.” 

And you know what? I’ve had it. I have several responses to these accusations.

  • “The founding fathers were slave owners and you keep ignoring that.”

Let’s get the big one out of the way. Most of the founding fathers were slave owners. No one is denying or defending that. However, most of the fandom (and people who study American History) generally think ‘”That’s really disappointing to know… I wish things were different. America would have been a better place if these important figures were abolitionists.” But after that, they continue on to study more about the good and bad in history. That horrific part of history will always be there. And that will never change. BUT. BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT! Just because we don’t talk about it all the live long day does not mean we don’t acknowledge it. WE. KNOW.

However, there are so many amazing things the founding fathers did that can not be ignored. Like it or not, all of these people played an important part in creating a whole country basically from scratch. We don’t ignore the fact that they owned slaves, but we also don’t ignore the great things they’ve done to create a new nation either. Both are huge factors in our history. And we acknowledge both. 

We don’t see them as gods with no flaws. We see the founding fathers as they were. Real people, with real complex personalities and issues. They were right about a lot of things. And horribly wrong about others. They both did great and terrible things. Does the good justify the bad? Of course not! Everyone knows that! But just because people focus on the positive does not mean we diminish or ignore the negative! WE. KNOW. Okay, next!

“The musical glorifies slave owners!!! The show is racist and you’re racist if you like it!”

Did you watch the same musical as I did? Because in the show, Hamilton hated Jefferson because Jefferson owned slaves. They don’t ignore the issue or diminish it by pretending it never happened. Rather, they show that it was a thing and not every one supported it. However, they show the complex situations regarding slavery at the time. For example, it was mentioned in the beginning that Hamilton started career as a trading charter… which included ships with slaves from time to time. That’s messed up. What’s worse is that Hamilton was a poor 14 year old kid with no family and no way to support himself at the time. If he wasn’t given the job, he would have starved and died in the Caribbean. It would have been a horrifying job for an adult, but he was still a child. A child who seen the horrors of slavery with his own eyes. That’s terrible! But seeing those acts started his abolitionist worldview from an early age. They present in the opening song the complex childhood he had and you see how that influenced Hamilton when he fights against Jefferson later in life. And from the “Cabinet Battle 1″ song you can see that he is against slavery. Just because it’s not the main focus of the show, that doesn’t mean the issue is completely ignored. And if you want a more bold example, let’s talk about John Laurens.

*ahem*

JOHN LAURENS IN REAL LIFE AND IN THE SHOW WAS A WHITE GUY THAT PUBLICLY STOOD AGAINST SLAVERY. That’s one of the major focuses on his character! He has an entire verse in the second song the show about wanting to free slaves and mentions this goal multiple times within the show! And when he *spoilers* dies in the show, it’s treated as a huge tragedy because his dream of freeing the black troops died with him. It’s treated as a horrible tragedy.  And it was that event that caused Hamilton to kick start his political career because his best friend failed to accomplish that goal.  And after this event, Hamilton is way more vocal about the issue in the second act. He was NOT a slave owner and acted as a voice against the horrible common practice of his time. If the show did not have Laurens as a strong voice against slavery or if they had written him out of the show, then okay. I can kind of see the anger. But Laurens acts as a modern voice to those times. So stop treating every character as a racist when the show CLEARLY PLACES HISTORICAL CHARACTERS WHO WERE AGAINST SLAVERY IN THE FOREFRONT OF THE SHOW! 

And George Washington? If you watch any clip of the finale, when Eliza mentions how she fought against slavery, look at George. He hangs his head low and backs away ashamed. Because Washington could have done more. That’s. The. Point. The show never ignores the fact that slavery was an issue of their time. And they strongly say in the end that these people could have done more for those people! If the show really glorified slave owners they would have left out the complex aspects of Hamilton’s childhood from the show, completely taken out all mentions of slavery from the get go (or written Laurens out of the story), or deny that the founding fathers owned slaves within the show itself. But they acknowledge it and mention multiple times that slavery is a bad thing and the show presents itself in a sorrowful “we wish things were different” way.

Speaking of the show… apparently Hamilton the Musical as a whole is considered racist to some people. How? The show is the only one I can think of that stood for including many different kinds of ethnicities in one production. Seriously. I’ve never seen a show that is so inclusive of all actors from all ethnicities for the entire cast! Hamilton gave all kinds of actors a chance to be included. The show celebrates the creation of America by including a viewpoint of what America looks like today. How is that racist?

Is it because black people are playing slave owners? If that’s the case, then the point went completely over your head, my friend! Anyone could have played Jefferson. Anyone. So why isn’t Jefferson played by a white guy? Because, that is too common in modern media. There are soooo many movies about slavery that has the owner as a white guy, because yes, that’s what happened. Now, while this is historically accurate, there has been so many slavery stories in media that upon repeated viewings, the meaning of the message risks losing impact because today’s audience is so used to seeing the white guy owning the black guy. 

HOWEVER, when we see the black guy owning someone of the same ethnicity, it visually solidifies the anti-slavery message in a new and impactful way. The whole point is when you see a black man playing Jefferson, you’re supposed to feel a disconnect. Jefferson owned slaves. But we see him as a black man being a slave owner. We are supposed to feel uncomfortable because we see that they are the same. The same. As in, THE SAME HUMAN RACE. By showing how ridiculous it is for a black man to own someone from his own ethnicity, we are given a new strong visualization of why slavery shouldn’t have happened in a way that has never been done before in recent year.
In other words, IT’S VISUAL SYMBOLISM THAT SLAVERY IS WRONG BECAUSE WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS! 

Also, how are people who like Hamilton racist? The Hamilton fandom has been so accepting of the diversity in the cast, it’s is mind blowing. I’ve seen people get angry because a black woman played Eponine in Les Mis. Or that a latino man portrayed The Phantom in an Andrew Lloyd Webber concert. But Hamilton? With every change to the cast, the fandom have been so supportive of diversity, regardless of who plays who. The show accepts anyone and everyone from every ethnicity and I fail to think of one other show that uses so much diversity. Hamilton has been accepted and celebrated by the majority of viewers because of this. And the fandom does wonders in showing broadway that diversity is something that should not be ignored, but celebrated.

“You’re advocating slavery by liking this show.”

That doesn’t make any sense. The actors don’t own slaves. Lin-Manuel Miranda doesn’t own slaves. There is no part in the show where someone tells someone that people should be slave owners. Most people who like Hamilton and American History do not fantasize about owning other people. Slavery is in the long distant past for most of the modern world! THANK GOD.

Again, most people who like American History or Hamilton are well aware of the good and the bad these people inhibited. They don’t deny the awful things these real people did, but they don’t ignore the good acts either. The founding fathers were real people. We don’t advocate everything they did. And we don’t treat them like perfect beings. The end.

“This actor supports an organization I don’t support, so they are evil and any show that uses them are evil too!”

I see this mindset all over Tumblr all the time. However, I’m starting to see it circulate within the same circles who keep harassing the Hamilton fandom.  So forgive me for the tangent, but this needs to be addressed as well.

Here’s a hypothetical situation. You have a friend. A close friend. One that has been with you through thick and think over many years. And you just find out that they support an organization that you don’t. Do you cut off that friendship because of that one fact? Most people wouldn’t, because that friendship is too important to them to risk losing.

This should apply to the things you like. When you like a show, movie, an actor, a writer, or anything- there is always going to be something about that thing that people or even yourself will not like. It is literally impossible to have someone who will have the exact same mindset as you. But everyone has a personal reason why they support or advocate something. It is not up to you to change that. Now, people’s opinions can change, and you can help shape other people… but most of the time, they will continue to live their own lives beyond your control. You can never really know someone inside and out. Don’t drop people just because you have a different viewpoint.

This applies to actors too. People are saying Lin is a horrible person because he donated to Autism Speaks. So was it a huge campaign? Did he ever say that Autism Speaks is the cure for Autism? Did he try to rally a bunch of people to donate to this organization? Actually no. He made one tweet talking about how he donated for a friend’s cause. And people fail to mention that this tweet was made over four years ago. That’s right. These people are using one tweet from OVER FOUR YEARS AGO as justification to harass an entire fandom. If you actually read the tweet, the post was more about supporting his friend than the organization itself. A lot of people donate to organizations for a friend’s need without really reading into the organization itself. You do realize that people can be unaware about these corporations, right? For crying out loud, my mom just learned the truth about PETA. And people are still acting like he’s a spokesman for Autism Speaks. Which obviously he’s not. He made one post from four years ago. Four years is a long time and people tend to change opinions in that span of time. Has he made another post about Autism Speaks? No. It’s just that one post, so it was most likely a one and done deal to support his friend.  That’s hardly something to hold an eternal grudge over. Especially since it happened OVER FOUR YEARS AGO and he hasn’t made another post about it since!

The other reason why people hate Lin is because he used the N word once and “didn’t apologize.” Yet what people don’t reveal is he was quoting David Diggs for the Hamiltome audiobook. He was quoting David Diggs, the black actor who played Jefferson. It was a direct quote and Lin read it word for word as directed for the audio book. That’s it. It’s not like he uses the N word as a derogatory term in daily life. It was a one and done deal for a direct quote in an audiobook. There’s a difference between saying something out of your own accord and quoting someone, especially for an audiobook. Yes the quote was censored in the book, but when you have an audio book, it’s hard to edit a quote without an audio or visual context. In situations like this, the reader has to go by what the director wants. It’s not their choice what’s written or what they should say instead. They just read what’s given to them. That’s the job!  If anything, y’all should have been mad that the director didn’t add a *beep* noise in the editing room. 

What annoys me about the whole thing is that it takes one person to post something with exaggerated or misinformed content. And with Tumblr’s already “walking on eggshells” and “one strike, you’re out” mentality, it is ridiculously easy to get people to blindly hate, when most of those people won’t even check to see if that information is true! Or if it’s in the right context. People in general need to do their own research before spreading exaggerated or falsified information. It literally took me two minutes to look all this up. Do your own research before jumping to conclusions.

Getting back on track. My main point is this. With very very few exceptions, people (living or dead) are not gods or devils and shouldn’t be treated as such. They are humans with their own complicated problems that result in their own individual opinions and thought processes. We are not ignorant of the negative just because we enjoy the positive. We know people are going to make mistakes.They have made mistakes! They are going to do things you will not like. This is a fact that will never change no matter what. However, you can still like the positive things they do or did! It is not a crime to enjoy the positives of someone. That doesn’t mean you’re ignoring the negative. Appreciating a famous person (past or present) does NOT mean you support everything they do. So please just leave people alone!

In conclusion, American History enthusiasts and Hamilton the Musical fans
DO NOT advocate everything that our founding fathers did. 

SO LET PEOPLE ENJOY RAPPING MUSICALS!

OKAY? 

OKAY.

Full Esquire Interview - CHRIS EVANS IS READY TO FIGHT

“HIS SUCCESS AS CAPTAIN AMERICA HAS MADE CHRIS EVANS ONE OF HOLLYWOOD’S SURE THINGS, WHICH MEANS HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS WITH HIS FREE TIME. SO WHY JUMP OUT OF AIRPLANES AND GET INTO IT WITH DAVID DUKE?

BY MAXIMILLIAN POTTERMAR 15, 2017


The Canadian commandos are the first to jump. Our plane reaches an altitude of about eight thousand feet; the back door opens. Although it’s a warm winter day below in rural southern California, up here, not so much. In whooshes freezing air and the cold reality that this is actually happening. Out drop the eight commandos, all in black-and-red camouflage, one after the other. For them it’s a training exercise, and Jesus, these crazy bastards are stoked. The last Canuck to exit into the nothingness is a freakishly tall stud with a crew cut and a handlebar mustache; just before he leaps, he flashes a smile our way. Yeah, yeah, we get it: You’re a badass.

Moments later, the plane’s at ten thousand feet, and the next to go are a Middle Eastern couple in their late thirties. These two can’t wait. They are ecstatic. Skydiving is clearly a thing for them. Why? I can’t help thinking. Is it like foreplay? Do they rush off to the car after landing and get it on in the parking lot? They give us the thumbs-up and they’re gone.

Just like that, we’re at 12,500 feet and it’s our turn. Me and Chris Evans, recognized throughout the universe as the star of the Marvel-comic-book-inspired Captain America and Avengers movies. The five films in the series, which began in 2011 with Captain America: The First Avenger, have grossed more than $4 billion.

The two of us, plus four crew members, are the only ones left in the back of the plane. Over the loud drone of the twin propellers, one of the crew members shouts, "Okay, who’s going first?”

Evans and I are seated on benches opposite each other. Neither of us answers. I look at him; he looks at me. I feel like I’ve swallowed a live rat. Evans is over there, all Captain America cool, smiling away.

While we were waiting to board the plane, Evans told me that as he lay in bed the night before, “I started exploring the sensation of ‘What if the chute doesn’t open?’. . .”

Oh, did you now?

“. . .Those last minutes where you know.” As in you know you’re going to fatally splat. “You’re not gonna pass out; you’re gonna be wide awake. So what? Do I close my eyes? Hopefully, it would be quick. Lights out. I fucking hope it would be quick. And then I was like, if you’re gonna do it, let’s just pretend there is no way this is going to go wrong. Just really embrace it and jump out of that plane with gusto.” Evans also shared that he’d looked up the rate of skydiving fatalities. “It’s, like, 0.006 fatalities per one thousand jumps. So I figure our odds are pretty good.”

Again the crew member shouts, “Who’s going first?”

Again I look at Evans; again he looks at me. The rat is running circles in my belly.

I look at Evans; he looks at me.

Another crew member asks, “So whose idea was this, anyway?”


That’s an excellent question.

I ask Evans the same thing when we first meet, the evening before our jump, at his house. He lives atop the Hollywood Hills, in a modern-contemporary ranch in the center of a Japanese-style garden. The place has the vibe of an L.A. meditation retreat—there’s even a little Buddha statue on the front step.

The dude who opens the front door is in jeans, a T-shirt, and Nikes; he has on a black ball cap with the NASA logo, and his beard is substantial enough that for a second it’s hard to be sure this is the same guy who plays the baby-faced superhero. Our handshake in the doorway is interrupted when his dog rockets toward my crotch. Evans is sorry about that.

We do the small-talk thing. Evans is from a suburb of Boston, one of four kids raised by Dad, a dentist, and Mom, who ran a community theater. The point is, he’s a Patriots fan, and with Super Bowl LI, between the Pats and the Falcons, just a few days away at the time, it’s about the only thing on his mind. You bet your Sam Adams–guzzling ass he’s going to the game in Houston. “Oh my God,” he says, doing a little dance. “I can’t believe it’s this weekend.”

Like any self-respecting Pats fan, Evans is super-wicked pissed at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Evans won’t be rolling to SB LI with a posse of Beantown-to-Hollywood A-listers like Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck. For the record, he’s never met Damon, and his only interaction with Wahlberg was a couple years ago at a Patriots event. Evans has, however, humiliated himself in front of Affleck.

Around 2006, Evans met with Affleck to talk about Gone Baby Gone, which Affleck was directing. Evans was walking down a hallway, looking for the room where they were supposed to meet. Walking by an open office, he heard Affleck, in that thick Boston accent of his, shout, “There he is!” (Evans does a perfect Affleck impersonation.)

By then, Evans had hit the big time for his turn as the Human Torch, Johnny Storm, in 2005’s Fantastic Four, but he still got starstruck. As he tells it, “First thing I say to him: 'Am I going to be okay where I parked?’ He was like, 'Where did you park?’ I said, 'At a meter.’ And he was like, 'Did you put money in the meter?’ And I said, 'Yep.’ And he says, 'Well, I think you’ll be okay.’ I was like, this is off to a great fucking start.” Stating the obvious here: Evans did not get the part.

No, Evans will be heading to the Super Bowl with his brother and three of his closest buddies. Like any self-respecting Pats fan, Evans is super-wicked pissed at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for imposing that suspension on Tom Brady for Deflategate. Grabbing two beers from a fridge that’s otherwise basically empty, Evans says, “I just want to see Goodell hand the trophy to Brady. Goodell. Piece of shit.”

In Evans’s living room, there’s not a single hint of his Captain Americaness. Earth tones, tables that appear to be made of reclaimed wood. Open. Uncluttered. Glass doors open onto a backyard with a stunning view of the Hills. Evans stretches out on one of two couches. I take the other and ask, “Just whose idea was it to jump?” Since we both know whose idea it wasn’t, we both know that what I’m really asking is Why? Why, dude, do you want to jump (with me) from a goddamn airplane? “Yeah,” he says, popping open his beer, “I don’t know what I was thinking.”

Settling in on the couch, he groans. Evans explains that he’s hurting all over because he just started his workout routine the day before to get in shape for the next two Captain America films. The movies will be shot back to back beginning in April. After that, no more red- white-and-blue costume for the thirty-five-year-old. He will have fulfilled his contract.

“Yeah,” he says, popping open his beer, “I don’t know what I was thinking.”

Back in 2010, Marvel presented Evans with a nine-picture deal. He insisted he’d sign on for no more than six. Some family members thought he was nuts to dial back such a secure and lucrative gig. Evans saw it differently.

It takes five months to shoot a Marvel movie, and when you tack on the promotional obligations for each one, well, shit, man. Evans knew that for as long as he was bound to Captain America, he would have little time to take on other projects. He wanted to direct, he wanted to play other characters—roles that were more human—like the lead in Gifted, which will hit theaters this month. The script had brought him to tears. Evans managed to squeeze the movie in between Captain America and Avengers films.

FOX Searchlight

In Gifted, Evans stars as Frank Adler. You don’t get much more human than Adler, a grease-under-his-nails boat-engine mechanic living the bachelor life in Florida. After a series of tragic circumstances, Adler becomes a surrogate father to his niece, Mary, a first-grader with the IQ of Einstein. He recognizes that Mary is a little genius, and he does his best to prevent anyone else from noticing. Given the aforementioned circumstances, Adler has witnessed what can happen when a kid with a brilliant mind is pushed too hard too quickly. Then along comes Mary’s teacher. She discovers the child’s gift, and a Kramer vs. Kramer–esque drama ensues.

During a moment in the film when things aren’t going Adler’s way, he sarcastically refers to himself as a “fucking hero.” Evans says the line didn’t lead him to make comparisons between superhero Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) and Everyman hero Frank Adler. But now that you mention it . . . 

“With Steve Rogers,” Evans says, “even though you’re on a giant movie with a huge budget and strange costumes, you’re still on a hunt for the truth of the character.” That said, “with Adler, it’s nice to play someone relatable. I think Julianne Moore said, 'The audience doesn’t come to see you; they come to see themselves.’ Adler is someone you can hold up as a mirror for someone in the audience. They’ll be able to far more easily identify with Frank Adler than Steve Rogers.”

Dodger. That’s the name of Evans’s dog, the one who headbutted my nuts and has since done a marvelous job of making amends by nuzzling against me on the couch. Evans got him while he was filming Gifted; one of the last scenes was shot in an animal shelter in Georgia. Evans had wanted a dog ever since his last pooch died in 2012. Then he found himself walking the aisles of this pound, and there was this mixed-breed boxer, wagging his tail and looking like he belonged with Evans.

Dodger is not exactly a name you’d think a die-hard Boston sports fan would pick. His boys from back home have given him a ton of shit over it. But he has not abandoned his Red Sox for the L.A. team. As a kid, he loved the Disney animated movie Oliver & Company, and his favorite character was Dodger. Anticipating the grief he was going to get from his pals, Evans considered other names. “You could name your dog Doorknob,” he says, “and in a month he’s fucking Doorknob.” Evans’s mom convinced him to go with his gut.

Right around when Evans was wrapping Gifted and heading back to L.A. with Dodger, the 2016 presidential campaign was still in that phase when no one, including the actor—a Hillary Clinton supporter—thought Trump had a shot. He still can’t believe Trump won.

“I feel rage,” he says. “I feel fury. It’s unbelievable. People were just so desperate to hear someone say that someone is to blame. They were just so happy to hear that someone was angry. Hear someone say that Washington sucks. They just want something new without actually understanding. I mean, guys like Steve Bannon—Steve Bannon!—this man has no place in politics.”

Evans has made, and continues to make, his political views known on Twitter. He tweeted that Trump ought to “stop energizing lies,” and he recently ended up in a heated Twitter debate with former KKK leader David Duke over Trump’s pick of Jeff Sessions for attorney general. Duke baselessly accused Evans of being anti-Semitic; Evans encouraged Duke to try love: “It’s stronger than hate. It unites us. I promise it’s in you under the anger and fear.” Making political statements and engaging in such public exchanges is a rather risky thing for the star of Captain America to do. Yes, advisors have said as much to him. “Look, I’m in a business where you’ve got to sell tickets,” he says. “But, my God, I would not be able to look at myself in the mirror if I felt strongly about something and didn’t speak up. I think it’s about how you speak up. We’re allowed to disagree. If I state my case and people don’t want to go see my movies as a result, I’m okay with that.”

Trump. Bannon. Politics. Now Evans is animated. He gets off the couch, walks out onto his porch, and lights a cigarette. “Some people say, 'Don’t you see what’s happening? It’s time to yell,' ” Evans says. “Yeah, I see it, and it’s time for calm. Because not everyone who voted for Trump is going to be some horrible bigot. There are a lot of people in that middle; those are the people you can’t lose your credibility with. If you’re trying to change minds, by spewing too much rhetoric you can easily become white noise.”


Evans has a pretty remarkable “How I got to Hollywood” story.

During his junior year of high school, he knew he wanted to act. He was doing it a lot. In school. At his mom’s theater. He loved it. “When you’re doing a play at thirteen years old and have opening night? None of my friends had opening nights. 'I can’t have a sleepover, guys; I have an opening night tonight.' ”

That same year, he did a two-man play. For all of the twenty-plus plays Evans had done up to that point, preparation meant going home, memorizing lines, and doing a few run-throughs with the cast. However, for this play, Fallen Star, he and his costar would rehearse by running dialogue with each other. Hour upon hour, night after night.

Fallen Star is about two friends, one of whom has just died. As the play opens, one of the characters comes home after the funeral to find his dead friend’s ghost. Evans was the ghost. Waiting backstage on opening night, he knew he didn’t have every line memorized, but he had the essence and emotion of the play down. Onstage, he remembers, “I was saying the lines not because they were memorized but because the play was in me. I was believing what I was saying.”

He was hooked. He wanted to do more of this kind of acting—real acting. He wanted to do films, in which the camera was right on him and he could just be the character, rather than theater, in which an actor must perform to the back of the room.

A family friend who was a television actor advised Evans that if he wanted to go to Hollywood, he needed an agent. Toward the end of his junior year, he had a ballsy request for his parents: If he found an internship with a casting agent in New York City, would they allow him to live there and cover the rent? They agreed. Evans landed a gig with Bonnie Finnegan, who was then working on the television show Spin City.

“I just fucked off. I lost my virginity that year. 1999 was one of the best years of my life.” Until it wasn’t.

Evans chose to intern with a casting agent because he figured he had more of a chance to interact with other agents trying to get auditions for their clients.

The kid was sixteen years old.

Finnegan put Evans on the phone; his responsibilities included setting up appointments for auditions. By the end of the summer, he picked the three agents he had the best rapport with and asked each of them to give him a five-minute audition. All three said yes. After seeing his audition, all three were interested.

Evans went with the one Finnegan recommended, Bret Adams, who told Evans to return to New York for auditions in January, television pilot season. Back home, Evans doubled up on a few classes the first semester of his senior year, graduated early, and went back to New York in January. He got the same shithole apartment in Brooklyn and the same internship with Finnegan. He landed a part on the pilot Opposite Sex. Even better, the show got picked up and would start shooting in L.A. that fall.

“I know I’m going to L.A. in August,” Evans says, recalling that period. “So I go home and that spring I would wake up around noon, saunter into high school just to see my buddies, and we’d go get high in the parking lot. I just fucked off. I lost my virginity that year. 1999 was one of the best years of my life.” Until it wasn’t.

He wasn’t in L.A. for even a month when he got a call from home. His parents were divorcing. Evans never saw it coming.

Family and love and the struggles therein are part of what attracted Evans to Gifted.

“In my own life, I have a deep connection with my family and the value of those bonds,” he says. “I’ve always loved stories about people who put their families before themselves. It’s such a noble endeavor. You can’t choose your family, as opposed to friends. Especially in L.A. You really get to see how friendships are put to the test; it stirs everyone’s egos. But if something goes south with a friend, you have the option to say we’re not friends anymore. Your family—that’s your family. Trying to make that system work and trying to make it not just functional but actually enjoyable is a really challenging endeavor, and that’s certainly how it is with my family.”


the plane, a decision is made.

“I want to see you jump first,” Evans shouts my way.

Of course he does.

Like any respectable and legal skydiving center, Skydive Perris, which is providing us with this “experience,” doesn’t just strap a chute on your back. First, you go to a room for a period of instruction. Then you go to another room, where you sign away your rights.

You may be wondering how the star of a billion-dollar franchise with two pictures to shoot gets clearance to jump from an airplane—never mind the low rate of fatalities, as Evans has presented it. So am I.

“Well, they give you all these crazy insurance policies, but even if I die, what are they going to do? Sue my family? They’d probably cast some new guy at a cheaper price and save some money.”

Thinking the answer is almost certainly going to be no, I ask Evans if he’s ever gone skydiving before. Turns out he has, with an ex-girlfriend. Turns out that ex-girlfriend is now married to Justin Timberlake. Evans and Jessica Biel dated off and on from 2001 to 2006. They took the leap together when Biel hatched the idea for one Valentine’s Day. According to media accounts, Evans was recently dating his Gifted costar Jenny Slate, who plays the teacher. “Yeah,” he says, “but I’m steering clear of those questions.” You can almost feel his heart pinch.

“There’s a certain shared life experience that is tough for someone else who’s not in this industry to kind of wrap their head around.”

We end up broadly discussing the unique challenges an international star like Evans faces when it comes to dating, specifically the trust factor. Evans supposes that’s why so many actors date other actors: “There’s a certain shared life experience that is tough for someone else who’s not in this industry to kind of wrap their head around,” he says. “Letting someone go to work with someone for three months and they won’t see them. It really, it certainly puts the relationship to the test.”

In Gifted, there’s a moment when Slate’s character asks Adler what his greatest fear is. Frank Adler’s greatest fear is that he’ll ruin his niece’s life. Evans’s greatest fear is having regrets.

“Like always kind of wanting to be there as opposed to here. I think I’m worried all of a sudden I’ll get old and have regrets, realize that I’ve not cultivated enough of an appreciation for the now and surrendering to the present moment.”

Evans’s musings have something to do with the fact that he has been reading The Surrender Experiment. “It’s about the basic notion that we are only in a good mood when things are going our way,” he says. “The truth is, life is going to unfold as it’s going to unfold regardless of your input. If you are an active participant in that awareness, life kind of washes over you, good or bad. You kind of become Teflon a little bit to the struggles that we self-inflict.”

He continues: “Our conscious minds are very spread out. We worry about the past. We worry about the future. We label. And all of that stuff just makes us very separate. What I’m trying to do is just quiet it down. Put that brain down from time to time and hope those periods of quiet and stillness get longer. When you do that, what rises from the mist is a kind of surrendering. You’re more connected as opposed to being separate. A lot of the questions about destiny or fate or purpose or any of that stuff—it’s not like you get answers. You just realize you didn’t need the questions.”

This here—this stuff about surrendering, letting life unfold, taking the leap—this is why he wanted to go skydiving. It’s why that sixteen-year-old took the leap and did the summer in New York; it’s why he took the leap and turned down the nine-picture deal; it’s why he got Dodger. Surrender. Take the leap.

And so I go first.

Oh, one important detail: Novice jumpers like Evans and me, we don’t jump solo. Thank God. Each of us is doing a tandem jump. Each of us is strapped with our back to a professional jumper’s front. I’m strapped to a forty-four-year-old dude named Paul. Considering what’s about to happen, I figure I should know a little something about Paul. He tells me he used to own a bar in Chicago. Evans is strapped to a young woman named Sam, who looks to be twenty-something. She’s got a purplish-pink streak in her black hair and says things like “badass.” In fact, Sam introduced herself  by saying, “I’m Sam, but you can call me Badass.”

At the plane’s open door, my mind goes to my wife and two teenage sons, to those I love, and to the texts I just sent in case my chute fails. Then Paul and I—well, really mostly Paul—rock gently back and forth to build momentum to push away from the plane, to push away from all that seems sane.

Three.

Two.

One.

Holy fuck.

HOLY FUCK. This is what I scream as we free-fall from 12,500 feet, at more than a hundred miles an hour, toward the earth. Which I cannot take my eyes off of. I think about nothing. Not living. Not dying. Nothing. I simply feel . . . I have let go.

Suddenly, it all stops. I’m jerked up. Paul has pulled the chute, and it does indeed open. This is fantastic, because it means we have a much better chance of not dying. But it’s also kind of a bummer. I had let go. Of everything. I had chosen to play those odds Evans had talked about. I had embraced jumping and letting life unfold.

Now I had been jerked back. I would land. Back on the earth I had been so high above and from which I had been so far removed. Back in all of it.

Once I’m on the ground, safe and in one piece, a staffer runs over and asks how I feel. I say, “I feel like Captain America.”

The staffer runs over and asks Evans the same question. He says he feels great. Then he’s asked another question: What was your favorite part?

“Jumping out,” he says. “Jumping out is always a real thrill.”


This article appears in the April '17 issue of Esquire.

Today’s question that can be easily answered with the word “racism”– Why did everyone think Kylo was abused as a child?

Yup.

I mean, we see it in the news all the time. A white man shoots up a school, and we need to have instant coverage on every moment in his life, from his siblings to his dog to his prom date, and we have to pick everything apart to find the reason he did what he did, rather than just– I don’t know. Acknowledging that some white men are entitled assholes who think they’re allowed to do whatever they want?

(Compare to any nonwhite men, who must have done it because [insert reasoning based on race or religion here.])

And this happened exactly the same way it always does with Kylo Ren (or, for these folks, Ben Solo.)

The second the film came out, everyone just assumed Snoke showed up and bullied Ben Solo into submission at age five, and because Han and Leia criminally abused him, Ben became mentally ill and turned to the dark side at age fifteen. 

But there’s… nothing that suggests that specific line of reasoning?

Sure, Snoke was watching Kylo from a young age (at least, from Leia’s perspective.)

Sure, it sucks ass to have voices in your head that you don’t like (though there… doesn’t appear to be evidence that Kylo didn’t like having Snoke around.)

And sure, Han and Leia may not have been the best parents.

But Kylo went to the dark side when he was a full-grown adult. He went dark at 22, just seven years before the film. He was never the innocent, poor tortured child everyone thought he was. On the contrary, he’s an entitled man who thinks he deserves to be just like Vader.

Adam Driver’s comments on Kylo’s family can also be chalked up to his own entitlement when you compare them to Pablo Hidalgo’s words on the matter. 

As @the-bi-writer put it, Kylo essentially had the same type of parents as someone whose parents worked a lot. As much as I hate to be the guy who talks about what is and isn’t abuse, you need to have a pretty lax definition of neglect for this to count– hell, Han was still around in Bloodlines, he wasn’t even an absent father then.

There was never anything specific to suggest a tortured boy.

Fandom made that up.

Just like we made up a whole bunch of other stuff. There are thousands of tropes and concepts we made up, and when we combine this sympathetic view of young Kylo with the entire fake personality given to Hux and the characterization of Finn as ‘aggressive’ or ‘disrespecting Rey’s boundaries’ and the fact that some people still think Poe isn’t part of the new trio, it’s pretty obvious that the things fandom makes up are generally racist.

yaboy-robin  asked:

so here's a scenario for you- the sole survivor is one of the best people the companions have met. however, they seem to be the only one that thinks that - as anyone who meets the sole survivor is rude, overly mad, and even blames them for things that aren't the sole's fault - even other companions (other than the ones in the react). can we get a companions react to one more person being rude to the sole - and the companion's had enough of people being rude?

Cait: She snaps. She whirls around, catches the offender by the lapels of their coat, and shoves them up against the nearest wall. “Alright, listen up, you fuckwit son of a bitch.” Her fists grip tighter, and her knuckles turn white. She goes nose to nose with her prey. “Sole is one of the best people you’ll ever have the fuckin’ luxury to know. And if I hear you say shit about them one more time, I’ll beat yer ass so hard you won’t shit right for a week.”

Codsworth: “Mx. Sole, I’ve had enough!” he blurts. He flinches when all eyes turn on him, but pushes on. “You’ve done nothing but kind things for these people, and sacrificed so much to be here. I can’t- I can’t stand seeing them be so rude to you! And I-I know it doesn’t mean much, from me, I know no one listens to me, but.” He turns and addresses the crowd. “You all should be ashamed of yourselves!” 

Curie: “You don’t know what you’re talking about!” she exclaims, rounding on the person. She wags a scolding finger at them, looking like an indignant schoolteacher. “Sole has been nothing but good and kind to me, and everyone else we’ve met! The only reason any of you have been unkind is because of small-minded fears and prejudices. Well, no more. Sole deserves all the respect and kindness in the world.” 

Danse: “I suggest you keep your mouth shut, civilian.” Danse rises to his full height, looking very imposing in his power armor and fierce glare. “Maybe you are incapable of respecting good people when you see them, but this person is better and more capable than you’ll ever be. Perhaps you should learn when to pick your battles, instead of insulting people with more honor in their little finger than you have in your entire body.”

Deacon: “Let he who has committed no sin cast the first stone, am I right?” he snaps back. He glances at Sole. “That’s the line, right?” Without waiting for a reply, he pushes on. “Maybe you should stay out of other people’s business, ‘kay? You don’t want me insulting you just because you haven’t brushed your teeth for three weeks and smell like you hit your kids, or something. Just, like, have a little respect. We don’t all need to be assholes.”

Dogmeat: He growls at them, even snapping his jaws if he finds them particularly repulsive. He won’t do anything unless Sole commands it, but he makes sure to glare at and snarl at the insulting person whenever they’re around.

Hancock: His eyes narrow, black depths glimmering. He steps forward, between the jerk and Sole, somehow looming over them regardless of any difference in height. “I think you were talking to the wrong person,” Hancock says, brandishing a knife, shining in the light. “’Cause I’m a real bastard. I own that. But Sole? Nah. They’ve never done anything to you, and never will.” He points his knife towards the curve of their neck. “Me, though…”

Nick Valentine: “Don’t do this.” Suddenly he’s all sharp and angry, losing his temper in the blink of an eye. “You remember how you treated me, years ago, when I was a newbie to this town and your kind loathed me?” He jerks a thumb to his chest. “How’d that work out for you? Maybe you should think before you speak.” He’s almost like a disappointed father, berating and shaming the jerk into mumbling an apology.

MacCready: “Well, you- you suck!” he shouts, glowering at them over his shoulder. It sounds way lamer than he imagined it in his head, though, and the jerk laughs at him. So he marches forward, all short and thin and furious. “Yeah, laugh, go right ahead. You won’t be laughing when I- when I pop your head from a hundred miles away, asshole.” The use of profanity is lost on the stranger, but Sole gasps, and Mac feels a little proud.

Piper: “How dare you?” she snaps, jabbing a finger into their chest. “After everything Sole’s done for you? What? What are you saying about me, too. Are you saying I’m dumb for traveling with them? ‘Cause, hoo-boy, buddy, believe you me, I’m not as nice as Sole. I’ll- I’ll fight you. I will! Let’s just- let’s go out back. Right now. You and me. Mano-e-mano. Or, uh… Persono… e… woman-o. Yeah. Let’s go. Let’s do this.” Sole has to drag her away, still shouting.

Preston: He turns on the person, looking stern. “Have you ever fought for anything?” he demands. “Sole has given up so much to support the Commonwealth, and never gets a word of thanks for it. Before you judge them, before you blame them, maybe you should think about what we’re trying to accomplish, in the long run.” He gets up on his soapbox and gives a heartfelt speech. People are inspired. Old women cry. He kisses a baby afterwards. 

Strong: He twitches. Before anyone can stop him, he’s got one meaty paw around the offender’s neck, giving it a pinch to see how the person squirms. Everyone rushes to stop him, but he looks to Sole, ignoring the other humans. “Strong break?” he asks, waiting for the order. 

X6-88: He seems calm at first. “Should I kill them, Mx. Sole?” he asks, almost pleasant. Sole says no, of course, but that doesn’t stop him. He tracks them down, later, and is waiting in their house when they come home that day. He takes off his sunglasses, and somehow, that’s more terrifying than anything else. “You shouldn’t have spoken to Sole like that,” he says, and suddenly there’s a knife in his hand. “I’ll make sure you don’t make that mistake again.”

Hi, I’d like to file a complaint

Hi, hello, I’d like to file a complaint, please? Four, actually. I found some problems with how Volume 4 treated a Miss Ruby Rose and I’d like it to be brought to your attention.

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musicalluna  asked:

in the early days, steve doesn't realize the avengers care about him a lot because they are vastly different people with vastly different socialization than the commandos, but then something happens to him in a fight and the avengers collectively flip their lids and that is how he learns he is Very Important to them

Steve had never been a stranger to friendly teasing. Bucky was a little shit, of course, but so were the Commandos. He’d been called every moniker that popped into his friends’ brains: “Captain Tightpants” (long before it was a cultural reference, thank you very much), “Captain Mom,” “Twinkle Toes,” “All-American Showgirl,” “Blushing Betty,” and names far more filthy. But he’d understood why. He was the commanding officer and he was, when it came down to it, a greenie who got damn lucky 95% of the time. Dugan, Dernier, Falsworth, even Bucky, they all would have been infinitely more qualified to be CO, and so he knew where the teasing was coming from. He knew it was his men’s way of telling him they cared for him while keeping his ego in check. (Bucky could’ve told them Steve was a good enough self-critic as it was and they all could just damn well stick to the dancing references.)

The Avengers, though. Steve had no idea what to think of the way they spoke to him.

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Pack Mother - Derek Hale

Characters: Derek Hale, Stiles Stilinski, Scott McCall, Liam Dunbar, Isaac Lahey, PackMom!Y/N.

This is going to be a full series but I thought I’d give a disclaimer to prevent any confusion. This is kind of an AU where characters that left the show are still in the pack, just for more of a family vibe.

You walk into your home, your arms full of groceries. “Y/N! You’re here! Stiles got hurt and-” Scott looked up at you desperately.

You dropped the bags on the floor, your instincts kicking in. You kneel in front of Stiles and he smiles at you weakly.

“There you are. I told Scott you’d get here before I died.”

You stroke his hair. “Hush. You’ll be fine.” You kiss his forehead. “You feel warm. Scott get me the thermometer.”

The boy nods and heads to the bathroom.

You examine the gunshot wound in his chest, you put pressure around it but he flinches. “Hey, hey it’s okay. Trust me?” You caress his cheek and he nods. You yell at Scott to grab you some gloves and alcohol while he’s in the bathroom. He returns with everything and you put the gloves on before taking Stiles’ temperature. “It’s 102. You may have an infection.” You sigh as you flip the lid of the alcohol open. “This is going to hurt…and I’m sorry.” You wince as you begin pouring some of the liquid on his wound. Stiles screams in pain and you look at him sympathetically. “It’ll feel better when I’m done. You won’t die, Stiles.” You feel in the hole in his chest for the bullet. “Scott, help me flip him.” Scott nods and you push Stiles over. You take his jacket off and cut his shirt open. “It’s a clean shot. You’ll be fine.” You breathe out in relief.

You send Scott to find you a needle and thread while you tend to Stiles. You’re alerted when a man walks into your house. He looks vaguely familiar but you’re at a loss. “Can I…help you?” You stand up and look at the man in your doorway.

He smiles as you approach him. “Hi..I’m Derek Hale. Scott called me.”

So that’s Derek Hale. You knew you knew him. “I’m Y/N Y/L/N. Nice to meet you.” You smile before returning to Stiles. Scott walks in and hands you the supplies before going to talk to Derek. You begin stitching Stiles up, trying to comfort him.

You weren’t exactly sure when it had happened, it just sort of did. You’d become the pack mother. Every pack has either a mother or a father figure aside from the alpha that everyone imprints on. In this case even Stiles had grown close to you. You were a couple years older but you loved them. They practically lived with you and even though you’d gone to school with some of them, you were like a second mother.

You finished the stitches and went to the kitchen to get Stiles a drink. You returned and propped him up on a pillow. “Drink.” You hand him the bottle.

He tries to give it back. “I’m not thirsty.”

“You’re going to drink the water or I will open your mouth and pour it down. Now drink.” You push the water back to him and cross your arms. He sighs and takes a sip. “More, Stiles.” You warn and he rolls his eyes. He drinks more and you turn to Scott. “He should be fine, as long as he does what I tell him to.”

“Thank God. I couldn’t take him to the ER because of my mom. Thank you so much.” He hugged you and you smiled.

“Of course, Scott. That’s what I’m here for. Is everyone coming for dinner?” You both pull away and Scott nods. “Derek, do you want to stay?” You smile at him and he nods.

“Sure.”

“Wow. Sourwolf has had a change of heart.” You hear Stiles say quietly.

“Stiles lay down and be quiet” You say as you look over your shoulder. He does as you say and you look back to Derek.

“How do you get them to listen so well?” He chuckles.

“She’s the pack mother. This is the Y/N I was telling you about.”

Derek nods. “You are great with them, Scott tells me a lot.” He smiles.

“I’ve always been a motherly person so I guess it’s just natural.” You hear Isaac enter with Jackson and Lydia.

“Take your shoes off.”

“How do you know they aren’t already off?” Isaac asks.

“Are they?” You smirk at Derek as he watches you interact.

“Maybe. What do you think?” You can practically see the goofy grin on his face.

“Judging by the way the three of you are walking I’d say no. Heavy-footed geniuses.” You turn to look at them, all of them with their shoes intact. “What did I tell you?”

Isaac laughs and you glance back at Stiles. He gives you a thumbs up and you smile.

Everyone else arrived and you were cleaning the kitchen after dinner. Derek was helping while the others watched TV.

“So, how does it feel to be a beta to an alpha in high school?“ You teased Derek.

“I don’t know, you tell me.” He smiles.

You laugh. “Touché. I am the pack mother though, that has to count for something.” You turn your attention the Liam and Issac play wrestling. You hear everyone making bets. “Boys!” You cross your arms and everyone turns to look to you.

“Sorry, Y/N.” Liam and Isaac say in unison.

You turn back to Derek. “So why haven’t we ever met?” You hop onto the counter and face him.

“I’m not sure? It’s kind of strange considering we’re in the same pack.” You both laugh. “I’ll tell you what, let me take you out to dinner and we’ll get to know each other better.” Derek smiles.

“Hmm. I might just have to take you up on that.”

“Tomorrow at eight?”

You grin. “It’s a date.”

Scott turns his head. “You guys are going on a date? I didn’t think you’d get along.”

“And I didn’t think you were nosey.” You give him a look and he quickly turns back around.

You’d given Derek your number and he had texted you the next morning to tell you to dress up. You figured you’d go with your slinky blue dress and black heels. You sat on the couch, scrolling through your phone when you heard a knock at the door. You opened the door and you were greeted by Derek.

“Hey.” He breathed out, taking in the sight of you. “You look gorgeous.”

You smiled. “Thanks.”

“You ready to go?” He asks, holding his hand out to you. You nod and take his hand, following him to his car. He opens your door and helps you in.

When you arrived at the restaurant he lead you inside. You sat down and he smiled at you.

“I just find it so weird that we didn’t meet until yesterday.” Derek says.

“I know. I’ve been apart of the pack for a few months and I’d only heard your name.”

“Well, I hope you heard good things about my name.” He smiles.

“Mostly..aside from a few comments from Stiles.” You laugh.

“That makes sense.” He grins. “When did they all imprint on you?”

You take a sip of your drink. “About…a month and a half ago. It happened when Scott got hurt. He’d gotten bit pretty badly and he wasn’t healing.”

“Yeah, I remember that. Nobody would let me see him.” Derek nods.

“That’s because I wouldn’t let anyone in.” You smile. “He was under my constant care. I didn’t sleep for weeks while I was watching him. Scott imprinted and everyone else followed suit.”

Derek smiles. “I’ve never met a pack mother so…”

“Young?” You smile and he nods.

“Not that there’s anything wrong with it…to be honest with you I think it’s very attractive.” He smirks.

“Really? That’s good to know. I’ll have to be extra motherly when you’re around.” You laugh.

When your date’s finished Derek drops you off at home. He walks you to your door.

“I had a really great time tonight.” He smiles at you.

“Me too. We will definitely have to do this again.” You nod as you unlock your door. “I’m doing pack dinner again tomorrow if you want to come.”

“Yeah, I’ll be here. Alright, well I’ll see you tomorrow.” He smiles. “Bye, Y/N.” He heads for his car and you go inside.

He didn’t kiss you. Did you do something wrong? That was probably the best date you’ve ever had. You go to bed that night with Derek clouding your thoughts.

The key to love, my father told me, was to never love someone more than they love you. So when, after dating for five months, Christopher Moore was the first to say “I Love You”, I thought I had hit the “Love Jackpot”. I say this because, prior to him saying it at that very moment, I had never given thought to the possibility that I could love him in return. Standing in front of my apartment building, nervous and excited, facing him and his smile, I questioned whether love was the word to describe what I was feeling. High school love, after all, is quite trivial with it’s ins and outs. Nevertheless after weighing the theoretical pros and cons of love, I decided that I was in love, at least in some respects. He was handsome, smart, sweet, and I enjoyed his company. This is what I believed love boiled down to; four factors. Honesty, clearly, was something I overlooked. About a year and 7 months into our blissful love affair, after graduation had passed and we had spent the summer taking all the cliché couple pictures, Chris decided that he “just couldn’t go on lying to me anymore. “Jenine” he told me “this guilt is eating me alive!”. I imagine there wasn’t much of him left, as it had been “eating away at him” for 6 months. This is when I learned that there is no “key” to love; no guide, no tips, no 101 course, because love is lived and learned; never taught. Try as you may, to forgo the pain of love, you’ll find joy in knowing that it’s survive-able and moreover, sometimes the good outweighs the bad. No, Chris wasn’t the love of my life, but he gave life to my ability to love.

“Never” my father said “let love override your faculty of reason.” Easier said, than done. My next love was Jeremy Bishop. Before you ask, of course there were others between Chris and Jeremy. But this is a story about love; not “almost loves”,“semi loves”, and “could’ve beens”. Jeremy’s love was the worst kind of love. The kind that doesn’t have a reason to exist but somehow it does and you’re glad. Its sole purpose is to debilitate your mind, forcing you to follow only your emotions. While Jeremy was dreamy, I learned that the man of your dreams can sometimes be the root of your nightmares.

I met Jeremy my junior year at _________ University. It was a Sunday and I had been studying in the library for an anthropology midterm and decided that I would take a break. Putting my highlighter down & flexing my hand I stood up & headed towards the bathroom. As I walked through the stacks, passing my hand across the rows of books I’d never read, my friend Denise spotted me and waved me over. Walking swiftly I made my way to the table she was stationed it & gathered that she had been studying all day as all. Splayed papers, open textbooks, two highlighters, & her laptop with several window open screamed “cram session” to me. After having sat & talked for some time about school & it’s “scammagry”, I noticed that someone had taken a seat at the end of the table. You know those typical movies where two people look up at the same time & smile coyly at one another? Well that’s what happened with us…….minus the smiling. When Jeremy & I caught eyes it was more of an inquisitive stare down. I relented because who really stares at a stranger for lengths at a time? Apparently Jeremy does because every time I looked up he was looking at me or perhaps through me. Whatever the case was I asked Denise if she could “Excuse me for one second?” as I got up from my seat and sauntered over to Jeremy, running my fingernails along the wooden table that both separated and joined us.

He was brown skinned but it was a rich brown that I often found myself lost in. He had brown hair that was cut low to avoid maintenance & also to spite his mother who so much loved it longer. His eyes were almost black they were so dark, yet you never asked someone to hit the lights when staring into them. He had a slight dimple on the right side of face that only presented itself in the presence of his mother, its creator.

“I know you or something?” I said, to which he looked up & responded “No you don’t. But since you’re already here, I’m Jeremy. Nice to meet you….” he said moving his hand in that circular waiting motion “this is usually the part where you tell me your name”. He was sarcastic & forthcoming and I liked it. “This is usually the part when I’d say Jenine. My name is Jenine. Though I’m not sure it’s nice to meet you.” “Well Jenine, do you have HIST 256 on Mondays & Thursdays? I think that’s where I’ve seen you before.” “Well Jeremy, had I known you were a stalker I would’ve stayed at the other end of the table” “A stalker Jenine? Really? I think you’re mistaking my keen eye for details.” “I stand corrected then. I just had no idea I was noticeable to your "keen eye”, I said, making air quotes. He leaned in & said, “Maybe Jenine, just maybe there’s a lot of things you don’t know. I’d be happy to fill you in though. If you were ever free.” “Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me, Jeremy, that you’re asking me out.” “It seems that way, because it is that way. But enough with this, would you be interested in going out?” “I’ll contemplate it.”

A week later Jeremy picked me up in his beat up silver 2010 Toyota Corolla. Got out & offered to close the door for me not because he was a gentleman but because I literally couldn’t close it myself. He told me he wanted to show me his favorite place in all of Brooklyn. We drove for about 15 mins and parked in DUMBO; my favorite place. As we walked to the pier he barraged me with every menial question from favorite color to top five movies. I stopped his questioning because I realized I knew nothing about him. “What about you?” I said. “Tell me something I don’t know about you.” “I’m a Taurus. Now back to you.” “Your sign. You gave me the third degree and in return you tell me your astrological sign??” “I’m really not that interesting. I kind of just go with the flow nothing special really.” “I could say the same about myself but you don’t see me spewing monotonous facts about myself” “That’s just it though. You’re very interesting. I see you twice a week & you never look the same to me. Always a different hairstyle, new lipstick, different outfit. You keep me guessing & well…I like that.” “Different outfit…Did you expect me to have the same clothes on like a cartoon character?”

Jeremy took my clothes off the way he took down my walls; slowly & intently. I never felt exposed or vulnerable. It was easy with him & who doesn’t like easy? The first time we had sex he kissed every scar and stretch mark on my body while he whispered beautiful and for the first time I believed it. This is when I knew I loved him; this is when I knew he loved me. We fell into a routine & inevitably, that’s how we fell apart. We saw each other four-five times a week in between work, school & our respective friends. I’d meet him after work or he’d meet me after class, we’d get some food or I’d cook, we’d talk, then go back to his dorm room or my house & somewhere in between there we’d fuck once or twice & that would be that. Talk, Eat, Fuck, Repeat. This, I should inform you, was the foundation for our dismantling. Jeremy grew tired of our monotony, I suppose, & because of that he started talking to a female customer who had “just so happened” to frequent his job. In talking they “just so happened” to find they had “so much in common” & somehow Jeremy’s dick “just so happened” to be in her mouth when I walked into his dorm room to get the spare phone charger I left there just in case. “Oh Mahh Gahhhh” is what Celeste said with his dick slighty tucked to the left side of her mouth because it wouldn’t have been polite to pull it out all together; though I’m sure there was no God she could ever call her own. Startled yet surprisingly indifferent I found my charger in the first drawer of his night stand now decoratively arrayed with ripped condom wrappers and I closed the door behind me.

Walking out of the apartment I didn’t feel anything but when I reached the stairs it hit me and when Jeremy came running out of his room, pulling his boxers up I looked up at him from the top stair I was sitting on & hit him right in the groin. “Shit! Ahh! Damn, J! Come on!” he winced . “Come on?? Excuse me?!? You’re such a fucking dickhead. Like what the fuck?” “I know. I know. I’m sorry babe. You gotta believe me! I swear it’ll never happen again.” & that’s what I wanted to believe after all; that this was just a bump along our road; that we could get through this because we could get through anything. So when Jeremy crouched down in front of me, put his hand under my chin, looked me right in the eye and told me he was “so sorry”, that he “really loved me”, that he was “mad stupid for doing that” I believed him & gave us another chance because I wasn’t ready to admit failure.

Celeste Soto was the average full figured broad who just “couldn’t help” falling for other women’s boyfriends, husbands, fiancés, you name it. Walking back into his room, I found her putting her left shoe on with one hand on his desk for balance. “You gotta believe mama” she said “I didn’t know he even had a girl. You feel me? I wouldn’t have done anything with him. Thas crazy disrespectful. My bad.” as she adjusted her bra strap and pulled her hair into a messy bun. Turning slighty towards Jeremy, I looked at him as if to say “really?!? THIS was the best you could do??” and he lowered his head, and stared at this one spot on the carpet that he could never get out. Not only had Jeremy cheated but he chose the lowest of women to do it with. “First of all, I’m not one of your friends so I don’t know why you’re calling me "mama” & no I don’t “feel” you nor do I intend to. Get your shit and get out!“ When she was gone I searched the apartment for remnants of her presence, prior to that days visit. An earring, a hair tie, maybe a lip balm. I found nothing or maybe I wasn’t really looking.

For eight months straight Jeremy was on his BEST behavior. He’d let me know where he was at all times as to ensure that he wasn’t out cheating; send pictures as proof on some occasions. I have to admit, though I was secure in his whereabouts, I was also sure that this was not how healthy relationships works. Nevertheless I looked forward to each notification because afterall "once a cheater……"you know the rest. One night I went over to his place to cook dinner, partially to ensure he wouldn’t be feeding Celeste or any other girl his penis but also because this is what I missed most about us. I had become so preoccupied with deciding whether or not I could trust him that I wasn’t concerned with trying to make us seem normal. After dinner we were in his bed tearing at each other’s clothes & after switching positions five times he looked down at me & said "I can’t do this”. Looking back at him I said “it’s cool I wasn’t feeling it either honestly”. “Not this” he said falling to my side, facing the ceiling “I mean like this….us”. Somehow though I knew that was what he had meant. This ball of something akin to both fear & anger welled up in my throat & grew until finally all I could say was “oh”. One tear fell from my eye & couldn’t allow myself to shed another. “This whole time” he said getting up from the bed “I wasn’t with you because I wanted to be. I was with you because I didn’t want to let you down.” He was pacing back & front at the foot of the bed, lifting his hands to his head then retracting them, looking over at me occasionally for assurance of my understanding. So he continued "I couldn’t let your last image of me be somebody who betrayed you. I had to prove you wrong & that’s selfish. I’m sorry. I don’t want to be in a relationship I’m not fully committed to. It isn’t fair to either of us J & you can hate me but I’d rather you hate me for being honest.” “Is this a joke? Please tell me you’re kidding right now” I said, half laughing half crying. “Let me get this straight” I said, sitting upright in his bed, pulling my shirt over my head “You cheated…..You lied…..YOU fucked up….You begged for another chance!…and my stupid ass gave you one. I’m just so lost right now.” This is when I realized I never should have sat on those steps & cried. I should’ve ran out of that building like it was on fire because guys like him will always burn you.

Some nights I could still hear his footsteps pacing the floor & I’d wonder when in the hell it would be over. When I’d stop crying; when I’d realize I was better off without him. But there’s this moment & I know it sounds cliche but you just wake up & you feel different you feel like you can begin again. One morning I woke up and knew Jeremy would never have a hold on me the way he did before, but more importantly I didn’t want him to.

The thing about baggage is that you never realize how much of it you carry around. In fact you assume that more often than not you don’t carry any at all because you’re “over it” or you’ve “moved on”. You’ll find yourself compromising because you just want someone to call at night; that wants only you. “Trust me.” my mother said “There will be others and don’t think that you have to look for them or that you have to settle.” My mother had a way with words. I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a good thing but the fact remains that when she said those words to me I wished she had kept her opinion to herself. I would never settle…..or at least I didn’t think I would.

I knew I didn’t love Benjamin the first time he came inside me & I wished I had never come to his apartment, let alone into his room splayed with dirty laundry that he was “gonna get to”. More importantly I knew I couldn’t love Benjamin, not the way I wanted to at least, when he told me I’m just like my mother. This sounds stupid I know, but let me explain.

After a week of working overtime, my best friend Selene dragged me out of my apartment for a night of bar hopping. Upon walking into our third stop, Benjamin grabbed my hand & told me I was pretty. That was it. There was no drawn out conversation, no playing hard to get, it was very low stakes. I gave him my number & before I got to the next bar he had called & asked when he could see me again. “Tomorrow” I said.

The next evening Benjamin showed up at my apartment with no plan other than to show up. We decided to see a movie.

The movie we saw doesn’t matter. Neither does the fact that we went to the movies. What matters is that after we left the movies, Benjamin grabbed both my hands & kissed me. When he stopped & I looked up at him he said “You taste like stale popcorn”. I thought “what the fuck?” & then he reminded me that we shared a popcorn. Our entirely relationship was like this; constant reminders of things I should have been aware of.

Ben was different from Jeremy because he never lied to me. That doesn’t necessarily mean that’s a good thing though. His honesty was one that I had to grow accustomed to. We had been dating for about two months, when I called him asking if he wanted to get dinner later & he simply replied “no”. No explanation, no rain check, no apology; he just hung up. Later he’d text me & say that we should get breakfast instead the next day because he liked being the first person I talked to in the morning. He never hid anything from me. Girls would text him, telling him how much they “missed him” how much “fun” they used to have & he’d show me his phone while laughing & ask what I thought he should say in his reply. It was almost inconceivable, how much he included me in his decisions when it came to other women. Co-workers would invite him out to dinner & drinks after work, over to their apartments, concerts & he would ask me, not if he could go (because he was going to do what he wanted regardless) or if I wanted to come with, but how I’d feel if he went it with them. We’d be waiting for our heart rates to drop back to normal after sex; our skin still dewy and tingling and he’d say “the last time was better” or “you faked it, but that’s cool” as he got up and ambled to the bathroom & I’d wonder if he had to be so honest with me all the time.

I woke up one day to him sitting at my kitchen table in just some sweatpants, signing a card. Next to him there was a huge bouquet of sunflowers. I walked over to him, fixing my bed hair into a bed bun & when I sat down he was startled. “I didn’t think you’d be up this early” he said & I looked over at the clock on microwave. “It’s after 11……does that even count as early?” I said. He looked up at me, then at the clock, then back at me & shrugged “I guess not”. I asked “Who’s the card for?” & as he sealed it, he handed to me & said “Happy Anniversary Sweetness” with no inflection. My face dropped to the floor, along with the card. “An anniversary?” I thought “have we really been dating a year? Maybe it’s like a six month anniversary? But that’s not even an anniversary!” After a few mental “Fuck!!”’s, I pulled myself together, awkwardly smiled as I picked up the card & opened it. It had been a year since I moved into my own place. In the card he wrote about how happy he was for me; that he knew how big of a deal it was for me to live on my own & he wanted me to know that it was just as important to him. I cried out of relief. He thought I was overwhelmed by his thoughtfulness, primarily because as I closed the card, hugged him, wiped my tears and sniffled into his neck, I whispered “Thank you. This means a lot.”. One year of independence; something I should have been aware of.

The first time he told me he loved me, I opened my mouth to respond & he placed his index finger on my parted lips. “Stop” he said. “Not everything I say deserves or should be met with a response Jenine. I love you. That’s it.” I of course flew into defense. “So I can’t say it back? I can’t love you in return? What kind of bullshit is that Ben? You can’t just say something like that & expect me not to say anything back.” “I never said you can’t say anything back. But think about it baby, I said I love you & your first instinct was to respond. You didn’t even really take the moment in. That’s what I’m saying. I don’t want you to love me back because I love you. I want you to love me because you actually love me.” I felt little, like a child, like I had been put in my place, handled, dealt with, but I wouldn’t let him know. “You’re such an asshole sometimes” I said “but that Benjamin, for your information, is why I love you. Because you’re only an asshole sometimes”.

There are two important things I remember from when I broke up with Ben:

1. It was raining.
2. He told me I should’ve ended us a long time ago.

I came back to the apartment from the gym. As I shook my umbrella walking through the door, Ben sauntered by in his usual attire, house sweats and no shirt, saying “You must love mopping.” in a condescending tone. I happily returned the tone saying “Definitely. I just love it! Can’t get enough.” as I rolled my eyes and the umbrella up, fastening it shut. I walked over to the kitchen & checked the fridge. All that was left was this chicken Parmesan “thing” I had attempted to make three days earlier & it looked like a big pile of mush at that point. I chucked it & decided that take out sounded good. I had a taste for some pad thai so the choice was easy. Picking up my phone & dialing the number I thought it might be a good idea to ask Ben what he wanted but I figured he’d eat whatever I ordered him. So I made the call, ordered Chicken Pad Thai and another peanut sauce dish with shrimp, and hung up. As soon as my phone had ended the call, Benjamin started an argument. “Why would you order food without asking me what I wanted?” he asked me walking out of the bedroom and I replied “I ordered food for us both. No need to say thank you”. He walked towards the window to look out but really it was all dramatics because our window looks directly at the alley behind our building that holds nothing but two dumpsters and a few forgotten cats. “Why would I say thank you to you for doing something I never asked you to do?” he said with his back turned to me “Sometimes” he scoffed, almost laughing, as he looked at the rain collect in the window sill. “Sometimes I don’t get you. Like after all this time you still do shit that irritates me and I wonder why the fuck I still want to lay next to you at night or wake up with you in the morning.” I was sitting on the sofa, absentmindedly playing with the tag on this pillow I bought two years before when he & I had just started dating. He told me the pattern on it reminded him of us; that the lines never intersected. They just changed direction. “Nobody is holding you here Ben. You can leave anytime you’d like.” I said as I picked up the remote & turned on the television.

Thirty-five minutes later I was annoyed that the food hadn’t arrived but also because Ben never left the window. He just stayed there staring at the rain while it sheeted down the window screen and when thunder roared he’d just sigh. “What could be taking this food so long? The place isn’t even that far.” I complained. “It’s the rain Jenine. Everything slows when it rains. People, cars, buses, trains, bikes, they all slow.” He paused “You also might want to factor in the idea that a bunch of people order take out on a night like this.” I answered back “I knew that!……why are you always telling me things as if I don’t know them? As if I’m not aware? It’s just annoying. You’re annoying.” Ben walked away from the window & towards the kitchen counter. He planted his two hands palm down on the counter, hoisted himself up to sit on it, looked at me & said “Maybe it’s not me that annoys you Jenine. Maybe you can’t admit that I’m ever fucking right! I can’t ever make a point without you saying “I knew that!”. If you knew it Jenine…..then why would you say half the shit you say or do half the shit you do.“ I paused the lifetime movie I had been somehow become invested in and pressed a metaphorical "play” on the scene that was unfolding in our living room. “I don’t know Ben. Maybe you’re right” I replied as I sat up, crossed my legs and interlaced my fingers over my knee. “Maybe I can’t handle the fact that you make valid points. Or perhaps it’s the fact that you can’t ever let me be wrong without making me look like a complete ass. You’re always so philosophical. "Oh thee "all knowing Ben!” Ohh he who knows more than anyone!“ I mocked. "It’s insulting. For someone who is just so wise you damn sure don’t know how to do your own fucking laundry, or wash a dish, or aim your penis directly into the bowl when you pee. Stop with the bullshit. We both have our faults.” My phone rang. The food was downstairs.

I threw on my worn out flip flops and shuffled down the 3 flights of stairs. Walking back into the apartment with food in hand, I saw that Ben had returned to the window. He walked over to the kitchen counter where I was standing, taking the food out of the brown paper bag & said “You said your ordered me food.” “I just ordered two things off the menu. I figured we’d just share.” I reasoned. “Right I get that but I don’t like peanuts. You know that. Don’t you? I’ve told you this. I’m sure I have as we’ve been together give or take I don’t know 2 & half years!” “Dammit! I whispered to myself. "I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking & I was hungry & I’m…..sorry. I’m just sorry.” “It’s fine” he said. “I should’ve just picked something up on the way home. It isn’t the first time you’ve done something like this. You’re like your mother in that way.” “Like my mother? All of this over some take out? Listen, good luck with dinner.” I said as I grabbed a plastic fork at the bottom of the bag & headed back to the sofa. “Yeah, like your mother.” he continued, following me. “You’re always complaining that she never listens to you; that you have to remind her of things you’ve already told her. Yet, here you are never listening to me. It’s not even about the apology. It’s that I just don’t think you’re really sorry at all.” he retorted. “Fair enough.” I said, putting my food down on the coffee table. “You wanna know what I’m really sorry about Ben? Huh? Fine. I’m sorry I moved in with you. I’m sorry I’ve been in this relationship for this long because we’ll never be good enough for one another. You know that right? We’re always going to be like this Ben.” I said, pointing at the pace between with both hands. “It’s never going to be enough that we love each other. There’s gotta be more to love than whatever the fuck we’re doing. I just don’t think this is healthy. I don’t think we’re growing here. Do you?”. “Now that J…that’s the most honest thing you’ve said to me. You’re always saying what you think I want to hear and that’s my problem with you. You never say what the hell you want because you think too much about it. We are growing, it’s just apart from one another.” He sighed, finally saying “Look, I’m tired.” as he walked exhaustedly back towards the bedroom, on an empty stomach & closed the door behind him. I couldn’t figure out if he meant he was tired of us, of the arguing, of never really getting back to how we were or if he was honestly tired.

I slept on the sofa & I use the term “slept” very lightly. What I really did was stare at the ceiling, trying to figure out if this was really it for Ben & I. If that was our last real conversation; if that even counted as a conversation. I planned out what I’d say in the morning after we’d both had time to think & reflect. I’d tell him I was sorry about going off & that it’s not that I don’t want to try to make it work but that I don’t even think trying is worth an actual try. I thought about it & felt like the whole relationship was a perpetual “try”. We’d just kept getting up, dusting each other off, & holding hands until we’d fall again thinking it didn’t matter because we’d fallen together. How many times do you have to fall before you realize that perhaps it isn’t the ground that’s tripping you up? That it might just be you. Do you have to scrape your knees a few times or fall flat on your face? How do you know when you’ve had enough?

I laid there falling in & out of sleep. I had this weird dream that I was baking a cake. I kept checking on it. Ben was there but he didn’t really say much. Finally I took it out of the oven & it was burnt around the edges. He shuffled over to the stovetop & looked at the cake with a somber face. “I told you it was done 10 minutes ago. You should’ve taken it out.” he said & I just stared at him blankly because he was right. I turned the pan over and the cake popped out. I let it cool, frosted it and cut a piece. Jeremy hunched over the counter top and watched me put the cake on a plate with confusion. “You’re just going to eat a burnt cake?” he questioned me. I had just taken my first bite and was going in for a second when I looked up at him and said “It still tastes good so what’s the difference?”. “The difference, Jenine, is that you know the whole cake doesn’t taste good. Only certain parts do. Why don’t you just throw it out and make another one?” he said walking over to the cake, lifting the plate up at different points and angles to get a good look at it. It was as though he was wondering how the frosting did anything but make the cake look even sadder. I licked the last bit of frosting off my fork and said “Because, burnt or not burnt, I still love cake.”

I woke up to a sliver of sunlight shining through the living room across the floor & stopping right at the front door. I sat up & checked the time. It was 7:06. I decided I’d go to the bedroom and get some real rest. I stood up & stumbled towards the bedroom. As soon as I reached the door, Ben was coming out of the room. He was dressed & had 2 bags with him not including the backpack he’d never leave the house without. All of the things I had planned on saying were forgotten. I could barely see straight, let alone gather the words I wanted to say. He looked at me then said “Sorry. Can I just get by?”. “Sure!” I blurted out as I moved to the left, almost jumping. He walked towards the front door & I asked “Umm can at least ask where you’re going?”. He stopped moving and turned, telling me “I thought about what you said J. About us not being enough for one another. I guess I just always thought it would work itself out. But I see what you mean. I don’t know the exact moment when you came to that conclusion, or maybe you decided it, but you should’ve ended us then instead of now. So I’m leaving. I guess I’ll pick up the rest of my stuff over the next couple of weeks.”. That’s it. He was gone. Whatever he had left, the “stuff” he mentioned, was never picked up. They were minuscule items really; a toothbrush, some body wash, a value pack of razors. Things that made you think of him, even though they were all replaceable. It didn’t take long for me to realize that much like the burnt cake, I still loved Ben.

To be continued or whatever…….