anserinae

5

The mute swan (Cygnus olor) is a species of swan and a member of the waterfowl family Anatidae. It is native to much of Eurasia, and (as a rare winter visitor) the far north of Africa. It is an introduced species in North America, Australasia and southern Africa. The name ‘mute’ derives from it being less vocal than other swan species .Measuring 125 to 170 cm (49 to 67 in) in length, this large swan is wholly white in plumage with an orange beak bordered with black. It is recognisable by its pronounced knob atop the beak, which is larger in males.

Der Höckerschwan (Cygnus olor) ist eine Vogelart, die innerhalb der Entenvögel (Anatidae) zur Gattung der Schwäne (Cygnus) und zur Unterfamilie der Gänse (Anserinae) gehört. Als halbdomestizierter Vogel ist er heute in weiten Bereichen Mitteleuropas beheimatet. Er hält sich bevorzugt auf Seen, Park- und Fischteichen, in seichten Meeresbuchten und im Winter auch auf offenen Flussläufen auf. Namensgebend für die Art ist der schwarze Höcker am Schnabelansatz. Schwäne haben in Mitteleuropa nur wenige Fressfeinde. Höckerschwäne gehören in Deutschland zu den jagdbaren Tierarten, und jedes Jahr werden mehrere Tausend geschossen. Zu einer Bestandsregulierung kommt es durch die stark ausgeprägte Territorialität der Schwäne während der Brutzeit sowie durch Verluste in strengen Winterhalbjahren.Der Höckerschwan kann eine Körperlänge von bis zu 160 Zentimetern und eine Spannweite von 240 cm erreichen. In der Regel wiegen ausgewachsene Männchen zwischen 10,6 und 13,5 Kilogramm,maximal sind für Männchen 14,3 kg nachgewiesen worden.Das Körpergewicht der Weibchen bleibt erheblich darunter und beträgt in der Regel nicht mehr als 10 Kilogramm. Der Höckerschwan ist damit in Mitteleuropa der größte heimische Wasservogel und gehört zu den schwersten flugfähigen Vögeln weltweit.

Höckerschwäne erreichen oft ein Alter von 16 bis zu 20 Jahren. Der älteste jemals entdeckte Schwan wurde Anfang 2009 nahe der dänischen Hafenstadt Korsør gefunden. An ihm wurde ein Ring mit der Kennung „Helgoland 112851“ (angebracht am 21. Februar 1970 in Heikendorf an der Kieler Förde) gefunden, was bedeutet, dass er 40 Jahre alt wurde.

Unique Relationship

Clearing some stuff found this ole Rizzles fanfic one-shot I wrote couple years ago and published in FF.net and AO3. It was based on a season 6 scene, the only one worth my rizzles’ time.

Scene 1: Maura and Jane on a boat. Jane’s rowing, while Maura is trying to fish evidence.

Scene 2:, Maura is with Kent on a motorboat. Kent tells her he thinks they (M&J) have a “unique relationship”

It was just too much of a prompt, so I wrote this one-shot. I miss their banter and laughing with them. Miss my head canon. I miss Rizzles.

——————————————————————————

“Maura? Why would you make me row and have our resident superhero take a motor boat? Not fair.” Jane leaned on Maura’s kitchen island, almost pouting behind her cup of coffee.

“I went to drop fish back and they were scared already -poor things-, so the engine was not an issue. But how did you find out?” Maura looked deep inside her own mug for a way out –not finding any. Instead, she found a surge of anger towards Kent. He had just crossed the line; oddity cannot explain indiscretion -she had explicitly told him to tell Jane he had rowed.

“How do you think? Mind reading, of course, while I was standing behind Susie and Superhero at the café and heard them talking, and you still haven’t answered.”

“Susie and Kent?”

“The very same ones. And the line was very long, so I also got to hear them discussing us.”

Maura’s eyes opened wide. Slowly, dreadfully, they moved up until they found Jane’s eyebrows perched up as high as they could go.

“I have no idea why they would do something as indiscreet as talking about me -us, and in a public place. Anyone could have heard.”

“And anyone did.” Jane pointed at herself.

“I am disconcerted about Kent, but Susie… How can Susie do something like that, she is not- Are you sure Susie was talking about me?”

“Maura, come on, you are Da Boss, and people talk about Da Bosses with their colleagues, but no, she wasn’t talking, she was just ogling Kent. And you are evading the issue. Why would Kent tell her that we have a rather… wait, what was the word? Strange? No. Unique. He said you and I have a very ‘unique’ relationship, and that you said you were still trying to figure it out.”

Maura continued the meticulous investigation of the last of her coffee and shifted in her seat, not quite finding a comfortable position.

“I only said "Me too.”

“Me too what?”

“Well, he said, and I quote, 'You two have a unique relationship. I’m still trying to figure it out.’ So I said 'me, too’. That is all.”

“Did you really say that? No, wait. Did you really say that to him? And are we now that close to discuss personal matters with superhero? No, never mind that. What do you possibly have to figure out about our friendship?”

“That was a passing comment, not even a conversation, and I don’t see why he should have told Susie, and-”

“Maura, that is not a reply.”

“You are blowing this out of proportion.”

“Oh, am I?”

Maura shifted her shoulders and shook her head once, rapidly, dismissing the whole conversation.

“Why are you staring at me?”

“Because I want to know what do you have to figure out about our friendship.”

Maura realized she had no way out. Jane Rizzoli was in full detective mode, and she was not going to back down.

“All right. I do find our… friendship odd at times. I can’t help it and, honestly, I am surprised you have never questioned it.”

“What do I have to question? You are my best friend. End of story.”

Maura looked at Jane trying to ascertain if the sincere tone was reinforced by a matching facial and postural reaction. There was a complete match; Jane was not showing any signs of understanding the issue. Maura’s shoulders drooped.

This was not how she had expected the topic to come out. Then again, she saw it as nothing more than a clinical consideration, a fact –or rather, a series of facts leading to a logical conclusion. That, of course, didn’t mean anything other than what it was: an observation, an anecdote, one of a million possibilities. One possibility that she had already discarded as not worth exploring -mostly due to Jane’s wide range of possible negative reactions.

The distinctive shifting in Jane’s Procerus and Orbicularis Occuli muscles told her quite clearly an answer was expected.

“All right. It is not so much as figuring out something, but rather, an observation. A hypothesis, actually.”

“And that in English would mean…?”

“We’ve known each other for a very long time now, Jane, and we have come to share with each other what we have not shared with anyone else. Our closeness is, or rather, may be construed as unusual.”

“Okay, not following.”

“When was the last time you had a friend with whom you shared everything? Someone whose house is almost like yours? With whom you spend almost all your entire free time, and have welcomed into your family? Who is the first person you run to when something bad or good happens, or call in the middle of the night? Who is the only person you allow to enter your personal space, apart from a boyfriend?”

Jane’s expression shifted from annoyed to thoughtful.

“Exactly. And I can’t speak for you, but I have certainly never had this type of friendship before. The only time I ever had this closeness with someone was with someone I was dating, and even then, I doubt I shared with them what I share with you.”

The thoughtful frown was erased by the weight of realization, draining all color from Jane’s face. The word “what” formed in her lips but no sound came forward.

“And it’s not just that. I think by now it should be sufficiently clear that losing each other would be utterly devastating. Am I correct?”

Jane’s tiny nod was the only movement in her otherwise stunned self.

Maura’s temptation to gloat became strong, and she realized how much she was enjoying leaving Jane speechless for a change. That thought erased any concerns about discussing her thoughts about this topic with Jane, and also fueled her to continue. So she continued, just as she would when discussing a finding of a particularly interesting autopsy.

“So, my hypothesis is that neither of us have ever considered our friendship to be nothing more than a friendship, because we are not, in theory, attracted to women. But there are sufficient studies to indicate that not only is sexuality fluid, and it is quite possible that it could fluctuate at any point in time in our lives; but there is also a long history of studies of how our subconscious minds would make us misinterpret anything outside our universe of knowledge and experience.”

Maura paused for brief second, aware that Jane’s blank stare could possibly mean she was not following her train of thoughts. She decided a clear analogy was in order.

“What I mean is, we could be staring at something without recognizing what it is, something that was quite accurately depicted in the movie "The Gods Must be Crazy”, when Xi, a San tribe member, found an unbroken Coke bottle in the middle of the desert and-“

"Okay. Stop, Maura. Just stop right there. What…” Jane swallowed, as if it could help her digest Maura’s monologue. “What- What are you trying to say?”

Maura shifted her shoulder. “I am not trying to say anything. I just told you.”

“Stop the grammar commando right there. You told me… what exactly?”

“What if what we think is a really close friendship, could -or should, in fact-, be something else?”

Jane’s voice shattered in a tiny million sharp pieces, glass of doubt piercing her. “Maura? Are you coming on to me?”

Maura laughed and lifted her finger, pointing it up. “Well, that would be a reductionist approach to my chain of though. And no, I am not coming on to you. I am just telling you what I meant when I told Kent I was still trying to figure our relationship.”

“But… we’re friends. Close friends. And the fact we may have never had another close friend doesn’t need to mean anything…” The certainty in Jane’s words was betrayed by the evident shaking of an even hoarser voice. And why do I even doubt myself? Jane waved the whole thought off and laughed, downing the rest of her now cold coffee.

Maura’s finger went up again for a second, as she got off her chair.

“I’ll do a little experiment that will undoubtedly prove my point. Let me show you.”

She covered the two steps to Jane’s chair slowly. Wide open brown eyes stared back, unblinking. A playful hint of a smile curved Maura’s lips up. As she was four inches from Jane, she lowered her eyes and focused on her lips.

Maura could easily tell that Jane was holding her breath; her eyes were like those of a little rabbit coming out of her hole only to find a fox waiting, grinning, outside.

Maura shortened the distance by an inch and softly bit her lower lip. Another inch forward, and her lips felt the heat of Jane’s small, silent gasp. She could almost taste the fresh coffee in Jane’s breath.

Her eyes drifted from Jane’s lips to her eyes, and took a step back, a large satisfied smile showcasing her dimple.

Jane exhaled audibly, her lips only closing to allow her throat to swallow the overwhelming intensity of the moment.

“Oh. Just one more thing.” Maura reached to Jane’s neck and softly placed her index finger on her jugular, closed her eyes for two seconds, and let her hand fall back again.

Jane remained silent, completely still.

“Well, my hypothesis was correct.” She shifted her shoulders and sat back on her chair, smiling with her eyes as her tongue pushed the inside of her cheek.

“Let’s see: fully dilated pupils, accelerated pulse, gasping, cutis anserina as I touched your skin, forceful exhaling. Yes, you are quite capable of reacting to me physically. Strongly, I might say.”

Maura’s eyes unfocused, her brow tight, cataloguing her own reactions.

“Hm, interesting. I seem to display the same symptoms…”

Jane’s first movement was a blink.

Maura smiled tentatively, waiting for a quip, a “what the hell?”, something, but nothing came out of Jane’s parted lips, even though they moved trying to form words.

Silence grew thicker, and it woke Maura up. She glanced at her large wrist watch.

“Oh, look at the time! We’re running late.”

Maura took her bag and placed the soft leather handle comfortably on her shoulder. She turned towards the door. When she realized Jane was not following her, she turned back to her.

“It seems that we will be having an interesting conversation sometime in the near future, but now we must go, Jane. Duty calls.”

Maura stood by the door, keys in her hand, smiling satisfied as she saw a speechless, trembling, ghostly-white Jane Rizzoli fumbling her keys and following her.

CUTIS ANSERINA

[noun]

the bumps on a person’s skin at the base of body hairs which may involuntarily develop when a person is cold or experiences strong emotions such as fear, nostalgia, pleasure, euphoria, awe, admiration and sexual arousal; also known as goose bumps, goose pimples or goose flesh.

Etymology: from Latin cutis, “skin” + anserina, “of the goose”, from anser, “goose”.

[Teo Zirinis]

Fic: A Day at the Fair (Emily Grey)

Oh, you’ve probably seen the ads on TV: Visit the FUNtacular temple FUNfair! FUNnel cakes! FUNdamentally inexplicable gravitational phenomena! It’s fun fun FUN for the whole family!

Minor spoilers for 13x03. Written for this week’s rvb60min challenge: “Once, she knew kindness.”

[AO3 | FFN | 2015 Fic | 2014 Fic]

The temple floats.

Emily stands with her hands behind her back, rocking on her heels, and cranes her neck to try and see the cloud-obscured top. Are those clouds coincidence, or micrometeorological phenomena induced by the heat radiating from the thing? She’s seen Mom’s scientific footage of a volcanic eruption on the coast, the surging clouds flaring with lightning, the soot-stained hailstones dropping miles and miles downwind. Emily cocks her head to one side, then thinks, sadly, that there probably isn’t enough energy coming off the artifact to create its own cloud cover. If there were, more people would be reporting radiation poisoning. Probably just coincidence, then.

“Bummer,” she mutters, out loud. Ma hears and rests a hand on the top of her head. Emily presses up into the touch, then remembers that she’s eight years old and it’s well past time for her to move on from her childhood need for physical reassurance and pulls away. “Can I explore?” she asks.

Mom and Ma exchange glances. Mom rolls her eyes, but she’s grinning. Ma just rolls her eyes. “Emily,” she says, “you’re a very bright young girl, but there are big crowds here, and we don’t want you to get separated from us again.”

Emily knows exactly which incident they’re referring to and relents, kicking at a pebble as her sole concession to the wave of disappointment. Logically, it makes sense. There are a whole lot of people swarming the festive fairgrounds, and despite the vanishingly low probably of abduction or other harm, her mothers’ worry is in itself an undesirable outcome. She needs to introduce additional variables. She needs to—

She pauses, then points. “Those girls are in a group by themselves. Can I go with them?”

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