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“In a constellation, the brightest star is called the alpha. I thought maybe you meant that she’s … like … your brightest star.” Cress, Ch 47

I waited to be told what was good about me. I wondered later if this was why there were so many more women than men at the ranch. All that time I had spent readying myself, the articles that taught me life was really just a waiting room until someone noticed you—the boys had spent that time becoming themselves.
—  The Girls by Emma Cline
This impulse to connect the dots and to share what you’ve connected is the urge that makes you an artist. If you’re using words or symbols to connect the dots, whether you’re a “professional” artist or not, you are an artistic force in the world. When artists work well, they connect people to themselves and they stitch people to each other through this shared experience of discovering a connection that wasn’t visible before.
—  Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking
A person’s tragedy does not make up their entire life. A story carves deep grooves into our brains each time we tell it. But we aren’t one story. We can change our stories. We can write our own.
—  Amy Poehler, Yes Please 
Damn All Randalls

“It wasn’t long, poor chap. It was as though he was only waiting to see her safely taken care of. I sent word to her aunt’s house; the aunt and two cousins came to fetch her. They’ll take care of … him.” I sipped gratefully at the brandy. It burned my throat and the fumes rose inside my head like fog on the moors, but I didn’t care.

“Well,” I said, attempting a smile, “at least we know Frank is safe, after all.”
Jamie glowered down at me, ruddy brows nearly touching each other.
“Damn Frank!” he said ferociously. “Damn all Randalls! Damn Jack Randall, and damn Mary Hawkins Randall, and damn Alex Randall—er, God rest his soul, I mean,” he amended hastily, crossing himself.
“I thought you didn’t begrudge—” I started. He glared at me.
“I lied.” He grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me slightly, holding me at arm’s length.
“And damn you, too, Claire Randall Fraser, while I’m at it!” he said. “Damn right I begrudge! I grudge every memory of yours that doesna hold me, and every tear ye’ve shed for another, and every second you’ve spent in another man’s bed! Damn you!” He knocked the brandy glass from my hand—accidentally, I think—pulled me to him and kissed me hard.
He drew back enough to shake me again.

“You’re mine, damn ye, Claire Fraser! Mine, and I wilna share ye, with a man or a memory, or anything whatever, so long as we both shall live. You’ll no mention the man’s name to me again. D’ye hear?” He kissed me fiercely to emphasize the point. “Did ye hear me?” he asked, breaking off.
“Yes,” I said, with some difficulty. “If you’d … stop … shaking me, I might … answer you.”
Rather sheepishly, he released his grip on my shoulders.
“I’m sorry, Sassenach. It’s only … God, why did ye … well, aye, I see why … but did you have to—” I interrupted this incoherent sputtering by putting my hand behind his head and drawing him down to me.
“Yes,” I said firmly, releasing him. “I had to. But it’s over now.” I loosened the ties of my cloak and let it fall back off my shoulders to the floor. He bent to pick it up, but I stopped him.
“Jamie,” I said. “I’m tired. Will you take me to bed?”
He drew a deep breath and let it out slowly, staring down at me, eyes sunk deep with tiredness and strain.
“Aye,” he said softly, at last. “Aye, I will.”
He was silent, and rough at the start, the edges of his anger sharpening his love.
“Ooh!” I said, at one point.
“Christ, I’m sorry, mo duinne. I couldna …”
“It’s all right.” I stopped his apologies with my mouth and held him tightly, feeling the wrath ebb away as the tenderness grew between us. He didn’t break away from the kiss, but held himself motionless, gently exploring my lips, the tip of his tongue caressing, barely stroking.

I touched his tongue with my own, and held his face between my hands. He hadn’t shaved since morning, and the faint red stubble rasped pleasantly beneath my fingertips. He lowered himself and rolled slightly to one side, so as not to crush me with his weight, and we went on, touching all along our lengths, joined in closeness, speaking in silent tongues.
Alive, and one. We are one, and while we love, death will never touch us. “The grave’s a fine and private place/But none, I think, do there embrace.” Alex Randall lay cold in his bed, and Mary Randall alone in hers. But we were here together, and no one and nothing mattered beyond that fact.
He grasped my hips, large hands warm on my skin, and pulled me toward him, and the shudder that went through me went through him, as though we shared one flesh. I woke in the night, still in his arms, and knew he was not asleep.

“Go back to sleep, mo duinne.” His voice was soft, low and soothing, but with a catch that made me reach up to feel the wetness on his cheeks.
“What is it, love?” I whispered. “Jamie, I do love you.”
“I know it,” he said quietly. “I do know it, my own. Let me tell ye in your sleep how much I love you. For there’s no so much I can be saying to ye while ye wake, but the same poor words, again and again. While ye sleep in my arms, I can say things to ye that would be daft and silly waking, and your dreams will know the truth of them. Go back to sleep, mo duinne.”
I turned my head, enough that my lips brushed the base of his throat, where his pulse beat slow beneath the small three-cornered scar. Then I laid my head upon his chest and gave my dreams up to his keeping.

The king of men is human, and so is his lady. But they are stronger than anything that may come their way, even death and time.

If you have gone through anything like these experiences and come out the other side, GO and tell someone that it is possible. Because, if we don’t talk about it, they will:

1. Not realize that they are so very NOT alone.

2. Not realize that it is possible to stop. To heal. To love yourself again. Or, maybe, for the first time.

I love you.

—  Emilie Autumn (about the cutting diary and publishing the book).
“You’re a bad man, Ianto Jones,” [Tosh] replied, taking a sip from the lager and turning to look at the screen.
“That’s why they like me, ma’am,” [Ianto] said, opening his bottle and resting a chin on her shoulder. She resisted the urge to pat his head and instead concentrated on the now loaded up black and white CCTV footage, watching as two men fell into a taxi.
—  Torchwood: In the Shadows