bike-metaphor

you’ve heard of revolutionary girl utena, now get ready for

Wandering Girl Anthy

  • anthy traverses japan on a hot pink vespa looking for her girlfriend. lots of pining and angst, but no ugly crying bc anthy’s a bad bitch and she’s got her image to think about
  • she meets up with jury, miki, and wakaba and they form an awkward Queer Quartet in search of utena
  • they’re kinda like a biker gang, except their bikes are metaphors
  • there’s a scene like in atla where they all try to draw utena from memory for a missing poster. anthy’s is really nice, but for some reason it’s in the nude so they can’t use it
  • meanwhile utena ends up accidentally fighting every stranger she meets again so she’s a little tied up
  • think of it kinda like Lesbian Odysseus meets Every Roadtrip AU

anonymous asked:

Hey Lizbob! I was watching 12x03 and I noticed Dean walking to his car and seeing a motorcycle and saying "nice bike". Any ideas?! Could it be a refrence to our beloved twist and shout?

It was Ketch’s bike, as an ominous warning that he was following them! We didn’t have confirmation on it in that episode, but in 12x04 he drives past the car on the road and stops to examine it, and then shows up at the very end to kill Magda, still on it, before we see him driving it a few times in the presence of the Winchesters

(I’m so sorry I’m just using my own gifs so uh)

There was a fair amount of spec immediately between 12x03 and 12x04 wondering what the bike was, and quite a few people landed on wondering if it was going to turn out to be the mysterious Mr Ketch’s, based entirely on the deconstruction of masculinity and black and white views of hunting offered to us in 12x01 and 12x02 when introducing him as the avatar of all that. You could say that it was long foretold from the moment Ketch showed up as just a tattoo and a black and white view on monsters that he was fated to meet and be killed by Dean in the ways in which he did because when it comes to the symbolic and metaphoric and emotional subplots this season was pretty much by the numbers what you would expect. Ketch showed up representing exactly the sort of thing Dean struggled with, was used as a way to pile that all onto Mary, and accordingly twined their emotional arcs on this subject around him, before Mary and Dean were the ones intimately connected in his death. 

I particularly liked the reason I ended up giffing Dean commenting on the bike, which was where 12x18 took us - 

that of course being Dean talking and showing how he’s slagging off Ketch’s bike now he’s got to know the man and discovered there’s no worth in him and his presented image at all. In 12x14 Ketch attempted to win Dean over with scotch and a blowing off steam vampire hunt, and failed to dent Dean’s interest, instead betraying his own hand as cruel and vicious when Dean by this point has learned to listen to frightened and scared vampires - this whole arc goes back to 2x03 for Dean (or maybe 1x15 which was the first one using a killer family contrasted against their own to consider human nature and killing, although not associated to them in the same way 2x03 showed the danger of not being compassionate towards the things they killed). 

Dean’s relationship to Ketch’s bike is a mirror of a mirror relationship - Ketch himself being a stand in, when you follow the character mirrors back to the source, all the way to John Winchester. (The 2x03 link being the furthest away but also most obvious because being the first to riff off of this theme properly, Sam just straight up says Dean’s replacing John with Gordon before at the end of the episode Dean ruminates on how they were brought up and how realising the monsters aren’t always evil has jacked up his entire worldview on their job.) 

I think although I was grumpily trying to pretend it wouldn’t happen until it did, that Mary sleeping with Ketch was fairly inevitable too - Ketch ran a double seduction ploy and it failed on Dean and worked on Mary as she had far less experience or doubt (having been raised a hunter by Samuel and taken no character development on screen to be compassionate to monsters, albeit sympathetic to ghosts with sad backstories but they’re the most human sort of monster they encounter so substantially different, metaphorically, from vampires, which like Mark of Cain Dean, she was killing easily to have something to do with herself, even before the BMoL came a calling, like we saw in 12x09)… 

But yeah in 12x14 the motorbike was, I think, part of the seduction, although I can’t recall Dean saying anything about it, Robbie kept up a fairly relentless teasing about Dean and motorbikes while he was around and in 9x04 Dean threatens to take Dorothy’s motorbike for a spin sometimes, so we know he has a thing for them… Never mind what Jensen used to say about the horrible dream about Dean handing over the keys of the Imapala for a motorbike to strike out as a solo hunter… I think Ketch in some ways represented that endgame too, at least, the show would be aware in the fringes of Information About The Show, that idea existed out there. Ketch as a solo hunter on a bike with this horrible world view and metaphorical weight of being *everything* bad about being a hunter the show has ever put together, sort of *starting* with “mindless and obedient as an attack dog” represented a  whole lot of things weighing on the happiness of the characters. 

At least as a metaphoric purging, killing him does a fair amount of work. Snide comments about his bike showing a change in opinion when confronted with its rider from the impressed unguarded compliment, also shows Dean’s ideas being challenged not to just go and like a thing because it fits his masculine definition of ‘cool’ and being ideal to emulate.

(I hope this doesn’t come across as saying he should be punished for liking things… the narrative has a two-pronged attack of rewarding him when he likes the right things and punishing him when he likes the wrong things. I mean, on the other hand, “sleeps with your mom and tries to kill you” is pretty extreme but… yeah. Where am I going with this :P) 

… 

I suppose I’m ending up with saying I’ve never read Twist and Shout, so I don’t get that reference, and I think that the bike played a large metaphoric role in the season, meaning I see a lot of purpose for it being there rather than a one-off comment and shout out of some sort. I mean, Dean commenting on it meant we were supposed to notice it and wonder about it, and it immediately produced meta ideas (i think @drsilverfish was one of the fastest on the ball about it… maybe @postmodernmulticoloredcloak too?) which held up for the entire season. 

The writers aren’t really supposed to read fan fic to get influenced by it for reasons of getting sued themselves BY the fans, and I think T&S got taken down to be published? So that’s even worse. If it was a smaller thing like a diner menu or something which the crew might have sneaked in (and I think some of the set etc people DO get more engaged with fandom because they’re less involved at a higher level of plot and writing importance), I might have wondered, but this is a moment that was obviously scripted and included for foreshadowing the longer arc about Ketch, so it’s too huge to have just kind of ~happened~ at the time, so I doubt this has any connection, even if this turns out to be a direct quote from the fic or something. 

Afterward (Weeks 10-13)

Author’s note: This one is not so work-safe, folks. Just in one section, though. Also, some bad language ahead. I want to thank everyone for the lovely comments, messages, and shares. I appreciate it!

The holiday season, and its assorted array of high expectations, familial obligation, and emotional baggage descended upon them before Sara was quite prepared for it. “Well, you’ve spent seven Christmases without Michael,” her friend Heather pointed out, when they managed to carve out a hour or so for a cup of coffee. “No wonder you’re feeling a little off-balance.”

“I’ve actually spent 36 without him,” Sara mused. “We’ve never shared the holiday, which in theory, means we should be able to do anything we want.” Her birthday had been harder, much harder, to endure the past seven years, the sight of her origami rose — such a small gesture, really — weighing her down the entire week.

“But in practice?” Heather prompted.

“In practice,” Sara said slowly, pausing to sip her latte to buy herself time before actually addressing this, “who I’ve spent the past four Christmases with seems to loom much larger.” She and Michael both pretended to conveniently forget how integral Jacob had been in Sara and Mike’s holiday, for the other’s sake, a battle they were steadily losing. “The truth is,” Sara told Heather, “and I will never tell Michael this,” she added hastily, “Jacob was always so good at doing Christmas. Remember?”

Heather chuckled ruefully. “Oh yeah, the Santa suit, the caroling, the perfectly wrapped gifts and decorated cookies…you’re right.”

It made Sara want to weep in a weirdly hysterical kind of way. She didn’t need that holiday anymore - had never actually needed it - but it still lingered there, in her mind. Her Christmases had been over-the-top idyllic for the past few years, right down to the trimmed tree and the sleigh bells. She meant that literally: Jacob had ordered authentic sleigh bells for the front door. How damned cheery he had always been, over-doing it on gifts for Mike and Sara, making his specialty egg nog, buying orchestra level tickets to the Nutcracker… It made Sara’s stomach lurch now, the rich coffee she’d swallowed turning sour. “Do you think…” she asked Heather, then stopped. She didn’t want to face the idea that Jacob had found perverse pleasure in making her holiday perfect while Michael suffered in Yemen.

Heather simply laid a hand on top of Sara’s. “I do think,” she answered solemnly. “And I want to march up to whatever prison he’s locked away in, and punch him in the fucking face.”

Her friend so rarely swore, Sara cracked a smile despite herself. “And then decorate his cell with boughs of holly and strings of lights.” That hysterical laugh/cry was threatening to escape again.

“Oh, the twinkling kind, that run on a timer?” Heather deadpanned.

“Of course. Nothing but the best.” She swallowed more coffee so the knot in her throat couldn’t give way to a cry.

“Fuck him,” Heather said firmly, certainly on a roll with the f-bombs. “Now you can have a fucked up holiday like all the rest of us. You’ll see…it can be fun.” She smiled a bit wickedly at Sara, which released some of the tight anger fisting in her chest. “Honest to goodness truth?” she said. “All you have to do is get through it. Nothing has to be perfect, not anymore. You and Michael, if you don’t mind my saying so, don’t seem to require perfect.”

“Well,” Sara sighed, “we certainly know how to operate without being anywhere in the vicinity.”

“And you’re kind of sickeningly in love, so there’s that helpful detail in your favor.”

Sara let herself smile. “There is that.” She looked at Heather, and the fierce loyalty and concern she saw in her face threatened to undo her again. Lord knew true friends were hard for her to come by. “Thank you,” she whispered.




Sara took Heather’s advice, aiming, through the rest of December, for simply ‘not perfect’. Mike aided in this endeavor by pointing out ways in which they were doing things ‘differently’ or ‘wrong’ this year with a regularity that set her teeth on edge.

“There’s no right way to make gingerbread houses,” she told him in exasperation, to which Mike and Michael predictably objected. “I mean,” she clarified, “even if we used to make them after dinner before the school pageant,” due to Jacob’s class schedule, she added silently, “we can make them in the middle of the day if we want to.”

This idea met with lukewarm acceptance from Mike, but the hits just kept coming. “But what about ice skating?” he wanted to know. “And caroling at the university? We always do that, too, but not this year?” Jacob’s department organized the event, and Sara watched helplessly as Mike recalled all that had transpired the last time he’d been in Jacob’s university office. All three of them then had the pleasure of feeling miserable for a few minutes.

Michael pinched his eyes shut, fingers massaging his temple in slow circles. It was his go-to body language whenever he wished a problem would simply go away. “Why don’t you just make a list of all your favorite…traditions,” he stumbled over this word, “and we’ll just do them?” He looked like this idea appealed to him about as much as walking barefoot on broken glass.

She knew he’d do whatever it took to make Mike happy, even if it meant subscribing to the annual Jacob Holiday Itinerary.  “If I get a vote,” Sara tried, “I vote for making new traditions.”

Michael shook this gesture off. “Whatever Mike wants,” he repeated grimly.

“Sounds fun,” she muttered.

A few days later, she found Michael in the freezing garage, staring down multiple tangles of holiday lights he’d unearthed from their storage container. Jacob’s lights, her brain registered with a heavy clunk…the ones he labored over every damn year, in order to win some imaginary brightest house on the block award. The sight of Michael picking up this task caused Sara’s stomach to heave abruptly. She looked away as she tried to steady herself, studying the back wall of the garage. Camping gear, a soccer net, and Mike’s bike lay stored in the corner. Jacob had bought that net, she thought suddenly. And the bike. Had taught Mike to ride it, too. 

“Just…don’t, okay?” she heard herself tell Michael. She wasn’t even sure why, but she needed him to stop. Her voice sounded sharp, but fragile…like it should be stored behind glass, not thrown across the garage at him.

“Don’t what?” Michael sounded testy, too. “Mike? Grab this box while I get the ladder.”

Mike looked up from a second box of decorations, surprised. “I can help? I’m not just supposed to stay out of the way this year?”

Michael’s eyes narrowed. “Guess we’re doing new traditions after all,” he announced flatly.

The way he twisted Sara’s earlier words landed like a slap. Had he meant them so harshly? Or was she overreacting? “Just…come inside,” she managed. The sight of Michael holding those lights was making her feel almost panicky at this point. Her skin had turned clammy and hot. “Don’t bother with those. Are you listening to me? Please.

He turned to set the ladder back down slowly. Even with his back to her, she could feel some dark emotion rolling off him in waves. It lapped at her, hinting at some inevitable outcome she knew she wouldn’t enjoy. She hadn’t been overreacting. He waited until Mike rounded the corner to the driveway before biting out, “Why, Sara?”

The two words, usually so inoffensive, exploded with angry energy at her feet.

She decided to fight fire with fire. “Because I want it all gone, okay? All these boxes, all those lights…gone. I don’t ever want to see them again.” Her voice shook, and she felt frighteningly brittle now. Tinder, already sparked. “You put up one light, I swear to God I’ll rip it down.” She turned on her heel to retreat back into the house.

“Sara!”

She didn’t answer, but with each step, her resolve strengthened. She meant it. In her mind’s eye, she was already setting fire to every memory of Jacob that sprang up to haunt her…the holiday decorations, the damned traditions…by the time she slammed the kitchen door, she’d thrown even Mike’s bike onto her metaphoric bonfire. She felt prepared to set a match to this whole fucking house right about now. She leaned into the kitchen sink for a long minute, thinking she might actually vomit, then sank into a chair, wrapping her arms around her middle and trying not to fly apart at the seams.

“Sara.”

She chanced a glance at him, and immediately regretted it. Another swell of nausea rose at the hurt and misunderstanding she saw on his face. She did her best to breathe through it.

“Are you feeling alright?” His voice still sounded raw, but it had softened at the edges.

She shook her head, then laid her face into the crook of her elbow.

She felt him move away, and in a sharp rise of disbelief, thought he was walking out of the room. Then she heard the familiar sounds of the cabinet closing and faucet opening, and he was back at her elbow, sliding a glass of water toward her. He eased into the chair across from her, but she didn’t move. She had a bad feeling that if she drank the water, it would come right back up.

After a while, Michael said, a bit resentfully, “Alright. I’ll start.” She opened her eyes to study his hands on the table. They were splayed tensely. He was definitely still angry. “I feel like I’m facing an enemy I don’t really know and I can’t see,” he said.

“They’re just Christmas lights, Michael.”

“Which you banished from the house on sight,” he pointed out. It did seem crazy, the way he put it. He sighed. “I need to know when I’m stepping into territory I’m not part of, Sara. Good memories. Things you did together. Because it hurts too much this way.”

She had to face him now. She propped her chin on her arm. “They’re not good memories,” she corrected him. He tried to deflect this, but she found enough energy not to let him. “They’re lies. They’re all the ways in which he tried too hard, all the moments I should have seen what a narcissistic, psychotic person I was dealing with. I mean, who needs that many fucking lights?”

The ghost of a smile played about his mouth, but only briefly. Then the resentment returned. “Mike seems to want them.”

“You don’t give Mike enough credit,” she told him, curling her hand around the water glass. “He can tell the difference between lights and the latest toys and actual, real love, you know.” She paused, but Michael still didn’t answer. “Otherwise, he’d be crying for Jacob right now.” His actual name didn’t pass her lips in Michael’s presence unless it was absolutely necessary, but she was beginning to consider this an emergency.

The shock value worked. Michael sat upright in his chair, instantly tense again. He who shall not be named, she thought irritably. “And he’s not, you’ll notice.” She softened her voice. “He just wants to share with you the things he associates with the holiday.”

Michael spoke slowly. “It’s not his fault he did all this first with…Jacob, but he did, and I don’t know how to get past that.”

She thought of the bike she’d just wanted to burn to ashes. “Me, neither.” How she hated that Jacob had stolen all that from Michael. Heather’s advice came back to her, and she grimaced, thinking of how royally she’d screwed it all up in the garage. “Maybe…let’s try not to assign the holiday such importance, Michael.”

“Spoken by someone who’s experienced a lifetime of perfect holidays.”

She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of this jibe. “I may have had the lights and the tree, but I also had a workaholic father and alcoholic mother, followed by several fuzzy years of addiction, then a psychotic pseudo-husband. I don’t think so, Michael.”

He relented then, fingers once again pinching the bridge of his nose, staving off something darker than even the truth of her words. “You’re right, of course.” He touched her arm experimentally, squeezing her bicep when she didn’t pull away. “I’m sorry, Sara. I’m trying.” He paused, hand still on her sleeve, and said, “And I think I have an idea.”

He called to Mike, and they both left by the front door. When they returned, they had Sara’s teenaged neighbor in tow, and Michael was doling $20 bills into his palm, one after another. The kid eyed the money collecting in his hand like Christmas had just come early. Sara watched in exhausted amusement as Michael instructed him to drop off the old lights at the Salvation Army, buy a simple set of new lights — Mike whispered something in his ear at this point, and he amended this — buy those new lights that flashed colors, and put them up by the weekend. When the teen had departed with enthusiasm, dragging boxes of lights in his wake, Mike asked, “Do I still get to help?”

Sara lifted herself wearily from the chair and planted a kiss on his head. “I think that’s what at least one of those twenties was for,” she smiled. Over Mike’s head, she caught Michael’s eye. I’m sorry, she mouthed. He sighed shakily, and mimicked her caress, his lips first brushing the top of her head, then Mike’s.




In the end, the holiday reminded Sara of the first Christmas after her mother had died: no one knew how to go about it, no one felt particularly festive, and everyone, except perhaps Mike, felt a measure of relief when it ended. For Sara, the exception to this rule came on Christmas Eve, when they gave in to Mike’s request to go to the church service they ‘always’ attended. They invited Heather and Larry and Dylan, who provided the gift of normalcy throughout the evening. Afterward, when they pulled up to the house with its understated string of lights, Michael carried a sleepy Mike up to bed, then returned downstairs with a big box wrapped in sliver paper. When he placed it in Sara’s arms, it felt surprisingly light.

“I wanted to give you this tonight, because I think you’d rather open it without Mike present,” he said, sending a small thrill of curiosity and trepidation down Sara’s spine.

“Why? What is it?”

He just raised his eyebrows at her. “It’s a gift. The generally accepted custom is to open it to find out.”

She smiled, but studied the box again before setting it on the floor and slipping a finger under the fold of the wrapping paper. It was about the size of the box the architectural scanner they’d ordered for the office came in; she suspected it had been repurposed. She took her time with the flap of the cardboard lid, then opened it to peer inside. Nested in the box like packing peanuts lay a huge pile of paper cranes. Her paper cranes. “Michael,” she breathed. “From the gutter?”

“A little worse for the wear, I’m afraid,” he said.

Kneeling on the floor, she reached her hand in; the cranes were brittle as autumn leaves, sharp at the creases. Most were watermarked, dusted with dirt and streaks of age-old mud. But they were dry, and feather-light in her hands, and on many, Michael’s precisely blocked handwriting was still visible. Her eyes filled with tears. “Thank you,” she managed.

He leaned in to look at them with her. “I dried them individually with your hair dryer,” he confessed, and she turned from the box to him, raking a hand over his scalp as she embraced him.

“I wondered why you needed that,” she laughed.

He shifted on the floor until his back hit the couch, and settled her against him, her backside nestled into the V of his legs, her shoulders against his chest. She drew each crane out of the box one by one, lifting each wing carefully. He read the messages with her over her shoulder, tucking her hair back from blocking his field of vision. “This could take awhile,” he said dryly, after she’d read two.

She just reached for the next one. “You made all of these in Yemen? In that prison?” She felt herself skating toward questions she had about his experience there, but pulled them back. Not now.

Michael nodded against her neck. “I had time on my hands,” he said.

“How did you do it?” She held a light blue crane with black ink that read, PLEASE TELL M HAPPY BDAY. An April crane, she thought with a pang. Which April, she didn’t know.

He took the crane from her hands and toyed with it. “First, I had to get the paper, of course, and that involved paying a guy who could get just about anything. Like C-Note. He never could work out why I would be willing to trade Cuban cigars for basic printer paper.”

“How did you get the cigars?” she asked.

“Well,” he said slowly, “that involved negotiating cell phone privileges from a cellie of mine, which involved procuring him his favorite narcotics in exchange.” Sara frowned at this, and without seeing her expression, Michael added, “I know,” softly. He turned the crane in his hands, as though assessing its value and finding it worth whatever cost.

“And once you had the paper?”

“I had my own pen,” he said more cheerfully, so that was the easy part.” He grew quiet for a moment. “Knowing what to say was harder.”

She had lifted another crane out of the box. This one contained three words, most of the letters smeared past recognition. She identified an I and a OV and OU, and filled in the blanks. She swallowed hard. “How did you mail them here?”

“Another contact, who visited a local inmate regularly. He came around every Tuesday, so on the Tuesdays I’d managed to procure an airmail stamp, I could slip it to him.”

“And how did you get the stamp?”

“That part was tough,” he admitted, as though the rest of it the process had been a piece of cake. “For the stamp, I needed a guy who forged currency, who in turn needed some of my paper. I traded it at a lower cost than the usual supplier, which meant risking pissing off my paper guy.”

She closed her eyes, trying to absorb this. Her hands stilled in their pursuit of another crane.

“Are you okay?”

“Just hearing these answers is exhausting me.” She ran her hand back through the box. “And there must be a hundred of these.” The tears threatened her vision again. “You shouldn’t have worried about what to write,” she said softly. “I get it. I’ve got the message.”

She felt his arms circle her waist, drawing her closer, and she allowed herself to lean back heavily into him. “I’m sorry I couldn’t respond,” she whispered. The knowledge that she hadn’t, that he had been left to wonder, made her whole body ache, like one awful bruise. He turned her around by her shoulders, placed a finger experimentally to the wetness of her cheeks, and then replaced it with his lips. He kissed her gently, his touch as light as the cranes in her hands, until she ached with something other than regret. She untangled her legs from underneath her and straddled him, something low in her belly tightening with anticipation at the feel of his groin hard against her, ready for her. She kissed him deeply. He responded with a soft sigh against her mouth, and then she felt him guiding her backward, until her back sank into the carpet and he followed. They took their time, Michael insisting on soft, and slow, and tender under the muted luminosity of their simple holiday lights. He peeled her clothes off piece by piece, studying her in the red-green glow.

“Did you think about this, in that place?” she dared to ask, as he touched her softly.

Something tortured crossed his face in the dark. “Oh, Sara. Only when I could bear to.” He placed a kiss to her bare breast, then her stomach, as he slid his weight on top of her. She felt a surge of something rebellious rise in her, raw and visceral.

“I thought about it,” she breathed. “About you…too often.” If possible, she felt him grow harder against her. “How it’s always been. So. Good.”

He groaned an inaudible string of syllables in response to this confession. She felt his muscles tense as he abandoned his slow-and-easy stance for something much less restrained. Need, she decided. Single-minded need. She shifted under him, offering herself to him abruptly, and he entered her with an instinctive, almost carnal thrust. “Did it hurt?” he gasped.

For a second, she wasn’t sure what he meant. She arched into him to meet his body. Of course it hadn’t hurt. Oh. But before? Thinking about him? “Very badly,” she admitted. “This helps though.” She pulled him closer, until no space at all remained between their skin. He cradled her head in his hands, regaining control as he rocked into her smoothly, kissing her neck and face with that same featherlight touch. After what felt like a long time in suspended animation, she came with him almost as though floating on water, somewhere warmer and softer than her living room floor, carried along a current that took them far from this difficult Christmas with its brutal memories.

They stayed there, on the floor, tangled in each other, until Sara nearly succumbed to sleep and Michael whispered in her ear, “If we don’t get up, Santa is going to put us on his naughty list when he comes down that chimney.”

She smiled into his bare chest. Her entire body felt limp, and she was so, so tired. “Alright, but I think you’ll need to carry me.”




The evening of their party, the house fairly burst at the seams. Michael moved through the barely controlled chaos of party decorations, children, tables set with platters of food, and friends gathered in conversation to find his brother on the opposite end of the living room. They clinked beer bottles, and settled on the bar stools at the edge of the kitchen to take in the scene. Sucre had turned the sound system to something upbeat and Latin, which Sheba gamely danced to, garnering appreciative applause. C-Note arrived with a festively-wrapped box, a gift for Mike. His son brought it excitedly over, and Michael watched as he opened an impressive variety of fireworks, none of which seemed appropriate for a child.

Sucre whistled. “Where do you find this stuff?” he asked, pawing through the box. “Half of this is illegal in most states.”

“Man, how are you still questioning my ways?” C-Note answered, while Michael whisked the gift onto a high shelf. “Later, little man,” C-Note staged whispered to Mike, who darted back across the room with a single permitted sparkler.

Lincoln laughed. “Nice work, getting the whole gang back together. Beats the hell out of that shitty gravesite outside Panama City.”

Michael shook his head, grinning. “I’ll drink to that.” They sat in silence for a minute, and when he found themselves sitting alone again, he said simply, “Thank you, Lincoln.”

“What for, Mike?”

“I can count on one hand the number of people who I know, without a sliver of doubt, would take a punch for me, take a bullet for me, hell, take care of my family for me. They’re all in this room.” He looked at his brother, who frowned into the lip of his beer bottle. “But you’re at the top of that list. Always have been.”

Lincoln exhaled shakily, then attempted to deflect the emotion that had settled between them with a wry smile. “Yeah, well, maybe you could do something for me someday. Try to even the score a bit, bro.” The both laughed. From the other end of the room, Sara caught the sound and turned to look at them, a smile on her lips. Mike ran past again, trailing in the wake of two of Sucre’s little girls, on the way to the back patio where the bounce house sat in the snow. Michael had spent hours shoveling out the space, an endeavor Sara had scolded him for, but now seemed well worth the trouble.

“So LJ’s a full-fledged lawyer now, huh?” Michael said, catching his nephew’s eye, where he lingered by the food.

Next to him, Lincoln laughed again. “Yeah, an attorney…can you believe that? Guess he wanted a more efficient way of bailing out his old man.”

But his career choice made perfect sense to Michael: when he thought about it, LJ had been perhaps the first person affected by the weight of his father’s death sentence, certainly before Veronica or Michael. “He’ll make an amazing lawyer,” he said sincerely. “Vee would have been proud.”

Lincoln nodded, and they clinked bottles again, in memory. Sucre approached again, offering two fist bumps. He looked a bit older, as they all did, but in every way, he was the same man who’d shown Michael unwavering loyalty from Fox River, day one. “How’s Maricruz?” Michael asked.

Predictably, Sucre beamed. “Too pregnant to make the trip,” he said, “but good, good. I think it’s a boy this time. She did that string thing, you know, where you dangle it above her belly, and yep, boy.”

Michael smiled. “Well, congratulations. You’ve got to get yourself off those ships, then.”

Sucre nodded. “I’m done with that, Papi. Pay was great, but too much time away from home, you know?”

“Yeah,” Michael agreed. “I do.”

He excused himself then, under the pretense of checking on the integrity of the bounce house snow foundation. Really, he just wanted to watch Mike using it, having fun with the other kids…children he never would have known if Michael hadn’t decided to point the barrel of a handgun at the ceiling of a savings and loan. He found Alex out there, in the cold. He’d arrived through the back, greeting almost no one. Michael placed a hand to his arm; it felt thin, almost fragile.

“Michael,” Mahone said simply. It was the first they’d seen each other since his return from Yemen, but Alex had never been one for embraces. He just shook his head with a slight smile. “How do you do it, always somehow coming out on top?”

It was a rhetorical question, but Michael answered it sincerely. “This time, it took awhile.” The cocky assuredness they’d once slung at each other, along with their need to match wits, had been absent from their relationship for a long while. They both watched Mike, his friend Dylan, and the Sucre girls bouncing in the canvas castle for a moment. 

“How are you, Alex?” Michael truly wanted to know. “How’s Pam?”

Alex sighed. “She’s getting by. So am I, I suppose. Because what else can you do? Life goes on.” He paused, then clasped one hand on his shoulder. “Enjoy your family, Michael. Every day.” There was no guile in his tone.

When Michael walked back through the patio slider, he saw Sara on the stairs, sitting on a step overlooking the gathering of people in their living room. She wore her hair loose, brushing her shoulders, a dress Michael hadn’t seen before tonight hugging the curves at her hips and chest. She looked so appealing, it almost hurt. He climbed the stairs to join her.

“I got a little bit exhausted,” she admitted with a smile. Her face looked slightly flushed from mingling through the crowd. She threaded her arm through his, and they both watched the lively scene in their normally tranquil living room. “Overwhelming, isn’t it?”

He nodded. ‘Overwhelming’ was precisely the word. At the risk of allowing a morbid thought, Michael felt this night might be the closest he would ever come to experiencing his own funeral. All these people, who came here for him. Who had lent support to his wife, for so long. Who greeted his son with presents. Who loved him. He looked out over the living room again. “It’s like I’m staring at the biggest stack of gifts I’ve ever seen, and they’re all for us.”

She looked at him a bit shyly. “Can I add one more to the pile?”

He nodded. “What is it?”

“I uh…” She looked down, a small smile tugging at one side of her mouth. “I have something to tell you.”

A thought dawned. He hardly dared allow it to grow. “No…” He began to smile.

She peeked up at him. “Yes.” She nodded as her smile widened. “I’m pregnant, Michael.”

All the air left his lungs. He gasped a laugh. “Are you…are you sure?”

She nodded more vigorously. “I waited until I could be absolutely sure.”

He wrapped her into his arms, not caring that he was crying into her new dress. He tightened his hold on her, his entire body humming with happiness, and they remained like that, locked together, until Fernando nudged him on the shoulder. “C’mon you two. Time for the toast, Papi.”

They disentangled, but Michael felt unable to look away from Sara. He gaped at her as though he’d never seen her before. This was beyond a gift; it felt to Michael as though Sara were some type of miracle granter, giving him this second chance to be a father from the beginning.

Sucre silenced the crowd rather effectively with a well-timed whistle. He attempted to clink a plastic knife to his glass of malt whiskey, then gave up. “To the man who taught me the meaning of the word ‘passion’,” he said loudly, then immediately waved his arms, frowning. “Wait, wait! That didn’t come out right!” Everyone laughed. “I mean, he taught me to follow my passion. That nothing is more important than family.” He pointed to his kids, still trailed by Mike, and blew a kiss in their general direction. “And of course, to always have faith.”

Glasses raised.

Lincoln stood up. “To having faith.”

Michael tipped his glass to him, then looked at Sara. “To starting something new.”

What if, when Daryl finds out Carol left Alexandria and is out god-knows-where potentially in a lot of danger, he gets panicked and tries to go after her right away. His gunshot wound has barely begun to heal, and he’s still weak, so Rick tries to stop him, with a head tilt and a “I don’t want you going out there”. And Daryl’s like, “You’d do the same thing”. And he just keeps loading up his bike, giving Rick the metaphorical middle finger. And Rick responds with something like, “I wouldn’t risk my life like this. It’s impulsive, dangerous. We don’t even know if she’s still alive and you could die - “

So then Daryl interrupts him, saying. “You’d do the same thing – for Michonne”.

And then there’s this long, tense silence between them before Rick finally nods in understanding.

iscreamattractivelyintothesunset  asked:

Carmilla x Laura prompt : they go on a date and carmillas motorbike is how they are getting there.

The only appropriate question for the current situation would be “why me? Why always me?”

Except that wasn’t exactly the case with Laura Hollis. In fact, as long as she could remember, the question she constantly asked herself was “why not me?”

Why did her cousins get to go to the fair and she didn’t? Why was everyone allowed on that super cool and totally awesome waterslide and she wasn’t? Why was that girl so “normal” and got to like boys and maybe later start a family, and her, Laura, was the apparent “freak”?

Why not her and always somebody else?

And then Silas happened. And suddenly, she was in the epicenter of everything.

One would think she’d be on a cloud nine, and don’t get her wrong – she certainly was. Even living in the constant fear of the impending doom, for the first time in her life, Laura actually considered herself happy.

But, you know. Be careful what you wish for.

Because right now, Laura was standing in the middle of her room with clothes scattering various surfaces of the said room as she was absolutely freaking out.

Apparently, it wasn’t enough that she – admittedly, more often than not by her own doing – found herself in a life-threatening situation at least thrice a week. No, it wasn’t enough that her free spirit and curiosity led her right in the hands of death which she narrowly escaped – so far.

She just had to fall for a vampire. A broody, aloof, confident, gorgeous vampire who had a humongous experience in luring girls in her trap and probably had all the awesome dating and seduction techniques up in her sleeve. Who was also surprisingly sweet and so romantic she could write tons of book on how to plan a date.

And her? She’s been on a date and a half in middle school and the only thing going for her was her dorkiness and, apparently, not-so-keen fashion sense.

And all of the previous rambling leads us to this moment Laura found herself in. A date with the said vampire, no appropriate outfit to wear and a serious case of upcoming hyperventilating.

Laura groaned.

______________________

Not surprisingly, when Carmilla came by to pick her up – which the vampire insisted on since that’s “date rules that we’re not supposed to break, even if you’re so fond of doing that, cupcake” – Laura wasn’t ready at all. She was ready, however, to call everything off and bury herself under her covers, where she would meet her sad, sad death.

“God, your melodramatic levels exceed everything I’ve ever experienced,” Carmilla rolled her eyes as soon as she saw her, without Laura uttering a word. “And that’s saying something, I practically live in a teenage TV drama thanks to you and the dimwit squad.”

Okay, Carmilla’s still as snarky as ever. Somehow, that calmed the petite girl’s nerves slightly. But only slightly.

“Don’t even think of cancelling on me,” the vampire said, again, before Laura even managed to open her mouth. “For the record, I’m not a mind reader. You, on the other hand, have everything written on your face.” Then, after a beat, Carmilla spoke in a quitter, softer voice. “What’s wrong?”

As soon as the words left Carmilla’s mouth, Laura’s head suddenly cleared of her worries. Inevitably, the whole freak-out seemed embarrassingly stupid. However, the fear of rejection that showed on Carmilla’s face was as serious as it got.

“It’s nothing, I wasn’t gonna cancel!” At the girl’s raised eyebrow, she sighed. “I wasn’t! Not.. not because of you, anyway. I just… I realized I had nothing to wear.”

The eyebrow arched higher.

“The closet that, clearly, had thrown up all over our room begs to differ, sweetheart,” the silky voice noted as its owner stepped into the room. Now Laura could have a full view of her outfit, and just as she was prepared to be blown away by Carmilla’s aristocratic beauty and – hopefully, Laura added to herself – her elegant curves being snugly hugged by whatever expensive material the vampire found – she wasn’t. Blown away by anything, that is. Carmilla’s clothes weren’t anything she hadn’t already seen. A leather jacket, a tank top, skinny jeans, boots. What the…?

“What you’re wearing right now is fine for what I have planned for you,” the dark-haired girl continued as she gave Laura a once-over. Which, of course, made the girl’s embarrassed blush even deeper.

“…for what you have planned for me?” Laura echoed, hesitating.

“It’s a surprise. Not the kind of surprise people usually expect from vampires, so get that racing pulse under control,” Carmilla’s voice was not without its usual sass, but Laura detected a slight hurt within. And immediately felt guilty.

“Hey, that’s not.. .That’s not what I meant. Really.”

“Whatever. Let’s just go,” Carmilla turned on her heels and then, sighing, turned back. “I know you didn’t mean it like that. You’re the only one who never does.”

Laura nodded, the smile she prepared slowly leaving her face as she stared back into the vampire’s expressive eyes. With the atmosphere in the room shifting, the girl suddenly didn’t want to go anywhere for entirely different reasons.

Carmilla was the one to break the moment.

“Well, that’s enough deep conversation and meaningful gazing. We should be going, so grab your jacket and let’s go.”

“But.. Where are we going?”

A half-smirk and a mischievous glint in dark eyes.

“Didn’t I tell you already that it’s a surprise?”

_____________________

“Wow. That’s… Wow.”

Carmilla scowled at Laura’s barely concealed giggles.

“What,” she demanded.

“Nothing! Nothing, it’s cool and awesome and…” Laura trailed off, looking at the brooding girl with a smirk. “And… slightly stereotypical, don’t you think?”

The girls looked back at a black motorbike currently standing in front of them.

“Stereotypical would be me inviting you to a ball in a red dress with a corset, creampuff.”

“I didn’t mean ‘vampire stereotypical’,” Laura replied, still grinning. “I meant ‘bad girl’ stereotypical. Like the whole ‘leather pants and heavy metal and sass’ deal you have. But that’s not – that’s not a bad thing!” She continued, noticing Carmilla turning even more sour that usual. “I mean… I like you, don’t I? And maybe that whole thing had something to do with that,” she noticed slyly.

However, if Carmilla’s mood changed, she didn’t show it.

“I thought… Thought you’d like it,” she said, without her usual sarcastic undertones. “If you don’t we can just take-”

“No, I do!” Laura protested. “I really, really do! I actually never once in my life got to ride one of these. And I always wanted to , but… My dad, you know?”

Carmilla replied with a quiet “I do know.” And as usual, her intense gaze told Laura everything she couldn’t say. That she did know Laura never got to do fun things because her dad deemed everything too dangerous for his precious tiny girl. That maybe, because of that, or because of an entirely different reason such as her natural curiosity, Laura was all for new and exciting things. That this bike was a metaphor for everything Carmilla knew and understood and was willing to do for her.

The amount of unexpected, sweet heartache took Laura by surprise. But not as much as her sudden soft kiss surprised Carmilla.

The vampire’s lips ironically tasted like sun. Warm and soft and heating her up like fire. The girls didn’t deepen it, instead enjoying the sensation of a gentle kiss, chaste and innocent. After a second, they slowly broke apart, Laura wearing a blush and a shy smile and Carmilla smirking.

“If that’s what I get every time-”

“No, don’t,” the shorter girl interrupted her, soothing the sudden words by tracing circles on Carmilla’s hand with her thumb. “This was.. Just don’t, okay?”

And as usual, Carmilla understood.

hey MST3K fans, remember time chasers?

they cut out a scene where the cab driver does karate against seven henchmen

and a 3 minute long bike chase scene

and a metaphor about how time travel is like spoons in a cup or something