brutal blow

2

Who would win in a fight between Papa Smoke and Papa John Shitfaced?

To answer this question I’m going to start with their stats. Based on appearance, I’ve estimated how each stack up and factored in their respective status changers. Let’s start with papa smoke:

Strength: 80 (60 natural strength due to his large build, +20 because of his chest hair)
Dexterity: 25 (He looks like he tries his best but isn’t quite as good as his peers.)
Stamina: 40 (60 naturally, -20 because of the massive amounts of smoke he inhales)
Charisma: 100 (His cigar and demeanor score him big for this one. He radiates an aura of invitation and kindness.)
Agility: 10 (His large size makes him easy to hit and his weight prevents him from moving quickly)
HP: 500, but it decreases by two every second because of the smoke

Next let’s examine Papa John Shitfaced

Strength: 60 (40 naturally, but the alcohol gives him the courage to hit harder)
Dexterity: 50 (80 naturally because of his impressive skills in pizza making, but the alcohol brings him down 30 points.)
Stamina: 80 (Due to the inhibiting properties of alcohol, he feels pain to a lesser extent which allows him to fight for longer)
Charisma: 40 (Naturally 80, but the alcohol has drastically affected his ability to form sentences, let alone settle conflicts.)
Agility: 70 (Naturally 90 because of his lean build, but the alcohol subtracts 20 points)
HP: 200

So how would a fight like this go down? What strategies would each fighter try to employ? Papa John Shitfaced’s strategy involves avoiding the huge attacks of Papa Smoke, and getting quick jabs in where he can, all while waiting for his health to deplete naturally. Papa Smoke takes a more direct strategy, knowing his time is limited he tries to get in as many hits as he can as fast as he can. Both strategies are hindered by each fighter’s skills, as Papa John will have a hard time evading while drunk, and Papa Smoke will have a hard time catching up to Papa John due to his extremely slow speed.

In order for Papa Smoke to win, he only needs to hit Papa John twice, as one hit deals 100 damage. In order for Papa John to win, he needs to evade Papa Smokes attacks for 4 minutes and 10 seconds. Given the odds, Papa Smoke has the highest chance of winning.

As the fight starts Papa John is too shitfaced to defend himself from Papa Smoke’s first swing and loses 100 HP at the very start. The hit snaps Papa John out of his drunken state a little bit and he retreats to the corner of the room. As Papa Smoke attempts to run over to him, he becomes fatigued which allows Papa John to get a punch on him. Papa John retreats to a different corner and repeats the process.

Halfway through the fight, Papa Smoke is at 250 HP and Papa John is at 100 HP. Papa John seems to have an unbeatable strategy and his chances of winning skyrocket. Papa Smoke’s health is shrinking by the second and he begins to lose hope. Instead of chasing Papa John he decides to wait in the middle of the room and re evaluate his strategy.

In his drunken confusion Papa John confuses this strategizing for another period of fatigue, and goes in for another hit. Papa Smoke is caught off guard by this but manages to turn around and scare Papa John with his calm demeanor. Papa John falls to the floor and backs up. Papa Smoke is now at an advantage, because now that Papa John is on the floor he’ll never be able to get back up due to how shitfaced he is.

Papa Smoke slowly backs Papa John into a corner. Realizing he’s exhausted his options, Papa John pulls out the gun he’s been keeping in his shirt and begins firing wildly. This frightens Papa Smoke, but Papa John is way too shitfaced to properly aim a gun. The stunt has only delayed the inevitable. Papa John takes one last breath and braces for impact, as Papa Smoke brutally delivers the final blow.

So, my father was a security guard.  Not only that, but he was chief of security at a major hotel. (Tch, one of the most successful hotel chains in the country and they paid their chief of security minimum wage.)  And there were a lot of incidences at this hotel.  It was near a boarding school that this last year got shut down for abuse, so in his time there were a lot of runaways, a lot of angry adults, teachers covering their asses, and so on.  It was right on the border with Ohio, so you’d often have people who were in trouble in one state crossing over.  It had a popular bar, so there were a lot of drunken violence.  Occasionally a famous person with an addiction. Or just belligerent guests in general. A high school dance party gone wrong, baby boomers who didn’t get their wine fast enough, a couple that started having fun but ended the night in debauchery, etc. Sometimes there was some form of abuse going on in a room, and sadly it was a common occurrence for a woman to come in needing to hide from an abusive partner, at which point the security chief really needed to be on alert for if the partner came looking for her.  

As much as I hate the guy, he was a pretty good security guard.  He wore breakaway ties so he couldn’t be grabbed, he knew a bit of kuk sool won, he was trained in the use of firearms, pepper spray, and tear gas, plus he was a big, burly guy with a terrifying voice when he was mad.  And he had good elocution and confidence. I think in the decade or so he was there, he only had to get the cops involved less than a handful of times, he was that good at keeping the peace.

Here’s the thing:  He was never, ever, allowed to touch a patron. Not only would he have been fired if he had, but he would have been brought up on assault charges by the law. All that gun experience, all that gas training, all the martial arts?  He wasn’t allowed to use them at all while on the job.  He wasn’t even allowed to jab a finger into a guy’s chest to tell them to watch themselves, bud. He could not touch them.  Even in a case of immediate harm or death of another patron, he was not to engage other than to get others to safety and to call the police. He could have saved someone’s life by punching out a knife-wielding asshole, and he would have been fired at the very least.

Naturally, being a big, intimidating guy worked in his favor, because most people didn’t want to fuck with him even if they didn’t normally consider a guy in a suit to be tough. He had the honeyed words to make a guy shit his pants, basically.  Never once did he touch someone trying to start a fight, and still cops were rarely called.  He could get people to calm down or to leave the premises without violence, without even touching them. And he got hit a few times, and he was still able to handle it would touching the other guy.

And yes, I get it.  Air security is a different thing than building security. And if there had been a bomb or a gun or a knife, the narrative would be different. But there wasn’t.  It was just one guy, unfairly singled out, frustrated with being unfairly singled out and missing his flight and wanting to go home. His only crime was being stubborn, and he had reason to be. He never made the first move. Hell, he could have even been physically violent towards the security and it never should have warranted the brutality of the response. It wasn’t proportional. 

tl;dr  Wild concept: it’s possible to defuse a potential situation without trying to kill or maim someone.

NOTHING NATURAL by Diana Hurlburt

They call him Prosper, a measure of mockery for each measure of awe.

-

You know the road to the laboratory blind, could walk it in your sleep—have, because sleepwalking is telltale of the godborn, so your mother says and touches your ankle in rare affection where it rests on the porch rail, one foot on the earth and one in the realm of spirits.

“Spirits,” she repeats, gesturing to the road below, the spindly pine woods and the yellow haze of heat and pollution that makes up your horizon. “He controls the spirits.”

There are no spirits, only neighbors: Men and women and half-made machines given to rust, the detritus of civilization. A plot of bloodless jackdaws, midway between flophouse and refugee camp. You know that part of her statement, at least, is true. The weak and weak-willed, the dying, the once-dead, the discarded and useless, the flagrant all require direction. Seek strength. Are used by those stronger.

Sicaria laughs and makes her crooked cross, murmurs her oblique prayer.

“Get out,” she tells you in sudden rage, “go to your master. Get out of my sight, you unworthy and unclean thing, you who have forsaken the ways of God, you who cleave to the machines. Your eyes see only falsehood.”

-

It is fifteen years since your mother was cast out. It is your lifetime that has been spent in wasteland, the between-place, the unplace beyond the pale. It is a pine island that shelters you, a fanatic who raises you, a scientist who uses your hands and your back and his daughter who considers your mind.

Your mind. You know you have one. All creatures do, born or made. It is the First Law of Being.

Your name. If Sicaria gave you one it has been lost. It was only after Prosper’s carelessness that anyone else tried—his accident in the lab, though he would never call it that, surely you were at fault, your clumsy hands too broad for fine work and your elbows always in the way. Acid scattered from a flask, droplets caught in sun. You did not scream; it wasn’t the worst pain you had felt. In the washroom Miranda’s hands were gentle, washing, salving. They slowed after the initial motions and your pulse followed. You examine your two faces in the mirror. If you had ever displayed beauty it was gone now, Miranda’s heightened by your face now scarred. Her luminosity beyond the human and your coarseness, a sun and its shadow.

Her hand stayed on your cheek after its necessity had lapsed. She traced the remnants of acid, specks and splotches, long fingers black and velvet like the touch of night. You believe her grasp could shift moons from their orbit.

“Calvaluna,” she said, a cantrip reshaping your vision of yourself. “I read it somewhere—where? I have never read a book. I don’t need to, Father put his knowledge into my head before he activated me. But I hear it.” She tapped her forehead, then yours. “I hear it. It means you. It suits you. Calvaluna.”

It was prettier than you, you knew that, a beautiful name. Prettier than most things. Not prettier than her.

-

When Prosper leaves the laboratory it is less a retirement for the evening and more retreat. He would never call it that but you believe him fearful, after all. The powerful always are. He swings himself like a cudgel upon exit, he shouts for Miranda to attend him and cuffs you, a passing blow, thoughtless. Brutality is his lever, rarely compassion.

You know his laboratory better than he does, you think, wiping down counters. You know his daughter, made in his own image but ultimately fathomless. There’s a phrase in Sicaria’s Bible that makes you quiver when you apply it to Miranda.

It is full dark when Miranda comes for you. Your laboratory is Prosper’s in miniature, piecemeal and theft-built, squirreled away in a shed in the woods south of the pine island on which the best of the unplace’s hovels are built.

“It was a citrus packing house,” Miranda says as she always does. Touches the frame of the door right and then left, stretches to her full height to brush its top. It’s a ritual the way your mother’s prayers are, her prostrations, her rages. “Before the Laws took effect there was an industry here. Fruit. Citrus fruit.” She looks at you, a delight on her face that would fire the darkness. “Can you imagine it, Calvaluna? Whole stands of trees with fruit on them. Wild fruit, just growing. Imagine taking fruit off a tree and eating it.”

Your imagination is not that good.

She goes to the single table in the laboratory and stands before it in a manner you’ve thought must be like that of the Israelites in the Holy of Holies. You are not supposed to know what that means. You are not supposed to have holiness in your life. She looks at you briefly, with mischief, and draws down the shroud you have used to protect the R.E.L.’s shell from rain.

“I think we’re close,” she says. Her eyes are fascinated, distracted; her hand reaches for you. “Come here, Calvaluna, tell me if this is calibrated properly.”

“You have your father’s knowledge,” you say. But you go and look at the R.E.L. with her. You’re proud of the effort, the work of your joined hands. You are not supposed to have pride, either. There is no pride in being raised beyond the pale. In being the offspring of a hanged woman, a witch they would have called her in days past, a lawbreaker too iconoclastic to be allowed in the city and too ineffectual to be executed, spared for her belly to the tune of mockery. Certainly there is no pride in your form or your face.

“I think he’s almost ready to revive,” Miranda says. Her joy is the only light in these woods. The sun exists, you know, in theory. Miranda’s face is your only evidence thus far, fifteen years alive and far from those spaces left which thrive in natural sunlight. She links her fingers in yours, her thumb rubs the calluses on your palm; she points with your hands to the R.E.L.’s blank and staring eyes, his half-human head, his chest with its missing heart and its new core of wires. “Oh, Calvaluna! I’m nervous. Are you nervous?”

Nervous is not the right word for what you are.

-

“Calvaluna,” Sicaria repeated the day you told her of Miranda’s gift. She scraped the tip of her ritual knife between her teeth, grinning. “An appropriate name for you, my aborted dream. I should have exposed you as a sacrifice to God.”

There is no god but human will. This is the Second Law of Being.

-

Your fellow-spirits are all will-bound to Prosper’s caprice. He makes the cogs of the community turn, greases the paths of food and potable water and herbs plucked at the witching hour that make life slightly less… life-like. Thus he is obeyed.

“Daughter,” Sicaria echoes. She spits at the trash heap beside the back gate. “Blasphemy. Blasphemy. Such words I hear from your lips, my burden. Who was it gave you speech, that you fling curses in my face? I think maybe you’re the worse for your time spent in that man’s house. I see you confuse craft for birth.” She broods, her fingers twitching at the strand of beads beneath her wrapper. “But there’s no more to be done. How else are we to live?”

Once, and only once, you suggested that perhaps her god might see to living arrangements, if she did not like how you were turning out under Prosper’s tutelage.

“Go.” She waves to the wood path. “I heard tell there was meat today.”

If there was meat to be had, you suspect it’s long gone now. Your fellow-spirits are avaricious. What have they but base pleasures?

“He’s in a gloom,” Miranda says, her face round and open as a poinciana pod. “He’s made me clean the laboratory twice over, and asked me to cook… something. I didn’t recognize it, Calvaluna. Lentil soup? What is a lentil, do you know?”

You know of lentils.

“You can’t make lentil soup,” you tell her. “He shouldn’t ask you to do things he knows are impossible.”

“He believes anything is possible,” she says. You love and hate to see her countenance. You remember a time when she would have spoken the same words in hope and affection. You know it is your fault, the way she is changing, her will a canker on the face of beauty. You wonder what Prosper will do when he realizes it. You ponder in the night, sometimes, this scholar whose eyes perceive all but the truth.

Perhaps you will be gone before he awakens.

“Race me,” Miranda says, but she takes your hand.

“How am I to race if you keep me beside you?”

“A race doesn’t have to have a winner,” she says, and begins to run.

She times these things impeccably. She runs so that you can almost believe the light follows her footsteps, that she leaves no mark on the earth. Dusk springs up behind you. You prefer night, its honesty; you prefer the real dark that would cover most of your world if not for artificial day. The unplace is a hive of night creatures. Your fellow-spirits are easiest perceived in dimness, their proclivities hidden and their countenances smoothed.

Miranda keeps your hand in hers and runs, runs, fearless and laughing. She runs like a dart flung toward the center of the south woods, the pine cloven by lightning looming over your laboratory. The pine grows despite the wound at its heart. It is where you found the R.E.L.—one of Prosper’s cast-offs, what he termed a failed experiment—half-dead and crumbling piecemeal to rust in dank rainfall.

She drops to the base of the pine and pulls you down and points up.

“I know of stars,” she says, her eyes searching as though Heaven might reveal itself. “The Southern Cross, the Swan. The Pleiades. Many more names my father gave me.” She touches her forehead, as she does when she speaks of Prosper’s knowledge, planted in her like seed corn. She is godborn more surely than you can ever be, gleaming divinity. She touches your forehead, your cheeks, the tip of your nose. “I think they must look like you. The stars beyond our sky.”

She traces the scars and specks and splotches. She draws new constellations and names them, her fingers a warm trail on your skin, her breath a promise.

-

Just once you asked your mother if you would ever leave the unplace. You did not then understand that no one came to the salt-strewn plots of land on the city’s outskirts by choice—no one laid eyes on the pine island and thought, I am home. It is far more difficult to leave a place you have not happened upon by choice.

“He’ll be a protector,” you say, pliers in one hand and cording in the other. “His new code will require defense. Otherwise…”

You look at Miranda and think of what might happen to her if the R.E.L.’s defensive code does not run as planned. You picture yourself and remember Sicaria’s dark jibes, her reminiscences of city life. You rub your upper arm where the contraceptive block had been implanted. It only prevents some things, can halt neither the heady mix of desire and aspiration nor flat violence.

“Defense,” Miranda says, her face solemn in its thinking pose, unaware of your thoughts. “Defense, financials, new birth records and identification…”

Her voice skips along, almost merry, a fertile stream in which to seed possibility.

-

The Third Law of Being is the inviolability of life. No one has ever explained to you whether the Law covers all life.

-

Light explodes behind your eyes when Prosper’s hand meets your skull. Or, you realize a little belatedly, it is the fault of the lab table, the edge of it kissing your temple. Air rushes from your lungs. You stare at the vault above the shed in the woods, its ceiling gaping in sections to reveal leaves, the white sky of noon.

Miranda flies at him, her face dressed in horror. You have never kissed her, you think. You would prefer not to die unkissed; you’d prefer not to die at all.

“Ungrateful wretch,” Prosper says. “Twisted ape-child, spawn of—how thought you?” He smashes his hand across the table. “How thought you to betray my kindness? To turn my own blood against me?” He lifts one of the R.E.L.’s arms, almost delicately. “Whore and daughter of whores. Thief.”

Small comfort to think his rage stems from fear, but it’s enough. Prosper would not be angry if he didn’t believe the R.E.L. was sound.

“You.” He points to Sicaria in the doorway. One of your fellow-spirits has fetched her at his command and she is in a state, white-eyed and gagging on anger. “Take your mooncalf in hand, I never want to see her again. Corruptor.”

He catches Miranda and snares her arms, wrenches her close, covers her head with his hands as though she is innocent. As though healing and reviving the R.E.L. were not her idea. As though a child can be born of only one parent. The R.E.L. is your inheritance, legacy of unnatural issue, a being greater than the sum of its creators.

“This abomination will be destroyed,” Prosper says. Sicaria prays in the doorway, her eyes not on you nor on the R.E.L. but searching, seeking. She hates the sight of machines. Had the city not cast her out for improper worship she would have repudiated them anyway.

“He is an R.E.L.,” Miranda says. You stare despite the throb in your head, the blood in your eyes. Her voice remains soft, wondering, a caress on the cyborg’s clinical name. Aerial, a creature of movement and possibility. “Robotically Enhanced Lifeform. Give him his name, Father, lend some pity, even if you thought nothing of flinging him into the trash when he failed to serve you.”

“Abomination,” he repeats. “Homunculus, deformity—daughter. Listen. Calvaluna has done wrong in her ignorance but you… you are not ignorant, Miranda.”

You marvel at the blindness of the learned man, the man cast out for his learned ways, the man who has made the wilderness blossom in decay. Lord of chaos, king of the misruled.

“God be with me in this hour,” Sicaria prays, her hands on either side of the doorframe. “God be with me in my pain, God give me strength for the task before me, God grant me…”

Me, you mouth. God be with Sicaria, and science with Prosper, and neither passionate belief nor dispassionate prowess sustain them. Miranda looks at you from beneath her father’s hands. Her smile is your signpost, her trust your life raft. Your fellow-spirits are like unto you only in substance: Crude matter, blunt usefulness. Miranda is your true equal, beloved of your soul. Her eyes remain open.

Your eyes must remain open. You must get up. There are but two steps between you and the table, one step in the scientific process, a bare nudge of your fingers at the master switch. Miranda’s being is in your hands.

On the table, the R.E.L. casts off slumber and rattles to life.

anonymous asked:

TFP Orion Pax and Megatronus (before war) headcannons with Cybertronian s/o.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

(i made myself sad)


Transformers: Prime

[Pre-War]



Megatronus

- Megatronus is tough, and very unloving. He’s almost like a mindless beast when you first spot him; fighting in the pits of Kaon, covered in both his and his opponent’s spilled energon. He was fighting brutally, blow after blow coming in to damage his less experienced opponent; so brutal that you had to look away in order to not purge your tanks.

- Unlucky for you, you had been sent out to speak with Megatronus. Whether it be for work or otherwise; you had to make your way down to the underground areas they kept the gladiators, and speak to the dangerous mech head-on. As against it as you are, it’s mostly terror that keeps you from wanting to go through with your assignment.

- To your luck, as it turns out, Megatronus is a gentleman. He spoke to you with the same respect you show for him, his voice almost echoing with wonder and kindness. It was awe-inspiring. It was then when you realized this mech would be able to start a revolution with his voice alone, and it is with that you became friends.

- It wasn’t long after becoming friends when you had become lovers. The gentle way he spoke to you, or lead you by the small of your back both made it obvious he cared more for you than others; he was gentle with you and often went out of his way to make sure you were comfortable in his visits. And when he had started his revolution, you were the first beside him; arms linked as you stood above your sparkmate’s supporters. The dream-filled cybertronians that would soon lose their lives for the cause they believe in.



Orion Pax

- You had met Orion in a visit to the archives. While at first you had passed by the tall mech, it wasn’t long until he was to approach you; asking you if he could assist you in any way. You had mentioned you were in training to become an EMT, and were looking for something your instructor had asked you to research. It wasn’t long until you two had struck up a conversation.

- Orion was kind. He wasn’t all confident, of course; but he made up for his lack of confidence with his gentle and happy demeanor, especially around you. It wasn’t long until you had taking a liking to the archivist, making frequent visits to study and speak with the mech in question. Orion’s ideas and beliefs were almost inspiring; and the way he spoke with much vigor over his hopes for a better Cybertron, you couldn’t help but fall.

- When Orion had confessed he was interested in a relationship with you, you were quick to chirp back that you were also quite interested in perusing one with him. You had admitted to enjoying his company and finding his kindness wonderful; especially the light flush that dusted his faceplates whenever you complimented him. And, of course, he had done just that when you had said this to him.

- You followed him throughout wherever he went. You acted as a mediator in his troubles, a shoulder to cry on; you were his rock as much as he is yours. Even as he was told by the council he was to be a Prime, you still remained loyal. As you spent many days together before he was to become Optimus Prime, you told him that you would always be his own, and you would never leave his side as long as he would allow. You will stand by your words; even if he is to forget you as the matrix becomes apart of him.

Feeling Slightly Overboard: A Gwenvid Fic

Hey! I’m back from the dead! While I’ve been busy at work with papers and other really cool writing projects, I realized I missed Gwenvid week and decided to write something to make up for it. So, inspired by @zippybot‘s wonderful Gwenvid art for Day 5 & 6, here’s a very short fluffy fic!

(Oh yeah and I don’t own Camp Camp)

-xoxo Diana 

***

It had always been a really bad idea at its core.

After all, despite having free reign over the camp with Campbell off and gone to god-knows where, it was still…inappropriate to be in a public relationship with one another. Technically they were employees of the local government, and inter-department relationships were absolutely out of the question.

But the kids had passed out early and it was way too hot to stay in the cabin and watch a movie. So David and Gwen stole camp supplies and a canoe and literally pitched themselves a date in one of the isolated coves of Lake Lilac.

Camping and late-night canoeing was David’s idea from the get-go,  though he certainly didn’t expect to be taking her out in the middle of camp season. She was determined to make it work, though, and all but physically dragged him out the door in order to enjoy some peace and quiet together outside the confines of screened windows.

And he wanted to.

Lord, he wanted to.

But even two hours in without a single mishap, his stomach was tripled knotted with anxiety, and he wanted nothing less than to be back at the cabin fast asleep on his own cott, even when Gwen was relaxed and happy in the opposite end of the boat.

It had already been a few weeks since they had made the relationship official, and he was still as nervous as he was the first night they had kissed. He tried to chalk it up to the threat of being fired, but deep down, even David knew that there was really no reason to worry about getting discovered.

Mostly because it still felt like they weren’t even a couple.

The initial decision was quickly decided, and despite a consistent pattern subtle flirting and stolen kisses and late-night conversation, there was little to show for them as a couple. For the first time, David had begun to look forward to the end of camp, since it meant he and Gwen could spend time together as a couple. And yet, in the hollow of his chest, the fear of losing her before summer’s end continued to strike him with a sharp, brutal blow. It was frustrating, and despite all his attempts to-

“David?”

He snapped his head up, hair flouncing in the breeze as he focused his gaze back at the woman sitting across from him. She was frowning, slightly biting her bottom lip as she reached out to grab his hand.

“Hey,” she smiled, “you okay? You look super stressed.”

“Nope!” he laughed through a strained smile, “I just…I haven’t been on a proper date in a while, you know?”

“Don’t worry; it’s going great so far.”

“Thanks,” he blushed, giving her hand a squeeze before grasping the paddle in hand to guide them back to shore.

Their temporary campsite was tucked out of the way, hidden from nearly every angle and shaded by small limestone formations and tall pines. It lacked proper starlight and the shoreline was a slightly unforgiving bed of pebbles, but it was a good sanctuary from the outside world.

“So,” Gwen yawned, letting her hand dip into the clear water as the boat floated on the edge of the cove, “how exactly did you find this place?”

“I can’t remember, honestly,” he sighed, leaning back to look up at the rim of the moon, “I think it was during district training; I was taking a summer class at the community college while also doing my training, and I just needed a quiet place to study. As far as I can tell, nobody ever comes over here since it’s kind of rocky and the tide can flood camp if you don’t know where to pitch it.”

“It’s beautiful.”

“Thanks.” David sat back up, watching Gwen lazily draw patterns on the cold surface of the lake. For a moment, everything was calm.

Then a tree branch snapped.

Anxiety blew him backwards like a bullet to the face, causing the canoe to dip and toss both Gwen and David into the freezing water.

“Jesus!” Gwen gasped, her entire body turning a stark shade of white as she scrambled to her feet in the freezing water, “what the hell David?”

“I’m sorry!” He choked, “I thought…there was something.”

“Did you see someone?”

“N-no,” he avoided her gaze, pushing the boat onto the shore as quickly as possible, “I just…it scared me. I’m sorry.”

“David-”

“Just, go dry off.” He mumbled, skin burning with humiliation. “There’s some blankets in the tent if you want.”

He braced himself for what she has to say, but she was silent, quietly moving past him and ducking into the tent. David sighed, peeling off his own shirt and trousers and laying them by the fire before sitting by the flames himself. He was the very definition of humiliation: drenched in cold water, red-faced, and wearing nothing but his boxers and make-shift bandanna.

He took a deep breath, closing his eyes and losing himself to sound of nature until the sharp scratching of a zipper drew his attention.

“You okay?”

David looked over his right shoulder, surprised to find Gwen beside him with a gentle smile on her face. Her hair was down, a blanket draped across her waist to avoid the complete exposure of her undergarments. David turned back towards the fire, dropping his gaze to the ashes that burst before him.

“…I’m sorry, Gwen,” he sighed, “this was supposed to be a fun date.”

“David-”

“But I ruined it.”

He let the words fall into the open, his own heart heavy with self-loathing and doubt. His chance with her had been slim, and he had completely ruined it. He could hear her awkward breathing and apologies in the back of his imagination, and felt tears boiling under his eyes.

“David-”

He shook, breathing sharply as he prepared for the impact of her words.

“No you didn’t.” He blinked, turning to find her gazing up at him, leaning against his shoulder and taking his hand in her own. “I’m having fun.”

David stared at her, turning a vivid shade of pink as her fingers began to trace along his wrist.

“You’re not…mad at me?”

“Come on, David,” she snorted, rolling her eyes and tucking herself under his chin, “I know we haven’t exactly been the most romantic couple with all these little shits running around, but it’s gonna take a lot more than falling out of a boat to get me to actually break up with you.”

“Oh.” He bit his lip, trying to prevent the stupid smile sprouting on his face. “So…you still, like, want to do this with me?”

“Of course you idiot,” Gwen laughed, “it’s been killing me that those little shits won’t shut the fuck up till one am! Why do you think I’ve been so adamant about you sending those fuckers on an eight hour hike to God-knows where?”

David chuckled under his breath, wrapping his arm around her waist and pulling her close. “Thanks, Gwen.”

“No problem, David!” She snorted, locking eyes with him. David dug a little tighter into her ribs, eyes unflinching from her own. He was feeling jumpy and anxious again, but this time it made him feel…good. With a deep breath, he gently pushed her hand a bit farther behind her, hovering over her with a slight hesitation.

“Hey, Gwen?” He blushed. “Can I…kiss you?”

To his surprise, she laughs, leaning in until she nearly brushes her lips on his own.

“Hell yeah!”

Their lips are locked within seconds, his arms winding themselves around her waist as her own hands knotted behind his head. It was a lot…rougher, than what he was used to, but it was by no means bad. He quite liked the feeling of her tongue pressed against his own, weight shifting ever so slightly and heat rising with the friction between their skin.

“G-god,” Gwen moaned, rocking back on his lap ever so slightly to catch her breath, “that’s…that felt good.”

David bit down on his entire bottom lip, trying to ignore the sudden rush of warmth to his hips. But the bulge began to grow, and, to his complete humiliation, she began to snicker.

“You good, David?”

“J-j-just fine,” he gulped, “sorry, I-”

“It’s not a bad thing. That is, unless you don’t…” she looked up, leaning back to support herself on her own arms, “do you…want to?”

“Want to what?”

“You know; do it? With me? You know…right now?”

“Oh.” David froze, slightly flustered and unsure. “I mean, I want to, but I’m not…I haven’t…”

“Oh, well, we don’t have to-”

“No, I want to!” David grasped her waist, pulling her back into his arms. “I just…I might not be good at it.”

“David, nobody’s good at it. We just…we do it.”

“Okay.” He nodded, kissing her deeper and deeper until she was sprawled out below him. He smiled at her, sheepish and still slightly nervous.

“Is this okay, Gwen?”

Gwen looked up, trying to keep her eyes focused on his own instead of the discrete trail of freckles that crawled down his body. Sweating slightly, she grinned. 

“Perfect.”

***

(PS: In case you were wondering my other CC fics, reader; yes, I’m still working on Bastard Valley. I have a personal project I need to complete in the next week, but then I will get to work and probably upload chapters 4 and 5 relatively soon)

(PPS: PLEASE FOLLOW @zippybot THEY DESERVE THE BEST!)

enzetto  asked:

Ahhhhhh! Thanks for always being such an awesome blog! Can I ask for HP! Au? I personally picture Shiro as Gryffindor and Keith as Hufflepuff, but up to you.

Ahhh, thank you for following!!  As a Hooflepoof myself, I was happy to write Keith as one, haha. :)  I hope you like it!

The last thing Keith could clearly remember was reaching for the snitch, his fingertips mere inches away from the darting, golden ball.  After a sudden, brutal blow of pain to his shoulder, his memory was broken up into hazy, flashing images of his rapid descent, his yellow cape whipping around him as he hurdled toward the ground.

Then nothing.

Keith was roused awake by the sound of hushed voices.

“I can’t believe Shirogane left the goalposts.”

“It’s a good thing he did.  Keith might be in worse shape if he hadn’t.”

“Look, he’s waking up.”

Keith wearily turned his head as his eyes fluttered open, and it wasn’t until then that he realized his entire body ached.  When his vision cleared, he glanced around the hospital wing; beside Hunk and Matt who stood beside his bed, the room was vacant.  “Did someone take a bat to my shoulder or what?” he groaned.  He tried to sit up, but he felt a hand gently press down against his chest.

“Sorry, Keith,” Hunk said with a sympathetic smile.  “Madame Pomphrey’s keeping you overnight and wants you to take it easy.  That bludger really did a number on you.”

“Great,” he sighed, his head sinking back into the pillow.  He grimaced, recalling how close he had been to catching the snitch.  “I almost had it.  That would have been a hundred-and-fifty points for Hufflepuff, and I blew it.  Why didn’t I see that bludger coming?”

“Don’t be too hard on yourself.  It happens to even the best players,” Matt reassured as he set a few books down on the nightstand beside the bed.  “Brought some study material.  Still got that exam on counter-jinxes tomorrow.”

Keith muttered out a quiet “thanks.”  He paused, furrowing his brow when he remembered something Matt had mentioned.  “Hey… Did you say Shirogane left the goalposts?”  He suddenly felt embarrassed at the thought of Shirogane seeing him fail so badly.  Why did his first quidditch match have to be against Gryffindor?  Why did Takashi Shirogane have to be their captain?

More importantly, why did Keith have to be so damn smitten with him?

He watched his two friends exchanged bemused looks.  “What?”

“You.. don’t remember?” Hunk quirked an eyebrow.

“No…?”

“Well,” Matt started, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose.  “Shirogane kind of… snatched you out of the air when you fell off your broom.  Saved you from a pretty bad fall.”

Keith gave a series of rapid blinks, feeling the disbelief strike across his face.  “He.. what?”

Hunk nodded.  “He was actually here earlier.  Wanted to make sure you were okay.  He looked pretty worried.”

“I.. um..” It was sinking in slow, and Keith didn’t know what to think.  Shiro interrupted a quidditch match for him?  What did that even mean?  Keith wasn’t so sure he could chalk it up to he’s just being nice this time.  That same annoying flutter he felt in his chest whenever he spoke to Shiro was all too lively at the moment.

“Get some rest, will you?” Matt chided as he folded his arms across his chest.  There was a smirk playing at the corner of his lips, like he knew more than he was letting on.  “C’mon, Hunk.”

“Wait, Matt, does he… do that often?”  It was a stupid question, and the hope Keith could hear in his own voice made him feel stupid too.

“What – completely abandon his quidditch post in the middle of the first game of the season to rescue the opposing team’s seeker from plowing to the ground?”

Keith rolled his eyes, glancing away from them as he felt a flush of heat fill his cheeks.

Matt shrugged a nonchalant shoulder before turning to leave.  “Only for the ones he really likes.”


The grand hall was buzzing with chatter, and today’s hot topic was Gryffindor’s quidditch captain and his heroic rescue of Hufflepuff’s seeker – much to Shiro’s dismay.  

“Your boyfriend just left the hospital wing.”

Shiro didn’t look up from his book when Allura sat beside him, her voice chiming in a little too happily this morning.  “Not my boyfriend,” he muttered, turning the page despite no longer absorbing the text.  He would never give Allura the satisfaction of knowing she’d successfully distracted him with just the mere mention of Keith.  

“For the time being,” she countered, nudging him with her elbow.  “He’s in the courtyard right now, if you want to say hi.”

He gave her a sideways glance before shutting his book and getting up from the table.  As soon as Allura opened her mouth, he lifted a finger to stop her.  “Ah, ah!  No.  I’m going to class.”

Of course, he had to walk through the courtyard to get to class and therefore inevitably run into Keith.  He turned to leave but not before catching the knowing grin that spread across Allura’s lips.

Sure enough, he saw Keith at the east end of the courtyard, sitting in the grass with a book in his lap and his back against a tree. Curiously, six or seven canary birds flitted around him, seeming to gravitate around his person without straying too far from his reach.  Shiro stopped a few feet from him, his eyes widening as they flickered from bird to bird.  

“The Avis charm?” he asked in disbelief.

Keith seemed to jump at his voice, recovering a moment later to greet him.  “Oh!  Hey, Shiro.  Yeah, been working on it for awhile.  I think I finally got it down.”

“I’ll say.” He chuckled as one of the canaries landed on his outstretched hand.  It picked at the feathers under its wing before taking flight again.  “These are really good, Keith,” he commended, not making any attempts to hide in his voice how impressed he was.  In his fifth year, Keith mastered a spell that was taught only to sixth-years.  “I can barely conjure one, maybe two on a good day.”

Keith sat up a little, as if he wasn’t expected the compliment, and he gave him a small yet appreciative smile.  “Thanks, Shiro.”

“Hey, so…” Shiro started, taking another step forward.  “I just wanted to make sure you were feeling alright.  Tough break with the bludger.”

“Yeah, I’m good,” he replied with a shrug.  He looked up then to meet Shiro in the eyes, his countenance as sober as ever.  “I did want to thank you for the save.  I could still be in the hospital wing right now if it wasn’t for you.”

Shiro’s voice was caught in his throat for a brief moment as he was caught off guard – and not for the first time – by Keith’s unusual yet stunning amethyst-grey eyes and the sincerity that they held.  The words finally came to him, a soft smile forming on his lips. “You’re welcome.  I’m just glad you’re okay.”

Keith returned his smile with a warm one of his own.  “Thanks… again.”

A small moment of silence stretched between them, and Shiro decided that he was just going to do it.  He was going to ask him out.  Easy.  So easy that the thought alone made his chest feel tight and his cheeks burn hot.  He blurted out, “Hey so I was wondering–”

He was cut off by the clock tower bell, its deep ring resounding over the school grounds.  Shit, I’m late.  Of course.  Shiro scratched the back of his head, a nervous laugh escaping him.  “Ahh, forget it.  I’ll see you later, okay?”

Keith’s head tilted to the side, curiosity showing clear on his face, but he didn’t press the matter. “Sure thing.  See you later, Shiro.”

As Shiro made his way to class, now out of Keith’s view, he tilted his head back and breathed out an audible sigh.  

Now to just… build up the courage to try that again next time… Great.

[Prompts n’ thangs!]

Dear ‘Supergirl’, I love you! Also, are we breaking up?!?

I’m one of those folks who is currently in a passion love-hate or else hate-love relationship with the show Supergirl depending on the day.  I wanted to write this long post for folks who are also processing this currently.  I had been thinking for a long time that aside from the single thread of the Mon-El storyline, Supergirl still had a solid, core identity as a show.  The show’s appeal to its audience rested on four foundations in my mind:  1) the incredible likability and reliability of their dynamic lead with her awesome combination of classic hero problems and recognizable lady problems 2) a charismatic and deep sisterhood that formed the central love relationship and unified the dramatic arcs of the show and also let it pass the Bechdel test every episode quite easily 3) positive representations of both women and the men who are also outsiders that they share love bonds with, and 4) general lightheartedness and positivity, so even when it went dark, it was just not all THAT dark.  At its worst, the show was fluffy or annoying. 

With the trust I had established through s1, I thought that what they were trying to do with Mon-El was to depict a narcissistic, sexist guy who turns into one of the good guys.  I thought, well, they think that’s a positive message.  They’ve depicted him an “outsider” or misfit, because he’s among all these high-functioning outsiders acting like an incompetent norm.  And I thought, well, this was a terrible idea.  When you write a subversive story, and then you subvert your subversion, you get normative crap that’s even more generic than the original crap.  It’s a parody that’s hard to watch.  But it’s all well intentioned.  And it will be over soon.  It’s not the show.  This won’t kick the foundations out from under the show.  

I am honestly no longer confident that this was well-intentioned or that it won’t topple the show.  I am holding onto a strong, final thread of trust in this show.  But this feels now more like backlash within this show against its own core identity and values.  The way they have written Mon-El feels like a gender panic and also a heteronormative panic to me.  And it is absolutely NOT the actor.  He’s clearly fine.  He even seems like he’s probably really sweet in real life while acting like a complete jerk on tv, kind of like when Orlando Bloom tries to play a villain, and it’s like, yeah, no, you buy teddy bears for your girlfriend and one for yourself to match when you do, don’t try to play me here, babe.  It’s the character, the caricature they have written.  When they could have written ANYONE - a thousand other men instead of this one.  So why this one?  

Keep reading

cjtitties  asked:

Paladin Danse, 14,21,25,31,35,36,47-49 thank you 😄

#14. Physical abnormalities? (Both visible and not, including injuries/disabilities, long-term illnesses, food-intolerances, etc.)

He’s got the scar on his eyebrow as his most obvious physical flaw. Being (spoilers) a synth, the Institute designed him to be genetically perfect, to have no flaws or weaknesses that might make him unfit to ‘redefine mankind,’ as they call it. However, there is one thing. He’s a terrible lightweight. For being such a large man, and for preferring lighter beers (he can’t stand liquor) he can absolutely not hold his alcohol. Whether it’s a medical issue or a psychological one, three beers in and he’s crying over how soft Quinlan’s cat is.

#21. Turn-ons? Turn-offs?

Danse has a tremendous… respect, for authority. As a soldier, he enjoys the organization of the military. He likes his life clearly laid out for him, likes being given clear orders, likes obvious expectations. This goes the same way in the bedroom. He can take a powerful role, sure. But nothing works for him the same way as his partner giving orders. As long as he’s serving his spouse in some way or made to feel like he’s working for their needs, he’s completely happy.

#25. How do they see themselves 5 years from today?

If you asked Danse how he saw himself tomorrow, he might not have an answer for you. Even long after Blind Betrayal, he’s not sure where to go or what to do with his life. The closest thing he has to a plan for the future is a desire to get a house. Somewhere. Anywhere. With a garden. Maybe a distillery? Somewhere he can drink weak beer in peace and figure out what it means to be human. Somewhere he doesn’t have to be judged. Maybe someday he’ll want to bring someone with him to that house.

#31. Most prized possession?

His power armor. He’s spent years modding it and fixing it up and making it the finest piece of equipment in Brotherhood possession. Losing that after Blind Betrayal is a dire blow to him. It’s his shell - without it, he’s completely exposed, in more ways than one. After Blind Betrayal, he makes it a personal quest to get a new set.

#35. What activities do they enjoy, but consider to be a waste of time?

Playing music. He love bluegrass, and actually knows how to play the banjo, but considers it a pointless activity. Even if he does get pleasure out of it, he never plays in front of others, and almost never has the time to himself to play without anyone hearing. 

#36. What makes them feel guilty?

What doesn’t make him feel guilty? Disappointing people he cares about or looks up to. Not living up to the expectations of his superiors. Lacking the social skills to say what he means or mean what he says. Many of his frustrations come from perceived imperfections in himself. He’s all too willing to call himself a failure, a poor friend, a sub-par warrior. Being in the military or a group like that gave him purpose and confidence. Being alone is terrifying.

#47. If they were to fall in love, who (or what) is their ideal?

Danse has never fallen in love in his life. Not for any arrogant reasons - he just lacks the social skills or interest in people to form emotional attachments outside of work. He’s never really had a life outside of work, outside the Brotherhood. But if he ever did… It’d have to be someone who gave him confidence. Who made him feel strong and valued without having to serve or give something in return for that validation. Someone who tells him “you’re worthy” and makes him believe it. Danse is a very stubborn and principled man. Sometimes he just wonders if he can live up to those principles.

#48. How do they express love?

Danse isn’t the most honest when it comes to his innermost emotions. In a relationship, he’d avoid saying “I love you,” sticking to other, less committal affirmatives. But he expresses love in other ways. Like the way he cleans up for them when they don’t feel well, or makes them breakfast in the morning, or repairs their armor and weapons because he’s scared of them getting hurt. He can be difficult to live with sometimes, but even if he can’t say sorry first, he always means it when he does.

#49. If this person were to get into a fist fight, what is their fighting style like?

You’d be surprised, but he has gotten in a brawl or two before. Used to utilizing brute strength in power armor, he wouldn’t be fast or agile. Rather, he’d hunker down, thick fists in front of his face, relying on his ability to hit hard and withstand more punches than his opponent. If he couldn’t fight them fast, he’d outlast them, waiting until they’re tired out and then striking them down with a series of brutal blows.

His Greatest Steal (Part 15) END!

Authors Note: Hey guys! Two parts in two days… It’s almost like I’ve got my shit together for once!

Right, so I know I said there would be another part after this one, and I did mean it, but after writing this, I kinda feel like its a nice place to leave it… I mean The other part is pretty much pure fluff, with a trip to the future to see their lives, but I wasn’t sure if I should include it anymore…

So if you read this, let me know if you want the next part and I can email it to anyone interested, but I won’t be posting it.

Thank you, and as always, I hope you enjoy!


Stumbling along towards the mountain, you pressed your hand against the wound on your head, attempting to stem the flow of blood. You knew head injuries bled a lot, but you were starting to get concerned. Even after your little swim in the river, your clothes were still covered in blood, and you were sure you resembled an extra from a zombie flick. Still, it was better than being dead, which was what you were sure you were going to be when you went over the cliff. Somehow you’d survived though, and after dragging yourself out of the water, you’d found that you were pretty close to the mountain, so things were better than you’d hoped. Though you’d still lost time, and exactly how much of it, you weren’t sure. Sam could be dead for all you knew, which was what kept your legs moving, even when your body was yelling at you to just lay down and go to sleep for a while. If there was even the slightest chance that Sam was still alive, you needed to get in the mountain and save his ass.

So you pushed on, feeling that some of your anger had dissapated while you’d been unconscious, and now your were more focused on making sure Sam was ok and then getting some sleep, rather than finding Sam and punching him for being a liar. Though you suspected things may go differently when you actually saw him again.

Clearing the trees finally, you found yourself directly next to the mountain, just a pool in front of you that had a cave opening on the other side, which you’d bet was where you’d find the others. A quick look looked clear, so you decided to stay where you were for a moment, removing your hand from your head so you could inspect the damage. It felt like it had stopped bleeding, so you washed away the blood from your face and planned how you were going to deal with whatever waited inside the cave.

Strangely enough you were feeling refreshed after your NDE. You still would have liked to go to sleep, but you didn’t feel weak anymore. If there was a load of Shoreline mercs inside, you were pretty confident you could take them on, even though you only had a pistol with 3 rounds in it. The rest had been washed away with the jeep. Still, you were pretty sure they weren’t expecting for you to have walked away from your crash alive.

You were still debating on how best to approach your rescue mission when you suddenly heard an explosion from inside, and all of a sudden all plans vacated your head and you dove straight into the water, swimming as fast as you could inside the cave. Once you were inside, your breath caught in your throat as you took in the sight.

A magnificent ship was anchored near the centre of the huge cavern, preserved wonderfully. If it hadn’t been on fire, you might have taken your time in taking in the sight, but you knew Sam was likely on board, and he could be in danger, so you started swimming again, heading directly for the flaming ship.

You climbed the side as fast as you could, jumping into a smokey room filled with treasure. You ignored it for the moment though, resisting the urge to call out for Sam, knowing that you only had a slight advantage in the fact that Rafe and Nadine probably thought you were dead, so you wanted to keep it that way until it benefited you the most.

The smoke was making it hard to breathe, let alone see, so you tripped on a body on the ground, terrified that it would be one of the Drakes or Elena. Luckily it was only a Shoreline guy, so you picked yourself back up and carried on going. You’d just stepped around a large trunk of treasure when you saw a figure step from the smoke, covering her mouth as she coughed. She saw you a split second later, instantly reaching for her gun, but you were already moving. Smacking the gun from her hand, you tackled her into a wooden pillar, unsurprised when the two of you went straight though it, knocking you both to the floor. Nadine recovered first, kicking you off her as she scrambled back to her feet, drawing another gun.

How many does she have?!

You quickly got back to your feet, hesitating when she pointed the gun at you.
“You’re supposed to be dead.”

You shrugged, eyes on the gun. “Well I hate to disappoint, but your men are gonna have to try a lot harder than that if they want to keep me down,” you hissed, daring a step closer. Despite herself, Nadine seemed impressed, and you thought you saw a flicker of something like respect in her eyes.

“I should have known better than to send someone else to do my work for me. But I’ll fix it now,” she said, raising the gun so it was pointed in your face.

Trying to contain your fear, you frowned at her and held up your hands, trying your best to come across unamused. “Really, Nadine? You’re going to shoot me while I’m unarmed? After all of our history, this is how you want to end it? Come on, you’re better than this…”

She smiled at you, and you knew you’d won as she chuckled and held up the gun, pulling yet another from the back of her waistband and showing that to you too before tossing them both aside and settling into a defensive stance. You felt a feral smile stretch across your face as your odds were suddenly equal, and the fight you’d been waiting for was finally happening.

“Just a pre-warning,” you smirked as you sank down too. “I’ve got places to be, so as much as I’d love to really drag this out and kick your ass, I’m gonna have to make this quick.”

Nadine’s only response was to step closer and aim a kick at your face. Dodging back, you batted her leg aside, quickly ducking in fast past her defences and jabbing her a few times in the ribs before jumping back out of her range. She was quick to follow you, swinging a punch at your head that you barely moved out of the way of, stumbling back as you tripped on some treasure, lunging to the side to avoid landing on your ass, coming up behind Nadine and kicking her hard in the back. She fell forward into the treasure that you’d avoided, landing hard on a heavy chest. Despite your urgency, you allowed her to regain her feet and come at you again, her arms swinging for you faster than before, really making you work to keep off the back foot.

Just because you knew you could beat her, didn’t mean that you’d allow yourself to underestimate her at all. She was an incredible warrior, and could be deadly if underestimated. But so were you, and you’d walked away from fights with her before, and you were sure you’d do so again. If only you could finish it before the whole ship went down.

In the end you’d both given and taken brutal blows, but it was a lucky kick on your part, and weakened floorboards that finished it as they collapsed beneath Nadine as she stumbled away from you. She managed to catch herself on the way down, but even as you watched, her hand slipped and she fell further down. The flames beneath meant she couldn’t drop down without dying, but her nearest handhold was too high for her to reach.

For a moment you hesitated at the side of the hole. Nadine had been a thorn in your side for a long time, and many times you’d debated killing her, and once or twice had actually came close. But now that she was in front of you, moments from death, you hesitated. If you were to walk away, she would undoubtedly die in the ship…

Growling slightly at yourself, you quickly lay down at the side of the hole and reached down to Nadine. “Grab my hand!” You yelled, coughing as a thick cloud of smoke hit you in the face. Nadine looked at you suspiciously, knowing you were her only option, but not trusting you. “Today, or I swear to god I will leave you here!” You hissed.

Nadine wasted no more time and jumped for your hand. You caught her and strained as you pulled her back up and over the edge, letting go when she was beside you, where the pair of you fell onto your backs and regained your breath.

“Why?” Nadine demanded, and you coughed, wiping the smoke from your eyes before answering.

“Because it’s not a fitting end for your story. You deserve a better death… And even though I hate you, us girls have got to have each others backs every now and again… Plus, now you owe me.” Nadine coughed and swore quietly as the two of you got to your feet. You picked up a gun and gestured the way out to her. “You can get out that way. Now where is Sam?”

You saw the reluctance to answer on her face, but before you could remind her that you’d just saved her ass, she nodded the way she had came. “Through a door down there. I locked both Drakes and Rafe in there together. Last I saw, Rich Boy and Nate were trying to kill each other. The other one might already be dead.”

“Sam?” You asked, but she was already walking away, so you ran the way she had told you, only finding one door, and pulling it up quickly, a wave of heat hitting you in the face. “Sam?! Nate?!” You called out, your gun in your hand just in case Rafe should answer instead. Something else exploded behind you, sending you flying into the room, the door falling shut behind you. “Shit!” You cussed, looking up from where you’d landed and finding Nathan kneeling in front of you, looking like he’d seen a ghost. Looking down at his hands, you saw what he was doing and gasped, crawling closer.

Sam was trapped beneath a collapsed beam, and Nathan was trying to lift it, though it looked far too heavy to do so. The two of them were gaping at you, but you didn’t understand why until you were closer and Nate snapped out of it, pulling you into a tight hug. “They said they killed you!” He laughed, squeezing you tightly, and you realised why he’d look at you like that. They’d both thought you were dead. Hugging Nate back, you chuckled.

“They tried their damnedest. Apparently I don’t die easy either…”

Nate chuckled and released you, so you looked down at Sam, his face looking like he’d just seen an angel. “You’re alive,” he breathed, reaching for you and flinching through the pain. Ignoring your anger for the time being, you nodded.

“For now at least. This whole ship is going down any minute though. We need to get out of here.”

Nate nodded and the three of you tried to lift the beam from Sam again, but it barely moved, and just seemed to cause him pain.

“Argh! It’s no use!” He yelled, giving up and looking at the two of you. “All I ever wanted to do was find this treasure with you two…”

You knew what was coming and told him to shut up, while you and Nate kept trying to lift the beam off him, even as more of the ship started to fall into the room.

“…Hey, we did it ok? It’s alright…”

You growled, knowing the beam was too heavy. “Shut up Sam!” You yelled, the desperation clear in your voice.

“There’s got to be another way,” Nate mumbled, even as Sam pushed him away.

“You’ve gotta go,” he started, even as you continued to struggle alone with the beam. “You’ve got to go,” he repeated softer to you, taking your hands from the beam and squeezing them in his own, forcing you to look at him.

You felt the tears start to fall from your eyes as you knew what he was asking.

“Please, Y/N. I need to know that you both made it out all right… I need you to live,” he pleaded, tears in his own eyes now.

You couldn’t do it though. There was no way in hell that you were going to get up and leave him to die. Not after everything… So you pulled your hands from his and leant down to kiss his forehead. “I will not leave you,” you whispered, settling down beside him and running a hand down his face, wiping away some of the blood before looking up at Nathan who was looking lost. He didn’t want to leave you or his brother, but he didn’t see a way to get him out. When his eyes met yours, you made him a promise, hoping it would make him leave and go find Elena. “He wont be alone for even a second.”

Nate shook his head, but you interrupted him before he could say anything.

“Nate, this whole place is going to blow up! You need to get out of here and find Elena!” You yelled, knowing how it would destroy her to lose him.

Nate however, seemed to be focusing on the first part of what you’d said. “That’s it!” He yelled, looking at a canon and grabbing a piece of burning wood from the fire. “Get your head down!” He ordered.

You were quick to do as he said, bending over Sam’s head to protect him too as the canon fired straight into the ground. Water rushed in quickly, and you saw the panic on Sam’s face for a second before Nate was back, urging the pair of you to lift the beam again. Thanks to the water, the three of you managed to lift it enough that Sam could crawl out from under it, quickly getting to his feet and patting Nathan on the back.

“You are one crazy son of a bitch, you know that?” He laughed.

“Takes one to know one… Lets get out of here,” Nate replied, diving into the water. Sam looked at you, taking your hand and squeezing it in thanks before gesturing to where Nate had swam down.

“After you.”

You said nothing as you dove in, quickly swimming after Nate, Sam close behind you. As soon as the three of you surfaced, you saw that you weren’t out of danger yet as the whole cavern seemed to be caving in.

“Follow me!” You yelled, quickly swimming for the way you’d came in.

The two of them kept up with you, and less than a minute later, the three of you were in the open again, swimming towards Elena who was standing where you’d dove into the water before, speaking into a radio. When she spotted the three of you, the ran to the waters edge and reached out to help you all.

She dragged you out first, hugging you quickly and tightly. “You made it! I’m so glad you’re alive!”

You laughed and hugged her back. “Yeah, my death was over stated a little… But I’m ok… We all are,” you promised as you both turned back to the water to haul the brothers out.

Elena then stood up and spoke into her radio again. “Hey Sully, I got them!”

He replied instantly. “Where are ya?”

Elena smirked and shot a flare into the sky. “Right here. And we’ve got a surprise for you…”

Sully sighed and you could almost see him shaking his head. “I think I’m done with surprises for now…”

Of course, he changed his tune when he landed and stepped out, seeing you standing with the others. His mouth fell open, but before he could speak, you did, stepping forward to give him a hug. “Yeah, yeah. You thought I was dead… Good to see you again, old man.”

He chuckled and stepped aside to let you on the plane. “I should have known it would take more than an RPG to keep you down.”

As soon as you were on the plane, you spotted your bag and went over to it to raid for M&M’s before claiming the co pilot seat, leaving the other three in the back when Sully got back in and started it up.

As you took off, you looked out of the window, happy to see the back of the Island… For now at least. You thought you might have appreciated it a bit more if you hadn’t almost died on multiple occasions, and if you hadn’t been dragged out there under false pretences…

Now all you wanted was a shower and a comfortable bed and some food.
You got one of the three on landing, Nate making a snack run while Sully and Elena patched you and Sam up.

Sam hadn’t said a word to you since on board Avery’s ship, a fact which was steadily grating on your nerves until you were in a foul mood and refused to even look at him… After everything, the least you expected was an apology, but even that seemed too much for him.

After food, the others got cleaned up while you called a local hotel and booked a room for the next few days, emerging onto the docks just as the others were lined up, saying goodbye.

You went to join them, hugging Elena first, wishing her all the best and telling her that you’d call her soon, and you’d come visit some time. She told you that she would hold you to it before leaving to go meet her and Nate’s cab.

Nate turned to you next, and you smiled before walking into his embrace, holding him tight. He didn’t say anything for a moment, though you could tell that he was itching to, and you knew what it would be about. Still, you were thankful when he simply told you not to be a stranger.

You nodded and pulled away, gesturing to Elena. “You’re a lucky guy, Nathan. But if you put that woman through anything like this again, I’m going to help her find you and then you’ll be sorry,” you grinned, meaning every word. Nate just laughed and nodded.

“I am lucky, and I won’t. But even if I did, she’d probably forgive me… She knows that it’s in my blood,” he hinted, his eyes darting to his brother for a moment.

You knew what he was hinting at, but you weren’t willing to forgive Sam yet. What he’d done was wrong, and his lack of apology made you livid.

Instead of taking the bait, you just stepped back and told Nate to get going, waving at him and Elena as they headed for their ride.

Of course that just left you, Sully, and Sam on the dock, the silence just beginning to stretch on when Sully clapped his hands and spoke to you. “So, can I offer you a lift anywhere?” He asked, but you just smiled and shook your head.

“Thanks Sully, but I’m good. I said when this was done I was gonna drop off the map for a while, so I don’t even know where I’m heading yet. Thank you though, for everything,” you said as you moved forward and hugged him, knowing you were gonna miss the old guy when you were gone. He just chuckled and hugged you back.

“Any time, kid. You know where to find me if you ever need me… We’ll be here until tomorrow if you change your mind.”

You smiled and nodded before taking a step back and picking up your duffle bag, slinging it over your shoulder and turning away. You spared a glance at Sam and saw that he was staring down at his feet, so said nothing and started walking down the dock, towards the town and your hotel room that was calling your name.

You could hear the two men talking quietly, but you didn’t turn around, and nobody stopped you as you walked away.

The hotel room was nice. Probably nicer than you could afford considering that the treasure had gone down with the ship, and you were left with nothing but a few scars and an empty feeling in your chest. But after that ordeal, you wanted a bit of luxury, so you dumped your bag on your bed and peeled off your clothes before heading for the bathroom and running a bath, watching the bubbles start to rise and getting hypnotised by it.

Turning the taps off, you snapped back to reality and put some music on before stepping into the too hot water, hissing as you sat down. You needed the hot water or you were never going to get the feel of Libertalia off your skin, and all the memories that you wanted to forget. So you scrubbed at your skin, getting the blood, dirt, sweat, and sea water off you skin before attacking your face and hair, cleaning every inch of you until you felt like a new person. Stepping out of the bath after what felt like the whole night, you wrapped yourself up in the fluffy white towel and headed for the bed. You redressed your wounds before pulling on a pair of shorts and a tank top.

It was dark outside already, so you settled into the bed and flicked the TV on, watching an old movie, but not paying attention. Your thoughts were still clogged with Libertalia. You’d been right, and that treasure had eventually killed Rafe, but it had also torn you and the Drake brothers apart again after hastily stitching you back together in the first place. To top it all off, you had nothing to show for it.
Annoyed at the background noise now, you turned the TV off and threw an arm over your eyes, trying to think of anything other than that damn treasure.

You were debating going out when your hotel phone rang, so you groaned and answered it, wondering what someone needed at that time.

“Hello?”

There was a pause and then a thickly accented voice spoke through the phone, calling from the front desk. “Yes, hello Miss Y/N, I apologise for calling at such a late hour, but there is one Victor Sullivan here to see you. Shall I send him away?” He asked, but you just sighed and rolled over.

“No. Send him up. Thank you.”
The line went dead, so you stood up and kicked your dirty clothes under the bed and shoved your duffel into the cupboard, just closing the door when you heard Sully knocking at your door, so you called out that you’d just be a second.
You got no reply, and when you opened the door, you saw why. Sully wasn’t there. Standing in front of you was Sam Drake, a nervous smile on his lips as he looked at you while fiddling with something in his hands. You said nothing, closing your mouth and crossing your arms as you waited for an explanation.

Sam ran a hand through his hair and straightened. “I didn’t think you’d answer if you knew it was me…”

Still you said nothing, so he muttered an apology and looked down again. The silence started to stretch on, so you sighed and looked down the hall, towards the elevator where he must have came from. “What are you doing here, Sam? I thought I told you what I’d do if you ever came knocking?”

Sam shrugged and looked up before looking around. “I know what you said, but things changed on that Island, and I thought…”

You felt your temper flare, and struggled to keep it in check. “You thought wrong. Things did change, but they went right back to normal when I found out that you’re a liar!” You snarled, and Sam seemed to flinch back, but instead of retreating, he looked around again, and sighed.

“Do we have to do this here? I know you’re mad, but can I come in?” He asked, and as much as you wanted to throw him out on his ass, you sighed and stepped aside to let him pass. When you closed the door, you leaned against it, watching Sam look over your room once and then smirk. “Nice place.”

You narrowed your eyes and waited for him to start explaining. He perched on the edge of the bed and took a deep breath before he started speaking. “I know that I was wrong about lying to you all, and I feel terrible abo-”

You couldn’t help it, you snorted and when Sam looked up at you, you just shrugged off the wall and laughed at him as you started pacing. “You feel bad? Sam, I took a bullet for you, and you didn’t think that was a good point to come clean and apologise? No, you continued lying, and nearly got all of us killed! Your brother nearly lost his wife! Sully is too old to be dealing with the bullshit! We all nearly died for nothing! And you know what makes all of it worse? If you’d have told the truth, we’d have came anyway! It’s what family does. But you lied, and everyone got hurt. Again. Do you even feel bad about it? Nobody died right? Nobody important at least? You waited 2 years to make your grand re-entrance, and when you came back, you lied to us! So explain to me why I am even listening to you right now? Why exactly do you deserve my forgiveness?”

Sam took each word, though you could tell they each hit him like a blow. He waited a second until you’d calmed down a little and then stood up, looking down at you.

“Because I’m an idiot, and I deserve your anger. I made a lot of mistakes, and if I could take them back, I would. But you know me, and you know I’m an idiot sometimes, but I’m your idiot. And I am so sorry for all the pain I’ve caused everyone. You above all else. You always had my back, even when I didn’t have yours.”

You felt your anger fading at his words, and you realised that all you’d wanted was for him to care enough to try and sort things out. Still, Sam didn’t think he’d done enough as he dropped to his knees in front of you and begged.

“Please forgive me, Y/N. I’ll do anything. I just don’t want to lose you again… I… I love you… So damn much that it hurts to know that you’re hurting… Especially because of me. I’ve been a coward for not telling you when we were 17, and every day since. But I love you, and I can’t lose you again.” He said with such finality and confidence that you felt your heart begin to glow, and a laugh began to bubble from your lips.

Sam looked a little cautious about the change and slowly got to his feet.

As soon as he was in front of you though, you pulled his shirt so you could kiss him, feeling his own relief and joy as you forgave him. He’d finally told you the words you’d wanted to hear for so long. He loved you too. You weren’t just a chase, or flirtation. He actually loved you.

His strong arms lifted you up so you could wrap your legs around his waist and kiss him easier, your body pressed against his. You kissed him until you were breathless and your heart was racing, and when you pulled back, you couldn’t stop smiling as you looked into Sam’s eyes and kissed each corner of his mouth as you made him a promise.

“I love you too.” Before kissing him hard on the mouth again. He laughed against your mouth and backed up towards the bed, falling back so you were on top of him. You kept kissing him as he ran his hands down your sides and to your bare legs, his fingers digging into them when you started to kiss his throat in the way you’d learned he liked.

He moaned your name and you smirked before sitting up and looking down at Sam’s face. He had a bright smile on his face and reached up to touch your face, smiling even more when you leaned into his touch.

“You’re so damn gorgeous,” he breathed, his breath hitching on the end as you ran your hands under his tee, up to his chest and then back down again, catching the bottom of his shirt and tugging it in a way that showed Sam exactly what you wanted. Eagerly he sat up and you pulled his tee off before allowing him to do the same with yours.

You hadn’t put a bra back on after your bath, so you were naked from the waist up, and Sam took in the sight greedily before leaning forward and kissing your collarbone, his hands tightening on you for a second as he rolled you over so you were on the bottom and he could look down at you.

“I’m going to learn every. Single. Inch. Of you,” he promised between kisses that travelled from your throat to your belly button.

You watched him move, trying not to squirm beneath him as your body urged you for more!

Luckily Sam seemed to be feeling the same as he moved to your shorts and pulled them down, leaving you naked beneath him.

Normally you might have been shy with someone new, but under Sam you felt the opposite, and you just smiled at him and watched as he stood up and stepped out of his boots and jeans before joining you on the bed again, both of you naked now. Sam hovered above you, staring deep into your eyes as he seemed to be looking for his final permission, which you gave with a small nod and reached for him again.
Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The next morning you woke up and it was still dark out, which you could see through the window. You were laying on your side, and for a moment you didn’t want to turn around, afraid that when you did, you would be alone, Sam having snuck out in the night.

You were just about to brave it when the bed suddenly shifted behind you and then Sam was pulling you against his chest, his breathing heavy as he slowly woke up. “Are you awake?” He mumbled and you smiled and nodded, feeling him tighten his grip on you for a second before kissing the back of your shoulder, right over your healing bullet wound. “Do you want me to leave?” He asked, a little more awake now, but you took his hand on your stomach and shook your head.

“Never again, Sammy.”

He stayed quiet for long enough that you thought he’d gone back to sleep, but then he exhaled shakily and spoke again. “I love you.”

You smiled and repeated it back to him before the pair of you drifted off again.

When you next woke up, you turned over, only to discover that Sam wasn’t beside you. You could hear the shower going though, so you slowly got out of bed and padded over to the slightly open bathroom door, pushing it open and seeing Sam standing in the shower, his eyes closed as he washed his hair. You watched him for a few seconds before walking forward and getting in with him, wrapping your arms around him from behind.

He tilted his head back and put his hands over yours, squeezing your fingers gently.

“I want to come with you and Sully. I don’t want to go anywhere without you again…” You spoke into his back, and he tensed for a second before turning around and looking down into your face, water dripping off his hair.

“I don’t know what I did to be so damn lucky as to get you, but I’m never letting you go again,” he promised as he leaned down to kiss you fiercely.

You did not have a problem with that.

7

Warped Tour was amazing (Orlando, 06/30/17). The lineup was full of badass punk bands like one of my favorites War on Women. In true riot grrrl fashion I was up front and the lead singer Shawna handed me the mic and let me sing! Then we went to their merch tent afterward and I got to talk with her for a little bit. I also saw ate Ataris, Bad Cop Bad Cop, Adolescents (one of my favorite old school punk bands and they fucking killed it!!), & Municipal Waste (for a little bit, I had to go sit down before their set was done because I was overheating). I saw Anti-Flag too & they were so politically charged and intense it was amazing. I’ve been a fan of their music for a long time and their show had so much energy. Not only that but they all seemed really down to earth and invited their audience to come meet them by their merch tent after their set so we stopped over to say hi. I finished out the night by seeing our intergalactic overlords GWAR & holy shit was it amazing. They blessed us with the blood of our enemies!! They put on such an amazing show it’s just so insanely fun. I got to go with my friends Mercutio and Kenny who I love and who I had so much fun with. The whole day was just amazing.

As far as the War on Women/Dickies controversy goes I wanted to say that I don’t get what everyone’s issue with “political correctness” is. Like it’s just not being an asshole to other people. That’s it. The right wingers have taken that term and use it anytime something happens they don’t agree with and so now it’s a scapegoat for people who don’t understand that their actions and words can have an impact on oppressed groups. Like oh no punks becoming too politically correct because some riot grrrls don’t want 40+ year old men talking about fucking 13 year olds on stage!!! 😱😱😱😱 like give me a break. When punk started it was about rebelling against social norms and injustices but the number of women, queer people, and people of color in punk was small. That means a group of largely straight white men were fighting against governments and religions & corporations that were oppressing them and holding them down. And that was great, it’s not their fault that they may have had some misguided views on women and queer folks because they weren’t exposed to them that often. But it’s 2017, and there are a TON of women, queers, and people of color in the punk scene and I think the older generations are just grumpy and refuse to acknowledge their own problematic attitudes. Like take Descendents for instance, one of my favorite bands mind you, they have some songs that are very sexist and mildly homophobic from back in the day. But you know now that they’re older they understand that that isn’t the kind of message they want to put out there because those were written when they were teenagers and young adults with little knowledge and experience. So now they don’t play some of those songs live and they’ll change some of the words when they do (like songs that say “fag”). It’s not some big scary demon called “political correctness” it’s realizing that older attitudes you may have had can be problematic, hurtful, and oppressive to others who are apart of your community. And I understand that that is the Dickies gimmick is being sexually inappropriate and acting immature, I really do and I don’t hold that much issue with their music I just am not really into it, but they’re being sexually inappropriate directly to young girls in their audience, and they’re 40+ year old men. Like directly telling the young girls “I want to fuck you” or telling the moms with their kids “I want to snort viagra off your daughter’s ass”. That’s kind of creepy. And one woman stood off to the side to protest them and the lead singer lost his shit. This isn’t that woman trying to silence the dickies it’s them trying to silence her. He screamed at and insulted her for over a minute and led the crowd in a chant of “blow me”. It could’ve very easily ended badly for that woman if she persisted because the crowd was willing (obviously) to do anything he said. He used insults and derogatory terms to silence this woman. And, they were not kicked off the tour for this they were never scheduled to play the entire tour and this was their last date. Being shocking and vulgar in punk rock is a valid thing, when it’s used properly to attack systems of power, not when it’s used to target or silence women, queer folk, and people of color. You look at bands like GWAR that uses shock value to speak out against the corporate elites, against meaningless war and violence by making a mockery of it. You look at Municipal Waste who sell a t-shirt with Trump brutally blowing his brains out. Shock performance is punk rock when it’s used against the elites, the government, the corporations, but when it’s used against people who are already oppressed you turn into the very types of people you wanted to rebel against. And it’s just reflective of the way men treat women in our society, if a woman disagrees with a man they’re likely to flip shit and begin to call them a “slut” “whore” “cunt” or whatever and just lose their mind. That’s one of the biggest issues here is that his whole rant was just insanely misogynistic. One woman held up a sign during his set and he freaked the fuck out. Honestly, it’s something reflective of what Trump and millions of other men do.

I think what War on Women is doing with their organization Safer Scenes is really amazing. They’re out their promoting a punk scene that is safe for women, queer folk, & PoC. They show people how to be better allies and how to step up and defend people when they face discrimination. I’m a transgender woman and I’ve only been going to punk shows as my true self for about a year but I’ve faced a lot of harassment in that short time. For example once I was outside a venue smoking a cigarette and an old man started talking to me about wanting to fuck me and take me home with him & he was touching my waist. I was so worried about what he would do if I straight up rejected him. Luckily a friend of mine came out and I was able to make it clear to him I needed him to take me inside and he did. But this happens all the time to women in & out of the punk scene. Not only am I worried about being sexually harassed or assaulted but also about being clocked as transgender and having a transphobe attack me or hurt me. I’ve seen a white boy walk around saying the N word and then make out with the black girl who he met at the show. I’ve seen neo nazis come out to shows. Women, queer folks, and people of color helped to build the punk scene from the very beginning and we’re a huge part of it now. We deserve to feel safe in this community we’re a part of and that prides itself on standing up to oppressors and to the fucked up shit in the world. Punk rock is about unity and saying “fuck you” to those who keep you down because you’re an outcast, it isn’t about hurting those in your community because of who they are.

anonymous asked:

I may be just extremely uninformed, but I've never heard of duels between 2 women. Have there ever been any?

Yes! There have been many duels between women! Here are a few:

Isabella De Carazzi and Diambra De Pottinella 

May 25, 1552.

Isabella de Carazzi and Diambra de Pottinella were Neapolitan noblewomen of Naples and good friends until a man came between them. He was a handsome gentleman named Fabio de Zeresola. Basically, Fabio started dating both Isabella and Diambra at the same time- they both didn’t know it and they only found out when they showed up at the same party together. They confronted each other and started arguing over who he loved more. Diambra then challenged her former-friend to a duel. On the day of the duel, everyone who was in the Naples court, was present to witness this extraordinary event. When the war trumpet blew, they charged each other with ferocity. After the initial lance clash the women took up the maces, raining blows upon each other’s shields. Isabella lost half her shield from a mace hit so powerful her horse stumbled and fell. Diambra dismounted and loudly demanded that Isabella surrender and admit Fabio de Zeresola was hers by right. Isabella took up her sword and charged Diambra, knocking her to the ground.

The Comtesse De Polignac and the Marquise De Nesle 

1719

The Comtesse de Polignac had many lovers over the years, but for one of them she conceived such a mad passion that she challenged her replacement to one of the first duels fought with pistols. The casus belli was Armand de Vignerot du Plessis, 3rd Duke of Richelieu, great-grand-nephew of the dominant 17th century statesman and fictional foil of the Three Musketeers, Cardinal Richelieu. The duke’s reputation as a ladies’ man and manipulator of women was so well-established that Choderlos de Laclos was said to have based the character of Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses on him. When he left Madame de Polignac for the Marquise de Nesle, he completely cut her off, refusing to even speak to her and driving her to ever-increasing heights of jealous frenzy. Polignac challenged Nesle to a duel by letter. They met, saluted each other and fired their weapons. Nesle fell, her chest red with blood. Polignac, believing it a fatal blow, headed back toward her carriage, but not before hitting her enemy with a so-there line: “I will teach you the consequences of robbing a woman like me of her lover. If I had the perfidious creature in my power I would tear out her heart as I have blown out her brains.” Nesle was fine, the shot missed her chest and only grazed her shoulder. When she came to, she exulted that it had all been worth it because now that she had proved her love, the duke would be all hers. Duke of Richelieu immediately dumped the Marquise and moved on to Charlotte Aglaé d'Orléans, daughter of the Regent of France.

Princess Sophia Augusta Frederika of Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg and Princess Christane Anna of Anhalt-Kothen

June 1743 

Sophia and Christiane were German princesses, second cousins, and still teenagers when they developed a beef that could only be toiled by blood. The insult that drove them to lock swords in Sophia’s bedroom when she was 14 and Christiane 17 has been lost to history, and the outcome of the challenge is unknown other than that both parties survived.

Olga Zavarova and Ekaterina Polesova 

JUNE 1829

Olga Zavarova and Ekaterina Polesova were wealthy property owners and neighbors with a long history of neighborly disagreements. Armed with their husbands’ cavalry sabers, Olga and Ekaterina met in a birch grove. Their daughters, both 14, were present, and their daughters’ governesses acted as seconds. The seconds asked the combatants to reconcile. Not only did they refuse, but they were so riled up they threatened the governesses with violence for trying to stop them. The duel was short and brutal. Olga took a blow to the head and died on the spot, but not before she stuck Ekaterina in the stomach. In the way of most gut wounds at the time, it too was fatal, but it took Ekaterina a long, painful day to die from it.

Alexandra Zavarova and Anna Polesova

JUNE 1834

Five years after the deaths of Olga and Ekaterina, those girls who had witnessed the violent deaths of their mothers picked up where their mothers had left off. Alexandra and Anna met in the same place, the birch grove, and had the same seconds, their own governesses. This time there was a clear victor: Alexandra Zavarova slew Anna Polesova and redeemed her dead Mother’s honor.

Madame Marie-Rose Austie de Valsayre and Miss Shelby 

MARCH 1886

Madame Marie-Rose Astié de Valsayre was notorious in France for her vocal advocacy of feminist causes, which included women being allowed to wear trousers, get the vote, and have equal access to all professions as well as equal pay. She was also a doctor, inspired to learn the profession after serving as a nurse during the Franco-Prussian War, an author- and an accomplished fencer. She founded a fencing club for women which dovetailed neatly into another favorite cause of hers: encouraging mothers to breast-feed their own children rather than employing wet nurses. Miss Shelby was a doctor too, and it was a discussion over the comparative merits of French and American women doctors that sparked the animosity between them. Each considered their compatriots superior and things got heated. Miss Shelby may or may not have called Madame de Valsayre an idiot. Whatever the precise nature of the provocation, Astié gave Miss Shelby the classic glove slap to the face and a duel with swords ensued. They faced off in Belgium on the battlefield of Waterloo. In the second pass, Astié de Valsayre lightly wounded Miss Shelby on the arm, drawing first blood. Astié de Valsayre was declared the winner and the honor of France was restored. There were no hard feelings. Astié gave Miss Shelby a shoutout as her “loyal adversary”.

Princess Pauline Metternich and The Countess Kielmannsegg

AUGUST 1892

Princess Pauline Metternich was the granddaughter of statesman and Napoleonic-era giant Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich and the wife of his son Prince Richard von Metternich. It was in her capacity as Honorary President of the Vienna Musical and Theatrical Exhibition that she quarreled with the Countess Kilmannsegg, wife of the Statthalter of Lower Austria and President of the Ladies Committee of the Vienna Musical and Theatrical Exhibition, apparently over the flower arrangements for the exhibition. Something was said about those flowers could not be unsaid, and the Princess, then 56 years old, challenged the Countess to settle their dispute by blood. The two adversaries and their seconds, Princess Schwarzenberg and Countess Kinsky, traveled to Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, and took to the field of honor. Presiding over the encounter was Baroness Lubinska who, unusually for women of the time, was a medical doctor- and a Listerite one at that. Her modern understanding of infection proved pivotal. Having seen many superficial battle wounds turn septic and fatal because fragments of dirty clothes were driven into them, the Baroness insisted both parties remove all clothing above the waist. Princess Metternich and Countess Kilmannsegg, both topless, took up their swords to fight until first blood. After a few exchanges, the Princess received a small cut to the nose and the Countess was cut on the arm practically at the same time. The seconds called the duel and Princess Metternich was declared the winner. 

anonymous asked:

A teen sole saving one of the adult companions asses when they first meet? Teen sole getting frustrated when people say "you're just a kid, what do you know?" And decking them in the face and basically being very mature for their age.

((In my opinion, this wouldn’t be a common occurrence in the Fallout universe. People grow up a lot faster in harsh environments, and considering that in this universe sixteen is pretty much an adult, a teenager being talked down to doesn’t make a lot of sense. So, for the purposes of this reaction, Sole will be around twelve to thirteen.))


Cait: Focused on her current fight, she almost missed the chaos breaking out in the stands outside the arena. As she ended the match with a brutal blow to the back of the man’s head, she realized the gunfire blazing through the stands. The next thing she knew Tommy had pulled her into a corner as the battle in the bleachers continued.

Soon, the room fell silent, and… and a damn kid walked out, an over-sized wrench balanced on their thin shoulder like everything was cool. Blood stained the caps of their boots, and faint acne stood out on a grimy face. They hadn’t hit puberty yet, but the casually violent gleam in their eye spoke volumes.

“Uh, kid,” Tommy tried to begin, not quite sure what to say.

“Don’t call me kid.” The pipsqueak glared, hefting their wrench with a fierce look. “I just kicked all their asses. I ain’t a kid.”

Cait decided she liked ‘em.

Codsworth: He hummed a pleasant tune under his breath, or rather, low in his voice box. He wiped a semi-clean dishrag over the rusty car, and decided it looked much better after several hours of devoted scrubbing. (It did not.) But a clatter from the other room startled him, and the rag fell from his claw. His engine sputtering with nervous energy, he hovered back into the house, looking around for the source of the noise.

In one of the back rooms, the Mr. Handy found an adolescent, huddled in a corner of old nursery and trying not to be noticed. For a moment, something sharp and electrical rumbled in Codsworths’ torso. “Master Shaun?” he questioned, his voice soft.

They shook their head. A lock of hair shifted and revealed their face, and they didn’t resemble the old Master and Ma'am at all. A mix of relief and regret panged in the old robot’s chest. “Well. Ah.” His three-eyed gaze shifted to the toy car clutched in the young human’s hand. “Would you like to stay for dinner?”

Curie: She brushed dust from her lab coat, busy pouring over a selection of microscopes and bacterial samples. Test tubes clinked as she set them down in their tray, and let out a sigh of satisfaction as she plucked her gloves from her fingers. She turned around and gasped, jerking back as she saw a child leaning over her test tubes. “Eloigne-toi de là!” she exclaimed, pulling them away. “That is very delicate!”

“Yeah, I know. Bacteria, isn’t it?” The adolescent squirmed in Curie’s grasp. “You’re making medicine and shit. I recognize those names from the words on pill bottles.”

Curie stopped, looking down at the young human with parted lips and an expression of shock on her face. “Why, yes. Yes, it is!” Glee lit up her features, and she bombarded the thirteen-year-old with question, and upon learning that they were on their own, proceeded to semi-adopt them. The kid took a bit of issue with this, but was willing to indulge Curie’s maternal yearnings as long as they got paid in potato crisps and bottlecaps.

Danse: Grumbling to himself, he sat down and leaned over a dusty desk in the Cambridge Police Station, writing out reports to be sent back to Maxson. He was engrossed in his work when something… crinkled. He stopped, looking up in confusion. “What-?”

Not a sound.

He looked back down again, and began writing. The crinkling resumed, louder and more insistent. Danse sat up, scanning the room. “Haylen, this is inappropriate. Stop this at once.”

Silence.

Hoping he’d done enough, Danse looked back down, only to hear the crinkling resume as though it was right next to his ear. He growled and lunged up from his chair, but all his irritation dissipated as he caught sight of the pre-teen hiding beneath his desk, a packet of chips in their hand. “…Yo,” they said.

“Hi.” Suddenly Danse wished it was Haylen after all.

“You gonna kill me?”

“Possibly.”

“Well, shit.”

Deacon: The agent pushed his sunglasses up his nose, his arms crossed in front of his chest as he looked around the settlement marketplace. He was keeping an eye on a strange, pre-teen kid that’d wandered into the market. He watched them look over the goods like he had all the time in the world, and then, much to Deacon’s amusement, steal several small items when the shopkeepers weren’t paying attention.

But unfortunately for the confident Scavver Junior, one of the guards caught them trying to pocket a few bottles of purified water. The kid made an admirable effort, dropping excuses and smiles and squirms to  a degree that impressed even Deacon, so much so that he stepped forward, pressing a hand to the kid’s shoulder and giving the cop a quick explaination. Tossing a small pouch of caps to the guard, he whisked the kid into a dark alley before anyone could catch them. 

“Thanks,” the kid grumbled, taking out a bottle of water. 

“What - I don’t get any? I saved you from being locked up. I think I get a sip, at least.” The kid grunted and handed Deacon the bottle. He lifted it to his lips, took a drink, and when he looked back down, Scavver Junior had vanished. When his surprise faded, a slow, approving smile curved his lips.

Dogmeat: The canine snuffled the ground, dark paws padding along the dirt as he trailed the human’s scent. Dogmeat was a smart dog - no one could argue he wasn’t. And he had a bit of a knack for determining what humans were for eating, and what humans were for protecting. And judging by this human’s smell… This one felt like they needed his help.

Bounding up over a hill, Dogmeat startled the adolescent, hissing as they stumbled back on their injured leg. Approaching slowly, his tongue lolling from his mouth so as not to be threatening, the dog walked up to the human, bumping his wet nose against their palms. Noting the coppery smell of the human’s leg, he barked and darted off, racing away so fast the kid almost thought he’d abandoned them.

But he returned a few moments later, a stimpack held between his jaws, only slightly slobbered. Accepting the gift, the kid stuck the much-needed medicine into their thigh, sighing in relief. “Good doggy.” They ruffled the canine’s ears, and Dogmeat was presented with a gift of burnt Radroach meat. This arrangement made both dog and human very happy.

Hancock: He’s having a discussion with Fahrenheit outside the Old State House when the front door of Goodneighbor creaks open. On habit, he observes the new guest in the corner of his eye. Short, skinny, with a weapon bigger than they were. Classy. The tiny ones were always vicious. But he sees, with a curl of his lip, Finn going over with a sly smirk on his lips. He catches the word ‘protection,’ and holds up a finger to hush Fahrenheit.

He turns around, his coat billowing out behind him. He’s about to interrupt, about to give Finn a piece of his mind, when Tiny reaches up and clocks Finn right in the jaw, sending the man staggering back, eyes crossed. Finn shakes his head clear and steps forward with a growl, and Hancock hurriedly intervenes. One dagger to the ribs later, Finn’s no longer a problem, and Tiny’s got their arms crossed and a fierce look on their face.

The ghoul grins. “Welcome to Goodneighbor, pal. I think you’ll fit right in.”

Nick Valentine: Pouring over a stack of case files, he sighs, rubbing his temples with his metal claw. The door creaks, and he lifts his head, raising an eyebrow at the strange look on Ellie’s face. “Uh… Someone here to see you, Nick.” She steps into the room, fingers twisting in the fabric of her skirt, and the client walks in after her.

At least, Nick thinks it’s the client. Adolescents don’t generally come to private eyes. Either they need help locating a lost teddy, or something really, really bad happened to them. There’s no in between with kids. “What do you need, sport?” Valentine questions.

The kid scowls. “I’m not ‘sport.’ I’m Sole. And I need a favor. And if you’re gonna treat me like I don’t know what I’m talking about, I can take my business elsewhere.”

Nick’s eyebrows shoot into his forehead. He shares a brief look with Ellie, before gesturing to the chair opposite him at his desk. “Meant no disrespect. Please - take a seat. I’m all ears.”

MacCready: Winlock and Barnes grumble to themselves as they head back through the Third Rail. He thinks that’s the end of it, until light footsteps pad into the room, and he looks up, an eyebrow already raised before he even sees the intruder. It’s a kid, and the sour look on their face is enough to send his thoughts all the way back to Little Lamplight. “Yo. You a mercenary?” they question.

A smile tugs at his lips, but he knows grinning at this kid isn’t going to end well. He puts on his most serious face, and matches the kid’s gaze. “I am. You hiring?“ 

Seemingly pleased by the show of respect, the kid tosses a heavy sack of caps into his lap. “Sure as shit am.”

By the weight of it alone, Mac knows the bag is more than enough to buy his service. He grins. “Show me where to shoot, boss.”

Piper: “So who’s your friend, Nat?” She questions, looking between her sister and the pre-teen buying a paper. 

“I’m not her friend. I’m a customer,” the kid responds sharply. “Just passing through.” They hold out the paper, lifting their chin and making a show of reading the articles. Piper has to hold in a giggle. 

“Oh, of course. Sorry, my mistake.” The desire to smirk makes her lips twitch. “Is there anything I can help you with?”

The kid narrows their eyes at her, not sure if she’s joking or being serious. “I dunno. Got any free caps lying around?”

“No, but I’ve got Colas and Gum Drops inside.” She tilts her head, gesturing to the house next door. She smiles. “That sound good enough?”

“Sorry,” they smirk in reply. “My mom told me never to take candy from strangers.”

Preston: Sweat beads down his face as he fires into the crowd of raiders below him. He’s switched to a different target, finger curling around the trigger when he realizes that it’s not a raider he’s aiming for. “Hey!” he shouts, without thinking. “Kid! Get out of here!”

Then, distantly, over the sound of gunfire and laser bursts: “Fuck off!”

He’s too busy trying not to die to be surprised. Though that changes when a few careful shots from the kid down a couple raiders, and soon it’s just them, standing in the middle of the road. “Jesus,” he murmurs. “Hey! What’re you doing out here?” he calls down.

A beat. “Looking for caps. The hell does it look like?”

The Minuteman is a bit taken aback. “Where are your parents?” He can feel the eyeroll from here.

“What the fuck do you think? I just killed these dudes for you, can you be a little less patronizing?”

A faint flush rises on Preston’s neck. “Uh. Sure. Yeah! Sorry!”

Strong: Excuse me? No self-respecting pre-teen (badass or otherwise) is going to willingly engage a clan of Super Mutants three times their size. Some crazy bastard is sending out a radio signal atop some skyscraper? Fuck that shit. Rex Goodman is gonna get eaten, and while that’s a shame, they aren’t about to go risking life and limb for a crazy person thirty stories up. No sir.

X6-88: He first encounters them while out on a mission. He’s passing through a semi-populated area, and scans the nearby buildings for life. He finds it, alright, scaring the (possibly literal) shit out of a hapless child. “Jesus!” The small human leaps to their feet, fumbling for a rifle and pointing it square at X6’s chest. “Back the fuck off, buddy.”

The Courser doesn’t flinch. “Have you seen anything out of the ordinary, here? I am looking for information?”

“Are you fucking deaf, asswad? And what’s up with that accent? Seriously.”

X6 takes a deliberate step forward. “I asked you a question.”

The human’s hands curl around their weapon. “And I told you to back, the fuck, off. Buddy.”

The Courser doesn’t like the human’s insolent tone, and strides forward, prepared to clasp his hands around their neck. But sensing his aggression, they turn, leaping out a nearby window and vanishing. He lunges for the window, sticking his head out and looking around. No sight of them.

Interesting.

((Thanks for the ask, anon! I know it might be different than what you intended or expected, but I thought it was fun. I hope you liked it! Also… can you tell what Fallout child I took inspiration from? :P ))

The Secret of the Forest XVIII - Thranduil x Reader

Chapter XVIII - The Scarlet Tide of my Thranduil x Reader fanfic TSotF is ready and up (AO3 and tumblr).

Summary: The shadows of the past threaten to catch up with Thranduil once again as he leads his army into battle to reclaim his treasure and even though time and space might separate Dale from Dagorlad, the Elvenking knows war, the merciless hunter of lives, only all too well. In an age long gone by he had followed his father into a battle that would change his live forever… 

Warning! There is graphic depiction of violence ahead in this chapter! I might have been inspired by Game of Throne’s Battle of the Bastards when writing this relentless massacre. But you know, battles are bloody and a mess, a bloody mess in a manner of speaking, no matter if they are fought in Middle-earth or Westeros.

Length: approx. 5.700 words

Disclaimer: I do not own Thranduil (unfortunately), nor any of the other characters from Tolkien’s Middle-earth. I do not make any money with this, this is purely for entertainment.


The Scarlet Tide

Death is a cold, blindfolded kiss
(Sleeping At Last: Emphasis)


As much as Thranduil might have been hoping for another private conversation with Gandalf, the circumstances did not allow it. Things had come thick and fast after they had presented Thorin with the Arkenstone and it became quite clear that the new King under the Mountain would not be open to any type of bargain. The dwarf was not pleased at all to see the heirloom of his house in the hands of an elf and a human. And much to Thranduil’s dismay the hobbit was pushed quite rudely off the dwarves’ territory once it was revealed how did the precious jewel find its way into their hands. He should have stayed with them, just like Thranduil had suggested and not put himself at the mercy of this obstinate dwarf that was behaving as unruly as ever.

They had marched up to the barred gate of the Mountain, the blue banner of Lake-town and the green one of the Forest waving side by side in their unified attempt to claim their share in the riches of Erebor. Thranduil still hesitant to open war, but Bard fiercely convinced that no gold would come forth from the mountain unless they took it by force. 

It was an impressive sight indeed, the Elvenking towering over everyone else as he sat proudly astride his elk, the majestic animal bridled for battle, antlers swaying slightly as Thranduil reined it in to take it’s place in the vanguard of his army. A silver circlet crowned the king’s impeccable tresses that cascaded over his shoulders, waves of palest gold gleaming bright against the polished black of his armour. His twin swords were safely sheathed in black leather scabbards on either side of his body, deadly and beautiful in their elvish craftsmanship.
And behind him rows upon rows of elvish archers and spearmen, all in perfect formation, a sea of gold beneath the dull wintry sky filling the barren wasteland. Fearless warriors, the paragon of utmost discipline and composure, moving or halting as one at a subtle wave of their king’s hand.

But nothing moved until suddenly the earth trembled beneath them and from the eastern spur of the Mountain a cloud of dust rose and heads turned towards the unexpected arrivals, Men and Elves in surprise and Dwarves in delight for it was none other than Dain, son of Nain and his kin from the Iron Hills. Surely those were the allies Thorin had hoped to call to his aid, Thranduil saw his suspicion now confirmed. The dwarves were many and a hardy folk, clad in the strongest steel mail, wielding two-handed mattocks as well as short broad swords and roundshields slung around their backs. More and more streamed down the slope and into the valley, ready to expel the besiegers from their position.
And if he wanted or not, it would come now to a battle at last, a battle which Thranduil was prepared to fight and to win. He would not suffer any more dwarves barring the way to his treasure.

„Ribo i thangail!“ His sharp command cut through the cold winter air like the edge of a knife as he brought his archers in position behind the shield-fence to break the first wave of attacks that would surely hit the Elves soon enough. Bows were drawn and spears were lifted as Thranduil’s warriors moved in place, their oval shields forming a nearly impenetrable wall of defence in front of their king.

The valley shook beneath the tremendous force of the oncoming sea of dwarven warriors. Spears and swords were heaved against mattocks and shields, raised high in the air and ready to clash against each other, but as the first blows rained down the surging barrage was drowned by a terrible darkness descending on friend and foe and a foreboding of doom suddenly took hold of everyone. An all-encompassing and unnatural darkness that came from the north and engulfed Men, Elves and Dwarves, stalling their motions and laying an eerie veil of silence upon them. A silence only to be vehemently broken by the most terrifying noises, ear-splitting screeches like  fingernails scratching on glass that made everyone’s hair stand on end.  
Terror was in Thranduil’s eyes at the sight of what had come at last, Sauron had indeed unleashed his army of evil servants, a rumbling like that of thunder filling the air as unnumbered orcs, bats and wargs streamed into the valley. And inevitably he would have to face the shadow once again. A shadow that had veiled his heart since that fateful day long ago and he had hoped never to see rise again.

Alliances that had been broken were hastily remade if the darkness was to be defeated and soon enough Elves, Men and Dwarves stood side by side to face the rising night before them. A night that was dark and full of terror like the one Thranduil had witnessed when he was but a young prince following his father into a battle that would change his life forever.
Space and time might separate Dale from Dagorlad, but to Thranduil it did not seem all that different. In the end war was always the same: a bloodthirsty beast with the hungry shadow of death on its heels, taking lives at a frightening pace.

„Hold your ground,“ he called out with a voice both clear and powerful as he encouraged his warriors, the gleam of dread in their valiant eyes, „and do not fear the darkness. We will not allow it to prevail. The light will chase away the night and we will be victorious in the end!“
Those were the words of his father, words that he had eagerly soaked up as a young elfling and that had left him with a bitter aftertaste nevertheless, one that would remain ever present for the rest of his life.



The sky had been heavy with clouds and the Silvan Elves under his father’s command had been restless, impatient to show their strength and eager to put the orcish force in their place. But their independence bordering on stubbornness would be their undoing and his father’s doom.

Elhadron never left Thranduil’s side as Oropher led his heated charge against the overwhelming host of Mordor, dust and smoke rising high above them and the foundations of Arda trembling beneath as hundreds of thousands of feet stormed across the battle plain. The prince of Mirkwood and his loyal companion had no choice but to rush along with the wave that carried them ever closer towards their enemies. Silver blades swayed through the air and bows were drawn, taking aim at the king’s command. And with a clear call ringing through the air countless arrows poured down from taut bowstrings at the legions of orcs ahead.
The clashing of the armies was swift and horrifying, a deafening cacophony engulfing Thranduil in between his father and his friend. He clung to his sword for dear life as he braced himself for the assault that was upon him. One quick glance and a brief nod were the last things he would know of his father before the torrent of bodies swept him away. In the blink of an eye the moment was gone and the breath was knocked from his lungs as the force of the hostile onslaught hit him. Black scimitars were swung high above a sea of hideous faces bearing down upon the attackers and bestial grunts accompanied their brutal blows that came with quick succession.
Orcish shapes slumped to the ground as the elvish arrows hit their marks, still the wave of opponents rolled on relentlessly for their armour was strong and their bodies resilient, bred by Sauron for only one purpose: covering all of Arda with darkness and despair. But the elves were as purposeful in their attack as were the orcs and so the crashing of the light against the shadow turned into a barbaric slaughtering where none would yield and no prisoners were taken. Heads were sent flying around, limbs chopped off with fierce strokes, blades cut through armour and flesh and an ever widening stream of black and red coated the battlefield.

Thranduil gripped his sword with both hands, a pitiless gleam in his eyes as he dealt blows left and right, his gaze moving swiftly from one target to the next as he ploughed his way through the black mass before him. The deadly dance of impeccably coordinated slashes and thrusts would have made Oropher proud of his son if only he had been given a chance to look. But the king was busy fending off blows from a group of enemies that had set their aim on isolating him from his army, hoping that taking out their leader would demoralise the elves, making them an easier target to vanquish. Thranduil’s gaze shot towards his father as the realization of this wicked plan sunk in and panic surging in his chest he called out to Elhadron, hardly being able to drown out the deafening clatter surrounding them.
„My father! Quickly, we must rush to his aid!“ Thranduil’s eyes were wide in anxious worry. „They are trying to cut him off!“
Elhadron spun around as he pulled his blood-stained sword out of an opponent’s chest, the lifeless body slumping to the ground in front of him with a dull thud and being carelessly trampled upon by his comrades who kept pouring in, the crushing of skulls and armour accompanying their clunky steps. With a silent nod Elhadron pushed his way through the orcs, punching a particularly nasty specimen in the face with the hilt of his sword, sending him right flying back into the drawn scimitars of the ones that came behind him, and knocking out another one with the back of his fist, the distinct sound of cracked bones conjuring a satisfied smile on Elhadron’s face. But the smile vanished as he reached Thranduil and understood the gravity of the situation. 

The ring of enemies was closing in on the king, the elves who valiantly protected him with their own lives being cut down at an unsettling speed and leaving the king vulnerable on more than one side to a direct attack.
„We must divide,“ Elhadron called over the noise, quickly assessing the situation, „you will take the left flank and I will make my way around to the right one. Our only hope is to engage enough of them in combat to pull them away from your father and give him space to fight back.“

Thranduil nodded in agreement, glad to have a friend by his side with wise words and a quick blade, and then they parted, each of them pushing against the incoming stream of foes that threatened to separate both of them from their king, square and massive bodies crushing every living thing in their wake.
But Thranduil matched their force with one that was as unrelenting as it was refined and with determination he slowly broke his way through the turmoil that had his father caught up in the middle. Rising anxiousness spread through his veins, but he could not allow his juvenile fear to cloud his mind, only if he like Elhadron stayed on target, his father stood a chance of making it through this merciless massacre alive. With steadfast hands he brandished his sword, his beautiful face a grim mask, the swirling blade slicing across multiple throats, his victims stunned by the sudden force that hit them, stumbling and staggering backwards as a horrible gargling sound escaped their mutilated windpipes and their bodies crumpling in a disorganised heap around the prince. But he heeded not their wailing and stifled screeches as he stepped over their fallen shapes. He did not show mercy for none would be given to him by those vile beasts. He retreated his sword only to thrust it into the next spiteful creature that had the misfortune to stand in his way, the elegantly curved metal dripping with gooey and dark blood as he pulled it out again.

There, a shock of silvery hair in the midst of a sea of black jagged shapes and the occasional golden dot of a fanned helmet in between, there was his father, valiantly fending off his attackers with gracefully flowing motions. Thranduil’s heart was pounding like a drum, fear and hope mingling in his chest as he drew closer, knocking over orcs that lunged at him from left and right. He increased the fierceness of his attacks dealing alternate blows with his blade and the blunt end of his sword’s hilt as he went, hoping to make it through to his father on time.

Faster, do not slow down! He told himself as he parried off another stroke aimed at his chest and slit the attackers throat in a calculated swing. 

Hit them before they hit you! Don’t let them get to you! His father’s words rang in his ears, words of advice he had heard a hundred times in their sparring matches back in Mirkwood. Anticipate their next move and you will always be one step ahead!  He might have inwardly groaned at his father’s insistence, but he knew now that those unnumbered afternoons spent in endless practice sessions were what kept him going in the midst of this mayhem.

Twirling his sword in his hand he used the momentum of the fallen victim to his advantage and propelled himself over the dead body, stabbing another one in the gut as he landed on his feet with unwavering gracefulness.
There!  Another one down!

But there was no time to enjoy his short lived victory as more orcs kept pouring in, egged on by unfettered bloodlust. A picture of misery unfolded itself before his eyes and the dreadful thought of defeat suddenly came crawling into his mind. The revolting stench that emanated from the corpses littering the battlefield filled the air with putrid fumes and Thranduil had to fight back the bile that rose within him. The noise of metal grinding against metal and the dissonance of the orcish foes in their grunting, taking delight in their murderous rampage, was nearly unbearable, threatening to drown out every clear thought in Thranduil’s head, the shadow of despair knocking insistently at his heart’s door.
But, no he could not allow himself to give in to the murmurs of hopelessness. Not while his father was alive. And he needed his help!
Now move on! Stay focused!
He had to keep his calm in the face of the horrific chaos that threatened to swallow him and shove him away from his father. His blood-stained hands were one with the smooth metal they enclosed, the relentless choreography of his deadly blade leading him on, pushing him ever further.

Closer and closer he drew to his father, who was still trapped, scimitars hacking with unrelenting force and more often that not breaking through the king’s crumbling defence. Oropher swirled around, his sword following his motions in a blur of silver as he aimed at his enemies’ chests with targeted thrusts. But there were too many, he was hopelessly outnumbered, for every orc he cut down, three took his place, fighting ever fiercer as they tasted elvish blood.
Thranduil could see Elhadron ploughing his way through the enemies from the other side and a renewed burst of energy filled the prince as he caught a glimpse of his father’s eyes, exhaustion mingling with relief at the sight of his son.


But then the king fell, brought down to his knees by a vicious stab from behind, his eyes widening with the force of the blade piercing his lungs. An outcry of pain drowned in his throat as the scimitar was twisted in evil delight and then pulled out purposefully slow, a hideous grin spreading on the assailants face when he saw the look of horror in Thranduil’s eyes.
„Ada!“ A choked cry was the only thing that escaped him as he blinked back hot tears.
„There is your king,“ the orc cackled, forcing Oropher’s head up with a brutal grip around his hair, brandishing the blood-stained scimitar like a trophy in front of the prince, „Not so noble any more now that I cut him down, eh?“
Thranduil stood helpless as his father’s silver blade dropped to the ground and he clutched his chest with both hands, a scarlet sea blossoming rapidly on his golden armour, his face a frozen mask in the strain of trying to maintain a look of dignity even in the moment of utter defeat.
The orc bared a row of misshapen teeth as he made a show of ostentatiously licking the edge of the rough blade, tasting the king’s blood and revelling in the power he held over the fallen Elvenking.
„Should I end his misery and cut his throat or should I let him bleed to death slowly like an animal?“ he asked, his voice dripping with mocked courtesy and his grip tightening relentlessly around Oropher’s silver tresses.
The colour drained from Thranduil’s face and for a moment he was thunderstruck, unwilling to accept the reality of what just took place right in front of his eyes. This could not be happening, his father, his beloved Adar, the strong and powerful king, invincible and deathless as he had always appeared to his son, could not be losing his life by the hands of a foul servant of darkness. With surging hatred he found his voice again and he spat angrily at the orc.
„Don’t you dare lay your filthy hands on my father!“
His words were adamant and his glare was a sheet of frost and when he rose to his full height, his silver armour gleaming beneath the dull sky, cloak billowing around him and waves of silvery gold framing his face, the light of the Eldar shone from within him and for a moment the orc flinched as if being whipped by a blinding light.
Using the momentary hesitation to his advantage Thranduil stepped closer, trembling fingers closed tightly around the hilt of his sword, his eyes darting in between the orc and his father, who was only kept upright by the orc’s iron grip, his arms now hanging limp by his sides, knees threatening to give in under his weight, when a sudden cough shook him and sent a torrent of blood trickling from his mouth. Thranduil had to resist the urge to simply charge forward in a reckless attempt to save his father and in the process possibly running straight into the orc’s scimitar. He knew as much that then Sauron’s plan would have succeeded indeed and both the king and prince of Greenwood the Great would have met their violent deaths on the battlefield.

Thranduil swallowed hard as he held his father’s gaze, the gleam of pride now dimmed by agony and the consciousness of his own death casting a shadow on their bright blue. No words of warning passed his father’s lips, but Thranduil knew that one wrong or imprudent move could cost him his own life.
„Don’t you get any closer, elf or I will slit his pretty throat!“ The orc’s raucous voice rang with menace as he poked the edge of the blade into Oropher’s neck, casually drawing a fine line of red as he cut into the skin with pure deliberation, the king’s face taking on an even whiter shade of pale.

Shock and disgust at the orc’s sadistic delight stalled Thranduil’s steps, loathing mingling with the horror he already felt flooding his insides. From the corner of his eye he could see Elhadron drawing near the orc from behind, so he needed to keep the captor’s attention on himself long enough for Elhadron to make his move.
„Let him go, you witless spawn of Sauron, or I will cut your own throat before you can say another word!“
Murderous resolve rang through his words as he swung his elven sword in front of the orc, the blade sticky with the bloody remnants of countless foes it had cut down. He was playing a dangerous game, but the fear for his father’s life and the hatred for the creature that held him captive brought forth a courage and recklessness that was not unlike his father’s.
But the orc would not be so easily discouraged.
„I don’t take orders from an elf princeling!“ he barked back with spite, „and if you keep annoying me, I will cut you down too, I bet your blood tastes even sweeter than your father’s.“
„No, not my son —,“ Oropher’s raspy voice was barely audible as he was struggling for breath, his hands groping blindly for the sword that lay on the muddy ground before him.
With an evil snort the orc kicked the sword out of Oropher’s reach.
„Where you’re going, you don’t need that any more, elf!“ he grunted. Taking delight in the king’s helplessness he yanked his head back with one harsh pull, a stifled cry of pain escaping Oropher as a thick stream of blood burst from his chest.
„Enough!“
Thranduil clenched his jaw, his heart aching at the pitiful sight before him. How much longer he could bear to witness his father’s suffering without being able to do anything about it he did not know. All the noise around him was drowned out by the unbridled torrent that was his own blood pulsating in his ears and the insane staccato of his heartbeat.

Elhadron’s head kept bobbing in and out of sight as he made his way through the ring of assailants, pushing down opponents as he went, it was only a matter of seconds now until they could attack the orc from both sides. Seconds that stretched into endless eternities as Thranduil desperately waited for the right moment to strike. Lithe and graceful he slowly inched closer, his tall grey boots treading lightly on the soft muddy ground beneath him.

„You will not leave this battleground alive, filth!“ Thranduil growled with as much condescendence as he could muster, his eyes never leaving his father, who grew weaker with every trickle of blood lost, precious time wasting away. 

He was going to lose him if this took any longer. He had to make a move, soon! If only Elhadron would advance faster! Thranduil thought to himself in despair.


But then suddenly everything happened so fast and unforeseen that Thranduil could only stand and watch helplessly. In one last desperate attempt to free himself Oropher lunged for the black hands above him hoping to losen the iron grip around his hair, but the orc evaded the king’s hands and with one brutal motion he sliced the tender skin of Oropher’s neck, blood gushing instantly from the fresh wound.
„Nor will your father!“ A lopsided grin of satisfaction spread on the hideous face at his work of evil and the pure horror dawning on Thranduil’s face.

But the mad cackling died in his throat as his own head was cut off by a swiftly swung blade from behind. It fell to the ground with a muffled thud, blood bursting from the abandoned neck, his body remaining erect as if in stubborn denial of the finality of death, fingers still tightly clamped around the king’s hair.
Behind the decapitated orc Elhadron’s tall figure appeared, dark-haired and steely-eyed, a look of pure revulsion distorting his fair features, his sword still held high, and with a disdainful glare he kicked the body to the ground, where it gave one last twitch as Elhadron buried his sword once more deep inside his ribcage.


Thranduil instantly dropped his own sword and burst forward to catch his father who was slumping down now that the tight grip upholding him was gone, his body weakened by his lethal wounds and heavy blood loss.
„Ada,“ he sobbed, „Ada, please, no!“
The prince sank to the ground and pulled the limp body of his father onto his lap, holding on to him as if he could prevent his fae from leaving his rhaw if only he embraced him tightly enough. He did not care anymore about royal composure and let his tears of despair flow freely, his hands clutching his father’s bloodstained ones, the harsh frost of death beginning to creep under his father’s skin. Oropher’s breathing was shallow and irregular and a steady trickle of blood flowed from his wounded chest and mutilated throat, his half-lidded eyes straining to focus on his son’s face.
Elhadron stood guard over them, more elves streaming to his side, and finally pushing back the orcs, fending off anyone that threatened to get close to father and son.
Thranduil helplessly pressed against his father’s wounds with the palm of his hands, hoping to staunch the flow of blood.
Iôn-nín, you must go —,“ Oropher fought against the searing pain in his chest, trying to string the words together, but every word uttered brought forth another gush of blood, the spirit of life trickling from his body at an alarming rate.
„Lie still, Ada. I will get help. I will make sure you will be alright.“
He spoke in a soothing voice, more trying to calm himself rather than his father, who only managed a weak smile at his son’s words, his eyes beginning to dim as the shadow of death descended on him. 

Thranduil looked up to Elhadron for help. „We need to get my father out of here, his wounds need to be taken care of.“ Panic surged inside him when he did not see any reaction from Elhadron.
„Why are you not doing anything? Don’t you see that he is gravely injured?“
Thranduil’s blood-stained fingers trembled as he feverishly sought to bandage his father’s wounds with strips from his cloak, all the while speaking softly to his father as if he were a little elfling to be soothed.

Finally Elhadron knelt beside him, laying a hand on Thranduil’s shoulder and the effort it cost him to keep his voice from breaking was palpable in his words. His king was dying before his eyes and his best friend, the prince was in frantic despair, still stubbornly refusing to accept the inevitable.
„Thranduil, my prince,“ he spoke in the most measured voice possible, not allowing the torment inside his chest to wash away the last remnants of composure he still held on to, „we cannot get your father out of the battlefield. The moment of calm we have will only last mere minutes, we do not have enough men to fight off the orcs long enough. There are too many in between us and a safe place.“

„What are you saying? What do you mean by this?“ Thranduil said in an accusatory tone, his eyes darting from his father to Elhadron, their piercing blue veiled with tears.
„You know what I mean to say. We are in the midst of a battle.“ Elhadron struggled to keep his calm. „It would take us too long and it would be too risky.“ Elhadron’s words were beseeching and when he met Thranduil’s gaze the realization of the truth blossomed in the prince’s eyes, but still he shook his head in disbelief.
„You cannot mean that. We cannot leave my father here.“ He clutched at Oropher’s blood-soaked armour as if wanting to desperately prove his point. „If we leave him here, he will not get any help, his wounds will keep bleeding. He is going to die, can you not see that? Is that what you want?“ Breathless and broken was his voice when he turned his eyes away from Elhadron back to his father.
„You know that is not true. This is not what I want,“ Elhadron said, but Thranduil heeded not his words.
„I will not leave you here to die. You will live, you must!“ Thranduil gently took his father’s face in his hands, his fingers leaving trails of red on the pale cheeks already marked by death.
Oropher’s voice was barely a whisper. „No, I — cannot. It is too late.“ His words faded away as the breath of life left him and his eyes searched for one last glimpse of his son’s eyes before the starlight was forever dimmed in their crystal blue.

„No, no, Ada! Don’t—!“
Thranduil collapsed on top of his father’s lifeless body, tears flowing and sobs shaking him uncontrollably. Elhadron said nothing but sat stunned with grief beside him and for a moment everything stood still around them.
Hopelessness and despair took the young prince as he was bent over his father, his arms wrapped tightly around the limp form. He pressed his mouth against his father’s forehead, tears and blood mingling on his lips in a bitter kiss of farewell.
„Ada, please don’t go,“ he murmured into his father’s hair, the familiar scent of forest flowers still faintly present beneath the veil of decay that would soon claim victory over the Elvenking. A comforting smell of home he desperately inhaled, for it would be the last thing he could take back to a home that would be forever different.
„You have to come back with me.“ He looked at his father’s face, his noble features solemn now that he had exchanged mortal agony for the peaceful serenity of eternal rest.
This was not how this was supposed to end, his father was meant to return home victorious with his son by his side and a satisfied smile on his lips. The bitterness of death was not something he had ever wished to taste and least of all like this.


Elhadron was the first to come to his senses and with a gentle tug at Thranduil’s shoulders he hoped to break through the wall of misery.
„Thranduil, my lord, you must stand up. We must stand up and fight.“ There was urgency in his voice as the battle still raged on around them and the protective ring of elves would not hold forever with the oncoming host of orcs crashing against them with relentless force.

It took Thranduil a moment to realize that Elhadron had addressed him as king, his words suddenly giving an unexpected finality to his father’s death. He looked at Elhadron, the haze of sorrow still clouding his vision, but the reality of him being a prince no more beginning to sink in. The fate of his people was now in his hands and if he did not want them all to perish, he had to pull himself together and do what his father would have wanted him to do.

„We cannot stay here. There will be a time for grief, but it is not now. We must do what we came here to do and that is stop the darkness,“ said Elhadron as if he had read Thranduil’s thoughts.
Thranduil nodded slowly, still reluctant to let go of his father’s body.
„We will come back for him, I promise.“ Elhadron seemed to anticipate his friend’s concerns once again.
„Yes, you are right, we must finish my father’s work.“ Thranduil forced himself to push his overwhelming grief back into the furthermost corner of his heart, where it would lay safely hidden from the world as he assumed his new responsibilities as leader of his people. A swiftly pulled up wall of icy composure would be his shield, an impenetrable layer of frost to keep his wounds sealed away. It was the only way he hoped to keep his heart from shattering beneath the weight of his sorrow.


Thranduil accommodated his father’s body as best as he could on the ground and whispered „You will come home with me Ada, I promise,“ and with firmness in his voice he added „and I will avenge your death.“
He picked up his father’s sword as well as his own and as he stood proud and tall over Oropher’s lifeless body, a deadly blade in each hand, his gaze was cold and clear like a diamond and the fire of retribution burned hot in his heart.
Turning towards his friend he said: „We will leave none alive.“
„Yes, my lord.“ Elhadron nodded and the resolve in his eyes made it clear that he would follow his new king to whatever end.

Their wrath was terrible and a furious rage guided the hands of the new king and his old friend that day. Like flashes of silver their blades danced through the shadows overhead, a scarlet tide washing over their foes.
Darkness would not be victorious that day.

To be continued…

floranocturna, August 2017

Sindarin:
ribo - rush
i - the
thangail - shield-fence
iôn-nín - my son
ada - father

Italic sentences other than the Sindarin ones are Thranduil’s thoughts.


Notes: In my headcanon (for this story) Oropher’s death in the Battle of Dagorlad (3434 SA) takes place before Thranduil’s wife is killed. And as you have seen in the preceding chapters he acquires the scar not from this battle but the one in Gundabad when trying to rescue his wife. Again, this is all my personal headcanon for this story, not Tolkien’s writing. Although he of course did not mention anything of dragons in the Battle of Dagorlad either, as a matter of fact, he did not give any information on Thranduil even having any scar at all. This is purely PJ’s invention.
Another thing: Gil-galad and Elrond (being the two most important elvish characters in this battle) are not present in this story, it is not that I forgot about them, but for my storyline they are not essential, as I wanted to focus on Thranduil’s perspective witnessing his father’s death and the importance of his friendship with Elhadron.
Also: if you have been paying close attention to details, it is after his father’s death that Thranduil fights with two swords, which is the way we see him also in BOTFA. I wanted him to have his father’s sword as a memento, reminding him always of why he keeps on fighting the darkness. 

Timeless - part 3

(I drop a few foul words in this one! I apologise - no offence intended.)

The medical officer -a stout man with a large mass of greying hair- sits behind an imposing desk and gazes across at Chakotay, offering further therapy with a sympathetic smile.

“No!” Chakotay snaps. Frustration evident in the way he’s sat and the tone of his voice. “I don’t want therapy! Don’t you see? I need the hypospray.”

“I’m sorry, Chakotay. You’ve had enough in the last few months. I can’t give you anymore,” the Doctor answers, shaking his head.

“I can’t sleep without it!” Chakotay explodes, slamming his hands onto the desk.

The Doctor doesn’t flinch, he sighs and sits back in his chair. “How much are you drinking, Chakotay?”

Chakotay rubs at his hair in frustration, “What the fuck does that have to do with anything?” he spits.

“I’m worried about you. You’re drinking too much. Relying on medication. It’s been 6 months, you need to try and move on. Bereavement therapy will help.”

Chakotay almost launches himself across the table to strangle the life out of the judgemental bastard.

“Move on?” he roars. “Move on? They died! 150 people died! And I survived! Why? Why am I alive and she isn’t?”

“Survivor’s guilt,” the doctor nods as if it’s the most obvious and simple thing in the whole universe. “It’s common. Therapy will help.”

Chakotay stands up so quickly, his chair tips over. “Therapy will never help me,” he shouts. “Don’t you understand? She’s dead? They all are!”

He stumbles towards the door and ignores the doctor calling after him. He bursts out into the waiting room. Blindly, he looks about, sees the looks from the waiting patients. And then, there she is. Waiting, sitting, hands clasped on her lap. She raises an eyebrow.

“And you can fuck off too!” he yells at an empty chair where he’s certain he saw her sitting. “Fuck you, Kathryn!” he yells.

An older lady tuts at him and shakes her head. The receptionist stands up, ready to try and calm him. He storms away, but he can feel Kathryn following behind him.

“Chakotay…” she calls.

“Leave me alone!” he shouts, people staring at him in alarm as he storms by. “Just leave me alone, Kathryn!”

She’s there at his side, invading his personal space. “Is that what you really want? Do you want me to disappear and you never see me again? Is that what you want, Chakotay?”

He stops. “No….” he moans. He leans against the nearest wall, pressing his forehead against the cool metal hospital sign. “Kathryn….”

He feels her hand on his shoulder, “I’m here…”

“Why? Kathryn, why?” he moans into the wall, rolling his head side to side, his hands clenching into fists at his side.

“Don’t make me leave,” she whispers, her voice rough in his ears. “Don’t make me leave you.”

“Stay,” he pleads, turning his head to look for her. She’s at the far end of the corridor, looking at him, hands by her side.

“Always,” she answers.

The next few weeks pass, Chakotay doesn’t sleep unless he’s downed a bottle of whiskey. He barely eats and only washes when the smell of himself makes him feel sick. He ignores all messages and remains hidden inside his darkened bedroom. He sits up each night, drinking himself into oblivion, fighting to keep her at bay. He fails each time and finally falls into a stupor, Kathryn before him, lost in his distorted memories of her.

His sister visits him unannounced, and after letting herself in, she is instantly concerned. She looks around in disgust at the mess that is his apartment. She grimaces at the smell and gasps when she stumbles over the pile of empty whiskey bottles. She walks in to his bedroom to find him talking to an empty chair.

“Chakotay?” she asks. “Who are you talking to?”

He spins around, eyes wild. “Leave me alone!”

Sekaya’s eyes widen. She gazes at her brother, her heart breaking for him. Devastated isn’t even an adjective that comes close to how her brother looks.

“Chakotay, I’m worried about you,” she says softly. “Let me help you.”

“I need a drink,” Chakotay snaps, storming towards the door. Sekaya steps in front of him.

“No, Chakotay, you don’t,” she says, shaking her head. She places her hands onto his chest.

“Get out of my way,” Chakotay barks. He shoves her away, but she grabs at his arm. “Let go of me!” he yells.

“It won’t bring her back!” Sekaya cries, her grip tightening on his arm. “It won’t bring any of them back!”

All the fight leaves his body and he crumbles into his sister’s arms.

“Help me,” he pleads. “I can’t….”

Sekaya holds him close and whispers words of comfort as he cries into her shoulder. She sits him down and tells him she will help him and true to her word, she does.

She takes him back to Trebus and surrounds him with love. He speaks to the Elders of the village where he stays, takes part in some of the ceremonies he had forgotten during his time away. He reconnects with family and old friends, they talk of loss and love and he finds the wounds to his heart and soul, slowly starting to heal. Chakotay even finds himself opening up to Sekaya about Kathryn. He sleeps, sometimes for days at a time, his body needing the recovery. He eats good food, avoids alcohol, plays games with the youngsters of the village. For a while, it works. For the first time since it all happened, he begins to feel like his old self, his mind is clearer, his appearance less haunted and the ghost of Kathryn, whilst never leaving, is now just a blur on the periphery of his vision.

He dreams of her each night though, it’s the only time he truly lets her in. They are on New Earth, she’s digging about in the tomato beds, laughing at the monkey, sitting across a table from him. In his dreams, she doesn’t define parameters, they end up in her bed and he is granted more time loving her.

Each time he wakes with a smile on his lips and the memory of her in his arms. And even though that smile quickly fades, the pain of waking gradually eases. It no longer makes him choke on each breath. It no longer tears at his heart. Instead, it’s just a dull ache, forever there, but slowly more manageable.

Then, one day, weeks before the twelve month anniversary, he receives notification telling him Gretchen Janeway has passed away. The news knocks him sideways and before Sekaya can reason with him, he’s on the next shuttle back to Earth.

His mind has no time to catch up before he’s stood in a graveyard at the back of a large congregation, paying his respects. He’s lost in his own thoughts when a hand rests upon his arm, he turns and gasps audibly. The woman before him is Kathryn, only slightly different. Her hair is longer, darker, curlier. Her clothing is more loose and floaty than Kathryn would ever wear, her eyes a deeper shade of blue, but the expressions and mannerisms are all Kathryn. She offers him a smile and says, “Commander Chakotay?”

It takes a few seconds for his brain to kick into gear, “You must be, Phoebe, Kathryn’s sister?” The woman nods. “I’m so sorry for your loss.”

Phoebe’s eyes fill with tears, “Mom never recovered after Katie,” she says. “It killed her. She couldn’t get past losing her.”

Chakotay nods his understanding, though it feels odd hearing Kathryn referred to by her family pet name. He bites back the urge to enforce the name of Kathryn, but he knows he has no right. She’s not his. Not in the living world anyway.

“My mother spoke of you,” Phoebe adds. “I think you gave her some comfort.”

Chakotay dips his head to look at the floor.

“I hope someday you find your own comfort.” Phoebe’s voice is soft. “Katie would have wanted that.”

Chakotay cannot speak. What can he say? He gives Phoebe a brief nod and watches her move away, back towards her husband and remaining family.

He turns to walk away and there she is. It’s been a while since he has seen her so clearly in the waking world, but there she is. She’s sat on top of a gravestone, legs crossed and smiling at him, her head on one side. She looks like she’s about to make some big decision, one he probably won’t like. She slips down from the gravestone and saunters away, her figure slowly disappearing.

He groans. He feels that fragile grip on his life begin to slip. He no longer feels clear of mind. He feels the hazy fog of despair gathering around the edges.

Arriving back at his apartment, he sees the unread messages blinking on his screen. Many from his sister and one from an Admiral Paris. His heart pounds as he opens the message. It’s an invite to a 12 month remembrance service. He feels sick.

He ignores the message and heads towards his punchbag hanging by the window. He begins to rain punches onto the unforgiving leather. He cares not that he isn’t wearing his gloves, or that he isn’t dressed for boxing. He just keeps punching until he feels the skin on his knuckles crack and break. He continues to pound the bag until
he hears a different pounding on his door. The continual beeping of his door chime seeps into his mind and he offers one final, brutal blow to the bag before spinning round.

“Come!” he yells.

The door opens and an angry, disheveled Harry Kim stumbles through the door. He looks like hell. His hair is unkempt, a beard grows wildly around his mouth and down his neck and his clothes look like he’s lived in them for God knows how long.

“Are you going?” Harry wastes no time on pleasantries.

Chakotay needs no further explanation. He is fully aware of what he’s talking about. It’s been in his head since he saw the message.

“I think we are the star attraction,” Chakotay replies grimly.

“I’m not going.” Harry shakes his head. “I can’t! How can I stand there knowing that I killed them?”

He pulls at his hair and the anguish is evident. Chakotay recognises it all too well.

Something inside brings forth the former Commander Chakotay, the man who knew how to calm such a situation, the man he thought he’d lost, but until a few hours ago, had started to recover.

“Harry, it was not your fault. It was a mistake. The odds of success were against us, yet we still went ahead. We all agreed. You know that. It was an accident. You can’t keep blaming yourself.”

“Can’t I?” Harry roars, he lunges towards Chakotay until he’s in his face.

“150 people, Chakotay. I made a mistake and killed them all! They trusted me. Tom. B'Elanna. Tuvok…..Naomi…” his words turn into a moan and he stumbles backwards, the sheer weight of the guilt making his knees buckle.

Chakotay swallows hard, the image of the little girl, born on Voyager, vivid in his mind. The only home she ever knew, now her grave.

“Neelix. The Captain. Dead because of me! Because I got it wrong! All for a .42 fucking phase variant!” Harry’s voice cracks and he chokes back a sob.

Chakotay grimaces as the image of Kathryn flashes through his mind. He hasn’t the strength to hold it back. He feels his grip on reality slip further.

“How did you die, Kathryn?” he wonders. “Did you think of me?”

“Yes….”

His ears are filled with screams, crunching metal. His stomach lurches, dampeners failing, a free-fall into oblivion and then the sensation of every bone in his body being shattered. It’s horrific. He clutches his head….“No!” he whimpers, praying for the images to cease. But they don’t. Bodies tossed about like tiny boats on a raging sea. Lights and conduits exploding, the burning of flesh and uniform. Life support failing. The cracking of a skull as it connects with the floor. The boiling of blood as they descend through an atmosphere too quickly.

He tries to push it away, but then he sees movement in the doorway of his bedroom, and there she is. Walking slowly along the perimeter of the room, arms folded, a pensive look upon her face.

“I killed them,” Harry moans. He spins and kicks out at the table, sending it tipping over. He slumps to the floor, hands grabbing at his hair and pulling, his face twisted into an agonised scream that fails to come. “I can’t do this. I can’t go on living with what I’ve done.”

Chakotay watches Kathryn stop, she looks across at Harry and there’s no mistaking the tears in her eyes. She rolls her head from side to side as if easing out tension from her shoulders. Slowly, she moves towards the window.

“Help him,” her voice whispers through his mind. “He needs you.”

Chakotay looks down at the young man whose future had been so bright. Just a boy, he had begun to blossom on Voyager into a man. Where did it all go wrong? The haze in his mind grows thicker, reality and fantasy merging into one.

“I blame myself,” Kathryn’s voice rolls through his mind. “I put too much pressure on him. Help him, Chakotay.”

Harry is rocking on the floor, huge sobs wracking through his frame, which Chakotay notices, is frighteningly frail. He turns away from the sight, he can’t bring himself to help him.

“I don’t know how!” he mutters. Kathryn moves closer with a soft smile.

“You will work it out,” she says softly. “Help each other.”

“I only need you. He can’t help me!”

“Yes, he can.”

“I need you, Kathryn, I can’t do it without you!” he murmurs.

Kathryn offers a sympathetic smile. “You can. You must. Live for the living, not for me.”

“Don’t….don’t go,” he begs softly. “I’m not ready to let you go!”

“Chakotay,” she sighs, she moves closer, her mouth to his ear, “I’m here. Always. You just need to look. But, for now, help him. Do it for me.”

He closes his eyes and nods, he feels the ghost of a kiss upon his cheek and when he opens his eyes, she’s gone. His mind is suddenly much clearer.

He turns back to Harry and pulls his shoulders back. From deep within, he summons up all the strength he’s ever had.

“Right, enough of this shit, Ensign! Get up, get washed, we’re going to sort out this whole bastard mess, once and for all!”

More StS Pirate AU Because I Said So

There was some post going around about “imagine if your icon ran off to be a pirate” and I half-made an AU in the tags on it, so now I’m gonna take care of the other half.

• So yes, Saori captains the ship known as the Lady Athena, crewed by her loyal Bronze Saints.

• The Lady Athena is a ship very much shrouded in mystery. Legends told in the port town of Sanctuary, where it most frequently makes dock, say that it’s been around for centuries. Every few decades the ship comes into port, wrecked to the point where it’s barely staying afloat, with a new captain, always a young woman with little to no memory of how she got there, but always insisting that the ship is hers.

• This generations captain, Saori, arrives in port, bedraggled but fiercely hunting down a shipwright to repair the Lady Athena, and a crew skilled and brave enough to accompany her on daring adventures on the high seas.

• She first runs into (quite literally) a young scamp named Seiya, who’s trying to evade the city’s guard who’s after him for some petty theft. Saori helps him out of this spot of trouble, and when he learns she’s planning on heading back out on the ocean as soon as the Lady Athena is seaworthy, he offers to help her crew it.

• Seiya has his own reasons for wanting to join up, having been separated by his sister during a shipwreck. He’s certain Seika is still alive, and has been traveling from city to city trying to find her. He’s hoping that if he tags along with Saori he might just find Seika.

• They are later joined by a pair of street urchins, who Seiya’s friends with, Ikki and Shun, who are desperate for work.

• Not long after that they meet a young man who refuses to talk about where he came from but insists that he could be a useful crew mate. Hyoga, as that’s who it is, talks speaks with a refined educated voice, in contrast to his haphazard, messy appearance.

• All five of them are heading back to the docks, still needing to find a someone who can repair he ship, when they’re jumped by a group of thugs. Before they can even begin to fight back, a blind man appears from seemingly nowhere, felling their attackers with quick and brutal blows.

• Their rescuer introduces himself as none other than Shiryu, who is quickly offered a spot in the crew, but he initially declines, citing that he can’t leave his sweetheart, Shunrei, in the city all by herself. They then part ways for the time being.

• They do eventually find a shipwright willing to get the Lady Athena seaworthy again, a friendly man named Mu, who fixes it along with his apprentice Kiki in return for a few favours.

• I’m not exactly sure how they get the rest of the crew together, that being the loser bronzes and how Shiryu ends up deciding to tag along, but it happens, and Saori and her crew set sail.

• The Bronzes are under the impression for the time being that they’re simply going to be sailing to and fro, maybe shipping some cargo and doing a bit of adventuring, but Saori has a secret. During their time gathering the crew some residual memories have been floating back to her mind.

• Each time she’s met one of the Bronzes she somehow knows that she’s already met them, almost like in another life. She’s not sure what it means, but she knows that she needs to keep them on her crew for some important reason.

• They start hearing rumors in the ports they stop in of the undead rising to walk again, and Saori becomes more and more suspicious. For some reason she knows that she’s the one who has to stop this, and her crew has to help.

• …It’s Hades guys. He’s messing shit up.