bug*

Happy 76th birthday, Bugs Bunny!

“Golden Rule. Bugs must always be provoked. In every film, someone must have designs upon his person: gastronomic, as a trophy, as a good-luck piece (rabbit’s foot, which makes as much sense as a rabbit carrying a human foot on a key chain), as an unwilling participant in a scientific experiment (laboratory rabbit or outer-space creature). Without such threats, Bugs is far too capable a rabbit to evoke the necessary sympathy.

“From Hair-Raising Hare (May 1946) on, I did not have to ask for whom the rabbit toiled, he toiled for me. I no longer drew pictures of Bugs; I drew Bugs. I timed Bugs. I knew Bugs, because what Bugs aspired to, I too aspired to. Aside from a few stumbles, Bugs and I were always at ease with one another.”

–Chuck Jones in “Chuck Amuck” pgs. 211, 212

Trump Survival Tip #4: The Bug-Out Bag

Well, Nate Silver is giving Trump 57% odds of winning in November. Whatever you think of that prediction (whether it’s too early or too subject to change), it never hurts to make some preparations if you can. Even if Trump doesn’t get us nuked, or start a Gestapo, there’s still a number of situations in which a bug-out bag might be useful.

The bug-out bag, or 72-hour-bag, is a bag of prepared supplies and equipment intended to help the carrier survive through an emergency in the short-term. It may often include items useful long past seventy-two hours–indeed, mine includes almost nothing but. Some items are on the expensive side (a Geiger counter, for example, can run you up a few hundred bucks), but many are relatively cheap, and indeed may be a worthwhile purchase even before an apocalypse. Remember: you can only prepare BEFORE the bomb drops.

The bag itself is not the only level of preparation. I’ve found it helpful to categorize my equipment based on three “layers” of preparedness and carry: the pocket layer, backpack layer, and car bag layer. This will help organize not just by importance and immediacy, but by what you can carry versus what can be left behind.

The pocket layer, sometimes referred to as “Every Day Carry”, is the list of items you cannot survive without and that you can carry easily on your person. They are the items available to you with zero warning time, because they’re already in your pockets. A smartphone, wallet with cash, lockpick set, knife (or knives), key ring, and (depending on local laws and your level of comfort) a concealed-carry firearm will fall within this layer. All of these items are useful or necessary in the immediate short-term, and should not be “done without”.

The backpack layer can also fall under “every day carry”, especially if you are a student or office worker. These are the items you can’t fit on your person, but can carry in a small backpack or briefcase. This is a highly versatile set, but I always carry a laptop, chargers and an external phone battery, a pocket reference book, a pair of gloves and a shemagh, a small first-aid kit, a notepad, a roll of tape, some parachute cord, and my Epipen. If you want, this can be expanded to include a flashlight or glowsticks, maps and compass, a dust mask, binoculars, snare wire, condoms and Maxi pads, or similar small items.

Finally is the car bag. This is stuff that you can really only carry around in a car or truck, stuff that would be impractical to schlep around on foot. This would include tool kits, entrenching tools, sleeping bag, survival rations, long guns, ammunition, clothing and tactical wear, flares, a personal-hygiene or shaving kit, a camping cook set, a large trauma kit, and stocks of water and fuel. This should be kept in a duffel bag, in the trunk of your car or near the entrance to a home fallout shelter, able to be moved on foot a short distance to shelter for longer-term survival.

If you want a “starter kit” as to what you might find useful, take a look at my Amazon wishlist, which is pretty much entirely survival equipment at this point. Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list; there’s plenty of things that aren’t on that list because they can be more easily gathered elsewhere (like a hygiene kit) or because I already own them (like a sleeping bag). I’ll post my own kit later.

7

A Wild Hare (1940) debuted on this day in 1940. Directed by Tex Avery, who would later go onto create Red Hot Riding Hood (1943) and the character Droopy Dog, A Wild Hare marks the debut of Bugs Bunny as we know him today, even though previous appearances of a ‘proto-type’ Bugs Bunny called ‘Happy Rabbit’ had first appeared as early as 1937, in a cartoon called Porky’s Hare Hunt. Earlier versions of the wascally wabbit appeared in shorts such as Hare-Um Scare-Um (1939) and Elmer’s Candid Camera (1940). 

No More Heroes: A Miraculous Fan Fiction Chapter 14

               It’s been three years since Papillion’s defeat, Paris is on the road to recovery.  One year after Ladybug and Chat Noir disappeared, the magic holding his victims’ memories in place broke. The LadyBlog is used to help those victims deal with the memories.

               Nobody has been more affected by this than Alix Kubdel.  Her memories haunt all of her waking moments.  Amongst those memories, she alone knows the identity of Chat Noir.

               Gabriel Agreste leaves to find his missing wife, leaving Adrien to run the company.  Marinette has taken on an internship, but it’s with his company’s largest rival.  While reconnecting with Alya, she learns of the horrors Akuma victims are dealing with and resolves to help them.  She just has to do it without revealing her own identity.

               Sequel to All Good Things.

Warning:  May cause you to feel

Rating: T+

Thank you to my beta readers @ace-fox​ and @fuchsrenard

All Good Things

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Chapter 14

FanFiction.net

AO3                 

             Adrien felt an odd sense of dread.  It started just after he dropped off Marinette.  An odd itch under the surface of his skin.  Initially, he brushed it off as excitement.  By lunchtime it had grown into general unease. Resulting in him being little more than physically present in the afternoon meeting.  At the moment, he stood in his office, arms crossed over his chest, hands rubbing up and down his biceps.

           “If you are feeling chilled, might I suggest adjusting the thermostat?”

           The fact he hadn’t heard Nathalie approach put him more on edge.  He shook his head as he turned to acknowledge her.

           “Not cold, just thinking.”  His voice was low and carried a great weight.

           Nathalie stepped closer and held out a folder.

           “I noticed you doing a lot of thinking during the meeting and took the liberty of making this for you. It’s the minutes, plus the more relevant information that was presented.”  She pushed the file closer, indicating he should take it.

           “Thanks.”  He relaxed his stance and dropped his arms as he accepted the folder.  Her hand lingered a moment before releasing it to him completely.

           “I don’t presume to know everything going on with you.”  Nathalie began.  “My only guess is that it’s more than anyone your age should be worried about.”

           Adrien gave her a halfhearted smile.

           “It’s nothing, I’m just meeting up with a friend I haven’t seen in a long time.   I’m excited, but I’ve had a weird feeling ever since we decided on a time and place.  With everything else going on in my life, I’m just not sure why this is giving me a mild anxiety attack.”  He rubbed the back of his neck with his free hand.

           Nathalie gave a small, almost knowing smile.

           “You feel guilty, Adrien.”  

           “Guilty?”  Now, he really was confused.  “Why guilty?”

           “You tend to hold yourself to a higher standard than that of your peers.”  She explained.  “While most people your age go out drinking every night, you are negotiating international business deals.  Believe me, it’s perfectly fine for you to go out and act your age.”

           “Why does it feel like you’re giving me permission?”  He quirked an eyebrow with the question.

           “Because it feels like you need it.”  At that statement, she turned to leave.  Not that there was anything else to say.

           She meant well, but that wasn’t what was bothering him.  He couldn’t exactly place what it was, but he definitely knew what it was not. He glanced down at his watch. There was a bit of time before his next meeting, maybe a run would dispel some of the nervous energy.

***

           “Thanks for all the help, Nino.”  The elevator dinged as it descended past each floor. “I’m sorry to throw off your schedule.”

           Marinette had insisted on escorting him back to his van.  He could have made it on his own, but he got the sense it gave her an excuse to be out of the office for just a bit longer.  They stood in the small elevator making polite conversation.

           “That woman at the desk,” Nino looked at the ceiling as he spoke, “is she the one that sent you on that crazy errand?”

           An annoyed looked passed over Marinette’s face.  She took a deep breath and chose her words carefully.

           “Nichole.”  She paused as they stepped off the elevator and out into the lobby.  “I don’t know if I did something to get on her bad side, or if she’s like that with everyone.  At least she speaks to me.  No one else has even said a word to me outside of their lunch order.”

           “I thought you were supposed to be gaining job experience.”  He observed.  

           “If my parents ever decide to add a delivery option to the bakery, I’ll be fully prepared.”  

           Nino took it as a good sign that she was able to make light of the situation, but could also see the toll it was taking on her.  Though her eyes still sparkled, they weren’t the same as he remembered from when she was younger.  Seeing that spark dimmed in the slightest was unacceptable to him and it made him feel a deep sympathy for his friend.  

           As they exited the building, Marinette stopped short, as if a thought had just hit her.  She reached out and grabbed Nino’s arm.

           “You can’t tell Adrien about this.  He’s been dealing with a lot and I don’t want to add this to his list of worries.”

           “As close as the two of you are, I’m sure he knows.”  Nino smiled down at her and she dropped his arm. “I’m not going to pretend I didn’t run into you today, but I can leave out some of the details.”

           “Thanks.”  She put on a fake smile.  “Tomorrow will be a week down, only thirteen more to go. Knowing it has a set time to end always makes it easier to deal with.”

           “That’s quite possibly the least optimistic thing I’ve ever heard you say.”  They continued walking toward the van.  “Don’t let this place get you down.  Promise me you’ll leave before it gets under your skin.”

           “I’ll add you to the growing list of people concerned with my well-being.”  When they reached the van she surprised him by gripping in a tight hug.  He stiffened slightly, but when she pulled away, her smile had shifted into a genuine one.

           “Thanks again for being such an awesome person, Nino.  You didn’t have to do any of this today.”

           His eyes narrowed, adding a seriousness to his features.  

           “We both know Alya would kill me if I didn’t.”  They shared a friendly chuckle and Marinette made her way back into the office building.

           As she disappeared through the lobby doors, Nino wasn’t sure what to think about the day’s events. He had learned one very important fact: If Marinette was the mystery poster, she hadn’t done it as a joke.  That being said, Adrien was still a possible suspect.  One way or another, Nino was putting this to rest tonight.

***

           Adrien stood outside of the club designated for the evening meetup.  His run earlier had done little to dispel the nagging energy that was following him around.  In fact, it had done just the opposite.  When he made it back to the office, he was almost late for a conference call.  Sweaty and a bit disheveled, he had little time to make himself presentable.  

           When the call had finished, his sweat-moistened clothes had dried and left him feeling gross.  He intended to grab a spare suit from his office, but found only a pair of dark blue relaxed-fit jeans and a black V-neck tee. These were kept on hand for more casual interviews and media appearances.  It would work out for the evening, but forced him to finish the day in his sweat-encrusted garments.  

           Nino spotted Adrien right away.  Despite all the time spent in front of a camera, the guy was painfully awkward when left to his own devices.  Standing out on the sidewalk, rubbing his arms as if he were chilled, Nino chalked the action up to nervousness.  While he had seen Adrien on numerous media sources, they were always business related or gossip rags attempting to break into his private life.  Not once could he remember a story about the guy hanging out anywhere, much less a club.  

           “Adrien.”  Nino raised a hand in greeting while approaching. “Long time, no see.”

           “Too long.”  Adrien dropped his left arm to his side, but kept a grip on the upper portion with his right.  When Nino came within proper distance, they gave each other a handshake and pulled in for a friendly pat on the back.

           “You ready to head in?”   Nino pointed to the entrance with his thumb.

           “Please.”  Adrien put on a smile, but his nerves were present in his eyes.  They approached the door and Nino greeted the bouncer with a series of handshakes.  The two finished with a fist-bump.  

           “How’s it going, Bruce?” Nino addressed the large man.

           “Slow, you know how industry night is.”  Bruce’s navy suit appeared stretched to its limit over his bulky muscles.  Edges of tattoos were visible around his neck and wrist. “Also means the VIP room is all yours, just clean up when you’re done.”

           “Thanks, man.” Nino gave Bruce a final handshake and called to Adrien.  “This way.”

           Bruce took in Adrien as he walked past.  They were the same height, but Bruce had at least a hundred pounds on the former model. For some reason, Adrien knew he could take him.  It wasn’t a thought he expected to have.  The man hadn’t even threatened him in any way.  Before he could dwell on it, Nino grabbed his wrist and pulled him through the darkened doorway.

           “I spin here pretty regularly.”  Nino explained as they walked down a black-lit hallway coved with plush curtains. The blue violet glow picked up every stray piece of dust and paper that had made its home on the walls and carpet. The dull thud of baselines could be felt, but the sound was tapered by the door shutting the hall off from the main club.  

           Adrien kept his eyes trained on that door.  He had been very careful to never step foot into a club.  Not that he had never been asked to make an appearance.  He always turned them down.  It would be free advertising for the establishment that may not reflect well on the family business.  The fact he agreed to meet Nino at one should speak volumes for how bad Adrien felt about not staying in touch.  He was so focused on the door; he didn’t see Nino disappear behind one of the curtains.  It was quite the shock when hands shot out of the nowhere and pulled him through the wall.

           “Dude.”  Nino let go of Adrien’s shoulders to re-adjust the curtains.  “It’s cool, private entrance.”

           Adrien took a few deep breaths and looked around.  There wasn’t much room where they stood, but opposite the curtained entrance were stairs leading up into an unseen area.  Nino took point once again, and he took up the rear.  

           The top of the stairs emptied out into a large open space.  Unlike the rest of the club, this room had decent enough lighting that Adrien could make out the details of his surroundings.  The floor was a light wood brought to a high polish.  More thick purple curtains hung against the walls. A small stage and several couches were scattered throughout the room.  A bar was set up on the far wall.

           “This place is reserved for private parties and VIP guests.”  Nino explained.  “I know it isn’t the fanciest place in town, but it is the only place I have some pull.  Figured it was better than meeting up somewhere more public.”

           They started walking towards the bar.

           “Thanks.” Adrien relaxed at the considerations of his former best friend.  “It’s been a rough day.  I really appreciate it.”

           “Yeah, rough days seem to be going around.”  Nino commented as sidled behind the bar.  “What can I get for you?”

           “Is there club soda and lime back there?”  Adrien sat down at the bar and began arranging the napkins, plastic stirrers, and condiment bottles that sat up on the counter.  

           “Yeah, what do you want mixed with that?”  Nino grabbed a lime from the mini-fridge that sat under the counter.   He picked up a blue bar rag and threw it over his shoulder.

           “Ice?”  Adrien shrugged and released a small smile.  Nino grabbed another rag and threw it in Adrien’s face.  They shared a friendly laugh and Nino picked up a paring knife to slice the lime.  

           “You mentioned rough days going around.”  Adrien watched as Nino set up a couple of highballs and filled them with ice.  Half a lime was squeezed into each glass, then dropped in on top of the ice.  He grabbed the hose that hung off of the counter and hit the button for club soda, topping off each glass.  He kept one for himself and handed the other off to Adrien.

           Nino walked back around, took up the closest empty stool, and raised his glass.

           “Cheers.”  They clinked their glasses together.

           “Cheers.”  Adrien responded.  They each took a swallow and put down their glasses.         “Now, about those bad days.  Unless you’d like to start catching up from another point in time.”

           Nino stopped a moment to think, took in a deep breath and let out a thoughtful sigh.  He looked into his glass and swirled the liquid with a slight movement of his wrist.

           “I don’t know how the girls did it.”  He let out a chuckle laced in frustration.  “They just picked up from where they left off, and here we are like it’s some awkward first date.”

           “I’m mad at myself for being out of touch.”  Adrien was picking up all of the items on the counter and arranging them in various configurations.  “I abandoned my best friend.”

           “What?”  Nino was confused.  “You didn’t abandon me, I abandoned you.  I knew you were going through something major.  At first, I was just giving you space, then things went south. By the time I got myself back together, you were going around doing the whole rich and famous thing.  It didn’t feel right trying to just jump back into your life.”

           “I should have made the effort.”  Adrien argued.  Neither one would look at the other.

           “Dude, I know how you are when it comes to the social stuff.  The blame is all on me.”  Nino went back to starring into his drink.  He looked up when he caught sight of a hand in his peripheral vision and followed it up to a halfcocked grin.

           “Hi, I’m Adrien.”

           Nino reached out and playfully punched him in the shoulder.

           “Ok, smartass.”  It felt like a weight had been lifted off of his back.

           “We good?”

           “Yeah.”  Nino agreed.  “The bad day I was talking about wasn’t mine, by the way.”

           “Really?  Whose was it?”  Adrien picked up a cocktail napkin and placed it under his drink to absorb the condensation that had begun to form and run down the side of his glass.

           “Believe it or not, Marinette.”

           “What happened?” Adrien’s voice took on a panicked tone and he scrambled to pull his phone from his pocket.  “Do I need to call her?  Should I….”    

           Nino grabbed his shoulder to calm him.

           “She’s fine.  Just one of those ‘Send the intern on a crazy task’ situations.”  He explained. “I happened to be in the area and was able to help out.”

           “Oh, you mean all the food and coffee runs.”  Adrien was visibly relieved.  “Yeah, I warned her about that.  She simply refuses to come work at my company, I understand her reasons, but I don’t really see her benefitting from that hackneyed design house.”

           “Alya’s had to do several interships for her degree. It was those stupid errands that prompted her to finally get the Vespa.”  Nino reached for his drink and brought it up to take a sip.

           “So, you think a scooter would help her out?”  The gears moving in Adrien’s brain almost made a physical noise.  

           “It would save her time getting across town.”  Nino confirmed.  “Is she properly licensed to drive one?”

           “Yes.  I had one in Uni.  We both would drive it to and from, depending on our schedule.  I started driving the car when the press started getting too obtrusive.  I honestly don’t know what happened to that thing.  It never occurred to me she might want it.”  Adrien tapped his chin thoughtfully.

           “Now that we’ve hashed all that out, let’s order some food.”  Nino grabbed a slip of laminated paper from behind the bar and presented it to Adrien. “I know you’re probably used to much fancier stuff, but I recommend the steak frites.”

***

           “Now you’re starting to sound like Adrien.”  Marinette glared at her friend.  “Honestly, my parent’s didn’t give me as much flak about this as the two of you.”  The two of them were setting up and arranging folding chairs in Alya’s living room.  

           “That neighborhood is super sketch.”  Alya argued. “My guess is your parents were hoping Adrien could talk you out of it.”

           This made Marinette pause for a moment.  She’d never even thought about that possibility.  Leave it to her parents to realize the more they opposed something, the more she would fight against it.  

           “If I told you I’d at least think about it; could we drop this conversation?”  Marinette cocked her head and looked her friend in the eye.

           “Only if you mean that sincerely.”  Alya sassed back.  “Thanks for helping me set up for tomorrow’s meeting, by the way.”

           “I didn’t realize you held some of the group meetings in your apartment.”

           “Every Friday night. It’s an open forum for anyone that wants to talk.  Sometimes it’s all anyone needs.”  Alya scanned around the room to make sure everything was in place.  “It also establishes this as a help center for victims, government pays the rent and I have a roof over my head.  Otherwise, I’d still be living with my parents, and I don’t think they would appreciate the weekly intrusion.”

           “That’s fair.” Marinette agreed.

           “You and Adrien are welcome to attend.”  She paused to adjust the distance between a few of the chairs.  “People show up that were never directly possessed, Pharaoh’s mummies, D’Argentcourt’s knights, and Jackady’s army.  Same as you, some of them multiple times.”

           It took Marinette a moment to register the “same as you” part.  She hadn’t had to keep track of her Ladybug cover stories in so long, she had almost forgotten what it was she had told Alya.  

           “Or like you with Dark Cupid?”  Marinette deflected the focus of the statement.  Alya nodded at her in response.  “Adrien and I are having dinner with my parents this week.  Maybe next time?”

           “Even if you can’t make a meeting, I’m always available to talk, for you or Adrien.”

           The knowing look she sent caused a cold shiver to work its way up Marinette’s spine.  There were so many things she had always wanted to tell her friend.  Even now, after their period of estrangement.  She did the only thing she could and gave Alya a grateful smile.

           “Thanks.”  The phone in Marinette’s pocket buzzed.

           “Speak of the devil.” Alya stepped into the kitchen to give her some privacy.

           “How’s it going?” Marinette picked up.

           “Just finished, it went great.  I’m heading over to pick you up.” Adrien responded.

           “You didn’t have to call to tell me that.”  She chided sweetly.

           “I just wanted to hear your voice.  See you soon, My Lady.”

           “You too, Chaton.” She whispered the nickname as she hung up.  The walls could still have ears, and she was not in the mood to explain their private nicknames for each other.    

           “I’m surprised it took him this long to call you.”  Alya leaned against the doorway, watching her friend.  “It’s really cute that you still blush like that from just a short phone call.”

           “What about you and Nino?”  Marinette shot back playfully.  “He doesn’t call just to say hello?”

           “Nino and I have a perfectly healthy relationship.”  Alya took on a crossed her arms in mock defense.  “You and Golden Boy, however, are so sweet I’m surprised you both have all your teeth.”

           “Speaking of sweet, I believe I was promised ice cream in exchange for setting up tonight.”  

           “I believe you were.” Alya tapped her lip.  “Too bad the only kind I have is spumoni.”

           “Only kind?  More like best kind.”  Marinette followed Alya into the kitchen.  

***

                       Adrien hadn’t expected to be on the receiving end of a sloppy kiss when Alya’s door opened. Marinette had been on the other side and practically jumped into his arms.  Her lips were surprisingly cold and tasted faintly of something sweet.  Maraschino cherry was the strongest flavor he could place. When she pulled away, he was smiling dopily.

           “What was that about?” He asked.  “Not that I’m complaining.”

           “Just showing how sickeningly sweet we really can be.”  Marinette stepped back inside to allow him through the door, then closed it behind him. “I’m going to head to the bathroom, then we can go.”  she excused herself and stepped down the hall.

           “Hey, Alya” Adrien nodded as he stepped into the kitchen.

           “Hey yourself, Charming. How was the man-date?”  She shot him a smug look.  

           “I think we’re both going to be better about staying in contact.”  He rubbed the back of his neck nervously.  “Can I ask you a question?”

           “Shoot.”

           “Has Marinette mentioned anything bad going on at her internship?”  He asked.

           “You mean besides her new found intimacy with the menus at all the local cafés?”  Alya thought for a moment.  “Not that I can think of, just the usual intern BS.  Why?”

           “Nothing, I try to give her the freedom she needs in this area, but I get the feeling she’s not telling me everything.”  He shrugged. “Almost like she’s trying to protect me from something.”

           “You’re a busy guy, and she’s a big girl.”  She chewed her lip a moment.  “This is going to sound like I’m putting my nose where it doesn’t belong, but I’ve seen where her apartment is.  I think you should focus more on getting her to move.  You live in a mansion, I’m sure there’s enough space somewhere.”

           “I’ve been against that place since she told me she was moving in there.”  He somberly agreed.  “Your living room is bigger than the entire floorplan, and the shower sits so low I haven’t bathed decently in weeks.”

           “Don’t tell me you moved in there.”  Her eyes were wide and mouth slightly open in disbelief.

           “Officially, it’s only been a few days, but I’ve spent most of my free time there anyway.”  He sighed.  “Sometimes she can be really stubborn.”

           “Well, I’m on your team with this one.”  Alya agreed. “Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.”

           “Help with what?” Marinette emerged from the hallway.

           “I was just giving Adrien the same invite to the weekly group meeting I gave you earlier.”  Alya shot Adrien the “Go with it” look.

           “I’ll see if I can fit it into my schedule.”  He hoped that was the right answer.

           “Well, we have to get going.”  Marinette said.  “Early mornings all around.”  Adrien grabbed her hand and they both made their way out the door.

           “See you soon!” Alya called out as she closed the door behind them.

           She started cleaning up after her visitor when the tone for a video call filled the air.  She grabbed the phone and walked into the bedroom. Nino’s face popped up on the screen.

           “Are you alone?” He asked.

           “Is that a threat or an invitation?”  She responded in a sultry tone.

           “I’m going to guess that tone means you are.”  He smiled at her.  “This is about Adrien.”

           “I thought everything went well.”  Her brows furrowed in concern, and she took a seat on the bed.

           “It did, but I was kind of in recon mode and noticed a few things.”  His tone was serious.

           “Like what?”

           “The biggest thing was how nervous he was the entire time.  I would almost say fidgety.  Which kind of leads into the touching thing.”  Nino took a moment, trying to figure out how to explain it.

           “He got a little too hands-y with you?”  She wasn’t quite sure what he could have been talking about.

           “No,” Nino shook his head, “It was more like everything had to be arranged just right.  If he wasn’t moving stuff, he kept reaching for his phone, wanting to call or text Marinette.  I would have thought it was him still being head over heels for her, but I’ve seen behavior like this before.”

           “Your dad….”  She whispered.

           “Yeah.”  He agreed.  “He’s a recovering alcoholic, and I took him to a bar.”

           “Nino, I had no idea, Marinette never said anything.”

           “Neither did he, I kind of put it all together after the fact.  We had access to a full bar and he only drank club sodas with lime.  So, he made it through like a champ.  Marinette must be a part of his network, and I kept him from contacting her in a situation like that.  I feel like such a jerk.”

           “At this point, you’re just speculating.”  She tried to reassure him.

           “We’ve seen it before; he wouldn’t be the first person to deal with their problems at the bottom of a bottle.  Look at Ivan.”  Nino pointed out.

           “Yeah, but he’s never quite grasped the recovery part.  Not that I blame him.”  Alya commented.

           “Even so, my dad did make it that far.  I’ve seen him do some of the same stuff, especially in the first couple of years. People think you just quit, and that’s it.  I watched him deal with triggers and self-coping.    Once you’ve seen it, it’s easier to spot in other people.”  Stress was evident in his voice.

           “Let’s not jump to conclusions.”  Alya attempted to calm him down. “This might be something they want to keep private. If it were something as big as that, I’m sure he would have said something.”

           “If it isn’t that, something still isn’t right.  I know he’s always been a little awkward, but this is on a whole other level.”  Nino took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

           “Well, there’s nothing to be done about it, tonight.”  She pointed out.  “I say we sleep on it.  After that, we tread carefully.”

           “Ok, but sleeping is happening later.  I have a big gig that’s running pretty late tomorrow.  I need to get back on my weekend cycle.  I’m staying up tonight, then sleeping all day tomorrow.  So good luck with the meeting.  You’re welcome to come watch me after it lets out.”

           “I’ll think on it.” Alya said.  “Break a leg at the gig tomorrow.”

           “Love you too.”

Once Upon Another Time ☸ 4/11 ☸

↑ Made by the delightful @emmaswana who deserves all the praise in the world.

MC ☸ AU ☸ M ☸ Ao3

In her top five of things she doesn’t believe in, Emma Swan finds herself, true love, and magic battling for first place. When she stumbles into another world where magic is the rule and meets Captain Hook, a man driven by revenge, she will have to reconsider her classementSlightly inspired by Outlander.

Note: A quick thank you to @mermaidswans my beta reader, @iknowhowyoukisslassfor giving me her impressions and anyone who has suffered through my babblings about this.

Previously: Prologue, Chapter 1, Chapter 2

Chapter 3: Monachopsis ☸ 3.5k words.

Disclaimer: If you are uncomfortable with the mention of rape (it will be slightly alluded, but in no way described and nobody will get raped) you might want to skip the parts surrounded by a “¤”. After it, you are safe.

“Now I know that there can also be violence in silence and that it’s sometimes invisible to the naked eye. There’s violence in the time that conceals wounds, the relentless succession of days, the impossibility of turning back the clock. Violence is what escapes us. It’s silent and hidden. Violence is what remains inexplicable, what stays forever opaque…”
― Delphine de Vigan, No and Me


July the 2nd, 11:30pm, 1788.

In the 27 years of her existence, Emma Swan has had to save her ass multiple times.

Therefore, when three drunk pirates take a step into the kitchen, she grabs the knife under her skirt and threatens them with it.

Adrenaline turns her fear into bravery and keeps her from paying attention to the fact that in no way will she be able to beat them alone.

¤

“Oh come on lass, you’ll just have to open your legs.” His voice is the most disgusting sound she has heard of her life.

“Get the fuck out of here,” she hisses, confident.

So far from her actual mindset, from the panic rising in her chest and menacing to take her over.

“Have you heard her Rogers?” a grass chuckle, “she’s on our bloody ship and she’s the one telling us to go to hell.”

If Captain Hook was far from the cliché pirate she had in mind, those ones were fitting each aspects: stomach full with beer, not that much hair on their scalp, clothes smelling from a meter away, lubric glimmer in their eyes.

“If you think I’m not going to stab you, you’re wrong,” she threatens again, and she’s impressed by the certain tone of her voice.

She’d fool herself, mind you.

One second. She holds back her breath as they stand still, seem to consider her.

And then, everything goes to hell.

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