but can we take a moment to see that they did multiple(

BTS Explain Concepts Behind ‘Love Yourself: Her’ Album: 'This Is the Beginning of Our Chapter Two’

Mere hours before the release of BTS'Love Yourself: Her, the album’s significance wasn’t lost on the group’s leader, Rap Monster.

“It’s really a huge, big step for us,” the 23-year-old rapper/songwriter/producer told Billboard during a phone call from Seoul. “Of course, every member is so excited about the album. We’ve been just practicing until now, day and night, to show these new songs and perfected performances. I left a message on our fan cafe, the other day, after we finished that 'this EP will mark the turning point of BTS’ and even though the wait felt really long with this album – I think it was the huge event, the BBMAs, were in May – so much has happened.”

The wait has been particularly anticipated for for the band’s famously passionate fan base, known as Army, who have been waiting for new tracks from Rap Monster, Jimin, Suga, J-Hope, Jin, V and Jungkook band after voting them Top Social Artist at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards over fellow pop juggernauts Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez and Shawn Mendes.

Since then, the BTS guys have landed distribution deals with Amazon and U.S.-based The Orchard (“We believe the physical album, still, really counts and it’s really important to connect with our fans around the world,” Rap Monster said) and hung out with worldwide chart-toppers like Major Lazer, Halsey, Charli XCX(“Maybe it’s just my sixth sense, but I think maybe we will be collaborating with even more interesting artists,” he added); even snagging The Chainsmokers to produce a beat for Love Yourself: Her.

One listen to the tightly produced record – which looks likely to make a big splash on the Billboard 200 next week – and the passion is palpable from the intense lead single “DNA,” the societal commentary in “Go Go,” among multiple lyrics and moments that feel ripped from the members’ personal journals. There’s also loads of passion in Rap Monster’s voice talking about these new songs as he sees and envisions the larger picture and message for his band’s latest batch of forward-thinking EDM, hip-hop and pop tracks. Read on for Billboard’s deeper analysis of Love Yourself: Her with Rap Monster.

Let’s start right from the beginning with “Serendipity.” Why was this the right song to choose as the intro and kick off the era?

When I wrote the lyrics, melodies and the first themes of “Serendipity,” I tried to come up with some rare things you find in life, something very special, like the calico, three-striped cat; things that have extraordinary meanings in people’s lives. I wanted to share this moment.

I was reading the lyrics are gender neutral, which I think is really powerful. Was that a conscious decision?

The lyrics were based on rare and special things in life. So, I thought, those feelings transcend genders, cultures and barriers between people.

We always put out the “Intro” just before releasing our single, so the intro is taking the role of telling the concept of this album. But “Serendipity” was actually the right song to share the feelings of our single, “DNA.” The title is about how our DNA is connected in the universe, I think that was the right feel for this album.

Let’s talk about “DNA.” How does this single continue and progress the story of BTS?

When we’re talking about our title tracks, “DNA” is about the expression of a young, passionate love. The lyrics are like, “The two of us our connected fatefully from the start, our DNA was just the one thing.” At the same time, “DNA” is taking BTS to new ground. We tried to apply new grammar and perspectives – if you listen to the song, you’ll understand what I’m trying to say – it’s very different from our previous music, technically and musically. I believe it’s going to be the starting point of a second chapter of our career; the beginning of our Chapter Two.

“Best of Me” is really impressive. It sounds like The Chainsmokers, but it also sounds like BTS. You didn’t lose yourself which isn’t easy when collaborating with new artists. What was that process like?

I love that track! We met them at BBMAs, we were so lucky. Actually, they invited us to their concert just the other day – they had a huge concert in Korea and we sang “Closer” together. For “Best of Me,” they gave us several tracks and samples months ago, we and our producers picked one sample, like, “Okay, this is fit for our next album.” So we worked on it, we sent it to them, we asked them what they think of the track we developed and got their opinions. And we made it! I’m so excited for it. [Laughs]

Your albums always have deeper social and society commentaries. Let’s talk about some of the topics with this release. “Go Go” instantly comes to mind.

“Go Go” is a trendy song, but it’s about how our young generation are living their lives with low expectations and standards so people are upset with reality; they have little hope and there’s so much economic hardship. We wanted to say something about it and emphasize to the world that it’s not their choice, but brutal reality that forces people to live and spend as if there’s no future.

But in Korea, “YOLO” has become a big key word for young people because we don’t have money and it’s really hard to get a chance to earn a lot of money. I think society has a lot of problems for young people. Young people spend their money on claw crane machines at arcades and they spend like $30 on trying to win these dolls. And then it’s like, “Oh! I spent all my money…shit. But I don’t regret.” That’s the biggest luxury for Korea’s young people: collecting accessories, cosmetics, that’s what they think is a luxury. It’s “YOLO” because it’s like, “I’m gonna buy all this! I’m gonna buy all this food and I’m going to eat it! I’m going to do it!” I think it’s sad because it’s all we can. “Go Go” is just saying, “Okay, just do it, we won’t regret it. Just spend several bucks on the machine and eat the food!” But at the same time, the song is very easily to sing along to so I think many people will like that song, especially if they find the deeper meaning.

Of course, I have to ask about making a skit interlude out of your BBMAs acceptance speech.

You need to hear “Mic Drop” because the skit was my speech at BBMAs –  because that was a big moment for our history – and then we put “Mic Drop” next to that because it’s like a flex – like, “Okay, we’re done. We don’t need to give a shit about anything.” That was the right skit and follow-up song for this album.

The last song, “Outro: Her” really spoke to me. It almost reads like a diary.

Ha! [Laughs]

After talking with you, it feels like it recaps the whole album and is really introspective.

I think that was the fastest work I did for this album. I wrote the verse in 20 minutes; it just came, very truthfully, from the bottom of my heart. I thought it was the right outro for this album because it is really a range of emotions – I’m saying I met this person that I really love, this person is the love of my life right now, I’m saying that I was confused and I was looking for love and this world is complex. But I think it’s you so, “I call you 'her,’ 'cause you’re my tear.” “I think you’re the start and the end of me.” That’s what I’m saying: You’re my wonder, but you’re also my answers. You’re my “her,” but you’re still the “tear.”

The hook is saying that love is not all about the happiness, it’s just not just about the joy, it’s not just about delight. If you want to love a person, you should know that there are tears and there can even be hatred inside of it. I think a love really includes all of that. That’s what I was trying to say. It’s complex.

And if fans are so lucky to own the physical album, they’ll hear two hidden tracks at the very. Why keep them secretive?

I think they’re hidden because you have to be a real fan of BTS to understand them. Otherwise, you won’t. Otherwise, you’d like be, “Why are they feeling so confused about things? They’re good?!? They’re No. 1 somewhere, they have so much stuff, why are they worried?” People always talk about that. But if you are true fan of BTS and you buy the album and you listen to the hidden track – if you are an Army and we spent time together from 2013, 2014 – they could understand. It’s kind of more special, more closer, to our true hearts.

© Jeff Benjamin @ Billboard

Why I Think Momo is Kickass and You should too

So with the emergence of the anime becoming more and more popular, of course the fan base is growing and growing, I would even say to heights like seen in Fairy Tail, Naruto, etc.

 However, with the series getting more popular, you are stuck with more….negative opinions about the characters that in my mind are sometimes just not necessary.

 Now, this blog is normally Ochako and Kacchako and I intend to mostly keep it that way but lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of negative posts towards Momo and frankly, I’m heavily displeased by this, especially since she’s one of the most well portrayed girls in the series and it’s really heartbreaking on my end to see posts that essentially dismiss her for more shallow reasons that don’t need to be here.

 I mean to start this off, are we going to simply forget that she came into UA on a recommendation and was a student that made even All Might shook when asked why Iida was the winner of the exercise

or how, even though the class didn’t know her, she was still voted to be Assistant Class President? 

 or how she was able to act calm and rational during the USJ villain fight?

 or how she still managed to get the top grade in the midterm exams and didn’t get it to her head but actually acted BENEVOTELY and helped her classmates who asked her for help?

or how it was HER plan that got Todoroki and her to win the exam that they were fighting in?

 But ya know, because of her BODY, we’re going to ignore that right? We’re going to ignore how amazing and how smart she is simply because of her body.  

I won’t lie guys, I’ve heard people complaining about her quirk and even saying how bad her quirk is designed when it’s like??? It actually makes a lot of sense why it’s like that since she does create large objects like shields, spears, A FREAKING CANON, like it makes sense for her to need to use fat call throughout her body to be able to achieve that look.

Which brings me to talk about her costume. Oh boy, this is the one that when I first entered the fandom, no one really said anything but now that the series is more popular, everyone has become experts on body proportions and quirk designs and apparently fashion design since her costume isn’t good enough for her.

I mean look at the costume design that Horikoshi put in for her and how he planned that all out for her

At some point, yes I understand, Horikoshi is a pervert, sometimes his intentions aren’t the best, I get that. But consider this, even though he had the ability to make Ochako’s and Tsuyu’s costumes completely perverted, he chose against that. He had the perfect opportunity to indulge in that yet he didn’t. What I love about Horikoshi is that he thinks about the practicality of the quirks and designs the costumes based on that as well taking into consideration the character’s personality and what they would want.

 So guys, at some point, reality check moment: Momo is comfortable with her body enough to wear a costume that she deemed necessary for the usage of her quirk. And she chose that design for that outfit and has not said a word about this entire series. She even had an opportunity to create it to be more closed and she chose not to. MOMO CHOSE HER OUTFIT AND VIEWS IT GOOD ENOUGH FOR HER HERO WORK.

 In this moment too, I would like to share what even Midnight said during Episode 34 at the very beginning.

So another reality check: The only people who are saying it’s sexual are the people who are sexualizing her to begin with. Instead of viewing it as more of a practical thing that is designed for her quirk (which involves utilizing her fat cells and creating stuff through her skin), people begin to view as sexual and are condemning her for having a revealing costume. Which, to me personally, I find ironic since tumblr is filled with campaigns of free the nipple and the stopping of sexualization of breasts and female anatomy, yet look what’s happening here. People are taking her costume and saying she’s being sexualized for choosing a design that would give her optimal openness to use her quirk.

 I mean look at how she used it in the Aizawa fight

 Having that navel cavity helped her out immensely during this fight and she was able to create the alloy material in a much faster way with having access to areas where most of her fat is stored.

Which, I also heard people commenting on how Momo’s body doesn’t make sense and how skinny she is in comparison to her boobs (which I’ve seen that in real life, it’s not uncommon), but if you see in this spread

She actually isn’t the skinniest person in the world. Keep in mind that while she does use her fat cells to make stuff, she does also consume A LOT OF FOOD TOO to keep up with the level of activity too so she does get chubby sometimes so it’s a wrong assumption to think she has this INCRDIBLY PERFECT BODY WITH NO FAT when she does! Which only makes it only more natural and real!

Honestly, her entire arc in the beginning of the manga (or at least up into this exam point) has been so powerful, so realistic, and so amazingly well done.

I mean to consider, very similarly to Bakugou, while we haven’t gotten much of her backstory, given how she behaved in Season 1, we can have a somewhat assumption that she came from a great home and was well praised for her quirk. Obviously, her quirk isn’t one with a talent, she had to work immensely for it, but she must have been placed into situations where she was elevated and praised for how powerful her quirk is (like she was put in situations where she was able to be able to use her quirk to the fullest and not have much backfired).

Even Aizawa says this during their fight

Which does imply this isn’t a constant state she’s always been in, it’s one that has been gained since the sports festival (hence why the arguments that she should be shouldn’t be self confident are wrong). 

Yet, with coming to UA and being in a hero course, after participating in the festival, well she starts to crumble and kind of doubt her abilities against the others

 Like it starts off with her not getting a high ranking on the race

 Then she mentioned the issue with the cavalry battle later on but definitely the heavy hitter for Momo was her fight with Tokoyami where she was left in shambles since she wasn’t able to make much on an impact on the fight itself (which this was amplified more in the anime than the manga itself).

Originally posted by fadingsoulss

Thus really bringing down her confidence. And now a lot of people screamed about how misogynist her hero training was and how demeaning it was which leads to 2 issues that some people forget about.

 1.     That there are multiple sides to being a hero. It’s not always the cookie cutter “fight villains, rescue people, rinse and repeat”. Even famous people in our society, even though their job is to act/sing/etc, they still go out and do publicity work and that’s what they do. It’s a part of being well known and using your abilities outside of the field you are in.

2.     This was all part of Momo developing. This was just another way to bring Momo down a couple more notches. It’s a bit cruel and hard but this was a way for Horikoshi to get her  out of her mindset and be exposed to something where her confidence could be lowered. Guaranteed if she was put into an actual hero training internship, she wouldn’t have been lowered as much as she did.

 Which could lead the argument that it wasn’t necessary to have any of that stuff happen to her but consider, would she have gotten in this state if she didn’t have those things happen and accumulate?

And would she have gotten her confidence back from Todoroki/Aizawa and execute an amazing plan without that encouragement from those moments?

Probably not.

 Ok this post is beginning to get way to long so I’m going to stop here before I go on and on and on about Momo. As much as Ochako is my best girl and I will forever sacrifice myself to her, even I have to admit Momo is utterly amazing and I only talked about what happened in the first 65 chapters. I didn’t even brush on how amazing she was during the invasion of the villains or how she managed to be a huge help in the rescue of Bakugou or even how kickass she was during the license exam (which she helped my princess Ochako and that pleased me so much). Momo is just more than the simple sexual object people are complaining her to be as, she’s an incredibly smart and amazing woman and Horikoshi put so much thought into her, more than what any of us could ever imagine. I am truly excited to see more of what she can do in the future and I hope she gains more fans since she truly deserves it.

 TLDR; MOMO IS AMAZING, SEND HER LOVE YALL

Not Your Average Zutara Fic Rec

So I’ve gone through a LOT of Zutara fanfiction, probably too much if I’m being honest, and finding good fics can be really hard. When looking up fic rec lists I’ve noticed that a lot of the lists are just the same select fanfictions recommended over and over (We get it, everyone and their mother loves ‘His Majesty Prefers Blue’ and ‘Stormbenders’ [I never finished HMPB, sue me]). 

So this list is for all of you who are in my shoes and can’t seem to find anything besides the same ten or fifteen stories recommended and are desperate for something new. Everything listed is complete! (If I listed the incompletes/abandoned stories I’d have a lot more chaptered stories listed… RIP ‘The Confrontational Approach’…) 

I have a lot of bookmarked stories that I have yet to read and am in the middle of (Almost caught up on @firelordandlady ‘s ‘Say Anything’!), so I’ll try to update this when I finish something I think deserves a recommendation. 

Chaptered

In the Same Candlelight by Like a Dove

In a world where there is no war, Zuko and Katara spend their summers together. Growing up is messy, embarrassing, and at times sad, but they think it might be okay because they have each other. Edited summary.

I know. I KNOW. I LITERALLY JUST SAID I WASN’T GOING TO RECOMMEND FANFICS THAT ARE ON EVERYONE’S LIST. But I NEED to mention this one. I spent so long not interested in this fic. I don’t like drastic AU’s, or modern AU’s. My taste is strictly canon divergence, so I didn’t think I would like this. I WAS SO WRONG. Trust me, if you are like me and don’t like big AU’s, read this anyway. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Characterization is still so spot on, even with such a different take. Aang is precious. There is nothing but fluff, fluff, and fluff. It will melt you. You will probably die and your spirit will rise up smiling and beaming out rainbows and sunshine. That’s what happened to me. 

Lilacs and Lily Pads by sadladybug

A tale of clumsy courtship and calamitous court weddings, featuring awkward family encounters, floral mishaps, cultural complications, and good old fashioned fluff and conflict. Takes place in the five years following war’s end. For Zutara Week 2016. A prequel to Bones.

Clothe Me in Seasons, Dress Me in Snow is a very commonly recommended Zutara fic (And for good reason, I shed many tears reading it). But this two-shot (A companion to Bones, a smut one shot) by the same author is really underrated and beautifully written. It follows Zuko and Katara as they try to plan their wedding, as well as shows two scenes from before they got engaged that solidified the relationship to be one they knew would last. Just really well done overall and very very sweet. 

EDIT: I talked with the author and apparently it isn’t finished?? But they are apparently working on the next chapters so yay!! And each chapter is independent so it doesn’t feel unfinished.  

The Slow Path by Tazainian Devil

Eight years after the fall of Ozai, Aang returns to the friends he left behind - Taang, Zutara, Sukka

This is technically a Taang fic, and if I’m being honest I kind of just skimmed through the non-zutara chapters, but the Zutara storyline was good enough that I think it’s definitely worth the read. And the overall plot has a great premise. Be warned, it has a sequel that was never finished. 

Another Word For Alchemy by FanPanda13

Five years have passed since the Avatar defeated Fire Lord Ozai, and the members of the Gaang have all gone in their own direction. But when Aang invites them all to a Peace Summit at the North Pole and tells them of his new project, for which he will need their support, the group comes together again for adventure, fun and romance. AU. Zutara. COMPLETE.

So this fic is crazy for me. At first, it started as just really good natured fluff. The writing wasn’t anything fantastic (Although I loved how it broke the 4th wall and didn’t take itself seriously), and there were some definite OOC moments. But I had so much FUN with it. The plot (while definitely not the focus as everyone is more concerned about when Zuko and Katara will get together) was interesting, and there were some really sweet moments. It was also HILARIOUS and I had multiple moments where I genuinely laughed out loud. But then about five chapters before the end, the quality SKY ROCKETED. As the plot and mystery come together, the characters all come together in a moment that truly feels like it came from the show. Even the writing quality increases by a lot and I was genuinely shocked and impressed. Definitely recommend. 

Kyoshi Hold ‘Em by cupid-painted-blind

When a blizzard shuts down the fourth annual Peace Summit, the group has to find some way to pass the time. /Zutara, Taang, Jet/Mai, Jet/Everyone, Sukka

If you’re looking for a good crack fic, look no further. It’s post war and utter nonsense. Jet is alive for some reason??? No one questions it and he’s shipped with pretty much everyone. It’s funny, it’s decently written, there are drinking and sexy time shenanigans, and overall just lighthearted. Also, it does a great job of being a crack fic without crossing the line and becoming unfunny and just a trash fic. A lot struggle to find the balance and resort to going over the top and ridiculous, but this one does a really good job. 

Come With Me by Steamboat Ghost

Coauthored by fuzzytomato. Troubled over his newly restored honor, Zuko finds solace in the familiar guise of the Blue Spirit. In a chance meeting with the Painted Lady, a friendship is forged as the two heroes seek to help the Fire Nation’s neglected.

I’ll admit it: I’ve never gotten into Blutara fanfictions. I only read the first couple chapters of HMPB and dropped it after the tree scene. I don’t know, it felt really OOC for me and I may go back and read it again just because EVERYONE raves about it, but IDK. I’ve never been a huge Blutara fan because while I love the concept, I’d much rather see the Painted Lady and the Blue Spirit come together as equals. Most fics present Zuko behind his mask to Katara, and it feels imbalanced. There aren’t a lot of stories where we see their alter persona’s come together even though that’s the entire point of the parallel between the two. Insert this fic. I only wish there was a sequel dealing with Zuko in the Gaang after these events. Hey, a girl can dream. 

A Zutara Story Anastasia by LastSunset

Katara, the only suviving waterbender of the Southern Water Tribe, joins two con men, Zuko and Iroh, while a fearful admiral chases for her death. A Zutara Story. Based on the movie Anastasia.

So this isn’t so much a retelling of Anastasia but with Katara and Zuko as it is a fanfic version of the movie but with the characters names and world changed. It takes a lot of lines from the movie. But WHO CARES? It’s Anastasia and Zutara!!! What more do you need??? 

Oneshot

this burden you bear by cowlicklesschick

Word travels, and war stories will be told round campfires and on freighter ships until every person in the world knows what Master Katara did for the new Fire Lord. She fights the burning in her throat at the thought of people knowing why she had to heal him in the first place. Post-war Zutara.

This is an angst-with-a-happy-ending, which I say is the absolute BEST type of angst. Katara deals with the guilt of what Zuko did for her as the Fire Nation celebrates what she did to save his life during the Agni Kai. The two come together beautifully while struggling to see the feelings they both share. Really well written and like I said, it has a happy ending, which we all need. 

The Best of Me by Laririn-Shadow

The night before his eighteenth birthday Zuko wraps a bandage around his left wrist. He has a country to run and no time for frivolous things. It will make everything easier if he waits. Zutara Soulmates AU

Soulmate AU’s usually aren’t my thing (With the glaring exception of one Until Dawn Soulmate AU, but that’s besides the point), but I really enjoyed this oneshot. It isn’t sweeping or insanely romantic and the reveal isn’t “OMG I’VE LOVED YOU THIS WHOLE TIME” But it’s a subtle love that grows, which I really like.  

my salvation, he’s not anything by sarsaparillia

Let’s run away and start another war. — Zuko/Katara.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ What can I say? I love the ‘Let’s run away together, consequences be damned’ trope. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Time is Ripe by Casa Circe

ZUTARA WEEK 2012 Day Seven: Seasons. There are many stages that a heart goes through before it can finally be ready for the love it was meant to have. The road is often a rocky one but eventually, it leads you home.

A oneshot for the Zutara Week 2012 prompt ‘Seasons’. Not too much to say about it. Short, sweet, and well written. What more do you need? 

Serendipity by Boriqua-chan

Iroh goes hunting for tea leaves and finds something…interesting. /Zutara week, day 1/

Secret relationships! Fluff! Happiness! And all from Uncle Iroh’s perspective!! Everything I love in one great oneshot! 

Too Close for Comfort also by Casa Circe

ZUTARA WEEK 2010 Day Three: Pain. After watching “The Ember Island Players”, no one is in the mood for teasing. But a little slip of the tongue leads to the painful realization that the play was more accurate than they were willing to admit.

There are two Zutara plots/tropes that I am a complete and utter SLUT for. The first is the ‘Let’s talk about that EIP show’ trope. This is one of my favorites. 

The Color of Truth is Red by Mrs. Pettyfer

Written for Zutara Week prompt “awkward.” Zuko and Katara discuss the Ember Island Players.

Another post EIP oneshot

Enlightenment by Blade Quill

Choices are made on the day of Zuko’s coronation, and sometimes, enlightenment is just the simple truth at hand. Zutara. AU of the final moments of the Book 3 Finale

The OTHER plot/trope I’m a slut for is finale rewrites. LET ME SEE THEM COME TOGETHER AFTER HE TAKES LIGHTNING FOR HER. Ugh, I love it. 

Framework by profoundlycan

What if in “Sozin’s Comet” Katara had come into the room instead of Mai? Zuko/Katara. Prequel to Schema.

 Another finale rewrite! Let’s just get Mai out of the picture here… 

Lightning Shocks the Heart by drunkzutarafeels

Why do our hearts remain dormant until a climactic moment makes time stand still?

And here’s yet another finale rewrite. There is a really popular Zutara gifset that someone animated of the Agni Kai ‘Thank you’ scene, but Katara kisses Zuko after she hugs him. This is the fanfiction equivalent of that gif set. 

Sunrise by lewilder

The days go on and on, and even if she feels more comfort from the moon, Katara learns to cherish the promise of each new sunrise. Zutara AU, largely finale-centric. Oneshot.

LAST FINALE AU I PROMISE. Really sweet, starts right after The Southern Raiders and goes past canon. 

all the ghosts we cannot kill (we learn to love) by raisindeatre

Zuko and Katara; the moments we didn’t see. Or: Maybe we are all somebody’s ghost. And maybe sometimes we can be more than that.

“…My quarrel has only ever been with you, Zuko,” she says, his name sharp on her tongue. “This has only ever been about me and you.”

“You’re wrong,” he rasps, his voice rough in the late afternoon sunlight that falls around them, tangles them in golden nets. “This has only ever been about me and the Avatar. Not you and me. What we hold between us has nothing to do with it.”

This is a really beautiful one-shot that follows a battered, war torn and hardened Zuko and Katara through the scenes we DIDN’T see throughout the entire show. A Zutara must-read.

Drabble Collection/Series

And Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Advocaat

A collection of humorous and crack-tastic oneshots corresponding to the days of Zutara Month

Really great Zutara Month themed drabbles, and it contains the only body swapping plot that I’ve read and really enjoyed. Also the chapters ‘Potential’ and ‘Festival’ are some of my all time favorites. 

Zuko Was No Coward by hootowl

Zuko was many things, but a coward he was not. A collection of Zutara100 prompts. Title may change.

Definitely some heartbreakers and angsty drabbles in here, but all well written and thoroughly enjoyable. If you read ANYTHING from this list, read chapter two of this drabble collection. I MELTED when I read it. It’s perfection. Aunt Wu’s prediction has always been a plotline I’ve loved in Zutara fanfiction, and this one just does it PERFECTLY. 

Zutara Week 2012 by ichilover3

A collection of oneshots inspired by the prompts for Zutara Week

Not much more to say. The first, third, and fourth prompts are my favorite from this series. 

Zutara Week 2015 by bianca_anna

It started at a tea shop and ended with forever. My entries for Zutara Week 2015. I hope you enjoy them.

Oh my GOODNESS. So they’re Zutara Week prompts, but all set in the same universe. The Zutara!Family depicted in these drabbles has become my headcanon. I’ve seen many a Zutara family, but this one is by far my FAVORITE. This is now my official family for them. I want the very last chapter fully animated because it’s so good and epic and I want more of this families adventures. 

OK so since @tom-hiddleston-god-of-mischief and other people showed interest, I bumped up my schedule and so…

Here is my ‘Craig is totally gay and was in love with the MC in college’ post!

So, first off- this is Craig Cahn and the thing that made me first think that he was gay instead of bi. (And fyi I am a Bi myself, so this is more headcanoning and exploring character and not trying to stomp on other headcanons, jsyk.)

Yeah the very first time we met. But look- divorces do happen, and do happen in a chill manner. But… let us note a couple things. One, the divorce literally only happened ‘last year’. Which could mean anywhere from (assuming this is the spring due to college letters and school timetables) 12+ to only 3-ish months ago depending on what counts as ‘last year’.

You only get a SECOND of him being uncomfortable while breaking the news before he is on even ground and is like ‘yeah it’s old news and everything is in perfect order now’. AND THE DIVORCE HAPPENED EITHER WHILE SMASHLEY WAS PREGNANT OR JUST HAD RIVER. Now, this could be a him lying, except… it’s never really brought up again as a thing? Like, we deal with Mat’s feelings for his dead wife, Joseph’s failing marriage, and etc but despite how recent it was we are lead to believe their divorce was perfectly amicable despite the timing.  (Now placing a cut here because this gets long and has more pics.)

Keep reading

theguardian.com
Ten things I learned about writing from Stephen King
The novelist James Smythe, who has been analysing the work of Stephen King for the Guardian since 2012, on the lessons he has drawn from the master of horror fiction
By James Smythe

Stephen King is an All-Time Great, arguably one of the most popular novelists the world has ever seen. And there’s a good chance that he’s inspired more people to start writing than any other living writer. So, as the Guardian and King’s UK publisher Hodder launch a short story competition – to be judged by the master himself – here are the ten most important lessons to learn from his work.

1. Write whatever the hell you like

King might be best known – or, rather, best regarded – as a writer of horror novels, but really, his back catalogue is crammed with every genre you can think of. There are thrillers (Misery, Gerald’s Game), literary novels (Bag Of Bones, Different Seasons), crime procedurals (Mr Mercedes), apocalypse narratives (The Stand), fantasy (Eyes Of The Dragon, The Dark Tower series) … He’s even written what I think of as being one of the greatest Young Adult novels of all time: The Long Walk. Perhaps the only genre or audience he hasn’t really touched so far is comedy, but most of his work features moments that show his deft touch with humour. It’s clear that King does what he wants, when he wants, and his constant readers – the term he calls his, well, constant readers – will follow him wherever he goes.

2. The scariest thing isn’t necessarily what’s underneath the bed

Horror is a curious thing. What scares one person won’t necessarily scare another. And while there might be moments in his horror novels that tread towards the more conventional ideas of what some find terrifying, for the most part, the truly scary aspects are those that deal with humanity itself. Ghosts drive people to madness, telekinetic girls destroy whole towns with their powers, clowns … well, clowns are just bloody terrifying full stop. But the true crux of King’s ability to scare is finding the thing that his readers are actually worried about, and bringing that to the fore. If you’re writing horror, don’t just think about what goes bump in the night; think about what that bump might drive people to do afterwards.

3. Don’t be scared of transparency

One of my favourite things about King’s short story collections are the little notes about each tale that he puts into the text. The history of them, the context for the idea, how the writing process actually worked. They’re not only invaluable material for aspiring writers – because exactly how many drafts does it take to reach a decent story? King knows! – but they’re also brilliant nuggets of insight into King himself. Some people might think that it’s better off knowing nothing about authors when they read their work, but for King, his heart is on his sleeve. In his latest collection, The Bazaar of Broken Dreams, King gets more in-depth than ever, talking about what inspired the stories in such an honest way that it couldn’t have come from another writer’s pen. Which brings us to …

4. Write what you know. Sort of. Sometimes

Write what you know is the most common writing tip you’ll find anywhere. It’s nonsense, really, because if we all did that we’d end up with terribly boring novels about writers staring out of windows waiting for inspiration to hit. (If you like those, incidentally, head straight for the literary fiction section of your nearest bookshop.) But King understands that experience is something which can be channelled into your work, and should be at every opportunity. Aspects of his life – addiction, teaching, his near-fatal car accident, rock and roll, ageing – have cropped up in his work over and over, in ways that aren’t always obvious, but often help to drive the story. That’s something every writer can use, because it’s through these truths that real emotions can be writ large on the page.

5. Aim big. Or small

King’s written some mammoth books, and they’re often about mammoth things. The Stand takes readers into an apocalypse, with every stage of it laid out on the page until the final fantastical showdown. It deals with a horror that hits a group of characters twice in their lives, showing us how years and years of experience can change people. And The Dark Tower is a seven (or eight, or more, if you count the short stories set in its world) part series that takes in so many different genres of writing it’s dizzying. When he needs to, King aims really big, and sometimes that’s what you have to do to tell a story. At the other end of the spectrum, some of King’s most enduring stories – Rita Hayworth & Shawshank Redemption, The Mist – have come from his shorter works. He traps small groups of characters in single locations and lets the story play out how it will. The length of the story you’re telling should dictate the size of the book. Doesn’t matter if it’s forty thousand words or two hundred, King doesn’t waste a word.

6. Write all the time. And write a lot

King’s published – wait for it – 55 novels, 11 collections of stories, 5 non-fiction works, 7 novellas and 9 assorted other pieces (including illustrated works and comic books). That’s over a period of 41 years. That’s an average of two books a year. Which is, I must admit, a pretty giddying amount. That’s years of reading (or rereading, if you’re as foolishly in awe of him as I am). But he’s barely stopped for breath. This year has seen three books published by him, which makes me feel a little ashamed. Still, at my current rate of writing, I might catch up with him sometime next century. And while not every book has found the same critical and commercial success, they’ve all got their fans.

7. Voice is just as important as content

King’s a writer who understands that a story needs to begin before it’s actually told. It begins in the voice of the novel: is it first person, or third? Is it past or present tense? Is it told through multiple narrators, or just the one? He’s a master at understanding exactly why each story is told the way it’s told. Sure, he might dress it up as something simple – the story finding the voice it needs, or vice versa – but through his books you can see that he’s tried pretty much everything, and can see why each voice worked with the story he was telling.

8. And Form is just as important as voice

King isn’t really thought of as an experimental novelist, which is grossly unfair. Some of King’s more daring novels have taken on really interesting forms. Be it The Green Mile’s fragmented, serialised narrative; or the dual publication of The Regulators and Desperation – novels which featured the same characters in very different situations, with unsettling parallels between the stories that unfolded for them; or even Carrie’s mixed-media narrative, with sections of the story told as interview or newspaper extract. All of these novels have played with the way they’re presented on the page to find the perfect medium for telling those stories. Really, the lesson here from King is to not be afraid to play.

9. You don’t have to be yourself

Some of King’s greatest works in the early years of his career weren’t published by King himself. They were in the name of Richard Bachman, his slightly grislier pseudonym. The Long Walk, Thinner, The Running Man – these are books that dealt with a nastier side of things than King did in his properly attributed work. Because, maybe it’s good to have a voice that allows us to let the real darkness out, with no judgments. (And then maybe, as King eventually did in The Dark Half, it’s good to kill that voice on the page … )

10. Read On Writing. Now

This is the most important tip in the list. In 2000, King published On Writing, a book that sits in the halfway space between autobiography and writing manual. It’s full of details about his process, about how he wrote his books, channelled his demons and overcame his challenges. It’s one of the few books about writing that are actually worth their salt, mainly because it understands that it’s about a personal experience, and readers might find that useful. There’s no universal truths when it comes to writing. One person’s process would be a nightmare for somebody else. Some people spend years labouring on nearly perfect first drafts; some people get a first draft written in six weeks, and then spend the next year destroying it and rebuilding it. On Writing tells you how King does it, to help you to find your own. Even if you’re not a fan of his books, it’s invaluable to the in-development writer. Heck, it’s invaluable to all writers.

Negotiations

I walked into the room, avoiding direct eye contact with the alien waiting for me. Its huge eyes just looked like a jet black sclera set in a sack of vaguely damp, wrinkled gray leather. If eyes are a window into the soul, this creepy little guy would give satan a run for his money. They just put me on edge, somehow. I’d have to make eye contact anyway, but it could wait.

I strode up to the meeting table, pulled out the chair, and sat down. I shuffled around in my bag for a moment before pulling out a small piece of tech, which I set on the table in front of me.

“Before we begin, I want to be sure of a few things. This device you’ve provided us with, it is 100% effective at understanding and translating languages, correct?”

The alien across from me nodded. It’s a nice little allowance they’ve made for comfort, learning our body language, but its bulbous head threw the whole gesture off. It made me think of one of those old inflatable toys with a weight on the bottom, that would lean too far to the side before bouncing straight back up. Woobles or something. It didn’t really matter.

“Nearly. We occasionally find a race with one or two concepts that it has trouble with, but that’s easily smoothed over.”

I took a deep breath, and waited a moment to compose myself. This whole thing was going to be more trying than not interrupting old man Higgins up the street while he went on about whatever racist sentiment was in his head at the moment.

“One or two…okay. That’s odd.”

The alien blinked. Eyelids came in from not just the top and bottom, but also the sides. That’s just plain creepy. Reminds me of one of those really old movies they threw on the media blacklist pretty much as soon as first contact started. Something in black. Whatever it was, I remember seeing it as a kid, and that guy at the beginning had nothing on this alien’s eyes.

“Have you already found something it can’t translate?”

I nodded, then pulled out my communicator and scrolled through a few documents. I really needed to clean this thing out. Can’t believe I didn’t get around to it before coming to such an important meeting. Imagine the debacle that would result if I opened exactly the wrong thing. Never can know what that might be, honestly.

“Of a sort, yes. Mind humoring me for a few minutes?”

The alien steepled its hands together, and leaned forward. That’s just plain creepy. I wonder how they learned such context specific body language? Not that it really matters, I guess. Not my problem.

“Certainly. After all, it can take years to accept a race into the Federation.”

Nodding again, I pulled up a document on my communicator, then leaned back in my chair as I began. This was going to be more interesting than that time your classmate Jimmy found some old matches somewhere and almost burned the school down by mistake.

“Excellent. This shouldn’t take much time. I mentioned that we found some issues with your device. Allow me to demonstrate: Espionage.”

The little device on the table beeped, and a red light flashed.

“ERROR: NO ANALOGUE FOUND”

I sighed. That one had been an accident. We just had the thing sitting in a conference room while we discussed the implications of the visit when it came up. But, when something that simple for us to understand came up, we had to try for more.

“Reverse Engineering.”

Again, a beep and a flash of red.

“ERROR: NO ANALOGUE FOUND”

“Spycraft.”

And again with the beep. This was going to get irritating if I didn’t speed things up a bit. Too bad we hadn’t managed to find a mute option for that feature.

“ERROR: NO ANALOGUE FO-”

“Overwhelming Force”

“ERROR: NO-”

“Scorched Earth”

“ER-”

“Kamikaze”

“E-”

Blitzkrieg, Stealth, Mutually Assured Destruction, Acceptable Losses, Pyrrhic Victory, Guerilla Warfare, Encirclement, Entrenchment, Siege.”

The device gave off a series of distressed beeps, punctuated by rapid blinking of the little red light. I almost felt sorry for it. Almost.

“TOO MANY ERRORS DETECTED. REBOOTING. RUNNING SELF DIAGNOSTIC. NO DISCREPANCIES FOUND,”

I paused, and glanced across the table at the alien before looking back down at the translator. This was going to hit it harder than a washed up holovid actor with no auditions and less money hits rock bottom.

“Xenocide”

The chair across from me clattered to the ground as the alien practically fell out of its seat. I don’t blame the poor thing. Of all the aggressive, militaristic words we tried, that was one of the ones we least expected to translate. I mean, really. Who has a word for the intentional extermination of an entire sapient species when they don’t even understand fundamental hostile international mechanics like spying?

“Why do you have a word for…what was all that just now?”

I chuckled a bit while motioning for the alien to sit back down. His reaction had been pretty good, perfectly suitable for one of those hammed-up old dramas where the hero realizes they’ve been working with the villain all along.

“We were confused about that too. So we took a look at the information you sent as part of first contact with us. We noticed something interesting. Every single race in your Federation is carnivorous. Why is that?”

The alien seemed smaller somehow as it settled back into a seat. It looked kind of like a balloon slowly losing air, if that balloon was made of moldering gray leather with eyes that made your spinal column decide it wanted a holiday in Fiji.

“First contact has always been made after sapient races make it to multiple worlds. We’ve never found a sapient herbivorous race which failed to destroy themselves in resource wars and aggressive action. We’ve never found herbivores capable of surviving long enough to leave their own world.”

I leaned forward in the chair and smiled while finally making direct eye contact with the alien. I think the poor thing shivered when I did that. Not that I blame it. Imagine your reaction when you start to put the pieces together and realize that your friendly, upstanding next door neighbor might be the world’s most wanted criminal.

“And the races you have found, while commonly using threat displays, do not waste resources on wars they cannot easily win, correct?”

The alien nodded as it slouched a bit in its chair. It looked kind of like it was trying to hide. Who wouldn’t want to hide from the monsters in their closet?

“Wasted resources means decreased likelihood of survival.”

I shrugged. That was true enough, though rather coldly logical. Dispassionate logic like that has never been our strong suit. Then again, that’s why I’m in this situation in the first place, so it evens out.

“And yet herbivores constantly waste resources on aggression, on movement, on having more young than will possibly survive.”

The alien was staring at me. I’m not sure when the last time it blinked was. I wonder if those eyes need some kind of lubrication to keep from drying out. Probably, they looked a bit less creepy than they should’ve. Looked like they were losing their shine.

“And they die for it. That’s exactly why we’ve never encountered spacefaring herbivores. Their inherent aggression is their own demise.”

I held eye contact. I’d almost swear the alien was a weird statue right now. Don’t know who would commission a statue made of old greasy leather, but I’m sure there’s someone with too much money and too little sense who would give it a shot.

“Indeed. Now, back to the subject at hand. I’ll ask you before we continue: what can you offer humans for joining your Federation?”

The alien sputtered as it started moving again. I’d swear it looked offended. Maybe it doesn’t see where this is going. Not that it really matters, I guess. I mean, it probably matters about as much as posting a formal complaint to a new corporate policy, which is to say not at all.

“We’ve already sent the offer. You’ve seen that, I’m sure.”

I nodded, and began to tap out a staccato rhythm on the table with my fingers. I never could remember where I learned this stupid tune. I’ve known it as long as I can remember, and it just moves into my head on occasion and sticks around like that one couchsurfing friend who doesn’t understand the idea of wearing out their welcome.

“And I’m asking, what else do you have to offer?”

The alien just shook its head again, staring at the device. I wonder if it thought we might’ve tampered with it. As if we knew how. That little thing is way beyond our current abilities. We had some scientists pry it open and look inside, just to be sure.

“Nothing. I’m not sure why you’re-”

I raised my hand, cutting him off. Huh. Not sure why that worked. Did they learn that much of our body language? That’s still really creepy, if it’s the case. Or, maybe I just have it on edge. I dunno. I guess it doesn’t matter.

“May I have permission to connect my datapad with my ship’s computers?”

The alien glanced away from me for a moment. I assume it was checking in with superiors somehow. Maybe it was psychic, to an extent. Or maybe they just had an implant of some sort. We’ll find out eventually, I’m sure.

“Yes, if you like.”

I sighed. I guess that makes things easier for us. I don’t think anyone was going to like what I was about to do. This whole thing felt kind of like one of those holovids of an accident, where you know what’s coming and don’t want to keep going, but for some reason you just can’t seem to stop and pull yourself away.

“Computer, show video: Hiroshima”

A screen appeared in the air above my datapad. It started playing back an old, grainy video. Shaky, taken by hand in an aircraft in a firefight. Below, you can barely see a city being blotted out by a massive explosion. A cloud of smoke, fire and debris was rapidly climbing into the sky, billowing, growing, blooming into an eerie and easily recognized mushroom cloud.

“That’s…you’re using weapons of that scale on a population center? How recent was this?”

I shrugged, and closed the video. The screen on my datapad went back to the document I had up earlier. Gotta love how well they managed to predict this whole thing. I made a mental note to recommend a raise for whoever set up that document for me.

“Three centuries ago. Prior to our invention of spaceflight. Part of a much larger conflict. This is a relatively minor example of “overwhelming force”“

“ERROR: NO A-”

“Shut it. Computer, show infosheet: Battle of Stalingrad.”

A series of graphs and diagrams appeared above my datapad. They showed resources, time, maps, battle plans, and death tolls. Images were interspersed throughout, as were annotations on the tactical value of this, the emotional value of that. Prominent among them was a single apartment building, including notes on sniping from the roof and support via tunnels.

“That…what purpose would that…why w-”

Again, I raised my hand to cut him off, before closing the infosheet. Maybe it was both. Nah, couldn’t be. Only way it was both having this guy on edge and our body language is if it somehow had our body language built in. Unsettling thought, but not exactly likely.

“Because Stalingrad was an advantageous location and the people who died there were considered ‘Acceptable losses’“

“ERRO-”

“Computer, show gallery: General Sherman’s March to the Sea.”

A multitude of images appeared over the datapad. Rail lines and roads intentionally broken and destroyed. Farms and fields scoured clean and left to fallow. Buildings and towns razed to the ground. A broken people left to mourn and starve.

“So much waste…that can’t be intentional, can it?”

I glanced at the images, the wanton destruction that campaign caused, and the very orders that caused it. That kind of thing may be considered morally reprehensible now, even a war crime, but it wasn’t always. At the time, the strategy was extolled as one of the reasons the war ended the way it did.

“It was intentional.”

The alien stared at me, its reflective black eyes bigger than I’d ever seen them before. Creepy as all hell, that’s for sure. I’d rather not deal with these kinds of meetings in the future. Maybe after this I could negotiate for some kind of retirement.

“But…why?”

I tapped my datapad and closed the gallery, then leaned back and tossed my feet on the table. May as well relax, I already knew how this was going to end.

“Because it rendered the enemy unable to use resources Sherman couldn’t keep. Computer, assemble and show video grouping: RTS Games”

A large grid of videos came up, showing a huge range of scenes. Largely battle, the settings varied from open space to deep ocean, from early history to the far “future.” Even battles across space and time could be seen.

“The translator can’t have gotten that right. Those are military tactical simulations. Higher level than anything I’ve ever seen or heard of.”

I laughed as I closed out all of the videos and turned back to the alien. Creepy and unsettling as it might be, I’m pretty sure I was terrifying the poor thing. Not that I really felt sorry for it. Not at all.

“No. They aren’t. Those are games. Toys. For. Fun. And they’re a couple hundred years out of date. From what I’ve seen, nearly every human capable of coherent speech is capable of tactically overwhelming your Federation. And since we’re already here, in space, it’s too late for you to say no. So, I’ll ask again:

What do you have to offer us?”

Humans are weird

So I’ve been seeing a bunch of these humans are weird space orcs from space Australia stories touching on different mental illnesses but haven’t seen any on DID so I thought I’d take a crack at it:


Zu'lak: Human Tera!

*seconds go bye*

Zu'lak: *starts moving closer* Human Tera!

Me *whispery scratchy voice*: Oh hey, uh Tera isn’t around at the moment, whaddya need?

Zu'lak: What do you mean Human Tera is not here? I can clearly see you standing in front of me. And what is wrong with your voice? Are you ill?

Me: *sighs* In a way yes. We have this disorder, dissociative identity disorder, it’s something our brain did as a coping mechanism as a result of trauma as a child. In layman’s terms we essentially have multiple people sharing a body.

Zu'lak: I do not understand. You have multiple sentient life forms all inhabiting one body? And you are still able to function? How many of you are there?

Me: More or less yeah, there are a LOT of other stuff that come along with it. And the amount of people can vary from system to system, some have just a few, some have dozens.

Zu'lak: Dozens?? *writes all this down in a notebook* So if you are not Human Tera what are you referred to as?

Me: Dawn.

Zu'lak: Very well Human Dawn–

Me: Just Dawn is fine.

Zu'lak: Very well Dawn. Come with me you must inform me of all you know of this disorder you have so we may accommodate you accordingly.

A white guy’s thoughts on “Get Out” and racism

This weekend, I went to see a horror movie. It got stuck in my head, and now I can’t stop thinking about it—but not for any of the reasons you might think.

The movie was Jordan Peele’s new hit Get Out, which has gotten rave reviews from critics—an incredible 99% on Rotten Tomatoes—and has a lot of people talking about its themes.

First of all, I should tell you that I hate horror movies. As a general rule, I stay far, far away from them, but after everything I’d read, I felt like this was an important film for me to see. This trailer might give you some inkling as to why:

Creepy, huh? You might know writer/director Jordan Peele as part of the comedy duo Key & Peele, known for smartly tackling societal issues through sketch comedy. Get Out is a horror movie, but it’s also a film about race in America, and it’s impressively multilayered.

I left the theater feeling deeply disturbed but glad this movie was made. I can’t say any more without revealing spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet and you don’t want to have the plot spoiled for you, stop reading now and come back later.

Seriously, this is your last chance before I give away what happens.

Okay, you were warned. Here we go.

Our protagonist is Chris Washington, a young black man who has been dating Rose Armitage, a young white woman, for the last four months. She wants him to meet her family, but he’s hesitant. She acknowledges that her dad can be a little awkward on the subject of race, but assures Chris that he means well.

After unnerving encounters with a deer (echoes of The Invitation) and a racist cop, Chris and Rose arrive at the Armitages’ estate. On the surface, the Armitages are very friendly, but the conversation (brilliantly scripted by Peele) includes a lot of the little, everyday, get-under-your-skin moments of racism that people of color have to contend with: Rose’s dad going on about how he voted for Obama, for instance, and asking how long “this thang” has been going on. Chris laughs it off to be polite, though he clearly feels uncomfortable.

There’s a fantastic moment here, by the way, when Rose’s dad offhandedly mentions that they had to close off the basement because of “black mold.” In the midst of the racially charged atmosphere of the conversation, it’s nearly impossible not to take this as a racial remark, and Chris certainly notices, but what could he possibly say about it? Black mold is a real thing; his girlfriend would surely think he was crazy and oversensitive if he said it sounded racist. Chris never reacts to the remark, but that one tiny moment is a reminder to the audience of a real problem people of color often face, when racism can’t be called out without being accused of “playing the race card” or seeing things that aren’t there. (Incidentally, it turns out that the basement is actually used for molding of a different sort.)

There are other reasons for Chris to be unsettled: The only other black people on the estate are two servants, Georgina and Walter (Rose’s dad says he knows how bad it looks, but that it’s not what it seems), and something is clearly “off” about them. Later, more white people show up—and one more black character, and he, too, feels “off.”

By the end of the film, we learn the horrible secret: Rose’s family is kidnapping and luring black people to their estate, where they’re being hypnotized and psychologically trapped inside themselves—Rose’s mom calls it “the sunken place”—so that old or disabled white people’s consciousnesses can be transplanted into their bodies. The white people are then able to move about, controlling their new black bodies, with the black person’s consciousness along for the ride as a mere “passenger.” In a shocking twist, it turns out that even apparently-sweet Rose is in on the plot, and Chris must fight her and the rest of her family to escape.

This isn’t a “white people are evil” film, although it may sound that way at first, but it is a film about racism. I know many of my friends of color will connect with this movie in a way I can’t, so I won’t try to say what I think they’ll get out of it. I do want to say how I connected with it, though, because I think what Jordan Peele has done here is really important for white audiences. 

If you look beyond the surface horror-movie plot, this film actually gives white people a tiny peek at the reality of racism—not the epithet-shouting neo-Nazi kind of racism that white people normally imagine when we hear “racism,” but the “Oh it’s so nice to meet you; I voted for Obama” kind of racism, the subtle othering that expects people of color to smile and get along and adopt white culture as their own whenever they’re around white people.

So many of the moments in Get Out are clearly intended to work on multiple levels. When Chris confronts Georgina about something being wrong and she smiles and says, “No, no no no no no,” with tears streaming down her cheeks, the symbolism is blatant. How often do people of color have to ignore the subtle indignities they face and hide their true emotions in order to avoid coming across as, for example, “the angry black woman/man”? How many times do they find themselves in social situations—even with their closest white friends!—where people make little comments tying them to an “exotic,” supposedly monolithic culture, where they have to respond with a smile and a laugh instead of telling people how stupid and offensive they’re being? 

I can’t tell you the number of these stories I’ve heard from my friends, and I’m quite sure that the stories I’ve heard are only a tiny fraction of the stories that could be told. So there’s something in that moment that speaks volumes about the experiences of people of color in America.

The same is true for so many other moments. The black characters Chris meets at the Armitages’ have all symbolically given up their identities and conformed to white culture; when Chris meets one character, he turns out to be going under a new name, with new clothes and new mannerisms; when Chris offers him a fist bump, he tries to shake Chris’s fist. Again, within the story, there’s an explanation for all this, but every moment here is also about assimilation and culture differences. 

For me as a white audience member, all of these moments did something remarkable: They showed me my own culture—a culture I’m often blissfully unaware of because it’s all around me—as something alien. They reminded me that I, too, have a culture, and that expecting everyone else to assimilate to my culture is just as much an erasing of their identities as it would be to expect me to assimilate to someone else’s culture.

And that’s a big part of what Get Out is about—the erasing of identities, and the power of racism to destroy people. I think it’s really significant that racism is portrayed here very differently from how it’s normally portrayed in movies written by white people. In most Hollywood movies, you know a character is racist because they shout racial epithets or make blatant statements about a certain race’s inferiority. That allows white audiences to say, “I would never do/say that, so I’m not racist!” We really don’t want to think we are.

But notice something important about Get Out’s treatment of racism: This is a film about the literal enslavement of black people—racism doesn’t get more extreme than that—and yet Peele doesn’t go for the obvious by having the white characters admit that they think black people are inferior; instead, they subjugate and dehumanize people by claiming to admire things about them. They turn them into fashion accessories. 

When Chris asks why only black people are being targeted for this procedure, the response is telling: It’s not (supposedly) because the white characters think African Americans are bad, but rather, because they like certain things about them and they want “a change” for themselves. They want to become black—it’s trendy, we’re told!—but without having had any of the actual life experiences or history of African Americans. White people need to see this: to experience the ways in which Chris is othered by people who tell him all the things they like about him—isn’t he strong? Look at those muscles! Does he play golf like Tiger Woods? And he must be well-endowed and have such sexual prowess, right, Rose?

The white people in the audience need to be reminded that just because you’re saying positive things about someone doesn’t mean you’re not being racist, that turning someone into an exotic “other” may not be the same as shouting an epithet, but it’s still taking away someone’s identity and treating them as a commodity.

The film is filled with these kinds of moments. When we realize that Rose’s white grandmother has inhabited the body of Georgina, the fact that she keeps touching her own hair and admiring herself in the mirror takes on a whole new level of significance. (White people, please don’t ask to touch your black friends’ hair.) When Chris connects with a dying deer on the side of the road and later sees a deer head mounted on the wall at the Armitages’ estate, the symbolism is hard to miss. Black people are being turned into trophies in this house. And, oh yeah, they’re being literally auctioned off—as they were in real life in the not-too-distant past.

One day, I’d like to see the film again to pick up on all the ways things read differently the second time through. I noticed several things in retrospect that gain new significance once you know the ending, and I’m sure there’s a lot I didn’t notice. For example, Rose’s dad says he hired Walter and Georgina to care for his parents, and when his parents died, “I couldn’t bear to let them go.” The first time you see the film, it sounds like the “them” is Walter and Georgina. But in retrospect, it’s clear the “them” he couldn’t bear to let go was his parents, so he sacrificed Walter and Georgina for them. Which, again, is an example of how the supposed care of the white characters for the black characters (his care for Walter and Georgina, Rose’s care for Chris) is really all about caring for themselves and treating the black characters as completely interchangeable objects.

The message of the film isn’t simply that the black characters are “good” and the white characters are “bad.” There are presumably—hopefully—many good white people in the world of this film, and many others who wouldn’t do what the Armitages are doing but also probably wouldn’t believe Chris or make the effort to stop it. Peele’s mother and wife are both white, so he’s clearly not trying to paint all white people as villains. 

But I admit, as a white guy, I really, really wanted Rose to be good. I’ve been the white person in an interracial relationship introducing my black boyfriend to my family. I’ve been that. So I related to Rose, and I really wanted to believe that she was well-intentioned and just oblivious; even though she misses the mark on several occasions, there are times that she seems like she gets it and she really does listen to Chris. When a cop asks to see Chris’s ID early in the film even though he wasn’t driving, Rose stands up against the obvious racism, showing us all what it looks like for white people to do the right thing. “That was hot,” Chris says to her later, and I thought, yeah, that’s who I want to be.

So I have to admit, it was really upsetting to me to see Rose, the only good white character left in the film, turn out to be evil. But I realized that part of that is that I really wanted her to represent me, and that’s really the point. Just think how often horror films have only one black character who dies early on, and how many films of all genres have no significant black characters for audience members to look up to or identify with. I think it’s really important for white audiences to experience that.

As I’ve reflected on the film, it seems to me like there are three kinds of popular movies about people of color. There are those that feature POC characters that are essentially indistinguishable from the white characters—as if they just decided to cast Morgan Freeman instead of Tom Hanks without giving any thought to the character’s race. Then there are the movies that deal with racism, but in a way that allows white people to feel good about ourselves, because we’re not like the characters in the film. (This is especially true for movies about racism in the past; some of them are very important films, like Hidden Figures, which I loved, but we need to be aware that it’s still easy for white America to treat it as a feel-good film and think that we’re off the hook because we no longer have separate restrooms.) And finally, there are movies that focus more directly on the lives of people of color but tend to draw largely audiences of color; not many white people go see them, because we think they’re not “for us” (even though we assume films about white people are for everyone).

Get Out isn’t any of those. It’s drawing a broad audience but it’s not afraid to make white people uncomfortable. And if you can give me, a white guy, a chance to have even a momentary fraction of an experience of the real-life, modern-day, casual racism facing people of color in America, I think that’s a very good thing.

BTS Explain Concepts Behind 'Love Yourself: Her' Album: 'This Is the Beginning of Our Chapter Two'

From the meaning of “Go Go” to why the band needed to flex their win at BBMAs, BTS’ Rap Monster explains it all.

Mere hours before the release of BTS’ Love Yourself: Her, the album’s significance wasn’t lost on the group’s leader, Rap Monster.“It’s really a huge, big step for us,” the 23-year-old rapper/songwriter/producer told Billboard during a phone call from Seoul. “Of course, every member is so excited about the album. We’ve been just practicing until now, day and night, to show these new songs and perfected performances. I left a message on our fan cafe, the other day, after we finished that ‘this EP will mark the turning point of BTS’ and even though the wait felt really long with this album – I think it was the huge event, the BBMAs, were in May – so much has happened."The wait has been particularly anticipated for for the band’s famously passionate fan base, known as Army, who have been waiting for new tracks from Rap Monster, Jimin, Suga, J-Hope, Jin, V and Jungkook band after voting them Top Social Artist at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards over fellow pop juggernauts Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez and Shawn Mendes.


How BTS’ BBMA Win Proves K-Pop Can Compete & Thrive on a Global Scale

Since then, the BTS guys have landed distribution deals with Amazon and U.S.-based The Orchard ("We believe the physical album, still, really counts and it’s really important to connect with our fans around the world,” Rap Monster said) and hung out with worldwide chart-toppers like Major Lazer, Halsey, Charli XCX(“Maybe it’s just my sixth sense, but I think maybe we will be collaborating with even more interesting artists,” he added); even snagging The Chainsmokers to produce a beat for Love Yourself: Her.One listen to the tightly produced record – which looks likely to make a big splash on the Billboard 200 next week – and the passion is palpable from the intense lead single “DNA,” the societal commentary in “Go Go,” among multiple lyrics and moments that feel ripped from the members’ personal journals. There’s also loads of passion in Rap Monster’s voice talking about these new songs as he sees and envisions the larger picture and message for his band’s latest batch of forward-thinking EDM, hip-hop and pop tracks. Read on for Billboard’s deeper analysis of Love Yourself: Her with Rap Monster.

Q: Let’s start right from the beginning with “Serendipity.” Why was this the right song to choose as the intro and kick off the era?

When I wrote the lyrics, melodies and the first themes of “Serendipity,” I tried to come up with some rare things you find in life, something very special, like the calico, three-striped cat; things that have extraordinary meanings in people’s lives. I wanted to share this moment.

Q: I was reading the lyrics are gender neutral, which I think is really powerful. Was that a conscious decision?

The lyrics were based on rare and special things in life. So, I thought, those feelings transcend genders, cultures and barriers between people.We always put out the “Intro” just before releasing our single, so the intro is taking the role of telling the concept of this album. But “Serendipity” was actually the right song to share the feelings of our single, “DNA.” The title is about how our DNA is connected in the universe, I think that was the right feel for this album.

Q: Let’s talk about “DNA.” How does this single continue and progress the story of BTS?

When we’re talking about our title tracks, “DNA” is about the expression of a young, passionate love. The lyrics are like, “The two of us our connected fatefully from the start, our DNA was just the one thing.” At the same time, “DNA” is taking BTS to new ground. We tried to apply new grammar and perspectives – if you listen to the song, you’ll understand what I’m trying to say – it’s very different from our previous music, technically and musically. I believe it’s going to be the starting point of a second chapter of our career; the beginning of our Chapter Two.

Q: “Best of Me” is really impressive. It sounds like The Chainsmokers, but it also sounds like BTS. You didn’t lose yourself which isn’t easy when collaborating with new artists. What was that process like?

I love that track! We met them at BBMAs, we were so lucky. Actually, they invited us to their concert just the other day – they had a huge concert in Korea and we sang “Closer” together. For “Best of Me,” they gave us several tracks and samples months ago, we and our producers picked one sample, like, “Okay, this is fit for our next album.” So we worked on it, we sent it to them, we asked them what they think of the track we developed and got their opinions. And we made it! I’m so excited for it. [Laughs]

Q: Your albums always have deeper social and society commentaries. Let’s talk about some of the topics with this release. “Go Go” instantly comes to mind.

“Go Go” is a trendy song, but it’s about how our young generation are living their lives with low expectations and standards so people are upset with reality; they have little hope and there’s so much economic hardship. We wanted to say something about it and emphasize to the world that it’s not their choice, but brutal reality that forces people to live and spend as if there’s no future. But in Korea, “YOLO” has become a big key word for young people because we don’t have money and it’s really hard to get a chance to earn a lot of money. I think society has a lot of problems for young people. Young people spend their money on claw crane machines at arcades and they spend like $30 on trying to win these dolls. And then it’s like, “Oh! I spent all my money…shit. But I don’t regret.” That’s the biggest luxury for Korea’s young people: collecting accessories, cosmetics, that’s what they think is a luxury. It’s “YOLO” because it’s like, “I’m gonna buy allthis! I’m gonna buy all this food and I’m going to eat it! I’m going to do it!” I think it’s sad because it’s all we can. “Go Go” is just saying, “Okay, just do it, we won’t regret it. Just spend several bucks on the machine and eat the food!” But at the same time, the song is very easily to sing along to so I think many people will like that song, especially if they find the deeper meaning.

Q: Of course, I have to ask about making a skit interlude out of your BBMAs acceptance speech.

You need to hear “Mic Drop” because the skit was my speech at BBMAs –  because that was a big moment for our history – and then we put “Mic Drop” next to that because it’s like a flex – like, “Okay, we’re done. We don’t need to give a shit about anything.” That was the right skit and follow-up song for this album.

The last song, “Outro: Her” really spoke to me. It almost reads like a diary.

Ha! [Laughs]

Q: After talking with you, it feels like it recaps the whole album and is really introspective.

I think that was the fastest work I did for this album. I wrote the verse in 20 minutes; it just came, very truthfully, from the bottom of my heart. I thought it was the right outro for this album because it is really a range of emotions – I’m saying I met this person that I really love, this person is the love of my life right now, I’m saying that I was confused and I was looking for love and this world is complex. But I think it’s you so, “I call you 'her,’ 'cause you’re my tear.” “I think you’re the start and the end of me.” That’s what I’m saying: You’re my wonder, but you’re also my answers. You’re my “her,” but you’re still the “tear.”

The hook is saying that love is not all about the happiness, it’s just not just about the joy, it’s not just about delight. If you want to love a person, you should know that there are tears and there can even be hatred inside of it. I think a love really includes all of that. That’s what I was trying to say. It’s complex.

Q: And if fans are so lucky to own the physical album, they’ll hear two hidden tracks at the very. Why keep them secretive?

I think they’re hidden because you have to be a real fan of BTS to understand them. Otherwise, you won’t. Otherwise, you’d like be, “Why are they feeling so confused about things? They’re good?!? They’re No. 1 somewhere, they have so much stuff, why are they worried?” People always talk about that. But if you are true fan of BTS and you buy the album and you listen to the hidden track – if you are an Army and we spent time together from 2013, 2014 – they could understand. It’s kind of more special, more closer, to our true hearts.

Source.

Laps and Naps

Originally posted by ohh-bloodyhell

Pairing: Sebastian Stan x female!Reader - Cast x female!Reader

Request: So my idea was a fic with seb and reader on the set of Infinity War. Reader likes taking naps on the casts laps, and after a while seb notices that she’s never napped on his lap and gets a bit jealous. A few cast members notice his crush on the reader and one day reader finds seb and the rest of the cast sitting together and goes straight for his lap. The whole cast looks up in awe and snap multiple pictures and seb is all flustered and blushy. You can change it up if it didn’t make sense lol ☺️ (-anon)

Warnings: none, really!! just pretty fluffy stuff

Word Count: 1.2K

A/N: it’s been such a weird week, and i really hope today will be good. but i’ve been havin’ a pretty bad mental-problems sort of day streak, so any memes sent to me are and will be greatly appreciated !!


“Y/N,” a distant, low voice sneaks through your sleepy mind. “C’mon, Y/N, I have to be in the suit in five minutes.”

The groggy veil of sleep slowly lifts off of your as you begin to wake-up. You could feel a heavy hand beginning to gently shake your shoulder.

“But I was so comfy,” your tired voice grumbles.

“I know,” Chris’s soothing voice drifts through the room. “But you’ve been sleeping on me for almost an hour, and I really have to get ready.”

Fine,” you groan, lazily pushing yourself up into a sitting position, snuggling into the corner of the couch as you pry open your heavy eyelids. “But you should know, that was a good nap.”

You blink away the sleep from your vision and look around the room, your gaze locking on Anthony.

Keep reading

Klance Fic Recs, AU Settings I

Okay so I might end up making multiple parts for AU settings. This one contains mostly occupational/hobby/setting AU stuff. So unless an AU fic prominently featured a certain element, it’ll go on another list. So there are some College AUs, 2 Soulmate AUs, and maybe a few others. 

SPORTS

Olympians
house on fire by ilgaksu
When Lance McClain is eighteen, he qualifies for the Olympics.

When he’s nineteen, he meets Keith.

Correlation does not mean cause, until it totally does.

your love is bright as ever by aknightley (gymnast!Keith, swimmer!Lance)
A brief interlude in the future of the Olympic AU, Christmas with Keith and Lance and their cats.

“This always looks easier in those made for television movies,” Keith tells Blue, who rolls over and out of his lap, chasing her own bits of tinsel.

In It To Win It by Lucy_Claire
One of two things was happening right now, either Lance was having a heart attack on of the biggest day of his life, or he had just laid eyes on his Soulmate.
_______

Competitive swimmer Lance McClain feels his Timer counting down right when he’s about to jump in the water and finish up his race. He’s faced with two choices in this moment: Continue the race and miss meeting his Soulmate at their fateful time or abandon his life’s work for someone he never met.Lance makes his choice and has to suffer the consequence of never getting back what he missed out on. Or does he?

Swimmers
Ocean Eyes by spacezuko
Lance himself doesn’t even believe in his own abilities. He is drowning in his own pool of desire to be everything that he claims he is. Everything that he wants to be. Keith wonders if he’s broken Lance because he doesn’t say a word, his eyes filled with something opaque that Keith can’t quite pinpoint the meaning of. Lance’s eyes are a deep blue. Not the typical morning sky blue, but the kind of ocean blue one wants to drown in.

With legs like these by Queerswimming
In which Lance finds out that there’s a pool in the castle and challenges Keith to a race.

Lance did NOT think this through. Because not a single thing in this universe could’ve prepare him for the sight of Keith in nothing but a red pair of swimming trunks.

Keith has one arm bend behind his head and stretches it with the other. His back arches beautifully, presenting Lance a perfect view of his well-defined torso. At least the last thing Lance sees right before he dies are those ripped abs.

Football
Mistakes were made by Lynn1998
Lance can’t stand the captain of the football team…so why is he having sex with him?
Part 1 of skinny band nerd takes it up the ass from the beefcake football captain series

Ice Skating/Hockey
On Thin Ice (WIP) by Minadora
Once upon a time, two Canadian nerds decided to start a figure skating au about their two space sons and their wonderful misfit friends. Ten pages of headcanons later we finally put electronic pen to electronic paper and created this monstrosity.

This multi-chapter fic chronicles the lives of a hockey player named Keith who gets forcibly enlisted into figure skating lessons by his brother, Shiro, to “work on his footwork”. There he meets a pompous - yet talented - figure skater named Lance and gets swept away by both the sport and the skater.Enjoy the ride because it’s only just started.

Kiss My Ice (WIP) by delictor
Lance hasn’t skated in a year since the accident that cost him the Olympics. Keith can’t skate for shit but that doesn’t stop him from catching Lance’s attention, even when he can’t so much as stand up after falling on the ice.

‘When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.’

“Soon as we’re off this ice you’re dead.” Keith’s threat is an empty one and he knows Lance can tell by the way he laughs at it.
“Serious question though, do you not know who I am?” Lance questions.
“Should I?”
“No, I guess not.” Lance shrugs. “I’m gonna twirl you, okay?”
“No, no don't—wait!” Keith cries out as he’s suddenly viewing the entire arena and his legs go rigid before colliding into Lance’s chest, his chest rising and falling with laughter, hands gripping Keith’s upper arms gently. “Put me back on land.”
“Technically, we are on land.”
“We’re on frozen water, get me off it.”

Quidditch (Non Hogwarts AU)
The Marks We Make (WIP) by wittyy_name
Lance McClain constantly dreams of the day he’ll finally meet his mysterious soulmate. They don’t say much, if anything at all, but they leave him with gorgeous paintings temporarily tattooing his skin. It’s not exactly the situation he hoped for, but when he feels the connection between them, he can’t bring himself to resent them. As much as he wishes his soulmate would just talk to him, he’s resigned himself to being patient. In the meantime, he has a loving family and good friends to help him get by.

Keith Kogane dreads the day he’ll finally meet his obnoxious soulmate. He’s just an art student who’s struggling to find his place in the world. There’s so much he hasn’t been able to control in his life, and the thought of having a soulmate, just another thing in his life which he also has no control over yet can’t do anything about, is a little terrifying. So he ignores the words that occasionally appear on his skin. He has other things to focus on: like being a new student at a big university where his childhood friend and step-brother go.

Surfers (mostly surfer!Lance)
Should I Stand Up on Fear (And Tell You How I Feel?) by Lulatic
“So, it’s really a good thing that Lance got distracted before he dragged you out there with him,” Hunk chuckled. “I guess flirting became more important than your guys’ rivalry.’

Keith blushed again, looking away with a huff. “Yeah, whatever. He’ll probably be distracted long enough that I can go back to the Castle before he decides I need some surfing lessons.”

Pidge laughed, that kind of cheeky giggle that made Keith and Hunk look over at them with wide eyes. Pidge raised a single eyebrow at Keith, grinning mischievously. “Oh, but you won’t be going back to the Castle any time soon, now will you? Not when Lance is out there, soaking wet, wearing nothing but a pair of swimming trunks.”

Pride Tide by lemoninagin
He’d stared up, watched the differing patches of sunlight play the most stunning array of colored patterns across Keith’s pale face as he grinned mischievously over him. Time slowed, his own breathing became laboured and caught in his throat.

“You can teach me, right?” Keith had asked in a shyer voice than usual, brushing the tangled mess of his windswept hair away from his eyes and cocking his head towards the boards.

Save his smile by Queerswimming
Keith wants to protect Lance’s smile and finds his answer at the beach. Starring an awkward Keith, Surfer Lance and Hunk playing a giant ice berg.

Lance caresses the wood gently. His eyes turn soft as he speaks. “My big brother taught me how to build a board.” He laughs softly. “I always messed it up though. I wasn’t patient enough to do it right.“ He taps on the wood and looks at Keith with a sad smile that knocks the breath out of Keith lungs.

“Who would have thought that I would build a surf board in space though.”

He laughs at that but Keith can tell that Lance is faking it. He always can.

Roller Derby
Like Devo by surveycorpsjean
As rival jammers, they’re rough, skating around the rink, giving bruises, bloody noses, broken ribs and snapped fingers-

But when the cops show up, Keith grabs his hand and yanks Lance into the storm drain.

And thats how they start dating.

Streetracing
Purple Lamborghini by warschach
“I need you to focus on this race. No more hate flirting with Keith as much as I enjoy it. I like winning more.”

He scoffed, “I don’t flirt.”

“Then stop saying you’re going to teach him how to ride.”

“I was talking about driving. Duh,” Lance countered with an attitude mastered purely by Valley girls and entitled customers.

“Yea, Lance it doesn’t come off like that at all. It sounds like you’re gonna fuck him.”

“I’m not.”

ARTISTS (also including Musicians and Modeling)

Photographer
Pretty Boy by MilkTeaMiku (photographer!Keith)
A pretty Spanish boy shoves a bouquet of flowers under his nose and tells him to stop and smell the roses, so Keith does.

Roommates by manamune (photographer!Lance, artist!Keith)
(13:24) Lance: Thank you!! Love you, Keith!!!

(13:55) Keith: I’m screenshotting that for the next time you deny it.

Sight for Sore Eyes by writewild
Photographer!Lance’s deadline for the magazine he works on the side for is coming up really soon, and has to search last-minute photo opportunities soon. One boy catches his eye.

Riptide by songsofthespring (photographer!keith, surfer!Lance)
Keith fumbles with the camera around his neck and lines up a shot. The boy coasting down a wave, one hand kissing the water. Keith zooms in as far as his lens will allow him. Droplets frame the boy’s brown skin and cling to his hair and chest. His eyes, little pinpricks of light from this distance, are nevertheless still recognizably as bright as the ocean itself. It looks like he could be dancing when he rides a wave; every part of his lanky frame seems to merge with the board and the ocean beneath him.

He’s beautiful.

Foreign Scenes  by bwyn
Lance has been dreaming of travelling since the first time he heard stories from his family as a child. Now, having finally the time and money to do it, he goes on a trip to Europe to see some of the most culturally rich cities on the continent. Except he keeps bumping into the same guy over and over again, in random cities, doing stupid shit, and ultimately dragging Lance into his trouble, too.

Basically an AU in which Lance and Keith become impromptu travel buddies and get into trouble.

Artist
7 Days to Fall For You by saiikavon (artist!Keith, ballerina!Lance)

Keith is an art student who mostly keeps to himself, taking note of the beauty in life but keeping his distance from it. This includes the beautiful dancer he sees across the street from his apartment…until a week-long art project pushes him to change that.

(For Klance Secret Santa 2016)

And Now You’re Mine (WIP) by Samyx914 (some artist!Keith)
“No, really. I’ve been thinking about that movie since I got up and that’s the only copy they have and I want it.”

“But, I was faster.”

“But, I want to watch it.” The stranger laughs.

“Well, you could always come home with me to watch it.” He says with a wink.

“Okay.” The stranger’s eyes widen. What the fuck, Keith? No. You don’t go home with strangers… Anymore. 

In which Keith wants to watch a movie, so he goes to find it at Walmart. When there’s only one copy left and someone else picks it up first, his only option is to go home with a stranger. Keith didn’t count on this stranger being so easy to fall for.

Visions by becca2793
"It’s funny, because as a tattoo artist he makes art that lasts pretty much forever – as far as the person who has it is concerned – but a street artist…their art lasts maybe a couple of days.”

Keith comes in for a tattoo; Lance immediately falls in love. With his art. His love for Keith comes later.

Take the Easel Way Out by svensationalist
Oh no, he’s hot, Lance thinks while he’s dying.

(Pidge elbows Lance sharply a little while later. “You’re not dying, dumbass,” they whisper. “Pay attention, the pose started.”)

***

Written for klanceweek day 1, “Red/Blue”. Art class AU where Lance can’t focus because one of the new life drawing models is too attractive.

Cute as Fcuk by anonymouschupacabra
Even though he had never seen the hot guy before in the year that he’d been going to college, it was like the dam had broken, because Lance saw him everywhere. From the sculpture rooms, to the library, to the cafeteria, the guy was everywhere Lance was, and it only made it that much harder to ignore the hot buzzing he felt inside every time he saw him.

Dancers
7 Days to Fall For You by saiikavon (ballerina!Lance) see above ^

i bet you look good on the dance floor by xShieru
“So like in 'Step Up’?”
Allura shrugs. “Now that you put it like that - yes. I guess it’s just like in 'Step Up’.”
The smile that she sends Shiro’s way - followed by a shy wave, eugh - is sickening to say the least, and Lance still doesn’t believe in dance camps

.-

Lance McClain’s dancing career begins and ends with Keith.

Keith just wants to find out what Lance’s deal is.

you raise me up by rhapsodyinpink
“What, you don’t think I look like Patrick Swayze?”

Keith snickers. “Absolutely not. You are Jennifer Grey in this situation.”

“That’s a fair point. Nobody puts me in a corner,” replies Lance, nodding seriously, before his expression turns mischievous.

“So then…are you saying you want to call me Baby?”

Keith flushes red, but stands his ground as he leans in closer. “Are you saying you want me to?”

Shut Up and Dance With Me (WIP) by wittyy_name
Lance and his friends have been regulars at the Altea Dance Studio for years. Not just for classes, but to hang out, practice, and spend time with good people who love dancing. Every year, they audition to be one of the few representing Altea at the regional dance competition. Lance always auditions solo, but this year he misses out on auditions and blows his chance to participate. And so does his self-proclaimed rival, Keith.

Luckily, Shiro comes up with a brilliant plan: convince Lance and Keith to audition as a duo.

With a little convincing, and a lot of effort, these two might just be able to pull it off and go to regionals… or they might crash and burn.

Musicians
That Would Be Alright by icedsonder
And call it spur of the moment, his exacerbated pining over past few months, or even his own alcohol impaired judgment, but Keith let his inhibitions take a backseat as he took a step forward and pressed his forehead against Lance’s to sing his next lines.

“I know I’ll fall in love with you, baby”

Musically Insane by myparadisepalace
It had only taken Lance three days after becoming the blue paladin to realize there were no instruments in the castle. And even if there were, Lance figured they’d be too obscure and strange for him to be able to play.

PROFESSIONS (i.e. cops, doctors, EMTs, waiters)

Soldiers/Assassins/Spies
Counting in Code by DLanaDHZ
There was no one better in the field. The Voltron Force was efficient and deadly, and they took no new recruits. They were hand-picked, and though they didn’t always get along, they were family. Under the stress of a mission, the team counted each other as a way to calm down and focus. But Keith couldn’t count, because counting meant he knew where everyone was, and right now all he had was a pair of bloody dog tags in place of his partner.

blink if you want me by xShieru
He wakes up to Pidge’s face hovering above him. “You gotta stop running into him like this.”
“Dude, he fucking shot me.”
“I know. We saw.”

-

A hitmen AU wherein two thirsty assholes fall for each other and then jeopardize their respective missions because of it.

Retail/Food (waiters/cashiers/clerks)
Melt With You by dumpsterdiva
If you ask Keith what summer means to him, he’ll say shitty weather, a bag of quarters, sticky blue raspberry kisses, and not-quite-midnight sandwiches.

Summer job AU at the pier feat. Keith as a shaved ice slave and Lance as an aquarium camp counselor.

You Dropped a Bomb by quartetship
Lance loved his job.

OR: The Klance LUSH au

Tollbooth Operator
Drive Me Crazy by battleshidge
Keith stared blankly at the tollbooth operator for a moment before trying to stifle a groan. Somehow, he always managed to get the booth with the flirtatious attendant, a lanky brown-haired man with clear blue eyes and a confident grin. It didn’t matter that he changed what lane he went through—at least three times a week on his way home from work, Keith was forced to suffer through the horrendous flirts that this man tossed his way.

Taxi Driver
Finish What You Started by battleshidge
“You were right,” Keith breathed, looking up at Lance with a fire in his eyes. “I did start this,” he lifted his chin, pressing a soft kiss to Lance’s jaw. And another. And another. Lance thought it was torture—sweet, sweet torture. And then that challenge sparked in Keith’s eyes again as he asked, tone low and resonant, “Are you going to finish it?”

Pizza Delivery
You Stole a Pizza My Heart by KaSaPe
Keith just wanted a pizza. The cute delivery boy with the weird grin and stupid flirting (?) had other plans.

Or: Keith just doesn’t get Lance’s flirting. At all.

Lifeguards
six foot dive (WIP) by shizuoh
“I’m bisexual,” Lance says.

Keith furrows his eyebrows. “Good… for you?”

“I’d like to buy you a drink,” he starts, and grins, “and then get sexual.”

Keith shoves him into the water.

(or: lance and his family go to california for a two-month vacation. cue hot lifeguard keith gyeong-kogane.)

Lessons by amycoolz and SylviaW1991
Keith has been nothing but a thorn in Lance’s side since the mullet-haired ass first walked into the classroom. But when he decides to get himself shoved into the deep end and, wow, can’t even swim, Lance has to save his pretty self and then Pidge volunteers him to teach Keith how to swim. Great. Just great.

Nurse
Racing Heartbeats and Hospital Bedsheets by screwtodayimsleeping (nurse!Keith)
Me: Hunk
Me: Buddy
Me: emergency!!!!
HunkyBae: what’s up, lance? Are they not letting you out of the hospital yet?
Me: HUNK
Me: the male nurse that took my blood was probably the sexiest person i’ve ever seen
Me: and im literally wearing two sheets as an outfit

BUSINESSES (e.g. Coffeeshop, flower shop, animal shelter)

Office
eyes wide to you with wonder by aknightley
Keith doesn’t dislike his job, but he definitely dislikes Lance. Probably. Maybe.

“Coran thinks you’ll bang at the Christmas party but I think that’s giving you guys way too much credit,” Pidge says thoughtfully. “Hunk is a romantic. He thinks Lance is gonna ask you out any day now. I think he’s got a week or so before he owes me like a hundred bucks.”

“Pidge, what the fuck?” Keith says, flustered. He nudges them again with his foot, this time slightly harder. They scowl at him, swatting him away. “Why would you bet on me and Lance?”
Part 1 of Office AU

Flower Shop
i’ll gift you the stars by Kyoshu_Koi
Flowers and stars. At least they were giving him things he liked.

Cactus by PinkHitman
When Keith moves from the desert in the middle of ass backwards nowhere, to plop in the middle of the big city, he doesn’t expect to instantly grow fond of the tall, endearing, jerk across the street. But it’s hard not to see roses when said person works in a flower shop.

Arcade
got game by warschach
Lance hates his job until the one day he doesn’t.

Bakery
you’re so sweet; will you be mine?  by jojotext
A new bakery pops up right across the street from Lance’s bakery.

In which Lance is an idiot, Keith is an asshole, and Pidge is the next Dr. Phil.

Coffeeshop
nothing’s quite as sweet by dimpleforyourthoughts and thebrotherswinchester
Keith is a barista who hates his job. Lance works at the cat shelter across the street.

SOCIAL MEDIA (Tumblr AU, bloggers, Youtubers, gamers)

Youtubers
you had me at merlot by DJAlien
“Oh my God,” Lance says as he covers his face. Keith’s tinny voice blares from his laptop speakers: “What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta.” See, this joke might have been funny if someone charismatic and charming had said it, but Keith’s flat voice and even flatter expression effectively kidnaps, tortures, and then decapitates any chance of it being remotely humorous.

Keith accidentally starts a YouTube channel. Lance, of course, refuses to be left out. It goes about as well as you’d expect. (Ft. copious amounts of wine and a truly shameless number of references to MyDrunkKitchen, DailyGrace, and general pop culture)

The Boyfriend Tag by theoddpacolypse
Keith and Lance are famous YouTubers, along with the rest of their friends, and though they consider each other “rivals” in some ways, they are actually incredibly close. So close that they are actually dating in secret and constantly dropping hints to their fans, whom desperately want them together.
Part 1 of What Happens on Youtube series

Gamers
Next Level (WIP) by battleshidge
“Dammit, Blue, don’t die on us yet! We only just started!”

Red’s voice snapped in his ears, and Lance cursed under his breath. He tried to backpedal quickly, but being flat on his back with the enemy looming above made for certain movement limitations. On top of that, he was already injured, and he could see the red patch spreading across his thigh. He could really use some of Hunk’s portable healing pods, that was for sure. And that, Lance observed, was a very nasty looking knife that was about to plunge straight through his chest.

Well, shit.

Effect: +100% Love, -100% Logic (WIP) by manamune
In the real world, Lance is barely making it by in his senior year. He’s failing most of his classes and is only one more fuck up away from being kicked off the swim team.

In the virtual reality game Voltron, Lance lives an entirely different life as the internationally-known Blue, an archer with impeccable aim. He’s filthy rich, has a trillion friends, and is a part of the most feared guild in the game.There’s just one problem: he’s madly in love one of his guildmates, Red.

Things begin to go downhill when a kid who acts suspiciously similar to Red transfers to Lance’s school.

Bloggers
a recipe for two by battleshidge
He wondered, briefly, what the look on Lance’s face would be if he actually did say yes.

It’s Mutual (Follow Back Already) by JessicaMDawn
At twenty-four, Keith decides to figure out what this 'tumblr’ thing is. It’s confusing at first, but Keith learns to have fun with it with help from a few new friends. AKA Keith’s adventures on tumblr.

anonymous asked:

In ur opinion what's the camren timeline look like ? Like when'd they date or take a break whoa date and break rhyme

I’m giving you the big lines… jk, it’s basically a whole fanfic 😂

2012 : Camila and Lauren meet on x-factor - instant attraction between them but neither of them wants to admit anything - it’s just a crush at this point - they become best friends through the course of the show - Lauren is also dating Keaton at the time 

2013 : Fifth Harmony is reunited and starts touring, the friendship is still there and strong. Camren is a playful ship, they interact on twitter and don’t hesitate to show affection. It’s Camren yo!  

Camila and Lauren spend more and more time together, feelings grow and it shows on camera - I believe Camila was more accepting of those feelings while Lauren had a little more trouble with them, probably already questioning her sexuality (at this point neither of them has admitted to anything)

While all of this is happening, the Camren ship as a romantic pairing takes off and as the fandom gets bigger so does the ship until it eventually reaches the girls. Lauren gets scared because she probably feels like her sexuality is written on her forehead and she’s not ready for that, plus she’s probably scared of losing Camila’s friendship and ruining their public image. That was the time when Lauren started lashing out at the fandom, calling us delusional and stating clearly that she was not bisexual. Camila, witnessing how hard Lauren is against any romantic association with her, is very hurt ( I think at this point she already had very strong feelings for Lauren) and starts distancing herself from her (that’s around June/July). Maybe Lauren thought Camila wanted to distance herself because it’s Camila who didn’t want to be associated romantically with her, which pissed Lauren off even more because she thought “Camren” was the reason she was losing her best friend. 

They stay distant until the end of the year - Lauren starts dating Luis, maybe a way to get Camila off her mind ( there are theories out there about Lauren and Luis’s relationship being p.r to shut down Camren, I guess it’s always a possibility). Anyhoo, during that time Camila’s feelings only grow stronger, probably pushed also by jealousy and I think eventually she confessed her feelings to Lauren, which Lauren couldn’t reciprocate since she was in a relationship.

2014 : little time has passed since Camila confessed her feelings and Lauren probably can’t get her out of her mind - I think that’s the reason why she eventually broke up with Luis. Once that was done, Lauren returned Camila’s feelings and there you have it : Camren finally together!

They probably shared their first kiss, which was also Camila’s first kiss, at that time - since Camila says her first kiss was at 16 (not sure since it changes every two interviews 😂) then the kiss must have happened either in January or February.

By March/April they’re full on together, they go on “dates” - the most famous one is the 1975 concert.

They both realize they’re very serious about this relationship and slowly tell their families about it (Sinu probably knew since day one 😂) - eventually the management finds out. Of course, tiny problemo, you can’t possibly have two members of a still very new girl group publicly in a lesbian relationship, no sir. To add to the situation, the Camren fandom is getting bigger, starts its own detective agency. 

I think the girls fought hard to be able to actually stay together, even if it had to be behind closed doors. They probably had to negotiate a lot, and part of that negotiation was for one of them to have a good p.r boyfriend, and unlucky us, they’re about to go on tour with Austin Mahone aka Dorito Boy.

The “relationship” between Dorito and Camila is sold to the medias - they’re just asked to appear together outside a few times, hold hands and that’s that - but it was probably already too much for jelly Lern who decided to shut this down real quick, which is why it only lasted like 3 weeks - the break up is staged and sold to the medias as well.

Since a p.r boyfriend for Camila is not an option anymore, maybe a p.r boyfriend for Lauren will work better - oh and look who’s coming with them on tour soon, the Vamps! The p.r relationship is put in place with asshole Brad - my own personal theory is that maybe he didn’t know exactly what the p.r was for and he started actually wanting to date Lauren for real but she shut him down, probably revealing her relationship with Camila, hence the song “I found a girl” - they had to stop the p.r there, and because asshole Brad got his little asshole pride hurt he then went on to basically say Lauren was a slut in an interview with his little dicks asshole bandmates. 

Anyway, moving on. While all of this p.r is happening, Camila and Lauren try to navigate their own relationship while having to stay hidden and pretending in front of the world. Not an easy thing to do while at the same time having to deal with the pressure of touring and the fandom who’s always watching. 

Eventually I think Camila wanted to end all of it and come out. Probably by letting themselves “caught” making out or something, since the label/management would never let them properly come out. Slight problem, Lauren doesn’t want to, she’s not ready and there’s too much at stakes. We all know Camila is a dreamer, an optimist, and she tries to convince her but nothing does it. 

2015 : They eventually break up over it beginning 2015, knowing it might be the only way to salvage their friendship, for the good of 5H. They were both probably incredibly hurt by that break up.

(We enter The Hurting 😉 )

Basically that whole year was about them trying to get over each other while remaining friends for the sake of the group. That’s why we still get lingering looks, smiles and hidden touches… because who on earth could get over someone they still love if they have to see them everyday? 

A whole lot of shit also happens when Camila does her first solo collab with Shawn - she receives hate from “fans” like she’s never received before. The girls aren’t allowed to support her publicly because the perspective of a feud is more appealing to the medias so management plays that card.

Basically a really dark time for Camila, where she ends up writing “I Have Questions” in an hotel bathroom before she stops writing altogether. I think it’s a period where Camila’s anxiety really shot up and became a real problem for her, which is also probably why she distanced herself from the girls, to not bother them with her problems, and also obviously to stay away from Lauren.

I think eventually the girls went through to Camila and did everything to support her.

(We enter The Healing)

Somehow Camren found a way to really rebuild their friendship, which was always laced with quite a bit of flirting.

2016 : Lauren tries to get her girl back. And it takes a while 😂. I think they started an on/off casual kinda thing because Camila wasn’t ready to go down that road again probably because she was scared of getting hurt and also because she knows they will be in the same situation they were before, having to hide. But what can you say? The heart wants what the heart wants, and I think eventually they did officially get back together somewhere in the middle of 2016. 

(We enter the Loving *behind closed doors*)

If now Lauren feels more comfortable with her sexuality and the prospect of coming out - the problem now resides in Camila’s upcoming solo career - they already know 7/27 will be Camila’s last album with 5H. Coming out at this point in the game would be a public suicide. There’s no way in hell it’s happening. 

So instead Camila makes the deal of playing the “straight” girl image as much as the label wants if it means her and Lauren can be together behind doors.

A few months roll out, Camila’s departure is coming soon and the label needs to get ready for the “after Camila” - and the person who comes after Camila is Lauren. Now, how to make Lauren become even more popular? What could make medias talk about her? A little weed in her bag? Yes, but it’s not enough, she needs to make an impact. What could be more impactful than a well prepared coming out? Oh I know! You pair it up with a letter against the biggest enemy of the country at the moment, Donald Trump. 

But you can’t just risk that out of nowhere, you need to test the waters first, see how the fandom would react to Lauren’s coming out  - enters Lucy.

Now, Lucy has been Lauren’s best friend for years, she obviously knows about Camren and I believe she was also friends with Camila. The fandom knows Lucy, we’ve seen her with Lauren on multiple pictures, Lauren calls her her “sister”. Choosing Lucy to be Lauren’s love interest is a very smart move because there’s tons of “proofs” to back it up and for the fans to create a timeline of. Obviously the Laucy timeline will also have the benefit of discrediting the Camren timeline since Lauren couldn’t have possibly been with both girls at the same time. 

So, to test the waters, a photo of Lauren and Lucy kissing at a party is purposely leaked - the fact that the picture was taken at party is important because if the fandom and the medias don’t react the way the management expects them to, you can always say the kiss was just a kiss between to best friends who had a bit too much to drink at a party. Turns out the fandom reacts exactly like predicted, they embrace Lauren for who she is, they defend her against the people who “outed” her, she’s the new hero. That’s why only a few weeks later they give the green light for her to fully come out through a politically incline letter.

You might be wondering why would Camila, Lauren and Lucy accept such a plan? Well in Camila’s case it shuts down the Camren rumors which helps her keep her straight image up, plus it gives the woman she loves the opportunity to finally be herself. Lauren gets to finally come out and be proud of herself while at the same time protecting her girlfriend’s upcoming solo career. And finally Lucy gets to be known by the fandom and the LGBT community, putting her name out there before she releases her first album. 

So here we are, end of 2016 - Lauren is out and in a supposed relationship with her best friend, Camila is still playing the straight girl wanting a spanish boyfriend, while Camren is still together and in love behind the scenes. 

And now, it’s time to say goodbye. It’s all planned out, a feud is going to happen, Camila’s exit will be a dramatic one. Dinah leaves us little hints a few days prior, Normani cries before their last performance as a five piece and then it starts. 4 statement letters is all that everybody needs to believe everything went wrong, 4 letters is all that everybody needs to believe that a 4 year friendship ended in a day. 

2017 : radio silence for a weeks - Camila gives an interview in which she says none of the girls are talking to her, they keep the feud game going. 

Now that Camila is gone, there’s no real use for Laucy anymore and even if Lauren is identifying as bisexual, the label would rather have her being in a p.r relationship with a man - they use a photoshoot and an interview to end it simply and boost Lauren’s image in the LGBT community - which they will also do by having Lauren collab with Halsey.

Her and Camila are still together, but obviously it’s getting even more complicated now that they can’t absolutely be seen together. 

The label wants a p.r boyfriend for Lauren and Ty Dolla Sign is in need of some headlines with his new album coming out this year. Her and Camila are already having a hard time maintaining their relationship because of how complicated things are with the “feud” and Camila having to stay in the closet, plus probably other unresolved issues between them - the new p.r plan is the last straw that breaks the camel’s back - they eventually mutually decide to break up and to try to figure themselves out without the other. Camila buries herself in work and Lauren parties away the pain. When Camren shippers keep coming at her from all sides she loses it and tweets that Camren “was never real, ever” to shut them down and probably to shut herself down too.

I still think they’re in touch, they keep each other updated on their lives, congratulate each other on the new projects.

I really do hope now that they both try to be with someone new, try to heal and figure out who they are without the other. I hope Camila gets to come out once her career is well established. I hope they can meet again in a little while and actually be together in open light and finally be able to be free to love each other.

The end, until the next chapter 😂

Again this is all theory, a big fanfic - saying this to all the haters out there, no need to bother sending me an ask, you’ll just be wasting your time ✌️

3

Dating Harry Hook would include…

  • Salty kisses
  • Harry teaching you how to fight
  • Stealing his hook when the two of you get into arguments
    “Y/n, love, don’t do something you’ll regret. Give me the hook back and we can forget this whole thing ever happen.” 
  • Being close friends with his younger and older sister
  • Harry being possessive over you
  • When you first met Uma she would be highly skeptical over you 
  • But after seeing how happy Harry when around you, she started to take a liking towards you
  • Gil would become a sort of brother figure to you after some time 
  • An extremely airhead type of a brother but still a brother nonetheless
  • Flirtatious comments left and right which consist of,
  • “Hey darling, want to compare tan lines?”
    and…
    “I don’t know if you’ve ever been fishing, but I think we should hook up.”
  • Which would earn a slap
  • He would probably steal you gifts 
  • “Harry… where did you get this necklace? There’s blood all over the chain.”
    “Yeah about that-”
  • Getting a tad bit jealous when you see Harry flirting with other girls. You knew it was just his nature and he meant no harm but it still got under your skin.
    “Aw darling, is someone turning into a green monster? You know those girls don’t mean a thing to me. You’re the only one I care about.”
  • He would love interrupting you with kisses
  • A lot of teasing and playful banter
  • Harry becoming extremely jealous over you close friendship with Jay and Carlos
  • Just as you become a bit envious over his tight knit bond to Uma
  • Adventuring around the Isle together
  • Helping Harry do his eyeliner on mornings when he’s too tired and him doing yours
  • He’d be a touchy boyfriend and constantly have his arm around your shoulder
  • PDA all the time
  • He’s not a huge fan of saying ‘I love you’ and extremely mushy stuff but he shows his affection for you in other ways
  • Like holding your hand and helping you onto the ship
  • And defending your honor by punching out some bloke who made a rude comment about you 
  • Accidently scratching you with his hook which he spends weeks apologizing for, hardly daring to touch you in fear of it happening again
    “Harry, accidents happen! It’s okay, you can hardly even see the mark.”
    “I don’t care if you can’t see it, love. I hurt you and I promised to never do that.”
  • Finally getting him to cave in after putting on a show of fake tears which he catches onto moments after pulling you into his chest
    “You tricked me? I’m actually impressed, sweetheart.” 
  • You two would be a very fun loving and humorous couple that knows how to have a good time
  • Having to pull Harry back down when he gets a little out of hand
    “Harry chill, I think they get the message.” 
  • Harry begging you to let him try to braid your hair 
  • And he surprisingly does a nice job
  • “Yeah, my mom wasn’t around much so I had to learn myself. My sisters had the best hair stylist the Isle has ever seen!”
  • Stealing his hat on multiple occasions 
  • His large ego would be the root of most of your fights
  • But he would make it up to you by forcing you to cuddle with him at night as a form of apology 
  • Most of all, Harry putting your safety and security above everyone else’s including his own

- Daizy xx

Curiosity Killed The Cat - Stiles Stilinski

Author: @mf-despair-queen

Characters: Stiles Stilinski/Reader

Word Count: 6,437

Warnings: NSFW, 18+, Oral (Both Receiving), Mentions of Public Sex, 69, Orgasm Denial, Masturbation, Multiple Orgasms, Fingering, A LOT OF FILTH

Notes: This is 100000000% for my precious Camile, @minhosmeanhoe because she wanted something involving Stiles and masturbation because this is all we ever talk about (we are horny fuckers lol). But, even better, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAMILE. You are one of my bestest friends I am glad I am able to talk to you daily. I don’t know what I would do without you. I LOVE YOU!!!!❤️

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Safe Places.

Based on an ask I received!
I apologize, the story had to be edited so I rewrote the whole thing here!

Original idea by: @lightderin

Lance looked around at the accusing glares of his teammates, all different intensities. He smiled nervously, “Oops.”

They had been mapping out locations in the observatory of safe planets to land, or easy places to wormhole, in the case of an attack that needed quick escape.

The team had been at it for hours, and had over 120 spots pinpointed over multiple galaxies.

Lance, who had found the entire ordeal quite boring, had strolled away to check out the little holograms floating around.

He couldn’t help that it was hard for him to pay attention, ADHD did that to a person. Focusing just wasn’t his gig.

The blue paladin had started across the other side of the room, hands in his pockets and he just looked.

Until he thought he found Earth.

He should know what it looked like, he stared at its little hologram nearly every night.

Lance missed home.
He missed the people back there.

Without much thought, Lance reached forward to zoom in, a happy little smile on his lips.

Home.

Look at it, just right there—

“Aw, what the heck?!” A chorus of shouts came from behind and Lance jumped.

He turned to see the team staring at him, looking annoyed and tired. “Hm?”

Pidge motioned frantically to the hologram around them, “Lance, we lost our spot! We lost our points!”

Lance blinked, “…how?”

Keith groaned, “Idiot, because you were screwing around with the screen!”

Lance frowned, looking back at Earth, and saw how zoomed in it was and how the constellations and stars around him had changed too.

Oh, he didn’t think that one through.
Lance looked back at them and smiled nervously, “Oops?”

He was answered with grumbles, and a yawn from Hunk. They were tired and now were too frustrated to get significantly angry.

“Let’s go to bed, we can start again in the morning.” Shiro said, rubbing his forehead. “You too Lance.”

Lance rubbed his neck, looking at the ground as the team and the Altean duo walked past him.

He grunted when Keith bumped into him, “Watch where you’re going, Lance.” The red paladin spat.

Lance frowned.
Keith was the one who bumped into him!

“Oh yeah, mull—”
He was alone in the observatory.

He took a shaky breath, watching the doors close behind his friends, and sulked.

Great.
He had annoyed them all, again.

Why could he just keep his hands to himself? Look don’t touch, his mama had always said.

Lance sighed, arms coming up to pull up his hood and put it over his head. A safe place, where he could only see forward, and no one could see him.

Hoods were nice.
When you can only look back at your mistakes, they allow you to dream ahead and block out any side distractions.

It was a new world, your own world, and provided the blue paladin with a sense of security.

Safe.

He sat down, back in front of Earth, letting it float nearer to him and he watched it carefully.

The blue light illuminating the white space his head was tucked into, and it was just those two.

Lance and Earth.
She was such a pretty lady.

His sadness escaped through a sigh, and he allowed himself to be calm.

Tonight, he would fix it.
Lance would stay up all night and go through the map an replot every point.

And as morning came, the hood would come off, and Lance would feel a little better.

Everything would be okay.

It had to be, otherwise what would have been the point of staying up all night to do all of this for his team?

He skipped breakfast, as that time came the following morning. Not that he was incredibly hungry anyway.

“203…204, wait, no…” Lance put down another point, rubbing his eyes and swaying in his spot.

Lance had marked down every point they had previously plotted, and finding he hadn’t been able to sleep, continued on.

The blue paladin barely noticed as a door opened behind him, and the team entered.

“Wh— Lance? We thought you were still sleeping, you weren’t at breakfast.” Princess Allura said with a hint of surprise in her tone.

Lance chuckled, “Nah, thought I would finish up some of our plotting.”

Team Voltron and the Alteans were staring in awe at the color coordinated dots that glowed amongst the light blue holographic model.

“What is this?” Shiro asked.

Lance looked over, rubbing an eye.
“I felt horrible last night, messing up the work you guys did. So I stayed up and fixed it. I even took the time to color coordinate them by condition, size, and whether or not they are open at certain times.”

Each had their jaw dropped, staring at their blue paladin. He had done all of that?

“Did you sleep at all?” Hunk spoke up, brows furrowed as he stared at his friend.

The poor kid looked drained; skin paled, bags under his eyes, and red in the corners.

He was exhausted.

It took them a moment to process this, watching as Lance sat down and smiled at them. “I even found more. In at over two hundred charted locations giving the correct conditions.”

Keith said it. “Idiot.”

Lance blinked, visibly flinching at the sudden words, not what he had expected at all.

“What…?”

Pidge looked annoyed, although it was probably at the fact Lance had done something tech related better than her for once.

“You stayed up ALL NIGHT? On a map that wasn’t even that important?” She said, gaping.

Lance paused, “Not that…Wh… But you guys got so upset when I messed it up, an worked on it all day!”

Keith rolled his eyes, “Yeah, it needed done, but it wasn’t life or death. Look at you!”

Shiro, in a nicer tone, agreed. “He’s right, Lance. You didn’t have to do this, and it’s not healthy putting yourself through such stress.”

Hunk bit his lip, “I mean, you’re really tired right? What if, What o Zarkon attacked and you just fell asleep durin battle?”

“He would KILL you.” Allura confirmed. Coran nodded.

“You’ve got to take care of yourself.”

Lance looked around at his friends, not believing what he was hearing in the slightest.

How could they accuse him like this?
How could they be so rude?

Lance had done this for them, staying up all night to fix his mistake. He had wants to make them happy!

The blue paladin wanted to be apart of the team and help out for once, even if it was in a simple manner.

He hadn’t wanted to be reprimanded for a deed he believed was good.

Frustrated tears appeared, and Lance crossed his arms. “Fine, whatever, I’ll go to bed. Do what you want with that.”

He stood up, swayed, and nearly toppled over with exhaustion. Lance couldn’t stand the worried looks he was getting.

The hood came back up.
Things were supposed to have been okay.

Lance marched to his room, rubbing his nose with an aggravated sniff and glaring the tears away.

It wasn’t okay.
Why couldn’t it ever be okay?

Polydads

Also on ao3

Based on a post that @catsforartists made!

—–

When Amanda woke up, she decided to crawl out of bed to get a bowl of cereal. And eat it on the couch, of course.

“Ain’t nothing beat couch cereal.” She declared to the empty room and dug into her delicious and dangerously sugary cereal.

Almost immediately after taking a bite out of her cereal, she heard footsteps coming from her dad’s room, but, when she glanced up, she saw Damien walking by her.

“Good morning, Amanda dear.” Damien greeted.

“Mornin.” Amanda responded. She KNEW it. Her dad and Damien had been getting pretty close, so it wasn’t a completely wild assumption that they would start dating. And, of course, the footsteps she heard must be…

Keep reading

Might I just say @mortemistrata that I was a little unsure about this prompt at first, but I had so much fun writing this! 

“Good morning, Keith.”

Keith froze with one eyebrow arched. He slowly studied the brunet in front of him. “No ‘mullet’ this morning?”

“That would be rude,” Lance said, lips curled into a frown.

Keith’s face fell until he was matching the brunet’s expression. “Are you okay?” He zeroed in on small details, like the way Lance’s normally tan skin looked slightly washed out or the dark, bruised circles under Lance’s almost lifeless eyes.

“Of course.” Lance replied, tone even. “We should go before we are late to breakfast.”

Keith absently nodded, brows furrowed deeply, as he followed the brunet into the dining hall.

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Humans Are Weird

It is well established among all sentient species that Humans are Weird. Exceptional Humans, however, make the regular humans seem almost tame in comparison.
Yatrov was to show the newest crew member- another Human- “the ropes”, as Human Jenny phrased it.
Upon arriving, however, the newest Human barely spared xir even a glance, which was odd, seeing how Humans prize interaction above all else. Shrugging it off, xe delicately held out a clawed hand to engage in the Human positive-meeting greeting, a “hand-shake” it was aptly named. “I am known as Yatrov, in Human Common tongue. I am sorry to say that I was unable to read your file report, and am thus left without your name. What is it you wish to be called?” Yatrov was genuinely sorry; the ship was in dire need of repairs, and this Human was coming to help.
Instead of taking the proffered hand, the human’s brown eyes stared into xi’s own violet. “I am Giovanni. And you are approximately 7 minutes late. I do not fault you for your tardiness, your job is a busy one, so your apologies are void. I do not need to see the entirety of this ship, I only require the engine room. Take me there and I will begin repairs immediately. Social niceties and other such meaningless things can be done at a later date, if done they must be at all.”
Yatrov felt somewhat slighted; xe’s species did not greet with touch, but it was seen as an insult- a social misdemeanor- to deny the shaking of hands. Attributing it to the Human having been under circumstances that made him “cranky” and to the fact that the Human was excited to work- humans forgot norms when excited, xe had found- Yatrov continued to try to create a pack-bond with this Human, “I have heard many great things about you.”
“Truly?” The Human considered this for a moment, head tilting, “I am merely faster than most, mentally. A marathoner or racer is not spoken of in as high-esteem as those with quick mental facilities are, are they?” The Human was speaking out loud, xe found this practice odd and ignored it. “What exactly have you heard?” The Human tapped their legs with their fingers, adopting a rhythm unknown to xir, and hummed. 
Arrogance or curiosity? “Admittedly, not much has been told. I know that you have several thesis papers, have repaired and improved upon numerous ships, and that you were good enough that our captain was surprised that you even bothered to consider joining our crew.”
“Huh.” And that was that. Giovanni did not speak after that, made no effort to communicate. Giovanni did not try to obtain physical contact. Giovanni remained aloof with even Human crewmates long after he had joined. He also remained fidgety, seemingly unable to keep still, unless it was to engage in a staring contest with the resident cat- to keep the Humans from adopting a weird, deadly creature- or to continue his single-minded work with machinery.
Three weeks after he had joined, the ship was attacked. Vernians boarded the ship, using their many appendages to apprehend multiple members of The Highlight- the ship- at once. No one knew where Giovanni was, and no one would have been surprised if he had left to save his own hide.
Which was precisely why everyone, who were all bound and trying to negotiate with what was essentially pirates, was surprised when Giovanni came around the corner, a knocked out Vernian held under gun point.
Guns pointed at him, Vernians shifted to attack him. “What you need to know: firstly, I have hacked into your language processors. All Vernae will sound like gibberish.” He paused, then grinned ferally. “Try”, he dared.
“Kir-ah?!” They did, and did not seem pleased with the results.
“Back! Restore!” the voices of Vernians screeched, their language translators on the fritz. 
“Secondly,” he paused, “I will shoot your friend if you do not release my own.” When an uproar of shouting started again, he blandly stated, “Blank point will be quite messy, won’t it?” He hummed, as though in thought, though his eyes trailed after every movement the Vernians made.
A smaller one, likely emotionally closer to the Vernian Giovanni was holding captive,  pounced.
ZZZZZT-PA! The Vernian howled, two of its 11 “arms” gone. “My threat is not idle.”
The room quieted, members of the Highlighter slowly being released.
“Thirdly.” His lips pursed, his nose tilted, sneer deadly, “Run, and pray that I never see you again!” He shot a wall, and they scattered, leaving the crew of The Highlighter mostly unscathed.
It was hours later, after the chaos was settled and the ship fixed up again, that Yatrov approached Giovanni.
“Why did you save us?”
Giovanni scrunched his thick eyebrows together, “Why ever would I not?”
“You make no attempt to communicate with us.” Yatrov insisted, trying to discover the reason Giovanni would do something without some sort of gain.
“Oh, that.” He dismissively waved his hand, his face again lax and bored. “I do not see the point in wasting words. I enjoy the presence of the crew, and- while I see no point in engaging in it- their idle chatter is amusing to listen to.” He raised an eyebrow, “Why do you ask?”
“The crew operated under the belief that you disliked us.” Yatrov felt a small bit of shame; clearly, Yatrov had been wrong to assume that all Humans were so similar.
“I-” He looked hurt, eyes filling with water- tears, they were called, and Yatrov knew that this was not a good sign. His lips twitched, his words near whispered, “Did you not consider me a friend? I thought we were.” He had begun nervously threading his fingers, humming lightly.
“I thought you disliked me.” Yatrov’s admission only increased xir’s guilt, and the slight tremors of the Humans smaller body.
“I made you and the others a new computer.” Giovanni’s eyes searched Yatrov’s one, and again found no solace. A computer did not equate to friendship. “I *made* you and the others a new computer.” The emphasis hit Yatrov. Why would one handmake something if the person receiving it did not matter to them.
“I am sorry.” Yatrov paused, xe had seen it in a Human film once, maybe…? “Can we start over?” A small nod eased Yatrov’s mind and reaffirmed xir’s decision. “I am the one known as Yatrov, and I enjoy reading: fiction, typically.” Xe did not hold out his hand, but stared Giovanni right in the eye.
The smirk on Giovanni’s face told xir that the actions- or lack there of- was not missed. “I am known as Giovanni.” He held out his hand, looking smug and slightly proud of remembering this, as their hands clasped, he said, “I enjoy sandwhiches, science, and conversations on how realistic or achievable a work of fiction can be. It will be a pleasure to work with you.”

Humans were odd, but exceptional Humans lived by a very different set of rules. Intelligence changed their perceptions. Yatrov knew, from personal experience, that they were still Human, still fantastic and horrifying, at their core. Yatrov put down the book xe was reading, looking up to watch Giovanni’s animated expressions as he ranted about machinery. Yes, truly, Humans are Weird.


(Please excuse any grammar/spelling mistakes, my hand has been cramping up lately and it is hard to write at the moment. And I should not be writing sci-fi, because it is NOT my forte, but I had a plot-bunny and felt the need to attempt it. This is basically a shortened version of what I wanted to write, skipping over much of what I actually wanted to put down. Feel free to take the general idea and write something better XD )

Solar System: Things to Know This Week

This week, we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the moment our Mars Science Laboratory mission landed the Curiosity rover in Gale Crater. 

In fact, this summer brings several red letter days in Red Planet exploration. Here are 10 things to know about the anniversary of the Curiosity landing—plus some other arrivals at Mars you may not know about.

This self-portrait of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at a drilled sample site called “Okoruso,” on the “Naukluft Plateau” of lower Mount Sharp. The scene combines multiple images taken with the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on May 11, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-CALTECH/MSSS

1. Seven Minutes of Terror 

For Curiosity, landing on Mars meant slowing from about 13,000 MPH (21,000 KPH) to a full stop in just seven minutes. Engineers came up with an innovative–and bold–plan to make this happen, but no one could be 100% certain it would work. In this video, some of the Curiosity engineers who designed the entry, descent and landing system for the mission talk candidly about the challenges of Curiosity’s final moments before touchdown in August 2012.

2. Sweet Success 

Relive the tension, and the celebration, of the night Curiosity landed on Mars. You can also simulate the entire landing process in 3-D on your own computer using NASA’s free Eyes on the Solar System app.

3. Echoes of Ancient Waters 

What has Curiosity discovered during its roving so far? The key takeaway: the stark deserts of Gale Crater were once home to lakes and streams of liquid water, a place where life could potentially have thrived. Learn more about the mission’s scientific findings.

4. Pretty as a Postcard

Sometimes science can be beautiful, as pictures from Mars prove. You can peruse some of Curiosity’s best shots. What’s more, you can see the very latest images—often on the same day they’re downlinked from Mars.

5. Take It for a Spin

Have you ever wanted to try driving a Mars rover yourself? You can (virtually anyway). Try the Experience Curiosity app right in your web browser.

6. Mars Trekking 

Maybe someday you’ll be able to take a day hike across the Martian landscape. You can at least plan your route right now, using NASA’s Mars Trek site. This interactive mapping tool lets you explore important Red Planet locations using actual terrain imagery from orbiting satellites. You can even retrace the real locations on Mars where the fictional astronaut Mark Watney traveled in “The Martian.”

7. A First Time for Everything

Curiosity stands (well, rolls) on the shoulders of giants. Several NASA missions blazed the trail for the current crop of robotic explorers. The first was Mariner 4, which is also celebrating an anniversary this summer. Mariner 4 was the first spacecraft to return photos of another planet from deep space when it flew by Mars on July 15, 1965. Mariner engineers were so impatient to see the first pictures it sent back, that they hand-colored a printout of raw numeric data sent by the spacecraft, in order to construct one of the first color images of Mars.

8. Pathfinders and Panoramas 

Another important pathfinder on Mars was…Mars Pathfinder. This mission just marked its 20th anniversary. To commemorate the first successful Mars rover, NASA created a new 360-degree VR panorama of its landing site you can view right in your browser.

9. One Small Step for a Robot

The first spacecraft to make a successful landing on Mars was Viking 1, which touched down in the Chryse Planitia region on July 20, 1976. It worked for more than six years, performing the first Martian soil analysis using its robotic arm and an onbaord biological laboratory. While it found no conclusive evidence of life, Viking 1 did help us understand Mars as a planet with volcanic soil, a thin, dry carbon dioxide atmosphere and striking evidence for ancient river beds and vast flooding.

10. Mars Explorers Needed 

There is much more to come. The next Mars lander, InSight, is slated for launch next year. Ride along with NASA’s ongoing adventures on the Red Planet at: mars.nasa.gov/mars-exploration/

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com 

BTS Explain Concepts Behind 'Love Yourself: Her' Album: 'This Is the Beginning of Our Chapter Two'

From the meaning of “Go Go” to why the band needed to flex their win at BBMAs, BTS’ Rap Monster explains it all.

Mere hours before the release of BTS’ Love Yourself: Her, the album’s significance wasn’t lost on the group’s leader, Rap Monster.

“It’s really a huge, big step for us,” the 23-year-old rapper/songwriter/producer told Billboard during a phone call from Seoul. “Of course, every member is so excited about the album. We’ve been just practicing until now, day and night, to show these new songs and perfected performances. I left a message on our fan cafe, the other day, after we finished that ‘this EP will mark the turning point of BTS’ and even though the wait felt really long with this album – I think it was the huge event, the BBMAs, were in May – so much has happened.”

The wait has been particularly anticipated for the band’s famously passionate fan base, known as Army, who have been waiting for new tracks from Rap Monster, Jimin, Suga, J-Hope, Jin, V and Jungkook band after voting them Top Social Artist at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards over fellow pop juggernauts Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez and Shawn Mendes.

Since then, the BTS guys have landed distribution deals with Amazon and U.S.-based The Orchard (“We believe the physical album, still, really counts and it’s really important to connect with our fans around the world,” Rap Monster said) and hung out with worldwide chart-toppers like Major Lazer, Halsey, Charli XCX(“Maybe it’s just my sixth sense, but I think maybe we will be collaborating with even more interesting artists,” he added); even snagging The Chainsmokers to produce a beat for Love Yourself: Her.

One listen to the tightly produced record – which looks likely to make a big splash on the Billboard 200 next week – and the passion is palpable from the intense lead single “DNA,” the societal commentary in “Go Go,” among multiple lyrics and moments that feel ripped from the members’ personal journals. There’s also loads of passion in Rap Monster’s voice talking about these new songs as he sees and envisions the larger picture and message for his band’s latest batch of forward-thinking EDM, hip-hop and pop tracks. Read on for Billboard’s deeper analysis of Love Yourself: Her with Rap Monster.

Let’s start right from the beginning with “Serendipity.” Why was this the right song to choose as the intro and kick off the era?

When I wrote the lyrics, melodies and the first themes of “Serendipity,” I tried to come up with some rare things you find in life, something very special, like the calico, three-striped cat; things that have extraordinary meanings in people’s lives. I wanted to share this moment.

I was reading the lyrics are gender neutral, which I think is really powerful. Was that a conscious decision?

The lyrics were based on rare and special things in life. So, I thought, those feelings transcend genders, cultures, and barriers between people.

We always put out the “Intro” just before releasing our single, so the intro is taking the role of telling the concept of this album. But “Serendipity” was actually the right song to share the feelings of our single, “DNA.” The title is about how our DNA is connected in the universe, I think that was the right feel for this album.

Let’s talk about “DNA.” How does this single continue and progress the story of BTS?

When we’re talking about our title tracks, “DNA” is about the expression of a young, passionate love. The lyrics are like, “The two of us our connected fatefully from the start, our DNA was just the one thing.” At the same time, “DNA” is taking BTS to new ground. We tried to apply new grammar and perspectives – if you listen to the song, you’ll understand what I’m trying to say – it’s very different from our previous music, technically and musically. I believe it’s going to be the starting point of a second chapter of our career; the beginning of our Chapter Two.

“Best of Me” is really impressive. It sounds like The Chainsmokers, but it also sounds like BTS. You didn’t lose yourself which isn’t easy when collaborating with new artists. What was that process like?

I love that track! We met them at BBMAs, we were so lucky. Actually, they invited us to their concert just the other day – they had a huge concert in Korea and we sang “Closer” together. For “Best of Me,” they gave us several tracks and samples months ago, we and our producers picked one sample, like, “Okay, this is fit for our next album.” So we worked on it, we sent it to them, we asked them what they think of the track we developed and got their opinions. And we made it! I’m so excited for it. [Laughs]

Your albums always have deeper social and society commentaries. Let’s talk about some of the topics with this release. “Go Go” instantly comes to mind.

“Go Go” is a trendy song, but it’s about how our young generation are living their lives with low expectations and standards so people are upset with reality; they have little hope and there’s so much economic hardship. We wanted to say something about it and emphasize to the world that it’s not their choice, but brutal reality that forces people to live and spend as if there’s no future.

But in Korea, “YOLO” has become a big key word for young people because we don’t have money and it’s really hard to get a chance to earn a lot of money. I think society has a lot of problems for young people. Young people spend their money on claw crane machines at arcades and they spend like $30 on trying to win these dolls. And then it’s like, “Oh! I spent all my money…shit. But I don’t regret.” That’s the biggest luxury for Korea’s young people: collecting accessories, cosmetics, that’s what they think is a luxury. It’s “YOLO” because it’s like, “I’m gonna buy all this! I’m gonna buy all this food and I’m going to eat it! I’m going to do it!” I think it’s sad because it’s all we can. “Go Go” is just saying, “Okay, just do it, we won’t regret it. Just spend several bucks on the machine and eat the food!” But at the same time, the song is very easily to sing along to so I think many people will like that song, especially if they find the deeper meaning.

Of course, I have to ask about making a skit interlude out of your BBMAs acceptance speech.

You need to hear “Mic Drop” because the skit was my speech at BBMAs –  because that was a big moment for our history – and then we put “Mic Drop” next to that because it’s like a flex – like, “Okay, we’re done. We don’t need to give a shit about anything.” That was the right skit and follow-up song for this album.

The last song, “Outro: Her” really spoke to me. It almost reads like a diary.

Ha! [Laughs]

After talking with you, it feels like it recaps the whole album and is really introspective.

I think that was the fastest work I did for this album. I wrote the verse in 20 minutes; it just came, very truthfully, from the bottom of my heart. I thought it was the right outro for this album because it is really a range of emotions – I’m saying I met this person that I really love, this person is the love of my life right now, I’m saying that I was confused and I was looking for love and this world is complex. But I think it’s you so, “I call you 'her,’ 'cause you’re my tear.” “I think you’re the start and the end of me.” That’s what I’m saying: You’re my wonder, but you’re also my answers. You’re my “her,” but you’re still the “tear.”

The hook is saying that love is not all about the happiness, it’s just not just about the joy, it’s not just about delight. If you want to love a person, you should know that there are tears and there can even be hatred inside of it. I think a love really includes all of that. That’s what I was trying to say. It’s complex.

And if fans are so lucky to own the physical album, they’ll hear two hidden tracks at the very. Why keep them secretive?

I think they’re hidden because you have to be a real fan of BTS to understand them. Otherwise, you won’t. Otherwise, you’d like be, “Why are they feeling so confused about things? They’re good?!? They’re No. 1 somewhere, they have so much stuff, why are they worried?” People always talk about that. But if you are true fan of BTS and you buy the album and you listen to the hidden track – if you are an Army and we spent time together from 2013, 2014 – they could understand. It’s kind of more special, more closer, to our true hearts.

9/20/2017 by Jeff Benjamin - Billboard