but i kind of felt we needed this for some reason

WHY I LOVE U

Venus in Aries: I heard your laughter before I saw you. And then I couldn’t take my eyes off you. And after everyone had gone home we were still running around, or you were running I was just trying to keep up. You work hard, play hard and love even harder, but you like to try on a couple of sizes before you find the right fit. It’s the way you make me laugh at the most ludicrous things, the way you know exactly what you want and are not afraid to go and get it. You make me feel like anything is possible. Our love was like a tickle war turned makeout session, and I still remember the heat when our skin touched. There will never be anyone like you. 

Venus in Taurus: Being with you is like coming home. Like a perfect dream. Like lavender candles and cuddling up to a marathon of our favourite show. You kissing me between every episode. You don’t like playing games and you don’t like being rushed when falling in love. You take your sweet time, worshipping my body and my mind so my heart can’t help but follow. I remember those lazy Sundays, strolling through the furniture store, your hand in mine and we would pretend to decorate our future house. But all we came out with were more lavender candles and a burning lust for each other. You turn the mundane into something truly magical. 

Venus in Gemini: You drive me crazy, I never know where we stand. We spend the most incredible nights together and then I don’t hear from you in forever. Maybe that’s your style, you wanna look me in the eyes and not read my words on your phone. We sit for hours and people watch, making up backstories for them. When I’m with you I have no sense of time, all I can think about is your mischievous smile and the way you play with my hair. Your love is all-consuming, like nothing in the world matters to you more. With you my sense of reason is completely clouded, I’m yours for the night and every other night. If you’ll have me. 

Venus in Cancer: My hero, my sensitive babe. Your heart on your sleeve, that look in your eyes and I was yours forever. When you kissed me I could see our lives flashing before my eyes. Sitting on opposite sides of the sofa. Your nose in a book but your hand on me, like you needed to be connected to me or else you’d die. Every time you catch me staring at you I can’t help the grin on my face. You are fragile and strong, creating this protective space around us where we can just be together. I love how you’re not afraid of your feelings, and how you already named our kids even though we need to discuss it lol. You make it feel so real, like you are the missing piece of the puzzle. 

Venus in Leo: I remember the first time I met you, it all happened so fast. At a party, my friend introducing you and before I knew it your arms were around me. I remember melting into your hug, and the electricity in the air when we finally let go. Everyone else thought it was weird but we both knew, there was no turning back. Being with you feels like running through a field of flowers, faster and faster. Your laughter and your moans echo in my head. My legs feel like giving out but your hand refuses to let go of mine. It’s that smile after you say something clever, and they way you make me feel like it’s just me and you versus the world. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this loved. 

Venus in Virgo: You make me feel whole. Driving down the freeway blasting our songs, I can’t sing but you don’t care. Your hand on the stick shift and for some reason I got all hot inside. It’s the way you wrap your arms around me at the checkout line, like I’m yours and you don’t care who knows. You’re thoughtful and observant, you make me feel like I matter to you. And it’s not an act, you are actually that kind. I’m trying so hard to describe you, but all I can think about is that night when my family fell apart. You drew a bath with bubbles and you held me until the water went cold. Then we ate raspberries (my favourite) and watched Modern Family. And then you loved me until I didn’t feel like I was falling apart anymore. I think that describes you more than words ever could. You’re the one I see sitting next to me on our porch doing a crossword puzzle, in our old bodies. But it doesn’t scare me because your spirit is forever young. 

Venus in Libra: Being in love with you is so easy. Our first date was to the movies. You gave me a red poppy and held my hand the entire time, gently playing with my fingers. My heart was about to beat out of my chest but somehow I was calm, because you were. I love the way you talk so easy, with that breezy confidence. Like you’d never tell me a lie. The way you were charming and kind to everyone from the bus driver to the server at the pizza shop. After talking to each other all night in the park, it was the only place that was still open. My mum still asks about you. I think she loved you more than I did, and that’s saying something. 

Venus in Scorpio: God, the way you tear me apart and then put me back together. Over and over again. You of all people know that life isn’t always chocolates and roses. You’re not afraid of the ugliness of human nature, instead you try to find the silver lining, the beauty in the madness. You demand that I’m honest with you, and in turn you trust me with your own secrets. It created a bond beyond love, or maybe it was love. It just felt different, like it was based in reality and not a love story. You’ve seen me at my worst and still think I’m beautiful, because you see people’s souls. Nobody can hide their true nature from you for you are an expert of reading between the lines. Your animalistic passion penetrates deep, and everything becomes a haze of lust and obsession. Because if you’re not obsessed it’s just not worth it. I would trust you with my life, because you would sacrifice your own for the one you love. 

Venus in Sagittarius: We had just gotten comfortable on the top of the mountain we climbed when you hit me with “Do you think out of seven billion that some people have the same personality?” And you packed my favourite sandwich, tomato, mozzarella and basil. A moment of breathless kisses and triumph. Your strength made me feel strong too, and your devotion made my heart swell. You never stand still but it doesn’t matter, because you take me with you and always make sure I’m alright. You make me feel included, showing me off and introducing me to all your friends. I’ve never felt more proud than when I’m standing next to you. When you told me how much you loved me I knew it was true. 

Venus in Capricorn: The true romantic. What drew me in was that calm stare, you looked like trouble I swear I was gonna faint on the spot. You could keep up with me, and when you took my hand and said “Trust me?” I somehow believed you. But what made me fall for you was how you kept all your promises. Your presence is honest and true, the way you make me feel like I would never be alone, like I would always have a friend. I love falling asleep in your arms to your heartbeat. You’re gentle with me, I can feel your love in every touch. Your love made me believe I could do anything, because I knew you would stick by my side. If I asked you to. 

Venus in Aquarius: Keep it cool, that’s how you roll. Almost untouchable, but you let me touch you. It was like the seasons changed in seconds. You finished that last drop of champagne and said “Let’s get wet”, then we jumped in the pool. And then you kissed me. It felt like breathing underwater, I don’t even think you live in the same world as the rest of us. I texted you at 2 a.m. and you didn’t hesitate. Trapped between your body and the wall, your lips on my neck and I was already in heaven. I never thought you loved me back, until you showed up on my doorstep, whiskey on your breath and tears in your eyes. After that I never doubted you, because I knew then that your love was more than words. 

Venus in Pisces: With you it’s all about the moment, and moments with you are plush and whimsical. Like sitting on a cloud. You are still the only person to ever write me a poem. And when you asked me if I liked it, how you let me see your vulnerable side even though the look in your eyes was sheer terror, you were brave. I was at loss for words so I just kissed you deeply. You see the beauty in the little things, like asking me about what I dreamt last night or giving me cupid earrings so they could whisper sweet nothings in my ear when you’re not around. Your love is poetic, you actually think of me and what makes me happy. Whenever you see something that reminds you of me you always let me know. I can’t help but think how lucky I am to be so cherished.

Major Discovery: BotW’s Adventure Log = Link’s Diary?!

SERIOUSLY.

(Spoiler Alert)

At this point, our beloved game Breath of the Wild has been out for around half a year already. If you have played the game, you are probably very familiar with the Adventure Log feature in BotW that helps you keep track of all your missions and side quests. Or else its pretty much impossible to remember if you were catching chickens for this guy or collecting weapons to show that kid who’s boss.

But here’s the thing- Have you ever thought about the Adventure Log’s origin? Who or what is helping Link keep track of his missions?

If your answer is the Sheikah Slate or the “system”, which is what I’ve always thought, I’m gonna go ahead and assume you own an European/American copy of the game. Because apparently, in the Japanese version of the game, there is evidence that shows that LINK is the one who wrote the adventure log to keep track of his own journey.

“Ok… So what?”

So Link wrote the Adventure Log. Big deal. It’s not like this is gonna change the gameplay in any way.

…True. However, Link didn’t JUST record his missions in the Adventure Log. According to the Japnese version, Link would often type up some of his own thoughts and comments on what he was doing aside from his current objectives. This could give us a deeper insight of Link’s character.

Here’s an example:

This is what shows up after you complete The Hero’s Sword quest. The content of the two versions are very similar, but notice the use of “自分” (myself) in pic 1. This is evidence that the adventure log is written by Link, who’s talking about himself in first person narrative, instead of “the system”. With that in mind, the Japanese version can be translated to:

(I) Finally retrieved the legendary Master Sword. (I) Don’t know if it’s just an illusion, but the sword itself seems to be delighted about this.

To this moment, Princess Zelda is still inside Hyrule Castle, fighting to suppress the Calamity.

She is still holding on to the faith in me, believing that I will definitely come for her…!

But with the power (that I have) now, can she really be saved (by myself)…?

You see what they did there?

The English version replaced every first person pronoun Link has used with “you”!

As someone who owns an American copy, and has never set the system language to Japanese, I was absolutely SHOCKED when I was told about this (credits at the end).

Remember how we could find diaries of NPCs all across Hyrule? Link’s was right under our noses this whole time!

Now that you know about this, does your adventure log seem a bit different from before?

(I) finished visiting all 13 of the locations in the old pictures. I remembered everything I’ve been through together with Princess Zelda.

In those memories (of mine), Princess Zelda always strived to complete the task burdened onto her…

Even if it’s just a moment sooner, (I) want to save her as quickly as possible

(I) want to see her smile again, with these eyes (of my own).

The translation on this one is just OFF. I can’t believe the English version completely omitted the last part, and replaced it with some kind of mission instruction.

Link has been fighting all this time to see Princess Zelda’s smile again with his own eyes.

 …*sniff*

Not to mention those side quest logs. Once you realize that all of the entries were written by Link himself, the seemingly trivial information recorded in those suddenly opens up so many more hidden sides of Link. It basically re-introduced Link as someone with normal human emotions instead of the silent hero depicted throughout the game.

The caring Link, who was worried about a girl he only met twice for putting herself in danger:

…(I) ventured inside and found part of the Royal Guard’s Series, famous among equipment collectors.

When those were shown to Parcy, the traveler at the stable, her curiosity about it seem to be provoked more than ever (by me). (I) Hope she won’t do anything reckless…


The compassionate Link, who felt glad for other peoples’ happiness:

As a sign of appreciation for bringing the town together and as compensation for the work done (by me), a hefty amount of gems that were unearthed during the town’s construction were given by Hudson (to me).

(I) wish the couple could live happily ever after.


The reckless Link, who apparently felt thrilled when he managed to knock out some monsters with his new companion:

(I) captured the giant horse in Taobab Grasslands

So that’s why. It’s indeed a really big horse. It trampled whatever kind of monster in its way with ease when it galloped. That was really cool.  

When it was brought back to Straia (by me), he was very surprised.


Link the foodie, who carefully noted down new recipes he learned along the way for future use: 

(I) brought Kiana the goat butter and hearty blueshell snail required for cooking seafood paella. She shared some of the dish (with me) as thanks!

/////Recipe/////


The playful Link, who tried to mimic the way Gorons speak- by adding “goron” at the end of every sentence- after he passed the Test of Will and became one of the bros:

……

Ah… (I) kinda want to write down Kabetta’s Bro Motto, but there’s not enough space goron?

That’s too bad goron…


The empathetic Link, who felt nervous for the guy in this side quest, then relieved when the couple finally got together:


…and… THIS:

The last line on the left is the Japanese equivalent of What the heck…

I guess the statue is a bit too weird even for our great adventurer.


Finally, we have the entry that shows up after you complete the DLC trial:

(I) finally conquered the merciless Trial of the Sword.

……

(I believe that) Princess Zelda would be quite happy about how much I’ve improved


As we all know, Breath of the Wild is a game that focuses a lot on the freedom given to the players. Even the main story line is broken down into the form of memories, waiting for the players to find. As the players venture on into the wild, they would eventually find the information they need to learn about this world. The amazing amount of details you can find about Hyrule and its people is an important reason why BotW is so attractive.

On the contrary, the info available about our protagonist is very limited. The only piece of description that directly describes Link is in Zelda’s diary, where she points out that he is a very quiet person, and that’s it for our hero.

…NOT!!

Link had always had the most extensive character description. Right under our noses.

Nintendo got us. They got us GOOD.

But now we know.

SIX months after the game’s launch.

…Better late than never.

End.


P.S.: Fun fact about BotW Link- he seems to like the sand seal game a lot. Of all the entires about racing minigames, the sand seal game is the only one where Link wrote “(I’ll) try to get a better score next time!

He’s so adorable I can’t //////


CREDITS

Disclaimer: I did not discover this.

This discovery was made by a Chinese gamer @atomaruU about a week ago. To make sure that her theory is correct, she cross referenced the English version of the game, only to discover that the language is completely emotionless and robotic. Therefore, to allow more people to see who Link REALLY is, I was asked to write this post based on the Chinese article she published. 

Her Twitter: https://twitter.com/atomaruU

Tweet Link: https://twitter.com/atomaruU/status/902172455661211649

Chinese article Link: http://weibo.com/ttarticle/p/show?id=2309404145837893616605

Pic credits: @lulubuu0609 (She’s an amazing artist btw check out her blog)

Hope you enjoyed this :3    

10

James, a deeply feeling man who began his working life as an auxiliary psychiatric nurse, shakes his head.

Many of the younger people who present at gender clinics have a history of mental health issues such as self-harming, social anxiety, eating disorders and so on. They see transitioning as their panacea.’

In addition, James says that the proportion of people attending gender clinics who are on the autistic spectrum is approximately six times higher than the general population.

‘The activist line is, 'Oh that’s because they’re trans so if they weren’t discriminated against and could just be themselves and transition they wouldn’t have mental health issues.’ That’s far too simplistic. I wanted to try to find the truth.’

In November 2015, James submitted his first proposed Masters Research title, 'An examination of the experiences of people who have undergone reverse gender reassignment surgery’, which was accepted.

'I had some people contacting me who said, 'Yes we’ve reversed our gender reassignment, but we’re so traumatised we don’t want to talk about it.’ It made me realise how very important the research is.

'Then a group of young women in the U.S. contacted me. They’d transitioned from female to male, had double mastectomies, then re-transitioned back to female.

'They’d stopped the hormone treatment that had been suppressing their menstrual cycles, but didn’t want reconstructive surgery to rebuild their breasts.

'I wanted to include them in my research, particularly as some of the women said they thought their original decision to transition to male had come from social and political pressure, not for psychological reasons.’

He submitted a revised title in October 2016: 'An examination of the experience of people who have undergone Gender Reassignment Procedure and/or have reversed a gender transition.’

James accepted the research might not be 'politically correct’, but felt it was important.

The next month the university rejected his proposal on the basis that 'the posting of unpleasant material on blogs or social media may be detrimental to the reputation of the University’.

'All I wanted to do with my research was listen to what people were saying and report it,’ James says.

'Society is changing so rapidly that a lot of people feel uncertain of their place in it and they’re looking for something. The fact is, the idea of trans identities is now being brought into the classroom and is all over the internet.

'I really think it’s good people who have transitioned have rights and they’re legally recognised in their gender. People fought for years for that and it’s very important.

'Some people need to transition and benefit from it. It’s a complex field, which is why we need to be able to have a healthy discussion about it and not feel afraid to do so.

This has all become a kind of Kafkaesque weird tangle. Somebody needs to call it out.’


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4979498/James-Caspian-attacked-transgender-children-comments.html#ixzz4vXKDo9Xz

when i was seven the sea-witch cursed me.

she cursed my great-grandfather, actually, who had spat on the hands of the ocean and disrespected the beating heart of the earth - for what else are waves but a pulse - who was silly and violent and who tried to rip from the water what was hers by rights. we were wealthy, before that, a family of merchants. my mother says in her youth she recalls white horses, the gleam of candles, early mornings with bread baked fresh by a horde of servants.

he didn’t ask permission to cross her. that’s what my mother tells me while she spoons porridge with no flavor into the wood of my bowl. he had no faith in superstition, rode with boats that were more decoration than strength, the folly of a man who was cruel and vain and proud of his own gold teeth. the sky had been blue, so regardless of what the village witch said, he would sail that day. and when his boat sank; their lives turned blue like the sky that day.

my mother says she thinks the curse on the men of our family, even if they come in when they marry, is that they will forever be violent, too foolish to see the storm on the horizon. she whispers this to me on the eve of my seventh birthday, while father is his own storm, thundering around the house, looking for her. later, when i am cleaning the cut by her cheek, she tells me the curse is on the women to forever be unhappy, to wane until they are shadows, to walk into the deep like a sinking ship. 

we don’t burn candles often, they are too expensive. she tells me this in the silk of a dark room. the moon kisses her hair. 

in three days, my mother will walk into the ocean, and my father will be my own problem. the curse will pass onto me. 

my father does not believe in superstition, no curse to conquer him. when he is gone, and i am heartbroken, i go to the village witch. i ask her to teach me about magic, and other things, and about how the ocean can be coaxed, and how to save my father’s soul. 

and my hands rot too, keeping a house by myself with things i barely knew. i learn the art of a good scrubbing, keep my mind full of white horses while i endlessly clean, dream of candles in dark while i make the bread that he will not allow me to eat. he keeps me from the ocean, from visiting the place that took my mom, from following in her footsteps where the water makes women undone.

i am sixteen when i see her in the water of a bowl. she scares me so completely that i drop it, and my father comes in with his hands, and the curse, and i almost forget all about it. it isn’t until after that i realize she is beautiful, and young, which surprises me. 

i think about it every evening. her face becomes distorted to me. i can no longer remember the exact shape of it, only the impression of beauty. 

i turn seventeen and wait for the high moon. i pin safety to my vest in little witch herbs and runes. i put naked toes on the sand and slip closer, closer, to the avenue of my family’s doom. i find a little private beach, small and surrounded by rocks, hidden from my father in the event he ever thought to come looking. at high tide, it is barely the span of my body. at low, it feels empty.

the witch of the land has given me what i need to call in the witch of the sea, but i do not use it. it feels wrong, somehow, standing here in the wind and the quiet pulse of the world. i put down the incense and sage and i sit just close enough it feels wild, dangerous - but not close enough to get caught up in thrill. 

when nothing happens, i go home and i make bread that i will not eat.

for months i do this. i climb down to my beach. i learn to do it when the moon is half, and then when the moon is empty. i learn to do it so well that sometimes i go to sleep in my own bed and wake up by the water. i take to sleeping with warding runes to keep me from being pulled in the rip out to the waiting hands of a hungry sea-witch.

i don’t know when i start talking. more often i sing, because singing in my house is not allowed, and something about the way the rocks echo my voice feels comforting. the older i get, the more i can pretend i hear my mother’s voice, answering me, harmonizing gently. i sing songs about sadness and lullabies about curses. when i have exhausted every song i know, i write new ones about fathers who have never learned how to be kind, about the house i work in but do not love, about mothers who left, and about a sea witch.

i see her sometimes. in a puddle, in the drop of rain, in the strangest places. i never expect it, although i always hope. i am never able to see her for more than the length of a wave, breaking, and each time, it does something new to my heart.

at eighteen i am too much of my father’s burden. he tries to unload me onto other men. the land witch helps me with this. i rub hemlock, burn wolfsbane. we arrange so these men have other women to marry. the news of my curse is bad enough to scare most away. my father is not happy.

after a particularly savage night, i wonder how bad it could be. i could marry some boy from the village who didn’t quite bother me. i suppose they’re not ugly. timothy had always been gentle to me. i think about a life, and how i am cursed to be unhappy. my father would finally be proud of me.

i walk to the beach and i tell the waves about him and how i could convince myself it was love if i just never wanted from him. how i could be okay, if not content, how i could be free, how i already had learned life down on knees.

but i go home and i write a rune of warding. and the years pass and i find reasons each suitor is wanting. and the sea witch i see, sometimes, peeking out at me, staying long each time in the water, looking, watching. i see her in mirrors when my father storms against me. it is bad because he mistakes the cause of my smiling. it is better when she is there the next morning.

and i go to the ocean. when i am too sad to speak, it seems like the ocean is whispering for me. i picture my mother’s voice and tell myself i am happy. i am seven again and we are sewing. i am seven again and the curse has not been given to me. i am seven and she came home after she walked to the sea.

i grow silly, brave, unthinking. i leave behind the herbs and i wade deep. i teach myself the art of swimming. i am bad at it, at first, but something about it feels good to me. like the ocean wants to buoy me. in the day i think of it, guilty. what if there was a rip tide, and the water took me? who would care for my father if i stepped off the beach into a long drop? wasn’t i clever enough to know that the ocean is uncaring?

it is not this that does it. i go out after a rain and i slip on the rocks and suddenly i am in water above my head but without the moon i cannot see the up of it. i kick and i thrash and the water surrounds me. the tide pulls on my body and in the cold i feel my body grow weary. water spills into me. it punches through my body, up my nose and into my lungs and some part of me knows this is what mother felt before she was gone.

i kick ground by accident, reorient, drag myself heaving and spitting into the air. i lie there for a long time, half in and half out of death, enjoying the sensation of breathing and of life.

when i look up, i think i see her, watching me, her brows knit with something like worry. but we make eye contact and my heart leaps and then she is gone and i am left alone with nothing but the dawn breaking.

my father is furious when there is no bread. he finds my hair wet, and the salt of the ocean still smelling on me. and that is it. that day he goes out and pays someone to agree to marry me.

this feels right to me, i think. i’m twenty-one, three times seven, a perfect number for a curse to fully come down on me. i will be wed in three weeks.

the land witch comes to visit me. she looks like she’s sorry for me. she gives me a spell and tells me to put it under my pillow; i’ll dream of love and it will soothe me. instead i dream of the seawitch, and how wonderful she is, and the sight of her, out on the water, worried.

even though it is risky, i go down to the beach. i do not bother with protective spells, i have already seen that the water can kill me. fear alone keeps me from wandering. i sit on the beach and in the sand i draw runes for understanding and i make the small magicks i’ve spent years learning and i close my eyes and i ask the ocean “why do you do this to me.”

i fall asleep. i dream that the sea witch talks to me. i dream she is my age, that she is the great-granddaughter of the first to curse my family. i dream she has spent years watching, learning, finding the truth of me. that she just needs to get the courage to come and speak, that she has fallen in love with my singing, that she knows no curse but the one in her heart that brings her back to a human, to a creature of air and not water, to a mistake in the making.

in the dawn i know it is a dream and no more. i make bread. i pour water out before it can make mirrors. i do not look. i do not like the ache that has filled me, as if i’ve been looking for an answer and the answer only leads to longing.

the man i meet - my husband-to-be - is delighted by the house i keep. he believes a woman should keep in her place, and her place should be clean. he hears from neighbors that sometimes i sneak out to the land witch’s house. laughter barks out of him. not going to allow that behavior, not me. he does not believe in curses. he will pack me up and move me from the ocean to somewhere in the mountains, where i know nobody. and i will, he promises, learn to keep my place, and that place clean.

i tell myself i could love him. he is not ugly. he says i’m pretty enough after whiskey. my father mentions i used to sing. i refuse to perform for these men so instead i make them cookies. they laugh and talk about me, even when i am in the room, as if they cannot even see. they shake hands and talk about how useless a woman is for much else than breeding. it’s very funny. the man meets my eyes and promises he’ll put a baby in me. i look down and pretend the thrill i feel is excitement, not fear brewing in me.

the land witch comes by a week before my wedding. she is smaller these days, aging. her apprentice and i get along wonderfully. the two women stand before me, holding something. 

a small box, so tiny and lovely. “break the curse,” the witch whispers, “learn to be happy.”

i smuggle the box, take it everywhere with me. it is days before i have a moment to slip away, to open it by the sea. i take a candle with me, even though my father will notice and be angry.

by the light of fire i read the spell they have left me inside, and then i am so full of gratitude i cannot stop crying.

it must be a full moon, so i must wait. in the meantime, i walk home, and i bake. 

i do not see the seawitch, even though i look for her. maybe i have wounded her, getting married. my father asks why i keep smiling. i tell him it is because i am finally with a man. he grunts and says to stop looking so silly. 

the man kisses me. i let him. we are married on a night with a full moon, and i poison him and my father in the bread i did not eat. i think of how these men were cursed so they could not see a storm coming. i watch them as they lie there, dying, and then i put all of the things i own into a basket for the land witch. i leave it there with a song i wrote for her, a spell i know will make her happy, will stop the aging of her joints, will give her the kind of relief she gave me. 

i go down to the water. i find myself running, even though i am in no hurry. i know the way so well it is like i wake up there, panting. i ask permission first. i lay out the contents of the box, i organize and practice and when the needle and pain comes, i am ready for it. i am used to pain at night. i breathe into it and walk naked into waters that swallowed my mother.

i chew bitter herbs. i swallow fire. i feel myself drown as i change from land witch to sea witch. 

when it is done, i open my eyes in the deep of a moonlit ocean. and i see her. 

this time she does not flicker. this time when i reach for her, she is there, and she is pushing my hair out of my eyes, and we are kissing with the ocean rejoicing around us, and i am laughing, and i hear her voice as clear as bell inside me.

and we live like this, a whole world between us where white horses are the size of pinky fingers and swim with their thin snouts, where i need no candles because i was raised lightless, where we have no servants but the water takes care of us. i show her the magic of land and she unfolds the magic of water. together we are unstoppable. when i come up to the air to sing little girls a promise that they can survive the madness, she sings with me, and we make a beautiful harmony.

Reunion

“You grew up.”

He laughs, rough and edging just slightly on bitter.

“Yeah, that happens when you disappear for two years.”

Derek’s eyes flit downward, and Stiles waits for him to comment on the FBI vest strapped to his chest but he doesn’t. His eyes only go so far as Stiles’ mouth, flicking back to his eyes and then down again, lingering, before sliding away. A warmth blooms out from Stiles’ chest, crawling up his neck and coiling downward, and this definitely isn’t the time for this but they haven’t seen each other in a year and a half, not even pictures because why the hell would Stiles have a picture of Derek (and he’s spent too long cursing not having pictures of Derek) and he finds his own eyes lingering.

“…You look exactly the same.” And that’s not true because Derek actually looks better, but there’s no real way to explain that Stiles hadn’t been able to hold all of the goddamn perfection of Derek’s face in his memory. He’d thought he had, but his eyes keep flitting around now and holding, catching on little details, little rushes of rediscovery in those eyes, that jaw, his teeth, his mouth, his…

Stiles wets his lips, and Derek’s looking again.

“We should––”

“I should have called,” Derek says at the same time, and Stiles blinks, breaking off, confusion pinching his brows because Derek hadn’t known Stiles was coming. He’d had no reason to call. Except… “After… Peter told me what happened, and I…”

“It’s fine.” It wasn’t, but it wasn’t any less fine than anything else from that shit show. It wasn’t any worse than Derek leaving town and getting rid of his phone to begin with.

“I felt sick the whole time you were gone,” Derek presses on, quick and urgent, like the words had been fighting for months to bubble loose and are finally breaking free. “I felt… Cora said it seemed like I’d just… emptied out. On the full moon, I could barely––”

Stop it.” It stung, because he’d thought Derek would care. For the longest time he’d felt like Derek should care, and deciding he didn’t was the first stepping stone to pulling himself together after… after the Benefactor.

Or… fuck, maybe Derek had cared, but he hadn’t cared enough to stay, to keep in contact, to check in when Stiles had needed… needed someone.

No, fuck. Needed him.

“This isn’t the time,” he says, firmly, because a fucking FBI SWAT team is nearby somewhere and there’s still a target painted on Derek’s back, and the fact that Stiles wants to crawl onto his lap and beat the crap out of him at the same time doesn’t matter, because Stiles is here to save his life. Again.

Derek parts his lips, looks like he wants to argue… and ends up just nodding, looking away up the street.

Stiles makes it a whole three steps toward the next corner before swinging back on him, balled fist smacking his bicep.

“Why didn’t you call?”

Derek doesn’t flinch at the blow. Sighs softly. When he meets Stiles’ eyes, the look in them’s enough to send months of coiled anger scattering.

“I would have gone back.”

“…What?” Stiles feels breathless on the word. Derek looks away, hands lost in the depths of his pockets and stance set in the defeated posture of a man with no way to win.

“If I’d heard your voice. If you’d asked. If you’d even sounded anything less than happy––” He grits his teeth, sharp and sudden, head ducking against some ugly thought. “…And I didn’t want to hear you happy, either.” That falls out lower, tight and rough like a secret shame.

“You didn’t want to hear me happy,” Stiles echoes, numb, and then slowly: “Without you.”

And he only understands Derek’s meaning because it’s been echoing in his own chest for over a year–– that stupid, selfish war of wanting to know he’s happy, and not wanting to know he’s happy, not wanting to hear him making a life and finding bliss in a way Stiles couldn’t give him. He’d always wanted to know Derek was doing well, so much that he’d lain up at night sometimes picturing new, bright, sometimes ridiculously corny futures for him… but the thought had always been as agonizing as it was hopeful and Stiles had never slept well afterward. And then he’d spent other nights up hating himself for being selfish enough to half-hope Derek might not be happy.

Might fail out there in the world, and come home.

Derek’s eyes are on his again, wide and shock-soft in a way Stiles had only glimpsed on him once before: the rush of thinking you’re alone in the world and realizing for one beautiful instant that you’re understood

He can feel a matching expression lighting up his own eyes.

“We’re idiots,” he breathes, and Derek shakes his head, barely seeming to feel the movement.

“I couldn’t go back there.”

“But you could have known I fucking missed you as much as––” He breaks off, despite everything suddenly unsure. “…you missed me?”

“I missed you.” Derek promises, not missing a beat.

“You missed me,” Stiles echoes, and it’s everything he never knew he needed to hear. They watch each other for too long, stunned, awed stillness.

And then the slam of a car door in the distance pulls them back; reminds them where they are and what’s happening. Derek blinks away, looking out and alert toward the street, but Stiles can see a faint flush around his ears, a happy pull that won’t quite die on his lips.

“This isn’t the time,” Derek says, and Stiles nods. There are villains to stop. People to save.

“This isn’t the time,” he echoes, but he’s smiling as he turns to head up the street. “Later.”

It sounds like a promise worth keeping.

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?”

anonymous asked:

What do you think Shiro's backstory is? Do you think he has family back on earth, or is Keith all he has?

At this point, I’m pretty sure Shiro is estranged from his family. If he were just an orphan, then I think his official character bio would have said so–like it did for Keith. So I think there must’ve been a family at some point, but they seem to be out of the picture. There’s also a few things that I think indicates Shiro may have lost his dad. 

And we see this reflected in Sam. In a way, I think he definitely reminds Shiro of his father, or at least ended up being a kind of fatherly figure. When Shiro rescues Matt from the gladiator arena, the last thing he says is, “Take care of your father.” This message sounds deeply personal, like there’s a history there and maybe Shiro was unable to save his own dad at some point. 

This is taken a step further when Shiro decides they can’t afford to waste time looking for Sam and Matt. He’s only convinced when Pidge mentions they’re family, and Shiro just stops and says, “Commander Holt is your father?” before immediately agreeing. So as much as Shiro cares about Sam, he wasn’t willing to risk the mission until he found out that Pidge was trying to save her dad. I really do think that must’ve resonated with Shiro on some level, like he’s been in that position before 

Also, something about this last shot–look at Keith’s face here. He also looks visibly affected. And I mean, we know Keith would give just about anything to be able to find his dad, so I think Shiro also having some kind of troubled past involving his father is very likely. Shiro and Keith are present for this scene instead of Lance and Hunk for a reason. 

Of course, it could also be that maybe something happened and Shiro ended up parting with his dad on bad terms, and it’s something he really regrets. After all, when calming down Pidge, he tells her something her father said instead of giving advice from his own dad. I think that says Shiro was never really all that close with his own father or maybe he just grew up without one. 

And honestly the first red flag for me was how Shiro reacted to being held prisoner for a year. The Kerberos crew was announced dead, and any family he had would’ve been told that. They must’ve mourned him, held a funeral for him. His picture was all over the news alongside the headline Pilot error

And yet?? Shiro never expresses any desire to see his family again or return to Earth like the other paladins–despite the fact that he’s been gone the longest. On top of that, he never even once asks anyone for news on his family–you’d think he’d talk to Keith or Pidge at least. What person is declared dead for a year and then doesn’t think about how their loved ones must feel? Doesn’t want to go home to them and tell them not to worry, that they’re okay. 

Shiro’s behavior is bizarrely abnormal, there’s just no way to account for that kind of response unless Shiro was either already distant from his family or absolutely dreading going home–and this is also very possible, as Shiro’s changed, he’s not the person he was before. He has his trauma, his PTSD–he believes the galra have turned him into a monster. He has to go home and try to explain why he was gone so long and lost his crew and has only one arm and his hair’s gone white. So maybe Shiro’s just terrified because all sense of normalcy would be gone and there’s no sense trying to return to it. Shiro’s not like Lance, Hunk, or Pidge–he can’t just go back. But as understandable as that would be, I more so think that Shiro doesn’t have very much to return to in the first place.

So far, the closest thing Shiro really has to a home is Keith. When he crashes back to Earth, he never asks about his family or tries to at least visit his house before he leaves. But I think it says a lot that Shiro does end up back at Keith’s home. And Keith is the one who offered him his little shack as shelter, has a warm heart-to-heart where he welcomes him back. This is Shiro’s homecoming. And given that the shack has always been a symbol of home for Keith, we can infer that Shiro will always have a place there as well. 

I think it’s very telling that there’s an episode where everyone but Shiro and Keith express wanting to go home or find their families–Shiro never voices an opinion on the matter. He’s completely silent and only steps in to try to calm Keith down and settle things with Pidge. But I think we get even more insight to how Shiro feels from Stayin’ Alive in season 2. Everyone’s reminiscing about their fond memories, and they all look so happy. But then there’s Shiro, with his back turned away from everyone. He looks pretty deep in thought, like something’s really bothering him 

And when he does turn back to face the group, he says this:

You realize once we defeat Zarkon, the universe won’t need Voltron anymore.” Just as a refresher here, Shiro was basically the most excited about being a paladin–“Defenders of the universe huh? That’s got a nice ring to it.” Shiro found a purpose, and he took pride in it. He felt like, even as much as the galra have tormented him and tore him apart, he finally found a place where he belonged

And that’s why so much of his fear is wrapped up in this idea that he’s not worthy of the job–“Did you ever think a monster like you could be a Voltron paladin?” Fighting the good fight and saving lives meant something to Shiro. His connection with the Black lion and having a team were both very healing for him. He doesn’t want to lose that 

And it only gets worse because everyone else automatically has something planned, they all have something in mind after Voltron. And they all want to go home or return to their families, but Shiro says nothing. Because there is no after for him, nothing back on Earth waiting for him. After Pidge says, “I could search for my family,” Keith adds, “I guess I could look for mine.” But Shiro never says anything about his plans for the future. He doesn’t have any 

And Shiro looks pretty tense this whole time. When he talks about how if everything goes according to plan this will all be over–you really get the feeling he doesn’t want it to end. Like being a paladin is this amazing dream and he just doesn’t want to wake up. 

Even when Kuron believes he’s dying, the only significant memories that resurface are all to do with Team Voltron. Nothing related to his own background or family. And the fact that Keith welcoming him back is the first thing he sees says a lot–that’s home to him 

The Social Stigma of Solitude

Oh, Chance-The-Rapper-Parody-Account, how I adore thee…

I love being alone.

Does that look sad written down?

It does.

But it’s not.

Last night I was listening to a podcast about a student who was struggling to “be normal” by partaking in her college’s nightlife, and I suddenly got flashbacks of the alienation I had felt in my twenties. I struggled to socialise in the same way that the rest of my peer group did and I had no idea why.

Until I read Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet”, I’d never thought anything about introversion. Based on what I’d read in mainstream media, extroverts were the cool party people and introverts were the shy weirdos. I didn’t self-identify as an introvert - I was lively and talkative! - but I liked spending large periods of time alone. Nonetheless, I wanted to be a social butterfly with lots of friends, spreading my wings all over town. Who wanted to be a loner? Nobody. Who actually was a loner? Me!

I hid my love of solitude for a long time, which, hilariously, made me more awkward and anti-social. I felt guilty for declining social invitations (as if my mere absence would be threatening the rest of humanity’s ability to have a great time). And society didn’t exactly encourage solitude - it seemed anti-human and anti-community - so, I often thought “what the hell is up with me?”. But as Susan Cain observes, “Introversion is not about being anti-social, it’s about being differently social”. She states that “Introverts prefer quiet, minimally stimulating environments, while extroverts need higher levels of stimulation to feel their best”. Reading her book made me feel less strange, and less alone. I realised that all the behaviours I felt awkward about were actually connected to preserving and generating energy in a different way to how extroverts do. This helped me to change how I structured my social and work life.

Illustration by Maxine Sarah


My Old Socialising Patterns

  1. Meet a friend for dinner once a week.
  2. Go on a complete rager every two weeks because I’d suddenly realise “Oh, I’m very lonely. I think I need other humans to feel human!”.
  3. Consume huge amounts of vodka.
  4. Probably be sick when I get home because I knew zero about moderation.
  5. Spend next day feeling elated and high off the sheer relief that I, Marina Diamandis, had survived a social event and could get back to the business of being alone.

(As you can imagine, I’m pretty relieved this is no longer my life).

I don’t think any of us are 100% introvert or extrovert; we all share traits from both sides of the spectrum. But the way in which we gain energy is the signifier. Extroverts get their energy from being with other people, whereas introverts recharge when they’re alone. According to Eysenck’s psychophysical-based theory, introverts experience higher levels of arousal in their brain, so they don’t seek or need the same levels of stimulation that extroverts do. Apparently, 30 - 50% of the are population classified as introverts, but because society favours extroverted traits, people adjust their behaviour accordingly. Extraversion has been rewarded somewhat in our culture so perhaps there is a healthy swing of the pendulum going on. Even so, there still seems to be a social stigma, or curiosity, about aloneness.

Since I was 21, I’ve gone on plenty of solo traveling trips. I never feel weird going for a swanky lunch by myself (though admittedly, this confidence has been hard won), and whenever I spot someone doing something on their own, I think “cool!”, but I also think “brave”. The bravery isn’t related to doing stuff on your own, it’s about defying the social expectations around you. The feeling that people may be looking at you, judging you, and casting assumptions about your “aloneness”. And I’m not here to say “being alone is the best!” because it’s not always, but sometimes doing trips on your own can teach you things about yourself that you wouldn’t find out if you’d gone with others. (Also, vice versa).

I’ve been a bit nervous about writing about this subject, as I imagined people might say “But you’re not an introvert. You’re a performer. A very talkative, energetic performer!”, to which I would reply, “Yes, but I spend most of my tours recharging alone in hotel rooms. Also - have you even heard my song ”Solitaire“?!”. If there is any kind of message in this post it’s to go with the flow of your natural tendencies instead of resisting them for the sake of social expectations. If I could have known more about introversion in my twenties I would have spared myself a lot of unnecessary anguish. Sometimes partying is exactly what we need, other times a night alone is more valuable.

Over the years I’ve tried to find some deep, dark underlying reason for this “unnatural” character trait but I’m happy to say there isn’t really one. The only reason I can find is an ingrained social attitude that regards solitude as strange, sad or lonely. For anyone reading this who struggles with any of the above, just know there are lots of other people who feel exactly like you. We’re all wired differently - and let me take a minute to thank God for my extrovert friends who introduce me to new people - otherwise I’d never meet anyone. Also, someone needs to set up an “Introverts Society” for crying out loud! Meetings can be held once a year (maximum. Via Skype. From the safety of our rooms.).

Share your experiences here.

Love, Marina

Office-mate who loves CNN but doesn't understand how televisions work is destroyed by that which she loves most.

I work in a small office with only 6 people. The way the office is broken up I share my office with another person, so we’re essentially facing each other. It’s away from the other offices, so we’re kind of left to our own devices. I’ve been working here for about three years now, and have always gotten along with my office-mate. My old office-mate left to start a family, so I’ve been alone for a bit before they hired Marge.

Marge is what you’d find if you googled “worst office-mate.” She brings in smelly food she eats at her desk, she plays loud music in our shared space (even after being asked not to), she fights with the boss on every little thing, she’s nosy (always asking me where I’ve been when I walk back into the office, and I’ve literally caught her listening in at the bosses door). She asks me invasive questions, and when I finally snapped at her to mind her own business she acted like I’d personally assaulted her.

Keep reading

Hit and Run (Steve Harrington x Fem! Reader)

Requested by:@s-e-x-l-o-s-t ( you should really write an imagine where a reader is friends with steve and the kids and in that scene where steve gets out of the bus to confront the demo-dogs one of them attacks him but the reader gets the nail bat and kick the hell out of it and the kids are like omg wtf the demo-dogs go away and steve just kisses the reader, sorry this is so long, you’re writing is incredibly good!)

Summary: You weren’t expecting to spend your evening with a bunch of middle schoolers, and Steve Harrington in the middle of a junkyard, fighting yet another demogorgon. Or demogorgons. 

Word Count: 2000+

Warnings: few curse words here and there and some smooching ofc

Note: I changed the scene up a little and made her attacking the demo-dog on the bus! It’s still basically the same!! I hope you like it :))

HELLA Spoilers for Season 2!!

Originally posted by mikkeljensen

You were planning on spending today in doors, either drawing or studying, not in the back of Steve Harrington’s car with a middle schooler in the front giving you mad attitude while telling you this story of how this demon-slug he found Halloween night turned into a demogorgon and ate his cat. Then escaped the cellar he locked it in by digging through the ground.

“Are you kidding me?” you asked, staring at Dustin with complete bewilderment, “It ate Mews!?” you frowned now, Dustin nodded, and you pouted slightly, “That’s fucked up, your mom came over crying about if we’ve seen Mews the other day!” you pointed, Dustin sighed.

“I know, I know- but I can’t exactly tell her that some demogorgon ate her cat now can I?”

You scowled at him, shaking your head and then looked to Steve, “So what’s the plan?”

Steve shrugged, “We’re going to lure it somewhere secluded and kick it’s ass- you know like last time,” he answered nonchalantly, “You’re here because for some reason you’re really good at gameplans…”

“Yeah, so like last time eh? Set up a trap? I’m not going to cut myself again like I did with Nance and Jonat-”

“No-no, Dart is attracted by raw meat,” Dustin cut you off, you turned to him.

“Who the hell is Dart?”

Dustin rolled his eyes like you were too slow of a thinker for him, “Dart is his name, (y/n)! But that doesn’t matter- what matters is that he grew, and now it’s roaming free and we have to kill him before he kills, so if the next thing you say isn’t how we are going to do it, then don’t talk at all!” Steve turned to Dustin like he was about to scold him or something.

You glared at the kid.

“First up, don’t talk to me like that you little dweeb, and second- it’s clear we have to get a bunch of meat and make a trail- it’s smart, but not that smart because it’ll follow,” you said, leaning back and digging through your bag, “Then we get gas like last time and-” you flicked the lighter in your hand up, Steve glancing at you through the rearview mirror, “and light it’s ass on fire,”

“And where will we get that much meat?”

“Oh you know we’ll just find it lying around- hey maybe we’ll skin and gut a cow, Dustin! It’ll be a fun experie-”

Dustin was about to clap back at you before Steve told you both to shut the hell up.

“Obviously we have to buy meat, and you-” He pointed Dustin,”Stop talking to her like she’s some kind of idiot, she fought one before, so she knows what the hell she’s doing,”

You crossed your arms all smug.

Dustin just simply turned away, saying something under his breath about ‘she didn’t really fight it’. Steve turned back at you, winking, you offered a smile before looking down at your feet. In a way Dustin was right, you didn’t really fight it, but you did help Nancy and Jonathan plan how to trap it.

You let out a sigh. Just an hour earlier, Steve had showed up at your house, telling you to put on your shoes and jacket because he needed your help. You, of course not wanting to pass up another opportunity to hang out with Steve, agreed. That was before you saw Dustin, looking impatient in the front seat of his car and were told you were going to fight another demogorgon.

You huffed slightly, and rubbed your forehead. You really, really didn’t want to do this, you thought you’d never have to ever see one of those things again.

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Maybe, if I post every time this happens, abled people will stop thinking that this sort of thing is rare.

A while back I was sitting by the restaurant in Ikea and using my phone while I waited for Marvin to buy some things.

I was seated at one of four high-backed chairs arranged around a low coffee table. Across the table from me was a stranger, his young son sat in the chair to the right of me, and his daughter, who was about nine-years-old, sat on the floor at the coffee table. She was colouring and her brother was playing on a DS.

Their father stared at me while pretending he wasn’t. It’s pretty obvious when someone is watching you from eight feet away, though. I didn’t get angry vibes so I wasn’t concerned and just pointedly ignored him while catching Pidgey after Pidgey.

My phone had a semi-transparent, soft plastic case on it. I usually covered it with cute stickers. At that time, it had large words written in sharpie on the back that said, “It’s rude to stare”.

I was absorbed in my game when the stranger across from me laughed suddenly, loudly, and pointed me out to his daughter.

“Her phone says, ‘It’s rude to stare’,” he said.

He chuckled and looked at my face, expecting an explanation.

I stared at him.

He stared back.

I sighed.

“Oh, yeah. People stare at me a lot,” Just like you were, I thought. I waved my phone to show off the words. “So I wrote that on there. So, yeah.”

I went back to my game. Guy chuckled again.

“Really, people stare at you? Why?” He asked.

I looked up from my phone. I stared at him.

He stared back. I raised my eyebrows. He kept waiting for an answer.

I held up the butterfly-printed cane that had been leaning against my legs by way of explanation. “Sometimes I use a walker or wheelchair, too.”

“And people stare?” He pressed.

“Yep,” I said shortly.

“Wow. Well, you know, I think it’s probably because of their own personal fear.”

I seriously bristled at that. The tone was awful, really patronizing.

“Yeah. Seeing disabled people in public is a real shock. We remind people of their own mortality,” I said humourlessly, adding in some sarcastic laughter for good measure. I tried to signal my disinterest by lowering my head and leaning over my phone screen.

“Yeah-” he said, charging full speed ahead like he didn’t even need me for this conversation. He clearly had something to say all prepared.

"And you know, it’s funny. But I used to be scared of- people- people with disabilities,” he said, with a smile and lean-in, touching his fingertips together, making me want to punch his face.

I was in a bit of social shock. I just kept thinking, are you kidding me? This Ikea food court confession is happening right now, huh?

“Not physical disabilities, but mental disabilities.”

He was so smarmy, you guys. When he said that, I think my soul left my body. And I had no idea how to either respond or extricate myself reasonably. 

I hesitated, looked from this guy to his children, who were watching the exchange with awkward interest.

“Oh. Uh. Well, I’m autistic, so…” I let my words trail off. To this day I have no idea where that sentence would have gone.

“Oh. Oh! But I mean, you can’t tell,” he turned tomato red. “You’re so well-spoken and- I guess you could say that you have really overcome.”

As he was fumbling, I was giving him an exaggerated but sincerely felt grimace and an unimpressed "ehhh”.

At his pronouncement of my overcoming, I sat up straight and said, loudly and pissed enough that his children started looking worried, “Uh, yikes. No.”

Guy’s daughter looked like she would rather he did anything but continue talking, but that’s what he did. Like any allistic abled white dude worth his salt /s, he powered through, ignoring my obvious and projected displeasure.

“But, I mean. In school, it’s funny, because it ended up that most of my friends were handicapped. I guess I kind of protected them-” His voice took on an artificially soft, sticky quality. It was at this moment that I snapped.

“Okay. I’m going to cut you off there,” I said. I put my hand up. His tomato face spoiled.

“What? Why?” He seemed torn between expressing frustration and wanting to appear kind-hearted and open-minded in front of his children.

“Well. Uh. Ugh,“ I looked at his kids, wondering how harsh or how kind I should be. I hated that he put me in this spot. In that moment I hated him so much.

"Well, you’re saying a lot of stuff that non-disabled people think is nice to hear, but it’s not. It’s just- it’s just not.” I knew it was pointless to try to explain. My words were failing fast. He didn’t really care, anyway.

“I wouldn’t even be able to explain it to you,” I shrugged.

He gaped at me. Now he was angry. This wasn’t going how he had wanted it to.

“I know you’re coming from a good place. But it’s not nice. It’s just not… yeah.” I gripped the handle of my cane in one hand and my phone, Pokémon Go forgotten, in the other. I fought the urge to literally run away. I felt the surreal pressure of my behaviour being one of these kids’ formative disability-related experiences.

“Oh. Uh. Well. Okay. Sorry,” he said, embarrassed, not sorry. “And uh, thanks for saying that,” he said, trying to get me back. I looked away.

“I just-” he started. Even his children looked unhappily surprised that he was trying for that last word.

“I just want to say that you’re great.

I didn’t look at him. I smiled at his daughter, who smiled back out of habit, more confused than anything. His son looked down at his DS, secondhand embarrassment turning him red too.

“Hmm. Well, your kids seem nice,” I offered breezily.

After that, I moved away from the circle of green chairs and sat in an uncomfortably high stool in the corner. I hid there, head down, my hands shaking very slightly, feeling paranoid. Like I failed. And that my friends, is ableism. 

Instagram Is A Tiny Speck In The Ginormous Oil Painting of Life

One topic I think about obsessively: Instagram. More specifically, the psychological effect it has on me.

A while ago I posted a tweet saying I felt conflicted about social media, and the responses I got were surprising. People said that Facebook gave them anxiety, only going on certain sites when their mood was stable, whilst others deleted and re-activated their accounts regularly.

Illustration by Ana Galvan

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with these platforms but they have so many pros that it makes them hard to quit. They connect me to like-minded people, are informative, make me laugh and give me an instant connection to my fanbase. It’s amazing to feel a level of relation in real time. However, in the last year I’ve noticed that every time I go on Instagram I feel kind of flat + zapped afterwards, like somebody has literally sat on my brain for 5 minutes. It’s oddly deflating.

Social media apps are designed to make us addicted to them. Human behaviour is reward based and each time we get a “like” or a message, our brains release a hit of dopamine, which makes us feel rrrreeeeal good (until the dopamine level drops and we feel real bad). Instagram is basically digital meth. So, for the past year I’ve been deleting the app off my phone for large periods of time, then re-downloading it if I want to post something. Interestingly, the feeling I get upon returning is always the same: I’ve missed nothing!

I understand social media’s appeal most when in relation to constructing a fantasy world. I’ve used it as a creative tool on every album I’ve made. Tumblr was key to “Electra Heart” and Twitter was key to “FROOT”. But what at first seemed like an opportunity to communicate our thoughts in an uncensored way has become a vehicle for us to present ourselves in the way that we would like to be seen by others. And this is what makes me feel weird about posting sometimes. A review I read of the film ’Ingrid Goes West’ nailed this feeling: “We use these platforms to lie and intentionally curate our lives”. The curating part hits a chord with me. It makes me feel icky, because I’ve surely, if subconsciously, done this - the majority of us have if we’re using the platform. How do I get around that and use it in a healthier way? Do I just delete the whole thing or do I need to be aware of the reason I want to post something? i.e. Is it to share an image I love, or is to make people think of me in a certain way? The latter creeps me out. It scares me.

Illustration by Allegra Lockstadt

Recently, a friend said he had been going through a difficult period, so he hadn’t gone on Instagram for about a month. “Why would I? Everyone is having such a great time”. Ohhh, the digital illusion of happiness. OK, some people are genuinely having a great time, and they want to share that great time with you, but they’re not having a good time all the time. And that’s the key to remember when we’re embarking on a scrolling spree into the darkest depths of existential hell at 2am. Social media is a tiny speck in the ginormous oil painting of human life. We all have problems. We present the good parts of ourselves because it’s anathema to document the true nature of our lives, which inevitably consist of moments of disappointment, loneliness and embarrassment. None of these things look pretty or cool (no, not EVEN if you put the Mayfair filter on top of them), and I can totally see how it all started out innocently. We all love sharing special moments, but because these moments hold social currency online, we’re now doing only that. It’s easy to see how people can feel disappointed when their own lives don’t measure up in a similar way.

Illustration by Lan Truong

We’re still in the infancy of the internet, trying to navigate technology in a way that is beneficial to our lives, but I sense a shift towards a desire to portray our lives more realistically. I notice more people sharing an experience or story in the caption of a selfie/ photograph that provides more of a picture of their life than the actual photo ever could. But I still wonder how we can evolve online culture into a space that is less image-focused/ self-driven, because I worry about the psychological effects that an image-focused culture might have on a young person’s self-esteem. 20 years ago, posting a stream of pictures of only my face would have been considered borderline narcissistic, but now it’s normal. And I’m not judging this - I’m talking from the perspective of someone who has done this a’plenty and who has been a part of that culture, particularly at the height of an album campaign. Maybe all Instagram has done is magnify what seems to have always been true, that humans value beauty to excess.

Ok, I’ll end this post by saying this: If I never go on Instagram again, my life won’t lack anything because of it. Assuming I use it 20 minutes a day, I’ll get back 122 hours a year - for free! The reality is, I’ll probably continue to use it, but it’s important to me to see these platform for what they are, not what they appear to be. They’re addictive, comparative, take my time and give little back in return.

I’ll leave you with my fave comment which came from @FKASimon.

Quite, Simon, Quite.

Love, Marina

Ask a question or a share a thought here!

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BACK WITH ANOTHER ONE-SHOT!!! I told you guys I’d have some canonverse klangst, so here it is! Longer than my usual one-shots, and while I don’t want to give a vague summary… there’s a bomb involved. So. Yeah, that’s a thing.

This one is actually inspired by this absolutely gorgeous, angsty art/mini-comic by @littlecofiegirl who is an amazing artist that you should definitely check out!!

I saw this comic on my dash and I loved it so much that I was immediately inclined to write for it? Anyway, here it is! I hope you enjoy!


The plan had been going flawlessly.

Key word being had.

Shiro and Lance were both searching opposite sides of the base for their captured teammate, and Pidge and Hunk were too occupied giving Shiro directions through the maze-like corridors that they neglected to warn Lance of the approaching Galra heat signature.

A cat blocked his path in the hall, staring at him with large, yellow eyes. It didn’t move to attack, but it also didn’t run away.

“Um… guys?” Lance tried over the coms, lowering his gun just a bit. He wasn’t about to shoot a cat, but he still wanted to be on guard.

He didn’t hear the Galra behind him until her hand was on his shoulder.

That was mistake number one.

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We’ll see that, sweetheart - Dean Winchester x Reader

Title: We’ll see that, sweetheart

Pairing: Dean Winchester x Reader

Warnings: None

Imagine: Imagine Dean and you being hunting partners and in love with each other for year, but are too scared to admit it. You are close and have a strong bond, being intimate in different ways every time. When he sees you interact with Jack and take care of him he remembers how he’s always wanted to have kids with you and finally gets the courage to bring it up to you.

A/N: In a close to perfect Supernatural universe this is how I’d like to see Dean open up to Jack, just to get over a lil bit of the pain in the previous episode! But I love both so much that the writers are only making it harder for me now!

“And that is how you can also raise the volume if you want to hear more clear, but careful with that around here cause Dean’s always a grumpy old man with these stuff.” you said playfully and Jack grinned slightly, just as Dean looked at you and scoffed.

“I’m not old.” hemuttered and you hummed.

“Sure, whatever you say grandpa!” you winked but he just shook his head, a small smile creeping on his lips “And- no, Jack he’s not my granpa. It’s just a thing, I call him stupid nicknames sometimes. That’s all.” you said, noticing how the nephilim was ready to ask.

“Oh” he nodded his head “Alright, and if I want to watch… cartoons, I press on number one and then three. For… thirteen, right?”

“Exactly! And there’re plenty of Scooby Doo there for you too!” you giggled, patting his back as he broke into an adorable grin.

“I really like that one, it’s wonderful!” he breathed out, his eyes sparkling.

“It sure is, Jack.” you chuckled “But remember, whenever there isn’t something good on TV and you really want to do something you can opt for a book!”

“Yeah if you wanna be a nerd in life sure.” Dean mumbled and you shot him a look.

“There are plenty of good ones around here, and I have a lot I think you’d like.” you said softly to Jack “Just until you find what you really like and what not we keep exploring, alright?”

“Then I think we should name you Dora.” Dean muttered with a snicker and you couldn’t fight the grin that spread on your lips, as Jack merely tilted his head to the side and frown.

“Do- Dora? What is that?” he mumbled and you still couldn’t fight the laughter that left your lips.

“Dean!” you exclaimed, throwing a pillow at him as he dodged it “How the hell do you even know about that?!” you shook your head.

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Earned It- Loki One Shot

Pairing: Loki x Reader

Prompt: When Thor brings Loki to stay with the Avengers, the team decides to prove just how much the God of Mischief has changed by assigning you to earn his trust; but you end up earning more than that. NO RAGNAROK SPOILERS!

Word Count: 3700

A/N: Ok so I saw Thor Ragnarok when it first came out and I absolutely loved it. For some reason, I fell in love with Loki. Not gonna lie, I feel like Loki deserves redemption and the MCU is not giving him that at all (which is why I disliked him in previous movies). Before Ragnarok, I only liked Loki because he was funny and Tom Hiddleston is beautiful. So, yeah, with this new found love for Loki, I have decided to expand my characters by adding him to the list of people I will write of. Fair warning: this is not a good imagine at all.

~~~

“But why me?” You let out an exasperated whine, “He knows me the least.”

“It’s not just that.” Steve nodded, “You weren’t there when he tried taking over the world, so you’re the best candidate.”

“So what? I’m chosen just because he’s never tried to kill me directly before?”

“Basically. Plus, you’re a hot, young girl that Loki would totally mess with.” Tony added, making Natasha hit him over the back of his head and you roll your eyes. “I’m just saying that you have more assets than I do when it comes to gaining the God of Mischief’s trust.”

“Thanks, Tony.” You replied in a flat tone.

“Will you do it, Y/N? It’s the best way to see if he has changed and if we can actually trust him.” Steve said.

“If I’m our only hope, then sure, but, I swear, if Loki tries anything on me, Thor, you will no longer have a brother.”

“Get in line.” Clint laughed dryly.

“Yeah, you’ll have to wait your turn for that.” Bruce said.

“Hey, now, no one will be killing my brother. He has changed.” Thor said. When the mighty God of Thunder first approached the Avengers about his brother staying in the compound with them, they were all quick to say no. Thor then went into detail about Loki’s redeeming actions while his brother walked into the room. After putting away their drawn weapons, Tony locked Loki in one of the cells, so that the team could discuss the issue at hand. That’s when Tony, Natasha, and Steve came up with the brilliant idea of using you as bait. You, the newest Avenger that has never even formally met Loki before, were chosen as the person to draw him out. You would somehow gain his trust and learn whether or not he has truly changed. If he never trusted you, then he was the same Loki as years ago; if he trusted you, then he had changed.

With your decision made, the Avengers left their meeting room to the cells. You all stood before Loki as he beamed mischievously at the sight before him. Tony opened the cell up and allowed the God to step out.

“Alright, reindeer games, we’ve got some rules that you must comply to- if you are to stay here.” Tony stated.

“Ah, rules- don’t you just love them and the chaos they bring?” Loki replied and Steve scolded Natasha as she began to curl her fists.

“Look,” Steve said, stepping up, “You’re not allowed to leave the compound unless one of us agrees to go with you; you cannot create any chaos inside or outside of the compound; you’re not allowed anywhere near the ships or weaponry-”

“I get it. I’m under house arrest. I’ve been in trouble before.” He stated, “Now, where is my bedroom? I’d like to catch up on some sleep.”

“Follow me, brother.” Thor said, leading Loki up the stairs as everyone dismantled from their protective stances. You watched as the two brother headed up the spiral staircase and you caught how Loki peered over his shoulder at you. You were quick to turn your head and invest yourself in a conversation with Steve.

~~~

That night, Loki did not come downstairs for dinner. Thor offered to take him a plate, but you insisted on doing it- that way, you could introduce yourself properly to him. Thor, knowing your intentions well, allowed you to take his place in serving his brother. You stood outside of Loki’s room and knocked lightly on the door, holding his plate of food with the other hand.

“Come in.” Loki said dryly. You slowly opened the door to find him sitting on his bed with a disinterested look in his eyes.

“I brought you dinner.” You gestured to the plate of steak and potatoes.

“I’m not hungry.” He replied and you shook your head with a laugh.

“You haven’t eaten all day. Please, eat this. Sam makes the best steaks.” You held it out to him and placed the book in his hands on his lap, before taking the plate.

“Sam?”

“Yeah, Sam, he’s the Falcon. He’s super cool and there are no steaks that compare to his- well, actually there’s a really nice restaurant in Upper Manhattan that has the best steaks. Sam’s are still amazing.”

“I’m dying to try it.” Loki replied sarcastically as he poked it with his fork.

“I’m Y/N, by the way.” You said, holding a hand out to him.

“Loki, but you already knew that.” He shook your hand almost timidly. He felt that there was something off about you- why were you so kind compared to the others? He expected Thor to be the only one to treat him as a normal person- not some random Midgardian that he’s never met.

“What book are you reading?”

“Excuse me?” Loki asked and you nodded toward the stray book on his bed. “It’s just a story my mother used to tell me. It’s a part of Norse mythology, as you humans call it.”

“It sounds interesting. I’ve always enjoyed learning about mythology.” You said, genuinely.

“Well, as good of a book it is, it does get boring after a while. I should have brought more books with me.”

“You know, Loki, we’ve got a library.”

“A library?” Loki asked, his whole stance perking up at the word.

“Yeah, I’d offer to show you it tonight, but I’ve got dishes to do. I’ll show it to you tomorrow.” You paused and then nodded, “I’ll see you later then. Good night, Loki.”

“Good night, YN.” Loki replied as you quickly retreated from his room. He looked at the plate in his hands and set it on his bedside table. He picked up his book and began to read it once more. He couldn’t help but think about you and how you were so intriguing to him. As much as he’d appreciate you showing him the library tomorrow, Loki got up and made it his mission to find the library on his own.

~~~

The next day, you went to find Loki in his room, but found that it was empty. You then decided that the library would be the next best place to look, knowing that he had shown a level of interest in it. You found him as expected; he was comfortably lounging in a chair with his nose stuck in a different book.

“I see you found Steve’s Shakespeare.” You said with a short laugh. Loki jumped, startled at your sudden presence. He lowered the book and looked over at you as you stood in between two shelves.

“It is quite entertaining to read.” He replied, glancing down at Macbeth in his hands.

“I know. It’s one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.” You nodded.

“If you’ll forgive me, I’d like to continue it.”

“I’ll be quiet, but I want to do some reading of my own.” You replied. You searched in the shelves for a book as Loki continued his reading.

This happened once everyday for the next two weeks. You would enter the library to read in peace, and Loki would already be sitting at a chair by the fire with a different book in his hand than the day before. You would both make small talk for a few minutes when you arrived. You felt, over this time period, that your feelings for the God were growing, and growing romantic. You also felt that there had been no progress on your part- Loki still treated you as if you were just another Avenger, as if you were on the same level as his brother for trust.

“Just give it some more time.” Natasha told you as you complained to her in her room.

“Time won’t do anything, Nat. Nothing is working. We just sit in a library and read as communication.” You let out an exasperated sigh and she shrugged. You watched as she focused on painting her toenails a light shade of purple almost more than she focused on your complaints.

“At least he bears being in the same room as you. He makes every meal incredibly awkward.” She replied. You remembered back to just this morning- Loki was silent, like he always was, and, as soon as he finished eating, he left the room. His presence filled the entire room with tension.

“That’s one thing, though.” You huffed.

“Aren’t you usually reading by now?” Natasha asked, peering at the clock on her wall.

“I’m quitting this mission. It’s stupid and it’s pointless. The guy has been here for two weeks and he’s done nothing. Isn’t that reason enough to trust him?”

“Look who you’re talking to and think who you’re talking about- guess again.” Natasha laughed. She had been on so many missions where she was undercovers for weeks, and Loki most likely had no problem with committing to fooling someone for long periods of time.

“That doesn’t matter. What I mean to say is this whole idea is corrupt and I’m done with it.”

“Corrupt? As in it isn’t good on Loki?”

“That’s not what I-”

“Ohhhh,” Natasha let out sinister laugh followed by a knowing smirk, “You like him, don’t you?”

“Don’t be ridiculous.” You tried to defend yourself.

“Sweetheart, you can lie to yourself and to him all you want, but you cannot lie to me. You are totally into him!”

“Fine, so what if I am? Why are you so happy about it?” You asked, referring to her blatant hatred of him.

“I don’t agree with you, but I think you liking him is cute. Maybe you could end up changing him.” She shrugged hopefully, “Plus, if he hurts you, it gives me even more motivation to kill him.”

“Like you need anymore of that.” You said, making her chuckle.

“Fine, if you’re giving up this mission, then you can go make me a sandwich. I’m starving.” Natasha said and you playfully rolled your eyes at her.

“Turkey or ham?” You asked as you headed towards her bedroom door.

“Turkey please!” She called from her spot.

You left her room and went straight to the kitchen to make up her snack. You finished her sandwich and then decided to make one for yourself. Just as you were about to top off your own with the final piece of bread, you heard a voice, announcing the presence of someone else in the room.

“Could you make me one too, please?” It was Loki and the sincerity in his voice was something almost unusual. He seemed quieter and mellower in his demeanor today.

“Would you like turkey or ham?” You asked as he stepped into the kitchen completely and began to watch you work.

“Either will be fine.” He said, “You didn’t come to the library today.”

“Oh, you noticed that.” You stated, awkwardly fumbling with the sliced meat before you.

“Why, yes, I did.” Loki stated, taking a cautious step towards you, “I do notice when the one person who does not alienate me leaves me alone.” You turned to him to see him being completely genuine- his soft eyes telling you everything. He looked away and took the sandwich from your hands, “Pardon my directness.” He left the room with the sandwich and without another word.

You sighed at his retreating figure. Maybe you shouldn’t quit- at least not yet. He had shown some feeling in that moment; he had shown that he cared about you. You wouldn’t jump to saying he thought of you in a romantic way like you thought of him, but you could conclude that he felt connected to you.

You took the last two sandwiches to Natasha’s room. You dared not speak of the recent events to her. She munched happily on her sandwich as you two watched reality shows and as he toes dried.

~~~

The next day was completely lovely. The sky was blue and the leaves were in the middle of changing colors. You absolutely loved it and you figured Loli would too. You quietly entered the library and saw him exactly where you had planned to: sitting in that same arm chair with yet another book.

“Loki,” You said, making your presence known to him. He peered over his book at you and offered a smile, “I was wondering if you’d like to go outside- since, you know, you’ve kind of lived in this room for the past couple of weeks.”

“Outside? You would accompany me outside?” He asked, completely thrown off by your question.

“Yes. It’s a beautiful day. I was going to visit the park and I thought that you might like to join me.” You explained yourself.

“I would like that.” Loki said. He set the book on the table and stood up. Using his magic, he changed his clothes from Asgardian wear to Midgardian casual attire. You smiled at him, admiring his change.

You took Loki to the nearest park, much to the dismay of some of your fellow teammates. Thor offered to tag along, but Natasha quickly shut that down. Thor was far too recognizable and anyone could recognize Loki if they had seen his brother. You were pleased about introducing Loki to feeding the ducks with the few pieces of bread that you had smuggled from the compound. From what you could tell, he enjoyed it. It was the simplest thing, yet it displayed Loki’s humaneness in such a strong way. He never really stopped genuinely smiling while at the park and all of it was because of you.

~~~

Loki was pacing around in his room the next day, rehearsing how he should ask you out. He wanted to take you to that restaurant that served the steak you loved, but he didn’t know how Midgardian dating worked.

“Brother!” Thor greeted, walking into Loki’s room unannounced and startling him.

“Thor, have you forgotten how to knock?” He asked with a sigh.

“I heard you pacing. Is anything on your mind?”

“Why would anything be on my mind? I’m fine.” His reply was defensive as he attempted to conceal his emotions. As the God of Mischief, he is normally much better at it, but his feelings for you had grown too great for him to easily cope with.

“Does this have anything to do with Lady Y/N?” Thor inquired.

“What are you on about, brother? This has nothing to do with her. Nothing is wrong.” Loki stated.

“Whatever you say, I shall believe, but I do think you should ask her sooner than later. Unlike us, Lady Y/N does not have thousands of years.” He spoke with a calm smile.

“Is that all?”

“Well, I was originally sent to ask if you were joining us for dinner, so will you?”

“It depends if I am hungry or not. You can leave now, Thor.” Loki said and his brother exited with his hands up in surrender. Loki looked at himself in the mirror and cast an illusion so that he was in casual clothing for the second day in a row. He left his room and headed straight to yours. As he was about to knock, he realized your door was cracked open and that you were speaking to someone in your room.

“I’m actually glad I didn’t quit.”

“I’m glad you didn’t, too.” Natasha said, “It seems to be working.”

“I learned from the best.” You laughed, referring to your best friend before you.

“Do you think he’s changed?”

“I think Loki has.” He froze hearing you mention his name. His heart hammered in his chest, “He seems kinder and gentler. I still feel bad though. A part of me wishes I gave up, but a part of me is proud that I’m going through with this mission.”

‘Mission?’ Loki thought. He felt a stinging pain build up in his heart. No, it couldn’t be. He was the God of Mischief. There was no way you, a mere Midgardian, could have tricked him- and there was no way you could have tricked him into falling in love with you.

“Going undercover is hard, but you have done it well, even if your target was the God of Mischief.” Natasha replied proudly. Loki heard you two come closer to the door, but he wasn’t quick enough to move. His feet were planted in that moment- replaying your words in his head. As you opened the door to reveal him, he used his magic to transform him back to his Asgardian self.

“Loki-“ you started. Natasha looked at you with concern, knowing fully well that he had heard the two of you.

“Don’t.” Loki spoke with a firm shake of his head. The smile that you had grown fond of over the past few weeks was completely gone. “Congratulations, you succeeded in fooling the God of Mischief.” He sarcastically raised his hands and did a partial bow for you, before he left without another word.

You watched his retreating figure in pain. You had never wanted to hurt him- that was never the plan, but, yet again, falling in love with the trickster was never a part of the plan either. You started to walk in the direction of his room when Natasha caught your hand.

“Y/N,” she sighed, “Leave him be for a bit. C’mon, we should tell the others.” Agreeing with her, you quietly followed her down the hall to the lab, opposite of Loki’s direction.

~~~

“Well, this is-“ Tony started after taking a deep breath, but was cut off by Steve.

“Bad. This is bad.” He stated. You could feel all of their eyes watching you, as you kept your eyes focused on the ground beneath you. “Thor, what do you suggest we do?”

“I do not know.” The God replied, “I have never seen my brother act the way he was with Y/N before. He showed a whole different level of respect and compassion for her-“

“Could it be that he was playing her as well?” Clint asked.

“No.” Thor shook his head, “Loki is mischievous and he is great at pretending, but not like this. I have never seen him so vulnerable.”

“You think he actually loves her?”

“I don’t know if I would call it love quite yet, but I do believe it could have become that.”

“Should I talk to him?” You asked quietly. Guilt and pain was all you could feel. Loki was upset with you, and, now, Thor believed you to have broken his heart.

“Maybe I shall speak with him first, Lady Y/N.” Thor said. “I know my brother best and I fear he is too unpredictable at the moment.”

“Very well then. Thor, go see him.” Natasha stated and he nodded. The room was silent as all of you watched Thor leave the room.

Thor entered Loki’s room to find his brother casually sitting on his bed, a book in his hand. Loki lowered the book and looked at the other God. He answered, “Yes?”

“Do you love her?” Thor asked.

“That mortal? Please.” Loki said, rolling his eyes lightly.

“Loki, drop this act. Do you love her?” He asked again. Thor stepped into the room and a bright gold burst came from the room as Loki’s magic disappeared. The seemingly normal bedroom was an illusion and shifted into the remains of a bedroom. The bed was torn apart with the mattress falling into the wall; the opposite wall had a few fist holes in it; and the bedside table was smashed, bits of it splattered around the room. Loki sat in the far corner and lifted his head from hands.

“See for yourself, brother.” Loki said, slowly looking up at the other God. His eyes were red and his hair was a mess from his recent angry motions.

“Loki-“ Thor was speechless. He had never seen his brother so broken and hurt. The last time Thor walked in on Loki in a state like this was when their mother died; and, now, Loki was broken once more.

“Surprised? This is what one look like when they are upset.” He stated.

“This is far more than upset.”

“It’s against my nature to call myself heartbroken.”

“Y/N would like to speak with you.”

“And I would not like to speak with her, or anyone for that matter, so, brother, you may leave now.”

“I will not leave you here to swallow yourself into a hole of despair.” Thor said as Loki stood.

“Despair? How would you feel if the mortal you loved betrayed you? How would you feel if you loved her and she had been lying to you this whole time?” His voice raised in anger.

“You have it all wrong, brother. Y/N has not betrayed you.”

“Leave! You know nothing of her lies!” He stepped towards his brother and Thor straightened up to his full height, preparing for any violence that may come.

“Loki,” You spoke from the doorway. Both Gods turned to you in surprise and Loki’s heavy breathing seemed to calm.

“Lady Y/N-” Thor started.

“I’d like to speak to Loki alone.” You said. The blond looked between the two of you and then left the room without another word.

“I do not wish to speak to you right now.” Loki turned his back to you and you took in his destroyed room. You sighed softly and stepped towards him.

“Please, allow me to explain myself.”

“I don’t need any further explanation. I understand your actions- you don’t trust me, none of you do.” He stated with a firm shake of his head, making you stop in your tracks.

“Loki, I can’t speak for the others, but I trust you. What I did was wrong, but I was doing what was best for the team. They wanted me to earn your trust-”

“Well, you earned more than that. Congratulations.” He said.

“If it is love that you’re speaking of, then I feel it too.” You replied and he slowly turned to you.

“Pardon me?” Loki questioned and you continued your walk to him until you were directly in front of the God.

“I love you, Loki, and I’m so sorry that I made you feel betrayed. It was never my intentions.”

“Is this the truth?” He asked and you delicately took his hands in yours. You nodded, causing a grin to form on his face. He leaned down to kiss you softly. He pulled away and whispered to you, “Good. I love you too, and it frightens me.”

“I’ll never lie to you again.”

~College!au Pen Pal Jungkook~PART THIRTEEN

[part 1] [part 2] [part 3] [part 4] [part 5] [part 6] [part 7] [part 8] [part 9] [part 10] [part 11] [part 12] [part 14:END]

Originally posted by jkguks

Jungkook quickly jogged in the direction of your dorm room. How could he be so stupid? Even if Y/F/N was his pen pal, he was willing to let go of you and your friendship? After everything? What a dick move, he thought to himself.

He didn’t know why you were the one apologizing when he was the dick who didn’t even look in your direction for the past two weeks. He wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t open the door.

“Y/N?” He lightly knocked on your room door. Were you even there?

“He’s here,” he heard a low voice through the door.

“Shut up, Tae!” He heard you shush through the door.

“Y/N, I know you’re there,” Jungkook sighed, leaning his arm against the door.

“I don’t need to hear it. I know I lied to you and I’m sorry, okay?” You murmured. 

“You’re not the one who should be apologizing. It’s me, really.”

“It is?”

“Yeah. I was an inconsiderate asshole who deserted you. Sure, I was hurt because I thought you were just averting me from meeting my pen pal whom you knew all along. But a part of me knew you wouldn’t do that. Yet, I didn’t listen to that part of me. So I stopped seeing you. At first, it felt like I was empty but then it hurt. Really hurt. I saw you around, alone at the cafe or on campus and damn, I was crushed. But I had my stupid pride and ignored your obvious sadness. You don’t know how much I wanted to walk up to you sometimes, but those times were when I was around Y/F/N.”

He heard you scoff at the mention of her name. He continued, “I honestly can’t believe that I was willing to give you up over something so stupid. You’re way too special to me, Y/N.”

“Meaning?” Taehyung shouted from the other side of the door, urging him to go on. Jungkook heard the sound of a smack and Taehyung winced, “Ow!”


From beside you, Taehyung sat criss-crossed, rubbing his arm which had a newly formed red mark on it. “What was that for?”

“Be quiet, would you?” You pleaded, nodding your head towards the door.

“Meaning I care about you…a lot. Maybe a little too much, for my own good,” Jungkook replied vaguely. What was that supposed to mean? You wanted to urge him to elaborate but it seems, once again, Taehyung beat you to the punch.

“Which means?” 

“Y/N, I love you.”

Before you could process what Jungkook had just said, an inhuman sound was heard from next to you. 

Turning your head to the side, you saw Taehyung laying on the ground, clutching his chest, and his eyes shut.

“Namjoon hyung owes me twenty dollars!” He hollered, jumping up. “Y/N, I’m helping you out here. Have fun!” Taehyung opened the door and made eye contact with Jungkook for a split second, before breaking out into a grin. 

“Good luck,” Taehyung patted Jungkook’s arm and slid past him and ran out of your dorm. Your eyes stayed glued to the carpet floor under you.

“You what?” You managed to speak. 

Rubbing the back of his neck, awkwardly, he sighed, “Yeah, I know; funny way of showing it, right? But I guess I was just so hurt by what you ‘did’, and my pride got in the way.”

As if breaking out of your daze, you shook your head, “But I lied to you first. Yeah, you made me feel like absolute shit, but it was my fault. If I didn’t lie in the first place, this wouldn’t have happened.” You stood up in front of him. 

“You had a good reason,” He said, softly.

“Being insecure? Wow, what a great reason,” You rolled your eyes at yourself.

Jungkook took hold of your hands, “I made you feel insecure. I was rude enough to accuse you for not being my pen pal once I got here. I’d do the same if a girl showed up at my door and looked at me the way I looked at you. But believe me, I never looked at you like that again.”

When you said nothing, he took it as an opportunity to keep talking, “As we kept hanging out, I realized how freaking attracted I was to you. Not because of your appearance, not gonna lie though, you rock the whole I don’t give a fuck about my hair look, but because of your personality. Whenever you were looking away or telling a story, man, I only had eyes for you. Call me cheesy but I don’t care. Y/N, I definitely don’t deserve you but please take into consideration my apology,” Jungkook pled, not letting go of your hands.

 Looking down at his hands holding yours, you realized just how well they fit together. Feeling your cheeks heat up, as if you were just remembering that he was confessing, you looked away. 

“Kook, I know you hurt me, but I forgive you.”

“That easily? No way. Can’t you yell at me or scold me?”

“Kook, I’m not your mother. I forgive you. It’s Y/F/N who I don’t, nor will ever forgive.”

Biting his lip, he looked down at you. “No offense because I knew you two were friends at one point, but she’s annoying as hell.”

“Oh, I know,” you scoffed with laugh.

“Seriously! If she wasn’t exposed I probably would’ve found out sooner that she wasn’t my pen pal. She was so…clingy? Definitely not my Sarcastic Princess,” he finished with a smirk. 

Your Sarcastic Princess, huh?” You raised an eyebrow.

“I still can’t believe I didn’t realize. You’re the same person! I mean, at least I don’t feel bad anymore, though,” He scratched the back of his neck.

“Feel bad about what?”

“I was kind of torn…I had this small crush on her but then I had feelings for you and you have no idea how confused I was as to how I could like two people at the same time. Turns out, it wasn’t two people.”

Rolling your eyes with a smile, you said, “Well, hey, if it makes you feel any better, the feelings are mutual.”

“They are? Even after–”

“If my actions were so easily forgiven by you, why can’t be yours?” You shrugged. “Plus, who needs drama? I miss our lazy days when all we cared about was that essay we needed to write for the next day.”

“I like the sound of that,” Jungkook smiled, thoughtfully. If he didn’t love you as much before, he certainly did now. Relationships weren’t perfect, but for the two of you, your fizzle happened before it actually started, and that was okay.

“So? Past is in the past?”

“First I need to do one thing…Hm, make that two things,” Jungkook grinned. 

“What?” You furrowed your eyebrows.

“Firstly,” He began, before cupping your cheeks and placed a soft peck to your lips. It lasted only a few seconds, but it was enough to make your heart race.

 After pulling away with a cheeky smile, Jungkook grabbed your hand and tugged you out of the room. 

“Secondly, how about we get some revenge?”


WOOP WOOP I LIED! ONE MORE PART OR SO AFTER THIS ONE!

Part 14?👀👀👀

Eleven did not like that Max girl. Not at all.

Everytime she looked her she was reminded of Mike grasping her arm and helping her up while smiling at her, and why would he smile at her, he was her Mike. Hers.

And El wasn’t going to forget that just like that. So when Max punched Mike on the arm playfully after D&D game one November night, barely a week after the gate closed and they could start hoping for better times, it took all of the self control that El possessed to keep herself from making Max fall from her chair. She grimaced instead, subconsciously gripping Mike’s hand that she was holding under the table tighter. He looked at her questioningly with his dark, attentive eyes. She shook her head, looking grumpily at the game pieces. She felt his thumb tracing her knuckles and her brows relaxed a bit.

‘Okay, dunno about you guys, but I’m hungry. ’ stated Dustin, stretching his arms above his head.

‘Aren’t you always?’ Lucas raised his eyebrows. Dustin made a face at him.

'I’m a growing boy! Besides Will needs to eat more to regain his strength! ’ Dustin put a hand at the small boys arm. Will smiled tiredly, amused. It was the first time his mom would let him go out since the night when they finally set him free and he was happy to finally feel almost normal again.

'I have a pizza leaflet in the kitchen somewhere. ’ said Mike and got up, never letting go of El’s hand. 'Come on, we’ll order something. ’

They all stood up, but Eleven reluctantly let go of Mike’s fingers, grasping Max’s elbow instead, keeping her in place.

'We will be there in a minute. ’ she told Mike. He raised one eyebrow, but nodded.

'Okay. ’ he kept his eyes on her for a few more seconds. She smiled at him lighty, as if to remind him that it’s okay. That she wasn’t leaving him. Never again.

When the boys disappeared upstairs, El turned to Max, furrowing her brows again.

'What the hell? ’ Max tried to release herself from El’s grip.

'One thing. Stay away from Mike. ’ she said calmly, looking her dead in the eyes.

'What?’ Max seemed to process what Eleven was saying.

'Stay away from Mike.’ El repeated slowly.

Max raised her eyebrows and then bursted out laughing. Elevens frown deepened.

'Oh my… Are you serious? You seriously think… ’ she tried to catch her breath. 'Dude, I don’t even like Wheeler like this! We’re friends, that’s all! ’ she was still laughing.

'You don’t? ’ Eleven let go of Max’s arm.

'No, why would I? Besides, even if I did, it wouldn’t make much difference anyway, since this dumbass clearly looks like he would kiss the ground you walk on. That’s why he didn’t want me to be part of the group in the first place. He thought I would end up as a replacement for you. He wouldn’t even talk to me civilly. The kid loves you so much it’s ridiculous.’

Eleven blinked at Max and tugged at the black bandana tied around her wrist.

'Wait. ’ Max suddenly spoke up. 'Is that why you hate me so much? Because you think I’m trying to steal your boyfriend?’

'We’re not exactly… ’

'Oh, shut up, you damn well know you are. So? That’s the reason?’ Max looked at her expectantly.

'Are you sure you don’t like him?’

'Friends don’t lie. ’ said Max, remembering the phrase that El and the boys used a lot. She extended her hand, looking at the other girl questioningly.

Eleven eyed her carefully for a few seconds and then grasped her hand firmly.

'We’re okay now?’

'Yes. ’ El nodded carefully and headed towards the stairs.

’ You sure have some jealousy issues, though. ’ Max joked as she climbed them after her. ’ I pity the next girl that has the audacity to breathe in Mike’s presence. ’

'Don’t push it. ’ El muttered, glaring back at her, but the corner of her lips quirked up slightly when she turned her head.

When they arrived at the kitchen, they were greeted by boys arguing over pizza leaflet.

'What kind pizza do you want, Max? ’ asked Lucas instantly, looking at the redhead questioningly. Mike snorted, handing the leaflet to El and explaining why pizza with pineapple was a crime against humanity, standing so close to her she felt his breath on her cheek. She glanced towards Lucas, who seemed to be trying not to trip over his own feet when Max snatched the bandana from his head, using it as a hairband while grinning at him.

Eleven smirked, suddenly feeling much better about Max being part of the group. Her fingers found Mike’s again (they seemed to do so a lot these days) and she looked up at him, recalling Max’s word’s.

“He loves you so much it’s ridiculous. ”

'Everything okay?’ he asked, squeezing her hand gently. She traced the freckles on his cheek with her free hand, making him blush bright red.

’ Never better. ’

@elevenknope @mxdmax @lucassinclairstan