Horizon Zero Dawn and Cultural appropriation: A very different view.
first time EVER, I’m sitting on the other side of a discussion about
appropriating native culture. Why? Well, let me lay the framework.
First off, I’m
not a guy who “knows a Native American” or has a “Native friend” I am a 100% Anishinabe (Ojibway) dude who
lives on reserve and has fought racism, stereotypes, pan-Indianism, and
cultural appropriation fiercely for as long as I can remember. I’ve been the
victim of horrendous racial violence as a child, adolescent, and adult, and I’m
also a gamer.
I am the
first to point out anything that smacks of any of the above and after I saw the
Dia Lacina essay on “Horizon: Zero Dawn” being culturally insensitive and appropriating Native culture, I felt for the first time in a situation like this that I had to say something in rebuttal.
issue with the use of the words Tribal, Primitive, Braves, and Savage being used
in the game (fyi they’re used to describe predominantly white people in game
and they’re White words we didn’t use to describe ourselves thus I claim
no ownership of, nor want to, anymore than I want to be a redskin, Indian or
It seems (IMO) that most of her beef comes from an apparent belief that numerous aspects of generic tribal culture
that appear in the game (making clothing from skins, hunting with spears and
bows, living in a Matriarchal society, etc) are the sole domain of the Native American and just to be safe and cleverly keep her POV less subject to scrutiny, she
applies it even more broadly to indigenous people world wide (I will just
refer to us in particular as NA cuz I’m lazy and I also don’t refer to myself as a Native
American) and basically that anything that is remotely “tribal” shouldn’t be
used in gaming without our or someone else’s permission.
In fairness, I don’t know
if she’s actually played the game but as someone who is currently in the midst
of doing exactly that, I can tell you that I have a pretty good idea of what
stuff triggered her being upset and why, and while I absolutely respect her right to get
offended by whatever she likes, and she makes excellent points about some other games, I am going to point out that there are flaws
with this logic.
all, the basics: HZD is set in a post-post-apocalyptic future where people are
living in tribal groups in a very destroyed world. Machines exist but as hybrid animal/dinosaur
type creatures and technology is pretty much non-existent in day to day human
of the story is a red haired, white girl
named Aloy who lives as an outcast with her adopted father, Rost. Without giving a lot away, they are fiercely
shunned by the local tribe for something Rost did and also the fact that Aloy
and rightly, though somewhat dismissively remarked upon by Lacina, is the way women and especially women
of color are portrayed so positively in-game as this particular tribe is a
total Matriarchy run by elders of various ethnicity. African, Asian, White, and a variety of undefined people of color are common everywhere in the game. (The leader of one band of warriors is a very fierce, commanding, intelligently portrayed black woman with a powerful presence.) It reflects a fairly global society from a “skin
color” perspective without any horrible accents or broken speech.
an “All-Mother” goddess and their culture is (at least how I saw a lot of it) fairly heavy
on European i.e. Celtic, Germanic, Scandinavian, etc type symbolism and the
rest is filled in with mostly generic tribal-ish stuff that you could find in
countless cultures around the world.
didn’t get a “Native American” vibe off the game. Of course, I don’t automatically presume to
claim sole ownership of things like tribal life, hunting with bows and spears,
and worshiping spirits of various elements solely for my own. Random fact: Because there are over 500
distinct First Nations in N. America, we, believe it or not, didn’t all ride horses, live in tipis,
use bows and arrows, tobacco and sage, and worship Eagles and Wolves. Why? Well…use your brain. Tobacco and Sage don’t grow EVERYWHERE,
horses came over with the Europeans (and if you saw where I live you couldn’t have and cant for the most part get a horse through the bush if you tried) Eagles and Wolves don’t live EVERYWHERE….get
the point? Anyways….
examine Rost, he like most of the men has a braided beard and other seemingly Viking/Middle
Ages inspired features, is white, speaks clear, unbroken English, and is a
loving, protective and very positive role model for the girl. Aloy for her part, is also fairly Viking-esque
(to the point of looking incredibly like Lagaertha from the show Vikings but
with red hair) also Egrit from GoT, and is no damsel in distress who needs men to save her. NOWHERE
in the game have I encountered any Tipis, wigwams, Sweatlodges, or Non-White
people speaking in stereotypical “Me smoke-um peace pipe, He go dat-a way”
The opening cinematic is very touching (and long)
as we see the orphaned Aloy as a baby in Rost’s care being carried around in a
bundle on his back (which pretty much every culture did in one form or another
at some point in time) and him ultimately taking her to the spot where a child
of the tribe receives it’s name.
liked this idea as it isn’t often portrayed in a lot of mediums outside of
stereotypical “Dances With Wolves” bullshit.
Also, naming ceremonies are not the sole domain of NA people and what
occurs bears zero resemblance to any NA ceremony I know of. (It was actually a little Lion King at one
point lol) But it’s a powerful moment in the beginning with much more that
occurs during it but I won’t spoil that either.
is a pretty complex character. She’s
extremely independent, defiant, and questions pretty much everything about why
things are the way they are and wants to do something about it. You actually begin playing her as a 6 year
old which is pretty unique and even then she’s tough and fearless and
determined to explore her world.
She is in no
way hyper-sexualized (I’m looking your way Overwatch) Her clothing and everyone
else’s, is utilitarian and appropriate for the environments she lives in, and
so far, I have not encountered anything with her or any other character that
made me go “WTF?”and trust me, my radar for that shit is HIGHLY SENSITIVE. This isn’t Avatar, people. It’s not John Smith. It’s not The Great Wall
or Pocahontas. This isn’t white dude
shows up and saves the helpless non-white people while helpless native woman
falls in love with him stuff. It’s a
fictitious future where we maniacs blew it up, damn us all to hell!
the more annoying thing for me as an actual Anishinabe. I don’t need people speaking for me or
getting offended on my behalf. I am very
capable of doing that myself. I am also in no way writing this claiming to be
speaking for any other NA people or persons.
It’s based on my observations from actually playing HZD and examining the
various fictional “cultural” elements in the game.
If you see a
skin tied inside a hoop and automatically assume it’s a dreamcatcher” ripping
off “our culture” (FYI Dreamcatchers are a 20th century thing whose
popularity was a result of pan-Indianism that exploded in the 70s.) or if you
see feathers on a spear or as part of a costume (nowhere is anyone wearing a
single eagle feather in the back of a beaded headband or a Dakota looking headdress
either) and automatically presume it to be ripping off NA culture, you’re REEEEEEEEEEALY
reaching. If you think caring for the
environment, obeying matriarchs, worshipping elemental spirits, or making your
own clothes is solely the property of NA culture, see previous statement.
By all means get offended. Get offended
by Chief Wahoo. Get offended by the
Washington Redskins. Get offended that
thousands of Native women have been murdered or gone missing and nothing’s been
done about it. Get offended by Johnny
Depp or Robert Beltran playing Native people instead of actual Native people
getting those roles. Get offended by
shit like Adam Sandler’s “Ridiculous 6” where a native woman is called a “hot
piece of red prairie meat” or Depp’s “Lone Ranger” movie.
that my family was destroyed by the Residential Schools and that the 60s scoop
took babies away from their families and people, that forced sterilizations
took place and mass graves of dead Native children exist at former Residential
jump on the I’m offended bandwagon because you saw some feathers or skins or
spears or bows in a game and immediately grew indignant and wanted to claim
them as OUR culture. They’re not. They’re almost globally universal in numerous
cultures at various points in time. Get
offended, as she rightly mentioned, when the game Overwatch sexualizes the shit
out of almost every female character and takes West Coast tribal art and makes
a costume out of it.
appropriation. White people holding
powwows in Europe (powwows are also pretty much not traditional and are
extremely pan-Indian, not to mention full of us appropriating each other’s
Native cultures ie. Dakotas wearing Jingle Dresses, Ojibway wearing Dakota
regalia, etc) is appropriation.
just not seeing it the same way. And I’m nobody. I have no ties to Guerilla or anybody other than myself and my community.
How do you redecorate without breaking your fragile bank account??
I love this question! Everything on this list is under $30, and most of it can be purchased from the safety of your dorm room couch.
Decorating on a Budget
1. Plants: Plants are my personal favorite decor (apart from Xmas lights). They’re inexpensive and look great in any location. If watering a plant every day doesn’t work for your schedule, get a cactus! I water my cacti twice a week.
2. Xmas Lights: I try to distance myself from people who say that Xmas lights are just “seasonal”. I have three different strands of lights up all year long, one in each room and one on my outdoor balcony. These lights are perfect for parties, romantic evenings, etc.
3. Candles/Incense: Dorm room or apartment landlord permitting, candles and incense really help an apartment feel more homey. They also help stave off the smell of your cat’s litter box, which is always a plus.
4. Posters: Posters aren’t as expensive as you think they are, but poster frames are ridiculously expensive. And you can’t buy the cheap ones, they fall apart instantly- you have to buy the $40 ones. My advice to you, buy posters and hang them up carefully with pushpins or tape.
5. Clocks: Buy a cool clock off Society6 or RedBubble for $25. It’s my belief that the right clock can help brighten up an otherwise dull-looking room. I bought my boyfriend this Bob’s Burgers clock for his birthday last year.
6. Shower: You don’t need to use the low-grade weak shower head that came with your bathroom. You can buy color changing shower heads and spa quality shower heads on Amazon for $25. Go forth! Always keep your old shower head somewhere safe, and put it back on when you’re ready to move out. There are lots of great and truly unique shower curtains out there on the internet, but they’re expensive. You’re better off buying one from Target or Walmart.
7. Night lights: I am the sort of person who always needs to pee at 3am. I have always used night lights in my bathroom and kitchen because they’re so much better than blundering around in the dark. Similar to the Xmas lights, they help create that “mood”. I have these cute little lava lamp night lights.
9. Chalkboard paint: Dorm room or apartment landlord permitting, chalkboard paint can help turn your room into a perpetual canvas. A friend of mine from college did this to his incredibly small room, and it looked so good.
10. Beaded curtain: Beaded curtains help make small spaces appear larger. We have a beaded curtain hanging in our hallway currently, and it’s great. You don’t need a super expensive one that was handmade by the indigenous people of wherever. Just a simple one to put in a doorway or hang on the wall to change your space.
I’ve seen lots of debate in the fairy tail tag today over whether NaLu is actually canon or not, so I wanted to share my opinion!
*WARNING: This is a long one!*
Personally, I believe NaLu is canon, but not in your stereotypical “I love you” “I love you too” confession and makeout session kind of way. Ever since Natsu and Lucy first started acting like a couple and were shipped, we know that the pair have zero experience with love. Neither have ever been in a relationship, and therefore don’t really know how to act when confronted with the idea of one. Lucy has a slim idea, after her early fantasies of a “knight in shining armour” figure, however Natsu is completely oblivious. I think Natsu and Lucy both share an idea on what love is, but neither can properly tell when they are in love unless when the moment is right.
So here comes Chapter 545! Of course Lucy got incredibly emotional when thinking back to the jobs:
Which is only natural, the poor girl has been through so much and just at the thought of going on another job brought back so many memories and tears to her eyes.
So what does she do? The only thing she can do:
Embrace and thank the man who made it all possible; Natsu.
At this moment, with all the memories flooding back into her, Lucy is finally coming to terms with her feelings for Natsu. She loves him. She loves him out of pure gratitude for everything he’s ever done for her, and for being her first ever friend. As Lucy said herself, if she’d never met Natsu, none of her life would have been possible; she wouldn’t have joined Fairy Tail, she wouldn’t have made friends, she wouldn’t have grown stronger, and she probably wouldn’t have won the best writer award!
And Natsu knows this.
Of course initially he pulls his signature “o shit” face because Lucy is crying and he’s not really sure what to do.
But this isn’t necessarily a look of “o shit” because he’s uncomfortable or feels awkward. Both him and Happy look incredibly concerned, from their creased eyebrows to the bead of sweat dripping from them. So why is he pulling that face? Because he is confronted with love.
As I said before, Natsu has had no experience with love before, therefore when Lucy hugs him and tells him how much she appreciates him, he doesn’t know how to react.
Now, the next part I think is the most important:
Of course Natsu has never been one to give Lucy any form of personal space, and here is certainly no exception. But this scene is different from all the others. Natsu respects Lucy more than anyone else in the guild, therefore if he were to tease her or invade her personal space, it’s purely in a jokey scenario. This scene here though? This isn’t a joke. Natsu and Lucy are being serious. So that merely means that Natsu leaning in is not a way to tease her, he is being serious with her, a trait rarely shown by the dragon slayer unless in combat.
Now, you’d all be lying if you said you didn’t think Natsu was going to kiss Lucy on the next page, because at this point I was screaming at him to kiss her and this is the point most people believe Natsu rejected Lucy. But in my opinion, it’s the complete opposite.
As I said, Natsu has had no experience with love, so the time he is actually faced with it (right now), he’s not joking around, he’s not teasing, because he has finally realised how Lucy feels. Granted I don’t think he’s absolutely certain, and here’s why:
When Natsu leans in - I promise this isn’t my NaLu senses taking over - I believe he was actually planning to kiss her, like many of us hoped. However, I think he changed his mind at the last minute, purely because he doesn’t want to hurt Lucy. He knows she’s in a vulnerable situation, and he would hate more than anything to make her more upset and tearful than she already is. Natsu knows that he loves Lucy, and is starting to think she returns those feelings, but he doesn’t want to confess when she’s in such a state and all emotional. He doesn’t want to hurt and/or confuse her.
Now let’s discuss Lucy’s feelings towards all this. Throughout the entire Alvarez arc she’s being toying with her feelings towards Natsu, as to whether they’re strictly platonic or whether there’s something more. This is the point where she’s considering perhaps there is something more. She’s so overwhelmed with gratitude and emotions she’s finally putting two and two together and deciding she is in love with her best friend. When Natsu leans in, she thinks he’s about to kiss her. How do we know?
This. The face she makes. You can interpret this however many ways you like, I’m definitely not saying mine is the correct way, but I’ll explain my theory.
Lucy’s contemplating her feelings again when she says “Wait”, but stops in the middle of her sentence. Why? Because she’s panicking. She - much like Natsu - has never had any experience with love, never had a boyfriend, and never had her first kiss. She thinks Natsu is going to kiss her, so what does she do? She closes her eyes and leaves her mouth open. She’s waiting for him to kiss her, so she can properly decide how she feels. She wants Natsu to kiss her.
Need more evidence?
She thought he was going to do something interesting.
What kind of interesting thing were you thinking, Lucy?
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
However, what really ties the knot, (see what I did there), about Natsu’s feelings towards Lucy is this:
He wants them to be together forever.
Natsu and Lucy wouldn’t have a stereotypical love confession because they are not a regular couple. Natsu saying he wants to be with Lucy forever just about proves that he loves her. And let’s not forget who else said they wanted to be with their significant other forever:
And who are together and trying for a baby in the final chapter?
From the words they speak to the expression they make, Natsu in no way friend zoned Lucy.
I believe he confessed to her, but in his own sweet, dense little way! He’s too inexperienced to know how to properly confess, and although he initially considered kissing her, it’d be far more like him to aggravate Lucy but confess his love at the same time. After all, he can’t resist teasing her!
Hopefully this put some of your minds at ease, let me all know your opinions and theories, I’d love to hear them! <3
Guys guys, if you’ll zoom in on Liam’s pic you’ll see that aside from the bangle bracelet that looks to be THE love bracelet he’s wearing two other bracelets on his wrist. The one that got my attention though is the beaded black bracelet (fyi: it’s the bottommost bracelet) which to me looks like the black beaded bracelet that Zayn has been wearing recently (he was wearing it when he was pictured yesterday at the tattoo parlor). And another thing that it’s interesting to me is that Liam’s bracelet has a single silver bead threaded in the bracelet. And Zayn’s bracelet got one too! I’m sorry I can’t provide a closeup view of Liam’s bracelet coz you have to zoom in the pic manually in order to see it properly but I think it’s the same and that they have a matching pair!
Knitting Witchcraft 101, a crash course by witchimplumis
To start this off, obviously there are TONS of ways to do a lot of this stuff. This is mostly the method I use. This also isn’t a tutorial to knitting, there’s lots of great videos out there explaining how to knit, if I tried to teach all of that in this post, it would be at least 3 times as long. Finally, most of this probably also works for crochet, but I don’t know the first thing about crochet, so I’ll let someone else weigh in on that.
Knitting magic is great for anyone, from witches on a budget (yarn, especially acrylic, can be dirt cheap), broom closet witches (it’s easy-peasy to pass off as a normal, non-witchy hobby), practical witches (you get a useful garment at the end!), and more. You can use it on its own, or as a part of a larger spell or ritual.
Much like all magic, a lot of knitting magic is intent and visualization. Before starting a project, come up with a purpose for the finished product. For this scenario, I’ll use a real project I’ve done. I wanted to make a shawl to help me in the upcoming school year.
When you’re knitting, focus on the purpose that you want to imbue the finished product with. Imagine your hopes for it entering each stitch, and being locked in place with your needles.
When you first start, it may feel mentally exhausting or draining, or it may be really hard to focus and you may find your thoughts drifting away, but as you practice you’ll get better and be able to focus longer. I find that once I start to lose focus the best thing to do is leave for a while and pick the project up later, once I’ve had time to clear my head.
If you’ve been a knitter for any length of time at all, you know that flat knitting has what’s called a “right side” (the side that shows when you’re wearing/using your created object) and a “wrong side” (the side that faces towards you, like the bottom of a blanket or inside of a cardigan), or rs and ws on patterns.
When working out the beginning of my projects, I come up with two different intents, one for the outside world to see (right side) and one to affect only me (wrong side). So, in the example of my school shawl, I wanted other people to view me as capable in my field. So my rs intent was “I am a learned student of my trade.” On the ws, I choose an intent that helps me to acheive my ultimate goal (doing well in school) so the intent I used was “I have the focus required in my studies.”
HOWEVER, when working in the round, there’s no wrong side. So then how do you go about wrong side intents? Two options: one, have only one overarching purpose for all knitting (such as “I will succeed in my chosen field”), or alternate lines as you would if you weren’t knitting in the round.
Yarn comes in pretty much every color and color combination imaginable. Color associations/color magic are not only possible to do with yarn but strongly encouraged. I use lots of sources for mine, googling “color associations” brings up bunches of pages, or you can use your own personal associations. If you’re going to do this, read reviews for the yarn and check for or ask about color bleeding.
Textures are an often-overlooked factor. Prickly yarn can be used in a defensive spell, or soft yarn in one for comfort and warmth. Always keep in mind what kind of thing you’re making though, and try to work off of that. Some textures are not ideal for some uses.
Yarn materials are important to fit to your project. For example, you don’t want to make a knit bralette out if dish scrubby yarn (ouch). You have tons of options, but I’ll stick to the kinds you’re most likely to run into cheap-ish. My standing recommendation for all of these is if there is any way at all you can see and feel yarn in person before buying it, do so. I don’t recommend buying in bulk of you haven’t dealt with a brand or line of yarn before.
Acrylic- acrylic yarn is usually extremely cheap and comes in tons of colors and textures, some are shiny, others are really fuzzy, there’s all kinds for all purposes. It’s really great if you have allergies because it’s synthetic fiber.
Wool/superwash wool: usually somewhat coarse, wool is a natural fiber that comes from shearing specific breeds of wool-producing sheep. Some brands will even say specifically what breed(s) or country their wool comes from. In my experience, wool is much easier to work magic with than acrylic, however it will usually also be more expensive, and there are fewer textures and appearances available.
Cotton: cotton is a nice in-between of acrylic and wool. It’s a natural fiber, but I don’t know of anybody being allergic to it. It can come in many different colors, but not really any texture variety, they all just feel like cotton. If you’re not morally opposed for any of various reasons, Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton yarn is by far the best cotton yarn I’ve found, in terms of softness. If you ARE morally opposed however, Sugar n Cream makes cotton yarn on huge spools very cheap.
Bamboo: it’s considered eco-friendly yarn. I don’t know how true that is, as I don’t use it enough to actually look into the carbon footprint of bamboo yarn. That said it feels like actual clouds and looks like them too.
Silk: we all know what silk is. Silk yarn exists. It’s on the expensive end of cheap stuff, usually only comes in small amounts.
Merino: wool that comes from the merino sheep breed specifically. This wool is really soft, I don’t work with it much because it’s usually really expensive compared to every other kind.
Novelty yarns: I love incorportating these. Some are great for practical reasons (dish scrubby yarn) and others are great for using some of their elements as part of a spell (like feathery yarns or beady yarns etc.)
I don’t think there’s a widely agreed upon set of associations for stitch type/pattern, these are just some common ones I’ve come to associate.
YO/lace- these large, open patterns I associate with “bigger” or more wide effects. Alternately, because they’re basically big holes in the object, allowing your intents to come out into the environment.
seed- just like its name, I associate seed stitch with potential and growth.
Garter- I tend to associate garter stitch with mundane life, alternately with its common use as a border stitch I associate it as a holding stitch, keeping things in (like secrets) or protected.
Stockinette- a super common stitch pattern for fronts of things, especially socks (as per the name). I tend to associate it with appearances, and spells like glamour aids.
When/if you block, visualize the water charging your finished object. You can use scented wool wash in scents that are associated with the spell you’re doing, you have tons of options.
You can get all kinds of things at craft stores! I found crystal charms last time I went that would look great on a heavier-weight shawl, there’s beads of various different materials and colors, if I went over all of these things it’d take a whole extra post. Play around and see what you like.
Clothing- either for yourself or for others. Make ritual clothing or just a warmth-intent hat. Possibilities are totally endless.
Poppet- maybe make a poppet out of yarn? Stuff it with things you want the poppet associated with? Disclaimer: don’t burn knit poppets unless you are 100% certain ALL ingredients are safe to burn wherever you’re burning them. I prefer to “destroy” my knit poppets by stabbing them with knitting needles, so that I can reuse them, even better, make the end drawstring-style, so you can reuse it with different ingredients. Eco friendly witchcraft!
Spell swatch- I call it a spell swatch but it may have another name by now. It works pretty much exactly how it sounds, knit a swatch of fabric in varying colors, stitches, etc., based on what the spell is. Knit in beads or feathers or hair or whatever you feel like you should. Then pin it on your wall or carry it with you. It doesn’t have to (and probably won’t) look nice, it’s just a little spell to carry with you, like a very personalized sigil.
Other uses: knitting is great for meditation! Finding a simple pattern to knit for a while can leave your mind free to relax and do its own thing, I love leaving guided meditations, binaural tones, etc. on while I’m knitting things like socks or blankets.
Lance was afraid. He was on a ship with two alphas who already had constant disagreements, and that was on a good day.
There was a bottle that stood by Lances sink, empty, long past empty in fact. His suppressants were long past empty. Lance had gone to Coran many times in the past two weeks, asking initially about Alteans and their hierarchy regarding Alphas, Omegas and Betas, to his disappointment Coran hadn’t the slightest idea what these statuses were. Or maybe it was to his relief, nobody to judge him for his pre-determined role. Coran had made a copy of what was on the bottle and spent every spare minute trying to recreate the medication for Lance, in confidence of course. The blue paladin had made a clear point to the old Altean, pushing for him not to tell a soul about the prescription. Coran obliged, in slight reluctancy.
“Good morning Shiro, Hunk.” Lance walked into the kitchen that morning. He dragged his feet over to the table and sat down and Shiro perked his ears in slight confusion, he turned to Lance and tested the air. Lance froze, he knew the day would come when the suppressants would ware off, he was just surprised it was so soon. Internally he counted the days. 5. It had been 5 days since he had downed he last pill and distress washed over him as he realized that that was about right. It takes a week for suppressants to run through your system and at day 5 smells would leak through and behaviours would start returning.
“Good morning Buddy!” Hunk called from the kitchen as he was whipping up supposed breakfast. Shiro sat stiffly and stared at Lance, scanning him up and down. Making the young man uneasy. His omega reflexes were kicking in as he thought back to health class ‘Basic human instinct is fight or flight, Alphas fight, Omegas Flight.’ It was as simple as that, there was an Alpha staring him down and he wanted to run. He wanted to turn heel and book it down the hallway, Shiro would be hot on his tail because at its basic genetic make up, Omegas were prey and Alphas were predators, and Lance knew this.
“Shiro… Shiro you’re staring.” Shiro shook his head and snapped back into the present, his nostrils stopped flaring and his pupils grew bigger, his animalistic intent gone.
“S-Sorry.” He looked down, the proper etiquette to apologize. He looked back to Lance after his formal apology and became interested in the smell again but in a less ‘I want to hunt you and mount you once you’ve been caught’ and more a ‘this is new and interesting’ kind of way. “You just smell…” he inhaled deeply. “Different.” He grabbed Lances collar of his jacket, desperate to get more of the smell into his lungs, it was familiar but foreign, still Lance but… different. “New cologne?” He asked “or beauty product?” Shiro searched for an answer.
“New body wash… why?” Lance was laughing nervously, Shiro a little too close for his liking and he felt a little too trapped to be calm, his hair stood on end. “Like it?” He smirked cautiously.
“Very much.” Shiro hardly acknowledged Lance but was so mesmerized by the scent he only snapped back when hunk set plates down on the table, the clanging made him look at the source of the noise. “O-Oh thank you hunk.” He looked back at the jacket, up at Lance, and realized how stupid he must look, smelling Lances jacket while it was still on him, he dropped it and mustered an apologetic smile. Lance looked at Shiro and saw sweat forming in beads on his forehead, Shiro isn’t a sweater, he only sweats after long training sessions or intense missions. “It looks d-delicious” he mumbled, almost before turning back to his food, as if he were almost saying it about Lance… almost. there was a gulp and Shiro tried to shake it off and picked up a fork to start eating what resembled eggs but were slightly thicker and a gross colour of blue, regardless of the look they tasted delicious.
Hunk looked to Lance and sniffed slightly, much less interested in the new smell due to his Beta status, he tilted his head questioningly and Lance answered before the question was asked. “New Body wash.” He smiled and tugged at his collar, feeling the cloth stick to his skin. Hunk nodded and placed the dish in front of Lance.
“Yeah no problem.” In the next two seconds Keith came flying around the corner and ran into the kitchen, Pidge hot on his heels. They stopped in the middle of the room, breathing heavily and Keith smirked slyly at The green paladin who was glaring daggers, if looks could kill he’d be dead on the floor.
“Fine.“she heaved “you win, you’re faster.” Her hands were on her knees as she tried to catch her breath. Keith; not bent over, but still catching his breath, walked over to the table and found a spot beside Lance. Of course he had to be sat between the two alphas. Of course he did. There was a god and it hated him. Keith froze half way through running his fingers through his hair and turned to Lance, giving the same expression that Shiro had. The difference of the two was the Keith snapped himself from it.
“You smell funny.” He stated, blunt as always.
Lance wrinkled his nose in disgust at the pungent scent that attacked his nose. “Oof and you smell oh so pretty.” His face was the epitome of grotesque displeasure and Keith shoved at Lance lightly, smiling gently. Their relationship had been good lately, not strained, still light teasing but no arguments.
“Just got back from training” he stated, shovelling the imposter egg into his mouth. “Why your smell?”
“New body wash, picked it up at the last marketplace we went to.” He hardly looked up, his suave charisma along with his ability to lie was counted as a blessing in those seconds. Keith grunted in acknowledgment, also keeping focus on his plate, he may have seemed not interested but every instinct made him want to investigate Lance and his odour.
“Smells nice.” He mumbled half-mindedly.
“Gasp! What did I just hear? Was that a genuine compliment from Kogane himself?!” He nudged Keith’s shoulders and the red paladin scowled.
“Yeah don’t expect another one for a long time if you’re gonna react like that.” Lance pulled away, realizing the boundaries and laughed it off.
“To be perfectly honest I’m already surprised when you compliment me.” He turned to ask for the salt-like-liquid he used for seasoning his eggs. He’d been so caught up in his conversation with Keith he hadn’t noticed Shiro had moved closer to him and kept glancing out the side of his eye. Lance caught the look and Shiro instantly looked down as if to apologize again and Lance flicked his head up, a non verbal way of saying the apology wasn’t needed; a common action of an Omega. He froze and Shiro let himself look at Lance, confused. Lance played it off and brushed hair behind his ear, looking back to his food. Hunk and Pidge watching their interactions silently, glancing at each other occasionally for non-verbal opinions, the odd nod in telepathic agreement, or look of confusion. They were so in sync it was scary. By the time Lance had finished his food and went to stand up he was almost shoulder to shoulder. With Shiro and Keith had spread his legs slightly so his knee was touching Lances. As soon as he moved to stand Keith stood with him and looked at Lance attentively. He second guessed himself and gave himself a confused look, Lance doubling it. Almost instantly though Shiro also stood up and took a step towards Keith, his shoulders back and head up. The red paladins confusion melted away to a need for dominance. He was small, and several years younger than Shiro but still opted a challenge, they exchanged low growls, hardly audible. Within seconds they were shoving each other’s shoulders lightly, their growls growing.
“Woah! Woah guys!” Hunk stood up from the other side of the table, reaching a hand as if it’d do something. “What’s with the aggression? Why the sudden dominant neediness??” Hunks voice was concerned, like the mother hen he needed to be.
“I DONT KNOW!” Keith’s voice continued to growl, Shiro not backing down.
“I WANT TO FIGHT YOU AND IM NOT SURE WHY.” Shiro yelled back angrily.
“ME TOO.” Keith stood onto his tippy toes, still not close to Shiro’s height.
“THIS IS WEIRD.” Shiro sounded confused within his anger but his face didn’t betray him.
“WHY ARE WE YELLING.” Keith made another attempt to intimidate Shiro but his voice simply couldn’t hit that baritone that Shiros could.
“I DONT KNOW!” They took a step away and bowed their heads. Shiro gripped his temples and Keith crossing his arms in front of his stomach.
“Ooookay.” Lance turned to walk away and both alphas went to follow him, glancing at each other, almost starting another growling fit. “Hey! Guys I’m just putting my plate in the dish disposal.” He shook his head as their expressions turned to confusion. “What’s gotten into you guys.” He asked a question he knew the answer to. Because you see they were alphas, needy, lonely, dominant alphas. And Lance? Lance was an omega, and at that, he was an omega with no mate.
…to be continued…
(S/o to mah boi @legendarylangst along with other people for supporting the idea of the omegaverse fic)