but there are far too many baseball caps here for me to be comfortable

Sparks Chapter 17

Pairing: Bucky(POV) X Reader(POV) ft. other characters from the avengers team

Word Count: 5.1K

Summary: So I totally got this from New Girl 2x15 when they played True American, the drinking game. Drunk Steve and Bucky being cute. Sam, Wanda, Nat, Cho, & Everyone locking y/n and Bucky in her bedroom until they kiss. Spoiler they finally kiss.

A/N: This is a story about two people building a great friendshipand then slowly falling in love. y/n is a strong, independent, and smart scientist. She meets Bucky when she wakes him up from cryo sleep and they become friends. This is going to have all the angst / best friends falling in love / fluff / drama / & eventual smut ;) that I can possibly fit in it. This fic is going to be looong! So far my document is like 50,000 words. So editing is hard If you catch any grammatical or formatting errors let me know.

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I Want To Know You- Spiderman x Reader

@mcfucfairy Request -Hey, can I request probably a one-shot where the reader has powers kind of like starfire from teen titas but insteed of green gold and her and peter go to the same school and she is in team cap and when they are fighting peter recognised her, and then she was hurt when the tower fell, so she they get back to Queens he tries to get to know her and become friends. I know this is probably long but could you please try. Thanks
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Hey, sorry this took so long but I kept changing it…hope you like the finish product lol.

Key: (H/N) - Hero Name (F/F)- Favorite Food (E/C)- Eye Color (H/C)- Hair Color (Y/N)-Your Name (Y/L/N)-Your last name Warnings: Violence, fluff, romance, pushing people away (idk is that a warning?) __________________________________________ You tug your jacket tighter against your freezing frame as you try to make it home without any trouble, not that you were scared of getting attacked, you knew you could take anyone on. You were worried about running into any criminals. One-because you were tired and didn’t want to have to be (H/N) tonight, and two-because your Mom was making (F/F) for dinner and you didn’t want to miss it. You walked through the night, your messenger bag tight at your side filled with your mask and boots in case any baddies decided to pick the wrong night. Just as you were beginning to feel hopeful, you heard a scream. Surpressing a groan you ran into the nearest ally and pulling off your over clothes to reveal your black and silver form fitting spandex. You dig through your bag, pulling out your leather boots and mask You press your mask on and tug on your boots as fast as possible. “Somebody help me!” you hear a woman screech and you spring into action. Your feet lift off the ground, and speedily you fly your way towards the voice, hoping you didn’t take too long. When you get to an abandoned ally you see at least five beefy thugs all surrounding a terrified blonde woman. You land on the dumpster, folding your arms and clearing your throat for their attention. Their heads snap up to you, the first thugs eyes flittered with fear for just a second before you start talking, “You know if you want a girl, maybe you should ask her out first.” you say sarcastically, tilting your head as the thug growled, “Of course you’d have to shave the beard though, no offense but you are NOT pulling it off.” you joke, chuckling slightly at the glares you were getting from the men. “Get out of here (H/N)” One of them growls, pathetically trying to scare you off as the woman by the wall starts whimpering in fear. Your eyes snap to the woman before returning to the disgusting men, “You know usually I give a warning,” you say, hopping off of the dumpster to be face to face with one of the men, “But when it comes to men like you, you don’t get warnings.” you growl, now staring up at the man that almost looked afraid. Before you can say anything else, the man swung his fist at you, a move you easily dodged, backflip kicking him in the jaw and landed easily. He stumbled back as the other men came towards you throwing punches left and right in which they all missed. You perched your arm on the wall and yawned mockingly, “Oh come on, is that all twinkle toes?” you ask, raising your brows. Another one comes toward you and you simply kick him in the stomach. He doubles over and you kick his head, knocking him out. You sigh, “Guess so. Alright, I’m done.” you say as gold energy surges around your fingers. You feel your energy all pouring into your hands before aiming and blasting the energy, knocking them all into the wall of the ally behind them. They all remain still and you cross your arms in triumph, proud that you knocked them out before turning to the woman who was now sobbing quietly on the ground. You approuch her carefully, “Hey,” you say, gently placing a hand on the woman’s shoulder, “It’s alright, your safe now.” you assure her. Her crying dies down a bit and she turns to you, lifting her face out of her hands, “Thank you.” she whispers. You smile at her, standing up and offering her a hand in which she gladly takes, “thanks,” the woman says, her eyes bleeding with sincerity. “Just doing my public duty.” you joke, “Not a lot of jobs that require flying and blasting energy out of your hands.” you chuckle, “So this will have to do.” your eyes drift over to the unconcious men and you sigh, “Maybe I should get paid.” you mumble, before you see a red figure land not too far from you. Your head whips around to see none other than the infamous Spiderman, leaning on the wall to your right. “Spidey!” you exclaim to your least facorite superhero, “You’re just in time,” you tell him, pointing at the men, “You don’t mind binding them would you?” you ask, “I don’t exactly carry hand cuffs with me, never really been my kink.” you joke and Spiderman looks slightly uncomfortable, “Y-yeah.” he stutters, and you tilt your head in confusion. This wasn’t like Spidey, he was acting nervous. He shot his webs at the men, binding them to the ground as he turned to you with pride in his stance, “All done.” he declares, “Although I’m pretty sure you owe me a thank you now.” he teases and you roll youer eyes, walking past him and patting his shoulder. “Make sure she gets home safe,” you say, pointing at the woman, “I got a plate full of (F/F) with my name on it, and I really don’t wanna eat it cold.” you say, beginning to lift off the ground. “What so I’m doing your work for you now?” he jokes and you supress a grunt. God he could be so annoying. “Oh come on Spidey,” you say, crossing your arms over your chest, “I’m pretty sure you owe me.” you say, recalling the memory. He scoffs, “And why would I owe you?” he asks, beginning to get agitated. You smirk, “Because I’m pretty sure I’ve saved your ass quite a few times in the past.” you say, putting a hand on your hip. He rolls his eyes (at least it looks like he does under the mask) “Yeah right,” he says folding his arms across the spider on his chest, “You’re the one who always needs saving.” he grumbles and you raise your eyebrows in amusement, knowing that he was wrong. “Whatever Spidey,” you sigh, flying higher, “I don’t have time fir this.” you say, “Cold (F/F) remember?” you joke, finally turning and flying off, leaving Spidey with the damsel he would be making sure got home safe. ——————————————————————– You stood outside the doors of Midtown High, waiting out the rain as you sat by one of the pillars. You sigh, leaning your head against the pillar as you stare over the many students out in the rain, walking home as if the water didn’t even effect them. Usually you didn’t mind the rain, but right now, you just didn’t want to go home. You didn’t want to be alone because you knew what your thoughts would drift to. The accords. Apparently the government wants to be in check with all of the Superheroes, making sure that they’re safe. As much as you thought it made sense, you couldn’t help but feel as though that meant giving up your freedom. It wasn’t just the accords that were getting to you, it was Steve. Steve was now known as a fugitive according to the News. He went against the government to save someone known as “The Winter Soldier.” You recognized him from the pictures as you saw him on the news, he was Bucky Barnes. You didn’t know how but somehow he was still alive. Steve had told you about Bucky and you knew how alone he must have felt after he died. You didn’t care what the news said, Steve always did the right thing. Whatever he’s doing now has to be a good reason. Your snapped out of your thoughts by a figure sitting next to you on the concrete. You turn your head to see the dark eyed Sam wearing a navy blue baseball cap. Your eyes widen and you smile wide, “Sam,” you whisper shout at one of your closest friends. He chuckles slightly, looking you up and down, “You’ve grown.” he declares and you laugh slightly, “Well it has been months.” you say, “What are you doing here?” you ask, your smile dropping as you think of the only reason he’d be here, “Would you believe me if I said it was because I missed you?” he asked with an amused smile on his face. You rolled your (E/C) eyes, giving him a face as he laughed. “Alright, alright.” he surrendered, putting his hands up in mock defense. Your dear friend took a deep breath, looking at the sidewalk warily before his chocolate orbs connected with yours. “Steve needs your help,” he started, “I’m sure you’ve heard about the–” “accords, Yeah…” You interrupted him before trailing off. “I’ve heard. Bucky is all Steve has left. He needs him, I know that.” Sam nodded at your words, “They’re forcing us to be put in check, anyone who didn’t agree had to retire, obviously Steve didnt agree.” Sam explained as you nodded, “Did you hear about The Winter Soldier taking down that building?” he asked and you nodded, not wanting to interrupt. “It wasn’t him, But of course nobody will listen.” Sam sighed, “Tony’s after us. I could barely get here.” he explained as you set a comforting hand on your shoulder, “I know I shouldn’t have, you’re just a kid and–-“ “I’m in.” you interrupted him. Sam studies you, making sure you’re certain, “You could get hurt.” he says firmly and you smile, standing up and brushing yourself off, “Eh, couldn’t be worse than what I deal with every night.” you joke and Sam smiles, “(Y/N), you dont have to do this.” he assures as you stare at him intently, “I want to fight for the right thing Sam.” you tell him seriously before he nods. You both break out into big grins as you engulf each other in a big hug, “Missed you kid!” he says muffled between the embrace. “Missed you too Tweety bird.” you tease as he groans. —————————————————————- Part two is coming soon!! Hope you like this part! 👍

Originally posted by sergeantskinnyjeans

archiveofourown.org
Glow (T)

Title: Glow
Rating: Teen
Pairing: Reaper76
Content Warnings: Fluff, Mutual Pining, Love Confessions, Kissing, Hand Holding
Summary:

Gabriel could feel his breathing go a little shallower some days when the smog in LA was particularly bad, but the humidity of Bloomington — “We’re not really in Bloomington, Gabe, it’s just easier to say I’m from Bloomington for simplicity’s sake…” — made Gabriel feel like was outright suffocating on some of the worser days. And let’s not get started on the days when it rained…

Jack and Gabriel spend part of their summer vacation on the Morrison farm.


A sequel and companion fic to Melt. For the @reaper76summerevent.

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anonymous asked:

things you said when no one else was around with jason like in arkham knight verse i don't know it's ok if you don't wanna do it

@madelyne-pryor @lancestellations

a/n: i love arkhamverse so much

❤️commission me❤️

You spot him easily in the crowd, a red hood and a dark baseball cap just barely covering his face. For a moment, you think you’re hallucinating it. There can’t be any other explanation. You went to his funeral, you saw him being lowered into the ground. There hadn’t been a body though, not one you’d been allowed to see. And maybe it’s just the grief you still suffer from, having your best friend taken from the world too soon, that makes you see his face.

He doesn’t see you and if he did, he didn’t react at all. So maybe it is a hallucination or some man that just looks like Jason.

It’s hope that makes you follow him, not reason or logic.

You’re sure that he knows you’re following him. He takes quick glances, calculated and looked to be almost casual, timed perfectly with the noises of traffic. He locks eyes with you and the coldness that greets you is almost enough to get you to turn around and run in the other direction.

It’s a mistake to keep following him, but you need to know.

You hesitate when he turns down an alley way that leads no where. There’s no sign of him at all as you look around.

There’s a force and the tight grip of a hand against your throat as you’re pressed against the side of a building. You slap at the wrist, eventually going to claw at it and kick at the man’s shins.

“Why are you following me?”

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Rockabye (6) - Jackson

Originally posted by got7-updates

pairing: jackson x reader
rating: mature
genre: angst, romance, smut
warnings: minor character death, assault, blood mention
word count:  2921
summary: life isn’t easy being a single parent, especially such a young one. but you do your best to make him happy and make sure his life is better than yours was, even if that means ‘exotic dancing’. he’s your entire world; the only man you’ll ever need. until you meet a certain idol who changes things almost as much as your son did. 

(I’m sorry this chapter is so angsty. But good things will come soon!)

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Touch || (Pt. 2) ♡

(Pt. 1) (Pt. 3)

Genre: Soulmate au

Pairing: Yugyeom x reader

Synopsis: If you ever get the chance to touch your soulmate and lock eyes, it is said to give you a shock, but not just any shock. It takes over your entire body and freezes you for what seems like forever, but is only a minute. Although this doesn’t happen to everyone, only a few. However, sometimes you can find your soulmate, but you’re not their soulmate and the shock goes straight to your heart and breaks it, meaning you have to find a way to heal it. This is even more rare, but you can even make your own soulmate and grow to love them so that one day, you will be shocked and find ‘the one’….

Word Count: 1729

Originally posted by yugybearr


The next day was Friday. A day before you were supposed to go back to work. You were laying in your bed and hadn’t even looked at the time since you woke. You didn’t have the energy to do anything, not even eat. Your phone had gotten five missed calls from Jackson and voicemails. That hurt your heart even more. It still had a slight pain from yesterday, after all, you just got your heart broken. Literally. 

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And The Story Goes... Chapter 48

I lowered myself gently on to the bleachers beside Emma, grimacing as I lifted my leg up to rest my foot on the seat in front of me.

“You okay?” she laughed, watching as I leant forward to rub my ankle.

“I have to say… I don’t think I’m really cut out for baseball.” I muttered under my breath, trying to massage some feeling back in to my calf muscles.  It had been a long time since I had played any sort of sport, and my body was not reacting kindly to the exertion.

“That’s why I don’t play!” she laughed, gesturing to her comfortable position on the side lines. “It’s much more fun to watch these guys get all competitive, anyway.”

“Nice run, London!” Shannon cried, running towards us and stopping only long enough for a high five before jogging his way back to the rest of the team to wait for his turn to bat.

I kept the smile on my face until I was sure he wasn’t looking, before letting my head drop into my hands. “Please tell me this is nearly over?” I mumbled, hoping that Emma could still hear me.

“Oh sure. Just another, what… 4 innings to go?”

The sound of her laughter echoed around the field at the sight of my horrified expression, and she shook her head as she pointed towards a group of people further along from us. “I’m just fooling around, look – the girls are going to do the cake in a minute and that’ll be enough to distract him. It’s not our first Field Day – the only thing that stops play is food!”

I followed her gaze towards the small cluster of Shannon’s friends who weren’t participating in the baseball game, and watched as they fussed over his birthday cake and each other.  I wasn’t sure what was more important for them – making sure the candles were lit, or checking their hair and make-up wasn’t out of place.  I wrinkled my nose a little, turning my attention back to the game in front of me instead.

We had taken over a small recreation ground not far from Jared’s house, where around 30 of Shannon’s friends had turned up dressed in t-shirts proudly stating “Shannon’s B-day Field Day” and proceeded to place themselves in to teams for the game.  I had wanted to avoid it – I couldn’t think of anything worse than embarrassing myself in front of a group of people I had never met by tripping over my own feet or getting the rules of the game wrong – but Shannon had insisted, and put me on his team, and it turned out I needn’t have worried. The rules were simple enough as long as I did as I was told, and I was faster than I remembered, getting round the bases quickly much to Shannon’s delight.  And considering most of the people here were beautiful women trying to get the attention of one Leto or the other, I was pretty certain no one would have noticed even if I had face planted the floor on my first run.

Jared had been his usual self; or the version of himself that he was around a large group of people, anyway. Breezing his way around everyone with a smile on his face, the sound of his laughter drifting over conversations until it caught everyone’s attention, people automatically drawn to him.  He held court in a subtle way that wouldn’t look as though he were taking over Shannon’s birthday, happily speaking to everyone who approached him, and seeking out those who didn’t.  Apart from me.

Except from a fleeting conversation at the house before we had piled in to the cars, and a cheerful wink in my direction after I had run my first and only Home Run, he hadn’t so much as looked at me.  I was used to it now, had learned not to take it as a personal slight.  But it still didn’t stop the uneasy feeling in my belly as I watched Chloe break away from a group of girlies and make her way over to him, casually draping one arm over his shoulder as she joined in his conversation with the people in front of him.

I shook it off, refusing to be drawn in to it today.  Today wasn’t about Chloe, or my insecurities with Jared.  I watched as one of the girls blew a whistle loudly and laughed as she jumped up and down, waving her arms in the air to get the attention of everyone on the field, the t-shirt tied up round her waist showing off her perfectly toned, flat stomach as she called everyone over.

“Seriously… does Shannon only have skinny pretty models as friends?” I mumbled at Emma as we rose to our feet, joining the little crowd as they gathered around for the cake.

“Pretty much!” she laughed, nudging me gently as we clapped along with the others, watching as Shannon jogged his way over to join us.

He looked so happy, a broad smile stretched across his face as Jared took the cake and lead the way in a raucous rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’.  Even the cap and sunglasses couldn’t hide Shannon’s expression, his whole body twitching as he laughed at the terrible singing echoing out around him. He looked so relaxed, and I smiled as I watched him take the cake in his hands, feeling myself sing a little louder. It was nice to see him looking so comfortable in his own skin.

I was relieved to see that Emma was right; once play had been interrupted for cake and singing the game was quickly forgotten, everyone’s attention instead focused on becoming the person that one of the brothers would want to speak to. I rolled my eyes at the display and wandered back towards the other end of the bleachers where I had left my bag, pulling out my phone to give myself something else to look at.

I didn’t fit in here. I knew I should be making more of an effort to mingle, to introduce myself to their friends and make polite small talk until I got to know everyone better. I was sure that pretty much everyone here would be at the party tonight, so now was a good opportunity to meet people.  But when Emma had explained we would be having a BBQ with friends, I had imagined a group of people sat on picnic blankets listening to music, the girls watching as the guys set fire to sausages and drank beers; the sort of BBQ’s we would have at home.  Instead, several of the girls had arrived with bags of food made up mostly of salad, which had been laid out on one of the bottom benches and then promptly ignored in favour of socialising.  Which seemed to consist of the guys strutting around and laughing too-loudly, while the girls systematically worked in small numbers to try and penetrate the Leto circle. It was like feeding time at the zoo.

It was surreal, watching so many beautiful people together in one space, fawning all over each other as though they were best friends one minute, and then subtly trying to outdo each other the next. I had just about gotten used to the way the fans behaved when they saw the brothers, but watching the same behaviour from their ‘friends’ was a little more than I was comfortable with. It was no use trying to socialise with these people – I wouldn’t even know where to start.  

I half-heartedly checked my messages and my voicemail, only glancing up at the unmistakable sound of Jared’s laughter peeling across the grass towards me and grimacing at the sight of him surrounded by half a dozen girls. I shook my head, clicking a few buttons on my phone decidedly before throwing my things into my bag and standing up, hopping down the benches in front of me and making a bee line straight for him.

I ignored the looks from some of the girls as they watched me approach, this veritable stranger with a determined look on her face, and instead switched on a winning smile when he caught my eye.

“Hey… you okay?” he asked, watching me smile politely at the girls before turning back to him.

“Yes, just wanted to let you know I’m going to dart back to the house to get ready – could I get the keys?” I smiled, holding out my hand.

He hesitated, his head slightly tipped on one side as though trying to work out whether this was some kind of temper tantrum, and I dialled my smile up a notch. “I just want to get to the shower before anyone else does.” I grinned, trying not to delight in the annoyed looks from the girls around me.

“How are you getting back?” he asked, dropping the small set of house keys in to my hand.

“Uber.” I smiled, pocketing the keys quickly. “I’ll see you back there. See you tonight guys!” I said, nodding at the others cheerfully and walking away quickly before the mask had a chance to slip.  I needed a hot shower and a change of clothes before I would be ready to deal with round two of the Leto women.

***

I let out a deep, relaxed sigh as the hot water beat hard against my skin, closing my eyes as I pushed my face under the stream and washed the soap out of my hair. Although Jared’s taste in décor was questionable at best, he had the best en-suite I had ever seen in my life. Just the shower was the size of my whole bathroom back home, and as I was alone in the house for the first time ever I had decided to take full advantage of it.  Shutting off the water I grabbed two towels, wrapping one round my body and using the other to roughly towel dry my hair, humming along to the music playing from where my phone rest on the sink.  Maybe tonight wouldn’t be so bad.  People would be more relaxed at a party, and, if nothing else, at least there would be alcohol.

I shuffled back in to the bedroom, holding my towel together with one hand and scrolling through my music for a suitable playlist with the other, chewing on my lip with a smile as I scrolled past the latest Mars album that I had recently added for ‘research’ purposes.

“Sorry, I didn’t realise anyone was in here.”

I jumped, startled at the sound of someone’s voice in the room, and dropped my phone as I snapped my head up in shock. “Fuck!” I yelped, clutching my towel a little tighter as I looked at Chloe, sitting on the edge of Jared’s bed with a smile on her face. “Chloe?”

She perched casually on the edge of the mattress, calm and comfortable with her surroundings as though she were used to being in here, my open suitcase and its contents strewn across the bed beside her where I had left them. “What are you doing in here?” I asked, trying to regain control of my heart beat as I became increasingly aware of standing in a towel, water still dripping from my skin.

“Looking for Jared,” she said nonchalantly, a small shrug of her shoulders as she looked at me.

“Jared? I left him at the park with you guys?”

“We all left to make our way back here for the party. I thought I might have beaten him back.”

Despite my embarrassment I felt the first wave of annoyance wash over me, a frown tugging at my face even as I looked at her. “And… you thought you’d just invite yourself up to his room to look for him? That’s kind of inappropriate don’t you think?”

“Not when you’ve known each other as long as we have,” she said dismissively, looking down at something in her hand.

I opened my mouth to rage, the words on the tip of my tongue ready to explain exactly how things had changed around here; until I saw what she was looking at.  In the palm of her hand, being twisted and turned so that the light bounced off of it, was my snow globe.  The words dried up before I could form them, and she looked back up at me with a tight smile across her lips, holding the little ornament up in the air.

“I saw this on top of your bag. It’s very pretty.”

“Thank you.” I said drily, watching her as she looked back down.

“It’s a great little spot, isn’t it? It’s so quiet there, almost like it’s hidden from the rest of the park.”

I didn’t miss the pointed tone in her voice, and I tried to swallow past the dry sensation in my mouth. “You’ve been there?”

A small smile tugged at the corners of her mouth as she shook the globe gently.  “Sure. Haven’t you?”

“No.” I replied, trying not to snap. “It was a gift from Jared.”

“Aw. How thoughtful of him.” She said quietly. “It’s one of his favourite places in New York. He takes all of his girls there when he’s in town.”

She placed the ornament back onto the bed, standing up and smoothing her hands over her long skirt as she looked at me. “Well, I guess I’ll wait downstairs for the boys. They’ll be back soon.”

I stayed where I was as she breezed past me and back out of the room, holding my towel so tightly the skin across my knuckles was stretched white. I wasn’t sure if the sting of humiliation was coming from the awkward encounter with Jared’s ex-whatever-she-was whilst I was wearing just a towel; or from the knowledge that I had allowed myself to be excited for a trip I had thought was just for us, when actually, I was just the latest in a long list of attendees.

***

I took the drink gratefully, smiling at the caterer as I moved aside to let the girls behind me get to the counter. I had never seen so many people in one space. Jared and Emma had gone all out, decorating the house and hiring in people to filter around the party, serving drinks and food and making sure that everyone had everything they could want. The built in speakers around the house were blaring out some kind of hip hop music at a volume which made it almost impossible to hear conversation unless it was being shouted in to your ear, and after a few hours the people inside the house had given up trying and were simply dancing instead.

I moved through the crowds, looking for familiar faces amongst the many and drawing a blank. Pausing to drain half of my drink, I let out a breath and pushed my way through towards the French doors, stepping out in to the garden, relieved by the fresh air and the speakers around the pool playing the music at a softer level. The people out here were much the same as the people inside; young, beautiful girls wearing not much of anything, with long hair and pristine make up and smooth, tanned skin, elegantly draping themselves across sun loungers or perching on the edge of tables, drinks in their hands as they batted their eyes at the men fawning over them. I thought about Leigh, and what she would make of this crowd – I could almost hear her scathing comments in my ear as we laughed at how vapid these LA parties could be, and for a moment I had a pang of homesickness that clutched at my chest tightly.

Determined to shake it off I walked towards the corner of the garden, spotting Jared in the same place he had been for most of the evening, talking to his friend Terry and a couple of blonde girls I didn’t recognise. He looked up as I approached, a smile forming on his lips as he extended his arm towards me.

“There she is,” he grinned, slipping his arm round my shoulders. “I’ve been looking for you everywhere.”

I glanced up at him, ready to smile at his words, only to realise whilst he may have been talking about me he was actually addressing his little group of onlookers. “Really,” I said, my brow furrowed. “Well, that’s very sweet - although you’ve definitely been in the garden for most of the night.”

I regretted it as soon as I had said it; I sounded like a nagging girlfriend. I felt his back tense under my hand even though his smile didn’t waver, and I wanted to kick myself. I had barely seen him all night, and I didn’t want our first exchange in front of his friends to look like some kind of domestic.

“Are you having fun?” he asked, finally dragging his gaze to mine, and I realised with a sadness that I felt like I was being a burden, simply by coming to talk to him. I smiled brightly, forcing myself to look the part even if I wasn’t feeling it; this night was not about me.

“I’m having a great time, it’s a fantastic party. I thought I might go and get my camera and take some photos of everyone, so that Shannon has something to look back on tomorrow?”

“You don’t need to do that,” he said with a shake of his head, a small laugh huffing out of his nose. “That’s what Terry is here for, isn’t that right Terry?” he said, smiling at his friend.

“That and the women!” Terry laughed, winking at the blonde girl standing closest to him and eliciting an inane giggle from her and her friend.

I winced as my suggestion was dismissed, and feeling more than a little out of place I cleared my throat as I looked around the garden. “Speaking of Shannon, where is he? I haven’t seen him in ages?” I asked.

Jared cast his eye around the garden briefly, shrugging his shoulders as he looked back at me. “I have no idea. He’ll be around somewhere.”

I nodded, looking down at my mostly empty champagne glass and seeing a welcome escape route. “I think I might go and get a top up – does anyone want another drink?”

The girls and Terry shook their heads politely, and Jared turned to give me a kiss on the side of the head. “Go have fun.” He smiled, turning back to his conversation before I had even left the little circle, seemingly oblivious to the wounded expression on my face.

I walked back across the garden the way that I had come, squeezing between bodies at the door until I was back in the house. The music seemed louder than before, the lights lower, drunk people swaying in time to the music and holding their phones up to take blurry selfies as they documented their night at Jared Leto’s house. Without even thinking about it I kept moving, pushing through the party guests until I was making my way up the stairs and away from the crowds. I needed a time out, and thankfully people seemed to be keeping to the ground floor, leaving me to make a break for the bedrooms in peace.

I walked past Jared’s room and pushed open the next door, the plush white spare room that now felt so familiar to me it was like a little safe haven away from everything hectic that was happening downstairs, and let out a sigh of relief as I flopped backwards on to the bed.

With my eyes closed, the distant thud of awful music ringing in my ears, I wondered how long I could realistically get away with hiding up here before someone came to look for me. I snorted a laugh at my own thoughts – who would come to look for me? Everyone downstairs was having the time of their life, including Jared. I could slide away now and lock myself in this room until tomorrow, and I was pretty sure that no one would even notice. Even Shannon had disappeared from his own party.

Thoughts of the birthday boy had me opening my eyes again. It had been so crazy today, so much going on, that I hadn’t even had time to give him his birthday present. I sat up, looking down at my suitcase leaning against the wardrobe where I had thrown it after dragging it out of Jared’s room earlier, and climbed back off of the bed to pull Shannon’s carefully wrapped present out from where I had buried it. Turning it over in my hands, I wondered whether he was going to like it. I still wasn’t sure it was his style – wasn’t sure it was anyone’s style – but the thought he might not like it, and that I would have to watch him open it and pretend otherwise, was somehow nerve wracking.

Forming a plan, I turned towards the door and stepped out in to the hall, checking to make sure no one else was up here before walking quickly towards Shannon’s room.  I could put his present in here, and he could open it tomorrow when he woke up sober enough to realise it was there – and that way, I wouldn’t have to see his reaction if he thought it was hideous.

I pushed open the door hurriedly and ground to a halt immediately; Shannon was laying on his bed, one arm thrown over his eyes, almost a mirror image of myself just a few minutes ago. He lifted his head off the bed at the sound of the door opening, and I cringed apologetically. “Oh… Sorry, Shan, I didn’t know you were in here.”

He quirked an eyebrow in my direction, pushing his arm behind his head. “Were you expecting to find someone else in my room?”

I grinned, leaning against the doorframe. “You never know with you. It is a party full of hot girls.”

He chuckled, throwing his arm back over his face. “Don’t shit where you eat.” He said, his words muffled.

I could see his grin even from the other side of the room even though his face was mostly hidden, and rolled my eyes at him as I stepped in to his room and looked around. I’d never been in here before. It was a mess, shoes and clothes strewn everywhere, a few boxes stacked in a corner overflowing with records and books and what looked like packs of drum sticks, a couple of canvas’ stacked against the wall. He had said that living here was temporary, until his own house was sorted; and you could tell. This was the room of someone who was just passing through.

“You know you’re missing your own party down there…” I said, pausing at his dresser to look at his phone, plugged in to a docking station and playing music just loud enough to drown out the droll being piped around the downstairs of the house.

“I just needed… a minute.”

I turned to look at him, frowning a little. “Are you not having fun?”

“Sure,” he said, not moving from his stationary position on the bed. “Everyone’s been great, the house looks great, you know… the party has been…”

“Great?” I offered, walking towards the window and peering out through the glass. He hummed in agreement behind me.

“Sometimes you just need a little time out from all the fake.”

I smiled at that, looking out across the back yard where half of the party had spilled out around the pool. The sound of laughter and conversation filtered up towards me, and my eyes drifted across towards Jared who had moved his way around the pool to the fire pit, and was now sat in amongst a crowd of people with one leg crossed over the other as he chatted animatedly to everyone watching him.

“Why aren’t you down there anyway?” he asked.

I tore my gaze away from the window, turning to see him propped up on his elbows as he watched me, a curious expression on his face. I turned on a smile automatically, holding his present up in front of me. “Was going to stash this in your room so you would find it tomorrow when you sobered up.”

“Aw London – you got me a gift?” he grinned, sitting up properly.

“Of course I did.” I said, crossing the room to sit beside him on the bed, holding out the wrapped present nervously. “But if you don’t like it, I have the receipt and we can take it back.”

“Psssh, shut up.” He smiled, taking the package and tearing in to the paper happily.

I watched as he pulled out the jumper, unfolding it and lifting it up as he looked at it, his mouth open just a little as his eyes ran over the design. He said nothing, and I couldn’t read his expression.

“You hate it, don’t you…?” I said, chewing on my lip as he turned to face me.

“What? No, London… I love it!” he exclaimed, looking back at the jumper before lowering it to his lap. “It’s frigging awesome. Thank you.”

He grabbed me to him in a hug, squeezing me hard, and for the first time through the entire day I felt myself relax. “Really? Because honestly, if it’s not your sort of thing we can swap it…”

“Stop.” He laughed, pulling away from me and grasping my shoulders. “I was only looking at this like two weeks ago – it’s perfect. I can’t believe you bought me this. I’m gonna wear it all the time.” He grinned, letting go of me and standing up just so he could shrug into the hoodie.

“You don’t have to wear it right this minute!” I laughed, watching him pull the hood over his head and turn to check himself out in the mirror.

“Try and stop me!” he grinned, turning round with his arms out, modelling his new present. “What do you think?”

“It looks great,” I smiled. “Although it’s not really party wear.”

“Meh. I think I’m done with the party.” He shrugged.

“You’re bailing on your own birthday party… that is happening in your house?” I laughed, raising my eyebrows.

“It’s not my house though,” he pointed out, throwing himself down in to the armchair beside the mirror. “And I gotta be honest – I think I recognise about five people here. Just, when you go back down there, don’t tell Jay you’ve seen me.”

I stood up from the bed with a nod, glancing out of the window at the sound of high pitched squeals and water splashing, and watched as a couple of the girls jumped in to the pool after stripping out of the tiny fragments of clothing they had been wearing. I could see Jared, sitting in the same place, leaning back with his arms outstretched along the wall behind him, laughing. Suddenly I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to do less than re-join the party.

“Actually… do you mind if I hide out up here for a while?” I asked.

He propped the back of his head up on one hand, frowning at where I stood trying not to watch the party antics going on below me, and for a moment I thought he was going to say no.

“Sure. Your turn to choose a song though.” He said, gesturing to his phone, and I felt my face relax in to a grateful smile that he wasn’t going to ask any more questions.

We spent the next couple of hours exactly like that. Shannon sprawled across the armchair while I lay on my stomach on his bed, taking it in turns to pick music from Spotify, each of us trying to outdo the other one with something more obscure, more pop, more country, more metal, than the last one had picked. He always won. He knew more about music than I did. Every time I thought of someone that he would never have heard of, he would sing the words loudly and proudly just to prove me wrong.

“Oh my god seriously – how? How?!” I laughed, watching him throw his head back and sing along to a random English pop-rock band that I had only found a couple of months ago. “They’re not even signed yet!”

“Gotta keep your finger on the pulse, babe!” he laughed, ducking as I launched a pillow at his head.

“Right that’s it – I’m going back to normal bands as I clearly suck at finding stuff that you don’t already know!” I laughed, pushing myself back off the bed and searching through Spotify for what I was looking for.

“Make it a good one, I can almost hear the shit they’re playing downstairs,” he grumbled, his nose wrinkled in disgust.

“Okay okay – we can combine playing good music with a little bit of research for me – I’m covering this show next week.” I said, scrolling through songs until I found one that I recognised and hitting play.

Listen to the song here

The dulcet tones of Dallas Green started to filter out of the docking station, accompanied by his harmonica and that beautiful guitar that was so typically him, and I smiled as I started to jig around the room.

“Ooh, City and Colour? Where are they playing?” Shannon asked, laughing as I half tripped over the pillow I had thrown at him only moments before, watching me recover quickly before carrying on my dancing around the other side of the bed.

“North London. It’s why I’m flying out tomorrow,” I said, singing along as I flailed my arms around in the air.

“Oh man, I would love to have seen that.” He grumbled, standing up and walking over to the dock.

“Hey! Don’t you be changing this, it’s my turn!” I protested, hands on my hips as I watched him scrolling.

“It’s okay we can keep with this band,” he said, concentrating.

The song stopped, and a second later another started, soft guitar playing out as he turned back to me, his hand held out in front of him. 

Listen to the song here

“What…?” I said, looking at his outstretched hand.

“Come on London, if we’re dancing, we’re dancing properly.”

I hesitated, squinting at him as he stepped closer towards me. “In here?”

“Well I’m not gonna ask them to put this on downstairs.” He grinned, grabbing my hand and lifting our arms up in the air, spinning me round in a circle and pulling me towards him as I laughed.

I giggled, resting my hand on his shoulder as he held the other one in his, skilfully dancing us slowly in a circle in the middle of his bedroom.

“I love this song.” He said quietly.

His deep voice, somehow deeper when he spoke softly, rumbled quietly in my ear as he swayed us in time to the song, and I found myself suddenly aware of how close he was. One hand holding mine as he lead; his other arm around my waist as he gently held me against him. He hummed along with the song, somehow making the words playing around me sound that much clearer.

“You’re the lullaby, that’s singing me to sleep, you are the other half you’re like a missing piece…”

His thumb brushed over the skin on the back of my hand, and I felt myself blink in to his shoulder as the air in the room changed. Somehow, just by turning in slow circles in the middle of his messy bedroom, this had become… inappropriate. I knew it, in my gut. I should not be slow dancing with Jared’s brother. And yet, cocooned inside Shannon’s large frame, his voice gently humming against my hair, I felt oddly at home. Safe.

I should let go now. Change the song and carry on our ridiculous evening of laughing and avoiding the party. But even as I thought it, I felt myself moving almost imperceptibly closer to him, my face just millimetres away from the soft wool of the jumper I had just bought him. His arms tensed slightly as though he had felt my movement, and his grip around my waist tightened. My heart gave an unsteady thump in my chest at the sensation.

“Oh my love… oh my love… oh my love, you don’t know, what you do to me…”

I looked up as we turned again, catching sight of our reflection in the mirror over his shoulder. Dancing slowly, pressed together tightly as though we had been moulded that way, we looked… like a couple.

I did let go of him then, pulling my hand out of his as I took a step back as though I had been bitten. His hands dropped to his sides as he watched me, and a million excuses flashed through my brain, reasons to laugh off my strange reaction so that he wouldn’t think anything of it. But one look at his face and I realised I didn’t need any of them. His expression mirrored all the feelings churning around in my chest; shock, worry. Disappointment.

“I should, um…” I started, half-heartedly gesturing towards his door.  I wanted him to say something, to crack a joke or grin and shrug – anything that would make this feel less awkward. Instead he held my gaze for a few agonizing seconds, before nodding and looking down at his feet.

“Sure. It is getting pretty late.”

I swallowed uneasily, wanting to fix whatever it was that had just happened and make this weird atmosphere disappear, but I couldn’t think of the words, and he wouldn’t look at me. I nodded to myself, dropping my head as I took a couple of backwards steps towards the door.

“Happy birthday, Shan.” I said quietly, before turning and walking out of the door quickly, not stopping until I got back to the spare room and closed the door firmly behind me.

Leaning my back against the wood I blew out a breath, already trying to push that image out of my mind. Alcohol and slow songs could do funny things to people, and I shook my head as I started to get ready for bed. The party might still be in full swing downstairs, but one thing was for sure; I was ready to put this day behind me.

6

How to Dress for Gardening

Monty Don, an English TV presenter and writer on horticulture (perhaps best known for presenting the BBC television series Gardener’s World) once wrote something for The Guardian on “dirty dressing.” That is, how to dress when one needs to get some gardening done. Lots of rules are laid out here, including the things one must wear (high waisted trousers and leather boots) and sartorial no-nos (shorts and baseball caps … though, we disagree with his sentiments on the second). For me, as a guy who doesn’t garden, the best part is reading the opinion of a man who feels strongly about clothes. A long excerpt:

Over the past 30-odd years I have evolved certain rules about my wardrobe. Never wear jeans. They are absurd items of clothing - cold in winter, hot in summer, slow to dry once wet and chafe in places where chafing is not required. I have not possessed a pair for at least 20 years.

Never wear tight trousers. Always buy trousers at least one waist size too big, make sure that the pockets are big enough to comfortably hold penknife, hanky, string, phone, pencil, labels and perhaps a mint or two. The pocket thing is a matter of fine tuning. Too deep and you are rummaging around up to your elbow in them. But I have big hands and if they are too small you cannot find the knife/hanky/label and extract it without causing uncomfortable restrictions or having to let go of the object in order to extract your hand.

Lots of professional gardeners wear shorts all summer, but they always strike me as hopelessly impractical. If I am honest I also feel that, having been bought up in an age when small boys were forced to wear shorts, long trousers are a privilege that I still cling to and shorts are for sports.

Belts are needed to attach your secateurs’ holster to, to support your back when digging and to stop the size-too-large trousers ending up around your ankles when reaching up to prune the apples. Regard your belt as a piece of gardening kit and buy a really good quality, thick leather belt made by a British leather worker. It should mean business. Braces are much more comfy - especially with high-rise trousers - and I wear them most of the time.

If you are not familiar with their joys, highrise trousers are fantastically comfortable and keep your lower back warm. My children still squirm with embarrassment every time they see me in them (which is most days) but that is probably some kind of seal of approval. If you are uncertain about the required cut, check out photographs of agricultural labourers in summer (ie jacketless) circa 1880-1914. The only two fabrics I use for trousers are corduroy and cotton drill. I have two weights of the latter in identical cuts, very heavy and light. Twice as many heavy as light. You have to accept that gardening trousers get wet, muddy and stained, so need washing a lot. If they are ‘good’ they will be much loved and probably expensive, so must last the wear and tear outdoors and in the washing machine. Anyway, good trousers only start to feel right after a year or so.

Wear thick socks summer and winter, if possible of pure cotton or wool. Gardening in light shoes is a joy, but a rare one. I have a pair of handmade leather boots that I use for all digging and heavy work. These cost as much as a holiday for two in the Bahamas but were worth every penny and much preferable to a holiday. I can dig all day in them without any discomfort and they are wholly waterproof. Get a good pair of wear one as a vest in winter. Shirts are the thing. I like pull-on ones that button down to the chest. Get them big with lots of room under the armpit and long enough to cover your bum. Check that the cuffs are wide enough to easily roll up above the elbow. Cotton drill is best. A chest pocket is useful, too. It goes without saying that no gardening shirt (and no other item of clothing of mine) ever sees an iron.

A tweed jacket is really good and I have a number of old ripped ones I often wear at home. They are thornproof, warm, showerproof and have pockets. They won’t let me wear them on telly because they say it looks too patrician. I have yet to work out if that is patronising or right, but I meekly demur. I like waistcoats either waterproof or leather. The latter is by far the best thing for keeping a cold wind at bay and for protecting you from thorns. A waterproof waistcoat with pockets is ideal if it is merely damp. If it is too wet for that to be sufficient protection it is probably too wet to garden sensibly outside. Fleeces are ubiquitous and inevitable, but I wear them surprisingly little nowadays. They are best as an underlayer when it is wet. On the whole I prefer a good jersey. Cashmere is the ideal inner layer when it is really cold and you can pick them up amazingly cheaply nowadays. A thicker roll-neck jersey makes a good outer layer.

I don’t like hats very much. I have no desire to shelter from the British sun and it is rarely cold enough to need headgear. But I especially loathe baseball caps. Not only are they useless but a symbol of a kind of Disneyfied decadence. A wide-brimmed hat is much more effective and keeps the sun and rain off better. Tweed flat caps are good, but distinctly agricultural. I have a Soviet military hat that I bought off a soldier in Berlin. It is great for pruning the more viciously thorned roses. 

You can read the whole thing here.

2

Just like last week, I want to revisit this particular poster now that the episode has aired. (If you guys thought I would write less lengthy metas now that the season is almost over, HA HA HA the joke’s on you. But really, the joke’s on me because where was all this verbosity when I was in college, goddammit.)

The tree branches that are extending into Ward’s head are even more significant now that we know he was left alone in the woods for six months as a teenager. That shit changes you. He was left alone with no one but his dog, forced to turn to petty thievery to survive. That isolation, that desperation is what twisted his mind and made him even all the more vulnerable for Garrett to prey on. Remember that Garrett initially told Ward he would be back within a few months, but it stretched out to six. And let’s think about how Ward would have been feeling during those months. On one hand, he would’ve been angry at being left there, but on the other hand, he would’ve been grateful that he wasn’t still in juvie or facing a life sentence. He hates Garrett for leaving him alone in the woods, but he also owes Garrett his life. And the obvious question is, why did he just stay there in the woods? Why didn’t he leave? But we have to remember that Ward is used to accepting bad situations. He is used to putting his head down and enduring. So that’s what he does because he doesn’t know how to do anything else. He doesn’t know how to break free from abuse even though he is actually free from prison. 

So one month passes and Ward keeps waiting, and then another month passes, and then another. He would feel angry for being left alone so long, but he would also feel foolish at himself, because remember, Garrett told him not to trust him, which is just a sneaky, underhanded way of shifting blame from yourself. So Ward would be pissed off at Garrett, but also at himself, and as the months keep passing, he would channel that into a desire to prove himself. He would be thinking, fuck Garrett, he left me here to die, so I’m going to show him that I can survive. He would want to survive to prove that he's not weak. 

We see in the top of the image the shadowy figure hanging out near the Hydra logo. Garrett was in the back of Ward’s mind the entire time he was alone in the woods. When you’re isolated and alone for such a long period of time, it’s easy to lose yourself, to lose your bearing and go crazy. So to prevent that from happening, a lot of times you’ll focus on something really important to get you through the tough times. For Ward, that was Garrett. He focused on Garrett, his hatred and his gratitude for that man, and by doing so, he was able to survive the woods, but he also unknowingly gave himself to be controlled and used by Garrett. 

Another thing I really like this second time around is that the tree branches and the forest path extend through the whole poster, not just the top half when he was literally in the woods. And I said this in the previous meta as well, but I want to repeat it again: Ward has never truly left those woods, has he. He has never truly come back out. He reached a point of utter desperation and isolation during those six lonely months, and those feelings have stayed with him ever since. And that wonderful Nietzsche quote is also applicable here - when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you. Except for Ward, we can say this - when you walk too deep into the woods, the woods also walk too deeply into you. 

Let’s discuss Ward crouching down by the dog. We can tell by how lanky he is that he’s a grown man, or at least a young adult, but his outfit is very childish. That backpack in particular, did he steal that from Dora the Explorer? The baseball cap and the checkered shirt also bring to mind a sense of youth, which seems out of place with his physical form. In the actual episode, his outfit doesn’t look quite so childish, so it’s incredibly noteworthy that it does look so juvenile in this poster. And that’s because it shows how emotionally stunted he is. He may be an adult, he may say that he’s not that scared little kid anymore, but in many ways, he still is. He’s just better at hiding it. He’s just better at pretending he isn’t. 

About Buddy, look at the angle of the rifle in this poster. He’s not pointing it at Buddy. And I know the episode was kind of ambiguous, but I think this is a clear indication that he never shot Buddy. It was Garrett who shot him to teach Ward a lesson. 

Now on the flip side. 

We see Fitz and Simmons actually underwater, and what’s striking to me is that their bodies are angled so far apart. Simmons is clearly crying, yet Fitz is making no effort to comfort her. He’s slouched over with his head down. There’s a divide between them, probably because of Fitz’s continued defense of Ward and Simmons’ lack of faith. In my original meta, I thought it looked like Fitz’s shoulder was in a sling, and it still looks like that, so maybe…I don’t know, maybe he tries slamming against the door to bust out but ends up hurting himself? It could also be a literal representation of his symbolic pain over Ward’s actions. It also looks like they’re surrounded by books or something, so they’re probably ransacking the room next episode trying to figure a way out. 

The FitzSimmons/Buddy parallel is in this poster so clearly I wonder how I missed it the first time around. Just like how Ward isn’t pointing his gun at Buddy in the top half of the image, in the bottom half, the angle of his gun shows he’s also not pointing his gun at FitzSimmons. He’s not pointing his gun at them, not even as a demonstration. 

This second time around, I really really like that Skye doesn’t look like herself. Because it makes sense now. Skye’s face is so large because she occupies a large part of Ward’s thoughts and she doesn’t look like herself because Ward finds out information this episode that changes the way he sees her. Realizing that her parents were also monsters (detailed meta about that scene is here) paints her in a different light in his eyes, and I don’t mean that he looks down on her or anything. In fact, it would be the opposite. He realizes that she also comes from a violent family, which makes her inherent goodness even more perplexing to him. He’s wondering why she didn’t turn out like him. The fact that violence and death is in her blood didn’t curse her to a life of violence and death. And Ward is wondering if perhaps he might not have to be limited by his family history either. Coming from a family of monsters didn’t make her a monster, and Ward is realizing that he doesn’t have to be one either. 

Accidentally Married | Ch 3

Synopsis: Tom and OC wake up after a drunken night in Las Vegas to find themselves married. The problem is, the press already has the story, and an annulment might not be the best answer. 

AN: Thanks to evieplease for her betaing skills. Any mistakes left are mine and you cant have any :P

Chapter Three

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