DEVELOPER(S): Meaka ENGINE: RPGMaker XP GENRE: Supernatural, Puzzle WARNINGS:
Both implied and shown violence to the children, Emotional abuse, Blood SUMMARY: With what starts as a simple day at the park, siblings Tony, Pablo, and Octavio are once again caught up in a series of strange circumstances such as strange pocket dimensions, coordinated monsters, and more geese than anyone could ever want to see in their lives. Stranded with them are Haze and Seal, two witches who seem to be connected with whatever nonsense is going down. As witches tend to be.In the simplest of terms, this game is about friendship and relating to others, both the good and the bad. With an unfortunate focus on the bad. It will be mostly straightforward with only one ending.
Summary: In SHIELD you are known for your charisma and your irrational optimism. Specially taking in count the irreversible curse HYDRA condemned you with. Because of that, Director Fury has determinate that you are the best person to take care of Bucky’s mental state.
Chapter 7: The girl with the HYDRA scar
Pairing: Bucky x reader
Y/N: Your name
Warnings: Cursing… Nothing else that I can think of.
Word count: 2,431
A/N: Yesss!! It’s four in the morning but I managed to finish this!! Well, let’s see if you like it. As always, please let me know what you think and feel free to give me any feedback you want!
I hear a contain sob that breaks my trance. My breathing is heavy and I can feel the intensity my face showcases after the flashback. Next to me Y/N won’t meet my eyes, rubbing a hand over her face. I feel guilty, she had no reason to hear that, she did not deserve to be haunted by my experiences. But then she does something surprising and squeezes next to me, pulling the blanket around us both.
“I think it worked.” she whispers, her voice still shaky, and I realize that I’m feeling much lighter now that I don’t have to bear that weight alone. “You should sleep now” I rest my head on her shoulder and the light feeling drags me into dream land while she gently runs a hand through my hair.
Before I completely drift off, I hear her mumbling something “So Aleksei had another victim” but I’m too far off now to understand anything.
I wake up to an unknown smell floating next to me. Before I open my eyes, I’m already conscious and fully alert, and my hand inches slowly towards the gun on my back pocket. The metal feels oddly warm after having absorbed my body heat throughout the night, but I grip it silently and in one swift move, press it against the temple of whoever was next to me, while I open my eyes.
Fear… Panic, is my greeting. The girl seems to be paralyzed. Damn, she’s not even breathing! Her skin is sick pale and her eyes are glittering. Oh, no… It’s…
“Y/N! I’m so sorry! I didn’t recognize you and you scared me! Fuck… I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you” I don’t know what to do with my body. I’m about to put the gun away, but the movement feels too relaxed; but I can’t keep pointing it at her either! I leave it on the table and raise my hands to prove that i’m not a threat, but Y/N seems to have entered the same trance she entered in the training room when I helped her with her boxing. Tears are about to escape her eyes and she hasn’t breathed for a solid minute. She backs away slowly through the sofa, until her back is pressed against the armrest. Fuck, how can I have messed up so badly? “Please, say something”
Excerpts from Darth Maul’s shitty childhood part 1
All quotes in part 1 are from when Maul was ages 3-8 years old
(About Maul’s earliest memory of training) “The droid had shown him holograms of other worlds, too. Maul had a hard time understanding the holograms represented actual planets, but he had to memorize their names and correctly indicate their locations or the droid would subject him to a painful shock.”
(About Sidious’ style of discipline) “One of the first things he learned was not to cry. Crying never made anything better. Crying only made things worse.” (Teaching 3-year-old Maul that any sign of weakness will be met with torture)
“Maul had heard [Sidious] talk like this before. Compliments were almost always followed by punishments.” (psychological and emotional abuse)
(About a fish tank in Sidious’s office) “…[Maul] was fascinated by the aquatic creatures inside the orb. He wondered if they were edible.” (Alluding to Maul being starved by Sidious as a child)
“Once again, Maul thought of the snake he had been forced to kill.”
(After Sidious admits to being the one who locked a venomous snake in with 3-year-old Maul in his quarters cell, showing us that Sidious wanted to get Maul used to killing as early as possible, and to always be on his toes, unable to relax at any time.)
“…You and I are alike, Maul, except that my powers are much greater because I know many things that you have yet to learn, such as how to make your powers work for you.” (Like a classic abuser, Sidious wants to make Maul think that only he can understand him, and only through histeachings abuse can Maul learn to become worthwhile.)
(When Sidious shows Maul the new training room he’d let him use) “The training room exceeded all of Maul’s expectations. So did his punishment. But he survived.”
(After a successful training session) “”Your timing has improved” the droid said. Rapidly extending one of its pincer arms, it swiped Maul with an electrode, giving the boy a shock.” (Showing the hopelessness of his situation, and that nothing was rewarded. Even successes were punished.)
“Another stone smashed into Maul’s right bicep. He grunted as he spun again, this time to look at his Master.” (Sidious beats Maul with rocks using the force to teach a “lesson” about seeing potential in mundane things.)
“”Master, you said I must not reveal my powers to anyone else. Who is ‘anyone else’?”“ (Showing the extent of Maul’s isolation- he does not even have the concept of there being people other than him and Sidious.)
(After Sidous tells Maul he will be punished because he flinched when a Dinko ((small lizard creature)) sprayed him in the face with venom) “They returned to Mustafar. Maul ate his evening meal as usual. He was not confined to a sensory deprivation suit or forced to sleep on a hard floor. The atmosphere controls in his quarters were not turned off. No punishment came the next day, or the next, or anytime soon.” (Sidious allows Maul to feel the anxiety of anticipating punishment rather than getting it over with, which serves as psychological torture to a boy who has already gotten “used to” being punished and tortured physically.)
(Shortly after above quote) “..Then he turned back the coverlet that was draped over his sleep mat, and a Dinko jumped straight at him. He batted the Dinko away but missed when he tried to stomp it to death. He hesitated, fearing that its claws would tear into his bare foot. Another Dinko jumped out from a corner. That Dinko was followed by another, and then another. Maul realized the room was filled with the creatures.”
(Cont.) “…Another latched onto one of his toes. Maul cried and screamed as he tried to shake them off. The Dinkos sprayed their venom and blinded him. …It took Maul almost an hour to kill all the Dinkos. When he was done, he passed out on the floor of his gore-filled quarters.” (These passages speak for themselves. Sidious always finds cruel and unusual ways to torture Maul. It is written that the next morning Sidious shows up at Maul’s door and simply says, “Do not flinch again,” and Maul doesn’t, ever again.)
I’ve been reading your Dead Ladies Club tag all day (which is generally amazing) and I had a question (I apologize if this has been asked already, I did check, but I might have missed it.) We still have two more books to go. I can’t see the likes of Cassana Estermont or Lyarra Stark or Minisa Whent or even Rhaella Targaryen getting any more development. But it will be an absolute travesty if we don’t get some idea how Lyanna felt about everything that happened to her, particularly Rhaegar and the war fought in her name and killed her family and prophecy and her son and such. There are about a million and 1 Ashara lives theories, most of which are really dumb, but some of which are fun, so there is a sort of strange off chance she might turn up alive one day, and speak for herself. All three of Joanna’s children are POVs, and given that lots of Lannister plots have to do with family and legacy, its still possible we might gain some extra insight into her. The Dornish continue to plot, so Elia might be more fleshed out given that her nieces (including a namesake) are about to go meet her ‘son,’ or we might actually, gasp, get the Princess of Dorne’s name from one of the many of her relatives running around. I don’t think that any of these save Lyanna are likely (though if you think differently, I’d love to hear it) but if they do, would that remove them from the dead ladies club (individually, not the concept as a whole), or has the narrative damage already been done by five books of silence?
For me, personally, whatever GRRM writes in the future doesn’t cancel out what he’s written in the past. A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, etc – these were all finished products that GRRM sent out into the world, to be judged on their contents, from page 1 of each book until the appendices at the end.
If you’ll let me take a slight detour around your question … I think there are various schools of thought on how to view epic fantasy. Maybe this is from my experience with Robert Jordan, but I personally don’t feel entitled to anything beyond what I’ve already purchased. If GRRM announced today that he’s never going to write another word, I would be very sad, but it wouldn’t diminish my love for ASOIAF. It wouldn’t devalue the experience I’ve already had reading the books. These five books are valuable to me in and of themselves, without any guarantee whatsoever of more books. These books have spoken to me, moved me, resonated with me emotionally. It’s the journey that matters to me, much more so than the destination.
So when you say, “We still have two more books to go,” my response is “But what about these five books I’ve already read, plus three D&E stories, plus TWOIAF, plus the AWOIAF app I’ve combed through?” The damage has been done.
RIGHT, FLUFF INCOMING!!! I haven’t written Spuhura before so here’s hoping I do them justice! I may have gotten a bit carried away so its kinda long I’m sorry!
Shore leave on an icy planet was never going to be easy for either of them. Spock, being half-Vulcan, is built to withstand the cold of a desert night, not to enjoy or thrive in it. Nyota too dislikes the cold; it travels into her flesh and clings to her, weighing her down like snow crushing down branches of a tree. She feels, in those moments of terrible cold, a spark of fond kinship with her ancestors, and she never fails to think of the Kenyan kanga she takes with her everywhere, a gift from her mother’s mother. It is not suitable for much save decoration in a cold environment; even on the Enterprise she wears it rarely. It is filled with the colours of the sun, and she misses seeing those colours warming the sky.
All the same, Nyota still loves winter. She likes the way that the world feels somehow quieter, more blanketed and enclosed. The clouds and snow hug the earth like the blankets she has taken to collecting for their bed. Spock claims to have no aesthetic preference of any type of weather, but they both know that he enjoys the weather of winter too. They have booked a cabin for the duration of their shore leave; or rather, Spock arranged the cabin, and left the planning of their other activities to Nyota. She arranged for several hikes, and a cross-country skiing session, but it seems that the snowstorm that has blown in over the area is determined to keep them from attempting to enjoy venturing into the icy wilderness. She does not mind.
The wind howls past the eaves of the cabin the windows dark against the light inside, painted with specks of white snow. Nyota thinks, illogically, that the spots where snow touches the glass are the fingers of ghosts, and she shivers at the morbid thought. Spock turns to her, a slight frown furrowing his smooth brow, touching her shoulder lightly to bring her out of her reverie. They are each working on their projects, sitting near each other on the comfortable sofa, simply existing in each other’s presence. It is a form of intimacy that Nyota has never before enjoyed; in previous relationships she has been too caught up in the concept to ever feel truly comfortable to just sit in her partner’s company and be herself. Spock never fails to make her feel welcome to be herself; when she is with him, she feels known, completely, and though he never says it, she knows that he loves exactly who she is. She feels it, in his actions and their melds. Right now, she knows he is about to quietly say that he loves her, without saying the words, once again.
“Nyota, you are cold. Might I suggest that we discontinue our respective projects? I confess, I have a plan for us this evening, despite asking you to arrange our activities. I hope that this is agreeable?” Spock sounds unusually hesitant, so Nyota smiles and lets two of her fingers rest on his extended forearm.
“I think that’s a wonderful idea, Spock!” She feels her posture start to soften; as always, his gentle way of caring managing to soothe her. “I’d love to find out what your plan is.”
“If you would set up the open fireplace, I shall begin my preparations.” Spock places his PADD on the table and stands, allowing himself to stretch up onto his toes and roll his shoulders and neck. He offers Nyota an arm and she takes it, letting herself be helped off the sofa.
“Of course.” She says, growing curious, though she supposes that it is logical to increase the heat inside the cabin for the night, by any and all possible means. She pushes up her sleeves and gets to work. As she sets up the fire, starting with a small nest of kindling, leaving a hole for the fire-lighter, the smell of tree-sap and coal and fire-lighters brings her back to winters at home. She would always beg her parents to let her light the fireplace, and she wonders if Spock remembered this from one of their melds. As a child, she would build up the kindling methodically, carefully laying the larger logs in optimal position for the tallest flames, placement learned from long practise. She still loves the feeling of the rough wood against her skin, and the way the slick black soot of the facsimile of coal clings to her fingers. She stacks the ‘coal’ across the edges and around and over the centre, to give it the most opportunity to heat up, and the fire most room to breathe and grow and warm the cold ‘coal’ before it touches it. When she is done, she strikes the match and lights the fire, deciding to keep the fireguard aside.
She stands, resisting the urge to wrap her fingers around her forearm to see the stripes of pitch black against her dark ochre skin. Instead, she casts about to see where Spock is. She finds him in the kitchen, his pale green skin illuminated by the warm light of the kitchen and the archaic gas stove. He is boiling milk over a ring, and she can smell the spices and tea added to it. Two mugs are resting on the countertop nearby, with filters over them, and he is biting his lip a little in concentration. His hair is, characteristically, neat, but his usual pressed perfection is morphed into something far more adorable by the casual dark jeans and slightly large navy knitted sweater he is wearing. The sleeves are pushed up over his forearms as he stirs.
She is struck by a wicked idea, and she treads softly as she approaches. She knows he will have heard her already, but she persists in pretending that it will be a surprise as she wraps her arms around him. She presses a gentle kiss to his shoulder, and, deliberately, presses her coal-stained hands over his bare arms. She hears Spock’s sharp intake of breath and leaps away, grinning, as he turns to her.
“Nyota, what did you hope to gain by leaving coal on my skin?” He asks, holding up his forearms, which each bear an imprint of her touch. The slight raise of his eyebrow, the gentle upwards twitch of his lips, reveal to her that he is amused.
“Nothing!” She answers, darting in to tap him lightly on the nose. He blinks at her for a moment, his smile growing, and he laughs, soft and open and honest. She loves that he will laugh with her, that he feels safe to do so. It is another way that she can hear him express his affection.
She is so caught up in the warmth in his eyes, that she doesn’t register why his fingertips brushing across her hand is strange. He smears the soot he collected on his fingers across her left cheek in a two-fingered kiss, grinning triumphantly. Her hair is dishevelled, her face and hands smudged with soot. Her eyeliner is wiped off for the night, and she is wearing a simple set of black leggings and a grey jumper she borrowed from him weeks ago and has not yet returned, and yet she has never been more beautiful to him than now, her smile sparkling bright against the dimmer light of the cabin.
“What was that meant to achieve, Spock?” She asks, laughing.
“Nothing!” He echoes her, sliding an arm around her waist and pulling her in gently, leaning down to kiss her. His lips are soft, warm, and she can’t help but sigh into them, resenting now that hands are covered with soot. He pulls away, and the care in his eyes makes her breath catch in her throat. “Please wash your hands, so we may continue in my plan.”
Nyota moves to the kitchen sink, her whole body still feeling light and tingly from their kiss. She washes her hands, scrubbing under her nails, and wipes off the smudge on her cheek, before taking a flannel and dampening it. Spock is back to stirring, and she takes one arm at a time, wiping them clean. She uses the last edge of the cloth to wipe the soot off his nose, and stands on her tiptoes to press a kiss to his nose before she washes off the flannel. She watches his smile and easy grace as he turns off the heat and pours the tea into the two mugs, setting aside the filters and pan to be cleaned later.
“Please, take these to the table by the sofa. I shall be with you momentarily.”
Nyota carries the tea across, and tries to identify the spices. It is reminiscent of Earth Chai blends, but she recognises some of the spicy notes as unique to Vulcan. She wonders if this was a drink his mother made, or if it is a Vulcan dish. Either option makes her feel warmed.
She sits on the sofa, and hears him behind her. A large pile of fuzzy blankets tumbles onto the sofa next to her, and he walks over to the holo-screen, inserting a memory chip, and returns, placing a pack of dried dates on the table beside the drinks, along with a bowl to collect the stones. He sits beside her, picking up his PADD to turn on the holo-screen. A collection of movies are displayed, and she smiles when she sees the options.
“Spock, where did you get these?” She asks, unable and unwilling to keep the fondness from her voice.
“I kept track of the movies that you mentioned loving but experiencing difficulty finding. I apologise for not telling you sooner that I had sourced some of them, but I wished to surprise you.” He admitted. His cheeks blushed a darker shade of green, and she impulsively leaned across to kiss him on the cheek, brushing two fingertips down his arm to the hand holding the PADD as she did so.
“You don’t need to apologise, Spock. This is lovely. Romantic.” She smiles as he relaxes into her touch. He fusses over the blankets, tucking them around them, and hands her her mug, placing the bowl within relatively easy reach and offering her a date. She takes one, and takes a sip of her tea. The flavour of the heavy sweetness of the dates, with the accompanying light spices of the tea, are absolutely wonderful, and she smiles, throwing the date pit into the bowl. “This is delicious, Spock.”
“I am gratified that you enjoy it.” He says, settling back onto the sofa himself. “It is a version of a common Vulcan indulgence; though it was modified by my mother also.”
“Chaya t’not, Spock.” She says, softly. He takes one of her hands, his fingers stroking her skin gently.
“I am glad to share this with you, ashaya.” He withdraws his hand, placing it over the PADD again. “Do you have a preference for which movie to watch?”
Nyota looks at the projection, wondering which movie best suits her current mood. Spock scrolls for her, and she spots one that she cannot pass up the chance to re-watch. “You found Pacific Rim?!” She grins, shifting around on the sofa in excitement. “Have you seen it before?”
“Indeed. I have not yet seen it. I take it that you would like to see it again now?”
“Yes!” She tries not to shout, but it’s a close-run thing. “Yes, please, that would be amazing.” She cannot wait to find out what he makes of the movie; it’s entire concept is illogical, but she feels like something in it will call to him in any case. She notices that he has not pressed play, and his eyes are fixed on her. “Are you alright, Spock?”
“I am fine.” He says, his eyes capturing her gaze. His face is stunningly open, and he puts the PADD aside, taking her hands in his. “I simply wished to express-“ He pauses, searching for the right words. “Taluhk nash-veh kdular. I love you, Nyota.” His voice is a little rough, filled with a depth of emotion that resonates with her soul. She can see the naked emotion cast across his features, and she knows that her eyes are bright with unshed tears. His molten gaze turns alarmed. “I apologise, I did not mean to-“
“It’s alright, Spock.” She shushes him gently, pulling a hand free to caress his cheek and jawline. “These are happy tears. I love you, too.” She presses a chaste kiss to his lips, and moves so that she is pressed against his chest. His heartbeat flutters against her, and he wraps his arms around her in a lose embrace, pulling the blankets around them more closely.
“Humans are most illogical,” He murmurs, though his tone is not one of reproach. “Tears are meant to be indicative of distress.”
“Well, they can also be indicative of any overwhelming emotion.” Nyota says, her heart filled to the brim with love and happiness and a glowing sensation of warmth. “Now, I really want to see what you think of Pacific Rim, if you think something so small as tears illogical!”
He raises an eyebrow at her, a smile playing across his lips, and starts the movie.
what do you personally dislike about Slott's ASM? also do you know how he has been the main writer for so long? It feels like marvel should have switched it up
This turned out so long, sorry, anon.
I don’t know the circumstances that have led to Slott’s extremely long run on Amazing Spider-Man, but I do feel it’s long past time to switch it up for a number of reasons, and frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t chose Legacy as the perfect time to bring in a new writer. I’ve got two bones to pick with Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man, and one is a couple of personal experiences I’ve had that centered around Superior Spider-Man (importantly, they’re both scenes involving the run’s treatment of women) and then just a general note on why his Peter Parker voice doesn’t work for me, personally. I have liked other comics by Slott, for the record.
The personal experiences first:
I’ve witnessed Slott harass a friend of mine on social media over a comment on a frankly awful panel in Superior Spider-Man, saying that they shouldn’t criticize Otto’s actions because he was “on a journey.” This kind of behavior is apparently not an isolated incident where he’s involved, but I should note that my friend was at the time very young (I can’t remember if they were 18, but quite possibly they were younger). I believe it was made obvious to him at one point that he was arguing with a teenager, but I can’t recall for sure. I do know they did not tag him in their criticism. But most importantly, this is the panel they were discussing:
For those unaware, Superior Spider-Man was a storyline where Doctor Octopus bodyjacked Peter and intended to live his life as Peter and as Spider-Man. Nobody knew that Peter had been replaced.
Otto’s thought boxes are positioned over Mary Jane’s dialogue, effectively silencing her, and not only is HIS gaze clearly fixed on her breasts, but the reader is essentially forced to stare at them, too. I don’t know how the average man feels looking at this panel, but I can say, as a woman, it 100% feels like the comic is creepily staring at my boobs and I’m not cool with that. This is not a fun cheesecake page, embracing Mary Jane as a confident, sexually attractive woman – it’s treating her like a piece of meat. If this was intended to be funny, I’m sorry, but the joke is bad. Even if we were to say Otto was “on a journey” to become a better person and that his behavior in the first issue is not indicative of who he’ll become so he shouldn’t be judged on it – which, currently, he’s in a Peter clone body, being all sad because his Parker Industries coup failed and the woman he lied to and seduced using Peter’s identity doesn’t want to date him, so I guess the last stop on the train was Disgusting Man Valley – it’s still a page where a man infiltrates a woman’s private life using the body of one of the closest people to her and then ignores her voice to stare at her breasts. (Make no mistake: Otto was explicitly and aggressively trying to trick her into bed using Peter’s identity. Later, when he realized he could access Peter’s memories, he replayed Peter’s sexual encounters with Mary Jane. I don’t like any stop on this journey, guys.)
The “journey”, I suspect, was meant to refer to Ock’s growing feelings towards Anna Maria Marconi, but that just highlights another set of problems I have: Mary Jane, a beautiful model turned entrepreneur, is ultimately deemed by Otto as “unacceptable” for someone of Peter’s intellect, and cast aside in favor Anna Maria, who works in STEM, can cook like an Italian grandmother, and who is pretty but not conventionally desirable. It would be one thing for the character to do this, but Slott did once say that Otto was better at appreciating “real beauty” than Peter, and that Peter’s love for Mary Jane was “anti-Marvel”, because Mary Jane’s “superficially beautiful”, implying that she lacks inner beauty and ignoring the canon fact that Mary Jane’s moral center has always been stronger than Peter’s. This disregard for Mary Jane solely because she’s pretty continues in a scene where Mary Jane gets all dressed up and goes to meet a new guy she’s interested in, only to get pushed into the mud before he sees her. While humor via humiliation is common in Slott’s Spider-Man, I don’t really think I need to elaborate on why a scene all about taking a woman who is confident in her appearance and sexuality down a peg leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I really dislike how often Mary Jane is disregarded by fans because she’s “a shallow male fantasy” (please read comics) so to say that Peter loving her is anti-Marvel is just, like, no.
The three of them sat there for a long time after the woman with one leg missing was pulled out of the sewer, off to the hospital, saying nothing as the police came and went away with the body, as the journalists came and went away with a story, and the sunset came and went away with the day.
esther spoke first as the crickets started to sing, and she said, “dammit.”
artemis said nothing, but the way she said it was different from the nothing of before.
“the first time in forever that girls like us are in a place to do something right and good, and we’re too late, and it’s already solved itself,” esther explained.
Soleil was confused. “But shouldn’t we be glad? That she saved herself and stopped that man?”
“What she means,” Art said with a heavy sigh, “is that of course she’s glad the woman isn’t hurt anymore, but she wishes we could’ve done something other than watch.”
Esther spoke again after a while, her words punctuated with smoke leaking from her mouth as she lit a cigarette to steady herself. “It’s just that girls like us are monsters to everyone, and that we’ll never be good enough, and that some jackass in a suit who gets off on us will call us predators and ban us from bathrooms. I just wanted us to do something right for once so people would have to call us heroes.”
Esther let the words drop to the ground and wriggle away like worms. Her words were quiet, defeated, and soft, not nearly angry enough to be nails to stick ideas against the world. They burrowed away into the ground and died beneath everyone’s feet, beneath notice.
Art looked at her phone and swore. “My aunt wants me home.”
“Treating us like your third best pair of friends again, huh?” Esther grumbled as the last of the smoke drifted out of her.
Art shot her a horrified look that Esther didn’t see in the darkness. “Please, you are my second best pair of friends. If you saw my third best pair, you’d be disgusted.”
Esther grunted and went inside, not looking back, so Art couldn’t see her smile.
Soleil was still confused. “Did we do something wrong?”
“Maybe,” Art said with a shrug. She leaned in and kissed Soleil’s forehead. “Get some rest, okay?”
The moon was rising in the sky before Artemis made it home, her key slipping in the lock as she crept inside as quietly as possible. Of course, her aunt was waiting in the living room, tearing the concept of time apart with a pair of fine needle nosed pliers. The world was amber and heavy around them, perspective distorted like looking through beer.
“Where were you,” her aunt said, will say, is saying.
Nonlinearlity gives, has given, will give, Art a headache, so she said, “I was hunting down a serial killer with Esther and Soleil. Someone else found them though, and rescued his latest victim, who’d killed him before we even got there.”
“Clocks have been going missing,” Aunt said, begrudgingly letting the normal progression of time continue, to Art’s relief.
Art rolled her eyes and went past her to the kitchen, grabbing a drink from the fridge. The counters were full of runes sketched in sugar, salt, and blood, two keystones binding things together in harmonies of gold. “You say that as though it’s my fault?”
“You two are known to have sticky fingers,” Aunt called from the other room.
Art went back into the living room and flopped on the couch. “Could you not do that now? You make me forget who I’m supposed to be when you do this shit.”
“Alright,” Aunt said. She tore apart the spell and for a terrifying moment the world spun free from its moorings, and Art’s stomach dropped from beneath them.
What was it that her mother had told her? That she had to pretend so that people didn’t know that she was a robot. So that people didn’t know she had two souls for dancing and catch the moments where she changed with the lunar phases, so that Soleil would never know that she changed day by day from loving her to hating her, her confidant and betrayer both, her absolution and her executioner–
The world was back in place and the phase turned and Art felt the pangs of anger stir inside her.
Soleil watched the dawn break and the amber light, orange rays spinning in their all to familiar motion slipped and spun in her head as she detached from time and it all broke, everything broke.
DAY broke free of her shackles and cast off gravity, flying higher into the sky, watching the world recede at a dizzying rate, laughing and laughing until she wanted to throw up but she was too light too ethereal to even have that anymore, she wanted to rise to the apex of everything and oversee all that she could and should and would–
and with a scarring crunch, the world was back in its place, and everything was small and dirty and grimy, and Soleil felt nauseous and confused, and went inside to lie down. the pills rattled in her brain and her stomach, leaking out fog that held the day down.
mostly a transcription of a dream that i woke from just a while ago, with very surreal images. I am half-intoxicated today from missing meds so I’ve been sleeping and having vivid dreams. I woke coated in sweat and I need to go shower for the third time today.
Esther is a vengeful witch. Artemis is something different. I have a friend who’s described herself as herself but two of her, not quite a multiple system from what she explained but another her who she trades with sometimes. Artemis is that, I think, one Art generous and kind and loving and the other selfish and angry and wrathful. Soleil is something else entirely. They’re all trans girls, in case it wasn’t entirely clear.
New Beginnings! Time to Focus: ‘Just Fine.’ and ‘Sailor Jeohn’
hi guys! ahhh its been too loooongg ive missed posting and sharing my art here, but hey! that’s what I wanted to talk about.
first off, commissions are still underway, with just one slot left! so grab it while you can. also in other news, I got a part-time job! i earn real monies like a real PERSON NOW lol. a lot has gone on these past few months since I moved here to San Francisco and my life is a lot better than it was just 6 months ago. I’m so much happier, I feel better, i actually have real-life, tangible, friends and i get to interact with REAL PEOPLE lol its been so great. The city is just great and amazing and i love it here, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt soo.. liberated, and content. im really happy right now, lol.
so, to get to the point; since ive moved out here ive experienced so many new and different things ive had time to reflect upon my life, my past, my future, my dreams, my desires, my passions, and everything ive experienced up to here, and ive just realized that i know what to do now.
i want to make comics, which isnt actually new news lol but whether its webcomics or graphic novels or whatever lol, it’s something i really want to do, that ive wanted to do for a long time. but i dont just want to work for a company or something, drawing other peoples stories, right now I want to draw my own comics, my stories. its something ive just put off for so long, because ive been so used to doing what other people have wanted me to do my whole life (this is a long long story about my life history for another day) but now that im living on my own, i finally feel that freedom ive longed for for so long, that freedom to just draw whatever i want, to actually START something.
so NOW here is what this post is about; ive been intently working on and jotting down notes and ideas for 2 comic projects for a long time now, and i now feel like i have the capacity in my life currently (mentally, artistically, financially etc.) to actually commit to them and start fleshing them out.
The first one is called Just Fine., a story ive been working on on and off for 3+ years with OC’s of mine you already know (Pahl, Rhodas, etc.). It’s a story about best friends and life and so much more, but for now that’s all I’ll say.
The second one is my newest one, based on a small flash of a thought from 2 summers ago that ive only recently revisited in December, but its one ive grown oddly yet quickly passionate about, called Sailor Jeohn. This one, hopefully, I plan on starting as a webcomic by December this year.
I’ll talk more about them later, and you’ll understand more of what they are about in the coming months, but basically, this is what im focusing on now, this post is just to say that these stories, their concept art, etc, will probably be all youll be seeing from me for a long while. that’s not to say there will be no occasional fanart spurts here and there, or fanart comics and such, im just beginning a new focus, devoting my art to what ive wanted to devote it to for along time.
right now, commissions, school, and my job have been taking up a lot of time, but i plan on starting posting art that ive done here and there about these projects as soon as readily possible!
Sooooo thank you all for your support! for following me, for actually reaching over 10,000+ followers!!! (i dont know when it happened, but i just checked in this morning and was like WHOAAAA AHHHHH) Thank you so much for liking my art, what i draw, it means more than the world to me that even one person likes what i do lol. So hopefully you continue to follow my artistic journey from here on as well, and that you look forward to the projects and comics Ill be working on and releasing in the future! Thank you so much!
Thank you for asking for sense8 ficlet requests! There's not enough fics out there so reading yours will be wonderful :) I wanted to request a kalagang wedding/marriage fic and/or a pregnancy fic? I would love to read any of those if you have the chance to write them :) thanks! X
Thanks for your prompt, anon! Sorry it took so long, apparently I’m a bit more rusty than anticipated!
What are your thoughts on Zuko become Fire Lord straight after the war? I doubt he spent much time learning to run a country due to his exile, and I thought that Iroh throwing him under the bus to play Pai Sho and drink tea was very ooc. At the end of the series Zuko is only beginning to uncover deep emotional wounds, has a severely mentally ill sister, and a missing mother. Ozai was a terrible leader who wanted to burn the Earth Kingdom, why couldn't Iroh take his rightful place on the throne?
I have no problem with Zuko becoming Fire Lord straight after
the war…but I do have a problem with his becoming the Fire Lord without Uncle
Iroh by his side. The latter is correct, by the way; someone new had to take
the throne in order to restore the honor of the Fire Nation. Think about how
long everyone had been at war. There are grudges on both sides, and the Earth
Kingdom—the biggest remaining power in the Four Nations—has a rather
spectacular one, fully justified, against General Iroh. Back when Iroh was
earning his rank, he laid siege to Ba Sing Se for almost two years straight.
One night of retaking the city isn’t going to erase all those memories, or all
the people who died because of him, and frankly the idea of them allowing Iroh
back to retire to his tea shop immediately after the war is ludicrous. Can you
imagine letting the leader of the Luftwaffe during the London
Blitz return to open his own restaurant in Trafalgar Square? Not to
mention the fact that the Fire Nation needs a solid line of succession, and
Uncle is much less likely to be able to sire children than seventeen-year-old
One of the best
things Iroh ever did for Zuko was keep him out of the main war for as long as
possible; and ironically, Ozai’s banishment designed to prevent Zuko from
getting the throne likely ended up helping him to keep it. Zuko never actually
waged war against any of the other armies. He invaded the Southern Water Tribe
and attacked Kyoshi Island, but nobody died, and even his help of Azula
in “Crossroads of Destiny” resulted in a bloodless coup that was as much
the fault of the Earth Kingdom’s own forces as of the Fire Nation. He is the
closest thing to a new start as anyone is going to get, and it will greatly
help to have him be the one sitting on the throne while the Earth Kingdom is
throwing its weight around.
I disagree that
Zuko didn’t spend time learning to run a country during his exile. Zuko trains
and works so hard that the concept of doing something “for fun” is foreign
to him. He would have had a great teacher in Uncle, and since getting his
throne back was one of his primary goals, it would be strange if he weren’t
getting educated on ruling his nation. Meanwhile, the exile itself was already
a great education. He learned to be a good leader in episodes like “The
Storm,” and how to show mercy (but be prepared for backstabbing) in “The
Southern Air Temple.” He learned the consequences of Fire Nation hubris
in “The Siege of the North,” and how much ordinary people matter
in “Zuko Alone” and “Tales of Ba Sing Se.” He knows how to prove his
worth to skeptical allies (like Hakoda in “The Boiling Rock”) and how to
make amends to someone who is bitter from the war (”The Southern
Raiders”). Because of his time with the GAang, he is now friends with some
of the most influential families and most powerful benders in the world
(including the Avatar).
definitely needs Uncle beside him. That is not up for dispute. Iroh was in line
for the throne for decades before Ozai usurped him, and he knows the
machinations of the Fire Court probably better than most. Zuko still has some
hot-headedness that could endanger diplomacy, and his principal fault of not thinking
things through could use some more time to be worked on. One of Zuko’s biggest
challenges is that he was branded a traitor; General Iroh is one of the only
people who could convince a large subset of the Fire Nation nobility to ignore
that and back Zuko, however grudgingly, in the face of Ozai’s imprisonment and
Azula’s instability. (It would have greatly
helped the situation if Ozai had been killed, rather than shipped right
back to Zuko’s doorstep for him to deal with, because it would have removed the
considerable temptation to reinstall Ozai on the throne, but…).
Not to mention, Zuko would face multiple assassination attempts
in those first rocky few years. What if one succeeded, or even got close enough
to injure him? Uncle needs to be there as insurance in case something happens
to Zuko. When you think of the comics in all their absurdity, consider
this: we don’t even know who would run the Fire Nation if Zuko got
assassinated while Uncle was having tea in Ba Sing Se. We’re never
introduced to a character who would be capable of taking the reins and not
leaving the Fire Nation a smoking crater in the aftermath. And it is
under these auspicious circumstances that the Avatar in the comics
is prepared to end Zuko’s life, but not
Ozai’s! Just imagine…
Katara: Oh, no,
the New Ozai society helped Ozai escape and now he’s gone! Suki: Isn’t he known for his intelligence and political
manipulation? Sokka: Yep, his sheer charisma, ruthlessness, and the fact
that he never was killed or abdicated his position guarantees him a large
following in the Fire Nation, even on the run. Toph: Good thing we’ve all pitched in over the past year to
make Zuko’s hold on the Fire Nation rock solid. Aang: Yeah! Checking in his first year as Firelord to keep
his spirits up… Iroh: Making sure I’m on hand for any diplomatic problems… Mai: Forming a strong marriage union that will lead to a
peaceful succession… Katara: Extending trust to him rather than attacking his
forces… Suki: Not waiting a year to get him competent security… Aang: In short, we’ve done everything possible to make sure a
seventeen-year-old boy doesn’t have to handle the most powerful, dangerous, and
unstable country in the entire world alone! Right, guys? Team Avatar: Right!
… Appa: They drank the cactus juice again, didn’t they? Momo: Hey, shut up, stinkbreath! You want a rematch?
Zuko becoming Firelord is the least of our worries; he just
shouldn’t do it alone. And if Iroh must retire from political life, it should
be after a) about a decade has gone by, b) the political situation has
stabilized, and c) Zuko has at least one healthy heir to the throne. Anything
else would logically be a disaster.
I am particularly wary of arguments
suggesting that Dean selling his own soul was problematic
(wrong, reprehensible, ect) because it somehow wronged Sam (As
if he had no “right” to do what he did or as if it were a
self-serving action that harmed Sam/ threw Sam under the bus
specifically). Which too often is how it’s framed. While Sam was
undoubtedly affected by Dean’s decision, shouldn’t “murdering
yourself in order to save someone else’s life” be an action that
deserves scrutiny for its own sake? Is murdering yourself to
save a life a wrong or immoral action? Why or why not? The idea that
it’s wrong only or mainly because the person who’s life you save
may feel bad about your sacrifice, rings incredibly false and
short-sighted, to me. We aren’t just talking about suicide, but
sacrificing your life for the sake of another life. If we are to say
this action is truly wrong and should never be done, I think we’re
going to need a bit more of a reason for condemning this action than
“the saved person may feel bad.”
This is a complicated question and I
hate seeing that diminished. On one hand saving a life/ making the
ultimate sacrifice for someone you love is considered by many to be a
beautiful, even noble action. This is not an uncommon theme in
fiction, and few would judge someone harshly for doing so in reality.
Many parents who love their kids, for example, may be apt to
sacrifice their lives to save their child’s, or even for the uncertain possibility of saving it (I once heard a broadcast about a woman who fed her daughter her own blood in attempts to save her when they were trapped without water. I never once thought, “what cruel and selfish woman. Instead of dying mercifully, the girl will now feel guilt!!”)
Certainly, they realize their deaths will cause sorrow,
but when the choice comes down to their life, or the life of their
child, many, many parents would chose to sacrifice their own instead.
Some would similarly die to save their lovers or siblings, or even their friends. The
sentiment is far from unheard of. It may, in fact, be argued that
this is a very human response toward those one cares very deeply for.
It need not be universal, to be universally recognizable or accepted.
On the other hand, there IS something
disturbing about Dean’s sacrifice in this S3. However, I feel that the gravity of the issue has little to do with Dean’s death making Sam
feel bad. And more to do with the context. It was more than a “I
pushed you out of the way of a speeding care and took the hit
instead” or even an “I jumped in from of a firing gun aimed in
your direction” type scenario. One reason it’s disturbing, here
(to me at least), is that this sacrifice comes from a person who’s
constantly had his own well-being devalued by those around him, who’s
been conditioned since early childhood to sacrifice for others, Sam especially. Because of
this, it’s difficult to deny said conditioning was likely a significant
factor in Dean’s decision to kill himself to save Sam, and there’s
something disturbing about that. Was it pure love, or the lifetime of
psychological abuse that led to Dean’s decision? The possibility
that it might be, even partially, the latter is disquieting, for
Dean’s sake. As this is not the type of action, one ought to feel
forced or guilted into.
Then there is the issue of hell itself,
in that Dean not only loses his life in this deal, he also subjects
himself to eternal pain, abuse, and suffering. The selling of one’s
soul in this case is FAR more than a life for a life. Dean did not
merely agree to die in order to save Sam. He knowingly agreed to
suffer unimaginable and endless agony and violation at the hands of
the most sadistic creatures in existence. This alone complicates
the question significantly. And that’s without all of the
philosophical implications surrounding the concept of the soul.
Sadly, the narrative itself only passingly addresses these things and at times diverts focus to a third issue, the discussion of a
“natural order,” of some sort. This question is based on the fact that Sam
was already dead and the deal revived him. Was that then, a form of playing god? At times the narrative suggests this. However, I also find this discussion to be
missing the mark for several reasons. One being that their particular
interpretation of “natural order” in modern society is violated everyday with support from the majority of the community, as doctors work to revive
those who’ve died whenever possible. Sam was recently dead. This was not a question of
changing history or living forever, even, but more one of reviving
someone who’s recently passed away from an injury or other
unnatural cause. If the show wants to suggest this is somehow wrong, they’re going to need to do a bit more work to convince us why.
Another issue is that the show itself violates its
own rules far too often, praising a violation of their so called
“natural order” just as often as condemning it, and worse,
depending on that violation for the sake of the narrative. Both boys
are resurrected multiple times, almost ad nauseum, as are other characters. Yet the show tries to look down on this, while also promoting it. For example, the character, Death, condemns resurrection,
but then himself actively participates in making it happen again and again.
So, clearly it’s not SO bad, if he not only doesn’t put a stop to
it, but himself encourages it when it proves useful.
This is why I feel such arguments fall flat. If we’re going to judge this action, a more reasonable objection
(imho) would be the question of whether or not Dean’s choice was
actually a choice, and not mainly the result of a lifetime of psychological/ emotional abuse
and conditioning. And there’s always the question of
the sanctity of a human soul and whether it’s fundamentally wrong
to sell it, even if it is yours to sell, (similar to the question of
the sanctity of human life and if it’s fundamentally wrong to end
it, even if it’s yours to end). Or even perhaps whether there is an important
difference between risking your life in the heat of the moment and
seriously, contemplatively choosing to not only murder yourself but suffer hell in to save another’s life.
It bothers me then that these
discussions are reduced to, “Dean was being selfish and mean to
Sammy,” an argument that makes little sense in context here or
Summary: Where perhaps the bad girl always gets the good guy in the end.
Request: Can you do a young Scott Summers one-shot where the reader is a rebel in the school and disobeys everyone’s’ rules and gets into too many fights and Scott has a big crush on her but doesn’t want to approach her bc he’s afraid she might reject him as a friend and if he asked her out since he’s a chill guy doesn’t really follow her vibes. Then one day the reader wants to cause trouble but doesn’t have someone to do it with so she goes to Scott and they hang out and have fun until he confesses his love for her and so does she?
A/N: I want to say that I am not taking the characterization from Apocalypse because Scott is just a cinnamon bun and it just feels wrong to write him as anything but and I just wanted to dedicate this to the lovely Madison ( @marvelgrrl ) because it’s her birthday today and she’s been really kind to me since I’ve started my blog, happy birthday darling and congrats again on 1K!!
Summers was the classic guy that every parent expected their children to bring
home. Handsome; up to a point, polite; in their presence, intelligent; but not
arrogant, and loving; but not weak. He was the stereotypical good guy, the who almost certainly never
gets the girl. But that has never stopped him, for he loved—loved with his
entire heart, his feelings often being missed and recuperated. His love life
was never the best, and ever since he arrived at Xavier’s School for Gifted
Youngsters, it seems to have progressively gotten worse. Despite the fact that
he was practically blind, an attempt to stop himself from leveling the entire
school with a single blast, his appearance was never really a turn on to most
of the female population. He could deduce the fact that the school was swarming
with girls, their giggles and voices echoing through his head as he walked by,
his stomach doing somersaults as he was guided along. How he yearned to see,
not only was it the fact that there were cute girls hanging around, but he like
every person, relied heavily on their sense of sight; without it, living became
much harder. That did not stop him from catching wind of a few rumors that
seemed to float around the school, one in particular that had truly peaked his
was practically a legend at this school, ghosts of whispers that lingered
around the grounds; even if your presence was not near. Besides the fact that
your mutation had nothing to do with the mischief that you caused, it didn’t
stop the student body from putting you on a higher pedestal than you already
were on. There was already wind of your pranks and acts of mischief seconds
after your act was committed, the entire school abuzz with what you had done.
Not only had your actions intrigued him deeply, they also stirred up an emotion
deep within the pit of his stomach—something that he has never felt before. Of
course this had captured his attention, immensely, all he wanted was to see you
to understand what kind of girl could possible make him feel this way. So, when
he was finally rewarded with the ruby quartz glasses, it was as if Christmas
had come early.
life with a red hue did not come easy, in the first few days of wearing the
glasses he wanted to oh-so-desperately remove the shades to see the world
vividly once more, yet as his conscience overtook; the decision became
unanimous. For a while he had scourged the grounds, in an attempt of locating
you, but by the end of the day he had come up empty handed. It was as if you
didn’t even exist, merely just a fable told by word of mouth. With a weary
sigh, he turned around and navigated himself back to his room, his thoughts in
an overcast about you. He was nearly halfway across campus before he clumsily
knocked himself into someone, the two of you hitting the cold concrete—a rude
awakening for him as his manners instantly kicked in.
began to apologize, his words become jumbled as he became a stuttering mess as
he looked in front of him. There was no way he could possibly describe your
beauty in a matter of a few words, for they could simply not do you justice.
Even through the red tint of his glasses, everything about you was
stunning—intoxicating even, as he could feel a warm sensation spreading like a
wildfire across his body. Like the gentleman he was, he offered you his hand,
which was a bit scuffed up from the fall. His cheeks beginning to flush as your
hand touched his, quickly helping you to your feet before letting go. It was as
if he was in a trance, time slowing and in that moment he momentarily had
forgotten where he was and what he was doing. This effect that you had on him
was dizzying, but pleasuring at the same time, and he knew that as soon as you
left he would crave more.
It was the
first thing you had said to him, upon halting his seemingly never-ending string
of apologizes. Momentarily puzzled, his eyebrows scrunched together as he
prepared himself to ask you what did you mean by that comment, instead a rush
of reality came crashing down on him. Before he could even think up a witty
response or even utter a word of thanks, you were gone, your figure already
making its way back towards the school. All that was left was the sweet and
enchanting scent of your perfume, which lingered in your wake. In that moment,
he knew solemnly that he was utterly doomed. From the moment that your presence
had collided with his everything changed, to put it simply, you were the person
that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. It was too late to change
his mind; his heart, mind, body, and soul were already smitten—hung up and high
on the very concept of you. However, the depressing part was yet to come,
because certainly someone like you did not go out with guys like him. And upon
meeting you, he had dug himself into a rut.
with the help of Jean and Kurt he had learned your name and your infamous
reputation around the school, including the legendary pranks that were pulled
on some of the faculty and students. With the price of your amusement, fame and
carefree attitude, had cost you some of your friends. In a sense, committing these
acts purely as a form of entertainment and fun took up a majority of your time,
a thing that others were committed on spending a bit wiser. Your usual partner
in crime, Peter Maximoff, was delayed in training; an unfortunate class where he
would be trapped in for the next couple of hours or so. There was always the unpredictable
Warren, but at the moment he was a bit hung up on being too cool to hang out
with you. As you continued to go down the list of possible partners in crimes,
the list of potential nominees becoming shorter and shorter with each passing
breath. Before long, on a list of over a hundred candidates, none remained. At
the moment, you were growing desperate, willing to grab anyone—perhaps even the
younger kids to go out and have some fun. That is until your eyes landed on the
fleeting figure of Scott Summers, did you have at least one potential partner
take much to understand the brunet, after all, word got around fast at this
school. Besides the fact that he was a new student as well as one who was
related to Alex Summers, not much was known about the boy. He was quite quiet,
at least from what you could deduce, for never once has he even attempted to
talk to you. Sure, you could vividly remember the night from a few months ago, that
encounter severely injuring your ego in more ways than one. You were running
late that night, Peter already waiting for you in the courtyard with the rest
of the materials needed to polish off and complete the prank, when you had face
first crashed into him. It was embarrassing to say the least, but shaking off
your disorientation you were met with the utterly most breathtaking sight. Most
of the time you didn’t believe in love at first sight, but with this
happenstance, you supposed you could make an exception. As embarrassment
started to make its presence known on your face, your throat seemed to clench
at the very thought of speaking to him, a feeling that was completely foreign.
Talking was practically second nature to you, which you could only assume came
with the extrovert personality. But, freezing up and becoming overly nervous
talking to an attractive male seemed absolutely unheard of, so you had blurted
the first thing that had come to mind. From there, it seemed that you had
suddenly remember Peter and the prank, before dashing off in pursuit of the
school—completely forgetting to introduce yourself to the flustered and
onwards, you couldn’t seem to shake the boy from your mind. There he was,
chatting happily with Jean Grey the resident telepath at the school and Kurt
Wagner, the outcast. They were such an odd sight, one of the prettiest girls in
school chatting it up with the blue kid and the one kid who everyone knew as
Alex’s kid brother. You could feel the jealousy
bubbling in the pit of your stomach and being helpless to stop yourself, you
acted on those feelings. Quickly, in only a couple of strides had made your way
towards the group, the conversation being drawn down to a minimum as soon as
you approached. Ignoring their slight stares, you fixated your attention on the
brunet sitting in front of you, and with a small smile gave him an offer that
he simply could not refuse.
me if you wanna have some fun.”
how the two of you ended up sprawled on the grass, behind the school, laughter
engulfing the both of you. It was a beautiful night, the stars twinkling high
above you, the moon provided the perfect about of light to shine down. The setting
was romantic to say the least, a mutual connection forever binding the two of
you together, hands narrowly brushing on the grass below. As the two of you lay
in silence, basking in the quiet company of each other, your thoughts had begun
to drift onto the memory of earlier that afternoon. The eerily familiar feeling
of the jealousy that seemed to consume your entire being, how dejected it made
you feel. There was an unspoken confession the lingered on your lips, the
reality of a relationship and a future that could be. And as he lay next to
you, so serene—so peaceful, you wondered if one simple question could possibly
shatter this entire moment.
enjoyed today,” a ghost of a smile lingered on his lips, a habit he had picked
up from his brother. He had sat up, taking your hand and pulling you up with
him, however your hands never leaving each other’s. There was this unspoken
connection, a spark perhaps, that seemed to ignite between the two of you. An
unspoken and mutual understanding, something that was hanging high in the
atmosphere. In that moment everything was absolutely perfect, which was the
catalyst for your next movements. You both inched, closer and closer together,
till there was barely a centimeter of space between the two of your bodies. God,
how you wanted to kiss him; to feel his lips on your own, the heat of his hands
resting on your hips, while your hands wove themselves into his hair. Finally,
feeling his hot breath linger ever so gently on your lips, he whispered his
last question. “Can I kiss you?”
The two of
you crashed together, melting together under the twinkling stars and the
Can you tell about Xunzi? I've never heard of it before and I mean I'm reading the wiki article but i'm curious how you see it.
Xunzi straddles the Confucian and Legalist schools, and so in order to talk about Xunzi, I need to give my super-simplified brief overview of ancient Chinese philosophy. There’s a period called the Hundred Schools of Thought, when there were a bunch of different philosophers pushing various views of humanity and society, that became popular to different degrees. It seems plausible to me that most philosophical concepts relevant to political and personal philosophy had some representation at this time, and everything since is embellishment and rearrangement.
In one corner you have the Mohists, with Mozi as the primary figure. They promote self-reflection, authenticity, asceticism, and universal love. They were for meritocracy and against music, and politically focused on defensive warfare (thinking that if offensive wars are costly enough, rulers will be forced to live in peace with one another). A modern would recognize them as utilitarians (except that they value material conditions rather than happiness). They saw humans as innately good.
In another corner you have the Daoists, with Laozi as the primary figure. They promote what I’ll call “going with the flow,” and endorse the principle ‘that government is best which governs least.’ A modern would recognize them as libertarians and hippies. They also saw humans as innately good.
In another corner you have the Legalists, who don’t have as clear a primary figure (probably Han Feizi?). They are often characterized as “power for power’s sake,” and are the most economically-minded of the philosophies. The question is not “how should a ruler rule morally?” but “what method of rule is most effective?”. A modern would associate them with fascism. They saw humans as innately bad, and requiring rewards and punishments to keep them in line.
In another corner you have the Confucians, with Confucius as the primary figure. They are the traditionalists that focus on healthy, specialized relationships. The Confucian sees the world as a collection of social links between people, many of which are asymmetric in important ways (husband and wife, older brother and younger brother, etc.), and prescribes modes of behavior that, if followed, ensure harmony of those relationships. The Confucian endorses a hierarchical structure and control, but prescribes limits for that control. The ruler can order his ministers as he likes, but the ruler has a duty to his citizens. As much as possible, the ruler should set a virtuous example so that people behave out of genuine respect. (This dynamic appears for all relationships–sons are expected to obey their fathers, but their fathers are expected to be worth obeying.) A modern would associate them with conservativism, especially of the religious variety. But does the Confucian view people as innately good or innately bad?
Here’s where Xunzi comes in. Xunzi is a Confucian living in troubled times, and has a pragmatic / realistic outlook. One of his main philosophical arguments is with Mencius, the second most important Confucian, over whether people are innately good or innately bad.
Mencius, the optimist, thinks that humans are innately good. Xunzi points out that “innately good” and “innately bad” aren’t clear concepts, and the actual operationalization of those concepts is whether people should get their moral intuitions from internal or external sources.
That is, if you have a moral dilemma, if you’re innately good then doing the thing closest to your heart is going to be the good thing to do, because if your heart isn’t good how could you possibly be innately good? If you’re innately bad, then you need to have principles and willpower and reason to figure out what the good thing is, and then control yourself to do it.
And so Xunzi points out that Confucianism is all about giving people external guides to their behavior through ritual, and is fundamentally an argument that people can’t be trusted to manage things on their own. If you believed that people were innately good, then you could just discard all the trappings of Confucianism as unnecessary and be a Daoist.
Mencius’s view, though less correct, is more popular. Xunzi isn’t helped by the fact that two of his students go on to become major figures in Legalism and the
Qin state (that eventually unifies China); we’ve already met Han Feizi
as probably the most important philosophical figure in Legalism, and Li
Si was the prime minister under Qin Shi Huang, a key figure in the Qin
state’s reorganization and then its conquest of China. Xunzi is tarred by association with them (especially because they look down on Confucians). Xunzi falls by the wayside, diminished in popularity, and not translated into English until a few decades ago. (In this way Xunzi reminds me of ibn Rushd, who criticized Al-Ghazali, the Islamic thinker second in prominence only to Muhammad, and was right as far as Enlightenment thinkers are concerned but lost the battle for popularity and mostly disappeared from mainstream Islamic thought.)
So that’s some of the object-level philosophy and history. But the reason I find Xunzi so interesting is threefold:
First, I thought he was remarkably intelligent, and I say that about very few people. I’ve read a lot of ancient thinkers, and for a lot of them the lesson is ‘learning history in reverse,’ where one says “wow, apparently X wasn’t obvious to people until this guy points it out” and “wow, this guy doesn’t have a clue because he’s visibly not aware of Y (which wasn’t public knowledge until after he died).” I don’t recall having any of those incidents with Xunzi, and instead would frequently find myself delighted by his turns of phrase or his way of seeing clearly to the heart of an issue.
(Incidentally, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states the scholarly consensus is that Xunzi misunderstood Mencius, but I cautiously suspect that the SEP / the scholars are wrong. That is, Xunzi looks like he’s making a reductio argument, “if you believed A then B would follow, and B is incorrect, therefore A cannot be correct” and the response is “but they didn’t say B!” or “it’s a mistake to conclude B from A,” both of which seem like bad objections to me (the first in general, the second in this particular circumstance). In any case Xunzi wins major points for operationalizing a confusing philosophical query, to the point where we know exactly what Xunzi’s position was and aren’t sure if Mencius agrees or disagrees with it.)
Second, I thought he was startlingly rationalist. When someone says the following, I sit up and take notice:
One performs the rain sacrifice and it rains. Why? I say: there is no special reason why. It is the same as when one does not perform the rain sacrifice and it rains anyway. When the sun and moon suffer eclipse, one tries to save them. When Heaven sends drought, one performs the rain sacrifice. One performs divination and only then decides on important affairs. But this is not to be regarded as bringing one what one seeks, but rather is done to give things proper form. Thus, the gentleman regards this as proper form, but the common people regard it as connecting with spirits. If one regards it as proper form, one will have good fortune. If one regards it as connecting with spirits, one will have misfortune.
The question becomes “if he knew and said this, where are the resulting ancient Chinese rationalists? What was the missing piece that meant we didn’t get the Enlightenment and industrial revolution earlier in China?”
(Reminder that two of his students were major figures in the unification of China, and that they worked for probably the greatest human being ever.)
(No, but seriously, the First Emperor’s political plans went like so:
1. Unify the various states to end indefinite war
2. Reorganize the government on meritocratic grounds
3. Promote trade through infrastructure development and standardization of weights and measures
4. End death
He’s got my vote. It’s a shame the fourth one didn’t work; we’d be living in a very different world.)
Third, the discordant pieces. I would be reading along, agreeing with things, and then on the list of important cabinet ministers is someone who prevents innovation in music or doctrine (I may even have been listening to dubstep while reading that section). If one can take a step back and see applause lights as applause lights (he’s not making the historical claim that the ancient kings ruled in such a way, he’s making the aspirational claim that it would be best to rule in such a way) then one can roll through smoothly and get the beginnings of an answer to the previous question.
(Bonus: there were other schools of thought too, that weren’t important enough to get mentioned. The one I find most amusing is Yangism, which appears to be an ethical egoist variant of Daoism much like Objectivism, but which survives only in the harangues against it by political opponents. It would be as if everything written by Ayn Rand was lost, but we had enough snide putdowns to reconstruct a slanted view of the basics.)
such crimes there must be justice. Starting with Cersei and her abominations. But only starting. I
mean to scour that court clean. As Robert should have done, after the Trident.”
Stannis touched the Painted Table. “Look at it, onion knight. My realm, by rights. My
Westeros.” He swept a hand across it. “This talk of Seven Kingdoms is a folly. Aegon saw that
three hundred years ago when he stood where we are standing. They painted this table at his
command. Rivers and bays they painted, hills and mountains, castles and cities and market
towns, lakes and swamps and forests… but no borders. It is all one. One realm, for one king to
“One king” agreed Davos. “One king means peace.”
“I shall bring justice to Westeros. A thing Ser Axell understands as little as he does war. Claw
Isle would gain me naught… and it was evil, just as you said. Celtigar must pay the traitor’s price
himself, in his own person. And when I come into my kingdom, he shall. Every man shall reap
what he has sown, from the highest lord to the lowest gutter rat. And some will lose more than
the tips off their fingers, I promise you. They have made my kingdom bleed, and I do not forget
Stannis is more than just a rigid lord who wants to restore law & order, he is also a visionary.
can i request a jungkook angst that leads to a heated make out session (maybe even smutty? if you want) thank youuuu ♡
You open your eyes slowly as you try to adjust them to the bright light of the sun. Morning comes apparently, faster than the time you took to make your restless body fall asleep. Things had been quite hard for you lately. You know that you’re being too hard on yourself over nothing but it was harder for you to turn yourself deaf from hearing what people think about your relationship.
Somehow words got out that the raising star, Golden Magnae of BTS, Jeon Jungkook, is in a relationship. It was a hot topic to talk about in every social medias remembering how big of an idol he is right now. The fandom was split in two, those who’re matured enough over the news and support Jungkook fully while there rest are still in denial and start to make things even worse than how they should be.
And to your bad luck, the second side of the fandom has bigger troops than the other.
It’s crazy how your blogs are now filled with people arguing about what to do over the news. There’s still no official statement from BigHit, BTS, or from the boy himself so the news can still be counted as rumour, yet the impact is already out of hand. There are names being brought to the frame, fellow idols or some strangers you’re sure Jungkook doesn’t even know about, as the possible girlfriend of his. At this point, even Obama could be the possible girlfriend of his.
You try to pry yourself free from Jungkook’s arm as you try to get up. You swore you’ve tried your best to not make any sound or bother him too much but the boy stirs in his sleep still. It’s crazy how sensitive he gets from the lack of your presence, really.
“Morning,” he says with his hoarse voice, pulling you closer as he buries his head on your hair “I had the best sleep last night, I can’t even remember what time I went to sleep,”
You chuckle lightly, “Did I wake you up?”
“No, I was half-awake for thirty minutes already,” he says lazily while running a hand through his hair “Do you have any plans today?”
“I have some papers to work on. Why, are you free today?”
He nods, “Can your paper works wait some other time? We haven’t spent anytime together since forever, I missed us,”
You smile lightly at his words. You’ve missed him too, to be truthfully honest. You’ve missed the simple normal dates you used to have with him, yet now even coming out of the house without being caught to some nasty rumour seem to be an impossible thing to do. You’re glad that Jungkook can finally live his life as an idol, as what he’d wanted to be since forever, but the small amount of privacy and the lack respect some people give is starting to rub its effect on you.
And not to mention, the harsh comments upon you.
You’re still counted as the minor candidate to be Jungkook’s girlfriend from the news, but there are still words out about you online. Out of a thousand comments, less than ten of them could be counted as nice. There’s even some that’s close to the definition of a death threat. If you would, you can just report them to the cops and get things done there but that would mean for your relationship revelation.
And you’re not sure if you’re ready for it.
“So can your paper works wait?” Jungkook asks once more, eyes still closed as he tries to favour the moment “We can like watch something together or take a walk around instead. I miss spending time with you,”
You shake your head slowly, “They’re due some time soon and I can’t risk postponing it any longer,”
Jungkook lets out a muffle. He’s obviously annoyed at this fact but he knows better than to hold you back. He’s not the type of person to postpone things himself so he’s not in any place to restrain you.
“I’ll try to finish it as soon as I can, okay?” you say as you kiss his nose before getting off the bed and head to the bathroom.
To be completely honest, you actually have no papers whatsoever to work on. It’s the second week of summer break, anyway. It was just an excuse so that you can get some time alone from him. You’ve been trying to create some distance in between so that you’ll have enough space to think about what to do upon the rumours around. Despite the fact that you’ve bene getting so many death threats and painful comments, what you’re worrying the most now is about his career.
You stumbled upon one post last night that for once didn’t attack you or any possible candidates of Jungkook’s girlfriend. Instead, it was purely centred on Jungkook’s career — what’s going to happen to his band and his own sake if the rumours were true.
Bangtan is a quite new group that’d just started their career in the music industry. Their fresh concepts and undeniably talented members surely casts their fans under their spell. It’s just a matter of time now for them to be the biggest group in the industry.
And with that thought, you’re starting to think of the pros and cons of dating Jungkook. You’ve known him since forever and you know for a fact that he wouldn’t break up with you if he knew that you were to break up with him from this reason. Heck, at this point, you know that he wouldn’t break up with you, whatever excuse you might come up with. He’d shown you so much love and shower you with the sweetest treatment anyone could ever give. You know by heart that your relationship would at least last for another life or two.
God, I’m going crazy with this thought, really..
“Babe, you’ve got a call,” Jungkook says as he enters the study room “Some friend of yours from your art class, she said,”
You quickly walk away from your laptop, heading out to the phone after receiving a small peck on your cheek. You flash a small smile at him before leaving the room, not taking a glance back.
You were too caught up with the fact that your friend’s calling you in a holiday like this, you didn’t even realise that you’ve left your browser up on the laptop screen. You weren’t looking at strange websites or anything. Well at least, for you they’re not. But for Jungkook, it was a whole different story.
He scrolls the blogs from its top to its bottom. His breathing gets uneven as he reads those comments, mostly are addressed to you in ways that he couldn’t even think anyone would ever speak of. He has never been this disappointed over anyone and to know that those blog writers claim to be ‘ARMYs’, he’s surely in need of some explanation to comprehend everything.
Feeling like he needs some answer, Jungkook then walks himself out of the study room to look for you. He stops his pace and hide behind the wall as he found you, leaning on the other wall while whispering to your friend on the phone.
“I-I know, I just— I don’t know how to act around him anymore,” you say in a low volume while running a hand through your hair “I wanted to ignore them but it’s getting harder day by day. What they said were right, almost all are right. I might be risking his career for all we know,”
Jungkook raises an eyebrow.
“Yeah, I know he loves me but I can’t keep on going like this, you know? It’s getting harder and harder and I don’t know how long I can hold on anymore,”
What? He thought.
“I don’t know.. I think I need some time,” you say with a sigh “You know, to think of what to do and if we really need to break up, to find a good excuse to say. I need to prepare myself if I were to cut our relationship off,”
And that’s when your phone connection got cut off. You turn your body, only to see Jungkook pressing his thumb on the phone, hanging you off from your call. You weren’t sure which feeling that was dominating your chest, the surprise he’d given when he pops out of no where like this or the disappointed yet angered expression plastered on Jungkook’s face.
“You wanted to break up with me?”
You stutter, “I-I— We— I just—,”
You bite your lower lip, not knowing how to respond to him now that he’s eyeing you with such stare that you’ve never expected to see from him.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” he asks, volume reducing yet still cold and stern “Why didn’t you tell me that people are starting to threatened you? Did my company told you to stay silent about it?”
“No! They didn’t say anything, I just—,”
“Then why didn’t you tell me about it?!” Jungkook explodes, screaming his anger out that veins are now visible on his neck “You wanted to break up with me because they’re giving you death threats and are abusing you, don’t you?”
“Jungkook, listen to me, I—,”
“You know I really hate secrets between us, ___,” he says while closing the gap between you, pinning you on the wall as he eyes you down “Did you not trust me enough to share me your problems?”
“N-No, that’s not the thing, I just—,”
“Then why?! Why didn’t you say a word about it?!”
“Because I’m scared,” you say in a volume that’s just above a whisper “I’m scared that— I’m scared that if I tell you about it, you’ll be mad over everything, over everyone, and you’ll start to blame people for how things are going downhill now,”
Jungkook stays silent, still eyeing you with eagle eyes.
“Jungkook, they’re your fans, they care about you. They just wanted what’s best for you and—,”
“Yeah, and you’re my girlfriend and I care about you!”
You lift your gaze to see him. As much as his words touch your heart, you still can’t help but to ignore the mess you’ve gotten yourself into. The look on Jungkook’s face is nothing but disappointment and hurt, something you’ve never seen plastered on his face. At least, not because of something that’s related to your relationship.
“How long has this been going on?”
You stay silent, scared at him now.
“How long has this been going on, ___?” he repeats, sounding more demanding and stern this time “Don’t make me go find it out myself,”
You whisper, “A couple months,”
“A couple months?” Jungkook lets out a mocking laughter “A couple months and you’re still trying to keep it away from me? How long did you plan to hide it, ___?”
You turn mute again.
“Oh right, you didn’t plan to tell me, you just choose to break up with me, am I right?”
Before you can finish your words, Jungkook crashes his lips upon yours, locking them so you won’t spill any other words that will hurt him any further. He was hurt, somehow as if oxygen is being sucked out of his lungs and exchange with some suffocating gas to fill it, and the only thing that will let him breathe is to suck the air out of you.
The kiss started with so much need and demand. It was a bit rough as he places his hand on your waist, taking a firm grip on you and pulling you close at the same time. The other hand’s now busy cupping your cheek, in contrast to the rough action he does on your body, he caresses your skin gently.
You yelp in pain when Jungkook tightened his grip on your waist and pull you up so that you’re now wrapping your legs around his torso. He also took the chance to enter his tongue in you, tasting every inch of your cavern as he mixes your saliva with his. The kiss soon turn from an angered one to a passionate one, somehow showing that Jungkook needs you and is trying to create this unbreakable bond between the two of you.
It was a crazy sensation to describe about. Your head’s spinning, your skin’s burning and your body feels lighter than a feather. The thing Jungkook does to you, honestly.
“I hate it when you keep things like this away from me,” Jungkook says in between his wet kisses that are now travelling south, down to your neck “It makes me feel like I can’t protect you,”
You moan, “Jungkook—,”
Feeling satisfied with your moan, Jungkook’s hands then find their ways under your shirt, touching and making circle marks on your skin. On usual basis you would find his touches to be ticklish but the moment and situation you’re at makes you feel even more turned on somehow.
The kisses soon turn into a heated make out session where he now leaves visible marks on your neck, collar bones, and any other part around your shoulder. He would kiss your skin, biting and marking it as his territory before sucking on it hard and lick them to ease the pain, making you to turn into a moaning mess as seconds pass by.
“I can protect you and I will,” he whispered huskily as he nibbles your earlobe “I’ll show you,”
yOOO THAT IS QUITE HOT at least for me lol
part II with extra explicit scene perhaps ?? excuse my perverted mind ok
I haven’t done a rec in a while (and I actually need to sort through my bookmarks to be honest), so I figured I’d compile a list of some of my favorite Bagginshield fanfics! This list spans many genres, so I apologize if it’s a bit unorganized. Summaries are taken directly from the author, and my absolute favorites are marked with an asterisk. Also wow this got so long I’m so sorry
'American Horror Story: Hotel' Finale Recap: Faith in Death
Warning: This recap for the “Be Our Guest” episode of American Horror Story: Hotel contains spoilers.
Nightmares, like most dreams, help us experience life without causing real harm. They’re useful in that way; we may never find ourselves being chased by a faceless hellhound through dark alleyways, BUT if that scenario suddenly did arise, we’d sure enough have a better shot of surviving if we’d already dreamt about it. Another reason we need nightmares — and more specifically, the sensation of being scared — is that these things provide valuable contrast to life’s more positive sensations. Comfort, relief, security… All are heightened and better appreciated if they follow abject terror. As entertainment, horror is forever looked down upon as a base form, something we ought to feel guilty for enjoying and certainly not something worthy of critical respect. How could we possibly respect storytelling that need not conform to convention in order to be effective? Is that even allowed?
American Horror Story is a lot of things (seriously, it’s A LOT of things), but it’s not lazy. That’s a word people like to throw around when they believe writing isn’t adhering to a satisfying structure or predictable outcome, two things this show has never provided. Yet AHS is as ambitious as anything that’s ever been on TV. From set design to casting to costumes to concepts, this thing has brought respectability to a maligned genre that we all need for healthy interior lives. This show is a nightmare and very little of it makes coherent sense, and that’s intentional. The less we understand what’s going on, the more unsettling it can seem, but people love to mistake unsettling for “bad.” Well, American Horror Story is great. It’s necessary. It’s art. And it’s important.
This season of AHS was wonderful, perhaps its best yet. It’s a shame that the thrill of discovery had worn off for so many viewers, because this thing somehow managed to present the richest, most talented troupe of actors doing A+ work (including Lady Gaga’s gutsy exploration of her own persona) while also providing nightmare fodder the likes of which cable television’s never seen. But in what can now officially be called a trope, AHS finished off its Hotel season not with a shocking nightmare, but with a heartfelt ode to its characters’ essential humanity. That’s right: “Be Our Guest” was a beautiful, heartwarming tear-jerker of an episode that fell in line with the moving codas to each of the previous seasons. AHS: Hotel wasn’t a tightly plotted season of television as much as it was a frightening fever dream of wondrous terrors. But it never set out to be rational or conventional or non-disgusting. I miss it already.
Let’s talk about this finale!
We began with an upsetting scene:
Liz Taylor, after seemingly getting her life in a good place these past few weeks, was suddenly looking distraught on the bed as her poignant narration began wrapping up the story of the Hotel Cortez. And then she slit her own throat with one of The Countess’s old gloves! Man, not the happiest beginning to this finale. Just a warm, gushing, sticky heartache.
We then backtracked as Liz Taylor filled us in on what became of the hotel in the months and years after The Countess was murdered. Liz and Iris had renovated an entire floor, replaced most of the burgundy with slate gray and even installed self-cleaning Japanese toilets! Their intention was to get better Yelp reviews in order to stay in business, so it was important for them to impress a particular pair of hotel reviewers (one of whom was played by the great, underrated Alanna Ubach from Freeway and The Brady Bunch Movie!).
Unfortunately, within minutes of checking in, both bigtime hotel reviewers were summarily murdered by ghosts! Hypodermic Sally stabbed a man in the chest with her syringe, and even Will Drake got in on the action when he eviscerated the woman with a kitchen knife. Basically, the hotel’s new phase as a glam go-to destination for out-of-towners was over before it began.
So Liz and Iris called a meeting of all the ghosts… Well, the ones that weren’t played by actors who were too expensive to get back. So suddenly the Swedes and that naked dude, and also the bearded gay, and assorted other murdered guests were all frowning super hard about this crazy idea of no longer murdering the guests. Hypodermic Sally was especially against not murdering people.
But in a surprise move, James Patrick March himself arrived and agreed with Liz and Iris: It was time for the murder to stop, if only so that the hotel could operate for another 10 years in peace and attain status as a historical landmark, thus ensuring their spectral existence for as long as buildings in Los Angeles can possibly stand. (Admittedly we’re bound to get The Big One any minute.)
The cutest turn of events here was how Iris convinced Hypodermic Sally to forego murder and instead join social media! And although Sally initially scoffed at the idea, it didn’t take long before she’d found her new addiction…
That’s honestly a pretty great joke, that a junkie ghost murderess suddenly found happiness on social media (her first Instagram? A hypodermic needle!). But I liked how she also rekindled her music career, and I ESPECIALLY liked the idea that there might be ghosts using social media now. That is truly hilarious and charming to me. I for one would like to personally thank any ghosts that might be reading this. I hope you’ve found that my coverage of this show has done your people proud.
Next it was Will Drake’s turn to kick murder and get involved in his career again. In this case Liz Taylor was ready and willing to head up his old fashion empire! Next thing we knew, Liz Taylor was acting as his muse and attaché, even attending important board meetings on his behalf.
And did I mention… GHOST FASHION SHOWS? That’s right, the Hotel Cortez was suddenly host to Will Drake’s couture pageants with every look worn by local ghosts and vampires. I realize this is not much different from regular fashion shows, but still. It was seriously cute to see all the formerly miserable ghosts striking poses on the runway.
But this episode wasn’t done delighting us! In yet ANOTHER Season 1 call-back (which this season has been filthy with), we were reunited with Billie Dean, Jessica Lange’s psychic friend! First of all, if there were any doubt before, let it be silenced now: In this world the characters simply don’t recognize familiar faces, and that’s just a trope we have to accept. So, no, Liz Taylor and Iris did not ask Billie Dean if she’s related to Hypodermic Sally. Their resemblance was never mentioned. Anyway, Billie Dean offered to commune with some of the more particularly SHY ghosts in these walls… Namely Tristan and Donovan.
Tristan refused to speak to Liz Taylor for some unexplained reason, but Donovan assured his mother (via Billie Dean) that the afterlife smells like pancakes and he missed her. It was a bittersweet moment for everyone, to say the least. (But also this scene confused me because it started to blur the line between the different kinds of ghosts that can exist in this world and the rules for each of them. This would only get more confusing later on.)
I loved when we saw just how bright and cheery Liz Taylor’s life had become… She became a grandmother! And she even got to cut the umbilical cord herself! Good times. But then she got cancer real bad.
I loved that she decided to tell Ramona Royale first, and Ramona looked legitimately angry about Liz’s tumors, like she wanted to personally kick their asses. (Tumors have asses, right?) And I found it really touching when she offered to turn Liz into a vampire, but Liz decided the better course of action was to simply die in the hotel and become a ghost so that she could hang out with her (no longer murderous) friends for eternity.
At this point she called all the ghosts into her room and instructed them to pick up weapons and murder the s–t out of her! Between the beautiful song, the man in his tighty-whities, and Sally snapping ‘grams all over the place, it was one of the strangest and saddest TV scenes in recent memory. And just when Liz lay down and prepared to be murdered (amid much protest, because, again, everyone in the room loved her), the door flew open and in walked The Countess!
Liz and The Countess hadn’t spoken since her death, but it was like old times suddenly. She told Liz that Liz had been her greatest creation, and she treated the duty of killing Liz as an honor. This was easily the weirdest thing that’s ever made me cry, and Lady Gaga was effortlessly wonderful in her brief scene. So, so strange and good.
Upon becoming a ghost, Liz lit up a cigarette and tried to assess things… But that’s when she received another visitor: Tristan! He’d decided to talk to her again (previously he’d simply wanted to let her live her life). As much as their romance was kind of out of nowhere at the time, this still felt like a really meaningful reunion, if only because it’s always nice to see Finn Wittrock again.
The episode then moved into the final leg of it finale… The Billie Dean issue. Apparently after communing with a couple of dead hunks she’d decided to start filming her Lifetime show in the hotel all the time, and it was really starting to cramp everyone’s style!
The person who was MOST annoyed was Detective John Lowe, who was now a ghost, though we didn’t know how that had come to pass. So he reluctantly sat down with Billie Dean and explained what had happened:
First of all, he and Alex and Holden and Scarlet had begun living in a hotel, and John was having a hard time collecting cruelty-free human blood for his family. So they finally relented and moved back into the hotel!
Except for Scarlet, who was sent off to boarding school with Will Drake’s son. They honestly lucked out. Slightly less lucky was John, who went out one night to steal the blood of low-lives but ended up getting shot a ton by the police!
I loved his anguished final attempt to die on the curb and how he ultimately fell short. Which meant that yes, he was now a ghost, but he was one of those phantasms that can only appear on Devil’s Night. Which explained why he was suddenly able to commune with Billie Dean…
Except he really, really needed her to stop nosing around the hotel so much! So he personally invited her up to James March’s serial killer dinner party where the gang promptly tied up Billie Dean and made like they were gonna murder her!
But then Ramona joined in and the entire group made Billie Dean swear to stop coming to the hotel lest Ramona track her down and mess her up bad. If you can believe it, Billie Dean agreed to these terms! So now the hotel would presumably be getting less press for being haunted and more credit for being a swank hot-spot in a newly revitalized downtown Los Angeles. Fingers crossed!
The last we saw of the Lowe family had John kissing his family goodnight (including a much older Scarlet, visiting from boarding school!) and lamenting that he only got to see them once a year. But still, it was better than nothing. Slightly sadder than Season 1′s Harmon Family trimming a Christmas tree together for eternity, but still pretty good.
Our final moment belonged, of course, to The Countess (but really Lady Gaga). She sat by herself in the lounge in an obscenely glamorous gown smoking alone. Then a handsome man approached and she complimented his jawline. That’s right folks, she was BACK AT IT. She might be an immortal ghost trapped in a haunted hotel, but she was still boycrazy as ever. As she should be!
“Be Our Guest” was a subtly devastating, surprisingly heartfelt end to a disturbing season. Many of these characters certainly didn’t deserve happy endings, but the fact that AHS: Hotel still allowed them a degree of happiness in the end betrayed this show’s secret beating heart. These may have been vampires, ghosts, witches, and serial killers, but our take away was that they were all still human, and their human dramas were why we really tuned in. And felt sick. And cried. And laughed out loud. And were entertained.
What a weird, disgusting, beautiful season of television.
It annoys me when people say that Jasper is unlikely to get redeemed. Just watched a YT video about the top 10 SU characters. Jasper was said to "never be redeemed" while Lapis was number 1. And I just think, when it comes to redemption arcs, Lapis and Jasper are pretty much on equal ground right now. They both hate the Crystal Gems. And they don't think much of the Earth. But there is a CG that they do care about - Steven (Lapis) and Peridot (Jasper).
Much like with Peridot and the enhancers, I’ve had a lot of passionate words about this but it’s been a while since I’ve gotten them all together and in one place, so, here goes.