I tried to tell Quincy that we were standing in front of natural treasure and that we should appreciate it. He continued to pose with this vaguely indifferent expression, effectively rendering all of my photos useless.
okay so i LOVE mulan okay. as far as i’m concerned it’s a Perfect Movie and doesn’t need any fixing. but i was thinking today and -
- what if mulan didn’t go to war to save her father?
say her father is dead, okay, killed by the previous war. so she’s raised by her mother and grandmother, women who’s complacency and softness has been worn away by necessity. she needs to marry well, for her family’s sake, because her mother has refused the hand of every man who offered. but mulan is even more rough around the edges than before, is educated not only in books (her mother said men wouldn’t find smarts attractive and grandmother pointed out that men aren’t always around and off to school mulan went) but in the sword too, taught to her by her classmate, ping.
mulan is considered in the lower end of the upper class, coming from a family of military men and scholars and successful merchants. ping is near the top, the son or nephew of an advisor to the emperor. his family is very rich and very important, and the reason they become friends is because mulan manages to notice something about him that he’s been hiding from everyone else - he’s going blind.
not totally blind, enough to get around, but blind enough that reading is difficult and swordplay is even worse, although once he has it down he has it. ping is no fool, he’s not weak or bumbling. his eyes just don’t work. so mulan notices and confronts him about it. she promises to keep it a secret, and hey, she’ll even help him with his assignments by reading the books out loud and helping him study. but in return he must teach her the sword, must teach her about military and tactics. he agrees.
ping and mulan become very good friends and there’s some raised eyebrows about it but they are TOO far away in class for it to be inappropriate, so they make tutting sounds and disapproving faces and let it go.
then the draft happens. ping can’t go to war, he won’t survive it. not with his eyesight like it is. so mulan offers him a deal - she’ll go to war for him, in his place. in return, if she survives, he must marry her. if she dies he must take care of her family.
ping can’t make this kind of family decision on his own, so he goes to his mother and tells her everything, about the eyesight and how he’ll die if he goes and mulan’s offer. his mother says he must keep it a secret from his father, but agrees - if mulan fights in her son’s place and survives, a wedding will be arranged. either way, mulan’s family will be taken care of. ping will be sent to live with some cousins in the meanwhile.
“you’re not in love with me, are you?” ping asks, helping mulan saddle her horse in the middle of the night. she scoffs and rolls her eyes, “not even a little. but marrying you will make my family happy, and besides, you’re my best friend,” she says, smiling, “better you than some grabby old man.” he smiles and hugs her and says, “i’m not in love with you either. but don’t die out there. we have a wedding to plan.”
so mulan goes to the camp, pretending to be ping, and she’s a little bit less lost but things still go as they go. she’s educated and trained, so it’s not hard for her to pass as ping. shang is keeping a special eye on her, thinking that she’s the son of an advisor, one of his father’s friends. and he sees how easily she excels, how quick thinking and smart she is, and starts giving her more and more responsibilities. by the time they’re called out, shang considers ping ie mulan to be his right hand man, and possibly his best friend.
he’s also a little bit in love with ping, and he’s long known he’s attracted to both genders, so he watches ping laugh and smile and the crease between his eyes when he frowns and does his best to let his feelings chase away the best soldier he has. every time shang looks at ping his heart clenches and he things to himself: i wish i could have you, i wish this was a time and a place where one man could have another, i wish you were a girl, is wish i was a girl - i wish we could be together. he’s literally a step away from doodling ‘li ping’ with little hearts over his battle plans.
so the battles happen. shang and ping lead their men together, respected and loved. they each get promoted, and promoted, and promoted. it’s been years, and it comes to a point where they’re both generals in their own right. they trust each other, care for each other. and are both secretly in love with the other.
mulan is so conflicted. because she wants this war to end and to go home and settle back into life and become ping’s wife, so she can have an easy life spent studying and learning with her family taken care of. that’s what she’d wanted. but now what she wants is shang, her best friend, her brother in arms, her fellow general. she wishes to be everything to him, aches to be the woman on his arm and in his bed, but knows it’s the one thing she can never be.
then that final battle happens. mulan’s quick thinking saves them all and ends the war - but she’s injured.
shang finds out the ping has been a girl all along. he demands explanations - so she tells him everything, that she traded places with ping to save him, to become his wife.
and the lies should sting the sharpest, but they don’t. she’s still the same person, after all. it’s that she’s promised to another man, for one second he’d thought he might have her, but no. so he agrees not to reveal her but he’s furious and furious at himself for being furious and they’re not the same now, broken and splintered and neither of them know what to do.
the war is over. they leave. mulan returns home, and thanks to her ping is now known as a respected general. she’s done her part and survived, and now she gets her reward - ping’s hand in marriage.
but she sees ping for the first time and flings herself into his arms and starts crying. she tells him everything, because he’s still her friend, her very best friend besides shang, the man whom she lied to and betrayed and loves. and ping listens and takes her by the shoulders and says - i’ll uphold our bargain, if that’s what you want. you can be my pampered wife, you’ve more than earned it. but if you want to go to shang, i won’t blame you. you deserve your happiness.
and mulan goes back and forth, but ultimately she decides she has to try. if shang rejects her she’ll return and marry ping and uphold her family honor. but if shang wants her - he’s not as high up as ping, but he’s high up enough to satisfy her family, and also she would love him and want him if he was no more than a farming peasant so it doesn’t matter much anyway.
she rides to the capitol. she finally meets ping’s father, running into him while looking for shang. “ah mulan,” says this man who was never supposed to know of her until she became his daughter-in-law, “i didn’t expect to see you here. how fortuitous. walk with me.” she does, wary, and that’s how she discovers - he and the emperor had discovered her deception a year in, but at that point she’d already proven herself too skilled and valuable to lose. he tells her that he will uphold his son and wife’s deal and gladly welcome her to his household - but that she’s earned her rank as general, and that he and the emperor have no problem with letting her keep it.
she says thank you, shocked and joyful, but that she has to talk to someone first. “ah, yes, young general li,” he says, eyes twinkling, “i do believe he’s around here somewhere.”
she has no idea how he seems to know everything, but she finally tracks down shang who’s ecstatic to see her and hates himself for it. she confesses - says she loves him, that she’s engaged to ping but willing and able to break this engagement for shang. who is dumbfounded and elated and says yes, of course, finally and forever.
and mulan accepts her rank and marries shang, and they become the literal power battle couple of the general li mulan and general li shang. ping becomes a scholar and marries a very nice young woman who loves reading and is happy to read aloud to her husband with his failing eyes.
so maleficent is the good fairy here, right, and the three
fairies are the bad ones, so like fae do they each appear to be what they’re
not. and aurora, given fae gifts and raised by fae, is nearly fae herself.
maleficent knows that only an elf could hope to sway a fae heart, because elves
are impervious to their glamour. maleficent kidnaps the young prince philip,
and brings him to the elven realm. she tries to bargain a prince for a prince,
but the king is unswayed. a human prince, he declared, is only worth an elvish
servant, so that’s what she gets.
maleficent takes the servant and puts him in philip’s place,
gives him that name, and watches as the servant elf is made a prince among
mortals, watches as he eventually captures aurora’s heart, and saves her from
her living death. watches as the elf servant turned prince becomes a king, as
the almost-fae princess aurora becomes queen, and their two kingdoms become one
and they rule the land of men together.
this, of course, begs the question – what happens to our
dear human philip?
he is not the first child that has been bargained away to
the elves, and elf queen thalia settles the young boy on her hip and raises an
eyebrow at her husband, waiting. the child awakens by degrees, until he’s
clutching her neck and blinking at the gathered elves. thalia is only grateful
that he hasn’t started screaming, like so many of his kind do.
normally the children that are bargained to them are put to
work in the castle, where they’re safe, where their clumsiness and their
ignorance and their mistakes will be glossed over, where she and the king will
ensure they will be politely ignored rather than harassed. they’ve lost a
servant boy, and so she’s sure a servant boy is what this young human is meant
except a woman of the court steps forward, and she’s old,
old enough that it shows, that her curly hair has gone silver and wrinkles are
etched deep in her face. lady ember is older than the forests they reside in,
is older than her grandmother, than her great grandmother. everyone’s lost track
of her exact age, but she’s the oldest elf in village. thalia likes her – she and
lady ember have skin of the same dark shade. thalia hopes that if she is to
live long enough, she and lady ember would look alike.
“i would like the child,” she says, eyes like amber, and for
the moment she appears younger than she ever has. there’s something eager in
her, and it brings a life to her that thalia hasn’t seen in a long time.
thalia looks to her husband, and king celedor gives a
minuscule twitch to his lip which is an equivalent to a shrug. she sets the
young human on the ground, and ember holds out a single hand. the child looks
behind him, then in front him, and takes cautious steps forward. he steps until
he can take her hand, his own looking small and pale in hers. “it’s been a long
time since i was able raise a child,” ember says, “i would like to do so again.
will you come home with me?”
and thalia understands. elf children take many hundreds of
year to mature, and ember would not risk dying on a child before it could take
care of itself. but humans are candles that burn at both ends – hot, and fast.
within a decade or two the child in front of them will be able to survive on
his own, will not need lady ember to coddle him for centuries.
he nods, and finally opens his mouth to say, “i am philip.”
“hello philip,” lady ember smiles, “i am lady ember of the mother
tree. now you are lord philip of the ember tree.”
they are elves. they don’t do something as gauche as gasp,
but the sentiment comes out just the same. celedor’s mouth drops open a millimeter
and thalia’s right index finger twitches. raise a human child like a beloved
pet they could all understand – but to adopt one, to truly adopt one that she’d
just met and didn’t know and bequeath to him the estate and title the noble name
of the mother tree?
lady ember leads her new son away, and the gathered elves
can do nothing but stare.
prince elion – eli, to everyone who doesn’t want the prince
of the elves nursing a personal grudge against them – comes home in the dead of
night, when he can slip past the guards and the fawning people on the street
and sneak into the royal quarters.
“mother,” he greets as he enters the library. his father
sleeps early, but his mother doesn’t go to bed until nearly dawn. he kneels by
her side, and she runs a hand through his hair, tugging the leather tie off
when it gets in her way. his mass of dark curly hair tumbles around his head,
and as he shakes it out leaves other debris fall out. thalia sighs, but doesn’t
remark on it.
“your hunt went well?” she asks, although she knows the
answer. eli is one of the best hunters in the kingdom, and his hunting parties –
comprised of the strongest and best among the noble families – are notoriously
he grins, teeth extra white against his skin, “of course,
mother. did anything interesting happen while i was away?”
“the faerie maleficent came and bargained away a human
prince,” she says, “she wanted you in return. your father gave her a servant
eli laughs, too loud and boisterous, in a way he would never
allow himself to laugh around his father or his subjects.
philip thinks perhaps he should be screaming, or crying, or
causing some sort of fuss about this new life and this old woman who insists
she’s his mother now. but he’s never had a mother before, and this new place is
beautiful. they live in palace carved out of an enormous tree – the mother tree
that their name comes from – and philip is given a lot more freedom as an elf
lordling than he was as a prince.
he hopes the boy who took his place is nice to his father,
and doesn’t mind long evenings with only the servants for company. being a
prince can be very lonely. he knows from experience.
ember gives him rooms and toys, but warns him that he has a
lot of work ahead of him. as a human, he’s at a severe disadvantage here at the
elf court. elves are faster than humans, stronger and smarter and wiser. “it
sounds to me,” philip says, “that maybe they’re just older. if i had hundreds
of years, I could be all those things too.”
ember’s eyes crinkle at the corners when she smiles, and he returns it.
philip knows hard work. he was set to rule a whole nation,
was set to lead whole armies. he knows training and learning and patience.
learning to become an elf lord seems like it will be a lot easier than being a
lady ember and her servants are harsh, but fair. in their
home, in the mother tree, he is a pampered lord. out of it, however – he acquires
many scars from training, from falling and failing. ember and her staff run him
ragged into the ground, because he must be able to keep up with elves.
they have hundreds and hundreds of years to practice, to
become strong and smart and fast. philip doesn’t have that long, so his mother
forces him to do more, train harder, learn faster than would be expected of any
so he learns. the first time he beats his trainer at an
archery competition, he feels a swell of pride like nothing he’s felt before.
as he inches his way to the level of his teachers, and then surpasses them, the
they’ve always been kind to him. but as his skill grows,
they come to respect him, and that’s far more valuable.
eli hears of the human that lady ember of the mother tree
took as her own – of course he does, it’s all anyone can talk about. but he
doesn’t actually get a chance to see the boy, because lady ember keeps him safe
on her lands, in her tree that none of them dare trespass on. so he assumes,
like many, that she keeps him coddled and safe, away from those who would seek
him harm, away from a world that would seek him harm.
then, two decades from when she gave young philip her name,
lady ember finds him at court. she tilts her head, and he bows. he may be
higher in rank, but he was raised to respect his elders, and lady ember is
certainly that. “prince eli,” she says, “your next hunt is coming up, isn’t it?”
“yes, my lady,” he answers, wondering if she has a request.
he doesn’t mind tracking down a certain type of meat or pelt for her – he likes
the challenge, and likes lady ember.
she smiles at him, and for some reason he feels as if he’s staring
into the jaws of a dragon. “excellent. might my son join you? he grows bored of
hunting on his own.”
the last thing in the world eli wants to do is keep an eye
on a bumbling, spoiled human. but this human is also the lord of the mother
tree, and he can think of no response that wouldn’t bring his mother’s wrath
down on his head. “of course, lady ember.”
can I just say how much I love how @therealjacksepticeye interacts with his fans? like genuinely? he’s such a nice person, and he loves making his fans happy, and he clearly enjoys anti and the whole persona, and knowing it makes his fans just as excited as he is probably helps with that?? like he’s clearly so excited about it, and seeing that makes me feel so genuinely happy, and how he interacts with his fans about it with teasing them with anti, is just????? so good?????? he’s so sweet and honestly I just love seeing him so happy to be having fun with his fans over this and I can’t even put into words how happy it really makes me. just. seeing him so enthused over this is such a resfreshing feeling. we love you jack, keep doing what you love, and it shines through to us, your “fans”. saying fans makes it seem so impersonal when in reality it’s much more than that? it feels more correct to say family in this semse, even though he doesn’t really know most of us, but it still has that supportive feeling to it. seeing him happy, makes us happy. I’m just so glad to be a part of this family, and I hope that stays that way for a long time to come.
Does this mean they don’t like/love us? what did we do wrong? did we over do it? what does space mean and how long do they need it? but why they want to leave us? They probably hate us. I miss them already, come back please.
it really bothers me when people reduce what happened here to Mikasa thinking that she should at least confess her feelings to Eren
because they were gonna die even if that was also something that was conveyed along with what she said, that was NOT what prompted her words!
just hate how much this implies that Mikasa didn’t care about anything
that was going on and just decided to take a selfish moment to herself
not caring about Eren’s state and feelings, when it’s the absolute opposite!
what prompted Mikasa’s words was exactly seeing Eren in that desperate state!
she thought they were gonna die and she didn’t want him to go like
that, depressed and self-loathing and feeling useless, she didn’t want
their last moment to be that way!
and her point and feelings reached him, because Eren stopped wallowing in his self-hatred and decided to stand up
protecting the people he loves! and that’s the whole beauty of the moment!
words made Eren realize his worth and that he was never useless, Eren’s words made Mikasa
realize he would always be there for her, if Eren wasn’t able to control the titans then and that was indeed their last
moment, they still wouldn’t have regretted going like that!
Winston, Pouring Over Blueprints In Watchpoint Gibraltar:
I don’t understand! The ship should be able to take off, but the equations aren’t matching up! What are we doing wrong?
Maybe try reviewing the propulsion formulas, love?
No, that’s not it either. It has to be something wrong with the engine schematics.
Junkrat, Walking By While Drinking Boba:
It ain’t that, mate! You just forgot to account for wind resistance in the rear stabilizers upon takeoff. Just use Galamore’s Theory of Enclosed Aircraft Travel formula, replacing X with the gravity stress calculation result.
Don’t look at me. I didn’t even know if he could read or not.