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The Problem with Dany

If I had to pick a character who was the most difficult to talk about in this series, it would probably be Daenerys Targaryen.  The intersection of every single conflict and perspective–in world and modern–about her is one that is almost impossible to address without sidelining one element of it.

That her arc relies intensely white saviorism; depictions of the Dothraki are laden with racist tropes; her experience in Slaver’s Bay harkens to (but does not perfectly mirror) white conquest in the 19th century.  This pairs uncomfortably with the fact that she is 13-16 years old (I’m focusing predominantly on book!Daenerys in this–if you are here for show!Daenerys proceed with that in mind), a child sold into sex slavery, a rape victim, and someone who believes firmly and acts upon the belief that any society that relies upon slavery is not society.  As a woman in Martin’s historically inaccurate misogynistic world, she confronts challenges that are designed by the creator of the series to confront her womanhood; as a Targaryen/Valyrian/Westerosi far from her home and without the resources of that home, she is left with little choice but to look forward.

Creator-Character-Consumer

Before even touching on the content of A Song of Ice and Fire, a point that causes trouble, right out of the gate, is where do “problems” with Daenerys arise?  When, for example, does responsibility lie with a character, and when with the architect of her story?  Add into that–when does the responsibility lie with neither character, nor creator, but with instead the fans who are discussing the media in question?

All this is not to absolve Daenerys of whatever sins exist within her storyline. There are choices that the character makes that are reprehensible and for which the ultimate responsibility does lie with her; however it is also to say that many of the things that Daenerys is loathed for are decisions that lie instead at Martin’s feet.

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thoughts dump:

my life is okay. I think about being in my room at home. going to b good with my family friend and eating a salad. this summer I can go to my pool and read my book and chill. this summer i’m going to get back into running. i can spend time with my family finally. I can sit with my boyfriend and watch movies and go on walks and hopefully be happy and be able to cope with stuff. I can cook with him and on my own. i can pet dogs and wear summer clothes and dye my hair if i want

Part 1 | Part 3?

The weeks bleed by, but the hole in Hajime’s heart only grows in size.

Everywhere he looks, every step he takes, everywhere he turns-

He’s reminded of Tooru.

The café with the adorable drinks that Tooru loves, where he always orders one far too big to finish by himself. The restaurant they like to frequent when they go out together, where Tooru would always order pizza because he knows how much Hajime likes it. His favourite bookstore. The gym they’d go to together, the Domo fridge magnets that Tooru gave him that Hajime knows he should get rid of, throw out, but he can’t-

It hurts.

They try to talk, once, but it doesn’t end well. It only ends in tears and rips open the wound again, leaving it fresh and throbbing, the focus of all of Hajime’s attention. Every breath he takes, his heart aches.

It fucking sucks, but there’s not much he can do about it.

Moving on sounds appealing, but every time he thinks about a future with no Tooru in it he just ends up lying in bed and crying, so he’s pretty sure he’s not ready for that yet.

With all of these thoughts banging around in his head, making a home where they’re not wanted, he’s really not sure why he turns on the television late that evening when he knows that Tooru’s team is playing.

He just wants to… check.

Just see, and make sure that he’s there. That he’s alright.

Maybe that’ll make it all hurt less, if Tooru is doing okay.

He can only hope, anyway.

The television flicks on, and the sight of Tooru has his breath catching in his throat. He clutches the remote a little bit tighter, eyes watching Tooru as he moves around the court.

He’s in top form, tonight, like always.

His eyes serious, his form perfect; he serves and plays exactly as Hajime would always expect him to. It almost seems like he’s not even affected.

Almost.

Hajime catches the way his smile doesn’t quite reach his eyes.

They win, but-

Tooru doesn’t celebrate like he usually does. He’s not swept away in the joy, in the happiness, like he usually is. He doesn’t smile into the camera, there are no frills, no nothing.

Rather, he gives a sort of… sad smile, to one of his teammates, who slaps him on the back as they leave the court.

The whole exchange leaves Hajime with a weight in the pit of his stomach. He feels like he’s swallowed lead, the taste still stinging his tongue. He tips back the rest of his glass of water, but that only seems to make the feeling worse, his stomach churning uncomfortably.

Of course, the reporters are all over Tooru. They meet him and his teammates right as they’re coming out of the gymnasium, still looking tired but fresh enough, having changed from their uniforms. Tooru’s not at the front of the pack, like usual, but as soon as the reporters come out, Tooru steps out to the front to talk.

Hajime’s finger hovers over the power button on his remote. Seeing him is one thing, but hearing his voice-

Then Tooru opens his mouth and Hajime’s swept back up in all those feelings he’s been trying to ignore ever since he walked away - ever since he made the choice to walk away.

God, he misses him so much, but he can’t. He can’t, can’t go back to how they were, it won’t happen-

“I have something I need to talk about,” Tooru says into the microphone, his expression shifting into something a little more serious, and Hajime’s grip on the remote loosens.

His mouth feels dry as Tooru continues, and focusing on his words gets a little bit more difficult, until, until-

No.

Hajime clicks the volume on the television up ten times, rapt attention on the screen.

He did not just say that, did he?

Hajime drops the remote down onto the couch, leaning a little closer to the television, in some vain hope that it might help him understand, because he can’t have heard that, right-

“Yes, I’m in love with the most wonderful, amazing, caring man,” Tooru clarifies, with a smile on his face.

Yeah. Hajime heard him right. Tooru just-

In front of a room full of reporters, fans, his fellow athletes-

On live television-

Fuck.

He doesn’t turn the television off. He barely manages to step into his shoes, not even tying the laces up properly. He hardly remembers the run over to Tooru’s place, because he has to go, he has to-

It’s eerily reminiscent of the last time he sat outside of Tooru’s apartment and waited for him, except now, now, Hajime has a whole other set of thoughts screaming around in his head.

Tooru loves him, he loves him, he told the entire world that he loves him. They don’t have to hide anymore, they can be together-

Every second that Hajime spends sitting on those steps feels like an eternity. He taps his foot while he waits, trying to collect all of his thoughts, organize them somehow so that he can communicate them to Tooru, so that he can explain how he’s feeling, what he wants for them. How much he loves him.

He’s too far lost in his thoughts, and he doesn’t even hear Tooru’s footsteps as he walks up the walkway, slowing the closer he gets to his steps.

Tooru drops his gym bag to the ground, and Hajime looks up at the noise.

Their eyes meet, and Tooru looks so, so scared. There’s already tears forming in the corners of his eyes. Hajime needs to talk, needs to say something-

“Hajime?” Tooru’s voice is quiet and nervous. He takes a step closer, and all Hajime can do is nod, standing up and opening his arms.

Tooru throws himself against Hajime and suddenly, words don’t seem to matter quite as much. Hajime holds him close and Tooru’s just here. He’s clutching his shirt, sobbing into his neck, filling his lungs with his scent, his scent that he’s missed so much-

“You’re here,” Tooru whispers, pressing his face against Hajime’s chest. He pulls a hand up to wipe away his tears, lifting his face up so that they can look at each other. Really look.

“You told everyone,” Hajime says, pressing their foreheads together. Tooru laughs, swallowing back more tears.

“I had to,” Tooru says, opening his eyes and giving Hajime an honest smile. “I couldn’t keep lying anymore… not when it was going to cost me you.” He grins, and Hajime is struck by how much he wants to kiss him, right now.

So he does.

It’s not very coordinated - Tooru laughs into it, and Hajime cups his cheeks to wipe away some tears with his thumbs. Hajime can’t help but smile, and when he pulls away, he moves his hands down and laces their fingers together.

Tooru laughs again, bringing their joined hands up to brush away some more tears. “Do you want to come in?” He asks, smile bright and voice warm. “I have something that I’ve been meaning to give you…”

Hajime squeezes his hands, and nods. “Yeah. I’d love to.”