ehhhh no

molly hooper

-over the years of john and sherlock living and solving crimes together, they’ve spent a lot of time at st barts.

-molly helps them and usually when john is waiting for sherlock to finish testing everything, him and molly get tea and talk.

-they have learned a lot about each other and have become really close friends.

-they even have a routine; when john and sherlock get there, molly pulls out the little round table and two fold up chairs and john runs out to get the tea from a few doors down.

-sherlock actually has no idea this is happening ever.

-or so john and molly think.

-sherlock listens to their conversations and has seen how molly and john have gotten to be almost like a brother and sister.

-when sherlock wants to know more about what they were talking about, he plays a game of texting molly and asking john really abstract, vague, seemingly unimportant questions to piece together what their tea chat was really all about.

(i might write more about the conversations over tea, if you have any ideas, please send an ask)

3

DO YOU WANNA STAND THERE AND LAUGH AT ME -

                                                                          - OR DO YOU WANNA DANCE?

7

NUTCRACKER AU SKETCH AVALANCHE! *whomp* I’ve been using this silly idea as a way to sketch and explore on the ipad using the Procreate App (terrible name, good app).

The basic story idea is that Christine finds a saves an ugly, old Nutcracker from being thrown out of the Garnier’s prop department. After a surreal battle with some rodents of unusal sizes, Christine’s Nutcracker comes to life and whisks her away into some strange winter land, hoping that she can help him break the spell that makes him a giant, creepy nutcracker. They both decide to “enlist”  (i.e., ambiguously kidnap) the powers of the Sugarplum Fairy who is under the possession of this Rat King Guy. Magic questing chaos ensues!

Characters from my comic  @fantome-stein !

@ thedrawingduke on twitter + instagram + facebook

Christmas to Andrew Minyard is chocolate shaped like a bearded man, cold weather, and an excuse for people to preach about love while practicing intolerance. He can’t say he’s a fan of any of the above. Even the chocolate - he’s more of an ice cream kind of guy.

He hasn’t celebrated it in years. At a few of his foster homes he tolerated the trees shedding leaves and glitter and the lights that threatened to give him a headache if he looked too long, at Cass’ he’d even help put them up if she needled him long enough (he wasn’t much help, given she was taller than him, but he was an extra, almost willing pair of hands). The cleaners at Fox Tower wrapped tinsel around the bannisters but his room remained untouched, despite Nicky’s best attempts at coercion. (“Andrew, the tinsel only cost a dollar!” “These lights change colour!” “It’s only a small tree!”) (Andrew had never been impressed by Nicky’s persistent energy, optimism, or continued faith.)

Songs professing what a magical time it was or movies reminding you how wonderful family is are ignored and turned over. Andrew wouldn’t even admit to appreciating a break in the monotony of class and practice.

But maybe there’s something to it.

Maybe.

The cats fighting baubles on a small plastic tree was at least mildly entertaining until the noise threatened to keep Andrew awake. Neil plying Andrew to let him put the small tree up with reindeer-shaped chocolates and an assortment of ridiculously-flavoured candy canes was annoying, but a better bribe than Neil’s usual fare, and held a faint sense of humour. Wrapped presents coming in the mail was definitely infuriating, as were the colourful jumpers they contained, but with some catnip the cats were persuaded to open the presents for him, and they certainly enjoy the jumpers as blankets.

The cold is unforgivable, but at least it’s to the point that even Neil admits it’s cold and turns the heating up. He goes so far as to come back from practice one night with a large, fluffy blanket with a repeating pattern of candy canes, gingerbread houses, and stockings.

He looks at it, as though for the first time, as he wraps Andrew in it like a burrito. “Oh, hey, do you like gingerbread?”

Andrew doesn’t interrupt the glare to say, “Yes.”

The next day Neil comes back with premade kits and suggests they decorate gingerbread houses together.
“This isn’t becoming a twelve days of Christmas thing,” Andrew says, and eats a corner of a gingerbread wall.

“Huh? Is that about buying gifts or something?” Neil asks, ignoring Andrew’s blatant attempt at annoying him.

“And human trafficking,” Andrew says, squeezing some icing directly into his mouth.

“Then no. I just saw them,” Neil shrugs. He’s becoming used to having money that can be spent without worry.

“You planned this,” Andrew accuses without any real heat. Neil’s poking his tongue out slightly to focus on icing a window.

He should have known Neil would take that as a challenge.

The next day’s pretty innocuous, he goes out and comes back half an hour later with dinner. Andrew doesn’t comment, but levels Neil an accusatory look.

“Hey, I brought dessert too,” Neil says, as though dessert forgives all sins. And maybe it does.

On the fourth day, Neil digs out some Santa hats they’d been given when they’d been to Matt and Dan’s for Christmas the previous year. (Now the older Foxes are starting to have children, and Christmas is less for their so-called found family and more for their offspring, no matter how young and unappreciative.) Neil tugs one down over Andrew’s eyes, then pulls it up to right it. The fluffy white ball dangles enticingly, and Sir jumps up to bat at it.

“If I get scratched, you’re paying the hospital fees,” Andrew warns Neil, who’s still definitely in his personal space.

“It’s your money,” Neil replies, which isn’t strictly true. He retrieves Sir though.

The fifth day is the 23rd, and even Neil is aware that’s the last day shops will be open. He returns with a bag that he makes a big deal of not showing Andrew and then puts on a Christmas movie from a DVD. “You’re gonna like this one,” he says. “It reminded me of you.”

It’s Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

“Did Nicky make the joke?” Andrew asks, as soon as he sees the title card.

“Yup,” Neil replies, and takes a small mint candy cane from Andrew’s stash. Insult to injury. “We’re still watching it though.”

It’s not the worst movie he’s ever seen.

On Christmas Eve, they’re doing some kind of promotional thing with the members of their team that don’t have prior obligations. Neil has some garishly bright hat with a bobble on top, and he wraps a matching scarf around Andrew’s neck before they leave. “Don’t pretend you’re not cold. I can see your hands turning blue from across the room.”

Andrew glowers as he puts gloves on.

The kids at the event love Neil’s hat. It’s almost endearing, but they’re too loud.

The seventh day of Neil’s makeshift Christmas is Christmas Day. “You know you’ve got your twelve days wrong,” Andrew says. “Aren’t you the one with the Math degree?”

“I’m sure you care so much about the traditions of Christmas,” Neil says.

“Yes,” Andrew replies. “And if we have turkey, I’ll gut you and that will be my meal for tonight.”

Neil smiles, “Funny you should mention dinner.”

It’s not.

“I found Christmas ice cream. I figured that would do for dinner.”

Sometimes Andrew can remember why he hasn’t yet murdered Neil.

The next day, Neil checks his phone and says, “What is boxing day?”

“Ask Matt,” Andrew says.

Neil snorts. “So it’s about fighting to the death. Probably your favourite holiday, then.” He tries to swing out of bed, but hisses, “Fuck me, it’s cold.”

Andrew can feel it in the tip of his nose. “Turn on the heating then.”

“Nope, we’re staying here,” Neil replies and burrows into the blankets. “I’m putting my feet on you,” he says, and does.

“What are you going to do about the eighth day of Christmas?” Andrew asks. Not because he cares.

“I’m your present,” Neil mumbles.

“Shit present.”

On the ninth day, they have to go back to practice. There’s almost no point, as they’ll stop again around New Year, but their Coach says something about “Pros” meaning “professional” as though that’s new, and everyone turns up, bleary-eyed and in new outfits.

Neil hands him a black jumper with a ridiculous Christmas-themed pun. “It’s not Christmas anymore,” Andrew reminds him.

“No, but I forgot that I’d gotten it,” he says. “I got it in your favourite colour.”

Andrew wears it to practice. At least he gets to take it off to put on his goalkeeper gear. Neil wears the shit-eating grin for the whole of practice.

On the tenth day, Kevin turns up at their doorstep. Andrew looks at Neil accusingly, but he shrugs. “I was in town,” Kevin says.

“Merry Christmas,” Neil says.

“You’re three days late,” Kevin replies with a frown.

After an hour or so of what Dan would have called ‘catching up’, Neil swerves the conversation to the new Exy gear the local dedicated shop has and offers to take Kevin. He doesn’t offer to take Andrew.

“Peace is definitely a theme of Christmas,” Neil says to Andrew quietly. “Right?”

Andrew raises his eyebrows.

“You’re welcome,” Neil says, and leaves.

On the eleventh day, Andrew says he’s looking forward to this being over. Neil smiles and puts King in his lap. “I’m regifting.”

Andrew supposes the cat is warm. He doesn’t argue.

It’s the last day of Neil’s attempt at Christmas, and Andrew isn’t sure, but Neil might be the type to have a triumphant finale. Somehow, though, schedules have aligned so that Andrew has to meet with their team’s long-suffering dietician, and Neil has the day to himself.

When Andrew gets back, though, all that’s changed is that the small Christmas tree is gone. Andrew glances at where it was, and Neil shrugs and says, “It’s the last day of Christmas, right?”

“Are you claiming that your gift to me is this being over?” Andrew wouldn’t be disappointed, but there’d be something.

“Of course not,” Neil says. He throws a gift in garishly bright paper covered in cats wearing Santa hats, which Andrew catches, but reluctantly.

Andrew stares at Neil.

“Open it,” Neil replies.

It’s a DVD for a film whose name is obscured by the pictures of candy on the front.

“Matt says I’m bad at gifts,” Neil says.

“You are.“

“That’s unfair. I just ran out of ideas after the second day.”

Andrew stares at Neil, and puts the DVD box down slowly. Into the trash can.

“Merry Christmas, Andrew.”

*Jumps back into Star Wars Feelings mode* OKAY, SO I WAS RANTING ON TWITTER, which is much of my life these days, about Finn in TFA, which is all I ever want to do really.

One thing that reeeeeally bugs me is the assumption from both Finn’s detractors and even a lot of fans that he has or needs a “redemption arc”. I absolutely don’t agree that either narratively or from an in-universe perspective that what Finn goes through in TFA counts as redemption, for the simple reason that Finn has nothing villainous to be redeemed from.

When we see Finn in his introduction, the first thing we learn about him- literally the absolute first thing- is that he is a stormtrooper who on his very first mission is unable to kill innocents. Not even just unwilling, but seemingly unable. His defining moment is that he is not like the other stormtroopers there, who he is contrasted with in a lot of ways- visually with the bloodied helment, in terms of his body language, in his actions, even in how the camera focuses on him and humanises him. So Finn’s story is not framed from the outset as one of “the bad stormtrooper has a change of heart and goes to redeem himself”. It is, instead, that Finn is ‘not like’ the other stormtroopers, who are killing without question.

The question asked of Finn isn’t so much “can you redeem yourself from being a stormtrooper?” but instead “if you can’t be a stormtrooper, what can you be?”. That’s not a redemptive narrative so much as it’s a flat-out heroic one. Finn has no deaths to atone for or terrible deeds haunting him so much as he has to deal with the consequences of immediately jumping ship and going off to be a good person. He is, from the outset, liked and trusted by Poe, not judged for his being a stormtrooper so much as praised for running off to escape them. Finn might gain a lot of bravery and willingness to act and fight over the course of TFA, but he doesn’t have to earn his basic moral stripes; they’re shown to us the audience very early on.

There’s not really any point where Finn isn’t shown to be a fundamentally decent, kind young man with a likeable personality and the ability to make strong emotional connections! He’s just a hero on his hero’s journey, really, with an interesting twist in that for a long time the stormtroopers were entirely faceless and dehumanised in the movies, and he injects a sense of real people into that image.

So: Finn is not, even in the sense of what happened in-universe before the events of TFA, any kind of “redeemed antagonist”. He’s the guy who was groomed to act as the antagonist who didn’t want to and escaped before he was made to fulfill that role.

This ties in a lot to how I see people treat his relationship (narratively, not in the sense of character interactions) with the role Kylo Ren plays in the film. They’re almost mirror opposites of each other if you squint hard enough, in that Finn escaped that antagonistic role despite being forced into it while Kylo Ren chose and continues to choose it despite an explicit “pull to the light” and it not coming “naturally” to him. Kylo Ren is, of course, the actual antagonist of the movie, and a villain besides; he fits both roles unambiguously. Like, I am all for many interpretations of media, but I firmly believe they need to be textually plausible, and I can see no textually plausible reading of Kylo Ren as anything but the antagonistic villain.

My point is, it kind of frustrates me when I see people try and support Finn’s arc and presence in TFA with the idea that “Finn is everything Kylo Ren is, but better!”, because it misrepresents and even sells Finn short, IMO. They have totally different roles in the narrative, totally different arcs, and Finn’s arc and characterization are more than able to stand on their own without that comparison being made. He doesn’t need to be shoehorned into that role to make him seem “better”, he just IS a perfectly great and engaging character.

Likewise, I also disagree with the idea that from a storytelling perspective there is anything about liking the idea of a Kylo Ren redemption arc that *inherently* shifts focus from Finn onto Kylo Ren, or that Finn’s arc can automatically hit the notes narratively that a Kylo Ren redemption would? Finn is a protagonist as well as a lead. He is by default a far more 'important’ lead than Kylo Ren, because he is an audience perspective character and, well, a good guy in films primarily about the power of the good guys to overcome. Because Kylo Ren occupies that totally distinct narrative space, rather than it being one shared by the two characters, it’s not a matter of allocating resources from Finn’s story towards Kylo Ren’s, it’s just… a totally different set of narrative resources altogether.

(That’s not to say this doesn’t happen in *fanon*, mind you. It does; I’ve seen Kylo Ren get used as basically an outrageously OOC replacement Finn a million times over in fic, it’s ridiculous. But it is not actually an inherent demand of the actual, honest to god canon of the movies themselves, IMO.)

Again, for me this argument is actually not about Kylo Ren so much as Finn, and not selling his story short. Assuming it’s impossible to have a Kylo Ren redemption story (and I’m thinking less what fanfic tends to indulge in and more like… RotJ style Vader stuff here, ftr) without shafting Finn basically ignores what Finn’s real role in the story is, IMO.

And I care about that A LOT AS YOU CAN SEE, did you know Finn is my fave, anyway the point is FINN IS AWESOME AND HEROIC AND I LOVE HIM!!! ok, thanks.