enmeshes

Bad Neptune

Deception, deceit, and disintegrated boundaries. May I present to you the negative aspects of Neptune in the houses:

1st House: total loss of self, with no definition of who or what you know yourself to be; the identity is uncertain and unstable, which leads to deceptive and duplicitous personas; the person is impressionable, unclear about how they are received.

2nd House: extremes of wealth and poverty; money is an elusive commodity – either it is abundant and divine or scant and unreachable; wasteful and frivolous spending; financial fraud and self-deception; delusions about being saved by money, or saving people with money.

3rd House: a scattered mind and lack of concentration leads to daydreams that distract and deaden awareness of reality; easily hypnotized, lulled by self-concocted fictitious imaginings; shallow mentality with a devotion to useless, esoteric studies.

4th House: early roots are in disarray leading to heavy confusion about one’s own family and upbringing; deep, unshakeable longing to remain protected and safe by parents or parental figures; enmeshment; discontent at home and let down by the reality of the family; unrealistic expectation from domestic life.

5th House: deception in love affairs, which leads to scorned romances and paramours; often aligns with underdogs; over dramatizes life and love, and loses self to glamour due to substantial quixotism; using fantasy, entertainment, and artsy pleasure are used in excess to escape the self.

6th House: ungrounded and untidy, with great difficulty being practical as it pertains to daily-to-dos, which leads to harmful avoidance of work and routine; disorganized living; swamped by health concerns and details; hypersensitive hypochondriac.

7th House: projections and disordered reflections of self; unreal relationship ideals and expectations; tends to glamorize relationships, making one blind to potentially fatal flaws of the partner, leading to codependency; wants to rescue and save spouses and lovers.

8th House: obsession with death, sex and confuse, sometimes scare causing overwhelming emotional wounds, which lead to destructive avoidance and damaging habits; the identity disintegrates into  a cesspool of possessive manipulation.

9th House: optimism, though abundant, is unrealistic and hopeless; restless and fervent yearning for some type of ecstasy and/or heaven; personal beliefs can lead to increased vulnerability to religious misleading and philosophical misperception.

10th House: the career and one’s calling is in a constant state confusion, which causes hallucinations about one’s true purpose in life; difficulty finding position in society, and establishing a reputation that is separate from the identity; bewitched by achievements and success.  

11th House: finds society deeply unsatisfying and wants to wash away the pains of the world, but cannot separate fact from fiction; strange altruism; continually let down, influenced, and enchanted by unreliable, careless friends and associates; acquaintances drift away and apart.

12th House: the ego is overwhelmed, feeling helpless and vulnerable, protected by nothing and no one; an aversion to the mundane causes a comatose existence riddled with seclusion, self-containment, and make-believe; feelings of isolation and victimization are byproducts of inner loneliness.  

Exercise: Determining Your Parent’s Type

Emotional Parent

  • Is preoccupied with their own needs
  • Has low empathy
  • Is enmeshed and not respectful of boundaries
  • Is defensively non-intimate
  • Doesn’t engage in reciprocal communication; just talks about themselves
  • Isn’t self-reflective
  • Has poor relationship repair skills
  • Is reactive, not thoughtful
  • Is either too close or too distant
  • Has frightening or intimidating emotional intensity
  • Expects their child to provide soothing and doesn’t think about the child’s needs
  • Likes to pretend they don’t run the show
  • Sees themselves as a victim

Driven Parent

  • Is preoccupied with their own needs
  • Has low empathy
  • Is enmeshed and not respectful of boundaries
  • Is defensively non-intimate 
  • Doesn’t engage in reciprocal communication; just talks about themselves
  • Isn’t self-reflective 
  • Has poor relationship repair skills 
  • Is reactive, not thoughtful 
  • Is either too close or too distant 
  • Has rigid values and perfectionistic expectations
  • Is goal-obsessed and busy, with machinelike tunnel vision
  • Sees their child as a reflection, without considering what the child wants
  • Likes to run the show
  • Sees themselves as a fixer

Passive Parent

  • Is preoccupied with their own needs
  • Has limited empathy
  • Is enmeshed and not respectful of boundaries 
  • Can be sporadically emotionally intimate
  • Engages only minimally in reciprocal communication; mostly talks about themselves
  • Isn’t self-reflective
  • Has limited relationship repair skills
  • Can be thoughtful on occasion
  • Is either too close or too distant
  • Can be kindly and fun but not protective
  • Has a laissez-faire attitude that all is well
  • Is affectionate toward the child but doesn’t stand up for them
  • Likes someone else to run the show or be the bad guy
  • Sees themselves as mellow and good-natured

Rejecting Parent

  • Is preoccupied with their own needs
  • Shows no empathy
  • Has impenetrable boundaries
  • Seems disconnected and hostile
  • Seldom engages in communication
  • Isn’t self-reflective
  • Has no relationship repair skills
  • Is reactive, attacking, and demeaning
  • Is too distant
  • Ignores their child and can be rageful toward the child
  • Is often rejecting and angry
  • Sees their child as a bother and doesn’t want to get near the children
  • Likes to mock and dismiss
  • Sees themselves as independent from others

All four types of emotionally immature parents are self-involved and insensitive and therefore emotionally unavailable to their children. Their lack of empathy makes them hard to communicate with and difficult to connect with. They’re all afraid of genuine emotion and seek to control others for their own comfort. None of them make their children feel emotionally seen. All are draining to be around in their own ways, and ultimately all interactions center around them. In addition, all are incapable of true interpersonal reciprocity. 

-Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Adults by Lindsay C. Gibson

anonymous asked:

blurb of harry teaching you to play guitar??? a smutty one please??? ;)

CAN YOU WRITE something thats about him in the studio and he’s jokingly like “hey babe wanna go sing in the booth” and your like sure haha and then you’re actually really amazing at singing and him and the producer are amazed… my dream blurb lmaoo thankyou susie!!!!! ❤️🎶

Joined these two.  Enjoy

Two months in Jamaica sounded like a dream.  No one there to bother you, limited phone calls, text messages and emails.  It was falling off the grid on a deliciously necessary level.  Only it wasn’t for you.  Your boyfriend, Harry Styles, had been gone that long recording his first solo CD.  

To be honest, you had been slightly hurt when he informed you of the plan.  Jamaica sounded amazing and fun and holy shit did you need a vacation.  But he needed to be alone.  He needed to focus.  And you understood that.

You’d had a front row seat to his misgivings and doubts about going solo.  Did he have anything to say?  Enough to fill up an entire album?  Would anyone want to hear it?  Dunkirk had been a blessing in disguise because it allowed Harry to go off and do something different for five months.  His perspective upon his return had been cleared up entirely.

Filming the movie was fun.  He had a good time.  He’d do it again.

But music was where his heart lay.

Keep reading

goldsparkbreeze  asked:

¡Hola, Cassie! I have a question about Julian and Cristina. They've been my favorite characters. Julian, so sweet, suffering and sad; and Cristina, that I felt it as the heart of the book and its characters. But as I read TDA, I had the impression that Cristina and Julian haven't developed any friendship. A pleasant companionship, perhaps, but not friendship. So, we'll can see a deep friendship between Julian and Cristina in LoS? Muchos besos.

I’m delighted you like Jules and Cristina! I would say pleasant companionship describes it pretty well. Which isn’t to say that they will never deepen their friendship, but Julian has exactly one friend: Emma, who he trusts because he has known her all his life. Right now, under the burden of all his secrets, it is nigh impossible for him to make friends outside his family. As for Cristina, she is Emma’s friend, her very close friend, the person in whom Emma confides about Julian. It would be very difficult for Cristina to become Julian’s deep friend and retain Emma’s total trust and confidence.

 It’s totally normal to want your favorite characters to be friends, but characters do have loyalties and come with previous baggage. There is a primacy of other relationships in Cristina’s life — Jaime; Mark; Emma; Kieran; Diego, all of whom are deeply enmeshed in her life in LoS. Not to say she and Julian won’t be friends, just to say there’s a reason for their distance.

anonymous asked:

I saw your post about racism in fandoms and I'm curious. Why do you consider Fury to be a good guy? I wanted to ask separately because I don't want to derail a very well made post that had an important point.

Okay so I honestly have no idea how to answer this because well…

I have no idea how people could get a reading of Fury as a “bad” guy from what we see of him in the MCU. 

Like I’m not talking about the fact that any character thoroughly enmeshed in neo-imperialist government agencies like SHIELD can’t be 100% on the level, but that Fury isn’t a Loki/Kingpin/Pierce kind of character. Those are villains. They are villainous. The narrative may give the former two “good” reasons to explain why they’re the way they are but they’re still awful and murderous.

Fury isn’t any of that.

He’s not a villain.

He’s an old guy who’s seen a lot of shit, done even more, and hasn’t gotten shit to show for any of it. 

Like… fandom isn’t being critical of SHIELD unless it’s about Fury. Fandom doesn’t care about “liars” unless it’s Fury doing the lying. The things that we’d write off as normal (or absolutely benign) if M in the Bond films or any number of white guys in the MCU did them, are things fandom cites for reasons not to like or trust Nick Fury.

I’m going to be honest here, I can’t make you believe Nick Fury is a good guy if you don’t think he is. I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to change the way people think of him and other Black characters for years and I mean… It’s difficult when your argument is “in the canon they’re not bad guys in any way” when people have completely opposite readings of the text.

I will say…

Ask yourself why you don’t think Nick Fury is a good guy (if you feel this way) and then look at how you conceptualize and respond to other, actual villains in the MCU and other franchises. Because a major difference between how Nick Fury is treated when you compare him to other, actual villains is that fandom likes their villains when they’re white.

Loki attempts to commit two separate genocides (because the NYC thing counts since the Chitauri would have wiped out humanity) and he’s a poor baby that has no control over his feelings and doesn’t have to because he was adopted and fandom handles that poorly.

Rumlow and the rest of Hydra are… well they’re legitimately analogous to and descendants of N@zis. What do we get from them? Hydra Trash P@rty and assorted nonsense where Hydra “isn’t really that bad”. 

The glorification of white crime thing that I’ve talked about? Means that white villains will always be treated better than characters of color of any moral level.

Nick Fury is a complex character who deserves more than he’s got (and I am still holding out for the chance to write a Young Nick Fury series, y’all). In his appearances in the MCU, he’s been the head of an agency we know is complicity in all sorts of awfulness by virtue of the kind of agency it is. He’s also been a friend to Steve/Natasha, a mentor to Tony, and a force behind rooting out the corruption in the organization he was in charge of.

And all fandom sees him as is a lying liar that lies.

reaper76 should be canon

i’m biased cuz i’m literal r76 garbage but

think about it

two traditionally masculine characters enmeshed in military culture, which is itself very conservative. Muscular, gravelly voiced, macho men’s men archetypes who are all of that but defy convention by also being in relationships with men.

if they’re bi/pan/gay, that would be a huge dick punch to stereotypes. Now I’m all for Lena/Emily. don’t get me wrong. give me all the queer ladies gdi. but in the comic, they’re non threatening to the average shitbaby gamer. now blizz did a great thing by showing lena and emily as being normal people who belong in their world. they’re not unusual. they’re two ladies drinking tea or some english bullshit and gifting scarves, which is the most fucking english chick thing to do tbh

now let’s take that good ol’ gay train and keep it moving

jack and gabriel in a past relationship. not just two soldiers, but the Golden Haired Boy trope which is the bastion of all fucking conservative whiteness ever. plus

plus

a complex, interesting afro-latino man interested in other men.

look at the lgbt movement. the gay representation in that equation? still white as fuck. not only that, but you got an interracial relationship going on

is that still important? do ppl still make a big deal out of it?

fucking right they do

so alllllll across the board, Jack Morrison and Gabriel Reyes hooking up would put a fist through a bunch of dumbass stereotypes all at once and upset all the entitled assholes who try their damnedest to sideline this content cuz omg it’s two guys and that’s gay

My point is

Blizzard, pls

do it

Viking Gripping Beasts Pendant, 10th Century AD

A large silver openwork discoid pendant with integral T-shaped tubular loop; raised gusseted rim enclosing a pair of S-shaped beasts with billetted bodies and comma-shaped tails, enmeshed gripping paws clutching the rim and their own bodies.

Despite the long period of overlap of Borre and Jellinge art styles, there are only few examples of their fusion. The principal and most popular motif of the Borre style displays an animal with gripping paws, usually enmeshed in a circular frame, while a typical Jellinge style beast is more slender with long, S-shaped body and ribbon decoration. The most famous example of a pendant featuring a fusion of these styles was found in a hoard from Vårby (Sweden), formed as a circle with a pair of Jellinge-style beasts with ribbon-shaped bodies in profile and heads with open jaws and extended tongues; however, each is provided with gripping paws and an enmeshed body, which are typical features of the Borre style. A few examples of these pendants were also found near the important trading settlement of Gnezdovo, near Smolensk, Russia.

Game

Yuri on ice Viktuuri One-shot. In which Yuuri challenges Viktor to not kiss him one week.

***

“Life is more fun if you play games” - Ronald Dahl, my uncle Oswald.

***

It was evening in St. Petersburg, Russia and just outside the windows of their apartment, the vibrant orange and red hues of the setting sun illuminated the clear skies just above. Not that Viktor (or Yuuri for that matter) were paying much attention to it anyway. Instead, the two of them were tangled together on one of the more plush sofas in their living room currently enmeshed within the each other lips. Viktor had taken to straddling Yuuri’s hips, resting atop his thighs and using his arms to prop himself on either side of the other his head while Yuuri was lying beneath him. Viktor’s hands were busy sliding their way up Yuuri’s sides, bunching up the shirt he wore and running his fingers across the warm skin underneath it as Yuuri’s arms were looped around his shoulders. The kiss that they were sharing wasn’t hurried or rushed, yet it was purely the two of them just enjoying the other’s presence in the closest way possible and Viktor was treasuring every second of it. The two were practically inseparable. There was nowhere that the other went to or was that the other wasn’t at their hip. It had become a constant thing. In the beginning it was more out of apprehension and paranoia than anything else but now their closeness was out of their increased connection to each other. They reveled in the other’s existence mentally, physically and spiritually. It was immensely satisfying to both of them to just be near each other at any point in time, but even more so in moments like this.

“You taste really good.” Viktor had told him in between kisses and Yuuri giggled.

“I had some fruit earlier if that’s what you mean.”

Viktor shook his head. “No not that,” he went back down to brush his lips over Yuuri’s again. “Well yes that, but you just naturally taste really nice…”

He then paused briefly. “Also you kind of taste like…chocolate?”

Yuuri smiled. “I had a little nutella earlier.”

“A little?”

He rolled his eyes. “Okay some.”

And Viktor chuckled softly, giving Yuuri a smile that made his cheeks turn upwards.

Of course.

“I’m going to have to hide it from you one day.”

“Why?” Yuuri questioned. “You’re not jealous because I might like it better than you, are you?”

“Not at all. And I know you love me more than nutella.”

“Do you now?”

“Yes,"Viktor leaned down to capture Yuuri’s lips again. "And I also know about the secret stash Yuri smuggles in for you.”

At this Yuuri froze, his eyes widening and Viktor grinned at his victory.

“How’d you find out about it?”

“I bribed him,” Viktor went to kiss his cheek. “Two new cheetah print jackets and he told me everything.”

“That’s not fair.” Yuuri pouted.

“I never said I was, love.”

And the petulant look Yuuri gave him after that was utterly adorable. Swooping down he pressed a long kiss to Yuuri’s lips in order to placate him and once he felt him soften underneath him he pulled back, but with doing so he took notice to the absolutely wicked grin plastered upon Yuuri’s face. Viktor’s eyebrows furrowed.

“What?”

But Yuuri only grinned more devilishly. “Nothing.”

He then pulled Viktor back down to kiss him soundly; threading his fingers through his hair and dragging his lips wholly over Viktor’s which caused the man to moan softly. After a few seconds more, they parted and Viktor peered down at Yuuri through drooping eyes.

“I love kissing you.”

“I know,” Yuuri spoke, raising his hand to cup Viktor’s cheek. “And that’s why you’re not going to be able to kiss me again for a very long time.”

Now it was Viktor’s turn to completely freeze. Yuuri patted the side of Viktor’s face and moved to sit up, but Viktor took his wrists and pinned him back down to the sofa below.

“What do you mean I can’t kiss you for a very long time?”

“I mean that you can’t kiss me…at all. Not until I say you can at least.”

The expression upon Viktor’s face was of sheer disbelief, his mouth hanging agape until he shook himself out of his stupor. “Is this about your stash?”

“No it’s about you bribing Yuri to get him to tell you about it.”

“I lied.”

“Nope, too late,” His voice was chased by underlying laughter.

“But Yuu-”

Yuuri had wriggled his wrist out if Viktor’s grip far enough to place a finger to Viktor’s lips.

“You say I can’t live without Nutella…” A look of complacency etched itself onto Yuuri’s face pausing briefly to smirk. “Then I say you can’t live without kissing me.”

Viktor scoffed. “I can live without kissing you.”

Yuuri dead panned at this before craning upwards against Viktor’s hold and simply pecked him on the lips. After retreating, Yuuri snorted at Viktor’s feeble attempt to chase after him and then the man whined.

“That’s not fair.”

Yuuri shrugged deviously. “Never said I was, love.”

Curse this man…

Narrowing his eyes, the man let out a low growl of defeat.

“Fine,” Viktor relented. “How long do I have to wait before you forgive me?”

Yuuri tilted his, biting his lip in mock thought and Viktor fought back his urge to kiss the man again.

“Mm…5 days. Through nationals.”

There was a high pitch scream that resonated throughout Viktor’s mind but he folded both his lips together in order not to release it.

“5 days?” His voice was nothing more than a raspy squeak. Yuuri then nodded and Viktor watched as the man smiled even more impishly underneath him. He soon gathered all of his resolve, shutting his eyes briefly before heaving out a sigh of air. “Okay deal.”

“Great, so let’s play a game,” And using the not so hidden strength in his upper body, Yuuri used his own weight to push upwards and shove Viktor off of him (the man letting out a meek yelp as he did so) and backwards onto the other end of the couch. Now Yuuri was the one straddling the other man and holding his wrist at either side of his head. “Don’t try to kiss me for a week and you’ll get a prize.”

Viktor widened. “A week? But you just said 5 days!”

“True” Yuuri admitted nonchalantly. “But those are the rules and if you have enough restraint as you think you do, then it shouldn’t be a problem.”

He then groused. “What’s the prize?”

“You’ll know it soon enough.”

Viktor stared at Yuuri with wide eyes, his mouth opening; ready to protest the injustice of it all but then he was soon silenced as Yuuri leaned to hover just over his face. “Game on Vitya.”

Yuuri moved to get off of his lap after that, standing up straight and then sauntering back to their bedroom. Viktor sitting up to watch the slight sway of his hips as he did. He bit his lip. Yuuri could definitely be playful when he wanted to be and woefully cute whenever he was which just added to his secretly coy nature, but this…this was very different. Anyone else might have said he was bluffing, but Viktor knew Yuuri. Knew that familiar glint of seriousness he got in his eyes whenever he got determined to do anything and Viktor knew that Yuuri was determined to drive him up the wall with this little game of his. It wasn’t a tall order. Just seven days of no physical intimacy. He could easily manage that and it’d be over before he even knew it. He could do this.


***


He couldn’t do it.

It had only a couple hours into the next morning and Viktor’s reserve was already half empty. The night before when the two were getting ready for bed, Viktor had tried to snuggle up to Yuuri but the man had just continued to simply scoot away from him. He even placed Makkachin as a barricade between them in order to prevent any wandering hands or attempted closeness and Makkachin (being the little furry traitor he is) completely went along with it, even refusing to move when Viktor tried to pry him away from Yuuri to insert himself in the dog’s place. Makkachin would even growl at him, which in turn woke Yuuri and he chided him (something about influencing an innocent poor dog to his evil ways) before making his way to the living room for the rest of the night with Makkachin following right behind him. And Viktor had never felt more betrayed than that one moment after that. When he woke up the next morning, still partly tired due to him not being able to sleep the night before, he figured drinking some coffee would wake him right up, but upon turning into the kitchen the sight he found there jolted him awake faster than any amount of coffee would.
Yuuri was standing over the stove, cooking something Viktor assumed, but it wasn’t that that stirred that familiar feeling in the pit of Viktor’s stomach, it was what Yuuri was wearing that did it.

He wore his red and white Russian Olympic jacket, (that barely covered his ass as is) and nothing else besides a tight pair of dark blue boxer briefs. And Viktor felt his throat go dry. Upon sensing another presence behind him, Yuuri paused in his actions and twisted to see Viktor standing just beyond the kitchen’s entrance.

“Morning.”

Yuuri’s voice was unusually cheery and the grin on his face was drawn just a bit too wide as if he knew just exactly what he was doing. And when he turned around, Viktor had to forcefully grip the nearby kitchen island in order to simply stay upright. Viktor had unfortunately miscalculated just how tight Yuuri’s shorts were and he also realized just how low they were as well. Not to mention that the jacket he wore was only partly closed so that he could see the captivating exposed jut of his collar bones.

“I was wondering when you were going to get up,” Yuuri then stood on his toes, reaching for the cabinet that was highest over his head and Viktor didn’t miss how his jacket rode upwards on Yuuri’s hips. “You’re normally up before I am.”

And it was then that Viktor actually realized he had been staring mindlessly at Yuuri’s legs after a few seconds of stalled silence between them. He then blinked rapidly in attempt to focus on something other than the man before him which proved a nearly impossible feat in itself.

“Are you okay?”

Viktor eyes shot towards Yuuri who was actually looking at him with genuine concern on his face and Viktor nodded fiercely. Taking the hand that had been bracing him upright on the kitchen table and using it to wipe at his eyes.

“Yea…yea, I’m fine.”

But Yuuri, still somewhat unconvinced, made his way to stand in front of Viktor (with Viktor of course, watching him every step of the way.) and placed the back if his hand upon his forehead.

“You don’t feel hot.”

Which was odd because on the inside, he was scorching.

“Do you want anything?”

Viktor let his eyes roam over the man in front of him, taking in every dip and curve that was available to him before he licked his lips.

“I can think of a few things…”

And they all involved pinning Yuuri down on the nearest surface, ravishing and kissing him bloody senseless.

“Oh, well there’s breakfast on the stove,” He turned, motioning to the various pans and pots arrayed on its surface. “If you want any.”

Viktor nodded, but naturally the man wasn’t interested in eating whatever Yuuri had made. He didn’t care for any of it. And maybe he’d have felt bad about letting the freshly cooked food go to waste if Yuuri hadn’t just tried to kill him just now.

“I’m gonna go take Makkachin out for a walk.”

Yuuri’s announcement brought Viktor oh of his musing once more and he let his eyes trail on Yuuri as he began to make his way out the kitchen. And even with all of the space on the opposite side of Viktor to walk through, of course Yuuri chose to squeeze, front first, past Viktor, allowing his body to press across his own. Viktor’s eyes screwed shut. He knew far too well that Yuuri’s actions were deliberate and he knew it by just how close he brushed up against him in order to exit the kitchen, but that didn’t mean that Viktor didn’t silently revel in every fleeting second of it. He watched as Yuuri disappeared back into their room down the hall, keeping his gaze on that direction until he reappeared some minutes later dressed in some baggy joggers with Makkachin in tow.

He then collected the keys off the island table that rested just beside Viktor’s hand and he didn’t miss how Yuuri’s fingers lightly brushed against it.
Yuuri made his way towards the door of the apartment as he grabbed the handle to open it.

“I’ll be back soon.”

And with a single bark from Makkachin, he watched as the door closed soundly behind them.

And Viktor dragged his palms over his face once more.

This was going to be a lot harder than he thought…


***


The second day (not too surprisingly) was a lot worse than the first. It was nationals week and practices were very intense and vigorous during this time due to it being the last stretch before competitions began. It wasn’t anything that he couldn’t handle, nor was it anything that he wasn’t adept to already but still, Viktor honestly felt miserable during the majority of it.

“What’s wrong with you?”

Viktor never looked up or responded to Yuri who had skidded to a halt beside him and simply continued to just stare across the rink at Yuuri who was busy practicing his own routines. With the man’s non telling silence, Yuri followed Viktor’s gaze until he too was looking upon the other skater.

Yuri then scoffed. “Yakov’s gonna pissed when he finds you over here drooling over your boyfriend instead of skating.”

‘Probably’ Viktor thought, but he really didn’t care for or to prep himself for Yakov’s guttural scoldings, because he was far to enamored in how gracefully Yuuri was gliding across the rink.

“Are you two fighting or something?” The boy questioned looking back down at Viktor. “Not that I’m complaining that you two aren’t, but normally you idiots are always all over each other.”

And Viktor could surely remember all the times when Yuri would yell 'gross’ at the both of them whenever they were being “too affectionate” in front of him but they never paid much heed to it. But with him hanging off to the side upon one of the rink’s benches with Yuuri in the far distance circling the ice, it was naturally due for some suspicion, but of course Viktor didn’t want to tell Yuri about his and Yuuri’s little game so he did the most logical thing.

“Yes.”

Lie.

Viktor expected a response of disbelief or shock , but upon peering up at the boy, he saw that Yuri was actually fairly amused.

“Wow,” He began, placing one hand upon his hip. “You must have fucked up pretty badly if Katsudon isn’t talking to you.”

But Yuuri was talking to him and he wasn’t angry at him either (Well Yuuri actually was upset with him…at least in his own wicked way), but it wasn’t anything serious. Admittedly, the talking has been sparse as well as awkward for the past day and some hours due to the regulations of the game, but they were talking. Although, it wasn’t their scattered conversations that was making him miserable. Viktor was, in truth a very affectionate person, everyone who currently resided in the rink knew it, but as Yuri so elegantly would point out he was even more so with his fiancé…or at least he had been before this game started. And ever since it did, he felt as if he couldn’t get in too close to Yuuri without breaking the one rule so in turn he was distant.

Just then Yuri hit him on his shoulder and caused him to jolt out if his thoughts and end his gaze upon Yuuri almost immediately. Viktor was just about to question the boy’s sudden action, until he noticed Yakov looming over them both with that familiar deep set frown wrinkling at the corner of his mouth.

“Why are you sitting down Vitya, practice has not been dismissed yet and you still have new routines to go over.” Yakov then looked to Yuri who was still standing at Viktor’s side. “Get back to the rink, Yuratchka.”

Yuri did as he was told, and skated back towards the back of ice rink where Mila and Georgi were situated. He then began to simply do some lazy figure 8’s around the rink’s border, the two watching the boy as he eventually rounded a corner and landed a single salchow with little effort. Yakov then turned back to Viktor.

“You do realize that nationals are at the end of this week, yes?”

Viktor nodded.

“And you do know that you must qualify there if you wish to go any further in the competitions.”

“Yes.”

“Then why are you not focused?” Viktor bit his lip.

“I’m sorry Yakov.”

The older man then sighed. “It is not just you that you have to look after now, Vitya. You told me that you wanted to remain a coach while still competing yourself so you must be there for your student as well. I know you are fully capable of doing both and I know how impressive Katsuki can be, but he cannot coach himself-”

At the mention of Yuuri’s name, Viktor almost involuntarily looked past Yakov to the rink to find him talking to Yuri and he could feel the unease stirring within him as he saw a smirk work its way onto Yuri’s lips.

-have been out for almost a year and-Vitya are you listening to me?“

Viktor snapped back into the current reality for what seemed like the third time that day and shot upwards.

"Of course, routining the practice and flipping the quads, got it.

Yakov watched as Viktor then quickly made his way to the center of the rink and placed his forefinger and thumb to the bridge of his nose.

What was he going to do with this boy…


***


"Vitya keep your free leg up and off the ice!”

Yakov’s voice was echoing throughout the walls of the rink as he continued to reprimand his form and Viktor swore that even through the blur, he’d never seen his coach more red. He had been practicing for at least an hour now-maybe ten with how badly his legs were aching, but Yakov told him that he wouldn’t be able to rest until he landed all of his quads perfectly as well as consistently. Too bad he had screwed up on every single one of them so far.

“Keep your back straight and arms out, focus on keeping your balance!”

Which he was trying to do-desperately, but no matter what he did, he’d touch down, fall or under rotate and he could feel his own frustration growing within him. With rounding the rink’s edge for the 30th time, he spotted Mila, Georgi and Yuri standing again off to the side gazing at him with the smugest grins they could possibly muster. Then and in immaculate unison, they all puckered their lips and made kissing noises in his direction, before bursting out in laughter. And Viktor felt a nerve snap inside of his head. Skidding to a stop he searched the rink for that familiar light blue shaded jacket. Whipping his head around to each corner of the rink in effort to find him, because if he didn’t, Viktor was sure he’d internally combust in a matter of seconds. Eventually Viktor spotted him sitting upon one of the outer benches chatting and smiling away at his phone. Grinding his teeth, Viktor skated to the edge of the rink, ignoring Yakov’s prodding voice in the process and stepped out to toe himself out of his skates and made his way over to where Yuuri was seated.

Once he made it over to the other side if the rink, he noticed that Yuuri was still very engrossed on his phone (and apparently talking to Phichit) and that he hadn’t realized that Viktor was standing in front of him until nearly a minute afterwards.

Yuuri soon looked up to Viktor from his phone but the smile he had worn prior to this had slowly faded due to the expression upon Viktor’s face.

“Viktor, what’s-”

But the man grabbed his wrist and hauled him upwards before he could finish his sentence. Yuuri barely had enough time to set his phone on the bench when Viktor began to tug him onwards to what he guessed was the bathroom in the back of the building and heard a chorus of 'oo’s’ trail behind them as they did.

Once they made it there, Viktor pushed the door open to lead him inside, locking it shut behind them both before he backed Yuuri into the expansive sink counter and placed his hands on either side of him.

“You told them about it?”

Viktor didn’t really feel the need to clarify what exactly “it” was due to the fact that they both already knew the extent of the game that was going on between them as well as importance. It was exactly something that either of them was willing to forget or overlook.

“No,” Yuuri’s voice was earnest underneath Viktor’s staring. “Why would I have?”

And Viktor breathed a sigh of relief.

“Yuri kind of figured it out for himself…”

“What?”

“He did I swear,” Yuuri insisted as Viktor drew closer one hand coming to raise in front of him as the other braced upon the counter. “I really didn’t want anyone else to know or for this to get out either Viktor.”

And it was ridiculous for him to think Yuuri would. Out of the two of them, Yuuri definitely was the more reserved (for the most part) in terms of the relationship 'behind closed doors and with their game out in the open now to other people it kind of did feel like the privacy they had had been breached. It also made Viktor’s discontent grow even further. It might be somewhat foolish to be this agitated over what should be a simple game especially since it was only just the second day, but it really couldn’t be helped.

“You seem really out of it today. "The sheer coyness that dripped from Yuuri’s voice caused him to grit his teeth. "Is something wrong?”

“You know exactly what’s wrong,” He hissed

A sly grin curled at the corner of Yuuri’s lips and the demure facade that he had just wore seconds ago practically melted away almost instantly.

“I didn’t know you’d be this bothered over it.”

And it was that specific tone that he always managed to effortlessly slip into that always seemed to chip away at his composure.

“I’m not,” it was a weak lie, one that he stuttered out as he pulled back from Yuuri. “But it’s not like you still aren’t trying your best to be…”

He paused choking back the rest of his sentence and Yuuri only took it as more of a challenge.

“To be what?”

And Viktor let his eyes roam over Yuuri in that moment.

Alluring…tempting…downright evil…

Any one of the three would have sufficed honestly to Viktor because all of them were undeniably true. A hand slid its way down his chest, to come rest just about halfway and Viktor was chanting at himself to ignore the heat pooling within him as Yuuri began to press himself against him.

“You can always give in…, "his voice was sultry and his breath was warm against his face "I’m right here Vitya…you know you want to…”

And he did. Letting his guard down for just that moment he realized that he’d be lying to himself if he said he didn’t. With the way Yuuri’s leg was inching its way up his hip, how close he was meshed against him and with the glossiness of his lips. Viktor was sure that with anymore pressure, the marble underneath his fingers would’ve crumbled. He really wanted to do it. He wanted to forget about the stupid game and its only stupid rule and just grab Yuuri’s face to kiss him right then and there…but he couldn’t. Tearing himself away, he took the hand that Yuuri had rested upon his chest and forcefully anchored it to the counter along with the other one, causing him to bow backwards slightly.

“Not today, Yuuri.”

“Maybe,” He shrugged.“But you still have 6 more to go. You won’t last long.”

“Try me.”

“I did…just now.”

Suddenly a hard knock sounded at the door and the two instinctively untangled from one another.

“Hey Geezer, Yakov said to get the hell out of the bathroom!”

They weren’t aware of neither the time nor how long they had actually been in there, but they derived that their time in here plus with their abrupt departure from the rink, they both had to have had the man fuming by now. After briefly glancing at Yuuri, Yuuri doing the same, Viktor left his side to go unlock the door and exited the bathroom. Already preparing himself for another one of Yakov’s grueling lectures when he made it back to the rink.


***


The third day Viktor thought, was simple enough. After a break from practice the three if them (Yuri included) decided to go to some quaint ice cream shop Viktor had suggested not too far from the rink. It was about a 10 minute walk and they had got there sometime after noon. The shop itself was mostly empty with only about a handful of occupants spread here or there so it was also fairly quiet save for the bell that tinkled as the three walked in. There was a wide assortment of flavors ranging from plain vanilla to more inventive and obscure flavors, but all three just went for their own personal usual. (Except for Yuuri strangely enough.) He has gone with plain vanilla, Yuri with peanut butter fudge swirl and Viktor opting white chocolate (with some other fancy toppings) and after Viktor paid the cashier, they all sat down at a lone table near the door. The talked idly about many things, (most of those things were about nationals and their routines due to the fact that it was so close) and simply filled their time with conversation until it was time to go back to the rink.

“Hey Katsudon,” Yuri called and the aforementioned picked his head up to look at the boy. “Watch my stuff, I gotta go to the bathroom.”

Yuri then scooted from his chair and made his way to the back of the shop where the restrooms were located which left Viktor and Yuuri by themselves at the table.

Like before, their time 'talking’ to each other were always awkward and mostly included silence. It was primarily due to Viktor not really knowing what to talk about that wasn’t about their game and from what he soon discovered Yuuri always practically (as well as very conspicuously) scoot his way into his lap whenever they did manage to actually have a normal conversation in order to see if Viktor would slip up and kiss him somehow. He was always on constant vigilance because Yuuri truly was extremely sneaky.

As Viktor looked back across the table he instantly met eyes with Yuuri whose chin was propped upon his hand.

“I never knew you liked vanilla ice cream.”

Yuuri shrugged. “It’s not really a favorite of mine,” He spoke. “But I kind of wanted to try something a little different.”

Fair enough.

But then, that familiar expression soon set itself upon Yuuri’s features, the one that he wore whenever he was about to do something drastic…and Viktor knew that mischievous glint in his eyes all too well. Grinning, Yuuri went back to the ice cream cone in his hand (which wasn’t much in itself) but then he began to lick over it with wide, long, slow strokes of his tongue and Viktor knew what he was trying to do almost immediately. Yuuri repeated his actions; using the flat plane of tongue to wipe at the frozen liquid before deftly swiping along the cone’s edge and gradually trailing upwards. He then swirled over its curled top a few times prior to sinking his lips around it and sucking off a generous amount. And he did it all while never breaking eye contact. Viktor’s hand clenched at the fabric of his pants. Yuuri hadn’t done too much yesterday and what he did attempt to do nearly severed his reserve, but now was the first time he’d actually ever done something like this. And it was just now that Viktor realized exactly why he had gotten vanilla instead chocolate…

Viktor bit his lip. Yuuri’s show had been bad enough to sit through, but of course he had been just so coincidentally sitting in front of an air vent and its heat was causing the ice cream cone to slowly melt. It wasn’t mess by any means, but the treat was beginning to leave a few tracks of melted liquid on Yuuri’s hand and wrist. Viktor silently prayed that he would take one of the bountiful napkins that sat in the middle of their table and wipe his hand with it, but he already knew that that would be far too merciful. Instead of doing what Viktor had desperately hoped he would, Yuuri instead switched the cone to his left hand and then let his tongue slowly lick up the streaks off the other. Finger by finger until he eventually drew his index finger into his mouth and released it with a loud pop. With the devious that Yuuri gave him, Viktor could tell that he was fully aware of his own diabolical intentions He also knew that Yuuri was very much enjoying watching him squirm within his chair and how thoroughly bothered by his actions he Viktor was, but it was all a part of his plan. Yet the worse thing about it was that Viktor knew that it would only get more unbearable as the week went on and he was already dreading it just thinking about it.

It was only a moment later when Yuri returned from his trip to the bathroom and began to make his way back to their table but not before he paused to shoot Viktor a questionable look.

“How the hell did you get ice cream all over your shirt?”


***


The fourth day had been taxing. Nationals were tomorrow in Moscow and he had been at the rink for most of the day trying to perfect his routine. The routine itself was very flashy in terms of the amounts of jumps that he had incorporated into it due to the fact that he wanted to go for the highest score possible, but he decided that since this was most likely going to be his final debut in the ice skating world he might as well give the audience one last show. As he walked into the apartment, Viktor took note that it was fairly dark and shrouded in silence. Which wasn’t entirely strange since it was late as well as night out, but he had just though Yuuri might have waited up for him. Setting the keys down on the island table in the kitchen he made his way back to their bedroom, figuring that Yuuri was probably in there. Upon approaching the room he saw that the door was slightly ajar and that the dim light of it that spilled through the crack out into the hall. A sign that might have signaled Yuuri hadn’t fallen asleep yet. Viktor went to grasp the door’s handle but as he did so he hesitated to push it open. It was crazy to say, but he had not the slightest idea of what was waiting for him behind that door and it was honestly an intimidating thought. It was the fourth day in their little game, some bit past the half way mark and in his mind he was expecting something extreme. Yuuri hadn’t really tried anything with him today in terms of his usual fair and in fact the day between them had been pretty calm, but that’s exactly what worried him. Exhaling a soft breath he gripped the handle and slowly pushed to enter the room, but upon doing so, his entire mind shut down.

He had been correct in his assumption that Yuuri had been awake, but what he had been incorrect in was how severe his hell was going to be.

Lying upon the plush mattress, right in its center, was Yuuri, splayed put in the most provocative position possible with arms raised above his head and legs folded in on one another. Wearing nothing but one of his red and gold silk robes.

And in that moment, Viktor actually forgot how to breathe.

“Hi.”

Viktor’s response was delayed but when he actually managed to recover, it came out as nothing more than a series of mangled babbles. He watched as Yuuri gradually rose from the bed to a sitting position before eventually coming to stand before him and it was then that Viktor could truly feel that familiar deep stir well within the pit of his chest. Within the golden light of the room, Yuuri looked sinfully beautiful. The kind of beauty that ignited a fire underneath him and made him forget how to think or speak. Yuuri’s hair was tediously slicked back, his eyes almost seemingly amber underneath the long lashes that shielded them as he peered up at Viktor and the smooth expanse of one of his shoulders tantalizingly visible to his sigh due to the large size of the robe. And Viktor could feel the heat fill his face.

“I was waiting up for you,” Yuuri’s was so sultry that it made him shiver as he felt him trail a hand across Viktor’s neck and shoulders. “I missed you…”

“I was only gone for a few hours.”

“I know,” Yuuri then gripped tightly at Viktor’s shoulders and spun him around before pushing him down forcefully upon the bed below. He then hiked up the hem of the robe to expose the long length of his legs in order straddle him. “Still too long.”

The devious smile that he gave Viktor from on top his lap was almost enough unsettle him, but it was when Yuuri latched onto his neck began to kiss his way down that actually made him go completely lax. They started off as simply pecks here and there, feather light and ultimately soft, but as the seconds passed, they became heavier and turned into sucks as well as bites that would surely leave dark bruises in the morning, but he couldn’t even will himself to think on it properly at that moment. A hiss left slipped its way through his teeth as Yuuri bit down almost painfully at the spot just beneath his ear, but it soon turned into a hitched sigh as he licked along it with a stripe of his tongue. And Viktor could feel his smile against his neck as he did.

“It’s late…” he said softly, trying to focus on putting forth a coherent sentence. “W-we should p-probably go to sleep for tomorrow…”

“Probably,” His voice was slightly muffled against the crook of his neck as he continued his ministrations. “But you don’t want to stay up with me Vitya?…”

And the use of that name… paired with the utter sensuality of Yuuri’s voice made all the blood drain from his head and rush straight to his already hardening cock.

He then withdrew from his neck to hover just over Viktor’s ear, his lips just barely brushing it.

“Let me take care of you…”

At the last lingering kiss that Yuuri placed behind his ear, Viktor could feel himself finally unravel and It wasn’t long before Yuuri began to slowly roll his hips. His head fell back into the pillows beneath it. It was slow, almost torturously so, but there was no doubt in the pleasure that was increasingly washing over him and Yuuri only continued to go at it more deeply. Their sighs melded together until their breaths soon became one within the silence of the room. Viktor’s hands soon found Yuuri’s hips, never clutching at them but only resting upon them firmly enough to hold him steadily in place. There was voice in the back of his head telling him that all of this was just another one of Yuuri’s obvious ploys, but the heavenly feel of his body against his own wholly took over any logical thought that might have existed within his mind. Instead, It was drew blanks with every rut of Yuuri’s hips and each kiss that he lavished upon his neck. He was surrounded in that familiar floral scent that always radiated from Yuuri’s skin and he felt himself become lost within it. He could hear the soft pants that escaped from Yuuri’s lips and the warm breaths that washed over his neck as he continued to drive forward in a dragged out repetitive movement. He then sat upwards, using his hands to prop himself upon Viktor’s shoulders and began to roll his hips even more thoroughly. Viktor was the only one of the two who was fully clothed while Yuuri himself wore absolutely nothing underneath the robe he was wearing. It was a deliberate move on Yuuri’s part and Viktor knew this. The feel of Yuuri’s warmth against the thin joggers he wore was meant to unhinge him; push him over the edge. And it was working. He could feel the pace his heart quickening as he looked towards the ceiling of the room. Desperately trying to focus on anything that wasn’t Yuuri, but of course he faltered and hesitantly went to gaze upon him.

A mistake if he ever made one.

The fabric of the robe had completely fallen off both his shoulders, leaving the skin beneath it bare to the air around them and strands of his dark hair were now falling into his face. He was utterly flushed; sweat forming at his hairline as he peered down at him through lust filled eyes.

He was gorgeous… With his brows knitted together and his lips pursed, it was hard to tell where the line was drawn between their game and the pleasure derived from it, but regardless of the border, he could tell they were both slipping. He wanted it to continue, wanted to tear the remains of the robe that Yuuri wore to shreds if need be. To take him for himself. And It was taking all of Viktor’s sheer will not to because he knew if this went on, he most definitely going to break the game’s one rule so he had to stop. Before Yuuri could attempt anything else, he put his strength into twisting himself over which in turn knocked Yuuri off his lap, sending him to the mattress below and Viktor was quick to crawl over him and pin down Yuuri’s wrists after that. He couldn’t really remember how many times they have been in this exact situation within the past days with Yuuri doing his utmost best to seduce him and Viktor tenuously resisting all of his advances. It was almost like a muscle memory to him at this point.

“You really are evil Katsuki Yuuri, you know that.”

Yuuri’s eyes were ablaze with complacency as a smirk weaseled its way onto his still glossy lips. “You weren’t complaining about me being evil just now.”

And he couldn’t really argue about that.

“What am I going to do with you?”

“Anything you want.”

Viktor grinned. “Nice try, but still not good enough.”

Yuuri then huffed. “I almost had you.”

“Almost, being the key word.”

Yuuri growled as he narrowed his eyes. “I hate you.”

“No you don’t.”

At this Yuuri pouted and blew out a puff of air that sent loose strands of his slicked back hair from his face. He then looked back up at Viktor, with eyes bigger than they already naturally were and Viktor could feel his leg return to that familiar place on his own hip.

“Kiss me.”

And Viktor could only laugh.

“I guess you’ve finally ran out of ideas, love.”

Yuuri frowned. “Please?”

“Nope, not doing it,” He then leaned down to stare at Yuuri pointedly yet far enough so that he wouldn’t be able to try anything. “You said a week, nothing less. I’m winning this.”

Viktor then released Yuuri’s wrists and then moved to get off the bed before heading out the door, Yuuri rising to watch him leave with another indignant pout plastered onto his lips.


***


The fifth day admittedly was a little nerve wrecking for him. The Russian Nationals were today and he could feel the pressure building upon him. Not to say that he wasn’t confident, because he was. He knew his routine to a T, practiced it for days on end to ensure a smooth performance since he had been out the competitive game for more than a year now and he wanted a great debut. But unfortunately his mind was occupied with… other things at the moment. Last night, for the second time, he hadn’t really been able to sleep too well. If Viktor honestly had to count, he would say that he did technically sleep for a good amount of time, maybe a bit over eight hours so he felt rested in those terms, but in others he felt particularly restless. The truth was he really couldn’t stop thinking about Yuuri. He couldn’t last night and he couldn’t now. His last ploy in seducing him into kissing him lit a fuse within him that was still wildly burning, threatening to go off at any moment and all he wanted to do was find some way to put it out before it did, but he still had two days left. Two pain filled days of absolute internal anguish ahead of him and it made him want to bang his head against a wall due to the fact that it was still the break of dawn on 5th one. The programs were due to start in a few minutes and he found himself scurrying down the halls of the arena in order to find him, (since they had parted separate ways upon arriving) but with each corner that he rounded the halls were basically empty and he couldn’t help but let out a low frustrated growl under his breath. In his head he chided himself for what he was doing. Briskly making his way through the arena in attempt to find his fiancé and potentially fuck him up some random wall to rid himself of his own pent up lust before it was time to skate, but in truth he didn’t care. He would keep the regulations intact and not kiss him, but in all sincerity, kissing Yuuri was the least of what he was planning to do to him.

Rounding one more corner he breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Yuri making his way down the south wing with Yakov in tow at his side.

“Yuri!” The boy and Yakov turned to face him as he jogged up to meet them and Yakov scowled.

“Vitya what are you doing back here? You’re program starts in the next 20 minutes!”

“I know, but I’m trying to find Yuuri,” he then directed his attention to Yuri. “Have you seen him?”

Yuri removed his ear buds from out his ear, before tilting his head briefly in the opposite direction. “The last time I saw him he was still in the dressing room, but that was like 10 minutes ago.”

Viktor smiled and without thinking he quickly hugged the boy. “Thanks.”

“Yea Yea whatever,” He then pushed the man off. “Just remember whatever you two idiots do in there, you automatically forfeit if you’re no shows.”

Viktor didn’t really stay to process the underlying meaning of Yuri’s words because he had already taken off in the other direction towards the dressing room.


***


He got there ten minutes later. The dressing rooms were located in the far back of the arena underneath the first staircase and he cursed himself for not getting there quicker since Yuuri was due to go on in the next five. Upon approaching the door, he reached for the handle, but before he could do so, the door swung open and there stood Yuuri.

And the only way to possibly describe how he looked was…breathtaking. His hair was in its familiar slicked back state and his lips were redder that usual, (lipstick maybe) but what really made his breath catch in his throat was his costume. It was black, a much richer one than his Eros one and shimmered with specks of silver. Two sheer cuts sliced their way down his left shoulder and at his hip and curled to lead just under the pit of his arm. The costume’s sleeves were long in themselves with a strap to go over his middle finger and from what Viktor could see, also a sheer fabric running down the inner side. And lastly a long flowing ruffled train adorned the tights that stuck to his toned legs.

He was the most beautiful person he had ever seen…

“Oh Viktor, I need your help.”

Anything…

Yuuri then turned around and Viktor nearly choked on the very air he breathed. A large cut out exposed the entirety of Yuuri’s back and tapered off to a V at the lowest possible point of it, just between the dimples. Viktor swallowed the lump within his throat.

“Could you get this for me?”

Tearing his eyes away from the pale stretch of Yuuri’s back he focused long enough to see Yuuri holding the costume’s neck clasp within his fingers. Viktor then took them within his own hands and maneuvered the hook into its rightful place and adjusting it be for letting his arms drop back to his side.

Yuuri then spun back around to smile at him.

“Thanks.”

Just then the overheard speaker system rang throughout the arena calling for Yuuri to come to the rink, and as his head turned to face the speaker on the opposite wall above them, Viktor couldn’t help but to stare and admire him from afar.

After the second call Yuuri turned back towards Viktor. “I have to go, but I’ll see you later. Good luck on your program.”

“You too.”

After that exchange, Viktor then watched as Yuuri made his around the corner to the elevator on the other side of the dressing rooms and waited for it to ding open. Once it did, he stepped inside and pushed the button on the panel for the top floor. And a few seconds after that the doors shut closed.


***


Viktor made it back up to the rink just as he heard Yuuri’s musical composition began to play. Walking through the set of double doors, he made his way down the set of stairs and nestled himself within a crowd of people directly on the center side of the rink. The music was a booming classical piece, with hard percussion, horns and piano keys that preluded massive swells. It was an extremely hauntingly beautiful piece and Viktor was mesmerized with each note. The area in which he stood was coincidentally the perfect view of the ice so he could see everything. He watched intently as the long train of Yuuri’s costume fluttered like a black ruffled leaf in the breeze through the air and how it trailed elegantly behind him as he sped around every corner. He saw every single flawless jump which included five quads that he landed perfectly as well as the unrelenting ferocity and poise in his movements. And Viktor was certain he’d never seen anything else like it. He was utterly incredible…

Two minutes later, Yuuri’s program was over and there was no delay as the audience erupted in thunderous cheers and applause merely seconds afterwards. Looking out at Yuuri standing upon the center of the ice with his hands outstretched and a glorious smile etching itself onto his lips, suddenly to Viktor, nothing else mattered. Not his program, not any of the other skaters that would come after. Not even the game that had lasted between them for the past few days. Everything around him became meaningless, except that man who stood proudly in front of him. As the cheers continued, Viktor could feel how wildly his heart was beating within his chest at that moment and just how powerful the yearning tearing at him had become. Viktor’s eyes never left Yuuri’s form as he skated towards the kiss and cry where Yakov waited for him just at its entrance to hand him his skate guards. And watching Yuuri in that moment Viktor soon and surely knew what he was going to do.


***


After his own program concluded, Viktor sat down for multiple interviews with Russian news outlets on his return to skating after his yearlong break. Everyone was interested in him and heckled him for any semblance of a response especially after his scores had been revealed. It had been high. Very high actually; a 92.56. Some points lower from his usual routines from before his break, but it was still a very good score and he currently resided in second place. First place on the other hand was of course Yuuri who scored with the phenomenal amount of 95.33 points for his first national debut in Russia and besides himself, Yuuri’s name was the only thing he would hear from everyone’s mouths throughout the arena and Viktor couldn’t be any happier. He really had no interest in answering any of the seemingly endless questions the news outlets shot at him, but nonetheless he smiled grinned and nodded just for the sake of the camera. It was tiresome after a time because the questions soon became repetitive and superficial, but even more than that, it became tiresome because all he truly wanted was leave and find out where be Yuuri had gone to again. After about another 20 minutes give or take, the interviews finally concluded and as soon as they did, Viktor made his way down the low stage steps and quickly set off to find Yuuri.

For his luck, (and joy) Viktor found him four minutes later sitting on the somewhat empty bottom row of bleachers closet to the rink watching Yuri’s own performance. Upon looking him over, he noticed that Yuuri had changed out of his costume and was simply dressed in his regular fair of black pants and a light jacket, though instead of his normal Japan themed jacket it was the newly designed white and blue team Russian one for this year. It didn’t take long for Yuuri to notice Viktor’s presence at his side, but Viktor never gave him a chance to speak or question it before he grabbed his wrist to tug him upwards. It had almost looked as if Yuuri actually wanted to say something to him, but again and almost like a replica of their time at the rink a few days ago, Yuuri followed him wordlessly. He led him out the door and into the main hall of the arena. It was mostly empty due to everyone being in the ice rink and Viktor thought it was perfect because he didn’t want anyone to see them. He just wanted to find somewhere-anywhere that he could be remotely privately with Yuuri. Eventually he settled upon an open storage closet located on an abandoned hallway and tugged Yuuri along towards it. Once there, he opened it, guiding Yuuri inside before shutting it and locking it in place. And immediately after doing so, Viktor quickly went to grab his face and dragged Yuuri forward to kiss him deeply. Yuuri never tensed at Viktor’s abrupt action or ever gave any indication of surprise at Viktor’s actions and instead he returned the kiss wholly with equal fervor and went to fist his hands in Viktor’s jacket. And Viktor hummed in satisfaction. It was strikingly obvious that from the way Yuuri was kissing him back that he hadn’t been the only one that had missed this and the way they melded together so seamlessly even after all those days was so utterly perfect that it made his head spin.

Viktor withdrew from Yuuri, Yuuri doing the same and began to stroke his cheek with his thumb.

“I guess I lost.”

Yuuri nodded rapidly and Viktor could feel his fingers curl more tightly into the fabric of his jacket.

“Yea.”

After a second of staring into Viktor’s eyes, Yuuri stood on his toes to recapture Viktor’s lips with his own and threw his arms around his neck to steady himself. Their challenge, right now, was no more than an afterthought at the moment for neither of them cared about it anymore. The only thing that mattered to Viktor right now was the softness of Yuuri’s lips as well as needy kisses that he was brushing against his own and how they made him forget everything. His hands drifted to grab at Yuuri’s hips as he dug his fingers into the fabric of his jacket there. God he had missed this. The feeling of Yuuri pressed fully against him and his fingers threading through his hair. Viktor had almost forgotten what he tasted like in their time apart but when he licked his tongue past Yuuri’s lips he was reminded instantly. Yuuri whimpered at this and proceeded to draw Viktor closer to him, grabbing his hair to pull him closer in order to deepen the kiss. They both shared a breath. Kissing each other to thoroughly that it was almost a struggle to breathe and the pace of it never relented. It was hard and heavy smack of lips that soon turned into a open mouth kiss of tongues, Viktor taking to suck on Yuuri’s own briefly before returning to drag his lips over his, drawing out a deep moan in the process. Leaving his mouth, he began to trail kisses at the corner of his mouth then at the side of his jaw. One of Yuuri’s hands left its hold on Viktor’s hair to clutch at the skin of his neck as his lips made their way down his own. Viktor was quick to lay waste to Yuuri’s jacket, zipping it down and discarding it off to the side in order to expose more of his collarbone. The storage room was all shelves bolted to the walls of the closet which meant that there was no surface to sit or rest upon so Viktor simply backed Yuuri into one of the shelves behind them. He could hear items being knocked over, falling to scatter upon the floor from the rough impact but he didn’t care and only chose to slide his hand underneath Yuuri’s t-shirt. A soft gasp made its way past Yuuri’s lips at the coldness of Viktor’s hand but it was promptly silenced when Viktor went to press his lips to his. Fingers tugged at the hem of his shirt gesturing for it to be removed and Yuuri obliged, separating himself from Viktor only long enough to remove it before he kissed him again. Suddenly the bustle and loud chatter of people made its way to both of their ears and caused the two to separate. It was obvious that a crowd gathering outside, either from intermission or thd programs concluding. Of course they had no idea of telling which, especially due to the fact that they didn’t know how long they had been in here, but it was clear (almost painfully) that their time was limited. Viktor met Yuuri’s eyes.

“I think the programs might be finished."His voice came out in a series of pants.

"Maybe.”

They both went quiet to listen to the crowd outside and only realized that the noise had gotten louder. Remembering that he had his phone, Viktor fished around in his pant pocket to retrieve it. Holding down the power button briefly, the screen lit up to reveal the current time.

“It’s twelve twenty-five.”

Viktor then looked back at Yuuri who looks as if he was recalling something in his head. “The competition doesn’t end until one thirty today.”

And that meant that the crowds of people outside were definitely on break for intermission and the reshaping of the ice. This meant that they potentially had an hour. But that was only if someone didn’t catch them first. The door was locked, yes, but it was a storage closet and upon looking around it was a storage closet for food and snacks for the concessions stands just out front. It was entirely possible that someone would come in eventually, with keys to find them in here and of course he didn’t want that. Viktor first other thought was that they could just wait until they got back to their hotel which was only a block down to avoid that possible outcome, but they were already here…

Viktor raised his head to look at the man in front of him. “Do you have…?”

“No,” His voice was rasp and faint.“Do you-”

Viktor shook his head. “No.”

Dammit…

That of course complicated things. Musing over the possible options he realized that there weren’t much and he found himself within the same dilemma as before. Wait…or risk it. For a third time, He looked back to Yuuri and let his eyes roam over him briefly. He was still painting himself. Hair ruffled, flushed a faint pink with his lips pursed and plump. Darting between Yuuri’s dark eyes and those glossy, inviting luscious lips, Viktor quickly decided that he would risk it. He kissed Yuuri again with more vigor and urgency, pressing him even further against the shelf behind them as his hands gripped his shoulders.

He was so gorgeous…

They continued their passionate kiss for while, but Viktor broke it.

Standing from his place on the floor he snaked his arm around Yuuri’s waist, licking his lips clean before dragging him forward to kiss him. Still pliant from his body being spent, he followed easily and raised his hands to rest upon Viktor shoulders. Neither of them moved to deepen it for it was just a simple, equal press of their lips against the other’s and after a minute or two they separated and took to rest their foreheads together.

“I guess I really can’t go without kissing you…”

Yuuri gave a raspy brief laugh at this. “It was worth it though.”

Viktor nodded, but he then paused. He withdrew from Yuuri but only far enough for his face to come clearly into focus as his brows rose.

“Do I still get my prize?”

“What prize?” Yuuri questioned slight confusion dawning upon his features.

“The one you said I’d get if I went a week without trying to kiss you.”

“Oh,” Yuuri’s eyes widened slightly but then he chuckled. “You just got it.”

“What?”

“The prize was that you got to kiss me.”

Viktor watched that familiar grin break out across Yuuri’s face as he tried to stifle his laughter, but of course he was failing terribly.

“I hate you.” He pouted.

“No you don’t.”

Viktor then smiled as he began to lean back down to kiss him again.

“I know.”

Boundaries 101

We’ve all heard that a healthy relationship has healthy boundaries. But what exactly are boundaries, and what do they look like in real life?

Boundaries are the lines you draw around yourself to keep you safe and autonomous.

Good boundaries are really strong and flexible. When they change, it’s because you chose to move them; you still know where they are and you’re still comfortable with them. If someone else pushes on them, they don’t break.

Bad boundaries are fuzzy and brittle - it’s often hard to know exactly where your boundaries are, and if someone pushes on them, they may shatter completely.

Here are some boundaries that are common to all healthy relationships:

  • Each person has a say in what kind of relationship this is. No one feels obligated to be more emotionally connected, sexually involved, or socially connected than they actually want to be.
  • Each person gets to choose what they eat, what they wear, and who they want be friends with.
  • Each person has private spaces, physical or otherwise (online counts), where the other person doesn’t intrude without permission.
  • There are some hobbies that only one person does, and that’s okay - you don’t need to do everything together.
  • It’s okay to disagree on some things; each person has different tastes and opinions and it’s okay to be different to each other.
  • Some things are private, even from each other, and that’s okay.
  • Each person has the right to not engage in any sexual activity at any time.

In order to keep social systems running smoothly, some common boundaries are assumed to exist in certain contexts, and crossing them without obtaining consent is considered rude or worse.

Some of these “default boundaries” include:

  • Not kissing strangers or touching them in a sexual way, or making sexual comments to/about them.
  • Not asking personal questions until you know someone well - things like weight, sexual history, etc., unless you’re in a context where it’s relevant.
  • Not showing your genitals to people you are not in a sexual relationship with, except a medical professional when relevant.
  • Not demanding hugs from strangers, unless you both are part of a group where hugs are considered a normal greeting of a stranger.
  • Friendships are assumed to include no sex and no romance.
  • Not touching children you don’t know, if you are not their caretaker.
  • Not getting into bed with a sleeping person you don’t usually sleep with.
  • Not entering the bathroom when some else is using it.

But boundaries are more than these default templates - they’re personal things. So your specific boundaries might be different to someone else’s.

Some examples of more specific boundaries might be things like:

  • I don’t know you very well, so I want to wait until we know each other better before I decide if I want to date you.
  • It’s okay if my dating partner comes into the bathroom when I’m brushing my teeth, but not when I’m showering or using the toilet. I leave the door open when it’s okay to come in.
  • If I’m working at my computer or otherwise engrossed in something, I ask that people use words to get my attention before touching me.
  • I don’t like kissing, so I don’t kiss anyone ever and they aren’t allowed to kiss me.
  • I don’t want anyone in my new life to try to contact my estranged family of origin.
  • My phone is private; no one is allowed to read my texts, etc., but me.
  • For date night, I don’t want to go to a restaurant that doesn’t serve food I can eat as a vegetarian.

Establishing boundaries means figuring out what your boundaries are and then making them clear to the people in your life, as relevant.

You don’t need to tell everyone you know all of your boundaries, because some people will never come close to crossing certain boundaries. But it’s important that people know what your boundaries are when they’re in the relevant territory.

So when it looks like sexytimes might happen, it’s important to talk to your partner ahead of time about what sexual boundaries you each have. When you’re headed toward a serious relationship, that’s the time to talk about the boundaries you have in that kind of relationship. When you get your own place, it’s time to establish boundaries with your parents about what it will mean for your relationship.

A boundary violation is when someone crosses one of your boundaries. Some examples might be:

  • Someone sending you nudes or sexually explicit messages when you’re not interested.
  • Someone going through something of yours that you chose to keep private.
  • Someone trying to tell you what you’re allowed to wear, eat, or who to be friends with.

Some boundary violations are accidental, and when that happens, the appropriate response is to reinforce the boundary by making sure the other person knows it’s there. The people in your life should be aware of what your boundaries are.

When someone violates your boundaries, you also need to defend the boundary. That means you have to figure out how to protect yourself from having that boundary crossed again. Sometimes that means a simple conversation to let them know that boundary exists, sometimes it means taking time away from someone, changing the way you interact with them, or removing them from your life entirely. Only you can decide how best to defend that boundary in the context of your life.

Unhealthy boundaries happen when someone is made to feel like they aren’t allowed to have boundaries, and that’s where enmeshment and abuse creep in.

Some examples of bad boundaries include things like:

  • We always end up talking whenever I want to, even if you’re busy or asleep or don’t want to.
  • I make it difficult for you if you try to spend time with friends without me there.
  • I look through your phone, purse, Internet history, or other belongings when I feel like it, without your permission.
  • You are not allowed to have any secrets, even ones that don’t relate to me.
  • I touch you however and whenever I want unless you convince me not to.
  • I think you should go on a diet, so even though you don’t agree, you change the way you eat to keep me from judging you.
  • You give up wearing certain clothes you like because I’m disrespectful to you when you wear them.

When you haven’t been allowed to have boundaries for a long time because of a dysfunctional relationship, it can be hard to know what your boundaries are.

Abusive people who want to take advantage of unformed boundaries will push on the “social default” boundaries to see if you know how to defend a boundary. If you don’t, they push on bigger and bigger boundaries and try to form a relationship where they’re in control. Be aware of that - if it feels like you have less and less control of what’s happening, that relationship is not healthy.

Respecting boundaries is one of the most important parts of keeping a relationship safe, healthy, and consensual.

If you think someone you know has a hard time setting boundaries, give them extra room to set them and be extra careful not to exert any pressure. Don’t expect people in general to always tell you their boundaries - ask outright. “How do you feel about doing this thing?” is how you get real consent. Saying “We’re going to do this thing” and then doing it just because they don’t object may be crossing a boundary.

It’s important to pay attention to whether other people are setting boundaries (or may want to set them but are afraid to), and to talk about and defend your own boundaries as well, so everyone in the relationship feels safe and happy.

2

You and I both know that there are men on both sides of this war whose identities are so enmeshed in this conflict that they are more afraid of ending it that they are of losing it. And I believe that you are about to elevate one of those men into a position of significant power.

Tempered by Your Love

Pairing: Park Jimin / Reader

Genre: Cupid!Jimin, Fluff + Light Smut with a hint of angst.

Rating: PG-15

Warnings: Sexual content

Summary: While even Cupid has fantasies too, they aren’t always rosy.

Words: 808

Note: Part of a Cupid!Jimin drabble series I’m working with the lovely @dimplecoups. And thank you, @sydist, for giving us the initial idea!

TEMPERED BY YOUR LOVE

Jimin.

In a seemingly ivory expanse, his name resounded otherworldly. Eyes had opened and he squinted, blinded momentarily by the scintillating illumination caused the odd environment. Face down upon what appeared to be the ground, Jimin groaned whilst he pushed himself onto his knees and ran a hand over his face. Where was he? He contemplated the radix of his arrival, absolutely perplexed and his name was given voice to again.

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anonymous asked:

wonwoo as a boyfriend (bulleted post). thanks!

rip tumblr’s full of amazing posts about this but I hope you enjoy my attempt ♥


  • in short, Wonwoo would be a loving, warm boyfriend
  • like he’d make sure you know he loves you, whether it’s with small kisses or taking care of your well-being whenever he can
  • as in, he takes care of you whenever you’re sick, wants to comfort you when you’re upset and all that
  • also never misses the chance to walk you home when it’s late, or at the least to the bus/train/subway stop
  • okay he’d do that a lot even if it’s not late but you know
  • “I just want to know you get home safe.”
  • and if it has indeed been pretty late and he’s walked you just to a stop, he’d ask you to give him a call/message when you’ve gotten home
  • aka definitely the type to refuse to sleep until he knows you’re home safe
  • good morning and good night texts too!
  • wouldn’t say no to some couple items
  • like I feel like he wouldn’t necessarily opt for the overly obvious ones, but something small that you’d share that still shows that you’re dating
  • altho ok you might be able to talk him into couple outfits a couple of times if you really want to
  • perhaps he’d be into maybe a small piece of jewelry, like a necklace or a bracelet, or a phone case or something like that, just something that he could adore every now and then and think about you
  • and something that would let others know that you’re dating him, because he’s that level of possessive
  • otherwise I don’t think he’d be too possessive, but he does want people to know that you’re not available in that sense
  • while Wonwoo wouldn’t be into excessive PDA, he’d often hold your hand in public or have his arm around your waist/shoulders and wouldn’t hesitate to hug you, either
  • but kissing and anything more than that he’d feel is something between the two of you, so he wants to keep it private
  • (okay maybe quick pecks on the lips or cheek if one of you is taking the other to like a train station or something like that would slide, but otherwise he’d stick to the slightly more platonic displays of affection)
  • at home it’s very different, of course, and he’d really enjoy cuddling you and just holding you close in general
  • enjoys sleeping with you, with you cuddled up to him or holding your hand or spooning you
  • the big spoon would change from time to time; he enjoys both, although he probably would have a slight preference for being the big spoon
  • couch cuddles too
  • like imagine reading the same book with you sitting up against him or cuddled up to him
  • or him cuddled up to you really, depending on the day
  • and when you’ve gotten tired of asking “Are you done?” after every spread, you’d develop a small sign to give whenever you were done
  • maybe a small tap on the other one’s body or something
  • which would result in you absentmindedly tapping Wonwoo’s chest after 10 seconds into a new spread and him jokingly being all “Already? That was fast.”
  • also. so many lame jokes.
  • you know the type that are so lame that you only laugh because he ends up looking really self-satisfied or really amused by it himself
  • nothing wrong with it tho you love his jokes anyway
  • if his behavior towards Mingyu is anything to go by, chances are you’d occasionally get to hear, in the most loving way possible and with a soft smile, “You’re such an idiot, why do I love you again?”
  • but it’s always obvious he doesn’t actually question it
  • whenever you’re upset, whether it’s because of him or something else, he’d notice is pretty fast
  • and he’d quickly ask if it was something you wanted to talk about; if yes, you talk, and if not, he’d let it go and would just squeeze your hand or something
  • “If you ever do want to talk about it, I’m here.”
  • he reads a lot, and he’d like some of the more classic romantic things
  • like nothing overly cliche or grand, but flowers every now and then, candlelit dinners on special occasions and all that would be a thing
  • also anniversary presents!
  • he probably wouldn’t keep track of the smallest ones, so if you expect him to remember the day you first held hands or something like that… probably not
  • but the day you had your first date and the day you agreed to start your relationship would be pretty enmeshed in his memory and always written in his calendar
  • chances are you’d get a few random presents in general, too, but they’d be more the “I knew you wanted this and it was on sale so I got it”, or something silly that made him think of you and thus he had to buy it
  • and when the time comes he’d talk to your parents before proposing but that’s for later
  • would want to know your friends and for you to know his, because it means a lot to him that you get along with his friends and he with yours
  • dates with Wonwoo could be anything between just chilling at his or your place and going out for dinner or to an amusement park or heck the beach in Busan
  • would want you to feel as comfortable as possible at all times, but also encourages you to get a lil out of your comfort zone at times, in a good way
  • in general he’d really enjoy doing things together
  • like if he had to go somewhere, you’d be his first choice to ask to go with him, and he would always suggest to join you in cooking, cleaning etc
  • he’d also enjoy just talking 
  • he’d enjoy it a lot, really, whether it’s books, movies or for example current events that you’re discussing
  • just being able to voice his opinions and hearing yours, learning new things about the world and you is what he enjoys
  • Wonwoo would really value your opinion, at all times, and always wants to take it into account
  • for example, if he’s done something himself, such as written something or cooked something by himself for the two of you, he’d always want to know your opinion (and be nervous while waiting for it)
  • like he’d try to appear all calm and collected, kinda fiddling with his fingers while he waits for you to be done reading/eating/etc, but in reality his heart’s beating faster than normal and he’s got a hopeful smile trying to make its way to his lips
  • honestly just imagine the shyest “So, how is it?” coming from him in such a soft voice and you can hear the smile in it
  • and similarly he’d always make sure to give you small compliments that come from his heart, whether it’s “You look great” with a small smile, or telling you how delicious the food you’ve made is
  • lots of deep convos and pillow talks and holding hands while laying in bed
  • relationships are rarely just a joyride, and yours wouldn’t be an exception, really
  • you wouldn’t fight for the sake of fighting tho
  • it’s more like you’d have arguments whenever there’s been miscommunication/you haven’t understood each other or you feel like he’s being too distant etc
  • or honestly just if one of you has done something the other one doesn’t like, whether it’s big or small
  • naturally bigger things lead to bigger arguments, but it would rarely if ever blow out of proportions
  • most of the time you’d work things out pretty fast, because he hates it when there’s conflict between the two of you, and you wouldn’t exactly enjoy it either
  • and whenever you’ve made up, he’d cup your cheeks, rub them a little with his thumbs and smile at you before giving you a slow, soft kiss before quietly asking if you’re good again
  • when you presumably smile and nod and possibly hug him, he gets that happy, wide smile that makes his nose crunch
  • now we get to the Rated part
  • because sex
  • honestly with him it could be anything
  • like one night it might be very slow and sweet and another night it might be needy and on the kinkier side (within your comfort zone of course)
  • he’d want to be pretty open about sex-related things with you
  • as in, he wants to know what you like and don’t like, just like he wants you to know what he likes and doesn’t like
  • turn-ons and turn-offs and all that
  • a big fan of kissing during sex; even if the position makes it difficult, he’d steal a few quick ones
  • I feel like he’d be into some lowkey bondage, which he’d definitely suggest as long as you’re comfortable with it
  • it wouldn’t even matter if it’s on him or you, he’d still love it
  • would also have a huge thing for your moans, which is one of the reasons he loves making you feel good, besides the fact that he loves you
  • as for where you have sex, he’d essentially prefer the bedroom, but would rarely say no if you get needy in the car for example, or if you as much as suggest having fun in the living room, shower etc
  • while he doesn’t like PDA that much, semi-public sex would be a story of its own; he’d find it exciting
  • I leave that to your imagination
  • not that it would be a frequent occurrence, really
  • morning sex!!
  • he’d definitely love the slowness, intimacy and sensitivity
  • I feel like there wouldn’t be a very excessive amount of sex, but whenever you’re both in the mood or just decide to go for it, it would be some very good stuff
  • but he’d be very loving in bed, too, and even if it happens to be a needy session with one of you lightly tied up or something, you’d feel safe and loved, which would only make it all so much better
  • a big note: in case you’re asexual or just don’t particularly enjoy sex, he would be very understanding and pretty happy with just kissing and cuddling and talking and just about everything else that you are comfortable with
  • all in all Wonwoo would honestly be a very considerate, loving boyfriend who always wants you to feel good about yourself and know that he loves you more than anything else

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I’ve transcribed the portion of the DVD commentary for Mac and Dennis Break Up where the writers discuss Mac and Dennis being closeted and talk about plans for their relationship going forward. This is more for my own personal reference than anything else, but I’m putting it in the tags in case other people want to bookmark it. Under the cut, starting from about the three-minute mark.

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“We have a special bond”

I need to vent, so congratulations followers you’ve all automatically unlocked part of my Tragic Backstory. 

When I was a little kid, my mom would tell me that we had a special bond that other moms and kids didn’t have with each other. Sometimes she called it a psychic bond. Sometimes she said we were just “in tune with each other”. 

My mom believed in a lot of mysticism and spirituality, like past life regression and clairvoyance. She often suggested to me that I was special, that I might be psychic, and that I was more “in tune” with the world than other people. When I had imaginary friends or talked to myself while playing, she suggested that they were ghosts and I was a medium. This was a pretty terrifying concept as a six-year-old. 

When I was 8, I was staying at my grandparents house for the weekend when I pitched a fit and demanded to go home. This was not at all out of character for me and it had actually happened several times before. But that night my grandfather had a heart attack and my mom told me I must have sensed that something bad was going to happen, and that’s why I wanted to leave. 

This is just one example of the many times that my mom would tell me that my anxiety proceeding a negative experience had been a premonition and was evidence that I was psychic. As an adult, I now realize that I had severe generalized anxiety from a very young age and it’s very likely that I was simply anxious before most events, good and bad. 

In addition to the idea that I could sense impending doom, my mom also reinforced the idea that she and I had a special bond through which she could tell what I was thinking and feeling. 

If I was having a social problem and trying to keep it from her, eventually the truth would come out an she’d say something like, “I knew it! I sensed that you were upset.” The phrasing always made it clear that she hadn’t figured it out because of my behavior or attitude, but that she had sensed my distress through our special bond. 

When I finally moved away for school I went from talking to my mom every day to calling her about once a week. I was so busy that I only really called her when I was upset about something. Every time I called she’d say, “I have been thinking about you all day. I knew something was wrong.” She knew something was wrong because I only called when something was wrong!

I’m thinking about this a lot right now because I called my mom a few days ago and she whipped out the old “I have been thinking about you all day” line. The funny thing was that nothing was wrong. I’d been having a pretty good day. I’d called her because I was feeling guilty about not calling more often. When I told her nothing was wrong she very quickly backpedaled on her usual “I knew something was wrong” routine. 

A few days after that, I talked to one of my cousins I hadn’t spoken with in a long time. Our conversation got me a bit nostalgic and I’ve been thinking a lot of our family vacations in Tahoe. 

Today I got a text from my mom. It’s a photo of me and that cousin as toddlers, on a vacation in Tahoe. 

I opened the photo and thought, “That’s so weird. I was just thinking about this. She must have known…”

So here I am, unpacking this emotional baggage and making sense of the damage it did. Whether this damage was intentional or not isn’t clear and doesn’t really matter. I was hurt by her actions and her choices whether she meant to hurt me or not. 

Leading me to believe that we had a special psychic connection and that I had some kind of psychic gift caused two huge problems in my life:

1) I tend to believe that my anxiety is an indication that something bad is actually going to happen. When I feel anxious, I worry that my anxiety is a premonition and I work myself up trying to guess at what horror is coming. When I was younger I believed that if I just tried hard enough, I could figure out what terrible thing was coming and do something to stop it. For a long time I blamed myself for my grandfather’s heart attack, believing that if I’d just tried harder I could have tapped into my psychic abilities and foreseen his heart attack. 

2) I have intrusive thoughts about other people (particularly my mother) being aware of what I am thinking. I don’t believe that people can read my mind. I’m not delusional, but my mom basically trained me to believe that she was so “in tune” with me that she would know what I was thinking or feeling. This left me with a constant worry that my most private thoughts and feelings are not private. Now that I’m older and no longer believe in the mysticism that my mom taught me, I catch myself worrying that she has found ways to intrude on my life and find out what I’m thinking or feeling. Right now I’m worrying that she’s going to read this blog post. 

I’m going to post it anyway, because I need to make sense of this damage and because I suspect that I’m not the only person who experienced this toxic emotional enmeshment with a parent. Maybe reading this will help someone else make sense of what happened to them.

READER HOROSCOPES FOR MARCH 2017

Zodiac consultation from a literary persuasion

PISCES

 Blow out your candles and smile for the cameras, Pisces! It’s your month and you are letting the whole world know it. The beginning of the year can be such a drag - particularly if you live somewhere that’s cold, grey, and perpetually wet - but with the arrival of March comes the reminder that spring is truly just around the corner! Your optimism is taking you to new heights this month - maybe it’s something in the air, maybe it’s the extra bounce in your hair, or maybe you really are just born with it - but you’re having trouble finding the desire to turn down the part of you that wants to break out the champagne on the weekends. So don’t! However you prefer to indulge yourself - whether it be trying out a new nail color, treating yourself to a second dessert, or taking a luxurious bath after work - this is the month to give in, guilt-free. Be the decadent self you are when you close your eyes at night. Life is too short not to allow yourself to experience the simple magic in treating yourself. Your lucky book this month is an enchanting tale about two gifted orphans who are separated as teenagers and find each other again in the unlikeliest of circumstances. Heartened by the strange twist of fate that brought them back together, they embark on an incredible journey discover anew the glory and fame that could have been theirs as children. Life can be difficult, and dreary, and cold - but it can surprise you with its capacity for magic and intrigue, if you let it.

 LUCKY BOOK: The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill

ARIES

 Aries, darlin’, you’ve gotta let me know. Will you stay or will you go? Or if that doesn’t apply, are you going to answer yes or no? Up or down? I think you’re picking up what I’m putting down - your head is currently shaped somewhat like a pretzel, and you have no idea how to choose between the two major decisions facing you right now. Here’s a hint: if you’re still waffling about a project or endeavor of yours that’s been a dormant passion for a long time (and I do mean long) this is your time. There’s a reason that we feel called to certain places, or opportunities, or people. Trust that instinct. Trust yourself. But before you jump in feet first, ease your fears by doing the pre-work necessary to clear the path ahead. All the small loose ends that you’ve been ignoring? Get those taken care of. Pay back those loans, make that difficult phone call, let go of those individuals that have been dragging you down - whatever it is you know you need to do and have been avoiding: do it. Otherwise, taking on that passion project of yours will only end in burn out and regret. Your lucky book this month is the story of a young woman who followed her dreams, clear across the world, and wound up discovering something so much more precious than what she originally sought: a real love story, featuring star-crossed lovers, rather than the story of one in an ancient book. Have faith in what moves you, and allow yourself to move toward it in turn. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you discover.

 LUCKY BOOK: A Word for Love by Emily Robbins

TAURUS

 You’re winning friends and influencing people left and right this month, Taurus, and it’s a power you should not take lightly! You have very strong opinions to express, whether it be in the board room, living room, or even in your group text, and you’re finding that people firmly agree, more often than not. While this may put you in a position of leadership or advocacy that you didn’t necessarily ask for, don’t shy away - usually, people who are open to speaking up are unwittingly voicing the questions and concerns that most people have, but are too fearful to share. As you continue to speak up for yourself and on the behalf of others, examine who you’re surrounding yourself with. It is often said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Are you happy with your friend group as it stands? Are you inspired to be a better person by all of them? It’s a natural next step for you to feel drawn to activism or charity work these days, since you’re able to clearly articulate big ideas in ways that people can understand and identify with. Make sure that your increased popularity and demands on your time don’t cause you to overcommit. You can only be good for others when you’re good to yourself - and you can’t right every wrong in the world! Don’t bum yourself out by trying to. You can gather a lot of strength and motivation from your lucky book this month: an incredible account of the creative minds and thought leaders in Iran who worked together to create a completely new form of government in the modern age. It’s a testament to what can be accomplished when people will big ideas are unafraid to say them out loud, and then act.

 LUCKY BOOK: Children of Paradise by Laura Secor

GEMINI

 Whoa, Gem. You are on the road to success and nothing is getting in your way, particularly during this month. Whatever your chosen field, whatever your preferred hobby or extracurricular activity, you’re amping up the effort and doing your best to jump two or three strides to get even closer to your goal. If that means a bit of ladder-climbing, so be it - don’t let envious detractors make you feel guilty for using the resources at your disposal to get ahead. Speaking of resources, this will be a great month to dust off that LinkedIn account you’ve been abandoning - maybe spruce up your Instagram and Twitter bios as well. You never know who may have stumbled upon a profile of yours, and what they may be looking for. That said, don’t bend over backwards for likes - keep your eyes on the prize and just live your best life, and be honest about the new challenges and opportunities you’re taking and are willing to fight for. It’ll come through to anyone who’s watching closely, believe me. For inspiration, you can’t get any better than your lucky book this month: remember the French artist who walked between the Twin Towers back in ‘74, Philippe Petit? His book on the art of living a highly motivated creative life will be just the guide you need to help you imagine even bigger and bolder ways to get to where you’re going. But don’t worry, they won’t include a tightrope…

 LUCKY BOOK: Creativity by Philippe Petit

CANCER

 Where to next, Cancer? What city is next on your list to discover? This month, you’re so ready to break away from the familiar and explore a place you haven’t been…or maybe haven’t visited in some time. Maybe you just went through a rough split with a former loved one and can use some space from the constant reminders, maybe you have a friend abroad you’ve been promising to visit for years, or maybe you just stumbled across an amazing flight deal and have vacation days to burn. Regardless, you’re in for some unforgettable memories this month, so follow that wanderlust where it leads you. Don’t use this as an excuse to run some something that needs immediate confronting, however. If there’s a difficult conversation you need to have, make the time and figure out exactly what it is you need to say. Make no assumptions - be honest, be willing to listen, and lay your cards out on the table. Your partner will be much more likely to do the same. Your lucky book this month will be another much-needed jolt of honesty. As you take to the road, sea or skies this month, think about the people around the world who are driven to leave their homes in search of new ones. People displaced by circumstances outside of their control. And then, imagine within that: a love story.

 LUCKY BOOK: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (3/7)

LEO

 Personal space is vital this month, Leo. You’re feeling a bit jittery and overstimulated, tired of the constant noise, the exhausting pretenses, the sheer anxiety of being around other people. Consider this your permission to take a break. It’s not a crime to need time to yourself, to catch your breath and be quiet for a bit, no matter what you may be telling yourself. Some people simply can’t function in the spotlight all the time, or even adjacent to it, and that’s okay! Taking some time to bask in the intimacy of your special place - whether it be your bedroom, a hidden corner of the library, or by a quiet lake in the park - is a completely normal necessity, and your friends and family should understand that. Be honest about your needs, don’t lie and further enmesh yourself in unnecessary guilt. Sometimes, the very small untruths we tell - to ourselves and others - can lead to the social exhaustion that you’re suffering from right now. Have you been honest in your relationships lately? Is there something you’re afraid of, that you may not be letting yourself admit? What have you been trying to convince yourself of recently? Meditate on these things while you take some time to yourself, and try to figure out ways to break any cycles of deception that may be contributing to your currently uneasy state of mind. And take heed of your lucky book this month: a highly thoughtful exploration of a woman’s heart and mind when her husband, from whom she is already separated, goes missing. You may recognize some similar patterns in her way of thinking that you would probably do well to avoid in the future.

 LUCKY BOOK: A Separation by Katie Kitamura

VIRGO

 February is over - you’re welcome. Rough one, huh? Take heart: this month, you’re feeling particularly inspired to take on a new project or two, and you know how energy-boosting that shock of creative energy can be. Immerse yourself in planning, sketching, delegating, organizing - all the things that make your Type-A Virgo heart soar. While you’re at it, though, don’t ignore whatever had you so down last month. It can be easy to allow the momentum of a new creative endeavor to bury emotions you’d rather not examine, but this can just lead to an unending cycle of repression and manic output. Small suggestion? Talk things through with someone who can help you make sense of those unpleasant feelings. Even if things don’t feel especially urgent or tragic, meeting with a therapist can do wonders for unlocking emotional vaults you weren’t aware of ever closing. And this month is a perfect time to engage with someone about topics that you find difficult to talk about, because with your newfound burst of motivation naturally comes the skills of articulation needed to talk people into supporting you. This is a transferable skill, even to the pesky emotional stuff. And so, for you: this month, your lucky book is an epic tale of love, belonging, heartbreak, and redemption that is guaranteed to remind you that life, with all of its attendant baggage and emotional nuisances, is well worth living anyway, and living as thoroughly as possible.

 LUCKY BOOK: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

LIBRA

 Health is wealth, Libra! This is your month to get yourself back into the gym, yoga studio, dance studio, or wherever it is that you prefer to work up a sweat. Whether or not you’ve decided to give up a vice for Lent, it’s not too late to pinpoint an area of your life that you know you need to work on. Cut back on snacks before bed or resolve to make it to the gym at least twice a week. Start small and let yourself get used to following a regimented plan before you try to make it more strict. And speaking of plans…you know what else is wealth? Actual wealth! Alongside your compulsion to make getting fit a priority this month, you’ll want to make sure finances are in order as well. Honestly assess your budget and spending habits over the past few months. Are there areas in need of trimming? Can you cut back on certain expenses and to save a few extra dollars every month? Again, choose one to two usual expenses that you can go without, and see how those spare dollars add up when you stop blowing them on things you can go without. Find a good place to invest and watch that money grow. This is a month of serious responsibility for you, paying such strict attention to your physical health and financial standing. You’re going to need a break from the mental and physical exertion you’re about to put yourself through, which is where your lucky book comes in. It’s a story collection like none other, told from a most eccentric and hilariously unusual perspective. It’s the kind of book you turn to when you’re looking for a drastically different way of looking at the world, and it comes in concise, but weighty chunks. Go on and binge, guilt-free!

 LUCKY BOOK: Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett

SCORPIO

 Work it, Scorpio! You’re feeling completely fabulous this month, and when you feel fabulous, you aren’t afraid to let the entire world know. Wherever your gifts reside, that is where you are expressing yourself loudly, boldly, and unapologetically. Some may even go so far as to say you’re tapping into your latent diva tendencies - but you know what? We all need and deserve a chance to be proud of who we are, and not care who knows it. And if you got it, flaunt it, right? Who knows what might happen tomorrow, so why not celebrate yourself today? Don’t let your head swell so much you can’t focus on what’s in front of you, however. This is especially important in your close relationships. A diva attitude will not get you far with the people who need vulnerability and honesty from you, so try to curb those flamboyant impulses when you’re picking up on a totally different vibe from your significant other or close friends. If and when problems arise, approach them with a sober mind, thinking through the problem with solutions in mind, not simply your immediate emotional reaction. Dramatic speeches and door-slam feel great in the moment, but they do little to solve issues as hand, and can only further the divide that you should be attempting to close. If you’re having trouble coming back down from the more fanciful state of mind you’re in, channel all of that high-strung energy into your lucky book for the month: an enthralling short story collection centered around locks and keys, filled to the brim with elements of magic and intrigue that will more than satisfy your need for a larger-than-life perspective this month. It’s the kind of book you read to feel less alone in your madness, while receiving small shocks of reality that offset the fantastical in an even more fabulous way.

 LUCKY BOOK: What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi

SAGITTARIUS

 Spice up your life, Sag! This Women’s History Month, you’re reveling in the feminine energy around you, and taking strength in the powerful and enduring influence of the amazing women [pin your family, workplace, and friendships who inspire you to be better every day. Take your appreciation a step further and reach out - who has been a particularly guiding light for you lately? Who has offered you encouragement when you were feeling down? Who have you been admiring from afar for her incredible leadership and insight, but have been too shy to tell directly? Now is the perfect time to make yourself known - who knows, you may wind up with a new mentor, or friend! In matters of the heart, don’t be surprised if a certain someone from your past resurfaces. Don’t take second changes lightly - who knows why the universe has put them back into your life? This could be a chance to learn from past mistakes. That means that whatever issues you had before, you now have the advantages of time and distance to gain some much needed perspective and apply the wisdom you’ve gained in the meantime. And with your circle of sisters and all of the nourishing and empowering energy their presence brings, imagine how you can revolutionize your approach to relationships from this point on! For more revolutionary ideas, look no further than your lucky book this month: the story of the Russian feminist punk rock group, Pussy Riot, and the way the incredible way they mounted their resistance against a corrupt government and sparked a global movement. Who runs the world?!

 LUCKY BOOK: Words Will Break Cement by Masha Gessen

CAPRICORN

 Not even a full week into March and your social calendar is nearly full, Cap! You’re quite the popular kid this month, from work events, happy hours, movie nights, and everything in between. How do you do it? A secret time turner, or perhaps an expertly-placed clone or two? Whatever it is, your seeming omnipresence will go a long way towards ensuring your name on everyone’s lips for quite some time. Take advantage of all the chances you have to rub shoulders with all sorts of fascinating people within your network and outside of it - you simply never know when you may need to call on a new contact in preparation for a new exciting opportunity, offer someone else a chance to pursue something in line with their interests, or simply have a new friend to catch new art exhibit with. Don’t underestimate the power of shared experiences - they help to further our mutual understanding and make sense of the world as a whole. Knowledge doesn’t exist in a vacuum - it’s the result of individuals banding together, forming communities, and teaching and learning from each other. While you are surrounded by old friends and new this month, take a few moments to reflect on how much better off you are for the shared knowledge you’ve gained, and how much further in life you can advance because of it. You’ll find many more examples of this incredible feat of human nature in your lucky book for this month, as well as a humbling look at the inverse: just how much we don’t know on our own.

 LUCKY BOOK: The Knowledge Illusion by Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach (3/14)

AQUARIUS

March is going to be a doozy, Aquarius - you ready? You’ve got time and energy to burn, and that’s a great thing. You’re pretty much all work and all play - and if that math doesn’t seem to add up, just wait. You’re crushing it at work, with offers and exciting new assignments coming at you from all sides - so keep your calendar app pulled up at all times, and get serious about organizing your timetable in a way that keeps you on top of your various responsibilities. The universe wants to give you the financial compensation you deserve for your hard work, but that still means you need to work to earn it. You know what else that means? Giving yourself some playtime to balance out the intensity of your workload. Remember what I said about having energy to burn? Your friends and family may not know how you’re doing it (no seriously, what is it?? Green smoothies? Exercise? Coffee beans?) but your PM social calendar is nearly as full as your AM one, with friends vying for your attention and company several nights a week. Have all the fun you can handle, but here’s a handy way to cut corners and not leave anybody out: schedule group hangouts when you can, that way everyone gets a piece of you, but you aren’t running yourself ragged by mid-month (yes, even that impressive energy store has its limits!). Your lucky book for this month is a perfect match for the level of intensity you’re operating at right now: an unforgettable story of war, heroism, and the power of sacrificial love, as told through the lens of the Korean War, and the profound effect it had on the world thereafter. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, you’ll feel unmistakably alive. Most of all, you’ll savor this essential reading during those rare quiet moments this month - that’s a guarantee.

LUCKY BOOK: The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee

anonymous asked:

I just read The Fallout (again), and I really like Draco & Hermione's relationship in this fic. I like everythursday's Draco in this fic, he obviously cares about Hr but he doesn't say it out loud, he's not sappy. Any recommendations where Draco is like this? thanks! much love!

Hi!! Try these:

I Dare You by Kalee60 - MA, 3 Chapters - It’s been ten years since the war and it finds Hermione and Draco working as magical artifact recovery specialists. What will happen when close encounters and a sword of power make them face a growing attraction to each other?

Difficult By: provocative envy - M, 30 Chapters - COMPLETE: “I should,” I repeated. “But I don’t want to.” And then he smiled, and I was wrecked. HG/DM.

Memento Mori By: JDPhoenix - T, 4 Chapters - After a battle Hermione wakes with no memory of who she is. Now she tries to piece her life back together while getting revenge on the people who did this to her, the Order of the Phoenix.

A Pale and Pointed Mirror by Musyc  - MA, 10 Chapters - Someone is killing Death Eaters, and Draco Malfoy is at risk. Hermione investigates the murders and becomes enmeshed in lies and intrigue.

Hunted By: Bex-chan - M, 36 Chapters - Forced to work together when their old schoolmates start dying, Hermione & Draco must overcome their differences to solve the mysterious deaths. The tension in the office is getting rather…heated. Mature themes. 4years PostHogwarts/War. EWE. DMHG.

- Jamie

breio  asked:

What, in your opinion, is the true theme of Romeo & Juliet?

As I see it, good literature is good literature because it combines lots of themes that are enmeshed in ways that can’t easily be separated. I don’t think it’s possible to pick out one theme and say this is the one. That’s one of the reasons why something well written can be enjoyed in different ways by different kinds of people.

But what I think is important and significant about Romeo and Juliet (and I’ve said this many times before: have a look at my tags and you’ll see my general approach) is the way it depicts young people coming of age to find themselves in a toxic and violent society which they didn’t create but which rules and dictates their lives.

Shakespeare’s Verona shows a world of hatred that young men are assimilated into through masculine codes of honour and bravado. It’s a society violently divided for no better reason than that one house is ‘the enemy’ of another because of a feud that is never explained (which is important in itself because it shows that for the majority of people involved in the feud the reason doesn’t matter).

The love story is important because it highlights the toxicity and twistedness of Verona through the pure simplicity of the relationship between Romeo and Juliet. It shows how something as natural as sexuality, teenage love and infatuation is made unacceptable because of unnatural and artificially created circumstances. It reveals the arbitrariness of the feud when something so simple can cross the supposed divide between the houses, making it obvious that the hatred is inherited rather than inherent.

So, for me, the significant aspects of Romeo and Juliet bring together many themes. It’s about love, to be sure, but it’s also about sex, social constraints and conformity, the lack of freedom, hatred, and maturity.

The Fate of Bran Stark

I want to talk about Bran Stark since he is often overlooked when it comes to the theories of how the war against the Others will play out as well as his eventual fate. His forward journey is perhaps the one that is the hardest to predict. Many seem to think that he’ll become enmeshed in a weirwood like the Tree-Eyed Raven but I don’t find that to be a particularly satisfying ending and the show seems to have put paid to that particular theory. The books and the show are diverging but Bran leaving the weirwood cave and the Tree-Eyed Raven makes sense when you consider how the narrative has framed his arc until now. Like his sisters, Sansa and Arya, Bran’s story has so far been one of apprenticeship and that narrative pattern generally ends with the apprentice finishing his/training, becoming a master and setting out for him/herself. What exactly is Bran’s role in the larger scheme of things? In this respect it is important to remember that Bran is in fact the single most magic character in the entire story. He is a powerful warg and greenseer – and it is those qualities that leads me to believe that he will play a crucial, if not the most crucial, part in the War for the Dawn.

Now is the time to put on the tinfoil hat and follow me into the realm of speculation.

Bran is, as already mentioned, the most magical character in the entire series and it is already suggested in the first book that he has a very special destiny. During his coma, he is contacted by a three-eyed raven who promises him that he’ll fly and shows him the heart of winter, which is terrifying (though we don’t see what Bran sees). In the second book, Bran is guided by another character with magical abilities – Jojen Reed who tells Bran that he has to travel beyond the Wall. Jojen has also dreamt of a winged wolf and a three-eyed crow – the winged wolf most likely referring to Bran. When he finds the Three-Eyed Raven, he is instructed in using his greensight to see the past and he is also continuing to exercise his powers as a warg.

The Last Hero

I convinced that Bran will play a crucial part in the final battle – for several reasons. One, he is the most magical person with his combination of warging and greenseeing. I suspect that his greenseeing will help him discover a way to end the threat of the Others. It is obviously important that he can see into the past. Secondly, I suspect that Bran will warg one of the dragons. There’s a reason that he is the most powerful warg in the realm and when he meets the Three-Eyed Raven he is told that “he will never walk again but that he will fly” (Dance of Dragons, ch. 13, Bran II). Furthermore, Bran’s story also shares a number of similarities with the legend of the Last Hero who went beyond the Wall to seek the help of the Children of the Forest. Could it be that Bran is going to have a role akin to the Last Hero? It is no accident that the Three-Eyed Raven, who is a Targaryen bastard, is specifically recruiting a Stark as an apprentice in magic against the approaching threat of the Others.

The Prince that was Promised/Azor Ahai

Throughout the story there’s a lot of talk about prophesies about a singular hero that will save the world from darkness. There’s Azor Ahai and the Prince that was Promised. They are seen as interchangeable Melisandre but it is unclear whether they refer to the same person.

There are several contenders for this role:

Aemon originally thought that it was Rhaegar Targaryen but later thinks that it is Daenerys Targaryen since she fits many elements of the prophecy.

Rhaegar thought it was his son Aegon and that his song was the Song of Ice and Fire (but that epithet only really fits Jon Snow as the son of a Stark and a Targaryen).

Melisandre thinks it is Stannis but in Dance of Dragons she only sees “snow” in her fires when she seeks answers on PwP/AA. That seems to point to Jon as well.

So who is the Chosen One, the hero to save the world? The figure of a Chosen One is one of the most pervasive tropes in fantasy fiction – but what if GRRM has decided to play around with the trope and have not one but three Chosen Ones to save the world? Who would they be? My theory is Jon, Dany and Bran – a Stark, a Targaryen and a Stark-Targaryen (symbolising Ice, Fire and the middleground between the two extremes).

The dragons are obviously going to play a crucial part in the war. It will be an epic battle between opposing elemental forces. The dragons are described as “fire made flesh” and it can be argued that the Others are “ice made flesh” since they melt when they are stabbed with dragonglass. There are three dragons and it seems that you have to be a Targaryen to be a dragonrider. Dany is already a dragonrider and Jon will most likely also be a dragonrider since he has Targaryen blood. Who will be the third? Not Tyrion as so many think (I don’t buy Tyrion as a secret Targ), possibly Aegon but not likely since he has been cut from the show and most likely is a fake (a mummer’s dragon). This is where Bran comes in. He is not a Targ but he is very powerful warg and I don’t think it is impossible that he’ll warg one of the dragons.

What will be Bran’s final fate?

Sadly, I fear that Bran won’t survive the final war. Why? Because I think that the bittersweet ending that GRRM promises will be a Tolkien inspired one: the heroes will win, important characters will be lost, the survivors will have to contend with a ravaged realm but some of them will also get a somewhat happy ending – and, most importantly, magic will disappear from Westeros. Why is that bittersweet? I think we’ll have to look at this in a Tolkienian vein: something awe-inspiring and otherworldly will be gone forever. Just like something beautiful and awe-inspiring is lost when the elves leave Middle-Earth for good.

What does this theory mean for the survival of the 6 main characters? (Yes, I count Sansa among the main characters). I have read an interesting take on these 6 characters, dividing them into Heroes (Jon, Dany, Tyrion) and Rebuilders (Sansa, Arya, Bran). This theory posits that the latter will survive to rebuild Westeros whereas the Heroes may all die. However, I wish to posit a different division with Jon, Dany and Bran as the Heroes (also the characters most associated with magic) and Sansa, Arya and Tyrion as the Rebuilders.

The Rebuilders are not strongly associated with magic and they all have skills that aren’t particular useful for a magical conflict but rather are rooted in the mundane world of politics. Sansa is learning the political game but she is also learning to manage a large household in the Eyrie – she will be perfectly poised to hold the homefront in Winterfell but also to lead the rebuilding. She also has the makings to be an excellent Consort, something that Tyrion notices when she is nothing more than a child. Arya is training as an assassin and spy and her skills could easily be adapted to the political game (spymaster) – though Arya’s forward journey is almost as difficult to predict as Bran’s. Tyrion is familiar with the political game but he is also a builder in a more concrete manner: he designed a special saddle for Bran and he had the massive chain made for the Blackwater Battle.

When it comes to the Heroes, I believe that the ones most likely to die are Bran and Dany. Bran because he is the character most intimately tied to magic and Dany because she is so closely tied to her dragons (also magic, they won’t survive the disappearance of magic). Dany’s death also fits nicely with the theory that ASoIaF isn’t a story about a Targaryen restoration. The original title for the last book was A Time for Wolves and the Starks are very much at the heart of the story. I have always seen Dany as a tragic character – the Last Targaryen and I believe that her story is not one of triumph but a swan song – the end of the Targaryen dynasty. Why? Because throughout the books (and the attending novellas), the Targaryens have largely been detrimental to Westeros. The Iron Throne is their creation and it is a toxic legacy that has riven the country with so much conflict and destruction that the people of Westeros are almost unable to face and withstand the real threat: the Others and the undead. Thus I think that Dany will be the last of her house and that she’ll perish with the creatures that are so intimately connected with her house.

What about Jon? I find Jon’s fate almost impossible to predict. I’d say there’s a 50/50 for his survival. One the one hand, he’s being resurrected for a specific purpose: to fight the Others. On the other hand, it is narratively unsatisfying to have him die again. Then there’s the fact that he also has a skillset that is very useful for post-war Westeros. He’s a leader of men and a military commander. He’s been made King in the North in the show and thus I think it mostly likely that he’ll be made king in the books as well (Robb’s will). Being the son of Rhaegar, he’ll also have a claim to the Iron Throne. However, I don’t think that the Iron Throne (or King’s Landing will survive). I think that the books will end with the rise of a new royal dynasty: the Starks and that the strongest political power will reside in the North.

In summation:

I think magic will disappear and the seasons will fall into a more “normal” pattern. I think Jon, Sansa, Arya (and possibly Tyrion) will survive whereas Dany and Bran will perish. The Iron Throne will cease to exist and the Starks will be the new political power in Westeros. Whether Westeros will remain a united kingdom or not is hard to predict – but I do find it possible for it to remain united under a Weirwood Throne instead of an Iron Throne.

However, this is all speculation and I could be completey wrong.