enmeshes

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

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.

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.”

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.

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.  

I find it so funny, the idea of people hating on SuperCat because of the age gap. when people seem to conveniently forget the crazy age difference between Swan Queen or the ‘but you can’t ship that, Regina is her grandmother kind of’ crap that even I saw on my dash. And I was enmeshed in Rizzles then.

can’t we all just ship women with each other and not be pissy children? Lena is hot, Cat is hot. Kara is hot. I think every time any of us feels the need to bitch about someone else’s ship, we should all go google a picture of Melissa hugging a puppy and take a deep breath. 

2

Fan fusions have weak design sometimes.
One of the design things that bugs me is the creation of fan fusion as the enmeshing of two characters. It loses out on the fact that they are not just a mix, they are something entirely new. Amethyst and Pearl together create something genuinely different from the individuals. They, as an example, are drastically extreme, an example of asceticism vs. luxury. This brings out a design built to reflect a Vedi. Their weapon is not a whip with blades on it, it is a bow. A fusion brings the features out of its participating gems to create something else.
That’s just my two cents, thanks for reading, go do the arts now, friends, and drive safe.

Types of boundaries

There are several areas where boundaries apply:

Material boundaries determine whether you give or lend things, such as your money, car, clothes, books, food, or toothbrush.

Physical boundaries pertain to your personal space, privacy, and body. Do you give a handshake or a hug – to whom and when? How do you feel about loud music, nudity, and locked doors?

Mental boundaries apply to your thoughts, values, and opinions. Are you easily suggestible? Do you know what you believe, and can you hold onto your opinions? Can you listen with an open mind to someone else’s opinion without becoming rigid?

If you become highly emotional, argumentative, or defensive, you may have weak emotional boundaries.
Emotional boundaries distinguish separating your emotions and responsibility for them from someone else’s. It’s like an imaginary line or force field that separates you and others. Healthy boundaries prevent you from giving advice, blaming or accepting blame. They protect you from feeling guilty for someone else’s negative feelings or problems and taking others’ comments personally. High reactivity suggests weak emotional boundaries. Healthy emotional boundaries require clear internal boundaries – knowing your feelings and your responsibilities to yourself and others.

Sexual boundaries protect your comfort level with sexual touch and activity – what, where, when, and with whom.

Spiritual boundaries relate to your beliefs and experiences in connection with God or a higher power.

Source: What Are Personal Boundaries? How Do I Get Some? by Darlene Lancer

Trust

Inside Choices is a weekly behind-the-scenes blog from the Pixelberry team. Got any suggestions for future blog posts? Let us know!

As the new year begins, I’ve been thinking a lot about the past year. 2016 was a difficult year for our studio, and today I’d like to share a behind the scenes story of Choices… a great example of why I love the Pixelberry team.

By the time May 2016 was starting, our team had been working hard on Choices for many months. Our writers were deeply enmeshed in writing all three launch series, our artists were creating the characters and backgrounds for the game, our engineers were making the game come alive, our testers were hammering on the game, and our designers were tweaking features on the fly. The office was filled with a buzz, you could feel the energy as everyone pulled together to finish the game.

But despite our best efforts we knew that we weren’t going to have our first three books ready for a July launch. Only The Freshman would be done in time.

Normally, we’d push the launch back, but we also faced another problem. Pixelberry was running out of money. We projected that after we launched in July, we’d have only one month of cash left and we’d need that month as we waited to receive our first earnings from the game.

As we explored our options, I came up with an alternative plan that I presented to the team for a vote. We could launch in July as planned or if everyone took a 20% pay cut for several months, we could postpone the launch of Choices to August. We would take a blind vote and the majority would win.

An overwhelming majority voted to take the cut. This type of outcome is pretty rare in the workplace and the results were a testament to the team believing in both Choices and in each other.

Afterwards, multiple people approached me about concerns that even though they voted for the cuts, they were worried that a reduction in salary might be too hard for someone else on the team, especially those buying a home or with babies at home. I was even asked if they could cut their salary deeper to spare the cuts for others. We declined because leaders of the studio were already planning to spare from cuts those for whom it would be too much of a hardship. But it was so touching to see that people on the team cared for each other in such deep ways.

Thanks to you, our players, Choices had a great launch in August. A week after launch, everyone’s salaries were returned to normal and several months later, the cuts were paid back. Today, the studio is investing the money we are making into hiring more writers so we can create more and better stories.

And as the new year begins, we go into it knowing that the people we work side by side with every day genuinely care about Pixelberry, the game we’re making, and each other.

-Oliver

Mirror World Spell

If you sit in front of a mirror and gaze long there may come a moment where it seems this is not mere reflection, but a window to another world. Fix your gaze upon the eyes in the mirror and continue to stare until peripheral vision begins to darken or waver and the face begin to change. An appearance like a mask over your face appears, like another different face looking back. Once this state is achieved…

Our reality seems solid because we are enmeshed in it, but we have appropriate distance from the mirror worlds we encounter to effect change there much more easily. It is through the mirror that we see most easily the malleability of reality. Find the other face in the mirror. Someone somewhere or somewhen also sitting to do this same spell.

Reach out to them and discern what is their wish. Then imagine at them the achievement of their wish. Hold the vision clearly of good and desired things flowing their way. As you do this, the other in the mirror does the same for you because it is as easy for them to shape your reality as it is for you to shape theirs.

If the face which appears in the mirror does not appear trustworthy, if the wishes and desires it seems to hold seem anything but good for you, then break the link by looking away and try again later. 

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber

5/5 stars

Official Synopsis:

Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game …
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

My thoughts:

Have you ever started reading a book and within the first 10 pages, you knew it was going to be a favorite? YEP. That is exactly what happened with CARAVAL. Dark and whimsical, this novel is everything you never knew you wanted.

To say that I am obsessed with the world that Garber created would be an understatement. I absolutely devoured this book and yet I am still hungry for more! The sisterhood between Scarlett and Tella was perfection! I really loved that despite finding love, Scarlett NEVER took her focus off of saving her sister. The love they shared was inspiring and made me want to call up my sister and tell her how much I loved her.

ALSO LET’S TALK ABOUT THE ROMANCE. Holy shit. JULIAN FOREVER. Everyone knows that I am a sucker for love stories and THIS ONE IS EVERYTHING. I adored the way we got to experience the developing feelings with Scarlett and hear her rationalize how she felt towards Julian. It was so lovely to be inside her head as this all happened. It definitely wasn’t insta-love. By the end of this book I was pretty sure that if I had won Caraval, I would have wished for a Julian!

I hate that I listened to this so early and now I have to wait SO LONG for the next book. It was truly one of the best books I have ever read and Stephanie Garber is definitely one of my new favorite authors.

This book is for fans of The Night Circus and The Raven Boys or really anyone who loves atmospherical, character driven novels.

*I listened to the audiobook for Caraval which was provided by the publisher and it may be the very best audiobook that I have ever listened to. The accents were amazing and the narrator had a very pleasant voice. I actually tried to locate more books that she voiced because she was THAT good.

Buy on Amazon

Add on Goodreads

Signs of Enmeshed Relationships

Ross Rosenberg, a psychotherapist who specialises in relationships, says: “Typically people in enmeshed relationships have a hard time recognizing that they’re actually in an unhealthy relationship. Doing so means acknowledging their own emotional issues, which can trigger anxiety, shame and guilt”.

However, making this realization is liberating. It’s the first step in making positive changes and focusing your attention on building healthy relationships, including the one with yourself.

In his therapy work, Rosenberg does a “cost-benefit analysis” with clients. He helps them understand that they have much more to lose by staying in an enmeshed relationship as is than by making changes and finding healthy relationships.

Rosenberg shared these signs, which are indicative of enmeshed relationships.

• You neglect other relationships because of a preoccupation or compulsion to be in the relationship.

•Your happiness or contentment relies on your relationship.

• Your self-esteem is contingent upon this relationship.

• When there’s a conflict or disagreement in your relationship, you feel extreme anxiety or fear or a compulsion to fix the problem.

• When you’re not around this person or can’t talk to them, “a feeling of loneliness" pervades [your] psyche.

• Without that connection, the loneliness will increase to the point of creating irrational desires to reconnect.”

• There’s a “symbiotic emotional connection.” If they’re angry, anxious or depressed, you’re also angry, anxious or depressed. “You absorb those feelings and are drawn to remediate them.”

Cote is going to be starring in a play in Williamstown, MA for the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

THE CLEAN HOUSE

JULY 19 - JULY 29 | MAIN STAGE
2017 SEASON

by Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Rebecca Taichman

2005 PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST

Tony Award nominee Jessica Hecht leads the cast in this heartfelt comedy by Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl. Lane, an accomplished physician, discovers that her sister Virginia (Hecht) — not her Brazilian housekeeper Matilde — has been cleaning her home every day. Though never close, suddenly the sisters find themselves enmeshed in each other’s lives and in Matilde’s great passion for Portuguese jokes. Rebecca Taichman directs this expressive and lyrical comedy about learning to live with life’s mess.

INFJ Confession 20:

Love is such a conflicting emotion for me. I want to be someone’s everything, for them to feel the universe rotates around me. And I want to feel just as enmeshed in them.

Yet I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to break into pieces if they leave me. I don’t want to devastate them if I leave. The desire for privacy, for space, for independence all push back against that level of closeness.

There is a part of me that I always want to keep for me alone. I’m not sure how big that part is.

Jonsa fic

So I’ve decided to dive straight into the deep end. In response to a prompt  from @bricklebeary, I have written a prologue for this fic. Would love some feedback people! Also title suggestions. I haven’t flexed my creative writing muscles since I graduated high school and no one else has read this, so I really would like to know if this piques anyone’s interest. 

Keep reading

When the body dies, the kind of life you live now, succession of physical and mental events, comes to an end. It can end even now, without waiting for the death of the body. It is enough to shift attention to the Self and keep it there. All happens as if there is a mysterious power that creates and moves everything. Realize that you are not the mover, only the observer, and you will be at peace. Of course, that power is not separate from you. But you must begin by being the dispassionate observer. Then only will you realize your full being as the universal lover and actor. As long as you are enmeshed in the tribulations of a particular personality, you can see nothing beyond it.
—  Nisargadatta Maharaj
Reflections on relationship recovery

Enmeshment begins with childhood fears of rejection or abandonment.

The response to this fear is the “enmeshing” decision.

In negative enmeshment, there is the exchange of critical words, defensiveness, and a deep involvement and investment in continuing to fight and argue. If you feel that you have to defend yourself constantly or provide reassurances to your partner or close friend regularly then you are enmeshed.

In a more positive or affirming experience, you may be rewarded for rescuing someone in an emotional struggle. The person may feel grateful for the relief, but actually experience limited personal growth. In the moment, this feels positive.

Either way, it is the choice to be overly involved with another, losing your sense of self.

This is unhealthy for both people. It is merely a defense to control the other person’s behaviours. This is not based in a healthy need, but might fit the dynamics of an enmeshed relationship.

This decision is made instantly if there is a sense of impending abandonment. Abandonment that might be emotional or physical.

This dependency is normal in childhood. In adult relationships, it is our personal responsibility to notice when we betray our voice and trade-in our ability to choose other options.

Enmeshment can kick into high gear, allowing fears to gain dominance in decision making during parenting or in intimate relationships. Enmeshing feels comforting at first, but in the long run leads to frustration and abandonment. Why? Because the choice was not based in what you or another person truly needed. It isn’t gaining a real resolution to an issue. It is a mistake in judgment that is fear based instead of healthy need based.

Enmeshing can lead to more strife, anger, mistrust, and blaming. The emotional distress eventually does cause break downs in the relationship.

Enmeshing can feel controlling and over bearing, which contributes to more cut-off and abandonment experiences as the other person tries to pull away. The purpose of enmeshing eventually comes to the surface over and over again if the original issue is not addressed.

Source: Reflections on Relationship Recovery - Therapist Writings on the Disillusions of Marriage and Relationships

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clones of the Republic Commando novels (5 of 6): Delta squad

They were a concentrated well, a bottomless pool of something unyielding, and totally enmeshed with each other. The general impression they made on the Force was one of triumphant high spirits.

Enmeshment creates almost total dependence on approval and validation from outside yourself. Lovers, bosses, friends, even strangers become the stand-in for parents. Adults like Kim who were raised in families where there was no permission to be an individual frequently become approval junkies, constantly seeking their next fix.
—  Toxic Parents: overcoming their toxic legacy and reclaiming your life by Susan Forward