failing indeed

Coming Home to Me

On the day they met, Dean Winchester is four years old.  Emblazoned on the front of his light blue teddy T-shirt are the words I Wuv Hugz, and everyone who’s ever met Dean can verify the accuracy of this statement.

Everyone who’s ever met his new neighbor, Castiel Novak, knows the opposite is true.  It’s 1983, and though terms like Asperger’s Syndrome and touch aversion have yet to seep into public consciousness, Cas had been sure to convey his displeasure to anyone who’s ever tried to hug him without his explicit consent.

As such, both the boys’ parents watch with considerable apprehension as Dean toddles up to the newcomer, ready to bestow upon him the signature Winchester greeting. 

He throws his pudgy arms around Castiel’s slight shoulders, squeezing him as tightly as his little body will allow. 

Castiel’s haggard single mother, Naomi, squeezes her eyes shut and braces herself for the ear-splitting wail that is sure to follow.  To her surprise, there is none.  

Instead, when she dares to look again, Cas is, for the first time in his short life, expressing physical affection, his thin arms wrapped delicately around Dean’s shoulders.  

In a voice so soft no one but Dean can hear it, Castiel murmurs, “Hello, Dean.” 

It’s now 1988.

Dean Winchester is nine years old, down a parent, and up a…well, he’s hesitant to refer to Cas as like a brother, though adults in his life have described it as such.  It just feels wrong to him, for reasons he has yet to put his finger on. 

Regardless, Cas has become remarkably close, mostly because his mother – a single parent, struggling to make ends meet – is almost never home.  As his closest neighbors and closest friends, Cas ends up spending more time at the Winchesters’ house than he does at his own.  

Dean still wuvs hugz, though he’s now less willing to admit to such, and Cas, miracle of all miracles, still never fails to return them.  Indeed, Dean is one of the few people Cas will willingly touch.

At present, the boys are cuddled up on Dean’s lower bunk while young Sammy snoozes above them, a rerun of the Three Stooges buzzing on Dean’s fuzzy, black-and-white TV set.  

99% of the time, Cas doesn’t understand the humor, fails to see the amusement in watching three people brutalize one another.  But he enjoys hearing Dean laugh, the feel of his warm breath against the back of his neck.  It makes him feel comforted.  

It makes him feel home. 

Contentedly, Cas closes his eyes.  He’s just drifting off when he hears Dean say, “Oh.  Hi, Daddy.” 

For some reason, he sounds nervous.  

When Cas blinks open his eyes, he sees why:  John is standing in the doorway, glowering at them, a strange sort of contempt darkening his glassy eyes.  He’s yards away from them, leaning in the doorless entryway to the boys’ room, but Cas can smell the pungent stench of alcohol wafting off of him.

“You boys’re too old to be doin’ that,” is all he mutters, before staggering away and leaving the confused duo with the vague but pervasive sense that they’ve done something wrong.  

Cas glances over at Dean, who’s now worrying his lower lip and won’t meet his eyes.  

Cas pats his hand.  “My mommy smells that way when she gets sad,” he offers. 

For some reason, it seems to help.

It’s now 1996, and in that very same room, the boys are having a slumber party.  Of course, they’re not allowed to call it a slumber party, because they’re boys over the age of twelve, and rules of social conduct dictate that it be called hanging out.

But, essentially, it was a slumber party.

Cas skipped a grade, while Dean was held back one, and as such, they haven’t seen as much of one another as either party would have liked.  

Still, Dean is popular, and surprisingly, so is Cas:  yes, he’s undeniably nerdy and not a little weird, but there’s an inherent niceness to him that makes him a pleasant person to be around.

Dean has had the pleasure of witnessing this all evening, as Cas interacts with Charlie, with Gabe, with Kevin and Garth and Benny, and even the little gray mixed breed that recently followed Sam home.  Regardless of what is being said, Cas listens to each of them with his undivided attention, head nodding, blue eyes wide with interest. 

Dean is content, for once, to quietly observe, witnessing his friend for the first time through the others’ eyes.

Later that night, however, when they line the floor like sleeping caterpillars in their multicolored sleeping bags, Dean once again has Cas all to himself, facing one another in the bunk they’d shared all those years ago.  

There’s a flutter in their chests that wasn’t there before, a not-entirely-unpleasant sensation that neither one can place. 

Years later, Dean won’t remember what it was Cas was saying.  He’ll only remember the soft, gravelly rasp of his voice, his crystalline blue eyes as they stared so intently into his own.  

He’ll remember how soft his chapped, full lips felt as he found himself kissing them, the tickle of his faint stubble.

He’ll remember the instant he pulled away, and the long moment in which they just silently stared, a million wordless protests racing through their minds:  it’s the mid-nineties, and the heat of the AIDs epidemic is still fresh in the public’s memory.  It’s by no means a good time to be gay, or anything close it.

More than anything, he’ll remember the exact moment he decided he didn’t care, that nothing in the world mattered more than having Castiel’s lips against his own.

He’ll remember the instant Cas silently agreed with him when he kissed back. 

It’s 2002. 

Cas is going to medical school.  Sam is going to college. 

Dean is going overseas.  

In the end, he really doesn’t have a choice in the matter:  he never had gotten his high school diploma, weighed down by the burden of being his family’s full-time emotional (and ultimately, financial) provider. 

He’d tried so hard to juggle the two, coming home straight after school everyday to clean up and make dinner, to fill the role his mother had vacated when she’d died of cancer years before, and helping Sammy with his homework every evening before he even got started on his own.

He eventually had to give up and drop out of school entirely when John left them, and he had to get a full time job at his Uncle Bobby’s garage just to make ends meet.

But never once had Dean given up on the hope of making his life meaningful, of helping others and saving lives. 

When he was younger, he’d wanted to go to nursing or medical school, perhaps become a paramedic, but as a high school flunky with five bucks to his name, this option is out for the time being. 

So really, his only option is overseas.

Cas knew this, and he knows he should have prepared himself better.  Yet this does little to stop the tears from falling as he holds his fiance’s hands, freshly gifted engagement rings glinting in the evening sun.

Dean smiles that goofy, crooked smile, puts on a brave face as he wipes the tears away.  

“Hey, now,” he says, chuckling painfully.  “Ain’t we talked about this, angel?  You know I don’t do chick-flick moments.”

Cas smiles faintly, nearly argues that Dean loves chick-flicks and they both know it, but he finds he doesn’t have it in him for their usual, lighthearted banter.  

“Promise me you’ll come home,”  he says instead.  

For a moment, Dean’s facade falters, adam’s apple bobbing as he swallows.  Still, his smile remains fixedly – painfully – in place.  

“I promise, angel,” he whispers.

Eighteen months later, Dean comes home.  Or rather, most of him does.  

They’ll both realize, with time, that Dean lost a part of himself overseas, and it wasn’t just the tip of his now-stubby left pinky finger that he’ll forever use to give Sam wet willies for maximum gross-out factor.  It wasn’t just the majority of the flesh of his left arm and ribcage, that took the brunt of the damage when the bomb went off, the drum-tight, pinkish scar tissue there to remind him whenever he examines himself shirtless in the bathroom mirror.

It’s something intangible, that will make itself evident the first time he ushers Cas away from their bedroom window, mind already anticipating the crackle of bullets and the shattering of class.  The first time he wakes up, heart pounding, to the crashing of a garbage truck or early summer fireworks, every instinct screaming for him to find shelter.  

Dean knows he lost something overseas, a part of himself he’ll never fully be able to recover.

But he’ll be okay.  They both will.  

In time, he’ll finally get his GED.  He’ll go to community college, and then, to nursing school, finally able to fulfill his dream of saving lives, helping others in his own way.  

He and Cas will get married in the fall, and though it will take years of convincing on Cas’s end, convincing that Dean will not become a replica of his father, they’ll have kids:  Claire and Ben, adopted two years apart.  Dean will be startled by how completely they feel like his own.  

They’ll be okay.  In spite of it all, they’ll be okay.  Life will go on, and it will be a good one.

But for now, all that matters is here at the airport, searching the crowd for that messy head of raven hair he knows is waiting for him.  

His heart skips a beat when he finally spots it.  

The years have been good to Castiel.  His shoulders visibly broader beneath his usual beige trench, a veritable sea of stubble framing the familiar, chapped lips.  Eyes, somehow bluer than Dean remembered them, widened when they met his own.  

Dean swallowed.  Make no mistake, Cas had always been gorgeous, but now…damn.

For a moment, the two just stare at each other, neither sure what to say.  

Finally, Dean chuckles wetly.  “Angel,” he huffs, with his best attempt at a cocky smile.  “You’re…you’re all grown up.”

Castiel says nothing.  Wordlessly, he moves forward, strong arms enveloping Dean’s shoulders.  Dean rests his head in the crook of his neck, breathing in a shaky, relieved breath as he feels the familiar prickle of stubble, taking in the clean, soapy scent he hadn’t known how much he’d missed.  It makes him feel comforted.  

It feels like home. 

A soft, gravelly voice rasps gently in his ear,  “Hello, Dean.”                  

Sin

|| Priest!Sam x Hunter!Reader ||

Warnings: mild religious reference (and probably incorrect, sorry, I’m not religious), smut (fingering, vaginal sex, Daddy kink).

Word Count: 1,858

Author’s Note: This fic is based on the song “Black Wedding” by In This Moment. The bold and italicized lines are lyrics. This is my first time writing smut, so I’m sorry in advance.

Originally posted by freakintasticfan

Priest are you there? Can you hear my voice? Do you hear my prayers? Are you out there?

You opened the door to the confession room and slipped into the dimly lit space. The small room was lit only by a small, red bulb in the upper corner, giving the entire cubicle an eerie glow. Of course, they couldn’t let the sinners be too comfortable.

The screen slid to the side, signaling the arrival of the on-duty priest. Bless his holy roller soul for being there at two in the morning. He sat there for a moment, his silhouette swaying lightly from side to side.

“Forgive me father, for I have sinned. It has been two weeks since my last confession.” You bowed your head, holding your hands in our lap as you awaited the priest’s response.

“And what are your sins, my dear?” His voice instantly shook you. He sounded younger than you were expecting, no older than his mid-thirties. His tone was deep, but tender, making your skin prickle.

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My husband and I are starting to read more books together (he’s seriously the best, it’s like having a great audiobook narrator on your couch with you, I’m so spoiled). He decided to share the Revenge of the Sith novelization with me, and l’m pretty furious. Because it’s really, really good. Like WAY better than the movie.

I like the prequels, flawed and often painful as they are, but hearing and reading this masterpiece, I’m livid that we got the film as it is. If this is what it could have been, how did we end up with what we did? Like, it makes SO much more sense, and feels more organic, and Anakin’s fall doesn’t come out of the blue, and it’s not half so whiny and annoying, and it all makes sense did I mention it makes sense finally? The characterizations are thorough, Obi-wan is shown to be deeply feeling, Brand-new Vader is terrifyingly sassy (”We were promised a handsome reward!” “I am your reward. Do you not find me handsome?” Like DANG SON).

Some highlights of things you get from this book:

-Dooku is a clinical sociopath

-Yoda actually admitted the fault of the Jedi order–that they were too rigid, and hadn’t changed while the Sith had, and that was their downfall, that they were too invested in the Old Ways. He admits that Sidious was, in part, correct, which also admits that the Jedi had, indeed, failed Anakin to a certain extent as he said.

-Anakin’s transition to Vader, which is shown to be a literal psychological transition. Anakin actually isn’t in control anymore, there’s a new being inhabiting him called Vader. Once Anakin decides to leave the Jedi and become Sith, the being known as Anakin ceases to exist and Vader is born. Anakin is killed, and Vader takes his place; so yes, Old Obi-wan was right.

-C3PO actually has anxiety. Clinical anxiety. His ‘threat aversion subroutines’ get in the way of him doing things, even normal things, because they try to override his actions.

-Obi-wan dresses up like a drunken bum with Yoda wrapped up like and impersonating a baby in order to infiltrate the fallen Temple.

-Stunning time-out style writing (transitions into present tense to slow down time and let you emotionally and mentally explore a moment), well-paced action, painful and beautiful foreshadowing, perfectly interwoven introspection, incredible and subtle themes of love and hope, and beautiful metaphors and call-backs. I like this author, we’re actually going to look up more of his stuff in the library because let me tell you, it is AMAZING.

-Obi-wan is deathly allergic to space miso soup and almost triggered an interplanetary incident because he didn’t know and drank it while on a diplomatic mission.

This book is a treasure, 11/10, highly recommend.

[The] path of self-purification is hard and steep. [One] has to become absolutely passion-free in thought, speech and action to rise above the opposing currents of love and hatred, attachment and repulsion. I know that I have not in me as yet that triple purity in spite of constant ceaseless striving for it. That is why the world’s praise fails to move me, indeed it very often stings me. To conquer the subtle passions seems to me to be harder far than the physical conquest of the world by the force of arms.
—  Gandhi
If the Stars Align - Chapter VI

Summary: The Musketeers AU. Danger lurks around every corner in the French court and as a Musketeer in service of the royal family, Killian’s duty is to protect them from any and all threats. As his relationship with Queen Emma develops into something more than just friendship, threats against the queen escalate and put everything they hold dear into jeopardy.

Rating: M

Content warning for the story: violence, mature themes, minor character death.

Art by @hook-and-star-ink​ , @acaptainswaneternity and @seastarved. Follow this to check all the pieces currently published and give them some love!  

Catch Up on tumblr: ch1, ch2, ch3,  ch4, ch5

AO3: ch6


In the week following the attack at the Bastille, Killian has never been busier. With the traitorous guards and casualties of the attack combined, the prison lost more than a quarter of their total guards. The Musketeers took up the missing rotations until the Bastille could find replacements, and as the week comes to an end, Killian bets he could sleep for a month and still not feel rested.

The first night since returning to the regular Musketeer duties, it feels like Killian has just laid his head down when shouts of alarm and fear break through the silence, piercing and shrill, and he’s roused from a dead sleep as if he was doused with a cold sea wave.

“Murder! There’s been a murder!”

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My Boys: Beneath the Surface - Chapter 10 (Finale)

Hey Guys, thank you so much to everyone who’s made it here until the very end. I have always believed he relationship Amelia’s had with her family has really shaped a lot of who she is. It’s been nothing but a pleasure exploring that. 

Previous chapters are HERE.

@jia911 thank you for your very fast, very reliable help!

I want to dedicate this one to the amazing @cizavilation. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Ciza! I hope you enjoy the fluff overload!


My Boys: Beneath the Surface – Chapter 10 (Finale)

Owen slowly woke up feeling the light touch of his wife’s hand idly caressing him as she rubbed her thumb on his chest while still lying with her head on his shoulder. From the angle he was in, it wasn’t possible to see the expression on her face but Owen was sure she had her blue eyes wide open, silently contemplating their surroundings while deeply lost in thought.

The trauma surgeon was aware of the importance the events from the previous day had, as well as the impact they had caused. It was too much to process and he couldn’t blame Amelia for losing her sleep over it. The things she’d said and been told, not just by her family but later also by him had been accompanied by a wave of powerful emotions. Owen was sure that Amelia would probably still take some time to catch up with everything.

He also supposed that a big load had been taken off her back when, just hours before, he’d finally been able to make her see that she wasn’t to blame for most of the things that had happened to her while growing up. Amelia was far from being a disappointment and even though that notion wouldn’t change in her mind overnight, Owen knew that the first and most important step had been taken when she’d finally acknowledged the fact that her family had indeed failed her, and not the other way around.

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Time To Reform Black America

A big reason why the black communities today are failing to progress and keep up is not because of racism, it is not because ‘the legacy of slavery,’ it’s not because of white people or Donald Trump, it’s because they are brought up as if the year is still 1917 and they can’t let go. It’s a symbol of black empowerment to teach the kids about their history which is great, but it’s also important to seperate history from present day which so many fail to do. Black children are coaxed into watching old newsreels of black civil rights protesters being hosed, beaten, and dragged off to prison. They watch Norman Lear-like sitcoms and get told stories and read accounts of black America before the civil rights movement and the assassination of MLK. Such things would fill any child with horror. Yet you would imagine it would also encourage them to feel grateful and excited to live in times of equal rights and treatment and liberty for all, as it does with any other race or civilization looking back on its tragic and troubling past.

Yet most blacks who do realize this are usually the odd one out among other black Americans. In every race-related debate, whether it’s Black Lives Matter, any of the police shootings, the Million Man March, Ebonics or affirmative action, most blacks start every conversation with fierce conviction that even 150 years after slavery and decades after the Civil Rights Act, the white man’s foot remains pressed upon all black Americans’ necks. Challenging this idea is called racist, we are told to just “shut up and listen.” For most black Americans, the rapid increase of the black middle class, of interracial relationships and marriages, and of blacks in prestigious positions including our President for the past eight years, has no bearing on the real state of black America. Further, they believe, whites’ inability to grasp the unmistakable reality of oppression is itself proof of savage racism, while blacks who question this claim are called self-deluded uncle toms. Individuality is rare in black America. 

Black leaders and movements mouth the ideology of victimhood for political advantage, “Confrontation works,” as Al Sharpton has calculatingly observed. But most rank-and-file exponents of the “racism forever” worldview really mean it. Their conviction rests on several core excuses, carefully passed from person to person, generation to generation at all levels of the black community. These myths and severe distortions of truth are the biggest obstacle to further black progress in today’s America, adding up to a deeply felt cult of victimology that refuses to be held accountable and move on with the times. Some subscribe to it fiercely, most accept it as a valid point of view. The black leaders and the voices of black lives matter, who launches into a tirade about the War on Blacks, receive nodding heads all over as they absorb this indoctrination.

You’d think that a group committed to advancement would find empowerment in fighting new challenges such as the ones plaguing their own communities but instead they focus on challenges that have already been fought and won decades ago or ones that simply do not exist. But many blacks, inevitably, suffer from a classic post-colonial inferiority complex. Like insecure people everywhere, they are driven by a private sense of personal inadequacy to seeing imaginary obstacles to their success supposedly planted by others. Once the 1968 Kerner Commission report fueled that tendency by positing that American racism was an institutional, systemic matter rather than a merely personal one, black leaders and thinkers gripped on tight and black Americans still hold onto this idea as if their lives depend on it being real.

In the grip of this seductive ideology, blacks have made the immobilizing assumption that individual initiative can lead only to failure, with only a few exceptionally lucky exceptions. Yet many groups have triumphed over similar or worse obstacles, including millions of Caribbean and African immigrants in America, from Colin Powell to the thousands of Caribbean children succeeding in precisely the crumbling schools where black American kids fail. Indeed, thinkers such as Thomas Sowell and Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom argue that American blacks could have advanced, and were advancing, even without the civil rights legislation of the sixties and the racial preferences of the seventies, since black unemployment was at an all-time low in the mid-sixties, and the black middle class was already growing fast. But these facts can’t outweigh the almost narcotic pleasure that underdoggism provides a race plagued by self-doubt. The victimology cult has in turn engendered a cult of black separatism. Inspired by the Black Power movement of the 1960s, which violently rejected whites as terminally evil, today’s separatism, in the same vein, flirts disastrously with the idea that, because white racism ineluctably drives black people outside the bounds of civic virtue, blacks shouldn’t be seriously punished or morally condemned for criminal behavior. If they call their violence a reaction against racism, anything goes, regardless of any other factor such as the truth. The consequences of this are rising all throughout the country today, as they have done in the past and it’s a real concern.

The worst result of black America keeping themselves in a separate realm to its “oppressors,” is the widespread cult of anti-intellectualism. Consider even in middle-class suburbs, increasing numbers of middle-class black students tend to cluster at the bottom of their schools in grades and test scores. Black students whose parents earn $70,000 a year or more make median SAT scores lower than impoverished white students whose parents make $6,000 a year or less, while black students whose parents both have graduate degrees make mean SAT scores lower than white students whose parents only completed high school. Why? All through modern black American culture, even throughout black academia, the belief prevails that learning for learning’s sake is a white affair, spelling properly and talking properly is a white thing and therefore inherently disloyal to a proper black identity. Studying black-related issues is okay, because learning about oneself is authentic. But this impulse also implicitly classifies higher education as irrelevant, which is the direct cause of the underrepresentation of minorities in the hard sciences and other major fields. But hey, it’s okay, affirmative action resolves that, we can just hand out some scholarships and lower the bar to the ground, enforce racial quotas and hey presto, we have equal representation to keep the race baiters happy. 

The sense that the properly “black” person only delves into topics related to himself is also why you can count on one hand the number of books by black Americans that are not on racial topics. The belief that blacks and school don’t go together gained strength in the mid-1960s, when black panther separatists rejected traits associated with whites as alien, and black students, in this spirit, began teasing their fellows who strove to excel in school as “acting white,” a much harsher taunt than merely dismissing them as nerds and this trend has continued well into today. The “acting white” charge, which implies that you think yourself different from and better than your peers, is the prime reason that blacks do poorly in school and why the drop out rates are so high. The gifted black student quickly faces a choice between peer group acceptance and intellectual achievement. Most, out of an utterly human impulse, choose the former. Even if they open themselves to schooling in college or later, their performance all too often permanently suffers from the message they long ago internalized that “the school thing” is an add-on, not a mix-in.

The prevailing orthodoxy lays the blame on other factors, of course, but none of them withstands scrutiny. The fact that the children of working poor immigrants, including Asian and Indian and many other non-whites, who often do well in school and actually do far, far better economically and academically than whites, disproves the claim that their working-class roots deny today’s newly middle-class blacks to teach their children to excel in school. The success of Southeast Asian immigrants’ children particular in the same terrible inner-city schools in which black students fail disproves the Jonathan Kozol gospel that it is the “savage inequality” of school funding that makes black kids fail. Claude Steele at one point made the famous and influential argument that middle-class black students only underachieve in school because fear of confirming the stereotype of black mental inferiority makes them choke up on tests. There may be a grain of truth to this but again, all accountability and blame is shifted onto somebody else while the convenience and safety of victimhood is indulged in. 

Victimology, separatism, and anti-intellectualism underlie the general black community’s response to all race-related issues. The response to affirmative action is a case in point. Blacks see it as a policy that appropriately bends the rules for a group of people who believe are owed something, a notion that today, when middle-class blacks are a massive and thriving group in American society, can only seem plausible through the lens of victimology. The defense of affirmative action on the grounds of “diversity” is an expression of separatism. Since there are not enough black students to be admitted to selective schools on the same merits as the other students, beyond a certain cut-off point blacks are being valued for their skin color rather than their academic accomplishments, everything MLK was against. This is a state of affairs, moreover, that requires a strong dose of anti-intellectualism to accept without discomfort. And the same anti-intellectualism rests content with the flimsy reasoning behind all defenses of affirmative action: that it is immoral for colleges to require a top-quality dossier from the black child of a doctor and a corporate manager simply because he’s black.

Today, these three thought patterns impede black advancement much more than racism and the dysfunctional inner cities, the broken families and black on black crime and black educational underachievement will persist until such thinking disappears. In my experience, trying to show many black Americans how mistaken and counterproductive these ideas are is like trying to convince a religious person that God does not exist: the sentiments are beyond the reach of rational, civil discourse and I get that, it’s almost impossible to overcome but just as we reform religions, I think the black narrative is also in much need of reformation as well, it is severely outdated. There was a time when fighting and decrying institutional racism was the main task at hand, and blacks of today’s generation owe gratitude to those who did it, their comfortable and privileged lives would be impossible without the sacrifices and efforts made by everyone who was a part of the revolution. Today, though, these people are well-intentioned relics of another era, an era they in their moment helped us to get past. Our main concern must be with new generations, who can fulfill their potential only in an America where victimology, separatism, and anti-intellectualism don’t flourish among black Americans. There are two main paths to this goal.

First, it’s time for well-intentioned whites to stop pardoning “understandable” the worst of human nature whenever black people exhibit it. The person one pities is a person one may like but does not truly respect. Second, it’s time for our selective educational institutions to eliminate affirmative action in admissions. This policy may have been useful in the 1960s in creating a black middle class. Today, however, it can only be classed as discriminatory. To achieve in any endeavor, people need incentives. As long as top colleges exempt black students of all classes from serious competition, their admissions officers shouldn’t wonder why so few black students submit top-class dossiers. Only without such a policy will parents, teachers, and school boards, genuinely alarmed at drop-offs in “diversity” in institutions of higher learning, start to help black children become truly competitive for selective schools. What happened after California ended legalized racial preferences in 1995 is a case in point. Programs exploded throughout the state to prepare minorities to be competitive and to eliminate their financial barriers to college.

Eliminating affirmative action will also help dispel black college students’ resentment-tinged anxiety that their white classmates dismiss them as affirmative action picks. It will promote richer interracial contact among students poised to become the nation’s leaders as they will then all be truly on an equal playing field. The black student who can confidently claim to be on campus for the exact same reasons that white and Asian students are, they would be less likely to feel defensive and indulge in victimhood and less likely to be paranoid about their white classmates being covert racists. I believe the time has come for such changes. Sure, these ideas will be condemned, branded racist and repulsive but I also know it has to be said. There was a crucial and damaging change in black ideology in the mid-1960s which we are at risk of not only repeating but making even worse today. 

Perhaps twenty years from now mainstream black thought won’t be such a taboo and more blacks will stress individual initiative and integration. And perhaps the national media will get on the bandwagon too. Let’s hope by then, we won’t feel that any talk of black personal responsibility needs to be balanced by victimology and blaming others. That’s when we will know that we are past the coded fraud that passes for interracial discourse today and have made the kind of progress that yesterday’s civil rights’ leaders would recognize and applaud.

What it means to be a slytherin

Being a slytherin is about power. Power is everything. If you do not have power, then what do you have ? Although of course, power does not mean that you have to run the world (although this is always good)

Keep those who are useful to you close, and trust only those who deserve to be trusted. If someone is likely to tell someone a secret, then never tell them anything that you dont want leaked to the public. That said, if you do want to distribute information, then use these people as much as possible. Connections are power, and power is key.

Knowledge is power. Before opening your mouth, make sure that you know exactly what youre talking about. Know everything there is to know about the things that matter, and at least a basic understanding of things that don’t. If someone tells you something personal, remember it. Personal knowledge is a very important weapon, and should be used with discretion. That said, it should most definitely be used to ones advantage no matter what happens. Never use something for the sake of using something. Have purpose to your actions and you will go far. Act on impulse and you will most likely flounder.

Plan ahead. Planning is power. If you expect every outcome then you will always be the one with the power. If nothing can surprise you, then nothing can defeat you if you play your cards right. Look ahead, and learn to read people. If you know someone’s reactions and motives, then you can always be ahead of them.

Discretion is power. Keep your friends close but your enemies closer, yet let neither know what youre doing. If you’re really going to use your ambition and cunning then you better be good at what you do, or there is no point in doing it. Trust nobody but yourself, and even then trust critically.

Trust is power. If people trust you, then they will never be let down by you. Build up your connections and relationships. Always be polite and civil to people unless you are sure that nobody will know if youre not. Outright lie if you have to, but never lie if its not believable. If you cant even convince people you can be nice, then what kind of trust do they have for you ? Always have impeccable manners and always value other people’s opinions, even if only to humour them. You can always learn from their mistakes and laugh later when theres nobody to hear but yourself.

Learn to disregard remorse. Learn from your actions, but do not dwell on past failures or pipe dreams. Calculate your actions and if you make a mistake either fix it quick or shift the blame and escape trouble. Never make a mistake that cant be fixed, and never offend someone who is likely to take revenge so great that it will mess you up.

Picking your battles is power. Know when to quit and when to admit defeat and start sucking up to people. If you can quit whilst you’re ahead and avoid being ruined then do it. Self preservation is key.

However, do the thing that will help you most in the long run. If something risky with a bit to lose out on will in the long run gain you a lot more then do it. Ambition relies on cunning and resourcefulness to succeed. A slytherin never fails in public. Or indeed at all whenever possible.

Slytherin is about getting what you want and where you want to be. The reason why so many slytherins get positions of power and are so organised is because we will use any means necessary to achieve our goals. Manipulation is a favourite among many, and words aimed in just the right place can go a lot further than any physical action.

Slytherin is about bonds. Never make a threat you cant carry through. This makes you seem untrustworthy, weak, and overall powerless. Stay within your limits, and know the boundaries. Again, never make a promise you cant keep. Stay true to your word, and never build unrealistic expectations because people stop taking you seriously.

To be a slytherin is to live by a code. This doesnt always mean the rules and the laws. But ever slytherin should have their own personal code and never ever break it no matter what the cost. The dark lord himself never broke his own code, and this is the testament of someone who keeps their word. They know where the line is and they know how to go far enough to get what they want but not too far that it undos the hard work put in.

Traditions are also important. If something is proven to work, use it. Traditions keep bonds firm and cultures together. A slytherin never disregards valued customs, which is why we are the best as having manners and civility. Politeness is power, and power is everything.

And most of all, slytherins are the best at knowing how to fake being superior, and act like it. I’m not saying we are better than you, I am just saying that we act like it until eveyone else believes it. If you arent good enough, then fake it and try as hard as you can until you are good enough. Play to your strengths, and if something will never benefit you again, dont be afraid to change your course of action until youre on the sttaught and narrow road to success and superiority. Never let them see the real you, and alwaya change once they get to know you. To know someone is valuable knowledge. To have someone truly know you is dangerous.

I want more

Ciel entered the kitchen, his eye scanning the room until he saw his target.

He ran towards the seemingly unknowing butler, wrapping his arms around the man’s torso.

Said butler never moved a muscle, just stood there, tending to his choirs.

“Young Master. This is the third time this evening that you pester me. What might you need this time?” He asked, annoyance obvious in his voice.

“What are you making?” The boy curiously asked, sitting on his tip toes, struggling to look over the man’s shoulder.

“The cake you ordered just a few minutes back.” He sighed, turning in the boy’s embrace to face him.

He was greeted by a big, luminous blue eye, his small hands cupped innocently near the butler’s chest now.

“Could I maybe have some whipped cream before you finish it?” He wondered, his eye sparkling at the thought.

“If I were to give you some, I’d have to make a fresh bowl. It’s not nearly enough in this one.” He murmured, hoping the boy will give up.

“Well, I want some whipped cream! Now give it to me!” He raised his voice, a demanding tone filling it.

The butler has had enough. He knew the little wanton being way too good. He was certain the boy only kept on coming around not because he wanted whipped cream or anything of the sorts. He just wanted… No, needed his attentions…

Lately, they didn’t spend nearly enough time together in bed. And his little Lord was growing more impatient as the nights flew by.

The demon just wished Ciel would come clean and ask for the thing he actually needed.

He turned around as to dip two of his long digits in the bowl with cream, pretending that he’ll put those fingers in the boy’s needy little mouth.

Instead, when Ciel closed his eye firmly awaiting his treat, those exact fingers went to his nose, covering it whole in cream.

“Bugger off! I don’t even know why I came here!” He yelled, hurt obvious on his face as he made his way towards the door.

“For whipped cream I believe, my Lord!” The demon yelled after him, his lips curved into a pleased smile.

“As if I’d want that! Take your whipped cream and shove it up your arse, bastard!”
He spun around to shout at the demon, his cute button nose “magically” devoid of cream already.

“Maybe that will teach you not to lie to me, Young Master!”

“Lie to you? Whatever are you getting at, you unscrupulous being?” The Earl barked.

“You came here two times before. Both times I asked you what you needed. You only barked unnecessary orders at me. When we both know what you actually crave.” He smirked up to his ears.

“Well, you’re full of yourself today! Have you ever stopped and wondered that maybe I just wanted to spend some time with you? I gave you three chances to ask me to stay, maybe bake a damned cake together! I don’t even know why I try anymore. I’ll leave! You go back to your precious tasks, it seems you only care about that!”

“Young Master, I..” The demon stopped when he saw the boy reach for the door knob.

He knew this time he was serious.

“Save it! Don’t even bother to come in my chambers tonight. You are not welcomed anymore…”

The demon stood there, frozen in place, his heartbeat loud in his chest as he watched him walk away.

He felt something strange. He felt… Pain?

After recovering a little, he took the bowl of whipped cream and sprinted to his Lord’s study.

His little one was sitting at his desk, face pressed on it, a bitter look on his face.

“Here! Have all the whipped cream you desire!” He yelled, pushing the bowl in his face.

“You, fool! You honestly think all that argument was about the damned whipped cream? Lately, all you do is push me away and I hate it. I just wanted for us to spend some time together. The little time that I have left on this earth, I wanted it to be with you! It just seems like you don’t care enough and.. I get it. I won’t try to force you to be with me anymore.” He looked defeated, his blue eye flooded with warm tears.

“Young Master… My little one, please don’t cry! I’m such a moron. Just let me hold you, please!” He begged, making his way towards the desk.

“No! Just leave already! You don’t want me anymore, I feel it. So you can stop pretending!” He rose from his seat, running past the demon.

It was all in vain, Sebastian caught him by one slender wrist, pulling Ciel towards his body with force. He cradled the boy in his arms, burying his head in his neck.

“I’m sorry. Of course, I want you. Don’t ever doubt it.” He barely whispered.

“You only come when I ask of you now… Before I couldn’t have pried you from my naked form even if I wanted to…” He gave in, finally wrapping his arms around the demon, as hot tears rolled down his rosy cheeks.

“Young Master, the only tears I want to put on your face are those of pleasure. Please, accept my humble apology as I failed indeed in doing so…” He begged, rubbing his fingers on Ciel’s back soothingly.

“You say that now yet you push me away all the time..” He whispered bitterly.

“I… What I feel for you, it scares me at times…” He admitted, pressing sweet little kisses down the boy’s neck.

“Do you think this does not frighten me? But, instead of running away from you, I only seem to run towards you…”

“Come with me.” He murmured, interlocking his fingers with the boy’s delicate ones, taking him out of his study.

“Where are we going?” He sniffed a little, gripping his devil’s hand tightly.

“To bake a cake together.” Sebastian laughed softly.

“You don’t have to force yourself to be with me like this. If you want us to continue as before… Just in bed, just when the night falls…” He stopped, looking up at the demon.

“No. I want to be with you, completely.” He said, grabbing the little Lord by his hips to pull him near.

He leaned in, pressing his lips against the human’s in a gentle kiss, almost like they were sealing a new deal.

“Will you come to my chambers tonight?” He asked shyly, looking down at his feet.

“Only if you admit this was part of the reason you kept on coming around.” Sebastian grinned.

“You damned… Fine! That was part of the reason. But I do want to spend more time with you, apart from doing that. I didn’t lie…” He looked up at the demon, taking him by the hand.

“Good. I want that too. I want everything with you…” He whispered the last bit under his breath, as they continued their way down the kitchen, hand in hand.

Scrubs;

Apparently love letters are being sent to you. Although I do not consider myself an expert on these types of things I have been practicing.

I believe it would be customary here to point out one of the many good things about your person. I shall choose the eyes, because from what I’ve observed humans enjoy being complimented on those.

Your eyes do a proper job of transferring the data they collect to your brain which then flips the image and corrects what imperfections it can, taking into account information gathered from both eyes and the rapid movement your eyes are constantly performing. This is a wonderful feat of evolution and one I hope you do not take for granted.

I believe you to be quite the interesting individual and I sincerely hope that your logical thinking does not fail you. You are indeed deserving of a romantic outing.

-Logan Sanders


(Yo I tried sorry if it sucks. Have a good day, friendo. -Roman)

Scrubs: /)\\\(\ ((Okay you know what dude this is amazing and I smiled for like five minutes and I’m still smiling and ahhhhhhh???????? You’re so great dude????? Ily Roman))

But as we see Sansa’s naive worldview crumble book by book, we also see that her flaws and the corrupt ethics of others are not the only cause of tradedy; chivalry itself holds something dark within its songs of strong knights and beautiful ladies. […]

There are upstanding men and women in Westeros, no doubt, and the irony should not go unnoticed that the knight who arguably adheres most to an ethical standard of knighthood is a woman - Brienne, the Maid of Tarth. A few virtuous knights, however, are not enough to save chivalry, for it does indeed fail as an ethical code.

Chivalry falls short in two main ways. First, it fails to accomplish what it sets out to do; protect those who cannot protect themselves. Knights are supposed to protect a lady’s honor, but by focusing on protection as the paramount moral duty, chivalry exalts the sword that protects and (unconsciously) devalues the body that cannot protect itself, which leads to moral vulnerability. Chivalry explicitly proclaims that it does the opposite: it raises up the “fairer sex” on a pedestal of moral reverence. However, as the activist Gloria Steinem once pointed out, “a pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space.”

Second, the injustice is not just that chivalry is an imperfect way of accomplishing a worthy goal; chivalry picks a flawed goal to begin with. It aims to protect the weak instead of empowering them to protect themselves. Moreover, since chivalry picks out women as a whole class of people who are in need of perpetual protection - even as adults - chivalry does not help people lead fuller, more flourishing lives. Instead, it creates rigid social roles that not only punish people when they try to step outside them but also cheapen social relations, turning them into caricatures. At the end of the day, chivalry treats many adult women like children, overvalues the role able-bodied men play as eternal protectors, and even slips in assumed heterosexuality here and there as part of the roles knights and ladies play.

Therefore chivalry itself is unjust - regardless of the high moral standing of some people who adhere to it. It’s not merely that some knights abuse the power given to them, but rather that the code of chivalry requires an unequal balance of power from the start. It propagates the vulnerability of women and further propagates oppressive frameworks of social relations and romantic love. […]

At the beginning of the series, Sansa thinks life is like a song. While various characters chide her for her naivete, they rarely suggest that listening to such songs day in and day out is somehow inappropriate. Several characters remark that music is appropriate for girls, but girls alone. […]

Chivalry treats (highborn) women as having a childlike status and then assumes that that status is a natural trait. Just as Sansa has been taught and encouraged to take on certain childish traits, chivalry encourages women to be vulnerable and dependent. It also encourages other people (especially knights) to treat women as if they are in a perpetually vulnerable state. […]

But life is not a song, and thinking this way does not help women flourish. Even Sansa realizes this eventually. After she suffers a severe beating from the King’s Guard at her King’s command, a kind maester patches her up and tries to comfort her. Before, Sansa would have taken these gentle words to heart, as when her septa told her “A lady’s armor is courtesy.” At this point, though, Sansa disregards this coddling as worthless prattle in the face of real injustice. She realizes how vulnerable she is when there are no “true knights” to protect her. When the maester tells her, “Sleep a bit, child. When you wake, all this will seem a bad dream,” she thinks to herself before passing out, “No it won’t, you stupid man.” Sansa has come full circle from thinking that chivalry dictates the proper role each person should play. Now she concludes of the men around her, “They are no true knights…not one of them.“

— Stacey Goguen, “There Are No True Knights”: The Injustice of Chivalry, Philosophy and Game of Thrones

There is a story that travels round the Chapter of the Eternal Crusade, deemed apocryphal at every turn and yet persisting nonetheless thanks to the inexhaustible fuel of human gossip.

The story goes that once there was a newly-inducted neophyte to the ranks of the chapter.  A candidate taken from a feral world, he struggled with acclimatising himself to the gifts granted unto him by the sons of Sigismund.  Despite a most valiant ongoing determination to prove his worth, such things as hypnotherapy and the demands of a Templar’s daily routine had him struggling to keep up.

Observing this, his initiator decided that the best thing to do for the young man would be to throw him into the proverbial deep end, there to see him tested in fire and battle.  Once that was done, the initiate reasoned, all else would fall into place.  Thus, on the eve of battle he called the neophyte to his side and handed the youth his own chainsword, saying to him, “Take this, and with it slay no less than one hundred of our foes tomorrow.”

The neophyte took up the weapon and swore himself to his superior’s task, and when battle was joined he eagerly waded in amongst the carnage to meet the Emperor’s foes in battle.  But, at the end of the day, when he returned to the initiate streaked with blood, his head was low as he admitted that he could claim no higher a tally than eighty-seven of the chapter’s enemy.

The Templar initiate was disappointed in his pupil, and bade him clean his armor and to pray for the Emperor’s guidance, and that as punishment for his failure he would fast that night while the rest of his brethren took their evening meal.  The neophyte agreed to this, and vigorously scrubbed clean his armor and the great weapon, and spent many hours in prayer and took no food nor water as he strove to redeem himself.

Morn the next day, the initiate called the neophyte to his side once more, and charged him, “Today, you will show me the fullness of your capability, and slay no less than one hundred heretics in the Emperor’s name.”

The neophyte once more knelt and swore himself to the task, and once more he charged into the thick of battle, bravely meeting one foe after another without hint of fear.  But when he crossed paths with his superior as the day came to a close, without speaking the initiate could see in the neophyte’s eye that he had failed, and indeed the youth admitted he had slain no more than ninety three of the Emperor’s foes.

The Templar initiate was irate, for twice now his ward had failed him.  In a fit of pique he took the chainsword back from his neophyte’s hand and bade him to watch closely and see firsthand how a true son of Sigismund despatched the enemies of humanity.  With a twitch of his thumb he tapped the activation rune on the weapon, bringing forth a roar as the blades spun in anticipation of battle.

The neophyte, however, was wide-eyed, and staring at the initiate he blurted “by the Emperor!  What is that noise!”

merryy-shitscram-blog  asked:

I hope you don't mind me writing to you but you're a writer and you use tumblr, so we have at least 2 things in common. I'm scared people will read my work and won't like it, so my dream will be over. How do I get over this? I want my work to be read

You’re going to have to do two things.

1) realize that writing — nay, all creative endeavors — are not like a moon landing. It’s not like you have one shot, and if you don’t pull it off, you have destroyed your spacecraft on the surface of the moon and it’ll take more decades than you have left in your lifetime for taxpayers to buy you another spacecraft. If you fail in writing, you’ve failed once. Get up. Do it again. Wipe your nose if you have to, but for God’s sake. Get up. You’re getting grass stains on everything.

2) trust yourself. You don’t have to trust that you’re great now. You have to trust that you have the ability to learn how to be great. And a huge part of that learning process is figuring out that you get up and start moving again. And another part of that learning process is realizing that writing is a craft at its heart. Good news! Craft is learned, not granted.

Think of it this way: imagine that you, young and sprightly and full of verve, have decided to build a staircase. You invite your friends to use your staircase. You have done a terrible job, it turns out, and the staircase breaks and they all fall into a heap, getting grass stains everywhere. You have indeed failed at making the staircase do its job of not bucking people off. Does this mean that you, as a person, have no ability to build staircases? You have just not been granted the staircase-building genes? NO CHILD GO OUT THERE AND STUDY SOME MORE STAIRCASES. 

Whatever direction a person takes, there will be reward and punishment. If he obeys, there will be Paradise:

“Indeed he succeeds who purifies his ownself (i.e. obeys and performs all that Allah ordered, by following the true Faith of Islamic Monotheism and by doing righteous good deeds.”

[al-Shams 91:9 – interpretation of the meaning]

And if he disobeys, there will be Hell:

“And indeed he fails who corrupts his ownself (i.e. disobeys what Allah has ordered by rejecting the true Faith of Islamic Monotheism or by following polytheism, or by doing every kind of evil wicked deed.”

[al-Shams 91:10 – interpretation of the meaning]

The choice of one of these two ways is something about which a person will be questioned by the Lord of the Worlds. Hence it is clear that faith or disbelief, obedience or disobedience, is a matter of personal choice. Allah has made reward and punishment dependent upon this choice:

“Whosoever does righteous good deeds, it is for (the benefit of) his ownself; and whosoever does evil, it is against his ownself. And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves.”

[Fussilat 41:46]

Fail: A SamCait fanfic

Okay I am a bit nervous. Unlike my other writing here, this obviously involves real people. So if that isn’t your thing, stop now.


Okay anyone that is still here, here goes.

Cait is laughing so heard that she can’t catch her breath. Usually Sam’s planned ’ date’ pics with Mackenzie made her angry and uncomfortable. She knows, of course, why he was doing it. The same reason she does
the same with Tony. But it still hurts them both to see each other on ’ dates’ with others. But this IG pic had her rolling across the hotel bed. Fail indeed.
They try to sell the narrative. They really do. They both know why it is important. So very important. But it is difficult to hide how they really feel for each other. It is slightly easier for her. Tony is a dear friend so spending time with him isn’t a chore. But poor Sam. His selling of the ‘relationship’ with Mackenzie was getting harder and harder. The Fail sigh he was holding up in the latest pic perfectly demonstrated this. That and the look on his and her faces.
“ Well,” she thinks,“ at least Nic and Nicole look somewhat happy.” It was very nice for her and Sam’s dear friends to try to help salvage the narrative. They had been on the real double date in SA. But even with their help it was becoming quite clear that this simpley wasn’t working.
“ And it simpley has to work, no matter how hard it is on Sam and I and our true fans.” Cait mumbles under her breath. She checks the time on her phone. Sam is due to call from Scotland where he is resting and visiting with his family, any time. She sighs deeply. She misses him terribly when they are apart.
Her phone rings and she quickly answers it. Her body relaxes as soon as she hears Sam’s husky,“ Hi baby.”
“ Hi darling. Fail indeed.”
“ I know. It is a bloody hard job. Pretending to care about any woman but you.”
“ I know Sam. I know. It is hard for me to see it. And know that there are people buying it. Though that is what we want.” she says with another deep sigh.
“ No, correction babe, this is what we need. What I want is to be with you. To be able to shout-out to the world that you are my wife and I am your husband.”
“ I want that too. So much. I truly hate the lying and deception. But to keep him safe, we must.”
“ Yes, though I am frantically trying to forge another path.”
“ You should, my love, because very few people are buying this one. I literaly laughed when I saw the latest pic.”
“ Did you? Happy I could amuse you Mrs Heughan.”
She laughs and says,“ I love you madly Mr Heughan.”
“ I love you Cait Balfe- Heughan and….”
He was inturpted by a baby’s cry.
“ Speaking of, our son is awake.” Cait says and moves across the motel room and picks up a beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed baby. He happily waves his chubby arms in squeals in happiness in his mother’s arms.
“ Want to say hi to daddy Samual?” she asks him.
“ Da da da!” six month old Samual Thomas Heughan replied.
“ Hi sweet boy. Daddy misses you and mommy so much.”