found a new picture of mat that i had never seen before

Parallel Lines Who Meet, LMM/Reader

Prompt: Loosely based off of Stephen Sondheim’s musical ‘Company’.

Words: 2,042

Author’s Note: With a midnight re-watch of my first favorite musical, Company, I was inspired to write something loosely inspired by it. Lin is Bobby in this scenario. Ish. If you don’t have the time to sit and watch this lovely production (which includes great stars, like Stephen Colbert!), I recommend at the very least listening to ‘Being Alive’ and ‘Someone is Waiting’’.

Warnings: Negative talk of marriage, divorce. 2k words of me rambling and nothing really happening.

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Also, we have hit 3.5k followers! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!


Happy birthday, Lin!” The group cheered in unison.

The man of the hour stood at the entrance of his apartment, looking on at the scattered party guests, each holding the hand of their significant other. He had been running late for the party in his honor - something that had been intended as a surprise but that he had known about for weeks.

“Thirty-five! You don’t look it!” Pippa cried, lingering by the gift table. She placed a pristine, wrapped box next to the dozen others, “You can return it. I mean, what do you get for the man that has everything?”

“Maybe a wife?” Teased Steven by her side, a giggle escaping his fiancee. Her ring glittered in the dimly lit room as she moved to cover her mouth.

“I better-” Lin pointed the guests all anxiously waiting for their turn with the birthday boy.

“Go, we won’t keep you.”

He was delivered boxed compliments all night, perfectly prepared ahead of time. Thirty-five and you’ve accomplished so much! Thirty-five and you look thirty-two! Thirty-five and look at where you are!

Where he was indeed.

Keep reading

Life With Namjoon (01. Towels)

| [02] [03]  –>

A/N: Hey there! Well…I’ve decided to start a new little series (obviously) about what life with Namjoon would be like! This is just going to be a series for fun, really~ Just something I can update with little drabbles and stuff like that, when I don’t have the time or motivation to write a full blown fic.

Genres will like likely range from fluff, to smut, to angst. When I write things about actual life–ya know, things that are more realistic than fantasies usually found in fics–then I tend to be realistic with it. And reality isn’t a 100% wonderful ride hahaha.

That being said, lets get into it! ^^ But rest assured, the first installment isn’t angst. It’s a nice little fluff~

Words: 1,539


01.   Towels


It starts with Namjoon.

You’re lounging on your apartment couch when you hear a ripping sound in the bathroom. You frown and set your phone in your lap, turning and waiting for your boyfriend to emerge and explain the unexpected noise. And, not long after, the bathroom door guiltily creeks open, and Namjoon peeks his head out, his tanned skin still damp with water from his shower.

“Yes?” you ask patiently, and Namjoon can tell from your tone that you obviously know he did something wrong.

“I…uhhh,” is what he manages to say, bringing his arm up from behind his back. One of your white towels is in his hand, though now, unlike the last time you’d seen the poor thing, there’s a giant tear right up the middle—threads of fabric stretching out and twirling every which way.

“How…the fuck…,” you respond, absolutely baffled, and push off the couch. Padding up the hall, your bare feet a little cold against the hardwood floors, you approach the bathroom door and hold your hand out to inspect the towel.

“Woah—I’m naked,” Namjoon says, scooting back behind the doorframe a little, and you roll your eyes. As if that will stop you.

“How many times have I seen you naked?” You simply respond, taking the towel form his grasp, your thumbs rubbing over the frayed fabric.

“At least 10.”

You smile at his silly reply. “Well, you’re not wrong. But…seriously,” you say, holding the towel up to him and motioning to the damage. “How?

“I don’t know!” he immediately defends, motioning back towards the shower. “I just got out, grabbed a towel, and as I was drying off it just…ripped!”

“Kim Namjoon, God of Destruction,” you sigh, and then turn your back to him, waving the towel as you walk towards the kitchen. “I still love you, don’t worry~”

“Well I’d hope that it’d take more than a ripped towel to tear apart our love,” he responds, and you laugh, smiling to yourself as you hear the bathroom door close so that Namjoon can finish what he’d been doing.

Stopping in front of the trash can in the kitchen, you pop the lid open and stare sadly at the towel in your hands.

“Thank you for your service. You endured a lot,” you say, brows furrowed, and then drop the beat up fabric into the trash. Never to be seen again.


The next day, when Namjoon is out at the studio practicing with the boys and working on some new music, you step into the bathroom and fill the tub. Stripping off your pajamas, you turn and rummage around in one of the cupboards for a bath bomb. You had just bought some more after talking with Yoongi and getting a recommendation from him.

Finding the multi-colored ball, you walk over and drop it in the tub, watching the water stain colors. When it’s finally done, you carefully step in, sinking down into the hot water with a relaxed sigh.

As soon as you’re seated you realize that you totally forgot the book you’d been planning to read, and now sigh in annoyance at yourself. Pushing up, you step out of the tub onto the bath mat and reach for the towel you’d set out. Grabbing it, you quickly begin to dry your limbs, but freeze when you hear a familiar ripping sound.

Eyes wide, totally shocked, your bring the towel which had been around your back forward, fists clenching when you see that the fabric has ripped—almost an identical picture to what Namjoon had done yesterday.

“Dammit,” you groan, and drop the towel to the floor. Exiting the room, you retrieve your book and return to the tub, determined to get at least a little bit of relaxation in before Namjoon returns later and accepts his bragging rights when he sees what you’ve done.

Managing a half hour in the tub, you finally snap your book shut, pop the tub drain, and get out to dry. Grabbing another towel, you dry off much gentler this time, but the minute you stretch the towel behind your back and begin tugging on it from both ends, you hear the sound of a small tear. Groaning loudly, you give up and tug on the towel as hard as you can, listening to the fabric fall apart in your grasp.

Later that day, when Namjoon walks in your front door and sees you lounging on your couch, two damaged towels on either side of you, he cackles loudly and points a finger at you in apparent victory. However, his smile falls when he sees your upset frown, followed by you charging at him, clearly not happy to have fallen victim to the towels as well.

Catching you in his arms before you can make to hit him, he holds you tight and rocks back and forth, hoping to calm you down.

“Sorry—sorry, babe,” he says, bending down to kiss your forehead, and he feels you sigh against the fabric of his shirt, clearly not angry anymore, but certainly pouting.

“I’ll tell you what,” he continues, hands gripping your shoulders as he pushes you back gently so that he can look you in the eyes. “I have tomorrow off. Want to go shopping for new towels and whatever else you need?”

“Sure,” you immediately agree, mood brightening, and Namjoon smiles, leaning down to kiss you.

“It’s a date.”


The next day, you find yourself standing next to Namjoon in a department store towel aisle, towels caging you in on every side.

“Why are there so many towel options?”

“The human mind flourishes in creativity and people also have different tastes and different home décor—”

“It was a rhetorical question, Namjoon,” you say, reaching over to lightly smack his arm. He jumps at the feeling, looking over at you with a slight pout to his lips.

“So what color do you want?”

“You’re not going to try and be my interior home designer? Wait—nevermind. I’ve seen how you dress sometimes, I’ll just do it.”

“Ouch,” Namjoon responds, holding his hand over his heart, and you roll your eyes.

“You’re a-dork-able, don’t worry,” you laugh, reaching over and grabbing his hand. Considering the mask hiding away half of his face, you place a discreet kiss to the top of his hand, and his eyebrows raise.

“Is this a challenge to see who can make the other more embarrassed in public?” he asks teasingly, turning the tables as his grip on your hand tightens, and he tugs you closer to him. You’re blushing immediately, trying to casually wrestle out of his grip as his other hand lifts to rest on your hip.

“Stop it! You have an image to uphold!” you hiss at him, and when Namjoon sees how red your face has gotten his eyes crinkle happily, his grip on you loosening.

“Fine fine~ I’ll be continuing this tonight anyway.”

“Sure you will,” you scoff, and then step forward, finally getting around to why you two are here in the first place. Checking out a variety of the towels lining the shelves (and pausing to scold Namjoon when he doesn’t bother even attempting to fold the towels and put them back on the shelf properly), you finally narrow your options down to two towels. A dark blue, and a patterned white towel.

“Does it matter?” Namjoon asks, brows furrowed.

“Well…,” you say, weighing the towels in your hands. “A little. White towels are easier to bleach, but dark towels also hide stains, so…”

“Wait, what,” Namjoon pauses, baffled and horrified. “What are you talking about?”

You look at him pointedly. “I’m a girl, babe.”

He continues staring, apparently not getting it. You roll your eyes.

“You’re a genius but you forget about female reproductive organs. Christ.”

“OH,” he finally says, realizing, and you roll your eyes again, but albeit smile.

“Dummy. Accidents happen.”

“Yeah, I know, I know,” he sighs, stepping behind you and wrapping his arms around your shoulders lightly. “I forgot, my bad. But…why not get white, and then offset the coloring with a blue one? Are you really going to be picky about it?”

“Hmmm…you’re right,” you agree, and grab up another white towel, shoving all three towels into Namjoon’s arms once they’re chosen. He just smiles and rolls his eyes.

“What am I to you? A pack mule?”

What am I to you girl? What am I to you? I do love you crazy—ugh—do you??”

“Stoppp,” Namjoon whines, ears tinging with embarrassment, and you laugh, halting and grabbing his arm. Pressing up, you place a quick kiss to his masked cheek, and then take one of the towels from his arms.

“What are you to me? You’re my boyfriend and my best friend, and I love you.”

“I love you too,” he responds after a second, his heart palpitating as love fills his chest, and side by side you both step into the check-out line. After paying, you head down the street to your favorite café for lunch, and listen to each other with open ears and open hearts.

Just two kids, casually in love.

Exactly how it should be.

“So, how do you know each other again?” asked Yukako.

I held my water glass against my lips for a second longer, looking over at Alejandro, buying time. He looked back at me. We locked eyes.

What were we supposed to say in a situation like this?

But to properly tell this story, I need to back up a few days.

I was in Shizuoka, about an hour ride out of Tokyo, Japan. My goals were simple: visit the Magic Grand Prix tournament in Shizuoka, and then spend the next week seeing Magic stores and trying to explore a side of Japan I had not yet seen.

It was the last day of the Grand Prix.  The world is slowly crumbling around 2,700 players, as the delicately placed banners and colorfully shaped signage are being stripped down and removed.

This is the saddest part of any Magic tournament: when it ends.

It’s when the convention center hall stops being a living, breathing embodiment of Magic, with a pulse that sounds like the slapping of cardboard and a heartbeat that echoes with shuffling. When this marvelous world goes back to being a white-walled building that will be used to host dance recitals, or cheerleading rallies, or car shows.

But there was a brief moment left. A flicker of life, minutes, maybe, before the convention center passed the threshold of no return and reverted to its blank state.

And that’s when I had the fortunate happenstance of being introduced to Ryan.

Blonde hair. A slight grin at the corners of his mouth. A full backpack. The discerning gaze of a Magic player. He introduced himself: a local player, formerly from the States, who now lived in Japan.

“I had heard from Helene   you were staying around in Japan for a little longer, and I know it’s out of your way, and it’s probably a long shot, but I live in Nagoya, and it has a great Magic scene, and plenty of people who would love to meet you, and I know you like food and I would show you great food, and some of the sights, and we can play some games of Magic, and once again, I really know there’s probably a low chance, but if there is any possible way you could briefly come visit Nagoya during your stay, I’d be happy to show you around.”

“Okay, sure.”

“Wait… Really?”

“Yeah, sure. See you tomorrow?”

And that, ladies and gentlemen and those who identify as neither of the crowd, is how I travel.

I got Ryan’s information. And true to my word, the very next day, I found myself on a train, bound for Nagoya.

And so the tour began.

Delicacies, with a mix of known and unknown and unwanted-to-be-known contents, were consumed. A smorgasbord of 7 Magic shops were visited, showcasing so many shapes and sizes and colors that Doctor Seuss would have had a field day describing them all. Games were had. Stories were told.

We ended up by visiting one final game store: Mishimaya. A small family run shop, with that lovely musty smell that reminded me of childhood. And there we met a group of other local players.

And, well… It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a group of Magic players, in possession of decks, must be in want of a game.

Rajib. Kevin. Daniel. All from far-flung corners of the English-speaking world, we slammed down our cards. We ran Goblins into Angels. We laughed. We bantered. We talked about life in Japan. I took a picture of us. Put it on Instagram. We went out to dinner. Menus were attempted to be navigated.

It was a good time. We parted ways.

I hopped on a train, headed elsewhere, redrawing up new plans to account for the change of plans. And that was that.

Or so I thought.

Still riding the train back, something else unexpected happened. A notification popped up on Instagram from someone I had never spoke with. His name was Alejandro.

It read as follows: “You should take the [train] to Fukuoka. I still have an original Conspiracy box in Japanese to open and draft :)”

I looked it up on a map. Fukuoka was basically on the entire other side of Japan. My brain’s impulse was immediately to say no. I mean, it was a long way out of my way, I hadn’t planned on going there, time in Japan was precious, I didn’t know this person at all. It didn’t make sense, right?

Right?

…Right?

Well, it’s a good thing that Japan has all these bullet trains.

I arranged to visit in a few days. Alejandro writes to me, “Just so you know, it’s actually quite a bit west of Fukuoka and a bit rural…”

Perfect. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I took the bullet train to a station. From that station, I took a subway train to a tinier station. From there, I took yet another train. Out the window, I watched the metal buildings turn into brick buildings, the brick buildings turn into blossoming trees, the blossoming trees turn into rice fields. For the first time during my stay in Japan, signs begin to look run down. Roads begin to look bumpy. The passengers on the train were no longer mostly in suits.

The train spit me out at my stop, and it was immediately clear I had walked into a Miyazaki movie. Little statues sat in the streets. I spotted farmers in the distance. The buildings all had wooden sliding door entrances.

This – this was the Japan I grew up thinking about.

I’m swept up from the subway station by a car full of strangers. Alejandro has rounded up five others – three local Magic players, whom he had taught himself, one of their wives, and her young daughter – to come meet me. 

I’m taken to a restaurant, in an old wooden building, that has had many lives and seen many owners. There is a small museum in the front of the restaurant showcasing its history. People are sitting on pillows and tatami mats, eating from small tables.

The five of us sat down. I took a sip of my water.

“So, how do you know each other again?” asked Yukako.

That is the question, isn’t it? How do you answer that? How do you even begin to summarize it all into a short paragraph, or sentence, or word?

Let’s just back up for a second and review the facts.

I had traveled to Japan to visit a card game tournament as part of my job at Wizards of the Coast. I then met a local player, who showed me around his city for the day and introduced me to a number of players. They gave me a bunch of advice for my travels. I posted this on Instagram, of all places.

Someone on the other side of Japan whom I had never even talked to saw this, asked if I wanted to visit, I replied saying yes, and traveled 5 hours by train to get there. Once I arrived into Chikuzen-Fukae – the middle of nowhere in Japan – I met five total strangers, and was now sitting in a traditional Japanese restaurant, speaking with these people like they were family. Combined, we heralded from Spain, The USA, Japan, Nigeria, and London.

Pause for a moment. Cue, eyes widening. Cue, flashbacks to the many other times similar things have happened to me or other Magic players. Cue, the sudden realization that this is actually an extremely abnormal event.

Cue the realization that this is family.

I love Magic. It is the greatest game in the world. But even more powerful than the game, even more meaningful than the hours spent smiling and learning, are those people you spend those hours smiling and learning with.

It is a community of immediate friendship. A game which is a blacksmith that forges “Hello and Good Luck” into stories, stories into friendship, and friendship into family. A game which will always direct you to your long-lost cousin or your mystery aunt in every town, in every city. Time and time again, I have found there is always a family member there for you. There’s always someone from the family of Magic.

And there is nothing else like it. Not in the whole world. And I find it hard to imagine anything – truly anything – that could properly describe this series of events other than one word. So it’s what I said:

“We’re… family.”

I elaborated more, but that’s really the only way I can best explain it. We laugh. We eat our meal. We learn about each other’s lives. I make goofy faces at the young daughter like any cousin would. And, in that short window of a single meal, we become a family.

That day, this family of Magic visited sites in this tiny town. We climbed the muddy path up a mountain and watched a waterfall in the forest. We visited an Island temple, wind biting at our noses. We dropped by the restaurants – which my new family knows the owners of – to see if they will open just for us. It is a neighborhood where you actually know your neighbors.

And, eventually, we drove back to Alejandro’s place, with sliding doors and tatami floors, short ceilings that hit my head and tall tales that hit my heart, and we sat at the wooden, engraved kitchen table. We smile and, knowingly, reach for our Magic decks.

That afternoon, my family drives together, an hour, to play in a tiny store for the local Magic tournament.

That night, I sleep on a rolled out bed, in a room kept warm by a kerosene heater. Like an uncle, Alejandro lights the heater for me. And, like a nephew, I wish him sweet dreams.

When I wake up, there are trains to catch. Things to do. New places in Japan to see. I bid my farewells.

My adopted uncle walks me to the train station. He gets on the train, going part of the way there with me. Like any family member, he gives me a long list of directions, trying to be careful I don’t lose my way back.

The train goes for about 20 minutes. Alejandro stood up to get off. He looked back at me. We had known each other in person for less than 24 hours, and yet, I already felt a bit emotional.

I nodded. He nodded. We may never see each other again.

But that’s okay. We both knew it would be far from the last time we saw      our everlasting, evergrowing, evergracious family: our family of Magic.

anonymous asked:

Can I request a scoups fic based of Somebody To You by the Vamps?! <3

hi! sorry for the late reply but here it is!

thank you for sending this in :)!

also omfg i love the vamps and Somebody To You was one of the first songs I heard from them

Title: All I Wanna Be (Is Somebody To You)

Originally posted by letmebangteen

i used to wanna be,

living like there’s only me,

but now i spend my time,

thinking ‘bout to get you off my mind, (yeah, you!)


“You should get a girlfriend,” Jeonghan waves a hand in the air, “Or like a boyfriend, I don’t know, whatever,”. He glances at Seungcheol, who lay sprawled on the mat, with his sunglasses perched on the tip of his nose. “You’re beginning to become a hobo, my friend,” Jeonghan sighed, pushing the sunglasses so that it sat right on the bridge of Seungcheol’s nose, “A hobo with a house,”.


Seungcheol turned away lazily from his friend, and the sunglasses fell off from his face, and onto the sand. He felt a light breeze caress his exposed arms, felt his toes dig into rough grains of sand as he stretched his legs out, the mat just enough for only his upper half. If he curled up just right, he might be able to get his toes right at the hem of the end of the mat. “And how would getting a significant other relieve me of my hobo – ness, exactly?” Seungcheol questions, eyes fluttering shut. The warmness of the sun was just right, not too hot, and he basked in it. It wasn’t every day you got such nice weather like today. He could hear the waves crashing against the shore, the sound of children squealing as they splashed water at each other and the soft murmurings of people holding conversations with one another.


“I don’t know,” Jeonghan replies, “When you find someone you love you start living. For them and for yourself. I don’t know,”.


Seungcheol doesn’t respond.


“Besides what about y/n? You’ve been hanging out with her quite alot recently. You can’t tell me you don’t have at least a little feelings for her,”.


Embarrassingly, Seungcheol felt his neck warm at the mention of your name. He let out a grumble, burying his face into the mat, and wincing at the rough texture that scratched his smooth skin . “I don’t know,” He mumbles into the mat, and he’s not quite sure if his friend can hear him. He had met you three years ago, a whole cliche meeting with you bumping into him, and promptly spilling coffee all over his new tuxedo while he was on his way to a friend’s wedding.


Then you offered to make it up to him, passed him a piece of paper with your number written on it, all flustered and apologetic. And normally, Seungcheol wouldn’t have called. He didn’t mind, didn’t need you to make it up to him, but as he sat at the edge of his bed, staring down at the crumpled piece of paper with your number on it, he caved in, and called. Ever since then, the both of you started hanging out more. At first, it was always Seungcheol, then you warmed up to him, considering him as a friend, and over time, the both of you just started hanging around each other like as if you had been doing it your whole lives.


Jeonghan had complained that one time that Seungcheol didn’t spend as much time with him as he did with y/n.


“You don’t know?” Jeonghan’s voice is tinted with tease, “You mean there’s at least like, 50% chance that you do?”. Groaning, Seungcheol flipped onto the other side to face his friend, “It’s complicated. I mean, what are the chances that someone like her is gonna accept someone like me, anyways?”.


“You guys are friends,”.


“I mean, more than that,”.


“So you do want to be more than friends,”.


Seungcheol tosses an arm over his eyes, mostly just to cover up his face and the fact that it had gone red. “I don’t know,”.



Look at me now

I’m falling,

Can’t even talk, still stuttering

This ground of mine keeps shaking,


“And that’s all,” Seungcheol gave a polite smile to the waitress as he folded his arms. He was with you at one of those fancy restaurants, only because it was Valentine’s day and according to the both of you:


(“We’re both single so we should go as like friends,” You said as Seungcheol draped his jacket over you, before shoving his hands into his pockets. “Valentine’s day for friends, to celebrate the deep deep love they have for each other,” Seungcheol hummed, “You mean like that?”. He doesn’t notice the way you have to duck your head to hide your face. “Yeah, you’re catching on,” You let out a nervous laugh. Seungcheol cocked his head to the right, before shrugging, “It’s an idea,”)


“Would you and your girlfriend like a cake?” The waitress points her neatly manicured finger to a picture of a cake, wrapped  with red fondant and shaped in a heart. “It’s only here for one day, but we make it every year during Valentine’s day,”.

Seungcheol parted his lips to open, but at the mention ‘girlfriend’ he found his throat go dry. It was a stupid reaction of him, but he couldn’t help it when his heart almost flopped out of his chest at the mere mention. “No – I – uh,” He gestured to you, blinking more times than needed. “She’s not my uh – you see -” He tried, and failed miserably to form a coherent sentence. The waitress smile fell slightly as she stared at him in confusion.


Great, he thinks, Now she thinks I’m a nutcase.


“No thanks,” He manages out eventually. He glances over to you, to see your face slightly pink as you add on, “Yeah, we- we’re just friends,”.


The waitress’ eyes widened and she started shaking her hands from side to a side, “Oh! No, sorry, I shouldn’t have assumed,” Then in a rush, “Do enjoy your meals!”. The minute she scurried off, Seungcheol exhaled deeply, and stopped short when you started bursting out into giggles. “What?” He pouts. “Sorry,” You grin, “It’s just – What was that? I’ve never seen you stutter so much before. I should’ve filmed it,”.


Seungcheol found his face flush in embarassment, but he scoffed to hide it. “I was caught off guard, that’s all,”.


“Why? Never thought of me as someone who could be your girlfriend?” Your tone is teasing, but if Seungcheol looks hard enough, he can see a glimmer of serious curiosity behind your orbs. Not very sure how to reply, Seungcheol shrugs, “You were pretty flustered too yourself,”.


He watches as you lay back in your seat until your back hit the chair, “Well,” You begin, drumming your fingers on the table, “We’re around all these couples and stuff, it’s making me feel abit… I don’t know, awkward? Like imagine going to a celebration for pregnant mothers, and you’re just like, one lone single guy there. That kind of feeling,”. Seungcheol understands what you were trying to say, but even then, he snorts. “That is a bizarre example,”.


You lift your hands up in the air dismissively, before putting them back down again. “One day,” You say, “One day, we’ll become those pregnant mothers too,”.


Seungcheol makes a face and you burst out laughing, “Can’t you just say one day we’ll have someone too?”.


“Same thing,”.



all i wanna be

all i ever wanna be,

is somebody to you


“What’s wrong with you?” Seungcheol found himself biting out. He couldn’t hold it back in any longer. Ever since Seungcheol started hanging out with Jeonghan’s good friend, Sunmi, you started to get itchy. Usually, you wouldn’t mind when he hung out with other girls, so this was a first. It’d been going on for a few weeks now, possibly even a month, Seungcheol couldn’t remember.


All he knew was that he missed having you around, missed having you around without trying to bite his head off and avoiding him like the plague. He couldn’t understand why. And sometimes, he’d avoid you too, just when his feelings got too overwhelming, and he needed a break. Repressing emotions were never healthy, after all, and for a long time… Well, Seungcheol’s been repressing… alot… of emotions for you.


“Of course it’s something wrong with me,” You accused, “And not you, right?”.


Seungcheol felt his jaw go slightly slack, “That’s not what I meant!” He spluttered, and you scoff, folding your arms tightly across your chest before leaning back onto the white walls. “Yeah? Then what is it?”.


“I-”.


“Look, maybe it’s just me, but I can’t seem to understand you these few days,”. You interuppted, and Seungcheol felt his face flare red with anger.


“I was trying to say – what’s wrong with us? God damn it, you think it’s been hard for you with-” He gestured wildly between the both of you, “With whatever this is that has been going on? It’s been hard for me too!”.


A feeling of guilt pricks his heart as he watches your eyes flash with surprise and hurt. “And -” He continues, wanting so much to let his feelings out and yet at the same time struggling to keep the lid on, “And – you keep avoiding me, why is that?”.


You avoid me too!” You throw your hands out at this, an expression of slight disbelief and a tint of anger crossing your face.


Seungcheol couldn’t stop himself. The words flowed out faster than he could control and by the time he registered what he had said, it was too late. “Maybe it’s because I like you! That’s why!”. He stares in horror as your eyes go wide and you blink at him, without saying a word. Damn it, Choi Seungcheol! He clenches his fists instinctively, then decides that… since he’s already in the deep end, he might as well continue.


“I’ve liked you, okay? For a long time now. And well, it’s hard because I’ve always wanted to be somebody to you, but I don’t know how. And well, also because I thought you’d forever see me as a best friend, okay? I’ve been avoiding you in hopes the feelings would go away, but it won’t,” He parts his lips to want to say somemore, but all that comes out is a strangled noise. He doesn’t know what to say next. “It just won’t, y/n,”.


“But – you’ve always been somebody to me,” You say slowly, choosing each and every one of your words carefully.


Seungcheol finds himself letting out a strained laugh, “Just never in the way I wanted to,”. “Wrong,” You retort instantly, and Seungcheol feels his eyebrows shoot up in surprise, “What do you-”.


“You’ve always meant something more, okay?” You were closer to him now, but you ducked your head, not able to meet his gaze. When you slightly look up to catch a look at Seungcheol’s expression, you find yourself letting out a frustrated sigh when all you get back is a pure baffled look plastered onto his handsome features. “Yah! Seungcheol! Do I have to spell it out for you?”.


“Yeah,” He breathes, then a teasing smile tugs at the corner of his lips, “Yeah, I think I do,”.


“You’re smart enough, I don’t have to,” You protest when you realize what he was trying to do. He’s closed the gap between you two now, and you’re 100% sure he can see the growing blush on your cheeks. You slowly feel his arms wrap themselves around your waist, and instinctively, you find your hands reaching up to play at the back of his nape.


“That’s okay,” He whispers then, eyes glowing with so much affection that it almost makes you lose your breath, “I can say it again…


I like you, y/n. A lot, and… well, I’m just happy right now, but… it’s sort of missing something, don’t you think? ” He tilts his head to the side playfully, allowing his fringe to flop over his forehead in a messy wave.


You pull away slightly, “What?”.


“This,”.


And with that, he leans in to kiss you.

I Thought You Were Different: Book 4 (Part 18/?) (Steve Rogers x reader)

Part 17

“You call this redecorating?” Tony asked incredulously as he continued to look around the room.  He pushed his way past the overturned couch, gingerly stepping around pictures that were once on the wall, the smiling faces of your children beneath the shattered glass.  Even in his mostly drunken state, he took deliberate care to not cause any further damage to a home that was now nothing more than a broken shell of the happiness that you had found there.

Keep reading

This Weird Feeling

Prompt ~ #15 “I’ve never felt this way before…and it scares the shit out of me.”

Extra ~ Teen!Damian Wayne x Reader

 
Papers were strewn around the desk and floor of Damian’s room, he was trying to do his homework but his feelings had began to eat him up, confusing him dearly. The reaction to this feeling was havoc on his poor once organized desk. He sat in the middle of the pile, holding his head in his hands as he desperately tried to collect his thoughts. It was silly really, he had looked at the picture on his desk, a picture of you and him at the beach and immediately a weird warmth spread through his body.

How blind could he be?

He should have seen it coming, yet he dived right in with no thought. In those few minutes he now understood, every single thing you did he found beautiful. The way you laughed, how you talked in your sleep, and how you always proclaimed your love for his eyes. It all felt right, everything seemed to click in that moment. Everything had finally become clear to him, he was desperately in love with his best friend and he didn’t even know it.

Damian stood up from the pile of papers, he slipped on his jacket and ran out the door of his room. He quickly slid down the railing of the stairs not carrying how foolish it probably looked. He quickly turned the nob of the front door and slammed it as he ran out. It was raining, but he didn’t care that the rain was pelting him, he pulled the keys out of his pocket and put them in the ignition of his motorcycle. He rode out through the manor’s gates and into the gloomy streets of Gotham. He speed through countless yellow lights in order to arrive faster. Damian took the final left turn and arrived to your street he parked his motorcycle in your drive way. He stuffed the keys into his pockets and brought his hand up to knock the door. The door swung open, you stood there in front of him with your hair in a bun in your pajamas.You immediately pulled him and shut the door.

“Damian? Did you ride your motorcycle here? What were you thinking, you can get sick! You could have gotten in an accident.” You pestered him as he took of his wet shoes and left them near the mat.

“Don’t worry, I am perfectly fine.” He grabbed  both your hands, your warm hands spreading warmth to his cold ones. Damian kept his eyes trained on yours while you gave him a confused look.

“Dami-”

“Ive never felt this way before…and it scares the shit out of me.” He finally broke the long silence, you tilted your head trying to signal to him that you had no idea what he meant.

“I never thought it was possible for me to feel this, it’s new. It feels weird, but it also feels right to me.”

“I don’t understand?”

“Don’t you see? I Damian Wayne am desperately in love with you.” When he spoke those words it seemed as if a barrier had been broken. You locked his lips with yours in a matter of seconds, not caring that his hair was dripping wet or that his clothes were soaked.

“It took you some time.” You smirked as you pulled back.

“Does this mean you recuperate the same feelings?” He asked sheepishly.

“Yes! I mean- oh what ever just kiss me.” He pulled you into another sweet kiss, lips moving against each other in a heated dance.

“I love you my beloved.”

“I love you too.”

Until It’s Gone - Derek Luh Imagine

Request: Derek luh imagine where he’s your bf but for some time now he’s being a jerk to you, and when you confront him and leave for a days he comes crawling back to you cuz your the best thing he ever had

MASTERLIST

_______________________________________________________________________

Y/N’S POV

I stare at a wall blankly while Derek continues to yell lies at me. I don’t even know whats wrong this time. All I know is that he has been treating me like shit and I’m tired of it. 

“Are you even fucking listening to me y/n?” Derek asks stepping in front of the comforting blue wall. His face red with anger and his breathing unsteady. 

“No Derek I don’t. But I’m tired of this. You coming home everyday yelling at me for random things because you’ve had a shit day. Well guess what Derek your not the only one. Frankly I’m tired of this.” I say picking up my bag with some clothes and my keys. 

“Where do you think you’re going?” Derek asks with anger laced in his shaky voice. 

“Bye Derek.” I say as a tear slips down my face.

“Whatever I can find someone better than you who actually appreciates me.” Derek says trying to get me to fight back. 

I just scoff and close the door. Tears now free falling and landing on the steering wheel. I get up the courage to start the car and drive away not before seeing Derek throwing things inside the house that we built together. I shake my head and drive down the dark street. 

I pull up to my friends house in an absolute mess. She walks out the front door already knowing what is happening and opens her arms for me to run into. 

“Its okay to be upset. He doesn’t know whats he’s missing.” Y/F/N whispers in your ear. 

DEREK’S POV 

After I got done throwing everything and anything around the house I collapsed to my knees, balling my eyes out. I hear a knock on the door, I immediately jump up and run to the door hoping to see y/n. I open the door as fast as I can but only to see Nate. 

“Woah bro, what the hell happened?” Nate says stepping into the apartment with Chinese food.

“She fucking left me. She got up all calmly and left like the last two years were nothing.” I say running my hands through my matted hair. 

“To be honest dude we all saw this coming. You haven’t been the nicest lately. She came to me asking what she did wring to make you hate her.” Nate sighs. 

“She thinks I hate her?” I mumble looking down at my feet. 

“Im gonna leave you here, you gotta think about what you want, but if you do want her back you can’t treat her the way you’ve been.” Nate says as he shakes his head and walks out the door. 

Thats the second person to walk out that door today all because Im an ass. Whatever its not all my fault she has just as much to blame as I do! I think to myself hoping to talk my self off this cliff of misery. 

NATE’S POV 

It’s been two days since y/n left Derek and today Im meeting up with her to see how she is doing. 

“Hey Nate.” y/n mumbles and comes and sits down next to me on the couch. 

“How are you doing?” I ask giving her a look of sympathy. 

“Im okay, now that I don’t have to be yelled at everyday.” She sighs twirling her thumbs.

“Im so sorry he did that, he’s been under a lot of stress and he just takes it out on you I guess. He’ll come back I promise” I say as I turn to face her.

“Do you even know what he said to me before I walked out that door?” I shake my head no signaling for her to continue on. “He told me he could find someone better, someone who actually appreciates him and have you seen all the twitter buzz with pictures of him and this ‘new’ girl everywhere. He obviously doesn’t want me. He found someone ‘better’.” She says tears threatening to spill out the corners of her eyes.

“Y/n.” I say shaking my head. “He doesn’t know what he’s missing.” 

“Why does everybody keep telling me that he obviously knows what he’s missing and doesn’t give a damn!” She yells clearly frustrated with the whole situation. 

As I’m about to respond a loud ding goes off indicating I got a text message. I look down to see a text from Derek reading:

Where is Y/n Ive been trying to call her but she’s not picking up or answering any of my calls. I need to talk to her. I want her. I need her back. Is she okay. Nate please tell where she is. Im so upset that I lost her. She can’t walk out of my life

I sigh and she speaks up. “Its Derek isn’t it?”

“Yeah, you haven’t checked your phone lately have you.”

“No. I urned it off yesterday after seeing the whore on my Derek.” She says with some anger coming back into her voice and face.

“Turn it on and lets look.” I say calmly and grab her phone holding down the power on button. 

The minute we turn her phone on its flooded with dozens of messages from Derek all reading ‘please’, ‘I need you’ or ‘I need to talk to you’. She rolls her eyes and scoffs. 

“No! He doesn’t just get to do that! He doesn’t get to say all theses things and then feel bad about because he lost me and come crawling back without an explanation!” She yells getting up walking towards the door.

“Don’t you think you should at least give him a chance for an explanation?” I ask hoping to change her mind. 

She stops dead in her tracks turns around with tears in her eyes and whispers “I can’t listen to more lies.”

With that she swings the door open to be greeted by Derek. 

Y/N’S POV 

“I can’t listen to more lies.” I whisper 

I turn around and swing open the door to be met by a disheveled Derek.

“Y/n.” He breaths out in relief. 

“No. Im not doing this.” I say and push past him to run into the elevator. I try and push close as fast as I can but Derek slides in right as they close. 

“Derek! Don’t you understand I don’t want to see you and you clearly are happy with your little slut.” I snap. 

Derek moves to the buttons and clicks the emergency stop button and with that the elevator comes to a halt. 

“Y/N its you its always been you and Im just to selfish to see it. I love you and only you the other girl was only to distract me so I could forget about you, but I couldn’t Im in love with you and only you! Why can’t you see that.” Derek says stepping closer to me and cupping my face in his hands. Tears running down his face. 

I break out of is grip and push him away from me. “If you really loved me you wouldn’t treat me like shit, Derek.” I say getting angrier by the moment. 

“I didn’t mean to make you think I hated you or to treat you that way. The only reason I did that is because Im under a lot of stress and yelling was the only way I feel I could let it out. I never meant to take it out on you.” Derek steps closer to me once again cornering me. 

“Derek, I don’t want to get hurt.” I whisper with a trembling voice. 

“Baby girl, I will never ever make you feel that way again, I promise.” Derek says embracing me in a hug. 

“Promise.” I whisper mumble into his shirt now stoked with tears. 

“I promise. I love you.” 

“I love you too.” I mumble.

“You are the best thing I’ve ever had. I didn’t know it until you were gone.” 

Broken Strings - Part One/?

Summary - Rick’s daughter, Ava Grimes, disappeared after the group fled the prison. Believing she was dead, they grieved and moved on, little did they know that she had found a group and overthrew their old leader. So, what happens when Daryl manages to escape from The Sanctuary and stumbles across Ava’s right hand woman?

Warnings - swearing, angst, mentions violence and gore.

Part One/?

Ava’s POV

Sometimes it couldn’t be helped, the flashbacks, the constant memories flooding back into my mind, memories of them and the things I’d done since that moment I’d left the prison behind, a distant memory now.

I remember it all, the day the prison got overrun and everyone went their separate ways, some were lucky enough to get a partner but I got left on my own, I don’t think they realised that until they got to safety, if they did anyway. They probably think I’m dead since it’s been so long, they probably wouldn’t recognise me.

A new community found me, one much bigger and organised than anything you would ever expect to see in the apocalypse, I was accepted right away and worked up the ranks faster than anyone ever had. Then the leader turned out to be a rapist, someone cold and violent, I put up with him for awhile but when he raped Nara, that was it for me, he was on his knees begging for his life, and that’s when his brains scattered across the dirt and his body was set alight. All memory of him vanishing in that one moment. 

My desk is full of papers but I pay them no attention as I lean back in my chair and let my mind wander to them, my family, my father, Rick, my little brother, Carl, and my little sister, Judith. I wonder if they survived, and if they did, where they would be by now. Were they alone, or were they still with the group? My runners had studied their faces for weeks from the pictures I had, just in case they came across one of them on their runs. My heart slams in my chest when I think of Glenn, Maggie, and all the others that may be with them.

My thought process is interrupted when my right hand woman, Nara, bursts through the doors with a look on her face I’ve never seen before, she’s breathless and trying to tell me something, pointing downstairs. My feet fall from the edge of my desk to the floor as I stand up and follow my most trusted friend down the stairs of my house in the community. When I reach the bottom I frown slightly as I stare at the back of a man a couple inches taller than myself, he has shaggy brown hair which is matted in places, he wears grey joggers with an orange A printed on the back of his sweater, signifying where exactly he came from.

“Can I help you?” The man tenses at my voice but soon relaxes, my hand grabs the wooden railing as he slowly turns around to face me, his face is bloody and battered, and he looks as if he hasn’t showered in weeks, blood seeps through the shoulder of his sweater, like an old wound has reopened, pain is written across his face. That’s when I look closer, the facial hair, the eyes, they scream out to me and I gasp before covering my mouth with my hand, taking another step down towards him, “Daryl?”

I can see the emotion in his eyes as he stares at me, “Ava,” he breathes before closing the space between us and pulls me into a crushing embrace, one of his bloody hands strokes my long dark waves as I inhale his scent, “You’re alive,” he states with a rasp, choking back sobs.

We pull apart and I nod, “Where are they?”

Daryl smirks, “Alexandria, I’ve heard you know of it?”

A sigh of relief leaves my lips, “Yes, it’s under my protection, is everyone there? Dad, Carl, and Judith? Glenn and Maggie?” Daryl visibly tenses at the mention of Glenn’s name, making my stomach drop, “What happened to Glenn? Does it have something to do with why you’re wearing Negan’s prison uniform?”

“You know him?”

I nod, “He’s scared shitless of me and this place, he visits once a month to try and keep the peace between our communities, wants to merge them, be a power couple or something,” I pause, “He always leaves disappointed,” I study Daryl’s face, “He killed Glenn didn’t he? With that stupid bat, didn’t he?”

Daryl nods in response and cowers slightly, I look to Nara who doesn’t need instruction before she leaves my house to gather my people, “What’s going on, why are people moving so quickly?”

With a smile I lead him up to the bathroom and grab some fresh clothes for him, “You better take a shower and get some rest, because tomorrow, tomorrow we’re going to Alexandria and Negan will realise that he’s fucked with the wrong girl, I’m not the same Ava you once knew D, and I’m going to apologise in advance for that.”

I step back and close the door behind me, with only one name in my head.

Negan.

——

Hello my loves!

So this is part one of my Broken Strings series, it’s only a intro so be prepared for violence, tonnes of swearing, tonnes of smut, and an adorable family reunion. It’ll be nice to see Negan scared for once, especially at the hands of a dominant female character.

In the meantime, if you have an queries or requests then just give me a shout, I’m happy to do anything for you guys.

#5 he thinks you are cheating on him

Ashton: Every year when you were younger you visited your cousin however as you both got older the trip to visit him got harder and harder to do. You had school and so did he and during the school holidays you already had plans and when you left school life just seemed to get in the way however you both planed this visit months ago. However this time he decided he would be the one to visit you. You kept the visit a secret from everyone as you didn’t want to get your own hopes up in case the plans had to be cancelled at last moment. But here you were waiting for your cousin at the train station. You sat on a bench with your leg bouncing. “Y/N?” you heard someone, looking up you saw it was your cousin, jumping up you wrapped your arms around him. “No way you are Y/N” he said, confused you let go of him to look at him directly, “Why?” you asked. “No way that freckled face scruffy little girl is you!” “Oh Har har” you replied punching his arm. You drove him to his hotel and went in with him. You both decided to get room service for lunch and you stayed for a few hours. “Well I’ve got to go,” you said looking at your watch, “I’ll take you to meet Ashton tomorrow and we can give you a tour of the city, how does that sound?” he nodded in response, hugging him once more you left and drove home. Once home you began to look around the house and noticed Ashton was nowhere to be seen. Confused you text him ‘where are you?’ after a while you got a message back. ‘Check twitter’ confused you opened the app and saw pictures of yourself and your cousin, you hugging him and several articles on websites such as sugar scape, ‘Y/N, Ashton from 5 seconds of summer’s girlfriend spotted entering a hotel with another man to leave a few hours later’. Quickly phoning Ashton you could feel your heart shatter when he didn’t answer. You crawled into bed and cried. This was supposed to be a good day for you.

Luke:  At your work you had heard whispers that you were going to get a promotion. However to get the promotion you had to show yourself worthy. You would go into work early and leave late, make sure all your work was done with time to spare. Rumour was your boss was proud of you and had some news to tell you with in the next few days. Sat at home you were nervous. You kept checking your phone while cuddling up to your boyfriend Luke. “What is so important Y/N?” Luke asked, “I’m expecting a phone call at some point,” “What for?” “Work stuff” you simply replied not wanting to tell Luke of the promotion, you wanted to surprise him once it was official. “Of course” he said rolling his eyes, “What is that supposed to mean?” you said sitting up to look him in the eye. “Lately all you have been doing ‘work stuff’ working more hours than you do! Don’t think I haven’t noticed you leaving even earlier then you usually do then coming home hours after you finish work” Knowing what he was getting on to you egged him on, “Go on Luke! Say what you mean! You will feel a lot better with it off your chest!” “Are you cheating on me Y/N?” “No Luke, but thank you for trusting me! It means a lot!” at that moment your phone went off, seeing it was your boss you grabbed your coat, “Where the hell do you think you’re going?” Luke shouted at you, “Work!” you replied slamming the door behind you

Michael:  Michael wasn’t the first relationship you had been in. You had a boyfriends before him, being the age you were when you were with your ex you both took pictures constantly, the pictures, until now, hadn’t been seen in years. Fans who wanted to get to know more about you had gone deep into your twitter and found the pictures of you and your ex. Sadly not all the fans liked you, most liked you but there was some who wanted you gone and used the photos to make it look like they were taken recently. Trending on Twitter was ‘Y/n’s been caught’ which of course Michael saw and clicked on the trend curious, he could feel himself become more and more heart broken the more he looked at the pictures. When he heard you come home he opened a new tab on his computer and waited, you walked in and wrapped your arms around his neck, kissing behind his ear you asked “How has your day been?” “Not good” he shrugged you off, standing up straight you asked why and he clicked open the tab of the pictures of yourself and Y/ex/N “Oh! That’s Y/ex/N!” “So you admit it!” “Admit what Michael?” “You have been cheating on me!” “What? No I haven’t!” “So what’s that then? Don’t you dare say its photo shopped” he said pointing to a picture of you kissing your ex, “It’s not photo shopped it’s…” “I don’t want to know Y/N, I can’t handle this” he said getting up and leaving the room. You could hear every foot step he took until your bedroom door slammed.

Calum: Calum had been frosty with you all day and you had no idea why. Knowing he was for some reason upset with you, you on purposely acted out of your way to make him happy, you stuck straws in your mouth saying you were a walrus, nothing, you put socks on your ears saying you were an elephant, still nothing. After all day you finally gave up and decided you would be frosty back. At home you went to the kitchen to make dinner, for one. Sat at the dining table you ate your food in silence. He came in himself with his own food he made himself and didn’t use a place mat for the table which he knew you hated but you rose above it showing him that he couldn’t win that way. When he was done he stormed out of the room leaving his plate on the table. You could hear him on the phone in the other room “I just don’t understand Luke, why would she do this to me? All I ever did was love her then she kissed that random dude right in front of me!” Now you were confused. You never kissed anyone but Calum, heck he was even your first kiss! Why would you think you would kiss anyone else? Why would he think you would in front of him? You decided to wait for him to come off the phone for you to go talk to him, you would find the bottom of this.

An: I hope these weren't too long! I kind of felt myself carrying on with Ashton’s so I had to finish as soon as possible then I tried to make sure the others went the same. I got the idea from this from the bruise I have on my neck. It looks suspicious. And it had me thinking if I had a boyfriend he would probably think I would be cheating so I had the idea to do this preference. I still have no idea where my bruise came from.

If you would like part two just let me know and I shall work on it! But for now enjoy this one :)

“World Without Ghosts”

(An essay by Chinese sociologist Fei Xiaotong, written around 1943 or 44)

Accepting an invitation from the University of Chicago, I went there to work on my book “Earthbound China.” After I arrived, a secretary showed me to room 502 on the fifth floor of the Social Sciences Building and asked politely if it would do for an office. When I noticed the name “Robert Park” in the brass card-holder on the door, the alert secretary hurried to say, “I was waiting until you decided before putting your name up.”

“Don’t change the name. I like that one,” I told her. But she could hardly have understood why.

Robert Park had been my teacher. He came to Yenching University [in Peking in 1932] when I was an undergraduate there. Though I was just an ignorant student, I absolutely worshipped him—except for the old man’s perverse insistence on teach­ing at 7 a.m. and never missing a class or even coming late, which meant I had to skip breakfast to get there on time. For better or worse, his course determined the direc­tion my life has taken in the ten-odd years since, and to him should go the credit or the blame. The founding father of the Chicago school of sociology, he maintained that sociology should take as its subject understanding human nature. Perhaps I liked him because he wanted me to read novels and not sociology textbooks. More than reading novels, he urged going and personally experiencing different kinds of life. Ten years later I still follow this teaching. On this trip to the United States, I had hoped to go hear his classes again. But I was busy with other things, and it was half a year before I got to Chicago, and the old professor had already gone south to escape the Chicago cold. And so it happened that I was put in his office.

This arrangement, whether accidental or not, was full of meaning for me. I had been an unremarkable student in Professor Park’s class, a matter for some regret, and ten years later, though still without achievements, I remained eager for a word of praise from the teacher. I was secretly happy that, sitting in the chair he had used, I would surely absorb something of his spirit, and hoped to write a book that would compensate for my earlier failure to be worthy of the pains he had taken in rising so early all those mornings to teach us. There is here a sort of historical causal connection: because of a past memory the present takes on a significance greater than anything in the current situation. My strong desire to have the name left on the door arose out of a need for concrete, living, moving history. I felt that if the nameplate, the old books lining the walls, even the air in the room were not disturbed, then, surrounded by this lingering past, perhaps in a few months I would see a draft of “Earthbound China” on the table. But if these were disturbed, all might be lost.

This, in fact, is the “tradition” of which I have written in an earlier article. Tradi­tion need not be an obstacle to innovation. True, it has its bad side. When old peo­ple, with the various privileges and respect that have been accorded them in the past, prevent any change in the status quo, that is a bad aspect of tradition. But it is also undeniable that everything new is born out of that which is old. These ties of kinship should not be obliterated, and recognizing them gives to the connection between old and new the significance of succession and continuity. If we can develop this kind of feeling for history, I believe the world and mankind will be richer. When we go on a trip into the country, we can enjoy the scenery merely as a present phe­nomenon; if we have left there earlier memories worth recalling, this can bring on a pleasant nostalgia; and if this is a historical site, our feelings arc further enriched because of what others did there. People do not live only in the here and now; life is not just a string of moments. We need history, for it is a wellspring of inspiration. When we take tradition in this way, that is another aspect of it.

Sometimes I think the world is very strange. We in the Orient accept tradition, but what we seize on is its bad side. The West seems to want to disregard it, with the result that the good side is lost too.

Of course, it is not entirely true that Westerners purposely disregard tradition. For the most part, they all know much more about the history of their own coun­try than I do. Every child who goes to New York has to go gaze at the huge Statue of Liberty and then on the way back visit the church that George Washington fre­quented. In Washington, D.C., there are the hundred-foot-tall Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and now the Jefferson Memorial. Buildings just a few hundred years old are preserved as historical monuments. On a personal level, Americans keep diaries and write autobiographies. I have elsewhere described how on Thanksgiving the year before last my host brought out a big pile of his fathers diaries. At Professor Redficlds house, Mrs. Park especially wanted me to see the pictures of Redfield ancestors in a corner of the living room. On Professor Ogburns staircase wall were neatly lined up generation after generation of ances­tor portraits. Perhaps because at a dinner party I had once expressed the view that Americans lack any feeling for history, all the friends I came into contact with were particularly anxious to correct my misapprehension by showing me their concern for their ancestors. All this is true, but still I feel their regard for tradition is to a greater or lesser extent conscious, intellectual, and artificial. It is not the same as ours. The reason I feel this way is that I have found Americans do not have ghosts.

When tradition is concrete, when it is a part of life, sacred, something to be feared and loved, then it takes the form of ghosts. This is equivalent to the state­ment by Durkheim that God is the representation of social cohesion. As I write this, I feel in my heart that Chinese culture in its essence is rather beautiful. To be able to live in a world that has ghosts is fortunate. Here let me relate some personal experiences.

When I was a boy, because the family was in decline … we lived in a big old building of which at least half was closed off awaiting uncles who seldom came home, and in another part of which were dark rooms that had never seen sun­light. … In these dark and desolate rooms, there were more places for ghosts than for people This environment was already sufficiently frightening, but in addi­tion not a day passed when people did not talk of ghosts to scare or amuse us children I am not exaggerating when I say that to a child like me brought up in a small town, people and ghosts were equally concrete and real….

Because I grew up half in a world of ghosts, I was particularly interested in them. Gradually my fear changed to curiosity and then to attraction, to the point that I even feel a little sorry for people raised in a world without ghosts. The thing that felt most strange to me during almost a year of living in America was that no one told me any stories of ghosts. I do not want to overpraise such a world, but I will admit that children who grow up in it are more comfortable than we and do not have to live with fear in their hearts all day long. But perhaps there is a heavy price for this, a price I would be unwilling to pay.

The beginning of my gradual change in attitude toward ghosts occurred the year my grandmother died. One day not long after her death, I was sitting in the front room looking toward her bedroom. It was almost noon. Normally at that time Grandmother would go to the kitchen to see how the lunch preparations were coming along, soon after which lunch would be served. This had been a familiar sight for me, and after her death the everyday pattern was not changed. Not a table or chair or bed or mat was moved. Every day close to noon I would feel hungry. To my subconscious mind the scene was not complete without Grand­mothers regular daily routine, and so that day I seemed to see her image come out of her bedroom once more and go into the kitchen.

If it was a ghost I saw, it was the first one in my life. At the time I felt nothing unusual, for the scene was so familiar and right. Only a little later when I remem­bered that Grandmother was dead did I feel upset—not frightened, but sad the way one feels at a loss that should not have occurred. I also seemed to realize that a beautiful scene, once it had existed, would always be. The present loss was just a matter of separation in time, and this separation I felt could be overcome. An inex­tinguishable revelation had struck; the universe showed a different structure. In this structure our lives do not just pass through time in such a way that a moment in time or a station in life once past is lost. Life in its creativity changes the absolute nature of time: it makes past into present—no, it melds past, present, and future into one inextinguishable, multilayered scene, a three-dimensional body. This is what ghosts are, and not only did I not fear them, I even began to yearn for them.

I cannot get used to people today who know only the present moment. To take this moment as [the sum of] existence is a delusion. Our every act contains within it all the accumulated history from the beginning of the universe right down to the present, and this every act will determine the destiny of endless future generations. If the present moment, fragmentary, abstract, false, is taken for life, this life will necessarily be shallow and base and even empty—since the moment cannot last, one might as well indulge oneself and revel, for when the instant is gone what is left?

American children hear no stories about ghosts. They spend a dime at the “drugstore” to buy a “Superman” comic book. This “Superman” is an all-knowing, resourceful, omnipotent hero who can overcome any difficulty. Let us leave aside the question of what kind of children this teaching produces; the point worth not­ing here is that Superman is not a ghost. Superman represents actual capabilities or future potential, while ghosts symbolize belief in and reverence for the accumu­lated past. As much as old Mrs. Park, trying to lessen the distance between East and West, might lead me over to the corner of the living room to look at faded photographs, it was the Redfields little boy who showed me the heart of American culture, and it lay in Superman, not ghosts.

How could ghosts gain a foothold in American cities? People move about like the tide, unable to form permanent ties with places, to say nothing of other people. I have written elsewhere of the gap between generations. It is an objective social fact that when children grow up they no longer need parental protection, and the reflection of this in the family is childrens demand for independence. Once when I was chatting at a friends house, his daughter sat with us chain-smoking. The father happened to remark that it was senseless to smoke like that, but she paid no heed and afterwards told me that she was eighteen, it was none of the old mans business, smoking was her own affair. Eighteen is an important age for a girl; after that her parents need not support her, but neither can they tell her what to do.

I also know an old professor whose son teaches in the same university as he but lives apart from him—which might be all right, but he seldom even visits. During the war they could not get a maid and it made my heart sick to see the professors wife, old and doddering, serving a guest coffee with shaking hands.

When I was staying at the Harvard Faculty Club, I noticed sitting at the same table every morning a white-haired old gentleman who lived upstairs and who from his looks was not long for this world. Whenever I saw him I felt outraged. He must have been a famous professor who had educated countless people and worked hard for society. Now old and failing, cast out of the world into this building, with­out relatives even to care for him much less give him pleasure, he might as well have been dead. One day he said softly to the waitress, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it down the stairs tomorrow.” Afterwards I asked her where his home was, but she did not know the answer and only shook her head. In America, when children grow up they have their own homes, where their parents are mere guests.

Outside the family there is certainly much social intercourse, but dealings with people are always in terms of appointments. On my office desk is an appointment calendar marked in fifteen-minute intervals with a space for a persons name beside each. Apart from business there are various kinds of gatherings, but if you go to one you will find it is no more than social pleasantries: a few words with this person, a few words with that one—it is hard even to remember their names. I cannot say all Americans pass their lives like this. But I once asked a fairly close acquaintance how many friends he had whom he could drop in on at any time without a previous engagement. Counting on his fingers, he did not fill one hand. In fact, unless they have business or an engagement they spend most of their time at home, where they don’t much like to be disturbed by guests. At any rate, friends warned me not to go barging in on people all the time.

With interpersonal ties like these, naturally they seldom see ghosts after death. Moreover their movements are so easy and they have contacts with so many peo­ple, that there seldom comes about the kind of relationship I had with my grand­mother, living interdependently for a long time, repeating the same scenes, so that these scenes came to seem an inalterable natural order. Always being on the move dilutes the ties between people and dissolves the ghosts.

As to attachments to places, that is another thing that made me uncomfortable in America. Not the beds and mattresses, for I believe there are none more com­fortable than those of the Americans, but the constant moving around that year was the cause of my discomfort. I visited many places, but when I think of them now it seems I went nowhere, for I felt no particular attachment to any place as all were alike, differing only a little in the height of the buildings. The cities are all more or less the same, at least for a traveler: you get off the train and your bags are taken by a black man who everywhere wears the same type of cap (you may not encounter this kind of man, but you will not encounter any other); you take a similar taxi to a similar hotel—no matter what hotel, if you have stayed anywhere once, you will not feel it unfamiliar. The hotel rooms are all comparable, some big­ger and some smaller, but none lacking a bathroom, a cold-water tap, a Simmons mattress, and nice stationery and envelopes. Since it is the same everywhere, you can never take away a particular impression from any hotel.

Hotels are not exceptions; it is basically the same with homes in American cit­ies. Moving house is no more difficult than changing hotels; a phone call is all it takes. Move here, move there—the houses are about the same. In New York I thought of renting a house and visited ten possibilities in succession. In the end I said to the friend who was accompanying me, “Why bother to see each one? Why not draw straws?” Moving here and there dilutes peoples ties with houses.

Whenever I return to my native place, I go to see the house I lived in as a child. I have lots of questions about the tung tree and the loquat tree; the tung tree still has my name carved on it. In London, where people do not move so frequently, I still remember where I lived on Lower Station Road and Ridge Avenue [?]; while I was in the United States I heard that the old buildings there had been bombed, and it made me feel bad for several days. In America, at least for me, no house has yet produced such a feeling.

I cannot get used to the way lights illuminate all the parts of a room either. Liv­ing in such rooms gives you a false sense of confidence that this is all of the world, that there is no more to reality than what appears clearly and brightly before your eyes. I feel the attitude of Westerners toward the unknown is very different from that of Orientals. They think of the unknown as static, waiting for people to mine it like an ore—not only not frightening, but a resource for improving life in the future. They are very self-assured. We Orientals feel some measure of reverence for the unknown; our reverence for fate makes us content with our lot, makes us aware of human limitations, and keeps our eyes fixed on the humanly attainable. I cannot assert that this attitude is ultimately due to the form of the houses we live in as children, but I believe that my own early feelings of uncertainty toward the big kitchen and the back garden and my fright toward the closed-off rooms have still not dissipated, but only expanded into my view of the universe. If many people in traditional China had similar experiences, then these experiences may have deter­mined the basic structure of our traditional attitudes toward people and things.

In a world without ghosts, life is free and easy. American eyes can gaze straight ahead. But still I think they lack something and I do not envy their lives.



M. H. Boroson here. I don’t agree with everything in this piece, but I find it fascinating. I used a passage from it at the opening of The Girl with Ghost Eyes, and I wanted to share the rest of Dr. Fei’s brilliant essay.

A Friend of the Devil (Is a Friend of Mine)

AO3 Link

First time you see Corvo, he is what you expected, and he isn’t.

Oh, he’s a mean lookin’ sonofabitch, to be sure, blood splatter on his boots and hollow cheeks and flat-black eyes, but there’s something-

Gentle, about him. Delicate. He’s smaller’n thinner than you thought the royal bodyguard would be, and there’s something well-bred about him, when you look past the black eye and the broken fingers and the prison clothes.

For a moment, you see him as her must have been- all in royal robes and standing by the empress’s side at one grand ball or another, no marks of torture on his skin, you can almost hear the music. Almost see the people dancing.

Then he says, in a voice that creaks like screen door,

“You’d better get moving. I think they’ve found the bodies.”

And the moment dissolves and he is frightening again. Matted hair, twitchy fingers, scar tissue.

Keep reading

Cat of Thrones

I’ve been neglecting one shots on this blog cause I’ve either been writing the next chapter of a long fic or just neglecting writing completely. But please accept this one shot I wrote back in June and never posted as an apology.

This is a “sorry that text was meant for someone else but hi there who are you” au

Maka stared at the text she had received from an unknown number, completely confused by the context of it. She didn’t know anyone who owned a black cat. Nor did she know anyone who owned a black cat that specifically enjoyed going to neighbors apartments and begging for food. Maybe she had seen the cat pass by her once or twice, but it mostly liked to stop at the doorstep of the girl who lived opposite her. It never stopped at her place.

So why had she received a text from a stranger about it?

Keep reading

This Was Never The Plan  (Part 1/?) (Avengers/Bucky Barnes x reader)

Request: Hello :3 i have this small request for you it’s a scenario that’s been playing in my mind I hope your up for it it’s a Bucky X reader.. Imagine that Bucky basically raising the reader from the age of 2 …Fast forward a couple years and the reader is now 19 and works with the avengers, the team gets into a bad situation where the reader sacrifices herself to hydra so the others can live. Hydra does some experiments on the reader and gets a metal arm similar to bucky’s. (happy ending if possible) 

I went with a female reader, since it wasn’t specified by the request, and I’m a girl and all so that’s how I visualized it.

Bucky had spent the morning showing off as many pictures of you as he could, or as many as the team would put up with, awaiting your arrival at the tower.  “I can’t believe this little twerp is all grown-up,” he told Steve with a small crack in his voice.  “I still see her as this little kid every time I look at her.”

Natasha grabbed one of the pictures from the pile, smiling briefly before returning it and taking another. “She looks like a great kid, Barnes.”

“Ha!” he scoffed, “don’t let that innocent face fool ya.  The kid can be a holy terror.”

“Wow, I can’t possibly imagine where she would get that from,” Steve smirked, “no idea at all.”

Bucky raised his hand to his chest in mock disbelief at Steve’s claim.  “Listen here, punk.  I’ll have you know that I am a very good influence with an innate sense of paternal instinct.”  

Everyone in the room looked at Bucky silently, Steve with an eyebrow raised and a laugh threatening to escape at any moment.  “Fine,” Bucky relented, “I did the best I could, alright?  What the hell did I know about raising a kid?”

“Hey, one-armed wonder, you gonna come down here and get me or what?”

A bright smile lit up Bucky’s face at the sound of your voice, quickly jumping up and running towards the elevator to meet you.  “Yep, that’s my girl!”

~~~

It had been a month since that day when you arrived at the tower, and already you had taken your place on the team, a great source of pride for your stand-in father.  Today was the day of your final test; taking down his best friend.  You had told Steve to treat you no different than anyone else, and he was really taking you seriously.  You felt the ache of fatigue in your entire body, but that wasn’t about to stop you.

“Alright, Captain Spanglepants.  It’s about time we finish this.”

“Couldn’t agree more, you little shit.”

Bucky laughed out loud, nudging Natasha with his elbow as they watched intently from the landing above the gym.  “Wow, they really do love each other.”

“Yeah, I can tell?” she said with a slight inflection of disbelief.  “Oh,” she perked up and slapped his arm in excitement, “here she goes! Watch, I taught her my move.” Natasha peeked over the ledge, ready to see her new protégé in action.  “Come on, kid,” she whispered.

Steve anticipated the move, knowing that you had been training with Romanoff, but you were still able to get your legs wrapped firmly around his neck despite the nearly foot and a half of height that he had over you.  He put up a bit of a struggle, but the move was foolproof and he eventually went to his knees on the mat, landing on his chest with a huff as you dug your knee into his back and secured his arms behind his head.

“You give up?”  You pushed his face harder into the cold floor and smiled when you heard Natasha cheering for you from above.  “Take your time.  I could do this all day.”

“That’s my line,” Steve groaned, suddenly freeing one arm and kicking his leg out to flip you off from his back.  You landed on the mat with a hard thud that knocked a breath from your chest and had you seeing stars.  You were shocked that he had overtaken you so easily, now with his full weight pinning you with no foreseeable way to escape.

“Dammit,” Bucky mumbled, “I thought she had him for sure.”

You tapped Steve’s arm to signal your defeat, and he released you to help you stand, smiling down at you with a satisfied grin.  “You’ve come a long way, (Y/N), I’m impressed, really.”  He reached over to you and ruffled the hair on the top of your head, as if you were still just a little kid.  You smiled at the gesture, mocking contentment when you grabbed his arm and kicked out his leg, flipping him onto his back with a resounding smack on the mat.    

“Thanks, Uncle Steve,” you laughed as you walked away, satisfied with the sounds of cheering coming from above.  “I learned from the best.”  You gave Natasha a quick wave as you exited towards the locker room.

Steve groaned and pulled himself up to sit on the floor, waiting for Nat and Bucky to come down to meet him.  “Well, Buck, that’s one hell of a kid you’ve got there.  She’s dangerous…in a good way, I hope.”  The Captain still sat on the floor, removing his gloves slowly, as if in deep thought.  “We should test her in the field.”

~~~

You pulled your gloves on and secured the gauntlets to your wrists, preparing yourself for your first mission.  Bucky was at the front of the jet talking with Steve, and Nat was talking to Tony about the attack plan right next to you.  You weren’t nervous at all, just ready to get this going already, and Clint picked up on your frenetic energy.

“It wears off, ya know. The excitement.”

“Oh, I’m sure,” you chuckled.  “But let’s not take it away from me on day one, alright?”

You moved to sit closer to Clint, happy to have found someone to talk to as the flight stretched on longer than you had planned.  “So, what are they like out there?  Those two?” you nodded towards Bucky and Steve.  “I’ve never seen this side of them other than in practice.”

“Well,” he sighed, “Cap’s all business.  He’s a master strategist, no doubt about it.”  He leaned in a bit as if telling a secret, “you gotta give him a hard time every now and then though.  We all try to get him to swear so he has to throw a buck or two in the jar when we get home.  We’re keeping track of who gets the most cash out of him.”  

“Boy, does he have you all fooled,” you laughed.  “Steve curses like a drunken sailor.  And what about tin man?”

“No respect for your old man?”

“You obviously haven’t lived with him very long,” you scoffed.  “So, what’s he like?”

Clint’s face shifted to a serious one as he considered, and his posture straightened.  He turned his head to look at you and sighed, “Deadly.”

“Alright kids, time to play.”  Tony closed his helmet and moved to the back of the jet to disembark as it came in to land. The door opened and sunlight shined in your eyes enough to make you wince at its harshness.  “Watch your six,” he said as he disappeared into the glare.

“Stay with Romanoff,” Steve commanded.  “She’s your S.O., so you do what she says, alright?”  He stepped out of the jet and connected his shield to his arm, looking to you for a signal that you would be okay.

“Go, we’ve got this,” Natasha said as she grabbed her gun and held it close, aiming out and away from the jet as she prepared for an attack.  You pulled yours as well, watching her flank as you headed towards the Hydra lab you were storming.  “Don’t worry, Cap.  I won’t let anything happen.”  

Steve nodded and ran from sight with Bucky next to him; he looked back at you as he ran, giving you a small wave as he disappeared into the building.  Clint moved to take the high ground on a nearby hill so that he could be ready for an outdoor assault, holding his bow at the ready.

“You girls look like sisters from up here.  Hot, but scary as hell, lethal sisters.”  

You shook your head a bit at the sound of his voice in your ear.  The use of the comms was really foreign to you and a little uncomfortable having a piece of plastic shoved so far into your ear.  “Does this wear off too, Barton?  This ear thing?”

“Nope.”  He started to laugh but was halted suddenly when the ground began to shake under you.  He reached for a nearby tree to steady himself and looked around him for the source of the disruption.  “Woah, hey guys, what the hell is that?”

Nat reached back and grabbed your arm, pulling you down closer to the ground to maintain your balance as the earth threatened to crack apart.  You looked over her shoulder and saw Bucky and Steve running towards you, a frantic look on their faces.  Steve dropped and slid next to you, lifting the shield over you both just as the building exploded in a ball of fire.

“We’ve gotta get back to the jet!” Steve yelled over the chaos, still protecting you from falling debris.

“Hey, we’ve got incoming!” Bucky looked up at Clint to see where he was looking and pointed towards the trees behind the now burning building. “Are they running for cover or attacking?”  As gunfire rang out, his question was readily answered.  “Nevermind!”

“What the hell did you guys do in there?” you yelled, “I thought this was smash and grab, not blow it and run?”

Once the debris finally slowed, Steve pulled the shield back and looked you square in the eye. “(Y/N), listen to me carefully.  I saw something in there that-“

You gasped as you were yanked away from him with a force that shook the breath out of you, trying to reach for his outstretched hand but it was too late.  You were taken into the large fissure in the ground as Hydra teams emerged from within it to attack the team.  You landed with a hard crash in a dark tunnel, but when you slowly managed to stand to look at your surroundings, you were knocked out before you had a chance to see anything.

“Welcome home, (Y/N).”

Part 2

Breathe Into Me (Valdangelo/Ghostfire/Leico)

Summary:

Meet Leo Valdez, best mechanic in the country by age 16. He’s even won the awards to prove it. He also happens to be a secret, bona-fide sculptor, spending long winter nights carving. He laughs and jokes like nothing’s wrong. But his talent comes at a price, it’s damn lonely being by himself in the little shop he keeps. What happens when a mysterious woman asks him to carve her a statue named Nico di Angelo? And it comes alive?

Notes:

Just a one-shot.

Work Text:

 Aphrodite sat in her seat, swinging her legs. The gods were having another one of their boring councils. She twirled a golden lock around her finger absentmindedly. For lack of other options, she dug out her magic mirror and peered into it hoping to find someone in the mortal world, who needed a little help in the love department. Suddenly something popped up to the side. She gazed intently at it. Perfect. 

*

 Leo Valdez sighed, leaning back against the old grease-stained chair. Running a hand through his unruly curls, his gaze wandered absentmindedly around the room. He just couldn’t focus on anything these days. He didn’t want to tinker, eat, sleep or talk. The last surprised him because usually he couldn’t keep his mouth shut to save his life. He wasn’t happy, sad or angry either. Just lonely. Always lonely. 

Whoop-De-Doo!

The front door swung open. A customer. (What he was thinking when he installed that sound, we’ll never know.)

He groaned softly and put down the jumbled mess of wires he had been toying with. He really hated mornings. Nevertheless, he plastered (what he hoped was) a friendly smile on his face, and went out to see who it was. Ten minutes later he walked back to his work table, wiping his hands on a wet rag. All Old Man Jenkins had wanted was an oil change, easy. 

He’d barely sat down when he heard that obnoxious cry again. He was used to this. Everyone in town seemed to want things fixed before 7 o'clock, or normal waking hours. Leo had no idea why but it didn’t bother him at all, rather, he was grateful for it. Working was a great distraction against the nightmares. Even the word sounded sinister. The falling ones were the worst. Every morning, he’d wake up screaming. Probably waking up half the neighbourhood as he laid there, sweating and gasping. 

Self-pitying time’s over, Valdez. Let’s get to work. He thought, dragging himself up again. 

*Much Later*

Waving away his last satisfied client, Leo locked the door behind him and flipped over the sign with a relieved air. Another day was finished. Although he loved working in the shop and wouldn’t have traded it for anything, taking breaks never hurt.

The latino whistled happily, turning around to go upstairs when…

*Crash!*

“Sorry!” He caught himself just in time, narrowly avoiding a most undignified faceplant in the floor. 

“Oh, zat’s fine.” A raspy voice spoke behind him. It was tainted with, a French accent? 

The old crone behind him sighed. 

He stared at his guest, certain everyone had left already. Still, he pulled a smile (if somewhat confused) on. 

“Uh, can I help you ma'am?” He tried politely. 

“You are a sculptor as well as a mécanicien, no?" 

He almost had a heart attack. How did she know? No one was supposed to know. 

Then the boy regained his composure, studying his guest with new eyes. She wore a simple black shift that stretched to the floor, dotted with holes. A thin shawl was thrown over her bony shoulders, and the threadbare headband tying her graying, matted hair back had definitely seen better days. She was gently fingering (no dirty thoughts) a porcelain dove hanging over her heart. He hadn’t noticed it at first glance, but now he couldn’t believe it had been there all along. The tiny bird appeared to be fluttering its wings with an incessant fervour. 

"How did you know I sculpture…?” Leo tried but failed to conceal the bewilderment in his voice. 

“Call it a guess. You see, my son has… recently passed. But he loved art more than anything, particularly statues.” Her eyes shone brightly as she remembered. 

“It’d do this old heart good if you’d carve him for me, to honour his memory. But as you see, I am poor. And you must finish it in a very limited time…”

“How long?”

“By sundown on the 27th." 

He had about a month and a half. Usually it took him a month just to CHOOSE THE BLOCK. He did a quick calculation. If he gave up sleeping and showering, maybe, just maybe he’d able to pull it off.

She handed him ivory scroll. The second the paper touched his palm it unravelled itself at his feet. Seemingly by magic. At this point, he didn’t know if he was hallucinating or not. 

"I don’t…” He began, not wanting to take anything of this strange woman’s.

“Please, I beg you. He was the only piece of happiness I had left…” She looked as if she was on the brink of tears. 

“It’s just that I…" 

The woman smiled hopefully, prompting him to go on. There was something to it that made Leo’s hesitation disappear very quickly. 

He found his voice again. "Ok.”

Still smiling, she vanished in the wink of an eye. 

Now that he was alone, Leo rubbed his eyes and fixed his gaze on the piece of paper he was holding. The only evidence left of this strange encounter. 

A boy etched in pencil glared out at him, obsidian eyes so cold and full of hatred that Leo had to repeatedly remind himself it was just a drawing. Just a drawing. The boy had equally dark hair and skin the colour of cream. But as he watched, more and more details jumped into place. Like the leather bomber jacket wrapped oh-so tightly around him, or the silver skull ring sitting comfortably on his finger. A matching sword appeared by his side, but why this boy would need a sword he didn’t know. The image grew and changed until not a single detail was missed, from the frayed hem of his black skinny jeans, to that missed stitch in his t-shirt. As his gaze wandered over the picture, he noticed a cluster of words in the top left corner.

Nico Di Angelo.

So that was his name.

He knew at once it wasn’t going to be easy, but something screamed at him to try. The Latino stood back now, touching his fingers to the picture to make sure it was still just that, a picture. When he felt the unbroken surface, he scolded himself for being so childish and left it on the floor. 

Going over to his worktable, he pressed his index finger into the wooden knot at the side, waiting impatiently for the fingerprint scan to load. The machine clicked twice in approval and revealed a hidden doorway that had been cleverly hidden behind a gigantic refrigerator. Thinking nothing of it, he walked in, inspecting the rows upon rows of marble. Searching for the perfect one.  

Finally he came across a perfectly smooth block. 7-Foot high and 3 foot wide. It was pure white, untainted, and creamier than all the surrounding pieces. He didn’t know it yet, but it would become his masterpiece.

Wheeling it into the room, he whipped out his hammer and chisel, standing before the hunk of marble.

With a low bow, he introduced himself. (Pleasantries were not to be skipped, even with inanimate objects). 

“Hi. Nice to meet you, Nico. Leo Valdez, professional mechanic and sculptor at your service. How are you doing today? Good? That’s great to hear! You see-”

* DING

“OH! My cookies are ready!” He laughed at this unexpected interruption and quickly went to take them out of the oven, nibbling on a chocolate chip one as he ambled back. 

“Right. Sorry, these are to die for. They way they melt in your mouth is just… so fucking… Jesus Christ… I can’t even. Storebought doesn’t even compare! Once you try one, you’ll never go back…” He stopped his rambling. 

“Anyway, I sort of need to carve something out of you, so… yeah. It might hurt a little.”

He stayed there for a few minutes, scanning it over with his eyes -deciding how to start. When he had planned everything out, he dug the chisel into a relatively planate spot near the base and began to carve. 

 

*Time Skip*

He put down his tools, stopping to wipe the sweat off his forehead. Upon discovering an ice-cold can of coke conveniently located in the unfinished statue’s hands (who knew they made such good beverage holders?). He was 100% sure he wasn’t the one who put it there but drank it anyway, tilting his head to drown the liquid in 3 gulps. Wiping his mouth with the back of his sleeve, he picked up where he left off. 

“Thanks Neeks.”

The motionless figure stared back at him, marble features showing a thoughtful look. 

*Time Skip*

Santa’s elf knelt on the floor, buried up to his chest in a sea of marble that was gradually rising. The dishes stacked dangerously to the sky, (one more would’ve done it) threatening to topple, and the phone rang incessantly off it’s hook, but he ignored them all. 

Because he’d found a new way to pass the time. And that was talking to the statue, Nico di Angelo. 

Now he couldn’t shut up. All the words that had been trapped in him for so long now flowed like water. He talked about everything and anything. His life, his dreams, his feelings. Anything went. He’d ask the statue what his favourite color was, if he liked the movie Wall-E. As the weeks went by, it became his confident, the best friend he never had. Of course, the hunk of marble never talked back, but that was irrelevant. 

*Time Skip*

Leo yawned, sticking his head out past the pile of Chinese take-out to glance at the clock. It read 12:54. The stench coming from his clothes would’ve stunned a yak and he’d give his right hand for a shower. But rubbing his eyes, he pressed on. The statue was halfway done. 

 *Time Skip*

The Latino could barely keep his eyes open. It got so bad he had to set an alarm clock. Fall asleep, wake up to abhorrent blaring, drink more caffeine than the legal limit, repeat. But he knew he couldn’t stop now. The statue was almost finished. He looked up at it. Through unfocused eyes, it still glared at him, but something was off. It took him a while in this state, but he finally got it. It’s eyes were softer, not quite so ‘I’m going to murder you if you so much as look at me.“ Leo thought he was taking his first steps to lunatic land. 

 *Time Skip*

The sun shone warmly on an exhausted Leo, who had worked day and night for a month and a half to finish it. 

Aphrodite materialized in his workshop, unbeknown to him of course. She giggled and quietly lifted the tarp that covered the fruit of his labours. With a smug smile, she replaced it again. She’d known he was good, but this was literally a work of art. Hephaestus was going to have a great time playing janitor to her new club. There was just one little thing left though. 

When he woke 3 hours later, he found the ivory-coloured envelope sitting on his desk. Curious, he slipped his finger beneath the edge and opened it. 

 

Meet me at Aphrodite’s temple at sundown for your reward. Don’t be late.

 

Leo turned red. Then he noticed there was more writing on the back.

 

Not that kind of reward. But something you require and will love just the same.  

Oh. 

He cast a look towards his masterpiece. Nico now appeared to have a worried look on his face, could he have been worried over Leo? Probably not. The changing expressions thing had creeped him out at first, but after a few weeks he got used to it, even going so far as to find it adorable. When he slid a finger lovingly over the other’s hard, snow-white cheeks he swore he saw a faint blush cross the other’s face. 

Leo stood there, marvelled over the perfectness of it. Everything about the marble boy was perfect, from his tousled black marble hair to his sneaker-clad feet. When he took a cursory glance towards the window a little while later, he almost fainted. 

He’d spent so much time fawning over his work that he didn’t even notice the sun sink lower and lower in the sky until it was almost out of sight. 

 

Grabbing his jacket, he high-tailed out the door (Think Temple Run x 100). Barely making it as the sun dipped below the horizon. As he stepped into the low entrance, a thousand thoughts whirled through his head. He had no clue what his "reward” would be. He didn’t need money, he didn’t wish for fame. Heck, even luck wasn’t that appealing to him. What could it be? A beautiful seated lady waited inside, standing to greet him. 

“Who are you?” He asked, quite out of breath. Cheeks still pink from the mini-workout. 

She tisked. 

“Shame! You came to my temple and didn’t even recognize me.”

“A-Aphrodite?”

The goddess winked, blonde hair tumbling over her shoulders. 

“In the flesh. You have come for your reward?" 

"You were that weird old lady?!" 

She sighed. "Yes. I had to test you to see if you really deserved him." 

"I’m not following…”

Huffing indignantly like a peacock with it’s feathers ruffled, she grumbled. “Fine, no small-talk then. Enjoy your reward.”

Aphrodite chanted a long, complex spell in a language very ancient-sounding before touching Leo very softly in the heart. Then she disappeared from sight. 

What was that about?  He wondered on the way home. The key felt foreign in his hands as he slipped it key into the lock. He hadn’t done it for 3 months after all.

Holding his breath, he entered. The shop was quiet. Nothing seemed to be touched.

But as he got closer, he realized something had changed.

The final piece of the statue was finished. 

His jaw dropped to the floor.

Nico’s finished lips now glowed bright pink, beckoning. A crazy thought popped into his head. She was the love goddess after all, but what if it didn’t work? Then as if to help him make up his mind, he felt a sudden pull towards the statue, like a string being tightened. He couldn’t have stopped himself if he tried.

Approaching the statue very cautiously, he half-expected something to jump out and attack him. When nothing did though, he let out a breath of relief and continued to walk.

Now only inches away from his his work, his magnum opus, his Nico, his eyes seemed to flutter shut by themselves and there was a long moment of hesitation before he leaned in. The kiss was like nothing he had ever experienced. It just felt so right. He felt a shiver run down his spine. 

Suddenly, he drew back. Nothing had happened. The statue was still a statue. Heartbroken, he turned away, touching his own lips where they still tingled with from the kiss. A cold-but-stil-kinda-warm feeling that only Nico’s touch could give him. 

What the hell was he thinking? Of course it wouldn’t work! 

*Cough*  *Cough* 

What the…?  He turned around to see his statue’s body shaking with coughs -literally waking up. When the boy finally opened his eyes, his real eyes, they fell on Leo with a blank gaze. 

Everything was silent for a few minutes as they stared at each other.

“Um… I’m-”

“You’re Leo Valdez and you’re a mechanic and sculptor. Who also really likes chocolate chip cookies. I know.”

If he was surprised before, now he was astonished. The boy’s voice was low and comforting, with a very slight Italian accent. 

“Y-You heard all that?!" 

The other boy rolled his eyes, 

"Of course, marble has great amplifying properties you know." 

The latter looked down in amazement at his newly-flesh legs, testing their strength carefully. When he deemed them able to support his weight, his dark eyes locked on the other’s, wide with uncertainty. Leo smiled in encouragement at the newly not-statue. 

He nodded, gulping nervously. Then slowly, eyes never leaving the Latino’s, he raised a foot to take his first step as a not-statue. After what felt like years, he finally stopped in front of a transfixed Leo. 

"I think I found something better than chocolate chip cookies…”

Was all he had time to say before Nico’s lips crashed onto his, effectively stopping all conversation. 

 

 

Aphrodite laughed out loud from her seat in the Olympic council. The other gods and goddesses shot her funny looks, but she paid them no mind. 

You owe me, repair boy. She thought smugly.

Now Leo was too busy making out passionately with a former-statue to form a coherent reply of any kind, but she believed it was something along the lines of

Anything.

 

 

I Won’t Mind

A/N: It’s been a really long time since I’ve written anything imagine-related (thanks AP Lang) but oh my god Pillow Talk came out and it’s so good and it reminded me of I Won’t Mind and so I listened to it again and got completely inspired!! Hope this isn’t as sucky as I think it’s going to be!

I Won’t Mind
Pairing
: Luke + Reader
Word Count: 2.6K
Rating/Warning: NO SMUT/Didn’t really read through this too much so message me if you find any spelling errors or grammatical mistakes!

Luke stood with sweaty palms outside of his favorite restaurant, awaiting your arrival. It had been months since you two had met face-to-face, and he was a bit nervous about seeing you again. For one, you two had been talking on the phone for days and he didn’t want things to seem awkward when you two finally met up again in person. Secondly, he was planning on telling you something that would change your friendship, hopefully for the better.

You and Luke had been close friends for years, but it wasn’t until recently– aka when you moved half way across town and started up a new job– that he started feeling more attracted to you. He didn’t know if it was the distance, or the silly pictures you would send him while you were bored at work, or the sound of your voice as you called at 3 AM to ask him how he made his famous cheese toasties.

Either way, he knew he had fallen so hard for you in the months that you had been separated and it was tearing him apart from the inside out. His mind was racing with thoughts of you 24/7, and just when he thought you had escaped his mind, he saw or heard something and it immediately reminded him of you.

It sickened him just how much he thought of you and the nausea wasn’t leaving as he paced back and forth and practiced what he was going to say to you over and over again. He swore he was about to hurl into the nearby trashcan, until suddenly a pair of small, soft hands covered his eyes.

“Guess who,” the voice chirped.

Luke smiled, suddenly feeling at ease as he turned around wordlessly to face you. You smiled up at him, a smile that he swore could melt frozen rivers and could power every solar panel in the world far better than the sun could.

He glanced over you, and realized you hadn’t changed a bit. Despite your new, yet fading highlights, he still saw the same you that lived across the hall from him. The same you that would come over in the middle of the night because you had decided to watch some scary movie and now you couldn’t sleep.

He almost laughed to himself at the thought before he felt you grab onto his hand and tug him a bit. “C'mon, let’s go eat. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do, Hemmings.” you quipped, eyes glimmering with enthusiasm.

You both sat outside, taking advantage of the cool summer weather and watching as a plethora of people walked by, on their phones, with their loved ones, hauling their huge shopping bags filled with newly bought items. To Luke’s surprise, he found it easy– if not easier– to talk to you despite the feeling of worry that lingered in his chest.

He decided, that when there was a lull in the conversation, he would tell you. However, you had so much to tell him and he was never one to interrupt one of your amazing yet meaningless anecdotes. Finally when your story was over, he took a deep breath and began to speak.

His next words were cut off by the buzzing of your phone. You both glanced down at the table and you quickly picked up your device and typed in a reply to the sender, trying to hide a small smile. You locked your phone and then placed it down on the table, glancing back up at Luke, but he could tell that your mind wasn’t fully on him anymore. “Sorry,” you apologized, shaking your head absentmindedly.

“I-It’s fine, erm. Who was that?” Luke questioned, forgetting his whole speech he’d planned only moments before.

“Oh…no one really…” you sighed dreamily, playing with the straw in your drink. “It’s just…there’s this guy.” You finally announced. Luke felt his heart snap in two as the three words he dreaded escaped your lips. You continued, completely oblivious to the hurt look on his face that he desperately tried to conceal. “His name’s Ryan. I met him at work and he’s so sweet and nice and…I don’t know. We’ve been…on a few dates. I didn’t want to tell you about him yet because I wasn’t really sure if we were serious or not. I really want you to meet him, Luke. Your opinion means a lot to me and I really do think you’ll like him.” you rambled on, pushing your hair behind your ear and tapping the tabletop nervously.

When you looked up, Luke quickly plastered a tight smile on his face and nodded at you. “Y-Yeah I’d…I’d love to meet him sometime.” he lied, looking everywhere but you.

Unaware of his uneasy expression, your smile widened and you unlocked your phone and began showing Luke pictures of you and this so-called Ryan. You swiped and swiped and picture after picture was of you and him looking happier than ever. Luke felt even more sick than he had when he was waiting for you. Except this sick wasn’t a nervous sick, this sick was a hurt sick.

A sick that made him want to lay in bed for the rest of his life and never emerge to see the light of day again. He didn’t have the heart to tell you how he felt now. There was no way he could. He noticed the way that you talked about Ryan and he hadn’t seen you talk about anyone like that before. As desperate as he was to have you as the love of his life, he couldn’t tear you away from someone who seemed to make you so happy.

And as the thought of him being the “man of honor” at your’s and Ryan’s wedding crept into his mind, he felt the sickness grow and grow and grow and grow.

___

It had been exactly two and a half months since you and Luke had met up and you had revealed that you were seeing someone. It took Luke a while to adjust to your newly curious text messages, which ranged from, “Hey, what do you think this means? Sometimes Ryan is so hard to read” and “Look at what Ryan got me! He’s so sweet!” Sometimes Luke would get so tired of reading your messages about Ryan that he would turn off his phone for days, missing important calls and appointments.

Once you noticed that Luke wasn’t replying to any of your messages, the two of you drifted apart for quite some time. It wasn’t until recently, when you invited Luke to go on a hike with you and only you, that the spark between you two had been rekindled.

Now, Luke was hiking up a steep hill on a rather hot autumn day, you trailing not far behind. When the hill had finally leveled out, Luke collapsed underneath a tree for some shade. “We’ve been walking for hours,” he whined. “We’re never going to find that place.”

The place stated was a secret cliff that was supposedly hidden among the dozens of trees up on the hill. You, an avid explorer, were eager to find the area and take tons of pictures while toning up your calves in the process.

You glanced over at a sweaty, panting Luke, his dirty blonde curls matted to his forehead and blue eyes shut as he wiped some remaining sweat from his brow. “Oh, c'mon you big baby, it’s only been like thirty minutes. And besides it has to be around here somewhere,” you teased, pushing through random bushes and trees in hopes of finding this secret hideaway.

It took a while, but soon you had pushed back the right one and a breathtaking view panned out before you. “Luke…Luke!” you called excitedly over your shoulder, not able to pull your eyes away from the view. It was still pretty early in the morning, so the array of yellows and pinks and blues that spread across the sky were prominent enough to capture with even the lowest of camera qualities.

Luke reluctantly stood up and slugged over to you, looking out beyond the cliff and the rolling hills beneath it, seeing the city now lighting up miles and miles away. “Whoa…” he breathed as you both emerged from behind the sea of bushes and stood closer to the edge of the cliff.

“I can’t believe this…” you murmured, taking in the distant city lights and the way the now rising sun seemed to make every rock below shimmer. “Here, let’s take a picture,” you suggested, pulling out your phone and snapping a quick photo of the two of you, the sunrise painted behind your heads.

Luke glanced at the photo and then up at you, realizing that there was no one in the world he’d rather experience this with.

Moments later, as you both were walking back down the hill, you turned to Luke and smiled. “Hey, can I ask you something?” Luke nodded, briefly looking up from where his beat up Vans were kicking around a rock. You took a deep breath and asked, “I was wondering if you wanted to attend this banquet with me…”

“It’s nothing too serious. It’s just…a thing we do at work to acknowledge everyone’s hard work and achievements and I’m receiving quite few rewards. It’s kind of a black-tie event so I understand if you don’t want to come. I don’t know…I just want you to be there. ” You mumbled quickly. Luke was quiet for a moment while he took in everything you said. He couldn’t help but think about why you hadn’t asked Ryan instead.

“Yeah. Sure, I’ll go.” he confirmed, a smile beginning to grow on his face. You returned his grin and nodded acceptingly.

“Good…oh, and don’t wear your tie with the penguins on it,” you giggled.

“They’re toucans…and they’re cool,” he corrected.

You let out a loud laugh that made his heart soar up into his throat, itching to escape and land in the palm of your hands. “Whatever you say, Hemmings.”

___

“C'mon, Michael, I’m serious. I don’t know which one to wear!” Luke sighed, angrily loosening his sixth tie and throwing it to the floor. He turned around and looked at his friend, curled up in the chair in his bedroom, mindlessly scrolling through his feed on his phone.

“I told you to wear the one with the penguins on it.” Michael replied, not looking up.

“They’re toucans!” Luke exclaimed, running his fingers through his hair, making it stand up in odd places. “And I can’t wear that one, I have to be professional. This means a lot to her.” Luke sighed, picking up his seventh and final tie, and wrapping it around the collar of his button up, before deciding that this one was not satisfactory either.

“Well, I’d hurry up if I were you, Mr. Professional. You have to leave in ten minutes if you want to make it there on time.” Michael teased, crossing his arms and looking up at his friend. Luke glanced at the time before quickly deciding on a blue tie with a gray paisley print that his mom had bought for him a while back.

“How do I look?” Luke questioned, turning around and facing Michael once more.

“Like a bankrupt CEO. Now c'mon let’s get you out of here before you’re late.”

Before Luke could even think about changing his mind, he was standing in front of the venue that your banquet was being held at. His palms were sweaty as he looked down at the invitation you had sent him and then back up at the building. He wiped his hands on his pants before walking in and immediately spotting you.

You were wearing a dark purple dress that clung to every curve of your body and your hair cascaded down your back in loose tendrils that framed your face, as you held a conversation with a man who towered over your small frame. Luke caught your eye and you waved him over excitedly.

He subconsciously buttoned his suit jacket and made his way over to you. You gave him a quick hug before pulling away and smiling widely. Luke glanced between you and the man and realized he looked unusually familiar. His face hadn’t registered in Luke’s mind until you spoke up.

“Luke, this is my boyfriend…Ryan. Ryan, this is my really good friend Luke.”

Your words cut like knives through Luke’s chest and he felt that sickness rise up in his gut again. Ryan, a handsome man with sparkling green eyes and dark hair, smiled and extended his hand towards him. “Nice to meet you, man. I’ve heard so much about you.”

Luke looked between you and Ryan, starting to regret ever coming in the first place. When he saw your smile turn into a slight frown, he couldn’t bear to stand in front of the two of you anymore. He turned away quickly, murmuring something even he couldn’t make out, before making his way to the restroom.

There, he splashed water on his face before looking up at himself in the mirror.

Boyfriend?

Luke knew you had feelings for Ryan…but enough to call him your boyfriend?The whole thing seemed ridiculous. Luke had known you a lot longer than Ryan had and not once have you seemed to show any signs of wanting to be more than friends with him.

Luke didn’t think it was possible but his heart sunk even lower, at the thought of you and Ryan going on expensive dates and watching the stars and making 3 AM cheese toasties together…all of the things that Luke should’ve been doing with you.

It took a while but Luke finally pulled himself together and splashed enough water on his face to walk out of the restroom and finally face you again. When he pulled open the door, he found you already standing there, hand positioned to knock on the glossy wood. “Oh,” you both said simultaneously, in surprise.

“I…uh…” Luke stammered, trying to think of an explanation for his hasty departure.

“You okay?” you asked, searching his eyes in concern.

“’M fine…Just a little…sick is all.” Luke admitted halfheartedly.

“Oh…I’m so sorry. You don’t have to stay if-”

“No. I’ll stay. I’ll stay for you. It’s fine.”

You studied him a bit more before giving him a lopsided smile. “Well…okay, if you insist. I’m really glad you could make it.”

Luke couldn’t speak, only looked at you with total admiration and wonder. This feeling only increased when you took his hand in yours and lead the two of you back to civilization. This time, Luke looked Ryan in the eye and shook his hand, resisting the urge to crush it in his grip.

“Aw, look at my two boys,” you cooed, glancing between the two, with love for the both of them.

Suddenly the lights dimmed and a voice came over the speaker, signaling everyone to settle down at the large banquet tables and reassure them that the ceremony would begin momentarily.

Luke sat across from you and Ryan and watched how the two of you looked at each other. He noticed the way you two interacted. There were sly arm touches and hushed whispers and childish giggles that Luke couldn’t help but see were signs of total and complete sickening love. You rested your head on Ryan’s shoulder, eyes closed but smile as wide as ever.

You were happy.

And that was something Luke couldn’t deny. He watched you slowly open your eyes to look at him, and you sat up straight and addressed him for the first time in a while. “Thank you,” you mouthed, as your hand found Ryan’s which was rested on the table.

Luke disregarded this and instead looked you in your eyes. There was something there…but it wasn’t the same something that was there when you looked at Ryan. It never would be. And so with that, Luke mouthed back:

You’re welcome.”

Strangers on a Bus Ch. 4/4

This was originally just supposed to be three chapters but I didn’t want to let the universe go just yet so this happened.  It’s basically just 3,300 (good God) words of domestic fluff.
Chapters I, II, and III
[AO3]

Clarke was pretty sure that she had never been this nervous in her life.  Not when she took the SAT, not when she gave her valedictorian speech at her high school graduation, not when she opened her first acceptance letter from med school.

She was standing in the arrivals area of Boston Logan Airport’s Terminal A waiting for the arrival of JetBlue flight 118 from New York’s JFK.  Bellamy’s flight.

It was the first time she’d seen him since he, Octavia, and Lincoln dropped her off at the bus terminal the day after Octavia’s wedding four months ago so Clarke could go back to school.  She’d missed him violently ever since and had been counting down the days to this moment ever since he’d booked his flight (at an extremely low price thanks to his flight attendant cousin).

She anxiously checked the flight arrival board for what had to be the hundredth time.  There was a slow but steady trickle of people coming out out the sliding doors but apparently his flight hadn’t landed yet.  It was late, which she had known already of course because she’d been religiously checking her flight tracker app all day (sue her, she’d missed him).

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Sass-a-frass- Peter Parker Imagine

22. “This is damaging my self-esteem, I hope you know.” + 26. “Sometimes I feel like I’m tearing myself apart and I can’t stop.” + 34. “My entire universe is/used to be you.” (prompts from this post: http://fierce-flame.tumblr.com/post/144328193685/sentence-prompts)

Summary: A work-out at the gym turns into a sass match between you and Peter.

Note: I’m gonna be honest, I had a hard time making this one funny, but hopefully it’s not complete shit

gif credit to: @tomhollanddaily

The gym was supposed to be a place of peace, to work out your frustrations and stress in a way they benefited you both physically and emotionally. It was not the place to do something that utterly ridiculous and yes I know you’re Spiderman and have enhanced capabilities but Peter you’re going to injure yourself and -


Flashback to the previous five minutes, full of motivation in the entertaining form of snarky comebacks and cheeky banter. That is, until the TV overhead started to play your favourite show from your childhood. 

“My entire universe used to be you.” You say, longingly reaching your hand up to the animated characters. Of course you had been joking, but Peter, who had until then been finishing his last set of bench presses, pushed out a sharp breath as the metal bar dropped and he was shaking with laughter. “You can’t do stuff like that, I’m going to kill myself.” He managed to get out in between fits of laughter. You dropped the outstretched hand and threw your water-bottle at him. “Oh, like you never had a favourite show that took up all your time.”

He sat up, wiping a fake tear from his eye as a few more chuckles escaped his shit-eating grin. “Oh, I did, I just know the difference between love and an unhealthy obsession.” He sauntered over to the boxing area and started up a chat with the trainer.

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Michonne has had no character development?

I’m sorry are we even watching the same show?

Putting this under a read more because it got incredibly long but I had to get this out because saying Michonne has had zero character development is just a huge no. 

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