garden statuary

Best Served Cold

If Obito were even ten seconds slower, he’d have been too late.

It all happens in a blur; the moment he swings himself up onto the edge of the balcony, his eye catches on a slim figure in dark clothes, just approaching the wide glass doors with their covering of steel grills. In the same moment, there’s a spark of red across black cloth, all but invisible in the night. Across the busy street, on one of the top floors of an office building, light dances across cold metal, and Obito doesn’t even try to shout a warning. He hurls himself across the balcony with every ounce of speed he has and tackles the figure just as they reach for the lock.

In the same instant, there’s a muffled pop, and a bullet slams through the thick glass.

“God damn it!” Obito’s captive hisses, but Obito wraps an arm around her waist and leaps for the far edge of the terrace. Another pop, another bullet, and this one is even closer as it slams into stone, showering them with chips of stone. With a snarl of warning, Obito shoves his target around the corner, pushing her down, and whirls to bring his own gun up. There’s no time to aim, no chance to actually hit the bastard when Obito doesn’t have a rifle and scope with him, but he eyeballs it, squeezes the trigger, and dives after the woman as another shot cracks the stone where he’s been standing. At the same moment, glass cracks with a shattering crash across the street, and Obito pushes the target hard, trying to get her moving towards the far side of the building.

“Go!” he urges, and with an irritated huff she scampers along the narrow ledge, grabs a zip line between gloved hands, and vaults over the side of the museum. Obito shoves his gun back into its holster and follows her, landing lightly in the statuary garden behind the building. The woman is nowhere to be seen, but a maintenance gate is standing just a little ajar, and Obito wriggles through the gap, emerging into the lush darkness of the botanical garden that abuts the museum.

“You know,” he says into the darkness, more than a little annoyed, “thank you is generally what people say in this kind of situation.”

“My diamonds,” the woman says instead, a mournful lament, and Obito rolls his eyes as he steps into the small pagoda that overlooks a decorative pond.

Sniper, Rin,” he reminds her, exasperated. “Aiming for your head. Priorities, please.”

Rin drags her ski mask off to pout at him, brushing her bobbed hair out of her face. “Diamonds,” she insists. “Obito, we’ve been casing that building for weeks, and now it’s ruined.”

“But your head isn’t!”

Of course, Rin just waves that off. “Now security’s going to be insane,” she complains, folding her arms over her chest.

Obito is so done with this. “Someone just tried to kill you, and you’re worried about rocks?”

“Pretty rocks. Valuable rocks. Rocks that I spent a very long time planning to steal, Obito,” Rin insists, casting a dark look back at the museum. She heaves a sigh that’s overly thick with regret. “I bet every silent alarm in the place is going off right now.”

“Except the one for a dead would-be intruder,” Obito reminds her, because it can’t be overstated. “If I hadn’t gotten to you in time—”

That at least gets him a laugh, and Rin reaches up to cup his scarred cheek. “Yes, yes, you rode to my rescue like always, dashing hero, et cetera, et cetera. And here I thought you’d heard about our heist and were coming to join us again.”

Obito rolls his eye, though he doesn’t bat her hand away. It’s Rin, after all. “I don’t think assassin falls under the necessary skills to be a white knight, Rin. I’m not a thief anymore. You shouldn’t hold your breath that I will be again.”

Rin rolls her eyes right back, stepping a little away to prop her hands on her hip. “But we were good thieves,” she wheedles, though Obito can see the mischief in her expression. “Remember the casino in Kiri? The bank in Suna? The hotel in Ame?”

Making a face at her, Obito looks away, checking their surrounding so he doesn’t have to face the full force of Rin’s puppy dog eyes. “You know I make as much in one contract as you do in three heists,” he reminds her. “And this is a family business. If you have a problem with me killing people—”

Rin smacks him over the head.

(Obito probably should have seen that coming.)

With a yelp, he leaps back to get out of range, because Rin never stops at just one hit. At the same time, hands close around his elbows from behind, dragging him up against a hard chest, and it’s only a very vivid burst of sense-memory that keeps Obito from flipping the bastard over his shoulder and stabbing him.

“What are we talking about?” Kakashi asks, almost directly against Obito’s skin. It would take a stronger man then Obito not to shiver at the feeling.

“Assassinations,” Rin says cheerfully, stepping forward to tap her fingers against Obito’s chest.

Kakashi hums in acknowledgement, though he doesn’t lift his head. His flyaway hair brushes Obito’s cheek, and Obito can feel the sound more than he hears it. “Is that what that was? Rin, did you get into a death feud with someone and not tell me?

“It was Madara,” Obito says before she can answer. “And—can you let go of me? Hands to yourself, Bakashi!”

Kakashi, of course, does not let go. “Madara?” he asks, and there’s the faintest edge of darkness to his voice. “Your partner Madara?”

Rin is starting to frown as well, and Obito waves his hands as much as he can while still in Kakashi’s grip, trying to get them off this track. “No, no, not like that. He was an asshole so I left to work on my own, and he’s pissy because I’m better than him and he’s only making half as much money now. This was him trying to get revenge against me.”

“By coming after us?” This makes Rin beam. “Obito, you really do care!” she says cheerfully.

“Of course I care,” Obito grouses, huffing and slumping back into Kakashi’s hold. “It’s been the three of us since we were, what, six? You’re not getting rid of me that easily. Not even by getting married.”

Kakashi chuckles, his fingers tightening just a little. “I would have thought the way we fought over who got you as best man was convincing enough.”

And we offered to let you join in on our wedding night,” Rin points out, her smile far too bright to be saying things like—like that. Obito flushes, on the verge of spluttering, but before he can she adds, “So how many times has Madara tried to kill you since you left?”

Behind him, Kakashi goes stiff, but Obito ignores the overprotective idiot. “Ten times?” he hazards, though he can’t quite remember clearly. “It’s fine, he’s a moron who can’t use a gun. All of his stuff is arranged accidents or poisonings. I’m fine.”

“I don’t know,” Kakashi says mildly. “That sort of looked like a gun to me just now.”

Obito snorts rudely. “Yeah, and no offense to Rin, but if I was behind the trigger she would have been dead six times over before she even got to the balcony. Madara’s an overly dramatic moron.”

“Says the man who cried at our wedding.” But there’s tension easing out of Kakashi’s fingers, and when Obito glances back and up at him, he crinkles his eyes in a smile about his half-mask.

Emotional is not the same as dramatic,” Obito insists hotly. “And would you let me go, please?”

Kakashi hums low in his throat like he’s considering it, gaze slipping away from Obito to land on Rin. He lifts a brow in silent question, and Rin’s grin slides back onto her face, her delight clear. Apparently that’s answer enough, because Kakashi chuckles a little and leans down again, pressing his mouth to the curve of Obito’s neck.

Obito stiffens, jerks, and squawks, “What are you doing, Bakashi!?”

“If you’ve forgotten,” Kakashi says, still perfectly mild, “I think it’s about time we remind you.”

“Like a thank you for saving my life!” Rin agrees cheerfully, trailing her fingers down the center of Obito’s chest. “Think of it as a Hallmark card, but with more orgasms.”

One of the hands holding Obito’s elbow vanishes for a moment, and there’s a rustle of cloth. This time when Kakashi nips at his skin, his mouth is entirely uncovered, and Obito jolts and gasps. “But,” he manages as Rin leans up to kiss him, and for half a minute that’s far more interesting than words. Especially when Kakashi’s hands settle on his hips and drag him back even more firmly. When Rin finally surrenders his mouth, dragging her teeth across his lower lip, he groans and tries desperately, “But—revenge, I have to get revenge on Madara because he’s an asshole—”

Rin pouts at him in the way she knows he’s weak to, the witch. “Really, Obito? You’re thinking about revenge at a time like this? It’s been so long since we were all in bed together. Don’t you want to have some fun?”

“You just want to see Kakashi fuck me again,” Obito accuses, and from behind him Kakashi makes a very interested sound and scrapes his teeth over the spot on Obito’s jaw that always makes him lose control of his knees. Obito sucks in a hard breath, eye closing automatically, and Rin laughs.

“This is true,” she says without an ounce of shame, fingers ghosting over his belt. “Can you blame me? It’s been four years. Besides, I want a piece of you too.”

Her light touch turns into a definite grope, and it takes effort for Obito not to whine through his teeth. “But—plan. I have a plan and I need to go—”

Kakashi makes an intent sound against the curve of his shoulder. “Oh? For your revenge? You’re not just going to shoot him?”

“Mmm.” Obito breaks the kiss that Rin pulls him into, trying to drag his wayward thoughts back under control. They all seem to be taking a nosedive and heading south. “I—yes. Yes, I have the perfect plan. There’s this—this outstanding contract Madara has—oh.”

“Outstanding contract,” Kakashi prompts cheerfully, as if he didn’t just stick his hands up Obito’s shirt.

“On a businessman,” Obito forges on doggedly. “Madara was gleeful for days after he got it, because they have history. So I’m going to get there first.”

“And kill him before Madara can?” Rin asks, though her attention seems to mostly be on Obito’s abs as she follows the path of Kakashi’s fingers.

With an aggravated huff, Obito turns, getting ahold of Kakashi’s turtleneck and pulling him in for a hard kiss that’s full of teeth. “No,” he insists, pulling back. “I’m going to save the bastard and keep him alive no matter what, just to spite Madara.”

Rin laughs, pulling back a little. “That sounds like a good plan,” she agrees, and when Obito makes the mistake of looking at her she makes that one face, halfway between sultry and a pout, that always does terrible things to Obito’s willpower. “But it can wait until tomorrow, can’t it, Obito? Or…maybe the day after?” She traces her fingers down his chest, looking up at him through her lashes, and Kakashi pulls him in even tighter, halfway to a hug but with a very prominent bulge in his jeans.

“Oh god I hate you both,” Obito says, and Rin laughs because she knows that’s his surrender.

“You brought your bike, didn’t you?” she asks coyly. “I’ll take the car back to the hotel. Kakashi, why don’t you make sure he doesn’t change his mind?”

“I can do that,” Kakashi agrees cheerfully, nipping lightly at Obito’s ear. “You can tell me more about your revenge on the way. There’s no way that’s all of it, knowing you.”

“Keep implying that I’m a tricky bastard and I’ll prove you right,” Obito threatens as Rin leans up for another kiss. “I just—ah, Rin, god—I can only stay one night, okay?”

“We’ll revisit the discussion at a later time,” Rin decides, and her bright, sunny smile returns. “After we’ve wrecked you the second time, maybe?”

It’s vaguely sort of possible that Obito whimpers.

Maybe revenge is overrated.

Monster Manual Challenge - B - Basilisk

Scout

In a valley between the overworld and underdark sits a quaint statuary garden run by a kindly, blind old woman. Her work is always very real, very lifelike, and if you would like to see her practice she will always let you take a look.

Scout is a basilisk that wanders the statuary garden, used to turn people into stone after her owner poses them. The creature is temperamental, hardly tolerating her owner and easily being swayed otherwise.

anonymous asked:

What non-'reverse' fic are you currently working on right now? Any hints you'd like to give us that would leave us chomping at the bit for more?

If Obito were even ten seconds slower, he’d have been too late.

It all happens in a blur; the moment he swings himself up onto the edge of the balcony, his eye catches on a slim figure in dark clothes, just approaching the wide glass doors with their covering of steel grills. In the same moment, there’s a spark of red across black cloth, all but invisible in the night. Across the busy street, on one of the top floors of an office building, light dances across cold metal, and Obito doesn’t even try to shout a warning. He hurls himself across the balcony with every ounce of speed he has and tackles the figure just as they reach for the lock.

In the same instant, there’s a muffled pop, and a bullet slams through the thick glass.

“God damn it!” Obito’s captive hisses, but Obito wraps an arm around her waist and leaps for the far edge of the terrace. Another pop, another bullet, and this one is even closer as it slams into stone, showering them with chips of stone. With a snarl of warning, Obito shoves his target around the corner, pushing her down, and whirls to bring his own gun up. There’s no time to aim, no chance to actually hit the bastard when Obito doesn’t have a rifle and scope with him, but he eyeballs it, squeezes the trigger, and dives after the woman as another shot cracks the stone where he’s been standing. At the same moment, glass cracks with a shattering crash across the street, and Obito pushes the target hard, trying to get her moving towards the far side of the building.

“Go!” he urges, and with an irritated huff she scampers along the narrow ledge, grabs a zip line between gloved hands, and vaults over the side of the museum. Obito shoves his gun back into its holster and follows her, landing lightly in the statuary garden behind the building. The woman is nowhere to be seen, but a maintenance gate is standing just a little ajar, and Obito wriggles through the gap, emerging into the lush darkness of the botanical garden that abuts the museum.

“You know,” he says into the darkness, more than a little annoyed, “thank you is generally what people say in this kind of situation.”

“My diamonds,” the woman says instead, a mournful lament, and Obito rolls his eyes as he steps into the small pagoda that overlooks a decorative pond.

Sniper, Rin,” he reminds her, exasperated. “Aiming for your head. Priorities, please.”

Rin drags her ski mask off to pout at him, brushing her bobbed hair out of her face. “Diamonds,” she insists. “Obito, we’ve been casing that building for weeks, and now it’s ruined.”

“But your head isn’t!”

Of course, Rin just waves that off. “Now security’s going to be insane,” she complains, folding her arms over her chest.

Obito is so done with this. “Someone just tried to kill you, and you’re worried about rocks?”

“Pretty rocks. Valuable rocks. Rocks that I spent a very long time planning to steal, Obito,” Rin insists, casting a dark look back at the museum. She heaves a sigh that’s overly thick with regret. “I bet every silent alarm in the place is going off right now.”

“Except the one for a dead would-be intruder,” Obito reminds her, because it can’t be overstated. “If I hadn’t gotten to you in time—”

That at least gets him a laugh, and Rin reaches up to cup his scarred cheek. “Yes, yes, you rode to my rescue like always, dashing hero, et cetera, et cetera. And here I thought you’d heard about our heist and were coming to join us again.”

Obito rolls his eye, though he doesn’t bat her hand away. It’s Rin, after all. “I don’t think assassin falls under the necessary skills to be a white knight, Rin. I’m not a thief anymore. You shouldn’t hold your breath that I will be again.”

Rin rolls her eyes right back, stepping a little away to prop her hands on her hip. “But we were good thieves,” she wheedles, though Obito can see the mischief in her expression. “Remember the casino in Kiri? The bank in Suna? The hotel in Ame?”

Making a face at her, Obito looks away, checking their surrounding so he doesn’t have to face the full force of Rin’s puppy dog eyes. “You know I make as much in one contract as you do in three heists,” he reminds her. “And this is a family business. If you have a problem with me killing people—”

Rin smacks him over the head.

(Obito probably should have seen that coming.)

With a yelp, he leaps back to get out of range, because Rin never stops at just one hit. At the same time, hands close around his elbows from behind, dragging him up against a hard chest, and it’s only a very vivid burst of sense-memory that keeps Obito from flipping the bastard over his shoulder and stabbing him.

“What are we talking about?” Kakashi asks, almost directly against Obito’s skin. It would take a stronger man then Obito not to shiver at the feeling.

“Assassinations,” Rin says cheerfully, stepping forward to tap her fingers against Obito’s chest.

Kakashi hums in acknowledgement, though he doesn’t lift his head. His flyaway hair brushes Obito’s cheek, and Obito can feel the sound more than he hears it. “Is that what that was? Rin, did you get into a death feud with someone and not tell me?

“It was Madara,” Obito says before she can answer. “And—can you let go of me? Hands to yourself, Bakashi!”

Kakashi, of course, does not let go. “Madara?” he asks, and there’s the faintest edge of darkness to his voice. “Your partner Madara?”

Rin is starting to frown as well, and Obito waves his hands as much as he can while still in Kakashi’s grip, trying to get them off this track. “No, no, not like that. He was an asshole so I left to work on my own, and he’s pissy because I’m better than him and he’s only making half as much money now. This was him trying to get revenge against me.”

“By coming after us?” This makes Rin beam. “Obito, you really do care!” she says cheerfully.

“Of course I care,” Obito grouses, huffing and slumping back into Kakashi’s hold. “It’s been the three of us since we were, what, six? You’re not getting rid of me that easily. Not even by getting married.”

Kakashi chuckles, his fingers tightening just a little. “I would have thought the way we fought over who got you as best man was convincing enough.”

And we offered to let you join in on our wedding night,” Rin points out, her smile far too bright to be saying things like—like that. Obito flushes, on the verge of spluttering, but before he can she adds, “So how many times has Madara tried to kill you since you left?”

Behind him, Kakashi goes stiff, but Obito ignores the overprotective idiot. “Ten times?” he hazards, though he can’t quite remember clearly. “It’s fine, he’s a moron who can’t use a gun. All of his stuff is arranged accidents or poisonings. I’m fine.”

“I don’t know,” Kakashi says mildly. “That sort of looked like a gun to me just now.”

Obito snorts rudely. “Yeah, and no offense to Rin, but if I was behind the trigger she would have been dead six times over before she even got to the balcony. Madara’s an overly dramatic moron.”

“Says the man who cried at our wedding.” But there’s tension easing out of Kakashi’s fingers, and when Obito glances back and up at him, he crinkles his eyes in a smile about his half-mask.

Emotional is not the same as dramatic,” Obito insists hotly. “And would you let me go, please?”

Kakashi hums low in his throat like he’s considering it, gaze slipping away from Obito to land on Rin. He lifts a brow in silent question, and Rin’s grin slides back onto her face, her delight clear. Apparently that’s answer enough, because Kakashi chuckles a little and leans down again, pressing his mouth to the curve of Obito’s neck.

Obito stiffens, jerks, and squawks, “What are you doing, Bakashi!?”

“If you’ve forgotten,” Kakashi says, still perfectly mild, “I think it’s about time we remind you.”

“Like a thank you for saving my life!” Rin agrees cheerfully, trailing her fingers down the center of Obito’s chest. “Think of it as a Hallmark card, but with more orgasms.”

6

Embodying the freedom and curiosity of the French Enlightenment, Jean Honoré Fragonard (5 April 1732 in Grasse – 22 August 1806 in Paris) developed an exuberant and fluid manner as a painter, draftsman, and printmaker. Prolific and inventive, he abandoned early on the conventional career path dictated by the hierarchical structure of the Royal Academy, working largely for private patrons. His work constitutes a further elaboration of the Rococo idiom established by Antoine Watteau and François Boucher, a manner perfectly suited to his subjects, which favored the playful, the erotic, and the joys of domesticity.
As in the pastorals of his former master Boucher, Fragonard’s rustic protagonists are envisioned with billowing silk clothing, engaged in amorous pursuits.
Early Training in Paris and Italy
Born in the Provençal city of Grasse, Fragonard moved with his family to Paris in 1738. He spent some time in the busy studio of François Boucher before successfully competing for the Prix de Rome in 1752. He then pursued studies at the École Royale des Elèves Protégés in Paris, following the standard training for a history painter.
Back in Paris in 1761, Fragonard found an eager market for his cabinet pictures, which melded the influences of Italian Baroque painting and seventeenth-century Dutch landscape. The spectacular critical success of Coresus and Callirhoë (Musée du Louvre, Paris), which he submitted to the Royal Academy in 1765, led to high hopes that he would be the salvation of history painting in France. However, it was a promise he chose not to fulfill, neglecting royal commissions in favor of work for private collectors.
Shortly after the disappointment of Madame du Barry’s rejection of the Louveciennes panels, Fragonard agreed to embark on a second trip to Italy (1773–74) as artistic companion to Pierre-Jacques-Onésyme Bergeret de Grancourt, a wealthy fermier général. A great many drawings are associated with this trip, their style quite distinct from those Fragonard made on his first trip. Seated Man Reading  probably belongs to a series of informal red chalk portraits Fragonard drew of Bergeret’s friends and acquaintances along the way. A Fisherman Pulling a Net and A Fisherman Leaning on an Oar  must have been made during the two months the party spent in Naples in spring of 1774. He also adopted at this time the technique of brush and brown wash, which he employed with a freedom and facility paralleling his oil paintings of the 1760s.
In 1756, Fragonard was sent to Italy as a pensioner of the crown; he remained at the French Academy in Rome until 1761. From the numerous black chalk copies he executed there, it is clear that he held masters of the Baroque in the highest esteem, copying works in Rome,Naples, and Venice. Many, such as Saint Celestine V Renouncing the Papacy , were made with eventual publication as prints in mind. He also produced brilliant red chalk drawings of the Villa d'Este at Tivoli and painted small cabinet-size paintings for French private collectors living in Rome. The Stolen Kiss was painted for the bailiff of Breteuil, French ambassador to the Order of Malta in Rome. As in the pastorals of his former master Boucher, Fragonard’s rustic protagonists are envisioned with billowing silk clothing, engaged in amorous pursuits.
Official and Commercial Success
During this period, he further developed the painterly surface of his canvases, working with great rapidity and little blending, giving pictorial form to the qualities of “fire” and “genius” so admired by contemporary collectors. ThePortrait of a Woman with a Dog  is related to an inventive series of virtuoso imaginary portraits referred to collectively as the Figures de fantaisie. They feature archaic costumes, often vaguely Spanish or Rubensian in inspiration, and brushwork so rapid and undisguised that it would have previously been associated with oil sketches rather than finished works.
Similar achievements can be cited in the realm of drawing. A Gathering at Woods’ Edge, like many sheets Fragonard made for the increasingly active collector’s market, is not a study for a painting, but a finished work of art on paper. In its unhesitating technique and varied range of graphic notation, it is testimony to Fragonard’s unmatched mastery of the red chalk medium and to his endearing vision of nature as welcoming and wondrous.
Fragonard’s masterpiece of this period is the series of large panel paintings commissioned by Madame du Barry, the official mistress of Louis XV, for the château de Louveciennes (The Lover Crowned, The Frick Collection, New York). While the iconography of the series continues to be debated by scholars, the subjects can generally be described as lovers in various stages of romantic involvement in lush, overgrown gardens full of mythological statuary, potted plants, and cascading flowers. A dispute with the patron led to the paintings being returned to the artist and replaced by a more Neoclassical series by Joseph Marie Vien (1716–1809).
Later Career
After his return to France, Fragonard made various attempts to remake his style in the newly popular Neoclassical manner with its planar compositions and smooth surfaces, although the tide of changing taste was ultimately too strong for him. After the French Revolution, he held administrative positions at the Louvre, but his work had fallen from favor and he died in relative obscurity in 1806.

2

“First, I thought, I will see gods walking the Earth.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“This was not an image carefully made in imitation of Hephestia, amid a statuary garden of the gods. This was the Great Goddess, and she was surrounded by her court. My extended hand began to shake. I closed my eyes as I heard the rustle of cloth behind me, wondering if it was the midnight blue gown with the water pattern as Oceanus checked to see if I had left any dirt. I opened one eye and looked up at the Great Goddess. She looked beyond me, impassive, distant, not unaware of my presence but unmoved by it”. - The Thief, Megan Whalen Turner, p. 144

Here is my entry for The Queen’s Peeps contest. I wanted to recreate the scene from The Thief that really sold me on this series - the story was great, I loved the mythology, but this was the reveal that really started the process of this series becoming one of my favourites of all time. So I give to you the scene where Eugenides meets the gods, starring my sister’s earring as Hephestia’s crown, and a special appearance by the best Easter candy (imo), the Mini Egg, as Hamiathes’ Gift.

I had originally wanted to use one of my marble patterned phone cases as a background to give the feel of the temple, but they have all mysteriously disappeared, so the velvet will have to do. There’s a bonus photo taken from behind the gods because I wanted to capture them looking larger than life, and certainly larger than poor Eugenides, to whom they must have seemed like giants in this moment. Thanks @meganwhalenturner!

9

Browsing statuary in New Hope, PA. 

Hobensack & Keller Inc. (57 W Bridge St.) is one of our favorite shops in New Hope, PA. We love getting lost in the narrow passages that meander through this garden statuary mecca. In this shop you can find salvaged Victorian cemetery gates alongside limited edition sculptures from artists around the world. I absolutely love the hodgepodge of gargoyles, cherubs, satyrs, nymphs dragons and more. Definitely worth the trip.

3

Garden statuary in Ocean Grove. Except for the third picture, which is me and three of my friends at lunch today in NYC cooling off by balancing a big exercise ball between our heads and spitting water out of our mouths. It’s harder to do than you might think; you can tell I’m working hard because I’m curling my toes.