gear cog

A genre-punk dictionary
  • Cyberpunk - Neon lights, mechanical body-horror, lots and lots of electronic junk lying around, tightly confined city slums, flying cars, androids, and last but not least, lots of grungy browns and grays. Bladerunner, Judge Dredd, Bubblegum Crisis etc.
  • Dieselpunk - Similar to cyberpunk, but less about electronics and androids and more about internal combustion and industrial robots. Technology is less ubiquitous in this setting but when you see techology, it will be combustion powered in some way… or at least look like it should be. Expect grease stains and bits of sludge on everything. Final Fantasy VII (the original game only) is a prime example.
  • Laserpunk - The Anti-Cyberpunk. Spotless with a lot of legroom. Expect glowing lines, fancy grooves, bright white glossy walls, and some shiny blues on everything. Everything in this setting has something that glows, even when it doesn’t need it. These are your Xenosaga’s, iRobot’s, Star Ocean’s.
  • Garbagepunk - The kludgey cousin of steampunk. Everything in this setting, and I mean EVERY SINGLE THING, is made of trash. Goggles made of bottles, water filtration made of old oil drums and used coffee filters, etc. Mad Max, Deponia, Water World, etc.
  • Steampunk - Steam power, leatherbound handles, brass fittings, lots of circles and rivets. I shouldn’t have to really clarify this one.
  • Clockpunk - Steampunk but with clockworks instead of steam engines. Its a small difference, listed only for the reason that steampunk requires steam and clockpunk doesn’t always have it. Expect gears, cogs, wheels and springs.
  • Codepunk - This one is difficult to pin down. Its less about the aesthetic and more about the concepts. This is a setting where everything that happens is related in some way to programming… Where the laws of physics are just functions being run with parameters, alterable by anyone with knowledge of how to access them. This is a setting where people do battle by compiling text that subtracts a number from the other person’s vital statistics variables, but that is what the world is actually made of, not just a game abstraction. Codepunk is characterized by parts of the world actually breaking down visibly into raw text. .hack//, Fate/Extra, the parts of the Matrix series we don’t get to watch where someone is actually typing on a keyboard to make things actually happen…( not that Neo-Morpheus crap. )
  • Naturepunk - What happens when you invent modern or even futuristic technology without actually using any technology. Reclining armchairs made of sticks and moss. Aeroplane’s made of palm fronds and vines. If cavemen invented space travel. Everything is made of locally sourced natural components, but the level of technological advancement and sophistication isn’t necessarily diminished because of it. You might have all the classic weapons of war, guns and grenades and such, but made of curious growths. Mushrooms with highly flammable spores for example, instead of a grenade. While not the only example, the best I can actually think of is… The Flintstones. You might also consider many depictions of Atlantis under this category.
  • Biopunk - Naturepunk’s heavy metal big sister. Everything is made of bone, meat, blood and teeth. Everything is either alive, or was alive at one time. Technology is either made of raw carcasses, or is actually some creature bred or engineered specifically to be used in the way a machine would. Don’t expect to see much inorganic material in generally anything. eXistenZ, generally anything that takes place inside another organism.
the aesthetics of the gods
  • Aphrodite: the bruises of love bites left by lovers on necks and thighs; smudged lipstick from hasty kisses; blood red roses with their sharp thorns still intact; the way you hug someone you love when you reunite after a lengthy separation
  • Apollo: polished instruments gleaming, held like the most precious of jewels by their owners; a sunny day with a clear blue sky where there are no clouds in sight; the rough script of poems penned out on scraps of paper or napkins before they're forgotten; when music is so loud that you feel it reverberating in your bones; the pale lines of fading scars
  • Ares: the hands of a fighter, short finger nails and bloodied knuckles; split lips that have scabbed over; the smooth and intricate lines of old weapons you see mounted on museum walls; deep trenches dug out from the earth; the way barbed wire contrasts against whatever it surrounds
  • Artemis: loose braids with wild flowers slipped in; the majesty of tall trees stretching up endlessly towards the heavens; the wide and captivating eyes of wild deer; cloudy nights where the moon is just barely peeking through; the colorful fletching of arrows drawn back to rest upon cheeks and along jaws
  • Athena: the straight and steady way a soldier stands at attention; fingertips smudged with ink; a stack of books to read piled on the floor or a nightstand; eyes gleaming with the glow of new ideas; the quiet and contemplative aura of museums and libraries
  • Demeter: the way sunlight catches dust motes in the air through the gaps in the leaves of the trees; the feeling of life you get from standing in the middle of an orchard with bees buzzing around you; crocuses and snowdrops peeking through the last dredges of winter's snow
  • Hades: the bleached bones of animals in the forest when moss has begun to engulf them; the way that graveyard angels look like they're weeping in the rain; the solemn aura of old churches, citadels, synagogues, temples, and mosques
  • Hephaestus: the pleasure of holding something you've created in your palms; the soft glow of heated metal; the intricate beauty of cogs and gears fitting together precisely and working in tandem; the smooth and polished surfaces of high-rise business buildings
  • Hera: the lacy white of flowing wedding gowns; the way a couple's hands look clasped together; pairs of old wedding rings that are scratched from years of use; the feeling of surrealism that comes from looking at old family portraits; getting used to sharing a space with someone else and then seeing the mannerisms you've unknowingly adopted from them
  • Hermes: the way that the low beam headlights of a car touch the roads that stretch ever onwards at night; old maps yellowed at the corners from their age; the way that things rush past when you look out the window of a car or train; quick hands slipping deftly into pockets and taking what they find
  • Hestia: the light and protection of street lights in an otherwise dark city; the warmth of your bed on cold winter mornings; the heat of a fire as you sit around it with people you love; the comfort of a home-cooked meal
  • Poseidon: the way light looks when you're seeing it shine down from deep underwater; the effervescent colors of cresting waves; the eery beauty of shipwrecks; the ripples created when you trail your fingertips through still waters; dust clouds kicked up by the passing of strong hooves
  • Zeus: the way that storm clouds darken the edge of the horizon; silhouettes framed against the sky by flashes of lightning; the splay of feathers of a bird's outstretched wings; the polished and tarnished brass of old fashioned scales
Legit Tip #193

or - “Writing Disability in Fantastic Worlds”

It goes without saying that diversity is crucial to the world of fiction today. That being said, it can also be difficult to know how to approach writing disability when you’re writing about characters who are traversing distant star systems or making their way across fantasy landscapes. 

Writing a cohesive story while still staying true to the struggles of people with disabilities and telling their stories can be a challenge. And I don’t claim to have all the answers. What I do know is that this is something I’ve thought about a lot, both as a writer and someone who struggles with disability myself. So here are some things to think about as you write your own fiction. 

The Debate: To Cure or Not to Cure?

If you live in a world with magic or advanced technology, it only stands to reason that there would be magical cures or technological cures for disabilities, right? Well… let’s address the issues with that.

1. Magic/Technology doesn’t solve everything. And thought it may feel a bit “nice” as a writer to offer people with disabilities a vision of a world where there are “cures” available…that doesn’t reflect their reality. Which brings us to point number 2.

2. You’re not really telling the stories of people with disabilities, which means you’re not offering real representation. Which is kind of the point of putting those people in your stories to begin with.

3. Not everybody wants a cure. See: Deaf Culture (among many other examples). Don’t belittle readers by having a deaf character suddenly be magically fixed by a wizard halfway through your story.

What Do You Call Disabilities?

This can be a particular problem if you’re writing a story that isn’t set in the present time, whether it’s on another world or the distant future where names for existing conditions may have changed. Knowledge of conditions change, and names for conditions change. 

Realistically speaking, as much as I want representation, it just doesn’t fit for a character in a high fantasy novel to say they have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. (Those diagnoses wouldn’t exist in a high fantasy world.) So what do you do?

Well, a lot of it depends on your worldbuilding. If it’s important to you to point out that these conditions exist, then you could have a more advanced fantasy civilization that has identified mental health concerns and given them their own names. They may not understand why these conditions exist or the science behind them, but readers in the know would be able to link the fantasy illness to the real world illness. 

Likewise if you were to write a futuristic story and simply tweak existing names of illnesses a bit (as names for illness change all the time in a clinical setting over time and it would be realistic to do so).

How do I Accommodate for Disabled Characters in Fantastic Settings?

One particular struggle a lot of writers may have is fitting disabled characters into fantasy or science fiction settings, or at least doing so without demeaning those characters. This is more so true for characters in fantasy settings, where the world may not be as accommodating for a disabled person (especially, for example, if they are mobility impaired).

Honestly, it’s at this point where I suggest you just get creative with the world that you’ve built. Writing steampunk? How about a ship’s captain with a badass leg made up of cogs and gears? Writing a story about the fae? How about a schizophrenic girl who befriends a fairy who helps her tell the difference between what’s real and not real after she makes a deal with her? And don’t even get me started on the wealth of opportunities that science fiction affords. Just a peek at news articles on current medical breakthroughs should give you inspiration for days.

All that being said, there’s no reason not to include disabled characters in your science fiction and fantasy. I hope this inspires more of you to include more of them! 

youtube

A demo of what I’ve made so far for my Metal Gear inspired Side Project, “IRON COG.”

HOW VENUS SHAPED YOUR HEART

♈ ARIES // A fiery inferno. An organ set ablaze. Unimaginably hot and wildly untamable, fervently consuming all it is fed; the good and the bad. It radiates a heat that can thaw cold cheeks and frost from shivering lips – or engulf you, swallow you whole and leave you as nothing more than smoldering ash. This heart needs generous kindling and constant stoking. Never to be smothered or snuffed out. It beats in booming thunder, and bleeds in plumes of smoke.

♉ TAURUS // A whittled heart of knotty pine, with intricate floral patterns etched deep into its wooden surface. A lacquered finish makes it sleek and glossy. A natural beauty. Carved and hollowed out, so that it can collect all the beautiful trinkets it finds, and lock them away. This heart needs an antiqued key, and reliable eyes that can cherish each and every lovely treasure they’ve buried so deeply in their chest. It beats in gentle echoes, and bleeds in sweet, sticky resin.

♊ GEMINI // A gilded, golden cage, with ornate engravings on every spindly, metallic bar. Glinting and gleaming in playful light; it dazzles and draws many admirers near. However, if they step too close, or extend their fingertips to touch – the hundreds of tiny, frightened finches inside release shrill and frantic chirps from silver beaks. A flurry of ruffled, rosy plumage. This heart needs a patient hand to release the latch. To let the feathers fly, and simply listen as the birds sing. It beats in the flutter of wings, and bleeds in pastel sunrise.

♋ CANCER // Tessellated sea glass and elegant vintage lace; smooth and embellished with pearls that glow soft and argent like the moon. It contains the entire ocean, with all it’s depth and warmth and comfort. Churning, swirling, salty waves flood the arteries and fill it will the soulful beauty of the seas. A home for many – a drowning place for some. Love flows uncontrollably, unconditionally. This heart needs lungs that can breathe underwater. Hands both strong enough to carry it, and so gentle it won’t shatter. It beats in the ebbing of the tides, and bleeds in soothing moonbeams.

♌ LEO // Lustrous sunlight encased in crushed red velvet. Luxurious and sparkling. Bold and rich. It transfixes others adoration and desire with the scintillating light that leak from its seams. It brightens and blinds all those who gaze upon it. Illuminating only the pleasant things, and melting the affection it is fed. This heart needs amorous eyes that have never beheld such a wonder, and will never forgets it’s beauty. It beats in boisterous trumpets, and bleeds in liquid gold.

♍ VIRGO // Precision cut and polished clockwork. Burnished brass and copper coils. Silver springs and cogs and gears that mesh and mash in a complex, synchronized rhythm unlike any other. When well-oiled, love ticks and tocks effortlessly; consistent and hypnotic. It winds and unwinds as it chooses. This heart needs feet that can get lost in a waltz, but still keep time. It beats like a syncopated metronome, and bleeds in bubbling amber.

♎ LIBRA // A twinkling, paper lantern; thin as the wings of a butterfly, and just as weightless. It emits a faint glow from the romantic light flickering inside, yet drifts listlessly through the chest cavity – as though no love can pin it down. It can be folded and creased to look like all that intimacy should be – but isn’t. This heart needs real romance. To be held with grace and loving balance. It beats in charming laughter, and bleeds in floral perfume.

♏ SCORPIO // A twisted labyrinth of thorny vines and ruby flowers. Dark and intimidating, but oh-so alive and growing. Roots constrict and thorns prick to fend off deceitful lovers. But if they’re willing to bleed – each rose that blooms will do so just for them. An endlessly beautiful garden; secluded and full of the richest reds and luscious greens. This heart needs love that is true and unafraid of hurt; that will not let the petals shrivel or wither. It beats in whispered “I love you”’s, and bleed in twilight skies.

♐ SAGITTARIUS // A gluey patchwork of auburn leaves and borrowed things. Stitched together from pieces of foreign hearts to form a hot air balloon-like contraption. Tethered only by heart strings, and fueled by an single spark. Always eager to take flight, to feel new heights, and caress the clouds. This heart needs a skyscape that never ends. A spirit with no map. It beats in whistling fire crackers, and bleeds in afternoon sunshine.

♑ CAPRICORN // An impenetrable exterior of compressed coal; smoky black and unattainable. However, if one stays and chisels for years, they’ll discover this hardened stone is a literal diamond in the rough. A glittering, jewel encrusted cavern. Its walls and arteries lined with vast riches; emeralds and rubies and sapphires. Resplendent and full of love. This heart needs one worthy of holding such a valuable chasm. It beats in refined symphonies, and bleeds in the boldest red wine.

♒ AQUARIUS // A sparkling prism lodged ambiguously in the rib cage where a human heart should be. It’s crystalline surface clarifies the cloudy, and gives the dull new splendor. It isolates and captures the smallest, most imperceptible glints of light, only to reflect and dissect the spectrum of color in it no one else would ever notice. This heart needs eyes that can peer through a kaleidoscope and see new rainbows every time. It beats in neon flickers, and bleeds in cosmic stardust.

♓ PISCES // Wispy gossamer and creamy silk, loosely woven together like a dream catcher. A tattered tapestry of delicate, warm fabric; embroidered with strands of silver thread and tiny beads of amethyst. This heart absorbs all forms love, and unfortunately, all sorrows. It is stained with the fingerprints of every hand it’s held. Soft and sensitive; it should be handled with the most tender care. It beats in soothing lullabies, and bleeds in shimmering, lavender bubbles.

Last time at the Animal Shelter…

- Sophronia spent most of her time taking care of the animals.
- The animals spent most of their time playing with each other and doing animal-y stuff. :) 
- Sophronia bought a cauldron and spellbook to learn more about and practise her fairy powers. 
- She also flirted around downtown, but nothing serious came of it. 
- Thanks to a glitchy beach lot, the shelter moved to downtown Pine Lake, where the kittens grew into cats. 

Scenarios for 500 Follower Contest Winners!

@maellem - Here is your scenario from mod spookzz! Thanks again for entering and for following, hope this is what you’re looking for. <3 


It wasn’t planned and it definitely wasn’t well thought out, but yet here you were, swinging through the rooftops with an expensive piece of equipment you were damn sure you weren’t supposed to be playing with. You’d heard rumors about how thugs underground had been prosecuted for abusing the 3DMG this way; it was strictly for military use and you were only supposed to have it if you were outside the walls, but it had been all too tempting to participate in the stupid race Eren had bet you were too chicken to complete.

He’d made the assumption you were bound by rules and law, as you typically didn’t stray too far from the path paved for you, but every once and awhile you found the inspiration to break your mold, and a quick dash through the nearly desolate town couldn’t hurt, right? Especially when it involved getting to spend time with the one person you knew you shouldn’t have a stupid crush on.

You’d been sitting around doing practically nothing anyway, and you’d even checked with your squad leader earlier to make sure there wasn’t anything you could be more productive at. You’d practically been twiddling your thumbs when he’d found you, swiping your cloth over your blade for the twelfth time and staring at only your face reflected in the pristine steel until the familiar teal eyes had suddenly come into view.

It was a challenge–a race to see who could get to the tree at the edge of the town first. You knew exactly which tree he was talking about; you’d visited there just two days earlier after coming back from a miniature scouting mission. It wasn’t terribly far away but there were plenty of buildings in between here and there, so you knew you had both many opportunities to succeed and fail. If you made the right choices you could sink your 3DMG in to the buildings and sail through the air at a high speed, but one wrong move and you could find yourself smashing your face into the nearest brick wall.

You weren’t Levi or Mike or even in the top 10 most skilled members of the Survey Corps, but you did pride yourself on your ability to use your 3DMG. You didn’t often toot your own horn but you tended to make split second decisions particularly well, and your skill at foreseeing the path laid out in front of you before it even became available proved particularly useful in stressful, tight situations with looming titans looking to rip out your throat. You were fairly confident in your use of the machinery, which was why you had agreed to race Eren in the first place even though he’d sported a smirk the size of a titan’s, seemingly considering this an easy win on his part.

Which was why you were secretly delighted at the look he currently wore as you zipped past empty buildings; he was beginning to realize that this was not as easy of a win as he had expected it to be.

Nonetheless you would be lying if you tried to say you weren’t having the time of your life. You couldn’t stop the bubble of laughter that escaped your lips as he sent you a challenging, playful glare and you couldn’t stop the huge grin growing on your lips even if it was making your jaw hurt.

You removed your gaze from your brunette haired crush to focus on the trek in front of you. You had a few buildings left before you’d be spinning into open territory with only a couple trees left to sink your gear into. You were so busy mapping out your plan, however, that you had tunnel vision; there was no way you were expecting nor prepared for the impact of the hard body into your side.

You released a grunt as you lost balance, your vision spinning as your body did and leaving you unable to find a safe place to re-secure your lines. You knew you needed to be bracing for impact at this rate, your heart thumping so quickly and loudly in your ears that it was all you could focus on as you desperately brought up your arms for the fall.

You felt a of arms slip around you at the last second as you tumbled toward the ground, and though the impact of the fall still rushed throughout your body, you didn’t take nearly as much damage as you should have. As you slid across the ground and came to a dust-filled stop, your eyes fluttered open to find the familiar face of Eren merely a few inches away, his face contorted into pain as he struggled to deal with his own injuries.

He was hovering over you, arms wrapped around you and his chest practically pressed against yours. If you moved even an inch you could have brushed noses, but instead you stayed completely still, almost halting your breathing altogether. You were sure he could feel the heat radiating off you face; your close proximity was enough to turn you into a tomato.

As the dust settled around you, Eren finally opened his eyes, staring into yours with the bright, inquisitive teal hues that you’d come to know so well. He slowly slipped his arms out from underneath you but kept them planted on either side of your head, not bothering to move even a fraction of an inch away from you. You attempted to swallow but felt the tennis ball located there, the dryness of your mouth doing nothing to help you.

He seemed alright, all things considered, but you couldn’t help but wonder what had gotten the two of you into this mess in the first place. You had barely opened your mouth when Eren interrupted.

“Our gear became tangled,” he revealed, pursing his lips into a thin line as if bothered by his rookie mistake. “The number of houses was narrowing and neither of us accounted for one another as our points of travel became narrower. I was already going to slam into you before I could alter my course of direction.”

You managed to swallow, whispering back a quiet, “oh,” before nodding your head. You shifted your vision to the empty terrain around you, spotting the tree only a few yards away and very much glad that this area was cleared of titans or else you’d have an even bigger problem to be dealing with.

Eren followed your gaze, settling his own on the tree before sweeping the area. Both of your gears sat on the ground around you, completely disassembled and going to take a lot of work to put back together. You couldn’t help but sigh; you were going to have to clean them all over again. Eren noticed your face contort into a scowl and momentarily frowned; he had intended this to be fun, not ruin your day.

Knowing he had to liven the mood and cut the thick tension, Eren glanced back around at your gear, a small grin growing on his lips. “I win.”

You snapped your head to look at him intensely, brows furrowed into confusion. “What? How is that, exactly?”

Eren simply shrugged, his gaze shifting from your eyes to your lips and then back again. Your cheeks heated. “My gear landed closer to the tree.”

You couldn’t even find the words to dispute his claim, your mouth hanging open and eyes wide in shock as you tried to process what he was saying. “You–”

“So I think I’ll claim my prize,” he murmured.

And then he was closing the already miniscule distance, pressing his lips gently against your own. Though he was acting cocky, you could still tell from the kiss that there was a level of uncertainty behind it; Eren was making sure that he had read you right and that you were okay with what was happening. Though you had froze at first, the warmth of his body quickly caused you to melt and you found yourself relaxing, subconsciously lifting your hands to press gently against his chest as you returned the kiss.

Before you knew it, however, he was pulling away, the warmth of his body gone as he jumped from his position quicker than lightning. Any regular human would have been feeling the effects of such a tumble to the point of being unable to move, but you knew his additional titan powers had protected not only him, but you as well. You could only stare dumbfounded as he shot you a shit-eating grin before taking off running toward the tree.

“If I win this, then you have to put both our 3DMGs back together!”

You sprung up, digging your feet into the ground as you tried to ignore just how much your face burned from what just occurred. “And if I win, you’re cleaning mine for a week!”

You knew that it was risky to play around like this when the world was as dangerous as it was, but you also knew that Eren–who had the weight of humanity on his shoulders–desperately needed a break to just breathe, and if that meant cleaning your gear another six times just to hear him laugh again, you would do it in a heartbeat.

Maybe all of that meant you had a little more than a crush but…you’d question that later. For now, you had a race to win.


@amateurmagic Here is your scenario from mod Elle! Thank-you so much for entering and I hope it’s okay that I took a few liberties! 


Well?” Patiently, you shifted on the cot you had been assigned to in the medical wing and waited with baited breath for the medical examiner to finish inspecting your busted up leg. Numerous bruises, welts, and gashes ran down the once pristine and unblemished skin, signifying the trauma that you had endeared from outside of the walls all the way back to headquarters.

You had always been so diligent in maintaining your gear. Each cog and wire was checked daily to ensure maximum function and payoff since one faulty screw could mean your life outside in the field. Your years of training had instilled routines that you couldn’t shake, so…why had your gear failed you during the expedition? Why hadn’t your wires deployed and why had you crashed down from a fifteen-foot drop when you had been so meticulous and careful?

 Had it not been for the fresh, powdery snow that had fallen the night before, your injuries would have been much worse. The snow had cushioned you from death, but it had sustained you with unknown injuries that would undoubtedly hinder your ability to be a soldier, let alone continue to aid in any expedition. As your eyes fell down on the gentle way the doctor was examining your leg, you could only guess that it was broken, at best.

 “I can’t tell without a more thorough exam, but the bone seems to be broken in three different areas. In addition to that…” The doctor’s hesitance didn’t settle well within you and, whether it be from fear or not, you couldn’t bring yourself to ask her to finish her sentence.

 Luckily, you didn’t have to. When the quiet sound of footsteps and the shutting of a door grabbed your attention, you tipped your chin up just in time to see Levi enter the room, the same placid and stoic expression lining his features. “Erwin wants to know how long they’ll be out of commission,” he said in his best blasé manner, arms crossed over his shirt whilst he waited for an answer.

 A nearly suffocating silence filled the room, the tension so thick and tangible that you could feel it taking on a life of its own. With baited breath, you curled your fingers into the sheets as the doctor turned on her heel to look Levi in the eye. “A few months, at best, for the bones to heal, but I’m more concerned about the possible ligament tear in the knee. I won’t be able to know without a proper examination and some time to see how things are healing up, but I want them on strict medical rest, for now. Any sort of walking, let alone training, is going to be next to impossible for a bit.”

 You clenched your hands beneath the blanket, nails leaving behind small, crescent-shaped indentations from where they bit down into your skin. What did they expect you to do for the span of time you’d be confided to as little rigorous activity as possible? As if he had been able to read your thoughts solely based on your facial features, Levi cocked his hip to the side and braced his foot on the wall, asking rather directly, “What do you look so constipated for? Didn’t they dope you up when you got in here?”

 Blatantly ignoring Levi’s poor choice of words (which, in reality, were a reflection of his inability to properly console you), you glanced up at him, lips pursed in a tight line. “It’s less about the pain and more about the fact that I can’t do anything for fuck-knows how long. I hate being told to sit still.”

 There was more to it than that and the both of you knew it. Even if Levi wasn’t saying anything, he knew you well enough to see the glimmer of fright hidden behind your eyes and the way your limbs tensed as the doctor spoke of your injuries. Being a solider meant everything to you; to have that stripped away—even if it was only for a few months—in such an undignified manner was troubling you, but…

 “Erwin isn’t going to kick you out of the Survey Corps if you fucked up your knee,” Levi pointed out, slicing through the conversation to get to the point of your worries.

 You really shouldn’t have been surprised at how easily he was able to read you given your intimate history together. Jerking your eyes away from him, your brow knitted together in frustration, fingers coiled around the thin comforter. “What if my ligament is torn, Levi? That’ll hinder my ability to use the 3DMG,” you said, refusing to make eye contact with him across the room.

 Silence settled above the both of you and, before you could manage to say something else, Levi pushed off the wall and moved closer. His hand descended down upon the crown of your head, encouraging you to look up at him. “If that happens,” he began, those cool, slate-colored irises searching your own, “then we’ll deal with it. It’s pointless to worry about shit you can’t change. You don’t know enough about your injury to start dealing with that. Calm down.”

 Inwardly, you knew that Levi was right. You knew you were over-exaggerating, but that didn’t stop your active mind from wandering down the taboo lane of what-ifs. Being a scout gave you meaning and drive to your otherwise mundane life. Now that you knew about the freedom behind the walls and what victory meant for humanity, how were you supposed to give it up if the situation called for it?

 “Hey.” Levi knocked his forehead against your own, effectively snapping you out of whatever dreary train of thought you were traversing down. “Enough. If you’re going to torture yourself, at least wait until I’m out of the room.”

 Although it had been done in order to get you to focus, you had to admit that your current positioning was rather intimate, all things considered. Levi was never one for public displays of affection and, while the corner of the medical wing you were placed in was fairly vacant, it was still a far-cry from the privacy of his bedroom. In his own weird way, Levi was worried about you; that was obvious enough to soften your eyes and force you to let go of whatever anxiety swam around inside your subconscious.

 You softly pecked the side of his cheek, drawing back enough to prop your back among the pillows behind you. “Sorry. I’m just freaked out,” you admitted, folding your arms over your chest. “I hate sitting still and being forced to hobble around on crutches won’t exactly help.”

 Levi straightened himself up, eyes flickering over to the doorway. “If you have absolutely nothing to do, you can help with paperwork,” he reminded you. While he didn’t say it directly, you knew that his offer was less to do with him needing the help and more along the lines of offering you company you’d otherwise not have.

 Even if he wasn’t able to say what it truly meant all the time, you knew Levi well enough to see the underlying motive to his words and actions.

 “Sure,” you replied, watching as he made his way towards the door. Before he could leave, you called out his name one last time, causing him to peer at you from over his shoulder. You fiddled with the comforter again and smiled, honestly speaking, “Thanks. For everything.”

 He nodded curtly and left you alone to your thoughts but, instead of sinking down into the mire of self-doubt and worry, you found yourself doing your best to relax. There truly was no point in winding yourself up over something you couldn’t change and that was the mentality you were going to adapt moving forward.