glowing by the script

Templum Veritas

Pairing: Grif/Simmons, Tucker/Wash, Carolina/happiness
Word count: 1,321
Prompt: from @renaroo: “An alien temple goes off and the Reds and Blues are compelled to say what they really feel about each other”
Summary: After s13, Kimball sends the Reds and Blues out to find the rest of the temples. When they find the Temple of Truth, things get… something.

“Oh, God, I hate this,” Grif moaned. “I hate this so damn much. I hate the jungle. I hate this planet. I definitely fucking despise all of you.”

“Shut up, Grif,” Simmons snapped. “We get it! The heat sucks! You suck! We’re only out here ‘cause Kimball needs us to find and map the location of the temples.”

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Olicity One Shot~ My cure to writer’s block

So this will make no sense but a friend named Matty or as many know her @supersillyanddorky06 suggested I cure my writer’s block by doing a free write. The shot might be odd, or disorganized but that’s what it’s meant to be. I needed to free my mind and by doing this I did just that. Thank you my friend and thank you to everyone who has ever read a word that I’ve typed. It means more than you could possibly know. 

His eyes looked frozen, that she could clearly remember as his gaze carefully scanned over the her painstaking words. His parted lips and quivering fingers made her own body tremble with unspoken fear. She watched him carefully through the security cameras that lined the walls of now heavily guarded building. His downcast eyes and fallen chin made her softly touch the flickering screen. His lips moved soundlessly before his knees gave way; she watched in silent torment as he slowly slipped to the cold ground. The letter fell beside him limply as she whispered into her self made darkness, “I’m sorry Oliver…I’m sorry…” 


5 Years Later…

“Are you sure about this?” the quiet voice beside him beckoned somberly. 

Oliver’s heavy, light-less blue eyes raced upwards toward the tower’s glowing tip. He felt her supportive touch near the small of his back; her soft perfume floated around him like a warm blanket as his body shuddered from his own internal cold. He croaked with tears forever frozen in his raw throat, “I’ll be fine Dinah, but I need to do this, I need to say goodbye…” 

He felt her gloved fingers pressing firmly over his spine. Her hiccuped reply made his chest burn, “Did she know?” 

His chin fell instantly to his cavernous chest, “What that I loved her and still do?” he mused tiredly. 

“You’re never going to move on are you?” she asked as her hand raced up his chilled spine. 

“I tried and she left…” he snapped quietly with not even a small note of hidden remorse. 

Dinah’s sighs over the nape of his neck warmed him momentarily before the chill of her words made his blood run cold. “She left because you betrayed her trust by trusting Susan over her.” 

His automatic nod seemed rehearsed when he seethed with repressed anger, “She left me long before that day Dinah…” 

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Solid Script: Heat

Hey friends! Here’s a little oneshot for Levy McGarden Day :) I just love her and thought it would be fun to take a look back on her childhood. This one is totally safe for work, (lol) I know that might be a little surprising given my track record. I promise lovefest prompts are in the works so you’ll get some of that later ;) I hope you all enjoy! Please let me know what you think; feedback is immensely appreciated. 


Prompt: Levy McGarden <3

Length: 1.9k


Solid Script: Heat


Levy’s heart raced, how many spots would be left? Master only ever chose a maximum of eight mages; it may already be over.

“The seventh participant in this year’s S-class promotion trial is Levy McGarden.”

A wave of goosebumps coursed down to her fingertips; finally, it was her turn. Makarov listed off the last participant, and the guild hall erupted in cheers, swearing, and laughter. It almost felt like a dream; she would actually be participating in the S-class trial. Levy had watched year after year as amazing wizards—her friends—fought for that elite title. She was now entering a select group within Fairy Tail, the future of the guild. This exam was hers to win and hers to lose.

Levy’s mood suddenly dampened, and she followed her teammates to a bench near some of the others. Levy was heedless to the chatter about deciding partners as it filled the air. Jet and Droy’s cheers fell on deaf ears. Her mind fixated on that one thought: the trial was hers to lose. Levy let her head settle onto her hands, exhaling soft and low, loosing herself to a time long passed.


Levy stiffened at a tap on her left shoulder, arms tensing reflexively.

“I didn’t mean to startle you, child,” Makarov apologized, sitting down next to her at the table. Levy looked over at him, previous apprehension gone.

“It’s ok, Master, I was just lost in my book. I didn’t notice you come over.” She placed a thin bookmark down to save her page. Makarov carefully watched Levy’s face. She’d been around the guild for a while now, but she’d yet to move on from the past she refused to mention.

“You seem to love those books.” It was no secret that Levy was in the library so often she occasionally slept there. He knew her books would be the key to untying the knot in her heart; he just needed to know where to start pulling.

“I do! I love them,” she chirped, “Erza brings me a new one every time she comes back from a job outside Magnolia.” Levy smiled, admiring the open book on the table in front of her.

Makarov moved in closer to the young girl. “Is that one special?”

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aquarius is a room full of art, there is the sweet melody  of the panflute god plays his most inspirational thoughts through there is the rainbow loom of the weaved bows and threads of flower children and the halo of their saturn ring of daisies

it’s always tomorrow in the aquarian heart, the future is in her eyes and
the stars sparkle even brighter
she is nocturnal, something about the aquarius frequency is eternal, bathed in intuitive goodness and peachy soda
her life is a blue myth of its own, written in sky script, neon glitter pens
aquarius glows fluorescent in the dark

Liquid Silver

Prompt; Liquid Silver

Requested by Nonners


~~~*8*~~~

She couldn’t believe it.  

No, this couldn’t happen.  

Wasn’t happening at all.  

Nope, it was just a bad joke, and they were going to go back home and pretend that this hadn’t happened. That the prize wasn’t gone and that the entire mission hadn’t been pointless. That the man wasn’t another one of the crazy people who offered something they didn’t have for an insane job. But still!  

“Levy, just calm down,” Jet said from behind, his hands up as he tried to placate the angry script mage. “I mean, it’s just ink after all, right?”

The blue haired girl whirled on him, her normally cool chocolate eyes sparkling bright as she clenched her fists. “No, Jet, it wasn’t.” She hissed, her entire body trembling. Jet shot a look at Droy, and both began to back up slightly as she paced in the street. “It was Liquid Silver, only the best kind of ink for everything! Do you know how rare it is? Let alone how expensive it normally gets?” Her hands pushed through her wild locks, freeing them from the yellow ribbon and mussing it up even more.  

She couldn’t believe how gullible she’d been, falling for the prize before she’d even thought of researching the man behind the job. But it wasn’t something she couldn’t help either; Liquid Silver was indeed one of the rarest inks made in the world, and it was said that only kings could afford it, using it to scribe only the most important documents. She knew for sure that Princess Hisui had a small, precious bottle of the stuff, and Lucy had mentioned that the Celestial King had at least two bottles of the stuff.  

It wasn’t just that the ink looked like its namesake that made it rare, but it glowed in starlight and could harness magic as well, making script magic far more potent than she could’ve dreamt. And it looked sooo cool when it glittered under the stars, like the stuff of dreams.  

However, it seemed that it would have to stay that way till she was able to figure a way to get her hands on some, expensive or as a prize. For now, she was going to have to borrow a tactic from Gajeel for their supposed “employer”. She turned to the boys and clapped her hands together, making them jump and gulp uneasily. A wicked grin pulled at her lips as she cocked her head at them.  

“Well, shall we go to visit the guy to ask some more questions?” She asked, and Jet sighed as she rushed past him, not waiting for their answer.  

I swear Gajeel’s too much of an influence on her these days, he thought wearily as he and Droy whirled to follow her.

Presenting: the covers of the first two Welcome to Night Vale Episode Collections. Feast your eyes on the beautiful designs of @angry-comics!

Make space on your bookshelf now, dust that space every few weeks, prop up the books on either side so they don’t fall over, and then in September, bring these puppies home.

Mostly Void, Partially Stars
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The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe 
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iBooks
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Indiebound
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International

The Fires Within (Yoongi x Reader), 1

A hellhound AU in the spirit of halloween.

You joined the League in search of adventure. What you found was a flaming scarecrow and a cold-hearted, emotionally-torn guy who you end up, well, quite literally running away with.

Prologue | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 (M) | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 (soon)

Hellhound AU, 5.6k words, Yoongi/Reader


The envelope is small and simple.

In fact, it is so utterly plain that you almost pass it over as you sit at your desk, sifting through the pile of junk mail. Luckily, the shimmering gold seal of the League catches your eye: the letter is, in fact, anything but ordinary.

Immediately, you open it up. A single notecard slides out. You look inside the envelope to double check, but see nothing else–no ostentatious congratulatory letter, no phantom fanfares, no miniature pixie dust fireworks. Just a white notecard, as plain and simple as the envelope itself.

You take that as a good thing, though, since the last time you opened up a letter with celebratory fireworks, you were five and ended up lowkey pissing yourself and splitting everyone’s eardrums with your scream.  In your defense, you’d never seen anything close to the bright sparkly dust before, and you’d always been taught that anything that explodes is bad, and when things are bad, you die.

(And, you suppose, when five-year-old-you felt the shock of imminent death, the survival instincts of screaming and pissing yourself overrode just about every other reasonable action. For example, getting up and running the fuck out of the room, or away from the “dangerous” explosions.

Five year old you did not have very good survival instincts.)

In any case, the card in your hands seems relatively safe. You think. Hopefully.

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Chapter 11

Masterpost

When we got home we found the family doing different activities on their rainy day in.

“Hey, Sis! Can you take a look at this for me?” Harry skips toward me as Tom let’s Tessa free from her leash and continues walking toward our room.

“What’s this?” I smile as I take a small stack of papers.

I’ve become a part of Harry’s creative team; mostly a proof reader and idea consultant.

“I’m trying to go for something more…”

“Wow, Harry.”

“That bad?” He drops his head.

“No! No, it’s good! I smile as I start walking toward my room. It’s just-“

“Just what?” Tom smiles from his bed where he sits as he takes off his shoes.

“It’s just, really sexy.”

“What?” Tom stands and Harry tugs the papers from my hands.

“Is it too much?” He looks worried as he quickly flips through the pages of his script.

“I mean… do you know who you’re casting?” I sit at the end of my bed and take my shoes off as well.

Harry steps forward, no longer shuffling his papers and somehow looking even more embarrassed than before.

“I was thinking maybe you… could be in front of the camera this time…” Harry smiles and shrugs making his curls bounce.

“Me?” I freeze with my laces still in my hands.

Tom smiles before unzipping his jacket and tossing it onto his bed. “That would be awesome, Bubs! What if that’s how we introduce you?” Tom takes the top paper and Harry continues to look over the others he is holding.

“Why me?” I kick out of my shoes and stand.

“Your accent. I don’t know any other pretty American girls.”

Tom’s eyes immediately meet Harry’s after reading just two lines of dialogue.

“Look. This is where she talks about her home in…”

I’m happy that Tom is looking through the papers as Harry points to different lines on the paper. Otherwise he would he my glowing pink cheeks.

Why?

Because the script that Harry handed me is of a pretty steamy make out scene that he wants me to act in.

“Who will play the male role?” Tom grips the paper, wrinkling the edges slightly.

“I was thinking you could.” Harry smiles and slips the other papers into his hands.

Then I leave to the bathroom. As soon as the door is closed I turn the faucet on and plash my face that feels like it is on fire.

Kissing Tom.

Not even kissing.

Making out.

With Tom.

“Just let me know. We are still drafting everything… Hey Sis!” Harry leaves our room and knocks on the bathroom door.

“Just think about it! I think it would be a really cool way to introduce you to the world!” His voice fades as he leaves the hallway.

And then it is quiet.

I slowly open the door and enter our room and he’s sitting back on the edge of his bed where his shoes are still on the floor.

“Harry sure is growing up! I move here and he’s writing about vampires and ghouls and a year later he’s writing smut.”

Tom chuckles, but his face doesn’t show any smile.

“And… us?”

Tom turns to me saying nothing.

“Say something!” I shout as I throw my pillow square in his face.

He laughs and now is actually smiling. He tosses my pillow back to its place and sighs. “I just don’t know if kissing me is the best way to tell my fans about you.”

“So you’re concerned about your fans reaction to us kissing, not us kissing in the first place…”

“Well… it’s just acting.” He looks away.

And then my stomach turns. Just acting? Does he not want to kiss me?

“I’d really love to help Harry out.” I say solely to see how Tom would react.

He nods to himself and smiles. “Then let’s do it.” He stands up.

“N-not right now.” I put my hands on my bed next to me.

Then a jingle rings from his pocket. He slips his phone out and immediately answers.

“Hello? Ah! Hello! … Yes… Yes I’ve got it with me…” He paces slightly as he talks on the phone.

I’m trying to decipher the conversation with the one side I’m hearing, but the thought of acting out the words on those papers with Tom has my heart beating in my throat.

Lips were places. Hands were other places.

Clothes were being removed.

There were… moans…

“Bubbles!” Tom bursts back into the room causing me to jump after I hadn’t even noticed he left. “Want to go to a script reading with me? It’s pretty impromptu, but Daisy is in town for some planning and I asked if you could come!”

“Script? Daisy?”

He comes into the room and begins to put his shoes on again.

“Remember that book I told you about? Chaos Walking? Well there’s some of the early script done and Daisy Ridley, ya know, Rey from Star Wars? She’s landed for some meetings about it and they want us to read some things they’ve put together!”

He’s talking very fast and his shoes are on and his jacket is zipped before I could even get one shoe on.

The trip there was fast and I was almost pushed away from the building before Tom said I was with him. He actually almost got in a fight with the guard, but I seem to be able to snap him out of his random anger pretty easy.

Soon we were sat in a cozy room with a few curved couches facing each other to make a circle.

Others came into the room, a few men and more women.

Then I saw Daisy enter.

“Thomas!” She smiles and extended her arms.

“Daisy, Darling!” Tom smiles and greets her in a hug. “Daisy, this is Bu-Angela. She’s been living with my family for just over a year helping out with the house while we are traveling.”

“It’s lovely to meet you, Angela.” He extends her hand.

“Right back at you.” I smile as I shake her hand, mentally kicking myself for saying ‘right back at you’.

“Alrighty everyone. Take a seat. We’d like to run through a few scenes we are writing to see how it sounds and see what direction we want to take them.”

Everyone takes a spot on the couches and I feel incredibly out of place. Everyone has a stack of paper in hand. One man begins narrating the scene and Tom and Daisy begin to read. Sometimes they would be asked to stop and given direction for certain lines or gestures.

It was all pretty fascinating actually. I was already in awe of being in the same room as Daisy, but now I was seeing her and Tom reading and sometimes saying the same lines over and over again in different ways.

It was them I noticed a couple cameras were set and were recording both Tom and Daisy.

“Alright! Break time. Meet back in 10.”

And suddenly the room is nearly empty.

“Do you want anything?” Tom asks.

“I’m good, thank you.” He smiles and nods before jogging to the closing door and leaving for a few of the vending machines outside of the room.

Then it’s silence before Daisy speaks.

“So, Angela, how do you like it here?” Daisy leans back and crosses her legs.

We are the only ones left in the room.

“Oh, I love it. It was pretty hard at first with missing home, but the Hollands have made me one of their own and I couldn’t imagine a life without them.”

“So how long have you and Tom been dating?”

I start to cough and Daisy laughs. “We-we aren’t dating.”

“That’s a shame. You two would be so cute together.” She smiles and drags her finger over the corner of the papers causing them to make a thwap sound.

“He’s like- my best friend.” I shrug as I remember Zendaya and Marnie’s voices, telling me that Tom likes me. And then I’m thinking about the times Tom and I have been close.

On the park bench.

Holding hands on the walk home.

In bed.

“That’s so great that you two are close. Tom is such a great guy.”

Just then Tom comes through the door with a soda and bag of chips. “Of course I’m a great guy.”

“Oh god.” Daisy laughs.

The team eventually filters back into the room and there’s about 2 more hours of reading and discussing.

I drink some of Tom’s soda and when they start wrapping up Daisy is actually the first to leave.

“See you next time!” She waves as she leaves the room followed by half of the staff that was sitting with us.

Another group leaves and after speaking with Tom about their next meeting the rest leave and Tom and I are left on the curved couches.

“So?”

“So?” I smack my thighs.

“What did you think?” Tom smiles and slips his script into his backpack.

“It sounds pretty interesting. It was kind of strange seeing you act in person though.”

“Strange?” He stands and slips his backpack on.

“Yeah.” I stand. “Like, you were a different person.”

“Well, that is the point, Love.” He smiles and I can feel his hand gently at my lower back and he guides me out of the room and down the hall.

“Hey, Tom.”

He immediately stops and whips his head around. “What’s wrong. You never call me Tom anymore.”

He’s facing me now and he looks so worried.

“Nothing is wrong. I just- wanted to talk about something before we get home.”

Tom glances to his left. “Here.” He opens the door which leads to an empty conference room with a simple desk and a chair at either side.

We both take our seats and I don’t know how to say what I’m thinking.

I want to talk about us. I want to talk about what Zendaya told me. I want to talk about what Marnie said at the park. I want to talk about how… excited I am for Harry’s film. I want to tell him how I feel about him.

“Are you sure nothing is wrong? I can kick somebody’s ass if I need to.”

“No no no. It’s not that.”

“Then what is it? We’ve known each other for such a long time. You don’t feel like you can share anything with me?”

“Well…”

“Come on. If it was important to tell me now, then tell me.”

“I just, don’t want it to be weird.”

“Want what to be weird. Come on, Bubs. You gotta be more specific.”

“Zendaya is going to kill me.”

“Zendaya? What?”

“So remember when Zendaya visited and you and the boys were mucking around out back and we were on your bench?”

“Yes?”

“Well… she told me something.”

He doesn’t respond, but I can almost hear his swallow.

“Do you know what she told me?”

Tom clears his throat and looks down at the desk between us. “Well. There could be a few things.”

“Do I have to say it?” I wince and can feel my cheeks burning again.

This isn’t how I wanted it to happen. I wanted to be in the snow, at some romantic place, holding his hand.

“Is it something I told her in confidence and told her I kick her ass if she told anybody.”

I laugh and nod.

“Fucking Zendaya.”

Then we are both quiet and looking at the desk.

After what seemed like 5 minutes in silence I couldn’t handle it anymore.

“Well. Looks like I’m not telling Zendaya anymore secrets.” He laughs and stands, extending his hand.

I look at it and back up to him.

“If you’ve known this whole time and our friendship didn’t change, just because I know you know doesn’t mean that is going to change it now.” He smiles, still holding out his hand.

I take it and he helps me to stand.

“Is this going to… change anything? Between us?” I ask as I follow him out of the door and toward the main entrance to our ride.

I see him shrug from the corner of my eye.

It’s still pretty cloudy out as we get into the car.

“Only if you want it to.” He smiles. 

I want to scream at how cryptic he is being. I want to scream that I like him too. I want to scream that I do want things to change. I want so much to change. But I stay quiet and our ride home is awkward because of it.


“Just in time for meal time!” I hear from the dining room.

We join the dinner table as Harry is telling the family about his new film plans. Eyes shift between Tom and I and there aren’t any shocked reactions. They know it’s just acting, but they don’t know that I know that Tom likes me. And they don’t know that Tom knows that I know that he likes me.

After dinner the family splits to our normal night routines and Tom and I fall into our routine of taking turns with the bathroom and them we are both on our phones in our beds.

I’m scrolling through my phone, but not reading anything. I’m trying to see what Tom is doing out of the corner of my eye. He’s just resting there, slowly moving through what is probably Instagram.

Thumb scroll.

Thumb scroll.

Thumb scroll.

Thumb scroll.

Thumb scroll.

“FUCK!” I shout.

He stops scrolling and almost drops his phone. “Angie?” he sits up.

I sit up and take a deep breath. “Okay Tom. We gotta talk.”

He nods and moves to the edge of his bed now mirroring how I’m sitting.

“I don’t like how this feels. We used to just talk and it was honest, but now I feel like there’s a wall between us.”

“I feel it too.” He sighs. “I’m sorry. It’s my fault.”

“It’s not though! I’ve suspected you liked me for a while.”

“Shhhh!!!” Tom holds his hands out to gesture for me to be quiet as he looks toward our open door.

“Even before Zendaya told me.”

“Then why is there a wall now?”

And then I was quiet. Because I knew the answer, but I didn’t know if I was ready to share it.

“We can make you your own room? I can room with Sam or Harry and you can have their room?”

“No that’s-“

“Or maybe I can swap with Harry? He’d love to bunk with you.”

“Tommy-“

“Or we can just sleep in our own beds now-“

“Thomas!”

He stops.

“Can I talk?”

He nods.

“There’s a wall now because…” I take a breath, “because I’ve had time to think about it and I… I like you too.”

The room could’ve glowed pink with the shade of rose coming from Tom’s cheeks.

He stares at me as his skin simultaneous blushes and drains of all blood all together.

I laugh and stand to then sit next to him.

“You’re my best friend, Tommy. I just don’t want stuff to be weird.”

He nods.

“Like, just be your weird self. Dance in your boxers. Snap me videos of you picking your nose. Just be you! That’s who I like.

His cheeks flare again as he smiles.

“All honesty. Okay? Can you promise me that?” I sit back on my bed.

He nods.

“Cool.” I sigh. “Well. It’s late and tomorrow is extra long walk day for Tess.” I pull my blanket loose and get under the covers. “Could you turn off of the lights?”

He turns off the lights without a word. Our beds are still a few feet apart from the fort we made last night; which is probably best for now.

I get cozy in the blankets and replay my words over and over in my head, not believing they actually came out of my mouth.

“Bubs… full transparency…”

“Yeah?”

“I’m nervous as fuck about Harry’s film.”

I laugh so much I snort.

“Let’s talk more about it tomorrow, yeah?”

“Yeah, okay.”

“Goodnight, Tommy.”

“Night, Bubbles.”

The Perks of Having a Gal Pal

Beca is a famous musician/producer (really, we all knew it was going to happen), and Chloe’s America’s sweetheart as the host of a reality dance show. After four years at Barden denying that they were hopelessly in love, Beca’s having a hard time accepting the media’s refusal to acknowledge their relationship. 


“God,” the door opened unceremoniously, and from the kitchen counter, Chloe heard Beca’s boots echoing on the foyer floor. She was mumbling something that the walls didn’t pick up until she entered the kitchen. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”  

Chloe looked up from where she was chopping vegetables for dinner, spotting the tiny hurricane of a rage whirling through the room. It took most of Chloe’s self-control not to break into a grin. “Ah yes, great to see you too. My day was great, thanks for asking. I’m just making dinner for my gorgeous girlfriend. No big deal.”

Beca rolled her eyes, pulling herself onto the bar-stool before throwing a magazine down and opening up to a page where her own face was smiling giddily back up at them. Donning a striped suit with high-waisted jean shorts, photo-Beca was propped on one elbow, her hand trailing down Chloe’s figure - which was donning a bikini that, at the time, nearly convinced Beca to not leave the house at all. Their legs were intertwined on the towel, and it was a grainy photo, but you could see the wicked grin on their faces. Beneath the photo, “Hollywood’s Favorite Girl-Power Duo Enjoy a Day at the Beach”.

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pencilkind-specibus  asked:

Land of Books and Sparks for a Mage of Mind (The Sparks are Teal Colored)

Here you go, and hey, did you know that books are actually pretty hard to draw? I did not.

Some difficulties occurred, but I had fun! Hope you like it!

EDIT- Ideas I had for this: The tower is sort of like a maze of books, with each story having a different boss of a sort if you get through the labyrinth. It’s bigger than it looks, and the only light comes from the sparks floating around the books and the glowing gold script that you can’t quite read yet (but you’re getting there) on the binding. The consorts live inside, like little librarians. There are hundreds of these towers scattered through the land, and the denizen is sleeping at the top of the tallest one.

Linder Sterling

Femme/Objet, 2013

“…The work of British artist Linder (Linder Sterling, born Linda Mulvey, 1954), recently on view at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, also grew from an interest in a refiguration, and in this sense she stands in what can perhaps be called a “collagist” tradition. Collage is indeed one of her primary techniques – her central motif is the female body – and the title of the exhibition, “Femme/Objet”, responds to the fact that major parts of her œuvre fall under the umbrella of gender concerns. The show’s mission statement takes the form of an aphoristic slogan spelled out in pinstripe-thin fluorescent lights on one of the exhibition space’s walls. Set in a neo-Art Deco script, and glowing from behind a curtain of sheer fabric, it reads “Anatomy is not destiny”…”

Fix You: An Ichabbie Fix It Fic

(A/N: Fuck the season three finale. If you’re wondering why this is so late, it’s because it took me this long to calm down enough to write a fic. AU where Abbie and Joe lived. How I think the story should have ended.)


“Abbie, no!”

It’s all she hears as she walks towards the glowing box with her death written in its script. She makes it about three steps away before Crane’s condor arms envelop her waist and snatch her off her feet. She struggles against his lean frame, surprised to find that he’d tightened them around her like a boa constrictor’s coils.

“Crane, let me go!” she orders. “I have to! I don’t have a choice!”

“No, Leftenant,” Crane says, digging those long fingers in as if he intends to set down roots to keep her put. “It doesn’t have to end this way. Remember what you taught me? There is always another way.”

She squeezes her eyes shut as his words dig into the cold pit of her stomach and sting. “Not this time. We have to stop him. It’s me or the world, Crane.”

“No,” he murmurs, and then turns her around. He leans down to her height, clutching her arms, smiling sadly. “It’s us or the world.”

Her breath catches as she realize what he means. “Crane, please. I can’t let you do this.”

“Neither can I. And so we will do it together. We are the Witnesses. Quoth the lady, ‘What you do, I do.’ There is no world without you in it, Abbie. If we must face the Grim Reaper, we shall do it as God intended it.”

He slides his hand down her bicep, her elbow, to hers. His are cold and clammy and shaking the slightest bit, but his smile is steady. She swallows hard, tears burning in her eyes, then nods slowly.

“Together.”

They walk towards Pandora’s Box and set one hand upon the lid each. The light explodes and then they are gone. The last thing she feels is his fingers squeezing hers.

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