Wherein Tim & Roy combine forces to prank a certain Jason Todd...

[Inspired by this post.]

Jason, oddly, is pretty straight-laced. It’s a bizarre little nuance, one that Roy’s obviously known for a while, one that gives Tim an idea. Weirdly, Roy goes along with it. Or maybe not weirdly, seeing as to how he’s the enabler, and now they’re both in so deep there’s no climbing out.

It all starts simply. There’s one moment when Tim and Roy lock eyes across the work table, a moment they both decide to commit because why the hell not.   

“Get me a beer?” Tim asks as Roy is already heading to the kitchen.

“Oak nuggins,” comes the reply, quick and easy, matched by an over the shoulder salute.

Jason snorts. “New term of endearment?”

“Pff,” Tim expertly hides a smile and says, “More like it means yes? Come on, you have to of heard it before.”                        

Roy returns with a beer and gives Tim a quick and knowing look, and they both struggle to hide sly, matching grins.                     

“Can’t say I have,” Jason returns, still fiddling with the parts of his rifle.

This time, Tim almost laughs against the lip of his beer bottle. After all, the seed is planted.


”Mama’s got the nasty jam,” Roy moans over the comm one night. “You’re both on your own.”

Tim’s standing next to Jason as Jason prods his earpiece and blinks despondently, as if asking no one in particular, What??

It’s easy enough to play off, though Tim can’t help the humor that bubbles to his throat, that he’s forced to swallow down when he says, ever so seriously, “That’s too bad.” 

And, as expected, Jason turns to stare at him, curiosity tinging his expression.

Tim sighs. “Well, if he’s sick tonight, nothing we can do. Guess we’ll just have to get things done ourselves.”

Jason mouths an oh, like he knew all along what Roy had meant. 

Tim plays it off like he believes him.

And the seed starts to grow; Tim and Roy make up phrases, crank out terms that no one uses as if they’re all the pop culture Jason’s been missing out on because ugh. Social media.

And Jason quietly learns it all.


Jason swears he’s not gonna use it. There’s no way he’d get through any day complaining about some nasty jam, and half the time he’s caught wondering how many times Shakespeare’s rolled over in his grave since Tim’s started saying oak nuggins regularly.

But one night, he screws up. 

He slips.

All that self restraint, ashes to the wind as he listens to Damian over the comm, say, “I vote we kill the clown.”

It’s funny enough that Jason replies, “That’s gold hat, cool cat.”


Then, a staggered, “…what?”

“Wait,” Dick intercepts. “That means the line is bugged, right?”                        

Jason struggles to get a word in, only managing an “Uh,” before he swears he hears Tim smother a laugh before muting his line.                 

Damian’s talking over everyone, exasperated. “That was Cat’s Cradle, Nightwing. But maybe this is an advanced code? To be safe, we should -”         

“Hey, I just meant -” Jason tries.

“Agreed, Robin,” Dick cuts in. “Switching lines, everyone.”                        

The quiet buzz means the channel’s dead, and it takes Jason nearly half a minute to find the new one.                      

Shaking his head, he murmurs, "Hell. This gig’s sure as hell’s gonna slash me hips.”

What? Is this one bugged too?” Dick questions, voice tinged with both confusion and panic.

Tim stutters through another laugh before muting out yet again.
Damian sounds oddly serious when he says, “Hood. What toxin are you on.”

And luckily, Jason doesn’t need to answer because their villain shows up and then they’re busy, and time flies. 

Towards the end they all end up gathered, some bat-family reunion atop a building so dark with factory soot that it blends with the night sky. Roy shows up because he’s around and drapes an arm around Dick’s shoulders.

"Oi,” he says, waggling his eyebrows. “You still gonna dip me in ya Monday milk?”

It’s a common phrase, one Jason’s heard a thousand times; the confirmation of a lunch outing. It conflicts with his plans with Roy the next day, however, and so he says, “Hey. I thought we were gonna dip.”

Around them, again, is complete silence; even Dick’s mouth is peeled apart in silent question, and Damian, bless his young soul, looks struck with absolute horror at whatever implication dippin’ folks in ya monday milk might mean.

“No one in this family will be dipping you in any milk, Harper!” he yells, absolutely stricken.

It’s then that Tim dies, not literally, but figuratively, clinging to a rooftop chute as laughter pours out. He’s forced to tug his mask upwards because he’s crying and he can’t even form words because he has legitimately lost the ability to can.

The jig is up, and Jason only realizes it’s a jig when Roy goes to steady Tim and they do a fucking secret handshake

“Oh my gosh,” Tim finally manages. “That was amazing. Totally worth the wait.”

Roy’s laughing because Tim’s laughing and makes Tim promise to give him a recording of the comm recording.

“You have got to be kidding me,” Jason states, putting two and two together. “How much of this shit is made up?”

It all just makes Tim and Roy laugh harder; they’re howling, and all Dick and Damian can do is glance at each other - Nightwing looking helplessly confused, Damian looking embarrassed to know anyone within a twenty foot radius.

“Are you telling me that I’ve been saying nuns on ripple to girl scouts for nothing? What about yank train??”

Tim falls to his knees and Dick takes a few steps forward, reaching out to cover Damian’s ears. 

Jason stares at Tim and Roy in disbelief. He simply shakes his head.

A month later, he’s out with Dick and Tim, trying to catch a scattering of cartel members fanning out through the neighborhood. Tim says that he’ll take the north side of the alley and asks Jason to take the south.

“Oak nuggins,” Jason replies, completely by accident.

Dick is aghast. “Who’s getting mugged??”

Tim laughs out loud, and Jason has no sympathy when Red Robin misses a step, trips, and falls flat on his face.

Serves him damn right.


Panic Rising

Author’s Note: Okay so this is maybe a bit too long… but I started writing and I just couldn’t stop! It’s aprx. 2000 words

Warnings: A small panic attack, nothing more

*Beep beep beep*

Betty slammed her hand down to silence the alarm and groaned. She sat up and rubbed her temples, unsuccessful in massaging away the dull ache that had persisted through the night. Swinging her legs off the side of her bed, she pushed herself up to a standing position.

“C’mon Betty, it’s just like any other day, you can do this,” the blonde haired girl mumbled to herself. She crossed over to her vanity, began to brush her hair into a tight ponytail, and braced herself for the day ahead.

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Chapter Four

A/N: It’s quite a long chapter, so I hope you enjoy. Also, I’m sorry there’s lots of parts to it. I wrote it in lots of different sessions. 

Any feedback would be hugely appreciated :D

Maisie’s tiny hand was in Harry’s as he led the way to the school. They’d been invited to arrive earlier so that Maisie could be shown her classroom and introduced to her teacher before her classmates arrived. And so she toddled along beside him as they crossed the empty car-park.

“Daddy, I’m nervous,” she said quietly.

“I know, May, it’s normal for you to feel nervous,” he said. “It just means that you care about what happens today. That’s good. But you’ve got nothing to worry about.”

“What if they don’t like me?”

“Your class? They’ll love you!” he said, throwing her a smile. “Of course they will.”

“Will you stay?” she asked, turning her wide blue eyes up to him.

“Of course,” he said. “As long as I can.” He knew that that wouldn’t be very long, but he didn’t want to worry her.

They were welcomed into the building by the headmaster, Mr John Golding, who smiled at them. “Your royal highness,” he said, bowing slightly as he shook Harry’s hand. “What an honour to have you here, for you to have chosen us.”

Harry smiled. “Well, today is all about Maisie, not me,” he said, looking down at his little girl. “Say hello, May.”

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TYPE: Ghost Shell Recording, Excerpt 2/2

DESCRIPTION: Conversation

LOCATION: City Entertainment District

PARTIES: 3 (Guardian-type)



[Petra Venj] She’s horrible. She’s always been horrible, and she has those awful green eyes, and she thinks I’m a murderer -

[glass clinking]

[Cayde-6] Aw, come on. She’s not so bad - you just don’t know her that well. 

[Petra Venj] She is. I didn’t WANT them to die. You know I didn’t. I just - I just -

[Cayde-6] We’ve all had to make tough calls, Petra. Don’t make you a bad person. Barkeep! Another round? Yeah, yeah. Put it on my tab.

[glass clinking]

[Petra Venj] It’s just not fair. Haven’t I done enough?

[Cayde-6] Of course you have! More than enough. Everyone knows it. Even the Queen-

[Cayde-6] Ah.


[Cayde-6] Hold on now, Petra, I didn’t mean to-



[Petra Venj] She’s not - she’s not - she can’t be -


[Cayde-6] Wait! I’m sorry - I’m sorry! Look! Look at this! Everyone’s dead! It’s not just Mara! 

[loud wailing]

[Cayde-6] See? Look at my cloak! Andal, too! And…and….um…



[Petra Venj] If only she could see us now. What a sorry sight. Holding back the Darkness, one box of tissues at a time.

[Cayde-6]  You’re okay. We’re okay. It’s okay, now. Ha! Thank the Traveler Ikora isn’t around. It’ll be our little secret. Barkeep! Yeah, one more.

[glass clinking]

[Petra Venj] Thanks. It-it’s just that, you know, I used to have some kind of - of - of purpose, and now -

[Petra Venj] Now I’m just a weepy ex-pirate with a glittery, gold eyepatch.


[Petra Venj] Where did you find this, by the way?

[Cayde-6] Trade secret, sorry. 

[Petra Venj] It’s quite smashing. 


[Eris Morn] I am not certain what I expected, but this is far more pathetic. 

[Cayde-6] Eris! You made it! Here, have a drink. Barkeep! Barkeep!

[Eris Morn] I…Fine. One. 

[glass clinking]


[Petra Venj] Eris! Eris. I’m…I’m glad you came. Because - because I think that - *hic* - I think that Cayde and I have gotten drunk and maudlin, and we’ve been talking about how everyone is dead. Mara, Andal…

[glass clinking]

[Petra Venj] And Mara, and Andal…

[glass clinking]

[Petra Venj] And Mara…

[Eris Morn] And Sai Mota, Vell Tarlowe, Eriana - 

[Petra Venj] They’re all -


[loud wailing]

[Petra Venj] I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!

[Eris Morn] Hush, hush. Come here. I forgive you, you dolt. 


[Petra Venj] Eris. Eris. Where can I get a hat like yours? Like a little kitty. Here, kitty, kitty.


[glass clinking]


[Cayde-6] Uh -


[Eris Morn] Do you know - that was Eriana’s name for me. And I had a name for her, too - Fireheart, I called her. 

[glass clinking]

[Eris Morn] She was so brave.


[Eris Morn] So radiant.




[loud wailing]

[Cayde-6] Eris! Stop! You broke Petra!

[loud wailing]

[Cayde-6] Eris? Not you too!

[Petra Venj] We’re pack now! Pack! You hear me, Eris? You an me an Cayde, we’re…we’re….




[Eris Morn] But why are you wearing a sparkly gold eyepatch?

Avengers chatroom 8

I’m back!😎 sorry for the extra long wait… but hey! part 8 is here!

Avengers chatroom 7

Want the other chatrooms? find them on my masterlist here!

Natasha has started a chatroom
Chatroom failed
Natasha has started a chatroom
Chatroom failed
Natasha has started a chatroom

Natasha: about fucking time!

Steve has logged on
Sam has logged on
Bucky has logged on

Sam: Squad goals🤗

Steve: No

Bruce had logged on
Pietro has logged on
Thor has logged on
Loki has logged on
Wanda has logged on
Clint has logged on
Tony has logged on

Tony: make it quick, the chatroom’s popping up information onto my screen and it’s making me shoot chaotically.

Sam: Tony used a big boy word!

Natasha: just thought the chatroom will make it easier to be quiet.

Tony: considering that I’m a flying piece of red and gold metal, I think silence is not applicable here.

Clint: good point.

Wanda: guys, I found a VERY important room.

Loki: unless it will help us find (Y/N), it’s not important.

Tony: unless it’s their money…

Pietro: you’re a goddamn billionaire, how much more money do you want?

Wanda: GUYS, it’s the room filled with files of those who they have taken in - (Y/N)’s file is in here somewhere.

Bruce: look for 3309. If that’s her experimentation number, that’s what she’s most likely to be filed under.

Bucky: Try looking for Rumlow, Brock: agent.

Laura has joined the chatroom

Clint: Laura? What are you doing here? This chatroom service is only for SHIELD agents.

Laura: wow, babe. I’m fine, so are Lila, Cooper and Nathaniel.

Clint: sorry, it’s kinda hard to keep up when I’ve got (Y/N) to think about too.

Laura: She’s fine at HYDRA. I’m with her right now, and she seems happy.

Thor: you are with lady (Y/N)?

Tony: what the fuck is going on?

Wanda: found it. Experiment 3309 - guys, how long has it been that she was kidnapped?

Natasha: 3 weeks and 1 day.

Wanda: that means that the experiment has begun as soon as she reached the HYDRA base.

Laura has logged off

Loki: something is not right here.

Pietro: yeah, Laura seems to be hiding something, that’s why.

Steve: Wanda, what else is in that file?

Wanda: uhm, I’ll tell you later. I got company.

Wanda has logged off

Pietro: Wanda?!

Tony: tell me that one of us guys just blew up the west wing and that we are all safe.

Sam: I’m coming down to help you guys.

Natasha: I wish that was true, tony. Bruce, hulk mode.

Bruce: you got it.

Loki: I have retrieved both Agent (Y/N) and Rumlow’s files.

Pietro: where is my sister?

Loki: She is nowhere to be found.

Thor: Lady Wanda is by my side.

Steve: let’s all just get underground first, this is not an attack mission. This is a receive and retreat mission.

Bucky: too fucking late. I found Rumlow.

Bucky has logged off

Sam: he’s offline, I can find his co-ordinates.

Tony: I can’t too.

Steve has logged off

Clint: Natasha - help bruce. Sam, go help steve and find bucky. everyone else, carry on.

Pietro: Barton taking control…

Clint: look speedshit, the team’s in trouble. Do you want to die again? because it could seem like an accident. i knew i should’ve killed you when i had the chance.

Clint has logged off
sam has logged off
Thor has logged off
loki has logged off
Pietro  has logged off
Tony has logged off
Bruce has logged off
Natasha has logged off

Dragon Age: The Missing King: Chapter The 1st, Kidnapped

Work Summery:  When Alistair goes missing his warden queen finds herself on a quest to rescue him, along with some old friends (And Zevran’s colorful new apprentice.) Nanowrimo 2015 Fanfic

Chapter Summery: Alistair is kidnapped while his wife was lured away. Upon returning to the palace Torania Cousland Theirin learns what has transpired.

Betas (So far): @mackleford @purebredferelden

Chapters So Far:

Chapter The 1st, Kidnapped

Chapter The 2nd, Friends

Chapter The 3rd, Stories & Preparations

Chapter The 4th, First Engagements

Chapter The 5th, The Dalish

Chapter The 6th, White River

Chaper The 7th, Chateau Bataille

Chapter The 8th, Investigations

Chapter The 9th, The Point Of No Return

Chapter The 10th, Even The Strong Shall Fall

Chapter The 11th, The Wrath Of A Kind Man

Chapter The 12th, Epiliogue

Also on:


Art By: @heathwind-blog

The fact was, it was a dog that saved the king of Ferelden. Alistair Theirin let out a groan as his wife’s mabari, Chompers, jumped on the bed.

“Aw wh-? No! Not again!” He rubbed his eyes, “I miss her too, but you can’t just crawl into bed with people who are sleeping! We’ve talked about this!”

He had in fact given the dog a very stern lecture the day before. And the day before that. And… Maker, it was no use.

That’s when he noticed Chomper’s hackles were raised. Alistair stepped out of bed, grabbing his sword just as the door opened. The man who stood in the doorway was dressed entirely in black.

For a moment, just a moment, the king wondered how they had gotten past the guards. Then, with Chompers growling beside him, the king spoke to the intruder.

“You know I would offer you congratulations for getting this far, but something tells me you are not in a friendly mood.” The intruder responded by pulling out a vial filled with a green, sparking substance.

Huh that was new.

Either way, Alistair would make quick work of this. He moved forward, sword in hand just as the intruder unstoppered the vial and threw its contents forward.

Somehow the mabari got in the way.

Both men watched the dog as he staggered a bit. Then Chompers’ eyes rolled back in his head and he fell on top of the attacker just as Alistair slayed the man.  But Alistair had made a crucial mistake. He had not counted on there being more assailants, and the second attacker did not rely on anything as elegant as whatever had been in the vial. King Alistair felt something hit him on the back of the head and he dropped like a stone.

Keep reading

To Thaw
(would be the sweetest surrender)

Fandom: A Song of Ice and Fire
Pairing: Aegon VI/Sansa Stark
Rating: T
Summary: The Silver King of the South offers love and promises to the North—and the Winter Queen thaws.
Mirrors: ; ao3
Nota: Best read while listening to From Gold by Novo Amor.

The silence is deafening as the two halves of two kingdoms break apart.

His implication hangs thick in the air. Marry me, and together we will right all the wrongs that have befallen our Realm.

Snow falls over their heads just as the wind sings its songs through the trees. Sansa shivers despite herself, for Targaryens have been known for taking what they desired without objection. And oh, how Aegon wants her (and maybe an inkling of a little bird’s ghost inside her may have wanted him to want her all along).

But in her years of learning the game, and the succeeding years of having played it, Sansa had learned, among everything else, that love seldom held its place alongside duty.

The Winter Queen loves her family; she loves her council, her court, and her crown—but she finds it hard to bear within her the bane of learning to love anyone else besides.

But King Aegon has, without a doubt, undone her, and it is with a heavy heart that she’s kissed him among the grove of the Old Gods, and allowed the act to plant such foolish words onto his mouth.

Sansa inches away from the Silver King to take refuge beneath the heart tree. Wherein the face in the old weirwood would have unsettled her otherwise, now its timeless stare only serves to instil within her a sense of comfort and safety. At least here, sheltered beneath its knowing arms, Sansa can attest that they’re never truly alone—her and this King from the South.

When the Queen of the North finally finds her voice, she draws her furs tighter around herself and chides him with such flawless composure. “You’d best learn well from history that this is no wise move, Your Grace.”

Aegon frowns like she knows he would.

“Why?” he asks plainly (as if it’s a question of sums—or whether east is really where the sun rises and west is truly where it sets). “Is it because you’re a Stark and I’m a Targaryen?”

Those pale violet eyes find hers again, and Sansa becomes very much thankful for the distance. Otherwise they would have drawn her back in without incident—and that is the last thing she wants to surrender to at the moment.

She doesn’t flinch, nor does she thaw under his stare; she believes it too gentle to be real. Life is not a song, she reminds herself (like a prayer from lifetimes ago), though it doesn’t need to be to sing—and oh how she’d sing of him and those gentle eyes if a Queen had not grown out from the skins of a foolish girl. “It may very well be.”

Sansa can almost imagine it: can taste it on her lips the same way she’s tasted it on him not only moments ago. She can almost taste love—and the prospect of singing and singing and making a home by his side.

But a Queen is made of stronger things than songs, and the stories she used to glorify have always been half-truths, if not lesser. At the end of the day, she could not bear to undo all that she’s done for her kingdom—all for a King in the South where her childhood horrors cloyed in the shadows.

And so Sansa doesn’t have to force the next words out of her mouth. They’re the truth; they’re her freedom from a game she’s outlived, outgrown, and eventually stopped playing.

“I am already a queen; and as a daughter of the North turned its Mother, my place is here.”

There it is again: the deafening silence.

From the look on his face, Aegon knows this is something he wouldn’t dare spirit away with fire and blood.

Instead, he reaches out for her, all warmth and promises. She doesn’t recoil like Alayne Stone would have urged her to do, in all her carefulness. No: Sansa Stark closes her eyes, the distance, and her arms around his neck as she allows the Silver King to kiss her again.

Fire and Ice.

“But, My Queen, you must be mistaken,” the King breathes against her. He worries her lip with such sweetness that the pulse on her wrist flutters when he grabs hold of her hand. It’s cold to the touch and cannot find a cause for calm—more so when he finally pulls back and looks at her, half-hidden beneath those beautiful lashes.

“I believe your place might actually be here.” He leads her hand’s journey to rest against his beating heart. “I can feel it.”

Her hands warm; her cheeks warm. In that moment—despite her cold, better judgement—the Winter Queen almost thaws to a pool beneath her Southern King’s feet.

Signs as 2015 memes

Aries: I’ve mcfallen
Taurus: An idiot sandwich 
Gemini: Why the fuck u lyyyiinnn
Cancer: *Throws breadsticks in purse*
Virgo: Those zoobe videos with weird rants in the background
Libra: Deciphering Iggy’s rapping (ween a win)
Scorpio: Stealing human bones
Sagittarius: Hotline Bling
Capricorn: MILEY, WHAT’S GOOD?!
Aquarius: The black/blue white/gold dress
Pisces: Buy my silence. Permanently. For $8,000 a month, I will stop.

[Clandestine] - PKMN

Words: 2158

Disclaimer: I don’t own Pokemon

“What is this?”

Laying on the table was a CD held within a plastic case. The label was blank; it almost looked unused. Next to it was a pink portable CD player, set with a pair of earphones. 

Plopping herself down on the other side of the table across from her junior, Blue gave a sly smirk as she gestured towards the objects on the table. “See for yourself.”

Gold eyed at the disk warily, tawny orbs darting back and forth between the CD and its owner. Rarely did Blue ever grace anyone with her presence what with her constant traveling to whatever world wonder that caught her interest at the moment, nor would she choose to visit Gold of all people when she did decide to come back on the radar. Her mischievous expression further unnerved him.

“That’s not gonna explode or anything, right?”

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THIS BAND WANTS YOUR RESPECT #DepecheMode may sell millions of albums and play to capacity crowds in huge football stadiums, but these technopop idols still aren’t happy|article 1990|RollingStone|J.Giles

“I’VE been called a faggot about twenty times today,” says Depeche Mode keyboardist Alan Wilder, who’s slumped down in a seat at the Civic Center in Pensacola, Florida, where the British synth-pop outfit is about to begin another rehearsal. “Mostly from guys leaning out of trucks. This is a sort of backward place, isn’t it?”

“It’s the haircut,” says singer Dave Gahan, who’s wearing jeans and a sleeveless T-shirt that depicts a pair of women’s breasts. “In America, people think you’re homosexual just because you’ve got short hair.” Gahan pauses. “Except for the marines,” he says, referring, presumably, to the men stationed at Pensacola’s Naval Air Station. “The marines just give you this wink, as if to say, ‘Short hair. All right.’” Gahan sits down next to Wilder. “We’ll just have to hang out with the marines,” he says.

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and Depeche Mode has come to Pensacola to gear up for World Violation, the tour that accompanies the band’s recently released album, Violator. Although, historically, Depeche Mode’s strongest foothold has been Southern California – 75,000 fans flocked to the Rose Bowl for a 1988 concert – tickets to the group’s shows always go rather quickly everywhere. For the upcoming tour, 18,000-seat arenas in Dallas and Chicago sold out within a week. Stadiums in Orlando, Tampa and Miami have also sold out, despite the fact that the band has never played Florida before and gets virtually no radio airplay there. And 42,000 tickets to Depeche Mode’s New York-area show, at Giants Stadium, were sold in a single day.

What’s a little unusual about this particular road trip is that Depeche Mode’s albums are starting to sell as well.Violator is the group’s first record to sell a million copies in the States, and “Personal Jesus” – the band’s only hit here since 1985’s “People Are People” – was the first Depeche Mode single ever to go gold. “Enjoy The Silence”, the album’s second single, will be gold shortly.

Depeche Mode has made the Pensacola Civic Center its spring training ground for the same reason that Janet Jackson, among others, came here recently: The rent’s cheap. On the downside, unfortunately, there’s the fact that the only club the group has found in town has a mirrored ball and a DJ who struts around in a tux; the fact that the “security guard” at the Pensacola Hilton is a Depeche Mode fan who’s spent most of his time asking for free concert tickets and eight-by-tens of the band; and, of course, the fact that in an area of the Gulf Coast known as the Redneck Riviera, there are a lot of guys in trucks who think the members of Depeche Mode are “faggots”.

AFTER the band’s rehearsal, Dave Gahan, who’s married and has a two-year-old son, comes down to the Hilton’s lobby to talk about, among other things, the fact that Depeche Mode has always had an image problem. He brings with him a bodyguard named Ingo. In a way, this seems an unnecessary measure. Apart from Depeche Mode’s devout followers – 15,000 of whom nearly caused a riot at a Wherehouse record store in L.A. a few months back – very few people actually recognize the band members. And if they do, they tend to get the names wrong.

These days, Depeche Mode – which, in addition to Gahan and Wilder, includes keyboardist Andy Fletcher and songwriter Martin Gore – gives relatively few interviews. The band has been known to turn away journalists who haven’t pledged allegiance, as well as to boycott radio stations that balk at the group’s all-synthesizer format and decline to play its records.

“There was this band that everybody loved to hate,” Gahan says of Depeche Mode. “And yet they were incredibly successful. Why? Why do you think you’re so successful? Why do you think you’re on this planet, basically? It got to the point in interviews where we’d just say, ‘Fuck you,’ and walk out.”

After this brief speech, which may or may not be a warning, Gahan begins talking freely about Depeche Mode’s ancient history. He even asks, then answers, what Martin Gore considers to be the most tired Depeche Mode-related questions: “Where’s your drummer Where are your guitars? Do you consider this real music?”

“We used to rehearse in a local church,” Gahan says of the original band, which formed outside London, in working-class Basildon, in 1980, and which included Erasure’s Vince Clarke. “The vicar there used to just let us have the place. You had to be nice and polite, and you weren’t allowed to play too loud.

"I think without knowing it,” he continues, “we started doing something completely different. We had taken these instruments because they were convenient. You could pick up a synthesizer, put it under your arm and go to a gig. You plugged directly into the PA. You didn’t need to go through an amp, so you didn’t need to have a van. We used to go to gigs on trains.”

The band, which had been getting steady work at a couple of nearby pubs, eventually made a demo tape. Instead of mailing cassettes to the various labels, Clarke and Gahan delivered the original quarter-inch tape personally. “Vince and I used to go ’round to record companies and demand that they play it,” Gahan says, laughing. “Most of them, of course, would tell us to fuck off. They’d say, ‘Leave the tape with us,’ and we’d say, ‘No, it’s our only one.’ Then we’d say goodbye and go off somewhere else.”

Gahan pauses and asks Ingo if he’d mind getting him an orange juice. While the bodyguard’s gone, a fan who’s been walking nervously back and forth across the lobby takes the opportunity to approach the singer. “Martin,” he says. “Can I have your autograph? Have you got a pen?”

“Sure,” Gahan tells him, smiling. “But my name’s Dave.”

A few moments later, Gahan, orange juice in hand, is trying to pinpoint what it was that first made Depeche Mode attractive to the record companies. “At the time,” he says, “everybody was using electronics in a very morbid, gloomy way. Suddenly, here was this pop band that was using the stuff – these young kids who had everybody dancing, instead of standing around in gray raincoats about to commit suicide.”

After considering offers from major labels like Phonogram – “money you could never have imagined and all sorts of crazy things, like clothes allowances” – Depeche Mode signed on with Daniel Miller at the independent label Mute. (The band, which is signed to Sire Records in the U.S., has never had a manager.) In 1981, the group released its debut album, Speak and Spell, which, with some help from the dance-floor hit “Just Can’t Get Enough”, made the Top Ten in England. Shortly thereafter, Vince Clarke – then Depeche Mode’s driving force and chief songwriter – left the band to form Yazoo and, later, Erasure. Clarke claimed he was sick of touring.

“That’s what he said, but I think that’s a lot of bullshit, to be quite honest,” Gahan says. “I think he’d just taken it as far as he could. We were very successful. We were in every pop magazine. We were on the TV shows. Everything was going right for Depeche Mode. Everybody wanted to know about Depeche Mode. I think Vince suddenly lost interest in it – and he started getting letters from fans asking what kind of socks he wore.

"Martin had written a couple of songs,” Gahan continues, “and we went into the studio and recorded ‘See You’, which was our biggest hit so far. So that was it. ’Bye, Vince.”

MARTIN Gore is sitting beside the hotel pool, reading a biography of Herman Hesse. He is shirtless, wearing long, black shorts and white knee socks. He looks much like he looks onstage these days: a blond, curly-haired answer to AC/DC’s Angus Young. “Looking back,” he is saying, “I think we should have been slightly more worried than we were. When your chief songwriter leaves the band, you should worry a bit. I suppose that’s one of the good things about being young. If we had panicked, we probably wouldn’t be here today.”

Like the other members of Depeche Mode, who are all in their late twenties, Gore is quite personable – funny, soft-spoken and without any real pretensions. Unlike the other members of the band, he plays some guitar during the live performances, has released a solo album of cover songs [Counterfeit E.P.] and, a few years back, used to go onstage in a skirt. “Martin said to me once, ‘I like to look into the mirror before I go out, and laugh and think, ‘Look what I’m getting away with tonight’,” Gahan says. “He’d wear leather trousers and then wear a skirt over the top. And then he sort of extended to just wearing a skirt. We used to sit backstage saying, ‘Martin, you can’tfucking wear that, man! You’ve got to take that off!’”

“I just thought it was quite funny,” Gore says dismissively. “I didn’t think it was going to cause such a fuss.”

Under Gore’s direction, Depeche Mode’s music became – to quote the title of an album that many of the group’s fans hold dearest – a “black celebration”. His songs, a few of which have made American radio programmers blush, have been both profane (“Blasphemous Rumours”) and kinky (“Strangelove”, “Master & Servant”). The band’s first Top Ten hit in the States, oddly enough, was the kind-spirited “People Are People”, a single fromSome Great Reward.

“It was around that time that things started changing for us in America”, Gore says, at poolside. “On the tour for that album, we were totally shocked by the way fans were turning up in droves at the concerts. Suddenly, we were playing to 10,000 people. Although the concerts were selling really well, though, we still found it a struggle to actually sell records.”

Bruce Kirkland, the group’s U.S. representative, says, “New Order, the Cure, Depeche Mode – I equate these bands with the metal bands of the Seventies. They almost never had hit singles, but they were selling out stadiums. The classic joke about Iron Maiden was that they sold more T-shirts than records.”

It’s Memorial Day – the day of the Depeche Mode concert – and at the Civic Center’s merchandising stand a single fan has just spent $686. Back at the Hilton, which is across the street, Dave Gahan is talking about the band’s followers. “I’d get kids coming from all over the world,” he says of the days when his home address was common knowledge. “Germany, France, America – they’d just hang out at the end of my drive. It got to the point where I’d be chasing them down the road with my dog because they’d be singing our songs outside my house at two in the morning.”

“One of them – his name’s Sean – actually hired a private detective to follow me from the studio and discover where I lived,” Gahan continues. “I lost my rag and really shouted at him. I told him, basically to fuck off. Later I sent the guy a letter saying, ‘I apologize, but you must respect my privacy. I want to have some time with my wife and son.’ He sent back a letter saying, ‘I’m sorry I bothered you, and I won’t ever do it again.’ Then, right at the end of the letter, he said, ‘By the way, would it be possible for me to come ’round next weekend?’ I just thought, ‘Well, that’s it. It’s time to move.’”

JUST before Depeche Mode’s show, some fans who have been puttering around the hotel lobby all day are asked if they would contribute to this article by writing down a few words about the band. Each agrees, takes a sheet of paper and writes quietly and without pause for close to thirty minutes. Among the subjects covered are Dave Gahan’s sideburns; Dave Gahan’s hips; the fact that “Depeche” puts on a “spectacular” live show; the fact that the band members aren’t pompous rock stars but “v. down to earth”.

One teenage boy says he has “every B side, every weirdo import, everything”. One girl says she has “loved Depeche Mode since they first came out” – unlikely, unless she was hooked on Speak and Spell at the age of seven – and returns a fairly representative essay, which reads in part: “Tonight I jumped out in front of Martin Gore and got a picture. I swear I almost fainted. He seems so complex. I would love to sit down and just discuss with Martin Gore what I interpret in his music… I feel that once I meet Martin Gore there is nothing I can’t accomplish. His touch will burn, throw me and feel me up with energy. (Razal, 16, Fort Walton Beach, Florida)”

FOR a band that is, as Andy Fletcher puts it, “supposed to be cold and robotic and love studios”, Depeche Mode puts on a good, old-fashioned arena show. Gahan, who wears a black studded-leather jacket and matching pants, has a pretty complete repertoire of moves: the jumping jack, the spinning top, the bump-and-grind and a sort of standing duckwalk. Several songs are accompanied by photographer Anton Corbijn’s videos, including a hilarious segment in which Martin Gore dresses as a character Corbijn refers to as “the bondage angel”. All the songs benefit from an over-the-top light show that looks a little like the last scene from Close Encounters.

The World Violation Tour includes a fairly straightforward selection of Depeche Mode songs: “Shake the Disease”, “Never Let Me Down Again”, “Stripped” and “Everything Counts”, which was a U.K. hit in 1983 and was reissued last year to coincide with D.A. Pennebaker’s Depeche Mode film documentary, 101. Martin Gore, who is quite short and who is usually seen only as a shock of blond hair peeking up over a stack of keyboards, comes front and center at one point in the show to sing two solo acoustic-guitar numbers: “I Want You Now” and “World Full of Nothing”. The band’s final encore is a guitar-driven cover of “Route 66”.

Needless to say, the crowd at the Pensacola Civic Center is in a state of pandemonium for most of the two hours that “Depeche” is onstage. Many of the songs that go over best, however, are from Violator: “Clean”, “Personal Jesus” and “Policy of Truth”, the album’s third single, which begins with a vaguely funky “Heard It Through the Grapevine”-style sequence.

In general, Violator seems to have permanently opened doors for the band in America. “Martin once said, ‘Perhaps if we called ourselves a rock band from day 1, we would have had a lot more credibility from day 1,’” says Gahan after the show. “But we’ve stuck to calling ourselves a pop band, and we’ve earned that credibility by gaining success until people couldn’t ignore us anymore.”

Bruce Kirkland calls the band’s recent boom “a classic U2 scenario”, referring to the fact that, with The Joshua Tree, U2’s record sales finally reflected the group’s considerable live following. “It’s Depeche Mode’s time,” Kirkland says, “and the industry is finally catching up.” Most important, no doubt, is the fact that Depeche Mode songs have at last found a home on Top Forty radio.

“Here in the States, we’ve been working on it for years and years,” Gore says. “I think in a way we’ve been at the forefront of new music, sort of chipping away at the standard rock-format radio stations. And I think with this record, we’ve finally managed to bulldoze our way through.”

It’s been a pleasant turn of events for Depeche Mode, because there is still no place lonelier, or more vast, than the synth-pop graveyard. “It was the Human League, in particular, who went full circle,” Gore says. “They had a note on their album that I thought was just ridiculous. You know, ‘No sequencers used on this record.’ A lot of people get swayed by the ‘real’ music thing. They think you can’t make soul music by using computers and synthesizers and samplers, which we think is totally wrong. We think the soul in the music comes from the song. The instrumentation doesn’t matter at all.”

“The beauty of using electronics is that music can now be made in your bedroom”, Andy Fletcher adds. “You don’t need to get four people together in some warehouse to practice. You don’t have to have four excellent musicians fighting amongst themselves. You can do it in your bedroom, and it’s all down to ideas.” Fletcher pauses. “Obviously, it’s sad to see the demise of the traditional rock group,” he says. “But there’s always going to be a place for it in cabaret.”

IT’S one o’clock in the morning, and Razal – the young essayist who said she could accomplish anything if she could just meet Martin Gore – has been introduced to her idol. The pair have been talking quietly in the hotel bar for two hours.

Out in the lobby, a fan who’s been hanging around for days is crying. He offered the band a photograph – a picture of himself and his girlfriend, which had been taken at their high-school prom – and the band didn’t seem to want it. Dave Gahan goes out to talk to him, finds the situation hopeless and heads up to his room.

Before Gahan can get to the elevator, however, someone – obviously not a true Depeche fan – jumps in front of him and says, “Martin, can I have your autograph?”

Gahan rolls his eyes, momentarily fed up with living the strange life of an anonymous pop star. “To begin with, my name’s Dave,” he says, “and I don’t have a pen.”

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Magickal Uses for Chicory

Planetary Association:Sun
Element: Air
Gender: Masculine

Folklore:  The first known writing about Chicory can be dated as far back as 4000 years before the Christian era, in Egyptian papyrus. It was a magical plant and was known for bringing success, and it could make one invulnerable, and done with a ritual make one invisible. It was claimed by Paracelsus 17th century alchemist that chicory after 7 years chicory turned into a bird.

Magickal Uses:  It has quite a few magical properties, including strength, divination, favors, frugality, invisibility, good luck, frigidity, opening of locks, removal of obstacles, and curse removal.  Several sources relate that carried on the person in whatever fashion, Chicory is supposed to remove obstacles in your life and make you invisible (I’m guessing this one is figurative too)  Rubbing the Oil or juice of Chicory on the body is said to enable you to obtain favors from great people.  Frigidity, curse removal, and strength are probably evoked by either ingesting the herb in a Tea, or by use of a ritual.  Chicory has more powerful magic if it is cut with a gold knife in total silence at noon or midnight on Midsummer. (Longest day of the year-this year June 21st.) If you are able to cut the chicory according to the guidelines above, the plant held against any lock will magically open all boxes and doors.  Used as an incense to purify items of divination (tarot, etc.)

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