I need some ShieldShock since Emma is inundating my feed with pantsless Chris Evans.
Word Count: 490
Tags: No Powers AU, Lumberjack!Steve, Meet-Cute
A/N: Shameless self-indulgence on my part. This is bearded lumberjack Steve who reads Jane Austen. But if I can’t have this in fanfiction, where can I have it?
Darcy would be lying if she said she didn’t like it when the loggers came through. Ever since she was old enough to appreciate the male form, she liked to hang out at the diner where they frequented. Just to catch a glimpse of all that muscle in flannel shirts.
This wasn’t to say that every single one who came through looked like an Abercrombie and Fitch model…but some did.
Like the one sitting all by his lonesome at the end of the bar. Coincidentally beside the only empty stool in the whole place. He was sculpted in the likeness of Adonis. With a red flannel checkered shirt and jeans that were obviously made especially to adorn his perfect ass.
Oh and his perfectly shaggy beard. Let’s not forget the beard, shall we?
And to top it all off, he was reading a book.
So he was basically porn on two legs. Unbutton a few buttons, and he’d be on the cover of those romance novels she loved reading so much. She didn’t care which buttons. Just pick a few and unbutton them.
“This seat taken?” she asked, drawing his attention.
He turned to look at her with blue eyes so deep they probably housed things yet undiscovered by the scientific community. “Not yet.”
“Mind if I do?”
“Not at all.” He dog-earred the page of the book, which made Darcy cringe a little, but it was his book, he could do what he wanted with it.
“You come here often?” he asked, grinning widely. She could swear his teeth sparkled.
She shrugged. “Depends.”
“If there are people like you here…”
“People like me?” He glanced around at the other patrons. The implication was obvious. People like him were a dime a dozen.
Darcy was out to prove him wrong on that.
“Yeah…people who work as loggers and yet read…” She turned his book slightly to center the title. “Pride and Prejudice in greasy spoon diners….oh my god.” Darcy looked up into his eyes. “Are you even real?” She reached out to poke his shoulder. “Or did I dream you up?”
He laughed. “It’s for a class, actually…I’m taking online classes…trying to finish out my bach degree…no offense, but this isn’t my cup of tea.”
Ugh. Maybe he was too good to be true. He was probably about to start in with why he hated the romance genre and blah blah blah mansplaining.
“Yeah…I liked Emma better? I felt like it really was her better work…”
“Oh? Do tell. I’m Darcy Lewis by the way…” she stuck out her hand.
“Steve Rogers,” he replied, taking it. “Let me buy you a cup of coffee first, because I’m actually planning on writing my end of term paper on this? But I need to bounce some theories off someone who doesn’t have trees on the brain…” he gestured to the man seated on his right.
Can you write a prompt about Scully finding out Mulder still keeps pictures of her in lingeries/sexy pics of her on his phone? Revival time?
Will I ever write anything that’s not MSMTWM ever again? We’ll see. Shout out to @aloysiavirgata, who inspired a headcanon in here that I regrettably cannot take credit for.
For old time’s sake, or maybe for new time’s sake, they grab breakfast at a greasy spoon diner on their way to the airport the next morning. Over eggs over easy and oily hashbrowns, they outline the basis for their report.
He pushes his eggs around his plate with a piece of toast and asks, “Are you going to explain that you stole a dog?”
“Are you going to explain how you allegedly talked to a monster for an hour and didn’t get one clear picture?”
“I told you, he was in human form then. And look.” Mulder pulls out his phone and opens his photos. “This is definitely a close-up of the scales.”
“Yeah, you showed me.” Scully takes his phone from him and begins swiping through the blurry pictures from a few nights ago. “What did it feel like?” she asks. “Did you touch it?”
“He,” Mulder corrects. “No, I did not touch him.”
“Hmmm.” Scully continues looking through the photos, going past the last few days and into a few pictures of pumpkins and one of a sunrise.
“Hey there,” Mulder warns, reaching over their weak coffee for his phone. “Swiper no swiping.”
She smirks at him. “Why, what have you got on here that you don’t want me to see? More farmers market pumpkins? Why are there two of the same picture with different coloring?”
“One’s the version I posted on Instagram, will you give me that?”
Scully slaps his hand away and then nearly drops his phone into her omelette when she sees the next picture. She almost doesn’t recognize herself at first; the picture’s a few years old, from when her hair was longer, but it’s her alright, propped up on one elbow in their bed, facing the camera but not looking directly at it. Her hair, still slightly damp from her shower, hangs over her shoulder but isn’t long enough to hide that both of her breasts are bare, her nipples dark and erect. Her lower half is covered by the slate-colored sheet and her eyes seem to glow blue in the soft, bright morning light.
“Mulder,” she says, her mouth a little dry, “you still have this?”
“Swiper no swiping,” he says, suddenly engrossed in his napkin.
“This was…” She remembers the morning with more clarity than she thought was possible. It had been her one day off a week and she’d woken with Mulder’s chin tucked under her head, his hand splayed across her hipbone. She distinctly recalls thinking that in that moment, her life was perfect.
“I’m still waiting for you to return that follow on Instagram, by the way,” Mulder says, finally meeting her eyes. “It’s bad form not to followback, I hear.”
“I’m just surprised you still have it,” she says, handing his phone back to him. Her voice catches in her throat and she takes a sip of coffee. It doesn’t help.
“Well you still have my favorite t-shirt,” he counters. “Two, actually, a fact that I learned just a few nights ago.”
“I guess we’re even then,” she says, giving him a pointed stare as she takes a bite of her omelette.
“We’ll never be even, Scully, considering how you stole a dog.” He raises his voice at the end of his sentence, making a few people in the surrounding booths turn around and glare.
“I did not steal him.” Nonplussed, she flags down a server for the check. “I rescued him.”
“Hashtag adopt don’t shop,” Mulder says, scrolling through something on his phone.
“Hashtag who rescued who. Hashtag mutts of Instagram,” he continues, looking up only to meet her admonishing smirk. “It’d make a great first post, all I’m saying.”
“I’ll post my first gram when I’m good and ready, Mulder,” Scully sighs. She signs the check and gathers her bag from beside her in the booth.
“Look at you, all hip with the lingo.” He wipes his mouth and misses a spot. Scully resists the urge to lick her thumb and smudge it away.
“I have my moments,” she says instead. “Do you think he’s a mutt? Daggoo?”
Mulder shrugs. “I already like him better than the other one.”
“Big on first impressions, are you?”
“Well, I was right about you.” He holds the diner door open and she ducks under his arm.
“Oh?” She hides a grin, remembering shaking his hand in that office nearly a quarter of a century ago.
“Yeah, something told me you were going to be a giant pain in my ass.” He squints against the morning sun, a rarity in this part of the country. “A lovable, giant pain in my ass.”
Fishing her sunglasses out of her purse, she says offhandedly, “You should use that as the caption when you post that picture of me to Instagram.”
She struts past his dumbfounded look and clicks the locks open on the rental car. “Come on, Mulder. We’ve got a plane to catch.”
8. “Don’t lie to me.” (they specified later that it was andreil lmao)
On Sunday, they don’t leave their motel room until 1 pm. The sun is the splat of a runny egg and everything’s gone messy yellow underneath it. Neil has hickeys from his ear to his collarbone, and secret pictures from their impromptu road trip on his phone: Andrew smoking out the window, shirtless, the view out the car window at dusk.
They go to the first greasy spoon diner they can find and Neil wonders absently that he doesn’t know, exactly, where they are. It would have hooked anxiety into him once, but now there’s a steady comfort in the way Andrew navigates so much better than he drives, like there’s a compass behind those still eyes.
They sit at a booth, quiet, happy. Neil knows Andrew’s happy. He’s the surface of an impenetrable lake, but Neil did just spend the weekend swimming in it.
It’s shocking when he sees her, like someone cut something out of his dreams and pasted it into reality. She looks the same as she did in Chicago 5 years ago, in her 60s, kind eyed, a little pathetic in a haggard sort of way.
Andrew picks up on his expression instantly. He takes Neil’s cutlery from where it’s hovering in his frozen hands, putting it down with a clatter. He manhandles Neil’s face so that they’re eye to eye.
Neil shakes his head, but Andrew’s grip holds. “No one. Nothing.”
Andrew keeps his face steady but his eyes trail away. “Not nothing, Abram.” He scans the restaurant while Neil struggles to breathe. She walks out of the diner with a to go container bundled in her arms and Neil’s shoulders relax.
Andrew’s eyes snap to his. Sometimes Neil thinks Andrew’s more sensitive to Neil’s actions then he is.
“Who?” he repeats.
Neil swallows. He nods towards some guy nursing a coffee at the counter. “Hitman. One of my father’s. Nasty piece of work with a thing for my mom. He trailed us for two weeks.” It’s a real story, but that man is not sitting in this diner, more likely dead or in prison. He’s certainly not what’s making Neil feel this scattered. He’s both comforted and repulsed by his own lie.
Andrew watches him. He lets go of his jaw and goes back to his plate, ripping pancakes into pieces that are too small to be bitesized. There are two straight millimetres of syrup drowning the bottom of his plate.
Neil looks back to his own food and squints, waiting for his appetite to come back.
“Don’t lie to me,” Andrew says conversationally. Neil looks up at him, surprised. He should really stop being surprised by Andrew Minyard.
“I’m not lying.”
Andrew hums. “Two lies. I could leave you in this diner and my life would be better for it.” He twirls a fork idly in syrup, and licks it straight off.
Neil furrows his brow, looking out the window into the dusty parking lot so he won’t look at Andrew’s eyes in the sun.
“She was — she’s a woman we conned.” Stupidly, he looks up to Andrew for a reaction, but he looks like he’s barely heard him.
“She put us up for the night, because we told her our car was stolen, and that it was all we had, so she just… took us home with her. We could tell she was really nice, like. Actually kind. Most people are just uncomfortable with saying no, which is exploitable,” he knows it’s a shitty thing to say, especially to Andrew. His voice is so hollow he barely recognizes it. “But she did more than we asked. She wanted to believe the lie. You can destroy people like that. We robbed her blind. We took the fucking food out of her fridge, her family heirlooms, I don’t even know. Everything.”
His face burns. He doesn’t know why it’s getting to him so much, only that he remembers this solitary woman more than he remembers most of his life on the run.
Andrew cocks his head at him. “You little criminal.”
Neil exhales shakily. “Yeah.”
They’re quiet for a long moment. Andrew chews, Neil breathes, the diner ignores them.
“What would’ve happened if you’d spent that night on the street instead?”
Neil frowns. “I don’t know,” he says slowly. “Maybe nothing. Maybe we would’ve been found and executed. Hard to say.”
“You don’t know,” Andrew echoes. “She’s alive. So are you. Get over it.”
Neil thinks he’s done, but then Andrew reaches across to steal Neil’s french toast and says, “survival isn’t free.”
Neil’s mouth twitches, secret, at the laminate table top, and then he gives up and smiles right at Andrew.
“No more sob stories while I’m trying to eat,” Andrew says, not looking at him.
Neil can pick up on the meaning behind his words, easy as breathing. He leans close, across the table, until Andrew meets his eyes sideways. “No more lying,” he agrees.
I sighed as I took a piece of cheesecake out of the cooler and looked at my coworker Missy. “Wanna share?” She shook her head and reminded me she had a dinner date with her boyfriend Ryan at 9.
I grabbed a fork and stabbed it into my cheesecake and looked at the clock. “6 more hours until I can go home and cuddle my pillow”
I was a waitress at a greasy spoon diner. It wasn’t the greatest job but it was a job nonetheless and I needed the money since I wasn’t going to high school anymore. I told my parents I was taking a year off from school before college. They agreed, but they weren’t going to pay for my year of sitting around and being a lazy ass. I had to get this job.
I always met a lot of questionable people working nights there. Runaways, drunks, dope fiends, people who worked late and just random people who couldn’t sleep. Definitely lots of weirdos coming in. We definitely were not on the classy side of LA I’ll tell you that much, but it felt like home to me and I was safe.
I stabbed my fork into the cherry on my cheesecake and started taking tiny bites out of it. I watched 3 guys come in together. They came in every night. The tall one was so cute. He was a bit shy and he always had this big toothy smile every time he’d come in to the diner. I think his name was James.
I suddenly became deep in thought about this tall, blonde boy with the guitar until the shorter one tapped my shoulder and asked for 3 coffees in an accent I never heard before. I smiled and told him that I would bring them to their table. I quickly took a huge bite of my cheesecake and swallowed it quickly.
I hooked 3 white coffee cups to my fingers and grabbed the pot of coffee and made my way to their table and put the three cups down and filled them one by one and I smiled at each of them and asked if I could get them anything else. The smaller of the guys asked for more sugar. I didn’t realize the sugar was nearly empty. I laughed and grabbed the sugar from the table beside them and took the empty one. “Sorry”, I laughed. “Call for me when you need me.”
The tall, blonde one smiled and said, “but I don’t know your name!”
The other 2 guys looked at him and smiled and waited for me to tell them my name. “It’s Michelle” I looked back at him as I went walking back to the kitchen. He smiled back at me and I smiled back. He was so cute.
I bumped into Missy on my way back to the kitchen and she was laughing and following me into the kitchen. I know why she was so amused. I’d laugh at me too. “Jesus Christ, he’s so cute” I swooned.
Missy was busy looking out to see if anymore customers came in but it was just the same 3 guys. “Maybe you should ask his name or somethin’ huh?”
The thought of it made my tummy flutter. I laughed “He’s obviously a metal guy, I’m just a waitress. And I don’t even know any metal.”
She laughed as she said “Well go ask him to teach you about it!”
Just then I heard one of them say my name loudly. I felt my cheeks get warm which obviously meant that they were red. I waited a second before I went to wait on them. I didn’t want to seem too excited.
“Hi Michelle, can we get more coffee Michelle?” It was the blonde one. He had this big shit eating grin on his face which made me laugh. He was being a dork, which I found adorable.
“Coming right up, guys!” I said and went back to get the coffee. I should have brought it with me in the first place, maybe I was too giddy. I poured their coffee and quickly went back to the cash register and cleaned up around the table. I kept glancing up at the boys and the one in particular was always looking my way. So many tummy flutters.
“So, how late are you working tonight?” I heard softly. I looked up and James was leaning over the counter watching me sweep the floor. “1 am” I smiled.
“That’s not too late, do you want to hang out when you’re done?”
“Sure, I don’t have any plans tonight. I’d love to!” I never have plans. I made it a point not too. But tonight was different. He was way too cute and I just couldn’t say no.
“Okay well we’re going to finish our coffee and go. These guys got curfews. I’ll be back to pick you up when your shift is done, how does that sound?” His expression turned serious and then it softened.
“Sounds great!” I smiled “I’ll be expecting you then”
“So how much for the coffee again?” He asked as he pulled out his wallet. .
“No, don’t worry about it. On the house.” I said as I stopped him from opening his wallet.
“Sweet well I better get back, I’ll see you later tonight” he smiled and walked away.
So I guess I’m hanging out with my crush tonight. I gotta call my parents and tell them that I won’t be home tonight. I’m excited
An anecdote for all the animation students about to graduate;
I see all the student films flooding my dash so I guess it’s that time of year again, and I know that can mean some emotionally racking things ahead. I know everyone’s path to success is different but I’ll just put this story out there for people in case it offers anyone any solace.
So at Sheridan when you got in (or at least when I did eleven years ago) you were given a number grade attached to your portfolio from 1-100. 60 automatically got you in and 56-59 put you on the waiting list. I was at the very bottom of the waiting list with a 56, and planned to do art fundies for a year to build a better portfolio and reapply. I ended up getting into the program the day before classes started, I was the last person who made it in before they closed the gate that year.
For whatever a numerical ranking of skill attached to artistic ability can be worth, on paper I was ranked as the absolute weakest and most unskilled artist in my peer group.
And, to be honest, it fucked with my head a lot. I worked really hard and found my strengths and managed to hammer out my foothold as a contender. I’d like to think at least that the people in my year don’t just remember me as “the weakest and least likely to succeed”, anyway. But when I graduated into the writer’s strike and the economy collapse of 2009 and even basic retail jobs were impossible to find, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel like every failure and missed job opportunity was proof that I really was The Worst and had wasted four years of my life, thousands of dollars, and an immeasurable amount of mental anguish trying to convince myself otherwise. I worked as a waitress in a greasy spoon diner with red vinyl seats and a checkerboard floor. I found reasons to love my job, to stay positive (even though I had that anxiety monster strangling me every moment of every day reminding me that I had never been good enough and art school had been a delusional waste of money), I worked hard on improving my portfolio, I kept throwing lines out for jobs, I forced myself to manage my crippling fears of talking to strangers so I could learn to network, I made a conscious effort to learn how to build portfolios that played to my strengths and resist the urge to put down my own work when I was trying to sell myself as a worthwhile employee.
I always had that albatross around my neck, “you were empirically and mathematically proven to be the worst”, but I made the conscious effort to figure out and emphasize my strengths to employers.
In October of 2009 I got a job doing inbetweens on Ugly Americans for Comedy Central. The producer told me that it came down to me and two other guys for the job, but I just had a great attitude. By the time the first season of the show ended, my “great attitude” and stonecold work ethic had gotten me promoted to character design, storyboards, character layout, and keyframe animation. Almost immediately after the first season wrapped up I was hired by a studio in Hollywood, and now I’m a board artist at Cartoon Network.
I won’t say “work hard and you can have everything you ever wanted” because I completely acknowledge that I’ve had a lot of lucky lightning strikes in my life, but I will say don’t let the expectations of failure that people will stack on you choke you out. Speaking as someone who was Literally The Worst at one point in their life, a lot of good things can come from focusing on the positives, resisting the urge to lick your wounds and wallow in failure, and put a concentrated effort into figuring out how what your strengths are and how they make you valuable.
Remember that when it comes to creative endavours “most talented” or “best for the job” is very subjective and doesn’t necessarily equate to a quantifiable number of years worked or 1-100 technical ability score. It can have a lot to do with attitude, work ethic, unique perspective, life experience, so many things that can’t be taught in school or ascribed a numerical value. There’s no single path leading to a single success goalpost. Even if you aren’t following the one you thought you would take you aren’t “a failure”, and your perspective and contribution to creative arts however you decide to make it is uniquely yours. You don’t need to win a Best At Art ribbon before you can be A Success™, and you can find a way to claw out your own little nest in the art world even if you don’t fit the profile of what you always expected a professional artist to be.
*Just a PSA, this is a girlxgirl imagine and I regret nothing.*
I had been watching my girlfriend blow dry her long brown hair for about ten minutes. I really should have been getting ready, but I couldn’t focus. Especially when there was the most beautiful girl in the world standing in front of me, and she was all mine. We were about to go out to dinner to celebrate our one year anniversary. I honestly never thought that we would have made it this far, I had never been in a relationship that lasted. One where I felt loved and appreciated, it was like Lynn had been sent from the heavens and was created specifically for me. I leaned back on my hands and just looked her over, she was perfect in nearly every way. I had been lost in my thoughts when I felt two lips on my cheek.
“Well with all that you could have taken a picture it would have lasted longer, and saved the drool for another day.” I felt her sit down beside me.
“Well maybe I did.” I stuck my tongue out at her, pulling her hands into mine.
“You need to get dressed.” She was whining at me.
“Alright, alright. I’ll get dressed.” I rolled my eyes playfully, getting up from the bed.
We weren’t really going anywhere fancy, wasn’t our deal. Probably just a quiet evening at our favorite greasy spoon in town. The diner wasn’t anything special at all, just a nice maybe 30 seater at best and it was open 24 hours. It was nice unless you wanted breakfast on a sunday morning. There was no chance of getting a table. I started smiling at the thought of it being pretty deserted besides Lynn and I. I sighed contently pulling my leggings up over my legs, wiggling into them.
“Boy is that a great view” Lynn was whistling as she walked past me.
“Why don’t you take a picture it would last longer” I mocked making a face as I buttoned up my shirt.
“As a matter of fact I will” I heard a camera click and Looked back to see her winking at me. “I’ll save that for later” She laughed and started kissing my face.
“Get off of me.” I pushed her off, blowing a kiss in her direction.
“Lets go, That turkey club is calling my name!” Lynn was jumping around by the door.
“Okay okay, lets go.” I laced my fingers through Lynn’s and we walked off down the street.
I stuffed my face with the last bite I was capable of taking of my sandwich, and turned to Lynn who finished hers nearly 20 minutes ago.
“God could you take any longer?” Lynn leaned back in her seat stretching her arms out.
“Probably, but you know I’m trying.” I shrugged slightly and pushed the plate away.
“Waitress can we get a box?” Lynn batted her eyelashes at the older lady in front of us.
“For heaven’s sake Lynn you’re here twice a week, yet you still call me waitress when you want something.” Shirley shook her head and brought back a box for me.
“Thank you mama.” I smiled taking it from her. Packing up my box Lynn yanked me out of my seat.
“Dance with me baby.” In the background I could hear Boyz II Men playing. I took a low slow gulp, I was a terrible dancer and she wants me to dance with her.
“Yeah” I wrapped my arms respectively around Lynn’s neck and she found her way to my waist.
We moved slowly and in sync, not to the song but to each other. We had our own rhythm that we moved to. We had gone through a handful of songs, when I found myself twisted in her arms. My back was against her tall body, my head against her shoulder and my hands laying on top of hers on my waist. She had been singing along to the song on the radio, swaying us ever so slightly. I took a deep breath inhaling happinesses sweet aroma. I closed my eyes as I felt her soft lips on my burning skin. Lynn had left a stinging trail of kisses from the base of my ear to my shoulder. She had kissed my neck before but this was so much different than any other time. I could feel my breathing start to become uneven under her touch.
“L…Lynn we should go home yeah?” I started to slip out of her arms before she caught me.
“Should we? Why?” I could feel her smirk against my skin.
“Its a little hot in here.” My knees began to fall out from underneath me, thankfully Lynn never let go otherwise I’m sure I would look like melted ice cream on the floor.
“Easy there, wouldn’t want you to melt.” Her hands dropped from around me and her long fingers slinked into mine. “Lets go home, I have a surprise for you.”
Our walk home was silent…neither of us had much to say, but words weren’t needed for the vibes we had going on. Approaching Lynn’s front door she hurried inside, pulling me behind her. I took off for the stairs, straight into her room. I almost fell over myself as I felt her knock into me, she was clearly just as excited as I was about whatever was going to happen tonight.
“Y/N….I love you…You know that right?” She backed me up against the edge of the bed. I sat down feeling a pit growing in the bottom of my stomach.
“I love you too, you know that” I watched her closely, examining her every move. She walked slowly along the bedside until she came up beside me. “Is everything okay?” I raised an eyebrow peering down at her.
“Y/N…I never really knew what love was before…But you showed me the way. You’ve made me a better person and lover….You inspire me everyday to be better than I was the day before. I couldn’t have asked for anything more than what I have recieved the moment you walked into my life. You were created for me just as I was created for you….Marry me.” I seen her pull out a gumball machine little holder. She popped it open to a beautiful lace printed rose gold band. I could feel my eyes welling up…this was really happening. She was proposing to me.
“Of course!” I squealed softly and wrapped my arms around her neck placing a soft kiss on her forehead.
Lynn slipped the ring on my finger and pushed her lips into mine. I felt desperate in that moment, to get closer to her. I craved her…every part of her. She leaned me back crashing her lips into mine harder, yet more passionate than ever before. Our tongues wrestled for dominance, her easily winning. She pulled away smiling at me, I let out a soft whine as I felt her knee grinding between my legs.
HOLY SHIT IM IN THE WRONG CAR AU PLZ IF YOU'RE FEELING THE DESIRE
“Holy shit,” Bucky says. “I’m in the wrong car.”
“No shit,” hot dude says.
“To be fair,” Bucky says, “I also have a green Corolla.”
Hot guy levels an impressive glare at him. “This is a blue Passat.”
“To be fair,” Bucky tries again, “I had never had a Long Island Iced Tea before last night.”
The guy nods. “That is fair,” he says, “but I’m also late for an appointment.”
“Oh, where you headed?” Bucky asks, hoisting himself up. He squints a little, looks around. The upholstery is even different than the Corolla, and he can probably blame this on Clint, at the end of the day. Clint was supposed to keep something like this from happening. Then again, it’s probably his fault for trusting Clint to keep something like this from happening, since, y’know, Clint.
Bucky straightens up, excited, which is a mistake since it does nothing but make his head pound. “Shit, dude, that’s perfect. Would you mind if I tagged along for the ride? I know I’m the rando who fell asleep in your car, but I can promise you I’m not an axe murderer, and I probably have five dollars for gas money.”
“Well, with an endorsement like that,” hot guy says before turning the car on. He pulls out of his space and Bucky flops back down, happy to lay around while this guy drives him. “I’m Steve, by the way,” the guy says.
“Bucky.” Bucky shuts his eyes. The sun hurts and he doesn’t have his sunglasses.
“So, is your apartment on West Campus?” Steve asks.
Bucky thinks Steve’s a great guy, he really does — a car ride is truly all it takes for Bucky’s good opinion — but if he’s gonna insist on talking while Bucky has a hangover, Bucky’s gonna need some coffee. “Nah, East Campus. But Peggy’s is on West Campus.”
“Peggy’s?” Steve asks as he takes a turn.
“Greasy spoon diner run by an old lesbian couple who can make pancakes that can soak the poison out of your bloodstream, and also your soul. Always go there when I’m hungover.”
Steve chuckles, low and, well, sexy. “That sounds awesome.”
“Mm-hm, it is.” “You want some company?”
Bucky opens an eye. Steve is looking at the road — which he probably should be — cool as a cucumber. “Why, you offering?”
Steve shrugs a shoulder. “My meeting should take ten minutes, fifteen tops. And I’m thinking that if you drank Long Island Iced Teas last night, you were probably looking for company, but if you spent it in my car, you probably didn’t get any.”
Bucky busts up laughing — he can’t help it! Everything Steve’s saying is true.
“I’m gonna take that as a yes.”
“Yes, Jesus, yes!”
“And just so you know, you’re buying.”
“Oh?” Bucky asks. “Why’s that?”
“You barfed on my bumper and I didn’t mention it until just now.”
You know what I want - I want biker!Derek, but not motorcycle biker, I want bicyclist!Derek who wears his helmet and biker shorts and the tight shirt. Who bikes to work and changes into his suit in the office because he only lives 4 miles away and that’s a very reasonable distance to bike. I want Derek who cares about his health and about the environment and is maybe a little nerdy but in the best way.
I want Stiles, who always drives passed Derek in his beat up old Jeep on his way into the office almost every morning. Stiles who loves that ass and he can’t believe hot cyclist is also cute Derek from accounting who almost never smiles but when he does it lights up the room. Stiles, who also cares about the environment, but less about his health, whose Jeep runs on recycled fryer oil. Stiles who lives in a tiny house and gets his power from solar panels in the roof.
And Derek thinks Stiles from marketing is hot and very funny, but he drives that big old gas guzzling Jeep and he’s aways eating fast food for lunch, and he didn’t think he could be attracted to someone like that, but he is, he really, reallyis.
Then one day he finds Stiles outside in the parking lot yelling at some asshat with a Hummer about his environmental footprint and how they live in Beacon Hills he doesn’t need a Hummer, he would be just fine with a four door sedan and is he compensating for something with that big SUV.
That day when Derek bikes passed the Jeep he got a whiff of egg rolls and smiles to himself before waving at Stiles, who gave him a bright smile and waves back, like he has been waiting for Derek to wave for years, and maybe he has.
The next day Derek beats Stiles to work, he locks his bike, and he waits outside so he can ask Stiles to lunch, and because he’s Derek it doesn’t go great, but Stiles says yes, even though Derek insulted his taste in food and dragged him to the new juice bar.
On their next date Stiles dragged Derek to this greasy spoon diner that he’s been going to since he was a kid. Derek loves it, even if he did get the lamest thing on the menu in Stiles opinion, a turkey burger with a fruit salad, at least it was real food and not juice.
And maybe Derek helps Stiles eat healthier, maybe Stiles gets Derek to loosen his tie a little bit. Maybe they have all locally farmed food at their wedding. Maybe the limo is actually a tandem bike (Stiles hated it but the way Derek smiled made him love it in the end). Maybe they live happily ever after.
Do yoy have any advice for aspiring artists/animators? My little sister loves drawing, and says that she wants to learn to animate as well, and I really wanna help her and encourage her but I don't know the first thing about that kinda stuff. Is there anything that helped you when you were first learning? Thank you very much, and I'm sorry if this is a question that you've already answered a lot.
But in broader terms, it can be a slow grind so don’t get discouraged. Everyone’s path to success isn’t going to be the same so there’s no single solution. You need to focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t, you can’t jump to the final goal in one step, you have to break it down into pieces. I see a lot of people get like “well I don’t live in LA so I can’t be an animator” and when I hear that I can’t help but think… well, sorry to say but if that’s all it takes to dissuade you completely, you probably don’t have the drive to make it in this industry anyway. Very very few people get a straight shot to their end goal like that, you have to think of it like a rock climbing wall, the rocks aren’t going to make a perfect ladder to top, there are a million different routes you can take and some are gonna be harder than others, you might not make it where you’re aiming on the first try but as long as you keep working and getting stronger and evaluating what about the paths you’ve tried did or didn’t work you’ll figure out how to get a little higher every time you tackle it again.
Personally, I’m from the middle of nowhere in Subarctic Canada. I’m from the part of Canada where the stereotypes come from. There are like a thousand people and you get blizzards in September and blizzards in June. You have to drive south for 13 hours to get to a real movie theatre. So I find it extra frustrating when people say “I’m not in LA I may as well give up”. Maybe you need to work your way up to LA. Maybe you don’t need to be in LA at all and you find satisfying fulfilling animation work closer to home, or maybe you’ll find a way to do remote freelance for one of those big studios you like. Maybe you’ll carve out an audience for yourself as an independent creator online and never have to leave your home town to live out your art dreams if you don’t want to! Maybe you’ll make friends with people online closer to the action who’ll keep their ear to the ground for new jobs coming up. Maybe you’ll go to a convention and make a good impression on a creator you like who’ll keep you in mind if they see a project coming up that makes them think of you. Maybe you’ll start down the road to a professional career and ultimately decide you like art more as a personal hobby than a career and divert onto a completely different path. Maybe you start out wanting to be an animator but realize you enjoy drawing comics or illustrating kid’s books or designing t-shirts or any number of things way more and jump the tracks onto that path. The industry changes, you change, what you wanted when you were 16 might not be what you want when you’r 25 or 30 or 40 and that’s fine. Maybe your princess is just in another castle.
It’s important that success isn’t a pass/fail thing, just because a project isn’t The One You Dreamed Of doesn’t mean you didn’t find success and it doesn’t mean you’re squandering your potential. Every project is a notch in your belt that brings experience, connections, and confidence. When you’re first starting out you might feel like you’re inadequate and don’t have the chops, but after a while you level up your industry wisdom and start feeling more like “no, I do good work, I am competent and capable of pursuing these high profile jobs I’m interested in” and apply for them with confidence. When you get those moments of imposter syndrome you can look at your body of work and think “Well if I’m just faking my way through this I’m doing a pretty darn good job of feigning competence”. And honestly, eve if you aren’t working a full-time art job you can still look on the positive side. I used to have a job picking up trash of the side of the highway, that’s a far cry from the job I ultimately wanted but it gave me a ton of time to plot out ideas and left me with all sorts of creative energy at the end of the day that I took home and put into working on personal projects that in turn broadened my audience online and opened more doors for me as an independent creator. I had a job for a while working in a greasy spoon diner that paid below minimum wage, under the table. It was pretty paycheque to paycheque, but I was able to use the free time I had on days I didn’t have shifts and the afternoons on days I worked the opening shift to assemble the portfolio that ultimately got me my first big animation job out of school.
One person’s success is not everyone’s success, Everyone doesn’t have the same opportunities, aptitude, or strikes of dumb luck, but progress is progress and accomplishments are accomplishments, doing anything is better than doing nothing and every personal victory is worth celebrating. Don’t get so caught up looking at all the mountain you haven’t climbed that you neglect to look back and indulge in a little pride in whatever you have managed to accomplish.
I will say, though, think the two most universally important things for young artists to learn in the interest of pursuing a career regardless of the state of the industry;
Learn to be sociable - So much of succeeding as an artist depends on having a network of people around you willing to keep an eye out for jobs that could suit you and say nice things about you to important people. Unfortunately, the act of making art is generally such a solitary pursuit a whoooole lot of art kids are not the most socially adjusted. It’s hard and it sucks but you gotta rip that band-aid off and learn to talk to people. You don’t need to force on some fake prom queen persona (and if you try that it’ll probably come across as fake and leave a bad impression), but it’s always a good idea to have some ice breakers in the chamber so you can make small talk and get comfortable with your colleagues, leaving them with a positive impression. Honestly an easy one is to compliment a particularly stand-out piece of a person’s outfit because usually that leads to a story about how they found it or why they wear it and make it easier to figure out the flow of the conversation. Believe me, I know what it’s like to have crippling anxiety around strangers, learning what works for you to manage it (even just for short interactions when you can) is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
Learn to stop putting your work down - Again, I know it is a pretty common artist thing to look at something you finished and see nothing but mistakes but you gotta get past that. Putting your own work down is sort of like a way to protect yourself from criticism, if you say it sucks before anyone else can you take away the sting from other people who might insult it. But being relentlessly hard on yourself and beating the hypothetical naysayers to the punch can crush your self esteem, your ambition, your confidence and frankly, turn off potential employers. When I was at Sheridan they brought studio heads in to help coach the students be better prepared for job interviews, and they all agreed the number one most off-putting thing young artists do in interviews is trash talk their own portfolios. If you go into a job interview and say “This isn’t very good” they don’t hear the “Trust me I’m capable of much better than this” you intended, they hear “I’m not confident enough in my abilities to be a valuable addition to your team. I don’t think I’m good and if you think I am you have bad taste. I am basically wasting your time by showing you this art that I’m not willing to stand behind” It’s harsh but that’s the reality of it. You go into a job interview to talk about how great and deserving you are, not tell the people who want to hire you that you’re inadequate. If there’s a piece in your portfolio that temps you to say “it’s not very good” Take it out of your portfolio, you need to own everything you put in there. If you’re worried you lack certain qualities they’re looking for, focus on the ones you DO have, like your enthusiasm, your work ethic, your aptitude for picking up new skills, your versatility, your unique perspective, that kind of thing. don’t think of the job you’re applying for in terms of why you should want it, think in terms of why they should want YOU.
I guess at this point I should acknowledge that this advice is all very geared towards the more young adult crowd looking to start their career. If you’re asking advice I have for younger people who are just showing interest in pursing art I’d say, draw things that make you happy and make you want to draw. Draw whatever makes you excited to draw and gets you to draw a lot. Just draw all the time, Look at art, get inspired, figure out what about the art you like makes you like it and why the artists you like make the kind of creative choices they do. There’s no shame in drawing from references or trying to copy other pieces of art you like to figure out how it was made (I mean, don’t go posting it online and saying it was all you, credit where credit is due but there’s no shame in learning). Draw like art is an all-you-can-eat buffet and you’re trying to fit every tasty looking thing on your plate, you can sort it all out as you go.
Based on this prompt thing, because ‘fake proposals’ are almost as cute as 'fake dating’
Castiel stares at the hamburger in front of him. It smells divine. He’s starving but he’s too nervous to eat.
“C’mon, Cas, eat up,” Dean encourages, popping a fry into his mouth.
“Dean, I can’t afford this,” Cas hisses. All of his money, every dime, went toward his student loan payments. The library recently cut his hours and he was literally living on gas station coffee from his night job and ramen noodles.
“Don’t worry about it,” Dean says with a shrug. Cas glances around the room. It’s much nicer than the normal greasy spoon diners he and Dean usually go to (when they have money). They have cloth napkins and high ceilings. The servers are dressed head to toe in white, flying around the dining area like angels.
“Eat your food or you’re not getting any cheesecake,” Dean chastises. Cas frowns, but he picks up his burger just the same, taking a bite. It tastes so good. He chews slowly and he can’t help moaning a little at the flavor.
“Feeling better?” Dean asks, grinning at Cas. He shakes his head and sets the burger down.
“I don’t understand why we’re here,” Cas says, “There’s no way you can afford a…” he waves his hand over the table, “$15 burger. What’s wrong with the diner?” Dean shrugs and takes another bite of his food.
“Even I get tired of diner food, Cas,” Dean says dully. “Just felt like treating ourselves to something better, y’know? Get you something to eat besides freeze-dried noodles.” Cas looks down. He is grateful for this. For as long as he and Dean have been friends, Dean has always looked out for him, making sure he’s taken care of but also takes care of himself.
“Thank you,” Cas offers softly. He takes a bite of a fry, enjoy the salty crunch.
“Besides, I have a plan,” Dean says. Cas’ eyes narrow and he tilts his head to the side.
“Dean what are you-”
“I just need you to play along, ok?” Dean cuts him off, slipping out of the booth. Cas watches in confusion until Dean drops to a knee and takes Cas’ hand in his.
“Castiel Novak,” Dean declares loudly over the din of the dining room, “Would you do me the honor of making me the happiest man alive and marrying me?” Cas’ jaw drops open and he stares at Dean in stunned silence. He can feel his face and ears reddening in embarrassment. All eyes seem to be on him and Dean and out of the corner of his vision he sees their waitress with her hand clutched to her chest.
“Dean, I…” Dean gives a deliberate look, trying to communicate wordlessly what he wants.
“Please,” Dean mutters under his breath, “Just… do this.” Cas shoulders slump as he begins to understand. He takes a deep breath, trying to muster some excitement.
“Of course I will!” Cas shouts, throwing himself into Dean’s arms. Dean startles as Cas’ lips find his. The kiss is intense but brief and Cas is pleasantly surprised when Dean kisses back. Cas pulls away, noticing the dazed, glassy look in Dean’s eye. Applause echoes through the dining room and their waitress is crying openly as she claps.
Cas pulls Dean in for a tight hug
“You owe me for this,” He hisses into Dean’s ear.
“I just got our meals for free,” Dean mutters in reply, “I think you owe me.”
“That was your plan?” Cas snaps in disbelief when they are finally out of earshot of anyone else. “Fake a proposal? That’s how you were going to pay for our meal?” Cas hadn’t been able to look a single person in the eye as they left the restaurant, he was so mortified. Their waitress insisted on giving them both giant hugs and Cas begged Dean to give her whatever cash he had as a tip
“Yeah, and it worked,” Dean replies, unlocking the door to the Impala.
“But what if it hadn’t, Dean?” Cas stresses. “What then?” He slips into the passenger seat. Dean ponders this for a moment before shrugging absently.
“Well then we would’ve had a funny story about how we spent the night in jail.” Cas groans and shakes his head as he slumps down into the seat.
“Unbelievable,” he mutters. Dean snorts as he starts the engine.
“C’mon, Cas,” Dean bumps him with his elbow, “We got a free meal, we made our server’s entire year, everyone in that restaurant went how with a cool story, and we got to screw over a major corporation. Everybody wins!” Cas can’t help smiling a little at Dean’s logic. It’s nearly impossible to stay mad at him.
“I have one question, though,” Dean says hesitantly as they pull out of the parking lot, “Uh, the kiss? What, uh… what was that for?” Cas looks at him strangely.
“What do you mean?” Cas asks.
“You… kissed me,” Dean replies, “Why?”
“Hey, you wanted me to play along,” Cas replies plainly, “That’s how I would react if someone proposed to me.” Dean nods, poking a tongue along the inside of his mouth.
“Um, alright, ok,” He mumbles, nervously tapping his fingers along the steering wheel, “You wouldn’t want to… um, go get some dessert or something… and maybe… try that again.” They stop at a red light and Dean gives him a cautious glance. Cas watches him fidget nervously before a wry smile crosses his face.
“Dean… If you want to kiss me,” Cas says, scooting across the bench seat, “You can, y’know?” He cups Dean’s jaw and pulls him in for a kiss. It’s soft and tender. Dean’s lips are warm and his mouth opens easily for Cas before a blaring horn cuts them off.
Dean clears his throat and faces forward, pressing the gas and focusing on the road. Cas slides back across the seat, wearing a grin like the cat who ate the canary.
“Can we still get dessert, though?” Cas asks, raising an eyebrow. Dean looks at him and grins.
“I might have to ask you to marry me again,” He says, reaching out and taking Cas’ hand.
it got sent omg anyway. I NEED TO TALK ABOUT HOW SAM TOTALLY CALLED RHODEY AFTER THE WHOLE CATWS MESS LIKE 'YO' guess who jumped into the superhero wagon too!"
after the entire SHIELD IS HYDRA rhodey jets (im sure tony has given him a suit for leisure use but rhodey has never needed a use for it until now BECAUSE HE NEEDS TO SEE SAM RIGHT NOW!!) over to DC and clinks over to sams house and is like holy shit sam. and sam is like I FUCKING KNOW. and they freak out and rhodey is like. let me treat you to a fancy brunch or something. seriously tony sneaks in money to my bank account and i think he gets offended when i dont spend it seriously no problem WE’RE BOTH SUPERHEROES NOW and they whoop and highfive only rhodey accidentally hurts sams hand a little because hello, still wearing the armor
and they go to a fancy 5-star hotel for breakfast but then rhodey is just like “sam you make way better mimosas than this place, what are these eggs even” and sam is all “this spinach looks like it went down fighting and screaming in this quiche” and they blow this dumb popsicle stand and go to one of the greasy spoon diners that’s close to sams neighborhood and get BREAKFAST DONUTS and BREAKFAST BURRITOS
rhodey tells sam about the events in im3 and they try to out badass each other in their stories, as per usual
“i was BURNED OUT OF MY SUIT AND I STILL MANAGED TO PUNCH A GUY INTO UNCONSCIOUSNESS"
"I RETRACTED MY WINGS TO AVOID HEATSEEKING MISSILES and WAS IN FREEFALL FOR AT LEAST 3 MINUTES”
“I SAVED THE PRESIDENT WITHOUT MY SUIT AND JUST A GUN!!”
“I SAVED THE WORLD FROM EVIL HYDRA CONTROL”
“MAN YOU ONLY DID LIKE 1/3RD OF THE WORK. MORE LIKE 1/5TH IF WE’RE COUNTING MARIA AND NATASHA”
“YOU SUCK DUDE”
the rest of the diner ignores them because this is what always happens and their favorite waitress sometimes drops over to listen to them talk or refill their coffees
It is a scary world for women, but we already know this. Every day–we wonder if we’re covered up enough, or if keys can really break the skin when we’re walking home alone, or if today somebody will harm us, and if they do, will anybody ever believe that they did? It is a battlefield the way Pat Benatar says love is, except more real and less catchy.
But again, we already know this. We feel the hot breath of the things that haunt us, we can touch our skin and see the invisible bruises, we can be the stink of fear. We are, more powerfully, rapid fire and pure spit and massive phoenix. Also: we are very real and very normal and very human and also very annoyed, which brings me to catcalling. Catcalling, shockingly enough, is a normal thing we tune out with music or phone calls or nothing at all. We are catcalled when walking to the store. We are catcalled while leaving the gym, while entering the building of our dentist, while eating green eggs and ham. It happens fairly often, no matter how giant the zit on my face is or how smelly my sweatshirt is or how high my heels are. It is an unalienable truth that we all think sucks. But—let’s look closer.
When you catcall me, and I move out of the street radius of “will he hurt me,” I become the non-fear-fire-dragon-human and simply…pissed. Disgusted, even.
When you catcall me, I think you are a total weenie. I don’t think you would know bravery if it pissed in your face. I also think this is the first and last time I will ever pay attention to you. I think you are a stain. I think you go home and watch Entourage with your skid-marked boxers hanging by your ankles. I think you are alone in this great big world and cling onto almost nothing. I think you were born in a hay-filled barn. I think you couldn’t even begin to sweat out your putridness. I think your hair looks shitty that way, if we’re being eye-for-an-eye on appearance, here.
When you leave me, I toss the fear aside, the fear that gives you the fleeting moment of power. When you leave me, I only remember how gross you are. I am telling you that you think my worth is in my looks, and I am telling you I think your lack of worth is in everything your slimy brain produces. I am also telling you I am stronger and smarter and more capable than you will ever be. I will continue to leave my house, bud, and I will continue to wear lipstick, and you will continue to suck.
You think I am a bitch but you don’t know the half of what I am thinking. You think I need a man but I need a boiling wart, a cyst, a pus-filled boil more than I need your compliments. I would rather eat hot garbage than even carry on a conversation with you. I think you are a human slug that leaves a trail of bile on all the circulars and cigarette butts and trash on the pavement. To me, you have no face. You are the leftover oil on a blotting sheet. You are the leftover oil on the plate of greasy-spoon diner eggs. I would much rather be in the company of a toad, of a piece of food left out in the sun, of a man who gives respect, mind you. I have no respect or interest in you, and I think you should be flushed down the toilet.
You judge me? I judge you, you slimy worthless piece of shit. You may scare me for a moment, but my impression of your worthlessness outlives the fear, and my indifference for your existence lasts the absolute longest. And that is mostly what I think when you catcall me.
I really love thinking about all the Avengers having their charity work pet projects.
Of course, Steve does a lot for Veterans’ affairs and the wounded warrior project, often teaming up with Sam and Rhodey for fundraising and events. He additionally contributes to raising awareness for PTSD. But he also spends a lot of time going to schools and talking to at-risk kids, and setting up after school art programs in low-income neighborhoods, volunteering and giving drawing lessons in civilian clothes.
Natasha keeps her work on the down-low, but she contributes money and intelligence to groups that help rescue human trafficking victims, saving women and girls from slavery and prostitution around the globe. She’s not going to stand around while other little girls get their childhoods stolen like she had hers stolen, after all.
Hulk has appeared in a number of environmental campaigns (”Go Green!” has a whole new meaning when the Other Guy is bellowing it at you), but Bruce’s real passion project is setting up a network of halfway houses for women and children fleeing domestic violence situations.
Clint isn’t so good with the organized charity stuff, but he donates regularly to the ASPCA (because aww, dogs), and he’ll often just grab a bunch of homeless folks up from off the street and take them all out for pizza, or to a greasy spoon diner, because who doesn’t like diner food?
Thor appears on TV to get people to give to natural disaster relief efforts; he also personally helps in cases of raging forest or bushfires, summoning rain to combat the blazes. (A major national suicide hotline also receives an anonymous donation of very strange gold coins…)
Tony has a lot going on with the Stark Industries charitable funds, both for disaster relief in areas struck by super-villainy, and for helping refugees in war-torn regions. He also has a program set up in partnership with a number of schools to improve math and science education, to provide more kids with the opportunities he took for granted growing up. And as a birthday present to Pepper one year, he sets up the Virginia Potts Scholarship for Enterprising Young Women. Pepper, in turn, helps to establish the Maya Hanson Memorial Fund, covering full college tuition for a select few recipients to study in STEM fields.
And all of them appear together on The Daily Show to help Jon Stewart push for a bill providing health care to the first responders at the Battle of New York.