[Miraculous Ladybug]: Just Asking For Some Privacy
finally get to reveal my fic from the ML Ultimate Guess Who Game that @mlficwritersanon organized!! also, it’s in the top 10 of fics with most kudos which, wow, holy shit, thank you so much :)
i don’t write gen fics often so it was really heartwarming to see one get this much attention, so thank you all so much for those of you left kudos and comments (even though you didn’t know it was me :P)
Title: Just Asking For Some Privacy Pairings: Gen Fic: Marinette/Ladybug, Adrien/Chat Noir, Chloe/Queen Bee, Alya/Volpina Summary: “No but she’s right. What the heck could the four of us possibly have to do that’s apparently so important that it needs to be done in private, in an abandoned locker room, and in the middle of an akuma attack?”
The latter half of Adrien’s sentence hung in between the four of them while they all stood in silence and narrowed their eyes at each other.
Now that Adrien mentioned it…that was a little weird.
Just Asking For Some Privacy
So here’s the thing.
Finding the perfect hiding spots for transforming and detransforming was easily the most difficult part about being a superhero. Hands down.
One minute you’re running into the girl’s bathroom on the fourth floor about to jump out the window and save the city, the next you’re hiding in the bathroom stall from a mob of older lycée girls touching up their makeup before their first period class, balancing precariously on a toilet, and getting frantic calls from your teammates about why you’re not there to help fight an akuma the
of the Eiffel Tower.
Then you have to show up to a fight and explain why your foot is drenched in toilet water all while maintaining the grace and dignity of Ladybug, a.k.a Team Leader, a.k.a. Should Probably Have Her Crap Together Better Than This. You’d think that after a year of being Ladybug this part of the job description would get easier, but apparently that’s just
too much to ask for
“You know it’s not as bad as you think,” Tikki whispered to Marinette as she walked to her next class. “At least you have a lot of free time in between classes and after school to get some privacy. Some Ladybug’s didn’t even have that.”
Marinette pouted. “I know you’re just trying to put things in perspective, but it’s still annoying. I had to transform underneath the reference desk in the library today. I cannot emphasize how
that felt in the moment.”
Tikki shrugged and dipped back into Marinette’s bag when she spotted students passing them in the halls. “Might be worth trying to find a new official transformation spot now that you’re in a new school for lycée.”
I wanted to write some KaiShin today, so I threw this together in a few hours. Hope you guys enjoy!
Kaito watched his reflection in the
mirror, his eyes following the lines of the dress, trying to decide if it was a
good fit. If he gave himself breasts, it
would probably look better. The lines
filled out, his curves made softer… He
mentally checked it off for use in disguises and began changing into the next
outfit, a cute striped skirt and a loose blouse.
As he was adjusting them, he heard
voices outside the door, one of them a familiar masculine one and the other a
familiar (somewhat shrill) feminine one.
They seemed to be arguing about something.
He turned in place, watching the
skirt swish around his legs. This one
was good for general use as well as disguise use, he decided. He liked the way it caressed his legs, and the
blouse’s coloring made his skin look amazing. Not to mention it drew attention to the
slender cut of his waist.
“Listen, Sonoko,” Kaito could hear
from the walkway outside the changing rooms, “you should have brought Ran, I
have no interest in watching you try on clothes.”
Summary: All you needed was a birthday cake, but you left with an obnoxiously cute nickname from some guy that you totally, definitely, did not like. A/N: First Day6 fanfiction! Hope you guys enjoy! Scenario: Bakery!AU, Fluff Word Count: 2070
woke to the sound of an alarm clock blaring in broken tones, high-pitched and
filled with static. It was five am, and you were in hell.
literally, though you might as well have been. What else was a summer at home
between semesters? What’s worse, you had your little brother’s twelfth birthday
today; and by all accounts—at twenty-one—this should not have been an issue.
Just get the kid a new bike and watch him crash it or something, right?
Your mom insisted that her baby boy be treated like a prince. Your older sister
lucked out, having gone abroad for the summer, which left you with your
family’s specific brand of crazy.
Prompt: “We all love the triumvirate! And to be honest I could not decide who to choose. So what about the reader meeting Kirk, Spock and Bones at the Acadamy and dating each of them. But then she develops feelings for all three so she breaks it of beause she can´t decide who she likes most. A few years later, McSpirk is already a thing on the Enterprise, she gets transfert to the ship as an engineer.” - Anon
Word Count: 1,978
Warnings:Into Darkness spoiler. Singular.
Author’s Note: This was a very different story from what I usually write, but I really hope that I captured what we were going for with this prompt. I hope you enjoy!
The inside of my abandoned beacon hill so far! It has 9 rooms, the bottom floor: kitchen, entryway, living room. Second floor: bathroom, hallway, bedroom. Attic: storage room, hall, and then study! Lots of things to get still, but here it is so far! I made the curtains and roughed the furniture up. Some of the furniture I got broken out of a free bin at my local dollhouse shop. The house is wired but none of it works.
Please do not remove my captions.
Summary:You’ve spent the last five years on a dangerous mission to solve the crime that wrongly imprisoned your father. When the Winchesters find you half-frozen on the side of a mountain, they make it their own mission to save your life and make sure you stay alive. But after five years of uncovering horribly dark secrets, you’ve learned not to trust anyone. Especially people who seem like they have good intentions.
You flipped the key
between your fingers as you strode down the hallway of storage units. It had
been months since you had a lead this big and you couldn’t afford to screw it
up. Everywhere you turned, it seemed like your father just got deeper and
deeper into things that you couldn’t understand, but you had a bad feeling
This key had been
hidden in a box hidden under the floorboards in your dad’s old lab. And the
only way you found the box in the first place was by going through all of your
father’s notes from old cases and experiments. Hidden in a margin on a page
full of science jargon was a clue that no one but you and your father would
title from ‘ode to sleep’ by twenty one pilots. the rebelcaptain soulmate au that i’ve been working on for a year and a month, no exaggeration. happy birthday to my dearest darlingest @literatiruinedme. so sorry this has taken so long but hey i finished it eventually, hope it’s okay. i hope you have the greatest year ever <3 and i promise this’ll be the year we actually get to meet up and go hiking or something.
The first time Jyn senses her soulmate, she feels a stabbing
pain on the top of her hand right before it begins to bleed. She’s five, and
she runs screaming to her mother. Lyra can’t hide a slight smile as she
bandages up the wounded finger, and then she sits with Jyn on her bed with her
toys scattered around them, and she explains soulmates.
This is a world of the Force, magic, and witches. Sometimes
strange things happen, and Lyra explains that the strangest of them all is the
determination of one person perfect for another. Two souls longing for each
other since the moment of birth.
When Jyn gets hurt, her soulmate will feel her pain and a
mark will show on his or her body. When the soulmate is wounded, Jyn will
bleed. This is how it’s always been, and this is how it is for Lyra and Galen.
Even now, Lyra says with a wry smile, they’re both feeling the sting of Galen’s
wounds from tending the crops. Her mother shows her the shallow cuts on her
fingers, yet unbandaged. Jyn traces them gently.
Jyn looks down at her hand and wonders how her soulmate cut it
Plot: Your adventures with Yoongi continues, more teasing, more inappropriate sex and of course, more weed.
It had been well over a week since your last encounter with Yoongi, the sexual tension between you two was intense to say the least, whenever you shared classes you could feel his eyes raking your body as you wiggled in your seat uncomfortably, you wanted nothing more than to smoke with him again and to get ‘intimate’, but school was getting in the way and your best friend was having a mental breakdown over collage applications, causing to you spent your days at her house, luckily you were a lot more layed back than that.
The next few days that followed after you were with Yoongi was filled with flirty gazes and trying to tease each other until one of you cracked, but neither of you had as of yet.
On Spider Houses and Greed within The Legend of Zelda
“If you lift the curse … I’ll teach you … something good … Hurry … Please … This is awful … In here … The gold ones … The cursed spiders … Defeat them all … Make me normal … again … .”
- The Cursed Man, Majora’s Mask
“Human desire is an insatiable, fearsome thing … even to a demon! But then again, I suppose it’s also what makes your kind so intriguing … .”
- Batreaux, Skyward Sword
Above: The Cursed Man of the Fearful Spider House
For me, and perhaps many readers, one of the most powerful images from The Legend of Zelda retained by memory is that of the House of Skulltula in Ocarina of Time’s Kakariko Village. Nestled in the midst of the most ostensibly peaceful location in Hyrule is an unassuming grey house, which, as we learn from the townsfolk, has a dark history and a necessary moral lesson. An elderly villager in Kakariko gives us this history: “Folks around here tell of a fabulously rich family that once lived in one of the houses in this village … But they say that the entire family was cursed due to their greed! Who knows what might happen to those who are consumed by greed.”  This tale is corroborated by the cursed father within the House of Skulltula, who tells Link of the curse on his family. Avarice fed his unquenchable desires, and before long, such vice led to the Curse of the Spider, here represented by Gold Skulltulas – themselves a perceptible symbol of greed. In order to dispel the spider’s curse, Link must destroy Gold Skulltulas the world over, collecting them as he goes; and in doing this, he also destroys a visible manifestation of greed and selfishness in Hyrule. 
Oft talked about, but little understood, the Spider Houses inhabiting both Hyrule and Termina hold a subtle fascination commonly overshadowed by rising plot, climax, and resolution. Spider Houses do not play pivotal roles in furthering the story, but they often augment small side-chapters parallel to the larger story with parables, morals, and mysteries. They also sound a clarion call against avarice, warning of greed’s corrupting influence on the face of the human soul.
As true in all societies and all places, the Curse of the Spider can take root in any human being, so it should be unsurprising that we also find people consumed with, and transformed by, greed within the parallel realm of Termina.
A/N: An anon request for a Derek x Reader, where they meet on her first day at the BAU and she takes none of his sassy crap. She has a great comeback for everything. @coveofmemories Enjoy!
“Okay, Y/N,” your new boss, SSA Aaron Hotchner said pointing you in the direction of your desk. “Thankfully, we don’t have a new case just yet, so you can get settled at your desk first. This gentleman,” he said, pointing towards a man walking toward you who was built like a Greek God, “will be sitting next to you. He’s the team member you haven’t met yet.”
Well, hello, you thought, extending your hand to shake his. “My name is Y/F/N Y/L/N. I’m the new profiler. And you are?”
“I’m SSA Derek Morgan, the best damn profiler you ever did meet,” he laughed, his handshake gentle yet firm. God, he was gorgeous.
“Oh really?” you replied, raising your eyebrow. You could tell he was joking, but you were a joker too. “You’re the best damn profiler? You haven’t gotten a load of my skills yet.”
Derek laughed, his beautifully-perfect smile lighting up the surrounding area. “I guess you’ll just have to prove yourself, babygirl.”
He’d just called you baby girl - it was adorable, but again, you were the type of person that wanted to fuck with him. “No one gets to call me babygirl unless they earn it,” you winked. What was a little shameless flirting in the office; there wasn’t any strict rules against dating a co-worker.
“I guess I’ll have to earn it then,” he replied, motioning toward your desk. “Is there anything I can help you with while you settle in?”
You did actually need a couple of necessities that Agent Hotchner had mentioned were in the storage room. “Well, I was hired on such short notice, that Agent Hotchner said he wasn’t able to get a computer monitor, tower and printer set up at my station, so I could use some help with that.” You were perfectly capable of carrying the items yourself, but you just wanted a reason to keep staring at his biceps, so you asked for his help anyway.
He moved out of your way and ushered you forward, pointing towards the hallway that contained the storage room. “That I can definitely help you with, Y/N.” When you turned your back to walk in front of him, you could’ve sworn you felt his gaze on your ass. Go ahead and stare at my butt, you thought as you smiled.
Once in the storage room, he reached on a top shelf and grabbed a monitor, while you grabbed the printer you’d need. Only problem was you were ridiculously short, so you moved a step ladder in front of you and climbed up, barely balancing on one leg as you reached for the printer.
“Hey, Y/N,” Derek said from behind you. “I could’ve gotten that for you.” He was trying to be gentlemanly.
“I know you could’ve,” you responded, successfully grabbing the printer and stepping down from the ladder with no accidents. “But I wasn’t just hired for my intelligence, but also my strength.” You balanced the printer in one hand, freeing the other arm to flex for him. You had considerable biceps of your own.
“Woah,” he said, picking the monitor up with one hand, while putting the tower under his arm. “I better not mess with you.”
“That would be a correct assumption,” you responded. “I’m not one to be trifled with. You may be a big, strapping gentleman, but I know how to use your weaknesses against you.”
After putting the monitor and tower on your desk, preparing himself to hook it up, he pointed toward the elevator. “There’s a gym downstairs. One of these days you might have to show me how you can use those weaknesses you say I have against me.”
“You may be a gorgeous, statuesque Greek god, Derek Morgan, but you do have weaknesses and I will use them against you. Bring it,” you said, sticking your arms out and waving your hands towards you.
He laughed as he got down onto the floor and under your desk to help you hook up the monitor and tower. While he was on his back, you continued to bust his chops as you simultaneously hooked up the printer. Within ten minutes, all of the necessary equipment was hooked up, so Derek returned to his own desk, allowing you to make your desk your own.
Before you left for your first day that morning, you had pulled a couple of necessary items that you wanted on your desk: a Funko pop toy of Harley Quinn, because she’s crazy, beautiful and crazy beautiful, a piece of geode your mother had gotten you overseas, a couple of pictures of your family and another pop toy of Harry Potter in a Weasley Christmas sweater. Now your desk felt like yours.
“This looks a lot like my other babygirl’s desk,” Derek said, walking up behind you.
Based on what Hotchner had said earlier, you assumed his ‘other babygirl’ was the technical analyst, Penelope Garcia, but you feigned shock. “You have a babygirl already and you were going to call me babygirl?”
“I have plenty of love to go around, Y/N,” he said, motioning toward himself. Stop making me look at your pecs, you kept thinking. It’s distracting.
“Well, one of these days, maybe when you have the luck of beating me on the gym mat, I will allow you to call me babygirl. Until then, Y/N will have to do,” you laughed.
Throughout the rest of the day, Derek made sure that you knew your way around and the two of you continued to make fun of each other. At one point, he even went to grab lunch, while you had a meeting about passing your certifications (merely a formality). When you walked out of Hotchner’s office, a BLT and a soda were sitting on your desk - courtesy of Derek.
“How did you know I love bacon?” you asked, biting the sandwich and trying to ensure you didn’t get food all of yourself.
“Who doesn’t?” he laughed.
Thankfully, your first day was uneventful. As you walked toward the elevator, which only held you and Derek at the moment, you turned to him. “I have no idea whether or not I’m reading things incorrectly, but would you happen to want to go out for a drink?”
He smiled your way, making your heart melt. You wouldn’t let him see it though; he still had to work for it. “You’re not reading things incorrectly. Absolutely, yes. Now?”
“I know a place right down the street,” you said, standing up to kiss him on the cheek. “And they have food there, so I can get more bacon. That sandwich you got me stoked my need for pork.”
“You are unlike any woman I’ve ever met, Y/N,” he marveled. “A mix of so many people I know. You’re unapologetically you.”
hey! i’ve loved all the scenarios you’ve written and i was wondering if you can write one based on the song “secret love song” by little mix? thank you! keep writing pls, you are very talented :)
Genre: Romance / Drama
Every time I see you, I die a
Stolen moments that we steal as the curtain falls, It’ll never be enough
Feel too much, love too hard, kiss
until you can no longer breath. Everything with Jungkook always got you all in,
with every thought and every heart beat, the entirety of your soul caught too
deep into the vast sea of feelings that only he was capable of bringing out
until they prickled at the surface of your skin and you were one second away
from combusting under Jungkook’s touch.
Your hands fisted his jacket
pulling him closer to you, your lips moved against each other in a dance to
which you already knew all the steps yet you couldn’t help but still feel
marveled by it.
–God Y/N…– Jungkook breathed hard and his lips
crashed against yours once again, eager for more of the taste none of you could
resist, and he was taking everything on his reach, every little heady whine
from you, every shaky breath that couldn’t make it past your lips because
Jungkook was instantly breathing it in, taking possession of it as he had done
with every part of you. –The door isn’t locked–
He managed to mumble while his teeth gnawed
hungrily at your bottom lip while simultaneously with a tenderness so
overwhelming and so much care that it made your knees tremble, so you moved the
hands that were previously busy messing his raven black hair to hold onto his
shoulders before you tipped down onto the floor.
Right, the door. None of you parted away or broke the kiss, yet,
that single phrase was hanging in the air with a heavy presence, the ghost of a
reality you couldn’t escape.
Keep it all behind closed doors because it
couldn’t be any other way, no one could see his touch trailing down your waist,
no one could see the way your lips refused to stay apart from his, no one could
see the way in which the homeless love both of you shared was violently
refusing to give up, scraping at every piece of hope and whispered devotion to
build its own place in a world where none of you were supposed to see each
other the way you did.
Jungkook turned you around and made you walk back
guards until your back was now pressed against the door, closing it with a soft
click that rumbled throughout the dimly lit storage room.
–But now it is– he mumbled against the tender
skin of your neck, making you close your eyes while his tantalizing lips
traveled further down without you stopping it.
Now it was safe, the kind of safe in which you
could indulge yourselves, in which fear, even though always present at the back
of your minds, wasn’t ruling every move and your hands could wander lower,
Your right hand shoved back the hair falling
over his forehead while Jungkook kneeled in front of you, his lips placing a
loving kiss just above your navel, tingling your skin through the light fabric
of your black blouse, his jacket was thrown haphazardly to the floor, not that
the room where you’d locked yourselves was all that big, yet it was still
convenient and very much welcomed.
–I love you – you whispered, making his deep dark
eyes focus on you, a side smile to shine your way and another kiss to be placed
this time on your hipbone, right against the bare skin. You could hear people walking
by on the hallway outside the storage room so you held back the moan that his
light kiss elicited, because just as the three whispered words from before, the
wantonness on your voice was only meant for Jungkook to hear.
wake up.” Dean whispered in your ear, his scruff tickling your face. You let
out a whine in protest and shoved your face back into his chest. “Nope come on.
We gotta go.” He sat up, bringing you with him, and ran his hands up and down
more minutes.” You whined and immediately drifted back off to sleep.
what you said the last 5 times I tried waking you up.” Dean chuckled. “And it’s
been 5 more hours.” He sighed in mock exasperation and stood up, pulling you to
your feet, waking you up again.
Of all the things Gordon Freeman has acquired a reputation
for doing over the years—bludgeoning alien zombies with a crowbar, staring
mutely at the characters emoting around him, applying his PhD to patronisingly
simple Newtonian physics problems—I think the one I’d be most hesitant to do in
real life is just crawling through a vent. You’re stuck in a dark,
claustrophobic, maze-like space, getting a faceful of stale air blowing in from
god-knows-where, and since you can’t turn around without a five week course in
advanced body contortion, your only option when attacked from behind is to
flail hopelessly and hope your buttocks don’t look too enticing. Oh yes, and as
Mythbusters handily showed us, you can’t actually move anywhere without making
enough noise to alert everybody in the building to your position, direction, and clumsy lack of progress.
Worst of all, in both real- and Half-Life, vents are just
really bloody boring.
They are, though, aren’t they? Crawling through a vent in
Half-Life is like being forced to walk down a very long, dark, featureless
corridor with both your feet tied to a reluctant St. Bernard, and despite many efforts to the contrary, there are only so many ways you can spice up the
experience before I begin to regard their entrances with the resigned sigh of a
sewage technician who wore his good jeans to work on the day that the mains burst. The architecture is
inherently dull, no matter how many dusty fans and offshoots you add, and
unfortunately one set of metal duct panels looks more or less like any other
set of metal duct panels, so meaningful navigation is out of the question.
Combat encounters are limited to headcrabs leaping out in a fruitless attempt
to surprise you, and puzzles aren’t even on the table. The only particularly
interesting thing Valve has ever really done with vents is set-pieces, and even
then, after the second or third one collapses out from underneath him, one
can’t help wondering if Gordon needs to cut down on the headcrab hamburgers.
And yet it wouldn’t be Half-Life without vents. Vents are an
icon of Half-Life, every bit as essential as the crowbar, and they didn’t earn
that distinction just because somebody on the team got off on the thought of a
theoretical physicist struggling to make headway in a cramped, sweaty, metal hole;
they’re a fundamental tool of the level design, and Half-Life couldn’t have
been the same game without them.
To understand vents, we have to realise that they are nothing
more than the most common representation of a level design trope that gets used
all throughout the Half-Life games. I dare say that professional level
designers have some wonderful term for it, but since I’m just a hack with a
desk covered in coffee stains and a hard drive full of lousy deathmatch maps,
I’m going to call this trope the ‘intermediate space’. Intermediate spaces
don’t show up on the map; they’re behind the walls, beneath the floors, above
the ceilings. They’re the places that normal people are never supposed to
traverse; the spaces that practically defined Gordon Freeman’s journey through
the ruined Black Mesa: vents, pipes, chutes, wiring ducts, false ceilings,
gangways, crawl-spaces, elevator shafts, rafters, dumbwaiters, maintenance
holes, hatches and tunnels. They’re cramped, they’re dangerous, and they worm
their way unseen throughout the facility, momentarily surfacing only to
disappear back into its depths. Vents are simply the most famous and widespread
of the litter.
Why does it matter if these spaces exist? To answer that,
we have to realise that Half-Life’s level design—as well as the level design of
the innumerable games that borrowed from it—is, at its heart, a compromise. To
you and I, fans of the golden age of first-person shooters, the word ‘realism’
can leave a bit of a sour taste depending on your personal experiences, but in
their own way, that’s exactly what Half-Life’s environments shot for. Whatever
creative license the mad science of Black Mesa gave Valve, they were still
frequently creating contemporary, believable spaces: offices, storage rooms, hallways, parking
lots, bathrooms, warehouses, security checkpoints, all logically arranged and
framed by sensible architecture. Black Mesa was supposed to feel realistic,
unbroken, seamless, like a proper place, free of such fundamentally video-game-y
concepts as 'levels’ or 'zones’.
Except you can’t really do that. No seriously, you can’t. If
you want to make a linear first-person shooter with finely-balanced pacing and
interesting combat encounters, the absolute last thing you want out of your
level design—the abstract structure of the maps, not all the visual stuff that
gets slapped into them—is realism. Architects don’t plan for gunfights;
warehouse workers don’t arrange their cargo into stacks of cover. Buildings are
supposed to facilitate free movement through them, not squeeze everybody
through choke-points and one-way corridors. Half-Life is a twelve-hour-long
tube with train rides at both ends, but does it feel like it? No, Black Mesa
feels like a believable space in a way that few first-person shooter settings
at the time could claim. It takes realistic architecture and carefully moulds
it around areas, arenas, routes and transitions, like papier mâché around an
unnerving wireframe skeleton, to create a space that superficially looks
convincing but ultimately puts gameplay first.
But of course, as is usually the case with this kind of
thing, the logic of the world doesn’t always fit snugly to the structure of the
levels. Freeman enters the freezer through the door, but where’s he going to
come out? How’s he going to get from this rocket exhaust tunnel to this train
station, or from this office corridor to this cargo bay? With vents, and pipes,
and crawl-spaces galore, that’s how. Are there structural conventions that
ventilation systems ought to follow? Of course, but nobody knows or cares what
they are. They can start anywhere and finish anywhere, needing nothing but a
small section of flat wall and an unobstructed flow of air to seem believable. Intermediate
spaces are the semicolons of Half-Life’s level design; an elegant way of having
one space logically follow from another without having to explicitly show how
they’re related. They are the paste that seals the cracks in the façade; the
kind of all-purpose, industrial-strength filler that makes your nostril hairs
shrivel up in disgust but grips like the jaws of death without so much as a
But that’s far from the end of
intermediate spaces’ virtues. One of their more interesting applications,
exemplified in Office Complex and the chapter that follows it, We’ve Got
Hostiles, is where they’re used not just as a way of smoothing out the
transitions between areas, but as a way of making our perception of how those
areas are spatially organised more nuanced. Y'see, the thing about Half-Life’s
level design, especially in Black Mesa’s unending subterranean tunnels, is that
it tends to sprawl like a sloshed middle-aged football fan on the Saturday
night train; there’s no obligation to make rooms fit together snugly, so
there’s a lot of negative space behind the walls that we just unconsciously
assume is filled with something, be it inaccessible rooms, storage
closets, maintenance cavities, or just a load of solid sedimentary rock. If I
can be extra pretentious for a second, this negative space exists in a kind of
quantum superposition of states; it could be any number of things, but since we
can’t actually find out, it remains an amorphous mystery, framing the
environments with the vague promise that there is, in some way, more to the facility than what you can see.
Most of Half-Life follows this pattern: a linear sequence of areas worming
their way through the void, surrounded by hints of a theoretical Black Mesa
that’s a lot more structurally logical—or at least, was a lot more structurally logical, before everything went to
Here and there, with the help of
some cleverly-structured vents, we get a glimpse of that Black Mesa. Intermediate
spaces aren’t just used as a means of transitioning from A to B, but from A back to A; they loop around, showing us
the same places in a new light, revealing their subtle interconnectedness. Who
can forget taking refuge from the military’s bombardment in an air duct only to
peek through a grate below and see the storage bays from earlier in the chapter?
Who can forget taking a detour through the cold room’s vents and emerging on
the far side of the door that had previously stumped them? The false ceilings
of the tacky fifties offices promise acres of hidden cavities, and multiple
times you’ll fall through one only to find yourself in a familiar room. “Look,”
the game whispers, beckoning tantalisingly. “Everything fits together, like a
real building.” It peels back the walls, populates small pockets of the void, and
lends the sense that the world beyond the playable space has, in some small
way, coalesced into something more defined.
So yes, in spite of them sitting in
the core gameplay experience like a lump of soggy tissue paper in a bowl of
Weet-Bix, I’m glad that Half-Life has such an unshakeable love for vents. Sure,
there are plenty of places where they could be supplanted by more visually
interesting and diverse intermediate spaces, but none are as ubiquitous in the
world or as flexible as the humble ventilation duct. It’s a workhorse of level
design; not especially engaging in itself, but capable of adding layers of depth
and authenticity to the environments of a linear, tightly-paced shooter that
few of its contemporaries can claim to have achieved. In a perfect world, vents
wouldn’t have to be prevalent in a Half-Life game; every area would flow seamlessly
into another without breaking the illusion of believable architecture or
destroying the level design, and you’d be subtly funnelled through the levels
without their linear structure ever standing out. In our imperfect world, full
of compromises and patch-jobs and necessary shortcuts, they’re the next best
continuation of the college au genderbent!amis exR, by request
Enjolras feels happy, an odd emotion, and is already wistful as they wind their way back towards campus. When they pass through the gate, Grantaire turns around and walks carefully backwards. She assumes a tour-guide stance and perfect pitch. “On our left we have the Old Hall, seat of all humanities, and renowned, of course, for the incident with the cow in 1887. A cow was introduced to the top floor as a student prank; but as cows can only ascend stairs, not descend them, you see the dilemma.“
Enjolras’ head is fogged, awareness dripping slowly downward, but his thoughts stay steady and remarkably clear.
Beside him, the last of his group of men trails down the wall to the ground, knocked out. The rest of them are sprawled on the ground, scattered in the storage hallway, and Enjolras will join them soon.
He only needs to get the information to the rest of Les Amis, he thinks, stumbling toward the open door, toward the next, last room on the corridor. They’ve cut off the people who’d taken forceful control of the space station, thanks to Marius (on the other side of the forward door and hopefully well, but bloody the last Enjolras saw him).
As soon as Courfeyrac and Bossuet know exactly where the damage is, they can cycle the air here and get rid of whatever knock-out chemical was used in this room, and send someone to repair whatever part of the heating regulation system was broken in the aft room.
The only problem, Enjolras allows, dizzily, as he stumbles against the doorframe to the aft room, is that he’ll have to seal off that room so that the passed-out people in this room doesn’t freeze before they can fix things. He needs to seal it off. If he can seal it off, this room’s heat should stabilize, and the air should be free enough in the next room that he can send his message safely.
(He’ll just have to hope that they come for him before hypothermia sets in.)
Enjolras, head and limbs full of cotton, sets his shoulder against the inside of the door to try to shove it closed. It barely budges (it’s streaked with blood - he’s covered with blood, but it’s not his blood).
There is a tenebrous blur in his greying vision, that resolves into Grantaire rising from behind a storage unit where none of them had seen him earlier. He stumbles the short gap to the doorway, unsteady on his feet but with conviction.
On the night before graduation, Kai and Jinora remember their past and look to their future. / Childhood best friends AU. [Kai/Jinora] for Aangisdead.
Jinora has always loved the stars, and they truly are beautiful tonight. There aren’t many out, due to pollution, but they still shine down on her, as she lies down on the roof right outside her window. The ledge is shallow enough that she’s perfectly safe. The stars are reassuring; it makes her think of the plastic glow-in-the-dark ones she had plastered across her ceiling as a child. (“Kai, I don’t think using the ladder that way is very safe-” “It’ll be fine.”) Only a few remained, the others having all peeled off.