have so many feels about this

Okay, so I know that some people are expecting some angst when Yang realizes that Blake didn’t come back for her, but consider this: Blake saw an entire room of people she knows and loves, but her focus and priority was Yang. She might not have come back specifically for her, but I bet that means something to Yang, that she was finally someone’s priority (and not just anyone’s but Blake’s). It might just counteract that, especially since Yang has no reason to think that Blake came back for her.

4

I didn’t mean for that last cap to come out as perfectly as it did, BUT OH MY GOD DID IT.

What I can’t really capture well, and I don’t think a gif would do it either, is how Gabby fucking SNUGGLES IN. She’s so goddamn delighted with herself, and her delight in the face of Xena’s UNRELENTING DISTASTE FOR EVERYTHING HAPPENING TO HER is such perfection.

You’ll pry mutually devoted Xena and Gabrielle from my cold dead hands, but the level of not-remotely suppressed grudging tolerance from Xena in this episode is divine and I cherish it with my entire heart.

3

Frank genuinely smiling because of Karen.

  • what she says: i'm fine
  • what she means: marvel took full advantage of the color characterization and editing styles they introduced for each of the four defenders and use the lighting design as an actual sort of intrinsic cast member in this ensemble series and they show qualities of them influencing and conflicting one another by lighting them in each other's colors and it's just it is simple beautiful clever production thank you for that you did good

I cannot stop thinking about the last ~15 minutes of Big Little Lies, and how it was about communication between women and deliberately cutting men out.  For one thing, it is almost completely silent– sound only returns at the request of the female detective, who is also the one who picked up on the inconsistencies (or rather consistencies) of their stories.  For another thing, major reveals happen without any dialogue at all.  We see Bonnie piecing together the danger oozing from Perry, we see Jane’s horror at discovering her rapist, and then we see Celeste and Madeline put the whole thing together.  Even Renata–the woman most excluded from their group– picks up that something’s wrong.

All without a single word.

It’s silly, but it reminded me of being in sixth grade.  The boys in our class noticed that the girls had a tendency to look at each other when one of them said something dumb, and pretty soon any sort of sideways-look between girls got a loud round of Mr. S they’re talking with their eyebrows again! accusations.  The boys were annoyed (playfully annoyed, but annoyed nonetheless) that the girls had figured out a way to talk in class without actually talking.  We told them they could do it too, but they all stubbornly insisted that wasn’t possible.

Thinking back on that, it strikes me how much of female communication is nonverbal, largely because it has to be.  Women are socialized not to make a fuss, to be quiet, to not take up too much unnecessary space.  This pressure (along with the emphasis on the importance of women taking care of feelings and emotions) creates a quiet sub-language, a code that is not exactly hard to break unless you insist on seeing women as other.  It’s in the look women share when a man catcalls one of us on the street, when we shift to make space for a woman to sit down on the bus because there’s a guy standing just a little too close to her.  This isn’t some innate ability unique to ciswomen– and again, the code is not at all hard to crack unless you are convinced that women are inherently unknowable– but rather a form of communication female-identified people developed to protect each other.

I saw way too many reviewers say that they didn’t buy Bonnie knowing Perry was dangerous without having her book backstory to inform her (where she’s apparently a child of an abusive father), or arguing that Celeste and Madeline just knowing Perry was Jane’s rapist was a bridge too far, but to me, that was the most organic moment of the series.  Not because women have natural intuition about these things, but because nonverbal communication is a skill women have developed to protect themselves and each other from men like Perry and so having them communicate without ever speaking a word was incredibly powerful.  Without the audience ever once hearing them, these women instantly banded together to protect one of their own– and it was one of their own who noticed.  The male detective basically throws his hands up and writes them off as unknowable, but the female detective is the one who knows the code and thus she’s the one with questions.

Even the last scene was a silent, female-centric haven.  The bad guy is gone but the good guys aren’t there either, relegated to mere sidekicks in a story about female friendship and love.  The audience is left out of their circle too, unable to hear their conversations but able to see their compassion for one another.  They’re talking without words, but we still know what they’re saying.

anonymous asked:

Okay, so we know Viktor is a bookworm. This has been established, right? Well, what about young Vitya who, when going around the world for competitions, buys books regardless of the language. And he orders dictionaries online, and translates them personally. (Because being at the top of the world can be kind of lonely.)

I FEEL REALLY SORRY FOR NOT GETTING TO THIS EARLIER BUT!!!! I LOVE THIS!!!


Victor’s relationship with books dated back to a long time. Yakov’s first memory of him included a book snuggly held against Victor’s chest. 

It made for a funny picture—the small, wide-eyed child holding a big book like it was a teddy bear, refusing to let go of it even though he would have no time to sit and read. Yakov remembers being able to peek at the title—it was The Hobbit, a colorful and illustrated version—and at his curiosity, Vitya’s mother chuckled and shook her head.

“He won’t leave home without bringing a book along,” she explained.

Little Vitya was a stubborn one. It was a trait he carried on into his adult life.

“Mommy,” Vitya tugged at her sleeve, eyes following the skaters on the rink, “can I skate yet?”

“I don’t know. How about you ask your new coach?” She replied, encouraging him to step forward and talk to Yakov. 

Vitya, back then a five-year-old, already knew how to be polite and charming, raising his chin up to look at Yakov with his big blue eyes and swiping his hair back.

“Coach Yakov, may I use the rink, please?“ 

Yakov would be heartless if he refused.

“Of course. But you can’t take your book with you.”

He almost expected Vitya to widen his eyes and clutch at his book, perhaps insist on taking it to the ice with him by the way he had been carrying it all morning or turn to his mother and say something along the lines of “I don’t like this new coach”. Instead, little Vitya frowned, offering Yakov his book with a seriousness of a real adult who confided something of great importance.

“Then… can you keep it for me?”

It had started like that. Vitya would always bring a book along, and handing Yakov his book for safe-keeping before lacing up and stepping on the ice became a part of their routine. It happened before classes, it happened before competitions. Sometimes he would curl up in a corner of the rink and read his book while waiting for some free time to skate.

Victor’s passion for books became even more evident as he grew up. He always had one in his bag, but also always brought one from home. Yakov couldn’t tell which one he was reading—or if he was reading both—but he would never question it. 

“The bookstore had a sale and I couldn’t resist,” twelve-year-old Vitya would explain when he arrived late for practice, and Lilia would only shake her head and look at Yakov.

Sometimes it was a bit of a problem. Just like he would refuse to do his warm-ups before finishing a chapter, he always backed one too many books for his trips.

“Why are you bringing so many books for?” Yakov asked as he loaded the taxi with Victor’s luggage. “Do you think you’ll be able to slack off just because you won gold in the last competition?”

Teenager Victor chuckled, glancing at his struggling coach as he scratched Makkachin behind her ears. 

“I don’t know. I might get tired of waiting for my turn and read a dozen books before I step on the ice,” he teased.

It was a known fact Victor was a fast reader, but the reason why he brought a bunch of books wasn’t because of it. It was something Yakov didn’t entirely understand, and something he wasn’t exactly interested in encouraging. 

Victor traded them with other competitors—sometimes giving up on his beautiful, limited edition cover books in favor of getting a ratty, old book in a language he couldn’t understand. Most of the times they weren’t even the same books—giving up on his treasured, flawless Anna Karenina for a coffee-stained, decade-old single volume Narnia in Italian? 

Yakov didn’t understand. But Victor—he was always elated to trade books with people, no matter what it was, and would start reading it as soon as possible,  running to the nearest shop in search of a dictionary that could help him understand the book.

When Victor turned fifteen he moved to Yakov and Lilia’s apartment to focus on his training, aiming for Junior’s gold in the following season. One condition, though—he could bring no more than ten books. 

He protested. Being rightfully furious about the proposal, Victor refused to agree with Yakov’s terms—even though he understood the reasoning behind such imposal—and was only after a lot of negotiation from Lilia’s part that he finally decided to agree.

“How?” Yakov asked as Lilia brought him the good news.

“He won’t be bringing any books. I’ve offered him my library instead.”

“Your books are all in French.”

Lilia smirked, offering Yakov the famous you fool eyes that were affectionate and mocking all the same.

“You know that is not a problem for him.”

Reading a lot was never exactly a problem or a harm to his growth as a skater. Victor was a promising athlete with incredible potential, excited to win and passionate about his sport. 

The real problem was that kids his age weren’t that passionate about reading. They had other interests—like games, movies, dating, and books just didn’t seem to be a popular top priority like it was for Victor. 

Victor had always been charming, talkative and approachable, and when Yakov asked him to interact with other skaters at banquets, he would quickly gather a small group around him and would talk passionately about the latest story he read, exchanging impressions about characters and other things. 

But after a couple of hours, Victor was nowhere to be seen. He would usually head back to his room, grab his book and find a peaceful place to read. More often than not, Yakov heard other people commenting about how focused he was on his book and lamenting not wanting to interrupt his reading.

As enjoyable as they were, books made for a lonely hobby.

When Victor got his own apartment a magazine made a photoshoot there, and they could not hide their surprise as they learned that Victor had read all the books on the shelves of his living room, save for a small pile that was kept next to the sofa where he would curl up after practice and read. They made sure to include that information when the interview was released, and Yakov remembered clearly the reaction it had gotten from the public. 

Between practicing and reading, Victor Nikiforov did little else. People made a huge deal out of it—providing lengthy blog posts about how those hundred of books spoke of solitude and a somewhat intrusive trend of asking Victor personal questions about his mental health. 

Victor dismissed those rumors saying something about being too immersed in stories to think about being lonely. To his inner circle, it was easy to notice otherwise.

However, Yakov noticed a change when Victor moved to Japan. It was growth. It was selflessness. First, he had taken only around ten books on his trip, which meant a significant effort from his part of getting to know someone, and being unsure about his future and the path he had taken. Bitter, he didn’t want to think too much about it, dismissing those things as Victor’s aloofness as he packed in a hurry.  

For once, Yakov enjoyed being proved wrong. Wrong about Victor being selfish. Wrong about Victor not being able to coach. Wrong about Victor not knowing what he wants. 

Being a teacher, after all, was about watching your pupils overcome and surprise you. And even though Yakov was still a bit bitter about it, he admired Victor for his growth. 

“I’ll keep it for you,” he heard Victor say from the sideline, picking the book from Yuuri’s hand with care. 

They stood a couple of steps away, Yuuri removing the guards from his blades while Victor’s help, his coat thrown haphazardly over his shoulders as he assumed the role of coach after his train was over. 

“Can you mark the page for me?” Yuuri asked. “I forgot the bookmarker in the dressing room.”

“Of course. What did you think of the chapter?”

Wide-eyed, Yuuri turned around with a big smile on his face, nearly jumping over the boards in excitement while trying to not make a scene. It was funny. It reminded Yakov of young Vitya. 

“I wasn’t expecting the plot twist to be that big? It was difficult to put the book down! I nearly skipped training just so I could finish it.”

“I know! I was sure you’d like it!” Victor smiled excitedly, holding the book close to his chest. “You won’t believe what happens in the next chapter. It gets so much better, you have no idea!”

“Vitya!! You promised not to tease!” Yuuri laughed, pushing Victor playfully.

“Yuuri, get to work!” Yakov called out, only then noticing how he was watching the scene with a shy smile. 

“Oh—Sorry, Yakov!” Victor smiled apologetically, leaning over the board to give Yuuri a kiss before watching him glide on the ice. 

Victor had always had a weak spot for cheesy romance novels. Yakov wanted to laugh when he remembered Victor is living one of them. 

“Go on. Join him,” he said, nudging Victor’s shoulder. “Yuuri skates more passionately when you’re there with him.”

Victor looked at Yakov with his eyebrows raised and lips parted in surprise. He didn’t say a word, and yet his coach was able to read the emotions flowing in his eyes. 

“Alright,” Victor smiled, offering him the book. “Can you keep this for me?”