he thinks himself a 'lesser man'

anonymous asked:

i imagine once mace dies or something he literally punches qui gon's force ghost in the face because "we told u he was dangerous but did u listen? NO." and also for treating obi wan like trash for almost their whole apprenticeship

When you’re dead, you’re not suppose to feel pain.

Well apparently the Force feels that a lesson is in order for Qui-Gon as Mace throws himself at the man and pins him to the surface of Obi-Wan’s hut on Tatooine, because those punches really hurt when the Korun gives it his all.

“We TOLD you he was dangerous! We told you we saw darkness! BUT NO! NO QUI-GON JINN FOLLOWING THE WILL OF THE FORCE! HOW DID THAT WORK OUT!?” The Korun snarled.

“You were all suppose to guide him!” Qui-Gon argued back, catching the mans wrists and growling back at him. “And then you left Obi-Wan alone to train him.”

Both looked to where the man was carefully boiling some water for tea, Shaak standing by his side and watching the young man who seemed to have aged so much in just a few days.

“Yes talking about Kenobi what the HELL did you do to him during your apprenticeship? What the kark did you tell him?” Mace shook the man again before Qui-Gon managed to shove him off.

“I have no idea what yo-”

“He’s been basically trying to low level kill himself during this entire endevour and if it wasn’t for the fact that he has to look over Skywalker’s sprog then I am willing to bet he could watch me yell at you right now!” Mace growled.

“I did no-, I do-, that is to sa-” Qui-Gon spluttered even as several council members watched the two from Obi-Wan’s bed, using it as their seats.

“You made a perfectly distant Jedi Master but ruined a teen into becoming a self loathing and broken man.” Mace growled deeply. “Always questioning himself, always feeling lesser, always thinking his best was never good enough and emotionally constipated.”

“He seems alright despite it all.” Qui-Gon murmured quietly.

Obi-Wan poured his tea as they looked back to him but when he lifted his cup, his hand trembled even as he blew on the steaming liquid and took a small sip, settling it aside to make a small lunch consisting of dried bantha meat and flatbread.

As they watched, Obi-Wan’s elbow bumped into the cup and it hit the ground, spilling the precious water into the ground as the cup broke.

Obi-Wan stared at it, blinking and then…

They all winced as he slammed his fist into the wall of his hut, instantly pulling back while hissing as he cupped his right hand to his chest, staring down at it as he tested the fingers.

“Perhaps…not.” Qui-Gon sighed as he got up and started to fix up his robes then stiffened when they all heard a small stifled sob.

Obi-Wan was desperately pressing his good hand to his mouth as the other was cradled against his chest, tears welling over it as his shoulders shook. Slowly he backed until he hit the wall, sliding down as more and more tears joined the trail that went down his cheeks, over his hand and dripped onto his beige robe.

Plo moved from the bed and knelt down by him, reaching out towards the redhead’s face with his claws. “Oh young one.”

A piteous little whimper escaped from underneath the hand.

“Some people.” Depa offered softly as she knelt with Plo by Obi-Wan. “Need an excuse to cry. Caleb is like that but Caleb is young.” She stared sadly at Obi-Wan as she gestured to the hand cradled against his chest. “Like a minor injury.”

“…I’ve never seen him cry like that before.” Qui-Gon whispered.

“No one has because you ruined him Jinn. I would happily strangle you if I thought it would help on anything.” Mace growled then closed his eyes as Obi-Wan lost his fight with his own tears and emotions, breaking into soul wrecking wails as he fisted his hands into his tunics.

“Anakin! I’m sorry!” Obi-Wan cried out, voice thick.

Qui-Gon dropped down in front of him between Depa and Plo, reaching out towards the young man only for his hand to pass through him, cursing as it did, helpless to comfort the young man breaking apart in front of their very eyes.

“…We should have taken him from you while he was on probation, regardless of what Yoda said.” Mace added gravely. “At least he wouldn’t be here now, a broken shell of a man you destroyed in his youth.”

Qui-Gon felt a heavy weight settle in his chest as Obi-Wan continued to cry, losing precious water in the heat of Tatooine.

anonymous asked:

Oh my god I love all of your fics! They're all amazing! I was wondering if you could do a over-protective/jealous zimbits? Idc who is the possessive one or if it turns to fluff or nsfw but I'd just love a happy ending. You're great btw!

!!!! You’re too sweet!  Here’s some jealous zimbits with just a hint of [redacted] for you <3

Eric is not the jealous type, which has definitely been in the best interests of his and Jack’s relationship.  The way attraction works for Jack is just so slow that by the time he gets around to dating someone, they’re usually friends too.  Which leads to things like standing lunch plans with Camilla Collins whenever she comes to visit her sister at Brown or hanging out at alumni events together.  Even he and Kent have finally started to be friends again, a development largely facilitated by Eric himself.  Add to that the amount of time Jack spends with beautiful people hanging on him at bars after a win or at Falcs events, it’s enough to drive a lesser man mad, but Eric can always brush it off.

“Oh baby, I don’t mind.  I know you’re as loyal as they come.  And besides, why would I be jealous of someone talking to you at some boring fundraiser when you’re coming back to our bed, hm?”

Keep reading

羽生結弦 Yuzuru Hanyu 2014 worlds ex
An extremely moving and powerful performance (with a little bit of a long explanation by me below!)

The Significance of Yuzuru Hanyu’s 2014 Worlds Exhibition

During the 2013-14 season, Yuzuru won the triple crown of GPF, Olympics, and World Championships- a pretty big deal.  For his exhibition skate at Worlds 2014, he performed Romeo and Juliet, his free skate from the 2011-2012 season.  He could have chosen any exhibition at all or even had a new one choreographed, but he chose this one.  Here’s what I make of this decision of his…

Case 1: The 2011 Japan Earthquake

As we all know, this program, Romeo and Juliet (ver. 1) was created in the time span shortly after the 2011 Japan Earthquake, a disaster which greatly impacted Yuzuru.  The 16-year-old Yuzuru was training when the earthquake hit Sendai, and had to run out of the rink with his skating boots still on, damaging them in the process.  Afterwards, he and his family stayed in an evacuation centre in a local school for some days.  Their home, along with many others’, had been completely destroyed.  The Sendai ice rink was damaged and closed down.  Many people lost their lives. Yuzuru was extremely conflicted during this time, as he felt that he couldn’t and shouldn’t continue to skate when the other people of Japan were suffering so greatly.  He wished to help in some way that felt more substantial than figure skating, which he thought to be rather selfish.  However, he was able to get back on his feet, and spent the summer following the earthquake skating in ice shows, as these ice shows were the best way for him to get practice time without a rink at home to train in.  Many of the proceeds for the ice shows went to earthquake relief, and Yuzuru’s (and other Japanese skaters’) amazing performances were events of hope and light in a dark time.  Romeo and Juliet (ver. 1) was the very program that he skated during this time.

Case 2: 2012 World Championships

Romeo and Juliet also holds heavy significance in that it was the free skate that earned Yuzuru a bronze medal at the 2012 World Championships.  This was his first ever Worlds title.  It was performance that moved the audience (and himself, and his coach at that time, Nanami Abe) to tears.  Just 17 years old at the time, he proved himself to be a captivating performer who gave the performance his all, and a brilliant jumper on top of that.  Bronze at 2012 Worlds was the title that earned him more fans, recognition, and prestige than ever before.  

The bronze medal came little over a year after the earthquake, so the disaster was prevalent in Yuzuru’s mind when he won it.  By not giving up on his skating and on his dreams, he was able to achieve great results.  He earned this rank through working hard and overcoming complicated and painful emotions he had about the earthquake, proving his mental, physical, and emotional strength to be of unimaginable calibre.  Of course, the scars that the earthquake left would never completely disappear, but Yuzuru had started to learn to overcome his fears, doubts, and pain.

Two Years Later… GPF, Olympic, and Worlds Champion

Now, flash forward two years from Worlds 2012 and that bronze medal, and Yuzuru Hanyu is a big name in figure skating.  He’s no longer the young 17-year-old beginning to capture the hearts of figure skating fans, but rather the reigning champion of the Grand Prix Final, the Olympics, and the World Championships.  The spotlight is his, the gold medal is his, and the times are his.

The importance of the Romeo and Juliet program had been further proved by Yuzuru’s choice for his free skate in the Olympic season of 2013-14.  For that season, he chose music from Romeo and Juliet once again, making a connection back to the eventful and evolutionary season of 2011-12.  By choosing the same theme for the Olympic season free skate as the 2011-12 one, Yuzuru was, in a way, giving a solute to all that had happened.  He wanted to show the world that, in his essence, he was still the same boy from Sendai, Japan, which had been hit with a terrible earthquake that people are still affected by to this day.  He wanted to make a tribute to his country, which supported him despite its troubles.  By making this connection to his past, he ensured that the crisis Japan was enduring would not be overlooked, and that he would always remain humble and thankful to what and who had made his Olympic dream possible.

That was the message he carried throughout the Olympic season, and then what does he choose to do for his Worlds exhibition, the last performance of the season?  What does he choose to close off this unforgettable season with?

His 2011-12 Romeo and Juliet free skate.  

I mean, what else could it possible have been?  This was one of the most vital and defining programs of his career.  This was the free skate that earned him third place at Worlds at the young age of 17.  This was the last free skate that he ever did with his long-time coach Nanami Abe; the last free skate he ever learned before saying goodbye to all he’d ever known to fly halfway across the world to train in Canada.  This was the free skate that captivated the hearts of viewers everywhere and made us all fall in love with the young, passionate talent that was Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan.

And perhaps most importantly, this was the program that was made when Yuzuru- and all of Japan- was going through an incredibly difficult time.  The earthquake understandably left Yuzuru reeling with shock, grief, and turmoil.  He said himself that after the earthquake, he seriously thought that he would never skate again.  

But he did.  A true champions knows that falling is inevitable, and it’s how many times you get back that makes you the real winner.  Yuzuru Hanyu got back up, time and time again, and just look where he ended up.

Triple crown winner (GPF, Olympics, and Worlds), one of the youngest Olympic champions in figure skating ever, and the first ever Japanese man to win Olympic gold in men’s singles figure skating.  

A man for the history books.  One of the all-time greats of figure skating.  A pride of his nation.  A priceless gift to the sport.  A privilege to watch, and a shining star to all those whose hearts he as touched.

Romeo and Juliet 1 was a program forged through pain, and ultimately made all the more a triumph because of it.   Yuzuru has said that he “wants to give the kind of performances that stay in people’s hearts”, and this definitely was one.  The performance of it at Worlds 2012 was breathtaking, certainly, full of emotion and passion enough to bring a stadium to its feet.  

But watching him doing it again two years later as the exhibition is all the more gratifying because you can clearly see just how much he had evolved and improved. His artistry, musicality, and technicality had greatly advanced- and all the while, he didn’t lose one single bit of that passion and charisma he held as a 17-year-old.  One of Yuzuru’s biggest goals is to never stop evolving, never stop trying to beat the records that he himself has set, and this exhibition was truly a testament to all of his hard work.

A True Champion Knows He Does Not Stand Alone

Yuzuru has also cited this mantra as one of his inspirations: “Don’t forget the beginner’s mind”.  Because of this belief, he is always working hard and striving to do better, and is well-known for always being down to earth, gracious, and grateful.  Using this program at the 2014 Worlds Exhibition was a culmination of all these traits we always see from him; it was a beautiful, powerful tribute to his roots.  

After achieving all the greatness of the 2013-14 season, Yuzuru didn’t forget what got him there.  If anything, his success humbled him.  It made him realize how far he had come and who he had to thank for guiding him to the spot in the middle of the podium where he stood.  As he won the GPF gold, the Olympic gold, and the World Championships gold, he did not stand alone on that podium- and he knew this better than anyone.  This exhibition was a performance dedicated to the people who have supported him since day one; to his family, coaches, fans, friends, and rivals; to everyone who had seen something in that 17-year-old bronze medalist in Nice that made them root for him; to his country, which recovered slowly and painfully from a crippling disaster yet still remained a place in which a young man could find his own path.

What a path is has been.  

A Name For the History Books

Yuzuru Hanyu is an inspiration, through and through, not only because of the spectacular 2013-14 season that he ended with this skate, but also because of everything ever since.  Many a lesser man would have called it quits after Olympic gold, thinking he’d already peaked- but Yuzuru believed he could do more, and he did.

The world records, the medals, the titles, the wonderful and unforgettable performances- Yuzuru Hanyu has done more than enough to establish himself as a key figure in the history of figure skating.  He is one who will be cited as a great inspiration for many generations to come; as one who pushed himself to push the sport.  He is not only a symbol of triumph and pride for his home country of Japan, but for the entire world, a shining beacon for the strength and skill of mankind as a whole.  He will eternally be known as one of the greatest figure skaters to have ever lived.  A success story to be told for years to come.  A legend.

Yuzuru Hanyu- don’t forget that name.  That’s a name for the history books.

And Now…

All this, and his story isn’t even over yet.  He said on many occasions that that winning Olympic gold was just the beginning- and we all know that when Yuzuru sets his mind to something, he is unstoppable.  We, the people who stand behind him to this day, have seen what he has accomplished since the Olympics, and know that he still has so much more to offer.  

We honour you for your hard work Yuzuru, from day one to now and into the future; we will continue to support you and give you the respect and strength you deserve.  And we eagerly await to see what all of us know you can and will deliver.  Ganbatte!!

In honour of Worlds 2017 coming up in about a month- which will be the 3 year anniversary of this exhibition and 5 year anniversary of the free skate it once was- here is Yuzuru Hanyu’s 2013-2014 World Championships Exhibition.  I hope you enjoy!

So, what if Gaston isn’t dead or cursed, but instead he ends up paralyzed after the fall?

As a man who prides himself on physical ability, it would be a low blow to him.

But part of his lesson would be that sometimes people can’t do things that other can but that doesn’t make them a lesser person.

Also, Gaston feels like a burden to LeFou, who of course volunteered to care for him, and so he starts reading him stories and taking up other hobbies like sewing to give something back to him.

Ok but think about this. I’ve seen several fics and art about Credence being turned into a child to save his life, but what about if Percival was the one who was turned into a child? @funkzpiel thoughts?

After Grindelwald broke into his mind to steal his identity, Percival’s mind started to shut down in order to preserve his sanity. Grindelwald wasn’t gentle in his prodding, and he took his time and great pleasure in searching out every corner of Percival’s mind, leaving imprints of himself all over. A lesser man couldn’t have possibly survived that, and while Percival did survive, he wasn’t whole.

He’s just a blank slate when the Aurors find him; he doesn’t see them, doesn’t speak to them, probably doesn’t know what his name is and is incapable of casting any magic. They don’t know if it’s because he has forgotten how or because he’s just so broken that there is no magic anymore.

They take him to the best wizarding hospital in New York and get the best team on hand to see to Percival. His people are worried and scared but won’t admit it, but what if, what if they can’t fix whatever is wrong with him? What if he remains a broken man for the rest of his life? One of the younger Aurors lets out a choked sob, and they unconsciously move closer together, trying to draw comfort from one another. The Aurors aren’t necessarily the easiest people to work with; they’re all good people, granted, but they have their own strong personalities and someone is always fighting with someone else and they may not be the best of friends, but their concern for their boss’s well-being is far more important than petty feuds or overblown egos. Madame Picquery finds them huddled in a corner of the hospital corridor with their heads bowed down in a silent prayer.

When the healers finally emerge from the room, they speak in hushed tones with Madame Picquery, whose tanned face turns a significant shade of white. She gives them a brisk nod and the next time everyone sees the healers, they’re beckoning them into Percival’s room where a young boy of no more than 5 is sleeping somewhat peacefully on the bed. The Aurors are flabbergasted, and when they’re told that Percival has to be turned into a child to allow his complete recovery without any of his adult memory, everyone cries. They cry because the man who has always done his best to protect them, to bring them home safely and who’s always slipped them small gifts on special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries, is so helpless and they weren’t able to save him when he needed them the most. They swear that they’ll help Percival recover, but please please can he stay at MACUSA because they need to make sure he’s safe and alive and there with them.

They come up with a plan that is modified along the way to suit little Percy’s needs. They decide to call him Percy, because the poor boy with big dark eyes looked up at them with a hint of tears when they first called him Percival; turns out Percival wasn’t fond of his given name in his childhood, although he grew into it when he got older.

Tina and Queenie Goldstein

  • It’s decided that Percy will stay with the Goldstein sisters. Tina’s the calm older sister who knows exactly what to do when Percival won’t come out of his room. She’s the one who makes sure he’s well taken care of, that he wears clothes that have been ironed to crisp perfection, and that his hair is neatly combed, just like when he was an adult. She makes sure he always has his bottle of water with him wherever they go, and that it’s always filled because Percy is always saying he’s thirsty. She thinks it’s partially because the adult Percival has always forgotten to eat and drink properly whenever he’s too busy. Well not on her watch, not now.
  • Queenie makes sure he eats well, makes sure he gets all the nutrients he needs but also makes the fluffiest pancakes for him on the weekends, complete with blueberries and chocolate syrup, just how he likes it. She’s the one he goes to when he’s feeling sad but doesn’t know why, and Queenie doesn’t say anything as she hugs him tight, but the gentle blonde weeps at the hurt hidden away in the recesses of the mind of the man the child used to be.
  • They both take turns making delicious cocoa for him before he goes to bed because it helps him sleep better after a warm drink. They read him stories together; sometimes they read fairy tales to him, and sometimes they regale him with stories about a brave man who loved deeply, and was dearly loved in return. Percy’s eyes are always brighter after these stories. They each kiss him on the forehead just as he’s about to drift off to sleep, and they make sure he falls asleep each day with a smile on his face. It’s the least they can do.
  • Their doors are always open, because sometimes Percy slips into bed with either of them whenever he has nightmares that seem all too real; they’re always about a white man with the strange eyes and cruel laugh who’s hurting him so bad. They learn he sleeps better when it’s raining or there’s a storm, because the rumbling of the thunder calms him.

Newt Scamander

  • When Newt comes back to New York, this time as a welcomed guest by MACUSA, he doesn’t bat an eye at being introduced to a shy young Percy, who’s hiding behind Madame Picquery’s wide skirts and peeping bashfully at the ginger-haired stranger. In his awkward, honest manner, Newt enthusiastically shakes an uncertain Percy’s hand and asks him, in a conspiratorial whisper, if he likes magical creatures. There’s a wide smile on their faces as they later descend into Newt’s magical world, and Percy is introduced to all of Newt’s babies. Douglas is particularly fond of Percy, and spent the whole time he was in the suitcase holding onto the boy’s hand. One of the Occamies also seems rather fond of Percy, and both the young boy and the magizoologist are delighted when the scaly creature winds itself around Percy’s neck, crooning and chirping contentedly.
  • Whenever the department is too busy to properly look after Percy, or when there’s a particularly tense situation going on and no one wants him there because they don’t want to upset him, Newt offers to watch him in the suitcase. He teaches Percy about magical creatures and how to care for them, allowing him to help in feeding the creatures and tending to them when they’re ill. Newt doesn’t let him near the Nundu though, that would be a very bad idea. He also spends time re-teaching Percy magic. He’s an incredibly intelligent boy, and while he’s not yet the age to be formally taught magic, Newt teaches him anyway because really, Percy is still Percival and it would be stupid to have to wait till he’s older. He’s a good teacher who’s as patient with Percy as he is with his creatures, and Percy is a good student who practices hard and tries to get everything right the first few times. Needless to say, he succeeds.
  • Sometimes, Percy takes naps when he’s tired. Most of the time, he curls up with Dougal who watches over him with bright yellow eyes. Newt manages to sketch out the scene and show it to Percival’s department, who coo and aww over the adorable sight. But they quickly turn somber when they remember the damage and hurt Percival went through to end up in this form, and they double down on work even more. Productivity levels are at the height during this period, and Madame Picquery is quietly proud of the love and loyalty Percival inspires in his people.

Jacob Kowalski

  • Queenie sneaks Percy to Jacob’s bakery sometimes, and she giggles with delight when Percy runs around the bakery, fascinated by Jacob’s creations. The No-Maj doesn’t remember Percival, and Percy doesn’t even know who Jacob is, but the ever cheerful Jacob is always kind and unpatronising towards the de-aged man. He even sneaks extra treats in for Percy and Queenie, for which the boy thanks him by shyly hugging his leg. Tina is always exasperated when she sees they’ve just come from Jacob’s bakery and Percy is happily munching on his baked goods, but both he and her sister look so happy that she can’t find it in her heart to lecture them on the dangers of exposing themselves to the No-Maj community. Between Percy and Queenie, they’ve got the perfect puppy dog eyes down pat.

Department of Magical Security

  • Percival’s department turns his office into a playroom for Percy, complete with books, toys and a comfortable bed for when he wants to take a nap. Initially, the precious boy clutches at Tina’s slacks, far too shy to speak with utter strangers (their hearts break all over again because he doesn’t remember them, and all they want to do is just hug him and keep him safe), he eventually warms up to them, offering them adorable smiles that show the gap in his front teeth.
  • They take turns interacting with him, and the atmosphere in the entire department has taken on a more relaxed, even homey vibe. It’s no longer a strange sight to see these grown men and women sitting on the floor with Percy while nibbling on a sandwich, or giving him piggyback rides around the office area. Their love for both Percy and Percival grow all the more, and they all vow to always protect their director, even when he returns to his adult form. In Percy, they see the innocence that Percival always had but never showed to anyone, as well as the gentle kindness they are often shown by him, albeit in more subtle ways.
  • Percy gives out hugs and hand-made cards whenever it’s someone’s birthday, and even the hardiest Aurors are a little choked up when the boy happily hugs them without hesitation, and gives them their card with pride in his handiwork. They go home and pin their cards proudly for all to see on fridges or desks, and treat them as masterpieces by famous artists. It’s the sweetest thing ever to see Percy steal their hearts.
  • Whenever anyone goes out for a mission, Percy always waits for them by the door. As the adult Percival once gave them warm clasps on their shoulders and a quiet prayer for their safe return, so does Percy offer them a hug and make them promise him that they’ll return. It’s this promise that reminds them to be extra vigilant and alert and effective in the field, and while casualties cannot be avoided unfortunately, the mortality rate is at a lower peak, because no one wants to see Percy heartbroken and sad when someone doesn’t make it home.

When Percy is finally deemed well enough to return to his adult form many months later, the entire department gather outside the ward where the age reversal is taking place. When Percival Graves the man walks out of the ward, he is immediately smothered by tight hugs and happy tears. There are tears in his dark eyes as well, which seem softer than before and they can see Percy in him, and he thanks each person individually for their role in his recovery. He doesn’t regret being turned back into a child, and neither do his people. There’s a reason why Grindelwald’s impersonation of him goes unnoticed by the people he sees everyday, and he’s learned to acquaint his colleagues and subordinates with the real Percival, as they have relearned to place their complete trust and faith in their leader. Some things are just meant to happen, for better or worse.

C’est la vie.

FIC: studying, summer, anger

kiribaku week 2017: day 1

If Kirishima had also flunked maths from the exams, the resits were the week before the summer holidays, and Bakugou’s pride made him a better tutor


Keep reading

anonymous asked:

*screaming* demiboy will solace is my entire life


- demiboy will solace who’s nervous nervous nervous when he gets crushes on boys because he doesn’t know if he’s “boy enough” for them to like him back

- demiboy will solace who doesn’t feel comfortable being lopped in with ‘men’ because while he is a man, he feels its.. on a lesser scale. “soft grunge masculinity” he jokes.

- demiboy will solace who id’d as a trans man for a long time but didn’t think it felt quite right and was confused. all trans dudes felt that way, didn’t they? (hint: they didnt) but, thankfully, he finds the label soon enough and begins to feel more comfortable with himself

- demiboy will solace who you cant watch anything with because he’ll point out his favorite character like “see them? demiboy. yup. true fact.”

- demiboy will solace who goes by he/him and xe/xem depending on the day and who they’re talking to

- demiboy will solace who def wears the flag whenever he can and thinks it’s just the prettiest thing, pride flags are so pretty

- demiboy will solace who has a close relationship with agender lesbian rachel elizabeth dare because they’re both big nb gays that are connected to apollo. “we’re basically twins.” will jokes, and rachel replies, “i’ll accept that, but i wanna be artemis,” which makes will laugh. will takes up drawing and painting after that, as a way of relieving stress and as a way of being closer to rachel. he’s not terribly good, but he’s not terribly bad

- demiboy will solace who, for all his time spent locked away and avoiding people, makes sure to remain a open to the other lgbt and/or queer kids at camp, letting everyone know that he’s there to help. he and rachel start up a “gsa” that is, quite honestly, just a q&a for lgbt or queer campers (or campers who just want to understand better so they can support their friends). they bring in other campers, like super gay genderfluid nico di angelo and bi asexual trans man percy jackson and bi aromantic trans girl drew tanaka

- just…. demiboy will solace being happy in his identity and helping other people finding their happiness too

anonymous asked:

How would Akashi's Teiko-scientist-creator-person, the one featured in You Could Never Wear My Crown, have reacted to finding out that Akashi called Masaomi 'father'? I'm sorry if you've already addressed this at some point, I looked but I couldn't find anything. (I love your stories and they bring joy to my life, particularly this latest arc you've started because it talks about Youji and his background, and Youji is an amazing person!!!)

0102 drifts in and out of consciousness, and he has lost too much of himself. He hears voices, but does not fully understand what is said.

“—sure that we should have done this. He was adopted by Akashi Masaomi, after all, and Akashi-san is not someone who we should anger—”

“Don’t be absurd. Akashi is a pragmatist, I doubt there is any emotional attachment we need to be concerned about.”


“And anyway, you give that businessman too much credit as an adversary. He is not a threat to us.”

0102 stirs, and he is not fully aware of where his own words are coming from when he says, “You should not underestimate my father.”

There is a long silence, followed by an incredulous exclamation of, “Your father? You don’t have a father. You were created in a lab; I designed you. Don’t be sentimental, 0102.”

In the eyes of the law I am not your guardian but your father. It’s a trite and antiquated title to express forced familial bonds we really should have moved past as a society by now, but it’s important to keep up appearances for the lesser folk.

“I am not being sentimental,” Seijuurou says, returning to himself just a little as he focuses on the man who created him. “In the eyes of the law, he is my father.”

The scientist looks almost dumbfounded. “You can’t expect me to believe you think he’s going to save you.”

“No,” Seijuurou says. I expect you to be able to handle yourself in any situation, Seijuurou. If you need me to bail you out then you wouldn’t be an Akashi. “I do not expect him to come for me. I only meant that you would be wiser not to make him your enemy.”

“Why, 0102, you continue to surprise me. Have you really formed some sort of familial attachment?”

“Don’t be absurd.” Let me tell you something about family, Seijuurou. Bonds created by blood ties or love will only ever let you down. In the end, the only bond worth forging is solidified by mutual respect. “He is not my family. But he does have something you will never have.”

“I can’t wait to find out what.”

“My respect.”

There is another long silence, and the man who created him just stares down, with cold calculation. “Clearly, 0102, today’s session has not worked properly. We will have to start all over again.”


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anonymous asked:

HC for Izuku, Todoroki, Bakugou and Toshinori finding out that their s/o is the child of a villain, but they want nothing to do with their parent(s)?

Sure thing! I hope I could answer it well enough!


- He talks with his partner about it, especially if they are willing to discuss their parent.

- Should his love be worried about what he thinks, he’ll reassure them that he sees them in the same light as before and he’s glad they chose the right path. Most of all, Izuku really wants his partner to know that he loves them regardless and that he’s always there for them.

- If his partner is open to it, he’d ask them if they plan to do anything when it comes to their parent, if they plan on fighting them or whatever else.


- He listens quietly, his face thoughtful and he asks the questions that pop up in his head once his partner is done explaining.

- If his partner looks or seems worried or speaks up about hoping he still likes them, he’ll tell them that he doesn’t see them differently. Their heritage doesn’t define them and their actions and he’s the last to judge someone based on their parent.

- Todoroki does worry about a potential confrontation between his love and their parent, since he worries the parent might hurt them and or if his partner would be able to fight back if that happened.


- He couldn’t give half a fuck about his partner’s bloodline. He’s pretty much unconcerned as long as they don’t plan to change sides and that’s pretty much all he asks. If his partner wants to tell him more, they can.

- Bakugou won’t say it himself, aside from a passing sentence, but he doesn’t think lesser of his partner for their parent. If anything, he recognizes the sort of strength that is needed to walk away from everything they knew to go to the good side.

- He does ask them what they plan to do if their parent shows up or how they would feel if they could help capture them. Though he doesn’t ask that right away and it’s more a question that pops up over time.


- Despite his love for his partner, Toshinori can be a practical man and when they tell him or he finds out, he talks to them about their parent.

- He’ll reassure them that he’s not thinking differently about them and he gently tells them that not everyone has the courage to do what they did and to stand firmly with their beliefs.

- Toshinori lets the subject rest for a little while, mostly until either their parent shows up or the heroes plan to stop them. He tells his love that he will fight their parent and he will see them brought to justice.


I don’t think Tony had ever tried to kill himself before. Not actively. Because he’s clever enough that if he wanted to, he would die. Rather, I think he just lived in a sort of way where it was quite clear he didn’t care whether he lived or died. Driving fast, drinking too much, and when he had the suit, risking his life to save others. As though his life was lesser than theirs. And maybe those are the actions of a hero, but they’re also the actions of someone who values their life a lot less than they should. And that hurts.

Alas the great bell tolls

SinJa AU week day five: Fairy Tale. Based on Cinderella.

Ja’far regretted his plan as soon as it had been put into action, especially because it was based on a fucking fairy tale Yamraiha told him.  

“You know, when you suggested this, I didn’t actually believe you’d go through with it,” Yamraiha muttered, preparing the potion for him, “Much less to this extent.”

“Honestly, I didn’t either.” Ja’far responded, sitting in her lab with a pile of clothes next to him, Pisti sitting across the room watching carefully.

“So, Yamu, are you sure you can make him fit the outfit properly?”

“Positive. Now, Ja’far, you’re going to feel lightheaded, and your hair is going to be a lot longer, but this will all wear off in a few hours, so you’ll have to move fast.”

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wittyredrobin-deactivated201605  asked:

stell how do u feel about jason and damian bonding

Okey dokey, I’m super glad you asked this question, so thank you, friend! ❤️

So first off, I think Jason and Damian have a similar temperament, in a way. Both of them are not adverse to straight up fighting the cupcakes outta you. Jason had a very keen sense of justice and righteous anger, and Damian seems to be following suit.
However, there are some differences between the two:

Damian has to deal with the fact that he hurt so many people.
Jason has to deal with being hurt by so many people and wishes to protect people like himself.

Jason’s viewed evil in the face.
And Damian has been in the position of being that face.

In this way, they are both very similar with their relentless desire to do right.

Damian, however, is very strict with what “right” and “wrong” mean in accordance to his moral system (which is stringent to the last letter).
Jason sees the big picture, and it is not in direct relation to himself. When you’re a victim, you live off survival skills. The ends justify the means, because you’ve lived another day. Think about your sins tomorrow.

He does what he believes is right externally.
Damian does what is believes is right internally.

Damian draws people close to his protection, puts himself in the position of responsibility to save them.
Jason gives of himself to save them.

(sorry I’ve had that in my drafts for a long time and this was a perfect opportunity).

As for bonding, I feel like they would do their absolute best to be as delightfully horrid as they could be together. They’ve both been in the position of being “second to the best”–Jason to Dick and Damian to Tim. It holds a certain companionship, being the smaller one. The self-perceived “lesser” one.
I think Jason understands that, and (once he sorts himself out) makes it a priority to look at Damian. And really LOOK at him, not gloss over the kid. Because past and circumstances tell the story, but don’t make up the man.
Damian, I think, is more likely to be accepting of Jason because he was in that hateful position. Raised on wrath and anger and blood and fighting.
Yet this also makes Damian very hard on Jason, because he sees the way out and is upset that Todd is just. not. taking. it.

Also for all the funny business and inside jokes, I think Jason is just as hard on Damian. Rough street kid knows the way of it, and he’ll be DAMNED if he lets his little brother get away with stuff. Jason, I think, is much more of the “serious” disciplinarian brother. Dick lets him get away with things. Jason? NOPE. Even little things, like being rude or not taking an order fast enough. Jason is on his case and not afraid to “beat his ass” for it.
Damian is always super angry about Jason scolding and reprimanding him, but eventually gets over it for opportunities to tease Tim and return to the easy companionship.
Yet by doing so, this cements their further understanding. Jason will LISTEN to Damian, especially if he’s screaming at him over his Red Hood actions. This causes a new outlet to get to Jason, but it’s completely related to Damian.
And if Jason is going to listen to anyone, it’s his bratty baby brother.

So that’s what I think. I’m for it and think it’s possible! (But when do I ever think anything is impossible? I’m a silly idealist full of wishes and dreams.) Hopefully that answered the question? If not, just message me and I can elaborate. Thank you!! ^.^

I have a lot of favorite parts in Hamlet (seeing as it’s probably my favorite play from Shakespeare), but among them all I think one especially worth noting is in Act II Scene 2, when Hamlet tells Polonius to bring in the acting troupe and settle them in:

Polonius: My lord, I will use them according to their desert. (I’ll give them the treatment fit for their social standing)

Hamlet: God’s bodykins, man, better: Use ever man after his desert, and who should scape whipping? Use them after your own honor and dignity; the less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty. Take them in.

One possible interpretation of this is that Hamlet is just being his usual sarcastic, snarky, spiteful self and giving Polonius a hard time. But personally, I like to think Hamlet was giving some pseudo-genuine wisdom - pseuo-genuine in the sense that he was definitely sassing the old man but with truth instead of sarcasm.

See, Hamlet here makes a remarkable command: He tells Polonius that if we treated every man according to our measurement of them, we ourselves would be treated the same by the same logic, and so nobody would “scape whipping”, or get away from being looked down on or punished. Instead, he tells Polonius to treat them like he would treat himself, telling him that as the old man would measure himself, treat the actors as if though their measure equated to his own.

But he also says that bolded part, which is the bigger kicker - The more you would judge them, the lesser you think they are, the better you treat them, the greater you truly are. Basically, if you treat someone you think is shit like they’re gold, you become golden yourself.

I could go on a long time about this, its significance in the text, to the audience, to myself, personally, but the bottom line is that Hamlet gives a beautiful rendition of the golden rule we all hear about so much, but with a new perspective - it actually explains why we should treat others as we wish to be treated, that being that in doing so we set our own value as a person in turn.

anonymous asked:

What would the princes do if at a ball an important person started hitting on the reader/MC? Sorry if this is too many, I wasn't sure of you had a character limit. If you do, then just write your favorites

FFFFF– thank you for reminding me! I knew I forgot to put something in the rules EME For future reference, since writing for all six of them is a chore and a half, we only accept requests for four princes at a time! I made an exception just this once, m’kay? /chus

Surrounded by people he doesn’t know or care about, as per usual, Wilfred can’t stop thinking about you. That’s why when his pristine eyes land on your lovely form - so far, too far from him and talking to another man - the polite smile on his lips immediately disappears. With the ethereal elegance only the prince of Philip possesses, Wilfred would excuse himself from the crowd to walk up to you, the air around him turning cold and subtly menacing as he stares at the lesser important noble. ‘…Forgive me, but I have to steal her away,’  without sparing another glance, the prince would put a hand on the small of your back and gently lead you away. You can already tell he’s going to be extra clingy for the rest of the night.

Entertaining politicians and other nobles with polite chatter is one of the prince’s duties, one that Joshua doesn’t particularly appreciate, but nonetheless, he keeps his chin high and his voice determined as he speaks. To be prideful and flawless in everything he does is expected of him, that’s why the prince of Dres Van always keeps a level head and shows good judgement in his words. It’s only when his violet eyes catch sight of you, so perfect in the gown he has personally picked, that Joshua hesitates, mind hazing and heart thumping loudly in his rib cage. But then he sees him, puffing his chest out like a pompous, inflated pavus as he tries to win you over with what Joshua can only guess is a poor attempt at a joke. Eyes narrowing, the prince promptly excuses himself and walks up to you, his unwavering hues pinning the man next to you in place. ‘I think it’s time you stop embarrassing yourself. Are you not aware that this woman is my partner for the night, or do you perhaps intend to insult the kingdom of Dres Van?’ He would be in a sour mood for a while, stubbornly keeping you close to him as he scolds you and reminds you not to leave his side. Point out that he’s just being a jealous dummy and he will blush up to his ears.

Oh hell no. Who does that bird-brained idiot think he is, shamelessly flirting with Keith’s girlfriend like that? Just because he’s a popular actor with a relatively ‘handsome’ face, he thinks he can touch you, when not even Luke dares to? The prince of Liberty would glare, emerald eyes clouded with anger and jealousy. The scowl on his face would probably scare away those few, fickle ladies who are still stubborn enough to hang around him even though he’s clearly not interested. You would be able to hear him stomping towards you from where you stand, already knowing your actor ‘friend’ is going to get the chewing out of his life. And Keith certainly doesn’t hold back, voice a dangerous, mocking growl dripping with sarcasm and ice. After a final, ‘Screw off’ topped with a ‘Stay the hell away from my woman’, the prince would intertwine his fingers with yours and storm off with you stumbling in tow as you try to match his long strides. It’s going to take a lot of coercing to finally make him let go of your hand.

Dear, sweet Roberto would probably lose sight of you while he’s trying to make his way through an ocean of women. As he turns down dance after dance, the prince of Altaria is always polite, even though all he really wants to do is run up to you and spend some quality time together. Maybe the two of you can sneak out without Alberto noticing…? Just as he’s considering all the wonderful things he can do to you when no one’s looking, his warm irises catch sight of you, smiling and giggling at a man he has never seen before. A shocked expression would color his handsome features, and his smile would turn pensive for a second. Roberto would be by your side in a heartbeat, grinning like the cheshire cat. He would wrap an arm around your waist, slender fingers playfully tickling your side as he happily dismisses the other man with a flippant remark. Then he would turn to you, face all a pout as he cutely whines, ‘My lady! Why did you leave me alone? I missed you so much, I thought my heart was going to break!’.

Glenn would head towards you before he even knows what he’s doing, his boyish features stone cold and a vague feeling of dread clawing at his chest. He’s young, he’s stubborn, and that’s why jealousy always hits him like a truck, even though he refuses to admit it even to himself. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking to Yu, another prince, a noble, a politician, an actor – if another man dares to touch and flirt with his first and only love, the prince of Oriens is not going to stay quiet. His tone as he addresses the poor fool would chill the other’s bones and zip his mouth shut, ‘Did you come to Nobel Michel just to flirt with every woman you see? Show some decency, will you?’ Cue a fairly pissed off Glenn dragging you away and muttering curses under his breath.

The gentle prince of Charles would be awfully mortified. Edward would blink, emotions swirling in his chest - thoughts jumbling and clouding as a foreign ache darkens his usually serene irises. Confused, but certainly aware of the fact that that man needs to get away from you ASAP, he would calmly make his way to you, his smile looking slightly less brighter than usual. He’d play up the charm, softly excusing himself and yourself. As you make your way further down the ballroom, Edward would make that (absolutely unfair) expression of his. His lips would part lightly and curve down in a worried pout, periwinkle eyes twinkling like gems as an unfamiliar pain tugs at his heartstrings. He’d get pretty touchy-feely, fingers brushing against your skin because touching you always brings him comfort and he would shyly admit, cheeks colored a light shade of pink, ‘–Ah, what should I do, princess? I believe I’m a bit jealous…’ 

Thanks for the message, princess.

- admin Kagerou

“Child,” he said, “come sit with me. I have a tale to tell you.”
“What kind of tale?” she asked, wary.
“The tale of our beginnings. If you would be one of us, you had best know who we are and how we came to be. Men may whisper of the Faceless Men of Braavos, but we are older than the Secret City. Before the Titan rose, before the Unmasking of Uthero, before the Founding, we were. We have flowered in Braavos amongst these northern fogs, but we first took root in Valyria, amongst the wretched slaves who toiled in the deep mines beneath the Fourteen Flames that lit the Freehold’s nights of old. Most mines are dank and chilly places, cut from cold dead stone, but the Fourteen Flames were living mountains with veins of molten rock and hearts of fire. So the mines of old Valyria were always hot, and they grew hotter as the shafts were driven deeper, ever deeper. The slaves toiled in an oven. The rocks around them were too hot to touch. The air stank of brimstone and would sear their lungs as they breathed it. The soles of their feet would burn and blister, even through the thickest sandals. Sometimes, when they broke through a wall in search of gold, they would find steam instead, or boiling water, or molten rock. Certain shafts were cut so low that the slaves could not stand upright, but had to crawl or bend. And there were wyrms in that red darkness too.”
“Earthworms?” she asked, frowning.
“Firewyrms. Some say they are akin to dragons, for wyrms breathe fire too. Instead of soaring through the sky, they bore through stone and soil. If the old tales can be believed, there were wyrms amongst the Fourteen Flames even before the dragons came. The young ones are no larger than that skinny arm of yours, but they can grow to monstrous size and have no love for men.”
“Did they kill the slaves?”
“Burnt and blackened corpses were oft found in shafts where the rocks were cracked or full of holes. Yet still the mines drove deeper. Slaves perished by the score, but their masters did not care. Red gold and yellow gold and silver were reckoned to be more precious than the lives of slaves, for slaves were cheap in the old Freehold. During war, the Valyrians took them by the thousands. In times of peace they bred them, though only the worst were sent down to die in the red darkness.”
“Didn’t the slaves rise up and fight?”
“Some did,” he said. “Revolts were common in the mines, but few accomplished much. The dragonlords of the old Freehold were strong in sorcery, and lesser men defied them at their peril. The first Faceless Man was one who did.”
“Who was he?” Arya blurted, before she stopped to think.
“No one,” he answered. “Some say he was a slave himself. Others insist he was a freeholder’s son, born of noble stock. Some will even tell you he was an overseer who took pity on his charges. The truth is, no one knows. Whoever he was, he moved amongst the slaves and would hear them at their prayers. Men of a hundred different nations labored in the mines, and each prayed to his own god in his own tongue, yet all were praying for the same thing. It was release they asked for, an end to pain. A small thing, and simple. Yet their gods made no answer, and their suffering went on. Are their gods all deaf? he wondered… until a realization came upon him, one night in the red darkness.
“All gods have their instruments, men and women who serve them and help to work their will on earth. The slaves were not crying out to a hundred different gods, as it seemed, but to one god with a hundred different faces… and he was that god’s instrument. That very night he chose the most wretched of the slaves, the one who had prayed most earnestly for release, and freed him from his bondage. The first gift had been given.”
Arya drew back from him. “He killed the slave?” That did not sound right. “He should have killed the masters!”
 “He would bring the gift to them as well… but that is a tale for another day, one best shared with no one.” He cocked his head. “And who are you, child?”
“No one.”
“A lie.”

There are a few things that pop out to me about this passage:

Arya’s concern for the slaves appears multiple times:

“Did they kill the slaves?”

“Didn’t the slaves rise up and fight?”

“He killed the slave?” That did not sound right. “He should have killed the masters!”

Now, obviously the Kindly Man is framing this story about slaves, so her asking after them is hardly surprising, but it’s also important to note that Arya has always cared about those society has left behind, beginning with Jon, then Mycah, then Gendry, Hot Pie, Lommy Greenhands, and Weasel.  (This is something that later reappears when she “becomes” Cat of the Canals.)  I think this is in no small part because she’s often felt pushed out of traditional society since she never found that it allowed space for her.  But I also think there’s an element of identifying with the slaves here: for the majority of her time in A Clash of Kings, Arya was a slave.  She is never called so explicitly, but being abducted and forced (violently, and through fear of pain and death) to serve and without any compensation is slavery.  Regardless of that fact, their pain is an important part of this story, and Arya feels that acutely.

Furthermore, when she asks “Didn’t the slaves rise up and fight?” she’s given the answer that she wants: 

“Some did,” he said. “Revolts were common in the mines, but few accomplished much. The dragonlords of the old Freehold were strong in sorcery, and lesser men defied them at their peril. The first Faceless Man was one who did.”

And of course, she’s excited about this.  It’s what she wants to hear, and he’s framing this story so that she will have the answer she wants, a champion of the people who will come and lead them to freedom. (Remember the girl who idolized Nymeria when she was young, a warrior queen who brought her people away from danger–the danger of these same dragon lords.)

And this first Faceless Man is everything that Arya wants him to be.

“Who was he?” Arya blurted, before she stopped to think.
“No one,” he answered. “Some say he was a slave himself. Others insist he was a freeholder’s son, born of noble stock. 

Interesting that these are both points that Arya can identify with–someone who has been forced into slavery and someone who was “born of noble stock.”  (Though I think the “noble stock” would obvi trump the former in Arya’s case.)  Nonetheless, she sees herself in this champion, which is part of her excitement at his existence, excitement which might then flow over into this organization that was of his making.

Some will even tell you he was an overseer who took pity on his charges. The truth is, no one knows. Whoever he was, he moved amongst the slaves and would hear them at their prayers. 

Again–Arya as someone who, as Sansa said in A Game of Thrones “would make friends with anybody” (Mycah, Gendry, Hot Pie, Lommy, Weasel, Denyo, and later on the commons of Braavos) is going to identify with this.  Arya’s brand of friendship consists very much of empathizing with the struggles of her friends when she learns of them.

Men of a hundred different nations labored in the mines, and each prayed to his own god in his own tongue, yet all were praying for the same thing. It was release they asked for, an end to pain. A small thing, and simple. Yet their gods made no answer, and their suffering went on. 

And, of course, Arya has her own disappointed experience with the Gods not hearing her prayers–another point of identity (or perhaps me just doing my wild-extrapolation thing):

Her hand slid beneath her cloak and found Needle in its sheath.  She tightened her fingers around the grip, squeezing as hard as she had ever squeezed anything.  Please, gods, keep him safe, she prayed.  Don’t let them hurt my father. (A Game of Thrones)

Was that enough?  Maybe she should pray aloud if she wanted the old gods to hear.  Maybe she should pray longer.  Sometimes her father had prayed a long time, she remembered.  But the old gods had never helped him.  Remembering that made her angry.  “You should have saved him,” she scolded the tree. “He prayed to you all the time.  I don’t care if you help me or not.  I don’t think you could even if you wanted to.” (A Clash of Kings)

In any event, you have Arya all jazzed up and excited and then there’s the twist: 

Arya drew back from him. “He killed the slave?” That did not sound right. 

Of course it didn’t–this is Ned Stark’s Little Girl, who even when trying to cope with her own abuse and trauma instills a sense of justice for wrongs done (to her and just as often to others) in her kill list.  The fact of someone turning on the powerless and killing them, rather than saving them, goes against everything that Arya believes to be true–that sense of righteousness that she learned at her father’s table and which she has not shed in her heart of hearts because even as the world falls apart around her, she still has a sense of how goodness is supposed to be.  And someone hearing prayers that ask for “release” and interpreting that release as “death” is not how Arya sees the end of this story going.

“He should have killed the masters!”

(See what I mean?)

“He would bring the gift to them as well… but that is a tale for another day, one best shared with no one.”
He cocked his head. “And who are you, child?”
“No one.”
“A lie.”

Both a secret for the depths of the order and one that undoubtedly would mean death to the one who spread it.  And as much as Arya wants to know that story, so long as she casts moral judgement on the choice of this first Faceless Men, applying her own code of justice to his actions, she isn’t going to hear it.  Arya’s ideals, her code of justice do not and will not ever line up with that of the faceless men.

On subtext: Blocking

I feel like doing a big photo-spam post about this, but I just don’t have the time, so you’re getting the text version instead:

I find it very telling that they blocked both scenes of Ragnar begging people not to go/to come back with them higher than him (on the wagon/on a horse.) In most of his scenes, he’s blocked as being taller, imposing, in control, but in these two, he’s in the submissive position. The other person has all the power to make the decision. (Incidentally, there’s similar blocking in some of his scenes with Aslaug: He’s slouched or seated while she’s standing tall. Not quite submissive, but slightly intimidated.) And then there’s the prayer scene, with both of them on their knees (equal) and Athelstan pushing Ragnar back down (asserting his own control.) Given how dominant Ragnar is, this is a big deal, and it’s one that’s actively chosen by the people making the show. More on this below the cut.

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There are two fundamental truths to Eliot Spencer. One is that he cares about people. The other is that he’s good in a fight. He’s always understood himself pretty well, so he knew it. That paired with his down-home patriotic values and a belief that he should use his talents for God led him to the military. It seemed like the place to be no matter what his family thought about it. They warned him and didn’t want him to go, but his idealism and adolescent energy won out. Eliot knew he could help a lot of people and he never was that interested in college anyway.

Basic training was easy. It was exhausting and he had to learn how to take orders, but that’s a small sacrifice for a larger mission. He knew he could push himself further, so he signed up for special ops. Being young and fit, he worked his way up the chain quickly. With each new rank and assignment, he found another “more special,” “more secret” ops team promising him more important work. He jumped at the chance to do anything he felt he was particularly suited for. He didn’t see that not all of his commanders shared his beliefs. He dismissed the red flags that went up when they asked their teams to do more and more illegal things. What’s a little bending of the law to save thousands of people?

Eliot believed in his very soul that they were doing great things. He loved the soldiers around him like brothers and the commanding officer he served under last and longest became a replacement for the father who refused to support him if he left – a fact that would haunt him in the disillusioned years to come. Then one day about two years before the end of his service everything changed.

He still won’t talk about what happened that day. He knows it wasn’t the worst thing he’s ever done, but it was the first act of violence he couldn’t justify and the feeling of his whole belief system crashing around him cuts deep. It was the first time he killed someone he knew was innocent. He was under orders. The mission relied on him doing his job right. It didn’t occur to him until he tried to sleep that night that maybe his job wasn’t the right thing to do. Maybe the mission wasn’t helping people. Maybe his commanding officer wasn’t the man he thought he was.

Eliot didn’t sleep that night. He replayed the last few years over and over in his mind pointing out all of the times people he thought represented the good in the world took advantage of him. He felt like every bullet he ever shot into someone else came back and hit him in that moment. He was hurt, broken, ashamed. He finally understood what his father meant and the guilt choked him.

The next day he tentatively reached out to his closest friends. He downplayed his feelings a bit, but he told them what he was thinking and asked them what to do. Every one of them told him how much he meant to them, but the world just wasn’t the way he imagined it. The only ones who hadn’t gone through the same existential crisis sometime after joining were the ones who joined for the money or because they didn’t know what other skills they had. His commanding officer, having seen hundreds of soldiers come to the same conclusion and not having any patience left, told him it didn’t matter and he had to follow orders anyway because the military owned him until his contract was up.

The next two years were the hardest in his life. He went on mission after mission he knew he’d regret. He lost faith in God, man, and the concept of goodness itself. Over time, he labeled himself as a bad person because sometimes the way not to go insane in the face of evil is to embrace it. In the end, he grew numb to it all.

When his contract expired, Eliot knew he couldn’t go home. It wasn’t that he still blamed his family for not supporting him. He blamed himself for thinking he knew better at the time. He couldn’t go back and show them proof that they were right. He didn’t want them to see the person he’d become. He hoped that they’d keep picturing the good little southern boy that left.

He wasn’t that boy anymore; he was a soldier. He accepted that role to get him through his contract and he didn’t know how to let it go. Some of his war buddies found work as guns-for-hire and they hooked him up with some lucrative but clearly criminal jobs. His values were still the same and he hated every minute of it, but he was a bad guy now. What was one more mission? He’d jump at a chance for redemption if he believed there was one, but who was he kidding?

Years passed. Eliot did his job and did it well. He worked well on a team and he could appeal to questionable employers. He enjoyed the days, especially after working for Moreau, when his reputation alone was enough to scare his marks into giving up without a fight. He tried to pick retrieval missions so at least killing wasn’t mandatory. The only person he ever grew attached to was Toby Heath whose culinary training kept him from losing himself completely.

One day he gets a call from Victor Dubenich. The job sounds like a simple in-and-out with a payout large enough to merit putting up with the weird team Dubenich put together. What he didn’t expect was the double cross and the dramatic reverse-theft to follow. The honest man Nate Ford was surprisingly good at keeping complex schemes running smoothly and he seemed to have noble intentions even if he was a bit twisted. The whole team seemed oddly attracted to the idea of Nate’s Robin-Hood-esque mission, so, when they pushed for another, Eliot figured it couldn’t hurt to stick around. At worst, they would turn out like all of the other teams he’d worked for. They might very well provide the lesser of the available evils he could be paid for. At best, though he wouldn’t quite let himself think it, they could be exactly what that good little southern boy was looking for in the military all those years ago.

It took him a long time to accept that he found the real thing. He kept waiting for the telltale signs that the team didn’t share his values. He felt like he was finally able to live those values the way he wanted to as a boy and it reminded him all too much of the first time he felt that way. He wanted them to be genuine. He missed the days when everything was simple and the violence had meaning. He missed the bond that came from shared hardship. He missed implicitly trusting people.

Eliot grew attached to his team despite himself. Caring about people was the one thing he could never control and he couldn’t really fault himself for it. He protected them physically and mentally. He confronted them when they had problems because every soldier knows that anyone’s problems are everyone’s problems when you’re fighting to survive. Over time, he began to realize how little pretense they had. Being the good guys was obviously new to most of them, but they really did want to be. They cared about people too. Only then did he allow himself to hope that they might lead him to his redemption. Even when he was the bad guy, he was at an odd kind of peace with himself. What he was missing was meaning that made life more than just survival. Nate’s strange band of criminal misfits gave him that.

In which two bandits mess with the wrong dragon. For descaliers. Thank you outlawqueenluvr for being a marvelous beta, and herardentwish for being so selfless with your art. And to anyone who even remembers this fic, because it’s been forever since I’ve posted. Oops! [ffn]

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

It’s a decent trek back to the marshlands, an area overgrown with leafy ferns and crowded from above by faded green willows, concealing his spotted grey from view of the nearest roads that dare to travel this far north of the castle.

By the time he’s seen to allaying his mare’s discomfort, muttered soothing nonsense and calmed her restless fidgeting with a few fruits he’d nicked from a tree on the way, the moon is brighter than he’d like, and each of his footsteps feels heavy with mud as well as an unshakable guilt over what he’s just done.

At the very least, he’ll still have his horse when he makes it back to his camp this time.

He stops to crouch and splash the sweat from his face with a palmful of swamp water; it’s acrid, burning red-raw skin, and the smell of it makes him grimace and long for another, vastly more pleasurable one, of rose thorns and candlelight instead of sewage and sulfur.

He’s examining a cut along his knuckles when Regina finds him. She’s not so generous with where she angles that dagger this time.

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