he thinks himself a 'lesser man'

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?”

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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!

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:

*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

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


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Title: Gratitude [Stephen Strange x Reader]

Summary: Why couldn’t you just be simple. Bratty!Reader and Exasperated!Strange.

A/N: Dedicated to all my followers, and lovely anons that take time out of their day to make me feel special!

“Will you stop being difficult and just take off your pants?”

You raised your tired eyes from their fixation on the dirty cold ground to accusingly glare at Stephen for the umpteenth time that night, and pointedly ignored the spike of annoyance he sent your way.

Absolutely not.”

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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.

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.

Natasha can agree with the registration act and still be on Steve’s side re: Bucky

I wasn’t gonna write this cause I don’t have a lot of time right now, but it doesn’t look like anyone else has brought this up so here goes.

So obviously this is all hypothetical and Natasha might turn out to be a double agent on Steve’s side re: the registration act and Bucky anyway, but it is entirely possible for her to be a very good friend to Steve and still have a different opinion regarding superhero registration.

Tony (or I guess General Ross, because this isn’t ‘Tony’s side’, not really; it looks like it was General Ross’ idea, and it’s actually the government’s side) has a very valid point. Vigilante justice is illegal in many places for specifically this reason, and considering how often members of the Avengers act without proper authority even when SHIELD backs them up, even when they do have good reason for it, they are, in fact, ‘taking the law into their own hands’, in a way. Several people have pointed out that the registration act can be seen as a metaphor for gun control, and while I personally don’t fully agree, this does point out that the Avengers can be a loaded weapon with enormous collateral damage, with no accountability.

Natasha can agree that there is a need for accountability. She doesn’t have to agree with everything happening in the movie (well, trailer) to be able to see that Tony’s got a point. That someone needs to oversee them. I would also like to point out that it’s highly likely that the Black Widow has always worked with a handler, at least until SHIELD went down, and that handler has always been affiliated with a government. Her seeing the logic in the Avengers having a handler, whether it’s the government, a list of registered heroes, or something else, isn’t as difficult to comprehend as we might think at first go.

Natasha is Steve’s friend, but she’s her own person first. She can have a different opinion than Steve regarding the registration act. She can especially have a different opinion than Steve, considering Steve is completely and utterly compromised in objectivity due to Bucky.

Which brings us to my next point, that Natasha agreeing that there needs to be accountability for the Avengers’ actions does not mean that she agrees with what they’re doing to Bucky. If anyone can remotely understand what Bucky Barnes went through, it’s Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff, and let’s face it, probably Natasha more than Clint. I mean, just last movie the government tried to scapegoat her!

In fact, we have no evidence suggesting she’s okay with making a scapegoat of Bucky. We have no evidence suggesting she’s helping the government execute Bucky. We have no evidence to suggest she’s not trying to help Steve and Bucky out in her own way. The most we have is her telling Steve to stay out of this or he’ll make it worse, which is directly precluded by her telling him she knows what Bucky means to him. It’s likely she doesn’t. I don’t think Steve himself knows what Bucky means to him most of the time, but Natasha isn’t dumb enough to point that out and then tell him, oh hey, but you should abandon your best friend and let these people kill him anyway.

I think she had a plan. I think Natasha was going to stay on Tony’s side and work from the inside (double agent theory! only to a lesser extent) to figure out how they’re tracking/finding/planning to attack Bucky and then help him out however she could. (You can’t tell me the Black Widow can’t divert the forces and help one man disappear.)

And I think Natasha Romanoff, of all people, knows that Steve Rogers is a wild card when it comes to Bucky Barnes. Personally, I think that’s why she wanted Steve out of the way, because Steve has a gift for being able to fuck up plans he didn’t make himself, and Natasha couldn’t do what she wanted if Steve was involved, because he’s unpredictable. Steve doesn’t do things half-assed. It’s all or nothing for him, all the time, and he doesn’t make subtle points. Steve, by virtue of being Captain America, by virtue of being compromised, tends to leave destruction in his wake no matter how much he might not want to. And that, that just makes Tony’s argument stronger, doesn’t it? That just makes everything worse for both Steve and Bucky, doesn’t it?

Natasha knows how much Bucky means to Steve, she knows how far he could go for Bucky, she knows how recognizable Steve is, and she knows that Captain America is a bull’s eye painted right in front of Bucky Barnes.

I think Natasha wanted Steve to stay out of it and to leave it to her, because she can recognize a need for accountability and a need for a system which enforces accountability, and she can also recognize when the system is fucking up and making a villain of a victim.

She can do both.

A letter to the ego

“I am no greater or lesser than anyone other being. No matter of what  they think of me or what I think of anyone else. There are not good or bad people, only  faulty thought processes or perceptions. We are all connected and made of the same  material. Meaning there is no way to judge otherwise. I can influence, destruct, create  along with every part of nature; we all have the same potential. When  man separates himself from ego he realizes that true joy and happiness comes from  following a song of the soul rather than society. ” -ewao.com 

The country in which we live gives this young man a $500k bond. He is also facing life in prison for eight misdemeanors related to his actions during the unrest in Baltimore last week (even though his parents urged him to do the right thing and turn himself in). Meanwhile, the six police officers charged with the death of Freddie Gray are all out on lesser bond, and the steepest charge carries a maximum penalty of sixty years. How is this just? Our criminal punishment system strikes again.

~Rogue Lion

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.

Coda for 11x10

Dean stared out the window while he and Sam drove back toward the bunker. He felt…off. Something wasn’t right. By all reasoning, he should be feeling like he won the damn lottery considering they had just beaten the Devil himself. He couldn’t shake it, though. It had been something in the way Cas had been acting. He hadn’t walked or stood close to Dean, he hadn’t hopped into the car at the first chance, or volunteered to patch up Dean’s wounds. And that smile when they had driven away…that wasn’t Cas’s smile.

Sam simply groaned when they pulled into the bunker, and headed toward bed. Dean went to his own room as well, but even as exhausted as he was, he couldn’t sleep. A feeling of wrong wrong wrong had settled into his stomach, and he picked up his phone to try and assuage some of the tension.

Hey man. You sure you’re okay?

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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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