he was ahead of his time man

I know it’s easy to keep stereotyping Yoongi as cold/lazy/cut off kind of person but sometimes i think it gets to a point where it’s wrong and hurtful in the fandom. And so here’s a list of reasons Min Yoongi is a warm, hard working individual with a personality that is multi-faceted and beautiful.

  • was a member of the student council when he was in school and was always helping people who approached him and writing them encouraging messages, contrary to popular ‘bad boy’ image belief.
  • works into late hours of the night, even goes without sleeping when he’s concentrating on composing a new song/lyrics and spends hours on end in the studio
  • on that note, it is said he recorded the way he said ‘bulteorune’ about 200 times before he was satisfied with how it sounded
  • despite not being the lead dancer, is almost never criticized for his dance skills because he clearly works hard on it, whether or not he’s the best
  • again, a side note that he spent his birthday with hoseok practicing dance that hoseok taught him
  • his stage presence is full of energy and he even kneeled down and bowed for a good minute of stage when he knew his parents were in the crowd, and otherwise also displays emotions on stage, including crying
  • gets shy and touched when members throw him a surprise birthday party
  • extremely considerate of what fans think/feel, unlike a lot of other idols. he’s responsible enough to know the effect his words have on fans and therefore constantly promotes a healthy body image, saying he doesn’t have ideal an outfit/weight/height/personality type
  • that time he spent his own money to buy personal gifts/write different messages for 300+ fans on his birthday, and then did it again the next year too
  • branching off to the time when he got asked on a radio interview what he’d do with the royalties of the songs he produced (jump/tomorrow) and he replied that he’d take the band and stuff out for lunch with his own money
  • that time he bought all the kids in bts ice cream without asking and won them toys in AHL and they were so happy about it
  • that time hoseok wasn’t eating because he lost and yoongi said he couldn’t eat if his dongsaegs weren’t eating and that he was full just watching him eat, giving him his share of food
  • doesn’t care that he’s not a good singer and sings loudly and shamelessly when he’s in the mood
  • the new years day yoongi didn’t spend with own family just because hoseok was lonely in the dorms
  • that one time jungkook jumped on yoongi and hugged him and yoongi looked like he might just die from happiness
  • when he laughs when something is too funny and no noise comes out and he claps around like a seal and it’s so so adorable
  • said he likes smart girls who he could have long conversations with/hear her stories and she was good with computers
  • actually gets super flattered and smug when people find his sass funny
  • that time they were on running man and had to run for boxes and ran so fast he was far ahead of even jungkook
  • that time namjoon was supposed to perform on stage and yoongi was deadpan the whole performance until it was namjoon’s turn, and then he has laughing and singing and screaming and being super supportive
  • once when the members were just annoying jungkook a little and yoongi sensed jungkook felt a little sad so he wordlessly reached out to him and petted him and said ‘I think he’s adorable’
  • on that note, always sensing the members discomfort/sadness and being a silent supporter and saying encouraging things to make them feel better
  • never holds back of compliments. ever.
  • he is a wonderful, multi-faceted man with emotions other than being ‘dead inside’ and loves the people around him so much and is full of appreciation and support for them and endlessly a source of strength for them.
Dead Fandoms, Part 3

Read Part One of Dead Fandoms here. 

Read Part Two of Dead Fandoms here. 

Before we continue, I want to add the usual caveat that I actually don’t want to be right about these fandoms being dead. I like enthusiasm and energy and it’s a shame to see it vanish.


Mists of Avalon

Remember that period of time of about 15 years, where absolutely everybody read this book and was obsessed with it? It could not have been bigger, and the fandom was Anne Rice huge, overlapping for several years with USENET and the early World Wide Web…but it’s since petered out. 

Mists of Avalon’s popularity may be due to the most excellent case of hitting a demographic sweet spot ever. The book was a feminist retelling of the Arthurian Mythos where Morgan Le Fay is the main character, a pagan from matriarchal goddess religions who is fighting against encroaching Christianity and patriarchal forms of society coming in with it. Also, it made Lancelot bisexual and his conflict is how torn he is about his attraction to both Arthur and Guinevere.

Remember, this novel came out in 1983 – talk about being ahead of your time! If it came out today, the reaction from a certain corner would be something like “it is with a heavy heart that I inform you that tumblr is at it again.”

Man, demographically speaking, that’s called “nailing it.” It used to be one of the favorite books of the kind of person who’s bookshelf is dominated by fantasy novels about outspoken, fiery-tongued redheaded women, who dream of someday moving to Scotland, who love Enya music and Kate Bush, who sell homemade needlepoint stuff on etsy, who consider their religious beliefs neo-pagan or wicca, and who have like 15 cats, three of which are named Isis, Hypatia, and Morrigan.

This type of person is still with us, so why did this novel fade in popularity? There’s actually a single hideous reason: after her death around 2001, facts came out that Marion Zimmer Bradley abused her daughters sexually. Even when she was alive, she was known for defending and enabling a known child abuser, her husband, Walter Breen. To say people see your work differently after something like this is an understatement – especially if your identity is built around being a progressive and feminist author.


Robotech

I try to break up my sections on dead fandoms into three parts: first, I explain the property, then explain why it found a devoted audience, and finally, I explain why that fan devotion and community went away. Well, in the case of Robotech, I can do all three with a single sentence: it was the first boy pilot/giant robot Japanimation series that shot for an older, teenage audience to be widely released in the West. Robotech found an audience when it was the only true anime to be widely available, and lost it when became just another import anime show. In the days of Crunchyroll, it’s really hard to explain what made Robotech so special, because it means describing a different world.

Try to imagine what it was like in 1986 for Japanime fans: there were barely any video imports, and if you wanted a series, you usually had to trade tapes at your local basement club (they were so precious they couldn’t even be sold, only traded). If you were lucky, you were given a script to translate what you were watching. Robotech though, was on every day, usually after school. You want an action figure? Well, you could buy a Robotech Valkyrie or a Minmei figure at your local corner FAO Schwartz. 

However, the very strategy that led to it getting syndicated is the very reason it was later vilified by the purists who emerged when anime became a widespread cultural force: strictly speaking, there actually is no show called “Robotech.” Since Japanese shows tend to be short run, say, 50-60 episodes, it fell well under the 80-100 episode mark needed for syndication in the US. The producer of Harmony Gold, Carl Macek, had a solution: he’d cut three unrelated but similar looking series together into one, called “Robotech.” The shows looked very similar, had similar love triangles, used similar tropes, and even had little references to each other, so the fit was natural. It led to Robotech becoming a weekday afternoon staple with a strong fandom who called themselves “Protoculture Addicts.” There were conventions entirely devoted to Robotech. The supposed shower scene where Minmei was bare-breasted was the barely whispered stuff of pervert legend in pre-internet days. And the tie in novels, written with the entirely western/Harmony Gold conception of the series and which continued the story, were actually surprisingly readable.

The final nail in the coffin of Robotech fandom was the rise of Sailor Moon, Toonami, Dragonball, and yes, Pokemon (like MC Hammer’s role in popularizing hip hop, Pokemon is often written out of its role in creating an audience for the next wave of cartoon imports out of insecurity). Anime popularity in the West can be defined as not a continuing unbroken chain like scifi book fandom is, but as an unrelated series of waves, like multiple ancient ruins buried on top of each other (Robotech was the vanguard of the third wave, as Anime historians reckon); Robotech’s wave was subsumed by the next, which had different priorities and different “core texts.” Pikachu did what the Zentraedi and Invid couldn’t do: they destroyed the SDF-1.


Legion of Super-Heroes

Legion of Superheroes was comic set in the distant future that combined superheroes with space opera, with a visual aesthetic that can best be described as “Star Trek: the Motion Picture, if it was set in a disco.” 

I’ve heard wrestling described as “a soap opera for men.” If that’s the case, then Legion of Super-Heroes was a soap opera for nerds. The book is about attractive 20-somethings who seem to hook up all the time. As a result, it had a large female fanbase, which, I cannot stress enough, is incredibly unusual for this era in comics history. And if you have female fans, you get a lot of shipping and slashfic, and lots of speculation over which of the boy characters in the series is gay. The fanon answer is Element Lad, because he wore magenta-pink and never had a girlfriend. (Can’t argue with bulletproof logic like that.) In other words, it was a 1970s-80s fandom that felt much more “modern” than the more right-brained, bloodless, often anal scifi fandoms that existed around the same time, where letters pages were just nitpicking science errors by model train and elevator enthusiasts.

Legion Headquarters seemed to be a rabbit fuck den built around a supercomputer and Danger Room. Cosmic Boy dressed like Tim Curry in Rocky Horror. There’s one member, Duo Damsel, who can turn into two people, a power that, in the words of Legion writer Jim Shooter, was “useful for weird sex…and not much else.”

LSH was popular because the fans were insanely horny. This is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the thirstiest fandom of all time.  You might think I’m overselling this, but I really think that’s an under-analyzed part of how some kinds of fiction build a devoted fanbase.  

For example, a big reason for the success of Mass Effect is that everyone has a favorite girl or boy, and you have the option to romance them. Likewise, everyone who was a fan of Legion remembers having a crush. Sardonic Ultra Boy for some reason was a favorite among gay male nerds (aka the Robert Conrad Effect). Tall, blonde, amazonian telepath Saturn Girl, maybe the first female team leader in comics history, is for the guys with backbone who prefer Veronica over Betty. Shrinking Violet was a cute Audrey Hepburn type. And don’t forget Shadow Lass, who was a blue skinned alien babe with pointed ears and is heavily implied to have an accent (she was Aayla Secura before Aayla Secura was Aayla Secura). Light Lass was commonly believed to be “coded lesbian” because of a short haircut and her relationships with men didn’t work out. The point is, it’s one thing to read about the adventures of a superteam, and it implies a totally different level of mental and emotional involvement to read the adventures of your imaginary girlfriend/boyfriend.  

Now, I should point out that of all the fandoms I’ve examined here, LSH was maybe the smallest. Legion was never a top seller, but it was a favorite of the most devoted of fans who kept it alive all through the seventies and eighties with an energy and intensity disproportionate to their actual numbers. My gosh, were LSH fans devoted! Interlac and Legion Outpost were two Legion fanzines that are some of the most famous fanzines in comics history.

If nerd culture fandoms were drugs, Star Wars would be alcohol, Doctor Who would be weed, but Legion of Super-Heroes would be injecting heroin directly into your eyeballs. Maybe it is because the Legionnaires were nerdy, too: they played Dungeons and Dragons in their off time (an escape, no doubt, from their humdrum, mundane lives as galaxy-rescuing superheroes). There were sometimes call outs to Monty Python. Basically, the whole thing had a feel like the dorkily earnest skits or filk-singing at a con. Legion felt like it’s own fan series, guest starring Patton Oswalt and Felicia Day.

It helped that the boundary between fandom and professional was incredibly porous. For instance, pro-artist Dave Cockrum did covers for Legion fanzines. Former Legion APA members Todd and Mary Biernbaum got a chance to actually write Legion, where, with the gusto of former slashfic writers given the keys to canon, their major contribution was a subplot that explicitly made Element Lad gay. Mike Grell, a professional artist who got paid to work on the series, did vaguely porno-ish fan art. Again, it’s hard to tell where the pros started and the fandom ended; the inmates were running the asylum.

Mostly, Legion earned this devotion because it could reward it in a way no other comic could. Because Legion was not a wide market comic but was bought by a core audience, after a point, there were no self-contained one-and-done Legion stories. In fact, there weren’t even really arcs as we know it, which is why Legion always has problems getting reprinted in trade form. Legion was plotted like a daytime soap opera: there were always five different stories going on in every issue, and a comic involved cutting between them. Sure, like daytime soap operas, there’s never a beginning, just endless middles, so it was totally impossible for a newbie to jump on board…but soap operas know what they are doing: long term storytelling rewards a long term reader.

This brings me to today, where Legion is no longer being published by DC. There is no discussion about a movie or TV revival. This is amazing. Comics are a world where the tiniest nerd groups get pandered to: Micronauts, Weirdworld, Seeker 3000, and Rom have had revival series, for pete’s sake. It’s incredible there’s no discussion of a film or TV treatment, either; friggin Cyborg from New Teen Titans is getting a solo movie. 

Why did Legion stop being such a big deal? Where did the fandom that supported it dissolve to? One word: X-Men. Legion was incredibly ahead of its time. In the 60s and 70s, there were barely any “fan” comics, since superhero comics were like animation is today: mostly aimed at kids, with a minority of discerning adult/teen fans, and it was success among kids, not fans, that led to something being a top seller (hence, “fan favorites” in the 1970s, as surprising as it is to us today, often did not get a lot of work, like Don MacGregor or Barry Smith). But as newsstands started to push comics out, the fan audience started to get bigger and more important…everyone else started to catch up to the things that made Legion unique: most comics started to have attractive people who paired up into couples and/or love triangles, and featured extremely byzantine long term storytelling. If Legion of Super-Heroes is going to be remembered for anything, it’s for being the smaller scale “John the Baptist” to the phenomenon of X-Men, the ultimate “fan” comic.

The other thing that killed Legion, apart from Marvel’s Merry Mutants, that is, was the r-word: reboots. A reboot only works for some properties, but not others. You reboot something when you want to find something for a mass audience to respond to, like with Zorro, Batman, or Godzilla.

Legion, though, was not a comic for everybody, it was a fanboy/girl comic beloved by a niche who read it for continuing stories and minutiae (and to jack off, and in some cases, jill off). Rebooting a comic like that is a bad idea. You do not reboot something where the main way you engage with the property, the greatest strength, is the accumulated lore and history. Rebooting a property like that means losing the reason people like it, and unless it’s something with a wide audience, you only lose fans and won’t get anything in return for it. So for something like Legion (small fandom obsessed with long form plots and details, but unlike Trek, no name recognition) a reboot is the ultimate Achilles heel that shatters everything, a self-destruct button they kept hitting over and over and over until there was nothing at all left.


E. E. Smith’s Lensman Novels

The Lensman series is like Gil Evans’s jazz: it’s your grandparents’ favorite thing that you’ve never heard of. 

I mean, have you ever wondered exactly what scifi fandom talked about before the rise of the major core texts and cultural objects (Star Trek, Asimov, etc)? Well, it was this. Lensmen was the subject of fanfiction mailed in manilla envelopes during the 30s, 40s, and 50s (some of which are still around). If you’re from Boston, you might recognize that the two biggest and oldest scifi cons there going back to the 1940s, Boskone (Boscon, get it?) and Arisia, are references to the Lensman series. This series not only created space opera as we know it, but contributed two of the biggest visuals in scifi, the interstellar police drawn from different alien species, and space marines in power armor.

My favorite sign of how big this series was and how fans responded to it, was a great wedding held at Worldcon that duplicated Kimball Kinnison and Clarissa’s wedding on Klovia. This is adorable:

The basic story is pure good vs. evil: galactic civilization faces a crime and piracy wave of unprecedented proportions from technologically advanced pirates (the memory of Prohibition, where criminals had superior firearms and faster cars than the cops, was strong by the mid-1930s). A young officer, Kimball Kinnison (who speaks in a Stan Lee esque style of dialogue known as “mid-century American wiseass”), graduates the academy and is granted a Lens, an object from an ancient mystery civilization, who’s true purpose is unknown.

Lensman Kinnison discovers that the “crime wave” is actually a hostile invasion and assault by a totally alien culture that is based on hierarchy, intolerant of failure, and at the highest level, is ruled by horrifying nightmare things that breathe freezing poison gases. Along the way, he picks up allies, like van Buskirk, a variant human space marine from a heavy gravity planet who can do a standing jump of 20 feet in full space armor, Worsel, a telepathic dragon warrior scientist with the technical improvisation skills of MacGyver (who reads like the most sadistically minmaxed munchkinized RPG character of all time), and Nandreck, a psychologist from a Pluto-like planet of selfish cowards.

The scale of the conflict starts small, just skirmishes with pirates, but explodes to near apocalyptic dimensions. This series has space battles with millions of starships emerging from hyperspacial tubes to attack the ultragood Arisians, homeworld of the first intelligent race in the cosmos. By the end of the fourth book, there are mind battles where the reflected and parried mental beams leave hundreds of innocent bystanders dead. In the meantime we get evil Black Lensmen, the Hell Hole in Space, and superweapons like the Negasphere and the Sunbeam, where an entire solar system was turned into a vacuum tube.

It’s not hard to understand why Lensmen faded in importance. While the alien Lensmen had lively psychologies, Lensman Kimball Kinnison was not an interesting person, and that’s a problem when scifi starts to become more about characterization. The Lensman books, with their love of police and their sexism (it is an explicit plot point that the Lens is incompatible with female minds – in canon there are no female Lensmen) led to it being judged harshly by the New Wave writers of the 1960s, who viewed it all as borderline fascist military-scifi establishment hokum, and the reputation of the series never recovered from the spirit of that decade.


Prisoner of Zenda

Prisoner of Zenda is a novel about a roguish con-man who visits a postage-stamp, charmingly picturesque Central European kingdom with storybook castles, where he finds he looks just like the local king and is forced to pose as him in palace intrigues. It’s a swashbuckling story about mistaken identity, swordfighting, and intrigue, one part swashbuckler and one part dark political thriller.

The popularity of this book predates organized fandom as we know it, so I wonder if “fandom” is even the right word to use. All the same, it inspired fanatical dedication from readers. There was such a popular hunger for it that an entire library could be filled with nothing but rip-offs of Prisoner of Zenda. If you have a favorite writer who was active between 1900-1950, I guarantee he probably wrote at least one Prisoner of Zenda rip-off (which is nearly always the least-read book in his oeuvre). The only novel in the 20th Century that inspired more imitators was Sherlock Holmes. Robert Heinlein and Edmond “Planet Smasher” Hamilton wrote scifi updates of Prisoner of Zenda. Doctor Who lifted the plot wholesale for the Tom Baker era episode, “Androids of Tara,” Futurama did this exact plot too, and even Marvel Comics has its own copy of Ruritania, Doctor Doom’s Kingdom of Latveria. Even as late as the 1980s, every kids’ cartoon did a “Prisoner of Zenda” episode, one of the stock plots alongside “everyone gets hit by a shrink ray” and the Christmas Carol episode.

Prisoner of Zenda imitators were so numerous, that they even have their own Library of Congress sub-heading, of “Ruritanian Romance.” 

One major reason that Prisoner of Zenda fandom died off is that, between World War I and World War II, there was a brutal lack of sympathy for anything that seemed slightly German, and it seems the incredibly Central European Prisoner of Zenda was a casualty of this. Far and away, the largest immigrant group in the United States through the entire 19th Century were Germans, who were more numerous than Irish or Italians. There were entire cities in the Midwest that were two-thirds German-born or German-descent, who met in Biergartens and German community centers that now no longer exist.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote a lot about how the German-American world he grew up in vanished because of the prejudice of the World Wars, and that disappearance was so extensive that it was retroactive, like someone did a DC comic-style continuity reboot where it all never happened: Germans, despite being the largest immigrant group in US history, are left out of the immigrant story. The “Little Bohemias” and “Little Berlins” that were once everywhere no longer exist. There is no holiday dedicated to people of German ancestry in the US, the way the Irish have St. Patrick’s Day or Italians have Columbus Day (there is Von Steuben’s Day, dedicated to a general who fought with George Washington, but it’s a strictly Midwest thing most people outside the region have never heard of, like Sweetest Day). If you’re reading this and you’re an academic, and you’re not sure what to do your dissertation on, try writing about the German-American immigrant world of the 19th and 20th Centuries, because it’s a criminally under-researched topic.


A. Merritt

Pop quiz: who was the most popular and influential fantasy author during the 1930s and 40s? 

If you answered Tolkien or Robert E. Howard, you’re wrong - it was actually Abraham Merritt. He was the most popular writer of his age of the kind of fiction he did, and he’s since been mostly forgotten. Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons and Dragons, has said that A. Merritt was his favorite fantasy and horror novelist.

Why did A. Merritt and his fandom go away, when at one point, he was THE fantasy author? Well, obviously one big answer was the 1960s counterculture, which brought different writers like Tolkien and Lovecraft to the forefront (by modern standards Lovecraft isn’t a fantasy author, but he was produced by the same early century genre-fluid effluvium that produced Merritt and the rest). The other answer is that A. Merritt was so totally a product of the weird occult speculation of his age that it’s hard to even imagine him clicking with audiences in other eras. His work is based on fringe weirdness that appealed to early 20th Century spiritualism and made sense at the time: reincarnation, racial memory, an obsession with lost race stories and the stone age, and weirdness like the 1920s belief that the Polar Arctic is the ancestral home of the Caucasian race. In other words, it’s impossible to explain Merritt without a ton of sentences that start with “well, people in the 1920s thought that…” That’s not a good sign when it comes to his universality. 


That’s it for now. Do you have any suggestions on a dead fandom, or do you keep one of these “dead” fandoms alive in your heart?

Okay so: when Peter was 14, he made his spider-outfit big and baggy so he could wear it with just a sports bra under it so he wouldn’t be exercising with a binder on.  When he got Tony’s first spider-suit, he went ahead and wore a binder under it because by that time he’d figured out that super-strength (and super-healing) kept his lungs and ribs safe.

When Tony found out that he was wearing a binder under his suit, he freaked out and told Peter that just because you have superpowers doesn’t mean you can suffocate yourself all day.  Peter refused to stop Spider-Manning in his binder, and Tony finally said “okay, what about surgery then?”  Peter hadn’t even thought of that as a possibility because of lack of money and being a minor, but Tony insisted that it was an investment in the protection of the city and found a surgeon who would work with permission from a guardian plus letters from psychiatrists.

When Peter was almost 15, Tony talked the surgeon into working with Bruce to find ways to operate successfully on someone with super-healing and talked the surgeon into operating with Peter’s mask on.  (Convincing him to accept guardian’s permission and letters without Peter’s name on them was actually the hard part; the surgeon was very excited to work on someone with superpowers.)

For Peter, the worst part was the period he wasn’t able to go out as Spider-Man.  They had to temporarily slow down his super-healing in order to operate, so for the first two weeks he healed only a bit faster than a standard human, and his arms wouldn’t move properly and his chest hurt and there was no way Tony was letting him go swing around the city and tear open his stitches, especially when his healing factor was offline.

When Peter was 15, his super-healing had fully taken care of his incisions, like they were never there, and he only had the occasional twinge - apparently healing factors don’t entirely eliminate the effects of nerve damage.

When Peter was 15, he went swimming for the first time since he was 7.

When Peter was 15, he could breathe.

A Finite Amount of Love

The first time Rose did it, it was out of ignorance.

The second was desperation.

The third time she did not do it. If she had, it would have been purely malicious.

She resisted it the fourth time too, and the fifth, the sixth and the seventh. 

The eighth time she never got the choice: she died first.

The first, though—the first was Adam. An eager and honest bucktooth man with blond hair in ringlets that reminded Rose just a bit of her own. Adam was the first human Rose fell in love with, and it was different. It wasn’t her normal human love, that soft and gentle maternal kind. This love was bubbly and effervescent. It was walks alone just the two of them that felt giddy and new and anxious eager jolts in her mind of touching his skin and investigating his lips and getting close, close like humans do, in a way that wasn’t fusion.

And 58 was far too young an age, Rose thought, for Adam to fade. He burst out in sores that corrupted his human form and could not heal, would not heal, and no human could save him. So Rose did. Adam died, and Rose shed just enough tears to bring him back into existence.

Things didn’t change all at once. For years nothing was different than the novelty of Adam’s ringleted hair truly matching Rose’s. But humans experience the passing of decades different from Gems. Adam grew solemn when all his friends died. He made new ones. Then 50 years later, they all died as well.

Adam’s body remained healthy. But it seemed the human mind wasn’t equipped for centuries of life. Maybe humans had a finite amount of love packaged into them, meant to well up from the soul for 70 or 80 years at most. Adam ran out of love. He packed his things, just a single bag on his shoulder, and he told Rose he would leave forever.

Rose let him go, but her heart still broke, because Gems work on a much larger time scale.

Samuel was the next man in her life, a mere 30 years later, and he was spry, bubbly, energetic, overflowing with a sort of giddy love that Rose felt would last and last. She swept him up in her arms and spun with him on the briny beach front, her bare feet molding in the sand as they swirled and danced, day after day, year after year. She and Samuel married, as was a custom among Samuel’s kind, and he gathered a batch of humans larger than Rose had seen since the victory against Homeworld.

Samuel turned 75 faster than Rose could measure. He was gray and worn, thin and knotted at the joints, senile and immobile when Rose still wanted to dance with him on the beach. He did not wake up one morning, and it was too soon for Rose. She wept, honest heavy wet tears that poured the life back into a husk that dried too soon.

Samuel lasted another 75 years after that. But he burned down, slower than Adam but still the same. His human light died. He wept too hard for his family and friends, for the children of his first marriage and his children’s children, and their children… He grew solemn, and cold, and inconsolable, and one day he told Rose he wanted to explore the ocean with his infinite age. Alone. Without her. His human love had burnt itself to the wick.

The heartache hit worse. Rose gave her hand and heart and time to no other man for decades. Not the curious sailors who came hat-in-hand to the Temple. Not the outcast townsfolk who came to investigate the myths of the magical women out by the briny shore. She waited, and waited, until that ache in her chest grew too heavy, and she let a young and spindly man named Wilson woo her. He took her out to sea on a rickety hand-crafted boat, and he pointed out the wonders of the vast sea to her, and Rose wondered silently if ever they might cross Samuel’s path.

Wilson grew old when Rose was not paying attention. She went to visit him one day, and found only a sickly man curled up in bed, breathing in wheezes, blinking through milky eyes. Garnet found her that evening, Garnet with the ability to see the paths laid out ahead of her. She warned Rose not to follow through this time, and Rose did not. And Wilson died.

Mark with the thick orange brows was slowly whittled down to thin scraggly gray hairs, like fuzzy caterpillars resting on his lip and brow the day he died. Seth had only hit 30 when his carriage was lost off the side of the road in a blizzard, his body found days after. Wallace made it to 76. Jeremy to 64…

When she met Greg, Rose reached a selfish conclusion. She would be the human this time. She would be the human wife that Adam, Samuel, Wilson, Seth, Mark, Wallace, Jeremy never had…she would be the one to give him a child.

And she would die first this time.

The other men had seemed so peaceful when they passed, Rose thought in hindsight. A life well-lived. A life fulfilled. Not like Adam, not like Samuel, whittled down to husks and then nothing but a puppet on strings, in a body strewn about, too spent and stressed for a human. She wanted to know that peace of a life lived to its end. She wanted to pass on her chance of experiencing the world to a new human, a new generation, like all humans were so happy to do.

Rose died first. Steven lived on.

Lars has not visited Beach City in centuries. Pearl, Garnet, and Amethyst still live there, he knows that, but he never knew them well. He never properly met the green and blue ones either.

He travels sometimes. Mostly he lingers. Wherever he ends up. It’s all a blur. Where he’s been and where he’s going. Just not Beach City. He’s visited those old homes too many times, and he saw them all demolished over time. Nothing’s left for him there.

Lars does not quite know where he is. He does not particularly care. It’s indoors, and dim, and a man is logging orders on a holographic tablet one table over. It’s a restaurant of sorts. Lars doesn’t need to eat, but if he orders a coffee, they will probably let him linger longer.

Lars stares out the window. He does that often. He’s run out of other things to do over the years. He’s gotten numb to most of it.

A shadow of a man slides into the booth with Lars. He takes the space on the opposite side of the table. He’s wearing a rain poncho, a thin and ultra-light orange material for maximum hydrophobic effect. He looks old, eyes lined with wrinkles beneath the hood. Lars swallows the urge to ask him what he wants as the man lowers the hood.

His hair cascades in ringlets, each the same pale and luminous pink as the hair on Lars’ head.

He sticks a hand out, and offers a thin smile that doesn’t quite touch his eyes.

“I’m Adam. I noticed your hair from the other side of the bar. Sorry to intrude, but could we talk a moment…?”

Villain Deku AU + Exasperated Dad Might

Deku becomes a villain pretty young and All Might still hasn’t given up heroics because goddamnit he’s not ready to give up being All Might yet. All Might literally cannot fight Villain Deku at full power because this guy is just a KID and doesn’t he have GUARDIAN??? An Adult??? Someone to look after this sassy lost child who definitely shouldn’t be doing such illegal activities???

So All Might finds himself reluctantly stepping into Dad Might role whenever he fights the villain Deku because DAMNIT YOU HAVE YOUR WHOLE AMAZING LIFE AHEAD OF YOU STOP THESE ILLEGAL SHENANIGANS YOUNG MAN

And the whole time Deku can’t decide whether to feel patronized by All Might or thrive off his attention (it’s some unholy mixture of both and the whole time he’s just CONFUSED about his own feelings on the matter) all he knows for sure is that he wants All Might to acknowledge him and his abilities

The whole city is just trying to hold itself together since it’s best hero is apparently trying to parent this unruly villain into submission

It’s got mixed results.

Before Stonewall

The history of LGBT+ activism is a long and storied one, but many of those stories have been erased or forgotten. In honor of the month of Pride and all the courageous activists who came before us, here are some of them:

The Activism of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld

Magnus Hirschfeld, who was himself gay, led a movement to decriminalize and understand homosexuality in pre WWII Germany that was highly successful given the time in which it took place. In 1897 he founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee to study and demystify homosexuality, believing that through scientific examination hostility towards gay men and women could be reduced. In 1898 his committee presented 5000 signatures of prominent Germans to the Reichstag in favor of overturning discriminatory laws against homosexuality. The bill didn’t pass, but Hirschfeld was only beginning. In 1910 he coined the term ‘transvestite’, the very first term for what we now know as transgender people, and even - remarkably - suggested that gender might be a spectrum. In 1919 he opened his Institute for Sexual Research, a clinic created for studying and caring for sexual or gender minorities. The famous Lili Elbe (as in The Danish Girl) received treatment at his clinic.

The clinic was wildly ahead of its time. Hirschfeld not only pioneered gender confirmation surgery through the work of Dr. Ludwig Levy-Lenz but he convinced the police - the police! - to issue a special permit to trans women so that they could travel freely in their own clothing without being harassed or arrested.

As a gay Jewish man who fought for the rights of gay and trans people, it’s not a surprise that Hirschfeld was a favorite target of the Nazis. In 1933 his Institute was raided and his research burned, setting back queer liberation for god knows how long. He fled to France, where he lived out the rest of his life.


The Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis

The Mattachine society, founded in 1950, was the first ‘homophile’ (gay rights) organization in the United States. Founded by Harry Hay in Los Angeles, the society had itself likely been inspired by knowledge of Hirschfeld’s work and proposed to improve the condition of the lives of gay men in America. The group adopted the cell style organization favored by Communist groups and soon there were chapters all around the country. When member Dale Jennings got arrested for ‘lewd behavior’ he decided to fight the charges with the support of the Society, who generated publicity and sympathy around the case. The jury deadlocked, the charges were dropped and the Mattachine society declared victory. 

The Daughters of Bilitis  (1955) was originally concieved as an alternative to the lesbian bar scene but quickly politicized. They provided support and education for lesbians who wanted to learn more about their orientation, as well as launching a magazine that was the first nationally distributed lesbian publication called The Ladder in 1956. In 1960 they even held a national convention.

The Activism of Frank Kameny

In 1957 Frank Kameny was caught up in the “lavender scare”, a purge of homosexuals from US Government departments, and lost his job. But Kameny was a fighter, and he didn’t take it lying down. He devoted himself to activism.

Refusing to be bullied or made ashamed of his orientation, Kameny not only founded the Washington D.C. chapter of the Mattachine society but launched what was one of the earliest LGBT picket lines in history when he and ten other activists picketed the White House in 1965 carrying a sign that said “Gay is Good”, his favored slogan. In 1963 he launched the campaign to decriminalize homosexuality in D.C. and personally drafted the bill that finally passed in 1993. 

The Compton’s Cafeteria Riot

The first transgender-led riot against the police took place not at Stonewall, but at Compton’s Cafeteria in the Tenderlion district of San Francisco.

Compton’s Cafeteria was a restaurant that had become a meeting place for transgender people, as they weren’t welcome in many gay bars at the time. In the early 1960′s, the staff at the Cafeteria began calling the police on their trans customers, leading to arrests and raids and harassment. Things came to a head when a police officer attempted to arrest one of the trans women who was patronizing the restaurant, and she threw her coffee in his face. Furniture was thrown, windows were smashed, and the fighting spilled out into the street. A police cruiser had all its windows smashed out and a newsstand was burned down.

The next night trans women and other LGBT supporters formed a picket line outside the Cafeteria to protest their treatment. During the demonstration the windows of the Cafeteria were once again shattered.  Many of the activists were members of Vanguard, an early organization for LGBT youth. 

splinter (m)

» pairing: jungkook x reader

» genre: angst, non-explicit smut / college au

» word count: 6,518

» description: Perhaps in their last moments together, the pieces won’t seem so broken. That maybe even with their jaded hearts they can salvage some replica of what it all once was. 

» note: there are mentions of cheating in this story

People love to talk about the ‘what ifs.’

What if they had just kept going, what if they had chosen a different path, what if things had just gone the way they had so desperately wanted them to? Humans torture themselves with these thoughts, all while urgently grappling at the threads of their memories that led to the fork in the road where things went awry. They ponder them tirelessly, wondering if they could’ve done something different, only to realize in the end that it didn’t matter because what was done was done. It was that simple, yet again, people still loved to talk, ponder, and torture themselves with the possibility of what if — However, in your personal experience, there was something much worse.

There was a sub-group of sorts to the what-ifs, called the ‘almosts.’ Almosts are burning flames of misery because they tease you by getting so heartbreakingly close to what you wanted. They were in your reach, resting on the tip of your tongue, only to dissipate before you could swallow it down and make it yours.

So yeah, you weren’t a fan of the-almosts. But what you were even less keen on was being in the same room as your almost, the thread of memories making the air thick as it wrapped its way around your throat.

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When They Try to Take Us Down

Summary: Phil doesn’t like when hate preachers come to campus. They make him nervous and uncomfortable. But this time, Dan is there to help him through it in an unexpected, yet pleasant way.
Word Count: 2,201
Warnings: homophobic slurs, hate speech, anxiety
Title creds: Let the Flames Begin - Paramore
A/N: Thank you to @snowbunnylester (as always) for prompting me this! I’ve been on a writing splurge lately and I honestly don’t know how I’m doing it. Lemme know it you like this!

Read it on AO3

-

There is an angry aura surrounding campus in the form of ignorant slurs and angry responses. This only happens on the occasion, but it makes Phil nervous each time, a pit in his stomach and his throat closing up as he tries to walk as fast as possible past the angry crowd.

There was a man, dressed in preacher’s clothes and holding a sign with a list of the types of people who were going to “go to hell”. Phil didn’t have to look to know that homosexuals and masturbators and adulterers were on the list. He swallowed and ducked his head, trying to move as fast as he could. Dan was ahead of him, probably shaking his head and scoffing as he does every time they passed by a preacher like this. Sometimes Phil thinks he’s more upset about this kind of thing than Phil is, despite being the heterosexual one in their friendship, just by the way he wasn’t afraid to shout his opinions right back.

Keep reading

Distance

Requested By: @purelyparker

hi there :-) i love your writing sm so i was wondering if you could write a tom holland imagine based off of the song “give me love” by ed sheeran where the reader breaks up with tom bc of his hectic acting schedule but they both aren’t taking the breakup very well (however THERES A HAPPY ENDING?? HOPEFULLY???) but that’s just an idea; it’s totally up to you to put your own spin on it or go in a different direction !! thank you SOSO much🤗💛

Pairing: Tom Holland x Reader

Description: Tom had been traveling a lot lately, so much to the point you rarely saw him at all, sure you’d call and text occasionally, but that wasn’t enough, you supported his acting career 100%, but you couldn’t take it anymore.

Warnings: Kinda sad, slight mention of alcohol, but then happiness :)

Word Count: 2,661

A/N: This actually turned out a lot better than I thought it was going to tbh, so I hope you enjoy it :)) Also, this gif has nothing to do with the imagine, I just thought it was a cute gif of Tom, oops.

Originally posted by ridreyrholland

It had been two months since you last seen Tom, he was off filming for Spider-Man Homecoming, which you totally understood, it took dedication and time, but so did your relationship with him.

Normally when he went off and filmed movies you two were okay, you didn’t normally have issues and you’d still see him and talk almost everyday, but this time it was different.

Tom just disappeared, you’d get an occasional text here and there, sometimes a phone call, but that was it.

You were left in the dark, just like a fan was.

It’s not that you didn’t love his fans, you did with all your heart, they were half the reason you were still sane, since they seemed to have more knowledge about Tom than you did yourself, and you were the one dating him.

You spent those long two months trying to decide on what to do, on what you thought was right and necessary, or more so healthy.

You knew deep down this relationship with Tom was fading, it was becoming stressful and making you more and more upset as the days went by.

‘Cause lately I’ve been waking up alone,

Pain splattered teardrops on my shirt.

Every morning you’d wake up, in hope of a good morning text, literally anything to show that maybe, just maybe he remembered you, but there was never anything.

This crushed your heart, everyday.

Until one day you had enough, you didn’t want to do this, but it was for the best, it was the right decision, it was the smart decision, this relationship wasn’t healthy for you anymore.

You started packing your belongings from Tom’s apartment, tears streaming down your face as you packed up boxes of your belongings.

You dreaded leaving his clothes behind that you always wore, but you knew if you took them you’d never let him go, and you needed to, it was for the best you would tell yourself.

You took one last look around his apartment, the one you had been living in for the past year, all the memories you two had created there were slowly being erased.

You let out a choked sob as you picked up the few boxes you had, before closing and locking the apartment door, and off to your new tiny little apartment your parents had gotten you a while back.

It was a few hours away from Tom’s which was good in a small sense, but at the same time your mind was moving at warp speed, unable to process you were moving back into your old apartment.

You arrived at nightfall, pulling your belongings out of your car before entering your tiny living space, you always had the feeling of comfort and safety in your apartment.

Maybe tonight I’ll call ya,

Maybe I should let you go.

You set your boxes on the counter of your kitchen, pulling out your phone, shakily dialing in Tom’s number.

You pressed the phone to your ear hesitantly, hearing it ring a few times before someone picked up.

“Hello?” A voice rung through your apartment, making your knees go weak.

“Hey Tom..” You murmured into the phone, biting your lip nervously, a bad habit you had gotten.

“Oh, hey Y/N! What’s up?” He questioned casually, as if he had no clue in the world how distant he had been with you these past few months.

“I-I uhm..” You stuttered, your heart beating rapidly, as you nervously swallowed, which Tom could hear through the phone.

“Y/N, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” Tom questioned worriedly, making you blink back tears that were daring to fall down your cheeks.

“No.. Tom.. Things aren’t okay.. They haven’t been for a while..” You spoke, voice barely above a whisper, but Tom heard you clear as day, his heart starting to beat quicker.

“Y-Y/N, you’re starting to scare me, what’s going on?” He stammered, he was now sitting down at a table on set.

“Tom..” You started, wiping your hand across your cheeks, tears continuing to fall down them.

“Do you realize how long it’s been since we’ve talked?” You asked, sitting down on a stool in your kitchen, waiting for his answer.

Tom sat there for a minute, puzzled at your question, until he started to realize how he’d been acting, as if you didn’t even exist.

“Y/N, o-oh my god, I’m s-so sorry.” Tom apologized, his eyes wide as he started to put pieces together.

“Tom, just stop, please?” You whimpered out, pinching the bridge of your nose.

“Y/N, p-please don’t do this..” Tom whispered, his voice cracking, he couldn’t bare lose you.

“Tom, this isn’t healthy, I can’t keep living like this..” You whispered, sniffling, your heart hurting the more you spoke.

“I can change, I can fix things, I-I promise..” Tom pleaded, tears starting to brim his eyes.

“Listen, I love you, but.. I-I can’t do this anymore.. I think.. W-We should b-break u-up..” You stuttered, your heart breaking into a million pieces as you spoke the most awful words.

“N-No, Y/N, p-please! N-No! I-I can’t l-lose you.” Tom cried out, tears now falling down his cheeks, but he didn’t even care anymore if anyone saw him.

“I-I’m so sorry..” You whispered, choking back sobs, as you heard Tom letting out his own.

“Y/N, d-don’t do this, p-please..” He continued to plead, only making it worse for the both of you.

“It’s for the best, I love you, goodbye Tom.” You whispered, hanging up before you could hear anymore of his plea’s.

You slowly slid down the stool, leaning back against your counter, letting out strangled sobs, your heart broken into small tiny fragments.

Tom on the other hand was staring at his phone, unable to process what had just happened.

His hands were shaking, tears were streaming down his red cheeks, his hair was a mess from running and tugging on it too many times.

“Hey Tom, we’re ready to shoot the next scene and, -oh, good lord what happened? Are you okay?” The producer asked, seeing Tom’s state wasn’t exactly stable at the current moment.

Tom just stared ahead of him, unable to produce words, all he could think about was you, and how he had let you down, made you feel like you were forgotten, not important to him, when you actually meant the entire world to him.

You were the reason he woke up every morning, the reason he was happy all the time, the reason he was as successful as he was, you were his light, but now you were gone, and now everything was dark.

“Tom, hey man, what’s going on?“ Jacob rushed over, after the producer told him how worried they were about his mental state.

"Buddy, it’s me, talk to me.” Jacob pleaded, looking over Tom and internally cringing at how much of a disaster he looked.

“Y-Y/n, she b-broke up with m-me.” Tom stammered out, looking up at his friend, who had a look of shock on his face.

“Dude, I’m so sorry. What happened?” Jacob asked carefully, not wanting Tom to have a emotional breakdown even worse.

“I became distant, without even realizing it, and it broke her.” Tom wiped his face, looking at the table sadly.

“You can win her back buddy, I know it.” Jacob tried to convince him, anything to make him lighten up just the tiniest bit.

“I really blew it Jacob, you should of heard her, she sounded so broken, and a-alone and it’s all m-my fault! I made the only person I loved leave me all because I was too much of an idiot.” Tom spoke furiously, hitting the table, startling Jacob.

“Alright, you know what lets just take a break today, you can chill and do what you need to, and we can figure this all out.” Jacob suggested, as Tom nodded slightly, before Jacob went to the producer, who agreed it was a good idea.

Two days passed and you were a total mess, you refused to leave your apartment, your friends tried calling and texting you, but you just ignored them, wanting to be alone.

You just laid in your bed, the curtains closed, a candle lit on your kitchen counter, making your apartment smell like crisp fall air.

‘Cause lately I’ve been craving more,

And it’s been a while, but I still feel the same,

After my blood turns into alcohol,

All I want is the taste that your lips allow.

Without Tom you didn’t know what to do with your life, he was such a huge part of you and now he was missing, a chunk of you was missing and you were lost.

You tried drinking, to numb the pain, but nothing worked, it just made you even more miserable than before.

You needed him.

And he needed you.

The producer had allowed Tom and Jacob to return back home for a few days to figure things out, once he got to his apartment he had expected you to still be there, but once he entered he noticed that none of your belongings were there anymore, and the shirts you once wore were folded on his bed.

In that moment he felt his heart drop, you really had left.

“Dude, where could she be?” Jacob questioned, as they set their belongings in his apartment.

“She returned back to her old one, she used to live there until she moved in with me.” Tom replied, grabbing his keys as they both headed out the door again.

They drove the few hours to your apartment, Tom was a nervous wreck, he wasn’t sure how you’d react to seeing him after all this time.

“Okay buddy, you got this, I’ll wait in the car.” Jacob gave a small smile, along with a thumbs up as Tom got out and walked up to your apartment door, hesitantly knocking.

When you didn’t answer he got nervous, but he saw your car parked in the driveway so he knew you were home.

This made him worry, he quickly fidgeted to find the spare key you had given him, he swiftly unlocked the door, noticing the darkness of the apartment, and the intense smell of alcohol and a fall scented candle.

“Y/N? Y/N where are you?” Tom shouted, before seeing you laying in your bed, staring blankly into space.

“Shit, Y/N.” Tom rushed over, pulling you into his arms tightly, kissing your head.

“T-Tom?” You mumbled out, blinking rapidly before realizing he wasn’t a figment of your imagination, that you weren’t actually hallucinating him.

“Yes, it’s me.” He whispered, now holding your face in his hands gently.

“It’s really you.” You whispered, tears slipping down your face, you couldn’t believe he came to see you.

“It’s really me babe, I’m so so sorry, for everything.” Tom whispered, caressing your cheek gently with his thumb.

“I missed you.” You whimpered, moving your face more into his hand, while placing your hands on his.

“I missed you too darling, I promise that’ll never happen again.” He kissed your forehead, causing you to close your eyes.

“Please, give me another chance.” He pleaded, making you lock eyes with him, before a small smile appeared on your lips as you gave a slight nod.

Tom’s eyes lit up, his heart racing before his lips met yours, the kiss passionate and full of pent up emotions.

“I love you so much, even when you’re an asshole sometimes.” You laughed slightly, your forehead pressed against his.

“I love you too darling, and I know I can be, but that’s why I have someone like you to keep me in place.” He chuckled, kissing your nose before wrapping his arms around you once again.

You both laid there for a bit, catching up, laughing, smiling, kissing, more talking, more kissing.

You knew you always loved this apartment of yours, because no matter what you always felt safe, and now you realized one of those reasons was because of Tom, he made you feel safe, he made you feel at home, because he was your home.

And always would be, no matter what.

You smiled at Tom who was watching you in amusement, before his phone started ringing.

“Hello?” Tom answered, before a smile formed on his face and laughter escaped his lips.

“Yes Jacob, you can come up now.” Tom laughed, making your eyes widen and laugh along with him.

“You didn’t tell me Jacob was here! Jacob I’m coming!” You shouted, sprinting off the bed and running down the hallway.

“But babe, what about me!” Tom shouted after you, a playful grin on his face as he watched you sprint down the hallway.

“Are you kidding? Jacob all the way!” You teased, a playful smile on your face as you tackled Jacob in a hug, making him loose his balance.

“Nooooo! My smoothie!”

Carousel | 04

Playlist | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07

Character: Min Yoongi x reader (oc)

Genre/words: Angst, Implied/light Smut, Arranged Marriage! AU / 14,964 words

Summary: He is the successor of his family’s business empire, and you are the female heir of yours. After the trouble his older brother had created in the past, he now must face certain requirements needed for the sake of the family’s future and to save his rights of inheritance, and you become his only way out. Everything might seem so simple, just the way they are supposed to. But everything isn’t always what it seems, is it?


Keep reading

Craigslist jerk gets what's coming to him.

So here’s the story of this one individual who really got to me a few years ago.

I see an item posted online and decide to make an offer, and it goes like below. And any text below written in between parentheses is just extra story info, not actual exchanged info.

Me: Hi, is your item still available?

Seller: Yeah I still have it.

(BTW, I think the item was posted for like $150)

Me: OK, would you take $140 for it? (Which is only $10 off and I certainly wasn’t going to meet up with a less than agreed upon amount)

Seller: Sure, can you meet me at Town Center right now? (Which is halfway across town 50 minutes away)

Me: OK, I’m on my way. Thank you!

Seller: Sure, I’ll see you soon.

Me: OK I’m here, are you close?

(So I get there and I’m waiting for over 40 minutes, and I still haven’t received a text back from this guy)

(A few minutes later I receive the following text)

Seller: Hey, I hope you wasted your gas and time. That’s what you get for lowballing me.

End.

Keep reading

Fireworks - H.S.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” I mumble. The twinkling lights are mesmerizing and I just can’t seem to focus on anyone else, not even the amazing man beside me that brought me here tonight. When Harry only hums a response, I take my gaze off the fireworks ahead of me and stare at his sharp jawline.

Lately Harry had been acting differently. At first I noticed little things, like him closing off and disappearing into his own head for short amounts of time, but after a while he started raising these walls around him, pretending to be someone who is not even though the real Harry I had met two years prior was something I wish everyone had in his life.

Of course, Harry did not only have a name to keep, but also a reputation. Yes, he was pictured as a womanizer and I think he did won best dressed male again last year, although I don’t keep up with that. I keep up with what actual Harry is up too, what ticks him, what he enjoys doing. Most of the things the media bring to attention aren’t very good small details of a bigger picture.

I think that’s why this friendship works so damn well. That might also be the absolute number one reason I fell madly in love with this man. I’d never risk anything to put our friendship in jeopardy, because I honestly believe I’d never find someone like him, ever again. He was the only real thing in a world filled with lies and misinterpretations.

I’m actually terrified I’ll never get to see the real Harry again. And whatever I try, I just can’t seem to get through to him. So when he appeared at my door, giant grin on his rosy lips and a bottle of expensive champagne held up in one hand, I couldn’t decline.

“Why are you staring at me like that?” Harry laughs, pulling his bottom lip between his pearly white teeth before his glance is cast in my direction. I can feel the rosy hue appear on my cheeks, but they’re transparent to Harry’s gaze due to the harsh lighting of the fireworks going off in front of us.

“This lighting is doing you good.” I decide to go with a true compliment, although that wasn’t initially on my mind. I love the smile that it draws on his lips, the way his eyes crinkle and how he then casts his glance away. “Do you say that to all men?”

“Only you.” I shrug my shoulders with a grin and let a shriek flow from my lips when I feel Harry’s elbow collide with my ribs. “Hey, I gave you a really nice compliment and this is how you repay me?”
“What do you want to hear? How beautiful you look? You always do, Y/n.” Harry huffs as he rolls his eyes and fixates his gaze back onto the sparkly lights disappearing as quickly as they appear.

“You’re one of the most kind-hearted people I know Harry, you deserve all of this success you’re receiving, you know that right?” I decide to bring up the new single, the one that’s supposed to come out in just a few hours – at midnight to be exact. He hadn’t mentioned it since I had heard it when he had initially finished it. It was his baby, his first solo record and he didn’t seem to utter another word about it. It had been months and it saddened me because it was so damn good.

“How is that new man of yours?” Harry’s voice changes tone, and when I decide to peek I see the frown that has set onto his eyebrow. I guess we’re still not talking about it, and I decide to drop it. Last time I had tried to initiate conversation we ended up not speaking to each other for almost two weeks. Which were the worst two weeks of my life, really. “That’s over and done with, didn’t I mention that?”

“Well no, you didn’t.” Harry sighs and I see the small smile tug at his lips. I scoot a little bit closer to Harry, although I’m not sure why. “Well, sorry then.”
“Why did you break up? I thought you liked him.” Harry throws his arm around my shoulder and I lay my head on his shoulder, taking in a deep breath as I focus back on the popping flashing of light.

“I never really did, I think.” I mumble, dropping my hand onto Harry’s knee and giving it a firm squeeze. “I’m searching for something else.” I finish off, feeling my heart throb in my throat. Indirectly, in my own head, I had confessed my love for Harry. He would never see it as such, but that didn’t take away any of the anxiety coursing through my body.

“Well it’s great that you know what you want.”

“Don’t you know what you want?”

“Yeah, but I’m sure she hasn’t even given it a thought. I think I’m nothing more to her than just a really good friend.”

“Who says that? Harry if you want this girl, go and get her. Do you even realize how amazing you are? You always put me up when I’m down. You watch the most horrifying movies with me whenever I want to, without any complaint. You once showed up at my door just because I sounded blue to you on the phone. I’m sure whatever girl you want is just as madly in love with you as you are with her.” I grin, squeezing his knee for emphasis as I let my eyes dart along the sky, trying to follow every firework going off.

“Do you know what sign of the times is about?” Harry suddenly questions and I feel myself stiffen in his embrace as he for the first time in weeks talks about his song or upcoming album.
“Well I interpreted it as hope.” I decide to voice my own thoughts and feelings as simply as possible.

“That’s the great part of it. I think – in whatever time of your life you are, it might – I don’t know – can be interpreted in whatever way it suits you.” Harry starts to stumble over his words as if he were nervous, his ring clad fingers toying with his jeans as he avoids my gaze as well as the sounds going on around us.

“So you’re saying I’m hoping for something?” I smile, somewhat feeling my own nerves bubbling in my stomach as I pull away from Harry, smiling brightly at his twinkling eyes.

“Yeah, you could say it like that. But I think we all hope something, right?” Harry grins right back at me and I slowly let my eyes close, nodding once, but firmly at his statement – or question.

“Hm.” I agree verbally, wanting to lay my head again against his shoulder but he stops me, his eyes searching mine tentatively as I keep frozen in my spot. I let a low breath slip past my opened lips, my tongue darting out to wet them before I suck my bottom lip into my mouth, slowly biting down on it.

Something seems to click in Harry’s mind and before I can completely comprehend what is happening or is about to happen, Harry leans in but hovers right before his lips are about to meet mine. He lets me decide if I want this – if I want to kiss him and as soon as my brain has caught up to current events, I lean the short distance and press my lips firmly against his.

Harry’s large hand cups my cheek and for a second I feel like I might burst out into tears of happiness, but instead I settle for a large grin which almost breaks up our kiss. I feel the vibrations of Harry’s chuckle against my lips as my eyelids flutter.

Harry pulls away, keeping his hand in place, as he seems to catch his breath. His lips press to mine once more in a gentle, simple peck right as the last few fireworks make their last pop in front of us, illuminating the dark night sky.

And suddenly there were 400

Seriously though, it was like three days ago tops when I announced 300. I swear you’re just trying to squeeze celebratory fics out of me … 


“You’re so fucking stubborn!” Stiles shouts in exasperation, running his hands through already messy hair. They had been at it for at least twenty minutes now, arguing because Derek didn’t want to go to Lydia’s engagement party. He didn’t want to, knowing Lydia would be inviting everyone and their mother who had anything to do with her and Parrish. It would be too many people, too much noise and he simply didn’t want to if she was going to hold a pack-only version the week after. Stiles said he should go out of duty as her Alpha. 

“No, you just won’t let it go,” Derek growls, fists clenched in his lap so his claws don’t rip up the couch again. Although, last time, it was under much more fun circumstances.

It wasn’t uncommon for them to argue. It ranged from small skirmishes that end in mumbled apologies to bigger blow outs that ended in mutually satisfying hate sex that Stiles seemed to enjoy enough to start shit for (and Derek plays along because he loves his boyfriend and absolutely not because he likes it, too). The fights could rarely be called fights because it just was never really that heated.

Derek’s nose wanted to shrivel up and die with the anger Stiles’ scent was boiling in and his wolf howled with such an unhappy mate. Even as his human mind wanted to throw something at a wall with how angry he was, his wolf prowled in distress and he wasn’t sure if that was annoying or reassuring.

“News flash, buddy, you can’t be a hermit,” Stiles spits and Derek growl increases in volume in response. He may grumble about ‘big guy’ and snap his teeth as Stiles giggles about ‘sourwolf’, but he absolutely despised ‘buddy’. It only ever came out when Stiles was pissed and his sarcasm grew teeth that he intended to shred whoever his opponent was.

“I’m not a hermit, I go out. We go out,” Derek snaps back, eyes tracking as Stiles paces in front of where he sits on the couch. The line of his shoulders is stiff and the soft skin of his cheeks is blotched red.

“Yes, thank you, you’re dating me, but that doesn’t count as social interaction.”

“Why not?”

“Because! You need more people in your life besides me and the pack! You can’t have just me forever!” Stiles shouts, throwing his arms up obviously trying to dispel the anger that seems to build in his joints when he gets worked up. Derek just scoffs as he gets up and retreats to their kitchen.

He stops right there, even as Stiles continues his angry rant in the other room behind him. He pauses in the middle of their kitchen with the backsplash Stiles chose after weeks of debating it over and the cabinets Derek bled over while he installed them (staple guns were dangerous, damnit). Down the hall was a movie room that Stiles insisted on because pack movie nights were always going to be a thing. Upstairs and to the left was the master bedroom where their scents were so soaked into the very frame work, there was no way to tear apart Derek’s from Stiles’. This was their home, their pack, their life.

Derek turned around, eyes wide but unflinching as he walked back to where Stiles was still ranting and pacing. He’s still seething, and Derek can relate. He still wants to throw Stiles onto the couch and pin him there in full shift for a week until Lydia’s party has past. Instead he stops a few feet away and opens his mouth.

“Marry me.” Stiles stumbles where he’s wearing a divot into the carpet, dropping off mid-sentence to turn his head and stare open mouthed.

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anonymous asked:

Peter and tony "Don't you /dare/ say I don't care about you!"

 “Don’t say a word,” Tony said firmly, as they both stood face-to-face in the remains of Loki’s destruction, “not a single fucking one.”


Peter shuffled, opening his mouth a fraction, but Tony jerked forward, hand outstretched and a metal finger pressing against his lips, “not a single word, Peter, what part of that do you not underst- no, no, wait, never mind, don’t-”

“I understand all of it, I just sometimes really need to say things and want to know why exactly they’re happening, like now all I want to know is why I’m supposed to be keeping my mouth shut, although actually I think I’ve worked it out after saying all of this,” Peter babbled, eyes growing steadily wider the further he delved into his own sentence.

He hadn’t…. he hadn’t meant to say any of that. That had been a brain-thought, not a mouth-thought. What the fuck? “Loki- did he put a spell on us?”

Tony rolled his eyes and sighed irritably, “yes- and now if either of us asks the other a question, we will answer 100% truthfully with no filter whatsoever, so until this thing wears off, we keep our sentences completely questionless. Completely. No exceptions. ”

Peter paused for a few seconds, before blurting “I’ve never been put under a spell before. This is kinda awesome. Oh- it doesn’t hurt to remove them, does it? Oh, wait, shit, question-”

“It depends on the spell, and the emotional connection you have with it. For instance, I once got a touch-telepathy spell put on me in the middle of a fight and then had to hold a little boy while he died, which was incredibly painful, but just for different reasons- and Peter Parker I would like you to know that I fucking hate you, what do you not understand about ‘no questions’- oh, Jesus Christ-”

“Like I said, I understand all of it, but I’m not used to thinking too carefully about what I say, I mean, what if- no, shit, question word, okay….uhm,” Peter rubbed the back of his neck, trying to think how best to ask a question without asking a question, “The inflections of our voice might even affect whether we perceive it to be a question, I assume,” he said slowly.

“Yes,” Tony nodded, and then sighed again, “let it be known that I really fucking hate Loki. I thought we were done with this nonsense. I thought I wasn’t going to have any more issues with doing dumb shit under the influence of magic in front of other people. Jesus Christ. Hope you’re happy, asshole,” he muttered, looking up at the sky before turning on his heel and surveying the damage the Trickster god had left behind.

“I am, actually,” Peter said, and Tony swung back around, eyes wide, but Peter was off again, and there was no stopping him, “I always get a rush after fights that don’t end with any deaths, and generally speaking, I don’t think I’ve ever been happier with life.”

He slapped a hand over his mouth, cheeks reddening. Tony looked at him a little awkwardly, before nodding. “Right. Cool. I’m… I mean, I’m glad you’re happy. Although I was actually trying to talk to Loki.”

Peter nodded. “I was aware. I don’t… I don’t know why I said that.”

Tony’s eyebrows rose. “Oh, so it’s not just for questions that are directed at us, then? Interesting. Annoying, but- interesting.”

Peter shuffled on his feet. “So how long does it take for the spell to wear off? And what should I do when I’m around people? Sorry- I have to ask,” Peter said apologetically, and Tony huffed, but shrugged immediately after.

“Usually about 24 hours for the spell to wear off. You’re lucky it’s a Saturday, or you’d have to go to school with that shit. As it is, you can just stay with me, if you want. Or you can go home and tell Aunt May what’s happened.”

Peter thought about going home- about how many questions May always asked him when he stepped through the door, which he always veiled, just a little. The thought of him being 100% truthful to some of the questions she asked…

He shuddered in horror. “I think I’ll stay with you, if that’s alright.”

“Of course it’s alright, I love having you around,” Tony said immediately, and then clenched his eyes shut, “oh, Jesus Christ, I hate truth spells. They are the fucking worst ones. Just… just shut up and hop on, kid,” he said gruffly, opening his arms.

Peter was about to say something, but he decided against it as he stepped into Tony’s hold. There was currently an 87% chance it would go badly- which was a good 43% higher than his average rates. 


The ride back was silent as expected, and when Tony dropped them on the roof, he pulled out of his suit immediately and turned on his heel. “Food in the kitchen, films on JARVIS, knock yourself out. I’m going to be ignoring you in the workshop- you come down there for nothing other than the fact that you are close to imminent death. And I mean imminent. If you are dying, but slowly, it can still wait.”

“Can’t I just come down to the workshop and be quiet?” Peter called out after him.

“Peter, you don’t know what the word ‘quiet’ even means. I’ve asked you not to speak like, 19 different times in the past ten minutes, and you have listened on exactly 0 occasions.”

“I can be quiet!” Peter called, but Tony had hopped down the stairs without looking back, and Peter was left on the roof.


He sighed. This was going to be a fun weekend.



3 films, a seasons of Brooklyn 99 and exactly one empty kitchen later, and Peter was just about ready to start jumping off the walls in boredom.

He wanted to go and see Ned. But that would just be a travesty in every single way, knowing his friend’s track record of secret-keeping mixed in with his never-ending stream of question asking.

God, he was only 14 hours into this shit. 

The clean-up crews were working out on the streets- Peter could see them through the huge glass windows, and he sort of wished he could join them, but again, social situations were a bad idea at that point in time. 

Goddamn Loki. Peter really didn’t like that guy. He’d already tried to destroy New York once before- and now here he’d come again, years later, doing nothing more than annoy both Tony and Peter for a couple of hours before disappearing, leaving them both with an irritating truth spell as a parting gift.

Asshole.


Groaning, he flicked the TV on to the news and flopped backward into the couch. It was the usual post-battle breakdown, this time with a woman standing in front of a particularly grim-looking pile of rubble, face sad as she stared into the camera.

“And once more, I am stood amongst what remains of a local supermarket, staring around me and wondering- where are the superheroes now?”

Peter rolled his eyes. Right. So it was one of those news channels. He should really turn it over, it wasn’t going to offer anything worthwhile.

At that moment, there was a hissing noise behind him, and Peter’s head turned, watching Tony as he slipped through the doors and headed to the kitchen. He waved absently in Peter’s direction, but didn’t stop to talk as he padded over to the open-plan kitchen behind Peter.

“You’d think, what with Iron Man’s lesser half being the great Tony Stark, that there’d be some funding going into the rebuild of some of these buildings, but so far, as always, the billionaire has yet to declare-”

“What bullshit,” Peter muttered, turning back to the screen and staring in disdain. Everyone knew how much Tony put in- he’d been cleaning up after the Avengers since the Battle of New York. “Who the hell do these people think they are?”

It wasn’t directed at Tony, but he must have heard it, because Peter heard the man clearing his throat to begin talking, “they’re reporters, Peter, and I’m just the target. I’m easy. They need something to base their stories on.”

Peter stopped, face scrunching up incredulously, “but you do so much for them! You fought for them in the Superhero Civil War! Why would they-”

God, he really had to work on keeping his conversations question free.

“Because no-one cares about the guy behind the IronMan faceplate, kiddo,” he said with a shrug, and then scowled, “God, Peter, you really don’t have a filter, do y-”

“I care,” Peter said indignantly, turning around fully now, back to the couch as he stared across the room and over to Tony, who was staring at him with slightly raised eyebrows.

It didn’t last long, though. Tony’s face fell a little, and he shook his head. “Right. Sure. Just… just turn the channel over, Peter-”

“Wait, do you think I’m ly- no, no, wait, sorry, you don’t have to answer-”

But Tony was already going off, mug clutched tightly between tired fingers as he glared mutinously at Peter, “of course you don’t, kid, you like me because I’m cool and I get you fancy gear, but you don’t…not really. I’m not an easy one to care for- you know that. Why do you think everyone’s left? Once the defects in my personality start outweighing the pros of my money or my influence, it stops being so fun.”


There was dead silence, where Tony just looked over at Peter, mouth hanging open in mortification. Peter was staring at him, completely shocked by what he’d just heard.

Did Tony really think….


“Jesus,” the man muttered for the billionth time, swallowing heavily and turning away, thrusting his cup back on the sideboard, “okay, well, good talk, let’s never do that again-”

And then he was speedwalking out, leaving Peter sat, stunned, on the couch, emotions growing in his stomach until he felt like he might explode with them.


What the hell? What the goddamn hell-


He jumped off the couch angrily, storming after Tony, who’d almost made it to the stairs down the corridor by that point. “HEY!” He yelled at the rapidly moving body ahead of him, and Tony jerked a little, stopping in his tracks to look over at Peter in surprise. The tone of voice, the anger in it, probably came as a bit of a shock to him.
It sort of came as a surprise to Peter too, to be honest, 

“What the hell?” Peter asked incredulously, flinging his hand out, “what the hell did you just say? Did you just try and tell me you don’t think I don’t care?”

“Peter, stop asking-”

“Tony, you’re so stupid! Why do you think I like hanging out at the tower so much- and no, not just the workshop, the kitchen and the living room and the gym, why do you think I do that?”

“Well, I mean, I’d guess it was just so you could-”

“Why do you think I call you when I get into trouble, or always ask you for advice, or how I text you after every scuffle I get into because I know that you worry if I don’t, I know it Tony-”

“I- I, well, I mean I just kind of assumed you were being polite? I-”

Peter choked, lip curling in exasperation. “Tony. You are a walking disaster and you worry stupid amounts about me, and you don’t understand boundaries very well and you can annoy the damn hell out of me- and you’re always, always there for me when I need you. You matter to me, Tony, for God’s sake, you’re the closest thing I’ve got to a dad. Since I met you I feel like I’ve got someone else I can rely on, which is a pretty fucking big deal to me, because all I had before was Aunt May, and I love her to pieces but it was difficult for the both of us - so don’t you dare try and tell me I don’t care, because it just makes you sound like a fucking asshole.”


Peter breathed deep, clenching his jaw and dropping the finger that had risen to point accusingly over at Tony, who was stood rigidly a few feet in front of him. His eyes were blown wide, mouth hanging open a little, and his eyebrows were almost at his hairline, they were raised that high.

No one said anything. Peter sighed, feeling the anger leaving him as suddenly as it had come. He just felt tired. Truth spells weren’t as fun as he’d previously imagined.

Tony was still staring a little incredulously, and then he jerked. A full-body spasm, like he couldn’t quite compute what he’d just heard. Peter just shook his head. “Sorry. Know you didn’t want me to ask you questions. I’ll just… yeah,” he gestured behind him and then turned away, heading back over to the living room with heavy feet.


A few seconds, later, there was the quiet hissing of the door as it shut behind Tony.



“Ask me why I said it,” Tony entered the room with a few hours later, and Peter turned, watching him march up to Peter and fold his arms stubbornly.


Peter stopped, frowning, before he realised what Tony was talking about and tensed up. “Tony, just let it g-”

“Just ask me, Peter, dammit,” Tony said again, loud and a little jerky, like he wasn’t quite sure of how to hold himself, but was giving it his best shot anyway.

Peter bit his lip. He didn’t want to drag this out any further than it needed to be- 

“Peter,” Tony said, a little gentler this time, and Peter knew him well enough to know that there was an eye-roll he was trying to hold back on committing to as he looked down toward the couch, “can you let me explain myself? Please?”

Silence, again. Peter folded his arms. Tony mirrored him. 

They stared stubbornly at one another.


“Why did you say it?” Peter asked, quieter than he’d intended.


Tony clenched his jaw, and then with a little spasm, he opened his mouth. “I haven’t known a lot of people who’ve been genuine with their affection before. I’m an asshole and I push people away a lot because I don’t want them to hurt me. But…I can’t afford to push you away, or be too much of an asshole to you, because you’re a kid and you need me. So I’m just waiting for you to lose interest, instead. I can’t get rid of that sort of thought-process, but I am trying. Therapy and everything, it’s fucking gross, but… you need someone reliable. I need to be better. For you. Because- I - uh, I mean….”

Tony broke off, running a hand through his hair and huffing in a mixture of annoyance and embarrassment.  “You matter to me too. A lot. Uh- and I know Aunt May is your proper guardian and everything, but- but… well, I- uhm, I still consider you my own. Kid. Yeah. So…”


Tony shifted backward and forward on his feet, and he was actually blushing in embarrassment, which was a first. Peter just stared, a little shellshocked. He hadn’t been quite sure what he’d been expecting, but it certainly wasn’t that.

“Right,” Tony choked out, nodding robotically and then taking a step back, “that was entertaining, shall we both just agree to never talk to one another ever again-”

He turned on his heel, doing his little speedwalk thing toward the elevator as Peter stared at his back. 

“Wait,” he blurted from the couch, getting unsteadily to his feet and then vaulting the couch, stumbling toward Tony, who had turned a little to face him.


Running up to him, Peter wrapped his arms around Tony’s shoulders and hugged. Tight. Tony stumbled a bit, and his hands wavered about in the air for a few seconds before settling lightly on Peter’s shoulder blades. “Right. Cool. Okay, hugs, then. That’s good. Healthy. Or so I’ve heard, anyway-”

“Thank you,” Peter said, breaking through the nervous ramble and squeezing Tony’s shoulders tightly, “that must have been hard.”

Tony shrugged “Eh, truth spell, you know-”

“Tony,” Peter rolled his eyes, letting go and pulling away so Tony could see it, “you really think I wasn’t counting down? The spell ended 15 minutes ago.”

Tony raised his eyebrows, and he pulled a face. “Shut up, it’s called being emotionally healthy.”

“If you think that’s emotionally healthy, you need a new therapist.”

Tony shoved him off with a muttered swear, and Peter laughed. “Are you going to come out of your workshop now?”

“No.”

“Can I come into your workshop?”

“No.”

“I’ll go get my shoes,” Peter said with a smile, patting Tony on the shoulder, “can you get the specs up for my suit? I have a few things I think might need tweaking.”

Tony sighed. “You’re a spoilt brat!” he called out as Peter turned back and went for the shoes that were strewn across the living room, but he pulled out his phone and started tapping at it as he turned back in the direction of the workshop, and Peter knew that the rest of the evening would pass as they worked on his suit.


He could think of worse ways to spend his weekend.

Secrets

MASTERLIST

Requested: yes

Word count: 2,611

Small echoes from the few passing cars rang in my ears, as the sun started to burn properly into my skin. My heavy feet dragged themselves across the street, aching every step of the way. They always hurt like this, whenever I’d joined the boys for their early morning workout.

Though, I didn’t quite want to admit it, I simply couldn’t keep up with them. Especially Geoff was a beast and contingently mocked me, every time I had to stop and catch my breath.

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You know what really boils my blood?  When people hate on Boromir (and A LOT of people do).  It’s easy to see him as arrogant and reckless when he does such gasp-worthy things such as when he spats “Gondor has no king!” at our beloved Aragorn or when he tries to take the ring from poor little Frodo.  But it’s just so sad that that’s all people remember him for.  So, I invite you to take a look at a few things concerning Boromir, the Captain of the White Tower of Gondor…

Boromir was raised in war, probably from a very small boy.  His entire existence has been spent fighting for Gondor… a kingless country that, despite an empty throne, has remained strong through the ages and Boromir is PROUD of that.  HE has taken up his sword to fight.  HE has watched his people die in battle.  HE has led armies into bloody victory.  Gondor is HIS country and he has paid blood for it and he loves it with all his heart.  If one thing can be said of Boromir, it is that he loves his country.

Can we blame him, then, for his bitterness when he meets this guy, this “Ranger from the North,” who is supposedly “his king?”  A lot of people simply see arrogance when Boromir declares hotly that “Gondor has no king… Gondor needs no king.”  But I’d wager that it was justifiable anger he was feeling when he shot those words.  I’d bet what was going on in his head was, “Where have you been, Aragorn? Where were you when Gondor’s people were being slaughtered?  Where were you when I had to watch my men fight and die?  Where were you… when I had to tell Gondor’s women they were widowed? Where were you??”

Now… don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Aragorn but let’s face it- he really was wrong in running from his people for so long… but I’ll stand in his defense another time.

But truly… I can’t imagine the fiery anger Boromir must have felt when he was first made to understand that he was looking into the eyes of Isildur’s heir.  If you ask me, he handled himself rather well.  I wonder how many times he, covered in sweat and blood, scanned the gore of the battlefield and felt a pang of bitterness toward this Aragorn son of Arathorn who was off who knows where doing who knows what.  And now here he sits, big as life in all his lordly fashion and Boromir is being told by Legolas, “You owe him your allegiance.”  Umm… Excuse me?  Owe him?  Hang on, hang  on, hang on, let me get this straight:  I… owe HIM… my allegiance…?  Okay, pardon me while I go scream into my pillow.

Let’s back up a bit…

Let us recall that Boromir was raised by his father, Denethor II,the Steward of Gondor, a deranged schizophrenic who literally worshipped him, all the while relentlessly abusing his little brother, Faramir, the one person Boromir loves more than anyone in all of Middle Earth.  Boromir is looking on helplessly as his country is slowly weakening under the powers of Mordor and, despite his strong leadership, he is beginning to lose hope.  How much longer can they fight without a king?  …without a power strong enough to defend against that of Mordor?  And just when all hope is lost, word has come from Rivendell that the One Ring has been found.  Many believe that it was greed that drove Boromir to Rivendell but have we forgotten that it was his father who commanded him to go and bring The Ring back to Gondor?

Seriously, am I the only one seeing Boromir’s face when he is given this commission?  That’s terror, guys… not greed.  In fact, he initially refuses the task until Faramir volunteers, at which time Boromir reluctantly decides to go… not for himself, but for Faramir and for Gondor.  

And so, it is with this purpose, that he rides to the Council of Elrond, skeptical but willing to obey his father’s wishes for the sake of his people.  On the eve of the Council, he wanders the halls of the elves and comes across the shards of Narsil being displayed opposite a painting of Isildur parting The Ring from Sauron’s hand.  At first, he speaks with awe and reverence as he gingerly touches the blade, accidentally cutting his finger.  But this display only serves as a reminder that Gondor’s line of kings has been broken just as much as has the blade that cut The Ring.  He comments that the blade is “still sharp… but no more than a broken end” and continues his wandering, his awe now replaced with disgust and resentment.

At the Council the following day, Frodo brings forth The Ring and its power is felt by all who are present.  Boromir, in his awe-struck naivety, reaches for The Ring in curiosity but Gandalf puts him in his place.  But Boromir is not to be quieted, for suddenly, he has an idea.  You can literally hear the excitement and hope in his voice as he says, “It is a gift!”  He stands with growing confidence and pleads with elves, dwarves, and men to take this weapon and “let us use it against him!”  Hope is finally within grasp for Gondor!  But no.  Sorry, Boromir.  Not today.  The Ring must be destroyed.  Boromir is disappointed but nonetheless, he chooses to become one of the nine companions making up the Fellowship of the Ring. 

If we’re being completely honest, this is one of the best scenes in the trilogy.  Frodo, a humble and innocent hobbit who deserves none of this noise, steps bravely forward to bear the horrific pain and suffering that is The One Ring.  Aragorn rises and vows “If by my life or death, I can protect you, I will.”  The music builds and the epicness is incredible as Strider kneels and declares “You have my sword,” followed by Legolas’ “…and you have my bow…” and Gimli’s “…and my axe!”  But many dismiss Boromir as he too steps forward.  The disappointment is transparent in his face as he approaches Frodo, accepting that this decision is final.  But Boromir is used to disappointment and he is used to putting his feelings aside for the greater good.  He bravely vows to the Ring Bearer, “If this is indeed the will of the Council, then Gondor will see it done.”

This is a sadly overlooked high moment for Boromir.  He is barely over the shock of learning that the man who has abandoned his country’s throne sits before him- and on top of that, he is expected to honor him as his king- plus, he has just failed in attempting to persuade the Council to allow Gondor to use The Ring to defeat the enemy once and for all.  By any standards, he has failed his mission.  And yet, he chooses to honor the will of the Council and agrees to aid in destroying The Ring.  And note that he did not say, “I will see it done.”  He says, “Gondor will see it done.”  (Have I mentioned yet how much Boromir loves his country?)

So, The Fellowship sets off and Boromir forms a friendship with and develops a love for the hobbits, teaching and instructing them how to fight and defend themselves and he loves every minute of it, perhaps remembering simpler times spent with his little brother… but all the while, the reality of his weakening country gnaws at the back of his mind.  Still, he continues on… but The Ring has a will of its own.  It knows that Boromir desires it, even if it is with good intention, and keep in mind that The Ring wants nothing more than to fall into the hands of men.  Aragorn does not desire its power and so it is to Boromir that The Ring calls.  It could not have been an easy thing to resist day in and day out.  Everyone sees the pain of the halfling with the big blue eyes but Frodo isn’t the only one nobly struggling to resist The Ring’s power.

Everyone forgets Boromir’s role in The Lord of the Rings.  Everyone forgets that it was Boromir who was concerned for the hobbits when they were freezing to death in The Pass of Caradhras.  No one remembers that it was Boromir who grabbed Frodo and held him and carried him to safety as Gandalf fell to his death.  Everyone seems to forget that it was Boromir who comforted Gimli outside Moria and implored Aragorn to give everyone “a moment for pity’s sake!”

No one remembers Boromir’s bravery, his leadership, or his great big heart.  Instead, he is remembered only for a fleeting moment of weakness, when he gives in to The Ring and tries to take it from Frodo by force.  He gets so much hate for this and yet take a look one more time at the images above… this is Boromir.  This is a man who loves unconditionally his country, his family, and the hobbits who have become his friends.  But you’d be surprised how many people I’ve heard call him “the guy who tried to kill Frodo.”  (Which is totally untrue, he never tried to kill him… but I’m getting ahead of myself.)

The Fellowship, minus one, arrives at Caras Galadhon in Lothlórien and when Lady Galadriel speaks to Boromir telepathically, he is broken to tears, for she speaks of his devotion to his father, the fall of Gondor, and the fact that “even now, there is hope left.”  Nothing means more to him and yet he cannot see it.  He shares this with Aragorn, whom he has begun to make peace with in his heart, for his country is more important to him than his pride.  He stares longingly into the distance as the elves of Lórien sing a haunting lament for Gandalf the Grey and utters with great feeling, “It is long since we had any hope.  My father is a noble man, but his rule is failing, and our people lose faith. He looks to me to make things right and I would do it… I would see the glory of Gondor restored.”  Hope is barely detectable in his voice as he asks, “Have you ever seen it, Aragorn?  The White Tower of Ecthelion, glimmering like a spike of pearl and silver, its banners caught high in the morning breeze… Have you ever been called home by the clear ringing of silver trumpets?”  Aragorn answers, without feeling, that he has seen The White City long ago.  It is clear that he does not yet share Boromir’s adoration of Gondor. 

Throughout the journey, Boromir tries many times to plead with Aragorn to take The Ring back to Gondor.  "Let us make for the White City!“ he implores, but is shot down every single time (which ends up being a good thing but imagine Boromir’s frustration when all he wants is to aid his people.)  He tries so hard to start seeing the ranger as a king but it’s so agonizing when Aragorn is so against going back to Gondor.  He confronts Aragorn one night by the river and points out how quick he is to trust the elves and yet he has so little faith in his own people.  “Yes, there is weakness, there is frailty,” he admits, “but there is courage also!  And honor to be found in men!  But you will not see that!  You are afraid!  All your life, you have hidden in the shadows, scared of who you are, of what you are…” to which Aragorn gets all up in his face and retorts, “I will not lead The Ring within a hundred leagues of your city!”

Finally, we reach Parth Galen where Boromir meets with Frodo in the forest of Amon Hen.  (Here we go, the part everyone remembers… or do they?)  Take a minute here and think for a second, guys… do you honestly think Boromir went into those woods simply to harm Frodo?  He probably did seek him out under the guise of collecting firewood, but after everything we’ve just looked at, ask yourself if he really did so maliciously.  I do not believe for a second that Boromir followed Frodo intending to do any harm; rather, this whole journey, he has seen and empathized with Frodo’s suffering, which no doubt mirrors his own aching heart.  He tries to council Frodo, suggesting one last time that maybe he can help… after all, Aragorn isn’t listening, so perhaps his hobbit friend will. 

But Frodo is having serious trust issues at the moment, given that Gandalf is gone and he has foreseen what will happen should he fail, and so he turns quickly and defensively away, which surprises Boromir… he loves the hobbits!  He can’t take it anymore.  “I ask only for the strength to defend my people!” he declares angrily, smashing the firewood to the ground.  And there… there is where The Ring takes its hold on Boromir.

He begins approaching Frodo, hand outstretched, suggesting that maybe he could just lend him The Ring.

“No,” Frodo answers quickly, obviously scared but bravely firm.

 “Why do you recoil?” Boromir asks, “I am no thief!”

“You are not yourself!” Frodo warns him.  Having had The Ring for months now, Frodo knows when he is looking at someone who has been taken by it.  Not only that, but he has known Boromir for months now too and he knows when The Ring is affecting his friend.  He’s seen a glimpse of it before, in The Pass of Caradhras.

And the more Boromir advances, the more The Ring feeds off of everything- his bitterness towards Aragorn, his frustration in failing to fulfill his father’s command, his fear that his country will die… and it builds and builds and finally, Boromir just snaps.

Frodo couldn’t have been more right when he said that Boromir was not himself.  It is a common misconception that Boromir wanted The Ring for himself all along but that is not the case.  He wanted The Ring for Gondor and to honor his father but his greatest weakness lay in the fact that he significantly underestimated its power.  He has a moment of weakness and The Ring latches onto this.  Frodo flees and Boromir, in a fit of rage, screams that The Ring will end up in the hands of Sauron and all will be lost.  He trips and falls and his head clears and he realizes what he’s done.  He frantically calls out for Frodo, feeling terrible guilt… and I wonder if he thought of his father in this moment?  I wonder if he saw Denethor in himself as he lashed out at a helpless hobbit, the same way his father would lash out at his brother, Faramir? 

Just a thought.

But there is no time to dwell on this.  The Uruk-Hai attack and Boromir does what he does best, charging in to protect those he loves.  Three thick, splintering arrows plunge into his body one by one, and yet he continues to fight for the hobbits until he is taken at length by the agonizing pain and blood loss.  His last stand was made doing what he’d done all his life- defending his people.   His redemption came with this defense, but it came at the price of his life.  As it would later be spoken in Minas Tirith by a fool of a Took, “The mightiest man may be slain by one arrow, and Boromir was pierced by many.” 

His last ounce of strength spent, he lays dying and Aragorn comes to his side.  Boromir queries desperately about Frodo and begs for forgiveness for his failure but Aragorn assures him that Frodo and The Ring are safe and that he fought bravely and has kept his honor.  Gasping for breath, Boromir makes one last pleading attempt to convince Aragorn to take his rightful place as king.  “The world of men will fall,” he says with great difficulty, “and all will come to darkness, my city to ruin!” …to which the Ranger from the North finally, finally replies… "I do not know what strength is in my blood but I swear to you… I will not let the White City fall, nor our people fail.”

Our people.“

That’s all he wanted to hear.  His breaths are labored and pained but peace passes over his face as he reaches for his sword to voice his last words in salute:   “I would have followed you, my brother… my captain… my king.”

“Be at peace, Son of Gondor.”

Son of Gondor.  Yes, indeed.  Boromir was a patriot if there ever was one.  A true hero.  And it’s both heartbreaking and infuriating that he is so commonly misunderstood.  But at least one person got it… as he watches the body of his countryman disappear into the falls, Aragorn straps on Boromir’s bracers in his honor, knowing full well that it is time to face his responsibilities and reclaim his throne.  Boromir’s country is now his.

And that’s why I want to punch a wall anytime someone hates on Boromir, Captain of the White Tower of Gondor… because he is so much more than a mistake made in the forest of Amon Hen.  Have you ever noticed that when Faramir asks Frodo, “You are a friend of Boromir?” he replies without hesitation, “Yes.  For my part.”  Tolkien paints a beautiful portrait of forgiveness here.  Even Frodo refused to remember Boromir solely for his moment of weakness… so why should anyone else?

Remember Boromir.  Remember the friend who taught Merry and Pippin to use a sword… the big brother who provided a father’s love when it was not given… the warrior who fought for a dying country and a leaderless people.  Remember Boromir, Son of Gondor, for it was, after all, his persistence and courage that ultimately led a ranger to take his place as king.

an alternative version of andreil’s first kiss.

go read it and other works on ao3 here


ASHTRAY HEART ATTACKS

“I do believe his mouth is heaven, his kisses falling over me like stars.”

- Richard Siken, Crush.


Neil jolted awake, sweat soaking his skin and mouth dry from dreaming. It took a few moments for him to regain consciousness: first, he watched the darkness morph into his dorm, then, he heard Matt’s steady breathing from beneath. His chest felt constricted, lungs struggling to function like they were supposed to.

Everything came to an aching halt, and his vision doubled, and then his breathing faltered and heart stammered and surroundings began to blur and he forced himself to move, mind still on autopilot. Every step was a conscious effort, and he felt distant, looking at himself from above rather than from within.

He wasn’t sure how but he found himself ascending the stairs, two at a time, and cracked open the metal door. There, he hesitated in the entry, and his eyes landed on the man ahead; a silhouette against a dark backdrop. His mind had sorted through places to go, a safe haven to reside in, and his feet had taken him to Andrew.

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1. Nikola Tesla was an inventor, discoverer, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, theoretical and experimental physicist, mathematician, futurist and humanitarian. He was a hyper-polyglot who could speak eight languages including: Serbo-Croatian, English, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, and Latin. He was known to have one of the most remarkable memories, being able to recite full books, poetry and mathematical formulas by heart. He claimed to have had a three-dimensional memory and thought process that tormented him in his youth, but later aided him with building his inventions in his own mind without wasting any physical energy. Tesla was a man who was far ahead of his time, and even our time today. He was the first to discover the rotating magnetic field, and invent and patent a commutatorless alternating current induction motor based off this discovery. All electrical machinery using or generating alternating current is due to Tesla, without which all our electrified power lines, long distance trolley cars, electric vehicles, and our subways would be far less advanced. He is the true father of radio, sending the first radio signals up to 30 miles in distance in experiments at his Houston Street laboratory before its destruction by fire in 1895. He was the first to demonstrate wireless energy/power by lighting his phosphorescent light bulbs wirelessly in a demonstration given before the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, 1893, and later lit lamps wirelessly at a distance of 25 miles away from his transmitter. In his labs he conducted a range of experiments with mechanical oscillators/generators, electrical discharge tubes, electrical therapy, and some of the first X-ray imaging. Tesla was also the first to demonstrate remote control, building a wireless controlled boat first exhibited in 1898. At Colorado Springs in 1899, he created artificial lightning bolts 100 feet long, and sent currents around the Earth with a mean velocity of 292,815 miles per second with his transmitter patented in 1900. Some of his greatest experiments and demonstrations have yet to be reproduced by even our greatest scientists today. Although not recognized for, he was the first to discover the electron, radioactivity, terrestrial resonance, stationary waves (standing waves), and cosmic rays, which he also recorded traveling many times faster than light. His life long work was a dynamic theory of gravity that explained the causes of gravitation and the motions of heavenly bodies, which he claimed had been worked out in all details and he hoped to give it to the world. He was so satisfied with his theory that he believed it would put an end to the “idle speculations and false conceptions” rooted from Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. All his ideas and discoveries were logical inferences based off knowledge from his many years of investigations, experiments and developments in science and radio technology. Tesla predicted television, the internet, smart phones, weather control, interplanetary communication, an idea to produce an artificial Aurora Borealis to light the night skies, a particle beam to be used for defense in war, and the transmission of wireless power to any point on the globe. He intended to unify all these innovations into one big machine known as his Magnifying Transmitter, or his World System, but lacked the investments and funds to finish and prove his work on a large scale. Tesla would eventually die penniless and alone in his New York apartment, but like all the greats listed above, he lives on through all his inventions and contributions to this world.

“Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.”

–Nikola Tesla