hi this had been in my drafts for a while because it's really similar to the first one i made


Mary vs. Soo Lin Yao (a.k.a. they knew how to make Mary sympathetic, but they didn’t)

Okay, so I was actually just drafting a different post (about how TST focuses on Mary) when I came to a realization: they knew how to make Mary’s story sympathetic. And I’m not just saying that they hypothetically could have told her story better, I’m saying that we know they are capable of this because they’ve done it before, in the form of Soo Lin’s story from TBB.

The recurring mentions of tattoos in TST was what caught my eye at first: Sherlock tells DI Dimmock that he can identify a limbless corpse based on its tattoos, for “the Circus Torso” case; later, he deduces a client’s feelings towards his Japanese ex-girlfriend based on how much effort the man had put into removing a tattoo of her name. The biggest instance of tattoos on the show was in TBB, where they were used to identify (often deceased) members of the Black Lotus.

…but hang on, wasn’t there also a secret tattoo included in Sherlock’s initial deduction of Mary?

(I’m cracking up at the lucky cat/cat lover connection, but that’s probably irrelevant. The ordering of words also suggests that Mary is “secretly clever,” or maybe has a “secret lover,” *cough*David - but anyway, the “secret tattoo” part is pretty clear.)

Beyond the tattoos, Mary and Soo Lin have quite a few things in common. Both are mysterious women with a shady past, who have managed to blend in and are currently trying to live normal lives in London:

But unfortunately, neither one can escape her past. Interestingly, although they have similar backgrounds, they are painted in different lights: Soo Lin is more of a victim than Mary is; and Mary doesn’t hesitate to leave Sherlock and John out of her plans, while Soo Lin is pretty solitary already, so it’s not really a surprise that she doesn’t confide in Andy.

Both are orphans, involved in an international criminal group (smugglers, assassins) which includes a “family” member. This brother figure comes after them, and ultimately tries to kill them.

The big difference, though, is that Soo Lin and Mary don’t fill their roles in quite the same way. Soo Lin is a Sherlock mirror (dedicated to her work, socially isolated, trying to overcome the negatives of her past), while the Sherlock mirror in TST is Ajay, not Mary. Ajay was betrayed by Mary (remember, Mary deceived Sherlock and then shot him dead), and then brutally tortured (bonus connection: he was tortured by “amo,” or love, which is the same concept that tortured Sherlock/pushed Sherlock through his own torture in Serbia).

Now, I can’t really say whether the viewer is supposed to sympathize with Ajay or Mary (I’ll admit I’m a little biased; weigh in if you’d like), but we’re definitely meant to view Soo Lin as the innocent victim. Mary is a little more ambiguous.

Judging from how the backstory was told, I got the feeling that Mary had screwed Ajay over more than vice versa; he wasn’t coming after her to pressure into rejoining the dark side or whatever, but rather to get revenge for what he perceived as her betrayal. And this, I think, it why we get the divergence in storyline:

Zhi Zhu killed Soo Lin, but Ajay didn’t kill Mary. Instead, she jumped in front of Vivian Norbury’s bullet. (This is probably because she’s a major character, and so her death had to be big, not like Soo Lin’s; it also included a very active element of self-sacrifice, while Soo Lin’s was more passive.) Ajay is killed by a minor character, and Zhi Zhu dies when John kicks the crossbow out of Sarah’s way. Interestingly, both conflicts arise from a case of mistaken identity: John is mistaken for Sherlock, setting off the whole crossbow hostage incident; Ajay mistakes “the Englishwoman” for Mary, propelling him on his mission to track her down. If you look at these two scenes, the pattern is a little more clear: Ajay and Soo Lin (the two Sherlock mirrors) become casualties earlier in the episode, in a mini-climax scene that isn’t the big confrontation; Mary and Zhi Zhu are both killed in the big climax of the episode, by a weapon that was meant to kill someone else. The roles are reversed.

TL;DR: Even though some details are different, the general outline is still the same: Sherlock and John investigates a case that turns out to be linked to an international crime group, and we hear the story from a normal-seeming woman who had managed to escape that life, but who still ends up dead due to her past involvement.

I think that this mirroring was at least partially intentional, since series 4 is full of recycled material (TLD has explicit flashbacks to ASIP; TFP feels inspired by TGG; THOB seems to be echoed in both TST and TLD), but what I find most interesting about it is that it proves that if Mofftiss wanted to show Mary in a sympathetic light, they could have easily done that. TBB shows that they know how to tell that kind of narrative. But instead, they chose to make Mary’s actions more ambiguous, and so many viewers were left feeling slightly uneasy about her character.

(a few more random connections under the cut)

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Repetitiveness: Clare VS Sanderson

Spoilers for:

  • [Major] All of Brandon Sanderson’s work (including his non-cosmere stuff)
  • [Major] Cassandra Clare’s work up to Lady Midnight
  • [Very Minor] PJO on world building
  • [Very Minor] Harry Potter on world building

Now if you’ve been looking at my blog recently, you’ll know that I have fallen in an absolute love with Brandon Sanderson. But I subscribe to the philosophy that if you love something then you should mercilessly make fun of all its faults. One of the faults being: Sanderson’s writing is unbelievably repetitive. And no the excuse “well it’s all in the same universe” doesn’t work. Reckoners is not in the Cosmere but it’s a pretty shameless (yet hilarious) rip-off of Mistborn. The only difference being is that Mistborn is adult and Reckoners is YA. Which, apparently, means that everything is exactly the same but main characters don’t die. Also, to a much lesser degree Rithmatist rips off elements of Stormlight Archive but it’s nowhere near as bad as Reckoners. I’m pretty sure they’re going to outlaw drinking games made out of the Cosmere because of dangerous they would be.

I also use to read Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter series but decided to stop because it was too repetitive. Now that sounds incredibly hypocritical and at first I didn’t understand why the repetitiveness didn’t bother me in Sanderson’s work. And the repetitiveness was the reason I found myself not wanting to continue after Lady Midnight. I know that Clare is going to pull some reason Jules and Emma can bonk out of her ass, Emma is going to suffer little to no consequences for her actions and they day will saved by bunch of stupid teenagers. At first these franchises seem completely different and pointless to compare but I’d argue they’re more similar than you think. Both authors were started off riding the coattails of other authors (Clare with the Twilight hype and Sanderson finishing up Wheel of Time), there’s a lot of talk of religion and there’s generally a neon sign pointing to which characters are going to die. Ironically, they both have a country called “Idris” that we barely care about unless it’s being under attack (Fun Fact: City of Glass was published in March of 2009 and Warbreaker was published June of 2009, go figure). They obviously have the same flaw. They tend to tell the same story with the same characters over and over again. However I figured out two reasons why I still enjoy Sanderson’s work and have given up on Clare’s.

1. Character Arcs and Group Dynamics:

Let’s take Raoden from Elantris and Elend from Mistborn. They’re essentially the same character. They’re young royals who take a position of authority even though they’re a bit naïve. They have badass girlfriends. Their girlfriends also have something to do with their clearly evil fathers’ deaths. Raoden even had a crazy brother in a draft of Elantris and Elend actually had a crazy brother. It sounds annoying that Brandon has characters with such similar backgrounds but there are some key differences.

One interesting way Brandon avoids the reader immediately realizing how similar these characters are is when their stories begin. Raoden’s story is basically Elend’s story but only through Well of Ascension and maybe a bit of time gap between Well of Ascension and Hero of Ages. In Well of Ascension you have the former ruling god dead, Elend is trying to deal with the authority that he’s accepted in the last book, dies and then comes back with awesome powers. Ditto for Raoden. But we get to see Elend grow from this naïve bookworm just trying to piss off his father into the badass emperor. Raoden’s already got some leadership skills from growing up with the assumption that he’s going take the thrown before he got zombie-afied and develops much faster than Elend in Elantris. It’s not immediately recognizable that this is the same arc. While in Shadowhunters Clary and Tessa basically go through the same story arc. Girl who thought she was average discovers Shadowhunters and that she’s magical, but even more super special than all the other magical people. She meets jerky guy and obviously better nice guy but chooses the jerky guy because he’s tortured. She discovers stuff about the Shadowhunter world and Clave continues to be useless dicks. She’s the only one who can save the day despite having very little to no training because she was born the right way. Bangs her boyfriend right before the climax because…I have no idea what Clare loves that trope to be honest. Anyone who was even remotely rude to her dies, even if they get quickly redeemed before the end and there are a few good guys who die, but honestly their deaths don’t really matter to the MC or the audience. End of trilogy! It’s boring. I will give Clare this, she did realize that the audience didn’t need this world explained for the third fucking time in TDA which a good step forward. I’m sure that every asshole is going to die by the end of the trilogy and right before the climax Jules and Emma will equip those stupid birth control runes and have a climax of their own. However there’s still the problem that they’re still fucking Shadowhunters.

Another difference is the different power sets that the characters. I know Tessa doesn’t have the exact same power set as Clary or Emma. Tessa is a Warlock-Shadowhunter, Clary has a bigger amount of angel blood than your average Shadowhunter and Emma is banging her Parabati which gives you magic powers apparently. Clare couldn’t have these take place on different planets with completely different magic systems like Sanderson can. But Tessa, Clary and Emma hang out with people and it wouldn’t be a problem if they weren’t all Shadowhunters who come from the same culture with the same values and same personalities. Even the same family lines, which I guess means that family members have exact same personalities. At least when Sanderson families are from the same bloodlines he makes an effort to change up the personalities. Breeze is fancy asshole with a heart a gold, Wax is a social inept cowboy with a heart of gold. Tessa barely explores her Warlock side in TID, she talks to Magnus and maybe exchanges a couple of words with Ragnor. All three MCs hang out with Shadowhunters. It’s especially obvious when you look at Tessa and Clary’s groups. Tessa hangs out with Jace-Clone-With-Half-Decent-Reason-To-Be-An-Asshole, Simon-Done-Better, Crazy-Izzy (Jessamine) and Characters-That-Would-Make-Much-More-Interesting-Protagonists (Henry, Charlotte). TDA isn’t that much better. Emma and Jules are basically the genderbent versions of Jace and Clary with minor differences and being more pissy. They hang out with Less-Insufferable-Izzy, Evil-Crazy-Magnus, Expendable-Siblings, Siblings-I-Don’t-Care-About, Siblings-Waiting-For-Their-Own-Spinoff and Love-Geometry-Fodder. It would be better if they weren’t all Shadowhunters. Clare created a bunch of really interesting cultures and species that we never really get to see in full. We don’t know what it’s like to be a normal Vampire because Simon was a Daywalker (or whatever) and he wasn’t even a vampire for long, we had Maya the werewolf but she barely got any screen time. The non-Shadowhunter character we get the most of is Magnus because he’s a fan favorite but we still don’t really know much about Warlocks. I know this series is called Shadowhunters but why did it have to be? It would have been a better series if Tessa was a full on Warlock and she was exploring that aspect of Clare’s world and she could still interact with the Shadowhunters. Hell it might even be interesting to see how other species see the Shadowhunters. We know Downworlders hate Shadowhunters but they probably have different histories with them. Maybe Werewolves were used as manual slave labor while Warlocks were used as prostitutes for people who wanted to fuck demons but didn’t want demon STDs. I don’t know! Make Emma a werewolf, she’s aggressive. Culture does a lot, Clare already has the intriguing cultures that I want to learn about. She just has to DO something with them. Brandon loves having crews and it helps that they all come from different planets with different cultures. Even if he’s reusing a character they’re also either just different enough to not be a complete clone (unlike Jace and Will) or they’re surrounded by completely different characters. Raoden’s old crew has two old cranky farts with a rivalry that ends with my heart broken, a soldier, the hot guy, the big strong man with a family and the badass girlfriend. Elend’s crew he inherited from the Kell has the badass girlfriend, the fancy asshole with the heart of gold, soldier who’s a philosopher, Average Joe accountant, religious dude, cranky old fart and love-triangle-fodder. There’s some overlap between all the series’ crews but they’re just enough that you accept it. In Shadowhunters, especially with Tessa and Clary their friend groups are basically the same.

2. World Building:

The thing that keeps Sanderson’s work from becoming dull is that he is a master world builder. So good in fact that while you’re trying to figure out how the hell each world works and exactly how amazing it is that you completely miss all the repetitiveness along with the foreshadowing and references to the Cosmere. It’s only after you give yourself to think about the overall picture that you realize how similar they are. It’s essential a parent sneakily feeding their child vegetables by hiding them in cheese. Clare doesn’t have that. Seeing how Shadowhunters is the same exact world in every series, you never feel the confusion in any of the spinoff series. Once you’ve read a couple of the books you have a feel for the bland world.

Besides pop culture references, I don’t see much of a point in this being an urban fantasy. If the TV Show did one thing right, it’s that it mixed the Shadowhunter tech with modern tech. Why? Because it’s cool and gives it a little bit more of a reason to be set in modern times with modern pop culture references. If you took out all references to modern society it wouldn’t matter what time period any of these series took place because Shadowhunters seem to rarely let their society be affected by Mundane society. Shadowshunters have a very stagnant culture and it’s taken 10 books for them to start to realize that the Internet is awesome. This is an urban fantasy series but it doesn’t seem to have any effect other than pop culture references. You don’t need to completely blend Normal and Magical worlds; JK Rowling did a pretty good job of making a world where the wizard world very rarely interacts with the real world. This was successful because Harry Potter was a world with wizards who can do basically anything and had no real need to interact with Muggles. Shadowhunters for one don’t have any magical powers so they either have to do it themselves, get Warlocks to do it or get some Mundanes. They also have to protect Mundanes, you’d think they’d be interacting more and since there’s no Mist like Percy Jackson you wonder how Mundanes don’t figure it out by now. Speaking of PJO, on the flip side Percy Jackson works mixing the two elements because it’s fun to see Greek Gods and Monsters updated. Riordan took his concept and ran with it. He uses the modern setting to get out pop culture references but there’s still mortal interaction with characters like the demigods’ mortal parents and Rachel. The only other thing Clare uses the modern setting for is to introduce the Shadowhunter series to noobs. Which is fine for a series but after three, it gets tiresome. Also she picked the most stagnant and boring species out of the bunch.

Then there’s Sanderson, which I won’t compare Shadowhunters to the entire Cosmere because that’s unfair but I will compare it to Mistborn. In less than 200 years Henry Branwell made a few inventions like the portal and sensor; Clary made some new runes. So only Branwells can advance this society for some reason. In 300 years, Scadrial got cars, electricity, image projectors and fucking airships. I get that Shadowhunters really don’t like change but seriously all of humanity rests in their hands. I would want someone to create better ways of killing demons. Apparently witchlight can double as a power source so you can use it for computers and WiFi. Use that shit to make a car that works in Idris or some better tech. Find some better way to communicate to each other! That way the next genocidal maniac that Clary creates goes around to Institutes creating the next protagonists for another spin off series, you can warn people! Instead of relying on references to TID. This is why you’re always dying off, because you refuse to advance! This’ll be a never ending cycle of Shadowhunters using glow-y swords and arrows to kill all hell’s got to offer! Maybe this is all just a conspiracy and Clave has been stopping advancement in Shadowhunter society because once they defeat all the demons they’ll lose all their purpose in life.

One of the problems with Clare’s writing is that she often gives her main leads this amazing magical power that no else uses or can ever use. In 200 years or in the entire history of the world we never hear of another Warlock-Shadowhunter other than Tessa. And there will probably never be one because that’s what makes Tessa special. In Mistborn, the magic system is organically evolving. Throughout the first trilogy you always get new metals and new information about how the magic works is revealed. By Alloy of Law yes we have all 16 metals but we now discover that Mistborns don’t exist (which is a great way to keep any character from being too OP) but now there’s Twinborns. It’s a completely different type of magic user much like Tessa but Brandon expanded on that. Imagine the different types of Warlocks and Shadowhunter combos you could get and how that would manifest. Or how this would affect Shadowhunter society as a whole. Instead of Luke just becoming full on werewolf what if there was some sort of hybrid Werewolf-Shadowhunter. It’s the same with Twinborns. There’s so many combinations and possibilities for different powers. Then in Bands of Mourning there’s people being able to artificially give people powers. It’s so organic and just makes the world feel so much bigger because of how much you have to explore. The Shadowhunter magic never really evolves. It’s the same and once the main character uses their super-mega-ultra forms they got from the Angel to defeat the current bad guy threatening all of humanity, the power up just goes away. Like, you never want to see if other people can do that mega-awesome-thing? Why? Maybe they could use it to get rid of demons!

Then here’s my biggest grip with the Shadowhunters’ world: we’re never given an explanation on exactly the world works. I’m less invested in this world because I don’t feel like I can live there and then immediately die because I would not survive in any fantasy world. First is Idris: how does Idris get it’s food or clothing? Shadowhunter culture makes a big deal on how it’s shameful to not be anything but a demon hunter. But…y’gotta eat and someone has to make the sexy black leather you wear. Looking at the map there’s the lake, forest, plains and that’s all there is. Where are the farms? Are there Shadowhunter farmers? How are they treated? Or do they just rely on Warlocks to conjure it all up? Which Warlocks? Before the Accords did they just have Downworlder slaves do all this? If so then what happened after the Accords? And don’t give me that “well maybe it’ll be answered in a future book” or “it was answered in Lord of Shadows and/or Shadowhunter Academy” because it’s been 10 fucking books and a collection of short stories and Clare hasn’t given me the answers on how this society functions. I tried looking at Wiki but it was either such a throw away line that no one decided to put it or Clare hasn’t addressed it. Sanderson shows that worlds can distract from very glaring problems. I don’t expect to know exactly how the Cosmere functions because its not important at the moment, just like you don’t expect to know how Idris works in City of Bones. But after 11 books and still don’t know how anything works, I get frustrated and then I start getting annoyed at the other glaring problems. I know how the Camp Half-Blood functions. Mr. D grows strawberries, they harvest them, sell to them to the mortal world and get mortal money to pay for shit. Then golden drachmas are circulating around to buy magic stuff. Which also brings me to questions about the Institutes like: How do the Institutes have Mundane money? Is it the Clave that gets the money and then distributes it to the Institutes? How do they get the money? Do Shadowhunters really go out grocery shopping or does Idris just ship each institute supplies from wherever the fuck they get it? If so then how did they do that without the portal? How did they pay their Mundane servants back in the day? I go could go on the questions, Clare’s world just feel so small. Like nothing else is happening unless it’s relevant to the plot, while everything Sanderson creates such amazing worlds that you write…well a stupid post like this. It’s just there are so many unanswered questions that it becomes annoying.

Which is not to say that Sanderson never had this problem of not answering questions that probably should have been answered about the world. I can see myself beginning to lose my patience with getting answers to questions about the Cosmere, only to have new ones pop up. He has to walk that very fine line between leaving his audience wanting more without making them give up from frustration. While I didn’t hate it, Calamity left me with a lot more questions than answers. Yes, I know there are questions that are going to be answered later, especially around Calamity (the character) and I’m sure it’ll all make sense in about 10 years when we get Reckoners: Secret History or whatever. But there are questions that I feel should have been answered in this book and normally Brandon would but for some reason he didn’t. Like if Calamity made more Epics before he pissed off? Because if I were an Epic who went on a psychopathic rampage every time someone coughed in my direction, killed everyone I loved and random strangers and then suddenly snapped out of it; I would probably kill myself out of guilt. How exactly did other-universe David die exactly? I know it had something to do with Steelheart but how exactly? What’s it like for Firefight to come to our universe? Did Prof ever go to the other universe and say sorry to that Tia for killing her in our-universe? Could he just live there? Does Meg ever let him go there like she lets David see his dad? Why in this Earth do we have such piss-pour abilities to name shit? No, I’m not over how fucking stupid the name “Newcago” is. I’m actually glad Brandon didn’t attempt to name the two universes because they probably would have been stupid. Ultimately these questions are kind of annoying that I don’t have the answers to but I still know how this world functions. It was stated that the Epics leading their small territories in the…Fractured States (sigh) needed to have servants so they found some way to keep them alive. Yes it’s a “magic” answer but it works because you’ve got people who can come back from the dead and kill with bubbles. It doesn’t work with Shadowhunters because Shadowhunters don’t have magic and their better-than-you culture makes it hard for me to come up with any logical conclusion.

Ultimately Brandon Sanderson knows that if he can distract you enough with shiny bells and delicious cheese, he can get away with his repetitiveness that may be just slightly different. Clare seems perfectly fine with lazily not explaining a goddamn thing and just using whatever works over and over again with it being slightly different. That’s what it is. It’s lazy. Clare doesn’t seem to try. There’s no exploration it’s just a random girl who is super special and the entire universe revolves around her until the next protagonist comes along. Which makes me sad in the end. Oh well, at least I have the TV show to eventually catch up on. Despite my snarky commentary, Shadowhunters is actually gaining my respect by actually killing off characters that matter to Clary.

Letters (inej x kaz fanfic)

Inej’s latest letter had come two weeks ago.

Dear Kaz,

It has been a long time since I had an opportunity to write to you. Business has been brisk; I hope the same is true for you. Wylan told me when I was in town last that they don’t see much of you, so it must be true. Speaking of, how are he and Jesper getting on? Jesper looked rather restless last I saw him. Wylan said that he had lost a small sum on an investment he was sure of and was a bit worried about him.

We got in a spot of trouble the other day when a slaver ship came after us in revenge for their sister ship. After Jan froze the sea beneath them though, they didn’t put up much of a fight. There were a dozen Ravkan women and children in shackles on board, and we are en route to return them home now. I cannot thank the Saints enough for sending me a Tidemaker. He has really made all the difference, and the crew has welcomed him with open arms. While he is as dedicated as the rest of the crew, he still seems to be having trouble getting used to my habits. He nearly fell overboard when I walked up behind him the other day without him noticing.  

The crew have started getting the same tattoo, one of a black wraith. So many of them come from the Barrel or similar places, I shouldn’t be surprised they want a tattoo to mark themselves as one of ours, and yet it touches me to see that they feel a dedication so similar to my own, enough to show it. In addition to sharing similar backgrounds, or perhaps because of them, they have started teaching each other sea shanties and drinking songs from their homelands, usually during the night shift and much to the dismay of the rest of the crew who are trying to sleep. To my ear, they all have the same tune, but each one tells a different story. I have truly started to get to know all of my crew. While they come from all over, they have ended up together on our ship. I wonder if it is true that no man can escape his past; it does not seem true for them.

Saints blessings, Kaz.

All the best,

Inej Ghafa

The first drafts of a reply Kaz had burned in his office.

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everymanwillbeaking  asked:

for the made-up fic title meme: "here, and where you are (I exist in two places)"

send me a made up fic title and i’ll write a fic for it

(omg this title is SO GOOD i feel like i’m not doing it justice)

here, and where you are (I exist in two places)

Yuuri Katsuki never thought he’d find the love of his life like that: working at the cheapest café on campus, sweaty, serving mochaccino and accidentally pouring his order all over his client, destroying his book and staining his clothes.

And yet that’s how it went. That’s how he met Victor Nikiforov, a literature exchange student, studying at the very same university as him, staying there for a year. 

He had been extremely nice about the whole accident, refusing to let Yuuri give him a mochaccino for free - “no, it was my fault you poured it on me, let me pay for another one” - and having an awkward but sweet conversation with Yuuri as he cleaned his table. Victor seemed a bit nervous  - which was fine, Yuuri reasoned, because he too was pretty shy when he first came to Detroit, until he met Phichit and started hanging around with a few other students - but extremely sweet to Yuuri. 

They hit off pretty well and in just a couple of minutes they were talking about their dogs and showing each other pictures when most clients had left the coffee.

He wondered if Victor had any friends around since he mentioned he’d just arrived for his exchange program, so Yuuri thought about introducing him to his small group of friends to hang out.

A sweet smile lit up his face as Victor agreed, blushing and excited, “I’d love to hang out with you sometime!”

And they did. Victor would show up at the café frequently, sometimes ordering something else to use it as an excuse for staying longer and having more time to talk to Yuuri. Eventually, they found out they had similar schedules and agreed to hang out together, grabbing lunch or dinner together once a week. One weekend Yuuri called him over for a movie night, and they all had a great time.

Yuuri wasn’t sure when he fell in love with Victor, or when Victor fell in love with him. There always had been that nudging, underlying tension in everything they did, because god how could anyone ignore how perfect Victor was? His freckles, his long, soft hair, his sweet accent, the way he got excited about some book and would talk really fast about it, the way his eyes lit up when Yuuri mentioned something he liked. He didn’t know if he’d fallen in love at that one lunch when Victor brushed a fallen leaf away from his hair, when he touched him with such a delicate, reverent hand that made Yuuri melt, eyes big and wide and so blue yuuri could drown in them. Or at that one movie night when Yuuri leaned on him so they all could fit more comfortably on the sofa, and Yuuri couldn’t get enough of Victor's scent, couldn’t get over how soft and warm he was, as if he’d been shaped to fit perfectly in his arms. 

But when they kissed for the first time everything felt right. Everything fit together perfectly and nothing else mattered in this world.

They started dating around spring-break. They were so sappily in love, doing everything together, basking in each other’s presence at every given opportunity. It was the happiest year of their lives. 

And eventually Victor had to leave - go back to Russia, finish his studies. Naturally, they decided that wouldn’t stop them from being together - what they had, even if for a short time, had changed their lives to a point where they couldn’t think of a future without each other in it. They bought rings they swore to wear every single day of their lives, rings that would represent their presences while they were away, engraving their names inside to add to the sense of belonging to each other.

Departure was difficult, with its fair share of tears and long hugs that were reluctant to let go. Just one more year - one single year until they met again, free from academic responsibilities, free to think of a future together, to make plans of what they’d be doing.

Even though Yuuri missed Victor’s presence terribly talking through texts and Skyping every other night made it bearable. Victor would text him the smallest things that were happening on his day, sending loads of pictures showing yuuri around St. Petersburg where he lived, Makkachin, his house and his favorite places to go. Yuuri would do the same, sending him “I miss you” texts at every chance he got, drinking mochaccinos while wistfully thinking about his long-distance boyfriend.

It made it bearable. It made it almost feel like Victor was there with him, present, his scent all around yuuri, soothing and familiar. Hearing his voice made Yuuri’s day, and sometimes they would exchange silly voice messages because damn he missed Victor’s smile, his laughter, the way he tilted his head back and laughed in silence when he thought of something really funny. 

It made long distance bearable. But Yuuri couldn’t wait to be with him again.

aka long distance relationship au

Your Daily Dose of Fanfiction

heres some new /or updated fics :) enjoy!!

Marveling Coincidence

They meet by unfortunate circumstances, bad place at a bad time, but their common interest brings them together easily. Question is, will the world pull them apart?orWhen Zayn is a Uni student getting over a bad break up, struggling with his own personal demons and Liam, a friend of a friend, might just be the perfect remedy to his aching heart.

Why We Fight

Sequel to “Nobody But You”

I Would Do Anything For You: Ziam Drabbles

A collection of my Ziam drabbles, AU ideas, and other snippets, originally posted on Tumblr.

Every Day With You

Liam and Zayn have been married for years, and have three beautiful sons. Liam works from home to take care of the house and the kids, while Zayn spends all of his time working. Dealing with an angsty teenager, a hyper 7 year old, and a quickly growing toddler (mostly) alone is dragging him down to a place he hasn’t been since before he and Zayn met. At least their dog is cute.

And There I Find Out in the Mystery

Zayn works on an Frozen Yogurt parlor located right by the ocean shore. Liam’s got to pee and is on his way to his first phsychiatrist appointment. They end up meeting somewhere in between.

feel a little more, give a little less 

They haven’t done this in a long time, really. Three months to be exact. Three months without Liam because Zayn had to go do some summer internship in America, and let’s just say his hand wasn’t that great compared to what he’s had before.

Also known as Liam’s cock.

Abandoned Soul

“Why don’t you sit down and we’ll do this again?” Liam asked, his tone a little softer now yet still holding the firmness from before.
Zayn acted before he could think; he didn’t know what he was doing until his fist made contact with Liam’s cheek.Zayn was a drug dealer; dealing Omega’s with many drugs and accessories to hide their Omega status… all 100% illegal. He’d been doing it for years, living in cheap B&B’s on the money that he earned from his dealings, and never getting caught.

 But one day he is caught and arrested on the spot.His family have disowned him for what he’d done. This means that when he’s released he will have to go to an Omega Home, until an Alpha decides they want to claim him. However, the Omega has grabbed the attention of Liam Payne, and Liam decides that he will take on all responsibility of Zayn. He collects Zayn when he is finally released from the Young Omega Offenders Institute; and he swears to try and right all the wrong that it within the stubborn Omega.

Begin Again

Zayn watches Liam everyday on the bus, he has a sketch pad full of drawings, half written songs about the boy with the brown eyes but absolutely no desire to get his heart broken again.

Love Weddings

DJ Zayn Malik hates weddings. At least, he hates wedding until a server changes his mind.

the rest I can do without

Silence greets him. He jerks his head up, looking around like a frightened animal. Zayn’s not there anymore. Another trick, via Paul Higgins.Of course. It’s not as if his life isn’t filled with ghosts, right?

(For most of his life, Liam’s wanted out of Gotham―to shed his Nightwing costume for something else. To have a normal life. Zayn wants revenge―and a bit of redemption, too. Secretly, they’ve wanted each other most of their lives, too. It’s a shame murder and Gotham City keeps getting in their way.)


Liam lost his eyesight when he was eight years old, growing up blind has always been a struggle for him. But when he’s done the same things over and over, he’s come to recognize and know his surroundings. When a new neighbor moves in across from him, he seems to suddenly become lost again.
Liam’s been blind since he’s eight, and he’s now twenty three. Zayn’s a painter who plays his music too loud, and always wears a collogne that sticks in the hallways. Liam has an imaginative mind, and Zayn has the brushes to paint it. They help each other out.

When I needed you the most.

( the one where Liam and Zayn are together but for reasons Liam has to go to in another country for work purposes. He returns in London year later, only to discover that nothing is the same as it used to be. )

Lungs Filled With Sadness and Smoke

Zayn is sad and alone and Liam notices.

you can coax the cold right out of me

or; zayn drafts a petition to shut down the frat houses, but liam convinces him not to.

Standards Of Appearance

Zayn looked his tutor up and down slowly. Maybe these etiquette lessons would be more interesting than he first thought.

OrThe princess diaries AU no one asked for.


Sequel to Growl

In every universe

Intaglio work as a mental break from Actual Serious Writing. All drawn from or inspired by or (often, necessarily) de-Americanised from the “Awful AUs” Tumblr and similar prompt collections. Sporadic, desultory, and really no more than scales and exercises as a relief from chipping away at t’ book-face … and mixing metaphors.For those who actually follow that Actual Serious Writing, and specially for those involved in its fruition, be assured that this has not delayed that. (Delays are owing to referenda on the line.)

This is the Way the World Ends

The days are dangerous at the end of the world. A group of lost souls scour the streets, scavenging for food and supplies. All they have left now is each other.What little order there is left comes from Better Living Industries, who have taken over as the world burns.

 They rule with an iron fist, controlling the Earth’s dwindling resources and snuffing out inconvenient lives.Consumed by desperation and bravado, the five friends brave B.L.I. headquarters, to face their destiny…


Based on a prompt from Tumblr: “we bumped into each other in the street and you were grinning like a cocky asshole the whole time so i stalked off only to realise i’m wearing your shirt” Zayn wants to break up, except he doesn’t. Liam wants to make Zayn happy. A Batman tanktop brings them back together.

The love in our hearts

(Zayn pretends to be Louis’s fiancé and ends up spending his entire summer with his family, planning their wedding. He hates everything and especially Louis’s younger brother Liam, who makes his life miserable.
And Liam. Well Liam acts as the world’s biggest douche, but what you expect when he falls in love with the only person, he is not allowed to. His brother’s fiancé.)

crying is good for the soul

the ‘i work at a movie theatre and i’m cleaning up after the movie is over and you’re the only person left because you’re ugly crying with popcorn over your lap’ AU.

Prompt #48: Laundry

Requested by this person48. “My parents are coming over in 10 minutes so please put some clothes on.” (Reid x Reader). So, this turned out to be over 1500 words and, I have to say, I had a lot of fun writing it. I hope you all enjoy reading it as well!

Warning: Nakedness and sexy times are mentioned.

Spencer was lying next to you on your bed, trying to catch his breath. You were still slightly gone from your, uh, endeavours. Your mind was elsewhere; you were actually reminiscing. You guys had known each other for over a year before the relationship finally moved from friendship to something more.

You clearly remembered the first time you met: your family had recently opened a quaint little bookstore with an adjacent coffee shop which caught Dr Spencer Reid’s eye one day. You were behind the counter of the bookstore, while your sister was in charge of the coffee shop along with your big brother. Since most people only perused the bookshelves briefly and then moved onto the other shop to get something to drink, you alone were more than enough to take care of that side of the store. It was a Wednesday afternoon, and both your mum and dad were out taking care of some mistake that had to do with the coffee deliveries.

Given that it was the middle of the week, and it was freezing outside, once again, the coffee shop was cramped. You were wondering whether to go help your siblings or not when the bell above the bookstore door rang, signalling a new customer had come in. You turned on the spot in front of the young adult section of the shop, where you were putting up a display for the newest arrival, and saw the man who would later become the highlight of your weeks to come: Spencer.

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What Matters Most

For kikaiz. I-I had been writing this for a long time, drafting here a-and there, because I really wanted to write s-something with her OC Orna in it. I think… n-now might’ve been a good as time as any to finish it up and post it. So… here, M-Miss Kikai. I hope you feel better, a-and enjoy.

I-I forgot why I called it “what matters most” b-but… I tried to finish it anyway. I think it’s still good?

(With some inspiration from Lost in the Woods too. And a little bit from phantomrose96’s ghost speak series.)

What Matters Most

Danny couldn’t help but feel something familiar about the woods that surrounded him as he muttered bitterly and tried to pick his way through the trees. Flying above them wasn’t an option, and neither was using his ghost powers—his parents would spot him the moment he went ghost, either above the trees or on their radar.

It was just his luck that, for the first time on their semi-bi-annual camping trip, his parents had actually brought the ghost equipment. Jazz had tried to stop them, but they couldn’t do anything about it—they always had something on them, ever since the ghosts started attacking Amity park a few years ago.

So much for his mother’s old promises of, “No ghost hunting, no ghosts. Just us, bonding around the campfire.” And as annoying as he used to think it was when he was younger, he kind of missed that now.

He wondered if being lost because he fell off the stupid path while hiking was any better than just going ghost and hoping he wouldn’t be asked why Phantom was in the woods of all places.

His ghost sense went off, and he froze on the spot as the cold, misty puff of air passed his vision and faded.

His eyes flashed green and alert, narrowing as he surveyed his surroundings—okay, so maybe Danny Phantom showing up in the woods wouldn’t be so weird after all, if there was another ghost here. He almost hoped it was Skulker, because he always at least announced their presences with his booming voice in some way or another, and it would give him a great excuse, but the fact that the shiver in his spine was weak at best and that the ghost hadn’t shown up on his parents’ radar meant it was probably a weak ghost.

He heard a distant voice behind him before he felt its cold presence coming closer.


Danny spun around abruptly to face the ghost—but he stopped in his tracks when he saw what had approached him.

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anonymous asked:

What are other ways that Jaime and Ned are foils of each other?

They occupy similar positions in their respective families. Most consequentially, they both have weird closeted Uncle Dad relationships with their sisters’ kids. They’re also middle children. Much as Jaime gets legal precedence as Tywin’s first son, he is Cersei’s little brother.

More abstractly, I think Ned and Jaime are at contrasting ends of the same wavelength when it comes to inhabiting personas. It’s not that either of their reputations are unearned: Ned is more or less a stand-up guy, and Jaime really is a treacherous piece of work who’s willing to undermine the king by breaking every one of his vows. But those reputations are more complex than they appear; at best, they’re right for the wrong reasons. Ned isn’t a good guy because of his publicly rigorous rule-following, but because he is capable of putting other people’s well-being before his own image. Jaime killing Aerys wasn’t a coup, though his affair with Cersei very much is. And they’re both really practical about using those reputations, particularly in the interests of conflict avoidance.

“Aleena? No. You told me once. Was it Merryl? You know the one I mean, your bastard’s mother?“

“Her name was Wylla,” Ned replied with cool courtesy, “and I would sooner not speak of her.”         

“Wylla. Yes.” The king grinned. “She must have been a rare wench if she could make Lord Eddard Stark forget his honor, even for an hour. You never told me what she looked like …”

Ned’s mouth tightened in anger. “Nor will I. Leave it be, Robert, for the love you say you bear me. I dishonored myself and I dishonored Catelyn, in the sight of gods and men.”

“Gods have mercy, you scarcely knew Catelyn.”        

 "I had taken her to wife. She was carrying my child.“

Must you make me say the words? Pia was standing by the flap of the tent with her arms full of clothes. His squires were listening as well, and the singer. Let them hear, Jaime thought. Let the world hear. It makes no matter. He forced himself to smile, “You’ve seen our numbers, Edmure. You’ve seen the ladders, the towers, the trebuchets, the rams. If I speak the command, my coz will bridge your moat and break your gate. Hundreds will die, most of them your own. Your former bannermen will make up the first wave of attackers, so you’ll start your day by killing the fathers and brothers of men who died for you at the Twins. The second wave will be Freys, I have no lack of those. My westermen will follow when your archers are short of arrows and your knights so weary they can hardly lift their blades. When the castle falls, all those inside will be put to the sword. Your herds will be butchered, your godswood will be felled, your keeps and towers will burn. I’ll pull your walls down, and divert the Tumblestone over the ruins. By the time I’m done no man will ever know that a castle once stood here.” Jaime got to his feet. “Your wife may whelp before that. You’ll want your child, I expect. I’ll send him to you when he’s born. With a trebuchet.”

Silence followed his speech. Edmure sat in his bath. Pia clutched the clothing to her breasts. The singer tightened a string on his harp. Little Lew hollowed out a loaf of stale bread to make a trencher, pretending that he had not heard. With a trebuchet, Jaime thought. If his aunt had been there, would she still say Tyrion was Tywin’s son?    

The two characters are retreating to different personas in these passages. Ned performs as Mr. Stuffy No-Sex Honor-Man while Robert of all people keeps pressing; Jaime’s all GRRR I AM THE KINGSLAYER QUAIL BEFORE MEEEEEE. (He’s so proud of that trebuchet flourish.) But they’re both leaning into what other people think of them, using dishonorable methods to honor a promise made to a dead woman, a promise that, if known, would undercut the reputations they use to carry it out.

Those similarities make them a pretty solid nature/nurture comparison. Ned was born in Winterfell, to a family that at least seems to have been somewhat functional, and then given to Jon Arryn in his boyhood. Jaime was born to one psychopathic supervillain, and then drafted by another in his boyhood. Would Jaime have been what he is if he’d had half of what Ned did in that regard? Look at how – in a few short months, as a fully-baked adult, with a lifetime of sunk costs into his many transgressions – he takes to the combination of Brienne’s good example and some professional and psychological autonomy once Tyrion does the world the favor of punching Tywin’s ticket. That’s not entirely down to Brienne being some kind of moral moral muse who ~makes him wanna be a better man or even to Tywin’s iron grip on his children’s world. It’s about Jaime being not only responsive to outside influence, but being disproportionately receptive to good influences after a lifetime of being dominated by bad ones.

And all of that kind of winds around to that pivotal moment in the throne room at the end of the Rebellion.

He was seated on the Iron Throne, high above his knights……I was still mounted. I rode the length of the hall in silence, between the long rows of dragon skulls. It felt as though they were watching me, somehow. I stopped in front of the throne, looking up at him. His golden sword was across his legs, its edge red with a king’s blood. My men were filling the room behind me. Lannister’s men drew back. I never said a word. I looked at him seated there on the throne, and I waited. At last Jaime laughed and got up. He took off his helm, and he said to me, ‘Have no fear, Stark. I was only keeping it warm for our friend Robert. It’s not a very comfortable seat, I’m afraid.’

Ned’s belief that he “forced” Jaime off of the Iron Throne with his Power of Heart™ is rather charming to me. As if Jaime stopped mid-coup and had his men stand down while Ned made his dramatic entrance. Less charming, of course, is what stuck with Jaime:

Bolton’s silence was a hundred times more threatening than Vargo Hoat’s slobbering malevolence. Pale as morning mist, his eyes concealed more than they told. Jaime misliked those eyes. They reminded him of the day at King’s Landing when Ned Stark had found him seated on the Iron Throne.

This is kind of a startling comparison the first read through, but it really pops the second time around. At this point in the narrative, Roose is actively plotting against Ned’s son. Like Jaime, Roose will kill his king. Unlike Jaime, Roose will violate an oath he swore as an adult and of his own free will, and will do so strictly for his own benefit. Jaime’s comparison of Roose to Ned is deeply unsettling.

More than anything else in Jaime’s POV recollections, it’s this comparison that clarifies why Jaime chose the course he did at that moment and didn’t tell anyone why he’d killed Aerys. In terms of keeping his head on his shoulders, it was probably his best possible option. Trying to justify himself would have been submitting to Ned’s judgment. Trying to justify himself without proof, which he did not have at the moment, could easily have backfired. Ned, right then, was in sore need of someone to blame for all of the horrible things he’s experienced and seen. I wouldn’t trust him with the truth either, this stranger with Roose Bolton’s eyes. Jaime, disillusioned and damaged as he was, was at a critical juncture where he could have pulled out of the dysfunctional Lannister spiral. But when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object, it bounces back just as hard, in the opposite direction.

In April, the new Boom comic series Translucid will reunite the creative husband-and-wife team of Chondra Echert and musician Claudio Sanchez, frontman of Coheed and Cambria.

The new project is a unique take on superheroes — portraying a hero named The Navigator and his arch-enemy, The Horse, while also examining the blurred line between hero and villain.

The writers admit they were influenced by the relationship of Batman and the Joker when they were formulating the story of The Navigator and The Horse. But in this story, The Horse begins to notice that The Navigator’s moral compass is slipping, the villain decides to get a closer look into The Navigator’s past to find out what drove him to become a hero.

Sanchez, who’s sold millions of records worldwide as the creative force behind the band Coheed and Cambria, is a lifelong fan of comic books and superheroes. With Translucid, he and his wife promise to turn the superhero trope of “the neverending battle” on its head.

Echert and Sanchez formerly worked together on two other Boom Studios books, Kill Audio and Key of Z. The musician is also behind the volumes of comics and novels known as Armory Wars, which has been tied closely to stories told through the music of Coheed and Cambria.

As we reveal character designs for Translucid by the series artist, newcomer Daniel Blayliss, and one of the book’s covers, by Jeff Stokely, we talked to Sanchez and Echert to find out more about their approach to the book.

Newsarama: Claudio and Chondra, how would you describe the premise of Translucid?

Chondra EchertTranslucid is our first foray into the superhero realm, and it catches up with a superhero and a villain on the last day of the hero’s life. So we delve into his past and see moments that made him become what he is.

The overall theme of it is the question of morality. What makes a hero and what makes a villain?

Where do the lines blur?

Nrama: Looking at the description and art, it seems like the antagonistic relationship of these two characters is much like existing superheroes and their arch nemeses. Was there a hero and villain you guys had in mind when you were working on this?

Echert: Claudio’s a big fan of the relationship between Batman and the Joker, and we were thinking about what makes Batman who he is, and how he went through a traumatic experience in an otherwise good life, and how it moved him forward to become a hero.

We thought, what would have happened if Batman’s past was not good? What if his parents weren’t necessarily nice people? What if he came from a troubled home and still underwent these traumatic experiences? How would he then evolve as a hero?

So you can see similarities, certainly in the hero, The Navigator. And also his villain, who’s called The Horse. You can see similarities between Batman and the Joker.

Claudio Sanchez: And also, what if the Joker had the opportunity to utilize the Batman’s origin to sort of deconstruct him and essentially destroy him? What if this symbiotic relationship wasn’t so symbiotic? What if one of them wanted it to end, and thinks a good way to end it is to utilize the beginning?

Nrama: It sounds pretty dark, but also full of psychological intrigue.

Sanchez: Yes, it is a dark book, and it’s also perplexing and filled with mysteries, because it happens in different timelines. We have this present where these two are combatting. And then there’s this subconscious sort of zone, where we revisit the hero and his origin.

But yeah, it is essentially a dark story.

Nrama: As you said, the story really blurs the line between hero and villain, questioning the choices made by each, and it feels like it’s among the lines of books that deconstruct the superhero trope, in the way of something like The Watchmen.

Sanchez: Absolutely. I mean, The Watchmen is one of my all-time favorites. I guess in a way, you could consider it an homage.

Echert: Even recently, we’ve been enjoying the new Matt Fraction run on Hawkeye, which I think does a good job of taking a hero out of his element and giving you those backstories and unexpected viewpoints of his life.

And even though Translucid is a superhero book, it’s not all capes and flair. This is a book that is really a story about choices.

Nrama: And about how these two individuals took different paths, right? About what controls their moral compass?

Sanchez: It’s funny that you say “moral compass,” because that was one of the ideas for a possible title. But yes, it’s very much about choice.

Nrama: Since you two are a married couple, how do you work together?

Sanchez: Usually, what happens is I’ll wake her up at 3 o'clock in the morning and say, “I’ve got this idea!” And she’ll tell me to basically shut the f__k up and go to sleep.

No, for the most part, we come up with these concepts and jot them down, and with this one in particular, Chondra has been doing a lot of the heavy lifting. But we come together at a point and we just make it work for both of it.

And at Boom, the editors have been fantastic, helping us strike the cord that we want.

Echert: There’s a lot of pre-planning. We take a lot of long walks to make sure we’ve got this overarching storyline, and the vibe that we want. In terms of scripting, I’ll usually sit down and put together a rough draft, then he’ll take a look and make changes. From there it’s really organic.

Sanchez: And we usually have multiple stories we’re working on at a time, so we trade back and forth. Like, right now, Chondra’s kind of taking the lead on Translucid, but I’m working on a follow-up to the The Amory Wars. So I’ve been knee-deep in that, as well as working on a children’s story.

Nrama: Can you describe what Daniel Blayliss brings to the book?

Echert: With this series in particular, we wanted to find someone with an illustrative quality. Boom had come to us with a number of really talented artists, and we ended up with Daniel because his art is just so fresh, but also very, very illustrative and, I think, approachable.

It’s not traditional to what I would envision a superhero book looking like. But it’s very clean and really inventive. He just has a really good grasp on how a page should feel.

I think the only thing we researched regarding his art was his Batman and Joker, for an homage story he did. And it’s really graphic and really dark, and it definitely set the tone for this book. So we thought he’d be a really good fit for this.

Sanchez: I think he also expressed a real interest in the characters, and when we saw that art he did, it made sense. It all clicked. We knew he’d understand the sort of story we’re trying to tell.

Echert: He’s been a pleasure so far. Really detailed. Really fast.

Nrama: I know you have a lot of different artistic outlets available. What is it that keeps you coming back to comic books? Is it mostly because you’re comic readers and thus fans? Or does it offer a certain type of creative outlet for you?

Sanchez: Well, you know, for me as a kid, when I was listening to music, I always found music more enjoyable with a visual. And that was usually with my imagination. I would be in a car with my parents, and they’d be listening to a song, and in my mind, I’d envision a character running across buildings or flying or something like that. My imagination was throwing around images to a soundtrack.

And so ever since, I’ve always wanted to tell stories with music. Coheed and Cambria, with the outlet of The Amory Wars, has allowed me to do that.

But also, I really like the medium. I like playing around with the medium without music too. I like playing around with it on its own. And we’ve done that, with Kill Audio and Key of Z, and I just find it fun. There’s something about having these scripts and sending them to an artist, and this language between that script and that artist, and then seeing that translated back in a visual. That’s just a lot of fun. It never gets old to me. And I’m even utilizing that same sort of thing in the children’s books I’m doing. It hasn’t gotten old. It’s always exciting.

Echert: For me, I didn’t grow up reading comics, aside from an Archie digest from the grocery store every once in awhile. So for me, what I really love about the medium is what a challenge it is. I think the way all these creative minds come together to work on one piece of work is so much more difficult and interesting than some people give it credit for.

It feels like it’s always this really interesting ride with every book. Every time, you’re part of a conglomerate of really creative people. And you end up with this really magical product.

Some Thoughts about Zuko’s Thinking: What makes Zuko connect with and understand others?

So, the idea for this meta has been with me for a while. Actually, there’s a really old post in my drafts (like from back when I used to use MS Paint for my posts) where I talk about Iroh’s mentorship style and compare it with Mai’s style of trying to help Zuko in Book 3 that this meta is inspired by, and it ties closely with this meta, but I think it makes more sense to break everything down into separate posts.

Anyway, during rewatch, I’ve noticed that that there are times where Zuko closes himself off (which happens often with Zuko and Iroh in Book 2, with Zuko and Mai in Book 3, and with all three of those characters in “The Promise”), and there are times where he’s actually open–he’s able to talk about his feelings, and he makes the choice to listen to what other people have to say, and he sometimes even heeds their advice or even seeks them out to give him advice.

So, the question is: What makes Zuko open up and/or reach out sometimes and close himself up at other times?

I’ve come up with a few answers.

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This fic takes place before the final episode of Race to the Edge, Season 3. Not as many edits since I’m not feeling as Obsessive Compulsive as I am with my other works. 

It was an ordinary day at Dragon’s Edge, to say the least. But with what they’ve been able to do in the last couple months, ordinary days included patrolling the seas, saving dragons from hunters, and saving each other.

Hiccup was at his forge, looking at his map, looking deep in thought with his brows furrowed and lips curled.

This seems like the best place for them strike next. This was him thinking about the possible location of where he and the gang may encounter the hunters again.

Their mission had been draining them of everything, especially their energy. The riders were thankful, to say the least, that Hiccup had instructed the next day to be a day to rest. They had been reluctant, because they knew what was on the line if they weren’t proactive enough. But none of them could be more relieved at the thought of getting decent rest, whatever that may mean to them.

That day, everyone went about to their own ways of relaxing. Fishlegs was by the island’s beach, reading through his notes from the Dragon Eye while feeding Meatlug some rocks he found at the shore. Heather took Windshear out to the forest, flying, training, bonding, he didn’t know.

Snotlout was, well, asleep. This was something Hiccup didn’t expect he’d do considering he’s been known to be stubborn and hard-headed and always doing something crazy. Well, not as crazy as the twins, who were also, surprisingly, sleeping in as.

Hiccup started hearing footsteps enter the room, but kept calm as he knew whom those steps belonged to. “I thought today was intended for a break?”

Astrid way of relaxing, apparently, involves talking to him. Not taking his eyes off the map, Hiccup replied, “We all have different methods of taking it easy. Mine just happens to be map-reading.”

She gave him one of those faces that meant she was thinking of something. That being he’s planning something stupid again. Of course, he was too busy looking at his map to even notice.

She was already approaching him, intent on acquiring his full attention. “You’re thinking too hard, way too hard, on what you shouldn’t even be thinking about at the moment.”

“I’m a Viking, it’s an occupational hazard.”

“You rarely use that expression. And you used it on me just now.”

“I only use it whenever the times calls for it, milady.”

Astrid rolled her eyes at the statement. She had forgotten when he started calling her that, but she remembers that it was meant to be a joke in the beginning. She didn’t mind it, but that was because he would only call her that when they were both alone.

“Hiccup, let’s go for a walk.” That got his attention.  His brows started unfurrowing but as he looked towards his right, he was startled. Astrid was mere inches away from his face.

When did she get this close to me? They had been close before, but not at this light, at this situation. It was mostly during their missions, when they were trying to survive from all the arrows and rocks being thrown at them.

“You’re quiet. I take it you don’t want to then.” She said this while backing up and making her way to out of the forge.

“W-wait, wait! Hold on.” That didn’t come out right. But it got Astrid to stop and wait for him.

The walk was, well, uneventful at the time being. They had been walking and not talking, the only sounds that they made were from stepping on the foliage of the forest, breaking branches along the way, and the squeak of a metal prosthetic.

“You know…” Her voice made him jump a little, he couldn’t help it since they’ve been silent for too long.

“… Heather told me the craziest thing the other night.” They had stopped walking at that point, reaching a cliff. It was close to sunset and the sky was turning from being its usual blue tones to warm colors similar to fire. Astrid started walking towards the edge as she talked to him.

“She told me how I should live the moment and that life is too short. She went on and on about how I should express my feelings and not wasting any moment to do it.” And that we were perfect for each other.

She looked as if she had more to say, but Hiccup didn’t want to pry on that. Instead he asked, “So, what brought this on, exactly?”

The way she turned seemed too slow, like something was stopping her from doing so.

“I never really knew why she said that. But I thought back, to all the days that I had lived, as far as I could. And that one time…” She looked at him and her right hand went to rest of her left forearm, where she received the infected with the Scourge of Odin.

“… That time I was infected, I couldn’t have been more afraid to die. But at the same time, I had been ready for it. I knew how there wouldn’t be a cure anywhere in the world, I knew how the only cure could never be attained, I was ready to die… And yet, I was terrified.”

Hiccup stood there. He didn’t feel like he should intervene with what Astrid had to say.

“I was terrified of not being able to see my family ever again. I was terrified of leaving Stormfly behind.” Her left arm made its way up to her right forearm, she was embracing herself to keep her up.

“I was terrified of seeing all of the Riders in despair, because of me.” She wasn’t crying, but Hiccup could feel just how much emotion shed been trying to keep from him at that point. He was already inching his way towards her, but she still spoke.

“Most of all, I was terrified of…” A few more steps for him.

“… of not being able to actually tell you.” He stopped. He had made his way in front of her in time for that. His mind was puzzled, tell me what?

He kept his voice soft, to make sure she stayed calm. “Tell me what?”

She was silent. There was suddenly a draft from where they were standing, probably a dragon flying overhead, or taking a landing.

Astrid looked up to see that Hiccup was a hand’s reach away from her now. She let her mind take over this time. “You really don’t get it do you?”

Is this woman for real? “I can’t believe you’re messing with me.”

She did the most unexpected thing he could ever think of. He punched his left shoulder.

“Yow! Why would you do that?! I tried asking politely and you just—” Then she kissed him.

This kiss wasn’t similar with the others. It had a different emotion compared to all those other times when they were younger. Maybe that was it, because now, they were adults. And emotions were a far-higher level now than they were when they were teenagers.

She pulled back. He hadn’t closed his eyed during the kiss, and she placed her head on the crook of his neck. She brought her hands up to clutch on his tunic, she didn’t want to see how he looked like after what she just did. Not just yet.

“That I love you.” Now this, this had his mind racing. He had so many questions. How, when, why, he had his mind on full alert, his breaths were heavy, his heart was pounding. He’d thought that Astrid would be irritated by all those, but she just kept talking.

“I love you. I won’t tell you how, or when, or why. But I love you. I decided to say all this because I’m tired of waking up every morning thinking that I’d die. Which is what I never thought would happen. I always thought that’ I’d die a warrior’s death, during battle, and people would sing me songs up until I made it to Valhalla. But after realizing how I really feel, I just… I couldn’t let this stand on its own.”

Hiccup was still taking deep breaths, trying to make sense of everything he was hearing.

“After realizing how I actually felt, I started wanting to wear a wedding dress, have children, a family… but not unless it was with you.”

It was quiet. The sun was setting and they were both drenched in its colors. It was beautiful, and it motivated Hiccup.

Hiccup placed a hand on Astrid’s hips and brought the other to her cheek, urging her to look up at him. She was already crying in the middle of her confession. He looked at her and told her exactly what he was thinking of: “I love you too.”

She smiled, but the tears wouldn’t stop. They stayed like that for a while, looking at each other’s eyes.

“Uhh. I don’t really know what I should do next and well—”

She laughed at this; it was so Hiccup-like. But she couldn’t care less.

She pulled on his tunic, and told him, “Just shut up and kiss me.” And they kissed again. This time, he kissed her back, intending to give her as much emotion as she did with him in all those times before.

The kiss did not escalate to anything more intimate, but it was all it took to confirm everything that they had both been keeping from each other all these years. They broke away from each other at just the right time, the sun had already set.

Astrid spoke first. “We better head back to The Edge now.”

“That won’t be necessary.” The voice came from behind, but the couple weren’t about to attack, they knew that voice.

“Took you long enough.” Heather had been standing there with the rest of the riders. Everyone seemed to be having confused expressions on their faces.

“You guys were gone for too long so we went to look for you and we see you doing this. You guys are just weird.” Snotlout said.

Fishlegs looked like he was carrying a house on his back. “I brought some firewood and some yak meat to roast. We could eat here, seeing that we’re still on break.”

“Let’s get everything started then.” Heather urged the rest to follow her, leaving Hiccup and Astrid to each other.

Astrid spoke. “You can stop embracing me now.”

Hiccup hadn’t realized it until she said that. He was still holding her, and this was all throughout their conversation with the other riders.

“You sure?” He slipped his hand off her cheek and brought it to her waist, enveloping her in a full embrace. “Because I could get used to this.”

A smug smile came on Astrid’s lips, she wrapped her arms around his neck to mirror his intentions.

“Good. Because we’re going to be much closer now, you and me.”

“Wouldn’t have it any other way, milady.”

Slowly, they inched into each other for another kiss, only to be called out by their friends.



Hiccup groaned at this, but Astrid just shook her head, smiling. She slid her hands off and went out of Hiccup’s embrace, walking towards the bonfire.

She stopped halfway and turned to face him. “So, are you eating? Or am I going to have to fight the twins for your share of the yak meat?”

He chuckled, closing his eyes and scratching the back of his head. Yeah, I love you. So much.

He started walking towards her, and she was starting to walk towards their friends.

Hiccup was increasing his pace, only to catch up to Astrid and slip his left hand into her right hand. He held it tight, not intent on letting her go.

“Lovesong”- The Cure- Captain Swan

Killian’s song to Emma?

 “Lovesong” by the Cure….. ha.. you sap. (1st part is set in the time b/t 4a and 4b and second part post 4b).

He was always calling it magic.

She was always correcting him.


This so called “land without magic” seemed to be filled with a magic of its own kind. Without a shred of doubt, Killian had a habit to be baffled by the strange things that filled this land he was trying to shape his new life in. (He knew the irony of that statement considering just how long of a life he’s had thus far.)

Lately it was music.

More specifically, it was sitting in Swan’s spectacular yellow vessel listening to this world’s music.

The variety! It could be almost overwhelming if he let it. Smooth to harsh beats. Strange almost tinny, unnatural voices to the crooning of a man’s voice who Swan simply named “Frank.” There were instruments that he could somewhat recognize that must be similar to the ones back in his home-realm, and ones that he could not even put a name to or understand the manner of which they were played.

It was bloody cold outside.

He often loathed to ever admit a defeat to the weather, but this time he acquiesce to the harsh chill in the air when his lady Swan asked if she should keep the car “running.” The question had only given him a slight pause, but he quickly inferred her meaning of allowing her vessel to keep piping in the hot air into its cabin.

Another plus side to keeping it “running,” was the control he had of the musical offerings of the mysterious magic- no, technology- that Swan called a radio.

Killian had to reach across himself to reach the circular knob that twisted to and fro that turned the crackling sound into something resembling coherent noise. He couldn’t settle on anything in particular, and his arm was starting to feel the burn at holding it at such an awkward angle.

Where was she?

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Rainbow’s Facebook Q&A

Question: I always loved how characters in Madeleine L'Engle’s worlds crossed over in space and time to interact, and you’ve done than on a few occasions. Do all your characters inhabit one giant Rainbow-verse, or are there any who are forever sealed in their own era and place?
Rainbow: In my mind, it’s all one world! I have an idea for a book where all my main characters are secondary characters. Where they all live in Omaha and cross paths. The outliers are Simon and Baz. This is the first time I’ve thought about them being on the same plane as my other characters, and it’s kind of exciting!

Question: I love how you write about characters who’ve had similar careers to you (advertising, newspaper, writing etc) - do you think you’ll ever write about a character who works in for Toys ‘r’ Us/a toy shop?

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