honestly most of them look exactly the same just drawn in a different style

Da, da, da, daaaaaaaa…… that’s a little more dramatic than I had intended. I love all these wonderful Sai tutorials that get posted on here but I haven’t seen much attention payed to Sai’s Lineart tool which I can’t get enough of. I’m sure there probably are Lineart Layer tutorials out there - I just haven’t come across one so I’m just adding to the pile. The Lineart tool is so awesome it deserves any number of tutorials anyway. It’s so easy to use, it saves me so much time, and it offers so much control which I really love. Honestly, the tool is so easy to use that this is less of a tutorial and more of just a general encouragement to just whip it out and start playing with it. Yeah. So say we start with a simple line like this swirly-wirly thingy that I drew with the marker tool. Well, the first step would be to create a linework layer by clicking the linework layer button.

There we go. Now, a lineart layer in Sai is different from any other regular layer in Sai and it will bring up a completely new range of tools. I’m gonna briefly go through them but the best way to understand exactly what each does is to just try them out for yourself. There’s no substitute for experience or however the saying goes.

  • Pen - This is your freehand lineart tool and to best honest I don’t really use it that often. That’s just me personally. I have an expensive gaming rig that has all sorts of magic running under the hood but we all know that Sai’s memory management is pretty crappy and I don’t need the lag or crashes that come with this tool when working at a high DPI. You may have a different, entirely pleasant experience with this particular tool but for me, if I’m doing freehand inking, I’d much rather just use the regular Pencil tool.
  • Eraser - Kinda speaks for itself.
  • Weight - This one I do love. Say you’ve drawn a line - or a path as Sai calls it. With this tool you can adjust the thickness of the particular line by simply selecting the brush size and then clicking on the line.
  • Color - Same as Weight. Simply select your desired colour and then select the desired line you’d like to change. Very useful. For the aesthetic.
  • Edit - This one comes with its own subset of mini-tools that I’ll get into in a moment. But this is definitely a useful tool - for me it’s probably the most useful.
  • Pressure - This is the one that adds the character to your linework. I’ll explain further below.
  • SelPen - A selection tool. Pretty standard. Since the Lineart layer works in ‘Anchor’ points (which again, I’ll get in to further down below) I don’t really use this one.
  • SelErs - Selection Erase. Goes hand in hand with the SelPen. I can’t say that I personally use this one  much.
  • Curve & Line - The Curve and the Line tools are the cornerstones of the Linework layer. I’m explain both further down.

The Edit tool, as I mentioned, brings up its own list of sub-tools. And they definitely have their uses. Again, it’s best to play around with them to truly get a grasp of what they do but I’ll just run through them quickly before I get on with the main tutorial.

  • Select - For selecting anchor points of paths. Honestly, I don’t really use this one too much simply because hovering over a point or path and clicking will select it.
  • Move/Add - Now this one I use a lot. Moving an anchor will affect the curvature of your line if you’ve used the ‘Curve’ tool, or you can add curves to a straight line by clicking and dragging in between anchor points.
  • Delete CP/Curve - Kinda speaks for itself. It will delete an achor point in your line. Sometimes this can be useful for making your curves rounder if you’ve added too many points to it.
  • Deform Path - Again, kinda self explanatory. It will warp your line. I don’t really use this one myself but that’s not to say that it couldn’t have its uses.
  • Deform Anchor - See above.
  • Move Path - Instead of moving just an anchor or adjusting the curvature of your line you can move the entire line at once. Can be useful.
  • Duplicate Path - Does exactly what it says - creates a copy of your line. Haven’t found much use for this simply because I don’t particularly like copy/paste stuff in linework. Faults or differences add character.
  • Delete Path - deletes a line you’ve drawn independently of other lines on your linework layer. Can be useful as well.
  • Connect CPs - This is difficult to explain the benefits of. It’s one that should be experimented with. It basically joins lines together. I use it quite often. Just pick this option and drag from one anchor point to another to join them.
  • Pointed/Rounded - See the diagram below for this one. I find it very useful.

As you can see I used the Curve tool to draw a simple curve (left) and then I used the Pointed/Rounded tool to convert the curve into a point (right) by selecting the tool and then clicking on the anchor point at the height of the curve. I find it very useful. Anyway, back to our swirly-wirly thingy.

Because our swirly-wirly thingy is basically one long curve, I simply select the curve tool and start clicking. Starting at the centre point on one end, I click to add anchor points as I trace the shape of the object. Each point adjusts the curvature from the last point. It’s kinda hard to explain verbally or even visually but try it out and you’ll quickly see how it works.

Once I have a line over whatever I’m inking done I like to adjust the weight to suit my preferences. I like to work with thicker lines because they give more room to play around with weight. So to adjust the weight you click on the Weight tool, select a brush size and then click on your line. If only it were that simple in life.

Once I have a good weight selected I move on to the Pressure tool. The pressure tool gives you two options. Pressure for width and pressure for density. Width is like controlling the weight of the line at individual points and density controls the transparency. I don’t usually use the density option. As with traditional inking I prefer to denote depth, shadow, etc. with weight as you can see in the image above. To adjust the pressure, simply select the pressure tool and then select an anchor point. Click, hold and drag to the left to make the line thinner of more transparent and to the right to make the line thicker and more dense. As you drag, a percentage will appear over the anchor point you’ve selected. This can be useful for keeping things consistent.

That’s all well and good for curved lines but what about straight lines? That’s where the line tool comes in. It works exactly the same way except it won’t add a curvature to your anchor pints. Still very useful though. Especially when combined with the Weight and Pressure tools.

Here’s an example of one my drawings. It’s Dark Empress Kitana from Mortal Kombat. The one in red is the pencils which if converted to black would probably make a pretty good linework layer. I’m a firm believer in taking the time to clean up your sketch/pencils layer because it will dictate your entire drawing. The one below in black was done using Sai’s linework layer feature. Although not entirely.

As much as I love Sai’s linework layer, it can look a little too clean which is not great when you’re drawing people. Although, it’s all art so it’s all up to personal preferences and personal style. There’s no wrong way to do it. For me though, I prefer to do skin, facial features, hair, etc. by hand using Sai’s Pencil tool on a normal layer and reserve the Linework Layer for architecture, clothing or any non-organic substances. I inked Kitana’s eyes and eyebrows freehand ( or as freehand as you can be with Sai’s amazing stabilisers) but everything else such as her armour or her fan weapon thingy was done using the Curve and Line tools on the Linework Layer.

I hope this tutorial has been useful. Or if not useful - then at least encouring to try out Sai’s linework layer. It’s such a robust feature that I don’t see get much attention and I can’t even begin to describe how much time it saves me or how much I adore it. If you have any questions (because I’m well aware how unsuited I am to writing tutorials - this is so damn rambly - sorry!) then feel free to drop me an ask here at keithbyrneart.

P.S, sorry about my handwriting in the stills. It’s gotten a lot messier these days.

batman-mustache  asked:

Hey, been following you for a while and never asked a question. (Love your blog by the by). Anyway, I saw somebody mention something about Assigned Male comics. I have a few facebook friends who really like and while I don't care for it myself, I was wondering what your opinion was? Thanks for your time.

It’s objectively bad. I’m not going to bash the art because different styles are important and, honestly, actual drawn/painted/etc art isn’t the most important thing when it comes to thought-provoking comics, but you have such gems as:

There’s an emergency. The child is so sick that the mother takes her to the hospital. There’s a bit of (natural) confusion over the card provided, because the card says it’s for a male, but the child looks to be female. 

Although supposedly freaking out about her child’s health, the mother suddenly becomes furious at a staff member for doing their job, and despite how sick the child is, she jumps in with utter nonsense for no reason – that could have totally been avoided by simply telling the staff member that yes, that’s the same child, but said child is trans.

And, the kicker is that despite being supposedly so sick, they leave the hospital without treatment because they were being assholes to someone trying to help.

Two seconds of thought and that could have been a poignant scene where a mother quickly tries to explain the situation and the child is upset about their trans identity being brought up. Or even a scene where doctors/staff were awful and refused to understand how the child was trans. Literally anything else.

Instead, it’s a pointless soapbox of, “If something isn’t said in exactly the right way and if someone makes an accidental faux-pas that offends when they’re trying to help, fuck them and don’t bother even getting checked out.”

It’s just ridiculously bad writing.

Add to that the, “I’m a girl and I have a penis therefore it’s a girl’s penis and I’m totally happy with that uwu” message, which is beyond idiotic, and you have a terrible webcomic on your hands.

Ugh, the Bad Comics Wiki probably does it much better than I can.

BARDA FREE (AKA BIG BARDA)

After starting off by talking about a couple of my favourite ladies of the JLI, how could I resist talking about a character that often guest starred in the JLI alongside of them?  Big, brash, and larger than life even among her superheroic colleagues, today’s post is about none other than…



Barda Free, AKA Big Barda, one of my favourite characters to come out of Jack Kirby’s brilliant mind.

Even among the often soap operatic hijinks of cape comics, the fourth world - the comics that Barda had originated in - seems incredibly over the top.  And it is, in a delightful way that’s best left for a separate post.  The point here is, Big Barda is from a very, very different world than most other recurring DC Comics characters, and it shows; even in a genre in which warrior women are common, Barda manages to be distinct from them all in her inextinguishable spirit and passion of emotion, whether it be determination, anger, or, stronger than the two of them combined, love.  

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Hey there! So I'm kind of sloppy with my pattern making and I play it by eye and I know it's not really good to do that, so I was wondering if you guys have any tips on drafting patterns? Your patterns look so neat and clean and you guys do a very nice job of figuring out what needs to go where

There’s a lot to say here and I’m slowly working on a master post for drafting patterns, so for this ask I’m just going to start with the right tools for the job, because that tends to make a huge difference. When Christine taught me how to draft this way, my cosplay game surged. Having the right drafting toolkit is invaluable.

A typical draft for us includes the following tools:

White drawing/sketch paper. We buy this in a 50 yard roll, generally around 36″ wide. You can probably expect to pay about $50 for this, which is a decent start-up cost, but Christine and I have both been working on the same roll for about a year and a half now and we’ve done probably 25+ costumes on it and we’re barely halfway through.

This is the paper you’ll use to draw all your patterns on, flat, without seam allowances. All your patterns should exist primarily on this paper, because they are the foundations of your drafts: if you want to make changes to the pattern, this is where you make them. If you want to add decorative seams on the pattern, this is where you make them. Making your patterns without seam allowance here also means you can “pull” pieces onto the tracing paper with different seam allowances as you so desire.

We also keep these and label ‘em and pull them out again from time to time. Shazz’s Lucina tunic, for example, was initially traced and pulled from a 60s dress pattern that Christine had made for Shazz, and then I refined it down into its own pattern. More recently, I pulled Anna’s sleeves from Say’ri’s sleeves – Emmy and Syd are the same size and the characters have the same style sleeves, so why not? If you’re making costumes primarily for yourself, you might do this a lot, coming back to re-use old drafts or adapt old drafts. If you know they already fit you, might as well!

Tracing paper, typically Borden & Riley #41 tracing paper, bought in 20 yard rolls, 36″ wide. These cost about $15 CND from Curry’s and generally get a good number of costumes out of them; the current roll I’m working on has done almost all of Tiki, Anna, Libra, Say’ri, Ike and Emmeryn. (Not including Tiki or Anna’s capes, including Emmeryn’s cape.) (These also make great gifts for cosplayers, given their functionality and price point.) This paper is what your final patterns are on, traced from the drafts you’ve drawn on the sketch paper – you trace them and add seam allowance as you desire. 

Various quilting rulers. I believe these are called 8th rulers, but I’ve encountered so many names for them that I’m not sure what to call them beyond the quilting umbrella. We like quilting rulers because they typically have a lot of demarkations we use a lot, and they measure across the entire surface of the ruler, rather than just down one edge. I can measure 3/8ths away from an edge (looking through the clear ruler) and then draw a straight line that is exactly 3/8ths away – that kind of thing. Something like these Westcott ones in 18″ and 26″ are great.

A french curve. With enough practice you can draw curves like a beast with a straight quilting ruler, but a french curve will help you get all those angles. Plastic three-piece kits like this one are cheap but invaluable; I think I’ve been using the same $3 ruler set for like ten years now.

A large eraser. You’ll make changes. You will. Standard Staedtler white erasers are my favourite.

Mechanical pencils. Don’t use regular pencils. A 0.5mm mechanical pencil will prevent you from constantly running to the sharpener and your lines will be neater, thinner and hopefully smudge less. Regular pencils will get you dull lines as they lose their sharpness.

A big surface to work on. Currently it’s the kitchen table for us, but when necessary we will spread out on the hard floor; try to avoid this whenever possible because it will hurt your back and knees over time. You may want to acquire a large folding worktable or find some sort of dedicated surface to work on that isn’t your kitchen table, too; my table is 10+ years old and looks like hell already so I don’t mind working on it, but lots of craft work will eventually damage the surface. The poor thing gets wiped down from graphite and pencil nicks and whatever all the time. 

Good lighting. We don’t have this and it is slowly killing me.

Scotch tape. Sometimes we use the tracing paper to trace an element, mirror it (flip the paper over) and then tape it to another part of the pattern to repeat something. Alternately, we sometimes use it to trace and element and then MOVE it in the pattern. Notice how in that image I wasn’t using scotch tape? That’s because I was out of scotch tape. Scotch tape is neater and thinner, and while harder to reposition than masking tape, a lot less distracting/ugly.

A flexible tape measure. Need to make sure two seams are the same length? This guy. Need to do a long distance your quilting ruler can’t cover? Make notches along the way with this guy. Need to figure out a measurement on yourself and transfer it to paper? This guy.

Paper scissors. Sing it with me: you never, ever, ever cut paper with your fabric scissors. Keep dedicated paper scissors and dedicated fabric scissors and never, ever cross over. In this household, we mark the handles of paper scissors with white electrical tape. You know there are commercial locks on the market specifically to lock your sewing scissors together to prevent the ignorant from using your sewing scissors to hack into cardboard? I’m serious. They’re wonderful.

Some sort of filing system. Patterns are very easy to lose. We use standard 8x11.5″ envelopes for our patterns, sometimes larger/thicker for bigger projects. If a pattern is not in use, it goes in envelope – no excuses, don’t lose pieces. (But hey, if you do… you can trace another off your draft!)

Some sort of labelling system. Nothing sucks more than unfolding a dozen drafting papers trying to find so-and-so’s shirt or so-and-so’s pants ‘cause later down the line you realized you could use it again… if you could find it. 

Anyway, them’s the basics :) I’ll try to follow up soonish with more on this subject, because I honestly think it’s the most helpful thing I’ve learned in this hobby, hands down.

- Jenn

The Flash and the Ice Queen

A Snowbarry Fanfic

Story by: hoffkk

Request by: Anonymous

Prompt: FlashFrost fanfic!! Some evil caitlin but love at the end.. :)

Notes: I do not own these characters, I just have fun with them! ;)  I also apologize for any errors, grammatical or otherwise!  Enjoy! :)

The Flash and the Ice Queen

Barry had been sitting by Caitlin’s bedside for 26 hours straight.  For the past week, she had been re-examining some old research belonging the late Dr. Lincoln.  Barry thought it was harmless, when she first starting poking around.  They all had.  Then, Barry got that horrid phone call from Cisco about the explosion, and suddenly he couldn’t run fast enough.

Upon his arrival at STAR Labs, Barry sped Caitlin out of the wreckage and straight to the nearest hospital. Once she was stabilized, they had moved her into a room in STAR Labs to keep a closer eye on her, the same one Barry had spent his comatose days in.  He hasn’t left her side since.  Meanwhile, Cisco and Joe have been going through the rubble, trying to figure out exactly what happened.

Barry felt torn.  Part of him wanted to go help the guys sift through the debris.  He knew he could go through the rubble faster than they could, but honestly he wouldn’t know what to look for, since he wasn’t familiar with the research.  A seasoned cop and  a mechanical engineering genius would have a better eye for this job.  At least that is what Joe had told him.  In truth, Joe knew Barry would be too distracted with thoughts of Caitlin to be any real help. CSI or not, Barry was too emotionally invested in this particular case and would be better off keeping an eye on Caitlin.

Sitting in a chair he had pulled close to her bed, Barry had leaned forward, placing his hands around one of Caitlin’s.  Her skin felt ice cold, but her heart monitor beeped steadily.  So, Barry tried not to worry too much.

“I’m so sorry, Cait.”  He whispered as he stroked her hand with his thumb.  "Please, wake up.“

Barry placed a kiss on her hand as a tear fell down his cheek, then sat with his head bowed and eyes closed, still sandwiching her hand between his, as he listened to the whir of the machinery  in the room. All of a sudden, Caitlin’s heart monitor picked up its pace, and Barry’s head snapped up to look at Caitlin.  She was convulsing.

He moved his hands up to cradle her head, keeping it in place against the pillow.  Barry was about to call in Cisco for help, when she suddenly stopped.  Barry let out a huge breath and kissed her forehead.

"Don’t scare me like that, Cait.”  He said softly as he rested his forehead against hers, more tears threatening to spill over.  He willed them away as he sat back in his chair.  About to grab her hand again, he stopped himself.  Logically, he knew that he wasn’t the cause of her convulsions, but all the same, he decided to let her be for a while.  Settling back into his chair, Barry let the steady beat of the heart monitor relax him.  It was almost midnight, and  Barry hadn’t slept since the incident.  Therefore, it wasn’t long before he found himself drifting off to sleep.

*****

A few hours later, the sun was up and so was Barry.  It wasn’t a gentle wake, but more of a jolt in response to the blaring noises coming from the machines attached to Caitlin.  He shot upright in the chair and took in the scene in front of him.

Caitlin was upright in the bed, tearing the different wires from her body.  The look on her face was a cross between terror and anger, but that wasn’t all that he noticed about her appearance.  Barry also noted that her skin was a shade paler, her eyes were now an icy shade of blue, and most obvious was that her hair was now a light blonde color instead of its usual reddish brown.

“Cait?  Caitlin, calm down!”  Barry commanded as he tried to push her back down into the bed.  His hands grazed her shoulders and she screamed.

“GET AWAY FROM ME!”

Barry pulled his hands back in an “I surrender” gesture, then slowly began moving forward again.  "It’s okay, just calm-“

Before he could finish, Caitlin leapt from the bed and threw her arms out in a defensive position, shooting icicles from her palms.  One missed, hitting the wall behind him before shattering into tiny pieces.  The other punctured his shoulder.  He yanked it out, letting blood soak the sleeve of his button down shirt, but he could already feel the wound healing.

Barry’s mind was racing at warp speed.  What had happened to her?  And how did it happen? And why?  None of this made any sense., but he didn’t have any time to dwell on it right now.

At that moment, Joe came crashing through the door gun drawn with Cisco trailing behind, popping out behind the older man with his feet spread apart and hands held up in front of his torso like he was about to do some type of kung fu/karate style move.  

"What’s going on?” Joe called to Barry as he tried to assess the situation.

“Ho-ly frack!” Cisco said slowly, dropping his hands and his jaw as he took in Caitlin’s new look.

Everything was happening across the room, right in front of Barry.  Caitlin was standing behind the side of her bed on his right, while the men stood on the left, a little ways  in front of the door  they had just come through.  Joe was closer to him and Cisco was behind Joe a couple feet, parallel to Caitlin.  Barry knew the men were just as confused as he was, and he could also tell Caitlin was freaked by the looks on their faces.

Caitlin didn’t know what was happening, but seeing the gun in Joe’s hands just made her angrier and more frightened.  Sensing an imminent threat, Caitlin lifted her hands once more, ready for the fight.

Barry knew what she was about to do, so he kicked it into high gear, literally.

“Look out!” He yelled, before using his super speed to zoom Joe back out the door.

“You okay?” He asked, giving Joe a quick onceover, noting that he seemed unharmed.

“What the hell happened to her?” Joe wondered aloud.

“She’s not exactly herself right now.” Barry responded.

“Ya think?” retorted the exasperated detective.

*****

While Barry was running Joe to safety, Cisco just stared at Cait, frozen in shock.  Caitlin turned to face him, her hospital gown and loose hair flowing with the motion, hands shaking slightly at her sides.  She gave him an intense look.  Obviously, something had changed in her, but she was still the same Caitlin, right?  She wouldn’t-hurt him.  Would she? Refusing to believe she was completely evil, he swallowed his fear and took a tentative step forward.

“Heeeey, Cait.” He said, smiling his cheesy, boyish grin as he offered a small wave of his fingers.  "Love what you’ve done with your hair.“

Caitlin hissed in response.

"Well, that wasn’t creepy.”  he quipped, his tone full of sarcasm.  "C'mon, Cait, it’s me, Cisco.  Your best friend.“  He tried again, motioning to himself.  "I come in peace.”  He added, stretching his arm outward, giving her the Spock hand gesture.

He left his hand there a moment as she studied it, slowly moving closer.  Reaching out, she touched her fingertips to his palm, feeling his warmed. Suddenly, an overwhelming urge waved over her, and she grabbed his wrist, twisting his arm around, then grabbed the other wrist as she began absorbing his heat energy.

Cisco wasn’t sure what was going on, but it did not feel good about it.  "Uh, Bare?  Little help!“  He called over his shoulder.  As soon as the words left, his mouth Cisco began feeling light-headed and weak. Getting a better grip, Caitlin slid her hands from his wrists to his forearms and forced him down on his knees, which wasn’t hard to do given his abrupt lack of energy.

Cisco was about to pass out when Barry rushed back in.  "Caitlin, NO!” Barry shouted as he sped over, knocking Caitlin onto the hospital bed.  By the time she got back to her feet, Barry had run Cisco out of the room and was back with Joe’s handcuffs.

“Cait, everything is gonna be okay.  I promise.”

Suddenly, a gun shot rang off.  The bullet hit the ceiling, causing bits and pieces of plaster to rain down on the room. Caitlin looked up where the bullet hit, clearly terrified.  Seeing Joe peer around the doorway out of the corner of his eye, Barry was pissed, thoughts moving as fast as his feet were just a moment ago  What the hell?  Why would he shoot her?  And why would the shot be that off?  Glancing at Caitlin once more, it clicked.  Joe wasn’t trying to hurt her, he was providing a distraction. So, as Caitlin continued to look around the ceiling, Barry snuck up on her with his super speed, handcuffing her hands behind her back through the bed rail.

Caitlin had sunken down to the floor on her knees, the action causing her arms to be pulled upward a bit and began to sob, frantically.

It pained Barry to see her like that, but what could he do?  For now, he decided they both needed a moment and went to check on Cisco.

Heading into the next room, he found Cisco sitting in chair, rubbing his temple with one hand, while Joe checked his pulse on the other.

“Cisco, you all right?”  Barry asked worriedly, placing a hand on his friend’s shoulder.

“Yeah, I think so. It was the weirdest feeling, it was like she was sucking the life right out of me.”

“Heart rate appears normal.”  Joe confirmed.

Barry reached in his pocket and pulled out his keychain, singling out the mini flashlight from the array of items hanging on it.  He flashed it into Cisco’s eyes, checking his pupils.  Putting the flashlight away,  he then checked over Cisco’s wrists and forearms, noticing some matching red marks.

“You’ll be a little bruised for a while, but other than that I think you’ll be fine.”

“What about Caitlin? What do we do about her?” Joe questioned, crossing his arms.

“First thing’s first,” Barry crossed his arms, “we need to figure out what caused her to be so…”  he trailed off.

“Chilling?  Ice-olated?  Brrrrr-serk?”  Cisco offered with a half smile.

Barry pinched the bridge of his nose.  He was glad that Cisco seemed to be his normal self, but he was in no mood for jokes. “Seriously?  Not the time.”

“You cope your way, and I cope mine.”  Cisco explained, feeling a little guilty for joking around.

“Like I was saying,” Barry continued, “we need to figure out what caused Caitlin to become so cold, physically and emotionally.”

“Coldilocks!” Cisco blurted out of nowhere.

Cisco,”  Barry scolded, while Joe laughed hysterically,  "we are not giving her a nickname.“

"All right, fine, it was lame anyway.”  Cisco conceded.

“So did you guys find anything relevant in all that debris that could possibly explain her symptoms?” Barry queried.

“We haven’t finished examining all the evidence, yet.  We’ll keep at it, but the machine and it’s blueprints got pretty damaged in the explosion. Truth is, we may never know for sure what she was working on or the effects it could have had.” Joe stated matter-of-factly, his detective side showing.

Barry ran a hand through his hair.  "Well, I know one way we can find out.“  The men just looked at him uncertainly.  "We can ask Caitlin.”  He finished.

“I’m not so sure that is a good idea, right now.”  Joe replied indecisively.

“Yeah,” Cisco agreed, “In case you forgot, I was just with her a few minutes ago, and she wasn’t real chatty.” He added dryly, rubbing at a newly forming bruise on his forearm.

“Look, I get it, and I can hold off on the big questions for a little while, but I need to talk to her now, to let her know everything is okay.  You saw before how scared she was, I can’t just leave her like that.”

“You’re right.” Joe nodded.  "Besides, it’ll make things a lot easier if we can calm her down.“

Cisco shook his head. "Man, this is so messed up. We keep saying how confused we are, but just think about what is going through her mind right now.”

“I think I have a pretty good idea of what she’s thinking.”  Barry noted.  "That’s why I should be the one to talk to her.“  Among other reasons.  He added silently, referring to his friendly and newly found romantic feelings for Caitlin.

Cisco concurred, unaware of Barry’s true feelings, though he sensed some weirdness between his two teammates as of late.  Joe on the other hand, knew Barry’s feelings all too well.  He always could read Barry like a book.

Both men nodded their final agreement, then Barry headed back over to Caitlin’s makeshift hospital room.

*****

Caitlin was sitting in the same spot, hands still tied to through the bed behind her as she sniffled, trying to stop the tears.

"Caitlin?  You okay?”  He said softly, poking his head in first, then slowly entering the rest of the way.

“No! NO!”  She began to yell, shaking her arms violently, trying to break them free to no avail.

Barry didn’t hesitate before rushing over to her. “Caitlin, calm down.  It’s just me…”  He said, trailing off at the end as he reach a hand out slowly.  She was sitting low on her knees, which were angled away from the bed.  He placed a hand on her front knee and began to stroke it soothingly.  She started hyperventilating in response.

“Shhhhhhh.  Just relax.”  He cooed.

Her breathing slowed a bit, and she spoke, “Who are you?”

“What?” He blinked.

“Who are you?” She tried again, a little louder this time as she willed herself to quite shaking, but she couldn’t help it. She just felt so scared…and cold. “Where am I?”

“I’m  Barry, Barry Allen.  Your… your friend.”  He clarified and watched her face.

Barry Allen.”  She stated slowly and deliberately as if she was tasting the words.

“And you’re in STAR Labs.  You work here as a scientist, remember?”  He waited for a flicker of recognition to register in her eyes, but there was none.  She just shook her head back and forth.  Crap.  No wonder she was so frightened, she has no memory of anything.  Or does she?  Barry wondered silently.

“Do you remember anything at all, Cait?”  He questioned.

“I-I-I can’t, I-” Caitlin started sobbing again as she recalled bits and pieces of the explosion, but everything else remained blank.

“Shhhhhhh.  It’s okay, everything is okay now.  Look at me.”  He whispered, moving his hands to cup the sides of her face.  He began wiping her tears away with his thumbs, as his own threatened to spill over.  Being so close, he could now see the flecks of silver in her light blue eyes that were full of fear, and the bluish tint to her lips.  Barry saw that she was beginning to relax a bit, so he decided to try something.

“Close your eyes.” He commanded gently.  "close your eyes and take a deep breath.“

Caitlin couldn’t remember this Barry Allen guy for the life of her, but for some reason, she felt she could trust him, so she followed his instructions, taking a long breath.

"Good.”  He smiled. “Again.”

Once she complied, he spoke more.  "Now, I want you to keep your eyes closed and think.  I want you to think back and focus on one single memory.“

She nodded and focused on her breathing as she listened to his words.

"It was last week, a Tuesday, and were in the lab.  You were wearing a sheer blue blouse with your black pencil skirt.  I was in my flash suit, a red leather one piece with a lightning bolt on the front.”  He paused to let the information sink in a moment, before moving on. “I was sitting on a table in the middle of the room, and you were pacing back in forth, yelling at me for putting myself in danger.  We had a plan to finally catch Captain Cold, but I deviated, cutting off communications with you and the rest of the team.  You were so angry with me, but I thought it was the only way to keep you all safe.  He had kidnapped you once before, I couldn’t let that happen again.”  

Barry smiled the smallest of smiles as he continued to stroke her cheeks with his thumbs even though the tears had subsided.  He studied her face, her beauty, ignoring the coldness she was radiating.  He had it bad for this girl, and he just couldn’t- wouldn’t- lose her like this.

“I had jumped to my feet to assure you that I was fine,”  Barry kept on with his story. “I turned you to face me, and you finally noticed a wound along my hairline.  You got all worried as you tried to tend to the cut, doing that lip biting thing that you do with your lower lip, though it was already halfway healed.  You had placed one hand on my chest for leverage and the other on the side of my face as you checked out the wound. ”

Barry took a big, deep breath before finishing his story.  He needed all the courage he could muster up before saying the rest out loud.  "When you went to pull away, I placed my hand over your hand that was on my face, keeping it there.  I looked into your eyes and promised one last time that I was fine and then…something happened.  I’m not exactly sure what, but it was like something just clicked, and suddenly, we were kissing.  It was amazing.  Do you remember, Cait?“

She opened her eyes and stared for a moment into his bright greenish-blue ones.  Her brow furrowed as her gazed flickered from his eyes to his mouth and back.  He was just so familiar to her and so was the memory he described, but she just couldn’t remember, though she desperately wanted to.

Barry could see the anguish in her expression.  "That was the last time we really talked.” He admitted, feeling ashamed. “Things got a little awkward after, and we saw each other scarcely.  You started doing extra research just to avoid me, and then…and then this happened.  He explained.

"I-I just…” Caitlin started.

“Just breathe. Take your time and remember.  I know you can’t forget that kiss because I can’t.  It was permanently etched into my memory the moment it happened.” Barry smiled sweetly.

She took a deep a breath. “Barry.” She whispered, staring at his lips intently.

“Please remember, Cait, please.” He begged, a single tear flowing down his cheek.  "I love you.“  Barry finally whispered.

No longer able to see her like this he vibrated the cuffs undone, freeing her hands.  Caitlin rubbed her wrists, but didn’t make any other attempt to move.  They sat there staring at each other for what seemed like forever, until she slowly raised a hand to stroke his cheek.  He gave a half smile as he covered her hand with his.

"I’m okay.” Barry whispered, making the memory come to life.  

Then he saw what he had been waiting for, a light in her eyes, a flicker of recognition.  Her lips twisted upward into a smile as her thumb caressed his cheek.

Unable to stand the space between them a moment more, he pulled her into a kiss.  There was nothing sweet or gentle about it.  It was deep and hard, showing just how much he cared for her, and how sorry he was for everything that had happened in the past week.

Caitlin responded eagerly to the kiss.  Not only did it reaffirm that memory, but it brought back all the others too.  It was like his kiss was the key to unlocking the treasure chest of memories that was buried deep inside of her.

To prove she was officially herself again, at least mentally, she broke the kiss and spoke confidently, “I love you too, Bartholomew Henry Allen.”

Barry smiled widely before pulling her back in for a kiss.  This time he pulled her into his lap, and she snuggled impossibly closer as her arms moved around his neck, fingers splaying through the back of his hair.

After a few minutes, they just sat there in silence, Caitlin sitting on Barry’s lap, both smiling like idiots as they pressed their foreheads together, allowing themselves to catch their breath.

“So, what happens now?” She asked, playing with the top button of his shirt, not making eye contact.

“Honestly, I don’t know, but whatever happens…”  He paused and tilted her chin upward with his index finger, so she was looking into his eyes again.  "We are in this together.“  Barry said, emphasizing the last word.

"Together.” She nodded with a smile, before kissing him, yet again.

Caitlin suddenly began to chuckle.  "The Flash and the ice queen… we are quite the pair, Mr. Allen.“

"Yes, we are, Dr. Snow.”  He smirked, brushing strands of blonde hair behind her ear.  And he had every intention of keeping it that way.

anonymous asked:

Maybe this is weird but sometimes I feel like literally every single member of 1D isnt straight at all. Like they all like men and everybody has been with everybody. Maybe Ive been brainwashed by all the ships but sometimes my mere intuition tells me theyre all into men!

Do you know what one of the best things about becoming a fan of One Direction has been? It’s seeing other people’s stories about figuring out parts of themselves and, specifically, their sexualities that they never had a way to verbalise. 

I was very fortunate to grow up in a very liberal environment. My godparents were two gay men and one of their mothers who I grew up knowing as my nan was a lesbian. She wasn’t able to come out when she was growing up (it was the 30s…being gay literally illegal), but was very much a proud gay woman and very supportive of her son. So, I had a very ‘you love who you love’ kind of attitude instilled in me from a young age.

However, I also grew up during a time where there was a distinct binary between “gay” and “straight”. I used to sing that song Phoebe sang on Friends that went, ‘Some women love women and some men love men, then there are bisexuals but some say they’re just kidding themselvvvvvves…’ And honestly, that was really the kind of conversation around bisexuality at the time. That it was like the gateway label to being gay, and somehow a bit of a joke. Like, “Yeah. OKAY. You’re “bisexual”. *WINK*.” 

It was really only when I heard comedian Margaret Cho talking about her experience with sleeping with a woman and then afterwards she said she felt like, “Am I gay?! Am I straight?! And then I realised…I’m just slutty. Where’s my parade?” that I felt like someone had verbalised how I felt. 

Now, I have exclusively dated and slept with men. However, my attraction to people really knows no bounds. If I’m attracted to someone, I’m not going to sit there and do a gender-test before deciding if I actually like them. Just because I’ve never slept with a woman doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it. But, again, I just labeled myself as kind of slutty in the fondest way and didn’t really give any further thought to it. Until I joined Tumblr. 

As we’ve gotten older I’ve had discussions with a lot of my friends about sexuality and most of the people I grew up with and I share a common belief that everyone falls somewhere on a scale, but that at the core of it attraction is due to something chemical which largely takes personal control away from who you’re attracted to. As someone who is very open to being attracted to anyone I can honestly say from transvestites to men to women who use to be men to women, I’ve found myself pretty much attracted to every different kind of person. 

Now what does this have to do with One Direction? It took me two seconds to come to the conclusion that Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles at the very least lusted after each other in a very primal and obvious way. It took me a bit longer to realise that I had completely ignored a similar attraction between Liam Payne and Zayn Malik. Attraction is probably the hardest thing to hide. Watching them try to subtly touch each other all the time is such a familiar concept to me, since that’s exactly what two people who are drawn to each other do. It’s why I have to stay away from certain exes, because put us in the same room and it’ll be less than a minute before some part of our bodies is touching and probably less than a couple hours before we’re making naked mistakes.

I do not think it’s impossible to assume that all of them have at some point looked at each other and thought ‘Holy shit you’re attractive,’ because, that’s exactly what all of us do every day. There’s a reason I tag pictures of Harry’s bum in my art tag. They are beautiful human beings and you don’t have to be a gay man to admit that Harry Styles is gorgeous. My best friend, who like me has exclusively dated and shagged the opposite sex, told me in way too much detail exactly what he would do with Harry Styles because he was “a beautiful man.” To give you an idea of his explicit rant, it was after he saw a picture of Harry eating a banana.

What I am trying to say is that I’m not here to slap labels on people since I genuinely hope that human thought just evolves to a point where we accept that who we’re attracted to has absolutely nothing to do with what some old ass book told you was right or wrong. Similarly, I don’t particularly believe in the strict binaries of gender either. I think people fall on a scale of masculine or feminine, but that it’s completely independent to who you’re attracted to. 

So, to answer your question in the most long-winded way possible: I don’t think anyone is 100% straight at all. People can have preferences, but like One Direction said, “All I know at the end of the day is you love who you love, there ain’t no other way…”

theatlantic.com
Meet The Lifelong Republicans Who Love Bernie Sanders
Some conservatives are defying expectation and backing the Vermont senator.
By Clare Foran

When Tarie MacMillan switched on her television in August to watch the first Republican presidential debate, she expected to decide which candidate to support.

But MacMillan, a 65-year-old Florida resident, was disappointed. “I looked at the stage and there was nobody out there who I really liked. It just seemed like a showcase for Trump and his ridiculous comments,” she recalled. “It was laughable, and scary, and a real turning point.”

So she decided to back Bernie Sanders, the self-described “Democratic socialist” challenging Hillary Clinton. MacMillan was a lifelong Republican voter until a few weeks ago when she switched her party affiliation to support the Vermont senator in the primary.  It will be the first time she’s ever voted for a Democrat.

That story may sound improbable, but MacMillan isn’t the only longtime conservative supporting Sanders. There are Facebook groups and Reddit forums devoted entirely to Republicans who adore the Vermont senator.


These Republicans for Sanders defy neat categorization. Some are fed up with the status quo in Washington, and believe that Sanders, with his fiery populist message, is the presidential contender most likely to disrupt it. Others have voted Republican for years, but feel alarmed by what they see as the sharp right turn the party has taken.

“I have been a conservative Republican my entire life. But the Republican party as a whole has gotten so far out of touch with the American people,” says Bryan Brown, a 47-year-old Oregon resident. “I switched my registration so that I could vote for Sanders in the primary, but the day the primary is over I’m going to register as an Independent.”

Anger and alienation have turned conventional wisdom upside down in this presidential election. Self-styled outsider candidates like Donald Trump and Ben Carson have surged in the polls. And as Republican candidates debate their conservative credentials, support for Sanders shows how difficult it can be to pin down what exactly it means to be conservative.

“Once you get out of Washington ‘conservative’ can mean all sorts of different things. Voters are often left of center on some issues and right of center on others. So someone like Trump or Sanders who talks about themselves in a way that doesn’t fit into a pre-ordained box could be appealing to a lot of people,” says Chris Ellis, a political science professor at Bucknell University.

In some cases, longtime Republican voters who have decided to support Sanders, like MacMillan, are rethinking their political affiliation entirely. (“I’m inclined to say I might stay with the Democratic Party because the Republican Party has changed and it’s not the way it used to be,” MacMillan says.) Far from claiming to have experienced a political conversion, other Republicans argue that Sanders actually embodies conservative values.

“When I think of true conservative values I think of Teddy Roosevelt who earned a reputation as a trust-buster,” says Jeff DeFelice, a 38-year-old registered Republican voter living in Florida. “Now look at Bernie. He’s the only one willing to stand up to the big banks. The big banks control an obscene amount of wealth in this country and he wants to go after them.” If Sanders looks like “a viable candidate” by the time the primary rolls around, DeFelice says he’ll switch his party affiliation to vote for the senator.

“Once you get out of  Washington ‘conservative’ can mean all sorts of different things.”

Sanders’s promise to wrest power away from Wall Street and return it to the American middle class taps into the same vein of populist anger that fueled the rise of the Tea Party. It’s also a message that resonates with mainstream Republicans and Democrats. Sixty-two percent of Republicans, for example, believe that large corporations wield too much influence on American politics, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted in May.

“Sanders has focused primarily on economic issues on which Americans are not divided,” says Elizabeth Coggins, a professor at Colorado College who studies American political psychology and ideological identification. “There is a strong consensus in agreement with Sanders on many of his core ideas, and his rhetoric has been largely centered on these sorts of issues.”

It’s difficult to say how deep conservative support for the senator runs. But its existence nevertheless challenges the notion that Sanders won’t be capable of building a diverse coalition to back his campaign during the 2016 presidential contest.

Still, some of the stands that may make Sanders attractive to conservatives leave a bad taste in the mouths of many liberals. Sanders brags about his D- rating from the National Rifle Association, but has suggested in the past that gun laws are best left to the states. “I’ve always felt like most issues should be handled on a state level, and he kind of takes a state level approach to gun control,” says Ashby Edwards, a 43-year-old self-described lifelong conservative living in Virginia.

Other Republicans are drawn to his fiery personality: “I’ve watched some of Bernie Sanders’s town halls and there have been people who will try to speak over him and sometimes he just tells people to shut up and starts screaming at them. That’s awesome,” says Andrew Holl, a 38-year-old registered Republican voter living in Florida. “I think it’s evidence of being genuine. He reacts honestly in every situation.”

Holl plans to vote for Sanders if he makes it to the general election.  “This is the first time I’ve ever considered voting for a Democrat. If you read the definition of what a Republican is and what those ideals are that’s me. But when you look at the Republicans in this election, I don’t like most of them,” Holl adds.

Some conservatives readily admit they don’t love everything Sanders stands for, but insist that doesn’t change their affinity the senator.

“I’m not 100 percent behind his platform but I like him as a person. For me it really comes down to authenticity,” says Edwards. “We’ve seen so much deadlock in Congress and I think people are looking for someone who can be passionate and authentic rather than being partisan.”

Republicans who support Sanders don’t like being labeled liberals either, but that’s not enough to deter them: “There’s a mentality of ‘you’re either this or you’re that’, but the world doesn’t work that way,” DeFelice says. “Things aren’t always black or white. The world operates in shades of gray.”