horse rear

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

From The Wind’s Twelve Quarters: Short Stories by Ursula Le Guin

With a clamor of bells that set the swallows soaring, the Festival of Summer came to the city Omelas, bright-towered by the sea. The rigging of the boats in harbor sparkled with flags. In the streets between houses with red roofs and painted walls, between old moss-grown gardens and under avenues of trees, past great parks and public buildings, processions moved. Some were decorous: old people in long stiff robes of mauve and grey, grave master workmen, quiet, merry women carrying their babies and chatting as they walked. In other streets the music beat faster, a shimmering of gong and tambourine, and the people went dancing, the procession was a dance. Children dodged in and out, their high calls rising like the swallows’ crossing flights, over the music and the singing. All the processions wound towards the north side of the city, where on the great water-meadow called the Green’ Fields boys and girls, naked in the bright air, with mudstained feet and ankles and long, lithe arms, exercised their restive horses before the race. The horses wore no gear at all but a halter without bit. Their manes were braided with streamers of silver, gold, and green. They flared their nostrils and pranced and boasted to one another; they were vastly excited, the horse being the only animal who has adopted our ceremonies as his own. Far off to the north and west the mountains stood up half encircling Omelas on her bay. The air of morning was so clear that the snow still crowning the Eighteen Peaks burned with white-gold fire across the miles of sunlit air, under the dark blue of the sky. There was just enough wind to make the banners that marked the racecourse snap and flutter now and then. In the silence of the broad green meadows one could hear the music winding through the city streets, farther and nearer and ever approaching, a cheerful faint sweetness of the air that from time to time trembled and gathered together and broke out into the great joyous clanging of the bells.

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breath of the wild horse tips

so i just caught this real good horse

and i thought i’d write out everything ive learnt since i started wrt horses??

catching a horse

catching horses is very simple, either drop down on it from above or sneak up on it. dont stand directly behind it incase it kicks.

you can run at a group of horse to split them up so its easier to sneak up on the individual horse when its calmed down, as when theyre in a group if one horse spots you they will all run away.

finding a good horse

there’s like lots of theories about horse colour and relation to stats but personally i dont find that a very practical way of identifying if a horse is good or not.

heres my advice:

- my general experience has been that solid coloured horses have wild personalities and the ones with the patchy butts are mild

- the harder it is to break the horse (soothe it into letting you ride) the higher its level.
if you don’t have much stamina, cook up some stamina restoration/boosts

- generally, the higher level the area, the higher level the horse.

That is to say, if the surrounding monsters are Extremely Dangerous, the horse will probably have more stars. I found Franziska beyond two lynels.

- If you want to find a fast horse, get on the nearest horse and chase some of the others around for a bit (dont boost!).

Wild horses wont gallop at full speed so if you have to hammer A to keep up, dismount and sneak up on it cause that horse is much faster than yours! Otherwise, you’ve found the fastest horse already. 

increasing your bond

there are a few specific moments where you can soothe your horse to raise its bond. you’ll need to get the timing right, but these are the triggers:

- when you get on your horse and tell it to move, you can soothe it.

- when your horse slows down and regains a spur, you can soothe it.

- new horses will sometimes toss their heads, you can soothe them then

- additionally a new horse will occasionally veer in a different direction. Redirect it back to the path, and you can soothe it

- as well as this, if you tell your horse to leave the path (turning sharply after leaving it on autopilot) you can soothe it

- if your horse doesn’t move at the speed you tell it to, you can soothe it and then boost

- if your horse rears back, you can soothe it

- if your horse jumps over something, you can soothe it

- if your horse gets hit, you can soothe it providing you’re still on it.

your horse will misbehave occasionally until you register it even if you max its bond

riding your horse

so in games like ocarina of time and twilight princess, the most efficient way to ride epona is to use between 1-4 boosts and leave the last boost so she doesnt get tired and recovers the boosts faster

not so in breath of the wild. there’s no slowdown penalty for using up all your spurs, it’s more efficient to use all the spurs and then soothe your horse when they slow down, and repeat.

trust your horse to know the best path, and only direct it when the path forks. if you’re riding a wild horse be alert for your horse running into walls, but otherwise let your horse pick the path.

you can climb most hills on your horse, but stick to cantering & non-boosted gallops, or you’ll not be able to direct your horse.

bonus: catching deer

to catch a deer easily, consume something that gives you speed up, or drop onto it from above.

If you want to sneak up on it like a horse, you’ll want level 3 stealth, their hearing is very sensitive.

I find it’s easier to just chase them, they’re not too difficult to catch with a bit of practice as theyre not as fast as horses.

Context: Our group was on the way to a town a bit farther away. Our Rogue did not want to walk all the way, so e suggested to simply wait for a carriage and hijack it. The first few carriages are dismissed by the whole party, by the last one, the rogue is getting desperate and definitely wants to hijack it. 

The carriage turns out to be a man and his obviously pregnant wife. They consider to stop, but don’t. We then get informed that this might be due to the presence of a gnome (me) and their fear of changelings. 

Me: So, what shall we do, throw me at the woman?
Rogue: That’s a great idea. (Turning to DM) I wanna throw the gnome at the wife.
DM: (turns to me) Okay, roll for Initiative then, to see of you have the chance to struggle… 
Me: Actually, I am totally okay with getting thrown at the wife.
DM: …You’re okay with it. Alright (turning to Rogue) roll for strength then.
Rogue: (completely messes up the strength roll) 
DM: So, the gnome is not even close to getting thrown at the wife. Roll for reflex. 
Me: (rolls a nat1) So that means what now?
DM: You hit the wheel face first and get stuck in it. The carriage is still going further. 
Half-orc: Well, I step in front of it. 
DM: That makes the carriage stop. (turns to me) Roll again to see if you can free yourself. 
Me: (rolls a 2) So, I’m still stuck. 
DM: Yes. 

Next is the clerics turn, who gets me out of the wheel. The DM then explains what the carriage’s driver will do. 

DM: So, the driver whispers something to his wife, who goes into the back of the carriage. He then hits the horse so hard it rears and starts galloping away. (to the half-orc) What do you do?
Half-orc: I stay where I am. 
DM: …(sighs) Roll for reflex. 
Half-Orc: (rolls a 2)
DM: …So, you try to jump out of the way, but stumble, fall down and get run over. You probably should get someone to heal you. I can’t believe it, we’ve been playing for an hour and a half, we haven’t even really started the campaign yet, but you already got two people seriously injured. 

A Hundred Lesser Faces

@surana17​ said

Hi :) not exactly a prompt, but more of a musing. What do you think would happen if Claire went to Lallybroch first, instead of Edinburgh/printshop? Thanks for your great fics, girls!

Welp, musing it might have been, but here we now are! Thank you for an inspiring prompt!! -Mod Bonnie 


November, 1766

“Hello, again.”

A breeze carried my words overtop the horse’s head, bearing them toward the neat stone walls just visible in the distance; and having said it, I felt something—yes—relief shudder down my spine. Despite the years, despite everything…it did still feel like my home. Divinely-sent or mere desperation, I took the reassurance with all my heart, and kicked my mount hard toward Lallybroch; toward home. 

It had been a last-minute decision, to come here, instead of to Edinburgh. In fact, I’d been fully through the stones and in Inverness boarding the carriage that would deliver me south! Then something clicked into place and before I even stopped to question myself, I was exchanging the coach fare for a horse and saddle, wondering why Lallybroch hadn’t been my plan from the start. 

Well, no—I knew exactly why. Because the idea of going anywhere but directly into Jamie’s arms had seemed ludicrous. 

He was ALIVE. And so close—I was *so close* to having him again, it was like a physical pain in my chestthe longing—the wanting….

But *think*, Beauchamp, I’d counseled myself in those vital seconds on the mounting block: a visit to Lallybroch will yield me *actual* information as to the whereabouts of those arms; a far cry more reliable than your hunch from a two-hundred year old artifact! I mean, *good Lord*, consider all the variables, here! Perhaps he’s moved to new premises across town! What if he’s abandoned his nom de plume for another and there is no longer an A. Malcolm printing in Edinburgh? What if he’s been so successful in his business, he’s moved to London to join a larger firm? Hell, what if he’s decided to make his fortune as a fur trader in Canada, for heaven’s sake?? 

Yes, the closer I got to Lallybroch, the more confident I was in the wisdom of my sudden volte-face. Even overlooking the more remote possibilities that may have taken him out of Scotland, a quick chat with Jenny and Ian could easily save me days or even weeks of roaming around Edinburgh asking after red-headed printers; and as an unarmed woman traveling alone and with limited funds, this was more than prudent, no matter how you looked at it. 

AND…. well

I mean, surely, even if he did still occupy the shop in Carfax Close, he would visit home occasionally….

….and there was always the chance that even NOW, he might be…he COULD be…

Don’t get ahead of yourself, Beauchamp. One leap at a time.

I dismounted and led the horse on foot for the final approach up the road toward the house, as much for my own pounding heart as for the beast’s sake.  Dear God…almost exactly the same as I left it twenty years ago. 

The trees overhanging the dooryard; the sounds of cooking and chatting and children playing from inside the house; even the customary pack of dogs that heralded my arrival through the archway, howling and barking as befitted their time-honored station…Yes, it was home. My home. 

“What do you think, lads?” I laughed softly, holding out my knuckles for the slobbering, leaping home guard to sniff. “Do I pass muster?” 

Apparently I did, for they all began vying for my attention. I obliged happily, scratching behind ears with my free hand and murmuring dog-lover-nonsense to each of them in turn, wondering if goodwill and trust could be passed down canine generations.

“A good morning to ye, Mistress!” 

I turned to see a stableboy of about ten hurrying across the dooryard toward me. A stranger, to my eyes, but with a warm, friendly manner, he bobbed a quick bow. 

“Good morning!” I replied with a grateful smile as I relinquished the horse. “And what’s your name, lad?”

At my words, he jumped and uttered a gaelic curse, his reaction so violent that he dropped the reins and caused the horse to rear. It wasn’t until I’d reclaimed the beast—nearly getting my teeth knocked in— and turned panting back to the boy, to his pale and frightened face, that I realized what had been his curse: sassenach. Said not in affection, the way Jamie had from the beginning, and Jenny and others had picked up from time to time in jest: but in fear and disgust. The vehemence of it felt like a blow to my gut, and for the first time, I felt afraid, ludicrous as it was to be bowed before a young boy. Before, I’d been only suspicious to Highlanders. Now, after Culloden, after the Clearances—I was, objectively, the enemy

The boy, to his credit, recovered with a good show of politeness, retrieving the reins and offering a murmured apology. He did *not*, though, offer his name.  “Are ye expected at the house this morn, Mistress?” (Do you have a reason for being here, or are you an English informant fixing to burn the place down?) 

“I’m an old friend of the family,” I said, with a concerted confidence and ease that I hoped would reassure him, “but, no, I’m not expected.” 

In fact, I could say with absolute confidence that I would be the least expected person ever to darken Lallybroch’s door. 

“Oh, aye,” the boy said. Polite. Wary. “If you’ll just follow me, Mistress, I’ll put awa’ the horse and then show ye inside until someone will be in to receive ye.” 

Someone. Someone. 

My heart thumped and my hope screamed piercingly in my ears:

Jamie. Jamie. JAMIE. 

My hands were shaking. I had to swallow and moisten my mouth to get the words out as I followed behind the boy toward the hitching post. “I beg your pardon, but does the…?” Nothing to lose, at this point, I suppose. “Is the laird in residence?”

“Mr. Jamie?” the boy asked over his shoulder, clearly surprised by the inquiry. “Aye, ‘course.”  

He was here. 

I nearly fainted where I stood. 

Thank God!! Thank GOD I trusted my gut and came here instead of going to Edinburgh. 

Jamie was near. My Jamie could be HERE at any moment! 

God, what will—

“But he’s no’ to home just at present,” the boy added hastily. “Went up to Broch Morda for the day.”

“Oh! Oh, that’s—that’s quite alright.” In fact, it was a relief. I would have time to think, to plan; to prepare myself. 

Dear God, Jamie! 

“Shall I send a message after him to let him know you’ve business wi’ him, Mistress?”

It should be alone, when we met to give him time to react in private — Lord, would he faint? Scream? Regardless, I did not want to be responsible for giving Jamie a premature cardiac arrest. 

 “That’s very kind, lad, but no, I’ll wai—”

“It’s Jamie Murray, he means.”

I whirled, my heart crushed with realization before I even finished the turn. Of *course* Jamie Fraser was no longer the laird; I’d known that; I KNEW that.

But even the ache of my desperation for Jamie vanished for that moment as I took in the sight of the woman standing in the open kitchen doorway. Older, weathered, just like me–but the same. My eyes filled with tears of joy and love and relief and I gave a little sob as I made to run to her, to embrace her. 

But I was halted by a cold voice I didn’t recognize. “He’s no’ here.” 

I stared as a dead person stares, looking but without conscious thought. It was a stranger speaking, a hostile stranger showing not a scrap of surprise or pleasure at my appearance. And her eyes—God, those blue eyes so very like his—staring me down— so bone-chillingly cold —

No, not just distant…..


Jesus, I wanted to whimper, Don’t you recognize me, sister? It’s ME…

But she did recognize me; and she did not like what she saw. 

I braced my shoulders. Met her eye. And tried not to let my wounds show. 

“Hello, Jenny.” 

The Parisian Dossier (Eggsy Unwin x Reader)

Fandom: Kingsman: The Secret Service
Pairing: Eggsy Unwin x Reader
Word Count: 4,353
Summary: You and Eggsy are sent on a mission in Paris to stop the assassination of a museum director. The two of you have worked together before, but this time Merlin requires that the two of you pose as newlyweds. Along the way there are several death threats, several art museums, and maybe even something along the lines of actual love.
A/N: I don’t own anything and this wasn’t edited, so any errors are mine. All French phrases are translated at the bottom of the story!

It suddenly occurs to you that, were Merlin not physically barring you from it, you could actually kill Eggsy.

Scanning the room quickly, you can think of at least 3 painless methods of execution and 17 incredibly painful ones. 

You wonder if the stylus in Merlin’s grasp could be sharpened fast enough to stab Eggsy in the throat.

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The Dullahan’s Ride through Elsewhere

 A short little story based in the fantastic supernatural world created by @charminglyantiquated. Do check out the Faerie shenanigans going down at @elsewhereuniversity; it is amazing.

You hear the thundering hoof beats and shrieking neigh just as the sun is setting. Gan Ceann is riding tonight. You know he is riding for you.

You had been too arrogant, too overconfident to dare remove your golden token this evening, for gold is the only thing that a Dullahan dreads. But she was such a pretty girl, and the time you spent with her certainly felt magical.

It will be the death of you.

You were certain that Elsewhere University would be a place to seek true protection. A clever deal, a well timed act of kindness, a gamble won… the Seelie always protect the ones they favor. You came to seek Their favor. Security that only They can provide against Others like themselves.

No one has ever said why, but in your family, once a generation spanning at least the past three centuries, the Dullahan will ride to claim a soul. Last generation it was your uncle, during holiday. While he slept with his wife. They heard the whinny and sharp metallic clang of the bit in the horse’s teeth too late. Your aunt awoke just in time to hear your uncle’s name called from the severed head. She screamed and Gan Ceann struck her blind in her right eye.

Your uncle’s soul was lost, taken in a hotel room on holiday, for there is no place that is out of the reach of the headless horseman. No gate, no door, no fence, no lock will keep him at bay when he rides.

It could have been one of your cousins now. It could have been your sister, or brother. You came to Elsewhere to stack the deck in your favor, to ensure it wouldn’t be you.

But it is.

Your plan might have worked, but you did not move quickly enough. It was just so nice to finally be away. Away from the daily reminders that the Dullahan still had yet to choose a quarry; reminders to keep your gold coin always safe and ready should you hear the horseman approaching; ongoing, repeating dialogue that reminded you that horrible death would strike your family, and that it was not a matter of “if” but “when.”

Being away from that daily conversation, free to even enjoy the occasional glimpses of some other Others than the one that plagues your family, you chose to dawdle. You thought you would take your time and shop for the best protector. The bargain that would net you the most benefit for the least payment. You are not keen on the stories of students who have hacked away enormous, essential parts of themselves for something, in your opinion, entirely too small, too insignificant. A life is an expensive thing to trade for. You did not wish to live a half life for a little extra insurance. So you waited. Listening. Watching. Learning. Weighing.

But now your time is nearly up.

You still hear him coming, even as your heart pounds in your ears and your straining, panting gasps shudder through the otherwise still twilight. You pause and look about your surroundings frantically, trying to pinpoint the direction the steed’s roaring breaths are coming from. It is the sound of the horse only that you hear, which reminds you that you are still among the living and still have time, however little it may be. You will not hear the voice of Gan Ceann. Not until he calls your true name. Not until he claims your soul.

You catch a glimpse against the deepening blues and purples of the sky: the black silhouette of a rider, holding his head up by its hair to scan ahead while his mount paws at the ground beneath its hooves. The dry grass flares up with each trample, sending orange cinders dancing up into the air. The rider is still too far away, but you imagine the ever moving eyes locking onto yours. In an instant the Dullahan pulls back on the reins, and the jet-black horse rears its head. You don’t stay to watch it resume its menacing gallop. You know the direction he is heading.

You take off again toward the copse at the far end of campus, just beyond the library. It is rumored to have the most activity this late in the day. You need to increase your odds of a meeting. You need to find a member of the Gentry; anyone will do at this point. Any Other you can make a hasty trade with. You grasp at your rucksack and hope what you have will be enough to trade. Enough to barter for your life.

“Gentle Fair Folk, please grant me an audience,” you pray, and repeat this mantra in rhythm with your hurried steps. Once… twice… thrice…

The shimmering glamour around the copse begins to lift, and out of the air directly before you a tiny blue light appears. You hear the tinkling of bells as it bounces in front of you. You skid to a stop just a hair’s breadth away from running into… you aren’t entirely sure. Another tiny bell jingles and you see another dot of blue light zip into being. And then another. And another. You are mesmerized by the dazzling trails they are carving into the deepening darkness, and you realize what they are.

Wisps. Will-o’-the-wisps.

Which is peculiar, even for Elsewhere. Isn’t it rumored that there are no fearie lights at EU? They are conspicuously absent from all the recounts you have ever heard of students being Lost, Taken, or Touched. Maybe this is a Gentry trick. Maybe this is one of the Fair Folk simply taking a more benign form. Maybe these truly are wisps. Maybe you are very lucky.

Or very unlucky.

Regardless… you have your audience.

“Please,” you beg, and drop to your knees to fumble with your bag. “I’ve come to trade. I need The Court’s protection from Gan Ceann, one of the Unseelie. He is coming for me.”

More jingling. You don’t know what they are saying, if they are saying anything to you at all. You remember the iron pins stuck in the lining of your jacket and the salt packets slipped into your socks. Will they help you if you still carry these deterrents? You strip your jacket and toss it away from you, likewise dig out the salt packets and throw them into the bush. The jingling stops and the lights hover. You take it as a good sign. The sounds of the rider’s horse are growing nearer.

You unzip your pouch and dig out a tightly sealed mason jar. “I have sea glass and abalone shells, and pendants of enamel and obsidian. What will you take in exchange for protection from the Dullahan?”

The wisps float before you silently. You begin to feel that the deal is going badly, and you are becoming desperate. At any moment you imagine you will hear your name and you will be dead.

“Please!” you cry, and shake the mason jar in frustration. “I’ll offer you everything I have in exchange for your help! Please!”

The tinkling of the bells resumes, and the tiny Fae line up before you. Tears trickle down your cheeks; you did not realize you were crying.

“Thank you,” you whisper, and get to your feet. You remember to be polite; you must always be polite. You leave your bag and grasp the mason jar tightly as you feel yourself being drawn along a path you cannot see, a path that the wisps are leading you down. You take out your cell phone and flip on its flashlight to help light the ground as you hurry after them.

The glamour lifts before you reach the copse and you know you are now in the realm of The Golden Ones. A too green marshland stretches before you, where the leaves are illuminated from within and the light along their sharp edges seems to march like a scrolling marquee. The land is dotted here and there with old, gnarled trees that have human faces, and nymphs and water sprites dance among the foliage and shallow waterways. A white stag ambles by in the distance.

The scenery seems lovely, but you wonder how being here will protect you from the Dullahan. You expected to be brought to a castle, or a fortress, or some other place with defenses. Maybe just being beyond the veil of the glamour will be enough, you think. No man-made structures can stop a Dullahan; maybe the thin glamour will prove stronger. Or, at least, strong enough.

It doesn’t.

A sudden gust of hot air on your neck makes you shriek, and you whirl around to see the Dullahan and his black horse towering over you. The horse’s nostrils flare and his breath comes out in a burst of fire. Gan Ceann still holds his head aloft by the hair, and its ever moving dark eyes lock with yours. You fall back into the waters of the marsh as the soft, sunken, moldy cheese colored face splits into a horrifying toothy grin, impossibly wide, so wide it literally stretches ear to ear. The mouth opens, and you know the next breath will be your name and your soul will leave you. You do the only thing you can think to do in the split second you have left.

You throw your cell phone at the horse’s feet.

The back flies off and the screen shatters into a hundred shards. The horse rears up and jumps back. The Dullahan head screams. There is no name in his screeching cry. He yanks the reins around, and turns to ride out of the Seelie marshland the way he came.

He is gone. You are alive.

Your breaths come in ragged sobs. At first, you are confused. Relieved, but confused. As you reach for the remnants of your phone, you remember something that you never should have forgotten. If your phone was functional you would query the Internet. “How much gold is in a smartphone?” you would ask. “Enough” is the answer. There is enough.

You remember the wisps and dump your mason jar of treasures out onto the soggy marsh bank beside you to show your gratitude. They surround you while you stand and you thank Them again for their protection.

They are not dancing. They are not jingling, or tinkling, but They are making some airy sort of noise. It bubbles and echoes around you until you realize with horror that it is the tittering sound of laughter.

Your feet are rooted in the marsh. You do not feel them anymore, and do not see the way back to the campus. The luminescence of the marsh has become black, and in the dark all you see are the lights of the wisps and the glowing amber eyes of the trees. The trees with the human faces.

You will be favored here. You will live, and the Dullahan will never claim your soul.

Such is the price of Their protection.

Hail Mary: Part IV

Part I  Part II  Part III 

I woke knowing instantly, breathtakingly, that Jamie was there, holding me. 

Thank God. 

Thank God he’d come after me. 

Thank God that his voice was behind me, urgent with tenderness, and his arms alive with exactly the same as they pulled me close against the chill“Are ye warm enough, mocree?” 

‘Oh, yes,’ I tried to whisper, but the words were subsumed by a tiny sound from my throat—a mew?— of simple, silly happiness; of closeness, of sweetness, and of complete security. I let myself fall back into the dark of him, the heat of his chest against my back; his knees behind mine; my mind swirling lazily, freely within the haven he had made for me within himself.  

Then I woke again and his soft, warm mouth was latching slowly into the curve of my neck and shoulder. I was moaning and he was moving higher; higher toward my ear as he whispered unknown syllables into my skin. Moaning. Moaning and feeling his breath, his lips, his love at my ear. Moaning, on my back in the heather with Jamie on top of me, slipping his hand into the neck of my shift to free my breasts. Moaning, gasping as he put his mouth on them, suckling me hard; moaning as his hand slid hard under my hips, pulling me up against him. Feeling him hard, even through the layers of clothing. Bucking against him, my fingers digging into his back. Moaning as he moved urgently forward and back, his mouth never leaving my nipple; moving with him, keening.

“I need ye,” he groaned suddenly in a hoarse whisper against my breasts, his grip on my thigh tightening hard and the motions of his hips growing alarmingly urgent with need. He was gasping from it, his whole body shaking. “I need ye now, mocree.”

“Have me,” I was groaning back, reeling with my own desire, feeling an electric wave travel through me as I heard his moan of lust, as he grappled frantically with my skirts. “Jamie, Jamie I’m yoursPl—

I woke, bolted upright, and gasped violently all at once, so fast and suddenly that the horse reared against her tether nearby and whinnied in terror. Instinct brought me flying across the clearing to calm her, but the moment she subsided, I staggered backward and fell hard onto the ground on the far side of her tree, shaking uncontrollably from head to toe—from rage or—something else—I couldn’t tell.

“Goddamn FUCKING hell!” I hissed in fury and despair into the night as I dragged myself up to lean against the tree. “Can’t he leave me the hell alone?”

No, I canna…And ye ken why, lass.

After Jamie’s startling proposal—that ridiculous…. heartbreakingly beautiful  proposal— I’d spent the rest of my evening on my hasty but effective escape plan. I’d passed round the laced whisky multiple times along with the plain that flowed freely in honor of Jamie’s pardon; no one had noticed that they were sinking further and more quickly into drowsiness than was usual. Before that, I had contrived a deep and sudden interest in discussing our route with Ned, memorizing the maps he pulled forth from his saddle bag, devouring them and repeating to myself over and over as he talked: that direction to the Ness. Follow it up to Inverness. Then a bit south and a bit east, and not far to Craigh na Dun. 

All had gone to plan. Until Jamie had followed me. Granted, I’d traveled infinitely faster on the horse onto which he’d thrown me than I would have on foot, but —

Jesus, the way he had looked at me—begged me—

But I had had to go—right then—had told myself I wouldn’t stop even to sleep, wouldn’t stop for a moment till I reached the standing stones and was back in Frank’s world. Yet, I had all but fallen from my horse, and hadn’t even bothered with a fire; just curled beneath my earasaid and fallen into a deep sleep.

But apparently not deep enough to keep out Jamie Fraser.

I sat there in the freezing night, bringing my knees up to my chin and hugging them in frustration. “Beauchamp….you stupid…. lust-crazed—”

It’s no’ just lust. Ye ken that, as well as I; ye ken what there is between us, mocree. 

“I didn’t even know what that word means, you bastard!” 

But it was clear enough from the way he had spoken it, the way it had sounded in the night as he’d reached for me, that it indicated some deep…. 

“I care for you, Claire”

“Dear God,” I whispered into my arms, longing, defeated. “…Jamie…”

Yes, of course there was something between us. 

Of course I felt it between us almost from the first.

Of COURSE that night in his arms had been… 

“Jamie Fraser, you stupid boy! Why the BLOODY hell did you have to propose?”

But thank God he had. Thank GOD, or else I’d have—what? Had him in the woods at the first opportune moment? Had—a life with him?

…I bet it would have been a good life…

Dear God. 

“Who….are you, Beauchamp?”

My horrified question resonated in the darkened glade, indicting, with no answer reverberating back. 

Go. Go now and don’t think of anything but your husband. 

That’s who who’ve got to be: you’re Frank’s wife. 

I scrambled to my feet and untethered the horse as quickly as I could. 

What a ridiculous fool I’d been, so be lulled into a prisoner’s security with the MacKenzies. My HUSBAND was back in the twentieth century with no notion whatsoever as to what happened to his wife. He’d spent nearly six weeks frantic with fear. And I’d all but forgotten him. 

“I’m coming, Frank,” I whispered as I set off at a gallop. “I promise.” 

The entire morning, the entire afternoon, the entire evening, my mind was a terror fugue, a mad fury of fear and guilt, punctuated by the haunting tones of Welshman’s song of the woman of Balnain. 

I lived for a time among strangers


who became lovers and friends

Jamie, with the wounds I inflicted upon him showing in his eyes. 

lovers and friends





FRANK, waiting. 

FRANK, worrying. 


At last, as night fell once more, the hill of Craigh na Dun appeared in the distance. I kicked the horse hard and we raced up the slope, both of us panting and heaving. Could the animal feel my terror? 

I saw the moon come out 


and the wind rose once more,

so I touched the stones


and traveled back to my own land


and took up again with the man I had left behind


The stones were wailing, keening. 

I threw myself off the horse.  

“Frank…Frank…Frank….” was on my lips as I staggered to the stone circle. 

And as the wind did rise, 

rose so high my skirts billowed around me,

I slammed my hands against the screaming stone.


And nothing.



Blood dripping down my hands and smearing the stone. 


“Oh, God… Frank….”

I had no voice in the dawn light. I had no tears left. 

My body was curled around the base of the stone, cradling the memory of the life I had had.

Once more.

Once more, the stone under my bleeding hands. 

And nothing.


The sun was blinding me as I dug, the dirt like glass in my scraped and bleeding hands.

In the hole at the base of the stone, I placed my gold ring. It glinted in the sunlight as I stared down. 

From F to C with love. Always.

“Goodbye, Frank.”

Thank God the horse hadn’t strayed far. I found her at the stream and caught her by the halter, the panic I had felt rush through me in waves during my night on the hill surprisingly absent.

Frank was gone. Or rather, I was gone. The stones were a one-way voyage that was now complete. It was that simple. The Frank part of my life was now done. 

Why doesn’t his loss hurt you more? Have you no heart, you coldhearted—

But those were only echoes of guilt, calling out faintly to me from the hole I had dug—the hole I had covered over, handful by handful— at the base of the stones. 

And part of me had known it all along, hadn’t it? Since the first moment I’d realized I’d gone back to another time? The Welshman’s song had given me hope, yes, but of course I knew that there was always the chance I would never be able to return. 

In truth, I’d been grieving and healing from the loss of Frank ever since I arrived at Leoch. I had fled to the stones out of guilt, pure and simple. Lord, my very thoughts on that ride told everything in black and white: 

Frank is worried;’ ‘Frank is your husband.’ 

NOT‘I can’t bear another day without Frank;’ not ‘what if I never see Frank again?’; not ‘I ache to have you back in my arms, Frank.’

No. It was : “You’ve got to fight your way back to Frank. You’re his wife.” 

I loved Frank; had always loved, him even from the first…but I didn’t feel a visceral need of him when we weren’t together; not now, not when we first met, not even during the war. 

I hadn’t ever felt in almost eight years—even with nearly all of our marriage spent apart— the way I felt now, missing Jamie.

Yes, perhaps I would hear those echoes from Craigh na Dun many times in the years to come; but I had made my choice and I was turning the horse without conscious thought. 

I could make my way south to England, blend in and start a new life among the familiar voices, quietly, living out my life alone in atonement for what was lost and what wickedness had clouded my heart. 

But it was north that I was turning; north that I made for with all haste; to the life that the stones had just made possible. 


To Jamie. 

Keep reading

Permanent Ink // Soulmate AU

Prompt: The things your soulmate loves show up on your skin.
Overview: What Newt loves most in the world are his magical creatures…Which is rather confusing for his soulmate, a Muggle with no knowledge of magic.

⇢ A Newt Scamander x Muggle!Reader Soulmate AU.

The first time Y/N noticed a marking on her arm, she could not, for the life of her, understand what it was.

Not that it was difficult to discern, but rather she had never seen anything quite like it. With the head of an eagle and the rear of horse, it reminded Y/N of a hybrid cross between a Griffin and a centaur.

She thought that, maybe, her soulmate had a strange affinity toward mythology.

Not long after, a new tattoo appeared. In ways, it was stranger than the first. Its outline was in the shape of a fungus, with sharp bristles surrounding the outer stem. Y/N studied the mark the very moment she spotted it before pursing her lips and turning back to her book.

At seven years old, Y/N supposed she had better things to do than mull over the strange penchants of her soulmate.

She would worry about them another time.

Newt Scamander was fourteen when he first fell in love.

As outlines of books, ink, and artwork filled his inner forearm, he grew more and more excited to meet his soulmate. Newt thought he would finally find someone who understood him and appreciated his unwonted passions.

But too soon, he found that camaraderie with someone else.

Too soon, he found Leta Lestrange.

She was everything Newt thought his soulmate would be. Leta was passionate, driven, and, most importantly, she shared his love of magical creatures.

Every thought he had of Leta was followed by a feeling of shame; his heart ached, imagining the betrayal his soulmate must’ve experienced. But as Newt traced the tattoos on his arm, then stared back at the girl in front of him as she declaimed the cruelties Hippogriffs had to face, he knew what he felt was nothing less than love.

And sometimes, people just can’t help who they fall in love with. Even if it’s with the wrong person.

Y/N was fourteen when she saw the outline of another woman’s face etched permanently onto her skin.

She bit her lip, hoping that maybe it was her soulmate’s relative. But even she knew that wasn’t how the markings worked. And no amount of wishing could change that.

Now, almost fifteen years later, every day was a painful reminder of what should’ve been, but never was. As often as she could, Y/N wore long sleeves to keep herself from staring at the marks of betrayal on her arm. Still, her mind wandered.

Together or not, her soulmate was still out there and she wanted them to be happy. No matter what.

If anything, Y/N decided that she at least had her books. And as she ran her fingers across the dusty spines on the shelf, she realized she was content.

Until a fluffy, rodent-like animal scurried across the floor, brushing against her ankles.

Keep reading


He rears on command, and he always kicks his foot out. It’s cute,

you see I thought him this trick because he was rearing so much it was getting dangerous and reverse psychology works. Yes at the start he tried to use it against me, but I’d just tell him off whenever he done it without me asking, and praised him whenever he done it when I asked and he hasn’t reared in over a year without me asking him. Cx 

thoughts on duality in bvs

man, i love how at the end of bvs, superman is still a mystery to the general public.

“all those circuses back east for an empty box.”

“they don’t know how to honor him–except as a soldier.” 

what the film seems to say is that superman and clark kent can be separate; they can be buried in two coffins, he can be his own person without worrying about the public defining him because they will always define him as something different. in the suicide squad trailer, we see that many officials still worry about deterrence against metahumans, despite clark’s ultimate sacrifice. the questions still exist, though there’s certainly a lot more goodwill toward superman than there’s ever been before. but clark has finally accepted that he can’t control that–and they can’t control him. he’ll always just do what feels right to him–as kal-el, as clark, not as Superman the Idol. it’s like he’s managed to bury both sides of himself that didn’t feel whole.  

and that ultimate separation is what bvs is about–acknowledging that these characters are perceived as larger-than-life and often behave as uncontrollable gods, but they are themselves in a way that is often impossible for them to express. the movie doesn’t tell us about the dualities they’re dealing with. it shows us.

the two supermans are so distinct by the end that it’s impossible for the audience to mistake one for the other. 

diana has lived as a mere mortal for hundreds of years, but bruce and the doomsday threat convince her to use her powers again. she is herself in battle, even if she still mourns the consequences of violence. she’s tried to give up the image of herself as a goddess, but she’s closed herself off too much from what she can do.

bruce has lived too long as a legend and dreads the return to humanity, to what’s supposed to be a normal life. but by the end of bvs, he’s let new people into his heart, and it reminds him of what he set out to do in the first place. he no longer fears his own vulnerability quite so much, so he can be bruce wayne in a way that doesn’t feel like he has to put on a mask to exist. he has people who care about him, and he can’t fail them. 

(for some visual cues on the concepts of duality/separation, check the funerals that frame the narrative. there are two funerals at the end, one spare and desaturated in kansas, one loud and colorful and full in metropolis. pairs of horses pull the coffins, which we can link to the riderless horse we see in the fog after the metropolis destruction and the rearing, soldiered horse we see after the capitol bombing. those images are evocative and strange, and there’s no one way to read them, but i love the idea that they’re linked to death, powerlessness, and power, respectively–which all our characters are grappling with in more explicitly stated ways.)

the movie is really about how the trinity has to make a choice between humanity and power, with all the guilt that goes along with that, and then the movie asks if that’s even a choice they have to make. lex doesn’t think you can be powerful and good at the same time, and the trinity choose different versions of that–bruce wants power (to force the world to make sense), diana cedes her power so she can live with herself, and clark dies (Ultimate Human Act!) in the process of killing an unkillable demon (Ultimate Godlike Act!). he’s definitely managed to separate himself from the public’s view of him, but he’s also able to strike the right balance between his powers and his morals that bruce and diana struggle to do. but they all make it there in the end. they’re not simply behaving as mortals are supposed to, or as criminals/waynes are supposed to, or as saviors are supposed to. they’re just them, supporting one another, choosing to do good with the power they have, no matter how difficult or impossible that might seem. 

Request: Can I request an imagine of Ivar having a twin sister and together they are very close and she is slightly more feared because she doesn’t hesitate to harm someone and is true to her threats. 😊🤙🏼
Note: I said to myself, no more series until you caught up with the request … yes, nevermind that.


You sharpened your axe with the kind of precision you always used when you were around weapons. The sound causing your axe to sharp against the metal of the wheel you turned around and around sounded pleasant. When you looked up from underneath your eyelashes you saw your brother do the same. His concentrated narrow eyes never lost sight of his weapons he handed with such much love almost. He really didn’t love anything else than his weapons, his eager to rule and … you. Being his twin sister made it not always easy for other people to be around the both of you. They were scared enough from the cripple who couldn’t walk but they feared you more, because you always, without any doubt rectified the mistakes that were made against your brother. Your eyes traveled back to your own axe, turning it in your hand so the little sunlight fell on the blade and a satisficing grin spread over your lips. ‘You two should be spending less time working on those weapons.’
‘Are you scared I’m gonna hurt you with it brother?’ You asked without looking up. You could see Hvitserk standing in the corner of your eye, you felt his gaze resting on you.
‘No, not as long as I behave.’ He answered and you smiled, looking up to him.
‘We go to war; do you want to do it with bad weapons brother?’ Ivar asked while looking up. Hvitserk leaned against the door and shook his head.
‘If the both of you ride in front you take them all for yourself, why do I need to sharp my weapons, hmmm.’ Hvitserk reacted on that. You and Ivar both started to chuckle, he had a point.
‘We spare you some soldiers.’ You winked.
‘Thank you, Björn wants to talk with us.’ He announced with a promising look. You looked how Hvitserk walked away before you turned your head towards your twin brother.
e doesn’t approve.’ You noticed. Ivar wanted to lead the army, because Ragnar choose him. You thought the same, your brother maybe seemed like the cripple who couldn’t get himself proper through a fight but you knew better, he had the brains nobody else had. Leaving later today was the fact, everything in between was just guessing.
‘Nobody does Y/n.’ He grunted getting down from his seat before crawling out. You turned your axe and shoved it on your belt before walking after him.

Björn had gathered all his brothers at the harbor. Ivar pulled himself aside Hvitserk while you stood aside him, leaning against the wood and looking a little uninterested towards your eldest brother, half-brother actually. ‘Brothers, and sister, this is my decision.’ He began his tremendous speech. While he gave that speech you looked down to the knife that you where pinching through your fingertip. The bole of water got around and everybody did the same ritual over and over again until it came to Ivar who just shook his head about Björn his decision to take the lead on everything. ‘You don’t agree Ivar?’ He asked rather short.
‘I didn’t say anything.’
‘You don’t have to.’ Björn reacted, giving him some perspective on his age, what he does and doesn’t knew, you got sick of that kind of talk and Ivar knew it. You were often more short tempered than he was. ‘I’m the leader of this great army, ME!’ He shouted, looking up to you. You clenched your teeth, feeling the soft fingertips of your brother in the back of your knees, making his presents quite obvious in your growing anger. ‘And you will obey me.’ He warned you.
‘You know Björn, he was our father to. Not because you did all the battling with father that you can call all the shots. This is family, you should listen to the other their opinions, use their strength.’ You said on a calm neutral voice.
‘Y/n.’ Ubbe warned you. You looked up from the knife towards Björn that walked over to you. He was twice the length you had but nothing on his expressions scared you away.
‘You will obey me, is that understand Y/n?’ He asked you on a more warning voice. The knife pinched in your finger, causing a drop of blood to run down over it. You turned the knife and pointed it against his chest, challenging him with your look.
‘If that is required my king.’ You hissed sarcastic. Björn looked to the knife, not getting in to it by pulling back and you smiled. He walked away, Sigurd gave you a filthy look and followed with Hvitserk. Ubbe looked at the both of you.
‘Can’t you just let it go.’
‘Why brother, because he sees me as the cripple and thinks I’m not fit?’
‘This isn’t about you Ivar, it’s about our father.’ Ubbe reacted rather impatient. You looked how he walked away before looking down to Ivar, his fingers slipped away from the back of your knee.
‘You just had to say that, didn’t you?’ He smiled that devilish smile up to you.  You pulled your hand through his dark hair, messing it all up.
‘I’m right, not?’ You asked.
‘You are always right sister.’ He answered, pulling his hands through his hair to get it back in order.
‘He may think he can beat you by words but sure we can beat him in acts.’ You said, leaning down and pressing a kiss against his forehead.
‘Yes,’ he murmured, looking over the water. ‘Yes, we can.’ And that was a promised. You threw the knife up and catched it back at the tip, looking into the same direction he did. You didn’t look forward to anything else more than this, traveling overseas back to England. Your last visit there was to say goodbye to your father, now it was to slay every one of them who dared to show his face in front of you.
‘We will triumph brother.’ You promised him. You were his right hand in everything; the constant fear of his enemies laid not only with him but also with you for you loved him unconditional. The bound you had as twins made it hard to get the both of you against each other and it would resolve in conquer for you always justified the legs he didn’t had.

That horse galloped over English soil like a mad man. You leaned forward, giving all your weight to his front, making your body lighter for him to carry. Since you were little people didn’t liked you, because of Ivar and the bound the both of you had. So horses where your second nature, making you the most skilled one on a horse Kattegat had. He ran over a while were the whole Heathen army stood waiting for you. You pulled him back, the black horse slipped to a stop aside Ivar his chariot. ‘They are coming.’ You turned your head towards Björn. ‘And they won’t triumph over this.’ You pointed out over the whole heathen army. Björn nodded, satisfied and pulled his attention to the other kings and earls. Your horses trembled on his place, eager to go running again. ‘Let’s wrap this up.’ You whispered eagerly when the first few man climbed that little hill. You looked over your shoulder to the rest of the army, smiling because you were already sure of the victory.
‘Leave something for me to sister.’ Ivar said, pulling his axe. You pulled yours and held it forward to him.
‘Offcourse brother. Don’t die on me.’
‘If we die, we die together.’ He promised. And that’s where you disagreed every time again with him. You leaned aside in the saddle, resting your hand on the egde of his chariot while you looked in his sharp blue eyes.
‘If I die I need you to take revenge Ivar. Don’t love anybody else than yourself, don’t let my dead be your weakness.’ You warned him. He titled his head, giving you that slight loving smile you didn’t saw to often.
‘I will fight for you sister.’
‘As I will fight for you brother.’ You whispered back, softly kicking your axe against his while pulling back in the saddle. The army started to walk up that hill, Floki, Harald and Halfdan before Björn gave Ivar a short nod. He pulled his helmet on and kicked his reins against the white horse to move forward. You clicked your tongue, galloping after your brother between the men Björn leaded into battle. You braided long hair followed the movements of your feminine body in the saddle. When you past Harald he looked at you with that look that pushed a grin on your face before you let your eyes rest on the small army Aella had. You held still aside your brother, holding your axe ready for attack. Your other brothers came to stand aside the chariot; you looked down to Hvitserk who wished you good luck with one small nod. King Harald started yelling and you pushed your axe up, screaming the lungs out of your body. The horse underneath you reared from the sudden explosion of sounds before Björn started running, giving the command to attack. Then men around you started running, you kept your horse as steady as possible, looking aside to your brother.
‘Go get them sister.’ He smiled dark. You let the reins a little loose and your horse started to gallop through the army. By the time Björn reached that army on foot your horse caught up with them, smashing against the enemy. You axe chopped his way through before you pulled your horse back. Your one leg swung over the saddle before you jumped onto the ground, pulling your other axe and just giving everything you had. Being a woman made you graceful in battle, although you danced with two axes, it still looked like a woman’s body fighting. Your eyes caught king Aella, running on by rather than on his horse. You slit a soldier through his stomach before running after that king, the coward. On that body you didn’t need to do much running to caught up with him. You pulled him on his collar back, down to the ground. Your knee pressed in chest you leaned over to him, softly laughing.
‘You really thought to escape your own dead?’ You smiled, enjoying the struggling he made underneath you. You pulled your knife, putting the tip of it against his throat. ‘Do you know who I am?’ You asked him softly, what didn’t mean you were friendly.
‘No.’ He reacted in fear.
‘Shame.’ You reacted, putting that knife right in the palm of his hand. He screamed and you chuckled slowly. ‘You gonna wish I killed you right here and now.’ You warned him. But before you could even consider on taking him back towards his own army somebody grabbed you from behind. Two strong arms were you couldn’t put any protest into. They covered your mouth and you just bited in the fingers holding it.
‘You savage.’ He hissed in your ear.
‘What until you meet my brother.’ You fired right back before they pushed some fabrics into your mouth and blinded you. You started to put up a fight but the ropes, the strength they had made it impossible for you to move an inch. It was true what they say about twins, their bound could connect them on any distant, so you stopped your protest knowing that if Ivar came, you would smile while he slaughter the ones capturing you. None the less they smacked something against your head causing your body to drop down into unconsciousness.

Reflections (part 1)

A/N: So I had to break this up into multiple parts, most likely two or three, because if not it would’ve been way to long and I’m too busy for that.

This is the beginning of the Mulan story.

A/N: Y/F/N = Your father’s name

Word Count: 2481

The corset was suffocating, and the heavy weight of the layers caused a bead of sweat to roll down the back of your neck. Still, you remained composed, smiling to the man before you.

“My father’s company also happens to…” his voice faded away in your mind, hearing nothing but narcissism from a petty rich boy. Your eyes shut in internal frustration, your fingers gripping over each other in your lap. Slowly, your hand reaches to your tea cup, raising it to your lips and taking a long gulp, aching for the flavor to turn into any form of alcohol possible. You hadn’t realized how loud the gulp was until you set the tea down, glancing at the wide eyed man before you.

“I beg your pardon, Ms. L/N, but I find that was rather atrocious.” In any other scenario, you may have felt embarrassed by the comment, but this was the fourth suitor today, and you were growing tired.

“Frankly, sir Lowell, I couldn’t care less about what came out of your pompous mouth. If you’ll excuse me.” You rose up, leaving the stunned man behind to retreat to another part of a house, letting out a long sigh. You soon heard your mother’s feet shuffle over to you.

“Goodnes, Y/N… was that really necessary?” She asked, her tone hushed, but her gaze was fierce.

“Oh mother, you saw him. Money is nothing if I despise the man.” You stood your ground on the subject, watching her eyes roll and return to apologize to Abbott Lowell, making sure your families still were on good standings. Such a brat… you muttered as you heard him feign offence. The voices disappeared as you walked up the stairs, already pulling at the ribbons to allow yourself to breath. You shut the door behind you, leaning against the familiar frame and rubbing your face, ignoring the possible smudge of your makeup.

“This is ridiculous,” you mutter to yourself, walking over to the vanity and beginning the long process of removing all the pins from your hair. “I’m only 18, I shouldn’t be expected to be engaged so early.” You stare at your reflection, taking a cloth and wiping away the red tint on your lips. You knew the nobleman had left, because now your parents were yelling downstairs. It caused you to wince, knowing the subject. A sigh passed your lips as you looked down at the smudge on your handkerchief. “I could never pass as a bride… or the daughter they want me to be.”

Not long after, there was a knock on your door.

“Sweetheart? Can I come in?” You heard your father’s voice penetrate passed the doorway.  You were brushing through your hair stretching far past your shoulders and down your back. You didn’t reply, he’d come in anyways unless you said otherwise. He opened the door and walked in, smiling at you through your reflection. You set the comb down, turning to look at him. He rubbed his jaw, collecting his thoughts.

“You know, he wasn’t that bad.” He defends, and you scoff in response.

“You didn’t have to sit through half an hour of him talking about his family and fortune.” He nodded in understanding, and you laughed a little bit. “Perhaps he’s compensating…” The last part was mumbled, but your father gasped, and you knew he heard it.

“Hey! Keep those thoughts to yourself, young lady.” He scolded, but there was a smile on his lips. He lowered to the bed, groaning as his bones ached around him. Your smile faded as you stood up.

“Have you taken your medicinal tea, father? You remember what the doctor said-” before you could continue your speech, he raised a hand and gave you a solemn smile.

“If the lord decides that I am to leave this Earth - whether it’s sooner rather than later - then I cannot fight him.” His face relaxed and he arched his back to stretch. “Which means I’m not drinking that god-awful tea.” You both laughed, and you shook your head, going to the bed and offering your arm.

“If it makes you feel better, I sneak in two sugar cubes when I make it.” He laughed at your response, letting his arm hook around yours as he stood.

“Well then, I thought it was just your magic touch.” He smiled down at you and kissed your temple, letting you lead him out of your room and down your stairs. You smile broke when your eyes looked to the door, your mother standing next to a tall man in a military uniform.

“Ah! This must be Y/F/N L/N, good evening sir.” He said with a nod. Your father pulled away with a furrowed brow, whispering for you to wait on the steps.

“How can I help you, young man?” he asked, cocking a brow and shaking the soldier’s hand.

“Well, as you know, there’s been political turmoil between the colonies and Britain.” He began, to which my father nodded and locked his arms behind his back. The man pulled out an envelope, sealed with a drop of wax and a crest you could quite see. Before the man spoke again, your father opened the letter and scanned through it. You couldn’t see his expression, but the way he tensed, it couldn’t be good.

“I understand your concern, sir.” He continued, noting your father’s expression. “However, General Washington needs more troops. You are to report to the Southside post tomorrow morning, I apologize for the short notice, but there’s only a short amount of time before the battalions arrive.” With that, he saluted and left your home, but you couldn’t stand to see your father hurt himself just for the war.

“W-wait!” you called out, running passed your parents and out the door. “Please!” You grab the arm of the shoulder, who looks back at you in disgusted shock. “My father’s ill, can’t you-”

“It’s not up to me. I suggest you stay out of what you don’t understand. You’re going to get yourself hurt.” His tone was warning, but his expression made you feel disgusted. You felt a hand on your back, turning you around and leading you in as your father apologized.

“Father, you can’t-”

“Y/N, this has nothing to do with you. I don’t need my daughter getting in the way of what needs to happen. I know my place in this world, and it’s time you learned yours.” His tone was angry and he stormed out of the room, leaving you stunned in the lobby of your home. Your mother looked at you briefly, wanting to console you but deciding to talk with your father. She rested a hand on your shoulder a bit before walking out of the room. You stood stunned, now alone in the area. Tears stung your eyes, his words aching in your ears as you ran out of your home.

The courtyard was large enough, filled with ornate statues that you’d climb as a child. A small pond covered the back corner, and you lowered yourself into the flowers surrounding it as tears slid down your cheeks. As your own tears fell, so did the tears of the sky, dancing on yours skin as the hem of your dress sat on the edge of the water. You didn’t care. The sky was dark with night and clouds, thunder emanating in the distance as you look down at your hands, pristine and picturesque. You felt hopeless and useless. Your eyes looked up to see your parents in the window, discussing something you couldn’t hear. Your mother turned and vanished out of view, her expression just as tragic as your own. Your father turned off the light, retreating after her to bed.

By now, you were completely wet with the rain of the night. Your own tears had exhausted, and you were left expressionless on the damp ground. Images of your father, dead in a battlefield and left without a trace loomed in your thoughts. He was too weak to go to war, but you? Young, quick, strong. Determination sparked within you. Yes, you did need to learn your place in this world. That place was protecting your family.

You stood up, walking into the dark house, silence looming over you. Your steps were quiet as you snuck into your parent’s room, both in a deep slumber as you fished through their wardrobe, finding your father’s uniform and retreating to your room, stopping in the doorway to blow a kiss to them.

Water pooled at your feet as you stood at the vanity, grabbing the scissors you used to sew on your desk and beginning to cut the long locks. A lump formed in your chest, nerves setting in and talking you out of it. Still, you persisted, the hair you had worked so hard to grow now at your shoulders. The blue ribbon used to tie your corset now tied your hair back into a low ponytail. You drew in a sigh, walking over to the uniform and grimacing. The gause were tight against your chest, but it made the uniform fit as properly as it could, with some extra room in the shoulder and the groin. Your features were still feminine, but you looked as much of a boy as anyone else.

You took a minute to write a letter to your parents, using it to replace the one that sat on their bedside table. This may be the last time you ever see them, and you wanted to apologize for not being able to be the daughter they wanted. Hopefully, this would make up for it.

It was still raining when you left the house, but that didn’t affect you as you moved to the stables. At first, your horse didn’t recognize you, but at the sound of your soothing voice, he relaxed, and you were able to saddle him with ease. At the entrance, with one last look, you said goodbye to your home, and snapped the reigns. Your horse reared, before running down the street. You prided in his speed.

You didn’t know what was to come, but you’re father would still be alive, and that was enough for you.

The ride took about forty minutes of straight of nonstop running, and both you and your horse were exhausted. By now, the sun was breaking past the hills, and there were already men ready at the camp. You slid off of your steed, resting your hand on the side of his face and offering praise. You lead him down the path, looking around cautiously as nerves set in, but you stand tall. Still, you collected eyes, which distracted you and had you run directly into a tall monster of a man. He turned around and cocked a brow, causing you to shrink back.

“What’re you lookin’ at, kid?” His voice boomed, causing the hair on your neck to stand on end and a lump to form in your throat. You opened your mouth to apologize but ran felt someone stop you. You turned around, a man no more than  a few inches taller than you and his face covered in freckles smirking.

“Hey hey, where you going?” He asked, cocking a brow and beginning to drink from an open bottle of Sam Adam’s. You gripped tighter on your horse’s leads.

“I uh…” you started, unable to form words, and heard chuckling come up.

“C’mon leave the kid alone guys, he’s not doing anyone harm.” Another man showed up, leaning on the freckled man. “How old are you anyways? Does your mom know you’re trying to fight with the big boys?” They chuckled and you furrowed your brow. You were never one for being insulted or degraded.

“I’m sure I can keep up.” You defended, regaining your composure. They look to each other and chuckle, the tall one joining them.

“Oh really? Prove it.” the freckled one shoved you, causing you to stumble back. They begin to laugh louder, causing anger to spike up your spine. Years of pent up anger was finally boiling over. As he laughed, you shoved him, hoping he’d fall.

You succeeded all too well.

He fell back onto a new soldier, whose temper was much more short than yours. The difference was he was twice the size of you. The guy looked up nervously before shooting daggers at you, standing up and rolling up his leaves. You weren’t sure where this burst came from, but you turned to run as a brawl began across the whole group of soldiers. You knew you were responsible, and all you could was hide from the three men searching for you to completely erase your existence from Earth.

You were huddled behind a post, but heard a familiar voice laugh and lift you up, raising a fist. You covered your face out of fear, but a gunshot in the air halted everything. Everyone jumped especially you and your gaze was directed towards the direction of the shot. The freckled man dropped you and ran to the line up.

“Now, would anyone mind telling me what this is about?” A thick French accent caught your attention, and your gaze fell on the frenchmen, long curls tied back into a tight ponytail and arms crossed over his firm chest. Your heart fluttered and your eyes widened. He was simply beautiful. The three men that you met earlier chuckled a bit and gestured toward you, still by the post and not in the line.

“He started it, Lafayette.” The man with a basic beard and ponytail said, the same height as the freckled one. Lafayette? You had heard the name before, but never had the pleasure of gazing upon the Marquis until now. The general looked toward you and cocked a brow.

“This enfant? Please…” He muttered, shaking his head and gesturing for you to get into line. Immediately, you obliged, standing next to the freckled one who stood at the end. “Now, things are going to be a little different. Washington had to move ahead, and left me in charge. So this behavior is unacceptable.” He pondered a thought for a few minutes, before a sly smirk slid across his lips. “Five miles miles, around the field forty times. If you aren’t back here by sundown, no dinner.” Every grumbled and glared at you, and you felt vulnerable. “And enfant, If you aren’t at the front of the line the whole way, I expect you to be gone by morning.” He leaned forward so he was your height, a stretch for him. His smirk was just as beautiful as the rest of him. You were both intimidated and attracted to him, and you knew this was going to be hard.

“Let’s get started, oui?”