i blame everything on that damn fic

ramblingredrose  asked:

You should definitely meta about Tony and Wanda and how Tony's given way more leeway for what he's done as opposed to Wanda

Okay so. There is a huge disparity in the treatment of Wanda and Tony. Tony stans are virulent* in their defence of him, while Wanda stans, fans or her defence squad are pushed to defend her or point out the holes in other’s arguments - they’re pushed on the defensive from the start because Stark Stans love to focus on the fact that, as we are shown in the films “Wanda wrongs Tony first”.

*Yes, virulent. Like a virus. They’re awful and as far as I care, should be eradicated.

Yeah, right. Long before Wanda ever touched Tony Stark’s mind, Tony did something to her. Unintentionally. Unknowingly. Indeed, he may not have even been directly involved, it may have been Obadiah Stane’s fault, but, for narrative and thematic reasons, I think it would resonate more with Tony’s sense of guilt, blame and responsibility if it was in some way his fault. If Tony Stark had willingly sold weapons to NATO, who were involved in the Balkans unrest, or to the US government who later interfered in the unrest in the Balkans* - unknowingly making a situation worse with his weapons as Yinsen tells him. If it’s simply Obie’s fault, selling them behind his back, I think it removes a lot of the narrative impact from Tony’s shouldering the blame for his weapons - which he designed, which his company and people he trusted sold, which were then used in ways that hurt civilians, intentionally or not.

*You can read more about the Balkans conflicts after the dissolution of Yugoslavia over Here and Here. Many thanks to @tobermoriansass for helping me with this. Further reading [x] [x].

The fact of the matter is Tony Stark’s company - his company then, before he gave over power of it to Pepper - sold weapons that orphaned the twins. The twins, as ten-year-old children, hated the man who, as far as they knew, had orphaned them. Who had sold the weapons. Who had power and money and means and was praised - who, if he had sold weapons to NATO, for use in the Balkans conflict, may well have been praised for his part in such a so-called “peacekeeping” initiative - … and whose weapon had taunted them for two days in the rubble, as they waited above the bodies of their dead parents. To quote This truly fantastic meta by @eatingcroutons:

With all this going on, Maximoffs would have grown up knowing nothing but war, and with a deep-seated hatred of the foreign powers that had occupied and violated their homeland and people. Orphaned, desperate and powerless, it makes complete sense for them to jump at von Strucker’s offer to become something more. Like many of their compatriots, they volunteered for his experiments when he showed up with Loki’s staff in 2012.

The thing is, in explaining this, I’m not trying to justify Wanda’s actions to you. I’m sure there are many fans of Tony who’re going to insist that that’s exactly what I’m doing, but I’m not. This is simply an explanation of the upbringing and background - and ultimately trauma - that led to her decision. Just as Tony’s trauma has affected much of his behaviour to ultimately toxic ends.

[Source: Where’s The Alcohol?: Revisiting Tony Stark’s Glossed Over Alcoholism. The meta largely covers comics!Tony’s alcoholism, but I think the degree to which Tony drinks in the films, and his attitude towards alcohol, as well as his generally reckless behaviour, all speak to someone with some very unhealthy coping mechanisms]

So there’s that. Both of these characters have severe trauma and that affects not just how they see the world, but how they access and interact with the world. In simple terms, both characters have what amounts to excellent fic fodder! They’re both deeply fucked up with deep-seated issues, a desire to make amends for the wrongs they’ve done:

[Source: Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Battle of Novi Grad. Clint to Wanda, offering her a chance to make amends - which she takes]

TONY: I saw that I had become part of a system that is comfortable with zero accountability.

REPORTER: What happened over there?

TONY: I had my eyes opened. I came to realise that I have more to offer this world than just making things that blow up. And that is why, effective immediately, I am shutting down the weapons manufacture at Stark Industries … until such a time I can decide what the future of this company should be, what direction it should take, one that I am comfortable with and that is consistent with the highest good for this country as well.

[Source: Iron Man 1, Tony’s press conference on his return, shutting down Stark Industries’ weapons manufacture after seeing what it’s doing to people first hand]

So, if we’re getting into an argument of who hit who first, it was Tony. This is a farcial debate, because both characters seem able to move forwards from this, and grow up rather than clinging to it - Wanda sacrifices her vengeance to defeat Ultron and proceeds to do everything in her power to make amends afterwards, staying on as an Avenger while Tony has been actively making amends since, like Wanda, he was made aware of what his actions were actually doing. If we’re getting into an argument over who has learned, both of these characters have remarkably similar arcs and have both learned a lot from their starting points. Both of these characters lost their parents at a young age due to factors beyond their control, both sought to do something in response to this (the twins fought the injustice of their country and it’s unrest too try to make a safe place for it’s citizens, so no other children would be orphans like they were, Tony spent his entire life trying to live up to his father’s demands and expectations.), and both, when they realised their ways of going about this (for the twins, trying to destroy Stark, who they blamed for much, for Tony, the creation, manufacture and sale of weapons) were doing considerable harm… both stopped, and both proceeded to try to not just make amends for what they’d done, but actively undo it - Wanda fights back Ultron’s drones, tries to save lives on the train and pre-emptively in Novi Grad and fights alongside the Avengers, while Tony halts the manufacture and sale of his weapons, tries to track down his Stark tech and works as an Avenger, trying to prevent disaster.

There’s other similarities too. They both lose people who are either important to them, or who are integral to their character arcs. Tony loses his parents, yes, but also Obie, who turns out to have betrayed him and Yinsen, who taught him what his weapons did, and the loss of Coulson impacts him incredibly - “We are not soldiers!”. Wanda loses her parents, her city and her brother, as well as sacrificing the vengeance that supported her for so long.

They both learn that those they’re working with may not be the right ones - Obie in IM1, but also learning of his father’s work with Anton Vanko in IM2 and the likely accidental or invisible ties between Howard’s presence in SHIELD even as SHIELD was early on riddled with HYDRA and, of course, Ross and the Raft. The twins sign on to work with what they think is SHIELD, only to later learn it’s HYDRA - this isn’t fan speculation, believe it or not, but canon.

[Source: This Scepter’d Isle prelude comic for Avengers: Age of Ultron. Note List saying “our Iron Man, … our Avengers”. They’re claiming to be SHIELD as this was before CATWS and the reveal of HYDRA. Many thanks to @emmasdiamondheart for reminding me this panel exists]

And of course, after this, they work with Ultron, only for Wanda to learn his intention to destroy the world, which they of course cannot condone (when Ultron asks them not to get involved on the train Wanda responds “What choice do we have?”). Both Wanda and Tony repeatedly place trust in the wrong people and feel deep responsibility for this. And even Wanda’s continued anger at Stark when she knows he is the better choice than Ultron (“Ultron cannot see a difference between saving the world and destroying it. Where do you think he gets that from?”) makes sense - while Tony stopped making and selling weapons for and to others… he’s continued to make the best and worst weapon of them all - his own Iron Man suits, which he has kept wholly for himself - even Rhodey had to steal his suit, because Tony trusts so very few people. Indeed, like Steve, in some ways he does believe that sometimes the best hands are his own, even if he is very willing - and may even in a way find it comforting - to be held accountable for things.

There’s also a big one left. A really big one. A huge big one. And while every Stark Stan may try to justify it, it only goes to show the huge disparity between how Tony’s anger is treated vs. Wanda’s.

[Source: Captain America: Civil War. Tony stating his intent to kill Bucky Barnes for the death of his mother - a death Bucky was not in control of, as the brainwashed Winter Soldier, but is being blamed for anyway, and a death long ago.]

[Source: Avengers: Age of Ultron. Wanda putting fear into Tony Stark’s mind in order to bring about his downfall - an action done under the belief that blame was to be placed at Tony’s feet, regardless of if it was or not, and for deaths long ago.]

This is where the disparity comes in - a huge disparity, a disparity that I am pretty damn sure has it’s roots in classism, racism and sexism.

Tony is allowed to attack Bucky. He’s defended for it. He’s given justifications. And after it all, his fans still write fics where he apologises to Bucky and everything is fine and dandy. Wanda, on the other hand, is vilified. Is insulted from here to hell and back, is blamed for everything Tony does wrong from AOU onwards, is used to justify Tony’s every action - even Tony’s insults towards her:

“It’s a 100 acres with a lap pool. It’s got a screening room. There’s worse way to protect people. She’s not a U.S. Citizen and they don’t grant visas to Weapons of Mass Destruction.”

[Source: CACW, Tony to Steve, justifying Wanda’s illegal house arrest that happened against her knowledge… which kind of invalidates a house arrest when the person could break it simply by popping out to the shops.]

People buy into the in-universe media’s narrative that Wanda caused the explosion (she didn’t. We literally see Crossbones setting off the bomb he’s wearing). There are people who call her a murderer because she couldn’t contain an explosion - even though she contained it long enough to get it out of range of the people in the market, undoubtedly saving all of their lives. Indeed, the onus there if anything should have been on Steve, the one who was directly confronting Crossbones - but he got distracted, and Wanda, an Avenger still being trained up, still without a full grasp of her powers, had to step in when the bomb was set off.

[Source: Captain America: Civil War. Wanda self-flagellating over her perceived failure to save the lives of the Wakandans.]

Wanda displays much the same hallmarks as Tony Stark, has a very similar arc and very similar responses to trauma and mistakes (drive for vengeance and desire to make amends most notably).

And yet, Wanda is blamed, insulted, vilified. Tony Stark is praised, defended and others are trodden down so he may be raised up. Why is this?

It’s really very very simple:

Tony is a cis male (ostensibly) straight guy, born and raised in America to immense wealth, with a genius level intellect, constant snark and Daddy issues to make even Tyrion Lannister or goddamnit Jon Snow cry. He’s America’s 1%, he’s got guilt issues up the wazoo and his sarcasm and snark makes him many people’s favourite archetypes in one - and so they defend him to the death.

What’s Wanda got?

Wanda is a woman from Eastern Europe who grew up first in a block of flats which were later destroyed due to the war-torn nature of her home country and from then, is said to have lived on the streets according to Marvel. She and her brother were deeply codependent as a result of their trauma, and, in order to have the power needed to take the vengeance they had sought since they were ten (reminder! they were children when they imprinted on this idea) they let themselves be experimented on by people they later learned were Nazis.

Oh, and she actually managed to in-part take that vengeance on Stark.

That’s the reason she’s hated. She’s a woman. She’s Other with her Eastern European accent. She’s Different with her powers no one can explain. She was poor. She’s foreign and lesser and a she. And then she attacked a fandom fave due to misconceptions that she believed in her whole life - that her upbringing and country only continued to emphasise:

[Source: Avengers: Age of Ultron. Sokovian graffiti of Tony Stark as Iron Man, his face plastered over with dollar signs.]

It’s xenophobia. If you count in the Roma and Jewish background of the twins in comics, then it’s also racism. It’s certainly sexism, likely classism. These things mean that few will consider her… for her. For her character arc, for her trauma. Few will sit down and notice the similarities between her and Tony, few care. Instead, they hate her for her act of vengeance. They don’t try to understand why.

[Source: Captain America: Civil War. Vision explains the science behind the fear response to Wanda due to her powers in-universe. And yet - so few both in the MCU and out of it - where it doesn’t actually matter - care to delve into the whys and werefores and Wanda’s treatment.]

They just hate.

And it fucking sucks.

End Note: If you should want a truly excellent fic written to battle these issues with how Wanda is perceived and treated in and out of universe, may I recommend to you all Soldier, Weapon, Stranger, Monster by the wonderful @tobermoriansass, who has been such a help in writing this meta.

Anchor — Peter Parker

idea: sometimes heroes can’t save everyone
words: 700+
warnings: deals with death 
note: prompt idea (x)

The day had begun so, unbelievably perfectly.

Keep reading

Okay but imagine Fitz and Jemma barricading themselves in a room, the LMDs on the other side, trying to force their way in. They’re together, but they’re also trapped, and they’re scared. They search for something to help them, anything at all, but they know they can’t run forever.

They face the trembling door– trembling a bit themselves– holding a hammer and crowbar, and waiting for the inevitable.

“Follow me.” A voice whispers. LMD May stands near the back, face half hidden by the darkness. Fitz and Jemma turn around, and stay in place. Jemma grips the hammer tighter and narrows her eyes. “And why should we trust you?”

LMD May steps forward, and Fitz and Jemma really get to see her clearly. She looks… tired. Like she’s tired fighting the fights May has been fighting for years. That she’s tired being chased by ghosts and tired of seeing them. That she’s tired of becoming one. Like she’s been through everything May has ever gone through even though they know she’s not May and she knows she’s not May.

“Because Radcliffe told me that I wasn’t built to last,” she begins, and she still looks damn tired but she straightens her shoulders and looks them straight in the eye. “And if I wasn’t built to last, then I’m sure as hell going to do something right before I fall.”

(And she did.)

@the-nerdy-stjarna and @mocking-point i blame you

Kill Me Slowly with Your Kiss - wara_ningy0 - Yuri!!! on Ice (Anime) [Archive of Our Own]
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

Chapters: 1/?
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice (Anime)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Otabek Altin/Yuri Plisetsky, Otabek Altin & Yuri Plisetsky, Katsuki Yuuri/Victor Nikiforov
Characters: Otabek Altin, Yuri Plisetsky, Victor Nikiforov, Katsuki Yuuri, Okukawa Minako, Jean-Jacques Leroy, Nishigori Takeshi, Phichit Chulanont
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe, mafia au, Special Agent AU, Love/Hate, Happy Ending, Aged-Up Yuri Plisetsky, Aged-Up Otabek Altin, Top Otabek Altin, Bottom Yuri Plisetsky, Guns, Knives, otayuri - Freeform, slight Viktuuri, Smut, Anal Sex, blowjob, hinted mpreg (maybe), NOT OMEGAVERSE, Mild Language

Hasetsu Special Agency is on a mission to eliminate a particular Russian Mafia Organization and its up to their best agent, Otabek Altin to make sure everything goes smoothly. The Nikiforov’s Mafia isn’t what they seem and they happen to have their own dangerous member known as the Ice-Tiger of Russia to challenge HSA’s Special Agents. Otabek was going to shut down all Nikiforov’s movements for good but a little dance and a little kiss could change where he would point his gun to.


If anyone is to blame for me writing this fic, it would be @iamatrashfan. Her Beka is soooo damn sexy, I just can’t help myself. So excited for this collaboration with her /happy dance/

I HIT 200!!!

Guys, you have no idea how much I’m freaking out right about now. I literally can’t say thank you enough. It’s so crazy to think that there are 200 people out there that actually put up with my shit. And by shit, I mean my annoying ramblings about track + other life problems, my shit-posts involving Lin, and basically everything I do on this blog. Anywho, I FREAKIN’ LOVE EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU T H A N K

Some special peeps I wanted to tag for an extra large “thank you!”: @worldseemedtoburrn @bullcrappery @always-blame-jefferson @hamlltvn @psychedemigod @puns-and-fics @god-damn-it-miranda @love-doesnt-discriminate @sunriseovertheroomwhereithappens @people-i’m-probably-forgetting-sorry

Also, this was my face when I opened tumblr three minutes ago:

Originally posted by discount-speedwagon

catsandr0ckmusic  asked:

Hahaha. That's a great idea. I'm just gonna say it was Anti as she knows who he is. She's not in the fandom but I often share my fan fic ideas with her. Blame the Glitch Bitch. Works every damn time

yes oml that’s perfect. Something Anti would do just for the kicks.  And how nice is that??? that you share your fan fic ideas with her even tho she’s not in the fandom??? ngl that’s cute. 

Also from now on I’m gonna blame Anti on everything. Not my fault, but Anti’s. 

Keep me company!!

when we go crashing down, we come back every time

Adam/Ronan, 6.4k words, pining/angst + fluff

The official version was that Ronan Lynch did not go out of his way to avoid Adam Parrish when he came to visit; he just happened to be elsewhere, doing things, whenever Adam was in the general vicinity of Henrietta. The official version was that there was no bad blood, they just didn’t have that much in common, anyway. The official version was that Ronan couldn’t remember when, exactly, things had fallen apart between them, mind your own business, Dick.

The unofficial — and truer — version was that, despite what he told Gansey in increasing degrees of frustration and profanity, Ronan knew exactly when things had gone wrong.

It was their first kiss that had ruined them.

read on AO3

i would like to point out @knightsren​ is to blame for this. “this” being the fact that i ended up writing fic not-so-loosely based on taylor swift lyrics. (i take full responsibility for how angsty it turned out, though.)

who am i kidding, i loved writing this, i’m so damn weak for song lyrics

sparks fly

It’s Sterekweek!! And I really shouldn’t be writing fic right now but STEREK! Today’s prompt was “Scene Stealer” and I had no idea what to do with that until I stumbled across this post in my prompts tag, which spawned this slightly cracky, Indiana Jones inpired, 1.7k madness - fair warning, the only parallel to Indiana Jones is the fact that Stiles is a professor of archaeology and I sort of forgot evene that half way through sorry I hope you enjoy this anyways!

Stiles has grown up to be a total bamf, okay?

He’s a professor, and he’s a cool professor at that! Okay, all the other professors of archaeology are over seventy and more than half dead, but still. Stiles is the cool one. And apparently even the hot one, if the comments on “Rate my Professor” are to be believed.

So anyways, Stiles is a bamf. Not just because he’s the coolest professor of archaeology ever, but because he’s the coolest professor of archaeology ever who actually does things, finds things! Cool things, magical things!

Oh yes, Stiles is also a little bit magic. Unfortunately you’ve got to take that literally, because Stiles is just a spark. He can do a little magic, is totally awesome at mountain ash - he can even do the cool circle thingie now! - and can be used as a conduit for spells or other people with more magic at their fingertips. The latter is not so great admittedly; people keep kidnapping Stiles to use him for their usually nefarious purposes - like he wouldn’t mind getting regularly kidnapped so much if it was to save the bees or feed all the puppies of the world or something nice like that. But no, instead it’s always world domination, world domination, world domination, with the occasional reach for the stars to mix things up a little.

Case in point: Peter Hale.

Keep reading

Heart’s Desire

I have literally been writing Merintosh fics for two days straight and I blame everyone on this damn ship. Anyway, here is one of my pieces, thanks to the wonderful fangirl–of-everything for beta-ing.

Fandom: Once Upon a Time 

Ship: Merida x Young (Lord?) Macintosh

Word Count: 2000+

Summary: Merida receives an interesting proposal for an alternative to war. Macintosh isn’t too happy about it

The messenger was regarded with the utmost suspicion. He came alone and with no weapons, a scrawny thing that was barely a man. Still, the whole hall kept their hands on their hilts, the guards leading him doing so with drawn swords. Despite this, he wore a swain-like smile, and perhaps that’s what set Merida on edge. He approached the throne, and with a nod from Merida his guards stepped away from him. He looked around a moment before returning his attention to the Queen.

“What’s your name, boy?” Merida asked.

“Tomas, if it pleases the lady.” He said with a wink

Macintosh, who stood front among the spectators, had already grabbed Tomas by the neck by the time Elinor exclaimed. “Show some respect lad. Your speaking to Queen Merida, ruler of Dunbroch and Protector of the Highlands.”

Even with Elinor’s warning, Tomas looked more concerned with the larger man, who from close up, looked willing to snap the neck he held.

Merida, who’d only raised an eyebrow at Tomas’s brazenness, couldn’t see Macintosh’s expression.

“You came here under a white banner, Tomas. Who leads you, and why does he choose now to call for peace?”

“Queen Merida, I come to you from his Majesty, King Antonio, ruler of Illyria.” Tomas said with a flourish

“Antonio, eh? And just why is your king trying to attack my castle?”

“King Antonio has come to collect a debt he feels owed to him by the clans Dinglewall and Macduffin. I’m afraid I do not know the specifics, only that the lairds who created such debt are now both dead. However, King Antonio has decided there is something he’d rather have than the money.”

“Oh and what’s that?”

“If I may, your majesty?” He indicated with his eyes to Macintosh, who had him still by the collar. Merida sighed.

“Let him go, Macintosh.” She ordered. He did so with a shove. Tomas reached into his pocket and, slowly for the benefit of the clansmen, pulled out a piece of paper. He held it out to Merida. Macintosh grabbed it out of Tomas’ hand with a sneer, and carried it to Merida. She reached for it but was stopped by her mother.

“Wait, Merida, it could be a trap.”

“Mother really, what do you suspect, there’s poison dust hidden in the folds?” Merida rolled her eyes and reached again for the letter, but this time Macintosh pulled it away. She gave him a look to say, ‘really’

“Give it here, Macintosh.” Elinor said. He handed the dowager queen the note, who opened it at arms length. No poison powder fell off. Elinor scanned the letter quickly, and soon blushed quite red.

“What is it Mother?”

Elinor searched for the right word. “Love poetry.” She finally said. “For you.”

“What’s that?” Merida didn’t bother hiding her surprise. She snatched the paper from her mother and scanned it briefly.

“Fair…….. Flowing hair….. Eyes like fire…. Are you sure he isn’t talking about Macintosh over there? ” Merida  suggested. The clans all laughed good naturedly, except Macintosh who glared at her. She gave him a smile in return. When the laughter died down  enough to be heard Tomas took the opportunity to say loudly.

“My master, King Antonio, was so taken by your beauty and courage on the battlefield, he has fallen madly in love with Your Majesty and, if you would have him, desires your hand in marriage.”

Dead silence followed his announcement. A glance at the queen told Tomas she’d frozen solid at the offer. The dowager queen covered her mouth in a ladylike gasp. Lords Dingwall and Macduffin stared open mouthed. The entire court looked at either Tomas or the queen, as if awaiting a punchline to a very bad joke.  But it was the Lord Macintosh who looked at him like he would now gladly remove his head from his neck for the sheer joy of it.

Queen Merida spoke first. “Are you fucking with me?” She said the words slowly and purposefully.

“No, but I believe the point is he would like to.”

All hell broke loose in the chamber. Men were yelling obscenities at Tomas and at each other. Many were defending their queens honor, the rest shouting suggestions at what to do with King Antonio’s proposal. Macintosh grabbed Tomas, already drawing his sword.

“Oy! Shut it! All of you!” Merida came to her feet and screamed at the crowd. Silence fell again. Macintosh sent Tomas sprawling on the ground in front of the throne, sword drawn.

“Your Majesty, allow me to send this King Antonio his answer back in pieces.”

“Don’t be dramatic, Macintosh.” Merida said with a roll of her eyes, but she didn’t notice her own good natured smile at his declaration. “Tell your King-”

“Before you refuse him,” Tomas interrupted from the ground. Macintosh’s sword pressed further against his neck. “King Antonio insists I tell you he is willing to pay 500,000 gold pieces for your hand in marriage.”

Merida fell silent. The Kingdom had been in a debt for the past few years, ever since the last time they went to battle. While things were not dire, such a sum would clear them of all debt and propel them into a long state of comfort.

Merida sat down.

“My queen, you can’t be seriously considering this.” Macintosh said, his face a mix between shock and worry. Macduffin and Dingwall voiced their agreement. Merida ignored them all.

“500,000 gold pieces and no more battle?” She clarified to Tomas, who nodded.

Merida turned to her guards. “Return this boy to his King, and tell him I will send my answer shortwhile.”

The hall erupted in chaos again, but Merida paid it no mind. Instead she looked to her mother, who looked back worriedly. Macintosh practically stepped on Tomas as he and the other clan lords made to approach the queen. But before they could protest further, she’d grabbed her bow and swept away from them, leaving the room to the reign of her mother. The three clan lords turned to the former queen for answers, but though she appeared to be steeling herself to bring the room back under control, the look she gave them showed she was as confused as they were.

Macintosh turned and stalked back to his clansmen. The Dunbroch guards were wrestling Tomas up and pushing him out the door.

“M'laird, you don’t really think the Queen will accept such a proposal, do ya?” One clansmen asked.

“The fool tries to woo her with love poetry.” Another exclaimed in disgust.

“We don’t fear a war.” Someone else said. “Let them bring their swords, we’ll fight them back!”

“Aye, then all the clans are agreed.” Dingwall said from behind. Macintosh turned to see him and Macduffin. “Queen Merida shouldn’t have to give up love for us, though we all know she would.”

“We need to talk to her Macintosh,” Macduffin said. “She’ll listen if we stand together.”

“She won’t.” Elinor interrupted. “Not if she thinks what she’s doing is for the good of the Kingdom.”

Macintosh stepped towards the window and pointed towards it, where somewhere outside a host sat ready to attack.  "She cannot marry that.“

"You don’t know that. She’s never even met him.”

“That man is about as right for her as a goat for a horse. I’ll make her listen if I have to.” Macintosh declared, and strode away, ignoring loud protests to follow Merida.

He found her on top of the outer walls, looking over the bay to the other side of the water, where King Antonio’s forces had made camp.

“You can’t seriously be considering this.” He stopped a few paces from her. Merida exhaled suddenly, as if exhausted. A piece of paper hung limp in her hand.

“What would you have me do? He’ll stop the war before it begins and give us the gold we need.”

“Not badly. Merida we can fight and win this war.”

“And how many men will die, in one battle, in two or three of however many it takes to win, just cuz I’m being selfish.” Merida pivoted to face Macintosh head on. “How can I ask men to lay down their lives so I can avoid laying in one mans bed?”

“It’s not just a bed, Merida, it is a marriage. You will be bound to him in all things, life, love, and duty. You were willing to break tradition and face all the clans to protect your claim to the throne without marrying a lad you didn’t love.” Macintosh took two steps closer to her.

“This is different. When I refused to marry you and the others, it was because I didn’t want to be trapped in a marriage of my mother’s choosing for no purpose other than getting what I was owed. Peace and money, I’m not owed, I need to earn, for my kingdom, and if this is what I have to do for it-”

Macintosh cut her off. During their exchange the distance had closed between them to less than a step, and he closed it with a powerful stride, taking her face in his hands in a way that she could order his hands cut off for,  and crashed her lips to his.

For a second Merida was frozen. She was hyper aware of his strong body pressed against hers, heat emanating from his bare chest, kissing her for all he was worth. Then instinct took over, and she kissed him back, dropping what she held to place one hand on his chest and fist the other in his hair. One of his hands dropped from her face to her waist, pulling her even closer.

For a few blissful moments they lost themselves in each other, consumed by the hatred that had turned to respect, then passion somewhere along the way. The fiery queen of the Highlands, and the lord who would do anything for her.  All too soon, Merida’s brain sped up to her body and gave her a from command. Stop.

She gasped a little as she shoved Macintosh off of her. She retreated back a few steps, all the while taking long breaths to try and drive oxygen to her obviously faulty brain.  “Don’t.” she warned. “Don’t do that.”

“Merida-“ Macintosh stepped towards her, but she dodged quick as a wink,  and revolved to the other side of him.  He turned to follow her, but she looked at him with something between a warning and a plead.

“You will not touch me like that again.” She ordered. Before he could reply she turned and retreated, with haste, back into the castle.

Macintosh watched her go, anger boiling over at himself. He stood there long after she’d disappeared from sight. Finally, he released a guttural growl, and slammed his fist against the stone battlement. The sting that shot up his arm was welcome enough. He was ready to do it again when he saw the flutter of white from the corner of his eye. It was whatever Merida had dropped. He picked it up and scanned over it, his temper worsening with every line. Merida had been rereading the King’s love poem.

At Armeggedon, I did spot a maiden so fair
Beneath an armored dress and wild red hair
Whose locks of flames gave power to her eyes like fire
And I knew at once I’d found my hearts desire
For she fought as strong as any man
And with kinglike grace did lead her clan
Neither dirt nor blood did mar her beauty
Neither grace nor poise did hinder her in her duty
To fight and slay the oncoming force
Like a warrior goddess she sat upon her horse
And if I would die today I’d ask only this
To Receive one sweet kiss
From her pale pink lips
Feel my hands on her rounds hips
And know heavens bliss

Macintosh gritted his teeth. It was only right he return this to Merida. After all, she was his Queen and he her sworn lord, and this was her property. But he didn’t care enough. He ripped the letter up until it was nothing but shreds, and threw them over the battlements. The little white slips floated down to the dirt below, and he only wished he could deal with King Antonio himself as easily.