i do need to re work the shadows some more though

Part 2: Task: 12 Days of lesser known animated show/film recommendations

Hey, guys! I’ve been a bit down lately, so in order to give myself something to do, I decided to share with you all the lesser known, underrated or entirely hidden gems of the animated world (as far as I know), be it show or film.

Rules:

-The animation must be traditional (no CGI unless it’s minor and in the background; i’ll do an all CGI list later).

-The recommended work must have soothing, inspiring or otherwise admirable leads with realistic emotional connections.

-The plot of the story must be intriguing if not wholly believable and the artwork must meet certain aesthetic standards.

-The characters must have emotionally realistic interactions with one another in ratio to the time allowed for them to interact.

-The animation in question may be from anywhere in the world.

Also, feel free to clue me in on any that I don’t list, because I would really appreciate a new animated find!  

As a matter of course, a great deal of the listed shows/films will be ‘anime’, simply because japanimation has the monopoly on the most unique and varied story lines, and Japan (and sometimes France) are the only ones making mostly traditionally drawn animated features still.

Alright, here we go … …

Day Two: Fairy Tale Films :)

The Day of the Crows

I absolutely adore this film. Not only is The Day of the Crows a superbly animated feast for the eyes, but the characters, lessons and honest interactions take it a level above most children’s films. Not only that, but the dialogue is wonderfully translated from the French to the English subtitles. As a matter of course, I prefer watching films in their original language unless the dub has some inventive dialogue or more adequate voice acting, but this little known gem isn’t likely to pick up a dub any time soon anyway, so all of you who only watch dubs should make an exception for this one. 

It is the story of a young boy who has been raised by an ogre in the woods, until one day he must leave the protection of the trees for the nearby village in order to save someone precious to him. While there, he meets a young girl and begins to learn the touching history of his family. It’s a delightfully nuanced film. Really, don’t miss it!

Note: The title is mildly misleading, as any crow characters are showcased near the end of the film and don’t get much screen time. But why should that bother anyone?

A+

Fusé: Teppō Musume no Torimonochō 

Is there any anime lover who would pass up a film with adorable characters and animal transformations? Well, I actually would pass up the ‘animal transformations’ part, but that may just be me. Fusé is a touching fairy tale centring around a young huntress who befriends a dog-like humanoid named Shino. What puts this movie a pitch above the other films out there with a similar premise is it’s refusal to give the characters more slack than any real person would get. People die…there’s a surprising amount of gore which I feel is somehow toned up despite the soft animation. It’s the sort of film that makes you laugh less because it’s funny and more because you know your window to find things humorous is rapidly disappearing. You want the characters to be happy….you think they should be because the film is so cute…but it’s the bitter-sweet trick of the story. 

It’s based on the Hakkenden, an old Japanese novel series that details the exploits of the ‘Dog Warriors’, beings reincarnated from the slaughtered spawn of a princess and her dog lover. This is part of why I can forgive the dog-creature theme, because the characters within the story on a few separate occasions refer to the story as a ‘counterfeit’ or parody of the Hakkenden

A

Snow Maiden

An old Russian animation about a young woman who is the child of Spring and Winter, stepping into a village for the first time and learning that she does not have the capacity to love as other humans do. It’s very touching, very whimsical, and in the end bitter-sweet. I’d recommend it for the beautiful artwork alone, but the characters are given a surprising amount of life considering how old the film is. It’s clearly a labour of love.

A+ 

The Dead Princess and the Seven Knights

An old Russian film based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The most fantastic thing about this film is that from start to finish the entirety of the script is one looong poem, complete with rhymes. I believe this film, Snow Maiden and The Twelve Months are all apart of the same collection, but these three are not dubbed into English, like some of the better known in the series, such as The Snow Queen. 

A

The Twelve Months

If you are familiar with this film, it may be because you’ve watched the anime incarnation. I’d advise you to watch this one instead. Not only are the characters a bit more vital, but the art is a step above the anime and the humour is a bit more fluid. It is a Cinderella-like tale about a girl who wanders into the woods after being forced to preform an impossible task, and receives guidance from the Twelve Months, who are portrayed as a band of merry males of various ages having a meeting around a camp fire in the dead of winter.

A

Kirikou and the Sorceress

Kirikou and the Sorceress is a fascinating film about a young boy who, from the moment he is born, is able to talk and think like an adult. But he is still only a baby, and is very small because of it, which causes troubles between him and the towns people, and eventually gets the attention of a wicked sorceress that finds him a nuisance as he starts to use his size for unusual heroic feats. 

Every character is fun, the dialogue is insightful and the resolution is terribly sweet.

A+

Tales of the Night

A series of re-worked fairy tales told through ‘shadow puppet’ visuals. Beautiful stories, really. All of the interactions between the characters are unique and admirable, and every tale has a satisfying conclusion. You may think the shadow puppet look takes away from it, but, really, it only gives you a bit more emotion to savour since every character looks pretty much the same, allowing their intentions to nakedly drive the stories, rather than their looks.

A

The Last Unicorn

Based on the book of the same name, and with a screen play by the author, this film is one of the better known ‘hidden gems’. The story follows the ‘last unicorn’, as she searches for others of her kind, who are being held captive in a barren land that is very far away from her gentle forest. She gathers loyal and endearing companions along the way, and eventually looses a bit of herself in the throws of a pseudo-romance with a prince. 

It’s a classic. The animation is unique and whimsical, and the pacing, characters and eventual resolution are all wonderful. It was my favourite film as a child.

A+

The Princess and the Pilot

The Princess and the Pilot is a touching tale about the blooming tenderness and self-awareness between a pilot and the princess he is tasked with transporting across the ocean. There is political intrigue, bold decisions and the rude awakenings of reality in a war torn country. Both the leads are relatable and worth the care you inevitably develop toward them. And though the ending is a little frustrating, it is handled in a realistic and tentative manner that shows the meaning of personal feelings, even if physical circumstances can’t reflect them.

A-

Miss Hokusai

Miss Hokusai is the fictional and slightly sensationalised biography of an actual historical figure from the Japanese artistic past. The story is told in a series of self-contained artistic episodes that explore the philosophy needed to produce vital art, by teaching the characters emotional lessons through supernatural interactions. It’s very unique and telling, and every character has a degree of believably that is pleasantly attention grabbing. Some might complain that the formatting leaves a bit to be desired, but I’m pretty sure this is all intentional. 

A+

Princess Arete

Princess Arete is one of those rare princess films that is all about a princess and her character building, and not at all about romance. 

Little Princess Arete is kept in a tower where she grows increasingly depressed, despite her night time slips into the town bellow her window. By a bitter sort of luck, she is kidnapped by a wizard, and from here able to experience the world, albeit under a curse. The film has a very charmed and truthful grasp on the meanings in minor interactions and it never betrays the passionate heart of it’s female lead.

It’s a bit slow, but if you watch movies for the enrichment they provide and not for the face paced thrills, this one may be for you.

A+

Magic Boy

An old Japanese feature from the ‘60′s about a young boy who must do battle with a wicked witch to protect his home and family. The characters are enjoyable, the battles are pretty neat and the animation is a proto-perfect anime film suite. Honestly, if you’ve seen Kubo and the Two Strings and then you see this, you may feel, as I have, that it is like the spiritual grandfather to Kubo

A+

The Life of Guskou Budori

If you’ve ever seen Night on the Galactic Railroad, these two may look familiar to you. As you watch Guskou, you may develop the suspicion that the characters are an alternate incarnation or perhaps even a canon reincarnation of Giovanni and Campanella. 

The Life of Guskou Budori is about said titular character as he navigates life after the death (otherworldly kidnapping?) of his younger sister during a great famine. The animation is simply gorgeous, and if you can forgive the incredibly vague narrative, you may just find yourself walking along a very enchanted dream.

Like Galactic Railroad, all of the characters are anthropomorphised cats. I’m unsure why that is, but it’s cute and inventive. It too, is based on a book. If you haven’t seen Night on the Galactic Railroad, I would also recommend that one, as it is very touching and poetic, but it is very slow. If you happen to like both of them, the anime Spring and Chaos, another anthropomorphic cat tale, may be for you, as it is about the guy who wrote the two aforementioned stories.

B+

Tales from Earthsea

If you are a studio Ghibli fan, you may be in for a treat. This is a loose adaptation of Ursula K. LeGuin’s seminal work the Earthsea series. It wraps into one film the characters and issues of four books, and so it doesn’t do the books much justice as it has bit off a bit more than it can chew. But if you accept it as an entirely different story that happens to have similar magical rules and the same names as the Earthsea series character’s have, the film is quite good. 

Young Arren is a disturbed young man who runs away from his posh life and is picked up by the Arch-mage Ged. After making a special friend and fighting a deranged wizard, Arren learns how to own up to his fears and find peace despite his crimes. I recommend watching the original Japanese dub, as it is a bit more insightful about the Earthsea world.

It is directed by Miyazaki’s son Goro. If you like this film, you may like his other, more well rounded film From Up On Poppy Hill (my favourite Ghibli film), and Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle, which is an adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’s book of the same name (and a far more skillfully crafted adaptation than Tales from Earthsea. The perks of being a seasoned animator, I guess).

If you like the films, or even if you don’t, I recommend reading the Earthsea series and the Howl’s Moving Castle series. I prefer the latter. 

A by itself, B-/C+ if compared to the books.

Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice is one of those barbarian films from the early 80′s. It’s got action and romance and wild prehistoric beasts, an obvious bad guy that’s still pretty well rounded despite his minor screen time and a bit of sorcery that you can laugh at if your mind is dirty enough to catch the innuendos. In a nutshell, Fire and Ice is a great late night blast from the past that every child of the 90′s should see at least once.

With art overseen by the legendary Frank Frazetta, I think any serious artist could find this film pretty rad as well. 

A-

The Cat Returns

The Cat Returns is a fascinating continuum of Shizuku’s story from Whisper of the Heart (another Ghibli film). It’s a fairy tale to the max, complete with a dapper cat ‘prince’ and woefully silly damsel-in-distress. It’s a lesser known Ghibli film, which is why it’s on the list, and if you do watch it, I recommend pairing it with Whisper of the Heart, a high school drama about a young girl’s blossoming romance and her attempt to write a novel, since it’s only right to see the little strings that connect the two tales. 

It’s funny, charming and the Baron has a British accent ;) Mmm-mm delish!

A+

————————————————————————————-

Whew! What a long list!

Next time: Best Comedy Supernatural animated shows/films.

anonymous asked:

hey there! thanks for answering all our questions on this blog + how possible would it for someone to crack ribs with a solid kick? there's a character i have in mind that's escaping captivity, but they're also young, so i'm not quite sure how easily they'd be able to hurt the (adult) antagonist in such a manner, especially lacking any fighting experience to begin with?

Well, you can break someone’s ribs with a kick. That’s the entire purpose of the roundhouse, especially the version where you strike with the ball of the foot rather than the top of the foot. (And… aren’t like me when I was seven or eight, when I was new to sparring and totally stubbed my toe in another kid’s side at a tournament after my brain/body got confused between the two. I didn’t break my toe, but I could’ve.)

That story above is important, by the way. If you’ve got a character who doesn’t know how to fight then they’re not even going to get that far. If you don’t know how to kick then that’s a great way to get your leg caught by someone who knows what they’re doing. They catch the foot by the ankle, and then drag you wherever they want. That’s assuming the character can get their leg up and out without falling over. Even if they do manage that, say because they’ve watched a lot of martial arts flicks, they won’t know how to generate power and will be very slow. A, B, and C occur anyway. Your protagonist is going to end up back wherever they were being kept, this time in a much less comfortable position.

Even for an experienced martial artist, kicks require fairly constant bodily upkeep in order to be able to do them cold (much less perform them at all). That’s not a combat scenario, that’s just in general. You’ve got a great chance of pulling all the leg muscles you need to get away, including ones you didn’t realize you had and that’s if you don’t break your toes. Board breaks with the roundhouse kick are the most terrifying of them all because you’ve got to remember to curl your toes just right in order to carry your foot through the board.

Kicks are off the table.

More importantly, this is an exact rendition of the “Feel Good Violence” trope: My Instincts Performed A Wheel Kick.

The protagonist is suddenly and randomly enough good at fighting to not only fight, but win when making their first attempt at a violent altercation. They use techniques which require a fairly high level of dedication and aptitude out of “natural ability” and “instinct”.

Unless you’ve got an ironclad reason for invoking the trope (past lives/ immortality/memory loss/the matrix) it will undercut your narrative credibility in ways the story cannot recover from.

When you’ve cracked your foundation, you’re done.

“The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible,” - Mark Twain

Narrative integrity is based on the rules or limitations we’ve set for ourselves, those limitations are the ironclad rules by which the narrative functions. They exist on two levels: in behavior and actions of characters within the world, and on a secondary level the setting’s behavior around them. Everything in your story must be working to uphold the fiction. When it doesn’t the audience’s “suspension of disbelief” starts to crack. You are beholden to the rules and limitations set down by your setting. Without them, you have no story.

When you’re setting out to create a character, there are four questions you should ask yourself:

1) What can the character do?

2) What can’t the character do?

3) What is the character willing to do but can’t?

4) What can the character do, but is unwilling to?

Within these four circles you have your character, their ethics/morals, and their limitations. That is the box you’ve created for yourself. It is important to own it and abide by it. When dealing with a protagonist, those limitations are not just the foundations of a character but the entire narrative.

Your character cannot fight your antagonist in a one on one and come away with any victory because you have established they don’t know how to. That is a limitation you set for yourself. That the audience knows and understands, so they will expect this character to act in accordance with it. They may want to walk up to the antagonist and kick them in the ribs so hard those ribs break, but they can’t. That desire could be a driving force behind them learning to fight later. As of now, though, their powerlessness in active violent conflict serves to reinforce the antagonist’s position. Reinforcing the antagonist’s position is for the narrative good.

They should be making choices based on the Venn diagram’s center: when what they can do meets what they are willing to do.

If what they can’t do conflicts with what they’re willing to do and they go with it anyway then the result is a failed escape attempt. A captive’s survival is based on their value. If they’re valuable enough for the antagonist to go through the trouble of capturing them in the first place, then they’re probably not going to be killed. At least, not until their value runs through. They lose and wind up back in captivity under more scrutiny, more security, and with fewer exit options. This reminds us why they were captured in the first place, and reinforces our villain’s position.

A protagonist can fail and retain their legitimacy many more times than an antagonist can. While this is a perfectly legitimate narrative outcome, I don’t think its the one you’re looking for.

This is the second issue with your question:

A narrative’s antagonist is its backbone.

Your antagonist is one of the most important pieces of your story, if not the most. They are the lingering threat, the shadow hovering over the story, and the knife at your protagonist’s throat. They are seventy percent threat, and the last thirty relies on their ability to make good on it.

One of the biggest mistakes an author can make is assuming their antagonist’s position in their narrative and the threat they provide are impervious to harm.

Unlike your protagonist, your antagonist is always in a precarious position. They must constantly re-affirm themselves and the threat they represent through their actions. That threat is all consuming and when challenged, it must either be defeated or confirmed.

If defeated, then the threat is gone.

If confirmed, then the threat level is heightened because now we imagine what they might do next.

An antagonist can re-affirm themselves after a defeat, but they’ve got to double down on their effort and create a new threat rather than relying on their old one. You as the author must work harder to make up for what you lost, and even then you’ll never have the initial fear ever again.

The first rule of the antagonist is: your capital is limited, so spend it wisely.

When you undercut an antagonist in favor of the protagonist before its necessary, you damage the antagonist’s credibility and, subsequently, their position in the story. When you lose your antagonist, you lose most of your narrative tension.

A character who doesn’t know how to do something is applying a limitation to the character. You are applying a restriction to what they can and can’t do. If you’re character doesn’t know how to fight, then fighting will be off the table. More importantly, having your character succeed at a skill set they have no experience in doesn’t make them “awesome” or “cool”, it means instead that the other characters who put time and effort into honing these skills suck.

When those characters are your antagonists… that hurts.

If you’ve got a protagonist with no hacking experience who manages to overcome a supposedly great hacker on their first or second go round with no time spent learning how to hack, then who looks bad? The second hacker. They’re the ones who are supposed to be good at hacking. If the narrative hinges on them being a major antagonist, then the author just shot their narrative in the foot.

Combat skills are the same way. They’re a skill set, not an instinct. They don’t come naturally, and take a great deal of time and effort to hone.

If your goal is to show your dangerous antagonist is a bumbling moron when an untrained teenager gets a lucky shot so miraculous they manage to lay them up for the rest of the story, then that’s a job well done.

If your goal is for the antagonist to maintain their credibility within the narrative? Don’t use them for a punching bag.

Violent confrontation is based just as much on threat of force as it is on the follow through. The threat is usually more frightening than what follows, and your protagonist is already challenging the fear by trying to escape. From a narrative perspective, if they get over their fear enough to challenge their antagonist directly then it’s game over. You spent your all capital either at the beginning or midway through the story, and you’re not getting it back.

Remember, your antagonist has to do just as much work to earn their street cred as your protagonist. Their position is a delicate balance of power management and threat of force. They rely on show over tell. They need to live up to whatever it is you’ve been saying about them. They need to be as dangerous as they’ve been puffed up to be, unless their reputation itself is the real antagonist. Never forget, your antagonist (whoever they are/whatever it is) is the backbone of your story. They are often the driving force of action, the reason why the protagonist is struggling, and the focal point. In some ways, they are more important than your protagonist because without them the protagonist’s got a whole lot of nothing.

When you undercut your antagonist, you also hurt your protagonist’s development. You cheat them of their chance for growth, and deny them their ability to show off whatever it is that they’re actually good at i.e. using their bravery, intelligence, and cleverness to sneak out.

If your protagonist beats down their Goliath at the beginning of (or even the middle) of the story then there’s no reason for them to go to the mountain master and learn to throw rocks.

-Michi

This blog is supported through Patreon. If you enjoy our content, please consider becoming a Patron. Every contribution helps keep us online, and writing. If you already are a Patron, thank you.

Animosity

Pairing: Sehun/Oh Sehun x reader (female)

Word Count: 11,250

Rating: (M) - NSFW - swearing, explicit sex

Genre: Enemies to Lovers!AU, Mall!AU

Part four of the Exodus Mall series! (Can be read independently or in order 😊)


May 19, 1997

“Could I have a manager to the register, please?” Eli’s voice comes through the device clipped to your belt.

You sigh. Your hands pause their efficient movements and you set aside the partially re-folded pair of pants. “I’ve got it,” you say into the walkie talkie as you move brusquely to the register.

Eli gives you a sympathetic smile as you step up to the counter. Of course it’s Martha. You inwardly wince. At least once a week the older woman comes in to return half of the massive pile of things she’s bought for her family over the weekend. You can’t remember how many grandkids she’s mentioned by this point, but it must number in the hundreds.

Keep reading

@xxtorchxx made this gorgeous manip and it lit a fire of inspiration in me.  She was kind and generous enough to allow me to lend my words to her perfect image.  Just bask in this brilliance for awhile.   As should go without saying, do not repost, re-use or claim this work as your own.  If you like it, use that little reblog button in the bottom right corner of the post.

A million thank-yous @xxtorchxx for your talent and creativity and for your thoughts on this little fic to complement it.  

Thanks to @reginalovesemma for the edits.  As always, you elevate my work.


A note about this little fic.  Mon-El was never Kara’s boyfriend.  In this little world, he was the funny, goofy, sidekick pal we all deserved him to be.  Kara misses him and does have to deal with the loss of a friend, but he did not have the dominating presence in her life he was given in canon.

Please enjoy!

Keep reading

Where Your Ghost Lives;

Summary: Y/N and Matt break up after their relationship deteriorates after months of missed dates, missed anniversaries, and missed romance. That is, until Y/N is used as bait for the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen.

A/N: Sorry I haven’t been very active! I just left for my freshman year of college and moved into my dorm, so things have been pretty hectic. 

“Fuckin’ Matt goddamn Murdock-” Y/N cussed to herself as she tripped over another cardboard box, belonging to her now ex-boyfriend. Whenever Matt had refused to pack up the stuff he left at her apartment, she did it for him. His new protest consists of him refusing to pick any of it up, which frequently leads to Y/N tripping over these boxes, or stubbing her toes on them, both of which only build her already growing resentment toward him. 

It had been two weeks since the big fight that lead to Y/N kicking Matt out of her apartment/life, and two weeks since Matt had fell into a state of utter denial.

“Just because we had a fight, does not mean this is over, Y/N,” He said in reply to one of the various voicemails she had left, where she (not so politely) requested he removed his stuff from her apartment. Matt always seemed so calm, which only irritated her more. Especially when he added, “We can talk about this again, later, when you’re not so angry.” 

It had been two weeks since the big fight, and Y/N’s resentment was only growing more and more with every toe-stub and tripping incident. They hadn’t talked since Y/N notified him that she packed his boxes for him (”All you have to do is pick them up, I’ve made this SO easy for you!”) Even now, in the advent of their breakup, Matt was still spotty about answering her calls; it only cemented to Y/N that she did the right thing in dropping him. 

Keep reading

Up and down

Pairing: Yoongi x reader

Summary: It´s a hot summer day on set and Yoongi can´t handle watching you lick a popsicle without wanting to fulfill his fantasies.

Word count: 4.326

Genre: Smut

Warnings: graphic smut.

Author´s note: This was on private but I´ve arranged it so that I can  repost it since I had to correct a few things.

It´s smutty and I´m not ashamed lol

You hadn´t planned this at all. You were supposed to be in your apartment, probably taking a nap or watching one of those movies that made you cry rivers even if you couldn´t relate to the character´s love life in any way possible. Yet when you had received a rushed and frantic call from your boss saying they needed you for today´s shoot, you had submitted to readjusting your plans and had driven all the way up to a forest in the middle of nowhere after cursing in three different languages. And now, there you were, almost whining at the lost of your day off.

On top of that, it was bloody hot. You squinted your eyes trying to block the sun as you made your way through the crowd, cameras already placed all over and staff members running across the set almost bumping into you and barely muttering an apology. There were various insects in the air that added up to the dry ambient and the fact that there wasn´t a single tree near enough to shelter under its shadow didn´t help at all. Your hands worked with a hair tie tying all the strands into a bun in an attempt to cool off and, slapping a mosquito that you had caught trying to suck your blood, a heavy sigh escaped your lips. Coming here - you could´ve rejected it, but it would only make you feel more miserable.

Keep reading

Harry Potter and the Seven Owls... and That One Preening Peacock

So, me and Anna ( @starshaping​) were bored one day on skype, and opened a shared google doc, and this was what happened =)

It’s our first time collaborating, and really we were just playing around, but we had fun =)

Anna wrote Harry’s dialogue and actions, and I wrote Draco’s.

Harry Potter and the Seven Owls… and That One Preening Peacock

2.1k | Mature | AO3

The scene: Draco is sitting in an ornate, poncy looking chair, while Harry is shirtless and sitting amongst a pile of metal rods, bars, screws and other materials in the centre of the room.


“For fuck’s sake, Potter. You’re doing it wrong!” Draco sneered, as he put down his teacup and saucer down on the side table.

“Fuck you, I’m not! That’s what the bloody instructions say to do,” Harry grumbled, glancing away from the instructions long enough to glower at Draco.

“Well, then the instructions are wrong, and written by imbeciles who know nothing. I’m telling you, you’re doing it wrong!”

“Do you think you can do it better then? Go ahead!”

“If you think for one second that I’m touching that metal monstrosity, you are ever dumber than you look. And you look like a stupid peasant. Did you even try today? Half of your hair is sticking up, it has been since breakfast. Did I mention?” His fingers itched with the urge to fix it, as they had been all day.

But touching Harry’s hair often resulted in them losing the day, and getting nothing productive done. Besides, fixing Harry’s hair meant he couldn’t laugh at him about it. He did so love to laugh at him.

“No, but thanks for that,” Harry replied sarcastically. “Stop being a whiny arsehole and just do it, if you’re so sure that you’re more capable.”

Draco fixed him with a sneer. “Malfoys don’t build things, Potter. We hire others to do it for us. That’s the whole point of having money.” Draco had thought they’d resolved this, the last time Harry had wanted to change something about the house. “You have a somewhat acceptable fortune yourself. You should know this by now.”

“I build things myself, prat. As you well know, since there’s that nice desk over there that you like to… You know…” He coughed pointedly, and tugged at his ear.

Draco smirked. The ear tug. That was the most ridiculous habit Harry had, and Draco loved to pretend he had no idea what it meant.

“No, Potter, I do not know. You’re going to have to be more specific. I don’t speak idiot.”

“You know what, Malfoy? I should leave you to do this yourself. You’re capable, so you say.”

Draco snorted, and added that to the mental tally of all the times he’d got one over on Harry. Making him show how difficult he found talking about sex, outside of sex itself at least, absolutely counted. Anyone would think he was a prude. It was hilarious. Harry Potter was no prude.

“Capable of calling someone to come and make it for me, sure,” he admitted easily. “I don’t see why we need such an elaborate bloody enclosure for all your fucking owls. Just get rid of the owls. I mean, really. Do people not coordinate gifts anymore? Did no one check to see if anyone else had had that fascinatingly unique idea of getting you a replacement owl, after you finally admitted that you might, might, be ready?”

Absolutely ridiculous. They were all idiots. Even three owls would have been too many.

“You leave me and my seven owls alone, you arsehole. They did nothing to you!” That was a lie, and they both knew it. At least two of them were vicious little beasts.

“Verity nearly ripped off my fucking earlobe! Jingle, and who the fuck thought it was appropriate to name an owl Jingle anyway, left a fucking scar on my wrist!” Draco exclaimed, making an angry gesture towards the little white mark on the inside of his right wrist. “Your owls are a fucking nightmare, and they must be contained or gotten rid of. Hurry the fuck up and use what small amount of initiative you must have to figure the damn thing out!”

“First of all, Maven likes you! He’s a sweetheart.” Harry paused, and chewed on the inside of his cheek. “Though, you’re right, a few of them are quite mean.”

Draco snorted, feeling smug.

“Second of all, Andromeda let Teddy name Jingle, and Teddy is a child, so you can’t judge him for that. I’m sure Jingle makes absolute sense as a name, to a child. Stop being an arse! This is never going to get done if you don’t have some common decency and stop insulting me. It’s distracting.”

“Fuck decency. I’ll speak to you how I fucking like! You didn’t start dating me because I’m some simpering, hero worshipping trollop who’ll never have a harsh word to say.” And thank Merlin for that, because even while in love, Harry did more things to irritate him than anything else, even if it was more of a fond irritation now. He’d have gone mad if he couldn’t taunt him about it.  

Draco uncrossed his legs, and then re-crossed them the other way, leaning back in his chair, and making that hand gesture he knew irritated Harry.

“Fuck your stupid owls. Except Maven. You’re right, I like Maven. And fuck your incompetency with this gigantic fucking enclosure. Fuck your stupid pride, and your inability to let the men who delivered it construct, like they fucking offered, for free. And fuck your stupid fucking hair! Flatten that side of it before I grab it and bend you over your fucking desk!”

Sucking in a deep breath, he glared at the offending hair. It was distracting him from his annoyance. His favourite thing about Harry’s hair was how resilient it was to being pulled, and how much Harry seemed to like it, but now wasn’t the time. He did not want that metal monstrosity to remain unfinished for any longer than necessary. It would be an eyesore when completed, but it was even worse now.

“You’re really pretty when you’re angry. Did I ever tell you that? And just because you said that, I want to fuck up the rest of my hair.”

Draco scowled. “You are a contrary wanker, Potter! And of course I’m pretty when I’m angry, it’s about fucking time you noticed.”

Harry rolled his eyes.

“You’re pretty all the time, but I can’t tell you that as often as I think it because your ego is already the size of Hogwarts. Can’t inflate that pretty head any more, now can we?”

Against his will, Draco felt his cheeks flush with warmth. That wanker.

“Cut it out! You can’t flatter me into helping you with that stupid enclosure. I wanted them to construct it, like they offered. You’re the stupid twat that said you could handle it.” Ever the prideful Gryffindor. Idiot. And Draco even more so for not insisting the delivery men do it for them. “And if we’re talking egos, you’re a fucking hypocrite, Mr. Saviour of the Wizarding World, Sexiest Wizard however many years in a row it’s been. Preening like a fucking parrot whenever someone brings it up.”

“I preen whenever you say it, arsehole. I spend the rest of my time trying to melt into the shadows. I cannot believe you actually think I preen. That’s you! You preen every time I call you pretty! Or when anyone else does, for that matter. Now please help me with this stupid enclosure.”

“I’m a Malfoy, I was born to preen. It’s expected of me.”

And so amusing to watch Harry go through the stages of annoyance over it, attempting to ignore it, and then watching with fondness, before Draco did something to make him cycle back to annoyance. It was high class entertainment.

“You’re pathetic for cowering in the shadows, by the way,” he added, looking him up and down. It did no one good to hide that body from the world. “I wish you did preen more often. Your wasting those chest muscles you’ve been building lately, don’t think I haven’t noticed them. And no, I will not help. I told you that you couldn’t set it up on your own. Owl the company back, and get them to send someone, like any intelligent person would.”

“Shut up. I just don’t want to be out of shape by the time I’m thirty, you preening peacock. And why don’t you call them, since you’re so insistent on not helping me? Stop insulting my intelligence!”

Draco snorted. “What intelligence? I see none,” he sneered. The peacock joke. How tired. That had stopped annoying him a long time ago. Harry needed new material. “If I ruffle my feathers at you, will you stop being a stubborn git and owl them? You’re the one who made the purchase, it has to be you. Idiot.”

“You’re a prick. Of the highest degree. Why do I like you again? Oh, that’s right. Because… You know what? I’ll just call them tomorrow. Later today. Fuck, what time is it?”

Draco checked his pocket watch, and looked mournfully at his empty teacup. Why was he still watching this idiot try to construct this? Teasing him while he cursed and got annoyed was amusing. Watching him work was always nice too. Still, he should have gone to bed hours ago and left the stupid prat to it.

“It’s two in the morning, but don’t stop there. Why do you like me, Potter? Do tell. I’ve been watching you struggle with this for fuck knows how many hours, comforted only by you removing your shirt early into proceedings, and by how fucking perfect your arse looks in those trousers. And now you’re admitting I’m right?” That always sent a shiver through him. Every time Harry admitted he was right, it was like he was laying hands on him, and Draco immediately flushed with heat. “Careful, we might not make it somewhere more comfortable, and if we have a shag in here, you’re bound to hurt yourself on all those materials that are lying around now.”

There was the desk, and he did so love a fuck on or over that desk, it was a gorgeous desk, but Harry had managed to cover it in parts for the enclosure as well. If Draco found scratches on that beautiful dark wood, he’d kick the git’s arse.

“You know why I like you, I’m not going to feed your ego by telling you. But my arse does look pretty good in these trousers, doesn’t it?” Harry twisted around, trying to get a look at his own arse, before suddenly freezing. “Wait, it’s two in the morning? Where the hell did the time go?”

Draco couldn’t help but snort again. Harry’s idiocy was most endearing, and endlessly amusing. And the stubborn set of his mouth, accompanied by the flush to his cheeks was most arousing. Harry wanted him, he’d been wanting him for a couple of hours now, only delayed by trying to finish the stupid enclosure. The signs were obvious. The more Draco had taunted him while he’d worked, the more Harry had wanted him. Draco had been greatly enjoying his struggle to stay on task.

“The time went into you trying and failing to construct a hideous owl enclosure for your demon owls that are, no doubt, at this very moment, tearing the basement to pieces. But yes, your arse is fantastic, I refuse to even pretend I didn’t mean that. Why don’t you lose the trousers, and I’ll give it some more lasting compliments.”

“Are you teasing me right now? Because if you’re teasing me, I’m going to punch you. Or something.”

“Potter, it’s only teasing if I don’t follow through. When have I ever failed to follow through? I may tease you for a while, or for hours, until you’re begging, and that begging slowly becomes incoherent. But I always follow through… eventually.”

If it wasn’t so late, several hours of teasing sounded fantastic, in fact. He loved nothing more than reducing Harry to an incoherent, begging mess. Even better for the stages of cursing and swearing that preceded the begging.

“Great, now I’m turned on. See what you did? Arsehole. Poncy git. Fuck you. I’m mad at you.”

Draco drank in the sight of him, red-faced, chest heaving as his breathing quickened, and that defiant posture of his.

“Excellent, how about you come over here and do something about it?” Draco uncrossed his legs again, and spread them, leaning back and slouching slightly in his chair. “Or are you the tease now?”

“Fuck yes, I’ve been wanting to break in that chair with you for the past few hours. Let me just… Wait. Fuck, it’s two am! The owls! I forgot to feed the owls!”

“What?”

Harry didn’t respond, as he grabbed his discarded shirt, and left the room without looking back.

“They can…” But Harry was gone, and Draco growled and got to his feet, crossing to the open doorway to yell after him, “Are you serious? Fuck the owls! Get your arse back here you fucking tease!”


Leave us a comment on AO3?

Operation Soulmate | One

Pairings: Steve x Reader

Summary: Steve has a confession to make.

Warnings: Language, I think? Mention of a gay relationship.

A/N: for @marvelous-fvcks‘ writing challenge. My prompt was ‘Heart’. 

Operation Soulmate Masterlist

Steve is in a mood.

He’s been acting like an ominous storm cloud is hanging over his head the entire morning. It was noticeable when he came back from his run, but is now even more apparent, as he’s had time to stew in his thoughts for far too long. When Steve Rogers starts over-thinking things, it’s pretty fucking difficult to get his headspace back into somewhere positive. He’s stubborn like that.

You’re eating lunch together, sitting side-by-side at the kitchen island. Your attempts to start up a conversation with Steve are met by a brick wall — you’re getting nothing out of him besides the occasional grunt and some monosyllabic replies. Eventually, you stop trying, resigning yourself to an eerily silent meal.

Keep reading

Crash Landing (Part Three/?)

Peter Parker X Reader

Word Count: 2122

Part One Part Two Part Three

Want to be tagged? Please let me know!

A/N: I’m ever so sorry that this has taken so long, but here is part three, a little longer than the other parts. The places in this story are all real! I researched them and everything. Sorry if the spacing is weird, I was using Google Docs. On a side note, I do love all of my aunts. And I actually did take a self-defence martial arts class from six to eleven.

(not my gif)

“Relax! Relax, it’s me! Spider-Man!”


Mouth dropping open in shock and relief, you froze. Then reality shook you back into action.


“What were you thinking?” Stepping forward you slapped his shoulder. “Don’t do that ever again or, so help me, I will beat you up. Spider-Man or not.”


“Really?” The amusement in his voice irritated you.


“I’m not playing around, Spider-Boy,” you said dangerously, stepping up to him. “I’ll put you in the freaking ground.”


Your noses were an inch apart, but Spider-Man stepped even closer to you.
“I’d like to see you try.”


As the last word left his lips, you grabbed his wrist and pinned it to his back. He leaned forward with the force, unknowingly making it harder for himself. You sprawled out a hand against his lower back, pushing him with enough vigour to make him drop to the floor, sprawled out on the grimy ground. He groaned; his mask was slightly askew so that you could see his mouth.


“Just a little taste,” you smirked as he sat up slowly.


“Where did you learn to do that?” There was no mistaking the surprise in his tone.


“Parents made me take a self-defence class from ages six to eleven, to be exact.” You bowed sarcastically.


Spider-Man’s mouth hung open in awe. “First you can make the world’s best coffee and now you prove yourself to be a total badass! Is there anything you can’t do?”


“Well, I can’t do a forward roll, for starters and –” You paused. “’World’s best coffee’? What do you mean? As far as I know, Spider-Man has never been into The Grind before.”


Spider-Man pulled his mask down and giggled nervously. “What? I never said that…” He stood suddenly and turned slightly. “Well, I’ve got to, um, save the world and stuff, so –”


“No, wait –”


He waved once and whipped away, leaving you to stew in confusion. Resting your hand on the café’s back door handle, you didn’t look back as you stepped inside.


Peter didn’t come by early or at all the next day, which made you uneasy. Had you been too harsh telling him to go home yesterday? Had you screwed up his coffee? As cliché as it was, over the very few days you’d known him, you liked him. You weren’t sure if it was just friendly, but still. You’d spent your whole life criticising people who acted like this, and here you were, exactly the same. What a hypocrite.


Peter was an incredibly pretty guy, inside and out. Literally the purest person you’d ever met; gentle and kind. Ready to help no matter what. He was too good to be true.

A few weeks passed. Then a couple of months. You felt sick almost all the time, wondering what you had done which was so bad.

Winter came and went. Spring began. You vowed to make this a new beginning. No more Peter. No more dreaming.


Still antsy and upset over Peter’s sudden disappearance, you spilled Chet’s order, drenching Chet, yourself and the new napkins which had come in that morning. So, you weren’t exactly in your Aunt’s good books. (Were you ever?)


“(Y/N), if you don’t get your crap together, I’m talking to your mom,” she said tauntingly as she patronisingly squinted at you. “And I’m not going to be as nice this time.”


You rolled your eyes. “Do it! I’m getting below minimum wage anyway. Might as well go and work at freaking McDonalds.”


She scowled and trooped off into her ‘office’. (It was really more of a broom cupboard.) (What kind of narcissist needed an office in a freaking coffee shop, anyway?) Seeing her disappear and leave you to it made your blood boil. You had had enough.


Storming after her, you stuck your foot in the doorframe, stopping her from slamming the door, one of her favourite things to do. Elbowing the door to the side, you leant against the door frame.


“You know what?” You threw up your hands in frustration. “I quit. See you at Thanksgiving.”


She let out a surprised noise and you unceremoniously slammed the door behind you. Hurriedly you gathered your things before your Aunt could come out and publicly yell at you. You also made sure to quickly spill some black coffee outside her office door. Hurtling to the front of the café, you ran into a customer, a regular you thought, who asked where you were going. You ignored them, budging past to burst out into the open street.


And then you walked.


You walked and walked and walked and walked. The anger fuelled you; it didn’t look like you would be stopping anytime soon. Despite the little sun and the grey skies, your skin prickled with sweat.


Eventually, you stumbled your way into Queens Center Mall, moving speedily to the escalators and stepping off at Level 3. Following the steady stream of excited kids, you slipped into Build-A-Bear, trying to look inconspicuous. Oddly, the colours and cute clothes calmed you, and you let out a deep breath you hadn’t realised you’d been holding. Perusing the wide selection, you picked out a pale-yellow bear, had him stuffed and named him Rover. Then you made your way to the clothes section. You smiled, almost laughed.


Right in the middle of your line of vision? A Spider-Man t-shirt and leggings. You recalled the odd encounter you’d had with Spider-Man a few months prior and your stomach did an odd, sad flip.


Grabbing the tiny clothes anyway, you raced to the checkout, paid and rushed outside, finding a bench to sit on. Pulling off the tags, you began pulling the shirt over the bear’s head. Then you moved onto the leggings. Trying to stuff the bear feet-first into them, you suddenly became aware of how odd you must look to everyone else. You put a bit more effort in, attempting to work fast. A shadow passed over you and then hung there.


“Nothing to see here,” you said tiredly. “Just a girl – a girl trying to squeeze a bear’s over-sized legs into some leggings.” The shadow chuckled.


“(Y/N)? Are you body-shaming a Build-A-Bear?”


Your head shot up in surprise. Peter was standing there, arms folded, watching you with a very obvious look of amusement. Self-consciously you clutched Rover to your stomach, one of his legs only half inside the leggings.


“Oh, Peter,” you tried to flip your hair nonchalantly over your shoulder and caught some in your mouth, losing the little dignity you had left. Your insides prickled at the sight of him. So much for getting over him. “Didn’t expect to see you here! You come here often?” You winked.


Peter looked taken aback for a second, then his smile widened and he looked away for a second, scratching his nose. “Shouldn’t you be at work?”


“No.”


“No?”


No.”


“Why?”


You shrugged. “Nothing is real, Peter,” you said solemnly, then promptly burst into a shaky fit of laughter. Peter looked incredibly confused. You sighed. “I quit.”

Peter’s eyes widened, but he nodded slowly, understanding. He’d seen your Aunt yell at you  numerous times, despite only having started going to The Grind.


Peter held out a hand and when you took it, he hauled you up. Gently he took Rover from you, and began walking away. He looked over his shoulder, signalling for you to follow him. So, you did. Walking next to him, you watched as he easily fit the bear’s legs into the leggings, taking more care than you had. With a smirk, he turned to you and held Rover out with both hands. You scowled and took him back.


“Thank you,” you said sulkily.


“You’re welcome,” he cheerily replied. “I like the Spider-Man clothes.”


“Where are we going?”


“Well, I was going back into Center Mall. Ned wanted McDonald’s… Do you wanna come with?”


Yes, please.”


Weaving back through the mall, Peter placed his hand on the small of your back, gently guiding you, even though he probably knew that you knew the way. But it felt nice.


Eventually you saw the glowing sign, and squeezed in to restaurant. Peter assured you that he didn’t need any help, so you sat in a booth and waited for him. You watched as he ordered an incredible amount of food, laughing when he attempted to carry five paper bags and two paper cup holders. Rushing forwards, you grabbed as much as you could, earning a very grateful look from Peter. Your stomach nervously fluttered, making you grimace.


Steadily walking out of the restaurant, you turned to Peter.


“You said you didn’t need any help!” You shook your head, smiling. “Where are we taking this?”


“Just to Hoffman Park,” Peter mumbled, looking at his watch. “Like, six minutes.”


“What are you guys doing in Hoffman?”


“Ned re-wired this remote-control car thing and we wanted to try it out but Aunt May wouldn’t let us do it in our apartment.” He sighed. “But we tried it in there anyway, and broke, like… two plates? So, now we’re trying it out here, because there’s more space. Then we’re going to look for some new plates for Aunt May.”


“And so the moral of the story is…” you prompted.


“Uh… Listen to your elders?”


“Not even close,” you grinned. It didn’t feel forced; it felt as though you’d never been apart. “The moral of the story is: either be a pro at whatever stupid crap you’re doing, or be a pro at covering up when you mess up your stupid crap.”


Peter nodded solemnly. “You’re probably right,” he sighed.


You walked in comfortable silence until you reached Hoffman Park’s gate. As you both entered, Ned came hurtling towards both of you. He practically attacked you, tugging the bags from your grip. You shrieked, both of you falling over onto a patch of nearby grass. Ned immediately sat up and began asking questions.


“Peter, did you get a Happy Meal? And a fruit bag? Peter! They’ve got Spider-Man toys in now! Please tell me you got a Happy Meal!” You sat up and brushed yourself off, Ned gasping in realisation. “You’re not Peter…”


“I’ve got your Happy Meal here,” Peter shook one of the bags mockingly and sat down on the grass between you and Ned.


“Who’s this?” Ned wiggled his eyebrows, seeming to forget the fact he’d just flattened you.


“This – This is (Y/N).” Peter pointed at you awkwardly.


“’Sup, girl?” Ned wiggled his eyebrows, and the two of you burst into peals of laughter.


Three hours later, and you’d exhausted several topics of conversation with the two boys. The food was almost finished, apart from a few large fries and Peter’s Happy Meal. Stuffed and happy, you and Ned lay stretched out on the grass, your head in Peter’s lap, asking random questions.


“Who’s your favourite superhero?” Ned asked.


“Spider-Man,” you said, too quickly.


Peter abruptly choked on his milkshake, wheezing to the side, trying to avoid coughing over you. Ned began hysterically laughing. You watched them both, concerned. When he stopped, you nervously slid a hand through his. He looked down at your entwined hands and smiled, then turned back to Ned to answer his question.


“Spider-Man is pretty cool,” he said tensely, though with a smirk.


Ned nodded seriously, still trying not to laugh, looking between you two. “So, you guys are going out, right?”


Ned!”


“You’re not? Well, you should be. I could see you guys walking from a distance, all cute and stuff.”


Peter looked at you, utterly mortified and embarrassed, trying to mutter an apology. Your face broke apart in a grin. He was so cute. Ned had a point. You turned to him and laughed.


“You’re right!” You stood and mockingly bowed to Peter, shaking a little. “Peter, dear, would you… Would you accompany me on a date?”


Peter spluttered, staring at you, mouth wide. “You’re – You’re kidding, right?”


“I’m not.” You smiled gently. “So, what do you say?”


Still shocked, Peter continued to gape at you. Ned took the wheel.


Dude.” He rolled his eyes at Peter, exasperated. “He says yeah, (Y/N).”


Peter nodded frantically. “Yeah!”


Your smile widened, and you stood to leave. Remembering you still had one of The Grind’s Sharpies, you fished it out of your pocket and knelt down, uncapping it and sticking the lid in your mouth. You tenderly took Peter’s hand, pushing his sweater sleeve up his arm. Then, you scrawled your number across his forearm. Peter watched in excited silence.


Standing again, you took the lid from your mouth and recapped the pen. You threw it to Ned, who caught it easily.


“Keep it,” you grinned and he smiled back. Then you turned to Peter, your smile widening impossibly.


“You better go all-out on this date, (Y/N),” Peter twinkled. “I want roses. I want to be swept off of my feet.”


“You bet your ass I’m going all out,” you beamed, waving your hands about. “The works.”


The both of you goofily grinned at each other before Ned made a disgusted noise, pulling you out of your daze. You mimicked him, told Peter you’d call, then bounced away, a new spring in your step. When you reached outside the gate, you clenched your fists, ecstatic.


Yes!” you exclaimed, fisting the air several times, making several people around you stare quizzically. Mouthing an apology, you rushed off down the street.


You had a date to plan.

Tokyo Ghoul: re [quest] #002  [union]

NOTICE: This translation does not base on original version of the novel (which is Japanese), but on the official Mandarin/Traditional Chinese version. Some contents or meaning may be misinterpreted due to multiple translations between different languages and my personal misunderstandings or inability. Also, since English isn’t my mother language, some grammar mistakes may be unavoidable. Please, do point out any parts you find strange or mistaken.

DISCLAIMER: This translation is for the purpose of my personal language practicing only. I do not own or originally created any contents in this novel. Tokyo Ghoul :re[quest] (東京喰種-トーキョーグール-:re[quest]) is written by Towada Shin (十和田シン), which based on Tokyo Ghoul(東京喰種トーキョーグール) series, the creation of Ishida Sui (石田スイ). Thus, all the rights of this work reserved to Ishida Sui, Towada Shin and the publisher, Shueisha Inc. (株式会社集英社). All the Mandarin/Traditional Chinese version’s rights reserved to its publisher Sharp Point Publishing (尖端出版) and the translator Lai Si-Yu (賴思宇). Please do not rehost without citation or reuse this translation, especially not in the any forms of profitable usages. If you’re interested, buy official copy when it’s available in your region.


 -1-

Hiding under other people’s wings forever, then you’ll end up achieve nothing, and lose everything

So she raised up her courage, stepped into the shade of the Tree where could never be shined by sunlight, for she hoped she herself would have enough strength to help others.

Keep reading

love-dreams-unless-delusional  asked:

My inner child is happy with forces. A lot of adults seem to forget kids will get this game. This game will actually make kids happy. They get to make themselves in the game and Sonic is so nice to them and cheers them on. To kids that like sonic he is their hero. Kids will love this.

I’m only on Stage 10 of the game (I’m very bad at games but I play anyways) and so far I am absolutely 100% in LOVE with this game. This game is everything… EVERYTHING… that I as a fanfic writer and reader, as an artist, as a creator of fan characters and AUs. As a lover of all things Sonic story related. As someone who loves the world and the lore and the characters.

I. LOVE. SONIC. FORCES.

Unironically. Unabashedly.

This game is a love letter to Sonic’s biggest, longest running and most mocked demographic. The little kids dreaming of running beside their favourite heroes (maybe even developing crushes on them). The tweens who get told they’re ‘too old for that stuff’ but cling to it anyway because it makes them happy and, hey, in this world, I’m a hero, too! I’m important! The teens who spend hours writing stories or reading them because they need MORE of this world that they feel important and crucial to. The twenty-somethings who fear their coworkers finding out about their RP group where they have a million ships and who go ‘oh, I watch TV and read’ when asked how they wind down after work. The older fans, like myself, who have been here since Day 1, as those wide eyed teenagers falling in love with  the colours and the world. The ones who cut their story telling teeth on SatAM and the Archie comics and Fleetway comics.

Sonic Forces is a game made, out of love, for every fan who’s ever been laughed at for liking Sonic.

It’s a game for kids like my daughter, who has a gigantic crush on Sonic and Shadow and who’s greatest disappointment watching her brother play Sonic Mania was ‘Sonic never talks. He has such a nice voice, why won’t he talk?’

A game for an adult like me who has been told, for years and years, by friends and outside sources and random jerks on the internet that she was stupid for doing Sonic art. That Sonic fanfic was a waste. That OCs and fan characters were cringy and childish and would ruin your life if you made them. Who put these things away under years and YEARS of abuse and is pulling them out of their boxes and dusting them off and re-embracing them and remembering what she loved so much about just putting herself in the stories. How GOOD it felt. How FUN it was. And how it didn’t hurt a single soul.

Sonic Forces is amazing. It’s important. It’s incredible. (Though man, the jumping could use some work…)

Even if they never make a game like this again… I will cling to this one and treasure it above all over Sonic games.

They’ve told me it’s okay to be the Sonic fan I am. SEGA sees us, acknowledges us and accepts us. They care about us, too. Just like putting ourselves into the story to capture the feeling… we’re actually important, too.

That’s what makes Sonic Forces amazing. ♥

A SWORD’S SHEATH - A Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild fanfiction

Story by: @gregogm
Image artist: @wondyworld

A SWORD’S SHEATH
A LEGEND OF ZELDA - BREATH OF THE WILD fanfiction

It has been a year since Link and I vanquished the calamity called Ganon. Hyrule had shown remarkable progress onto getting back on its feet during the past months.

When the news had been announced of my return, everyone across the lands had banded together to help return the kingdom to its former and glorious self. I felt relief and peace when the people didn’t forsake the Sheikah tribe any more. Just like everyone else, they, too, suffered Ganon’s wrath. Seeing people of all kinds working strong and united as one had brought such a beautiful joy to my heart. I know Father would have been proud to see what I was seeing. I was certain that his spirit saw everything from the heavens.

Though there was still much work to do, I was still baffled to see Hyrule Castle rebuilt the way it has been over a century ago. I had walked in its halls, the rooms; it felt so familiar and yet so alienated. 100 years would make you feel as such. Despite the year that had passed, I felt it was too early to occupy this vast home. Castle Town was far from being ready after all and the emptiness of it would freeze my soul if I decided to retake my old home. I wasn’t ready to be crowned Queen of Hyrule just yet.

I also had another surprise. In the castle’s destruction, my old diary had survived. When it was brought back to me, I had shed tears and held it tightly in my arms. It wasn’t as shred as I thought it would be. I had read the old pages written in it. So many different thoughts and feelings had traveled my mind while revisiting the past told.

In the quietness of night, a candle lit my room in the house of Lady Impa. I read my old diary once again as if trying to find a certain attachment to a past era. I must admit, it took me a lot of time to get used to the changes of a hundred years. The adaptation went smoothly well. But truth be told, I kept reading the same pages related to one person in particular: Link.

How I met him, how I had my doubts about him, how I lashed out my frustration to him, how he opened up to me, how he risked his life with no regards for his. How we’ve gotten closer to each other.

Link…

I thought that things would have changed between us. At least, I thought they did at first. But weeks after our victory over the calamity, he… how could I say it. He became the formal Link; the one before he opened up to me. I had asked him if he was all right. Of course he smiled and told me that he was. I felt a wall around him and I didn’t know why. I thought at first that this strange mood of his would go away, but months had passed and he was still sheltering himself from me. Was I at fault? If so, what was my crime?

The morning rained its rays through my room and the birds sang at my window. Summer looked promising at the looks of it. I got up on my feet and stared outside. The village was getting up slowly alive; the shops were opening, the people started working on the field, warriors doing their daily training routines.

Speaking of which, there he was again. Every single day, at the same morning hour, Link was training vigorously with the Master Sword. He gracefully swung the blade cutting through air as if he and the blade were one. The drops of sweat, the strength of his muscles, his hair swimming in air; I would be blind to not notice how handsome he had become.

Our eyes crossed each other for single instant, it made him stopped to look at me. I waved my hand to him, he bowed his head to me.

He bowed. I knew it was out of respect. Everyone bowed to me, I was used to that. But I didn’t want him to.

*****

We travelled to Hyrule Field in the Central Hyrule region. There remained a lot of Guardians and I had asked the help of the people to their dismantlement. Other than the four divine beasts, I took the decision to take them apart. Though the events of the past made them Ganon’s slaves, it was a reminder of large and painful scars yet to be healed for all of us. I believed it was for the best of everyone and for the good of the kingdom’s future.

Link was taking a break. People wouldn’t let him have a moment of peace. He was popular with no surprise; even more with young women, which stung my heart most of the time. He was the hero of Hyrule after all.

I saw him having a playful moment with some children, playing knights with them. The scene lit me in admiration for him. He was a good man, but I had no doubt at all that he would make a great father someday.

I held the Sheikah slate in my hands and captured the wonderful moment. Link appeared to be so happy. My fingers cherished his face on the screen as I blushed seeing his childish smile to the younglings. I felt small burden of jealousy in me. I wished I could made him smile as such. But his heart became once again a fortress. And I seemed to be the enemy.

Why was I guilty? Why was he so carefree to others but not me?

I let those unanswered thoughts for another time and joined Link and the children.

“Is it okay if I play with you?” I asked cheerfully the group.

“Hey, it’s the princess!” a young boy said amazed. “You really wanna play with us?” I nodded.

“But if that’s okay with you,” I said, “I would like to be the hero. You can be my brave companions.” I pointed an adorable girl who made me think of a child version of me. “You will be the princess, and Link can be the evil Ganon.”

I could see he was surprised by that. I sent him a mischievous smile while the children agreed to my plan. He smiled back awkwardly. It was the first smile I’ve gotten from him that felt innocent in a  very long time. Perhaps he started to re-open once more. I hoped so. But for now, I anticipated a good fun vanquishing the calamity Link with the children.

*****

The day was filled with hardworking and amusement. Link made these children’s day unforgettable; very noticeable on the fun they had by the dirt and sand his clothes bore. I thought this joyful moment would suffice for him to break the thin ice around him, but in failure, it seemed it became thicker.

I tried making conversation with him on our way home. He replied and participated, and even smiled. But the smile he did wasn’t the same. I felt he was drifting away. No, it wasn’t that. The way he acted seemed familiar. He was just as such when he was appointed as my personal knight.

Was he carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders once again? Despite the calamity’s defeat, was a knight’s duty never to rest? Not even a little bit? Or, perhaps, could it be that I was really at fault, for something I didn’t acknowledge yet?

Sunset claimed the sky as the day was bidding us goodnight. I was happy to have arrived before the full arrival of night. I felt it would have been awkward to be left alone with Link. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t say something as such, but with him acting strangely distant from me, I couldn’t think of anything else.

As we got off from our horses, I looked at Link caressing his steed’s muzzle. My mind was obsessed about his behavior. It was driving me mad. I wanted things to be so well between us, especially after all we went through. I had told myself that it would pass, that he needed time. But no more!

I walked to him in haste, determined.

“Enough of this, Link!” I said firmly to him. He looked surprised and puzzled. I took a deep breath to collect all my heart’s content. “It has been months now that you’ve been acting cold and afar. I thought at first that you needed time to recover from the battle against Ganon, but now you seem so far away and distant. You smile at me, but there’s nothing behind your lips. And the more I see you after each passing day, the more you look like a shadow of your former self… at least when interacting with me.”

It seemed my aim was true. A sense of guilt embedded his face. I had no intention of hurting him, but I couldn’t take this behavior of his any longer. I had to know.

“After all we went through together, I thought there wouldn’t be no walls between us.” He remained in silence, yet hurt was clear on his face.

I was no reader of minds, otherwise it would have been easy to ease the illness he bore in his heart. But I couldn’t force him to tell me his secrets, no matter what. All I could do was be present for him.

“But…” My right hand delicately rested on his left cheek. His expression quickly turned to a warm surprise. His sudden and clueless adorableness appeared. “I can’t force your secrets out of you. But know this: I’m here if you want to ease that burden. Always.”

Link’s face was glowing red. He nodded to me and smiled; genuinely. I smiled back, happy of seeing him more relaxed.

I had forgotten that my hand was still cherishing his face. Before I could take it back, his hand covered mine and held it dearly. His head turned towards it, and to my unexpected surprise, Link kissed its palm.

I felt a burst of heat embedding my face. I was frozen by… his act. More than that, my gaze couldn’t leave his. My heart felt like Death Mountain erupting passionately and my breath was rapid. He looked so shy, and yet so open and vulnerable at that moment. I could read all of his emotions. I wondered if he could read all of mine. This was the first time I had seen Link behave like that.

And… I didn’t mind it at all.

*****

The moon was high in the night sky, reigning like a beautiful goddess. I bathed in its moonlight unable to sleep and thinking about this… moment. If Link’s horse’s tail hadn’t whipped him in the face and broke the tension, I wondered what would have happened.

I could still feel the wet heat of his lips kissing the palm of my hand. I blushed just at the thought of it. My lips couldn’t help smiling of happiness; a happiness I’ve never felt before. What was wrong with me?, I asked myself ridiculously. I squeezed my kissed palm against my chest, reliving in my latest memories about this instant with nothing but gleefulness in mind.

Link…

Was he asleep as well? Or perhaps not? Should I bother him?

I had to. Well… I wanted to.

I knew it was late, but my heart wouldn’t find peace if I didn’t settle this on this night.

His room was just next to mine. I didn’t want to knock and wake the others out of their slumber. I tried whispering his name. No luck on this attempt. I held and twisted the handle. It was unlocked.

Swinging the door quietly, I gasped, startled to see him sitting by the window. Blessed by the moonlight, he felt asleep there. I was right to think that he wasn’t able to sleep either. At least some moments ago.

He looked peaceful. He looked handsome too. But sword in hand, he was as always vigilant. I couldn’t help feeling a bit sad for him. I wished for once he could truly being at peace, without the need of a blade at hand. For Hyrule, he represented the hope and the future, but he was no god. He was just a man. But a great man at that. Perhaps the greatest one I’ve met in my life. And knowing that, I knew in my heart he would always defend the kingdom against all threats. That was the man he was.

I wanted to talk to him tonight, but after some thoughts, I believe my words could wait tomorrow. I took the cover laying on his bed and opened it wide to cover him. I was a step away from covering him, but the step I took creaked the floor. A high-pitched noise broke through the silent night; along through Link’s slumber. His eyes opened sharply and widely, wild and threatening. In a blinding speed, I saw a flash carrying the lunar light hurling itself at my neck; the Master Sword rushing take my life swiftly and painless.

Was my life going to end by Evil’s bane because of my care for him? Why did I find this ironic?

The Goddesses decided that my fate wouldn’t be death tonight. Link stopped a hair away from my neck being sliced clean. I could feel the cold of the steel of the sacred blade at my throat. Link recognized me and was horrified of his near-fatal action. Apologizing numerous times, he fell down on the floor with his breath harsh and heavy and his heart must racing faster than lightning.

As I stared at him, scared and shocked about what he almost did, I understood. I finally understood everything. The distance, his heart being closed, him being more focused on his knight’s duty to protect and defend me, the kingdom and its people. I understood it all.

I knelt to him. His face was sweating as he was still catching his breath. I could see shame and disgust in his eyes aimed at himself.

He had done so much for me. I wasn’t going to give up on him when he needed me the most. It was my turn to save him.

I grabbed his hand and held it firmly. I welcomed his confused gaze with a soothing smile.

“Come with me, Link.”

*****

We walked in the peaceful night to the Great Fairy Fountain near the village. During this small path, never once I let go of Link’s hand. I looked behind me as I led him to our destination and smiled. His face lit brighter than the sun. I was glad he shed away his shock from earlier.

During a full moon, the fountain was a marvel to explore. Fireflies and fairies waltzed gracefully in the air, silent princesses and blue nightshades glowed with a divine light. It was a blessed place, as if Hylia herself had given this piece of wonder to us mortals.

We sat down, still holding hands and Link looked very timid. I never thought he could be this adorable. It was a side of his charm; a side I was very fond of.

We remained silent watching the beautiful spectacle of nature around us. It felt like we were the only ones in the entire world. It felt perfect as such. Thinking about it, I believed Link and I never took a moment to enjoy ourselves like that. No duty, no destiny, no calamities; just the two of us in peacefulness.

A moment that I longed for for a very, very long time to share with him.

I could feel Link’s gaze upon me. I didn’t need to look at him to guess he was speechless. Our hands held together, his thumb cherished mine. I knew too well that my face had gained the same shade of a fresh picked apple.

My head rested on his shoulder. It took him by surprise. I could feel he was tensing a little. But he closed the very small remainder of distance between us and sighed in relief.

“You once told me,” I said, breaking the silence between us, “that you remained silent from others because it was necessary for you to stay strong and carry any burden. Is this why you have been silently closed from me during these past few months? Even though we’ve won against Ganon?”

Our eyes met. He nodded, confirming my discovery. For Link, even though peace had returned to Hyrule, he was still at war.

The fortress around his heart crumbled as he opened up to me. He told me everything about his burden. He told me about this journey to save our kingdom and free me from my century-old battle with the calamity. As his memories were returning, he felt shame and helplessness that he had to sleep all this time before being enable to save me. The reason why he acted distant was to be ready and never fail again to protect me.

“I understand now,” I replied to his explanation. “But I, too, wished I could have been by your side, Link. I as well felt helpless when I couldn’t help you during your journey. But your courage showed me to never give up as I saw all that you went through. It gave me faith that we would be together again to never be torn apart.”

I stopped for a moment realizing the words I just spoke. The Great Deku tree was right; telling these feelings myself sounded better.

“Link,” I said. “You’re not alone. You’ll never be. As for any burden you may have from now on, I want to carry it with you. Because I, too, vow to protect you and be at your side.”

His face was embedded with a sense of serenity that I haven’t seen in ages. The fear, the sense of duty, the burden, everything else weighting him down; they melted away giving place to a rebirth of self he dearly needed. He smiled and nodded. There I saw him; the Link I wanted to see. He had returned to me.

He called my name. “Yes?” I asked. Link got on his feet and I followed him.

I stood in front him, hands still holding each other. His free hand laced itself with my other one. His eyes plunged in mine with a lovely but intense fire in them. I couldn’t gaze away from them. He looked a little nervous and his face flushed like the shiniest among rubies. So did mine. He slowly closed the small space between us. I didn’t know which emanated heat the most; this summer night or Link’s body. I was attracted by the latter. He looked so timid at the moment, yet he was so… perfect. The warm light of the fireflies and fairies surrounding us, the glow of the flowers at our feet, the moon blessing us, and Link, standing so close to me. How could I ask for anything more?

“What is it?” I asked. My voice was soft and whispering.

He answered, but words didn’t come out of his mouth. He flared my heart and soul to no bound as his lips gently embraced mine. My arms snaked around his neck to savor this feeling even more. His arms pulled me closer to him by my waist.The delicious feeling embedding my whole being had no word invented yet to describe it. Calling it celestial, divine, majestic or supreme wouldn’t do it justice.  

A century had put us apart and many hardships followed. But finally, our happy ending bloomed on this starry night. If I had to do it all over to cherish this moment again with him, I would do it blindfolded. As he would, too.

Oh, Link… How have I fallen in love with you.

*****

I could feel the morning sun shining its light upon us, but the warmth that cradled me in his arms was by far better. My dreamy thoughts relived those memories now sacred to Link and I. The vow we made, the kiss we shared, the night spent together in each other’s arms; this was our paradise. I thanked the goddesses to have brought us together.

A soft contact landed on my nose. I tried to wiggle it off, but it kept on dancing annoyingly. I laughed to the ticklish feeling.

“Stop it!” I giggled. “That tickles, Link!”

I opened my eyes. Here he was. In his sleepy allure, he looked lovely and otherworldly, like an angel. He moved closer and kissed me softly. I savored his lips for long seconds. Never would I stop enjoying the sweet pleasure of kissing him.

“Good morning to you too,” I told him tiredly. “Ready to continue our work in Hyrule field?”

Link hummed with disappointment in his voice as he pulled my body to his. Seeing how tightly he held me, he didn’t want to go. Truth be told, I desired nothing but spending the rest of the day resting here at his side. Alas, the hero and princess of Hyrule had duties and responsibilities to fulfill to the people.

“Well it’s about time!” The voice of an elder woman interrupted us.

Link and I immediately got up as fast as lightning seeing Lady Impa blessing the door frame of my room. Embarrassment was an understatement regarding the emotion dressing our faces.

“L-Lady Impa!” I stuttered! “T-This isn’t what it looks like! We just-”

She laughed in a humming voice. “I know you, child. I know you wise enough to not share such passion before a proper wedding. A honeymoon is well-timed for such actions.”

A bright image burned my mind like the marking made by hot iron. I saw Link laying in a bed of silk white sheets, which a part of it barely covered his… privacy. My face heated out of raw desire; quite inappropriate for a princess. I looked at Link, and I could tell my obscene fantasies matched his. He quickly looked apologetic when I eyed him threateningly for his naughty thoughts. But… perhaps I didn’t completely mind it.

“I am glad,” Lady Impa continued, “that I’ve lived long enough to see the two of you find each other in this path called love. After all the hardships that you have been through, along with your efforts of bringing back the lost glory of Hyrule, you truly deserve each other. May it be that way for as long as you live.”

Those words of hers couldn’t have sounded better if it was from someone else. Her unwavering wisdom and strength that inspired me so much. Goddesses know what would have happened to me if she hadn’t been present in my life.

I walked to her and thanked her for always being there for us by hugging her frail body. Thank you so much, Lady Impa.

*****

Another beautiful day awaited us as Link and I stepped outside Lady Impa’s home. The sun shined beautifully and the people around us were busy and bustling as ever. At the end of the stairs, Cado and Dorian saluted us as my hero delicately held my hand, leaving the guards taken aback from our affection. As we walked around town, everyone took notice of our newfound love, but their happiness for us was very palpable. We kept blushing at every compliment thrown at us; we enjoyed all of them.

Link asked me to lend him the Sheikah slate. I was puzzled on why he needed it, but I did as asked. As he stretched the device in front of us, he held me closer to him as we smiled.

Click!

A beautiful moment of us in love captured forever. And definitely not the last.

“It’s beautiful,” I said. He nodded in agreement.

Our gazes crossed. Staring at him left me breathless. Free of his burden that plagued him, Link was a reborn man. I had heard once that love could move mountains; I understood its meaning now.

Link whispered my name… following three sacred words.

Those words made my heart explode with more affection than I could already have for him. I held his beautiful face in my hand and captured his lips with mine, kissing him and pouring all my love in it. Parting from it a short moment after, I replied to his sacred words, vowing to myself to never leave his side and to always love him, just as he did when he said his.

“I love you too, Link.”


THE END.
(To be concluded in Epilogue 02)
—-
Author’s Note:
I had finished the game not long ago and I was moved by the story of sacrifice, duty and even love regarding Link and Zelda. There was so much passion in it that I came up with this story. I’m glad that it came out as the way I published it. I think Link and Zelda are a perfect match, but in this story I made it so that they need each other for everything: life, love, hardships, etc. Hopefully you guys understood the meaning of the title. 

I hope you loved the story. Please leave comments! And thanks again to @wondyworld for letting me use her Zelink fanart as a cover for the fanfiction. Thank you! Please comment?

EPILOGUE 02: ENDINGS & BEGINNINGS

https://gregogm.tumblr.com/post/165324228912/a-swords-sheath-a-legend-of-zelda-breath-of

Amon: One Eyed King of Clowns

What is this exactly? An introduction of another one eyed king when the manga just went through an arc establishing two other ones. Eto’s words on the king would have led you to believe that it was only one individual, but as others @hysyartmaskstudio have pointed out, rather than a prophecy for one destined person to step into the mantle it’s just a title in the end. 

Then, if Amon were to become king what exactly would he become king of? There’s only two factions remaining in this fight, the ghouls fighting for independence already have sworn their loyalty to Kaneki and the Furuta is currently vying for control of the CCG with no competitors. 

Having three one eyed kings sounds like the role might even get a little crowded. After all there are only two active players in a game of chess, one on the black side and one on the white. That is until you realize counting Arima (Arima, Kaneki, Furuta Amon) that there is actually the capability of four kings, if you compare this to another game.

In a deck of cards, there are four kings, one of diamonds, hearts, spades, and jacks. Not only that, but the suit that Amon inhibits, the king of diamonds is known as a one eyed king due to the way the face is drawn as a silhouette with only one eye showing. A style of drawing that is explicitly referenced wit the way Donato is drawn in his trump card. 

If Amon were to succeed Donato’s position though, he would become the one eyed king of clown. Though it seems the last position a character like Amon would inhabit, there’s actually a lot of evidence for it which I’ll elaborate on below.

Keep reading

Ezio x Reader - Language Barrier

[Imagine that there is a language barrier between you and Ezio when you first meet in an arranged marriage scenario. (AU-ish) (And boy, am I going to try not to abuse google translator)]

The nervousness that raked through your body was enough to cause your palms to sweat as you gripped the reins of the horse you rode. You didn’t speak Italian…not much, anyways, as you were more familiar with English than any other language given your household and where you hailed from, but you had a translator with you, and that eased you a bit. The marriage had been arranged since birth as only you knew that his family was part of the assassins in Italy. Your ancestors protected their secret and aided them well, and when you were born down the line, an arrangement was made.

“You look so tense,” spoke your translator, as he rode closer beside you. He was a middle-aged man with a beard and short hair that was mostly gray. His name was Pierozzo Armonni, and he too worked for the Italian Brotherhood. Pierozzo wore the Assassin symbol with pride upon his belt, which kept his hooded attire into place. “You know he is a good man, so why stress your body so?”

A smile crept upon your lips ever so slightly as you looked at Pierozzo with an unamused look of sorts. “It is not his person that makes me ever so nervous…it is the fact I know very little when it comes to speaking to him, and, to my understanding, it will be the same for him.”

Pierozzo stifled a laugh. It was a good natured laugh, so you knew he was only trying to find the light of the situation.

“You will find this funny until you end up translating well into our honeymoon,” you jabbed lightly with a wicked smirk to accompany your words. If you were to be honest with yourself, humor would be welcomed about now as you were finding your heart beating loudly in your ears at this point.

Keep reading

darling dearest ❂ minseok [6]

Originally posted by baekhyunsama

in which a medical examiner falls for the horny mafia man who has his eyes on her / 10/10 i’m not at all pleased w this but it is what it is lol also;;;; i was gnna cont w the smutty bits but i didnt wnna derail from more important stuff ?? its still fairly lengthy since evry1 wanted smut but ya anyway / 1.3k

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

hello!! do you have any art tips? your coloring, anatomy, and backgrounds are a HUGE favorite of mine, your pretty much my favorite artist!!

Hello hello Anons and @sevensity! I’m so sorry for the huge delay! ;___; Ahhh thank you so much, you guys are so sweet and you all give me so much more credit than I deserve. At the moment I primarily use only photoshop, but I have experience with traditional media.

Let’s see.. I’ve described some things that I do in previous asks. If I had to boil it down to some things that I find the most important it would be observing and drawing from real life, as well as thinking of things in their most simplistic of forms first and then detail dead last. Color is what I personally struggle with the most and I found it incredibly helpful to observe the world around me. Shadows being made by a warm light source will be a cooler color, but if the light source is a colder hue the shadow will appear as a warmer color. It’s really fascinating (although these rules apply to the real world and are a good foundation, as an artist you can ultimately bend the rules in your drawing to whatever you believe looks good).

As for cintiq/wacom @sevensity, apologies I only had the chance to play with a cintiq twice in my life haha so I’m not sure about ALL of the details. But I am positive that both the cintiq and the tablet have to be connected to a computer in order to be used (except for some “ipad/portable tablet” versions). Consider them extensions of your computer, they do not come with the actual coloring program installed inside of it and you will need your computer open and running in order to color on the cintiq or with a tablet. Also the cintiq is different from a tablet. A cintiq you draw directly on the screen (while still connected to a computer, so it’s like another monitor in a sense). A drawing tablet you draw on but the result of your drawing shows up on the screen in front of you, it’s similar to a complex track pad. You have to learn to draw while looking up instead of down at your hands :) I hope that makes some sense.. But good luck with starting up digital art ~ ! It does sound intimidating but it is so fun and convenient once you become comfortable with it. You’ll do great I’m sure!

Answering asks below. You guys are so supportive and lovely, it makes me tear up! I wish I had the space to answer them all (I’m pushing it already), but know that I have read ALL of them and if you are non-anon I will pm you! Also I’m so sorry I haven’t been able to get to them until now.

Hey there @haikyu-haiku :) it is just the crests! Since they all coexist in the same kingdom they all wear the same clothing. Their crests are the only thing that differentiate them (apart from the sun clan having mostly bright, outgoing members and the moon clan being comprised of mostly quiet, methodical thinkers)

Thank you so much Anon! Yes of course, he is also a fav of mine! It’s hard to imagine Bokuto in anything without Akaaaaaahhhhhshi by his side hahah. Akaashi will likely be his right hand man/guard.

Hello Anon! Yes I would and I want to! It might not be anytime soon, as I have been struggling with my art lately, because I’m finding it more helpful atm to do more studies and draw “less complex” fanart on the side. Apologies! But I definitely would love to get back to the fantasy haikyuu as soon as I’m able <3

Hey there Anon! Thank you so much, I’m really happy that you like the AU <3 it’s so encouraging to hear! I am not planning to write it personally (as I am not a particularly fantastic writer haha), but you can read @mikazau‘s really amazing written first chapter of the AU -> here <- :)) It was an absolute joy to read! 

@the-ultimate-trash Ahhhhh! This is. I cannot. But ILY too <3 Thank you so much for this, I can’t stop re-reading! It just made my day to see and I feel so honored that you took the time out of your day to write for this AU ;___; You are so amazing and thank you again for sharing your work with me!

Hi Anon, absolutely! Everyone is allowed to cosplay anything I’ve drawn! It is an honor and apologies again for the lateness (I’m probably way too late ;___;)

Ahhhh hello there @preciousghouls! Thank you so much, you are so sweet ahhhh ~ It is ABSOLUTELY OK with me if you want to write the timeloop AU! In fact I’m extremely flattered that you even WANT to write it. It’s such a huge compliment (to me at least) to have a writer say that they saw your drawing and felt like writing for it ;____; thank you so much for the interest! I had a couple Anons ask the same Q and the answer is the same for everyone! Yes, you may write for any of the AUs!

OHHHHH YOOOO Anon. I should have known this. I’m a huge fma fan too but that really slipped my mind hahaha. Thank you for the correction! In the end I really just drew it thinking blandly “oh I want it in his eye so I can have fun drawing the mark” LOL

Hello @scgawara and @picturethosesmiles! Thank you so much! I actually do have an instagram! But I hardly used it until now and I never really thought to share it because of that haha. Here’s my IG: here username: mikkapi :)) but I don’t really plan on posting many finished drawings on there in the future ~

Hey there @saikimin and Anon! Thank you so much! Also thank you for asking! Anyone may repost my work and use them as icons as long as there are credits :) Reposting on IG is also fine even though I have one already. Just applying credits is all I ask <3

Hello Anon! Thank you so much you are too kind! And I’m sorry unfortunately no I am not taking any commissions at the moment, as my top priority is building my portfolio and working on a couple personal projects that I have already started. But thank you again for your kind comment and I will let you guys know if I ever do open commissions! <3

Haha hi there! I love Yuri in a ponytail as well <3 hmmm but yeah, good question! I have way too many haha. In terms of more traditional artists I’ve always loved the styles of Monet, Michael Malm, and Glen Keane. Since I’m very into the digital age of art as well, I also REALLY admire the work of @wlopwangling and @mmcoconut and @princecanary. They are amazing and unique and everyone should check them out!

Hey there @just-a-little-nerd! Thank you so much for your kind words <3 I have considered it but I get worried about keeping up, as I have a portfolio to polish first and foremost. But one day I’d absolutely love to! And I hope I’ll be able to create quality work for you guys then :))

Ahhh thank you so much Anon ;___; I do like them. Quite a lot. I had a whole mafia/cop comic strip for them based on “Welcome to the Madness” buuuut… no time… hahaha. Here’s this sketch instead??

Thank you again to everyone for all the wonderful messages! I love you all and I’m sorry again I’m so terrible at responding within a reasonable amount of time. Take care and hope summer is going well for you all! 

anonymous asked:

Why tf is make up sexist???i mean some wear it for fun or to feel better about themselves not to please men

Okay, hi, yeah. This is a biggie. As it turns out, people get really fucking pissed when they’re told make-up is sexist, me included. In fact, there’s some pretty embarrassing bad discourse posts I made about this very topic from the other side. That being said, I’ll try to explain this in a way that makes sense.

Why tf is make up sexist?”  Make up, like shaving or high heels, is a gendered product forced upon women through social standards - without it, women risk criticism and even their identity as a woman (“if you don’t wear make up, are you even a girl?” “all women love new shoes”). 

Some wear it for fun” 

Super cool, yes. 

Some wear it to feel better about themselves” 

Okay, hold on. Re-read that. Do you see the problem? Isn’t there a problem in the fact that a woman feels she has to paint over her face to feel OK about herself? Why, do you think, she might feel badly about herself without make up? She’s been taught that she’s ugly without it.

An article discussing make up by a female author said, “it’s a painted mask of the person I would like to be that day, regardless of how beige and broken I feel inside”. Why would women feel the need to paint on a mask when men don’t? (Hint: sexism and sex role standards).

That’s where the problem lays. How is it a “choice” to wear make up when women have been socialized to wear it? Who’s choice is it? Certainly not hers. If you spend decades being told in a million different ways that make up is vital for you to be a decent percent, how is it your choice to wear it? You could not wear it, sure, but you would be risking being called a “slob”. 

So naturally, of course, a woman would pick up the damn foundation and mascara and bronzer and get to work - she’s trying to be “pretty”, something that has been linked to her value and told to her since she was a child.

A woman can not go out in public without make up and have it be seen as “normal”, while a man can go out without even wiping the fucking pasta sauce off his five o’clock shadow and no one bats an eye. 

Not to please men” 

I’m the first to mention that women do not live their lives for men. 

I will say, though, most men are more attracted to women who wear make up and they make this very clear - if a woman is going onto a date, she is more likely to wear make up because society pressures her to look good for a man

Even if she does not put on her make up specifically in mind of pleasing men, she is pleasing men by conforming to gender roles. Men love gender roles, let me tell ya. They love to see women all “dolled up”, they love women who are “feminine” and “small” and “pretty”. Men don’t like to look at women in their natural form. Men benefit from gender roles - while women are seen as “pretty” objects to look at, men get to be human beings.

She is also probably putting her money in a man’s pocket, as the CEOs of makeup companies are mainly men

Make up is a tool of the patriarchy to perpetuate women’s status as a second class, forcing them to hide their natural bodies on the grounds of their naturalness being “ugly” and “not enough”. 

Really good reference posts: 

By @capricornflakes click here

Connie Fisher on Make-Up: Speaking to Dr Yan Wu who researched the relationship between the media and the beauty industry

Eden, Matthew and Milton

Eden

In the latest chapter, Tsukiyama makes a conspicuous reference to the garden of Eden. As I’ve made a post about before [x] there are other places in Tokyo Ghoul that can be considered a lost Eden, such as Anteiku to Kaneki.

The meaning of the name Anteiku is unknown, however it can be written as  安定区 in Kanji which literally means “peaceful ward” or “harmony zone”. It is a place, unlike the other wards that encourages nonviolent ghouls to live in harmony with humans. It’s a small paradise far removed from the world, and represents an ideal lifestyle that its inhabitants try to live, it is Eden.

Chapter 126 where Anteiku begins to make its last stand against the CCG is even named “Original Sin” after the first betrayal of mankind which caused them to be forced out of Eden.

In this regard though, Tsukiyama refers to the ability to simply dwell on the surface as a lost Eden. Even though beforehand, ghouls were hunted down same as ever, just with less efficiency.

Keep reading

Garden Sanctuary

An Elriel from the Kiss prompt #11, when one stops the kiss to whisper “I’m sorry, are you sure you-” and they answer by kissing them more, for @couldilienexttoyou (for some reason it’s not letting me tag you).  Occurs after the events of Emerging from the Shadows


Elain was fretting.  There was really no other word for it.  Azriel had been gone on assignment for days.  Days for her to relive the breathless kisses and shared confessions in the garden.  Days for her to think about how his tongue had tasted, the gentle scraping of his callouses against her skin.  Days for that ache in her lower abdomen to grow, for her to admit to herself that she wanted him, that nobody, not even Graysen, had sparked this feeling, this need, inside her quite like he did.  The problem was, he was due back today and she didn’t know what to do now.

Contrary to what everyone thought, she wasn’t totally innocent.  Nesta had done her best to keep her sheltered, but she had been engaged, after all.  It wasn’t just her heart she had given to Graysen all those months ago.  He had been sweet, and gentle, and clumsy and overwhelmed.  She had never told anybody about it; Nesta would have raged, and less than a week had passed before Hybern’s soldiers had come and everything had gone to hell.  But now, she was finally climbing out of that black hell.  Finally starting to think about what she might want from this new life.  And Azriel…with that beautiful, loyal, fiercely passionate heart…He thought he hid it behind that perfect mask, but she could see how he loved.  Loved his High Lord and High Lady, loved his freedom and his friends.  Loved justice.  Loved her.  He needed someone who could see his heart as much as she did.  She just couldn’t figure out how to tell him what she knew, what she wanted.

Elain returned her focus to the task at hand, cleaning up the severely neglected small walled private garden Rhys’s mother had apparently built next to the river centuries ago. Amazingly, the ancient rosebushes, though severely overgrown, were still thriving along the back wall.  Nearly everything else needed to be dug out and replaced, but Rhys had given her carte blanche to do whatever she saw fit.  She could already picture the bushes that would flower in early spring in that corner, smell the Sweet William and the peonies…Next year, this garden would be a riot of color and scent, but for now it was just a blank canvas.  What Feyre created with paint and brushes, she sought to achieve with dirt and plants.  

Finishing one bed, she groaned to her feet.  This was heavy work, but as she stretched out her back she surveyed the perfectly prepped soil and the large discarded pile of invasive plants with satisfaction.  Three beds done, four to go, plus the slow process of pruning back those roses.  Rhys had offered to prep the soil by magic as he had done for the large public gardens, but she had preferred to do it herself the hard way.  She wanted this one to be absolutely perfect.  Magic might be faster, but she needed to get her hands in the soil to know exactly what it needed, what might grow best in it.  Though she was finally among people who might not think her crazy if she said the earth spoke to her, she had settled for telling him that she wanted to do this particular garden alone.  He had gone still at that, and she didn’t think she imagined the hoarseness in his voice as he thanked her.  

She felt Azriel a moment before he landed next to her, his shadows withdrawing as he tucked in his wings.  Her heart leaped into her throat, but she managed to sound almost normal as she greeted him.  He dipped his chin in a polite nod in reply.  They hadn’t spoken since that afternoon in the kitchen garden, and Elain wished she could somehow erase the slight newfound awkwardness between them.  His eyes fixed on the roses climbing in a wild tangle up the back wall and his breath seemed to catch.  “Can they be salvaged?” he asked quietly.

“Yes,” she replied.  “It will take a while to do it without risking the plants, but I should be able to.”

His mouth tightened and those beautiful hazel eyes were tear-bright.  She had forgotten that Rhys’s mother had taken in Azriel and Cassian as if they were her own.  That in a very real way she had been the only mother they had ever known.  Without thinking, she slipped her hand into his and squeezed.  He glanced down at her and tried to smile.  “I haven’t been here in a long time.  She feels so…close here.  She loved those roses, loved all flowers I think.”  He trailed off, lost in the memory for a long moment, before squeezing her hand in return.  

Elain tried to think of what she could do for him, for all of them.  “Do you think you remember what flowers she grew here?”

He shook his head.  “I never learned their names.  I wish I had.”

“If…if I showed you pictures?”

He looked at her then, his expression unreadable, but she could feel the emotion rolling off of him.  “What are you planning?”

She shrugged and looked away.  “Well, I don’t know if the conditions will be right or even if the same varieties of plants still exist, but I might be able to re-create it, or at least something close.”  Looking back at him, she was alarmed to see tear tracks down his perfect face.  “Unless you think that’s not a good idea.”

His voice trembled as he said, “I can’t think of a better tribute.”  She reached up and touched his cheek, feeling the moisture on her fingers, then gave a bit of a watery laugh as she realized she had smeared mud across his face.  Taking out a handkerchief, she gently cleaned it off, never taking her eyes from his.  He grasped her hand as she lowered it and pressed it to his chest, and she could feel that mighty heart beating through his leathers.  

Elain cleared her throat delicately.  “I have books in my room with some good pictures, if you want to take a look.”  Without another word he wrapped his other arm around her waist and winnowed them into the townhouse.  She called out to let anyone there know she was home, but there was no answer.  Azriel followed her silently up the stairs and to her room, where she crouched and began digging through the stacks of horticulture books that sat next to her bed.  Pulling a couple of volumes free, she turned to see him standing awkwardly a few feet behind her, glancing sideways at her bed.  Smothering a smile, she gestured for him to sit on the bed and then sat next to him, opening the first book on her lap.  

They spent at least an hour going through illustrations, Azriel pointing out flowers that looked familiar while Elain took notes.  His memory was remarkably detailed, and by the time they were through, she had a fair list that she thought would do well in that beautiful secluded spot.  She sketched out an outline of her plan for him.  “It’s important that they not all flower at the same time,” she explained, lovingly stroking a beautiful color plate in one of the books, “and that not just the colors blend well but the scents too.  I don’t have enough to do the whole garden here, but I can fill in with some complementary plants and it will feel right, and that’s really what matters.”  She paused, still looking at the book and papers in her lap, but acutely aware of the warmth of the warrior next to her, of the fact that they were in her room, on her bed, and the irony of just sitting here talking about flowers.  “Thank you,” she said quietly, “for helping me.”

She dared a glance at him then, and his hazel eyes were soft, and warm, and there was no end to their depths.  Her gaze flicked to his full lips, slightly parted now and so, so close to her, and then back to his eyes.  There was a hunger in those eyes, she realized, that matched her own.  She didn’t know if she was the one who leaned in or he was, but suddenly those lips were on hers and she was opening her mouth for him, encouraging that clever tongue to play with her own.  His fingers wrapped in her hair and she slid her hand against his cheek, feeling the soft shell of his ear against her finger tips.  Heat was stirring deep within her, and a hollow need.  Not breaking the kiss, she shifted so she was straddling him, her thighs pressing his, her knees against his hips.  She could feel the evidence of his response pushing against her, and a soft moan escaped her.  He pulled back immediately.

“I’m sorry,” he almost stammered, “are you sure you -”

She silenced him with a kiss, swallowing his protest as her hands slid down his body and slipped under the bottom of his shirt.  She needed to feel skin under her fingertips.  He gave a sharp intake of breath at her touch, and she could feel him start to withdraw, could almost hear that voice in his head telling him to stop.  “Elain,” he whispered as he shifted his lips to her jaw, kissing his way to her neck before pausing and resting his forehead against hers, his strong lean hands pressing against her shoulder blades.  She ran her nails lightly over the corded muscles of his back, and he shivered.    

“I’m okay,” she whispered back, “I want to keep going.”

Something almost like grief surged through him, she could feel it in the muscles under her hands and she didn’t understand it.  He gently pulled her hair to the side and kissed the junction of her neck and shoulder.  “I think we should stop,” he murmured against her skin.  He must have felt her forming a protest, because he pulled away and looked her in the eye, cupping her face in those beautifully scarred hands.  “I have a history,” he said slowly, barely loud enough for her to hear him, “of rushing into bed with people.  I - I use it to protect myself, to keep from forming a connection.  I don’t want to make that mistake with you.”  His thumb brushed lightly over her lips.  “I want to savor every second.  I don’t want us - either of us - to have any regrets.”

“I could never regret anything with you,” she replied, and she let him pull her tightly to his chest and rest his cheek on her head.  She could feel his heart beating against her breast, her own heart’s rhythm adjusting to synchronize with it.  Slowly, the heat of desire drained from her, and a different type of warmth seeped through her. There was a quiet joy and comfort in just being held like this, a steadiness that maybe Azriel had been seeking but never yet found.  Perhaps he needed not to be swept away in passion, but to find an anchor who was grounded in the earth.  So she let him hold her, let him tie himself to her, as the room darkened around them, not from his shadows but from the rhythm of the sun.

southerngal16  asked:

Hello! Can we have more of the story where Claire goes through the stones to the future? Future Forward, I think is the title. Thanks!

True to his word, Ray had held a position open for Claire in his mid-town Inverness apothecary. Jenny had organised for her to work on days when she was on shift at the hospital so that they could ride into town together and then Jamie would collect her in the evenings. The buses through to Beauly were bad enough, but with her back still healing, none of the Fraser’s wanted to risk leaving her to wander the highland streets looking for the tiny public service only to be sat, at rush hour, cramped on the winding journey.

“You don’t have to do this,” she had protested three weeks in, “I can find my own way here, I’m capable you know.”

“Aye,” Jenny returned, a humorous glint in her eye, “we ken it well, Claire. But why waste time and money wi’ us around to help. Dinna look a gift horse in the mouth, lass. Just accept it. Now, go!”

The small bell over the door jingled, its high pitched ding echoing through the small shop as Claire made her way to the counter. As always, Raymond was hiding in the basement, cleaning and sorting his various array of out-of-time oddments. Collecting her duster she set to work ensuring that everything saleable and above ground was polished and free of dust for the morning rush.

Inverness wasn’t a bustling town, it was big enough to keep the local community entertained and since the end of the war people had been visiting in their hundreds to get away from the detritus left behind in the big cities in the wake of the bombings. Jamie had brought Claire up to date with the current happenings, showing her images and videos (something altogether new for her to observe). Claire had sat, awestruck as the moving pictures had illuminated the screen on the tiny television set that sat in the lounge of Lallybroch.

Awe had turned to wonder and onto horror as the sight of huge cylindrical objects dropped through the sky, their shadows casting dark marks on the earth as they fell. The explosions had left imprints on her retinas and she shook off the memories as she spruced up the shop ready for opening.

“Is that you Claire?” Ray called, pulling himself up from the basement and onto the shop floor, shaking the cobwebs and dirt from his shoulders and hair as he waddled towards her. The basement featured one of the lowest ceilings Claire had ever seen, and even Ray, who was incredibly short in stature, had to hunch to walk down there and it always left its mark on him when he came back upstairs again.

“Yes, it’s me,” she smiled, waving shyly as Ray blinked in her general direction, his eyes growing accustomed to the light once more. “I’m just…”

“Cleaning, aye, I see.” He laughed as he spoke, leaning one withered hand against the small countertop and clicking his back into shape once more.

Blushing, Claire dipped her head and continued on with her chores. She was a hard worker and even though she’d had trouble mastering some of the newer feats of technological *genius*, Ray had been patient and kind in teaching her the ways of the modern world. Claire hadn’t brought up the reason for her innocence on the matter and Raymond hadn’t asked, for which she’d been grateful. The fact that Jamie probably knew where she had come from and Jenny had definitely guessed was enough for Claire at this particular moment in time. She had a nice family unit to confide in should she need without having to put up with any strange glances.

Not that she ventured far from Lallybroch or the apothecary of course.

The day passed at a steady pace, customers coming and going at an even rate as Claire pottered about serving them and helping Ray to reorganise the back of the store. Most were lovely old ladies who liked the scent of old things and the chatter of someone a little different from the doctors and nurses in the local surgery.

One specific woman had really taken to Claire, bringing her cakes and talking about all manner of strange things over tea. Mrs Graham had that twinkle in her eye that people over fifty often get when viewing their younger relatives and Claire had sort of become an additional to her tiny family. She would occasionally see her granddaughter, Fiona, meandering about the shop and on those days, Mrs Graham wouldn’t stay for long.

But today she was alone. Close to closing time she popped her head around the door with a large smile plastered across her face. “Ach, good, Claire,” she began sauntering inside and pulling a stood up on the customer side of the counter, “I saw a wee tale in the newspaper the other day and I dinna ken why, but it made me mindful of ye…being new here. So, I thought why no’ pop by and tell it to ye before ye finish.”

Nodding, Claire leaned under the counter to flick the little kettle on before settling herself to hear Mrs Graham’s story.


Jamie tapped his finger against the wheel in time with the music as he waited for Claire to appear from Ray’s shop. She was usually so prompt, but today she seemed to be taking her time. Not that Jamie minded, he felt more at ease collecting her. It wasn’t so much that he didn’t trust her to make her way home safely, but there was an unconscious pull that both he, Jenny and Ian felt towards Claire. Something that festered beneath their skins at the thought of her being out of their sight. It was a strange sensation and he knew that it definitely irked Claire, who was getting more and more antsy in her new life.

Maybe this was one of those stubborn moments, Jamie thought as he re-tuned the radio to something more palatable. As the distinct sound of Classic FM tunefully flowed from the speakers, Claire appeared, her coat pulled tightly across her chest.

“Are ye alright, lass?” He asked as she climbed into the large jeep. She seemed off-colour, her shoulders hunched and her mouth downturned. It wasn’t exactly that she was frowning, she just seemed…off.

“Yes, fine thank you.” She returned, her voice low as she clicked her seatbelt into place and buried her gloved fingers between her tensed thighs.

“Good day?” He asked, trying to pull some conversation from her.

“It was busy, but good, yes.”

The rest of the journey home was travelled in silence. Jamie kept stealing surreptitious glances at Claire as he drove them both home but he left her alone. If she was determined to be quiet and pensive, then he knew enough about women to leave her be. If she wanted to talk, she would…given time.  

As they pulled into Lallybroch, down the winding drive, Claire turned to Jamie, her knees brushing against Jamie’s hand where it lay on the gearstick. “Can you stop here, I’d like to walk the rest of the way if you don’t mind.”

Pursing his lips, Jamie pulled over, letting the engine idle as he waited for an explanation. When nothing came, he watched as she pushed the door open, hopped down and turned, pushing the curls out of her face as her fingers gripped the rustic metal tightly.

“I just need some time to think, I’ll see you back at the house. I promise.”

And with that she shut the door, slid her hands into the pockets of her coat and began walking down the narrow drive. Jamie, perplexed, threw the jeep back into gear and set off home, watching in his rearview mirror until she disappeared. Something was definitely bothering her. Jamie knew from the dip of her chin as she’d plodded aimlessly along the gravel track.

Sighing, he locked the car in the garage and made his way back into the house. Making himself something to eat, he waited in the kitchen, watching through the window as Claire approached slowly. As she came through the front door she didn’t seek him out, or call out to see where he was. Instead, Claire simply sloped off to bed and closed the door.

Shaking his head, Jamie tried to forget Claire’s increased melancholia as he prepared some tea for himself, Jenny and Ian. Jenny would be home in a few hours, after she’d fetched Ian from the small Inverness airport maybe Claire would confide in her. Until then, he would busy himself with a ham and leek pie.


Curling under her duvet, Claire tried to block out the muted sounds of Jamie below. It wasn’t hard with Mrs Graham’s haunting *fable* running in loops through her head.

She knew, she must have, had been Claire’s first thought. Why else would a story about fairies and standing stones have made the old woman think of her? But as time had gone on it became obvious that Mrs Graham had only thought Claire naive, new to Inverness she probably wouldn’t have grown up around the myths and legends that were prevalent in the highlands. Little did she know that Claire herself had been privy to the very earliest versions of most of these chronicles.

Now though, she was a part of one. A true walking legend…just like the loch ness monster.

Taking a deep breath, she tried to quell the rising panic. It would do her no good to reduce herself to that, she needed to remain calm and clear-headed. She didn’t want to worry Jamie anymore than necessary though she knew that he was intrigued by her strange behaviour. Thankfully he’d been polite enough not to ask.

Her stomach rumbled at the scent wafting up the stairs, but she was too despondent to drag herself downstairs to eat. Instead Claire rubbed her empty belly and curled her knees up to her chest in the hopes that she’d fall asleep and forget the worry that was building beneath her chest.

It was fully dark when she opened her eyes again, the full light of the moon shining in through her open curtains as Claire pushed herself vertical, letting the sheets fall from her shoulders as she wiped the sleep from her eyes. Letting her stomach guide her, Claire crept downstairs, being careful on the steps she knew creaked as she went in search of something to eat. Hopefully there was something edible left in the fridge. One of the benefits of finding herself in the 20th century was, certainly, the food. No longer did she have to suffer with a meagre diet cooked on a temperamental open fire. Finally, after eating she felt satisfied and full.

Searching the shelves, Claire managed to find some left over pie and instead of heating up the oven to cook it through once more, she simply grabbed a fork and dug in.

“We missed ye at the dinner table,” Jenny chirped from the doorway.

Claire jumped a little, the fork hanging from her mouth as she turned to look at the eldest Fraser who was stood with her arms across her chest. She knew there was no escaping it. She would have to tell Jenny what was bothering her if she wanted to eat the rest of her cold tea in peace.

“I’m sorry, I just needed a nap.”

Jenny quirked a manicured brow, her hazel eyes not leaving Claire’s. It wasn’t a hard gaze though, there was some manner of compassion there. Being the matriarch of the family, Jenny knew how to be firm without being harsh and it was clear that this occasion required tenderness. “Claire,” she said, the use of her name in that motherly tone sending Claire’s stomach churning.

“A customer, one of Ray’s regulars, she said something to me today.”

“Aye,” Jenny whispered, dropping her arms as she pulled up a chair and sat next to Claire. Placing her hand over Claire’s where it lay limp on the table, she offered her as much warmth as she could through touch alone.

“She was just trying to be friendly, immerse me in the culture of the town, I think.”

“But?”

“But she mentioned tales of the fairy hill, of its siren call,” Claire took a deep breath, concentrating on the shallow pounding of her heart as she tried to tell the story without breaking down into jagged sobs. “She said we always go back, that we never stay. Do you think–”

“No,” Jenny interjected, knowing what Claire was thinking now as she stared unseeing through the large kitchen window into the inky blackness. “No I don’t. Those fables are fanciful and dreamy. They’re no’ to be believed. Plus,” she added with exceptional certainty, “they’re told by folk who know nothing of the power of those stones, ken?”

Claire nodded, swallowing back the bile that had risen along her throat. She trusted Jenny, she had faith that she wouldn’t try to quash her fears using half truths. If Jenny thought that it was likely or possible, then she would tell Claire without worrying too much of the consequences. Of the many things Janet Fraser was, she was not dishonest.

“So you don’t think they’ll call me back, then? That I’ll somehow be destined to go h-home without choice?”

“Nay, Claire, I dinna. They might call to ye should you be near to them, you spoke yerself of their influence over you the first time. But I dinna think you’ll be pulled to them from any great distance. You are here wi’ us now, far away from the stones. Away from those who hurt ye. That’s what yer scared of, aye?” She asked, her eyes glinting with unshed tears as she gripped Claire’s hand tightly for just a moment. Jenny’s warm fingers twitched against Claire’s in a kindly way.

“Yes,” Claire sighed, nodding as she spoke. “I’m scared I’ll be forced to go back there. That I’ll be sent back to die.”

“You won’t,” Jamie spoke, his strong words penetrating the dark from where he now stood by the open door, his face serious as he stepped into the kitchen and stood next to Jenny. “We won’t let that happen, Claire. Jenny is right. Ye willna be pulled there from here, that’s certainly true.”

“Thank you, Jenny, Jamie,” Claire whispered, her lip trembling at the tour-de-force of the Fraser’s devotion to her health and happiness, the emotion of it hitting her square in the chest.

“But, Claire,” Jamie added, a slight smile tugging at his mouth as he continued, “please dinna think you have to suffer in silence. I hated seeing you so sullen earlier. You can talk to us, either o’ us.”

Claire nodded, unable to speak to show her appreciation. She had wanted to discuss it with Jamie, but the shock of the story twinned with the realisation that she might have to face Captain Randall again had her in such a state that she wouldn’t have been able to offload without having a full on breakdown in the car on the way home and she didn’t want to feel trapped in a small vehicle should that happen.

Jamie noted the slight panicked look appear on Claire’s face. Tearing his eyes away from hers for a moment, he allowed her some personal space before coughing and holding out his hand to her. “It’s alright, Claire, truly,” he murmured, coaxing her upwards with his outstretched fingers, “let me take ye back to bed.”

“I n-need to clear this up first,” Claire replied, indicating to the mess she’d made with the remaining pie.

“Dinna fash about that,” Jenny scoffed, collecting the glass bowl from between Claire’s hands before she had time to take it herself. “I’ll sort this out, ye just get yerself some rest.”

Doing as she was told, Claire took Jamie’s hand and followed him towards the stairs. Turning briefly, she smiled softly at Jenny, her eyes twinkling in the night light. “Thank you, Jenny, again,” she said, her tone relaxed now as Jamie kept hold of her right hand, “for everything.”

“Yer welcome, Claire,” she said as Claire and Jamie disappeared off out of the kitchen, “anytime…sister.


Softly opening the door to her room, Jamie led Claire inside before pulling her into a gentle hug. He didn’t want her to feel any pressure to return the physical affection but he needed something to show her that she had support of any kind should she need it and words didn’t see appropriate at this particular moment.

“I was so scared, Jamie,” Claire whispered against his pajama covered chest. His t-shirt smelt faintly of cherry blossoms and aftershave and she basked in the scent of him as she burrowed deeper against him. For such a large man, he was so comforting and careful that she couldn’t help but be soothed by him. “I thought…Oh God,” she gasped, gritting her teeth together as she let the sobs consume her, finally, “I thought it meant I would have to go back. I can’t…I c-can’t face that again, not now,” she cried, squeezing her eyes shut as Jamie began to rock her back and forth.

Keeping his arms rested across the tops of her shoulders, Jamie made sure she was safely tucked against his chest as he swayed. “I wish I’d known ye were so torn up, lass,” he muttered in return, “I wouldna have let ye come up here alone and sit on this all night if I had.”

“I’m s-sorry,” she hiccuped, pulling away a little, her gaze focused intently on the fibres of Jamie’s sleep shirt in an attempt not to look up at his aqua blue eyes. He was captivating. Braw and bonnie as well as sensitive and caring. And something about him drew Claire in, like a moth to a flame. It would have been easy to get attached to a man like Jamie, but Claire knew that she shouldn’t allow herself to become enamoured with him…just yet.

Licking her lips, Claire drew away, wiping her eyes with her sleeve as she shook off the dread and anxiety. Convinced that she was safe, she could at least sleep the rest of the night and wake up fresh in the morning. Tampering the feelings of growing warmth towards Jamie, she smiled shyly up at him, avoiding eye contact no longer as he reached out to dry her face of the few remaining streaks of tears that lay on her damp cheeks.

“No need for sorry, Claire,” he returned, his pupils dilating in the dim glow of the small lamp that lay illuminated on Claire’s bedside table.

“Goodnight then, Jamie,” she whispered, her voice shaky and low as her heart picked up pace. An uncontrollable and insatiable desire sprung up inside her as she said the words and it was only then that she realised that she didn’t actually want him to leave.

But it wasn’t proper for him to stay.

“Goodnight, Claire,” Jamie replied, leaning forward to kiss her forehead before heading for the door. He hovered for just a moment, his back to her as his hand lay over the brass doorknob. Just for a second it looked like he too might not want to leave.

But then sense came back to him and he pulled open the door. Taking one last look over his shoulder, Jamie smiled tentatively in return as he began closing the wooden door behind him. “Sleep well, mo chridhe, dream sweet dreams.”

As the door shut, Claire breathed out a huge breath, her lungs throbbing painfully as she pushed out as much of the oxygen she could before taking a cleansing, fresh breath in. “Sleep well, too, Jamie,” she sighed, sliding into bed and pulling the quilt up once more. “I hope I dream of you…”