i have yet to determine whether or not i like these

I’ve been seeing a man in my backyard for the past two nights

Story by reddit user Opinionson

To start I need to give some background:

I am a male who lives in relatively nice neighborhood

It’s your average small town run of the mill suburbs area with not a lot of people.

I am a college kid who’s home on break while my parents have gone away which doesn’t help at all.

I have a two story house

I do not have gun nor do I have any real weapons other than kitchen knives

I am not on any medication and I have no record of schizophrenia or any other mental illnesses

I barely have any relationships with my neighbors most of whom are elderly and the rest I have minimal contact with

I do not have any people in my neighborhood (that I know of) who have reasons to attack or harm me

Now, let’s get into what has been happening. About two nights ago I woke up very late in the night and I went to the bathroom to go take a shit. Now, my second story bathroom has a window that can see the entirety of my backyard. Directly behind it is a cul de sac which you can see directly into. There is a group of trees and pile of rocks and mulch that divides it. Usually I can see everything in my backroom without turning on my because lights from my neighbor’s house dimly lights the room.

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how to stay productive

i rly srsly have a problem with this especially after school ))): like im always on tumblr or something so i never get anything done rip

so im gonna try to practice what i preach from now on!!! lets get into it!

preparing for productivity

  • when you get home from school or work, give yourself a 20-50 minute break. lets be honest we all have those days when we try to jump right into doing whatever the heck you need to do right when you get home but after like 20 minutes you’re distracted and a mess and not getting any work done. the easy way to prevent this is to give yourself time to do all of that before you start your work so you’re not distracted later (give urself an hour if its been an especially long day). eat a snack, wash ur face tbh, whip your hair, idk what you crazy kids do but do it. srsly. just get it out of the way.
  • get everything ya need in one place. this is kinda a no-brainer especially since it’s all over tumblr. but srsly why get up every 5 minutes to get a pencil or something? just have it all in the first place. ez.
  • turn off your phone or put it in airplane mode. personally i like to pretend like im so determined and focused but every time i see the little t at the top of my phone im just gone. don’t let it distract you. if you need the internet, use your laptop/computer for less distractions.
  • set the mood. idk what you do, whether thats playing the moana soundtrack hanging up fairy lights, putting on your diffuser or playing rap music; idk man! do it.

actually doing the thing

  • alright so now u got ur fairy lights, ur mildliners, ur face washed, and ur apple juice (??? apple juice is lit???). now throw yourself into it. literally just force yourself to do it. don’t know how??? welll!!! not sure how to help you! (no im kidding don’t leave yet pls)
  • use the touch it once rule. this is a favorite of the studyblr community. it means that everything on your to-do list, everything you know you need to accomplish– start it. just tell yourself “i’ll only do 3 math problems” or “i’ll only work on this resume for 5 minutes”. they say the hardest part is always starting. chances are, that unfinished worksheet is going to really bother you and you’ll end up finishing it. if not, then just come back to later and touch it again and again until you finish it. tedious, but it works.
  • use the “two minute rule”. i got this one from @emmastudies! this rule means that if anything on your list takes 2 minutes or less to do (checking your emails, checking your tumblr inbox or something), do it. just get it done.
  • keep it balanced. do like one easy task and then one hard task so you’re getting everything done but not overwhelming yourself either.
  • break down your tasks. don’t just look at a giant task like “write a 3-page paper”. break it down into smaller subtasks like “plan paper. draft paper. edit paper. type and print paper.” its much less scary to look at.
  • visualize procrastination as a monster. i do NOT take credit for this one; i saw it in a masterpost somewhere so this isnt mine!!! but basically i read that you should look at procrastination as a scary opponent ready to eat you alive (and honestly it is). tackle it. don’t let it attack. be so scared of it that you don’t let it get anywhere near you.
  • honestly just do it and keep at it. stop letting procrastination kick your ass so that you can be productive and stay productive. the work is it’s own reward (:
Voltron Season 3

Okay, so, I can’t be the only one that doesn’t want Keith to lead Voltron in the beginning of season 3–at least, not easily at all. How much effort has been put into Keith and Shiro bonding with their lions aside, it just seems like a really, really bad idea for the team dynamic. 

Which I guess might be the whole point. If Keith does try to lead Voltron, I want it to go really, really badly. I want Red pissed at him and I want Black frustrated with the whole thing. I want them unable to form Voltron. I want Keith saying he’s gonna lead and Lance flipping his shit. But then Keith says “well, Shiro said he wanted me to do it!” And while this kind of shuts everyone up on the subject, tension is high (especially when every time Lance tries to say something, Keith shuts him down). 

I want Keith to be solely focused on rescuing Shiro, to the point where it’s a hinderance. Because, c’mon, ya’ll know he would be. While Keith isn’t selfish in his intentions (as he accused Pidge of being in the beginning of season 1), he can be in his actions. He’s always the first one to go off on his own, act rashly, and end up in battles he shouldn’t be facing alone. 

Keith is a loner and hasn’t yet learned to connect with his teammates enough to be a good leader. The only character he has a semi strong bond with is Shiro. And as he lacks the supportive leadership skills that Shiro has, it stands to reason that he’s not going to be very good at understanding his teammates. While in a battle he may know what needs to be done, he doesn’t know how to deal with people. His social obliviousness has been made clear multiple times. 

That aside, if we’re going to be changing the lions around, who’s taking over the spare lion? Is it Allura? Coran? And which lion is getting the switch? Why isn’t Allura getting the black lion and being the one in charge (this is how it should be, by all rights)? Maybe she will, we don’t know. 

BUT if she doesn’t–if Keith ends up in charge–it shouldn’t stick. There’s no way in hell Lance would rally behind Keith. Not with how poorly Keith will handle the team dynamics. It will fester, as will the fact that Shiro decided to put Keith in charge in his absence instead of someone else. And through Lance it will make Hunk and Pidge uncertain. 

I see them looking for Shiro and getting a distress call, but Keith wanting to ignore it in favor of looking for Shiro. Allura will have issues with this, but so will Hunk. After his reaction to the Balmera, you think he’d be okay with not trying to save enslaved peoples on their way through? Bad feelings begin to fester.  

They’ll find leads on Pidge’s family, but Keith will, again, want to focus solely on Shiro, feeding Pidge some bull about them being able to more efficiently look for her family after they find Shiro (look at how he reacted in season 1–you know that’s what he’d say). Again, bad feelings will fester. 

Until, finally, Lance loses it with Keith “bossing” everyone around, even if that wasn’t Keith’s intention (likely, Keith thinks he’s doing the right thing). They’ll get into a huge fight, Hunk and Pidge both agreeing with Lance’s points about Keith’s behavior. 

Keith will be frustrated. He feels out of place in the black lion and like he’s trying to fill shoes that are far, far too big for him (because they are). But he also feels like the others aren’t seeing the big picture. They have to find Shiro because they can’t save the universe without him. That should be their priority number one, in his mind. So you know what he does? In typical Keith fashion, he decides to deal with the situation on his own. He goes back to Red (if he’d ever left her in the first place) and leaves

He’s gonna find Shiro, even if he has to do it on his own. 

Thus, Team Voltron falls even more to shambles. 

Upon learning that Keith has left, Lance tries to remain bitter, but the guilt gnaws at him. While Lance does have the people skills that Keith lacks and could step up to the plate, his lack of self-esteem (because Lance’s confidence is about as thick as tissue paper) doesn’t allow him to do it. After all, he’s the jokester, the idiot, the one no one takes seriously. And he soon comes to believe that Keith leaving is his fault. 

So you know what he does? He goes after Keith. 

Which leaves Hunk and Pidge as the only lions left at the castle. This allows for two things–it allows Hunk and Pidge to stretch their legs in leadership positions as well as give the two the chance to form relationships with Allura and Coran. After all, Hunk wanted to be the head. Well, here’s his chance whether he wants it or not. Hunk being Hunk, however, wants to keep what little of the team is left together. Pidge was thinking of leaving too, to go look for her family, but Hunk stops her. He promises her they’ll look, explaining that going solo is only going to get them all into deeper trouble. Therefore, it becomes Hunk’s personal mission, and the heavy, heavy weight on his shoulders, to get the team back together. They go off in the direction they think Lance and Keith may have gone, answering any and all distress calls along the way. They get clues as to the locations of their friends, about the Galra, and make friendly with all kinds of peoples, even some that Allura probably doesn’t approve of. 

Because Allura’s arc will be her dealing with her own prejudice as well as the loss of her team and what she views as a failure on her part. However, Hunk is the perfect person to help rebuild her and get her back on the right track. 

Ultimately, it’s Hunk and Pidge, with Allura and Coran, that end up finding and saving Shiro. This is their big victory, so to speak, and goes very, very far in developing Hunk’s character, which is sorely needed. Big Man needs a situation to expand his strengths and become the rock of the team he’s supposed to be. It will, therefore, be Hunk who brings their leader back, as is fitting.  

You know who doesn’t get to save Shiro? Keith. Keith, who in his reckless determination has abandoned his family and realizes his mistake too late. Because, low and behold, he can’t do things on his own. I want Keith to learn some lessons because, frankly, he’s too much of a loose cannon not to. I want his lion stolen and him forced to trust and depend on others to help him from planet to planet hunting for for his lion and Shiro. I want him to learn nothing about where Shiro is and instead get lead upon lead about others in distress. I want him to see those families suffering at the hands of the Galra that he spoke of in season 1 and be unable to do anything. You want to know why? Because if there’s anything Keith has clearly never been, it’s helpless (at least, not since he was a child, which could make the whole thing even more interesting if he’s the way he is so as to avoid the helplessness he was dealt as a child *shrugs*). He needs to learn to depend on others and listen. In the end, he gets his lion back, but he’s faced with a crossroad. Does he follow a vague, undefined rumor he heard about Shiro, or does he follow all the clues he’s been getting about Pidge’s family? 

Keith gets to rescue and bring back Pidge’s father now (not the brother, because that’s too easy, obviously) because that’s what he learns is the right thing to do. Together–because Pidge’s father is a genius–they find the castle of lions and regroup, only to find Shiro already there. 

But Lance is still missing and learning that Lance left to go after him after he foolishly abandoned them eats horribly at Keith, as it very well should (Keith is one of my fav characters, guys, really XD).  

Lance, meanwhile, gets a treatment very opposite to Keith’s. He’s having doubts when it becomes clear he can’t track Keith. He’s reflecting on whether he even deserves to be a paladin and what he manages to bring to the team. he feels worthless and lost, and even his typical front of flirting and over-confidence begins to break down. But I want him to meet someone, someone older, that acts as a mentor to him. Because, frankly, Shiro makes a good mentor to Keith and Pidge, but hardly paid any attention to Lance and Hunk. And while Hunk doesn’t seem like the type to need that kind of support overly much, Lance is. But this person needs to be someone significant–maybe a member of an underground resistance outside the Blade of Marmora, maybe a previous paladin (I like this one a lot), I don’t care. But, one way or another, they–with Lance at the helm–save a fuckload of people and, you know what, because Lance deserves his moment too, they discover/save something/someone(s) huge. Or, better yet, diplomatically negotiate with a civilization that is powerful, but been in hiding as a result of the Galra empire spreading. Maybe they’re special because they know something about the lions. Maybe they built the fucking lions and it’s only through Lance’s growing confidence in his ability to be diplomatic–using the people skills he has but more or less abused in the past–that they convince this society and their awesome army/technology/badass ships/robots to join the Voltron cause. 

Lance’s character, above them all, needs this victory. He needs this proof of his value and as a way to solidify himself as the Blue lion. Lance needs his fucking moment, both for himself and the viewers, who have been as unable as Lance himself to truly see his value.  

When will this moment come? When he and this society (I really like this idea, okay?) hear through some high tech communication stuff that the castle of lions is in danger and that the Galra have brought down their whole fist in an effort to beat them/steal the lions. I imagine this society being either similar to the Alteans or related, so they’ll have the ability to make worm holes. 

Anyway, back on the castle of lions, shit is hitting the fan. They don’t currently have the support of the Blade of Marmora because, well, this isn’t the show finale and we need to leave some “gathering of allies” for later (you know, Avatar style). Which means they’re stuck minus one lion. But damn if they don’t come up with an awesome plan and make some epic dents in the Galra fleet (probably Lotor is around being a creeper too, because I get the feeling he’d probably have been around the whole time. Probably harassing team Hunk and being a passive-aggressive little bitch). Still, despite said awesome plan, they’re screwed. 

Until, boom, Lance shows up with the fleet of whatever it was he made an alliance with and the advantage is gained. The Galra are sent scattering (for once), Voltron is formed, and, uh, maybe Voltron fights Lotor, because this gives Lotor an excuse to see Voltron’s true power (and realize what his ridiculous father was always going on about). Upon being royally assaulted by Voltron, Lotor runs away. Which basically means he can’t go back to the Galra and, thus, we get a spoiled-brat prince with allegiance to no one continuing to cause problems in the next season (hint, hint, he’d eventually become good).    

Probably end the season with the team kind of getting a sort of victory (the Galra run away, so it’s not like they won the war or anything). There’s a bit at the end–maybe a cheesy reunion that doesn’t hold a lot of weight, because, boom, you have to wait till next season. Where we’ll get heavy on the Pidge and heavy on the Shiro again (since he’d been basically gone this whole season) and heavy on the Lance and Keith learning to be friends instead of rivals. 

THAT’S WHAT I WANT, OKAY?! 

Read my headcanons for season 4 here!

Maybe I’ll just end up writing this as a fic myself >.<

Originally posted by vyctornikiforov

A little note on the 5th DVD cover

I noticed some people saying that JJ shouldn’t be on this cover, and that it should instead be Otabek.

Quick disclaimer : I’m not trying to drag Otabek down (I actually really like him) nor to play a “who’s better”game. I just want to point out some things.

I think people tend to overrate Otabek’s impact in the anime. Not only did he arrive pretty late, but his impact was really local. He helped Yuri achieve his growth toward Agape. That’s it. And even then, he’s not responsible for the full growth of Yuri. It was an accumulation of events, and his friendship with Otabek was the last piece that helped him reach it.

I’m sure he’s going to get more development and to be shown as a more fleshed-out and impactful in the next-season, but it’s not the case yet. His only impact is on Yuri. He’s not a trial for others skaters, as most are just only discovering him (the “dark horse” of the GPF).

On the contrary to JJ.

Like it or not, JJ is a key character in the series that you can’t erase so easily.

Right from his introduction, he’s shown as “the skater with the most momentum”, and right from ep 9 we see Yuri modifying his jumps in order to beat him. In the last episodes, his presence put a pressure on at least Yuuri and Yuri, who both change their programs and jumps compositions in order to beat him (we don’t see for the other skaters, but it’s not impossible his presence put extra pressure on them too).

He did play a role in Yuri’s personal growth too. Yuri is just starting out his senior debuts, and as we see in the first episodes, he’s sure he’s going to win and don’t doubt of himself for one instant. He’s a sore looser and is used to win, and that’s a part of him that’s pretty immature. In order to grow, he needs to face some defeats, and having JJ beat him several times is a needed reminder in order to grow up. It also lead him to push his limits, to connect with people in order to perfect Agape, and lead him to beat a world’s record in a really elegant way. It doesn’t matter if JJ ended up self-destructing at the end, because his impact on Yuri starts since the beginning of the GP. (More on this here)

But he also impacted Yuuri. Not only did JJ’s high scores push Yuuri to change his program and attempt a quad flip AGAIN (despite not mastering it the first time) in order to have a chance to beat JJ, but JJ’s character as a whole was important, both for Yuuri and for us as spectators. One of the main difference between Yuuri and JJ seems to be the self-confidence (not even mentioning their engagements happening in the same time and their promise of a marriage upon winning gold). But it also resides in their recognition of the love that surround them. It’s clearly said in the series: for a long time, Yuuri didn’t realize how much love and support was around him, and it’s one of the main points of the anime. Yuuri discovering and accepting that love and using it to go farther. 
JJ does realize and accept it. He’s using it to go further. His self-love comes from the love people around him give to him, and he’s using it to go further. He’s only 19 and he’s doing a lot of things, outside of skating (when Yuuri sticks to skating and self-destruct even here). Because he feels secure in the love his relatives and fans have for him. And even when he does fail, he’s still supported and cared for. 
But it’s not just JJ. Yuuri too is supported and cared for when he fails, we see it from the beginning, with Minako welcoming him cheerfully at the airport. But Yuuri doesn’t realize it.

And then we have Yuuri watching JJ fails because of the pressure, and dragging a parallel with himself. He can see JJ -an overly talented young skater that everyone was expecting to win the GPF and who already won two gold medals in a row during his qualifying events- succumb to pressure and fail. Just like him. I strongly believe it helped him step back and re-think how he’s seeing himself, even more that it happens at a time of his life where he’s already growing slowly from his anxiety and self-hatred.

It’s not a coincidence if this shot :

is taking place just at the end of JJ’s FP where he managed to pull himself back up. We see Yuuri quickly tying up his skates and looking determined. Sure, he’s thinking of retiring. But remembers he planned on retiring after winning gold at the finale. Meaning that here, he’s confident about winning a gold medal. 
Something he couldn’t really consider last year when he blew up his performance. What we see happening with JJ in one program is what happened with Yuuri all along the anime, and they put this shot at this exact moment to underline how they are at the same point at this moment.

JJ wasn’t mean to be an antagonist, as I see it said a lot. He was here to participate to some character’s growth, and to show how everyone will recover at their own pace, and how support and love drastically help in the process (as well as accepting that love) and in loving yourself. This event helps Yuuri finalize the process we saw through the series that lead him to now be confident in his ability to win the gold medal and accept his relatives’ love.

tl;dn : JJ IS an important character, whether you like it or not. Otabek, even if full of potential, only had a minor impact in the series.

Kisses {Harry Styles Smut}

PAIRING: Harry/Y/N
RATING: R lol
WORD COUNT: 10k y’all!!!
REQUESTED: nope !

this is my longest one shot, it took up like 20 pages on microsoft word lmfao !! anyways it took me a bit longer than usual bc i went through a slight block (rip) but it is finished and i’m quite proud of it!! feedback is much appreciated, it rly motivates me!! ok that’s it i hope u enjoy :-)

~*~ 

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D&D: How to Use Character Arcs as a Dungeon Master

In my previous post on character arcs, I talked about how a player should determine how they want their character’s arc to begin and end. It was from a player’s perspective. But how does a DM write an adventure that will make that player’s arc happen?

First, get the information you need. Ask your players to each determine how their characters will begin the campaign and how they want them to change by the end of it. Then ask for copies of their character’s traits, flaws, ideals, and bonds. Note whether a player’s character is going to die tragically and if they are okay with that. With this information, you can give the players what I call a moral quandary, personalized for their own character’s arc. A moral quandary is giving the player two difficult options that the player must decide how their character would choose. The character should lean to one side of a moral quandary at the beginning of an adventure, but gradually start to lean the other way as their arc comes to completion. 

For instance, a cleric might be presented with a choice to kill an evildoer or merely capture them. If the cleric is heading down an arc where their ideal changes from “all life is precious” to “evil must be stopped at all costs” in their character arc is going to make very different choices in that situation depending on where they are on their arc.

Let’s figure out how we can use this info as a DM and where to put moral quandaries using a 9-point story structure. These are not an entire campaign, but you can use each point as a fixed point in the narrative; a story outline based on the characters’ arcs. Plenty of different stuff can happen between each point, but the points must happen to create a robust story.

Call to Action

The player is given an initial call to action. Essentially, a moral quandary disguised as a quest hook. Try to have a separate but related call to action for each player. Ideally, the players should refuse the call to action, as they haven’t been “changed” yet. If they play to their characters’ initial backgrounds and traits, they will refuse the call. You can even enforce this by loading your call with descriptions of how the character is feeling. “You are offended that someone would even offer something so morally reprehensible to you, despite the fact that you could use the money.”

A good-hearted rogue is starting a tragic fall arc and is offered a chance to make millions from some morally questionable actions involving an evil regime, but decides it is wrong. An innocent paladin starting a coming of age arc could be offered a chance to rise against an evil regime, but values their own safety. A studious apprentice wizard starting a corruption arc is offered power in exchange for service to an evil regime, but decides they can get power on their own.

Inciting Incident

Something happens to force the player to action, whether they are ready or not. Try to come up with an inciting incident that involves all of the players, not just one. The inciting incident can act as where the adventuring party finally meets.

The evil regime in the Call to Action ends up invading the players’ quiet suburb to enforce martial law. The players escape or fight back or else they and their loved ones die or are enslaved. The rogue decides to run from their debts by joining the party. The paladin has seen firsthand what the regime can do, and will now join the party to find someone else who can help them stop it. The wizard seeks out more power to stop the regime.

1st Plot Point

The players learn the first shreds of information about the overarching narrative of the campaign. After the inciting incident, some characters might not be convinced and want to turn back. This gives them a reason to continue onward together, as a team. There should be no turning back from the 1st plot point.

Players learn how this evil regime has been spreading across the kingdom. It still holds many mysteries, but its power is great and threatening. Its power is centered in a capital city, which the players now opt to travel to in order to find the things they currently desire.

1st Pinch Point

A pinch point is the first real display of power from the antagonist or opposing force. In D&D this should be actual combat, though it doesn’t have to be. As long as the players see firsthand what the antagonist can do to their characters, this part will add the tension/drama that it should. If you want to have a 1st Pinch Point for each character, then this display of force should directly target the player’s character arc and spark the desire to change through a moral quandary. It’s an awakening. Create tension by ending a session with this pinch point.

The players come across a thieves’ guild run by the evil regime. The rogue takes note of how rich, glamorous, and lawless the life of a criminal is to spark their tragic fall arc. The paladin realizes how deep the corruption of the world runs and sparks their coming of age arc as their innocence starts to fade. The wizard realizes how much resources the evil regime has, and wonders what sorts of power they had in mind for him sparking their corruption arc.

Midpoint

More info is revealed about the antagonist and the perception of the characters change. They have an epiphany and decide to continue onward through their arc. This can, and most likely will, happen at different times for each character and their varying arcs.

The players learn about the leader of the regime. They have been pushed to the breaking point by the regime’s forces. The rogue decides join the regime and start doing crime for the regime and acting as a double agent against the party. The paladin no longer cares about finding someone else to help them stop the regime, vowing to end it themselves. The wizard gets an unholy tome and decides to learn how to make a pact with the demon the regime mentioned to overpower the regime. They are all still heading to the capital, though now with severely divergent goals.

2nd Pinch Point

The antagonist reveals their full power and threatens the completion of the characters’ arcs. The entire party should, in general, be at their lowest moment and completely without hope. This should happen at the same time for everyone. Ideally, end a session with this pinch point to create a cliffhanger and highlight the hopelessness.

The players reach the capital of the evil regime. The rogue is faced with a moral test, where they will be offered riches and allowed to live if they rat out their adventuring party. They choose to take the offer and are betrayed by the regime’s leader and sentenced to death anyway. The paladin comes face to face with the regime’s leader after being ratted out by the rogue. They fail the encounter and barely manage to escape with their life. The wizard is also defeated and their unholy tome is destroyed in the battle. The rogue is imprisoned and the paladin and rogue escape the leader and are being hunted in the capital.

2nd Plot Point

The last piece of the puzzle has come together in the second plot point. The characters finish their arc and learn how to overcome the antagonist. This can happen at different points and doesn’t have to happen quickly. For a tragic character, this is the part where they finally meet their end. Tragic characters fail to change or their change is self-destructive and they fail to overcome the antagonist of the story (tragic, isn’t it?). Think of this part as a moral quandary that characters’ finally “know the answer” to, as far as their character arc is concerned.

The rogue tries to escape, succeeds, but heads back to the thieves’ guild instead of his adventuring allies, and they ultimately betray and kill him. The paladin’s innocence is shattered and they gather rebel forces over time to take on the regime’s leader, becoming a leader themselves. They also find an unlikely ally in the wizard, who has finally succumbed to evil. The wizard still doesn’t know how to summon the demon, but they have already gotten a taste of evil’s power by performing vile rituals on captured regime members and will now use their power for vengeance against the regime’s leader.

Climax

The characters finally face off with the antagonist. The promise set out at the beginning of the campaign is fulfilled. The characters, having completed their arcs, are now changed enough to be able to defeat the antagonist. This should be the players at their most powerful and should be the most epic battle to take place in the campaign.

The paladin’s rebel army and the wizard’s evil magic face off against the evil regime’s leader. The battle is long and epic, but the characters succeed, freeing the kingdom of the evil regime.

Resolution

The game shouldn’t abruptly end after the antagonist is defeated! There needs to be closure. The players’ characters find out the results and the aftermath of defeating the antagonist, for better or for worse. In the case of an ongoing game, you should now set up the next campaign here.

The paladin and wizard regard each other as unsteady allies who no longer have a common enemy. The wizard seeks more power, even seeking to possibly usurp the void of power left from the regime’s defeat. The paladin and their rebel army gather in defiance of the wizard. The paladin tells the wizard to leave the kingdom and not threaten anyone with their evil, else the paladin will smite them down. The wizard, not having many spells left after the battle and not being ready to face an entire army, teleports away to parts unknown with a puff of green smoke. The paladin is placed in power, and the wizard now acts as a looming threat. Perhaps an NPC and villain for the next campaign?


This character arc outline is not cut-and-dry. You should use it as a guide, not a rule. Some characters might abruptly choose to change. Some will reach different parts of the outline at different times or out of order. Some characters might waffle between two sides of their arc before deciding which side they want to be on. But the more you talk to your players about it, the easier it is to come up with a generalized plan for your campaign’s story. Heck, your story might even change from what you initially intended by the end of it (a character with a bad roll can still end up dying before even finishing their arc!) But hopefully this will aid you in making the players love their characters even more and have fun as they grow and change in your campaign’s world. That’s what it’s all about, after all.

In Motion (M)

Character: Jeon Jungkook x oc/reader (with POV switches)

Genre/words: Smut / 6,721 words

Summary: The rule is simple - you can look but you can’t touch. You’ve been attending the event for a few times but it was only when a certain boy arrives at one occasion did you feel the fire of lust burning inside

Warning: exhibitionism, public display of masturbations, graphic smut scenes, mutual masturbations, mentions/use of sex toys

Warning 2.0: this is only the beginning

(Cr.)


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Okay so I see some posts about executive dysfunction that kinda misrepresent what it is, so I wanted to clarify.

Executive dysfunction is not: laziness, lack of motivation, lack of willpower, lack of self-control, bad attitude, an excuse to not do something
Executive dysfunction is: an actual deficiency in the function of the frontal lobe that can be seen and measured in an MRI scanner, associated with neurodivergencies such as autism and ADHD, and mental illnesses

When you can’t do something because of ED, it’s not because you aren’t motivated enough or lack self-control. It’s because your brain literally isn’t running the commands needed to make your body move and do the things you need to. You may be hella motivated and determined to do something and you still won’t be able to because you don’t know where to start or how to proceed to the next step or what to do at all. You may be very hungry, know that you have a frozen pizza in your fridge, yet not be able to do the “fairly simple” steps to cook that pizza because of ED.

Executive dysfunction cannot be helped with more motivation, rewards, hard work or whatever. The part of your brain that is supposed to break the task into steps and guide you through them isn’t working right now, and no amount of rewards or discipline will make it work. The only things you can do is accommodate for the lack of this function: either ask someone near you to guide you through the steps of your task, or have a list of steps prepared beforehand, while your frontal lobe was more merciful. Shouting, crying, blaming, punishing yourself, etc won’t do one bit to help it.

And for people who don’t know what it’s like to have ED and have people around them who do have it, here’s the thing: instructions have to be very precise. I know you never pay attention to this because you don’t have to, but here’s the deal - even the smallest steps have to be akwnoledged. For example you may think that an instruction to make tea looks like this:

1. Fill the kettle with water and boil it.
2. Put a tea bag in your cup.
3. Add sugar if you want
4. Pour hot water into your cup
5. Take the bag out after a minute or two
6. Enjoy your tea

But it has many, many intermediate steps that a typically functioning frontal lobe will figure out, but a person affected by executive dysfunction won’t be able to do. So instead that instruction will look more like this:

1. Open the kettle
2. Open a bottle of water/turn on tap water
3. Fill the kettle with water
4. Turn off the tap water/close the water bottle
5. Close the lid on the kettle
6. Push the button to turn it on

And so on. So that one step in the first instruction is actually six steps in the second instruction. And giving a person with executive dysfunction the first instruction probably won’t help them at all. And btw this is might be the reason that person in your life leaves the lights on or doors open or products out of the fridge all the time - their brain just doesn’t guide them through it.

So, things to remember:
1) Executive dysfunction is a real thing and it’s not the person’s fault
2) It cannot be helped with motivation, self-control, discipline, rewards or punishments
3) It can be helped with careful, thorough instructions prepared by yourself beforehand or by someone else without ED
4) It is very difficult and frustrating for the person experiencing it first and foremost
5) If you have ED, be kind to yourself. Learn ways around it. Rest from time to time. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. And be honest to yourself about whether you can or cannot do the thing yourself. Trust me, it will help you in the long run.

(Request) Daddy Doesn’t Have to Know

Title: Daddy Doesn’t Have to Know

Characters: Negan x You/Reader

Requested by: @babyblues915

Could you write a one shot of Negan and Rick’s daughter playing pool and then Rick shows up wondering what the hell is going on? 😂 I love the negan x Rick’s daughter dynamic

Warnings: NSFW, swearing as usual lol

MASTERLIST

Note: Such a fun story to write! Keep ‘em requests coming! Hope y’all enjoy reading this, especially you babyblues915! xoxo

You were in Judith’s room playing with her when you heard the sound of Alexandria’s main gate being pulled open. Frowning, you went over to the window to check out what was going on. As expected, the Saviors had paid your community another surprise visit on the day that your father, Rick, and the rest were out.

When you headed downstairs with Judith, you saw Carl about to leave the house and immediately called for him.

“Stay in the house, Carl. I’ll deal with them.” You told him as you carefully handed him your youngest sister.

Keep reading

(A table of contents is available. This series will remain open for additional posts and the table of contents up-to-date as new posts are added.)

Part Four: Writing Travel With Non-Humans

If a list were made of the top mistakes made by–particularly fantasy–writers, surely travel, travel times, distances, and the needs of animals during that travel would be right up there. Consider for a moment that Frodo and Sam’s journey took approximately 6 months to get from the Shire to Mount Doom. But Pear, you say, it’s not like they were walking that whole time! They stayed in Rivendell for two months after he agrees to take the ring! And of course, you’d be right, but consider that they are two days in Moria, and it takes the group 7 days to get from Bree to Weathertop, a time frame which was just travel, for the most part. Take a look at it on a map:

And now consider the entirety of the world map:

Taking into consideration breaks for eating and sleeping, difficult terrain, horses, boats, and walking, Tolkien did a fairly good job of making sure the travel times for his world were accurate or at least plausible.

Now consider that 30 miles is the maximum a human can walk in a day without stops and without considering gear, and it’s more accurate to guesstimate ~10-15 miles. It’s ~40 miles from Washington DC to Baltimore, Maryland and can be driven in ~1 hour. Now consider that roads and highways have turned difficult terrain into easily navigable areas, and that cars have drastically lengthened how far and how long we can travel. A team of horses pulling a carriage can expect approximately 50 miles over an 8-12 hour day. A horse will tire from a gallop after approximately 3 miles, but could trot 15 miles without too much strain as long as a few breaks to walk were interspersed. It’s been recorded that on one particular journey, a horse averaged 31 miles per day, though 20 is a more reasonable. (I haven’t put anything regarding companions with wings due to severe variability. Migrating Alpine swifts have been known to fly 200 days straight while other birds don’t even really glide very well. If your companion has wings, do very thorough research into wing bones and strength and do your best.) My point is: We don’t go as far as we think we do, and neither do our creature companions unless we care for them properly.

Long story short, distance matters.

When you’re trying to decide how long it takes to get from one place to another in your story, or attempting to figure out how long it would take an advancing army to reach their destination, consider that our modern view of maps and distances has become severely warped. “It’s not that far,” and “They could make it there in a couple of hours,” and “They’ll be here tomorrow,” are common assumptions for writers, but they might not take into consideration that our characters, creature or otherwise, cannot travel all day without pause, even on roads.

Terrain

Remember to take terrain into consideration. Your creatures accompanying your characters have different physiology than your humanoid characters, so how fast can they travel? Do they have the body strength to be able to carry someone, specifically the spinal strength? Remember that the more people you add to the back of a creature, the slower the creature will travel, even horses. Additionally, consider what their feet are made from. A horse’s hooves are a dense material that takes long usage fairly well (rocks and terrain difficulties aside) which is part of why they (and other hoofed creatures) make good pack animals and “vehicles,” alongside other factors. We don’t go around riding creatures with paws because paws rub raw faster when burdened with weight and asked to go long distances. Creatures traveling on their own legs will travel differently over different terrain. Remember when I mentioned earlier in the series that you should be thinking about where your creature companions originate from? Their physiology will be tailored to travel best over that kind of terrain. If they’re from meadows, rocky mountains will slow them down. Obviously, travel speeds will change depending on the terrain, and the endurance of your creatures will, too. Horses will become lame if rocks or other materials become lodged in their hooves (think about having a rock in your shoe!). Consider how terrain could impact your creature companion in similar ways depending on the construction of their feet.

Food & Water

The most common trope for feeding our humanoid characters on their journey is that they have rations in their packs: dried fruit, tough bread, hunks of cheese, dried meat jerky, etc. What’s often forgotten about is sufficient and appropriate food and water for creature companions. Water retention and metabolism rates vary widely across creatures. You can’t assume that they’ll function like your humanoids do.

When you were planning your creature companion and where they came from, I asked you to consider what kind of eaters they are (herbivore, carnivore, omnivore) to get a good basic idea of what your companions eat. They’re likely not going to be carrying around their food like your humanoids might, so you need to plan for your characters to either be hunting for the creature or to allow the creature to go off and hunt. But don’t just say, “They went off to hunt, returning three hours later with a bloody maw.” You need to know if the area they paused in has the types of foods your creature eats available. Know the environments they’re traveling in; know what’s around and what’s not. It’s okay for your creatures to go without a meal now and then, but it’s not going to make them happy or pleasant to be around the longer they miss out on food. Be aware of how their personality, their travel speed, their fighting capability, and their focus will be impacted when they are forced to go without food.

For emergency water supplies, it’s recommended to carry 1 gallon of water per person per day while cats and dogs generally need 1 gallon each per 3 days. These measures are not taking travel into account, which would raise the predicted amounts. We almost never think about having that much water hanging around our characters for their trek across wherever, but giving our creatures the breaks they will need and the water they’ll need often gets entirely forgotten. Take breaks. All-day travel is hard, hard work on anyone, car or not. Make sure your characters are traveling between places with potable water, whether that’s sources like rivers or cities with wells.

Stress, Sleep, and Special Care

Travel isn’t a walk in the park. It’s a long, grueling journey, filled with difficult decisions and dangerous encounters. There’s socializing and surviving, and it’s not as simple as going out to do the thing. Stress is going to come into play more and more the longer your characters and creatures travel. Think about how this increase in stress will effect your creature companions. Do they know what’s going on? What’s their perspective on the trip? Have they perceived themselves in danger yet? How will they react when they do? How do they deal with being forced to spend a prolonged amount of time in close quarters with others? Is that normal and welcome to them, or is it strange and not preferred? Will they seek out their own space or stick close to the others?

Remember that sleep is not going to be ideal. It may be few and far between, after long days of intense activity, interrupted by attacks, unfulfilling because of discomfort or anxiety, or any number of other things. You still need to consider how your creature would normally try to sleep, and then think about how they could if they needed to, because, trust me, they’re going to need to. Similar questions to those above should be considered including how your creature will handle going some sleepless nights. How will its mood and ability to handle changes in plan be impacted by lack of sleep? How about appetite and willingness to perform? All the problems we encounter with sleep, sleeplessness, interrupted sleep, and less-than-preferred amounts of sleep will need to be considered for your creatures, as much as for your humanoids.

Some creatures will need tending to when travel ceases, whether for a break or at the end of a day. They may need special attention like horses having their tack removed and a nice rub down, or creatures that traveled in a backpack or on a shoulder may need to wander a bit and stretch the legs. Please, please, pay attention to these things. There’s nothing worse than reading poor animal care from a farm boy going on their first big adventure. Casual mentions of the care and attention are sufficient, but completely ignoring this facet leaves out a big part of what travel is with a creature companion. If your creature is a mythical beast, break it down to its root characteristics to determine how they may need to be bedded down for the night. Are your dragons more lizard-like and likely to seek out warm places for the evening, perhaps burrowing for a nest in the ground? Are your hippogryphs able to find enough materials to nest in or do they take more to the horse side of things and sleep standing? Break things down and determine appropriate care for your creatures, then make sure your humanoids are performing those actions they need to ensure comfort for their companions.

Look. Just don’t forget you’ve got another character who has different needs. Don’t pass them off, don’t forget about them, don’t gloss over them. If you’re going to have a creature companion, you need to make sure you’re treating them like any other character and paying attention to their wants and needs the way you do for humanoids. Make sure you’re not asking them to go too far, too fast, without appropriate access to food and water. Take care of your creatures!

Next up: Contributing abilities!

anonymous asked:

what are your sexuality headcanons for the paladins?

Ehhhhhh, hmmmm, let’s see… I mean, I support all kinds of ships in the fandom that probably break my headcanons, so this in no way implies that I disagree with other ships. These are just my, personal, headcanons for sexuality and… other things. Because I went overboard, as usual -  

Lance - Bisexual (obv). Biromantic. I think he probably has some issues expressing his attraction to men, however. Not because he’s unaware of it, but because he has a “Han Solo” type image he wants to portray to those he wants to impress and so it’s easier to stick to only flirting with ladies. That is, until he’s confident and comfortable enough to express how he really feels to his new “family.” Lance is, in my opinion, a very, very secretive person that uses his typical attitude as a sort of smoke and mirrors idea to convince those he meets otherwise. Because insecurity. Also, I think Lance kind of shifts between being quite masculine and quite feminine when he feels comfortable in doing so. I don’t think he suffers from gender dysphoria, but I don’t think he allows his gender to dictate how he presents himself (again, once he feels comfortable enough with the people around him. Dat insecurity and desire to impress be gettin’ in the way). For example, back home with his family and in his neighborhood and where he’s most at ease, he’s more than happy to wear makeup. Or, say, during Cuban festivals like the Havana Carnival, you know damn well he’s wearing one of those more revealing getups with the fancy headdresses and all the beaded decorations and flashy sleeves and feathers, etc, etc. YOU CANNOT TAKE THIS HEADCANON AWAY FROM ME! GIVE ME HAVANA CARNIVAL LANCE! NOW! 

Keith - Gay. Super gay. As gay as they come. SO gay. Homoromantic. I also headcanon Keith as being somewhat hyper-romantic, meaning that he really, really desires a romantic relationship (far more so than anything sexual). Like, he’s the type that forms feelings hard and fast and without mercy, and so he tries really, really hard not to give in, but it never works. He’s more apt to keep such things bottled up tight than ever express them, however–too afraid of rejection. 

Pidge - Asexual. Aromantic. Pidge is far more interested in platonic bonds and values her family/friends more than anything. Which is why it’s so important that she find her family. I’d imagine she has a hard time making friends as well, so what strong bonds she does have are very, very important to her support system. She has anti-social tendencies, but is very dependent on the people she does love to be there and love her in return. I also imagine she suffers from gender dysphoria, and that–though it’s something that doesn’t really affect her position as part of Voltron any–it wears on her a bit. It’s clear from the space mall episode, when she couldn’t decide which bathroom to go in, that how she’s presenting herself–at least in public–is stressing her a bit. I think she’s comfortable enough with Team Voltron not to worry about it, but something inside her is uncertain. Whether this leads to her making a transition or identifying as gender fluid isn’t something I’ve decided yet, however.   

Hunk - Panromantic and asexual. I dunno why I love the idea of asexual Hunk so much–maybe because it’s interesting to headcanon both him and Pidge that way due to how different they are. I like the idea of romantically distant Pidge, who still needs all her platonic relationships, while Hunk loves romance and wants it and all the frills that come along with it. But he’s also patient and doesn’t really go looking for it? Like, he knows it’ll come someday and he’s just waiting for that perfect person(s). Until then, he’s more than happy to give cuddles and love to his friends. I also think Hunk would do very well with polyamorous relationships and would be more than willing to be in one/want one. And though he has no active interest in sex himself, he’d be more than happy to participate if it made his partner happy. He’s not sex-repulsed (as Pidge probably is), he just doesn’t care one way or another.   

Shiro - Demisexual and demiromantic. Shiro partially takes a while to warm up to people because of the trauma he’s been through, but also because he’s always been very focused elsewhere and so he’s never thinking about romance or sex at the forefront. When it does hit him, though, it’s deep and burning and certain. He’s the kind of person that loves someone his whole life, even if they don’t love him in return, and so even though he may not end up with that person, a flame for them will always exist inside him, even if it is subdued. That’s just how deeply he feels things–it leaves that much of an impact on him. But, like I said, it does take a special kind of person and a lot of time to get him to that point. 

Allura - Gray-sexual and demiromantic. Allura has a lot more important things to worry about than sex and relationships. I also kind of headcanon that sex wasn’t a huge part of Altean culture anyway. Allura feels sexual attraction sometimes, but it’s not hard for her to control, nor is it distracting. That doesn’t mean she can’t be a sexual person, just that it’s not something that’s overpowering unless she lets it overpower her at her own volition. I would also imagine that she takes a while to romantically warm up to people, even if she’s platonically very friendly. If she’s going to enter into a romantic relationship, it needs to be with someone she’s partners with–both romantically and otherwise. Someone she can work with, but who can also manage themselves and offer things productive to the relationship. Allura would need–I think above anything–an efficient relationship. Which is why this determination would have to be solidified before romance was introduced or even considered. 

Coran - I… don’t know, lol. I usually headcanon Coran as being very dedicated to the royal family and so his personal life wasn’t something he considered important. Which I guess would make him a kind of asexual and aromantic. But I also imagine that Alteans are very good at compartmentalizing, so even if he was attracted to someone/in love, he wouldn’t allow it to get in the way of his duties. Therefore, I consider Coran’s personal life to, well, be none of my business, hahahaha!

“Isn’t in kind of unrealistic, statistically, that all the Voltron members be part of the LGBTQ+ community?”

No. If it weren’t for the gender and sexual stereotypes that permeate human society, I theorize that diversity among such things would be far more wide-spread. Not only that, but each lion represents a different type of person and I think it’s perfectly reasonable, therefore, that each paladin show variances all over the spectrum, not just in their personalities. They are five pieces that come together to make a whole, so like they represent different races and personality types, other things about them should show differences as well. Which means that, yes, I do get slightly annoyed at the lack of female representation on the team. What little representation women have isn’t enough, and Hunk or Shiro would have made really good female characters without it altering the story one bit. 

ANYWAY! Hope that sums it up :D

Originally posted by keith-the-galra

Undercover

2,500 Followers Drabble

Prompt: “You might not be aware but staring at my tits is unprofessional.”

Characters: detective!Dean x cop!Reader

Requested: @maraisabellegrey


“I don’t love this idea, Y/N.”

“Did you see the cool lipstick they gave me? There’s actually a knife in there. It’s awesome.”

“Y/N…”

“Sammy! Shut up. This is happening whether you like it or not. I got this.” You snap back, furiously pacing in your insanely high heels.

“But…”

“The bastard has killed five girls so far, dude. If this is what it takes to bring the fucker down then so be it.” You declare dramatically, trying to avoid the worry in his puppy dog eyes.

Keep reading

All Too Well (M) | Pt. 1

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9

Summary: You and Yoongi shared a loving relationship with one another until you both agreed to end things and pursue your separate careers. But two years later, Yoongi is a member of the ever growing Bangtan Boys, and you are a new makeup artist for their upcoming tour.
Pairing: Yoongi | Reader
Genre: Fluff/Angst/Smut; Idol & Makeup Artist AU
Word Count: 6,061
Author’s Note: I always wanted to try my hand on a Yoongi chapter story, and then I saw this prompt on tumblr and decided to go with it. I also want to note up ahead that I’m not super familiar with how the recruiting process for Kpop groups go and my knowledge only extends to really quick skims of articles just to get the basis. Regardless, I hope I can get to more parts, so let me know what you think.

also idk if this should be considered a prologue or a part 1 but oh well im just leaving it as part 1

.

You suppose that it all starts and ends with a letter.

Dear Mr. Min Yoongi,” Your boyfriend reads across the kitchen counter, fingers curling tightly around the paper in his hands, eyes blown wide with a gaze depicting such rare intensity that you’ve actually stopped fixing your morning coffee just to catch a sight of his expression. You can’t entirely place the feeling weighing itself into your stomach, so you settle with staring at him and trying to keep your own facial features as neutral as possible. “We are pleased to inform you that you have passed the final audition at our label and therefore are officially recruited into our newest group Bangtan Boys. You are going to be one of seven other boys joining our label as trainees and we are excited to finally bring everyone together to prepare for debut. Although training won’t officially start until next week, we ask that you come to the studio tomorrow morning to meet the other members as well as be prepped on our expectations and scheduling. We wish to congratulate you on your hard work and look forward to getting to know you more in the coming years. Sincerely, Big Hit Studios.”

When Yoongi doesn’t react immediately to the positive news, you flicker your gaze up to study him. His eyes, once again, are scanning the paper, quicker and quicker with each line as if he didn’t read it or hear it correctly the first time around. His eyes have grown to the size of saucers at this point, and you would have thought him to be a statue had it not been for the rather loud inhales and exhales coming from the boy. The sight itself would have been rather comical had it not been for the context behind the stare.

So you try for a gentle smile, leaning a little on the counter to try and further gauge his expression. “Yoongi?” You inquire softly, reaching a hand across the space to run your hand along his shoulder blade. “Baby, are you alright?”

Yoongi blinks, snapping himself out of his trance as he shifts his gaze from the letter to you, back to the letter, and back to you. “I did it?” He whispers, the statement sounding more like a question above anything else and you find your lips curling up into a fond smile in light of Yoongi’s confusion—even though he was the one to read the letter multiple times, running over the words in his own mind repeatedly.

Keep reading

WHAT ALL ASTRO BLOGS NEED TO HEAR

After being in the astro community for quite a while now, I’ve noticed a number of different ways that people make mistakes and assumptions. I’m very passionate about the way that astrology is received by the world, and I want it to be a practice that is RESPECTED and possibly even accepted by everyone (eventually). Here are some ways that astro blogs tend to invalidate astrology.

*DISCLAIMER* - I am not targeting any specific people. I’m a Virgo moon, and I only want people to become better astrologers and improve the way astrology is used on this website. And I also want everyone to think more before they post! I’m a naturally critical person and want to fix things, but I don’t want anyone to take personal offense to it (my Libra mars wouldn’t like that!). 

- Using sun sign alone. People rely heavily on sun-sign ONLY astrology. Why do people insist on only talking about sun signs? This is just one slice of someone’s personality - there is a whole chart that needs to be looked at, showing that each person has many other qualities other than the ones expressed by their sun. This is not real astrology, and never has been. This is the astrology created by popular media. Most people will not relate to their sun sign in posts anyway unless the post is about their ego, central identity, and general personality. Most astro bloggers make posts that are not about those things, yet they still insist on writing using sun sign instead of another planet that would be much more accurate. Before you write, think about which planet it would REALLY apply to. Please read my post here for a more detailed explanation of this.

- Forgetting your audience. When reading posts, most people ASSUME that the sun sign is the placement the post would apply to. For example, if the post says “Aquarius in love”, 99% of people (especially newcomers to astrology) try to relate it to Aquarius sun - when in fact, this would need to relate to Aquarius venus since venus is the planet of love. Aquarius suns would not have the qualities that this post describes, unless they have an Aquarius venus as well. Even some highly respectable blogs do this - they forget their audience. They don’t realize that most people don’t understand the way the planets work. I see this most often with sun sign posts, but it could also be true for others. Like, there could be a post about the moon signs that really would actually relate more to mercury. The idea is, remember that people don’t know right off the bat which placement the post would apply to. Help them out! Less people will write off your posts as inaccurate if you do this anyway.

- Including the 13th sign Ophiuchus. Just, no. Please don’t. This was a hoax created by NASA to try to prove astrology false. Astrology isn’t based on the constellations anyway, so there is no 13th sign. It’s based on the sections of the sky - they just happen to be named after certain constellations. The signs haven’t shifted. Read my post here about this for more information.

- Generalizing the signs. “Geminis are talkative and full of gossip!!!” “Cancers are soooo emotional and cry all the time!!!” “Leos want to hog the spotlight 24/7!!!!” Honestly, generalizing only leads to people getting upset. Not to mention the fact that it’s completely inaccurate. Most Geminis are not gossipy, most Cancers are not crybabies, and most Leos are not attention hogs. This could even happen with other planet placements (like moon signs or rising signs), I just happen to see it mostly with sun signs. These kind of posts are made by the same people who tend to only write about sun sign away. Read a real description of the sun signs (I recommend cafeastrology.com), or don’t say anything at all. The signs are complex, and can’t be labeled. Also, people don’t realize that all placements and signs can be either introverted or extroverted. They assume that the air/fire signs are extroverted and the earth/water signs are introverted. Sun signs cannot be limited to one personality type - not to mention the fact that the expression of introversion vs. extroversion is actually shown by the rising sign because that is the “shell” that the world sees. See my post here about how the rising signs can be both introverted and extroverted.

- Grouping the signs into categories. I’m sure everyone reading this has seen a post where half of the signs will be in one category and half of the signs will be in another. This isn’t accurate astrology. Signs cannot be grouped or limited - they are unique, and have 12 individual forms of expression. Limiting them to two or three categories makes astrology simple and trite, when in fact it is extremely complex (but fascinating). It’d be one thing if they grouped them by element (earth, air, water, fire), modality (cardinal, mutable, fixed), but most don’t even do that. It’s literally random most of the time. If you’re going to group the signs, at least offer an explanation why you put each sign in each category.

- Dismissing signs or placements as simply compatible or incompatible. Let’s be real here - each sign has the potential to be compatible with ANY sign. Also, compatibility should focus more on moon or venus sign as opposed to sun sign. Sun sign compatibility just determines the kind of general energy that would surround the relationship. Compatibility is complex. Instead of saying whether or not two people are compatible, say WHY. Show, for example, how their moon signs are different elements, how their venus signs are sextile, and how their rising signs are sister signs. Show how one person’s moon sign is the same sign as the other person’s sun sign. Compatibility is really about connections, anyway. Read my post here for more information.

- Basing astrology just on people you know. Not all Scorpios are energetic just because your best friend is. The reality is, your friend is a Sagittarius rising with an Aries mars. This has nothing to do with her being a Scorpio. When you make posts basing the information solely on one or two people you know, this is spreading false information. This could mean that readers would then assume in the future that all Scorpios are energetic just from reading your post. I hate to break it to you, but a lot of people believe everything they read. Especially if they’re beginners to astrology. Please do your best not to influence them to make assumptions.

- Posting without knowledge. You’d be surprised how much this one comes up. If you don’t know a lot about Taurus moons, don’t make a post about them. Simple as that. Play to your strengths to avoid spreading false information. Again, people believe everything they read more often than you think.

- Giving astrology a bad name. Astrology is fun. If you’re reading this, you probably would agree with me. But, there’s a difference between “fun” astrology that is accurate and “fun” astrology that just makes astrology a complete joke. “The signs as types of peanut butter” doesn’t improve people’s knowledge at all. I mean, sure, you could say it’s funny, but it really isn’t. It’s just pointless, and only serves to make readers think that astrology is a joke. Most people who make these don’t consider that people look at them and assume that that’s all astrology is. Every post you make is influencing people’s perception of the subject. Again, at least offer an explanation for WHY an Aries would sleep with five pillows if you’re really going to make a post about the number of pillows the signs sleep with. Chances are, you don’t have one anyway. Sure, you can say all you want that I’m “taking the fun out of it!!!!” or something. But I’m really not. I just want astrology to be perceived as something that really works, not something people make fun of. I’m sick of people laughing at astrology for the wrong reasons - and joke posts are not helping. You can make astrology accurate AND funny. Here’s an example of a post I made about the venus signs that people found amusing, yet also related to at the same time.

A dog person - Young!Sirius x Reader

Warnings : nope, maybe the GIF that personally makes me weak

Words : 2.8k

Request : yes

Note : it’s the imagine that I wrote a few days ago and that was deleted somehow, I’m sharing it again now. I know some people had the same request but anywayyyyy (thank you to the ppl who told me to post it again btw❣️). I just imagined a Patronus for Pettigrew, don’t mind it if it bothers you. I loved this request and got a bit carried away, it was just so damn cute.


Originally posted by bentbarnes


Even at Hogwarts everybody hated monday mornings, as they symbolized the end of the weekend, the return in class and especially, implied a lot of exhaustion. In fact, everybody except the 6th years, because to them Monday morning meant Defense Against the Dark Arts. Here you were, at your usual seat next to the wall on the first row. The classroom 3C had probably the biggest windows out of all the Turris Magnus, unfortunately you were too short to observe the view -everybody was- but you still tried to take a look everytime. You were on tip-toes, taking advantage of the fact that your teacher had not yet arrived to make another attempt.


« You know Y/N, I really enjoy the view you’re offering me when you stand up like this in front of me, but I think you should just sit down as our dear Professor is here. » whispered Sirius behind you. Your cheeks turner red as you did what he said, sighing in exasperation and trying to focus on the tall man standing in front of the class. Sirius knew his little seduction game made you feel a bit flustered and that was exactly why he liked doing it so much, he didn’t want you to be uncomfortable, he was only joking and you knew it. Out of the four Marauders, you spent most of your time with him or Remus, who actually introduced you to the others after meeting you at the library.


« Today I will try, and please notice that I said try, to teach you something that I know most of you have been waiting for. » said your teacher solanemly, holding his hands together behind his back. « The majority of witches and wizards are not able to produce it for it requires patience, concentration and determination. You probably guessed it already, I am talking about the Patronus charm, one of the most powerful defensive charms that exist.»


Immediatly, everybody started to whisper enthousiasticly to their neighbors, and even Lily who usually was the definition of the model student seemed hysteric. You smiled when you saw her, her dazzling hair flying in the air while she turned around towards the boys, already beginning to discuss on the shape their patronus would take. James had already managed to produce one and it was a deer just like his animagus. He could be turbulent, sometimes even insolent, but nobody could deny that he was an incredibly talented wizard just like Remus who was sitting next to him. Strangely, he stayed away from the general euphoria which spread in the class, playing almost nervously with his hands. You frowned, ready to ask him what was going on when your teacher knocked two times on the desk with his fists. The noises stopped and everybody looked at him once again.


« To produce a Patronus, it is necessary to concentrate on your most beautiful memory, and only this one. Find the memory that warms your heart the most and say clearly, wand in hand : expecto patronum. » Suddenly, a silver eagle flew from his hand and in the classroom. It was both beautiful and captivating. « This requires training, today we shall satisfy us with approaching the theoretical side of it and in the next class, I hope that you will be ready. Just know that it is difficult to obtain a corporeal patronus, and that its purpose is not to be beautiful, but to protect you from Dementors. Whether it is a rat, cat or lion, its power will be the same : the partonus is a shield, a messenger and a protector. »


He kept speaking during the whole following hour, adding that even if the animal shape the Patronus took did not define its strenght, it could mean something important for the wizard. Leaving the class everybody had only an idea in head : discover what their patronus was. The four boys, Lily and you had mutually decided to train together by the lake this afternoon. But right now you were going to eat, Sirius and James led the group speaking loudly and walking way too fast. Behind and standing by your side, Lily seemed to explain to Peter the details he had not understood. You left them silently to join Remus who walked at the back, alone, head low and dragging his feet. He raised his head when he saw you were waiting for him and turned the gentle smile you were giving him back to you. Interlacing your arm in his, you jumped at the opportunity to be alone with him to ask him what was wrong. Remus sighed, he seemed embarrassed and you strated to worry. He looked around to be sure no one was listening and then he bent a little towards you.


« I’m afraid my corporeal Patronus gives too much away, if you know what I mean. I already tried with James and it almost worked, and I swear I saw a long hairy tail before the light went off. » He whispered, biting his lip « With you guys it doesn’t matter, but if anyone else sees it… » He didn’t finish his sentence but you knew what he meant. Remus had always suffered because of his lycantropia, his parents and him had a nomadic life before he came to Hogwarts thanks to Dumbledore. Everytime someone started to be suspicious, they left and the little Remus never got to make friends. Even now that he had friends, really good ones, he was still afraid someone would found out. Taking his hand in yours, you squeezed it gently so he knew he wasn’t alone and you were here for him.


« We can practice alone another day if you want to be sure, you don’t have to do it today if you don’t want to. »

« I think that’s a good idea, thank you Y/N. »



Around 4pm, you sat in the green grass which lined the lake, between Sirius and Peter who seemed strangely concentrated into tearing away the petals of a flower one by one. You turned around towards Sirius who was already looking at you. You felt your cheeks burn a little when he did not look away which made him laugh, revealing his white teeth and his dimples.  He was a handsome young man, really, and you never knew if you just found him attracive or if it was something more. Anyway, you came back to reality when James showed up, back from his Quidditch session. A proud smile could be seen on his face as per usual, and it grew even bigger when a bunch of Gryffindor girls passing by stared at him like he was a piece of art, or a piece of meat. It always made Sirius giggle but Lily just rolled her eyes every single time.


« Did you mess your hair up on purpose again just so you can look like some Quidditch rock star ? » suggested Remus, looking quite amused. 

« You’ll be authorized to criticize my hair when your furry little problem will be solved, Moony chéri. » teased James, winking before he spoke again while turning around « Let’s get started folks, why don’t we let the Lilliputian try first. »


Eveybody laughed, James flirting with Lily was the funniest thing ever, especially when he came up with these strange nicknames but you had to admit that for once it wasn’t so bad. She stood up, pointing her wand towards him which caused him to slightly move to the side.


« In fact I’m two months older than you Potter, show me some respect. » Remus, Peter and Sirius giggled while James seemed outraged, but before he could come back with anything Lily exclaimed, her wand pointing to the sky « Expecto patronum ! »


You held your breath just like the others while slowly but very clearly, from the tip of her wand, a bright silvery light started to burst before fading out. She tried again multiple times with James giving her advices and finally, a tall and gracious doe was running in the air, following the rythm of Lily’s laugh. Her green eyes were wide opened, she seemed proud and happier than ever. You all applauded, Peter even took a bow.


« It’s strange, isn’t it ? Your patronus is a doe and Potter’s one is a deer. If it isn’t a sign, I don’t know what it is. » teased Sirius, winking to Lily. Her cheeks turned bright red before she exlaimed « Simple coincidence, that won’t make me go out with you any sooner Potter. »


Finally you formed little groups, James and Lily stayed together, Sirius was with Peter and Remus with you. This way, the others didn’t pay attention to the fact that Moony wasn’t really trying to practice and he was pleased about it. You tried to remember all the informations your teacher gave you this morning, and took a deep breath. You hoped it would work but as Lily said again and again, it was a difficult spell and it was normal if you didn’t succeed on your first tries. For what felt like an hour you persisted, repeating the two little words again and again, sometimes managing to produce a little shiny light at the end of your wand. But no animal, nothing. Frustrated you sighed noisily, which caught the attention of Remus, Sirius and Peter. The two others seemed too busy arguing about who-knows-what, and anyway they did not really need to practice anymore. Seeing your disappointment, Sirius smiled softly before suggesting to the boys to train together and that he would help you. After all if that did not work so well that way, you could try.


« I can’t do it either, you know. Maybe it’s because you distract me. » he suggested, teasing you once more with a grin on his face.

« That’s not funny Sirius. » you whined, a pout on your lips.


He looked at them for a bit too long before coming back at your eyes. Finally he stood behind you, his chest pressed against your back. You were thankful he was behind, at least he couldn’t see your burning cheeks but it wasn’t finished yet because you could now feel his strong hand taking yours, holding your wand with you while the other one was placed on your hip. Your heart was racing and you were probably shaking too because he laughed soflty, speaking soflty.


« Maybe you’re not thinking about your happiest memory. Close you eyes, the first one to come to your mind is probably the good one, focus on it. »


Even if his body pressed against yours and his breath crashing on the thin skin of your neck did not help you at all, his soft and low voice was relaxing and you now thought of nothing else. You no longer heard the sound of the wind in the trees, nor the murmur of the water of the lake, you did not see your friends staring at you a little farther : it was his voice and his body near you that occupied all your mind. You closed your eyes as he had suggested, and with trembling lips you pronounced the two words « Expecto patronum. » You opened your eyes slowly, just in time to see a magnificent light spraying out, more powerful than what you had managed to do until then. It grew larger, Sirius’s hand still held yours and guided the movements of your wand.
After a few seconds, you saw it. In front of you stood a brilliant, tall and perfectly formed dog. But it was not a common dog, you had seen this one several times already and you recognized it immediately. You understood that Sirius did too when you felt his fingers release your hand smoothly and his body move back slowly. Your concentration broke and the big dog disappeared. You did not dare to turn around, both shocked and mute, because you finally knew what your patronus was. And it was him. It was Padfoot.



You stood there, sitting on your bed without knowing what to do or even what to think. After the events of the afternoon you quickly ran away, stammering that you did not feel well and that you were going to rest. But everyone had seen the same thing as you, and everyone knew that your patronus was none other than Sirius Black himself, or at least his animagus form. You tried to convince yourself that it was just a simple dog, but you knew what you saw. Maybe it didn’t mean anything at all, maybe it did. It probably did. Sirius and you had been friends for years and even though he liked to tease you all day long, it had never been more than a platonic relationship. As you kept thinking about this, images started to come to your mind. The day you met, how funny you found him, yet annoying. The first time you sat together in class, and how you spent the hour drawing stupid things on each other’s books. That time in 4th year when he punched a guy who insulted you, and definitely got a detention for it. When one of his pranks hurt you and he brought you chocolate and flowers to make it up. The time he hugged you so tight after Gryffindor won the house cup that you thought he was going to choke you. Maybe he wasn’t just a friend after all, and it took you a couple of years and a patronus to realize it. A knock on your door made you lift your head up, the person did not let you any time to answer and entered the room.


« Can I come in ? » asked the black haired boy.
« A bit too late to ask, isn’t it ? »


Sirius did not answer, he just closed the door leaving you both alone in the dorm. He sat next to you, your knees barely touching, but not a word was said. You looked at the floor for a few seconds before you saw him turning his head to you from the corner of your eye. Slowly, you looked at him too, your heart skipping a beat when you met his dark grey eyes.


« Why did you leave earlier ? You missed something, we learnt that Peter’s patronus is a mole. »
« You know why I left. » you said, smiling slightly at the end.
« You don’t have to be embarassed about it. » he shrugged « But I have to admit that I thought it would be something else. »
« Like what ? »
« A penguin. »


You scoffed, clearly not especting that answer. Sirius looked at you curiously, he didn’t seem to understand why you were chuckling but he still smiled when he heard your laugh.


« What ? They’re cute and funny, everyone likes penguins. » he smirked.
« Nope, you’re probably the only person to fancy penguins that much. »
« Well I don’t try to hide it. You shouldn’t either. »


His last words were whispered in your ear before he placed a soft kiss on your shoulder. You knew what he meant, and you couldn’t act as if the butterflies flying in your stomach weren’t here. He bent down to give you another kiss, on the cheek this time, but the weight of his body made you both fall back on the bed. You laughed as he found himself lying on top of you and for the first time since you met him, you saw a light shade of red on his cheeks. You stayed like this before he kissed your forehead, and then your nose. You smiled and he looked at your lips, and back at your eyes again. Your hands made their way to the back of his neck as he brushed your lips with his own, without ever pressing them together. Your heartbeating probably echoed throughout the entire room, or maybe it was his own. He smirked again when he saw the look full of frustration and desire you gave him, biting his lip and kissing the corner of your lips and then your cheek, before whispering in your ear again.

« I always knew you were a dog person. »

And after that he finally pressed his lips against yours, tenderly, as if you were the most precious thing in the world.

The idea that the only meaning that can be gleaned from hearing Silver’s backstory is that the world is “full of unending horrors” completely shifted my idea of why Silver never divulged it in the first place.

I always saw the secret of his story as a tool - as a way to have something over other people. For grifter Silver, for loner Silver that was an asset in manipulation because he could be whatever he wanted to be in any given moment.

But after this interaction, I think it’s possible that he’s ashamed of his backstory, and of his life. His childhood was perhaps a million times worse than anything that we could have ever imagined, and he is ashamed of it.

And so he stands opposed to Flint in this sense, because while Flint acknowledges how his past shaped him, how it motivated him, how it still motivates him, Silver absolutely and resolutely refuses to be defined by his past. He needs it to not have meaning, while Flint needs it to mean everything.

But in a way you could argue that it has already had meaning. The fact that Silver was so determined to be a loner always suggested to me that he’d been hurt by people. But the aspect of shame is a surprise. Because you can tell on some level he wants to give Flint what he wants; he’s not being stubborn or defiant. He’s - in a lot of ways - apologizing. You know all that I can bear to be known, I’m sorry.

So I feel like this gave us a window, even though it’s a backstory that’s not a backstory. But in a way that’s beautiful too - our imaginations are pretty strong. So if you give me a backstory that’s too hard for Silver to even relate to his closest friend, my imagination is going to go to all the horrible recesses of the world.

I also feel like this explains a lot. He started out a loner, a decided loner. But once he’s offered a community - once he finally finds a home - the lengths to which he is willing to go for the sake of that community starts to make so much sense.

Every move he’s ever made starts to make sense; all of season 3, his attempts to gain Flint’s respect, and his attempts to finally have people, a crew, a home. He goes to such extremes to guarantee that he somehow holds onto whatever he’s got now. He holds his world together with both hands.

If his childhood was so horrible, and he was such a decided loner, it’s like he didn’t have the muscle memory to know how to do relationships. Even though he was really good at reading people - that’s something that people who have experienced abuse know how to do very well.

So this could explain why he eventually becomes so tied to people. Why he became so devoted to his crew, why he became so devoted to Flint, and why he becomes so devoted to Madi. Because suddenly he was offered something he’s never had - a whole slew of things he’s never had, and perhaps even things that he never even knew he wanted.

And it’s in this conversation with Flint that we get another beat of whether or not something is enough, mirroring his earlier conversation with Madi.

“Can that be enough, can there still be trust between us?”

The tragedy is that you can see very clearly on Flint’s face that the answer is no. Flint didn’t answer - but the non-answer said enough.

And yet, in this episode, even though you can tell that the answer is no, Flint is so willing to get past that, to take the leap of faith. He still shows absolute trust in and loyalty to Silver, but he cannot be certain. When it comes down to it, he cannot know for sure whether or not Silver will make the right call.

Flint knows how much his backstory, how much his baggage with Thomas and with Miranda influences his actions and keeps him from seeing what is true. But he doesn’t know Silver’s backstory. By not divulging the secrets of his past, Silver leaves room for Flint to guess. And for a man like Flint - one who needs to be in absolute control all the time, who needs to see the inner workings of every single piece on the chess board so he can strategise accordingly - for a man like that to take a leap of faith like this, at a time like this, is as astounding as it is beautiful.

The old Flint would have most likely killed Silver and gotten him out of his way rather than go for such a risky and potentially astronomically costly gamble. And it’s this divergence that reinforces what we see clearly in this whole episode - that Flint does love Silver. It’s that simple. He desperately wants Silver to live and to be a part of this.

—  Fathoms Deep, 409; on Silver’s backstory and his relationship with Flint

Photoshoot 

Summary: Your anxiety gets the better of you doing a photoshoot for an undercover mission and Bucky checks up on you, wonder what happened.

Warnings: anxiety attack, sexual tension, fluff, oral (reader receiving), fingering

A/N: It’s Bucky’s birthday and with all the fics being written for it, I thought I’d go ahead and write a quick one-shot! Happy Birthday, Bucky Barnes!


“I’m sorry, you want me to do what?” You folded your arms across your chest, anxiety bubbling in your chest.

“All you have to do put on a few swimsuits and plant this thumb drive in one of their computers when no one’s looking.” Nat held up a usb drive with Stark printed across the plastic. 

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Knuckles : Boxer!Ashton One Shot

Part One | Part Two | Part Three

Talk about a third date. 

If it were any other boy you’d probably be out at a restaurant or something on a night like this, flirting nervously across the dinner table while you try to decipher if he likes you enough to take your relationship to the next level. You’ve gone through the dating routine once or twice before, and had a pretty good idea of what to expect; if someone had told you a month ago you’d be standing right outside of a boxing ring while your date and another shirtless man beat each other to a pulp, you would’ve thought they were crazy. 

The crowd around you gasps and your own stomach lurches, empathetically feeling the punch that Ashton just took to the cheek. Blood is already dripping down his face, the source of it located just over his left eyebrow. He looks like a mess yet he’s still on his feet somehow, determined to keep retaliating, apparently even if it kills him. 

“Don’t worry,” Calum says next to you after noticing your concerned expression, “I’ve seen him win in worse conditions." 

You want to smile, appreciative of his effort to ease your mind, but every couple of seconds Ashton keeps getting hit, hard. It doesn’t matter to you whether he wins or loses, you just hope that your fourth date won’t have to take place beside a hospital bed. 

"Is it almost over?” you ask Calum, too new to this sport to know the ins and outs of the rule book. 

“One more round after th–Oh!

You missed what happened, but look back at the ring to find the opponent, a man named Donovan Diaz, struggling to stand up. Given the cheers from the audience, it sounds like most of the people here have their money on Ashton, and he just brought them one step closer to profiting. 

The round concludes and the fighters return to their separate corners, two teams quickly making their way into the ring to begin fixing up their boys. You wish you were allowed up there, yearning just to talk to Ashton, to treat him gently after witnessing the beating he’s taken for the last half an hour. Sitting on the short stool between rounds is the closest he’s been to you all night, each break like a minute-long tease that only makes you want to be near him more. You haven’t even said hi to him yet, not given the chance to do so before the match started. 

He knows you’re here, though. He spotted you next to his friend Calum after walking away from the first round, and lost focus for a brief second to give you a smile and a flirty wink. Some crowd members noticed, chiming in with playful remarks and whistles, causing your cheeks to burn bashfully. Ashton seemed so confident and well put together then, but that spark isn’t as evident now that he can barely keep his swollen eyes open while his crew tidies up his blood-splattered face. 

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anonymous asked:

After Claire reveals the truth to Jamie about who she really is, he replays the day they met in his mind to see it from a new perspective.

Hail Mary

Premise: What if Jamie and Claire had 1) been more openly affectionate, and 2) not *had* to get married?

Part I  Part II  Part III Part IV Part V 



Part VI 

He couldn’t get enough air. 

No, he wasn’t just suffocating. He was being suffocated, being pressed downward, screaming, but with no one to hear, no mercy from those cruel hands pinning him down. He struggled against them, struggled against the evil and the darkness of —

And then he was free and Jamie roared upward, lunging for his attacker’s throat. 

He came awake in mid-air, the cold air hitting his bare legs, reality still swirling and shifting in the darkness as he flung the intruder flat on the bed, pinning THEM, choking them with— 

“Ja—MIE—” came a strangled female voice, throat muscles working desperately beneath his hands. “—s’—ME!”

CLAIRE.

He leapt backward off her and off the bed so violently that he staggered and would have toppled onto his backside if he hadn’t caught onto the tall dresser. He steadied himself and his mind, though both were reeling: 

Leoch 

His chamber 

Dead of night 

Claire Beauchamp 

on his bed

She had sat up, and in the dim, flickering light, Jamie could see that she was clad only in her shift, a flimsy shawl underneath her on the bed. 

His heart thundered—melted— to see her; to see how lovely she was; to feel how deeply she roused him; to be hit with the aching of how much he wished to touch her—take her in his arms and tell her how much—how deeply, painfully—he’d missed her these last three weeks—

But the ice around his heart solidified again almost instantly, the ice that had kept him sane for those three weeks; the ice that would continue to keep him alive as long as he was forced to see her around Castle Leoch, until he could get himself away to Lallybroch, away from her. 

And yet despite everything, that very ice shuddered to see the fear in her golden eyes, her hands clutched at her throatDespite everything she’d done and said, his heart contracted with panic. His voice came out urgent and strangled. “Have I hurt ye, Mistress?” 

She dropped her hands at once and shook her head quickly. “No, just startled. I’m not hurt, Jamie,” she said more firmly, seeing him unconvinced, searching her skin for marks. “I promise. I’m alright.” 

“Aye, well…I’m glad of it. I’m—I beg your pardon for—” he made a vague gesture toward the bed. “Ye took me unawares from my dream, and—I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright,” she repeated, giving him a weak smile. “No harm done.” 

He nodded, but the ice was firmly back in pace. “Tis time for ye to take your leave, Mistress Beauchamp.”

“No.” 

He shouldn’t have been surprised, not in the slightest.

“Mistress, ‘tis the middle of the night.  D’ye have any idea what they’d say if ye were found in my—” He took a step toward her. “Your reputation would be ruined.”

Her expression was hard, yet still somehow flippant in that damnable way of hers as she shrugged, “Don’t have a very good reputation to uphold, anyhow.” 

“Dinna be joking about,” he snapped, holding out his hand. “Come. NOW.”  

 “I’m not leaving. And before you threaten to carry me out yourself—” she said loudly, JUST as he’d been opening his mouth to do just that, “—know that if you so much as try, I’LL scream at the top of my lungs and see who comes running. I don’t give a rat’s arse about my reputation, and I’M willing to let the chips fall as they may. Do you want me to do that?” 

Damn her. DAMN her. 

No.” 

“Well then,” she said, raising her eyebrows, “look’s like I’m staying.” 

Defeated and all the more angry for it, he threw his hands up in the air. “What in God’s were ye doing creeping about touching me in the night, anyway?”

She glared at him. “To talk to you, of course.”

Talk?” He rubbed his hands backward through his hair to keep from throttling her in earnest. “Have ye no scruples, woman? Christ, there are proper times and places for—”

“Oh, there ARE, are there? DO be a dear and tell me when and where those might be, won’t you?” She made a sound of deep derision and crossed her arms sharply, apparently as angry and barely-restrained as he. “Jamie, you’ve spent THREE BLOODY WEEKS ignoring me—what else was I supposed to DO??”

*Avoiding* you, mo nighean donn; not ignoring you.

But avoid her, he had, and quite effectively, at that. Colum’s explicit instructions had been that she was not to leave the castle walls, nor had she, else she certainly would have come to find him at the stables, where he had spent every possible moment, save sleeping and mealtimes, though he’d contrived to eat at odd hours. She had tried half a dozen times to approach him, in the corridors, in the great hall, in the courtyards, but he’d said no more than a cool, “Mistress,” of acknowledgment as he took his leave.

Avoided, aye; never ignored. He had been as aware of her as of the daylight, her presence and absence fundamentally guiding his thoughts and activities. She was his light, whether he willed it or no. 

“What else was I supposed to DO, Jamie?” she was repeating, now standing just a few feet from him, moving with him as he stepped to and fro away from her, to MAKE him look at her.

He did look at her, hard. “Leave me be. That’s what.” Just go away. Go away from this Castle and rid me of the torment of having you near.

Jamie!” Frustration and desperation were battling for dominance in her wearied voice. “We HAVE to talk!”

“We dinna have to do any such thing. And, by all the saints,” he exclaimed, gesturing wildly at her body, desperate for anything to throw her off the scent, “even if we did, did ye have to come practically naked?? You’re in naught but your—” (thin-as-an-April-breeze) “—SHIFT and I’m—” 

He could feel the draft from the window sneaking up his legs, caressing every inch of bare flesh under his shirt, and his face burned

“—I’m not presentable.”

She didn’t budge an inch. “Put some damed clothes on, then.”  

When he didn’t immediately make a move, she rolled her eyes, turned, and walked to the bed, snatching up her shawl and jerking it around her shoulders and pulling it around her. 

Breasts now covered, she raised a defiant eyebrow.  He glared at her, but finally decided that even if he should risk her threats and carry her bodily into the hall and bolt the door behind, best to do so with breeks on. He threw open the trunk at the foot of the bed and rummaged until he found a pair, turning from her as he laced them.

“Can we talk now?” she said, as he turned back to face her.

In contrast to her evident amusement, his own voice was low and nasty. “Go ahead.”

She blinked and dropped her eyes to her crossed arms. 

A dhia, how he despised himself in that moment—he wasn’t the kind of man that spoke this way to women, not least of all to a woman that he—but Jamie simply couldn’t shake the anger and hurt that coursed through him at the sight of her. She didn’t want him for a husband—fine; but could she not just stay away? Go away. Just go away. 

When she spoke, she met his eye straight-on, quiet, but determined. “Thank you. For helping me talk my way out from under Colum and Dougal,” her eyes were shining with sincerity. “I truly couldn’t have done it without you.”

“You’re welcome. Anything else, Mistress?” He gestured toward the door.

She threw up her hands. “Jamie, for heaven’s sake will please just hold your goddamn horses and give me a chance, here? I’ve got things I need to ask you!”

He bowed his head. Stop being a child, Fraser.

“What is it ye wish to know, mistress?”

She heaved a breath and let it out, preparing herself, shivering. He strode to the fire and stoked it, to give them both a moment for it. The light danced on her face as he turned back to her, her face strained and urgent with her questions.  “Why did you help me with your uncles? After all I—You didn’t have to tell them anything. You had every reason to just leave me to my own fate. Why?”

He shrugged, uncomfortable, still fingering the poker. “Didna wish to see ye come to harm.”

“Harm?” That genuinely startled her. “You think they would have….ordered me tortured, you mean?”

“Perhaps not Colum….” He chose his words carefully. “But ye have—not the faintest idea of the—the depth of the hatred Dougal bears the English, even more than most Scots. If he truly believed ye to be passing on dangerous information…” 

He shrugged again. He had no doubt that she would have come to some form of harm, whether at the hands of the MacKenzies or the English, had he not interceded. No matter how deeply she had hurt him, he didn’t wish to see any ill befall her. Not ever.

“And do they truly believe you?”

“Aye, they do.”

She nodded slowly, then suddenly dropped her eyes and began fingering the hem of her shawl. “The ‘allegiances’ you spoke of…Was that…” Christ, she was squirming like a worm on a hook, “were you talking about Laoghaire?”

He snorted. “Certainly NOT.” The look on her face made him realize too late that infatuation with Miss MacKenzie would have been a perfect ruse to hide behind; but then again, Miss Beauchamp always had a knack with catching him off guard. Without waiting for her to press, he grudgingly added, “It was my allegiance to Colum of which I spoke. That’s why he took it to heart as he did”

“To Colum?” 

He couldn’t shake the glow that had lit the ice around his heart when her face had lightened instantly at his disavowal of Laoghaire MacKenzie. 

He cleared his throat, squeezing the poker. “Colum wishes that I should succeed him as clan chieftain, someday.”

“Oh! Oh, that’s—Jamie, that’s wonderful!” She looked genuinely delighted and impressed. “Such a great honor.”

“Perhaps, though it’s a honor I dream not of.” 

“No?”

“I’ve no intention of leading the clan, at least not until after Dougal’s tried his hand at it. He’d skin me alive for taking ‘his’ position, and I’ve no desire to start a clan war. The easiest way is for me to remove myself. Colum doesna ken that, yet, though.” 

“But how does—? What does that have to do with…?” 

“My taking a Sassenach wife—” the word cut his throat like glass, “—would have negated my eligibility for clan leadership outright.”

She dropped her eyes. “I see.”

Aye, I would have done it in a heartbeat, mo ghraidh.

He cleared his throat again. “And so, while Colum and Dougal dinna yet trust that you’ve no other motive for being amongst us, same as before, they do believe my tale about why ye fled.”

Why she fled.

“I had a LIFE, and I’m far past due to return to it!”

“I don’t need your ‘protection,’ Mr. McTavish.”

And still, most cutting of all, the coldness in those golden eyes as she had said: “You were mistaken.”

“I don’t expect your forgiveness,” she was saying, still facing him boldly, though he could see her twisting the fabric of her shawl again, faster and harder. “I don’t even expect you to speak to me again after this. And I’ll go, tomorrow, if that’s what you want.” 

Christ, she meant it. she would leave. 

Aye, Sassenach, just go. 

“I’ll tell your uncles to hand me over to the English and be done with it. It doesn’t bloody matter anymore.” 

Dinna leave me. 

He thickened the ice around his heart. 

“But—” A deep breath, and then her voice was softer. I can’t go another day without saying...I’m so sorry, Jamie.”

The depth of feeling in her voice was powerful enough to catch the breath in his throat… but the ice was powerful too. He only managed a quiet, hard, “What for?”

“For acting the way I did, the night I left. I was…” She paused, shaking her head, “—vicious….and you didn’t deserve that. Not at all. You are—were… are my friend, and I had no cause to treat you in such a fashion.” She took another deep, ragged breath. “The thing is—”

“Let’s just leave it be, aye?”Jamie didn’t think he could bear this. He moved from the fireplace to the window on the far side of the bed, quickly, that she might not see his face. “I accept your apology. There’s no point discussing it further, Mistress.”

“No point?” she whispered from behind him.

His anger flared and he had to grit his teeth. “Ye told me in no uncertain terms, that night, what your feelings were, Claire. Whether or not ye should have been nicer about it is truly neither here nor—”

“But Jamie—” He could hear her moving closer to him, her voice now with an edge of eager desperation. “—I had good reason to leave, I swear it, but—the most important thing you have to hear is—” Her voice was tremulous with emotion. “— you weren’t mistaken—and I came back for you.” Her hand came to rest softly on his arm.

“Jesus, Claire, can ye no’ hear yourself?” He threw off her touch and twisted to face her, hating the rage and scorn coursing through him, but feeling utterly powerless to halt its path. “So, your grand plans of returning to your old life came to naught, and ye came crawling back to Leoch because ye imagined I would be better than nothing, aye?” 

“Jamie,” she whispered, horrified, “it isn’t like that.”

“Oh, no?”

“No, you bastard!” she hissed, on the brink of tears, following behind him as he stormed back to the hearth. “it BLOODY isn’t!”

“Tell me, then, Claire,” he demanded, keeping his voice low. He’d come to stand behind the big armchair—to put some goddamn space between them— and he gripped the back of it hard with both hands to ground himself, “where did ye go?”

Silence. Fear in her whisky eyes. He could see the lie forming, see her closing against him in that glass face. 

“Ye left with haste and wi’ a purpose,” he pressed. “Why?”

Her eyes were down. Her head was shaking hard, fast. “I—I can’t tell you why.”

“You could.” 

“I CAN’T!” 

He nodded, shaking all over. “Then why on EARTH should I trust your word?”

She looked up with glassy eyes.

WHY?” he repeated, more angrily, more pained with every choking syllable “When ye sleep in my arms, hold me wi’ your head on my chest of a morning and then shun me twice to my face before the next sunrise? When your face and your body told me one thing, and then your words another?” His hands were fists, quaking with fury and pain. “When ye STILL willna tell me where it is ye came from or where it is ye went? Why should I believe a word you say, Claire?” 

Silence. 

“TELL ME!!”

“You shouldn’t.” 

Her sudden quiet startled him and he searched her face. No longer angry and defensive, no longer controlled. He watched it fall, moment by moment, into a blank of despair.  She continued her descent, apparently helpless to stop it, and sank down onto the trunk at the foot of his bed. “You shouldn’t—you have no reason to believe me.” She released a gasping sob and buried her face in her hands. 

A long silence, punctuated only by the heart wrenching sounds of her sudden brokenness. 

Heart-wrenching. His heart was wrenching apart to see her in pain. 

He tried to be indifferent, to see in this another charade; but after a long moment, he couldn’t help but speak, to reach out to her. “Claire?”

She gave no answer, only wept harder and shook her head back and forth.

Another minute. 

“Why d’ye say I shouldna believe ye, Claire?”

Silence. 

Gently. “Why?” 

Why, mo nighean donn

“Because—” Heaving breaths. Crying. “If I told you the—truth, Jamie—the real, actual truth,” she sobbed still harder into her hands, her voice a strangled wheeze, “You’d never believe me…you’d think me completely—completely mad…”

Would he? Could he ever believe this marvel of an individual to be out of her mind? A lunatic? No. That simply couldn’t be. Whatever it was that she’d concealed, whatever it was she didn’t want to tell him, needed to tell him—it was truth. 

Slowly, he moved from behind the chair, slowly settled beside her on the trunk. 

She exhaled, moved and overcome. “Jamie….”

He couldn’t touch her, wasn’t sure what he would do if he touched her; but he was glad that she knew he was  near. She was right, after all: whatever else passed between them, she was his friend. “I’m here. Tell me….lass.”

Lass. 

It was the first time he had called her anything close to an endearment since she’d returned to Leoch—no, since the night she left—and the saying of it—Christ, it sent a bolt of blazing lightning into the ice around his heart. 

My lass

The crack was deep, deep enough so as not to be repaired, smoldering, spreading.  

My own lass. 

“The woman of Balnain.”

“The—what?”  She had blurted it with no preamble, and he yanked himself back from the melting of his heart to try to understand. “The—Welshman’s song? What of it?”

“I am the woman of Balnain.”

He gobbled for a moment, looking sidelong at her. “Well, the—the words actually translate more to ‘I am the wife of the laird of Bal—”

She shook her head, eyes squeezed tight. “No. No, that’s not what I mean.” 

“I…dinna understand.” 

“I. AM. her.” she whispered, looking up at the ceiling and blinking hard.  “I, Claire Beauchamp, AM the woman of Balnain.”

The room seemed to crystallize and go silent. Even the fire was muted out, a faint humming in the distance. 

“The truth…Jamie….The truth is that I am not of this time.” She was still shaking with sobs but was nonetheless speaking with an intensity that he’d never heard from her, not ever before.  “I woke up one morning in the year nineteen hundred and forty-five…and I landed in seventeen forty-three.” She could barely get the words out. “I woke up in Inverness and went searching for a flower I’d seen on the hill of standing stones…” 

She recited the eerie song, her voice—God, her voice—

“I stood upon the hill, and wind did rise….
I placed my hands upon the tallest stone
and travelled to a far, distant land,

….but Jamie….it wasn’t a ‘distant land.’ It was a distant time. The eighteenth century.”

He was gaping at her. She gave another desperate sob, her eyes boring into him, despairing. “That’s the truth, Jamie; The truth of where I came from. I—traveled—back—traveled here—in time.” 

Nineteen hundred…and forty….

Back… 

in time….? 

There were tales, of course—folk being stolen away by the fairies and being taken to times not their own—

—but as an educated man, he’d always—surely those were only—

But with a jolt akin to being kicked by a great beast, all of it flooded into his mind at once, bowling him over: 

The strange shift she had worn

Her lack of friends and relations

Her inability to account for her background, her intentions among us

The way she had asked for the town, that night we’d found her—a town that must have been visible, two hundred years hence

The way even the most common words and customs seemed foreign to her

The daft words she herself had used

The way this remarkable woman had fallen into his life….

The way this woman like no other he’d ever encountered in his lifetime…

“I was born in nineteenth hundred and eighteen,” she was saying intently, breaking apart, “I was born two hundred years from now.” She make a desperate sound at his silence—anger—fear—tragedy. “Jamie, do you hear me?”

But Jamie heard her words as though from under water; silently reciting the rest of the Welshman’s song

But one day, I saw the moon come out
and the wind rose once more,
so I touched the stones
and travelled back to my own land
and took up again with—

“You’ve been trying to get back to him,” he moaned, the horror and the grief of it washing over him in a landslide, “’the man ye left behind.’

She gasped, then gaped at him, utterly dumbstruck. She couldn’t speak for a long time. Nor could he; could only hear the wailing of his heart. 

When she did finally find her voice, it was strangled and tear-choked. “You—believe me??”

“Aye,” he said at once, his own voice far from strong, but confident in that, at least. “I do believe ye, Sassenach.”

Beyond the memories, all the evidence of her otherness running through his mind like a vision, he could see it in her eyes; he could see it in the slant of her shoulders, broken, but no longer on guard, no longer holding back; he could see it across her glass face, finally free of secrets and lies. Finally free. Aye, he believed her…

…and the truth broke his heart all over again, into more pieces—millions more—than they’d been before. She was married. She wasn’t free to give her heart—Nor had she been; not from the first moment he’d laid eyes upon her. Claire Beauchamp was another man’s wife. 

“Forgive me, lass,” he murmured, rising and going to the fire, trying to keep his voice from breaking, to keep from showing her his despair. He understood, now; understood why she had acted the way she had, but the pain was too great. He had only enough strength left to appear strong. “Stay here for the night—I’ll find another bed.” 

“Forgive?” came her voice behind him, truly bewildered. “Whatever for?”

He had tears in his eyes and he blinked them away fiercely, gritting his teeth. “I canna even bear to think of the—the fool I made of myself in your eyes back wi’ the rent party. Proposing marriage, professing love, when ye already had—”

“No!” she said, jumping to her feet and wiping her own tears away, hard. “Jamie, no, please—that’s what I’m trying to tell you—you weren’t a fool.” 

She came close to stand beside him, and after a long pause, she took his hand. “Jamie…..you… weren’t mistaken.”

He wasn’t—? He hadn’t been—?

He couldn’t shake off her touch. Couldn’t look at her. Couldn’t even move at all from the inrush of feeling and hope and—

“I felt—just the same as you, Jamie—” she said, carefully but firmly through her tears and emotion. “—from the—God, the first time you held me here at Leoch,—From then onwards, I felt what it was between us.”

A Dhia, just slay me now, lass. Kill me here and let my heart be gone, rather than this torture. He felt like a boy, so eager for her love, and so frightened to hope for it.

“That’s why I left that night—” She was squeezing his hand so hard it hurt, and was staring up at him, her eyes unblinking and spilling with tears. Jamie was staring into the fire, trying to keep control of himself, but she wouldn’t look away. “—because I cared for you too and I felt—” She gave a wracking sob, “—so ashamed because it was like he—my husband—like Frank never—even existed to me—” 

She cares for me. 

She cared for me all along. 

“—And so when you—when you said those things—poured out your heart to me, and I—wanted to pour mine out to you—and I had to get away—and I ran—”

He was squeezing her hand to keep from flying apart. 

She ran because she felt she must 

She cares for me. 

“—and I was praying the whole time I rode it would have been a dream—that I would touch the stones and wake up, but it wasn’t a dream—you were real—and what I felt for you was real—”

—Jesus—

“—but I couldn’t have lived with myself if I’d come back—”

She ran because of duty .

Her hand in his shook. His hand in hers shook. 

Claire cares for me, too.

“—then I got to the stones and I—couldn’t get through—” She was sobbing, harder than she had yet sobbed in his presence, panic and weariness overtaking her such that she swayed next to him. “—I couldn’t get back—was pounding on that stone for hours—hours—but I—I couldn’t get—couldn’t—”

“Oh, lass—” And before he could stop himself, he was clutching her tight against him, comforting her, holding her, trying to shield her from the sobs that wracked her body.  “I’m so sorry…Claire, I’m so sorry…”

God, and he was, too. The pain and turmoil she’d undergone, that had been tearing her apart with no one to help keep her sane; no one to keep her from being alone. He held her, forcing himself to think only of her. “It’s alright….shhhh, it’s alright… Christ, I’m so sorry.” 

She pressed her cheek hard into his chest. “Jamie, I was so ashamed.” 

“Ashamed? Lass, you’ve nothing to be—”

She pushed back from him and staggered away toward the fire,  just far enough to look him in the eye,. “Because I was relieved—Jamie— I was RELIEVED that I couldn’t go back to him—” She raised her hands aimlessly to the level of her eyes, watching them quake. “—RELIEVED—and I think part of me will be ashamed of that all my life—But I don’t care.”

Jamie didn’t say a word, just let his eyes cling to the sight of her face, open and breaking along with his. ‘Breaking,’—no, he was being utterly torn apart by the gathering of joy and hope, the banishing of the anger and pain. His heart was a gushing torrent, now—the skeleton of the ice wall still standing, but with the current clearly visible beneath, roaring to be free. 

“The fact is that I was relieved. Relieved that I could come back to you.” 

She cares for me 

She left from duty. 

She came back. 

She—

“Jamie….?” she begged, repeating the word like a prayer of supplication. “Jamie…..?”

“Aye?” he croaked.

“Jamie, I’m so sorry—I hate what I did to you— the look on your face when I denied you and—shamed and—wounded you—it killed me—”

“Dinna spare a thought for it,” he started to say, but she quieted him, begging to be allowed to speak uninterrupted.

“—And I can’t bear how this will seem—Like it does seem,” she amended. “You said it yourself: my plans fell through and I’ve come crawling back to you. But that isn’t true.” She took a deep breath and her eyes spoke true to him as she said, strong and clearly even through the gasping and the tears: “I love you, Jamie.”

The ice wall shattered. 

She loves me. 

She loves me. 

SHE LOVES ME. 

“I love you—” she was saying, over and over crying, laughing as the joy of it rushed through her,”—and I care for you—and I respect you, and—” She reached a hand toward his face. “— and I want to marry you.” 

Before he could reach back to her, she was kneeling before him, taking his hand, bowing her forehead over it. “I haven’t anything—I’m no one, in your world— but all I have, and all I will ever have, they’re yours—if you’ll still have me.”

Later, he never would quite recall the exact moment when he moved; the thoughts that went through his head at seeing Claire before him, asking him to share her life. All he could recall was the feeling of her in his arms, the burning in his heart as he crushed her to him; the way he could barely speak the most important words of his life: 

“Yes, mo chridhe—All my life, yes.”

And then he was kissing her. He was kissing her and kissing her and kissing her and feeling her pressed against him. Feeling her kissing him back, the joy and relief in her tears. Sinking back into the armchair, letting her straddle him, holding her and kissing her and drinking her into him.

The rasp of her voice as she clutched his face and groaned into his mouth. “I want to stay with you. I need to be beside you tonight.”

The agony of forcing himself to slow, to still. “No, lass, ye must go now,” he whispered, though his traitorous body kissed her deeper and pulled her closer. “Else I’ll have ye here…now…..”

“Have me,” she moaned, bringing his hand up to her breast—Jesus Christ, the nipple was hard, shockingly firm even through her shift, and she groaned so exquisitely as he ran his thumb round and around it, as she moved her hips against him with shocking urgency. “—Have me—Jamie, please—”

He felt those words strike directly down into his cock and he thought he would die of wanting her, but he managed a soft laugh and pulled away. She gave a growl of urgent protest, of need, and he felt the same rip through his own body at remaining separated from her another moment…but he forced himself to take her face in his hands. “Ye must go. Because as much as I want to be inside ye right now—you’re so much more to me than that, mo chridhe.”

He kissed her, slowly and gently. Kissed the tears on her cheeks. Felt her kiss his as her fingers ran across his face, his hair, claiming him as she settled, quieted to a slow burning, her forehead against his. “What does it mean?” she whispered, her hair falling ‘round them. “Mo…cree?”

Mo chridhe. My heart.” He leaned his forehead against hers; the tip of his nose against hers. “It means, my heart.”

She took his face, then, her words strong and sure. “You’re more to me than that to me, too; than anything else, anyone else… mo chridhe, Jamie.


[to be continued]

Silent (Soulmate!Thomas Jefferson - Part One)

Originally posted by youforfeitallrights

A/n: My friend is on an internship in New York, and she has tickets to see Hamilton… which got me thinking… I was bored and procrastinating… and I hadn’t written a soulmate AU in years… I need to reclaim my title as soulmate queen. (Also, apologies, I don’t know the tags for this fandom, sooo… This is a thing right?) 

Soulmate AU where the first words your soulmate says to you appear on your arm. Written in third person. Starts in James Madison’s POV then shifts to Thomas Jefferson. No warnings other than Thomas has a bad attitude. 

Part Two     Masterlist

There are three facts about Thomas Jefferson of which James Madison was absolutely certain: 1) Thomas Jefferson does not have a soulmate. 2) Thomas Jefferson doesn’t want one. 3) It’s probably for the best that he doesn’t.

James had known Thomas for many years now, and he doubted any living person knew the man better. Even so, it didn’t take an expert to know Thomas’s view on the subject. Any person with eyes could look down at Thomas’s arm and see it lay bare of words. Any person who’d had a conversation with him on the subject could see he didn’t want to find any words there, and every person who’d ever encountered Thomas, even in passing, had likely come to the same conclusion as James. It was for the best. The universe was saving whatever poor woman would have been latched to him from a life playing second fiddle to Thomas’s ambition and hubris.  

Looking across the banquet hall, James could see Alexander Hamilton, who had been deep in conversation with Thomas for much of the afternoon, coming to those same conclusions. Hamilton had been among the first batch of people to approach Thomas when he arrived, and James barely salvaged a moment to warn Thomas of the situation before he dove into a lengthy discussion with the young immigrant.

James couldn’t decide whether he was amused or terrified. The pair seemed to be amicable enough at the moment, but that could change in a flash. Hamilton and Jefferson were both as stubborn as each other, and they were both fully equipped with sufficient verbal ammunition to break out into an all-out war right in the hall. James had a sneaking suspicion the only reason the two had yet to shed any blood was due to the close proximity of President Washington, the host of tonight’s affair.

“Someone should really go and separate those two before they realize how terribly opposed their views are. I’d hate to get any blood stains on the new rug.” James glanced up to see it was Martha Washington who spoke.  

Smiling James offered a hand out to greet the woman, “I do believe that will happen regardless of our intervention, ma’am.”

Martha gave a simple nod in the direction of his hand, and James’s hand dropped, realizing both of hers were occupied. In her left Martha held a nearly empty glass of wine, and in her right she held a hand, not her husband’s either.

James studied the younger woman attached to Martha’s side with interest. She had a death grip of Mrs. Washington’s hand and looked to be cowering behind the older woman. To her credit, Martha also appeared to be shielding the girl, who looked about ready to sink into the floor. The forlorn expression on her face and the tightness on Martha’s told James that neither of them particularly wanted the young woman to be there. Whether that was because Martha did not care for her to be at the banquet or whether Martha cared to protect her from it, James could not be sure.

“Mrs. Washington, I do not believe I’ve had the honor to meet your acquaintance,” James addressed the unknown woman with a slight bow of his head, “James Madison.”

“Oh, of course,” Martha flashed a forgetful smile James would have believed had he not seen it before. “Mr. Madison, this is my dear younger sister, (Y/n) Elizabeth Aylett.”

“Pleasure to meet you ma’am,” James bowed his head.

The woman, whom he now knew to be (Y/n) Elizabeth), gave a one-handed curtsey in response and a rather hesitant smile. Her grip on Martha’s hand loosened slightly, but she made little move to approach him any closer or step out from behind Martha’s guarded stance.

“Has your sister been introduced to Mr. Jefferson or Mr. Hamilton? Perhaps we could make their acquaintance on that pretense,” James suggested, waving a hand to where his oldest friend stood, still in deep, uninterrupted discussion with the new Secretary of Treasury.

“James!” A familiar voice boomed as a hand came down firmly to clap James on the shoulder. “I am so glad you could come.”

James turned to face George Washington and extended a hand, “Mr. President, did you really think I would miss a welcome banquet for my oldest friend?”

George accepted James’s hand and shook it firmly. “Your oldest friend who has spent the majority of the night politely refuting every word that has left the mouth of Secretary Hamilton.” George gave James a pointed smirk. “I dare say those two are cut from the same cloth.”

“I don’t know if I would go that far, sir.” James nodded his head in the direction of the pair, who seemed to have been quietly escalating their disagreement. “Even if they were, I doubt either would admit it. However, I do think they are both stubborn enough to continue this fight until someone forces them to cease blows.”

“Oh let them stew for a moment more,” George waved off James’s concern with a light chuckle. “They both work best when they’re angry. Perhaps if we leave them to it long enough they’ll build the whole country while trying to outdo each other.”

James did not share George’s confidence in the pair of men. He didn’t know who he was more concerned for. He’d seen Hamilton work. The young man had an unmatched determination, and put to work it could do some serious damage. However, Thomas Jefferson was not a man to cross, probably a fourth fact to add to his list if he ever felt like expanding it. There had been more than one occasion over the course of their friendship that he found himself thanking the heavens Thomas was on his side not against him. Nevertheless, James allowed George to table his concerns and the conversation to steer away.

“You know James,” George glanced down at the younger man’s sleeve covered arm with a knowing smirk. “Mr. Burr is here tonight.”

James’s hand instinctively went to his arm. Under the sleeve, the first words from his soulmate, Mr. Burr speaks very highly of you, Mr. Madison. “I’m afraid I have already met all of the women you have invited tonight, not including Mrs. Aylett.” He gestured to Martha’s sister. “Though I appreciate your concern.”

“Well no danger of that tonight, Mr. Madison.” Martha piped up, still holding firmly to her sister. “Perhaps the next banquet,” with a kind smile she added, “We’ll see to it Mr. Burr is invited to all of them.”

“How kind of you, Mrs. Washington,” James nodded politely.

James waited silently as George turned to address Martha about the time dinner would begin. His eyes wondered over to (Y/n), who also seemed very uninterested in the conversation. Her eyes had wandered away, and her guard had dropped slightly as she looked around the room. James followed her gaze to Jefferson and Hamilton who had since been joined by Aaron Burr, the same Aaron Burr who would one day introduce James to his soulmate.

‘No danger of that tonight,’ James reminded himself of Martha’s words, harsh but true. It occurred to him at first that she may have spoken prematurely. He knew everyone else in the room, but her sister had yet to speak a word to him. It didn’t seem likely, given that (Y/n) probably did not know Aaron Burr and had no reaction herself to his first words to her. Even so, Martha had said it with an odd sense of finality. If James could not see the looping cursive peeking out from under (Y/n)’s sleeves, he’d have assumed Martha was so assured in her statement because her sister had no soulmate. He supposed, now, it must have been because she knew the words on her sister’s arm, or that her sister had already found her soulmate. Though if that was the case, why was he not here?

A million possibilities were running through James’s mind. There wasn’t anything else particularly interesting to do that night.

“Gentlemen, gentlemen, didn’t anyone tell you the war was over?” The voice of Aaron Burr echoed across the hall. Clearly James had been too soon assuming the night would be uninteresting.

George caught James’s eye. “Let’s go end the squabbling; shall we?” George offered an arm to his wife, and (Y/n) reluctantly dropped her death grip on Martha so her sister could accept.

The married couple led the way, and James followed after them beside a meek-looking (Y/n) who still refused to speak. The poor, quiet girl was walking into a lion’s den with Burr, Jefferson, and Hamilton. If she was hesitant around him, he could only imagine how badly she’d be spooked by the other three men. James made a concerted effort to circle around to her other side and place himself between her and the other three. He’d thought he’d been subtle with the gesture, but the sheepish smile (Y/n) sent his way told him otherwise. His only reply was to nod in confirmation.

“Mr. President,” Aaron Burr gave a bow of his head to the approaching group, effectively halting all conversation between Hamilton and Jefferson. “How are you this evening?”

“Quite well, Mr. Burr. How are you? Enjoying the festivities, I see,” The president looked between his two secretaries admonishingly.

Hamilton, at least, had the respect to look scorned, “My apologies, Mr. President. Secretary Jefferson and I were simply discussing…”

“Enough of that,” George waved away Hamilton’s concerns. “This is meant to be a celebration. Mr. Jefferson has only just returned to us from France. Let’s leave our work to the office, shall we?”

“Of course, Mr. President.” Thomas Jefferson gave a respectful bow of his head. “Thank you for hosting this dinner tonight. I appreciate your hospitality.”

“And we appreciate your assistance. I look forward to working with you, but for now let’s enjoy our evening.” George addressed the pair of them.

Hamilton bowed his head and turned his attention from the group. “If you all will excuse me, my soulmate is speaking with Mrs. Adams and appears to want my attention.” He went off with one last nod to the President.

“You haven’t even made it into work yet, and the two of you are already finding things to bicker over,” George’s tone was teasing, but there was a certain sense of warning to it that none of the group missed.

“I wouldn’t go so far as to call it bickering, merely a difference of opinions unrelated to work. I’m sure we’ll be able to put it aside in future work.” Thomas politely refuted the President’s concern.

“Unrelated?” James cut in. He knew both men well enough. They had plenty of points of contention related to politics. He couldn’t imagine they would have had enough time to make it through all of them and find something else to argue about.

“Soulmates, of course,” Thomas waved his hand in the direction Alexander had retreated. “He brought up the topic and seemed rather disgruntled by my stance on the subject.” Thomas was being very careful not to launch into his opinion again. He doubted this group, Martha and the woman he didn’t know in particular, would appreciate it.

“Ah yes,” George mused. “Alexander mustn’t be familiar with your perennial bachelorhood.”

“I was married once, you know,” Thomas pointed out to George with a teasing tone that in no way seemed to disagree with George’s statement.

“It happens sometimes,” Martha seemed to miss the tone in Thomas’s voice and took him more literally. “You know, people getting married outside of soulmates.” Her eyes trailed to the other woman in the group, standing between George and James and trying desperately to avoid eye contact with everyone in the room.

Thomas’s eyes trailed over the girl. “Who might your friend be, Mrs. Washington?” The question was addressed to Martha, but his eyes were firmly on the woman, expecting the answer to come from her.

She made no move to answer or even acknowledge Thomas’s presence, and Martha piped up immediately in response. “Mr. Jefferson, this is my sister, (Y/n) Elizabeth Aylett.”

“Can she not answer for herself?” Thomas fought the urge to roll his eyes when he looked back to Martha.

“As a matter of fact -” Martha sputtered out, agitation bubbling up in her expression.

“Mr. Jefferson,” George warned coolly, all pretense dropping from his voice.

Thomas wanted to scoff. He couldn’t get a word out today without being berated, first by Hamilton, then Burr, now the Washingtons. This banquet was supposed to be in honor of his return, and all he wanted to do was leave. Any other day he would have been the epitome of cordial, but that Hamilton had wound him tight. He wanted none of this.

Turning to (Y/n), he practically growled out his first words to her, “What? Are you mute or something?”

Everyone froze for just a moment. Aaron Burr was looking at him aghast. James’s expression was simply exasperated. George Washington had the stern expression of a no-nonsense general, and Martha looked a mixture of angry and shocked at his side. The woman, (Y/n), simply looked resigned. She was meeting Thomas’s gaze now, but the look in her eyes was not that of a woman scorned. It looked more like a woman broken.

The look in her eye was all Thomas needed to realize he’d made a mistake.

(Y/n) turned to her sister and made a quick gesture, wiping her fingers twice over the palm of her outstretched hand, before she turned for the door.

“Wait, I-,” Thomas reached out to the woman, ready to apologize. Instead, his hand was snatched away.

When he looked back, he was expecting a disappointed James or maybe a wary Aaron Burr. He was certainly not expecting to have to look down into the eyes of an absolutely livid Martha Washington. “You… You…” She was trying desperately to form sentences, but her anger was suppressing her speech.

“I’m sorry, deeply sorry.” Thomas looked away ashamed. “It has been a rough evening. I didn’t intend to take it out on your sister.”

“Why are you apologizing to me?” Martha’s voice was growing louder with her building rage. “You should be apologizing to (Y/n)! Not just for this, for decades of hating herself! Do you realize how much damage you’ve done to her?”

Now Thomas was confused, very confused. “I beg your pardon, ma’am?”

“Every day she wakes up to those words burned into her arm! Ashamed of who she is and knowing you’re ashamed of it too!” Martha’s ranting had attracted attention from a good portion of the banquet hall now. George reached out to his wife, trying to rein her in.

Thomas tried placating the irate woman. “I don’t understand what you mean, Mrs. Washington. Perhaps, I should just go find (Y/n) and…”

George took the matter on himself and pulled his wife from Thomas, stepping up close to the man so none of the now eavesdropping guests could hear his voice carry. “Your words are on (Y/n)’s arm. You must be her soulmate.”

“I don’t have a soulmate.” Thomas replied almost mechanically, turning his arm slightly so George could see the blank expanse of skin.

“Well yes,” George conceded. “If (Y/n) is your soulmate you wouldn’t have words on your arm. She’ll never speak to you… She is mute.”