i may or may not be a little addicted to making these over the white bar things

Victoria Beckham’s letter to her 18 years old self.

Dear Victoria,

I know you are struggling right now. You are not the prettiest, or the thinnest, or the best at dancing at the Laine Theatre Arts college. You have never properly fitted in, although you are sharing your Surrey school digs with really nice girls. You have bad acne. You think the principal has put you at the back of the end-of-year show (in a humiliatingly bright purple Lycra leotard) because you are too plump to go at the front. (This may or may not be true.)

There is a red telephone box outside the school and you have just rung your parents, crying, “I can’t do this, I miss home, I’m not good enough.” And Mum has told you to come home. “We’ll go to Lakeside and buy a new pair of shoes,” she said. It’s tempting. But then Dad got on the phone: “Stay there, prove everyone wrong.” If you’d listened to Mum, you would be going to Lakeside. (Shoes are important, just not right now.) It would be theeasy solution. And I’m writing to jolly you along, to offer consolation and encouragement, and to tell you, aged 18, to be strong.

You haven’t forgotten being bullied at school, have you? Do you recall that first day at secondary school? Most children were wearing their own coats and had the latest cool bag, but not you. Kitted out in the full St Mary’s High School uniform, you stood in the freezing playground while other teenagers walking past threw soggy tissues and old Coke cans that they plucked from the puddles. But the thick skin that you developed then is already standing you in good stead, and it will do so for the rest of your life.

Your complexion will sort itself out (in fact you will launch your own make-up brand); as soon as the Eighties are over, your perm will die down, and your weight will settle itself. At school you eat Super Noodles and boxes of Frosties because they say they are fat free, and you will endure many other silly fad diets (including an addiction to green juices). Instead, learn to embrace your imperfections – that is what I want to tell you. Let your skin breathe; wear less make-up. (And don’t ever let that make-up artist shave your eyebrows! The effects last forever.) You will always be addicted to Elnett hairspray but you will tone it down. Less of the “Hello! I just got stuck in a wind tunnel”, please. And I should probably say, don’t mess with your boobs. All those years I denied it – stupid. A sign of insecurity. Just celebrate what you’ve got.

Do answer an ad in The Stage, looking for candidates to form a new girl band. Line up around the block and audition to change your life. You love musicals – Miss Saigon, Cats, Starlight Express and Les Misérables – so you will perform “Mein Herr” from Cabaret, while everyone else sings a Madonna song. You haven’t yet heard of the internet or electronic mail or smartphones. Nor have you perfected the art of the selfie for Instagram (you can’t even turn on a computer right now, and Dad still drives to London to send a telex). But one day you will find that audition performance again online, and at the same time discover that your name brings up 47,800,000 search results on Google.

The judges of the competition will match you to four other girls, all misfits in their own ways. Together you will make it OK to look different. And, as the Spice Girls, you will sell 75 million records. You cannot possibly imagine your future life right now. You will travel on private planes, visit incredible countries, stay in fantastic hotels. (At the beginning, you will steal the hotel mini shampoos, shower gels and conditioners, but you soon realise that they leak in your suitcase – often disastrously.) You will storm into people’s offices, leap on to tables in hotels and go crazy (although you will also be the one checking that the table isn’t going to collapse). You will meet Nelson Mandela, Mariah Carey and Elton John. But please, I implore you, keep a diary. There will be so many amazing moments, and you will forget.

There will also be down days and bad days. You will often be so busy that you will be in a different country every day. And being young and a bit silly, you’ll complain and sit in hotel rooms and moan about being tired. Go out and see the country where you are. Go to galleries, go to museums. Soak up the culture. You are lucky to be there. If you don’t join the Spice Girls, you might always be that insecure person in that little shell, and you will never become who you truly are. With this in mind, be kind, be polite, be considerate of others’ feelings, because I know that every one of us would sit here now and say they’re not the main culprit, but we didn’t fully appreciate each other a lot of the time. So practise what you preach when you sing “friendship never ends”, and celebrate everyone’s uniqueness.

You are going to have so much fun with your clothes – PVC catsuits; chokers that say absurd things; weird spiky blonde hair. It will never occur to you that you appear ridiculous. You will turn up at awards ceremonies resembling a drag queen. But I look back at you and smile. It will add interest to your life to go from one extreme to another. I love the fact that you will feel free to express yourself. Fashion will take on added stature one day, but try not to be stifled by it. You will learn, as you mature, to swap heels for Stan Smith trainers, minidresses for crisp white shirts. And you will never be one of those people who just roll out of bed. Wear sunglasses a lot. Even inside. Especially at airports. They turn a nothing-outfit into something quite pulled together and cool. You are going to really like Aviators. (Then one day you will develop your own!)

On boyfriends and lasting love: learn more about football, especially the offside rule. And yes, love at first sight does exist. It will happen to you in the Manchester United players’ lounge – although you will get a little drunk, so exact details are hazy. While the other football players stand at the bar drinking with their mates, you will see David standing aside with his family. (He’s not even in the first team at this stage – you are the famous one.) And he has such a cute smile. You, too, are close to your family, and you will think how similar he feels to you. He’s going to ask for your number. (He still has the London-to-Manchester plane ticket on which you wrote it.) I’m afraid that most of your first dates will be in car parks, which is not as seedy as it sounds. It is because your manager, Simon Fuller, will warn you, “Don’t let anyone see you out together or you’ll get hounded.” At the time, you won’t understand why.

You are going to be very, very famous, both for the band you form and because of the man you marry, and then later for a fashion business you will launch in your own name. You will get used to fame. Although you cannot set a price on losing privacy, you will learn to use celebrity to your advantage. For good things. For charity. One day you will have the privilege to campaign on behalf of the United Nations to end mother-to-child transmission of HIV and Aids in Africa. And people will listen. Changes will happen. That is not to say you won’t be affected by what you see of yourself in the press. It will hurt you when people comment on your weight. It will continue to upset you whatever age you are, because we women are very tough on ourselves.

The paparazzi will become part of your life, their long lenses waiting. Some are nice, some not. They may make your children cry, or they may give you a compliment – but you will not be able to control every image they publish. When you are pregnant with Brooklyn, they will snap you sitting by the pool at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles in a black-and-white bikini, and the picture will make the front page of a British newspaper. It is an unkind shot and so upsetting that for the rest of the tour you will barely leave your hotel or sit outside. And I’m the same now. Do I relax on the beach in a bikini? No. I am still hugely self-critical, and because of that I can be a little uptight. My 60-year-old self would probably say the same thing to me as I am telling you now: enjoy yourself a little more. Be less image-conscious. Learn to relax. You are going to make mistakes – of course you are. You will be super-super-successful, but you will find out that you can lose it all much more quickly than you can earn it. That is a hard lesson to learn. Collectively, I now see, the Spice Girls were victims of our own success, believing we could do anything, that the sky was the limit, that we could do it all on our own. You will learn from that, and when you have another opportunity you will not lose it again.

On being a mother: once you are a parent, you worry. And you are going to have four, so that’s a lot of worry! Mum likes to say, “You might be 42, but I still worry about you.” Children mean that you will be constantly tired and will develop big bags under your eyes. Your children will always come first, but never forget who you are and what you want to achieve. Is it possible to have it all? To be a successful working mother? You will hear this question asked by many women as you grow older. What you will realise is that by working hard, yet always putting family first, it will be possible to achieve that balance. Nothing will be perfect, but it is only now that I have learnt to appreciate all I have and all I have been blessed with. I am happy.


A word on school sports day: never wear platform heels and flares if you have to take part in the mothers’ race. And never believe another mum when she says she will stick with you at the back of the race. Because she won’t. And when they announce, “It’s the taking part that counts,” it’s not. It’s all about winning. You will shout at home but never at work. Be a nice boss. Ultimately, go with what you think, but don’t smother those who are talented. (If they are not, then admittedly I get frustrated – I’m not very tolerant.)

On marriage: have patience. Bite your tongue. Be supportive. And preserve a bit of mystique. Never let yourself go completely (at least brush your hair, clean your teeth, have a bit of a brow going on because you will always want him to look at you and feel attracted). Always make time for each other. Because if you don’t, everything will revolve around the children and I’m not sure how sexy that is! And do not forget the person you fell in love with. You will follow your man around the world, moving from Manchester to Spain, and then America. In Spain you will revel in watching him enjoy some of his best footballing days. Spain is also where you will lay the foundations for your own fashion brand by collaborating with others on denim and sunglasses.

But I need to warn you: a lot of your time there will be really hard. I’m not afraid to say now what a horribly difficult time it was. People will say awful things. You will be a laughing stock. Every time you turn on the television or look at a newspaper it will seem as though someone is having a go at you and your family. You will learn how mean other women can be. (And it will teach you always to support the women around you, to take them on a journey with you.) Others would crack under the pressure, but you won’t. Use that time to close off, to focus, work hard and protect the children. In relationships people will throw obstacles in your way, and you either manoeuvre around them or you trip up. You will never discuss with David how many children you both want; you don’t say to each other, “Where shall we live?” You don’t discuss any of that because you will be young and in love. Even when you don’t necessarily want the same thing, your support for each other will mean that you will stick together and grow up together. And it will be worth it.

Most days, you will look at your life and think, “Wow! I was never the one who was supposed to get all this.” I want to tell you that I still feel that way now. Recently I was in New York for the British Vogue cover shoot in a penthouse at the Carlyle hotel. I looked out of the window and I could see the sun shining and all the yellow cabs below and I pinched myself. You are going to have many of those moments. Don’t take them for granted.

The Art of Healing Part II: Hydrate

There is a cheapness that clings to your cells once you’ve been…

Disposed of. 

Chosen not. Left in the dust of a memory. 

You feel yourself being part of the past. A part of you is no longer alive. No longer alive in the life of a someone.

I

Thought I was stronger than this. I’m confused as to where this is coming from? There’s a sickness inside of me and it is sucking the luxe. 

It’s not you - it’s the hurt that lingers in your wake. You are gone and so why can’t you take this part with you? 

And I’ll say it again, it’s not you. Because that may have gotten misconstrued. 

It’s not you - it’s the hurt that lingers in your wake. It’s this rattling in my chest; broken pieces of a used-to-be functioning organ. Pumping, pumping, pumping warm blood through pink arteries. Now splintered, now 

Unwhole. 

And the red and white blood cells can’t seem to find their way to necessary extremities. 

Making me totally numb. 

There is a chill that clings to your cells once you’ve been

Released. 

You look behind you at vast, vast stretching plains. Fog teasing wet grass blades, dewy. Toes dripping into dirt. Where…am I? 

And why am I alone? 

And why 

Am I afraid? 

I thought I was stronger than this. 

My steel armor is no match for the chemical warfare.

The first few moments felt like liberation. I had wanted this. I had known from the seat of my True Purpose that I had to be on my own. And I could feel it coming from across the country. You were tucked in the hills of California but I felt your chill. A sudden change of the wind. A woman always knows. 

And a surge of pink light coursed from the core of the earth up, up, up brightening every chakra - shooting through third eyes - the moment is here and I know it is part of Your plan and I welcome the ebb and flow, no, the roar and rumbling of the Universe. Spill onto my path. Drench me. 

Pack, pack, pack my life into boxes. 

It’s amazing how our bodies can get us to safety. How adrenaline pushes us through pain. And only when you stop to catch your breath do you start to feel the gaping hole, and look down to see your insides spilling. 

Miracles of nature. 

(Blood is oozing from the sides of the band-aid. Why do I feel like the worst is yet to come?)

Bodies And Brains In Love: 

Nothing compares to a first love and here is why: When you first fall in love it is a foreign entity in your flesh, like a new virus. You have nothing to compare the feeling to, nothing in your biology to fight it off. And it is so strong and so unknown and so overwhelming that finally you submit to the sickness. Because you are no match for its strength of conviction. Like an addiction, it tugs at your veins, convincing you you need it. 

And you will never love like that ever again in your life.

No, you won’t ever love like that again because now your body can detect love coming. Now your antibodies are armed. Now you have a point of reference. 

(I am learning as I’m typing.) 

Now you are weary of Love’s presence. You can sniff it out, see it coming from around the corner. Or across the bar. Bloodhound like skill at catching whiffs of its stench clinging to buttoned collars and sprigs of facial hair. Is this the beginnings of it, here in these brown eyes? 

And as you feel it coming, as your hairs first vibrate as they raise to stand on end, suddenly your chest tightens, and your heart hardens. Because your body knows:

With love comes pain. 

It has learned from being burned that hot surfaces scald. Brain stem kicks in. Ancient fear response built over millions of years of evolution: Protect yourself from the things that may cause harm. 

And now the worst has happened. You have been forever altered. You have been changed. And this is what I mean when I say it is not “you.” 

The more stress and fatigue applied to a muscle the stronger it gets over time. The heart has calloused. Dancers feet. Days and days of spinning around on one foot. It is tough and chewy. Your eyes a little dull. Splendor unimpressive. 

And dear Future New Love, it’s not what will you do to me but what will you take from me? What part of myself must I sacrifice next? Which limb must I lose to Love’s insatiable appetite? 

I have nothing to offer you. My well has been dried and depleted and I’m only just filling it back to sprinkle water down parched lungs to bring a little song back. 

Because the beast can have everything,

Take everything, 

But I’ll be damned, damned, damned if I let it drag down my voice. 

Kurtbastian one-shot - “A Dalton Boy in Candy Cane Stockings” (Rated NC17)

Kurt decides to play with Sebastian’s limits by dressing him up in lingerie and having him put on a show for his customers - accompanied by a female slave on her knees. (4896 words)

I’m jumping all the sharks here. Written for @lilinas Bitchmas prompts cane, green, sing, decorate, and probably a couple of others I tossed in there that I’m forgetting, and all of the Klaine Advent Drabble prompts from audience to tacky. 

Warnings for Dom/sub, Sebastian wearing lingerie and heels, Sebastian with someone else, Kurt and Elliott getting kinky, and oral. Dom Kurt, sub Sebastian, and a lot of jealousy.

Read on AO3.

“How do you swing, preppy?” Sitting in his chair in his office, Kurt wiggles the toes of his bare right foot against his sub’s crotch while Sebastian massages the left.

“I don’t think I understand what you mean, Master?” Sebastian grabs Kurt’s bottle of citrus massage oil and squeezes a few more drops in his palm. He presses his hands together to warm it up, then goes back to giving Kurt a massage.

“I mean, how fragile is your masculinity?” Kurt raises his head from where it’s resting over the back of his chair to look at his boy when he answers.

“I would like to think not all that fragile, Master.” Sebastian leans back a hair when Kurt’s right foot goes from wiggling to rubbing.

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Oswald x Female Reader - Faces from the Past (Part 1)

Loosely based on Season 3 Episode 5 at Oswald’s party.

You work for Oswald, since being elected Mayor you have grown close and tonight want to show the Penguin a different side to you.

Tagging @oswald-cobblepot-is-my-addiction <3

Warnings- This is OOC


Originally posted by gothamfox

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LAX-NRT

Rating: T (there is much drinking)
Length: ~4,800 words
Prompt from algernonblue: Mikasa is on a 14 hr airplane flight from USA to Japan. In first class there is only one other person there (Levi) who happens to be seated only a seat away from her. They stubbornly refuse to be the one who gets up to relocate. Happy Writing!

Thank you all for participating in Rivamika Jam, whether it was writing, just sending a prompt, filling in for someone who had to drop out, or just reading and liking/reblogging the RMJ works. All and all, I think it’s gone pretty well for a first try, and a special thanks to everyone who’s sent messages of encouragement and anticipation. I hope you enjoy all the works that people have done!

00:00 - Half a Xanax, Double Espresso

Mikasa waits at the gate at LAX for two hours, idly sipping from a canned double shot of espresso with milk, before the airline even lets first class board. Her hands shake when she hands her boarding pass over to the attendant to be scanned. She tells herself it’s the caffeine making her jittery, but it could be the fact that this is her first time on an airplane and that on the other side at Narita will be a group of complete strangers waiting excitedly just for her.

When she sits down at her seat, she digs through her battered green canvas backpack for the orange pill bottle that holds the remaining three and a half Xanax that Grisha prescribed her. (“Not too many, Mikasa,” he told her as he handed her the little plastic vial. “This stuff is very addictive.”) She fishes out the half pill with one hooked finger and swallows it with one last tepid mouthful of canned coffee.

Her head is down, trying to locate her bottle of water and her Japanese flash cards when her seatmate arrives. When she looks up she sees a torso - a very nice one, if she is being honest - clad in a simple black suit and a crisp white shirt with the top two buttons undone. He wears an expensive-looking leather messenger bag over one shoulder. The man is small and thin, but the little of him there is looks solid, heavy. He finishes stowing his bag in the overhead compartment, then slams the door closed and sinks down into his seat, placing the messenger bag on his lap. He wears oversized reflective aviator sunglasses marked with a small but noticeable mirrored G logo, and he is scowling.

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Another interview with Tom (together with an analysis of the man - the reporters LOVE to try to analyse him, don’t they? Not many people get him right, though.):

Tom Hardy’s eyes are locked into mine. This is no small thing.

He’s sitting on a hotel sofa during the Toronto International Film Festival, dressed as an urban warrior in black T-shirt, olive fatigues and work boots. His wrists are thick with bracelets, bands and strings. His face, though handsome, is not pretty: His nose and mouth are slightly smashed, like they could stand up, or have stood up, to a punch. His beard is short, his sandy brown hair slicked back. As he talks, he frequently reaches up with both hands, running them over the top of his head and bringing them to rest, elbows out, on the back of his neck. This causes his broad chest to widen further, and makes his biceps pop under the tattoos that cover both his upper arms. He’s not tall, but there’s nothing wasted on him. Every molecule makes maximum impact.

He also vibrates. He thrums. Sitting across a narrow coffee table from Tom Hardy is like sitting opposite a compact, ingeniously designed generator. His energy is coiled right now; he’s engaged and charming, but I’m certain that if he let it loose, it could blow me backward into the hall.

Actors do a lot of talking about transforming themselves for roles, but the London-born Hardy, who turns 37 on Monday, means it – he goes undercover for every part he plays. So it’s taken North American audiences a while to realize that Bane (in The Dark Knight Rises), Bronson, Heathcliff (in a telefilm) and Locke (who is mesmerizing, despite being stuck in a car for 90 minutes) are all one guy, the same guy as the private in Band of Brothers, the mixed-martial-arts fighter in Warrior, the Olivier Award nominee on the British stage, the gangster inRocknRolla and the con man in Inception. What they share is that Hardy hum, the high-tension-wire buzz he emanates even when sitting still. You may not realize it’s him on your stage or screen, but you know you can’t look at anyone else.

That eye contact – I asked for it. Hardy’s new drama, The Drop, which opened yesterday, is a testosterone-fuelled ride through wee-hours Brooklyn, where mad Russian mobsters use a rotating series of bars as depositories for their ill-gotten gains. Hardy plays a bartender named Bob, alongside James Gandolfini (in his final performance) as Bob’s uncle and Noomi Rapace as a woman who catches his eye. Bob knows how to stay alive by staying out of the way. His voice, thin and quiet, is part of the “character silhouette” Hardy creates for each role (along with physicality and costume). It’s nothing like his real voice, which is deep and growly, like being licked by a panther.

“Bob has to be invisible; he can’t be seen,” Hardy says, rapid-fire in a bloke-y English accent. “It’s the sound of somebody who’s in darkness – you can hear they’re there, but only just. A watercolour, no bold strokes. A skivvy. His voice is an external symptom of his personality.”

But when Bob makes eye contact, look out. “When someone stares at you, if you stare back long enough, something is going to happen,” Hardy says. “Sometimes you’re going to end up in bed, sometimes in a fight. That’s the lock-in, innit? When you look someone in the eye, you’ve got to know your shit.” At this point I’m trying to keep my gaze steady, while trying not to blush, and I’m getting a little clammy. Hardy may sense this. When I blink first, he grins.

Eye contact can also be “posturing,” Hardy continues. “When we shake our spears at another person, and hope they get the message and not attack. That’s what acting is: We posture hard. But we don’t cross the line. In fight scenes, sex scenes, rape scenes, violent scenes, you have to push right up, further than most people would like to go, right to the point where anything goes. Then you hit an area where some pretty magical stuff can happen on screen. You cross that line where you might get arrested for it, if it was someone you didn’t know. If Matthias [Shoenaerts, who plays Hardy’s rival in The Drop] bit me in a fight scene, I wouldn’t hold it against him. I’d just say, ‘Dude, you bit me!’” He laughs. It sounds like the rumble of a truck.

Hardy believes in going all-out; he wants “to pursue the investigation of aggression and sex and violence,” and he appreciates co-stars who will go there with him. “I like intimacy as well, but boundary-busting is key,” he says. He’s had co-stars say, “That’s enough,” and call cut. But Hardy doesn’t play that way.

“If the script says, ‘He gets stabbed relentlessly,’ the word relentless means it’s relentless,” Hardy says curtly. “That’s your fucking job; you need to be relentless. If you’re not willing to be, why are you here? If I sign up to be stabbed relentlessly, I expect to be relentlessly stabbed. I put a pad on and let you go to town.”

For a while, Hardy lived relentlessly, too. He married and divorced, had a son (who’s now six), battled addictions to alcohol and crack cocaine. Now, he says, he channels his intensity into acting, and the only vice I see is an e-cigarette, which between puffs he tucks under his I-beam thigh.

With The Drop (written by Dennis Lehane, based on his short story Animal Rescue), Hardy saw a chance to delve into “love, loneliness, hope. All the Greek stuff. We’re not thinking in black and white. We’re looking at greys of the human condition, and the veil of suffering. Anyone who said that you would get through life without suffering, they lied to you. Shit is going to happen. So who is a good guy in that situation, and who is a bad guy, becomes much greyer. Instead of running the camera on good and evil, let’s run a camera on normal, and see how chaotic and crazy that is. And see whether you can find somebody likeable or charming, even though they’ve done something heinous.”

Hardy doesn’t judge his characters; he inhabits them, and lets the audience decide. “I’m a defence counsellor for every character I play,” he says. “When I take a character, it’s like I stand up for him in court. I don’t care if he’s guilty or innocent, I plead his case. That’s it. And he’s getting off.”

He laughs again, pleased with that one. A handler, who’s been hovering, moves in to wrap things up. Hardy treats me to one final eye-lock.

“This could all end tomorrow,” he says. “I’m prepared for failure. But it’s a good day to be me today, yeah.” It was a good 15 minutes to be me, too.