I’m a little caught up with myself lately. Won’t you take my most sincere apology? I’d stretch these arms just to hold you tight, but even I know that it wouldn’t do us any good. There’s so much more out there. There’s a million new things to learn within a day. You’re an artist, right? You’re into the night, right? You love this tiny blue dot, right? There’s so much more than love. There’s so much more than just us. I’m a little caught up with myself lately. Won’t you hold your head high for us? I’d stretch this heart an extra mile just to hear you laugh a little louder, just to see you smile a little bigger, and just to tell you that you’re more than enough for anyone to love. There’s better people out there for you to meet. There’s better people out there for you to fall in love with. You’re a painting, right? You’re made from watercolors, right? A burgundy rose waiting to be dipped into the horizon– you’re a sunrise waiting to happen. We’re a little caught up in the fleeting moments of just more than another us. We’re a little too good to be true, so it comes with a price. We’re alike, so I know what’s best for us. We’ve got plenty of time to explore each other, so we should analyze our reality. Long distance relationships are a test that we shouldn’t be taking– not in our current conditions at least. I’m a little distressed about myself. You’re still figuring out the world and who you are as a soul that loves to paint with just more than colors. We need to learn a little more. What is love to you? I’ve asked this many time before. Your answer is always me. That’s the thing, there’s plenty of right answers, but I’m just not one of them. How can I love you if I don’t know the first thing about it? Failed relationships are like dull pencils that we’ll want to sharpen every second– you were never boring, you were interesting to the shoreline and back. That’s the thing, isn’t it? I would give you the world if I knew how to. I would give you a meaningful promise if I knew how to. I could love you for an eternity composed of my heart twisted into your chest if I knew how to let go of the past. I should, but I still haven’t figured out how to do such a feat. I’m still stuck in my feelings like how you’re stuck onto me. I’m still lost at sea with crew members composed of younger versions of myself. How can I love you if I’m still figuring out how to love myself? How can I devote my passion to you if I’m still in trouble when I hear her name? How can I ruin you just for another shot at love? I wouldn’t do that to you. Alas, maybe I already have. Love is such a simple word. Four letters and the crowd cheers. Three words and there’s world peace. Afraid to open up and longing to be more of myself– I had to tell you every truth about who I am to myself and who I am to you. We’re always spinning ourselves to bed, we were smiling and hoping. You’re so much like me that it’s scary. They say that opposites attract, so how do we explain this? I guess we’re stuck in a fairy tale again and this is just another page. You’re a chapter that I can’t flip past, you’re a positive thing in my life and I don’t think I’m ready to accept that. I’ve got much to learn and maybe this was just a part of it. I’m a little caught up and into you– and this is the part where I have to pick what’s best for us. And the fact that you’re just like me… means that you already get it. You’re already in my head and you’ve made yourself comfy. So I guess an I love you will never start to sound like an apology between us.
Here is the long awaited list of Art Tips I mentioned a few days ago! These are Mostly things I’ve learned to help me improve this year. Let me know what you think, or if you have any questions!
Set “practice” goals. Give yourself specific goals, but always word them as ‘practice’ not ‘improve’. Improvement takes time and can be difficult to attain. Meeting a goal to practice things is significantly easier and more rewarding. Improvement happens with practice and you’ll see it later on. Be specific with your goals. For example: “Practice Angry Expressions!”
Give yourself a solid time frame for your goal. Define exact dates. It could be a week, two weeks, even a month. Whatever you feel comfortable with.
Do Studies. Studies are a series of sketches, doodles, paintings, etc.. Done following research, usually looking at a photo or physical reference. I usually fill a whole page with quick, haphazard sketches of what I’m studying. If you’re studying birds, fill a whole page with birds, or hands. They don’t have to be good, they aren’t meant to be perfect. It’s just to get the idea on paper to help you form the visual on paper and in your hand.
Change your goal as soon as you feel ready, after your last one. If you feel you’ve completed your goal, feel free to wait as long as you like, but it’s a good idea to have a list of goals so you aren’t left floundering for one. (Since it’s always harder to think of something when you NEED to.) For example: Angry expressions, Faces at low angles, two-point perspective, cool color schemes. It’s easier to move forward with a list of your own making, than leaving yourself hanging.
Thumbnail. I can not say this enough! Before jumping into a big project, you’ll want to get in the habit of doing thumbnail sketches beforehand. No bigger than 2 or 3 inches, I usually fill a page with them. Thumbnailing can help you figure out how to get that posing just right. Or how you want your composition aligned. Small quick sketches of the different ways you could do things, to find how you want to do things.
You can trace your own sketches. That’s right. It took me twenty years to figure out I could just trace my own sketch onto another sheet of paper to make lineart and do color so I didn’t fuck up my sketch. Digital artist, you can use a new layer over your sketch. Traditionally though, THIS IS HOW YOU DON’T FUCK UP YOUR SKETCH. (also if you trace very lightly it erases way better than trying to erase a full sketch. If you’ve never tried to color over a partially erased sketch it is hell.)
Use References. You’d be surprised how many young artists out there think using references is wrong, or cheating. Let me tell you something. Did Leonardo Da Vinci have a reference for the Mona Lisa? You bet your ass he did. As far as I know he had at least two! All the great masters knew to use references. Actually looking at the thing you’re trying to recreate is the easiest way to master it. If you can’t find a reference for something, look for something that looks similar. Having a concept of what you want is quintessential to improvement. Hell, keep a whole folder of references. Hold onto them to fall back on later. Use them to their full extent.
Draw at an angle. For traditional artists, drawing flat on a desk can often result in disproportionate drawings. Things farther away from the the eye tend to look smaller so things on the farther side of the paper can end up enlarged to compensate for our own eyes perspective of the paper. Drawing at an angle fixes this problem. It brings the paper into a better angle for your face. (I just lean my drawing board on top of a box of staples. It works lol)
Watch other artists. Written tutorials are a phenomenal resource to many artists. But Video tutorials are some of the most helpful things in the world. Video tutorials can show you, in real time, how it’s done. Actually seeing it happen can really help. (I watch hours of tutorials and speedpaints. I just let them play in the background while I draw.)
Try different materials. I’m not gonna lie, I loved digital art. But it just didn’t work for me. I discovered copic markers and my art has improved so much with a material that I feel more in-tune with. So experiment. Borrow from your friends, try new things in school, in art clubs. Whenever. Sometimes, you just need to try something different, to discover something that works better for you.
DON’T. STOP. DRAWING. You don’t have to be churning out a completed piece every week. No. But you should always doodle, sketch, scribble. Hell, even if you just scribble out some squiggly lines, you’ve done something! You don’t have to share with the world. Just. Don’t. Stop.
im so bad at color theory and im fucked up bc rainbow rowell described baz grimm-pitch’s original skin color as “red gold” and then, bc of how being dead works, his skin would probably just be a grayer version of that color, but like…i cannot figure out what grayish red-gold looks like. is he…taupe? is he a grumpy taupe teen vampire
Well, trouble for your daughter at the very least. This you conclude once you begin to notice the longing glimmer in the almond eyes of your eldest child whenever she sees him enter the classroom—your classroom. It strikes a chord that spurs discontentment within the depths of your soul. She’s barely thirteen—fourteen, if you squint—yet her cheeks blossom when Lucas meets her gaze and her giggles intensify when he compliments her while you seethe from the hallways, with arms crossed and narrowed eyes, burning a hole in the back of his head with your dagger-filled glares and hoping that he gets the message (which he never seems to—how did this kid end up winning that Scholar Athlete award, again?). His effect on the female population of John Quincy Adams is reminiscent of the days that your elder brother ruled the halls of John Adams High School, back when he was bringing a girl home every other week and locking his bedroom doors to keep you out. Your stomach churns at this unpleasant thought and you purse your lips once more.
He must be stopped.
So you take what seems to be the natural necessary step of precaution that any concerned parent would do in your situation—you enlist the help of your daughter’s best friend, the marine-eyed blonde who often smirks instead of smiles, by luring her into the halls of the library after hours and gifting her with her very own smartphone and her own set of color pencils. There, she blows out a long breath once you’ve explained your plan and raises an eyebrow.
“You want me to spy on my best friend?” she questions, fiddling with the tassels on the gift. “On your daughter, who, by the way, you probably should trust more.”
“Oh I trust her,” you assure her. “It’s Friar that I don’t trust. And anyway, I just need you to tell me when they get a little too close to comfort.”
“Why’d you choose to give me this?” she asks as she uncovers the box of color pencils. “And why’d you give me this phone? Farkle’s probably better at this kind of stuff—all tech savvy and whatnot. I don’t even know how to use this thing properly.”
“You’ll figure it out,” you assure her, with a hand on her shoulder. “Besides, you appear to be the only girl left that hasn’t fallen prey to his so-called “Southern charm”. I need an objective party.”
She smirks, visibly fighting the urge to laugh. “You do realize that Huckleberry Friar causes no harm to anyone, right? He’s about as dangerous as a butterfly, stuck on a marshmallow, on a hot summer day.” As she begins to familiarize herself with the phone, her pink lips curve into a smile once she figures that regardless of whether she chooses to oblige or not, you’ve gifted her with the device. Then, the blonde draws out a long breath once more, the guarded aura that she holds together so well vanishes. Now, she is solemnly quiet, and only breaks the silence to mumble, “They’re just friends.”
“Believe me,” you insist, with a sigh. “I know the story.”
The look in her eye that arrives after those words leave your mouth strikes another chord—one that you can’t understand. You don’t quite realize that he might be trouble for your other daughter, too.
hi, i'm really really sorry if you're too busy or short on time but um, i have an analytical science writing (general aptitude/ scholarship/ selective school entry) exam coming up and i was wondering if you had any good essay writing tips or general words of encouragement? i really have no idea what i'm doing. hope studying is going well!
Hey there, I’d love to help you out! I haven’t ever taken an analytical science exam myself, but here’s what I would do if I was in your situation:
1. Go through your old essays and look for comments from professors.
Sometimes there’s general writing errors we tend to make throughout the papers we write, and going back through your papers can help show them. So if your professors tend to comment about grammar or your analysis, then you should write those areas down and study on how to improve those! Having strong general writing skills can help a lot in exams.
2. Figure out what your testers are looking for, and find sample essays.
A lot of exams will have their rubric explains online, and have sample essays to look at as well. Read the essays and grade them using the rubric. Then, highlight with one color good things the writers did, and with another color the bad things. This is help you to visualize and understand what a good (and bad) essay looks like, and give you a model of how to write yours.
3. Use sample prompts to write your own essay.
This is probably the most important part. You need to figure out how well you tend to do on time (if it’s a timed test) as well as how competent you are at the prompts they’ll give in order to see where you need to improve. So first, I would try a sample prompt in the time given, and another on my own time. After that I would compare the two and see if timing will be an issue for me. If it is, I’d work on planning and pacing. I’d also start timing essays at a time higher than the test but workable, and slowly bring the time down by a few minutes or so until I reach the destined time. If timing isn’t and issue, I’d move on to the next step.
4. Ask a professor or friend to grade your paper.
If you have a professor you’re close with or doesn’t mind helping students out with coursework besides their own, they are a great resource!! If not, finding a friend will help a lot too. You can give them the rubric and ask them to grade your paper based off of it. You can also ask for other comments if you really want a in depth look. After they grade it, go through and see what areas you got lower points on, and what you did good in. Make a t-chart and write these things down (as well as the comments from step one if needed.), and keep them by you when you practice writing essays. This way when you write you’ll always be aware of the mistakes you tend to make, and (hopefully) avoid them. Plus, you can also be more conscious about the good things you do so it can become ingrained in your writing.
5. Read. Write. Repeat.
Continue to read analytical science writing (or just writing/books in general). It’ll help you see what’s effective in writing as well as build your vocabulary for when you write your essay. Continue to write sample prompts until you’re comfortable with the timing as well as the actual writing of the essay. Make a conscious effort to remove the bad areas and enforce the good until writing that way becomes natural to you. And if you want, go back to your friend or professor once you’re more comfortable with the essay and see where you have improved as well as what you can still work on. It’ll take some time but you can do this!
6. Be prepared for your exam.
Sleep well, eat healthy, drink water, and exercise regularly if you don’t already. Pack your materials in advance as well as driving directions if the exam is in a testing center you aren’t familiar with. If it’s early try to get yourself up at the time you need to on exam day a week or so in advance so you’ll be used to it on exam day. Also, try to keep yourself from getting too stressed and make sure to spend time with friends and family. It’s better to go into the exam room feeling good and healthy even if you ended up studying less than going in stressed and in a bad place. At the end of the day, an exam is just a few hours of your life and one grade out of many in your life. There will always be another exam after, or another chance if needed. Your health and happiness is way more important than that.
That’s all the advice I can give you! If that didn’t help, I’m also linking some masterposts for you to look at.
I hope this helped!! I know it can be stressful and scary to take a big exam, but you are so much bigger + better than one exam! Plus, you have years of schooling on your side, a drive to do well, and a whole network of people (including me if you need me) who would love to help you + see you succeed! You can totally crush this exam, you really got this. I hope your studying goes well, and if you’re comfy with it I’d love to pray for you and your exam as well. Have a lovely day!!
I decided it was time to upload this. The reason Kajout’s side view isn’t uploaded in color was because I wasn’t spending enough time to make it all nice. But I liked how the grays looked so why not. Also redone chick that goes with her side view in color but I liked both versions of the chick for different reasons.
This project actually started with me being amused how I drew Kajout from the side with a lazy sort of slouch. To hey lets do a front and back view. I needed to figure out something for her front view so I can expand and figure it out better going forward.
Along the way I was also figuring out the Rock birds, the Male Kassaeda friend of hers and a couple other things. The rock chick staring at the camera is my favorite. Also I decided to show the heigh comparison between Kajout who I usually think is in the 6ftish range, to her chick and a full grown female rock bird.
Kajout’s jacket and shorts are something she wears when she’s outside of her home jungle. In her home she wears clothes more traditional to her area. She’s mostly hanging out in trees as the jungle Kasaeda make their homes in them, taking care of her rock chick (name pending), with Mititango or listening to her soldier friend tell her stories while she idly listens.
I ended up really liking her home clothes more then I thought. While female Kasaeda don’t have anything to cover for on their chest some females and males wear chest wraps, etc, as a decorative piece.
Kajout is the jungle’s vet and doesn’t charge anyone who needs her help. Kasaeda usually bring her gifts, items, food, etc, in thanks but she always tells them to take it back though most insist she keep it. The most she’ll make you do is get ingredients but she’ll tell you exactly where or who to buy them from and to say she sent you. She’ll have you do an ingredient run while she does what she can with what she has. Kids will bring her toys in payment and refuse to take them back. She’ll return the toy to the parents when she’s in the busy part of the jungle where most everyone lives.
Kajout’s pretty much almost hermit like in that she lives away from everyone, prefers her animals and says very little. She comes off as grumpy or off putting because she’ll just stare at you if you say something stupid or annoy her until you leave. Her soldier friend becomes more like her interpreter when he gets to know her signs better just so things don’t feel awkward. Not that she cares if people are off put. Give her nature and she’s happy.
Once Kajout ends up becoming a mom to her rock chick she simply ask if Kasaeda and others have to give her something to just bring a rock for her rock chick. But reminds them only do it if no other Rock Birds are around since if they see you pick up a rock,even one they don’t want, they’ll chase you. The kids particularly love to give the female chick rocks or toys themselves in hopes they’ll see her with their gift in her tail bag. She’s been seen walking around with toys in her bag mixed in with the rocks and the kids always get excited.
Kajout gave her chick the tail bag for her rocks because she got tired of her chick handing her all the rocks to hold while she traveled throughout the day. She finds out Rock Birds are pretty smart despite her earlier feelings about them since the chick starts to keep only the prettiest/best rocks..and her favorite toys in the bag. She gets rid of rocks she picks out and replaces them with better rocks, but never rocks or toys she was given always knowing the difference.
Still figuring out a few more things about the full grown rock bird male and female difference. One I like is that while neither female or male can fly the females have big enough wings to allow them to get high in the jungle trees. Then they flutter down to pounce. Male’s may still have the claws on their wings more like raptor arms but I’m not to sure yet. I’m also thinking about the main colors of the rock birds. I went for red as a place holder for the female chick.
Also Kajout’s markings are a pain in the butt. I took out the ones from her hair/dreads. I think I’ll keep them out and just keep the simple line going down them. So her side view shows them since it was done before everything else. I’m trying to simplify her markings enough that they’re easy to do over and over but also are at least interesting to look at as well.
Kajout, the Kasaeda and the rock birds are my babes.
Practice (Consciously) This is the most important thing I’ve done to help myself improve. It’s been repeated over and over again by a lot of artists. You can’t go wrong with it! Although, you need to be careful to not end up picking up bad habits or practicing the wrong things. Revisit fundamentals constantly to refresh your mind, knowledge and skills.
Study/Copy I study a lot of artists that I like and follow. How they draw hands, how they color, how they animate, etc. I will even copy just to understand and figure out what sort of process/steps it took to achieve something similar.
Listen/Speak to Other Artists I try to listen to various podcasts or watch videos by other artists/animators. Listening to or seeing how they share their thoughts about their works motivates me a lot. Sharing my experience and works with my peers also helps. Most of the time getting feedback helps a ton!
From the top of my head, these are what I feel helped me the most. I hope that helps!
excuse this crappy banner i made in two seconds hey! so i reacher 1,3k yesterday, and i realized i didn’t celebrate 900, 1k, 1,1k, and 1,2k, so here is a big celebration! (i know i know i still haven’t finished everything from my previous celebration, but i’m getting my life together now so those things will be posted soon!)
what do you need to do to:
follow me reblog this post check out the info under the cut to see what you need to do for the things i’ll be doing!
okay so what am i going to do:
i will make a follow forever and a mutuals appreciation (posted soon) i will be making url inspired icon packs (more info under the cut) i will be doing a gif request meme i will be doing a female awesome meme i will be making some psds requests (im trying to figure out how coloring works) i will be doing gif requests i will be making tutorials, just hit me up with an ask and i’ll explain it to you!
i know this is quite a lot, but i’m feeling super inspired now and i’ll finish everything, i promise! if not you can come hit me and come here and i’l make you cake
“ I know a girl with an artist trapped deeply inside her She provides for herself, she don’t need you to like her She dresses like a famous portrait She talks like an angel with the makeup of dangerous torment She don’t wanna get married, she wanna get carried Away, and figure out how to display all the things she wants to say She would try to paint, but she don’t got the patience that it looks like it takes Plus her thoughts are too colorful to fit inside a picture Her spirit is the genuine elixir Her personality is such a brilliant, fucking work of art She’s a devil with a sensitive heart She don’t like the boys that feel like they gotta be cool And she don’t like the fake hoes in cosmotology school But one day, she’ll show the world That she’s no ordinary, Goddamn woman”
following this shit show of an election, when people say things like ‘white people did this’ 'fuck white people’ etc., if you respond with 'i voted for hillary’, you are missing the point. the majority of white people voted for trump. that’s a fact and we have to own that and deal with it. you might have voted for hillary, but we belong to a group that elected that half-melted creamsicle that’s been dropped on the ground. people of color have every right to be angry at us and wary of us and we need to look at ourselves and people we know and figure out how to fix it.
hi!! i love your art! can i ask for tips on your composition because you do it so well? if not its ok and i hope you have a lovely day anyways!
Thank you so much!! I don’t often get compliments to my compositions haha
Most of the time I just stare at my sketch long enough and try to figure out the right positioning of things… the rough composition is usually already planned out with the first sketch (example) Since my art usually focuses on a character I try to just build everything else around them. Here I tried aligning everyone in a circle (cause I wanted something like a wormhole in the bg) with Anabel as a main focus.
Splashing rough colors on your very early sketches helps figuring out what needs more tweaking
always look at the drawing as a whole at all times
I’m a designer so I look at a lot of stuff like movie posters or book covers or just art of artists I like and it’s a big help to get an eye for good compositions. Analyze the stuff you like!
I really recommend practicing to work more with type, it not only makes illustrations look more interesting, you’re also automatically forced to think more about the placement of things cause you can’t just put it anywhere
I take notes of things I want to try out (dunno if anyone should do that lol)
don’t get discouraged too fast, a properly made illustration with a good composition takes me fricking weeks, I don’t joke when I say I stare at my drawings for hours, thinking about it all day, takING NOTES–
I’m pretty bad at trying to explain stuff but I hope this was interesting enough to read!! Have a nice day!!
Do you have any advice for someone just beginning to bullet journal? I know to expect mess-ups and all that, but I love the whole scrapbook idea and such. Appreciate anything you'd say, love your spreads. <3
hi love!!! omg wow i don’t even how i started out last year other than the fact that i was a few weeks late haha ^^ but firstly, congratz on starting on bullet journaling! it honestly saved my life considering how hectic it has become since junior year so you’re making a good decision!! and thank you for your kind words :’’-)
1. don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and functions! since you’re just starting out there are many different things people do each week when they set up their spread! some people have a chart of their weekly appointments/events, others have a habit tracker (sleep tracker, mood tracker, savings tracker, spending tracker….), and some (like me now) don’t really plan ahead and go day by day! normally i do this unless i know i have a lot of things so i need to keep track of them in a tiny chart ^^ for now, try to figure out what works best for you! and what makes you the happiest; this is especially important because if you don’t like how things look, you won’t be motivated to continue ;;
2. print photos if you can!!literally color photos saved my life. if you want to fill in space faster in your spreads, pictures are the perfect thing for that since they also set a mood and color scheme! but, color ink is very expensive so this isn’t a necessity! you can fill up your bullet journal with doodles and art too ^^ photos that you’ve personally taken are great too!!
3. stickers are also rlly cool! i make it a thing to buy a sheet of stickers every time i visit maido at the mall so i never run out haha they’re so cute and easy to use, but only if that’s what you like! it makes everything seem more loose and fun ^^
4. add in special pages too. pages like “books to read,” “films to watch,” and more! here is a post with a list of prompts to do once a week which i’m currently following! (here is another) ^^ they make bullet journalling more than just about keeping a to-do list :’-)
5. if you’re unhappy with what you’re doing with ur bujo, don’t hesitate to change.with my last bujo, i was unsatisfied with setting up my weekly spread at the beginning of each week, but i didn’t want to try anything new. so i stuck with that and i ended up hating how it looked by the end of the year. i don’t particularly regret it because it was near the end of the year and i just wanted to be done with it (not a good mindset honestly), but i knew i was going to do something different for 2017 ^^ if it were in the middle of the year and i just kept on going, i would’ve hated bullet journalling honestly. so, don’t be like me!! if you’re stuck in a rut with what you like, keep trying new things and styles!
6. don’t feel pressured to do something that everyone else seems to be doing!there’s no need to print photos or buy washi tape and stationery to achieve a certain look or style. if you want to, go for it! but don’t feel like you need to do something specifically to make your bujo look a certain way ^^
7. save all tickets!!! this is the scrapbook part of bullet journalling that i love because it is a physical item that represents what i did (instead of a line of words)
8. and most importantly, have fun!!!i tried my best to think of what i would have said to myself when i was just starting, but i’m sure there are many other things that i missed haha ^^ good luck!
Request(s): Ahhh!!! Part two amazing!! Loved IT . Part 3? ; YOU ARE KILLING ME HERE!! Deliciously broken is so insane love it! Update for part iii soon?? ; plleaassee do a part 3 of deliciously broken! its amazing! ; Well damn, Deliciously Broken is pretty dark, but I can’t get enough. Part 3 please? ; I’m soooo ready for Deliciously Broken part 3 😍👌🏻
After reaching the understanding that it was the Nogitsune
who attacked her, the reader decides to have a heart-to-heart with Stiles. Takes place during season 3B. Slightly
recount of violent events, alluding to sexual assault
sorry this took so long to post! I’ve been caught up in
watching the Olympics and going back to school shopping. Hope yall enjoy!
don’t really know how this conversation is going to go. I mean, what exactly am
I going to say? ‘Hey, man. Sorry I accused you of attacking me when you were
possessed by some Void freak. No hard feelings?’
I sit very still in my hospital bed,
wringing my hands. It has been ten minutes since I woke up and asked to see
Stiles. Of course, Nurse McCall was a bit concerned at first. Not even a day
ago I was terrified of the guy and didn’t want him in a twenty-foot radius of
me. And now I’m asking to talk to him.
The door opens slowly. I tense and
hold my breath. My heart escalates – and everyone knows it, thanks to the
Stiles peeks at me like a timid child
awaiting a scolding. He slips into the room, leaving the door ajar behind him.
More than likely to make me feel better. As far as he knows, I’m still under
the impression that he brutally assaulted me and I’m likely to scream my head
off and flee the room the second he comes in.
I think I surprise him when I remain
“Hey,” he says uneasily, sleepy eyes
darting to the beeping machine.
“Hi,” I reply, glaring at the stupid
wavy lines before turning back to him. “Do you wanna sit down?”
“Do you want me to sit down?” Being
careful. I appreciate it, but I’m losing my patience.
“Stiles, sit down.” I fight the urge
to roll my eyes, something I never used to do until I began spending every
morning with him on the way to school.
“Okay.” The chair drags out from the
wall. He brings it to my bedside, thinks twice and pulls it an entire tile
away. When he sits, my mind flashes to the way Void looked sitting in that
exact same chair.
My heart rate jumps dramatically.
Stiles places one hand on the back of
the chair, prepared to rise. “Do you want me to go?” His voice is slightly
deeper than usual, like maybe he had been asleep. I wouldn’t be surprised if
Stiles had been camping out in the waiting room. That’s just Stiles.
“No, no, it’s fine.” I force myself to
shove Void out of my mind. This isn’t Void; this is Stiles. “I just…” I press
my lips together. “You look like him.” I say the words without thinking about
how they’ll make him feel.
“Yeah.” He nods. “He’s kind of
possessing my body.”
I snort. Reverting to sarcasm is a
classic Stiles move; it’s his number one defense mechanism. “I’m sorry. That
was stupid to say.”
He shrugs, staring at the floor. I
fiddle with the plastic hospital bracelet around my wrist. We sit in silence.
“I feel like I need to apologize.” I
begin. His gaze flickers to my face. “I was kind of a maniac. I thought you…” I
drop my eyes to the sheets, unable to face him when I say it. “I thought you
were the one who did all this.” I gesture to the rest of my body.
“Why would you feel like you need to
apologize?” Stiles asks, voice edging between incredulous and anger. “You
didn’t know. I didn’t tell you anything. I kept you in the dark. It’s not your
fault that when a total psycho takes control of my body, busts into your house
and throws you around, you assume it’s me. Most people would. I mean, what
other logical explanation would there be? Who in their right mind would think
‘oh, wait, no, Stiles is just possessed by some crack-head fox spirit’?” He
pauses his rant to look at me. “How did you figure it out, anyway?”
I feel my cheeks warm. “I noticed
little things, like the color of Void’s eyes and the way he smiles. It just
wasn’t the same as you.”
When he nods silently, I take the
opportunity to ask, “Fox spirit?” Partly out of curiosity, mainly trying to
veer the conversation away from my discovery. No need to tell him that I’ve
memorized all the shades of gold and brown in his eyes. No need to tell him
that I know his smile better than anything because it’s one of the things I
cherish most. No need to tell him about my feelings. Things are too complicated
He sighs, rubbing over his face and
nods. “Yeah.” With his weary voice and tired eyes, he reminds me of his father.
“It’s kind of a long story.”
I hold up the arm with the IV. “It’s
not like I’m going anywhere.”
Stiles cracks a grin; my chest feels
warm and light, and the heart rate monitor goes berserk. Suddenly embarrassed
when he glances at it curiously, I duck my head and say, “Ignore it.”
He sighs. “Why? Y/N, do you think I’m
stupid? I know you like me.”
I bite down harshly on my lower lip.
“Stiles, this is really not the time to-”
“How come? Because you’re hooked up to
a heart rate monitor?” He crosses his arms. “So what? You have little tells. I
don’t need to be able to hear your heart beat to know that I get to you.”
“Well don’t you sound cocky?” I say
He grimaces. “That came out wrong.” I
laugh without humor. “But Y/N, look-”
“I get it, okay?” I surprise myself by
meeting his eyes. “You like Lydia.”
“You think you’re the only one who
knows stuff? Is that it? You’re not the only one who can know someone well. I
know you. Better than I know myself, I think.” I swallow. “And besides,
everyone knows that you like Lydia – except for Lydia herself, I’m guessing.
And who can blame you anyway? She’s perfect.”
“Would you just hold on a second?”
Stiles snaps. “You don’t know everything either, Y/N. And this thing with
Lydia… that was in, like, third grade.”
I give him an ironic smile. “You liked
her all of last year!”
Stiles appears caught in a corner.
“Well, yes, but… not anymore, okay? She’s become my friend. That’s it. She’s
got a thing going on with Aiden anyway-”
“The new freshman? The straight twin?”
I raise an eyebrow.
He nods. “I’m not making this up.”
“I didn’t say you were.”
“But you were making the face.”
“I don’t have a
“Yes you do. I know you, remember?” He
presses his lips into a line. His voice softens and loses some of its volume.
“You’ve been one of the few constant things in my life pretty much ever since I
can remember. I know you, Y/N.”
I sigh and cross my arms. I know he’s
right. “Okay, so maybe I do think you’re making it up.”
“Why? I’ve never lied to you before.”
I blink. “No?” I lean forward
slightly, filled with passion. “You still haven’t told me anything about this… Void…
fox spirit thingy… and your dad said that you had known about this a long time
and that everyone kept telling you to tell me-”
“My dad said that?”
“-and you never did! Withholding
information is basically the same as lying, Stiles. It’s still not telling the
full truth. And then Void said-”
“If you had any idea about what
exactly I’ve been keeping from you, I’m pretty sure it would make sense. And you wouldn’t be mad at me for it.”
“Right. Of course,” I huff.
“I know.” We glare at each other. I
raise my chin slightly. “I guess you have to tell me now, since now I’m
involved in… whatever is going on.”
Stiles sighs and nods, dropping his
head. He rests his elbows on his knees and stares at the floor. I examine the
tense plains of his back through his thin flannel and t-shirt. I get the sense
that he’s grasping for the right way to phrase everything.
“Question,” he says as he straightens,
leaning back against his chair. “What else did my dad say?”
I furrow my brow. “What do you mean?”
“When he told you that there were
things going on that I wasn’t telling you about and he was hounding me to tell
you. Did he say anything else?”
My face burns and the monitor
screeches. I’m beginning to really hate that thing.
Stiles groans. “Oh, God, what?”
“Well, he came by my house the night
that everything…” He nods. “You were missing at the time, so he was looking for
you. He told me that you were dangerous and to not let you in if you showed up.
I didn’t know why you would come to my house of all places, and he might’ve…
said something… about you caring for me.”
He frowns. “But if he told you that,
then why would you think that I liked Lydia?”
I bite my lip. “Because Void…”
“You can’t believe anything he tells
you.” Stiles interjects. “He’s a trickster, Y/N. All he does is cause trouble.”
I nod sarcastically. “See, I would’ve
known that if you had filled me in.” He rolls his eyes. I let out a loud sigh
and slump back against the pillows. “I just thought… you know… since he’s
inside you or whatever… he would know what you were thinking.”
“He knew what I was thinking. It
He licks over his lips and leans
forward again, engaged. The thought briefly crosses my mind that I should buy
him some chapstick when I get out of here. “The thing that was… is… possessing
me is called a Nogitsune. That’s kind of hard to pronounce though. Void is
easier to say.”
He launches into a detailed
explanation of the Japanese spirit, how it feeds off of pain and suffering and
chaos. He informs me of the Nemeton, how the door was opened inside his mind.
He tells me about the constant battle in his head for control, how Void always
seems to have one extra move ahead of Stiles.
“How is all of this even possible?” I
whisper when he’s finished. “How can it even be real?”
“I’ve been asking myself the same
thing ever since the bite.”
I shift my shoulder subconsciously.
“Oh yeah… Scott… he’s kind of a
Here comes the part somehow makes
everything else make sense. I hear about the misadventure in the woods. I hear
about the beginning of the pack. I hear about the scream that started it all. I
hear about the hunters and the magic and the monsters.
When he’s through, he swipes the water
glass on my bedside and chugs it. “So now you know everything,” he concludes.
“Can you at least try to understand why I kept this all from you?”
I nod. He offers a sigh of relief,
sinking back in the chair.
Silence. The buzzing of the lights
above us. The hum of the monitor. The chatter in the hallway.
“No questions?” He raises his
eyebrows. “You’re just ready to accept all of that?”
“You forget I’ve seen Void. Twice.” I
look him in the eyes. “It’s not that hard to believe there are great evils out
there after meeting him.”
His face falls. His face is so full of
sorrow and sympathy that I have to look away.
Another pause stretches between us.
“Can I ask you something?” He’s leaning forward again. He can never stay in the
same position for very long. When I nod, he struggles to get the words out.
“What exactly did he do to you?”
I don’t say anything for a moment. I
don’t know how to even begin to describe my time with Void. Stiles mistakes my
silence for reluctance, so he tries prompting. “Now that you’re involved in all
this…” He waves his head around and makes a face. “You’re a part of the pack.
And the rest of the pack is going to want to know what happened. And I get that
it’s probably hard to talk about, so if you tell me, you won’t have to repeat
it. Makes it easier.” He swallows thickly. “Plus… I want to know.”
I open my mouth but nothing comes out.
Stiles is antsy. “He didn’t, like…” He
doesn’t say the word, merely inclines his head slightly and raises his brows a
fraction. “Because I read your injury reports and nothing sounded like that.”
“No, he didn’t…” I avoid the word too,
settling for shaking my head and wrapping my arms around myself. “How did you
get access to my files?”
“…it was more of a covert thing.”
I scoff. “Covert? As in illegal?”
“I prefer to define ‘covert’ as ‘no
one else knowing about the ways you break the law out of concern for a
I find myself smiling. Typical Stiles.
“So…” He edges forward until his butt
is barely on the seat.
The smile drops. “I don’t know where
“Try the beginning.”
I roll my eyes. “Okay.” I keep my eyes
on the foot of my bed. “I was kind of mad at you when you dropped me off… but
I’m assuming now that it was for a pack thing, right?” When he nods, I
continue. “So I was having a night-in when your dad came over. You know this
part already.” I wave my hand dismissively.
“After your dad left, I decided to try
and give you a call. I went to let Bingo inside, but he didn’t come to the
door. I heard music coming from my room so I went to investigate. You… he… Void
was sitting on my bed with Bingo in his lap and your cellphone beside him. We
exchanged some words, obviously, because I thought it was you and I was mad.
But then…” I feel tears stinging at my eyes. “Stiles, he killed Bingo.”
“Oh no, not Bingo.” I can hear the
pain in his voice; Stiles isn’t making fun of me.
“Yeah,” I whimper, trying to suppress
my tears. “And then I was holding his body and Void just… he was throwing me
around. Literally. And he was saying these things…” I shake my head, unable to
stop crying now. As I retell it all, I’m hit with waves of emotion. “And he got
on top of me and-”
Stiles reaches out to touch my arm,
falters, and rests it on the bar lining my bed. “Hey, easy, Y/N. It’s all over,
okay? Just calm down.”
I’m sobbing, curled into myself. I’m
unable to say the words, so I yank aside the collar of my dress to reveal my
shoulder and neck. “Look what he did to me!” I nearly scream. “That’s never
going to go away! I’m going to have that forever!”
He stares at the circle engraved in my
shoulder, a look of pure torture on his face.
I let go roughly. “And then he choked
me. I thought I was going to die. He was choking
me. I thought I was going to die.”
I keep my gaze on the bumps of my
knees under the sheets. I sniffle, gradually gaining back some control. “He
came to see me a few minutes ago, in a dream… and I know that sounds bizarre,
and like it probably wasn’t real, but I know
that it was real, Stiles, and-”
“Hold on a second.” Stiles points a
long, battered finger at me. “You said that he came to you in a dream? Like,
just before I came in here?” He points to the door and wiggles his finger in a
circle as he bites his lower lip.
“Yes,” I say. “And-”
“Y/N, I was sleeping in the hallway.
Scott’s mom woke me up to come in here.”
That eerie silence again. I swallow
hard. “So you’re saying-”
“That it was real? That he probably
did visit you while we were conked out? Yeah. That’s exactly what I’m saying.”
He rubs his palms together. “So what happened? Did you just talk, or-”
“He broke my wrist.” Stiles blinks,
shocked at the finality of the statement. “And we talked… a lot.” I tuck a
strand of hair behind my ear. “And at one point he got on top of me, but it was
more for just taunting me than anything else. Somehow that was worse.” I don’t
mean for the last part to slip out.
Stiles furrows his eyebrows. “What do
you mean? What was he saying?”
It’s my turn to bite my lip. “Just…
the stuff about Lydia. And about you.”
He raises his chin in understanding.
“Got it.” He nods three times very quickly after that, rolling his shoulders
forward and placing his elbows on his knees again as he examines the floor.
“You know, Y/N, some time we’re going to have to talk about this. I mean
really, really talk.”
“What is there to talk about?” I find
myself asking. “You know I care about you. Apparently Void knows, too, because
it’s his favorite way to hurt me.”
“Yeah, but I care about you too.” He
runs a hand over his face. “It just really sucks that you had to find out this
I laugh, but it’s empty.
Stiles is quiet for a moment – I’ve
never seen him remain so still for so long. Then, warily, he brings his hand up
and over the railing. I know what he’s doing. I can hear the monitor freaking
out on me, but it sounds like a background noise; I can barely hear it over the
blood rushing in my ears.
Slowly, Stiles slips his fingers under
my limp hand. They slide between the slots waiting for his, squeezing softly.
“Is this okay?” he asks, staring at where we are joined.
“Yeah,” I manage. It’s the most simple
and innocent gesture, one meant to provide comfort and assurance that the one
you care about cares for you too and is there. But this is something I’ve
imagined for years, something I’ve yearned for with every fiber of my being.
And in this moment, with all that we’ve been through, it feels incredibly
intimate. I’m on Cloud Nine, the only thing holding me to Earth being Stiles
and his warm grip on my hand.
“We’re going to get through this,
okay?” Stiles promises me. “And we’re going to do this together. No more
“No more secrets.” I breathe in total
Stiles nods. He brings up my hand to
softly kiss the back of it, then lowers it back to the bed and rubs his thumb
over the scorching spot. For the first time in a long time, I feel at peace. I
feel secure. I feel safe.