i need to pause

listen. i know accessibility in games is booming at the moment but we still need to figure out how to make afk periods more possible. sometimes, having a disability means you need to be afk

like, my disability isn’t ‘why didn’t you just use the bathroom before we started!!’ my disability is ‘i’m so sorry but i need to use the bathroom RIGHT NOW’ and sometimes that’s in the middle of a game. pvp based games, sure, that’s fine, i take my lumps because i realize the format just doesn’t allow for a safe afk

but PvE mmo’s? story-mode games, even always online (dark souls or battleborn, for example)? i shouldn’t be punished because i need to pause and step away for a couple of minutes

making your game accessible isn’t always just about putting in the colourblind option or allowing for all kinds of difficulty levels. but people being afk for any reason is so demonized and even like. a topic of humor? like ‘you know that Shitty Gamer who takes a smoke break in the middle of a dungeon! wow!’ like… my mans… yeah that guy sucks but it’s not the same as someone who literally is forced to step away

just think about why you can’t pause your game, and then think harder to put a pause function in. just. holy shit please stop making it impossible for me to take two minutes to use the goddamn bathroom because my disability isn’t a more palatable one but let me assure you it’s just as fuckin serious as any other accessibility issue. i’m chronically ill, on all kinds of medication and i’ve had serious surgery so let me fucking afk when i need to

thx

psa for anyone watching 13 reasons why

when you get to the episodes that have trigger warnings at the beginning, please don’t ignore them. when they say graphic depictions, they mean GRAPHIC. i’m on the last episode right now and i needed to pause it and leave the room to take a breather.

this show is so so important and socially relevant but please take care of yourself while watching it. it’s tough to get through.

The first time Viktor and Yuuri fight, they’re up until 5 in the morning.

It started with nothing in particular, actually. Something that Viktor had forgot, which happened often, but this time, Yuuri didn’t feel well enough to let it slide.

So of course Yuuri didn’t tell Viktor he was upset. He was still working on opening up to him, after all. It had barely been a month since that day at the beach. Progress wasn’t instant.

Yuuri’s lack of admission turned into a strange tension, which led to Viktor trying to comfort Yuuri. Which was exactly what Yuuri had said didn’t help him, that day at the beach.

Yuuri snapped when Viktor tried to engulf him in a hug and bury his face in his neck, apology ready on his tongue. Without thinking, Yuuri shoved Viktor back, with enough force to make him stumble.

“What’s wrong with you?!” Viktor yelled, blinded with hurt and confusion. Viktor knew what defeat on the rink felt like, but it didn’t compared to the bitterness he felt in his throat in that moment.

Yuuri’s face crumpled into shame and frustration. He dropped to his knees and held his face in his hands.

Viktor didn’t know what to do. Should he try to hug him again? Wouldn’t that result in another shove? But he felt useless standing there, hands craving to hold Yuuri’s.

“Yuuri…” Viktor started, reaching out. Yuuri only shook his head and covered his eyes with his arm.

“Don’t, Viktor. Please.” And Yuuri ran to his room, slamming the door shut behind him.

Feeling lost and dazed, the only thing Viktor thought to do was to follow him.

“I said don’t!” Yuuri cried, hearing Viktor’s gentle knock on his bedroom door.

“Yuuri, I just want to help,” Viktor tried.

“I don’t need your help.”

“That doesn’t mean I can’t give any.”

A pause.

“Viktor. I overreacted. It’s fine.”

Viktor had to stop himself from whining. “No, Yuuri, it’s not. I made you upset. Please, let me help you.”

Viktor didn’t expect what came next.

“I. Don’t. Need. Your. Help.” Yuuri’s voice was low, measured, desperate.

And suddenly Viktor came to his senses, remembering what Yuuri told him. He didn’t need anyone overstepping his boundaries.

Viktor backed away from the door slowly, making sure his footsteps were audible. “I’m not weak,” he heard Yuuri whisper from his room, and he knew he wasn’t meant to hear that.

Viktor returned to his room, hugging Makkachin close to his chest. “He’ll come out,” Viktor told the large dog. Makkachin thumped his tail and stuck out his tongue. “Eventually,” Viktor mumbled.

Yuuri did, almost three hours later. Viktor noticed his shadow through the thin screen of the door. Yuuri hadn’t knocked, and Viktor didn’t think he was even going to. He opened the door for him anyway.

Yuuri’s eyes were turned down, but he lifted his hand from his side. Viktor took it with a smile.

“I overreacted.”

“I made you feel weak.”

“That’s not your fault.”

“But I did. So I’m sorry,” Viktor said. “I should have known better.” He squeezed Yuuri’s hand. Yuuri squeezed back.

“I’m sorry too,” Yuuri said. And slowly, he let his arms wrap around Viktor’s body, allowing himself to sink into the solid warmth. Viktor welcomed him.

“You push pretty hard,” Viktor said.

Yuuri didn’t say anything, but Viktor swore his ears turned a bit red.

“I’m pretty sure you could lift me with that kind of strength,” Viktor continued.

Yuuri’s hand scrunched up the front of Viktor’s shirt.

“Just you wait, Nikiforov,” Yuuri chuckled into his shirt.

Ransom Week | Day Five | Human

“–so then I was saying, like, Ransom is a maniac at flash cards. Give him ten minutes and some markers and he’ll alphabetise the syllabus for you, no sweat.”

“Holster,” Rans hedges, feeling uncomfortable at the recount of Holster’s conversation with some of the new frogs.

Holster paces the floor of their attic while he talks. Ransom has to keep watch in case Holster’s long limbs shoot his hands out too close to Ransom’s face.

“Yeah, they were all just blinking, totally awed. I think they were confronted by how you are so boss at hockey but also life. I mean, it is phenomenal. You’re an inspiration. I was telling them that–”

“Holster,” Ransom tries again.

“–when it’s exams, and you get into coral reef mode, that they are not to disturb. But–”

“Adam!” Holster shuts up abruptly, coming to a stop in front of Ransom.

“I’m just… Like, it’s cool you’re so supportive, but we don’t know these dudes yet? And I’m just human, alright?”

Holster looks dejected, shoulders curving down.

“I don’t want–You don’t have to be telling them I’m some, like, study god. It’s too much.“

“Okay, Rans,” Holster says softly.

“I’m just, like, doing the work,”  Ransom tacks on, less overwhelmed now that Holster isn’t in constant movement, but still wanting to make his point; that he feels strange to be talked about like he’s some miracle.

Holster sits down beside him. “I just want them to appreciate you like I do.”

“Yeah, well,” Ransom sighs out. Holster has good intentions. It’s just a more dramatic approach than Ransom would like. “Like I said, they don’t really know us yet. Give them time. Sometimes it’s a little… a little much when you’re talking about me like that to everyone before they’ve even met me.”

Holster frowns, looking dejected. Ransom puts an arm around Holster’s wide shoulders, and pulls him in closer.

“Holtzy, I love you, and it’s cool that you’re always so supportive. Just… it’s like you’re making me the study robot to Jack’s hockey robot, yeah?”

“Oh, wow.” Holster blinks. “I’ve never thought about it like that. Jack hates that term.“

“Yeah,” Ransom agrees. “That’s my point.”

Holster is alarmingly quiet for a moment, then slaps a hand to Ransom’s chest and brings his face right up close, like he does when he’s moving into D&M mode (no matter how many times Ransom has told him physical closeness does not necessarily equal emotional closeness). “You know I don’t think you’re a robot. You’re more in touch with your emotions than I am.”

“Says the man who cries at cereal commercials,” Ransom jokes, feeling Holster’s sincerity. (Also, a little bit of spittle.) “Not sure that’s a compliment.”

Holster shoves Ransom backwards with the hand on his chest, and Ransom lets himself fall back on the bed.

“I declare hypocrisy. Who cried when Bitty’s ceramic pie-tin fractured yesterday?”

“Hey!” Ransom reaches up to yank Holster down and shove his face into the quilt beside him. “You did too, man.”

Holster shoves him off with a well placed elbow and Ransom rolls onto his back, lying beside Holster, laughing at the skewed angle of his glasses. He straightens them up for Holster, and knows that, even though the seriousness didn’t last very long, Holster heard him.

Context: The party is trying to talk to a Vampire who was stealing from a Morgue. The Paladin has spent the entire time arguing they should just kill them. These conversations, or something like them, followed.

Rogue: Why are you stealing dead bodies?

Vampire: (Deadpan) You mean besides needing to drink blood to stay sane? (Pause) Because I’m in debt to the necromancer mob, and they asked me to find more bodies.

Paladin (ooc): They could have just paid back the debt.

GM (Me): That’s not how the mob works, you don’t get out of debt, you die trying.

Rogue (ooc): Is that how they became a Vampire?

GM: You also notice they've got a slave tattoo branded into their flesh.

Monk (ooc): You see, we can’t kill a slave!

Paladin (ooc): (Deadpan) Yes we can.

anonymous asked:

Do you try to use the least amount of brush strokes possible when you blend? I try to use the biggest brush possible with the least amount of brushstrokes when I blend because when I use smaller sized brushes, I get this weird lumpy gradient that doesn't go well with the painting.

Usually on bigger pieces I use the least amount of strokes possible only near the beginning (when I’m trying to lay out shapes, colors, and values).  After the first hour or two, I stop worrying about stroke economy and kinda blend as much as humanly possible.  Like, to blend in Photoshop, I use the eyedropper tool (aka the color picker), which is bound to the ‘alt/option’ key on my computer.  When I’m blending after the beginning stage, I tap that key multiple times a second, essentially throwing brushstroke efficiency out the window. I’d only pause if I needed to draw something not blending related like strands of hair or highlights or little stars.  

Example of a pic in which I’m trying to use a smaller amount of strokes below.

lordmushroomkat  asked:

Writing request. Klance. Mutual pining. Supportive mechanical telepathic cat-parents.

man i feel like I could easily write 15 000 words about this haha. Trying to make this idea small is hard, but let’s give it a go. 

“So what do we do? We’re a paladin down now.” Pidge states. It’s a topic they’ve been dancing around. Shiro is gone, and yes of course they will find him again, but until then they can’t just… not form Voltron. 

“Keith takes black. Yeah ok, so that’s resolved.” Pidge continues.

“Are we honestly…” Lance starts to interrupt.

“But there’s STILL five lions.” Pidge shoots Lance a look. She knows he wants to argue the leader Keith point, but that’s another discussion. 

“We need another paladin.” She concludes. The group all stare at each other, not sure of what to suggest. The air is stale. 

“I….” Allura starts. Coran grabs her arm protectively. She turns to him with an understanding smile, pats his hand, and steps out of his grip.

“I will fill in.” Her commanding voice rings in the Lion’s hangar. Hunk nervously wrings his hands. Keith looks skeptical. 

“Princess, we need you to…”

“Who else do we have?!” Allura implores. “No one knows the lions like I do. I’m already a part of this team, so it’ll be easier for me to bond than some outsider!”  

The others all share a look. It had to be Allura. Of course it did. But it was a shame that it had to come to this. 

“Who will you pilot?” Hunk moves the discussion forward. Allura smiles and taps her chin thoughtfully. Her eyes move around to look at all the lions. She sighs at a fond memory. 

“My father was the red paladin, and if Keith is piloting black then…” Allura steps towards the red lion. She smiles and places her hand on its barrier. It vibrates under her touch, but does not break.

“It just seems logical.” There’s fondness in her blue eyes. She leans forward and places both palms on the barrier.

“Of course there is the issue of the red lion being the most temperamental so…” Allura laughs. The barrier doesn’t budge under her. Still keeping her out. Keith shakes his head. 

“She doesn’t like it when you call her that.” He sings.

Allura winces. She pats the barrier gently. 

“Ah, sorry girl. I didn’t mean it.” She coos. “I understand how important your paladin is. I know how much you need to trust them. I don’t want to push, but please… please I need you to…” Allura pauses. Her mouth goes taut. She stares at the giant beast in front of her trying to sense it. She leans against the barrier with a frustrated sigh. 

“How did you do this, Keith? I can tell this isn’t working at all.”

“I blasted myself out of an airlock if you must know.”

“Guys, guys,” Lance holds up his hands. “You’re going about this all wrong. For blue and I…. it was like love at first sight!” Lance saunters over to where Allura stands. 

“Your lion is your lady, and she has to know that you are going to love and respect her. You can’t grovel, you gotta woo her.” Lance stands next to Allura. 

“Mind if I show you?” He grins. Allura rolls her eyes.

“Oh yes please. Demonstrate for all of us.” 

Lance rises to the bait. He clears his throat. 

“Hello Red, you look radiant as always. Would it be ok if I spent the evening with you?” He raises his hand to knock on the barrier. 

He immediately falls through. With a vibration and a crackle, he stumbles into the red lions perimeter. He catches himself before he eats cement. He turns to beam at everyone. They look on with disbelief. Particularly Keith.

“See!” Lance exclaims happily. His voice sounds distant and crackly inside the barrier. “Just like that!” He turns to shoot finger guns at the red lion. “Thanks red, you’re beautiful. i love you. Ok Allura, if you just want to…”

Lance bumps against the barrier.

He stares at it in confusion. He tries to step forward and bumps against it once more.

‘What…?” He whispers. 

“Oh no…” Allura stares. Pidge’s eyes widen. Keith starts to look manic. 

Allura, Hunk and Pidge all touch the barrier. None of them can get in.

And Lance can’t get out.

Lance starts to push harder against the barrier. 

“Guys, I can’t…. how do I…?”

“Lance, Lance…” Allura shakes her head. She holds his gaze through the barrier. 

“She’s chosen you.”

Lance’s chest goes cold. He turns over his shoulder to look at the monstrous lion. The red glow around him is bright and hurts his eyes. Nothing like the soothing aura of Blue.

“What?! No! No! Nononono! Blue’s my lion! I’m not giving her up!” Lance beats on the barrier. it flickers underneath his fists. 

“Let me out! Keith! Come talk to your lion! Get me out of here! Tell her I can’t do this! I WON’T do this!”

“Lance, it’s ok. I’m coming I’ll…” Keith smacks into the barrier. So confident that it would peel away for him, that he hadn’t even tried to slow down. He rubs his knee that collided and hisses. He raises his hand to the barrier and pushes. It firmly pushes back. 

“Lance…” He breathily whispers. Lance places his palm opposite Keith’s, so they look like they are touching, but the barrier crackles firmly between them.

“I can’t get in.” His breath shakes with emotion. “She wants you. She’s chosen you.”

Lance blinks away tears. 

“B…but Blue. Blue’s mine. No one can….”

Soft footfalls echo across the hangar. Allura has taken off and runs towards where Blue stands. At a full sprint, she charges forwards and Blue’s barrier easily dissolves around her.

“Alright!” Alurra gives a victorious cheer. Blue lurches forward, opening its mouth ready for Allura to board. 

Lance’s heart breaks. He falls forward. Keith worries his lip and presses himself as close to Lance as he can. Hunk and Pidge wisely walk away. 

“Lance. Lance, I’m so sorry.” Keith whispers. His voice rattles in the comms of Lance’s helmet. 

“But out of everyone here…Red has chosen you. She needs you. Can’t you feel her?”

“But she’s yours, Keith. She’s yours and you’re hers.” Lance’s voice trembles. He looks up into Keith’s face. 

“I know. And she’ll always be mine so….” Keith swallows. “I’ll need you to take really good care of her. She’s trusting you, Lance. I’m trusting you.” Keith looks up with glassy eyes. Blue may have let Allura in, but here Red was actively locking her own paladin out. A surge of sympathy courses through Lance.

“Keith, I’ll…”

Metallic whirring causes lance to turn. Red has bowed down and opened her mouth wide, inviting Lance in.

“You have to go.” Keith states and turns to leave. Lance goes to grab him, but his hand smacks painfully against the barrier.

“Keith wait!” He calls. Keith pauses. His eyebrows knit together and he waits. Lance steps back from the barrier with a frustrated sigh. 

“If I…If I could hug you I would.” He announces. Keith’s eyes widen. 

Keep reading

Send To All - Tom Hiddleston x Reader

Prompt: There’s this comedian called Michael Mcintyre who has a chat show and sometimes plays this game called “send to all” where he takes the guests phone and sends a mass text out then reads the replies out. It’s on you tube and hilarious but anyway i was wondering if you could do something where the reader is an actress on the show and agrees to play and he sends out a flirty text or something like that and she gets a few funny replies from Evans, Fassbender, Macavoy, Cumberbatch and TOM HIDDLESTON
Note: Okay so I went a bit mad with this one and did make a few adjustments, however 99% of it is what was asked for. This one is for the lovely @dohegotthesuperbooty - I’m sorry it took so long (I’m really behind!!) - for anyone who is interested, the video behind this idea can be found here.

Originally posted by letlovebyourenergy


You were stood at the side of the stage awaiting your cue; it was your turn to appear on several British chat shows to promote your new film. You were staring in a new rom-com opposite Tom Hiddleston; the two of you had become very close over the last course of shooting the film, a fact that had purposely been left out of the media.

The show you were appearing on was that of comedian Michael McIntyre. All you could think about was his infamous game of ‘Send to All’. The producers had prepared you for the game; however it was up to the host as to whether or not you would be playing.

From centre stage, you heard Michael call your name. You began to walk over, the crowd went wild. Walking over to your seat, you waved to the audience. Once you reached the spot where Michael was stood, he gave you a friendly hug and welcomed you to the show. The two of you took your seats. Once the crowd had quietened down, he welcomed you to the show once again.
“So, welcome to the show!” He smiled.
“Thank you!” You said with a smile, “Thanks for having me, I’m a big fan of the show but I never thought I’d be sat here!” You exclaimed.

The interview was going extremely well, you were laughing and joking with both the audience and the host. Then he said those words you really didn’t want to hear.
“So we have a bit of a tradition on this show.” Michael began to laugh; everyone knew what he was going to say. “I like to play a lovely little game called ‘Send to All’ with my guests, are you up for a go?”
You started to think, what options did you have? If you were to say no… well, you’d only be forced to play to prove you had nothing to hide.
“Sure!” You said, a little too enthusiastically.
“Excellent!” Michael matched your tone. “The rules are simple, I’m going to come up with a message to send to all of the contacts in your phone and we’re going to leave it over the course of the show and then see who replies!”
“Great, can you just not send it to my mum” you laughed, as did everyone else in the studio.

“Okay, I think I’ve come up with the perfect message” Michael grinned.
“Oh no” you joked as you handed over your phone.
“Here goes…” Michael typed each word as he said it. “Hey, it… feels… like we haven’t seen… each other… in such a long time…” Michael stopped typing and looked over to you, he was giggling at the message he was typing. You on the other hand were using your laughter to disguise how red your face had become. “Why don’t we…” he continued to type “meet up… for a drink… or two?” Michael turned to you once again, “Do you use emoticons?” he asked.
“Probably too much” you responded.
“Excellent, how about little kisses?” he asked.
“Yeah, I guess, just one though. And always lowercase!” you added.
“In that case, I’ll add a little winking face and a kiss!” He looked up and addressed the audience. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have our text message!” The audience cheered. “Okay, here’s the message…” he paused and cleared his throat, “Hey, it feels like we haven’t seen each other in such a long time. Why don’t we meet up for a drink or two [question mark] [winking face] [kiss]” he laughed, as did the audience. You began to laugh but at the same time you were slowly bringing your hands up to your face to once again, cover up how red it was. “What do you think, shall we send to all?!” He asked the audience. They went wild. “It’s gone, sent!” Michael turned back around and walked to his seat to continue your interview.

You spent the rest of the interview trying not to think about the messages currently coming through to your phone. You had just about removed the thought from your mind when Michael said “Right, well there’s just one last piece of business we need to discuss before I let you go.” He paused while the audience reacted. “Let’s read out some of the replies to the text we sent from your phone shall we? Okay so the message we sent read ‘Hey, it feels like we haven’t seen each other in such a long time. Why don’t we meet up for a drink or two [question mark] [winking face] [kiss]’. Wow, okay so you’ve got a fair few replies here!” The audience cheered.
“Better than getting none I suppose” you joked.
“Right, first up we have Chris Evans ladies and gentlemen! Wait, is this Captain America Chris Evans or BBC Radio DJ Chris Evans?” he asked you.
“I don’t think I should answer that until you’ve read the reply,” you laughed “no it’s Captain America Chris Evans” you smiled.
“Well Chris replied with ‘Dude, we aren’t even in the same country right now! Count me in for next time though, we’ll all go out’ how nice is that! But what does he mean by ‘all’?
“Yeah, he’s a good egg!” you smiled, “I’m guessing he just means getting the old gang back together”
“Okay next up is… it looks like you’ve got the number of everyone who’s ever been in a Marvel film here!” the two of you laughed as he continued to look for the next reply. “I think we will go for this one next, James McAvoy.”
“Oh no!” you exclaimed as you brought your hands to your face, “This is going to be a bad one isn’t it!”  
“That depends what it means! It says ‘Are ye sure pal? You know what happened last time!’ then there’s one of those laughing and crying faces. What happened last time?” He questioned you.
You tried to contain the laughter, “nothing, nothing happened last time – at least nothing that you’re all probably thinking anyway! All that happened was a few of us had gone out and had far too much to drink, we all got a taxi and when it was my stop James helped me out of the taxi and then after insisting I was fine… I fell up the steps.” The audience and Michael laughed at your story, you chuckled, after all it had been quite funny.

“Wonderful, we have time for just a few more! Who’s next? ‘Benny C’ is that who I think it is?” you nodded in response. “We have to read this one! It says ‘Sorry not tonight, I’ve got my hands full. However you can both count me in next time!’ At least he’s up for the next time, but what does he mean by both?” he questioned you.
“Well a fair few people know I’m here tonight, he probably just knows it was you” you smiled.
“Hmm,” Michael looked as you quizzically.
“He is Sherlock Holmes after all,” you added “all that detective knowledge has to have rubbed off”
Michael agreed with you and moved on, “Okay, this is the last one now, let’s go for the man himself, your co-star Mr Tom Hiddleston ladies and gentlemen!” The audience cheered, some more excited than others as you heard several women let out high pitched screams.
Your face turned the brightest shade of red possible; you could only hope that he hadn’t said anything that would give the two of you away.
“Let’s see what he has to say shall we,” Michael cleared his throat, “’Darling, we spent six months together making a film and I’ve seen you every night since we got home. Shall I come and pick you up? x T’” Michael took a moment for everyone to process the message he had just read. “Well, well, well! It looks like you were hiding something after all. Anything you want to say?” He asked.
“No, not really” you responded, you could feel yourself getting warmer. You were debating whether or not to address it, although Tom had practically already made that decision for you and left you without a choice. In the end, you decided it was best to talk. “When you shoot a romantic film you spend a lot of time with your co-star and about sixty percent of that time you’re in quite an intimate position.” The redness was starting to disappear from your face, replaced only by a smile that suggested you were happily in love.

“Well ladies and gentlemen, it looks like the show is ending on a lovely note! Thank you to all of tonight’s guests and I’ll see you next week!”

Knuckles : Boxer!Ashton (Part 2)

sorry it took so long! special thank u to Ashley (@thesaltyspice) for helping me come up with ideas for this a million years ago xx

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part Seven

[Following anyone/everyone who leaves some form of thoughtful feedback x]

- Knuckles Playlist


“Look at that one.”

“That one over there?”

“Yeah,” you confirm with a pout. “I want it.”

Ashton chuckles and looks to you at his side. “That’s the fourth dog you’ve said you wanted since we got here.”

It’s true, but you can’t help it. You always get dog-envy at the farmers’ market, exposed to too many cute pups at once for your little heart to handle.

“We should get one,” you say passively, adoring a large german shepherd trotting by with its owner. “Y'know, if we ever live together.”

Ashton smirks, turning his head. “I love how you’re not even worried about scaring me with plans for the future.”

Your cheeks redden, having not noticed the implications when you said it. It’s only been three months since the fight that started it all, since you and Ashton agreed to give your relationship a title, and you suppose you should be more careful about vocalizing your whimsical thoughts. Your guard just naturally falls around him, the pressure to play safe wiped away by his equal and obvious feelings toward you. Talk of commitment doesn’t affect him the way it does most people. If Ashton was going to run, he would’ve done so by now.

You glance down at his fingers between yours, smiling because you don’t think he’s let go of your hand all day. With his hectic training schedule for another upcoming fight and your demanding attendance at university four days a week, the two of you have recently been missing each other more than actually seeing each other, and it appears Ashton wants to make up for lost time in the form of suffocating your palm–not that you mind. For someone whose fists can be classified as lethal weapons, he has quite a gentle grip when it comes to you.

Keep reading

lisa-in-the-sky  asked:

I'M HAVING THE WORST DAY so I would lovvvve to read stucky "it's 2am and I'm drunk and need salt for my fries and I know you're awake so OPEN THE FUCKING DOOR" 😁😁

“You need /what/?” Steve asks the handsome man who has lived across the hall for three weeks.

“Salt,” the man says, holding a soggy McDonald’s bag in one hand and a flashlight in the other. He is tearing up. “I need salt.”

“Why?” Steve asks.

“To exorcise demons,” the man says, then winces. “No, that sounded so much cooler in my head, but I can’t lie to you. I have all of these french fries but none of them are salty. I need salt for them, or else the world may end.” He pauses, then amends, “/My/ world may end.”

Steve gives him a once-over. The guy from across the hall is typically put-together. Steve has only ever seen him in a suit, with his hair slicked back. Now, he’s stubbled, wearing a t-shirt so worn that Steve can practically see his nipples through it, and a leather jacket. He also smells like a brewery.

Honestly? Steve kind of likes him better this way.

“How many fries will you give me?”

The man’s eyes go wide, like this question has caused him actual thought and, frankly, hurt. He groans. “Five!” he shouts. Steve holds back a laugh. “I will give you five french fries in exchange for your salt.”

“Ten,” Steve counters.

The man’s mouth opens, like he genuinely cannot believe that Steve would have the audacity to ask this of him. Steve can barely restrain his laughter. Then he shuts it, straightens up, and nods with firm resolve. “Fine,” he says, “but only because they are getting cold.”

“‘Course,” Steve says, then opens the door wider. “C’mon in.”

He’d feel more self-conscious about the way his apartment looked if he thought that the guy from across the hall would remember this in the morning. As it is right now, he doesn’t feel self-conscious in the least, and is actually sort of excited for his fries.

“So what’s the occasion?” Steve asks. “Why all the fries?”

“My fiancé dumped me for a secret agent.”

Admittedly, that wasn’t what Steve was expecting. “Sit,” he says, pointing to the couch. The guy from across the hall sits. “I’m Bucky,” he says, then adds with wide eyes, “and I’m really sad.”

“I’m Steve,” Steve says, “and I’ll get the salt.”

“Thank you,” Bucky says, then starts to cry.

— —

The next morning, there’s a knock on the door.

Steve opens it, blurry-eyed and tired. “Hi,” he says, when he sees it’s Bucky. “You feeling okay?”

“No,” Bucky says, “but I brought you a present.”

“What?” Steve asks.

Bucky holds out a cylinder of Morton’s salt with a red bow on top. “I’m sorry for last night,” he says.

Steve can’t help but smile as he takes the salt. “It wasn’t a problem, really. Made my night a lot more interesting.”

Bucky looks down, straightens out his shirt. “You’re really chill,” he says. “And I know I’m a mess, but I appreciate you letting me into your apartment and everything.”

“We could do it again the next time you have a break down,” Steve suggests, then adds, “or whenever, really.”

Bucky looks up. “Yeah?” he asks, looking kind of cute and shy beneath long lashes.

Steve shrugs. “Sure,” he says. Then, “But the fry tax goes up if you’re in a good mood. I’ll need my own order.”

Bucky groans, Steve laughs, and together, they empty that new container of salt.