i still have to make the 'the guy who speaks with pictures' concept but it's still a sort of surprise

Love Me Like You Do

I stumbled upon a video of the TVD cast at Paley Fest in 2012 which inspired me to write this. Thanks to Candice for the inspiration! This is my take on part of the episode “The Murder of One” (3x18) which is actually one of my fave eps.

Caroline looked up at the foreboding Mikaelson mansion. She hadn’t been here since that night. The night she went to the ball at his invitation, gifted her a gorgeous dress and sketched her that picture. The one that was now firmly emblazoned on her brain. She felt slightly dizzy as the image filled her mind but decided to blame it on her lack of blood intake that day. 

She was here to do a job and had every intention of succeeding even if it meant she had to see Klaus again.  She thought back to their strategy session in the woods earlier that day. 

“Why do I have to be Klaus bait?” She huffed. 

“Because he’s obsessed with you,” Damon countered. He actually had a point but Caroline didn’t feel the need to agree with the arrogant Salvatore and just rolled her eyes by way of response. 

This tactic was getting really old for Caroline. Not just because she had to put up with the Original Hybrid and his attempts at wooing her with romantic drawings and gifts but because for once she wanted to be the one in the middle of the action. Yes, out of character some would say, but if it meant unlinking Tyler from his freaky sire bond with Klaus then she was more than willing to help. 

“Can I help you?” She turned to see Rebekah, arms folded across her chest on the front doorstep.  Caroline fought the urge to roll her eyes, if they’d given her the white oak stake then this could have been done by now. 

“I’m here to see Klaus.”

“Is it April Fools Day or something?” She chuckled wickedly. “Last time I checked you only use my brother when you want gifts. What exactly do you want now?”

“He chose to give them to me, Rebekah,” she growled, remembering why she hated the spoilt, blonde Original. “But there’s something I need to speak with him about.”

“Well, you’re going to have to get through me first,” she insisted, flicking her hair over her shoulder impatiently. 

“Funny,” she murmured, moving a little closer. “I thought you’d be too busy plotting revenge on Damon.”

“Damon?”

“I know if a guy ignored me like that after sex, I’d be pretty pissed,” she offered, noticing the once confident Original’s expression change instantly. 

“You know about that?”

“He’s telling everyone and between you and me…” before she could finish her sentence Rebekah was gone in a vamp speed haze leaving the front entrance clear. She couldn’t help but smile given she’d moved along their plan and that Damon was probably going to get his ass kicked. Given his earlier comments and, personality in general, she wasn’t quite unhappy about that. 

She looked at the door ominously, knowing she had to go in and begin mission distraction. After all her previous practice, Caroline wasn’t too concerned about her talents. 

“Klaus?” She called out, noticing the house was relatively dark and quiet compared with the night of the ball. “Klaus?”

Still nothing. She walked through the rooms half expecting Kol to jump out and offer some attempt at a witty joke or Elijah to give her a stern lecture about trespassing. 

She entered what looked like the study, plush furnishing with a fire crackling away in the corner. What caught her eye though was the artwork sitting atop the mantle. The likeness in that blue dress was breathtaking and she thought his horse sketch was impressive. 

“I never took you for the break and enter type, love,” a familiar voice offered. She tore her eyes from the painting and to its source seated on one of the chesterfield lounges while hunched over a laptop.

“Number one, I didn’t do any breaking of the sort and, number two, it’s not my fault Rebekah doesn’t understand the basic concept of hospitality.”

“I’ll agree, it’s probably not her best trait,” he noted, his crimson lips curving into a sly smile as he finally looked up from the computer screen. “So then, to what do I owe the pleasure?” Caroline froze momentarily, deciding to blame it on the stray dimple he decided to flash in her direction, no doubt on purpose. 

“I was, uh, bored.”

“And here I hoped you were going to thank me for that sketch,” he murmured, his gaze now falling back onto the lit up screen. “So, they asked you to distract me again? You need to tell the Salvatore brothers that tactic is getting a little old.” Caroline couldn’t have said it better herself. 

She heard a ding from his computer, followed by another his face concentrating on whatever he was doing. “You do know it’s rude to ignore a guest?”

“Says the blonde distraction,” he smirked, still not bothering to look at her. Bastard. 

“What exactly are you doing?” 

“I’m networking.”

“Online? I’m impressed that the thousand year-old knows how to communicate in more modern ways.” She said, making her way to the couch so she could satisfy her curiosity. Usually his attention was firmly focused on her and for some reason it bothered her that it wasn’t right now.

“What do you think you’re doing?” He asked, lowering the screen defensively. A number of beeps sounding out again. 

“Are you on match dot com by chance,” she surmised, that particular noise sounding familiar. 

“I’m on no such thing,” he growled. His denial told Caroline that was exactly what he was doing. She was shocked to say the least, especially given he was supposed to be obsessed with her and not some randoms on a website.

“Yes, you are,” she argued, manoeuvring herself onto the couch quickly and stealing his computer in the meantime. 

“And how exactly do you know that anyway? Already bored with Tyler?” Caroline scowled by way of response. Of course he had to bring up Tyler. She decided it was best to just steer clear of that conversation given how jealous he usually got.  

“Who knew the ‘most powerful creature on earth’ needed dating assistance.”

“Thanks for the compliment, sweetheart,” he teased, still avoiding the subject.

“Didn’t you notice I used air quotes?” She scoffed before perusing his profile onscreen. His picture was on point but that was no surprise given just how handsome Klaus was, even though Caroline would never admit that to him. “What the hell kind of profile is this, Mikaelson?”

“What’s wrong with it?” He asked defensively. “I’ll have you know I worked on that for a good couple of hours.”

“It says your hobbies are wreaking havoc and committing mass murder,” she squeaked.

“Well, it’s the truth.” She didn’t reply just kept scanning it in disbelief.

“Your listed likes are general suffering, AB Negative and cemeteries after dark.”

“You forgot to mention blondes with blue eyes,” he gestured to the screen proudly. They were now sitting rather close, his thigh rubbing up against hers. “Look, so many people lie on these things, at least I’m being honest.”

“Dislikes,” she read, unable to stop. “General happiness, unicorns, sunshine and rainbows.”      

“Oh come on, tell me I’m wrong,” he drawled. “Plus, look how many hits and messages I’ve received.”

“Sophie from Indiana,” she muttered, looking at the picture. She was mildly attractive and mildly normal from her picture until further investigation. “Woah, she likes whips, chains and bondage. Seriously, Klaus?”

“I wouldn’t rule anything out.”

“Who are you, Christian Grey?” She asked, referring to the leading character in the Fifty Shades trilogy. 

“He wishes,” Klaus muttered. Caroline was surprised he even knew what she was talking about. For some reason this news didn’t sit well with her at all. How could he possibly like her when he supposedly wanted these women? 

“So, what you’re telling me is that you like girls like this?” She asked pointing to Lisa from Pittsburgh, dressed skimpily in head-to-toe black with heavy make-up and multiple piercings. 

“I might,” he stuttered. She could tell by the slight blush he was becoming decidedly uncomfortable. “Why do you even care, Caroline?”

“I just thought you had better taste,” she uttered, her eyes flickering again to the portrait he’d drawn of her. 

“I do,” he answered simply, placing his finger under her chin softly and turning her gaze back to his dark, blue orbs. “Unfortunately girls like that don’t go for men like me.” She could sense the raw vulnerability in his voice and that teamed with his touch was messing with her composure. 

“Well, with that profile what do you expect,” she mumbled. When she came over here it was to distract Klaus, not the other way around. “I can just imagine some innocent girl taking a liking to that and telling her mother she met this guy who likes to murder people but other than that, he’s a real charmer.” 

She could actually see that conversation playing out with Liz, believe it or not, but decided to put that particular scenario at the back of her mind. “So, what do you suggest, love?”

He had leaned forward now, his chest mere inches from hers and those tantalising lips just waiting to be kissed from such close proximity. “Uh, I suggest,” she stammered, standing up so fast and taking him by surprise. “A new and improved profile.”

“You’d help me?” 

“I feel it’s my responsibility, not just to you but all the poor unsuspecting girls out there.”

“And funnily enough it’s the perfect way to distract me too.” 

“Maybe.” She said without thinking. If he was going to be honest the least she could do was be the same. Surely her friends had this under control given they didn’t need her help in the first place.  

“Well, let’s get started then, love.”  

On FF HERE

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Day 4: Bread and Butter Best of: Star Wars.

     Star Wars has been a sacred mythology for me my whole life. It’s my basis for comparison for pretty much all storytelling. Which I imagine has gotten pretty tired for most of the people who know me. “See, this guy is the supernatural guide, the mentor, the Obi-Wan. Here to shape the hero, and give him exactly the lessons he needs to eventually face Vader. Or Voldemort or Cthulu or whatever it was we were talking about. Star Wars!”
Tangentially: While Star Wars is a solid model for the Hero’s Journey, for bad guys, I defer to the supreme example of the Villain’s Journey: Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. I’m totally serious.

     Though, Star Wars was almost there, and very few people know it. So very, very close to telling another great story. I’ve done just enough Star Wars stuff to have heard of the original premise for the Phantom Menace. In rumory whispers at least. And it was actually really, really good.
Forget all the cameos. Forget the politics. Forget all that extra stuff, all the expansive CG worlds, vehicles, battles. Forget what you learned about all the characters from the prequels.
The premise was simple, and it went back to Star Wars real roots. A samurai’s tale.

     Obi-wan, an aging, venerable master, is the script keeper for the Jedi council. fantastically knowledgeable, wise, disciplined, and humble. His apprentice, Qui-gon, is a talented young padawan. (Sound like I got it backward? It’s not.)
     Obi-wan has tremendous respect for the traditions and history of the Jedi. A quality he continually tries to impart on Qui-gon. However, Qui-gon is young. And not atypically, he prefers to improvise over practice, act on instinct rather than rule. For the most part, Qui-gon’s style works. He’s a good man, and it’s clear he will make a good Jedi. Still Obi-wan tries to impart the wisdom of the Jedi ancestry. “These were great masters who could see deep into the future. Their words are more than just advice. Obedience to the codes will make you great, and keep you safe. From your enemies, and from the temptations of power as you grow.”
     A mysterious enemy is systematically attacking the Jedi. Stealing artifacts, assassinating Jedi, and sewing doubt with rumors about the Council. Almost too late, Obi-wan uncovers a sith plot, but has no time to bring it before the council. An instrument of an unknown master, Darth Maul, will be assassinating Padme Amidala in mere moments. Quick to the scene, Obi-wan and Qui-gon intercept and confront Maul.
Even together, they are not a match for the ferocity and lethal precision of Darth Maul. The terrifying sith warrior presses the attack, and Obi-wan commands Qui-gon to find Amidala and escape. Obi-wan knows this would be the death of his master, and instead engages the force-doors, and attacks Maul. In ensuing struggle, they are separated only momentarily, but that is long enough for Maul. With little ceremony, he strikes down Obi-wan as Qui-gon watches. 
     The force-doors have sealed them in. There is no where to run. His disobedience has cost the life of his master, the information about the Sith return, and Maul will soon succeed in his mission.
Maul strides with a twisted smile toward Qui-gon, who is frantically trying to think of a way to defeat Maul. Maul is far more skilled. And Maul is strong with the dark side. 
     Looking at his fallen master, furious at himself for letting this happen, he turns his eyes to Maul, embracing his rage. He taps into everything he’s learned of the force, commanding it to bring him victory. Bring him power over his enemy. And it obeys. A flurry of light-saber blows, crackling with force-lighting surprises the unsuspecting Darth Maul, and Qui-gon kills him.
He looks at the two bodies. His master, and his enemy. And he realizes what he’s done. He has truly betrayed his master’s teachings. He channeled the dark side of the force.
     He calls a meeting of the Jedi council. “Though it was only for a second, I opened my heart and my mind to the dark side. I feel its shadow falling over me. Obi-wan taught me: the dark side will consume, and the man I am will become the enemy of all I cherish. I know this means I must die first, and I ask the council to carry out my sentance.”
     Yoda approaches him. “True, this is. Death has come for you, Qui-gon Jinn. The Jedi you were died with his master. Before what must come, tell me, are there any words you wish to pass on?”
     "I have no wisdom to give. Only regret. Obi-wan was the wisest man I knew, and his work is unfinished because of me.“
     Yoda takes Qui-gon’s lightsaber, and ignites the blade. "You will be struck down, once a Sith you become. But not a Sith are you yet. Cost the Jedi a great man, you have. His work will you continue. Until you again meet the dark side, and death, you are Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

—–

     Great. Now it seems totally anticlimactic to talk about a few measly paintings I did. Still, here I go:

     Light in the Darkness 
Rachi Sitra pleads for a sith to let his hate go, and come with her to safety, rather than die a warrior. I’ve always liked the Star Wars concept of redemption. Even Vader, a force-choking, genocidal murder machine, has good in them. And in letting go of their power and anger, they can be good again.

     Darth Talon
After Emperor Palpatine’s fall, a new order of sith arises. Discarding the old ways of one master, one apprentice, Darth Krayt creates a new hierarchy. “The One Sith” where every lord acts as a part of a greater body. Darth Talon is one of the hands of the sith, And a tremendously effective one.

     Darth Vader
The man himself. The Shogun of Shadow. The Skull-faced Sith of Scariness. The tightening in your throat… Erk!
     One of the things that makes this a personal favorite, is how I came to be allowed to show it at Gen Con many years back. I’d just turned it in, and I asked “hey, I’d really love to have this up at my booth for Gen Con. It’s Vader, so it’s not exactly spoiling any new content. What do you say?”
     The art director: “Oh. Well, we’d be okay with spoiling it. But Lucasfilm has pretty tight tabs on their copyrights, and your contract doesn’t technically allow for that, even if we wouldn’t care. Still, I’m not going to be the guy to say no, so I’ll pass it up the chain. Don’t get your hopes up, though.”
     Lucasfilm brand: “Hi, we don’t really give this sort of permission out, but my position here is just to veto stuff that doesn’t line up strictly with canon. This Vader is spot on for Empire Strikes Back, so I’m not going to be the guy to tell you no. I’ll let my boss do that.”
     Lucasfilm licensing: “Strictly speaking, you specifically don’t have a license to show this. But everything was done correctly under Sony’s sub-license, and they’ve said they’re okay with it. But it’s not their call, or mine. Lemme get back to you, but just know that this isn’t the sort of thing we do.”
     Lucasfilm licensing: “Ran it past my boss, he ran it by the last fella who could give you a yay or nay. ‘George likes it. Approved for display.”

—–

Stay tuned for one last day of rambling and pictures!

Day 1: Bread and Butter Best of: Legend of the Five Rings.
Bonus: The Origin Story.
Challenge: Christopher Rush
Day 2: Bread and Butter Best of: Dungeons and Dragons.
Bonus: Left to My Own Devices.
Challenge: Jason Felix
Day 3: Bread and Butter Best of: Magic the Gathering.
Bonus: Fanservice Favorites.
Challenge: Peter Mohrbacher
Day 4: Bread and Butter Best of: Star Wars. 
Bonus: the Obligatory Sketchbook.
Challenge: Allen Williams
Day 5: The New Stuff.
Bonus: The Unsung Heroes.
Challenge: Scott M Fischer