Harold’s whole body turns to face John then; he could feel himself twitching with facial acrobatics of befuddlement and disbelief. “A bunch of indecipherable squiggly lines reminded you of me?” Harold says dubiously, trying and failing not to sound vaguely insulted by the very notion.
John’s own face is a mixture of amusement and smugness, and it’s equal parts endearing and annoying. “Who says it’s indecipherable?” John drawls all-too-innocently as he moves to stand beside him, hands loosely tucked in his pockets with a pose Harold knows all too well as feigned casualness.
Harold narrows his eyes. “It’s supposed to have meaning?”
John smirks. “You’re the genius, Finch. You tell me.”
Harold glares, but he knows it’s futile; John isn’t intimidated by him anymore, and merely gives him a mysterious smile.
Harold huffs and turns his attention back to the wall. They’re at John’s loft, unwinding after a successful case with their latest Number; they happened to be in the area anyway, and John invited him upstairs for some tea. He had tried not to show his surprise when he saw that not only has John stocked his kitchen with fresh (and rare) tea leaves for Sencha green, but has also purchased tea makers, infusers, and complete tea sets, with linen. John had brewed a fresh pot for him, and poured it into the most ridiculously delicate porcelain teacup Harold has ever seen, and handed it into him as if nothing was out of the ordinary.
Harold would’ve been tempted to tease, except John had offered it to him with such a doleful look, not unlike Bear when he’s hopefully looking up at Harold for praise — or treats. “I promise it’s not poison,” John had said encouragingly, tinged with just the slightest hint of nervousness. Relenting, Harold had graciously accepted the offered teacup, and surprisingly discovered that it was, in fact, the best Sencha green he had ever tasted.
John had brightened then, looking so pleased and proud, and Harold had been thankful that the tea was quite warm so he could blame the flush in his cheeks to the steam rising from the cup. Curiosity piqued, he was about to ask the reason for the tea, when something else suddenly caught his eye and demanded his full attention. Something utterly mind-boggling.
“They look like something a toddler would’ve drawn on the wall with a crayon,” Harold deadpans.
John is unperturbed. “Do they?”
Harold scowls. John’s smile widens.
It wasn’t, in fact, drawn with a crayon. When Harold had prepared this loft for John, he had deliberately left it sparse, wordlessly allowing John the freedom to decorate and make use of it as he wants to; it is, after, all, his. For the most part, John had left it as it was when Harold had first given it to him, seemingly finding comfort instead in the simple, efficient, minimalistic style of the military.
Except John seems to have a… unique (bordering on questionable) sense of aesthetics when it comes to interior decorating. Particularly with what he has chosen to decorate the largest wall with.
“I don’t understand, Mr. Reese,” Harold says, frustrated. “They’re squiggles.”
John grins. “Meaningful squiggles, Finch.”
They were deliberately placed too, because they weren’t drawn into the wall. It was made with nails and string, not unlike the board Finch had once used to keep track of the Irrelevants he failed to save (the board that had mysteriously disappeared, and though they never once spoke about it, he had a feeling John had disposed it without his knowledge when he caught Harold looking painfully at the board too often).
There were no pictures here though, just seemingly randomly placed nails with string threaded through them, forming several rows of horizontal lines that go up and down, like a roller coaster, except with no sense of direction or design or aesthetic whatsoever.
Harold stares at him, aghast. “They really mean something to you?”
John looks at him then, and his tone turns soft and serious. “They mean the world to me.”
Harold’s breath catches in his throat as he watches John’s gaze travel over the wall’s design of his making; the only personal touch in the seemingly impersonal living space. “Despite what you believe, Finch,” John murmurs, “you don’t know everything about me.”
Harold doesn’t know why, but hearing that… hurts.
He turns away from John then, knowing that his face is betraying an emotion he doesn’t want the other man to see. He lifts the teacup and sips a little too quickly, the tea scalding the back of his throat. He looks up at the lines of nails and thread, and his face hardens, resolute.
He may not know what it means. But he’s determined to find out.
He’s surrounded by a fortress of books, with multiple tabs open in the monitor in front of him, when John walks into the library the next morning. He senses the way John halts and hesitates before curiosity gets the better of him. “Research for our new Number, Finch?”
Harold stiffens. “No,” he says brusquely as he resumes his typing, pausing every now and then to refer to one of the open books on his desk and to write on the pad where he keeps his notes.
He ignores the prickling on the back of his neck as he senses John staring at him. He hears John step closer, and tries not to react when he feels John’s gaze sweeping over his desk, knowing what he’s seeing: stacks of books about ancient ciphers and codes in varying eras and parts of the world, the computer screen displaying the more modern ones. Out of the corner of his eye, Harold sees the way John raises his eyebrows as one of the open tabs show that Harold has hacked into the (supposedly) secret codes of the CIA.
“Finch,” John says slowly, “isn’t this getting a little… obsessive?”
Harold holds out for several more seconds before he can’t take it anymore. He lets the pen he’s holding fall to the table with a loud clatter. “Can’t you at least give me a clue as to what those lines mean?” he asks helplessly.
He swivels in his chair to look up at John, and stops short. Despite the obvious amusement in his features, John also looks strangely… fond. Harold swallows, unsure why he suddenly feels embarrassed. And so… exposed.
John lets his fingers run lightly over one of the book’s open pages, his gaze faraway and unseeing. “I don’t know what to tell you, Finch,” he says softly, “except that it’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.”
Harold crosses his arms over his chest. “That doesn’t really help at all.” He refuses to pout like a child. He comes very close to it.
John chuckles. “Do we have a new Number?” he asks, deftly changing the subject.
“No,” Harold says morosely. He heaves a deep sigh and makes a shooing gesture. “You can have the day off, Mr. Reese.”
John’s mouth quirks. “I’ll leave you to your research then, boss.”
Harold glares at him; the man even has the gall to wink at him.
Sniffing, he turns back to his computer and his books. He hears John’s footsteps fading into the background, before he hears a pause as John bends down with a low whisper to Bear.
“Make sure he doesn’t wear himself out, okay?”
Surprised, Harold turns around to look at John, but he’s already gone.
The library feels strangely… empty.
Harold sits straight up, startled out of his stupor at Bear’s loud bark. He blinks the sleep out of his eyes and fumbles for his glasses, his movements lethargic as his limbs seem to take a bit longer to adjust to wakefulness. He squints at the dust motes visible from the sunlight streaming in from the windows, and he realises that it’s already late in the afternoon. He must have fallen asleep at his desk again.
Bear woofs again, and Harold pats his head apologetically. “I guess it’s time for your walk,” he says gently. He moves to stand—and gasps.
Pain shoots up from his spine with an electric jolt, digging into his shoulders and his injured leg like shards of glass. Belatedly, Harold realises that his prolonged nap not only made his overworked, overtired muscles stiff and aching—it also made him forget to take his scheduled painkillers.
He lowers himself slowly, hissing through gritted teeth, and through the haze of pain he can hear Bear whimpering. He lets his eyes flutter open as he senses Bear’s movements, and he sees the dog nosing at an amber bottle that Harold very clearly remembers wasn’t there before.
Bear pushes it toward him. Shakily, Harold reaches out to take it, and even the blinding pain isn’t enough to make him fail to recognise the prescription bottle.
Bear noses another object toward him, and Harold smiles at the dog gratefully as he takes the water bottle. He realises that it’s already pre-opened with the seal already broken, and he has a moment to be oddly touched before another stab of pain whites out all his thoughts. He quickly shakes out the pills and downs them with gulps of water, before he replaces the caps on both containers… and waits.
He doesn’t know how much time passes; it may have just been minutes, even though it feels like hours. Bear has settled himself by Harold’s feet with his chin on Harold’s lap, staunchly watching him the entire time. As soon as Harold finally feels like he can breathe without the phantom sensation of his spine grinding itself to pieces with every expansion and contraction of his lungs, he tenderly runs his fingers through the dog’s soft fur.
“Thank you, Bear,” he says as Bear thumps his tail minutely, almost hesitantly against the floor, as if still unsure of the state of his master’s well-being. “Although… am I correct in assuming that Mr. Reese is the one who dropped these earlier while I was sleeping?” He thumbs at the prescription bottle as it rattles in his hand.
Bear woofs, and Harold smiles, feeling a warmth blossom in his chest. “Then I suppose I have to thank him as well.”
He turns over the bottle thoughtfully. “Though I wonder how he knew the right brand and dosage,” he muses, “not to mention the time and frequency needed for me to—”
‘Can’t you at least give me a clue as to what those lines mean?’
He stares at the bottle. “Of course,” he murmurs to himself. “How very clever, Mr. Reese.”
Finally convinced that his master is out of immediate danger, Bear shuffles back to make room as Harold swivels his chair forward and powers up the monitor of his computer. Operating on a strong hunch, he opens his personal files and accesses his medical records.
And there, in front of him, is the answer.
‘They mean the world to me.’
‘It’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.’
“Oh,” Harold breathes. “Oh John.”
Evening finds him standing in the middle of John’s loft, once more staring at the lines on the wall.
“You covered them with fluorescent paint,” Harold observes.
Several feet behind him, a good distance away, John steps out of the shadows. “Yes,” he quietly affirms. “I did.”
John’s military efficiency shows in his habits; the only lights he turns on at night are the ones in the bathroom and in the kitchen counter. In fact, the only illumination of the room is coming from New York City itself, as the lights filter in through the windows which John—despite being an intensely private person himself—refuses to cover with curtains.
Harold is beginning to suspect, however, that there’s another reason why John prefers his loft to be blanketed in shadow at night, aside from the practical reason of saving electricity.
Harold tilts his head toward the design on the wall. “They look like constellations,” he softly remarks. The fluorescent paint made the entire thing glow in the dark; the nails stand out like stars in the night sky, the thread connecting them reminiscent of the shapes that can be found in astrology books. “It’s beautiful.”
A small smile plays on John’s lips as he steps closer. “It is,” he agrees. “I needed the reminder.”
“Oh?” Harold looks at him. “Of what?”
John moves to stand beside Harold, the fabrics of their sleeves nearly brushing. “Of a light that never goes out, no matter how dark the world gets.”
Harold’s heart flutters at that. “I see,” he says, carefully neutral. “That’s… a very optimistic view to have, Mr. Reese.”
John looks up at the wall. “They give me hope,” he murmurs, indicating the glowing lines.
Harold takes a deep breath. John senses his wordless unease, and blinks when Harold hands him a file. He takes it, opens the folder—and Harold sees the exact moment it registers in John’s eyes that Harold finally knows.
“I wonder, Mr. Reese,” Harold begins softly, “why would you design your wall with the test results of my electroencephalogram?”
Harold steps closer as John peruses the medical records Harold knows John has already seen in detail before. Harold tries very hard not to think about how John may have acquired those records in the first place, and very possibly kept a copy for himself as reference; the design on John’s wall is a near-perfect replica of Harold’s EEG reading, the star-like lines a larger, glowing version of the measurement and recording of Harold’s brain activity.
“Specifically,” Harold continues, gentle in his probing, “it’s the reading the doctors gave me when they tested me after the bombing.”
John’s head snaps up at that, but Harold’s gaze is calm. The memory doesn’t give him pain anymore, only a lingering sense of loss that he’s continuously learning to live with; Nathan’s absence will always be Harold’s phantom limb, the burden of guilt a constant, sobering guide for his conscience.
Slowly, John closes the folder and hands it back to Harold. He takes it, and waits.
“It reminds me to be careful,” John finally says as he looks back at the wall. “To protect at all cost what the world can’t afford to lose.”
Harold holds his breath. “And what is that, Mr. Reese?”
John is quiet for a moment longer. He closes his eyes, and even as Harold watches, the most peaceful expression Harold has ever seen settles over John’s features.
“A beautiful mind that can save the world.”
Harold turns away. It’s almost too painful to look at John then.
‘A light that never goes out, no matter how dark the world gets.’
He blinks away the sudden mistiness that comes over his eyes. He removes his foggy glasses and takes out his pocket square to wipe them clean. When he puts them back on, John is looking at him, waiting.
They are teetering on the edge of a precipice, and John, as always, is following Harold’s lead on whether or not they both should leap.
“I suppose,” Harold manages to say amidst the rapid beating of his heart, “we should schedule for an electrocardiogram next.”
He turns to John, who at first has a look of confusion on his face, before it swiftly ratchets into tempered panic. “Finch, are you—”
“No, no, Mr. Reese, I’m perfectly fine,” Harold puts up both his hands to placate John. “I meant, we should schedule an ECG for you.”
John blinks, looking completely bewildered. “Me? But why?”
Harold smiles, and glances up at the wall. “Because your design is incomplete, John. It’s missing its other half.”
He hears a sharp intake of breath, and Harold turns to him. “We need the other half of the equation,” he softly explains. “After all, what is a beautiful mind that can save the world… without a beautiful heart that can change it?”
The city lights are reflected in John’s eyes as they shine with a riveting combination of fear and hope. Harold steps closer into his personal space—much closer than they have ever been before—and sees the way John’s eyes dilate as Harold looks up at him.
“I suppose it’s for my benefit too,” Harold admits, dipping his gaze shyly as he places a hand on John’s chest to steady himself. “After all, I, too, need a reminder of what I can’t afford to lose.”
They’re standing so close together that Harold can feel the vibrations of John’s rumbling voice reverberating between them. “And what is that?”
Harold smiles, tucks his head beneath John’s chin, and presses his ear to John’s chest, hearing the rhythm of the future he’s fighting for.
(A/N) This was formerly titled Night Life, but I started fleshing out the plot (and ending!) and decided that this was more representative of the direction I wanted to go with this story. I can say that the story is going to be much more focused on The Count and the Volturi in the future, but I felt it was best to establish Y/n as a character and give the story some context before I go into any further detail with The Count. Just know that is coming soon! Probably in the next chapter.
*The new & impoved version, Roses and Revolutionaries: Revamped, is here as promised.
It was not until daybreak when the sun peaked out from the horizon that Alec realized it would be best to move the girl’s limp body. Soon the residents of the neighborhood would make their way out of their homes and discover an unfamiliar boy with red eyes and sparkling skin and an unconscious girl covered in blood, a spectacle Alec decided he could live without.
So you’re probably not surprised that this is not going to be a one shot. I’ve chosen the nanny AU, here’s chapter one!
This was bound to
happen eventually, Tony thought. He sat in a large vehicle of some kind –
van or SUV – with a goon on either side, squishing him intentionally, just so
he knew there was nowhere to go. Considering that he was bound hand and foot
and in a moving vehicle, he didn’t need the reminder. The cloth sack they’d
thrown over his head smelled nauseatingly of onions, and he had to keep his
eyes closed against the burn.
“You know,” Tony started, because it wouldn’t be the first
time he’d talked himself out of a nasty situation, but Left Goon smacked him
flat across the face before he could get another word out. Stars popped up
behind his eyes and the burning along his lower lids extended to encompass his
nose as well.
“Could have just asked me to be quiet,” he said reasonably.
Right Goon drove the butt of a shotgun into his gut. “Be
quiet, please,” he deadpanned when Tony was done retching and coughing.
It wasn’t right. Well, back up – there was a lot of it that wasn’t right. He’d been on vacation at
his private chalet, enjoying a quiet evening with the skibunnies gone, and a
nice bottle of wine to keep him company. He’d been minding his own business
when the goons had burst in and rushed him before he could even get off the
couch (and, okay, he’d literally been caught with his pants down, but all the
kicking had been unnecessary).
Tony Stark had been abducted before. He was familiar with
how it went. Take the rich guy, put him somewhere he couldn’t make too much
trouble, contact the rich guy’s family and demand money for the rich guy’s
return. Usually that meant a few days – at most – cooped up in a badly
ventilated room, listening to goons watching TV through thin walls, and then
going home. It was a business transaction, and it was part and parcel of being
a “rich guy.” He didn’t have family anymore, but they would contact Obie, Obie
would contact the firm that they went through to handle these things, Tony
would be home by Monday.
Except that they were being rough with him. He’d gone
through this four times since his sixth birthday. The only time any of the
kidnappers had ever been rough with him was the political group that snagged
him when he was sixteen, and they’d mostly wanted to make a point. He’d gotten
himself out of that one once he realized that even if they got the two million
they were asking for, they’d never let him go. This was different than even
that – there had been no rhetoric, no name calling, the goons were just being rough.
Tony thought wryly. You’re being stupid
with your investment, boys. They’re not going to pay for me if I’m dead.
Of course, maybe getting paid wasn’t the point. Tony sealed
his lips and started thinking.
Tony had been fighting down motion sickness for hours when
the vehicle slowed and pulled over. The driver announced that he needed to piss,
and the goons threw the door open to drag Tony outside for the same. He hadn’t
been wearing shoes when they’d grabbed him, but the inside of the vehicle was
warm enough. In contrast, the snow was so cold that it felt like walking on
coals when he was roughly shoved to the side of the road. His feet had been bound
with only a few inches between his ankles, and he went down on his knees. He
tried to catch himself with his hands, but his wrists had been crossed before
being tied and they were no help at all. He ended up with his face in the snow
and not enough leverage to even get back to his knees. He struggled to turn his
head far enough to breathe.
“Christ,” one of the goods complained. He grabbed Tony by
the sack over his head and hauled him upright.
“Not going to be able to this without my hands,” Tony gasped
out against the onion sack. His bladder had recoiled at the first touch of the
snow, so he wasn’t sure he could do it even with his hands.
The goon snorted. “Think I’m stupid?”
thought, but just barely managed to stop himself from giving the man an
invitation to kick him a few times. The goon dragged him to his feet and
wrapped on arm around the back of his shoulders to keep him still, squishing
Tony into his bulk. He flicked Tony’s belt open with the other hand, grumbling
unhappily under his breath as he yanked jeans and boxers aside.
“Go,” he said, holding Tony’s penis with a thumb and
forefinger. “Come on, or it’s gonna freeze off.”
Biting his lip and holding down the competing surges of
anger, frustration, and shame, Tony sucked in a slow breath and tried to relax.
The goon kept muttering, growing obviously more impatient as the moments
passed. His grip was tight and he smelled like body odor under too much Aqua
Velva. Combined with the scent of the onion sack it was enough to make his
insides all clench up at once.
“I don’t want you fucking pissing on yourself in the car,”
the goon said, voice low and angry. “Come on.”
Being cajoled didn’t help, but Tony finally managed to get
his arms up at angle so he could knock the goon’s hand away. He took himself
awkwardly between his fingers. It wasn’t much better, but his bladder finally
decided to cooperate. He tried to listen for the other goons over the splash of
hot liquid on snow– there had been four – in hopes that once this goon had him
buttoned up again, he might be able to… what? Flop down in the snow and roll
blindfolded down a hill? Hop down the street barefoot?
Tony wasn’t a genius for nothing. He stood still and let the
goon tuck him back in and close his pants. He waited until he was securely
zipped up and the goon’s hands were away from his vitals before saying,
If he’d hoped to gain some sympathy from his captor, he was
mistaken. The goon cuffed him over the head and shoved him around. Tony
stumbled again, but he was saved a second fall by one big hand on his shoulder,
and the other in his belt. He was more or less thrown back into the vehicle,
which had lost most of its warmth, but at least it was out of the snow and
wind. He shuffled to right himself in the seat, but a door on the opposite side
of the vehicle slid open and Left Goon leaned in, grabbed him by the thigh, and
straightened him out in the middle seat. Tony held his arms up compliantly to
be belted in and then he was left alone with both of the doors open.
As long as he breathed shallowly and kept still, he could
just hear their voices. Four of them, as he’d thought, and one was higher
pitched – a woman, or a young man. He tried to make out their words, but they
were speaking a language he didn’t understand and couldn’t hear well enough to
identify. He picked out his own name twice, but otherwise he didn’t gain
anything new from the exercise before the goons piled back into the vehicle and
slammed the doors.
It wasn’t the poorly ventilated backroom in a cheap
apartment that he’d been expecting. Even the metal-flavored, moist air of the
room was an improvement over the onion scented bag. Tony sucked in great gasps
of air as soon as it was pulled away. The room was dark, and he blinked
rapidly, trying to clear his vision enough to take in the space. The walls were
rusted metal sheets, the floor concrete. It was a large, draughty space, a
small corner of it cordoned off with bars.
Tony tried to maintain his balance as the goon roughly
untied his ankles. He reached out thoughtlessly to put his hands on the man’s
shoulder, and the goon paused. His hands gentled marginally as he unwrapped the
ropes from Tony’s ankles. Tony shifted his feet as soon as they were free,
sucking in a sharp breath as blood rushed back into his toes. He closed his
eyes quickly when the goon shifted to stand.
“I haven’t seen your face,” he said, keeping his eyes
screwed shut. He already suspected that he wasn’t getting out of this alive if
things went to plan, but every precaution he could take was worth the effort.
“I’m wearing a mask,” the goon said. He sounded equal parts
embarrassed and amused. Tony nodded, but he kept his eyes closed regardless.
The goon untied his hands without any particular kindness or cruelty. He shoved
Tony further into the cell and retreated, closing the bars with a firm clang. A moment later, he heard two
heavy thumps, but he waited until he heard the goon’s retreat to turn around. A
pair of boots had been thrown in with thick wool socks stuffed inside. He
gathered them up, confused by the gesture. They hadn’t shown the slightest concern
for his comfort the whole night, and the boots were puzzling, but he wasn’t
going to complain.
The cell was empty but for a pile of blankets in the corner,
and a toilet. Tony minced across the room on pins and needles, and dropped to
the blankets. The blankets promptly shouted and shoved him off. Tony jumped, and
fell onto the floor with a shout. He shoved himself away from the pile of cloth
just a head emerged from the bundle. Tussled blonde hair capped a dirty face
with a pair of blue eyes peering out from the mess.
The woman stared at him, wide-eyed and terrified. She was
filthy, sunken-cheeked, and her lips were chapped, but he recognized the sweep
of her brow, and her eyes.
“Gretel?” He hadn’t seen her in more than a year, though
they’d dated several times and had some fun evenings together.
She look uncertain, but licked her lips and ventured,
“What are you doing here?” A horrible thought occurred to
him and he asked, “How long have you been here?”
Glancing over through the bars, she pulled the mess of
blankets back and Tony stared uncomprehending at her. She was wearing some
thick coat that bloomed around her body like a tent, it was equally dirty.
“About four months,” she said, and grabbed his hand. She
pushed his palm against her belly and Tony’s mind went briefly white.
Summary: “I’m just damaged goods.” “To them, maybe. To me, you’re a masterpiece.” Words: 1,494 Warnings: language (is anyone surprised???) Notes: that quote used to be in this girl I follow’s description and um yeah
would you write a “I hit you with my car and was the only one to visit you in the hospital” cs au?
Emma sat just one light shy of making the last left-hand turn on her morning route, tapping her fingers impatiently against the steering wheel. It was one thing to be stuck in morning traffic, but to be trapped at a standstill less than half a mile from work? It was torture.
Another two commercials came and went on her radio, and she still hadn’t moved. She’d switched from tapping to quiet grumbling, wishing the guy on the motorcycle in front of her had just run the yellow like he was supposed to. All her life, people had told her to watch out for men on the two-wheeled death traps (their words, not hers) and now, as much as she hated to begrudge her former foster families anything, she could see the living proof. Emma found herself directing all her focus onto the light hanging up above the intersection as her engine idled, brow furrowing further as she willed it to turn green. She breathed a sigh of relief as it finally, finally turned, and pressed on the gas as patiently as she could.
Looking back on it now, Emma thinks, she probably should have checked to see if he was out of her way first.
“All adjustments have been implemented. We will be ready to go as soon as coordinates to the next destination are received.”
“Thank you, EDI,” Traynor replied. A small smile appeared on her lips whenever she heard that mesmerizing synthetic voice. It was so odd to be attracted to such a silly and artificial thing, but apparently it couldn’t be helped.
The Specialist was so distracted by her wandering thoughts that she nearly missed doors of the elevator opening behind her. She should have expected it. Now that everything was squared away and the Normandy was ready to move, its commander was going to have to step up and set a route.
“I think it’s a good idea,” came the familiar timbre of one Major Kaidan Alenko. He had apparently accompanied Shepard on the elevator and they’d been in the midst of conversation. That being the case, Traynor kept her head down and strove to concentrate on what she was doing. Or the sound of EDI’s voice. Whichever worked.
“Can we talk about this another time?” Shepard sounded tired. Even out in the periphery of Traynor’s vision, she looked exhausted. As she climbed the stairs to the galaxy map, it almost seemed like she needed the railing to keep herself standing upright.
“What if we don’t have another time?” The question was innocent enough, but the weight of it hung heavy in the room. Traynor glanced around and saw several other crew members pause for a moment, then scramble to make themselves look busy or better yet, scarce.
Bullying, Harassment and Online Stalking of Minors on Tumblr
My name is Katy. I am 39 years old and I am here today to talk to you about bullying, harassment and online stalking of minors on tumblr - specifically a young teenager name Dani.
Dani (@adorable-bc-picture), I hope you don’t mind me speaking here, but I am absolutely appalled and disgusted at the behaviour from supposedly grown ass women on tumblr.
Adults whom, for some unknown and unfathomable reason, have taken it upon themselves to be, to put it simply, ‘fandom police’.
Let’s start with a little about me - like I said, my name is Katy and I am 39 years old. I have been married to the absolute love of my life for 19 years. I have experienced every gamut of emotion, experienced high highs, low lows and the pleasing, beautiful average. I work full time in events management and I live in Australia.
Personally, I was bullied - heavily - as a child. Because I am in that age group where the internet was not particularly prevalent until I was in my 20s (especially for small-town Australia), my bullying happened in real life. I have been teased, harassed, bullied and beaten. I have been bloodied, bruised and depressed.
I have also dragged myself up off the ground, moved on and not looked back at the people who felt the need to belittle me and abuse me on a daily basis. The year I turned 8, I was beaten up every day after school, arriving home with bloodied lips, bruised eyes and self-esteem so low, that I wondered why I had ever been born.
As I grew up, I grew stronger. I made new friends. I moved on. But the psychological scars remain, to this very day. But I am successfully. I am loved. I am adored. I am cherished.
And I am thoroughly pissed off.
Addendum: I am not a Benedict Cumberbatch fan. So I have no interest in who the man is fucking. Who he married. Who he knocked up. I have no personal interest in the man AT ALL. Because, you see, that is important. I am not jealous or a hater or a sceptic or a nanny or a stan.
All I am in a human adult woman, appalled, disgusted and pissed off beyond anything I have ever been in my entire life.
I became aware of the Cumberbitches about 8 months ago. I watched a TV shown called Fargo, with Martin Freeman in it. I had seen him in The Hobbit but it wasn’t until I watched Fargo that I wanted to find out more of who this man was.
It was indirectly through Martin Freeman that I found out about the Cumberbitches (and I will ALWAYS use this term to describe fans of Cumberbatch, because, IMO, 99% of his fandom act that way). I was…not shocked, I guess you can say, at some of the actions and reactions I was seeing/reading. I’ve been around. I’ve been in a number of fandoms. There are ‘fandom police’ in every fandom, regardless of what people claim. There are always a certain group of people who feel the need to seek attention for their obsession. So don’t think the Cumberbatch fandom is anything special, because, frankly, you’re not. A lot more far reaching that some of the fandoms I have been a part of (the internet is hugely related to that) but no less and no more special.
Anyway…indirectly through finding out more about Martin Freeman, I found out about Benedict Cumberbatch.
And the fandom war that has apparently been occurring for coming on 2 years.
So, in becoming a Martin fan, I started reading more and more about Benedict. I mean, they do star together in an apparently successful TV show.
I learned a very many things. Things that in equal turns amused, bewildered, stunned and angered me.
Let’s see if I can get my thoughts in order, shall I?
For those who may not be fully aware what is happening, apparently a celebrity got engaged, said engagement was met with sceptism by some, glee by others and general apathy by the rest of us.
Let’s address the apathetic group first because IMO, that’s where I sit and where probably 99% of the population sits. Another celebrity gets engaged - woo? Am I meant to celebrate? Yes? No? Another celebrity marriage, another celebrity divorce, another celebrity child to read about in the future and shake my head at. Celebs make the gossip sites/magazines sell/get hits. Marriages, divorces, births, deaths, scandals…all of these things sell. They sell copies, the sell clicks, they sell ads, they sell movies, TV shows, albums, music, fashion…one big PR machine. It’s tiring. I don’t buy gossip magazines. I will admit to reading gossip sites - god forbid, I’m human - but I believe less than 1% of what I actually read, and less than 1% of that is actually the truth.
I can see a big ol’ PR machination from a mile off. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughan. Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson. (Just to name a few that I bother to remember). Big Ol’ PR relationships to either (a) sell or save a reputation or (b) sell or save a project.
Now with Benedict Cumberbatch, I can smell, initially, a big ol’ PR push. Posh, white, straight male announces engagement to pretty English Rose type days before the start of his Oscar campaign for a movie he was very passionate about.
Yay! Cumberbitches celebrate! Benedict is finally getting married! Benedict is finally going to be a Cumberdad (god, don’t get me started on those inane and horrific mangling of his surname!)! Let’s all celebrate!
But wait! There are some fans who are shock horrorsceptical about it. The timing? Well, come on now, right before his Oscar campaign starts? That’s kind of…coincidental, surely? Surely the man who talked (long and incessantly) about keeping his private life private wouldn’t do something so…crass. Surely not.
No! You’re WRONG. Benedict would NEVER do something like that! cried the Cumberbitches. Of course, we all felt a little sad that day when his engagement was announced (what. the. fuck??), so bleats a poor, sad little fan, but we should ALL BE HAPPY FOR HIM AND NOT HATE ON HIM OR HIS FIANCEE.
Or I will ‘skin you alive’ (or so one enterprising young fan on twitter stated)
So the sceptics began. A few too start with, then a few more, then a few more, then a lot more.
More and more people were starting to side-eye this who ‘engagement’ and the absolutely-not-at-all-conincidental timings of all the major milestones - engagement? Check! Expecting a baby? Check! Wedding? Check! Honeymoon? Check! Baby’s birth? Check! First pap pics of said baby (aww, what a doting and loving father to obviously sell pictures of his only child to a pap.) Check! The Mrs showing up on set while filming a MAJORLY flawed and BLATANTLY problematic Marvel film? Check! Full face photos of said infant taken while strolling around New York (how’s that ‘I would protect my children’ statement working out for you, Cumberbatch?) - and said photos not gagged, not yanked BUT STILL AVAILABLE FOR ORDER ONLINE.
Wow…did that all get away from me! It’s not a perfect timeline, I know from reading more that I have missed a lot, obviously, but even the most naive person can surely see that nothing is coincidental about any of this.
But no! No! Of course not, because now we have a group that frankly, I have to wonder what exactly is happening in their own lives, that they feel the need to come online and bully, harass and online stalk other people.
(And no, I’m not talking about the sceptics, though I truly am not finished with some of them!)
I’m talking about the group of peopleI have tagged below. Mind you, this is a very, very small fraction of the number of people who I have seen and read:
Like I said, this is a very small part of a group of people who have, over the past 2 years, made it their life’s mission to abuse, belittle, bully, harass, online stalk, doxx and generally be rather nasty pieces of work towards others, particularly a teenager. I wish I could name them all, but I would be here for hours. There are numerous blogs out there who feel the need to attack, like a rabid pack of hyenas, people who shock horror think differently from them. People who think that no, Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter are not the perfect couple. There are other reasons why they believe that (more about that later) but ultimately, they have spent months. Months and months and months. Bullying, harassing, online stalking, doxxing and REAL LIFE interfering with a group of bloggers talking about a CELEBRITY AND HIS WIFE on the internet…
Just let that sink in for a moment.
This is all over one celebrity and his wife.
They have, at times, screencapped blogs (circumventing the tumblr block feature), called the school and parents of a teenager, called Social Services on the same teenager, called the teenager at her home, created a website outing a blogger, doxxed several other bloggers, sent threats via anon to bloggers, called other bloggers ‘bitches’, ‘vile’, ‘hateful’, ‘cretins’, ‘sewer rats’, ‘gutter brigade’, ‘sour grapes brigade’…just to name a handful.
They have also involved people outside of tumblr in their little fandom war. They have tried to waste the time and resources of government agencies (really? Emailing the department for Births begging them not to release the birth certificate? What a waste of your time and theirs!) They have tried to claim the upper moral hand in everything they do, screaming from rooftops ‘For Benedict!’.
For a man who, quite frankly, wouldn’t cross the street to spit on you if you were on fire.
This group are a mass of contradictions.
They are a mass of hate, loathing and repulsiveness that make me wonder just what the hell tumblr is doing, allowing these kinds of blogs to prosper. I am appalled that I share a gender (assumedly) with these bloggers. I am thoroughly ashamed that ADULT WOMEN - some of them mothers and grandmothers - are acting in a manner entirely suited to a five year on a school play yard that cannot get their way and bites their playmates. My 3 year old nephew treats other children BETTER than this group of women treat their fellow humans.
They routinely dictate to people on tumblr who they should follow. If one of the sceptics should happen to go quiet, to change their blog name (or try to), they will announce it on their blogs.
They will hypocritically announce that Dani deserves her treatment because of ‘piracy’ or ‘artistic theft’ ( @cumberbangers - nice try there sweetheart).
NOBODY DESERVES THE KIND OF TREATMENT THAT DANI HAS EXPERIENCED.
NOBODY DESERVES TO BE TREATED LIKE A PIECE OF SHIT ON THE BOTTOM OF YOUR SHOE.
Let me break this down for you.
Tumblr is rife with piracy and copyright violations.
Just today I saw a video clip uploaded by a tumblr user, ripped DIRECTLY FROM the DVD copy of Whisky Tango Foxtrot. THAT IS PIRACY.
When Hamlet was released to cinemas, I saw NUMEROUS gif sets from NUMEROUS blogs of a bootleg version of Hamlet. THAT IS PIRACY.
I see ‘bragging tweets’ from someone called AnythingBatch on twitter, claiming to have a copy of Hamlet on DVD - yet when Dani claims to have the same thing, Dani is the pirate and deserves to be bullied, harassed and online stalked but AnythingBatch is what? A good fan? Hamlet is not available on DVD. How do you think AnythingBatch got hold of a legal copy? PIRACY.
I see picture, after pictures, after picture being reblogged, edited, manipulated by countless people. Are you the original copyright holder of these images? Are you the photographer of these images? No? ARTISTIC THEFT.
Gifs of TV shows, movies, chat show appearances - ARTISTIC THEFT.
TUMBLR IS RIFE WITH PIRACY AND ARTISTIC THEFT.
Don’t you dare stand there on the altar of Benedict Cumberbatch and claim that Dani (or ANYONE deserves) the treatment you have been giving her.
Don’t you dare claim to be ‘protecting’ Benedict and Sophie by your actions online.
Don’t you DARE claim to be good people, good fans. Because you aren’t. You just aren’t. You are the WORST example possible of ‘fans’. IMO you are WORSE than the more ‘vocal’ of the sceptics.
I get why the sceptics are there. I do. I see the inconsistencies. I see the big ol’ PR push to prove that this man and this woman Are In Love! And Happy! And Doting Parents! I see it. But I don’t believe it. I see two men who can barely stand next to each other. I see two people so thoroughly bored and unenthusiastic about each other and their child. But of course, I must be jealous. I must want Benedict for myself.
*insert sarcastic laughter*
The man is bland, unappealing and hey, if you want Sherlock to play Alan Tauring? Cast Benedict Cumberbatch! If you want Sherlock to play Dr Strange? Cast Benedict Cumberbatch! If you want a rich, white, privileged, posh, straight white boy, who, frankly, is problematic as all hell, cast, you got it! Benedict Cumberbatch.
Sceptics are not wrong when they see a big hole in the PR narrative.
Here is what I think happened - excusing of course that NONE OF US ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT THE TRUTH IS - they were fucking, she got knocked up (either deliberately or oops - my bet on deliberate) - he did the old posh, English gentleman thing and presto! She has a Gold Ticket for life, he has a child he may not have exactly wanted RIGHT NOW and a wife he cant seem to actually LIKE.
So, does that OPINION deserve bullying, harassment or online stalking?
Does an OPINION of any kind deserve bullying, harassment or online stalking?
Does thinking the baby is not real deserve bullying, harassment or online stalking?
Does thinking the marriage is not legit deserve bullying, harassment or online stalking?
Does ANYTHING about this situation deserve bullying, harassment or online stalking?
While I think some sceptics have taken it too far and have very obviously let their ego get in the way of logic and sense, overall, I have found the majority of sceptic blogs to be funny, analytical, thorough and downright informative.
I would never say that about any of the other blogs.
I am not taking sides in this. I am fairly apathetic about the are they/aren’t they argument. Like most celebrity marriages, I don really expect theirs to last for long. I am saying that bullying, harassment and online stalking of other bloggers - particularly those who are minors - is in no way warranted.
Before I go, I want to address those on both sides who claim to have (a) sources or (b) contacted Benedicts ‘people’. Lots of people claiming lots of rubbish in my opinion. I’ve worked for a well-known entertainment company based in Sydney. They did PR for some of THE biggest names in entertainment, while in Australia. And you know what? Emails were read by interns. Not by anyone who actually matters. There is a form ‘letter’ that is sent…and a number of quotes are contained, such as:
Thank you for your email/letter/enquiry…
We are unable to confirm…
We thank you for…
Simple, basic mail merge stuff. A highschooler can do this. Which is why its the interns job to respond to anything that is NOT official. You may see a VIP name on the email but in reality, unless you are Someone of Importance, your email will only ever be seen by an intern or someone low on the totem pole. Agents and reps don’t have time for your petty, whining fandom wailings.
You can say all you like that you’ve contacted his ‘people’ or someone connected with him and you can can claim to have received a response, but in reality, unless you’re willing to provide actual evidence, all of this is placed in the less-than-1% of things I read that I believe.
Oh and before I forget - continuation and keeping stories straight aren’t a particular strong suit of this group of people.
You cant claim that:
Benedict doesn’t KNOW about the sceptics
Benedict KNOWS but doesn’t CARE about the sceptics
Benedict doesn’t KNOW and doesn’t CARE about the sceptics
all at the same time. It doesn’t work like that.
I mean, you can claim all you want that Benedict and Sophie picked specific letters aimed at specific people to read at Letters Live, but you cant also claim that the sceptics don’t matter enough for them to bother.
Prior to Letters Live, it was claimed that ‘I think Benedict doesn’t give a flying fuck what the sceptics think’ - by the same blogger who claimed that ‘Benedict was deeply in love with his wife and was devastated about what was being said online’.
What a think-skinned little boy he is, if he cant stand a bit of online gossip about him and his wife.
What a petty little man if he deliberately chose to attack bloggers online by reading and having his wife read certain letters.
When it looks, smells and sounds like bullshit, I call bullshit.
I have read enough about Benedict, his wife and his fans to make these last couple of observations:
What happened to the man who once claimed that he would ‘fiercely protect’ the privacy of his children?
What happened to the man who once fronted paparazzi and asked them to focus on Egypt instead of the filming of a TV show?
What happened to the man who once said ‘my private life is private’?
What happened to the man who could once walk down the street without paparazzi capturing his every moment? I mean, we got his engagement, his wedding (SOLD! to the Highest Bidder!), his honeymoon (how did that Jaguar/Bora Bora/Whale watching honeymoon go?), his child’s birth (Look! Over there! I have a SON, this will take the pressure off the CBE announcement).
Now my question to you. WHY do you care what people online are saying about a celebrity and his wife?
WHY do you care if people think that a celebrity and his wife aren’t exactly what PR is trying to push?
WHY DO YOU stand on the altar of Benedict Cumberbatch and pretend that he is not human. That he is infallible? That he is simply, just a man? You make him out to be some kind of god and in reality, he’s just another actor, just another person on this earth.
My only conclusion is that you are so unhappy and unfulfilled in your own lives that you seek to live vicariously. That you seek what you do not have and you try to make it seem like Benedict and his wife are the be all and end all of human relationships.
** I wont say you should be ashamed. I wont say you should be embarrassed. I wont say you should feel bad. I wont say any of that because frankly, I think you lack basic human empathy. You’re so focused on what YOU THINK OTHER PEOPLE should or should not be doing that you don’t stop and think for just one second what your attitude and behaviour has the possibility to do. God forbid one of the bloggers you have relentlessly bully, harass and online stalked tries to harm themselves. I don’t think that you would feel anything other than satisfaction that a ‘hater’ was gone and that you were ‘winning’.
Nothing about this situation is a fucking competition. You will not win any awards or ribbons or accolades by anyone for your behaviour.
I wish I could do more. I wish that tumblr would do more. I wish that before posting, people stop and think what their words may do.
I wish for a lot of things in this world, but what I wish the most is that none of your loved ones experience the kind of hate and vileness you show towards others.
well i didn’t write the post i just reblogged but i guess i can deliver of course so clexa fluff ft. abby bc reasons:
imagine clarke and lexa, and maybe abby and kane and everybody just in lexa’s tent, and it’s late at night and they’re discussing war plans because ontari is still a fucking bitch that wants to take over the coalition but they’re all actually teaming up to stop her. imagine the meeting ends and clarke is just. lingering.
and abby looks at clarke and she’s just, “honey?” because clarke hasn’t moved. she’s just hovering near the war table and the air is suddenly kind of awkward and tense and abby knows but she doesn’t want to know at the same time and so she tries to ignore it. tries to pretend the tension isn’t there, tries to pretend she can’t see the way clarke averts her eyes or the way lexa’s hands fidget with the hilt of her sword or just–anything, really. abby has her suspicions, she always has, but she doesn’t want to see it, and so she just. doesn’t.
“it’s late,” abby says, and maybe she places a hand on the small of clarke’s back and tries to just, gently direct her out, bring her with her. clarke’s been staying in polis a long time and maybe abby just wants some time with her daughter. her daughter who she hasn’t really had much of a chance to spend time with since she left camp over three months ago. her daughter who has, really, always had such a weight on her shoulders and whose burden only seems to grow heavier by the day. a daughter who’s eighteen going on forty and abby just wants to be a mother. “come on.”
and clarke, clarke doesn’t want to insult her mother because she loves her, she does, but her place is here, with lexa. and so she, reluctantly–reluctantly because she knows this will hurt her, she knows her mom will take this the wrong way–she pulls away from abby and shakes her head.
“no, mom,” she says, and she very pointedly does not look at lexa, lingering in the background. lexa, who’s doing a very terrible job of pretending she’s busy with ~whatever~ when she’s actually eavesdropping. lexa, who’s watching and waiting for abby to even look at clarke the wrong way, because in a lot of ways lexa is kind of like a motherhen, protective and fiercely devoted to her happiness.
and she sees the disbelief and the slight insult come over her mom’s face before the words are even out of her mouth, but she has to say them. she has to, or abby will never understand. “i’m staying here.”
“you have a perfectly good bed with–”
“with lexa,” clarke finishes, and she presses her lips together and tilts up her chin and for a moment, a flash of realization jumps to the front of her mind. she’s practically channeling lexa right now.
abby freezes, looks from her, to lexa, to her again and back. “with lexa,” she says, slow and careful. clarke sees the look on abby’s face and she knows what it means. abby knows, but she wants to hear it from clarke’s mouth. it’s a mother’s look. it’s a mom thing, and clarke kind of hates it.
abby tilts her own head back then, a singular brow rising. “care to tell me why you’re staying here with lexa?” abby asks. “when we’ve taken the time to set up a place for you in our camp?”
“this is our camp too,” clarke says. “it’s all ours.”
“you know what i mean, clarke.”
and she does. but this isn’t a topic she was really prepared to breach with her mom today. or ever, for that matter. “i–lexa and i,” she starts, and she can’t hold her mother’s gaze because she can’t face the criticism in them. she can’t deal with the thought that her mom might judge her for this, too, because she’s already been judged enough. this is the one thing that’s brought her happiness and she can’t have her mom judging her for this.
“clarke and i,” lexa says, and her voice is suddenly at clarke’s ear and clarke feels a hand intertwine with her own. “are houmon. she is safe with me.”
clarke thinks ‘houmon’ might be taking it a bit far, but by the way abby’s brows rise, it definitely gets the point across. clarke lifts her head, faces her, draws strength from lexa’s hand in hers, from lexa’s presence at her side. “mom. i’m staying here.”
“i see.” and abby looks between them again. “is that what–is that what the ceremony was? before?”
it takes clarke a moment to even grasp what her mother is asking, but when she does, she lets out a bark of shocked laughter. lexa eyes snap to hers, alarmed enough that clarke has to wave her away, shaking her head. “i’m sorry,” she says, more to lexa than her mother. “no, mom.” when lexa gives her a questioning glance, she smiles. “she thinks we were…united, in the ceremony.”
“oh,” lexa says, and to clarke’s surprise, she blinks rapidly, swallows, and says it a second time: “oh.” with more meaning, like the thought has only just struck her. “no. of course not.”
“right,” and abby doesn’t look like she’s entirely convinced, but she nods. “fine. i’m coming to get you first thing in the morning, clarke.” and she looks at lexa. “just so you know, commander,” abby says, and she lifts a hand to point a finger at lexa like it’s a threat, “i don’t care who you are. you hurt my daughter again and i will personally see to it that you live to regret it.”
“i will hold you to it,” lexa says, and she doesn’t even miss a beat.
abby’s mouth opens and closes like she isn’t quite sure what to make of that, but after a moment, she nods, drops her hand, and gives them both one last glance before marching out of the tent. it’s only when she’s gone that clarke turns to lexa, an amused little smile quirking at the corner of her lips.
“houmon?” she asks, her voice warm with equal parts fondness and mirth.
“i…” lexa turns to her, licks her lips, and nods. “yes.”
“and the ceremony,” clarke brings a hand up to the buckles on lexa’s armor, taking satisfaction in the way that lexa’s throat bobs when she does. “is there something i should know, lexa? are we united?”
“no,” lexa answers, and her voice is low and thick and clarke already knows where the girl’s mind is and she revels in her effect on her. on the commander. “not yet.”
“yet,” clarke chuckles, and leans in. “you’re awfully optimistic.”
“how can i not be,” and lexa’s hands come up to wrap around her waist just as clarke’s wrap around her shoulders. “you are here. and you have forgiven me.”
“have i?” and lexa draws back, her brows furrowing suddenly. clarke meets that look with a coy smile of her own. “i might need a little more persuasion…”
Eyes of canopy green flitted around a large, conversing crowd, taking in all the guests, men in their expensive looking tuxedos and women in their over the top designer dresses, hoping he didn’t appear to be too out of place among the other guests. His tux was on loan from a friend, as he didn’t own a tux, just suits, and his were never more than a hundred dollars at the most as it was. Yet here, surrounded by California’s elite, he’d never felt more like a pile of rags, even in his top-notch tux.
The first thing Loki has you doing? Scrubbing toilets. If the cleaner fumes weren’t already doing it, you would choke on the irony.
If he’s trying to torture you, it’s definitely working. Your back aches, and your knees are red from kneeling. Who knew that a facility of this size could have so many bathrooms?
Three days in his safe house and you’ve barely seen him since that first night. He’ll sail through a room, giving a few orders as he passes. Every so often, he’ll glance at you, and walk away again with this infuriating smirk. He also never bothered to check and see if you actually had a place to sleep, so you have yet to spend a comfortable night since leaving Stark Tower. Sometimes you curl up in corners or storage spaces, but more often you spend the time roaming the mostly vacant back hallways of Loki’s facility. There’s always something going on, especially around the lab, but a lot of the halls are deserted even during the day. Since discomfort is hardly new for you, your night time activities seem like some sort of adventure, at least compared to how you used to spend your time after dark, sleeping fitfully, always on the run, ready to vanish if necessary. But cops are a little easier to get away from than teleporting homicidal aliens.
I highly suggest you listen to this while you read this in order to get the full Disney effect…
Taylor’s skin was slick with sunscreen and all she could hear was the joyous screams of children. Her blonde hair was stuck to her sweaty neck and she could feel Adam pressed up against her. He wrapped his arms around her and she groaned.
“It’s too hot for hugs,” she whined. He laughed and pulled her even closer, pressing a kiss against her cheek.
“I love you,” he whispered.
“Love you, too,” she promised. The people in front of them began moving forward and she followed suit, Adam dragging along behind her. They were both in Florida for shows and they decided to take a day that they both had off and go to Disney World. Adam had never been to Disney and Taylor had only been a few times. It was almost Halloween time and Disney had an annual Halloween party that Taylor wanted to go to.
One of her favorite songs came over the loud speaker and she began to sing along, softly, as to not draw attention to herself. So far, nobody had recognized them. Though she loved meeting fans, sometimes she just wanted to have her time to herself. She wanted to just be able to go out somewhere as Taylor and Adam and not as Tayvin. She wanted to stand in a long line to get on a roller coaster without being led up through the exit to get right on just because she was Taylor Swift.
Shit. She hadn’t noticed him yet. Maybe he could turn and leave without them noticing – Sam would understand. Sam was the most empathetic person he knew. He wouldn’t scold Steve for coming home spice-less to avoid an awkward encounter with an ex. Surely. They drew closer Fuck Please don’t notice me, please don’t notice me, please don’t notice me… “Steve?” Fuck.
In which Steve is saved from his ex in a grocery store, Bucky Barnes is Way Too Chill about absolutely everything, and Sam has had enough of all of these goddamn pineapples in his fucking house.
Or: The five times Steve received a pineapple (and one Piña Colada) and the one time he didn’t
“We should date,” Bucky blurts out, inspiration suddenly striking.
That gets him Steve’s attention, at least. “Excuse me?” he asks.
“No no no, hear me out,” Bucky says. “You wanna get back at them, right? Imagine the following: We date, fall madly in love, then have the most horrendous breakup in history and make them deal with that. They’ll feel terrible because they set us up, and we get to eat free ice cream and see their faces when we eventually tell them we pulled one over them,” Bucky finishes with a smug grin.