i was going to post this tomorrow but then i had ~feelings~

Under the Rabbit’s Moon

Part 2

Their story did not have a happy ending. Happy endings were endings, the finishing of things. Their story cycled into the hibernation of another ancient pattern doomed to be repeated in a later generation. Her boys died to save the world and all it had achieved was a handful of years meant for peace.

But it was peace, and hoards of people were too tired and too lost and too broken to believe it was anything less than what they had been fighting and dying for all along. The fatherless drank deep cups of sake in a shared tent and sang until they couldn’t feel the tears on their face anymore.

To them it was enough.

Not for her.

Sakura felt cursed with her inability to let go and see the resolution to their conflict as anything less than what it was. She couldn’t lie to her self, (though she tried), and believe things were okay. No, her boys were dead and that force was not yet defeated. Their last, best hope hadn’t been enough to lay the moon goddess to rest for good. The mother of all chakra still remained, but Naruto, Sasuke, and Kakashi were all gone.

She was alone, and that was why she dug through the ancient tree, peeling back bark and acid sap and carving out chunks of the innermost wood before reaching the nub of gelatin like coating that housed the immortal. Sakura’s body was decaying fast, burning down to bones, but she peeled it back and broke the pod open, yin seal blow wide and glowing.

‘‘You hope to kill me?’’ Kaguya’s voice was a mournful echo between Sakura’s ears. “Ah, if only you could. There must always be a cursed one. That is the price of things. Magic, chakra, power…it isn’t free. Don’t you know that silly child?’’

Sakura screamed, feeling her face burn as the seal spread out lines of iridescent purple thicker and thicker across her body. She was dying and being reborn all at once, but it wouldn’t last forever. She would run out of chakra and die soon enough and no one would be around to find her body. No one dared come close to the sacred tree, not after they saw what it had done at the last battle. Too many people remembered being a part of it, of being sucked dry by it.

“I’m taking you with me,” Sakura grunted through clenched teeth.

The woman’s voice tinkled like a bell. “Will you do it? Will you free me from this curse?”

Suddenly, it was more than just a voice between Sakura’s ears. She saw the moon goddess  standing in the darkness, her skin ash white and eyes as wide and ancient as the surface as the moon reflected across a still ocean. Sakura’s mental defenses sprang up in response, strong and faster from all those years of developing a second persona. Mental hands reached for the mental moon goddess, but froze just shy of squeezing her to death.  

“I’ll give you what you want if you can take it from me,’”Kaguya intoned, closing her pearl colored eyes and opening the slit on her brow to show a spinning third eye, patterned with the sharingan.

Sakura’s body was nearly gone, approaching the point of no return as the acid burned faster and harsher than ever. In her mind she fought against the woman, but in the real world she was paralyzed.  It wasn’t unexpected. Sasuke and Naruto had been powerless when they teamed up alongside Kakashi. What made her think she would be enough?

“But you are. They were going about it the wrong way,” Kaguya cried.

Sakura screamed, feeling the pain of her physical body  give her the last mental boost needed to finish closing her fists and squeezing the woman out of existence. Kaguya was gone in a cloud of shimmering moon dust and Sakura collapsed, knowing her body wasn’t going to last more than a minute.

’That’s fine. I’ll see them again,’ she thought, closing her eyes.

In the back of her mind she felt cold fingers run patterns through her thoughts. There was a tinkling of bells and womanish laughter. “Yes, you will.”

That had been three years ago.


Sakura makes it a game to guess the ages of the children who dare each other to pass into her hedge garden, a place she’s tended to with the intention of making it a place for healing the sick and tending to the injured. It just so happened that too many of the men and women she restored took to repaying her with cultivating the land into a zen garden surrounded by intricately trimmed hedges. It makes it easy for her to develop a genjutsu on the hedges that keep out intruders.  

Children too young to see through her illusion wander until they are tired and give up or fall asleep in the cooling shade. More than once she’s had to carry out sleeping children, proving further stories of horror and terror.

There is a boy today too young to be much older than five or six with ashen blond hair, stumbling around, trying to get through. Sakura recognizes him as one of the boys she has had to carry out. Admittedly she found him cute with wide eyes and a face full of soft baby fat too innocent and too young for the leg guards and gauntlets he already sported.

When he falls asleep under one of the hedges Sakura stops just outside the reach of the hedge’s shade and wonders if she shouldn’t just keep him to herself, protect him from the fighting she knows is happening not too far away in a land she has no interest in.

She kneels, loose pants brushing the soft grass as her knees touch down. His mouth is open and drooling onto his arm as his legs stretch out in sleep. He is content where he lies, he feels comfortable in the shade and it nearly breaks her heart. 

Nearly.

Keep reading

25 Days (’Til He’s Mine) - Day 8


Haven’t read any other 25 Days posts yet?  STOP!  Go here to read all the previous installments and get caught up.

I know I’ve been whining about that exchange fic I (still) gotta finish, but I feel like I’ve been seriously neglecting this fic, so I wanted to at least get something out.  So here, have a thing.


Lance dragged himself out of bed with a feeling of dread pooling in his stomach.  He scrubbed a hand through his wild nest of hair as a yawn split his face.  Keith had already gone to work, left early to prepare for a presentation first thing in the morning, and Lance was supposed to be meeting Hunk for drinks after work this evening.  Keith had frowned a little at Lance’s suggestion that he open his advent gift today without Lance, but he’d agreed it was probably the only way to do it unless he waited until tomorrow - an option neither of them had considered seriously.

Shuffling into the bathroom, idly scratching at his stomach, Lance could admit to himself he’d only suggested it because he was a fucking coward.  What Keith opened today seemed silly on the surface, but there was some real feelings buried in there and Lance was honestly glad he wasn’t there to see Keith’s face when he read what Lance had left for him.  Except, now he didn’t know what to expect, and the uncertainty was eating him alive.

He hurried through his shower and other morning ablutions, words flitting through his brain.  For some godforsaken reason he’d thought it would be cute to write silly little holiday haikus for one of the days.  And it had been a cute idea - right up until the poems had taken a hard right turn into the realm of Serious EmotionsTM.  There were four of them in total and the words for each were seared into his brain, unforgettable at this point.

The first, titled Keith wasn’t too bad.  It had stayed pretty close to Lance’s goal of being silly but well-intentioned.  He’d really only wanted to make Keith smile with it.

Sexy, adorable

Unexpected best friend

Wrong about aliens

Lance didn’t think there was much in those three lines that would give his boyfriend pause.  The second, Christmas was much the same.  The only underlying truth it was likely to expose was that Lance really had no skill for writing haikus - the syllables/sound units thing honestly confused the shit out of him.  So yeah, the poem was poorly executed, but heartfelt and cheesy - pretty much everything Lance aspired to be on a daily basis.

Lights, tree, warm cookies

Together with my family

Everything I enjoy

Selecting a suit from his closet at random, Lance dressed with just as little focus as he’d spared for showering.  He couldn’t let go of his own irritation long enough to stop second guessing himself.  Because if the first two poems had been exactly what he was shooting for, that all fell apart with the third, Tradition.

Old and comfortable

There is still room for one more

How we show we care

That was so much more revealing than Lance had planned to be, gave away so much more than he really felt comfortable with at this point.  But instead of fixing it with the last haiku, he’d just fucking doubled down and practically served Keith his heart on a platter when he’d penned the last poem, Family.

None of your own now

Will share mine with you instead

Love making you smile

What in the fuck had he been thinking.  And now he hadn’t been around to see how Keith reacted to those words, to what essentially amounted to a confession of much deeper feelings than anything they’d ever talked about. People said it all the time, often he even agreed, but right now, Lance felt it on a bone deep level - he was a fucking idiot.

He stumbled into the kitchen seeking coffee.  If he was going to keep contemplating his complete and irredeemable stupidity, he’d damn well do it when he was properly caffeinated.  However, he was immediately distracted from that pure and noble goal by a large yellow square stuck to the microwave. Stomach turning over in anxiety, he pulled the note off and read:

Princess,

There’s eggs inside; just need to be reheated.  Hopefully you didn’t wake up too late to eat them.  See you at work.

-Keith

P.S.  These things are harder to fucking write than they look, but here goes nothing.


Lance

Insane but perfect

Gives me what no one else will

What no one else can


Luck

All are born and die

Only chance in between

Stars align; found you

Oh.

Lance’s hands were trembling and his eyes were stinging by the time he finished.  Oh hell.  It looked like Lance wasn’t going to have to tone down anything - he was going to have to up his game.  Because against all odds, his boyfriend was a motherfucking romantic bastard.

a small update

hi internet pals :) i’m really sorry that i didn’t post a story today like i promised, i had a really tough day and i just don’t want to write. plus if i’m unmotivated the story would be sort of shit lol. i feel really bad for letting you guys down, i was really hoping to post today :( i’ll try my best to post tomorrow/day after but until then please keep sending in requests :) i’m going to be writing a lot the moment i feel better. i hope you’ve all had a lovely evening. until next time, here is a cute gif. xx

Originally posted by olly994

1.12.17 Potential Spontaneity (8/100 days of productivity)

Today was figurative Friday. I don’t have any classes tomorrow but I had four classes today. It was a pretty simple day. I feel asleep in the middle of my homework reading of The Great Gatsby last night, so I had to use my between-class-time to speed read. 

The most exciting part about today is that one of my friends spontaneously decided to plan a trip to Washington DC this weekend! Me and three other people are (hopefully) going. I’ve never been to DC and I’m also not a spontaneous person, so this would be a really cool experience for me. I just have to okay it with work and make sure I can take off, but my fingers are crossed!

9

Source: Phone Call with Seven on Day 10, After 0:44+VN

WTF. How. DARE. NOTHING ABOUT THIS PHONE CALL WAS OKAY. Even if MC did fall in love with Jumin, that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t care about Seven, and listening to him have a FUCKING BREAKDOWN is A million times worse than Zen’s offhand comment in Yoosung’s route about the fact he had feelings for her, but didn’t realize it before she chose Yoosung.

Goddamn Cheritz, you surely know how to break my fucking heart. I’m going to enjoy the next route (Seven’s) with all I have and get the Good Ending or SO HELP ME…

…Some of the shit Seven says/does in this route now makes a helluva lot more sense after this phone call, and my heart hurts even more.

I am still going to write a reaction post tomorrow to Jumin’s route as a whole. I just… REALLY needed to express myself rn.

Cruel world

Where Harry goes away for a couple days and y/n gets back into her old ways 

Request: Could you do one where him finds out about the readers drug addiction and helps her 

trigger: drug use

A/N: I am so sorry I didn’t post yesterday and didn’t post till later tonight. I was extremely sick yesterday and still didn’t feel the best today till tonight. Tomorrow will be back to normal and I will post early. I hope you guys like this imagine and always remember to requests and leave feed back. Also if any of you guys are going through a drug addiction I beg of you please get help it is not worth it. enjoy

Before Harry and I were together something I never had the courage to tell him about was my drug addiction. It all started is when I surrounded myself with the wrong people and tried heroin for the first time. I did it here and there in high school but it became a huge problem when I got into college. These group of people I followed all the way too college and made more friends who were addicted also. At that time in my life I didn’t care about school, my family, my job nothing was worth it but this drug. I was doing so bad at school at one point that I was dropped and could not return back. I was completely devastated but understand why and at that moment I knew I had to get help to make any type of life for myself. So I sent myself to rehab and got out about 6 months later. When I got out I felt like an all new me a new person. Yes the withdraw was so horrible and never would want someone to go through something like that. It’s been about 3 years since then and 2 years since Harry and I have been together.

Keep reading

December drawing challenge

Hopefully I’ll have Time to do this but exams :/ anyway anyone feel free to us this! I’m probably not going to get today posted so that will be tomorrow! Here’s my December drawing prompts!! Tag with #December art challenge

1) scarves and hats
2) red
3) hot drink!
4) cold
5) dull
6) stay warm
7) boots
8) preparation
9) excitement
10) prom/dance
11) snow
12) blue
13) mistletoe
14) joy
15) stress(exams)! (Had to throw this in)
16) games
17) gifts
18) costumes
19) decorations
20) love
21) warmth
22) family/friends
23) stockings
24) impatient
25) Xmas
26) walk
27) green
28)lights
29) gold
30) silver
31) celebration

how the bad could go even worse?

it seems it can. I already did a post, that I had money problems, which I got help a bit with a commission (which I am still working on, but currently I can’t, cuz crying)

but it got worse. My cat has a big problem, and to save him, I would need like over 150 euro. I didn’t get my payment, but if I get it tomorrow morning (that would be lucky) but still that money is not enough I am expecting like less 60-70 euro only………… I don’t know if I can any kind of support and donation by tomorrow (through paypal)…….

I am actually crying here, since he is my love, I cannot live without him, what I would do without him? he is the only thing that makes me feel less lonely in this world…. I don’t know what to do.

paypal: timo.sverige@gmail.com

Quidditch Fiend: Oliver Wood X Reader

Request: Could u do an oliver imagine where ur lockhearts daughter and captin of ravenclaw quidditch team and he is ur boyfriend and ur dad is being annoying so u go to him for comfort and fluuuufffff!?!

A/N: sorry I know this wasn’t the next request, but I wanted to post something for you guys and this one seemed quick and easy to write compared to the others. I’ve been busier than I thought unfortunately but I’ll try to get the queue filled tomorrow!

“Dad, I would think you of all people would understand that Quidditch can be just as beneficial as anything else,” you argued with your father, who has brought up a few concerns about your lifestyle.

You were angry that he was berating you for spending “too much time on quidditch” and not “not enough time on your studies,” when he was busy trying to become friends with students who had parents as successful seekers and keepers.

“For others, maybe, but don’t you feel it’d be best to have a backup plan? Things like that don’t always work out in the future,” he tried to reason.

You rolled your eyes, annoyed by his hypocrisy. “I’m the captain of the team, that’s got to mean something to you. Obviously I’m quite good.”

“Of course, Y/N, you’re a brilliant player, but the professional world of quidditch is much more competitive than Hogwarts teams. It’s lucky for someone to even become the broom polisher for those teams.”

You sighed in frustration, knowing that he was right. But he didn’t seem to understand that you weren’t going to give up just because it was a difficult road ahead. It just meant that you needed as much practice as possible, to hone your skills for the future- even if it meant not studying as much as you used to.

He had distracted himself with paperwork and you took the opportunity to slip from his office, not wanting to continue the conversation. You just wanted to talk to the one person who seemed to understand your passion and determination for quidditch: Oliver.

It was getting late, and students had begun heading back to their dorms, but you knew where Oliver would be- he told you at dinner that he had an astronomy assignment to work on, and you had a feeling he wouldn’t be finished yet.

Sure enough, when you arrived at the tower, Oliver’s back was to you, his eye pressed against the narrow end of a telescope. His hand went to make a mark on his chart and you knocked on the door lightly.

He turned around quickly, thinking it’d be a teacher telling him to go to his dorm, but was relieved and happy to see you.

“Come to watch me struggle?” he joked, already forgetting what he had been about to write.

“More like come to complain about my father,” you smiled, sitting in the floor near Oliver’s workspace in front of the giant window. The darkening night sky looked down at you, moonlight shining on the marble floor.

“What’s he done now, try to recruit you into his little club as well?” he smirked, knowing you hated the club of students with “promising futures” or “successful parents.”

“Quite the opposite actually,” you replied. He cocked his head in confusion and you elaborated, telling him how your father wasn’t fond of your evident decision to pick quidditch over schoolwork.

Oliver sat down next to you, an arm wrapping around your shoulders. “That’s insane.”

“I figured you’d agree,” you smiled. “How can he look down on it like that- like it’s less than- I don’t know- Divination or Ancient Runes. It requires skill and practice.”

“Not even that- how can he not see your potential?” Oliver asked, and you blushed at the praise.

“I’m not that good-”

“Are you mad? (Y/N) you’re brilliant! Obviously it’s difficult to get on a professional team but if anyone can do it it’s you,” he said, looking at you intensely. You could hear the honesty in his voice and it only made you love him more. “I hate seeing you upset, especially over something you don’t even need to worry about.”

“Well it’s hard to be upset when you’re around,” you said, looking up at him.

He leaned forward, giving you a quick, gentle, but romantic kiss. His hand caressed your face even after he pulled away, and you smiled against it.

“I love you, you know,” you assured him. “Thanks for making me feel better.”

“I love you, you quidditch fiend. And don’t you forget it,” he replied, giving your nose a playful kiss. The two of you cuddled together, viewing the stars. Your worries were miles away.

Degrassi Season 3 Reactions - Part 1 (Lola)

Okay, I’ve had some food, slept, glanced over the Degrassi tag, frowned, and come up with how I’ll separate my reactions over the weekend.

- Eps 1-5 (Tomorrow)
- Eps 6-10 (Sunday)
- Lola (Now)

Why does Lola get her own post? What makes her special? Mostly I feel everyone is going into Lola’s plots and action’s all wrong, and it’s part of why a great deal of the fandom is on her case. Anyway, this is where I get into stuff from S3 (and S2, but more on that later), behind a read more.

Keep reading

MCM Comic Con was so much fun, although I felt like the epitome of death for a few hours, I met so many people, had some good bants at the dr meetup and met some people that I’ve wanted to see. I’m so excited to head back there as Russia tomorrow with my sunflower crown and my ‘you tried’ star, I’ll most likely stay in the hetalia meetup, feel free to say hi if you want to.  

-Admin Cactus

anneapocalypse replied to your post “you will have to pry socially awkward, does not know how to friend Tex…”

does-not-know-how-to-friend tex is good and breaks my heart a little, because I really think she thought she and carolina had a friendly competition going at first and then. no. poor tex. :(

*goes digging in my drafts for a post on this exact subject that I was waiting until tomorrow to post to avoid spamming everybody with all my Tex feelings at once*

YES ALL OF THIS. I love to think Tex actually liked Carolina and thought Carolina’s determination to one up her was funny. Which is pretty condescending but honestly Tex can be pretty superior. 

Tex honestly didn’t realize Carolina hated her at first, in my mind. She thought they were rivals, sure, but friendly rivals. Tex’s only basis for how interpersonal communication works is her relationship with Church, she probably has some weird ideas about how friendship works. And like, she probably picked up on it eventually but I also think she picked up on it A LOT LATER THAN SHE SHOULD HAVE, because Tex really has no idea what she’s doing socially. 

I feel strangely calm but deep within me there’s this tiny panic that me and Phil have spent the last you know 2, technically 3 since we had the original idea, years working on this book The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire and this stage show The Amazing Tour Is Not On Fire and tomorrow The Amazing Tour Is Not On Fire and a documentary about the making of it is coming out on YouTube and there we go. It’s there, for all of you, on the Internet - forever. Crazy. See, I say that out loud but I don’t even know what that means because it’s just been my entire life for so long. How strange.
— 

@danisnotonfire during his live show on the 4th of October 2016 (x) - also known as the day before we lost our sh*t and began living in a post TATINOF world

Quotes from Dan (4/?)

Finished off my internship today, got home, relaxed and then went to kickboxing class.


Things are looking good. My energy level perked up, but I don’t think I’m going to study tonight. I want to try to write.


Tomorrow will be a reset day. I feel like I should write a post about reset days because it’s something that helps me a LOT but it’s not something that I had a word for before.


Hope you’re all looking forward to the weekend!

Hiatus over soon!

It’s been rough finding inspiration but I’m staying positive!

Tomorrow I’m going to post some pics of a house I’ve been working on, inspired by the “Vintage Glamour” pack. After that, my priority is Blood Legacy - I’m determined to get this story going for you. I think it’s a fun one! Very maxis-plot-canon-heavy (u feel?), I’ve always had fun “leaning in” to the way the game is written. I’ll be working on Sims 4 posts too.

Love you!
❤️BlackCatSims

Chapter Twenty One

A/N: I go back to school tomorrow so I wanted to post this now in case I don’t get another chance soon. As always, feel free to leave any feedback :)

“What’s something you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t gotten the chance?” Harry asked her on the night before they’d be departing. Not only from the south, but also from each other. Lexy was taking a flight back to Newark and Harry was driving to Charlotte and then getting a direct flight to Heathrow.

They were laying on her bed, it having just passed three am. Lexy had sent the kids home for a few days, with promises to see them again before she left. She hadn’t seen much of her sister, or much of her father, but she knew he was again gone. Lexy had tried to steer clear of him since she and Harry had gotten back from their rendezvous. But Sara had, of course, decided to host a dinner for the entire family before Lexy went back.

But just lying beside Harry, her feet propped against his pajama clad legs, inhaling the scent of his body wash, had her on some sort of high. It was exactly the kind of life she had envisioned for herself in her younger teenage years. And that night, Lexy was definitely a fan of life.

“Ice skating,” Lexy told him after thinking about it. “I’ve always wanted to go but I haven’t really had a chance. I mean, I’ve never even seen an ice skating rink.”

“You’re quite clumsy,” Harry added. “Are you sure that’s what you’d pick out of everything?”

Lexy lifted a shoulder and moved closer to him. “Yeah. Either that or meeting Harry Styles. I always wanted to go to a One Direction concert. I’ve never been to a concert.”

“You’ve never been to a concert?!”

“They’re expensive. And I thought for the longest time that they weren’t my thing, but I don’t really think that’s true. I’m a big fan of music.”

“Hmm, who would you say, that if you got to have your own personal concert, you would want to sing?”

“Harry Styles,” she answered, without a pause.

“Besides him.”

“Um, probably Ed Sheeran.”

“So you’re obsessed with a man named Harry and a man who’s ginger. Care to explain yourself?”

Lexy rolled her eyes and then rolled over so that she was leaning on his chest, looking into his eyes. “You can flatter yourself all you want, Haz. But if either Harry Styles or Ed Sheeran made an appearance in my life, I’d drop kick you all the way to Australia.”

“Oh? Would you now? I’d like to see you try. I bet you don’t even know what a drop kick is.”

“I totally know what a drop kick is.”

“You can’t know everything, babe, no matter how smart you are. Give it a rest.” He wrapped his arm around her, holding her to him. Lexy could feel his heart beating and wondered if he could feel hers too. “So what about your grandparents? I haven’t met them yet.”

“I haven’t exactly met your grandparents either,” Lexy pointed out with a smirk.

“Yeah, but you know of them. What about yours?”

“I don’t have any. One of my grandmas died before I was born, the other the year after my mom died.”

Harry’s eyebrows pulled together. “And your grandfathers?”

“Dead too. Well, my dad’s dad walked out on them when he and his brother were really young, so I never met him. He died in a car accident when I was five I think. The other died when I was twelve.”

“So you don’t have much family then?”

“Just my dad and Sara and the kids. Well, I have my Uncle Billy, that’s my dad’s brother, and a few cousins I only talk to once a year. But that’s it.”

“What about friends from home?”

Lexy shrugged. “I only talk to a couple people still. And the ones I do have different spring breaks than me. But what about you? Do you have a lot of friends?”

“I have a lot of friends,” he told her. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve stopped being around a lot of people, much the same as you, I think. But I think while I’ve been here in America, I’ve only texted one or two people besides family. That should tell you something.”

Lexy frowned. “You’re so social though.”

“Yeah, and like I said, I have a lot of friends. But I’m not as close with people as I used to be. I always have people when I need them, which I’m grateful for, but my best friend is and always will be William. And he’s family, so I don’t think that counts.”

“I think it counts. I think your best friend can be anyone you want it to be. I think for a good portion of my life I was my best friend.”

“And that,” he touched her nose, causing her to wrinkle it. “Is adorable. I really don’t think you understand how cute you are sometimes.”

Lexy narrowed her eyes at him. “That was a really fluffy statement.”

Harry tilted his head, not entirely understanding her terminology. “I mean it though. And I think, one of my absolute favorite parts of being with you, is just watching you grow and realize how much power you possess. Imagine if I told you on that night that I met you last October that we’d be where we are now. You’d have gone running as far as you could go.”

Lexy shrugged. “Probably.”  

“And yet here you are. Lying on top of me.”

Lexy huffed. “You don’t have to make it sound like that.”

Harry laughed. “As if who’s gonna hear me?”

Lexy childishly looked away from him, pretending to ignore him. Harry grabbed her face with both hands and tilted it towards him. Then he kissed her forehead, and then her cheek, and then her other cheek, and finally her lips. Lexy smiled and pulled away from him.

“You know, that first night we met, you did hug me. I had no idea you were so shy.”

“You had me worried! You seemed so sad to be alone. You literally offered to let me write my Spanish essay in an actual palace! And then the next day I go for a run and just happen to bump into you?”

“And then,” he continued for her. “I give you my number and you wait a week to text me! You’re lucky I’m a patient man.”

“Oh please. I had no idea you even wanted to talk to me. And then you just search my name on google and send me an email? What a creeper.”

“I was worried about you! I knew you’d mentioned that your mum had died in December and I wasn’t quite sure when. You’re lucky I thought to google it before December started. If not for me we wouldn’t even be here. And then you up and decided to go to London for a day! By yourself, right before Christmas.”

“Don’t even. You thought handing me off to your brother was a good idea!”

Harry pursed his lips. “They loved you. Kate wouldn’t stop talking about you on Christmas to me. I had to drag her outside in fear that someone was going to hear.”

“Kate was so cryptic. She almost gave me nightmares.”

“You almost gave me a nightmare when I told you how I felt in that restaurant. You just started yelling at me about children’s television programs and shit.”

“Because you didn’t understand my Princess Sofia reference! She’s Liza Belle’s favorite princess of all time. I’m surprised she didn’t ask you if you knew her.”

“Whatever,” Harry muttered, with an immense amount of sass. “Either way, I am glad we are where we are right now.”

“Me too,” Lexy murmured. “Although, I do kind of hate myself for wasting all those nights we were together in Kensington and even Oxford. Especially since we leave in like a day.”

“Yeah? Me too. But it happened the way it was supposed to. That’s the thing about life, Lex, it happens how it should. We can’t question it.”

And in that moment, Lexy really wanted to look into Harry’s eyes and tell him that she loved him, because she really was feeling it. But every article she had read had told her that on average couples didn’t say it until six months in, and they were almost at two. So she settled for smiling and reached up to brush his hair from his forehead.

“When do you think we’re going to see each other again?”

“In May, probably. If you want to come, that is. I haven’t actually secured an internship for you yet but I don’t think it’ll be that difficult. If nothing else you could work in my office. That would still be foreign affairs right?”

“Probably. It all depends on how I write it on my resume anyway.”

Harry nodded and took a deep breath. “The only downside to that is if the press do find out about us, it won’t look so good for you that you’re working for me. It’ll seem as if I got you the internship because I’m your boyfriend, and not because of how brilliant you are.”

“Do you think they’ll find out about us?”

“I think,” he sighed. “That it’s only a matter of time. Especially if you do come to London this summer. I mean, a handful of people already know. All that has to happen is one of them blurt it out and then someone sees me where I’m not supposed to be, like Charlotte. Then it’ll be all over the news.”

Lexy thought about it, Carrie’s words coming back into her brain. She wasn’t as worried as she thought she would be. She felt strangely okay with it. “I think I can handle it. When it happens.”

“They’re going to say some awful things about you, Lexy. You can’t let them get to you.”

She nodded again.

“But honestly,” Harry looked up at her ceiling in thought. “I’ve been running it over and over in my head, trying to figure out what they’re going to say. They can’t use the element of class in a negative light, at least not anymore. I mean, they could say something about you being American, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem either. I’m not William. But other than that, you work hard, go to Princeton, and are an accomplished person.”

Harry took another deep breath and looked at her. “I probably should’ve asked you this a while ago, but do you have social media?”

“Just Facebook, snapchat, and Instagram.”  

Harry nodded. “So yeah, I can’t really figure out what they’re going to say, but they’re going to say something. I’ll try to prepare you for it as best I can, but honestly, it’ll just take time.”

“What’s the worst experience you’ve had with the press?”

“Well, there was my mother of course,” He raised an eyebrow. “And during the bulk of my later childhood, a lot was run about my parents. I think that was particularly difficult as a child. But in my own personal years, probably Vegas. Have I told you about Vegas yet?”

Lexy shook her head

“I took this vacation with a few close friends to Vegas right after my Grandmother’s Diamond Jubilee. That was for her sixtieth year as Queen,” Harry explained. “But it was a personal vacation, so the only people I had with me were my POs. And you know yourself they don’t go in places except to make sure I’m not in any immediate danger. Well, we invited some girls up to our room to play billiards and someone took pictures. The media had a field day with it.”

Lexy frowned. “What’s wrong with you playing billiards in a hotel room on vacation?”

“It was strip billiards. I was naked in the photos. My bare arse was on the cover of a few magazines.”

Lexy narrowed her eyes and frowned. Then it hit her. “Oh!” She exclaimed, sitting up. “I did actually hear about this. You know, you mentioned this a while back, like being naked on a magazine cover or something, but I just connected it. Yeah, that was a big deal here when it happened. I forgot that was you!”

Harry rolled his eyes. “Jesus. Thanks, Lex.”

“Well, I knew it wasn’t William, because that was the year after the wedding I think? And even though Sara was pregnant with Liza-Belle at the time, she still made a big deal out of it. I guess I thought it was Channing Tatum or something.”

Harry snorted. “I’m honored that you thought I was Channing Tatum for a moment. What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you? The most embarrassing, I mean.”

The first thing that hit Lexy’s brain was what had happened with her father a few nights before. But then she thought even harder about it and decided to tell the most embarrassing story she could think of. “My freshman year of school I was taking my final exam in a lecture hall with about two hundred people. It was really easy, or either I had just studied enough for it. But whatever the reason, I went to turn in my exam at the front of the hall. And on my way down there, I fell. Like in front of all two hundred people.”

Harry laughed. “And you want to go ice skating?”

“It’s been on my bucket list since I was like, eight. That and singing Baby It’s Cold Outside with someone I find attractive.”

“I can’t sing.”

“Did I say I found you attractive?”

“Oh whatever, Marks. You can’t deny that you find me irresistible.”

Lexy kicked him and he smiled, wrapping his arms around her tighter and kissing her, neither minding that it was well past the time they should be sleeping. Lexy was tired but she knew that in a few short days there would be no Harry to talk to late at night, for they would be in different time zones again. And truthfully, she wasn’t quite sure how she was going to get through it.

**

The night before Lexy and Harry were set to leave, Sara had told Lexy she was cooking up a feast. She told her there would be chicken and dumplings, Lexy’s favorite food and a southern staple, and enough fried chicken for everyone to have two pieces. She claimed she’d been cooking all day and that Chase, Sara’s husband, would be cooking hamburgers outside.

Lexy had taken a shower and was blow-drying her hair, desperate for it to look nice. She had an ulterior motive for the night, and that was to finally get a picture of her and Harry together. She was wearing a navy blue dress and had actually decided to put on makeup. Lexy actually didn’t have an idea of who all Sara was going to invite.

She sprayed a bit of some body spray she’d been given for Christmas two years before, a tangy, flowery sort of smell. Finally, she took a look in the mirror and liked what she saw, so she grabbed her purse and left the room.

“Yeah, it’s a brilliant movie!” Harry was saying to her father as they stood in the kitchen, apparently in a deep conversation. Harry was wearing a button down and jeans and looked incredibly well put together compared to her father, who was also wearing jeans but a t-shirt that had at least two visible holes in it. “I used to be obsessed with it when I was a kid.”

“Boy, that movie came out right after I got married! I asked my brother to get it as a wedding gift. Luisa May couldn’t stand it. That was Lexy’s mom.”

Harry nodded at the information and Lexy wondered why he didn’t tell her he already knew, why he was just standing there being so nice to her father. Lexy felt a surge of anger run through her once again but tried to push it back down, desperate to make the night a good one.

“I’m ready,” she told them, walking into the kitchen. She watched Harry run his eyes over the length of her entire body before he smiled.

Lexy’s father nodded. “I got a six pack of Blue Ribbon out in the truck. I’ll meet you there.”

Lexy took a deep breath that she tried not to show and grabbed Harry’s hands, tangling their fingers together as she pulled him out of the house.

“You look lovely,” Harry told her, stopping to kiss her check as they descended the steps. Lexy smiled at him and then threw a hand up to wave at both Mitch and Max who were already in the SUV behind them, ready to follow their car. Harry opened her door for her, something Lexy had always thought to be unnecessary, but she had to say, that when it was Harry providing the gesture, it was more than welcome.

Harry shut her door and then went round and climbed into his seat, shutting his door and then running a hand through his hair. “That American beer your father drinks is awful. Well, to be honest, all American beer is awful.”

He buckled his seatbelt and put the car in reverse, backing up swiftly down her driveway. Or, as swiftly as he could manage, with the dirt crevices surrounding the car.

“I hate all beer.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

The drive to her sister’s house was quick like usual and rather quiet, as neither had bothered to turn the radio on. Harry parked off to the side and turned the car off, glancing in the rearview mirror at the POs who were parked directly behind him. Lexy saw Chance, the big tall, overweight, lumberjack looking man standing behind a grill. Lexy had always thought he would be attractive, if he were her type. But thankfully he wasn’t, and she pulled a face at the sight of him.

“What’s that face for?”

“Chance,” Lexy muttered as she pointed at him. It was dusk, and it was too dark for Chance to see them in the car. Lexy could only make him out because he was standing near the lights. “That’s Sara’s husband.”

“Right. You told me you don’t like him?”

“I hate him.”

Together they watched him as he occasionally flipped the burgers and would go back to doing something on his phone when he was done. Then she heard her father’s truck, the old rickity sound of it, and sat cross-legged in the seat.

“Can I ask you something?”

His eyes sought hers. Lexy loved his eyes. She’d seen blue eyes before, of course, but his eyes were a particular shade of blue that reminded her of the curtains in her parents’ room when she was younger. Her and Sara would play for hours around them, playing hide and seek, and pretending to be models, and often, pretending that they were in charge of the world. They would take turns playing who got to be queen and who was the princess.

“You know you don’t have to ask.”

Lexy had wanted to, anyway. “Why do you like my father?”

He frowned, his eyebrows pulling together. “Did I say that?”

“Well, no. But you’ve been nice to him.” Anyone else would have cut her off the moment she said no, but Harry wasn’t usually one to do that. He would listen until she had finished her full statement before saying anything. It was one of the things she admired most about him.

Harry took a deep breath. “I’m just being respectful. That has nothing to do with my opinion of him.”

“Oh.” Lexy looked back out the window. It was harder to see but she thought she could see Liza-Belle running around.

“Lex,” he said softly. He intertwined their fingers, causing her to look back at him. He moved their tangled hands up to move some of her hair from in front of her face. Taking his finger, he pulled at her bottom lip repeatedly until she finally smiled.

“You are such a child,” she told him, shaking her head and grabbing her purse, shutting the door. She could already hear the sound of country music playing and with the late March air hitting her, she felt a surge of happiness.

Harry followed after her, shutting his door behind him. “Your shoulders look awfully nice in that dress,” he called after her.

Lexy threw back her head and laughed. She was still laughing when she reached Sara’s door, pushing it open to reveal a myriad of scents and Deacon on top of the couch, heavily absorbed in his tablet.

“What’s wrong with you?” Sara asked, taking a step back from the kitchen sink so she could see her.

“Harry,” she said, just as he stepped inside. “Harry is what’s wrong with me.”

Sara rolled her eyes. “I still have a lot to tell you.”

Sara’s hair was in a messy ponytail but Lexy still thought she looked nice. Lexy only hoped that when she had her own children she could manage to look as nice.

“Lexy!” Levi yelled, running down the hallway, his eyes zeroing in on Lexy’s phone in her hand. Lexy laughed and swung him up to her arms. Harry tickled his cheek from behind her and Levi laughed, leaning back and trying to get away from him.

“Is Daddy here?” Sara asked as she put something in the oven and then walked into the room. She sat down on the couch beside Deacon, pulling her own phone out of her pocket.

“He pulled up. I don’t know where he is now.”

Sara nodded. “Well, a lot of people are already out in the back if you want to go see them? Liza-Belle’s out there with Uncle Billy and the Parker woman.”

Lexy frowned at the mention of her father’s old girlfriend, wondering what in the world had possessed Sara to even invite her. But she looked back at Harry who was already looking at her and they went outside to the back, Lexy feeling grateful that Sara had bothered to straighten up the house.

Levi reached for Harry and Harry took him, smiling at the toddler. “He really likes you a lot,” Lexy nodded as she opened the backdoor and led the way outside.

Harry smirked. “You know what they say about kids and their judgment of character. I’m a great person.”

Lexy couldn’t help but laugh at him, hearing the sounds of country music amplify as they stepped out onto the porch.

Sara’s backyard was huge, with trees cradling the far side of it and the children’s swing set in the midst. There was a pen to the far left that was full of chickens and to its left, a pig. Some of Lexy’s cousins were already dancing around to the music.

“Is that Lexy-loo I see?” Her Uncle Billy called. He was a military man through and through, but over the years his demeanor had softened, and Lexy had never met a soul kinder than him. His hair was almost all gray then, and he was more like a grandfather to her than an uncle. Uncle Billy knew about her father all too well and used to do whatever he could to make it easier on Sara and Lexy.

Lexy grinned and skipped down the steps, feeling much like a child again. She threw her arms around him and he held her tight. Lexy breathed in his scent of cigarettes and cheap Walmart cologne.

“I missed you, baby. How’s school going? How was England?”

“It’s going good,” she said, noticing her own grammar error but too much in her element to correct herself. “And England was amazing. It’s probably my favorite place.”

And she wasn’t lying—she missed the scenery, the short drives, Oxford and her friends. And even from her two weeks in London, she missed the buzz of the city.

“I don’t doubt it. I was stationed there for about two years back in the day. I haven’t travelled since, but there’s nothing like the history.”

Lexy smiled at him and then looked back to see Harry standing a couple feet away, talking to Levi. She grabbed his hand and pulled him towards them.

“This is Harry, my boyfriend. And Harry, this is my Uncle Billy.”

Uncle Billy gave her a stern glance. “Boyfriend? When’d you get so big?” Then he squinted at Harry before holding his hand out. Harry shuffled Levi into his other arm so he could shake his hand and after about fifteen seconds, Uncle Billy finally cracked a smile. “You’ve got a nice handshake. Your name’s Harry?”

“Yes, sir. I hear you were in the navy?”

Uncle Billy looked at Lexy. “You met him in England, didn’t you?” When Lexy nodded, he looked back at Harry. “I was. For over thirty years. I’m retired now but I’ll never forget those long days. They were probably the best of my life. You in the military too?”

Harry nodded.

“Air force?”

“Army.”

“That explains the handshake. Where are you stationed?”

“I’m retired now but I did two tours if Afghanistan.”

“Retired? How old are you, boy?”

Harry had the decency to look uncomfortable for a moment. “Thirty-two.”

Uncle Billy whistled, looking down at Lexy. “You didn’t tell me you were into the oldies, Lexy-loo. I could’ve hooked you up real good.” Lexy laughed, throwing her head back. Harry cracked a smile and Uncle Billy shook his head. “Why are you retired so young? When I was thirty-two I had just made it to Wales!”

“Harry’s a prince,” Lexy explained for him. “So he does a lot of charity work too. He retired to spend more time on that.”

Uncle Billy looked impressed, smiling at Harry. “Well, it’s real nice to meet you. Even if you are an army boy.” Harry laughed. “And you best treat Lexy right, you understand? I’ve got quite a few friends who are still in service. I don’t care if you’re a prince. She’s worth more than all that.”

Lexy’s face got all hot but she did feel happy at her uncle’s words. No doubts about it, she had missed him.

Harry nodded seriously at his words. “I will. You have my word.”

Uncle Billy nodded, satisfied. Then he looked at Lexy. “And your momma would be real proud of you, kid. We used to talk about how you’d be the one to get away and make something good of yourself. And while I am pleasantly surprised that you’re dating a prince, I don’t think your momma would be surprised at all. Now, give me that baby and go get some of Ms. Parker’s pie. She made your favorite.”

Harry handed him Levi and then put an arm around Lexy, watching as Uncle Billy began to talk to him. They wandered over to the dessert table, trying all of the treats there first. The music seemed to get louder as they stood there.

“I like him,” Harry said, in between bites of some cookie he was eating.

Lexy nodded. “When I was a kid, I used to wish he was my dad. I’d tell my mom that all the time and she would just always tell me that there was a reason for everything, and that if Uncle Billy was my father, I wouldn’t be me.”

“She’s right,” Harry nodded. “You wouldn’t be Lexy.”

He was just about to finish his statement but they were interrupted by one of Lexy’s neighbors coming up to greet her. And when she left and Harry made an attempt to keep speaking, they were interrupted again. It only signaled what the rest of the night was going to be like.

They spent the next two hours in conversation with what seemed like everyone in attendance, everyone interested in Lexy and what she was doing, and overjoyed to meet Harry. It wasn’t as bad as Lexy had thought it was going to be and she was feeling happy to see everyone again. Finally, as the night was coming to a close and all of the adults had settled down drinking beer and the kids who were too young to be awake were in bed, Lexy and Harry were seated away from most of the commotion, alone again, in pleasant conversation.

Harry had refused any of the beer but Lexy had had two of them, and they were seated in two different chairs but Lexy had her feet on Harry’s lap, laughing every time he ran his hands over them again and again.

“Tonight has been so much fun,” she said, as Harry clasped her ankle. “I had no idea people actually missed me.”

“Yeah? I happen to think you’re a very miss-able person.”

“That’s not even a word,” she said, sticking her tongue out at him. She grabbed one of his hands and played with his fingers, loving the way that they were calloused but smooth just the same.

It was the kind of perfect evening she had always wanted, her family happy a couple feet away from her. Sara and Chase were getting along for once, Sara sitting on his lap, whatever divorce she was talking about still up in the air. Lexy’s father and Uncle Billy were laughing a couple feet away, neighbors sitting in a circle all around them. There were about twenty people still there and everyone seemed to be in good moods, either from the alcohol, or the food, or the company.

And the mosquitos weren’t out yet. That was definitely a role in the happiness.

“I love this song,” Lexy mentioned, her voice quiet as the song came on. “I used to listen to it over and over when I was missing home.”

“What is it?” Harry murmured, his eyes on hers, like that’s where they were supposed to be.

“I’ll never settle down, that’s what I always thought. Yeah, I was that kind of man, just a skinny one. I don’t dance, but here I am, spinning you around and around in circles. It ain’t my style, but I don’t care, I’d do anything with you anywhere. Yes, you got me in the palm of your hand. Cuz I don’t dance,” Lexy sang along, not even caring about her voice. She’d been told she should never be a singer but she was too happy to care.

Harry’s smile was soft when he set her feet on the ground and stood up, holding his hand out to her. “Let’s dance?”

“I can’t dance!” Lexy exclaimed but laughed anyway.

“Well, I can, so come on,” Harry reached forward and grabbed her hand, pulling her up against him.

***Love’s never come my way, I’ve never been this far. ‘Cause you took these two left feet, and waltzed away with my heart.***

There was just two of them in the yard for those three minutes, eyes on each other’s, bodies close together, smiling and stepping back and forth to the soft rhythm of the song. Neither realized that everyone was watching them, or that Mitch, who was standing in the corner of the yard, took a picture, with flash.

When they climbed back into the car that night, the last to leave, and drove back to Lexy’s house, both were on some kind of high that Lexy hadn’t thought she could get anywhere except the marijuana that she’d declared she would never try again. They were inside before they knew it, laughing like there wasn’t any time left to do anything else.

And while Harry was brushing his teeth, Lexy checked her phone to see a text from Mitch, who she hadn’t even known had her number. Attached was the picture of her and Harry.

Harry’s arms were tight around her and she was looking up at him, smiling, eyes closed. And Lexy was overjoyed, because she had wanted a picture, so she saved it to her phone and kept staring at it. She was amazed at how much they looked like equals in the photo, as if they were from the same place and status, and there was nothing stopping them.

So when Harry came back in the room, she threw her phone and looped her arms around him, sitting on his lap and kissing him. When he held her tighter, she thought about how it was the best possible night of the break and how, if she could only relive one night of her life, she would pick that one.

I swear to the gods, Grover, I would tear the entire world apart if it would bring her back to me.”
“I know Percy. I know
—  If Annabeth had been the one to disappear

My uncle’s friends started ganging up on me on Facebook earlier today and it was horrible and I didn’t even do anything controversial. My uncle posted something about history and it was pretty wrong so I corrected him (respectfully…he is my uncle after all). Yeah, there was a tiny bit of politics in there but I absolutely was not rude, I never am, and I’m allowed to have my own opinion without men in their 70s (THEY ARE IN THEIR 70S. These are old men lauding it over young girls.) ganging up on me and telling me to shut up because I’m 20 years old.

I’m quite upset about it but I’m going home for the weekend tomorrow and I can’t wait to tell my dad because he’s gonna be so pissed. That will validate me.