i was so excited while even writing this

When we first met, we were so hesitant and nervous, as if saying each other’s names would light us on fire. You couldn’t hold steady eye contact and I couldn’t stop looking at you through my lashes. Blood rose to your skin as if you were the ocean and I was the moon pulling at your tidal waves, calling them to come closer. The flowers on our table bloomed for you while your smile planted trees in my lungs. Do you even remember what it was like to figure out someone new and exciting? To have something so shiny and untouched that you consumed all the oxygen in the room with anticipation? You’ve brought so much beauty into my world and you have ruined so much for me.
Okay people, history-fail story-time...

So back in the 1780′s when our country was still figuring crap out and ol’ George Washington was just elected president, G.W. decided to send a letter to Congress along the lines of ‘Looking forward to working with you all, this will be exciting!” Congress, not wanting to slight the president and also trying to express their own enthusiasm, sent back a letter along the lines of “Glad you’re excited, we are also looking forward to working with you!”

Then George sends another letter back saying something like “Cool cool bros, glad you’re just as excited as I am,” and Congress, again not wanting to be awkward or just ignore the PRESIDENT, sent back ANOTHER letter saying some dumb crap that was probably along the lines of “Glad you’re excited that we’re excited that you’re excited.”

Democracy at its finest.

And while this in itself is funny, that is not even the best part.

George Washington, while being powerful, was not extremely eloquent, and at this point was also aging, busy, and overall very stressed about his new position (which he did not want in the first place).  So he asked his old friend James Madison, who had a much better way with words, to write the first note to Congress.  Good old James Madison, wanting to oblige his friend, did just that and composed the note to Congress.  Now, J-Mads was himself a member of Congress, so when the note arrived, he was in session to hear “Washington’s” letter read.

Congress got nervous and worried about who could possibly compose a formal and acceptable letter back to Washington.  Who better than his old friend, James Madison?  So Jimmy, being obliging, wrote the response.  When Washington received the reply, he once again asked his friend to write the response.  

And who did Congress choose to write their final letter? That’s right….none other than Jimmy-James-Madison himself.

So James Madison, future 4th president of the United States, wrote himself 4 letters under the guise of George Washington and the first Congress of the U.S.  And he was too embarrassed to admit it.

A Target Retales PSA

Hey guys.

So I’ve got some bad news and I’ve got some good news. 

The bad news: I’m now on medical leave from work.

I’ve been struggling with some medical issues for years now, but they’ve been progressively getting worse and worse, and now I’m at a point where I just can’t be on my feet or just generally active for more than a few minutes at a time, let alone long enough to work a shift. 

Doctors have been struggling to figure out a diagnosis. So far all that we know is that it’s probably something neurological. I’ve got some tests this week that hopefully will shed some light on things, but honestly, I’m not overly optimistic. So until things get figured out and I can get some sort of treatment started, I’m on leave from work.

Which means no new retales for the time being.

The good news: This does not mean I’m out of content.

I’ve had a lot of projects I’ve been working on/wanting to work on for a while now, but between work and the physical/emotional toll that going through work, I haven’t been able to give them my full attention. Thankfully, being bedridden goes hand-in-hand with digital content in my case.

I’ve got a Target Retales podcast in the works! In fact, the first episode is going to be published later tonight!

I’ve got a YouTube channel! A lot of you are subscribed, but I’ve neglected it for the last couple of months. But now I’m back in action, posting at least once a week if not twice, and I’ve got some great plans for videos coming up!

I’ve got a couple other podcasts in the works! I’ve teased the one wherein I over-analyze pop media and expose the terrifying truths of fictional universes (Lightning McQueen is an abuser?), and I’m planning a scripted D&D comedy series!

And I’ve been teasing one huge project for months and months now, but I’ve had to put it off for a while with everything going on, but now I can finally buckle down and get to work on it, so I feel ready to let you guys in on the secret.

I’m working with an agency and writing a Target Retales book.

So even if I’m not releasing new stories, there’s still a TON of content coming, both Retales-related and not!

Wanna help me out?

There is, of course, the catch. While I’m super excited to be able to work on all of my projects, I’m now not able to work at work, which is, you know, how money is made.

I’m not in any sort of financial crisis, so I won’t be asking for donations or anything, but if you like my content and would like to support me, this would be a great time to check out my Patreon. I’m going to be adding some new perks and changing things up in the near future, but I can guarantee there will be all sorts of fun things in store if you decide to help me out here. In fact, any current Patrons or new Patrons who join by the end of the month will receive a hand-written letter from me, including unreleased Retales and a few stickers.

In Summary:

I’m taking medical leave from work, no new Retales will be released but all sorts of projects are still in the works, including a podcast and a book, and I’m offering a cool bonus if you support me during this rough patch on my Patreon.

Thank you all so much for all the support you’ve shown me since the start. I wouldn’t be where I am without you and I hope you enjoy the content I continue to make.

Feels Like Coming Home

I can’t even quite put into words how excited I am to be sharing this with you. 

This story has been a while in the making, but really took off a couple of months ago, and has consumed me. I only hope I’ve done it justice.

There are so many people I have to thank. My writing group chat has been so supportive, screaming with me (and occasionally at me) as I churned this thing out, and it made all the difference. I have to thank a few people in particular: my darling @littlebabyruth for her ongoing support and enthusiasm, not to mention her psych-picking; my wonderful @annie-pie for her med picking and support and encouragement; the always-lovely @nottooldforthisship for her enthusiasm and the amazing edit she made. And the biggest most amazing thanks go to my sweetie @realitybetterthanfiction for her beta work and support. This also brought me a new friend, daysundercover and I am so thankful to have gotten to know her better, not to mention I’m so grateful for her impromptu beta work!! 

And without further ado:

The last thing Harry Styles expects when he’s hanging out at the Someday Cafe in Somerville one rainy October day is for his ex, Louis Tomlinson to walk through the door, but that’s exactly what happens. After a spectacularly ugly break-up three years prior, Harry hasn’t heard one word from Louis, and he’s moved on. Gotten over him. But having Louis back in his life, not to mention working at the restaurant where he’s a chef, isn’t easy, and the feelings that Harry thought he’d left turn out to be not so easily forgotten.

This is a story about love and the power of forgiveness, and how the hard choices we make define us, and change our lives.

Explicit - 60K

Read it here on AO3! (And please, check the tags carefully!)

I was thinking about it earlier and, yes, latine cultures are unique, diverse and all that. Heck, I live in Brazil, and I can guarantee you, each state has it’s own culture, customs, traditions, folklore and all that. We can’t even agree as a nation what’s the word for cookie!

(é biscoito)

So like, of course you can’t expect every country to have the same culture and dishes and music and all that, when not even a single country have that. 

But, by following other latines, and talking to people from the neighbor countries over my life, I learned that there are a few things that can be considered Universal Latine Experiences. Among them

🌺 The thing with rice and beans. Like, no country will ever have them the same way, of course. But it’s… Overall, so present. Some will lean more to the rice, some to the beans, but it’s there, wherever you go

🌺 Seeing posts from gringos on your dash complaining about winter where it’s summer where you live, and it’s so bad, your flip flops actually started melting when you went out to buy something cold to drink

(alternatively, seeing posts from gringos on your dash complaining about summer and giving out tips on how to control the heat when you are freezing on your couch and wrapped in three blankets)

🌺  The overall feeling of companionship? Like, I won’t like, I know it’s not perfect. There is a huge problem with xenophobia (I would say Brazil is the worst on this matter, but then again, it’s easier for me to see it here since I live here), and there is some bloody history between some countries. But the companionship is still there, you know?? We call each other hermanos, we receive each other in out country with open arms, we share our culture… I don’t know, there is some beauty to it. Or maybe this is all in my head because I’m feeling specially gushy today

🌺 Going to your grandmother’s house almost every sunday for lunch. Greeting your uncles and aunties, and asking blessings from your grandparents (even when you aren’t catholic anymore, but at this point, it is more a sign of respect and affection rather then religion) before going to play with your cousins in the backyard, while your parents play cards with their siblings or help your grandmother with the kitchen. 

When you notice it, it’s already midnight, and they are still playing cards. Come on, pai, we need to go home, I have class tomorrow. Just one more round, flor. But your said that three rounds ago!  

🌺 Having your natives being wiped out to near extinction my foreigner invasors, if not complete, and then having your fauna and flora destroyed, being forcefully brought to a distant land as slaves, and then when you finally say enough for both the invasors and slavery and call your land as yours, usa comes and fund a dictatorship in your country to which your people is still trying to recover from 

🌺  Little statues of saints and the Virgem Maria and portraits of Jesus and crosses and candles all over your elder’s house. Old houses with old paint on the walls, an old radio playing music in the kitchen, a road of battered down bricks and dirt, and your great grandmother is there, smoking a cigarillo de paja on the steps that lead to her house, keeping an eye on you as you play with your cousins and the neighbor kids you met that day, but it already feels like an eternity

🌺 El Chavo Del Ocho

🌺  Reclaiming your own culture after years of cultural imperialism saying that it’s not a good culture. Falling in love again with something that you were coerced to fall out of love with as you grew up. Learning again how to love the local legends, when you were thought that they were no good, and that the ones from europe and usa are betters. Learning again how to love your traditional music, dances, culture when you were thought that those were no good, that the ones from europe and usa are better. Learning your history in dept, seeing how complex and rich it is, after years hearing that it’s boring, not as interesting as those from usa and europe. Just… Falling in love with your roots again, and getting excited every time you see something from your country making success out there, and then also getting excited when something from you neighbors make success out there and yes! We deserve this! We deserve to have our history told and shared and appreciated too!

🌺  These assholes, somehow

The Impossible Duet - Request

Requested by anon:  Can you do a Sherlock imagine where the reader plays the viola.

Pairing: Sherlock x reader

Word count: 1,294

Warnings: None.

A/N: I got so excited while writing this, omg.


Originally posted by violincameos

A mellifluous noise invaded the whole Baker Street, cheering the passer-by’s day as the sound of it got to their ears. It was coming out from that coarse flat at 221B, and even when the neighbours were used to Sherlock’s afternoon playing, they got surprised by the different vibe that melody had.

It was obvious it wasn’t Sherlock playing.

To anyone with a trained ear and basic knowledge on musical instruments, it would’ve been obvious that the source of the sound wasn’t coming from Sherlock’s violin, but rather from a viola that belonged to the mysterious woman behind the yellow curtains.

Mysterious until then, at least. The whole street gathered under the open window as the silhouette of a delicate being waltzed around gracefully as it played. If she hadn’t been so nubivagant in that moment, she would’ve noticed the cheers, and the applause as well as the chit-chat the old ladies held about her.

Keep reading

Your Move

The nine times Simon and Baz prank each other and the one time they don’t

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10

March 29


Technically, I might have cheated a bit.  Then again, we never clearly laid out any rules.  We never actually decided that each player had to wait until the next day to lay their trap, it was just sort of understood.  So if I made preparations the night before, I would say that it’s completely fair.  After all, how can you break a rule if none were ever written?

           When Baz gets up before me to use the shower, I hide my grin under my blankets.

           I dress as the water runs.  

           I take the planned precautions and double-check that I’ve remembered to wear my necklace.

           When the water shuts off, I take my position, sitting on my bed with my back against my pillow, waiting.  The picture of calm, even though I’m buzzing with anticipation.

           I count down in my head as I hear the curtain slide back.

           Three, two, one…



           “Problem, Baz?”

           “WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO?”

           “I should think it would be obvious.”


           I don’t move.  I stay exactly where I am and straighten out a crease in my shirt. Crowley, I’m starting to act like him.

           There’s a steady stream of cursing from the other side of the door.  Normal cursing, not magical cursing, though he sounds angry enough to curse me right off the school grounds.

           When he cracks the door open, he doesn’t lean around to look at me.  

           “Oh, come on,” I tell him, “get it over with.”

           He takes a step forward and emerges, wearing only a towel around his waist, half of his body hidden behind the door.  Part of my brain registers the fact that I’ve never seen him with this little clothing on, but I’m very much distracted by his hair.  It’s slicked back with shower water, a few strands hanging in front of his eyes, and it’s blond.  Yellow-blond.

           A smirk takes control of my face.  “Well, that clearly worked, then.”

           “Do you have any idea how bloody dead you are.”

           “Could you hurry up in there?  I’d like to use the bathroom.  Oh, and it’s your move.”

           He slams the door in my face and I bury my laughter in my pillow.

           He takes an exaggeratedly long time to get ready, probably to spite me, or maybe he’s busy trying to magic the bleach out of his hair.  Trixie told me it was extra-long lasting, but it is only Normal bleach with no magical properties.  Maybe I did charm it to be a bit stronger, but he could probably magic his hair back to normal if he tried long enough.  I just wait on my bed, studying my nails casually like I assume he does when he’s tormenting me.

           When Baz finally reappears in the doorway, he’s fully clothed and his hair is still blond, but it’s different now.  It’s dry, and instead of yellow his hair is a soft white. He hasn’t slicked it back like he usually does, just lets it fall around his face like snowflakes.

           His skin is so pale that white-blond hair shouldn’t look good on him.

           But it does.

           It’s light and soft and it makes his heavy gray eyes look gentle, even though he’s currently using them to shoot daggers at me. It’s striking against the green of his uniform, and it’s like he’s turned from a vampire into a wood elf, tall and elegant and smooth.

           His hair looks so soft, freshly washed like this, that my hands actually twitch.  I want to take a lock and rub it between my fingertips.      

           Crowley, it looks good.

           There’s a lurch in my stomach, unfamiliar and cold, and I don’t know what it means.  Not that it matters, I’m definitely not thinking about my stomach right now.

           “I thought I told you to run,” Baz growls through his teeth, his cheeks pink.  Maybe from shower steam, maybe from embarrassment.  I wonder what my cheeks look like right now, with how I feel them heating up.

           “I’m not stupid, Baz,” I reply calmly, even though there’s a weird shiver working its way down my back.  “If I leave the room, you’ll just throw me down the stairs or something.  This is the safest place for me right now.”

           “Maybe I’ll throw you out the window and let the merwolves have you.”

           “Try opening the window, Baz, see how far you get.”

           “What did you do to it?”

           “Nothing serious, just a simple precaution, but you won’t be getting it open.”

           “What if I carried you out the door?”

           “You’d have to fight me to get me there, and I don’t think the Anathema would like that very much.”

           He seethes at me for another few seconds before storming out the door.  I can hear his angry steps all the way down the tower.

           I stay where I am for I don’t know how long. It’s like I can’t move, and my stomach is still feeling hollow.  Not in a hungry way, more like someone took one of my organs out and left a giant empty spot, and now the rest of my organs are frantically shifting around to try and fill the space.  I’m cold and hot at the same time.

           “Crowley,” I say aloud to the empty room.

           It looked good.


           Penny and I are out on the hill when she sees what I’ve done.

           “Mor-gana, Simon,” she breathes, her eyes wide.  “How are you even still alive?”

           I shake my head, watching Baz as he disappears into the castle.  His hair is even more ethereal in the light of day.  I can only imagine what he would look like if the sun were shining.  He’d have a fucking halo.

           “The better question is, why has he left it like that?” Penny muses, squinting at the doors even after Baz has passed through them.  “Couldn’t he magic it back to normal?”

           “Maybe the dye is too strong.”

           “How exactly did you pull this off, anyway?”

           “I poured hair bleach in his shampoo last night.”

           She shakes her head with a disbelieving laugh. “Crowley, Simon,” she says, “when is this game going to end?”

           I shrug.  I hadn’t thought about it.  “When there’s a winner?”

           “And how do you determine a winner?”

           “Maybe just until one of us concedes.”

           “I know you two,” she scoffs, “that’s not going to happen.”

           Something about her saying you two makes my heart beat a little louder in my ears for just a second.

           “So let me get this straight,” she continues. “First you changed his sugar into salt, so he turned your scones to rock.  Then came the necklace thing, and the glue on the doorknob.  I know he kept turning your music up yesterday, but there’s something missing in between.  Did you forfeit that day?”


           “What did you do?”

           The memory is sour and I grimace.  “I don’t want to talk about it?”

           “Why?  Did it not work?”      

           “I cursed him.”

           “So what?  He’s cursed you loads of times.”

           “I gave him nightmares.”

           Penny doesn’t answer for a second.  “You did what?”

           “They were only supposed to be minor ones, but something went wrong, they were never supposed to hurt him.”

           “How bad were they?”

           I want to scrub the memory from my eyelids. “I had to wake him up because he kept shouting.”

           “Simon, that’s… terrible, actually.”

           “I told you, they weren’t supposed to be scary.”

           “Still, you attacked the mind.  Worse, you attacked the subconscious.”  She looks at me like I’ve taken her food without asking. “Does he know it was you?”

           “I don’t think so.”

           “Is that why you didn’t get mad yesterday when he pranked you?”

           “Why would I get mad?” I shrug.  “I deserved it.”



           “I never thought I’d see the day that you felt bad for hurting Baz.”

           I shake my head.  “He might be a twat, but you didn’t hear him.  No one deserves whatever he was dreaming.”

           Penny watches me thoughtfully.  “Hmm,” she muses.


           “Nothing, just… maybe you guys don’t hate each other as much as you think you do.”


           Baz’s hair is still white-blond later at night when we turn in.  I still have to consciously remind myself to stop staring at it.

           He hasn’t said anything to me since this morning, but I don’t think it’s because he’s mad.  More just the normal silence that exists between us when we’re not actively fighting or shouting abuse at each other.

           I wonder as he turns out the lights if his hair has always looked so soft, or if I’ve just noticed it now.  When he turns it black again, will I still have the urge to touch it?  Is it something I’ve always wanted to do but only just realized?

           A thought occurs to me as his breathing starts to deepen across the room.  “Hey, Baz.”

           “What, Snow?”

           “We match.”

           It’s ridiculous and not even close to true. My hair is the blonde of honey, while his is currently the blonde of fucking snow, but that makes it even more ironic and, naturally, even more funny to me.

           Baz doesn’t say anything, just sits up and punts one of his pillows at me, and I can’t hold in a giggle when it hits me.

BTS| Ice skating

BTS Preference: You want to go ice skating

                                                                                                    - mi


  • *gentleman mood on*
  • would take you to a frozen lake or ice skating area  immediately
  • of course he knows how to
  • but you don’t
  • like what means balance ?
  • he would hold you tight
  • until he thought its okay
  • he thought wrong

Originally posted by queen-hipstoria


  • old grandpa would hate the idea
  • like where is the sense in sliding across a frozen lake and possibly break your bones instead of sitting in the safe studio and producing music
  • “please”
  • “no”
  • “please” 
  • “no”
  • “but i love you”
  • “no”
  • silent treatment and pouting from your side
  • “i don’t give a shit” from his
  • until he couldnt take it anymore 
  • “you take care of me when I break my bones”
  • when you stepped on the frozen lake, you would cling on him
  • “ what? your not able to do that? ”
  • would help you 
  • would be smug about it and would show it
  • would find your unability lowkey cute

Originally posted by australiassouthernbelle


  • would be worried since he knew that both of you were more than clumsy
  • but would do it anyways to make you happy
  • would get faster and faster since both of you were stable on the ice
  • until he got foolish
  • “look how fast i am”
  • that was his end
  • (I’m laughing more than i should)

Originally posted by bruisette


  • would be happy to spent time with you
  • confident until he made his first step on the ice
  • would cling on you
  • “dont be scared jagi, I just want to make sure that you’re safe”
  • you would laugh so hard
  • “ its ok hoseok, let me teach you”
  • our little scream queen would try it for you

Originally posted by teenwolf-over-everything


  • okay, i can imagine him to make it a totally romantic thing
  • like hand holding, kissing, hugging
  • of course while sliding across the area
  • people would look because everyone would sense how much in love you are
  • a night whith a happy ending ( im sorry im sorry i needed to write this)

Originally posted by myfriendamy


  • more excited than you when you asked him
  • would giggle all the way to the lake
  • laughing the whole time 
  • but would  actually be pretty secure on the ice
  • people would look after you because you were so noisy
  • taehyung would be noisy
  • “come on jagi, lets make a video for the hyungs”
  • you filming him
  • it never works when someone’s watching
  • enough said

Originally posted by hair-braids


  • golden maknae rises
  • if you thought about a romantic evening, you thought wrong
  • would burn for showing you how good he can hold the balance
  • woul even try some figures 
  • feels like the king, looks like a three-year-old

Originally posted by purpleshield1548


Requested: Shawn is in the studio, but can’t seem to write anything meaningful. He calls y/n for some inspiration.



You’re halfway through your algebra homework, when your phone buzzing on your bed distracts you. Picking it up, you answer, “Hello?”

“Hey hun,” Shawn’s voice comes from the other side. You’re wondering why he’s calling you because you know he’s at a recording studio in LA right now.

“Hey babe,” You reply, “What’s up?” 

“I’m in the studio and I know you just got home from school so I just wanted to call you.”

Keep reading

it’s true that Isak can’t concentrate on studying at home because Even is too much of a distraction, but Even does help Isak revise every night when they’re laying in bed, nose to nose eyelash to eyelash, asking Isak to explain different concepts and phenomena, Isak’s nostrils twitching and head bopping against Even’s arm when he gets really excited, using his finger to trace chemical formulas on Even’s skin while he talks, and one night Even asks what’s the chemical formula of I love you, so Isak writes it on Even’s belly in big tickling letters, and when they wake up the next morning, the formula is still there

How to Survive

Request: “So I accidentally sent my request unfinished so here it is😂 Can you do newt x reader where reader is seriously ill and Newt is traveling around the world to find the cure? Like you can leave her at London or make her go with him, your choice! Maybe it gets angsty af but at the end everything works out and it’s pure fluff♥️" 

Word Count: 2,990

Pairing: Newt x Reader

Requested by Anonymous but also tagging @dont-give-a-bother @red-roses-and-stories and @caseoffics

The hospital bed with its thin mattress and crinkly sheets makes no noise when the doctor approaches, a sheet of paper in his hand and a look on his face that leaves a sour taste in your mouth. Newt stiffens next to you, but he doesn’t stop rubbing small circles on your back. You lean into his touch as much as you dare, not wanting him to feel the terror pulsing through you with every heartbeat. You hide your trembling hands in the folds of the thin gown the cheery nurses wrapped around your body earlier today before they pricked your arm in four different places with four different needles. A line of sweat beads up in your hairline, threatening to drip down as the doctor’s heavy boots thump against the cream-colored tiles that line the floors of Saint Mungo’s. Your mouth is dry and you want to shout at him to hurry up, to come tell you already how they’re going to solve your splitting headaches and wobbly legs.

You don’t, though. You wait with a pounding heart and held breath as your physician lifts his chin, face contorted into a pitying frown and sad eyes, and he tells you the readings.

“We’ve found what’s causing your symptoms.” His voice is gruff, factual, uncaring despite his expression as he describes first in medical terms then in simplified terms exactly what your body is doing to kill you.

The news comes with a ringing in your ears and a sense of hopelessness that spreads through your chest faster than your thoughts can process it. Terminal. No cure. Two years. Your hands shake as Newt sits beside you, hand unknowingly tightening its grip on your waist, the questions he asks coming out in a tight, clipped tone that reveal that the absolute terror you feel is also pestering him.

“Surely there’s something… You must, you must know some cure.” Newt says, still processing what the doctor said.

“I’m sorry.” He places what’s supposed to be a comforting hand on your shoulder; you just feel faint. “I’ll give you some time to talk with one another. When I return, we can discuss possible treatments to alleviate any pain.”

Then he walks away, pulling the paper curtain that hangs near your bed closed, giving you and Newt the option of grieving your lost future in peace.

Neither you nor Newt move a muscle, though, as the doctor’s words sink in. Terminal. No cure. Two years.

Two years, he’d said with a pitying look you know he painted on moments before he decided to tell you. Two years, he’d said with no inflection of real grief in his voice. Two years, he’d said as if those two years aren’t supposed to be filled with love and happiness and living without the threat of death hanging over your head at every turn.

Two. Years.

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wastedkalice  asked:

i'm currently writing a secretly dating au and i've created it in such a way that on the surface my characters absolutely loathe each other - how should i show their closeness "in secret"?

Thanks for your question, dear!  I love that kind of story, so I got a little excited receiving this ask :>

Originally posted by technicallysassystrangers

I’m going to split my answer in two – because while it’s important to show their closeness in private, this isn’t the only area it appears.  Even when two people attempt to hide their relationship from others, there are signs, subtle or otherwise, of their new emotional attachment to each other in public.  So I’ll take this one at a time…

Emotional Closeness – In Public

In a secretly-dating scenario, the goal of the characters involved is to hide their feelings – which means the obvious methods of showing emotional attachment, like conversation or PDA, aren’t at your fingertips.  Nevertheless, there will be signs that are beyond their control, and they’re necessary to create a realistic image of two people secretly in love.  My top three:

  1. Changes in body language.  The closer your two characters become, the more their physical interactions will change – and in two ways.  For one thing, they’ll be consciously keeping distance from each other in order to seem discreet; but at the same time, barriers will be broken.  Once two people have reached a new level of intimacy, subconscious displays of this intimacy – small touches, spells of eye contact, handling of each other’s belongings – will all be “unlocked.”  They’ll walk a little bit closer to each other.  They’ll be more comfortable snatching things from each other.  They’ll just be less afraid of contact, basically.
  2. Changes in verbal interactions.  Your characters in this instance are, I gather, pretending to hate each other – maybe on some level, they do piss each other off even.  But whether it’s an act or not, they will address each other differently.  They’ll be more sensitive to each other’s insecurities and personal issues.  They might overcompensate by speaking too often or too little.  Their names will sound comfortable on each other’s lips.  They’ll be more inclined to side with each other, to explain or make excuses for each other – even to lash out at others in their defense.  
  3. Changes in personality and habits.  When two people become close, they leave marks on each other.  Their morals, habits, interests, physical appearances, and even phrase and word choice will start to resemble each other’s in ways that those closest to them could notice.  In a similar vein, characters will start to make conscious changes and choices for each other’s sake.  Sacrifices may be made, and this could out your characters before anyone sees them making out against a wall.

Emotional Closeness – In Private

The best part of writing Secret-Dating AUs is the moment when we actually get to see them dating; when we get the kisses and the intimacy and the flirting, and all the fun stuff.  But emotional attachment is more than the PDA – a fact which many new fanfic writers forget to include.  There are many other ways to show intimacy between people:

  1. Personal, unique conversations.  Anybody can talk, but when two people are closer to each other than to any other person, their conversations change.  They speak about personal things sometimes; they speak passionately about their interests and their experiences.  They tell stories about their days, or their pasts, or they share dreams of the future.  They share moral dilemmas.  They ask for each other’s opinions, and those opinions stick with them – they matter.  Don’t limit two people in love to conversations about sex or petty disagreements – give them substantive conversations and your readers will love them even more.
  2. Affection starvation.  And this is different from sexual tension: love creates a desire for affection, a desire which can affect them throughout the day while they’re pretending to “hate each other”.  At the end of the day, when they have time together in private, they’ll likely be extremely affectionate – especially if they’ve fought during the day and feel the need to compensate privately.  Sexual tension is there, but there’s also a desire for physical and verbal displays of affection, and it’s what ships are made of.
  3. Public life affects personal life.  This act that your characters are perpetuating will eventually catch up to them.  One of them may cross a line while bickering; real frustrations may surface during fake fights and will leak into their personal lives.  They may embarrass each other or use something personal against them.  They may use their public image or their mutual friends as leverage to manipulate each other.  There is no separation of church and state here – relationships are fragile and can be affected by anything, so the longer this goes on, the more challenging and tiring it will become.

That’s all I’ve got, but if you have any further questions, I’ll gladly take them :)  Happy writing!

If you need advice on general writing or fanfiction, you should maybe ask me!

(English) After the Rain interview from Utattemita no Hon Magazine (May 2017 edition)

Buy the magazine overseas here (Includes large poster of the Soramafu cover art, as well as lots of other utaite pics and posters!)

After the Rain was interviewed in the utaite magazine “Utattemita no Hon” for their May 2017 edition, which was published at the start of April. They discussed each track on their 2 new single CDs, the process that went into making them, and they also answered some random April-themed questions at the end :P Italicized questions here are what the interviewer was asking them to respond to. Enjoy, and let me know if you spot any typos or anything weird~!

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Fluff Friday, May 26th| fox fire

tfw when you crawl out of hell to participate in @thefreckledone and @vesperlionheart ‘s Fluff Friday(s) 

(I have so much respect for them it’s not even funny, every time someone asks me how/why I started writing I tell them a super exciting story about three brilliant writers and if you read their work, you will be BLESSED and inspired its like MAGIC) 

Prompt(s): ghibli, runaway

Pairing: madasaku

there was only one thing in my heart while writing this and that was Kamisama Hajimemashita :((

She was a terrible person, she was sure of it.

Sakura pulled her knees in tighter, trying to merge with the rough bark of the tree that sheltered her from the rain. Her eyes were wet, not from the raindrops but from the guilt of what she had done.

 A tiny part of her told her she hadn’t had a choice, that Ino would be out of there soon enough and Ino was the one who told her to run. Her fingers curled around a broken arrow. It was better than nothing.

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Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Originally posted by nestorquik

Request: Hey! I just wanted to request a story about the reader having the worst day, like so much worse than even getting struck by lighting-worse. Maybe into an accident and break a few bones? Team rushing over jus tin time as the ambulence’s arrive to take the reader away and they ride with them to the hospital, well, one of them, while the rest of the team follows in their cars. Sorry if this isn’t somethin you’re willing to write, btw

Summary: Fem!Reader just has a really long day. Much angst.

A/N: HEY GUYS! I’m baaack! Didya miss me? No? You didn’t even notice I was gone? Same. Anyway, hiatus is over (until finals week probably lol) and now I’m back to writing! I was so excited to post today that I accidentally woke up at 3am oops. Anyways, hope you guys enjoy this one! I had crazy writer’s block when I tried writing this one, took me the whole weekend while camping + Monday to finally finish this one smh Enjoy!

Wordcount: 887, meh not too shabby for my first post-hiatus fic

Warning: mention of blood, car accident, angst

Requests are closed for now, very sorry friends :(

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anonymous asked:

Why is Liam so underrated? :/ www(.)billboard(.)com/articles/columns/pop/7743445/one-direction-solo-albums-poll-vote

Hi friend,

I KNOW I have been sitting on this ask since forever but I’ll be honest, at first, I kept responding to this and then kept retracting and, repeat. The text always ended up in verbiage. Anyway, since you’ve sent me this link, it’s good to know that Liam’s been in the lead for quite a few days and currently I am not sure of who stands where since there is fluctuation, as there should be, but Liam’s definitely holding decent in the polls. 

Addressing the topic at hand, when I see people under-appreciating Liam even today, I go all

I’ve pondered a little over this, and I think the main reason Liam usually gets unfairly sidelined could be assigned to one and/or more of the following reasons:

1. Liam’s narrative. Right from the early days, Liam was pinned as the responsible one. For the record, I don’t know why it’s deemed as an undesirable trait because it is not. I always say this and I’ll say it again, Liam is truly magnificent because not only is he A+ in almost everything, he also makes me want to be a better version of myself. I honestly wish I had these inherent leadership traits that Liam possesses. Do you know how often my lecturers stress the importance of leadership values and responsible behavior in the real world? That Liam is naturally capable of maneuvering stressful situations and making them bearable, not only for the boys but also the fans, by and large, is a very very admirable attribute. Like, even in his interview with Rollacoaster, that quote about him taking over because he wanted the other boys to have the moment? WHEN WILL YOUR FAVE EVER, LIKE LITERALLY? 

However, somehow he even got tagged as boring and dumb along the way – neither of which holds true, lmao. People judge Liam’s intellect and wisdom on the basis of his typing style on Twitter, even as they keysmash on tumblr to express excitement? Liam has been handling all the paperwork and business obligations for a while now. Liam ALSO has been co-writing the songs with Louis. Liam’s interviews with 1D have always been funny and entertaining. Liam has excellent presence of mind and is quite spontaneous as was obvious during 1DDay. He undoubtedly hosted the show sooo well. I mean, the list is endless.

Liam’s humour is so sassy, snarky and sometimes the driest, and I love it? He also oscillates between being extremely dorky and throwing incisive shade, haha. I dunno how it gets over the heads of so many, ahem, smart fans. Then again, that the beauty. Imagine getting playfully dragged by Liam… AAAH! (whichever drag you thought of is the correct answer)

2. Liam’s position in the band, musically. Now, I know this is a continual debate and obviously everyone is going to fight on who is the best off 1D, and obviously everyone would choose their fave, but I’m willing to fight anyone who dares call Liam’s voice “boring” or any of the illogical things they come up with. I bet you these are the very people who go all 2+2 = Europe, I mean???

Liam has always been the fulcrum of the band. There is no questioning one’s choice and likes and preferences but if you describe Liam as someone who doesn’t have superior talent, my dude, my bro, my mate…. Carry on with the delusions, I guess. 

Liam’s voice is a treasure, Liam is one of the strongest yet one of the most underrated Baritones in music today. That has a lot to do with his branding whilst in 1D. Now, in no means am I an expert and I don’t claim to be one either, but it hardly takes rocket science to discern that One Direction’s sound was structured around everyone’s voices but Liam’s, or at best, the least around him. I once read a post and I wish I could find it so I’d link it here. It essentially points out how it is worth considering that we never got to listen to Liam hit the same notes as he did during his second audition at the X Factor. Hmm, wonder why….. 

There’s been a lot of fuckery involving the solo duration, with Liam’s verses regressing in duration, but that’s not all. Liam had less time on melodies and more on harmonies (specifically backing harmonies) and that’s probably another reason as to why if you listen to the songs clearly, Liam is doing a lot – in most of the songs – but you hardly ever register that because that’s exactly what the intent is: to render his backing harmonies as backing harmonies. There’s hardly any emphasis on his net contribution to every track. 

Then there’s this huge issue with the fandom and the songwriting and crediting all of the Lilo songs to Louis. I get that Liam himself acknowledges Louis as a very creative co-songwriter and I am not taking that away from our Tommo, never. But all these lines that the fandom cry and fond over and sing praises for? What if those were created by Liam and not Louis? This fandom is so repulsive, lmao. 

Coming back to 1D’s production, how often do you come across pop artists who sound better live than they do on edited polished pieces of recorded studio version? I hardly do. I personally believe Liam has that beautiful voice that no studio recorded version could do absolute justice to and yes, the real sparks of goosebumps prickle your skin fully when you listen to Liam live, yet there’s something deeply wrong if Liam hits all those brilliant notes by improvising on stage and yet hardly gets the chance to do it on the album. I think this is why I personally cherish Never Enough, it’s the closest we’ve come, really. 

3. The fandom and the various sects. There is no denying that there is abject inequality with the way the boys are treated within the fandom, by their so called fans, and this reflects in the way the media handles the boys, too.

I distinctly recall when a year back when I was just venturing into the fandom, I was hardly what you’d call a fan. I saw the BBMA video where Liam dedicates the award to Zayn, the comments were inundated on how Liam didn’t have to be “Extra” and the others went on and on about how all of 1D are so sweet, thanking Zayn and all. I posted a comment chiding the fans because, honestly, what even? NOT ALL BOYS, ONLY LIAM. Smh.

The sooner people stop this imbalance wherein they pounce on Liam for every slip up and credit all the boys for something wonderful that Liam independently is responsible for, the better, tbh. I love all 5, but no, some great things are all Liam’s doing and that needs to be highlighted, tbh.

There’s also probably something to do with how Liam is always expressing his happiness and concern so openly that gets the fans to react the way they do, I suppose? I don’t know how valid a reason this is with how people have been absolutely repugnant, but that’s also something, I guess.

Liam Payne is one of my most favourite people in the Universe and I know I hardly know him, but I think at the core of it, Liam’s true earnest self emanates in specks and flashes and if you’ve managed to capture that, you’d know Liam is a gem. 

P.S. This did end up in absolute verbiage, I am sorry…..

bixxbyte  asked:

hello once again! here's the request for MC having a fraternal twin and what RFA + V and Saeran thinks! I thought this would be a fun idea since I'm a twin and my brother had actually had mystic messenger before me. he didn't really like it that much unfortunately but obviously I did! anyway, thank you for writing this in advance! :DD

Whoa, your brother sounds like an awesome person but how could he not love Mystic Messenger! xD That’s so neat though that he was the one who introduced it to you, that automatically makes him a cool person! I tried making my older sister play but she only liked Jumin and called them all “weird anime characters” but at least your brother gave it a shot! I also want to sincerely thank you and everyone else who’s requested for your patience while writing, I greatly appreciate it! Now, I hope that you enjoy!! ^^


  • Yoosung is so excited to meet your fraternal twin when you tell him about them
  • So when you tell him that you’re going to invite your twin over for dinner, Yoosung goes all out
  • He really wants to impress them so he cooks a nice dinner, sets the table properly, and even wears a button down shirt with khaki pants
  • But this poor boy gets so nervous when your twin finally comes and thinks that he’s going to mess everything up
  • Yoosung asks if you and your twin have special twin powers like if you know what each other are thinking
  • And he turns crimson red when you and your twin laugh, Yoosung silently mutters how he’s going to murder Seven for telling him to ask
  • At the end of the night, your twin is really impressed with Yoosung and gives him a thumbs up of approval, making Yoosung feel relieved
  • Yoosung tells you that he wants to invite your twin over more to keep showing off his top notch manners and awesome cooking skills, making sure to ignore Seven’s ‘advice’


  • Zen decides that he’s going to make the greatest first impression when you tell him that your fraternal twin is coming over for a visit
  • He’s swoon your heart so winning over respect from your twin seems like a piece of cake to Zen
  • But the minute your twin walks in, he internally panics since he thinks if he can’t win the approval of your twin then he isn’t fit to be with you
  • Zen actually ends up getting lowkey jealous of how good of a relationship you and your twin have, also slightly jealous that he couldn’t have that type of bond with his own brother
  • But your twin talks to Zen about what types of musicals he’s been in and he perks right up again
  • While of course being over dramatic, Zen tells your twin about how he once had to play the role of a twin but nothing could compare to the bond you and your own twin had
  • The day ends with Zen getting you and your twin tickets to his next musical with Zen be relieved that your twin was such an understanding person


  • Jaehee is nervous when you ask her to go with you to visit your fraternal twin
  • You’ve said to Jaehee that you hadn’t told you family that you were dating her yet
  • So visiting your twin, the first of your family members that she’s going to meet, makes her feel uneasy
  • She’s anxious since she’s not sure how your twin is going to react to their sister dating another girl
  • But Jaehee loves you and agrees to go with you because she still wants to meet your twin
  • When the two of you get there, your twin is super kind and supportive of the two of you, making Jaehee’s fear vanish
  • The three of you enjoy the day as Jaehee highly praised you while your twin was impressed by her social skills
  • When it’s time for the two of you to leave, Jaehee gives your twin a big hug, surprising both you and your twin
  • A small tear escapes her eye as Jaehee thanks your twin for accepting her and yours relationship, promising to make them the best cup of coffee when your twin visits the two of you


  • When you ask Jumin if he wants to meet your fraternal twin and have them over for dinner, this man goes all out
  • Since he’s never really had any siblings to rely on in his own life, Jumin is quite interested to meet your twin
  • He’s excited whenever they come over, even greeting them with a quick hug which shocks you
  • Much to your surprise and happiness, Jumin’s comfortable around your twin as he asks questions about the two of you
  • The night is filled with laughter as your twin recalls embarrassing stories from your childhood much to your displeasure but Jumin’s amusement
  • He even opens up a little bit about his own childhood, saying that he wished he had siblings as kind and sincere as you and your twin
  • By the end of the night you realized that Jumin’s never smiled as much as you’ve seen him tonight with you and your twin
  • He thanks your twin for coming over, telling both you and them that they’re welcome over to his house anytime since they’re apart of the family


  • Seven is actually the one who suggested that you two go visit your fraternal twin
  • He’s never met anyone else with a twin before and it interested to see if you and your twin act like him and Saeran at all
  • The entire ride there, Seven’s practically jumping up and down in his seat because of his hype
  • He gives your twin a big hug when he meets them, asking about a hundred questions about you and themselves
  • Your twin’s curious about Seven and Saeran and he’s more then happy to talk about his own special twin connection
  • Seven loves seeing the deep bond that only a pit of twins could share, making him happy for the two of you
  • He impresses your twin with his vast knowledge of tech and his unique sense of humor
  • By the end of the night, you and your twin’s side hurts because of how much Seven made the two of you laugh
  • Your twin asks for you and Seven to visit more often because seeing the love between you and Seven makes them happy, which in turn makes Seven’s heart sing with joy


  • V’s been wanting to meet your family for a while now, especially since you told him that your have a fraternal twin
  • He finds twins endearing and says that if they’re anything like you, then they’ll be sweet and kind
  • This man and his smooth words
  • So you and V invite your twin over one day and he adores them since they are like you in their own unique way
  • V loves seeing how you and your twin interact with each other, so of course he gets out his camera and starts taking a bunch of photos of the two of you
  • Your twin loves looking through V’s photos and he enjoys and feels proud of himself seeing their eyes widen in wonder as they view them
  • The night is ended with your twin wrapping their arm around your shoulder and telling V to continue to take good care of you, even though they don’t think it’ll be an issue since V’s such a gentleman
  • V tells them to visit again anytime and is sincerely happy that he’s able to be apart of your family


  • Saeran’s on the more nervous side when you suggest meeting your fraternal twin one afternoon
  • He’s still self-conscious about himself and the last thing he wants to do is have your twin develop a terrible impression of him
  • Once you tell him how understanding and kind your twin is, he slowly warms up to the idea of visiting them and one day agrees
  • Saeran has Seven tag along too so he can help break the ice if needed
  • But Saeran realizes that he may not have needed Seven to come along since your twin is, like you said, a really awesome person
  • He attempts to make a few jokes and even cracks a smile, something that the three of you love seeing
  • Saeran enjoys seeing how well you and your twin get along and it makes him want to try and be nicer to Seven
  • At the end of the day, Saeran shy asks for you, your twin, Seven, and himself to take a photo together, to which you all agree, and Saeran treasures the photo as he keeps it with him to remind him that he finally has a true family

I cannot handle numbers and mixed up SO MANY THINGS, so I accidentally wrote some extra KuroKen prompts along with those requested. @sparklemura the one I meant to write for you is here, and I’ve also added 5, 9 and 19. There’s….a lot after the cut  (*^.^*)

1. Made the first move

Kuroo. He kissed Kenma out of nowhere after winning an important match, and Kenma agonized over it all evening while they were out with the team, because he had no idea if it meant anything, or if Kuroo was just swept up in adrenaline and excitement. When they were finally alone together again, walking to their neighborhood where their houses stood side by side, Kuroo took Kenma’s hand and asked him if it was okay that he’d kissed him.

“It’s fine,” Kenma said.

“Just fine?”

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The ABCs: A Riverdale Fanfiction-One

Introduction/AN: Hello everyone! I am so excited to finally be posting part of this story that, if you’ve been following me you’ll know, I’ve been debating about even writing for a few weeks but I’m already loving the way it’s turning out. It’s an AU with a few OCs (including the main female character) but I hope you like it anyway. Kind of a spoiler, kind of not a spoiler it will end up being a Jughead/OC pairing but it takes a while to get there so bear with me this is going to be a journey. 

Also I’m probably not going to do any Riverdale stuff other than this.

Word Count: 1,551

Warnings: None that I can think of?

Story Summary: (Haven’t figured out how to summarize this story yet…)

Chapter Summary: Archie, Betty, and Jughead teach Veronica about the Riverdale ABCs.

Originally posted by nessa007

Chapter One: Pop’s Diner

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I realize that it’s Flinthamilton week and I’ve been wanting to do something to participate, but here’s the thing - I’m constitutionally incapable of writing short things. I just can’t seem to do it, and I have absolutely nothing short written that fits the bill, so instead, have a sneak peek at the first chapter of an upcoming project - don’t get too excited, it’s going to be a while before this one sees the light of Ao3 since I haven’t even got chapter 2 written yet: 

Theme: After the Reunion

He feels as though he’s been asleep for ten years.

It’s an odd thing, Thomas Hamilton thinks, to reawaken after so long. In some ways, he feels as though nothing has changed. His living arrangements certainly are little different. The work is the same - back-breaking, tedious, creating calluses on top of his calluses, the sun beating down and turning his skin a shade of brown he’s never particularly thought complements his straw-colored hair. In others -

He has James back. The knowledge is incredible, still, new enough that every so often he recalls and it feels again as though he had just looked up from the field to find a man dressed in red and brown standing at the end of the row, looking at him as though he might just possibly be the solution to a question he had not dared to ask himself in a very long time. He looks into green eyes - into James’ eyes, feels James’ arms around him, hears James weeping against his shoulder, and -

He has kept everything stuffed away for so long. In his mind, there is a Pandora’s box. It holds so many things - so many wonderful, awful, terrifying things, and until now, he has done a good job of keeping it closed. The hinges, if such a thing could ever have hinges, are rusted, the keyhole crusted over -

And James’ return takes the box, shakes it, and sends everything flying.

He is happy. That is the first emotion to come flying out of the box. There is no denying the joy that floods him with James’ reintroduction to his life - no denying the absolute relief and wonder with which he looks at his lover, that causes him to laugh and cry into James’ shoulder and into his lips for an hour after they first spot one another, to kiss him over and over and over again with no regard for anyone or anything around them. There is no denying, either, how he feels at having another mind working in perfect harmony with his own again after all these years.

“I’m gonna get us out of here,” James says into Thomas’ shoulder, his voice rough with emotion and with the accent he had hidden in London and now seems to have embraced, and Thomas’ breath catches in his throat at the notion. Freedom - to leave here, with James at his side. He clings tighter to him, feeling as if his chest is tight, as if he can scarcely breathe, as he answers.

“Everyone,” he murmurs. “All of them. I’ll not leave them behind,” and he is relieved when James nods, no words needed between them. He understands - completely and fully, and he buries his face in Thomas’ shoulder again, as relieved to understand as to be understood. They walk back to Thomas’ meager quarters - to the quarters they will share until they can escape this place for good - and Thomas cannot help the energy that fills him - the restless itch as his mind blows off some of its cobwebs and returns to some semblance of itself as it once was. He is whole. He is overjoyed, he is shocked, he is -

Two days later, he sits in bed, arm still curled around James’ bare shoulders, and realizes that he is angry.

It’s a slow thing at first. He wakes with James beside him, and for a moment there is nothing but happiness. He is here, with James. Beyond all hope, he is alive. They are safe -

But not free.

The thought strikes him out of the clear blue sky - like a fact he has not processed entirely. It has not signified to him for some time whether he is free or not. He has had nowhere to go - no one to go back to, no hint of life outside these walls. James comes blowing in though, and -

He has spent the past two nights in bed with James. He has tasted the salt on his lover’s skin, has seen the bronzed tone of it where his clothing has not covered him, has mouthed over the earring that he has gotten in the time they have been apart and been held in arms that are far more muscular than they ever were before, and for the first time in six years, Thomas Hamilton wants more than these four walls and this dirt floor. He can feel his mind stretching, the unused corners of it suddenly coming to light, and he cannot help but feel disgust for the way that he has been forced to neglect it for the past decade. He cannot remember the last time he actually cared about his appearance. He cannot recall the taste of good food or what it felt like to spend a day by himself, or the smell of a new book or -

God, he has been trapped here, stagnating for so very long and he is incandescently bloody furious about it.

The sensation strikes him all at once one night as they sit in the bunkhouse they now inhabit. He’s not expecting it - it is so long since he has felt this, has felt anything but resignation and boredom. It takes him entirely by surprise, rising as he listens to the tale of how James has arrived here - as he grows to know the people that have inhabited James’ life, grows to understand what his lover has been through - as he realizes the depth of the horror that James has endured. Has been made to endure.

“Stop.” The word is a whisper - something squeezed out of him almost against his will, that escapes before he can recall it, for surely he does not have the right to ask James to stop his tale when James has had no such luxury for the past ten years, and yet -

“Thomas?” James asks quietly, his voice concerned, and Thomas looks at him, blue eyes meeting green. The sound of James’ voice saying his name is balm, and yet -

God, it has been ten years. Ten years deprived of it and how dared they? How dare they keep him from the man he loved all this time - all these years? How did Peter manage to lie to him so effectively - so convincingly? Had he just been exhausted and made gullible by it or -?

He is shaking, he realizes - shaking with the power of what he feels. He has not felt anything of the kind in -

“Quiet down!”

Thomas shakes, rocking back and forth, his knees drawn up to his chest. He has not stopped weeping since he arrived - since he was dragged from his home and brought here. He is cold, and frightened, and he cannot stop the sobs that tear through his form, or the tears that flow down his cheeks. He has brought them to ruin, all. They are in danger, and he is here, and dear God in Heaven, what has he done to so offend? What can he possibly have done to deserve this? He rubs at his wrists -

“Thomas?” James voice, insistent now, breaks in on his reverie - on the horrifying memory that has just flashed through his mind, and he looks up, eyes fixing on James’ face, and the words will not come - will not move past his lips, try though he might, the anger choking him in its intensity. He has been imprisoned all this time. He has sat here, all this time, while others have done this to James. He has stood here, in this wretched place, while someone - a succession of someones - have convinced his lover of that thing which he feared all along - the thing that Thomas had so nearly cured him of when it had all come crashing down around their heads. Thomas has sat here, hopeless and helpless, while a string of heartless cowards have convinced James at last that society has no place for him. That he is unwanted. That no matter what he does, it will never, can never, be enough. He has been here. Trapped.

A prisoner.

The word goes through him again as it has not in years. It has not been important in so long - he has not been able to entertain the notion that any of it was important, without recourse as he has been, but now he can see what his inactivity has wrought in every scrape on James’ head and arms, in every scar that is new under his fingertips, in every time James’ voice catches as he tells him of some new atrocity the likes of which Thomas cannot imagine surviving, and Thomas Hamilton is angry, beyond any fury he has ever known before. It is not the distant, righteous indignation of his drawing room - no. This is visceral, and consuming, and he breathes it in like perfume because to feel again is a wondrous, horrifying, exhilarating thing. This - this feels like being alive again because it is personal. This is about James, and Miranda, and what has been done to them, and the bastards that have thought to harm them while Thomas could not intervene.

He closes his eyes, and then opens them again, looking downward to where James’ hand is resting on his knee. He cannot save Miranda - she is gone beyond his ability to aid, but James is here, and Thomas will be damned if he ever allows anyone to lay a hand on his lover in anger again. He reaches out, taking hold of James’ wrist, and gently, so very gently, slides the sleeve up his lover’s arm to reveal the fading marks that have been left on his wrist by the shackles they had brought him here in. He clenches his teeth, trying and failing to contain the thing that is rapidly clawing its way up his throat, taking hold of him somewhere in the center of his chest and squeezing hard. He traces his fingers over the marks, and the more he does so the more the desperate, howling thing in him wants to break free. This is -

It is not James he is angry at, and he has no wish to frighten him with the depths of his rage. He takes a deep breath, and another, until he can speak again without screaming.

“John Silver.” He says the name deliberately, slowly, his voice lingering over each part of the name. “He sent you here, like this?”

James nods, his eyes seeking the floor, lips pressing together.

“Yes,” he answers, his voice quiet, gruff, his other hand twitching where it sits on his knee, and Thomas closes his eyes again, taking a breath. When he opens them again, there is steel in his gaze.

“If I ever meet him,” he says softly, raising his eyes again to meet James’, “I’m going to make him wish he had never laid eyes on you, let alone had the chance to do this.” His hand strokes over the marks and he raises James’ wrist to his lips, kissing where it has been injured, and James looks up at him, his eyes a study in shock.

“Thomas -” he starts to say, and Thomas simply looks back at him. James opens his mouth as if to speak, and then seems to decide against it, leaning forward, his elbows on his knees, hands taking hold of Thomas’ hand lightly, his fingers brushing over Thomas’ knuckles - his work-roughened knuckles that are bigger than James undoubtedly remembers them from having been broken once or twice. He seems to consider them for a moment - to consider the sort of life they speak of, the things that he does not know about but can guess from Thomas’ hand alone, and then blows out a breath.

“You wouldn’t be able to take him head-on,” he says after a moment. “I taught him nearly everything I know about swordplay.”

Thomas laughs gently.

“You have my thanks for the warning,” he answers, and James grants him a smile that still makes his heart do a flip in his chest, everything in him singing that he gets to see it again. It is still a tentative thing, James’ smile, but the longer he is with Thomas, the more he uses it. Thomas suspects that he has spent the past two days looking positively ridiculous himself, beaming like an idiot at the very sound of James’ voice. He does not care. He feels the edges of his mouth curling upward of their own accord, and the tightness in his chest dissipates, joy taking the edges off of it once again. He can live with this. He can stand it. For James, anything.

“Of course, this all depends on the notion that we can make our way out of here,” James points out after a moment. The words send a thrill down Thomas’ spine. To go - to be free -

It has seemed like an impossible dream, all these years, but nothing is impossible if James is alive and here with him.

“I can’t very well defend your honor if we sit here and never leave,” he agrees, and James reaches forward, grabbing hold of his hand, gripping it with his own, gentle, but firm, the same way they used to in carriages where no one could see them. His green eyes are bright, and fixed on Thomas’ face, the earring glinting in the firelight, his teeth showing as he flashes a smile at Thomas.

“Tell me about the outer defenses,” he says, and Thomas feels himself begin to grin.

“They’re no patch on Windsor Castle, if that’s what you’re asking.”