i will be here for you all to the best of my abilities!

a possibly unpopular gripe

you know what bugs me so much? people who don’t work in education saying something like this:

School should teach life skills, like paying taxes or paying bills or how to balance a checkbook, and spend less time on stuff kids are never going to use, like algebra and history.

Originally posted by geekylaugifs

here’s why i hate it. those tasks, while very useful, require the ability to read basic directions and utilize tools like the internet to define basic terms. also, there are many resources that the average person can access to guide them through these processes. also, i actually do expect that when my students graduate, they can read and follow directions and access resources to learn new things. these learning skills are part of the capacity building that many schools employ when teaching their students to be critical thinkers and problem solvers.

also, like, you know who else complains that students never learn anything useful? STUDENTS. and students aren’t always the best judge of whether they are learning at all…have you ever heard a student say “we never do anything in here” even though you are building beautifully scaffolded lessons and your students are demonstrating growth and learning your content? yeah, me too.

meanwhile, we live in a country where lots of people think that the mainstream media just MAKES UP the news and that memes on Facebook are reliable sources of information, adults in charge of making decisions for the nation literally refuse to collaborate with one another, and people who sit in the highest offices demonstrate an utter disdain for critical thinking. we need close readers and critical thinkers. we need scientists and historians and people in all fields who value numbers and data, who aren’t afraid to ask tough questions, and who are willing to listen to voices vastly different from their own.

one might say that it’s the value of budgeting one’s money, or the cold hard reality of how taxes really affect ones earnings that really needs teaching, but to that i would say, they do learn those things. the republicans just passed a ridiculous tax bill. do you think kids across the country aren’t reading about this in their econ and government classes? do you think that in the push to provide access to college for students of all socioeconomic backgrounds that educators aren’t prepping students to understand the difficulties of taking care of one’s self?

this, to me, is just more of the disrespect and misunderstanding that plagues educators and the education systems, and it’s a lot of white noise that jams up the frequency when people who actually know what they are talking about…like people who work in schools…can speak about what their students are actually doing and what types of changes would make schools better.

if your highest aspiration for our young people is that they learn how to do something that a website will do for them for free, then i would say it’s not teachers who are failing kids.

The Best Of Me- Chapter Two

Prologue, One

Spotify Playlist

AO3 Link

Word Count: 1,138

Pairing: Reddie

Warnings: swearing

Chapter Two: Back To College 


It’s hard- to Eddie, at least. Richie doesn’t even know what’s going on. Well, only because Eddie doesn’t let anything on. He just continues on, every morning, every evening, and every night.

It’s been three weeks since Eddie had gone to Richie’s bed, and really, he doesn’t know what to do with himself. The last twenty-one days consisted of Eddie pretending like he’s fine, like his heart doesn’t beat fast and hard everytime Richie does, well, anything, or when he flashes a stupid smile in Eddie’s direction; his eyes shining.

Really, his heart doesn’t skip a beat at all.
He’s lying, of course.

Keep reading

why you keep getting hurt, based on your moon sign

ARIES: you may find yourself doing the hurting in your relationship. love for you is supposed to be exciting, and when you’re not excited about the relationship, it’s easy for you to let go. but hurting people doesn’t feel good. not many people realize this, but aries don’t intend to hurt people. they just naturally put themselves first. it hurts them when people close to them hurt. you may have a lot of trouble finding someone who understands you and your carefree attitude about relationships. maybe love isn’t for you, you begin to think. 

TAURUS: you have an intense loyalty to the people you love. so much so, in fact, that you stay in situations that you may be better off walking away from. to you, a partnership is a long term commitment and any problems that may arise can be worked out, if people are willing to work at it. the problem is, you’re always willing to work on it and the other person may not be so willing. people take advantage of you. you don’t like to fail. when relationships end for you, it causes you a lot of pain because you feel like you failed. you start to think about all the things you could have done to make things work, but you can’t change someone else no matter how hard you try. 

GEMINI: you’re very hard on yourself. you have this weird war going inside you. a part of you thinks “im in a v srs relationship, this is srs business,” while the other side is wanting to have fun and gets bored staying in one spot. you can be hard on others too. you have these ideas about what a good partner should be like and what a serious relationship is supposed to look like, so you tend to dwell on flaws that may not even be deal breaker worthy. finding a balance and learning to let go of preconceived ideas about relationships is a challenge for you. if you don’t find a balance, you’ll feel lost and like no one is out there for you. 

CANCER: you care SO much about people. you always do incredibly thoughtful gestures for the people you love. maybe your partner made an offhand comment once about liking this super niche movie that’s hard to find, and you go out there and buy it. it’s hard for people to match your insane effort. the thing is, you want someone to treat you how you treat others. you want someone to remember that story you told about your favorite vacation as a kid and then they surprise you with plane tickets for your birthday. people show love in all sorts of ways, but it’s hard for you to accept love in a way that’s different from the way you love. if it’s not these insane, sentimental gifts, it’s not enough for you. you feel unfulfilled. 

LEO: you put people on a pedestal. you have high standards, or you at least like to think you have high standards. when you’re into someone, you’re like “oh my god! finally someone who is everything I’ve been looking for!” you begin to see them as this vision you had in your head of the person you pictured yourself with. but fantasy is not reality. when this person doesn’t live up to that fantasy, you get hurt. you’re a hopeless romantic and very grandiose in the way you express your love. everything about love to you is a fairytale. you’re setting impossibly high standards for not only potential partners, but even yourself. 

VIRGO: we live in a society where reminding someone to put their seatbelt on is nagging. to you, this is an act of love. you’re a perfectionist with yourself and your love life. you love through constructive criticism and communication. never mind the fact that people just can’t take criticism these days, people instinctually become defensive. you don’t mean it to come across as critical and naggy, you genuinely want you, the other person, and your relationship to be the best it can be. you feel misunderstood and you probably have begun to give in to thinking there’s something inherently wrong with you.  

LIBRA: love for you is more than just emotions, it’s a conscious decision you make everyday. this will cause you to stay in situations that aren’t right for you. once you’ve decided to be with someone, you’ve decided and now you have to deal with this commitment. pair that with a need to keep the peace and you can drive yourself crazy, dealing with other people’s bullshit that you shouldn’t have to deal with. you bend so much to the needs of the other person, because you’re adaptable so you can be the one to compromise to keep the relationship harmonious. but by doing this, you neglect your own needs and you become blind to how you truly feel and what you truly want. 

SCORPIO: not many people realize it, but you have very high standards. this comes from your overall pessimistic view on people, which probably stems from going through a lot of disappointment in your past. you are insanely loyal to those you’re with and you love HARD. you may often feel that no one will love you the way you love them. you don’t even always express just how deeply you love someone. you don’t like to admit it, but you get deeply attached to people. when someone inevitably doesn’t live up to your standards, this causes you a lot of pain. 

SAGITTARIUS: people fucking suck. everyone has skeletons in their closets and baggage. people take themselves and relationships too seriously. you just want to have fun with the person you’re with. you have a hard time dealing with the human side of people. why does everyone else have to be so negative, you think. love is an amazing thing! and we should have fun while we have time on this earth together. much like aries, you may have begun to think love isn’t for you because everyone else is out here taking the fun out of love. 

CAPRICORN: there’s an inherent loneliness than comes with being a cap moon. you come across as cold to others because the way you express love is so different than everyone else. emotions take a back seat, you love through providing for your partner and becoming the best at what you do to ensure a comfortable life for yourself and those you love. people see that as putting your work before your loved ones, but that’s not your intention. failures in your love life have caused you to completely stop seeking out potential partners, even if you would really love to be in a relationship right now. 

AQUARIUS: the person you’re with is not only your partner, but your best friend. but isn’t that a good thing? it can be, but you have the tendency to detach from the emotional and romantic side of the relationship. you’re afraid of your emotions sometimes, and you’ve developed this ability to completely detach. people you are with may feel like you don’t love them, they’ll begin to feel more like your friend than your lover. but that’s not how you mean for it to come across! you just have a hard time expressing love in a way that others can understand. 

PISCES: you give people too many chances. you see people how you want to see them, rather than for who they truly are and you usually default to seeing the best in everyone. you gravitate towards relationships where one of you needs saving. if you’re the one who needs saving, you put too much of that responsibility into the other person. if you’re the savior in the relationship, you have a hard time realizing that you can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. 



let’s all have a group hug <3 astrology is a wonderful tool to not only understand yourself, but to understand others. treat each other kindly and embrace differences in people. 

this is based off of my very first series on twitter. you can follow me @classtrology_ for more frequent astrological posts! I am not accepting full birthchart readings at this time, but simple questions and brief sun/moon/rising combo readings can be done through my ask on here. 

Why I Think Momo is Kickass and You should too

So with the emergence of the anime becoming more and more popular, of course the fan base is growing and growing, I would even say to heights like seen in Fairy Tail, Naruto, etc.

 However, with the series getting more popular, you are stuck with more….negative opinions about the characters that in my mind are sometimes just not necessary.

 Now, this blog is normally Ochako and Kacchako and I intend to mostly keep it that way but lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of negative posts towards Momo and frankly, I’m heavily displeased by this, especially since she’s one of the most well portrayed girls in the series and it’s really heartbreaking on my end to see posts that essentially dismiss her for more shallow reasons that don’t need to be here.

 I mean to start this off, are we going to simply forget that she came into UA on a recommendation and was a student that made even All Might shook when asked why Iida was the winner of the exercise

or how, even though the class didn’t know her, she was still voted to be Assistant Class President? 

 or how she was able to act calm and rational during the USJ villain fight?

 or how she still managed to get the top grade in the midterm exams and didn’t get it to her head but actually acted BENEVOTELY and helped her classmates who asked her for help?

or how it was HER plan that got Todoroki and her to win the exam that they were fighting in?

 But ya know, because of her BODY, we’re going to ignore that right? We’re going to ignore how amazing and how smart she is simply because of her body.  

I won’t lie guys, I’ve heard people complaining about her quirk and even saying how bad her quirk is designed when it’s like??? It actually makes a lot of sense why it’s like that since she does create large objects like shields, spears, A FREAKING CANON, like it makes sense for her to need to use fat call throughout her body to be able to achieve that look.

Which brings me to talk about her costume. Oh boy, this is the one that when I first entered the fandom, no one really said anything but now that the series is more popular, everyone has become experts on body proportions and quirk designs and apparently fashion design since her costume isn’t good enough for her.

I mean look at the costume design that Horikoshi put in for her and how he planned that all out for her

At some point, yes I understand, Horikoshi is a pervert, sometimes his intentions aren’t the best, I get that. But consider this, even though he had the ability to make Ochako’s and Tsuyu’s costumes completely perverted, he chose against that. He had the perfect opportunity to indulge in that yet he didn’t. What I love about Horikoshi is that he thinks about the practicality of the quirks and designs the costumes based on that as well taking into consideration the character’s personality and what they would want.

 So guys, at some point, reality check moment: Momo is comfortable with her body enough to wear a costume that she deemed necessary for the usage of her quirk. And she chose that design for that outfit and has not said a word about this entire series. She even had an opportunity to create it to be more closed and she chose not to. MOMO CHOSE HER OUTFIT AND VIEWS IT GOOD ENOUGH FOR HER HERO WORK.

 In this moment too, I would like to share what even Midnight said during Episode 34 at the very beginning.

So another reality check: The only people who are saying it’s sexual are the people who are sexualizing her to begin with. Instead of viewing it as more of a practical thing that is designed for her quirk (which involves utilizing her fat cells and creating stuff through her skin), people begin to view as sexual and are condemning her for having a revealing costume. Which, to me personally, I find ironic since tumblr is filled with campaigns of free the nipple and the stopping of sexualization of breasts and female anatomy, yet look what’s happening here. People are taking her costume and saying she’s being sexualized for choosing a design that would give her optimal openness to use her quirk.

 I mean look at how she used it in the Aizawa fight

 Having that navel cavity helped her out immensely during this fight and she was able to create the alloy material in a much faster way with having access to areas where most of her fat is stored.

Which, I also heard people commenting on how Momo’s body doesn’t make sense and how skinny she is in comparison to her boobs (which I’ve seen that in real life, it’s not uncommon), but if you see in this spread

She actually isn’t the skinniest person in the world. Keep in mind that while she does use her fat cells to make stuff, she does also consume A LOT OF FOOD TOO to keep up with the level of activity too so she does get chubby sometimes so it’s a wrong assumption to think she has this INCRDIBLY PERFECT BODY WITH NO FAT when she does! Which only makes it only more natural and real!

Honestly, her entire arc in the beginning of the manga (or at least up into this exam point) has been so powerful, so realistic, and so amazingly well done.

I mean to consider, very similarly to Bakugou, while we haven’t gotten much of her backstory, given how she behaved in Season 1, we can have a somewhat assumption that she came from a great home and was well praised for her quirk. Obviously, her quirk isn’t one with a talent, she had to work immensely for it, but she must have been placed into situations where she was elevated and praised for how powerful her quirk is (like she was put in situations where she was able to be able to use her quirk to the fullest and not have much backfired).

Even Aizawa says this during their fight

Which does imply this isn’t a constant state she’s always been in, it’s one that has been gained since the sports festival (hence why the arguments that she should be shouldn’t be self confident are wrong). 

Yet, with coming to UA and being in a hero course, after participating in the festival, well she starts to crumble and kind of doubt her abilities against the others

 Like it starts off with her not getting a high ranking on the race

 Then she mentioned the issue with the cavalry battle later on but definitely the heavy hitter for Momo was her fight with Tokoyami where she was left in shambles since she wasn’t able to make much on an impact on the fight itself (which this was amplified more in the anime than the manga itself).

Originally posted by fadingsoulss

Thus really bringing down her confidence. And now a lot of people screamed about how misogynist her hero training was and how demeaning it was which leads to 2 issues that some people forget about.

 1.     That there are multiple sides to being a hero. It’s not always the cookie cutter “fight villains, rescue people, rinse and repeat”. Even famous people in our society, even though their job is to act/sing/etc, they still go out and do publicity work and that’s what they do. It’s a part of being well known and using your abilities outside of the field you are in.

2.     This was all part of Momo developing. This was just another way to bring Momo down a couple more notches. It’s a bit cruel and hard but this was a way for Horikoshi to get her  out of her mindset and be exposed to something where her confidence could be lowered. Guaranteed if she was put into an actual hero training internship, she wouldn’t have been lowered as much as she did.

 Which could lead the argument that it wasn’t necessary to have any of that stuff happen to her but consider, would she have gotten in this state if she didn’t have those things happen and accumulate?

And would she have gotten her confidence back from Todoroki/Aizawa and execute an amazing plan without that encouragement from those moments?

Probably not.

 Ok this post is beginning to get way to long so I’m going to stop here before I go on and on and on about Momo. As much as Ochako is my best girl and I will forever sacrifice myself to her, even I have to admit Momo is utterly amazing and I only talked about what happened in the first 65 chapters. I didn’t even brush on how amazing she was during the invasion of the villains or how she managed to be a huge help in the rescue of Bakugou or even how kickass she was during the license exam (which she helped my princess Ochako and that pleased me so much). Momo is just more than the simple sexual object people are complaining her to be as, she’s an incredibly smart and amazing woman and Horikoshi put so much thought into her, more than what any of us could ever imagine. I am truly excited to see more of what she can do in the future and I hope she gains more fans since she truly deserves it.

 TLDR; MOMO IS AMAZING, SEND HER LOVE YALL

hrt appreciation post here we go

(it’s long so prepare or scroll really fast if you wanna pass it)

me, 1993, wtf is a gender i wear diapers for god sakes 

late 90s, rockin some shades and some crazy sweaters even though i live in FL (still do that to this day)

time jump to… early 2000s, flexin and loving dogs (still doing that to this day wassup somethings never change)

oh wow here comes Middle School™ and the emo phase begins (sadly no pics during the emo phase)

oh shit what up 2008 scene phase yes that is a STAY BRUTAL™ sweater) 

then ya boy calmed down a bit and stopped giving a fuck about impressing ppl (idk why I thought being scene was impressive dont ask)

ya boy graduated HS and was free to do whatever to his hair so colors were everywhere but also was the time when his self worth was at his lowest and was dressing and looking how he thought people would want so he could get them to like him (ew right?) 

ya boy got his very first mohawk and rocked that shit for a few years

dis is some pics of the year he starts questioning his gender identity and after 6 months of research and “soul searching” decides to start HRT

yo boy is SIX MONTHS ON T !!! and starting to grow facial hair B)

YO BOY IS ONE (1) YR ON T AND JUST HAD TOP SURGERY! but also shaved his head a few months back and feels hella ugly lol 

fwd and we are now 1.5 years on T ! Hair is finally coming in and he’s look decent these days.

WHOOOA LONG HAIR WHO DIS!!! YA BOYS TWO (2) YEARS ON T !!! and 1 YR POST OP! Feeling amazing tbh

ooo shit we winding down now yall

ya boy is Two (2) years and 3 months on T and thankful every day that his blood work came back with the all clear to start T, thankful for his support group and friends/family that love and support him (shout out to my sister), thankful for how well he’s transitioned even though it was long and hard on the mental state a lot of the time, he pushed through and came out the other end smiling and happy in his skin. Thankful every day that he can afford to start on HRT, thankful every day for all the support he gets online from kind words to donations that helped afford top surgery + donations I got when he was filing for the name change as well. 

I’m posting this in hopes that it helps anyone who needs it. I’m a huge believer in doing things for yourself and making sure your happiness/comfort is always first before someone else’s. I hope it gives inspiration and motivation to those who are scared to transition in fear of what their families will think, in fear of how they will transition, fear of all the nerve wracking things that comes with HRT. Hoping that it shows you, that while HRT isn’t an over night fix, that takes time and a lot of hard days but in the end, you come out on top. It’s still a struggle some days but nothing compared to the days when I was pre-T. 

Feel free to message me if you have any questions about HRT with T and I’m happy to answer to the best of my ability!

My name is NIkk and I’m non binary! He/him pronouns =)

Got asked to "step down" from a position.

Years ago, I taught Sunday school on a voluntary basis at a megachurch in my town. There were so many children in this church that classrooms were made available to group children with Sunday school teachers for every year of their life until middle school and high school, at which point they attended a larger group with similarly aged peers in separate wings of the building. I taught two-year-olds, and loved every moment of it.

My classroom boasted a huge number of children, at about 20-25 per service. I was supposed to have an adult co-teacher, but all the other adult volunteers were sent to other classrooms with a “higher need”. I had two high-school-aged volunteers, best friends, who often spent service time playing together, despite repeated approaches to asking them to play with the children (one of my volunteers was the director’s son, who I couldn’t replace because of his mother, and who clearly did not want to be volunteering).

Despite this, and despite inheriting a huge classroom full of several special needs children, my children played calmly throughout service, and enjoyed a routine and simple rules I set to run the classroom efficiently. Children arrived, played calmly, sang songs, ate snack, and went home.

Even in the face of this obvious evidence that my classroom was running efficiently, I was repeatedly asked by church leaders to adopt certain mannerisms around children I found inauthentic and frankly patronizing. I don’t and won’t speak in a high-pitched voice to anyone, child or adult. I don’t and won’t use words like “upsie daisy”. These requests were persistent. It was the opinion of the church that I was not “warm and welcoming” enough. It was modeled again and again that the church would prefer I was overanimated in a HUGE SMILE HUG “I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE HERE” kind of greeting.

One summer day we were all called (some 50+ room leaders and volunteers) into a mandatory meeting. You know those meetings where you instantly know they’re talking about you? The policies on words like “upsie daisy” were now set in writing, and I was shortly asked to step down for not using these phrases. I was not allowed to prepare my children for the transition to a new Sunday teacher. I was immediately replaced (by a friend, actually) and was fairly crushed about the sudden break from little people I liked spending time with. And furthermore, it made me question my abilities to work with children, an endeavor I had already devoted my life to.

Unbeknownst to my church, I had long been working at a career in early childhood intervention, teaching a classroom full of two-year-old child victims of trauma and abuse with a heavy case load of special needs children. My coworker called me over one Monday, as I was the twos teacher, asking what I made of this email she had just received concerning a church with an out-of-control twos room requesting that someone come consult with their new staff and help implement some new classroom techniques to “manage difficult behaviors”.

Naturally, I agreed to do the consult in person as soon as possible, and asked my coworker to let them know I would meet with them on a completely voluntary basis at their next Sunday service.

It was absolutely my pleasure to greet my church leaders and friend as their specialist consultant, to their confused surprise.

I walked them through all sorts of interventions and strategies I had previously used to create a calm classroom environment and strongly advised against the use of overly excited greetings and phrases like “upsie daisy” in place of direct redirective requests (e.g. “Please put your feet back on the floor.”) It was my strong written recommendation that the written policies on these strategies be amended and for staff to be immediately retrained in accordance with actual therapeutic practices.

It was my last time stepping foot in that church, and will forever remain my most deliciously cherished memories of vindication.

Familiar but Unexpected

One Shot: Jungkook Best friend!AU x Reader

Word count: 9.5k 

Genre: Fluff, Angst and NSFW! Smut. 

A/N: I recommend you read this in one sitting - strap yourself in for one heck of a rollercoaster ride, boys and girls. I’m back to ruin your life temporarily. @jeonjungrude @author–nim @btsbangtansarmyv

Summary: Jungkook, your ‘best friend’ needs a place to stay since his older brother unexpectedly came home. You try to fix their sibling relationship but that ends up costing you your friendship with Jungkook- a trade for something better or for something worse? 

@btsfanficss masterlist here 💕

Originally posted by armythreej

The doorbell rung simultaneous to the sound of constant knocks on your door. You opened your bloodshot eyes and reached over for your phone that sat on the bedside table. Who in their right mind would visit you at 4 in the morning? The violent knocking intensified and you groaned with frustration, peeling yourself away from the warm bed. You shuffled yourself over to the front door and swung it open while rubbing your tired eyes. Of course, only Jeon Jungkook, your best friend, would have the nerve to barge in at such an ungodly hour.

Jesus woman, I thought you were dead,” Jungkook’s voice sounded relieved at the sight of you in front of him, in your nighties that consisted of merely a singlet and terribly short running shorts. It exposed your supple skin to the handsome boy.

“Jungkook what the fuck do you want? I’m tired, it’s 4 in the bloody morning-” you sighed and wobbled with fatigue.

“Hello to you too, sweetheart,” Jungkook scoffed and entered your apartment with a small suitcase in his grip. “My brother came home unexpectedly just then, I need a place to crash until he leaves.”

You nodded without much thought, you knew his brother was always a sensitive topic for him so you understood.

“That’s fine by me. I’m going back to sleep,” you announced to the noir haired boy with a loud yawn. He merely snickered at your exhausted state and jumped onto your sofa- where he usually crashed after his nights out.

You glided back into the comfort of your bedsheets and closed your eyes to drift off into dreamland.


Morning came quicker than expected. You woke up to the sound of shuffling and fidgeting from the kitchen. It was unusual for Jungkook to wake up so early, early being 9 o’ clock since it was a Saturday morning. 

“Good morning,” you said in a nasal voice as you poured yourself a cup of coffee Jungkook had brewed. You peaked over Jungkook’s broad shoulders to see sizzling pancakes on the pan. 

“What’s the special occasion?” you murmured behind a hazy sounding giggle and Jungkook showed no emotion, a thin line across his lips. 

“Nothing..” Jungkook sounded inaudible as his chest grew with the inhalation of his breath. He let out a loud sigh and you gulped at the boy’s condition. It was rare for him to look so serious. He was normally always making the most inappropriate jokes and comments. 

Keep reading

Hey, so usually I’m very early and prepared for exams but this time for my Christmas exams, I’ve left EVERYTHING until 5 days before the exams! There’s too much to memorise in such a short amount of time! And I have a busy schedule so I can’t do revision 24/7! Any tips? 

Pssst! The best tip for cramming is actually to not cram!! 🙃 But if you have to, here are some tips that actually work! 💲💲


Throw out all distractions, and palm off as many commitments as possible to others.

You’re a student at the end of the day. That’s your job, so do it properly. Before you are a retail worker, a movie buddy, a chauffeur for your siblings, or a studyblr blog manager, you are a student

You don’t have a lot of time left, so give your phone to your parents or someone you trust to keep it away from you. Add StayFocusd to Chrome and turn on the nuclear option so that you only use the internet for study purposes. Get your friends/siblings or parents to do chores for you and make it up to them after the exams. 

Know what’s likely to be tested.

This is much more important than anything else. There are going to be important concepts that you learn that are not going to be tested. No point studying for something that won’t be asked about. Pro tip: think about the homework exercises that you got and what they tested. 

Just as a general rule, the most basic things such as definitions (skim read these), as well as the most complex cases, will not comprise the majority of the test. For complex cases, you can’t just skim read them, but you should get an idea of the skills/processes that you need to solve them. 

For example, when learning about different diseases, the point is to make you a practitioner which can deal with the most dangerous (life-threatening, sight-threatening no matter how rare), most common (>1% prevalence) and uncommon (0.1-1%) diseases, which will comprise the majority of the points. The rare conditions (<0.1%) will either be right near the end of the test or be bonus point questions. The other thing is that if even if they do ask about rare conditions, it’s going to be a distinguishing sign, or it is related to a more common condition. And the question they most likely ask is “what further tests would you do to aid diagnosis?” which relates to basic concepts of disease diagnosis. 

Also, just keep in mind that there are university exams which literally ask you minutae in the multiple choice questions. For example disease exams have asked things like “What percentage of people with diabetes mellitus have diabetic retinopathy?” and have four really similar options for percentages. You just have to had studied that, and odds are you won’t be able to remember a hundred different stats prior to your exam if you’re cramming (just don’t cram, you literally can’t cram for uni exams). 

Divide your time appropriately (not necessarily equally) between understanding the course content and doing practice exercises/ examination style questions.

If you just launch into doing practice questions without having some sort of knowledge, you’ll get stuck on a lot of questions, get the questions wrong, and need to refer back to your textbooks and do a lot of searching and flipping through pages, which wastes your time.

So start off by going through the concepts first so that you know enough not to constantly look back. You should try to allocate as much time as possible actually answering questions though, because there’s no better way to prepare for an exam than to do exam-style questions

Step-by-step: Count the number of chapters/lectures you need to cover, and divide it equally amongst about 40% of the time that you have left, so that you know how long to spend revising each lecture. 

Focus on one exam at a time, and study the hardest concepts which require a lot of reasoning and understanding in the morning. 

Studying in the morning allows you to be at your freshest and most switched on. If you’re strapped for time, focus on being able to explain things. Explain it to your parents, siblings, or gudetama plushie. Explaining is an exercise in summarising which tests your ability to understand causative elements and how they relate to different consequences. 

Ask questions to yourself whilst studying. 

This tests your knowledge, and is a good way for you to check what you know and what you don’t know. When you’re cramming, you likely don’t have someone to help you at such short notice, so you need to be that person for yourself. Plus, it primes you to think like an examiner/exam paper - you’ll start realising what’s likely to be tested, which helps you narrow down what to study, and it helps you for the next part: practice questions. 

For example: geometry - to give a simple example, yes, you need to know what an angle bisector is, but are they likely in the exam to ask you to “Write the definition of an angle bisector.”? No. They’re going to get you to actually get your tools and bisect one. 90% of the time, you don’t need to know a definition in maths - it’s only the foundation knowledge so that you can answer actual questions. 

For example: medical/health science. Yes, you need to know differentials for diseases, but are they going to ask you to “List the differentials for ___”? No, that’s too simple, they’re obviously going to get you to eliminate a differential by considering the similarities and differences in signs and symptoms. So it’s much better to spend your time learning which conditions have similarities and what the distinguishing signs are e.g. Fuch’s Uveitis has stellate KP that is scattered all around the corneal endothelium - all other forms of uveitis pretty much have the KP scattered in Arlt’s triangle because of the convection currents in the anterior chamber. 

Chunk information together. 

This is a much more effective way of summarising all the information you need to study. Think of your memory as a mind map or a expandable list or like a set of folders in My Documents. You should try and sort things into topics and sub-topics that you can simply expand by just thinking of the title of that sub-topic. 

Step-by-Step: Cover up the information you’ve written under the sub-topics, and then try to recall it all just by looking at the title (acts as a trigger word)

  • Topic/Chapter/Lecture 1
    • “Sub-Topic 1″ #Try and recall all the info below by reading this#
      • #cover up this information#
      • #cover up this information#
      • #cover up this information#
    • “Sub-Topic 2″
    • “Sub-Topic 3″

Not only does this 1) actually test your knowledge through a smaller form of the blank paper method (previously written about here) but it also 2) allows you to chunk and remember massive amounts of information just by seeing the trigger word (the title of the topic). 

It helps to make a mental note of how many points were written for each section.

Tie everything together with a mnemonic. 

Of course, the issue now is that if you don’t have the trigger word then you won’t remember that chunk of information - so you need to counter that by using a mnemonic to remember the top level of topics and link everything together in your mind. 

Using this method is what I’ve always done to remember large chunks of information. That way, when key words turn up in the question, you will be able to remember all the information under that category and hence answer the question flawlessly. 

Practice by doing one exercise for each type of question. 

Particularly useful for studying for maths/science. You just need to know how to solve one question in the set to know how to solve the rest. Pick the hardest question at the end of the question set because it will involve the most skills to complete. 

Study in a different order. Study your concepts in reverse. 

Make sure you change things up, because you don’t want your brain to only be able to answer a question if all the topics lead on to the next. The questions in the exam are going to be covering all your topics in all different orders. Jump from Chapter 3 to Chapter 5 to Chapter 2, and do the same for the sub-topics. 

Secondly, study concepts in reverse because this is how exams test who really knows their stuff. For example: instead of learning that Disease A has Symptoms 1, 2, and 3, force your brain to think “What Disease has Symptoms 1, 2, and 3?” - because this is exactly the type of question that comes up in exams. 

Drink water, take breaks, sleep. 

Still needs to be done to maximise your productivity. Not taking breaks will make you less efficient and less effective. You also said that you have other commitments so try to get that stuff done in the short breaks between your study sessions so that you can be productive. Take a 5-10 minute break every hour and get out of your seat and stretch. Sleep is essential for our brains to consolidate information and retain information. 

Best of luck!!


MY STUDY TIPS

My study tips directory (web only) for the full list (over 80+ original posts/guides!)

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The Social Stigma of Solitude

Oh, Chance-The-Rapper-Parody-Account, how I adore thee…

I love being alone.

Does that look sad written down?

It does.

But it’s not.

Last night I was listening to a podcast about a student who was struggling to “be normal” by partaking in her college’s nightlife, and I suddenly got flashbacks of the alienation I had felt in my twenties. I struggled to socialise in the same way that the rest of my peer group did and I had no idea why.

Until I read Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet”, I’d never thought anything about introversion. Based on what I’d read in mainstream media, extroverts were the cool party people and introverts were the shy weirdos. I didn’t self-identify as an introvert - I was lively and talkative! - but I liked spending large periods of time alone. Nonetheless, I wanted to be a social butterfly with lots of friends, spreading my wings all over town. Who wanted to be a loner? Nobody. Who actually was a loner? Me!

I hid my love of solitude for a long time, which, hilariously, made me more awkward and anti-social. I felt guilty for declining social invitations (as if my mere absence would be threatening the rest of humanity’s ability to have a great time). And society didn’t exactly encourage solitude - it seemed anti-human and anti-community - so, I often thought “what the hell is up with me?”. But as Susan Cain observes, “Introversion is not about being anti-social, it’s about being differently social”. She states that “Introverts prefer quiet, minimally stimulating environments, while extroverts need higher levels of stimulation to feel their best”. Reading her book made me feel less strange, and less alone. I realised that all the behaviours I felt awkward about were actually connected to preserving and generating energy in a different way to how extroverts do. This helped me to change how I structured my social and work life.

Illustration by Maxine Sarah


My Old Socialising Patterns

  1. Meet a friend for dinner once a week.
  2. Go on a complete rager every two weeks because I’d suddenly realise “Oh, I’m very lonely. I think I need other humans to feel human!”.
  3. Consume huge amounts of vodka.
  4. Probably be sick when I get home because I knew zero about moderation.
  5. Spend next day feeling elated and high off the sheer relief that I, Marina Diamandis, had survived a social event and could get back to the business of being alone.

(As you can imagine, I’m pretty relieved this is no longer my life).

I don’t think any of us are 100% introvert or extrovert; we all share traits from both sides of the spectrum. But the way in which we gain energy is the signifier. Extroverts get their energy from being with other people, whereas introverts recharge when they’re alone. According to Eysenck’s psychophysical-based theory, introverts experience higher levels of arousal in their brain, so they don’t seek or need the same levels of stimulation that extroverts do. Apparently, 30 - 50% of the are population classified as introverts, but because society favours extroverted traits, people adjust their behaviour accordingly. Extraversion has been rewarded somewhat in our culture so perhaps there is a healthy swing of the pendulum going on. Even so, there still seems to be a social stigma, or curiosity, about aloneness.

Since I was 21, I’ve gone on plenty of solo traveling trips. I never feel weird going for a swanky lunch by myself (though admittedly, this confidence has been hard won), and whenever I spot someone doing something on their own, I think “cool!”, but I also think “brave”. The bravery isn’t related to doing stuff on your own, it’s about defying the social expectations around you. The feeling that people may be looking at you, judging you, and casting assumptions about your “aloneness”. And I’m not here to say “being alone is the best!” because it’s not always, but sometimes doing trips on your own can teach you things about yourself that you wouldn’t find out if you’d gone with others. (Also, vice versa).

I’ve been a bit nervous about writing about this subject, as I imagined people might say “But you’re not an introvert. You’re a performer. A very talkative, energetic performer!”, to which I would reply, “Yes, but I spend most of my tours recharging alone in hotel rooms. Also - have you even heard my song ”Solitaire“?!”. If there is any kind of message in this post it’s to go with the flow of your natural tendencies instead of resisting them for the sake of social expectations. If I could have known more about introversion in my twenties I would have spared myself a lot of unnecessary anguish. Sometimes partying is exactly what we need, other times a night alone is more valuable.

Over the years I’ve tried to find some deep, dark underlying reason for this “unnatural” character trait but I’m happy to say there isn’t really one. The only reason I can find is an ingrained social attitude that regards solitude as strange, sad or lonely. For anyone reading this who struggles with any of the above, just know there are lots of other people who feel exactly like you. We’re all wired differently - and let me take a minute to thank God for my extrovert friends who introduce me to new people - otherwise I’d never meet anyone. Also, someone needs to set up an “Introverts Society” for crying out loud! Meetings can be held once a year (maximum. Via Skype. From the safety of our rooms.).

Share your experiences here.

Love, Marina

anonymous asked:

Excuse me, but... why do you hate when straight woman go to a gay bar? I'm a straight woman and I live in Madrid, and here lot of straight people like going out around the gay area (Chueca). I sometimes go with my boyfriend, with my friends, and sometimes with my gay friends, who are very happy I go out with them in Chueca. For me, going to a gay bar is like going to any other bar. Wouldn't be homophobe if I said, no way I am gonna go to a gay bar/gay area? Sorry for my english.

Hi love. Your English is fine! 

This is a complicated issue, and I will try and speak about it to the best of my ability. First off: if I said I hate when straight women go to gay bars, I was speaking hyperbolically and being reactionary, which is totally my right as a lesbian who seeks safe space the same way any gay man does. But the truth is,  that I don’t SIMPLY hate it, every time, always. I hate the way it changes how gay bars feel to me, and I hate the culture it creates and lends itself to. It’s something I have nuanced and complex feelings about. 

Like, I understand why straight women enjoy going to gay bars. I know often times straight women just want to have a good time and get away from straight men, and as someone who ALSO wants desperately to get away from straight men,  I get how gay bars can provide that space. 

However, many straight women can be super disrespectful to that space because they don’t understand the historical significance of gay bars for gay people. Here are some of the things that are really damaging that I see on the regular. Not all of them are specific things all straight women do at gay bars, but they ARE inevitable affects of the PRESENCE of straight women and straight culture within an LGBTQ space: 

1. straight women sometimes get offended when lesbians hit on them at gay bars, which is absurd because….it’s a gay bar. You’re in our space. I also regularly witness straight women acting particularly disparaging or even DISGUSTED by butch women in gay bars, which really hurts and is so cruel and disrespectful. The amount of times I’ve seen gay men band together with straight women to mock butch culture/appearances is innumerable. 

2. At least in LA, its become such a commonplace thing for LOTS of straight women to go to gay bars, that they out number the amount of lesbians/wlw. First off, this just feels awful and isolating for us, but additionally, it makes lots of wlw so uncomfortable that they don’t feel safe cruising/asking women to dance because the probability of the girl being straight is really high. Can you imagine how lonely, scary, and frustrating this would feel for wlw to go to a bar that is supposed to be FOR THEM and feel afraid and outnumbered by straight women? 

3. Lots of straight women treat gay bars like some wild tourist space.  They get to come to the gay part of town and watch the gays interact in their natural habitat, they get to see crazy wild freaky things like boys in make up and butch girls in plaid and go-go dancers and hot guys making out! How titillating and exciting and funny! Now, I’m not saying you do this, personally, but you have to understand that MANY straight women DO. It feels awful and hurtful to just want to go out and dance and be yourself AWAY from the cruelty and scrutiny of straight people, and end up at a bar where you’re getting watched like a sideshow ANYWAY. 

4. Many straight women bring their boyfriends. For numerous wlw and MANY gay men, straight men are traumatizing. They are our abusers. They’re the last thing we want to see in our safe space. NOTHING makes me feel more unsafe and invaded and shitty at a gay bar than the presence of straight men. And if there are straight women, there are likely going to be straight men, at least eventually.  Now, even aside from them making me feel flat out unsafe an horrible, it’s also just disheartening and irritating to see straight couples taking up space in an LGBTQ environment when I’m literally trying to get away from them! I don’t want to see straight people making out. I don’t to see straight people dancing. I don’t want to see straight people standing by the bar pointing at us. If I wanted all that, I wouldn’t be going to a GAY BAR.  

5. Again, at least in LA, it’s so common for straight women to go to gay bars that straight men will actually go to gay bars with the intention of finding straight women, because they KNOW it’s a place where single women congregate. I kid you not, it’s a pick up artist “trick” to go to gay bars. This means, predatory straight men in LGBTQ spaces, trying to hit on women. This INCLUDES WLW because sometimes they can’t tell the difference or literally don’t care!!! I DO NOT WANT to be around straight men, even the ones who are there with their girlfriends, so I ESPECIALLY don’t want to be around the type of straight guy who is looking for a hook up!  I don’t want to be hit on my straight men, I don’t want my bi friends or my femme friends who came to a gay bar looking for solace and to escape unwanted attention to be hit on or checked out by straight men IN THEIR OWN SPACE!!!

I remember the first time a straight man hit on me at a gay bar, I started dancing with him, close and kind of sexy, because it’s not uncommon for lesbians to dance with gay men like that in a playful way. Then, he started touching me, and I thought it was a little weird but was like “whatever he’s probably gay” and THEN HE KISSED ME and it was like my fucking world came crashing down. I felt so terrified and unsafe and dirty, and when I tried to scramble away and was like “Oh my god I’m gay stop” he literally said, and I will never forget this, “I don’t care. You didn’t a minute ago.” 

Whether or not you realize it, the presence of straight women in LGBTQ spaces leads to the eventual normalization of this type of behavior. Straight people and particularly straight men are ALWAYS coopting space that doesn’t belong to them and making it unsafe for LGBTQ people, who are ostracized outsiders who live in danger everywhere else. If I can’t go to a gay bar to get away from these types of men, where can I go? If my friends can’t go to a gay bar to pick up women, where can they go? 

NOW, you mentioned you were from Spain. I have never been to Spain and have relatively no idea what the gay scene/bar scene is like there. Some of this might not be relevant to you personally, and I’m sensitive to the fact I’m speaking from the experience of someone who grew up clubbing in West Hollywood/LA, so this might not apply to you. It might be different in Spain, and I get that you want to support your gay friend when you go out with him. That makes sense to me, and I know there are ways straight women can be respectful in LGBTQ spaces. 

But please, consider all of this. Also, you said something that really stuck out to me: “ For me, going to a gay bar is like going to any other bar.”

That stings, because for us, going to a gay bar is NOT like going to any other bar. Going to a gay bar is like going home, or it should be. You have to understand we don’t get to feel safe or supported most of the time when we exist in the world. We have to seek out those safe spaces, so when those safe spaces get infiltrated by the people who make the rest of the world unsafe for us, IT HURTS. We don’t want gay bars to be like any other bar, they need to be treated as the very specific, historically significant, cultural phenomenon that they are. It’s not just a rainbow on the wall that makes a gay bar a gay bar. I hope that makes sense. 

Further reading here! 

Daddy’s Little Girl

Bucky Barnes x Reader

Summary: dont the title gives it away? it’s such a cliche, i cant lmao

Word Count: 2330

Warnings: nsfw af! daddy kink, thigh riding, dirty talk, unprotected sex (practice safe sex, y'all)

Author’s Note: old fic; i remember writing this, and i was shook™ at how much dirty it turned out to be lmaoo enjoy! and don’t forget to write back to me ;)

Masterlist Here 

Bucky Barnes is a light sleeper. The Super Soldier’s super ability to hear is one of the reasons why he wakes up with dark rims under his eyes for most of the mornings.

But ever since you both started sharing a bed, that habit of his was fading away. You’d make sure you were always snuggled up to him, giving him a sense of assurance that you’re here, with him. And then even the slightest noise stopped to disturb him

That was until tonight, when the sweet disturbance was caused by you.

You had your back pressed against his front. His face buried into your hair, as he smiled and inhaled your sweet shampoo. The metal arm wrapped around your waist as you both inhaled and exhaled together, almost as if you both had practiced it.

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How to Return to your Manuscript

Every writer knows what it’s like to set a manuscript down for an evening and just… not pick it up again.

Usually when this happens, we have every intention of returning to it the next day, but for some reason or another, we don’t. 

One day turns into a week. Which turns into a month. Maybe two. 

The longer the manuscript’s been set aside, the harder it becomes to pick up again. It turns into this dark, hulking presence lurking at the edge of your consciousness, like something in a horror movie, eating away at that piece of your identity labeled “writer.” 

The reasons for not picking it up may change, but there’s always one.

You may not know where to start again, or doubt that your abilities are up to the standard its plot or characters require. You may not know where to find the time to write anymore. You may have even sat down to write just a few minutes ago, and ended up here on Tumblr instead, unable to bring yourself to open the manuscript file. 

If you’re reading this post and feel personally attacked…

Don’t fret. 

I have a writing exercise for you. 

Set aside ten minutes of your day to look at your manuscript. 

  • I recommend reading the last scene you completed, but this is your manuscript and your time. You can look at the first page. Or that one scene in the middle that you actually kind of like. Just don’t look at a blank page. Blank pages are scary and this is all about eliminating writing anxiety. 
  • Personally, I make this the last thing I do in the day, so I go to sleep with my manuscript in my head. Sometimes it helps to let my unconscious mind have a go at sorting through what I’ve read. However, I think it’s helpful to do this before any long period of time when you can let your mind wander. You may find writing more helpful before work/school or during lunch. Before a commute. Whatever works best for you. 

But don’t write and don’t look for more than ten minutes. 

  • You’re not allowed to change a single thing in the document. Not a comma. Not a misspelled word. 
  • When the ten minutes are up, simply close the document and go on with your day/night. 
  • There will probably be some things that you do want to change in the manuscript. They may be very simple, sentence-level fixes, but they may be as big as an idea for continuing the scene or the start of the next chapter. Let those thoughts sit with you, instead of all of the manuscript doubt and anxiety that were sitting with you before.
  • And yes, keeping your time down to ten minutes is important. You want a focus on a bite-sized portion of the manuscript. If you read too much, you’ll give yourself too much to consider for the next day, you’ll find too much to change, and you’ll run the risk of making your work as anxiety-inducing as ever. 

The next day, sit down with your document for another ten minutes. 

  • Allow yourself to make the changes you didn’t make the first day, or ones you’ve come up with since. This may mean adding a few commas and removing a few ‘that’s. This may mean continuing with the scene. Ten minutes is the perfect amount of time to set down a good paragraph. Try that. 
  • Again, force yourself to stop after ten minutes, even if you’re on a roll now. The stopping means that you have to keep all of those changes that you’re excited to make inside your head. It means that your thoughts about your manuscript are good and productive. It’ll keep you looking forward to your next writing session. Key advice: at the end of every writing session, always leave an edit in your head. It’ll be that small, tangible thing you can start with in your next session. 

Rinse, repeat, and develop a routine. 

  • Sit down for at least ten minutes every day. Make it a routine. Once the manuscript is open, do whatever feels comfortable to you: whether that means reading a chapter, editing something old, or writing something new. 
  • If you’re coming up with edits and scenes that simply require more than ten minutes, start amping up your writing time. Write for an hour. Write for two or three. 
  • Have a super busy day and know you can’t write for an hour? Those ten minutes are still fine. They’re still enough. Never feel like having spent three hours writing yesterday means you have to spend three hours writing today. Never feel like a failure for not spending X hours a day writing. That will only lead to not writing at all. 
  • What if you get stuck again? Go back to a shorter writing time, go back to reading and not writing. Reduce the pressure you’ve put on yourself and relax your expectations. The most important thing is simply returning to your manuscript every day whether you have something good to set on the page or not. 
  • Never got un-stuck in the first place? That’s still okay! Keep spending your ten minutes with your manuscript. Write or just read. Keep it in your thoughts. Make it a defined, real, thing instead of that monster lurking in your head. It may take time, but eventually, something will click, and by that point, opening that file and getting started will be a piece of cake.
  • If you are able to write for an hour or two each day, you may find it useful to continue setting aside ten minutes each evening to read that day’s work–read but not edit–and keep a few edits in your head for the next day’s session. 

By the end of a week, whether you’ve written a hundred new pages or fixed a lot of bad grammar, you’ll at least be in a place where you’re once again thinking about your manuscript in tangible terms, as a thing made up of words and paragraphs instead of anxiety and blank pages. 

Maybe in the end, you’ll decide that you simply need to abandon this story and pick up a new one. If this happens, you’ll be in a great place to start, with a writing routine already in place. 

More likely than not, just spending time with your story will fan up your love for it again. And once more, your manuscript will be the annoying, stubborn, untameable child you adore instead of a lurking horror. 

For more advice on working through writer’s block, check out another post of mine: What to Do When You Can’t Write

Originally posted by gypsyastronaut

Self-Care for Empaths


As an Empath, I am sure that you occasionally experience draining, exhausting, and hard-to-deal-with spells of overflowing emotions. We build up the energies that we are surrounded by, and this can sometimes be really overwhelming. For me, I get withdrawn and panicked when I am around too many people for too long. It leaves me feeling like I’ve become out of touch with myself, and oftentimes have a hard time getting her to return to me! So, inspired by some asks I have received regarding this topic, I felt compelled to create a list of things to try. Keep in mind that not all of these will work for every person, but I hope that you take with you some inspiration all the same! Without further ado, here are some of my own tips for those with empathetic abilities:

1). Keep notice of your physical health. I know it sounds a bit silly, but something as simple as keeping hydrated can be such a game-changer! If you notice yourself feeling especially drained and emptied of your own emotions, drinking lots of water can be the first step to regaining your own feelings. ♡

2). Take a moment away from the crowd. Have you ever felt especially over (or under) whelmed in regards to your emotions while being surrounded by others? This tends to happen to me a lot and, judging from my own experiences, excusing yourself for a few minutes is very healthy. I often feel a “build-up” of everyone else’s vibes becoming my own, and it leaves me feeling very unlike myself and especially distant. Take some time to be alone in the restroom or to go outside - take deep breaths, ten being your goal. Close your eyes. Center yourself. Gently pinch your skin, squeeze your own wrist, hold yourself. Allow yourself to come back to reality, and to become one again with your own senses. ♡

3). Keep track of your own emotions. As empaths, we obviously encounter so many different styles of basic emotions - we experience unique forms of sadness, happiness, or dread. Why not begin keeping track of what makes *you* feel certain ways? Start a special journal for your emotions. If you are around a certain individual, in a certain place, etc and experience heightened happiness, panic, love, discomfort, what have you… Write it down. Keep track of what makes you feel what. Try your best to notice patterns, and to avoid people, places, or things that leave you feeling negatively, all while welcoming the ones that do not. 😌🙏🏻

4). Practice grounding or shielding. Visualizing methods are not for everyone, but for some, they can very positively influence your state of mind! Take some time alone to meditate and manifest your own personal method of visualization. This could be imagining a golden light surrounding you, acting as a protective shield from others’ vibrations. It could be coming up with a special mantra that you repeat in your head during times of feeling overwhelmed: “I am here… I am real… My feelings are valid, and they are my own.” Practice this technique until you experience draining in real-time, and test our your method during such instances. ♡

5). Lastly… Remember to take time for yourself. Everyone needs to recharge, empath or not. Do not overwhelm yourself with activities or energy. Take a special day every now and then to show yourself some extra love, letting yourself be comfortable in your own presence and allowing the regaining of your own energies. Do something you love that relaxes and rejuvenates you! Focusing on yourself is always the best way to refocus your vibrations, and really embrace what makes you, you. ♡

Wrapped

Summary: In which being wrapped in your arms is the only place Bucky ever wants to be.

Pairing: Bucky x Reader

Word Count: 1,363

A/N: Title of the fic and the fic itself are inspired by “Wrapped” by Gloria Estefan

Originally posted by rogers

Bucky thought he had seen all of the evil the world had to offer after the time he spent in captivity. Nothing, he thought, could compare to Hydra.

He was wrong.

Evil was everywhere. It was broadcast on the news throughout the course of the day. It was described online in horrific detail. It was talked about at water coolers, interspersed between tidbits of celebrity news and gossip. It was also hidden behind the scenes, in the hands of those who took advantage of their positions of power.

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The Seneschal

My first Tumblrfic! A one-shot little thing that just would not get out of my head, so I had to write it down. The unexpected survival of someone important from Thor and Loki’s past prompts hilarity and romance.

Warnings: at least ten times the amount of recommended daily sugary fluff, Loki being rather excessively redeemed, Thor being an adorable doof, mangled old Norse stuff, spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok.


Earth it is, then.

Such simple words. His first real proclamation as king. It seemed simple. Point enormous ship towards Midgard and go there. But, like most things in Thor’s life of late, the reality turned out to be anything but straightforward.

Spaceships were very complicated things. They needed fuel and maintenance and all sorts of other things to keep them running. This one – the newly renamed Asgard – apparently ran on a certain type of exotic matter particular to one of the rarer types of compact star, which was probably why it had been sitting in the Grandmaster’s hangar on Sakaar rather than being actively used. It was a minor miracle – although Loki insisted it had more to do with his outstanding piloting skills – that the thing had managed to limp through the portal in the first place.

It was also low on general supplies, like food and potable water, although on the plus side was extremely lavishly furnished with what turned out to be quite a lot of potentially valuable goods. The mineral ore in the aft hold was also apparently quite prized, or at least the trader Loki spoke to was convinced that it was. Thor decided not to ask for the details of the transaction when his brother had returned with a certain smug edge to his triumphant grin.

‘Why do we need these…hydrosonic things?’

'Hydroponics,’ the Valkyrie, whose name he had finally discovered was Brunhilde, repeated with a roll of her eyes. 'I told you, to grow food. We can’t trade anywhere near enough to keep everyone fed and it is going to take a long while to get to Midgard.’

'Hulk bored.’

'But couldn’t we have traded for more food and less-’ Thor paused to peer at the unfamiliar term on the dataslate ’-nutrient fluid?’

'Yes, but the technology will be more efficient in the long run,’ Loki pointed out. 'The difference between hunting and farming.’

'Hulk bored.’

'At least the water filtration systems seem to work.’ Thor scratched at his chin for a moment. 'Do we have a full head count yet, Heimdall?’

'Six hundred and eighteen,’ the former gatekeeper replied solemnly.

'That’s all?’ Thor tried not to sound too appalled, without much success. Asgard had housed over two hundred thousand people under Odin’s rule. Still, between Hela and Surtr it was remarkable that they had managed to save that many.

'We’ve little idea of who survived,’ Heimdall added. 'I’ve spoken to a few, guildsmen and artisans mostly, but-’

'Hulk BORED!’

'Who invited him?’ Thor asked. 'This is a council meeting, isn’t it?’

'Nobody invited him,’ Loki said. 'He just showed up.’

'We need to get a proper understanding of who we have on board,’ Brunhilde said, loudly enough that they all looked at her and even the Hulk subsided. 'And someone ought to be coordinating berths, and work assignments. Korg and the other scrappers are doing their best but we need-’

'A seneschal,’ Heimdall finished.

'The last seneschal of Asgard was-’ grimacing, Thor glanced at Loki in time to see his brother’s face fall ’-our mother.’

'Historically speaking the role of seneschal is separate to the duties of the royal family,’ Heimdall pointed out. 'But yes, Lady Frigga did adopt it in addition to her obligations as queen.’

'Thor no have queen,’ the Hulk said with a broad grin. 'He bad at girls.’

'That’s-’ Thor tried not to get too indignant at that pronouncement ’-that is not true, I just never – I am not bad at girls. With women. Shut up.’ He sat back and folded his arms, pointedly ignoring Loki’s snicker and Brunhilde’s barely-suppressed chuckles.

'I actually had someone in mind,’ Heimdall said, thankfully putting a stop to any further needling on that front. 'For seneschal,’ he added, only a little hastily, but ignored the Hulk’s snort of amusement at the clarification.

'Oh thank god,’ Thor said with feeling. 'Please call them up.’

'As you wish.’

Discussion turned to other matters in the meantime – Thor had to admit he was rather glad that Loki had so peremptorily taken charge of the need for trading with outside factors, for once putting his gilded tongue to some proper use – until a light knock at the door heralded the arrival of whoever Heimdall’s candidate was. Thor called for the visitor to come in and then felt himself break out into a broad grin of unmitigated delight at the diminutive, dark-haired figure that entered.

'Y/N!’

She inclined her head in a half bow.

'Your majesty.’

Pah.’ Springing to his feet, Thor rounded the table in two quick strides. 'You only called me that when my father was in the room. And even then…’

She laughed and permitted him to pull her into a hug.

'Thor, it’s so good to see you again. Great Norns, who cut your hair?’

'Oh, a creepy old man on an alien planet.’

'It's…different. And crooked-’ one hand actually came up to tug at the side of his shorn locks ’-we must find some shears and at least even it out-’

'No, no-’ Thor hurriedly batted her away ’-no more needs to come off. It’s fine. Really.’

'You’re lopsided! And oh…’ she stroked the skin beside his eyepatch '…your eye…’

'You want to make a hairdresser the seneschal?’ Brunhilde exclaimed to Heimdall.

'I’m hardly a hairdresser,’ Y/N said wryly.

'Then who are you?’

'Peace!’ Thor grinned at them both. 'This is Y/N Sjöfnsdottir – her mother was a nurse of sorts to us when we were boys, we used to play together as children-’

'Until her many talents led her elsewhere,’ Loki finished, standing up to move to his side with a smile that was small and brief enough to give it away as genuine. 'Hello, Y/N.’

'Loki!’ For a moment she stared at him with an unreadable expression. Then she reached out to very carefully prod his chest, clearly expecting him to dissolve into thin air and actually gasping when he didn’t. 'You’re – you’re actually here?’

'Very m-’ he didn’t get any further before she hugged him, too, although it was a much briefer contact and she turned back to Thor rather quickly after letting go.

'So, what does my king require of me?’

He laughed outright at her.

'Your help, as always!’

The Hulk decided to choose that moment to once more announce that he was bored, so after the briefest of amused introductions Brunhilde decided to take him down to the cargo bay, rolling her eyes at Loki’s half-pleading, half-chastising reminder not to damage the trio of extremely valuable power convertors sitting there.

'Not quite a typical successor to the Allfather’s council but at least it’s a bit different,’ Y/N said laughingly to Thor. 'I take it you want to drag me into this to help as chamberlain in some way, since there seems to be a marked lack of organisational ability in the room?’

'You’ve already been invaluable in overseeing the distribution of supplies and the wellbeing of the refugees,’ Heimdall said to her, with a meaningful glance at Thor. 'You’ve a knack for the role.’

'You’re too kind, Lord Heimdall.’

'He’s right, though.’ Thor folded his arms and inclined his head. 'I’d like to appoint you my seneschal, Y/N. The position hasn’t really been in use of late but…well, you’ll be perfect for the job.’

'And if I refuse?’ she asked, but the amused expression on her face said that she wouldn’t do any such thing, and they both knew it.

'I shall be very sad,’ Thor said, beaming at her. 'I’ll moan, and pout, and possibly throw a rage. And then I’ll make Loki do it, instead.’

'Oh, wonderful,’ Loki muttered.

'Dear Norns, there’s a threat and a half. I’d better accept, then.’ Her eyes danced. 'Although I should warn you now that rations are extremely lean which isn’t helping the already extremely low morale of our refuges, so-’

'We’ve already secured some additional supplies, as well as the means to set up food production on board the ship,’ Loki put in.

'What sort of quantities?’

'More ample than if someone else had handled the negotiations.’

Y/N rolled her eyes.

'Naturally. I don’t suppose you bothered putting anything onto the system?’

'The what?’ all three men asked at the same time, provoking an exasperated sigh.

'The ship has an integrated network operations and database system run on the hardwired consoles as well as these-’ she brandished a slim, palm-sized screen at them ’-so perhaps we could consider using it?’

Thor broke into another grin that was as relieved as it was grateful.

'Do you see why we need you?’

*

Ten minutes later, en route down to the enormous main cargo deck, Loki found himself in one of his rarest conditions; lost for what to say.

Y/N was alive.

The idea, the reality, overrode all attempts at cohesive thought. The last time he’d seen her…it had been years ago, before Thor’s confirmation and all that came after. When he’d returned to Asgard in chains, Frigga had said Y/N asked to see him but had been denied by Odin. Of course. Later, after he'd…acquired the throne, he’d wanted to send for her, desperately, but couldn’t risk exposing himself by doing so. Knowing that she’d survived, against all odds, and was here

'Oh, this is good. Depending on the rationing, of course, and we need a proper census to confirm numbers and demographics…’

The detached, businesslike tone was painful to hear. She’d once had nothing but smiles, even for him, laughing at his tricks, defending his wayward nature. Memories surfaced unbidden – sunlit corridors and running feet, his own chuckles and the sweet melody of her laugh.

'…spoken to but I recall there were several greensmen from the lower terraces and at least half a dozen artificers-’

'Y/N.’

She paused and glanced back at him, the animation draining steadily from her face.

'You’re angry with me,’ he said, somehow managing to keep his voice level.

Cocking her head, she folded her hands over the data slate and turned to regard him properly.

'I’m not angry with you.’

'No. I suppose not.’ Loki managed a small, grim smile, and glanced down at his boots. 'Let me guess, you're…livid, enraged, furious, perhaps all three?’

'I’m hurt.’

'What?’ That made him look up at her.

'We all thought you were dead, Loki.’ Y/N’s voice sounded taut as a bowstring, ready to snap but barely controlled. 'After the Bifrost – after Midgard – after everything – I’m not angry with you. I just can’t believe you would let us all think-’ pausing, she sniffed and seemed to collect herself after a moment. 'I tried to see you, before.’

'I know.’

'I begged Odin, but he refused and your mother – your mother said it was best I didn’t. Later I…left.’

'Left?’

'The city. I went north into the wilds.’

He blinked, confused.

'Why?’

'Why would I not?’ she replied, and wiped at her eyes as if impatient with herself. 'My family were all gone by then, and your mother – and then Thor was gone, and you were dead.’ Stopping, she took a short breath. 'I was living in one of the old fortresses up in the mountains when Heimdall found me, on the run, and then there was Hela, and the refugees started arriving…’

'I’m sorry,’ Loki blurted, and had to drop his eyes when she looked askance at him. He closed the distance between them and put his hands over hers. 'I never…I never meant to hurt you. Not like that, not – not at all. I’m sorry.’

Y/N sighed and met his gaze when he raised it.

'Everything and…you’re sorry.’

'Yes.’ He risked a small grin. 'Well, not entirely sorry…I mean, if you hadn’t left the city and been in the mountains when Hela arrived then you might not be here, and alive. And that I would not change for anything.’

She stared at him for a long moment and turned, pulling away and lifting a hand to cover her mouth. For a moment Loki panicked, but then she whirled back and he felt his shoulders sag in relief as she threw her arms about him, laughing and crying all at once.

'Oh, I have missed you, you – you – scoundrel!’

He hugged her back, taking the opportunity to bury his nose in her braided hair, and felt an irresistible grin of pure delight split his face as he did.

'I’ve missed you, too.’

The embrace still didn’t go on as long as he would have liked, but at least it was better than the perfunctory one from earlier. Y/N drew back and smiled, reaching up to trail her fingers through a strand of his hair.

'Thor loses his, and yours grows out…it suits you.’

'Thank you.’ He barely resisted the urge to lean into her hand – curses, he’d forgotten the effect her touch had on him – and tried to sound brisk. 'Shall we look at these supplies, then?’

'Yes, we’d better.’

An hour later, back in the cabin he’d appropriated for himself, Loki sat down hard on the still-strange bed and regarded the empty wall opposite him blankly. His fingers flexed.

Cast enough illusions and you risk forgetting what is real.

But sometimes forgetting, even just for a little while, was enough.

He gave in and reached for his magic, cloaking the narrow room in a glamour that enveloped all of his own senses while betraying nothing to others. It was an old spell, easy to cast, as familiar as the pages of a well-read book. For a moment he closed his eyes, drinking in the cheers and adulation but not caring about the false crowd.

“They love you, you know. Perhaps almost as much as I do.”

Loki opened his eyes and smiled at her. He’d spent a long time getting every detail of the chimera just right, from the way the light hit her hair to the exact hue of her dress. Green and gold, of course, but then she was lovely to him whatever colours she wore.

'My beautiful queen,’ he murmured. The glamour smiled back, a perfect simulacrum of her face, and stepped up to his side.

“My beloved king.”

Loki reached up towards her but stopped just short of touching her face, knowing that would dispel the illusion. Instead he banished the rest – the hall, the crowds, the regal trappings – stripping the spell back so that she stood before him much as she had just now in the cargo bay. He could almost pretend she was really there.

A knock at the door shattered his concentration and he hastily broke the spell, taking a few breaths to collect himself. But still the fantasy lurked in his mind’s eye, taunting him anew to have something so close and yet so out of reach.

*

'…twelve weavers and nine jewellers, but none of them are adverse to retraining so I was thinking of an adaptation of the old apprenticing system, perhaps?’

'That sounds perfect. What do we need – uh – more of?’

'Artificers, mostly, although more greensmen wouldn’t go amiss. Oh, there’s also the matter of the twenty-nine orphans.’

'Orphans?’

That slightly alarmed exclamation from Thor was enough to bring Loki’s attention sharply back to the council meeting in full.

'There were lots of separations in the evacuation, and beforehand,’ Y/N said. 'What with one thing and another…yes, we’ve twenty-nine children who are without parents or other family to take care of them.’

'Thank the Norns it’s that few,’ Brunhilde advised grimly, taking a swig from her current bottle.

'Yes. Well.’ Thor leaned forward and laced his hands on the table. 'Any suggestions?’

'Two that I can think of.’ Naturally Y/N had not brought a problem without already thinking of a solution. 'We could set up some sort of centralised caretaking attached to the new school-’

'An orphanage, you mean,’ Loki interrupted. Thor made a face.

'I don’t much care for that idea. What alternative is there?’

'Fostering,’ Y/N said. 'There are also those who lost children, or whole families who survived and might be willing to take another child in.’

'Old Asgard had a rich tradition of fostering,’ Heimdall put in. 'Not just for the parentless, but between wider families or different bloodlines.’

'Yes. I recall Fandral was fostered most of his life with an old ally of his uncle’s because he was nothing but a nuisance to his parents.’ Thor’s grin at the memory of his friend dimmed slightly at the sudden recollection of his death. 'Still – that seems a far better idea to me. We should ask those who are able. I mean I should ask,’ he amended hastily, and for some reason glanced at Loki with a slight frown. 'Is that…appropriate?’

'I think the king gets to decide what is and isn’t appropriate under the circumstances, brother,’ Loki replied dryly, but couldn’t help an involuntary surge of affection for the enormous oaf.

'Yes, of course. Well, then, if you could-’ Thor gestured absently in Y/N’s direction, but she was already making a note on her slate ’-and could I speak to the children, as well? I’d just like to tell them that they – ah – won’t be forgotten about. Nor their lost families.’

'Of course,’ she said, and flashed Brunhilde a small smile when the Valkyrie’s eyebrows rose dubiously. 'Thor’s always had a soft spot for little ones. Something to do with comparable intellectual capacities, I believe,’ she added, catching Loki’s eye with a wink that made him chuckle. It was an old jest, from happier days, and he tried to ignore the way her gaze seeking his made his heart stutter as though tripping over itself.

'Hey!’ Thor protested. 'I am your king now, you know.’

'Of course,’ Y/N said, both unruffled and unrepentent. 'I’ll send the list of comparable intellects to your slate…your majesty.’

The Hulk’s booming sniggers in Thor’s direction echoed as she made her way out of the room, until Heimdall suddenly leaned forward and cleared his throat.

'The mention of children is perhaps timely.’

Thor’s grin vanished instantly, replaced by bewilderment.

'Eh?’

'You should think about taking a wife,’ Heimdall went on, as calmly as if he were suggesting that the other man take a short walk.

'A wife?’

'He’s talking about the royal succession, your majesty,’ Brunhilde said dryly, taking another swig from her drink. 'Sorting out a queen, begetting heirs, that sort of thing.’

Begetting-’ Thor hurriedly cleared his throat, visibly panicking ’-no, I don’t think we need to worry about any begetting just now, we’ve got larger concerns and-’

'A king should have a queen,’ Heimdall insisted.

'I think I’ll decide if-’

'The people of Asgard just went from a substantial number to an endangered species,’ Loki said, now thoroughly entertained by his brother’s discomfiture. 'Most of the berths on this enormous ship are still empty, even with all the survivors.’

'Point.’ Brunhilde grinned, clearly also now rather enjoying herself. 'It’s going to take a few years to get to Midgard even at the top speed this ship can do, which it won’t be doing most of the time, and only one way to boost the population for the long term.’

'A king should lead by example, should he not?’ Loki added with affected innocence, and snickered all the more at the glare his brother shot him.

'Those considerations aside, it will comfort the people to know the fate of the throne is secure,’ Heimdall said, somehow still contriving to be serious despite the fact that Thor was positively fidgeting in unease at this point. 'A queen, and an heir, will help everyone remember that Asgard still has a future.’

Except-’ Thor raised his hand as if he’d just plucked the deciding argument out of mid-air ’-I don’t have anyone to marry. So. Can’t be done.’

'There are plenty of unattached women on board,’ Loki pointed out. 'Pick one.’

'Look in my direction and I’ll hit you,’ Brunhilde said when Thor’s gaze started to slip sideways. ’Your majesty.’

'Well I can’t just-’ Thor was all but spluttering now ’-I can’t just pick a woman like…like plucking an apple from the nearest tree-’

'Thor no pick apples or women. Thor got no game.’

’-shut up, Hulk – and besides, I haven’t really been around on Asgard for years, I don’t even really know anyone-’

'I’m sure we can help you find one,’ Loki said helpfully.

'That is a fair point,’ Heimdall said, raising a hand to forestall further bickering. 'The queen of Asgard cannot be chosen lightly, especially now. It must be someone capable and caring, someone known to the people who has their trust-’

'Someone like Y/N,’ Thor said absently, stroking his beard. 'What?’ he asked when they all stared at him. 'I just mean – oh, god! No, I couldn’t marry Y/N! Could I?’

Loki became aware that his amused grin had turned rather brittle.

'I think that’s between you and Y/N,’ Brunhilde said with a laugh.

'She would be ideal,’ Heimdall said slowly. 'Everyone knows her, and trusts her – she was coordinating the refugees and supplies even before you appointed her as seneschal. She’s the right age, from a good line, familiar with the duties of the crown-’

'But I can’t marry Y/N!’ Thor exclaimed. 'It’d be…weird. Wouldn’t it?’ Ignoring Brundhilde’s scoffing, he glanced at Loki. 'Surely you don’t agree with this?’

It took every inch of Loki’s skill in dissembling to keep his expression neutrally amused. Every instinct in him screamed to agree, to insist that Thor could never marry Y/N Sjöfnsdottir, to conjure some excuse or reason why such an arrangement would be utterly disastrous…

'She would be an excellent candidate, brother,’ he heard himself say. 'Heimdall is right. She’s capable, accomplished, known and trusted, and…has a heart big enough to love all of the Nine Realms and much beyond.’ Oops. He hadn’t meant to say that bit, but nobody seemed to have noticed the slip and in fact Thor was now looking rather pensive.

'I suppose you’re right. She is kind, and fair. It would be…strange. At first, perhaps. But we could find a way to make it work, I’m sure. Still…’ he grimaced again, lost in thought.

Speak, you fool, Loki raged at himself. Nudge his doubts and have him put the idea aside! Why are you struck dumb now of all moments?

'I suggest you ask her, your majesty,’ Brunhilde said. 'These are hardly the days of Búri and Auðumbla when a king may co-opt a woman without her permission. Not that it wouldn’t be very funny to watch you try.’

Hur hur hur. Thor bad at girls.’

'Shut up, Hulk.’ Thor folded his arms defensively. 'Fine. I’ll speak with her later. Is there any other real business to discuss?’ he added, rather witheringly.

There was not, thankfully, and the others left – the Hulk still chortling – but before Loki could flee the room he felt an enormous hand descend onto his shoulder.

'Brother,’ Thor’s gaze was entreating. 'You must help me. I’ve not the way with words that you do, and of all the people to have to ask this, of all things-’

Under other circumstances Loki would have doubled over in laughter, but the painful reality of it kept him sober. So now he was to counsel his brother, the mighty Thor, ever-preferred and ever-glorified, on how to gain the hand of the one woman that he, Loki, would ever truly love.

'You need no tricks, Thor,’ he made himself say. 'No speeches. Simply explain to her the need and ask what you must of her. She’s no stranger or foreign princess to falsely court.’

'Yes…of course.’ Thor visibly exhaled. 'Thank you, Loki.’ A grin. 'At this rate I could be forgiven for thinking you really have decided to reform.’

'Don’t draw hasty conclusions, brother.’ And Loki left the room in a hurry before he betrayed himself.

*

'You said you needed to speak with me?’

'Yes!’ Thor hurriedly modified his tone, trying desperately not to bely his nervousness. How absurd. He would have gladly fought Hela a dozen times, or taken on Surtr’s mountainous fiery form in single combat, rather than have this conversation. 'Come in. Sit. Um. Would you like a drink? It’s-’ he squinted at the bottle, attempting to recall the name, but could only come up with ’-blue.’

Y/N chuckled as she settled into one of the chairs.

'I’ll leave the mysterious beverages to Brunhilde, thank you.’

'Fair enough. Uh, do you mind if I-’

'Of course not.’

Thor Odinson, the God of Thunder, reduced to drink to try and calm his nerves! The new King of Asgard downed the tumbler, wincing slightly at the aftertaste, and finally turned to face the woman he now had to…propose to. Oh, it would be no real hardship. Y/N was fair of face and kind of heart, and there was no doubt in his mind that she would make a wonderful queen, and wife. And mother, however much the latter in particular terrified him. But it was…Y/N. He and Loki had once chased her screaming down the main hallway of the palace and the three of them ended up in a wrestling match in the pond outside the gates. Once he’d pulled her hair, and she’d kicked him so hard between the legs he couldn’t walk right for two days. Loki had nearly killed himself laughing at the sight of his mighty older brother reduced to a moaning limp.

'You said you needed to speak to me?’ Y/N prompted. 'You’re just staring like I’ve sprouted a second head.’

'Oh. Yes. Right.’ Thor sat down opposite her. What had Loki said? Simply explain to her the need and ask what you must. Easy for you to say, brother. 'So. After you left the council today something came up – well, Heimdall brought it up – and I need to ask you to, um…’ he trailed off, because she was sitting there with her hands folded calmly in her lap regarding him with infinite patience and his mouth suddenly decided to forget how to work.

After a few moments of him opening and closing his mouth on the barely formed beginning of sentences, Y/N actually leaned towards him with a small frown of concern.

'Thor, what in the worlds is the matter?’

'Nothing,’ he managed. 'Nothing is the matter.’ For some reason his eyes chose to fix on the ample curve of her lips, so entirely unlike the slim contours of Jane’s. Why did the notion of kissing her fill him with such intense panic? 'It came up – Heimdall mentioned – well, it was sort of agreed – that Asgard needs a…uh…a queen.’

She sat back and nodded as though this was the most normal conversation in the world.

'Of course. Continuity of the royal line, the future of our people. Very sensible.’

'Oh. Good. I’m – ah – I’m glad you agree.’ Sitting back himself with a rather poor attempt at nonchalance, Thor tapped his fingers against the arms of the chair. 'There were…suggestions…I mean there was a suggestion on a very good candidate and-’

'Oh. Oh.’ Then she smiled. 'Of course! She’s very…different from your lady mother, but that’s perhaps all to the good. Have you spoken with her?’

’S-spoken with her?’ Thor echoed, now utterly bewildered. 'I thought I was – I mean I am – I mean she’s you.’

Me?’

'Yes.’ Confused, a little alarmed at her disbelieving tone, Thor’s mind went completely blank and before he could entirely register the motion he had shifted to one knee before her, as though they were on Midgard. 'Will you – uh – will you marry me?’ Damn, I don’t have a ring. Wait! I don’t need a ring, we aren’t on Earth. Damn, I don’t have anything else for a handsal either. He found himself actually patting at his clothing, entirely at a loss. Oh! He still had one of the smaller daggers he’d appropriated from Sakaar during the escape. A dagger wasn’t a very appropriate handsal for a woman like Y/N who wasn’t martially-inclined, but it was better than nothing. With fumbling fingers he unbuckled the sheath and held it out to her.

'Uh. Sorry. I didn’t plan this very well.’

Y/N looked away for a moment, biting at her bottom lip, and there was genuine regret on her face when she turned back to him.

'Am I speaking to my king, or to Thor?’

That doesn’t sound good.

'Oh. Uh, me. Thor, I mean. Always.’

'I can’t marry you, Thor. And I won’t.’

He blinked.

'You mean – you’re saying no?’

'I am saying no, Thor. I’m sorry but-’ she stopped when he got up and then half-collapsed back into the chair, clapping his hands over his face.

'Oh, thank god!’

He exhaled, leaning back for a moment and feeling as though an enormous weight had just vanished from his shoulders. Then he noticed the bewilderment on her face.

'I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I just…of course we can’t get married. It’d be…it’d be weird. Creepy. You know?’

She burst into giggles.

'When why in all the Realms did you ask me, you great lummock?’

'Well your name came up and everyone agreed you were a good choice and-’ Thor broke off and gave up, joining her in laughter at the sheer absurdity of the entire concept. 'You’re absolutely right, of course. It would be insanity. I thought perhaps we could…make it work somehow, but-’

'I think we could,’ she said with a smile, standing up and patting his arm fondly. 'If it came to it. I care for you a great deal, Thor, truly, but-’

'Then why?’ he asked, thoroughly taken aback by that pronouncement.

'Because my heart belongs to another, that’s why.’ She gathered her skirts and made for the door, but his noise of surprise checked her. 'What? And I swear, if you make one comment about you being my king I’ll-’

'No, no, never!’ He beamed at her. 'But you…I had no idea you had any – uh – well. Is it anyone I know?’ A horrible thought occurred. 'Oh…is it someone who’s alive?’

'Yes, he’s alive, and that’s all I’m saying on the matter.’

'Oh?’ Thor’s brows creased with the effort at an intuitive leap. 'Oh! Is it – good god – is it Heimdall? I know you two were up in that refuge for quite a while before-’

'It isn’t Heimdall, and-’ she held up a finger in warning ’-I am not about to play some extended guessing game, so you can stop your postulating right now.’

'But I want to know!’

'Tough!’

'I’m your king!’

'I don’t care!’

*

Loki was reading in relative peace in one of the smaller refectories on the upper deck, having sent an illusionary simulacrum of himself off to keep Korg occupied, when Thor came bouncing in with the sort of joyous, boyish bonhomie that he hadn’t exhibited since before his brief exile to Midgard.

Oh, wonderful.

Too late, the oaf had spotted him and he’d probably have to engage in at least some brief conversation before he could conjure another duplicate to slip away. What could he possibly say to congratulate his brother on gaining the one hand Loki had ever wanted to see in his? How could he possibly conceal his bitterness at the unwitting cruelty of it?

'Brother!’ Thor boomed, levering himself down onto the metal bench at Loki’s side. 'You will not believe what just happened!’

'I take it that congratulations are in order?’ Loki ground out.

'What? Oh, no!’ Thor slapped him on the shoulder. 'Y/N said she couldn’t marry me, thank god.’

'Oh dear.’ Trying to keep his voice neutral, Loki exhaled slowly as relief flooded him. Thank the Norns, finally, for some small mercy. 'Does she miss your flowing locks, perhaps?’

'Very funny. No, she said her heart belongs to someone else! How about that?’ Thor grinned as though he’d just said something terribly witty. 'It never even occurred to me that Y/N might have someone. Someone on this ship, since she said he’s alive. Oh, but it isn’t Heimdall.’

'Heimdall is old enough to be Y/N’s father,’ Loki pointed out, but the relief had already evaporated to be replaced once more by grim despair. Of course Y/N had a suitor. Amazing it was only one. And of course said suitor would have waited for her to return from her self-imposed exile, and of course the thrice-bedamned bastard would survive Ragnarok itself…

'I suppose.’ Thor for some reason seemed irrepressibly fascinated by the situation. 'She wouldn’t tell me who it was, though.’

'It’s hardly any of your business,’ Loki said. 'Or mine,’ he added, as much to remind himself as to point out that his brother was gossiping like an old washerwoman.

'I suppose not technically, but…she is rather like our sister, don’t you think?’

'I think given recent events, actively seeking out another sister sounds like a poor plan.’

'Well, yes, but-’ Thor nudged him insistently ’-don’t you want to know who it is? Oughtn’t we to find out, to make sure he's…well…worthy of her?’

That wasn’t actually the worst line of reasoning Loki had ever heard from his brother, but the idea of pursuing the information would be unlikely to end well.

'I’m sure Y/N would be touched by your concern,’ he said sarcastically, returning his attention fully to the slate in his hands. 'However I’ve certainly no interest in arousing her displeasure by poking my nose into the matter.’ And thereby putting a large target on the head of some unfortunate who has done no real wrong…and whose loss would break her heart.

Pah, I thought this would be right up your street, brother. Investigation, intrigue, sneaking about…’

'No.’ Loki got up and walked out, ignoring Thor’s playful shouts and not pausing for a moment until he was back in his quarters. A twist of frustrated magic burst from him, knocking things onto the floor. Ruthlessly he pulled it back under control and gestured sharply, summoning the doppelganger of Y/N. Tranquil, unjudging, gentle. Reaching out carefully, so as not to disturb the spell, he traced his fingers around the shape of her cheek.

'I love you more than anything in this world or any other,’ he whispered. 'No matter what.’

But of course the illusion simply looked back at him, serene and beautiful and as empty as always.

*

'Is it Bjarke, that artificer who solved the power integration problem?’

'How long are you going to keep at this? Surely you’ve named every unmarried Asgardian man on the ship by now.’

'Possibly.’ Thor smiled and shrugged. 'You still haven’t given me an answer. Not so much as a wink, a clue, anything!’

'Why are you so desperately insistent about knowing?’ Y/N exclaimed as they rounded the corner and entered the empty council chamber. 'Do you want to go and challenge him, or something similarly archaic?’

'No, of course not.’ Thor sat down and crossed his feet up on the table, then grinned when she slapped his boots down on a reflex. 'Y/N, I merely wish to know, whoever this man is, that he is worthy of you.’

She laughed.

Worthy of me? And by what yardstick would you measure such a thing, hmm?’

'Well-’ that had him stumped for a moment ’-I don’t know…does he seem honourable…is he of good mind, and heart…’

'I doubt very much he’d come out very well against your measurements of such things, Thor.’

'Eh?’

Slamming her data slate onto the table with unnecessary force, Y/N levelled her gaze at him.

'You won’t give up, will you?’

'Never!’ Thor leaned over and took her hands in his. 'Please, Y/N. I honestly don’t mean to tease, really. You know I care a great deal for you, and this mystery suitor of yours-’

'Hardly a suitor.’ She gave his fingers a squeeze and sighed. 'Thor, my heart belongs – entirely and completely – to Loki. I’ve loved him since I came of an age to see boys as anything more than a noisy nuisance.’

Thor felt his jaw drop.

'Despite knowing all that he’s done, the mistakes he’s made, even that he isn’t actually Aesir…’ Y/N shrugged and let go, sitting back with a wistful look '…he’s an imp and a scoundrel and he’s Loki. I know he’s done some…horrible, awful things, but he has a good heart.’

Thor was still gaping as the doors opened to admit Heimdall, and the sound of Loki and Brunhilde bickering just behind him.

'Even if he keeps it rather well hidden at times,’ Y/N finished under her breath, hastily shifting back to her usual chair but shooting Thor a stern glare that warned him to silence on the matter.

He could hardly concentrate as the business of the meeting got underway, barely managing monosyllabic grunts and acknowledgements to anything he was asked.

He felt like a fool. A blind, idiotic fool.

Even when you had both eyes, you only see half the picture.

Of course Y/N was in love with Loki. Even when the three of them were children, running riot around the palace, it was Loki and Y/N, Y/N and Loki. Hiding together, running together – usually from Thor – whispering together in corners or behind tapestries…

It took a whole hour after the council broke up before the King of Asgard realised something very important and practically sprinted down the passageway to his brother’s quarters.

*

The near-frantic hammering at his door made Loki hastily dismiss his current illusion spell and glance over in irritation.

Yes?’

Thor barged in without further preamble and an enormous grin plastered all over his big, oafish face.

'Brother! There you are!’

'What do you want?’ Loki snapped. The glamour he’d been practicing was quite involved – he was trying to recreate a particularly fond memory of himself and Y/N in the palace gardens.

'I’ve made a discovery of vital importance,’ Thor said, clapping his brother on the back.

'How wonderful for you.’

'It’s about Y/N.’ Thor sat down beside him and grinned. 'And her mystery man.’

'I’m not interested.’

'You should be.’

'And yet.’ Loki glared at him. 'I doubt she would appreciate your attempts to-’

'She told me who he is.’

'I don’t care.’

'I don’t believe you.’

'Good for you.’

'Loki!’ Thor punched him on the arm, hard. 'You really aren’t interested?’

'No, I’m not.’

Now his brother’s grin had taken on an even more buffoon-like quality than usual. Folding his arms – aware it was a defensive action and not caring – Loki fixed him with a steely gaze.

What?’

'You have no idea. Loki, God of Mischief, self-proclaimed master manipulator, and you have no idea!’ Thor seemed to be enjoying himself immensely for some reason.

'I have no idea about Y/N’s suitor because I choose not to,’ Loki spat back at him, irritated beyond measure with his persistence. 'As should you, it being none of either of our business-’

'It’s you.’

’-what?’

'Y/N has no suitor, she just said her heart belongs to another, and that man is you, brother!’ Thor thumped him on the arm again but this time Loki barely registered the impact because he was too busy battling to keep his expression under control. Devoid of any real reaction. Devoid of the completely irrational feeling of hope that welled up despite his best efforts to suppress it.

He looked away and constructed a shrug.

'If that is your attempt at a jest, brother, it is an exceptionally poor one.’

'I would not jest on this. Loki.’ Thor actually grabbed his arm and pulled him back. 'I’ve been trying for the last week to get Y/N to tell me who held her heart-’

Loki hardly heard him, mind racing. He couldn’t have let something slip. He was a master of masks, and he’d had centuries of practice with this particular one. Had Thor perhaps just stumbled upon this awful prank by pure chance, seeking something to taunt his brother with and having the idea prompted by the recent discovery of Y/N’s survival?

Yes, that must be it.

'Loki!’ Thor snapped his fingers in front of his brother’s nose. 'Are you even listening?’

'You’re hilarious,’ Loki said flatly. 'Forgive me for not rolling about in laughter but I’m rather weary.’

'You care for her so little that you’d treat this as a joke?’ Thor stood up, shifting rapidly from irritated affability to genuine displeasure. 'I thought you’d changed. Perhaps I was wrong.’

'I’m not the one making mockery of one he claimed to think of as a sister,’ Loki snapped.

'For god’s sake, Loki, you’re supposed to be the prince of lies, surely you can see when someone is telling you the truth?’

Thoroughly angry now, Loki looked at him with his mouth open to retort, but the words died before he could form them. Of course so much of subterfuge was knowing how to read it flawlessly in others, from their more obvious tells to the subtler signals available only to a master of magic…

There was no lie in Thor’s eyes.

The mask dropped before Loki could stop it, and an edge of something almost like pity crept into Thor’s gaze.

'Loki, you fool, how long have you felt this way about her?’

'Too long,’ Loki admitted, and had to lean both his hands on the tabletop to stop himself from stumbling. 'She has no idea. Nobody does. Did,’ he amended.

'Yet still you counselled for me to try and wed her?’

'She would make an excellent queen for Asgard.’ Loki hung his head and shook it. 'And you would have done everything in your power to make her happy.’

'I still will.’

That made him look up, and his brows creased.

'What?’

'Y/N will not marry me because her heart belongs to you. You rather clearly feel the same way about her, though you’ve hidden it even better than she has.’ Thor spread his hands in an expansive shrug. 'Why should you not be together, brother?’

'After all I’ve done, and all your talk of worthiness, you would send a frost giant to her?’ Loki asked, making no attempt to hide his bitterness at the latter part of the remark.

'She knows your heritage and cares not.’ Thor shrugged again. 'I care for both of you, and I believe she brings out the best of you. She always has, even when we were children.’

That made Loki laugh, although he couldn’t deny the truth in that verdict.

'Ah, so your plan is to leash me to Y/N to keep me behaving myself, is that it?’

'Will it count as a leash if you wear it willingly?’ Thor replied with another grin, and then sobered. 'If this will make someone I care for very much so happy, and give me my brother back…how could I possibly do anything but wish for it to be so?’

That was actually rather touching, but Loki still found himself wary to the point of hesitancy. After everything he’d done, the lives he’d taken, the knowledge that he was a monster from the nightmares of Aesir children…it was one thing to say she cared for him, but if he dared to present himself to Y/N and ask for her favour then surely, surely she would recoil in shock.

He was startled out of this unpleasant rumination when Thor stepped behind him, grabbed him by his upper arms and practically frog-marched him out of the room and down the corridor.

'What are you doing?’

'You can thank me later.’ Stopping in front of another cabin door, Thor put him squarely in front of it, leaned around to knock loudly on the metal and then turned to depart. Loki floundered for a moment – he hadn’t been so summarily carted somewhere by his brother in well over eight centuries – but before he could summon the wherewithal to do anything at all, least of all flee or cloak himself, the door opened and Y/N was regarding him with a rather confused expression.

'Loki? What’s wrong?’ She ushered him quickly inside while he was still trying to gain control of his tongue. 'You look like you’ve just been savaged by a bilgesnipe!’

The entirely relevant but inappropriate conclusion had a snort of laughter escaping before he could censor it.

'No, I – ah – I just needed to speak with you.’

'Of course.’ She motioned for him to take one end of the small couch and then sat down a decorous distance away. Loki swallowed hard, his throat suddenly dry. This would never do…the God of Mischief, left tongue-tied like a stripling boy…

'What is it?’ Y/N asked him gently, reaching out to lightly touch the back of his hand. When he looked at her she gave a small smile. 'Oh dear. The last time a son of Odin boggled at me like that things got extremely awkward.’

'Yes. About that.’ His voice broke and he hurriedly cleared his throat. 'Thor told me about the – um – the proposal. And why you…said no to him.’

A guarded tension stiffened her shoulders.

'Oh?’

Loki risked shuffling up a little and took her nearby hand in both of his.

'Yes. All of it.’

He hadn’t seen her look that murderous since he’d set fire to her doll when they were children. And that had been an accident. Well, mostly.

'I am going to kill that useless, nosy, prying-’

'Y/N, I love you.’ It came out in rather a rush, and Loki hastily carried on in the vague hope that with sufficient momentum behind them the words would come easier. 'I’ve always loved you. I never thought – I never imagined you would – especially after everything…the Bifrost, and Midgard, and knowing how I hurt you by pretending to be dead for so long-’

He was obliged to stop when her lips suddenly arrived on his. Then they were kissing each other and her hands were on his face, his fingers were winding through her hair and the entire room seemed to shrink to nothing but the feel of her against him…

They were both gasping by the time they broke for air. Loki pulled Y/N closer and leaned his forehead against hers, feeling a grin escape. Then it became a laugh – the most free, open one he could remember having uttered in years – and her chuckle rose to meet his until they were both all but doubled over in each other’s embrace.

'Oh, Loki-’ Y/N tangled her hands up through his dark locks ’-we’re both such idiots. I never even dreamed a prince of Asgard could love a mere housekeeper.’

'And I never thought a beautiful, kind-hearted seneschal could care for a lesser son, or a monster.’ Loki touched her cheek and then drew back, dropping his gaze. 'You know what I am. I’m not even Aesir. I can’t-’ he swallowed ’-I can’t give you children, or anything normal-’

'Hush.’ She kissed him again, with such tenderness that it made his heart ache. 'Loki, I love you, with everything that means.’ Her smile warmed him down to his toes. 'Why in all the Realms would I want something normal when I could have you?’

'You…truly don’t care?’

'Not in the slightest. Besides-’ she winked ’-with your idiot interfering bilgesnipe of a brother to look after, what need will we have of children?’

They both laughed at that and Loki pulled her closer, into his arms where he’d so yearned to have her for so very long.

'That’s very true.’

'I’m still going to kill him,’ she added playfully.

'Of course. Maybe be merciful and make it painless.’

'If you insist.’ Tucking her head under his chin, she sighed deeply. 'How I love you, Loki.’

'And I love you.’ He turned his head so his cheek rested on her hair. 'I should have told you so a long time ago.’

'Tell me every day,’ she replied softly.

'As my lady wishes,’ he said with a laugh, and kissed her.

*

Thor was halfway back to his own cabin, grinning delightedly and feeling thoroughly pleased with himself, when something else occurred to him and made him stop short.

'Wait – who did Y/N think I was going to ask to marry me?“

Mindful December study and self-care challenge

Okay, so here is my December study and self-care challenge! It’s thought to be motivational and habit-forming, but bear in mind that everyone works differently and is involved in a different field, so if you need to make adjustments to this challenge to fit your personal needs, then do it. Feel free to adjust this and view it as a source of motivation and inspiration. Also, you don’t need to this in the right order. The most important thing about this challenge is that you get to know yourself better and find peace while moving in the right direction personally. 

You can dedicate daily posts to this challenge in which you elaborate the questions, but of course its also okay to post nothing at all or just on selected days where you feel like you have anything to say, especially because this is a very personal thing. If you decide to post something, you can tag them with #al study challenge. I’d love to read about your experiences! 


1. Tidy up your study space and make a mind map of things that you want to accomplish this month, as well as a list of deadlines for December and January. Keep in mind that a clean study space needs to be kept up with during this challenge, so it’s a daily task to keep it neat. Also, remember to drink enough water or tea during this challenge and to sleep well. 

2. Do you have a big project coming up? I need to write a 15-page-essay, so this needs a lot of preparation. Make a mind map for that big project as well. 

3. Create a study routine plan, so that you will accomplish your goal and make it realistic. You know yourself best, so make up a plan that you’ll be able to stick to. Set up the goal of doing at least one thing a day. Of course, more is fine, but don’t overwork yourself. 

4. Start planning your days in the morning (or in the evening before), if you don’t already. Also, try to be mindful. How are you feeling today? What are your plans besides studying? You don’t need to study for 5 hours straight because others do. You can, but it’s not necessary. It’s also fine to take a day off in case you’re not feeling well. Just do some little thing, a short assignment or a reading that is fun. Keep that in mind.

5. Meditate for at least 10 minutes. Sit or lay down comfortably and focus on your breath. Try to control your thoughts by trying to think nothing or of a specific word or thing. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work right away. 

6. Try the pomodoro technique for doing a task that you don’t really like and have problems focusing on. You study for 25 minutes, and then do a 5 minute break. Repeat this, and take a long break after 3 or 4 sessions, or stop studying, if you’ve accomplished your goal for the day. 

7. Record yourself reading out some of your notes that you need to remember, go for a walk and listen to it. Did this method work for you? Do you remember more? 

8. Don’t forget that project you’re working on! Read through some literature or do some more revising. Check your progress, and make adjustments on your planning or your mind map if necessary. 

9. Time-log your day to become mindful of what you spend your time on. Eliminate obvious distractions. Remember that it’s perfectly fine to do pointless things just for fun in between, but your daily life shouldn’t be centered around playing Candy Crush. 

10. Do something study-related that has to do with other people. Study with friends, start a study group or read an essay of someone else to see how study methods of other people look like or how they think differently than you. Try to pick something up that you remember and learn from. 

11. Try out a different study space and see how well you do there. You could work at the library, or in the kitchen instead of your desk, or at a café. Reflect how you did there, and you were able to work out more effectively, think about changing your study space. 

12. Declutter. Make space in your room, and therefore space in your head. You could sort some things out that you don’t use anyway, and either throw them away, sell or donate them or gift them to someone. There are great Facebook groups for doing that.

13. Do you move your body regularly? Doing some sort of fitness activity strengthens your ability to discipline yourself, but also your brain and muscles. Try it out! Go to a local gym and do a free trial training or look up workouts on Youtube. You can try Yoga, Pilates, or more challenging stuff like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). 

14. Check the apps on your phone. Which do you spend most time on and why? Are they useful in any way, or are they a waste of time? Could you download some more apps that could help you reach your goals, like drinking more water? Remember day 9.

15. How does your sleep schedule look like? Is it regular? Try to go to bed earlier and get up earlier or later and see in which direction your productivity levels go. 

16. How do you motivate yourself? Have you already established a method that works for you? If you don’t need motivation for studying and can rely on your discipline, that’s great, but a little motivation doesn’t hurt anyone. You could make a vision board or watch study videos on Youtube, for example.

17. Have you thought about trying something new in the past weeks or months, like learning a new instrument or language? Why don’t you give it a try? 

18. Do something for your body, as this self-care concerning your outside will also reflect on your inside. Buy or mix your own face mask, take a long and hot shower or bath, put on make-up or put lotion all over your body. Do something you’re comfortable with.

19. In the past 17 days, you have implemented studying into your routine. Did you have any distracting thoughts? If so, what were they about? Were they centered around a special topic? In which location are you able to study best? Think about those things to improve your productivity.

20. What have you procrastinating for the longest time? Do it, or at least start doing it. If you can’t make yourself do it, at least try to start and say yourself you’ll do it for five minutes. Try to do five more, and so on. How do you feel afterwards? 

21. Read something for enjoyment. Light up a scented candle, make yourself comfortable and enjoy the book. 

22. What is your favorite planning method, and which have you already tried? Which didn’t you try yet? Maybe it is time to find out what method is the most effective for you personally. 

23. Watch a documentary that widens your horizon. Either on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube or any other platform you can think of. Suggested topics: Environment, consumerism, nutrition, animals, science.

24. Do you have a personal book which addresses personal development? Which is it? Who, would you say, could this help, and with which issues? What did it help you with? If you haven’t read one yet, why not do some research? You don’t have to buy a book if you don’t want to, of course. 

25. Reflect: What has helped you personally, and in your studies and what didn’t? Maybe repeat some daily challenges on the remaining days of the month. Remember to enjoy the end of the year, make yourself a nice time and don’t pressure yourself too much. Have a nice New Year’s Eve and Christmas, in case it’s celebrated in your culture or in your life or family, personally. 

🌹Hereditary empath tips

The gift of empathy has been in my family for generations. My mother is one, her father, and so on. Here are some tips that my family has used throughout the years to make life as a feeler a little easier. There’s also a list of correspondences all the way at the bottom.

  • Rose quartz is your best friend!
  • If your child is an empath, protect them by putting chunks of rose quartz throughout the house (my mother swears by this)
  • Any body of natural water is healing to empaths, especially the ocean. When you feel overwhelmed bring your heart to the water.
  • Moonlight is also extremely healing
  • Don’t wait till you’re too overwhelmed with emotion before you cleanse and ground.
  • Sometimes periods of isolation are necessary for empaths, set some time aside as often as you want, to be alone, preferably at a peaceful and calming place (beach, forest, your bathtub)
  • Remember you can’t lose your gift, but it can become blocked or suppressed. It’s likely to happen after a trauma or if you become too overwhelmed with the emotion you constantly feel. If it happens be patient, it’s more important to deal with your own emotions and take care of yourself first. It doesn’t make you a bad empath, I promise.
  • Shielding is super important! My mother had a cats eye necklace made for me as an infant for this exact reason. Shield however you see fit, even an quick energy sheild before you leave your house will help.
  • Try to connect to your element. Not every empath is gonna be a water element, althought water will still be healing for them. If you’re an empath who’s a fire element, light a bonfire to ground, and so on.
  • Spirit work might be challenging and can get extremely overwhelming for empaths. Be careful around any haunted places or antique stores. Although some empaths are extremely talented at spirit work and use their gift to help spirits pass on, this isn’t always the case, especially in younger empaths. An empaths ability to do that safely has everything to do with their comfort level, if you’re extremely sensitive to emotion, the wrong kind from a spirit can do a lot of damage. I don’t recommend any empaths go to places where violent deaths occurred (especially not empathic children, my mother learned this the hard way with me). It’s almost 100% of the time too overwhelming and pushing yourself only makes it worse in the long run.
  • You may find cannabis to be helpful during times when you need to ground and relax. It also might help unblock your gift if it get repressed. I recommend an indica or hybrid since empaths are prone to anxiety.
  • Aromatherapy, meditation, and self-care can make a world of difference for an empath. Remember to take care of yourself first. If you’ve had a hard day and your friend is upset too and you can’t handle both, it’s okay. It doesn’t make you a bad person or empath. You need to come first, try to set boundaries to protect yourself.

**quick correspondences page

allthatsleepandimstilltiredaf  asked:

Yo blue im on a super duper important quest to find really good lance centric fics, you know, that high quality top shelf kinda stuff. ive already read ur fic but im lookin for more. Got any recs????????

hey there, friend, you came to the right place! sorry this took so long, I made this whole post and then my computer was being difficult and I lost the whole thing, so this is the second time I’m making it! thank you so much for reading when I dream it happens in blue. I’ve got some great new content on the way, but in the meantime, here are some great reads to hold you over!

<<please check ratings and tags, and all of these are a mixture of ratings and subject matter, so please check and read only what’s best for you!>>


7 Times They Noticed by @em-the-cliche

Lance was alright. He was happy. He was fine. Except when he wasn’t.

“Listen. Are you alright?”
“Uh…are you alright?”
“Are you okay buddy?”
“Are…are you in good health, paladin?“
Are…are you okay, paladin?”
“Hey. You okay?”

His team mates, his second family - they noticed.


A Commutual Contract by @skaylanphear

After a terrifying experience during which Lance, seemingly, dies, Keith is haunted by horrible nightmares of holding his comrade in his arms while he took his final breath. To the point where he can’t sleep unless he knows for absolute certain that Lance is alive.

And while the attention is surprising, Lance doesn’t really have a problem with Keith checking up on him. Or the fact that Keith only seems totally comforted when he can cuddle Lance close and hear his heart beat. After all, there’s nothing wrong with two bros cuddling. It doesn’t MEAN anything. Or, at least, that’s what Lance keeps telling himself.


At Rest (Five Miles Behind the Front) by @thisgirlhastales

Shiro is no longer the Black Paladin. He is no longer the commander of Team Voltron. He is a soldier without a purpose and a leader without a legion at his back.

Lance is a seventh wheel. He is not fit to be a leader, and perhaps not even fit to be a Paladin.

Or, in which two Paladins of Voltron learn their true worth, and finally, there is well-earned rest.


Beautiful Minds by PotatoBender

Lance used to be proud of his mental abilities. A pilot. A Paladin. Someone experienced with delving and controlling his mind. But after being captured, and enduring just a single encounter with Haggar, his castle was reduced to rubble.

Rescuing Lance was the easy part - healing him is much, much harder.


Blast Zone by bubblebucky

In the middle of a mission, a bomb going off leaves Lance unable to hear. Still, while he’s deaf, the rest of his team are the ones that won’t listen.


Boom Crash the Sound of My Ship by @maychorian

After a Galra attack splits Voltron, the blue lion is damaged and falls toward the jungle planet below. Shiro follows, and now he and Lance are stranded in hostile territory, fighting to survive. Lance is injured, Shiro is having flashbacks, and help is far away. And the Galra just…keep coming.


Brain storm by @trickstersgambit

Lance managed for years without too many obvious issues. Those who needed to know, knew. Until it became a problem he thought he buried in his awkward early teen years.


calling me to come back by @apvrrish

Keith is a witch who owns a shop where he breaks curses on both magical items and people under spells. Love spells, family curses passed down generations, cursed heirlooms lurking the attic – he can handle them all. But one day a boy named Lance walks into his shop, and his curse is darker and more difficult to break than anything Keith has ever seen before: the curse is draining his magic, and without his magic, Lance will die. 

This is a new favorite of mine!


Dark Blue by @thunder-dor

Lance has a bad habit of comparing himself to his teammates. Lotor needs a Paladin with a weakness.

Or

Lance gets kidnapped and Keith will do anything to get him back.

This is a great fic and Jessie is a writing goddess!!!


Fighting the Surface by @tomminowrites

“Humans have shown quite the impressive drive for survival,” the Galra commander grins. “I want to see you fight against that. The druids claim drowning is quite the painful way to go.“ He tips Lance backward over the water, as Keith and Shiro struggle against their bonds. “If you surface, they die.”

Lance’s eyes widen and he’s pushed backward with a splash.

______

Keith, Shiro, and Lance are taken captive during a mission planet-side. The commander decides he only needs two paladins for interrogation, and decides to have a little fun while they wait for extraction. Lance is thrown into the deep with the threat that if he swims up for air, one of the other two will be shot. Obviously Lance would rather die than allow that.

Later chapters will, of course, deal with Keith and Shiro losing their damn minds thinking Lance just drowned himself for them.

I helped beta this one! It’s good!


Ghost of the FutureShadow of the Past by @zizzani & @wittyy-name

When Lance is thrown through time, his future self from one year ahead is transported to the past in his place.

This Lance is faster, stronger, and markedly more mature. Not only that, but he’s distinctly more intuitive about his teammates and A LOT more touchy with Keith.

The team must try and work out how to reverse the two Lance’s places and restore them to their original timelines. Things only get more complicated when the Future Lance can’t seem to remember where he was when the switch happened, and he refuses to reveal anything about his own time for fear of influencing the team’s decisions.

Mirror fic to “Shadow of the Past” by wittyy_name

&

When Lance is thrown through time, he finds himself one year in the future, in place of the Lance that should be here.

He finds his team to be remarkably familiar, yet distinctly different. They have more scars, a better grip on the whole saving the universe thing, and over a year’s worth of teamwork to bind them together. But the weirdest part? Keith seems to be a lot more touchy with him. Not that he’s complaining… much.

The team must try and work out how to reverse the two Lance’s places and restore them to their original timelines. But despite the fact that they’re still his friends, Lance can’t help but feel a little out of place among a team that’s been through so much with a Lance that just isn’t him. And it doesn’t help that the team is on edge around him, refusing to tell him anything for fear of influencing and changing the past. Things get even more complicated when they have to rely on the team in the past to complete the switch, leaving Lance to little more than sit, wait, and attempt to fill in his future self’s shoes.
___________

Mirror fic to “Ghost of the Future” by Zizzani


give out to give in by @mlp-michaeljones

So typical. So fucking typical, that Lance is the youngest and worst of his siblings, and then the kids come along and he isn’t even the cutest anymore, and he only made fighter pilot because perfect fucking Keith dropped out and even when he piloted a lion he didn’t have a thing like the others, and now he can’t even have Blue. Maybe he was the one to suggest it, but he was barrelling towards this point all along; rock fucking bottom.

When it becomes clear that Allura is a better pilot than him, Lance steps down as the Blue Paladin. It is, after all, the obvious decision. Lance is, and has always been, the afterthought.

But who needs an afterthought?


He Don’t Fuckin Care by ya_ya_rose

Lance knows how to hold his own. But he isn’t indestructible. 


Huddling for Warmth: The Movie by @maychorian

The paladins are heading back to the Castle of Lions after another successful mission when Shiro suddenly realizes that something is wrong. Lance isn’t responding on the comms.


Love and Other Questions by @squirenonny

One week after news of the Kerberos disaster broke, Pidge receives a new Mark–proof that Matt is still alive. She breaks into the Garrison to find him, only to find herself caught up in the fight for the fate of the universe.

Keith keeps his arms covered so he doesn’t have to watch Shiro’s scars compounding on his skin–but doing so means cutting off contact with his romantic soulmate, who greets him each morning with a new (and terrible) pickup line.

Shiro and Matt thought they were the luckiest people alive when they found out they were going to Kerberos together. But Shiro hasn’t seen Matt’s untidy scrawl on his arm in almost a year, and he has no idea if his soulmate is even still alive.

[Canonverse Soulmate AU with romantic and platonic soulmates (and some gray areas in between)]


Perihelion by @eclecticinkling

After growing up in the shadow of war, Prince Lance of Altea would give almost anything to bring peace back to his people. So when a Galran ambassador arrives with an offer to make that a reality, Lance knows he can’t refuse. Even if it means binding himself to his enemy’s prince for as long as they both shall live.


say you’re gonna break my fall by @apvrrish

Keith tries to deal with being the leader, and also tries to deal with his feelings about Lance. It’s a process.

Keith looks up and sees Lance staring at him, head tilted at an angle. His eyes are just barely visible through the visor, but his mouth is twisted into a puzzled curve.

“Sorry,” Keith says, flushing. “Lost in thought.”

“You okay?” Lance asks, falling into step alongside him as they follow the others out of the ship.


so much more than space dust by @ad-asterism

When a cryopod malfunctions, Lance is left with amnesia. As he struggles to figure out where he fits in the new formation of the team, the rest of Voltron is racing against the clock to figure out where Lotor will strike next- and their only clue is hidden somewhere in Lance’s lost memories. Lance will have to find a way to remember what he’s missing- or come to terms with what he’s forgotten.


Taking One For The Team by YukiSetsu

A mission gone wrong lands Lance and Pidge in a dangerous situation. When communication with the rest of the team is compromised, they have to take drastic measures to escape. Pidge can only hope that they get out before things get worse and one of them breaks. Especially Lance.


The Reluctant Soldier by @banditywrites

Lance is badly injured on a mission and struggles with his role as sharpshooter.


Thirty-One Days by SidneyJean

Lance experiences loss, in all its ugly faces, for the first time after beginning his journey as a Paladin and discovers just how that changes a person over time. It…doesn’t happen the way he expected. The people around him begin to change, and so does he.


Trembling Lips by @newtsckamander

Lance is an emotional person who cries easily (and does the trembly-lip thing a lot) but tries to stay strong in front of the team.

OR

Five times Lance stopped himself from crying in front of his teammates, and the one time he couldn’t hold it back.


Universal Fates by @celty-me

Alfor, Zarkon, Trigel, Gyrgan, and Blaytz set off on missions across the galaxy to gather pieces of an artifact so Alfor can complete Voltron.

Zarkon encounters a human boy with a missing arm fighting as a gladiator.
Trigel encounters an enslaved young human girl whose genius is being exploited.
Gyrgan encounters a human boy who disabled a pirate ship he and his people had been chasing.
King Alfor encounters a young half-galra boy who aids the king and Coran when they are cornered by bandits.
Blaytz encounters an Altean boy enslaved on a slave trading planet.

Each ally feels compelled to rescue and adopt the orphans they encounter, setting the wheels of fate into motion.

While each child carries the scars of their past, they form bonds too strong to ever be broken. They will find friendship and family with each other, and maybe love, even as events threaten everything they know and care for.


wanna be known by you by @bluewriters

Sometimes Lance feels like he’s been stained blue, the colour of his lion seeping through his skin as he chokes on cold stardust, and he is drowning in waves of blue, blue ocean. Lance has never been afraid of the ocean before.

He rolls over and turns off the lights. He doesn’t sleep.


Watching You Fall by @emerald-ashes

Shiro couldn’t find Lance. He knew he was in danger after his communications ended abruptly. But he certainly wasn’t prepared to find Lance dying on the floor of a Galra base during one their missions.


Words Fail by EagleInFlight

A mind-melding exercise goes wrong, and the five Paladins are now trapped in Lance’s mind. To escape, they must delve through Lance’s memories. Lance learns that in order to save his friends, he has to stop running. But to stop running means to face the worst of himself.

PINOF Through the Ages

ah, November, that special time of year between halloween and christmas where i can buy “fun sized” (read “thumb sized”) chocolate bars and tinsel in the same aisle at walmart…

it’s also that time of year where members of the phandom, young and old, come together and collectively binge watch all the PINOF videos in preparation for the newest installment, as we wait with bated breath for what fresh hell we’re gonna be hit with this year.

today, i would like to share with you my observations of PINOF Through The Years, as we embark on the fucking trip that is sure to be PINOF 9…

Phil is not on fire (25 October 2009)

- can you IMAGINE what the hell Phil’s parents and/or brother must’ve thought when they were filming that/saw it for the first time?! Phil brings home this random kid he found in a train station and they start giggling like actual 12 year olds and wandering round the house talking about The Shining, using the exercise equipment Phil has probably never stepped foot on in his life, and drawing on their faces in sharpie? i can fucking HEAR Kath saying “Phil…honey…are you on the drugs?” and Martyn cackling like a lunatic in the background at his brother and his weird friend….

- Dan is trying so. damn. hard. not to laugh throughout the entire video.

- Speaking of Dan, even back then he was a sassy, cocky lil shit… “every animal makes that noise with you…” “wow Phil, i bet they’re all so glad they can see the diagram…” “no, okay, Phil has really crappy GHDs that don’t even work…they don’t even work…they are Poundland GHDs.”

- everyone always talks about The Tackle™ at the end of the video, but not NEARLY enough people talk about the lil smirk Phil gives the camera just before it…like, seriously?! that’s a “haha, here goes nothing!” kinda smirk. thats a “lol watch this!” kinda smirk. thats a “give the people what they want” kinda smirk…im just sayin’…

Phil is not on fire 2 (29 May 2010)

- okay, first of all, Dan…sweetheart…did you borrow that cardigan from your mum?

- Dan: “if you could choose which surname you had, what would be your decision?” Phil: “…umm…” *almost imperceptible but still definitely there jumpcut* Phil: “Striker!”….yeah, yeah, yeah, alright, everyone knows that Phil really said “yours” in an incredibly sheepish and embarrassed voice to Dan that made him go “awwww!….you’re cutting that out…”, but lets appreciate the editing skills it took to make the cut so completely (almost) seamless….

- oh. my. GOD! there is an ENTIRE post JUST about the microwave moment, but i have to reiterate it again for those who have recently entered this hellscape: imagine you are Phil Lester, a 23 year old adult with an ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEGREE, and in comes this adorable 18 year old twink trying to tell you that “microwave” is a fucking onomatopoeia! if i was Phil, THIS would be the moment i’d never let Dan live down. fuck “hello internet”, if he ever pissed me off i’d just be like “yeah, well, at least i know microwave isn’t a fucking onomatopoeia…” and walk away. argument done, you win every time.

- and that being said, again, lets appreciate how much we can learn from the facial expressions of Philip Michael Lester. in that moment, the look he gives Dan is pure “are you fucking serious…?” it is incredulity in a nutshell. it is shock and fondness and “oh my god you are such a twat…”. if there were a dictionary of facial expressions, Phil’s face at the moment Dan says fucking microwave is his favourite onomatopoeia would be the one next to the definition of “wtf?”

Phil is not on fire 3 (1 November 2011)

- 2011 was, by far, the WORST year for Dan and Phil’s hair. tragic. absolutely tragic…

- wow, Dan was right, every animal DOES make the same noise to Phil, including horrific genetic hybrids of land and sea mammals…

- Dan’s ability to almost unhinge his jaw is terrifying…and i’m sure has played a part in lots of phanfic that i’m definitely not going to look for ever…

- okay, seriously guys?! the word is vagina. say it with me: vagina. come on! all together now! it’s not a *awkward silence and weird hand gesture*, it’s not a “birth area", it’s just a vagina…for someone who knows so much about placenta, it strikes me as odd that Dan can’t say the word vagina out loud…

- i’ve never heard anyone giggle as much as Dan does in this video…

Phil is not on fire 4 (12 September 2012)

- the hair is better this year…slightly…

- whoever decided that those face mask things were a good idea needs to be buried alive…the way they look when they move is so horrifying, it gives me nightmares.

- the “gu-hoy!” noise Dan makes in this video (ts 3:21 if you’re at all interested) is my text alert on my phone and it makes me panic every time i watch it because im like “wtf is someone texting me for at 11:53 pm?!” but then i realize it’s just the video and that i’m actually still very alone and have no friends…

- (bloopers bonus!) petition to have 2012 be known in the phandom as, ‘The Year Dan Was Finally Comfortable With The Word Vagina’. that’s all it was guys! he learned a new word and just wanted to show how broad his vocabulary had become!

Phil is not on fire 5 (22 November 2013)

- and right off the bat we’re affronted again by the fact that Dan and Phil have zero concept of how female anatomy works….

- this is probably the most uneventful pinof in the entire series.

Phil is not on fire 6 (6 November 2014)

- to return to the hair discourse, i firmly maintain that 2014 was the best year for their haircuts/styles.

- Phil has no concept of what a sassy face is…

- #StopPhil201X needs to just be a recurring thing every year…

- that poor, poor snake…

- petition for Dan to sing the national anthem at every tour stop in 2018

- the idea of Dan trying to carry on the legacy of Phil Is Not On Fire after Phil’s death is so damn heartbreaking to me…i need a minute

- my lil demon soul is convinced that Phil was doing *something* to Dan’s neck when they both tried to fit through that sweater…i mean, look at his face when he laughs and says “stop". seriously?!

- something about Dan with his fringe swapped, on the wrong side of the bed, and wearing Phil’s shirt makes me feel almost uncomfortable, but in a way that i’m not entirely sure how to process…

- (bloopers bonus!) to reiterate! every animal does, in fact, make the same noise to Phil. this has now been confirmed 3 times.

- (bloopers bonus!) the amount of pleasure Phil is able to derive from any mention of Hello Internet warms the deepest recesses of my soul like the light of the sun after a 1000 year winter.

Phil is not on fire 7 (29 November 2015)

- uh, excuse me? do not drag my country in such a way. Canada is indeed real. it’s where maple syrup comes from. as someone who enjoys the simplicity of a good pancake, i expected better from you Mr. Philip.

- i feel so bad for their neighbours during the stress mushroom tug of war…like, can you imagine what those poor people must’ve thought of them? i’d love to interview their neighbours one day…better yet, their neighbours should write a book: “I Lived Next To YouTubers For 5 Years: The Adventure" and just have it be a chronicle of every weird thing they ever witnessed/encountered.

- with every passing year, Dan’s knowledge of fanfiction tropes and writing styles becomes increasingly disturbing…hide the smut everyone Daniel Howell is coming for it.

- Phil! with the puns! honestly Dan, how do you put up with this man?

- (bloopers bonus!) the way dans voice changes when he grabs Phils underwear and is just ENTHRALLED with the fact that he’s colour coordinates his boxers to his bedsheets is probably the single most disgusting thing i have ever witnessed in my entire life…i mean, i love it, but why are you SO EXTRA?!

Phil is not on fire 8 (29 November 2016)

- NOTHING in the animal or cutlery kingdoms should be born or created in the way Phil describes the birthing process of a spork!

- okay. OKAY! i love the fringes, i really do. i’m a fringe fan from way back, but the hair pushed back thing they get going on sometimes? i can get on board with that.

- aaaannd at 1:57 into pinof 8, the little game i like to play called “Phan or Viktuuri" had all of its lines blurred so far beyond recognition i’m not even sure which universe i’m living in anymore.

- the PSA for “staying hydrated"…such a harmless, and beautiful message about health and self care that the phandom managed to turn into a sex meme…but no one is surprised by that now, are they?

- i need to know why that stock photo exists in the first place…also, why the hell was Phil wearing sandals in November?

- (bloopers bonus!) Phil: “phil is not on fire 8! this time its…what the tagline?” the phandom: “…gayer than ever?” Dan: “full of regrets.” the phandom: “…i mean I GUESS!!!”

- (bloopers bonus!) everything about this blooper reel just confirms even more solidly that Dan is the biggest Phil fan in the world. i’m not gonna wax poetic about the compliments or the comparisons to sunshine or anything else, because at this point is it really necessary? no. i thought not.

and there we have it. just in time for PINOF 9 to be released, a full (and much more in depth than intended) recap of the saga thus far…wake me up when Gamingmas starts, cuz after this video comes out, i’m gonna need a solid week of sleep