i will catch you and you will strike fear into my enemies

Love Is Not Your Friend (Tom Holland x Reader)

*gif not mine*

Author’s note(s): THIS has been sitting in my drafts for three months!! I’m so glad I finished it though. Its definetly the longest piece I’ve ever written (so long that when I emailed it to myself my computer had to cut off the message). I worked so hard on this, so I hope you enjoy it! Lemme know if you want a part 2 :)

Warning(s): S W E A R I N G, mentions of the N A S T Y, major angst, heartache, cheating, basically fuckboy!Tom

Rated: Teen

(lol shirtless!tom is my aesthetic)

Love is that bubbly feeling you get when you fall for someone for the first time. Your heart races whenever they’re near and your palms grow sweaty with nervousness. Love is the soft pink tint that rises on your cheeks as you make eye contact across the room, neither of you daring to look away. Love is alluring, Love is precious but most of all, Love is evil.

Love is sneaky, deluding, much like a fox, capturing your heart unexpectedly. At first, you’re happy, on top of the world at most. You finally feel worth your while, perhaps like you have a purpose. Then at your highest peak, Love sinks it’s venomous fangs into your heart, tears it from its place in your chest… holding it out for you to see.

With a cruel grin, gracing it’s lips, Love rips your heart to pieces, stomps on it, crushing it into the ground before setting it ablaze. Only then does it offer the ashes back to you, in their broken and worn out state. You don’t want it, you never want it back but love is mean, and forces the pieces back into your chest without a question. Now there are no smiles, no blushes, no bubbly feelings. Your only feeling is pain, every time you breathe, blink, think, all you feel is pain.

Love was never made for the faint hearted, if it was, everyone would have found their happy ending. People would not fear love for its outcome. Love is not fair, it never was, it picks its victims like a lion prowling on its prey. You are but a mere pawn, a piece in Love’s game of chess. Love is not your friend, it is your enemy.

Love was not for everyone, especially not (Y/N) (L/N). Unfortunately for her, she had been carefully selected as a victim in Love’s cruel game. It put a target on her heart, making her vulnerable to deception and heartache. Her poor  heart had been stolen, too many times and broken too many times. Its broken form ripped out and shattered before being put on display underneath shimmering lights or on the fronts of glossy gossip magazines.

Blame was her biggest enemy. Guilt being her best friend. To her, it was always her fault. Together they tore down (Y/N) (L/N), stripping her of any human will to love. She avoided love, looked it in the eye and landed her own checkmate. She was no longer going to fall a simple pawn in Love’s game. She built thick walls around her heart and shut down anyone who tried to catch a glimpse of the tattered organ.

She begun to focus on herself, shutting out any ideals of the perfect relationship or future aspirations to have a family, perhaps even settle down. She’d been let down too many times to fall victim again. Love was no longer her friend, but instead, a sworn enemy.

Love was not for everyone, especially not (Y/N) (L/N), granted that was all about to change.

Tom Holland had always been a charming boy. With tousled chocolate hair, falling over his deep hazelnut eyes that could stare into your soul and soft pink lips along with a jawline that could cut diamonds. He smelt like earthy  pinecones and fresh mint, or so they said. He was Lucky, Tom Holland was, born with the silver spoon of love slipped between his perfect lips, his ego fed with the promise that he’d be ‘a good looking lad’ or a ‘lady killer’ when he grew up. He was praised by all, actors he’d worked with, fans of his movies - some might have even called him an angel.

If only they knew

He never fell victim, he never was a chess piece in Love’s game, oh no. He was the player.  Tom knew all the little tricks, how to lure them in. His heart was clouded with the delusional need to see someone in pain. Not physically but emotionally. He was a murderer, killing any last hopes of love.

Everyone wanted him, no matter who they were and even if they didn’t, he would find a way around it. He would break them.

Maybe that would explain Tom’s situation tonight.

Stumbling out of a dark closet, the plastic-y taste of bright red lipstick on his tongue, stains dotting his neck the overwhelming scent of flowers emitting from his skin. He wiped his mouth clean of the lipstick with the back of his hand, grabbing a chalice of bubbling champagne from a passing waiter to rinse the taste of fake from his mouth.

He winked at a group of passing girls, who eyed his slightly dishevelled form. His crisp, previously, ironed white shirt was untucked, his overly expensive silk tie hanging loosely from his neck and his hair, ruffled. A smirk graced his lips as he spotted a cute girl in the crowd, his mind telling him to make her his next victim, he begun prowling edging his way into the crowd, energetic music pumping above their heads before he was grabbed by the wrist and spun around.

A harsh slap collided with his supple, pale cheeks causing him to stumble back, his brown eyes snapped up to meet the infuriated gaze of his girl-I mean previous girlfriend. “So that’s it?” She screeches, eliciting curious stares from the partying crowd. “You’re  just gonna shag me and then break up with me in the same night?!”

A cruel smirk twists on his plump lips, his eyes lighting up with an evil glint. His face quickly shifts, an expression of ‘remorse’ and ‘guilt’ graces of features, whilst in his mind her celebrates his victory, another broken heart. “I’m sorry, baby” Tom murmurs, straightening himself and his clothes out. “It’s not you, it’s me

The grey-eyed girl steps back, mouth agape in shock. “Bullshit!” She cries. “I should have never been with you, I should have listened to them when they said-“

Tom visibly smiled this time, taking her chin between his fingers and tilting it up so they could lock eyes. “But you didn’t darling” he dropped his voice by an octave and leaned into her ear. “And here we are

She swatted him in the chest before letting out a shrill cry. “You’re insufferable, Thomas Stanley Holland!

“That’s not what you were saying just now, when we were-“

That last sentence earned him another harsh slap before she stormed off, flicking her hair over her shoulder. Tom let a sigh of relief,  glad to be over and done with her. Now he could focus on his next item of prey. Tom quickly slinked into the bathroom, fixing his shirt, wiping away any reminisce of lipstick, any traces that he’d been with another girl before sliding over to the bar where he’d seen that cute girl from earlier.

Luckily enough, she was still there, sipping on a freshly made Martini, chatting with some other celebrities. A warm presence behind her back, gently pulled her out of the conversation she was engaged in, she jumped back in shock when she realised Tom was behind her, sipping on his own drink.

So, what brings a pretty lady like you, to a place like this?” Tom questions her lightly, a mischievous smirk painted across his lips, she absentmindedly rolls her eyes at Tom’s attempt of charming her before she sips her drink. She places it on the table that they’re leaning on, swirling it around by the flute of the glass.

“Same reason as you, Thomas” he can tell she’s not impressed by the way she almost growls his name. “I’m here to celebrate Jacob’s birthday but it seems like you had other ways of celebrating”

The British actors brown hues widen in surprise , but the smirk never leaves his face. “You saw that? You know who I am?”

She rolls her eyes again and Tom wonders how they haven’t popped out of her skull yet. “Myself and around 50% of the party, Thomas” she comments, sipping her drink quickly. “And of course I do, it’s me, (Y/N)? We’ve met before?”

Of course Tom doesn’t remember her, he’s met and been with too many girls to count. He assumes she’s a friend of Jacob’s and nods along with her. She frowns at him, picking up her drink and pushing herself off of the table. “Look Tom, I know who you are and I’m not interested. Have fun with the rest of your night” She quips with a monotonous expression, looking him up and down with a raised brow.

Before the young actor can respond, she’s gone and he can only catch a glimpse of her sashaying into the crowd.

If there was one thing Tom Holland liked the most, it was a challenge. It was clear to him that (Y/N) (L/N) wasn’t easy game, and he was prepared to do anything to make her his latest victory. It was now his mission, his mission to find out every single detail about her. Her favourite book, movie, hotel, secret hide out. Anything that would make it easier for him to break her down.

He spoke to cousins, friends, anyone who could give him the information he needed. He’d learned that you’d had your fair share of heartbreaks but he knew how to work his way around it.

There was one day where he walked into a Starbucks before he was due to run over his script for a new movie. He’d ordered his coffee and slinked off to the side to wait for it, when he noticed her. She was sitting by a window, her cute nose buried into a tattered old book that had been tapped at the spine. Tom couldn’t help but watch as her (eye colour) hues slipped over the pages and he was tempted to call out her name. So he did.

He quickly mentioned to the barista that he would be going to sit at her table, before he shuffled over to the window seat and sat opposite her.  The British actor lightly cleared his throat, capturing her attention. He didn’t know what he expect from her, a polite hello? Or a small smile. He was wrong.

“How did you find me?”


“How did you find me?” She questioned again, emphasising every syllable. Tom furrowed his brows, clearly gobsmacked. He wasn’t expecting her to snap at him.

“I swear, I just came in for a coffee, I saw you over here and I wanted to say Hi”

“Oh” she whispered, her cheeks flushing at her outburst. A cool silence swept over the pair as Tom eyed the cover of her book.

Naughts and Crosses” he’d come to learn that it was her favourite book and couldn’t help but let the title slip from his lips. Her eyes visibly widened as Tom recognised the title of her favourite book. She couldn’t help but let an excited smile tug at her lips.

“You know this book?” She gushed sweetly, doggy-earing the page as Tom nodded with a smirk. Of course he didn’t really know the book, not like she did at least but he’d skim read it just in case it ever came up in a conversation, he even remembered her favourite quote. If he was going to play his game, he was going to play it properly.

“Callum McGregor taught me, that it’s worth fighting the world if it means you can protect those you love”

They both recited at the same time, Tom couldn’t help but smile, one that would have appeared endearing to some, but was really dark and decieving on the inside. (Y/N)’s lit up so brightly, you could say the whole room had been lightened, her (eye colour) orbs shone beautifully under the sunlight pouring through the window. The pair sat in silence as (Y/N)’s small fingers traced the many creases on the cover of her old book, a few minutes later Tom was called up to the counter to get his coffee. Two shared a quick goodbye and as (Y/N) watched him go, she shot up from her seat and called his same without a second guess.    

Tom!” She’d called out, rushing over to him, she handed him a napkin with her phone number scribbled across it in bold digits. She smiled at him as she passed him the crumpled tissue, noticing his shocked expression. “Maybe you’re not so bad after all”

And with that she headed back to her table, Tom watching her go with the traces of a smile on his face.

He thought it would be easy after that, getting to her heart. He was in her good books now, that was for sure but it seemed that she had so many walls surrounding her heart, so Tom knew it would take a long time to get there.

Usually he would have given up at this point, it was a year down the line and he still hadn’t budged from the friend zone but it was something about her, that drew him in. It wasn’t Love? He wasn’t catching feelings? Tom wasn’t in this for a relationship, no… he was in  this to watch a heart shatter.

He’d decided a long time ago, that it would be no use trying to ask her out in the early months but instead he tried to make her his friend. The young Brit would invite her for regular coffee dates, ask her to go on walks with himself and Tessa, have regular movie nights with her hoping that she’d eventually break.

One night, the two had been cuddling (platonically much to Tom’s dismay) whilst watching an old Disney movie, blankets wrapped around them her head laying on his chest, when he decided that enough was enough.  “Hey, (Y/N)?”

She didn’t budge, her attention captured by the movie bursting across the screen. Tom shifted as she hummed absentmindedly against his chest, he rolled his eyes before poking her side and pausing the movie. “(Y/N) it’s important

She sat up with a pout, her (hair type) locks splaying across the bare skin of her shoulders. She quirked a brow, as Tom skilfully moved it behind her shoulders, shivering lightly under his touch. He smirked, liking the effect he had on her. “(Y/N), I like you” The actor whispered into the silence, finding it hard to meet her (eye colour eyes). It was quiet, for a long time and Tom couldn’t help but feel nervous. Despite his notorious reputation, he was only human and feared the feeling of rejection too.

(Y/N) let a small smirk paint her lips before she laid back down on Tom’s chest, grabbing the remote and playing the movie. “I know Tommy” she stared blankly, letting the movie steal her attention again. Tom sat dumbfounded, the encounter not being mentioned after that night.

A few days later, the British male found himself spewing out his complaints over a beer with his mate Harrison. The blonde sat across from Tom, an amused smirk playing at his lips as he watched Tom drone on about how he  was getting bored. “Sounds like you like her” Harrison slyly commented, quirking a brow as he sipped his golden liquid from the cool glass.

He watched as Tom almost choked on his drink, using a napkin to mop up the spilled liquid. “That’s impossible” the brunette countered, matter of factly. He could never, he would never.

“Think about it” Harrison stated, tracing the rim of his glass. “The longest relationship you’ve had is six months, right?”


“You’ve been, ‘just friends’, with this girl for over a year…usually you would’ve give up by now” The actor’s friend reasoned, as Tom thought it over in his head.

“She’s different”

“She’s different because you feel something for her” Haz commented, but before Tom could respond, Harrison had headed to the bathroom, leaving his friend to ponder over his thoughts.

A few weeks later and the pair were hanging out again. (Y/N) had invited Tom over, resulting in him spending the night. As the soft orange, pink hues of the sky faded into a deep alluring midnight blue, (Y/N) had begun to get restless, fidgeting under the warmth of Tom’s muscled arms as a musical flashed across the screen. The brunette Male turned to his friend, eyes furrowed in confusion at her sudden movements. “Tommy?” She sighed and the brunette swore he felt a light shiver tickle his spine at the nickname, he brushed it off as he looks to (Y/N) expectantly. “I-“

She cuts herself off, a pout forming on her deliciously pink lips as she tries to think of what to say. Tom shook his head, as if to rid the thoughts of how attractive she looked tonight from his head because he doesn’t like you, he shouldn’t like you and this is all just a game to him.

His eyes ghost over her face for a second, as her lips twitch up into a small smile and before Tom can register what’s happening, she’s kissing him. Her lips melding perfectly against his and his hands weave their way into her hair. (Y/N)’s hands press themselves into Tom’s chest as she moves to straddle his lap and Tom smiles against her lips because she’s finally let her guard down, and now he can weave his way into her heart before he tears it to pieces.

When the two pull away, (Y/N)’s soft (eye colour) orbs are glistening with excitement as her gaze locks with Tom’s. “By the way” she mumbles, moving in for another kiss. “I like you too”

Now that her guard is down,  Tom makes his move, claiming her as his girlfriend as he pulls her into a trance of affection. Cute dates and small kisses to the neck unexpectedly are calculated with such precision to make her, (Y/N) (L/N), fall deeply in love with him.

And for the most part, he doesn’t feel the slightest bit of guilt towards the fact, that at the end of this, she’ll be but another broken heart in the jar that he’s collected over the years. Sometimes, it would sneak up on him like a fox, guilt would, and it confused him. Tom had never felt guilt towards what he was doing, he was used to heart breaking, it was almost a second nature to him. Maybe what Harrison had said all those months ago was true? Maybe Tom did have feelings for (Y/N)? His thoughts dissipated as quickly as they appeared with a simple shake of his head and he’d be back to his normal self, making it his mission to break her heart.

It wasn’t until a particular night, that the emotion hit Tom like a tonne of bricks. It’d been around six months into his ‘relationship’ with (Y/N) and they’d moved into an apartment in downtown LA so she could be closer to her music studio. Tom could tell by her sheepish and nervous mannerisms, when she had asked him to move in with her, that she loved him. It was obvious. He had her exactly where he wanted her and he loved it.

But that night, a sick and nauseating feeling lodged itself into the British actor’s chest, making him feel weak and helpless. His brown hues swept over his, ‘girlfriend’s’ form, her face innocent and peaceful as she slept soundly beside him. Tom caught his bottom lip between his pearly whites as he looked on. She didn’t deserve this. She had walls up for a reason.

His mind started to wander into an abyss of thoughts. Maybe he didn’t have to end things with her or break her heart? Maybe he could stay with her and be happy for once? Suddenly disgusted at his sappy and romantic thoughts, Tom slid out of bed and had a quick shower before heading out.

He didn’t want to feel for (Y/N), than wasn’t his goal or his mission. Instead, Tom called up Harrison and  went clubbing into the early hours of the morning. He didn’t come back until late afternoon, when he did he knew he smelt like a different woman, after spending the night with her.

Tommy?” (Y/N) asked when said actor tried to sneak into the house unheard. Her eyes were bloodshot as she rubbed the sleep out of them, a tired pout painting her lips as she gazed over at her boyfriend. “Where did you go? I stayed up waiting for you to come home”

There it was again, that pang of guilt that hit Tom in the chest unexpectedly. He ran a hand through his chestnut locks, approaching his fake lover with a forced apologetic smile. “I’m sorry love” the young actor whispered with all the emotion he could muster. “Haz needed me, an emergency”

He pulled her in for a hug and smirked over her shoulder as she inhaled. The British man, knew that (Y/N) could smell the scent of another woman on his cotton shirt, but she chose to say nothing, staying close to Tom despite the haunting fact. Tom grinned deviously to himself, today it had begun.

A year of friendship and a year of dating. He didn’t know how he pulled it off, but Tom’s plan had been going on just fine. On every date he sent a lingering glance at female waitresses, Actresses and singers alike that stole his attention from her on red carpet events. Every touch and glance and whisper in another girl’s ear was computed to ebb away at her very being and at her heart.

Confessions of love came easily, they were sitting together on the couch when the three words had slipped past her lips after Tom had made her laugh. All sounds were silenced after that, as they watched each other with curious eyes. Tom smiled, allowing himself to say ‘I love you too’.

Tom knew he had gotten to her, when he came home from work on set the other night. Desperate yelling sounding throughout the house, shaking the building to its very core. The brunette with the charming smile and alluring eyes moved silently through his apartment, listening in on the conversation, although it wasn’t hard to miss.

“You shouldn’t be with him, he’s bad for you!” A voice which he identified to be (Y/N)’s best friend snarled with such ferocity. He heard a crash, presumably from a vase before her voice interjected into the tense atmosphere.

“Bullshit!” (Y/N)’’ snapped back with a hiccup, Tom knew she was crying. “He said he loved me and I believe him, he wouldn’t do that to me”

“You’re fucking delusional!” Her friend countered, clearly angry. “Look at the pictures (Y/N), he’s kissing another woman and she ain’t no celebrity. Everything you’ve told me, it adds up!”

The was a silence, a pause and Tom stood tensely by the doorway, waiting for the reaction of the girl who was his latest pawn. “No!” She sobbed desperately. “He wouldn’t”

It was a weak defence, but it was enough to send her friend into a fit of rage. “Fucks sake (Y/N)” her friend growled. “You’ve been in a position like this before, had your heartbroken before and here you are again. Call me when you get some sense knocked into you”

Tom pressed himself against the wall as his girlfriend’s guest stormed out, slamming the door to the apartment as she did so. Frowning, moved towards the entrance of the bedroom, finding (Y/N) curled up on the bed in tears. “Baby…” he whispered from his place in the doorway, she didn’t look up, continuing to let her tears flow freely.

“You’re not cheating on me, are you?” Her question in bold and Tom has to fight down the urge to smile. He knows he’s winning his game, by the broken and defeated look on her face.

He shakes his head, moving over to her so he can pull her into his chest. She hiccups as the brunette gently hushes her. “I’d never”

She nods, her sobs almost completely silent now. “You’d never, you love me right?”

Tom smiles down at her, and to anyone outside of their relationship it would seem that he was smiling cruelly. “I love you”

When you pictured a relationship with Tom, you never expected to see yourself like this. Broken, tired, worn out from the countless nights you stayed up, waiting for him to come home. You knew where he was, what he was doing. It was obvious to anyone with a nose and a pair of eyes. When he came home, he always smelled different to how he did when he left you. The pungent smell of sex and other women etched into every stitch and fibre of his clothing.

You felt sick, horrified and stupid all at once, all the time. How could you stay with him? Knowing what he was doing. It was breaking you, breaking your heart, leaving you empty and soulless but you stayed. Why? because you loved him. That much was obvious. You loved him, you loved him, you loved him. Tom knew that and yet he still wanted to hurt you.

You should’ve known, he had a reputation and you promised yourself that you wouldn’t fall for guys like him anymore. You’re hurting and the pain is endless and you just want it to stop because, fuck, you should have known.

You’re not angry at Tom, you’re disappointed. You’re angry at yourself for giving him every piece of you. For letting yourself love him and thinking that he loved you too. You knew that love was never on your side, so why was it that you could never take your own advice?

The house is eerily quiet when Tom comes home, for most, their house would be quiet at 3 AM but he knew different. He knew (Y/N)  would be waiting for him, wide awake and huddled in one of his sweaters, listening along to the gentle hum of the movie she watched. There was no hum of the TV tonight but in his gut Tom knew something was wrong.

“You’re home” a voice sounded from the couch as Tom flicked on the living room lights. His brown eyes widen at the sight of his girlfriend sitting there, staring blankly at the wall ahead of her. Her (eye colour) eyes are dull and tired, her hair is messy and her skin paled. It’s the first time that Tom gets a good look at you, what he’s done to you. He should feel proud, he’s wrecked another heart so why not? but instead a crash of guilt consumes him to the point where he’s almost suffocating.

Baby?” He croaks out, confused towards his feelings as he advances towards her. He lets a hand touch her shoulder and she flinches under his touch. Tom quickly retracts his hands, never had she reacted to him in such a way before. “What are you doing up?”

(Y/N) sighs, shaking her head with a bitter laugh before catching herself and biting her bottom lip. She chews on the dry skin there, looking up at her boyfriend with piercing (eye colour) hues. “I know where you go Tom, every night. There’s no need to lie anymore.”

“W-what are you talking about?” The actor stutters, he knows what (Y/N)’s talking about, but all of a sudden, he doesn’t want to break she’s  heart. Realisation dawns on him that his little game is coming to an end, but this time he doesn’t want it to.

A shaky breath tumbles past her pink lips as she grabs a duffle bag that she had resting on the sofa. Looking at Tom with heart broken eyes, she inhales deeply as if she’s pondering over her words. “You’re cheating on me Thomas” he flinched at the name she uses, it’s not endearing like Tommy or babe. Instead it reminds him of the time that he decided he wanted to play his game with her. “You have been for months and I don’t want to hurt anymore. I’m leaving you”

The words come out as a broken whisper and Tom wants to beg her, plead for her to stay. “I gave you everything I had to offer, every piece of me and it wasn’t enough. I’m sorry that I couldn’t give you enough but I’m broken and tired and I don’t want this anymore”

Tom knows he’s fucked up, he knew it all along because he never wanted to break her heart. Fuck, no. He wanted it, he wanted to be able to call her his. But love is cruel, making his realise these things a little too late. Tom loved her, he knew he did deep down but he was too blinded by love’s game to realise that he had been a pawn in it  all along.

“Just know Tom” she adds as she moves to the front door. “That I loved you, and I’m sorry that we couldn’t make this work and that I couldn’t give you what you wanted”

He wants to reach out and tell her that he didn’t mean it, that he really did love her but he stays planted in his position by the couch. His dark hues flicker up to meet her tired and empty ones and she stares at him so intensely, it’s as if she’s looking for something. (Y/N) sighs when she doesn’t find it, whatever it was, offering Tom a small and genuine smile. “ I know I couldn’t give you a what you needed, but I hope you find it” She looks down again. “I forgive you by the way”

And with that; she slips out of front door, gone like the wind. She doesn’t come back and Tom knows that she won’t. He stands in the middle of their, once shared apartment, chest heaving and heart  clenched. He feels numb, like a part of him has gone missing and for the first time in his life, Tom realises something


Love is not your friend, it is your enemy.

part 2?


I tried to make them kinda different, but in the end they still wound up pretty similar, Please Forgive.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Is it possible to get into how would someone train if they were to choose a staff as a weapon? In my story, I have a young girl that wants to learn basic self defense and staff training sounds plausible enough, I don't want her to be an absolute badass and she's just learning in case of an emergency. I hope this makes sense ):

You can gain sufficient skill with the staff to use it as a self-defense weapon within a few weeks. You won’t master it in a month, but it’s conceivable to fight with it. It is one of the fastest, simplest, and easiest weapons to learn. The most important thing she’ll need to remember to do is maintain her body’s conditioning (exercise) and keep her basic skills sharp (practice). Self-defense doesn’t work as a one off training and forget, it’s a situation where you either use it or lose it.

The holistic martial arts discipline where you progress through hand to hand to weapons combat is a mostly Eastern tradition in martial arts, this includes India. European tradition isn’t anywhere near as structured, you can start with the staff. Unlike other weapon types, staff training often begins with a real wooden staff, and if we’re going with European tradition then the weapon will most likely be made out of oak. Oak is heavy, heavy staves hurt when they hit you… a lot. You will get hit in training… a lot. In weapon’s training with a partner, we pay for our mistakes with bruises. Getting past the fear of being hit is one of the major components of this training type. Your partner’s weapon can easily slip, slide down the shaft, and hit your unprotected fingers. Learning how to stop that from happening is part of the training.

This is the truth of every weapon type in training: the weapon will punish you when you make mistakes with it. The more dangerous the weapon, the more detrimental the initial injuries.

The staff starts with deep bruises and, if you’re truly unlucky, broken bones (especially broken fingers). Broken collarbones are not outside the range of unusual. This is nothing compared to a weapon like the three sectioned staff where even beginner’s training can net you a concussion.

Unironically, the post I made recently about Nine Steps for Training Techniques applies to how we go about training on weapons. The staff has a straightforward basic move set, the strikes form a cross-shaped pattern across the body high (head) low (thigh) to low (thigh) high (head), then thrust to stomach, bring down on top of head or low the other way into the groin. When partnered with another human being, you practice these strikes together with one person performing the strikes and the other the blocks. The blocks for the staff are matching to the cross-shaped pattern, high low to low high, then bring the staff up horizontal to catch the strike to the top of the head, and a half step back from the thrust to knock it away with the tip of the staff. You can also bring the staff across the body to strike either side of the rib cage. A practiced staff user can shift between all these strikes without the pattern.

The staff is sized to the wielder, usually coming up to around their forehead rather than the top of the head. Your hands on the staff act like a fulcrum, redirecting as you go. You want your hands set wide enough to keep a solid, balanced, and controlled grip on the weapon while also providing you with the freedom to go at speed. This is difficult because your hands are going to want to naturally come together as you practice

The most important thing to remember about the staff is that both ends are weapons. Unless you’re gripping it by it’s bottom, one end is always going to be moving behind you. Most common staff injury when training is bruised knuckles. You can also break your fingers. When sparring with a heavy staff, you will be wearing pads and you will still get bruises. Those bruises may be deep, and sometimes go all the way down to the bone.

Never forget, your weapon senses your weakness. Soft defense leads to debilitating injury, even just in practice. You must be firm, fierce, focused, and unafraid of the pain you will inevitably receive. Learn to be stalwart. (Yes, this is a learned attitude and not one we start with.)

A weapon is never safe.

After practice, your arms will be tired due not just to moving but being on the receiving end of impact when the staves clash. There is no way to avoid this, you simply build resistance via experience. Learning how to keep hold of your staff in the middle of conflict that is trying to knock the weapon from them with each hit made by you or your enemy is necessary. Vibration will travel down the length of the staff to your hands, and that’s what you need to worry about wearing your arms out rather than weight.

Staves can and do break or fracture bones on impact when moving at speed, arms, legs, ribs, heads, feet, etc. They are bludgeoning weapons. When moving at speed in a practice bout, this can happen to you especially if you’re not wearing protection. (Wear protection.) This is not a gentle weapon or a soft one. It is useful too because of its range advantage over shorter weapons, but keep in mind that range means range. The closer the enemy comes, the less useful the staff gets. Your character is responsible for maintaining the fight range at which her weapon is useful. She’s going to need to get creative if the fight starts right next to her.

She’s gonna get her staff knocked out of her hands by whoever is instructing her the first few times because holding onto it does hurt a lot more than we anticipate when we start practicing defense. They’re going to teach her how to defend first though. You learn techniques then ratchet up at a steady pace to ferret out holes in defense.

It is natural for her to be nervous or even afraid of the weapon in the beginning, though she’ll overcome that. No one likes pain, and pain is an unavoidable side effect of weapon’s training. Hand to hand works it’s way up to basic injuries, but weapon’s will nail you coming and going. We’ll hit ourselves, our partner will hit us, we’ll make mistakes, and we pay for them. Usually, it’s just bruises.

There are, of course, stances and footwork associated with staff training but that’s ironically more complex than it needs to get right now.

For endurance training with the staff, outdoors on a variety of terrain is helpful. This includes beaches, on uneven terrain, in forests, in fields, in rivers, etc. All these will help the student learn to navigate different terrain and learn the detriments of fighting in various environments. They also build strength. Sand and water will both sap away strength due to the focus required to maintain balance on soft surfaces and water’s resistance/drag when it comes to movement. They may also teach her how to fight on stairs.

Staff training will provide her with the base necessary to move on to polearms like spears or even some swords if she wants to in the future. Staves with their heads and butts shod in iron as a defense against blades (and extra damage) were also common.

Due to this being self-defense, the focus of her training is going to be on using her staff to create escape opportunities rather than engaging in prolonged conflict.

For more on this topic, you can check out our staff training tag.


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A thirst for whiskey and gold (2)


Pairing: Lance Tucker x photographer!plus size!reader

Warnings: None.

Word count: 2.5k

Summary: Soulmate AU where people see their whole life flash by before their eyes when they first kiss their soulmate. After Y/N receives word of her husband James’ death, she moves to Ohio where her best friend Karen has just given birth to a baby girl, hoping to find some piece of mind. Karen has asked Y/N to be the godmother and it just so happens Lance is the godfather to this little bundle of joy. One night, Lance gets drunk with some of his friends and they play ‘truth or dare’ which leads to an unexpected discovery.

This is written for @whotheeffisbucky her writing challenge. I know this is terribly late (life got in the way) but I poured a lot of love and soul into this, so I hope it makes up for my tardiness.

A/N: Beware, this part is unedited.

Series masterlist can be found here

Keep reading



change pronouns and such as needed ( tw death, tw suicide, tw gore)

❝ We are so far from you. ❞
❝ So long and goodnight. ❞
❝ Things are better if I stay. ❞
❝ What’s the worst that I can say? ❞
❝ Well, I’ve been holding on tonight. ❞
❝ Can you hear me? Are you near me? ❞
❝ If you carry on this way things are better if I stay. ❞
❝ Can we pretend to leave and then we’ll meet again. ❞
❝ What’s the worst that I can say? Things are better if I stay. ❞
❝ And what’s the worst you take from every heart you break? ❞
❝ And what’s the worst you take from every heart you break? ❞
❝ Came a time when every star fall brought you to tears again. ❞
❝ Burning on, just like the match you strike to incinerate the lives of everyone you know. ❞

❝ Do you care at all? ❞
❝ What’d you call me? ❞
❝ Can we settle up the score? ❞
❝ We are young and we don’t care. ❞
❝ Well, I’m a total wreck almost every day. ❞
❝ Well, there’s no way I’m kissing that guy! ❞
❝ This is how we like to do it in the murder scene. ❞
❝ We never wanted it to be this way for all our lives. ❞
❝ Go on live your life but I miss you more than I did yesterday. ❞
❝ Some might say we are made from the sharpest things you say. ❞
❝ So c'mon show me how ‘cause I mean this more than words can ever say. ❞
❝ Well, don’t I look pretty walking down the street in the best damn dress I own? ❞ 

❝ Let’s go down! ❞
❝ Increase the medication. ❞
❝ Share the vows at the wake. ❞
❝ He doesn’t have many friends. ❞
❝ Would you carry me to the end? ❞
❝ If you marry me would you bury me? ❞
❝ Walk away from the choice you made. ❞
❝ He calls the mansion not a house, but a tomb. ❞
❝ Send my resignation to the bride and the groom. ❞
❝ He’s always choking from the stench and the fumes. ❞
❝ She’s got a life of her own and it shows by the Benz. ❞
❝ Say goodbye to the heart you break and all the cyanide you drank. ❞ 

❝ Well, I miss my mom. ❞
❝ I’ll kiss your lips again. ❞
❝ Life is but a dream for the dead. ❞
❝ Your life will never be the same. ❞
❝ Come with your arms raised high! ❞
❝ Well, they’re never going to get me. ❞
❝ On your mother’s eyes, say a prayer. ❞
❝ We’re just two men as God had made us. ❞
❝ Ah, nobody knows all the trouble I’ve seen. ❞
❝ Too much, too late, or just not enough of this. ❞
❝ They all cheat at cards and the checkers are lost. ❞
❝ I won’t go down by myself but I’ll go down with my friends. ❞
❝ Nobody cares if you’re losing yourself. Am I losing myself? ❞
❝ Pain in my heart for your dying wish, I’ll kiss your lips again. ❞
❝ Will they give me the chair, or lethal injection, or swing from a rope? ❞ 

❝ I’m okay. ❞
❝ I’m not okay. ❞
❝ I’m not o-fucking-kay. ❞
❝ I mean this, I’m okay! ❞
❝ I held you close as we both shook. ❞
❝ For the last time, take a good hard look. ❞
❝ Well if you wanted honesty, that’s all you had to say. ❞
❝ What will it take to show you that it’s not the life it seems? ❞
❝ You really need to listen to me because I’m telling you the truth. ❞
❝ You said you read me like a book, but the pages all are torn and frayed. ❞
❝ Remember when you broke your foot from jumping out the second floor? ❞
❝ I’ve told you time and time again, you sing the words but don’t know what it means. ❞

❝ I remember now. ❞
❝ If I died, we’d be together. ❞
❝ You are never coming home. ❞
❝ I never said I’d lie and wait forever. ❞
❝ At the top of my lungs in my arms, she dies. ❞
❝ I can’t always just forget her but she could try. ❞
❝ Ever get the feeling that you’re never all alone? ❞
❝ For all the ghosts that are never gonna catch me. ❞
❝ All the things that you never ever told me and all the smiles that are ever… ❞

❝ It gives the blind sight. ❞
❝ I’d like to learn your name. ❞
❝ Well, I hope you do the same. ❞
❝ It’s just the hardest part of living. ❞
❝ For the last night I lie could I lie with you? ❞
❝ I’m just the worst kind of guy to argue with. ❞
❝ Slip into the tragedy, you’ve spun this chamber dry. ❞

❝ You never had a chance. ❞
❝ Hallelujah, lock and load. ❞
❝ Just give me what I need. ❞
❝ You’ll never make me leave. ❞
❝ What’s life like, bleeding on the floor? ❞
❝ If this is what you want then fire at will. ❞
❝ Love is the red rose on your coffin door. ❞
❝ I’m just the way that the doctor made me. ❞
❝ Preach all you want but who’s going to save me. ❞
❝ Give me all your hopeless hearts and make me ill. ❞
❝ You’re running after something that you’ll never kill. ❞
❝ So give me all your poison and give me all your pills. ❞
❝ Love it, or leave it, you can’t understand a pretty face. ❞
❝ You want to follow something? Give me a better cause to lead. ❞

❝ Would I lie to you? ❞
❝ Bury me and fade to black. ❞
❝ That girl’s not right in the brain. ❞
❝ Well, I’ve got something to say. ❞
❝ Don’t stop if I fall and don’t look back. ❞
❝ Get your gun and meet me by the door. ❞
❝ After all is said and done, climb out from the pine box. ❞
❝ Would I die for you? Well, here’s your answer in spades. ❞

❝ I’ve lost my fear of falling. ❞
❝ Would you kill me in my sleep. ❞
❝ I’m taking back the life you stole. ❞
❝ You told me this gets harder. Well, it did. ❞
❝ Just you and I your starless eyes remain. ❞
❝ Do you remember that day when we met? ❞
❝ You’re running out of places to hide from me. ❞
❝ When you go just know that I will remember you. ❞
❝ You get what everyone else gets. You get a lifetime. ❞
❝ Promise me that when I’m gone you’ll kill my enemies. ❞
❝ I’m coming back from the dead and I’ll take you home with me. ❞
❝ This hole you put me in wasn’t deep enough and I’m climbing out right now. ❞

❝ I won’t stop dying. ❞
❝ When will I miss you? ❞
❝ If you want, I’ll keep on crying. ❞
❝ Did you get what you deserve? ❞
❝ They found you on the bathroom floor. ❞
❝ It isn’t that much fun, staring down a loaded gun. ❞
❝ Crash the cemetery gates in the dress your husband hates. ❞

❝ But I lied. ❞
❝ Well, I tried. ❞
❝ We’re all dead now. ❞
❝ Can I meet you alone? ❞
❝ Clean me off. I’m so dirty, babe. ❞
❝ Just get in line and I’ll grieve you. ❞
❝ You can say a prayer if you need to. ❞
❝ Touched by angels though I fall out of grace. ❞
❝ We’ll all dance along to the tune of your death. ❞
❝ I can’t clean the blood off the sheets in my bed. ❞
❝ They gave us two shots to the back of the head. ❞
❝ It ain’t the money and it sure as hell ain’t just for the fame. ❞
❝ Another knife in my hands, a stain that never comes off the sheets. ❞
❝ I’m so dirty, the kind of dirty where the water never cleans off the clothes. ❞

Plot Twist Pt. 2

Fandom: Marvel/Avengers
Pairing: Avengers x Reader, Steve Rodgers x sister!reader
Prompts: 21. “I did NOT tell you to set it on fire!!”
6. "That’s french for ‘go away’.“
Summary: After getting caught flying in a stolen Iron Man suit the reader is held for questioning in some dark corner of the Avengers Compound. Concerned Steve and Tony try to find out how and why you’ve gone to such lengths to get their attention.
Part 1
Warning: There’s some suggestive stuff between Tony and the reader. I want to make it clear, I’m NOT approving of a relationship between a grown man and a 16 yr old!! I’m just using these interactions to so the extent of the reader’s emotional detachment, and the twisted way they are used to communicating in precarious situations. The interactions between them will in no way develop into a romantic plot line

Originally posted by imaginesofeveryfandom

After your revelation there was a small commotion. Tony sent Peter on a fact finding mission, gave Steve a moment to breathe, and you agreed not to kill anyone if they untied you. 
”Didn’t know being a Rogers had it’s perks,” you muttered at Tony’s back while he led you out of the interrogation room and into a spacious office. 
Tony watched as you walked past him and into the room, heading straight for the windows. 
”Enjoying the view or looking for a way out?” he asked after a moment of silence.
”I got a partial story from Cap, but, as you can imagine, he was a bit preoccupied with having a panic attack.” Tony said, watching you scan the landscape around the compound. “So Y/N Rogers, do you want to fill me in?”
”Daddy dearest unfroze and needed to unwind. Met my mom- in the biblical sense- then a year later my mom met a drunk driver. I survived, she didn’t.” You voice didn’t give away any sense of resentment or pain. Actually Tony noticed a complete lack of emotion. It was as if you were explaining to him how addition and subtraction worked.
”Never pictured Rogers as the one night stand type,” Tony said to himself. 
”We can be,” you said throwing a look over your shoulder at him and giving a smile. 
Tony looked confused not understanding how you could dryly talk about growing up parent-less and then flip a switch and be a confident smart-ass.
Your conversation was interrupted by a knock on the door. “Mr. Stark?” Peter said stepping into the room. “I found the files you asked for. I mean- FRIDAY found them.” He carried a hefty stack of papers over to Tony and lowered his voice, “Y/N’s used a lot of aliases but facial recognition identified her in all of these cases.”
You winked at Peter causing him to shove the files into Tony’s hands and leave in a flustered mess. 
“Play nice,” Tony warned noticing the effect you were having on his innocent intern.
“Oh I will,” you muttered under your breath purely for your own entertainment. 

Originally posted by littlemisssyreid

“I must say, you’ve done a lot to get our attention. Theft, arson, assault, organizing a small group of thugs and smugglers.”
”Don’t flatter yourself,” you said, “I was just doing my thing. Like I said before, you didn’t catch me until I needed you to. Hence why you didn’t even know I existed.”
”There’s no way you would have kept under the radar for that long. You ran with a rough crowd.”
”I ran the rough crowd. And yeah, it’s easy to fly under the radar when it’s full of aliens and A.I.s. Great job on that by the way,” you said giving him a sarcastic thumbs up. 
Tony bristled at the mention of Ultron. “So you what? Saw some petty crime during your orphaned childhood and thought- damn, that looks like a good time?”
His witty response entertained you, momentarily knocking down your guard and letting an honest answer slip by. ”No. I was taught. By people who knew what I was before I even did.” Once the words came out you clenched your jaw, the tensed muscle were the only sign that you had given away too much. Tony picked up on it. 
”Taught huh? Like in between your French and Chemistry classes?” He threw a bit of sarcasm back, flaunting that he had caught your slip. You didn’t move or respond, eyes trained on the wall behind Tony. ”Who taught you?” he pressed.
“Fuck off” you said out of the side of your mouth, re-straightening your posture and looking at him with an uninterested expression. “That’s french for ‘go away’.”
”Random 10 year old girls don’t just go around beating grown men senseless,” he said holding up photos from one of the files. 
Ah, Jonny. He thought he was such a hardass, you reflected fondly as you recognized the battered face.
”You know how that tune goes- girls just wanna strike fear into the hearts of their enemies.”
”I’m not familiar with that version.” Tony scoffed. 
He took a deep breath and ran a hand across his face. Teenagers are the worst, he thought to himself. 
“Why now?” Steve’s voice cut through the room, making both you and Tony turn towards the door in surprise, “What’s your plan?”
”Why do I have to have the plan?” you said innocently, “aren’t you the ones who have to decide what to do with me?”
Tony and Steve looked at each other, both knowing there wasn’t a plan for this.
”You can’t let me go because you know there’s more to this,” you said to Tony. “And you,” you turned to Steve,“you are just too good to let your crazy kid loose. Though I’m not sure you like me enough to be doing that for my sake. Probably worried I’ll burn down Brooklyn.”
”Well we can’t ignore all this,” Tony said coming to Steve’s defense. The poor guy was still trying to process everything, his face constantly being taken over by a new emotion. “These files- your past-would all have to magically go away for us to be able to trust you to stay here.” Tony said leaning against his glass desk top and crossing his arms. He was making a point, showing you two things. 1) that he put the ball in your court and 2) that he knew you were just as stuck as they were. You would’ve been happy still tied to that chair, but they had created this limbo when they set you free and gave you a chance. You knew you needed to straighten it out, do something drastic to define the lines so you know which to cross and when. You needed to make a play…you need to stay on objective.
You took a beat but didn’t respond verbally. Instead you started walking towards Tony slowly. There was something predatory in the way you walked, your eyes locked in but deadened. You stopped right in front of him and leaned forward reaching around him. Your chests were inches apart and Tony stiffened, giving Steve a side eye that said ‘THIS IS YOUR KID.’

“AHHHH!” Tony screamed and jumped away as the stack of files behind him ignited into a ball of flames.
Steve ran across the room to help Tony put out the growing fire. It spread across the glass igniting some memos and blueprints. oops.
Finally they were able to put it out, smoke beginning to slowly curl off the ash and blackened pages. Both of the men, now covered in charcoal marks on their arms and faces, turned to you in disbelief.
You had settled into a nearby chair, throwing you legs over the arm rest and letting them dangle. “You told me that if I was going to stay all of that would have to go away.”
“I did NOT tell you to set it on fire!!” Tony shouted.
“Sorry. I have a flair for the dramatics,” you punctuated your statement by tossing your hair over your shoulder.
“How did you even-” Steve began to ask, but you cut him off tossing a small metal lighter into his hands. Steve turned it over seeing an engraved C.B.
“Knicked it,” you said. “Rule #2: if you can’t find an escape, find a way to cause a distraction.” you quoted robotically. Tony and Steve looked at you, completely at a loss. What were they going to do with you? You were the pinnacle of a teenager- angsty, unreasonable, but (unlike your peers) dangerous.
“Technically I did a good deed,” you offered, pulling out the knife you keep tucked in your boot and using it to clean under your nails. “I added 5 years and clean lungs to Barton’s life.” 
“Who are you?” Steve wondered out loud. He didn’t know whether he was concerned, afraid or disappointed and it showed in his deflated shoulders. 
“What’s rule #1?” Tony asked. It was irrelevant, but after the last few hours protocol seemed irrelevant.
“Only trust one thing:” you responded automatically, “you are always on your own.”

Keep reading

something that he can’t quite place

NOTES: All right y’all. The first paragraph of that EW article sounded like it was the beginning of an enemies to lovers fanfiction. So I wrote the drabble that could have followed it! You’ll also spot a little of what Adam Driver had to say about Kylo’s fascination with Rey. ;)

He hates her. This girl. This garbage picker. This amateur who somehow drew his family lightsaber to her hand, overpowering his own bond with the Force.

She defeated him in the Starkiller interrogation room, and then he lost the battle against her in that frozen forest. She left him more dead than not, bleeding out red life on the white snow. Now Kylo has scars to remember the worst night of his life by, every mistake he made branded on his skin, all thanks to that girl.

He has to hate her. Scavenger and would-be rebel and Jedi acolyte: Rey.

Still, Kylo dreams of her. He sees her on the island, such a pretty, stubborn creature who bullies Luke into taking up the mantle of teacher again. He witnesses her tenacity while training, her beauty as she meditates, her power at all times. And as much as he despises it, he can’t help but admire her.

He’s never had a peer before. No one anywhere near his age, either ally or enemy, who could match him. It strikes familiarity and fear in him, and something else. Something that he can’t quite place.

Until one night, in the throes of his never-peaceful sleep, Rey sees him too.

It’s raining, her hair has fallen down, and her clothes are soaked. She looks lovely and strong, breathing hard when she asks, “Kylo?”

It’s a shock, hearing his name from her. The sound of it in Rey’s accent is foreign, her familiarity unexpected. No one calls him Kylo. It’s Ren or Lord Ren, always, and it startles him to hear Rey address him like she’s an equal.

She is, he supposes, despite her lack of training. Starkiller proved that.

“Rey,” he says–the first time he’s allowed himself to speak her name aloud.

She stumbles backward, scowling. Still afraid of him then. Good. He wants her to fear him, to see the man who stole her on Takodana, the creature who sifted through her mind while she was trapped. Not a weakling she left for dead in the snow.

“What are you doing here?” she asks.

Kylo has no lightsaber to draw, not in the midst of a dream, and it wouldn’t matter anyway. This isn’t real, not in the way of flesh and blood.

“I could ask you the same thing,” he said. “Why bother staying when my uncle refuses to teach you?”

“You–you’ve been watching me?” Rey asks.

She backs away again, reaching for a lightsaber that isn’t there (that isn’t hers anyway).

Kylo catches up to her easily. He’s larger, stronger, faster. If he hadn’t gone into their battle already wounded he’d have overpowered her, won her like a prize and carried her back to his master. But when he takes Rey by her shoulders, he finds her solid under his hands, as if they were truly standing on the same ground. That sense of something else, something more, overwhelms him, and for the first time Kylo faces it for what it is.

He wants her. As an ally, a student, a friend, maybe even a lover. He wants this scavenger girl who shamed him. He wants Rey.


◇ “No-one is more deserving than you, my love.”

◇ Junhoe x reader

◇ vampire!au

◇ requested by anon; Vampire!junhoe pleaseeeeeee 💘💘💘

◇ i find it weird but whenever i write for junhoe i end up writi g something completely different to my other works - for example, my other vamp fics are so different from this one!! But i hope u guys enjoy anyway bc i quite like it


Humans like to think that they’re alone in the world. Alone in the universe, too. Maybe it scares them to think about more powerful, unique creatures. Maybe they’re secretly aware, somewhere in their subconscious, that they’re weak, fragile, unprotected. That makes humans dangerous, because they try too hard to prove others wrong.

Humans are lucky that the other side of things — the ‘weird’ side — is so merciful. How grateful they should be that the things that go bump in the night decide to stay hidden in the shadows, the alleyways, through secret doorways and portals. Humans can easily be overthrown, but sending the world into chaos isn’t something anyone is particularly fond of doing, and that results in fear of being discovered.

If a person tries hard enough, maybe they’ll be able to see through to the other side: a girl with purple hair and eyebrows in the flower shop was making roses grow with a flick of her wrist — a barista, with bright green eyes, from the corner of your eye, looks as if he has another set of arms.

It’s all about perception, and fortunately for otherworldly Beings, that has never been the strong point for humans.

Our story starts at a shop that mortal eyes can only see at the witching hour on a Wednesday in March when the weather is just right and the wind is travelling at a certain speed — your shop.

Keep reading

I Got You Part 4

Characters: Dean x Reader, Sam

Summary:  Dean and Sam rescue the reader from torture.  Who kept her and why?

Word Count:  1605

Warnings:  Language, violence

As always, feedback is welcomed and appreciated.  Tags are at the bottom. 

I Got You Masterlist 

Originally posted by peachesandkookies

I Got You Part 4

Startled, Dean releases you and you both draw your weapons. Dean darts out the door, racing down the hallway. You desperately try to keep up. He skids to a stop in front of an open door, his eyes narrowing. The hunter in him shines through, clear as day. It’s in the tightness of his jaw, the drop of his shoulder, the steadiness of his gun. God knows what he sees in that room, but he doesn’t waver, he doesn’t flinch.

Before you can reach the door, the sound of another gunshot fills the cold, sterile space. Dean doubles over and grabs his leg, crumpling to the floor. Terror strikes you, you don’t know where he’s been hit. You don’t know if Sam is alive. Everything is wrong. So fucking wrong.

Coming to an abrupt halt in the doorway, placing yourself between Dean and the doorway, you train your gun on the man in the room.  

“Ah, there you are, (Y/N),” he says.

That voice.

You know that voice.The blood roars in your ears, your heart hammering against your rib cage. Without hesitation, you squeeze the trigger and shoot him point blank in the forehead. He drops like a bag of stones, slamming his head on a metal table on the way down.

Keep reading

Guardian (VII)

Author: kpopfanfictrash

Pairing: You/Jongdae/Baekhyun

Rating: PG

Word Count: 3,210

Summary:  You keep seeing the same guy everywhere you go. In the coffee shop, on the streets, in your philosophy class. It’s getting to the point where you think he’s stalking you - only to realize that maybe there’s something much more mysterious at play here. (AU: Chen is your guardian angel)

Keep reading

The current political wave in Attack on Titan, alliances and betrayal

During the war between Marley and Mid-East Allies Forces, do you think the East Sea nation secretively helping Paradis Island for their own advantage? The mystery of Ackermans has been revealed, but the East Sea nation still remains a puzzle. Since it seems likely that the East Sea is Marley’s enemy, I suppose Paradis Island can make allies with them. Marley is too technological developed to be shattered down by only 3DMG or clever plan. In my opinion, Paradis Island truly needs an alliance

I would love for Reiner to betray Marley in some way, (peferably not by betraying them for the Walldians, that just seems way too unrealistic for me) but I honestly wouldn’t bear any dislike for him if he eventually sided with Marley, if only to ensure that Gabi and his family lives. Especially after reading Chapter 95.

do you see any possibility of a peace treaty between paradis island and marley? it sounds too hopeful for a gloomy series like attack on titan, but since the eldians’ enemy is ‘the world’, i suppose they have the common enemy to stay together and try to uplift their status in the world. smh i know it won’t happen but i’d like to hear your thoughts on this

People hoping for Eldians to realise that the real enemy is Marley and join the Walldians make me really doubt about this fandom’s intelligence… like, what kind of Snk are they reading? .-.

So far, these are all the questions I received about the current political climate in the series.

To recap the current climate: Paradis is under attack by Marley and its resources have been sought for several decades already. Recently, retrieving the Founder and seizing the island has become top priority according to two versions of the story: the one told by Kruger in chapter 89 and the one told by Zeke in chapter 95.

Marley’s goals - Ch. 89 (above) and 95 (below)

The two versions vary because of Marley’s current goals, and one has probably been altered by one person for their personal agenda. The source of course, comes from the Tybur clan, who has yet to be revealed.

Kruger’s version of the facts is that once Marley gets their hands on Paradis, they’ll exterminate every Eldian on Earth. The reason why they keep them alive is to use them as military personnel, and even among the Marlean community, people argue whether or not they’re best left alive. 

Zeke’s version, more recent, argues Paradis has to be retaken to ensure the continuity of the Eldian community living there, because the hatred for them has grown as such that the rest of the world are developing anti-titan technology, while the motherland began to lack in resources. If Marley weakens, this is the end for all Eldians.

The two common points of this story is Eldians being threatened, in one way or another. While Zeke claims the rest of the world will kill them, Kruger adds Marley to the equation, despite Marley… needing them for their military forces. I feel like Kruger is twisting the facts to make it seem the chance Marley wants them dead is high, and they must make Eldia great again as soon as possible.

Marley uses Pure Titans for their wars. That much is true. However, chapter 93 proved it was their main military asset, and they were behind the other countries in other domains other than ground battle.

Zeke suggesting a plan till Marley stabilizes itself - Ch. 93

Once Marley retrieved seven titan powers out of nine, they began to be quite power-hungry and seize resources, using the exact tactics used against them in the past, which boiled levels of hatred in the rest of the world.

They both look like they privilege mainland Eldians over the Eldians on Paradis: in the revolutionary’s scenario, the Eldians fleeing the islands are cowards who let the mainland part suffer at the hands of Marley, and reject Marley’s rule. In the warriors’, the Founding is seen as a dangerous force to be seized. Meanwhile, the mainland Eldians are fighting for redemption over the sins from the era of the Eldian Empire, and accept Marley’s rule, since they’re the only one nation accepting them.

In the meantime, Paradis is ruled out of the equation. Both parties thought using the power of the Founding Titan would serve their goal. Alas, the most important titan power fell into the hands of a young boy who received it from a revenge-filled father. While Eren set himself the goal to get rid of the world for more freedom, other people on Paradis might think differently. That could range from settling an agreement or keep defending the island till invasion stops or till Eren dies, since he’s the potential deal maker. 

Clearly they’re in a state where neither of them can make peace. If a deal has to be set, one of them should fall.

The status of Marley and Paradis brings me to my next point: the alliances.

For starters, I don’t believe any nation would help in a Marley vs. Paradis conflict. Geographically, it would be very difficult.

Marley and Paradis on the map - Ch. 93

Paradis’ closer access point is the continent of Marley. Paradis is also technologically late and their float is mostly adapted to river navigation. Coast navigation is another deal and we’re not even talking about the ocean there. The telecommunications weren’t even invented and neither was photography. 4 years isn’t enough to catch up every technological advancement missed.

While an alliance would be, as anon points out, the best insurance, other nations carry a deep hatred for Eldians and are developing technology countering them. The only valuable exchange money was the Coordinate and knowing Eren, he wouldn’t handle it over. The other alternative would let another nation use Paradis as a base to strike Marley, exploiting their resources, but this is no different from colonization.

The question about a possible betrayal remains. Namely, the popular theory of Reiner and Annie switching sides.

I’ll state my opinion right away: they can’t and they won’t because Marley is their home. The only possible solution I can see is them fleeing away because Marley became too weak to keep the Eldians safe and under their rule, but in this case it’s less of a betrayal and more them abandoning the ship. 

And even that, in the case of Reiner, is questionable. When he came back, he knew for years his path was a lie. The thing that keeps him going on is throwing his life for Marley, which in return protects him from calls to strip him of his titan power. Besides he probably did not give up entirely on the reason why he’s wearing that armor today.

One scream and this is over - Ch. 96

Reiner actually fears Eren being the current holder of the Founding Titan. As such, he believes Eren must be stopped at all costs. He’s also not the only one in the Marlean army to think so.

“I want you to believe me. I understand you. We were both victims of your father… You’ve been brainwashed by him“ - Ch. 83

Zeke is onboard to put his little brother in safe hands. He’s ready to use his last year for the invasion of Paradis only, therefore leading all the warriors for a last tentative of Paradis’ invasion, which ought to be closed once the tenth year is over. Most probably sooner.

The Librerio festival ought to be decisive. After the declaration of Tybur’s family, things are going to be settled for good.

The ultimatum - Ch. 95

If it gets sabotaged by anybody coming from Paradis, like that suspicious amputee, Marley will see that as a war declaration, and the effect remains the same.

Looks like it’s going to be Eldians from the mainland vs. Eldian from the island. A raging battle between subjects of Ymir.

Sparks Chapter 6

Originally posted by lovelynemesis

Pairing: Bucky(POV) X Reader(POV)

Word Count: 2.2K

Summary: After Bucky’s night terror episode he is ashamed and avoids y/n. y/n, not liking to be ignored, makes Bucky talk things out with her. Bucky and y/n go for a walk through the park and get bubble tea and climb a tree in the middle of the night and have deep convos. They get closer as friends.

A/N: This is a story about two people building a great friendship and then slowly falling in love. y/n is a strong, independent, and smart scientist. She meets Bucky when she wakes him up from cryo sleep and they become friends. This is going to have all the angst / best friends falling in love / fluff / drama / & eventual smut ;) that I can possibly fit in it. This fic is going to be looong! So far my document is like 66 pages. So editing is hard If you catch any grammatical or formatting errors let me know.

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Red Hood X Reader- Partners

A woman was walking home alone after a long day at work. Usually she would work until 4:00, but someone didn’t show up for their shift at work.  She didn’t mind filling in for her co-worker, and didn’t think about the dangers of Gotham’s streets at night.  Gotham had its heroes and they would protect her. Right?  Batman and Robin would be there to save her from the crooks that would attempt to steal her purse or worse.  Of course they will not always be there to save a random civilian like herself.  She was too busy thinking about all of those horrible things to notice that her fears will catch up to her pretty soon.  The woman was only a block away from her apartment when she was pulled into the dark alleyway she was passing.  Luckily this woman was not you.

“Give me all ya got, lady,” the crook sneered while holding up a knife to her throat.

“You know,” you spoke up, “there’s a reason why people get a job and I guess you didn’t get the memo.”

The crook looked around and saw no one in the abandoned alley.  

“Up here, dumbass,” you shouted before shooting him in the shoulder.

He shouted in pain and dropped the knife.  A smirk crawled its way on your face as you jumped down from the fire escape.  

“Go home,” you said to the woman,” you’re safe.”

“Thank you.”

“Just doing my job, miss.”

She nodded and continued her journey to her apartment at a faster pace.  You looked over to the piece of filth you wasted a bullet on and dug your heel into the bullet wound.  Once again, he shouted in pain.

“Who are you?!” he yelled.

“I think that’s a bit cliché don’t you think?” you asked.

You knocked him out with the butt of your gun and handcuffed him next to a dumpster.  After that you made an anonymous tip to the cops.  You knew that the cops would be there in about five to ten minutes tonight, so you decided to book it before they arrive.  Isn’t that what Batman does?  You chuckle at that. You grapple to the top of a building and continue your patrol.

“You know it’s rude to follow people,” you said while turning around.

You heard a string of curse words before the ‘Red Hood’ emerges from the shadows.  Dramatic much?

“It’s nice to see you, Red,” you said.

“Nice to see you too, Angel,” he responded.

“The name sounds less intimidating if you say it like that.  I chose ‘Archangel’ for a reason,” you said and added with a deep voice, “to strike fear in the hearts of my enemies.”

He laughed and sat at the edge of the building.  You usually avoid Batman, but you love to hang around this guy.  He first ran into you about a year ago while you were storming an abandoned warehouse where a huge arms deal was going down.  You both sure messed up those criminals’ day and have been partners ever since. You joined him at the edge and began swaying your feet.

“Find anything interesting tonight?” you asked.

“Just the usual purse nappers,” he responded.

“And how’s Batsy? Still have family issues?” you asked.

“He’s still alive and he’s got a kid now.”

“He adopted another one?”


“That’s new,” you said,” Who’s the kid?”

“A pain in the ass.  He was trained by the League his whole life and was dumped here by his mother,” he explained.

You remained quiet after that statement.  You knew about his past and he knew about yours.  Your parents ditched you at an orphanage right after you were born. When you were ten the orphanage became a slaughter house.  You were one of the lucky few that survived the onslaught.  Ever since then you vowed to stop whatever evil you could.  Classic backstory right?

“And Bats wants to meet you.”

You choked on your spit for a second and looked at him like a deer in head lights.

“He wants to what?”

“I let it slip that I was seeing someone and Dick wouldn’t leave me alone about it.”

“Great.  Now I have to reveal my secret identity to the whole Bat family. Thanks Jason.”

“Don’t mention it.”

“You owe me,” you said.

“Back massage and we binge watch your favorite T.V. show with all of the junk food you want,” he offered.


Breaking Protocol

Written for @flames-bring-a-ton-of-ash‘s Negan writing challenge part 2.

Prompt: Sheriff Negan

Characters: Negan x OFC (Evelyn)

Warnings: Smut, fluff

Summary: Evelyn, a former FBI agent and her son are kindapped only to be reunited with her old flame, a CIA agent named Negan who she thought was dead.

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The Foxhole Court, Chapter 14 – Ohana Means Family (And Family Means No One Gets Left Behind Or Murd– Oh).

In which we are treated to part 2 of Fun Suspicious Club Times, Andreil has Important Moments™, Nicky has thoughts on family, and I have all the feels. Guest starring: Murder!

Sounds good? Then it’s time for Nicki to read – and finish – The Foxhole Court.

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Pushing Buttons

This is a one shot/ vignette for my This Ends Tonight story.

I can’t write this as a complete and linear story. I have been writing a lot of pieces for this in the form of vignettes or snapshots. Every one takes place with Ivar and his wife in bed at the end of a given day, recounting something that happened between them on whichever given day, It is all completely out of order but it is just what feels best for this story.

Warnings: The usual, a mixed bag of fluff, smut, angst and crack, people say mean shit when they are mad or hurt, sometimes the sex is bad, that is life. Ivar is a fool

She sat at the mirror removing the plaits from her hair and seething with rage. Her fingers tangling and pulling carelessly in her ire, but it was no matter. She was numb. Her husband’s words were still cutting. Even now, hours later, she could still feel them like a knife, twisting in her belly.  All of her feelings had became superfluous but one, anger. 

She stiffened for a moment when she heard him enter. Seizing her motions, she observed him through the mirror’s reflection. With mead still in hand, he slowly made his way to the bed. With each labored step, the contents went sloshing about and spilling over the sides of the horn. When he finally made it to the bed, he just stood there on his crutches and stupidly gazed down at it.

Ivar moved to set one crutch up against the wall but quickly lost his balance. His body pitched and lurched sideways, but he managed to pivot and steer his shoulder towards the wall, catching himself. Seeing that that wasn’t going to work he then tried lowering a knee down to brace himself on the mattress. He nearly fell flat on his face. There had to be more mead dripping down his hand and soaking his sleeve than was even left in the damned horn. His movements bordered on theatrical. He looked from the bed, to the horn, then back to the bed again before he raised his eyes and caught her watching him through the glass. From the look on his face, she knew that he had not even noticed her presence until then.

If she weren’t so hurt and angry with him, she may have laughed.

When her husband would get this way, Aisling almost could forgot that she loved him so badly that it physically hurt at times. In the few short years that they had been married, she had grown to love him so deeply that her memories from a life before Ivar had steadily been slipping away. It was as if her life had started with him and it was only through loving him that she had really begun to live.

Things had not been easy for her husband. He was king yes, but still he had to constantly prove himself. He wasn’t perfect, he had made some costly mistakes, his people liked him but they didn’t trust him. Over time he had learned to control his volatile temper and he was a fair ruler. However, he had made some choice moves that caused some of the people in Kattegat to question his judgment. The markets had been on a steady decline since they had taken the port. Trade was not what it had been when his mother had sat on the throne in his father’s absence. Fewer and fewer shipments had been coming in. They often went weeks without receiving merchants. Those who had not become Ivar’s enemies, were terrified of him and would rather let their goods go for a lower price than dare sail into his port. He had confided in her that he felt as if he was letting his mother down. At times he felt like he had no idea what he was doing. Things like agriculture and economics confused him, they were not exactly in wheelhouse. His people weren’t starving by any means, but he had led them on a handful of fruitless raids where lives had been lost in vain. When all these things got to be too overwhelming for Ivar, he tended to lean on the the drink like a figurative crutch. 

“Are you just going to sit there at that mirror and watch me struggle all night or are you going to help me wife!?” he snapped, glaring at her in the reflection. His speech was slightly slurred and his eyes were glassy and bloodshot . As he spoke he lowered his eyebrows at her accusingly, animatedly thrusting the mead horn forward and pointing at her with it.

She clenched her jaw and held his gaze, trying to harness all of her self control. She took in a deep breath, slowly inhaling through her nose. She was really trying not to snap. Trying to avoid saying something she would surely regret later. She closed her eyes and held the breath in a bit too long before releasing it with a frustrated growl.

“Here’s a thought husband, perhaps you should simply drink whatever you haven’t already shared with the floor. Then you could lay down. Don’t you think that would solve your problem? Unless of course you plan on nursing yourself to sleep with it." 

Narrowing her eyes at him in the mirror, she picked up her comb and tapped it against her temple sarcastically, stealing the condescending gesture from her husband’s own Rolodex of rudeness.

He laughed dryly. Bringing the horn to his lips, he tossed it back and downed the rest of the bitter drink with one gulp. Dragging a sleeve across his wet chin, he rolled his jaw and narrowed his eyes right back at her.

"Well here’s a thought for you. Wife. You are lucky I don’t beat you. It is only because I haven’t, that you presume to think you can speak to me any which way. I should have put you in your place a long time ago.  THAT would have s-solved a lot *hiccup* of my problems.”

Aisling whipped her head around and glared at her husband. Her eyes shooting daggers. She was so tightly wound and seething, her hands were shaking and balled up into fists in her lap, just inching to break something, to strike out at anything, preferably Ivar’s face.

“I’m not so sure you could move fast enough to catch me sober, boneless." 

The words flew from her mouth before she could stop them and she immediately wished she could take them back. Not out of fear, she knew that Ivar would never hurt her. Not in that way. In anger, she had said some cruel things to her husband, but never anything quite so personal and biting. 

She sat frozen and watched the myriad of different emotions wash over her husband’s face. His eyes first going wide and his mouth falling agape, then is brows furrowing in confusion and his face twisting into anguish, finally his mouth curling into a snarl and his nostrils flaring.His face turned crimson.The way he set his eyes on her, she couldn’t quite tell if he was going to start crying or descend upon her like a fox taking down a field mouse.

For a short moment, she almost forgot why she was mad at him. But she couldn’t forget. Remembering his cutting words, she felt the smallest of sick senses of satisfaction in having cut him right back where it hurt most. She sat and shamefully savored the feeling before it was replaced again with regret and guilt.

"Ivar…I’m sor-”

he growled, cutting her off. Sitting down on the bed he turned his back to her. An old familiar view. He threw his crutches to the ground and began to unbuckle his braces.


"Fuck off.”
he slurred. 

“That’s not fair.”

“Nothing is fair, wife.” he snapped, turning his head to look at her over shoulder. “It isn’t fair that that I cannot put a child in your belly. It isn’t fair that you were a bargaining chip. Your brother sold you to me like a brood mare and now years later your womb lies empty." 

Looking away again, be resumed undressing for bed and continued, "It isn’t fair to you." 

"It’s not your fault Ivar.”

“The seer will just confirm what I already know to be true.”

“You don’t know that.”

“Yes, I do. My seed is cursed. It isn’t meant to be Aisling, if it was you wouldn’t have lost them. I know that is hard for you to hear and to accept, but you must. I am sorry. It is all my fault and I shouldn’t have said what I said.”

“No you shouldn’t have.” she replied softly. “But I shouldn’t have said what I said either, if I could take it ba-”

Well you can’t and you shouldn’t.” he sighed, turning back towards her. “It is true, I couldn’t catch you if I tried.” A lopsided smile crept onto his face and she knew in that moment that all was forgiven.

Their fights never lasted for too long, all he had to do was use tender words and smile at her and she would melt and begin to forget his cruel words and transgressions. That was how it always went. Maybe it wasn’t exactly healthy, but It was how it was. He wasn’t often cruel and when he did lash out at her, the source was almost always pain. Even though it was sometimes hard to see that in the moment, she knew her husband well. She knew the things that pained and plagued him, she knew what made him tick, and she knew that he loved her. In the end, she knew that she would forgive Ivar anything, he could never do or say anything to make her question her love. She saw him for who he was and accepted and embraced his faults. Unconditional was too weak a word to describe it. 

He laid back on the bed and crossed his arms behind his head. They stared at each other in silence for what felt like an eternity but was more like six seconds. 

“Come here.” he finally beckoned her.

He didn’t have to ask her twice, she stood and practically tripped over the chair in her desperation to get to him. 

She had only just climbed onto the bed when he reached out and captured her in his arms, pulling her into him and covering her mouth with a bruising kiss. His mouth tasted heavily of ale but she didn’t mind. He covered her, crushing her body into the mattress, his hands and mouth everywhere at once. Eagerly kneading at her breasts through her shift, burying his face in the crook of her neck and nipping at the sensitive skin, pulling at the collar of her night dress, laying open mouthed kisses to her collar bone. 

“I am so sorry elskan.”
he breathed against her skin in between kisses. “I didn’t mean it. Any of it." 

"Shh. I know love.” she murmured, pulling  his face back up to hers to quiet him with her lips. She held his face in her hands and moved her lips over his softly, wanting to savor him but he quickly deepened the kiss, devastating her control.

Burying his face back into her neck, he reached down in between their bodies to unlace his breeches. Bunching her skirt up her thighs in breathless urgency, he lined himself up and entered her with one thrust and an almost pained cry.

She cried out too, from the initial shock of it, she wasn’t completely ready but she just draped her arms around his neck and arched her back to better accept him. All she could do was lie back and try to meet his frenzied pace as he grunted into her neck and slammed into her. 

Before long his thrusts grew staggered. Feeling he was about to come already and she was nowhere near there, she wound her fingers in his hair and whined in frustration. 

“Iva- Ivar…please slow down.” she whimpered but it was too late, he cursed and let out a guttural moan. She felt his cock twitch inside of her before he gave one final thrust and spilled his seed. 

Collapsing on top of her, he growled and cursed under his breath.

“Fuck, I'm…fuck. I’m Sorry.” he groaned, rolling off of her and onto his back. 

He laid back and blew out a long breath and covered his face with his hands. 

“Arhh.” he mumbled into his hands before frowning and turning to face her. 

“Why are you so upset? You got your cock wet. I am the one who should be frowning." 

He propped himself up and moved in to kiss her.

 Reaching down in-between her damp thighs, his fingers slid into her folds and began to circle her clit. Well, what he thought was her clit. It wasn’t anywhere close to it. She let him kiss her and fumble around down there for a couple minutes before she erupted into a fit of laughter, placing her hands firmly on his shoulders and pushing him off of her. 

He fell backwards and looked at her in confusion. His face only spurred her amusement and she just laughed harder, he was too drunk and precious for her to be too frustrated with him.  

Wha-what is so funny? Wh-whhat did you do that for?“

She shook her head placed her hand on his cheek.

"You imbibed too heavily Ivar. It is okay, let’s just go to sleep ok?”


She placed a quick kiss on his lips and rolled over, tucking herself into the firs. 

“Sleep, Ivar.”
she yawned, snuggling in to get warm.

He grumbled and joined her under the covers.

“Was it really that bad wife? Drunk or not, it doesn’t take much to please you. All I have to do is press that little button and you are coming all over my hand in no time. Let me.”  

She felt him suggestively knee her in the back of her thigh. She didn’t have to be facing him to know he was smirking.

“No, Ivar. Go to sleep.”

“But why wont you let me service you wife?”

“It wasn’t the right button, Ivar.”

“What are you talking abo-…oh.”

“Yeah. Go to sleep.”

“Did you like it?”


“Come on, you liked it a little, didn’t you? You did. ”

“No, Ivar.”

“Hmm. We shall see. We will try it again sometime." 

"No. We won’t.”

“It tickled, you laughed.”

“I was laughing at you, Ivar.”

“Maybe we can try tomo-.”


“Fine. Fine….Prude.”

“goodnight Heathen.”


























Hydrangea, touken AU

Summary: AU. Touka saves Kaneki’s life one night when he tries to kill himself by jumping off a bridge. What he doesn’t know is that Touka desired to do the same thing. Trapped by despair, the two decide to make a terrible promise: to kill themselves together when fall arrives. But, could love be strong enough to give them a reason to keep on living? One-shot.

Rating: T, romance and angst | Words: 1,2213k | Read on AO3 / FF.net. If you like it, please reblog! ♥

A/N: Ahhh, it’s finally published! thank you all for having shown such a deep interest in this summary. This story was very important to me and I cried a lot while writing it. I recommend you to listen to the playlist that I made for a more immersive experience, you can listen to it here (x) Also, thank you sooooo much @timid-mew​ for editing this shitty thing! I love you <3 anyway, feedback is always welcome, enjoy the reading!


“What are you doing?”

Her inquisitive eyes scrutinize his pale face, waiting for an answer.

“I’m trying to kill myself,” he says a few seconds after.

One, two, three…

She frowns slowly, cherry lips sighing the smoke of her cig with grace. For a moment, he catches a glimpse of melancholy in her eyes.

“Me too…” she admits, squinting her eyes after an uncomfortable pause. “You don’t strike me as someone who wants to commit suicide.” she adds afterwards, taking in his appearance one more time and concludes, “Actually, I don’t think you have the guts to do it.”

Her honesty makes him smile. From his lips, a dry and bitter giggle comes to life.

"You would be surprised.” He whispers and the kindness shining within his eyes, minutes after jumping off into the abyss, provokes a mess in her mind.

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Be wary of friends—they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.


In the mid-ninth century A.D., a young man named Michael III assumed the throne of the Byzantine Empire. His mother, the Empress Theodora, had been banished to a nunnery, and her lover, Theoctistus, had been murdered ; at the head of the conspiracy to depose Theodora and enthrone Michael had been Michael’s uncle, Bardas, a man of intelligence and ambition. Michael was now a young, inexperienced ruler, surrounded by intriguers, murderers, and profligates. In this time of peril he needed someone he could trust as his councillor, and his thoughts turned to Basilius, his best friend. Basilius had no experience whatsoever in government and politics—in fact, he was the head of the royal stables—but he had proven his love and gratitude time and again.

To have a good enemy, choose a friend: He knows where to strike.


They had met a few years before, when Michael had been visiting the stables just as a wild horse got loose. Basilius, a young groom from peasant Macedonian stock, had saved Michael’s life. The groom’s strength and courage had impressed Michael, who immediately raised Basilius from the obscurity of being a horse trainer to the position of head of the stables. He loaded his friend with gifts and favors and they became inseparable. Basilius was sent to the finest school in Byzantium, and the crude peasant became a cultured and sophisticated courtier.

Every time I bestow a vacant office I make a hundred discontented persons and one ingrate.

Louis XIV, 1638-1715

Now Michael was emperor, and in need of someone loyal. Who could he better trust with the post of chamberlain and chief councillor than a young man who owed him everything?

Basilius could be trained for the job and Michael loved him like a brother. Ignoring the advice of those who recommended the much more qualified Bardas, Michael chose his friend.

Thus for my own part l have more than once been deceived by the person I loved most and of whose love, above everyone else’s, I have been most confident. So that I believe that u may be right to love and serve one person above all others. according to merit and worth, but never to trust so much in this tempting trap of friendship as to have cause to repent of it later on.


Basilius learned well and was soon advising the emperor on all matters of state. The only problem seemed to be money—Basiiius never had enough. Exposure to the splendor of Byzantine court life made him avaricious for the perks of power. Michael doubled, then tripled his salary, ennobled him, and married him off to his own mistress, Eudoxia Ingerina. Keeping such a trusted friend and adviser satisfied was worth any price. But more trouble was to come. Bardas was now head of the army, and Basilius convinced Michael that the man was hopelessly ambitious. Under the illusion that he could control his nephew, Bardas had conspired to put him on the throne, and he could conspire again, this time to get rid of Michael and assume the crown himself. Basilius poured poison into Michael’s ear until the emperor agreed to have his uncle murdered. During a great horse race, Basilius closed in on Bardas in the crowd and stabbed him to death. Soon after, Basilius asked that he replace Bardas as head of the army, where he could keep control of the realm and quell rebellion. This was granted.

Now Basilius’s power and wealth only grew, and a few years later Michael, in financial straits from his own extravagance, asked him to pay back some of the money he had borrowed over the years. To Michael’s shock and astonishment, Basilius refused, with a look of such impudence that the emperor suddenly realized his predicament: The former stable boy had more money, more allies in the army and senate, and in the end more power than the emperor himself. A few weeks later, after a night of heavy drinking, Michael awoke to find himself surrounded by soldiers. Basilius watched as they stabbed the emperor to death. Then, after proclaiming himself emperor, he rode his horse through the streets of Byzantium, brandishing the head of his former benefactor and best friend at the end of a long pike.


A snake chased by hunters asked a farmer to save its life. To hide it from its pursuers, the farmer squatted and let the snake crawl into his belly. But when the danger had passed and the farmer asked the snake to come out, the snake refused. It was warm and safe inside. On his way home, the man saw a heron and went up to him and whispered what had happened. The heron told him to squat and strain to eject the snake. When the snake stuck its head out, the heron caught it, pulled it out, and killed it. The farmer was worried that the snake’s poison might still be inside him, and the heron told him that the cure for snake poison was to cook and eat six white fowl. “You’re a white fowl,” said the farmer. “You’ll do for a start.” He grabbed the heron, put it in a bag, and carried it home, where he hung it up while he told his wife what had happened. “I’m surprised at you, ” said the wife. “The bird does you a kindness, rids you of the evil in your belly, saves your life in fact, yet you catch it and talk of killing it. She immediately released the heron, and it flew away. But on its way, it gouged out her eyes.

Moral: When you see water flowing uphill, it means that someone is repaying a kindness.



Michael III staked his future on the sense of gratitude he thought Basilius must feel for him. Surely Basilius would serve him best; he owed the emperor his wealth, his education, and his position. Then, once Basilius was in power, anything he needed it was best to give to him, strengthening the bonds between the two men. It was only on the fateful day when the emperor saw that impudent smile on Basilius’s face that he realized his deadly mistake.

He had created a monster. He had allowed a man to see power up close—a man who then wanted more, who asked for anything and got it, who felt encumbered by the charity he had received and simply did what many people do in such a situation: They forget the favors they have received and imagine they have earned their success by their own merits.

At Michael’s moment of realization, he could still have saved his own life, but friendship and love blind every man to their interests. Nobody believes a friend can betray. And Michael went on disbelieving until the day his head ended up on a pike.

Lord, protect me from my friends; I can take care of my enemies.

Voltaire, 1694-1778


For several centuries after the fall of the Han Dynasty (A.D. 222), Chinese history followed the same pattern of violent and bloody coups, one after the other. Army men would plot to kill a weak emperor, then would replace him on the Dragon Throne with a strong general. The general would start a new dynasty and crown himself emperor; to ensure his own survival he would kill off his fellow generals. A few years later, however, the pattern would resume: New generals would rise up and assassinate him or his sons in their turn. To be emperor of China was to be alone, surrounded by a pack of enemies—it was the least powerful, least secure position in the realm.

In A.D. 959, General Chao K’uang-yin became Emperor Sung. He knew the odds, the probability that within a year or two he would be murdered ; how could he break the pattern? Soon after becoming emperor, Sung ordered a banquet to celebrate the new dynasty, and invited the most powerful commanders in the army. After they had drunk much wine, he dismissed the guards and everybody else except the generals, who now feared he would murder them in one fell swoop. Instead, he addressed them: “The whole day is spent in fear, and I am unhappy both at the table and in my bed. For which one of you does not dream of ascending the throne? I do not doubt your allegiance, but if by some chance your subordinates, seeking wealth and position, were to force the emperor’s yellow robe upon you in turn, how could you refuse it?” Drunk and fearing for their lives, the generals proclaimed their innocence and their loyalty. But Sung had other ideas: “The best way to pass one’s days is in peaceful enjoyment of riches and honor. If you are willing to give up your commands, I am ready to provide you with fine estates and beautiful dwellings where you may take your pleasure with singers and girls as your companions.”

The astonished generals realized that instead of a life of anxiety and struggle Sung was offering them riches and security. The next day, all of the generals tendered their resignations, and they retired as nobles to the estates that Sung bestowed on them.

There are many who think therefore that a wise prince ought, when he has the chance, to foment astutely some enmity, so that by suppressing It he will augment his greatness. Princes, and especially new ones, have found more faith and more usefulness in those men, whom at the beginning of their power they regarded with suspicion, than in those they at first confided in. Pandolfo Petrucci, prince of Siena, governed his state more by those whom he suspected than by others.


In one stroke, Sung turned a pack of “friendly” wolves, who would likely have betrayed him, into a group of docile lambs, far from all power.

Over the next few years Sung continued his campaign to secure his rule. In A.D. 971, King Liu of the Southern Han finally surrendered to him after years of rebellion. To Liu’s astonishment, Sung gave him a rank in the imperial court and invited him to the palace to seal their newfound friendship with wine. As King Liu took the glass that Sung offered him, he hesitated, fearing it contained poison. “Your subject’s crimes certainly merit death,” he cried out, “but I beg Your Majesty to spare your subject’s life. Indeed I dare not drink this wine.” Emperor Sung laughed, took the glass from Liu, and swallowed it himself. There was no poison. From then on Liu became his most trusted and loyal friend.

At the time, China had splintered into many smaller kingdoms. When Ch‘ien Shu, the king of one of these, was defeated, Sung’s ministers advised the emperor to lock this rebel up. They presented documents proving that he was still conspiring to kill Sung. When Ch’ien Shu came to visit the emperor, however, instead of locking him up, Sung honored him. He also gave him a package, which he told the former king to open when he was halfway home. Ch’ien Shu opened the bundle on his return journey and saw that it contained all the papers documenting his conspiracy. He realized that Sung knew of his murderous plans, yet had spared him nonetheless. This generosity won him over, and he too became one of Sung’s most loyal vassals.

A brahman, a great expert in Veda who has become a great archer as well, offers his services to his good friend, who is now the king. The brahman cries out when he sees the king, “Recognize me, your friend!” The king answers him with contempt and then explains: “Yes, we were friends before, but our friendship was based on what power we had…. I was friends with you, good brahman, because it served my purpose. No pauper is friend to the rich, no fool to the wise, no coward to the brave. An old friend—who needs him? It is two men of equal wealth and equal birth who contract friendship and marriage, not a rich man and a pauper…. An old friend—who needs him?



A Chinese proverb compares friends to the jaws and teeth of a dangerous animal: If you are not careful, you will find them chewing you up. Emperor Sung knew the jaws he was passing between when he assumed the throne: His “friends” in the army would chew him up like meat, and if he somehow survived, his “friends” in the government would have him for supper. Emperor Sung would have no truck with “friends”—he bribed his fellow generals with splendid estates and kept them far away. This was a much better way to emasculate them than killing them, which would only have led other generals to seek vengeance. And Sung would have nothing to do with “friendly” ministers. More often than not, they would end up drinking his famous cup of poisoned wine.

Instead of relying on friends, Sung used his enemies, one after the other, transforming them into far more reliable subjects. While a friend expects more and more favors, and seethes with jealousy, these former enemies expected nothing and got everything. A man suddenly spared the guillotine is a grateful man indeed, and will go to the ends of the earth for the man who has pardoned him. In time, these former enemies became Sung’s most trusted friends.

Pick up a bee from kindness, and learn the limitations of kindness.


And Sung was finally able to break the pattern of coups, violence, and civil war—the Sung Dynasty ruled China for more than three hundred years.

In a speech Abraham Lincoln delivered at the height of the Civil War,
he referred to the Southerners as fellow human beings who were in
error. An elderly lady chastised him for not calling them irreconcilable
enemies who must be destroyed. “Why, madam,” Lincoln replied,
“do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”


It is natural to want to employ your friends when you find yourself in times of need. The world is a harsh place, and your friends soften the harshness. Besides, you know them. Why depend on a stranger when you have a friend at hand?

Men are more ready to repay an injury than a benefit, because gratitude is a burden and revenge a pleasure.

TACITUS, c. A.D. 55-120

The problem is that you often do not know your friends as well as you imagine. Friends often agree on things in order to avoid an argument. They cover up their unpleasant qualities so as to not offend each other. They laugh extra hard at each other’s jokes. Since honesty rarely strengthens friendship, you may never know how a friend truly feels. Friends will say that they love your poetry, adore your music, envy your taste in clothes—maybe they mean it, often they do not.

When you decide to hire a friend, you gradually discover the qualities he or she has kept hidden. Strangely enough, it is your act of kindness that unbalances everything. People want to feel they deserve their good fortune. The receipt of a favor can become oppressive: It means you have been chosen because you are a friend, not necessarily because you are deserving. There is almost a touch of condescension in the act of hiring friends that secretly afflicts them. The injury will come out slowly: A little more honesty, flashes of resentment and envy here and there, and before you know it your friendship fades. The more favors and gifts you supply to revive the friendship, the less gratitude you receive.

Ingratitude has a long and deep history. It has demonstrated its powers for so many centuries, that it is truly amazing that people continue to underestimate them. Better to be wary. If you never expect gratitude from a friend, you will be pleasantly surprised when they do prove grateful.

The problem with using or hiring friends is that it will inevitably limit your power. The friend is rarely the one who is most able to help you; and in the end, skill and competence are far more important than friendly feelings. (Michael III had a man right under his nose who would have steered him right and kept him alive: That man was Bardas.)


King Hiero chanced upon a time, speaking with one of his enemies, to be told in a reproachful manner that he had stinking breath. Whereupon the good king, being somewhat dismayed in himself, as soon as he returned home chided his wife, “How does it happen that you never told me of this problem?” The woman, being a simple, chaste. and harmless dame, said, “Sir, l had thought all men breath had smelled so.” Thus it is plain that faults that are evident to the senses, gross and corporal, or otherwise notorious to the world, we know by our enemies sooner than by our friends and familiars.

PLUTARCH, C. A.D. 46-120

All working situations require a kind of distance between people. You are trying to work, not make friends; friendliness (real or false) only obscures that fact. The key to power, then, is the ability to judge who is best able to further your interests in all situations. Keep friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and competent.

Your enemies, on the other hand, are an untapped gold mine that you must learn to exploit. When Talleyrand, Napoleon’s foreign minister, decided in 1807 that his boss was leading France to ruin, and the time had come to turn against him, he understood the dangers of conspiring against the emperor; he needed a partner, a confederate—what friend could he trust in such a project? He chose Joseph Fouché, head of the secret police, his most hated enemy, a man who had even tried to have him assassinated. He knew that their former hatred would create an opportunity for an emotional reconciliation. He knew that Fouché would expect nothing from him, and in fact would work to prove that he was worthy of Talleyrand’s choice; a person who has something to prove will move mountains for you. Finally, he knew that his relationship with Fouché would be based on mutual self-interest, and would not be contaminated by personal feeling. The selection proved perfect; although the conspirators did not succeed in toppling Napoleon, the union of such powerful but unlikely partners generated much interest in the cause; opposition to the emperor slowly began to spread. And from then on, Talleyrand and Fouché had a fruitful working relationship. Whenever you can, bury the hatchet with an enemy, and make a point of putting him in your service.

As Lincoln said, you destroy an enemy when you make a friend of him. In 1971, during the Vietnam War, Henry Kissinger was the target of an unsuccessful kidnapping attempt, a conspiracy involving, among others, the renowned antiwar activist priests the Berrigan brothers, four more Catholic priests, and four nuns. In private, without informing the Secret Service or the Justice Department, Kissinger arranged a Saturday-morning meeting with three of the alleged kidnappers. Explaining to his guests that he would have most American soldiers out of Vietnam by mid-1972, he completely charmed them. They gave him some “Kidnap Kissinger” buttons and one of them remained a friend of his for years, visiting him on several occasions. This was not just a onetime ploy: Kissinger made a policy of working with those who disagreed with him. Colleagues commented that he seemed to get along better with his enemies than with his friends.

Without enemies around us, we grow lazy. An enemy at our heels sharpens our wits, keeping us focused and alert. It is sometimes better, then, to use enemies as enemies rather than transforming them into friends or allies.

Mao Tse-tung saw conflict as key in his approach to power. In 1937 the Japanese invaded China, interrupting the civil war between Mao’s Communists and their enemy, the Nationalists.

Fearing that the Japanese would wipe them out, some Communist leaders advocated leaving the Nationalists to fight the Japanese, and using the time to recuperate. Mao disagreed: The Japanese could not possibly defeat and occupy a vast country like China for long. Once they left, the Communists would have grown rusty if they had been out of combat for several years, and would be ill prepared to reopen their struggle with the Nationalists. To fight a formidable foe like the Japanese, in fact, would be the perfect training for the Communists’ ragtag army. Mao’s plan was adopted, and it worked: By the time the Japanese finally retreated, the Communists had gained the fighting experience that helped them defeat the Nationalists.

Years later, a Japanese visitor tried to apologize to Mao for his country’s invasion of China. Mao interrupted, “Should I not thank you instead?” Without a worthy opponent, he explained, a man or group cannot grow stronger.

Mao’s strategy of constant conflict has several key components. First, be certain that in the long run you will emerge victorious. Never pick a fight with someone you are not sure you can defeat, as Mao knew the Japanese would be defeated in time. Second, if you have no apparent enemies, you must sometimes set up a convenient target, even turning a friend into an enemy. Mao used this tactic time and again in politics. Third, use such enemies to define your cause more clearly to the public, even framing it as a struggle of good against evil. Mao actually encouraged China’s disagreements with the Soviet Union and the United States; without clear-cut enemies, he believed, his people would lose any sense of what Chinese Communism meant. A sharply defined enemy is a far stronger argument for your side than all the words you could possibly put together.

Never let the presence of enemies upset or distress you—you are far better off with a declared opponent or two than not knowing where your real enemies lie. The man of power welcomes conflict, using enemies to enhance his reputation as a surefooted fighter who can be relied upon in times of uncertainty.

Image: The Jaws of Ingratitude. Knowing what would happen if you put a finger in the mouth of a lion, you would stay clear of it. With friends you will have no such caution, and if you hire them, they will eat you alive with ingratitude.

Authority: Know how to use enemies for your own profit. You must learn to grab a sword not by its blade, which would cut you, but by the handle, which allows you to defend yourself. The wise man profits more from his enemies, than a fool from his friends. (Baltasar Gracián, 1601-1658)


Although it is generally best not to mix work with friendship, there are times when a friend can be used to greater effect than an enemy. A man of power, for example, often has dirty work that has to be done, but for the sake of appearances it is generally preferable to have other people do it for him; friends often do this the best, since their affection for him makes them willing to take chances. Also, if your plans go awry for some reason, you can use a friend as a convenient scapegoat. This “fall of the favorite” was a trick often used by kings and sovereigns: They would let their closest friend at court take the fall for a mistake, since the public would not believe that they would deliberately sacrifice a friend for such a purpose. Of course, after you play that card, you have lost your friend forever. It is best, then, to reserve the scapegoat role for someone who is close to you but not too close.

Finally, the problem about working with friends is that it confuses the boundaries and distances that working requires. But if both partners in the arrangement understand the dangers involved, a friend often can be employed to great effect. You must never let your guard down in such a venture, however; always be on the lookout for any signs of emotional disturbance such as envy and ingratitude. Nothing is stable in the realm of power, and even the closest of friends can be transformed into the worst of enemies.

À la vie, à la mort (Widowmaker x Reader Fanfiction)

My entry for the fanfic wrtiting contest of @overwritings
Thanks for taking it!

Summary: You and Widowmaker have been in a relationship for a few months, which proves to have hardships as you are an Overwatch Hero and she literally is your enemy. Also, the fact she enjoys marking her territory hasn’t gone unnoticed by Tracer. Someday, you will have to tell your best friend. But things take an unexpected turn.

Also, the Reader once had the biggest of crushs on Amélie Lacroix when she was still “alive”.

Word Count: 5227

Genres: Angst, Fluff

Warnings: Cursing, Death

Those written like this are the Protagonist’s thoughts. They’re also in 1st person narrator.

Possible sequel: Rendez-vous avec l’araignée”

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700 Celebration (6/100)

Request: Anonymous: “A request for your celebration. Clint 74. 26”

74. “Where does it hurt? Yes.”

26. “Can you… can you just hold my hand, please?”

Originally posted by antaresiceslayer-art

You felt… hazy. Warm and heavy. Nothing felt real; nothing felt quite right. It took you a minute before you could gather the focus and the will power to open your eyes, and when you did the world that was your little hospital room seemed even less real than you did. There was a steady beeping from an EKG, though, and that gave you something to focus on. Once your sluggish mind finally found something to anchor it to your present situation, it was kind enough to remind you of the backstory in a series of quick bursts.

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